Secrets in a Small TownDateline NBC
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- 11 Nov 2020
In this Dateline classic, Teresa Mayfield’s death on a dirt road was a mystery for more than a year until a strange sequence of events led investigators to an unlikely suspect. Keith Morrison reports. Originally aired on NBC on January 8, 2012
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She was my very best friend. I call my mom and she didn't answer, I pretty much knew in my heart that something was wrong. A mother vanished.
I cried myself to sleep. It was just awful realizing that your worst nightmare had come true. A family anguished. She's gone. Do you have any idea how hard that was?
Now the questions begin in a Southern Gothic mystery. The case is puzzling. We didn't really know what had happened. Who would ever imagine you have a marker in your family?
Soon there would be secrets. We were dealing with a person that was leading a double life and one of them would prove deadly. Have you ever said, I know that you did this? It hurts too much for me to say it out loud. Keith Morrison with Secrets in a Small Town. Suppose for a minute you were sitting in your car smack dab in the middle of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and you pointed south west on Highway 69 and kept a sharp eye out after half an hour or so.
It roll into a sweet little place called Moundsville, one stoplight, one main street, one general store going around for a long time has Moundsville. But it's a sad truth, as the sheriff says, even here where everybody used to know everybody.
It's not that way anymore.
So many different people are moving in from around the world and trying to escape. The crowds will escape the crowd or running from something. Yes, and where have you gone, Andy Griffith, Mayberry apparently is up and left us Sheriff Canalis fights real crime nowadays.
The crimes that you see in here county is the same crime you see in any lower city, just a smaller version.
Still, Mountville is Moundsville and neighbors do tend to know more of each other's business.
And they might up in Tuscaloosa, for example, which can be a bit of a nuisance as you're about to see if you need to keep a secret, especially, for example, if your secret is about murder.
To begin with, this thoughtful young woman was just a girl of 17 back in 07 when things started coming apart in the way things do when parents don't talk about it. Kelsey Mayfield saw that troubled look in her mom's eyes, mostly her mom, Teresa.
I could just tell she was very stressed and very clearly what it was she was stressed about.
Money would be the main thing. She just wanted to be sure that she had enough enough money to take care of her family.
A lot of that going around. Of course, Mountville not accepted. Like so many Americans, Kelsey's dad, Scott, had to work two jobs, neither of which paid very well just to keep his head above water.
Very hard working man. It took two jobs to to take care of our family.
But money trouble aside, Theresa seemed to have a happy life as anybody could see, including Teresa's mother Reba Altrusa ever wanted, was to have a husband that cared for her, somebody she cared for and have a family.
And it was sweet and kind of corny, and even after Kelsey's two little brothers arrived, she could see the signs of her parent's affection for each other every night before he got ready to go to work, he would give her a kiss on the cheek and say, goodnight, I love you to the town.
Teresa was the softball mom in the trunk of a car, always a model of basketball. She shuttling kids back and forth.
I remember that was a time where I had a softball game and in college we had a baseball game all at the same time. And she stayed 30 minutes at always going 30 minutes a Tigers game with 30 minutes at my game, just watching on the clock to make sure it was all equal.
She was just an amazing mother. There was nothing that she would not do for myself or for my two brothers.
And then there was that sweltering morning, June 2007.
Teresa drove off to run errands and didn't come back. Kelsey was babysitting the boys at eight and 11 hours. Ticked by, she called her mom. Where are you? And she didn't answer, and then I called her back around lunch and she didn't answer. I called her pretty much all day long.
Her dad was at work. Her mom was doing where this wasn't like her to do this. Now, is she the sort of person who would take her cell phone with her everywhere?
Yes, it was attached to her hip. You could always easily get hold of her and you couldn't know. By nightfall, still no word Kelsie was in the panic. She called her dad, who by now had gone from his day job to his night shift at a local factory. I'm sure you told your dad that you were worried.
You know, we kept in touch during the day to see if one if one of us had talked to her. Did he seem to be worried? He did. And we could never get in touch with her.
