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tv   Dateline Extra  MSNBC  November 25, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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asked her i'm sure she would have given you the world. he word ♪♪ there was a party. there was a uk football player that had been shot >> he's killed on his birthday. >> i was, like, "it's who?!" that can't happen. why him? >> no one saw a thing. >> it's at night, it's dark, nobody knows where the bullet comes from. >> reporter: nothing's making it any easier. >> if you don't have a motive, it's hard to know which direction to go. >> we were just never going to know. >> reporter: but someone knew. >> she called me and she said, "i think i know something about a murder."
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>> we never could find out why trent was killed because it was something this weird. >> she became the key. >> reporter: would she also become the next victim? >> she was scared to death to confront him. >> let me ask you a question, you're not setting me up, are you? >> she knew what he was capable of. >> reporter: and thus she was terrified. >> and thus she was terrified. her heart was on fire. lost to her, the music, the hum of other voices in the bar. there was only him. they were in the deep end now. and as lovers in the flush of new commitment sometimes do, they confessed their sins of the abandoned past, the worst things they'd ever done, words, just
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words. best forgotten until they could no longer be ignored. lexington kentucky, one year before that night in the bar. a house where students live, and the music and laughter and chatter of a birthday party, swelled and ebbed and drifted in and out of the evening air. >> it wasn't a huge party. it was just a low-key party with some good friends they were about to be seniors, the young men who rented place and hosted the party. >> we had a group of guys four guys that got along well. >> they were big men on campus. they played football, the university of kentucky's beloved wildcats. antonio ofarrells with a quarterback. >> in lexington if you play for
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the cats you were a well-known entity. >> the birthday boy, 21 years old was a true rarity, a wildcat walk-on, no scholarship, no invitation, just showed up, tried out for the team. over three years of hard work he earned a starting position. >> everybody called him a big teddy bear, the great protector of our friends. >> the party was sweet, informal, friends snapped pictures and evening doddled into night. it was after midnight when the party wound down. >> i think we turned in somewhere between 12:30, 1:00. >> antonio and his girlfriend went to bed. >> outside trent and some of the others settled under the light on the front porch. out there beyond the streetlights was impen trabl dark, inside. >> we were already in a faint sleep and we heard a loud bang.
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>> one of them must have slapped the screen door but no. >> within ten seconds you heard the chaos outside, the screaming, yelling, crying. >> and there was trent, slumped to one side in his chair under the light. >> trent was bleeding out of his ears and eyes and nose and mouth. it was a horrific scene. >> horrific confusing. that loud bang had been a gunshot. but from where? somewhere out there in the dark. it someone intentionally fired a gun at their gentle giant, their teddy bear. >> is it possible to describe what it feels like to go through that, to have that shock. >> it's almost out of body experience. everything is moving. the world is spinning and trying to figure out looking to see if you can see anything in the dark. >> in panic and distress they did not understand, how could they, the nature of the mystery launched here, or who in a haze
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of love may have learned the answer? >> it was just so senseless once you found out why, it was even worse. >> just who was trent digiuo rochlt. >> we started hanging out from first grade, six years old. >> pete and and turner were hero lifelong friends. >> if you were his friend you were his friend that's all mattered. >> there was no group. everybody got treated the same. >> trent was in fourth grade when he started playing football in his hometown of goshen, kentucky, just outside louisville. by high school he was captain of the team, had lots of friends. so popular trent was homecoming king with sheryl lee his queen. >> it was pretty special to be part of that to be voted that especially with trent. >> reporter: when it came time for college trent set his sights high. he turned down football scholarships to smaller schools.
