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1,000-Pound Woman at Center of Murder Mystery; Accused Killer Allowed to Grill Victims; Rico`s Rescues

Aired September 25, 2012 - 19:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s watch JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL. She starts right now.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, new developments in a story that grabs the nation. A woman weighing more than 1,000 pounds accused of murdering her precious nephew. She even told police she literally crushed the 2-year-old boy to death. But was she covering up a horrific family secret?



VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, a Texas woman weighing in at more than 1,000 pounds at the center of a murder mystery. She claims she crushed her 2-year-old nephew to death, but she`s so obese she`s bedridden and can`t even roll over on her own. And doctors say the boy was killed by a blow to the head. Now, family secrets and lies are spilling out. Was this 2-year-old`s death really an accident? We`ll investigate. And we`re taking your calls.

And mayhem in court as a man accused of murder is allowed to grill his alleged victim`s loved ones on the stand. Prosecutors say he killed a flight attendant and stabbed her son. The boy was just 5 when he was allegedly stabbed 18 times. Now he`s re-living the nightmare as a man on the stand forced to answer this alleged monster face-to-face. You`ll hear the emotional testimony right here.

Plus, it`s Rico`s rescues. Tonight we`re introducing you to some fabulous furry friends you can adopt right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The unthinkable: a morbidly obese woman, almost 1,000 pounds, says she clutched her 2-year-old nephew, Eliseo, to death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She tips the scales at nearly 1,000 pounds. Confined to her home and allegedly bedridden.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She says that she was trying to pick the child up and slipped off her bed and crushed the child. Investigators who looked into this said no way. It doesn`t match up.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, brand-new information in an unbelievable murder case that uncovers a dark web of family secrets. And at the center of it all, 1,000-pound woman and a dead 2-year-old.

Good evening. Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.

Mayra Rosales literally weighing in at more than half a ton. We`re talking 1,100 pounds to be exact.

She told cops she rolled over and crushed her 2-year-old nephew to death by accident while she was baby-sitting. But investigators say, well, he actually died from blows to the head. And Mayra could barely move. So how could she kill the child?

She is now at the center of a TLC documentary called "Too Fat to Kill" airing October 10. Check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a tiny Texas town on the Mexican border.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have not seen obesity at this level.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A story that caught world headlines.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You belong in the "New England Journal." You belong in the "Book of Internal Medicine."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the world`s heaviest women.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She can`t sit in a chair like you and I can. She can`t sit on a couch like you and I can.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you buy into the media hype, certainly, you believe that she`s guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is accused of capital murder...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mayra is accused of death penalty murder. She was so obese it took ten men to get her out of bed. Police actually had to cut her out of her own house to take her to jail.

During the trial her lawyer argued that she was literally too fat to kill. What do you think? Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to Alexis Tereszcuk, entertainment editor, Radar Online. Alexis, you studied this story in depth. How and when did this story take a dramatic shift despite the fact that this woman, who is lying in bed unable to literally move without ten men, was confessing to a killing?

ALEXIS TERESZCUK, ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR, RADAR ONLINE: Well, the medical examiner studied the child`s body and found that there was no way that he could have died from being crushed. He actually had a blow to his head, a severe blow. And bruises all over his body. So they said absolutely is not physically possible. This is not how he died.

Mayra was covering for her sister, the mother of this poor child. And then she finally confessed. She was in jail -- you know, in court actually they had to build a new courtroom for her, because she was so large, to actually have the trial. And she finally, with her defense attorney, changed her story and said, "I was covering up for my sister, who was physically abusive of this little child."

She saw her that morning. The little boy was crying, saying that he didn`t want to eat breakfast. And she hit him repeatedly with a brush on the arms and on the head. And that is what killed him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Myra -- or Mayra, I guess she pronounces it, may have eventually told police that her sister was the true murderer, but that did not keep her from having a guilty conscience about all of it. Listen to this from TLC. This is fascinating.


MAYRA ROSALES, AT CENTER OF MURDER MYSTERY: I should be punished. I did wrong. It`s hard to live like this. Suicide is not enough.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She keeps saying, "I should be punished." But she at one point said she thought she was going to die anyway from her obesity. So why not confess to something she didn`t do? She covered up for her abusive sister, enabling that sister, for a while anyway, to get away with a terrible crime.

