Return to Transcripts main page


Jodi Arias Takes Stand in Her Defense; Gunman Killed, Boy Rescued from Bunker

Aired February 4, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: An astounding day in court. Jodi Arias suddenly takes the stand in her own defense. Was this a brilliant move by the defense or will it back fire? And did Jodi`s testimony reveal any secrets from her past that would explain why she lashed out and slaughtered Travis Alexander? Will the jury buy her claims of self-defense?


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, a stunned packed courtroom watches in disbelief as Jodi Arias suddenly takes the stand in her own defense. Jodi reveals the astounding secret as to why she didn`t think any jury would ever convict her. Did she have plans to commit suicide?

Plus, shades of Casey Anthony. Arias says she was beaten on a regular basis by her mother and father as a child. Is she laying out a battered woman defense?

And then, breaking news out of Alabama. We will tell you what happened to that 5-year-old boy, kidnapped and held underground for a week.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ms. Arias, you may come forward and take a seat, please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you kill Travis Alexander on June 4, 2008?

ARIAS: Yes, I did.


ARIAS: The simple answer is that he attacked me and I defended myself.

Until about age 7 it was a fairly ideal childhood. That is when my dad started using the belt.

He didn`t leave welts (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Physically or emotionally?

ARIAS: Both. My dad would get rougher and rougher. He would just shove me into furniture. It would just really make me mad.

No jury is going to convict me.

I was extremely confident that no jury would convict me, because I didn`t expect any of you to be here. I didn`t expect to be here. At the time, I had plans to commit suicide.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight it`s the day we`ve all been waiting for. An unbelievable moment in court as Jodi Arias takes the stand kind of suddenly in her own defense. Will her soft-spoken bombshell-after-bombshell claims of being beaten by her parents and thoughts of suicide convince the jury that she killed her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in self-defense and not in cold blood?

Good evening. Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live tonight.

The beautiful 32-year-old photographer admits she stabbed Travis Alexander 29 times, slit his throat from ear to ear, all the way back to his spine, and shot him in the face. But late this afternoon, she suddenly took the stand herself and claimed self-defense. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you kill Travis Alexander on June 4, 2008?

ARIAS: Yes, I did.


ARIAS: The simple answer is that he attacked me and I defended myself.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But that was only the warm up. Jodi`s defense wasted no time confronting her about her comment to "Inside Edition" that, quote, "no jury will ever convict" her. Listen to her shocking answer.


ARIAS: I had plans to commit suicide. So I was extremely confident that no jury would convict me, because I didn`t expect any of you to be here. I didn`t expect to be here. I was very confident that no jury would convict me, because I planned to be dead, probably the most bitter words I`ll ever eat.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A plea for sympathy, perhaps? Jodi then told her entire life story on the stand, claiming an abusive childhood when her mother beat her with a wooden spoon and claiming an ex-boyfriend once tried to strangle her.

Did Jodi`s tale of woe make her seem more sympathetic, instead of just a murdering monster? I want to hear from you. Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1- 877-586-7297.

Straight out to our own senior producer, Selin Darkalstanian.

Selin, you were inside the courtroom for this incredibly dramatic moment that Jodi really caught us all by surprise. Suddenly she takes the stand. What was it like? Take us inside that courtroom.

SELIN DARKALSTANIAN, HLN SENIOR PRODUCER: Jane, we didn`t really know she was going to take the stand. The jury was on a break. The attorneys were at side bar, and all of a sudden, Jodi started walking up to the stand, and the entire courtroom was stunned she was up there.

So she took the stand. It was a big question: Would she or wouldn`t she? She took the stand. And I have to tell you that when the jury was there -- they took -- they were in -- they took a break at one point, and they were walking back in. This is the closest she`s ever sat to the jury. This is the closest they`ve been able to hear her and look at her directly. And two of the women even smiled at her.

And at one point, the jury was on a break, and she was -- Jodi was sitting on the stand looking straight ahead at her -- at Travis Alexander`s family. They were looking right back at her, and they were just waiting for testimony to resume. And they were staring right at her. It was a very awkward moment in court.