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>> at one point he says, you know what, i just got to know if i can play in the big-time at a division one school. >> mike is trend's dad. >> so he walked on to university of kentucky in the southeast conference, about as big as it comes. >> reporter: a big deal. >> yeah. >> reporter: he presented himself and said i want to play. >> the rules were different back then. there was an enormous number of walk-ones, upwards of 30 or 40. >> reporter: um-hum. >> and he persevered. and i talked to one of the coaches over there. and he says if he stays and works he'll play. so the -- and he did. he appreciated the opportunity and he worked real hard to get to where he was. >> reporter: and trent's teammates saw that hard work. >> trent had the ability to perform. so while he might have been a walk-on, his performance allowed him to endear himself to others very quickly. >> reporter: that july, as trent
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practiced football and prepared for his senior year his parents went to lexington to see him and to talk about his future. >> it was trying decide what he wanted to do with his life. he was talking about maybe going to law school or business school. >> reporter: did he talk about his his birthday celebration. >> we know he was supposed to have some kind of thing and come home the next day so celebrate his birthday with us. and never made it. >> reporter: no, and a creeping fear washed over the university of kentucky football team. was a killer targeting them? and if so, who would be next? coming up. >> i couldn't even believe it. who would murder somebody so wonderful? >> reporter: the investigation begins. >> everyone talked. but they didn't see anything. >> reporter: and was there more terror to come? >> we were so nervous driving down the street at practice
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♪ my name is monique, i'm 41, and i'm a federal contract investigator. as a single parent, i would run from football games to work and trying to balance it all. so, what do you see when you look at yourself? i see a person that's caring. sometimes i care too much, and that's when i had to learn to put myself first, because i would care about everyone all the time but i'm just as important as they are. botox® cosmetic is fda approved to temporarily make frown line, crow's feet and forehead lines look better. the effects of botox® cosmetic may spread hours to weeks after injection, causing serious symptoms. alert your doctor right away as difficulty swallowing, speaking, breathing, eye problems, or muscle weakness may be a sign of a life-threatening condition. do not receive botox® cosmetic if you have a skin infection. side effects may include allergic reactions, injection site pain, headache, eyebrow, eyelid drooping, and eyelid swelling. tell your doctor about your medical history, muscle or nerve conditions, and medications including botulinum toxins as these may increase the risk
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>> reporter: chaos is what there was on trent digiuro's front porch. his friends stood over the body and stared out into the dark with a kind of anticipating horror. >> you're concerned that there's more to come, you know. that was -- that was one shot. is there someone who's gonna shoot again? >> reporter: trent was officially pronounced dead at 3:00 a.m. just about the time don evans arrived. evans has retired now, but was a rookie detective back then. this was his first homicide case. what'd you find when you got here? >> there were three young men in this very yard, and they just looked distraught, and they were consoling each other. >> reporter: on the porch, trent's chair was turned over
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and evans could see blood and debris left by the ambulance crew. what was your first idea of what appeared to have happened here? >> you know, when i first walked up, i went with what appeared to be the obvious. that someone had simply walked from the side of the house, fired the shot, and then exited back toward the rear of the house. so this is almost like an alley here. so it would provide concealment. >> reporter: take advantage of surprise. >> yeah. if someone was gonna take a shot, that made the most sense. >> reporter: believing the shot came from a handgun, police looked for shell casings. and yet for all they looked, there were none, nor any other evidence. still, detective evans figured there was a party that night, so there were bound to be people who saw something. >> my thought was, as soon as i get 'em to headquarters and get 'em separated, someone's gonna tell me what happened." >> reporter: did they talk? >> everyone talked. but with each and every person that i talked to, they didn't see anything. >> reporter: 80 miles away, at 5:00 a.m, the digiuros' phone rang.
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>> mr. digiuro. i got some bad news. trent's been killed zplr just like that. >> just like that. he said he was shot. >> what does that do you to you to get news like that? >> it's numbing. it's hard to imagine the feeling. >> reporter: suddenly your life doesn't make sense anymore. >> it absolutely stops and pivots in an instant. and then it was kinda, you know, "now what?" >> reporter: and soon everybody knew. >> i couldn't even believe it, couldn't understand it. who would murder somebody so wonderful? >> reporter: it was about then that the first really useful evidence came back from the medical examiner. bullet fragments were recovered in the autopsy, and the ballistics showed it wasn't a handgun at all that killed trent. it was a rifle, which turned detective evan's first theory upside down. >> well, the theory about
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walking up the side of the house and firing a shot -- >> reporter: that goes out the window. >> that's probably out the window. a rifle's not designed for a close-range shot. >> reporter: officers canvassed the neighborhood. a woman who lived across the street said she awoke to a loud noise and it sounded like it was right outside her house. >> so based on that, we actually took one of our marksmen from the police department and ask him, "could this shot be made from here, from this angle?" and we literally re-enacted that possibility. >> reporter: did it make sense, the location you found? >> it did make sense. we didn't eliminate the possibility that something else could occur. but this -- this looked pretty strong to us. >> reporter: so a working theory, that trent was shot from across the street. ballistics suggested it was a rifle with a particular and uncommon type of barrel. but who owned it, and why did he or she shoot trent? no idea.
