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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Cops: Evidence Missing Wife of Marine Was Murdered

Aired July 22, 2014 - 19:00:00   ET

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


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Explosive developments in the mysterious disappearance of a Marine`s pregnant wife. Police now think they have

evidence she may have been murdered.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell.

These newly-released court documents shed some very dramatic new light on what may have happened the very day Erin Corwin vanished. Was she out

scouting good places to take photos, as she told her husband, or was she secretly out with her lover, who police say lied about their relationship?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Missing for 17 days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Missing Marine wife who`s also three months` pregnant.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope she`s out there, and I hope she can see this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say her disappearance is suspicious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know that she is out there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the last people to see her before her disappearance, get into a red sedan with a man inside.

MICHAEL BEASLEY, WITNESS: She wanted to get out of the car and said, "I don`t want to be in this car," she would have and could have (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I pray for her to come home safe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Erin Corwin vanished June 28th after telling her husband she was driving to Joshua Tree National Park to scout photo

locations. About three hours later, a witness says he saw Erin get out of her blue Toyota and willingly get into another car with a man she appeared

to know. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO

BEASLEY: The car was in gear. You know, they were just chitting and chatting. It wasn`t even outside the range of her car. So if she wanted

to get out of the car and said, "I don`t want to be in this car," she would and could have (ph).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That witness will join me in a moment. Does he think the man he saw Erin with that morning is the same man police arrested days

later on an unrelated weapons charge?

Former Marine Chris Lee, his wife and child, live next door to Erin and her husband. According to the probable cause statement, when police

initially questioned him, he denied knowing much about Erin and said he and his wife only knew her as an acquaintance, and he hadn`t spoken with her in

two months.

But police learned from another neighbor that Erin and Lee were allegedly having an affair. Lee later admitted he and Erin had previously

kissed each other, but he insisted they had never had sex.

According to the same document, Erin`s friend told police the missing woman may have been pregnant with Lee`s child. But police have not named

any suspects in Erin`s disappearance. And they say they have not ruled out that she might have vanished voluntarily.

What do you think at home? Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877- 586-7297. And also, weigh in on my Facebook Page.

My Lion`s Den panel is ready to debate this one. But first, straight out to crime blogger and investigative journalist Levi Page.

Levi, this case has taken some very bizarre turns. What do you know?

LEVI PAGE, CRIME BLOGGER AND INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Not only has it taken several bizarre turns, but the documents that were released today

contained several bombshells. There`s some cast of characters that are emerging in this case.

We have the missing wife, Erin Corwin, having an alleged affair, according to investigators and a friend of Erin`s, with her neighbor, Chris

Lee, who was arrested and now out of jail after a destructive device was found when police searched his home.

And also, we have the wife of Chris Lee, who was questioned by police. And according to these documents that have been released, she berated him

after they were both questioned. She said, "You could not keep your life straight. You were so -- you`re dumb." She screamed at him. She said she

could keep her lies straight. So now we have another avenue that investigators are going to be looking into...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And just so you know, we`ve got a family tree there that we`re going to show you to show the relationships with all these

folks. There is the Marine in uniform, Jon Corwin. And there`s his wife, Erin Corwin. She has been missing since June 28.

Then you have the man in the cowboy hat with the house -- with the horse, rather, and that is Christopher Lee, 24 years old, her alleged

lover, according to claims made in these court documents. And you see that he is married and he also has a daughter. So that`s all the parties that

we`re looking at right now in trying to solve this mystery.

Now, I want to go out to witness Michael Beasley. Thank you for joining us, Michael. You told us last week in your first national

interview that on the morning Erin vanished -- that`s June 28 -- you believe that you saw her get out of her car, her Toyota Corolla, and

willingly get into another car with a man she appeared to know, and they drove off.

Now, according to the probable cause statement that we obtained today, the missing woman`s friend said she knew that Erin and Christopher Lee were

set to go on a day trip on June 28, the day that she vanished. But Lee insists he was not with her. He says he went off hunting without her, on

his own.

So my question to you, Michael, is do you think the man you saw in that car that she hopped into looks like Christopher Lee, who her neighbor

is alleging was having an affair with her? We`re going to show you another photo. There he is, Christopher Lee.

