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Siblings Testify about Impact of Travis Alexander`s Murder

Aired May 17, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, heartbreaking emotion pouring out in the Jodi Arias courtroom as Travis Alexander`s brother and sister sob, telling the jury how their brother`s brutal murder crushed their family.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell.

Will their story send Jodi Arias to Death Row?


STEVEN ALEXANDER, TRAVIS`S BROTHER: Who on earth would want to do this to him?

KIRK NURMI, JODI ARIAS`S ATTORNEY: Each and every one of you get to make your own moral assessment of what sentence is correct.

SAMANTHA ALEXANDER, TRAVIS`S SISTER: To have Travis taken so barbarically.

How much did he say (ph)?

ALEXANDER: Ripped out of this world. How much did he suffer?

JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: Were you crying when you were shooting him?

J. ARIAS: I don`t remember.

STEVEN ALEXANDER: How much did he suffer?

MARTINEZ: Were you crying when you were stabbing him?

J. ARIAS: I don`t remember.

STEVEN ALEXANDER: What was the last thing he saw before his eyes closed.

MARTINEZ: How about when you cut his throat? Were you crying then?

J. ARIAS: I don`t know.

SAMANTHA ALEXANDER: The pain, the agony, the screams, the fear that Travis must have felt when he was brutally being taken.

MARTINEZ: You`re the one that did this, right?

J. ARIAS: Yes.

SAMANTHA ALEXANDER: We would give anything to have him back. Anything.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now it`s Jodi`s turn to try and save her own life. She was convicted of first-degree murder for stabbing her ex-boyfriend Travis 29 times, slitting his throat and shooting him in the head.

Right now as we speak, Jodi is sitting in this cramped cell that I checked out with my own eyes yesterday, contemplating her fate. We`ve learned that Jodi`s attorney, Kirk Nurmi, did meet with Jodi for an hour today. There you see him leaving court after that meeting. They went in, obviously to plan the crucial mitigation phase that starts this Monday. This coming Monday. And that`s when this guy, the defense team, will try to save Jodi from being sentenced to death by lethal injection.

Jodi is expected to speak during this phase. Jodi`s ex-boyfriend, Darryl Brewer, and Jodi`s friend, Patti Womack, they are also reportedly set to take the stand to try to save Jodi from Death Row. Listen to what Patti told Nancy Grace.


PATTI WOMACK, JODI ARIAS`S FRIEND (via phone): It is heartbreaking, you know, from somebody that you grew up with and you love so much. You know? I`m sorry. It`s really heartbreaking. But you know, it`s hard to believe that somebody that you grew up with and you loved and you shared so many memories with, it was surreal and it`s heartbreaking.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to HLN legal correspondent Beth Karas on the ground in Phoenix, Arizona.

Beth, what we -- what can we expect from Jodi`s ex-boyfriend? Darryl Brewer and this friend we just heard the audio from, Patti Womack, in terms of what they might say to the jury to try to get the jury to conclude that Jodi deserves to live?

BETH KARAS, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I suspect that both of them will tell anecdotes about things that they have experienced in their relationship with Jodi Arias. Darryl Brewer has a child. He will probably talk about how tender and loving she was toward his son. We expect that Patti Womack will talk about the good friend that she`s been, the nice things she`s done for her.

And Jodi Arias probably will corroborate all that in her own statement, if she, in fact, does talk to the jury.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jodi`s lawyer has told the jury Jodi will speak about her life before Travis and her attempts to better herself. But can she convince the jury to let her live? Remember what she told KSAZ after she was found guilty of murder one just the other day?


J. ARIAS: I said years ago that I`d rather get death than life and that still is true today. I believe death is the ultimate freedom, so I`d rather just have my freedom as soon as I can get it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s debate it. Does Jodi really want death? And if so, how is she going to now take the stand and plead for her life if she said just the other day she wants the death penalty?

Starting with Wendy Murphy. People are coming up to me; they`re all confused. People on the streets saying, "Wait a second. She said she wanted to die. Now we hear her lawyer said she`s going to speak and throw (ph) her life and try to save her life."

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: You know, which lie do you want to not believe?

I think there`s no doubt in my mind she wants to save her life. Remember, when she gave that interview after the verdict, it was clearly meant to be manipulative. Right? So we took it all with a grain of salt, this stuff she was putting out there.

