tv Dateline MSNBC November 7, 2021 2:00am-3:00am PST
that big family, a family that once had so much ambition and promise. >> it's just heartbreaking. nobody wins. nobody wins in this. >> this is a family divided like no other. >> yeah. >> that's all for this edition of dateline, i'm craig melvin, thank you for watching. >> i'm craig melvin. >> i'm natalie morales. >> this is dateline. >> i'm craig melvin. >> i'm natalie morales. >> this is dateline. >> oh god, oh god. >> ma'am. >> i just knew that she was gone. >> she was a bright young mom to be. >> she was beautiful. >> confident. strong. >> it was a smile that really got me. >> moving on from a messy divorce, jumping into a new romance. no one could believe it, when they found her. >> they're saying it was a
homicide. >> then, police found something else. revealing recordings. >> everything changed. like instantly. it's weird. >> britney is essentially speaking from the grave. >> you could see the emotions that she went through. >> could she point police to her killer? >> i was shocked, scared to death. all at once. just in a flash. her life just changed. >> hello and welcome to dateline. it started with a little flirtation in the office and bloomed into a full blown romance. the problem was brittani was married to another man. then she found out she was pregnant, and it was just weeks before her due date, the tragedy struck. investigators would quickly home in on the two men in britney's life. but was either capable of murder? here is andrea canning with
deadly circumstances. >> imagine all of your phone conversations being recorded for posterity? how would you feel. what's secrets would they tell? >> why are you talking a lot to try to hide something? >> this story begins here at a suburban office outside knoxville tennessee, it looks a lot like any office in america. but when workers here talked on their desk phones, every word was captured. >> she always looks like she's about to kill somebody? >> and oh, the stories they told. unfiltered and intimate. with details about office romances. >> he was so hot. >> and in one heartbreaking case, maybe even clues about a murder. >> this was a real whodunnit? >> norman clark, love sports.
his mother estella says that he was a top athlete and a good son too. >> he was a loving, hard worker, caring person. >> as a boy, norman had dreams of playing in the nba, then studied sports management in college. but by his mid twenties, he was working here, vanderbilt mortgage and finance. 23 year old britney eldridge started the very same day. >> she was very beautiful but it was her smile that really got me. >> that winning smile got to a lot of people, britney's big brother jeffrey said she embraced life with a contagious enthusiasm. >> she liked to cheer lead and she liked to play soccer. she was a girly girl and a tomboy at the same time. she was really big about living in the moment. >> at vanderbilt mortgage, they were collectors. calling people to make sure they kept up with their house payments. what was it about brittani that you formed this instant connection with? >> she was very good at the job.
actually used her as a tool to teach me at first, she help me out a lot. that's when we started talking more and more about things other than work. >> what do you think she liked about you? >> i think she liked that i listened. that actually cared about what she had to say. the it was strictly platonic, strictly friends. and then it just developed, probably, eight months later. >> it developed a lot more. they became lovers, and that's when things got complicated. norman was single, but britney, it turns out, was married. her husband was a man name terry eldridge, a truck driver who drove his truck at night. what did she tell you about the marriage? >> she was happy, but she wanted children and he did not. were >> there any other issues or was that the only one? >> they didn't spend a lot of time together because of the work schedule. she worked during the day, and he worked at night, they didn't see each other a lot. >> a married woman having an affair with a coworker, not exactly the script for a
fairytale romance. so for obvious reasons, mormon and britney kept their relationship on the down low. >> we never went out in public, out to eat or anything like that. maybe one time. >> but if colleagues could've heard their recorded inter office phone calls, they would've discovered some suggestive, flirty banter. >> i could use your big, strong manly muscles. >> man, you know we all could. >> more than a year after their affair started, normany and brittany they were still keeping things quiet. then, in february 2011, their secret affair became not so secret. britney's husband find it and not long after she moved out and into force was in the works. did things start to get a little too serious and real? >> actually, i don't know, she didn't even come to me and tell me that they were getting a divorce. she's just told me that they were moving out. and he has found out that we were having an affair. >> not long after moving out,
britney delivered some unexpected news to her mother, robin. she was pregnant. and the father was her coworker, norman clark. when britney told you that she was having a child with norman, what did you think? >> kind of shocked at first. surprised. >> did you think it was a mistake, or were you just it's a blessing to have a baby? >> it was a blessing to her. and so, i guess when the shock wears off you're just happy for her. you're just there to do whatever you can to support her. >> norman says the baby certainly wasn't planned, but he says britney was still his best friend and he took the whole thing and strides. >> i was happy for her because i knew she wanted to have a baby. but at the time, she was still married. >> this is starting to get a little messy. you have a baby, she is now divorcing her husband who found out about you. >> i wouldn't say was messy, it was complicated. >> this wouldn't be norman's first experience with parenthood, a year earlier he
