Dateline   |  April 10, 2013

April 10: 'Behind Closed Doors', Part 6

Prosecutors get a surprise before the trial.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> on a quiet april night in the home of kay and joe morrissey and committed there's nothing the morrisseys could have done that and no one was going to mess with his family and he was going to take care of it.

>> reporter: but in the end randy tundidor didn't seem to care about his family. prosecutors say he tried to pin the blame on his son, randy jr .

>> the phone calls to detective kendall about test his shirt for dna and that's your killer. i mean, just piling on him, just trying to get himself out of trouble.

>> randy jr . won't give him up.

>> no. doesn't give him up.

>> randy jr . stuck by his dad, even though his father pretty much threw him under the bus as soon as he came under suspicion.

>> and never stopped. backed that bus over every time he could.

>> so the son's loyal to the father but the father's not loyal to the son.

>> absolutely.

>> pretty much office of the way joe morrissey treated his son at the end, which was to protect him.

>> we kept waiting for senior at some point in time to come forward and say let me cut a deal, let me take life in prison , let me do something.

>> let me take the weight off my kid. didn't happen.

>> never going to happen.

>> reporter: prosecutors thought it might be a case against randy sr . but then something surprising happened. after swearing to police that his dad was not in any way involved, randy jr . took a deal and agreed to testify against his father. as did shawn . randy sr .'s trial was held two years after joe 's murder. he faced the death penalty . kay desperately wanted to make sure he received it. and her testimony in court was powerful.

>> i was so scared. he never answered me. i kept calling me, and he didn't answer me.

>> reporter: on the stand randy jr . told the jury how his dad intended to inflict even more harm on the morrissey family.

>> he wanted to kill miss morrissey and her son. he said they got to go to. and i told him no. i just told him i can't, i can't do that.

>> can't do what?

>> can't kill a kid. it's wrong.

>> reporter: randy sr .'s primary defense was that he was not involved. but the father went far beyond that.

>> we went to trial, and he buried both of his sons. or tried to.

>> because it wasn't just junior once we got to trial. it was that shawn was the other person involved. and it was shawn trying to steal my business. he can't ever accept responsibility for anything.

>> reporter: in court randy jr . lashed out at his father.

>> the fact that he would sit here and say that it was me and my brother who did this and planned this, i feel like that's wrong. he shouldn't -- you shouldn't do anything to hurt your kids. i think that a father's job is to protect his kids, not to hurt his kids.

>> reporter: after 5 1/2 hours of deliberation --

>> the defendant is guilty of first-degree murder.

>> reporter: -- the jury convicted randy sr . on all charges.

>> when they say guilty, i felt my heart, i couldn't breathe. i was very overwhelmed.

>> reporter: the jury later voted unanimously to give randy sr . the death penalty . the judge will rule on that sentence soon. randy sr . is appealing his conviction. randy jr ., who pleaded guilty and cooperated with prosecutors, was sentenced to 40 years in prison. and kay morrissey is angry about that.

>> i believe that the crime wouldn't happen one without the other one. they both deserve the death penalty .

>> reporter: kay morrissey says she's not imprisoned by fear. instead, she says, the nightmare has made her fearless. she even sent a letter to randy sr . saying as much.

>> "you are a coward, and i am not afraid of you."

>> yes.

>> "i am never leaving and will always be here." so like you're saying come and get me.

>> right.

>> tough guy.

>> mm-hmm. i'm not going to be fearful. i mean, they attacked us in our house, which is your safest place to be. and so i started to become extremely fearless.

>> reporter: but she's also struggled to put her life back together, especially financially, because joe morrissey didn't have life insurance kay is now losing what was once their happy home to foreclosure. kay 's daughter says she can see the pain, even as her mom holds patrick close.

>> it's hard to watch my mom with patrick. you can tell they miss him. and they should have him. they shouldn't have to figure it out without him.

>> reporter: they still have each other.

>> i believe god has a plan for us, and that's why we survived.

>> reporter: and she has many memories of her dear joe . after he died kay wrote about him and to him in a letter.

>> " joe , i know we will see each other again. in the meantime, please do watch over our children and do protect them from harm. joe , i thank you for being such