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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Victim Interrogated by Alleged Rapist; Young Woman Mugs Old Woman in Subway
Aired January 12, 2011 - 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, the ultimate slap in the face in the war on women. A man accused of impersonating a cop and raping a woman is allowed to cross-examine her while she`s on the witness stand. Should rape victims be forced to endure more torture during the trial from the men they say violated them? We`ll talk to an outraged rape victim and take your calls.
And a vicious mugger robs an 81-year-old woman. The female attacker trails the senior citizen, then throws her to the ground, making off with her purse and plenty of cash. Tonight, we`ll try to help track this monster down.
Then fast-breaking developments in the murder of that stunning Las Vegas showgirl. A coroner rules Debbie Flores-Narvaez was strangled to death. That, as her ex-boyfriend is dragged in front of a judge. I`ll talk to the dancer`s devoted sister about her face-off in court with the accused killer.
Plus is drug addiction at the heart of the Tucson shooting horror? One of Loughner`s friends says the suspect used hallucinogenics. And the Army says he admitted to being a pothead. And new details about Jared Loughner`s father, allegedly seeing him take a black bag out of a car trunk the morning of the rampage and then running off. Now cops are frantically searching for that mystery bag.
ISSUES starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUIS HARRIS, ACCUSED OF RAPE: In the interview with Detective Levi (ph) Davis, you never mention the word "rape."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is sex. Rape is sex.
HARRIS: So you`re saying that rape is sex?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unwanted sex is rape.
HARRIS: So your testimony here today now is that you were raped?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was raped by you. You forced sex upon me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How sick is that? Tonight, a Florida courtroom becomes a vicious battleground in the war on women. An alleged rapist acts as his own attorney, and interrogates his terrified victim, violating her over and over again as she sits on the witness stand. It was every woman`s worst nightmare, ripped straight out of a horror movie.
This man, 31-year-old Luis Harris, allegedly pretended to be a cop, parking his car in the middle of a busy street and using a fake laser device to flag down a female driver. She pulls over, thinking this monster`s a real cop.
Police say he then handcuffed her, telling her she was under arrest on suspicion of DUI. This frightened woman soon realized she was entering a living nightmare, that she might not make it out alive.
Now, this Harris fellow was caught on surveillance video. And you`re looking at that image right now, using the victim`s ATM card. She claims right after he withdrew money from her account, he brutally raped her in the back seat of his car.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was pushed up against the window, and you were having sex with me from behind me.
HARRIS: With your handcuffs behind your back?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
HARRIS: Was that painful?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t remember the pain.
HARRIS: Were your hands in the way?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is getting me so darn angry.
Two days later, he was caught after a dramatic police chase that ended on the roof of a building. Now this suspect, already accused of impersonating a cop, is impersonating a lawyer in the courtroom. Harris fired his court-appointed attorney and is representing himself. Is he trying to set up a mistrial?
Well, he`s certainly putting his alleged victim through hell all over again, grilling her on the stand. She remains strong, looking him in the face and saying, "I was raped by you."
Are you outraged, too? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Straight out to my fantastic expert panel.
First to Katie Calloway Hall, who was kidnapped and raped by Phillip Garrido. And she is my hero for speaking out on this issue consistently.
Katie, you`re a survivor of sexual assault. What`s your reaction to this accused rapist grilling his alleged victim on the stand?
KATIE CALLOWAY HALL, RAPE SURVIVOR: I don`t -- I think that would be the most difficult thing to do, Jane. I just can`t imagine. I just hope she has a tremendous support system. You know, I just can`t imagine -- that`s a law that needs to be changed. That`s -- that`s just crazy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Emotionally does it make you angry?
HALL: It makes me furious. Especially listening to the -- it`s like a joke, listening to that -- that interchange between them. It`s ridiculous.
If I had to face Garrido on the stand, I mean, I barely could look at him in the courtroom. I only looked at him to identify him. And then I looked at the -- the attorneys and just talked to them directly. I don`t know if I could have done it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is it terrifying to be on the stand and to confront the person who -- I have to say allegedly, because this guy is obviously still in trial -- but the person who was convicted of assaulting you, who did assault you, is it scary to face them?
HALL: It`s absolutely terrifying. And all I could do was, like I said, I looked at him only to identify him, and then I just concentrated on talking to the attorneys, in dealing with their questions.
