tv Dateline MSNBC April 28, 2018 3:00am-4:00am PDT
a murky case. he got a friend to buy him a shotgun and on a winter's day drove home. >> that's all for this edition of date looline. i'm grag melvin. thanks for watching. . >> this is "dateline. ." >> one woman, who plen. her husband the air force captain and the staff sergeant, a rendezvous man. >> he was a playboy himself. >> one man too many. then suddenly, there was one man less. >> it wasn't like bang bang, bang. ? bang, pause, bang, pause. >> which sounds like what? >> execution? >> you could take it that way. yes. >> did jealousy drive someone to
murder or did she? >> she was a brilliant, cunning, ruthless woman. >> hello and welcome to "dateline." the story you're about to see centers on the death of a military man thousands of miles from a battlefield. a dedicated officer who survived war zones only to be caught in the cross fire of a lover's triangle. here's keith morris. >> what was she thinking when she went to the computer, when she typed in those five little words? did she not understand where those little words might lead?
>> michelle was no doubt about it, dissatisfied. here she was, young, successful, attractive and yet wasn't exactly boredom that was eating at michelle. after all she was just starting a new career as a psychologist often counseling troubled couples. >> she was relatively new with her license. i think that was her first real job. >> of course, michelle would have laughed at the idea that pretty soon now events would propel her to such notoriety that newspaper reporters would be poking around in her past. >> michelle from everyone i've spoken to wanted to be somebody and really worked hard to get to where she ultimately got her degree and became a professional. >> but then michelle, even at an early age always seemed
confident about getting what she wanted. she was just 16 when she started dating marty. marty fear was a couple of years older. had big plans. he wanted to be an astronaut. he went to the air force academy. she was 20 when she married him outside of colorado springs. >> you may kiss your bride. >> this was back in 1981 when marty was all she ever wanted. long before she talked to that psychologist, agreed to record for the record her thoughts about the weird events yet to come and those happy days with marty too, of course. >> we did everything together. he treated me really well and i thought we had the perfect relationship. we were best friends. >> he was the dashing young officer back then. she his lovely bride. the future she imagined an
endless honey moon in which his career would take them to exotic destinations all around the world. she just didn't imagine that world would be unromantic air force outposts in oklahoma and alabama and florida and finally fayetteville, north carolina. they came here in 1999. marty was captain fear by then. flew one of those c 130 cargo planes. all that time alone, not so easy on a marriage as she revealed with those tape recorded interviews with her psychologist. >> michelle talked about a few problems in the marriage, primarily growing apart over the years. marty was away for extended periods of time. she had a hard time with that, was getting more difficult for her. she was lonely. >> sometimes he was gone for months and when he finally did come home, military families have come to know that
adjustment period all too well. >> they bickered. they argued about her housekeeping, his job, about having children. he wanted them, she didn't. she was worried she'd be stuck raising them by herself in a town where she was already miserable and lonely. >> that actually is about the time it started. harmless, really, just a few ski strokes, see what might happen. goes on all the time these days on the internet. sexy brunette seeks rendezvous man and before long her internet inquiry got a response from him. his name was john. john diamond. >> john loved women. john was aly lady's man. >> so her sister could see him
respond to a solicitation like michelle's. >> he's an attractive guy and his personality makes him that much more attractive. >> then a few days after meeting online, they met in person at a local restaurant. >> he was charming, he was funny, talked about music and things that me and marty didn't talk about. >> he was an army staff sergeant trained as a sniper, highly regarded, decorated. had been in the service since he was 18. >> he was a good soldier but he was a playboy himself. he had been married once before and had a child from hid first march and he left the first wife and married and they had a son together. >> michelle didn't know that john was still married. but maybe it didn't matter, at least not then. she loved the sex, the attention, the excitement. >> he was very attentive. he was very affectionate.
