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Family, Friends Upset by Trial Outcome

Aired February 24, 2012 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you from New York City. A family reeling after a judge suddenly throws out the murder case against a man accused of murdering his new bride during their honeymoon while scuba diving.

Tonight, I`m going to talk to her family exclusively about what happened inside that courtroom and what is their next move.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight outrage after the case against a man accused of murdering his wife on their honeymoon is thrown out. Gabe Watson, now a free man, even though he was convicted of manslaughter in Australia after his wife Tina drowned while scuba diving with him. I`ll talk exclusively tonight to the victim`s family.

And a wife`s secret revealed in court? She claims she had nothing to do with her husband`s murder at the hands of her boss outside their child`s daycare. But witnesses testify the two were having a steamy extra-marital affair. What other secrets could she be hiding?

Plus, a man who used his 9-year-old daughter to drive him when he was drunk, gets probation. He claims she started driving off-road vehicles at the age of 3. Oh, really? Why is this man allowed to walk free?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Join their love before us today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell the camera bye.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Blow the camera a kissy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Newlyweds from Alabama on a honeymoon scuba diving trip to the Great Barrier Reef. Tuna`s body in the background lifeless on the ocean floor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tried, convicted and in prison for killing his newlywed wife in 2003, Gabe Watson was released from prison in Australia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The state has to prove that he killed her. And they can`t do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now he sits behind bars again on charges in the U.S. That he killed his wife.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, outrage after an Alabama judge stops a murder trial smack in the middle of the case. Tosses out the murder charge and says to the defendant, "You`re free to leave, buddy."

Gabe Watson was accused of murdering his wife of only 11 days while scuba diving in Australia`s Great Barrier Reef during their honeymoon. But yesterday the judge suddenly announced there was not enough evidence and threw out the case before it even got to the jury.

Check out the defendant`s reaction when the case was dismissed.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Plenty of people say that the judge refused to allow in crucial evidence. Take, for example, this re-enactment by Australian cops. They went underwater to demonstrate how they believe Gabe Watson disconnected his bride`s air supply. The judge would not allow that evidence in.

Friends and family of the dead wife, Tina Watson, shocked at what they feel is a lack of justice for Tina. Listen to the dead woman`s best friend after she heard the case had been thrown out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The only justice is the one that God provides, and we will never be there for that day. It will be Gabe and his -- his judge.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to my exclusive guests, the victim`s cousins, Shayleigh (ph) and Krissie (ph) McCampbell.

Thank you for joining us.

Krissie (ph), as a dear friend and a cousin of the victim, Tina Watson, I understand you were actually at one point supposed to testify at this trial. What was your reaction when you heard the judge dismissed this case before it got to the jury?

KRISSIE (PH) MCCAMPBELL, COUSIN OF TINA WATSON: Total disbelief. I couldn`t believe that we didn`t even get to -- Tina didn`t get to have her voice heard whatsoever. And that`s the only thing we`ve ever wanted. For Tina to have her voice heard and to continue to have her voice heard. And get justice.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Shayleigh (ph), your reaction upon hearing that this judge decided, in what some are calling an arbitrary and capricious move, before the jury even gets to hear the evidence, "No, there`s not enough evidence, and you`re free to go, sir."

SHAYLEIGH (PH) MCCAMPBELL, COUSIN OF TINA WATSON: I was mad. I just think that she was such a beautiful person and she deserved to have -- she deserved to rest in peace. And her family deserved to have answers, and it just wasn`t given to them.

And after -- after the prosecutors worked so hard and everything that occurred, I just -- I didn`t know what to do or what to say. I was honestly in shock as soon as it happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, a lot of people are in shock tonight. There have been a lot of theories behind why this judge -- and we`re going to show you a picture of him -- Tommy Nail, would just throw out an entire case, claiming that there was not enough evidence. There he is.

Last night we got a ton of callers. And a lot of them made this observation.


CALLER: He was bought. That judge was bought. He should be taken off the -- he shouldn`t be a judge anymore.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I`m not saying that there`s anything untoward, criminal happening here. But some people say, "Look, this judge just seemed biased during this trial."

