These guys are talking about control.

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48 Hours Dangerous Liaisons 10.14.06 Run Dates
  10.14.06 48 Hours Dangerous Liaisons



 - Power Failure -


Mind Crime (10.14.01)





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Oct. 14, 2006

(CBS) Sandee Rozzo was an outgoing young woman, with dreams of becoming a model and making it big in the movie business. After a troubled romance, Sandee was murdered - shot multiple times just moments after she pulled her car into the garage.

As Maureen Maher reports, police eyed suspects and faced one crucial question: would someone kill for love?



Sandee Rozzo will always be remembered as a vivacious young woman devoted to her big dreams and gorgeous body.

"She’s been doing modeling on and off since she was in high school," Sandee's mom remembers.

She was into weight lifting and always caring about her body, and her mom says Sandee wanted to get into the movie business. "She had the body, the face — she was perfect," her mother says.

Sandee spent her days looking for her next modeling gig; by night, she tended bar at some of the hottest clubs in Tampa.

"It was fun," recalls Heather Ursini, who worked with Sandee. "Sandee was beautiful and a lot of men would just flock to her because of how beautiful she was."

Sandee was divorced, with a teenage daughter, Giovanna, but her ex-husband had custody. At 37 years old, Sandee had never given up on finding someone special to share her life with.

"She was doing was most single girls do, trying to find Mr. Right," says Mitch Eubanks, Sandee’s friend and hair stylist, who was also her confidant.

Then one day, into Sandee’s life walked Timothy "Tracey" Humphrey - a 6'2", buff muscleman, who told everyone that he was a former underwear model and pro football player.

Friends say he had a reputation as a top personal trainer, popular with his clients, especially his female clients. "He was very gentle and was good at what he did," says Kelly Terrell, who met Tracey at the gym. "A lot of girls thought he was really good looking."

They met at a nightclub where they both worked: she at the bar, Tracey at the door.

"Tracey Humphrey? Men were intimidated by him, women all over him. You know Tracey, if he would see a pretty woman walk in, he’d open the rope and there she goes," says Tracey’s close friend Hector Adorno.

Kelly remembers Tracey as someone who was sexy and charismatic. "He told me he was supposed to be Vin Diesel’s stunt double," she says.

"He constantly bragged about who he was. And what he’s done in his lifetime. And that, to a lot of people, was interesting," says Hector.

Tracey, the buff underwear model, also said he was Tom Cruise's bodyguard for a while.

But he says Sandee knew nothing about his colorful resume, and that actually, he was attracted to her beauty.

"She caught my attention right away," he tearfully remembers. "She was so much fun to be around. Not like most people. She was a great lady."

Tracey says he and Sandee dated about three or four months and recalls the experience as "real intense."

As far as sex was concerned, Hector says Sandee and Tracey's relationship was very physical. "He said she liked violent sex, that she liked rough sex," Hector says.


At first their relationship was passionate, says Tracey, but soon they began arguing. Tracey says all the trouble started one wild night in Tampa’s party district, Ybor City. That’s when he and Sandee got caught fooling around in his boss’ Mercedes.

"Tampa Police caught us in the SUV and I was laughing. I thought it was funny, but they saw her naked, and that made her mad," Tracey recalls.

That embarrassing incident led to another big argument - and Sandee and Tracey went home with other dates that night.

"Over the next week, I paraded around a couple other girls that I hooked up with, right in front of her and made her pretty mad," says Tracey.

The relationship spiraled down hill from there.

"I said I thought we needed to take a break, really look at this and maybe spend some time apart," says Tracey.

But unwilling to give up a good thing, a couple of days later, Tracey went home with Sandee again.

"We did what did most of the time - we had sex," Tracey recalls. "She liked to be roughed up during sex, so we had what was normal between us."

But a bruised and battered Sandee told friends and family a different story.

"Apparently they started drinking. He got angry and they got into some kind of altercation of some sort and he tried to physically force himself on her. He hit her, she had black eyes," Heather says.

Sandee also told Heather that Tracey had raped her and threatened to kill her and her daughter.

"She wasn’t sure what to do because she was so distraught over the situation," says Heather.

But because Sandee was so afraid, she waited a week before going to the police to file charges.

Tracey says he was surprised when he was arrested. He insists he did nothing wrong. "She threw a pillow at me, and I swung it at her and it hit her on the side of the eye and it knocked her contact out. She fell face down on the bed," he says.