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the football team entered a world of dread. was some hater targeting the team? was one of them next? >> we were so nervous. we were so uncertain of what happened that night, that it affected our daily lives, driving down the street, at practice thinking that there might be someone in the woods who wanted to take you out. making your way to your car from your apartment door, just that hundred-yard walk, 25-yard walk was a hard walk. because you never knew. my dad raised me never to look over your shoulder but for a short period of time you're looking over your shoulder every minute of the day. >> reporter: but days and weeks and months went by, and nothing happened. and over time the fear eroded. but the investigation went nowhere. did you ever get to the place where you thought, "we'll just have to live with this uncertainty for the rest of our lives?" >> i would say four years into
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it, it's like didn't make any difference. >> reporter: yeah, not gonna bring him back. >> it is not gonna bring trent back. but still it's "why did this happen?" >> you're four years in, five years in, and really no closer to solving it. than from -- >> reporter: your first case and it -- >> day one. that will make you doubt yourself. >> reporter: and then one day a particular woman happened to see an anniversary story about the unsolved murder of the football player back in kentucky. a woman who'd once sat in a bar in a fog of love. and who now was quite terrified. coming up. >> a break in the case from out of the blue. an ex-lover reveals all, including a motive for murder almost too absurd to believe. >> this could be the reason that we never could find out why trent was killed because it was something this weird.
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>> reporter: it wasn't as if a successful investigation could somehow undo what happened to trent digiuro. and yet the lack of any answer, year after year, seemed somehow to be an insult to all that was good. and they just had to accept it. >> i think we'd all kind of resigned ourselves as every year passed we were just never gonna know. >> reporter: and you won even know if it was intentional. it could have been just random. >> i think we figured it was. if it was intentional we would have known by now. >> reporter: then it was about five years after the shooting, a local attorney named tom bullock heard from an old friend, a woman. she was nervous, tentative, asked him on the phone, could she reveal what she knew about a crime without saying who she was? >> she was extremely evasive. she didn't really wanna tell me really anything.
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>> reporter: you can give people answers but you want to know why they're asking the question. >> i said that's right. i can give you general information how the police system works. but until i know specifics i can't really help you that much. and she was clearly afraid of something. >> reporter: but she kept calling. finally she revealed it, she was calling about a murder. >> did she tell you what murder? >> she eventually came around to say it was a very high-profile murder. >> where'd your mind go when you heard that? >> i knew which one it was. >> reporter: and then she told him a very strange story. happened in a bar, she said. almost a year after trent digiuro was killed. she was falling hard for a guy. >> they talked about how much they loved each other. toward the end of the evening, they decided to say, "okay, what is the worst thing that you've done?" >> like let's get this out of the way. >> let's just get to it, you
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know, that sort of point in the relationship where you say, let me hear the worst. >> reporter: and her boyfriend said, "i killed trent digiuro." >> and at first she sort of sloughed it off, you know? "eh, sure you did." >> didn't believe him. >> no, of course not. but then he started describing it. you know, exactly how he did it. >> reporter: but she still didn't want to believe it. after all, she'd fallen in love with the guy. so she said she kind of buried it, stayed with him for another year. but now, years later and single again, she had seen a story in the newspaper about the fifth anniversary of trent's murder in which trent's dad was quoted, "somebody knows what happened." >> she started really thinking about it, and -- and it touched her. >> reporter: but she was so frightened of him, she said, she was determined to remain anonymous.
