tv Dateline Extra MSNBC December 4, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
there's this pile of leaves, and it's where everything else was clear and flat. my heart is racing a million miles an hour. i was using my boots to move leaves, and that's when i screamed this blood-curdling scream. >> nique leili, a corporate executive who made time for romance and her three daughters. >> she was the best mom. >> then she disappeared. dozens joins the search. >> we need nique to come home. >> then, they found her.
[ screaming ] >> you can't! >> launching a mystery that would divide this family. >> i suspected him from the beginning. >> one daughter thought her stepdad, matt, did it. the others said no way. and matt, he had a theory all his own. >> this is not the first time she has run away. okay. >> had nique taken off and found trouble? >> now you're thinking someone gave her a date rape drug. >> that's a possibility. >> the trail would lead to this house of cameras. >> there is a big server tower that would indicate a large amount of data being stored. >> what they discovered, thousands of hours of tape. >> let me out of this room. >> it's absolutely a torture to listen to. >> and would reveal one shattering truth. >> i got down on my knees and just started crying. welcome to "dateline extra." i'm tamron hall.
nique leili was a mother of three juggling family life and a thriving career when suddenly she vanished. friends and family quickly organized a search team. meanwhile, detectives turned to those closest to nique for information, including her husband, who had a lot to say, and an astonishing discovery. nique's last months had been caught on camera. could the recordings lead detectives to nique? here is dennis murphy with "the house on sidney's cove." >> there is never a good day to search for a missing woman. but this rainy, muggy saturday in the heat of july made an unhappy task all but unbearable. >> take some flyers with you. >> they decided, the friends and family, that they would all wear red shirts. they got themselves organized in the parking lot of a walmart in lawrenceville, georgia, an hour outside of atlanta, and then set out to find any trace of a petite corporate executive named nique leili.
>> been missing for a week now. she has three kids who would love to see her home. >> amy robinson told reporters that her 44-year-old sister, mother of three, was hardly the kind of person who would just up and disappear without a word to anyone. >> i'm just so worried about my sister. we have no idea where she is or what's happened to her. >> as fate would have it, the question of where nique was would be answered soon enough. but even now, the question of what happened to nique remains unclear. >> i am sick of playing your games. >> what is clear from the recordings she left behind is that nique leili lived a trouble and tormented life. >> this is what i live day in and day out is keep my mouth shut, my head down, and do exactly what's expected of me. >> tell me about nique's personality. >> she was very funny. she and i used to laugh all the time.
and she was very feisty. she would say what she meant. she didn't mince a lot of words. >> as sisters, amy robinson and nique leili were ten years apart, but according to amy they were always close. >> boy, you two look alike in the old photos. >> we do. >> i was thinking maybe you're swapping out each other's clothes, but of course you're ten years apart. >> that didn't stop it from happening. i wore a lot of her hand-me-downs. >> by the mid '90s nique had been married and divorced twice and she and her young daughter alex were sharing an apartment with amy. >> we had a good time with that too. we just laughed, putting up pictures in the apartment and stuff. >> oh, yeah. at times it definitely was. >> eventually nique moved out, remarried and had two more daughters with her third husband, matt leili, a new yorker she met online. >> he made my sister laugh. so we would all laugh. >> after brief stays in oklahoma and mississippi, nique and matt
returned to georgia and settled into this house on sidney's cove in lawrenceville. nique, a well regarded corporate money person, was the primary bread-winner. matt, a computer guy, ran a small business out of the house. >> he started going to, like, government surplus auctions and buying these big pallets of old, used computer parts and rebuilding them and selling them on ebay. >> by this ring -- >> by this ring. >> when it was amy's turn to get married in 2003, her big sis was there serving as matron of honor. >> i just want to raise a toast to amy my best friend. my confidant, my sister, and to the love of her life and who makes her head spin. to amy and dylan. >> then, later that night, boogying to, what else, "we are family." ♪ we are family >> as the years passed, the sisters remained close.
