On Thursday, the third day of testimony in the capital murder trial of Mark Norwood, the jury finally heard from the enigmatic figure who has been referenced a number of times this week by attorneys for both the state and the defense. Louis Homer Wann Jr—or “Sonny,” as he told special prosecutor Lisa Tanner to call him—did not actually appear in person; a videotaped deposition, which was recorded last fall, was played instead.
To careful observers of Michael Morton’s long search for justice, one of the biggest revelations of Mark Alan Norwood’s capital murder trial came late in the day Wednesday, when a Williamson County employee named Jennifer Smith took the stand. For much of the day, testimony had centered on the bloody blue bandana that had been found behind the Morton home in 1986 and was finally subjected to DNA testing in 2011.
When Michael Morton’s wife, Christine, was bludgeoned to death in her bed on August 13, 1986, two items went missing from their home: her purse and his .45 pistol. The mystery of what happened to the two items was never solved. That fall, after a botched investigation by the Williamson County sheriff’s department, Michael was charged with Christine’s murder. At his trial, then-D.A. Ken Anderson told jurors that Michael had killed his wife and then covered his tracks by staging a burglary.
A man on trial for murder in San Antonio allegedly hired a fellow inmate (by paying his bail) to kill the judge presiding over his case. Fortunately, the assassin took the money and decided to chill at home instead.
Fragrant rosemary bushes flanked the forties-era Oak Cliff home, and a handwritten note on the door said, “Knock loud!” I did, and a sixty-year-old woman with a squat frame and a spiky haircut opened the door and welcomed me in. “This is our little family,” Debra Starkey said, gesturing to two women at the dining room table drinking coffee. “This is Valerie and Regina.” Valerie was in pajama bottoms and a baggy top, and Regina wore a black sparkly sweater and square glasses. “They look like nice girls, don’t they?
Type “Texas” into Yandex, Russia’s largest search-engine, and you are in for a shock. In clip after clip from the evening news broadcast by the state-owned TV channel, grim-faced anchors paint a lurid picture of a “viciously abused” three-year-old named Max Shatto, “stuffed with psychotropic substances,” and covered in bruises and pronounced dead.
Laziness hasn't been criminalized in Texas, but sometimes it can still lead to jail time. A woman in North Texas recently found herself behind bars after calling the police for cigarettes.
A Texas history teacher at Schrade Middle School in Rowlett apparently mistook his classroom for the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. On Monday, he reportedly lassoed a student around the neck. By Tuesday, the Dallas Morning News reported, the boy’s neck showed bruising.
El Paso is the safest large city in the United States, according to a report released by Congressional Quarterly on Tuesday. This is the third year in a row the Texas border town has earned this ranking; it has been in the top three since 1997. Austin and San Antonio followed close behind on the list at spots four and ten, respectively.
Cadillac Ranch, located just off of Interstate 40 a few miles west of Amarillo, is perhaps the most famous roadside attraction in America. The art installation, consisting of ten tail-finned, brightly painted Cadillacs planted nose-down in a pasture, was funded in 1974 by the eccentric Panhandle oil heir and arts patron Stanley Marsh 3.