CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Man Arrested for Murder in Case of Missing Firefighter; Witnesses Say Student Planned Viewing Parties to Watch Roommate

Aired February 28, 2012 - 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: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live from New York City.

Breaking news tonight in the hunt for a very handsome firefighter -- you`re looking at him right there -- Jerry Perdomo. Cops have just arrested a suspect for murder moments ago. His family, of course, this firefighter`s family is devastated. I will have the details next.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, breaking news. An arrest in the baffling disappearance of a Florida firefighter who vanished in Maine. Cops have just arrested man, and the charge is murder. But where is fireman Jerry Perdomo? And what was he doing in Maine? We`ll investigate the secrets behind this missing person mystery.

And a college freshman stands trial, accused of using a hidden camera to show his roommate having a sexual encounter with another man. That roommate, Tyler Clementi, killed himself days later. Was he the victim of a hate crime? You`ll hear the dramatic testimony.

Then the focus of the daycare murder trial shifts back to one question: did the murdered man`s wife have a secret affair with the gunman who killed her husband? A cop takes the stand, saying he was instantly suspicious of this woman. Is she hiding something, and is the defense on the verge of exposing it?

Plus, new reports that Charlie Sheen`s ex-wife will get a slap on the wrist for cocaine drug charges. Is a painless plea deal going to let Brooke Mueller off with absolutely no jail time? Is there a two-tiered justice system in America? We`ll take your calls.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jerry Perdomo, he was last seen February 5 after he drove up to Maine, telling his wife he was traveling there to help a friend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty-four-year-old Daniel Porter. Authorities believe Porter and his girlfriend, 23-year-old Cheyenne Nowak may have been the last people to see Perdomo before he went missing on February 16.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of concern, you know. It`s a family in turmoil.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You never think it will happen to you. Never in a million years would I think I`d be hanging up missing posters of my brother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jerry has always been a perfect son, perfect husband, perfect father. The best to his community in serving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re missing a family member, and we`re going to do everything possible to bring Jerry back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s been really difficult, but I miss him, and I just want him to come home.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, devastation and breaking news in the mysterious disappearance of handsome firefighter Jerry Perdomo.

Just a couple of hours ago cops arrested the man we`re about to show you right now, a person of interest. There he is with his girlfriend, Daniel Porter. And he has been charged with murder.

Jerry`s close friend Dave Williams, also a firefighter, gave us this exclusive quote: "We are devastated by this latest update."

The firefighter and father of two, married man, vanished 12 days ago after driving from Florida all the way up to Maine. That is a long drive, normally taken by plane. But he decided to drive. He told his wife he had to help a friend move.

His road trip then ends suddenly when cops find his abandoned car at a Wal-Mart with no trace of Jerry, the firefighter. Investigators say the suspect`s father`s house was the last place Jerry was seen alive.

But in a very strange twist, cops simply are not talking about how Jerry, the firefighter, and this suspect, now accused of murder, know each other or why in the world Jerry would have been at his house.

Cops already took truckloads of evidence from the home, including carpet and window. Actual windows from the home. Investigators spent all afternoon questioning Daniel Porter, then less than two hours ago handcuffed him and drove him to death. He is accused -- to jail, rather. He is accused of murder.

What did they find in the house? Given a man has been arrested for murder, we have to ask, where is firefighter Jerry Perdomo`s body? This is another mystery. Cops have accused somebody of murdering him, but we are not hearing a word about where the firefighter`s body is. A very perplexing case.

What do you think? Give me a call: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to Jared Pliner, reporter for WVII. You were at the Porters` house today. You witnessed the arrest. What do you know? I understand you`ve got some breaking news for us.

JARED PLINER, REPORTER, WVII: Jane, good evening. Still a lot of questions that need answered. What we do know just after 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, state police led Daniel Porter from his father`s home into an unmarked car, drove him away. And they are now saying that they believe drugs are involved. They have charged him with murder, and he will make an initial appearance either tomorrow or Thursday in court.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, this is very perplexing, because we do not -- I don`t have any information about where the victim`s body is. If this young man, Daniel Porter, who I believe is, what, 24 or 25, has been accused of murder, then have cops told you anything, Jared, about where the victim`s body is?