had a baby girl with a nashville woman he had been seeing. norman helped support his daughter and says he was ready to do the same for britney. what is it like to be of father? is that something you cherish? >> it's the best thing in the world. i became a better man, a better person and i worked hard to become a better parent for her. >> had you always want more kids? >> yes. >> britney was excited about becoming a mother, and thrilled to learn she was having a boy. she even picked out a name for the baby? >> she did. >> what was the name? >> ezekiel. >> she was just working and being happy about the baby and waiting for it to come. >> britain decided to keep working for as long as she could, december 13th 2011 was just two peaks after her due date. it was a day her friend, and coworker, andrea wray will never forget. britney uncharacteristically, was late for work. >> she should have been there at 8:30. i was one of the only people
that knew anything about norman, i went over there to norman's desk and i said, can you get in touch with britney's mom. >> i called her and asked if she had heard from britney, and she said she hadn't so she went to check on her. >> was your first thought, oh my gosh, maybe she has gone into labour? >> it was. i think that was everybody's first thought, she went into labor and she's in the hospital having the baby. >> robin went to britney's apartment to be sure her daughter was okay. but when she called norman, it wasn't happy news about a new baby. >> it was very frightening phone call. she was very upset. she was crying. i will never forget how she sounded on the phone. >> robin was frantic, and her world was about to be turned upside down. >> robin is about to make a disturbing discovery inside her daughters apartment. coming up.
>> oh my gosh. >> what? ma'am, what? >> i ran out of the apartment because i was scared and the 9-1-1 operator said, go back in there. >> oh god please, send someone? >> oh my god, oh my god. >> ma'am ma'am, hold on. >> all at once in a flash her life just changed. >> when dateline continues. hide my skin? not me. by hitting eczema where it counts, dupixent helps heal your skin from within, keeping you one step ahead of eczema. and that means long-lasting clearer skin... and fast itch relief for adults. hide my skin? not me. by helping to control eczema with dupixent, you can show more with less eczema. don't use if you're allergic to dupixent. serious allergic reactions can occur including anaphylaxis, which is severe. tell your doctor about new or worsening eye problems, such as eye pain or vision changes,
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forget the day she learned her pregnant daughter brittany did not show up for work. >> it was unusual for her because she always showed up, even if she didn't feel good. she would be there. i just knew something was wrong. >> her fear became a terrifying reality the moment she stepped into her daughters unlocked apartment. >> the whole place was just a mess. i don't see her anywhere. i'm calling out for her. i'm scared to death. >> without taking another step, she called 9-1-1. >> i've got an emergency. >> what is it? >> my daughter -- her work just called me. and i came over to her apartment, and it looks like it's been trashed. i ran out of the important because i'm scared. the 9-1-1 operator, she said, you know, go back in there. see if you can find her. >> inside the front door, seen here in this police video, robin saw her new flat screen
tv lying on the floor. >> oh my gosh. >> what? ma'am, what? >> next to the living room couch, the scattered contents of her purse. then, robin heard the sound of running water coming from the bathroom. >> oh, god. >> ma'am, talk to me. >> i had been everywhere except for the bedroom and it was in the back, and i did not want to go in there. then, i get to the doorway of the bedroom and i just got a glimpse of her. and i just knew that she was gone. she's in the floor, dead. >> are you sure? don't -- >> she's -- she's, naked. oh my god. in her bedroom. >> okay. >> oh god, please send something. oh god. oh god. >> ma'am, ma'am hold on, honey. >> i ran straight out of the apartment. by this time the ambulance and police and fire department and all the emergency crews were
coming. >> robin was in shock. the pain was more than she could bear. at the scene, a police cruisers dash cam's captured an officeer trying to control her. >> oh my god i just can't believe this happened. >> it is the worst horror a mother could have to witness? >> it is. and you wouldn't think anything like that would happen in 1 million years. and all at once, just in a flash, her life just changed. >> brittany eldridge, had been strangled and stabbed in the throat. police found her on the floor next to her bed. her naked body covered by lingerie. she was just 25 years old. the unborn boy she had named ezekiel, was gone too. after the shock is worn off, you must be thinking who did this? >> i'm thinking. how in the world could somebody murder a young lady that's eight and a half months pregnant? how could somebody be so cruel? i'm thinking, why?