But to Sandee's sister Tracy Havlicek, there was no question in her mind that she was raped and beaten. "He tied her up, he squeezed her head between his legs, while he was straddling her and punching her face several times," Sandee's sister says.

"He did beat her up. She did have a black eye," says Detective Scott Golczewski. "There were also allegations of sexual battery."

But there was no DNA or medical evidence, because Sandee had waited too long file a police report. Instead, Tracey was charged with assault, which carried a ten year sentence, a prospect that utterly terrified him.

"Tracey told me that before he went to jail he’d commit suicide, kill himself," says Hector.

And that is when, police say, Humphrey hatched a diabolical plan to make his problems disappear - a plot that would involve seduction, manipulation and murder.


If Tracey was worried about his upcoming assault trial, he certainly wasn’t showing it. "He wanted to go out and sleep with other women," says Hector. "They were sexy women."

But in the autumn of 2002, Tracey had his eye on a different kind of girl – a girl just out of high school, Ashley Laney, age 19.

"Ashley. Was a little scared girl," Hector remembers. "Not a sexy girl, not pretentious, not stuck up."

"I liked Ashley the first time I met her. We had a lot in common, we went rollerblading together and we even had the same taste in music," says Charli Williams, one of Ashley’s best friends.

The girls worked together at a frozen yogurt shop across the street from the gym where Tracey was head trainer.

"I came in and met her and I was kind of taken with her right away. She has that girl next door kind of thing going. She was nice, she was fun, she was eager, she was very eager," Tracey recalls.

Ashley was something new for Tracey. "Ashley wasn’t a bartender, Ashley wasn’t a topless dancer," Hector explains.

She was a bright girl, getting A’s and B’s in high school. But at home, Ashley led a troubled life.

"Her mom was horrible and her family terrible. Her dad pretty much spent his life in prison," says Tracey. And her friends say that background left her insecure, vulnerable; she aggressively looked for love and that played right into Tracey’s hands.

In no time, Ashley and Tracy had moved in together.

But Ashley’s best friend Charli thought Tracey was a bad influence. "I knew something was wrong, 'cause she wasn’t the normal Ashley," she explains. "He definitely took over her life. You could just tell that, Ashley, there’s something wrong with her."

Soon Ashley was shedding her old friends, taking on a new job with Tracey at the gym; eventually the couple started their own personal training business.

Tracey says he fell in love with Ashley but Charli claims he was cheating on her friend. "I just knew there was something not right," Charli says. "We started hearing about all the different girls he was with."

Charli says she and Ashley talked about the issue. "But when you think you’re in love, you're not gonna listen to what anybody else has to say," she says.

In fact, more and more, the only person Ashley listened to was Tracey. By springtime, he confessed that he was potentially facing serious time in prison, because of what, he claimed, was a bogus assault case involving his ex-girlfriend Sandee.

Asked how Ashley felt about the case, Tracey says, "I think she found a way to hate Sandee."

"Essentially she would lose everything if she lost me," he says. "I told you she had a bad life. She struggled, and now we were starting a business together, she was an equal partner. If she lost all that, she goes back to mom and the trailer park life."

Just a week before Tracey’s trial in the Sandee Rozzo assault case, the couple surprised everyone and got married.

Tracey admits it was his idea to get married. The couple tied the knot at the gym. There was no minister, no rings - just a marriage license.

There would be no romantic honeymoon to make up for the less-than romantic impromptu wedding at the gym. A day after Tracey got married, the woman who had accused him of rape was murdered.


Sandee had been shot eight times at point blank range while she sat defenseless in her car. "There was a significant amount of glass," says lead investigator Paul Andrews, describing the crime scene. "Absolutely a tremendous amount of blood."

"And multiple shell casings that you could see on the floor of the garage and just outside the garage," says Andrews. "Somebody had it out for her, this wasn’t a random act."

With Sandee’s death, the assault charges against Tracey were dropped but his troubles were far from over: he was now the prime suspect in her murder.

Almost from the start, police were convinced that Tracey was behind Sandee's murder. The trouble was, at the time of the murder, he was at home, eating pizza.

"We spoke to the pizza deliveryman, we described Tracey Humphrey to him, and he remembered going there," says Det. Scott Golczewski.

Shortly after the murder, Golczewski went to the gym where Tracey worked. When Tracey refused to speak with him, Golczewski decided to stop by Tracey’s apartment and talk with his new wife, Ashley.