PLINER: Twenty-four years old, Daniel Porter. They say they do not have a body, but they have sufficient evidence to charge Daniel Porter with murder, which is exactly what they did today. They`ve taken him to the Waldo County jail here in the state of Maine, and he`ll make an initial appearance either tomorrow or Thursday.

Still answers -- still questions needing answers. But we do know, state officials are telling us that drugs were involved in this case. They`re not saying anything more than that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, we`re going to get to this drug angle in a second.

Now, police removed several items from Daniel Porter`s house yesterday. This is the house owned by his father. But he was staying there. His father was traveling. Cops, as we`ve been telling you, removed carpet and even took entire windows from the house.

And I want to go out to Pat Brown, criminal defense attorney. Police were analyzing evidence, so I would wonder if they found blood evidence within the home on the carpet, and that that is why they have made this arrest and made this charge.

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I would guess so, Jane. I would think they dumped the body some place. And because it probably did happen in the home, some kind of altercation, some kind of fight over possibly drugs, money, whatever. He got killed in the home, and there`s enough evidence in there to do something about it. So I would think, yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re going through quite a cast of characters here. Again, we are just hearing breaking news that this case, this tragedy, this disappearance and presumed murder of this firefighter, who was a family man from Florida, who traveled up to Maine saying to his wife, "I have to help a friend move," and there`s a woman involved, which we`ll get to in a second.

But we`re hearing the disappearance was drug related, that from Jared Pliner, reporter on the scene.

Now, the man who`s been accused of murder has a girlfriend, Cheyenne. Cheyenne, we know from her own mother, ran into misdemeanor drug problems five years ago. Jerry`s wife was asked about that, and she insisted during a news conference yesterday that her husband, Jerry the firefighter, very popular, loved by his firehouse, would not be involved in anything like drugs. Listen to the wife.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONYA PERDOMO, WIFE OF JERRY PERDOMO: I don`t believe that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why not?

PERDOMO: Because that`s not like him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Steve Moore, former FBI agent. We understand, obviously, that the wife -- listen, she also feels that this woman who`s come forward and said that, "Oh, Jerry was visiting her, and they had a relationship." The wife is stunned by that and says, "I think she`s got to be a friend."

But the woman implied that she had had a relationship with Jerry. What do you make of this announcement that drugs are involved?

STEVE MOORE, FORMER FBI AGENT: It doesn`t surprise me at all. What he was doing up there is going to be the key to this. And right now Maine has something like eight times the rate of oxycodone and OxyContin use than -- than the national average. It is expensive up there. The OxyContin pills are going to go for $100 a pill at 80 milligrams, but it`s cheap in Florida.

I believe that it is -- I mean, you don`t have to go across town to sell cocaine. You don`t have to go across the street to sell marijuana. But the big money here is moving the OxyContin from Florida up to Maine. And I think that`s probably what`s going to end up happening here.

I understand the wife saying this isn`t like him. But then again neither was cheating on her. This guy was living a double life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you had made the point yesterday to us privately because you were being very respectful of this firefighter and his wife, and we want to maintain that, but we have to look at the facts. That it was very bizarre for him to drive all the way from Florida to Maine when it would have been a much easier flight. And you had some thoughts about why he would do that.

MOORE: Well, people who don`t want their activities traced or followed do things like they rent cars. If you rent a car, you don`t want to have to explain to your wife how many miles you put on a car. If you rent a car, you don`t have to explain how far you went. It`s just another way of hiding things.

And he probably, I would say, paid for everything in cash, his gas in cash, all the way up there. This is just another way of covering his steps, the same way as having two cell phones on him. That`s something that drug dealers do. That`s something that people who are having affairs do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to take a step back here, because Jared Pliner said drugs were involved. That doesn`t necessarily mean that this missing man, who is now presumed dead because somebody is being charged in his murder, was a drug dealer. I want to be very careful.

And there`s a grieving family here. There`s a firehouse filled with firefighters who love this guy who are devastated. And I don`t want to jump to conclusions. You know what they say about the first rule of journalism: let`s not assume here. We`re -- I understand what you`re satisfying. We have to look at the possibilities. But it`s certainly a possibility. We have no -- no independent information that this firefighter was a drug dealer.

