Return to Transcripts main page


Could Drew Peterson Walk?; Perfect Family`s Murder Mystery?; Cop Car Suicide or Murder

Aired August 1, 2012 - 19:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, could Drew Peterson walk? A wild day in court in the trial of the man accused of murdering wife No. 3. An uproar after a witness blurts out something that puts the entire case in jeopardy. Could there be a mistrial? And could it spring this accused murder, this ex-cop, from jail for good?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, did the prosecution in the Drew Peterson murder trial shoot itself in the foot with talk of a bullet? A witness blurts out an accusation involving the former cop and a bullet that explodes in controversy. An angry judge tells the jury, take a break. The defense says the trial`s tainted. So what happens next for the man accused of killing his third wife? We`ll talk to someone whose daughter was engaged to Drew Peterson.

Plus, on the outside they looked like the perfect family. Tonight, what were the toxic secrets that left these two young children and their mother shot dead? The dad says he was reading in another room. Are cops having second thoughts about their initial theory, that the mother killed her kids and then herself?

And another deadly mystery. How did a 21-year-old man who was cuffed with his hands behind his back inside a police car end up shot in the head? Cops believe he may have shot himself. But is that physically possible? We`ll take your calls live tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fireworks in the courtroom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The drama-filled day in the courtroom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The defense has asked the judge for a mistrial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A mistrial motion made by the defense in Illinois v. Drew Peterson.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The judge is so upset. He`s taking the defense motion for a mistrial under advisement.



KING: What happened?

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The prosecution wants the jury to believe that Peterson is a cold, abusive murderer.

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

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


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Initially ruled an accident but later reopened after Peterson`s fourth wife, Stacey, disappeared in 2007.

KING: Do you feel persecuted?

PETERSON: Very much so. Very much so.

Please go home. Please leave me alone. Please don`t get involved in my little...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Defense attorneys say Peterson is simply the victim of hearsay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a victim.

PETERSON: What do you get when you cross the media with a pig?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`ve taken an accident and tried to create a homicide.

PETERSON: You get nothing because there`s some things a pig won`t do.

The news and the media have done their best to keep me sinister. Sinister sells better.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good evening. Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.

Could Drew Peterson walk? An explosive day in court that raised the possibility of a mistrial for the ex-cop accused of killing his third wife eight years ago.

Prosecutors may have shot themselves in the foot today after a witness blurts out a few words about a bullet that left the judge steaming mad and the jury sent home.

Prosecution witness Tom Pontarelli lived down the street from Drew Peterson and his wife, Kathleen Savio, when their marriage went sour. On the stand, the neighbor said he helped Kathleen change the locks on her doors and that Peterson told him, quote, "any friend of Kathleen`s is an enemy of mine."

The neighbor also testified he believed Peterson placed a bullet in his driveway as a way to intimidate him and send him a message. Well, that comment about the bullet created an uproar. The defense objected loudly, complaining the testimony would poison the jury against their client. The judge then dismissed the jurors and scolded the prosecutor, calling the testimony a low blow.

Now, what`s going to happen next? There`s various options on the table. Throw out all of that witness` testimony. But could they also declare a mistrial?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The mistrial could be with prejudice or without prejudice. The defense wants it with the former. With prejudice means double jeopardy`s attached. There won`t be a retrial. There`ll be no new trial. Case over, dismissed. He walks.

That is a really severe penalty, the most severe. It`s rare. It`s what defense thinks they`re entitled to because they say this was an intentional blunder on the part of the state.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Waiting this long for justice and then a couple of days into the trial it could all be over? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1- 877-586-7297.

Straight out to "In Session`s" Jean Casarez, who is at court in Illinois.

Why did this bullet comment, couple of words by a witness, cause such an uproar? And what could happen next, Jean?

JEAN CASAREZ, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": Well, anything can happen. The judge has adjourned court, because the defense said, "We need some time to think about this," because the judge is really trying to strike a compromise here. He`s saying, "We will strike all of the next-door neighbor`s testimony so the jury will disregard it."

But, Jane, the fact is I was sitting in court. And the witness is on the stand, and he is describing a conversation with Drew Peterson when Drew Peterson came to him and said, "Are you changing the locks on my ex-wife`s front door?"

"No. I`m not changing the locks."

And how did you feel?

