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Video Shows Cop Kicking Suspect; JVM Most Wanted: Finding Athena Curry

Aired September 5, 2012 - 19:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drew, thanks again. JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL starts right now.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, it has happened again. A police officer caught on video, kicking this time a suspect in the head or neck. It looks to be an unprovoked incident. The suspect is on the ground. It doesn`t look like he`s going anywhere. So why this sudden kick? Why the extreme force?

We`re going to show you what happened right after that. We`re going to talk to the attorney for the man who was on the ground. It`s all next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, shocking new video just released. Has it happened again? A Minnesota cop caught on tape kicking a man in the face as he lies on the ground. And then allegedly slamming the 30-year-old suspect`s head into the cop car.

Is this police brutality? Or is there a lot more to this story? We`re investigating. And I`m taking your calls.

Then, in tonight`s "Most Wanted," a beautiful 20-year-old mother vanishes in the dead of night after a heated argument with her on- again/off-again boyfriend, never to be heard from again. Tonight, we`re reigniting this investigation to find this missing mom. Her frustrated family joins me live tonight.

And then are deliberating jurors obsessed with words spoken from beyond the grave? We`re on verdict watch. Questions fast and furious from jurors on day one of deliberations in former cop Drew Peterson`s murder trial. With wife No. 3 murdered and wife No. 4 missing, is Drew headed to jail for life?

Plus, just-released photos showed superstar Jessica Simpson`s weight balloon. Now she`s just five days away from her big post-baby reveal. The star admits she ate anything she wanted while pregnant. So how much weight has the former "Dukes of Hazzard" hottie lost? Will Jessica make her looming weight-loss deadline? And what happens if she can`t lose it in time?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Luckily, Mr. Hightower didn`t get his teeth kicked in, his heart bruised or his throat crushed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The YouTube video shows Officer Zilge kicking him, grabbing his hair. And the video shows one of the officers punching him in the face.

Hightower`s ex-girlfriend has spoken about the repeated abuse she and her children have suffered at his hands. Officer Zilge arrested him for threatening to kill her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have equal protection under the laws of the 14th Amendment. That covers all of us, good and bad.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, stunning video surfaces of a police officer kicking a suspect during an arrest. And you can see it for yourself. The suspect is already on the ground, and he doesn`t seem to be fighting. He`s just been hit with pepper spray already. So why the sudden kick? Was that necessary?

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live tonight. Here`s what happened.

Officers were called to the scene after the man on the ground, Eric Hightower, allegedly threatened the life of his ex-girlfriend. Now, here she is after Hightower`s arrest.


KARA DREW, ERIC HIGHTOWER`S EX-GIRLFRIEND: This is what you deserve for doing -- bothering me. Stop messing up my life and ruining it. Telling me that he`s going to beat my -- telling me that he`s going to blow off my head.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So after the kick, other officers come into frame. You can see there. together they drag Hightower and slam him onto the hood of a squad car.

The officer who kicked Hightower and also slammed him on the hood has been placed on administrative leave along with another unnamed officer. Hightower`s cousin says this was not necessary. One, two, three, look at the kick.


ANTOINE HIGHTOWER, COUSIN: Regardless of what he`s getting charged with, I don`t think actions were taken appropriately for somebody who`s not resisting.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The truth is Eric Hightower does have a record that includes violent crimes. He is about to be sentenced on assault and drug charges later this month. And for this latest incident he`s charged with stalking, making terroristic threats and criminal damage to property. But should that have any bearing on how police treat a suspect during an arrest?

What do you think at home? Call me: 1-877-586-7297, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

I want to go to a long-time journalist and friend who`s joining me now here on set, Rolonda Watts.

Rolonda, you and I have been looking at this kick video. What do you make of it?

ROLONDA WATTS, JOURNALIST: I make of it that everybody in America ought to be afraid if this is what`s going on. I mean, if one of us is in trouble, all of us are in trouble.

