Week one of the Mark Norwood murder trial has come to an end. He's accused of killing Christine Morton in Williamson County in 1986. Friday, the judge allowed prosecutors to bring up another case Norwood has been charged in the murder of Debra Baker in Austin in 1988.
Jurors learned more about Norwood's past, both in his personal life and his criminal history. While his attorneys fought to keep the Debra Baker murder charge left out of this trial, the judge ruled that it is important in this case because it addresses the identity of the killer.
In the 1980s Mark Norwood was working as a carpet layer in Austin. He was living with his now ex-wife, Judy Norwood. Friday, she took the stand and spoke about her life with Norwood. She told jurors Norwood was often gone all hours of the night and early morning. The two separated in the 90s and eventually divorced.
In 2011, Norwood was arrested for the 1986 murder of Christine Morton. It was this blood-stained bandana found behind the Morton home that linked Norwood to the crime after his DNA was discovered on it along with Christine's.
Norwood's DNA was also confirmed to have been found at the crime scene of another case that had gone cold--- the murder of Debra Baker in Austin in 1988.
Norwood has been charged in that murder as well.
Friday, during the trial for Christine Morton's murder, Debra Baker's mother and sister testified. Prosecutors worked to point out similarities in the two cases--both women were beaten to death by a blunt object and were left with pillows covering their faces. Certain items and money were stolen from both homes, but jewelry left behind. Both women had sliding glass doors that has possibly been left unlocked.
At the time of those murders, Norwood lived on Justin Lane in Austin, one street away from Debra Baker and about 12 miles from the Morton home.
While Norwood's attorneys asked the judge to keep the focus on the Morton case and say the two murders do have some differences, prosecutors say there's no doubt the crimes were committed by the same person.
The state filed a motion of their intent to introduce Norwood's criminal history in this trial. In that paperwork we learned that Norwood may also be responsible for the death of a man in Tennessee in 1980. That case has not been brought up.
The trial is expected to wrap up by next week. While this is a capital murder case, prosecutors have said they will not seek the death penalty.