And on the other side of the break, we`re going to get clarification from Jared, the reporter, about what he means about this being a drug case.

But I want to go to Brenda, West Virginia, your question or thought, Brenda.

CALLER: Yes. I was wondering, did they use cadaver dogs to try to find the body? And also, we have so many people disappearing. Have you ever thought about taking the person that is the suspect, and just give them a truth serum, sodium pentothal or whatever you can do, and make them tell the truth?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, excellent questions. And we`re going to answer the search questions on the other side of the break. Where is this firefighter`s body if somebody has been charged in his murder? Very perplexing, disturbing case.

And we`re just getting started. We`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM- SAYS, 1-888-586-7297.

Also up ahead, a college student stands trial, accused of secretly videotaping his roommate in a sexual encounter with another man. Days later, the young man, who had been secretly videotaped allegedly, this young man, a violinist, jumped off the George Washington Bridge. Was he targeted for being gay? We`re going to ask that question.

But first, more breaking news. An arrest in the missing firefighter mystery in Maine.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERDOMO: He called me to tell me that he was fine. We only spoke for a minute because the reception was really bad. And he told me that he loved me and that to hug and kiss the kids. And then he told me that he would call me later, and I never -- told me he loved me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERDOMO: It`s been really difficult, but I miss him, and I just want him to come home. And our kids miss him. My daughter keeps asking about him. She stayed at a friend`s last night. She called me so we could pray together to bring him back. And I just miss him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That woman undoubtedly devastated tonight as we have learned that the missing firefighter, well, an arrest has been made in this case. A man has been accused of murder.

This case has been a tangled web of secrets from the start. Let`s take a look at what we`ve uncovered. Here are some of the key facts.

Firefighter Jerry Perdomo missing since February 16. His wife -- you just saw her -- Tonya Perdomo, says they had a short conversation before he went missing, and everything seemed normal. He was up in Maine telling her, "Oh, I`m helping a friend of mine move."

Now, let`s take a look at the suspect, Daniel Porter, 24 years old. He has a girlfriend, Cheyenne Nowak, whose mom says, oh, she had a minor drug problem, prescription drugs, in her past. These are supposedly the last couple to see Jerry. But nobody has any idea, except maybe the cops, why Jerry would have been over at their house.

Finally, a woman going only by the name Lisa says she and Jerry were having an affair, and he had been coming to visit her once a month for ten months.

So Tanya Acker, this is a very bizarre case, because now this guy we`re looking at has been arrested, but cops aren`t saying anything about where the firefighter, where his body is.

TANYA ACKER, ATTORNEY: Well, as you said, Jane, it is a true mystery, because there are just way more unanswered questions than there are reasons really for anything at this point.

And yet, going back to that caller`s very good question about why we can`t just give a defendant truth serum? Because if ever there were a case where it might make sense to just try to get some answers sooner rather than later, this might be that case. The Constitution prohibits the state from forcing defendants to testify against themselves. So in this case, you know, the state couldn`t give Mr. Porter a truth serum, because it would be forcing him to talk about possibly what he did and to incriminate himself. So there`s the answer to that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I wonder, Tanya, if maybe he said something. Maybe that -- Jared Pliner, you were there. You saw the arrest. Did you get the sense that police know where firefighter Perdomo`s body is?

And I hesitate to even say that, because again, they haven`t said they`ve found the body. Now, there have been cases people are charged with murder before a body is found, but it`s rare. Because you`ve heard the old song, no body no case.

PLINER: Right. I mean, Jane, police aren`t saying -- they`re saying they don`t have a body. What they are saying is that they have sufficient evidence that led them to charge Daniel Porter.

And you know, we`re looking through the front window of the home today for a long period of time. And it looked like Daniel was almost going through a narrative step by step with them. We don`t know what`s contained within the house. We don`t know what was removed. But factors are leading them to make this arrest today and to make this development.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, again, we don`t want to cast dispersions on someone who was not here to defend himself. And obviously, he has a grieving family, including a 10-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old. But when you say, Jared, that cops told you that drugs were involved, was there any explanation at all?