The man`s hands, he did not appear to be a threat to the police officer. They had already sprayed him. It just seems to be that it was totally unnecessary.

Yes, the guy may be violent. Yes, he may have a violent history, but at that moment he did not deserve that kick. And I think that this is just another example. But what also frightens me is there were many people who were watching this, including the young man who got this video. And the cop just stayed there pounding this guy, pounding him on the car, kicking him in the face as if the people in the neighborhood, the average citizen, as if he`s flaunting, saying, "You don`t have a choice. You don`t have a chance here."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s listen to Eric Hightower`s ex-girlfriend as she describes her relationship with her ex-boyfriend who she said threatened her.


DREW: He stalks me. He threatens me. He leaves voicemails.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walk stayed the night when you stayed home (ph).

DREW: At first I started to feel bad. But he`s not a victim. I`m a victim every day I`m with him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. So I want to go to Darren Kavinoky, attorney also here on set. He`s accused of stalking her, threatening her life, saying, "I`m going to blow your head off." She reportedly claimed he harassed and threatened her for two days and that he`d assaulted and choked her before and that she was afraid of him.

He is a big guy. He seems to be much bigger than the officer who kicked him. Should that have any consideration in the actions of these officers?

DARREN KAVINOKY, ATTORNEY: Well, look, law enforcement officers have a tough job. They put their lives on the line every day. They make these snap judgments. It`s a difficult job. No question about it.

But it`s -- what we rely on them to do is to be -- is to put their emotions to the side and behave professionally at all times. So it appears that this would be completely unprovoked, that he was laying on the ground not doing anything to be a threat to the officer.

All of that said, though, Jane, these officers have to take some context into the situation. So they`ve got a guy that they know has a violent past, is physically larger. We don`t know exactly what the conversation was between the officer and him and why the officer felt threatened, if he did. So this may not be as open and shut as it would appear on that videotape.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go out to Seamus Mahoney. You are the attorney for the man who was kicked, the man on the ground. Now, of all the things I`ve read about this case as I`ve studied it today, the thing that disturbs me perhaps the most is that the officer reportedly in the police report does not mention kicking him. Your thoughts, Seamus.

SEAMUS MAHONEY, ATTORNEY FOR ERIC HIGHTOWER: Well, a couple things come to mind.

First of all, this is not uncommon in this neighborhood we`re talking about. This is a poor black neighborhood. The park was filled with children, filled with people. The behavior of the officer, as your other guest said, was without any regard for the people that were present, especially the children.

So the facts are -- is that Mr. Hightower was walking down the street, sunny afternoon with his cousin. The officer apparently is looking for him on an allegation of stalking, an allegation of making some sort of terroristic threats.

I can talk about his history if you want to, but we`ll just continue for where we are. The officer steps out of his car, yells at him to lie down. That`s one yell. He -- they don`t know who he`s actually speaking to. The cousin and he separate. The officer says the second time. At the same time he has unholstered his mace and just gets him right in the face.

Mr. Hightower lays on the ground. Does what he`s told. Lay down. He`s done that. The officer, as he lays there retching, throwing up the mace and having his physical reaction, pulls out his Taser.

Now, the officer -- not this officer, but other St. Paul police officers had Tased him in another arrest for the charges that you talked about earlier with a Taser, and he ended up in the hospital.

OK. I think the officer decided he didn`t need a Taser. So as you see in the video and we have a copy of it on our Web site, www dot (AUDIO GAP).

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I`m having a hard time hearing you. So I`m going to go out to the phone lines right now. Laura, Illinois, your question or thought, Laura?

CALLER: Hi, Jane. You are my hero for animal rights and all you do with finding children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you. We care about the animals and the children.

CALLER: Listen, I had a boyfriend who was a stalker/abuser. And there is nothing that would stop him. I went to court. I was in my 20s. I`m in my 50s now.

Back then they could bash you in the face, anything they could do. And as the judge was -- I was leaving the courtroom and after the judge got done yelling at me for taking up his time, I was beaten up in the police department parking lot, because they were all in court. And then he went "Ha-ha, there`s no one to save you."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this. Let me say this.