he was very adoring. yeah, it was great. >> what made her so desirable to him? >> i think it was just the sex. that was what he was obsessed with. he was submitting with having sex with her. >> it was more lust than love. >> she felt that the affair did not take away from the fact that she loved marty. she said he was the love of her life and that she never loved john diamond. >> and marty, he was in the dark, of course. when michelle told them their marriage was in crisis and they needed to see a counselor -- >> he wouldn't go to counseling and i moved out. he was shocked. >> michelle got her own place and spent much of that steamy fayetteville summer with john diamond. >> he was so attentive. he would rub my feet for five hours if i wanted. >> diamonds was apparently nuts about michelle. never met anyone like her before. >> she challenged him in ways he
had never been challenged before. >> a reporter with the fayetteville observer. >> she was strong and intelligent and exciting for him. >> but was he enough for her? apparently not, because after three months on her own, michelle went back to marty. >> she felt that the marriage could survive despite everything that had happened. that they could make it. >> so john and michelle's six month affair seemed to be off, but then a few weeks later it was apparently back on. the two traveled to the tropical island of saba where michelle interviewed for a job at a local university. and later that fall a romantic rendezvous where they celebrated michelle's 30th birthday, but michelle as she would later toll the psychologist insisted it was just a relapse. >> i knew that i loved marty and i knew that i wanted to make it work in my heart.
>> but john diamond was devastated or so said michelle. >> he said specifically i'm going to kill myself, i can't live without you, you can't do this to me. i'm going to go drive my car off a bridge. >> it was awful, said michelle. diamond kept calling, made a scene at her office in front of some students she taught. even threatened to call marty and tell him everything. >> so nearly a week after that romantic night in raleigh, michelle says she met john at a local restaurant to end the affair. gently, but forgo good. >> this can never happen again. he seemed very calm, very rational. >> so now it was december, time for peace and joy, christmas parties. one in particular at which the spirits flowed and the fuse burned down to its explosive
end. somebody was about to die. and somebody else wasn't taking any chances on missing. >> coming up. >> it wasn't like bang, bang, bang. it was bang, pause, bang, pause, which sounds more like what? >> execution? >> you could take it that way, yes. >> when "dateline" continues. and after work. he does it all with dr. scholl's. only dr. scholl's has massaging gel insoles that provide all-day comfort. to keep him feeling more energized. dr. scholl's. born to move. ( ♪ ) stop dancing around the pain that's keeping you awake.
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here in the heart of the american bible belt, on the fringe of vast sprawling army around air force bases, like a patient accommodating landlord is fayetteville, north carolina, imagine most of the suburban strip mall devoted to strip clubs and a downtown which is charming, elegant and has seen about everything. it's an old town, fayetteville. that tower marks the spot where north carolina ratified the constitution back in the zufl war. now it's a military town and 160 acres back there is the army's fort brag where soldiers prepare to go to war. nestled up beside that is hope
air force base. two institutions, two professional military men, one woman. >> and that woman, michelle fear, now found herself caught between her husband marty, the air force captain and her former lover john diamond who just wouldn't go away. >> i told him i don't want to leave my husband. i never told him i love you. i never said i want to be with you. i mean, i think i was pretty straight up. >> so now with the holiday season in full swing and a new commitment to her marriage, michelle and marty were on the road to ra leagleigh for a nigh. traveling with her was another couple from her office. >> they had gone to this christmas party that she specifically asked her boss if marty could go. >> it was sedate by office party standards and over early since marty had to fly first thing in the morning. so now it was 9:30 p.m. marty, michelle and the
coworkers prepared to leave the restaurant. then an interruption. michelle excused herself, made a brief phone call out of earshot of the others. then the drive to fayetteville, one hour. they dropped the other couple at michelle's office, then left for home, stopped on the way for gas and then sitting at the gas pump michelle told marty she'd forgotten something at the office. >> i remember turning around to go back to the office to get something so i could stay home and work that night. >> michelle walked up an outside staircase, disappeared inside. marty waiting in the car. apparently he got impatient, headed up the stairs to check out michelle and that's when it happened. she found him, she said at the bottom of that outside stairway. she could see the blood. she ran to the nearest store, called 911.
