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tv   Dateline  MSNBC  October 9, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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spirit who brought us all this week. he wanted us to know what happened to him and who did this to him. and we got it. we know who did this to pravin. that's all i needed to know. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline". i'm natalie morales. thank you for watching. i'm natalie morales and this is dateline. >> what's going on? >> my husband he's been shot, help, please. >> she had mud and blood all over. her >> panicked, saying her husband had been shot. >> a woman in distress, a murder in the dead of night. i'm >> trying. >> we were concerned for her. >> that's my husband's body. >> yes sir. >> did she say who shot her
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husband? >> that's all i saw. >> she said just a figure, who turned and ran into the darkness. >> we take you inside this mystery. >> we don't know if the suspect is still out. there >> it's nerve racking. >> who killed your husband? >> oh my god. >> a small town murder with a big time twist. >> she knew somebody that she wasn't telling. >> yes sir. hello and welcome to dateline. at six four and nearly 300 pounds, but robert poynter looked menacing. but to love once he was a gentle giant. the selfless fire captain enjoyed helping others but no one could help him when he was murdered. an eyewitness offered only fuzzy details and yet investigators piece together the clues, bringing the deadly deed into sharp focus here is
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josh mankiewicz with "out of the darkness". >> 9-1-1. >> this friday night sounded like trouble. it was 10:47 pm, a woman calling 9-1-1 santa desperate. >> calm down. what do you need? we are you at? >> i -- >> ma'am, we are u.s.? i >> reporter: she was on the cell phone, somewhere on the outskirts of town. >> this is hunt county with the transfer. she's picking on county road, she's extremely out of breath, sounds like she's running, and she saying, crying, think she needs the police, needs the police. >> reporter: seconds later the call dropped out. >> okay. hello? >> ma'am, are you there? i >> reporter: was she running from and what had happened on this texas country road? those questions would be
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answered quickly. >> all i could do is cry because i thought, oh my god, you know, this cannot be true. >> reporter: it was the y and the secrets dragged out of the darkness that were so much harder to comprehend. >> when you get a call, what is it usually? >> theft, criminal mischief, reckless drivers. >> reporter: not that nice, not on september 9th, 2016. according to the running, gasping woman on the phone, someone had been shot. it was happening in royse city, texas, 31 miles from dallas. >> somebody shot, that's a major, collier adrenaline is running. >> officer rushed to the scene, his dash cam rolling. >> what's going on? >> my husband has been. shot can you help, please?
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>> the woman's name was chacey poynter. >> she seemed frantic, said her husband had been shot, i got for a, put her in the back of my car. >> have a seat, have a seat. right here. >> and the shooter could be out here somewhere? >> yes, yes. so i put her in the safety of my car, and i ran down the road to find the victim. >> devins and the sheriff's deputy, who ran up at the same time, ran a half mile down the county road. >> that's a long way on foot on the dark. >> on foot, it is. >> and you have no idea where the shooter is, if he's behind one of these trees are waiting for you, or running the other way, or what. >> halfway down the road, an abandoned pick up truck kept going. >> we continued running down this road. and we could see headlights through the treeline, coming around the curve.
