Perry crony John Bradley withheld evidence, convicted another innocent man
24 years in jail because of evidence deliberately withheld by Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley, a long-time political ally of Rick Perry.
New DNA results, combined with evidence that was improperly withheld by Williamson County prosecutors for more than two decades, indicates that an Austin-area man has spent 24 years in jail for a murder he did not commit, a court filing alleged Wednesday.
Michael Morton, now 57, was convicted in the brutal beating death of his wife, Christine Morton, and sentenced to life in prison in 1987.
But a recent court-ordered DNA test, conducted on a blood-stained bandanna over the objections of Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley, points instead to an unnamed California felon as the killer, according to court briefs filed by the Innocence Project of New York.
The court filing urged a Williamson County district judge to remove Bradley from the case, saying he cannot be trusted to oversee a reinvestigation of the killing because he has shown ‘unprofessional’ animosity toward Michael Morton and his lawyers.
What’s more, the motion alleges, Bradley worked to keep a key piece of evidence hidden from Morton’s lawyers — a transcript of a police interview that shows the Mortons’ 3-year-old son witnessed his mother’s murder and said the attacker was not his father.
The transcript should have been provided to Morton’s defense lawyers before the trial but was not, according to the Innocence Project motion. Bradley, who was not district attorney during the trial, recently opposed releasing the transcript to the Innocence Project under the state’s open records laws, the motion said.
- John Bradley was appointed by Governor Rick Perry in December 2001 to serve as Williamson County District Attorney.
- Governor Perry appointee as chair of the Advisory Committee for the Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments
- Governor Perry appointee as chair of Texas Forensic Science Commission
John Bradley called too biased to fairly evaluate DNA innocence claim
New DNA testing of crime scene evidence from a 1986 murder provides powerful new proof that a Texas prisoner was wrongfully convicted. Michael Morton, who has served 25 years in prison for the murder of his wife, has always maintained his innocence and spent the last six years fighting for DNA testing over the District Attorney’s objections.