Jury selection begins Monday in 1988 murder trial

Mark Norwood is charged in the 1998 murder of Debra Baker.

TRAVIS COUNTY - Jury selection began Monday in the trial for Mark Norwood, the man accused of killing Debra Baker in 1988.

Norwood sat in the courtroom for the jury selection. He was in plain street clothes, even though he's already serving a life sentence in the 1986 death of Christine Morton, is also accused of beating Baker to death in her bed in 1988.

Micheal Morton, Christine Morton's husband, spent 25 years in prison for her bludgeoning death before DNA analysis finally freed him. Evidence in the death of Baker helped get prosecutors a conviction in Christine Morton's case.

Prosecutors have linked the two cases together, saying both women were young, brunette mothers killed with wooden objects while in bed. Norwood's DNA was also found close to each crime scene.

Nearly three decades later, Baker's family hopes to find justice for her.

"It's always going to be part of our lives even after the trial," said Caitlin Baker, Debra Baker's daughter.

Norwood's lawyer Brad Urrutia said that's why it's important to find non bias jurors.

"The most important thing is to just find 12 jurors that haven't made up their mind and haven't heard about the case that would affect it in some way. So just jurors that are going to be very impartial," said Urrutia.

But said that can be difficult since both cases have been high profile in recent years.

"It's difficult when you have a lot of coverage, a lot of news coverage and something that's got a lot of press over the last three or four years. so yeah it's always going to be difficult," said Urrutia.

Debra Baker's family and DNA experts are expected to testify. Urrutia said he expects the trial to last at least two weeks, possibly longer.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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