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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Police Attacked in Drunken Brawl; Drew Peterson Trial Begins; Suspected Killer Still on the Run; Sadistic Attack on Tape?

Aired July 31, 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: We are going to have the very latest on the Drew Peterson trial. But first tonight, we`re going to show you what happens when alcohol and tempers mix. And it`s a doozy. Look at this YouTube video from CNN affiliate WESH-TV that shows an all-out brawl in front of an Orlando bar. Two police officers attacked. Nine people arrested. How it all started next.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, stunning video as an out-of- control fight erupts just outside an Orlando bar. Why were off-duty cops kicked, punched and thrown to the ground in what some call a mob scene of bar goers. You`ll see the astounding video. What was behind the attack? And we`ll tell you about the strange Casey Anthony connection.

Plus, Drew Peterson on trial for murder. Finally, the 58-year-old former cop, known for his bizarre antics, finally faces a jury. And fireworks erupt during opening statements. Prosecutors allege that Drew Peterson threatened to kill his now-dead wife. And the defense team demands a mistrial. Drew Peterson`s attorney joins me live to talk about his dramatic opening statements tonight.

Plus, the suspect`s brother says he confessed, but where is on- again/off-again boyfriend of murdered mom Lynn Jackenheimer? Now, cops have a stunning new tip as they hunt for this man, accused of stabbing and strangling the mother of two. We`ll tell you what a tipster says she saw.

Then, a Philadelphia man is suspicious when a relative calls and says he desperately needs OxyContin. You won`t believe what he did next. Did this man confined to a wheelchair outwit desperate drug dealers?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This YouTube video shows the blow-by-blow account of the violent brawl involving two Orlando police officers outside Terrace 390.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guys were really intoxicated. I`m sure whatever, they got lit up. And they wanted to party.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take a close look and you can see Orlando police officer Renaldo Rivera getting punched in the face by a man in the blue shirt after he told club goers they had to leave. His female partner, Officer Elizabeth Rodriguez, was punched in her head and her eye.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a brawl erupts outside a popular Orlando bar. And it`s all caught on tape. The scary thing is two police officers were attacked in the drunken melee. Take a look at it from YouTube and CNN affiliate WESH-TV.

Watch the part where three men go after a male officer. Cops say the suspects were trying to prevent the officer from calling for backup. Take a look. You can see in a second -- we`re going to show you, there it is. The officer being pummeled repeatedly.

Cops say the group had been drinking. And then they got upset when they couldn`t get either into the bar or back into this popular bar, Terrace 390, when it was about to close. By the way, I`ve been to this bar. That`s another story. We`ll get to it in a second, because there`s a Casey Anthony connection. Very, very strange.

The police report said the woman seen here in yellow punched a female officer and pulled her by the hair. The woman had to be Tased for this to end. Listen to this from the scene.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the same time the lady cop obviously saw that because we have a male and female officer. And the lady cop got involved, too. And all the girls who were with the guys jumped the lady cop.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More officers showed up and ended up arresting nine people. But this is just nuts. Is society becoming more violent? Or are we just seeing more of it because of all these cell-phone cameras?

Straight out to former police chief Tom Shamshack.

This video is outrageous. Describe what these officers were up against, because we want to tell our viewers they were working off duty outside a bar, which is something that happens quite a bit especially in Florida. But it can be extra dangerous. Why, Tom?

TOM SHAMSHACK, FORMER POLICE OFFICER: Jane, good evening.

Security details outside of bars and liquor establishments such as this are inherently dangerous. Why? The patrons get inebriated. They have what we call liquid courage and they`re willing to take on law enforcement there and then. And this is a very disturbing but reality- based video that everybody in America should see. This is what happens to law enforcement on a nightly basis.

Unfortunately, it is not always brought to the attention of the country. But police officers routinely put their lives on the line when they are working these security details. More police officers need to be assigned to this club in the future.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what is it with people targeting law enforcement? Just last night we brought you the story of a man who opened fire on a police officer. Check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(GUNFIRE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That suspect was later killed in a standoff with cops. By the way, he had pot, cops say, in his trunk.

