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Interview with Lisa Bloom

Aired June 23, 2003 - 20:33   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: In a Texas courtroom today, the murder trial of a former nurse's aide opened with prosecutors showing pictures of what the defendant is accused of doing to a homeless man. The defendant looked down. Some of the jurors looked away.
Ed Lavandera has more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chante, was totally messed up on ecstasy.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Chante's attorney says it was the cocktail and drugs that made her drive home with a 37- year-old homeless man impale in her car windshield. After striking Greg Biggs, she left the man dying in her garage still stuck halfway in her car as she tried to figure out what to do next.

Mallard's attorney says she was more than just a little dazed and confused.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is sitting there crying hysterically and she's telling this body in her car, I'm sorry, it was an accident, I didn't mean to hit you, I didn't mean to hit you, I didn't mean to hurt you.

LAVANDERA: Prosecutors say Mallard showed her indifference about the accident in the hours after coming home. Medical experts believe Greg BIERBAUER: could have survived the crash impact, but instead bled to death in the garage. It wasn't until her boyfriend saw the body a few hours later that he realized Biggs had died.

CHRISTY JACK, PROSECUTOR: To make certain this he poked him with a rake. And you'll hear, ladies and gentlemen, that Chante wanted to burn the car and the body.

LAVANDERA: Instead, Mallard's boyfriend and another friend dumped the body in the park. Those two men pleaded guilty and are expected to testify against Chante Mallard. Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas.


ZAHN: And here to talk more about the case is Court Tv's Lisa Bloom. Nice to see you on another network for a change. Welcome.

What kind of defense is this?

My client was taking drugs and drinking and was commuting with the dead body on her windshield?

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV: The defense is the pointing the finger at everyone else. My put the ecstasy tablet in my mouth. My friends told me not to call 911. I was drinking a lot. Please excuse my behavior because of what other people told me to do.

ZAHN: You don't think any jury will buy that, do you?

BLOOM: This is Texas. Let's keep in mind what happened recently in Texas. Clara Harris, guilty of murder. Andrea Yates, guilty of murder two female defendants who tried to blame something other than themselves. It didn't fly. I don't think it is very likely to fly this in this case either.

ZAHN: So where is the defense going?

Is that the only tactic it has?

BLOOM: The defense has to do something, because Chante Mallard is facing life in prison. She has no criminal record. It started out as an accident. You can have some sympathy for her except for the fact that a 200 pound man was lodged in her windshield for eight miles as she drove home. She parks in the garage. She leaves in there for hours. One of the witnesses says she went inside and had sex with her boyfriend during time that this man was bleeding to death in her garage. She's got do something this is is all she's got.

ZAHN: Would you approach it any other way than this defense attorney is?

BLOOM: I don't think so I think a plea bargain would have been a good idea. We don't know what might have gone on behind the scenes. We know there wasn't a plea bargain in this case, so she's facing a jury. She's got a tough road to hoe.

This is one of those cases that makes everyone say, what was she thinking?

Why didn't she pick up the phone and call 911. Why didn't she render some aid especially because she's a nurse's aid.

Would you want her treating your mother in the hospital?

ZAHN: No one would. You covering this gavel to gavel. What level of interest is there this?

Is this considered one of the more outrageous one that have come down the pipe lately.

BLOOM: Every criminal story we have is so outrageous. Fundamentally they're about human behavior.

What do you do when there is an emergency.

What do you do when you're panicked?

Maybe she had it to much to drink, too much drugs ingested into her system.

But why not call 911?

That's the question our viewers ask over and over. That's what it is there. When you are panicking. When there is an emergency. She doesn't pick up the phone and lets a man bleed to death in her garage.

ZAHN: You're not saying this is a slam dunk case for the prosecution at this point.

BLOOM: I think it is a pretty strong case for the prosecution. Now, we haven't heard the defense yet. We want to hear all the evidence before we reach any decisions. Based on what we've heard. Based on what the defense said in opening statements today I think she has a tough sell to this jury.

ZAHN: How about you?

BLOOM: With me as well. Look, Paula, this is a woman, as I said. Like at this as the agony and the ecstasy. There is a man bleeding to death in her garage and she's strung out on drugs and she doesn't lift a finger to help him. I don't think she's going to go and get a lot of sympathy from everyone.

We'll keep on following it and we know where to go for "gavel to gavel" coverage -- Court TV.

Thanks so much, Lisa Bloom. Good to see you.


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