Snapped - Vicki Monroe   View more episodes

Aired at 11:00 AM on Sunday, Jan 03, 2010 (1/3/2010)      View all transcripts from this day

Transcript

00:00:00To buy thebulls & bears.
00:00:02Vicki tended barand ran the business.
00:00:05Jerry kept his day job, but helped outat the bar after work.
00:00:10It was a blast.
00:00:12Th they seemedvery happy together when they first got married.
00:00:16And the new couple seemed to bemaking it financially as well.
00:00:20He bought himself aharley,and she had aharley,too.
00:00:23And then one day,jerry walked into the bar and made an announcement.
00:00:29( Tony ) EVIDENTLY, HE'D HAD A BAD DAY, And decided, "i own a bar.
00:00:33" so he quit.
00:00:36The announmentdidn't sit well with vicki.
00:00:39She had the attitude, "well, if you're quitting your job, I'm gonna quit," which she stopped bartending, and so therefore, she was paying someone to work.
00:00:48By 2001, the couple's debtswere mounting.
00:00:52If jerry gave a beer away tosomeone and she'd seen it, it was holy hellfor the rest of the night.
00:00:57As vicki's relationshipwith her husband became more and more strained, she made an effort to connectwith her youngest son, leslie, now 21.
00:01:08Vicki monroe had reintroducedherself to leslie, and had began togive him financial support.
00:01:16Leslie and vicki's relationship was like a five-year-old little kid and his mother.
00:01:20He was looking to get a bond back, and so I think he felt, like, this urge to please.
00:01:27The relationship, and, in particular, vicki'sfrequent handouts to her son, put even more pressure on vickiand jerry's finances, and their marriage.
00:01:37That was a problem between vicki and my father, because my father felt that when you're grown, you need to stand on your own two feet.
00:01:45But eventually, jerry beganreaching out to his stepson.
00:01:49In the spring of 2002, he gave him a renovation jobat the bar.
00:01:55Leslie was helping jerryredo the kitchen floor.
00:01:58One may night after work, jerry made anotherbridge-building gesture: Letting leslie ridehis belovedharley.
00:02:08As for jerry's children-- they saw the gestureas their dad's effort to reach out to vicki, although as far asthey were concerned, she wasn't worth the trouble.
00:02:19I wanted him to be happy, and if she wasn't gonna make him happy, I thought he'll just find someone else who will.
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00:06:40( narrator )IN THE SPRING OF 2002, Vicki monroe andher husband, jerry, owners ofthebulls & bears tavern in louisville, kentucky, were deep in debtand increasingly estranged.
00:06:51But vicki's problems were aboutto get a lot worse.
00:07:08When police arrivedat thebulls & bears IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURSOF JUNE 1st, They foundjerry monroe dead on the floor with two bullet woundsin his head.
00:07:18His head was layingagainst the base of the bar.
00:07:2122-caliber shellcasing at the end of the bar.
00:07:25To police,a quick scan of the scene suggested a rather ordinarymotive for the crime.
00:07:30The cash register was open,and there was no money in it.
00:07:33So it did appear as ifthere was a robbery.
00:07:36While crime techsprocessed the scene, police interviewed vicki, whosat stunned on the doorstep.
00:07:43She said jerry hadn't came home, and so she called up there, and when she didn't get an answer, she came up there to check, and that's how she found him.
00:07:50As word of the crime spread, friends gatheredin the bar's parking lot, and police interviewed themas well.
00:07:57Vicki's son leslie's namecame up several times.
00:08:01Patrons of the bar had said that he was the last patronto see gerald monroe.
00:08:07Rumors flewamong the milling crowd, some pointing towards members ofa local motorcycle gang.
00:08:12There were a coupleof rival motorcycle gangs that had argued over territorialdisputes over the bar.
00:08:19Police left the bar withno concrete leads, 30 that night,the cops got a phone call from a woman namedsandra higgins.
00:08:28( Marcia ) SHE SAID THAT SHE HAD JUST WATCHED The news, and she had seen where gerald monroe had been murdered, and she didn't know if this was related or if it had anything to do with it, but she found it really peculiar, and she wanted to report it.
00:08:4330 that morning, shortly after jerry monroehad been found dead, she'd seen a silverlincolnstopped on a country road 12 miles south of louisville.
00:08:55A young malecame out of the woods, over a guardrailfrom the creek, and he got in the car.
00:09:02The trunk wasup on the car.