in late june 2011, amy organized a spa day out for nique and her three girls. >> no boys allowed. only -- we're going to go have a girls' day. >> where did you go? >> we went to get our nails done. >> day of beauty at the spa. >> yep. we got manicures and pedicures and went and had lunch. >> nique had had her toenails painted pink that day. though she sometimes had had a difficult relationship with her teenage daughter, alex says that day at the spa felt like a turning point. a fresh beginning. >> snapshots. everybody looks pretty happy. good girls' day out. >> it was fun. i am beyond grateful now that we'd done it. >> two weeks later nique had apparently left home in the middle of the night without a word to anyone. when the family reported her missing two days later, the police advised them there was little they could do. >> their response was, we don't even know where to start looking. >> she is not on the 11:00 news every night. >> no. because, frankly, a grown woman
having left her house wasn't that interesting a story. well, a hundred people getting together all wearing red shirts. there is an interesting story. they covered that. >> then the cameras were out. >> then the cameras came. >> this is what the cameras saw. searchers armed with maps literally beating the bushes around nique leili's subdivision for clues as to what might have happened to her. >> keep your eyes open. if you see her or anything, definitely call 911 and let them know that you've seen her. >> every searcher had an assignment. >> look, we got blue sky. it's going to smile on us. >> harriet garrett, nique's mother, had the job of going door to door, leafletting the neighborhood with flyers picturing her daughter. >> i don't think anybody's at home, but we'll find out. >> even though southern hospitality may have been in short supply that day, harriet pressed on. >> go before i call the cops. >> good morning, sir. my name is harriet garrett. my daughter is missing. and they're trying to give -- we're trying to get some news
coverage. >> like so many of the volunteers that day, alison rockwell wasn't a relative. she was looking for nique, her co-worker. >> i love nique. nique was great. she was so great to work with, very smart. lots of energy. positive. wonderful. just a wonderful person. >> on the morning of the search, alison recalls that she and another colleague from work, a man named derek, were running late, and that would turn out to be an important twist of fate. >> 40 minutes late, actually. everyone else had started searching. >> were you given a grid or an area to look at? >> yes. we were given the front of the neighborhood, the very front of the neighborhood. on the right. >> it was one of the last unassigned sections of the organizers' search grid, a patch of woods near a busy road. >> derek and i went into the woods together. and i remember having to walk up
and go over a large tree. and there is this pile of leave -- >> hi, richard lui, msnbc headquarters. we're taking you live to oakland, the left-hand side of the screen. we're about to get another update from not only the mayor but other officials undergoing the tough process of understanding what has happened at the warehouse fire there in oakland, california. the death count at last we had heard from them, 30. let's listen in. >> at this point, the last number we gave out of deceased folks was 30. that has since moved up to 33. 33 victims of this fire thus far. we continue to work inside the building. if you would like a percentage, i would say we're 35 to 40% through the building. that work continues. i'm surefire can probably comment on that more. >> i'd like to introduce, we
have a lot of out of the country media with us and outside state of california. i'd like to brow mayor libby schaaf. >> at this time we have delivered the unacceptable and horrific news of losing a loved one to seven of our families. we'll be releasing the names of those decedents with the exception of any juveniles, to you promptly. but it is with so much grief and so much compassion that we as your city family share with you this horrific news. and as this tragedy continues to unfold, i want to, again, reassure you of what our priorities are as a city of
oakland. our first priority is the humane and compassionate removal of the victims of this tragedy. and i want to assure you that we are continuing to operate a 24/7 recovery operation to effectuate that removal. secondly, we are focusing on supporting the fales and loved ones, some who are coming from far away. we are working as fast as we can. i really want to commend the coroner's office that has put extraordinary resources to speed up our ability to positively identify the victims of this fire. and then our final focus is doing everything that we can to preserve evidence and to conduct the recovery operation in a manner that allows us to fully
and professionally investigate this incident so that we can get to the bottom of how this happened. today our district attorney, nancy o'malley, did activate a criminal investigation. that team is on the site and working in concert with our other law enforcement partners. and then finally, i just want to offer my extreme gratitude to a group of individuals who give the term public servant just a whole new meaning. the teamwork we have seen as these professionals under the hardest of circumstances have hand by hand, bucket by bucket, removed debris, preserved it, as well as humanely and compassionately addressed the
victims that have been found. 33 victims found in this building. the professionalism that they have exhibited under these unbelievable circumstances has been something that it has been an honor to work alongside. so with that, i am sure you will have plenty of questions and that you will continue to have questions. we will continue to be available and answer them as this horrific tragedy continues to unfold. i'm going to turn it over to jonna to manage your questions. >> before we call up questions, i'd like to have the captain, who was up here earlier, it's absolutely imperative that we provide information that may affect the investigation in the future. so captain, if you could just reiterate for everyone what you shared with the media a couple of hours ago. thank you. again, the coroner's office
does ask any family members or friends of the victims, if you can preserve any dna of equipment, combs, brushes, and secure them in a brown paper bag. please hold onto them until you are asked of them from the coroner's bureau. thank you. if we come across a victim and we cannot identify them, we have to resort to dna. >> i'm going to ask for patience on the side of media. we have a lot of media here. not only local, national but international. we understand you have a lot of questions. we have time to answer those questions. doll there are a lot of questions that we won't have answers. please be patient with us.
