Dateline 1×112 Blind Justice: Susan Sutton Murder

Susan Sutton Murder – Dateline, an American television news magazine show that has been running for decades, presents true crime stories, mysteries, and in-depth investigative reports using documentary-style techniques such as interviews, dramatic reenactments, and on-scene reporting. Dateline strives to give viewers an in-depth examination of real-life cases such as murders, missing persons, and other high-profile investigations that personally impact them.

Dateline episode 112, “Blind Justice” explores the murder of Susan Sutton at her home in Coral Gables, Florida, in August 2004 in great depth. The interviews feature authorities involved in the case and John, Susan’s husband, who narrowly escaped a murder attempt. John’s daughter is also interviewed to provide her perspective on the events leading up to this tragic event. The episode provides all pertinent details, including the identification of those responsible.

Now that we have all the key details you require let’s jump in to explore this captivating episode of Dateline.

The Mysterious Death of Susan Sutton

The Mysterious Death of Susan Sutton

Susan Joan Marier Sutton was born on August 20, 1947, to parents Lester J. Marier and Rose A. Marier of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Melissa Sutton described Susan as intelligent and confident, with a keen desire for self-improvement. She took classes such as violin playing and calculus well into her forties, despite already having a successful life as a single mother. According to those close to Susan, her greatest aspiration was to become an amazing mother to her adopted daughters, Melissa Sutton, and Amanda Sutton.

Susan Sutton adopted Christopher with her husband, John Sutton, in the late 1970s. After the adoption, Susan left her job as the head nurse of a surgical intensive unit in Florida. Mary Marier recalls this momentous day for Susan as one of her happiest. Mary vividly remembers Susan calling from Florida, excited about becoming a mother. Subsequently, the couple adopted their second child, Melissa, approximately seven years later, demonstrating their unwavering dedication to raising children.

John Sutton was an acclaimed defense attorney who established a successful civil litigation firm with Teddy Monto. While their business thrived, its success also brought enemies and even death threats. Recognized members of their community, John and Susan Sutton resided in Coral Gables near Miami with beautiful homes and owned a 31-foot boat. Susan served an integral part as the office manager of John’s successful law practice, as depicted on the TV show.

On August 22, 2004, John, Susan, and their son Christopher came together to honor their law firm’s successes and Susan’s belated birthday celebration. Also present at this celebration were Christopher’s girlfriend Juliet and Teddy from Christopher’s law firm. The law firm had recently won one of its signature settlements worth $1 million, which astonished everyone present. Rosanna Cordero, an officer from Miami-Dade County, noted threats made against them due to their success in civil litigation work.

Christopher, Juliette, and Teddy left shortly before dawn, and John and Susan retired to their bedrooms to watch television before sleeping. Due to John’s loud snoring, Susan often preferred sleeping alone in another room. Unfortunately, an intruder dressed in black entered through a sliding glass door, carrying a Glock 9mm semiautomatic pistol. The intruder shot John first and then shot at Susan before proceeding into her bedroom, where he fired six shots at her. He then moved on to Christopher and Juliette’s bedrooms before leaving through another sliding glass door, still armed with the Glock 9mm semiautomatic pistol. The episode revealed the quick and tragic sequence of events that transpired that night.

Back in the master bedroom, John was shot twice more by an assailant who somehow managed to survive despite having his eyesight removed and suffering two shots to the head. John immediately called 911 for assistance, and emergency services rushed him to a trauma center. Unfortunately, upon awakening in the intensive care unit, John discovered that he had lost everything. He described the impact of his injuries, facial pain, and loss of eyesight as tremendous.

John Sutton’s horrific experience following Susan Sutton’s murder riveted viewers, as shown on Dateline: Blind Justice.

Investigation and Arrest

Investigation and Arrest

Detective Cordero believed that John could still provide valuable assistance despite his serious brain injury. However, his memories proved unreliable due to his spotty memory and fragmentary recollections of the incident. To gather more substantial information, detectives turned their focus to Teddy Montoto, who claimed to have been on the phone with Susan when the shots were fired.

According to the officers’ reports, Teddy arrived at the scene while the police were setting up, raising suspicion among the officers. They had already become wary after discovering Teddy’s late-night call to Susan and his proficiency as a marksman. Detective Cordero mentioned that Teddy was an avid competitive shooter as a hobby, prompting further investigation. They performed ballistic tests on his gun and questioned him about the details of that evening’s phone conversation with Susan.

