The second week of Mark Norwood's trial began with a sign of how the next couple of days of testimony may play out. Judge Julie Kocurek ruled she'll allow the 1986 murder of Christine Morton to be examined before the jury.
"The court finds that the prohibitive value of the Morton homicide does not outweigh...substantially outweigh unfair prejudice and it will be admitted," Kocurek said.
Michael Morton, Christine's husband, was wrongfully convicted of her murder and famously exonerated and freed in 2011 thanks to DNA evidence linking the murder to Norwood. Norwood was convicted in 2013.
Morton took the stand to recall August 12, 1986, his birthday and the night before Christine's murder. He remembers taking his wife and son Eric to dinner. Eric was recovering from some major health issues.
"It was a celebration of my birthday and his health. I think probably the highlight was leaving the restaurant, walking back to the car and he was walking between us and each of us had one of his hands and swinging him and he was squealing. Good times," Morton said.
The next day Morton testified he went by the sitters house after work to pick Eric up. He wasn't there so he called home. The Williamson County Sheriff picked up. When he drove up to his house surrounded by crime scene tape, he asked about Eric.
"Clearly something had happened to my wife. She hadn't called...so of all the bad things that could have happened, I didn't know if anything had happened to my son," Morton tearfully remembered.
Prosecutors asked Morton about his gun missing from the house.
"I had some custom sights put on it. The throat's been worked, I had a trigger jaw and a custom beaver tail safety put on it," Morton said.
Prosecutors also called to the stand the neighbor who found Morton's body, Christine's brother who found the bandana that eventually linked the murder to Norwood and former DPS forensic investigator Anthony Arnold who worked the Morton scene. The defense grilled him about possible problems at the crime scene.
"It's very different now than it was then. You notice in those photographs that one of the people working the scene had no gloves on...and she was collecting evidence and not wearing gloves. That is not the standard now," said defense attorney William Browning.
Browning thinks cross contamination is a possibility.
"I think it's obvious that there are problems with both the Baker case and the Morton case," Browning said.
Defense attorneys said they'll spend the next couple of days cross-examining the Morton witnesses. They believe the missing gun will end up playing a big part.