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Judge takes Apple Store workers to task for ignoring murder

updated 03:35 pm EST, Mon January 30, 2012

Workers showed 'callous indifference'

A Montgomery County Circuit judge, Robert Greenberg, has sharply criticized workers at the Bethesda Row Apple Store in Maryland for ignoring a murder taking place at an outlet next door, a report says. In March 2011, a Lululemon worker named Brittany Norwood was caught stealing a pair of yoga pants after-hours by colleague Jayna Murray. Norwood retaliated violently, inflicting 330 or more wounds on Murray using different objects.

On Friday, Greenberg sentenced Norwood to life in prison without parole. The judge described Norwood as "cold-blooded...brutal...calculated...deliberate...devious...malicious," but also had strong words for the Apple Store workers. "The callous indifference of those Apple store employees. They did not do a blessed thing," he commented during sentencing. During Norwood's trial a manager at the Apple Store, Jane Svrzo, admitted that workers had heard sounds coming from next door, including someone screaming "Oh, God, please help me." Nevertheless, no one bothered to check up on the Lululemon or call police.

Norwood initially tried to conceal the crime by wounding herself, tying herself up, and then telling police that two robbers were responsible. Within a week though the story collapsed and a murder charge was filed. Neither Svrzo nor Apple PR representatives have commented on the matter.

by MacNN Staff





    Comment buried. Show
  1. locosam

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Reality Check

    What is this story about... exactly? Instead of having one person dead we could have had, oh I don't know, three? If this killer was, lessee; cold-blooded, brutal, calculated, deliberate, devious, malicious, then jumping into the fray would have been foolhardy. This judge should have his head examined, unless there are more facts than you tell, and beyond that this is an attempt to ... make Apple look bad, with insensitive employees? Nothing like any other set of store employees, I'm sure.

  1. Inbloom

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If they heard screams they should have at least called the police department. No one from apple had to go over and get involved.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It doesn't matter whether it was an Apple Store, a Microsoft Store, or an ice cream parlor. At a minimum you call police and mall security. Don't be defensive here: this is not a story about Apple, this is a story about the individuals who were there and heard the screams.

    If you think the story is implying that Apple is responsible for its employees being callous and indifferent, then you're reading too much into it.

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPhones can "dial" 911

    I'm guessing it wouldn't have been that tough. Feel sorry for the other lady and her family. She'll have a long time to mull over where theft and violence got her.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The location is on a regular street. Not in a mall.

    But agree that they should have called the police.

  1. jumpwpb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So the judge is picking on apple?

    Is the store on the OTHER side of the store where the incident took place vacant? Didn't those workers hear anything or make a call? It doesn't look vacant in Google street view. What are those windows above lululemon? More shops or apartments? one there heard anything or called it in either? The store has big windows out front too, where anyone passing by could see in easily...did no one passing by see or hear anything either? Sorry Judge, time to expand the search for scapegoats just a little bit. Unless of course, the store in question and the Apple store were the only two stores open, and there were NO pedestrians around. I agree someone should have made a call, but unless they went and saw that something was going on, or thought for sure someone was in trouble, they risked making a false 911 call.

  1. chefpastry

    Joined: Dec 1969



    My neighbor's girl friend screams, "Oh god! Oh god!" all the time at nights, should i call the cops every time I hear it?

  1. chefpastry

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I think this judge just watches too much Seinfeld or took a dive shorting AAPL.

  1. BigJohn11

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm a local

    I'm a local to that store. So local that I walk that neighborhood for fun. While I agree with the judge I'd like to throw in a few things.
    1) The day the murder occured was also the day that the iPad 2's went on sale. I was actually outside the store waiting for mine at 7pm.. Kind of freaky.
    2) It's a very affluent area, and a area where people feel very safe.
    3) There are no appartements above, it's extra storage, etc.
    4) The other neighbor is a paper place. I'm sure they are closed
    5) The murder occured AFTER the store had already been closed. They came back because the murderer had told the assistant manager she had left her purse behind.
    6) The lululeman store view inside is obstructed, so you wouldn't be able to see what had happened unfortunately. As that is a high foot traffic area, it could have saved her life.
    7) A few of the bar/restaurants pipe music into the area after hours. That didn't help things either.

    Again, I live about 1/2 a mile from the store and the whole thing freaked out everyone.

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it's lululemon's fault

    for not having an unobstructed view of their store interior. Shame on them!

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