Judge separates mother, step-father's trials in Nachtman case

Nicole Nachtman’s older brother, Joseph Carey told investigators his little sister confessed shortly
after killing her mom and stepdad, Myriam and Robert Dienes.

"She said, 'I did what I had to do to protect myself but I'm not a monster. I don't do bad things for fun,'" recalled Carey.

And that was followed by a full confession of the murders, Carey says.

Nachtman's defense attorney, Dana Herce says years of abuse and neglect drove her to murder. 

"We know now because of psychological abuse at the hands of her mother that in her mind she had three choices: Kill myself, kill my mother, or be killed," argued Herce.

But prosecutor John Terry described Nachtman as a cold-blooded killer who plotted the execution of her parents.

"Zero evidence of self-defense. She laid in wait for two days or a day and a half, for Mariam Dienes to come home," said Terry.    

After two days of testimony and arguments, Hillsborough Judge Christopher Sabella ruled a jury will get to hear all about.

Judge Sabella decided to split up the double murder case into two trials and that Nachtman can use the battered child syndrome as a defense, but only in the case of her mother.

Nachtman's stepdads trial will go first, followed by the murder trial of her mother.

We expect to Nachtman's brother to be a key witness for the defense describing his mother's controlling ways on his little sister.

"She still is affected by my mom she has some sort of control to influence her," explained Carey.