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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Awaiting MJ Charges; Search for Murdered Model`s Killer
Aired February 5, 2010 - 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 (voice-over): Tonight mind-numbing twists and turns in the Michael Jackson death probe. Just what the hell is going on in Los Angeles? Is Dr. Conrad Murray caught in a tug of war between the LAPD and the district attorney? Some say the D.A. wants him to surrender while the cops want him arrested. What`s the difference? Why the chaos, confusion and delay?
We`ll get insights into today`s wild developments from a slew of experts and from Michael Jackson`s personal friend. We`re talking to Jackson`s famous defense attorney, Tom Mesereau.
Also, chilling insight into the murder in Miami. A beautiful "Playboy" model is found burning in a Dumpster. Now, for the very first time, her boyfriend is speaking out, saying this new sketch looks just like a bouncer who kicked him out. Tonight we`ll go inside the final hours of Paula Sladewski`s life. What really happened that night? And we`ll talk to Paula`s brother.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight mind-blowing chaos and confusion in the City of Angeles. Yes, Los Angeles. The on again/off again legal battle to arrest Michael Jackson`s doctor rages on.
Dr. Conrad Murray was expected to turn himself in and face the music today. He admits to giving Michael drugs right before his death. But just when we thought Dr. Murray would surrender, the authorities said, "never mind, stop. you cannot turn yourself in today. We won`t let you."
Reporters, photographers, Michael Jackson fans all waiting at the courthouse today for something to happen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETH KARAS, "IN SESSION": He was supposed to surrender today. Things did fall apart yesterday.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This hoard of media that`s gathered outside the courthouse is slowly starting to disassemble and go to a nearby city park in the rain to get the latest from Dr. Conrad Murray`s legal team.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Reminds me of something. Oh, yes, I remember: the trial that I covered involving Michael Jackson.
But of course, there was no press conference today. Dr. Murray`s lawyers canceled it.
Since when did it become so difficult to make an arrest? Come on, people. This doesn`t happen on "CSI" or "Law & Order." They don`t ask permission to arrest somebody. They just do it. What is the hold up here?
Some reports claim Dr. Murray`s lawyers struck a deal with the D.A.`s office for a quiet surrender on the involuntary manslaughter charge. But TMZ says that was news to the LAPD. Here`s what TMZ`s Harvey Levin says he`s hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ: This is at the highest level they are pissed. I mean, the LAPD is pissed and -- at the D.A.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Brakes are put on everything until Monday. So will Dr. Conrad Murray turn himself in on Monday or will we have another day of chaos and confusion? Anybody want to take bets?
And will Dr. Murray spend any time in jail before he`s arraigned?
What about the Jackson family? They think Dr. Murray should face murder charges.
I want to hear from you at home. We are taking your calls on all of this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
Joining me now, my truly fantastic panel: criminal defense attorney Brian Oxman. And of course you`ve been with the Jackson family for many years and you know them well, Brian. And then as well, addiction specialist Howard Samuels, who was the co-founder of the Wonderland Center rehab. Also, Firpo Carr, former Jackson spokesperson and Jackson family friend.
And we begin with "In Session`s" Beth Karas from our sister station TruTV.
Beth, you`ve been all over this story all day. What are you hearing about these delays in the Dr. Murray case?
KARAS: Well, there were some talks, and they just couldn`t have a meeting of the minds, but there wasn`t a lot to negotiate. Really, the district attorney holds all the cards here. They decide when the charges are filed, and they`re the ones who can really say, "We`re going to go out and arrest you once we file the charges," or "We`ll agree, if you want to come in and surrender."
But there are certain bail conditions, safety concerns for Dr. Murray. And some of these issues may have been what stalled things.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let me give you my sort of take on this, and you can take it apart. I believe Dr. Murray does not want to be photographed in handcuffs. He`s a cardiologist. Who would want to be photographed in handcuffs when you`re an M.D.? Who`s going to go to a doctor who`s been seen in a perp walk?
So my feeling is Dr. Murray is going to do everything he can under the sun to avoid that crucial shot.
Now, I have to tell you, Beth, I wish I had a nickel for every celebrity I`ve chased around a courthouse in Los Angeles. And the game was always the same. They wanted to avoid me and my cameras and get into that courthouse before I get a shot at them, because once they get in that courthouse, it`s -- it`s like you`re at home base.
Because even if I had a camera in the courthouse and ran straight into a celebrity, I could not take that photograph. I would be held in contempt. I would be in serious trouble. There`s only certain little tiny areas where you`re allowed to photograph in a courthouse unless it`s cameras in the courtroom.