PLINER: There was not. State officials -- and I want to underline that -- state officials have told us that drugs are a part of this case. They did not say in what capacity. They did not name individuals in terms of whether there was a distributor or a buyer or what -- how things fit into place. But that drugs were an element of this case, are an element of this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And so the mystery remains. Is there a search right now for his body?

PLINER: That I cannot tell you. I know there was an evidence truck through the Bangor Police Department that pulled up to the home today. It then left. I`m sure that there`s a lot of communication going on between detectives. We don`t know where they`re searching although they have a mountain of evidence that have led them to this Daniel Porter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So strange. And, again, we still don`t know where this firefighter`s body is.

Up next, another case, a wild one.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Two trials in just a second. But first here`s your "Viral Video of the Day."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where`s your thunder? (ph)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Heart-wrenching cyber bullying case.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Allegedly he posted this Facebook message just before he took his life, quote: "Jumping off the GW Bridge. Sorry," end quote.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clementi`s suicide brought national attention to a campaign against bullying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dharun Ravi is accused of using a Web cam to broadcast his roommate`s encounter with another man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ravi is now on trial facing 15 charges, including hate crimes and invasion of privacy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A student accused of secretly spying on his college roommate with a Web cam to watch him in a sexual encounter with another man in what was supposed to be, obviously, a very private moment.

After his life was exposed online, this young man, Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old virtuoso violinist, jumped of the George Washington Bridge to his death.

Now, this is the roommate, Dharun Ravi, accused of secretly web casting Tyler`s sexual encounter with another man. Ravi is not charged with murder, but many people believe what he did is the key reason Tyler killed himself.

Now the facts are spilling out in open court. A key witness testified Ravi encouraged others to view the Web cast of his roommate in a sexual encounter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MOLLY WEI, WITNESS: I was very surprised because my friends brought it up, and I had no idea how they knew, but they said that Dharun had told them. They told me about these Twitter tweets that they received on Tuesday about him trying to have a viewing party, things like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A viewing party. Imagine that. That witness, fellow freshman, Molly Wei, was initially charged in the case, but she struck a plea deal in exchange for her testimony.

Straight out to "In Session`s" Jean Casarez in New Jersey. You were in court. What were the biggest moments in today`s testimony?

JEAN CASAREZ, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": I think the biggest moment is the prosecution is laying out the facts of how the Web cam was positioned toward Tyler`s bed. How he went into the other rooms of other classmates in the dorm and made sure that they were able to access it. He encouraged; he sent out these tweets.

But Jane, all of these students are former students that are friends of the defendant`s and say he never said anything against Tyler Clementi ever. He never said anything against the gay lifestyle or homosexuals at all, which is just so counter to everything he did. I don`t think they want their friend to be convicted.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hmm, interesting. Because he did tweet, "Roommate asked for the room until midnight. I went into Molly`s room and turned on my Web cam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay."

And then a couple of days later, tweeted, "It`s happening again."

We`ve got a caller. Let`s go out to the phone lines: Michael, South Carolina, your question or thought, Michael.

CALLER: Yes, Jane. I love the show.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.

CALLER: I was just wondering, why isn`t Molly being charged with anything, seeing as how her room was used for basically promoting the Web cam viewing and everything?

And will there be anyone else that will receive any charges, since he wasn`t the only one who was pretty much cyber bullying him with all of this that was going on?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Very good questions. Jean Casarez?

CASAREZ: All right. Molly was charged with two counts of invasion of privacy, third-degree and fourth-degree felony. She copped a plea, so now she is testifying in court for the prosecution. But that shows the jury. Invasion of privacy? She pleaded guilty to it, and those charges will be expunged at the end if she follows her probationary period to satisfaction. But I still think it shows -- goes a long way to show the jury that yes, others were charged.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I wrote a editorial on this. Check it out on HLNtv.com. It`s coming up in a little bit.

All right. Next -- thank you for that, Jean -- a man accused of killing a dad in front of a day care. You won`t believe who he initially blamed for the murder. It`s a wild one.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For nearly five hours, this police video shows Dunwoody detectives pressing Hemy Neuman for answers about Rusty Sneiderman`s murder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do we tell his family? Hemy did it because of --

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.

