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Will Britney Spears Testify in Trial with Manager?; Sandusky Victim Speaks Out

Aired October 19, 2012 - 19:00   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, HLN ANCHOR: ... 8 and 10 Eastern. Vinnie, have a great weekend.


PHILLIPS: And a great weekend to all of you. JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL starts right now.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, bombshells flying inside a Hollywood courtroom. Pop sensation Britney Spears` former manager tells a jury Britney was hooked on drugs. Can he back up that claim? And will the pop star have to take the stand to defend herself?


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, explosive opening statements in the vicious court battle pitting Britney Spears against her controversial former manager, who`s suing Britney`s clan. His lawyer tells the jury Britney was hooked on drugs, and that`s why she shaved her head.

But Brit`s family claims Sam Lufti is the one who isolated and drugged the superstar. Will the secrets of Britney`s darkest days be spilled in court? Will she be forced to the stand to defend herself?

And a bombshell interview as Jerry Sandusky`s victim No. 1 emerges from the shadows. Aaron Fisher finally breaks his silence, revealing how he was betrayed again, when as a kid he courageously revealed the secret that Sandusky had violated him. Shocking details of his relationship with one of America`s most infamous serial predators.

Plus, a popular firefighter accused of hiring a homeless hitman to beat his estranged wife to death. The beautiful Las Vegas waitress was found brutally murdered in her home just months after leaving her husband. How did investigators crack the West Point grad`s alleged murder for hire secret?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Britney Spears, she cleaned up, but her past still haunts her. Her former manager is trying to force her to testify in his lawsuit against her parents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Few people have hit the high spots that Britney had. And few people have hit the low spots that she`s had.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is a tight bubble around the world of Britney Spears and what goes on in her life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s lost right now, and she has to be found. She really needs help. She needs to be away from the public eye, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s the big surprise? She`s a pop star. Of course she`s loaded. I wish we were friends. I`d call her to borrow some money.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the shocking Hollywood trial that could unearth pop princess Britney Spears` deepest, darkest secrets. New, explosive claims from inside a courtroom, alleging Britney was hooked on drugs.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell.

Britney`s controversial former manager, Sam Lufti, the man dubbed the General of the Paparazzi by Britney`s mom is suing because he claims the Spears family defamed him.

Lynn Spears` tell-all book claims Sam drugged and isolated her daughter Britney around the time of Britney`s very public breakdown. Remember back in 2007, 2008, do you remember she shaved her head? She was talking in a British accent. She was fighting with the paparazzi.

Well, Sam, the former manager, claims he was the good guy, trying to keep Brit off drugs, and that he`s entitled to a portion of profits from Britney`s album "Blackout," which includes this hit, "Piece of Me."



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now in his opening statements the ex-manager`s lawyers come out leveling bombshell charges, claiming Britney was hooked on amphetamines, speed, and claiming a drug sniffing dog found crystal meth inside Britney`s house.

Britney`s parents are doing everything they can to keep the recovering pop star off the stand. But in light of these shocking claims, will she want to take the stand to defend herself?

Straight out to Alexis Tereszcuk, Radar Online. Britney`s back on top, a winner again, raking in millions, judging "X Factor." This guy`s lawyer is really saying some horrible things. How vicious has this gotten? Could it get even uglier? What`s it all about?

ALEXIS TERESZCUK, RADAR ONLINE: It is definitely going to get even uglier, Jane.

What Sam LuftI`s lawyer has said is that when he came on board with Britney, he conned her into becoming his friend, and then he was hiring what he uses, quote, "a varsity team to straighten Britney out." He said that she was the one that was doing drugs, and it was because of him that she was off drugs.

He said -- the lawyer said he would stay awake for 24 hours sometimes keeping Britney off drugs. He said that, in fact, he brought in drug- sniffing dogs to the house he was so worried about drugs being there and that they located spots on the carpet where there was drug residue. And he said he was worried about her children crawling around on the carpet, and then he said he even found a bag of crystal meth.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa. Well, that`s heavy-duty allegations. And you can say anything you want in a court of law. You know, in the opening statements. We learned that during the Casey Anthony case.

Now, this manager, former manager, Sam, was a key player -- certainly we can all agree on that -- during the meltdown period of Britney`s life. You remember she shaved her head, she went to this tattoo shop, she was fighting with the paparazzi. Some people said she was talking in a British accent. And then there was the infamous ambulance ride. And it was very sad.

