Mark Norwood's beard and the hair on his head turned grey long ago. Thursday's testimony focused on when his hair was a darker brown back in the 1980's. For the first time, the jury got to see microscopic images of three strands of hair. Prosecutors are using them to link Norwood to the 1988 murder of Debra Baker.
"What you are seeing starting today is that we are setting the foundation for showing that to the jury,” said Prosecutor Gary Cobb.
The hair was found on Baker's bedding and on a towel in her bathroom. DNA experts testified they've known for about 10 years the strands came from a white male. New technology has now allowed for a more complete profile. One of the strongest came from the hair found on Baker's bedding.
"It was consistent with the DNA profile from Mark Norwood, at the 10 of 16 locations, so at those sides, the probability of selecting an unrelated person at random, who could be the source of the DNA profile, is approximately 1 in 377.2 billion per Caucasians. 1in 8.284 trillion for African Americans, and 1in 2.512 trillion for Hispanics,” said DNA Profiler Allison Heard.
Prosecutors say they’re not worried such a big decision hinges on such small evidence.
"No, because that tiny thing is more important than some of the big things such as eyewitness testimony, those are the things we've had big issues with, the DNA it’s pretty incontrovertible,” said Cobb.
Even with the DNA evidence prosecutors admit the case against Norwood is built mostly on circumstantial evidence. That's why his ex-wife, Judy Norwood, was called to testify. She talked about how Norwood would often leave their home at night, and in the morning she'd awake to find he had gone on a shopping spree.
"A lot of stuff, furniture, utensils, dishes,” and even bed mattresses said Judy Norwood.
Norwood claimed she didn’t know, her then husband, was breaking into neighborhood homes because he didn’t allow her to ask questions about the items he brought back. She also testified that mark Norwood sent a note to her from jail asking her not to testify.
"He advised me not to come down here, things could get pretty nasty,” said Norwood.
There was no courtroom confrontation but her appearance did end with a cold shoulder to her ex- and a warm embrace with Debra Baker's sister.