Return to Transcripts main page


Investigation on Ohio Rape Case Still Ongoing; Sex and Lies Exposed in Arias Trial

Aired January 7, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST, JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the town of Steubenville, Ohio, is ground zero for a raging debate that allegations of rape and the power and privilege of high school football teams.

We`re talking about live tonight with the crime blogger who republished some astonishing videos she found on you tube, and she`s the one who brought this alleged rape case dead center to the national spotlight. We`ll talk to her next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight the town of Steubenville, Ohio, rocked to its core by charges that football players, on a popular high school team, raped a girl. Tonight I`m talking to the crime blogger who brought this case to national attention when she republished astonishing videos she found online. Showing this alleged rape victim being made fun of.

And Jodi Arias on trial. Is there a contest to see which side can shock jurors the most? As prosecutors unleash a barrage of gruesome crime photos, the beautiful defendant`s attorneys try to smear the victim, Travis Alexander. Will jurors see him as a good Mormon? A decent man trying to find his way? Or a young man interested in kinky sex with a girl he never intended to marry?

CROWD: The world is watching.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will not sit by and watch a group of young men treat rape as a game of sport.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unresponsive and not in position consent --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Its quote "I know you didn`t rape me."



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: An assault that other partygoers allegedly watched and later shared details online.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There could have been a cover-up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s really unfair. That it`s made its way around the internet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The pictures and the graphic descriptions of the boy that was on the video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think she thinks she was raped.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, was the alleged rape of a teenage girl by two members of a powerful, popular high school football team, kept a secret?

Good evening Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you tonight. Two teenagers, Ma`lik Richmond and Trent Mays, both 16 years of age, are accused of raping a girl at a series of parties. This photo you`re looking at allegedly shows the seemingly unconscious victim being carried by her hands and feet by some young men. CNN cannot verify that this is a photo of the alleged victim. But now, demands for answers after the activist hacker group, anonymous, accuses community leaders -- the establishment, as it were, of a cover-up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will not sit tightly and watch a group of young men who will turn to rape as a game or sport get the pass because of athletic ability and small town luck. You now have the world looking directly at you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And a growing outrage after this you tube video surfaces of teens in the small town of Steubenville, Ohio, apparently cracking jokes about the alleged rape. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God. She is so raped right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She might have wanted --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That might have been her final wish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn`t see how they carried her out.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why are these young men laughing? What`s that about? What do you think about this? Call me 1-877-jvm-says. 1-877-586-7297. Is there something with our culture? The teens are joking about the issue of rape?

Joining me now, the crime blogger I consider a hero, who helped get the whole country talking about this case. You gathered that video, and other things that you found on the Internet and you pushed it out to the world on your blog.

Alexandria Goddard, so great to have you on tonight. When you stumbled on this video of this male teenager, who`s joking about the apparent rape of a girl, what was your gut reaction? Why did you decide, I have to expose this?

ALEXANDRIA GODDARD, CRIME BLOGGER: I actually found the evidence of the video first. I didn`t actually see the video until it was released by anonymous a few days ago. When I first saw the cache of the video I knew that something was going on because the tags that they had on it were very offensive.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But emotionally, as an American, as a woman, as a human being, what was your reaction to the content of youngsters, young men seemingly joking about the very, very horrific subject of rape?

GODARD: It`s very disturbing. In fact, every time I hear the video it causes a visceral reaction. It`s just very bad.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: At one point in the you tube video, somebody calls out the young man who is laughing about the alleged rape. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if that was your daughter?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if it was?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If that was my daughter, I wouldn`t care. I`d just let her be dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen to yourself.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the attorney for the teenager who was making the jokes, seen in that leaked video, had this to say today. Listen.


DENNIS MCNAMARA, ATTORNEY FOR TEEN LAUGHING ON TAPE: Michael was very callously talking about the sexual assaults that he had been told about by others. There`s no excuse or justification for the comment and jokes Michael made on the video, and with some sober reflection, he is ashamed and embarrassed to hear them himself.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: As he should be. The attorney for this young man says, though, that this video was just played, that you just heard, it was made around the time that the rape occurred but that the teen who was making these jokes that he`s now ashamed off, was simply talking about what he`d heard about, implying that he didn`t see anything.

