Dateline | March 28, 2014
>> narrator: there may be to the agonizing days and weeks el resultado del veredicto que
>> as anyone who's watched the tv show , i can tell you, unfortunately the reality is really similar, you really are on pins and needless waiting for that verdict that you don't know what it is.
>> and you have no control over it. strangers are going to decide?
>> who don't know your brother?
>> narrator: this family of highly educated professionals knew the case for and against steve as intimately as any attorney. on the third day of deliberations, there was nothing to do but sit together, watch their phone and then as they prepared to leave a coffee shop in prescott, news that the jury had reached a verdict. but it was 4:00 in the afternoon. apparently quitting time. but the judge decided they would all have to wait until morning to hear what the verdict was. katie and charlotte, comforted by steve 's parents, his siblings, had another night to wait and wonder, what did the jury decide?
>> it was rough on everybody. and that nervous energy then, you can't sleep.
>> we were thinking, well are they just stretching this out?
>> was it ftorture?
>> i mean, sure, we want them to go ahead and let him go now.
>> narrator: then the next morning, the clock strikes 9:00, it was time.
>> when they came back in the room could you tell?
>> yes. its never good when the jury comes in and they wouldn't look at the jury.
>> the jury finds steve democker guilty.
>> narrator: guilty on all counts.
>> how did it feel?
>> we were just stunned. it wasn't the right verdict. the law didn't support that verdict.
>> narrator: defense investigator rich robinson didn't think so either.
>> the biggest shock to me is that they came back anonymous, and came back unanimous fairly quickly.
>> how did steve react?
>> he wanted to continue to fight and prove his innocence, that's what his mission is now.
>> narrator: but is he innocent? investigator mike lachey.
>> i believe in my heart and soul that steve democker killed carol kennedy.
>> narrator: he thinks often about the daughters, about the impact on them.
>> while my heart goes out to them, you have to recognize that this is all because of one man's actions.
>> narrator: carol's friend catherine.
>> i never wanted to believe that steve was capable of doing this and the jury has made their decision, i accept their decision, i agree with their decision. i'm so glad it's over. i'm so relieved. because so many of us have been dragged through it for the last 5 1/2 years.
>> narrator: katie and charlotte were back in court at their father's sentencing, and in spite of everything, the state's case against steve , how steve used charlotte to create that phony e-mail evidence and paid for his defense with life insurance money carol intended for her daughters, in spite of all that, at their father's sentencing, they asked the judge for leniency.
>> i asked because i would like the turnopportunity to someday walk again with my father, freely and outside, speak openly and honest honestly with him and find ways to heal the pain of this prolonged nightmare. i believe in healing and forgiveness because that was the way that i was raised. as for me, i can promise that i will never forget the memory of my mother. she lives in me every day and will for the rest of my life.
>> the additional pain of the reality that we now face is very difficult for me to grasp. the knowledge that like my mother, my father may never attend my wedding, or see my children born or even watch me graduate. it feels like losing a parent all over again. this excruciating punishment is almost as difficult for me as i know it must be for him.
>> narrator: steve professed his innocence.
>> i did not kill carol. we loved each other for more than 20 years, our marriage was over, but not our affection for each other. i would no more have harmed her than i would harm my daughters by taking her from them.
>> narrator: leniency was not forthcoming. the judge sentenced steve democker to natural life plus 20 years. no parole ever, no hope of a life outside prison walls. all along we have been asking for an interview with steve , he was willing, but the sheriff wasn't. but we were allowed a brief telephone interview from prison.
>> to amplify to exaggerate the evidence to even misrepresent it, that was the only way they were able to achieve this conviction and it's just wrong.
>> well --
>> it's wrong.
>> you're looking ahead here to an appeal process that will take quite some time at the minimum, appeals are hard to win, you could be in fact in prison for the rest of your life. are you prepared for that?
>> i'm as prepared as anyone can be. but it's really hard, you become nothing but a burden so i guess if i wind up hire for the rest of my life, i will try to find some way to be of use in the world.
>> narrator: interesting thing about steve democker, he's an extremely articulate man, can he possibly be sincere too? all we can know with certainty is that carol will never again have the chance to be useful. although scratch that, maybe she will.
>> the one thing that she always would have said to us, as long as i'm living in this world, i am always here for you and with you. and i think she should have rephrased that to no matter if i'm here living or in heaven, i'm always with you, because i feel her in my heart, i feel her when i'm doing certain things, and her presence certainly lives