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NANCY GRACE

Interview With Scott Peterson`s Sister, Anne Bird; Jury Deliberations Resume in Blake Murder Trial

Aired March 7, 2005 - 20:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, what you did not hear on the witness stand in the double-murder trial of Scott Peterson. If you had any doubts after that jury`s guilty verdict, tonight, Scott Peterson`s own sister gives her version of how she knows Scott Peterson is guilty.
And jury deliberations resume in the Robert Blake murder trial. The "Baretta" star faces life behind bars if that jury convicts him of gunning down his wife, the mother of his child, Bonny Lee Bakley.

And jury selection is done in a Savannah, Georgia, courtroom. Here she comes, Miss Savannah. Nope, it`s not the red carpet. It`s the defendant`s chair. The beauty queen crowned Miss Savannah 2003 is on trial for murder.

Good evening everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. And I want to thank you for being with us on this Monday night.

Today, the Robert Blake jury back in day two of deliberations. If convicted, Baretta faces life behind bars for the death of Bonny Lee Bakley. The little girl, Rosie, their daughter, is living with family members.

Today, jury selection ended in the murder trial of Miss Savannah 2003. Beauty is as beauty does, but maybe not this time though. We go live for the latest. What is Miss Savannah doing on trial for murder?

But first tonight, Scott Peterson found guilty of murdering his wife Laci, beautiful smile, and their baby boy, Conner, and then dumping their bodies into the icy water of the San Francisco Bay.

Tonight, Peterson`s sister Anne Bird, the author of "Blood Brother," is with us to explain why she is sure the jury`s verdict was the truth and what the jury never heard.

And also with us, a lady you know well, Anne`s lawyer, Gloria Allred.

Boy, you sure do get around.

GLORIA ALLRED, LAWYER FOR ANNE BIRD: Well, hi, Nancy.

GRACE: If I ever go back into the practice of law, I`m looking you up, lady.

ALLRED: Well, I hope so.

GRACE: You`re the hardest working woman in the legal business.

ALLRED: Well, thank you. And it`s an honor to represent Anne because she`s a very courageous young woman.

GRACE: Anne, I`ve read your book. And the one thing I don`t get is, why didn`t you testify? This is an incredible book.

ANNE BIRD, SISTER OF SCOTT PETERSON: I know. Actually, I hate to turn it over to Gloria right away, but she`s the...

GRACE: Why didn`t she testify?

ALLRED: Well, actually, what she did was she did speak with the prosecutor and with the police after she was sure that she felt that what she observed about Scott Peterson might be of value to the prosecution.

They then listened very carefully. And I think that they were intending to call her as a rebuttal witness...

GRACE: As a rebuttal witness.

ALLRED: ... but eventually they decided that they were not going to call any rebuttal witnesses at all.

GRACE: Any rebuttals, that`s right.

ALLRED: They didn`t tell me why they made that decision. But it appears to me, as a lawyer, that it was a tactical judgment because the defense case was so weak, it was not necessary to rebut anything.

GRACE: Well, I remember going around and around with Gloria outside the courthouse as to whether they would put up a rebuttal case. And I think your calculation is correct.

Let me get right down to the book. It`s called "Blood brother: 33 Reasons My Brother, Scott Peterson, Is Guilty."

Elizabeth, let`s throw up number one, flirting with our baby-sitter, made flirtinis, baby-sitter uncomfortable, and left.

OK, what, a, is a flirtini? And number two, was this while Laci was missing?

BIRD: This was while Laci was missing. In fact, just weeks after. And a flirtini is a martini, and I guess they made it on "Sex and the City," which he used to watch with Laci.

GRACE: OK, now, what happened with the baby-sitter?

BIRD: The baby-sitter, you know, she had two flirtinis that Scott gave her. And she realized that it was a really uncomfortable situation and left.

GRACE: Was he hitting on her?

BIRD: You know, from all appearances, yes.

GRACE: And my question to you is, this was while Laci was missing?

BIRD: Yes.

GRACE: OK.

Number two, Elizabeth, Jackie and Lee -- that`s Jackie and Lee Peterson -- telling me that if I asked about the baby-sitter incident, if I was asked about it, I should deny it or not recall it. Explain.

BIRD: You know, I called and talked to Jackie about the baby-sitter incident. And she said, "If anyone else were to call about it, just say that I -- just deny it." And then in the background, Lee said, "Just say you don`t recall it."

GRACE: Well, it was in the Enquirer. The whole world knows about it. If you go to the grocery store, you know about it, because you have to walk right by headlines screaming about hitting on the baby-sitter.

Now, I understand, Gloria, that that in itself does not prove murder. Of course it does not. But what does it show?

ALLRED: It shows that he doesn`t appear to be a grieving husband. Because does a grieving husband, not long after his pregnant wife goes missing, spend his time making flirtinis for a baby-sitter rather than spending his time out there searching for his missing wife?

