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Courtroom Battle rages in Michael Jackson Trial; Miss Savannah 2003 Charged with Murder

Aired March 9, 2005 - 20:00:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, CNN HOST: Tonight, courtroom battle rages on in the Michael Jackson child sex trial. The alleged victim, the boy accuser, finally on the stand. A withering cross-examine is expected to come. After months of preparation, it`s boy-versus-lawyer in court. And it`s a first time Michael Jackson has squared off with this young cancer patient.
And Miss Savannah 2003 back on center stage. And I`m not talking about the swimsuit competition. She`s in court charged with murder.

And a California couple that was trying to sell their boat took a potential buyer out on the open water for a test drive. They have never been seen since.

Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace and I want to thank you for being with us.

This past November, a happily married couple, Tom and Jackie Hawks took their boat out on open water off Newport Beach, California. Then they vanished into thin air.

In a stunning turn of events, three men just arrested in the death and disappearance of Tom and Jackie Hawks. Tonight, their son, Ryan, is with us.

Also, Sharron Redmond -- remember Miss Savannah 2003 -- well, the tiara is off. She is facing murder charges. Redmond`s lawyers claim self- defense, but prosecutors say she`s a cold-blooded killer who shot in a fit of jealousy.

But first in the Michael Jackson trial, the boy accuser finally in the witness box. Tonight, in New York, former prosecutor Nichole Williams, from San Francisco, defense lawyer Daniel Horowitz, in New York, defense attorney Mercedes Colwin, and clinical psychologist Dr. Patricia Saunders. And boy, do we need a shrink.

But first, to Santa Maria, California, and "Celebrity Justice" correspondent Jane Velez-Mitchell.

Man oh Manischewitz, what happened in court?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, "CELEBRITY JUSTICE": What an incredible day. What a dramatic day. If you had a team of Hollywood script writers sitting behind the judge`s desk, you couldn`t come up with anything more dramatic.

Toward the end of the day, things were kind of lagging along with the younger brother. We ran out of his testimony. And, suddenly, the accuser takes the stand. Michael Jackson sits bolt upright when the accuser`s name is mentioned. The boy comes in.

And I have to tell you, he looked sharp. He`s an attractive young man. He was slim. He was well-dressed in a blue dress shirt and dress pants. He sat with good posture and he actually referred to the jury when he spoke to them.

And Sneddon said, the district attorney said, "Do you recognize Michael Jackson?" And he said, "Yes, I do." And some people said he sneered. Some people said he just kind of went like this. I saw just somebody who didn`t really want to look at Michael Jackson, who just sort of went like this. "Yes, I see him."

But incredibly dramatic. He didn`t seem nervous. He wasn`t perspiring. He wasn`t trembling. He wasn`t doing all the things that you might think a 15-year-old boy with the entire world looking at him might do. He was quite composed.

GRACE: Now, it`s my understanding, Jane Velez-Mitchell, that while the brother was on the stand, this kid was in the back, in the back of the courtroom, waiting to take the stand?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. We saw the two boys being whisked in this morning. We believe we saw them actually here yesterday because the way the judge has set this up, he doesn`t want a big lag between one witness and another. So they have to keep them on standby ready to go at any moment. And that`s exactly what they did. This boy has been waiting in the wings for this moment, and his moment has come.

GRACE: You know, you said that Michael Jackson sat bolt-up when he heard the name. Do you think the jury looked over and noticed that when that happened?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think the jury is noticing everything. But I don`t think they`re reacting to anything. They are stone-faced. They are highly professional. I`ve read news accounts where people say a juror teared up. And I talked to a bunch of my colleagues and we never saw any of that. They are very, very composed.

But a lot of people see what they want to see. People have seen Michael Jackson weeping in the defense chair. And his publicist says, "No, he has got the flu, and he`s blowing his nose." So people see what they want to see.

GRACE: Hey, Jane Velez, let`s get down to it. What of any substance came out in the boy`s testimony today?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, this boy immediately got to the heart of the matter, their first visit to Neverland while he was suffering from cancer. He says that on their first visit Michael Jackson suggested that the two boys, his younger brother and himself, sleep in Michael Jackson`s bedroom. They got their parent`s permission. They went into the bedroom. And he says they immediately started going on the computer and looking at adult Web sites.

Michael Jackson, he said, was pointing out girls. And then at one point they came upon an image of a girl with her top up and her breasts exposed. And Michael Jackson, this boy says, said, "Got milk?" and then went over to his sleeping son, Prince, this boy testified and said, "Prince, you`re missing out on some" -- and then bleep, a word for female genitalia.

