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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Warrant Issued for TV Producer; Mom Confesses to Murdering Daughter

Aired June 1, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, fast-breaking developments in the "Survivor" murder mystery. The hot-shot reality TV producer has finally been charged with brutally murdering his wife, her body found dumped in a sewer at a lavish Mexican resort nearly two months ago. Now, police have an arrest warrant, but Bruce Beresford-Redman remains defiant in Hollywood. Tonight, we`ll read his bizarre statement.

And a murdering mother makes a horrifying 911 call.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hill County 911. What`s your emergency?

DEBRA JETER: I just killed my children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me?

JETER: I just killed my children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She admits to slashing her daughter`s throat, then demands the ambulance hurry up to save their lives. One daughter`s dead, the other severely wounded. Tonight we`ll play the unbelievably chilling phone call.

Also, puzzling new twists and turns in the never-ending Casey Anthony case. Her defense team is fighting to take the death penalty off the table. Again? Why this legal deja vu, the same issue over and over? And how is it sitting with the new judge? Is there a method to the defense team`s madness?

Plus, piling on Foxy Knoxy. The American student living in Italy is already locked up for decades, convicted of murdering her roommate. Now she`s back in court with a new look, facing slander charges. Is the Italian court out to get her?

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight seismic developments in the murder of a reality producer`s wife. Former "Survivor" producer Bruce Beresford-Redman is now a wanted man. Mexican authorities say they have evidence he murdered his wife while on vacation in Cancun. And now they have ordered his arrest.

Given that Bruce already slipped out of Mexico and suddenly popped up in Los Angeles, do cops in L.A. consider him a flight risk now? He has been videotaped walking around L.A., acting like nothing`s wrong.

The reality TV producer played the role of doting dad today in this video from TMZ, pushing his son on a swing in their backyard.

Hello, Bruce, there is a warrant out for your arrest.

Now Mexican police say they have substantial elements leading them to believe he brutally murdered his wife, Monica. She was found beaten and strangled to death in a sewer near their fancy Cancun hotel room almost two months ago. At a memorial held this weekend for Monica, the anger amongst the guests spilled over.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her husband killed her. It`s clear. It`s very clear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody feels better now. I hope she have peace.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bruce and Monica went to Cancun to reportedly fix their marriage. Her sisters warned her not to go. Now those sisters are fighting for justice and for custody of Monica and Bruce`s two young kids.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you confident you`ll get justice here in Mexico?

JEANE BURGOS, SISTER OF MONICA: Yes, I am.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What has it been like for you?

BURGOS: Hell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What message would you say to Bruce?

BURGOS: No comment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Radar Online showed this video of the couple dancing in much happier times. The question now, how will Mexican authorities get him back to Mexico to face the music? I am taking your calls on this one: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: HLN law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks with us tonight; and criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Mark Eiglarsh, as well as CNN producer Alan Duke; and Alison Triessl, who is the attorney for the victim`s family.

Alison, glad to have you with us tonight. What does Monica`s family have to say about these very latest developments?

ALISON TRIESSL, ATTORNEY FOR MONICA`S FAMILY: Thank you, Jane. Well, we`re obviously elated that this has happened. We have been working very hard for the last two months, nearly two months to make sure that justice is delivered in this case. And we believe that, although the extradition process may take some time, we certainly, this is a very, very good first step, very good.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Since he already left Mexico, and the reports were that he was supposed to stay there and that Mexican authorities took his passport, and he appeared in Los Angeles, do you consider him to be a flight risk at this moment?

TRIESSL: Of course. He left Mexico without a passport. We still don`t know how he did that. He shows up here. And it seems to us, when his back`s against the wall and there may be times of trouble, he`ll leave, so of course, we`re very concerned about it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst, it`s easy to get out of Mexico without a passport. You just walk across the border. I`ve done it many times. They don`t stop most people, unless they have a reason to. You can just sort of saunter across the border.

BROOKS: You can, Jane, but getting him back, that`s going to be another question, because it`s going to have to be done by diplomatic and through diplomatic channels.

And one of the things that I want to know, what kind of evidence do the Mexican authorities have on him? It took them two months, Jane, two months to bring charges. That`s a long time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but apparently, for Mexico, it`s a short time.