GRACE: Anne, what about this number three, Elizabeth, "Appeared uninterested in searching for Laci." I brought up ideas and leads from the news but he had no interest in them.

What happened?

BIRD: Right. You know, I kept talking to Scott about, you know, the purple car with the confederate flags and the, you know, white van. And, you know, he just had no interest in the searching.

GRACE: What would he say?

BIRD: He said nothing, you know, just no interest.

GRACE: This is why I don`t get, Anne. While all these volunteers were out with the flyers, walking hand-in-hand through the park, what was he doing?

BIRD: Nothing. I mean, he was, you know, kind of helping me out around the house. I was very curious as to why he wasn`t doing anything, but it was really hard to point a finger, because I`m thinking, "He`s a grieving person. You know, give him a little bit of space. Maybe this is the way he`s grieving."

GRACE: Well, how much space did he need after a couple of months?

BIRD: Yes.

GRACE: OK, Elizabeth, what about this one regarding the dinner table? Now, I think only a woman would have noticed this.

"I saw the table setting from the People magazine photo and it looked like Scott set the table for Christmas Eve." Now, if Peterson set the table for Christmas Eve, that says to me that he was trying to make it look as if Laci were alive longer, that she set the table. Why did it not fit for you? What was wrong with the table?

BIRD: It`s missing everything. It`s missing the table linens...

GRACE: I noticed the same thing.

BIRD: ... the napkins, the glasses.

GRACE: I noticed the same thing.

BIRD: And I`ve set a table with Laci. You know, and she does everything perfectly. So this was not a Laci table.

GRACE: Wasn`t she into Martha Stewart?

BIRD: Yes.

GRACE: And I saw picture of this table, everybody. And there would be a plate and a fork and then another plate and another fork. I mean, it was not set up for a Christmas Eve dinner.

BIRD: It was, yes, just Christmas crackers all the way around the table. And that is a finishing touch that you put on at the very end.

GRACE: No, that`s so not Laci.

BIRD: So I don`t know whether you put your plate over it. I`m not sure.

GRACE: Hey, Elizabeth, before we go, this is something a lot of people have asked me about. Could you throw this one up, Elizabeth?

Two of Scott`s cousins said he was investigated in connection with another missing girl, Kristin Smart, the girl from San Luis Obispo, missing since 1996. What can you tell me about that?

BIRD: Right. I guess Scott was living in San Luis Obispo at that time. So he was investigated, according to these two cousins. And I don`t know what that entails. I`m not quite sure, you know, how investigated he was.

GRACE: Wow. Because all along we were told he had absolutely no connection to do with that girl whatsoever. And this was way back in 1996.

Of course, the final sentence has not been pronounced on Scott Peterson. We are waiting for the judge, the honorable Al Delucchi, to formally sentence Peterson. As you know, a jury found him guilty and sentenced him to the death penalty. That is not formal as of tonight. Stay with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RON GRANTSKI, LACI PETERSON`S STEPFATHER: What a nightmare. It hasn`t changed. It`s still a nightmare. It should never have happened. It`s hurt too many people for no reason. But justice was served.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARON ROCHA, LACI PETERSON`S MOTHER: On April 13, 2003, Conner`s little body was discovered. On April 14, 2003, the body of his mother, my daughter, Laci, was discovered. You knew that someone out there was missing a family member and needed to know where they were. So you did what was right and reported your discoveries to law enforcement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: No one will ever forget this smile, Laci Rocha Peterson, a face that inspired an entire country to try and find her.

Welcome back, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight.

Scott Peterson`s sister speaks out about why she is convinced Peterson was guilty with reasons that never made it to a jury. Her book, "Blood Brother," with me, Anne Bird and her lawyer, Gloria Allred.

You once supported Scott Peterson 100 percent?

BIRD: I did, initially.

GRACE: Totally believed he was innocent?

BIRD: I did, yes.

GRACE: What pushed you over the edge, Anne?

BIRD: You know, it was when Laci and Conner`s bodies washed up.

GRACE: Where he had been fishing.

BIRD: Where he had been fishing, which was hard to get around. And also I was the first person to let him know that they had discovered some bodies.

GRACE: My question is, you went actually to see him behind bars, hoping that he could convince you otherwise.

BIRD: Right.

GRACE: What happened?

BIRD: Well, actually, recently, on January 25th, I went to go to the jail and see if there was anything there, among other things. You know, I was already writing the book. And I figured this was one last visit, possibly one last visit.

And, you know, he didn`t say anything. He actually referred to Laci and Conner as his family. He said, "I lost my family 18 months ago," which was actually when he was arrested, not when they were lost. And he doesn`t even call them by name.

GRACE: What did that mean to you?

BIRD: It was sad.

GRACE: I mean, did he talk about Laci and Conner when you went to see him at all?