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our weapons were drawn. we gave orders, let me see your hands. headlights winterize, so what was in front of me was unclear until we got closer. once we get closer to the vehicle, and saw nobody around it, suspect wise, we saw the victim inside the car. >> reporter: a man, slumped over in the driver seat, he had been shot in the head. >> it was evident that he was deceased. >> reporter: ribbons partner chain meek also made a call to the dispatcher. >> i said, what do you have, a murder? and he said yes. and i said, whoa, i've got to go. because that doesn't happen that often. >> reporter: the last murder in these parts was years ago. >> i knew i had to respond rapidly, not knowing what we had. >> reporter: meek call for backup because the shooter or shooters remained on the loose. >> everyone was on point, as far as keeping their heads on a swivel, because we didn't know
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who or how many people were out there. >> reporter: and while meek waited for royse city's low detective to arrive, he took chacey to paramedics. >> so is anyone else out there with you? >> no. >> was it your husband? what's his name? >> robert poynter. a >> somewhere in all this, she hit the ground. >> we were concerned for her and wanted to make sure where she was taking care of. we find out as much, and is quickly, what happened. >> reporter: and all the cops kept watching the sky. because this is texas. and the heavens were about to open. >> rain or any type of weather can damage or completely get rid of possible evidence, as quick as the storm was moving fast. >> the race was on to uncover
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any clues to the crime scene and what it might hold. what would investigators find? >> coming up -- >> his phone was still in the center console. the blood, a big clue for us, was the weapon was a shotgun. >> reporter: a shotgun turned murder weapon. so where was it? when "dateline" continues. en "dateline" continues. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ just two pills for all day pain relief. aleve it, and see what's possible. there's lots of people who are confused about which medicare plan is right for them. hey, that's me. i barely know where to start. well, start here with me, karen. i'm a licensed humana sales agent. well, it's nice to meet you karen. i'm john smith. hi john. at humana we know you're unique so you have different needs from other john smiths. yeah, i've always thought so. and together we can
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>> my husband -- he was around the corner, he's been shot in the head. please! >> reporter: it was the worst crime royse city had seen in a very long time. a man shot to death on a muddy road. his wife standing close by. now she was in an ambulance. and police were trying to piece together what had happened. who their victim was. and who might have wanted him dead. >> i don't know, i don't know. >> reporter: support in his signature mustache, and a six foot four inches, 300 pound physique, could robert poynter look intimidating. to those who knew him best, he was the complete opposite. his mom, candy. >> he was your favorite.
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>> so they say. >> what do you say? >> possibly. probably. >> reporter: bob was candies middle child, between two sisters, jennifer and cheryl. >> he was not confrontational. >> they are a non confrontational. >> reporter: he liked helping people, maybe that's why bob became a firefighter, a well respected one. he swallowed smoke for 19 years. winding up as a captain in the university park department outside dallas. and from his firehouse, from the rug, even from the fires, bob kept in very close touch with his mom. >> we had the report, 10 to 15 calls a day. >> 10 to 15 calls a day? >> mama's boy. >> i know, truly. i adored him. >> so these fellow firefighters, they said, he got it done.
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even helped in louisiana after hurricane katrina. and he always came home unscathed. professionally speaking, anyway. bob's personal life was also a story of a man who ran toward trouble. bob married young and had two kids. after 19 years, that marriage fell apart, extensively so. around then is when bob met chacey, who was much younger. >> i think it wasn't infatuation. someone 22 years old. he's in his forties. you know? >> a feeling. >> a fling, basically, yeah. >> reporter: it wasn't a fling. bob married chacey. it is a fresh start for bob, with this woman born and raised in small town texas. >> she had a heart of gold. she loved everybody. >> actually mid chacey back in middle school, back when royse city was a speck on the map.
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>> there was nothing here, we had one jack-in-the-box, and a gas station. that was it. >> farm town? >> farm town, just country. >> quiet. >> very quiet. people didn't lock their doors? >> no. >> chacey and actually lost touch after high school and then reconnected win actually noticed chacey's cake business. >> she enjoyed doing, it she was amazing what she did. >> what made her so good? >> just for being so crafty and her imagination was everything. i >> reporter: actually got to know chacey's young daughter and her mom helped her disagree cakes. >> reporter: however if an chacey absent spent time together, and chacey robert did
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not. >> what did she say about robert? >> he was never there. he always worked. >> well, he was a fire captain and he worked a lot of shifts. >> yes, he did. >> that was a problem? >> yes. >> bob tried to make things right. in early september 2016, he took his family on a trip to mexico. it was a chance to reconnect. >> reporter: six days later, robert poynter was dead and not in a fire. i detective michael berke drove out to country go 25 95 to investigate his first career homicide. >> i grabbed my investigation equipment, mostly at that time, a camera only. >> and then you get to the scene. >> yes sir. >> reporter: about halfway down the road was that truck, later identified as bobs. then another discovery. >> we are shining our flashlights on the path to make sure we don't fall in one of
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the deep routes or trip. then there was a reflection in the water, in one of the puddles. on a closer look, it showed it was a cell phone. >> reporter: it was chacey's cell phone, she apparently dropped it in the mud when she fell. that's why her 9-1-1 call was cut off. for the down the mighty road, and around the bend, was chacey's jeep, with robert poynter's body behind the wheel. burke took a close look. >> was he robbed or ...? >> no, chacey's we still on the for full board of the vehicle,. >> the fatal shot had apparently been fired at close range. >> big thing for us was what the weapon was, a shotgun, it was that the wanting from the shotgun shell was still in the victim skull. >> so who shot bob and why? there was nothing at the scene. >> reporter: coming up --
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>> just breathe for me. >> that's my husband's blood on me. >> reporter: what happened on that desolate road? chacey tells a dramatic story. >> the jeep started rolling. i saw a shadow. >> when "dateline" continues. "dateline" continues forest in norway, there were three things my family encouraged: kindness, honesty and hard work. over time, i've come to add a fourth: be curious. be curious about the world around us, and then go. go with an open heart, and you will find inspiration anew. viking. exploring the world in comfort.
