The charges against her are shocking, but to some, they're simply unbelievable. Police say Brittany Norwood became so enraged when Jayna Murray discovered she had stolen from the high-end Maryland athletic store where they worked that she allegedly proceeded to beat Murray to death inside the store March 11. But those who know Norwood say it's difficult to comprehend that the bubbly, helpful athlete could be capable of a brutal murder.
"In the four years I knew Brittany, I never saw her upset, never saw her angry at anyone," Glentis Michel, a friend of Norwood's from New York's Stony Brook University, where Norwood was a soccer star, told The Washington Post. "She always had a big smile on her face."
Norwood had no violent history and is consistently described as friendly and upbeat. So investigators and friends of the 28-year-old woman are struggling to understand how she could have lost it so severely inside the Bethesda, Md., store that she crushed the skull and severed the spine of her co-worker, the Post says. Norwood's teammates from her college soccer team have said she had a reputation for petty theft but was never overly aggressive.
"It's beyond belief," Norwood's father, Earl Norwood, told the paper.
The father, who used to watch his daughter's soccer games near the family home in Kent, Wash., said he could not imagine a scenario in which Brittany would kill another human being. And making matters more vexing, investigators told the Post they believe Norwood and Murray had had no previous confrontation.