BIRD: Not at all. He talked about books in the prison. He talked about handing out mails to other inmates. He talked about San Quentin and how, you know, he probably wouldn`t be there very long. There was one guy in the jail in Redwood City that, I guess, used to clean around death row and he told him a little bit about it. It was so dismal. And it was really difficult.

GRACE: So at no point did he talk about, "I can`t believe Laci and Conner are gone, I can`t get over" -- nothing?

BIRD: Nothing. It was mostly about himself. And he had a soul patch that he had grown on his chin that he said he looked in the stainless steel toilet to look at.

GRACE: OK.

Question regarding your family: How are they taking this book? I would imagine not very well.

BIRD: My personal family, my adopted family, you know, it`s been hard all the way around. But they`re doing well. My brothers and my sister are fine. The Peterson family isn`t taking the book very well.

GRACE: What happened?

BIRD: They sent an e-mail saying that I was no longer welcome. I actually still haven`t read it. I couldn`t bring myself to read it.

GRACE: You have read it, right, Gloria?

ALLRED: Yes. The e-mail, which she believes is from Lee Peterson, was sent to her and indicated to her that she was no longer welcome in their home. And that was really hard. And I imagine that Scott Peterson would still be welcome in their home. He`s convicted double murder, who`s murdered Jackie`s daughter-in-law and Jackie`s grandson-to-be.

But the biological daughter of Jackie, who is out there to tell the truth, as she knows it, apparently, according to the e-mail, she wouldn`t be welcome if we were to believe Lee, if he sent it. Now, she has since received a telephone voice mail from Jackie indicating that Jackie`s aware that Anne has said on the air that she hopes the doors are still open to her relationship and to please call her.

So maybe Jackie wants to have a relationship. But if she does, it`s got be based on the truth, because Anne will only have a relationship based on truth and she will not have one based on lies.

GRACE: Well, this book is -- I wish you had taken the stand actually. Because this is an incredible book.

Elizabeth, can you put up screen number seven? "Scott claimed had a delusion of speaking into the mirror and talking to Laci after her disappearance." What did Laci say to him, turn yourself in? I mean, what was she supposed to have said to him?

BIRD: Apparently, she asked, you know, how he was doing and stuff. So I`m not quite sure what that meant.

GRACE: And stuff. I think if someone appeared from the dead to me and had a conversation in the mirror, I would remember what they said. So what was the stuff she talked about? He wasn`t clear?

BIRD: I don`t know. I`m not sure. He actually said it after I told him that I saw Sharon Rocha on the news saying that she thought she saw Laci sitting on the couch, and Laci turned to her, and smiled, and said, "Hi, Mom," which, you know, apparently is brought on by, you know, extreme grief. And that after I finished that sentence, Scott said, "Oh, well, I saw Laci in the mirror."

GRACE: Oh, yes, I saw her, too. I remember now. OK.

Anne, regarding the book, are you glad you wrote it?

BIRD: I really am. I mean, this has been so relieving for me. You know, it`s important.

GRACE: It must have been a lot to carry around, because he lived at your place, right?

BIRD: Yes.

GRACE: For how long?

BIRD: You know, off and on for two months.

GRACE: Did you ever believe that thing about his hair getting bleached orange from jumping in a pool?

BIRD: No.

GRACE: OK, just wanted to make sure.

BIRD: Anne Bird is with us tonight. She has written a fantastic book. It`s called "Blood Brother." And it talks about the time Scott Peterson lived there with her awaiting trial, their relationship, and 33 major reasons that she is convinced Peterson is guilty.

Again, no formal sentence in that case. We are waiting for judge Al Delucchi to hand down a formal sentence.

Tonight, thank you, Anne Bird.

BIRD: Thank you.

GRACE: I hope I see you again.

BIRD: I hope so, too.

GRACE: And of course, Ms. Gloria, I know I will see you either in person or on the airwaves, friend.

ALLRED: Thank you, Nancy. Congratulations on your new show.

GRACE: Thank you.

Everybody, before we go to break, to "Trial Tracking." The 16-year- old Idaho girl, remember her? Sarah Johnson, who can forget? On trial for gunning down her own parents, back in court today. Her defense team tries to convince a jury that somehow the drug Zoloft is the culprit.

P.S., guys, hey, defense lawyers just tried that a couple of weeks ago in the Christopher Pittman trial. It didn`t work. Pittman got 30 years for the shooting death of his grandparents also murdered in their sleep. Johnson`s lawyers also say a neighbor heard a car idling near the area where her parents were killed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMBER ANNEN, JOHNSON`S NEIGHBOR: I`d say it was idling there for about ten minutes, oh, I don`t know, 10 minutes, 15 minutes the first time. And that`s what woke me up initially. I didn`t really follow the pattern because I didn`t think much of it. And then all of sudden I heard it again. And this time where it idled for the rest of the remainder of the time. It was little bit more closer in between the other neighbor`s house and my driveway.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: But what about the gunshots? OK. We`ll bring you the latest on the Sarah Johnson trial as we head into "Verdict Watch."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GERALD SCHWARTZBACH, BLAKE DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We`ve talked about the fact that there is no evidence, no less evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, to prove that Robert Blake personally shot Bonny Bakley. And that is the charge.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Today, it is day two of jury deliberation in the Robert Blake, a.k.a. Baretta, a.k.a. Little Rascal, murder trial.