those answers will come. they may not be right now or tomorrow but those answers will come. that's what everyone in the city of oakland is working to find. so please let's be patient with each other, allow us to call on you. identify who you are and which agency. we know that we have a lot of national and international media, and we are not familiar with you as we would like to be. so please allow us that moment. i'm going to start on the left here. yes, ma'am. [ inaudible ]. >> i will certainly turn that over to sergeant kelly. >> yes. this tragedy has hit very close to home for our agency. one of our deputies that we work with lost his son in this fire.
and so we're still dealing with that as we continue to deal with the other victims. so this has affected us as first responders. you know, we weren't really prepared to talk about that right now, but we're dealing with that. our family, our department is hurting from that. so yes, that is true. >> do you know how many people -- [ inaudible ]. >> again, all we can say at this time is we have activated the criminal investigation team. that is a precaution. that means certain individuals are on site from the district attorney's office and working in concert with other law enforcement agencies.
[ inaudible ]. >> a is process that gets activated that preserves all these options. >> hold on one second, please. we're going to start from the left and work our way over. we'll make sure everyone gets some questions answered. okay? go ahead, sir. >> i wanted to ask the mayor -- [ inaudible ]. >> he said he felt this party should never have been allowed to happen. i want to ask you, should this party, event on friday night have been allowed to happen? >> everyone is understandably very emotional because of this incident, and i'm sure that many things are going to be said. many assumptions, many things are going to be said out of emotions. what our job is is to focus on our priorities and to also assemble a comprehensive report
of what we, as a government, knew about this property. we are in the process of doing that. we want to assure that it is complete, that it is professional, that it is comprehensive before we draw any conclusions from that public record. [ inaudible ] [ inaudible question ] >> can you ask your question, sir? [ inaudible question ] >> that's for your, sergeant. >> identifications took place through fingerprints. we also had identifications that got us close. and then a lot of folks, we're finding, have ids on them,
whether they have wallets or purses or knapsacks. we have identifications therein that help. we have to verify those identifications with fingerprints. that's how we were able to get seven identities at this time. >> go ahead. [ inaudible question ] >> they are not all in one area. we thought that maybe going into this, that they would all be in one area but we're finding people throughout the square footage of that structure. we have broken into four quadrants and found victims in all four quadrants. if you look at the warehouse from above, we have broken that into four quadrants. each time working in each different section. we have found victims in every
section. [ inaudible ]. >> they are and they are not. there's no answer to that question. it's so random. we're finding victims very random. >> go ahead. speak up a little bit louder [ inaudible ]. >> chief, how fast did you get to the scene? >> please introduce your self. >> i'm deputy chief white. i believe everyone heard the question, how fast did the oakland fire department get to the incident. we arrived within three minutes, sir. >> evan. go ahead, evan. [ inaudible question ] nauk. >> at this time all that i know is that we were not able to gain access to the interior of the
building. i do not know the reason for that and i'm not going to speculate. we're gathering a team for every aspect. this is the weekend. we're in the process of gathering that information. >> go ahead, sergio. [ inaudible question ] >> so we're doing the identifications done as fast as we k sooner we can get them done, sooner we can meet with families, offer counseling and begin to move forward from that. we want to get everybody identified as quickly as