At midnight, it was clear something was terribly wrong. Scott left work to file a missing persons report with the Moundsville police, and then they all waited. What was it like for you that night?
It was awful. I was very scared when she didn't come home, and I pretty much knew in my heart that something was wrong.
The next morning, said Kelsey, she woke up in a house that no longer felt like home. She called her grandmother, Reba, at her home in Prattville, a town two hours away.
She said, Yes, Mama, down there, your house. I said, no, no, she's not here. And she said. Mama didn't come home, I that what was going on here? Oh, I'm just turning upside down. You know, I'm just tired and I'm not.
Reba called Theresa's younger sister, Ashley, at her office at the local circuit court.
Mama Kamiar, she said, trace this message. I said, well, I said, let me make some phone calls right away.
Ashley called the sheriff of her town and he called Sheriff Ellis to see if they knew anything. And his response to me was as bad. It's bad. It certainly was. They had found Teresa's truck on a dirt road less than a mile from home. She was slumped behind the wheel and she was dead and this much was perfectly clear. It wasn't an accident. Coming up, the investigation begins, we had ourselves who get her to this location and why was she murdered?
When secrets in a small town continues. It was a lover's lane, a quiet, dusty, dead end road miles from Main Street, Moundsville. This uncommonly traversed a car with engine running, tail lights blazing late into the night could go unnoticed. It was here they found Teresa Mayfield's truck body inside, gunshot wound to the head, Theresa's younger sister broke the terrible news to their mother.
When I went to the house, Mamo said in the recliner, I knelt down on my knees and I grabbed her and I said, Mama, she's gone. She's gone. Do you have any idea? How hard was Teresa's daughter, Kelsey had spent a sleepless night waiting in vain for her mother to come home. How did you find out? My dad came and told my brothers that it was just awful realizing that your worst nightmare had come true. For a brief second, I thought she had committed suicide just because I knew how stressed out she was.
But then I also knew how much she loved her family.
Everybody who knew Theresa knew that even Sheriff Kenneth Ellis, who drove out to the crime scene, if that's what it was. Corporal Mark Boyd, Alabama Bureau of Investigation, met him there. This case was kind of personal for you, Sheriff. Yes, my daughter and Mr. Reese and Scott's daughter, they play softball together. So you see Teresa out of the ballpark and every game that feel like part of my family was down to. They had a look around the truck, no sign of a struggle dusting revealed no viable fingerprints.
There were no footprints, not even a loose hair. Possibly. Was there any thought once you saw the scene that this was a suicide that was things missing that prevented the suicide theory, but like what if you're going to commit suicide with a gun?
It's usually at the same. It was clear Theresa had been murdered, shot with a gun which was now missing, and what was more, her cell phone, the one that was always attached to her hip, was nowhere to be found. Did it look like it could have been a robbery?
Well, the wallet wasn't taken. The purse was on the console, but the contents of the purse had been dumped out in her lap.
A clumsy attempt at staging, you might say. Yes, but there was one important clue the killer left behind.
We noticed that the only window down was the driver's window. So we figured she had to have known the person. Because she let down her when we had AKs ourselves who could get her to this location and why was she murdered?
Someone at Moundsville had to know something. From there, the investigation went.
We're investigating her inner circle, trying to find a motive. And usually so I'm told in cases like this, the husband has got to be a person of interest. Yes. So is the family gathered to mourn the loss of their beloved Teresa? Scott couldn't be with them. He was down at the sheriff's office answering questions and came willingly. Yes, no issue. Did he asked for an attorney or anything or.
You know, he did not. Corporal Boyd chatted with Scott for three long hours and during the whole time he was cooperative and helpful. You know, the standard questions that we would ask is, you know, is anyone having an affair or are you having an affair? No. What, she having an affair?
No. Good marriage. Happy marriage. Christian marriage. Right. I asked them, did they argue? He said no.
Scott answered all their questions about what Teresa was supposed to be doing that morning. He told them he phoned Teresa from his morning job on a farm, a wake up call, and then about two hours later, she called him. But the call faded out. He couldn't hear a thing.