And those were pretty much the shockers delivered by this boy. We have heard these accounts before, but hearing it from him, hearing him say it, and he sounds like a credible witness, it was still shocking.

GRACE: And, Jane Velez-Mitchell, before I go to our shrink, Dr. Patricia Saunders, I know that not only this boy but the brother, basically, led police verbally to where they said they could find a stash of porn. Did the porn turn up where they said it would be?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. In most instances, apparently, it did. They apparently provided a road map for the investigators who raided Neverland, and said, "Go into this place and you`re going to find the briefcase with the adult magazines. Go here and you`ll find this." This is where the liquor cabinet is. You slide open the jukebox, and you go back, and you go down the stairs, and that`s where the wine cellar is.

So, apparently, they were quite accurate in their depiction of Michael Jackson`s bedroom and a lot of places they would find certain things.

GRACE: Dr. Saunders, I`m not getting -- I have had a lot of child molestation prosecutions. But I never had many that actually used pornography to try to arouse children. What does that signify to you?

DR. PATRICIA SAUNDERS, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, it`s part of the classic profile of the pedophile. When I say classic profile I mean the clinical picture, that it`s part of the grooming. It`s a late stage in the grooming. The earlier grooming has to do with becoming a special buddy and making the child feel that he is special.

GRACE: I always call that the buddy syndrome, how a molester befriends the child and the child really doesn`t even understand that anything wrong is happening.

SAUNDERS: Exactly. And he may not even feel that anything is wrong happening when it comes to pornography and overt sexual acts because the molester may have convinced him that it`s out of love and that he`s just teaching him how to be a man.

GRACE: And, now, where does the porn fit in to child molestation?

SAUNDERS: It`s part of the grooming, that this is something that all boys share, even if one of them is 46-years-old. And it`s leading up to the overt masturbatory acts.

GRACE: Also with us here on the set, former prosecutor Nichole Williams.

Nichole, you and I both know what happened. The prosecution laid the foundation. They put on the sister. They put on the younger brother to pave the way to clear the path for this boy to take the stand so the jury would already have basically a frame of reference for his testimony.

NICHOLE WILLIAMS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: That`s right. They laid a very good foundation, Nancy. That`s what they had to do. They had to build up to this boy`s testimony. Some of it may seem a bit unbelievable to jurors. So they had to set that tone and set the context for what`s going to come next.

GRACE: Well, I have only got 30 seconds left.

Jane Velez-Mitchell, she said that some of the claims are unbelievable. I don`t necessarily agree with that, but with this pornography that this kid is saying they saw on the computer, did the cops get the computer? Did they search the hard drive? Will we find out if this kid can be corroborated via computer?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Tom Mesereau was claiming with the younger brother that they knew about these Web sites, and their very graphic URLs that I will not repeat before they went to Neverland...

GRACE: A URL? A what?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Web site address.

GRACE: Oh, OK. Sorry. I knew that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In other words, that they had been -- they were going to the Web before they went to Neverland, had checked out these sites, and then conveniently remembered that these were the sites that they surfed with Michael Jackson. Tom Mesereau is trying to establish that they were Internet-savvy, that they may have gone on these sites before going to Neverland. We don`t know if he`s proved that before the jury.

GRACE: We`re going to bring in the rest of our guests when we get back, Daniel Horowitz and Mercedes Colwin, both defense attorneys itching to get into the fight. Stay with us.



MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER ACCUSED OF MOLESTATION: I would like to thank the fans around the world for your love and your support from every corner of the Earth. I love the community of Santa Maria very much. It`s my community. I will always love this community from the bottom of my heart.


GRACE: You know, it`s so easy to stand in front of the courthouse flanked by your lawyers, and your fans, and your family and give a press statement. But will Jackson take the stand and subject himself to cross- examination? We`ll find out. We are live in Santa Maria, California.

Let`s go straight out to "Celebrity Justice`s" Jane Velez-Mitchell.

Bottom line, Jane, did he get to alleged molestation today?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, he did not. He left it at a point where he can pick up the storyline tomorrow morning. And we could be getting to that by tomorrow. This time tomorrow, we could be hearing some of the absolutely crucial details at the very heart of this case. And according to the affidavit that this youngster gave to the sheriff`s investigators, he basically is alleging that Michael Jackson masturbated him on a number of occasions, on at least two occasions.

GRACE: So Jane Velez-Mitchell, I`m trying to get in my mind, what was the last note the prosecution left with the jury when they went home today? What was the last topic of testimony?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it was sort of leading them with this visual of Michael Jackson in this room, in his bedroom with these two boys, engaged in -- if this boy is to be believed -- very, very, very inappropriate behavior. I mean, what`s a 46-year-old or a middle-aged guy doing surfing the Web with these two boys who are really not even that known to him at this point. They`re just up there on their first visit to Neverland looking at adult sites.