that is a question that is never answered is why? >> were you the one who broke the news to jeffrey? >> yes. >> that must of been extremely difficult? >> it was very hard. >> jeffrey, britney's older brother was at the gym. >> when i got back to my locker and i got my phone and i had 40 missed calls or something, she said somebody killed your sister. >> did you immediately ask who did this? >> i never thought about it. >> all jeffrey could think about was that she was gone, the kid sister who would always filled him with pride. she often talked about becoming a mom. now, that dream would never be realized. and in its place would be a murder investigation. >> it was a very closed off scene. it had crime scene tape around. >> when this reporter heard about a body being found, she went straight to the scene. are police talking to you? are they telling you anything
about what is inside? >> no, the crime folks came later as did the crime scene folks. >> what investigators found was a ransacked apartment, suggesting a burglary that was interrupted and had turned violent. in fact, there had been a series of burglaries in the area in recent days. for jayme satterfield there were things to speculate in those early moments but nothing concrete to report. >> other than just hunches, and all that, we just didn't have anything to go on. >> did you have an open mind as to the scenarios of what might have happened? who could've done this? >> i didn't focus in on any one person. i just wanted to know who did it and why? >> i never had a specific person in mind that could've done it. i didn't have a clue. >> there weren't many clues, but there were so many questions. and in this case, there would be no easy answers. >> coming up. >> that was my baby, man. >> i understand.
about britney aldridge's murder, he left work and rushed to the scene. what is going through your mind as you are racing to britney's apartment? >> that it's not real. this isn't really happening. when i got there, there were police officers there. i pulled up to her apartment. i parked right in front and jumped out of the car and i was heading into the apartment. >> here is norman at that exact moment, captured on a police
dash cam. >> that's -- that's my baby. >> okay, okay. >> what did you say to that police officer? >> i told them that that was my baby that was in there, i needed to get in there. i was thinking that the baby could still be born. that is what was going through my mind at the time. >> norman says officers blocked him from entering the apartment. and in a matter of minutes, they had him in the back of this police cruiser. >> i'm in trouble? >> no sir. you are not in trouble. , no sir. >> tell me more please. just update because i'm really confused right now. >> the police were asking questions, and so is norman. >> so, you're telling me this is normal? >> yes, sir. this is protocol, sir. >> but why for me? >> you are the boyfriend. >> i sat there for a while. probably an hour, at the back of the car. >> did you wonder why you were sitting at the back of the car for so long? >> i was. i understood that they wanted to ask me questions. i didn't understand why i was sitting in the back of a police car and treated like that. >> i'm just gonna ask you, how
are you treated? >> i was treated unfairly, especially voluntarily answering every question. i feel like they automatically jump to conclusions about who i was, for showing up there. >> we have to talk to the people that know her, because we have to figure out what's going on here. >> that's my baby man. that's my family out there. i can't -- i can't sit in the back of the police car. i can't even grieve or anything, because i don't know what's going on. i was devastated that this happened to my friend and child. >> do you start to think, maybe i should get a lawyer? because of the tone they're taking with me? >> no ma'am. there was no reason to have a lawyer, i was innocent and answering every question that they wanted to know and i was innocent. >> detective had more question at the headquarters. >> you have the right to consult with a lawyer and have a lawyer present while you're being questioned? >> he didn't ask for a lawyer either. >> i just want to make sure that you still want to talk to me. >> yeah. >> norman said he had nothing to hide and tried to be
helpful. he told detectives, he did have plans to see brittany the night she was killed, but ended up going straight home after work and then spent the night with a friend. he gave police his phone, said they could search his phone and when they wanted dna from him. >> i'd like to get a saliva sample from you. >> okay. >> he let them take a sample immediately. >> that night detectives drove norm into his house to collect the clothes he wore the night before. then, it was back to headquarters for another round of questioning. it had been a very long day, norman felt he cooperated every step of the way. but by now, he'd reached the end of his rope. >> i'll give you anything you want. i've given you everything. >> we appreciate that. we appreciate your cooperation. >> detectives spent hours with normab that day, but after that second interview, he was released. norman was relieved, but there would be tough days ahead. >> how sweet the sound. >> just one day later he
attended a candlelight vigil for brittany. how are you perceived at those vigils? >> with open arms from the whole family. they knew that i had just lost two people that i loved also. >> britney's family buried her a few days later. still not knowing who was responsible, or even who would want to harm her. of course, there was someone police knew they needed to look at. the man britney had recently divorced, terry eldridge, britney was 17 years younger than teared, choose only 2020 merit. it wasn't long before their marriage was in trouble. >> really it started to fall apart because she was getting antsy and wanted to have a family, and settle down. he was just driving the truck all the time, she felt like this is not right for me anymore. >> the final straw was when terry found out britney was having an affair with her coworker, norman clark.