Now for a murder suspect, Bruce Beresford-Redman sure spends a whole lot of time walking around town. Radar Online caught up with him in Beverly Hills. Check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who do you think killed your wife, Bruce? (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

BRUCE BERESFORD-REDMAN, TV PRODUCER: No comment, sorry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s rewind and review what prosecutors claim happened.

Sunday, April 4, hotel guests see Bruce and Monica arguing. Six a.m. Monday, April 5, a guest hears a woman screaming and furniture being thrown inside their hotel room. Bruce reports his wife missing that day.

Three days later, April 8, Monica`s body is found in a sewer pipe not far from their hotel room.

Yesterday, a Mexican judge issues an arrest warrant for Bruce -- for Bruce.

Let me ask you, Mark Eiglarsh, OK, he was allegedly having an affair with another woman. He took out two life insurance policies on his wife shortly before their trip. There were allegedly scratch marks on his face. His hotel room key was swiped at least 11 times the night she disappeared.

Would you say prosecutors have a strong case?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Jane, there`s always two sides of the issue. Like, for example, the insurance policy was taken out in -- for the benefit of his children, not necessarily for him. We`d like to hear his side of the story. We don`t have that.

I would say, if those are the facts, and somehow prosecutors can prove that, then yes, they have a strong case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Alan Duke, CNN producer, what is this extradition process like, and who is watching over Bruce while it unfolds?

ALAN DUKE, CNN PRODUCER: Well, law -- local law enforcement authorities aren`t involved in it right now. I called them this afternoon, and they said it`s a federal thing. What has to happen is the Mexican government has to, through the U.S. State Department, request extradition, file the papers there. They`re passed to the Justice Department. And then sent to the Justice Department`s U.S. Marshal Service and the U.S. attorney here in Los Angeles.

The marshal service would make the arrest. Then they would take him before a U.S. magistrate. There would be no bond. I am told by the U.S. attorney`s office here that extradition on an international basis does not allow bond. So he`d be locked up until there is an extradition hearing, and who knows when that will happen?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Mike Brooks, you just heard Alison Triessl, the attorney for the victim`s family say they think he`s a flight risk. And the LAPD is not watching over him. So what`s to stop him from taking off?

BROOKS: Right now, nothing. There`s probably absolutely nothing from -- keeping him from taking off. I seriously doubt if the United States marshals or the State Department diplomatic security force (ph) is keeping an eye on this guy right now. So...

TRIESSL: Jane, may I interrupt? I have to say as I sit here and listen, because I do have firsthand knowledge of certain events, I believe that he is being watched. And all of us, including local law enforcement and federal authorities, are keenly aware of his ability to flee, and he is being watched. So rest assured: he won`t get very far.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So who is watching him again?

TRIESSL: I -- I know from having conversations with those on the local police side as well as the federal side, that he is being monitored and his movements, certainly the media is all over him and all over his house. So he can`t get very far.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But that`s new information that he is being monitored by somebody officially, law enforcement of some kind?

TRIESSL: That is correct.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lakisha, Indiana, your question or thought?

CALLER: Hi, Jane. It`s nice to speak with you, dear.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pleasure to speak with you.

CALLER: My comment is I think the United States needs to be working with Mexico to get him back to Mexico so he could be prosecuted for killing his wife. And I believe he did kill her, because if he planned a vacation to go to Mexico and her family know that for a fact, which they do, that shows right there that he`s guilty of killing her and hiding her body.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen, he`s not...

EIGLARSH: That`s a leap. That`s a bit of a leap, darling, you know. And let me just say this. We do have a treaty with Mexico signed by Jimmy Carter May 4, 1978. And the only issue will be, once they do take him into custody, is this the same person that they want over there in Mexico, not is he guilty or is he not. He`ll then be taken into custody and shipped over to Mexico for, hopefully, a fair trial.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we must see that he says he did not do it, and he is incensed, absolutely incensed that he would be associated with this heinous act. He says that he is devastated over his wife`s death.

And we invite his attorney, or until he is actually put in cuffs, him to come on the show and say whatever he wants to say. We`d like to be fair.

Stay right where you are. More on this very disturbing case. We`re just getting started, and we`re taking more of your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-2977.

Plus a mom murders her own daughter with a knife. We will listen to the shocking -- and I mean shocking -- 911 call.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hill County 911. What`s your emergency?

JETER: I just killed my children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me?

JETER: I just killed my children.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BURGOS: And I asked, "What? How come she`s missing?"