possible. however, it's a very cumbersome process. [ inaudible ]. >> yes. we have spent a considerable amount of time at the assistance center. i know the mayor has been there very much all throughout the last two days with the family spending a lot of time with them as has the sheriff's office, fire department and numerous volunteers. most of the families are aware and they know their loved one is likely a victim within the instructu structure. >> go ahead, sir. [ inaudible ]. >> we have now started to recover and identify victims who are minors. we do have some children in the
ages of 17 years old, possibly younger. not sure. but we were asked this question yesterday. we had no idea. we believe a lot of our victims were in their 20s to 30s. it is very unfortunate we have to tell you we have 17-year-old victims. no small children but teenager children, who are still children in our eyes. [ inaudible ]. >> there are teenagers and young adults and people up spot age of 30 plus. >> go ahead. [ inaudible
[ inaudible ] >> that's you. >> again, i want to confirm that we have activated the criminal investigation team. that means we are engaging in protocol that allows a criminal investigation to be conducted. i believe the a bit premature and i am not authorized to make that announcement. only the district attorney is allowed to make that announcement with regard to criminal charges and the direction of the criminal -- any potential criminal investigation. what i can confirm is that the district attorney has activated the criminal investigation team. a representative from the d.a.'s office is here on site, is engaged in our recovery effort to ensure that we are treating this and have the ability to conduct the level of investigation that would be rishd. required. [ inaudible ]
>> sir, before you answer, would you step up. >> we do have victims from other countries. we're not releasing those countries yet. we are in the process of contacting those embassies, those consulates. we are working with our state department to do that. there's a protocol that needs to be followed in regards to notifications of foreign governments. we're following that and using the assistance of the u.s. state department. there's countries in europe and in asia. >> sir, right back there in the back. [ inaudible question ] >> i think i just responded to that question. again, i just wanted to clarify that i am not authorized to say that a criminal investigation has been launched. only the district attorney can state that.
what i have confirmed is that the criminal investigation team of the district attorney has been activated. a district attorney representative is on site and is working in partnership with other law enforcement agencies. we are ensuring that this investigation, and the recovery operation, is conducted in a manner that preserves evidence, conducted in a manner that allows us to get to the bottom of what caused this and leaves those types of options early. it is far too early for us to have any suspicions about what caused this fire. that is something that we will be sharing with you in the coming days if it is a criminal investigation, that actually will limit our ability to share full information with you. >> hold on one second, sir. excuse me one second, sir. may we have an opportunity for someone else to ask a question and then i'll swing back. okay. thank you, sir. go ahead. [ inaudible question ]
. >> look, when we started this investigation, if you told us we would have 33 victims, we wouldn't have believed you. i don't know how many more people are left in there. we have no idea. we have no idea. we have no idea how many people were in that building that night. we don't even know how many people got out of that building. i would be speculating. we're expecting the worst and hoping for the best in regards to how many more victims we find. [ inaudible question ] >> there's a lot of people on that list. >> so i want to make something perfectly clear, because we're kind of getting into a little
bit of a repetitive cycle and i want to make sure we accommodate all questions as long as they are not in the repetitive mode. we want to have a really broad brush on answering as many questions. there are a lot of things we can't discuss. as we've said from day one, we want to stay away from specific numbers. that can be very dangerous as far as numbers go. so we want to bring you facts. the facts are 33 victims have been located and have been recovered. 33 families are grieving. 33 families have lost loved ones. we want to be sensitive to that. go ahead, sir. [ inaudible question ] >> we're going to have to refer that to the district attorney's office. it's going to be a different conversation than we're going to have right now. okay. go ahead, sergio.