But I just can`t imagine, you know, you`re already afraid of the perpetrator who`s in the courtroom with you, you know. But being forced to talk to him, and in such a -- such a way that`s almost -- it`s almost ridiculing the victim.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. Here`s -- yes, here`s my big issue tonight. The ultimate power trip. They say rape isn`t really about sex; it`s about sadistic desire...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... to exert power and control over another human being.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen to this sick courtroom exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: Do you remember testifying earlier that you pulled over because you thought you may have hit something?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I testified that you were flagging me down. I thought maybe I may have hit you, or I may have hit something on your car.
HARRIS: Can you describe ME, my height, my size, my build? Just by looking at me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tan, Hispanic male, short hair cut. You`re taller than me. Maybe 6 foot.
HARRIS: Must have grown a foot or so.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t make any sidebar comments.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gloria Allred, you crusade for women`s rights. Isn`t this institutionalized sexism?
GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIM`S RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Actually, I don`t think so, Jane. And I think the answer to situations like this is that persons who are alleged to be the victims of rape, sexual assault, need to have their own support system, and that includes having their own private attorney.
And when they have their own private attorney, that attorney can help to prepare them so that, if, as and when they are sitting on the witness stand and being cross-examined by the person accused of raping them, they will be prepared. They will be able to deal with it. And many more victims are doing that. I`m currently doing that in some cases. And it is a big help to the victims, to have their own private attorney to prepare them for that moment.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, I understand that you`re saying that everybody in America has a constitutional right to defend themselves. And we certainly don`t want to change the Constitution over this one issue.
But my gosh, isn`t there a way to balance constitutional issues with a woman`s right to maintain her dignity after she`s already been violated and humiliated, to stop her from being humiliated again? I mean, I viscerally feel outraged over this.
And the intellectual constitutional issues are -- I would think there`s got to be a way, Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor, to come up with a way to preserve the Constitution and still prevent a woman from being humiliated in this fashion.
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, Jane, I mean, everything you`re saying is 100 percent right. And I think most people feel the same way you do. But unfortunately, in the courtroom, he has a right to either have a lawyer, or to defend himself.
Now, does it make a difference, because this is his victim? Well, might -- many people might say, well, he`d be sitting there anyway next to his lawyer, telling his lawyer everything. And she`d have to look at him anyway. It`s humiliating to have to go into the courtroom to begin with to discuss rape. So yes, on top of it, the idea that your attacker is the one that`s then attacking you again in court, is despicable. But unfortunately it`s legal.
And one of the protections, the protections are like Gloria said, either having a private lawyer, or having that relationship with the prosecutor that the prosecutor knows when to tell him he`s argumentative, he can`t ask that question, or to object to certain questions. But the idea of him questioning the witness, it`s legal, and it goes on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m sorry. I`ve got an issue of a call to action tonight. There has to be a better way to prevent this kind of psychological rape, is what I would call it, in the courtroom.
You know, a similar scenario occurred to a woman in Seattle. She was being grilled, or was going to be grilled by her -- the person she says raped her. She was so upset she ran out of the courtroom and tried to commit suicide. She came this close to jumping a bridge.
Dr. Katherine Smerling, you`re not a lawyer, but you`re a psychologist. Can`t we come up with, well, maybe she could be on videotape in another room. Maybe he could submit his questions in writing. But they -- you know, this guy actually asked the woman who did the rape exam on this woman, oh, well, couldn`t those injuries have been consistent with rough consensual sex?
DR. KATHERINE SMERLING, PSYCHOLOGIST: Jane, I agree with you totally. It may be one thing what the lawyers agree, but you`re not taking into account the mental state of the person who has been raped. There`s a certain amount of resilience that we all have. Some more, and some less.
Those that have less resilience will have a tremendous amount of post- traumatic stress disorder, which may lead to suicide. And you don`t know, with PTSD, whether it`s going to be in five years, in two years, in ten years.
This is outrageous. Outrageous. I would never counsel anyone to be subject to something like this.
HONOWITZ: But that`s not -- I hate to say, you can`t counsel someone to say, "Don`t testify in the courtroom."
Jane, you`re right, there are safeguards put in. When children testify, lots of times you can have a psychologist or a psychiatrist sign off on some kind of affidavit saying what kind of emotional trauma it would be to bring the child into the courtroom and have to sit there.
SMERLING: What about lawyers?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you. Hold on.
HONOWITZ: You could be -- that`s what I`m saying. You could try to introduce that safeguard. That, if you know the attacker is going to play lawyer, that she is in a different room or that she is videotaped, or maybe some questions are submitted. But legally speaking, he has a right to cross-examine her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s not a black-and-white issue, though. Hold on a second. Hang tight. Expert panel, hold on. We`re going to come back to you in a minute.