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>> they know each other intimately. she knows how he would react to certain situations. >> yep. >> and she was terrified. >> he certainly would've remembered his conversations with her. >> if you told someone that you committed a murder, you would certainly remember having told them that. >> yes. >> reporter: so tom bullock went to detective evans. >> we agreed that whatever information i would give him would be anonymous because for all we know, the whole thing could've been hogwash. >> reporter: and you fed him bits and pieces of information from her without telling who she was. >> correct. correct. he wasn't taking that information. he wasn't writing it down in notes. he wasn't putting it in official files or anything yet. we just wanted to see if what she said was credible. >> that's sort of tricky, isn't it? i mean, when you've got somebody making an accusation, you have to be able to talk to that person. >> well, yeah. but at that point, beggars can't be
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choosers. >> so he gave you a name. >> so he gave me a name. he gave me the name of shane ragland. >> reporter: shane ragland. the woman's ex-boyfriend. but who was he? didn't take long to find out. shane was the son of a wealthy businessman. just so happened shane attended the university of kentucky at the very same time as trent digiuro. but after college he didn't do so well. he ran up at least a dozen convictions, drug charges, multiple duis, and so on. so detective evans went back to attorney bullock. >> is there any more? can you get me any more? and ultimately he started talking about a motive. >> reporter: and that's when the whole story took a turn into "the twilight zone." >> he told me that it was concerning shane ragland being blackballed from a fraternity. >> what'd you think when you heard that? >> that's a stupid reason to kill somebody. >> reporter: the fraternity in question was sigma alpha epsilon, sae. detective evans looked through
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sae's records, and there it was, a pledge list with shane's name crossed off. >> and then it -- it hit. this could be the reason that we never could find out why trent was killed, is because it was something this weird. >> reporter: evans went to one of trent's closest friends and asked had he heard of this guy shane ragland? >> and he said, "shane ragland." and then i could just sort of see it at that point on his face, you know? and i let him tell the story. >> reporter: a story about an unpleasant little incident. shane was among the freshmen pledging the sae fraternity. and one day, as they were getting to know the campus -- >> they went into trent's dorm and trent was there and on the wall was a calendar of some sorority girls. >> reporter: when shane saw that calendar, right away he pointed
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to one of the girls' pictures and he bragged that he'd had sex with her. >> what shane didn't know is that girl was the girlfriend of the president of the fraternity. >> reporter: trent did not like that one bit. got word to the sae president, and that's when shane was blackballed. >> so at that point shane's opportunity to be in that fraternity is pretty much over. >> reporter: the motives for murder are many and varied. but this seemed absurd. it was three years after that slight when trent was murdered in cold blood. could it really have festered so long? and if it had, if that was true, they had another problem. >> the more that we dug specifically into shane ragland, the more the likelihood that he would get word that he was becoming a suspect in this case. and if that happened, this anonymous witness was in real danger.
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>> reporter: evans had no doubt that shane would remember he told an ex-girlfriend about the murder. >> and what's gonna keep him from then going up and eliminating her like he did trent digiuro? >> reporter: so now evans understood his mystery witness was trying to be brave, but was quite reasonably frightened. how would he ever convince her to take the ultimate risk? >> she was very hesitant to do it, and she was scared to death to confront him. >> coming up, setting a trap. >> something has been bothering me. something that you told me a long time ago. i wish you never had. >> but who's going to get caught? >> let me ask you a question. you're not setting me up, are you? >> when "the motive" continues.
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i'm richard lou whichy your top story.
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27 migrants and three children died when they drowned trying to crosses english channel from france. france saying it will do more to monitor the shores opinion health officials are concerned by a coronavirus variant detected in south africa. the united kingdom is temporarily banning flights from six african countries while scientists examine the new variant. now back to "dateline" extra. >> reporter: detective evans knew he had to meet this mystery woman, a woman who was claiming she knew what happened to trent digiuro but was too frightened to talk about it. then finally with attorney tom bullock playing gatekeeper, they made a deal to at least meet face to face, but any more than that? maybe not. >> she agreed to do an interview.
