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Jury Ponders Arias Fate; 3 Missing Women Found; Amanda Knox Afraid of Returning to Prison.

Aired May 7, 2013 - 11:30   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: It is a critical deliberation. It is not just any case. It is a death penalty case. Literally, they hold a life in their hands. The evidence has been overwhelming, the lies, the revision of lies, the other evidence, the prosecutor, the defense, Jodi herself, three weeks on the stand.

I'm joined again by Ted Rowlands, Beth Karas, and Jane Velez-Mitchell to parse through some of the things she said that sounded preposterous and why maybe it could be explained away.

First, Beth, to you.

Is it the lies that are going to be so critical and the debunking of those lies that she did for those, what, 19 or 18 days on the stand, or will it be the other physical stuff that just listed out before the break that will really be the hard hurdle for that jury to get past?

BETH KARAS, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I actually think it's going to be to be a combination of those things, Ashleigh, because Jodi Arias did get on that stand and said I lied a lot in the past, but I'm not lying right now. However, the prosecutor confronted her with other evidence to show, yes, she was lying about certain things, so she did lie to the jury. Certainly about, like, buying gas cans. An innocuous point one could argue, and she lied about that, and then she could have lied about other things. She perhaps didn't help herself by being on the stand for 18 days. A lot of people, I have talked to legal analysts, saying she should have been on and off that stand and not stretch it out from February 4th through March almost or into March.

BANFIELD: Yes. It could be incredibly extensive if you have yours that believe they're being lied to, to hear it over and over and over again.

Jane Velez-Mitchell, to you now.

The revisions of the stories we were told, the admission says and explanations and the coincidences one after another after another that had to be explained why. I am curious about the phone - call, the phone call that Jodi Arias admittedly made to the victim's voice mail after the killing, and the tone of voice and what she did with that voice mail. Can you explain what happened there?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST, JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is diabolical. OK? She killed Travis Alexander. Slitting his throat, stabbing him 29 times. Shooting him in the face. Then she stays off. When she's in this so-called -- at some point she calls the dead man and leaves him a voice mail, and she does it a couple of times to make sure she gets it absolutely right, and you when she does? She invites him to go through "Othello." A friend of mine and I are going to see some shake peer. We would love you to join us. It gets worse. She then drives to Utah, and she canoodles with another guy who is a business associate of Travis Alexander and she goes to a business meeting and sits down at a Chili's Restaurant with all of Travis Alexander's friends, and they're asking why do you have all these cuts on your hands? She's got them covered with band-aids. She said, oh, I'm a bartender. I cut my hand. They didn't put it together because they didn't know Travis Alexander was dead at that point, but once they found out that Travis Alexander was dead, they suddenly remembered that dinner, and they went, wow.

BANFIELD: That was odd.

Beth, just quickly, the way the defense attorney will look at a case like this is to explain it as best they can under the guidance of what it is like to be a battered woman, and this certainly seems to be the prevailing biz wisdom of this defense in Jodi's case.

Here's the question when it comes to evidence, hard evidence, of any kind of battered woman's syndrome. Is it just the words of an admitted and repeated liar that the jury has to go on in that room?

KARAS: Yes. It's all from Jodi. Now, she has a crooked finger. Her left hand, ring finger, she says was broken by Travis Alexander in January 2008. A month before she killed him. She says in one of these violent incidents, she says, and that was one of them. It's broken in a way that -- it looks like the tendon was cut and it healed shorter so the finger is upright like that. Some think that she actually cut the tendon killing him. There's no evidence about that broken finger, but she says he did, but there's no corroboration, no police report, no medical report, nothing.

BANFIELD: That is a very difficult case. The only story you have to tell is your own with no evidence backing it. A mountain of evidence on the other side. It could be a short deliberation, but the three of us have been through other -- we've been surprised at a whole lot of things.

Thank you to both of you. Stand by if you will because next up we have details that are still coming out of Ohio on the shocking case of three missing women, all of them found alive. Police have said so far today about the investigation into what these three went through for the last decade.


BANFIELD: Welcome back. I'm Ashleigh Banfield reporting live. Again, this amazing story in Ohio. Three women each missing for somewhere close to a decade, but found in a Cleveland neighborhood in an unassuming home really not far from where each of them was snatched off the street, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight. Berry is the one that escapes the house, calls police and helps the others.

Here's part of her dramatic 911 call.



AMANDA BERRY, MISSING WOMAN: Help me. I'm Amanda Berry.

DISPATCHER: You need police, fire, or ambulance?

BERRY: I need police.

DISPATCHER: OK. And what is going on there?

BERRY: I have been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years, and I'm here. I'm free now.

DISPATCHER: OK. What's your address?

BERRY: 2207 Seymour Avenue?

DISPATCHER: 2207 Seymour? It looks like you're calling me from 2210.


BERRY: I can't hear you.

DISPATCHER: It looks like you are calling me from 2210 Seymour.

BERRY: Yes. I'm across the street. I'm using their phone.

DISPATCHER: OK. Stay there with those neighbors. Talk to police when they get there.


DISPATCHER: OK. Talk to the police when they get there.

BERRY: OK. Hello.

DISPATCHER: Yes, talk to the police when they get there.

BERRY: OK. Are they on their way right now?

DISPATCHER: We're going to send them as soon as we get a car open.

BERRY: No, I need them now before he gets back.


BANFIELD: Amanda Berry, absolutely heroic. You can hear the fear in her voice? And there's another hero in this story as well. A neighbor named Charles Ramsey. He liberated her. He got her out of that house of horrors, and she actually made that 911 phone call from his home nearby. Here is how he describes his part in all of this.


CHARLES RAMSEY, HELPED AMANDA BERRY: She comes out with a little girl, and she says call 911. My name is Amanda Berry.

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Did you know who that was when she said that?

RAMSEY: When she told me it didn't register until I got to calling 911, and I'm, like, I'm calling the 911 for Amanda Berry. I thought this girl was dead. We seen this dude every day. I mean, every day.

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: How long have you lived here?

RAMSEY: I have been here a year. I barbecue with this dude. We eat ribs and what not. Listen to salsa music.

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Had you no indication that there was --

RAMSEY: Not -- bro, not a clue that that girl was in that house or anybody else in there against their will because how he is -- he just comes up to his backyard, plays with the dogs, tinkering with his cars and motorcycles, goes back in the House. He is somebody you look and look away. He is not doing nothing but the average stuff. Nothing exciting about him. Well, until the other day.


BANFIELD: Three people are now in custody, including a man named Ariel castor. He is the one who lived in the House, owned the house. His brothers are the others that the police brought in. Early this morning, we heard from the authorities in Cleveland with more details on this case.


CHIEF MICHAEL MCGRATH, CLEVELAND POLICE: The Cleveland division of police and our law enforcement partners, which includes the FBI, Cuyahoga County sheriff's office, U.S. Marshal's Office remains committed to these causes over the years. Led by the Cleveland office of the FBI, we have continued to investigate my and all leads in these cases.

These leads came in over the years and were investigated time and again. Possible suspects were interviewed. Search warrants were executed. Thankfully, and I mean thankfully, due to Amanda's brave actions, these three women are alive today.

Three men have been arrested in this case, and they are Ariel Castro, 52 years old, brother, Pedro, 54 years old, and another brother, Onil, 50 years old.

The original task force will now continue the follow-up investigation relative to the recovery of and processing of the scene, interviewing and the investigation.

Next steps, there's 10 years of logistical information that has to be sorted through. Numerous interviews have to be completed. The FBI evidence recovery team is processing the scene. They worked until 5:00 a.m. this morning. They will regroup later this morning, and I anticipate it will take a few days to completely process the scene there on Seymour.

STEVEN ANTHONY, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: For Amanda's family, for Gina's family, for Michelle's family, prayers have finally been answered. The nightmare is over. These three young ladies have provided us with the ultimate definition of survival and perseverance. The healing can now begin. Every evening year after year as you well know family members and law enforcement kept the faith that one day they might see their daughters, their sisters, their nieces again. Monday evening that happened.

TED TOMBA, DEPUTY CHIEF, CLEVELAND POLICE: You can only imagine the scene last night at the hospital with the family and the friends. It was just -- it was chaotic, and we really didn't divulge and really didn't get into a deep, deep line of questioning. Our concern -- our first and foremost concern last night was the physical and mental well being.

ANTHONY: While we celebrate today, we and our law enforcement partners continue to work shoulder to shoulder with the Cleveland police department to answer the many questions, the many questions that investigators have, and rest assured the FBI will bring every resource to bear to assist our partners in this case, to bring the full weight of justice behind those responsible for this horrific, horrific case.

TOMBA: What these young girls went through, and if would you have saw them last night, you would have nothing but compassion and love in your heart for them. As far as investigations, we believe we have three suspects. We're going to charge those suspects. We believe we have the people responsible for that, so right now, you know, we want to let them spend time with their family and take this process very, very, very slow and respectful to their families and to the young girls' needs.


BANFIELD: Wow. To say that the investigators have mentioned there are so many unanswered questions is such an understatement. We are in the next phase of this horrible crime, and the solution. And to that end, a decade, all three of them gone, right under our noses. Did the police do enough? Was there anything more they could have done? That's coming up next with our legal expert.


BANFIELD: I'm Ashleigh Banfield reporting live. In Ohio, three families that never lost hope now have their loved ones back. A short time ago, we heard from the aunt of Gina DeJesus, one of the three young women who was discovered safe yesterday. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDRA RUIZ, GINA DEJESUS' AUNT: Those women are so strong. What we do out here, what we've done in 10 years is nothing compared to what those women have done together to survive.


BANFIELD: A decade in captivity, though.

From Atlanta now, I want to bring in CNN legal analyst, Joey Jackson, and former juvenile court judge TV host and author, Glenda Hatchett.

I want to begin this way. The police say this they actually were at this suspect's home in 2004, and presumably that would have been a time when all three may have been in captivity there, but it was for another investigation. They say there was no one when they came to the door. No one answered the door.

Joey, is that enough? Is that enough when you are supposed to be investigating something to knock on a door and then walk away? Should they have done more?

JOEY JACKSON, ATTORNEY & PROFESSOR: Police have to walk a delicate balance because everybody has rights, and police certainly could have done morning but you can't go knocking people's doors down because neighbors say there's some kind of criminal at. Police do what they can do, and hindsight, of course, is 20. We expect police to be thorough and do what they can to unearth any types of crime, but I'm loathe to blame them in this case because certainly I know these girls who have been abducted. They were fearful for their lives. They were fearful to do anything that would bring attention to them because they could be harmed -- Ashleigh?

BANFIELD: Glenda, I want to just re-introduce that Jaycee Dugard case. There were so many elements of it as well. She was kidnapped and held captive in a home for 18 years. She had two children in that home. She got a $20 million settlement in response to the allegations that the police hadn't done enough to keep an eye out for her abductor, who was a registered sex offender. Police have been to that home as well.

I know this is very, very early in this investigation, and there's so much more we need to know, but was that one of the first things you started to think about when you thought about recourse of these victims.

GLENDA HATCHETT, FORMER JUVENILE COURT JUDGE: Because of the Dugard case, I really did think about couple of things, Ashleigh, about this case, quickly. And in the news conference, they basically said that they didn't have these calls from the neighbors, as I understood the press conference. They went twice, once before the abductions and the second time on an investigation allegedly he left the child on a bus when he was a bus driver. So there's some discrepancy here in the report. I think the mayor is very wise to call for a full investigation because people have a lot of questions. And there may well be a civil case if they can prove that the police didn't do enough. But this investigation has gone on for more than a decade. We'll have to wait to see exactly what happens. And I agree with Joey the police are walking a delicate line on this. I also want to say, to us, as citizens, if we suspect something, we've got to keep following up and not just say it's none of my business.

BANFIELD: Vigilance, we learned this in the Boston bombing, public vigilance.


HATCHETT: Yes. Absolutely.

BANFIELD: Phillip was a registered pedophile in the Jaycee Dugard case.