And he said, "Well, she went out yesterday morning to town to do some shopping, and she never came back."

And I said, "What? Where are the kids?"

"Oh, the kids are with me." My sister would never leave the kids with him for a whole day, ever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One of Monica`s devastated angry sisters talking about that terrible day she found out her sister was missing. She later turned up dead in the sewer of a fancy Mexican resort, specifically in Cancun.

Phone lines lighting up. John in California, your question or thought?

CALLER: Yes, how are you doing, Jane?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m doing good. How are you doing?

CALLER: I was just wondering. If this producer, you know, that`s accused of killing his wife, if he`s deported back to Mexico to face the charges and he gets acquitted or found not guilty there, do we -- can we charge him over here in the United States? Or is it double jeopardy?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m going to throw that one out to Mark Eiglarsh.

EIGLARSH: Thank you.

They absolutely cannot prosecute him here, because they have no jurisdiction. The offense happened there. It didn`t happen here, and in every criminal case a judge must make sure that someone can say that the crime happened in the jurisdiction in which it`s tried.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but I`ve got to ask a follow-up.

EIGLARSH: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This trial, let`s say it gets underway in Mexico. OK. He takes out life-insurance policies with American insurance corporations. How do they get those witnesses all the way down to Mexico to testify? And what if they don`t want to cross the border and do that?

EIGLARSH: Great question. They can`t force him. No, I don`t think they can force anybody.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hypothetically thinking, if you`re going to kill somebody, it`s smarter to kill them across the border.

EIGLARSH: You think that I`m going to advise your public on how to kill someone, Jane?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m telling you -- yes, go ahead.

TRIESSL: I`m not -- I`m not absolutely certain that they can`t charge him here. I believe that, if certain overt acts were committed on Los Angeles soil in preparation of this crime, they may, in fact, be able to get jurisdiction and charge him here.

EIGLARSH: She`s right if there are certain facts like that available. That`s a bit of a stretch, but it depends. If somehow they can show that things happened here in furtherance of that, it`s just a stretch. Because almost everything happened there. Theoretically it could be.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Morella, North Carolina, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Hi, Jane. I have two quick questions. I know the Mexican forensics are not, like, state-of-the-art like Americans are. But I`m just hoping that they did photograph, one, his scratched face and, two, take scrapings from underneath her fingernails. Because that`s -- that`s pretty much slam dunk. If it`s his DNA under her fingernails. I`m hoping they did photograph him.

The other thing is so often it seems like the children of these domestic homicide end up with the family of the killer, the worst being the case of O.J. Simpson. I mean, being that he was found responsible in civil court, how did he end up with those kids?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Morella, you should go to law school. Just hang up the phone and go right to law school. Excellent questions.

But I`ve got to ask you, Alison Triessl. You`re the attorney for the dead woman`s family. How upset are they that Bruce is seen on a swing -- and we have that video from TMZ, literally pushing one of the children back and forth on a swing, because a court granted temporary custody to his parents as opposed to the sisters who wanted them?

TRIESSL: Well, they`re devastated. You know, this is the most difficult topic for them. They love these children. They had very close contact with them. In Monica`s 2004 will, she names her sister Carla as the guardian of her children if something was to happen to her. They`re ready. They`re willing. They`re able to care for them and to give them the same love and kindness and warmth that Monica has always given to them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But are you worried that he could take off with the kids?

TRIESSL: Well, of course. I mean, we are. We are obviously concerned about that. And we -- we have asked him not to do that. We understand that anyone who, if he did this, he is capable of doing a lot of horrible things, but we ask that he not involve the children. They`re innocent bystanders in all this, and all they deserve is a kind, loving home. And we believe that both Carla and Jeane can give that to them. And that`s what we want to do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Alan Duke, I`ve heard that these children were not allowed by the court to go to the memorial service that the sisters had for their dead sister, the mother of these children. Why would the court - - tell us about that.

DUKE: Well, strangely enough, it was the same judge who is overseeing the custody of Michael Jackson`s three children, Mitchell Beckloff. Listen to a therapist who filed a sealed statement to the court, advising a therapist that`s been seeing them for a month who was hired by Bruce`s parents to see the kids who said that it would possibly cause them emotional harm if they went to Sunday service.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Alison, apparently the parents of Bruce told them, according to reports, allegedly, some kind of concocted story about their mother dying in a car accident?

