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Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Murder of Jayna Murray: Killer Brittany Norwood’s Family, Friends, and Defense Attorneys Made Ludicrous Attempts to Justify Granting Her the Possibility of Parole

 
Murder victim Jayna Murray
 

By Nicholas Stix
 

Jayna Murray’s parents, Phyllis and David Murray
 


The family of remorseless murderer Brittany Norwood is asking for a life sentence with the chance of parole
 
In their letters to the judge made public Wednesday, they write of the daughter, sister and teammate they once knew. For the Norwoods, in advance of sentencing set for Friday in Montgomery County, they take up the best argument left to them: Give her a life term but with a chance at parole.
[N.S.: I guess there weren’t any letters from the soccer teammates at SUNY Stony Brook who experienced her as a constant thief, a charming, pathological liar, and as a very scary customer whom they were afraid to confront.]
The raw, heart-rending memos now sit at the top of three fat folders of legal records in the Norwood case. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys agree that life in prison is the appropriate sentence. The battle is whether Norwood should be jailed forever.
[The defense has no choice but to concede the point. If they could fight it, they would have.]
Prosecutors contend that Norwood has shown no remorse since the body of her co-worker, Jayna Murray, was found March 12 in the yoga store. She is beyond rehabilitation, prosecutors say.
[Rehabilitation is irrelevant. That ship has sailed. This is about punishment, not rehabilitation. If Norwood had remained merely a thief, we could talk about rehabilitation.]
Not so, writes [sic] the relatives who know her as a competitive soccer player and a teenager who ran a babysitting service. They also write of an aunt, who, the day before the killing, walked through rain to pick up her nephews from school when their physician-mother had to work late in an operating room.
She ran a babysitting service as a teenager. And the relevance of that is ... what? And she had no problem switching from helping out her sister the doctor one day, to planning the murder of a white colleague, and beating and stabbing the woman over 320 times for 16 minutes, and then covering up her crime, the next.
“I love my daughter more than words can say and I know she is worthy of a chance,” Earl Norwood wrote. “No one should ever have to experience” the pain the Murray family is enduring, he wrote. But the sixth of his nine children “has always been a person of a true caring nature and I know she still is.”
[“... and I know she still is.” As do we all!]

Norwood’s mother, Larkita, wrote that “this terrible tragedy is incomprehensible to me” [But not to those of us who see such racist savagery constantly committed.] but that her love has not wavered. “From the day the doctor told me I was with child and through all her life to this day, I have loved her as I love her now.” Given a chance, she can again be an asset to the community, her mother wrote.
[Lady, when was your daughter ever “an asset to the community”? Or are we perhaps using the word “community” in different ways? After all, when she stole from her soccer teammates at SUNY Stony Brook, her victims were all white, weren’t they? And the businesses she stole from were all white-owned, weren’t they? And the woman she bludgeoned and stabbed over 300 times ...]
Under current law, that chance at parole could not come before 25 years at the earliest, Norwood’s attorneys say.

Norwood’s attorneys argue that she is “neither a calculating killer or a deranged psychopath” and did not meet the legal definition of insane. A psychiatric evaluation of Norwood done at her attorneys’ request and filed with the court says that she has a case of major depression that would benefit from medication.
She is absolutely “a calculating killer [and] a psychopath,” though I’m not sure about the “deranged” part. As for her “depression,” facing spending one’s life in jail can do that, assuming her doctors weren’t merely conjuring up a diagnosis for a price.
The motive for the attack that left Murray, 30, with more than 330 injuries was not stated at trial before Norwood’s conviction in November. The prosecution’s suggestion that Murray had caught Norwood shoplifting “was hardly a motive for murder,” Norwood’s attorneys wrote in their memo, which was filed along with the letters from the Norwood family.

The position they took at trial, they wrote, “provides the best explanation . . . Norwood became overwhelmed with emotion during a confrontation, and before she could regain her composure, she committed the unthinkable.”
Their position violates the first law of lying, which is plausibility. Norwood didn’t snap, or become “overwhelmed with emotion”; she planned the murder.