and was pregnant with his baby. given that basket of facts, the policed investigating britain's murder knew it was time for a talk with her ex husband. >> coming up. investigators uncover secrets from britney's life. >> everything changed. like instantly. >> and from someone else is. >> how many women were you seeing at the time? >> maybe 15 to 20. >> when dateline continues. nside. it's true, with diabetic retinopathy, excess sugar can damage blood vessels, causing vision loss or even blindness. so remember this: now is the time to get your eyes checked. eye care is important to your long-term diabetes management. see a path forward with actions and treatments that may help your eyes— and protect against vision loss. visit noweyesee.com and take control of your sight. how did olay top expensive creams? and protectlike thisvision loss. with hydration that beats the $100 cream
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information from international travelers, regardless of vaccination status. now, back to dateline. >> welcome back to dateline. i'm craig melvin. brittany eldridge had been found dead in her apartment and police immediately questioned her lover, norman clark. he gave them his dna and his full cooperation but he had not shared everything. norman had a secret, one police would soon discover. now it was time to question the other man in brittany's life. her ex husband, terry eldridge. once again, here is andrea canning with deadly circumstances. >> after more than two decades covering murder investigations, reporter jayme satterfield knew that this one was a no brainer. the husband who discovered his wife was having another man's baby was someone to -- detectives needed to investigate.
did you wonder immediately about the ex husband? >> the ex husband is always your first suspect. >> so detectives questioned brittany's ex husband, terry eldridge. terry was looked at by the police, they did take a dna sample. >> it crossed my mind, what if he did do this. you have to think about all the different possibilities. could this person have done this, would they have done it, what would've been the reason? >> but, when the results of terry's dna test came back from the lab it did not match samples from the crime scene. police also found out he was nowhere near brittany's apartment at the time of the murder. his alibi was airtight. >> he really ended up not being much of a player in the case once they ruled him out he was cleared of any wrongdoing. >> norman clark had been released too. if police had any leads they were holding them close. >> i was curious as to why they were being so tightlipped about it.
i think my primary concern was that this was just a case that was going to get shelved. >> that is exactly what brittany's family feared most too. that she and the baby she was carrying would be forgotten. >> we were her voice, we had to keep her memory alive. >> a full year past, then two, with no arrests. but investigators were still working the case. in part because they heard from someone with inside information, someone unexpected, the victim herself. >> vanderbilt, this is brittany, can i help? you >> remember, brittany's employer recorded every call she made on employee phone. it was done for quality control but now investigators could hear her conversations. those calls explained a lot about her relationship with norman clark. >> how are things going with you?
>> very odd. with norman. >> brittany's conversations with friends made it clear, the oddness with norman began end the day she told him she was pregnant. >> he was emailing me like normal, and then as soon as i told him, everything changed. instantly. >> oh no. >> yeah, i mean, it's weird. >> andrea wray a close work friend said brittany often gave her an earful about norman. >> i think that she had hopes that he would respond to her pregnancy in a positive way. that would somehow bring them together. but that was not the response that she got. >> i can't take the bipolar attitude. i don't know if he's thinking about this on a daily basis, but how could he not? >> he's a guy. that's why not.
>> brittany was still in love with norman and pregnant with his child. she seemed desperate to figure out her future as a mother and how norman would fit into her life. norman to put it lightly was not acting like he was ready for a commitment. >> what's up? how are you doing? >> i'm great. >> investigators had access to all of norman's recorded work calls too. they were very revealing. >> you know, i wanted to ask you, you ever get with a -- >> yeah i banged that out last week? >> you did? >> yeah. that was only my second time seeing her. >> congratulations, dude. >> oh, thank you. thank you. >> you're wild, man. your wild. >> norman, it turns out, was in other relationships at the same time he was with brittany. when we sat down with him norman said he loved sex and women, lots of women. how many women were you seeing at the time? >> maybe 15 to 20.
