GEORGETOWN (KXAN) - Just five weeks after Michael Morton was released from prison on a false charge of killing his wife, police on Wednesday arrested a Bastrop man on a charge of capital murder in the 1986 Williamson County beating death of Christine Morton.
Mark Alan Norwood, 57, was in Williamson County Jail on Wednesday charged with committing capital murder on Aug. 13, 1986, the day Christine Morton was found dead. Norwood is also believed to be connected to another case still under investigation. Norwood was arrested at his mother's house in Bastrop
According to an arrest affadavit, Norwood's DNA was found on a blue bandana discovered near the Morton house. Christine Morton's blood and hair was also on the bandana. The bandana was found by Christine Morton's brother and turned over to authorities shortly after the killing.
Morton's attorney John Raley said he "called Michael immediately" after being notified of Norwood's arrest.
"He is very relieved that the man whose DNA was found on the bandana has been arrested," Raley told KXAN.
The daughter of a second victim linked to the new suspect said authorities also told her of the arrest.
John Foster of the Williamson County Sheriff office said at an afternoon news conference that Norwood was questioned about the Morton case in August. Norwood had no explanation on why his DNA was on the bandana found near the Mortonb crime scene.
The daughter of an Austin woman who died from blunt-force trauma nearly 24 years ago said she believes that the suspect might be connected to her mother's death.
"We were told of the arrest in the Morton case earlier this morning," said Caitlin Baker, whose mother, Debra Jan Baker, was found dead in her bed on Jan. 13. 1988. "We're very, very happy and unbelievably thankful."
She referred specific question on the case to police. Foster said he could not comment on the Baker case.
According to information released by the Nashville Police Department, Norwood has a long arrest history in Tennessee in the 1980s.
Charges against him included receiving stolen property, arson, and at least two counts of malicious destruction of property, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and aggravated assault.
Nashville officials could not say with certainty how authorities disposed of the cases.
KXAN's Pamela Cosel and Doug Shupe contributed to this report.
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