The killer called her victim on her cellphone after they had closed up the shop, in order to lure her back to her death.

And I do not believe that Murray started arguing with Norwood about the latter’s theft, at least not after they had returned to the store. Based on what Apple employees next door heard, my understanding is that Norwood demanded that Murray tell her what was going on. She was trying to squeeze Murray for information—probably after she had already bludgeoned her a couple of times—as to what higher-ups knew about Norwood’s thefts, before killing Murray.

The reason for Norwood’s m.o. was that if she killed Murray prior to locking up, a customer might come in, or a manager might call, and interrupt her. Instead, she did it after the store had officially closed.
Norwood “understands the severity of the situation,” wrote one of her older sisters, Heather Norwood, who said her sister has “a heart of gold.”
Norwood unsderstands that she is in danger of spending the rest of her life in prison. She has no understanding of the moral severity of the situation; she has refused to even admit that she murdered Murray. When she expressed “sympathy” to her victim’s family, she said that they would always know her as the woman who was “convicted” of killing Jayna, not as the woman who actually murdered her. She is acting as if she were innocent! As for her having “a heart of gold,” the less said, the better.


Family asks for a chance at parole for yoga-store killer
By Mary Pat Flaherty, Published: January 25
Washington Post

In 20 pages of impassioned pleas, family members of Brittany Norwood urged a judge to give her a chance of one day being free — the family’s first sustained public comments since the 29-year-old was convicted of killing a co-worker in November.

They do not claim to understand what triggered the violent attack at the Bethesda Lululemon Athletica store, nor Norwood’s extensive lies as she spun a tale of masked attackers and rape.

The Crime Scene

In their letters to the judge made public Wednesday, they write of the daughter, sister and teammate they once knew. For the Norwoods, in advance of sentencing set for Friday in Montgomery County, they take up the best argument left to them: Give her a life term but with a chance at parole.

The raw, heart-rending memos now sit at the top of three fat folders of legal records in the Norwood case. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys agree that life in prison is the appropriate sentence. The battle is whether Norwood should be jailed forever.

Prosecutors contend that Norwood has shown no remorse since the body of her co-worker, Jayna Murray, was found March 12 in the yoga store. She is beyond rehabilitation, prosecutors say.

Not so, writes the relatives who know her as a competitive soccer player and a teenager who ran a babysitting service. They also write of an aunt, who, the day before the killing, walked through rain to pick up her nephews from school when their physician-mother had to work late in an operating room.

“I love my daughter more than words can say and I know she is worthy of a chance,”

Earl Norwood wrote. “No one should ever have to experience” the pain the Murray family is enduring, he wrote. But the sixth of his nine children “has always been a person of a true caring nature and I know she still is.”

Norwood’s mother, Larkita, wrote that “this terrible tragedy is incomprehensible to me” but that her love has not wavered. “From the day the doctor told me I was with child and through all her life to this day, I have loved her as I love her now.”
Given a chance, she can again be an asset to the community, her mother wrote.

Under current law, that chance at parole could not come before 25 years at the earliest, Norwood’s attorneys say.

Norwood’s attorneys argue that she is “neither a calculating killer or a deranged psychopath” and did not meet the legal definition of insane. A psychiatric evaluation of Norwood done at her attorneys’ request and filed with the court says that she has a case of major depression that would benefit from medication.

The motive for the attack that left Murray, 30, with more than 330 injuries was not stated at trial before Norwood’s conviction in November. The prosecution’s suggestion that Murray had caught Norwood shoplifting “was hardly a motive for murder,” Norwood’s attorneys wrote in their memo, which was filed along with the letters from the Norwood family.

The position they took at trial, they wrote, “provides the best explanation . . .
Norwood became overwhelmed with emotion during a confrontation, and before she could regain her composure, she committed the unthinkable.”