Tonight from Atlanta, defense lawyer Chris Pixley, from Denver, defense attorney, Lisa Wayne, here in the studio with me, prosecutor Lisa Pinto.

Let`s get right down to it, Lisa. Help me. How many people did the prosecution put up that said, "He tried to pay me to kill his wife"? Why are they still out?

LISA PINTO, PROSECUTOR: "Kill her, pop her, snuff her, a la `Carlito`s Way.`"

We have Welch, his buddy, the former private investigator. We have Manuchi (ph), the colorful mobster. They didn`t touch either of those two witnesses. And then we have the main act, Hamilton and McLarty, who, despite their problems, were beautifully rehabilitated. I think this jury has got him dead to rights on two counts of solicitation. But they`re hung up on the issue of, "Did he physically commit the murder?"

To you and I, it`s obvious. Maybe they want more forensics.

GRACE: OK. You know, another issue, Lisa, is that many people say, yes, he had gunshot powder residue on his hands. But it wasn`t enough. Correct me if I am wrong, didn`t he go in the bathroom at the restaurant?

PINTO: He went into the bathroom.

GRACE: Where there is a water faucet, Chris Pixley, where you can wash your hands and get rid of all that pesky gunshot residue?

CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. And that`s certainly something that you can do. I think it`s probably more difficult to wash off all of the blood that would be on him if he was shooter from that close range. But let`s forgot about that right now, Nancy. I guess you have a good theory.

GRACE: Well, she was in the car and the shooter apparently came up from below and shot down. We know that. So what do you think, his hand may have some blood on it? Because the rest of him was protected by the car, Chris. Think.

PIXLEY: Well, and of course, the car also is an important piece of evidence because there wear five fingerprints on the car that don`t belong to Blake or any other suspects here, Nancy.

GRACE: No, no, no, no, no. You said -- hey, check out the car wash.

PIXLEY: I don`t want to talk about things other than what you want to talk about, but, you know, let`s be honest. The car does matter for other reasons.

GRACE: You were talking about why he didn`t have blood spatter on him and I gave you the perfect solution.

PIXLEY: Right, that he somehow knelt on the side of the street and fired up at her.

GRACE: No.

Lisa, help me out here.

PINTO: No, that the blowback was such that it went into the car, not in some obscure angle shooting like a spigot into his face. And that whatever blood he may have had on his hands was washed off, Chris.

GRACE: OK, Lisa Pinto, give me your best shot why he`s not guilty, in a nutshell.

Oh, I`m sorry. Not Lisa Pinto.

Lisa Wayne, I`m sorry.

LISA WAYNE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That`s OK. That`s all right.

The blood spatter is important, because despite the fact that, yes, there should be blood spatter in the car, you know, that kind of shot and that kind of caliber, he`s going to have something on him. You can`t wash blood off. Blood isn`t like gunshot residue, where you don`t go in the bathroom and you don`t wash it off.

And if he had washed it off, there would have been some instance of it in that sink or some other area. So it would have left some kind of trail.

GRACE: Lisa...

WAYNE: And it`s clearly, again, circumstantial evidence. That`s what this case is about. There`s no physical evidence. There are no fingerprints. There`s no gunshot residue. There`s no DNA. The gun that he went back to retrieve is not the gun that shot her.

And you have incredible witnesses. You had a parade of horribles from the prosecution. I mean, it was joke. And that`s not what you convict people on. That`s not the kind of evidence jurors feel comfortable with when it comes to proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Period. That`s what they`re talking about.

PINTO: Well, Lisa, what was so horrible about the credit card receipts that were used to corroborate Hamilton`s account that he ate pancakes with Blake that morning when they talked about him killing his wife? The fact that he just said he was desperate to kill his wife.

It was McLarty that he offered various scenarios, coincidentally one of which happened to be outside the restaurant where the woman was killed. The fact that he was determined -- that four people are lying here, is that what you`re saying? People with no motive to lie?

WAYNE: No, that`s totally wrong. They did have a motive to lie. You had drug users coming in. You had a guy who said, "I ate pancakes with him." So you can take a little bit of evidence...

GRACE: Uh-oh, guys, we`ve got to take a quick break.

WAYNE: ... and to suggest that there was an entire conversation.

GRACE: Lisa, quick break, everyone. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SOPHIA CHOI, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I`m Sophia Choi. Here`s your "Headline Prime Newsbreak."