But I also think we have to remember she was almost an extortionist in that interview. Remember she was saying, "I didn`t really want to go forward and talk about Travis as a pedophile. We tried to make a deal with the prosecutor in advance of trial." In other words, "I threatened. I extorted the prosecutor, and I threatened the prosecutor, `If you don`t give me life behind bars, if you send me to the death chamber, and you make me go through the trial, I`m going to call Travis a pedophile on the world stage.`"

The fact that she told us that that`s what she did before him, that she played that extortionist game in this case, to me speaks volumes about not only whether she really wants to live or die but what kind of person she really is. Who would do that? Who would say, "I`m going to name the victim as a pedophile."


MURPHY: ... if you don`t give me life instead of death.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is she so cynical that she knows that the defense -- that the jury is not going to see that interview with KSAZ where she says, "Give me the death penalty. It`s the ultimate freedom." And she knows therefore she can turn around and play a totally different card on the witness stand and say, "Oh, I want to live, and here`s why I should live."

MONICA LINDSTROM, FORMER PROSECUTOR: You know, Jane, I don`t think she cares whether the jury sees her interview or not. She`s going to take the moment to stand up there in front of them and talk about herself.

She`s going to take that time to push the responsibility on everybody else, and I bet she will subtly push the responsibility onto the jury, maybe saying something like, "Well, God is the ultimate judge, and he will judge me when I`m standing in front of him when I die." And basically insinuating that, "Jury, I really don`t care what you say. But regardless, it`s your fault that I`m here, because you found me guilty."

Now, that might seem overwhelming, kind of silly for her to do, but if experience has shown us anything with her, she doesn`t always take the smartest route. So I don`t think she really cares whether they see that video or not. She`ll try to manipulate it and work in her favor.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, she`s manipulated her way all the way into solitary confinement in jail. So to me, that`s Exhibit A that manipulation doesn`t work as a strategy.

Jodi`s defense will call her ex-boyfriend, Darryl Brewer, and her close friend, Patti Womack, as witnesses to try to convince the jury to spare Jodi`s life. Listen to what Patti Womack told HLN`s Nancy Grace.


WOMACK (via phone): She`s such a beautiful artist and photographer. She offered as a gift to me for my wedding to take my picture. And so she took my pictures after the wedding and made me this beautiful, beautiful wedding album.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: HLN legal correspondent Jean Casarez, what do we know about this Patti and what are the circumstances of her testimony?

JEAN CASAREZ, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: That she was a childhood friend. And if we listen to what Nurmi actually said in the opening statement, he said that this witness, Patti, is going to testify as to the abuse that Jodi undertook as a child and as a young adult. So that may be her focus.

But I think it will also be the good things that she did in her life, the reasons she should live. I think that will be a focus.

But I just wonder on cross-examination what the cross will actually be. Because anyone I have ever seen that has done an interview -- and remember, there`s a First Amendment right. You can do an interview. But I`ve always seen it as part of the cross-examination as someone who is not pure of heart.


CASAREZ: I`m talking about the witness. I`m talking about the witness. Not Jodi.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa. So this could be -- to follow up, Jean, we kind of think of this mitigation phase as just people getting up there and sort of saying things and painting beautiful pictures and then sort of skipping off the stand. No. This could get ugly. This could be as heated as some of the cross-examinations during the course in chief?

CASAREZ: Sure, sure. Because the cross-examination would be "You just want your 15 minutes of fame."

I mean, Jane, how many trials have we seen that in? On the cross- examination, witness takes the stand. O.J. Simpson in Las Vegas is a prime example. Everybody did interviews in that trial, and they were cross- examined as someone who just wanted 15 minutes of fame and you can`t believe what they`re saying.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re absolutely right. Because a lot of people feel that O.J., some of the best evidence against him was never presented to the jury because everybody sold their story. So therefore, those people became ineligible to take the witness stand, and they couldn`t say crucial incriminating things that they had told various tabloids.

After the guilty verdict came in, in Jodi Arias`s case, she told Phoenix TV station KSAZ that her attorney said she did not have any mitigating factors. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know what the mitigating factors are going to be and how you`re going to play that?

