GEORGETOWN — Former Williamson County district attorney Ken Anderson declined to answer reporters’ questions this morning as he entered a closed courthouse room where he would face Michael Morton and an inquiry into how prosecutors secured a wrongful murder conviction against him 25 years ago.
Morton was exonerated of killing his wife earlier this month after DNA tests revealed that another man likely beat to death Morton’s wife, Christine, in 1986. Defense lawyers allege that Anderson, who is now a Williamson County state district judge, and his office intentionally withheld evidence during the 1987 trial that could have proven Morton was innocent.
In a closed room at the Williamson County courthouse, Anderson was set to answer questions from Morton’s lawyers about whether his office suppressed a transcript in which Christine Morton’s mother told a sheriff’s investigator that Morton’s 3-year-old son saw a “monster” who was not his father attack and kill his mother.
They also claim Anderson’s office withheld information about Christine Morton’s credit card being used and a check being cashed with her forged signature days after her death.
As Morton walked into the courtroom this morning, flanked by his lawyers and prepared to face the man who sent him to prison for a quarter century, Morton wore a suit jacket and a smile. “Feeling better every day,” he said.
Under an agreement with prosecutors that Morton’s lawyers signed when he was released from prison earlier this month, they have one month to gather evidence to support their claims of prosecutorial misconduct. Part of that agreement included the depositions of Anderson, of former assistant prosecutor Mike Davis and of former Williamson County Sheriffs Office Sgt. Don Wood. Davis testified on Saturday, and Wood sat for several hours of questioning last week.
Anderson was forced by the state’s highest criminal court to answer questions under oath after he fought the subpoena from Morton’s lawyers. In court documents, he argued that the court had no authority to force him to testify and that doing so would be an undue burden on him as well as a violation of his rights.
Reporters asked Anderson what he had to say in response to the serious allegations against him. “Right now, we’re going to go answer questions,” he said. The door shut behind him.