Updated, Monday 12:58 p.m.:
Pending possible appeals, the original prosecutors in the Michael Morton case will testify in an investigation into their potential wrongdoing in handling his murder trial. Today, Judge Sid Harle denied their motions challenging the jurisdiction of the court to compel their testimony.
Michael Morton's legal team responded today to claims from the exonerated man's original prosecutors that they cannot be forced to testify as part of an investigation into how Morton was wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife in 1986 and sent to prison until his release earlier this month.
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Morton's attorneys have alleged that the Williamson County district attorney's office intentionally withheld a transcript in which Christine Morton’s mother told a sheriff's investigator that the couple’s 3-year-old son saw a "monster" who was not his father brutally attack his mother. They also claim prosecutors withheld information about Christine Morton's credit card being used and a check being cashed with her forged signature in the days after her death.
They have asked to question Mike Davis and Ken Anderson, the assistant district attorney and the district attorney of Williamson County at the time of the Morton trial. Both men filed motions to quash the depositions saying, among other things, that the court had no jurisdiction to compel their testimony.
Anderson is now a state district judge in Willliamson County and said in his filing that he has 43 matters pending on his judicial docket and a previously scheduled medical procedure on the day defense attorneys have requested his presence.
Davis, now a lawyer in private practice, submitted a 17-page motion in which he objected hotly to the subpoena, writing that he "is now an innocent bystander in the crossfire" of political and media battles between attorneys with the Innocence Project, who along with Houston attorney John Raley, are representing Morton, and current Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley.
In their response filed in court today, attorneys for Morton called the former prosecutors' arguments "wholly deficient." They said Anderson failed to say why the cases on his docket and the medical procedure cannot be "rescheduled in light of the gravity (and expedited timetable) of the circumstances" of the Morton case.
They called Davis's claims of a possible "media frenzy" a "curious assertion to make given that the time, place, and very existence of the deposition had been deliberately and carefully kept private by all parties to this litigation since the October 3rd order."
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