Dateline   |  August 02, 2013

'Mystery in Mustang' Part 6

The defense pokes holes in the crime scene investigation, and did a new witness possibly see an intruder that night?

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

>>> becky bryan that was accused of murder no longer resembled the woman she once was. popular gramd wife of a community leader . if her looks had changed, her story had not. she was innocent.

>> keith and becky had grown apart. can you condone affairs? no, but it happens. that does not make one a killer.

>> are you disappointed in your sister?

>> lord, no. i mean, i don't like some of the things that i heard, but she's my sister. i love her.

>> becky 's attorney didn't try to rehabilitate her reputation in court. the evidence of her affairs was overwhelming. but when it came to the crime, the defense told the jury the proof was lacking.

>> can you breakdown for us the biggest errors you feel law enforcement made in this case?

>> i think tunnel vision . i think that dictated this case from the night it happened. they did no other fingerprinting on any other door. they didn't fingerprint the dryer. they didn't fingerprint the gun. how do you not fingerprint a gun?

>> the defense had an explanation for how an intruder could have easily used becky 's gun to commit the crime. becky usually left it in her purse, which investigators found in her car in the garage.

>> do you believe that the perpetrator she spoke of came through the garage, found her gun in the car, went in and shot keith ?

>> really what i thought happened, perpetrator came in, got the gun out of the vehicle.

>> what's more, that glove with becky 's dna on it also had someone else 's dna , but the csis couldn't narrow it down, not to keith or anyone else .

>> it was actually a very large man's work glove.

>> was there gunshot residue on the glove?

>> yes.

>> it was the theme of the defense's case. csi investigators from the state had been so quick to zero in on becky as the suspect, they committed crime scene malpractice.

>> didn't do any contact dna on the gun and that's a very simple process. they didn't do any gunshot residue testing on her clothes, didn't do that on her face, which would have been very, very telling. i mean, there are just things that would have given us reasonable doubt .

>> the defense told the jury investigators all but ignored any evidence that pointed to an intruder. becky 's neighbor came to court with that story about the suspicious handyman he had seen in the neighborhood, and the truck spotted speeding around the night keith was shot.

>> it was something that we felt maybe the perpetrator had been canvassing the area, spying on what was going on in the neighborhood.

>> and another witness testified he told police at the time he saw a truck matching the one becky described driving aggressively near the bryans the night of the shooting.

>> that was the key to the case. he had a person in a matching truck speeding, driving erratically, that had come up on him, almost hit a vehicle. all within blocks.

>> but the statement that witness gave investigators only surfaced a few weeks before trial.

>> they didn't follow up on it. there were cameras at two different businesses right there at that intersection.

>> and one additional detail to contradict the prosecution's case, becky 's brother david testified there was an innocent explanation for the inheritance she mentioned to her ex-lover. she wasn't talking about life insurance . becky was about to inherit a diamond ring .

>> it was my aunt's ring.

>> an expensive ring?

>> very expensive. appraisal at one time was $19,000, some years earlier. so obviously had a little more value.

>> more than enough reasonable doubt said the defense. but would a jury agree? the wait for a verdict began.

>> i was so nervous waiting for it, my hands were shaking.

>> i was holding out hope that the jury would recognize the mistakes that were made and understand that because of those mistakes we may never know who really did it.

>> afternoon turned to evening and then the news. the jury was back.

>> very nervous, very anxious. my thoughts were with keith 's family.

>> the verdict, guilty of first degree murder.

>> and then when he read guilty, i really didn't feel a whole lot. i didn't feel happy.

>> how was your first meeting with becky after her conviction?

>> she cried, said she couldn't believe it.

>> what has becky told you?

>> that she didn't do it. but i still don't know the truth. there are either one or two people on the face of this earth that knows the truth. if becky did it, she's the only one that knows. if somebody else did it, she knows it and that person knows it. if one of those two people come forward and say i did it, then we'll know the truth. other than that --

>> on july 9th , becky was sentenced as the jury had recommended to life in prison without parole . for keith 's friends, the trial and its conclusion were only one sort of an ending, tangible reminders of their friend and hero live on, especially in the fire department keith led for so many years.

>> what is life like now without your friend, without your chief, without keith ?

>> we still talk about him, some of the funny things he did. he's a part of our history here now and always will be and we miss him.

>> if keith was listening, what would you say to keith ?

>> that i know he's in a great place and keith would tell us to forgive becky , not to say that she doesn't have to be held accountable and that she doesn't have to suffer consequences because that's a given and that's the right thing, but keith would actually want us to forgive becky . and i know that. and i would just tell keith well done. your time on earth here was well done.

>>> that's all for this edition of "dateline." we'll be back again next friday at 9:00, 8:00 central. i'll see you tomorrow on "today." i am lester holt in for all of us at nbc news.