"She was very nervous, very scared," he recalls. "She almost threw up twice when I was interviewing her."

However, it wasn’t long before Tracey showed up and the interview ended.

Asked what he thought when he left the couple's apartment, Gokzewski says, "I said 'She’s definitely involved, she definitely knows something.'”

The trail to finding out just what Ashley knew began when Golczewski and his partner, Paul Andrews, got a tip from the fire department who had heard about the case.

The fire department told homicide detectives they found Ashley’s car in flames in Tampa a month before the murder. Ashley had reported it stolen. Investigators suspected arson and turned over a background check they had run on her to Andrews and Golczewski, who noticed some unusual purchases.

"She had purchased a couple of computer software programs that would enable her to look for somebody. One of them actually was a search, that she paid for on her credit card, for Sandra Rozzo," says Det. Andrews.

Another break came when they spoke with the co-signer of Ashley’s car loan, David Abernathy, her mother’s boyfriend.

"As we were leaving, I just asked him if he has any firearms. And he said he used to," Golczewski recalls.

Abernathy told them he no longer had a gun because he had loaned it to Ashley. Andrews says it was "very big" break in the investigation.

It was explosive evidence. The shell casings from Abernathy’s gun - a Ruger .22 caliber - matched the type found in Sandee’s garage on the night of the murder.

Ashley’s cell phone records on the day of the murder sealed their case.

"Ashley's cell phone is not only bouncing off of the antenna near Miss Rozzo's place of business, but then crossing over into Pinellas County, and then a few minutes after the homicide, bouncing off of a cell phone tower in Pinellas Park," says Golczewski.

This information was crucial – it placed Ashley in Sandee’s neighborhood at the exact time of the murder.

Now with a mountain of evidence against her, police arrested Ashley for the murder of Sandee Rozzo.

During the police interrogation, which was recorded, Ashley told police she didn't know Sandee.

"I told her in the interview, 'There is no more going to the malls, there is no more going to the gym working out. This is it for you,'" recalls Det. Golczewski.

At one point, Ashley told Golczewski, "Get my attorney."

Asked what she meant, she replied, "I mean bring him here."

But her tough talk didn't last long. After three weeks behind bars, Ashley cracked, confessing to gunning down Sandee. She told police she did because she was afraid of losing Tracey.

It turned out that Sandee's murder was the culmination of a plan far more elaborate than anyone had imagined.

Detectives learned that weeks before Ashley borrowed the gun from her mom’s boyfriend, she had snuck into their home and stolen a rifle.

"She stole a Chinese SKS assault rifle," Andrews says. "A little girl or anyone can take a weapon like this and shoot pretty accurately with it, even as a novice shooter."

And with that rifle, Ashley began stalking Sandee, donning elaborate disguises.

"She painted her face to look dark skinned and had baggy clothes on and shoes too big for her feet," says Det. Andrews.

Then, one month before the murder, Ashley drove her blue VW Beetle to a parking lot outside the bar where Sandee worked.

"We know that she sat in the car for hours that day in a position where she could stake out Sandra Rozzo’s car. When the time came and Sandra left work, leaning out the window, looking through the scope right at Sandra, she pulled the trigger," says Andrews.

"Sandra ducked, like she heard the shot, but apparently didn’t realize it was a gunshot nor that it was anything aimed at her and got back in her car and left. And shortly thereafter, Ashley realized that she had shot her own driver’s side - or rather she had shot her own passenger mirror," says Andrews. "It’s actually a mistake that a lot of inexperienced snipers make, not realizing that the barrel is lower than the scope," he adds.

With a bullet hole in her car’s mirror, Ashley panicked. She tossed the rifle into a wooded area off the highway, took the car to an empty lot and set fire to it. Later, she reported it stolen. That’s when she borrowed her mother’s boyfriend’s gun.

Within six weeks of that failed attempt there would be that wedding and another plot.

Less than 48 hours after they got married, instead of relaxing on their honeymoon, Ashley was staked out in the parking lot of a bar with a gun in her hand, waiting for Sandee again.

But once again, things went wrong. Det. Golczewski says Ashley fell asleep briefly, missing Sandee getting into her car.

She woke up just in time to see Sandee’s black BMW pulling out. Determined to get it over with, she followed Sandee 25 miles to her home and this time, there were no foul ups.

Tracey says the news of Sandee's murder shocked him. "It hit me hard, you know," he says.

And he was stunned when Ashley confessed to him. "I said 'Ashley, what did you do? You gotta tell me what you did, you gotta tell me what you did,'" Tracey recalls.

