By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
Holly was concerned about this man with all the tall tales and a seemingly endless supply of money. But her mother was "happier than I had ever seen her." She genuinely cared for Cody and was worried about his battle to gain custody of his daughter.
Holly wasn't supposed to know about the promises Cody was making to her mother. "He was very explicit about that," she says. But when she learned about her mother's loans to Cody, she suggested that they try to find out more about him.
The last time Holly saw Cody, they had both just arrived at her mother's apartment. "He gave me an extremely warm hug. He was in a very, very good mood," she says, again looking at the defendant until he looks away.
Tingle asks her to read her letter. "Dear Mom," she begins, "There is so much I want to say to you, so many things I want to share. And I am hoping that this letter finds its way to you somehow. I have been struggling to find a reason for all that has happened, and why it was you that had to be taken from me. Of all the people in this world, I will never understand why someone who loved life so very much and had so much to offer had to be the one to fall.
"My life has been changed forever, and words can never convey how very much I miss you. I miss your laughter, your smile, your warmth. I miss the comfort your hugs once brought me. I miss the walks, the conversations, the silence we shared on Sunday afternoons when all we needed was each other's company. I miss sharing my life with you.
"In the silence of my quiet moments, I try and remember each detail of our lives together and the details of you as the person that you were. I listen for the sound of your laughter in my mind, the tone of your voice. I imagine your bright blue eyes and your tender touch... although it often brings me to tears, the memories are bittersweet.
"When I walk, I try and take familiar paths that we once walked together, remembering the conversations, the happiness I felt at that time. I feel the breeze and wonder if you are there with me still, if you can feel me trying to hold on to you.
"I want you to know that I haven't forgotten all that we experienced together...or all that you taught me. From the simple things like roller skating and cooking to the important things like how to treat others, to live my life as full and as passionately as possible, and to take advantage of each moment I have here on this earth. I am still learning from you, and I ask myself each day if I am doing things like you would have wanted, to take my time with people and try and send love out to those less fortunate.
"Although I can hardly imagine bringing a child into this world at this point, I know that one day I will. I regret that my child will not have a grandmother to love, and God knows I could use your guidance. But I will do my best to teach my child who you were and what you were about. The beliefs and morals my child will learn are yours, and so a piece of you will be passed on, and my love for you will be shared. I love you, Mom. You were -- you ARE -- the best Mom I could have ever been blessed with. I hope I can make you proud and that you are up in heaven right now, smiling down on me."
It is not in her letter, but Holly has one more thought as she ends and looks at Neal. "I never thought that someone who meant so very little to me could take so much from me."
Tara Brewer, the sister of Angela Fite, now climbs into the witness box. Turning cold eyes on the defendant, she describes how Angie's murder took away her "zest for life" just three weeks before her impending marriage.
"She was always happy," she says of her sister. "All she wanted was a nice, healthy home for herself and her children. And someone to care for her, love her and treat her with respect."
Angela's estranged husband, Mike Kelly, had been abusive, arrested for domestic violence. So Angela had left him and was working as a dental assistant when she met Cody Neal. Shortly into the relationship, he was promising her the home she wanted for her children.
After her murder, a family spokesperson asked that the public remember that "Angie and the other victims were innocent of any wrongdoing...Angie simply put her trust in the wrong person, as apparently did the other two victims, which resulted in this senseless tragedy." The spokesperson noted that a trust fund had been established for Angela's two children: Angela Fite Memorial Fund, Norwest Bank Southwest Plaza, 8500 West Bowles Avenue, Littleton.