BEASLEY (via phone): Yes. You know, this is the first -- I`ve got to tell you, this is the first that I have seen this picture of this

gentleman. And I cannot believe that -- if you take that cowboy hat off, that very well could be the man that was in that red vehicle that day.

That very well could be. I can`t say it is. I just can tell you, 6, 7 percent, that that very well could be the short man with no hair. It`s --

I can`t believe this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`m going to ask you to stand by while we bring in our expert panel and offer more clues to try to solve this mystery. And

then we`ll get back to you and get your thoughts on what we -- we try to figure out here.

Two days after Erin vanished, authorities found her car, the blue Toyota Corolla, abandoned off the side of the road, just minutes from her

house. Now, there was a single set of footprints leading from the driver`s side door of her abandoned car to a set of tire tracks. Cops say those

tire tracks are consistent with the tires of her alleged lover`s Jeep Cherokee.

In his car, investigators say they found ten fired -- that`s spent -- .40 caliber cartridge casings, but they also found no gun. They did find

his cell phone, and they seized a ton of items from the ranch that Christopher and his wife were reportedly moving into, including ammunition,

rounds, a knife. That`s a lot of weaponry.

So T.J. Ward, private investigator, as you sort through this, how do we unlock this mystery?

T.J. WARD, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: One of the things that hasn`t even been brought up yet is there`s -- there`s things that law enforcement can

do with cellular phones now and cellular towers to triangulate whose phone was out there. And if the boyfriend was out there with her, they`ll be

able to take the triangulation and see what tower was hitting off of and where he was and start comparing where he`s explaining where he was, if he

was around or if he wasn`t around.

The cell phone will give them information. And also seizing their computers. I`m sure there was talk -- get warrants for their cell phones,

get warrants for their computers and search those and see if they can find any information to corroborate what they may have think happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, when I was looking through all these documents, it looks like they`re looking for a whole bunch of things, including a lot

of firearms, personal journals, diaries, telephone records, computers, checkbooks, bank accounts, video, film, audiotapes. I mean, the list goes

on and on.

Let`s go to Lisa Bloom, legal analyst for Avvo.com and author of "Suspicion Nation."

WARD: All that`s going to make a big difference.

LISA BLOOM, LEGAL ANALYST, AVVO.COM: Yes. Absolutely, Jane. And I also agree that the forensics are very important. What were the texts on

her phone? There`s not a 20-year-old in the United States who doesn`t communicate by text a lot. So that`s going to be very revealing.

But I do take issue with the comment earlier in the program that perhaps she just went off on her own. You know, it`s been over three weeks

now. It`s very difficult for people to just vanish anymore. There are just too many records. There`s too many cell phone pings. It`s just not

possible. Unfortunately, I think this is foul play.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, police have not named any suspects in this case. But the wife of Christopher Lee, the neighbor rumored to be having

an affair with Erin, allegedly said some shocking things to a friend.

According to the probable cause statement, cops say that she stated, without a body, the detectives did not have a case against them, and the

detectives would never find a body.

She also allegedly berated her husband about not being able to keep his lies straight when he was interviewed by detectives, "because he was

dumb and that she was able to keep her story straight, and the detectives were not able to get any information from her," end quote. Wow.

Despite that, police still have not ruled out that Erin might have taken off on her own voluntarily. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SGT. TREVIS NEWPORT, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY SHERIFF`S DEPARTMENT: These cases can go either way. One thing that you must keep in mind when

working a case like this, where we have a female that we don`t know if she`s missing voluntarily or against her will, we actually have to

investigate all the aspects.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Evangeline Gomez, criminal defense attorney, what do we do with all this information? Because cops seem to be going in both

extremes. You know, at one point they sought a search warrant, saying there was evidence a felony had been committed, to wit, murder. But on the

other hand, they`re saying, "Oh, well, maybe she went off on her own."

EVANGELINE GOMEZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the cops are playing this smart. Again, they don`t want to box themselves in and miss

any clues or miss any type of evidence in a situation where she may, you know, be missing at her own volition.

The problem here is that you have the wife of Mr. Lee, who has made some very damning statements; they`re very suspicious. And even if the

police are looking at her or looking at him, they`re not going to publicize it as that`s where their investigation is going.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say this. They are not considered suspects at this time. I want to stress that. Either one of them or their

attorneys are invited on our show anytime. We want to get the whole story from everybody involved. You`re looking at the Twenty-Nine Palms area, and

it`s a military base, for the most part, surrounded by a lot of desert.