The Senate voted down two plans today to raise the minimum wage. A Democratic proposal would have raised it from $5.15 an hour to $7.25. The Republican plan would have raised the minimum wage to $6.25.

A major new study shows regular does of aspiring can help reduce the risk of strokes in healthy middle-aged women but not the risk of heart attack. After the age of 65, aspirin can help prevent both conditions in women. Those findings are just the opposite of the results researchers have typically found for men.

Syrian troops in Lebanon began withdrawing to the Bekaa Valley near the border between the countries today. The presidents from Syria and Lebanon announced the pullback will be complete by the end of the month. The White House says that`s not good enough though. It`s actually calling for an immediate and complete withdrawal of Syrian troops.

That`s the news for now. I`m Sophia Choi. Now back to NANCY GRACE.

GRACE: Do good looks and a lot of charm make a difference in a court of law? Well, if not, how about talent and a swimsuit competition?

Well, tonight, a former Miss Savannah, Miss Savannah 2003, is on trial for murder. WSAV reporter April Davis is with us with the back story.

Hi, April. What can you tell me about this crime? This woman is beautiful. She had a great job. She seemed to be totally normal, had a perfect personality. And then, bam, she`s on trial for murder. What went wrong, April?

APRIL DAVIS, WSAV REPORTER: I`ll tell you what, Nancy, it was shocker here in Savannah to hear that Miss Savannah, the beauty queen of our town, was accused of murder. Police say what happened was that night in December 2003 she went over to the other woman`s house, the woman that was apparently also dating her boyfriend, Kevin Shorter.

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: Dating? Dating? April, April, I understand there were actually two engagement rings floating around, that each woman had an engagement ring from one guy.

Now, I`m going to go to Chris Pixley later to find out if a double engagement is motive for murder. But back to the story.

Can you confirm the two engagement rings, April?

DAVIS: Well, I haven`t seen the engagement rings, but that`s what the two women say, that they were both engaged to Kevin Shorter. Nikki Redmond says she had been with him for three years and that he spent the night, that they were intimate, that they were definitely engaged. Rachel Hall says the same, that she was engaged to the same man.

GRACE: So how did he end up dead?

DAVIS: Let me tell you. What happened was Nikki Redmond went over to Rachel Hall`s house. They were discussing that they both had a relationship with the same man. He drove up, apparently, ran got out of his car.

According to Nikki Redmond`s lawyer, he was pushing her around. They had had fights in the past. Of course, his family says that is not true, that he doe not have a violent past. Ends up that she goes to her car, he goes to his. As he`s entering his car, she pulls out a gun before she drives away and shoots him. And it hits a major artery. And he ended up bleeding to death. He didn`t die that evening. It took three days later. He was in the hospital and passed away.

GRACE: How old was he, April?

DAVIS: Twenty-five years old, both really young people involved in this. She was 21 at the time, just got a teaching job at a local high school here. And so it`s just a tragic story all the way around.

GRACE: Well, Chris Pixley, this is nothing but an anger, a revenge shooting. Her guy was shacked up with somebody else. He apparently gave out two engagement rings, and she shot out of anger. How are you going to defend this? And don`t say Zoloft. Do not say Zoloft.

PIXLEY: No, it`s not Zoloft. And, I`ll tell you, Nancy, this is a very difficult case for the defense. Procedurally and factually, it`s really stacking up against them quickly.

On the one hand, you have the defense counsel right now saying that this is self-defense, that she`s firing a gun in self-defense. She`s firing the gun from her car as she`s driving away. There`s no imminent danger there. And on top of that, she`s committing an aggravated assault, which is a felony. Now you`ve got felony murder. Again, it`s all starting to stack up.

The other theory, what you`ve pointed out here, is that this is revenge and possibly this is heat of passion. And the problem with that is that she actually has the other girlfriend, the other fiancee, who intervenes, calms her down, and seems to end the fight. And when that happens, you really can`t take advantage of that defense anymore.

GRACE: Wait, wait, wait. Heat of passion. Are you saying, provocation?

PIXLEY: Well, the defense has argued that there is provocation here. They`ve argued that this 245-pound man came at her offensively, as though he was going to attack her.

GRACE: Oh, that`s self-defense. That`s self-defense.

PIXLEY: That`s right. And she was provoked, and she`s claiming self- defense right now. Heat of passion has to do with what was going on, the communication that they had, the argument between them. But, again, that falls apart because you have got someone who intervened, who said, "Don`t let it go this far." She agreed, got back into her car.

GRACE: I mean, the reality is, as Chris just pointed out accurately.

Hey, let me go to you on this, April. Is Chris Pixley correct, and I believe that he is, she fired from the car as she was leaving?

DAVIS: The surprising part -- now some accounts say that she -- actually Rachel Hall, who was standing watching the whole thing, the other woman, she says that she shot and then drove away calmly. Didn`t even speed away. So it was really odd.

