Dateline | April 19, 2014
>>> she may have slipped through life little noticed, but in death michelle o'connell with her storm of supporters had become a force to be reckoned with in st. augustine, florida . in the summer of 2011 fdle agent rusty rogers started turning over his evidence to a special prosecutor . state attorney brad king would eventually decide whether jeremy banks would face up to life in prison on a first degree murder charge. in march of 2012 , the o'connell family was summoned to meet with prosecutor king at the local judicial center.
>> i remember just wanting to know what's going to happen.
>> i feel like we have sufficient factual basis to at least be presented to a grand jury .
>> the prosecutor began his review for the family without a headline. he recounted the lawyerly findings issue by issue. michelle 's mother didn't like the drift of it.
>> i started thinking wait a minute, it doesn't sound like they're going to prosecute.
>> scott , the brother, asked to cut to the chase . i said are you guys going to do anything with this case? and mr. king, says no.
>> as blunt as that. the ruling of suicide would stand. there would be no grand jury . jeremy banks could move on with his life. the o'connells had lost.
>> did the state attorney believe, was he persuaded that it was a suicide or did he believe he didn't have enough to prove it wasn't?
>> he said in our meeting, we don't have enough evidence. exactly. that was his words. we don't have enough evidence.
>> prosecutor king found that, while some of the evidence against bapgs was credible, there was much that supported the idea that michelle took her own life. for example, three different medical examiners had now concluded her death was a suicide. not enough there to support the prosecution of jueremy banks said king. for the second time, it was case closed in the florida legal system.
>> i never realized how powerful a state attorney can be or sheriff can be until my sister was taken.
>> most of the o'connell family stormed out of the room, including scott who immediately called the fdle agent, rusty rogers .
>> i said this is so disgusting. i know this is a homicide case. you told me it was. this is such a big cover-up. i could blow up the sheriff's office.
>> he said you know i have an obl fwags to report you. he said you made a threat to blow up the sheriff's office. before i could say no, he hangs up on me.
>> ill-chosen words. scott says he didn't really mean it. nonetheless, rusty rogers called the sheriff's office and reported the bomb threat .
>> so some people showed up from the sheriff's office, took possession of my firearms, my patrol car , my keys, my badge, my i.d.'s, everything. tool belt, everything. my life -- my career is over.
>> scotty vently calmed down. but the outburst cost him his job. he was fired. all he could find was work as a $10 an hour janitor. a big demotion. but there was an even more drastic change to come and another shock in store for the o'connell family. towards the end of 2012 , scott , a guy who had his sister's name tattooed on his arm arrived at a 180-degree whiplash reversal of opinion. after reading all the investigative reports, he came to a new conclusion. michelle did indeed commit suicide .
>> i think there was many things we didn't know were going on in michelle 's life and she wasn't sharing with us. i think they had a bad break-up, there was drinking involved and she had enough. there was many good things going on in her life. the toughest question to answer for me is why and i don't know the answer to why. i don't think jeremy 's responsible and i wish everyone who is involved can get some peace and closure.
>> in july of 2013 , scott was hired back on at the sheriff's office and guess who he's resumed a friendship with? none other than jeremy banks .
>> it's hard to go from years of friendship, cutting it off completely.
>> he loses his job because he thought you got away with murder killing his sister. he's that angry. now you're having coffee together.
>> we had thanksgiving dinner recently.
>> does that blow your mind ?
>> it was not expected. i never thought me and scott would be friends again.
>> what were you doing in that relationship and we're learning more and more about each other and what we've been through. while other members of my family have kicked me to the curb, him and his family welcomed me in without an issue.
>> scott is now estranged from his family. his sisters are dealing with yet another loss.
>> it's shakespearian what happened. we lose michelle . we're all changed forever. now i don't know if i'll ever see my brother again.
>> the fallout goes on and on. at sheriff shoar's request, the state is currently investigating fdle agent rusty rogers for conduct.
>> he engaged in reprehensible conduct that almost resulted in a citizen, cops are citizens, getting charged for a crime that never occurred.
>> allegations against rogers include he had improperly shared investigative information with scott , had misled a judge about evidence in order to get a search warrant. had coached some of the witnesses. rusty rogers is a veteran agent of the fdle. what percentages are there for him of cooking the books? what is he going to get out of it?
>> that is a huge question that everybody has. that is the question.
>> this guy really got to you, didn't he, sheriff?
>> you know, i will tell you, he got to me, dennis, because this guy, i think he's a bully. i've been fighting bullies my whole life. that's what we do in law enforcement .
>> both jeremy banks and scotto konl are now suing the fdle and rusty rogers who declined an interview with "dateline." michelle 's daughter is now seven years old and being raised by her grandmother and the o'connell family recently hired its own attorney. ben crump. he's hoping to get florida 's governor to order this case to a grand jury because in the end, michelle 's family is not giving up.
>> michelle , of all people, loved life, would have fought her way to live. there was no suicide in that child.
>> michelle did not take her own life. michelle was on a path to better her life. she was not leaving life. she was leaving jeremy banks .
>> jeremy banks , after some months on administrative leave, is now back in uniform with the st. john's county sheriff 's department. and he has a new lease on life. he is married and seems resigned to the o'connells feeling about him however they feel.
>> i spent a year with michelle . they spent 24 years with michelle . they didn't lose a girlfriend. they lost a best friend . they lost a daughter. they lost a sister. somebody lost their mother. i don't blame them for looking at me and pointing the finger. i don't blame them for their anger.