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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Polo Mogul`s Hit-and-Run Trial Begins

Aired March 13, 2012 - 19:00   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.

A polo mogul accused of getting drunk and causing a deadly crash finally gets his day in court. His blood-alcohol level was at least twice the legal limit hours later. You will not believe his defense strategy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight the DUI trial of a millionaire polo mogul begins. Prosecutors say he was drunk, fled the scene, and left the 23-year-old victim to drown. But John Goodman`s high-powered lawyers say his luxury Bentley is to blame.

This is the same guy who adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend in what critics call a ploy to protect his massive fortune. We`ll bring you opening statements and take your calls.

Then, closing arguments in the daycare murder trial. Hemy Neuman`s defense attorney tells jurors the gun was in Hemy`s hands, but the trigger was pulled by Andrea Sneiderman. Lawyers on both sides claim Andrea was having a secret sexual affair with the man who gunned down her husband. Will the jury think she was the puppet master who drove him to murder?

Plus why was Nicollette Sheridan`s "Desperate Housewives" character killed off? The mystery witness suddenly emerges claiming he`s got evidence of a behind-the-scenes conspiracy to cover up. We`re pulling back the curtain on this developing drama.

And it`s my latest adventure. You`ll see me learn how to fight back, and you`ll learn tips you need to protect yourself.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: DUI manslaughter trial of polo mogul multimillionaire John Goodman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Heir to a Texas air conditioning fortune, founder of his polo club.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Goodman is accused of driving drunk, slamming into Wilson, sending his car into the Wellington Canal, where he drowned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Investigators say he drove drunk at twice the legal limit.

ROY BLACK, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY He was not intoxicated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kahlua, vodka, and wine (ph).

BLACK: He was not impaired.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said, "Give me ten of your best shots of tequila."

BLACK: He was not drunk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Walked from the scene and didn`t call 911 for nearly an hour.

BLACK: This car was defective.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Goodman stunned everyone with the surprise adoption of his adult girlfriend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has chosen to adopt his girlfriend as his child.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talking about money or wealth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there any who feels that the law applies differently for people who have money?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s lost his life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at that handsome young man, dead. Tonight, a polo tycoon accused of getting wasted and causing a horrific deadly crash, finally in court, facing justice. You`ll remember the super-rich guy, worth something like $300 million in trusts, who adopted this woman, his adult girlfriend, in order to shield his many millions in the civil part of the case.

Well, you might be shocked to hear what his manslaughter DUI defense is.

This mogul, John Goodman, had partied hard with his polo buddies one night in February 2010, when he got behind the wheel of his $200,000 Bentley Continental. Prosecutors say Goodman blew through a stop sign and slammed into this young man, college graduate 23-year-old Scott Wilson`s car.

The collision knocked Wilson`s car upside down and into a canal where that promising young man drowned. Police say his blood-alcohol content was twice the legal limit. I`m talking about this guy here, three hours after the crash.

But why blame a drunk driver when you can deny that you were drinking, and just blame it all on your luxury vehicle? Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLACK: He was not intoxicated. He was not impaired. He was not drunk. His car was defective. The engineers examined the computer system, and the throttles IN that car and will testify that they were operating incorrectly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow, what do you think of this "blame the Bentley" defense? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

We`re very privileged to have the uncle of the young man who was killed in this crash who`s speaking out for his family tonight, but we`re going to begin with -- and we`ll talk to you in a second. I know you have a lot of feelings and thoughts.

First I want to go out to former prosecutor Holly Hughes. You`re also a criminal defense attorney. This defense of blaming the Bentley, is there any time where you just cross a line as a defense attorney? And if so, is this a line that has been crossed?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, there are times, absolutely when you can cross the line.

I don`t know what his engineers report say, Jane. If he got an engineer who`s examined these things, and said, "Yes, the car was defective," OK, then he didn`t cross the line.

But quite frankly, what I will say is, his blood alcohol is twice the legal limit. Of course he was intoxicated. Don`t insult the jury`s intelligence.

