Anatomy of Murder

A murder case has many layers: the victim, the crime, and the investigation. To truly understand it, you need to dissect each piece of a tragic puzzle. Join Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and Scott Weinberger every Wednesday for an insider’s perspective, as they reveal to you the Anatomy of Murder.

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve

Wed, 27 Jan 2021 08:00

New Year’s Eve turns to tragedy. A young man is murdered and his killer spends the next 16 years on the run.

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If you're looking for a new show unlike anything you've ever heard before, check out audio Chuck's latest series killed. Each episode of killed covers a story that you may have never read because it was killed before it got published. I'm Justine Harman, who some of you may know from my show OC swingers, and I'm here to bring these dead stories back to life binge killed right now to get the full story. Hi everyone, Ashley Flowers here and I have exciting news to share. My debut novel, all good people here is officially out now. Our fans are blowing up our social talking about it. You do not want to be left out and the worst thing that could happen is for someone else to spoil it for you because there are some wild twists in this book. If you love true crime content, mysteries, and a grown up Nancy Drew style detective work then I have a good feeling you won't be able to put this book down. So what are you waiting for? Grab your copy of all good people here now, wherever books are sold. I mean, you just think what a way to get caught when you think about the amount of people he must have cut out of his life. Family members, his friends, his exes. He must have been extremely careful for all that time. And if he hadn't been in her line? He might still be in Alabama. I'm Scott Weinberger, investigative journalist and former deputy sheriff. Glassie former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of Investigation Discovery's true conviction, and this is anatomy of murder. Today's case is really interesting to me for a few reasons. The first thing I'm going to say right off the top, it takes place in my home court of Brooklyn. So that right away gets me a little excited. And also because as Scott and I so often talk about, there's so many different types of cases beyond the typical whodunit. And this one really speaks to that because this one is really about learning the identity is sometimes only the beginning, and that's what we have here. For me, this is a case while a suspect. In a brutal execution style, murder is quickly ideed as you said. The rest was such an arduous journey that many believed would never be completed. So I'm excited about getting started. I spoke with the prosecutor, Emily Dean in this case, who again, disclaimer, I know her. I worked with her towards the end of my time at the District Attorney's Office in Brooklyn. And the first place that we should start with New Year's Eve 1991. New Year's Eve in New York City is huge. I mean, first of all, you have the ball drop. What's going on in Times Square where people come from all over the world and they stand outside all day and crowds of people for hours and hours and hours and hours and all kinds of weather and rain and snow and cold just to be a part of the festivities. Obviously, on New Year's Eve, the place to be is Times Square. And here's my Full disclosure. In 2000 or 1999 into 2000, I covered New Year's Eve for NBC News working at the local station. And of course, that year was the big Y2K concern, where even the NYPD was concerned their crime computers would go down. Streets at all hours of the day and night, people are buying tickets to go into bars. The bars are absolutely passed, but it's not just Times Square. The streets are full. From Manhattan to Brooklyn, Queens everywhere. Everybody's out in the bell, and your New Year's plans are very important because you want to be out doing something fun with everybody else. And let me just set the scene a little bit for you about that time frame here in Brooklyn. 1991 was actually the peak year of homicides here. That year. They clocked in unfortunately at 819 by the end of the year. So you just get a sense of all the crime that was happening. And now you take the mix of New Year's Eve, New Year's Eve, you usually think of drunk driving or, you know, things get out of hand at a party. Maybe there's a bar fight that goes on and you have to say that homicides. What happened? But this is the only New Year's Eve homicide I've ever handled. Our victim in this case is 22 year old William Smith, who was a high school football standout. William Smith was a great athlete, very popular, very well loved by his family and friends, and just an all around good kid with a bright future. And New Year's Eve, 1990, he's working as a security guard. He lived in Brooklyn. He came from the area known as Flatlands E Flatbush, and that night brought him to Glenwood houses, one of the New York City housing developments. Huge development. It had 26 Storey buildings with around 1200 apartments and 2700 residents. It was a big place. It's a busy area, you know, especially at New Year's Eve. The Glenwood houses, there's so many people there and parties are happening like everywhere else on New Year's Eve and people are going to be out on the street, people are going to be gathering in the courtyard and people are going to be in their homes with friends over celebrating and bringing in the New Year. Get up what this looks like for you. Picture these tall buildings like Scott talked about, and they all have these side pathways that lead into this open courtyard in the middle, and