Tribpedia: Michael Morton

Tribpedia

Michael Morton was a man wrongfully convicted of the brutal murder of his wife, Christine Morton, in 1986. He served nearly 25 years in prison before being exonerated in October 2011 when DNA evidence connected another man to the murder. 

Former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson handed Morton a life sentence in 1987 after a jury found him guilty ...

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Start of Norwood Trial Brings Emotional Testimony

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Eric Olson, who was 3 when his mother Christine Morton was murdered in 1986, enters the Tom Green County Courthouse with his wife Maggie Olson for the trial of Mark Alan Norwood on Tuesday, March 19, 2013.
Eric Olson, who was 3 when his mother Christine Morton was murdered in 1986, enters the Tom Green County Courthouse with his wife Maggie Olson for the trial of Mark Alan Norwood on Tuesday, March 19, 2013.

The first full day of Mark Alan Norwood's murder trial was marked by the emotional testimony of Michael Morton, who for the first time faced his wife's alleged killer in the courtroom, and by gory photos of the murder scene. It was also notable for the absence of any reference to Morton's wrongful conviction for the crime.

Mark Norwood exits the Tom Green County Courthouse after jury selection for his trial, Mar 18, 2013.
Mark Norwood exits the Tom Green County Courthouse after jury selection for his trial, Mar 18, 2013.

Jury Chosen for Mark Norwood's Murder Trial

The prosecutor and lawyers for Mark Norwood chose a jury on Monday that will decide whether the former Bastrop dishwasher is guilty of the 1986 bludgeoning death of Christine Morton. Michael Morton, her husband, spent nearly 25 years wrongfully imprisoned for her death. 

Mark Norwood being led into court for the first time on Jan. 18th 2011. He is charged with the 1986 murder of Christine Morton.
Mark Norwood being led into court for the first time on Jan. 18th 2011. He is charged with the 1986 murder of Christine Morton.

Trial Switches Focus of Morton Case to Alleged Killer

Mark Norwood, a 58-year-old former Bastrop dishwasher, for more than 16 months has been in jail awaiting his trial that begins today for the 1986 murder of Christine Morton. Prosecutors could focus on his criminal history and will likely try to link him to evidence from the decades-old crime scene.

Mark Norwood being led into court for the first time on Jan. 18th 2011. He is charged with the 1986 murder of Christine Morton.
Mark Norwood being led into court for the first time on Jan. 18th 2011. He is charged with the 1986 murder of Christine Morton.

Judge Denies Mark Norwood's Request for New Lawyers

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Mark Norwood, accused of Christine Morton's 1986 murder, pleaded unsuccessfully on Wednesday for the judge to appoint new lawyers for him, saying his current representation isn't his "best bud."

Michael Morton testifies in support of Senate Bill 825, which would increase prosecutorial accountability, before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on March 12, 2013.
Michael Morton testifies in support of Senate Bill 825, which would increase prosecutorial accountability, before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on March 12, 2013.

Senate Panel OKs Increased Prosecutor Accountability

A day after the premiere of a documentary about his tragic wrongful conviction and just a few days after his wedding, exoneree Michael Morton sat before a panel of lawmakers and pleaded with them to approve a law that would ensure accountability for prosecutors.

Defense Lawyer Association Eschews Discovery Bill

Some criminal defense lawyers who have led the fight against reciprocal discovery proposals in Texas are renewing their battle cries. The lawyers say the measure is unnecessary, expensive and wouldn't prevent wrongful convictions. Instead, they argue it would give prosecutors more access than they warrant and jeopardize the criminal justice process.

Michael Morton, freed in 2011 after spending 25 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, takes the stand on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, in the Georgetown Courthouse. Feb. 4, 2013.
Michael Morton, freed in 2011 after spending 25 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, takes the stand on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, in the Georgetown Courthouse. Feb. 4, 2013.

Whitmire Bill Aims to Improve Prosecutor Accountability

In the wake of Michael Morton's high-profile exoneration, state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, filed a bill Tuesday that aims to ensure more accountability for prosecutors who are accused of withholding evidence.