If he was in his right mind, why would he not have stopped and rendered aid to that young man? That young man drowned in that car, Jane. This wasn`t a dead on impact. He had plenty of time, if he was in his right mind and this was truly a malfunction, you jump out of your car, you go help that victim, you call 911 immediately.

So I can`t speak to his engineer`s reports, but I will say, the rest of it, not working for me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, again, we`re very delighted and honored to have Rudy Millian, Scott Wilson`s uncle, your nephew was killed in this DUI crash. And you heard it right there. There are people who say, had the defendant here, instead of leaving the scene, gone down to the canal and found your nephew, he could have potentially saved your nephew`s life.

What is your reaction, sir, to this defense of, "oh, I wasn`t drunk, and it was the Bentley that malfunctioned"?

RUDY MILLIAN, UNCLE OF VICTIM: Well, Jane, my reaction to the whole thing is the whole case is so bizarre. How Roy Black, he must be a master of fiction and fantasy to have contrived all of this defense for everything that was done.

The man was obviously drinking. He got behind the wheel of a car irresponsibly. He sped down a street that was very close to where he lived. He ran the stop sign. He ran into my nephew`s car, sending it into the canal, where he drowned. And he walks away, and looks for help somewhere else, but doesn`t call 911 until he was urged to do so by his girlfriend and the other witnesses.

I don`t -- I believe in the criminal justice system, and I believe that the jury will make the right decision.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s hope, because defense attorney Roy Black -- and we`re going to get to this in a little bit -- has a history of getting people off, despite open and shut cases against them.

Now, this guy, this polo mogul, John Goodman, his attorney insists, "Oh, no. He wasn`t drunk or impaired at the time of the crash."

Let`s review. Prosecutors say Goodman had 16 to 18 drinks the night of the crash. That sounds more like a frat party than a night out at the polo club.

Bartenders testified that Goodman ordered a whole bunch of drinks. And I guess there`s going to be a back and forth as to how many people actually saw him drinking, but reportedly, he had at least two vodka drinks and shots of tequila.

He ordered for his friends more rounds, and then his friends ordered - - get this -- Irish Car Bombs. Now, this is a drink you take a quarter pint of Guinness stout, drop in a half shot of Bailey`s, a half shot of Jameson whiskey. And in fact, a lot of bars won`t even serve these because they`re basically several drinks in one.

Now, three hours after the crash, Goodman`s blood-alcohol content was still twice the legal limit. That means his blood-alcohol content was higher when the crash occurred, right?

Well, this is what Roy Black is trying to get around, by saying, "Oh, no, he wasn`t drunk at the time of the crash. No, after the crash, when he`s in pain, oh, he goes to a friend`s bar and then continues to drink to alleviate his pain."

I want to go out to famed criminal defense attorney Jose Baez, who of course, represented Casey Anthony, another open-and-shut case that he ended up winning. As Holly Hughes said, Jose Baez, to me this defense insults the intelligence of the jury, but what say you?

JOSE BAEZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don`t think so. First of all, Roy Black is a world-class attorney. And if anyone could pull this case off, it`s certainly him.

I think the case is -- it`s geared towards the malfunction of the car, and under Florida law, if the malfunction is the result of the accident, which ultimately results in his death, he`s not guilty. So he could being drunk as a skunk, but if the malfunction is what`s actually -- what caused the actual accident, he`s not guilty under the law.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s take a closer look at the car that the defense is saying suddenly malfunctioned, that they`re blaming for this wreck. We`re going to show you a stock photo of a $200,000 Bentley Continental. That`s a few years` worth of salary for some people.

On the right, Goodman`s car after the crash. Here`s what the defense attorney, the famed Roy Black, said in court about this car.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLACK: John Goodman is in the car. As it gets close to the stop sign, all of a sudden, the car surges forward. You see him trying to control this enormously powerful car.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All of a sudden, the car surges forward at the exact moment that it approaches a stop sign at 63 miles an hour, according to the prosecution. And, oh, it just so happens that the driver is seen by people ordering round after round after round after round of alcohol.