So I want to go to Lisa Bloom, legal analyst for, author of "Swagger," which was about male entitlement. Would you say that Mayra had such low self-esteem that she thought of herself as worthless and thought of her sister as priceless? And to me, when you look at that, that to me is as good of definition as co-dependency as I`ve ever heard in my life.

LISA BLOOM, LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think that`s a very good theory, Jane. There`s got to be a lot more to this story. How do you get to 1,100 pounds in the care of family members without there being some serious issues, not only on Mayra`s part, clearly some major emotional disturbance there. But also on the family members` part. They didn`t get her to a doctor. They didn`t get her involved in a weight-loss program. They didn`t do anything as her weight just continued to grow to 1,100 pounds? I never heard of a human being that heavy.

So it doesn`t surprise me at all that Mayra was covering up for her sister, trying to protect her, and has some real serious emotional issues.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think everybody`s baffled by the fundamental question, why would somebody in a death penalty case confess to a killing? She could have been put to death by authorities, had she been convicted.

Watch this clip from TLC. And then we`re going to talk to her attorney, who`s joining us tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A false confession is a rarity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a woman`s testimony.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who was covering up for whom? And what`s the cover up?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the very thing that may prevent her from staying alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you get convicted because of your statement, you will die in prison.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. What was fascinating was that she was actually put on trial. I want to go to Sergio Valdez, Mayra`s defense attorney.

I know you began to have your doubts as to whether your client was really guilty. And she actually -- did she actually testify from her bed? Because sometimes I`m reading some of these case documents, and it`s hard to believe some of the stuff in this case. Was she literally in her bed testifying? And what did she ultimately say?

SERGIO VALDEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Jane, initially what happened is we had a video conference with the courtroom, because we could not get her to the courtroom. The courtroom`s on the second floor, and there was no way to get her into the 92nd District courtroom here in Hidalgo County in south Texas. And so her initial appearance before the court was via teleconference. And it was from her bed where she was at her house.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what did she ultimately say? Did you help her tell the truth ultimately? Because my understanding is that her sister actually went on the run around the time that she testified.

VALDEZ: What initially happened is that Mayra`s perspective, you know, somebody mentioned co-dependence. And Mayra`s perspective was that she was going to die anyway and that she had no quality of life and didn`t know how much longer she was going to be around. So from her standpoint, she wanted her other nephews and nieces to have a mother.

So she decided to accept responsibility and cover-up for her sister. And she did that for as long as she could tolerate her sister`s continued abuse of the other children. And at some point she just said, "Enough is enough. I`ve given her a chance. She`s not making the best of it, and so I`m going to come out with the truth."

But we knew something was wrong from the very beginning. We went to visit Mayra, and when she told us how it is that she wrote in her statement that the incident occurred, we knew it couldn`t be. It just wasn`t true.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I mean, looking at her, unless she literally just rolled -- but she can`t even roll over. That`s my understanding. She -- the way she described it, and I thought this was so tragically poetic, is that she was living in a prison, and the prison was her body and she could not move. So she couldn`t even roll over to crush a child, because she could not move at that weight. What a horror story.

And I got to ask, Tanya Acker, attorney, to me the most infuriating part of all this, this little boy did not have to die. Child Protective Services had visited this house on multiple occasions. They were called out four times at least. And once they confirmed physical abuse against the little boy`s sister.

So why on earth was this situation allowed to go on until this poor little adorable toddler was beaten with a brush? Who beats a 2-year-old with a brush because he doesn`t want to have breakfast? Tanya.

TANYA ACKER, ATTORNEY: Jane, there really is -- there`s no excuse for this. There`s no answer for it. Especially since authorities had been alerted to the dangerous and threatening conditions to the kids that were taking place in this house.

I mean, it really seems that this is another case where we see children who are below the radar, who don`t get a lot of TV and media attention slipping through the cracks. It was another kid who was completely disregarded by authorities and whose situation really wasn`t taken for the threat that it was. And now he`s dead.

And on the other side of the break, we`re going to tell you about some dramatic developments with this super-obese woman as well as the kids. And we`re taking your calls. Stay right there.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A false confession is a rarity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a woman`s testimony.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who was coming up for who? And what`s the cover?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the very thing that may prevent her from staying alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know how much longer she`s going to be around. If you get convicted because of your statement, you will die in prison.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She weighed more than 1,000 pounds. She says she crushed her nephew to death, but she couldn`t move. You saw right there. They had to break down the house to get her out of the house. It took ten men. And they had to put her in a moving van, essentially.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Yvonne, New York, your question or thought, Yvonne.

