Even before police had a solid theory about how Angel Downs ended up shot dead with her own gun in her driveway, District Attorney Judy Newcomb was on the case.
"The sheriff called me about 11:30 and told me what -- had happened," said Newcomb.
Police in Gulf Shores wear body cameras and they recorded the scene that night.
"I think they were still examining the issues of whether it was a suicide or a homicide," said Newcomb.
"Why weren't they sure?" Schlesinger asked.
"It's someone who's shot in the head with their own gun, which -- statistically would be a suicide. And what everybody's first impression when they see it is, 'Oh, someone killed themselves,'" she said.
Angel's gun lay just inches away.
"Did it ever cross your mind that this could've been a suicide?" Schlesinger asked Angel's sister.
"Never. Not -- not one time," said Susan Bloodworth.
But Angel's closest friends and her family knew four years earlier she had tried suicide.
"Angel was goin' through a very difficult period. At -- at that time, I think she -- she realized Stephen was not leavin' his wife," Bloodworth explained.
In 2006, she took an overdose of pills.
"How did you find out that she had taken all those pills?" Schlesinger asked Bloodworth.
"Well, in 2006, she actually called me to tell me she was sorry -- for what she had done. She was so sorry for ever hurtin' me," she replied in tears.
"By continuing the relationship with Stephen Nodine," Schlesinger noted.
And that suicide attempt is just one fact that makes this case so hard to figure out. It obviously became a huge red flag immediately in May 2010. But her sister says Angel died with plans for the future. She was expected at a dinner party that night and had just made appointments for the following week. It looked nothing like suicide to Susan Bloodworth.
"... if she was gonna do it, she would do it peacefully. Take pills, go to sleep. Not take a gun and shoot yourself," she explained. "I hate to say she was vain, but Angel was vain in the sense that ... she wouldn't want someone to see her that way. You know, to -- to find her that way ..."
Angel was found face up in a pool of blood in the middle of her driveway for all her neighbors to see.
"I had a neighbor come to my door. I live just around the corner... She told me someone had been shot and she knew I was a nurse," said Ann Myers, who came running. She knew right away what she was looking at.
"I knelt beside her and I did an assessment, like I normally do. I looked at the wound and pretty much figured out it was a fatal shot," she told Schlesinger.
Stephen Nodine was nowhere to be found. Remember, he says he drove off moments earlier, after getting his wallet from inside Angel's condo. And, he says when he pulled away from her driveway, he saw nothing and heard nothing.
"My radio was going, my air conditioner was going. Somebody, you know, one of the people said it sounded like a firecracker. I have horrible hearing to begin with," Nodine explained. "... if I would have heard it I would have known. If I would have seen her I would have stopped and did everything I could to help her."
A few hours later, Nodine got a call from a friend saying police wanted to talk to him. So he called his lawyer.
"I said, 'What the hell's going on?' And -- that's when he told me that there had been a shooting on Fort Morgan Road of a blonde haired young lady. I immediately knew, obviously," he said.
"You knew," said Schlesinger.
"I didn't know really, but I had a horrible sinking feeling in my gut," said Nodine, who went right to police.
Asked how long he was there, Nodine told Schlesinger "Hours. Four hours ...Offered to take any test."
"How did they treat you? I mean, did you feel like you were a suspect?" Schlesinger asked.
"No, absolutely not," Nodine replied.
But he was wrong. Authorities didn't believe his story about what really happened earlier at the condo and also questioned what really happened afterwards.
He told them after leaving Angel's, he first stopped at a convenience store where he's seen on surveillance tape. Then he went to a golf club, but it was closed. Next, he says he drove to one restaurant, changed clothes in his truck, but then decided that restaurant was too crowded and ended up again on tape at a restaurant nearby.
"And that's where you ate," Schlesinger noted.
"Didn't eat. Drank some coffee. Drank some water and watched the game," said Nodine.
"The next morning, I received further calls from law enforcement," said DA Judy Newcomb.
"What were some of the things that had concerned the police?" Schlesinger asked.
"Well, I think it -- the statement Mr. Nodine gave that night. I think the more they looked at the scene... what they knew about the day, just different issues were concerning them that it in fact could be a homicide.," she replied.
And then things started moving more quickly than anyone had seen before. Just two weeks after Angel's death, Stephen Nodine was indicted for murder and arrested. The timing raised some eyebrows because DA Judy Newcomb was up for re-election and Election Day was just days away.
"Nobody gets indicted on a murder charge two weeks after the murder," Dennis Knizley, Nodine's lawyer, said. "And you put it together with being eight days 'fore the election, it appeared to be not so much going after Steve, but an opportunity to have some high-profile prosecution immediately before the election."
"Did politics and your desire for re-election play any part in the way you handled this case?" Schlesinger asked Newcomb.
"No," she replied.
"Not at all?"
"Not at all," Newcomb said. "Most people know I'm probably the least political person in Baldwin County."
Nodine was pretty well known to the police and not just because he was a public figure. In 2009, before Angel's death, traces of marijuana were found in Nodine's county issued pick-up truck. He was forced to resign. Nodine admits he smoked pot to control hip pain and later became addicted to prescription pain killers.
"-- he got addicted to Lortabs and he was abusing them at the time of this arrest," said Knizley.
Nodine's problems were piling up. Shortly after he was indicted for murder, prosecutors in Alabama discovered he had guns. None of them had anything to do with Angel's death but he was still charged under a seldom used federal statute for being a drug user who owned guns.
"I believe it was collusion between the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Baldwin County DA," said Nodine.
It was first things first. The gun case would have to wait for the murder case. And it took seven months for that trial to begin.
" -- it had been probably the most publicized murder case in South Alabama in, you know, 50 or 100 years," said Knizley.
Prosecutor Judy Newcomb was in the spotlight and on the spot. Remember, she had no forensic evidence ... nothing to physically tie Nodine to Angel Downs' death. But she told "48 Hours" she was ready for trial.
"Other than some of the big cases people do on television, in a whole lot of cases that we do there's not a lot of forensic evidence," said Newcomb.
She'll get some help from Angel's friends and family who say Nodine could be not just controlling, but frightening. Her sister says he stalked Angel online and in person.
"... he would do drive-bys. He would come by her home, he would send her text messages and say, 'I see someone's at your house. Who is it?' He would leave notes on her car," said Susan Bloodworth.
"Did you stalk Angel?" Schlesinger asked Nodine.
"Absolutely not," he replied.
"Even during these periods where you were fighting and all, when you would break up. Did you do anything that could be interpreted as stalking?"
"No," Nodine replied. "Not in any sense, imaginary or likewise. I mean there's just no way."
But Emily Simmons and Kayla King Donald say Angel told them Nodine beat her and pushed her several times. Nodine denies it all and there were no police reports filed. But the friends say in the weeks before her death, Angel was getting more afraid of Nodine.
"She broke down in tears in her kitchen. And I said, 'Why are you crying?' And she said, 'He's not the same person I've known all these years, Emily. He's changed,'" Simmons recalled. "'Just always know that if you ever find me dead, he killed me.'"
"I'm sorry?" said Schlesinger.
"'If you ever find me dead, he killed me,'" Simmons repeated.
The DA knew she could count on some powerful and chilling testimony about the last few moments of Angel Downs' life.
"Angel was obviously scared for her to pull her gun and call me and ask where to shoot someone," said Bloodworth.