KARAS: I would be very surprised, Jane, if Dr. Murray is in handcuffs at any point. And I don`t think he would have been in handcuffs today had he surrendered and then been brought to the courthouse. If he had gone to the LAPD first, I don`t think there would have been any such shot.
I also highly doubt there will be such a shot like that on Monday, as well. I don`t think we`re going to see him in handcuffs. I don`t think that he`s a flight risk. This is a man who has been waiting around all week in Los Angeles to face these charges. He will probably make a nominal bail. The statutory presumptive amount is $25,000. He may even go back to Texas or Nevada.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian Oxman, why not put him in handcuffs? I mean, they`re going to apparently, allegedly, reportedly charge him with involuntary manslaughter. OK? That`s gross negligence. There`s this whole hullabaloo as to, "Well, we`re going to charge him." So why not put him in handcuffs? What`s the big deal?
What leverage does he have to demand? Does he have any leverage or demand to say, "No, I`m pot going to be put in handcuffs. No, I`m not going to subject myself to a perp walk. No, I want to..."? Unless there`s a plea deal in the works.
BRIAN OXMAN, FORMER JACKSON FAMILY LAWYER: Jane, I`m not interested in putting the man in handcuffs. I`m interested in what the charges are going to be against had this doctor. I don`t care about perp walks. I don`t care about any of the hullabaloo.
And really, the circus which we saw today, I think that that is irresponsible on his part to say to the law enforcement authorities, "Arrest me. I dare you."
This is the kind of conduct which brought Michael Jackson to his knees and brought him to his death. The same kind of irresponsibility, the same kind of reckless disregard for authority and, in Michael Jackson`s case, reckless disregard for his life.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you bring me to my big issue tonight, and that is still a circus. Whenever the words "Michael" and "Jackson" are involved, somehow, some way there is always chaos and confusion.
Even in death, people react so intensely to Michael Jackson. Look at the crowds of people outside the hospital -- and this isn`t it, but we`ll see it in a little bit -- where Michael Jackson was pronounced dead. There you are.
We also saw these crowds at his trial in Santa Maria, California. I`m sure you all remember when Michael Jackson -- there he is -- jumping on top of his SUV. Complete chaos erupted. It was a stampede afterwards. I know because I was caught in the stampede and got a strained wrist.
We got the chaos again today, with the ever-changing details of where and when Dr. Conrad Murray will be charged in Michael`s death.
Howard Samuels, you`re the addiction specialist. Does drama, chaos and confusion follow the addict wherever he or she goes?
HOWARD SAMUELS, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Absolutely. I mean, it`s such a level of arrogance here, not only on the doctor`s part, but everybody that`s involved.
I mean, unfortunately, Michael Jackson, you know, was a arrogant and could not be teachable. It`s a disease of arrogance. And that`s what addiction is. And you know, I just think it`s such a crime that this doctor, you know, is holding up the -- you know, criminal process with such a minor issue. This doctor needs to be tried and made an example of.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got phone lines lighting up all right. Carroll, Mississippi, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Jane, Michael Jackson has been using a serious sleep aid for years and it`s unfortunate that the doctor -- that Michael passed away on his watch. I think we need to leave the doctor alone.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Carroll. And Carroll, you`re a guy. Usually when they say Carroll, it`s a girl, but you`re a guy.
And let me ask you this, Firpo Carr. There`s something called tolerance. You know, people build up tolerance to drugs. Dr. Conrad Murray has admitted that he gave Michael a slew of drugs on that night even before. I mean, let`s go over it.
On the morning Michael died, Dr. Conrad Murray gave Michael Jackson five different prescription doses to try and help him fall asleep before finally injecting the powerful knockout drug Propofol.
One thirty a.m., Dr. Murray gave Michael valium; 2 a.m., he gave him Lorazepam; 3 a.m., Michael`s still awake. Murray gave him Midazolam.
Five a.m., he tried more Lorazepam. These are anti-anxiety sedative- type drugs. Seven thirty, he gave him more Midazolam. Finally, 10:40 that morning, he injected Propofol mixed with Lidocaine.
Now, Firpo Carr, some say Michael was an addict, and he just built up a tolerance to these sedatives -- Firpo. Firpo.
FIRPO CARR, FORMER JACKSON SPOKESPERSON: Yes, here I am. Let me tell you this. This doctor has taken the same position as, believe it or not, individuals during the Nuremburg trials, the soldiers. What they said was that they were following orders and giving them.
Now, guess what the justices at the Nuremburg trials said? They said, "You should have followed the law of your conscience." That is to say a higher law that tells you that, if you give this individual these -- this cocktail of drugs, it`s going to be very harmful, even may even cause his death.