that's where they went to hang out. William Smith that night was with three female friends. The girls had all gotten together in Brooklyn, and they had taken public transportation to Times Square to watch the ball drop. They were going to sleep over at one of the young women's home, and she's the one who lived in the Glenwood. Houses, it's after midnight. By this time we're getting close to 3:00 AM people are out and about and these young girls are having a great night. They're now sitting on benches and they start to hear music coming from above. Since the music was loud, there's a party going on. The girls all went upstairs and they tried to get into the party. The girls were with another friend at the time, a male friend of theirs named Reggie, and they were with him. He knocked on the door and he's trying to talk his way into the party. The person that opened the door was. A man and a woman. The man was a light skinned African American male and the woman was a light skinned African American female. And they basically tried their best to get into this party but were turned away. So the group turned around, went back downstairs into the courtyard and just continued to hang out at the bench. Now these young women are joined by some of their other friends. A couple guys come around and one of those young men is William Smith and the clock is ticking and now it's close to three. All of a sudden a man comes out of the building where the party had been taking place and is very agitated, and he walks up to that group that William is in and just starts demanding to know who's the drunk guy who was buffing up the party. So the group all starts to look at one another. Really confused. And they ignore him. They don't say anything. And then when he started demanding answers from them, William said something flippant to him, like, we all want answers, but we can't always get them right away. The man started fighting with William, and that's when he took out the gun, pointed it at William. And then Williams said the thing that we as homicide prosecutors and law enforcement know never to say. William says. If you're going to bust me, bust me now. And right away the man just shot him right in the face and killed him. So William collapsed right away, and his friends were freaking out. You know, they all started trying to get away from the man who had shot William, scrambling in different directions. The young women that he was with, they ran back to one of their homes. They called the cops. Back for a moment, because it's one of these things. If I could make any sort of public service announcement on this one, it would be that I cannot tell you how many times in my career, whether it's a robbery or an altercation, that when someone has a gun and the other person looks at them and says, what are you going to do? Shoot me or hear what are you going to do, bust me? Go ahead. Never say that to someone with a gun because all too often the person holding the gun pulls the trigger and fires I could not list. The number of homicides here, I mean, Scott, what are your thoughts on this one? Often we called it beer mussels. And that's a situation where you may have two intoxicated people. They feel they're invincible, they recognize the fear, but the fact that they're intoxicated, they don't process it, that it's going to happen right there and then, and they just want to act tough. People don't want to appear that they are scared or afraid. But please, please never say such a thing because we have seen it so many times. Unfortunately for William, that's exactly by no fault of his own, but it's exactly what happened here. Now back to that night. So William is now laying on the ground all the people, the young women, all scatter one of them. As soon as she gets into her home, which was right there, she calls 911 and that's how police ended up showing up at the scene. And then ultimately the cops went to the home of the young woman who had called from her house. So this is where our investigation begins, speaking with the women who called 911 who are direct eyewitnesses. That is a great piece of evidence, getting that. First hand testimony, but the real investigation begins where the crime occurred. The police were covered off 380 caliber shell casing and a bullet from the crime scene and they found William on the ground in a pool of blood and he had one gunshot wound to the head. Just talk about, from a law enforcement perspective, the challenges of investigating a homicide that occurs on New Year's Eve. Well, obviously there's two huge challenges here on the Sega the first thing being the buildings the size of the complex. That may work well with eyewitnesses, but essentially, it's a tremendous job to canvas these buildings to try to find out if anybody heard or saw anything #2, you're right, New Year's Eve, a gunshot. At 3:00 o'clock in the morning, it's not unusual, not only just because it's Brooklyn in the middle of a celebration night, but the fact that it's New Year's Eve, so, you know, a gunshot going off may not bring anybody to their window to look downstairs to see what's going on. So as far as eyewitnesses are concerned, that may be very difficult. But fortunately, in this case, William Smith had three young women as friends, and every one of them was willing to talk to the police that night. The girls are at the precinct and they give a description to the police of everything that they can remember about the shooter. In this case, the girl said that when they had gone up to try to get into the party that they had seen a man kind of peek his head from behind to see if they had invitations and that man was the very same man who ultimately shot their friend with the