WEST WENDOVER, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - NBC's Dateline will revisit the gruesome murder of a West Wendover teen in a two hour special to air on Friday.
On March 3, 2011 Kody Patten and his then girlfriend Toni Fratto took 16-year-old Micaela Costanzo into the desert and allegedly murdered her.
At the time Patten and Fratto were both 19 years old.
Patten is accused of kidnapping Costanzo and taking her out to a remote part of the desert near the Utah-Nevada boarder. Costanzo was allegedly brutally beaten and her throat slashed before she was then buried in a shallow grave in the desert.
Elko County District Court appointed Reno criminal defense attorney John Ohlson to the case, because they did not have anyone on roster who was permitted to handle death penalty cases.
Patten accepted a plea deal, pleading guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for being spared the death penalty.
News 4 met with Ohlson who explained the deal came after Fratto admitted her guilt to him on tape. Ohlson says he then turned Fratto into authorities.
Fratto struck her own plea deal and was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
There have been conflicting reasons as to why the innocent, well-liked teen was killed. Ohlson tells News 4 that at one point Patten admitted to him there was a conflict between Fratto and Costanzo. Ohlson also explains in his 40 years as a defense attorney he believes everyone has their own truth.
Dateline correspondent Keith Morrison interviewed several other pertinent individuals from the case including Ohlson and will air the two hour special on Friday January 4, 2013 at 9 p.m. local time on KRNV.