>> within minutes police and paramedics arrived and they found michelle cradling her husband in a pool of blood. but it was too late. marty fear was dead. he was just 31. because marty was an air force captain military investigators were soon on the scene as well as police making this a joint investigation with the fayetteville pd. both teams were eager to speak to the only known witness, michelle fear. >> she said she heard what sounded to her like three bangs of a car backfiring. >> did she tell you what she did at that point? >> she then opened the door and noticed that her husband was laying at the bottom of the stairs. >> she told them she thought she
saw someone moving in the bushes near the stayway but she wasn't sure. >> i think police were looking at perhaps, a robbery of some type. >> detectives combed the parking lot surrounding area, but found no one on this cold, dark december night. >> there was a man who lived behind the office building who heard the shots fired, who later said that he said somebody's getting murdered out there because of the order in which the shots were fired. they were very calculated. >> it wasn't like bang bang bang bang. it was bang, pause, bang pause, a space between each of the five shots. >> which sounds like what, execution? >> you could take it that way, yes. >> there were a few clues. bullet holes sprayed in the wall. sequins littered the landing. looked like he was at the top of
the stairs shot from down below. >> i think that's what made him roll down the stairs and the final shot was to the back of his left ear. >> the kill shot. >> kill shot. close range. >> they found shell casings in the parking lot, but there were no fingerprints, no footprints, no useful dna but they did find marty's wallet still on him complete with cash and credit cards. >> he was not robbed. the other thing was that it was a very, very cold night. not a night where a prowler would be out on the streets just looking to find someone. made it very suspicious. >> investigators couldn't imagine who would want to kill such a wonderful man like captain marty fear, but of course out in this dark parking lot they didn't know any of what you know, not yet anyway. assuming what you've heard so far is the real story. and as you'll see, the question of what was true and what wasn't
could be very tricky indeed. michelle said she'd gone back to her office because she'd forgotten something. so what took so long? coming up -- >> they found a candy wrapper that had been opened and in the trash can. it was almost like a scene where she'd just gone upstairs and sat and waited for a few minutes. >> for what? when "dateline" continues. left untreated mucus can build up causing further problems. treat mucus buildup early with #1 doctor recommended mucinex 12 hour. the bi-layer tablet immediately releases to thin and loosen excess mucus and lasts for 12 hours. learn more at mucinex.com treat excess mucus with mucinex 12 hour and enjoy living well. kyle, we talked about this. there's no monsters.
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it was a week before christmas, 2000, and fayetteville was aglow, but not everywhere with the lights of christmas and a few hours after marty fear turned up dead in the parking lot of his wife's office building the news was out and it was big. >> michelle fear, now marty's grieving widow told the police she was inside her office looking for a book when she heard someone firing outside. >> by all counts it was an assassination. >> a deputy district attorney in fayetteville at the time. >> somebody would kill marty fear that night, no evidence of any robbery, no evidence of any other thing going on here. >> though inside michelle's office, what they found seemed a little odd, maybe. >> that she'd gone to the bathroom, the toilet had not been flushed.
they found a candy wrapper that was opened and in the trash can. it was almost like ooscene where she sat and waited for a few minutes because obviously to find a book wouldn't take very long. >> strange, hard to know what it meant, if anything. as dawn approached michelle was allowed to go home and later that morning her boss arrived, so the cops talked to him too. >> during that interview it came out that she was very marital problems and was having extramarital affairs. funny, michelle hadn't mentioned anything about that. detectives went to her house and sure enough michelle did admit having an affair with staff sergeant john diamond. michelle also said she hadn't spoken to john diamond in two days. but when pressed she tried to call him just before that christmas party about 90 minutes before he was murdered.