And that`s the kind of thing that now the jurors have the entire evening to mull over before they come back into court tomorrow morning. Actually, I thought Mesereau was going to try to stretch the cross- examination...

GRACE: I thought he was, too.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... of the younger brother out the whole day. I was shocked that he let it go.

GRACE: I got to plead guilty to that. You know, Jane Velez-Mitchell, there have been times -- I`m going to throw it to you, Daniel Horowitz, and don`t try to deny it.

There have been times when you`re waiting on your next witness or you`re trying to stall so you drag out a cross-examination and pray for a redirect. I thought that he was doing the same thing trying to drag out the brother to avoid this moment but, hey, it happened.

DANIEL HOROWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, Nancy, Mesereau tends to be very long-winded in his examination.

GRACE: Tell it.

HOROWITZ: But he`s very honest in the way he questions witnesses. He`s the kind of man who brings out every single fact and then let`s the jury look at what`s going on. And that`s why this young man was so terrible on the witness stand.

You know, he contradicted the famous Dr. Katz, the psychologist who works for the plaintiff`s lawyer who`s going to try to make millions of dollars for these so-called victims. He said that Dr. Katz never was told by him that Michael Jackson took his private part and used it to touch his brother. Instead, he said Michael just masturbated his brother twice. This kid fell apart on the stand because it`s simply a script, and a long examination by Mesereau is bringing out the fact that these kids cannot hold up.

GRACE: Wait, wait, wait. You are talking about the brother.


GRACE: We are talking about the accuser. We are on to a completely different witness, Daniel.

HOROWITZ: I know, Nancy.

GRACE: You had your day with the brother.


HOROWITZ: ... falling apart. This accuser is going to fall apart the same way his brother did.

GRACE: Daniel?


GRACE: He is still on direct. He hasn`t fallen apart just yet.

HOROWITZ: He will.

GRACE: So let`s don`t count your chickens before they hatch.

Mercedes, do you want in?

MERCEDES COLWIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It`s a credibility case. So obviously we`re here at the direct. He`s setting forth his story of what had occurred to him. Until you get to the cross-examination, we are not really going to know what the holes are in this case in this particular -- with this particular witness.

We know what the holes are with the others. I think the biggest issue is going to be, "Did you lie at that J.C. Penney case?"

GRACE: Got you.

COLWIN: Because we already know that your brother lied about it. Did you lie, as well? Didn`t you have a deposition in that case and didn`t you say that your mother and father never fought? And didn`t you lie under oath? Weren`t you told to lie?

GRACE: Mercedes, I appreciate your concern about this kid at, what, 10-years-old, lying about his parent`s domestic problems.

Dr. Patricia Saunders, clearly we all know that children cover for their parents. End of story. You know, children very rarely will admit to a third party that they`re being abused, that they have been beaten at home, that their parents argue back and forth. I mean, that is so common place.

SAUNDERS: I consider it normal. Kids get confused. And they would rather die than admit to the outside world that there`s abuse going on in their home. And they`ll tend to say what the mom wants to say when they`re with their mom and say what the dad wants when they`re with their dad.

GRACE: ... with the dad.

SAUNDERS: I think this is apples and oranges, Nancy.

GRACE: So Jane Velez-Mitchell, you`re not getting any read off the jury with this kid on the stand? The accuser in the Michael Jackson case, people have been waiting for this moment since 1993, OK? And you got no read from the jury?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to agree with some of your other guests. All of these witnesses seemed very credible until cross-examination. The sister seemed very credible until she was literally broken by Tom Mesereau. The younger brother seemed very credible until Tom Mesereau punched a lot of holes in his story.

So this boy, the accuser, seems very credible. But it`s the cross that will tell the story. How does he hold up under cross? And I`m telling you that this jury is deadpan. I have surveyed my other colleagues to say, "Am I missing something?" And most of them have said, no. They seem quite professional, and they`re not giving their hand away, maybe because they haven`t made up their minds. Maybe because they`re like most of us, ping-ponging back and forth, depending on whether it`s the direct or cross-examination.

GRACE: Guys, take a look at a little bit of what this jury saw.


JACKSON: My greatest inspiration comes from kids, every song I write, every dance I do, all the poetry I write, is all inspired from that level of innocence, that consciousness of purity, and children have that. I see God in the face of children. And, man, I just love being around that all the time.


GRACE: That`s from the ABC version of that BBC documentary by Martin Bashir. Jurors saw the documentary.

So Daniel Horowitz, if every dance he does is inspired by children, I guess that includes the one where he grabs his crotch.