But it was definitely the bombshell of the day, was that Jodi took the stand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Absolutely. And when she first started out, she said she was nervous. But she hit her stride, and soon it was like she was in command of the courtroom.

As Jodi`s mother sits dutifully in the courtroom right there, Jodi takes the stand and spills dark family secrets, alleging childhood abuse she claims she suffered at the hands of both her mother and her father. Listen to this.


ARIAS: He didn`t leave welts as much as my mom. She also used a belt. Her blows felt a lot worse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did your mom beat you with a wooden spoon? Did it continue in high school, as well?

ARIAS: They continued for a short time, but I think as I turned 16 and 17, she -- I did not recall her carrying the wooden spoon around. She would just start grabbing whatever was available like a hair brush. Or she had acrylic nails, so sometimes she would grab me and dig her nails into my skin.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s debate it. Was bringing Jodi to the stand a brilliant defense move or a total catastrophe for Jodi Arias? Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney; Jon Lieberman, investigative reporter; Susan Constantine, body language expert. We begin with Jayne Weintraub.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think that, using self- defense as her defense, she almost had to take the witness stand, because who else was going to say what was in her mind, that she needed to defend herself? So at one point, either now or later, she was going to have to take the stand.

I think that she appears rather flat in her demeanor and a little off. After two hours we`re not even close to getting started yet. But that`s another issue.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you say she had to take the stand. They said that about Casey Anthony. She didn`t take the stand, and she got off. But my question is, was it a catastrophe or is it a brilliant move? And that`s what I`m going to throw at Jon Lieberman.

JON LIEBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think it`s a little bit of both. I mean, I agree she had to take the stand. But look, prosecutors are just biting their chops waiting to sink their teeth into her.

However, I believe this is simply a ploy to save her life. It feels like we`re already in sentencing, and they`re trying to mitigate. You know, these are all mitigating factors. She had a bad childhood. She was abused. She was in some bad relationships. This is all a way to try and save her life so that they can look at the jury and say, "You can`t possibly put this woman to death."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Susan Constantine, body language expert, is it working? Is she mesmerizing the jurors, just like she has so many men?

SUSAN CONSTANTINE, BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT: You know, when you look at her demeanor and the other investigative tapes and it`s very similar. OK? So they`re going to be looking at that. When she was lying she had the same demeanor. She`s on the stand, she has the same demeanor. It doesn`t change.

But here`s the thing. She doesn`t really show any real reliable signs of distress and pain. She talks about it. You don`t see it. So the question is whether the jury really believes it. And when they see those tears, they`re going to be wondering if they`re authentic or are they not.

The black outfit, that`s the other thing, it`s tying right into the depression, the suicidal look because of that dark color and the light skin. And you know what? It`s actually going to work for the defense on that one. But all and all, her demeanor doesn`t appear authentic.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And to me this is just a plea. One of our panelists may have said it: "Don`t kill me. I have established a relationship with you. I`m going to talk to you until you`re -- I`m blue in the face, and you`re going to feel like you`re my friend on some level, and then you won`t put me to death."

Jodi revealed to jurors today that her mother and father repeatedly abused her growing up. That`s her claim, anyway. Remember, she`s a pathological liar.

Listen as she describes how her dad`s beatings became increasingly more violent.


ARIAS: He would just shove me into furniture, sometimes into the piano and things like that, into tables, chairs, desks. Whatever was around he would just push me really hard and I would go flying into that.

One time I hit a door post. The side of my head hit the door post, and it knocked me out momentarily. I just remember waking up on the ground. My mom was there. We were all arguing. I was arguing with my mom and he got involved. And so I remember waking up, and she was telling him to be careful.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you believe her? I don`t know if I believe her, but I will say that I think she`s believable, at least on the jurors` part. They don`t know everything we know.

We`re going to analyze so much more of this in just a second. You`re going to hear all of her key testimony.

But first, we`ve got big breaking news in that standoff the entire nation has watched so anxiously. That 5-year-old boy, held for six days in a bunker. The very latest -- the story is breaking. CNN`s Martin Savidge live in Alabama. What happened?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jane, it all went down at around 3:12 local time when authorities said they had to move in on that bunker in which Jamie Lee -- Jimmy Lee Dikes, that is, and the 5-year-old boy had been for the past six days.