And Scott said that it sounded like she was on the road. He thought nothing of it. Then he said, But. But now was it a distress call? No way to know. But there was one thing that call certainly cleared up for investigators. Scott could not have killed Teresa. He was something like 30 miles away up near Tuscaloosa, had a breakfast receipt to prove it. He had stopped at a Hardee's and had a receipt showing that he was there.
So Scott rejoined his family, caught up in the terrible business of grieving.
I kept wondering, you know, why was it happening to our family?
It was I who would ever imagine you'd have a marker in your family.
Investigators tried with the help of friends to fill in the gaps of Theresa's last hours. They talked to Scott and Theresa's friend, Don Lavender. She had plans to go shopping with Theresa the morning of the murder.
I'm sure Don was shocked and upset by what had happened. She did cry during the interview. She was at her house waiting on Theresa to come pick her up and she was going to ride with her. She finally got a chance to talk to Theresa around seven. And after that call, nothing. Don told the investigators she phoned Theresa over and over.
And each time the phone went to a recording, just to be sure of all this, they pulled Theresa's cell phone records and began putting out a timeline of her whereabouts. But the picture, the records paint. Wasn't quite what they expected that morning, called Scott the one he couldn't hear. Theresa did not call for Moundsville.
Cell tower shows that is pinging from up in Tuscaloosa. Wait a minute.
How could it be pinging from Tuscaloosa? That's miles and miles away, right?
Is no way that she could have made the call and been back to the location where she was murdered.
So courtesy of the cell towers, you were able to show that Teresa could not have made that call, had to be somebody else using her phone. And what do you know her phone is missing from the crime scene, correct? So the person who very likely killed Teresa Mayfield must have used her cell phone to call her husband, Scott. What could that mean? Did the killer know Scott and did Scott know something he wasn't sharing? Coming up, we were dealing with a person that was leading a double life.
Secrets and lies. This was a betrayal. That's a very good word.
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I'm Marissa Jones, host of the Vanished from Gundry. Each week on the vanished, we take you beyond the headlines and explore a different missing person's case. This week we're covering the 2019 disappearance of Roger Taylor. Roger had gone through several devastating health events in the years leading up to his disappearance. He was left with limited mobility and spent most of his time at home. One day, his daughter got a call that Roger had disappeared, and the story her stepmother told seemed too wild to be true.
She said that Roger, who was partially paralyzed on his left side, had been out running around and climbing trees. She also said that he took off in their car and never returned. The car was later found abandoned on a dead end road. But despite extensive searches, no trace of Roger Taylor has ever been found. To hear Roger's story and many more, subscribe to the vanished on Apple podcast Spotify or add free on Mandery Plus.
It's a funny thing about secrets, they can only stay hidden for so long, especially in a little place like home. And it didn't take very long for Sheriff Ellis and Corporal Boyd to stumble on a secret.
Scott had been keeping while he was out at the crime scene. Scott had had a young lady to come pick up the boys. It was only later when the fog of grief had lifted, that one of Theresa's relatives wondered to police, who was that woman hanging around the day Theresa died?
Allison Boyd tracked her down and what they discovered.
Well, that changed everything or seemed to the person they were talking to was Scott's mistress.
She was under the impression that Scott was not married at that time. What do you make of that when you heard it? We knew that one. Correct.
A love triangle. Jealous home wrecker kills wife claims husband. No, not even close. Scott's girlfriend thought his marriage was over. His divorce finalized. What was her reaction to getting the real story? She must have been upset, more hurt rather than upset, because I think she had fallen in love with him, even lying like a sidewalk. That's right. And you had no idea that woman was associated with them that way either to do I had met her once or twice.
Yeah, but I just thought they were friends. I didn't think it was anything else.
This was a betrayal in all capital letters.
That's a very good word. You're betrayed by two. Oh. Yeah, taken advantage of in a way, Kelsi may have been surprised, but Teresa's mom and sister, they knew better because this wasn't Scott's first dates with infidelity. I know there had been others. In fact, Scott and Theresa divorced during one of his affairs. That was just after Kelsey was born. And then three years later, Teresa took him back, remarried him. She wanted to have her family back together.
