WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) - A Williamson County judge has ordered the trial of accused killer Mark Norwood be moved to another county. Norwood is charged with capital murder in the August 1986 death of Christine Morton.
The change of venue request was granted on June 25 , but the location not made public until this week. Attorneys were notified of the location on June 29.
The trial will be held before Judge Burt Carnes in Tom Green County in January, according to sources at Tom Green County District Court.
Carnes is the presiding judge of the 368th District Court and presiding local administrative judge for Williamson County.
The move was requested by attorneys because the case is so well known due to Norwood's alleged connection to the highly publicized case and release of Michael Morton last fall. Morton was wrongly imprisoned for 25 years in the death of his wife, Christine Morton.
His release spurred much public debate and prompted a future inquiry into District Judge Ken Anderson's role in the prosecution of Michael Morton in 1986.
The 26th District Court in Georgetown has been reserved for the week of Sept. 11-14 for the Anderson inquiry, which will be led by a Fort Worth judge. Rusty Hardin, a former prosecutor in Harris County, has been appointed special prosecutor in the case.
Much publicity has surrounded Norwood in Williamson and Travis counties because DNA evidence on a bloody bandanna found in the area near Christine Morton's murder tested out to allegedly belong to Norwood.
Attorneys for both sides appeared before a judge in May to argue the case for moving the trial out of Williamson County.
How Norwood was found
Evidence entered into the national DNA database by authorities in California linked Mark Norwood to the death of Christine Morton, once testing was done on the bandanna from the Morton case.
Cpl. Courtney Donowho with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said Norwood, 57, was arrested in Riverside County in 2007 for possession of a dangerous firearm, narcotics and resisting arrest.
The same charges were listed in a 2008 arrest, which Donowho said was likely brought on after Norwood failed to show up to a court hearing on the original charges.
Norwood's criminal history
According to public records, he has more than a dozen arrests in the last 30 years.
While in his late 20s, Norwood was arrested seven times in Tennessee. According to public records, between 1980 and 1983 he was arrested for various charges from arson to destruction of property. The most violent charge was aggravated assault involving a weapon with the intent to commit murder.
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