AUSTIN (January 10, 2014) Mark Norwood, who was sentenced to life in prison for a Central Texas murder for which another man was wrongfully convicted, has pleaded not guilty to capital murder in the beating death of Debra Baker of Austin, who was killed in 1988 in her home.
In March 2013 a jury in San Angelo found Norwood guilty of capital murder in the beating death of Christine Morton in 1986.
Prosecutors weren’t seeking the death penalty and Norwood was automatically sentenced to life in prison, but will be eligible for parole in 15 years because of laws in effect at the time of the murder.
Morton was killed as she lay in bed in the home she and her husband shared in Williamson County.
Investigators said new DNA tests on a bloody bandanna found near Morton's home pointed to Norwood as the killer.
Morton's husband Michael was convicted of the killing, but was later exonerated by the same DNA test results that implicated Norwood.
Morton was freed in 2011.
Baker lived near the Mortons, prosecutors said.
The man who prosecuted Morton, Ken Anderson, was accused of not turning over all documents that could have proved Morton’s innocence.
In November he agreed to serve 10 days in jail and to complete 500 hours of community service and was fined $500.
Anderson also agreed to disbarment as part of a sweeping deal that was expected to end all criminal and civil cases against the embattled ex-district attorney, who presided over a tough-on-crime Texas county for 30 years.
Anderson was sworn in as judge of Williamson County’s 277th District Court after serving as the county’s district attorney for nearly 17 years and as an assistant prosecutor for more than five years.
Anderson served 11 years as a state judge before he resigned in September.