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Is Jodi Arias Putting Victim on Trial?

Aired February 15, 2013 - 19:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ll be there. Jane starts now. Have a great weekend.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, the Jodi Arias trial, has it crossed the line into some kind of crazy one-woman show with Jodi on the stand, distracting jurors from her admitted killing of Travis Alexander? Is Jodi now successfully putting the victim on trial, using his own voice from beyond the grave against him?


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, murder victim Travis Alexander`s voice echoes through the courtroom as his killer, Jodi Arias, tries to use his words to prove she killed him in self-defense. Raunchy phone sex tapes, filthy text messages, is the jury buying her claims that the victim was a pedophile, a pornographer, a cheater and a beater.

With Jodi on the stand for six days and counting, is the defense lulling jurors to sleep? And what`s prosecutor Juan Martinez`s strategy for the cross? We`ll debate it with our panel of experts.

Plus fame, fortune and murder. Disgraced Olympic superstar Oscar Pistorius sobs hysterically in court as he`s charged with gunning down his gorgeous model girlfriend. Was this bloody Valentine`s Day killing premeditated?

JODI ARIAS, MURDER DEFENDANT: I woke up, and he was on top of me.

KIRK NURMI, JODI`S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: How did you feel wearing these boys` underwear?

ARIAS: They were erotic, and they made me feel sexy. They made me feel attractive, so I stayed on the phone with him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this, of course, is the world according to Jodi Arias.

JENNIFER WILLMOTT, JODI`S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: She learned how to deal with his temper by being humble, compliant and agreeable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jodi was Travis` drug. He said things and did things and put things in type that was not the normal Travis we knew.

Keep in mind these were two consenting adults. She not only encouraged it. She loved it. She talked dirty back to him. She said, "Oh, you`re so bad, but I love it."

ARIAS (via phone): I like being handled, but yes, I totally will handle you.

TRAVIS ALEXANDER, MURDER VICTIM (via phone): Mercy, mercy.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, from filthy phone sex to raunchy text messages in the Jodi Arias courtroom as Jodi talks about everything under the sun except Travis Alexander`s brutal death. Is this the secret defense strategy? Are they putting the victim on trial?

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell.

The beautiful 32-year-old photographer is accused of stabbing her ex- boyfriend 29 times, slicing Travis Alexander`s throat ear to ear, all the way back to the spine, and shooting him in the face. But she claims it was all done in self-defense.

Jodi has now spent six full days on the stand but still hasn`t said really a word about killing Travis, not a single word. Instead, the jury has spent hours listening to Jodi and Travis`s kinky sex life and text messages from Travis talking about animalistic sex and calling Jodi a whore. We have to warn you this language is graphic, but it was said in open court.


NURMI: He also says, "You`ll rejoice in being a whore that`s sole purpose in life is to be mine to have animal sex with and to please me in any way I desire."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Along with the filthy sex thing, the defense also played a triple -- and I mean triple -- X-rated phone call. A sex call between Jodi and Travis where Travis compares Jodi to a 12-year-old girl. Again, this language graphic, but it was played in open court.


ALEXANDER (via phone): The way you moan, baby, it sounds like, it sounds like you are this 12-year-old girl having her first orgasm. It`s so hot.

ARIAS (via phone): It sounds like what?

ALEXANDER: Twelve-year-old girl having her first orgasm. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) this hot little girl.

ARIAS: You`re bad. You make me feel so dirty.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to our expert panel to debate it. Has Jodi Arias taken control of this courtroom? Is the defense hitting a home run? Or is this going to backfire and hurt her and prove motive for murder?

We`ve got two pro-defense, two pro-prosecution. To get things started, let`s start with Michelle Suskauer, criminal defense attorney out of Miami.

MICHELLE SUSKAUER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Jane, it`s unbelievable what`s going on, but this lawyer has to save Jodi Arias` life. And so he`s going to do whatever he can to do that. And he has to paint a very different picture than what the prosecutor did.

