One of Mark Norwood’s lawyers filed a motion Wednesday for a new trial in connection with the 1986 Christine Morton murder case.
A San Angelo jury found Norwood guilty of capital murder last week and he received an automatic life sentence in prison. Morton’s relatives had previously requested that the death penalty not be used in the case.
Morton’s husband, Michael Morton, was wrongfully convicted of her beating death and spent 25 years in prison before he was exonerated in 2011. Norwood was charged with her killing based on a bandanna found with Christine Morton’s blood and one of her hairs on it, as well as Norwood’s DNA.
Police also recovered a gun stolen from the Morton home on the day of the murder from a man who said he bought it from Norwood.
Norwood, 58, is entitled to a new trial because the state introduced evidence from another capital murder charge against him during Norwood’s trial for the death of Morton, according to the motion filed Wednesday.
Prosecutor Lisa Tanner, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday, said during the trial that evidence from the Debra Masters Baker murder in Austin in 1988 should be included in Norwood’s trial for the Morton murder because the two killings were similar, and showed Norwood’s pattern of violence.
Norwood’s attorneys argue that the introduction of the Baker case was more prejudicial than it was useful for proving who killed Morton. Russell Hunt, another of Norwood’s lawyers, said Wednesday the case against Norwood was not proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
Hunt argued during Norwood’s trial that the man who said he sold Norwood the gun was a liar. He also argued during at trial that Michael Morton’s brother-in-law, who found the bandanna with the DNA on it, could have contaminated it.