TRIESSL: Right. That was very disturbing to us. Obviously these children don`t ever need to know the details of their mother`s brutal murder, but to deceive them and be so dishonest that she was struck by a car, it was unnecessary.

And in terms of -- our understanding of the memorial service was really because that`s not what Bruce wanted. And Bruce, because he is the surviving parent and at that time he had not yet been charged with a crime, had that kind of say. Of course, the therapist who we question her resume, but she did of course, say that she didn`t think it was in their best interest.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Alison, we want you back. We don`t want to let this story go. Thank you, panel.

Up next, Casey Anthony, you won`t believe it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a hideous, unthinkable crime. A Texas mom kills her 12-year-old daughter in a violent knife attack and seriously wounds the older sister. What does the mom do next? She calls 911 and makes a shocking confession.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hill County 911. What`s your emergency?

JETER: I just killed my children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me?

JETER: I just killed my children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where are you?

JETER: One of them is dead, she`s dead. But the other one, she wants to be saved and I -- she needs to be saved. Oh, my God, she`s dead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thirty-three-year-old Debra Jeter has pleaded guilty to capital murder charges and will spend the rest of her life locked up, no possibility of parole for this murderous mom.

Jeter and her estranged husband were in the middle of a divorce, and she was picking up their girls for a first-time visit under their custody order. About two weeks before this horrific crime, Jeter was sent to a mental health facility after cops say she apparently O.D.`d, where she tried to commit suicide.

Joining me now for a much, much needed diagnosis, Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist.

Dr. Dale, how does a woman get to the point of doing this hideous thing to her own flesh and blood?

DR. DALE ARCHER, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I think in this particular case, it goes to the divorce. And she was having problems in the marriage. She got depressed. She attempted suicide, and then a restraining order was filed against her, stating she couldn`t see the kids alone.

Well, she started thinking at that point, you know, I may never see my kids again. Or, he may get them, and you know what? If I can`t have them, no one else will. And that`s what led her to the option of murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think there`s something very interesting about the wording she used. The one girl wants to be saved. I don`t know whether she might have been having some sort of religious delusion, as well. There`s always that possibility. Now, in this next clip from the 911 call, the mom appears panicked when she realizes her other daughter is still alive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JETER: Tell them to hurry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re hurrying, honey, they`re hurrying.

JETER: Oh, my God, she`s dead. OK, my God.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How old are the children?

JETER: I`m not telling you. She wants you to hurry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Honey, they are coming. They`re coming as fast as they can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Dale, how sick is that? First she tries to kill them, and then one survives, and she`s like, "Hurry up, save them."

ARCHER: Well, you have conflicting emotions, Jane, and you have to understand that the mother-child bond is the strongest bond in the animal kingdom. So the question would be what could cause that bond to shatter? Very simply: culture and society norms.

But when you live in a culture where violence is embraced, then violence and even murder becomes an option. Now most people aren`t going to act on that option, but that explains why she was so conflicted. And the problem is, unless we address the issue of the culture of violence as a whole, we`re going to hear more and more and more about these types of stories.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we try to address that issue, culture of violence, here on ISSUES and just tell people out there, don`t use violence as a solution. And we have to teach nonviolent conflict resolution.

Dale Archer, thank you so much.

And be sure to stay right here with HLN, because at the top of the hour, Nancy Grace will talk to the devastated father of this poor, murdered little girl. Nancy will also have the entire 911 tape.

Also coming up, deja vu all over again, Casey Anthony`s defense team, fighting against the death penalty. Didn`t we go over this already?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Puzzling new twists and turns in the never-ending Casey Anthony case, her defense team is fighting to have the death penalty taken off the table. Again? Why this legal deja vu, the same issue over and over? And how is it sitting with the new judge? Is there a method to the defense team madness?

Piling on Foxy Knoxy: the American student living in Italy is already locked up for decades, convicted of murdering her roommate, now she`s back in court with a new look facing slander charges. Is the Italian court out to get her?

New Casey Anthony head-spinners tonight: the accused child killer`s defense dream team is back in court. Tonight -- deja vu all over again -- Casey`s lawyers again fighting tooth and nail to get the death penalty off the table. I thought we talked about that already.

One person noticeably absent in court, Casey Anthony herself. She took a nasty spill on the way to the courthouse and was apparently injured. Instead her mom Cindy was there holding down the fort. That poor woman -- what she has been through.