And they have this kind of evidence. They have -- they have text messages. They have his actual voice, and it`s really going to be up to the judge to try to rein them in. It`s not up to the defense to stop when they think it`s enough. They`re going to keep pushing the envelope as far as they possibly can here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And boy, are they pushing that envelope, Joey Jackson.

JOEY JACKSON, ATTORNEY: Oh, boy are they pushing it, Jane. Listen, it`s a capital case, and therefore, the judge is going to allow a great deal of latitude to allow the defendant to try her case. It doesn`t mean they should.

Here are the two major concerns. No. 1, the jury is losing focus. Get to June 4, 2008, start about 5 p.m. and tell us then. That`s what the case is all about. If they lose focus they`re not paying attention, and they`re disinterested.

No. 2, if the jury gets wind that what she`s doing is self-serving and that she`s saying anything and stopping at nothing to besmirch his character to protect her own, it backfires and they punish her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have called Jodi`s sex-drenched testimony "The Vagina Monologues." For six straight days, she`s turned the witness stand into a stage, and she`s performed a one-woman show. We`ve heard her sing. We`ve heard her either genuinely or, she says, fake two climaxes on audiotape, and Jodi even recited a poem she`s written for Travis. Check this out.


ARIAS: I am still happy, for there is much I can still do for it and such, like send an e-mail after 3 and read another book, you see. So here`s to wishing you a time that`s full of happiness and rhyme. May your days be full of stimulation and not just in simulation, but in reality, just the way you`d have it be.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, I know this is a death penalty trial, but I`m sorry, a poem? I think the judge has let this trial sort of -- it`s a runaway freight train. Jodi is now behind the wheel, driving it wherever she wants.

I`ve got to ask Meg Strickler, criminal defense attorney, has she lost control of this trial, the judge?

MEG STRICKLER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, actually, I don`t think so at all. Because understand, have you seen the prosecution object to any of this testimony? No.

This -- they`re doing an excellent job doing two very important things. We need to humanize this client, and we also need to get the death penalty off the table. And both of those things are getting done right now. Excellent job right now by the defense. The prosecution, I think they`re the ones being lulled to sleep. They need to answer...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m sorry. I don`t think you would have an appeal if the judge said, "We don`t need to listen to this poem," but we`ll agree to disagree.

The defense is really doing a good job, and we`ll say this, trying to make Travis, the victim, who`s not here to speak for himself, a villain. They`re basically putting him on trial. OK?

Jurors heard him speaking from beyond the grave, describing kinky, twisted sex games during his sex phone call with Jodi. Listen to this.


ALEXANDER: I`m going to tie you to a tree and put it in your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) all the way.

ARIAS: Oh, my gosh. That is so debasing. I like it.

ALEXANDER: I`m going to tie your arms around a tree and blindfold you. And put the camera on a timer while I`m (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you.

ARIAS: Oh, my gosh. You are full of ideas.

ALEXANDER: It takes creativity to top ourselves.

ARIAS: I know it does. We`ve gotten way creative in the past. I have to give you most of the credit, though as far as the creativity ideas go, I`m game for like almost everything you come up with.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Over six days Jodi`s accused Travis of being a pedophile, of cheating on her, of beating on her, of wanting to make a porno.

Simone Bien, you`re a relationship expert. You`ve heard the kinky sex talk between them. Is she a victim of domestic abuse? Is she a battered woman? Or is she a willing and eager participant, as a submissive in a game of dominance and submission?

SIMONE BIEN, RELATIONSHIP EXPERT: Oh, Jane, it`s so difficult, because I know you and I have had conversations. And I would say that she was a victim, absolutely, and now I`m getting swayed. The defense is putting up such a good case.

What I will say is that I do think Jodi Arias is a victim. I think she was obsessed by him. I think she was brainwashed by him. I think she was severely love addicted by him. And she went, instead of the usual place that a lot of victims go, instead of going into the martyr place, where you and I, as healthy women, would talk to a girlfriend if a guy or a woman had sort of, you know, not be fair to us.

