tv Dateline MSNBC December 22, 2018 3:00am-4:01am PST
that as an opportunity for me to kind of slide in some great stories about my mom and so kind of keep her alive. i'm craig melvin. >> i'm natalie morales. >> and this is "dateline." >> one woman, two men. her husband and the staff sergeant. >> he was a playboy himself. >> one man too many. then suddenly there was one man less. >> it was like bang, pause, bang, because. >> which sounds more like what, execution? >> you could take it that way, yes. >> did jealously 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 morrison. ♪ >> what was she thinking when she typed in those five little words? did she not understand where those words might lead?
official 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 counselling troubled couples. >> 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 was a couple of years older, worldly, bright, friendly, had big plans. he wanted to be an astronaut. he went to the air force academy. ♪ >> she was 20 when she married him at the academy's famous chapel outside colorado springs. >> you may kiss your bride. >> this was back in 1991 when marty was all she ever wanted. long before she talked to that psychology, psychologist and those happy days with marty too, of course. >> we did everything together. he treated me really well. 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 honeymoon in which marty's exotic career would take them to endless destinations all around the world. she just didn't image that world would be unromantic air force out posts in oklahoma and florida and alabama and final hi fayetteville, north carolina. marty was captain by then, flew one of those huge c-130 cargo planes. all that time alone, not so easy on a marriage, as she revealed during those tape recorded interviews with a psychologist. >> michelle talked about a few problems in the marriage, primarily growing apart over the years. marty was away for extended period of time. she had a hard time with it. she was holonely. >> sometimes he was gone for months. 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. >> here i was in fayetteville, loserville and i had nobody to hang out with, nobody i could pick up the phone and call. >> that action was about the time it started, harmly, re lle really. sexy brunette seeks rendezvous man. soon she got a response from him, john, john diamond. >> john loved women. john was a ladies man. john always had girlfriends. >> so debbie, john's kid sister, could certainly see her brother responding to a solicitation
like michelle's. >> my brother's got a great personality. he's an attractive guy and his personally 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 movies and music and things that we didn't talk about. >> john diamond was an army staff target based at ft. bragg. >> he was a playboy himself. he had been married once before and had a child from his first marriage and he left the first wife 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 at ten tiff. he was very affection natate.
it was great. >> he was submmitten with havin sex with her. >> she said that marty was the love of her life and she never loved john diamond. >> marty was in the dark, of course. when michelle told him their marriage was in crisis and they needed to see a counselor -- >> he wouldn't agree to counselling and i moved out. he was shocked. >> michelle got her own place and spent much of that summer with john diamond. >> he was so attentive. >> diamond was apparently nuts about michelle, never met anyone like her before. >> she challenged him in ways he'd never been challenged
before. >> paul is a reporter with a 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. 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 at a raleigh hotel where they celebrated michelle's 30th birthday. but michelle, as she would later tell 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. nearly a week after that romantic night in raleigh, michelle says she met john at a local restaurant to end the affair, gently but for good. >> we had the whole talk. this can never happen again, never, never, never. he seemed very calm, very rationale. >> so now it was december, time for peace and joy, christmas parties, one in mar at which the spirits flowed and the fuse burned down to its explosive
here in the heart of the american bible belt, on the fringe of vast sprawling army and air force bases, like a patient accommodating land lord, is fayetteville, north carolina. imagine, most of a suburban strip mall of strip clubs and a downtown which is charming, elegant even, and a scene about everything. it's an old town, fayetteville. that tower marks the spot where north carolina ratified the federal constitution back in 1789. i'm standing on what was a slave market. sherman fought battles here in the civil war. now it's a military town and 160,000 acres back there is the army's ft. bragg where soldiers prepare to go to war. nestled up beside that is the air force base. two institutions, two professional military men, one woman.
and that woman, michelle theer, now found herself caught between her husband, marty, the air force captain and her former lover, army staff sergeant 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. >> now with the holiday season at full swing and a new commitment to her marriage, michelle and marty were on the road to raleigh, for a night out. traveling with them 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 the date for office party standards and early morning since marty had to fly early in the morning. now it was 9:30 p.m. marty, michelle and the co-workers 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. >> turning around and going back to the office to get some stuff that i needed so i could stay up and work that night. >> marty, parked behind the office building. 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. [ gunshots ] she found him, she said, at the bottom of the outside doorway. she could see the blood. she ran to the nearest store, called 911. >> somebody's shot? somebody shot your husband?