[ inaudible question ] >> criminal investigations are handled by the district attorney. we actually do have our criminal investigation team here on site. that team has also been activated and is present. there are many interviews being conducted right now. but you have to understand that the scope of this tragedy is tremendous. we have many, many witnesses to interview. we are in the process of doing that. we have been able to bring in extra detectives so that we can again put as many resources on this, get to the bottom of it as quickly as possible.
but we also are trying to stay focused on what our first task is. and that is to attend to the victims and their families. that is our moral obligation, to put the bulk of our resources right now on that most important task. [ inaudible question ] >> let me answer that. sergio, i can assure you from the oakland police department, this investigation as far as what is happening, who is involved from victims to witnesses, we started that from the moment everyone got the call. so i can assure you we have all the proper documentation and we'll be following up as this investigation moves on. again, i want to bring it back to the 33 victims, to the families. if we have any other questions we can move on. ma'am, i know you have a question right down here. [ inaudible question ]
>> again, i want to stay focused on what our priorities are right now. you may know since i became the mayor of oakland, i have been passionate about preserving and lifting up the incredible creative community that makes this the incredible city that it is. the issue of creating safe, vibrant spaces for oakland's
artist community is a priority not just with me as mayor but of this community. this is work that has been going on for a long time. we're going to focus on accomplishing that in a way that makes sense both for oakland and also for all the different stakeholders involved. ironically scheduled this last week before this tragedy happened. we are going to be going forward with an announcement obtuse around efforts to preserve and protect artist's spaces for both living and working here in oakland. it is an incredible asset and beauty of our city, won that we cherish and one that has been so badly damaged by this tragedy this week. >> thank you.
[ inaudible question ] >> we certainly are. i'm going to keep sergeant kelly and ask everyone else to go back to the command post. there is a lot of busywork to be done. we will certainly answer your question with sergeant kelly if you just give us a moment. >> so before we met with you, i went up onto the roof. i was watching the work take place. it's different from above than when you're inside the structure. the firemen continued to work their way back into the tightest little corners in each quadrant. to watch them work is pretty amazing. they get tired very, very fast. if you see the firemen and people from coroner's bureau, their faces are covered in soot and debris.
they are moving in assembly line fashion purchase how much more area do you have? >> we have another 60 plus percent to search. we're finding mobile homes -- rather motor homes or trailers where people may have been living inside those trailers. those trailers have to be searched. we don't know if there's people inside those. we can't get to those yet or get inside those. there are trailers that look like they are being lived in inside the warehouse. i'm sure many of you have seen those from the aerial footage. >> 3.34 oakland time. leadership trying to maintain calm certainly as there has been so much concern about the number of victims that resulted from the warehouse fire there. if you're just joining us, the new number, 33 victims with 35 to 40% of the warehouse now being looked through, having
swept through. they still have more than half to go. steve patterson there on the ground in oakland, california. you've been reporting on this. just listening to the toeb here, that leadership in oakland. you've been speaking with them throughout the day, steve. >> it's an incredibly tough situation. this is a community where everyone knows each other. we often say that when tragedy strikes in areas like this but this particular community, especially the artist in people who are living here, who knew each other, who saw each other on a day-to-day basis, everybody in this neighborhood, in this community, really knew each other and that is born out through what we just learned. we should point out the criminal investigation team has been activated by the district attorney. that means a representative from the district attorney's office is on site here, is working in concert with local authorities
and agencies on site here. that does not mean that a criminal investigation that sparked or started. that does not mean they are going down that path at this point. that does not mean that their focus isn't still on the victims, isn't still on the recovery effort, because it sure is. but we should say that that ball is now rolling as well. so as we continue to learn more, as we continue to have these briefings by the city, by the mayor, by local authorities, we're learning a lot more. i think that feeds into people who want to know what happened to their loved ones. that's the biggest sense you get here on the ground. people just don't know. >> it's coming through during the briefing certainly from all of those trying to get stuff done. tell me what you've seen in terms of getting stuff done, the number of personnel, equipment, what have you seen in the last couple of hours. >> this morning started really
in earnest as far as the excavation process. they bore through a huge hole in the west side of the facility. they started bringing massive machines in, backhoes, excavators to plow through, to start removing some of the debris. but the real work is being done by crews and people on the ground who literally have buckets, literally are taking pieces of this warehouse from the outside loading up buckets and removing safely so they can continue to get inside and do the work of identifying more bodies. that's grueling work, meticulous, arduous. at the end of the day, it's heartbreaking because these are the same guys who have been on scene for hours. they are starting to see these bodies as they continue to move into the facility. so it's a very difficult situation for the community who
is here watching the process, difficult for the crews on site that have to do the work of cleaning up and getting in there so they can identify, find bodies. it's really tough for officials who have to contact the families and let them know their loved one may have perished in the fire. >> nbc's steve patterson in california. thank you so much. again, 33 people now claimed as victims. still more than 50% of the building needs to be looked at. some of them, 17 years old or possibly younger in terms of victims there. we'll continue to follow the story. stay with us here on nbc. geico has a long history of great savings and great service. over seventy-five years. wait. seventy-five years? that is great. speaking of great, check out these hot riffs. you like smash mouth? uh, yeah i have an early day tomorrow so... wait. almost there. goodnight, bruce. gotta tune the "a." (humming) take a closer look at geico. great savings.