>> norman, that is a lot of women. >> i was single, and i am a very friendly person. they knew that i was not looking for a relationship. friends with benefits. >> how do you even meet that many ladies? >> through work, online dating sites. >> were you sleeping with multiple coworkers? >> yes. >> did that ever get messy? >> no, ma'am. >> it seems a little odd that all these women were okay with you sleeping with all these other women. i wouldn't be okay with that, but maybe i'm old fashioned. >> with the different women that i met, they accepted what it was. because i was honest and upfront, this is what i'm looking for. >> 15 to 20 different women at the same time? hard to believe brittany would be okay with that. and norman did not quite fit the image of a playboy. to save money he was living in his parents basement, yet was still barely staying ahead of
debt collectors who would call him at work. >> you're still due for september, october and november. >> for the payment? >> yeah. >> investigators might have written off norman as a little budget don juan, except for this. three days before brittany was murdered after months of ignoring her, mormon showed an interest in her and their baby. >> i'm trying to figure out this text norman sent me last night. he said, i'll be back sunday. stay pregnant until then. promise? >> she said what do you think that means? i said, i have no idea. and she said i guess he wants to be part of this baby's life. >> well, he doesn't get a trophy for that. >> no. [laughs] [laughs] >> why the sudden interest, what was norman thinking? investigators believed and entry from brittany's diary provided a hint. she wrote that she planned to
take norman to court to get child support for her baby. >> she knew that he had a child. with someone else. and that he did participate there. so why wouldn't he here? >> andrea said the night before the murder, she was on the phone with brittany who was texting with norman at the same time. >> she says that he wants to meet monday after work and i kept telling her no. >> but brittany said yes. norman insists he blew off their date and did not go to her apartment monday, the night she was murdered. but her family did not believe him. they had grown very suspicious of norman and wondered why police had not moved in on him. >> how frustrated were you that he was walking around? >> very frustrated. i've even called the lead investigator at some point and told them that if you don't come get him i will take care of him myself. >> were you being serious? >> i was being dead serious. >> despite the family's frustration, the case was moving forward, and almost two and a half years after brittany was killed. prosecutors presented their
evidence to a grand jury. it charged norman clark with the murders of both brittany and their unborn son. clark was arrested on may 14th, 2014, he pleaded not guilty. >> when you arrested there's something that you didn't do and then there is no evidence to show that you should've been arrested, that is when things really hit hard. that is when i really got scared. >> norman clark had reasons to be scared. if convicted, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars. >> coming up. >> they've taken a good, young man and they've destroyed his life. >> norman clark on trial. and on the stand? >> i thought he was my boyfriend. >> girlfriends. many, many girlfriends. but where was the evidence? >> he gave dna, he gave hair samples, they all came back negative. >> when dateline continues.
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your life is on the line, your future. >> i was extremely nervous. scared to death. >> the prosecution told the jury, norman clark strangled and stabbed brittany because he didn't want her to have his baby. reporter jamie -- >> he believed it was the baby that was the target, that this baby was going to ruin norman's life and so he killed brittany, more to kill the baby. and she was collateral damage. >> prosecutor painted a ugly portrait of clark, a man having trouble paying his bills, a playbook trying to juggle relationships with more than a dozen women. >> can you describe to the jury the nature of your relationship with him? >> i thought he was my boyfriend. i loved him with all my heart. >> the jury heard all about norman clark's prolific sex life, as several of his lovers took the stand. >> at some point did your friendship with him become intimate? >> yes ma'am. >> i don't mean to embarrass
you but did he have a particular way of referring to a part of your anatomy? >> yes ma'am. >> in what way? what did he say? >> ownership. it was his. >> he must have been stretched so thin, to be attentive to 15 women? >> that is one of the reasons that the prosecution said he was just he broke. and now, here is this baby and brittany's is saying i'm gonna take you to court. >> next the prosecution establish a timeline to place norman at brittanys apartment when she was killed. here's brittany leaving work at it 5 pm, the medical examiner estimated her time of death as early as a 30, an fbi cell phone expert testify that clark 's phone pingel tower nearby britain's apartment at a 28. and again at 9:05. >> we know where his phone was.