HOROWITZ: Well, Nancy, you know, if that was a kindergarten teacher and a woman speaking, you would say, "That`s the finest teacher. I`m so glad my child has that teacher." It`s just really...

GRACE: Oh, thank you, Elizabeth.

You know what, Daniel? Just don`t speak for about 10 seconds. Michael Jackson said in the Bashir documentary that every dance he does is all about kids. I`m waiting for the crotch grabbing. Not seeing it.

Elizabeth, help me out here.

You know what? What talent. There you go.

What talent, though, Nichole. This is going to -- the jury`s got to really be stunned by his charisma. Look at him.

WILLIAMS: Well, he`s an international superstar. I think we`re all a little bit stunned by his charisma and his talent. The fact is that if this was Mr. Jones down the street talking about children in this way, having them sleep in his bed, I think we`d be singing a very different tune to play on Michael Jackson`s talent.

GRACE: We are taking a quick break.

And as we go to break, now to "Trial Tracking." A break in a 20-year- old Pennsylvania case. Police arrested Jack Lay Collins (ph), suspected in the murder and dismemberment of two women and the disappearance of three others. That`s five dead women.

When police raided Collins` (ph) farmhouse looking for clues, they stumbled on child pornography and illegal weapons. He was arrested. He is behind bars. Tonight, police desperately working to find evidence enough to charge him for the murders of Lisa Marie Garris (ph), Joyce Keenan (ph), both found beheaded. Collins (ph), now 51, murdered his parents in `72, but found not guilty by reason of insanity. Talk about slipping through the cracks. I wonder what that `72 jury thinks about the latest murders of the man they let go.



JACKSON: Years ago, I allowed a family to visit and spend some time at Neverland. Neverland is my home. I allowed this family into my home because they told me their son was ill with cancer and needed my help. Through the years, I have helped thousands of children who are ill or in distress. These events have caused a nightmare for my family, my children and me. I never intend to place myself in so vulnerable a position ever again.


GRACE: Welcome back. Thank you for being with us. I`m Nancy Grace.

Straight back out to Santa Maria, California. Jane Velez-Mitchell standing by from "Celebrity Justice."

Jane, speaking of the cancer aspect of this story, did the boy describe his bout with cancer?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He did. In fact, he started off describing that, how he dropped weight, how his hair was falling out, how doctors had actually told the family, "Prepare for the funeral." And, of course, the big famous line from the rebuttal tape that the family made was, "Michael Jackson wouldn`t hear that and said no."

But, I do have to tell you that there was a lot of video, a lot of video playing throughout this entire trial today. It`s a video-rich trial. And some of the stuff is absolutely astounding. For example, there was a music video played of Michael Jackson walking around with the boy when he was in the throws of cancer. And the songs playing are "I`ll Be There" and "Smile When Your Heart is Breaking."

And this was a very emoted video. And it was played before the jurors. And, you know, it does touch the heart strings. You are hearing this beautiful music. You`re seeing Michael Jackson walking around with this boy who is clearly suffering from cancer, who`s lost a lot weight, his hair is falling out. And it tugs at the heart strings. But I don`t know what kind of impact stuff like that is going to have on the jury.

GRACE: I don`t know. That vision may disappear when this boy, if he does describe Jackson masturbating with him in bed. I don`t know if I would remember the MTV video once I heard that on the stand, Jane.

Out to Dr. Patricia Saunders, why is it that pedophiles are attracted to nonsexual people like children?

SAUNDERS: I think, especially with Michael Jackson, that he`s seeking something else through the sex. I think it`s true for all pedophiles, but we see it very pointedly with Michael Jackson. Underneath his musical genius, I think he is a lonely soul who really is convinced that he loves children.

GRACE: Dr. Saunders, I can`t believe you even said that, that he`s lonely. What, you want me to feel sorry for him because he`s lonely?

Wait. Elizabeth, can you role the Peter Pan footage, please?


JACKSON: Peter Pan, to me, represents something that`s very special in my heart. You know, he represents youth, childhood, never growing up, magic, flying. And, to me, I just have never, ever grown out of loving that or thinking that it`s very special.


GRACE: OK. That`s also from the ABC version of the BBC documentary by Bashir. Jurors saw that. Now what were you saying?

SAUNDERS: I was saying that he`s a lonely soul. I`m also saying that I think he`s a very sick soul and a lost one, that his narcissism absolutely makes it impossible for him to see the impact of his behavior.

GRACE: As we go to break, I want to remind you, we here at NANCY GRACE want desperately to help solve unsolved homicides. Take a look at Ricky Cloyd. His body found four months after he was reported missing, 1999. To this date, the killer has not been found. If you have any information on Ricky Cloyd, please call the Carole Sund/Carrington, 888- 813-8389. Could be a reward.