CALLER: Maybe he needs to see what it feels like to be beaten down.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think what you`re saying -- listen, there are plenty of women who have been stalked and who have basically been scarred for life by being stalked. That`s not a minor crime. And police have started taking it more seriously.

Jon Lieberman, investigative journalist, HLN contributor, I have no sympathy for stalkers.

Zero. My question is, though, if somebody, a suspect, any suspect, is lying on the ground and you kick him in the neck without provocation, what about when it`s not a stalker? What about when -- and we`ll show you this video that we brought you a story last night, a 34-year-old registered nurse who -- I think we`ve got this. It`s a totally jurisdiction in another state. This is L.A. Was thrown onto the pavement and body slammed.

She was stopped for talking on a phone. And look at that. They threw her on the -- they body slammed her. Now, this is a different case. This is in Los Angeles. This is a 34-year-old white female registered nurse who has no history of any kind of -- but she was -- she was badly hurt.

Jon Lieberman, isn`t that the point?

JON LIEBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it is. I mean, look, one thing we have to look at is you can`t look at these moments in a vacuum. So things happened before these events and obviously after, as well.

But, Jane, what I`ll tell you, our reporting today found in Mr. Hightower`s case here the two officers who have been placed on administrative leave, they each have many commendations for good work. But we have also learned they each have been disciplined before for excessive force, as well. So it`s very interesting to look at the officers` histories, as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this. I took a course to be a police officer as part of a story I did. And let me tell you, I failed miserably. They told me, "You`ll never be a police officer."

And I can tell you that police officers are still human beings. And if you`re smaller, like I`m petite compared to that person. And if I were an officer approaching a person of that size, I`d be terrified, especially if I had heard that they had beaten somebody up.

But that`s when you call for backup, and that`s when you take all the other contingencies that you have available to you so you don`t have to go up and kick somebody in the neck.

Final word, Darren.

KAVINOKY: The most telling thing you said is that this was not in the report. And so it`s not just the crime. It`s the cover-up. It`s the dishonesty of not including that event. That`s the thing that makes me most suspicious about this.

And as a defense attorney, I`ve also seen those situations, Jane, where -- where people make these allegations but there is no camera rolling. Thank goodness this was caught on tape.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank God for videotape. I always say it.

On the other side, a missing woman. You can help find her.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Athena Joy Curry was a young woman with an awful lot to live for.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a person who has people who love her. We deserve answers. We deserve closure. We deserve justice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is abnormal, you know. From day one I knew something was up.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, "JVM Most Wanted." Help us find this beautiful missing mom.

Athena Joy Curry vanished in the early morning hours, May 27th of last year. So she`s been gone over a year, never heard from again.

The then-20-year-old was last seen with her young toddler and her on- again/off-again boyfriend, Yusif Mujahid, near his home in Atlanta, the general Atlanta area.

Now, according to Yusif, Athena stormed off in the early morning hours after they had a heated argument where Athena stabbed him in the hand. Stabbed him in the hand, reportedly over a text message from another woman.

He called Athena`s family when days passed and she did not return.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I said, "She would never leave King, and you know it." He agreed. I said, "I`m calling 911."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops frantically searched for any sign of Athena, chasing down hundreds of leads without any clues turning up. Where is this beautiful mom?

Joining me right now, Athena`s family. And we`ve got more and more of the family members who have joined us on the phone. And we want to help you. We understand your pain.

My gosh, I had a relative who vanished for two -- two days this week, a teen. And it turned out it was all a big misunderstanding. But my heart sank. I was sick. I have a totally new appreciation of the hell that -- oh, that you are going through.

So I would like to start with, Aisha Maggie. This is an exclusive interview. Athena`s sister. Magee. Aisha, thank you for joining us. What do you know? What do you know about her car, her cell phone, her purse, anything?