She went to the aggressor place. And I think the jury could be very swayed especially if they have -- if they can relate to her story in any way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, especially if a woman has been sucked into, pun intended, one of these manipulative, exploitive relationships with a guy where he does all sorts of things to her.

And she`s kind of "I`m in love with him." And then she feels dirty, she feels abused, and feels used. Who knows if there is a juror who had that experience and subconsciously wants payback.

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Brittany in Nevada, your question or thought. Brittany, Nevada.

CALLER: Hi, Jane, how are you?


CALLER: OK. They said in the weeks before that Travis had another girlfriend, which he was cheating on that girlfriend with Jodi. And the other girl was said to be a virgin, so he respected her chastity. Was it possible that maybe he was just using Jodi for sex, because that`s what it kind of sounds like, you know, with all these crazy sex antics and things like that. And is it possible, with everything going on, that she was enraged and that it could possibly be a crime of passion?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes. You`ve raised so many obvious and important points. And at the bottom line is that this was a good girl/bad girl situation. He was pursuing pure, Mormon girls and acting G-rated with them. And here`s a girl who he converted to Mormonism, but was the classic bad girl with whom he acted all his sexual fantasies out with. So it`s the madonna/whore syndrome anew. You know, with sex the more things change, the more things stay the same.

More on the other side.


GUS SEARCY, FRIEND: He could command her to do things. Like, she was trying to get off the phone. He cusses at her, and all of a sudden, she goes out and talks to him for half an hour. So there was some kind of a control there of some sort.




NURMI: He also says in this message, "You are the ultimate slut in bed" What did that mean to you? Was there some history behind that?


NURMI: What`s that history?

ARIAS: Sometimes he would call me that when we were having sex.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In text messages Travis referred to Jodi as a whore and the ultimate slut, all part of their twisted sex games. But jurors will have to decide whether Jodi was a willing participant or an abused, subservient victim. This is very graphic, but it is key to the battered women defense. Listen.


NURMI: He says he wants to send one down your throat and another on your face. What did that mean to you?

ARIAS: Oral sex and...




VELEZ-MITCHELL: These texts are absolutely filthy. We want to stress, we haven`t heard or seen her responses to his texts or whether she might have even initiated. Maybe on cross we`ll find out the contexts to these texts.

But Joey Jackson, is there concern about how jurors will either consciously or subconsciously react to Travis` character? Could we have jury nullification where, in essence, they decide, "Yes, she did kill him, but I don`t have a lot of sympathy for the victim"?

JACKSON: Absolutely not, and here`s why. You have to understand two critical things, Jane. One is that there`s not an ounce of corroboration for anything she says.

Now as a defense attorney, that concerns me greatly. Why? Because people get convicted in this country every day on the strength of a word. But not only is it non-corroborated, she`s also an interested witness as a matter of law. What does that mean, Jane? It means the jury will be instructed that she has an interest in the outcome and, as a result of that, she has an interest of fabrication, an interest to invent, she has the interest to re-create things in the context that she wants to convey.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very good point.

JACKSON: ... they get it, they know it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meg Strickler, is there a possibility, in your opinion, of jury nullification?

STRICKLER: Yes, I do think so. And also, to respond to what Joey just said, some of this stuff is not made up. We`re seeing literal texts that are coming from Travis Alexander.

It is abundantly clear there was a cuckoo relationship going on here. No one`s going to contest that. And if you just listen to everything, I think that`s why the defense is taking so many days, because let me tell you, in real life you don`t normally have a defendant talk that long and testify that long.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Rebuttal, Joey.

JACKSON: It`s out of context. Listen, one point to example of this, OK? She talks about a letter. She writes him a poem, Jane, the month before she kills him, talking about, "I want my relationship to be more public." Do you want a public relationship with a pedophile?

Then we hear a tape, and she explains the tape. I wasn`t really climaxing. That was all a fake. It was a farce. It was to make and to please him. She`s explaining everything. It`s self-serving, it`s embarrassing, it`s offensive, and it`s wrong. It`s a lie.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Simone Bien, relationship expert, weigh in.

