(AP, WJLA) - An "audible gasp" arose from a Montgomery County courtroom Monday during stunning expert testimony in the Brittany Norwood murder trial.
The trial of Norwood, who is charged with killing a coworker inside a the Lululemon Athletica yoga clothing shop in Bethesda, resumed Monday with expert testimony from a blood splatter expert.
Blood spatter expert Bill Vosburgh, director of the D.C. crime lab, said that the bloodstains indicated a "severe beating that started with the victim standing and went to crouching, knealing and then hits at the floor level."
Vosburgh said that the pattern of blood found inside the store indicates that Jayna Murray was struck repeatedly while she was on the ground. The expert also said that blood found on a bookcase came directly from Murray's head.
On Monday, the judge denied the prosecution's request to allow testimony about the shoplifting accusations involving Norwood.
On the night of the murder, Murray is believed to have called a coworker to say she had found merchandise in Norwood’s bag. State's Attorney John McCarthy said, "that statement is the motive of the case."
Judge Robert Greenberg, however, ruled that the coworker who could testify about that accusation would be relaying hearsay and therefore did not allow the person's testimony in court.
Norwood is charged with first-degree murder in the March 11 death of Jayna Murray, a death that shook and stunned the Montgomery County community.
Two employees at the adjacent Apple store testified Friday that they heard yelling and screaming from inside the Lululemon store on the night of the killing.
The trial adjourned for the day shortly before 5 p.m. On Tuesday, the jury will see videotaped interviews with Norwood, followed on Wednesday by testimony from the medical examiners describing Murray’s injuries. It is unclear whether the defense plans to call additional witnesses.
Norwood's lawyer admitted his client killed Murray but said it happened during a fight and wasn't premeditated. Prosecutors say they plan to seek a sentence of life without parole if Norwood is convicted of first-degree murder.