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New arrest in Texas wrongful conviction case

APNewsBreak: Suspect arrested in killing of Texas woman whose husband was wrongfully convicted By The Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) ' An attorney for a Texas man who spent nearly 25 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of killing his wife said Wednesday that a new suspect has been arrested in the case.

Attorney John Raley, who represents Michael Morton, told The Associated Press that the Texas attorney general's office shared the news with him Wednesday.

Morton, 57, was freed from prison last month after DNA testing of a bloody bandanna found near his home showed another man was responsible for the beating death of his wife, Christine, in August 1986. The man had not been identified, but his DNA also was linked to a hair discovered at the scene of a 1988 similar slaying near where the Mortons lived.

Abbott's office declined to comment on the arrest, but the daughter of the second victim said authorities also told her of the arrest.

"After so many years, it kind of stops being sad and just becomes a happy moment," said Caitlin Baker, whose mother, Debra Masters Baker, was killed in January 1988.

Morton had been offered an early release from prison if he expressed remorse for his crime, but steadfastly maintained his innocence. He said he left his wife and the couple's 3-year-old son to head to work early on Aug. 13, 1986, of the slaying, and maintained through the years that an intruder must have killed her.

Prosecutors had claimed Morton killed his wife in a fit of rage after she wouldn't have sex with him following a dinner celebrating his 32nd birthday.

Authorities discovered the DNA connection in the Morton and Baker cases after Raley teamed up with the New York-based Innocence Project and spent years fighting for additional testing to be done on the bandanna. But they now also allege that Morton may never have been convicted if the former prosecutor who tried the case, Ken Anderson, hadn't concealed key evidence from the defense ' potentially leaving the true killer free to strike again.

Anderson, who was appointed as a district judge in 2002 by Gov. Rick Perry, recently spent more than six hours answering questions from Morton's attorneys during a closed-door deposition as part of an investigation into the allegations of concealed evidence.


Lozano reported from Houston.

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