Judge changes mind; Nicole Nachtman to face one trial for parents' murders

Hillsborough assistant state prosecutor John Terry says Nicole Nachtman's stepdad stood in the way of her ultimate goal. And that goal, he says, was to murder her mother.

"The motive for doing this was the fear of her mother’s anger for not getting her housing at Florida State," said Terry.

Now Terry wants the jury to hear all about Nachtman’s plotting, cover up, and execution of her parents.

But last week, the state was handed a huge setback when Hillsborough Judge Christopher Sabella ruled the two murders would be two separate trials.  And the murder of Nachtman's mother could not be mentioned or brought up during the stepdad’s trial.

Terry argued you can't separate the two, especially, he says, when it comes to Nachtman’s confession to her brother.

“She says, 'I'm going to miss you.' And he says, 'Are you going to hurt yourself?' And then she whispers, 'I did it.’ And then she says, ‘I shot them.' Well, how can I present her confession? She says 'them?’” questioned Terry. 

But Nachtman's defense attorney Dana Herce argued some of the evidence doesn't apply to both cases and combining both murders will confuse the jury.

"As the court knows, we've spent a day, maybe two, of this jury hearing evidence about abuse, about  battered child. And now you are telling the jury, 'Take that out, don't listen to it, don't apply it to Bob.' It’s misleading, it’s confusing to the jury," argued Herce. 

The former FSU student is accused of leaving campus and driving home to kill her parents. Nachtman says years of abuse and neglect drove her to murder.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Judge Sabella ruled in favor of the prosecution and will now combine both murders into one trial.  The trial was set to start next week, but it looks like the judge will give each side a little more time to prepare.

No new trial date has been set yet.