Courtesy of The Williamson County Sun
Michael Morton and his mother, Patricia Morton, in October after a judge announced him free on bond after nearly 25 years in prison for a wrongful conviction.
Michael Morton and his mother, Patricia Morton, in October after a judge announced him free on bond after nearly 25 years in prison for a wrongful conviction. Courtesy of The Williamson County Sun
Michael Morton spent a quarter of a century in prison for a crime he did not commit. On Aug. 13, 1986, his wife was murdered in their home after he left for work. Their nearly 4-year-old son, Eric, was found by a neighbor, wandering in the front yard hours later. In 2011, DNA evidence freed Morton and identified someone else as the possible killer.
Morton's mother, Patricia Morton, tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn that she never lost faith in his innocence.
"It was the most devastating thing that ever happened to me in my life. I knew my son was innocent, and I just couldn't believe that they could convict him. And he said, 'Mother, they can't convict me because I'm innocent.' And I knew that was true because I knew him, and I knew he loved [his wife] with all his heart.
On Morton's son
"Eric was in the middle. It was difficult for him. [The other side of the family] always told Eric that his father was guilty. ... I got a graduation invitation from him, and I sent him money and got a very sweet note from him. And then, after that, I didn't hear from him again until after his father was out of prison. ...That was a terrible loss for me because I loved him so much and I — he was almost like my own."
On hearing the news of Morton's release
"We were all overjoyed. We just couldn't believe that finally, finally he was gonna get out, that they had found the man who had actually committed the crime."