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p is for privileges. o is for ordinarily i wouldn't. l is for layers of luxury. a is for alll the way back. r is for read my mind. and i... can't see a thing. s... see you in the morning. polaris, from united. welcome back. for years matt had been recording everything that went on inside his home with security
cameras. it was thousands of hours of footage but suspiciously the video from the short period surrounding his wife's disappearance was gone. cold case investigators believe it had been deleted intentionally. they wanted to ask matt some questions. they were about to get their chance. back to dennis murphy with "the house on sidney's cove." >> in march 2015 matt leili returned to georgia for the first time since he'd left the state three years earlier. it was money that brought him back. a court proceeding concerning a payout from his wife nique's life insurance policies. >> i knew he was coming down. that made me uneasy. it made me feel really creeped out. >> this was three years later. >> mm-hmm. what we didn't know was that the whole federal courthouse was actually crawling with plain closed gwinnett county police. >> they were taking him down that day. >> they were. we had no idea. >> sergeant john richter says the plain-clothed cops waited all day for just the right
moment to make their move. >> get him on the outside of the courthouse. >> who makes the collar? how does it go down? >> myself and detective washington were there. put the handcuffs on him. felt pretty good. >> nique's family knew the feeling. >> i raised my hands and said, praise god. that was my reaction. >> in addition to facing a murder charge, matt leili was eventually charged with sexual assault and multiple counts of eavesdropping. a few weeks after his arrest, nique's daughters, amanda and rebecca, posted an edited video on youtube in support of their dad. in the video the girls claimed that their mother hated her own family and those same spiteful relatives were the primary reason their dad was in jail. for nique's family, that video was devastating. what, they wondered, had happened to those girls in the four years they had been in vermont. >> as far as i can tell, he poisoned them against us. i can only attribute that to,
you know, them living in a house with a master manipulator. >> the notion of matt leili as a master manipulator would become a central theme when his murder trial began in january 2016. >> morning, ladies and gentlemen. >> in her opening statement to the jury, prosecutor lisa jones depicted matt leili as a couch potato sponging off his hard-working wife. >> nique leili was the breadwinner. the family was in debt, up to $300,000 in debt. >> furthermore, jones said, matt leili tried to control his wife by turning their home into a virtual north korea. with cameras and recording devices everywhere. lenses aimed at them as they sat on the couch and watched tv. >> you will take a look into this marriage, ladies and gentlemen, in this case. you will hear the voices of nique leili and the defendant in this case arguing. >> nique's murder, she claimed, was simply matt leili's final act of control. >> i think they got into an
argument, that he wanted to have sex, that he drugs her, he has his way. she is loud, she is not able to resist as much as it progresses, that he silences her. he strangles her, sits on her. asphyxiates her to where she can't breathe. >> not meaning to, maybe. >> i think he meant to. i think he had it. i think he knew she was leaving him. she made it clear she was done. >> the first state's witness was nique's oldest daughter alex. >> they would be arguing. he would end up locking her in a bathroom. she had been shoved down stairs. there were several nights that i would lay up and i would listen to her say, please, get off of me. get off me. you're hurting me. >> next, nique's sister amy told the jury about the constant monitoring at the leili house. >> we knew that he would record phone conversations that came into or out of the house. >> were you aware at any time whether there were ever gps trackers or tracking devices on any types of the phones or vehicles at the residence? >> yes.