Now you have this bar goer, who`s seen on YouTube slugging a police officer in the head. And this woman who cops say was beating on a female officer.

Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, people see brawls on TV and perhaps they think it`s not a big deal because all these reality shows, you know, "The Real Housewives" are always fighting. But when you`re dealing with a police officer, even if he`s off duty, this becomes extremely serious.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes. I don`t care what violence you`re watching on video games or television or reality shows, you`re usually capable of saying when it comes to cops, "I`m going to stand down." For a number of reasons, including that they have guns and they can kill you. You get in super extra trouble if you hurt a cop or you should.

And you know, I do think that it speaks to the lack of civility in our society and a lack of outrage when cops get hurt. You know, cops are sometimes the bad guys when we see them using their power. We don`t stand up for them nearly enough.

This is sort of a Rodney King in reverse story, if you think about it. Where`s the outrage? There should be marching in the streets when cops are hurt.

And I`ll tell you this: when a cop gets killed, we usually have a mandatory either life behind bars and/or the death penalty, because we want to protect cops extra, given how they`re risking their lives. And we should. There should even be an uptick mandatory ten or 20 years behind bars if you so much as whack a cop because you have to keep civility in place to live in a decent society. And even one smack to a cop`s head, much less this mess, you know, threatens basic civility.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we want to show you this YouTube video one more time from CNN affiliate WESH-TV. Two officers, turns out they had multiple lacerations to the face and fought back by poking their thumbs into the eyes of the suspects. The police report says the male officer had to deliver kicks, knee strikes and elbow strikes in an attempt to break free from multiple aggressors.

Four suspects are charged with battering on a law enforcement officer. The three men are facing stiffer charges of aggravated battery. It carries three to five years. By the way, we reached out to the suspects. Could not get a comment. We got a lot of clicks and a couple words you can`t repeat.

The jail says all nine have bonded out.

I want to go to Howard Samuels, founder and CEO of the Hills Treatment Center. Look, our local affiliate says this group had been drinking. We don`t know who was drinking what, but the police report refers to open containers of alcohol. They were outside a bar at 2 a.m.

What is it about booze and bars? These folks got all dressed up for a fun night on the town, and now their lives could be destroyed forever.

HOWARD SAMUELS, HILLS TREATMENT CENTER: Well, Jane, it`s alcoholic insanity. I mean, this is what alcohol and drugs do to us. It takes us to another level that has no reasonable behavior that is being exhibited at all. And that`s the problem in our society. Drugs and alcohol are so embedded in every area of our society that people are just out of control.

Now there`s a difference, though. I mean, there`s the violent individuals who are drunk. They are much different than the alcoholics and the addicts who do not turn to violence. In this situation these are violent individuals and need to be punished by the law. Very, very important. And I think, like what we saw last night, Jane, it is outrageous what a crisis this country is truly in.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have to say on the bizarre note, this bar was a place that I visited, Terrace 390, because it has a very strange connection to the Casey Anthony case.

Do you remember this? This infamous picture we`re going to show you of Cheney Mason, one of the attorneys for Casey Anthony, flipping off the bird at TV cameras at their victory party after Casey was found not guilty of killing her daughter, little Caylee. Well, that photo was taken inside Terrace 390. I was right there. I was standing outside Terrace 390. And the party was going on inside because they had just gotten Casey acquitted. And I couldn`t get in. We`ve reached out to Terrace 390. And we haven`t heard back.

You know, I got to say it is a pretty nice place. It`s a very nicely decorated place. And I just think it`s quite a bizarre connection. And you`d call it perhaps the 360 degrees or six degrees of separation of bad behavior.

Up next, speaking of bad behavior, opening statements in the Drew Peterson trial.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY KING, FORMER CNN N: Where do you think Stacey might be?

DREW PETERSON, HUSBAND OF MISSING GIRL: Stacey Loves male attention. She could be...