I want to go out to victims` rights attorney Gloria Allred. You have represented so many women who have been victimized by violence. What does this say about the judge`s attitude toward women victims?

GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIMS` RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, I`m not sure, Jane, that it really says anything about the attitude toward women victims. Basically, the judge granted a motion for acquittal.

In other words, what he did was, he found that, as a matter of law, that the jury could not find that there was murder -- could not find that beyond a reasonable doubt that there was not sufficient evidence for it to go to the jury. And that`s why he did what he did.

However, it was really unusual, and that`s why everybody is shocked. Because usually this motion is made for acquittal, but it`s not granted. The case goes to the jury, and then people feel, well, at least the jury is the one who gets to decide.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Why even start a trial if you`re going to end it halfway through? What a waste of time for the taxpayers, for those jurors to be selected, for that whole process to go underway. And then before they even get a chance to look at the evidence, he says, "Never mind. Nothing to see here"?

Now, the prosecution said Gabe Watson`s motive for murder was money. The judge didn`t buy it. Listen to what he said. The judge.


TOMMY NAIL, JUDGE: Let me see if I get your theory right. The defendant buys an engagement ring. He gives it to his future bride. He marries her. He plans a trip halfway around the world that`s paid for by him or his family. And he did all that and planned it all here so he could go over there so he could get the same engagement ring he purchased?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But that`s not what prosecutors contended, that he killed her for an engagement ring. Prosecutors said Gabe Watson had asked his bride to increase her insurance policy, with him as the beneficiary to $130,000. And that Gabe was under the impression it had been increased, even though she never actually changed the policy. That was the motive for murder.

I want to go out to Leah Brandon, morning anchor news radio. You`re there on the ground. Is this judge confused?

LEAH BRANDON, RADIO NEWS ANCHOR (via phone): Let me tell you, I`m so glad you just laid that out for the viewers, because you just nailed it.

It is very convenient how this judge refused to let four key pieces of evidence in. Two of those were conversations about the insurance he said were hearsay. And of course, they were called hearsay, because they were conversations that witnesses had with Tina who, unfortunately, can`t testify because she`s dead.

And that judge took all of that evidence and removed it out of the court so that they couldn`t hear the crux of the story, which you just laid out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Krissie (ph) McCampbell, again, we are talking to you exclusively. You are Tina Watson, the dead woman`s, cousin. What did you feel should have been entered as evidence that the judge said, "No, this is in evidence"? What did you know about the insurance money?

K. MCCAMPBELL: All of the hearsay that the judge wouldn`t allow was definitely evidence. Her father, my Uncle Tom, could not even speak about their -- their conversations and what they had had to talk about.

Over half the evidence, 3/4 of the evidence wasn`t allowed in. The jury didn`t get to hear anything of Tina. Whenever Tina`s name was brought up, it was -- he kept on saying, well, she`s -- she`s not here so it`s pure hearsay. Well, of course she`s not here. Because they killed her, and he took her and her light away from us, you know. It`s just total misjustice [SIC].

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I want to say he did serve 18 months for manslaughter in Australia. But that was not admitting that he killed her. That was essentially saying, "I wasn`t a good dive buddy. I didn`t respond properly."

Do you think that it might have been that the judge felt he already served his time and that this is double jeopardy, Krissie (ph)?

K. MCCAMPBELL: A little bit of it was. But you also had to take in consideration he served 18 months. At first he was only given 12 months. And the beautiful people in Australia were outraged over the small little slap on the hand or the plea deal that he got. And they demanded justice for Tina. And they fought for the extra time for him to have that extra time in jail.

So you know, I guess that`s what the judge was thinking. I don`t know what he was honestly thinking. But if half the stuff would have been, we would have been OK. You know, if they would have, if the jury would have heard.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang in there, Krissie (ph). We`re going to get to you on the other side. Back again.

And of course, we always invite Gabe Watson, his attorney, anybody who wants to speak for him on this show to tell their side of the story.

Later, a 9-year-old designated driver, a drunk dad, admits he let his 9-year-old daughter take the wheel and drive because he was sloshed. What kind of punishment should this guy face?

But first outrage over a decision in the courtroom. A judge throws out the case against accused honeymoon killer Gabe Watson, who is now a free man. Free and clear.