CALLER: Hi, Jane.


CALLER: I really do not believe that she was capable of committing that murder. I think they really need to investigate whoever is in that household or people that were coming in and out. And I really think she is protecting somebody else, because she feels her life isn`t as full as another person`s would be.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Alexis Tereszcuk, she was protecting her sister.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the trial had to occur, because she said, "I did it, but it was an accident." So they put her on trial. And then, at a certain point, the whole thing just blew up. Tell us.

TERESZCUK: She finally felt that she couldn`t hold this in anymore. She was protecting her sister. She knew that her sister had been abusive to her four children. She was trying to take care of them with her husband. And she was unable to.

She said she just defended her sister, who had, I believe, drug abuse, substance abuse issues. And her sister, in fact, actually fled the state of Texas. She ran away. And this is when Mayra said, "I can`t do this any more. I`m not going to defend her, and she needs to take responsibility for what she did."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Former police chief, Tom Shamshack, private investigator, what do cops do when somebody says, "Hey" -- and this happens all the time -- "I did it. I`m the killer" and they somehow know that it`s not true, but they have to sort of go with that, right, unless they actually get evidence to the contrary?


No. Law enforcement doesn`t necessarily rely on testimonial evidence, i.e., this case, the confession. What they need to do is to corroborate that testimonial evidence with either documentary evidence or physical evidence.

Now here the documentary evidence would be the death certificate, the autopsy report. And things just didn`t -- they contradicted one another here. And, again, they should have done a much better job.

And I think that the attorney representing her, if he didn`t have an independent forensic doctor looking at this, or the private investigator who was working for him should have at least said, "This isn`t adding up here. There are too many inconsistencies and contradictions," and raise the point that it looks like there`s a cover-up here, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sergio Valdez, you were -- now I`ve heard Mayra and Myra. So we -- we heard it was Mayra, and you`re saying Myra, so let`s go with Myra. You`re Myra`s attorney. How quickly -- how soon did you confront her and say, "Come on, honey, you didn`t really do this." Tell me the truth?

VALDEZ: Well, I`ll tell you, within weeks of getting her statement, and in her statement she said she leaned over the bed, that her nephew was under the bed, she lost her balance and essentially fell on her nephew.

And so what we did with Mayra on one of the visits was we said, Mayra, we`re going to go ahead and have you re-enact that so that we can put you on the edge of the bed. You can go ahead and show us how it is that you went over the edge of the bed. And more importantly show us how you got up after you were on the bed.

And once we went through that exercise of telling her what we were going to do, she basically just broke down and started crying. And we knew that something was wrong, that it didn`t happen the way she wrote in her statement.

We knew that something was wrong and we knew that she was covering up for somebody. It just took us time to get there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: When I first heard about this case, it reminded me, of course, of the prison inmate who -- this was just in the news the other day -- says, "Hey, I`m too fat to execute."

Convicted killer Ronald Post weighs almost 500 pounds. And he is asking that his execution be delayed, because executing him in his current condition would result in a torturous and lingering death.

Lisa Bloom, legal analyst,, author of "Swagger," we know that studies are saying that by 2030, almost 50 percent of Americans will be obese unless we radically change our eating habits. Is this going to be a defense, more and more where the issue of somebody`s weight actually enters into a case as a very, very important criteria or factor?

BLOOM: Well, right. And the law has to catch up to the reality just like airline seats and bus seats are getting wider and wider to accommodate Americans getting bigger and bigger. The law has to catch up.

I want to say something to Sergio. Sergio, God bless you. I`m assuming that you`re a public defender. And a lot of attorneys would have said she confessed, you know, take a plea bargain. That`s the end of it. You had the guts and the wherewithal to follow this up, to go to her house, to ask for a demonstration, take a look and see that the evidence didn`t match up.

And criminal defense attorneys in our country get a lot of bad press, but I think you`re a hero in this case because you took the time to care about a woman who also a lot of people would probably look down their noses at.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ll tell you something else --

BLOOM: And I think you did a magnificent job.