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just witnessed her husband being shot and she could barely breathe. >> in through your nose, out through your mouth. slow your breathing down.
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>> reporter: even as chacey was getting hooked up with oxygen, officer meek needed to speak with her while everything was fresh. his body cam was rolling. >> tell us what happened. donald >> reporter: chacey told meek she was on her we to meet robert poynter at the local jack-in-the-box. >> reporter: their daughter addison was at a friends house that evening so it would just be the two of them. >> he told me he was gone, a long three minutes. he texted me, i went off the road. >> reporter: chacey, still visibly east shaken, said her jeep got stuck. so bob, already at the jack-in-the-box, drove out to help or. >> he said, i don't think i can make it. so we walked, we walked up here and we walked back to my jeep. she said bob jumped in the driver seat and pulled her jeep out. >> and when i was back on it, i
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went to go get -- and i heard a shot. and the jeep started rolling and they didn't see anything and then i saw a shadow. that's all i saw. >> she yelled bob's name. and no answer. then, she said, in a panic, she ran. >> i didn't know what else to do. he >> reporter: chacey asked about her husband. >> under the bright lights chacey could see her arms. >> just breathe for me. >> that's my husband's blood on me. >> i mean, with my training and experience, i knew not to let her focus on that, so i re-directed her focus. >> reporter: officer took note of her injuries. once the -- police escorted her back to the
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police car where she seemed to open up. she described ongoing marital problems. >> we don't spend a lot of time together, we can only see each other for a couple of days. >> you argue. >> yes, but it's because we don't spend a whole lot of time together because of his shifts. >> reporter: they had talked about divorce and bob threaten to take addison if it went through. >> why would your husband threatened to take your daughter from? you >> because he knows that wood would make me sick. >> reporter: she said they were trying to work things out. >> we just got back from mexico this week. we had a really good time. >> okay. >> and things were fine. >> reporter: that didn't last, she said. soon after returning from mexico, their marriage started heading south again. she told bob she needed space. and so chacey went to see a friend, michael garza. he knew about chacey's troubled
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marriage and offered his home to her whenever she needed. that night, friday, chacey texted bob and they made plans to talk at a familiar spot. >> we used to stop and get tacos at jack-in-the-box. when he would come on the way home from work. >> right. >> so i asked him if he wanted to meet me at jack-in-the-box. >> reporter: and bob agreed. >> i said i love you, i want this to work out. he said, do you promise, i said yes. >> reporter: that promise now unfulfilled permanently, because bob was no more. and chacey, said she did not get a good look at the shooter. >> i didn't get a good. look -- >> i wasn't there, i need to understand what you saw, okay? >> he was tall and dark.
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that's all i could see. i didn't see any firearms. >> reporter: naturally, meek wondered about chacey's friend michael garza. they looked up his facebook profile and there he was, holding a shotgun. could michael garza be the shooter? >> but then she start saying, he wasn't in town, he's a long haul truck driver. so that you are mentioned that. and then you start thinking, who else could that be? >> reporter: meek wasn't sure. >> she was giving me too much information. she was telling me things that ultimately didn't make sense for what we were there for. >> reporter: and he noticed something odd. >> when i wasn't talking to her she would come down, but as soon as i would talk to her, she would get hyper ventilating again. the more i spoke to her, the more signaled like an act.
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>> reporter: was it all and act? or was there something else going on? only one way to find out. they escorted chacey back to the police station and dug deeper into her story. and that was sometimes hard to follow, as county road 25 95. >> reporter: coming up -- >> so somebody taking the shock, and put it right against your husband said. and you are telling me you see nothing? you see nothing? >> reporter: the fire captain's wife feels the heats. >> i don't buy it. i think you're full of bleep. >> reporter: when "dateline" continues. continues.