But police say he already knew exactly what Ashley did. "It was a close as you can get to a contract killing. The killing was intended to keep Tracey Humphrey out of prison," says Det. Andrews.

As police saw it, Tracey Humphrey planned to get rid of Sandee but he couldn’t commit the crime himself.

"He knew he was going to be the primary suspect. So his only alternative was to get somebody else to do the homicide for him," says Golczewski.

That somebody, according to police, was Tracey Humphrey’s young girlfriend, Ashley, whom he had conveniently married the day before the murder. And in the state of Florida, one spouse cannot be forced to testify against the other.

"So he now felt she couldn't be compelled to testify against him," says Golczewski.


Detectives believed it was highly unlikely Ashley had come up with the murder plan on her own, especially as they learned more about Tracey Humphrey’s background and his double life.

It was a life that was full of tall tales. Asked if he told people he played in the Rose Bowl, Tracey Humphrey says, "I told people I went to the Rose Bowl with the University of Iowa."

It turns out he didn't. "Who doesn’t pad their resume a little bit," he says.

And it turns out there was something else Tracey Humphrey left off his resume: he was an ex-con and had done serious time, mostly for violent crimes against women, just like the brutal beating Sandee had accused him of.

Police were now convinced that Tracey Humphrey was the mastermind behind the murder. But they needed more evidence, so they enlisted one his clients, Tobe White, to go undercover.

With Ashley beside him, he asked Tobe to lie by telling police she saw Ashley with Tracey Humphrey at the time of the murder. "You were just hanging out over at my house - referring an argument," Tracey Humphrey could be heard telling Tobe, who was secretly recording the conversation.

Armed with that tape, Humphrey's rap sheet and those cell phone records, which revealed Ashley and Tracey Humphrey called each other 22 times the night Sandee died, police charged Humphrey with first degree murder.

"I was in this unbelievable situation. I mean just this unimaginable situation," says Tracey Humphrey. "Who’s going to believe that I wasn’t involved?"

In Feb. 2006, just before Tracey Humphrey’s trial was set to begin, prosecutors struck a deal with Ashley. If she would plead guilty and testify against her husband, the state would recommend a 25-year sentence, instead of seeking the death penalty.

"The defendant said he would do anything not to go to prison for ten years," said prosecutor Fred Schaub.

Meanwhile, Tracey Humphrey’s attorney Joe McDermott insisted that the real killer had already confessed. "She shot her eight times. She’s not any dummy by any stretch of the imagination. And yet her claim is he’s the mastermind," says McDermott.

The prosecution painted Tracey Humphrey as a violent manipulator and wheeled out an ex-girlfriend and Tobe White – the client who had gone undercover for police.

"During my workout session that Saturday, he threatened to kill me if I was working with the police," Tobe testified.

But it was Ashley's testimony Sandee’s friends and family had anxiously awaited.

After more than two years in custody, she was barely recognizable. Ashley had gained more than 30 lbs. Gone were the fresh faced good looks of a girl who, a few years earlier, had chased after boys.

“She looked horrible. I hate to say it, but she was beautiful, and she’s not anymore,” says Ashley's friend Charli.

Ashley told the jury that she had gone out with plenty of guys but had fallen head over heels in love with Tracey Humphrey.

But it wasn’t long, she said, before he began to dominate and control her. "I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere without telling him. I wasn’t allowed to have any friends," she testified.

Possessiveness turned to pain and violence. Ashley said Tracey Humphrey hit her and frequently threatened to throw her out. One night, she says, he knocked her unconscious. When she woke up, Ashley says she agreed to do the unthinkable.

"I was just begging to stay with him. And I told him that 'If you want me to stay with you, I’ll kill Sandra for you,'" she testified.

Ashley testified that Tracey Humphrey accepted the offer.

Ashley told the jury that once she agreed to kill Sandee, it was Tracey Humphrey who hatched the murder plan, that it was his idea to get a gun, his idea for her to stalk Sandee, and his idea to use the disguise.

And when that first attempt failed, Ashley testified Tracey Humphrey was furious. "He said if you still want to live with me, you still have to do this. Don’t think this is a way out it."

Then, just a few weeks later on the night of July 5th, 2005, instead of enjoying her honeymoon, Ashley set out to keep her husband from going back to prison.

“I timed her coming out of the parking lot, I began following her car. It looked like she was heading home," Ashley testified.

