New prosecutor is named for Mark Woodworth murder case

A former Clay County prosecuting attorney has been named the new prosecutor in a Chillicothe murder case that is more than two decades old.

Platte County Circuit Judge Owens Lee Hull Jr. on Tuesday appointed Don Norris of Liberty to serve as special prosecutor for the third trial of Mark Woodworth, accused in the 1990 killing of neighbor Cathy Robertson.

Woodworth has been convicted twice of murder in the shooting death of Robertson. Both convictions were thrown out on appeal.

Last month, Hull ordered the state attorney general’s office off the case. On Tuesday, he granted a request from Livingston County Prosecutor Adam Warren to be dismissed from it.

Warren had filed a motion seeking to withdraw. Members of the victim’s family were concerned that his picture and profile had been included on the page of a Facebook group that appeared to be favorable to Woodworth’s cause.

Clay County commissioners appointed Norris as their legal adviser almost a year ago. A former associate circuit court judge, he served as Clay County prosecutor from 1999 through 2004.

“I have great respect for Judge Hull, and I have faith that he has appointed somebody who will fairly and objectively review the evidence in the case before he makes any decision,” said attorney Bob Ramsey, who represents Woodworth.