WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas -- Williamson County has the final bill and it will end up costing nearly half a million dollars for the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton.
Morton spent nearly 25-years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of his wife Christine Morton's 1986 murder.
The final bill of $339.492 related to the case will pay for Houston prosecutor Rusty Hardin’s services. He was the acting special prosecutor for the court of inquiry.
That court probed the actions of former District Attorney Ken Anderson who prosecuted Morton in 1987.
Morton was exonerated in October of 2011 after DNA evidence linked a bandana found near the Morton’s home to a Travis County murder in 1988. It took five minutes for District Judge Sid Earl to agree to his release.
“We do not have a perfect system of justice,” the judge told him. “But we do have the best system that is available in the world.”
Upon his release Morton spoke briefly with the media.
“Colors seem real bright to me right now,” he said. “And women are real good looking. There is not a lot I can say with this hanging over my head. There is a lot you want to ask me.”
Morton referred to his defense team as “angels.”
In a 2012 forum at the University of Texas School of Law, Morton described how he went from not having any run-ins with the law to a life-changing sentence.
"I didn't have a criminal record. I lived in the good part of town. I had a career, a child, a wife, a dog. I was the average 'Joe Blow,'" said Morton.
Mark Norwood was convicted of capital murder earlier this year in the slaying of Christine Morton. He is also charged in a second case for the murder of Debra Baker in 1988.