"I felt really intimidated," he said, "because the next day I saw a bullet in my driveway." That`s when it all happened. And I saw Drew Peterson turn white as a ghost. He turned to his lawyer, stunned, shocked in disbelief. And the attorneys, I think all together they stood up: objection. I mean, it was a moment I`ll never forget.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But why is the prosecution being blamed? You don`t know what`s going to come out of a witness`s mouth. Do you feel -- did it look like the prosecutor led that witness to say something? And then what`s wrong with that? Was there no substantiating evidence?

CASAREZ: Kathy Patton admitted -- once the jury was let out of that courtroom, she admitted that that was where she intended the witness to go and that she was going to question him and say, "But you don`t know where that bullet came from. You don`t know if Drew Peterson put that bullet in your driveway."

And the defense said, you know, "Wait a minute, there was a hearing, a pretrial hearing where this witness testified about that bullet. And Kathy Patton listed the answer: "I don`t know where the bullet came from." So she knew the answer.

And the judge absolutely lit into her. He was so angry. And he wanted to know why did you bring this up when you knew you had no evidence to link it to Drew Peterson?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So Tanya Acker, on a scale of one to ten, you`re an attorney. How bad was this prosecution blunder?

TANYA ACKER, ATTORNEY: Well, you`ve got to remember, Jane, that, again, this was the witness who was describing all of the reasons why he felt intimidated by Drew Peterson. It was a blunder.

But I got to say, you know, with ten being worst, I give it only a four. The witness was trying to put together all of the reasons why he felt intimidated, why he felt scared, why he felt threatened by the defendant. Certainly, you know, perhaps he wasn`t well coached about what not to say, about the things that couldn`t come in. But I really think that to grant a mistrial on the basis of that testimony would be a huge miscarriage of justice.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it`s so funny. What a difference a day makes, because just yesterday the defense team was on the hot seat. And we`re going to play you some comments they made about Stacey Peterson.

Now remember, Stacey Peterson is the woman that Drew Peterson married after divorcing Kathleen. And Stacey Peterson, who is wife No. 4, is still missing. And Drew Peterson is a suspect in her disappearance.

So listen to what his defense team said just yesterday about that.


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





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s on your witness list.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re hoping she shows up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe she`ll show up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If she shows up -- we`ll have to call her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If she got the subpoena.

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


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. Absolutely she`s alive.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Michael Christian, a lot of people -- you`re a senior field producer for "In Session" there also in Illinois covering this trial. There is Stacey. You see her. Beautiful young woman. She`s been missing five years now. And that`s why this case made headlines.

Wife No. 4 disappears. Wife No. 3 dies in the bathtub. Initially it`s made to look like an accident or it`s ruled an accident and then after wife No. 4 disappears they go back and exhume the body and check it out again. Then they say, "No, it`s a murder. Wife No. 3 is a murder."

What a difference a day makes. Those defense team members were on the hot seat yesterday for making what seemed like insensitive comments. Today, seems like everybody`s forgotten about that. And now they look like they`ve got the upper hand in this case.

MICHAEL CHRISTIAN, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": There were some criticism of their appearance there, Jane. And the defense in this case has always been very jovial, kind of joking, as if they were taking this case lightly. I know they`re not. But that`s the appearance they sometimes give off. I think that is an attitude they have adapted from their client, Drew Peterson.

As we saw over and over before he was arrested, he would josh around with reporters outside his house. He would play with them. He would turn the camera on them. He would put a bandanna over his face. It was as if he wasn`t taking any of this seriously.

I think they`ve taken their cue from him to some extent. I think that may be a flaw on their part. I think they`re rethinking that approach and going to be a little more serious from here on in. I think that basically, all that comes from Drew Peterson.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael, what do you think the defense is going to ask for when they come back tomorrow? What is the defense going to ask for?

CHRISTIAN: They`re going to ask again for a mistrial. I have no -- absolutely no doubt they`re going to ask for a mistrial with prejudice. I don`t think they`re going to get it. But I think they`re going to ask for this. This is a golden opportunity for them. The prosecution screwed up big time. And they`d be silly not to take as much advantage of it as they can.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to Susan Constantine, jury consultant. What are the jurors going to make of this?

Now, there`s a possibility that there could be a mistrial. It seems like the defense is going to come in tomorrow. And if you believe Michael Christian, who`s a great reporter, ask for a mistrial.

But there`s also the possibility the judge could rule this one witness, all of his testimony, stricken. Pretend you never heard it. Of course it`s very hard to unring that bell. So could that also be devastating to prosecutors?