gun. None of the girls knew who the shooter was. They had seen him, but he wasn't somebody that known to them. He was a light skinned black male. With light colored eyes and freckles on his face, all three women are separated. So they all gave very similar stories. And that's actually, as you know, more powerful as far as an ID is concerned because all of them described him the very same way except for one of the description came up to say that he was wearing a hat. So that just furthered the ability for them to all connect it to that one individual that they believe is responsible for killing their friend. Police do work. They do computer checks and they do things to figure out who potential people could be. And they come out with this photo array. As most of you know, it's a group of six photographs of people who share physical characteristics. They all appear similar, and when they put it in front of the young women the person now saw staring back at her in one of those photographs, the eyes and the face of the person who had just killed her friend. She identified. Eric Lloyd. His sister lived in Glenwood houses at the time, and his sister was actually the person who had thrown the party that the girls had tried to get into that night. Now you may be saying, well, wait a second, if there's three young women, why is only one show in the photo array? And it's pretty common, certainly at the time because at the time, photo arrays themselves are not something that we could ever bring and introduce in the courtroom. So the thinking was that you need to get someone identified, if someone's able to identify them, if you get that far. And then. If you are fortunate enough to find that person and apprehend them, then you put them in what's called belive lineup, because then when you turn it over to one of the prosecutors like me, we can now introduce that testimony. So after one of the young women had identified Derek Lloyd as a shooter, the police wanted to go out and find Derek Lloyd. But that was not as easy as you might think. So just hours after the shooting of William Smith, 3 eyewitnesses are sitting in separate interview rooms at the precinct and one of the witnesses is shown what we call a photo array or A6 pack, and she quickly points to one of them, Derek Lloyd. The police started looking for him and he was absolutely nowhere to be found. Same time for the investigators to determine where their prime suspect could be located. Because if Derek Lloyd is their suspect and he knows he committed this heinous murder, he's going to be on the run. They haven't addressed for him. And when they couldn't find him there, they started going through his family members, his friends, his exes, and everything would end. He had completely disappeared. And you know, the time, Scott, really does play into this because while people can disappear and evade law enforcement quite effectively today, sometimes it's much harder than it was back in 1991. You know, there's a lot of digital footprints, as we always say, Anna Sigga, if you have enough probable cause to believe that this is your guy, then you're able to get some other tools, trap and trace of cell phone records, somebody's bank transactions, ATM cards to determine their movement. But, you know, they spread this search. Of this net went further out of Brooklyn, further out of New York City. In fact, it was the entire metro area, and for days still not a sign. Nothing. And this was a guy who was New York based. He grew up here, he lived here, here being New York City, Brooklyn. And by all accounts, everything was telling them one thing and one thing only. Derek Lloyd had vanished. The case ends up getting older and older. Ultimately, it ends up going to a special squad called Cold Case Squad. It was assigned to a detective there so that as the time passed, there was someone responsible for following up potential leads as to where Derek Lloyd was. They showed another photograph to one of the young women, who again identified Derek Lloyd. But they were getting nowhere. So they turned and let's go to your journalist hat here, Scott. They turned to the media. You know, normally a not a great tool. When you're first investigating within the first couple of days, but as a reporter, you know you want to get the most current information and get it out there because you believe in some sense. Not only is it a good story, but maybe it could help a tip come in. Maybe it can come to a point where somebody gives a valuable lead that's fresh enough that he could be captured. But there was a very popular show in the 90s which really helped capture a lot of fugitives. The case goes on to America's Most Wanted and out to the whole nation, because the detectives at that point are saying, do you know this person? Do you recognize this person? They did at least one or two broadcasts with Derek Lloyd's picture. Give us a tip, let us know where he is. But still, this guy had disappeared without a trace. And when someone knows that they don't want to be found, they make sure they don't do the things that could trace them back to their original name. They're using a fictitious name they're identifying themselves to. Others, using this fictitious name, they're building new identities under this fictitious name. So ultimately anything that could trace them back, like fingerprints, you know, associating with people that you've known before, living in the same area where people may recognize you. The usual Ave is, you know, not using a bank account, not calling people from home. Once someone is able to round that corner and basically disappear, it's very hard sometimes to find them. Well, thing to get done, but it happens all the time. No matter