00:09:04The passenger side was open, and it looked to her likesomebody had thrown something into the woods, off the sideof the road.
00:09:11Suspicious, she pulled overat a nearby cemetery to call police.
00:09:16I glanced up at my rear-view mirror, and I saw the silverlincoln pull in behind me, into the cemetery.
00:09:22He immediately got out of the car and came to my car, and he said he had lost his hubcap.
00:09:29To her relief,he turned and left, but sandra had gottena good look at him.
00:09:34( Marcia ) FROM THE DESCRIPTION OF LESLIE, It matched to a "t" what miss higgins had told me that she had seen.
00:09:41The next morning, investigatorsheaded for the bridge on the country roadto see if they could find what the man had throwninto the woods.
00:09:49We took the dog down there, and we searched, and tried to locate the weapon, but we found nothing in the woods.
00:09:55Even so,the police wanted higgins leslie before bringing him infor questioning.
00:10:02JERRY'S FUNERAL ON JUNE 6thOFFERED THE PERFECT Opportunity.
00:10:08We got a vehicle with tinted windows, and miss higgins agreed to go with us, and we sat in this vehicle outside the funeral home while everybody arrived for the funeral service.
00:10:18When the funeral ended,and the guests left, sandra higginsgot a good look at leslie from behind the tinted glass.
00:10:26We actually drove right by him, and he was looking straight at the car, " after the funeral, vicki ledmourners to thebulls & bears for a memorial get-together.
00:10:38They went into that tavernand opened it up, and had a party there,where my dad had died.
00:10:45She was reportedly dancing and having a very good timein that tavern.
00:10:49ON TUESDAY, JUNE 11th, Police summoned leslieto the station for an interview.
00:10:55At first, he deniedany involvement in his stepfather's murder, but when he faileda lie-detector test, he changed his story, telling police he'd hiredsomeone to kill jerry.
00:11:08He said he went into a rough area of town, and he solicited this guy to do it.
00:11:13He gave him $2,000.
00:11:15He provided the gun.
00:11:17Leslie also told police he'd hidden the murder weaponin the woods.
00:11:21But nothing he said explainedwhy he had arranged the murder of jerry monroe.
00:11:28He said he had no reason to want him dead.
00:11:30He really didn't know him, and when he did get to know him, he was starting to kind of like him.
00:11:34And it was obvious that somebody had gotten him to do it.
00:11:38At first, leslie refused to saywho had ordered the crime, but finally, afterhours of police questioning, he cracked.
00:11:48And then he broke downand started crying " leslie hesitantly explained why his motherwanted jerry dead.
00:11:59With the marriage unraveling, she feared a divorcewould strip her of everything she cherished,starting with the bar.
00:12:16Leslie told policehow over the course of a year, his mother had pestered him tofind someone to kill jerry, giving him $2,000to use as a down payment.
00:12:27But he'd spent the moneyshe gave him, and hadn't hired anyone.
00:12:32So leslie told policehe did it himself.
00:12:37He admitted that,yes, he actually shot him.
00:12:43At the end of a long night, leslie emerson wascharged with murder and robbery.
00:12:48He then went with detectivesto retrieve the gun which he had buried.
00:12:53Early the next morning,two detectives picked up vicki monroeat her home for questioning.
00:13:00She was sitting on the swingin the backyard, and they got her to comeback to the station with them.
00:13:05At the station, vicki putthe blame squarely on her son.
00:13:10She'd said if he'dkilled jerry, it was because he'd taken anoutburst of hers too seriously.
00:13:16She said that she had madecomments in anger before, that she had wanted him gone.
00:13:21But she did admitshe had given him the $2,000.
00:13:25Leslie had told her that there are people who take care of things like that, and she gave him $2,000.
00:13:32And I asked her, "did you ask him to have someone kill jerry ?" and she said, "not in so many words.
00:13:36I mean, it was kind of a thing a year or " police booked vicki onsolicitation to commit murder, and transferred her tothe jefferson county jail to await trial.
00:13:47a last-minute change of plans by a key witness makes the outcome of vicki'strial anything but certain.
00:13:56( Alex )I WAS PISSED OFF.
00:13:57He changes his mind at,literally, the 11th hour.
00:18:52( narrator )11 DAYS AFTER VICKI MONROE CALLED 9-1-1 to report the deathof her husband, jerry, his family got word that vicki and her son had beenarrested for the murder.