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30 charges he face. three died and hundreds were injured in the 2013 attack. an actress and producer david austin has died at 87. she was a philanthropist her. experiences as a girl scout letter inspired the film troupe beverly hills. the sequel was announced last year. now back to dateline. las >>year welcome back to "datelin. i'm natalie morales. chacey poynter told investigators that her husband, robert, had just pulled her jeep from the mud when he was shot dead by. by who? she couldn't or wouldn't say. now chacey it's headed to an interrogation room where a canine detective was determined to get to the truth. back to hear josh mankiewicz with "out of the darkness". >> michael berke might have
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been working his first homicide, but he already knew this, something about chacey poynter's story did not ring true. >> she gives a shadowy figure wearing dark clothing. shoots her husband and runs away. >> shadowy figure, waiting out there in the dark, on this remote road? >> correct. didn't make a lot of sense. >> burke didn't challenge her right away. he wanted to know more about the bumpy road that was chacey and bob's marriage. she'd already told police she and bob had problems. to burke, she will build much more. >> if i got random bruises from robert. it could just be him grabbing me. he's done it to me for seven years. >> she is describing a marriage full of domestic abuse? >> yes. >> and violence. >> yes, she made comments that he had thrown her up against the wall. >> the rest of her story was by now as familiar as a summer rerun. a planned meeting at
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jack-in-the-box. her jeep getting stuck. and then chacey hearing but not seeing the shot that killed bob. >> i put the jeep in park and then i touched his face, and i yelled his name. and when i pulled my hand away, there was blood all over my hand. >> detective burke zeroed in on a key detail. if chacey touched bob the way she said, the blood should have dropped down from her hand. it did not. >> the street right there on your arm, is a blood spatter. okay? you see how spotters up your? >> yes. chacey had a pattern of blood on her arms and her shirt. a little on her face. which indicated to burke that chacey had to be standing very close to bob when the fatal shot was fired. chacey denied it. >> that's not from -- >> i was not next to him. i was not next to him when i touched him. i had blood running down my arm. and then i fell into mud puddle. >> burke press tour. how could she be so close and
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not see the shooter? >> you didn't see anybody standing there? >> no. >> i don't buy. i think you're full -- of i want you to tell me the truth. i want you to tell me who pulled the trigger. >> i don't know. >> this is the point where a lot of people would stop talking and ask for a lawyer. but that would not be chacey poynter. she kept answering questions. including about her friend, the truck driver. how does she describe her relationship with michael garza? she >> started out stating that they had mutual friends incumbent on facebook. she noticed his truck and sent him a message on facebook, saying, i like your truck. >> remember, hours before bob was shot, chacey says she went to garza's home. that was after telling bob she needed space. she apparently did not tell bob there were also some other needs. >> michael and i ended up having sex while i was there. >> what's more, chacey revealed that garza new chacey and bob
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were supposed to meet that night. and garza was jealous. >> he said, if i see him kissing you, he said i'm gonna -- lips off. >> so, did michael garza kill bob poynter? >> had chacey told officer meek that by the time the murder occurred, garza was probably driving his truck out of state, so he couldn't have been the shooter. now, with detective burke, she seemed less sure of that. >> i don't know if he did it. i don't know that. >> she is assisted she didn't see garza on county road 25 95. >> you're at this table length distance away from somebody taking a shotgun, pushing it right up against your husbands head -- boom. >> no. no. >> and you're telling me you see nothing? you see nothing? >> then she admitted there was something she did see. at garza's house that evening. >> he had a camel. that >> camel gun. how big is this camel gun? >> like this big. >> a camel shotgun.