how hard they tried. Police just really were hitting a wall. But the thing that police didn't know was that Derek Lloyd had a completely different name. He had a whole new identity. Years ago, somebody who did not want to be found can go to a local person in the area and get a new ID to be able to change their license or be able to change the Social Security card. These days, ID's have become so sophisticated that it is very difficult to use a real ID with somebody else's name. You know, Scott, let's just talk about it. How to go about finding someone and the difficulties associated with that when they've decided to just be like this guy gone? Often criminals make mistakes. They run into somebody that they know from the past, that calls police. They may leave their fingerprints in a place where it's required or it's necessary. Sometimes they believe that their disguise is so good that after years, they get sloppy. Well, 16 years later, in August 2007, Derek Lloyd made a mistake and government officials caught him. But it's not the FBI, the US Marshals or local police that. It's the most unlikely place you would think. Finally, a guy who goes by the name of Rashad Hamid goes into the DMV in Montgomery, AL, and he's there to get a driver's license that day. Now if you ask yourself, why are we talking about Rashad Hamid, all of you can probably guess. The DMV worker that day that Mr Hermit approached was someone who was brand new and had just gone through training on how to spot fake documents. And when Mr Hamid gives her the documents that he needed to present in order to get his drivers license, she looked at them and she thought, these are not real documents. And when you say, well, what was it that she saw, he came in with two pieces of identification. All of you have gone to get your driver's license or get it renewed. That's, you know what you always need. And he had a New Jersey Social Security card, which was laminated. Strike one, the typeface to her seemed off. Strike two, the letters were raised. Strike three. All of those were red flags. Hearing that, it's exactly one of the things that I love about this profession. And really, that is kind of the fun part, if I'm allowed to say that of it all. You know, you just never know which way it's coming from you. Expect it's the police you expect it's the US Marshals. All the obvious, normal gotos. But here is the DMV. It's a place that I dread going because I'm always going to be stuck online for hours and hours. But yet it was that young woman who was on one of her first days of work and boom, she's going to catch a killer. What a way to get caught. Then you think about the fact that this wasn't the first time you ever tried to get a driver's license. He got in the wrong line at the DMV that day, and if he hadn't been in her line, he might still be in Alabama. And drivers license examiner goes to alert one of the state troopers who's assigned there to work in DMV. So now she goes back out with the state trooper to Mr Hamid. They go out now and the supervisor, who's a special agent, actually asks Mr Hamid to come back to his office and Mr Hamid goes with the agents and they are in the office. The agent asked them about the documents. Mr Hamid is saying, well, I've had these my whole life. There should be nothing wrong with these. This is my Social Security card. This is just everything I've always had. The agent tells Mr Hamid he's going to place him under arrest for possession of false documents. And Richard Hamid appeared to look at that point, at his options. And I could tell you from my experience in law enforcement, body language is so important here now, even though at the moment it's only a potential fraud case. You never know. He may attempt to flee, he may grab somebody around him, or even worse, obviously grab for a weapon. Takes another turn because he does something unexpected. When Hamid was approached by the state Trooper, Hamid realized that he was likely to be placed under arrest, but he had other plans. When the agent tells Mr Hameed that he's going to be under arrest, Mr Hamid tries to break for it. He runs for the door. The agent has to grab him and I think another agent at that point actually comes and helps tackle Mr Reed and get amongst the ground. And at that point, Mr Hamid gets arrested. And when he got to the precinct, he went through routine processing. And part of that, as you all know, is taking fingerprints. That's when they find out that he's not Mr Hamid at all. This is actually Derek Lloyd. The detectives that have been working on this case and keeping it alive the whole time, they know where their guy is and they begin the extradition process to actually take him from Alabama and ultimately have him brought back to New York and arrested for the murder of William Smith. But this was really just the beginning of this case's journey. The Brooklyn Day's office is preparing for trial and anesthesia since obviously you come out of that specific district Attorney's office, what do you do to prepare for trial now? I mean, you've got your suspect, he's in custody, he's back in New York. What are some of the first steps when he gets back to Brooklyn? The first thing that has to happen is they have to see if those identifications made all those years back. If now they are spot on for this person, they actually now have in custody. I mean, it's part of your investigation. This is also part of what we call connective tissue. Do you have a continuance of identification? You had the three witnesses identify something within a 6 pack. Now they're actually looking at a live lineup. Each of the girls who was a witness to this man killing William Smith. Each of the girls separately