The first day of the inquiry into former Williamson County D.A. Ken Anderson, which will examine allegations that Anderson hid five pieces of evidence before, during and after Michael Morton's 1987 trial. Jan 4, 2013.
The first day of the inquiry into former Williamson County D.A. Ken Anderson, which will examine allegations that Anderson hid five pieces of evidence before, during and after Michael Morton's 1987 trial. Jan 4, 2013.

Rep. Joe Moody Files Open Discovery Bill

A bill filed by state Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, on Monday would require prosecutors and defense lawyers in criminal cases to open their files to their opponents. It could have momentum in the wake of Michael Morton's exoneration.

Ken Anderson, John Bradley and Rosemary Lehmberg.
Ken Anderson, John Bradley and Rosemary Lehmberg.

Ken Anderson's Testimony Caps Dramatic Inquiry

The indignant testimony of ex-prosecutor Ken Anderson brought to a dramatic end a week of emotional testimony in the unusual court of inquiry that is examining whether the former district attorney should face criminal charges for his role in Michael Morton's wrongful conviction.

The court of inquiry explores former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson's role in the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton, Feb 6, 2013.
The court of inquiry explores former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson's role in the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton, Feb 6, 2013.

Drama Erupts as Anderson Court of Inquiry Nears Its End

A day of legal theater in the Ken Anderson court of inquiry ended with a reversal-of-course by John Bradley. The firebrand ex-prosecutor backed away from previous damning statements he made about his former boss's role in Michael Morton's wrongful conviction.

Michael Morton: The TT Interview

After a more than 10-hour day in court on Wednesday, Michael Morton sat down with the Tribune to talk about the pain and anger the court of inquiry for Ken Anderson, his former prosecutor, is bringing up for him and his hopes for accountability in the wake of his wrongful conviction.

Michael Morton watches as the court of inquiry explores former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson's role in Morton's wrongful conviction, on Feb. 6, 2013.
Michael Morton watches as the court of inquiry explores former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson's role in Morton's wrongful conviction, on Feb. 6, 2013.

Morton Calls Anderson's Inquiry "Road to Accountability"

Exoneree Michael Morton says the sometimes painful courtroom drama that is examining his wrongful conviction is part of a journey he is on to find some accountability for Ken Anderson, the prosecutor who sent him to prison for life for a murder he did not commit. 

The first day of the inquiry into former Williamson County D.A. Ken Anderson, which will examine allegations that Anderson hid five pieces of evidence before, during and after Michael Morton's 1987 trial. Jan 4, 2013.
The first day of the inquiry into former Williamson County D.A. Ken Anderson, which will examine allegations that Anderson hid five pieces of evidence before, during and after Michael Morton's 1987 trial. Jan 4, 2013.

Anderson Inquiry Continues With Former Asst Prosecutor

Judge Doug Arnold, a former Williamson County assistant district attorney who worked for Ken Anderson and for former district attorney John Bradley, testifies Wednesday about the Michael Morton case as the court of inquiry resumes. 

Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson, right, and Sheriff Jim Boutwell speak with reporters.
Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson, right, and Sheriff Jim Boutwell speak with reporters.

Michael Morton's Conviction Comes to Define Anderson

Williamson County State District Judge Ken Anderson faces a rare court of inquiry, starting Monday, over his role in the wrongful murder conviction of Michael Morton. Some who have known Anderson for years say they cannot believe he could do the unethical things he's accused of doing.

Mark Norwood being led into court for the first time on Jan. 18th 2011. He is charged with the 1986 murder of Christine Morton.
Mark Norwood being led into court for the first time on Jan. 18th 2011. He is charged with the 1986 murder of Christine Morton.

Updated: Norwood Trial in Morton Murder Set for March

Mark Norwood's capital murder trial has been set for March in San Angelo. His lawyers sought the delay so they could find experts to review DNA evidence the state says links him to Christine Morton's 1986 murder. Her husband, Michael Morton, spent nearly 25 years wrongfully imprisoned for the crime.