So, I want to ask Kim Picazio, you are an attorney who has actually prosecuted and defended rape cases. Has this young man that we just heard from him and his attorney, because of his callus comments, now inserted himself in this case? Have police likely already interviewed him? Could he turn into a witness in the rape case that start the next month? Should police demand that he identify? There`s other kids in the room with him, other boys in the room.

KIM PICAZIO, ATTORNEY: Yes. And I think that what they have said is that they had already had possession of this particular video. At least one branch of the law enforcement did. Another branch said that they just came upon the video, which is cause for concern.

However, at this point, if you listen to that child`s comment, you will see that he has very specific detail. I can`t imagine that they have claimed that they have already interviewed him, but also the locals have told many people that he had told the law enforcement that he was not there. How would he possibly get the detail that he had? If you listen to the details of the video, he was explaining this to other boys in the room, who were asking, what did you see? What happened? And he was joking about it. It was absolutely disgusting.

If I were law enforcement, I would go back to that child with the video in my hand, go clip by clip by clip and say, how did you know this?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and by this, well we`re going to play that and it`s absolutely disgusting. The teenager in the you tube video is making comments and people asking again, did he witness this girl being assaulted? His attorney says no. He was talking about what he heard. And he`s a kid. And now he`s ashamed. But let`s listen to more of what he said on you tube. And a warning, it`s very graphic, and you`ll probably find it very disturbing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (bleep) and she wasn`t moving. There`s usually reaction, man. She`s a deader than obi-wan Kenobi. They peed on her. That`s how you know she`s dead. She`s deader than Caylee Anthony.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that goes -- I`m almost speechless when I heard it I physically felt sick, nauseous. We have to say there`s no evidence that this alleged young girl, female victim was actually urinated on. I can`t believe I`m saying those words. But, yes, that`s what it`s come to. As for this teenage boy, it`s not a crime to say despicable things that he said in the You Tube video. He is, however, suffering the consequences in the court of public opinion.

I want to go to Ashleigh Barry, reporter of WBNF out of Ohio, what is the mood in Ohio? We`re looking at demonstrations that occurred this weekend where people are just outraged over this alleged rape, and they are wondering, well, is this, the tip of the iceberg? In fact, there were women who got up and talked about their rape experiences. But what is the general mood in Ohio as a result of this horror?

ASHLEIGH BARRY, REPORTER, WBNF (via phone): Well, they`re outraged. That`s an excellent word, excellence phrase to put it. I was at that rally an Saturday. Listened to the stories. Very sobering. A lot of fears. People just don`t understand how this could possibly happen. And what`s interesting is that press conference today, attorney Dennis McNamara, we`re talking about a time line here and I think this is an interesting perspective. We were kind there to hear how many homes were there? They`re saying that the teen that posted that you tube video was not at the home. Well, he sort of laid it out for us and said, he did cross paths with the alleged rapist, around midnight. The alleged rape victim, he says, actually was carried out because she was, he says, in his words, was escorted out by two other men to another house party. And this teen that posted this video actually recorded that video 2 1/2 hours later, and never left the house that he was at. Although he says that the alleged victim in this case was at a different home when that alleged rape occurred. So --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your point to summarize what your point is. You`ve given us a lot of stats. But what`s your point there?

BARRY: The point is, is that I heard you talking about as far as did he witness or did he not? The attorney maintains that he was not in that home where this alleged rape happened. The two witnesses came back to that house party and told him what had happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think that the bottom line is -- yes, and it`s all very interesting. I think the bottom line, the reason people are protesting, is that yes, there`s been two arrests made, and those young men are going to trial. But, there is a general sense of, is this the tip of the iceberg? Were more boys or young men 16-year-olds, however you want to describe them, boys to men, involved in this incident? Were there other young men watching while some people were raping this girl allegedly? And if so, could those people face any charges?

And so, John Lieberman, HLN contributor and investigative journalist, what is the essence of the complaint here?