VALDEZ: Thank you. Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I agree. I agree. I applaud you. And on the other side of the break we`re going to tell you about what is happening with this woman you`re looking at here. And how much weight she has lost. It is truly extraordinary, incredible, amazing. I had to check it several times because I couldn`t believe what I was reading. Stay right there.



ROSALES: I should be punished. I did wrong. It`s hard to live like this. Suicide is not enough.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She said she crushed her nephew, but how could she kill him when she couldn`t even move? She`s so, so heavy, more than 1,000 pounds. It reminds me of the mom in the classic movie "What`s Eating Gilbert Grape." Remember this?


JOHNNY DEPP, ACTOR: Let me see that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know it. And I know that you`re ashamed of me.

DEPP: No, I`m not. No, I`m not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never, never meant to be like this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And there was such shame associated also with Mayra Rosales. She said basically she didn`t really feel that she deserved to live.

But guess what? Here`s the breaking news. You won`t believe this. OK. She was 1,100 pounds at the time that she falsely confessed to killing her nephew. She has since -- I almost wish we had a drum roll, lost 700 pounds. And she is now 400 pounds. So she has lost two-thirds of her body weight.

Sergio, you`re her attorney. How the heck did she do that?

VALDEZ: Pure will. Once she got past -- once she got past the covering up for her sister, once she realized that she had a purpose in life, that you know she got past this I have no life, she just had the will power. And she`s been up in Houston for about a year now. She`s undergone extreme diets. She`s undergone many surgeries. She is walking with the assistance of a walker. She`s undergoing some therapy.

But all I can say is great for Mayra, great for her will. And it`s nice to know that she is walking with a walker and will soon be rid of that walker and on her own.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we want to get video and pictures of that. Please get us -- bring us Mayra, bring us pictures and video.

Angela, California, your question or thought, Angela?

CALLER: Hi, yes, thank you for taking my call. My question/comment is, if she was unable to get out of the bed, how could she take care of a child? And then the fact...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know what? That`s an excellent question. Tanya Acker, that`s the first thing I thought of. She`s super obese. Well, part of the abuse was that she -- four children were left with her while the mother went off.

ACKER: Well, even assuming that her confession was valid, Jane, and it sounds like her lawyers have done an excellent job of proving that it wasn`t, but even assuming it were true, I think the caller raises an excellent point. It is negligence in and of itself -- and not her negligence but the negligence of her primary care giver, her parents -- to leave her -- to leave this child in the care of somebody who couldn`t care for the child in case of an emergency.

What happened if that kid had needed something? What if he got trapped in a room? What if he needed to be rescued from something? It was absolutely inappropriate to be leaving a child in the care of somebody who doesn`t -- who`s not healthy enough to look after him. So that was a problem in and of itself.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we know that the three surviving siblings are being cared for by, we believe, responsible family members. And they have survived all this.

Again, we`ll stay on top of this. We`re going to try to get those photos and video of Mayra and ask her to come on.

Please, Sergio, thank you for joining us. Let`s hope that we can actually talk to her.

Now, on the other side of the break, a murder trial that is so horrific it outrages me. Is it victimizing the victims all over again to have to confront the alleged attacker, the alleged monster who is representing himself in court and grilling the people that cops say he victimized?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I object. That`s completely unresponsive to my question. It`s prejudicial entirely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s really inappropriate that you stalked me and harass me and I`m sitting here answering questions and I have to combat with you and answer your questions. That`s hard for me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a double nightmare as a woman is forced to face the man who terrorized her for years. This is the very same man who was accused of killing her roommate in an alleged revenge murder. The man accused of that murder is acting as his own lawyer so, now he gets to question everybody himself and confront them in court. And that includes the woman he terrorized for years and the young boy he allegedly stabbed 18 times. Did you get all that?

We`re talking about this guy, 34-year-old Waseem Daker who was convicted of stalking Loretta Blatz back in 1995. He would call her a hundred times a day threatening to commit suicide if she wouldn`t answer. He threatened to kill her daughter.

When Loretta went to the cops, prosecutors say this sicko Daker became so furious that he allegedly murdered her Loretta`s roommate, flight attendant Karmen Smith as an act of revenge. After killing Smith allegedly prosecutors say Daker then waited for Smith`s innocent young son, a precious little child to come home and then allegedly stabbed the boy 18 times. That boy is now a man, 22 years old.

Here he is from "Good Morning America".


