State Takes Over Morton Case
A.G.'s Office investigates wrongful conviction in WilCo
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's office will be taking over the reinvestigation and, if possible, prosecution of the 1986 murder of Christine Morton, says A.G. spokeswoman Lauren Bean. Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley this week asked that the A.G. appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case because that office has the resources and expertise to do so. This comes just a week after the Court of Criminal Appeals agreed to void the conviction of Michael Morton, Christine's husband, who was charged, tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife – a murder that DNA evidence found near the crime scene, but never previously tested, proves he did not commit. That DNA has also been linked to the 1988 murder of Debra Masters Baker in Austin, a crime that likely could have been avoided had Williamson County law enforcement officials not focused so myopically on Morton as the perpetrator. An inquiry into possible police and prosecutorial misconduct in the case is ongoing. For more on the case see, "More WilCo Maneuvering in Morton Case," Newsdesk blog, Oct. 14.