Update 4:30 p.m.: State's Attorney John McCarthy grabbed the murder weapon, a merchandising peg, and beats it against a desk in the court room as he grunts. He describes how this is how Brittany Norwood killed Jayna Murray. This is the most dramatic part of the closing arguments that took place Wednesday.
The jury will decide whether Norwood committed premeditated first-degree murder or a lesser charge of second-degree murder. The defense has called no witnesses to the stand during the trial, and maintains that Norwood "lost it" and didn't mean to kill Murray.
The judge has told the jury to plan for "a long night ahead of you," as they deliberate. The decision on a verdict must be unanimous.
Original Story: Closing arguments are expected today in the trial of Brittany Norwood, who has been accused of killing her coworker, Jayna Murray, in the Bethesda Lululemon store where they both worked.
The trial began this morning with the Judge Robert Greenberg reversing his previous decision to bar the jury from seeing autopsy photos of the victim. Norwood's defense team objected, arguing that the autopsy report and diagrams be used instead.
State's Attorney John McCarthy countered that argument: "Murray was alive for every one of these blows," he said.
Murray's family left the court while the photos were revealed, which coincided with the testimony of Maryland Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Mary Ripple. Ripple testified of the bruising visible in the photos, "I believe [the victim] was alive for all of them."
Murray had 26 wounds from four different weapons on the right side of her face. The injury that finally killed Murray was a stab wound to the back of her head that hit the base of her brain, according to the medical examiner.
The medical examiner's testimony caused some jurors to raise eyebrows, and cover their mouths. Ripple is the last witness expected to be called by the prosecution. Closing arguments in the case could begin as early as today.