Casey`s lead attorney, Jose Baez, wanted specific reasons for why the prosecution is pushing to execute Casey if she`s found guilty of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

At the last hearing, the judge ordered the prosecution to list reason`s why Casey should face the death penalty. The prosecution did make a list but Casey lawyers criticized that list as too vague.

Also we have all gotten familiar with those shocking videos of Casey behind bars seemingly self absorbed as the frantic search for her own daughter went on outside.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, gorgeous, how are you doing?

CASEY ANTHONY, ACCUSED OF MURDERING HER DAUGHTER: I look like hell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know something? You really need to keep your spirit high through all this.

CASEY ANTHONY: I have, I haven`t been crying while I have been in here.

CINDY ANTHONY, CASEY ANTHONY`S MOTHER: What message do you want me to tell Zanny and Caylee? What do you want me to tell Zanny?

CASEY ANTHONY: That she needs to return Caylee.

CINDY ANTHONY: What do you think her reasons are?

CASEY ANTHONY: Mom, I don`t know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course, prosecutors say there is no Zanny the Nanny. Casey was fretting about her looks while her baby daughter was still missing. Now Casey`s attorneys want to keep the log that lists Casey`s jail visitors top secret, why?

And a huge push for forensic evidence, Casey`s defense team wants the prosecution to put all of their cards on the table.

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: also joining me prosecutor Stacey Honowitz; and tracking this case Beth Karas, correspondent with "In Session" on TruTV.

Beth, what is the latest?

BETH KARAS, TRUTV CORRESPONDENT: Well, A number of motions were heard by the judge today and the judge denied most of them. Perhaps most significant though was the absence of Casey Anthony. The prior judge Strickland had said she cannot waive her presence anymore. This is a death penalty case, she must be present. He doesn`t want any issues on appeal should she be convicted and then argue ineffective assistance of counsel because she was present.

But her appearance was waived today because she fell in the elevator and injured herself. She cut her chin, she split her lip, she needed medical attention. There was a lot of blood. She was shackled and she wasn`t being held apparently when she tripped. So she lost her balance and hit her face and couldn`t be present.

It was either waive her presence in court or postpone the hearing. They went forward with the hearing.

I find it fascinating that they didn`t postpone the hearing. This new judge -- remember, the defense basically got the old judge off the case, saying he was hanging around with a blogger who had written about Casey Anthony. Now they have got a new judge who`s far tougher and who even when she injures herself, doesn`t postpone a hearing. Be careful what you wish for.

So far, all of Casey`s jailhouse visits have been made public. Her own family eventually stopped coming to visit her because they were sick of their conversations like this one being released to the public. Check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CASEY ANTHONY: Someone won`t -- come on.

CINDY ANTHONY: Casey, hold on sweetheart. Settle down baby.

CASEY ANTHONY: Nobody`s letting me speak, you want me to talk. Give me three seconds to say something.

CINDY ANTHONY: Go sweetheart.

CASEY ANTHONY: I`m not in control over any of this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now the defense wants Casey`s visitor log kept completely confidential and private. Why? They say they want to send experts and possible expert witnesses to talk to Casey in jail and they don`t want the prosecution getting wind of it. Ok, the judge says he`s going to decide next week.

Stacey Honowitz, doesn`t Casey have a right to prepare her case in private without the whole world seeing the strategy?

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Absolutely, I think that the judge is taking this under advisement because the judge pretty much knows that the bottom line is she does have that right.

I mean this case has been a circus; everybody seems to know every move that`s made by the prosecutor and the defense in this case. So this one bit of information they`re asking the court, please keep this private so we can prepare properly without our strategy getting out there. That`s why he`s taking it under advisement.

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Wow. Hold on.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: But there`s other capital -- there`s other capital people that`s locked up there. If you give it to her, you`re going to have to give it to everybody.

EIGLARSH: And that is the other side of the argument.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who was it who said, "Wow, wow"? Ok Mark go ahead.

EIGLARSH: It was me.

Stacey makes some very compelling points and that`s one side of the issue. The other side is, as Brooksy (ph) just pointed out, there are 94 other defendants in that jurisdiction facing capital penalties. And if somehow you treat her differently, then you got to treat all them differently.

And yes that is different for sure.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One at a time.