KING: Ran off with a guy?

PETERSON: Ran off with a guy. And she could be dancing somewhere. I don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After Stacey`s disappearance, police reopened the investigation into Savio`s death. Her body was exhumed, and medical examiners came to a different conclusion homicide.

KING: You begin to think that the public might say that, if it looks like a duck and it acts like a duck, it might be a duck?

PETERSON: Right, but they`re not getting all the duck`s information.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fireworks on day one of Drew Peterson`s highly anticipated murder trial. The ex-cop has spent years proclaiming his innocence while mugging simultaneously for the cameras. Now a jury will decide if he`s a cold-blooded killer or one incredibly unlucky hubby.

Peterson`s on trial for murdering third wife Kathleen Savio. He was not charged until after fourth wife, Stacey, vanished.

We`ll hear about the emotional testimony today from Kathleen`s close friend, who sobbed as she described finding Kathleen`s body in the family tub.

The defense insists Kathleen`s death was an accidental drowning. Peterson`s attorney even trashed the victim, Kathleen, in his opening statement calling her a bossy liar with a nasty temper. Nice. And you won`t believe what Peterson`s legal team said about his four Stacey Peterson who vanished five years ago. Keep in mind Peterson is also a suspect in Stacey`s disappearance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you make of the Stacey factor in this trial?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Stacey factor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who? Stacey who?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stacey who?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s on your witness list.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, that Stacey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re hoping she shows up. Shows up, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe she`ll show up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If she got the subpoena.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does anybody think she`s really alive?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. Absolutely she`s alive.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: By the way, in a second we`re going to talk to Joel Brodsky, Drew Peterson`s attorney, about that little comment in a second.

The defense and the prosecution fought bitterly over what they could and could not say today, forcing the judge to excuse the jurors more than once. And they haven`t even gotten to the most contentious piece of evidence, Kathleen`s ominous statements about her husband before she died.

As for the defendant, he says he`s just a nice guy whose third wife drowned and whose fourth wife walked out on him and her kids.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETERSON: I kind of challenge anybody out there to find anybody that has ever even seen me mad. So...

KING: You don`t have a temper?

PETERSON: No.

KING: Are you in love with Stacey?

PETERSON: Very much so.

KING: You think she might be alive?

PETERSON: I do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to "In Session`s" Jean Casarez, who was in court today.

Jean, tell us about the biggest fireworks in court today.

JEAN CASAREZ, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": The biggest fireworks today, it was quite a day for the defense today.

Now, prosecution began with their opening statement, saying that Drew Peterson murdered his wife and tried to stage it like an accident. But after that, it was objection after objection. The prosecution wanted to try to get before the jury. And they did say in opening statements that Drew Peterson tried to hire somebody to kill his wife. Objection. And the judge had to tell the prosecution: "You knew this wasn`t coming in. You didn`t tell the defense you wanted to bring it in."

Prosecution also wanted to bring in the fact that Drew Peterson during appointed visitation with his two boys took Kathy Savio, got her to the ground, got her by her hands, and the defense said objection, not relevant. And the judge wouldn`t allow it in. Ruling after ruling for the defense today.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to talk to you also in a second about witness No. 1, emotional.

But it was only after Drew Peterson`s fourth wife, Stacey, went missing, that cops finally decided, "Oops, we better take a look at second wife Kathleen Savio -- or third wife Kathleen Savio`s death." So that`s when they exhumed Kathleen`s body and they did a second autopsy. So listen to what Drew Peterson said about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETERSON: For many years my children and I, we`ve been, you know, believing that she died in a household accident. I would imagine that the first autopsy, the fresh one, would be the most accurate. But powers that be are coming up with some new decisions on it.

(END VIDEO CLIP))

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Critics said that this should never have been ruled an accident initially. And they point to the circumstances.

Cops had been called to the house about 18 times because of domestic disputes. Kathleen at one point had gotten a protection order against her -- Drew. They were currently fighting about money, lots of it, who got what in their divorce including, Jon Lieberman, their pension.

