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Family Seeks Two Women Abducted at Gunpoint; Is Lindsay Lohan Taking Sobriety Seriously?

Aired March 1, 2012 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live from New York City.

The search is on right now for two women missing in Michigan. Cops say they were kidnapped at gunpoint and shoved into the trunk of a car. One of them acted heroically to try to save them. I`ll talk exclusively to family members live in just a moment.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, "Help us. They got us." Just one of the terrifying texts from two women moments before they vanished. Police say they were forced into the trunk of car by two armed men, and shots were fired as one woman`s stepfather tried to save them. Three men in custody. But where are these women? I`ll talk to one of the missing girl`s mothers. We`ll investigate.

And closing arguments in the trial of a man accused of murdering his pregnant wife. The defense says just because Jason Young cheated on his wife doesn`t make him a killer. But did the jury buy his story? We`ll take your calls.

Plus actress Nicolette Sheridan takes on a power broker. She says the decision to kill off her "Desperate Housewives" character was payback after she complained about the show`s creator, a man she claims hit her. We`re inside the courtroom.

And is Lindsay Lohan finally sober? Some perplexing details from the starlet`s latest interview.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please. If you can please help us find Ashley Conaway and Abreeya, please pray for my family. Please bring my sister and her best friend home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Family members are praying for the safe return of 18-year-old Abreeya Brown and 21-year-old Ashley Conaway.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mothers, sisters, this could be you. Please. Please. Bring Ashley and Abreeya home. Please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the girls sent a text to a family member, saying they were in the trunk of a car.

LOIS BROWN, MOTHER OF ABREEYA BROWN: Thirsty, are they hungry? Have they been beaten? Have they been raped? Are they -- are they still alive?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live from New York City.

We want to help. Two women kidnapped at gunpoint and shoved into the trunk of a car. It`s like a scene out of a violent action movie. Unfortunately it`s apparently all too real.

What appears to have happened to these two beautiful women. Cops say two men waited for them to pull up to their home and then forced them out of their still-running car at gunpoint and ultimately into the trunk of the kidnapper`s car.

One of the women, 18-year-old Abreeya Brown`s step dad said he saw what was happening, tried to stop it, but the gunmen sprayed his home with nearly two dozen bullets before speeding off with the two women inside their trunk of their car.

Within an hour, one of the abducted women, 22-year-old Ashley Conaway, heroically managed to send text messages from the car trunk, reportedly saying, "Help us. They got us." Imagine the bravery it took to send that text while being abducted.

Relatives say she also identified one of the men as her ex-boyfriend. Now, that was Tuesday night. It is now Thursday night. OK? The last anyone heard from them, Tuesday night. Well, now their families are begging for information and help to get them back safely.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mothers, sisters, this could be you. Please. Please. Bring Ashley and Abreeya home. Please.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What are the secrets behind this case? These women were kidnapped two days ago, and I`ve got to ask: why are we just hearing about this case for the very first time today when these two women have been in peril for two long days? And we know the media can be helpful finding people who are missing.

Now, we do have some good news. Cops have now gotten that ex- boyfriend under arrest along with two other men. The bad news: no sign of these two Detroit-area women.

Your theories. Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Again, we want to help find these beautiful young women.

Joining me now exclusively is Lois Brown, the mother of one of the kidnapped women, Abreeya Brown.

Lois, first of all, my heart goes out to you. I know that you are living a nightmare. I know you`re here because you want to find your daughter. So tell us what do you think happened and why? Why do you think your daughter was targeted?

BROWN: Well, what I think happened was that there was a jealous rage, and he couldn`t control his self. And he was not thinking straight at all, and he took something out on two innocent young ladies that they did not deserve.

My daughter, Abreeya Kia (ph) Brown, and Ashley Victoria Conaway are innocent victims of a tragic situation that I cannot even explain. I can`t comprehend how a person could even think of such a manner as what he did to two those girls to put them in the trunk of a car and kidnap them, let alone shoot at them in the first place. I cannot comprehend. I`m really in a daze.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to get to the rap sheets of these suspects in a second. But let`s talk about sort of the face-off.

Cops say Tuesday night there was a face-off of sorts between these two young women and these two alleged kidnappers. And then a third person turned himself in later because he was being sought.