HONOWITZ: But Mark, you do realize that special cases, it`s not like you`re treating someone so totally different, special cases call for special circumstances.

EIGLARSH: I agree. Stacey --

HONOWITZ: And I`m not the prosecutor, so for me to take this position, it`s different. I think it`s something he needs to take under advisement so that later on maybe there`s not an issue on appeal.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One at a time.

EIGLARSH: I don`t -- I don`t disagree with the argument that Stacey just made, the bigger issue is he`s part of the judicial branch. What he`s wrestling with is telling the jail, part of a different branch of government, what to do. And the jail, as a matter of course, keeps these logs and he doesn`t feel -- I could see it in the testimony today -- he doesn`t feel comfortable telling that branch what to do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now I got to go to the death penalty quickly. Why this constant focus on the death penalty and do you think, Stacey, that it signals weakness on the part of the defense like they`re so afraid she`s going to be convicted we better deal with the death penalty or not?

EIGLARSH: No.

HONOWITZ: Yes, absolutely, I think your thinking is 100 percent correct. The judge denied the motion today because the defense was so upset that the prosecutors said these are aggravating factors because you must prove aggravating factors for the death penalty that we may, in quote, "may use". And they said that was too vague.

The court said uh-uh, motion denied. You asked them to lay out what factors and it doesn`t matter if they said we`re definitely using these over (INAUDIBLE) --

EIGLARSH: I disagree with Stacey.

(CROSSTALK)

EIGLARSH: I disagree.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I got to get -- guys, I got to get out the big gavel, because you guys keep talking over each other.

EIGLARSH: It is not weakness. It is not weakness. It is not weakness, the defense`s job, whether you like Casey Anthony or not, is to do their job effectively. They have to assume that their client is going to be put to death. You must assume that and do everything possible to prevent that from happening.

Anyone who does a good job at their job can relate to that whether you like Casey Anthony or not.

HONOWITZ: Mark, this has a penalty phase. There is a penalty phase, the prosecutor can lay out 16 different aggravating factors or they can lay their hats on one aggravating factor. They did their job in this case, there`s nothing to talk about after that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Fantastic feisty panel, thank you so much.

Fergie, Duchess of York breaks her silence. She`s on tape taking money for access to her ex-hubby. Why did she do it? You won`t believe her explanation.

Plus Amanda Knox back in court and you will not believe how much jail has changed her. She has gotten an entirely new look, that`s right. Check it out. Short hair.

Foxy Knoxy looking a little bit more like Joan of Arc and she feels she`s being persecuted. We`re taking your calls on this, 1-877-JVM- SAYS. 1-877-586-7297.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The young American woman dubbed by the Italian media Foxy Knoxy is back in an Italian court actually facing even more jail time. That is next, but first, "Top of the Block" tonight.

Blame it on the booze, the Duchess of York caught on camera trying to sell access to her royal hubby for more than $700,000, but now she tells Oprah, she was just drunk. Quote, "I was in the gutter at that moment, I`m aware of the fact that I had been drinking. I was not in my right place," end quote.

This boozy story wasn`t Fergie going excuses, a few others included, "I`m broke," "I was trying to help a friend with money" and my favorite, "I was tricked into meeting the undercover reporter because he was going through a divorce and he need my advice."

Ok, Fergie, my accent isn`t really good, but you`re excuses are worst. You`d be the last person I would call if I needed relationship advice.

Yes, it sounds to me like, seriously all kidding aside, Fergie could be battling alcohol addiction. If she`s not lying to Oprah, she is definitely lying to herself.

That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block".

All right, Amanda Knox once again, known as Foxy Knoxy in the Italian press debuts a shocking new look. It`s the very first time we`ve seen the American student, Amanda Knox, since she was sentenced for 28 years -- or 26 years in prison for the brutal murder of her roommate.

Amanda was studying abroad in Perugia, Italy when prosecutors say she and her Italian boyfriend stabbed her roommate Meredith Kercher to death as part of a drug-fuelled sex game.

Now just a little while ago a tense Amanda appeared in an Italian court with a brand-new short hair cut. Six months after she was convicted of murder, Amanda is now being charged with slandering the Italian police.

During the murder trial Amanda gestured wildly and testified that cops hit her over the head during an all night interrogation session that ended in her signing a statement saying she was at the crime scene.

