"Texas attorney general to lead new investigation of Morton murder," is the title of Chuck Lindell's report in today's Austin American Statesman.
A special prosecutor from the Texas attorney general's office will lead the reinvestigation of the 1986 murder of Christine Morton after DNA evidence recently revealed that her husband, Michael Morton, was wrongly convicted of the crime.
Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley said Monday that he requested a special prosecutor because the state agency has expertise leading complex cases, particularly cold cases that require considerable investigation — from finding witnesses again to developing new evidence.
"Given the complexities and age of the Morton case, I wanted to make sure that we had an office and a special prosecutor with substantial experience who could carry this case forward," Bradley said.
Bradley also urged Michael Morton's trial prosecutors, including former District Attorney Ken Anderson, to cooperate in a separate investigation — led by Morton's lawyers — into allegations that evidence favorable to Morton was improperly hidden to ensure his conviction and life sentence.
Details of that investigation remain in sealed court files, but Anderson, now a district judge in Georgetown, and former Assistant District Attorney Mike Davis, now a Round Rock lawyer, are expected to be subpoenaed to give Morton's lawyers depositions under oath.
"I encourage Mr. Anderson and Mr. Davis to provide Mr. Morton with an explanation of what happened 25 years ago during the discovery process for his trial," Bradley said.
Bradley, saying he will remain involved in the investigation into the misconduct allegations, also promised to cooperate fully with Morton's lawyers.
Morton's Houston lawyer, John Raley, welcomed Bradley's pledge.
"As the husband of the murder victim and someone who was wrongfully convicted of the crime, Mr. Morton has a deep personal interest in seeing justice done, so we will want to consult with the attorney general as the new investigation proceeds," Raley said Monday.
The Texas Tribune has, "Bradley Announces Special Prosecutor in Morton Case," by Brandi Grissom.
Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley this morning announced the appointment of the Texas Attorney General's office as special prosecutor in the Michael Morton case and the ongoing investigation and possible prosecution of any new suspect in the 1986 murder of his wife, Christine Morton. A special grand jury is also being formed to investigate and hear any witnesses related to the case, he said.
“Given the complexities and age of the Morton case, I wanted to make sure that we had an office and a special prosecutor with substantial experience who could carry this case forward,” Bradley said in a statement.
Molly Hennessy-Fiske posts, "Texas attorney general reinvestigating botched murder case," for the Los Angeles Times.
The Texas attorney general's office is reinvestigating a murder case that sent the wrong man to prison for nearly 25 years.
"We have taken over the investigation and prosecution in the Christine Morton murder case," Lauren Bean, a spokeswoman for Texas Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott's office, told The Times on Monday.
Christine Morton was found bludgeoned to death at her home in Williamson County, about 20 miles north of Austin, on Aug. 13, 1986. Her husband, Michael Morton, was convicted of murdering her and sentenced to life in prison the following year. Morton insisted that he was innocent, that he was at work at the time his wife was killed and that she had been attacked by an intruder.
Earlier this month, Morton, 57, was released from prison and exonerated after DNA tests identified another man as a suspect in the death of his wife and the 1988 murder of another woman in the area under similar circumstances. According to court records, the suspect, identified only as John Doe, lived in the area at the time and has felony convictions or charges in four states, including California.
Earlier coverage of Michael Morton's exoneration begins at the link.