Entries in Bethesda (4)


Maryland Police Make Arrest in Boutique Athletic Shop Killing

Comstock/Thinkstock(BETHESDA, Md.) -- A woman who claimed to be victimized during an attack last weekend at a Lululemon Athletica store in Bethesda, Md., that left her co-worker dead has been charged with murder, police said.

Store employee Brittany Norwood, 27, was discovered tied and beaten alongside the body of Jayna Murray, 30, who was killed last Friday at the high-end athletic boutique where she worked, police said.

Montgomery County Police now allege that Norwood killed Murray and inflicted wounds on herself to appear as though she were a victim.

Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger said statements from the woman and forensic evidence were inconsistent.

Police said they found evidence in the deceased victim's car allegedly linking Norwood to the crime.

She is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

The killing occurred after the two women closed the store Friday evening. Norwood called Murray, who had the keys to the athletic shop, saying she left her wallet in the store and needed to return, police said. Murray met her to open the store and allow her to retrieve the item.

Norwood told police that two masked men -- one 6-feet tall, the other 5-feet 3-inches -- then entered the store and proceeded to beat and rape the two women, killing Murray in the process.

The women's bound bodies were discovered in a back room of the shop the next morning when another employee arrived to open the store for business, police said.

Norwood was taken to the hospital where she underwent physical evaluation and was released days later.

Forensic evidence did not support Norwood's story that they had been raped, police said.

Witnesses at the nearby Apple store told police they heard two females arguing, police said.

Police said only two sets of footprints were found in the store. One set belonged to Norwood and the other to a size 14 shoe found in the store.

The homicide investigation is still active, and it is unclear whether someone else was in the store with Norwood and Murray.

The Lululemon company said in a statement, "We are grateful for the dedicated members of the law enforcement community who have been working diligently to solve this crime and apprehend those responsible. We also want to express our gratitude for the overwhelming expression of support and generosity from so many of you over this past week.

"Our first priority remains with the families and team members affected by this horrible tragedy and supporting them through the next stage of the recent developments."

The Washington, D.C., suburb of Bethesda was shocked by last week's killing. The Lululemon Athletica store is located along a bustling street lined with numerous shops, including an Apple store next door.

Although Bethesda is considered to be a safe community, there have been three murders in the city since the start of the year.

A reward of more than $150,000 was offered for information regarding the killing.

Visitation services for Murray were held in The Woodlands, Texas, just outside Houston. The funeral will take place in Texas Saturday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Trial Concludes for American Held in Cuba

AFP/Getty Images(HAVANA) -- The trial for American Alan Gross, who has been held in Cuba for more than a year, has ended.

Gross faces a possible 20-year sentence for allegedly bringing communications equipment into the country illegally.

“The matter is now before a panel for decision,” Gross’ lawyer, Peter J. Khan, said in a statement. “The family remains hopeful that Alan will be home soon.”

State Department spokesman PJ Crowley confirmed the trial’s end.

“There is not yet a verdict,” Crowley tweeted. “We hope he will be released and allowed to return to his family.”

On Thursday, the State Department called on Cuban authorities to clear Gross of all charges.

A Maryland native, Gross was detained in December 2009 as he tried to depart Havana's airport.  He had been working as a U.S. government subcontractor distributing communications devices to Jewish communities in Havana, according to U.S. officials. He is accused of "acts against the independence and territorial integrity of the state."

Gross was working for the Bethesda-based Development Associates International on a USAID program that promotes democracy.  He has been held in Havana's maximum-security Villa Marista prison, most of that time without charge.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Coach Obama: President Helps Fill In for Daughter's Basketball Coach

Photo Courtesy - Pete Souza/The White House (file)(CHEVY CHASE, Md.) -- President Obama helped coach his daughter’s basketball team on Saturday. The White House says this is the first time the president has filled in for the usual coach.

The president’s daughter, Sasha, did not play with her team during her dad’s debut; she is in Colorado, on a ski trip with her mom, the first lady.

No word on who won the game.

The game took place at a Chevy Chase, Md., community center where the president and first lady regularly watch Sasha’s games.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Report of Suspicious Death Throws Maryland Hospital Into Lockdown

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BETHESDA, Md.) -- Police in Maryland locked down a Bethesda hospital Saturday while they investigated the death of an employee who reportedly suffered trauma to his upper body.

Local reports said Montgomery County police were dispatched to the Suburban Hospital to investigate a possible stabbing.

A statement posted to the hospital's website Saturday morning said that police were investigating an assault. A source told ABC News affiliate WJLA that the victim, a 40-year-old male, died as a result of his injuries.

Police spent nearly four hours combing the building, but their search for a suspect came up blank.

No other injuries were reported.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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