Louisiana lawyer’s mysterious murder takes investigators down an unexpected road

U.S. & World

(NBC News) — Tonight on “Dateline,” when criminal defense lawyer Chiquita Tate is found brutally murdered in her office after working late to prepare for multiple high profile cases. As the detectives begin the investigation, the search for the killer takes them down a strange and unexpected road.

Dennis Murphy reports on tonight’s episode entitled, “Shining Star.” The episode includes interviews with Chiquita’s sister Danita Tate, Attorney Prem Burns and more.

Here’s a preview of Murphy’s report:

Cajun country is where the dreadful thing happened: Baton Rouge, the Louisiana state capital perched on the banks of the Mississippi.

Three-blocks off the river, on a chilly Thursday night, a criminal defense lawyer was working late, drafting a writ for the big murder trial starting Monday.

But Chiquita Tate never returned home that night. Her husband Greg called the office repeatedly but got no answer.

Around dawn he drove down to the office, troubled, he’d say later, to see his wife’s hummer parked where she left it. He couldn’t get in the locked building, so he called 911.

GREG HARRIS: Um — my wife — um — she was working late last night, but I can’t get inside the building. I need a cop over here quick.

Greg suddenly spotted a patrol car and flagged it down. An office worker let the policeman in the building, while Greg called his sister-in-law, Danita, sounding frantic.

DANITA: And he was, like, “D, the Hummer is still parked here. And they won’t let me in the office.”

Once upstairs, it took only a glance for the patrol officer to declare Chiquita’s office a crime scene, a bad one. The shining starlight of Chiquita Tate had been cruelly extinguished. By whom? And for what reason?

Watch tonight’s “Dateline” mystery at 10 p.m. on NBC4.

About “Dateline”

“Dateline NBC” is the longest-running series in NBC primetime history and is in its 28th season. Dateline is anchored by Lester Holt and features correspondents Andrea Canning, Josh Mankiewicz, Keith Morrison and Dennis Murphy.

Dateline is the #1 Friday newsmagazine and reaches more than 17 million people every week through its broadcast, and millions more through its social media platforms and podcasts.

The stories range from compelling mysteries to powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations. When major news breaks, they go to the scene, putting the pieces together to bring the viewer the full picture. And in every story they tell, they help the real people who lived the events share their journeys with the viewer.

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