What do you think at home about this alleged rapist cross-examination? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 586-7297.
All right. Plus, an 81-year-old woman tackled to the ground and mugged by a female thug. We`re trying to find that suspect.
Plus, the alleged murderer of a Las Vegas showgirl hauled in front of the judge for the very first time. I`m going to talk to the victim`s devastated sister who had an emotional day confronting this guy in court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CELESTE FLORES-NARVAEZ: (BLEEP) (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bailiff, bailiff. Get her out of here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE CHET A. THARPE, HILLSBOROUGH CIRCUIT COURT: Mr. Harris, you are creating an undue hardship on this victim.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was just a blue flickering light. It was flickering through my window. He tells me I can`t tell anybody. Can`t tell anybody. And he asked me, he asked me over and over again, "Are you going to tell anybody? You`re not going to tell anybody."
HARRIS: I`m not a monster. I`m just a regular individual person just like anybody here. I`m accused of some pretty harsh allegations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, the jury`s going to decide whether or not he`s a monster, and they`re taking all this in.
Tonight, the war on woman raging in a Florida courtroom. A woman says she`s pulled over by a man pretending to be a cop, and then she says he then robs and rapes her. Now this guy is cross-examining her, because he chose to represent himself.
Dru, Texas, your question or thought -- Drew.
CALLER: Hey, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey. Your question or thought?
CALLER: I just had -- I just had a couple of comments.
CALLER: I found it really disturbing. I`ve been watching him as he was, you know, questioning her. And it was almost like it was giving him a kick, or a rush, to be able to stand there in front of her and bring that all back to her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who was saying yes? I want to hear that.
HONOWITZ: Probably I was.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Let`s see the panel. Stacey -- Stacey.
HONOWITZ: It probably was a rush for him. I`m sure -- listen, we all know that it is about power and violence, not about sex. I`m sure there is something deep inside him that is giving him a thrill and a charge to be able to stand there and make her go through this over and over again, with him. Not a lawyer, but directly with him. First he was raping her. Now he`s -- now he`s questioning her basically calling her a liar. So, yes, I`m sure there is something going on in his psyche which is giving him a thrill.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Gloria Allred...
SMERLING: However, you cannot -- you do not know how the rape victim is going to react to being re-raped, humiliated publicly once again.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gloria Allred, here`s what I don`t understand.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This guy fires his public defenders. He says, "I want to represent myself." Well, now apparently after trying to cross- examine his alleged victim, he`s decided, "Oh, I don`t know anything about DNA. And the DNA experts for the police department are coming up. I want a lawyer again."
So now he`s asked for a lawyer again, and he`s gotten one. How many times can he go back and forth like this?
ALLRED: Well, as many times as the court allows him to. As the United States Supreme Court says, everyone has a right to represent themselves, because everyone has a right to have a fool for a lawyer. And apparently, most of the time that people do represent themselves -- and this is the good news for rape victims -- most of the time people do represent themselves when they are defendants in a criminal case, they are convicted.
So I don`t also want rape victims to think that they have to be so scared and so traumatized, that they shouldn`t testify, and that the case then should not proceed or be dismissed. Instead, I want them to know that they can be prepared for this, that the likely result is he is going to be convicted, and they should feel empowered and want to go ahead to testify anyway. They can do it.
HONOWITZ: That`s why -- that`s why, Jane, the judge allowed him to have a lawyer now, because we don`t want this to come back on appeal. He gets convicted and it goes up on appeal and they say he was too dumb, he didn`t know about DNA, he couldn`t cross-examine these people and didn`t know about DNA evidence, it`s going to come back on appeal. And the last thing you want to do is for her to go through it a third time.
And that`s why, to safeguard the protections of the proceedings, the judge reappointed a lawyer at this part of the trial.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ante, Wisconsin, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: I think the guy was really trying to intimidate the lady. And I think she was very brave and strong for her to stand up to him. For a person like me, I would have ran out the courtroom. Like the lady earlier that just...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, she was -- she considered suicide. You`re absolutely right, Ante.
Katie Calloway Hall, you heard Gloria Allred saying, "Well, look, he`s constitutionally entitled to represent himself, and that includes cross- examining his accuser. And women should know that they should feel empowered, because when somebody represents themselves, statistically they`re more likely to get convicted." Do you buy the argument?
HALL: Well, I still think that, if a woman has to deal with her attacker cross-examining her like that in court, and going through that humiliation, they should be prepared.
