Who Killed The Beauty Queen?
And 18 months after Nona's death, Kevin would go to trial for murder.
Deputy Prosecutor Jeff Phillips had built his case on blood: Nona's blood was on the lamp used to kill her, and embedded in her blood was Kevin's palm print.
The palm print was on the light bulb, and the entire case came down to that bulb. It was the best evidence discovered by Chief Bacon, who believes Kevin bludgeoned Nona to death with the lamp.
And Bacon says that's when the lamp snapped apart. "And it breaks, the natural instinct is to try to grab it. In that scramble to grab it is when the blood print is deposited on the bulb," Bacon says.
Kevin and his family steeled themselves for the trial and its outcome.
"Did you acknowledge the possibility that your son could go to the penitentiary?" Schlesinger asks Janice.
"No, No," she says.
But Kevin says, "I did."
But Nona's mother Carol thought a prison term for Kevin would not be enough. "Kevin is a murderer. And he deserves to forfeit his life. He took someone's life. And he deserves to forfeit his," she said.
The courtroom was closed to cameras. Kevin never took the stand, and jurors were soon influenced by the state's most compelling evidence.
Juror Jennifer Finley says the palm print on the light bulb was a "big factor."
But Kevin says he doesn't even remember touching the bulb.
"Was he guilty in your mind when you first sat down," Schlesinger asks juror Kim Willhite.
"You bet," Willhite says. "And statistically it's usually someone close to the person. And here they had the boyfriend. And they had him with the bloody palm print."
It wasn't just that there was blood on the bulb; it was the texture of the blood that was critical. Was it wet or dry when it was discovered?
If the blood was dry, that proved it had time to harden, and that meant Kevin left it while murdering Nona hours before police were called. But if the blood was still wet when police arrived, it meant that Kevin was telling the truth, and it must have been left when he was trying to revive Nona, just before the 911 call.
Words are important here. This is how police and prosecutors described the texture of the blood: "tacky."
"It could have been tacky," Bacon said.
"The appearance of tacky," the prosecutor said.
"Tacky" would be a word that would course through the courtroom.
In fact, it created a huge problem for Tom Bevel, the prosecution's blood expert, because it contradicted his own theory that blood was put on the bulb at the time of the murder. "Blood on the bulb, on both sides, was placed there at the time of the killing, as opposed to some later time frame," he explains.
"If this blood is tacky, could it have been deposited on this light bulb at the time of death?" Schlesinger asks.
"If the blood is tacky, it certainly could not have been deposited there at the time of death," Bevel says. "No way."
But Bacon stands by his initial observation, and his word, tacky. "It was the best way that I knew how to explain it. Five days later when I looked at it, it had the same appearance," he says.
"When it would certainly have been dry," Schlesinger remarks.
"Correct," Bacon agrees.
Jurors says that word - "tacky" - was very important in this case.
And it's a potent weapon seized by Kevin's lawyers, Michael Robbins, Kenny Johnson, and Bill Bristow. "If any portion of it had the consistency of being tacky, then that's indicative of it being put there at the time the body was discovered," Robbins explains.
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