00:19:03My unclecalled me and said, " " and I just dropped the phoneon the floor.
00:19:12ON APRIL 14th, 2003,VICKI'S DEFENSE TEAM Requested a hearingto propose separate trials for her and leslie.
00:19:21The judge agreed.
00:19:23That made the prosecutor's joba lot more complicated.
00:19:27We have a lot more evidenceon leslie than we do on vicki.
00:19:30So we needed leslie's testimonyto convict vicki.
00:19:34So the state decidedto offer leslie a deal: He'd avoid the death penalty,and serve life in prison, if he pled guiltyand testified against his mom.
00:19:45Prosecutors were pretty sureleslie wouldn't take the deal.
00:19:50If he's willing to killsomebody for his mother, then it's remarkablyat odds with going now and testifying against the veryperson he did it for.
00:20:00But leslie took the deal.
00:20:06As vicki monroe's trial beganin march of 2004, prosecutors openedwith a vivid description of what her son would say inhis testimony against her.
00:20:16But when he walked into court, he was wearing hisorange prison jumpsuit, not the civilian clothes he wassupposed to wear to testify.
00:20:27That was pretty much a sign that things weren'tgonna go well.
00:20:30At the last minute,leslie had changed his mind.
00:20:35In leslie's world, he would rather spend the rest of his life in prison or dead, if, once again, he had the acceptance of his mother.
00:20:44Without his testimony,it would be nearly impossible to convict vicki.
00:20:50We had to go forwardwith the trial and just do the bestwe could without his testimony.
00:20:55Prosecutors scrambledto rethink their strategy.
00:20:58To prove vicki's intent, they used her statements aboutthe money she'd given leslie to find someoneto kill her husband.
00:21:05For motive, they cited herapparent desire to keep the bar, supported by some new evidenceinvestigators had found.
00:21:14There was a life-insurancepolicy on gerald monroe.
00:21:18It was, I believe,$50,000.
00:21:21She may have fallen behind on a lot of her bills, but she always made sure that two payments were made: Gerald's life insurance, and the bar payment.
00:21:30The prosecutors also presentedvicki's cell-phone bills, asserting that theytold an incriminating story beginning months beforethe murder.
00:21:41In january of 2001, vicki monroe was making roughlynine calls to leslie emerson.
00:21:46In may of 2001,that number increased to 67, and prosecutors allege thatthat increase in calls was her urgingher son to get this done, to have her husband killed.
00:21:58The defense argued thatthe insurance policy and the phone callswere merely circumstantial, and didn't provide the hardevidence required to convict her.
00:22:08The defense's strategy was that there wasn't proof beyond a reasonable doubt that she ever intended for leslie to follow through with what she had asked him to do a year before.
00:22:19Even the moneyvicki had given her son, the defense insisted,didn't prove anything.
00:22:26They would couch itin terms of, " prosecutors knew their casewould be much more convincing if they could show vicki hadgiven leslie money closer tothe time of the crime.
00:22:37And then in the last daysof the trial, they got proofthat vicki had given leslie a large sum of money just days beforejerry's murder.
00:22:48We were contacted by a bank teller who gave us information that vicki monroe had been in the bank with her son, and shortly before the murder, had cashed a check for $800 and given it to her son.
00:23:01ON MARCH 12th, 2004,THE STATE WRAPPED UP Its case and turned it over tothe jury to decide.
00:23:09But they were still feeling alittle shaky about the outcome.
00:23:14We weren't sureexactly which way a jury would gowith the trial.
00:23:18The jury, apparently,was just as unsure.
00:23:23ON MARCH 30th, They announced they were unableto reach a verdict.
00:23:27The entire trialwould have to be done over.
00:23:32But vicki's new trial wouldcome after her son's.
00:23:37Leslie emerson wastried in november of 2004, and considering he had confessedto the police, the outcome was as expected.
00:23:47The proof against lesliewas overwhelming.
00:23:49( man )WE, THE JURY, FIND THE DEFENDANT, Leslie emerson, guilty underinstruction number one.
00:23:56But leslie's gamble to not testify againsthis mother paid off.
00:24:01The jury spared himthe death penalty.
00:24:05He received a life sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years.
00:24:09It was kind of pitiful that he would want his mother's approval so badly that he would do this for her.
00:24:16Two months later,in january of 2005, vicki monroe was back in courtto be tried for murder.
00:24:23This time, prosecutors weren'tcounting on leslie's testimony, so they were better prepared touse what they did have.
