Day 3: Ken Anderson court of inquiry continues


by JESSICA HOLLOWAY / KVUE News and photojournalist SCOTT MCKENNEY

Posted on February 6, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 6 at 7:22 PM

GEORGETOWN, Texas --  Wednesday witnesses testified that Ken Anderson not only knew about evidence that could help Michael Morton, he and others fought to keep it out of the case.

New witnesses took the stand in day three of the court of inquiry hearing involving former prosecutor Anderson.

Special prosecutors called Doug Arnold to the stand. He used to work with the Williamson County District Attorney's Office. Prosecutors also called former Williamson County Assistant District Attorney Kristen Jernigan.

Arnold is now a county court at law judge in Williamson County. Jernigan is currently running a private practice in the Austin area.

Lawyers questioned Arnold about policies related to sharing exculpatory evidence with defense lawyers. Arnold also answered questions surrounding why former Williamson DA John Bradley’s fought against DNA testing in the Michael Morton case.

Lawyers directed Arnold to recall conversations with Ken Anderson from 1998, when they discussed the practice of not calling an investigating officer to the witness stand.

Arnold testified that when he worked for Harris County they followed an open-file policy, but Williamson County has no such policy. Arnold added that he prefers the open policy so that he can avoid problems related to not sharing evidence with defense lawyers.

Arnold recalled a 2005 meeting between Bradley and the Innocence Project. Arnold testified that Bradley and Ken Anderson were going to fight all DNA testing.

Jernigan answered questions related to her time working under Bradley. She was charged with handling the Morton file after Arnold left the DA's office. Jernigan says filed notes from Sgt. Don Wood were not given to the judge for review in the murder case of Christine Morton.

Jernigan received an email from Bradley on August 19, 2011. It said, “Please contact Ken and make sure he gets a copy of the motion and reads it. He needs to understand that he will likely be the object of a claim that he committed a Brady violation at trial by not disclosing certain matters involving the interview of a grandmother. He needs to become familiar with the file and refresh his memory so that he can state with clarity whether he provided discovery of those matters and the circumstances surrounding discovery.”

Jernigan says Anderson became short with her, and he claimed he did not remember details surrounding the Morton case.

Prosecutors plan to call more witnesses, including former district attorney John Bradley. His testimony is highly anticipated and bailiffs expect a large crowd to turnout as this hearing draws to a close. The judge says this hearing must end by Friday.