When he`s talking about 6-foot angels that look like Olivia Newton- John; 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 WIFE: There was no affair. Who kills someone else`s husband?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: What a bizarre case. And tonight, new strange allegations surface that the alleged Dunwoody Day Care shooter Hemy Neuman first blamed the terrorist group al Qaeda for the murder of a father shot dead after dropping his son off at preschool. Now remember, Hemy Neuman also claims to have heard voices sounding like Olivia Newton-John and Barry White before shooting Rusty Sneiderman three times in the chest at point-blank range.

This defendant is all over the map.

Even though she is barred from the courtroom for this hugging episode, the victim`s wife, Andrea Sneiderman could get back on the stand as soon as tomorrow. This is the woman, who prosecutors say, was secretly having sex with the gunman. Will the defense somehow try to blame Andrea and claim she knew more about her husband Rusty`s murder than she`s telling?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many times did you call Rusty?

SNEIDERMAN: Call Rusty?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rusty.

SNEIDERMAN: Zero times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why didn`t you call Rusty?

SNEIDERMAN: Because they just told me something had happened to Rusty. What are the chances that he`s going to be answering his cell phone?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It was like that for hours. Cops, prosecutors, defense attorneys all believe Andrea Sneiderman, the woman you just heard from, and the defendant were having a hot and heavy sexual affair. One witness even saw a make-out session. Cops brought up Andrea`s name several times during Neuman`s interrogation. Watch this tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe she -- she put you up to it. Maybe we do have the wrong guy. Maybe it`s her, driving your van.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops also testified they were, quote, "suspicious of Andrea Sneiderman when they were questioning the defendant. We want to be very clear here. Andrea Sneiderman does not face any charges in connection with the murder. But is she telling the whole story when she denies having a sexual relationship with Hemy Neuman?

What do you think? Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Straight out to WSB radio reporter, Jon Lewis, who was in the courtroom today. Jon, can this trial get any stranger? What is this weird development that the accused killer who admits now that he shot this guy, saying he was nuts. He initially blamed al Qaeda?

JON LEWIS, WSB RADIO REPORTER (via telephone): That was the initial thing when he gave the police interview the day of his arrest. He was saying that perhaps al Qaeda is targeting Jewish businessmen in the Atlanta area. He was desperate trying to come up with some excuse, something to get him out of that police station, which did not happen. They arrested him shortly after he made that statement during his interrogation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, I think it`s absolutely fascinating -- there are so many fascinating aspects of this case. One of them is that Hemy Neuman`s own body seemed to betray him during that police interrogation. Listen carefully. Then we`re going to analyze.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEUMAN: I know but you read Miranda rights and it seems like it`s as if I`m a suspect and --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re a suspect? Are you a suspect?

NEUMAN: I`m -- I don`t think I need to be a suspect. I shouldn`t being a suspect. There`s no reason why I should be a suspect but you`re reading me my rights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean you`re shaking like a leaf. I have to wonder about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s shaking like a leaf. And he is not the first defendant to do so. Remember Julie Schenecker who shook violently as she was moved by cops after allegedly gunning down her two children at close range.

Straight out to Wendy Walsh, psychologist and co-host of "The Doctors"; what does it say when somebody is verbally denying committing a crime but their body is physically shaking uncontrollably?

WENDY WALSH, CO-HOST, "THE DOCTORS": Well, what it`s saying is that they`re having a nervous reaction, and is that nervous related to the fact -- are those nerves related to the fact that they are lying? Or are those nerves related to the fact that they`re terrified because they`re sitting in an interrogation room with police officers?

I don`t know Jane, but if I were sitting in an interrogation room with police officers locked up, even if I was innocent, I might be shaking.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. But I think these cops look at the body language even more than they do the words sometimes because I do feel the body betrays. And if you`re shaking like this and you haven`t done anything wrong, I don`t know, I don`t know if I`d be shaking quite that violently.

Now, cops definitely put Hemy Neuman on the spot during this interrogation. It`s fascinating how many times do we get to see interrogations like this? Cops knew that Hemy Neuman had rented a car that matched the car at the murder scene, but we don`t know if he knew that they knew. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were there. You were there from the beginning. Am I wrong about you being there?