The two men allegedly offered these women -- your daughter and your sister -- we`re going to get to the other woman in a second -- $5,000 to keep secrets and not testify in an upcoming trial. Cops believe these two women said no thanks, which is the right thing to do, to a bribe to not testify. No thanks to that $5,000, and that`s when a gun was allegedly placed to the head of one of the women.

So I want to go back now to our exclusive interview. We`ve got Lois Brown, the mother of one of the kidnapped women. And we`ve got Latrina Conaway, the sister of the other kidnapped woman.

Latrina, can you tell us what sparked this offer of a bribe? Wasn`t there an incident a couple of weeks earlier where one of these suspects allegedly shot at one of the girls and then that ended up being the case that they told them not to testify about? Tell us about that.

LATRINA CONAWAY, SISTER OF ASHLEY CONAWAY: That is correct. Well, pretty much what you have indicated is actually what happened. Ashley and Abreeya refused not [SIC] to accept the bribe, rightfully so, and to continue their proceedings with the police investigation. And this is what has led up to this particular matter: these young men and conspiring of these young men to kidnap Ashley and Abreeya, to my deepest ability to understand. But that`s exactly what has happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Can I ask you a question, Latrina? Have the police told you anything? I mean, we know about this text from reporting and investigating. Did the cops tell you anything else? Have they checked the pings, where these texts were issued from to find out the location? Have you heard anything from police?

CONAWAY: Well, based upon what you`re indicating, this is the policy and the procedure is to check the pings, and that`s what the Detroit police and Hamtramck police, the investigative unit, is indicating to us that they`re following. We have no other choice but to trust Detroit and Hamtramck and the investigative units. And we`re doing that. We`re asking that they -- and we trust that they are doing an all-out effort to be able to bring Ashley and Abreeya home. We have no other choice. We`re law- abiding citizens.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And -- and I understand that. I`m going to jump in, only because we want to use this precious time to help find these young women.

CONAWAY: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve investigated. We`ve uncovered disturbing facts about the suspects.

Cops say 25-year-old Brandon Cain has a long rap sheet. He`s the boyfriend of kidnap victim Ashley Conaway. Records show he`s on parole for fleeing police and receiving stolen property. Cain was in prison from 2009 till June of last year. Then just last month he failed to report for his parole. And he`s got even more stuff in the past. Probation for an assault.

Brian Christopher Lee, 24 years old. He was taken into custody late last night at his girlfriend`s home. Cops say he and Brandon Cain were the ones who exchanged gunfire with Abreeya Brown`s stepfather during the alleged kidnapping.

I`ve got to go to Jon Lieberman, investigative reporter. What have you learned that might help us find these young ladies?

JON LIEBERMAN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, a couple things, actually. And first of all, let me tell you: I have worked with that task force up there that goes after fugitives. They`re one of the best in the country, and they are putting an all-out effort into finding -- excuse me - - these two women tonight.

Police truly believe that the three men that you showed on the screen are the keys to finding out where these two women are. They believe that, if those men would simply talk, they hold the secret to where these two women are.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, how are they going to get these men to talk? They`re in custody right now.

On the other side of the break we`re going to talk about a burnt-out vehicle that was riddled with bullets that has been found. But how do they get these guys to talk about what happened, because the clock is ticking here?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: You know, sadly, Jane, I think they`re going to have to make a deal with the devil. And that includes if they`ve got outstanding stuff, maybe give them a discount and make them tell. These girls may be in dire need of help right now. They could be dead. They might be alive. We`ve got to find them soon.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to the phone lines.

Jennifer, North Dakota, your question or thought, Jennifer?

CALLER: Actually, I have a comment. First of all, my heart goes out to the family of those missing girls.

And -- but I just am so outraged when we`re watching in this country story after story of these -- of what`s happening to women and children in this country.

And I think that women in this country just need to rise up in some fashion, whether it`s in the -- in the voting booth or wherever it is to empower women and children in this country. We just watch women being victimized, you know, case after case after case, and nobody`s doing anything about it.

And then you have the comments that Rush Limbaugh made today, calling a woman a slut.


CALLER: And you don`t have anybody coming out and defending women. There`s just something that`s very wrong in this country. And I`m just outraged about it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this. I don`t want to get into politics of left and right, but I agree with you 100 percent that women are certainly quite often the victim as opposed to the victimizer. In fact, it`s so unusual for a woman to be a victimizer that when she is, allegedly, it becomes a huge case. We do have to address that issue. Thank you, caller.