J. ARIAS: Well, I`ve been told that I don`t have any mitigating factors.


J. ARIAS: My attorney.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kirk Nurmi said to you there are no mitigating factors for you in terms of arguing against the death penalty?

J. ARIAS: Nothing that is what you typically see in a case like this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But now she`s saying, well, there`s tons of mitigating factors. The defense is arguing Jodi has eight mitigating factors. Her age, the fact that she has no prior criminal history; that Jodi was a good friend; she lacked support from her family; she suffered abuse and neglect as a child, allegedly, according to her; she tried to make the best of her life; and finally, that Jodi is a talented artist.

OK. Let`s debate it. Which mitigators might have the most impact with the jury? OK.? We are going to debate that right now. I want to start with a new visitor to our show, Rebecca Mitkin, criminal defense attorney out of D.C. Does she have any mitigators?

REBECCA MITKIN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Everybody has mitigators. It doesn`t matter who you are. There`s mitigators. And the criminal code of justice certainly recognizes diminished mental capacity, which she definitely has. And even the experts for the prosecutor said that she`s got borderline personality disorder.

The question is, does anybody care about whether or not she`s a good friend, et cetera? And the answer is no, they don`t.

As a defense attorney, there are complications here, because Jodi went on television and told everybody she wanted to die. The defense attorneys are now in conflict with their own client. Defense attorneys must not let their client die. So there`s an immediate conflict. The next thing is...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me bring in Wendy Murphy. We know that her attorneys tried to get off the case after she was found guilty, and undoubtedly, one of the reasons has to be -- or I don`t want to speculate, but it seems likely it that it`s because she was giving this TV interview where she kind of threw them under the bus and was not complimentary toward them. And said she wanted to die.

The judge denied their request to get off the case. So are they going to be half-hearted now? Because even before we knew that, we said, wow, some of their actions seemed a little half-hearted. And then we found out, oh. Oh, well, they just tried to get off the case.

MURPHY: No. Whoa, whoa. Let`s be clear about what`s going on here.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is all a defense strategy. That the defense attorneys are quite on board with all of her little antics. And that one of the things they were doing there by letting her go out there and say what she said -- and you described all of the, quote unquote, problems very well. So that would give them the basis to then go in and say, "Motion to withdraw, your honor." All tactical. Please. The judge...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Really? Oh, my gosh. You are cynical. You really think that this is all part of a strategy?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That they -- that they didn`t have a fight with her saying, "Don`t do the interview. Don`t go on TV"?

MURPHY: Let me tell you why. I know it seems a little weird. But the whole purpose of the defense in this case is to save her life. One of the ways they set up the appeal, if you will, is to create these things now that will give them time to argue and argue and complain and appeal. And at a minimum, every year that she lives -- and I do believe she will be sentenced to death. There`s no doubt in my mind. But every moment, every year she lives, which means lots and lots of appeals -- is a victory, in a sense, for the defense.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`ve got to take a break. So much more to debate and discuss. And also, we`re going to play more of the gut- wrenching victim impact statements from the brother and sister of Travis Alexander.

We`ll be right back.


STEVEN ALEXANDER: How much did he suffer? How much did he scream?

SAMANTHA ALEXANDER: Travis was our strength. Our constant beacon of hope.




STEVEN ALEXANDER: The nature of my brother`s murder has had a major impact on me. It`s even invaded my dreams. I have nightmares about somebody coming at me with a knife and then going after my wife and my daughter. When I wake up, I cannot establish what is real and what is a dream. I`ve even gone through the house, searching through rooms, shaking my family to wake them up to make sure they`re alive. My wife has woken me up out of nightmares because I was screaming in my sleep.

It may sound childish, but I cannot sleep alone in the dark anymore. I`ve had dreams of my brother all curled up in the shower. Thrown in there, left to rot for days, all alone. I don`t want these nightmares anymore. I don`t want to have to see my brother`s murderer anymore. I don`t want to hear his name dragged through the mud anymore.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, she`s crying now. The question is why?

Now here is exclusive video obtained by HLN of Jodi Arias`s defense attorney, Kirk Nurmi, leaving the jail today. He met with Jodi Arias for an hour to discuss the mitigation strategy that is ahead, that starts Monday.

