Texas Man Released After Nearly 25 Years in Prison
Monday, October 03, 2011
Texas prosecutors agreed to release Michael Morton who spent nearly 25 years in prison after being convicted of beating his wife to death. DNA tests showed another man was responsible.
The Innocence Project, has accused the prosecutor, specifically John Bradley, district attorney for Williamson County, of suppressing evidence that would have helped clear Morton, who was convicted on circumstantial evidence and sentenced to life in prison for his wife's murder in August 1986. Prosecutors had alleged Morton became enraged after his wife refused to have sex with him following a dinner celebrating his 32nd birthday.
But tests performed this summer on a blood-stained, blue bandana found shortly after the crime near Morton's home revealed DNA from his wife and an unidentified man convicted in multiple states, including California. That DNA profile also linked that man to a similar 1988 slaying in Austin committed after Morton was already behind bars. Authorities have withheld his identity amid ongoing investigations.
Morton, who always maintained his innocence, testified during his 1987 trial that an intruder must have bludgeoned his wife to death after he left her and the couple's 3-year-old son at 5 a.m. to go to work.
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