i knew that he had trackers on nique's phone and when alex was old enough to have a cellphone that he tracked her phone as well. >> then the prosecution gave the court a fly-on-the-wall look inside the leili home by playing the promised recordings of the couple's fights. >> let the record show i am now locked in a room again. i don't want to be here. i don't want to have this conversation. >> let the record show that she is being an absolute [ bleep ]. wants her way no matter what. >> it was hard to listen to. bitter screaming matches, frequently about sex. >> i know that when we go two days without sex, you're going to automatically assume i am on strike mode no matter what else is happening. don't touch me! sit down if you want to sit down. >> i am reaching out to you. >> i don't want to hold your hand right now. >> in retrospect for the prosecution, the recordings seemed to have the ring of prophecy. >> your hands around my throat. >> my hands were not on your throat. >> i don't care what the
[ bleep ] you think. but it was my throat they were around. >> they were not around your throat. stop telling that story like that. >> bull [ bleep ] you threatened to kill me. >> the prosecutors said nique leili's best chance for leaving her marriage came 12 days before she disappeared. after yet another argument, nique had called 911. >> 911. >> my husband won't let me leave the house. >> my wife is yelling and screaming and just woke up the children. >> officers dispatched to the leili home that day offered to help nique leave. as the still photos show, she wouldn't budge from the front porch. >> she wanted him to go. he wouldn't go. he wanted her to go. she wasn't going to leave without the girls. so the argument -- they were pretty much at an impasse. >> two weeks later nique leili was dead. in a house where practically everything was recorded, the prosecutor claimed it was no accident that the video covering the crucial hours when nique leili went missing was somehow corrupted. >> the surveillance system was
in fact recording during that time period. is that correct? >> that is correct, yes. >> the prosecutor countered matt's claim that nique had somehow turned off the security system by calling the police department's i.t. guy, chris ford, as her last witness. >> so detective, in your professional opinion, then, did an individual have to go in and purposefully corrupt and delete those files? >> that's correct. yes. that's the only way i can explain why, out of all the dates and video that i can recover, that's the only date range i can't recover from. >> though no one knows exactly what was on the missing video, the prosecutor suggested that it was probably video of matt leili carrying his wife's body out of the house. >> you heard her -- >> in closing, the prosecutor let nique leili have the last word. >> you need to listen to what she says and what she lived. >> welcome to my world. you killed me a long time ago. >> welcome to my world. you've killed me a long time
ago. find him guilty. because that's exactly what he is. >> coming up, has the prosecution really proved anything? >> i think their gut feeling was she is buried this close to the house. it's got to have been him. >> what you call a circumstantial case. >> yes. >> and then, nique and matt's daughters say, in their parents' marriage, matt was the victim. >> she took a heel and threw it. i myself had to duck from it. >> was it being thrown at your dad? >> yes. >> when "dateline extra" continues. volunteer for meals on wheels. we had an instant connection. what was that? i said, "delivering to you is always a special treat." oh. company, companionship, food... we all need those things. when we get in that spot in life, it's kind of nice to have 'em there. (avo) through the subaru share the love event, we've helped deliver over one point four million meals to those in need.
eavesdropping control freak who had killed his wife during an argument. leili's defense attorney, tom clegg, insisted that matt leili was an innocent man falsely accused by the state of georgia. >> they have a theory, which is nothing more than a hunch. it is a guess. so if you were to ask yourself questions that might have been posed of you if you were to have gone to journalism school -- who, what, where, why and how -- you will find that, during the course of this trial, the state of georgia will fall woefully short in proving the allegations that they are making against this man. >> i think their gut feeling was, come on, she is naked, she is buried this close to the house, she's obviously hidden. it's got to have been him. >> what you call a circumstantial case. >> yes. >> the defense attorney concedes he had some difficult circumstances to overcome in this case, beginning with the
six hours of missing surveillance camera video from the night nique leili disappeared. clegg insists his client did not erase the files as the prosecution claimed. >> the video surveillance system was shut off at some point in the morning. matt believes that nique shut it off. he is insistent that he did not shut it off, that the system was shut off by nique. >> so whatever happened to her, the cameras didn't see it. >> the cameras did not see it. that is absolutely correct. >> as for the audio recordings of the couple's screaming arguments, clegg pointed out most were recorded in 2008 and 2009, two years before nique died. according to the defense attorney, matt made the recordings with the encouragement of a marriage therapist that the couple had been seeing at the time. >> he is talking, and he is conciliatory in my opinion. he is trying to calm things down, and it is impossible to calm nique down. >> please, don't do this. please, nique.
