Brittany Norwood's lawyer admitted in his opening statement Wednesday that his client killed her coworker at the Lululemon shop in Bethesda in March. Defense attorney Douglas Wood claims the murder was not premeditated. He says Norwood "lost it" during a fight with Jayna Murray, and that her death was not planned, and that a first-degree murder conviction cannot be justified.
Prosecutors painted a very different story in their depiction of events. Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy described Norwood as a conniving killer who lured her coworker into the store after closing time and bludgeoned her to death using eight different murder weapons, before trying to cover it up. In his opening statement, he re-enacted the scene of the murder, dropping to his knees and actually wielding one of the alleged murder weapons.
The family of the victim sat in tears in the courtroom as gruesome photos of the crime scene were shown, depicting the 322 wounds Murray suffered, a third of which were said to be defense wounds. The jury also heard testimony from the first witness in the case, the Lululemon store manager, who testified against Norwood.
The trial began Wednesday after what the judge described as a "difficult" jury selection process.
Prosecutors have said they intend to seek life without parole if Norwood is convicted of first-degree murder. Jurors were barred from watching television, browsing the internet and participating in social media during the trial because of extensive media coverage. More than two-thirds of the initial pool of jurors Monday had already heard of the case. The case is expected to last into next week.