AISHA MAGEE, ATHENA`S SISTER: Well, when she went -- the last time I talked to her was the reported night that she went missing. She was actively on Facebook. You know, a young 20-year-old woman with a lot of friends. And there was no communication on her Facebook page. Her cell phone was going straight to voicemail.

She lived with me. She did not return home. I had no way of contacting her. I tried to contact Yusif. And his -- I didn`t have a valid number for him. So there was just no way for me to contact her for multiple days. At that point I knew something wasn`t right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And she`s a beautiful young woman. And they did have a heated argument. But we have to say, Yusif is not considered a suspect, according to law enforcement. He is invited on our show any time.

Cops say without -- and I hate to say this, but we have to -- we have to state the possibilities. Without a body or any evidence that a crime has occurred, they can`t really make an arrest. They say they have no suspects. But there are so many questions.

The young mom`s relationship with her on-again/off-again boyfriend, Yusif. Back in 2010, Yusif was arrested for domestic battery, where he allegedly held a stun gun to Athena`s head and repeatedly punched her in the face.

He admits the couple wasn`t perfect and didn`t have a perfect relationship, but he insists he had nothing to do with her disappearance. And again, I have to be clear: cops have not connected him to Athena`s disappearance.

So I want to go to Cicero Curry. And again, this is an exclusive interview. Athena`s father. Your daughter is missing, sir. My heart goes out to you. What do you know about this on-again/off-again boyfriend and the circumstances of her -- he`s saying that she just stormed off at 3 in the morning. Did she have a car there? If she`d had a car there, wouldn`t she have gotten in her car and stormed off? Tell us about that.

CICERO CURRY, ATHENA`S FATHER (via phone): Well, to my knowledge for me not being there -- I am in Portland, Oregon -- I had just recently learned that they were having an on-again/off-again relationship. And I had just learned about the batteries that he was putting upon my daughter right after she had gone missing. So I was in the dark until this point.

I do understand that she had a car that she could have driven away in. But I was also told that he told the police that the car was inoperable. I do not know if the police took that opportunity to check the car to see if it was operable. But that`s where we are.

And I am with my daughter, Aisha, that it is very suspect to me that why would she disappear and leave her pocketbook, laptop, cell phone and not contact anyone ever again?

She supposedly disappeared on that Friday night, early Saturday morning. But he did not contact Aisha until, I believe, Tuesday or Wednesday the following week. Which leaves a lot of time for some strange events to take place in my mind.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Sir, you`re making some very, very...

CURRY: I hope she is out there somewhere.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... excellent points. Yes. If somebody just storms off like that, why not immediately call? Why wait?

On the other side of the break, we have an investigative journalist who has been looking into this case. And we`ll tell you what he`s come up with. He`ll tell you.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why shouldn`t someone think, if you`re capable of punching her, that you`re not capable of killing her?

YUSIF MUJAHID, ATHENA`S BOYFRIEND: Like I said, you can think whatever you want to think.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s Yusif, the on-again/off-again boyfriend of the missing woman who said, "I had nothing to do with it." But he`s the last person to see her. And he has a history, according to authorities, of domestic violence involving this woman, punching her in the face.

Jon Lieberman, HLN contributor, thank you for bringing us this story. We want to help. What do you know?

LIEBERMAN: Well, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family. I`m so glad we could profile this tonight.

Let me tell you what cops believe. Cops at this point do believe that there was foul play in this case. However, they do also have some new leads. They recently put the case on "America`s Most Wanted" to try and energize the investigation. And they are actively working leads and actively going back almost from step one to re-interview people, to canvas the neighborhood again, to see if anybody saw anything, knows anything.

And what police want people to know is it only takes one piece of the puzzle. Police do have some theories that they`re working on. They need somebody from the public to come forward with that one piece of information that they might think is inconsequential, but it could actually help close this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Rolonda Watts, you`ve covered so many of these cases. What do you think?

WATTS: Well, I think the greatest thing that is happening at this point is that social media is involved. That`s going to help a great deal. And Jane, I cannot thank you enough for covering this story.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We want to help.