I think that -- I think this is an issue that I don`t think has come up that often. I`ve not heard of it that often, and I think it needs to be addressed, because I don`t think women should have to go through this at all. I understand the constitutional right, but victims have rights, too.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I do agree with Gloria Allred in the sense that I think that he is not only making a mockery of this case, but he`s -- a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Apparently, he`s watched a couple of TV shows about courtrooms. And he actually accused the prosecution of misconduct because the prosecutor smiled at the jurors, which shows you how very little he knows.
So Dr. Katherine Smerling, should we use this as an opportunity for empowerment, as opposed to this re-victimization?
SMERLING: Well, I think that, as a philosophical thing, it`s great to use as -- as an empowerment. But the reality is -- is that most rape victims suffer PTSD, which is post-traumatic stress disorder, for periods, for long periods after their rape. And this does not make it better for rape victims.
I am against this, even if they have the proper support. I think that there is the psychological and emotional component which must be...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hence my call to action. Let`s find a smarter way to do it. There`s videotape, people. Thank you, fantastic panel.
A coroner rules that the beautiful Las Vegas showgirl found dismembered in cement was strangled. We`re going to talk to her devastated, outraged sister, live, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADELINE KLIMA, ROBBED IN SUBWAY: I found myself flying. I landed. I was bleeding, and I couldn`t get up. My arm hurt. I yelled for help. I said, "Somebody stole my bag."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a brazen heartless woman in her 20s attacks a helpless senior citizen in the New York City subway. It`s all caught on tape.
The female mugger sneaks up on the senior citizen, who`s paying her fare at the public turnstile. The attacker snatches this old woman`s purse with both arms, flips this poor woman backwards, and she lands on the ground. It`s appalling.
The victim, 81-year-old Madeline Klima, has a broken shoulder and a cut on her head. She told "The New York Post" this thug stole three weeks worth of paychecks. She`s out 800 bucks for her work as a cleaning lady. She`s working as a cleaning lady at 81 years of age.
OK. The NYPD is saying they`re still looking for this heartless low- life.
Straight out to Curtis Sliwa, founder and CEO of the Guardian Angels. Curtis, your reaction to this monstrosity.
CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER/CEO, GUARDIAN ANGELS: Jane, I`m just going to pimp off what the 81-year-old victim had to say. She said she`s got to -- she`s got to suffer for this. She`s got to -- she`s got to realize some pain from this.
And what strikes me as a little different than the norm, we`re so used to young men as predators, young men taking advantage of senior citizens. Rarely do we see it where there`s a young woman, as in this case, and with such brutal force.
I mean, this is what motivated me to start the Guardian Angels. It will be -- February 13 will make 32 years. When these elderly women, who are maintenance women, who are cleaning women, would be working swing shifts and taking trains in the wee hours of the morning, trying to get back safe and secure, and basically protecting the few valuable dollars that they have. If we can`t protect senior citizen women, who can we protect?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Curtis, back in the early `80s, when I was first starting to work in New York, you were one of the first people I interviewed, and I road the subway with you all day.
Now, this is happening at a subway turnstile. What are the dangers? I mean, there are subway systems all over the country being caught. As you`re trying to put whatever you`ve got to put to get through the turnstile.
SLIWA: But see, the difference is, Jane, years ago you used to have the human factor: eyeballs, token clerk booth, a woman or a man behind bulletproof glass who could easily say something that might chase you off or call the police, 911.
Now everything is mechanized. So if you notice, this woman is swiping her card, like you do in so many other metro transit systems around the country. But there is no human factor there. There`s no station attendant; there`s no token booth clerk. You`re on your own.
So if you`re a predator, you can stay in the darkness of a cubicle and wait for the right victim. And in this case, an 81-year-old woman who said, she goes, "I don`t profile. I don`t -- I don`t assess the way you dress. I believe that there are good people out there." And obviously, she ain`t having enough street smarts to realize what this young woman was doing, which was laying in wait, preying on her and then using such vicious force.
This woman has to be made an example of. I mean, we`re talking five to ten years hard time. And in the old neighborhood, I`ve got to tell you, Jane, although a lot of people would object to this, you`d make sure they had a cast. They`d walk around with a cast on the arm. And everyone would know, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. You broke her shoulder, your shoulder gets broken.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, first we have to find her. And unfortunately, this video that they`ve got in the subway systems is so blurry. I don`t know why they don`t upgrade to better video so that, instead of us showing this, we could show you something that would help us solve the case, i.e., her face.