Beth Karas, HLN legal correspondent, you heard Wendy Murphy say something that I think is quite explosive. But I want to sort it out. The defense attorneys, Kirk and Jennifer Willmott, had asked to get off the case after Jodi Arias did that interview with KSAZ, and they were denied. The judge also denied her the right to do any more interviews for the time being. Don`t tell her about any more interviews.

Is it possible, in any stretch of the imagination, that this is all some kind of strategy by the defense to set up some basis for appeal or throw some kind of monkey wrench into this entire process?

KARAS: Well, I suppose anything is possible. And given the timing of their motion to withdraw, coming on the heels of her interview, right after her verdict, it seems -- it seems that they`re probably related.

But we really don`t know, because the motion is sealed. There was an ex parte hearing. The transcript is sealed. So we don`t have the contents. We`re left to speculate.

Given the timing, maybe that is one of the reasons, but there may be something more. I mean, we don`t know the relationship is between attorney and client. And I just -- I mean, I -- I guess it`s possible. If I had to bet on it, I would say no. That it`s not set up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Monica Lindstrom. And I`m sure Wendy Murphy is going to want to jump in here in a second. But Monica Lindstrom, look, these attorneys have devoted five years almost of their life to this case. Or many years. I know she`s gone through attorney after attorney, so I don`t know exactly when they started, but a long time. OK?

And then she does this interview and basically throws them under the bus, you know, kind of questioning their strategy a little bit. And so then they ask off the case. Is it possible that any of this is part of some kind of master plan?

LINDSTROM: Jane, I really, really don`t think so. And I know Wendy brought up a really good conspiracy theory. But these are defense attorneys. This is their license; this is their life, as well.

And although they have to work very hard and do everything they ethically can to protect their client and make sure they get the correct result for her, they`re not going to throw their own lives under the bus or just throw up their hands and do everything that is unethical or unsound just to try to save her life. That`s not what is required of them.

These defense attorneys take their job seriously, but they take their license even more seriously. I know why they went in there. Well, I don`t know for sure. But I`m 99 percent certain they went into the judge`s chambers and said, "Judge, we cannot effectively represent this woman, because she is sabotaging us. She`s sabotaging her case. She`s setting us up for ineffective assistance of counsel appeal," which is very common in these criminal cases. But they don`t want to help her do that. That`s ridiculous.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy, go ahead.

MURPHY: OK. First of all, I didn`t call anybody unethical. What I said was there are strategic reasons to plop into the record at the trial level these errors, because they`re thinking years down the line "what can we hang our hat on that we might be able to save her life? Maybe some five years down, we`ll have some appeal, our tenth appeal, and we`ll be able to argue about this error, this infective substantial of counsel, this motion to withdraw thing that should have been allowed or denied," whatever.

I`ve been doing appellate work for 25 years. I`ve written hundreds of briefs on this issue, not hundreds of briefs on this issue but in this context. Criminal justice, right? There`s a whole doctrine of law that appellate courts across the country routinely recognize the lawyers who set up strategic errors.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you`re saying basically, they`re setting up strategic errors for tactical reasons so they have something to appeal.

MURPHY: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, we can`t talk to them now, but they`re invited on our show any time. Kirk Nurmi, Jennifer Willmott, they seem to be hard-working attorneys, and we want to give them the chance to give their side of the story. And this is sheer speculation. I want to emphasize that.

The lifetime movie, "JODI ARIAS: Dirty Little Secret," will premier June 22. Tania Raymonde plays Jodi. More on the other side.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The sexual details of this story are so explicit. Did you have any apprehension at all about that part?

TANIA RAYMONDE, ACTRESS: Are you asking if I prepared for that aspect? Did I have any idea? Well, I mean, I knew that they had, like, a very torrid, passionate love affair. But I didn`t know the details. But I always tried to rationalize that it was because she loved him, because she loved him so passionately, so deeply that she did these things to him, to please him because it pleased herself.

The last thing you want to do when you play any kind of character, no matter what they do or did, was you don`t want to judge the person you`re playing. I think everyone can identify with the feeling of being madly in love with somebody and also the feeling of losing the person that you love. They wonder if they put themselves in that position, if they would be capable of doing something like that. I think that`s -- that`s part of it.