And we`re going to continue investigating where these two women are in just a second right after the break. And taking more of your calls: 1-877- JVM-SAYS.

Also ahead, we`re going to talk about Lindsay Lohan. She swears now that she`s clean and sober. But there`s one tiny little problem with that declaration.

But first, back to Detroit, where two families are desperately searching for these women who were put in a trunk and kidnapped at gunpoint. Where are these women tonight? We want to help find them. We need your help.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope my sister will be safe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring us home. Bring her home. Bring her home.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please. If you can please help us find Ashley Conaway and Abreeya. Please pray for my family. Please bring my sister and her best friend home.

BROWN: Are they hungry? Have they been beaten? Have they been raped? Are they still alive?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight cops may have found the getaway vehicle. It looks something like this. A silver sedan believed to be a Chrysler Concord or Sebring. The women are believed to have been put in the trunk of a car just like this. Now, cops did find a car that was burnt out fitting this description with bullet holes in it.

Let`s listen to police.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know that Cain was involved in the kidnapping and the shooting. The original case involved in the shooting. Heard gun shots, vehicles found on fire. Blazed out. Some substantiating details related to our case.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Straight out to WXYZ reporter Kimberly Craig, who is there.

What do you know about this car and about the suspect, the ex- boyfriend, 25-year-old Brandon Cain?

KIMBERLY CRAIG, WXYZ REPORTER (via phone): Well, Brandon Cain appeared in court today, in (UNINTELLIGIBLE) district court. He was arraigned on the charges stemming from the shooting three weeks ago where he actually hit -- when he allegedly fired at Ashley. He actually hit Ashley in the head. That bullet did graze her. She was wounded in that.

And he`s also charged in connection with that particular shooting. The bullets missed Abreeya. Abreeya was there to pick up Ashley to get her away from Brandon Cain. That`s how this all started three weeks ago.

Today Brandon Cain was charged with assault with attempt to commit murder on that original case three weeks ago. And bond was set at half a million dollars.

As for that car that was recovered, we do know one of our reporters and her photographer tonight just a short while ago got exclusive video of that Sebring that police have recovered. They are now going to be processing that vehicle to find out if that, indeed, is the Sebring that Ashley and Abreeya were texting from the trunk of that car.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How far is it from the home?

CRAIG: It`s on the west side of Detroit. So from the home in Hamtramck which is east -- it`s a suburb -- like an enclave (ph) of Detroit. It`s probably 15, 20 minutes away. But it`s -- on the west side of Detroit is an area that Brandon Cain is familiar with. Brandon Cain is from the west side of Detroit.


CRAIG: That`s the side of town where the shooting took place three weeks ago. That`s also the location where the shooting took place and where police went looking after the shooting, in Hamtramck.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kimberly Craig, excellent reporting.

Jon Lieberman, in people terms, explain the connection between the two cases.

LIEBERMAN: Here`s the connection. Police say that they knew why Brandon Cain went to that house. He went to that house to shut those two women up, because if those women testified in that shooting case from three weeks ago, Brandon Cain was going back to jail, regardless because he was already on parole. So he already violated his parole.

And unless he could shut the two key witnesses up and pay them, he knew he was going back to prison.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s go back to the phone lines. Hannah, Alabama. Your question or thought, madam?

CALLER: Hi, Ms. Velez-Mitchell. I adore your show. My question is, if they -- the stepfather was watching and after the bullets were down or whatever, why didn`t he go after them? Like, why didn`t he follow the car?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, my understanding is that, Wendy Murphy, he did fire. And that`s what I`m wondering about. Listen, I know that you`ve got the U.S. marshals, FBI, Michigan State Police, Detroit cops all of them investigating this case working for dozens of hours.

But why didn`t they issue an all-points bulletin, let the media immediately know Tuesday night that these two women were missing? We could have been talking about this two days ago.

MURPHY: You know, I don`t know the answer to that. If this were kids, it would have been an Amber Alert, for sure. I don`t know. And it`s outrageous. I mean, if it`s because, you know, these girls are black and we don`t do a good enough job in the media caring about black kids when they disappear.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we care. As soon as we found out...

MURPHY: Yes, you do. But we`re -- that`s right. You do. But we`re talking about the folks who knew.

