Testimony continues Wednesday in Norwood trial

Testimony continues in Norwood trial

TRAVIS COUNTY - The trial for Mark Norwood -- a man who is already serving a life sentence for the murder of Christine Morton and now faces murder charges for a woman who died two years later -- continued Wednesday.

Norwood is accused of beating Debra Baker to death as she slept in 1988. Morton was also beaten to death in her bed in 1986. They were both young, brunette mothers. Norwood's DNA was also found at or near both crime scenes.

Advancements in technology are what led to the exoneration of Michael Morton, Christine's husband. He spent 25 years in prison before Norwood was finally convicted in her death.

The prosecution temporarily rested their case Wednesday. They will call a few more witnesses Thursday morning due to scheduling conflicts. In the meantime, Judge Kocurek allowed the defense to start calling their witnesses.

They called Debra Baker's estranged husband - Phillip Baker - back to the stand, asking him about their relationship. Defense attorneys asked about investigators finding Baker's palm print in Debra Baker's home.

Phillip Baker said he didn't know about it, but wasn't surprised since he was there often since the couple shared custody of their children.

Earlier in the week, jurors heard from one of Norwood's friends, "Sonny" Wann, who said he bought a gun from Norwood. Police later said the gun was stolen from the Morton household during Christine Morton's 1986 murder.

Defense attorneys on Wednesday questioned Wann's ex-wife and daughter. They said Wann wasn't known to be a truthful man which allowed defense attorneys to point out that he may have lied about where he got the gun.

"Today just felt like an attempt to distract the jury from what the evidence is, and I am not concerned that they're going to be distracted, but that's what happens sometimes," said prosecutor Allison Wetzel.

"We have to just kind of put it all together for the jury, and that's our plan to try to put together our doubts for the jury, and hopefully show them that there's a reasonable doubt for this case," said Brad Urrutia, Norwood's lawyer.

Judge Kocurek expects to start closing arguments Thursday afternoon. She will allow each side to take about an hour ad 15 minutes. Then it will be up to the jury to decide if Mark Norwood is guilty of Debra Baker's murder.

Follow reporter Christy Millweard for live updates from the courthouse all day:



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