and they discovered -- >> they've been calling each other regularly, a minimum of 20 time as day. now detectives paid a visit to john diamond who freely admitted having a sexual relationship with michelle but claimed she was just one of many ladies in his life. and as for the night of the murder, he had an alibi. he was home with his family watching a movie. >> still michelle must have harbored some sort of suspicion about john diamond who is now a person of interest. not long after the murder as she told detectives and that psychologist, she went to see diamond, conduct her own investigation. find out what he knew about marty's death. >> i said do you know anything about this? do you know anybody who had anything to do with this? he said no, i would never do anything to hurt you. i know how much you love him. he looked so trustful. >> mind you, as police were soon aware, michelle had many
opportunities to question her friend john after her husband died. >> there were witnesses saying that he parked down a little side street and walked through their yards going in the back door of her house. >> he was going there and staying all night. >> not commonly the way widows grieve, spending the night with the person of interest in her husband's murder. but michelle told her psychologist she needed support from someone. anyone. >> she felt more alienated from family and friends and more threatened by the police. the only person in her life that was willing to be there for her was john diamond. >> i knew that i was depressed and i was getting more depres d depressed. i think i went to john for comfort. >> michelle and john drove to florida for a long weekend. michelle wanted to see a former professor for grief counseling
she said later. while diamond stayed with his sister debbie. >> he acted as if nothing was wrong because he knew he didn't have anything to do with it. he didn't shoot him. >> so who did kill captain martin fear? was it possible john diamond executed his romantic rival? he may have had a motive. police were very suspicious, but the physical evidence was frankly, rather weak, so detectives kept digging in the phone records. boring but sometimes revealing and one telephone number in particular caught their attention. a call from diamond to one of his army buddies at fort bragg. >> so we asked him if diamond had any access to any weapons. he said he loaned diamond his personal pill tall. >> which just happened to be a 9 mm berhett that pistol, the same kind of gun that killed marty
fear. >> john diamond 4had actually borrowed the gun from him. during the timeframe of the murder he had possession of it. >> maybe he had access to even the actual murder weapon. did he still have it? well, apparently not because just a short time after cops went to the army buddy asking about that gun, diamond made a phone call to fort bragg and reported that his car which he claimed to have left in the base parking lot had been broken into and one of the things stolen from it was a 9 t mm handgun. >> when we got there the passenger door had already been opened and there was a pile of glass sitting next to the rocker panel on the passenger side. but if you'll look on the inside, there was very little glass. >> what did that the tell you? >> he had the door open when he
broke the window and tried to make look like it was broken in. >> a bogus rglary? >> he was arrested for admitting he brought an unregistered gun on base. clearly diamond was now the prime suspect in the murder of marty fear, but was he really the killer? >> coming up, a secret about john and michelle's steamy affair becomes very public. >> she was taking him to these sex clubs and saying it's okay, go, you know f you want to have sex with her, that's fine and he just, wow, okay. >> when "dateline" continues. w. simpari-what? simparica is what kills tick and fleas, like us. kills? kills! studies show at the end of the month, it kills more ticks in less time than frontline plus and nexgard. guess we should mosey on. see ya never, roxy! use simparica with caution in dogs with a history of seizures
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and president trump held white house talks with the german chancellor on friday. the leaders di agree on the future of the iran nuclear deal and trade relations with europe. now back to "dateline." welcome back to doubtlinate. the same type of weapon used in the fatal shooting of his lover's husband. he was now investigators' prime suspect but they needed more evidence. continuing with our story, here's keith morris. >> a few weeks after the murder of captain marty fear, a fayetteville police detective named c.t. williams was asked to take a look at a couple of computers seized from michelle fear's home. >> i was looking for documents
or text messages or e-mails. >> like an onion, he peeled back the layers of text which though they'd been deleted reapaired. boxes of deleted documents, 88,000 of them buried deep inside michelle's hard drive and out spilled some of michelle's most intimate sexual secrets. >> she seemed to be seeking affairs with a number of people over a period of time. she was seeking a partner and expert. >> a swinger's club that boasted more than 10,000 members and within michelle's lengthy list of e-mails detectives also discovered that not so innocent inquiry seeking a rendezvous man. that was john diamond who reply and who the e-mail trail revealed quickly joined michelle in the lifestyle. >> she was taking him to these sex clubs and saying, it's okay, go, you know, if you want to
have sex with her, that's fine. i'm fine with it. and he just, wow, okay. >> but as investigators sorted through the sexually charged e-mail they could plainly see a story as old as time. john diamond fell head over heels in love with michelle. >> he was her little puppy to be controlled any way she wanted to control. >> she was like the child in the relationship. >> whatever she wanted, he was at her beck and call. >> john dield appeared to be a man obsessed. i can't wait till you come back so we can take care of her. you know, sex, sex, sex and of course more sex. i know that we're meant to be together and are kindred soul mates. i will always love you no matter how you've hurt me. >> you could tell it changed from a sexual relationship to completely enamored with her. >> he wants to be with her.
