Jury convicts Mark Norwood of Murder - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Jury convicts Mark Norwood of Murder

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A jury found Mark Norwood guilty in the 1986 murder of Christine Morton and sentenced him to life in prison on Wednesday.

The jury took a little more than three hours to reach the verdict. 

Mark Norwood said nothing as he was lead out of the Tom Green County Courthouse in San Angelo.

It was 26 years ago that Christine's husband Michael Morton left for prison after being convicted of her murder.  When his wrongful conviction was overturned, it set this trial in motion.

Morton was released from prison in 2011 after DNA evidence connected Norwood to the crime.  A bandana was found near the Mortons' home that had DNA of both Christine Morton and Mark Norwood on it.

"Today is a grim day, it's the end of a grim process that began on a very grim morning in August of '86," Morton said. "Nothing that happened in there is going to being Chris back."

While Morton claimed justice, Norwood's family emerged from the courthouse claiming he had been wronged.

"You feel it, a common spirit between some people, some people you don't we do I think," Norwood's mother Dorothy Norwood said. "We understand Michael Morton's journey we know we are experiencing the same thing and Mark is experience the beginning of what Michael Morton went through. It's like history is repeating itself."

The Morton case remains controversial because of the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton. Sheriff James Wilson, who inherited the cold case, hopes a healing process can begin for Williamson County.

"In order to be fair to everybody there was a lot of people who looked at this thing at this case," Wilson said. "And it's too bad we didn't have all of the information back then that we have today, and I hope people will understand we work hard for fairness in Williamson County."

When asked if the verdict righted a wrong Wilson replied," I truly think we just did our job."

Norwood's family said there would be an appeal. Since he was convicted under the 1986 law he will have a chance for parole in about 14 years.

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