Detective Keith Rosewaren had scrambled successfully through the foothills of his interview with Teresa Stone.
At 6:10 p.m., April 20, 2010, she signed a Miranda waiver, agreeing to be interviewed without an attorney.
Now Rosewaren had to climb the mountain.
Faced with too-tidy alibis and rumors flying of a long-term affair, Rosewaren had plenty of reasons to suspect Teresa and Pastor David Love.
Teresa had been an atypical homicide victims wife. Most call detectives regularly, fishing for information and offering new leads. Teresa had been remarkably quiet in the 20 days since her husbands murder.
Detectives believed that Teresa and David had engaged in a nearly 10-year affair, that Teresa had given David a .40-caliber Glock that belonged to her husband, Randy, and that they had communicated about the killing using disposable cell phones.
But even with a solid theory and a nice pile of circumstantial evidence, Rosewaren believed that prosecutors never would file charges without significant admissions from Teresa Stone or David Love.
She was in the chair that Tuesday evening because detectives felt they had a better chance of breaking down her defenses.
Rosewaren decided to start with that torn-up birthday note detectives found in Teresas trash can the day of Randys murder. Previously, she said she had no idea whod written the note and claimed it had appeared on her windshield three years earlier. She claimed shed torn it up to keep it from her husband.
We have to know, Rosewaren began, who wrote that note and whats going on behind it.
I think you understand. If you have somebody whos infatuated with you, thats been pursuing you, we cant rule that person out as a suspect.
Rosewaren pointed to passages where the writer said, I praise you. I adore you. Im blessed by you.
There is verbiage that indicates that whoever wrote it is involved in Christianity or the church, he said.
Was it David Love?
Yeah, he wrote it.
But she wouldnt give up that easily.
Is there any chance that David Love had anything to do with your husbands death? Rosewaren asked. Do you think hes capable of it?
Rosewaren would have to be patient with Teresa.
He had all night.
Unknown to Rosewaren, a video feed of the interrogation had drawn a crowd in a small conference room nearby.
Detectives, prosecutors and police commanders, all of whom had met daily to review and analyze evidence, settled in for a long night. Even some day-shift employees hung around to watch.
With each of Teresas evasions, knots of frustration tightened in the group, only to release when Rosewaren teased out a new admission such as Teresas acknowledgement that she and David had communicated covertly with cell phones to hide a counseling relationship from Davids wife.
The detectives tone sharpened when Teresa denied a sexual relationship with Love.
Ive got about 20 detectives out there that want to take this to a grand jury today, tomorrow, Rosewaren said. They think we have enough evidence against you to have you charged, cause they think youre involved in this not that you killed him, but that you had something to do with this.
Teresas jaw dropped and she began sobbing.
I have told you everything that happened on that day, she said. I have receipts to show you. My daughter was with me.
But aware of the birthday love note and secret cell phones, Rosewaren wasnt buying that her relationship with David Love was chaste.
Were not going to wave red flags and tell the world, OK? Rosewaren assured her. Teresa, I already know what youre going to say, but I have to hear it from you.
Yes, Teresa sobbed. We had sex.
She soon acknowledged the 2005 miscarriage.
Switching course, Rosewaren picked at the odd discrepancy between the first two calls she made after finding Randys body.
She told her parents that Randy had been shot.
She told the 911 call-taker only that Randy had blood coming from an ear.
Rosewaren stood, emphasizing that his patience was near exhaustion.
Who told you that hed been shot? he pressed. How did you know that hed been shot? And why didnt you tell us? Youre not being truthful with me, Teresa.
I, I didnt know, she replied with a toss of her head.
Youre not being truthful.
I didnt, she said, stopping to pause.
He sent me a text and told me.
The opening grew wide.
Who did? Say it.
With an anguished whisper, Teresa took the case far beyond theory and circumstantial evidence.
The content of the text had been ambiguous SERIOUSLY URGENT, DO NOT GO BACK TO THE OFFICE but Teresas admission that David had sent her the message propelled the questioning along more than a dozen new and productive avenues.