And let me tell you: I did actually get a chance to talk to Nikki Redmond tonight after jury selection. And she, again, calm, very abnormal as to be expected...

GRACE: Man, she`s pretty.

DAVIS: ... very lady-like, confident even, under the circumstances. So, I mean, she`s definitely a woman who is calm under pressure.

GRACE: Wow. OK, so you spoke to her. She is calm, obviously made a good impression on this jury, right?

DAVIS: Well, I don`t know what they think about her just yet. They just selected a jury just about an hour and a half ago. So they`re very new jurors at this point.

But she didn`t really make any emotional pleas or anything like that, wasn`t out of hand. She was actually smiling and laughing with friends in the hallway. And then when she went into the courtroom, very composed. So, if anything, just they got a look at a very normal person.

GRACE: You know, Lisa, smiling and laughing with your friends in the hall at your murder trial is not really a good look.

PINTO: No, it`s not an appropriate demeanor, as you might say, Nancy.

But the defense is going much further here than Chris Pixley would have the viewers believe. They`re saying that she was an abused woman, that this football player was aggressive, that there had been an incident in the past, that she was in fear for her life in that very driveway and that`s why she shot him, you know, to protect herself.

But the evidence -- the testimony is not going to support that. What`s alleged by the eyewitness is that she pulled the gun out, said, "You`re going to do this to me, n-word, I`ll show you." Then, you know, the woman calms her down. And then she comes again and she shoots him in the back. How is that self-defense?

GRACE: Lisa, how is that self-defense, Lisa Wayne?

WAYNE: Well, you know, the eyewitness is the other girlfriend who says she saw what she saw.

GRACE: Oh, let me guess. She`s lying.

WAYNE: Well, you know what? You have got to go after her credibility. You`ve got to wonder why it is. This is a woman who knows -- she knows that he`s engaged to another woman. She knows he`s the other woman. And she had a motive and a reason to make it him look good and make sure this goes down. Because she wants to be one who`s remembered as the one, the real fiancee, the credible fiancee.

GRACE: Wait. After all of this, she still wants the guy? I don`t see it, that she wants...

(CROSSTALK)

WAYNE: You know what? She wants her memory. No, she wants go down as the one who protected him.

GRACE: Her memory?

WAYNE: Of course she does. And the self-defense issue is easy, OK? This is a woman who was a cheerleader, who is church-going woman, who is a teacher. This is not a gun-toting Annie Oakley, OK?

GRACE: You know what? They said the same thing about Betty Broderick, remember her? Bam, bam!

WAYNE: You know, that`s important, though, Nancy, because it`s so inconsistent that this woman would draw a gun unless she needed to, unless she had to. And she had to clearly.

GRACE: Lisa Pinto?

PINTO: Lisa, what about her mom? What are you going to do with the defendant`s mom? She says that the victim called her and said, "Your daughter is out of control at the other woman`s house. She`s ranting and raving." And the mother believed this and offered this up to the police. So it`s not just a so-called hostile witness.

GRACE: Wait a minute, everybody. Hold on. Is Miss Savannah`s mother going to testify against her?

Well, Chris, OK, you know what? It`s over. When your own mother comes in and testifies against you, Chris.

PIXLEY: Yes, on the other hand, her mother actually could be of use to her. Yes, the mother`s going to say I had a conversation. But unlike Lisa Pinto`s suggesting, the mother claims that the call was made to her, and that the other woman, this other fiancee, was in the background saying, "We`re talking it out. Everything`s OK."

Of course, as we`ve mentioned, that eliminates the heat of passion here, but self-defense is the claim. The problem with self-defense is that he was shot in the back. And as you know, Nancy, in Georgia, a judge can refuse to give a self-defense charge where the defendant`s been shot in the back.

GRACE: Oh, yes.

Well, and let me go back to April Davis on that. April is with us there in Savannah. She`s with WSAV-TV. April, was the shot in the back?

DAVIS: It was actually through his buttocks, to be specific, and went through his -- exited through his left leg and hit a major artery. And that`s why he bled to death. Yes, it was not a pretty sight.

But, anyway, I wanted to mention something about the gun. She had a gun, she says, her lawyer says, because she had a stalker. And so she had been carrying a gun for that reason. She also says that Kevin Shorter carried a gun and that`s part of the reason she`s claiming the self- defense. She feared he was reaching for a gun in his car.

GRACE: Was there a gun found on his body, April?

DAVIS: Not on his person, as far as I know. And I still don`t know. Everyone`s asking the question, "Was there a gun in the car?" And that`s going to come out in this trial.

GRACE: Elizabeth, who was that you just showed?

Oh, did you say that was the alleged stalker? OK, you know what? Was there ever a police report filed that she actually had a stalker, April, or did she come up with this as a reason for having a gun?

DAVIS: I believe there was.

GRACE: There was?