That was her whole thing. Family.
What was it like for you when Scott came into your house? What would happen here as he walked in the door?
I tried to be sociable, neutral with Scott, but always had that thought at the back of my mind. He hurt my sister and I will not forget it. For a while, things were as Teresa had always hoped, but wishes don't always come true soon. Scott was back to his old ways with that girl. Cops were talking to in Tuscaloosa and you know how gossip can be. Scott went from sympathetic figure bereaved widower to TICAD. And maybe worse, he must have been aware of the fact that there were people suspicious of him.
It bothered me hearing the bad things that people had to say about him, and I knew that my dad was never capable of doing something like that. You know, I was going to have his back regardless.
But to investigators, Scott's affair and the fact he lied about it to police certainly was suspicious. Ellis and Boyd asked the girlfriend to help them out by recording her conversations with Scott.
Maybe he'd let something slip like, are you OK? Yes, I'm OK.
I just laughed. Oh, I want to know. Did you do it? Of course not. They told me year ago I would be no one. I know. Do you still love me? Yes, I do. If you did have anything to do with her down, was it because you loved me? I didn't have nothing to do with it. No, no, no. I had nothing. My hands are clean. I can be.
So infidelity. Yes. Murder didn't sound like it.
We could prove that he was an adulterer. But, you know, he was trying to prove the murder.
Guess there's no crime against being a lie. Exactly. You know what? It's not against the law to have a mistress. So now the corporal in the sheriff reverted to standard procedure. They followed up every tip, tracked down every tenuous lead, knocked down rumors. Somebody called Scott from Theresa's cell phone that morning. Whether he heard it or not, the investigation dragged on for weeks and months, went by and there was, you know, nothing, no ransom.
You have no idea how that anger will get the best of you not knowing who done this. And you want the person that done is to be punished for.
Kelsey took on the most difficult job of her life. At seventeen, she stepped into her mother's shoes, defended her father, tried to maintain something of a normal life for her little brothers.
May trying to fill my mother's shoes. Those are some big shoes to fill. I just felt like it was my responsibility to help my dad take care of my family.
So you were able to continue to have a relationship of trust with your father while he was there for you?
Yes, he tried to be strong for us. So, you know, we wouldn't have a breakdown.
By the first anniversary of Theresa's death, there was still no arrest and the story was old news. So Theresa's mother plastered this poster on doors and windows, telephone poles all around Moundsville, hoping it would help dislodge some clue. And then the weirdest thing happened.
We found out that just about as quick as we were putting posters up, they were being taken down, taken down by someone who didn't want Theresa's killer found, she presumed on the dark side crystallized and Rebus mind, was it Scott?
You know, he never acted like a grieving husband. If he had, I wouldn't have had these thoughts.
Your thoughts actually increased over the course of the time that you were with us.
But you know what they say about assumptions. It wasn't scoffed. Me and my brothers took them down. At first I was OK.
But once they put the posters up and everywhere I went, I saw my mother's face. It just drove me crazy. It broke my heart seeing her face splattered all over these pictures.
And so expectations faded again. A couple more months went by.
And then a girl who knew Kelsey heard a strange little story, overheard it actually a guy saying he saw someone with a gun on a dirt road around the time Teresa was killed. Did she associate it with this crime?
Well, she knew that Miss Teresa was killed down that way. So she just reported it.
Was this the break they were looking for? Well, we can tell you this.
The tip led to real flesh and blood, in fact, to a quite literal snake in the grass.
Coming up, a curious incident from Theresa's past, could it shed light on the crime?
Allatoona said you'd need to stay away from that woman when secrets in a small town continues. Under a setting sun on a sweltering summer night two years after her death, Teresa Mayfield's friends and family gathered to remember.
I talked to her almost every day and I miss those talks. They took turns talking about the loving daughter, the softball mom, the sweet woman gunned down on that lonely country road, a murder that was still a mystery.
My family will not stop searching or doing whatever it takes to find out how to trace the slide when Scott got up to speak.
You can bet people were paying special close attention.