>> you do not want to do this with me right now. i mean it. you do not want to tangle with me right now. at all. >> what did i do? >> according to clegg, the prosecution cherry-picked scenes from the leili marriage, highlighting the bad and downplaying the good. bright spots like the 2010 trip they took to hawaii. they even renewed marriage vows on that trip. >> the tapes reflect both of them at their worst. the flip-side is, when they're getting along well, when they're affectionate towards one another, when they renew their wedding vows in hawaii, they don't tape that stuff. >> it's always the darkest side. >> yes. >> as for the night nique disappeared, the defense tried to show that nique leili was once again acting unstable, behaving erratically. the defense attorney called matt's father, matthias, to verify his son's version of the last fight between matt and nique. the one where she allegedly flashed him.
>> she tore off her top and says, come on, let's go, let's act like a family. >> were you expecting any sort of comment like that? >> never. i -- never. >> once nique disappeared, clegg says, matt leili inquired about having his wife involuntarily committed and even hired a divorce attorney. a man who knows his wife is already dead, he says, wouldn't have done either of those things. >> he did not really want to divorce her. he wanted to let her know, look, here are your options. you can go get help for yourself, or i'm going to go forward with a divorce. >> the defense wrapped up its case by calling matt and nique's two daughters, rebecca, now 14, and amanda, 17. >> did you ever see your dad hit your mom? >> no. did you ever see any obvious injuries or bruises to your mom? >> no, sir.
>> according to the girls, their mother was the one with the violent temper, not their dad. >> she took a heel and threw it. i myself had to duck from it. >> was it being thrown at your dad? >> yes. >> on the day nique made that 911 call, amanda said her mother complained about hearing voices in her head. >> she was pacing back and forth saying that she was tired of people talking bad about her behind her back, and my dad asked her who was talking about her. she said that she was hearing voices, and like the voices in her head were telling her people were talking bad about her. eye contact with their mother's relatives, who hadn't seen them in four years. whatever affection might once have existed seemed to be gone now. >> we made our own decision. we don't like that side of the family. so we want to stay away.
it's not him forcing us to stay away from them. >> in closing, tom clegg argued that, while the state may have proved matt leili unlikable, it had not answered any of the basic journalism questions. who, what, where, when, why or how. >> in closing i said, you have heard all of this evidence. the state still cannot answer any of these particular questions. what does that tell you? that tells you they have fallen woefully short of proving matt's guilt. >> after eight days of testimony, both sides of the family prepared for a long and anxious wait for a verdict. turns out they didn't have to pace long. after just three hours of deliberation, the jury announced it had reached a verdict. >> i'm going to ask you at this time if you would stand and read the verdict out loud. >> as to count one, we the jury find the defendant guilty of murder. >> though not a sound came from nique leili's family, their expression said it all. before passing sentence, the judge gave matt leili once last chance to have a say. >> mr. leili, is there anything
you want to say? >> i didn't do it. i'll be filing an appeal. >> with that, the judge asked matt leili to rise and receive his sentence. >> i'm going to follow the state's recommendation as to count one and have you sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. >> it was a bittersweet ending for nique's family. they'll never see matt leili again. but as niquie leili's youngest girls left the courthouse to go back north with their grandfather, it seemed just as likely that they would never see them again either. >> they were my girls. i still love them to this day. taught them how to read. got them ready for school in the mornings. >> you'd like to have a relationship with them. >> i would love to have a relationship with them again. i don't know that that day will ever come. but i want them to know my door is always open. but i don't know if that day will ever come. >> one murder, so many victims. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline extra." i am tamron hall. thanks for watching.
i told myself, the worst part about dying is being afraid of dying. if i'm not afraid, it won't be so bad. i just couldn't believe this was the way it was going to happen. >> she was a college student found on a lonely road in texas. >> we figured she had been sexually assaulted and dumped here. >> tough questions for her boyfriend. >> where was i the night before? what had i been doing? when had i last seen her? >> i really thought he could be her killer. >> but while polic