JON LIEBERMAN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Absolutely. I got to tell you, Jane, you know, I spent time with Kathleen Savio`s family back in 2007.

They shared with me a suitcase in which they kept letters and cards from Kathleen Savio, telling her family members how she feared for her life. This is going to be a key in this case, because we don`t know yet if the judge is going to allow this hearsay evidence in.

You talked about the protective orders. I mean, I`ve had these for years, the protective orders where she says, you know, she alleges, "He restrained me. He knocked me into walls. He would come after me, rip my necklace off, leave marks all over my body, threaten to steal the kids and threaten to kill me."

We don`t yet know, though, from the grave what we`re actually going to be able to hear from Kathleen.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, it drives me crazy when there`s all this evidence and the jury never hears it because will they be able to speak from beyond the grave? That`s the big question.

MURPHY: Yes, and I think the answer is some of those statements will certainly come in. Maybe not all of them. And the judge has to make discretionary decisions.

But an appellate court has already said, as hearsay goes and the objection that everybody knows of the hearsay problem, because she`s not around. And he has a right to cross-examine, and that`s hearsay. Usually, it`s problematic. But there are exceptions.

And, you know, I wrote a piece for "The Daily Beast" some years ago called "Dead Wives Talking." And I made, I thought, you know, exactly the argument the court ultimately said would apply here. You have to let certain kinds of statements come in if you`re trying to prove intent or the state of mind of the victim.

And it`s going to be a particularly strong argument, because Peterson`s attorneys said it was an accident. Had they not affirmatively said it was an accident, the prosecution might not have as strong an argument back: "Hey, we have to disprove accident. Let us talk about her state of mind, her fear of him. It`s fair." And I think it`s mostly all going to come in.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, speaking of Drew Peterson`s attorney, we`re going to speak to Joel Brodsky, Drew Peterson`s attorney, on the other side of the break and ask him about his -- well, it`s becoming controversial his comments at court today.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you make of the Stacey factor in this trial?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Stacey factor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who? Stacey who?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stacey who?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s on your witness list.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, that Stacey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re hoping she shows up. Shows up, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe she`ll show up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If she got the subpoena.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does anybody think she`s really alive?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. Absolutely she`s alive.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely she`s alive. Ha, ha, ha.

Well, look, I want to go to Joel Brodsky. We thank you for joining us. You`re Drew Peterson`s attorney. And there you were with some other members of your defense team.

Some people thought that was quite insensitive, given the fact that Stacey Peterson has vanished five years ago. She`s got two children ages 9 and 7. Is that a laughing matter?

Certainly not. What you saw there was three lawyers who just spent, you know, two marathon sessions in court and just got out. We`re just trying to blow off some steam. And the local cameraman got it on tape, us blowing off steam.

And it`s certainly -- I`m not going to tell you it wasn`t insensitive to some extent, but once again, you know, it`s been ruled over and over again in this case that Stacey -- we`re talking about the Kathy Savio case, not the Stacey Peterson case. Stacey`s disappearance is irrelevant to the case we`re trying. Yet everybody keeps asking us over and over again what about Stacey? And we keep saying we`re not involved with Stacey. You know, this case involves Kathy Savio and what happened on the weekend of February 27, 2004, and really nothing else.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s talk a little bit about that case. You say there`s no evidence that links Drew Peterson to the death of Kathleen Savio. OK, here`s some things that pop up.

Her hair was soaked in blood, she had a cut on her scalp. She had small bruises on her body. A neuropathologist has said that those injuries are not consistent with a bathtub fall. And then the whole history: they`re fighting, the cops called all the time. They were arguing about money at the time. What say you?

BRODSKY: Well, I mean, all those things you pointed to other than the pathologist saying that the fall was insufficient to render unconscious, all really point to an accident. A slip and fall in the tub where somebody hits their head and drowns.