Curtis, love to have you on. Thank you very much.
Up next, the latest on the Las Vegas showgirl, murdered. Her sister speaks out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fast breaking developments in the murder of that stunning Las Vegas showgirl. A coroner rules Debbie Flores-Narvaez was strangled to death. That as her ex-boyfriend is dragged in front of a judge. I`ll talk to the dancer`s devoted sister about her face-off in court with the accused killer.
Plus, is drug addiction at the heart of the Arizona shooting horror? One of Loughner`s friends said the suspect used hallucinogenics and the Army says he admitted to being a pothead.
New details about Jared Loughner`s father allegedly seeing him take a black bag out of a car trunk the morning of the rampage and then running off. Now cops are frantically searching for that mystery bag.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) What you did to her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bailiff, bailiff, get her out of here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight: pure outrage from the sister of a murdered Las Vegas showgirl as she faces her sister`s alleged killer in court. Who can blame her?
Cops say the woman`s sister, Debbie Flores-Narvaez, shown here, dancing on YouTube -- look at this beautiful woman. Look at her dancing. She celebrated life. She sacrificed everything. A law career to become a dancer. And she was choked to death, and her legs, her beautiful legs were cut off. Her body stuffed into a plastic tub, and then covered with cement.
And at least two other people knew about it, cops say. Why didn`t anybody call the cops?
Now, here`s the man cops say did this: Debbie`s ex-boyfriend, Jason Griffith, who was a dancer with Cirque du Soleil until he got arrested. The only thing Griffith said in court today was, "Yes," when the judge asked him if he understood the charges.
Here`s Debbie and Jason in better days shooting a sexy music video from YouTube. But cops say -- look how happy they look. They look like a happy couple, right? A little physical there.
Cops say their smiles hide a history of domestic violence. Cops say Jason murdered Debbie at his house December 12th. That`s right. Cops say the man you`re looking at right there murdered the woman you just saw.
Debbie told friends she was going over to Jason, her ex-boyfriend`s house, to watch the serial killer show on Showtime "Dexter". And boy, that is one violent, bloody show.
Debbie`s sister cannot believe what her sister`s killer allegedly did to her body. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CELESTE FLORES-NARVAEZ, DEBBIE`S SISTER: Like she wasn`t nothing and fills her up and then find a home, an abandoned house. You can`t tell me it wasn`t premeditated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The arrest report says Jason Griffith admitted after his arrest that he killed Debbie but claimed self-defense later. He reportedly back-tracked and denied any involvement. An automatic plea of not guilty was entered for him.
Straight out to our very special guest: Debbie`s sister, Celeste Flores-Narvaez. Celeste, again, we are so sorry for your loss. I know this is horrific for you.
What was it like to be in court today and confront Jason Griffith, your sister`s ex-boyfriend, her accused killer in court one on one? What was that like? What went on inside you?
FLORES-NARVAEZ: Thank you for having me. It was the first time I`ve ever seen him face to face. And at first I thought I could handle it.
And surely enough, I started feeling like I was literally looking at the devil. I started feeling chills. I started getting hot. I started having an anxiety -- I just became enraged with anger. It was the worst feeling I`ve ever felt.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You never took your eyes off him in court. And we`re going to watch and listen again to what you said to him. Let`s take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FLORES-NARVAEZ: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) what you did to her?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bailiff. Bailiff. Get her out of here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What were you feeling at that moment?
FLORES-NARVAEZ: Honestly, as I was sitting there watching him, and his lawyers were trying to get him to get some bail, I started crying. I started getting upset. I couldn`t control my emotions anymore.
And literally, at that moment, I kind of blocked out. I really don`t remember that moment until I literally heard an officer in the background say get her out of here. And then that`s when I kind of focused and realized what I just -- I just lashed out. I lost it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You later called the judge -- you called the judge. What did you say to him?
FLORES-NARVAEZ: I tried to call the judge. I really would have liked to have called the judge and apologized for my behavior. I would never disrespect a judge in his courtroom, of course. It`s not in me to be disrespectful, especially when he`s there to not only sentence or do whatever he has to do with Blue Griffith, or Jason Griffith, but for other people as well. I just really feel, you know, sorry for what I did.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Celeste, I`m sorry to have to tell you this, but the arrest report says your sister`s ex-boyfriend had help. Jason Griffith and another man allegedly poured concrete on Debbie in a plastic tub and loaded it into a U-haul and moved it to a vacant home.