he was willing to do anything. keep the woman he's totally in love with. >> anything? perhaps even kill the man who stood between him and michelle? >> she was beginning to set him up. she was pushing him away, kind of. >> pushing him away but without completely pushing him away. i think she was manipulating him at that point. >> manipulating him into murdering her husband? why would she want to do that. >> there was a life insurance policy that had been taken out in 199 on marty fear. >> and the soul beneficiary, michelle fear. john diamond's family was outraged at such a theory. they were convinced michelle typed all those e-mails and sent them to herself to steer investigators away from her and to diamond so he'd take the rap. >> he never once expressed a love feeling about her to me. so unless you come to me with a
handwritten letter that he was obsessed with her i'll never believe that. >> he told me he did not want to spend the rest of hisife with her. >> accordi t debbie it was michelle obsessed with john. >> i think maybe she was obsessed with him in the point that she couldn't control him, that she couldn't, you know, control the situation. >> she wanted to control it and if she gave him a wedding ring and he wore it, wouldn't that give her all kinds of reason to claim that he would do anything for her including kill her husband? >> that could be. i -- i don't know. >> what i got from him after he was arrested was he didn't want anything to do with her. nothing. >> with or without michelle, john was in big trouble so he lawyered up with a from innocent fayetteville attorney.
>> i believe he was an innocent man wrongly accused, that any rational interpretation of the circumstantial evidence is consistent with sergeant diamond not being the shooter. >> but military investigators were convinced diamond was the trigger man and decided to quickly proceed with their case against him and michelle remained free and what did she do? well, she left town. >> i think she planned to kill her husband a long time ago. i think she waited and researched and waited for that right person that would look and fit the part to pin it on. >> if that was true, michelle's plan was working perfectly, because in a few short weeks john diamond would be on trial for murdering her husband. >> coming up, the prosecution's case against john and the defense's case against michelle. >> michelle fear was a brilliant, cunning, ruthless
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>> so he goes to the article 32 hearing which is like the grand jury. they immediately find cause and they charge him. >> and nine months after the murder, in a small fort bragg courtroom diamond went on trial before a military jury. >> diamond was very, very cocky at the beginning. he would laugh and joke with reporters in there. he was just so sure that he was going to be acquitted. >> but john diamond wasn't the star of his own trial. michelle was. she was free as a bird then, though still under investigation by fayetteville civilian homicide cops and here she was called to testify at her former lover's military trial. >> she shows up, her hair is now like a red color that she's colored it. she's lost a bunch of weight and she's got a gaggle of media following her into the building. >> it was all image, no substance. michelle took the stand, but
took the 5th. the prosecution's case against diamond, its accusation was simple. driven by his obsession for michelle he conspired with her to kill her husband by borrowing the gun, arranging to be in a position in that dark parking lot, waiting in the marty fear had placed himself in the kill zone at the top of the staircase outside michelle's office and fired the five shots that killed him. >> as for diamond's alibi that he was home with his wife watching a movie, that now ex-wife came to court and told the jury that the evening wasn't quite like that. halfway through the movie his phone rang and suddenly he was gone. and what's more -- >> her mother heard him come home, you know, in the wee hours and wash clothes. >> true? maybe not said defense attorney. her story changed after she talked to police. >> she was afraid of the government. i don't think that she was