identified him as being the killer. And so now you had him arrested, you had him indicted, but then soon it was time for trial. In 2010, the case goes to trial and the girls will testify. The evidence is presented. During the trial, the prosecution presented their evidence. All those young women came and took the stand and testified along with other people, the law enforcement, the medical examiner. Then it was time for the defense. Now the defense never has to put on a case. It's up to the people, the prosecution, to prove that case, to prove that person's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. But in this case, the defense did put on their own evidence and basically they went alibi. He puts on an alibi witness to say that he was actually with his girlfriend at the time. He puts on his own sister who threw the party that night. His sister says he wasn't at the party, he was somewhere else. He puts on a friend who was at the party to say he wasn't at the party. It was really down to a misidentification defense that the person that has been charged with this homicide wasn't the shooter or wasn't even there. You know, when I go back and I think about the various options in this case, now, while the defense doesn't have to put on anything, what really were their options? They could have gone with a psych defense, which, well, that wouldn't really have worked. They could have gone self-defense. But again, they had multiple people out there that saw what transpired. So again, if they were going to choose something, this alibi, this miss ID really was the way to go. Why would that be? Was spending New Year's Eve with his girlfriend and she gave a very detailed account of everything they did and when they ended up back at her apartment and what they ate and how the night went. I'm always interested in your perspective and seeing on how difficult is it to combat the non ID defense. Juries these days are so used to having evidence like surveillance video or cell phone records or finding out his cell phone pinged at a local tower. Which put him right in the same vicinity, but without that, how difficult was it back in the 90s to prove a non ID case? Well, it was actually easier back then than would be proving that same case today. Because as you said, Scott, as prosecutors we call it, the CSI effect is that everyone expects, you know, laser beams to prove your evidence and you know, that typewriter that comes back to a specific typeface is going to prove it. And of course they expect DNA, but that's not really the way a lot of these cases work. We didn't have any of that. Back in 1991. And so the prosecutor really was left with presenting all their evidence, and they had all these people that were willing to come in all these years later that testified about what they saw. But then they had all these other people come in from the other side to say, well, that's not right because he was really with me or he wasn't at the party. And certainly when this jury deliberated, they wrestled with that same question themselves. And at the end, when the jury went out to deliberate, they couldn't reach a verdict. The case had to be retried. And what that means is that these 12 people could not agree. Whether it was one or more that felt different from the rest, it doesn't matter. What matters is that jury couldn't reach a verdict. And as a prosecutor, you know that that means that they're going to have to do it all over again. But that means that every one of those witnesses had to come in again. And while you might suspect it, people don't necessarily. They're not banging. Down my door to testify in a homicide trial, and for good reason. People are fearful. They don't want to be in there pointing the finger. If it's that type of a case. And I'm not suggesting like, this is chess, because obviously this is real and it's horrible. But once you as prosecutor lay out your entire case and the defense presents theirs, how difficult is it presenting the very same case at a second trial when the defense knows exactly what your evidence is? Well, it's interesting. Because a lot of people might think that now the prosecution's at a deficit for just that reason. But if you look at the numbers, it's really quite the opposite. And I look at it this way. I am a big believer that by and large, the truth will show itself. And so if all these witnesses are credible and accurate, it will all come together. But what it does give the prosecution, if we now have the advantage of hindsight, is there something we can do differently, present a little differently, or make a little more clear cut by the way that we explain it to the jury? Because that's what it's really all about. That in the end, while never a guarantee, more often than not we do do it a bit better, and at least the numbers bear out that it often benefits the prosecution. The tough part for a prosecutor is if you have to get your head in all over again, and for me that was always the toughest part to get my head back in the game. But the second I walked into that courtroom, you're back in it as if you had never done it before. But prosecutors in the second trial did have something to add to the mix to tell this second jury what became an important. Back to talk to them about was how Derek Lloyd assumed a whole new identity. And lived a whole different life, basically hiding in plain sight in Alabama and using the fact that why would somebody leave on the same night that a homicide occurs and sort of take on this whole new identity and be off the radar for so long? Why would somebody do that? And they were able to enter that reasoning for the jury to consider. In 2011, the retrial happened and then the defendant puts on a