JOHN LIEBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, let me tell you this. If being an insensitive moron was a crime, dozens of people would have been locked here. The outrage comes from a perception that there was a cover-up and that other people were involved, and two key members of both law enforcement and the town had to recues themselves from this case because of their ties to the football program.

But, Jane, I think the outrage should be at all of the people involved here who either saw what was going on, were at one of these homes those nights, and did not come forward. Do you know, had somebody come forward in the first 72 hours, police would have been able to do a rape kit on the victim. They would have been able to get physical evidence from her. But nobody came forward. They tweeted about it. And they facebooked about it. But nobody went to law enforcement. It wasn`t until three days later when the victim and her parents started, kind of putting the pieces together, that police got involved.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Excellent analysis. More on the other side. And your calls.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s hard how the first two arrests were made within the first two weeks. We have witness statements there that I mean as far as anybody else being involved, nobody else has come forward.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will not sit by and watch a group of young men who turn to rape as a game or sport get the pass because of athletic ability and small-town luck. You now have the world looking directly at you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This case has sparked outrage and that`s the hacker group anonymous demanding justice. People want to know, are there more victims involved? Should more arrests be made? Was anything swept under the rug of -- this became a national outrage. The judge recues himself and the attorney general had to take over for the prosecutor.

You just heard the -- one of the law enforcement people say, well, nobody else has come forward. That`s why we haven`t made any more arrests. That`s not how you do criminal investigations. The last time I checked, waiting for the alleged rapists to come forward and turn themselves in. That`s not how it works.

I want to go to the phone lines. Ruthann you live nearby. Your question or thought, Ruthann?

RUTHANN, CALLER, OHIO: Yes, I just -- I have actually two questions. One is, how come there`s a picture with three boys standing around her, and then one person taking the pictures but only two of them are being charged? And then my other question is how come the kidnapping charges gotten dropped when she was supposedly taken to three different parties? And she was unconscious.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely, and I got to go to Kim Picazio again. You are prosecuted and defended rape cases. This caller makes an excellent point. You see a third person there. Now, CNN cannot independently verify that this is the woman who was sexually assaulted. But, there`s tons of young people roaming around, and if a girl was taken from one party to another, so drunk that she`s unconscious or cannot consent, wouldn`t there be a whole slew of other charges involved? And other people who are being prosecuted? That`s why people are upset.

PICAZIO: Absolutely. And let`s -- let`s go back to basic Ohio revised code makes it a crime not to report a felony that you know is being committed to law enforcement authorities. So although everybody wants to talk about how the kid in the video, or the people standing around may not have committed a crime, yes, they have. According to Ohio`s code.

So I say, they should round all of them up, and threaten to charge them with the crime that they`ve already committed, so it`s not that they were being stupid. They were actually committing crimes when they were witnessing someone being raped.

And, yes, if someone is taken unconscious from even this particular room to the next, without their consent, then that could constitute false imprisonment and kidnapping. And I would love to know under what grounds someone who is transported -- we`ve even heard that she was transported in the trunk of a car. So I doubt that she gave consent to be transported from one party to another in the trunk of a car.


PICAZIO: I would love to understand why these charges were dropped.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Walsh, psychologist and dating advice expert at, I just want to read to you some of the twitters that were sent that are really disturbing, to the point where, I`m starting to question our culture so completely and utterly, and let me read some of them to you.

A song of the night is definitely rape me by Nirvana. And R.I.P. to the person that died you, went out doing it big which allegedly refers to the intoxicated teen who cops say was raped.

What is wrong with our culture that boys or men, whatever you want to call 16-year-old high schoolers are -- and I`m not talking about those who were accused. Let them have their day in court. I`m talking about these tweeters and these you tubers who are joking about whether a rape occurred or not. Even joking about the issue of rape is horrific.

DOCTOR WENDY WALSH, HUMAN BEHAVIOR SPECIALIST: I think, Jane, part of it culturally is that we do live in this high supply sexual economy right now, where sex is cheap, and I don`t think young men really understand the consequences, or the experience, the female experience of sex or rape, certainly.