However, that pathologist, that`s just one person`s opinion. Two pathologists testified at that pretrial hearing we had. And both of them said that it`s impossible to tell the concussive effect of a fall from examining somebody`s head. A slight fall can knock somebody unconscious, and a heavy hit might not knock another person unconscious. You just can`t tell.

So just whatever the doctor that`s going to testify that the fall couldn`t have knocked her unconscious is certainly going to be -- you know, that opinion`s open to question. And I`m sure that doctor will admit it`s just a matter of his or her opinion, and another qualified pathologist could differ, certainly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Some people say Kathleen Savio should be able to speak from beyond the grave. What say you?

BRODSKY: Well, the problem with that is we`re talking about hearsay. It`s not Kathy Savio testifying. It`s people saying what Kathy Savio said. Sometimes people with an agenda. And hearsay`s been ruled unreliable for hundreds of years for a reason, because it is, in fact, unreliable. It can`t be cross-examined; it can`t be confronted.

The Founding fathers put the confrontation clause in the Constitution, and those are a pretty bunch of bright guys. It`s there for a purpose, so that everybody has the right to challenge the evidence that`s going -- the government`s going to use to try to convict them. We had...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Last question for you...

BRODSKY: The judge in that hearing said -- OK, I`m sorry.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Will Drew testify?

BRODSKY: I mean, I could -- will Drew testify? You never know. I mean, as I sit here today, I advise him not to. But as the trial goes on and things happen, that could obviously change.

And the ultimate extremity, it`s his decision. He decides whether or not he wants to testify or not. It`s his right. He can take it or he can take our advice or he can testify or not. It`s up to him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we know he likes the spotlight. We`ll leave it right there, Joel Brodsky. Thank you so much, sir, for joining us. And we hope you come back soon.

On the other side, our panel of experts will analyze what Joel just said.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY KING, FORMER CNN HOST: The third wife.

DREW PETERSON, ON TRIAL FOR WIFE`S MURDER: Ok.

KING: What happened?

PETERSON: Don`t know. I don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Charged with murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A tragic accident or first-degree murder?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He says he believes that he helped you dispose of your wife`s body. Can you at least respond to that?

PETERSON: No.

Got information that she drowned in the bathtub.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, was reported missing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It didn`t take long for the fireworks to begin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you make of the Stacy factor?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Stacy factor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stacy who?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you see drew and his kids, you realize that there`s no way he could have ever hurt any of their mothers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The prosecution said Peterson`s third wife, Kathleen Savio, was murdered and that he staged the death to look like an accident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Seen playing and joking around with reporters.

PETERSON: I`m going to come, camp myself in front of your house and see if you like it. Please go home. Please leave me alone. Please don`t get involved in my world.

What do you get when you cross the media with a pig? What do you get? You get nothing because there`s some things a pig won`t do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Oh, boy. Will ex-cop Drew Peterson beat the murder charge against him? Or will prosecutors be able to prove he killed his third wife, Kathleen Savio, and staged it to look like an accident?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The state`s theory is simply implausible at best.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, when Joe`s done with his opening statement, there`s going to be no question that she slipped in the tub and Drew was home when it happened. And that`s going to be it. The jurors are going to hear it. They`re going to understand it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Peterson charged with murdering Kathleen only after his fourth wife, Stacy, went missing. He is a suspect in Stacy`s disappearance. Which autopsy of Kathleen Savio`s body will the jurors believe? The one that declared her death an accident or the one that determined she was murdered?

Straight out to Jean Casarez from "In Session"; you were in court today. Look at this guy. We`re going to show you some video of him when he kind of messes with the media and photographs us as we`re photographing him. What was he like today? What was his behavior like?

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Completely different demeanor -- completely different. Doesn`t even look like himself. He was stoic. He was reserved. He was talking to his lawyers. He looked like he was one of the lawyers in the group. Completely different.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to Judge Stephen White, HLN contributor, former Peterson trial judge. You saw the defense team for Drew Peterson including Joel Brodsky, whom we just talked to, make those comments about Stacy who disappeared five years ago who has two children, ages 9 and 7 saying, first of all, "Who?" It was like it was a big joke. And then sort of insisting that she`s alive -- is that appropriate behavior for defense attorneys in a high profile case? Does it disturb you or not?