case, he puts on the same case I just told you about the alibi case where he's with his ex-girlfriend and he's not at the party. And this time, after that case was presented. Now the second time, the jury came back quite differently than the first time around. Now that jury deliberated and they convicted Derek Lloyd of Williams murder. And the family, they take that deep breath, and all these years later, they feel like they've finally gotten across the finish line. But unfortunately, in this case, that wasn't to be. Derek Lloyd then appealed his conviction and the case goes up to a higher court and that court ends up determining that. There were errors made at the 2011 trial that required them to reverse the trial and send it back for a new trial and to really break it down very simply. To put it in a nutshell, they decided that there was prosecution error. They found that a piece of evidence that had not actually been introduced in the trial had been inferred or referenced in some way, and that they felt that that made it in a way that the verdict could not stand. And so they reversed it. And I'll say right now, you know, prosecutors were human. Most do the very best job that they can, but there's always so many moving parts to think about that sometimes things are done not nefariously, but by mistake, and here's that's what happened, and at least the court felt that it was enough that they were going to reverse that. So now this case has to be tried for round 3. The prosecutor who had handled this case for all those years unfortunately couldn't try it again. He was a friend of mine and he actually passed away right before this trial, came back around. So now someone else had to start with all this history. Now enter officially Emily Dean. It was my first day in the Homicide Bureau, and it was the first set of boxes that was put into my office. You know, I laughed and talking to Emily, and she was describing how this was the first case assigned to her. And we laughed because I very likely was the one that assigned it to her because that was one of my duties in my position of chief and trials at the time. But there's so much pressure entering the Homicide Bureau. I'll never forget when I first got to the Bureau, I had the smallest office that faced the front door. And I would just sit there almost paralyzed sometimes because I was so overwhelmed by what I felt my responsibility was. Because you don't want to get anything wrong. I looked at this as she did, as important in cases you could ever handle, because there is a family that is counting on you to do the job well and to get it right. You going into the Bureau, that everything that I was going to get this going to be intense and serious and stressful. And if you don't feel stressed and you don't feel pressure to do well and do this job right, you're probably not in the right place. And it was definitely overwhelming because I knew that one of my first tasks in the Bureau was going to be to give this family devastating news. And I was brand new, you know, and I was going to be telling them. That the case had to be retried and we had to start over from scratch. I was also giving them the news that the reason the case had to be retried by me, not the first prosecutor, is because the prosecutor who had handled this case for all those years had passed away. So that was a difficult phone call and they were upset. It must have been a terrible call for them. And I get it. You know, you get very close to some of the family members in these cases because what you're dealing with is some of the most momentous, albeit terrible, things in their lives. And they were clearly close to him. So she had to give him that news and say, oh, and by the way, I'm the new kid on the block. I'm the newest in Homicide, and I'm now going to be handling this case. That's pressure right there. Coming to the Homicide Bureau was very intimidating. I was still a young prosecutor. I think I'd been in the office for only five years at the time. And you're joining a Bureau full of lead best, most experienced prosecutors in old Brooklyn who handle the most serious cases and got the right outcome in the case. So now I'm brand new in the Bureau and I have this case from 1991, and you can't help but feel the pressure that I am going to have to measure up. To what the prosecutor who had this before me had done, I can give a little bit of back story in the prosecutor since I know her. You know, she is very meticulous. She is someone that dots your eyes and crosses her T's and color codes things and tabs. So she is really of much of my own heart, you know, although I'm a big highlighter girls, she does it in her own way. She wasn't going to let something go wrong for lack of effort on her part. So now she went into court for trial #3. Both things are very different. As you know, Derek Lloyd never spoke to investigators originally when he was arrested, never testified in trial number one, didn't testify in trial #2, but in trial #3 that would change. At this third trial, it went as it usually does in these cases where you call or your witnesses. But a couple days into trial, at the end of a long day, something really, really unusual happens. It was the end of the day. All the defense witnesses were done. Everyone's expecting that's going to be it, but now the defense attorney. As they have one more awareness. The defendant decided to testify. Wow. I mean, how unusual is that, that a defendant in their own murder trial decides to take the stand? And now we're not talking about trial number one trying #2 the third time around. That's what makes it the most unusual, you know, because defendants do testify in these homicide cases more than people