(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SANDRA ARIAS, JODI ARIAS`S MOTHER: Jodi has mental problems. I`ve had quite a few of her friends tell me I needed to get her help. I had one call me in the middle of the night and tell me that she needed help. Jodi would call me. We don`t have a good relationship, me and Jodi.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your husband kind of told me about the relationship.

S. ARIAS: And she would call me in the morning all happy and call me an hour or two later in tears crying and sobbing about something she didn`t want to talk about. And that happened constantly. And her friends saw it, too. They -- I had one friend call me in the middle of the night. And even called the hotline for bipolar people. Said Jodi is bipolar and she needs help. And that`s why we talked her into coming back here so she could be around family.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s debate it. Is mental illness the missing mitigator? Should the defense play this clip and argue she`s mentally ill?

MICHELLE SUSKAUER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, Jane, she really should. It`s really crucial. This is the one piece I think that she can actually gain any traction with. This is such a somber, tough, tough part of a case that we`re asking a jury here to impose the death penalty. And so this is something that I think she actually can hang her hat on. That - - that if there`s any chance of saving her life, this really is it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rebecca Mitkin for the defense, I mean, they`re talking about, oh, they`re going to show her artwork. Artwork? Talk about the fact that she`s got borderline personality disorder or she`s bipolar or she`s just not all there. Who cares about her artwork!

MITKIN: You know what, Jane? You`re so right about that.

But listen. In every single court in the whole United States of America, sentencing is the same. There are virtually only four sentencing theories.

The first is deterrence. And there`s deterrence for the general public. And that is any single person who sees if you kill somebody, you watch what happens to Jodi Arias; and you`re not going to go out and you`re not going to kill somebody.

Then there`s special deterrence, which is for Jodi Arias. But there`s something wrong with her.

If the penal code says that she has diminished mental capacity which doesn`t rise to the level of not criminally responsible, which we already know that she`s way past that, then you get to use it as a mitigator. And then you say...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s what I want to say. Let me to go into Michelle Suskauer. Because I didn`t hear that -- Monica Lindstrom, I did not hear that stressed in the opening by the defense. This mitigation process. I didn`t hear them stress, she is sick; she`s not all there. She -- they made some vague reference to borderline personality disorder, which they had already argued against, because that was the prosecution theory. I mean, have they dropped the ball on the mental illness?

LINDSTROM: Jane, that is such a great point. Because that is something that they could sink their teeth into. Because they`ve had three experts -- well, four experts up there -- talk about her mental issues or her mental sickness or disability. So it could be helpful to them.

But that jury has been sitting there through the whole trial. They saw how she spoke to them. And they also listened to every expert. And none of them said that because of her mental abilities or diminished capacity, she didn`t know what she was doing. She didn`t know it was wrong. She could have not done this. You don`t hear anything like that. So there`s only so much they can use with it. But considering they were reaching for all of these mitigating factors, some of them are just -- I can`t believe they came up with. They should have used that one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you. I agree.

On the other side, we`ll continue to debate. What is going to happen next in this crucial mitigation phase? Will Jodi Arias live or will she die?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The aggravating factor, especially cruel, has been proven.

JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: She should have known. She should have known how much he was suffering.

KIRK NURMI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: She was functioning under this mental defect.

MARTINEZ: This night, this woman, in this place coming towards him and he suffered all the way until he died -- until she put him into another life.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have now entered the crucial mitigation phase. There is Jodi Arias going back into the Estrella jail. You can see that she wears shackles and she is shackled wherever she goes. Let`s take another look. There she is. Jodi Arias in shackles, going back into the Estrella jail.

We also have exclusive video of her defense attorney leaving jail today after spending an hour talking with Jodi Arias, his client, trying to prepare their mitigation case. This man, a lot of pressure on him -- he has to fight for her life even though she told a TV station, she would rather die. It would be the ultimate freedom. Then he says, yes, but she`ll still ask for her life in front of the jury. Which is it, Jodi Arias?

Meantime, Travis` family, they are not by law allowed to ask for the death penalty when doing their victim impact statements. But if you listen closely to Travis` brother Stephen, he seemed to send a clear message to the jury about what he would like to see happen.


STEPHEN ALEXANDER, BROTHER OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: The nature of my brother`s murder has had a major impact on me. It has even invaded my dreams. I have nightmares about somebody coming at me with a knife and then going after my wife and my daughter. When I wake up, I cannot establish what is real and what is a dream. I`ve even gone through the house searching through rooms, shaking my family to wake them up to make sure that they`re alive.