WATTS: Especially as a minority woman. There are so many in our community who feel that these stories are not being covered. We`re 13 percent of this nation and 33 percent of the missing people. So I thank you, my colleague and friend.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, of course, of course. That does not enter our equation.

WATTS: But I think social media is the thing that`s going to help right now. And she`s a young girl. And maybe lots of people knew her, and something may come up through that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Aisha, giving you the final word.



MAGEE: Yes. Thank you. I just want to, you know, plead out to anybody who knows anything, you know, about my sister, our family, we deserve closure. We want answers. For my nephew`s sake, you know, Athena`s son. You know, he`s spent the last year and some change without his mom. And I show him pictures of her every day and let him know who mommy is. And I just want somebody to come forward just to give us that peace and closure.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we pray that you get that closure. We want to be helpful.

And, please, if you know anything, if you think you know anything at all, call authorities immediately.

Drew Peterson, the jury has wrapped. But we`re going to bring you the very latest. Some stunning questions from the jurors to the judge today on the other side.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re on verdict watch in the Drew Peterson murder trial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guilty, not guilty?






KING: What happened?

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

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

PETERSON: We got information that she drowned in the bathtub.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It all points to accident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prosecutors say Peterson broke into Savio`s home and murdered her. Stacy Peterson, Drew Peterson`s fourth wife went missing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How it became a homicide, I don`t know. It`s a freaking accident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To think the victim can be lost in all of this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news. The jurors ordered dinner. They worked through dinner and then said they were going home for the night just a couple seconds ago. We are all waiting on pins and needles for the verdict in the Drew Peterson murder trial. This is just the end of day one of deliberations.

So tonight we`re asking, could a pastor`s testimony put this guy away for life? Moments ago jury went home for the night -- day one deliberations over. But everybody outside court has an opinion on when this bombshell decision will hit.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two to three hours.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m guesstimating Thursday and guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m going to say a day. I don`t think it`s going to be that long, but I don`t think it`s going to be right away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Friday, hung jury.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Facing a murder for the death of wife number three, Kathleen Savio, and if convicted he could be locked up for 60 years. The jury has not been shy. They`ve asked a whole slew of questions. Rapid fire list of questions to the judge about key evidence in testimony including some things that Drew`s missing fourth wife Stacy Peterson reportedly told certain people. Ok. She hasn`t been seen since 2007.

A lot of people think that she is deceased although there`s no proof of that. And she said certain things to people according to those witnesses that could be devastating to Drew`s case.

So I want to go straight out to Beth Karas, correspondent for "In Session"; she`s there on the ground in Illinois. She`s been covering this case from the beginning. Now, two questions that jurors asked today about a reverend and about a divorce lawyer. Why is that so significant?

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT FOR "IN SESSION": This was only an hour and a half into deliberations, Jane, and these were the two witnesses who testified to Stacy Peterson`s words, missing Stacy, the fourth wife. Who, one could argue, stole Drew away from Kathleen Savio, but her words may send him to prison.

These are the two witnesses, one called by the prosecution and one called by the defense, who say that Stacy told them what she knew about the night Kathleen Savio died. She was already married to Drew Peterson by then. And how she saw him come home in the middle of the night, they had gone to bed together, she woke up and he wasn`t there. She started calling him and didn`t find him.

He came home wearing dark clothes, carrying a bag. He took clothes out of the bag, put them in the washer, put his own clothes in the washer. She looked in it, they were women`s clothes, not her own. And then he said the police are going to want to talk to you and he spent hours telling her what to say. She told one of them, the reverend that she lied to the police when they asked about her husband`s whereabouts that night.

If the jurors believe this, she could send him to prison. She`s the one who places him in Savio`s house the night Savio died.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. And what about the divorce lawyer?