NEUMAN: I don`t see how anyone can place me there. I did not pull the trigger on the gun that killed Rusty Sneiderman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Jon Lewis, I have to go back to you for a second. How this guy first completely denies being involved, then later he says, "Well, yes, I did shoot him three times but I was insane, suffering from delusions involving the voices of Olivia Newton-John and Barry White." How did he go from one position to the other? What happened there?

LEWIS: Well, he was basically -- it`s the defense because there was really no other choice. They had him absolutely nailed between the rented minivan, the getaway minivan, which he was the only person, one other person in Georgia -- only two of them rented that day, one to him.

He was the boss of the victim`s wife. They had a ballistics match. Even though they never got his gun, they were able to match the bullets that killed Sneiderman to a bullet that was fired from that gun by a previous owner. They had him -- the evidence had him nailed. There was no question.

So the only chance he has of getting out of this is to claim insanity and to sit there and say, "I don`t know what I was doing at the time. I was out of my mind."

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me bring in. Yes, Tanya Acker, I don`t know if this is a very effective defense. If you were the defense attorney, you`re also a Huff Po blogger -- if you were his attorney, would you say, at least come up with more current singers?

TANYA ACKER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, there`s another problem aside from the fact that his defense is dated. It also just isn`t very good because part of being able to maintain a successful insanity defense is being able to demonstrate that you didn`t know right from wrong at the time that he committed the crime.

And the fact that during this interrogation he came up with this other story, he denied having done it, really suggests that there was some culpability, there was some awareness that having shot somebody might have been a bad thing. So, you know, he wasn`t coming up with Olivia at the outset -- it was a little late afterwards.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The defense is making it clear, they will focus heavily on the victim`s widow, Andrea Sneiderman when they start their case tomorrow.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEUMAN: The first thing -- the first thing I knew was when Andrea contacted me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did she do that? How did she contact you?

NEUMAN: She sent me a text and called me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t really understand because even if they were having an affair, I don`t think that lessens his culpability.

I want to go out to the phone lines. Carol, Indiana, quick question or thought, Carol.

CAROL, INDIANA (via telephone): I`ve got two of them. If he would have added Isaac Hayes and Carole King, then I could have see her saying he could easily be manipulated. But, you know what; the no makeup and the plain Jane doesn`t fool me. I`m going to tell you, you just don`t kill somebody. He`s not that delusional. He was whipped, ok?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh.

CAROL: And she needs to go to jail. He needs to go to jail for being stupid and his lawyer need his license revoked for making him say something stupid like that. I love you, Jane. I commend you on saying openly about your drinking addiction and overcoming it and congratulations. Today`s my birthday, I`m 57 today.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa. Happy birthday Carol, Indiana, and, boy, you gave -- I don`t know if it was so much a question as a great speech.

Very briefly, Tanya Acker, even if the defense tries to say, well, Andrea Sneiderman really knew all about -- it`s not going to get him off the hook. So what`s the point?

ACKER: I think the point is to say that he was so in love with this woman that he went crazy. But I just -- I don`t find that to be a legally cognizable defense. Lots of people are madly in love with people who are obsessed with people. It doesn`t rise to the level of the sort of craziness that would make you unaware of the fact that murder is wrong.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Walsh, this is one of the strangest cases that I`ve seen come down the pike in a while. I think water finds its own level and the defendant and this woman very, very suited for each other in some warped way.

WALSH: I think so, too. I mean we`re all fascinated by her, even though she`s not arrested or charged with anything. But it`s her demeanor, Jane, that`s so fascinating to us: how much she talks on the witness stand; how defensive she is; the weird things she does with other witnesses; kissing a witness and hugging her in the courtroom. And then the reports that when she arrived at the scene when her husband was bleeding there were no tears -- she was emotionally vapid. Then she gets to the hospital and finds out that he`s passed, all she wants to know is who can tell her kids.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think you`re making some fascinating observations. And guess what, Wendy? We`re going to have to call you. We`ll ask you to come back if she takes the stand again tomorrow because you know it`s fireworks. And if she does, we`re all over it.

Thank you.