You know who I blame for this, by the way? I have to tell you, I`m outraged -- outraged -- about something important here. And I have a chapter on this in my book. The idea that criminals have been given so much power and have so much chutzpah in the criminal justice system that this thug thinks he can go hand out cash and make witnesses disappear so he doesn`t have to go to jail.

Kobe Bryant did the same thing. He gave cash to his victim. She refused to testify. It`s Kobe Bryant`s fault that people think they can get away from this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well -- Kobe Bryant aside, there is this whole snitch attitude in Detroit. We understand a little bit why people are afraid to talk, because look what happened to these two women.

We`re staying on top of this case. More next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is Lindsay Lohan sober? In a minute. But first a record paper airplane toss. Here`s your "Viral Video of the Day."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There it is. There it is. We`re all over that one. That`s going to do it. Get up there, get up there, get up there. Get up there, get up there.




KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: I guess she`s making a bit of a comeback here.

A.J. HAMMER, CNN ANCHOR: She is hosting "SNL." And I`ve got to show you one of the promotional spots that they`ve released. Take a look at this.

LINDSAY LOHAN, ACTRESS: Hi, I`m Lindsay Lohan, and I`m hosting "SNL" this week with musical guest Jack White.

KEENAN THOMPSON, CAST MEMBER, NBC`S "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": It must feel good to be back in the spotlight.

LOHAN: Yes. People are probably wondering what I`ve been up to.

THOMPSON: It`s unfortunate that everyone`s paid so little attention to you over the last few years.

LOHAN: I know. If only magazines and Web sites would have documented my activities more closely.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Love the bangs. But I have to ask: too much too soon?

Troubled starlet Lindsay Lohan acts like she`s on top of the world as she prepares to host "Saturday Night Live" this weekend. I`ll be watching. I have to wonder, though: is she taking her sobriety seriously?

Lohan sat down with NBC`s Matt Lauer on "The Today Show," and she could not remember her sobriety date, or refused to disclose it, anyway. Listen to this.


MATT LAUER, NBC`S "THE TODAY SHOW": You clean and sober?

LOHAN: Yes, I`m good. I`m clean and sober.

LAUER: How long has that been?

LOHAN: It`s been awhile. It`s been -- it`s been a long time.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Reality check. When you`re in recovery -- and I`ve been in recover for almost 17 years -- you remember your sobriety date. You shout it from the rooftops. Mine is April 1. No kidding.

Why won`t Lindsay tell us her sobriety date? Why is that a secret?

Straight out to "Naughty but Nice`s" Rob Shuter from Huff Post. Rob, your thoughts?

ROB SHUTER, "NAUGHTY BUT NICE" COLUMNIST, HUFFINGTON POST: I was going to be very cynical after seeing this interview this morning. And then I stopped and thought about it for a minute. I really want to believe this, Jane. I really do.

I spoke to her mom, Dina, who in the past has been in denial a little bit, and maybe she is again. Dina insists that Lindsay`s in a great place.

And what really makes me to believe this is she`s going to make a movie. You would not be able to get that movie gig if there was any question.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You think they`re testing her?

SHUTER: I bet they have. She couldn`t get insured. She could not get insured. For her to drop this movie would cost millions of dollars. I bet she was tested.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, I am absolutely hoping that she is clean and sober. She`s 25.

I always remember back to when I was 25. Let me tell you: I was an immature goofball. OK? And I was drinking heavily. So I`m not here to judge.

Lindsay Lohan also told Matt Lauer she doesn`t like to go out anymore. Listen to this one.


LOHAN: That`s not my thing anymore. I went out, actually, a few months ago with a friend. And I was so uncomfortable. Not because I felt tempted. Just because it was just the same thing that it always was before, and it just wasn`t fun for me. I`ve become more of a home body, and I like that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But again, reality check. She is hitting the party circuit. Just one day after her probation progress report, Lindsay turned up at Domingo Zapata`s Oscar art show. And she reportedly kept on partying at the famous Chateau Marmont. So when she says, "I haven`t been out for several months," I mean, Rob...

SHUTER: Not exactly true. What I think she`s saying here is that she`s not been out consistently. This is a girl that was going out five, six, maybe seven nights a week. So for Lindsay to go out once in the last couple of months is a vast, vast improvement, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you think about the bangs? And we`re looking at the before Lindsay there in the white. The infamous -- she`s had so many times with her "F.U." fingernails crying in court. But now she`s got bangs.