it was in brittany eldritch a cell tower location. >> remember clocks alibi was that he was at the house of a friend during the murder, that friend, was actually one of his many girlfriends. clark was at liannes that house, but her testimony seemed to shred his alibi. >> testimony is that he comes into your bedroom without calling you, without any notice, and you recognize the times as -- ? >> around 10:30. >> the prosecution said that if clark was at brittany's at 8:30 and arrived at lianne's two hours later, that gave him plenty of time to commit murder, staged the crime scene to look like a burglary and clean himself up. >> after presenting a circumstantial case, the state rested. norman clark's defense attorney greg isaac's, derided the states case as all theory, they had no physical evidence, no eyewitnesses, no proof clark was a killer. >> he gave dna, he gave a statement, he gave hair samples,
they all came back negative. >> the defense, aggressively attacked the state's case and witnesses. starting with lianne, but women clark says he spent the night with. the question was, when did he get to her house? >> you have no idea when you saw him at 10:35, as to what time he arrived, correct? >> i do not. >> and you are asleep with your television on, correct? >> yes. >> the defense drove home the point, since lee and was sleeping, her testimony about when clark arrived was meaningless. isaacs said clark actually arrived much earlier and watch monday night football alone before getting into bed. the defense argued there was no way clark could've committed a violent murder, cleaned himself up and the crime scene, staged a burglary and then made it across town all in less than an hour.
the states fbi experts said clark's cell phone placed him near brittany's apartment the night she was killed. the defense counter it with its own expert who said the state got it wrong. >> we had one of the nations preeminent experts on this, he and the fbi agent testified against each other, all over the country. >> it feels like this almost one of those scenarios where the experts kind of cancel each other out? >> exactly. >> i will give you anything you want -- >> it was a rush to judgment to pin the killing on norman clark defense said. claiming investigators overlooked the most obvious explanation for the crime, the killer was a burglar who was caught in the act. >> there were 12 break-ins that occurred in a 3 to 4-week period, in a very close proximity, and ten of the 12 involved flat screen tvs. also there was a break-in in that very same complex, about four days before the homicide of britney eldridge. some something very powerful. >> why not take the tv? >> we don't know, maybe the person got startled.
maybe they couldn't do this. that is law enforcement's job, not mine. >> the defense said there was powerful evidence to support the burglar theory that would prove norman clark's innocence. irrefutable, physical evidence. >> there were two unknown dna samples on the lingerie that covered britney's body in her bedroom where she was found murdered. dna from an unknown male contributor, not norman clark. >> as the trial due to a close, defense attorney isaac's told the jury to focus on the evidence, not norman clark's womanizing. >> this is not a place for moral judgments. there is a guy upstairs that does that in a different quarter, more majestic, at the end of the day. >> clark did not take the stand, but he says the state did not prove its case. >> the prosecution said that you had the means, you had the opportunity and you had the motive to kill britney.
>> and i feel all of that is wrong. definitely far from the motive, because it doesn't make any sense. an opportunity is pretty much impossible. >> it's not impossible? >> to me it seems impossible to get that done in that short span. >> you're the boyfriend. >> first suspect. >> the motive from law enforcement perspective was very clear, you didn't want to be in a relationship, you didn't want this baby, you wanted it to go away so you can continue to live your lifestyle. >> right, i don't understand how they could say that when if you know my lifestyle, then you know that i love children, i take care of my own child and i wanted more children. >> there's the other side of your lifestyle, youre sleeping was 15 different women? >> right, which has nothing to do with the murder. >> during the trial, norman clark's mother was in the courtroom supporting her son. as the jury started deliberations, she was anxious and bitter. >> they've taken a good, young man and they've destroyed his life.
>> britney's brother, jeffrey, was certain the jury would return the verdict he'd wanted so badly. >> i thought, 100 percent, we got this. there was no doubt whatsoever that they were going to come back and return a guilty verdict. >> but nobody on the outside really knows what happens in a jury room. after deliberating for six hours, this jury gave up. they came close but could not reach a unanimous verdict. the vote was 11, not guilty, only one guilty. >> at this point i'm going to declare a mistrial and disband this jury. >> they come back hopelessly deadlocked, and not only that but it is 11 to 1, acquittal. >> right. >> you must have been shell-shocked? >> devastated. just devastated. >> norman clark had been held in jail for 15 months since his arrest. he was released after his mistrial, but was still an accused murderer. do you feel like you have a cloud hanging over your head? >> yes ma'am, definitely.