KARAS: Well, the divorce lawyer said some of the same, but the defense called him to show that Stacy had a motive to want to lie about Drew Peterson killing Kathleen Savio. That he really didn`t kill her but she wanted to say he killed her because she wanted to divorce him three and a half years later. So she called the same lawyer Savio had to say, "If I say how he killed Kathy, can I get more money in the divorce?"

But the way the divorce lawyer said it at trial, he had said it the way I just described it in the past, that hearing. At trial he said that she told him Drew killed Kathy, how can I use it in the divorce? She wanted to use it as leverage.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In fact, Beth, prosecutors called that defense witness, a divorce lawyer who missing wife --

KARAS: No, the defense called him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stacy went to see before she vanished. The defense called him but the prosecution --

KARAS: Yes, the defense called him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- yes, I know. But the prosecution after he testified said it was a gift from God because it was so damaging to the --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- defense case. So even though the defense called that witness --

KARAS: They believed that they couldn`t get it in. Right -- they believed they couldn`t get it in. And a lot of the pundits and people in the court think that it helped the state more than the defense. Although the defense felt, I guess, that Reverend Schori -- Pastor Schori`s testimony was so damaging that they needed to get something in there to show her motive for wanting to say something that wasn`t true.

So they`re trying to make Stacy sound like a liar. But I don`t know that it`s working. I mean we won`t know until we talk to the jurors at the end.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bottom line -- Beth, bottom line is that they asked about two witnesses who essentially said that Stacy, who is the fourth wife who has disappeared, said that basically Drew Peterson killed his third wife.

Now, the jury is made up of seven men and five women. The sketch artist who was sitting in court told our Jean Casarez that she saw some very interesting body language from those jurors during the defense closing arguments. Listen to this.


CHRISTINE CORNELL, SKETCH ARTIS: Well, yesterday during Lopez`s closing I was starting to count how many jurors had their arms crossed and were leaned back like this. And three in a row in the front row were. And it was, you know, I actually was craning around to see if there were more people with arms crossed because to me, that says that they are done. That they`ve heard what they need to hear --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Darren Kavinoky, what do you know about the jurors` behavior?

DARREN KAVINOKY, ATTORNEY: Well, the jurors have behaved in a very odd way when it comes to their fashion choices. This has to be causing some concern for the defense. The jurors have been coming to court in coordinated outfits. So for example on one day they`ll all be dressed in the same color. On another day they`ll all choose to wear professional football uniforms. Something that is coordinated, something that shows a cohesiveness and from a defense perspective, seeing that kind of cooperation and agreement among the jurors, that`s got to be cause for concern.

You knit that together with what Beth Karas just told us about the two items of read-back testimony that the jurors requested, information that is damning to Drew Peterson. And if I`m on the defense team, I`m starting to get very concerned.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t understand how the defense could possibly call somebody who`s going to get on the stand and say, "Oh, yes, the missing wife told me that, oh, Drew killed his third wife." It`s crazy.

I just want to go out to the phone lines because this woman`s been waiting so long. Carol, Indiana, your patient, thank you. Carol, your question or thought.

CAROL, INDIANA (via telephone): Hi, Jane. How you doing?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi. I`m doing great.

CAROL: First of all, I believe this man is guilty. And I`m going to tell you why. Because, you know, there`s a code in some of these police called good old boy code. Why would she put a padlock on the inside of her bedroom door if she didn`t think he was going to be a threat to her?

And what bothered me was all the bruises. I believe they had a scuffle. And the last thing he did was knock her on the head with something and just let her lay in that tub.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Excellent point, Carol. Jon Leiberman, they had a history of domestic violence.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: They did. And the jury wanted to see those graphic pictures of the injuries on Kathleen Savio today too. So I expect a quick verdict. I think that the jury`s going to come back tomorrow.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know what I say, with these crazy huge cases, expect the unexpected. And don`t expect jurors to always use their common sense. It looks bad for Drew, but you never know. It looked bad for Casey Anthony too.

Time for today`s shocking video. You might want to take some dramamine for this one. Watch as passengers in this boat get knocked around like rag dolls after getting caught in another boat`s wake.