Norwood “understands the severity of the situation,” wrote one of her older sisters, Heather Norwood, who said her sister has “a heart of gold.”

She also wrote: “As much pain as I feel for my sister, I feel a deeper pain in my heart for the Murray family. . . . There isn’t a day that goes by that every time I pray for my sister I say a prayer for their family as well.”

[Previously, on this case, at WEJB/NSU:

“Bethesda Cops: Black Yoga Store Worker Murdered White Colleague, Made Up Story about Masked Rapist-Killers, in Order to Avoid Jail for Thefts”;

“Black Bethesda Yoga Store Worker Brittany Norwood is Charged with Killing Her White Colleague, Jayna Murray: Five Videos”;

“Trial Date Set For Britanny Norwood, in Non-Hate Crime Murder in Bethesda, Maryland, lululemon athletica Store”;

“Reader Who Claims to Have Known Jayna Murray, Whose Killer Smashed Her Skull in for 20 Minutes in lululemon athletica, Has Compassion for the Killer, but None for Those Who Would Judge Her”;

“In Web Posts and Emails, Friends of Brittany Norwood, the Racist Lululemon Killer of Jayna Murray, Paint Mutually Contradictory Portraits of Norwood”;

“In 2007, Ex-Boyfriend Charged That Lululemon Murderer Brittany Norwood was Stalking Him”;

“Already in August, Lululemon Killer Brittany Norwood’s Lawyer was Playing the ‘Crazy Card’”;

“New Details in Grisly Lululemon Murder: Brittany Norwood Used at Least 4 Different Weapons to Kill Jayna Murray; Prosecutor: Crime was ‘Pre-Meditated’”;

Lululemon Trial of Brittany Norwood, for the Murder of Jayna Murray, Day 1: The Defense is Not Using the “Crazy Card,” but the “She Lost It Card”;

“The Desperate Struggle of Jayna Murray: Lululemon Murder Victim Tried to Escape, and was Alive Through Most of the Horrific Beating Brittany Norwood Inflicted on Her, Sustaining 322 Wounds (Washington Times)”;

“Lululemon Murder Trial, Day 2: A Bloody Video, in a Tear-Filled Courtroom”;

“The Lululemon Murder Trial, Day 3: The Apple Employees Who Heard the Murder, but Did Nothing”;

“Lululemon Trial: Is the ‘Crazy Card’ Off the Table for Jayna Murray’s Racist Killer, Brittany Norwood?”;

“Lululemon Trial: Rotten Apple; Computer Giant’s Employees Listened to the Murder Through a Shared Wall … and Listened … and Listened”;

“Lululemon Verdict in: Brittany Norwood Convicted of 1st-Degree Murder, for Killing Jayna Murray! Ice-Cold, Calculating Killer Faces Up to Life Until Parole”; and

“Racist, Savage, Remorseless Killer Brittany Norwood Inflicted 322 Wounds on Jayna Murray, but Killer’s Family Says She Has ‘a Heart of Gold.’”]

4 comments:

jeigheff said...

Hi Nicholas,

This past week, the public was given a strange piece of news concerning a black murderer here in Austin, Texas. The murderer (who was not in custody, but apparently under police surveillance) is reported to have taken his own life. Here's a link:

http://austin.ynn.com/content/top_stories/282703/neighbors-react-to-suspected-king-street-killer-s-suicide

Sorry to write here, but I wasn't sure how to send this to you directly. If it's not appropriate to post this here, that's cool.

I'm sure I'm not the only reader who would be interested in hearing what you think of this particular case.

Jeff

Anonymous said...

Ever notice how more than a few of the perpetrators of heinous black on white murders are "respectable" middle class types?

David In TN

Anonymous said...

skin color has nothing to do with a monster

Anonymous said...

Exactly, considering that there are white perpetrators who commit heinous crimes as well.A monster is a monster regardless of race,creed or color!