00:24:32They created a portraitof a heartless manipulator bent on owning a barat all costs.
00:24:40Who's the practiced liar ?
00:24:41Whose scheme was it in the beginning ?
00:24:45Vicki monroe.
00:24:46The defense portrayed heras an innocent, grieving wife, and played the 9-1-1 tapeas evidence.
00:24:54Listen to the anguished screams.
00:24:56Tell me that that tape doesn't relay shock and grief.
00:25:02While the jurydebated vicki's fate, jerry's family hoped this time, the result would leadto justice.
00:25:10After six hoursof deliberation, the jury returned tothe courtroom.
00:25:16The jury filed in, and a lot of them were crying.
00:25:18And, you know, I'm feeling all fluttery and nervous.
00:25:22The foreman stood up.
00:25:23( man ) WE, THE JURY, FIND THE DEFENDANT, Vicki monroe, guilty under instruction number one.
00:25:30At that moment,even vicki broke down.
00:25:33The only time vicki eventhought about crying " then the tears came out.
00:25:42I was, like,"she will never be able " ON JANUARY 27th, The jury recommended a sentenceof life in prison.
00:25:54The judge-- he said, "i've served on this benchfor a long time, "but never ever have I hadsuch a most malicious person " this case is so sad to me, because of what she did to her son, because she effectively ended his life when she paid him to pull the trigger.
00:26:11Captioning made possible byOXYGEN MEDIA, L. oxygen media, l.l.c.
00:26:30( narrator )32-YEAR-OLD DARLENE GENTRY Was used to being the centerof attention.
00:26:36Darlene is an attractive woman.
00:26:37She's blonde, she's petite.
00:26:39" but when she walked intoa texas courtroom on the morning offebruary 6, 2007, her looks weren'tthe only reason all eyes were on darlene.
00:26:52The mother of threewas on trial for murderingher husband, keith.
00:26:58You do not look at herand see "killer" at all.
00:27:01She lookedlike a prom queen.
00:27:03That is,until they saw the tape.
00:27:05You see darlene,with her blonde hair-- I mean, you can obviouslytell it's her.
00:27:25Born in 1974, darlene doskocil grew up in what passedfor a spotlight in the tinytexas town of cameron.
00:27:34( woman )SHE WAS ON THE FLAG CORPS.
00:27:36She was homecoming queen.
00:27:38Her personality justdrew people to her.
00:27:41Her pretty blonde looksdidn't hurt, either.
00:27:44Darlene's probablyabout 5-5, blonde hair.
00:27:48Most men would say she isa striking woman.
00:27:52Keith gentry certainly did.
00:27:54( woman )DARLENE AND KEITH MET AT Texas state technical collegeright here in waco.
00:27:59She was takingdental-assistant classes, he was in draftingand welding.
00:28:04A small-town boyfrom robinson, texas, he and darlene hada lot in common.
00:28:10As a couple,they immediately clicked.
00:28:13My first impressionwas his eyes.
00:28:15He just hadthe most beautiful eyes.
00:28:17He was handsome.
00:28:19She just acted likekeith hung the moon.
00:28:21Whatever he wantedto do, they done.
00:28:23( man )WE ALL HUNG AROUND AND WE WENT DANCING A lot.
00:28:26We used to go tofort worth, drink, have a good time together.
00:28:34But when darlenegraduated in 1997, the relationship hita rough patch.
00:28:40He was being a typical guy-- wanted to still run and go and do.
00:28:44And I think I was more ready to settle down, and so we ended up splitting up.
00:28:50She went off to dallas and worked for a dentist there.
00:28:53( Judy ) SHE WORKED FOR THIS DENTIST Until she got her car stolen in dallas and decided to come home.
00:28:59She also decided tocome back to keith.
00:29:03They ran into each other at a dance and just started talking from that and got back together.
00:29:11( Waymon ) WE WERE KIND OF HAPPY THAT THEY Did.
00:29:14We liked darlene.
00:29:15We thought she was good for him.
00:29:18Keith thought so, too.
00:29:19Determined not to let herslip away a second time, in 1999, he askeddarlene to marry him.
00:29:27She said yes.
00:29:28It was a typical texas wedding.
00:29:30We did the barbecue and the dance afterwards.
00:29:33It was a good time.
00:29:34It was a great thing.
00:29:35I was glad to see him get married and settle down.
00:29:37After the wedding,darlene went back to school

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