JUDGE STEPHEN WHITE, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it disturbs me a little bit personally, but I think as Joel pointed out to you a little bit ago, you know, some things are done during the heat of battle. And he regretted that those statements were made. And I don`t think you`ll hear anything like that any further.

Somebody asked where Stacy was. I think you`ll get an appropriate response from the defense team at this particular juncture. I think he`s a little upset that those words came out.

Like I said, in the heat of battle some people say things that they later regret. And if they`re not given the opportunity to say, you know, we do regret saying that, then they`re left out there. But I think he covered that pretty well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s almost like Drew Peterson`s personality, Jon Leiberman, is rubbing off on the defense team a little bit.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. I mean, Joel knows those comments were uncalled for. But I`ll tell you what a concern for prosecutors in this case is, there`s a juror who loves the TV show "CSI" and that`s a problem for prosecutors. This is a case with no DNA, with no fingerprints, with very little physical evidence; this isn`t a CSI-type case. That juror, keep your eyes on that guy. He could be a problem for prosecutors.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, in fact, Wendy Murphy, I believe the prosecution in their opening statement said, "Hey, there`s no video of the crime," because we`ve gotten to this stage in our video-drenched society that we expect everything to be caught on tape. Well, if somebody was murdered, where`s the videotape? It`s not how it works.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And yet that`s what we`re sort of led to believe. Could he use that mentality to slip out of this?

MURPHY: There is a quote, unquote "CSI" problem in some cases. I think that`s not likely to be a big issue in this case because there`s no evidence really in either direction.

You know, you got one coroner saying it was an accident; the other saying it was homicide. I think jurors will easily dismiss both and use common sense. And a lot of common sense favors the prosecution.

I`m not saying it`s an easy case, but I don`t think CSI-type problems are likely to have too much negative effect for the prosecution compared to another case where you might have some forensic stuff. We`re not going to hear much of that --

(CROSSTALK)

LEIBERMAN: But prosecutors addressed it in their opening -- Wendy, didn`t prosecutors address it in their opening because they think it is going to be a problem?

MURPHY: Let me just finish. Let me just make one point.

Let me just make one point. Just as much as a particular juror might be an idiot and think too much of CSI which is unfortunate, that same type of problem affects Peterson when he doesn`t take the stand because he`s a cop. He was the one who responded to the scene. He`s the husband. He`s claiming total innocence. He`s saying it was an accident.

LEIBERMAN: But he`s under no obligation to take the stand.

MURPHY: He`s not going to testify -- I don`t care what the constitution says. Just like some jurors are going to over-think CSI, a bunch of them are going to think, this guy`s taking fifth, are you kidding me?

LEIBERMAN: Wendy, don`t you think prosecutors addressed the whole fact they don`t have any physical evidence in the opening because they are concerned about this CSI culture that jurors want to see physical evidence if indeed it was a murder?

MURPHY: Yes --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me say this. Let me say this. This is why it makes it so much more outrageous that it was initially ruled nothing to see here, nothing to see here; eight and a half years ago ruled an accident even though there was all of this evidence -- circumstantial evidence that they were in the middle of a very ugly, ugly divorce battle.

And so my question is, Wendy, do you think because he was a cop that basically he got a pass on it? Because the lead investigator said an hour after they discovered her body, oh, it`s an accident.

MURPHY: Yes. I mean I think a couple of things about that. One is when they said they`re going to just use their common sense, that`s exactly what they`re going to be thinking about. Who was this guy? Did he have the power to distract law enforcement officials because they were all his buddies? In other words could he kill her with impunity because he was arrogant and correct in a sense enough to know that he could get away with crimes including murder?