SHUTER: Can I tell you how she really will put her career back on top? Go back to being a redhead. Before all the drama, when you were a sweet, beautiful redhead girl. If you want to remind people how great you were, change the color of your hair.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A hair color job. And maybe just buff those nails. No nail polish. Especially no "F.U." nail polish.

Thank you, Rob. Love you.

Up next, Jason Young.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think my sister`s dead. Oh, my God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just -- I just fell.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jason Young brutally murdered Michelle Young.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a hand-to-hand fight in that bedroom, and yet not one scratch, not one bruise, not one mark on Jason Young.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they want to put this man in prison for the rest of his life. And they didn`t even bother to look.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jason complains about the lack of sex in the marriage. He has gone outside the marriage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s been a jerk. He`s a philander. he`s a womanizer. That doesn`t make him a murder. There is no direct evidence linking Mr. Young to this crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is your duty to find Jason Young not guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is guilty of first-degree murder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not ever going to know what happened in that house that night.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This case is solved.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST Shameful secrets revealed and a toxic marriage exposed. And now, a jury will decide whether a lying philandering husband murdered his pregnant wife in cold blood.

We`re on verdict watch in the trial of Jason Young. The jury starts deliberating first thing tomorrow morning. Michelle Young was five months pregnant when she was bludgeoned in her bedroom in 2006. She suffered at least 30 blows. The couple`s 2-year-old daughter tracked tiny bloody footprints all over the scene. Imagine that. Look at that precious child with her feet covered in blood.

Jason insists, he was two and a half hours away in a business trip when Michelle was killed. In closing, prosecutors told jurors they could not believe a single word that Jason says.


BECKY HOLD, PROSECUTOR: And the state would contend to you that the fact that he is having an affair with Michelle Money. He is having sexual intercourse with Carl Ann Sourby. That he gives a statement that he loves his wife. Maybe you should consider that about his honesty.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jason`s defense team kept coming back to the same point over and over. The crime scene was covered in blood. And prints. Yet there is no conclusive forensic evidence linked to Jason, the defendant.


BRYAN COLLINS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You may hear things like where are the shoes? To that I say where is the blood in Jason`s explorer? You may hear where`s the shirt whenever found the shirt. And I say where is the blood on his blue jeans? The evidence is not clear. It`s not beyond a reasonable doubt.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A mountain of evidence for jurors to consider starting tomorrow morning. And you know what they say? In confusion there can be reasonable doubt. Straight out to `In Session" correspondent, Beth Karas, who is there all over this case on the scene.

What were the key moments for each side?

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, IN SESSION: Well, you know, nothing from the jury. I can`t tell you there was anything I could see on the jurors` faces except for about five hours they were very attentive. I`m sure glad to go home to get a good night sleep.

Now, what was interesting is one of the two defense attorneys put up ten points of reasonable doubt. But that was the first of the two defense attorneys to speak. Then two prosecutors spoke in the afternoon splitting up their two hour and 15 minute summation. And the last of them, Howard Cumming, gave 11 points of why jurors should --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What were some of those key points?

KARAS: Well, for the defense there`s a lot for them to work with. Because there isn`t any forensic evidence tying Jason young to the scene. So, they say well, you know, that the shoe print, the bloody shoe prints aren`t linked to them. There was one murder who wore an athletic shoe who went and found Jason`s hush puppy in the closet, put it on because he realized he was leaving some tracks. That I thought was interesting because they could see the hush puppy print was Jason`s.


KARAS: They say there are fingerprints belonging to other people who are unidentified. They disagreed with the expert who said some prints were Jason`s.


KARAS: But the state had good explanations also in their smoking gun was the camera at the hotel which was tampered with that at the hotel which would have shown him leaving the hotel so to state he was tampered for that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what you mentioned I think is one of the keys for the defense anyway. They hammer home. Hey, no conclusive forensic evidence linking Jason Young, the defendant, to the crime. Check this out.


MIKE KUNKOSUM, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: This man could not plan out this murder, pull it off, and get away with it without any evidence being left behind either on him or in his car or in his hotel room or somewhere. There is no physical evidence linking him to this murder, ladies and gentlemen.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But take a look at the crime scene once again. The fact is the murder scene is the defendant`s own bedroom. So it`s already going to be littered with his DNA. That complicates things.

And Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor. Quite often in our CSI world people have actually learned ways to make sure they don`t leave mountains of evidence behind like where you could wear outfit and gloves, you can disposed off. The shirt that Jason was seen wearing on surveillance video, best referred to that surveillance video that was disconnected. There was some surveillance video of him at one point, however, they never found that shirt.

WENDY MURPHY, LAW PROFESSOR, NEW ENGLAND LAW, BOSTON: Coincidental. Come on. This one`s easy. Look. You don`t have to watch CSI to get this one down pat. Everything about this case points at him. And none of the evidence points anywhere else. I think one of the dumbest things the defense said during the closing had to do with the fact that he didn`t have any injuries on his person.

And boy, you know, if you beat the hell out of somebody they`re going to fight back. Not if you`re sound asleep and you are five months pregnant because you knock her in the head, knock her out. Then you make t look like some kind of brutal slaying.

I mean, this is so clear to me it is this guy and nobody else. His shoe print? Are you kidding me? You think the jury is going to believe that some intruder put his hush puppies on and walked around the crime scene? I don`t understand how they can vote not guilty.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: John Lieberman is jumping out of his chair here.

JOHN LIEBERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Look. This was a heinous crime, no doubt about that. But there`s a difference between what happened and what you can prove happened. And what the prosecutors did was they proved that Jason young will never win husband of the year. But the defense agreed. They said you know what, Jason Young was not a good husband. He was a cheater. He ran around. He was immature. He drank too much. They`re giving all of that. But that doesn`t make him a killer.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. But does he have a defense? But, but, but. Let me add one more thing.

In the end, OK. You are talking about the testimony of the two women Jason had cheated with while he was married to Michelle, that`ll be ringing in the jurors` ears. Along with, I think the key, his former fiance testified Jason violently attacked her at one time. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Something inside him snapped like I`ve never seen before. And he physically came after me to get the ring off of me. Off of my finger. He grabbed me by the arms and threw me down on to the bed. But with such force that it just -- it stunned me. And he grabbed my arm so tightly that it ended up leaving bruises in the shapes of his fingers.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So despite the lack of forensics, will jurors look at that behavior and say hey, if the guy is capable of attacking his fiance then, is he capable of attacking the woman who became his wife? Wendy, I think that was the key.

MURPHY: Yes. Well, because you have to prove motive, opportunity, and intent. What kind of guy is this? It`s not just a bad husband who was having an affair because his wife was pregnant. She wasn`t giving him any sex.

This is a guy with a history of domestic violence and philandering. A violent man who also happened to be cheating on his wife who didn`t like anymore not to have burden of this new kid.

Look. He also didn`t tell her family anything. He went silent. He took the fifth with her family. Not to mention took the fifth with the cops. He didn`t cooperate. He lied. He didn`t cooperate. He had motive, intent, opportunity. What else do you need? Are you kidding me? This is a slam dunk.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s not a slam dunk because the first trial ended in a hung jury 8-4 in favor of acquittal.

MURPHY: Yes but this trial`s a little bit different. It`s a different jury. There are eight women instead of being top heavy with men like the last jury. This jury has eight women and four men. The mother of Jason Young was cross examined this time. She was not cross examined at the first trial and there was some things she offered helpful to the prosecution. The prosecution put on the testimony from the first trial. Kept him off the stand in this trial.

However, they were then able to put on evidence of inconsistencies in his statement. And they reminded the jury today that he did not speak for 1,693 days after his wife`s murder. The first time he spoke was at that trial last summer. And by then he knew he had all the police reports. He knew what the investigation showed.


MURPHY: And he could then tailor his story to make it strongest where there were vulnerabilities in the same way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No one knows the detail like Beth Karas in every trial, she is ever covered.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Mandy, Michigan. Your question or thought, Mandy.

MANDY, CALLER, MICHIGAN: Yes. I was wondering what other physical evidence do they have other than a shoe prints?


LIEBERMAN: Well, there`s really very little. That`s why there`s a hung jury.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about the stuff at the hotel where you`ve got the -- he`s spotted by this woman going in and getting gasoline when he`s supposedly asleep in the hotel and actually he`s -- this woman testified, hey, I saw him come in and get gas.