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and just ask that it be kept under wraps until we can get him secured. i mean, we negotiated that. it was like, listen, don't get me involved in this. i want to do this for the family. this guy's dangerous. so until you get handcuffs on him, you can't involve me." >> reporter: but evans knew, even if he did arrest the guy, a mystery woman testifying about something an ex-boyfriend told her wouldn't be enough. >> i can imagine a prosecutor saying, well, i can't just put her on the stand, his attorney will come along and say, "she's full of it." >> yeah, and in this particular case it's, yeah. you know what? that in itself is not gonna do it, nor should it. we're still in a situation where this has to come from him. >> reporter: him, meaning shane ragland. evans told her they had to find a way to get shane to admit on tape what he did, otherwise what jury would buy such a ludicrous motive for murder? there was only one way, he told her, she'd have to wear a wire.
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>> she wasn't very happy with that obviously. >> i should think not. >> yeah. she asked me if i could spell anonymous. >> reporter: but, he said, she came around. >> she wanted to do what's right all along, she just would like to do that without getting herself killed doing it. >> reporter: but she would only proceed on one condition. >> i had to prove why she was gonna be safe. i had to prove how we were gonna do this. it wasn't enough for me to say, "oh, don't worry. he won't have a gun. we'll look for bulges." >> reporter: so they came up with a plan. gave her a cover story to protect her, a fictitious job, a phony address and then casually she resumed contact with shane, a few emails. a little flirty at times, on both ends -- >> people sometimes hear from their exes, right? i mean, that -- that happens. >> reporter: and finally, the sting. she told shane she'd be passing through the lexington airport on business, and he agreed to meet her. it was in this airport lounge, surrounded by undercover cops
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and fbi and behind security to be sure shane wasn't armed. >> so what's been happening? >> worked about two years in louisville. >> reporter: they reminisced for an hour or so. >> tell me the good things that you remember about our relationship. >> i remember you used to love your disco music and ask me to dance with ya. >> reporter: and then she went for it. >> something's been bothering me. something that you told me a long time ago, and i wish you never had. and i need to know how you feel about it now, so i can understand what kind of person you are now. >> at that point he paused, and it's like he knew exactly what she was talking about. >> i regret it. >> you do now? >> of course, i do. >> you didn't before. o' and, you know, the thing about it is not knowing trent. that was his name, wasn't it? trent? not knowing him, i just kind of ignored it all this time. >> reporter: saying trent's name was deliberate. >> we had talked to her about that. let's make sure we know what
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you're talking about when we play this for a jury later. >> reporter: and she brought up what appeared to be the motive, that fraternity blackballing. >> how could you be mad -- that mad at somebody to do that? that -- over something so [ bleep ] stupid. do you ever think of it? >> of course i do, you're making me uncomfortable now just talking about it. >> i'm sorry, but this is something i have to get off my chest, because i have to live with it too, you know? i mean, do you plan on ever telling anybody about what you did? >> no. i mean of course not. >> reporter: was he sensing something? the cops, knowing they didn't quite have what they needed, not yet, held their breath and listened. >> let me ask you a question, you're not setting me up, are you? >> i've never told anybody. >> i know. i'm just -- i'm getting this weird vibe. >> i've never told anybody. >> swear to me that you're not setting me up because i'm scared to death right now. >> he said, "are you setting me up?" and that's when things got really scary. >> reporter: but she kept her cool. >> ok, then we'll stop talking about it. how's that? >> reporter: and they did.
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and then about ten minutes later, shane came back with just what the detectives needed to hear. >> to answer to your question, i am very, very remorseful. very. i can't -- i can't tell you. >> you're so stupid. >> i know. i was angry at him. i made -- i made the wrong decision. there is nothing you can do, you know. >> she made him so confident and comfortable that he came back to the subject and left us with what we really needed at that point. it came out of his own mouth. >> reporter: they picked him up the next day, took him downtown, asked him was it true what an old girlfriend was telling them? >> so if she tells us you sat there and you talked about the murder, she's a liar, basically? because it never happened. >> she's just making that up to -- think she's mad at you? >> 100%. absolutely, that -- there was absolutely nothing said. >> reporter: shane denied it all. denied knowing trent, didn't even know where he lived. denied talking about trent with
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her. >> i never mentioned his name once, and she never mentioned his name once. she didn't -- nothing about that. nothing about the murder. >> nothing about the murder or anything? >> reporter: so then his inquisitors fetched the airport recording. >> i'm gonna to play something here for you, and i want you to listen to it, okay? >> something's been bothering me, something that you told me a long time ago. i wish you never had. >> well, you're telling me that you didn't talk about trent. that's not the truth, is it? >> she may have said trent, but we were talking about stuff. but i didn't hear her say trent. i didn't talk about trent. i swear to you guys -- i did not do this. >> reporter: but his denials were to no avail. shane ragland was charged with murder. bail was set. and shane's wealthy father paid it, a million dollars cash. so shane was free pending so shane was free pending trial, which was a very big problem for the ex-girlfriend who'd turned him in. police moved her to a secure location and kept an eye on her. and then strange things started happening.