Check it out; this is what we`re talking about.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANDA KNOX, CONVICTED OF MURDERING MEREDITH KERCHER: They called me a stupid liar. And they said that I was trying to protect someone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The police vehemently deny these claims and Amanda has been slapped with a lawsuit. If she is convicted she faces a hefty fine and she could get some serious time added to her already 26- years sentence. Amanda could get six more years in an Italian prison.

Now Amanda maintains her innocence, while she and her boyfriend - - then-boyfriend who got a 26-year sentence as well are appealing. Could overzealous prosecutors just want to ensure Amanda will spend some kind of time in prison even if her appeal is successful?

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: criminal defense attorney Mark Eiglarsh; Nina Burleigh, who is currently authoring a new book about Amanda Knox being published by Crown in 2011. Also joining me the attorney for friends of Amanda Knox, Anne Bremner, who is also a friend of mine -- great to see you, Anne.

ANNE BREMNER, ATTORNEY FRIENDS OF AMANDA KNOX: It`s great to see you Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Amanda Knox`s aunt Janet Huff. Janet, I want to begin with you. First of all now, our hearts go out to what your family has been through, complete and utter hell because of this case that has completely dominated your lives for so long now.

What do you think about these new charges being filed against Amanda?

JANET HUFF, AMANDA KNOX`S AUNT: Well, you know, it`s -- it`s almost like there is a vendetta that`s been against Amanda, they just -- they`re really going after her for anything that they possibly can. It`s just like a dog with a bone, they just -- they just want to get her for something.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Amanda`s parents have also been accused in Italy of slandering the police because they repeated Amanda`s description about what happened to her during her interrogation to a British newspaper. Now, they have steadfastly stood by their daughter since day one.

Check this -- check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EDDA MELLAS, AMANDA KNOX`S MOTHER: We told her she`s going to get out of here; it`s going to take a little longer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Be strong, be strong --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s innocent, she`s innocent, she will come home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Anne Bremner, this is crazy.

BREMNER: It`s crazy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are allowed to have a defense --

BREMNER: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- and you`re allowed to present your version of the events and in American trials, it`s very common to point the finger at police, look at the O.J. Simpson case.

BREMNER: Absolutely Jane, and here`s the thing, it`s like from sublime to the ridiculous. Look at this case she`s been charged not civilly but criminally with defending herself and looking at more time in this case, when there`s a violation of law, Italian and international law to hit her in the head, to force a confession and to not have an interpreter there that certified, and to not have a lawyer.

And so this is just a challenge for her all the way around internationally and on her appeal.

And he charges her with criminal libel and her appearance and he`s gone after the media and he`s been convicted himself of abuse of office. A huge Italian opera.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nick New York, do you got a question?

NICK IN NEW YORK: Yes, I do, hello Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How are you doing?

NICK: Good thank you how are you?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good.

NICK: Good, I wanted to -- I wanted to ask you a question about the -- the Amanda Knox case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.

NICK: Is it possible that maybe the policemen or the policemen, the Italian policemen, the possibility that they abused her civil rights or with any -- that they tampered or compromised her civil rights in any form?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh boy. Nina Burleigh, you`re the author of a forthcoming book about Amanda Knox. The prosecutor in the case has been convicted of abuse of office in a separate murder investigation and a lot of people have said that he really has an overactive imagination and kind of makes things up like this drug-fueled sex game. They feel that he didn`t really have the evidence.

How did he know that there was a drug-fueled sex game going on that night?

NINA BURLEIGH, AUTHORING BOOK ON AMANDA KNOX CASE: Well, Jane, I don`t think he knows that there was a drug-fueled sex game going on. I mean, I`ve spent hours interviewing him and his motive is a moving target. He would ask American reporters what do you think the motive was? Was it robbery? Was it sex?

They and -- and in the trial, the motive changed. It moved from a sex game to Amanda Knox had a -- had a revenge motive against this -- this woman, this young woman Meredith Kercher who was brutally murdered.

But the slander charges are basically, you know, she could, in Italy, the defense -- defendants are assumed not to be telling the truth when they`re on the stand. They`re not sworn. And so whatever she said about the police was not believed by the jury anyway.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I heard the jury was napping during much of her testimony anyway. No, I`m not even joking.

BURLEIGH: I was there, they were sleeping.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re the aunt of Amanda?

HUFF: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you see the jurors napping?