LIEBERMAN: But that`s still very circumstantial. He goes in and gets gas. It doesn`t fit in the timeline. It`s still not physical evidence. But Jane, you`ve covered enough trials to know. When trials go to jury on Friday, it can be a fickle thing because juries like to go home for the weekend. A lot of times, they like to get their work one by the end of Friday.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s why we are all over this case tomorrow. In fact, we`re going to bring you absolutely the very latest minute by minute on the Jason Young jury deliberations tomorrow.

Now. Up next, a real life Hollywood drama. A former desperate housewife sues the show`s producer for killing her off. We`re all over this case. We were there live in the ground as she went into court.



NISCHELLE TURNER, CORRESPONDENT, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Hollywood has hardly ever seen anything like it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But if it mean to say to Marc Cherry?

TURNER: Nicollette is suing Marc Cherry who created "Desperate Housewives" for $4 million. She claims he fired her back in 2009 after e she accused him of hitting her after they have a fight over a script.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The big question is this, does she have a chance of winning?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Major drama in Hollywood tonight as industry secrets are spilled in court. Former desperate housewives bomb shell Nicollette Sheridan takes one of the show`s big weed producers to court for allegedly assaulting her in real life and then killing off her character.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: I are you worried this thing?

NICOLLETTE SHERIDAN, STAR, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: It`s a very serious matter and I`m looking forward to taking the stand.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s some key facts from the lawsuit. Nicollette says she was wrongly terminated from the hit show after producer, Mac Cherry, hit on the head. She could play to hire up about the assault. She claims he is in killed off the character in retaliation like everything in Hollywood. What a show today. Huge spectacle in court. Nicollette reading from a script, bursting into song on the witness stand. The jury seeing clips from the wildly popular "Desperate Housewives" like this one from ABC.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`ve got to be kidding. She washed her car yesterday.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. OK. Does Nicolette have a case? Call me. 1- 877-jvm-says.

Straight out to HLN senior producer, Celine Darkalstian. You were in court today. Tell us about the drama.

CELINE DARKALSTIAN, HLN SENIOR PRODUCER: Jane, it was so dramatic. You have to remember Nicollette is an actress. So, she took the stand. She - her attorneys made her get up and it showed the jury how Marc Cherry, a big weed producer in Hollywood like you said, hit her when she complained that a line was not funny enough that was written for her and she wanted it rewritten. And he got frustrated and he got aggressive with her and he hit her alongside the head.

And how she was stunned and she was shocked. She started crying on the witness stand. And then she walked off. Then she claims that Marc Cherry Came to her trailer afterwards and begged her for forgiveness and said I`m on my bended knees begging for forgiveness.

So this is her side of the story. We just heard in the courtroom. It was very, very dramatic. And she was crying, there was fireworks in the courtroom.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. It sounds very dramatic to me. It`s sounds like an episode of "Desperate Housewives." Nicollette claims she was killed off "desperate Housewives" out of spite. I`m not sure but the manner in which her character met her end, might give us a slight clue to how Marc Cherry feels about her. Check this out from you tube. First she was strangled.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Then she almost hit somebody and rams her car into a pole. And finally, she`s electrocuted.

Boy. Ken Baker, E! chief news correspondent. You know how sometimes people come back to life the soaps? It`s sounds like Marc Cherry wanted to make sure she never came back to life.

KEN BAKER, E! CHIEF NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You know, with that reminds me of, Jane, is last year when Chuck Lorre, who is the executive producer of "Two and a Half Men" decided to kill off Charlie Sheen. They had an epic battle. They hated each other basically. And he had Charlie hit by a train. So, yes. It`s way for executive producer to get back off in times.

But here`s - it`s a very serious case. I mean, this is a civil case. This isn`t a big criminal case like we`ve been used to this high profile situation in Los Angeles. But she`s really - I mean, what she`s alleging is wrongful termination and the battery. And the battery that Celine was talking about today that she described on the witness stand today.

You know, it`s really -- if true and if not just overly dramatic actress kind of stuff which it sort of seemed like a bit according to what Celine`s saying there. It seems to me that, you know, if it is true, it`s really unfortunate. I mean, obviously, you shouldn`t be hitting people.