Our guests by the way, Jon Lieberman and Wendy Murphy, were arguing right here last night over the prosecution`s ability to get a conviction in this case because there`s very little "CSI"-style forensic evidence. Listen to this.


JON LIEBERMAN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: There`s a juror who loves the TV show "CSI," and that`s a problem for prosecutors. Because this is a case with no DNA, with no fingerprints, with very little physical evidence. This isn`t a "CSI"-type case.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: 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 -- I think jurors will easily dismiss both and use common sense. And a lot of common sense favors the prosecution.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Susan Constantine, let`s say the trial continues. What are jurors going to think after this brouhaha?

CONSTANTINE: OK. First of all, at the very last statement that was spoken was about the bullet. And it also went into detail about the bullet .38-caliber bullet. When you do that, that`s an anchor. OK? That was also the last thing that those jurors heard. So when you anchor that message, it`s already embedded and mapped inside their brains. They`re going to mull that over and over and over again. So it`s there. And they`re going to be thinking about it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. On the other side, a man who says his daughter dated Drew Peterson.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How`s -- how`s your love life?

PETERSON (via phone): My love life? Well, I got a lot of buddies here that are real anxious to, you know, wash my back in the shower. But you know, what`s that all about? You know, hey, I got it. How are we doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What stupid thing do you miss that we take for granted?

PETERSON: Grooming. Like being able to trim my mustache and nose hairs -- nose hairs. But then I`m thinking, you know, I don`t want to really look particularly attractive in this place.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Drew Peterson, joker and ladies` man.

Drew Peterson had already been married and divorced twice when he met and then married Kathleen Savio, who later was found dead and whose murder trial we`re talking about now.

They had two kids together. There she is. While he was still legally married to Kathleen, he started dating Stacey, then 17 years old.

Stacey and Drew -- there`s Stacey Peterson -- they got married the very same year Kathleen Savio died in the bathtub. Stacey later vanished. And Drew Peterson is also a suspect in Stacey`s disappearance.

Actor Rob Lowe, who portrayed Drew in the Lifetime movie, talked about Peterson`s ability to attract the opposite sex.


ROB LOWE, ACTOR: There was something about him, clearly, where these young, beautiful women are continually attracted to him. And so he clearly has some kind of swagger going.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to a man who says his daughter dated Drew Peterson and was even engaged to him. And this was after Peterson`s fourth wife, Stacey, had disappeared.

Ernie Raines, thank you for joining us. Now, tell us the back story. I understand you and your daughter, Christina, first met Drew when your daughter was just 14 and Drew was still with wife No. 4, Stacey. And then after Stacey vanished, how did your daughter end up hooking up with Drew? And how old was she?

ERNIE RAINES, DAUGHTER DATED DREW PETERSON (via phone): Well, she was 22 and was just at a nightclub out in Bolingbrook. And he just walked up to her and says, "You`ve grown up since I seen you last."

And she turned around and then my other daughter was there. And she says, "Hey, how`s your dad?"

And he goes he`s all right. He`s all right. And then he wanted to take her -- he wanted to take her out.

And then my other daughter goes, "No, you`re not taking her nowhere."

And then she turned around and he says, "Oh, she reminds me of somebody."

She goes, "Who?"

"Your dad."

But after that they started dating. I didn`t know nothing about until -- until somebody told me. And then I went to confront them, and she lied about it. And then a month later, there it was. So I said, "I`m going to do what I can to break this up." And that`s what I did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s talk -- let`s talk more about your daughter, Christina. She appeared with you in a CBS interview talking about her relationship with Drew Peterson. Listen to this.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you love him?

C. RAINES: I thought I did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did you become engaged to him? When did you become engaged to him?

C. RAINES: It was never an engagement really.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was it then?

C. RAINES: It was more like a stunt.




C. RAINES: On Drew, so he could be in the media.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So I want to ask you, Ernie, why would your daughter participate in essentially what she described as a stunt, this engagement? How did she get sucked into his very sick world?

E. RAINES: Well, she didn`t want -- she wanted -- she didn`t want to go there to the interview anyway. And she said she didn`t want to do that to him, because she said she really loved him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why do you think -- Ernie, let me jump in here and ask you, why do you think he has a way with women? Your daughter`s a beautiful young lady. She could go out with anybody.

E. RAINES: I`ll tell you why. Because you have Kathy Savio, which is his age. He couldn`t fight with her, but she fought back. He didn`t like that.