I mean, I got to -- I got to say, Grace Wong, producer, "In Session" on TruTV, you`ve been monitoring this case. Sometimes, if you get a little too creative with the defense, it can backfire. What`s the reaction been to this controversial defense of "blame of Bentley"?

GRACE WONG, PRODUCER, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION" (via phone): Well, so far the jurors are listening very attentively, and the witnesses for the prosecution haven`t -- haven`t really -- I mean, there`s been some inconsistencies in their statements.

The witnesses today said that he did not appear drunk or inebriated. They had the bartender on. They had the manager of the players` club and they had the valet who got his car for him. And all of them testified that he didn`t appear drunk and, if he was drunk, their policy is to not give the keys to him.

So, so far, you know, he`s presenting a pretty strong -- a pretty vigorous defense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, and look, he said that`s his smile when he is on the gurney in the hospital after this crash. He was smiling. And yet his attorney said that he was in such pain that he was drinking after the crash, and not intoxicated before the crash.

Sherry, Arizona, we`ll go to the phone lines briefly. Sherry, Arizona, your question or thought, Sherry?

CALLER: Hi, Jane, how are you?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good.

CALLER: Well, I just wanted to say that there`s no way I believe that he does not remember being in a car accident, especially of that nature. Because I`ve been in a few, and ashamed to say, one was a DUI. And thank God I was the only one hurt and gave up drinking finally for good. And I`ll tell you, you know when you`re in a car accident.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know -- you know when you hit a car? OK, when you hit a car, for you to say, "I have no idea that I hit a car. I have no idea that the car I hit is in a ditch," well, there`s something called suspension of disbelief. Sometimes that happens in the movies, but this is real life.

More on the other side with the uncle of the man who was killed in this deadly manslaughter DUI car wreck. And we`re taking your calls: 1- 877-JVM-SAYS.

Later a man accused of killing a dad outside an Atlanta daycare, was he driven to kill by the victim`s wife? This is the bizarre contention in the closing arguments in that case.

But first more on this polo mogul -- who, by the way, adopted his 42- year-old girlfriend == charged in the death of a young man, and he`s blaming his $200,000-plus luxury Bentley.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not a secret that one of the cars involved here was a Bentley. It`s not a secret that that`s a very expensive car. So generally someone who`s going to be driving that very expensive car has a lot of money. Is there anyone who feels that the law applies differently for people who have money versus people who don`t have money?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He turned to Mrs. Looter, who is the bartender, and he said, give me ten of your best shots of tequila.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is the prosecution, but on the other side of this case, famed defense attorney Roy Black, who is representing this polo mogul. And a lot of people believe that Roy Black is a magician in the courtroom.

Here are some examples of one of his most high-profile clients, William Kennedy Smith in this case. He was accused of raping a woman at the Kennedy estate in Palm Beach, 1991. The outcome, acquitted.

Another of Palm Beach`s most famous residents, Rush Limbaugh, the talk radio host, accused of felony doctor-shopping in 2006. Roy Black got the charges dropped in exchange for substance abuse treatment for Rush Limbaugh.

Jay Levin, he fatally shot his 16-year-old neighbor, killed him. He was facing possible 30 years behind bars. Roy Black arranged for weekends in jail for one year and ten years` probation. This makes my blood boil, but I`m going to stay calm as we discuss this.

Janet Johnson, criminal defense attorney. One of the big problems with our criminal justice system is that everybody doesn`t get equally competent attorneys. The rich get the best that money can buy when it comes to lawyers.

JANET JOHNSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That`s true. But they all get the reasonable doubt standard which is the highest standard in a trial. So where there are holes in the case, they`re not going to look to Roy Black. They have to look to the government. And if there`s not a breath test or a blood test at or near the time of driving, that`s reasonable doubt. I think that`s not guilty.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rudy Millian, you are the uncle of this promising young man who was killed in the crash, and again he wasn`t killed by the crash. He drowned. The car -- impact of the Bentley sent his car, this handsome young man into a ditch.

And there is -- there`s a lot of people who believe if somebody had gone down there, namely John Goodman, the defendant, he could have saved his life. Are you worried about the ability of Roy Black to basically win what some people would say is an open and shut case?

