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Jane Velez-Mitchell

Blood Found in Isabel Celis House; More Info Revealed in Trayvon Martin Shooting

Aired May 25, 2012 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you from Los Angeles.

Hundreds and hundreds of pages of documents just released in the case of missing 6-year-old Arizona girl, Isabel Celis, and in those documents some real stunners. Reports claiming apparent blood, a child running in the dark, a mysterious debtor, and that`s just for starters. The very latest next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, brand-new information in the disappearance of 6-year-old Isabel Celis. We`ve got new reports that cops found blood in Isabel`s house, and that`s just the beginning. Cops released hundreds of pages of records that include some stunners: reported claims of money owed to the family, and mysterious calls to cops.

Were footprints found outside Isabel`s house? Will all of this lead to a break in the case? We`re investigating.

And the Trayvon Martin shooting case just took a 180. Witnesses are reportedly changing their stories. And now we`re learning that accused shooter George Zimmerman felt that he was very friendly with the Sanford, Florida, cops who refuse to arrest him. What`s going on here? Is everything we know about this case changing?

And our new adventure to slim. How this former "Biggest Loser" winner lost 129 pounds. What`s her secret to keeping it off?

BECKY CELIS, MOTHER OF ISABEL: My husband loves those boys, loves my daughter.

(via phone) Hello.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ma`am, are you the mom?

B. CELIS: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. What is your name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Rebecca Celis. C-E-L-I-S.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who noticed her gone, your husband?

B. CELIS: My husband. I went to work this morning at 7. She has brown hair.


B. CELIS: No. I didn`t hear anything at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police continue to re-interview neighbors. They`re hoping to contact about 120 people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We happen to have in excess of 540-some registered sex offenders.

ALICIA STARDEVANT, NEIGHBOR: My dogs were going crazy. Their dogs were going nuts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There were some bones found earlier today, possible human remains. It`s still not definitively clear.

SERGIO CELIS, FATHER OF ISABEL: We will do anything for her. We are looking -- we`re looking for you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight police release massive amounts of evidence in the case of missing 6-year-old Isabel Celis. New information includes one staggering fact: that there may have been blood on the floor of the little girl`s bedroom.

This is an enormous download of information, hundreds of documents spanning the entire investigation that began five long weeks ago. Police only gave out a couple of hard copies of this evidence, so we`ve been working off published reports tonight.

The volume of information absolutely staggering, more than 550 pages - - 550 pages -- of police reports. The docs reveal this investigation has already cost over a million dollars, mobilizing hundreds of officers from various agencies.

Now this comes hot on the heels of the 911 call, which kicked off the frantic search.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You looked everywhere, under the bed, the closets, everything?

B. CELIS (via phone): Yes, I looked everywhere. I even looked -- the window`s out of our house. Somebody took the window out of our house.


B. CELIS: Please hurry, please, and get here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re almost there, ma`am, OK?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is your husband and your kids?

B. CELIS: They`re outside waiting for the cops.


B. CELIS: Oh, my God.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Isabel`s mother clearly hysterical. From all the new evidence, this may be the key item: photos of the middle East bedroom in the Celis home include, quote, "views of apparent blood on the floor," end quote. That is Isabel`s bedroom. The one she was sleeping in when she apparently vanished.

So whose blood was found? When was it left there?

The evidence also states DNA samples were taken from Isabel`s parents and brothers. Their mouths swabbed and blood collected from Isabel`s parents, mom and dad.

Straight out to Claire Doan, a reporter for KGUN on the ground in Tucson, Arizona.

Claire, you`ve been pouring over these documents. What`s the most startling evidence that`s popping out at you tonight?

CLAIRE DOAN, REPORTER, KGUN: You know, you mentioned it, Jane. It is that blood that was found on pictures, apparent blood that they captured at that middle East bedroom.