There was an explosion that was heard, then gunfire, and authorities say that Dikes was killed. But the 5-year-old little boy was rescued. He`s been taken to a hospital. Physically he is said to be in good shape. Of course, many wonder mentally how he`s going to be after this ordeal.

What brought them to this point, authorities say that they have been negotiating with Dikes. There hadn`t been a problem. But in the last 24 hours, his demeanor seemed to deteriorate. He was seen with a weapon in a way that appeared could be threatening to the little boy. That`s when they moved.

Again, an explosion, gunfire. The gunman is dead. The little boy is now reunited with his family. Not a perfect ending but a happy one for many in this community. He is saved -- Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank God that innocent little boy is safe. We still don`t know all the whys as to why this man described as a survivalist storms onto a school bus and grabs this child. But the good news is that the child is finally OK.

Thank you so much, Martin Savidge, for that excellent report.

So much more explosive sound from defendant Jodi Arias on the stand today. And we`re taking your calls on the other side.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you kill Travis Alexander on June 4, 2008?

ARIAS: Yes, I did.


ARIAS: The simple answer is that he attacked me. And I defended myself.




ARIAS: I sat up. I had been sleeping, so I didn`t give him a satisfactory answer. So he hit me across the face. I fell back down, and then he sat me back up and asked me again. I didn`t give him a satisfactory answer. He hit me across the face again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say he would punch you?

ARIAS: No, it was an open-handed slap.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jodi Arias takes the stand and starts telling her life story, which she says is filled with abuse from her mother and her father. And we`ve already gotten to one ex-boyfriend she claims abused her.

Beth Karas, first, on "In Session," you`ve been covering this from the start. First of all, why suddenly now? I thought we were going to hear the sex phone calls? Is it a sign that maybe the sex phone calls didn`t make it in and she had to take the stand?

BETH KARAS, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": Oh, no. We may hear it now that she`s on the stand. And I -- I think I understand what the defense is doing, because the judge had said the experts who are still to testify cannot testify to Jodi Arias` statements to them. You know, they evaluated her. She told them about Travis` abuse, alleged abuse. She told them the details of how she killed him and what he did to her to justify the killing. They can`t testify to that.

They can reach conclusions about her state of mind, PTSD and battered woman syndrome. So I guess, you know, maybe they wanted to get her on the stand first, let her be cross-examined, and then the experts can testify to all the details without objection, because she will have already testified to her statements.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So what you`re saying is, now that she`s taken the stand, we will definitely hear the sex phone calls that she had with Travis?

KARAS: Well, I`ll tell you. Let me tell you. I believe that the experts have relied on that phone call, at least in part, in reaching their conclusions. So if we don`t hear it through Jodi Arias`s testimony, we`ll hear it through the experts. I think we`re going to hear this phone call.

But I wouldn`t be surprised if it comes in while she`s on the stand. And I think she`ll be on the stand for the next two days.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jodi was dropping bombshells left and right on the stand. Now she defended her comment that "no jury will ever convict me," which she made on "Inside Edition." Listen to how Jodi spun that comment. This is fascinating.


ARIAS: I had plans to commit suicide. So I was extremely confident that no jury would convict me because I didn`t expect any of you to be here. I didn`t expect to be here, so I could have as easily said no jury would acquit me either. I couldn`t say that, though, because there was an officer sitting five feet behind me, and had I told them the reason no one would convict me at that time, I would have been thrown into a padded cell and stripped down, and that would have been my life for a while until I stabilized.

So I was very confident that no jury would convict me, because I planned to be dead, probably the most bitter words I`ll ever eat.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, this woman is a genius at taking any comment she may have made and spinning it. So is this just a coming attraction of what we`re going to see as she spins all the lies she told during the police interrogation?

Let`s bring in our expert panel again. And we`re adding Rene Sandler, criminal defense attorney. OK. First of all, is this defense strategy simply "we`re going to take every incriminating thing that Jodi ever said and spin it, put her own spin on it," like, "Oh, yes, I said no jury will ever convict me, yes, because I was about to commit suicide." Is this just the start of that spin, Rene?

