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New suspect arrested in 1986 killing

Nov. 10, 2011 at 12:10 AM   |   Comments

GEORGETOWN, Texas, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- A Texas man was charged Wednesday with the 1986 killing of a woman whose husband spent more than 20 years in prison for the crime before being exonerated.

Bail was set at $750,000 for Mark Alan Norwood, 57, the Austin American-Statesman reported. He was arrested at his home in Bastrop, Texas, and charged with the murder of Christine Morton, who was beaten to death in her home in Williamson County north of Austin.

Norwood is suspected of killing of another woman in Austin in 1988. At the time, he was living near Debra Masters Baker, who was also beaten with a blunt instrument.

Christine Morton's husband, Michael, was freed from prison in early October and declared innocent by an appeals court eight days later. He was sentenced to life in 1987.

Lawyer John Raley said he has "known for some time that this day would come."

"He felt relief. He was happy," Raley said. "But this comes to him at the end of a long, twisted path, and it's still not over. This has cost him dearly."

Investigators say DNA from both the Morton and Baker killings links Norton to the crimes.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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