J.C., Texas, what do you have to say? J.C., Texas. J.C.?

CALLER: Yes, hi.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi.

CALLER: Yes, I`m sorry. I was calling because I was -- I mean, Christopher Lee, he had probable cause. She was pregnant. And I guarantee

you that she`s carrying his baby, or he thought she was, and he did not want to pay child support, and he didn`t want his marriage ruined, which he

did on his own.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re operating like a detective. We don`t have the answers. And certainly, we don`t know for sure whose child she

was carrying. This is, at this point, a question.

And I want to say, Charlie on Facebook says, "Who is to say she didn`t go off with somebody entirely different?" There you go.

Noah: "I wonder if she`s hiding and doesn`t want to be found." Could that be connected, perhaps, to the pregnancy?

Sierra: "Why was this guy allowed to leave the state of California? To me he knows way more than he`s saying."

Jeff: "Do we know if she has had any contact with her husband?"

Listen, I do not know -- I don`t think she`s had any contact with her husband. I think we`d know that by now. But I can`t say for sure.

I can tell you that the individual -- the alleged lover, Christopher Lee, who was arrested and bailed out on possession of a destructive device,

is due back in court September 9. So we`ll see him soon.

Take a break. We`re going to be right back in just a couple of seconds. We have more clues for you. Help us solve this mystery and give

us a call. I want to hear from you on Facebook.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the phone, we spoke to the lead investigator in this case for the San Bernardino County Sheriff`s Department, and he

wouldn`t say what type of investigation this is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We cannot rule out that foul play is involved. We cannot rule out the fact that Erin may have taken off on her own accord and

just does not want to be located.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even when Michael Beasley is at work, he`s thinking about what he saw on the day Erin Corwin disappeared, and he`s

hoping it`s not the last time someone sees her alive.

BEASLEY: I`d hate to think that they went to this extent to hurt her. She`s a baby.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: According to the affidavit, Erin and Christopher, her neighbor, her alleged lover, were planning to spend a special day together

the day she vanished, the day she told her Marine husband, "I`m going to a national forest to scout for some photos -- photo opportunities."

But get this: these two were, according to the allegations in these documents, going on a hunting trip. I don`t buy that at all. It doesn`t

make sense to me. Erin is an avid animal lover. She volunteered at a horse shelter. So many of her photos are her holding animals or being with

animals. Why would she be so eager to go on a hunting trip as a special day to celebrate her purported pregnancy? It doesn`t make sense.

Now, the man that she was allegedly purportedly involved with, Christopher, purportedly volunteered at the same horse shelter she did.

So I -- he had said he wasn`t with her that day. He was going hunting. I think that there`s stuff here that doesn`t quite add up, Dr.

Tiffanie Davis Henry, psychologist.

DR. TIFFANIE DAVIS HENRY, PSYCHOLOGIST: I totally -- I totally agree with you, Jane. I believe that there`s a lot that doesn`t add up.

First of all, he says he barely even knows this lady, even though it`s his next-door neighbor. Then he comes back, "Well, yes, I know her. I

might have kissed her. Our relationship was close, but I don`t -- I didn`t do anything with her." Then we find out that she`s pregnant. Maybe it`s

his child, maybe not.

But there are so many little loopholes in his story. The wife is right. He`s not a good liar. And she would know, because she`s married to

him. So I think there`s a lot there that we just don`t know quite yet. But he have may have more answers than he`s letting on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s talk a little bit about the missing woman, Erin Corwin, and some facts surrounding that.

She`s married to Marine Corporal Jonathan Corwin. He`s not considered a suspect at all. But in these documents, a friend claims she was having

an affair with her married neighbor, Christopher Lee, who was also a Marine until very recently, until just a couple of days after his arrest.

Christopher and his wife have a daughter together. Now, the affidavit says Erin told a friend she thought the baby she was pregnant with may have

been Christopher`s. The friend says Christopher, quote, "was worried if his wife discovered Erin was pregnant, his wife would divorce him and keep

him from his child."

Now, Lisa Bloom, legal analyst, Avvo.com, cops say Christopher is not a suspect. But what do you make of all those facts that we just listed?