RENE SANDLER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Look, she owned it. I`m going to go with brilliant. So far, I think brilliant defense strategy. They`re telling the story. They are coming through with the promises they made from the beginning of the trial. So she owned it, and it`s the biggest lie she told, other than she didn`t do it, and she`s setting up a very plausible defense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jayne Weintraub.

WEINTRAUB: I agree. I completely agree. You know, the problem is going to be, and we won`t be able to assess it properly until it`s told by cross-examination, as well, looking at it in hindsight. But the bottom line is today, I thought it was a great answer. It was convincing.

And as far as the abuse is concerned, I think it`s an important bottom-line foundation for this girl. It`s not...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, please. Jon Lieberman.

LIEBERMAN: I disagree.

WEINTRAUB: I`ll tell you why. Because she was immune to it. And she didn`t get scared from it, because that`s the way she was brought up. I`m sure there`s tons of corroboration. This is a death case. They don`t make this stuff up. They have other witnesses to corroborate that.


LIEBERMAN: Well, I disagree with what the two said about a plausible defense. I mean, I don`t think, at the end of the day when she is done on the stand, I don`t think anybody is going to believe her defense.

I think the sole purpose for putting her on is to save her life, because a jury is going to have a hard time looking her in the face and putting her to death when they heard about her bad childhood and the bad relationships.

But I don`t think that she`s going to have a plausible defense of self-defense, because we are going to hear Mr. Martinez tear into her about her credibility. She will have no credibility by the time she leaves the stand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She doesn`t have any credibility now. It`s already been established she`s a pathological liar.

But unfortunately or fortunately, I think that she is going to be believable to the jury. That`s how I think it`s going to play out, even though we may not believe her because we know she is a liar the jurors don`t have all the information that we have. They don`t have the big picture.

They`ve just got this very soft-spoken innocent-sounding young lady on the stand telling her story. And if the prosecution gets too rough on cross-examination they might sympathize with her more.

On the other side your calls, for reals.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you feeling right now?

ARIAS: Nervous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me ask you this. Is this a position you ever thought you would find yourself in, testifying here today? you nervous today?

ARIAS: Yes. Yes I am.






UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about your dads and the beatings getting rougher and rougher? Could you describe for us what you mean by that?

ARIAS: Yes. He would never beat me with his fists or anything. He would just shove me into furniture, sometimes into the piano or things like that and into tables, chairs, desks, whatever was around.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I think I know where they`re going with this, the defense.

Arianne Cohen, author of "The Sex Diaries Project", a relationship expert, I think a domestic violence expert will take the stand and say, "Well, when you`re beaten by your dad or your mom but especially by your dad, somehow it gets eroticized and then you`re subconsciously attracted to men who sexually abuse you. What are your thoughts on that?

ARIANNE COHEN, AUTHOR, "THE SEX DIARIES PROJECT": I think that`s what they`re going to say. They`re going to try to say that when somebody`s main relationship with other people, with their loved ones, is violence, that it`s really hard to not reenact that.

But this said, I have not heard a word about the important points that we need to hear, which is that he was possessive, that he had an escalation in controlling and violent behavior. We`re heard absolutely none of that. All we`ve heard is that she killed him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, they`ve told a lot about this alleged possessive relationship where he would make her wear, like, like a shirt that said "Travis Alexander`s" apostrophe "S" and underwear and panties that said "Travis`" apostrophe.

Now we don`t know whether that was concocted by her after she killed him.

But if she did have this sort of dominance and submission kinky relationship where she was his property, can they connect that, Arianne, to what she`s talking about, about allegedly being pummeled by her dad growing up? In other words, do children, girls who are beaten by dad, grow up having those kinds of kinky, sexually abusive relationships?