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like the one is garza holding in that facebook photo. >> her story change multiple times. >> as if she's meeting it up as she's going along? or like she's remembering the additional details. >> more along the lines of she relies realize this or she provided wasn't good enough. so, she's going to give a little bit more hoping that a bite off on that and leave her alone. >> he did not. and after two hours, chacey spilled it. who >> killed your? husband who shot robert? >>. >>. >> -- chacey said she and garza had discussed roughing up her husband. >> the way he could get a taste of his own medicine. >> i never asked him to kill him. >> according to chacey, what actually played out on county
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road 25 95 was michael garza's plan. and it was all his own. >> and then the plan to kill robert was planned today? >> he had talked about it, yes. and then he -- >> and what exactly did he say was the plan? >> he told me he was going to make it look like a robbery. >> chacey said it was in her idea that she went along. >> he told me to make him go down a dirt road. >> garza told you this? okay. >> he wanted to drive out there. i'm sorry. >> chacey called bob to tell him her jeep was stuck. and bob, the man who is always ready to help, drove over to assist his wife, with no idea that michael garza was lying in
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wait for. him chacey said at the last moment, she tried to save her husband. >> i yelled, stop. and he didn't even have -- he didn't even have time to react. and he shot him. oh, my god. he shot him. >> and a panic, she said she called 9-1-1 and ran. only to have garza stopped her. >> he pushed me down. he picked up by phone. he ended the call and he threw it down in front of me. and i was -- i was on my hands and knees in the mud. >> she may have tried to stop it. she definitely called for help. nevertheless, chacey poynter was arrested for conspiracy to commit murder. hours later, bob's sister jennifer got a call from her mom. >> she was screaming, mobs dead, while he's dead. >> jennifer was stun.
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and then her next hour, and is chacey in custody. and i thought, -- >> wow -- >> and i said, what? what? she was hysterical. and it was horrible. >> i thought i did. >> he was how old? >> when he died, 47. >> that's too soon. >> yeah, 47 years old. young man still. he had so much more to less for and more fires to fight and put out. so many more lives to save. >> a murdered said. a daughter in law arrested. it was all too much to take. and it wasn't over. a manhunt was underway for the mysterious michael garza. a possible killer at large. who's world was shrinking by the minute. >> coming up -- >> is it sheila? >> inside the high stakes search for michael garza. >> i know i didn't raise a boy that is evil like that. >> we don't want it to get ugly
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for him anymore than we do for us. okay? >> when "dateline" continues. forty percent of people with type 2 diabetes will develop chronic kidney disease, or ckd. did you know ckd can lead to kidney failure and dialysis? kidney alert! ckd often has no symptoms until it's too late! help protect your kidneys. call your doctor for a uacr test. it shows one of the earliest signs for ckd. visit! i know a thing or two about cars. and, sometimes, buying them can it shows one of the earliest signs for ckd. make you tight in the chest. but with carvana, i can finally breathe easy, buying my car 100% online without any tense negotiation. smells like the internet. shop now at when i'm not racing, i'm personalizing, just like how carvana lets you personalize your financing. you can customize your down payment and monthly payment in a matter of minutes for some truly dazzling results.
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it's sleep number's fall sale on the sleep number 360 smart bed. it's the most comfortable, dually-adjustable, foot-warming, temperature-balancing, proven quality night sleep we've ever made. save up to $800 on sleep number 360 smart beds. plus, 0% interest for 36 months >> reporter: as the cops and free premium delivery when you add a base. ends monday. investigating the murder of robert poynter search for their prime suspect, but michael garza, they knew he may have already climbed in his big rig and left texas, never to
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return. >> is it sheila? >> yes. >> i'm officer meek. >> reporter: they turn to his family for help. >> we would like him to walk in with a smile on his face and let us do our job. >> -- i don't have a sound that's evil like that. >> we don't want it to get our ugly for him anymore than we do for us. >> reporter: it never came to that. two days after the murder, garza turn myself in. >> when he comes in, does he have an attorney? >> no sir, he does not. he turned himself in, i tried to speak to him, and he did not wish to speak to me. >> reporter: a few days after garza surrendered, bobs fire company laid him to rest with full honors. chacey couldn't make it to that service. she and her lover were sitting in the hunt county jail. then a month after garza turned himself in, a local farmer made a discovery. that too was recorded on police
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body cameras. >> plowing his field, getting ready to grow some crops. and saw something pulled out of his fields and it ended up being a camouflage shirt, and a camouflage shotgun. >> traceable to anyone involved in the case? >> the serial number came back to michael garza's rather. >> so conceivable that that's your murder weapon? >> yes sir. >> michael garza commits the murder and ditches it as he runs away? >> yes sir. >> reporter: it would seem to support chacey's, that garza had been the trigger man. she already told police that she saw a camo at garza's house, bless the cell phone has pinned near the crime scene the night of the murder. believed was just following his heart. >> he was infatuated with her. >> reporter: detective burke
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picked up on that, the night he interviewed chacey at the station. he spoke with her about it while he prepared to swab chacey's hands for gunshot residue. >> i believe he's infatuated with you, obsessed with you. i don't know what you've truly told him. >> he had talked about us, you know, trying to live together. and i kept angling him, i don't want to live with anybody. >> okay. >> and when he -- when he told me he loved me, i kept telling him, i was like -- and i was, honestly? infatuated? yes. as soon as he wakes up in the morning, he's texting me. >> reporter: oh yes, the text messages. thousands of them. retrieved from chacey's cell phone that was found in the mud. i just worry about you. i would burn the world down over you.