Yes, she was a loving wife, loving mother and a loving friend to the community. Yes, she would do anything for anybody at any time.
Having discovered he was not exactly husband of the year, some people still nursed a lingering suspicion. And yet here he was devoted to the care of his children and full of praise for his dead wife. She did a wonderful job raising these kids. She was the one who got them to practice on time, got him to ball games on time.
When Sheriff Ellis walked up to the podium, he looked at Teresa's mother, Reba, and vowed he'd get justice yet.
Sorry, but I won't quit until we find out what happened to mysteries.
And in fact, even as he spoke, the sheriff, along with the corporal, were chasing down their first honest to God lead in over a year.
Didn't seem like much, really, not at first. Just an overheard story from a guy in a bar or something about how he and a friend ran into someone with a gun.
That's so terribly uncommon around here, mind you, except it happened around the same time. And I'm very far away from where the murder occurred. So Allison boy tracked the kid down and he repeated the story for them.
They were on a dirt road and they came up on a snake, a rattlesnake, and they was trying to kill it, find something and kill it with trouble was they were plumb out of rattlesnake killing tools.
And that's when an SUV just happened to pull up on the dirt road behind them. The driver was a woman in her 40s or thereabouts who said the young man offered them a surefire way to dispatch that rattlesnake. Lady in the car had a gun, right? It was a handgun inside a Ziploc plastic bag.
I think she handed him the plastic bag for him to take it out. And that was a little weird. Why would it be in the bag? My peculiar story for sure.
Certain details were a little fuzzy. Kid couldn't remember the exact day, for example, but he did recall with absolute clarity who the driver was because he knew her, knew her name.
And here was the most curious thing of all. It was a name you've heard before dawn leaving their small town, Moundsville, suddenly got even smaller.
Don Lavender, you'll recall, was Theresa's friend, the one who said she waited in vain for Theresa to pick her up on the morning of the murder. Great buddies, according to Don, but maybe not so much, said Kelsey.
If her mom saw each other at games or whatever, they would speak. But I mean, they weren't best friends or anything.
They did go out together a couple of times. I think my mother did it just because she was bored and wanted to get out of the house.
But when they did get together, at least on one occasion, said Kelsey, it was certainly memorable and not in a good way. They went out to a local casino one night, she said, and her mother came home stumbling.
I thought she was drunk and I knew that that couldn't be right because she didn't drink. She didn't even know where she was at. You couldn't hardly understand a word she was saying. She came in and my dad and I got her and put her in the bed.
How long did you sleep? She slept for two days. Two straight days. What did you think about that? That was very strange. She didn't really remember what happened. She just knew that she had taken some pills.
I believe how she had them. I believe Don gave them to her.
Remember how Teresa was stressed out those last weeks of her life? Neither the casino trip, Teresa told Kelsey Dawn gave her Xanax, the anti anxiety medication, just to calm her down.
Dawn told her and it certainly did that out like a light calm for two whole days. Alertness, a tracer.
You need to stay away from that woman.
She is no friend of yours and how to respond to that, she said, I learned my lesson or maybe she didn't, because the morning of the murder, Theresa had arranged to run errands with Dawn, or at least that's what Don said.
And then it all clicked together. Dawn on the dirt road, a gun in a plastic bag, Theresa's car window down as though she knew her killer. Sheriff and Corporal Boyd picked apart Dawn's early interview with a suspicious eye.
They pulled her phone records and there it was, plain as day Gonzalez lies caught by cell phone technology, it painted a clearer picture that Dawn was in the location of Teresa the morning that she was murdered.
But why in heaven's name with a woman who claimed to be Theresa's friend want to kill her? Good question. Which perhaps they'd get answered once they accused Don Lavender of murder, which they did. She, however, had the one thing to say to police. She just kept saying that it was wrong, that we made a mistake. Coming up, as far as physical evidence, we really didn't have meaning, but they did have a plan, an undercover sting to get the evidence they need to be able to go down.
When Dateline continues.
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On June 11, 2010, almost three years to the day Teresa Mayfield was killed, Sheriff Ellis and Corporal Boyd drove to the wire factory where Don Larpenteur worked.