We all remember seeing this, when she had a breakdown, she was taken to the hospital, and then ultimately, her dad took over a conservatorship that exists to this day.

So I want to go to Rob Shuter. Here`s the problem with what Sam is saying. TMZ has him on camera two years ago saying, "Oh, no, she didn`t shave her head to avoid drug detection so that they couldn`t test the follicles and see that she had drugs in her hair," which is what he`s claiming now. Oh, no. Two years ago on camera, he says, "Oh, no, she was just showing artistic expression, freedom of expression. She`s cool, everything`s fine."

ROB SHUTER, COLUMNIST, HUFFINGTON POST: It`s a really problem that he has there, Jane. However, if he was her manager at the time and he never ever had any official documentation, this was a verbal agreement between him and Britney.

Managers are known to sometimes not always tell the truth when it comes to their clients. Publicists also put out press releases to put a good spin on things. So I think the way he`s going to get around this tape that TMZ have is that he was talking to the press and he was putting a very good spin on it, and he was trying to protect her and not get out in the public the truth of what bad of shape she really was in.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The big question, will Britney Spears testify or won`t she? Now, this ex-manager wants to haul her up on the stand that saying, "Look, she`s hosting `X Factor` -- she`s judging `X Factor,` so she`s capable of being a witness in a court of law."

Watch this from FOX`s "X Factor."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s honesty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, Britney, what do you think?

BRITNEY SPEARS, SINGER: I think you need to practice a little bit more. I thought it was just kind of bad.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Britney`s parents and the conservatorship want to keep her as far away from taking the stand as possible. Wendy Walsh, psychologist,

If she can go on "X Factor" and judge with millions of people watching her, that`s a stress ball that is extraordinary. Isn`t that a good argument that, hey, she can do that, she can take the stand.

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, certainly. If the argument is whether she is psychologically sound enough to participate in a courtroom.

But I think the argument is, what are her recollections really going to be like, Jane? If she was, alleged, on drugs at the time, what is she really going to remember? How will her memories be taken as evidence? And that`s really the question.

And, Jane, I know you know about this. Here this guy is acting like he was her protector, but how much was he an enabler? And that`s really the big question that will come out in this trial.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, absolutely. And Jeff Brown, criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, in her book, Lynn Spears says he`s the one who hooked her on drugs. I think both sides are using the drug word, but it`s a question of who`s responsible. And Lynn Spears says this guy crushed up her pills. And presumably I would assume to maybe put them in her food.

So she`s saying he hooked her. He`s saying he`s the good guy. I mean, it`s a he said/she said. How is either side going to prove?

JEFF BROWN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it`s a he said/she said, but he`s the one that says that he was defamed. So he has to prove that these statements are untrue. That`s a tough burden for him.

And not only does he have to prove that they`re untrue, but he has to prove that she knew they were untrue. You know, and once she is able to say that`s what people told me, I think he`s going to lose this.

And, you know, this burden is not an easy burden. This courtroom is going to be deciding the truth. And I don`t think anybody can really figure out what the truth will be here. And if that`s the case, he loses.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, I`ve got to say, Holly Hughes, I`ve always been a big fan of Britney Spears. She`s amazingly talented. She`s done some incredible music videos like that hit, "I`m a Slave for You." we`re going to play that clip.

But I`ve got to ask you, why is she still under a conservatorship? If she can do "X Factor," if she can rake in millions with her fragrances and her world tours, why is Daddy still controlling her life?

HOLLY HUGHES: Well, Jane, that`s a choice that she may have signed off on. She may have said, "You know what, I am doing all these other things. I`m going here, I`m flying there. I`m producing this show, I`m appearing on that show, I`m judging on this show. You know what? I would just as soon not have to deal with the finances and making sure that the money is going to the right place and people aren`t ripping me off." She may have just agreed with her dad, "You keep that stress and that pressure off of me."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but she doesn`t need a conservatorship to do that. She could say, "Daddy, handle my money." This is a legal control of her life.

More on the other side.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you nervous going in? What was the experience like?

SPEARS: They were nice. They were really nice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you feel relieved?

SPEARS: Yes. Oh, God.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s laughing, but she probably is not laughing at this moment as both sides in court, she and her parents on one side, on the other side her former manager, who is suing her, wanting a chunk of her immense wealth. Some people say she`s worth up to $200 million and saying, "Oh, she was hooked on drugs and they defamed me when they said I was the one hooked on drugs. She was hooked on drugs."