So what he did, he goes after somebody a lot younger that could be his daughter, and he could manipulate her. There you go. Seventeen. OK. She woke up, said, "Hey, I`m getting out." No.

He comes after my daughter. Same age. I`m his age. I`m his age. And he has no business being with somebody that young. But he wants the control. And that`s the only way he can do it.

He can`t date a woman his own age. They won`t take his stuff. They`ll fight back. And he don`t like it. He gets one that`s 17, 18, maybe 21. He can manipulate them. Say, "Hey, do this, do that." And that`s how he does it. They`re a lot younger. They`re naive. And he says, "Hey, I get you this, I get you that."

So sooner or later they fall right into it. Oh, yes, this is nice. Until they see later on. Then it`s too late to get out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Ernie, at what point did you realize that this man was a person whose fourth wife had disappeared under very mysterious and suspicious circumstances and whose third wife had died in very suspicious and mysterious circumstances? At what point did you realize, "Oh, my gosh, my daughter is dating somebody who is suspected by cops in -- in the death of one wife and the disappearance and -- of another"?

E. RAINES: Good question. And here`s my answer. The red flags went up after Stacey disappeared -- I knew Stacey. After she disappeared. And then he went right after my daughter. That`s when the red flags went up.

Why would you go after somebody else when you`re supposed to be looking for your wife? And I said this a thousand times. Why would you go after somebody else, move them in your house if you`re supposed to be grieving and looking for your wife? And reason why?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What did he say? What did he say?

E. RAINES: Oh, he didn`t say nothing. I was telling people that.


RAINES: But I asked him that several times, and he just didn`t say nothing. He slammed the door on me. I went after him, and he closed the door on me and he wouldn`t come out and talk to me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ernie, Ernie, if there`s a mistrial declared tomorrow, what is your reaction to that, if that occurs tomorrow? We`re at a crucial turning point in this case.

RAINES: Well, if there`s a mistrial, which I hope there ain`t, and if there is, I`m already on red alert. If he comes near my daughter, I find out about it, it`s just going to be me and him, personal. Me and him. Because I told my daughter, you know, my daughter`s trying to get her life together. And she`s going to school for nursing. And I`m backing her.


E. RAINES: And he needs to start looking for his wife he says he don`t know where she`s at. Well, if he gets out, then he should be focusing on that.


E. RAINES: He better stay away from my daughter. My words to him.

I don`t go to the courthouse. I don`t look for a circus. I want to go to him straight. And he comes at my daughter, then it`s going to be me and him. And I`m going to be watching.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ernie, thank you.

E. RAINES: He`s no good. He`s a killer. You know -- he`s hiding behind a badge.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, he`s -- right now, he`s accused. He`s not convicted. But let me say, Ernie, thank you for joining us. Tremendous insight into the character of this accused murderer.

Stay with us. On the other side, analysis.



PETERSON: I have no idea why anybody`s talking like that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Warm to the touch.


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 response. Talk to my lawyer (ph). I got nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No truth to it whatsoever?

PETERSON: No. Nobody helped me do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: October 28, where were you on October 28? This gentleman says he helped you carry a container out of your home.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. That`s Drew Peterson reacting to his stepbrother`s claims that he helped Drew move a blue barrel that the relative suspected could have contained Stacey`s body, that he claimed was warm to the touch.

Jean Casarez, how could Drew Peterson get engaged when he claims Stacey is alive and just ran off with another man? That`s his claim.

CASAREZ: Well, after a certain amount of time, somebody can be declared dead if they`ve been missing, but that was 2008. So a year later, I don`t think that`s long enough. I think it has to be ten years or something.

So, you know, we heard Christina Raines say it was a publicity stunt. And maybe, in fact, it was.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Michael Christian, here`s what I got out of that interview with Ernie. There are people who are afraid that if there is a mistrial, this man`s going to be on the loose. And they`re worried.

CHRISTIAN: You know, one of those people who may be afraid, Jane, is Tom Pontarelli. I mean, he was very nervous in testifying today. He was very upfront about that, that he didn`t want to be there. He was not there voluntarily. He would rather be anywhere else but in that courtroom. He did not come forward voluntarily. He had to testify.

And if you think, well, gee, the story about him finding a bullet on his driveway, if Drew Peterson really did that -- and I`m certainly not saying that he did, because there`s no way to prove that he did -- but in his mind he may be absolutely nervous about this. There may be quite a few people out there like that, rightly or wrongly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tanya Acker, is the prosecutor in trouble tonight?