My wife has woken me up out of nightmares because I was screaming in my sleep. It may sound childish but I cannot sleep alone in the darkness anymore. I`ve had dreams of my brother all curled up in the shower, thrown in there, left to rot for days, all alone.

I don`t want these nightmares anymore. I don`t want to have to see my brother`s murderer anymore. I don`t want to hear his name dragged through the mud anymore.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s debate it. Was Stephen Alexander, subliminally making a pitch for the death penalty when he said he doesn`t want to hear her brother`s name dragged through the mud anymore? He is tired of looking at this defendant. Beginning with Wendy Murphy for the prosecution.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: I wouldn`t blame him for wanting to express himself in these strong terms --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course not.

MURPHY: -- as possible. Not to leave the misimpression with the jury that he has some compassion for her. I don`t think she -- I don`t think she has much by way of heart or worth. I don`t believe in the death penalty personally but whatever mitigators they put on, you know, it`s going to be like getting an upgrade on the Titanic.

I mean she has not got a lot to offer given how she has conducted herself not only during the murder but afterwards. And the jury says things to itself. We don`t care that she used to be a nice person. Charles Manson was a cute newborn baby once, too. We don`t care.

That`s the problem with this case. They don`t care anymore. Nothing she says is going to put a dent in the horror of what she did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rebecca Nitkin, she took the stand for 18 days. Could there be a subliminal connection between Jodi Arias and this jury even though they convicted her of murder one, even though they didn`t believe her story, even though her own attorney said nine days out of ten he doesn`t like her. That it would make her more difficult having heard her for 18 days to give they are death penalty?

REBECCA NITKIN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, this jury said they can give the death penalty. I think everyone is kind of sick of listening to her. Although personally, it made me a little bit more humane toward her. I like her a little bit more. I know Dr. Drew said that and they almost killed him.

But now you`re at the third and fourth sentencing rationales -- incapacitation versus vindication. And Jane I have to tell, vindication is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and it is society`s primitive urge to just really reach out and destroy somebody like stabbed 27 times, cut their neck the same way and shoot them. And it is not good.

And the Supreme Court back in the `60s said, that is the worst sentencing rationale out of all four.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does anyone want to debate that briefly? Michelle Suskauer?

MICHELLE SUSKAUER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you know, I think it was important that even though it is very unusual to have someone on the stand that long, it does potentially establish a connection with this jury. It really does.

And maybe that was part of the strategy as opposed to some crazy scheme that Wendy was talking about with this motion to withdraw which I don`t buy at all. But they`re going to pull out every stop here. They`re going to do everything. It is no holds barred to try to save her life, whatever it takes. But they need to do it in a very serious and solemn way. And that`s going to start on Monday.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The Lifetime movie, Jodi Arias "Dirty Little Secret", will premier June 22nd. Jesse Lee Soffer plays Travis.


JESSE LEE SOFFER, ACTOR: There is enough out there about who he was and about his beliefs that it was easy to realize how conflicted he must have been in this relationship with this woman and how it went against all of his beliefs. And how that really just makes him a normal guy, you know, who is kind of in a relationship that he knows isn`t going to be forever but cares about her any way and doesn`t know how to get out.



SAMANTHA ALEXANDER, SISTER OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: We lost our father on Travis` 20th birthday and our mother shortly after. And through this trying time in our life, Travis was the one that got us through the pain and the hardship because he was our strength.

JUAN MARTINEZ: You have a picture with you.

SAMANTHA ALEXANDER: This is a picture of my grandmother. She is the one that raised Travis. My grandmother could not deal with loss. Could not handle the reality of what happened. Travis being taken from us has put her over the edge and her health eventually went into a downward spiral she never recovered from. Losing Travis has completely destroyed the overall health of our family.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to clinical psychologist, Dr. Katherine Smerling, when this woman says that this killing has shattered the entire family, can you give us an insight into how deep that pain and that suffering goes?

KATHERINE SMERLING, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST (via telephone): This is a scar that they will never get over. They will never forget what happened. Nor will they be able to dismiss the visual images that have been paraded in front of them for so long in the trial. They will have nightmares, they will have visual flashbacks.