HUFF: No, but my in-laws were there during every day of the trial and the jurors were seen napping as well as the prosecutor was seen napping during the defense`s turn.

What`s going on with the Italian criminal justice system, Anne Bremner? I mean the prosecutor is convicted of abuse of office in a separate murder investigation? A couple of authors in this murder of Florence, this sort of serial killer.

(INAUDIBLE)

BREMNER: We`ve called this the Mignini express, you know (INAUDIBLE). The fact is it gets weirder and weirder all the time. You`ve got a young woman here from Seattle, who heretofore had nothing that she`d ever done wrong where there`s no forensics, no hair, no fiber, no fingerprints. And she`s going to sit in jail for 26 years and now she`s being prosecuted yet again by this prosecutor that`s been convicted.

People need to pay attention, people who are in the United States. They really need to pay attention. Donald Trump has offered money, services, backing, boycott of Italy, but this is a huge case. Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. And that`s what`s happening.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Janet, what has your family been through?

HUFF: Oh, God, it`s been an emotional, financial roller coaster. It`s a nightmare really. You have an innocent family member who is trapped in a foreign country and there`s not really anything that we can do about it.

We can give her all the support and love that we can and try to get the best people onboard but since you`re dealing with a foreign country, you`re kind of stuck.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it there. Please come back, Amanda. We`re keeping this story alive.

A story you won`t believe up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you drill, baby drill, there`s going to be a spill. So if you drill, baby drill, you`re going to spill, baby, spill, and then you will kill, baby, kill.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I like the way she said that. Day 43 and the oil keeps on gushing into the Gulf. President Obama promises change, but can we really believe it?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If the laws on our books are insufficient to prevent such a spill, the laws must change. If oversight was inadequate to enforce these laws, oversight has to be reformed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have a better idea. How about reforming our addiction to oil? You are witnessing an environmental catastrophe. It has already killed 11 people, countless animals, delicate ecosystems. Is this oozing oil a sign we`ve hit bottom on our addiction to oil?

Check out this full-page ad in today`s "New York Times". Ok, full page -- that`s expensive.

It says, "In the time it takes to clean up the disaster in the Gulf, hydrogen can make gasoline a fuel of the past," end quote. The ad sponsored by Proton Energy Systems and Sun Hydro says hydrogen is the answer. The only emission from a hydrogen car is water, hydrogen is made from water. All the major car companies have hydrogen cars; filling up costs about the same.

We can stop spending a billion a day on foreign oil and become a leading exporter of technology. Hello.

Straight out to animal welfare expert and environmentalist, Jane Garrison. How do we turn this tragedy into something positive?

JANE GARRISON, ANIMAL WELFARE EXPERT AND ENVIRONMENTALIST: Well, Jane, first and foremost, we need to make sure that this environmental disaster doesn`t happen again. And the only way to prevent that is to have a permanent ban on all new drilling off of our coasts.

And secondly, 70 percent of all oil used in the United States is used for transportation, so we need to tighten up our fuel economy standards on all vehicles. And we need to promote electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. We need to find clean, renewable sources of energy and stop drilling in our oceans.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Eleven people died on the oil rig April 20th. Meantime hundreds of species of wildlife, 400 at least, have been put in danger.

Take a look at this poor sea turtle struggling to get to surface and air. They`re turning up dead by the hundreds at this point. You know, Jane, I always say that the animals can`t speak for themselves but in this case the animals and the humans` interest dovetails. What`s going to kill them is going to kill us, too.

GARRISON: That`s absolutely right, Jane. Over 400 species have been impacted by this: turtles, dolphins, pelicans. They`re all struggling to survive. And to make matters worse, this happened at the prime of their breeding season, and many of these animals are endangered species who we don`t know if they will ever recover.

You know what, Jane, I truly believe that if Americans are going to have drilling in their own personal back yards and their children would have any negative impact from that drilling, they wouldn`t go for it. But, you know what, we need to have the same respect for other species and we need to get out of their back yards and stop this drilling.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And now it is happening in America`s backyard. Now we`re seeing what much of the Third World has complained about for years. And I`ll tell you something else, if you don`t like this crisis, stop using these damn plastic water bottles. It`s petro chemicals, that`s from the word petroleum, plastic/oil. Get the connection?

Are you going to go green now?

Thank you, Jane Garrison.

GARRISON: Thank you Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you are watching ISSUES on HLN.

Junk it.

END