During a polygraph examination, Teddy was caught cheating and admitted to engaging in an affair. Detective Cordero confirmed this confession by providing ballistics test results that removed any doubt about Teddy’s involvement. Meanwhile, John’s friends alerted the police about Christopher, the couple’s adopted child, whose birth father John didn’t approve of. Disturbing rumors began to swirl surrounding Christopher.

Larry Belyeu, the chief investigator, stated, “Chris wants his parents dead.” Reports revealed that Christopher had threatened to harm his mother and had frequently caused trouble during his teenage years. In response to his behavior, Christopher’s parents sent him to a behavioral school in Samoa. John Sutton mentioned that they were informed of Christopher’s oppositional defiant disorder or conduct defiant disorder, which seemed evident in his behavior. Additionally, Christopher attended multiple educational institutions.

Mary, Susan’s sister-in-law, spoke of Christopher’s unpredictable outbursts when things didn’t go his way. She recalled an incident where Christopher pointed an unloaded gun at Susan and Melissa, threatening to shoot them. Christopher also vandalized a teacher’s house. Unfortunately, his parents felt obliged to send him to Paradise Cove boarding school despite Christopher’s pleas.

In March 2005, a woman’s tip provided the key breakthrough in the case. She suspected Garrett Kopp of being responsible for Susan’s murder, which led the police to Christopher’s phone records. They discovered that Christopher had spoken to Garrett on the night of the crime and confessed to killing John and Susan at Christopher’s request as revenge for their time spent at Paradise Cove.

The investigation into Susan Sutton’s murder gradually unraveled a complex web of relationships and motives involving Teddy, Christopher, and Garrett, all of whom played significant roles. Teddy’s, Christopher’s, and Garrett’s determination to uncover the truth revealed dark secrets buried deep within the Sutton family, ultimately bringing some form of justice for all parties involved.

What Happened to Garrett Kopp

What Happened to Garrett Kopp?

Garrett Kopp was quickly arrested, while Christopher managed to evade arrest due to a lack of evidence against him. Detectives needed more than Christopher’s word alone to establish his involvement. However, Christopher was finally caught when his then-fiancée made several incriminating statements that implicated him as someone who wanted their parents dead and offered Garrett $100,000 from their insurance settlement if he committed the murders.

John made the connection when he discovered that Garrett was the shooter, as he recognized their striking resemblance. Following Garrett’s agreement to testify against Christopher during his trial in July 2010, Christopher’s sentence was reduced from the death penalty to 30 years of incarceration. Kathleen Hoague accepted this agreement due to the challenges involved in proving the case without Garrett’s testimony against Christopher.

Prosecutor Carin Kahgan claimed that Christopher and Garrett had been longtime friends who shared a drug addiction. They planned to break into the Suttons’ house, commit the shootings, and receive payment once their insurance settlement had been secured. Christopher’s defense attorney, Bruce Fleisher, described Garrett as an addict looking for an exit strategy by providing information about Christopher to the police. This claim was supported by ex-convict Jose Peon, who had prior juvenile murder convictions.

Peon stated that he met Christopher in 1999 when Christopher approached him, asking if Garrett knew any hitmen who could kill his parents. Garrett provided key testimony against Christopher, which led to three consecutive life sentences without parole being handed down in 2004 and 2005, respectively. In July 2010, Garrett pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, burglary, attempted first-degree murder, and aggravated assault. He received the previously agreed-upon 30-year prison sentence as stated in court documents. According to court records, he is housed at Avon Park Correctional Institution until March 2035.

The case resolution involved Garrett’s cooperation, which led to Christopher’s conviction and provided insight into their complex friendship and their roles in the tragic events. While justice was served, the acceptance of reduced sentences was due to the complexity of the trial proceedings and the testimony presented.

Must Read: Where is Susan Sutton’s Husband John Sutton Now?

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Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilsonhttps://www.tvacute.com/
Olivia Wilson is the senior news writer for TV Acute. She spends too much money on collectables and is enamored with movies, comics, and television series. She loves binge-watching and can spend hours talking about movies and TV shows. She can immerse herself into a good story no matter the genre or form and only come out from it when she's had her fill. When she's not writing, she's probably cooking or exploring new places. You can follow her daily exploits on Twitter and Facebook.

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