By Ivy Brown
The year 2022 featured many ground-breaking and compelling trials on Court TV. From the high-stakes case of Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard, to the intense trial of killer Darrell E. Brooks. Viewers from around the world tuned in at record numbers for Court TV’s expert legal coverage. Here’s a roundup of the verdicts featured on Court TV in 2022.
Theodore Edgecomb was accused of fatally shooting lawyer Jason Cleereman in 2020. Edgecomb was riding his bicycle in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, while Cleereman was in the passenger seat of his car. The men got into a verbal altercation, which ended when Edgecomb shot and killed Cleereman. But there are two very different accounts of what happened that night. The prosecution and Cleereman’s widow, who was driving the car, claim Edgecomb attacked and killed Cleereman, then fled the state to avoid arrest. But Edgecomb and his supporters claim he acted in self-defense after nearly being run off the road and threatened with racial slurs. The jury found Edgecomb guilty of first-degree reckless homicide. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison and 12 years of extended supervision.
Eagle Scout Chandler Halderson was accused of murdering and dismembering his parents in July 2021. Chandler reported his parents missing on July 7, telling authorities they never returned after spending the 4th of July weekend with another couple. In the days that followed, parts of Bart and Krista Haldersons’ dismembered bodies were located not far from their family home. Prosecutors claimed Chandler killed his parents after his father discovered he was lying about attending college and having a job. The jury found Halderson guilty of all charges and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Travis Reinking stood trial for the deadly 2018 shooting at a Waffle House just outside of Nashville. Reinking was wearing nothing but a jacket when he opened fire on the restaurant, killing four people and injuring four more. His defense team argued he suffers from severe schizophrenia, which rendered him “untethered from reality.” A jury found him guilty of all counts, including four counts of first-degree murder. He was given four life sentences plus 114 years in prison.
Former Tampa police officer Curtis Reeves stood trial for the 2014 shooting death of Chad Oulson at a movie theater. Investigators said the men got into an argument when Reeves confronted Oulson about using his cellphone. Surveillance video shows Oulson grab Reeves’ popcorn and throw it at him. Reeves then fires a gun, fatally wounding Oulson. Reeves was charged with second-degree murder and aggravated battery. He pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense. A jury agreed with Reeves, acquitting him of all charges.
Former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing wildly into a neighbor’s apartment during the March 2020 raid that led to the shooting death of Breonna Taylor. The charges against Hankison weren’t related to Taylor’s death. He was accused of endangering the lives of three residents when he shot 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment, which was next door.
GA v. RYAN DUKE (Beauty Queen Murder Trial)
The investigation of the 2005 disappearance of former beauty queen and beloved teacher Tara Grinstead spanned more than a decade, consuming the small town of Ocilla in rumors and speculation, before police arrested friends and former Irwin High School students Ryan Duke and Bo Dukes in early 2017. Ryan Duke initially confessed to killing Grinstead, but at trial claimed his confession was coerced. The jury ultimately acquitted him of Grinstead’s murder, but found him guilty of concealing a death. He was sentenced to 10 years.
Billy Ray Turner stood accused of murdering former NBA star Lorenzen Wright. Wright’s body was discovered in the woods near a golf course a few days after his mother reported him missing in July 2010.
The mystery surrounding his death baffled investigators for years until a break in the case led to the 2017 arrest of Billy Ray Turner and Wright’s ex-wife, Sherra Wright. Wright ultimately pleaded guilty for her role in the murder and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. A jury found Turner guilty of all charges, including first-degree murder.
Michael Mosley was accused of murdering two men and injuring two others outside a Nashville bar on Dec. 21, 2019. According to investigators, a fight over a woman at the Dogwood bar spilled outside and ended with the deaths of 22-year-old Clayton Beathard and 21-year-old Paul Trapeni III. Mosley, who was arrested on Christmas Day, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder and assault. The jury found him guilty of all charges.
NJ v. MICHAEL BARISONE (Former Olympian On Trial)
Former equestrian Olympian Michael Barisone was accused of shooting Lauren Kanarek and attempting to shoot Robert Goodwin on Aug. 7, 2019. The pair were living on Barisone’s farm while Kanarek trained. Barisone was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Romance author Nancy Crampton-Brophy was accused of killing her husband in 2018. Students at the now-closed Oregon Culinary Institute found the body of Chef Daniel Brophy on June 2. He had been shot in the back and chest. Authorities say the couple had fallen behind on their mortgage. Nancy stood to inherit more than a million dollars from his insurance and worker’s compensation policies. Surveillance video surrounding the culinary school revealed a minivan similar to the one Nancy drove the morning Daniel was killed. Investigators say Nancy claimed to be home during the killing. Nancy was found guilty of second-degree murder.