MILLIAN: Well, I mean, I think Roy Black is very skilled. And he`s obviously contrived this defense. And he can call in witness after witness. That`s why this case, which normally would take a couple of days, is bound to take over two weeks.

But in the end of the court, I don`t believe that the jury is going to believe that that defense is correct.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, thank you, sir. We`re going to continue to debate this.

On the other side of the break, Jose Baez, of course famous for the Casey Anthony case, prominent Florida attorney, will weigh in.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on this deadly crash in a moment, but first we need a laugh break. So here`s your "Viral Video of the Day."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLACK: He did not leave that scene and abandon someone to his death. He did not know there was somebody in that canal. He could not see that car. All he knew, he was in an accident, but there was nothing there. He couldn`t see anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jose Baez, can a jury really swallow the idea that somebody goes through a stop sign, smacks into a car and doesn`t realize that they`ve hit a car and walks away from the scene?

BAEZ: Absolutely. If you have a concussion or a severe head injury, which is what the defense is claiming in this case, it`s very possible.

Now, there`s something else that actually supports his position here, and that`s the first person who called 911 on this case didn`t see the other car. And in fact, the other car was not found until several minutes later. So if you have someone who`s just been in a severe accident who has a head injury and is disoriented, and that`s exactly what the defense is claiming in this case, that is a very possible scenario. And I think that`s exactly what they`re going to show in this case.

Now, there`s one thing that I`ve noticed of what`s been discussed so far, and that is that the facts have been coming out in the defense`s favor all day long. The entire prosecution so far has put on witness after witness to testify that he was not drunk when he left the club that evening.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, OK. Jose, this is why you`re a very good defense attorney, right up there with Roy Black. And it kind of concerns me that the focus has shifted to this mogul defendant.

And, Rudy, your sister, who is the mother of this young man, where is she in all this?

MILLIAN: You know, she has obviously been suffering through the whole thing. She`s attended every deposition that`s been done. She`s attended every court. She`s been there in court with two of my other sisters and a cousin. And the reality is, she`s suffered quite a bit.

Scott`s father, my ex-brother-in-law, he`s there, as well. And this young man had a whole future ahead of him. And my sister, there`s nothing that she can talk about other than, you know, her son.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, we can never forget the victim.

Barbara in New York, your question or thought, Barbara.

CALLER: Good evening, Jane. It`s always a pleasure. And I`m still waiting for you to receive an award for your fantastic investigative reporting.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.

CALLER: This is a terrible, terrible case, and my heart certainly goes out to Scott`s family. It just should have never, ever happened.

My question is, in the event that he is found guilty of the DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, is it also possible he could be found guilty of a criminally negligent manslaughter or whatever? And if that is the case, what is the maximum sentence that this man could receive? Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you for your question.

Holly Hughes, I think the max is 30 years. What do you know?

HUGHES: I believe that`s correct, Jane.

And I do want to point one thing out. Everybody seems to think that because these witnesses who, by the way, work for this establishment, don`t admit he was falling-down drunk, that`s a terrible thing for the prosecution.

No, it`s not. They don`t want to be sued under the gram (ph) shop laws. What they did testify to was, "This is how much alcohol he ordered. This is what I saw him consume." The fact that they don`t think he looked drunk, that doesn`t mean it`s a bad thing for the prosecution.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I will say one thing. Everybody agrees, this guy was a good tipper. So maybe that is a factor, as well.

I want to thank you so much, Rudy. We`re going to stay on top of this case.

Was the widow of a man gunned down? This story next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREA SNEIDERMAN, WIFE OF RUSTY SNEIDERMAN: It was unfathomable and unbelievable that it could be him. Someone that proposed to care about me, care about Rusty, care about my family, be a normal guy, be my boss. He murdered my husband.

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

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

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

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

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prosecutors say Neuman was having an affair with Sneiderman`s wife, Andrea, but she`s been denying that from the very beginning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gun in this case was in Hemy`s hand, but the trigger, I respectfully suggest was pulled by Andrea Sneiderman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Tonight we`re waiting for a verdict in the trial of the Georgia man accused of gunning down a husband and father right in front of the family`s preschool.