As Sandee pulled into her garage, Ashley says Tracey Humphrey was on the cell phone peppering her with questions, asking how far away she was from the garage and whether she could run up and shoot her.

At 11:22 p.m., Ashley became a cold blooded killer. "I went to the garage and I slammed the butt of the gun on her window and she saw me and started screaming and, then I just shot her repeatedly until I thought she was dead. Then I looked in her eyes and she was dead," Ashley testified.

Finally, Ashley says here was one last conversation with Tracey Humphrey. "I called him and I said, 'It’s done.' And he just said, 'Get rid of everything and call me when you’re done.'"

Asked by Tracey Humphrey's defense attorney why she murdered Sandee, Ashley said, "Because I loved him."

"Everything that happened here is Tracey’s fault, right?" the attorney asked.

"No, I take complete responsibility for everything, but I never would have done that if I hadn’t met him," she replied.

But Ashley’s husband Tracey Humphrey insists he’s innocent and says his wife is the true manipulator. "Ashley’s a lot smarter and a lot more cunning than anybody’s given her credit for, even me," he testified.

"They say that I had control of her, that I had all this control of her. I couldn’t even get her to clean the house," he testified.

Tracey Humphrey insists Sandee’s murder was all Ashley’s idea.

Asked by the prosecution if he had told Ashley that he was afraid of returning to prison, Tracey Humphrey testified, "I don’t know if I said exactly that. But, I said I’d rather die than go to prison."

And to keep him from going back to prison, Tracey Humphrey says Ashley hatched the plan. "The first thing she said was 'What if she doesn’t come to court?' And I said 'I kind of hope that’s what happens,'" he testified. "And then she said, 'What if somebody kept her from coming to court?' That was the first time I said to her, 'Don’t ever even joke like that. That’s not funny.'"

Tracey Humphrey claims all he ever wanted from Ashley was that she try to dig up dirt on Sandee.


Tracey Humphrey also had an explanation for one of the most incriminating elements of the state’s circumstantial case: those 22 cell phone calls he and Ashley exchanged in the hours leading up to and after the murder.

"Anytime that Ashley and I were apart, we had numerous calls," Tracey Humphrey said. "We talked a lot. We like to talk to each other. We were still in the stage of our relationship where you watch the phone like it’s the TV."

Tracey Humphrey said they spent most of those phone calls arguing about Ashley’s jealousy over one of his female clients.

In an effort to prove just how manipulative Tracey Humphrey could be, the prosecution used his own words against him.

"In fact, you had written other women and told them you love them," the prosecutor stated,

"I think I wrote… yeah," Tracey Humphrey replied.

While still professing his love for Ashley, Tracey Humphrey sent a series of letters to ex lovers after he was arrested, proposing marriage - and even asking for a loan.

Despite evidence to the contrary, Tracey Humphrey still claims he is simply a victim of circumstance.

He's been called a master manipulator, a liar, someone who beats women. Asked how he sees himself, Tracey Humphrey says he hadn't thought of that.

"I mean, are you basically a good guy who got screwed by his wife?" Maher asks.

"A lot of wrong places at the wrong time," Tracey Humphrey replies.

Hoping that Tracey Humphrey has finally run out of time, the prosecution takes one final shot at him during closing arguments.

"Timothy Humphrey had a firearm. And that firearm that he pointed at Sandra was Ashley Humphrey. And he pulled that trigger on Ashley Humphrey. And he fired eight times and took care of his problem," the prosecutor said during closing arguments.

The jury deliberated just four hours and returned with a verdict of guilty of first degree murder.

"Who did he think he was that he could think that he could get away with this. Did he think he was so high and mighty that he could do something like this and get away with it," Sandee's mom remarked.

Asked if he was surprised by the verdict, Tracey Humphrey says, "Not at that point. When I walked out of the room after the jury left, I walked into the holding cell in the back and I said, 'It’s over.'"

Just two days after the verdict, Tracey Humphrey returned to the same courtroom, to be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

Sandee's mother believes justice has been served. "I think it’s better than the death penalty 'cause he’s got to suffer every day and think everyday what he did."

Tracey Humphrey’s punishment aside, Sandee’s mother says she has finally found some peace, knowing that her daughter’s death has likely saved other women from Tracey Humphrey’s deadly grip.

"She put her life on the line knowing what the consequences could be. She put a message out there not to let anybody do something like this to your and get away with it and stop it before they can hurt you," her mother said.