A Travis County Grand Jury has indicted Mark Allen Norwood, currently jailed on capital murder charges for the death of Christine Morton, in the 1988 murder of Debra Baker.
Norwood was arrested in his Bastrop home on Nov. 10 of 2011 after DNA from a bloody bandana found at the scene of Christine Morton’s murder in 1986 linked him in the crime.
Christine Morton’s husband, Michael Morton, was wrongfully convicted in 1987 of the crime and spent nearly 25 years behind bars. He was freed in October of 2011 after it was revealed that evidence that cleared him of the crime was withheld from his defense team during his trial.
Just a year after Michael Morton was wrongfully convicted, Debra Baker was murdered in her home in a manner similar to the way Christine Morton's death.
Due to the national notoriety of Christine Morton’s murder, Norwood’s trial has been moved San Angelo at the request of attorneys on the case.
The prosecution has stated that they would not seek the death penalty, but it’s currently unknown what effect this second indictment could hold on that decision.
Baker's family released the following statement Friday through attorney Sam Bassett:
It has been excruciating for all of us who loved Debra to wait for this day. Now, we finally have a face to put with her tragic murder.
It is difficult for us to process the reality that Debra might still be with us if evidence in the Morton case had been handled in the manner required by law. Though we have been frustrated at the length of time it has taken to get to this point, we are grateful to the Austin Police Department and Travis County District Attorney’s office for their hard work on Debra’s case.
We are extremely grateful for the work of John Raley and the Innocence Project. We understand this process may take even longer but at least the end of the legal road is near.
We will each hold our own memories of Debra in our hearts as we participate in the difficult process of bringing her killer to justice.