So I think that that`s a very weak argument. When this doctor says, "I was following orders, and yes, I put together all of these drugs to give to Michael. I`m just a regular guy just listening to what my boss says." It did not work in the Nuremberg trials, and it shouldn`t work here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, everybody stay right where you are. We`re going to have more on the Jackson circus.
And we`re taking your calls on all of this and his death. And his life. 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
Plus, a gorgeous model found burning in a dumpster. Now for the very first time, Paula Sladewski`s boyfriend is speaking out. What really happened inside that Miami nightclub?
But first, the clock ticking on Dr. Conrad Murray. He admits giving Michael Jackson drugs just before he died. But he didn`t turn himself in today. He tried, but they wouldn`t let him. Is he responsible for Michael Jackson`s death?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONRAD MURRAY, MICHAEL JACKSON`S PHYSICIAN: I will be fine. I have done all I can do. I told the truth, and I have faith the truth will prevail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE WHITMORE, SPOKESPERSON, L.A. COUNTY SHERIFF`S DEPARTMENT: There is no press conference today, period. You have to check with the attorneys if you want to go on with that. Check their Web site. They have instructed me to tell that you there is no press conference today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What the heck is going on with the Michael Jackson death probe chaos and confusion today? We`re back to square one as we wait for Dr. Conrad Murray to surrender on involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of Michael Jackson.
Now after everybody went to the courthouse in Los Angeles expecting him to surrender today, never mind. Everybody go home. It`s going to happen on Monday.
And we don`t even know. Really, when it comes to the Michael Jackson -- any case involving Michael Jackson, things -- one thing I`ve learned over the years, things change from moment to moment to moment . I`m not exactly sure why, but it`s always the case. But last we heard, it`s going to happen Monday.
Phone lines lighting up. Marilyn in Ohio, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Hi, Jane. Hi, panel. I really highly respect all of you, and I just want to say that, through this whole situation from the day that Michael passed, I have just been devastated with this whole situation, because Dr. Murray, no matter what anybody says, he is totally guilty of this whole situation.
First of all, no doctor should ever have any way of still being able to practice medicine in any state, any county, anywhere in the United States or anywhere as far as I`m concerned, you know, what they did to Michael when they supposedly -- they accused him of all the child molestation things that I know he didn`t do, and I`m sure half the world knows he didn`t do.
But the thing is, they took him, handcuffed him, humiliated him, embarrassed him in front of everybody and his family and friends. And now they can`t even do this to this doctor? It`s a double standard to me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s a very interesting point. Beth Karas, this doctor also has a troubled history, does he not, of a bankruptcy and all sorts of other money problems?
KARAS: Yes, he does have a troubled history. Some of that, should there be a trial in this case, may be known. Probably not.
He is likely to use as part of his defense that he`s not the first doctor to give Michael Jackson Propofol, but the prosecution will respond, "So what? You are the one who was with him and administered it at the time he died. You are a trained professional. It is your job to advise your patients that this is a dangerous drug."
There is a fine line between the amount that will knock you out and the amount that will cause you to stop breathing. You need to be in a hospital setting. You need the equipment there to resuscitate a person. Do you not administer it at a home.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s talk about some huge red flags. On the day of Michael Jackson`s death, listen to the 911 call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, let`s get him down to the floor. I`m going to help you with CPR right now...
Did anybody see him?
ALBERTO ALVAREZ, SECURITY FOR MICHAEL JACKSON: Yes, we have a personal doctor here with him, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, you have a doctor there?
ALVAREZ: Yes, but he`s not responding to anything, to no, no, he`s not responding to the CPR or anything, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, OK. Well, we`re on our way there, and if your guy`s doing CPR, as instructed by a doctor, he has a higher authority than me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So many questions about what really happened that morning.
Michael given Propofol at about 10:40 a.m. Dr. Murray says he waited ten minutes and then went to the bathroom for two minutes and returned to find Michael not breathing.
Dr. Murray made three calls on his cell phone between 11:18 and 12:05 p.m. The 911 call we heard wasn`t made until 12:21 p.m. That is a delay of more than an hour.
Now, Brian Oxman, Dr. Murray`s attorney admits there was a delay, but he says Dr. Murray didn`t know the address of Michael`s mansion, the very place that he was. So he needed to get someone else into the house to make the call? What do you make of that delay?
OXMAN: I make a lot of that delay, Jane. It is utter confusion which we see. It is calling other people for instructions? Excuse me? How about saving the patient`s life? It seems to me that this is inexcusable.