But today during closing arguments, it was all about blaming the victim`s widow. You heard it right. The attorney for the defendant, this guy, Hemy Neuman, came out swinging, squarely laying the blame on the shoulders of the dead man`s wife, Andrea Sneiderman, saying she manipulated Hemy Neuman, who was her boss, into killing her husband, Rusty.

It was argued by both the prosecution and the defendant that Andrea and Neuman were having an affair, a hot one at the time of her husband`s murder. But she denies that and she has not been charged with any crime. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOUG PETERS, LAWYER FOR HEMY NEUMAN: Andrea has said two things. Andrea Sneiderman has said two things. Number one, I didn`t have an affair. Number two, I didn`t manipulate Hemy. Now, I suggest to you that it`s up to you to decide who`s telling the truth in this case.

SNEIDERMAN: Who kills someone else`s husband?

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

SNEIDERMAN: No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Neuman admits he gunned down Andrea`s husband at point blank arrange as that husband, Rusty Sneiderman, dropped off his son at day care November 2010, but Neuman has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

His defense is one for the record books. He claims an angel sounding like Olivia Newton John and a devil sounding like Barry White, told him to do this. No, I`m not making that up. This is his defense. The prosecution says Neuman`s insanity defense is nuts but that he most definitely is not nuts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT JAMES, PROSECUTOR: He`s insane, he sees angels. He sees demons. He`s crazy. Something`s wrong with me. They`re telling me to kill people. I got five children. I tried to commit suicide seven times. If you cannot trust the ingredients on this insanity sandwich, then I`m going to ask you, don`t eat it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m keeping that phrase for future reference, insanity sandwich. We reached out to Andrea Sneiderman`s lawyer but have not heard back. Do you believe this defense conspiracy theory claiming Andrea manipulated Hemy into killing her husband? Or is the defendant throwing the object of his lust and obsession under the bus?

Give me a holler, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

I`ve got to start with my buddy Dr. Dale Archer; we need a shrink on this one. I love the insanity sandwich, and the prosecution`s really sort of summing up how bizarre this entire defense is. That Olivia Newton John and Barry White made this guy, who obviously is still stuck in the `70s, music-wise, do this. Do you think he`s crazy?

DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: No. You need two things for an insanity defense to work. Number one, you need a past psychiatric history. At least you need family friends or co-workers saying, "The guy was sick. He needed help. We know that." We don`t have that here.

Number two, it`s an impulsive act. He planned meticulously over a matter of months. Neither one goes with insanity at all. I don`t but it at all. I think the defense gets point for creativity, that`s about it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s the theme of this evening`s show, people. Creativity by the defense and masters of what critics would say is "fiction".

Hemy Neuman`s attorney called his client a good man, who was manipulated by Andrea Sneiderman, the widow. Listen to these scathing comments.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETERS: What about Andrea Sneiderman? What about somebody that is an adulterer and a tease, and a calculator and a master manipulator? And who is just as evil as I have ever seen in any case I`ve ever been involved with?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re going to be all over this tomorrow as jury deliberations get under way.

But I got to ask, Holly Hughes, former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, what does Andrea have to do with Hemy Neuman? So what if they were having an affair which she denied? It doesn`t make him any less guilty, throwing her under the bus, does it?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, interestingly enough, Jane, Hemy didn`t want her thrown under the bus. When the police pressed him in his interview over and over, saying, just give us Andrea, just say she was involved. He vehemently denied she didn`t have anything to do with this.

Quite frankly, I actually know some of these family members. I have, you know, sources very close to this investigation, and I do believe that she played him like a Stradivarius. I don`t think she ever said, "Go kill my husband," but I think she pushed all those buttons.

This is a woman who has no regard for the law, doesn`t care about telling the truth. She was banned from the courthouse, Jane, by the judge -- not the courtroom, the courthouse. The judge said, "You`re so inappropriate." She`s sitting out in the gallery making comments during the course of the trial about witnesses who are testifying, going, "That`s not true. I didn`t say that." And the jury can hear her.

