DNA Implicates Another Man in 25-Year-Old Murder Case, frees wrongfully convicted husband
Written by: Brandi Grissom
New DNA test results in a 25-year-old murder case show that another man, not Michael Morton, likely killed Christine Morton, who was found dead in her Williamson County home on Aug. 13, 1986, Morton’s attorneys say. The attorneys have also asked a court to recuse John Bradley, the Williamson County district attorney and former chairman of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, from the case, saying that for years he didn’t release evidence he knew could prove Morton, 57, did not murder his wife.
“It’s clear from the new DNA testing and other suppressed, exculpatory documents that law enforcement never followed up on numerous leads pointing to a third-party intruder, which might have solved the crime,” Barry Scheck, co-director of the New York-based Innocence Project, said in a statement. “But even more troubling, District Attorney Bradley knew about this evidence, yet kept these documents hidden in the state’s file while he fought tooth and nail to bar DNA testing.”
Michael Morton was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 after prosecutors told jurors that he had bludgeoned to death his wife, Christine Morton, when she refused to have sex with him after they came home from celebrating his birthday. There were no witnesses, and Michael Morton had no history of violent crime.
But Morton has always maintained his innocence, suggesting that an intruder must have killed his wife, who was found dead in their bed, after he left the house for work that morning. For more than six years, Morton and his lawyers tried to obtain DNA and other evidence from Bradley’s office to conduct testing that might indicate whether another person had committed the crime.
How many cases remain where guilty go free and innocents are charged due to malfeasance of district attorney, and/or corner and medical exminers. This story does not say who had the original tests done.
What can be done to prosecute the crime against the wrongful convicted husband? Are these politically elected people immune from prosecution for their intentional crime against humanity?
“Unfortunately, we now know that the district attorney’s office knew all along that there was a good chance that the testing might point to another perpetrator in the case,” said John Raley, a Houston lawyer who has been pro bono co-counsel for Morton since 2003. “We’re hopeful the court will appoint a new prosecutor to investigate the matter because there is now a mountain of evidence pointing to Michael’s innocence, and the entire Morton family deserves to know the truth about what happened 25 years ago.”
More on this here: Norwood indicted in cold case homicide.