BIEN: I`ve got to say, Jane, that I think she`s a victim and she was willing, and the fact that she was a victim meant that she was willing because she was siding with her abuser. It`s not so black and white.

See, we`ve gone from really idolizing Travis and demonizing Jodi to now demonizing Travis and not idolizing Jodi, but sort of siding with her.

Point is, they were both very dead inside. They had this really dangerous, toxic, awful relationship. But I`ve got to say, I`m listening to her and I`m being swayed, because I do think the defense is putting up a good case. We hear in the evidence of what she`s saying!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, Michelle. Michelle, quickly.

BIEN: Twelve-year-old girls, I mean, for God`s sake!

SUSKAUER: Well, Jane, Jane, they have clearly, the defense has clearly worked with Jodi for a very long time to make sure she sounds as believable as possible. And they`re going to throw everything that they possibly can out to disparage him so that the jury is not going care.

And I don`t know whether it`s going to be jury nullification, but the fact is that...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: My gosh, this guy, if you believe everything coming out of her mouth, is not only a pedophile, but a cheater, a pornographer, a beater. Oh, my gosh! Can all of it be true in one person? And his friends never suspect a thing?

More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): At just 17, Jodi left her parents` house, moved in with her first serious boyfriend, Bobby Juarez, and soon dropped out of high school. Jodi told jurors she wasn`t in love with him, and they broke up.

Jodi then moved to Costa Rica as an exchange student and met boyfriend No. 2, Victor Arias. When she had to move back to the states, the long- distance lovers called it quits.

Soon she and boyfriend No. 1 were back together, living with his parents in Yreka. Jodi claims she soon discovered he was cheating on her and she also alleges he was abusive. Jodi says she broke up with him, too.

Jodi says, even after all that, they stayed friends. She followed him to Medford, Oregon. Jodi was crashing at Bobby`s friend`s parents` house, and that`s where she met Matt McCartney, who was quickly boyfriend No. 3, lasting a year before ending it.

Then Jodi hit the road for Big Sur, California. Jodi met boyfriend No. 4, Darryl Brewer. Four years later they bought a house together in Palm Desert.

Jodi traveled to Las Vegas for work, where she met Travis Alexander. Jodi went back to Palm Desert and called it quits with Darryl and began dating Travis, moving to Mesa, Arizona, to be closer to him.




ARIAS: I walked in and Travis was on the bed (EXPLETIVE DELETED). And I got really embarrassed. It was a picture of a little boy. Five-ish, 5 or 6. I`m not a good judge of age. He was dressed in underwear, in like briefs.

NURMI: Did you come away with the understanding that Mr. Alexander had a sexual interest in children?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and she claims he`s a pedophile, too, and there`s no proof for that whatsoever. So how does his pedophilia claim play into her self-defense claim? Here`s one theory. Check it out.


GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIMS` RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Because she saw him look at child pornography -- this is their theory -- again, we don`t know that that`s the fact -- that somehow he feels more vulnerable. He gets angry. He commits domestic violence against her, because he`s afraid that she will expose him and his secret.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Gloria Allred says they`re going to use that to essentially claim that Travis wanted to rub her out, because she knew his dirty little secret. And there is no proof that this man was a pedophile. And I personally don`t think that people who want to have kinky sex with adult women are the same type of people who want to be pedophiles or are pedophiles.

So let`s debate it. Joey Jackson, how does the prosecution counter this outrageous claim?

JACKSON: Well, the first way they counter it is by saying look at common sense. The police searched his home in full. Not a shred of evidence in his home with regard to pictures of little boys anywhere. A forensic examination was done on his computer, and what do we know about that? Nothing on the computer.

But lo and behold, when she walks into his room, he`s got pictures of little boys sprawled out upon his bed. It does not have the ring of truth. Just like anything else she says, not corroborated, not factual.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meg Strickler, the other side.

STRICKLER: I can definitely respond to this. People who do this -- I have a lot of experience in this particular aspect of this field -- that they do things very scandalous. It`s not - they`re not going to keep the pictures sitting out on the coffee table, and they`re not going to keep it on the hard drive or delete it and put it in their trash can. They`re going have it some place you can`t find it. So it is possible.