DON VALESKA, PROSECUTOR: There is no appeal in Alabama. This case is over forever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You seem sad. Emotionally upset about this.

VALESKA: Why wouldn`t I be? I mean, Tina lost her life. Why wouldn`t I be upset?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The prosecutor, devastated, you heard him right there.

Tina`s father also very devastated, speaking right after this case was dismissed by the judge with no warning. Accusing the judge of caring more about the accused murderer than his dead daughter. Listen.


TOMMY THOMAS, TINA WATSON`S FATHER: There just seems to be a lot more protection for the accused than there does consideration for the victim, which in this case was Tina.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Vicky Ziegler, family law attorney, try to get in this judge`s head. What on earth was he thinking?

VICKY ZIEGLER, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: He actually thought that this gentleman, this defendant, was not guilty to begin with, and he made these huge judicial barricades so that the jury could never even get to hear the testimony, by excluding evidence and saying it`s hearsay. We have exceptions to the hearsay rule. That`s the whole point.

And at the end of the day, the jurors are people, the fact finders. You want to let the jury determine the evidence and see, in fact, that this gentleman was guilty or not guilty. And I think it`s outrageous. There was a grand jury indictment. They believed that he should be charged and go to trial.

And moreover, what I think is crazy, motions for acquittals happen almost regularly, routinely. This judge could have reserved after the defense rested and then granted it. Why not let the defense go on, maybe even cross-examine the defendant? Let the prosecution at least hear what the defendant had to say if he was going on. But they didn`t. The judge didn`t allow it. The judge cut that trial, undercut it, did not allow it to happen, and that victim, we will never know what happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m not even sure what defense, if any, the defense was going to put on. But they didn`t -- we never got to that point is what you`re saying.

ZIEGLER: That`s the whole key.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gabe Watson gave his explanation of what happened to Australian police right after Tina`s death. Let`s listen to the man who has now been told that he is a free man, and this trial stopped in its tracks.


GABE WATSON, SERVED TIME FOR WIFE`S DEATH: Going through my head but I was just thinking, I can chase her down to the bottom, get down to the bottom and either dump her weights, let her -- dump everything. Let her rocket to the top. Cause at that point I knew something was going on. I thought, well, you know, in my mind I was thinking that was going to happen.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So that`s his explanation.

Here`s a photo an eyewitness snapped of Tina at the bottom of the ocean -- there she is -- with what`s believed to be Gabe in the foreground.

Now, he claimed, oh, she panicked and knocked his mask off. And by the time he got it back on, she had sunk, and he decided to go to the surface for help. But given that he`s certified as a rescue diver, a lot of people found his explanation suspicious, to say the least.

I want to go back to Krissie (ph) McCampbell. You`re speaking to us exclusively tonight. You are the dead woman, Tina Watson`s, cousin. I understand that you were supposed to testify at one point. What did you want to say in this trial?

K. MCCAMPBELL: I wanted to just get her story out there. And I also wanted to say, you know, what kind of man does that?

He told over 16 different versions of what happened to Tina. He waited over 24 hours to call my family and tell us what happened.

We were -- we were not allowed to do certain things or say certain things at the funeral. We were told to be quiet. We weren`t allowed to take flowers after her funeral. He dug her up and moved her body. She doesn`t have a tombstone, thanks to him. My aunt and uncle don`t have their baby daughter and will never have their baby daughter anymore because of what he did.

And I was going to tell some of those things. I was going to tell how we sat in the -- in there while we were planning her funeral, and he`s talking about how he and Tina, who was the joy of life, walked in the room and she lit it up. This -- my daughter is a miniature Tina. And you walk in. She lights up the room. Was talking about death.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s see a picture of Tina while you`re talking.

K. MCCAMPBELL: Tina was so much like me. She never would talk about death. She hated death. You know, we had too much death in our family.

And yet he swore to us that she had already planned out her funeral on the way to Australia. Who in their right mind, especially Tina of all people, who had her fairytale wedding, would be taking about their death on their honeymoon?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Lisa Boesky, you`re a clinical psychologist. Here`s what disturbed me. Gabe Watson showed off pictures of his dead wife in front of a "Caution: Drowning" sign at her funeral. Your thoughts?