telling the truth. >> had she been pressured? besides, said the defense, there was no dna, no footprints, no fingerprints to prove diamond shot marty fear. and anyway, diamond was a trained sharp shooter but the shots that failed marty were sloppy. must have been the work of an amateur side diamond's attorney. an amateur like michelle. >> michelle fear had asked for the gun several days before the murder. she had told him that her husband had been abusive, that she was afraid of him. so he gets a gun and he gives her the gun. she didn't think she was going to kill him with the gun. >> did she just use him, knowing he was somebody she could use to serve her purposes? >> she set this up to kill her husband because she wanted the insurance money and for sergeant diamond to take the fall. michelle fear was a brilliant,
cunning, ruthless woman who wanted her husband dead. >> the military jury, however, didn't see it quite that way. >> the verdict was swift. guilty as charged. and from that moment on, his demeanor changed. i mean, it was like somebody just sucked the air out of him. the john diamond full of bravado and egojust went away. he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. his family was furious. >> you don't expect to be convicted on theory and myth and what ifs. show me blood, she me a gun, show me the timeline that works. show me those facts. i'll believe till the day i die that she killed her husband, that she planned to have my brother go down for it so she could live this happy wonderful life. >> curious thing, that.
as john diamond settled into a life in prison people around fayetteville could see that michelle went on with a life uninterrupted and then quite suddenly they didn't see her at all because michelle fear disappeared. >> coming up, michelle wasn't just a missing woman. she was also now a wanted woman. >> there's some speculation that she was tipped off that she had been indicted because she seemed to sort of fall off the face of the earth. >> when "dateline" continues. flea and tick protection from nexgard. nexgard kills fleas and ticks all month long. and it comes in an easy-to-give tasty chew. and that makes dogs and owners happy. no wonder vets love it too. reported side effects include vomiting, itching, diarrhea, lethargy and lack of appetite. see your vet for more information on flea and tick protection you and your dog will love.
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welcome back to "dateline." shortly after john diamond wassen convicted in the murder of her husband, michelle left fayetteville, north carolina, without a trace. authorities weren't done with her yet, but would they be able to track her down? hear what the conclusion with deadly ambush is keith morrison. >> levinworth, federal prison. this is where john diamond was serving a life sentence for merzing air force castan marty thiere. but his former lover, michelle, seemed to have dropped right out of sight. where was she? people weren't seeing her around fayetteville.
the d.a., meanwhile, was convinced she was the brains, he was the brawn. or in this case, the shooter. though it was circumstanceal, it was persuasive. >> there was a significant amount of evidence. i don't think there was any question as to who was involved, diamond and her together. >> the evidence? the life insurance, the affair, the access to a murder weapon, the e-mails, the cover-up. taken together, it was enough to convince a grand jury. finally, in may of 2002, nearly 18 months since her husband was killed, michelle theer was indicted for first degree murder and.conspiracy. but arrested? no. why? >> there's some speculation that she was tipped off, that she had been indicted, because she seemed to really sort of fall off the face of the earth right before that came down. >> michelle theer vanished.
no one, not even her family, knew where she was. louder dai louder lauderdale by the sea is a quaint little town. in the summer of 2001, cindy geesey met with a woman who wanted to rent a room at her cottage. >> she seemed well spoken with, intelligent, she told me she was on the run from an abusive boyfriend in california. >> she made friends around the neighborhood. before long, she had a new beau. liza -- it was really michelle, of course, kept in touch with her family very carefully, secretly. she only called on pay phones, for example, and that rarely. >> two months after michelle arrived if in florida, she asked her boyfriend to call her parents, pass on a message, use a pay phone, she told him. and maybe he forgot or perhaps she didn't tell him why.
