We begin here, with the case of the respected college professor, charged in the murder of a man. A murder committed 18 years ago, when she was a college student. She is in jail this morning, after her... See More
We begin here, with the case of the respected college professor, charged in the murder of a man. A murder committed 18 years ago, when she was a college student. She is in jail this morning, after her bail was revoked. She admits that she did have a strong motive for the killing. Revenge. But she is proclaiming her innocence today. Abc's aditi roy has the story. Reporter: Dr. Patricia esparzo was cuffed and jailed. I saw my wife, shackled and taken away. Reporter: The judge revoked the bail of the 39-year-old psychology professor after prosecutors say she refused to accept a plea deal in an 18-year-old cold case murder. I cannot accept because it would essentially be a lie. Reporter: Prosecutors have charged esparza in connection with the 1995 murder of gonzalo ramirez. Investigators claim she confided in an ex-boyfriend. Prosecutors say esparza and van, along with three other suspects, hatched a plan to kill ramirez. Van is behind bars, awaiting trial. And has pleaded not guilty. There's evidence to prove she is quality of that charge. Reporter: But esparza says she is innocent. She was a victim the night that he was beaten to death. Forced to watch. I was terrorized. I wasn't participating. Reporter: After the murder, esparza says van coerced her into marrying him. She claims fear along with the alleged assault and history of sexual abuse as a child, silenced her for more than a decade. All I knew was these people were dangerous. And I needed to stay quiet. Reporter: She eventually divorced van, remarried and moved to france, where she lives with her husband and 4-year-old daughter. Investigators nabbed her during one of her visits back to the u.S. Last year. She says her testimony helped to indict the other suspects. How do you explain to a 4-year-old why mommy has been taken away? Reporter: Esparza's next court hearing is scheduled for DECEMBER 23rd. If convicted, she could face life behind bars. For "good morning america," aditi roy, abc news, los angeles. We're going to bring in abc's chief legal affairs anchor, dan abrams. Norma esparza. This is a crime committed 18 years ago. She will stand trial for it. What was the prosecution in a cold case killing, what do they have to prove? They believe they can prove she was part of the plot. And they basically scoped this guy out. They went back to the bar a few times to try to find him. So, prosecutors would say, this wasn't just a situation where they happened upon him. And then, suddenly, this team of people went after him. They're saying that there was this plot. And that she was part of it. If they can prove that, she's in big trouble. But that's going to be the key question. Meanwhile, we saw her, very adamant, refusing a plea deal. In your opinion, you've seen it, was it a mistake? Prosecutors are trying to force her into a deal. They're charging her with a very severe crime here. They're trying to force her to plead. Why? They don't want to try this case, either. Imagine you're the prosecutor in a case, where a woman is alleging she's been raped. And she and her ex-boyfriend, et cetera, go after thisguy. That's not legal. But the concern on the part of prosecutors is, do the jurors look at a case like this, if it goes to trial, and feel sorry for her. Even if you're not allowed, legally, and technically, to do anything remotely like this. Will jurors feel sympathy? That's why prosecutors are trying to force her into a plea deal. She has to be careful here. They believe they have a lot of evidence to link her to the scene of the plot, as well, with eyewitnesses, et cetera. So, I would be surprised if this case ends up going to trial. But we shall see. Certainly not the last we've heard of it. Dan, thanks.
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