This is the guy says, "I was trying to help her." Is he telling the truth or is he just out for her immense wealth?

Let`s go to Gabrielle, New York. Your question or thought, Gabrielle, New York?

CALLER: Hi, Jane.


CALLER: I was wondering if Britney can sue Sam for what he`s saying about her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think that`s an interesting question. Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney, if he loses in court, can they turn around then and sue him for legal fees? And also sue him for defamation of character?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, again, they would run into the same problem that he`s facing right now is can you definitively prove that the statements were false and that they knew they were false. So I don`t think she`s going to do that.

She had the opportunity when she was first sued to do what we call countersue. So when you file your answer to a lawsuit, that`s the time where you say, "Hey, not only am I answering and denying everything you accused me of, but I`m countersuing you for libeling me." So I don`t think she`s going to go that route. Although if there was definitive proof...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, listen, I`m wondering why they didn`t settle to avoid all this nonsense. She has so much money and fame and now she`s on the upswing. But she`s always been a star. Remember the sexy hit "I`m a Slave for You"?




VELEZ-MITCHELL: She oozed sex appeal. She is a star: incredible charisma, Rob Shuter. She`s been a star since "Mickey Mouse Club" years ago. And I`ve got to say as far as her finances from 2010 she had over $32 million. Then she made $68 million on her last tour. She made reportedly $15 million with "X Factor." some say she`s worth upwards of $200 million. Is this all about money?

SHUTER: It is a staggering amount of money that she has. Let me just put a little bit of clarity on this, Jane.

During this very dark period for Britney, I was working at a weekly magazine. I was the executive editor. We were the only magazine that were granted an interview with Britney.

We spent a day with her during this very dark time. And the staff that went to that photo shoot came back and told stories about what happened that was so disturbing that we were really worried for her. In fact, the photographs that were taken at the shoot could not be printed, they were that disturbing the way that she looked.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I don`t understand what you`re saying. Are you saying that it was disturbing in terms of her? Or in terms of what Lufti`s influence.

SHUTER: He wasn`t at the shoot. She was there with an assistant. Her behavior was so erratic. At one point she thought birds were coming out of the sky and attacking her. She was lying on the floor screaming. She was talking in a British accent. It was, Jane, an absolute nightmare of a shoot.

And we didn`t really mind the fact that the shoot didn`t go well. My staff were really, really worried for this girl. They came back to New York frightened that she might not even live. It was that bad, Jane. And I think we often forget because she looks great now. We forget what a really, really bad period this was in her life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. That is a stunner. You`re saying that you have it, because it was your staff who told you she thought like birds were flying in the window. She was hallucinating, essentially?

SHUTER: Absolutely. And even the pictures we had. We hired one of the best photographers in the world. He had pictures that we saw of Britney rolling around on the floor, Jane.

I`ve worked with celebrities for a really, really long time. We decided not to run these pictures and not to run the interview. But actually in the magazine to tell the real story of what it was like to spend a day with Britney. And it was horrifying.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What year was this? What year?

SHUTER: In the middle of this breakdown. I don`t remember the year, Jane. It was several years back. It was right in the middle...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But it was before she was hospitalized?

SHUTER: It was after the hospitalization.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sam has been mixing Britney`s prescription medication cocktails that bipolar patients take or bipolar people take.

That`s what this is about. It`s about a disease called bipolar. It`s not about Sam Lufti. If he drugged her, she wouldn`t be out on the streets running around. This is the nature of bipolar people.


CORRESPONDENT: That was back in 2008, "LARRY KING LIVE." This ex- manager`s spokesperson. And, Wendy Walsh, we`re also hearing now this ex- manager`s lawyer. So the ex-manager`s spokesperson says bipolar. The ex- manager`s lawyer says amphetamines. What do you make of it?

WALSH: Well, it doesn`t matter what the diagnosis was. If he was trying to protect her, he wouldn`t be feeding her medications -- allegedly, or allegedly feeding her, you know, illicit medications mixed with that, he would be getting medical attention. He would be calling the police.

But, no, what he was really protecting wasn`t Britney Spears. It was the money flow that was flowing through Britney Spears into him. And so this is what the mother is trying to prove in her court case, ultimately. Was he there as her caregiver or was he there as her enabler, making sure that the money continued to flow? And that would be the answer that he`s got to prove is untrue.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jeff Brown, criminal defense attorney, you`ve covered these high-profile cases. Until you`ve lived in Hollywood as I did for 18 years, you have no idea the magnet that these stars become and the people they attract and the manipulations, it`s something that defies a medieval court.