DR. LISA BOESKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes. Well, I mean, there are certainly very suspicious things that he did. I mean, we just heard he told a lot of different stories. And I think whether the judge made the right decision legally, emotionally, this family has been compromised (ph) three different times.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to have more on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: More honeymoon murder trial in a moment, but first your "Viral Video of the Week."






UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I said, "Oh, she looks very pretty in that outfit."

And he said -- he said, "Well, at least her breasts are perky."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is the dead woman`s best friend, claiming that that is what her husband, Gabe Watson, said at her funeral. He was accused of murdering her. But a judge -- we`re going to show you a picture of that judge -- said, "No, nothing to see here. Not enough evidence." And he dismissed the case.

I want to go to Dr. Lisa Boesky, clinical psychologist. You were talking to me about the psychological aspect of some of these comments that this man has been accused of making about his dead wife.

BOESKY: Well, I mean, it goes both ways. When you listen to the family of this poor woman who is dead, possibly murdered, you hear all these inconsistencies: telling the story a variety of times, showing this picture of her with the drowning sign behind her at the funeral.

But on the other hand, if he truly is innocent, think about it. This is a man who lost his wife on their honeymoon, was there and couldn`t save her, and then is accused of murdering her and spends 18 months in jail.

So it really is lose/lose either way, because we`re never going to know the truth, and either she is not going to get justice or he has been in trouble for something that he didn`t do.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Krissie (ph) McCampbell...

BOESKY: ... the tragic outcome.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are a loved one of the dead woman, Krissie (ph) McCampbell. Would you like to see an investigation into this judge and into his decision? And if so, why?

K. MCCAMPBELL: Yes, I want to see that. Because Tina deserves justice. And she is the victim here. Gabe was not the victim. He took her. He left her down there. He went up, and he went to a totally different ship while they`re trying to resuscitate her, and he`s not doing a thing. She`s...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to bring in...

K. MCCAMPBELL: She deserves the rights. Not Gabe.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gloria Allred, victim rights` attorney, could there be an investigation of this decision?

ALLRED: Jane, I don`t think so, but here`s what they could do. The good news is if they want to file a civil lawsuit against the person they believe is responsible for the murder, the husband, then they could file a civil lawsuit. Less is required to prove liability in a civil lawsuit.

Remember the O.J. Simpson case, where he was acquitted in the criminal case, but he was found to be liable for the wrongful death of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in the civil case. And there they can get out more facts.

And by the way, the defendant won`t be able to say that he can`t -- he can`t testify. Because there`s double -- because since he`s been acquitted in the criminal case, he can`t plead the Fifth.

So that`s what I would recommend if they want to go that route. That only has to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, which they may or may not be able to do, not by guilt beyond a reasonable doubt which is such -- so much higher a burden from an evidentiary point of view.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Vicky Ziegler, what do you think of that idea?

ZIEGLER: They could possibly do it. Whether it`s going to be victorious or not is another thing and probably an up-hill battle. But they can also look into the judge. They can see if he did anything untoward, unethical during this litigation, during this trial, if there was a bias.

Because at this case the criminal case is done. There is no right to appeal. That`s the best they`re going to do with respect to this judge.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, our hearts go out to the family of Tina Watson. Thank you, Krissie (ph) and Shayleigh (ph) for joining us. We`re going to stay on top of this story. We know you want justice, and so do we.

All right. Did the widow of a murder victim -- what a story.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her whole family has lost its brightest light.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 36-year-old Sneiderman was killed right in front of his child`s preschool in November.

Neighbors tell me they can`t believe that family man Hemy Neuman is the same man now in jail charged with murder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Neuman, a Cobb County engineer has admitted killing Sneiderman outside Dunwoody Prep.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The man witnesses described as having a beard and hat pulled up in a minivan and shot Sneiderman several times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In court we learned he told doctors, he thought Sneiderman`s children were his own.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Neuman was compelled by his delusional thoughts to save the children who he thought were his children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When he`s talking about six foot angels that look like Olivia Newton John.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Neuman`s delusions rendered him incapable of differentiating right from wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The victim Rusty Sneiderman`s widow Andrea -- She allegedly was having an affair with Neuman. Prosecutors say that`s the motive for the crime.