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these texts from garza, full of misspellings, were in response to chacey's complaints about her abusive husband. and they seemed particularly damning. your problems are my problems. and i'll bleep shoot his ass. and this -- iraq an orange jumpsuit. i michael garza actually said in a text to chacey poynter, iraq in orange jumpsuit? >> that wasn't very smart of him to say that. but when you see what he's trying to do, he's trying to be her protector. >> reporter: michael garza may have been a fool for love but he was now accused of murder. in july 2018, he went on trial. garza took the stand in his own defense and offered a novel alibi for the night of the murder. he told the court he couldn't have killed bob poynter for one simple reason. his alibi is that he is not
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committing a murder, he's milking a cow. >> he's milking oreo the cow. it >> reporter: took less than two hours for the jury to meet a verdict of guilty. he is sentenced to 99 years in prison. we couldn't find a full-length photo of garza but he looks as good in orange as you'd expect. the prosecution then settled on its second defendant in this case, chacey poynter. she had led police to garza and said she never wanted to kill her husband. chacey insisted she tried to prevent that. >> i yelled stop. oh my god. he shot him. i told him to stop. >> reporter: prosecutors didn't buy it. they raised the charge from conspiracy to murder. because, once again, chacey's a verbal account was portrayed
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betrayed by her digital one. >> reporter: coming up -- >> a lot of it was for sex. >> reporter: more man in chases life? secrets. >> she was looking for someone to do her dirty work. >> absolutely. >> reporter: who would the jury believe? >> my heart dropped, i was putrefied. wind "dateline" continues. nd "dateline" continues. ♪ birds flyin' high, you know how i feel. ♪ ♪ breeze drifting on by you know how i feel. ♪ ♪ it's a new dawn... ♪ if you've been taking copd sitting down, it's time to make a stand. start a new day with trelegy. no once-daily copd medicine has the power to treat copd in as many ways as trelegy. with three medicines in one inhaler, trelegy helps people breathe easier and improves lung function. it also helps prevent future flare-ups. trelegy won't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden breathing problems.
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i mean. ... i want to strangle her. i really did. the >> reporter: bob poynter the's mom had to wait nearly three years to see her daughter-in-law stand trial for her son's murder. when it finally happened, bob seem to be the one on trial. >> i've got rain and bruises from robert. >> reporter: the defense argued, whatever lies chacey may have told police, she told the truth about this. she was a battered wife. >> it could be him describing me. he's done this to me for seven years. >> reporter: robert poynter, all six feet four inches, of him was a bowl of a man, often a raging one, implied the
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defense. because bob took testosterone prescribed by a doctor. >> chacey sister did believe her abuse. >> she told me that he was abusive. >> not just mentally but physically? >> physically, yes. >> she also told police that she shared her trouble with someone who decided to take matters into his own hands, michael garza. he and he alone, argued his attorneys, killed robert poynter. it was a murder that was chacey tried to stop. >> i didn't want him to die. i yelled for him to stop. >> reporter: the defense told the jury that chases action at the scene proved her innocence. she called 9-1-1. and flagged down those officers to help her husband. >> what's going on? >> my husband! >> it made my blood boil. i was shaking, i think,
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literally, when i heard this stuff. >> reporter: bob's family said the defense case for no resemblance to reality. prosecutors agreed. >> is there any credible evidence at all that chacey was poynter abused by her husband? >> no. >> there is no er visit? >> no 9-1-1 calls. >> no previous law enforcement at that address? >> no one else saw robert poynter even get mad. he's been described is a big teddy bear. >> reporter: on the other hand, they did find plenty of evidence that chacey wanted bob gone. >> she's fishing around for multiple men to commit this murder for her. >> reporter: that's right. it turned out key michael garza wasn't chacey's only lover. in the month up to the murder, she had been juggling three other boyfriends. detective burke brought them in for questioning. >> a lot of it was for sex. >> reporter: along with frequent meet up for sex, two of her lovers told police, chacey also shared the story of