New reports, Charlie Sheen`s ex-wife will get a slap on the wrist for drug charges. Will a plea deal using a great lawyer get Brooke Mueller off the hook with no jail time? And is there a double standard of justice in America today? Call me.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brooke is in rehab because she wants to be the best mother she can be. Brooke is absolutely committed to her sobriety. She obviously has a history of use with alcohol. She`s over that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is it like being with this guy, going to marry Charlie Sheen?

CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: She doesn`t have words for --

BROOKE MUELLER, FORMER WIFE OF CHARLIE SHEEN: I don`t. It`s too much.

SHEEN: -- for such a feeling.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight -- our two-tiered system of justice strikes again, in my humble opinion. Is another rich celebrity getting another tiny slap on the wrist? Despite Brooke Mueller`s history of drug and DUI arrests, new reports claim she`s going to be spared jail again.

RadarOnline reporting Brooke`s attorney working out a secret deal to keep her out of the clink. Here is Charlie Sheen`s ex during a wild night of clubbing in Aspen. She was busted a short time after this video was shot. Police say Brooke had more than four grams of cocaine on her. An average person could be facing a six-year sentence for that and oh, yes, she was also accused of assaulting a woman in that very same nightclub.

Brooke reportedly going to get a plea deal, take some drug ed classes, do a little bit of community service, and voila, charges like magic disappeared. It just goes to show if you`re a certain class, a certain tax bracket, prison just is not for you in America today. But what about everybody else?

Straight out to Jen Heger, RadarOnline`s legal editor; Jen, you have brand new information on this case. What have you found out about Brooke?

JEWN HEGER, LEGAL EDITOR, RADARONLINE: First of all, I understand your opinion that you think there is a two-class system for people in this country, the rich and the not so rich. In this case, however, Brooke Mueller is considered by the Aspen district attorney to be a first-time offender.

I`ve spoken with the district attorney in Aspen, Colorado, Arnold Mortkin (ph), and he has told me that she is not getting any special treatment whatsoever. She is getting the same deal that anyone else in the same situation would be.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, of course.

HEGER: Yes, she does have a very good criminal defense attorney. She also voluntarily went and enrolled immediately after this arrest -- no one forced her to do this -- she went into a very intensive treatment program for her addiction issues at Cirque Lodge. She was there for 90 days.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Ok, look. I don`t necessarily think Brooke Mueller should go to jail, but I don`t think anybody else should go to jail for similar crimes either.

Let`s compare and contrast. Brooke has been arrested before, ok? Let`s go through her rap sheet, as it were. Brooke`s most recent arrest this past December, in Aspen, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, which is a felony, misdemeanor assault. Then we go back to 2006, Brooke was arrested for DUI and damage to property in Palm Beach -- charges, dropped. 2001, Brooke was arrested for cocaine possession in Miami; but again, charges dropped.

Now, I want to go to this other one, here`s another case. Somebody who did not grow up a socialite and this case was brought to the attention of the world by Families against Mandatory Minimums. And I suggest you go there, ok?

Tracy Cowan, single mother of three kids. She says her ex was dealing drugs out of her apartment without her knowing. She was going to college. She had kids. She was taking care of her elderly mother, foster kids. She wasn`t even there when cops fond drugs in her home. She was held accountable for everything. She is serving 20 to 40 years behind bars -- possession of cocaine.

Brooke Mueller, possession of cocaine. Now, I`m going to go to Darren Kavinoky, attorney with the Kavinoky Law Firm who is also my good buddy. He has just gotten a show on Discovery Investigation. It premieres this Saturday. He`s the co-creator and host of "Deadly Sins". Congratulations on that.

DARREN KAVINOKY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you for that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But to my point, one woman is serving up to 40 years behind bars for possession of coke. Brooke Mueller -- oh, she has to go to drug classes.

KAVINOKY: Well, I`m going to carve out and stake my claim to being the voice of reason on this one. Let`s not collapse these two very different issues on the one hand, mandatory minimums where we`re dealing with people not as people but instead as categories, not good. But what Brooke is getting is, indeed, what anybody else would get when they`re faced with that same situation. And if you look at the disparity between the two cases you cited, 4 grams versus 600 grams --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No. It said more than 4 grams.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, Lady Justice had Lasik surgery, but first you deserve a laugh break.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGH BREAK)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MUELLER: My husband had me -- with a knife. And I`m scared for my life and he threatened me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ok. Are you guys separated right now?