ANDREA SNEIDERMAN, VICTIM`S WIDOW: There was no affair. Who kills someone else`s husband?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: More secrets spill out in the bizarre day care murder trial. Was the victim`s wife having a torrid affair with her husband`s killer?

Breaking news tonight: that widow, Andrea Sneiderman -- you`re looking at her right there -- she has been banned from the courtroom. This after a (INAUDIBLE) testimony claiming she was cheating on her husband before he was shot dead. She allegedly had an affair with the gunman. And on the stand she has been wildly unpredictable.


SNEIDERMAN: I couldn`t believe. It wasn`t even possible. I thought I was being stupid. Who would think that this would be happening right now? Whose boss kills someone else`s husband? I don`t care, affair or no affair. There was no affair. Who kills someone else`s husband?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But when her friend is called to testify, the friend says Andrea is essentially lying. She thinks Andrea did sleep around with the gunman.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Based on all the time you`ve known Andrea, based on your observations of her, her mannerisms, when she told you "no", did you believe her?

SHAYNA CITRON, ANDREA SNEIDERMAN`S FRIEND: No, but my heart really wanted to.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then there was this amazing scene as cameras rolled. After her friend testifies, Andrea -- you see her there -- hugs and kisses her in front of everyone in open court. And that is what got her thrown out. But outside court, Andrea then confronts the witness and tells her, "We`re no longer friends." According to published reports, this is what went on outside court.

Prosecutors say she entered a witness room without permission. So this morning, again, Andrea Sneiderman banned from the courtroom. Even the defense agreed this was the right move.

Straight out to criminal profiler Pat Brown. Pat, have you ever seen this kind of behavior in open court? She was accused of being disruptive. I don`t know. I wasn`t there. But people said she was making sort of gaga eyes and reacting in a flamboyant way to the testimony and then hugging a witness in open court.

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, Jane, we have seen this behavior before. Usually it is part of a narcissistic personality disorder, someone who`s enjoying the limelight. Someone who does not understand there are rules and there are boundaries you shouldn`t cross which makes you kind of wonder whether, yes, she was doing exactly what her friends said, having an affair.

Because the other thing that`s interesting is almost never do we have a guy who just kills somebody else`s husband out of the blue unless he was stalking her and she didn`t even know it. But she has all these calls going back and forth to him. And in history, usually what happens is the man is encouraged by the woman to take out the husband. Even if she doesn`t say it in so many words, she says lots of suggestions that, oh, did that happen? How convenient.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is really worth watching Andrea Sneiderman, the widow of the murder victim in court. Again, she allegedly had an affair with the man who admits that he gunned down her husband, but claims he was hearing the voices of Olivia Newton John and Barry White. No joke.

Andrea had to listen to prosecutors where they read an e-mail out loud that the defendant Hemy Neuman sent to her that insinuates they spent the night together. Listen to Andrea`s reaction.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Follow me on the second paragraph.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "The betrayal and anger is not about what you (we) did. It is a cop-out. It is about how you felt what you wanted. How you felt when we looked at the stars in Tahoe, when we woke up Friday morning in Denver. When we walked out of the restaurant on Thursday. When you took my hand and nestled your head on my shoulder." Ok?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did that happen?

SNEIDERMAN: Did what happen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you wake up together in Denver, in Tahoe?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Such a strong denial. Or is she in denial? Does Andrea think somehow her words are going to negate testimony?

I want to go to Gloria Allred, victims` rights attorney. This woman is not on trial. She has not been accused of anything. Prosecutors say though, that the reason why Hemy Neuman killed her husband was to get the competition out of the way so he could have a full fledged affair with her, the widow.

And the reason why this affair is such a crucial issue was that Hemy Neuman says "I killed him because I was hearing voices." The voices that sound like Olivia Newton John and Barry White, no joke, that`s his defense. What do you make of it, Gloria?

GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIM`S RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, it is interesting, you know. Was there a love triangle? Was there not a love triangle? I think that obviously, the defendant is trying to prove guilty -- not guilty by reason of insanity. And in other words, that it wouldn`t have happened because of an affair, it is just that he is delusional.