FL v. NIKOLAS CRUZ (Parkland School Massacre Trial)
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz stood trial in a penalty phase after he pleaded guilty to murdering 17 people and wounding 17 others in the 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The jury recommended life in prison without the possibility of parole for Cruz. He was sentenced to 34 consecutive life sentences.
Former celebrity chef Mario Batali faced a bench trial for accusations he forcibly kissed and groped a woman in a Boston bar in 2017 while taking selfies. Batali’s lawyers argued there was no evidence from the photos that their client assaulted the woman, claiming she cooked up the allegations for financial gain. Judge James Stanton found Batali not guilty of indecent assault and battery, citing the accuser’s “credibility issues” and the prosecution’s inability to meet their burden of proof.
Ex-spouses Johnny Depp and Amber Heard squared off at the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia. Depp sued Heard for defamation. He claimed she damaged his reputation when she wrote about domestic abuse in an op-ed that appeared in The Washington Post in December 2018. Depp wasn’t named in the article, but he claimed in his lawsuit that the article implied he abused her and, as a result, he lost movie roles and faced public scorn. Both celebrities testified in the trial, which gave viewers an inside look into the former couple’s tumultuous relationship.
Danielle Redlick was charged in the stabbing death of her estranged husband, former NBA executive Michael Redlick. 65-year-old Michael “Red” Redlick was found dead in his Winter Park, Florida home in January 2019. His estranged wife and former stepdaughter, Danielle, waited 11 hours before calling 911 to seek medical attention. Danielle initially told the 911 operator that her husband had a heart attack. The jury found her not guilty of second-degree murder. She was, however, found guilty of tampering with evidence.
MO v. DAWAN FERGUSON (Missing Son Murder Trial)
Dawan Ferguson was accused of his missing son’s death 20 years after he went missing. Christian, who had a rare genetic disorder that prevented his body from processing protein, was last seen June 11, 2003, according to an indictment. His condition required specific nutrition and medication that without, he “would likely have died within 48-72 hours.” Investigators alleged Ferguson withheld proper care from Christian for nearly two years before he disappeared. The jury found him guilty of Christian’s murder.
WI v. SEAN PICKETT (Possessed By Evil Murder Trial)
TX v. YASER SAID (Honor Killing Trial)
Yaser Said stood accused of murdering his daughters, 18-year-old Amina Said and 17-year-old Sarah Said on Jan. 1, 2008. Prosecutors alleged the 65-year-old defendant fatally shot his daughters because he didn’t approve of them dating non-Muslim men and embracing the western lifestyle. Said evaded capture for 12 years, and was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Want Fugitives list in 2014. He was arrested Aug. 26, 2020. The jury found Said guilty. He was immediately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
OH v. SHAWNTE HARDIN (Phony Funeral Home Trial)
Shawnte Hardin faced a bench trial on accusations he was faking his funeral credentials and filching funds. Of the dozens of charges against him, he was accused of mishandling remains and abuse of a corpse. The judge found him guilty of all 31 counts and sentenced him to nearly 12 years in prison.
OH v. MATHEAU MOORE (Staged Suicide Murder Trial)
Matheau Moore stood accused of murdering his wife and staging the scene to look like a suicide. The severely decomposed remains of Emily Noble, 52, were discovered hanging from a tree in Sept. 2020, nearly four months after she was last seen alive. Her husband, defendant Matheau Moore, was arrested in June 2021. The jury acquitted Moore in his wife’s death.
OH v. GEORGE WAGNER IV (Ohio Family Massacre Trial)
George Wagner IV stood accused of helping his family plan and carry out the murders of 8 members of another family. Wagner was the first person from his family to stand trial on murder and conspiracy charges for the April 2016 nighttime massacre of the Rhoden family in four different locations. His mother and brother, Angela and Jake Wagner, pleaded guilty in 2021 and agreed to testify against him. His father, Billy Wagner, is awaiting trial. Wagner denied he helped plan or participate in the murders, which led to the biggest investigation in the state’s history. The jury found him guilty of all charges.
Alex Jones Defamation Trial: Sandy Hook Hoax Case
A Connecticut jury was tasked with deciding how much InfoWars host Alex Jones should pay the families of eight Sandy Hook victims and an FBI agent after spreading the lie that the school shooting was a hoax. The jury ordered Jones to pay $965 million.