RENAY SAN MIGUEL, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everybody. I`m Renay San Miguel. Here`s your "Headline Prime Newsbreak."

Don`t look to the federal government to help lower gas prices. President Bush says he has no plans to tap the government`s strategic oil reserve to bring down oil prices.

In Ohio today, he pushed Congress to support two key parts of his energy plan, clean coal technology and oil drilling in the Alaskan Arctic.

Former President Bill Clinton got in a last round of golf before he enters the hospital tomorrow for surgery to remove scar tissue and fluid from his chest. It was a charity event to raise money for tsunami relief. Clinton joked about his game and said he`s not worried about the procedure he will undergo tomorrow.

And some of the biggest names in baseball are headed to Capitol Hill. Seven Major League players were subpoenaed to testify next week before a congressional committee investigating baseball`s steroid policy. Among them, Jose Canseco, Jason Giambi, Mark McGwire, Curt Schilling and Sammy Sosa.

That`s the news for now. I`m Renay San Miguel. Now back to NANCY GRACE.


APRIL DAVIS, WSAV-TV (voice-over): 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.


GRACE: Sharron Redmond, Miss Savannah 2003, on trial for the murder of her fiancee. It turns out there were quite a few engagement rings floating around. Was it self-defense or is revenge a dish best served up cold? Cold blooded, that is.

Tonight, in Savannah, WSAV-TV`s April Davis is with us.

Hi, April. What is the latest, friend?

DAVIS: Well, hi, Nancy. You`re talking about those two rings. We got a question answered on that today from Kevin Shorter`s friends. Three of them took the stand today and all of them say absolutely not. They were not engaged, he and Nikki Redmond.

What they say is, she was the girl on the side is how they described her and that Rachel Hall, who has been described as the other woman throughout this trial, she was his fiancee and that Nikki Redmond never had an engagement ring, but that was actually a ring that she had made up, that then she came and explained it was a pageant ring, was her explanation afterwards. But absolutely not engaged to Miss Redmond.

GRACE: A pageant ring? A pageant ring? What`s that?

DAVIS: Well, that`s what I asked. But apparently, she explained it away as saying, "Oh, well, I`m just kidding." This is a ring that I won through the Miss Savannah pageant after the friend kept asking, "OK, well, Kevin says you`re not engaged. What is the real story?" That is the story she came up with. So, according to his friends, they were never engaged.

GRACE: Well, I`m glad you cleared that up. I was afraid the defense may argue that the existence of two engagement rings could be motive for murder and there may be some lady jurors that buy into that. So I`m glad to hear there was only one engagement ring.

What else happened in court today, April?

DAVIS: Well, we heard from the friends, and they had a lot to give up. I think the other big issue today was the fact that they said that she carried that gun around a lot, the one that was used in the shooting. She showed it to a lot of people. She brought it to several events. And she`s told Kevin several times, "Don`t make me use this on you." So Kevin`s friends not painting a very pretty picture of Miss Savannah 2003.

GRACE: April, April, that`s the way to hold on to a man. Threaten to shoot him if he tries to break up. That will work.

Let`s go to Daniel Horowitz along those lines. Daniel, I know you`re about to say she did not intend to shoot him, right?

HOROWITZ: Well, actually, Nancy, I think she intended to shoot him, but not in the buttocks where she did hit him but maybe a little bit over and down. I think this was a crime both of fear and anger. And, you know what, if he didn`t die, I would be saying, and maybe you would be saying, Nancy Grace, he got what he deserved. He was two-timing them...

GRACE: Oh no, no, no. I`m not for shooting. I`m not for aggravated assault with a weapon under any circumstances.

HOROWITZ: I`m sorry he died, but let me tell you something. If he really thought that this young lady, Miss Savannah, was going over to his real fiancee`s house to kill her, why didn`t he call the police? Instead, he went over there, confronted her, scared the heck out of her and also upset her, so she lashed out. Not murder.

GRACE: OK, Daniel, Daniel, yes, no: Do you have even a shred of evidence to suggest she was afraid of him, that he did anything to make her afraid at that moment? She`s the one with the gun, not him.

HOROWITZ: Right. But he is an angry man. He`s two-timing her.


GRACE: Do you have anything? Do you have anything?

HOROWITZ: We have the evidence and you will see it at the trial. I have heard the opening statements, that if he was cursing her, using words that I would never use towards a woman or even a man.

GRACE: OK, OK, Daniel, I hear you. You didn`t give me one shred to support fear and self-defense.