ACKER: The prosecution is certainly in some trouble. But there really is one fact, Jane, and I think it`s important not to overlook. I`ve served on juries. I`ve tried cases before juries. Juries will obey the law. They will follow an instruction.

So to the extent that the judge was really miffed -- and he was and properly so -- by the prosecution getting this evidence in there, there`s nothing to say that it could not be cured by an instruction to the jury. Juries follow court instructions. They generally typically do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One thing I will say about this case, it`s a mega trial. And as I`ve always said, mega trials do not follow a standard script. They always go off the rails. This is just an example.

What`s going to happen tomorrow? Come right here tomorrow. We`re going to tell you. What a shocker.

Up next, an unbelievable mystery involving three deaths.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say around 11:00 Monday morning Mitch called 911 and said he heard a gunshot in his house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we`re all shocked and devastated. And that`s the best way to put it right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He called back moments later to tell police his wife was dead and there had been a murder-suicide.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s really sad, you know, that happened. It happens in all neighborhoods unfortunately.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say the husband had been reading inside the home when he heard the first shot.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, in a true murder mystery a mother and her two young children found dead in their home. But they weren`t home alone. Now cops are asking was it murder or murder-suicide? 42-year-old Catherine Murch and her two children, 10-year-old Mitchell and 8-year-old Mary Claire, were found shot to death inside their very nice two-story house just outside St. Louis, Missouri, just two days ago.

Now, the husband and father of the victim, 44-year-old Mitch Murch told cops -- look at this beautiful family -- he found the three of them. Three people shot dead inside his house. And here`s what he says he was doing at the time. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say the husband had been reading inside the home when he heard the first shot.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops say Mitch Murch was performing CPR on his young son when they rushed to the scene. Murch is not being called a suspect. But a team of 20 investigators now looking at every single angle of this case; they want to know what happened inside that house Monday morning?

This was your seemingly picture-perfect family. Two kids in private school. Mom volunteered at the church. Both parents were college grads. Dad -- a business owner. But was life a little too perfect? Could there be a toxic secret at the core of this case?

And I`m taking your calls on this, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Straight out to reporter George Sells with KTVI. George, are police backing off their theory that this was murder-suicide, that the mom Carrie -- what was the initial theory? And what is the theory that they`re maybe possibly investigating now?

GEORGE SELLS, REPORTER, KTVI: Well, you used the term "backing off". And that is something that made an Associated Press headline that if you look up this case on Twitter flew all over the world. And having been at that news conference yesterday, I don`t know if backing off is quite the right word. They`re definitely being very careful about what they`re saying.

They say, of course, that this was a murder-suicide. That`s what it was reported to be when they received that call on Monday. Yet we`re well past 50 hours into this investigation and detectives are still inside the Glendale Police Department here still poring over facts and saying that they have critical information, critical evidence that they are waiting on largely in the form of tests before they`re going to have any resolution in this thing before they`re willing to say with certainty what they believe happened inside that house.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Let me jump in. I want to jump in because time is of the essence. George, when you say murder-suicide, you`re saying initially cops thought the mother shot both kids in two different rooms -- what rooms were they in? And then shot herself -- what room was she in? Tell us about the initial theory they are now looking at and examining other possibilities.

SELLS: Ok, the theory -- I won`t call it a theory. I`ll call it what the report was. The report was the second call. He called twice -- Mitch Murch called police twice. The first time hearing gunshots, the second time saying that his wife Catherine had shot the two kids and then turned the gun on herself.

Now you bring up the point of what rooms they were in and that`s a very interesting part of this. One of the kids was upstairs. The second of the kids was in a side room downstairs. She was found in the kitchen.

Of course, that`s an obvious question we`ve been asking police ever since this began is why would it play out that way? And that is something that they are not showing their cards on. In fact, they`re showing their cards on very little at this point. And that is what has so many people so curious.

In many cases a little nervous and upset about this whole thing is the fact that police are not saying what they think. All they`ll say is you don`t have to worry about a killer running on the loose. They say they`re not looking for anyone else.

And this is where they kind of contradict themselves. There were four people in that house. Three of them are dead. The fourth police are saying is not a suspect at this time. So that would seem to lead you to believe that this was what it was presented to them as, a murder-suicide. But yet they`re still investigating. It`s interesting that when they say Mitch Murch --


Sells: -- the husband and father is not a suspect, they always say "at this time".

