Update-- Former Williamson County district attorney John Bradley has taken the stand in the the court of inquiry into District Judge Ken Anderson.
For six years Bradley used his power as district attorney to block the DNA testing which has since proven Michael Morton’s innocence in the murder of his wife.
While on the stand Thursday, Bradley said he denied the testing because he relied on Anderson's assurance that Morton was guilty.
Earlier-- Special prosecutor Rusty Hardin rested his case Thursday afternoon against Williamson County District Judge Ken Anderson.
For the past four days Anderson has been the subject of a rare legal proceeding called a court of inquiry. During this inquiry visiting Tarrant County District Judge Louis Sturns will hear a case with 13,000 pages of evidence to decide if Anderson, a former Williamson County District Attorney, cheated Michael Morton out of a fair trial more than two decades ago.
Morton was found guilty of murder in 1987, and spent more than 24 years behind bars for the bludgeoning death of his wife Christine. Morton was cleared of the crime in 2011 by DNA from evidence found at the crime scene.
Anderson is formally accused of not disclosing evidence from Christine’s murder investigation to the defense, including a check cashed under Christine’s name after her death, and a conversation between Eric Morton, the couple’s son, and his grandmother in which the toddler said a “monster” killed his mom.
Early on Thursday, Anderson attorney Eric Nichols hammered away at one of Michael Morton's attorneys, Bill Allison, who had taken the stand Wednesday evening.
Nichols questioned the University of Texas professor’s memory of Morton’s son Eric, telling family members he saw a man with a large stomach wearing a purple or blue shirt in his parents' shower the morning of the murder.
A pre-trial court order from February 1987 is a point of contention for both sides. The defense believes this is the point where Anderson ignored the presiding judge's request and failed to turn over critical evidence that was favorable to Morton.
Anderson attorneys contend there was no order that told prosecutors to turn over the entire file compiled by Sgt. Don Wood, the lead investigator on Christine's murder.
Nichols reminded Allison of what is at stake for the former Morton prosecutor.
"You understand what the stakes are here don't you Professor Allison? We're not just talking about some civil case where we are raging over the scope of the order of what should be produced and what not,” he said. “We are talking about an accusation against someone, a criminal accusation bringing criminal charges based on the existence or non-existence of this order, correct?"
Allison also told the court when Morton was exonerated for the murder of his wife, he felt his work on the case was finally complete. He also expressed doubts, expressing he felt he may have let Michael down somehow.
Former Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley is expected to take the stand, perhaps by end of day Thursday. The judge hopes to have the court of inquiry wrapped by the end of the week.
While attorney pro-temp Rusty Hardin and Anderson attorney Eric Nichols were arguing the issues of allowing Sgt. Don Woods video deposition into record, Nichols became heated. Nichols slammed his hand on the table demanding to the judge for what he perceived to be unnecessary courtroom posturing.
In what our YNN crew believed was standard attorney quibbling, our cameras were not rolling. After the hand slap, photojournalist John Pope turned on his camera and captured the following speech and opinion Anderson attorney Eric Nichols on Court of Inquiry proceedings. Check it out in the video below.
YNN: John Bradley, former WilCo DA, takes stand in court of inquiry
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