BROWN: Yes, no, it`s exactly true. And that`s what`s so hard about this case the nature of

BOLYWOOD: Many people that are around this that are going to be able to establish that she was out of control, she was in what we`ve called this dark period of her life. And that`s what`s going on.

But these people all become witnesses in here. So I think they`re going to be able to prove that this was going on, but this battle between whether he`s really there stopping it or whether he`s really there encouraging it, you know, he`s the one that`s going to have to prove that`s not true. And is sounds like there`s a lot of evidence suggests he really was. So I don`t see how he`s going to win this case to be honest.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We shall see. We`ll stay on top of it.

Here`s your "Shocking Video of the Day." A death defying video. Look at this. These people, as Jerry Seinfeld would say.



We`re hearing from...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first time the mans that he known as victim No. 1. Jerry Sandusky trial is speaking out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s the one that had the courage to step forward and get the ball rolling here. Convicted of sexually abusing ten boys over a 15-year period.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jerry never flinched on his position that he was innocent.

JERRY SANDUSKY, CONVICTED OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE: What I do have is some people who will pour their heart and soul into defending me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s denying the overwhelming evidence we`ve all heard. And it was a litany of perversions.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the meantime Jerry Sandusky`s lawyers are asking for a new trial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`ve laid out -- why they didn`t have enough time to prepare.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That could mean his victims have to testify again.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news: stunning new developments in the Jerry Sandusky molestation case. What secrets will now be revealed, because now, victim No. 1, has now been identified as Eric Fisher now. He`s Eric Fisher now. He`s come out of the shadows. He has shown his face competitively, and he is speaking for the very first time to ABC news. Let`s listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You weren`t able to say...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... this guy`s a monster. He`s sexually assaulting me.

FISHER: I couldn`t do it.


FISHER: Embarrassment. Fear of not being believed. Victim means people feel sympathy for you. I don`t want that. I would rather be somebody who did something good.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: He says Sandusky sexually abused him when he was just 12 years old.

As Sandusky`s defense says, "Hey, we want a new trial." The former Penn State assistant coach sparked outrage around the nation when it was exposed that he had serially molested ten young victims. YouTube video captured the uproar that erupted on campus after that scandal broke.

Sandusky found guilty on more than 40 counts of sexual abuse, 40 counts. Just last week the 68-year-old man, pedophile, was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Straight out to former prosecutor, Holly Hughes. You`ve worked with so many victims. This young man now stepping out and showing his face for the first time and speaking out, victim No. 1, how much courage -- you know this, from working with victims, how much courage has it taken for him to show his face?

HUGHES: Jane, there are not words to describe the courage. And I got to say the heart that this young man has. Because he is just 19 now. He`s in college himself. And as a young man at that age, to put himself out there and say, "This happened to me, I was sexually abused by another man, and it went on for so long. And for so long I didn`t tell. And then I finally got brave enough. And they didn`t believe me then."

So the courage and the heart and the strength of character that Aaron Fisher is showing tonight and not for himself, Jane, but for other victims. This young man is saying, "Hey, I`m going to put myself out there so that somebody else knows it`s OK" to give them that strength.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Aaron was just 11 when he met Sandusky. ABC news reports Sandusky showered him with special attention almost immediately and then sexually abused the boy in the basement of the Sandusky home for years. Aaron was afraid to tell anyone what happened. But he eventually got the strength, he says, to tell his principal.

And here`s what Aaron`s mom says the principal`s response was. This, from ABC News.


DAWN DANIELS, AARON FISHER`S MOTHER: They tell me to go home and think about it.

CHRIS CUOMO, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Go home and think about what?

DANIELS: That`s what I said. Go home and think about what? What is there to think about? We need to call the police right now. Jerry was in the school.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The school told ABC it reported the allegations immediately, but Aaron says he was betrayed by several people who allegedly didn`t want to take on this very powerful figure.

Jeff Brown, I mean, when a child says something like this, if we can learn one thing from this case -- and again, I haven`t talked to any of the parties involved, so I`m just saying from what the mother and Aaron say -- if a child comes to you and says somebody is touching me in the wrong way or violating me or sexually abusing me, what should people do?

