Michael Morton took the stand Monday morning as the first witness in Williamson County District Judge Ken Anderson’s court of inquiry.
Special prosecutor Rusty Hardin questioned Morton about his 24 years behind bars for the murder of his wife—a crime that DNA evidence freed him from in 2011.
"There needs to be accountability," Morton said. “Because without that, every single thing falls apart.”
During the court of inquiry, visiting Tarrant County District Judge Louis Sturns will hear a case with 13,000 pages of evidence to decide if Anderson, a former Williamson County District Attorney, cheated Morton out of a fair trial.
Morton’s wife Christine was found bludgeoned to death inside her home during the summer of 1986. Anderson served as prosecutor during her murder trial the following year, helping secure Morton’s flawed conviction.
Acting as district attorney at the time, Anderson is accused of withholding evidence during trial, including a check cashed under Christine’s name after her death and a conversation between Eric Morton, the couple’s son, in which the toddler said a “monster” killed his mother.
Anderson's attorney Eric Nichols says during the 1987 trial, a court order did not exist that required the prosecutor to turn over to the court for in-camera inspection all of the reports that were generated by investigators.
Anderson faces formal allegations of contempt of court, tampering with evidence and tampering with government records.
If Judge Sturns believes any or all of these allegations were committed by Anderson, a warrant can be issued for his criminal arrest. Evidence will then be forwarded to a Williamson County Grand Jury for further review.
Morton testified for about five hours before stepping down from the stand. The court then heard from newly-elected Williamson County District Attorney Jana Duty.
This hearing is expected to last a week.