>> i think so. >> where are you at? okay. what's your name? >> michelle. >> within minutes fayetteville police and paramedics arrive and find michelle cradling her husband in a pool of blood, but it was too late. marty theer was dead. he was just 31. because marty was an air force captain, military investigators were soon on the scene as well as police. a joint investigation with the fayetteville pd. both teams were eager to speak to the only known witness, michelle theer. officers special investigations agent, vince pastillo. >> she said what sounded like her three bangs of a car back firing. >> did she say what she did at that point? >> she opened the door and saw her husband laying at the bottom of the stairs. >> she thought she saw someone moving in the bushes.
but she wasn't sure. >> initially police were looking at perhaps a robbery of some type. >> detectives combed the parking lot's 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. it was bang, pause, bang, pause. >> which sounds like what? an execution? >> you could take it that way, yes. >> at the top of the stairway were a few clues. bullet holes sprayed in the wall. sequins littered. 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
the left ear. >> the kill shot. >> the kill shot. close range. >> they found shell casings in the parking lot. appeared to be from a .9 millimeter handgun. but there were no fingerprints. no footprints. no useful dna. investigators did find marty's wallet. still on him. complete with cash and credit cards. >> marty theer was not robbed. the other thing that was a very, very cold night. not a night where a prowler would be out on the streets just looking to find someone. it made it very suspicious. >> investigators couldn't imagine who would want to kill such a wonderful man like captain marty theer. but of course, out on 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.
coming up, michelle said she'd gone back to her office because she'd forgotten something. so what took so long? >> they found a candy wrapper that had been opened in the trash can. it was almost like a thing where she'd gone upstairs and sat and waited for a few minutes. >> for what? when dateline continues. when dateline continues. do you want ready to wear clothing without all the hassle? you can, with bounce dryer sheets. we dried one shirt without bounce, and an identical shirt using bounce. the bounce shirt has fewer wrinkles, less static, and more softness and freshness. bounce out wrinkles, bounce out static.
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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 air force captain marty the theer turned p dead in the parking lot of his wife's office building, the news was out and it was big. michelle theer, 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. >> greg buckner was a deputy district attorney at the time. >> someone would kill marty theer, that night, no evidence of robbery, no evidence of any other thing going on here. >> inside michelle's office, what they found seemed, well, a little odd. maybe. >> she'd gone to the bathroom. the toilet had not been flushed. they found a candy wrapper opened and in the trash can. it was almost like a scene where she'd gone upstairs and 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 she was having marital problems and was having some affairs. >> funny. michelle hadn't mentioned anything about that. so detectives went to her house to follow-up. and sure enough, michelle did admit having an affair with staff sergeant john diamond. michelle also said she hadn't spoken to diamond in two days. but when pressed, she remembered trying to call him unsuccessfully just before leaving that christmas party. 90 minutes before marty was murdered. detectives decided to check their cell phone records and discovered -- >> they've been calling each other regularly, minimum 20
times a 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 was 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. >> if you know anything about this, you know anybody who had anything to do with this, please tell me. i would never do anything to hurt. i know how much you love -- >> mind you, as police were soon aware, michelle had many opportunities to question her friend, john, after her husband died.
>> witnesses said he parked down a little side street then walked through their yards going through the back door of her house. >> he couldn't stay away? >> going through, staying all night. >> not commonly the way widows grieve, spending the night with the person of interest in her husband's murder. michelle told psychologist dr. deb by leighton 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 was getting more and more depressed. i went to john for comfort. >> a few weeks after marty's murder, 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, debby. >> he acted as if nothing was wrong.
he knows he didn't have anything to do with it. he didn't shoot him. >> how did kill captain marty theer? is 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 arcane world of 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 ft. bragg. >> so we asked them if diamond had any access to any weapons. he said that he loaned diamond his personal pistol. >> which just happened to be a .9 millimeter berretta pistol, the same kind of gun that killed marty theer. >> john diamond had actually borrowed the gun from him during
the timeframe when the murder occurred, john diamond had possession of it. >> detectives were convinced diamond not only had access to a gun, but maybe even the actual murder weapon. did he still have it? well, apparently not. because just a short time after cops went to the home of diamond's army buddy asking about that gun, diamond made a phone call to ft. 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 millimeter handgun. >> when we got there the passenger door had already been open and there was a pile of glass sitting next to the rocker panel on the passenger's side. if you look on the inside, there was very little glass. >> what did that tell you? >> he had the door open when he broke the window and then tried to make it look like it was broken in. >> a bogus break-in?