So we know darn well this woman`s not stable either. So I really do believe, and there was testimony by some of Hemy Neuman`s friends --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: By the way, Holly, just to jump in for a second --

HUGHES: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- this is the infamous hug --

HUGHES: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- that she gave one of her former friends after the friend testified basically that she thought that Andrea was having an affair with Hemy Neuman. And this was according to the prosecutor, all for show, because as soon as they got out of the door -- of the court door -- people heard Andrea turn around and say, "You`re not my friend anymore, you betrayed me," or words to that effect.

Now, Hemy Neuman`s defense lawyer really, really points the finger at Andrea. Again, Andrea, come on our show. We want to hear your side because you`re not charged with anything.

But listen to this in closing argument, the defense attorney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETERS: The gun in this case was in Hemy`s hand, but the trigger, I respectfully suggest was pulled by Andrea Sneiderman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did the defense attorney go too far? I mean could this possibly be considered slander or where in a court open season? We shall see.

But I want to go to Veronica Waters, you`re a reporter WSB Radio in Atlanta; you`ve been all over this. Let`s talk a little bit about the things that weren`t so crazy that Hemy Neuman did to carry out this killing.

He does not deny, he admits, "I did gun him down," but claims he was cuckoo for cocoa puffs and doesn`t know right from wrong. But what were some of the things that he did that sound very rational, Veronica?

VERONICA WATERS, WSB RADIO, ATLANTA (via telephone): Well, first of all Jane, how about the fact that he says he tried to kill Rusty eight days before the actual murder took place. You`ll remember that Rusty ended up calling 911 after he saw someone that looked like a prowler in his backyard. That was a prowler and Hemy Neuman says it was he. He was also wearing a disguise that night. He was hiding in the bushes, lurking around.

He says that as it so happened, the family had a gas leak that night. So Rusty came outside to investigate and Hemy was not able to pull the trigger that night that he wanted to kill Rusty Sneiderman.

Also, before he decided on shooting Rusty Sneiderman, he had also thought about several different ways that he could kill him. Should he poison him? Should he stage an accident? But he said, "I don`t want to wound the man. I want to kill him." So he finally decided that shooting him would be the best way to do it. Also he didn`t want to stab him because he said he might get stuff on him.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Also --

WATERS: And then, of course, he rented a van and hew put on a fake beard and hew planned this thing out, drove away, tossed the gun, which we`ve never seen, and that does not seem to be evidence of insanity.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And there`s the van. Here`s what got me, Janet Johnson, criminal defense attorney, is that he filled up the car with gas before returning it to the rental agency. Doesn`t sound like somebody hearing `70s voices to me, Janet?

JANET JOHNSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Olivia Newton John told him to do it, Jane. I know. It`s not the best defense but he has nothing to work with. I mean he`s caught red-handed. He`s basically just trapped into saying don`t look at me, look over here at her. She`s even worse than I am. And she`s lying about the affair. So what else is she lying about?

It`s a slow plea, but it`s the best he`s got.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen to Andrea describing the moment she found out, she says, that something had happened to her husband. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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 -- maybe they said it has something to do with Rusty.

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

SNEIDERMAN: Nope.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey Chris, we only have a couple of seconds; Chris, Florida what are your thoughts, quickly?

CHRIS, FLORIDA (via telephone): I just want to say that if he`s talking about an angel and devil spoke to him and the angel said "kill him" and the devil said "don`t", either way, I mean, we`re talking about an angel and a devil, that`s a right and wrong issue.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow that is very profound. Chris, I think we`re going to give you a round of applause for that one, well done. Excellent analysis; you have a future as a -- I think that would be a prosecutor in this case.

All right. Thank you, fantastic panel.

We`re going to stay on top of the deliberation tomorrow.

Also, will the surprise witness flip the script in a very Hollywood trial, pitting a former "Desperate Housewife" against her high-powered ex- boss? I`m taking your calls on that one and you don`t want to miss this.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right, the knee definitely does a lot of damage.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. The elbows are the strongest thing you have to hit with.