NICKOLAS SMITH, MURDER VICTIM`S SON: I could kind of see him and I ran past the window in our room. But it was still really dark in the room and really --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a horror that he has to confront this man who cops say stabbed him 18 times wearing a mask and gloves -- just really destroying this child`s life. Should this creep be allowed -- a convicted stalker, be allowed to represent himself in court? Or is this a violation of the victims` rights?

What do you think? Give me a call, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Straight out to Lisa Bloom, author of "Swagger", which is a book about male entitlement and so-called male privilege and how that can get out of hand. This man is badgering and victimizing these people all over again. I`m sorry. I don`t think it`s fair. How is it fair that he is able to represent himself and confront them and grill them for hours on the stand?

LISA BLOOM, AUTHOR, "SWAGGER": It`s awful, isn`t it? I mean, if this were me on the stand, I don`t think I could contain myself. I really don`t. And I don`t know how the victims can either. But he has a constitutional right to represent himself as we all do. And he has a constitutional right to confront and cross-examine witnesses against him.

And if I were representing those victims, I would say you`ve got to put up with it, you`ve got to do it because in the long run it`s worse for him. He`s more likely to be convicted if he represents himself than if he has a lawyer who would do a better job.

So, you know, we say in the law, Jane, you have the right to represent yourself. But if you do, you have a fool for an attorney and I hope that ultimately this story has a happy ending and he`s convicted.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`ve seen so many people represent themselves. We`re going to give you an example of it in a second. And they almost invariably get convicted. So he can make a mockery of the court, but eventually the laugh is on him.

Now, when this guy, Waseem Daker, was finally arrested just three years for Karmen Smith`s murder, and that occurred 17 years ago, police found a slew of evidence a long time ago. Listen to this from ABC`s "Good Morning America".


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They found rope, handcuffs and how-to manuals with illustrations on how to get away with murder and kill without joy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "If my advice and the proven methods in this book are followed, certainly no one will ever know."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Again, Karmen Smith was murdered way back in 1995. He is just going to trial today because three years ago hairs that were found on Karmen Smith`s body were matched, DNA matched to this defendant.

They`ve had these hairs undoubtedly for 16 years, Tom Shamshak, former police chief, private investigator. But the advances in DNA technology were finally able to allow them to make a match three years ago, which I find extraordinary. Justice delayed they say is justice denied. But at least he is on trial.

TOM SHAMSHAK, FORMER POLICE CHIEF: Yes. And the benefit of the passage of time particularly with the emergence of newer technologies is that time becomes an asset. And evidence that was in possession that might not have been subject to testing back then is now readily available for law enforcement to test. And that`s how this case was cracked.

Again, what you`re seeing here is this is a sociopath who`s delighting himself in this bizarre behavior. He knows he`s going to get convicted. If he was concerned about it, he would have hired a lawyer or had the court appoint a lawyer here. He`s just having a grand old time here on stage, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It makes my skin -- goose bumps with horror that this man is allowed to dress up like this. I mean, he`s making a mockery of the court. And it`s easy to pretend you`re a lawyer and look like a lawyer by putting a suit on, but when you don`t know the law, you immediately turn the entire thing into a circus.

And the judge in this case has completely had it. She has warned the defendant several times from the bench. Listen to this from "Good Morning America".


MARY STALEY, PRESIDING JUDGE: There are numerous occasions during the trial that your veracity has been strong-questioned by me. That`s wrong. You don`t try cases by ambush.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, Tanya Acker, I understand he has constitutional rights. But is he really able to sit there and grill the people that he is allegedly and even convicted of torturing? And just talk to them and grill them for hours and say things like, "Which is more expensive, doing a DNA test or sending an innocent man to prison?" That was one of the smart aleck questions he asked one of the witnesses.

Isn`t there a point where the judge can say, "Look, you`ve asked enough questions"? "You`ve got to stop now, you can`t continue driving these people to tears."

TANYA ACKER, ATTORNEY: Well, you know, sadly, Jane, he does have that right to a point, as you point out, to a point. It`s not unlimited. But a defendant who is competent to stand trial the Supreme Court is held competent to represent himself. That being said it is the responsibility of this judge to manage her courtroom. And just like a judge can reign a lawyer in who`s getting out of control, the judge can reign in a self- representing defendant.

