The Dateline episode “Nightfall” investigates the 2011 murder of Brooke Morris, a beautiful 23-year-old woman who was found shot dead at the intersection of two quiet rural streets, 40 miles away from her home in Knoxville, Tennessee. Although there wasn’t any physical evidence where Morris’ body was found (no tire marks, fingerprints nor weapon) in 2012, Morris’ ex-boyfriend and boss Shawn Smoot, a 44-year-old insurance agent, was indicted on a first-degree murder charge. Witnesses testified that Smoot was with Morris at a bar hours before her death.
One year before her death, Morris filed an order of protection against Smoot. In the order, Morris claimed that Smoot twice attacked her and wrote the Smoot “told me he would kill me if I told his wife he was cheating on her.” According to Morris’s statement, Smoot told Morris that “if he killed me, he would plead temporary insanity because I broke up his marriage. Shawn said he would only get 5 or 6 years in prison.” In 2016, Smoot, who has maintained his innocence, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was also ordered to pay $2 million in compensatory damages to Morris’ mother and son. Dateline airs Fridays at 9pm on NBC.