So you have an elbow.

Good. You have a foot stomp. Good. Or you can kick your own butt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We don`t have to be victims, ladies. I`m going to teach you some tips from an expert on how to fight back. This is my latest installment of "Jane`s Adventures". This lady knows what she`s talking about.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hollywood has hardly ever seen anything like it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have anything to say to Marc Cherry?

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the big question is this. Does Nicollette have a chance of winning?

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight the drama hits fever pitch at the "Desperate Housewives" trial with huge wins for both sides. A surprise mystery witness suddenly comes forward, and he could prove Nicollette Sheridan`s claim that she was wrongly fired.

Listen to the voice mail the judge heard, but not the jury from this mystery set construction coordinator.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Mark, I`m an employee of "Desperate Housewives". I received an e-mail soon after Nicollette filed suit. I think it was meant for a much narrow distribution, but it regarded having IT come in and wipe clean the hard drives of the producers in response to the correspondence that they`ve had e-mail-wise about firing Nicollette.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. He said he came forward because he couldn`t sleep at night. Maybe he was thinking of former Wisteria Lane bombshell, Nicollette Sheridan, seen here in a clip from YouTube, who says she was wrongfully fired after the show`s bigwig producer Marc Cherry hit her and she complained to bosses. She insists that he killed her character off as revenge.

Well, today, the assault charge against producer Marc Cherry -- you see him there -- tossed out of court.

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ADAM LEVIN, MARC CHERRY ATTORNEY: The judge just determined that Miss Sheridan`s battery claim against Mr. Cherry and against (inaudible) cannot succeed. She has granted a motion for directed verdict and has taken that claim out of the case. Accordingly Mr. Cherry is no longer a defendant in the case.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: So E! chief news correspondent, Ken Baker, you`re all over this. Who`s winning?

KEN BAKER, CHIEF NEWS CORRESPONDENT, E!: Well, I have to say it was definitely a day for Marc Cherry because this so-called mystery witness actually testified today, and it turned out to be a big dud, to be honest with you, Jane. It turns out this construction coordinator seems to be mistaken. He said that he had an e-mail that he believed may have showed that ABC was trying to cover up and have e-mails deleted that had to do with Nicollette Sheridan when it came out actually under examination that there was a good chance that that e-mail that he recollected, which they couldn`t actually present and show, because it had been deleted and they haven`t had time to find it through forensic evidence search. They basically concluded that this was an e-mail that was actually saying, "Don`t delete anything about Nicollette Sheridan."

So that side -- that was supposed to be a big bombshell mystery witness that Nicollette Sheridan`s attorneys were coming out with at the last minute. It turned out to be nothing. And it ends up being a great day for March Cherry because the judge from the bench rules that Marc Cherry cannot be charged with battery.

The jury just can`t consider the battery charge. But what is still in place, and this is very important to Nicollette Sheridan because this is the money aspect to it, is that she still has her claim very valid and the jury will consider the wrongful termination aspect. There were two elements, the battery and the wrongful termination. Wrongful termination still stands and she can get much -- upwards of $4 million to $6 million in damages for that if the jury sides with her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, ok, you say he wasn`t affected, but he certainly was effective in the drama department -- this mystery witness coming forward at the very last second. To me, it was kind of when I heard it it`s like that classic series "Perry Mason". Check this out from YouTube.

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(EXCERPT FROM "PERRY MASON")

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: He Ken, was it a "Perry Mason" moment? You know, how the witness always pops up at the end of the show and takes the stand and suddenly tells the real story?

BAKER: Well, I think everyone was very curious about this witness. And it seemed like it could really blow up the entire case for the defense if it turned out that he had this smoking gun. But it turns out he didn`t have a smoking gun. He had a dud.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it`s always good drama.

Thanks Ken. Good to see you.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Some self-defense tips in a moment, for real. But first, here`s your laugh break.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: I am here in Midtown Manhattan with Gabby Rubin, who is an extraordinary self-defense instructor, teaching women night after night how to protect themselves and she`s going to give us her tips for you.

