Under the Desert Sky   |  August 16, 2013

Under the Desert Sky, Part 8

Toni and Kody are bound over for trial. Toni's parents believe she was an abused woman coerced into the crime by Kody.

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

>>> elko, fef neve, gold rush town, casinos, brothels, good business according to police. nearby, there's also an historic courthouse, the stage for preliminary hearings for the teenagers accused of that brutal murder that so far, not a single person could explain. least of all mickey costanzo's mother celia. before the hearing she studied every grisly photo and braced herself for what was coming.

>> i had to know exactly what happened to my daughter. everything.

>> no matter how bad.

>> everything. every autopsy photo that was taken of my daughter i saw. . i saw it all because i did not want to go into a courtroom and see my daughter like that for the very first time. there were separate hearings for toni and kody , two occasions for celia to hold up under questioning.

>> he's right over there and he's in a red jump suit .

>> two occasions to hear emotional and incriminating confessions.

>> i tried to, like, check her pulse and stuff. and i couldn't get anything and she was just flopping.

>> kody , no surprise, was bound over for trial of which everyone knew he could face the death penalty and toni , pahl pale and gaunt of her dark blue jump suits, toni listened to excerpts of her quite stung cning confession.

>> after that she wasn't really breathing or anything, and so we kind of just stood there. we were crying because we didn't know what we had just done.

>> it was brutal. it was painful. it was long. it was torturous, and those two could not ever get away with it. they could not walk away free.

>> but people couldn't help, but notice that the two kids told very different stories. remember, kody said he was alone while toni insisted she was with him and they murdered mickey together. toni 's parents simply couldn't believe despite her confession that their sweet, diminutive daughter was capable of such a monstrous act? can you imagine her doing those things, perhaps striking with a shovel or with a knife?

>> i don't believe she did anything with the knife. no fingerprints, no dna.

>> the striking her with the shovel was an order from kody .

>> an order from kody . that was the answer to the questions to the frattos and behind it, a terrible secret. over the years, said the frattos, cody had given toni lots of orders. he was extremely possessive, and more than a foot will taller than little toni and was often angry and abusive.

>> he would yell at her. he would be pushing her around. he would be restraining her, throwing her down.

>> in fact, just two months before mickey 's murder the school surveillance camera caught an agitated kody appearing to get rough with her at her locker.

>> there was an instance that occurred in the hallway at wendover high school that depicts kody grabbing toni around the neck and realizing he's 6'6", he's 5'1", but toni declined to file charges. her explanation was that if something like this happens he will not be accepted into the marines and i don't want to stand in the way of that.

>> you have to realize what her goals were and her expectations and her final result of all of this was to get him into the marines.

>> and perhaps get him out of her life? now after the murder and toni 's confession, the frattos looked back on their daughter's relationship with kody with new eyes. toni , they decided, was an abused woman.

>> she was living in fear of what she thought the repercussions would be if she brought it out.

>> so hefearing kody might kill her, too, kody 's parents insisted their daughter had no choice, but to cooperate with kody , the murderer.

>> her participation, as people say, in what happened that night was strictly out of fear, controlling, manipulation and orders by the one that she had already been suffering abuse from for two years, three years.

>> but she participated in the attack.

>> participated. participated under extreme --

>> orders.

>> -- orders. she was afraid that she would be the one lying next to micaela if she did not follow his orders that evening.

>> to which kody 's attorney john olson responded.

>> baloney.

>> why do you say that?

>> baloney. there's no one in their relationship ever that would indicate that she was ever abused by kody .

>> even so, toni fratto was bound over for trial and was sitting in a jail cell facing the daunting suspect of losing her life, not to kody patten, but to lethal injection unless, what if toni told a whole news story about her role in mickey costanzo's murder. a story that might eventually set her