But also, there wasn`t just blood in the bedroom. There was also what they considered red or brown stains found on items in the car near the Celis home: a white hat, vinyl shower curtain that had stains on them. And that is what police collected as well for evidence.

They found footprints, as well, around the home. Boot prints near the small electrical box also feet away, as well; footprints, as well, that could be consistent. So a lot of evidence found at the home that police have detailed in some of those records that were released today.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just want to clarify. You said something about blood and a car? Is that what you said?

DOAN: Blood in -- from a white hat, possible blood because it has red, brown or brown stains from a white hat, as well as from a vinyl shower curtain that police did get from inside the car that they took to their compound to analyze for evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is that the Celis` car?

DOAN: Yes. From what we know of those documents, yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Wow. Well, you know --

DOAN: Very startling information.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: People are wondering about -- stand by, because we`re going to come back to you. But people have been wondering about Isabel`s father ever since hearing this 911 call. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is mom there, also?

S. CELIS (via phone): She just left for work. I just called her, and I told her to get her butt home. (CHUCKLES)


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. The dad is apparently heard chuckling, if you listen very carefully, as he reports his daughter missing. His tone has raised eyebrows.

And now the just-released reports reveal that a police officer was approached by somebody who claimed to be a friend of Isabel`s father, and that friend told cops, quote, "Something didn`t seem right about what was going on" and alluded that he believed the father was in some way involved.

Now I want to stress that nobody has been named a suspect. Nobody has been eliminated. But nobody has been named.

This person could some kind of busy body, somebody with a grudge, a total crackpot, somebody playing detective who has no evidence, but you`ve got to wonder about this comment.

So I want to go out to David Pike. We have an exclusive interview with Isabel`s neighbor, David Pike.

David, I understand that your boys played with Isabel`s brothers. Is that true, sir?

DAVID PIKE, NEIGHBOR (via phone): Yes, ma`am. We...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So -- go ahead.

PIKE: Yes, they -- early on a couple years ago they -- after they had moved in, they -- their younger boys and Serge Jr. were into BMX bicycles. So they came over and visited with my boys who were also into BMXs. And my older son, who`s now 18, talked to them about bicycles and went down to their house and visited with Serge Sr. and -- because he also rides bicycles.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Speaking of Serge Sr., what do you make of him? There`s a lot of -- obviously the police focus on who`s there first. They focus on the family first. What would you like to say about the father of missing Isabel Celis?

PIKE: In passing and seeing him walking back and forth to his mother and father`s house, which would be Grandma and Grandpa, who we`ve known for 16 years. And everything seemed -- and apparently, you know, the kids seemed like they were doing well prior to this incident taking place. Seeing them walking up and down the street with Isabel to Grandma and Grandpa`s house, riding on dad`s shoulders, typical, you know...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, David, did he seem like a good dad? Did he seem in any way, shape or form creepy or just like a good dad who was nothing to see here?

PIKE: No, not to us. We`re about five -- we`re five houses down from them on the same side of the street, and we`ve been here for 16 years. And they moved in about four years ago.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me jump in and ask you. I just want to get a sense, because I`m not sure what you`re saying. Would you trust your kids with Isabel`s dad?

PIKE: I have trusted them down there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So how would you like to characterize him? What would you say if you were asked about him?

PIKE: He seemed like a nice person to me. Whenever I stopped by and visited him going in and out of the neighborhood, when he was out there with the boys or doing, you know, things in his garage, working on bicycles or whatever it was he was doing. I didn`t see a whole lot of Mom, because she worked all the time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s interesting, and I think it`s really important to get a balanced perspective on this. The Celis family started out quiet, but they`ve since opened up and they`ve talked to the media a lot.

Isabel`s mom has defended her husband after he was told to have no contact with his two young sons. Listen to this.


