Evidence from past Norwood trial dominates current trial
For Mark Norwood the testimony Tuesday may have sounded familiar although a little off topic. Prosecutor Gary Cobb said the historical look back they provided for the jury had a purpose for what was happening now.
"It's important to show someone's pattern of behavior if you can, so it's the classic Modus Operandi and that's the case, is what we have here,” said Cobb.
To show that alleged pattern prosecutors continued to present the jury evidence that was heard three years ago in San Angelo. That's where mark Norwood was convicted for the murder of Christine Morton. This blue bandanna was instrumental in that trail because DNA from it linked Norwood to Morton's 1986 murder.
Now in this Travis County courtroom DNA evidence is being used again against Norwood - this time for the 1988 murder of Debra Baker. Norwood's attorney, Brad Urrutia, objected to linking the two cases together.
"Mark Norwood is on trial for the death of Debra Baker and here we are rehashing 2013 and the trial all over again, what is the purpose of that, other than to prejudice the jury with that particular evidence against my client, so they don't focus on the little evidence they have in the Baker case,” said Urrutia.
Prosecutor's agree the baker crime scene provided limited hard evidence.
"There's no eyewitness evidence, there's some circumstantial that can put him in the place near the place , that exists, but when you don't have an eyewitness DNA is important and in this particular case DNA is crucial, without DNA there is no case,” said Cobb.
Attorneys for Mark Norwood argue his DNA being found at the either crime scene doesn't mean he actually committed the murders. Urrutia said in his opinion there is evidence to suggest the murders were committed by someone other than Norwood.
A hand gun was also shown to the jury may factor into Norwood's defense strategy. It was taken from the Morton home after Christine Morton was killed. The jury learned that gun was eventually recovered in Tennessee. A man by the name of Sonny Wann had it. In 2012, he told investigators that he bought the gun years ago, for $50, at a job site from Mark Norwood.
"It was a shooters gun,” said Wann who on the tape said he asked Norwood if the gun had been stolen. Wann claims he was told it was not.
Prosecutors said Wann, who has died, was ruled out as a suspect in the Morton murder but Norwood's attorneys are expected to raise that possibility later this week. The case could go to the jury by Friday.