COHEN: I think lots of people have kinky relationships. And all that we`ve seen here is that they had a very sexually active relationship. I mean, there is no evidence that he was actually possessive. I mean, that underwear and the shirt with his name on it taken on its own doesn`t mean anything. I mean, if my husband gave me one I would wear it. I think it`s kind of cute. As long as it`s, you know, not in the context of an escalation of disturbing behavior. We still haven`t seen any proof.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know what? I think that they probably did have some kind of kinky relationship, based on just the photographs that were taken. It doesn`t mean that I believe her self-defense claims.

But the photos that were taken of her genitalia were much more graphic than the photos she took of him. I don`t know. I think that you could at least conclude that there was that relationship there that was sexually charged in that manner.

Shanna Hogan, journalist and true crime author. Do you see the defense connecting the dots? Where is this going?

SHANNA HOGAN, JOURNALIST/TRUE CRIME AUTHOR (via phone): It`s definitely headed towards "I was abused, and I had to defend myself that moment in the bathroom." But it was just so pathetic. I found it to be, you know, her statements of abuse. Her dad spanked her? Boo-hoo. She murdered this person. She stabbed him 27 times. And he grew up with a terrible childhood. He grew up with crack-addicted parents. And it`s no excuse to do what she did. It`s just ridiculous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are so far from done. We`re just getting started. More directly from Jodi Arias on the witness stand today.

At the top of the hour Nancy Grace has her take on this explosive day in court, 8 to 10 Eastern on HLN.

On the other side more Jodi Arias on the stand.


ARIAS: He didn`t leave welts as often as my mom. She also used a belt. Her blows felt a lot worse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did your mom beat you with a wooden spoon? Did it continue in high school, as well?

ARIAS: They continued with a short time, but I think as I turned 16, 17 she didn`t -- I don`t recall her carrying a wooden spoon around. She would just start grabbing whatever was available, like a hairbrush or she had acrylic nails, so some times she would grab me and dig her nails into my skin.



JENNIFER WILLMOTT, JODI ARIAS` DEFENSE ATTORNEY: In Jodi he found somebody who was easily manipulated and controlled.

JODI ARIAS, ON TRIAL FOR MURDER OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: He had all kinds of wild ideas which seemed fun. He had given me a ring and it was kind of a promise ring like we were going to get married but we weren`t officially engaged. We talked about children and marriage and he wanted me to move down there and start a family.

I couldn`t talk to any of my high school friends that were guys. I guess I felt jealous but my heart was pounding I just felt very deceived.

My first taste of being, like feeling warm about somebody.

The argument escalated. He approached me and spun around (inaudible) stranglehold. He started strangling me just for a few seconds and then he let go. I almost passed out. I fell on my knees. It kind of made me upset. I thought he was beautiful on the inside and out. He began to describe in detail how he would kill each member of my family.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: A shocker this afternoon, just a little while ago Jodi Arias suddenly takes the stand in her own defense and begins telling her life story which is an extended tale of woe. There she is in wearing a black t-shirt which is an odd choice for this momentous day, a very crucial turning point day perhaps in her life whether she will live or die, actually.

Jodi said her dad beat her, her mother hit her with a wooden spoon and she even told the jury of a huge fight she allegedly had with an old boyfriend from high school. Guess what; she claims that boyfriend was also violent.


ARIAS: He started strangling me, just for a few seconds and then he let go. I almost passed out. I fell on my knees. I said my family would be very upset if they found out what you just did. And then he began to describe in detail how he would kill each member of my family.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go to our panel to debate. Is this the poor me, poor me, please pity me defense? Starting with Jon Leiberman?

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. It absolutely is. I mean what we are waiting to hear is she must describe the moment that she felt that she was in real danger from Travis Alexander in that shower the night that she killed him. That is what we are waiting to hear. That is what prosecutors will jump on and be able to pick apart meticulously.


RENE SANDLER, ATTORNEY: State of mind. Her state of mind will be the difference between her life or her death -- first degree or second degree murder. It is critical here. So what she thinks, what is in her mind, her experience is critical to her defense.


JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It`s all about her demeanor. It`s all about her credibility. The prosecutors are going to get up there with every single statement and they`re going to go you told such and such on such and such day. You raised your hand, you swore to tell the truth. The same thing you took in this courtroom yesterday, right. Right.

