Attorneys for Mark Norwood started their image make-over of their client Wednesday by trying to portray him as a victim. A victim, of a rush to judgment by police investigators.
When defense attorney Brad Urrutia called former cold-case detective Mark Gilchrist to the stand it was the start of what would become a tense exchange of words.
"I knew it was not genuine, that's correct,” Said Gilchrist, which was followed by Urrutia saying, “In other words it was a lie."
Urrutia’s questioning of Gilchrist was part of the Defense strategy to establish reasonable doubt as the Norwood trail moves closer to wrapping up. The first step involved a hard look at decisions made by APD’s Cold Case Unit.
"They ignored all the other evidence that would have pointed to someone else, and only focused on the evidence they had to confirm the bias they had towards my client,” said Urrutia.
A Major point of contention involved the interrogation of Mark Norwood in 2011.
“You and I both know, man to man, that’s not the truth, we know you were in the house - when the lady was killed,” said Det. Gilchrist on the video tape.
That woman was Debra Baker. She had been found beaten to death in her north Austin home in 1988. During Norwood's interview with APD detectives, a document was revealed indicating his DNA was recovered from the crime scene.
"You were there, this paper tells us you were there, this isn't only one piece of the evidence,” said the detective on the tape.
While the information told to Norwood was actually accurate, detectives would later admit the document was not official.
"So in other words it was fake,” said Urrutia.
Gilchrist would explain he did not know who made up the document but it was based on information from DNA analysis. The explanation did not satisfy Urrutia.
"I have a problem when our system allows police make a fake document that amounts to fake evidence and show it to a suspect in an attempt to get him to incriminate himself or confess, I have a problem with that."
Prosecutors countered Urrutia’s concern by pointing out the detectives did nothing wrong and the tactic they used in 2011 is not illegal.
"I did not see that as something that is likely would make an innocent person confess."
Assistant D.A. Allison Wetzel went on to say- the police tactic is an important tool that should continue to be used.
"If we felt like there were any problems with anything having to do with the interview, we would not have used the interview."
Testimony is expected to wrap up Thursday afternoon. Norwood's attorneys promised to provide difference scenarios as to why 3 strands of hair from Norwood ended up in Debra Baker's home. Norwood- himself is not expected to testify.