ND v. NIKKI ENTZEL (Cheating Wife Murder Trial)
Nikki Sue Entzel was accused of conspiring with her lover to kill her husband and collect a life insurance payout. The body of Chad Entzel, 42, was discovered in his burning home on Jan. 2, 2020. An autopsy revealed Chad Entzel died from two gunshot wounds. His body appeared to be in the early stages of decomposition when the home caught fire. Nikki claimed her lover, Earl Howard, killed Chad during an argument, and she wasn’t in the room when the murder happened. Before Nikki’s trial, Howard accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. The jury found Nikki guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit arson and conspiracy to tamper with physical evidence.
WI v. DARRELL BROOKS (Deadly Parade Crash Trial)
Darrell Brooks stood trial for killing six people and injuring dozens more when he drove an SUV through the Waukesha Christmas Parade route in 2021. In a tumultuous trial, a jury found Brooks guilty of all 76 charges. He was sentenced to six consecutive life terms plus an additional 762 years.
FL v. CHAD ABSHER (Controlling Boyfriend Murder Trial)
Chad Absher stood accused of killing his girlfriend and shooting her sister in 2017. Prosecutors say Absher used a 9mm gun to shoot Lisa Rucker in the cheek while she was cleaning blood off the floor from the fight that had ensued shortly before the shootings. He then turned the gun on his girlfriend, Ashlee Rucker, before fleeing the scene. The jury found him guilty of all charges.
FL v. MATTHEW TERRY (Math Teacher Murder Trial)
Former Marine Matthew Terry was accused of killing his girlfriend during an argument in May 2022. The body of elementary school teacher Kay Baker was found in the couple’s yard with a large stab wound to her neck. A knife had been plunged into her throat. Terry had a history of abuse, and had served time for the attempted murder of an ex-girlfriend. The jury found him guilty of Kay Baker’s death and recommended a sentence of life in prison without parole.
TN v. HAYDEN BERKEBILE (Coerced Suicide Murder Trial)
Hayden Berkebile faced trial on charges he coerced 19-year-old Grace Ann Sparks to kill herself. Investigators said Berekebile and Sparks, who were in a hyper-intense long-distance online relationship, were video chatting when Berkebile convinced her to place a bullet into the cylinder of a .357 revolver during a game of Russian roulette in which he knew exactly where the bullet was located and she did not. Berkebile egged her on as she put the gun to her head and pulled the trigger. Berkebile’s defense team insisted that interactions between the pair were a form of roleplay between two damaged people — and that it was Sparks’ own depression that led her to take her life. In the end, those arguments didn’t hold up. Berkbile was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide. He was sentenced to two years in prison.
FL v. TREVOR SUMMERS (Estranged Husband Kidnapping Trial)
Trevor Summers represented himself during part of his trial when he faced 11 charges in the kidnapping and attempted murder of his estranged wife. Prosecutors said Summers and the victim were in the midst of a tumultuous divorce when the defendant broke into her home, held her captive, raped her and forced her to flee with him. Investigators said evidence showed he was planning to kill her before taking his own life. The jury found Summers guilty of all charges and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
TX v. JUAN DAVID ORTIZ (Border Patrol Serial Killer Trial)
South Texas border patrol agent Juan David Ortiz stood accused of killing four women in Laredo in September 2018. Prosecutors alleged Ortiz, who was a regular customer of the area known as “the prostitute blocks,” was a serial killer. Jurors ultimately convicted Ortiz after hearing recordings of him telling investigators he was trying to “clean up the streets” of his hometown. He was given an automatic sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
TX v. AARON DEAN (Killed While Babysitting Trial)
Former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean stood trial in the shooting death of 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson. The shooting occurred in the early morning hours of Oct. 12, 2019, when a neighbor called a non-emergency line for a welfare check because the house had a door open and lights on. Cops, including Dean, got to the home at 2:28 a.m. Dean walked into the backyard, saw Jefferson in a bedroom window, and ordered her to put her hands up. A split-second later, Dean fired a single bullet, killing Jefferson. The jury found him guilty of manslaughter.
NE v. ANGELA HOCK (Midwife Delivery Death Trial)
Self-proclaimed, unlicensed Nebraska midwife Angela Hock faced a bench trial on a felony charge of negligent child abuse after a home delivery went tragically wrong. Prosecutors claimed Hock acted recklessly and negligently from a place of ‘arrogance’ when she tried to deliver a breeched baby at the parents’ home instead of sending them to the hospital. EMTs eventually delivered the baby in an ambulance. She died two days later. The judge ultimately cleared Hock of any wrongdoing, finding her not guilty.