Or they`re not facts necessarily; they`re allegations contained in court documents.

BLOOM: Sure. So we know that pregnancy is one of the most dangerous times in a woman`s life. That is, that homicide is a very real factor for

a lot of pregnant women. And that`s exactly for the reasons that you`re putting together.

I know this is all speculative, and we don`t know; and we`re just kind of fitting these clues together. But if, indeed, she is carrying her

lover`s child, and she met up with him, let`s say, voluntarily; and she tells him, "I really think it`s yours. You know, I did the math on the

calendar, and I think this is your child," and he`s already been told by his wife that, if he has an affair, he`s never going to see his child

again, I mean, he could be really angry. And if this is a guy who`s armed, because supposedly, he`s going hunting, I don`t think that`s a farfetched

theory at all that he could have done her harm.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, again, we can`t jump to conclusions here. And nobody has been charged in this case. And authorities say they`re not even

sure if it`s a murder. It`s one possibility, but the other possibility is that she`s off on her own. In fact, Jeff said, maybe she was going to

break off the affair.

I wonder, maybe was she shamed -- shame-based about having this pregnancy and, in her shame over alleged cheating and the pregnancy that

may or may not have resulted -- maybe it was her husband`s, maybe this other guy`s, we don`t know. But maybe she could have run off because of

that shame.

In February, Erin posted on Facebook that she had had a miscarriage. Then just last month, two weeks before she vanished, she found out she was

pregnant again. But she had not told her mother, who she was very close to.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LORE HEAVILIN, ERIN`S MOTHER: I don`t really know where they`re coming up with three months, because the pregnancy was just confirmed on

Father`s day. I think she was going to tell me when I got here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, so, Evangeline Gomez, criminal defense attorney, could she have been keeping the pregnancy a secret from her mother, because

she knew it wasn`t her husband`s child?

GOMEZ: That could be the case, Jane. But also that`s not a lot of time. Many women keep that information under wraps, because many

pregnancies just voluntarily terminate before a certain time. And a lot of doctors advise women who are pregnant not to say anything until you`re well

into the second trimester, which she may have been doing that, given that she had a history of having a miscarriage. She didn`t want to get her

hopes high. She didn`t know if she was going to continue to carry this baby to term.

She could have had another miscarriage. So we can`t rule those other possibilities out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: As someone said here on Facebook, she didn`t just walk off. No, she allegedly got into this car with a stranger that our

guest, Michael Beasley, says looks just like this neighbor that she was allegedly having an affair with, and drove off. And then two days later,

remember, her car turns up abandoned right near her home about 100 feet off the road.

We want to hear from you. We`re just getting started. Contact us on Facebook or give us a call. What do you think? Where is this woman? Is

she dead or alive? Did something happen to her? What happened?

And on the other side, we`re going to talk about a potato launcher? Yes, it`s part of the case. Stay right there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The search continues for the missing Marine wife who`s also three months` pregnant. Her husband, Jonathan, reported her

missing on June 29, the day after she left the Marine Corps base at 7 in the morning. Corwin`s disappearance has been labeled suspicious by the San

Bernardino Sheriff`s Department, but authorities have not said it`s the result of foul play.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You couldn`t have asked for a much better teenager. She`s a little on the timid side. Maybe a little bit on the

naive side. But once she got to know you, you had a friend.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that`s another thing that doesn`t add up. Her family says she was a good girl, naive, just doing everything right, not --

not a girl who ever got into trouble ever.

Erin Corwin`s family has just released a statement. It reads, quote, "Because of the sensitive nature of this case, we`ve decided not to speak

publicly about the search for Erin at this time. We appreciate all of the media attention, thoughts and prayers. We`re also extremely grateful for

the hard work each investigator and volunteer who continue to work around the clock to find Erin are doing." And they also say if you have any

information, call the cops.

Now, here`s something bizarre. Investigators confiscated a whole bunch of weapons, including a potato gun from the ranch that Chris and his

wife were at least temporarily moving into. What on earth is a potato gun, and could it be used as a dangerous weapon? Check this out from YouTube.

All right. Well, you`re seeing it right there. There it is. It`s like a PVC pipe, T.J. Ward, private investigator, that you can shoot big

ammo through, including potatoes. But it does pack a punch. What on earth could this have to do with this case?