I call it reckless conduct. And conduct which is reckless disregard for human life, is why it raises to the level of murder in the second degree.
I want to make one thing very clear, though. I don`t want to try and convict this man.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Neither do we.
OXMAN: I`m talking about the charges which should be done in this case, based upon what we have heard as the evidence. This man is entitled to his presumption of being not guilty until proven so.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but you`re the very one who says you want to see him charged with murder as opposed to voluntary -- involuntary manslaughter.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, here`s the problem. You can charge him with anything you want. The question is what is he going to get convicted of?
OXMAN: That`s the whole point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Firpo Carr, I think that the authorities feel they have a better chance with involuntary manslaughter, which just involves proving gross negligence, because I don`t think he intended to hurt Michael Jackson. I don`t think anybody`s arguing that he intended to hurt Michael Jackson.
CARR: Well, you know, I have to tell you something here, as I said before, when you have those soldiers -- and I cannot help but make the analogy or the comparison in the Nuremberg trials -- they had nothing against the innocent men, women and children, unarmed, that they killed. It wasn`t personal. But yet, they were still convicted, tried and executed.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, I got to -- I got to keep us away from the Nuremberg trials. I mean...
CARR: Understand that...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... there`s a lot of comparisons, but I don`t think we need to compare it to World War II and...
CARR: I understand, but it`s the same mindset. It`s the law of the conscience that we`re talking about. He should have known better. So, yes, it`s a...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But we have to say, in the doctor`s defense, that Michael Jackson was, according to him, begging for it and called it his milk.
Fantastic panel. Stay right where you are. We`re going to have so much more on Michael Jackson. Plus a very special guest joins us to talk...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We are talking about the very latest Michael Jackson developments. It`s now expected his personal doctor, Conrad Murray, will be charged on Monday. It was supposed to happen today.
Now we are going to get the big picture from a man who knows Michael Jackson perhaps better than anybody. Noted attorney Tom Mesereau won across-the-board acquittals for Michael in the 2005 child molestation case that transfixed the world.
Tom, so glad to have you here on ISSUES tonight. You know, we haven`t talked since Michael Jackson died, and I know you became very close to Michael. What was your reaction when you heard he had died and under these very disturbing circumstances?
TOM MESEREAU, FORMER MICHAEL JACKSON DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, at first I was hoping it was just a rumor, because so many crazy rumors used to circulate about Michael. And then I was in the middle of a jury trial in federal court in Los Angeles. I called my office, and my office machine was filled with media requests from around the world. And then I had a very bad feeling that it might be correct.
And when I realized he truly had passed away, I was just horrified. I was shocked. I still am in shock. You know, I hear his music every day. I feel like he`s still with me. He`s still with all of us. It`s a terrible situation.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, of course Dr. Murray has said that Michael Jackson was very familiar with Propofol, the drug that is believed to have killed him, which Dr. Conrad Murray admits to having administered to him, along with five doses of other sedatives. He says that Jackson referred to Propofol, this surgical knockout drug, as his milk.
Were you aware when you got close to Michael Jackson during this trial of him having insomnia or needing something like Propofol, a surgical knockout drug, to go to sleep?
MESEREAU: I never heard him mention Propofol or any prescription drug whatsoever. He certainly was having sleep problems. He was having trouble eating. He was depressed. Anyone in a five-month criminal trial like that would go through all of these situations. I mean, none of this was unusual.
I assumed if he was getting assistance in sleeping or dealing with anxiety, you know that would not be abnormal. But I never heard anyone mention Propofol or any other prescription drug.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you believe that this is something that if, it did develop, developed after the trial.
Was he depressed about the trial even though he was acquitted on all counts? It was a stunning victory for him and for you. We were all there the day the verdict came down. It`s one of the most dramatic days that I`ll remember in my life. But nevertheless, some said that he was depressed after that. Could he have needed the Propofol because of that?
MESEREAU: Well, I don`t like the words need Propofol. He probably needed some medical and psychiatric assistance, because he had spent five months sitting in trial five days a week, hearing people hurl accusations at him that were false and untrue and very malicious in nature.
To go through five months of that with the world media saying you`re going to be convicted and be worried about your children and your family and then suddenly be exonerated doesn`t take away all the hurt and the pain. And to not have slept, to have been very worried and depressed for all that time would hurt anybody.
But you don`t give somebody Propofol just because they know about it or someone else mentioned to them. You give them Propofol because it`s appropriate. And every doctor I`ve talked to says it should never be in a home and it should only be administered by an anesthesiologist. So the fact that...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang in there, because we are so excited to talk to you. We`re going to be back in just a moment...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... with more questions for Tom Mesereau.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Chilling insight into the murder in Miami. A beautiful playboy model found burning in a dumpster. Now, for the very first time, her boyfriend is speaking out saying this new sketch looks just like a bouncer who kicked him out. Tonight we`ll go inside the final hours of Paula Sladewski`s life. What really happened that night? And we`ll talk to Paula`s brother.