And secondly, it`s also possible, because people who have sexual issues can be sexual addicts, and addicts do all kinds of sex. I can`t launch loud enough on this. He could very well have had that issue and no one know about it, because it`s something you keep hidden.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Simone Bien. Simone Bien, do you believe it?

JACKSON: They did a full search on his house. Nothing there.


JACKSON: Where is it?


JACKSON: The forensic examination examined everything he went, even deleted things brought back. Nothing there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It doesn`t matter.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you believe it, Simone? Do you believe it?

BIEN: As a woman who -- look, as a woman who works with women in the field of sex, I would really warn against any guy that said to them, "Oh, when you`re orgasming, you sound like a 12-year-old girl."

The natural response is to say that is disgusting. If she is a victim, then she could have frozen. That is why there have been multiple rapes of people who have been sexually abused, because they freeze.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Simone, she`s claiming that it was boys. Little boys, not little girls. She`s all over the map in the sense that she accuses him of everything under the sun. Well, we shall see.

It was an excellent debate. Thank you, panel, for being such good sports.

We are all over this trial, and we are going continue every night until its conclusion to bring you the latest.

And Jodi, back on the stand next week. At the top of the hour, Nancy has her take on the biggest moments from this week. "NANCY GRACE MYSTERIES" tonight, 8, HLN.

And on the other side, an Olympic superstar, his gorgeous model girlfriend gunned down, and he is accused.


OSCAR PISTORIUS, OLYMPIC ATHLETE: Being an international sportsman, there`s a lot of responsibility that comes with that. And then having to toggle that and remembering that there are kids out there, especially, that look up to you is definitely something that you need to keep in the back of your mind.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An Olympic star sobbed and shook uncontrollably in front of the judge.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From Olympic glory to international shame.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don`t just intend to charge the so-called blade runner with murder. They intend to charge him with premeditated murder.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oscar Pistorius is now charged with planning to murder his girlfriend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can confirm that there was a shooting incident this morning at the home of the well-known paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius.

OSCAR PISTORIUS, PARALYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: I have been very privileged to be given a talent and over the last seven or eight years I`ve worked very hard at working on it and making sure that I can be the best athlete that I can be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He rejects the murder charge and will fight it in the strongest terms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s an incredible fall from grace for the man dubbed the Blade Runner.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s the murder case that shocked the world. A global sports hero accused of intentionally gunning down his stunning supermodel girlfriend. Today in court, disgraced Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius buried his head in his hands and sobbed uncontrollably as prosecutors announced this murder was premeditated. Just last year Oscar gained international fame as the first double amputee in the Olympics and became known as the Blade Runner. But now some are asking could this charming, handsome icon be a blade gunner?


PISTORIUS: I`m blessed in a family where the disability was never an issue. We didn`t really speak about my disability, not because it was a topic that was taboo or that we thought was a stereotype in our family. It was just never an issue.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oscar`s girlfriend, the stunning supermodel Reeva Steenkamp was shot four times on Valentine`s Day in Oscar`s gated estate in South Africa. An Afrikaans newspaper reporting she was shot four times in the hand, the pelvis, the chest and the head through a bathroom door.

The 29-year-old cover girl was on the cusp of superstardom about to get her own reality show. Her uncle is devastated and said this.


MIKE STEENKAMP, REEVA STEENKAM`S UNCLE: It was such a devastating shock that her whole life and what she could achieve never came to fulfillment and I just say she`s with the angels and that`s all I can say to you folks.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What are the secrets that led to this deadly shooting? Did Oscar Pistorius plot to kill her? Was it a crime of passion? Or did he mistake her for an intruder.

Straight out to Errol Barnett, CNN international correspondent, you are in South Africa, what is the very latest?

ERROL BARNETT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Jane, I can tell you that everyone here in South Africa is having a hard time really understanding all the information emerging from this tragic case. Oscar Pistorius was visibly shaken.