It destroys their ability to live in the present. It destroys their ability to have relationships. It is profoundly shocking to a point of denying reality as the grandmother has done. It will take years and years of very, very good therapy for them to be able to heal.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, as a matter of fact, Travis` grandmother died shortly before this trial started.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the family said she died of a broken heart. You know what`s so sadly ironic about this is that Jodi Arias claimed PTSD. But in fact the family of Travis Alexander is likely suffering from some form of PTSD, Doctor.

SMERLING: They are definitely suffering from PTSD. Whether Jodi Alexander is suffering from PTSD mixed with guilt mixed with regret, mixed with, you know, a feeling of anger at herself for how she has destroyed her life and destroyed others` lives, it is the family of Travis Alexander who really deserves our sympathy. They are suffering and will profoundly suffer for a long time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is Jodi Arias. She might have wanted to be Jodi Alexander but she did not become Jodi Alexander. Thank you Doctor, stand by.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yesterday I visited Jodi`s jail and I even sampled the food while I was there. Check this out.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. These are beans. I will taste the beans. Let me see. Here we go guys. What I do for the job. Not bad. Not bad. Flavorful.

I kind of like it. I like it.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for Pet of the Day. Send your pet pics to

Sydney and Rosie, you`re two peas in a pod, we love you. Chloe -- look at that coquettish little smile. Oh, Bailey. He says what up? I`m checking you out. And this is fabulous -- Hooter, Margo, Maria, Frank -- wow. In the crib.



SAMANTHA ALEXANDER: Recalling the moment that I found out that my brother, my brother is dead. I think of my ears ringing, my stomach burning and this idea that this can`t possibly be happening. My heart sank into my stomach.

She said "Samantha, you need to call me back." It`s very important. I could tell that she was crying and I recognized her tone of voice from before. I knew that someone was dead.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That poor family. They have been through hell. And now, look at her. She is crying now as she listens to the victim impact statements.

I have to ask Wendy Murphy, you have been a prosecutor. You have dealt with many defendants. Do you think it is finally hitting, the horror -- the reality of what she did? The horror that she created, the damage she did -- is it finally hitting Jodi Arias or not?

MURPHY: No. No. A psychopath -- nothing hits a psychopath and I think that`s what she is. Remember these people who are sobbing because they`re in so much pain at the loss of Travis Alexander were sitting in the room when she was joking about wearing little boy`s underwear so she could feed into his pedophile urges. That is how much she doesn`t actually care.

Look, I don`t believe in the death penalty but for a psychopath, for the world to say we don`t want a psychopath ever to live. That`s not illegitimate. There`s nothing unconstitutional about that. The Supreme Court has upheld it many, many. She can walk into that courtroom and prove herself the Second Coming of Christ she is going to be put to death because there is nothing redeeming about her. Nothing. Nothing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We shall see. What she did is a horror. It will haunt me forever. I have seen the photos.

Now, on the other side -- a special tribute to Travis Alexander. Stay right there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: As Travis Alexander`s family and friends broke their silence, we learned a lot about the wonderful, kind man Travis was. We know he cared deeply about animals. He loved his dog, Napoleon and wanted to help all animals, ones that don`t get much attention.

After seeing the movie "Earthlings", his buddy Shawn Alexander told me, Travis became determined to do more for animals on factory farms like these defenseless, highly intelligent pigs put into cages too small for them to turn around, forced to live their lives in tight little boxes.

Well, now we have reached a crucial turning point with the gestation crate ban being passed in New Jersey. But it is awaiting the signature of Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Joining me now, Paul Shapiro from the Humane Society of the United States -- briefly Paul, why is this so crucial for pigs?

PAUL SHAPIRO, HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES (via telephone): Jane, millions of pigs are locked inside of tiny cages where they live their entire lives. They are immobilized and they`re lined up like parked cars. It is cruel, it`s inhumane and it has got to stop.

Fortunately New Jersey`s legislature just passed a bill that would make this type of animal abuse a crime. That would make New Jersey the tenth state to ban this inhumane factory farming practice if Governor Chris Christie signs the bill.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s all speak up for the animals because they cannot speak for themselves. Governor Christie, do the right thing and help these creatures whose only crime is to have been born.

Travis Alexander would want it that way.

Nancy Grace next.