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>> we got information from our state police intelligence section that there was a hit out on this girl. there were phone calls to her friends that would ask, "have you seen her? do you know where she is these days," obviously trying to locate her. >> reporter: that would make you pretty nervous. >> yes and you've got to let her know this you've taken on the responsibility. >> reporter: sure. >> we had to keep her and her attorney notice loop. to let them know this is what we're dealing with. >> reporter: this is a whole little horror movie playing out as a story within a story. >> it became that, you know. >> reporter: and with all that going on, she had to do precisely what she didn't want to do, go public, show herself and testify. and the world would know that her name was aimee lloyd. and that she was truly terrified. >> reporter: coming up, aimee
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goes public for t first time, facing her fears and shane. coming up -- >> he told me that he shot him. >> the defense hits back hard. >> if, in fact, someone had actually told you they had engaged in a killing of another person and you continue a romantic relationship with them, that seems a bit odd. >> reporter: when "the motive" continues. light in-wash freshness boosters. just pour a capful of beads into your washing machine before each load. to give your laundry a light scent that lasts longer than detergent alone, with no heavy perfumes or dyes. finally, a light scent that lasts all day! new downy light, available in four naturally-inspired scents. >> man: what's my safelite story? my my livelihood. so when my windshield cracked... the experts at safelite autoglass came right to me...
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[ coughing and sneezing ] cold season is back. bounce back fast with alka seltzer plus. with 25% more concentrated power. alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh, what a relief it is ♪ so fast! also try for cough, mucus & congestion. if there was any doubt how seriously police perceived threats to aimee lloyd's security, this put it to rest. aimee rushed into court by a s.w.a.t. team. but trent digiuro's dad knew
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that if she braved the danger and told her story. >> i don't know how a jury could sort of not convict him. >> reporter: but when it came time for trial, the prosecutor was all too ware she was alleging a very hard to believe motive. >> i was like everybody else, a little incredulous that somebody would let the fact that they have been black balled from a fraternity fester for years and culminate in killing the person they blamed. >> >> reporter: what did you make ever the credibility of the young woman. >> they did police did a good job following up on the things she said. when you sat down and talked to her you began to understand and believe her. >> >> reporter: they had a bit more than just aimee. they this found what they believed was the murder weapon, the.243 weather by rifle. and at his father's place they
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found.243 caliber bullets like these. an fbi expert said that testering from these bullets matched. >> aimee lloyd. >> and now nearly eight years after trent was killed here was the one person who could tell the story, aimee lloyd finally revealed herself publicly. though because she remains frightened even now, we have obscured her image in this video recorded by the court. the prosecution star witness talked about that night in a bar, and shane according to her straight out confessing to murder. >> he said something about how if he -- if i i remembered the football player who had been killed. and told me his name, trent. told me that he shot him. >> but the prosecutor knew that aimee's story had a weakness. and so no choice but to confront
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it. >> you did not break off the relationship after he said this to you? >> no. >> you didn't go to the police or anything? >> no, i would -- i just -- i ignored it. >> just ig forde what he had said to you. >> i didn't want to hear it i didn't want to believe it. >> why, because she was in love with him she said. >> did you worry that a jury might question why she waited so long? >> oh, of course. i mean any time there is a delay in reporting about anything that goes into the credibility that a jury would give a witness. but, you know, everything that she told the police could mostly be corroborated. i mean, there really was -- he really was a pledge for s.a.e. he really did get black bald. there really was a conversation in the dorm room where he claims shane ragland claimed to have slept with one of the active members girlfriends. all those things happened. >> during aimee's testimony, the prosecutor played the tape, the
