Jury selection in the capital murder trial of Mark Alan Norwood began this morning in San Angelo. Mark Alan Norwood is accused of killing Christine Morton in Williamson County in 1986.
Her husband, Michael Morton, was wrongfully convicted of the crime and spent nearly 25 years in prison. Norwood's trial was moved to Tom Green County because of the publicity surrounding the case in Central Texas.
Norwood, 58, was brought to the courthouse Monday morning by Tom Green County Sheriff's deputies. He was in a wheelchair and has apparently been refusing to eat the food he's been given in prison. Norwood's attorney has said that his client is not guilty. Last week Norwood asked a judge for a new attorney, but that request was denied.
In August of 1986 Christine Morton was found beat to death in her Williamson County home. Her husband, Michael Morton, was later arrested and charged with her murder. In 1987, Morton was sentenced to life in prison.
Years later Morotn's case gained the attention of the Innocence Project out of New York and Houston attorney John Raley. In their fight to prove Morton's innocence they learned of a bloody bandana that had been found about 100 yards from the Morton crime scene. After several requests to have that bandana tested for DNA were denied by then Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley, testing was finally granted.
In 2011 the results showed that the bandana contained DNA belonging to Christine Morton and another man who was not Michael. The other man was identified as a former construction worker with a long criminal history named Mark Alan Norwood. In October 2011, Morton was released from prison after spending nearly 25 years behind bars. Shortly after, Norwood was arrested at his home in Bastrop.
Last week, Morton was in Austin for the SXSW premiere of "An Unreal Dream" which tells his story. He spoke with FOX 7 about Norwood's upcoming trial.
"I prayed that he would cop a plea, not to drag people through this again, especially my son, but I know that sometimes you have to go through difficult stuff, and I honestly don't know how I'm going to be the first time I'm in a room with him," Morton said.
Prosecutors have said they will not seek the death penalty in this case. Norwood has also been charged with the murder of Debra Baker in Austin in 1988.