But remember, the judge is going to probably give somebody who`s representing himself who`s not a lawyer a little more leeway. And you know what; she took the words right out of my mouth. I don`t think that this defendant is trying to put on an adequate defense. He`s not trying to get himself off. If he`s competent to stand trial as he must be and competent to represent himself, he must know that the case is stacked against him.

This is about another abuse of power. This is about torturing these witnesses. This is about bullying. It`s about another demonstration of him trying to exert his power over people. He wants to bully them. He wants to torture them. He wants to --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m sure that just as the judge is infuriated a lot of the jurors are going to be infuriated as well.

More on the other side -- we`re taking your calls.

First our "Shocking Video of the Day": an Atlanta woman threatens to jump from a balcony of a building 13 floors up. Stunned onlookers are gathering around. Police block off the area around the hotel. But then an Atlanta Falcons football player who lived in the building broke through the crime scene tape and he was arrested when he refused to leave the area. The woman was ultimately convinced not to jump. She wasn`t hurt, but my gosh, what a drama. What a drama.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s your viral video of the day out of Russia -- a truck driver in the middle of an incredible crash. He flies through the windshield. Look at that. But guess what; he walks away without a scratch, something out of a James Bond movie. But one more time -- look at this. It actually happens -- flies right out of the window and lands on his feet no less.



DAKER: Did this person at any time ever show you a badge?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you did not show me a badge. I didn`t know if he was going to kill me or not.

CHET THARPE, JUDGE: You are creating an undue hardship on this victim by asking her the same questions over and over.

LORETTA BLATZ, STALKING VICTIM: If I would have known it would have been like this, I would have clearly done things differently. But I can`t. I can`t.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re looking at just instances of people who are basically forced to sit on the witness stand and get cross examined by the people cops say violated them, stalking and rape and all sorts of other things. This is outrageous to a lot of people. But it`s allowed by the constitution.

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Crystal, Iowa, your question or thought, Crystal?

CRYSTAL, IOWA: My thought is that I think this is just for him a form of manipulation because he knows they`re scared of him. And he knows that it`s like he`s going to try to play it in his way. But like most people who represent themselves it never works in their favor.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Tom Shamshak, this is the ultimate act of cowardice. It shows you -- you really get to see the personality of somebody who will commit -- and he`s still on trial -- allegedly a horrific murder. But he was convicted of stalking so we know that he`s a creep who stalked the woman whose roommate he`s accused of murdering.

SHAMSHAK: Yes. He`s a brazen monster. And unfortunately given our flaws in our system, he`s exploiting all of this. And he`s victimizing his victims all over again. And this has got to be very painful for them. And I share that frustration just as the lawyers on your panel, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa Bloom, just in the last story we heard that the woman who was too fat to go into the courtroom, she testified from her bed. Isn`t there a way to use videotape or something? They do that with children who are victims of sexual abuse so that they don`t have to confront in this manner that can be so traumatizing?

BLOOM: Well, it`s a good idea. But these are not children. They are adults. And, as I said, my choice would be to empower them. I would say to them, I want you to look him right in the eye. I want you to answer his questions straightforwardly. I want you to show him you`re not afraid of him anymore. And he is going to go down because of your good testimony.

I mean that`s I think the solution to empower people and to not have them live in that kind of fear. You`re in a courtroom. You`re in a safe environment. It`s different than it was previously. Of course, our hearts go out to them. But let`s give this guy`s constitutional rights and then convict him so he has nothing on appeal.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This boy is five years old when this masked man comes in after having murdered his mother and then proceeds to stab him 18 times. Obviously this is the poor child before he was stabbed 18 times before his mom was murdered. Look at this. This family just destroyed. And this little boy now a man has to get up and confront this guy? Are you kidding me?

BLOOM: You know what, Jane, I`ve had children who were 11 years old who were sodomized and raped who got up on the stand and who testified against their perpetrators. And the perpetrator went to prison as a result. And I`m here to say it can be an empowering experience. Yes, terrifying. But if they`re prepared properly by their attorneys, they can get through it. And they can see that they can do something positive and lock up a creep like this for a long, long time.

I hope you`re right and that it`s a catharsis and a moment of triumph ultimately.

We`re going to switch gears here. We need to lighten up. This is so, so horrifying.

We`re going to give you a "Kooky Vid of the Day". We love the superstar Carrie Underwood. And she granted a 12-year-old boy his wish, to give her a kiss on stage. Check it out.