They allegedly tried to take it to a friend`s apartment. That friend said she freaked out when she found out what was allegedly in the tubs and sent them away. And they finally allegedly found another place to leave the house -- to leave the body at a vacant house.
And I guess my big issue is, why would this other person get involved? This other man allegedly witnessed a fight between Debbie and Jason the day she was killed, and he according to reports stopped Jason from choking her. But then he left.
Chet Buchanan, you`ve been tracking this story with 98.5 KLUC radio. What happened after that? What do you know about this other individual?
CHET BUCHANAN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST, 98.5 KLUC: Well, it`s been reported fairly widely that the roommate then left after he attempted to pull Jason off of Debbie. When he came back later, Jason met him at the door and said -- well, first Jason texted the roommate and said do not bring your girlfriend back to our place.
Then he got into a fight -- the roommate got into a fight with his girlfriend over that. When he finally was able to drop his girlfriend off at her mother`s house, then he went back to the apartment -- or the house where he met with Jason Griffith.
Jason said, it`s a change your diaper moment, I -- up. And then that is when he led him to the body. It really sounds like a situation where a couple of guys just panicked. And that`s when the events unfolded. The concrete was bought, the U-haul was bought and the things went on that has been widely reported.
Just a terrible story.
A quick court appearance this morning for Jason Blue Griffith; he will back in court for his preliminary hearing on February 15th. The roommate interestingly enough has not been charged in this case and may not be charged with the murder.
He asked police to not charge him with the murder, in return for information. However, that does not absolve him for what happened after the murder. And that is what most likely what Las Vegas Metro Police will be going after him for.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I just want to say that the man you`re looking at here has not been convicted. All the itinerary that you said, the story that you told is alleged.
David Schwartz, there have been reports that the suspect who had an automatic plea of not guilty entered for him originally told cops allegedly, it wasn`t premeditated, I didn`t mean to do it, she attacked me and then he denied any involvement. How does that play out legally? Can they use his prior statements if indeed he made them?
DAVID SCHWARTZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely, they could use his prior statements. I think the defense is probably going to endorse those prior statements to try to gear the jury towards a manslaughter. I think they`re going to gear this towards a self-defense aspect. In order to prove self-defense he`s going to have to testify, of course.
I know I`m jumping ahead to the trial. But I think they`re going to gear it towards his heat of passion, manslaughter, as opposed to murder. I think that will be the angle of the defense.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I know that`s got to very much upset the sister and the family of this murdered woman.
Celeste Flores-Narvaez, you`re the sister of this beautiful woman who has lost her life. And we`re discussing this because we want justice, ok? And now you hear that, well, he could possibly try to go for a manslaughter saying, well, it wasn`t premeditated, it was a fight, I lost control; what have you. Your reaction?
FLORES-NARVAEZ: You know what, I`m just sick by all this. I don`t want to hear that crap. That`s just BS to me. That`s just an excuse for what he did and he wants to just get off a little squeaky clean. Not only that, but the roommate as well.
If I`m not mistaken when I read that report, wasn`t he dropping off his daughter? Would he want something like this to happen to his daughter, much less his girlfriend? How could you attempt to be accessory to murder when you know you have a daughter and a girlfriend? I just don`t get it. I think it`s disgusting.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t understand it either. We`re not naming this individual because he has not been charged as an accomplice or with anything.
But Chet Buchanan, what I don`t understand is he portrayed himself as somebody who tried to stop the fight. There was an argument apparently or allegedly between the victim and the suspect. And he saw, he said, the suspect, this person going after Debbie, and trying to choke her. And he pulls him off. Then he leaves. Then he comes back and says, oh, I`ll allegedly help you dispose of the body?
BUCHANAN: Yes. That`s strange. And when people say, things are premeditated. It sounds like a panic move.
And let me speak on Celeste`s behalf for just a second as well. I spoke to Celeste a couple of weeks and we were discussing this case. And I fully expected Celeste to be angry. And she asked me at the time -- and Celeste you`ll remember this -- you said, take it easy on Jason Griffith because nothing had been proven yet. And you said I don`t want to ruin this man`s life forever in case it`s not true.
So I want to speak on Celeste`s behalf for that. And your anger and your outburst this morning in the courtroom nobody holds you accountable for that. You were more than justified and you don`t owe anybody an apology.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are --
CELESTE: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- dealing with the worst thing that anybody can deal with the loss of a sister, the loss of a loved one. Absolutely, your rage is well earned, unfortunately. Our hearts go out to you.
Thank you, wonderful panel.
The life of the man with the golden voice takes another strange twist. You won`t believe what`s happening now.