JEFF BROWN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you know, Jane, I`ve done both sides of this. I`ve represented defendants who have been charged in these situations and I`ve prosecuted these cases for over four years as well. It`s a really tricky situation.

And I think you really need to pay attention to how the complaint is coming forward. Sometimes it`s used by people in a custody battle, sometimes a divorce. But sometimes it`s discovered really innocently with a child talking to a teacher or talking to somebody or a child`s friend`s mom.

So you have to look at what we call that outcry statement. How is that statement coming out? But we have to have professionals that can listen to these statements and really pay attention to them and not hopefully we can avoid what happened here where not only did law enforcement just avoid the situation, but administrators at Penn State did the same thing for years.

So I think you need to have some really smart people or some quality people that will pay attention and look at these cases.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This, on the heels of boy scouts -- boy scouts secrets just being exposed. This is more breaking news with the newly- released so-called perversion files. More than 20,000 confidential files alleging horrific sexual abuse that we can`t even repeat it`s so graphic, it`s so awful, so gut-wrenching, so disgusting of young boy scouts for decades.

Names have finally been disclosed. More than 1,000 leaders, male leaders of the Boy Scout and volunteers who are reportedly now banned from the organization, accused of sexual or inappropriate conduct with boys.

One former Boy Scout spoke out about the sexual abuse he says he suffered at the hands of one scout leader. Listen to this.


KEITH EARLY, FORMER BOY SCOUT: When you do that to somebody, how could you bring yourself to do that -- to somebody that is so innocent and, you know, has done nothing wrong?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dan Fasy, you represent some of these boy scouts. The Boy Scouts of America says "Well, we changed things now. We will not allow an adult male alone with a boy scout." Is that enough?

DAN FASY, LAWYER FOR THE BOY SCOUTS (via telephone): Well, I don`t think it is enough. I think that`s evident by the number of stories that continue to come forward about young boys being abused who participate in scouting. I think that with the amount of information the Scouts has in regard to how pedophiles can infiltrate the organization and have access to boys, there`s much more that can be done and that needs to be done.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If your child says something to you, if you get a gut feeling that something`s wrong, please, parents, school administrators, listen to it. Don`t exacerbate their hell. These children cannot process and explain exactly what`s happening in their world.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s about getting back to basics. And even the salt is different. Look at this, pink Himalayan sea salt, course granulated crystal. Look how beautiful this is. We sometimes forget that what we`re eating is really an art form.

And when you`re here at the co-op, you get to experience food as sort of an artistic experience, an adventure in health. It`s not just, oh, a chore to go shopping.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you voted this your favorite viral video of the week: these two little guys, two little brothers, eating their sketti, as Honey Boo-Boo calls it. And they`re just getting sleepy, sleepy, sleepy. This is cute. One is munching away and the other one`s like --



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- as he and his daughter walked in to the dining room to find the 46-year-old cocktail waitress lying on her back with blood on her head and face.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They found a body in the neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She gave me reason to and many people reason to have concern about George.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: George Tiaffay charged with the murder of his wife.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had a feeling. I had a feeling that it was him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Several witnesses tell police Stevens was paid by Tiaffay to kill his wife.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight the toxic secrets that may have led to the murder of a beautiful mother and much-loved Las Vegas cocktail waitress. Shauna Tiaffay found battered, beaten -- badly beaten inside her Las Vegas condo. And prosecutors say her handsome estranged husband hired a hitman to do it.

George Tiaffay, now a disgraced Las Vegas firefighter and West Point grad, by the way, is behind bars along with this man, the homeless man he allegedly hired to brutally kill his wife. George was the person who called 911 about his wife when he and his daughter came to her house.

Shauna`s friend told "Good Morning America" they believe George was already a verbally abusive husband long before this.


CLAUDIA CARRILLO, FRIEND OF SHAUNA TIAFFAY: He was known for being controlling with her. And I think this is the case of him trying to control her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, one of those "if I can`t have her, nobody else can".


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We reached out to George`s attorney, have not heard back; he`s invited on our show any time.

Straight out to Ed Miller, investigative journalist; Ed, this woman gets the courage to move out of the marital home in March and then the result is this brutal, brutal murder. What`s the evidence against this guy?

ED MILLER, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Well, the evidence is that apparently the hitman went around bragging to other people that he had committed this murder and that he was paid to do it. I think the really amazing thing about this, you know, there have been psychiatric studies about someone who hires a hitman, who would do that.