Tonight, chaos, drama surrounding the criminal investigation into Michael Jackson`s death: Michael`s personal doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, was expected to surrender today and face charges of involuntary manslaughter. But now nothing will happen until Monday. It was a mess today.
Dr. Murray admits to giving Michael a prescription drug cocktail and injecting him with a powerful knockout drug Propofol right before he died. But he denies any wrongdoing. Authorities have raided his homes and offices in Houston, L.A. and Las Vegas. One big question -- what was Michael`s live-in doctor doing during the hour between when he says Michael`s heart stopped or Michael stopped breathing and the 911 call to get the paramedics over there?
Michael`s chef says Dr. Murray was behaving very oddly that morning, the morning Michael died. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAI CHASE, MICHAEL JACKSON`S PERSONAL CHEF: Normally he would come around 10:00, 10:30, down stairs to get Mr. Jackson`s juices and breakfast for him for that morning. So around that time, I noticed I hadn`t seen Dr. Murray. So I`m thinking to myself, oh, maybe Mr. Jackson is sleeping in late, you know, maybe because he has rehearsal`s been pushed back or something.
So I proceed, go preparing the lunch and wrapped his lunch like he -- Mr. Jackson likes, wrapped it in saran wrap because he likes his lunch like he is at a hotel, kind of like room service.
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Room service.
CHASE: Yes, exactly. So around 12:00, 12:05, 12:10, Dr. Murray comes down the stairs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So we`re getting insight on the latest chaos surrounding this case from a man who knows perhaps more than anybody else about Michael Jackson. I`m delighted again to have Tom Mesereau as my guest here on ISSUES.
Tom, of course, the attorney who famously and successfully defended Michael Jackson in his 2005 molestation trial. Tom, what do you make of the Jackson`s family contention that Dr. Murray should face a murder charge as opposed to the involuntary manslaughter charge that`s expected on Monday?
TOM MESEREAU, MICHAEL JACKSON`S ATTORNEY: I understand it completely from an emotional standpoint; the family and the fans want to see a murder charge. But you got to be careful with that from a practical standpoint. If the prosecutors bring murder charge and they can`t prove it, the jury may discredit everything they say and acquit him of both murder and involuntary manslaughter. I`d rather see them bring involuntary manslaughter if they know they can prove it and get a conviction that sticks.
But from an emotional stand I understand the family, I understand...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. CONRAD MURRAY, MICHAEL JACKSON`S DOCTOR: I want to thank all of my patients and friends...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Let me ask you this, though. We have the issue of the five sedatives he gave Michael. He admits that; then the Propofol with Lidocaine. Then you have the delay of more than an hour once he comes back and he sees Michael stop breathing before 911 is called. Then you have him doing CPR on the bed when everybody knows should you do that CPR on a flat surface.
Then you have the fact that the paramedics thought he was dead there and said, "Let`s just say he`s dead now". And he`s saying, "No, no, no. We`re going to go to the hospital." And then he was finally pronounced dead late in the afternoon.
A lot of people say all of that is more than just gross negligence. What do you say?
MESEREAU: Well, it may be more than gross negligence, but the question is, what do the prosecution think they can prove?
You know, I`ve defended cases, you know, where prosecutors had a good case for assault and they brought in attempted murder and I looked at the jury and said they shouldn`t have brought attempted murder. They`re not credible. They`re misusing their power. Don`t believe anything they say.
And that could happen here if they bring a second-degree murder charge and can`t prove it. I`d rather bring involuntary manslaughter and convict him than run the risk of having him go free on everything because you overcharged a case you couldn`t prove.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very good point.
Now, let`s talk about the rehearsals for Jackson`s last concert tour. They were taped; eventually made into a movie. I`m sure you saw it Tom. I certainly did; amazing movie. Check it out from "This Is It" Sony Pictures.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the moment. This is it. It`s an adventure, a great adventure. You want to take them places that they`ve never been before, want to show them talent like they`ve never seen before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tom, when I saw this movie, I was shocked. Michael was so incredibly energetic, coordinated; dancing like a teenager. But at the trial when I saw him every day with you, he looked so weak sometimes. Sometimes he -- after the trial we saw him in a wheelchair. How do you reconcile those two totally different persons?