B. CELIS: My husband is a great father. The kids -- my husband loves those boys, loves my daughter, is a great husband, a great -- a great father to the boys and to Isabel. And you know, at the end of -- at the end of the day when Isabel comes home, everybody`s answers -- or everybody`s questions will be answered.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But here`s another disturbing new piece of evidence. ABC News is reporting that one person interviewed during the investigation said that, quote, "a guy who was staying with the family owed someone a lot of money, and that`s why she was taken."

Extraordinary. Tanya Acker, attorney, your reaction.

TANYA ACKER, ATTORNEY: I think that one of the things that`s so striking about this case is that there`s all of this loose evidence, and this is particularly important. Who is this guy? Who is the person who gave the police information about his alleged debt that he owed? Who did he owe the money to? There are so many questions here.

We`re still early in the action. But, you know, the further -- the longer that we go on with this, the harder it becomes to get really firm answers. I think that it`s important that investigators pin this down as quickly as possible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is there a mystery person who owed the Celis family money? And, if so, why are we just hearing about it now? More on the other side.



B. CELIS (via phone): I went to work this morning at 7, and I just -- and I didn`t even come and check on her. I should have come and checked on her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. All right. Take a deep breath, OK. I know it`s hard.

B. CELIS: Oh, no, I can`t even...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does she have a medical condition?

B. CELIS: No, she has nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m sorry, she has what?

B. CELIS: She has nothing. No medical condition. She`s healthy. No allergies, no medical conditions. She has brown hair.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Didn`t hear anything at all?

B. CELIS: No, I didn`t hear anything at all.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Five hundred and fifty pages of new documents released in the disappearance of Isabel Celis. The headline: blood, apparent blood, found on the floor of her bedroom.

Forensic psychologist Brian Russell, isn`t, though, there an innocent explanation, given that young Isabel lived in the house?

BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, you`re right, Jane. You could find blood in many homes in small quantities, in predictable places like the sink where people shave, for example. And so it`s all about the quantity and the location.

And I think the bigger bombshell tonight is the assertion that there may be a new player involved in this case that we`re just now hearing about.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, this apparent man who somebody mentions in these reports that allegedly, purportedly owes the Celis family money and may have been staying with him. And why are we just hearing about that now?

Now, some of the evidence lines up very carefully with the 911 calls. Listen to Isabel`s father and how he called in the disappearance of his daughter.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tucson Police Department.

S. CELIS (via phone): Hello, I need to report a missing child. I believe she was abducted from my house.


S. CELIS: Six years old.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, is it your daughter or...?

S. CELIS: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do you think she was abducted?

S. CELIS: I have no idea. We woke up this morning, and I went to get her up for her baseball game and she`s gone.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Claire Doan, KGUN reporter, "The Arizona Daily Star" now reporting that, in one of these reports, a man says he flagged down a police officer and told the cop he had seen a little girl who appeared to be 6 or 7 years old, running down North Columbus Boulevard late at night. How close is this boulevard to where the Celis family is, and is this a credible report?

DOAN: You know, it is relatively close. It takes minutes to get from the house to Columbus Boulevard.

But police at this point are telling us they are checking every lead, no matter how ridiculous it is. No matter what, they are following up on it.

But what was really interesting in the reports, Jane, is that there was a man who also flagged police down and said that he actually knew the father, Sergio Celis, really well. Alluded to the fact that there was something going on, there was something strange there going on with the father. And he believed the father had some kind of involvement in his daughter`s disappearance. And he wanted to talk to detectives further about the information he had. And that was very interesting in some of the documents that we received today.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and the other big headline -- David Pike, you are Isabel`s neighbor. Your boys played with Isabel`s brothers. This report that there was some guy staying reportedly, allegedly, with the Celis family, who owed them a lot of money. Have you ever heard anything about this claim before just now -- David.

PIKE: No, Jane. We knew that I believe Becky`s brother was staying with the family for a while, a year or so ago, and the boys had alluded that it was their uncle or cousin. And he was...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well -- go ahead.