And wait until you hear this, Jane, this is absolutely amazing. Somebody who hires a hitman actually believes that his hands are clean, that he didn`t really have anything to do with the murder, that somehow he`s absolved from the whole thing. It`s amazing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes well, he was working as a firefighter, so he figures I`ve got an alibi because I`m doing firefighter duty. But that`s not how it works when you hire a hitman, allegedly.

MILLER: Right.


MILLER: That`s right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now Shauna had just come home from work when she was viciously attacked to the point where they couldn`t even figure out whether she was beaten or shot -- that`s how badly she was beaten. She was still wearing her cocktail uniform. Remember, she`s a Las Vegas cocktail waitress at the point of her death when she is found bludgeoned to death.


CARRILLO: What I`m going to miss most is the fact that I worked side by side with her. That she was next to me every night.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor. Prosecutors say this is a very strong case that they have 86 calls between the firefighter and this homeless man, that they have surveillance video of the two men walking out of a hardware store with a hammer, gloves and a knife. What could his defense possibly be?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, and there`s another thing, Jane, that he -- when he finally was approached by cops, he took off in his car and was going 73 miles-an-hour down the highway and crashed in what cops are calling an attempted suicide because he got caught. The only thing I can say although his lawyers said he fell asleep, that will go over big -- not. I don`t know what the defense is here except for guys who are abusive and controlling and arrogant enough to think they can get away with this by hiring someone to do the deed, they will often put up the "I`m not the type" defense, "I`m a hero, I`m a firefighter. I save lives. I would never kill a person."

And you know, it`s a theme in the courtroom that can work for certain kinds of guy who are handsome. I mean -- you know, people think Scott Peterson wasn`t guilty because he was handsome. But I don`t think it`s going to go very far in this case. Among other reasons, the hitman apparently has too big of a mouth for reasonable doubt.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And authorities say he was bragging to people about what he did. Oh, my gosh, we`re staying on top of that story.

Now a father and son go shopping, but the son seems to be choosing toys that some people might consider girly. What`s girly? What people around them don`t know is everybody`s an actor. What would you do, if you would do anything at all? That`s the question from the hit show "WHAT WOULD YOU DO" coming to HLN this Saturday.


JOHN QUININES, HLN HOST: We wondered, how would people react when they see a toy traditionally meant for girls end up in a boy`s hands? To find out, we bring our hidden cameras to Myers, a family-owned toy store in Livingston, New Jersey.

The moment our father and son actors walk through the door, the boy heads straight for the dolls.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you want to get a Barbie doll? You`ve got to be kidding me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I love Barbies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You love Barbies? Since when do you like Barbie dolls?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love Barbies. They`re my only (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh no. You`ve got to be kidding me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want this, Dad.

QUINONES: And then there`s this woman. It only takes a second for her to notice what`s going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put it back up here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But daddy, I want it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely not.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you believe it? Would you allow your son to play with a Barbie doll? You would.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I was a kindergarten teacher.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. And some of the kids, you know, they go through a stage where they like to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where they like to play with --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know my concern is like he`ll play with the dolls now and then next thing you know he`ll start to wear like pink dresses.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s very natural for a five-year-old to want to engage in play with the dolls and they want to be the chefs in the kitchen.

QUINONES: You saw this as a kindergarten teacher?


QUINONES: And parents, what should they do?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just encourage them to explore. Explore whatever they want to do. This is the time.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Encourage them to be themselves. "WHAT WOULD YOU DO?" The show starts Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, this hidden camera show hosted by ABC`s John Quinones -- ethical dilemmas that will entertain you and make you think "WHAT WOULD YOU DO", Sunday night 9:00 Eastern here on HLN.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is happened again. Alleged cruelty caught on tape. The video you are about to see is disturbing. I call it disgusting.

How many times does this have to happen? On this show we cover animal cruelty captured by hidden cameras sent out by animal welfare groups every few weeks.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight -- alleged abuse caught on hidden camera. The horrific video you`re about to see is extremely disturbing, but nowhere near the worst of it. It`s crucial to bear witness. You, the consumer, need to know what is going on. So, please, watch.

The animal rights group Mercy for Animals says they secretly recorded this video of dairy cows kicked, punched, dragged with chains around their neck by a tractor and brutally beaten at Bettencourt Dairy -- reportedly the largest dairy form in Idaho. A farm they say supplies to Kraft and Burger King among other big name brands.