Today in court when he heard the formal charges levied against him for the first time he was shaking uncontrollably and at one point he did tear up and sobbed in the courtroom. There were two major developments and one of them, yes, the prosecutors at this very early stage of this investigation are already confident that they can get a conviction for a premeditated murder charge.

Keep in mind, Jane, it is fewer than 48 hours since this crime took place and already the prosecution has said they want to deny Oscar Pistorius the opportunity for bail and also, they say, they can prove that he intentionally gunned down, yes, his stunning girlfriend, the 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much for that report from South Africa. Reports are this beautiful woman, Reeva, was on the brink of hitting it big in the world of modeling. Those who worked with her said she was beautiful inside and outside.


HAGEN ENGLER, FORMER FHM EDITOR: She was a bikini model, beautiful, gorgeous girl, but she had like a sort of -- like a wicked, guileless (ph) sense of humor, you know. So she got it, and she kind of understood the industry which she was in and like really intelligent. So always fun to work with.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Joey Jackson, here is what I think is absolutely fascinating as we look at more video of these two individuals considered some of the most beautiful people in the entire world.

I think that he may have been upset because she was about to hit her own superstardom. She was about to get her own reality show. We know they were the only two people in the house. We know that he has owned a gun. We know that he has gone to shooting ranges. We know that neighbors heard shouts before the shots rang out. We know that there were domestic incidents according to police in that home previously, not necessarily involving this woman whom he only dated for four months.

And the biggest thing we know, Joey, is that there was a previous problem with him. He was arrested for assault in 2009, charges were dropped, but he did allegedly slam a door on a woman.

JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know what, Jane; very well stated. There are certainly things that we do know, but as the evidence unfolds there will be other things that we certainly don`t. Now, you know because you set it up in stating that the allegation is reports that it may have been an intruder and as a result of that, he mistakenly believed that he needed to use his weapon which he did.

And so I think that that`s where the defense may be going here saying it was not intentional. He didn`t mean to do this at all as evidenced by his reaction in court. He`s sobbing uncontrollably. He`s devastated. He`s hurt. He`s harmed by this and as a result of that he didn`t mean to do it, would never do it.

So I think that`s where the defense will go here in the (inaudible) premeditation and saying it was an intruder and as a result, a mistake.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s talk about some of the tweets Reeva sent. She was excited about Valentine`s Day. She said "What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow" with the #tetexcitedvalentinesday.

And Michelle Suskauer, she also said that her boo, which is boyfriend, had made her a healthy shake. They were happy. Reports are he shot four times through the bathroom door. Is it possible that they had an argument and she locked herself in the bathroom and he shoots her as part of the argument?

MICHELLE SUSKAUER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: : It`s possible, but, you know, again, because this is so completely out of character with this two -- with this relationship, we didn`t hear that there was absolutely domestic abuse within this relationship. It could very well be an intruder.

But what makes me very concerned about that is the fact that the prosecution is right away jumping very quickly that this was something that was premeditated. There is information that they have about this that we don`t know about which is really pointing in that direction. So that`s what I`m concerned about here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I think it`s fascinating. She was about to get her own reality show and become a star in her own right. Could that be part of the equation or could it be that he mistook her for an intruder. There`s a huge crime rate in South Africa and he has spoken in the past about being afraid of intruders.

Remember, he`s a double amputee so he would be extraordinarily vulnerable if somebody broke into his house. And that may be one reason why he had guns. He`s going to be back in court next week -- or at least a gun. We`re going to keep an eye on that.

Up next, a love triangle ends in murder. We`re talking "Scorned". You`ve got to see this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Our "Viral Video of the Day". A meteor blasts through the sky above Russia before exploding in a blast that shattered glass and injured about a thousand people. Take a look at this. Extraordinary. Did they know it was coming? Look at this. Look at this, boom -- a meteor.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A devout church-going father torn between his principles and his secret desires.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are often (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sometimes what things look like on the outside can be very damaging.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She made it absolutely clear that there was no way she was giving him up or her family up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The scandalous affair that turned their world upside down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was trying to please his girlfriend. He was trying to please his wife at the same time.