And also, then there`s the digital piece. You know, people tweet and text and type things that they would never say in real life and they think that nobody`s going to see or hear this. But I also want to add something else, Jane, that`s very important, is that you can`t say that this is all young men in our culture. This is obviously a very slice of life that we`re getting to peer inside that`s been around for generations. They tend to be strongly heterosexual, traditional gender role, young males with lots of hormones, add a little bit of alcohol, and all of a sudden they seem to have no compassion, no guilt, and no care giving ability.

I mean this girl could have died in the trunk of that car. She could have suffocated. She could have died in the videotape that I watched, the guy that was joking about it said oh, did she throw up on Mark`s carpet, ha, ha, poor Mark. So she was vomiting during this. Did someone turn her over to make sure she wouldn`t choke? Who was caring for her? This is frightening.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re just getting started. More on the other side. We`ve got more callers lined up. Stay right there.


MIKE DEWINE, OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL: With the use of the social media, it makes it, in this case, even more tragic, and more and more difficult. And that victim really is -- continues to be victimized every time something shows up on the Internet. There`s nothing I can do about that, but I think it`s very, very sad.




SHERIFF FRED ABDALLA, JEFFERSON COUNTY, OHIO: Put up or shut up. If you think I`m corrupt, like a man said today when I was on the phone with him, if you think I`m corrupt, prove it? If you think Steubenville police department, prove it. Stand up or shut up. I stand on my record as sheriff of this county. And I back down from no human.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And there you have it. The sheriff saying, hey, we didn`t do a cover-up, and you better give us proof if you are saying that we covered up or looked the other way because this is a popular football team. They`ve been getting so many, so many complaints from these protesters that they even put up their own Web site, the authorities, to separate fact from fiction, so that cops can say, hey, look at our Web site and this is what we did. They made an arrest less than two weeks after they heard about the alleged rape.

Alexandria Goddard, again we`re glad to have you on. You`re the crime blogger who turned this into a national issue by taking these disparate elements that you saw on the internet, putting them together and then the anonymous group put it out there with some videos and the next thing you know we`re all talking about it. Do you feel that you`re doing the work of investigating -- you`re a crime blogger. You`re not working for a major newspaper or magazine or TV network.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you feel you`re doing the work of investigative journalists?

GODARD: Yes. At that point I was. Because the local media in that area was not providing the information that people were seeking. And so they were coming to my blog to get that information.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you say that somebody tried to shut you down or people tried to shut you down. Tell me about that. And how did it end up?

GODARD: Well, they actually did shut us down for two months. On October 25th, one of the students and his family filed a defamation of character suit against myself and 25 anonymous commenters (ph). And they were attempting to reveal those identities, and it was my position that that was -- they were trying to stifle free speech. And we ended up getting the ACLU involved to represent the John does and on December 27th the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think this is really, to look at the bright side, because this is a very depressing story when you hear young men talking about rape in such a fashion. But to look at the bright side, this is sort of empowerment of individuals, anybody with a laptop can get online and if they see something that upsets them, like you, make an issue out of it and get it out there?

GODARD: Yes. If you`re -- the media`s job is to provide that information. And uphold the first amendment. And the media was not providing that to the community, and I went out there, and pieced it together and presented it to the public there. And here we are today.

Quick call, Loriann, Indiana. Your question or thought, Loriann?

LORIANN, CALLER, INDIANA: Yes, ma`am. Thank you so much for the opportunity to express my opinion to you this evening. I believe that the children are living today with no unity. No structure. There`s no discipline. None, none, none, none. And since they have taken that out, look what`s happened. Children are so incorrigible it`s sickening. Computers are no longer educating our children. They`re poisoning them. They`re poisoning them. And --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, and ma`am, I like your comments, and I think there`s some truth to it. I also think that these kinds of horrors have gone on since the dawn of time and thanks to cell phones and other social media, we`re finding out about them. And we`re exposing the dirty little secrets which reminds me of another case.

OK. Next we`re going inside the Jodi Arias trial. And at the top of the hour Nancy Grace has more on the Ohio rape case. Her special guest comedienne, activist and incest survivor the one and only Rosanne.

