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Cold Justice: Ambush and double murder

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Latina Matlock didn't realize she was about to be murdered when she opened the door of her home the evening of Nov. 16, 2002 during the latest episode of Cold Justice Friday, Feb. 21. Former prosecutor Kelly Siegler and investigator Yolanda McClary traveled to Malvern, Arkansas in an attempt to unravel a double homicide involving two guns which has been unsolved for 11 years.

Former Las Vegas Police Dept. investigator McClary explained, "Latina was cooking and folding laundry in the kitchen of her home when she probably heard a knock on her front door. The .38 (person carrying .38 caliber revolver) comes in first and shoots her. Her husband Bud Matlock comes home and is shot by the .380 (person carrying the .380 caliber gun) in front of the house."

McClary makes these conclusions after former Houston prosecutor Siegler, investigators D.D. Shirley, Johnny Bonds and she re-enact the double murder at the crime scene.

Siegler, who compiled an impressive record trying murder cases in Houston, explained the case as the TNT team drove into Malvern, saying, "This is a complicated case. We have five possible suspects. Two different guns were used in the double homicide. Bud and Latina Matlock were married about a year. Latina is shot inside the home by intruders probably looking for Bud. Then Bud drove up in the driveway with a passenger in the front seat. The intruder carrying the .380 comes out on the front porch and fires shots into the car. Passenger Dwayne Crosby is in the front seat and escapes. But Bud is shot to death in the head as he flees down the street."

McClary showed where two bullets fired from Bud's pursuer hit houses in the neighborhood.

She said, "It was a violent 30 seconds in this neighborhood."

McClary, who is the model for CSI investigator Marg Helgenberg, solved hundreds of murder cases working for the Las Vegas Police Department before she joined up with Siegler on the TNT show which airs on Fridays at 9/8 p.m. CST. For her part, Siegler won many high profile murder cases as prosecutor for the Harris County District Attorney's office before opening her own law firm.

Siegler and McClary determined almost immediately the motive for the murders was probably a broken jaw. When Bud Matlock believed his wife has become too friendly with the main suspect in the case, he slugged him, breaking his jaw in the process. The man who suffered the broken jaw about two months before the murder vowed revenge, according to witnesses the TNT Cold Justice team interviews.

When investigators attempted to meet with this suspect at his home they were not met with a friendly response. Knowing the suspect has a handgun license, Bonds approached the suspect carefully. When Bonds told the suspect he wanted to talk with him about the murder cases, the suspect said, "What is it you think you gonna' fix? I didn't give a ---(expletive deleted) about them (victims). You're still telling people I did it. Get off my property!"

Bonds, who was standing in the frontyard, replied, "You're not helping us?"

The angry suspect said, "Get off my property!"

Bonds returned to the TNT vehicle and said to his colleagues, "I don't think he's gonna' co-operate."

Despite the obstacles, Siegler and McClary were able to provide sufficient evidence to District Attorney Stephon Shirron, chief deputy prosecutor Richard Garrett and chief deputy prosecutor Teresa Howell to convince them to file charges against the main suspect and possibly a second suspect.

Siegler explained that the prosecutors will have to work fast once charges are filed because Arkansas has a speedy trial act which requires a defendant be given a trial within one year of being charged.

"Since he was held nine months the first time he was arrested, the prosecutors will have to be ready for trial within only three months after they charge him this time," she said.

Part of the evidence came from a witness who told the TNT team that he saw the chief suspect when his mouth was wired up because of the broken jaw. This witness recalled the suspect said he wanted Bud Matlock dead and offered him $5,000 to do it. He further said he was glad he was locked up the night of the murder because he might've committed the murder if he wasn't in jail.

Another witness admitted to selling the main suspect a handgun for $50 the night before the murder was committed.

Bud Matlock's mother Johnnie Mae Matlock was overjoyed by the news prosecutors have agreed to file murder charges in connection with her son's death. Ross Matlock, brother of Bud, and she have been raising Bud's eight-grade son Latrone since his parents' tragic deaths.

This program marked the fifth straight cold case the TNT team has helped local law enforcement solve during this the second season and dating back to the first season. The second season has been extended into the summer meaning more murderers will probably face justice soon.

As the show's intro said, "There are approximately 200,000 unsolved cold cases in America since 1980."

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