DAVIS: I believe there was. I don`t know for sure, but I believe that that came out in a newspaper story that she had filed a police report. I don`t know for sure.

GRACE: Yes, you know what, I have got it right here. You`re right, April. She had filed a complaint.

Everybody, a very disturbing case, a gorgeous, beautiful 2003 Miss Savannah, down in Georgia, on trial for murder one. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twenty-three-year-old Nikki Redmond was crowned Miss Savannah in the summer of 2003 and started a teaching job at Beach High School shortly after winning her crown. Just months later, on December 16th, police say Redmond shot her boyfriend, 25-year-old Kevin Shorter, outside this home in East Savannah.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Welcome back. Thank you for being with us.

Let`s go straight down to Savannah right. 2003 Miss Savannah on trial for murder.

April, is she on bond?

DAVIS: Oh, she`s been out of jail since January. This happened in January of 2004. This happened in December 2003. She spent about a week in jail and then bonded out. So she`s been at home this whole time not working. She resigned from her job at Beach High School. And so she`s a free woman right now.

GRACE: Well, I have got to tell you something, April. April is with us from WSAV-TV down in Savannah. I`m a little surprised, a, that she has such a light bond in a murder one trial where a guy`s shot in the back, an unarmed man, apparently. And number two...

DAVIS: Yes, $25,000, Nancy.

GRACE: Did you say $25,000?

DAVIS: Yes.

GRACE: You know what that means, April.

DAVIS: That`s not too much.

GRACE: That means that she only had to cough up $2,500 to walk out of jail...

DAVIS: That`s right.

GRACE: ... in a murder one charge. I`m surprised about that. And I`m surprised that nobody`s mentioned the word D.P., death penalty. She shot the guy in the back while she`s driving away.

DAVIS: A lot of potential jurors thought this was going to be a death penalty case walking into this. And they were concerned about that. And over and over, they stressed, no, this will not be a death penalty case. It will be, at most, a life-in-prison sentence. You`re right about that.

GRACE: April, what can you tell me about the alleged victim in this case, Kevin Shorter?

DAVIS: Kevin Shorter was football player, a very good looking young man here in Savannah. He`s a very religious man. He comes from a very religious family.

Actually, I met his brother, Kenneth Shorter (ph). He`s a pastor in the Atlanta area. And he was here for a homicide vigil recently with his mother. His mother, Kevin`s mother, was in court today. And she`s a very quiet, soft-spoken woman. I spoke with her briefly.

And everyone really was just very tired today. Nine hours of jury selection. They did take a lunch break. But they`ve been here since 10 o`clock and didn`t leave until around 7:15 this evening. So everyone basically had the same comment, that they were just tired and they were ready for things to get started. And she says she was ready for this to get rolling.

And of course, the judge, Michael Karpf, has promised to try and have this over by Friday. So things should move quickly from here on out.

GRACE: Gosh, this must be excruciating for the victim`s family, sitting in there and enduring a nine-hour jury selection in one day. Jury selection can be grueling.

Now, you said his brother is a pastor. What can you tell me about the defendant`s family?

DAVIS: Well, he was just very invigorating. Actually, when he spoke through the whole homicide vigil and was really just an uplifting young man and talked about Kevin and talked about how much of an inspiration he was to younger people. I think he worked with some youth football teams.

And, you know, he was striving to be -- I`m not sure what his job was, actually, but he was a very well-known football player in this town. And I actually I know some of his friends that played football with him. Everyone was really just shocked. He was a very popular person. And everyone just knew him as very friendly.

Of course, though, when it all came out, I think a lot of people, you know, knew that he was kind of playing this game with these two women. And it was coming to a forefront.

GRACE: I was asking about...

DAVIS: The victim`s family has been very quiet. Since you asked about the family. They have been very quiet, as far they haven`t made any accusations towards Miss Savannah, Nikki Redmond, or anything of that nature. They have actually been very cordial and very nice throughout this whole ordeal and not saying anything about Nikki Redmond.

GRACE: You know, Chris, again, I`m not sure -- I feel that you`re mixing legal theories. And maybe that`s what you`re intending, because when one doesn`t really fit, it`s kind of easy to just slide into another one.

You`re hitting me with provocation, that somehow he made her so angry over the double engagement that she shot him. All right. That could bring it down to a voluntary. Then you`re arguing self-defense, which is a not guilty, if that`s true. What`s next, the insanity defense?

PIXLEY: Actually, Nancy...

GRACE: Go crazy?

PIXLEY: No, I was explaining why each of those theories is flawed. And I do think that the defense has a terrible situation here because they`re so flawed. No, they can`t claim that this is voluntary manslaughter. There was no heat of passion here. It was broken by the intervention of this other fiancee who calmed the waters between these two.

And I also don`t think there`s not a strong self-defense claim here. You don`t shoot someone in the back and claim it`s self-defense. You certainly don`t shoot them from your car and claim that you were in imminent danger. So I would agree with you.