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, who is this Mitch Murch, the father who says he was reading at the time that this gunshot -- this gun play erupted and his wife and two kids end up dead? He`s 43 years old. He graduated from the University of Missouri. CBS News reports he owns a maintenance management company and is director of a business called The Maids International in Omaha, Nebraska, a cleaning company franchise.

What else do we know about him? I don`t know. But I want to bring in Steve Rogers, retired detective. There have been some reports that I`m reading about questioning whether maybe the mother was suffering from depression. What do you make of it?

STEVE ROGERS, RETIRED DETECTIVE: Jane, first of all, the police have to reassess this. I think it was premature in putting a statement out that it was a murder-suicide. They may believe in their hearts that this is truly a murder without a suicide.

The question that comes to my mind as an investigator is several shots ring out in a house. Obviously the shooter, which in this case may have been the mother, had to travel from room to room. You have another person in that house, the first shot that was fired, what on earth was that person doing? That`s the question --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That person was reading --

ROGERS: Reading?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- supposedly.

ROGERS: So wouldn`t you think that the immediate response would be to get up and run to where the shots are being fired and then to somehow save the others from being shot? That`s a question that has to be answered.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But, George, briefly, wasn`t there a report that there was a question as to where the gunshots were coming from initially? Whether they were outside the house or inside the house?

SELLS: There were reports early on that he believed that the shots were coming from outside. Maybe went in that direction first. Police are not confirming any of that.

And what`s interesting also in this case is you get into the neighborhood and what we always do in these cases is you start talking to the neighbors, asking them questions about what they heard, what they saw. And this neighborhood has banded together very quickly in kind of an anti- media stance.

Beyond the first few hours after this happened, no one in the neighborhood is saying a word to anybody involved with the media right now. So it`s one of those things that you`ve got the reports out there regarding what he was doing.

And obviously you wonder. You hear a gunshot. Where do you go? I can tell you it`s a big house. It`s a 3,200-square-foot house. What he might have thought he heard, I can`t say. I`m not in his head.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have to tell you, the only thing I can be sure of is more will be revealed. We`re all over this case. Thank you George Sells, for an excellent report on that. What a mystery.

This has got to be a first. Somebody driving one of those tiny smart cars, which I love, I`ve ridden in one actually. They`re a lot of fun. But guess what? It was a police chase involving a smart car. Yes. There it is -- a black two-seater smart car. Houston cops tried to pull over the driver for driving 92 miles an hour weaving through traffic. So, smart cars can go 92 miles an hour.

Cops actually arrested the driver in his own driveway. All right. That`s not the way smart car drivers are supposed to behave. You know that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A lot of people say to me, oh, it`s boring just to eat your veggies. Au contraire.

Take a look at this. I`m in a food co-op. And these are beet (ph). And you`ve got snow peas. You`ve got Brussel sprouts. You`ve green butter lettuce. Take a look at this. Block kale. All right. And how about this one? This is purple kale.

And when you start treating vegetables as an adventure and exploring all the many different kinds of vegetables that there are, you`ll realize that, hey, it`s not just potatoes.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And time for your "Viral Video of the Day. Check out these little guys. This video is from Took a Leap Farm. They originally posted this with the hope of getting a thousand views at which time they promised to make a donation to our friends at Farm Sanctuary, a wonderful organization. Guess what? They got over a million hits. Thanks to that, Farm Sanctuary is going to be able to help a few more goats have a happy, healthy, free life and be able to smell grass and have a decent life.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you think happened to your son?

TERESA CARTER, MOTHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: I think they killed him. I mean me and my son (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officers picked him up. They say he had drugs on him and missed a court date on more drug charges.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was handcuffed behind his back, double locked and searched.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Minutes later police say they heard a thumping noise, turned around and found him Chavis dead, shot in the head in the back of the squad car.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, questions and outrage surround a mysterious shooting death in the back of an Arkansas cop car. Cops say they pulled over 21-year-old Chavis Carter and two other suspects where a neighbor reported seeing a suspicious truck. Police say during their search they found marijuana on Carter and realized there was a warrant out for his arrest on other drug charges.

But police say even though they searched him twice and cuffed him behind his back, the police report says he committed suicide by shooting himself in the temple. His mother does not believe that.


CARTER: I can`t see how. I can`t see how.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you think happened to your son?