military police sure thought so. john diamond was arrested for admitting he brought an unregistered gun on base. diamond was now the prime suspect in the murder of captain marty theer, 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, if you want to have sex with her, that's fine and he just, wow, okay. >> when "deadly triangle" continues. got directions to the nightclub here. and if you get lost, just hit me on the old horn. man: tom's my best friend, but ever since he bought a new house... tom: it's a $10 cover? oh, okay. didn't see that on the website. he's been acting more and more like his dad. come on, guys! jump in! the water's fine! tom pritchard. how we doin'? hi, there. tom pritchard. can we get a round of jalapeño poppers for me and the boys, please?
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senators are being told to give 24 hours notice for a vote and not be called back unless a deal was ready. that's what's happening. th'sat what's happening. welcome back to "dateline." i'm craig melvin. army staff sergeant john diamond was arrested for admitting he had brought an unregistered gun onto a military base, the same type of weapon used in the shooting of his lover's husband. he was now the prime suspect, but they needed more evidence. here's keith morrison. a fayetteville police detective was asked to have a
look at a couple of computers seized from michelle theer's home. see if they might contain any clues. >> i was looking for documents or text messages or e-mails. >> like an onion he peeled book the layers of texts which though they'd been deleted reappeared under his expert touch. 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 time. she was looking for an alternative lifestyle. she was seeking a partner escort for sexual clubs. >> that would be carolina friends, a swingers club. it boasted more than 10,000 members. and within michelle's lengthy list of e-mails detectives also discovered that not so innocent inquiry she typed seeking a rendezvous man. that was john diamond, of course, who replied 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, go, 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. >> he was like the child in the relationship. >> whatever she wanted, he was at her beck and call. >> hundreds upon hundreds of love-sick e-mails. john diamond appeared to be a map obsessed. i can't wait until you come back so we can take care of each other. you know, sex, sex, sex and of course, more sex. i know that we're meant to be together and are kindred soulmates. i will always love you, no matter how you've hurt me. >> you can tell it changed from a sexual relationship to a completely, totally enamored with her any way you can imagine.
>> he was getting desperate. >> 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's playing to his emotions. she was pushing him away. push him away in some ways but without completely pushing him away. >> push/pull. >> she was manipulating him at that point. >> manipulating him into murdering her husband? why would she want to do that? >> there was a $500,000 life insurance policy taken out in 1999 on marty theer. >> the sole beneficiary? michelle theer. 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. unless you come to me with handwritten letter that he was obsessed with her, i'll never believe that. >> how do you know that? >> because he told me. he did not want to marry her. he did not want to spend the rest of his life with her. >> according to debby, it was michelle who was obsessed with john. and never more so than when she gave debby two wedding rings to take to her brother who was by this time locked in. >> i think she was obsessed with him to the point she couldn't control him, 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 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 prominent fayetteville attorney, clay brewer.