Stay right there as we different into arias on the other side of the break.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- and began to stab him when he was in that defenseless, sitting position.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Travis grabbed her and spun her around. Afraid that he was going to hurt her Jodi was actually relieved when all he did was bend her over the desk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You haven`t been back in town.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Photographs from a digital camera that told a different story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had an immediate suspicion that it was Jodi who had done this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a print left on the wall in blood that led investigators to Jodi Arias.

JODI ARIAS, ON TRIAL FOR MURDER OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: I would be (inaudible) right now if I had to answer to God for such a heinous crime.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In reality Jodi was Travis` dirty little secret.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Tonight, brace yourself, because the shock factor battle in the Jodi Arias murder trial is gearing up for another round tomorrow as we get ready to go back into Jodi Arias` courtroom tomorrow. And we will bring it all to you.

These are the grisly and graphic crime scene photos that, well, you got to wonder, are they keeping jurors up at night? The beautiful 32-year-old photographer is accused of stabbing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander 29 times, slitting his throat from ear to ear and shooting him in the face.

Now, listen to Jodi`s police interview, which she gave by calling cops, less than 24 hours after Travis` body was found. And as you listen, consider that she ultimately admitted yes, I did kill him, but she argues it was self-defense. So listen to her lie.


ARIAS: Well, I just wanted to offer any assistance. I was a really good friend of Travis`. I heard that he was -- that he passed away, and that it was -- I don`t know. I`ve heard all kinds of rumors. I heard there was a lot of blood.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well, she knows because she was there. Take a look at this crime scene photo. You might have to drop that graphic on the bottom to really get a look at it. It is the sink. Ok. This is the sink where prosecutors believe, after being stabbed, Travis staggers up to the sink in his own Mesa, Arizona home and he`s bleeding over the sink for considerable amount of time. This is just one of many, many graphic crime scene photos. There it is again -- the sink.

And then, after seeing that, this is a photo of the victim himself, Travis Alexander, dead in the shower. Ok? So, there`s a shock factor there, but the defense has its own shock factor -- shocking tidbits. They are painting Travis as a hypocritical man, playing a virginal Mormon by day but then having kinky sex with Jodi by night implying that he was some sort of sexual deviant. Of course he`s not here to defend himself.

We have to warn you the language is graphic that`s been used in court. But it is what has been said in open court so listen to this.


JENNIFER WILLMOTT, ATTORNEY FOR JODI ARIAS: As Travis would explain to Jodi, oral sex really isn`t as much of a sin for him as vaginal sex. And so he was able to convince her to give him oral sex. And later in their relationship, Travis would tell her that anal sex really isn`t much of a sin compared to vaginal sex. And so he was able to persuade her to allow him to have anal sex with her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you think about this case? Call me 1-877-JVM- SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Straight out to my very special guest Troy Williams, with KRCL Radio. What`s fascinating about you is that you were raised as a Mormon and you can give us insights into this religion.

And we do this with respect to religion. We didn`t bring it up. It`s been repeatedly mentioned throughout the trial so far from opening statements, into cross-examination, and direct examination. So my basic question to you is, is there -- this is a 30-year-old man, who died a very violent death. He was not married. And both the prosecution and the defense acknowledge he was having sex with Jodi Arias. In fact there were photographs of them in provocative sexual poses, in a camera that also shows him dead and dying.

So, my question to you is, is there an inherent conflict for these young men who are religious, where they`re not married but yet they`re still trying to maintain this ideal of no premarital sex? Sometimes into their 30s?

TROY WILLIAMS, KRCL RADIO: That`s right. The second prophet of the church Brigham Young famously said that any single man not married by the age of 27 is a menace to society. Now, of course, that`s kind of a folk story. But we tell it a lot here in Utah. So you can see that the kind of pressures the young people are on -- under to get married and to get married fast.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But he didn`t get married. He didn`t get married fast.

WILLIAMS: That`s right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, what happens then?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In other words -- yes, go ahead.

WILLIAMS: This is where it becomes very difficult, because the libidinal drive is so natural, it`s so healthy, it`s so ordinary. And yet for people who are fighting it, fighting to resisting the temptation for masturbation; resisting, you know, any kind of sexual contact, we crave human sexual intimacy.