I`m going to go to April on this. April, was there any suggestion that he hit her, that he came toward her, that he raised a gun, pulled a knife, drove his car toward her, anything?

DAVIS: I`m not sure what he did to her that`s documented, but that did come up today. And it did come up yesterday with Rachel Hall on the stand. That`s the real fiancee. She says that she was punched by Kevin Shorter and she just never filed a police report. She did admit to that in court.

Also, when he walked up the day of the shooting, he was saying some pretty nasty stuff to Nikki Redmond, saying that she was just good for sex, but in some much more vulgar language. So he did show a temper from time to time.

But today his friends called him peaceful, that he never had a temper. It was just these few times that Nikki really got under his skin. So that`s still to be shown. There has been -- you know, the defense hasn`t said it`s piece yet. They may come up with some evidence that...


GRACE: Maybe I`m the crazy one, but, Nichole, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Cursing somebody out, calling them the worst name in the book is not grounds to pull out a gun and open fire under the law.

WILLIAMS: That`s right, Nancy. And she absolutely was on her way leaving. And she decided to shoot him as she was driving away. So, clearly, there was no threat to her when she was in her car. And if it was self defense, why didn`t she say that? Why did she go run and ditch the gun? Consciousness of guilt.

GRACE: Mercedes Colwin, what`s the biggest problem for the prosecution?

COLWIN: I think it`s just the chronology of the events. I mean, Redmond comes forward. She`s talking to Hall. And suddenly, Shorter comes into the scene, and they start to exchange words. She goes to her car, gets her gun for the first time, because at that the point the defense is going to say that she felt very threatened because of what Shorter...

GRACE: But why didn`t she leave? She could have left. She`s in the car and he`s on foot.

COLWIN: And here`s the issue, Nancy. You know, she could have shot him dead. If her intent was to kill him, she could have shot him right then and there the first time she has the gun, and she didn`t. She goes...

GRACE: OK. Mercedes...

COLWIN: Hall is saying, "Calm down. Calm down. It`s OK. He is not worth it. We`ll get other boyfriends." Then she proceeds to leave. And do you know what? Even the ballistics experts say we can`t rule out that she was actually shooting at his car.

GRACE: OK, Mercedes, you had me for a moment, OK? But then you lost me.


GRACE: Because the woman goes to her car. If she was afraid, why didn`t she leave? Takes out the gun. And you can`t tell me you take a gun, load it, that you loaded yourself, you point it at somebody, and pull the trigger, and you go, "Oh my god. I shot him."

COLWIN: Nancy, but do you know what? She`s in her car. She`s in her car. And Shorter`s going to his car. She`s saying, "He`s got a gun. He`s going to shoot me while I`m in my car. I`ve got to do something to defend myself. I`m going to go there, and I`m going to shoot at his car, just want to scare him."


COLWIN: Convincing?

GRACE: It`s getting there. We have got to massage that. We have got to shape that a little bit for the jury.

Dr. Saunders, what about her frame of mind? Do you see self-defense?

SAUNDERS: No, I don`t. I think she was enraged. And another factor was that this is a woman who had been stalked by a man who had murdered his own mother.

GRACE: And that was a legitimate claim, I found out.

SAUNDERS: So she might have been, literally and otherwise, on emotional hair trigger. She carried that gun around a lot. And she got the pistol permit because this guy was stalking her. So she was that much closer to using it than a woman who didn`t have that history.

GRACE: What do you think about her decision to carry a loaded weapon to the location that day? See, when you show up at somebody`s house with a loaded weapon, go to your car and get it, that`s a recipe for disaster right there.

SAUNDERS: Yes. I think it must have been in her head. I think at some prior point she had threatened to shoot him.

GRACE: And very quickly, back to you, April. Where do we go now? What is next?

DAVIS: Well, I think the prosecution is going to be wrapping up its case really soon.

I just wanted to mention real quick that they did talk about an incident of domestic violence. A report in Cobb County, which Nikki was going to school there for a little while, and when Kevin came to visit, she got upset it was on Valentine`s Day, the year of the shooting, and she was upset because he had gotten a phone call from another woman.

Now, The prosecution made it out to believe that this must have been a staged report, that nothing really happened to Nikki, and that she might have been, you know, building a case then. So who knows?

But the police officer that testified said that there were no signs of abuse and that she never filed a report, told her to go to the magistrate if she wanted to do something. So no validity to that theory right now.

GRACE: Well, April, that`s definitely going to hurt her credibility should she take the stand. And her lawyers have basically said she will take the stand.

With me, there in Savannah, WSAV reporter, April, thank you so much for being with us, friend.

DAVIS: You`re welcome, Nancy.

GRACE: Everybody, we`ll be right back. Stay with us.