This isn`t funny. I`m laughing but it`s not funny. It happened at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. Oh, my gosh. Five of the six passengers had minor injuries. You know what, I`m sorry, I shouldn`t laugh about this. But let`s face it -- it could have been a lot worse.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: People say it`s too expensive, too complicated to eat healthy. Nonsense. I am here at a farmers market in midtown Manhattan of all places. Take a look at the gorgeous veggies. We`re talking about a fifth generation farm from upstate New York. So this is locally grown, locally produced.

Now, if you want to find the farmers market in your area, just Google farmers markets USA and a whole directory will pop up. You put in your zip code. And, look, all the farmers` markets in your area will appear. Check it out.

Healthy mind, healthy body.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And here`s your "Viral Vid of the Day". This is straight out of some kind of action movie. Watch closely as a police officer goes to the extreme to catch his man. Yes, he is on the hood of the car. Whoa.

It doesn`t end there. Another officer literally then chases the suspect down. Wow. I think that we have to realize that police officers put their lives at risk every day. And they do extraordinary things and that`s the vast majority of officers even though sometimes we do have to cover the bad apples. All right. There you go. Woo hoo.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first post-baby look at Jessica.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The message for tabloids, leave Jessica Simpson alone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Story after story chronicling the ups and downs of Jessica`s weight loss struggle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When Jessica`s gotten a ton of attention about her figure lately.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last year her empire made $750 million.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She has certainly had her struggles with weight loss over the years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We watched Jessica Simpson begin a new chapter, motherhood.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She had a beautiful baby girl.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know that the number one thing that people want to see is how much Jessica has lost her baby weight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is working with Weight Watchers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Weight Watchers reportedly paid Jessica $3 million to help her lose the baby weight.

DOLLY PARTON, SINGER: She`ll have to get skinny just to get people to shut the hell up.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a revealing look at Jessica Simpson`s struggle to shed those pregnancy pounds. Now, here`s a recent photo of her on the way to workout. You`re looking at it. Four months after giving birth to daughter Maxwell, a lot of people including myself, frankly, I was kind of shocked by these photos. I expected her to look slimmer considering she`s got $3 million reasons to drop those pounds. I`m talking about her deal with Weight Watchers -- $3 million.

Jessica shot her first commercial for them two weeks ago. She`s gearing up to reveal her post-baby body in just five days on the premier of Katie Couric`s new talk show. Talk about pressure, oh my gosh.

Jessica`s battled her weight for years. We all have. So have I, so have most women in America. She took a lot of heat for the amount she gained during pregnancy. She hasn`t revealed how much she packed on, but she wasn`t shy about all the junk food she was eating. She fessed up to pop tarts and Mac and cheese binges.

She tweeted photos of her favorite high-calorie food, look at this, Exhibit A, banana pudding pie. And here`s a photo she captioned "Sunday morning cereal craving". Oh, my gosh. And who could forget the infamous slutty brownie she raved about on "The Tonight Show". Check this out.


JAY LENO, TALK SHOW HOST: Do you get the food craving thing?

JESSICA SIMPSON, SINGER: Oh, my God. Yes. Right now there`s this new thing that`s so heavenly. And they`re called slutty brownies.

LENO: Slutty brownies. Now, do you have to take shots before that?

SIMPSON: No. They are a layer of cookie dough, a layer of Oreo cookies and a layer of brownie dough and you bake it together. It`s amazing.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, most moms struggle with their baby body after giving birth. Are we too hard on her? Or did she invite all the scrutiny by signing up with Weight Watchers and being so totally open about basically bingeing?

Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

I am joined tonight by Jessica Gottlieb who is a mommy blogger. Now, you said you gained 75 pounds?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. What is it? I have not been pregnant. Not given birth.


GOTTLIEB: Ok. So you`re alone on this stage. But what is -- are the cravings -- I`ve had food cravings, are they just like just another dimension of food cravings?