but he called from his parents' house phone. u.s. marshals were monitoring. they looked up the number that had called michelle's parents. >> in the database told them that this woman had a son in his mid 20s who lived in south florida. >> did he know the missing michelle? the cops found him, staked him out. then followed him to that little white beach cottage where he and michelle were in for a big surprise. >> following a developing story out of florida, a woman wanted for the murder of her husband, a pope airman, has been arrested in florida. >> at the time of her arrest inside the apartment, we found magazines describing ways to go under cover in the united states, obtain new identity. >> books, too, on learning spanish, travel guides for several latin countries, an array of fake ids. and then there was michelle's appearance.
>> she had changed her appearance, cut and dyed her hair, had had some plastic surgery done. >> do you feel anything at all to say? >> a few days later, michelle, her face still red and swollen and smeared with ointment from cosmetic surgery was driven back to fayetteville. she was charged with first degree murder and locked up without bail. two years later, in september 2004 after turning down a plea deal that would have imprisoned her for the ten years, the prosecutor laid out his case against michelle the theer. the the proof? for one then, all those intimate e-mails which showed, said the prosecutor, how michelle manipulated diamond the into a fatal frenzy and made him her fall guy. >> she had him to the point that he was soup set that if he couldn't have her, he was going to can kill himself. if if you're willing to kill yourself, it wouldn't take much for you to redirect that and kill someone else. michelle directed him and got to
the point where he was willing to kill marty. >> that point arrived, said the prosecutor, after that office christmas party when commercial called diamond to tell him that she and marty were head hadded to the can kill zone, the parking lot of her office building. but she needed him there alone. after they dropped two coworkers at the lot, michelle made a crucial move the that inex trickbly linked her to the murder. michelle, by her own admission, had marty return to the office, supposedly to pick up some work she needed. and while she doddeled in the office, marty became impatient, went up those stairs to check on her. and, thus, walked into an ambush. >> when they left, this would have been no way for that shooter to have any reason to believe they were coming back, unless he had known through prior conversation with michelle theer he was going to bring him back to that location, go up into her business, leave hem outside the door so he could
then murder her husband. >> that was really your smoking gun. >> that was the smoking gun that tied her to it. >> michelle did not testify, nor did john diamond. her attorney belittled the state's evidence as thin and circumstantial. among those speaking for michelle, psychologist debbie layton thol. she was hired by the defense to interview michelle about her relationships, to testify as an expert witness. those were the recorded conversations, excerpts on of those you heard earlier. >> when somebody is in a long-term affair, there does tend to be a pattern of pulling away and coming back together. an inability to be decisive. that's not unusual with affairs. >> besides, claimed the defense,
being involved with another man didn't mean michelle was also involved in murder. the two sides battled through three months of trial time, an 11-week trial. three-hour deliberation. the verdict? guilty. >> she stood up, they put the handcuffs on her had and she walked out of the courtroom and she never looked back into the courtroom area, not even toward her family. >> michelle theer now sits aa cross the country in a prison. today, these former lovers share only one thing, life without parole. >> his supporters are heartfelt in their certainty that she was the bad one, she did it all and he didn't do anything. >> and her supporters all blame him and say he did it without her knowledge because he was in love with her and she was breaking up with him. >> michelle theer rolled the dice. she turned down a deal which would have released her before long. instead, the woman who followed
her dissatisfaction to an internet romance went on trial and, as a result, will die in prison. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." . i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. good morning. i'm dara brown. in new york at msnbc world headquarters. it is 7:00 in the east, 4:00 out west. here is what's happening. no collusion, president trump touts the findings of the final house republican report, but with the investigation ongoing, is he celebrating too soon? an impending indictment, what made a judge hold off on a lawsuit from stormy daniels. also, the president foregoes a washington tradition. >> and i could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from