And I think the jurors are going to see it potentially in a way that very much favors the prosecution in part because of his arrogance and his demeanor. That this is a guy --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to the phone lines right now because Kevin, New York, you`ve been waiting a long time. Thank you for your patience. Your question or thought, Kevin -- I can hear myself talking. Kevin, are you there?

KEVIN, NEW YORK (via telephone): Yes, I`m here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your question or thought, Kevin.

KEVIN: Hi, Jane. How are you?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good.

KEVIN: We love watching you. Jane, I just want to make a comment about this Drew Peterson. If the guy was being tried for being a despicable human being, I truly believe he`d be convicted beyond a reasonable doubt. But with the lack of evidence that`s substantial in a murder conviction, I just can`t see why the prosecution brought this case to trial so early.

Being they`re only going to get --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Judge -- ok, Judge Stephen White, former Peterson --

WHITE: It`s not early. Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your thoughts on that. Because a lot time has passed and the more time passes the harder it is to maintain evidence.

WHITE: Well, I mean yes. They did not bring this case to trial quickly. I mean, they could have brought it to trial, you know, two years ago. And they decided not to at that time.

But I think the lack of evidence -- if there`s a lack of physical evidence, I mean people are looking for it. They`re looking for it. What is there? They did bag the hands. What was under the nails? I mean I`m sure that`s going to come out one way or another either from the state or from the defense. And the lack of that physical evidence is going to raise issues with that jury.

Now, the one that watches CSI, they all watch these shows and I think the state is making an attempt with some of the video and the equipment with the 3D body view and everything else they`re trying to put on like this is a CSI-type of evidence that they`re presenting, if there is a lack of the other evidence that`s there. So they`re trying to put on an electronic show.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And speaking of show, Drew Peterson`s story didn`t just produce headlines, it became the most-watched movie on cable TV in two years starring heartthrob Rob Lowe. Watch this from Lifetime.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You plan on joining an associate to find her.

ROB LOWE, ACTOR: Wow, you are so hot. Isn`t she hot?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Those of you with companion animals can relate to this "Viral Video" of the day. And that little guy`s napping but of course when there`s a little morsel of food, you know what happens. He doesn`t even have to hardly wake up. He just knows there`s something there. Yum. Sleeping, but then --

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police in several states are looking for 27- year-old Nate Summerfield.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He came back and said he strangled her and dropped his kid off and left.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is tearing us all apart. But Nate, if you`re out there please, just give me a call.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: A stunning new tip tonight in the frantic search for the ex-boyfriend of a mother found dead. Fugitive Nate Summerfield is seen here in this YouTube video. You will not believe what somebody says they saw him do.

This story started with a dramatic 911 call from Nate`s own brother who claimed Nate confessed to killing his ex-girlfriend, Lynn Jackenheimer. Then he went on the run.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wanted to report a possible murder.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ok.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My brother was in North Carolina with his ex- girlfriend. And he came back and said he strangled her and dropped his kid off and left.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was right after the Fourth of July weekend. Cops still have not found Nate. Now, the strangest part is they believe he is still hiding out in Ohio.

We want to find him. Nate, last seen driving a four-door 2009 grey Honda Civic with Ohio license plates. But now a new tip from a 911 caller in Columbus, Ohio might make it difficult to find his car. Listen.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is a guy in the back of our parking lot with a Honda Civic, it looks like either grey or blue, I`m not sure. But he`s trying to pull license plates off of another vehicle. So I ran upstairs to check to see what the license plate was and it`s matching up.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joining me tonight is Lynn`s mother, Lora Johnson. Ma`am, we are so sorry for your loss. Our hearts go out to you. We want to find the person responsible. Unbelievable tip that this 911 caller said she`d been following the case and noticed a man with the exact same car basically trying to take license plates off another car.

What I want to ask you is have cops been keeping you up-to-date? What have they told you about their search for this fugitive?