MESEREAU: Well, time passed. You know, between the end of the trial in 2005 and when you he began these rehearsals. I would like to think that he got himself in a better physical state, that he had some emotional counseling and he was helping himself do much better with life.
He knew that I got up at 3:00 in the morning every day during the five month trial. I was in bed at 7:30; I was up at 3:00. He would call me at 3:00 or 4:00 and often be crying about his children. He was a nervous wreck over this thing.
Michael was a very sensitive, creative, kind-hearted genius. He didn`t belong in that courtroom and he was treated horribly in that trial. I`m sure it took him a long time to recover, if he ever did.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tom Mesereau, could I talk to you every night and I always say every time I see you, if I`m ever in trouble, you`re the person I`m calling. I have you on my speed dial.
MESEREAU: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thanks again for coming on. It`s always great to see you. Thank you.
MESEREAU: I appreciate it Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Shocking new accounts of what happened inside a downtown Miami night club in the hours before a Playboy model is murdered. Paula Sladewski`s charred body was discovered in a burning dumpster in North Miami on January 3rd about 14 hours after she split up from her boyfriend at Club Space.
That boyfriend, Kevin Klym, told his version of events on NBC this morning and he made this jaw-dropping claim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN KLYM, PAULA SLADEWSKI`S BOYFRIEND: It looks like one of the bouncers that escorted me out of the club. It looks very, very much like one of the bouncers that escorted me out of the club. As a matter of fact, when I walked out of the club, this is the gentleman that double-ID`d Paula.
We were ID`d by one bouncer and this gentleman seemed to be in some kind of position of authority, asked to see her ID a second time when we were walking in. And I just don`t think Paula on her best day looked under 21. So I don`t know why he would ever do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just who is Klym talking about? He says it is this guy, the man described by a witness who suddenly came forward and apparently talked to cops a full month after Paula`s grisly murder.
Meantime, sketch or no sketch, Kevin Klym is still, quote, "a person of interest". Cops have given several reasons including the fact that he was one of the last people to see her alive, but is there something they`re not telling us?
David Wasser, a private investigator hired by Klym and the family say North Miami Police Department grilled Klym, the boyfriend, for 11 long hours. Lieutenant Cuevas tells ISSUES they did question him for, quote, "some hours".
More fascinating clips from the boyfriend, Kevin Klym, coming up and I want to here what you think about all of this. Give me a call. 1-877-JVM- SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
Let me introduce my fabulous, really fabulous panel tonight. We have CNN legal analyst Lisa Bloom; always great to see you, Lisa. As well as Jayne Weintraub, a criminal defense attorney based in Miami; Michelle Sigona, investigative reporter and founder of the Web site michellesigona.com. On the phone, Thomas Bussell, Paula Sladewski`s brother.
Thomas, as always, we`re so happy to have you on. We feel your pain and we want to help solve this horrific case.
I was absolutely struck by this new information now where the boyfriend is saying, "Hey, the police sketch looks just like the bouncer who checked us on the way in and in fact double ID`d Paula. What do you know, Thomas?
THOMAS BUSSELL, PAULA SLADEWSKI`S BROTHER (via telephone): Well, I`ve got a copy of the video -- actually, I have 31 minutes of the video, of people entering the club there showing Paula walking out. And originally I was on your show a few days ago and you asked me about this and I said it was someone that Paula was dancing with. Kevin corrected me on that today.
And if you look at the video, I don`t know what the public saw, most of it was blacked out, but we have the one not blacked out. And you can see two individuals following Paula out directly as she exited the club.
And according to Kevin, it`s the guy that was sitting in the chair that gets up when this other gentleman comes up to him, says something, and both of them follow her right out of the club. And keep in mind there is a bouncer behind her escorting her out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I mean do you think this suspect, this picture, this sketch that looks like a Norman Rockwell picture, are you claiming that this is a bouncer?
BUSSELL: Absolutely. It`s the guy that was -- he`s the one that was checking the -- he`s the one that checked her ID twice. He was sitting in a chair. And another big fellow comes up, the guy probably weighs 350, says something to him and he gets out of his chair, they both follow right after Paula.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Hang on, because police have said that they`ve checked the bouncers and as far as they know, these bouncers are clear and they are not involved.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So it`s very important to say that. Everybody stay right where you are. We`re all over this case.
Also, has Tiger Woods kicked his alleged sex addiction? Reports say he`s left rehab. What`s coming up next with Tiger and Elin?
But first, a family heartbroken, desperate for answers. Who killed Paula Sladewski? We`re taking your call, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can run and you can hide but you can`t run and hide forever. I mean, you`re face was out here now and you need to pay for what you done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A beautiful model murdered and left inside a dumpster. What really happened inside that Miami night club? More on this story, but first "Top of the Block" tonight.