WARD: Well, one, it could have been an unlawful weapon. And I believe why they let him out from jail -- I`m surprised they didn`t keep

him from having this weapon. But they probably let him out to see if he goes back or somewhere, what his activity is, to see if he goes back and

tries to clean his mess up or recap something that he might have left.

I think that, other than that, they probably should have kept him in jail till September 9 when he goes to court. But I`m not surprised that

they did let him out, because they`re probably following up from what he does now, from the time he got off.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Michael Beasley, you`re there in the area where all this is going down. One of the things that I couldn`t understand is,

if cops had all this information, why didn`t they say it a long time ago? I mean, it`s early July when this man is brought in on an unrelated weapon

charges. And he`s out of the military by July 7. It`s now the 22nd. But yet you`re saying in the area, they`re still there searching right now?

BEASLEY: Well, you know, to answer that, in the sense of Friday, through the whole weekend here, Monday afternoon, Tuesday afternoon now,

they closed up shop early yesterday morning.

Yes, the San Bernardino County Sheriff`s Department had been focusing on what they call a waterpool or a pond, something behind the base. I

actually seen the sheriff`s helicopter out here all weekend and military helicopter. They`ve been on quads. They have not stopped looking for her

out here. This is my own backyard. Now, you know, they ain`t giving information about the case and how it`s going, you know. This girl looks

too innocent..

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me jump -- let me jump in here. Dr. Tiff, they`ve been looking at a pond behind the base. What does that tell you?

HENRY: Well, they`re telling me that they`re not leaving any stone unturned.

I think it`s very interesting, Jane, that this young lady was expecting a visit from her mother five days after she went missing. This

is someone who was planning a visit, not someone who was planning to leave and not come back or just totally vanish from the face of the earth or need

a break. She was planning a visit from her mom. Her mom was coming, and she knew that.

So that doesn`t say to me someone who just vanished. It says to me that perhaps she was -- something happened to her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me quickly go, Dennis, San Diego, quick thought from you? Dennis, San Diego.

CALLER: good afternoon. My thought is that adultery is, while very tempting and addictive to some people, can also be a very explosive reason

to turn to violence because of the way that it affects people`s lives and their futures.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, very interesting thought. Thank you, Dennis, San Diego.

I`ve got to tell you, just minutes from now, Nancy Grace will have a lot more on this case. So stay right there for "NANCY GRACE" at the top of

the hour.

And up next, right here, the mysterious murder of a college professor who`s also a lawyer. Cops say this murder was not a random act; it wasn`t

a robbery. He was shot in the head. Who would want this very prominent legal scholar who went to Harvard dead?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: FSU law professor Dan Markel was gunned down in his own home. Questions remain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a big shock to all of us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tallahassee police have yet to name a suspect in the case.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Still a lot of mystery surrounding it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Tonight, police are searching for clues and answers in a mysterious Florida murder. Cops say a famous well-

loved law professor from Florida State University, Dan Markel, seen here in Facebook photos, was gunned down, literally executed in his own home just a

few days ago. And they are now declaring that it was not a random act of home burglary gone wrong but that Markel was the target of a murder plot,

maybe even opening the front door for his killer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The manner in which Mr. Markel was killed, and that appears to be at this time a gunshot wound to the head.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who would want this well-liked professor and divorced father of two young sons dead? Could Markel have made enemies during his

bitter divorce or did a student or colleague create a sinister plot to shoot this professor?

Let`s review some of the clues. Cops say 41-year-old Markel was at home inside his home in a Tallahassee suburb when he was shot between 10:00

in the morning and noon on Friday -- that`s broad daylight. He got a single gunshot to the head. There were no signs of forced entry.

His neighbors heard the shot and they called 911. But Markel died at the hospital from his injury to the head -- literally an execution.

Was the killer somebody who knew Markel`s schedule? How did they know he`d be home between 10:00 a.m. and noon?

The "Lion`s Den" is ready to debate. But first, I want to go to my special exclusive guest, Reggie Garcia. Reggie, you`re a neighbor of the

late professor. I want to thank you for joining us. Our condolences to you, I know this is difficult. He was a friend and a neighbor.

First of all, what is the reaction in the neighborhood to this very well-respected, actually internationally-known law professor being gunned

down in what amounts to an execution-style killing?