But what we`re expecting Marc Cherry, the producer here, to say is for him to say look. I was showing her something for role and for the scene. So, it`s going to be interesting to hear that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Desperate housewives in a minute. But first, you and I both deserve a laugh break.




MARK BAUTE, NICOLLETTE SHERIDAN`S ATTORNEY: I think because it is her first time on the witness stand, it is stressful. It`s going as expected.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s Nicollette Sheridan`s lawyer outside court just a few hours ago, the women of Wisteria lane fought all the time. Check this out from you tube.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And they call me white trash.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And now, a Rachel Merska (ph) from, it seems that the women of wisteria lane in real life are ganging up on the real life Nicollette Sheridan? We`re talking about Eva Longoria, Felicity Huffman, Marsha Crost, Teri Hatcher, are they all set to testify in favor of the producer, Marc Cherry?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are. They`re all there to favor on his side, not hers, which again, like you said, is the theme of the show. So, it`s kind of shocking to watch. Plus, another key factor of this, is that he`s saying her character was supposed to be written off way before this altercation even happened between them. So we`re wondering what is the truth behind that? Was she always going to be written off? Was it just to boost ratings? Death and cliffhangers are what makes people watch? So, that`s what he`s claiming happened here, and it had nothing to do with what happened that day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, one thing`s for sure, picking a fight with a Hollywood heavyweight takes guts, because a lot of people think it`s career suicide.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hollywood is absolutely a tight knit community. Everybody talks, everybody knows everybody`s business. It boggles my mind that somebody who wants to be an actress, somebody who wants to continue in Hollywood will sue their producers, because who on earth is going to want to hire her after a trial like this?


Rob Shuter not even nice, is he right?

ROB SHUTER, HUFFINGTON POST: He`s absolutely right. I love the fact that she`s taking him on. I love a drama. This is going to be so much fun to watch. She`s never going to work again. People are going to be terrified of hiring her.

To get even in showbiz-ness, I wouldn`t hire her to work in a bank. I would just be so scared if she did anything wrong, and I wanted to fire her. They she would have some sort of lawsuit. So, I`m afraid she`s not going to win this, even if she does win.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you probably want to smack her upside the head, but then he said he was demonstrating a move for the script.

SHUTER: And nobody saw it. She has no witnesses here, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: My God. And she didn`t call the cops either.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Phyllis, Illinois. Your question or thoughts, Phyllis?

PHYLLIS, CALLER, ILLINOIS: Yes, Ms. Jane. I`m so thrilled to talk to you. I love you. I love your show.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m feeling the love.

PHYLLIS: And I also want to say that is just thank you so much how you covered Whitney Houston in the middle of all the criticism. I`m glad you stuck with it. What does it take to get you on "Dancing with the Stars."

I wanted to say with the Nicolette Sheridan story, how easily it seems to be that women are so disposable in Hollywood, especially ones that get a certain age.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I love it. Ken, quickly, women disposable, Hollywood?

BAKER: There`s no secret that the older actresses get fewer roles there are for them. But, I wouldn`t say disposable. It`s just that we`re a youth obsessed culture. TV is youth obsessed to go for those core advertizing demos. And it is an unfortunate reality.

Bu t you know what, this case reminds me of Hunter Tyler who took on Aaron spelling because she lost a role because she said she got pregnant. She won, she got over $4 million, and that`s exactly how much Nicollette Sheridan is trying to get.

So, even if she doesn`t work again, she gets $4 million, she may never have to work again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A lot of money. More next. Thanks Ken.




SHERIDAN: It`s a very serious matter and I`m looking forward to taking the stand.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s Nicolette Sheridan today saying, it`s serious business. So Rob Shuter, what`s the big picture? The implications for Hollywood?

SHUTER: The big picture here is that if she wins this, it`s going to be massive, it`s going to change the game. Nobody in Hollywood will ever be fired again. When the ratings drop, people are going to think twice about replacing actors.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, maybe they should just think twice about having like having any physical contact. Like he said he was demonstrating something, I think it`s going to make people pull back from -- they`re going to become more formal.

SHUTER: That`s exactly right. Right on a lot of sets, some people do touch each other is at (INAUDIBLE) intimate craft. So, maybe now, we`re going to see acting from afar.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to have to see love scenes with two people standing on opposite sides of the room. I love you.

All right. Fun stuff, good luck, Nicollette. Nancy, next.