- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 13, 2011

An insanity plea appears to be off the table for the woman charged with killing a co-worker in a Lululemon yoga store in Bethesda.

Attorneys for Brittany Norwood failed to file a not-criminally-responsible plea by the Monday deadline set by Montgomery County Circuit Judge Robert A. Greenberg.

While the defense team could file the plea at a later date, a court official said Tuesday that Judge Greenberg would decide whether it would be allowed.

Calls to Miss Norwood’s attorneys Tuesday were not returned.

The inaction comes after weeks of back and forth between Miss Norwood’s lawyers and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John J. McCarthy, who says the defendant is a sane 29-year-old woman who was able to “play that game” as a victim in the gory death of Arlington resident Jayna Murray, 30.

Norwood attorney Harry Trainor Jr. hinted in late August at a possible insanity plea when he asked for a delay in trial proceedings so the defense team could have more time to investigate its client’s “major mental illness.”

Defense attorneys also said Miss Norwood could have sustained multiple concussions while playing college soccer.

The District resident is charged with first-degree murder in the March 11 killing of Murray, a manager at the upscale store on Bethesda Row.

Police discovered Murray’s body in a back room with Miss Norwood nearby and bound with zip ties.

Miss Norwood originally told investigators two masked men assaulted and robbed her and Murray after closing time.

However, her story failed to match evidence from the crime scene and elsewhere, and police arrested her several days later.

Judge Greenberg has denied several motions filed by the defense to suppress statements Miss Norwood made to police but agreed to suppress one she made a week after the killing.

Another motions hearing regarding the omission of evidence is scheduled for Oct. 14. The jury trial is set to begin Oct. 24.

• Meredith Somers can be reached at msomers@washingtontimes.com.

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