Ken Anderson, now a district judge, apologized Wednesday at a news conference for Michael Morton's ordeal, the Austin American-Statesman reported. But he denied allegations by Morton's lawyers that potentially exculpatory evidence was withheld from the defense before the 1987 trial.
"In my heart, I know there was no misconduct of any sort," Anderson said, standing on the steps of the Williamson County Courthouse. "The jury's verdict was based on the evidence as we knew it at the time. DNA testing was not available then. It is now. In hindsight, the verdict was wrong."
Morton was released in October after tests showed DNA from another man, Mark Norwood, at the scene. Norwood has been charged with the beating death of Christine Morton in 1986 and is a suspect in the similar killing of Debra Baker in Austin in 1988.
Caitlin Baker, who attended the news conference, said Anderson is not taking responsibility for what happened to Morton and to her mother. She said he should resign as a judge.
"My mother could be alive right now," she said.