She was halfway through a day shift and they told her she was under arrest for the murder of her friend, Teresa Mayfield.
She first wanted to know why we arrested her. And when she got to the jail, she said this was wrong, that we made a mistake.
The corporal and the sheriff were only too happy to explain to then assistant D.A. Tim Evans how one clue had led to another and eventually to an inescapable conclusion.
But the prosecutor had questions, pointed ones you could tell, and how it was going to be difficult.
Where was the smoking gun? Where was the murder weapon? There was even one single fingerprint tying Don to the crime as far as physical evidence. We really didn't have any. It was truly circumstantial because we didn't really know anything about what had happened.
As far as Evans could see, the case was a maybe at best because she had no reason to kill Teresa. So, you know, to bring a case against her would be pretty tough.
I would say the case with Don is it's puzzling when you're working with a circumstantial case.
Every piece of evidence is definitely important, not the Corporal Boyd and Sheriff Ellis thought for a second that they were wrong. They believe Don was the killer. They told the prosecutor not only that Don murdered Teresa, but that they were convinced she tried and failed to kill her with a Xanax overdose at the casino. And the sheriff's department believed that that was an attempt on her life, that we had nothing to really support that.
But if Tim Evans was to get a conviction, he needed more more evidence, some concrete proof that Don had pulled that trigger. Well, you can bet Don wasn't about to tell them anything, but that doesn't mean she wasn't talking. We another young lady that was getting out of jail and she came to us and said that Don had been talking about the mood, but that could have been just gossip. Mind you, from a jailhouse snitch who couldn't back it up.
But Don did have a cellmate. She was counting on Jam herself, and she wanted us to try to help her. You know, we can put a word in to the D.A., I'll put a word into the jail. That was enough to get some cooperation from her. Right.
The objective was simple. Get Don talking Wrangell from her, something that at least sounded like a confession. Now, listen, Boyd outfitted Don Cellmate with a digital recorder no bigger than a matchbox.
And on a Friday afternoon, as an unsuspecting Don sat in her cell reviewing her case file, her cell mate walked in and waited for some incriminating tidbit.
What she got instead was the whole sickening story.
Here's what Don told her cell mate about the morning Teresa was killed. Around 7:00 a.m., Don called Teresa with the lie to set the plan in motion.
What I can say, she claimed her car had broken down nearby. Could Teresa come pick her up? Well, of course she said yes, finish drying her hair, got into her car, made the short drive to that dirt road and they're standing alongside. The road was gone.
I've been able to go back and find out how many times we've calculated called precision.
Don Lavender lured Teresa Mayfield to that dirt road.
She then shot her in the back of the head, then steered her car into the brush, hoping it would stay hidden for a while.
Here, Focused allowed her to for me and help China closely to see exactly what the pair were looking at. KATWALA The. It was all there. A prosecutor's dream confession, she even referred to herself as a cold blooded killer. But there was one question anyone with a beating heart wanted to ask why it just had to be an answer of that. They were sure, but would they ever get it out of her?
Coming up, at some point, she was calling herself a hit man, a hit man, but for whom another painful revelation was in store for Theresa's family. It hurts too much for me to say it out loud when secrets in a small town continues.
It's like pointing to this economy and health insurance, I don Lavender sounded for all the world like she was boasting as she confessed to her cellmate that she murdered Teresa Mayfield in cold blood.
In fact, in recorded conversations with her cellmate, Don not only admitted to shooting Teresa, but said that she had tried once before that strange night at the casino when Teresa came home stumbling.
That was her first attempt at murder.
Oh, my God. And she said, stand.
But why? Why would she want to kill her friend? Because listen to this. The answer to the whole puzzle really comes down to one little word. Sean uses it when telling her.
Tell me what she did by the time we was not acting alone. She had a coconspirator.
I don't know if she was trying to be a show off because she was calling herself a hit man when Don was a hired gun for, you guessed it.
Scott Mayfield, she was a loving wife, loving mother, the man who heaped praise on his dead wife, his grieving children by his side was, according to Don, the architect who designed her death, a revelation that finally made sense of a trail of disturbing stories. The investigators have been running down for months.