Did you twitch? Did you want to be believed? How do we know when you are lying? Do you wink or move your hair? How do we know you are telling the truth today because you were, you know, convincing us yesterday? That`s the same thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but you know what; we saw this with Casey Anthony. This is the Casey Anthony defense re-do. She blamed her dad. Now, this one is blaming her mom and her dad while her mom sits in the courtroom just like Cindy and George sat in the courtroom. They take the hits because it is their daughter, their flesh and blood.

And I got to tell you this woman can spin anything. And she is going to sit there for the next two days I predict it spinning why she lied about this, why she lied about that.


WEINTRAUB: Jane there was no other weapon in the scene.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And it`s -- what I`m saying is she is owning -- she`s owning so much of the crime it almost pulls the rug out from under the feet of the prosecutor. Rene quick, quick thought on that.

SANDLER: She has to own it.

WEINTRAUB: If her life was in jeopardy where is his weapon?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, there is the gun. She`ll spin a story about that, too. I want to go to Jean Casarez, correspondent "In Session". Jean, I don`t hear a lot of objections from the prosecutor. Why not? She is talking about everything under the sun including some ex-boyfriend`s Halloween costume from the 90s or the 80s. Who cares? Why is the prosecutor letting her basically just take control of this courtroom?

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": A lot of people are surprised by that. He started objecting at the beginning of the testimony but now he is focused pen in hand listening to every word. I think he cares more about the cross examination he is going to do with her than he does with these objections that will get him nowhere most likely and is allowing her to just talk.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I got to tell you, on the other side we`re going to debate what this prosecutor needs to do on cross examination and how he has to do it. If he comes on too strong could he create more sympathy for Jodi Arias? We`ve got so much more of Jodi`s testimony.

But first breaking news in that terrifying standoff in Alabama; police have rescued a five-year-old hostage from the bunker. Straight out to Martin Savidge -- what is the very latest -- Martin?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jane, that five-year-old little boy by the name of Ethan has now been transported just a couple of miles down the road to dote on him there. He is undergoing evaluation at a hospital and has also been reunited with his family -- a lot of tears and a lot of smiles and a lot of heavy security.

It all happened around 3:00 this afternoon. Federal authorities said they had to move because they began to note that there was a deterioration in the emotional state of the gunman. And so at that time there was an explosion. There was gun fire. The gunman was killed and the little boy has been rescued.

We`ve just been told that the Pentagon was also involved. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta giving the ok for some very sensitive U.S. military equipment to help as they monitored events. No U.S. personnel taking part in the take down but they were on site. It shows you that the efforts to free this boy went up to very high places in the government -- Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, this survivalist, this guy who had a bunker would also go underground, lost it and decided to take this child, this innocent child off a school bus and this poor thing, he survived, that is wonderful, wonderful news.

Take a look at all the heroic rescue workers and authorities celebrating. But obviously this child is going to be very, very traumatized all because of a man who is no longer with us who clearly was irrational, an irrational survivalist. And we don`t know what kind of mission he was on.

More Jodi Arias on the other side. We are going to play more from her astounding testimony and we will continue our debate -- brilliant or a catastrophe?


ARIAS: I can describe it as betrayed and confused. And as I got a little older it would really make me mad because I just -- I didn`t get why -- I understood that I was being punished but I would just be mad at her a lot because it hurt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because you still love her.

ARIAS: Yes, I love my mom.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are going to continue our debate as Jodi Arias took the stand this afternoon, testimony that is likely to continue for days. Was this a brilliant life-saving move on her part or an utter catastrophe? What will the prosecutor do on cross-examination? So many questions and we are taking your calls.



ARIAS: I broke up with him on the phone. I don`t know. I guess he didn`t take that well. I learned a few years later that he slit both of his wrists and tried to kill himself and he was committed to some kind of psychiatric ward.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Forensic psychologist Cheryl Arutt, she talks about this old boyfriend from high school. When she broke up with him he was so devastated he allegedly slit his wrists. I mean what is her point? That she`s a femme fatale that men find irresistible. What does that have to do with anything?