REGGIE GARCIA, VICTIM`S NEIGHBOR: Thank you for having me. And I did have the privilege of actually speaking at his invitation at his criminal

law class at Florida State twice. And you`re right, he was beloved by his students and the faculty and you can tell the larger community is realizing

what a national treasure he was as a top legal teacher and scholar throughout the country.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Reggie, what about the neighborhood? I hear there`s rumors running rampant. People are terrified. But the cops are saying

basically, "Calm down, this is not a random home invasion."

GARCIA: Well, for 48 hours -- and to put this in perspective, and I`m reading the four-page incident report from the police department -- we now

know the 911 call happened at 11:02 a.m. So sadly that at least frames and narrows when he was shot, although as you pointed out, he didn`t die until

14 hours later.

For 48 hours there was, frankly, radio silence from the police department which caused some frustration. But to their credit yesterday at

noon, they said it was not a burglary, not a robbery, not random but that, quote, unquote, "he was the intended victim". And then today they went

further and described some factual details that he was shot in the head because honestly, there`s misinformation.

"Good Morning America" said he was shot in the back and attributed that to "Tallahassee Democrat". I just got off the phone with them. And

that`s nowhere in the "Tallahassee Democrat" reporting.

So we miss him and mourn him. But we appreciate you calling attention to try and get the facts out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well thank you. But Reggie, let me ask you this, who would want him dead?

GARCIA: I`m not in a position to speculate. Again, I think we know five facts. When the 911 call happened, when he died, maybe an unknown

fact, but the incident report says a vehicle was towed from the scene. You know, there is speculation was he at the front door? Did he know somebody?

There`s been social media and media speculation that he was on the phone with somebody. All of that is speculation.

You`ve mentioned his divorce. I`ve talked to three or four respected lawyers and even a retired judge that knows his ex-wife who frankly is also

a victim in this, the mother of their two children. And to a person, everybody says she could not possibly have anything to do with this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, my condolences go out to her as well. This has to be a very difficult time.

Let me ask you to stand by for one second, Reggie and we`ll get back to you. According to court documents, Dan and his ex-wife Wendi had a long

and contentious divorce and it took years to get an agreement. They were even in court reportedly, as recently as a few weeks ago. Now, after

Markel was killed, Wendi`s lawyer said she was, quote, "just devastated and scared to death".

I want to go out to Selin Darkalstanian, our senior producer out of Los Angeles. You`ve been looking into this. You`ve been talking to people

from all sides of this case. What have you learned tonight -- Selin?

SELIN DARKALSTANIAN, HLN SENIOR PRODUCER: Jane, first and foremost, this is a complete mystery. Who would want this guy dead? We`ve pulled

the full, you know, criminal history on him, just to look to see if there was anything in his background. Nothing at all aside from like one

speeding ticket -- nothing there.

As you said we spoke to his ex-wife`s attorney. He said she`s devastated about it. Her only focus was to care for their children and to

prepare for their difficult future. I asked him about rumors that we`re hearing about an acrimonious divorce and rumors of an affair that he might

have been having. And he says, you know, their divorce is over -- over with about a year ago, it was settled. And they were sharing custody of

their kids.

And he said to me, how could a single guy have an affair? So according to his ex-wife`s attorney, everything was said and done and the

divorce was settled about a year ago. We`re looking at the -- we`ve also pulled their docket, their divorce docket from the court --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I want to go to Lisa Bloom on that. Let me point out here in "The New York Times" it says he`d also been a scholar and

resident at New York University`s law school in the school`s center on the Administration of Criminal Law and spent much of his time in New York.

So you have to wonder if there`s a New York connection to this story because even though he`s there in Tallahassee, Florida he spent a lot of

his time in New York. Did he have a relationship? And again, as the ex- wife`s attorney said, it`s not cheating if you`re a single person. You`re allowed to have a relationship after a divorce. Could he have had a

relationship in New York? We don`t know.

Let me go to you though, Lisa Bloom, legal analyst for avo.com. You`re also a family law attorney. You looked at the court document that

we have that lists everything that they had been in conflict about during the course of the divorce. It goes on for pages and pages. Can you

summarize as a family law attorney, what does this tell you about the nature of their divorce, not to say that that has anything to do with this?