Straight out to Nathan Runkle, executive director at Mercy for Animals; Nathan your organization says this video proves workers deliberately inflicted pain on these defenseless animals. Tell us what you say you uncovered, Nathan?

NATHAN RUNKLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MERCY FOR ANIMALS: Our hidden cameras documented a complete culture of cruelty at this farm. Workers violently beating animals with canes, shocking them with electric prods, attaching chains around their necks and dragging them with tractors -- there`s a complete culture of cruelty, neglect and abuse that these animals are subjected to.

And as a result, three people have been criminally charged with cruelty to animals including a manager at the facility showing how rampant this abuse was.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We reached out to Burger King and Kraft. Did no hear back. Kraft has said they do not supply directly from this Idaho dairy farm adding dairy suppliers must meet or exceed animal care guidelines. The "Kansas City Star" reports Burger King defended the company`s commitment to animal rights and promised swift action.

Now the Bettencourt Dairy Farm tells us they have a zero tolerance of abuse to the animals. They showed all employees the video, made them aware they`d be terminated immediately if they were caught abusing cows; those who do see the abuse and do not report it will also terminated. They say they placed cameras in the facility to monitor and will continue to do background checks and that they`ve had a do-not-hire list in place.

By the way, go to for the complete statement of the dairy involved and links to Mercy for Animals.

Nathan, in one report the owner says he was appalled to learn about this. What`s your reaction?

RUNKLES: Well, these actions are too little, too late. The reality is that a culture of cruelty was allowed to flourish under the watch of this company owner. And these cows live lives filled with misery. From the day that they`re born they`re treated as little more than milk- producing machines.

They`re lives are filled with misery and deprivation. They`re kept in crowded, filthy conditions. They`re subjected to painful mutilations. These animals have their tails cut off without any pain killers and then they live lives where they`re beaten, dragged, shocked and kicked by workers. This is appalling and unfortunately, this runs rampant through the dairy industry. We found it time and time again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s so difficult to watch this, and this is what we can show you. This is not the worst of it. But it`s -- gut wrenching. Now essentially, when the people who own the farm say they`re appalled -- do you have a question as to how they could miss this?

RUNKLE: Well, I think that they`re appalled that they were caught in the act of abusing these animals. We believe that this is ongoing abuse, that this is a top-down management problem. This abuse took place in front of other employees. Everyone that we saw there was involved in this.

And much of this cruelty is built into this system. These cows live their lives on concrete floors. They never see pasture. They are treated as if their feelings don`t matter, and we think that`s wrong.

This is the fourth dairy investigation that we`ve done and every single one has exposed shocking abuse and every single one has led to criminal animal cruelty charges being filed against workers there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at this. This is a cow still alive being dragged by its neck -- on a chain by a tractor.

More on the other side. More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s disturbing to watch, but, please, take a moment. Have the courage to look at this and not turn away, because this is ultimately a consumer issue. This is an undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals at the Bettencourt Dairy, reportedly the largest dairy factory farm in Idaho. And, you know, this undercover investigation has led three workers to be charged with animal cruelty. The prosecutor`s office tells us this carries a maximum of six months in jail.

Critics say this is why the AG Gag Law in another state Iowa is a bad idea. It`s a danger to farm animals because well, would you be able to go in today and do a similar investigation at a facility in Iowa given that they`ve passed this so-called AG Gag Law, Nathan?

RUNKLE: No. And that`s the intention of these AG Gag bills is to prevent animal organizations from exposing abuse. And we feel that, that goes against what`s in the best interests of consumers who have a right to know how their food is being produced and against the best interests of these animals, who are being abused behind the closed doors of these factory farms.

There`s not a single federal law provides protection to animals during their miserable lives on these factory farm. So there`s very little, if any, oversight. That`s why animal protection organizations doing investigations are so crucial to bringing this abuse to light and to an end.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we invite the Bettencourt Dairy, their representatives on any time to discuss this footage. Listen, I feel it`s my obligation as a journalist to cover these stories, because that`s what journalists are supposed to do -- to investigate alleged problems with the voiceless and the helpless. Nobody could be more voiceless or helpless than these creatures. And if we journalists don`t do our moral obligation to investigate this and show this, nobody will.

Thank you, Nathan Runkle, from Mercy for Animals.

Nancy Grace is up next.