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sting meeting at the airport. >> you're so stupid. >> i was angry at him i made -- i made the wrong decision. >> that, said, the prosecutor clear as day was an admission he did indeed commit the murder. how to defend against that? shane's father hired a formidable defense team. guthrie true was one of train's lawyers. >> if in fact someone had actually told you they had engaged in killing of another person and you continue a romanticic relationship with them, that seems a bit -- a bit odd. >> when the defense cross-examined aimee, she knew it was coming. had to. an attacked on her credibility. but could she have suspected how personal it would be? this from true's co-counsel when aimee said she went home with shane that night after he talked about killing someone. >> weren't you concerned about spending the night with somebody
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who had admitted to you that he had killed someone else? >> i blocked it from my mind. i didn't want to -- i didn't want to hear that. >> and then a kind of nervous embarrassment filled the courtroom. the defense had gotten access to aimee's very personal, very explicit diary and confronted her with her entries one by x rated one. >> we are trying to challenge the credibility of the prosecution's case. and sometimes that gets uncomfortable when it involves details of that witness's life. but that's a necessary part of the task of challenging the credibility of the government's case. and if you -- if you didn't do that, you wouldn't be doing your job. >> this is what aimee wrote the day after she said shane
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confessed to her to murder. >> april the 30th, very next day, you make a notation, made love in afternoon. great day. >> we have for the sake of decency left out the most explicit entries made public by the defense that day. >> and then may the 3rd was the date that you recorded you took a bath together and made love. right. >> yes. >> then it was on may the 7th you notated -- you noted, great love, decided i would move in with him in july. perfect. >> yes. >> so this man that told you that he had killed someone, you made the decision that you were going to move in with him come july. >> yes. >> so was her credibility harmed? there was still after all that incriminating airport recording. or was it incriminating?
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>> you never did ask him, though, if he had shot and killed trent, did you? >> why would i want to he already told me? if i said to him did you kill trent when he already knew he told me five years ago he would -- he would have known that i was -- that i was there in fact to -- >> to set him up. >> to get him -- to get him to admit it. >> hadn't you rehearsed that. >> rehearsed what. >> with the detective evans and others, don't give him an opportunity to deny that he had shot trent? >> no. >> had the defense planted a seed of reasonable doubt? maybe. the jury adjourned to think about it. and trent's friends waited. >> i've never been so terrified and scared in my life. >> heart is going 100 miles an hour. >> 100 miles an hour. >> reporter: and five hours
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later. >> we the jury find the defendant guilty of intentional murder. >> guilty of intentional murder, the sentence 30 years. >> to know that he was guilty, know that this guy sitting there smug and non-remorseful is guilty and and, boom, you feel good about that. >> reporter: mike digiuro thought it was done. >> okay, this is it. he's going to jail. it's over. >> reporter: and aimee, she had vanished. >> aimee was afraid of shane ragland. and we told her that if she testified we would do what we could to let her have a new identity. and law enforcement helped her get a new identity. >> reporter: and that new identity would be a problem. >> you talk about something that just blows you away. i mean, i can't even -- couldn't even grasp that. >> because this case wasn't over, not even close.
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>> coming up, a stunning reversal. >> they know i'm innocent. >> will there ever be justice for trent? >> it's "oh, wow, here we go all over again." >> when "dateline" continues. we have to be able to repair the enamel on a daily basis. with pronamel repair toothpaste, we can help actively repair enamel in its weakened state. it's innovative. my go to toothpaste is going to be pronamel repair.
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♪ pretty lights on the tree ♪ ♪ i'm watching them shine ♪ watch the full story at >> reporter: it was early spring in kentucky when justice was done for the murder of trent digiuro. thanks, his friends knew, to a woman who faced up to fear and told her story. >> we've never met aimee and i'm eternally grateful-- >> absolutely. >> -- to aimee for everything that she's done for not only trent and his family, but for us. >> reporter: except there was an appeal. of course there was. standard procedure. but what happened was not standard at all. a court reversed the jury's decision. >> any comment, shane?
