SAN ANGELO, Texas (KXAN) - Jurors in the murder trial of Mark Norwood were shown graphic photos of the home of Christine Morton from the day in 1986 when she was beaten to death.
The blood spatters covered walls to the point one investigator testified he initially thought Morton died from a gunshot wound.
But a potentially key piece of evidence was presented while Michael Morton was on the stand.
A .45 caliber handgun was taken from Michael Morton's closet the night his wife was killed. Michael testified that he had not seen the gun since.
He was reunited with it in the courtroom when it was presented as evidence. Morton held the gun while on the stand and showed off some of the custom features to jurors.
The handgun could prove pivotal because prosecutors told the jury it was found in Tennessee with a man who is friends with Norwood.
Sonny Wann worked in home construction and partnered with Norwood, a carpet-layer, during the 80's according to prosecutors. Some of the homes they did construction on were in Morton's neighborhood.
Wann told investigators he bought the gun from Norwood.
Lisa Tanner, with the Texas Attorney General's Office, made the revelation during her opening remarks in the murder trial of Norwood, who was charged with Christine Morton's death based on DNA evidence found near the crime scene.
That DNA also served to exonerate Michael Morton, who was wrongly convicted of killing his wife at their home in Williamson County.
"The evidence was there all along," Tanner told the jury during her hourlong opening statement. "The science just needed to catch up."
Michael Morton was the first witness to take the stand, describing his family's home life and telling jurors that and and Christine had discussed having a second child. Their son, Eric, was a 3-year-old at the time.
The last witness to be called Tuesday was Diane Kirkpatrick who testified about her husband John (Christine's brother) finding the blue bandana that led to the crucial DNA testing.
Diane said John came across the bandana in a wooded area behind Morton's home after trying to put himself in the shoes of a killer and re-trace possible actions.
Before the arguments and testimony began, Norwood, who worked in the construction trades near the Morton's home at the time of the killing, told the court that was not responsible for Christine Morton's death,
"Your Honor, I plead not guilty," Norwood, 58, told State District Judge Burt Carnes in the Tom Green County Courthouse.
Norwood's lawyer Ariel Payan gave the defense's opening statement, saying that the DNA could have been contaminated.
Before the proceedings began, Morton was also seen chatting briefly on the courthouse steps with Norwood's mother, Dorothy, who has said she believes that her son is innocent.
The trial, moved to West Texas because of the publicity the case has generated in the Austin area, officially got under way on Monday when a jury of seven women and five men was seated.
The 58-year-old Norwood had a long criminal history when he was linked to the death of Christine Morton, who was found beaten and sexually assaulted in the Williamson County home where she and her husband and son were living.
As he did on Monday, Norwood arrived at the courthouse in a wheelchair. On Monday, though, he was seen walking once inside the building. His criminal record includes burglary, assault, and arson among others. The DNA evidence also led to him being a suspect in the 1988 murder of Debra Baker in Austin.
Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.
More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.
Travis County non-profit Center for Child Protection will benefit next March from an all day fundraiser at the Circuit of the Americas that will see plenty of donors racing on the track.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Santa visited Austin early on Sunday, joining hundreds of motorcyclists for their annual Toy Run.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.