Judge takes Anderson inquiry under advisement

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by JESSICA HOLLOWAY / KVUE News and photojournalist SCOTT MCKENNEY

kvue.com

Posted on February 8, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 8 at 7:14 PM

GEORGETOWN, Texas -- A decision in the court of inquiry against Judge Ken Anderson won't be decided for at least a month.

During the fifth day of the hearing, the judge decided to take the case under advisement. Lawyers now have five weeks to submit documents. The court will make a decision after that.

Visiting Judge Louis Sturns of Ft. Worth was expected to decide Friday whether Anderson will face criminal charges and a trial.

Day five marked the final day of testimony with the most important witness taking the stand: Anderson testified in his own defense.

Friday morning began with defense lawyers asking Anderson about the Michael Morton case. Anderson became emotional several times saying, convicting an innocent man is a prosecutor's "worst nightmare."

He gave an emotional apology to Morton.
"I know what my family's been through for 18 months. It's hell. It doesn't even register in the same ballpark what you went through Mr. Morton," Anderson said. "I can't say I feel your pain, but I have a pretty darn good idea how horrible with what we've gone through for 18 months with false accusations
and everything else. What happened to you is so much worse than that. I can't imagine what you're feeling. You have been incredibly gracious in your attitude towards me. I don't have words; I really don't. I apologize that the system screwed up. It obviously screwed up. I beat myself up on what could've been done different. I frankly don't know."

Prosecutors, on cross-examination, asked Anderson if he thought a court of inquiry is appropriate in this case.

"I would say most prosecutors don't agree with having a court of inquiry," said Anderson. "One of the many problems with courts of inquiry is I have spent my life savings defending myself against accusations that we all know are baseless."

Anderson cried on the stand when he began discussing his views on victims' rights. Anderson looked at Michael Morton and said, "I can't imagine what you've gone through. I can't imagine what Eric has gone through. I can't imagine what your mother has been through."

On the stand Anderson admitted DNA is a "valuable tool."

"The office you used to head fought DNA testing in this case," said special prosecutor Rusty Hardin, Morton's lawyer.

"In hindsight, I wish we'd have DNA tested everyday until we got the results that we got," said Anderson.

"Do you think it was appropriate to oppose DNA testing in Michael Morton's case for so long?" asked Hardin.

"In retrospect, it should've been done," said Anderson.


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