Tiger Woods is a changed man. Well, not necessarily. But reports say he has left sex rehab. According to Radar Online, the billion dollar golfer checked out of the Gentle Path Rehab Center in Mississippi today and apparently he was not alone.
According to Radar, Tiger`s wife, Elin, was with him and now they are headed back to Florida. HLN has not been able to independently confirm this story. We have reached out to Tiger`s camp. We`re still waiting to hear back.
Tiger went from the spotlight to the shadows in one turn of a steering wheel and somehow we still haven`t seen this guy.
I don`t know if he`s rehabbed or not. Only Tiger knows that. I just hope for his wife and two kids he can start to get his life back on track without more than a dozen mistresses.
That is tonight`s "Top of the Block".
And now back to the latest breaking developments in the murder of 26- year-old Playboy model Paula Sladewski. Paula`s sister and boyfriend -- her boyfriend -- appeared on NBC this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KLYM: Well, fortunately I have good family and friends who have been supporting me through this whole matter and Kelly has been on my side the whole time. And she`s been speaking out on my behalf. So...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kelly, let me ask you, why have you stuck by Kevin through all of this?
KELLY FARRIS, SISTER PAULA FOUND MURDERED: Because I know he didn`t kill my sister.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, the guy in the middle there is the victim`s boyfriend, the one who was with Paula Sladewski at Club Space shortly before she died. There were reports that they had got into an argument and that he was 86ing (ph) the club, she was escorted out. Twenty minutes later, he had already gone back to the hotel and she was never seen again.
Then witnesses said she walked away with a mystery man and that`s where the sketch comes in. Police finally came up with a sketch of this mystery man that witnesses say they saw her walking away from the club with.
The big question is -- and I`d like to see that mystery man -- there here is, who is this guy?
Now, cops say that they cleared the bouncers. They said that to us tonight on ISSUES, in other nights. They said the bouncers are not involved.
However, the boyfriend just went on national TV and said, "Hey, this witness looks just like one of the bouncers who checked our IDs and double- checked her ID.
What do you make of it, Lisa Bloom? It`s can of worms.
LISA BLOOM, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I thought the boyfriend was very convincing on "The Today Show" and I`m always suspicious of the husband or the boyfriend. They have to be cleared.
But I`ll tell you what really persuaded me. At the end of the segment after he`d already been goodbyed by Meredith Vieira (ph) he made sure to hold up her picture and ask the public for tips.
That to me is something that an innocent person would do. You would not expect a guilty person to be asking everybody to help the police and to be calling in with tips because it could tend to incriminate him. I tend to believe the boyfriend. If he says it`s the bouncer, he was there, I think that`s something the police should probably double check.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So why on earth, Michelle Sigona, would cops pretty much flat out say we`ve talked to the bouncers and we don`t think they`re involved?
MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: And also the Lieutenant Cuevas with the North Miami Police Department had also told me earlier today that not only have they questioned the bouncers, but they`ve questioned every single person who works at that club, every -- every person who works there has been more than willing to come forward to answer their questions. They`re in full cooperation at this point.
And if there is a bouncer or someone even more specifically that they`re looking into, they are not going to say at this time, unfortunately. But what the Lieutenant Cuevas has also said from early on is that one person helped to create this sketch. This is not a multitude of people that came forward.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is so fascinating to me because there were 500 people in that club. So why are they relying on one person, Thomas Bussell, to create this sketch?
BUSSELL: Well, first let me say real quick, let`s not forget that Kevin left my sister there, people. America, he left her there. Three minutes she exited after him. He`s not innocent. He still left her there. And I believe he would have saw the killer or killers if would he have been man enough to stick around.
And it had to be bouncers. There`s three of them right behind her Jane and nobody knows nothing? It can`t be. It`s impossible. There are three bouncers following my sister out of this club.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But, Thomas, Thomas I understand you`re in a lot of pain and I have tremendous compassion for you. But let me just propose this. That`s what bouncers do. When they`re escorting somebody out of a club, they escort them out. That`s why they`re called bouncers.
So the fact that they`re behind her, does that necessarily indicate that they`re involved especially when the police say they`ve interviewed them?
BUSSELL: Jane, you`ve got to see this video and you would know. They waited for her to exit out that club. This big guy walked up to the guy and he`s in this chair, he said something to him, they both followed right behind Paula.
That`s not a coincidence. There`s already a big 6`3", 300-pound guy escorting her out. What do you needed other two for? Come on...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, by the way we`ve been continuously trying to reach this club any representatives from this club or the bouncers.
