Michael Morton faces wife's accused killer


by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE News and Photojournalist MICHAEL MOORE

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE


Posted on March 19, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 15 at 4:08 PM

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- Michael Morton has come face to face with his wife's accused killer, Mark Norwood, for the first time. 

Norwood arrived in a wheelchair and entered through a side door Tuesday morning. He is pleading not guilty in the case.

DNA evidence linked Norwood to Christine Morton's 1986 death, as well as Debra Baker's in 1988. That same DNA evidence cleared Michael Morton of his wife's murder after he wrongfully spent nearly 25 years in prison.

The day began with opening statements. Special prosecutor Lisa Tanner focused on evidence from the 1986 crime scene -- a time before DNA. Now, she says, science caught up with the evidence collected in the 80s, namely a blue bandanna and a stolen .45 caliber pistol.

Morton was the first witness called to the stand in the second day of Norwood's murder trial. He arrived at the Tom Green County Courthouse in San Angelo with his mother, sister, new wife and attorney. KVUE saw him talking to Norwood's mother outside the courthouse.

While Morton was on the stand, prosecutors brought out the pistol taken from Morton's home. Morton testified that he hasn't seen that weapon since it went missing the day of his wife's murder. He says there's no doubt this gun is his. He recognized the custom fittings.

Prosecutors say a man named Sonny Wann had the gun, and he bought it from Norwood shortly after Christine's death. Prosecutors claim Wann and Norwood worked together on a construction job about 12 miles from the Morton home in North Austin. That's when Norwood offered up the pistol for $50.

Several other witnesses took the stand Tuesday including the neighbor who discovered Christine Morton's body in 1986 and law enforcement officials who responded to the scene that day. Jurors also heard from a former DPS lab analyst who collected evidence from the scene.

Get up-to-date information on this trial with our special Norwood Trial section on our FREE KVUE News mobile app.