Plus, massive developments in the Arizona shooting rampage. A friend claims Jared Loughner was hooked on a hallucinogenic. What do you think about these stomach-churning new developments? Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1- 877-586-7297.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: New shockers in the Arizona shooting rampage investigation -- that in a moment.
But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED WILLIAMS, HOMELESS ANNOUNCER: It`s just crazy. It`s I -- I love it. But then at the same time, I`m getting so -- oh, God, what am I supposed to do with all of this newfound fame.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Crazy indeed. Yesterday we told you how cops were called to Ted Williams, the man with the golden voice`s Hollywood hotel after a blow-up between him and his daughter. She accused the former homeless man/booze and crack addict of drinking again, in other words, slipping on his recovery.
Well, today the overnight superstar is reportedly headed back to rehab. Bravo, Ted, I want to see you succeed. If there`s one thing we can learn from this story, it`s that fame and money, and they don`t make addiction disappear.
Sometimes more money and more attention really mean more problems. Good luck, Ted. Stick with it in rehab.
That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block".
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
STEVEN CATES, FORMER COLLEGE CLASSMATE OF LOUGHNER (via telephone): When I knew him, he had just a buzzed head as opposed to a shaved head. But that -- that same -- that same look was the look that made people in class uncomfortable.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, disturbing new revelations in the sick case of Arizona shooting rampage suspect Jared Loughner. Could drugs and alcohol have ignited his alleged homicidal outburst? Loughner`s friend says he was a heavy drinker and a drug user.
That friend told ABC that the hallucinogenic salvia was one of Loughner`s favorite drugs. An Army official says Loughner told a recruitment officer point blank, "I am a habitual drug user." And with that, he was rejected by the Army.
We also have a just released audio recording of Jared Loughner from a court hearing he faced about three years ago for drug paraphernalia. You`re going to hear the judge ask him how to pronounce his name. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Loughner?
LOUGHNER: Loughner. Loughner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Loughner?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok. And you`re going into diversion for possession --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, diversion. 22-year-old Jared Loughner is charged in Saturday`s shooting spree that left six people dead and 13 others injured. Investigators are searching for a suspicious black bag.
Police say the morning of the rampage, Loughner`s dad saw him take the bag out of the trunk of the family car. When the dad approached him, Jared reportedly ran off. Incredibly Loughner was pulled over for running a red light just hours before this horrific rampage.
The officer found no outstanding warrants. He gave him a warning and let him go. A sad metaphor for this young man`s life; red flags everywhere he went, but he was sent on his merry way, maybe not so merry.
Straight out to CNN reporter, Paul Vercammen, live from Tucson, Paul, what is the very latest we`re learning about this suspect`s psychological, emotional and substance abuse problems tonight?
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jane, I think you`re touching on this. But the big question is, would we even be having the memorial service that will take place behind me tonight if someone had jumped in and perhaps helped Loughner.
Among other things that happened, he was at a local community college on five different occasions, police had to step in and deal with him directly. In his math class, for example, his teacher had said he felt that Loughner was a threat. He was clearly concerned about his psychological state.
They were only going to let him back into the community college if he had received a side note from a mental health expert or doctor saying that he was in the right mind. That he was in a good state and continue his classes.
And in terms of the addiction, nothing radical jumps out at you. It`s not like he was a -- you know, a bona fide meth addict that everybody said. But he obviously did have a marijuana problem as you pointed out earlier.
He goes and is going to try to get into the Army. And by his own admission -- he didn`t fail the drug test -- but by his admission he was a habitual pot smoker. And that sent them a red flag. And that`s where the Army balked on him -- Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes and along with being a pot smoker, he was a skilled shooter. He -- since high school, he was shooting at tin cans and going to firing ranges. Not a very smart combination there.
Now, an Army official told "Time" about Loughner`s failed attempt to enlist in 2008. The official said, quote, "He didn`t fail a drug test. He admitted to excessive drug use, he admitted he smoke marijuana to such an extent that we said no thank you. Now, we`re not going to accept a habitual drug user into the Army."
That`s what the U.S. Army said.
Loughner`s friend told ABC that he also used the legal hallucinogenic called salvia. This is a drug that the public and myself -- we`re all just learning about it together.
Now, Jamison Monroe, you`re in recovery. You also run an excellent adolescent recovery facility called the Newport Academy.
But I understand in the past before you got sober --
JAMISON MONROE, FOUNDER/CEO, NEWPORT ACADEMY: One more time, please?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I understand in the past before you got sober, you tried salvia. Ok?