PIKE: Yes, he was staying with them, but I think it was, like, maybe six or eight months. I`m not sure how long he stayed with them, but, yes, he was living there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tanya Acker, attorney, you`re here on set with me in L.A. You`ve covered so many of these cases. Should the police have let us know about this mystery figure beforehand?

TANYA ACKER, ATTORNEY: I think that the police should at the very least, before they let us know, they should have taken his statement. They should have found out who he was.

I mean, you know, it`s one thing simply to have these reports, to have these allegations, to have these third-party witness statements. But, you know, if there is a person who was in that house, the police, hopefully by this time, know who he is, have taken his statement, even if they`re not releasing that evidence to the public.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but when you hear these parents pleading for information, either the police are telling them don`t reveal that somebody was staying there allegedly, purportedly. Don`t reveal that somebody owed you money, or they`re holding it back intentionally. Or it just didn`t happen, and it`s a false report.

Either way it`s a confusing case. Police are working around the clock to find this precious child. We certainly hope they do.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Trayvon Martin next. But first, what`s trending, your "Viral Video of the Week."






UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In less than one year, George Zimmerman went from slamming the Sanford Police Department to singing its praises.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, CHARGED WITH TRAYVON MARTIN SHOOTING: I also have had had the opportunity to take ride-alongs with the city of Sanford Police Department. And what I saw was disgusting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He says, "I have high hopes for and restored faith in your administration and the Sanford Police Department in its entirety.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the Trayvon Martin family reacting right here on the show to a slew of stunning developments in the George Zimmerman case, including an inside look at exactly what kind of relationship Trayvon`s shooter had with the local police.

We`ve learned now that, over a year before George Zimmerman shot Trayvon, Zimmerman was outraged over how police handled this brutal caught- on-tape beating of an African-American homeless man by the son of a police lieutenant.

George Zimmerman accused cops of a cover-up and corruption and slammed the police department at a city hall meeting. Listen.


ZIMMERMAN: I also have had the opportunity to take ride-alongs with the city of Sanford Police Department. And what I saw was disgusting.

The officer showed me his favorite hiding spot for taking naps; explained to me that he doesn`t carry a long gun in his vehicle, because in his words, "Anything that requires a long gun requires a lot of paperwork, and you`re going to find me as far away from it." He took two lunch breaks and attended a going-away party for one of his fellow officers.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But, months later when new Police Chief Bill Lee took over, Zimmerman`s whole outlook on the Sanford Police Department changed.

He wrote in a letter, "I have high hopes for and restored faith in your administration and the Sanford Police Department in its entirety." He spoke specifically about the department`s volunteer coordinator. Writing in another e-mail, he described his close working relationship and quick responses to e-mails and phone calls.

Straight out to Natalie Jackson, the attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family.

Natalie, what is the reaction to the Martin family to this new information about shooter George Zimmerman`s relationship with the local police department that initially refused to arrest him after he shot Trayvon Martin dead?

NATALIE JACKSON, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON MARTIN (via phone): Well, first, I`d like to say, Jane, that we believe George Zimmerman is innocent until trial. So I don`t want to get into George Zimmerman and his statements and everything.

But if you asked me about the relationships of the police department, one of the reasons that we got involved in this case is because we were concerned about the actions of the police. Not because of -- you know, George Zimmerman is one key, but we were concerned about the actions of the Sanford Police Department and the relationships that would cause a non- arrest in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to bring in Mark Nejame, HLN legal analyst, a criminal defense attorney down there in Orlando where all this is going on. What do you make, Mark, of this back story between George Zimmerman and the police, the fact that he was sending e-mails and phone calls to this community volunteer coordinator, so the cops had to have known who he was?

MARK NEJAME, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: I don`t know if I buy that one, Jane. Just because somebody sends an e-mail to an administrator in a department doesn`t really flow down to the officers in any bureaucracy that I`m aware of.