think and more and more all the time. But yes, by the numbers, it certainly is few and far between. But here, this case had been done not once, but twice before, and he had never taken the stand. And so Emily Dean thought this wasn't going to be any different than what had been done before. I shouldn't have been as shocked as I was because any defendant can decide to testify. But I didn't expect him to deviate from his strategy from trial one and trial two. It felt like we were wrapping up for the day. And the next thing I knew, he was coming out and his defense attorney was saying that he was going to testify. And the judge said, well, let's let's get it done today. Let's go. Wait, we're going to keep the jury. And let's just talk about this for a second because, again, as a prosecutor, it's so interesting to me. As I said, the truth does often show itself eventually. So like you said, Scott, you know, now these defense witnesses have testified twice before, and I always say that when you're lying, it's hard to keep the details straight. Now, you know, any defense attorney will tell you that at the end of the day, it's always up to the defendant themselves whether or not they stand up and walk to that witness box during the trial. So Derek Lloyd made the decision that he was going to get up and now talk the jury through it. Herself. He wanted to tell the jury that he was on parole as a reason to explain why he ran. Now, typically prosecutors aren't allowed to use someone's prior convictions against them in court because the jury has to decide whether this person is guilty of this crime by the evidence obtained for this case. So we can't use what someone's done in the past. It's called propensity. A judge is never going to let a jury hear that a defendant is on goal, because what's the jury going to think when they hear that they're going to think this is? A person must have done something terrible. But by Lloyd giving it himself, he gave that information, which is now evidence, and gave prosecutors an opening. To tell the jury that he was on lifetime for all, he can tell the jury that, and that's what happened in this case. Now every prosecutor tell you we love when a defendant gets up and takes the stand. It gives you an opportunity to try to poke holes in the story with the facts that you had that you believe to be true. I was going to ask him about the same things that his alibi witnesses had been asked about, and I was going to use those points to just create more contradictions. Because when you're lying through your teeth and your witnesses are lying, all of your stories are not going to match up. And that's what happened. Through Derek Lloyd's own testimony, he did what's called opening the door and he said certain things that now allowed Emily to call a witness who had never been admissible before. Derek Lloyd's sister who threw the party. She had a friend, a female friend at that party who that night she had actually introduced to her brother. She introduced this friend to Derek. Now, after the party and after the murder was committed, she ended up threatening that friend of hers, saying that you better not say anything about my brother being there, you better not say anything about meeting my brother, and that witness was actually so scared that she ended up moving out of the state. She didn't just leave Brooklyn, she left New York. But ultimately, because of the way the trial unfolded, we were actually able to call her as a witness and the jury was able to hear about the threat that Derek sister made against her. And about the fact that because of those threats, she had moved. With that powerful testimony from the woman who was at the party, and with Derek Lloyd's statements on the stand, the jury had a, let's say, file full of information to be able to go back to the jury room and render their decision. After a few hours, this now third jury convicted Derek Lloyd for the murder of William Smith. And he was sentenced once again to 18 years to life, and this time the appellate courts affirmed that conviction. For the family, this must have been a huge relief decades later. A murder that occurred in 1991 was resolved in 2016, from the news of an arrest, to the disappointment at the end of trial one and then trial two, and then finally a conviction in trial three. What a long and painful road to justice for this family. You're dealing with families who've suffered a loss that they can never get their loved one back. They never recover from the walls, but. Going through the process in court, it helps them get a little bit of closure to actually sit in court and be there during the trial and see that justice is done. And that's something that I always wanted to be a part of. When I think about this case, there's really a few things that stand out. First, the prosecutor, Emily Dean, let me let you in on something. She left a very high paying job at a big firm to become a prosecutor making so much less money because she wanted to help other people. And that to me is particularly noble. And I think about this as the journey of these young women, these three young women who were just thought they were going to be out on New Year's Eve. And they ended up seeing their friend killed in front of them. But then this case stayed with them too, for the next 25 years and they did the right thing. But for William Smith, these three friends, right place, right time, because they stuck with him through this entire journey. To make sure that he got justice. TuneIn next Wednesday, when we'll dissect another new case on anatomy of murder. Anatomy of Murder is an audio Chuck original, A Weinberger media and forseti media production summit. David is executive producer.