MONROE: I did.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What does salvia do to you?
MONROE: Jane, it gets you really, really high for about 90 seconds, hallucinogen-high where you do have some visualizations and things like that. And so with someone who`s predisposed to mental illness, any sort of drug can accelerate and exacerbate that mental illness.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I hope cops immediately did a drug test when they arrested Jared Loughner.
Here is my big issue. Was Loughner drug-driven? He was known as a pothead and a heavy drinker. People retreat into drugs and booze to fend off personal pain they can`t face.
And let`s be real. Here is my analysis of this situation.
This young man was lonely and alienated. He didn`t know how to make friend. He went to a party they found him by himself in a room reading the dictionary. I think that says it all.
His parents were also described as quiet and even reclusive. So they couldn`t help him make friends. He turns to drugs. He begins target practice as early as high school. Meantime, his resentment and hatred of a world that he feels has rejected him, grows and grows. He begins to call himself a nihilist, meaning total rejection of established laws and institutions.
Ultimately, my question, to Dr. Janet Taylor, psychiatrist, could drugs have given him the nerve to carry out this hateful plot?
DR. JANET TAYLOR, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, if you look at the risk for who is committing violence, certainly substance abuse as well psychosis puts him at risk. The drug test I`m sure was done and so there`s no question we will know about that.
But Jane, this has happened for years and years. He lived in the house for 22 years where he had this odd behavior that got worse in high school. Not only did the school not do anything, apparently his parents didn`t insist that he get some help either.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why not? We`re going to issue a call to action on the other side of the break. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HELEN MORRISON, CHILD/ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRIST: He fits the profile of a mass murder, which is essentially an individual who seems themselves as somehow being a victim of other individuals. It doesn`t have to be an external trigger. It can be something that builds and builds until the individual feels that they are righteous in destroying the object that they have so much hatred for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We may never know what exactly triggered Jared Loughner`s alleged killing spree. We do know he admitted to habitual drug use and that countless people who came in contact with him questioned his mental health.
Here is my call to action tonight. Come on, after his arrest for drug paraphernalia possession three years ago, he was ordered to a drug diversion program. But that`s educational, that`s not psychological counseling.
Look at this guy, look into his eyes. It doesn`t take a brain surgeon to realize this guy is twisted and needs help. Why the heck didn`t this lonely, alienated, troubled kid who couldn`t connect with other people, not get psychological counseling?
You know how you connect with people? You learn to do it. You sit in a circle. That`s what 12-step programs are based on.
His parents were reclusive. They didn`t teach him how to make friends. He was an only child. I am an only child. I know what that is like. But thank God I was able to connect with someone.
Jamison Monroe, couldn`t this story have turned out differently if we only had 12-step circles in high schools where kids who can`t connect can sit down and connect with somebody and share their problems?
MONROE: Yes, Jane, you are exactly right. Or something like this. It really sickens me that a lot of people are making this out to be a political crisis when in fact it really proves that our country is in the middle of a mental health crisis.
Our public school educational system is not equipped to handle cases like these appropriately. It should be mandatory that every public and private educational institution that enrolls young adults and teenagers should be mandated and funded for mental health screening and interventions within the school system. And we would prevent a lot of this, these killings that are happening.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I know what it is like to be an only child. I grew up on the ninth floor of a building. I couldn`t go out and play. I know what it is like to not know other kids. And I know how important it is to connect.
And if we could just create these circles; this is what all 12 step and recovery principles are based on. It is people sitting in a circle and listening to each other and finding commonalities, saying I`m not alone.
But for some reason --
MONROE: I`m right there with you. We go into schools.
TAYLOR: But Jane, even with recovery, unless it is mandated by the court there is a voluntary aspect to it. Even with mental health you have to have individuals who are willing to be evaluated and seek treatment. And unfortunately, in his case, I think a lot of the answers will rest with his father and why they didn`t push him to get help.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kate, Missouri your question or thought? Kate?
KATE, MISSOURI (via telephone): Hello.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hello, Kate.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your question?
KATE: Well my question was -- you kind of blew me out of the water with that. My question was -- is this an intelligent kid? In addition to the drug use, which is pretty serious and could set someone off, is he intelligent enough to have planned this a long time?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, Kate, he did plan it. They found a whole shrine and they found all this stuff where he wrote the congresswoman`s name and yes, he planned it, allegedly.
SCHWARTZ: Just to throw my two cents in Jane. I think you will see an insanity defense here. Let`s see what happens.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Our nation is insane.