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abuse that she claimed with suffered at the hands of robert poynter. >> she did tell me that he heard her a lot and that there was a lot of abuse going on. but he would never leave marks because he didn't want no trace. >> she would meet these guys, they'd be interested. and she would immediately start telling her story, right? my husband is beating me, i'm in this terrible marriage, i feel threatened. but ... maybe there's something here with you and me? >> exactly, that's her mo. she plays the victim and manipulates. >> reporter: among chacey's stable of men were a couple of firefighters. they were not, however, from her husband fire company. that was apparently where chacey drew the line. to one of those firefighters, a guy named danny, she texted this about her husband. i wish he'd run out of aaron
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afire. to another, named sean, she texted, i only have one way out of this and it's not going to happen anytime soon. minutes later, he texted. yeah, not an option. and then this exchange. i hate him so much, chase he texted sean. his response? shoot him. in she replied, i don't look good in orange. >> she's looking for someone besides the three that she had been involved with, and michael garza comes along. >> she wanted someone to do her dirty work? >> absolutely. >> the same day, bob was traveling home from that vacation in mexico, she texted garza. me more than anyone wants him. gone garza's reply? well, it can happen. before their trip to mexico, bob had already suspected that chacey was unfaithful. >> and you say, chase he is losing a lot of weight. but she's not doing it for me.
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>> really? that's not a good sign. it was when they return from the trip that bob started taking trips steps to end their marriage. he contacted his attorney via facebook. not divorce hopefully? it's looking like it. i have tried and tried but i think i want to file first and keep custody. do you think she seeing someone else? i kind of do you think so but a lot of lies lately and i'm tired of it. prosecutor said, divorce was the last thing that chacey wanted because the couple had a prenuptial agreement. bob had insisted on it. and so chacey believed she wouldn't get a dime if they split. >> over six figure income from university park as a way fire captain. in addition, he works a lot of side jobs. there is no way he would be able to support herself. >> so that? works >> that works. >> on the other hand, if obstinately died, chacey would
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be flush with cash. months before the murder, she convinced bob to make her the beneficiary of his life insurance policy. >> $680,000 in a lump sum. okay? >> you think robert essentially signed his death certificate the day he changed his insurance beneficiary? >> absolutely. >> reporter: prosecutors believe that win chacey found out that bob had made contact with his attorney, she had to move quickly. >> she had been planning to kill him. >> so the divorce was to push her foot on the accelerator? >> absolutely. >> reporter: prosecutors said that the murder was chacey's and not garza's, and all about the money. that's why, just before trial, they raised the charge against her again to capital murder. now the jury had to decide, if they found she killed bob for money, the sentence would be a life without parole. but if they believe any of chases varied stories, they
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could set her free. when the verdict is announced, are you looking at her? >> yeah, we all were. >> what did she do? >> she was standing there, looking down, the firemen were all there. we all just clinched our hands like this. the >> reporter: verdict? guilty of murder. but crucially, the jury did not find that chacey did it for the money, which could mean a lighter sentence. >> my heart dropped. >> mine too. >> i felt. sick >> i thought it was very, very clear that she did it for money. and i was putrefy that he was going to get, like, ten years. >> reporter: the jury didn't do that. they sentenced chacey to life in prison with the possibility of parole. she'll be 59 before she can be released. >> she has to live with what she did. i don't know. >> you have to live with it too. >> it took me a long time to get over bobby's phone calls that weren't coming through anymore. >> reporter: her phone still
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rings but now it's the firefighters who worked with her son. >> he always told me, mom, if anyone anything ever happens to me, you will have a second family. >> i said, really bobby? he said, you have no idea. >> he was right. >> truly. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline" i'm, natalie morales. thank you for watching. >> i'm craig melvin. >> and i'm natalie morales. >> and this is "dateline. " >> how am i doing right now? if i had to put it into one word -- numb would be the closest. >> she was a young actress starring in the role of a lifetime. a mystery. >> you never heard a gunshot? >> no. >> one of her friends was dead. >> there's been a bodice covered in sam's apartment.


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