Norwood murder trial begins in San Angelo

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE News and KVUE.com

khou.com

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Updated Saturday, Oct 19 at 6:31 AM

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- A high-profile Williamson County murder trial began Monday in San Angelo.

Mark Norwood entered the Tom Green County Courthouse in a wheelchair. He is charged in the 1986 homicide of Christine Morton. DNA testing in 2011 connected him to the crime.

That same DNA evidence cleared the victim's husband Michael Morton of the murder. Morton spent nearly 25 years in prison after a jury convicted him.

Norwood's trial was moved to San Angelo after a judge said it would be difficult to find a fair jury in Williamson County.  San Angelo is several hours west of Williamson County, but some people there are also interested in the high profile case. Some even showed up to the courthouse for a closer look.

"I put it on my calendar, and I knew it was supposed to start today," said Oscar Mota, who heard about the case in a "Texas Monthly" article. "It's just been a real fascinating story to follow and waiting to see the outcome."

Norwood is also charged with a second murder in Travis County. He's accused in the death of Debra Baker. Officers found her beaten to death in her North Austin home in 1988, two years after the Morton murder.

Michael Morton is expected to testify in the case. Morton did not attend jury selection Monday, but his attorneys say he will be at the trial Tuesday, and it will be the first time he comes face to face with Norwood.

The jury was seated Monday just after 5 p.m. Opening statements begin Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. The trial is expected to last two weeks.

KVUE.com and KVUE News will have full coverage of Norwood's trial for the murder of Christine Morton over the coming weeks. Check the website and download our FREE KVUE News mobile app for up-to-date coverage.

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