And what happens, as young Mormons who are fighting that, is that we -- we see it as -- as the adversary, Satan, tempting us, that these carnal desires are bad, something to be repressed, something to be fought against. And that -- when you repress those very natural, beautiful libidinal energies, they often pop out in some very unflattering ways.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it`s a very interesting analysis. And I thank you for that. The lead investigator revealed some sexually explicit and degrading messages that Travis sent Jodi when they were having an argument. Now we`ve got to warn you the wording is graphic but this is what was said in open court.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you remember seeing e-mails in which Mr. Alexander referred to Miss Arias as a quote (EXPLETIVE DELETED)?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection -- hearsay.






VELEZ-MITCHELL: Beth Karas, the shock factor in this case has been extraordinary. Discuss -- you`ve been in court -- discuss the two phrases that came out that were especially explicit, one involved a sex toy and the other one involved Jodi Arias` private areas. What exactly was said? And what is the strategy behind this graphic language?

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, TRUTV: Do you want me, Jane, to say what you bleeped out?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I mean you can say --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You were in court. You heard it. I didn`t. I wasn`t in court -- you were the one in court so --


KARAS: Ok, all right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whatever you heard, you can tell me.

KARAS: Ok. This was the defense attorney cross-examining the lead investigator. The case agent Detective Flores, who will be back more in the case; this was a first time on the stand. And the defense is trying to show that Travis Alexander was very disparaging and degrading toward Jodi Arias, and just held her in the lowest esteem. So, he said to her once, although, one might argue, he meant it in a nice way, that she was a "three-hole wonder". But then he also, in a different -- at a different time, called her a whore and a slut.

Well, the prosecution got up, on redirect, angry that this image is out there, it seems, because he was very fired up, Juan Martinez, and he said, let`s put this in context, with the "whore" and the "slut" comment, and he -- he had Flores read an instant message between them where Travis says to her, sometimes he thinks "I was little more than a dildo with a heartbeat to you."

In other words, she was the one who always wanted to have sex. She -- that is what she was obsessed with and she was obsessed with him. It wasn`t that he was treating her so badly. It was quite -- on the contrary, she wanted him, when he didn`t want her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the reason why this is important is this is the heart of the case. You can`t redact the most important aspects of the case, the ones that everybody is talking about, because they reveal specifically what happens behind closed doors. And the courtroom is one of the only venues in society where we hear what`s really going on. Things that sometimes people don`t tell their doctors or their pastors or their psychiatrists and yet we hear it in open court and we hope that it informs our own lives.

More on the other side.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On June 9th, 2008, Travis Alexander`s friends discovered his decomposing body in the shower of his master bathroom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A friend of ours is dead in his bedroom. We hadn`t heard from him for awhile. We think he`s dead.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: An unbelievable first couple of days in the Jodi Arias trial. Court resumes tomorrow and we here on this show at 7:00 p.m. Eastern are all over this trial to the very end.

Stay here, join me every night for complete coverage. I`ll have producers and reporters on the ground inside the courtroom to bring you the very latest. And we`ll have more on the other side of the break.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first thing you notice is all this blood just outside the hallway here on the carpet. Take a look at the map again. Here is the blood that you just saw and this is the hallway that leads down to the bathroom. This is where it starts.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Such a bloody crime scene. And take a look at that. We`re going to see more of this tomorrow. They`re expecting the medical examiner on the stand. And the prosecution is inundating the jurors with images of a very, very bloody and extended crime.

This young man, this Travis Alexander, 30 years old, motivational speaker, successful salesman, he did not die a quick death. This was a long, slow, agonizing torture. Now the defense claims that Jodi Arias killed Travis in self-defense because he had been psychologically abusing her and sexually manipulating her. Listen to one episode that the defense described.