I think Natalie`s point is well taken, though, that this really has to do with a review of what went on with the Sanford Police Department, and did they conduct an appropriate investigation? I think we now know that Chief Lee never met with him. And so the chief, who is the top of the food chain there, never met with Zimmerman, to all the information that I`ve been able to glean.

I think also it`s important to realize that the state attorney`s office is the one who makes the decision.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard the crying. It was a little boy. As soon as the gun went off, the crying stopped.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hear like a bump. You could hear that Trayvon -- somebody bumped Trayvon. I could hear the grass.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They always get away. This guy looks like he`s up to no good or he`s on drugs or something.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I know is someone is on top of the other person, and I hear help, help, help yelled a couple times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 911 and the other tapes were played for the Martin family, and they identified that as their son crying for help. That is absolutely positively George Zimmerman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you definitely could tell another voice that was not Trayvon?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you heard this other voice say what?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you doing around here?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Another avalanche of new information about to be released in the Trayvon Martin shooting next week, and tonight there are a whole bunch of new questions about what crucial eyewitnesses actually saw the night Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin. The details surrounding the shooting of Trayvon Martin have been murky, and now the Orlando Sentinel reporting at least four witnesses have changed their stories. You remember this witness who described in detail a fight between Trayvon and Zimmerman with Zimmerman yelling for help.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I first walked out there, the black guy was on top. And the only reason I can tell that was because the guy that was on the ground under him at that point wrestling was definitely a lighter color.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, according to the Orlando Sentinel, that crucial witness has changed part of his story. And get this, there are at least three other witnesses who have reportedly changed their statements, too. Is the Trayvon Martin case a vortex of confusion and contradiction with witness after witness changing their stories? If there are questions about the few witnesses we have, does that make the testimony of Trayvon Martin`s girlfriend that much more important? She says she was on the phone with Trayvon moments before he was shot. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you definitely can tell another voice that was not Trayvon --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you heard this other voice say what?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you doing around here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing around here. OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I call Trayvon, Trayvon, what`s going on, what`s going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is you say saying that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Then I am calling him and he didn`t answer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No answer from Trayvon?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I hear something like bump, you can hear that Trayvon -- somebody bumped Trayvon because I could hear the grass.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll play more of that tape in a minute. Observers have suggested Angela Corey, the special prosecutor, relied heavily on the testimony of Trayvon`s girlfriend to charge George Zimmerman.

All right. I want to go back to Mark Nejame, HLN legal analyst. What do you make of four witnesses, four crucial witnesses reportedly changing their story? That`s huge.

NEJAME: Well, you know, it`s common that witnesses once they get subject to cross-examination and being questioned again, I don`t think in 30 years I`ve ever seen two witness statements line up.

I don`t know the depth of the changed stories. I don`t know if it helps or hurts one side or the other. I do know that sometimes minutia can be made into a mountain, and sometimes issues that are significant are turned into nothing because of the subject of cross-examination. So we need to find out what those changes are.

But, and we need to find out why those changes occurred. Is there a fee or is there something underfoot? Are there people being paid for stories that would influence their testimony? We need to find out what was changed and why it was changed.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and I guess we have to ask, since apparently three out of the four witnesses who changed their story changed it in a way that hurts George Zimmerman, you have to wonder, Michelle Suskauer, criminal defense attorney out of West Palm Beach, if they might have felt actually intimidated or scared because of all the uproar over the shooting.

MICHELLE SUSKAUER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely, Jane, because their names are out there, where they live is out there, and certainly how could all of this national and international pressure not affect them?

But what is significant is that each one of their credibility is going to be weighed if this case even makes it to a jury. And this just screams reasonable doubt. There is a conflict in the testimony here. And this is going to be a big problem for the state.