Now, if in fact there was an affair and she is quite ambiguous really about it. She said no but then she says, affair or not, there was no affair. Why would you say that, "affair or not". Why wouldn`t you just say there was no affair? But in any event, if there -- in fact, if there was an affair and he planned to kill what he thought was her husband who was blocking him from having the kind of relationship he wanted to have with her, then maybe he wasn`t insane. Maybe he wasn`t delusional. Maybe he had enough of a criminal intent to plan this in advance. That cuts against his not guilty by reason of insanity.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re looking at this graphic that we made because you have to see it to believe it. I have to go to Dr. Lisa Boesky, clinical psychologist. I`ve heard some kooky defenses in my time -- the Twinkie defense; the this, that and the other defense. But what is this? The oldies radio defense? The `70s hits defense? Olivia Newton John and Barry White? Really?

DR. LISA BOESKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Right. Well, the thing is -- I mean I`ve heard way kookier things than this. And some of them were accurate. And we`ve seen some were really mentally ill and sometimes they weren`t.

But I think the thing here is he is saying he was psychotic. His behavior would have been erratic, wild, irrational; people at work would have noticed it. People in his life would have noticed it. This is not subtle behavior. The fact that he had a disguise, got a different car; it`s reported that when he got the gun, he said don`t tell anyone you saw me. And he got there at the exact right time when the son wasn`t going to be in danger. The wife wasn`t in danger.

It just tells me he may have a mental health disorder but I don`t think he was insane at the time of the crime.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what? He also, before he returned the van that he used, refilled it with gas because that`s what you`re supposed to do before you return a rental vehicle. Now who -- who is psychotic and bipolar and hearing voices of Olivia Newton John and Barry White -- goes and fills up their vehicle, their rented vehicle, with gas before returning it?

I mean, Vikki Ziegler, have you --

VIKKI ZIEGLER, FAMILY ATTORNEY: No. I mean come on. First of all, is the guy married? He has children. Is anyone going to testify that this guy is in Lala-land, that she`d be married to someone as crazy as this? That`s not the case.

He was a boss. He worked. He had employees. She was one of them, Sneiderman. So I mean no one has at least corroborated his position unless there`s going to be some doctor that says yes, he is been treating him and yes he is crazy and he`s insane and these delusional episodes happen once in a while. Not going to happen.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pat brown. You`re shaking your head.

BROWN: Absolutely. I mean the last time I heard of a guy really psychotic doing strange things this man stabbed a little boy in front of his grandmother that he didn`t know either one of them. Jumped in a taxi, went back to his hotel, started eating tacos, set the place on fire and the fireman came and he wouldn`t open the door. The guy was crazy. That`s really crazy.

And before -- when we looked at the man, there was a history, a long history of psychotic odd behavior. He wasn`t on his meds.

In this case, we don`t see any of that before or after so we know that he is just making this crap up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t know what his attorneys are thinking. I mean maybe they have to take his word for it.

BROWN: Jose Baez, that`s what they`re thinking. Make something up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s -- Jose Baez won the case. Let`s give him that.

BROWN: That`s right. That`s right. So why can`t they?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go to the phone lines. Jeremy, Michigan, your question or thought, Jeremy.

JEREMY, MICHIGAN (via telephone): Hi Jane.


JEREMY: I think if the affair can be confirmed, that would give the prosecution more to work with in order debunk the insanity plea by adding motive. What do you think about placing more importance on proving that there was an affair?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, I agree with you. And that`s why this widow of the dead man was grilled for hours upon hours by the prosecutors. Andrea`s testimony has been contradicted many times. But this may be the key statement which gets her in trouble, you might say.


SNEIDERMAN: They just said you need to come here. So I dropped the phone and ran out of my office. I presumed it was Rusty. I don`t know whether they actually said it, maybe they said it had something to do with Rusty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did they, at any time, tell you what had happened to Rusty?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So very quickly, Dr. Boesky, she says she presumed that her husband was shot. I mean, that`s an odd presumption.

BOESKY: No. There`s a lot of odd presumptions here. And I don`t think anybody is necessarily accusing her of saying to him "Kill my husband, shoot him."


