Who is Brittany Norwood? Details start to trickle out about woman accused of Lululemon homicide
Last Friday evening, Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger appeared at a much-anticipated press conference to announce an arrest in the high-profile murder of Lululemon Athletica employee Jayna T. Murray. As Manger blurted out "Brittany Norwood," reporters throughout the region started banging on their keyboards in search of biographical data.
There was every reason to suspect a healthy digital trail. Norwood is a well-educated 28-year-old, the very demographic that posts photos and thoughts all over social media.
Search results, though, didn't yield much. There was some documentation on her past as a skilled athlete, a stalwart defender for the Stony Brook University's women's soccer squad. Yet nothing detailing her character and personality.
That part has been left to prosecutors in the Murray case. In court yesterday, the government painted Norwood as a lying schemer who initially told police that two masked men attacked her and Murray after closing hours at the Bethesda Lululemon outlet.
Building a more complete profile of Norwood won't be easy. Her inner circle, if indeed she had one, has been difficult to reach in the days since her arrest. Family, a former roommate, and others haven't been particularly eager to see their name pop up in a story about an accused murderer.
Below, we wrap up what few pieces have surfaced since Friday night.
BRUSHES WITH THE LAW?
Authorities are charging Norwood with the most vicious of criminal acts. The struggle between Norwood and Murray inside the Bethesda store could have lasted more than 20 minutes, according to ABC7. There were too many blows to Murray’s head for investigators to count, ABC7 reports, and police say her spinal cord was severed.
It all started, say prosecutors, when the Murray checked the Norwood's bag for stolen merchandise, according to ABC7. Another former employee has also suggested that Norwood was suspected of theft at another Lululemon store.
Norwood's past, however, doesn’t suggest a violent or larcenous past.
In 2005, Norwood was reportedly cited for speeding in Maryland and failed to show up for her court appearance. A search of D.C. Superior Court records shows that Norwood and her roommate were involved in a landlord-tenant dispute in 2008. Public records indicate that both she and her roommate left the Columbia Heights property that year.
A GLORIOUS ATHLETIC PAST
“We were good friends then but when she moved on to play with a different team we lost touch,” Rachel Rodrick, a former teammate on Norwood’s club team, wrote in a Facebook message to TBD. “She was a great, funny, nice girl and a good soccer player.”
A skilled defender, Norwood went on to play for Stony Brook University in New York, where she was she was named Defensive Most Valuable Player one season, according to ABC7. Norwood was also given conference honors in 2001, and earned a spot on the NSCAA/Adidas All Northeast Region Team in 2002.
“Norwood was the lynchpin of a Stony Brook defense that roared through the second half of the season, allowing only four goals in the final seven games of the regular season while posting four shutouts,” a press release stated. Her coach also praised her competitive spirit in another release about the 2002 season.
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