ACKER: I think I really have to take issue with that, because certainly the credibility of these witnesses is in question, but what is not necessarily in question is whether or not there`s reasonable doubt in this case. What is not at issue is there was a fight. We know there was a fight. What is at issue is whether or not George Zimmerman had any business pursuing this unarmed young man, who, by the way, you know, when you`re walking down the street, you have the right not to be accosted or molested by somebody who wants to know what you`re doing. Perhaps it`s none of their business. So the issue is not so much the fight. We know that there was a fight. We know that George Zimmerman sustained some injuries. The issue is what was he doing continuing to pursue Trayvon Martin when the police said we`ve got this, go home?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, to that point, a witness said he saw some MMA- style fighting. That means mixed martial arts. Listen to this witness, a crucial witness, explain exactly what he says he saw. Essentially, what he said was that he saw a -- I believe it was a black man on top of a lighter skinned man, and he said that Zimmerman was the one being beaten up, and he also said that he thought that the person being beaten up was the one who was yelling for help.

But here`s what`s so wild, and this is what gets me, is that Brian Russell, when he was reinterviewed after initially saying he thought Trayvon was throwing all these punches, martial arts style, he then said a couple weeks later, he was no longer sure that Trayvon was even throwing punches. He said this teenager may simply have been keeping Zimmerman pinned to the ground. That is a huge change when somebody said they saw martial arts movements, and then the next minute they`re saying they didn`t know what they saw at all, that he may have just been pinning him to the ground, Brian.

RUSSELL: Actually, Jane, as a lawyer and as a psychological expert witness, I can tell you that that is how it goes a lot of times with eyewitness testimony, and actually the changing stories probably reflect more the problems with the reliability of eyewitness testimony than the truth of what really happened. I think Mark Nejame was exactly right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, there are some major problems with these witnesses changing their stories. Witness No. 2 said she saw two guys running, and then she changed her story and said she caught a glimpse of one person running, and all this because she wasn`t wearing her contacts. Now another witness said at first she did not know who was on top in this confrontation. Now she says she is absolutely sure George Zimmerman was on top. And so we have all of these witnesses changing their story.

Natalie Jackson, the attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family, what do you make of four crucial witnesses changing their story?

NATALIE JACKSON, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON`S FAMILY: I think that a jury will hear all the evidence, Jane, and they`ll decide. They`ll hear it in a linear fashion and not the way that it`s been put out.

I did hear you say that -- that -- the -- I heard you say that the evidence is going to be relying upon the testimony, but I believe that George Zimmerman`s own words is really the crucial testimony in this case and the linchpin in this case for the prosecution.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But let me ask Michelle Suskauer, what happens in court during a trial when a witness says one thing, and then says something completely different? How is a lawyer going to use that to impeach their testimony?

SUSKAUER: Well, that`s exactly what they do. They`re going to -- the witness will testify, and then the lawyer will elicit the fact that they made a statement completely differently at another time, and the time that they made the statement was much closer to when the actual incident happened, and it makes a difference.

But, Jane, what`s important is that if this even gets to a jury, which it may not because of a stand your ground motion to dismiss that will be heard first. What`s really crucial is that the court would instruct the jury that they can find reasonable doubt from the evidence, from a lack of evidence, or from the conflict in the evidence. And this is conflict. These are key witnesses. Because all you have is Zimmerman and these witnesses. You do not have Trayvon Martin to tell his side of the story.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Michelle Suskauer has been saying that she thinks the stand your ground hearing could have the case thrown out, but a lot of people say that`s wishful thinking on their part if that`s what they want. Which a lot of people don`t want.

ACKER: Jane, the authors of the stand your ground law say it does not protect George Zimmerman in this case. The stand your ground law does not give you the right to pursue someone. It does not give you the right nor any self-defense theory generally does not give you the right to pursue someone, to provoke a confrontation, and then hide behind it.

According to this 911 tape, George Zimmerman was instructed to go home. He did not. So certainly there was a fight. Certainly we have got conflicting witness testimony about who was on top and who was throwing punches. The stand your ground law did not give Zimmerman the right to pursue this kid and then have a confrontation escalate.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Natalie Jackson, last word, ten seconds, do we have any idea when the stand your ground hearing is going to occur?