>> i believe that 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 triggerman and decided to quickly proceed with their case against him. and michelle, to remain free. and what did she do? 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 theer was a
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murder of air force captain marty theer. >> military justice is much swifter than civilian justice. 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 ft. 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. >> 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 fifth. 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 until marty theer 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. half way through the movie his phone rang, she said and suddenly he was gone. what's more? >> her mother heard him come home, you know, in the wee hours and wash clothes. >> true? maybe not said defense attorney brewer. 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 theer. diamond was a trained shot shooter but the ones that hit marty were mostly badly aimed, must have been a work of an amateur, said the attorney. someone like michelle. >> michelle asked for the gun several days before the murder, told him her husband was a beast and was afraid of him. he gets the gun and gives her the gun. he didn't think she was going to kill him with the gun. >> did she use him? 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 theer 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 ego just shrivelled away. >> diamond was sentenced to life in prison without parole. his family was furious, convinced he was framed. >> you don't expect to be convicted on theory and myth and what ifs. show me blood, show me a gun. show me the timeline that works. show me those facts. i'll believe until 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. john diamond settled into a life in prison, people around fayetteville could see to their great disapproval that michelle went on with a life uninterrupted. then quite suddenly they didn't see her at all because michelle theer 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 really sort of fall off the face of the earth. of fall off e face of the earth. ♪ if you look around ♪ the whole world's coming together now ♪ ♪ can you feel it ♪ can you feel it ♪ can you feel it ♪ can you feel it box: woah! ♪ can you feel it woman: delivery ♪ can you feel it
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welcome back to "dateline." shortly after john diamond was convicted in the murder of her husband, michelle fear did something unexpected. she left fayetteville, north carolina, without a trace. authorities weren't done with her yet, but would they be able to track her down? here with the conclusion of "deadly ambush" is keith morrison. leavenworth federal prison, doing time doesn't come much harder than it does here. this is where john die monday was served a life sentence for murderi murdering air force captain
marty fear. where was michelle? the d.a. figures she must have conspired with him to kill her husband. she was the brains, he was the brawn, or in this case the shooter, though it was all circumstantial, said greg butler. it was persuasive. >> there was an amount of evidence. there's no question who was involved, diamond and her. >> the evidence, the life insurance, the affair, the emails, the coverup. taken together, it was enough to convince a grand jury. finally 18 months after her husband's murder, michelle theer was indicted. arrested? no. >> there was a tip-off that she was indicted because she seemed
to 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. lauderdale by the sea is a charming little town just north of miami. quaint and quiet, low profile. in the summer of 2001, cindy goes was a landlord. >> she seemed spoken and intelligent. she told me she was on the run from an abusive boyfriend. >> she made friends around the neighborhood. she had a new beau. liza, 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 she arrived in florida, she asked her boyfriend
to call to pass on a message to her family. use a pay phone. maybe he forgot or perhaps didn't tell him why. he called from his parents' home. u.s. marshals were monitors and looked up the phone number. >> the database told them they had a son in his mid-20s who lived in florida. >> did he know the missing michelle? the cops found him, staked him out, and followed them to the little cottage where they were in for a big surprise. a woman wanted for the murder of her husband was arrested in florida. >> at the time we found magazines finding ways to go undercover in the united states, obtain new identity. >> books, too, on learning
spanish, travel guides for several latin countries, and an array of fake ids. and then there was mush shell's appearance. >> she had change and cut her hair, had plastic surgery done. >> a few days later, michelle her face swollen and smeared with ointment from cosmetic surgery, she was charged with murder and locked up without bail. and in september 2004 after turning down a prison deal that would have imprisoned her for ten years, the prosz cuter laid out his case against michelle theer. the proof? for one thing, how he manipulated diamond into a fatal frenzy and made him her fall guy. >> he was so upset he couldn't have her, he was willing to kill himself. if you're willing to kill
yourself, it would not take much for you to redirect that and kill someone el. it got to the point where he was willing to kill marty. >> that point arrived, said the prosecute e after that office christmas party when michelle called diamond to call him to say she and marty were headed to the kill zone, the parking lot of the party. michelle made a crucial move that inzrikably linked her to the murder. remember, the theerss were driving home and stopped for gas. then she had marty return to the office to pick up worker and while she dawdled in the office, marty became impatient, went up those stairs to check on her, and thus walked into an ambush. >> when they left, there would have been no way for that shooter to have any reason to believe they were coming back unless he had known through
private conversation, michelle theer was going to bring him back up to her business, leash him outside the door and lead to the murder of her husband. >> that was really the smoking gun. michelle did not testify, nor did john diamond. her attorney belittled the state's circumstance. the psychologist was hired by the defense to interview michelle about her relationship. those were the conversations, excerpts of what you heard early. she told the jury michelle wasn't manipulating by starting and stopping a romance. it was something else. >> when somebody is in an affair, there does tend to be a pattern of pulling away and then 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 mons of trial tame, labor day past thanksgiving, 11-week trial, three-hour deliberation. the verdict, guilty. >> she stood up. you know, they put the handcuffs on her, she walked out of the courtroom and she never looked back toward the courtroom, not even toward her family. >> michelle theer sits in north carolina halfway across the country. today these former lovers share only one thing. life without parole. >> his supporters are heartfelt and there's certainty she was the bad one, she did it all and he didn't do anything. >> her supporters 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. instead the woman who follow ed her went on trial and as a result will die in prison. that's all for your this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. g melvin thank you for watching good morning, everyone. i'm alex witt. here's whoo's happening. the government partially closed. how long will it last? finger pointing. both sides blames the other for the spending stall after president trump's abrupt about-face. so which side will blink first? and