LISA BLOOM, LEGAL ANALYST, AVO.COM: Yes. So it was clearly a very contentious divorce. I`ve gone through all of these pages. These are just

the listings of all of the different disputes they had. The divorce was final July 31st, 2013. So they`ve been legally divorced for about a year.

So he`s correct that if he had an affair after that, he had a relationship after that, it was not an affair. However, even after that

date, he and his ex-wife continued to do battle in court week after week, month after month over the marital separation agreement, which generally

means over money. So they were fighting over money. They were fighting over the finances. That`s what`s reflected here.

There`s also some squirmishes about the parenting plan which usually means how time is divided between the parents with regard to the kids. So

listen, family law is always very contentious but this one especially so.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me say this, police always start with people closest to the victim. Dan was a respected and well-liked teacher at FSU.

His students were shocked at his murder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We kind of think that if you`re interested in criminal defense, like that`s not going to happen to you, you won`t be in

your house and get killed. It`s something that happened to him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard it happened some time in the afternoon. We didn`t know why. We didn`t know how. We just heard that he was gone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Tiffanie Davis-Henry, psychologist, he`s coming into contact with a huge number of students and teachers every semester.

He`s a very attractive man. I mean is it possible that a student may have developed an obsession with him or a fellow teacher? I mean there are no

suspects.

The number of people -- the type of people, the circle of potential suspects that police have to look at is infinite.

DR. TIFFANIE DAVIS-HENRY, PSYCHOLOGIST: Right. It is infinite -- Jane. And I think that, you know, no matter what, we have to remember that

this guy was a father. He was someone`s ex-husband. He`s someone`s child as well. And it sounds like he was a great professor and he`s going to be

missed tremendously by all of those that he`s worked with and impacted their lives.

But you`re right, Jane, the suspect pool is vast because we don`t know anything right now about this case in terms of who it was that came to that

door, why they were there. But we do know what happened once they got there. And we don`t know anything other than that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Markel, extremely well-respected in his field. He did undergraduate and his law degree at Harvard University and taught at

FSU. And he gave speeches like this one on YouTube for young scholars. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAN MARKEL, MURDERED FSU LAW PROFESSOR: Greetings, everybody. It`s an honor to be here and share some thoughts with you about this big project

that I`ve been working on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That man dead of a murder. We`re going to stay on top of this mystery and try to solve it. If you know anything, call police

immediately. Hey, if you have something to say, join the conversation. Go to my Facebook page. And while you`re there, do me a favor. Will you

share it and will you like it? There may be friends that want to weigh in on these important stories.

Next, two of the biggest stars of smash hit "Real Housewives of Atlanta" appear to be, well, on the outs would be an understatement. One

of them is going to prison for a long time. And the other one didn`t show up at the sentencing -- ouch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I`m crazy? I don`t think I`ve crossed the line. I crossed the line?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, you probably should not have been responding to her text.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t initiate the text.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She said you were texting her well after we fell out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t recall.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star has been arrested.

APOLLO NIDA, REALITY TV STAR: So why didn`t you show up for my sentencing.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don`t do that again.

NIDA: I`ve asked God to forgive me. I`ve forgiven myself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Enough with your threats.

NIDA: You do stuff all the time to piss me off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The question for you, would you be representing him in court?

PHAEDRA PARKS, REALITY TV STAR: Hell, no.

I`ve not filed for divorce. I`m still very married.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight after being sentenced to eight years in prison, Apollo Nida slams his wife "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star

Phaedra Parks and revealed his marriage is KO`d, over, done.

Nida pled guilty on charges of federal bank fraud and identity theft and he`s going to be forced to pay almost 2 million bucks in restitution.

The reality star was sentenced earlier this month. But his lawyer way, Phaedra Parks, was a no-show in court. Where is she? Not here.

Tonight, Apollo Nida is swinging back, attacking Phaedra for not supporting him and says there`s no way in heck their five-year marriage is

going to last while he`s locked up. Watch this from B100 Radio.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is your relationship going to be able to make it through this mess?

NIDA: I doubt it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

NIDA: I mean my wife didn`t even (EXPLETIVE DELETED) show up for my sentencing. So, you know, I`m still kind of salty about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow Dana Ward, host of ClevverTV, does Apollo have a right to be mad at Phaedra for being a no-show at his sentencing?