JACKSON: I agree with Michelle. I would be very surprised if the stand your ground hearing even takes place. I don`t think that one will happen. And if it does happen, I do not believe George Zimmerman will win that hearing. It will go to trial.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, thank you so much, fantastic panel, for joining me on this. We are all over this case. We will stay on top of it. And I`ll tell you one thing I`ve learned covering these mega cases, they`re like runaway freight trains. You never know where they`re going to go next. Back in a moment.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Our show is doing a nightly adventure to slimness. Olivia Ward, a big star in my book. Past winner of NBC`s "Biggest Loser."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I lost 129 pounds, almost half my body weight.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Come on, everybody. That`s fabulous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just shows that with really, really good education and with determination, you can do it. Anybody can do it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s the next installment on our adventure to slim. I`m on the adventure. Are you? It`s a lot of fun. We`ve dedicated ourselves to eating right and slimming down by making one tiny little lifestyle change at a time. This is going to be fun. And to get us through the weekend, I have an amazing story of a woman who cut her body weight in half. Watch this from NBC.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Olivia, she is our new biggest loser. Olivia, congratulations.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I am so excited to meet my very special guest, season 11 Biggest Loser winner, Olivia Ward. Olivia, you are an inspiration to me.

I just want to give the stats one more time. You started at about 261. You lost 129 pounds and ended up at 132 pounds you lost, that`s about 129 pounds lost. So that was about a year ago. I mean, that`s mind- boggling weight loss. How did you do it and how have you kept it off, because you look fabulous, my dear?

OLIVIA WARD, BIGGEST LOSER WINNER: Thank you. Well, yesterday was my one-year anniversary of keeping the weight off, so I`m really excited about that. You know, I wish I could tell you it was some kind of magic pill or something that was really easy. It wasn`t. It was hard work, diet and exercise, calories in, calories out. And, you know, I think what was so great about what I learned at the "Biggest Loser" is it`s a lifestyle change. It`s about making small changes that add up to huge results, and so this past year I`ve just continued -- I do cross fit in the morning, cross fit 2 at (ph) 2:00, I spin at night in (inaudible) cycle, and it`s 90 minutes a day, six days a week, that`s just for me and it has really been a very, very good lifestyle for me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you are speaking our language, because on this show every night we are showing people, experts are telling us, how to tweak our lifestyle and create this new lean lifestyle by making these small, easy changes. There`s no dieting involved. But it produces a big change. OK, so, you know what we`ve done. We`re drinking eight glasses of water a day. I`m doing it. We`re eating a good, healthy breakfast. And we are also having an apple a day. All right. So that`s pretty easy. Those changes, little by little, an apple a day, eight glasses of water, and a healthy, healthy breakfast -- and that doesn`t mean a fat-laden meat and dairy breakfast. That means something like brown rice or fruit, that`s going to make a huge change. Olivia, what are your thoughts?

WARD: You know, it`s really important to give your body the fuel. I think in America we`ve quit looking at food as our fuel. It`s what`s going to get us through the day, it`s going to keep us full, it is going to give us energy to not only be productive in our daily lives, in our careers, but also to exercise. We need to move our bodies. If we don`t have the proper fuel in the morning and throughout the day, we don`t really have a chance. So get that good, healthy breakfast in.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: As part of all of this, I had some raw nuts and raw dried fruit for breakfast, and I feel very energetic. One thing we`ve really focused on is making this -- get rid of this word diet. It doesn`t work. Diets are a billion dollar industry. But nearly all dieters regain the weight. Why? I`ll explain it to you. It`s very simple. It`s a self- defeating mechanism. Dieting requires willpower. Willpower creates stress and stress creates cravings. Cravings lead to a binge. What`s your thought, Olivia?