WILLMOTT: She knew that the one thing that calms his temper the quickest is sex. So as she`s telling him it`s ok, I`ll fix it, don`t worry, Travis grabbed her and spun her around. Afraid that he was going to hurt her, Jodi was actually relieved when all he did was bend her over the desk.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Rene Sandler, criminal defense attorney, the defense is basically smearing the victim, blaming the victim, which is making the family of the victim very angry as well as his many supporters. She sort of claims, without going into specifics about the fight, that oh, she dropped his new camera, there`s the camera from the crime scene photos, and he got angry with her.

But that`s pretty much it. There`s really no detail there. A lot of people, considering that she lied, first said she wasn`t there, then she said oh, it was a home invasion by two strangers, and now is admitting she did it, but says it was self-defense, they`re thinking that this self- defense is a crock and it`s not going to work. What say you Rene Sandler?

RENE SANDLER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: What I say, Jane -- first of all, thanks for having me on the show -- is that this is self-defense, absolute self-defense. The very fact that you can argue to support a first degree premeditated intentional murder are the facts to support self-defense.

I would disagree about smearing the victim. This relationship is on trial where you have a victim that led essentially a dual life. Very, very relevant to motive, to the understanding the relationship, the relationship is on trial here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jon Leiberman, if everyone who was a hypocrite could -- we would have a lot of people whose throats are slashed and who are shot and who are stabbed 29 times, if hypocrisy entitles somebody -- just because somebody is a hypocrite doesn`t mean they have to die a violent death. We`re all hypocrites.

Let any of us stand up and say I`ve never done something that is in opposition to something I`ve said. I certainly can`t say that.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. I just couldn`t disagree more with her, Jane. I`ve got to tell you, attacking the victim`s credibility. The sex is a smokescreen. There`s no way to get from all of this sex talk to self-defense. There just -- there just isn`t.

And there`s so much physical evidence in this case, there`s just so much piling up in this case, that first of all, if you`re going to talk about credibility, Jodi Arias has zero credibility. She changed her story three, pushing four, times. So there`s no way to go after the victim`s credibility when this woman who`s on trial for murder has no credibility herself. And the sex I`m telling you is just a smokescreen.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Rene?

SANDLER: What about the crime scene? We have used the word stabbed, 27 to 29 stab wounds.

LEIBERMAN: Is that self-defense? And then shooting him?

SANDLER: It is absolutely.

LEIBERMAN: At close range?

SANDLER: It is absolutely. Are those stab wounds or slash wounds? Are they punctures? Are they superficial? What are they? What is the characteristic of each of those 27 wounds? You can`t have a conclusory opinion here that it was murder. First degree premeditated murder. Absolutely not.

LEIBERMAN: She had no defensive wounds. Supposedly she was a tough woman, she had no defensive wounds on her? This was --

SANDLER: You don`t know that. You don`t know that.

LEIBERMAN: -- absolutely not self-defense.

SANDLER: You absolutely can`t make that statement.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, there is a factor here. He`s a much bigger guy than she is. She`s very petite. So, that could be one problem that the prosecution might have to explain.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Carol, Indiana, your question or thought, Carol, Indiana.

CAROL, INDIANA (via telephone): I`ve got a question and a thought, Jane. How are you? And thank you for taking my call.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re very welcome.

CAROL: Ok. It was said in Court TV today that she was living with this guy and his son. They had a house together. When he was not being her boss anymore, and his job downsized that`s how she got to this convention. Now Travis is very outgoing, very friendly, and probably just walked up to her and just said Hi. I`ve done that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, and Carol what you`re referring to is that Jodi Arias had a relationship with an executive at a spa, I believe, before she met Travis Alexander. And that executive had a child. And they had, like I think a four-year relationship that was sort of in the normal range. And that then she sort of drifted away from him and met Travis Alexander. So the question is, is she bouncing from guy to guy, looking for somebody who`s going to give her something? We`ll see.

More on the other side.


WILMOTT: Jodi Arias killed Travis Alexander. There is no question about it. The million dollar question is what would have forced her to do it?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well this Jodi Arias case Arias case gets started up tomorrow. The medical examiner expected to take the stand and talk about these 29 stab wounds. You just heard the defense attorney say, oh, well maybe they`re just scratch marks. Well, we`re going to hear from the medical examiner.

We know that she killed him, so they can`t have been little scratch marks, at least not all of them. There was one right through the heart.