CARTER: I think they killed him. I mean, me and my son (inaudible).


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to Chief Michael Yates from the Jonesboro Police Department. Thank you for joining us, sir. Listen, the general consensus here, people talking about it, how is it possible if somebody`s got their hands handcuffed behind their back to shoot themselves in the head. Chief?

CHIEF MICHAEL YATES, JONESBORO POLICE DEPT: Yes, ma`am. I`m having a difficult time hearing you. Did I understand your question that how does a person shoot themselves in the head with their hands handcuffed behind them?


YATES: Ok. Well, it`s definitely bizarre. And it defies logic at first glance. So we`re actively trying to determine how that happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, why would the police report then have that?

YATES: Ma`am?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why would the police report have it?

YATES: I`m having very difficult time understanding you. Can you try it again?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why would the police report put that it was suicide in the police report?

YATES: Ok. It appears that that`s what it is. There`s no indication of any projectiles coming from outside the vehicle. We`ve reviewed the dash-cam video and as late as today managed to have some witnesses come forward that observed the incident from start to finish. And their statements tend to support that whatever transpired in the back of that police car transpired in the back with the officers in a different location.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, we`re going to talk about how he got the gun if he was handcuffed. And he apparently had been frisked a couple times. Here`s what we`ve been doing all day.

I know you can`t see me, Chief, but I`m standing up and I`m showing how -- I`m holding a remote. If you`re handcuffed -- even if you did manage to get a gun, how can you -- ok. How could you possibly shoot yourself in the head?

I want to go to Steve Rogers, retired detective, Nutley, New Jersey. What are your thoughts?

ROGERS: Well, the chief said it all in the beginning. And I do have a question for him. Chief, at first you said it was bizarre, which most people -- lay people, believe this to be. And then you had said that there was a police report that indicated it was a suicide.

But my question to you is and is I`m glad you`re being transparent, that`s very important. Why do you believe it`s bizarre?

YATES: It`s just at first glance just defies logic. And, you know, of course somebody my age, I would have very difficult time duplicating that also. But in my experience and experience of some of the officers, we`ve seen people in handcuffs do some remarkable things. Smoke cigarettes, talk on the phone, things like that.

ROGERS: Chief, you`re right. I believe that. I`ve been on the job for years. But, Jane, you just demonstrated how difficult that would be when there`s a recoil on a gun. It`s just a bizarre situation. But I`m glad the chief said they`re looking into it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. On the other side we`re going to continue this investigation. What a mystery.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here are our viewers` fabulous pets of the day. Send your pictures of your companion animals to Oh, Lily, you`re just stunning, stunning. Oreo, whoa, look at those glasses, dude. }|



CARTER: I just want to know what really happened. That`s all I want to know.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tanya Acker, attorney, cops say they searched his Carter not once but twice and missed his gun?

TANYA ACKER, ATTORNEY: I really -- I feel like I`m reading something or I`m hearing something from just crazy nonsensical crime drama. We are not only to believe that this young man was able while handcuffed to shoot himself but we`re also to believe on two frisking of his body -- two times when they searched his person.

And, by the way, when police officers are engaging in these searches, they`re doing it for precisely that reason, they want to recover weapons. They want to secure their own safety. So they missed a gun -- they missed a gun on this kid? It just simply does not add up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we are going to stay on top of this story and certainly the autopsy is going to reveal a lot about, for example, was there gun residue on his hands, the trajectory of the bullet?

Nancy is next.



SGT. LYLE WATERWORTH, JONESBORO POLICE: Any given officer has missed something on a search, you know, be it drugs, be it knives, be it razor blades. In this instance, it happened to be a gun.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So cops are saying, yes, they accidentally missed a stolen semi-automatic gun that weighs two pounds, fully loaded, and is over 5.5 inches long, despite the fact that they frisked him twice?

Steve Rogers, retired detective, how are we going to determine what really happened? Because the mother says there`s no way with the handcuffs -- her son handcuffed behind his back that he could have shot himself behind his head.

ROGERS: Jane, the mystery problem will be solved by the trajectory of the bullet. It either went up through the head, down through the head or right through the head by the temple. So that trajectory is going to tell it all.


ROGERS: Well, the bottom line is going to be that look, the police report may say something that the police don`t know that`s in it. But that`s the key, the trajectory of that weapon. That`s what`s going to tell the story.

Nancy Grace is up next. We`re staying on top of that story.