Morton suspect indicted in separate 1988 slaying

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by Associated Press

kvue.com

Posted on November 9, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 15 at 4:08 PM

AUSTIN -- A dishwasher charged with killing the wife of an Austin man who wrongly spent nearly 25 years in prison for the crime has been indicted in a separate 1988 slaying.

A Travis County grand jury Friday indicted Mark Norwood on capital murder charges in the death of Debra Baker.

The family of Debra Baker released the following statement through their lawyer in a press release:

"It has been excruciating for all of us who loved Debra to wait for this day.  Now, we finally have a face to put with her tragic murder. It is difficult for us to process the reality that Debra might still be with us if evidence in the Morton case had been handled in the manner required by law. Though we have been frustrated at the length of time it has taken to get to this point, we are grateful to the Austin Police Department and Travis County District Attorney's office for their hard work on Debra's case.  We are extremely grateful for the work of John Raley and the Innocence Project. We understand this process may take even longer but at least the end of the legal road is near.   We will each hold our own memories of Debra in our hearts as we participate in the difficult process of bringing her killer to justice."

The indictment comes a year after Norwood was charged in the 1986 slaying of Christine Morton after DNA evidence exonerated her husband.

Norwood is still awaiting trial in Morton's death. Authorities say DNA evidence also links him to the death of Baker, who was beaten to death in her home close to where the Mortons lived.

Michael Morton, Christine's husband, was awarded nearly $2 million under the state's compensation for his wrongful conviction.

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