it is a huge, dark cloud above my head. >> that cloud would remain. because prosecutors decided they would try norman clark again, same charges, seeing evidence, same prosecutor. would it lead to a different outcome? >> coming up. trial number two. >> norman clark is a killer. >> you can destroy my character, or try to, but you are not gonna prove that i was guilty. >> when dateline continues. trelegy for copd. [coughing] ♪ birds flyin' high, you know how i feel. ♪ ♪ breeze driftin' on by... ♪ if you've been playing down your copd,... ♪ it's a new dawn, it's a new day,... ♪ ...it's time to make a stand. start a new day with trelegy. ♪...and i'm feelin' good. ♪
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did norman clark kill his lover brittany eldridge and their unborn son. after an eight-day trial that question left a jury deadlocked and a judge declared a mistrial. but prosecution was determined to see norman behind bars. and so it was time for trial number two. here with the conclusion of deadly circumstances is andrea canning. >> norman clark's second trial began in september 2017. it had been six years long years since brittany had been killed. trial two would play out a lot like trial one, but with one big change. clark had a new court appointed lawyer, kit rogers. what was your strategy and was it going to be different from greg isaac's strategy? >> it didn't differ, i was basically saying look at the evidence. to me when i looked at it it
looked like a burglary that was interrupted and went bad. >> prosecution had been on the cases the very start. >> if the baby was born, clark was going to be exposed for exactly who he was. the birth of this baby threatened his way of life, and that his solution to that problem was murder. >> she was very emphatic that norman clark was not only guilty but was kind of a sleazy human being. >> did you worry that the jury which is not like norman? >> absolutely. >> because of his lifestyle? >> yes that was a big worry and we addressed up from the very beginning and all the way through. >> you will hear a lot about sex. what i want you to pay attention to the evidence. >> after six days of testimony, it all seemed to come down to norman clark and what kind of man he is. >> you can convict somebody of murder because you don't like the fact that he has sex with multiple partners. they did not prove their case. >> these murders were personal
strangulations, it's a killing that shows control and a desire to control the victim. >> norman clark is a killer. he killed brittany eldridge, he killed his baby. >> those same arguments led to a mistrial before, incredibly when this jury got the case it also came down to a lone holdout, only this time the majority wanted to convict. we spoke to two jurors about their deliberations. the person who voted not guilty, who was not going to change their mind, what was their issue? >> we asked, and the response that was made is i'm the smartest person in the room. >> yes, i have a ph. d.. you guys are all ganging up on me. >> at that point it became a very hostile room. we decided to call it. >> after a four long days, they were hopelessly deadlocked. another hung jury. >> you just wake up and you
wonder why is this happening? why is my baby sister not here? why can people, why can the people in the jury not see what i can see? >> our family can't keep going through these trials, going out with the same verdicts. we can't do it. >> the family may not have to do it again. after six years and two trials, prosecutors said that was it. they decided to dismiss the charges against norman clark. >> all they were worried about was trying to show the jury that i had a lot of women, that i loved sex and that i had bills to pay. that is it. >> you can destroy my character try to, but you still are not going to prove that i was guilty. >> even when dismissing the case, prosecutors made it clear, they believe they tried the
right man and would file new charges against clark if they get new evidence. did you kill brittany? >> no i did not. >> what do you say to those people who believe everything just adds up to you being her killer? >> what do i say to them? i don't say anything to them. i don't like ignorance in my life, if you believe that, yes, you're ignorant. that's very sad. i will pray for you. >> brittany's family prayed too, for justice. and closure. and how to make peace with a loss they will never understand. >> over six years, i haven't focused on anything else but getting justice, there is no closing the book. me and my sister grew up doing everything together. how do you say goodbye to something like that? >> she and i had a special bond. there are still times that i think, oh, i need to tell brittany about this. you know, you can't call her, you can't email her, you can't
text her. all you can do now is go to a grave. that is not good enough. it's never going to be good enough. >> that is all for this edition of dateline, i'm craig melvin, thank you for watching. first up, on msnbc, strange new mystery. the fallout from this weekend's concert tragedy, or concert goers on knowingly injected a certain range is it that the access myth is accessible where eight people died? that criminal probe just getting underway. and new, overnight, the contours headliner rapper travis caught speaking out about what happened. as families mourn the victims. >> i could just never imagined this serious situation. we've been working closely with