We had one guy that walked around and Michael Scott had offered him five hundred dollars to kill his wife. And a little while later, we got a call from another guy, sons, and it is dead. Wanted want to talk to me. Scott had approached him about killing his wife. His response to Scott was get a divorce. That's what divorces are for.
And then a third man told them a story.
He had told us that Scott Mayfield had hired him, had given him fifteen thousand dollars to kill his wife. He did not have any intentions on killing or he just wanted the man's money.
What's the old saying? Two is a coincidence. Three is a pattern, which is why even before Dawn told her grisly tale on tape, in fact, on the same day Don was arrested, a warrant was also issued for Scott. Kelsey was outside mowing the lawn when she saw a cop car whiz, by then another and another. She called her dad on his cell phone.
I asked him where he was at and he said, the cops have me pulled over. Your dad, for heaven's sake, was being arrested.
Had to be a shock.
I was very confused. So I asked the arresting officer, asked him why, why are you arresting my dad? And he said it was solicitation and conspiracy to commit to commit murder. Yes.
In other words, you said your father was responsible for the death of your mother.
Still, as he sat behind bars awaiting his day in court, he assured his children that it was all a mistake. He was innocent. What did you expect would happen?
I thought he would be found not guilty and he'd be able to come home.
And at that point, the case against Scott was almost entirely circumstantial. That was until Don got to talking to that cellmate, the one with the little recording device. And sure enough, as the whole story spilled out, there was Scott's name on tape, proof at last.
I can tell you I have to do with that, and once the job was done, the car half hidden by the brush, Dunn said she drove to Tuscaloosa and dialed a familiar number from Theresa's cell phone to let her boss know his wife was dead.
I can go on.
Their families have not the only thing left was to collect the 20 thousand dollars God had promised her and go, except I have no money.
I said I should, I say.
But of course, Don didn't keep her mouth shut about what she and Scott had done. From what I could tell, it was just a coward.
He wanted a divorce, but he didn't want to live with the responsibilities that accompany a divorce.
And there was he didn't want to pay her alimony or child support, even his own thing that you can use to describe that man evil.
And on May 19th, 2011, almost four years after Teresa Mayfield was gunned down on that lonely dirt road, her mother, sister and daughter sat in the courtroom and listened as Don and Scott, having pleaded guilty to both murder and attempted murder, were each sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. He looked straight at me like he was looking at a tree or something. There was no emotion and neither was there anything from. It was like they were empty inside.
But for Kelsey, it was simply overwhelming. At the moment of sentencing for the very first time, she saw her dad not as the loving father who took her shopping for her senior prom dress, but as the man who orchestrated the death of her mother. Have you ever brought up the issue with him and said, I know that you did this one day?
I will. I don't have it in me right now to confront him and tell him what I know. It hurts too much for me to say it out loud, for me to tell my dad I know what he did and that I hate what he did. But he's still my father and I'll always love him. Her mother loved him, too, loved him through infidelity and trouble, loved him always, even though she loved her children, her family, as she tried her best to make life good.
Well, he plotted to kill her. A couple of years earlier, you had a great four lovely family life, and now it's really not a that you can use that to describe what our family has been through in the last four years.
It's been has been a very difficult four years, and you've got such a nice sunny disposition. How do you do that?
I get my strength from my mother. That's all for now. I'm Lester Holt, thanks for joining us. Hey, it's Chris Hayes this week on my podcast, why is this happening? I'll be talking with digital fundraiser Michael Whitney about the Wild West of online fundraising for political campaigns.
There was in 2004 a fairly big scandal where the College Republicans essentially disguised their fundraising appeals as a supporting George W. Bush's reelection. And they did a direct mail scam, essentially targeting senior citizens, getting people to donate to George W. Bush. But all the money went to the College Republicans, and that's 2004. You look 16 years later, and that is the M.O. for probably one hundred different Democratic groups. That's this week on why is this happening? Search for why is this happening wherever you're listening right now and subscribe.