Murder became what he viewed as his only option.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have a whole family that was basically going with this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A horrifying, but very real tale of sex, lies and murder in suburbia. Chris and Sherry Coleman and their adorable young sons, ages 9 and 11, looked like the perfect family, but it all fell apart in a bad way when he began a steamy, secret affair. This unbelievable story will be profiled on Investigation Discovery Saturday night, but we are getting a sneak peek.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here, we see someone who was really struggling, really didn`t have the strength. Tried, but couldn`t go up against a wife who wouldn`t let him go, was fearful he`d lose a job that gave him a really good salary and then you have this addiction. It`s almost like a cocaine addiction of I need to be with the woman I want to be with. She wants to be with me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The married Chris wanted to start a new life with his mistress, but he was afraid of losing his job as a bodyguard for televangelist Joyce Meyer if he did go through and get divorced. The secret affair took a very dark turn when Chris claimed he was starting to get emails and letters threatening his family. Well, a few months later the saga turned deadly.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They made entry into each bedroom. They find the body of Sherry Coleman. They find the body of the two boys each in their rooms dead, strangled in their sleep.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You can see the full episode of "Scorned: Devil Inside" on Investigation Discovery Saturday night 10:00 p.m. Eastern. But right now we have Dr. Robi Ludwig, a contributor on Investigation Discovery to give us a preview.

Robi tell us about this torrid affair gone wrong.

DR. ROBI LUDWIG, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, Christopher actually was the type of guy who did everything he was told. People who knew him said he was really a rule follower. He was somewhat not ready to get married when he got married to Sherry, but when they got married they had two beautiful children. He was successful as a successful bodyguard. They lived this very righteous, religious life.

Sherry decides, you know what; you`re going on a business trip to Florida, why don`t you meet my former best friend from high school Tara? She could use a little bit of help. She hasn`t really found the Lord. Maybe you can help her in the same way that you helped me.

So it`s interesting. It`s actually Christopher`s wife who introduced him ultimately to his lover.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Uh-oh. That is a very toxic triangle. Now, once married, Chris` affair with his mistress really starts to heat up. He claims, then, oh, I`m getting threats via e-mail and even letters.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Threatening e-mails start arriving saying that his family is in danger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know when you leave. I know when you`re home. I know you travel a lot. Your family is going to suffer, you know, because of you.

CHIEF JOE EDWARDS, COLUMBIA POLICE DEPARTMENT: We ran a show that someone created an e-mail account on the same date and time that that e- mail was sent and then sent it to those people and then never used that e- mail again.

ED PARKINSON, PROSECUTOR: Message that was placed in the mailbox had certain spellings and affectations that were unique to Christopher Coleman, how he wrote and how he spoke.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for "Pet o` the Day. Send your pet pics to Remo -- he has a frisbee, will travel. Otis -- oh, hanging out in the basket, says I like it. My style. Callahan -- he`s fierce, he`s proud, he`s regal. And Sasha -- what an outfit, Sasha. Are you a cheerleader?



LUDWIG: Sherry encourages her husband to meet her former best friend from high school, and encourages a friendship. The appeal of Tara is that she is not ruled. She doesn`t follow rules. She`s a free spirit.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Robi, how does it go from him cheating on his wife, which is pretty common, to a triple murder?

LUDWIG: That`s the fascinating thing about this. Chris really felt that he could not divorce his wife and have the same kind of lifestyle he worked so hard to develop. And so for him --


LUDWIG: Because he was very religious. He worked for a TV evangelist and divorce was not allowed. If he divorced his wife, he could no longer serve as a bodyguard for this TV evangelist and this was a job he took a lot of pride in.