More on the other side.



ARIAS: (inaudible) And that we did with the intention of -- that wasn`t a one-time incident. I mean, there were many times where, you know --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You take pictures.

ARIAS: Yes, pictures, whatever, any kind of media, and it was deleted.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Travis was 30 years old when the woman you just heard from, Jodi Arias, killed him. And Travis was a Mormon. In the Mormon faith it is ideal to marry well before the age of 30. Listen to what the victim, Travis Alexander, himself, said during a speech about being single. This is on YouTube.


TRAVIS ALEXANDER, MURDER VICTIM: The first thing I would hear a lot of is, by the way, he`s single. And, that`s right, I am. Ladies, come get me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you can see how friends consider him so charming and said he was such a great speaker and a wonderful guy. A girl he dated after Jodi Arias wrote in her blog that Travis was known as, quote, the old guy in the ward. In the Mormon religion there were wards where people gather or based on -- I`m not sure exactly how the wards worked. But he was a 30-year-old man with a normal sex drive, but that sex drive was in direct conflict with his faith.

I want to go to Pastor Ed Young, pastor of the Fellowship Church and co- author of "Sex-periment". This isn`t just the Mormon faith, Catholicism, preaches against sex before marriage, premarital sex, a lot of religions do. In this day and age where we`re not living in isolated rural areas where we don`t -- we`re living in an era where we can see everything, the most shocking, x-rated stuff right on this little thing we hold in our hands. How do people of faith reconcile their sexual urges with these church teachings?

PASTOR ED YOUNG, FELLOWSHIP CHURCH: Well, the deal is it`s not that we don`t think about sex. We don`t think deeply enough about it. And God made it for greatness. We shouldn`t feel guilty. But God says use the content of sex within the Context which is marriage. And I know scores and scores of people who abstain until marriage whether they`re 20-something, 30-something, 40-something and they have great sex lives.

So I think it`s kind of ridiculous to go, hey, I can`t control myself. I`m just a dog in heat. I`m a spawning salmon. I`ve got to do that. I give human beings more credit than that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, but by the same token I heard a psychologist say, and it made a lot of sense to me, that the intellect is a very low defense against sexual urges, and that essentially your mind will begin rationalizing and justifying the sex because the biology is pushing you.

It`s the same reason why abstinence only programs don`t work very well. We`ve seen that time and time again where best of intentions but, oops, suddenly the young lady is pregnant because she is, quote/unquote, abstaining.

Brenda, Pennsylvania, quickly, your question or thought. Brenda?

BRENDA, PENNSYLVANIA (via telephone): I would like to know about her defense counsel. Is he private counsel? Is he court appointed? My experience with court appointed is they don`t do anything for you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. On the other side of the break I believe that these are public defenders. We`re going to have our own Beth Karas answering that question.

Stay right there. We`ll be back.



MARIE HALL, VICTIM`S FRIEND: Even a few weeks before, like before we went, again I told him Travis maybe you should take somebody else to Cancun with you, and there wasn`t anyone else that he wanted to take.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was the Mormon woman that Travis Alexander was pursuing, wanted to take on vacation. And at the same time, of course, he`s having a secret sexual relationship with Jodi Arias, at least on the last day of his life he was.

Beth Karas, what about Jodi`s attorneys? Are they public defenders or private?

KARAS: No, they are private attorneys but the taxpayers are paying for them because they`re court-appointed. She doesn`t have any money. She did have public defenders but they`re off the case now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Wendy Walsh, psychologist, your thoughts briefly on this whole issue of premarital sex.

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: I think that -- you know, to think that sex is urgent is a crazy idea. Yes, people can withhold, even young men, Jane. So I think worrying about, you know, did he have repression that was suddenly erupting? Sex isn`t the issue here. It`s murder, Jane, and I believe she murdered him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you 100 percent. I think it`s a distraction, but as we have seen in other high-profile cases, they`re not like ordinary cases. And sometimes when the jury is distracted and when the jury is confused, whoops, reasonable doubt. We don`t know.

We`re all over this tomorrow -- big day in court. Join us for that.