Lisa Jennings ‘murdered’ on Christmas Day after husband Brad was convicted and then exonerated thanks to important evidence

The death on Christmas Day of Lisa Jennings, who was found with a gunshot wound to the head, prompted a major inquest full of twists and turns.

Lisa’s husband Brad was convicted in connection with her death, but the conviction was overturned after his defense team uncovered a key piece of evidence.

Brad's conviction was overturned


Brad’s conviction was overturnedCredit: Handout
Lisa will be remembered as fun and energetic


Lisa will be remembered as fun and energeticCredit: Handout

The horrific story is detailed in tonight’s episode of Dateline, which airs at 9 p.m. EST.

In the trailer for the episode, Lisa’s kids reminisced about the hectic Christmas morning in 2006 when she was found dead at her home in Missouri.

Robert, who was just 11 when his mother died, said the morning of her death was “a blur”.

Amanda, a little older at 16, recalled every detail of the day, from waiting in her truck for the police to hear her father Brad cry for the first time.

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Brad told police he found Lisa dead on the floor of her bedroom.

Police determined that she had died from a gunshot wound to the head.

An autopsy showed residue from a gunshot in one of Lisa’s hands, leading police to believe she died by suicide.

Soon after, Lisa’s sister went to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office to express that she believed she had been murdered, leading to a mysterious spiral.


The Springfield News leader reports that Brad and Lisa had a “problematic” marriage.

Lisa’s daughter Laci, who was also raised by Brad, said in court documents obtained by the News Leader that her mother stayed up until 1:30 a.m. watching a holiday movie.

“And she had a couple of glasses of wine, so she cried,” she said.

“And he (Brad) had woken up and he was like, ‘Why aren’t you in bed? And why are you crying?’”

Amanda said she was woken up by her parents’ fight.

“I fell asleep for maybe a minute or two when I was woken up by my sister yelling at my mom for arguing with my dad at Christmas,” Amanda said.

“My mother seemed very upset and was crying.

“I think at that time my mother went to her room or whatever. I went downstairs to put my mom and dad’s presents in their stockings.”

Brad told police they had an argument about not getting Lisa to bed so the kids could put presents in her stocking.

The news leader reports that he said they both had several glasses of alcohol.

Laci left home after her parents fought and Amanda said she woke up to her father screaming and crying.

“My dad was on the phone — upset and hysterical,” she said.

“He was yelling on the phone, ‘Come here quick! Get here quick.'”

“I hear him in there. He cries. Very, very excited. I come around the stairs there and just pushed the door open like that.

“And I see her lying there. Everything becomes blurry.

“As soon as I open the door like this – I noticed that my father is kneeling right in front of her. It’s there on the wall.

“As soon as I open the door, he jumps up… pushes me out of the room so I can’t see, can’t see. He’s hugging me here in the hallway. He cries. I cry.”

The police were called at 2:06 am.

Brad told police he found Lisa and didn’t hear the shot because he was in his workshop.

Following a search warrant, police found the gun under the legs of Lisa’s body.

Police believed someone moved the body, but Brad admitted he was rocking it when it was found.

Gunshot residue tests were negative on both Brad’s and Laci’s hands.

The weapon has not been tested for fingerprints.

The coroner ruled that Lisa’s death was a suicide, noting that her blood alcohol content of 0.152 percent was a “significant condition.”


As previously mentioned, Lisa’s sister believed she had been murdered.

Officer Dan Nash examined the blood spatter and found that Lisa’s hand had only one drop and he believed there would be more if she killed herself.

Nash noticed that there was microscopic blood on Brad’s robe, which he believed indicated Brad had shot her.

Brad said it came from rocking her.


Brad was found guilty of murder in August 2009 and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

His sister hired a defense team to fight for his innocence, who found there was no gun residue on the robe.

A judge overturned Brad’s conviction based on evidence demonstrating the lack of gun residue on the robe, the AP reported.

At his original trial, at which Brad did not testify, prosecutors alleged that he killed Lisa, stripped off her robes, and then washed the debris off his hands.

They also claimed the reason Lisa was holding gun residue was because she was standing near Brad.

Brad filed a civil rights lawsuit, claiming Nash was not an expert on blood spatter.

In 2020, according to News-Leader, a federal jury of six men and three women ruled in favor of Nash, finding that he did not act in bad faith.

Nash had also testified that he never received the bathroom report.

A judge denied Brad’s appeal in the 2021 case against Nash.

The Attorney General decided not to try Brad again, and an independent review was inconclusive to determine whether the death was homicide or suicide.


Lisa’s family described her to Dateline as “funny” and “energetic.”

Brad told Dateline she was kind and “always happy,” noting they both liked to do the same things.

Amanda said she loves animals, especially dogs, Christmas music and decorations.

Dallas recalled that she loved video games and computers and spent a lot of time playing with him.

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“She was just fun,” said a family member. Lisa Jennings ‘murdered’ on Christmas Day after husband Brad was convicted and then exonerated thanks to important evidence


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