RYAN HAWKS, PARENTS DISAPPEARED FROM BOAT: I know that they are together. I know that one doesn`t work without the other, so I guess I`m thankful for that. Difficult time, but it`s an obstacle in life. And we`ll seem to get over it.


GRACE: Thomas and Jackie Hawks vanished November 15 in Newport Beach, California. That day the couple met a guy who claimed he wanted to buy their 55-foot boat. Were the Hawks murdered at sea?

And tonight, three men are now accused with the murder. Was it all about money? Was it part of some scheme to steal the boat and then empty out the bank accounts?

Tonight, in San Diego, Ryan Hawks. He is the son of Thomas, the stepson of Jackie.

Sir, thank you for being with us.

HAWKS: Thank you.

GRACE: Ryan, first of all, I`m so sorry. My heart sure goes out to you for what you`re going through.

HAWKS: Well, thanks. I appreciate the sympathy.

GRACE: Ryan, what can you tell us about the day your parents disappeared?

HAWKS: Well, I can tell you they basically went on a sea trial to sell the boat with some prospects. And I can also tell you that, you know, that boat came back in the harbor, you know, and I assumed that they weren`t on it.

GRACE: The boat came back in the harbor. Who drove the boat back?

HAWKS: You know, that`s a question that the investigation is following up on so...

GRACE: But I guess no one saw your parents drive it back then, right?

HAWKS: That`s correct. No credible witnesses so far.

GRACE: Ryan, they have been gone since November 15. Do you still harbor a hope that they could be alive? Their bodies have not been found.

HAWKS: You know, hope is over for me at this point, along with my family. We just know them all too well. And we had some hope at one time that there`s some reasonable explanation. And I`ll slap them on the hand and disown them for the, you know, being juvenile and disappearing without telling the family. But when their car was found in Ensenada, hope was gone.

GRACE: How did the car fit into your theory that they are, in fact, deceased?

HAWKS: I just know them. I mean, I`m a son and the proud son of them that keeps in contact with them. And, you know, these are the things that a son will know. And I just know them all too well, their actions, their responsibilities that they attend to. And I know them too much as parents to do something like this because we`re family.

GRACE: Oh, Ryan. Just hearing you talk about being so close to them is, you know, reminds everyone of their worst nightmare of, you know, seeing your parents one day and then they just don`t come back. And there`s no real resolution. You don`t know what happened. For all you know they could be out there somewhere, for all you know. How often would you talk to them?

HAWKS: I`d probably talk to them about once a week. But they`re in really close contact with my brother, because he just had a grandson. And they`ve been basically in touch with him every other day, because he`s a new highlight of the family.

GRACE: Yes. Ryan, when was the last time you spoke to your parents?

HAWKS: Probably about a week before they`re missing. It`s probably like the 10th or 11th of November.

GRACE: And when you spoke to them, what was the communication about?

HAWKS: The communication, you know, they`re just constantly excited about, you know, my lifestyle and my job. And just always wanted to know every little detail of what I`m doing and this. And at the time I cut them short. You know, I was like, you know, "I`m just busy with other things." And I was on my way to Seattle for work. And little did I know that`s going to be my last conversation with them.

GRACE: Ryan, what do you do? Why were you traveling to Seattle?

HAWKS: I`m in capital medical equipment sales, and basically I was going to Seattle for training.

GRACE: I know they`re just as proud as can be of you.

HAWKS: They`re still no depth of how far and how much I want -- I know they`re proud but, you know, as a son, I just -- I just always wanted to make them prouder. And there`s just no hitting bottom with that as a son.

GRACE: Ryan, what did you do when you realized they hadn`t come back? Did you try to find them? I mean, what did your family do?

HAWKS: Yes. Basically, you know, we developed this Web site. You know, trying to gather as much information, basically handed out fliers every weekend, constant contact with the Newport Beach police, which are doing a phenomenal job in the investigation, and also the district attorney.

And just, you know, letting everyone know as far as close family and friends about the situation and, you know, where things are heading. And we`re making progress on it. And I`m really, really proud of that.

GRACE: I see the name of your parent`s boat was "Well-deserved." This was their retirement, right? They were going to live on the boat.

HAWKS: Yes. That`s correct. And it was well-deserved. You know, they put 30 years of hard work. And they`re at the, you know, pinnacle of their life and just the peak of what they`re actually enjoying, family and friends, and it`s their time. And that`s what gotten taken, not only from them but it got taken from us, as well.

GRACE: Who were these guys? Who were these guys that have been arrested? Are they the ones they took out on the boat, thinking of selling the boat?

HAWKS: That`s my understanding. But hopefully, the investigation that`s ongoing right now will relieve that information at a later date.