So, for him, he really felt for the first time in his life he found the love of his life, and he didn`t want anything to get in the way of having it all, the woman he truly loved --


LUDWIG: -- with all of his heart and the perfect job which he worked very hard for.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. On the morning of May 5, 2009, Chris left his home outside St. Louis in the morning. About an hour later he calls his neighbor, a detective, worried about his family and asked him to check on the house. The detective and another cop found Sherry and the dead boys in their bed.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bodies had been deceased for an extended period of time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prosecutors surmised that after texting Tara throughout the evening, Chris crept up the stairs and brutally strangled his wife, then went down the corridor and murdered his sons as they slept before finally spray-painting the house to back up his well-constructed story about a fictitious stalker.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In 2011 Chris was convicted of three counts of first- degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Robi, thank you for bringing us this story: the horror of somebody who valued an affair and his job with a televangelist more than his own precious children and his wife. How horrifying? Thank you Dr. Robi Ludwig.

LUDWIG: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Investigation Discovery, 10:00 p.m. Eastern this Saturday night, I`m going to watch it. I hope you do.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, Rico, tonight our "Animal Investigations Unit" has a very special guest -- Hollywood star James Cromwell from the Academy award-winning film, "Babe". .


JAMES CROMWELL, ACTOR: That will do, pig. That will do.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now James Cromwell`s most controversial role, loud protester at a university board hearing. This cat, Double Trouble, has become the face of this controversy. Protesting the University of Wisconsin`s experiments on cats, James Cromwell recently got arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Watch and listen to the star`s burst into the university hearing.


CROMWELL: As many 30 cats a year at UW have had cold (inaudible) metal coils implanted into their eyes. They are deafened, starved for days at a time and then decapitated. This is not science. This is torture. And it is criminal. Shame on you (inaudible). Shame on you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Full disclosure, everybody knows I`m a long-time outspoken animal activist.

Straight out to Academy award-nominee James Cromwell -- you`ve played presidents and princes. What inspired you to protest these cat experiments at the University of Wisconsin to the point where you were willing to get arrested, sir?

CROMWELL: Well, I saw those photographs which I hope your audience has just seen, these cats have holes drilled in their heads. They have metal coils implanted in their eyes. They`re deafened with toxic chemicals. They are starved for a week at a time in order to facilitate the experiment, which has absolutely no use at all to human health. The device they`re testing has been on the market for years. It is simply done to generate income for the university, and it is deplorable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We reached out to the University of Wisconsin, and they asked us to play this video of a 29-year-old woman hearing for the first time. Check it out.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: There she is happy to be hearing for the very first time. They also gave us the following statement. "The information being disseminated by PETA and advocates like James Cromwell about research at our university is unsubstantiated and flawed. A lab inspection was conducted by USDA in response to PETA`s complaint and their review found no substance to any of PETA`s allegations. The sound localization research in question has direct clinical relevance for many thousands of people who have dual cochlear implants or hearing aids. This is especially relevant to young children and significantly improves their quality of life."

James Cromwell, your response to the university`s statement?

CROMWELL: These experiments have been going on for 30 years. As I said, the device has been on the market for years. The science has not changed. This experiment does not improve those devices. And even if it improved those devices, I very much doubt that that woman, if she looked at the photograph of that cat and realized that happens to 30 cats a year, would have said, it`s worth it no matter how many animals the university tortures.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let me ask you this. What do you want people to do?

CROMWELL: I want them to get out in the streets and protest. I want them to write the universities, not only the University of Wisconsin, but any university that conducts these experiments to reconsider whether it is really worth the pain and suffering inflicted on these animals.

I know that they claim that this has an advantage -- a medical advantage. I`m not sure that that`s always the case. There are often substitutes for this. People have to get involved the same way they`re getting involved about the Keystone XL Pipeline. People have to be arrested. We have to protest. Our government`s regulations are insufficient, inadequate, and paltry in the face of this kind of cruelty.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And of course, this is taxpayer funded -- these experiments, critics say because of the National Institutes for Health. So tax dollars, in your opinion, should be used for other types of experiments?

CROMWELL: Absolutely. We certainly know by now how often taxpayers` dollars are misspent.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I want to thank you, James Cromwell, for joining us. Animals can`t speak for themselves. That`s one thing we can all agree on.

Nancy`s Next.