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>> reporter: and shane ragland went home on a million dollars bail, paid by his dad, to wait for a whole new trial. >> it's been a long time, shane. >> how does it feel to be outside, going home with your father right now? >> i don't really look at it like that. i look at the long-term goal of fighting a case against me that's fake, that's false. and i know i'm innocent. i don't worry about my feelings, creature comforts. >> reporter: why was the verdict thrown out? it had nothing to do with aimee lloyd or her explosive testimony or the sting tape recorded at the airport. all that was fine. so what was the issue? the bullet that killed trent. an fbi expert had linked the fragments of that bullet found during the autopsy to bullets like these that were found in shane's father's house. but after shane's conviction the fbi realized the test it used was, in fact, bad science and stopped using it. >> these are things that we have been arguing for years, frankly, shouldn't have been admitted. >> reporter: and the court agreed with the defense. >> when this reversal happened, what was that like?
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>> well, it was a blow. i mean, it was a real blow. >> it's kind of an irony. isn't it? it was one of the smaller pieces of evidence. >> in my mind, yes. >> reporter: when what you thought was done gets undone, what does it do to you? >> it's, "oh, wow, here we go all over again. we've gotta go through this yet another time." and the "yet another time" we realized pretty quickly was gonna be without some key evidence. aimee lloyd wasn't coming back. >> reporter: no, aimee lloyd was not going to testify a second time. that was the deal she made. testify once then disappear. >> there was no way to bring her back, because once someone has that level of cover you can't undo it, bring them back. >> reporter: and then do it again. >> and then do it again. >> remain seated. come to order. >> reporter: no option but to make a deal. shane got to plead guilty to second-degree manslaughter. >> and did you, in fact, commit the crime that you are pleading
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guilty to? >> yes, i did. >> reporter: which meant that at least he now admitted to firing that fatal shot. >> i thought, "well, a plea bargain. you know, spends another ten years in jail. i'm not too bad with that." >> reporter: oh, but it wasn't ten more years. wasn't any more years. he got the time he'd already served. five years, plus just 3 days of house arrest. >> reporter: three more days? >> three more days. he walked out of the courtroom, went home. and that really chapped my ass. >> reporter: it did help a little, said mike digiuro, when he successfully sued shane in civil court for wrongful death. the jury awarded him $63 million, later reduced to 33 million. no matter, said mike. he hasn't received a penny, doesn't expect to. but money was never the point. >> he's never really accepted responsibility for what he did. >> reporter: shane went on with his life. and then a few years later he was involved in a serious car
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accident. he uses a wheelchair now, and was back in court on an unrelated case. and what about aimee, if that's even her name now? how's she doing now? >> she's living a new life. >> reporter: what's she do? you wanna tell me anything? anything at all? >> i'm sorry, but i'm not going to be able to tell you anything about her current life. >> reporter: at all. >> at all. >> reporter: as for mike, he had a choice, he knew. he could sink into bitterness or -- so where do you put your frustrations over this? >> well, what has come from all this is we consider a very positive thing. >> reporter: the trent digiuro foundation has awarded nearly a hundred scholarships to walk-on football players and others, at the university of kentucky and at local high schools. young people with determination and personal courage just like trent. you'll never make any sense of his death, but you can make sense of his life. >> we can make sense of what
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we've done to commemorate trent, to remember trent. and giving these young folks an opportunity that trent won't have. >> reporter: and remarkably, trent's friends remain exceedingly close, even 25 years after that shot in the dark. they feel like family now? >> well, they are family. i think it says so much about what trent meant to these kids, young adults now, and what they mean to us. it's been a blessing to us. >> reporter: they all get together and laugh and tell stories and imagine. >> who would he have become as an adult? gosh, i'm sure he would've been magnificent, just as he was as a teenager. i'm kind of pissed that i don't get to, you know, meet his wife or meet his kids or, you know -- >> share all at the adult things
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we've had an opportunity to share with each other. but i think when i get rid of those, like, base feelings, the underlying feeling is just of gratitude that he was in my life, even for a brief moment in time. >> that's all for this edition . ♪♪ >> i know my sister would have fought. we used to tell each other that if somebody ever tried to hurt us that we would do everything we can to leave something behind so the other one can figure it out. i believe that she was murdered. >> this is a very bizarre death. >> it was baffling from the start. a young woman dead at her millionaire boyfriend's mansion.


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