Mark Norwood Indicted in Second Austin Murder

Mark Norwood, the Bastrop dishwasher who was arrested one year ago for the 1986 murder of Christine Morton, was indicted by a Travis County grand jury on Friday for the January 1988 murder of Debra Masters Baker in Austin. Norwood's attorney said his client maintains his innocence in both cases.

Judge Ken Anderson (l) and Michael Morton (r)
Judge Ken Anderson (l) and Michael Morton (r)

Ken Anderson Responds to State Bar's Ethics Filing

Williamson County State District Judge Ken Anderson argues that time has run out on claims that he violated ethics rules during the 1987 prosecution that led to the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton.

Williamson County State District Judge and former prosecutor Ken Anderson at the first hearing in the court of inquiry investigating his role in the 1987 wrongful conviction of Michael Morton
Williamson County State District Judge and former prosecutor Ken Anderson at the first hearing in the court of inquiry investigating his role in the 1987 wrongful conviction of Michael Morton

Judge in Ken Anderson Inquiry: Testimony Will Be Public

The judge presiding over the court of inquiry of Williamson County State District Judge Ken Anderson denied a request Tuesday to allow Anderson's lawyer to depose Michael Morton's lawyers before a Dec. 10 public hearing.

John Bradley, Williamson County District Attorney in Georgetown, TX Friday November 11, 2011. Bradley is responsible for prosecuting felony criminal offenses that are committed in Williamson County.
John Bradley, Williamson County District Attorney in Georgetown, TX Friday November 11, 2011. Bradley is responsible for prosecuting felony criminal offenses that are committed in Williamson County.

John Bradley Eyes New Prosecuting Job

Outgoing Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley is being considered to head up the state office that prosecutes crimes in state prisons and juvenile detention facilities.

Judge Ken Anderson (l) and Michael Morton (r)
Judge Ken Anderson (l) and Michael Morton (r)

State Bar Seeks Disciplinary Action Against Anderson

Ken Anderson, the prosecutor who oversaw Michael Morton's wrongful conviction in 1987, is now facing both civil and criminal legal action and could be disbarred if he is found to have violated professional rules of conduct. 

Mark Norwood being led into court for the first time on Jan. 18th 2011. He is charged with the 1986 murder of Christine Morton.
Mark Norwood being led into court for the first time on Jan. 18th 2011. He is charged with the 1986 murder of Christine Morton.

Prosecutor Will Not Seek Death Penalty in '86 Murder

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The special prosecutor in the 1986 murder of Christine Morton has decided not to seek the death penalty in the case of Mark Norwood, a Bastrop resident whose DNA was identified at two similar murder scenes. Christine Morton's husband, Michael Morton, spent nearly 25 years wrongfully imprisoned for her murder.

Michael Morton: A Year of Freedom

A year after he was released from prison, Michael Morton says he is still enjoying the small blessings of his new free life after spending nearly 25 years behind bars. As nice as those little things are, though, Morton says what gets him out of bed every morning now is his work to ensure that the tragedy that ruined his life does not befall others. 

The Texas District and County Attorneys Association released a report Monday about prosecutorial misconduct in the wake of the Michael Morton (pictured at bottom) exoneration. Among the examples discussed in the report are the cases of Delma Banks (top) and Anthony Graves (center).
The Texas District and County Attorneys Association released a report Monday about prosecutorial misconduct in the wake of the Michael Morton (pictured at bottom) exoneration. Among the examples discussed in the report are the cases of Delma Banks (top) and Anthony Graves (center).

District Attorneys' Report: Misconduct Exceedingly Rare

The state association that represents prosecutors reviewed 91 Texas cases in which Innocence Project researchers identified prosecutor error or misconduct. The organization concluded that there were only six cases of misconduct. 

Lawyer Rusty Hardin in his Houston office on Tuesday, July 17, 2012.
Lawyer Rusty Hardin in his Houston office on Tuesday, July 17, 2012.

Former Prosecutor Taps Full Range of Experiences

If Rusty Hardin thought he was special, he says, he'd lose all the advantages that have made him one of the most successful lawyers in Texas. Now the famous defense lawyer and former prosecutor is taking on a special role: investigating the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton.