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Jury Skeptical of Jodi`s Self-Defense Argument?

Aired April 30, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, we are less than 24 hours away from Jodi Arias`s last stand. The defense team`s last chance to save Jodi from potentially being executed.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you from New York City, but I`m headed to Arizona tonight.

From the jury questions, it would appear jurors are extremely skeptical of Jodi`s claims that she killed Travis in self-defense and went into a fog. But could everybody be wrong? Could this happen again?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to the charge of first degree murder, verdict as to count one, we the jury find the defendant not guilty. As to the charge of aggravated child abuse, verdict as to count two, we the jury find the defendant not guilty. As to the charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child, verdict as to count three, we the jury find the defendant not guilty.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We all remember the Casey Anthony trial where all the talking heads were so very sure Casey was going to be convicted of killing her daughter, Caylee. And they were all wrong. Now on the eve of judgment day, could all the experts be wrong about what the Jodi Arias jury is thinking? Or is this case different because Jodi took the stand?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your blood is mixed with his, and that`s the blood he bled that day when he was killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really was an obsession type of a thing.

JODI ARIAS, MURDER DEFENDANT (via phone): You make me so horny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are still in the thick of this death penalty murder trial.

MIMI HALL, FRIEND OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: She had slashed his tires several times.

ARIAS (on camera): It wasn`t me. I wasn`t there.

DREW PINSKY, HLN ANCHOR: The whole life is this one person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obsessed is the word.

ARIAS: "I don`t ever want to get another freaking text from you again."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would you go to kill that person, if it`s not working out?

ARIAS: No jury will convict me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In mega-trial after mega-trial, the experts are often wrong about what they think the jurors have decided.

But first, let`s debate the biggest blunders in this case. Let`s start with the defense. Was it allowing Jodi Arias to take the stand in her own defense and stay on the stand for 18 days? Starting with Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, author of "In Justice for Some," for the prosecution -- Wendy Murphy.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes, you took it right out of my mouth, Jane. My absolutely certain, no doubt about it opinion about the worst thing the defense did was putting her on the stand. Here`s why.

Even though there were times when she came across as sincere, she lied to the jury. And juries don`t mind nearly as much when accused killers lie to the cops or lie to prosecutors. They mind a lot when someone takes the stand and lies to their face. Because then they feel manipulated; they feel exploited. They feel taken advantage of. And then they`re in the room, and they`re saying, "You`re disrespecting a court of law. We`re going to hold that against you. And we think you`re guilty anyway. Now we`re going to find you guilty with a vengeance." That`s why she should never have taken the stand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Put another way, if Jodi had never taken the stand, prosecutor Juan Martinez would never have had the chance to ask her this.


JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: Ma`am, were you crying when you were shooting him?

ARIAS: I don`t remember.

MARTINEZ: Were you crying when you were stabbing him?

ARIAS: I don`t remember.

MARTINEZ: How about when you cut his throat? Were you crying then?

ARIAS: I don`t know.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Renee -- Rene Sandler, for the defense, if you are going to talk to the jurors, don`t give them a whopper like "I went into a fog."

RENE SANDLER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That`s why you have experts. And in this case, there were several experts, and you`ll see more on surrebuttal.

But a big blunder in this case came from the state`s own expert, where she wanted very, very hard not -- not to give the defense anything but conceded on cross-examination that one of the testing scores was so high that it could be consistent with PTSD, which fits right into the defense. So big blunder in this case was the state`s own expert.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are so happy and delighted to have with us famed victims` rights attorney Gloria Allred. And I know you have expressed that you feel that has made a mockery of domestic violence victims because of her claims that she was sexually degraded and abused when the prosecution says, well, she was a very eager and willing partner in whatever sexual degradation occurred -- Gloria.

GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIMS` RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Yes, I agree, Jane. Because really, it`s so difficult anyway to present a battered women`s defense, which is applicable in many situations where, in fact, there is a woman who is a battered woman and who has had to shoot or in some way kill her husband or intimate partner because she feared that he was going to hurt her as he had done in the past.

Here, it does make a mockery of it. And I think it`s very upsetting to many women who are battered women to have it used in this way because it dilutes their ability to be believed in the future cases.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So in terms of blunders, was the sex card a blunder for the defense? Was the sex card a blunder for the prosecution? They both played their own versions of the sex tape. Sex has been a huge factor in this trial. The defense has not shied away from trying to use it for their advantage, including the phone sex call, as we`ve been discussing, between Jodi and Travis. We all remember this.


TRAVIS ALEXANDER, MURDER VICTIM (via phone): I want to give you a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) too.

ARIAS (via phone): What`s that? (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

ALEXANDER: Where I blow my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) right, just like a quarter inch inside your (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I mean it`s going to be like legitimate porn.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So many of us have said we have never seen such a highly sexualized trial: naked photos, sex tapes, raunchy instant messages. Adam Swickle, it is a wild card. Sex is such an issue that people had such strong emotions ad visceral emotions about. But could playing the sex tape ultimately have been a bad idea for the defense?

ADAM SWICKLE, ATTORNEY: Well, first of all, Jane, putting her on the witness stand was something they had no choice. That`s not a blunder. That`s something they needed to do, because self-defense was an issue.

As far as the sex issue is concerned, whether that`s a blunder, absolutely not. One thing we know about it is it`s true. This was the story. This was the life in which she lived with him. And this is the reason, according to the defense, that she had to defend herself.

And to say that this is somehow an insult or an embarrassment to battered women, I wonder if the same exact people, if Jodi would have come to him early on, whether they would have said before all this happened she is a battered individual and needs to be defended. So I absolutely don`t think that was a blunder, as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: As we debate it, let`s see our panel. Because I know that there are people on the panel who strongly disagree with you. But finish your thought, Adam Swickle.

SWICKLE: The one thing I was going to agree with earlier, the individual who spoke is that the expert for the prosecution really was an inexperienced expert. They walked right into the hands of the defense when they put forth these high scores in this concept that she could be suffering. Not only for the self-defense issue, but especially as this plays out to whether or not she can be convicted and then put to death.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t know what you just said, honestly. What did you just say, seriously?

SWICKLE: What I`m saying...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You said somebody made a blunder. What blunder?

SWICKLE: The blunder was that they put an expert on who, No. 1, was not experienced, that only testified to...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who are you talking about?

SWICKLE: The prosecution`s expert.


SWICKLE: That`s the individual. I forgot her name, to be honest with you. But the prosecution`s expert, one of them, who gave the actual test scores, which showed that Jodi could be suffering from certain ailments which would actually affect whether she could be put to death in this particular state.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, I`m going to translate. I think what you`re saying is Janeen DeMarte, who was the prosecution psychologist, said she has borderline personality disorder. And I have said that I don`t think that`s such a bad thing for the defense, so if you`re mentally ill, people might feel sorry for you. So let me give Wendy Murphy a crack at that one.

MURPHY: Yes, but the key difference in terms of what the experts have been talking about is that one actually goes to the question, could she have had this fog of no memory about the knives? The borderline personality doesn`t get her there, because that`s not in the books. That doesn`t happen. When you`re borderline, you`re just an animal; you`re a sociopath. You kill and then you smile and you go have sex with your other boyfriend. That`s what she did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sociopath. Leave animals out of it.

MURPHY: I know. I`m sorry. I should have remembered: it`s Jane Velez. I`m so sorry.

But look, I think the defense put on the crappiest case in terms of expert witnesses. Alyce LaViolette was a joke. I mean, she as like a cartoon character, mocking the whole process, making fun of things, snapping with her comments in a way that made her look ridiculously unprofessional.

Plus, she`s a hired gun, who you know, no matter what she thinks, she`s up there for cash, which is problematic. The next expert the defense puts on, Geffner, same kind of guy. These people supposedly care about victims. That`s their area of expertise. I don`t think they`ll ever get hired on another job again, because they sold their souls in this case. And the jury sees right through that. They`re going to hold it against Jodi Arias.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now Beth Karas, correspondent, "In Session," on the ground in Arizona, you`ve seen it all. We`re at the 11th hour. And now we have more possible experts coming on in this 11th hour to kind of argue some of the big issues that we thought maybe we`d already put to rest or had exhausted. We`re talking about them for 50-some days. Tell us what you`ve just learned.

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": Well, the defense is going to call a surrebuttal witness. The judge is allowing it, a psychologist named Robert Geffner from San Diego. He has expertise in domestic violence.

Not only do they want him to rebut Janeen DeMarte, who says that Jodi Arias has a borderline personality disorder.

But they filed a notice yesterday, saying they also want him to rebut Dr. Kevin Horn, the last rebuttal witness for the state, the medical examiner who talked about how Travis Alexander would be incapacitated if he had been shot in the head first. So he could not have grabbed the knife and done all these purposeful activities like standing at the sink and dripping and spitting blood into the sink and staggering, ambulating down the hall where he fell and had his throat slashed. He couldn`t have done that with a shot to the head. So they want their next witness, Geffner, to rebut that, as well.

But, the state also filed notice that they want to call a neuropsychologist named Jill Hayes. I don`t know if the judge is allowing that. They may be in her discretion, but the judge wants all testimony to finish on Wednesday so closing can go forward Thursday.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I don`t understand how that`s going to happen, Beth Karas, because we saw these defense witnesses stay on the stand for day after day after day after day, these experts. And now we think we`re going to be able to cram two experts in in one day and have them discuss everything from the actual killings to whether or not she`s got borderline personality disorder, I find it hard to believe.

KARAS: ... rebuttal -- they`re rebuttal witnesses, or surrebuttal witnesses. Their testimony has to be very narrow by definition. The witnesses, up until that point, the experts were in their own cases in chief. Well, I guess DeMarte was in a rebuttal case. But they had much broader testimony.

These witnesses are going to be focused on rebutting specific testimony. They will have to give their background, their expertise, all that. But I -- I do expect that the witnesses to be on and off the stand in one day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that is tomorrow. So, basically, Jodi`s last stand, last stance, last chance to sway this jury. Can she do it? Or will prosecutor Juan, with his final, final witness seal the deal?

On the other side, could the prosecution have done more to show Jodi`s bizarre behavior to the jury? We`ve seen so much that the jury has not seen. They never saw the headstand. Why not? Stay right there.


ALEXANDER (via phone): (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a freaking romp session. Just like, oh, whatever.

ARIAS (via phone): You`re -- you`re not joking. Like there have been a few times where I`ve been bold enough to just pull you onto bed and start.




ARIAS: And I was in my church clothes; he was his church clothes. He spun me around. He bent me over the bed. He lifted up my skirt, and he pulled down my underwear. He unzipped his pants, and he began to have anal sex with me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Speaking of possible blunders, we just talked about all the defense blunders. Exhibit A, putting Jodi Arias on the stand quite possibly their worst blunder.

But what about the prosecution side? Now, we have seen so much crazy behavior by Jodi Arias. All this bizarre activity in the interrogation room when she was being grilled by the police and when they left the room. The jurors had seen none of it. Zero. Check it out.


ARIAS (singing): It might change my memory.

(speaking): Should have at least done your make-up, Jodi, gosh.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She is singing, laughing, talking to herself about make-up on the day that she was arrested for killing Travis. Was the biggest blunder for the prosecution to keep this from the jury?

And I`m going to start with somebody from the defense. Rene Sandler, take it.

SANDLER: Jane, I think it would actually help the defense in terms of any mental illness or mental health issues.

But clearly, I think the state`s biggest blunder in this case was putting the ex-girlfriends on the stand and subjecting them to just rigorous sexual questioning about their sexual relationship with Travis Alexander. At the end of the day with those witnesses, it didn`t help either side and humiliated these witnesses. So for me, that was the biggest blunder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: My -- my question right here, you`re looking at crazy behavior. Why didn`t the jury get to see it, and should they have, Gloria Allred?

ALLRED: Jane, I don`t think it would have mattered one way or the other. It pales in significance compared to the premeditation evidence that was put on by the prosecution. Compared to the story about the gas can and how she didn`t apparently want to be seen going into Arizona, didn`t want to use a credit card, didn`t want the video that might be seen from the gas station of being in Arizona. The fact there`s no cell activity on her cell phone while she`s in Arizona. The dying of her hair. The same .25 caliber gun stolen from her grandparents` home also used to kill Travis Alexander. The jury can conclude whether or not that was the same gun.

I think that`s going to be the focus of the final argument by the prosecution, and whether or not she did a headstand or a handstand in that room while waiting for police interrogation is not going to matter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, the reason I say it is that, if you look at that shot, I don`t know if we can pull it up again where -- and these are the tragic shots of the victim, who we never want to forgot, Travis Alexander. But since she made such a case of trying to be, "Oh, I was -- I was sexually abused and degraded."

And you see her behaving in such a highly sexualized fashion inside the interrogation room and just hair flipping, very sexualized. And of course, the infamous, where she goes back, and I don`t want to do it because I`ll keel over. But this move, this move, highly sexual.

Wendy Murphy, don`t you think that that would have telegraphed -- you know, they say a picture is worth a thousand wards. It would have telegraphed to the jury what this woman is all about without having to get so much into the minutiae of the sex conversation. Look at this. What is -- who does that in an interrogation room?

MURPHY: Well, you know, it could be a performance. Remember, the problem is one person`s cuckoo is another person`s cavalier. And there`s a real risk that you show a tape like that to the jury and one might say, "God, she`s nuts," which could work to her advantage, or "She`s really sexual," which could work to her advantage, or "She`s so cavalier. She killed a guy and she`s acting like she`s at the circus. Oh, we`re going to fry her." So because you can`t plan how a jury would interpret it and it is subject, I think, to different inferences, it`s a dangerous thing to do.

I`ll tell you what I think the biggest mistake the prosecution has made, and correct me if I`m wrong, but I think it`s what they didn`t focus on.

Her first lie to the cops, other than "I didn`t do it, I wasn`t there" was two ninjas came in. Right? Remember the story? Well, in that ninja story, she said, "Oh, and one of them went after Travis with a knife." Remember that?

I think the prosecution should be saying, "Isn`t it interesting that she remembered the knife when she had to make a plausible excuse for who might have killed him when she was talking about the fake ninjas. And it was only for the trial that she came with the `I have traumatic amnesia. I know nothing about knives` story?" I haven`t heard the defense make -- the prosecution say much of that. I think it kills her big fat lie about the fog "and I don`t know what the hell happened with any knife. I have no memory of any knife."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you, Wendy Murphy. I think prosecutor Juan Martinez has done a fantastic job. But there`s got to be other ways to puncture the fog. Puncture the fog.

More on the other side.


MARTINEZ: When he was performing oral sex on you, you said he sure knew what he was doing. Do you remember saying that? Do you remember that?


MARTINEZ: Well, doesn`t it take one to know one?




KIRK NURMI, JODI`S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Did he ever call you a whore?


NURMI: Slut?




NURMI: Did he ever tell you how he wanted to tie you to a tree and, quote, (EXPLETIVE DELETED)?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Judgment day for Jodi is in sight. Now will her famous -- I would say infamous -- words to "Inside Edition" come back to haunt her? Listen to this from "Inside Edition."


ARIAS: No jury is going to convict me.


ARIAS: Because I`m innocent. And you can mark my words on that.

I was very confident that no jury would convict me because I planned to be dead. Probably the most bitter words I`ll ever eat.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s go back out to Beth Karas on the ground in Arizona outside the courthouse. We know that both sides have been conferring with the judge about what charges the jury will consider. Tell us what you know.

KARAS: Well, we do believe that the lesser included charges, the second-degree murder and manslaughter, will go to the jury. The defense filed a request last week, asking that manslaughter under the theory of sudden quarrel or heat of passion go to the jury.

Now, the judge`s ruling is not public. But I would be very surprised if she denies it.

So if second-degree and manslaughter go to the jury, then the -- then the jury will have those two lessers. And second-degree murder is just like premeditated first-degree murder without the premeditation. It`s an intentional killing. There are different states of mind. The jury will be instructed, I believe, on all of them.

And then manslaughter, it`s not going to be the reckless manslaughter. They don`t have voluntary, involuntary. They just call it manslaughter. And it will be the sudden quarrel or heat of passion upon provocation by the victim.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s try to break this down, because so many people get confused. The jury instructions are like this thick sometimes. And it`s all gobbledygook.

Wendy Murphy, what is the difference between murder one and second- degree? I think we understand that murder one is either premeditated -- she planned it -- or felony murder...

MURPHY: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... and that is murder. Explain that part.

MURPHY: Yes, so depending on the state, but certainly in Arizona, it`s pretty clear that there are a couple of options. A jury can be asked to find her guilty of first-degree murder if they find that she premeditated; in other words, not planned for a long time, but perhaps planned even for a little bit of time. That`s premeditation. And that she acted with malice and that it was an intentional killing.

The other option, the felony murder rule is that, if they believe that she committed another felony in connection with the murder, they could sort of ignore whether it was premeditated and find that the felony itself justifies a first-degree conviction.

If they find neither premeditation nor the felony, they would bump it down to second-degree, which is very simple: the intentional killing of a human being with malice. And malice is the state of mind that matters most.

I don`t think there`s any doubt that they will find her guilty of first-degree murder. I don`t think there`s a chance they will find her guilty of manslaughter. But because of all the nonsense she put into the case, they have to be instructed to consider those options. If she hadn`t taken the stand, none of these would have been options.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Manslaughter by sudden quarrel or heat of passion. Explain that.

MURPHY: Right. OK. So that is the unintentional killing. You`re not planning, you`re not even acting with malice in terms of wanting a human being to be dead. You didn`t plan it; you didn`t want it to happen.

But, because you were provoked by someone else`s aggression or a fight that ensued, you killed almost like -- not by accident, but that you were acting in the moment with such rage and uncontrollable emotion that you almost couldn`t help yourself. It certainly wasn`t planned and it wasn`t malicious. That`s manslaughter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. So we`ve covered first-degree, and then we covered second-degree. And getting into this manslaughter, does it have to be provoked for it to be unintentional killing, didn`t plan it, acting in the heat of the moment, heat of passion, sudden quarrel? Would it have to be provoked?

MURPHY: Not necessarily, because there`s no requirement that there be a thing that happens first to cause the provocation. The notion of sudden quarrel really doesn`t blame the person who started first. It`s certainly one of the things they`ll look at when they -- when they`re instructed on the possibility that there was provocation. But the sudden quarrel really doesn`t require particular provocation.

Beth might correct me if I`m wrong, but that would be the law in general in Massachusetts.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is what I don`t get: how do you distinguish second-degree from first-degree, in that premeditation can be -- occur in the blink of an eye? And so if second-degree is an intentional killing, when you form that intent, aren`t you then premeditating it?

And I think that`s a question we should discuss on the other side, because viewers, you want to know all this stuff. When the verdict comes down, you want to understand the terms; we all do, so we can make sense of it. Stay right there.


ARIAS: "You like to ruin every day of mine, and I`m tired of it. You`re texting about something time sensitive is just a way to bring me back into the bull crap. Otherwise, you would have just told me. I don`t ever want to get another freaking text from you again or a call unless it`s an apology and a thank you for constantly having to take on your never- ceasing problems. Not one freaking more."




JODI ARIAS, ON TRIAL FOR MURDER OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: I felt an attraction to him. It wasn`t anything defined, we were sort of seeing each other.

He wasn`t treating me bad. He just seemed checked out, kind of pissed and primarily physical.

I kind of felt like a prostitute sort of; I felt a little bit used. But I knew I had gone there on my own willingly.

I wasn`t thinking of writing him off. I developed feelings for him. I was excited to see him because I liked him.

It kind of felt stupid. I was like, what is he going to think if I`m showing up at his house at 3:00 in the morning.

KURT NURMI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Why not just break up with him?

ARIAS: I liked him. So I didn`t want to break up with him.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HSOT: The jury expected to get this case and start deliberating by the end of this week -- closing arguments Thursday and Friday.

Now, we are talking about what the possible charges they will deliberate are. So we have covered first degree, which is premeditated or felony and we`ve covered second degree and the possibility likely manslaughter by a sudden quarrel or heat of passion.

So let me ask Gloria Allred, famed victim rights attorney, the difference between first degree because premeditation can happen at the blink of an eye and second degree and intentional killing. When you form that intent isn`t that premeditation?

GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIM RIGHTS ATTORNEY: It is going to be always a question for the jury if there was premeditation. But here, we don`t have just an instantaneous decision. If you believe the prosecution`s abundant evidence that they put on why they are going to be able to argue premeditation, there is so much here, so much more evidence of premeditation than one would ordinarily see in any murder case.

So, yes, you are right. It could be premeditation just in a few minutes, maybe even a matter of seconds. But, that`s not what the argument is going to be here. It`s going to be that it was planned so much in advance and the evidence supports that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Adam Swickle for the defense.

ADAM SWICKLE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I certainly agree with Gloria, that there is evidence of premeditation but the question is, have they been able to prove it beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt? That is what the defense is trying to do throughout this case is to show that there is reasonable doubt. There`s a plausible likelihood that something else occurred such that you should either convict her of murder two or manslaughter.

And I think they have been able to show certain things. The question is, does the jury buy it?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, this gets back to my original point at the top of the show, when we asked could a Casey Anthony type decision happen again? Because everybody with all their common sense, all the pundits, we were all there, everybody was concluding, yes, she goes dirty dancing, she must be responsible. But when the jurors were questioned, they said look, we can`t make that leap. We needed forensics and there were a lack of forensics.

Now, in this case, Rene Sandler for the defense, there`s a lot of forensics. Her bloody palm print with his blood and her blood is mixed up on the wall. Her hair is there. There`s camera photos that show she was having sex with him. She was taking pictures with him moments before. And there`s the inadvertent photos that show her pants leg with his, either dead or dying body.

RENE SANDLER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: A lot of facts, a lot of evidence. She killed him -- we know that. All that ties together for second degree murder in my opinion and goes directly to another wonder that we haven`t talked about for the state -- and that is the sequencing, the order of wounds. You have an officer that testified differently in this trial previously because he misunderstood the medical examiner.

And I`ve said all along, it`s going to come down to the order of wounds to distinguish for this jury in forensic fashion first from second degree murder. We know she killed him. We know she lied. But order of wounds is critical.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, quickly, I would like Wendy Murphy`s response to that.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes. Order of wounds is going to prove and has already proved that she`s a really bad liar when she says that he was shot first. Because we all know that number one, now there`s very, very clear agreement about this. He got shot here through the brain down like this. He could not have been flailed around because he would have been completely debilitated.

Plus, the cap, the casing from the bullet was on top of the blood, the blood that already gushed out at him from --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s right.

MURPHY: -- the stabbing wounds. I think what we clearly tell in terms of order of injuries is she takes a picture of him, it`s a frontal nude in the shower. Right? I have no doubt, she then said no, turn around honey, I want to get a picture of your really cute rear end. Soon as he turned around, she dropped the camera on purpose, took the knife out from behind her pants and went -- then he walked around over to the sink, she started stabbing him in the back, then stabbing him like this in the heart because it`s an upward injury.

I mean there`s no other way to interpret the forensic evidence except that she stabbed him first, shot him to be a despicable monster.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side. Stay right there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This isn`t a trial about, you know, how good of a Mormon he was or how well he lived up to his religion or what his sexual fantasies were. You know I think one thing we all have to remember here is this is a human being.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: The dramatic conclusion to the Jodi Arias trial right around the corner. We`ll have every moment as her life hangs in the balance.

But we also want to tell you about this woman. A trial in Florida we are going to follow and bringing you total coverage on. Karen Kelly is charged in second degree murder in the death of her boyfriend. Just like Jodi Arias, Karen Kelly changed her story many times. She said it was self-defense. She said the gun went off accidentally. She said that her boyfriend shot himself. So what really happened that fateful and deadly night?

Full coverage here on HLN 7:00 p.m. Eastern; this is our next case that we are going to cover.



ARIAS: If I`m found guilty, I don`t have a life. I`m not guilty. I didn`t hurt Travis. If I hurt Travis, if I killed Travis, I would beg for the death penalty.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So many lies in that couple of sentences. First of all, let`s tell you what death row is really like. She lied saying she didn`t hurt Travis. We know now; she admitted she killed him claiming self-defense. And she says oh, she would beg for death row.

Well, there are only three other women on death row in Arizona but each inmate is kept separate, absolutely no interaction with other inmates. Inmates are allowed only two 10-minute phone calls a week and only limited visitation through glass walls. The average inmate spends, by the way, 12 years in this minimal and isolated state before being executed.

So I want to bring in psychologist Dr. Seth Meyers. For somebody to blithely say I beg for death row, especially given the ultimate penalty, you are killed by lethal injection -- what does that say about her psychologically?

DR. SETH MEYERS, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, it shows psychologically that she`s extremely dramatic. She`s very hyperbolic. And I think it shows an overall sort of disrespect for authority and systems as they work.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I just think it`s absolutely fascinating. Beth Karas, tell us what happens if she is found guilty of murder one. Immediately, that triggers the next phase is my understanding -- the penalty phase.

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Yes, but the penalty phase here in Arizona is actually split into two. So the jury will actually deliberate two more times. The first part is called the aggravation phase -- there may be a little evidence, maybe just the arguments. But the jury will decide if the one aggravating factor charged has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

And that aggravator is cruelty. And it`s a defined term -- it`s physical and mental anguish in the length of time it took him to die and did he know he was dying. And I`m sure the prosecutor will say as he stood at the sink getting stabbed in the back and in his head before his throat was slashed, he knew he was dying.

And then if the jury says yes, that is proven beyond a reasonable doubt then the next phase, which is called the penalty phase -- it`s mitigation -- will begin. And the defense will put on other evidence of mitigation. And apparently, the victims have a right to testify to rebut mitigation. So family members of Travis Alexander can get up there to rebut mitigation and talk about Travis Alexander, the person he was and what their lives are like without him.

But that`s not to be considered in aggravation. It`s only to rebut mitigation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then I heard at some point along this process, Jodi Arias herself can get up and make some kind of statement. So we may not have heard the last of her --

KARAS: Yes. Correct.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- which is fascinating. We`ll talk about that.

KARAS: Correct. She can`t testify. Right -- ok. She can`t testify.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But she can make a statement.

KARAS: Lawyers can`t ask her questions. She can make a statement. Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. On the other side, we are going to talk a little bit about that. Stay right there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t look like the person that would plan something like this. You`re just not that person. I could believe other things, but not that.

ARIAS: It looks like you don`t even need a good prosecutor anyway.


ARIAS: I have to maintain my innocence. I can`t admit to doing something I haven`t done.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for "Pet of the Day". Send your pet pics to Lola and Baby -- we`re twins and we`re happy. Mia -- stunning, stunning fashion statement -- you have to walk the runway. Parker says well, I`m a simple guy and I`m just going to go naked. We love you, though. And Shiloh, he`s got his own toy and he says you can`t have it. It`s mine.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Quick, round robin with our panel, if Jodi is convicted and it moves to the death phase will she make a statement on her own behalf? Starting with Adam Swickle.

SWICKLE: You know, in these kinds of situations you have to be careful. I don`t necessarily think she is going to make a statement. If she makes a statement, it could hurt her on appeal if she admits a lot of things. If she doesn`t make a statement the way that the judge wants to hear and throws herself on the sword --


SWICKLE: -- then it could negatively affect what the judge will rule.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Gloria -- thank you.

SWICKLE: So I think in this case it is very difficult.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gloria Allred.

ALLRED: I think she will want to make a statement. Whether or not the defense thinks that is a good idea and whether they think it`s a bad idea they are able to talk their client out of it is the open question.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Quickly, Wendy Murphy?

MURPHY: She will make a statement. It will be a lie and it will be scripted for maximum pain to the family of the victim.


MURPHY: She will make a statement. She may have some assistance from attorneys in crafting it but she will absolutely make a statement and have the last word.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because she likes to talk. We do know that. And she likes attention.

All right. Stay right there. On the other side of the break -- thank you fantastic panel -- wonderful, wonderful panel.

We are talking George Zimmerman, huge day today.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you following him?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok. We don`t need you to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did he even get out of the car? Why was my son --

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If I had a son he would look like Trayvon.

ZIMMERMAN: I looked at it. He said, "You`re going to die (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and he reached for it.

I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. And I did not know if he was armed or not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In his possession we found a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman back in court and almost unrecognizable. Take a look at him. Yes, he has gained weight. Zimmerman`s attorney says that George Zimmerman has gained more than 110 pounds.

But just as stunning: Zimmerman decided not to go after a "Stand Your Ground" attempt at get-out-of-jail free card, at least not for now.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it your decision not to have a pretrial immunity hearing?

ZIMMERMAN: After consultation with my counsel, no.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very soft spoken George Zimmerman in court today. Let`s go straight out to our very special guest Natalie Jackson, who is the attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family -- Trayvon Martin being the young man who was killed in this tragic encounter. What do you make of what happened in court today that they decided not to play that "Stand your ground" card at least for now?

NATALIE JACKSON, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON MARTIN`S FAMILY: We thought that was what would happen. I think that what is missing in a lot of people in this case the "Stand your ground" immunity hearing would have allowed him not to go to trial. So by him waiving it he waived a huge right. And by him waiving it, it was indicative to us that the defense didn`t think that they could win the immunity hearing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And a lot of people don`t really understand the difference between "Stand your ground" and self defense. You shoot somebody without "Stand your ground" you go to trial and you can claim self defense and then a jury hears it.

JACKSON: Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But with "Stand your ground" you don`t even have to go to trial. And so that is why critics say that it really makes the person with the gun judge, jury and executioner. Your thought -- Natalie?

JACKSON: Well, it does. And you know, we are actually challenging the "Stand your ground" laws. However, we have said that the "Stand your ground" laws don`t apply to George Zimmerman in this case.

And I think that if the defense thought that they could win a "Stand your ground" hearing there is no reason for them not to have gone ahead and have it because what it would have done, it would have precluded him from having to go to trial. And at trial he is risking 25 years to life if he is found guilty.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, one of the key pieces of evidence in this case, a 911 call placed by a neighbor. In it you can hear somebody screaming. The big question: was it Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman? Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you think he`s yelling help?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it is George Zimmerman it documents his story completely and also documents his injury. You know, the thought is somebody who is screaming for help is the one that`s injured. If it turned out to be conclusively Trayvon Martin it would document that George was acting in a very aggressive way towards him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now let`s talk about witness number eight because that was huge in the case today. Supposedly a good friend of Trayvon Martin`s is on the phone with him when this tragic encounter occurred. They tried to say that -- the defense did -- George Zimmerman`s defense said she was lying when she said she had to go to the hospital instead of attending the funeral for Trayvon Martin.

What is your side of the story there?

JACKSON: Our opinion on that is that it is not relevant as to why George Zimmerman got out of his car and decided to follow Trayvon and confront Trayvon and get into an altercation with him. This is stuff that happened after the fact. And it is not relevant.

You know, they want to bring it in for impeachment purposes which certainly they can but the value of that impeachment --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to thank you for that explanation. A complex subject, a complicated hearing but we broke it down for you. Major development. Come back soon as we continue to follow the George Zimmerman case.

Thank you for joining us -- Natalie.

Nancy Grace up next.