CARRIE UNDERWOOD, SINGER: How are we going to do this?


UNDERWOOD: This is the smartest kid ever. Close your eyes. Close your eyes.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for our "Pets of the Day". Send us your pics to Anonymous -- these guys are saying hey, we`re not revealing our name. But Kit is -- she`s got a publicist, obviously. Kit`s gorgeous. Now, we got Hunter and Madison and they are making the scene. And, boy, do they look fabulous together. And Dylan says, well, I`m just going to pose very simply and just make a very simple statement here. All right.

On the other side you won`t believe what we`re doing vis-a-vis pets.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time now for Rico`s rescues, right, little Rico?

Let`s save some lives. Huh, Rico? Rico? Rico? Hey, Rico? Rico.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You may remember my little, little friend. This is my mother`s dog, Rico. We rescued him from Puerto Rico. Hence the name, Rico, about a year and a half ago and we are calling this segment "Rico`s Rescues" because well we recently had New York Rangers coach John Tortorella on the show to talk about pet adoption. He volunteers at a local animal shelter. And he brought on one of the dogs Benny. Right after being on show, he got an overwhelming response. Benny was adopted and has a fantastic new home.

So we were inspired. We decided, hey, we`re going to feature a new companion animal, a new pet in need of a home every week here on our show and call it "Rico`s Rescue". And trust me these shelters have something for everyone. Tonight our guest of honor is Griffin, a two-year-old pure breed, Brussels griffon -- am I saying that right -- with my dear friend and animal welfare expert, Jane Garrison. Thank you for joining us, Jane. I know you rescue so many animals and save so many lives. Tell us about your little buddy.

JANE GARRISON, ANIMAL WELFARE EXPERT: Hi, Jane. This is actually Griffin. He is a pure bred Brussels griffon. And he was abandoned -- he is exhausted. He says that being a movie star is tiring.

He was abandoned by his family to a shelter in San Diego. And they were -- he was scheduled to be killed and the day that he was scheduled to die, a wonderful group in San Diego called SPOT, which is Saving Pets One at a Time, they rescued griffin from death. Now they are looking for a home for him.

You can go to the Web site to get Griffin. He needs a great home. He needs some help with his little foot, but there are many, many dogs like Griffin in the shelter. Over 25 percent of dogs in shelters are purebreds. So there`s any dog that you are looking for, you can find in a shelter or rescue group.

I actually did a quick search on before coming on the air and I stopped counting at 50 dogs who look exactly like Griffin who are in the shelter right now. And that sad thing is that dogs in our country, only 40 percent of the dogs in shelters get out alive. The shelters are killing over 60 percent of the dogs who come in -- four million a year.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely, that`s why --

GARRISON: So we need to stop going to breeders.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jane, you and I have been working on this for years - - you and I, together. We have really worked so hard on this, and I got to tell you, you`re absolutely right. More than 4 million dogs and cats killed. I don`t say euthanized or put to sleep -- no, killed, every year.

GARRISON: Me either.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And so don`t go to a store and spend money and endorse these breeders. Go to a shelter. And it`s absolutely right. I went to this, and I got to tell you that there were hundreds of dogs. Large dogs, small dogs. There is a sense -- there`s a sense that if a dog is cute, oh, he`s going to be adopted. No, he will not necessarily get out of the shelter alive.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have more on other side to tell you how you can get Griffin or some other dog. Right, Rico?

GARRISON: That right. Hi Rico.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, if you want to adopt adorable Griffin, you can go to and when you`re at the site you click "adopt me" and then you click on dog adoption application and you type in "Griffin" under the name of the dog that you`re (AUDIO GAP)

You can find another home by going to It is so easy. Just put in your zip code.

I got to say, Jane, a lot of people don`t realize how easy it is. They think they have to go to their local shelter. Literally, everything is online. Is it not?

GARRISON: That`s right. Exactly. You can go on If you want to go to the shelter, you can put your zip code in. You can find out where the closest shelter is or you can go to a rescue group like SPOT and save a dog from them. Because I`ll tell you once Griffin gets a home, SPOT is going to run right to the shelter again and save another dog who is scheduled to die.

And the shelters, right now as we speak, there are millions of dogs in barren cages, alone, they`re scared, and all they want is love.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jane -- You are my hero.

Nancy next.