CHERYL ARUTT, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Jane, that has much more to do with the boy`s mental health obviously than it has to do Jodi`s. But I really think that when they look at this wisp of a young girl with baby bangs and that soft spoken voice talking about all of these bad things that happened in a little girl voice what they are really hoping is that a jury is not going to be able to imagine this woman killing this man even though she has admitted that she did it. I think that they`re trying to humanize her and trying to make her seem like this a fragile flower is their best case.

What are they really going to say? They have to make it sound like a self-defense defense because there isn`t anything else they can say.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the longer she chats away and the longer she takes us down memory lane with her story, the more we feel that somehow we are sucked into some kind of a relationship with her. It is almost hypnotic at a certain point and it is effective perhaps.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Susan, Illinois -- you are so patient - - your question or thought, Susan, Illinois.

SUSAN, ILLINOIS (via telephone): Hi Jane, I love you. I love your show.


SUSAN: I forgot what I was going to say. She sat there stone faced throughout this whole thing. She didn`t choke up. She didn`t shed a tear and we are supposed to believe that she was horribly abused? What a load of crap. I`m sorry but it is crap.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I agree with you. I am amazed that she didn`t start the water works during this. Maybe she is just gearing up and we are at the start of a long monologue.

Jayne Weintraub, Jon Leiberman, Rene Sandler -- what does the prosecutor need to do to diffuse her, to make her less effective? If he comes on too strong and we know this prosecutor, Juan Martinez has a temper and he can get very harsh then he could force jurors to sympathize with her more. But if he lets her off easy then she could basically dance through all of this tough questions.

Let`s start with Rene Sandler.

SANDLER: First of all both sides -- both the defense can`t let the client go astray and has to stay on point here because they`re just giving ammunition to the prosecution. And on the other hand, the prosecutor tends to be arrogant and he tends to be nasty. So striking the right balance in his demeanor and his tone is going to be critical for him to connect with this jury and have the jury embrace what he is saying.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What happens, Jayne Weintraub, when he says look, you lied about saying that ninjas -- after claiming you weren`t there, you lied and you said ninjas broke in and killed him. You were lying. She goes yes because and then she has a much better imagination than I do. She comes up with some incredible good story as to why she lied all this time.

WEINTRAUB: It doesn`t matter why. The only point is that she lied when it is convenient for her. She lied when it is convenient for her. That has to be his mantra. It just doesn`t even matter what her answers are going to be. His questions and his tone are what`s going to be important.


WEINTRAUB: She didn`t tell the truth. She didn`t tell the truth. That is all that is going to matter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but a liar as we learned in the Casey Anthony case does not necessarily equal a murderer.

Jon Leiberman --

LEIBERMAN: Yes, but --


WEINTRAUB: She has a self-defense claim here, Jane. She has to stick with the self-defense.


WEINTRAUB: What made her stab him 27 times?


WEINTRAUB: Did he have a knife on her? It is not more force than necessary to kill. That is the law.

LEIBERMAN: Mr. Martinez --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s take a look and while you`re talking -- let`s take a look at some of the crime scene photos because I have a follow up. Go ahead.

LEIBERMAN: Well, Mr. Martinez is going to meticulously break down her lies. But something else he has to do as well is he is going to ask her questions that she doesn`t have answers to -- a lot of the things having to do with premeditation. Why did you go there with a gun and a knife? What happened with that gun and a knife? Why was it stolen from your grandparents` house?

I mean Mr. Martinez is a very good prosecutor. He will meticulously break her down and she`ll even appear to be more of a liar than she appears now when he is done with her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t think everybody is getting my point here and that is that she has a capacity -- some people do and some don`t. But pathological liars -- ok, Jean Casarez, you have been in there in the courtroom. You`ve been watching all the tapes. Pathological liars are never caught in a lie because no matter what you say to them -- and I`ve dealt with some -- they come up with some way to twist it as to why it should all make sense for you.

They never admit yes I lied, yes you are right. They always have an answer for everything. That is why they are maddening but they`re very crafty. And she is one of the best pathological liars I have ever seen in my life right up there with Casey Anthony -- Jean.