GRACE: Before we get away, could you tell me just something about your parents? I mean, we can see the pictures. We can read the wires, but I want to know something about the Hawks.

HAWKS: Well, I can tell you that they`re very loving, very social, outgoing people. You know when you`re in their company because they just, you know, they kind of exude confidence and they just make you feel comfortable. And, I love them. And so does the rest of my family and friends. And a huge part of our life is missing because of it. And we`re determined to find out who`s responsible for this.

GRACE: Ryan, when I think of my mom, I think of her playing the piano and when I think of my dad, I think of him going to work on the railroad. When you think of your parents, what`s your vivid memory?

HAWKS: I think of my dad fishing or doing some kind of creative water activity. And I think of my mother just yelling at him, "Get back on the boat. Do some work, old man." You know, something along those lines. It`s clear as day. And I constantly relive it in my mind every single day.

But, God, we sure do miss them. And I only hope that, you know, all this will be answered truthfully, which I`m determined it will, and family has some answers, and justice is served no matter what. It will prevail.

GRACE: Ryan, Ryan, I wish you the very same. Thank you, friend.

HAWKS: Thank you.

GRACE: As we go to break, to "Trial Tracking." We are in a "Verdict Watch" in the Robert Blake murder trial. Jury deliberations into day four. Baretta faces life behind bars in the shooting death of his wife, Bonny Bakley, the mother of their little girl. So far the jury has requested testimony read-back of three witnesses, all three witnesses for the state.


ERIC DUBIN, VICTIM BONNY LEE BAKLEY`S FAMILY ATTORNEY: So I think they want to hear, number one, where did they see Blake from the first time and what was his pace as they walked by? And, two, why didn`t they see Robert Blake go back and get the gun if they were smoking a cigarette right there on the corner. So again, this goes right to his alibi and clearly they are considering murder one.


GRACE: Local news will be next for some of you. But we`ll be right back.

And remember, you`ll get live coverage of Blake, Michael Jackson, and Sarah Johnson, tomorrow, 3:00 to 5:00 Eastern on Court TV`s "Closing Arguments." Stay with us.


GRACE: If you are a crime victim with a story to tell, know of an injustice or a case that needs a spotlight, please call 1-888-GRACE-01 or visit our Web site,

Very quickly before we say good night, Dr. Saunders, speaking of Ryan Hawks, he`s seems to have let go of any hope that his parents are still alive, even though the bodies have not washed ashore. Why?

SAUNDERS: I think that he may be saying that intellectually. I don`t think he feels it. I don`t think families of murder victims let go of hope until they actually see the body. I think he is in the process of trying to come to terms with the probability that he won`t ever see his parents again, and what a good son he is.

GRACE: Yes. Is that normal? I mean, I feel that I would still be holding out hope they may turn up. And that`s probably not very helpful.

SAUNDERS: I think he`s struggling with it.

GRACE: Yes. I want to thank all of my wonderful guests tonight, Jane Velez-Mitchell with "Celebrity Justice," Nichole Williams, former prosecutor, Daniel Horowitz, defense attorney, Mercedes Colwin, defense attorney, and D. Patricia Saunders. And, of course, April Davis in Savannah and Ryan Hawks. Our thoughts with him.

My biggest thank you, to you for being with us tonight and inviting us into your home. Coming up, the latest headlines around the world. I`m Nancy Grace signing off for tonight. And I hope you join us back here tomorrow night, 8 o`clock Eastern sharp. Until then, good night, friend.

As we go to break, you are looking at pictures of Jessie Lunsford, nine-year-old from Florida missing since Feb. 23. Any info, please call Citrus County Sheriff, 352-726-1121.

MIKE GALANOS, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. I`m Mike Galanos with the "Headline Prime Newsbreak."

Michael Jackson`s accuser will be on the stand tomorrow after his first day of testimony. The boy told the court he was, quote, "kind of hypnotized by the pop star after the two met." He also testified that Jackson showed him and his brother sexually explicit Web sites.

Seven current and former Major League players have been subpoenaed to testify next week before a House committee investigating baseball`s steroids scandal. Among the players, Jose Canseco, Jason Giambi and Mark McGwire, but not Barry Bonds. Major League Baseball officials say they`ll fight the subpoenas.

And Congress is getting closer to passing new bankruptcy rules that would force certain people in court-ordered repayment plans. The measure could be passed by the Senate tomorrow and House approval is expected next month. Critics say it would turn bankruptcy courts into collection agencies for credit card companies.

We`ll examine the impact of bankruptcy reform and have all of the day`s news when Erica Hill joins me on "PRIME NEWS TONIGHT." That`s next.


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