New arrest made in Morton murder case


by Associated Press and

Posted on November 9, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 9 at 10:27 PM

AUSTIN  -- The attorney for a man who spent nearly 25 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of killing his wife says a new suspect has been arrested in the case.

According to the Austin Police Department, the suspect has been identified as Mark Alan Norwood, 57. Public records show Norwood lived near the scene of a related Austin murder in 1988. 

KVUE's news partner the Austin American-Statesman says records show Norwood lived near the house where Debra Masters Baker was found bludgeoned to death in her bed. Norwood’s DNA was recently found on a bandanna that also contained Christine Morton’s blood.

Attorney John Raley tells The Associated Press that the Texas attorney general's office shared the news with him Wednesday.

The daughter of Baker linked says authorities also told her of the arrest. The attorney general's office declined to comment.

Raley represents Michael Morton, who was released from prison last month after new DNA testing cleared him in the beating death of his wife.

Christine Morton was beaten to death in her bed on Aug. 13, 1986. Her husband was convicted on circumstantial evidence.

Norwood was arrested at a residence in Bastrop where he was staying. Sheriff's deputies say he was not expecting them, but went peacefully and did not say anything. He was taken to the Williamson County Jail.

The Statesman reports that Norwood was previously arrested in Texas and California for various drug possession charges and possession of a dangerous firearm in 2008.

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