Now, I think it gets worse, as well. Because, as you know, here in Georgia, Nancy, and you tried these cases, there`s malice murder here. And before she came to the house of the second fiancee, a call was made by Kevin Shorter basically saying, "Katie, bar the door. Don`t let her in. She`s coming to kill you and kill me."

Now, that sets this whole thing up. And I don`t really know what the defense does to combat that.

GRACE: Lisa Wayne, and also under the law, when you have a self- defense, you`ve got to look at who was the original aggressor. She went to his place, which, in my mind, makes her the original aggressor.

WAYNE: Well, under the law, self-defense though, it`s an initial aggressor in the confrontation that actually results in the killing itself. So if there was a backing down, if there was this conversation in between, then you lose that right. But then it can start back up again.

And my understanding is, is that although there is a shot to the back, is that her feeling was that he was going for something. And it appears to me, I mean, she`s clearly not shooting at his heart and his head. She shoots in the back. And I`m assuming they`re going to say this is a woman who is not a good shot and tried to do a warning shot to get him away from her.

GRACE: Well, Lisa, nobody ever said -- Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, Lisa.

WAYNE: I`m hearing you.

GRACE: She`s not accused of being a sharpshooter, Lisa.

WAYNE: But that goes in to intent.

PINTO: Listen, Nancy, she pulled the gun out twice. I think that`s the issue here. There was a cooling-down period. And she got worked up again.

So if you start with the fact that she came ranting and raving, she pulled the gun out, she was cooled down, she got in the safety of her car, where she could have -- you have a duty to retreat in a self-defense theory. She did not do that. Instead, that`s when she fired on him. And all of this business about him being so aggressive and so violent, where`s the gun? Where`s the history? The only police report shows that he walked away from a fight.

GRACE: That`s interesting.

April, the only police report or complaint she ever filed -- I`m going to April Davis, down in Savannah -- was against this alleged stalker, some other person in her life. Was there any history of violence between victim and defendant?

DAVIS: Nothing documented that we know of. I wanted to say something, too. This was kind of a magic bullet, since you guys brought it up. She didn`t even shoot directly at Kevin Shorter. What happened was that bullet ricocheted off of the car and ended up hitting him in exactly a spot that was fatal.

So that kind of also goes to the theory that she was kind of backing down, didn`t necessarily aim at him. Of course, like you said, she`s not on trial for being a sharpshooter. But it did ricochet off of the car. So, yes, she didn`t shoot directly at him.

GRACE: OK, with us there, April Davis with WSAV-TV.

Tonight, as we go to break, "Trial Tracking" on the Michael Jackson child sex case.

Today, the little brother of Jackson`s boy accuser took the stand. He testified Jackson showed them pornographic Web sites and exposed himself to both boys without a stitch on, birthday suit, nothing, in the nude.

Local news is next for some of you, but we will be right back. And, remember, we`ll bring you live coverage of the Robert Blake verdict.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: We at Nancy Grace want desperately to solve unsolved homicides. Tonight, take a look at Gary Chandler. July 2000, Chandler shot and killed on Interstate 70 in Illinois while driving home.

If you have any information on this young man in the prime of his life, Gary Chandler, please call the Carole Sund/Carrington Foundation, 888-813-8389. Could be a reward involved. Please help us.

Welcome back again. Thank you for being with us.

Before we sign off, April, back to you, what happens tomorrow?

DAVIS: Well, tomorrow at 10 o`clock, we get a little rest for the family and the new jurors overnight. They will be back here at 10 o`clock in the morning for opening statements. And then the prosecution will begin its case.

So we are expecting to hear from Rachel Hall, the other woman that was dating or engaged to Kevin Shorter. So it should be very interesting. And like you said, we are going to hear from Nikki Redmond`s mother, Miss Savannah, Nikki Redmond`s mom, family members and friends. So it will be an exciting trial for the next week.

GRACE: April, we have got to go. But do you think Miss Savannah will take the stand?

DAVIS: That`s really unknown right now. She hasn`t really testified in any of these hearings so far. And it`s unexpected. But, really, right now, it`s 50-50. She`s not on the witness list, as far as I`ve seen.

GRACE: OK, April Davis, WSAV-TV reporter. Thank you.

I want to thank all of my guests tonight, defense attorney Chris Pixley, defense lawyer Lisa Wayne, prosecutor Lisa Pinto, earlier on, Anne Bird and Gloria Allred, and of course, to April.

My biggest thank you though as always is to you for being with us tonight and inviting us into your home. I`m Nancy Grace signing off tonight. I hope you join us right back here tomorrow, 8:00 Eastern. Until then, good night, friend.

As we go to break, you`re looking at pictures of little Jessie Lunsford, nine-year-old out of Florida, missing since Feb. 23. If you have any info on Jessie, please call the Citrus County sheriff, 352-726-1121.

END


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