LORA JOHNSON, MOTHER OF VICTIM (via telephone): Yes, there isn`t many leads that`s coming in that`s credible. As far as I know that was the only credible lead that I`m aware of. And they did call us and let us know that they had that. Unfortunately, the rest that has come in haven`t turned anything -- haven`t been very credible. So that`s where it`s standing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Have you heard anything at all about -- I understand that they believe he`s still in Ohio. Do you know why they believe he`s still in Ohio?

JOHNSON: I believe they think that`s because they haven`t had anything come in outside of Ohio. You know, any spottings, anybody has seen him in any other state so far; any tips coming in are coming in from the Ohio area.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what makes me so upset about this case? We`ve investigated Nate`s history of domestic violence. In 2009 Nate was convicted of choking Lynn. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail, but all 60 days were suspended. That makes me furious.

I got to stop right there and go to Jon Leiberman. It makes me furious that you try to choke a woman. Ok, earlier that year he`d gotten an order of protection -- she had gotten an order of protection against him. A warrant showed he had locked Lynn out of their home while she was naked, ok?

LEIBERMAN: First-time offenders in domestic violence cases get a pass in this country. I mean, Jane, I sit on the board of the National Domestic Violence Registry we see cases like this every single day where first-time offenders, slap on the wrist and their recidivists just like sex offenders. They come back and they do it again and again and again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is so awful. And I have to say that if you see this person, let`s put him up again so we see. They believe he is in Ohio. This is the man. His brother says that he confessed to killing this beautiful woman, this mother of two, Lynn Jackenheimer.

We want to find this man. He is somewhere they believe in Ohio. He might have different hair color. But this is the beautiful woman whose mother is with us tonight. She wants justice for her daughter. Look at this beautiful woman -- a victim of violence. Violence against women -- a huge problem in this country.

More in a second.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here are today`s fabulous companion animals.

And look at that guy, Sapporo. Wow, he`s so handsome.

Kit, look at that look. She`s got gorgeous eyes doesn`t she?

Hey, why don`t you send your pics to hlntv.com/Jane.

Hunter and Madison and look at these four beauties. Oh my gosh, we want to see more of your love. Sapporo, you rock.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Confined to a wheelchair, his arms and legs decimated by muscular dystrophy, the 37-year-old victim has no way to fight back against two suspects, who after he answers their knock on his door, dragged him across the floor. One suspect holding him under his foot as they strip the apartment of a television, XBox and 35 pills that the victim needs to control his pain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable video. This is a horrifying sadistic attack in Pennsylvania.

Last Thursday cops say two thugs beat a wheelchair-bound man just to get at his supply of pain meds, Oxycontin. Police say the victim, a 37- year-old man, with muscular dystrophy, wheelchair bound, they believe was set up by a family member who called and said he needed to borrow some pain meds because he had been in a car wreck.

The victim became suspicious and outsmarted his attackers by setting up a hidden video camera which was rolling when the suspects arrived.

Howard Samuels, this is a vicious attack. They pin him to the floor. What about Oxycontin would make somebody want to do this?

HOWARD SAMUELS, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Well, Jane Oxycontin is an opiate, very similar to heroin. And you know, when you don`t have it, you go into very horrible withdrawals. And this video is an example of very sick addiction; that addicts will do anything to get their drug. And it is just horrific what addicts will do to other individuals no matter what they are or how handicapped they are. Just disgusting.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Extraordinary video of a wheelchair-bound man who got the last laugh. Cops say that they were after his Oxycontin.

Tom Shamshak, former police chief, more than 15 million Americans abuse Oxycontin, more than 58 million prescriptions were written for the drug last year. How does this change crime?

TOM SHAMSHAK, FORMER POLICE CHIEF: Well, it has accelerated and these two knuckleheads are going to go to the slammer for quite some time and law enforcement across the country confronts this on a daily basis. We need to control these prescriptions and be more proactive with these kinds of problems.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I couldn`t agree with you more, Tom. Prescription drug abuse is one of the biggest problems our country faces and while we`re fighting this so-called war on drugs, actually more people are OD`ing from legal prescription drugs than from illegal drugs. We have to look at that.

Nancy Grace is up next.

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