MUELLER: Yes, right now, we have people that are separating us, but I have to file the report or else --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are there other people there? Does he still have the knife?

MUELLER: Yes, he still does.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s your name?

MUELLER: Brooke.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what`s your husband`s name?

MUELLER: It`s Charlie Sheen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Both Brooke Mueller and her ex, famous, Charlie Sheen, have a history of drug abuse and rehab stints. What`s interesting in that particular case, Charlie Sheen also got a plea deal -- no jail time either. Let`s go out to the phone lines. Maybe we can get some sanity from the callers.

Tyrone, Georgia, your question or thought? Hey, Tyrone?

TYRONE, GEORGIA (via telephone): Yes?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, your question or thought, Tyrone?

TYRONE: I think -- first I want to thank you for giving the American people the truth. I think it`s ludicrous the scale of justice in America today yes --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you`re saying, yes, there is a two tier? Yes. Yes. Ok.

(CROSSTALK)

TYRONE: It`s ludicrous that the scale of justice in America is not fair. I`m sick and tired of seeing these people --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think I got -- yes, you`re breaking up, Tyrone. I think you`re making an important point because you`re thanking me. No, because you are saying that, yes, there is a two-tiered system of justice.

The Garrison twins know all about the two-tiered system of justice. 1998, weeks after they graduate from college, the aspiring lawyers were convicted of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. Lawrence got 15 years. His brother Lamont got 19 years. They always maintained their innocence.

Thankfully, they`re finally free now -- years and years later. Here`s their mother.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How much does the color of your skin have to do with the sentence?

KAREN GARRISON, SONS CONVICTED ON DRUG CHARGES: What? That is it. If my sons were little white boys and I was a little yuppie mommy, my sons -- nothing could make me believe that they would have been in prison.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tanya Acker, do you think, as an attorney, and a Huff Po blogger, that there is a two-tiered system of justice; one, for people of a certain class, and the other for the underclass, primarily minorities?

ACKER: Absolutely, Jane. I mean I think that, you know, not just the cases that you show on the show, but all you have to do is look at any criminal justice statistic and see that.

The problem with the system now is that it vets so much discretion in prosecutors, the prosecutors can decide whether or not they want to consider past criminal activities. They have so much discretion to determine how people are going to be charged in the first instance, that once they make their decisions, if you don`t have the kind of money that can convince the D.A. not to bring certain claims or not to consider certain past incidents, then you`re really going to be out of luck going forward.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m reading from my book "Addict Nation" and believe me, people, I`m not just hawking the book. "Addict Nation" -- I talk about our prison industrial complex and how more than 2 million Americans are warehoused in prisons as we speak.

There is something called the prison industrial complex, Darren Kavinoky. It is big business. They have conventions. They fast track people from the underclass into the prison system. And there`s, the stats, like Tanya said, prove this.

KAVINOKY: Well, it`s huge business and there`s certainly a disparity and it has huge racial impact when we`re talking about, say, the difference between rock cocaine and powder cocaine, but that doesn`t take away from Brooke Mueller who was never convicted of any of those prior charges --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because everything was dropped.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did I mention the rich and famous can afford the best lawyers money can buy? In Brooke`s case, that`s Yale Galanter, a great guy, friend of our show. His client list includes Charlie Sheen and O.J. Simpson in the civil trial. So there you go.

KAVINOKY: Well, look, Jane, here`s the deal with Brooke. For all of her past transgressions, she`s not been convicted of anything. You may say that that`s two-tiered justice or could be because there simply was insufficient evidence. Bottom line is, if she`s eligible for this kind of program, which by the way, most states have for your first offense drug possession that you can earn a dismissal out of it, she should get it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m telling all my viewers, go to famm.org, families against mandatory minimums.org. Famm.org; look at the cases for yourself. There`s a stack of them, one after the other. Young people with children sentenced to 20, 30, 40 years behind bars for drug possession. Something`s not right.

Nancy, next.

END