January 2000: Nearly six years after the murder, an anonymous tip leads police to a suspect named Shane Ragland, a former UK student.
June/July 2000: The anonymous tipster - who turns out to be Ragland's ex-girlfriend - agrees to assist investigators, recording a series of conversations with the suspect.
July 14, 2000: Police arrest Ragland in Frankfort and charge him with murder.
Aug. 17, 2000: Ragland
is released from jail after his father - prominent Frankfort businessman Jerry Ragland - posts a $1 million bond.
Earlier that week, an anonymous source relayed a tip directing the lead detective to an unlikely suspect named Shane Ragland
, the son of a wealthy Frankfort businessman who attended UK at the same time as Trent
It sounded implausible, but the deeper detectives delved into story, the more clues they uncovered suggesting Ragland
was the killer.
But with the help of a high-priced legal team, Ragland
appealed the verdict, and his
conviction ultimately was overturned.
By then, the prosecution's key witness would no longer cooperate and the case began to crumble.
In the end, the Fayette County commonwealth's attorney offered Ragland
a sweetheart deal - plead guilty to second-degree manslaughter and walk out of the courthouse a free man.
The DiGiuros filed a wrongful death suit against Ragland
, which Mike DiGiuro says is meant to ensure "this guy doesn't live fat and happy on daddy's money for the rest of his life.
That client turned out to be Shane Ragland's
ex-girlfriend, Aimee Lloyd.
The motive: Ragland
wanted revenge for being blackballed from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity
The list included the name "Shane Ragland
" with a line through it.
In the fall of 1991, Blandford was sharing a dorm with Trent
, and on one occasion early in the semester, Ragland
visited their room.
While there, Ragland
noticed a calendar with photographs of female UK students, one of whom he
bragged about having slept with.
That woman turned out to be the girlfriend of an officer in the SAE fraternity
, which both Blandford and Ragland
When the SAE officer learned of Ragland's boast, he
kicked him out of the pledge class.
Soon after, Ragland
encountered Blandford and DiGiuro walking across campus and angrily confronted them.
First Lloyd contacted Ragland
via e-mail, and the two exchanged phone numbers.
took the bait and the two met for a drink at the bar inside Blue Grass Airport.
: You are making me uncomfortable about it now, just thinking about it ...
: Of course not.
You're scaring me talking about this.
: I do too ...
: I know ...
I made the wrong decision.
But there is nothing I can do now.
The next day, on July 14, 2000, Kentucky State Police arrested Shane Ragland
and charged him with the murder of Trent DiGiuro
, 27, split his
time living with his
divorced parents, law enforcement searched both Frankfort homes.
father's house, they found a box of .243 caliber bullets.
mother's, they found a .243 caliber Weatherby rifle with a right-twist barrel pattern.
was transported to the Lexington Police Department
, where he
innocence throughout a videotaped interview.