CASAREZ: And she will be very calm as she gives those answers. That is why there`s going to be -- have to be a lot made to show just more than inconsistencies. For instance, this high school boyfriend in Costa Rica who wouldn`t let her talk to guys, wouldn`t let her be around guys, got very upset, very possessive -- well that is control, right. She wrote him a letter and she broke up with him. That is not an abuse victim that becomes under his control and can`t get out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: John, California, your question or thought -- John?

JOHN, CALIFORNIA (via telephone): Yes, hi Jane. My big question is that how are they going to be able to explain the gun? You know what I mean. Did it miraculously just show up? Did it, you know, come out of thin air? It just doesn`t -- it bewilders me how they`re going to possibly deal with that and how that couldn`t be premeditation. I mean that to me is complete premeditation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes. However, again, you are dealing with a pathological liar. She has already come up with an explanation for the knife. Oh, he was tying me up with ropes and he cut off the knife. And the knife was lying around in the bedroom. She is probably going to do the same thing with the gun.

On the other side we`re going to analyze what she might come up with to explain the gun she used to shoot Travis Alexander.


ARIAS: I sat up and I was disoriented because I had been sleeping. But I didn`t give him a satisfactory answer so he hit me across the face. I fell back down and he got me back up and asked me again. And I didn`t give him a satisfactory answer so he hit me across the face again. And I fell down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) You say he hit you. Did he punch you?

ARIAS: No it was an open-handed hard slap.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Truly an astounding day in court as Jodi Arias suddenly takes the stand in her own defense and she is telling her whole life story. The prosecution not really objecting much so she`s going off and describing everything from a Halloween costume to her old boyfriend. Why? Who cares?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you kill Travis Alexander on June 4, 2008?

ARIAS: Yes, I did.


ARIAS: The simple answer is that he attacked me and I defended myself.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But that`s all she said thus far as she`s taken the stand and how is she going to explain the 29 stab wounds, slitting Travis Alexander`s throat ear to ear, shooting in the face? Will the prosecutor have to take her through every one of those stab wounds? I hope he does.

Susan Constantine, body language expert, what`s fascinating about her is that there is no change in affect and we saw this as well when she was doing the police interrogation tapes. We can show you a little video of that. There`s no change in affect when she is telling the truth and when she`s lying, because some things it`s like, yes, the sun came up today. She`s not lying. And there`s no change at all in affect which makes it very tricky to catch her.

SUSAN CONSTANTINE, BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT: It is from a juror`s perspective but I can see the changes when she is telling the truth and when she`s telling partial truths and when she`s lying. But one of the things that the jury should be watching --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Watch it -- wait, wait, whoa, whoa. You can see? What exactly are you seeing? Because I can`t see a thing.

CONSTANTINE: Well, there was a moment when she was talking about the abuse you could actually see her concealing a smile. And that is called duping delight. When she thinks that she has pulled the wool over on your eyes, there`s a tendency to have this enjoyment that she pulled one over on you. So it`s very micro. But I see it in one-tenth of a second, Jane, because I`m trained to see that. The jury is not.

So here is what`s going to have to happen. She is going to have to move that jury to feel fear. She is going to have to move that jury to feel empathy and pain and emotion. And if she can`t do it and they don`t move -- she doesn`t move them to feel that emotion, they`re going to say those are empty words.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Susan, during the break that`s happening now, we`re going to cue up that sound where you see that little duping delight or whatever you called it and we`re going to play it for our audience.

Stay right there. We`ll be right back.




ARIAS: I sat up and I was disoriented because I had been sleeping, so I didn`t give him a satisfactory answer so he hit me across the face.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, there`s that little smile, that little micro smile. Cheryl Arutt, forensic psychologist, do you see the micro smile? Do you think she`s lying?

ARUTT: I do see the micro smile. I have to say, I see it, too. There are quite a few signs of malingering here. Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s unbelievable and the question that we have from Randy, Ohio viewer she wants to know if we think that Jodi is going to collapse and start sobbing when the prosecution cross-examined her. I would say, yes, she is going to have a flood of tears, when any hard question hits her that she is going to have trouble answering.

We`re going to bring you tomorrow`s testimony. Join us 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

Nancy next.