BOESKY: But I think -- and I think this was alluded to earlier is that it would not -- it is looking similar to someone who would say something if they were having an affair. We could really be together if only my husband was not here. Oh it`s the only thing --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, I want to be very careful about that. She is not charged with anything. We are not pointing the finger at her. She may be guilty of having an affair.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And affairs can be dangerous. I wrote a book called "Secrets Can Be Murder". Ok? Affairs can be dangerous. You don`t know where it`s going to end up.

More in a second.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just watched the van pull out of the Citgo Gas Station. A 7-year-old girl is driving it and her dad is drunk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He made headlines as the worst dad for letting his 9-year-old daughter drive because he had been drinking.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Driving this bright red van is a nine-year-old girl. She seems to be having some trouble parking next to the gas pump before hopping out with her dad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His attorney had proposed probation as a proper punishment and today the judge agreed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His daughter was sitting behind the wheel propped up on a booster seat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was not at all happy about having to plead guilty to child abuse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was argumentative to the fact while in custody that it was his right to let that little girl drive any time that he wanted to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To have a little 9-year-old drive you around at 2:30, 3:00 in the morning is just disgusting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to say I`m sorry for all the trouble I`ve caused.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a father`s appalling. Dangerous parenting gets caught on tape but all this infamous dad got was a slap on the wrist. Behind the wheel of this huge van is a 9-year-old girl -- her wasted dad riding shotgun. The girl testified she reluctantly took the wheel after her dad had gotten sloshed on whiskey. He gave her a booster seat. He gave her a booster seat so she could see over the steering wheel.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When your dad -- did your dad ask you if you wanted to drive? Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And when he asked you that, what did you say at first?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I said yes. But I would be a little scared.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Shawn Weimer was so blitzed (ph), he bragged to the gas station clerk about what a great designated driver his 9-year-old child was. He even rewarded the girl with a caramel apple.

Thankfully, a witness called 911.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just watched a van pull out of the Citgo Gas Station. A 7-year-old girl is driving it and her dad is drunk and he is in the passenger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is the vehicle staying on the road?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s driving pretty good. I`m telling you, I can`t believe it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, our heart goes out to that spunky little girl who had to be the adult in this situation. Weimer pleaded guilty to second degree child abuse in allowing a minor to drive a vehicle.

But here`s the rub, he won`t do a single day in jail. The judge sentenced him to two years probation -- two years probation. The felony child abuse charge alone carries up to four years in prison. What kind of lesson does this send to his poor daughter?

I want to go to Lenny Rosado. Lenny, you`re one of my heroes. Your daughter Leandra was killed in a drunk-driving accident so you thought to pass tougher DUI laws in New York. Your reaction to this probation decision, given that your precious child was lost due to drunk-driving.

LENNY ROSADO, DAUGHTER KILLED IN DRUNK-DRIVING ACCIDENT (via telephone): Yes, hi, Jane. It`s unbelievable. I remember following this story. And it is just telling me that the judicial system in this country hasn`t got their act together. I mean two months (SIC) probation. That`s crazy.

I mean just imagine this girl driving off and still getting into an accident that might have caused, taken her life or even her father`s. And the problem is, you know, the judges in this country continue to take pity on these parents who apparently make so called "wrong decisions". I made a wrong decision. And I don`t think we should have pity for parents that make a wrong decision. They made a horrendous decision.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Any parent can have an off-day but this is not having an off-day. This is somebody who very may well have an alcohol problem. And when you`re an alcoholic, and I speak as a recovering alcoholic with 16, and hopefully in April, 17 years of sobriety, you repeat behavior over and over again.

Most parents would never in a million years allow their child behind the wheel, particularly when they were drunk.


DAVID STEINGOLD: I wish all fathers were as attentive, loving, and careful as Shawn Weimer. That does not mean to say that you can excuse what he did. It just so happens that this particular wrong and it may be the worst thing he has ever done, was caught on video and made a worldwide sensation.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Vikki Ziegler, ten seconds.

ZIEGLER: Let me tell you Jane, he pled guilty to, he pled guilty based on the fact that he wouldn`t go to jail. This is up to a four-year jail sentence. He should have been --


ZIEGLER: Terrible.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sharks in a moment. But first, you deserve a laugh break.






UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Legislators in New York are working on a bill that would ban shark fin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shark finning is a brutal practice. Fishermen pull sharks out of the water, hack off their fins and throw them back. Without their fins, the sharks cannot swim and are left to die.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Could the brutal practice of shark finning finally become a thing of the past? I hope so. New York and a few other states may soon ban the sale of any shark fins. The fins are used mostly for shark fin soup which is a traditional Chinese meal. It is estimated 73 million sharks are killed brutally every year just for shark fin soup -- 73 million.

Now a growing number of states say enough is enough. The West Coast already banning selling shark fins. Now some states on the East Coast pushing the same bills including right here in New York, and Assemblywoman Grace Meng who is here with me now sponsoring the bill in New York.

Assemblywoman, first of all, as an animal lover, I want to say thank you for pushing this. I know you grew up eating shark fin soup. Why did you decide to change your mind?

WOMAN GRACE MENG, NEW YORK ASSEMBLY: It`s such an important part of the Chinese-American culture. But while it`s important, we must protect those who can`t protect themselves and the cruel practice of shark finning needs to be stopped. It`s been stopped in multiple states already with high large Chinese communities. So it`s important that we do this here in New York.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I think it`s wonderful that you`re taking the lead on this. The number of sharks killed for their fins staggering. PETA did an interview with Dan Rather. Here`s what he had to say.


DAN RATHER, CBS ANCHOR: By a conservative estimate, some 200,000 sharks a day are taken out of the ocean. That`s a little over 73 million a year. They take out the sharks, they take off the fins, and then they dump the sharks back in the ocean to die a long and painful death on the ocean floor.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That of course breaks my heart. 200,000 sharks a day, 73 million a year; and they just cut off the fin and then they dump the sharks back in the water and let them die this hideous death.

What would you say to people because I know you say you`ve gotten some angry calls from your constituents but you`ve also gotten a lot of support, right?

MENG: Definitely. I`ve gotten really a lot of encouraging e-mails and phone calls. And I think it`s something that`s important because, not only is it important to protect the sharks. It`s something that really hurting our oceans and our ecosystem. Sharks are our top predators and it`s important that they`re there to balance the ecosystem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And we are really in an environmental crisis in the world, and this is the kind of thing -- it`s happening. Look, every time I turn around they`re killing rhinos by cutting their faces and letting them die slow, painful deaths to get the rhino horn. They`re killing the sharks.

We can`t wage war on nature anymore. If this passes in New York -- first of all, do you think it`s going to pass? I hope so.

MENG: Yes, definitely. It`s co-sponsored with my colleague Allen Mizel (ph). So we`re very hopeful that it will pass.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If it passes if New York is that going to spread? Usually what happens in New York happens everywhere.

MENG: Right. We`ve got the West Coast covered so now we`re starting on the East Coast.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You think New York obviously a pivotal state. And if it passes here it`s going to spread to other states and it has to.

And guys, on the other side of the break we`re going to talk about alternatives to shark fin soup. You can still have your soup and there are alternatives that taste just like the fin. In fact, the fin is rather tasteless, which is the tragic irony of the entire thing.

So hang with us because there is hope. We`re going to tell you how you can get involved. This is about saving sharks, but saving the ocean, saving our planet for our children and our grandchildren.

More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: There is hope. Yes, we`re killing 73 million sharks; we`re decimating our oceans. These are the top predators. But now thank God people are speaking for these voiceless creatures. And again, very cruel, they cut off the fin and let the animals die and all for a delicacy that`s tasteless.

Grace Meng, New York City assemblywoman, pushing this. It doesn`t have a taste. It`s a status symbol right?

MENG: Correct. Traditionally it was only served by the wealthiest of families. It has no taste. It`s purely the consistency that`s a little chewy. So there are alternatives.

There are already vegetarian kosher restaurants who serve fake assimilated shark fin soup. So it can be done.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And you can get involved people; we want to leave you with hope. It`s important to bear witness to what`s going on in our world if we`re going to save it for our children and grandchildren.

You can go to and get involved. Make a change. We`re saving the oceans for the animals and for us.

Nancy next.