WARD: It`s so true. The more we think about diet, the more we stress out about it, the more we fail, the more we end up feeling guilty about it and eating. It`s about small changes. It`s about making the decision. It`s a lot easier than we make it. I think we get caught up in all these fad programs, and really it`s about getting up in the morning and making a choice. Am I going to have a good breakfast? Am I going to get exercise in? Just get up and make the choice.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Olivia, I love you. Congratulations!



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beagles are the breed of choice to use in laboratory research because they`re bred to be docile, trusting, forgiving, and unfortunately, that is why they`re used.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you love dogs, you must watch this. For years the scientific community has tested thousands and thousands of household products on innocent dogs. More than 70,000 dogs are used in testing in the United States every year. They are poked, prodded, some have their vocal chords cut so they don`t disturb the lab technicians when they`re howling. They`re locked up for their entire lives. But there is hope thanks to an amazing group, Beagle Freedom Project. OK? This amazing organization rescues beagles from laboratories and endless suffering. Adorable creatures are leaving their cages and feeling grass for the first time in their lives.

Straight with me now Shannon Keith, who is president of ARME, Animal Rescue Media and Entertainment. Beagle Freedom Rescue Project. Shannon, first of all, congratulations for doing this. Tell us about the beagles you rescued from the labs.

SHANNON KEITH, PRESIDENT, BEAGLE FREEDOM PROJECT: Thank you, Jane. It`s so exciting. We are so blessed to be able to save these beagles from laboratory research. They have never, as you said, felt the grass, felt the sunshine on them. They don`t know what toys are. They don`t know what trees are. So to watch them take a step for the first time in their lives is bittersweet. Because it`s exciting, but at the same time they`re scared of the real world. What is this around them? They`ve never seen it before. And so to watch the transformation is just amazing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do these beagles go through? And, as we talk about this, you also rescued a whole bunch of beagles from laboratories in Spain. We`re going to show you that as well. What do these beagles go through?

KEITH: Unfortunately, they go through torture. They spend their entire lives in cages inside of a laboratory facility. They are not given exercise. They are not given any sort of enrichment, and they are poked, prodded and, unfortunately, abused by lab technicians throughout their entire lives.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I`ve got to tell you, you are one of my heroes for rescuing these animals. And I actually said, well, what are you doing afterwards? Do you want to get a cup of coffee? And you said, no, I have to get back to my beagles and take care of them. And I understand that you keep the labs actually secret. You keep them secret because if you didn`t keep them secret, they might not give you any more animals because they don`t want their names to be revealed.

Now, take a look at what I am showing on the screen. If you want to help, if you at home want to help, you must make sure that every product you buy says not tested on animals, because the vast majority of these animals are tested for things we buy every day -- shampoo, cosmetics, cleaning supplies -- and all of it is generally tested on animals, these beautiful creatures, unless you get products that say not tested on animals, specifically, cruelty free. Let`s show the label once again. Why is this so important?

KEITH: I think it`s really important for people to know that it`s not required by law to test on animals for cosmetics or for products. People don`t know that, and these companies still continue to torture these animals. We don`t know why. We don`t know why they`re doing it, but it`s not required, and it`s so easy to go purchase products, like you said, that are not tested on animals.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we don`t think -- we don`t realize, it`s shampoos. It`s cosmetics. It`s cleaning products for your kitchen. Go cruelty free.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you want to help rescue beagles from laboratory experimentation, go to I`m here with Shannon Keith, who has rescued -- how many have you rescued so far?

KEITH: So far we have rescued 67 beagles in just a little over a year.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you`re saying there are 70,000 that are used every year in testing, dogs in general, in the United States.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So people who love dogs may not realize that just by going shopping, they are actually participating in the cruel experimentation on these animals?

KEITH: Exactly. Exactly. Everyone can make a difference just by their pocketbook. Just by making themselves aware. Just bring a little cruelty free guide with you and don`t buy that product.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have a cruelty-free app on my iPhone. You can download a cruelty free app. Don`t buy products that don`t say not tested. It should say not tested, cruelty free. Nancy next.