GOTTLIEB: They are another dimension. They are unspeakable. I eat organic food. I eat very clean food where typically if I`m having chicken, there`s one or two things on it. Pregnant I was driving through Tommy`s for chili cheese fries day and night. They knew who I was. It was uncontrollable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Jessica sounds like she`s trying to lose weight. Ok. She told "USA Today" I`m not a super model. My body`s not bouncing back like a super model. I`m your everyday woman trying to feel good and be healthy for her daughter.

She says she works out with a personal trainer four to five times a week, but she doesn`t run because, get this, are you sitting down? She doesn`t run because my bobs are way too big to run at this point. And we`re going to show you the photo she posted on Twitter to prove her point. Yes, ok. She says that -- or somebody said she`d get black eyes if she ran with those.

Take it away, Rolonda, I don`t know what to say at this point.

ROLONDA WATTS, TV PERSONALITY: Listen, you know what; I love Jessica because she`s being completely honest. And it`s nice to know that there are others who go through the binges when they`re pregnant. I`ve never been pregnant either. Look what two dogs and a cat did to me. Those are my kids.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You look great.

WATTS: But you know what I really like though, even though she`s bringing attention to herself, she`s doing the social media thing. She`s showing another side of herself to her fans. I do believe she`s going to be waging a good health war as well. She has her kids who are following her.

I would hope that if she can`t run she`s floating in that pool because she`s got to be -- I would hope that she would be a leader and not just eating for two and ten and 15, but eating well for one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. On the other side her deal with Weight Watchers.


VELEZ-MITCHEL: John Mayer, right?

Look, these are our pets of the day. Riley, Jenny`s boys are so beautiful. These are our viewers. You look very, very, very gorgeous, Fredo and Mia or is it Fredo and Mia?. Charlie, glad we got some birds in there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, seven years ago when she was on "Dukes of Hazard", Jessica Simpson was a hottie-pattootie (ph). John Mayer called her sexual napalm.

Christine Avanti, author of "Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food", should we give her a pass or did she do something wrong?

CHRISTINE AVANTI, AUTHOR, "SKINNY CHICKS EAT REAL FOOD": That is such a tough question, Jane, because I`m looking at her in this footage here, and I`m looking at the photo of her wow. Typically for a healthy average American woman, she gains about 30 pounds when she`s pregnant.

Jessica, I don`t know exactly her numbers, but I would say that she definitely gained more than 30 pounds. Is that good or bad? You know that`s up to personal (inaudible) and as far as from a health standpoint, probably not so good. She`s very young.

She`s obviously working at it now. But I do feel that she`s gained quite a bit of weight through this pregnancy and I`m actually happy to see that she`s working hard to lose it because she`s just gained a lot for her frame. She really does need to work at losing and getting that off. It`s just too much for her body.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I don`t think it should be used as an excuse to just binge, I think that`s the point. More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here is Jessica`s before and after. "Us Weekly" says Jessica`s $3 million contract with Weight Watchers requires her to lose 20 to 30 pounds. She`s going to debut her new body, Katie Couric`s show Monday.

Jessica, do you think she can do it?

GOTTLIEB: It`s not looking that good to me. It`s -- 20 or 30 pounds is a lot of weight and that doesn`t look like she`s on the way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Christine Avanti, do you think she can do it by Monday?

AVANTI: I hate to be negative because I want people to lose weight. But no, not from the looks of that photo, it`s not going to happen. Sorry.

She needs to run a little bit more and, you know, give up the whole boob thing, get a good bra and start running.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ro, you told us about a secret that sometimes they do in Hollywood.

WATTS: Well, you know, I have gone through a few ladies lunches in Hollywood and the word is that a lot of times these Hollywood stars go in and have a baby, they immediately have the tummy tucks and the tightening up of certain places done right then and there in the hospital.

I mean let`s face it, we are in a community of vanity. And that`s very important. So while you`re in, get it all taken care of.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, look at J Lo, look at Halle Berry -- they all lost it.

Nancy is next.