I have to switch gears.

Thank you to both of you, Judge Glenda Hatchett and Joey Jackson.

Another big story that had just captivated this country. Literally, living a nightmare in an Italian prison. Two years after gaining freedom, Amanda Knox is talking a lot about it and she's telling CNN about what her greatest fear has been.


AMANDA KNOX, ACQUITTED OF MURDER: I'm afraid to go back there. I don't want to go back into prison.


BANFIELD: A lot more of Amanda Knox's interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo coming up right after the break.


BANFIELD: Now Amanda Knox, right now, is one of the most agonizing periods in her young life. Believe it or not, even after spending four years in a prison. Because she faces the possibility of returning to Italy and being retried for the murder of her study abroad roommate six years ago. Knox did four years in that Italian prison before the jury overturned her murder conviction and she quickly returns to her home state in Seattle, believing her nightmare was over. But earlier this year an Italian appeals court overturned Knox's conviction -- rather, her acquittal and the pressing question now is, will the State Department extradited her to be retried in Italy?

And in an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, Knox describes the emotional struggles of maintaining her innocence even during interrogations with Italian prosecutors.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You think you come off to, you can't prove it and not enough, I didn't do it? Understand the distinction between those two?

KNOX: I mean --

CUOMO: Ask me if I killed somebody. The answer's, no, I didn't do it. I didn't do it. I didn't do it. Not, you can't prove it. Not, you can't place me at the scene. You understand how you can't place me at the scene sounds cagey?

KNOX: Yes. I mean, I have professed from the very beginning that I didn't do it and no one believed me. I -- I was screaming at -- to the prosecutor when they were screaming at me during my interrogation, tell me I had amnesia, I had to know and I told them I didn't do it and I want there, and no one listened to me. It's like I'm having to prove my innocence instead of just saying it.


BANFIELD: My CNN colleague, Chris Cuomo, joins me live now from New York.

Chris, it is one thing as a television viewer to watch over and over again a beautiful, young woman marched in and out of courtrooms and handcuffs and hearing her try to profess her innocence in Italian and it's another thing to sit across her interview her and look into her eyes. What struck you about her?

CUOMO: What she wanted, Ashleigh, the opportunity to deal with the questions that fueled doubts about her innocence. That's what this was. And that's going to be a tough conversation for her because a lot of it is what she expresses frustration about, that I can't prove I didn't do it. But that's the position I'm put in. That's what this investigation has done. And she's clearly been damaged by this. Incarceration is very difficult especially at a young age, to have the prospect of this perception of her as a killer, which she believes obviously is false, but to have people believe she's a killer is a heavyweight on her, not just back then, not just when she was in prison but today. She believes she carries it as a heavy burden not just the remoteness of a possibility of getting sent back to Italy, but what they say about her in America, how they look at her, threats sheaf received. She's carrying a lot of weight regard office the litigation.

BANFIELD: And I think that we will all be watching carefully, especially when the Americans have to weigh in on this, as well.

Flat out of time. I would have asked you about the likelihood, if you can give me one answer, that the Americans would extradite her.

CUOMO: Small.

BANFIELD: That's it, right? Wow. That's a good answer, Chris. I will look forward to this tonight.

Thank you.

Chris Cuomo great job. Like I said, you don't want to miss Chris Cuomo's special interview, "Amanda Knox, the Unanswered Questions," tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern, only here on CNN.

Great job, Chris. Congratulations on getting that interview.

Thanks for watching, everyone. Our program AROUND THE WORLD starts after this quick break.



MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company today.

MALVEAUX: This is a dramatic story. Prayers of three families answered out of Cleveland, Ohio. Three young women, they are free today after held captive for about 10 years or so in the neighborhood home, three middle age men, brothers, not related to victims now under arrest.

HOLMES: Police say the real hero, their words, is Amanda. Talking about Amanda Berry whose frantic call to 911 led officers to them last night.

MALVEAUX: So I want to get down to it. Finding out how those amazing rescue happened. What are police saying about the investigation and how did this happen in the first place?

HOLMES: Extraordinary story. Martin Savidge gets us to speed.