DANA WARD, HOST, CLEVVERTV: Of course he has no right to be angry about this. I mean can you believe him. He went on the record to say that

he was upset with her for not showing up at the sentencing. But word on the street is that she was already considering divorce but she was trying

to hold it together because they do have two beautiful children together.

But enough is enough. She`s decided she`s not standing by him. And really she needs to move on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What exactly -- Holland Reed, entertainment journal - - did this guy do? Because I think it involves something about creating phony auto loans? Maybe he should have thought about that before the

sentencing.

HOLLAND REED, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNAL: Absolutely. I mean he`s -- this is not the first time he`s going to jail. He`s had a rap sheet before they

even got together so her as a lawyer now choosing a man that is a convicted felon, I`m not sure what her thought process was when she chose her life

mate. But this guy is going away now for fraud, identity theft, opening up bank accounts and getting auto loans under false identities. I don`t know.

I`m thinking maybe Phaedra at this point, she just needs to upgrade her convict felon. Maybe she needs to get with the hot mug shot guy, Jeremy

Meeks.

I mean clearly make a choice here. At least let him be worth it. I don`t understand why as a lawyer somebody would choose somebody like this

to begin with.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Love is blind, you never know. "In Touch Weekly" reports Phaedra is now ready to divorce Apollo after he`s been convicted

and sentenced to almost a decade in the slammer. But two months ago, Phaedra was flashing her wedding ring and vowing to stick by her man.

Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PARKS: No, I have not filed for divorce. I`m still very married. Check out the bling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok.

PARKS: I have not filed for divorce.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have to think that this has been a tough time for you guys.

PARKS: Well, of course it is. I mean -- but we are where we are. And, you know, I will support him. We are a family. He`s the father of my

two beautiful kids.

And you know, at the end of the day, I am a southern bell. You know, I believe in family. And I will support him, you know, until this is

resolved.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good speech, Phaedra.

REED: No way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dana, what the hell? Something changed.

WARD: Southern bell? Jane, for good reason, I support my girl, Phaedra. Move on. Move on.

So in this latest interview he actually claimed that he didn`t understand the ramifications of reality TV or what he was signing up for.

Are you kidding me? Everyone and their dog knows that your dirty laundry is going to be aired on reality TV. He just happened to commit a crime and

get caught; so, good for Phaedra for moving on and just getting away from him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, to that point, Holland, is she a double winner because she`s got not only drop kicking this guy but she`s got a good story

line to run with now.

REED: Absolutely. Phaedra is a businesswoman. This woman is smart. She is calculating. Don`t think for two seconds that she did not know this

money that he was laundering is funding her dream. Her dream -- I`m just so excited.

Yes, absolutely, she is a businesswoman. She`s making business decisions. This is her brand she is protecting. So he has got to go.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the other side, why would people who are on a reality TV show, in other words, they know everybody`s watching them,

commit a crime? Stay right there. We`re going to try to answer that question.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for "Pet of the Day". Send your pet pics to hlntv.com/jane.

Penelope -- you are a cutie, Penelope. And Edward -- strong, regal, serious and fabulous. Morgane -- I think that`s how you pronounce it. I

love your eye shadow darling. We must drive sometime soon. And Eugene -- oh, tres chic. You look just like my little baby Tux.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PARKS: Don`t text my friends. You shouldn`t do it.

NIDA: I`m a grown man. You`re not my mama.

PARKS: I`m not saying I am your mama.

NIDA: But at the end of the day --

PARKS: You`re got to lighten up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s Apollo and then there`s the New Jersey (inaudible).

Holland Reed, don`t they know everything that everything they do is going to be under a microscope?

REED: Everything they do is under a microscope. I mean come on, at this point you`re on a reality show. Unless they were doing these illegal

activities or he was allegedly -- not allegedly now, he`s been sentenced doing these illegal activities to keep this image going, I`m not

understanding why you would do that in choosing a legal route when there`s so many opportunities at this point being a reality star, being presented

to you. It`s very strange.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ten seconds -- Dana, there`s a very pressure though because it costs -- it actually costs money to be on these reality shows in

a sense.

WARD: It completely costs money. But I guess they didn`t make enough money on their exercise video they made together, "Donkey Booty Volume

One". So yes, they felt the pressure or specifically Apollo felt the pressure and he did what he thought he needed to do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Apollo -- do a reality show behind bars.

Nancy next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END