Court TV to feature Mississippi murder case

Published 7:45 am Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Court TV saw all-time viewership highs for its live coverage of the recently completed trials involving Alex Murdaugh and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Coming off the heels of this record-setting growth, Court TV will premiere a new, original 10-episode documentary series “Accomplice to Murder with Vinnie Politan” on Sunday, May 7 at 8 p.m.

“Accomplice to Murder with Vinnie Politan” looks beyond the usual suspects to tell the gripping stories of everyday people caught up in a world of deception and manipulation as they become accomplices to murder. Court TV lead anchor Vinnie Politan hosts and travels across the country to speak with the accomplices – the convicted, the condemned as well as the exonerated – who provide a unique window into cases whose verdicts might not be as clear-cut as initially thought. Veteran Court TV producers help guide viewers through the dramatic twists and turns as each trial unfolds. The series was drawn from Court TV’s massive library of hundreds of trials spanning three decades.

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“So often when we look at murder cases, they are shown through the lens of only the main suspect or mastermind,” said Politan. “But what about the other people who played a role in helping to commit these horrible crimes? That is exactly the reason behind ‘Accomplice to Murder.'”

Initial episodes:

  • Florida v. Kananen (May 7, Series Premiere) – Richard Kananen Sr. beat his wife Marilyn so badly and abused his son and two daughters so horrifically that they spoke of him only as ‘it’ or ‘the monster.’ So, when he vanished on a clear day in September 1988, no one in the family bothered to report him missing. But when Marilyn disappeared 15 years to the day after her husband, suspicion soon fell on their son Ricky and youngest daughter Stacey. When both accused the other of the double murder, it was up to a Florida jury to determine who was the mastermind and who was telling the truth about what really happened.
  • Florida v. Gutierrez (May 14) – Paula Gutierrez thought she had found true love at 14 when she met and fell for the much older Nestor “Chino” de Jesus. But their romance soon turned into a nightmare for Paula as Chino’s jealous rages made her fear for her life. After their daughter Ashley was born, the couple’s bank account soon dwindled to zero, and on a hot Tampa day in July 2001, Chino gave Paula baggy clothes and a bandana and told her they were going to go rob a bank. By day’s end, two people were dead and Paula was facing three life sentences as an accomplice to a crime she did not commit.
  • Mississippi v. Edmonds (May 21) – The case against Tyler Edmonds seemed like a slam dunk. When Kristi Fulgham was taken in by police for questioning after her husband Joey was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head, she told them that her half-brother Tyler had done it, shooting Joey to protect her from an abusive husband. The 13-year-old confessed, though saying that he was only an accomplice to the murder that Kristi planned. After a short trial, he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. It would take the heroic efforts of his defense lawyer – who took Tyler’s case all the way to the Supreme Court – to give his client a shot at redemption and a second chance at life.

Politan, a Court TV anchor and an Emmy Award-winning legal journalist leads the network’s coverage of the nation’s most compelling trials. A lawyer and former prosecutor, Politan has been covering the world of crime and justice for over 20 years, also hosting legal and news programs on HLN, Sirius XM, NBC in Atlanta and A&E. Moving from the courtroom to television, Politan’s career has included covering trials involving Sean P Diddy Combs, Scott Peterson, Michael Jackson, Casey Anthony, Jodi Arias, Martha Stewart, the murder of George Floyd, Kyle Rittenhouse and Alex Murdaugh.