BUSSELL: They have some people have been fired...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: They have an open invitation to come on this show and tell their side of the story.
Becky, Ohio, your question or thought?
BECKY, OHIO (via telephone): Oh yes. First of all, I really love your show.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.
BECKY: I like the way you use that gavel.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve got to run here...
BECKY: In a very nice, firm way and as far as this guy who this -- who killed this woman I hope they find him and bounce him in to jail, not necessarily referring to a bouncer. She died horribly. I can relate, not to that extent, but with regard to the war on women, I am also a victim.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, well thank you, Becky.
BECKY: I hope they get him and lock him up and do more than throw the key away.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. Jayne Weintraub, this is happening in Miami. A killer could still be loose in Miami. You live in that area. This is terrifying.
WEINTRAUB: It is pretty scary. What we hear on the street and especially around the courthouse is obvious. I mean, everybody knows the North Miami Police Department are one of the few departments that are very, very thorough. They`re going to take their time. They`re not going to jump the gun. They`re all over this case.
One thing that is clear is, just because they know or saw somebody walk out with her doesn`t mean or doesn`t prove that that`s the killer.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: One second. We`re going to continue that thought in a minute.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAT WATKINS, PAULA SLADEWSKI`S MOTHER: They got to find who did this to my baby. Please find who did this. Please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I bet they will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Paula`s heartbroken mother. Tonight`s big issue, conflicting stories about what happened at the nightclub.
Listen to boyfriend Kevin Klym, what he said on NBC today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KLYM: Paula was gorgeous. She was a stunner and she attracted a lot of attention. And there were several gentlemen approaching her on the dance floor and it got to be 7:00 in the morning and it was time to go. And I kind of took her by the waist and escorted her out of the club, doing the boyfriend shuffle, so to speak. She said, wait, I don`t want to go and the bouncers were on me immediately within five seconds and were taking me outside of the club.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They came...
KLYM: We had no words. There was no argument.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Contrast that with what Paula`s brother told me on issues Tuesday. Thomas Bussell said there was some kind of fight on the dance floor and it was because another man had gotten cozy with Paula on the dance floor.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSSELL: He`s seen him. He`s seen him. He stepped in between them and that`s why he got thrown out. That`s why he was escorted trying to separate them two.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not saying not to look at the guy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait. This is new information. Thomas, you`re saying...
BUSSELL: Yes. There`s a lot you don`t know. Sure.
I`m saying Kevin separated him from Paula. That`s why he was escorted out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In other words, the fight that everybody`s been talking about between Paula and her boyfriend wasn`t just a fight because they were drinking. They were fighting over nothing. They were fighting over this guy who wanted to dance with Paula and Kevin, being the boyfriend said, uh-uh.
BUSSELL: Kevin was getting in the way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa, they`re on the same side Thomas Bussell and Kevin Klym, even though Thomas is mad at Kevin for leaving Paula there at the club. He doesn`t think that he`s the killer. But, yet, their stories are different.
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, they`re not that different, and look, any time there`s a crime everybody tells their story and they tell it a little bit differently. I think you can reconcile the stories that they had some kind of disagreement.
The boyfriend sounds like he was a little bit controlling. He wanted to get her to leave; she didn`t want to leave. There were probably other men on the dance floor who wanted to dance with her. She was gorgeous. That`s the way it goes down in a club.
But bottom line is who killed her? And Jayne`s absolutely right. Just because the bouncers walked her out and may be seen on the video it doesn`t mean they killed her. Just because the boyfriend had a dispute with her that night, it doesn`t mean that he killed her.
All of these people have to be investigated very closely and ruled out. I`m surprised there isn`t some forensic evidence, some DNA, something on her remains that link the death to somebody.
WEINTRAUB: They`re waiting on that, Lisa.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jayne Weintraub.
WEINTRAUB: That`s exactly what we`re waiting on because that`s what`s going to fill in the pieces to the puzzle. You know there was that one or two cars that we talked about on your show, Jane.
I think that the key is in the forensics. The puzzle will be solved with that, an independent witness or when somebody else gets busted out of Club Space or they get arrested for something. And they have a bargaining chip and say hey, I got some information on a murder, let me off now on this petty crime you got me for.
That`s how they`re going to make this case; forensic and an independent witness.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes and we can certainly understand the family being extremely upset. We can`t even imagine what they`re going through. If they`re anxious and they have criticisms, well that`s their right. They`ve lost a precious family member and, of course, they`re upset. They deserve to be.
Thank you, fabulous panel, for joining me tonight as always.
You`re watching ISSUES on HLN.