Investigators suspected from the shell casing found at the insurance office that Randy had been killed with his own gun. But how did Brother Love get the gun? Teresa expressed complete bewilderment, though she speculated that Love may have memorized the combination of Randys gun safe when her husband was showing off his firearms collection.
The tempo of the interview increased.
This is tearing you up, Rosewaren said.
Im trying to protect a godly man, supposed to be a godly man, Teresa said. He told me in my room that next day.
Teresa began sobbing, which quickly moved to hyperventilation.
Courage, Teresa, Rosewaren said. what did he say?
He said, You know, if you tell them that, Im going to jail for murder, she said.
However, Teresa remained adamant that she had no role in planning the killing.
She seemed willing to acknowledge terrible behavior on her own part, but nothing that could expose her to criminal liability, Rosewaren concluded. She also wasnt afraid to lay the crime at her lovers feet.
Rosewarens breakthroughs lightened the mood in the nearby conference room, where other investigators began tossing around ideas for new questions.
Collapsing into a chair outside the interview room during a break, Rosewaren fended off high-fives from colleagues, telling them they still had a long way to go. Teresa Stone, he knew, did not give up the truth easily.
One idea percolating through the room was to somehow put Teresa and David together to see if he would say something useful.
More than six hours into the interview, a plan came together to have Teresa call him at home and press for a confession.
Now completely at the detectives mercy, she agreed.
She put the call through at 12:43 a.m. April 21. Immediately, David appeared suspicious.
You have to do something, Teresa said. I cant live like this anymore. This is just killing me.
OK, he responded. Whos there with you now? Are you home?
Quickly, it became clear that Davids wife, Kim, stood nearby, inhibiting Davids ability to speak frankly. But Teresa pushed ahead.
I need to know why. I need to know why you killed my husband. I need to know. Please. I cant live like this anymore.
Before David could respond, Kim came on the line, demanding to know why Teresa was calling and asking what she thought her husband had done.
Kim would not allow them to meet without her.
Trust you, after all that youve already done? she asked. Teresa, what do you want with David? What do you want with my husband? Just tell me what you want.
Seeing that the call was going nowhere, Rosewaren gestured for Teresa to disconnect.
At the Love home, Kim fired questions at her husband.
Are you going to hurt me?
Honey, no! I would never do that.
Did you have anything to do with this?
Well, what is she doing?
By then, David wasnt really paying attention to his wife.
Shes not going to pin this on me, he said.
Both Loves headed for the garage. Kim stopped at the door and looked at her son, Shelton, who was watching television.
Pray for me, Kim said. I dont know whats going on.
David Loves home and church, New Hope Baptist, had been under surveillance for much of the evening. Just seconds after Teresa hung up her call, Detective Chris Summers detected activity at the house.
At 12:55 a.m., a gray Buick backed out of the driveway and headed toward U.S. 24 and the Stone home.
David, the driver, glanced in a mirror and told his wife, Theres a car following us.
Kim again felt the cold grip of fear and uncertainty. She imagined Teresa pulling up and shooting her in the head.
Honey, is something about to happen to me? Kim asked.
No, honey, replied David, unruffled.
In less than a minute, an Independence patrol officer pulled over the car, and police handcuffed and arrested Pastor Love. Kim agreed to go to headquarters for an interview, even though officers assured her that she was not a suspect.
Back at headquarters, another plan materialized. Rosewaren quizzed Teresa about her willingness to meet with Love to see if she could encourage him to say anything. She was willing to try.
I would hope he would cooperate with you guys, being that he is in the state that he is in, she said. I mean, as a man of God he is held liable to the most high God that we have, and I know I am, too. I would think he would be honest.
Minutes later, David Love stepped off an elevator, flanked by two detectives. Teresa Stone, with her own detective escort, emerged from a hallway, looking as if she had stumbled into a chance meeting. The two stopped and looked at each other.
In their final encounter, neither spoke the truth.
I told them everything, a distraught Teresa said.
David appeared stoic and did not speak for 20 seconds.
Dont worry, he said. I will take care of everything.
Tomorrow: Suspicions confirmed.