GABBY RUBIN, SELF-DEFENSE INSTRUCTOR: If someone puts their hands on you, you don`t think, you react. Women possess a sixth sense that men do not. Trust that voice. If it`s telling you something doesn`t feel right, it`s probably not right.

I always want you to strike first because one, it helps you remember what am I supposed to do next. And two, it might loosen up the bad guy enough that might be all you need to do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Boom and then bam, like that.

RUBIN: Perfect. "Act as if", if you`re in a neighborhood you`re not so sure about don`t look like you`re lost. You know, act as if this is exactly where you`re meant to be. Head up. Look straight ahead, shoulders back.

Have some attitude. There it is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. Right.

RUBIN: I want you to learn how to use your voice so if somebody does grab you -- "Get off me."

That might be all you need. So instead of you poking the eye, just might just use your voice.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

RUBIN: And then grab and get out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Get off me!

RUBIN: So it has to have attitude and it has to have volume. If I say, "Jane", no one`s going to care, but if I say "Jane" people`s going to turn. Instead of yelling "help", yell "fire".

Fire!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fire! That might startle him.

If you`re going shopping and you`re inundated with bags, you have no way to fight back. So consolidate your bags and keep a hand free. I will make a reason why I take off running. "What? Oh, my God, I`m on my way!" If I`m walking and talking in the street, losing the use of this hand, I can`t hear a bad guy coming up behind me because I`m too busy talking or listening to you and I can`t see anybody.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what`s even worse, I always walk around with these in my ears. I`m like listening to music, right, and that`s a bad idea.

RUBIN: Yes. If you want to listen to music or you want to be on the phone, just take out one.

So a simple thing to do, make a gun with your fingers, you can just poke someone in the eye. Right. You always want to pull it back, into the throat.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

RUBIN: Take my gun, add a little gangster with it. And I go right in.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Boom.

RUBIN: Right. The knee definitely does a lot of damage. Al right. The elbows are the strongest thing you have to hit with.

You have an elbow. Good. You have a foot stomp. Good. Or you can kick your own butt.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Get off me.

RUBIN: Just like this elbow.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Get off me. Get off me.

RUBIN: Legs are longer and stronger than the arms. Ok? So if I fell to the ground, all I would do is get into this kind of position. Get away. Fire. Fire. Right?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A couple of times when I`ve had a knock on the door where I`ve thought, and I`d be like, um, honey, come to the door. And then I`d be like, what? What do you want?

RUBIN: Safety items are meant to be on you, in your pocket, ready to go.

This is a baton. It`s plastic, it`s hollow, it`s light.

VELEZ-MITCHELL:

RUBIN: Like I said, you poke fleshy parts. You hit bone, on the nose. This will be enough for you to get away.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Oh boy, on the nose, this thing, you`re going to a plastic surgeon.

RUBIN: If someone`s dragging you, you hold on and you drop --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And scream.

RUBIN: Absolutely. Always scream.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m coming up, I`m the bad guy. Boom.

RUBIN: Fire. Fire.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We want to be part of the solution. And we want women to protect themselves, be strong, be fierce and stay out of problems. Because once that problem starts, it is often tragic. We have to be prepared, women. We really do.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m not done yet. More tips on the other side.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Don`t mess with me. All right? Boom, boom.

RUBIN: See how it just flows?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

RUBIN: When you have that instinct that someone`s behind you and you confront them. I don`t want you to be like, who`s that? I want you to create the illusion again that there`s people around. Bobby? So now he thinks I`m expecting Bobby and I`m blinding this guy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bobby.

RUBIN: This is a personal alarm. A lot of parents get these for their children, which I think is great. You just pull this little trigger like this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, wow. Boom.

RUBIN: We want to have our hands free, bags consolidated, pay attention, having a certain air about us, and focus.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Boom.

RUBIN: It`s good.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hah.

RUBIN: You should have just taken martial arts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now I`m going to run upstairs, live chat, Facebook page Jane Velez-Mitchell.

END