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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Knight Delivered Berry's Child; Women were Brainwashed and Fearful; Kidnapping Suspect No Stranger to Police; Ariel Castro Charged; Questions Raised about Kidnapping Hero; Arias Guilty of Murder; Arias Could Face Death Penalty
Aired May 8, 2013 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, breaking news with the latest in Cleveland, Ohio, investigation. How a man was able to keep three women captive for more than a decade.
Plus what we're just learning about that suspect. We have exclusive new video of Ariel Castro shot just after he was re- interviewed by police today.
And a verdict comes down in the Jodi Arias case. Why she has now been put on suicide protocol.
We're live. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. And we begin with breaking news OUTFRONT. Following two breaking news stories. Live tonight.
In Phoenix, hearing from Jodi Arias for the first time since she was found guilty of first-degree murder late today. Just minutes after the verdict was read she spoke to station KSAZ about what she hopes for when she's sentenced.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JODI ARIAS, CONVICTED OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER: The best outcome for me would be natural life. I would much rather die sooner than later.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: We'll have more on that in a moment. But first we are learning new details about how the three Cleveland were allegedly held captive for nearly a decade and ultimately escaped.
This new information is coming as a Cleveland Police source tells CNN that authorities have a, quote, "slam-dunk case" against the women's alleged captor Ariel Castro.
Our Poppy Harlow is OUTFRONT. And Poppy, I know you're just getting some new information at this moment about the child that authorities say is the child of Amanda Berry. POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are -- Erin, this information just coming in within the last 15 minutes to CNN from a police source familiar with the investigation, telling one of our producers, Rosa (INAUDIBLE), that when the girls were interviewed, when these three girls were interviewed, they told investigators that Amanda Berry, who we know now has that 6-year-old child, that she had that baby in the house of Ariel Castro, and that the baby was delivered by one of the other captive girls, by Michele Knight.
Again that Amanda Berry had that baby in the house of Ariel Castro, her alleged captor, and that it was delivered by Michele Knight.
We're also told by that source that when Amanda went into labor, Erin, he grabbed Michele, Ariel Castro grabbed Michele and told Michele to deliver the baby. That baby we are told was born into a plastic tub of some sort. Again, born into some plastic tub, and we're also told that when this baby was born, it apparently stopped breathing and everyone started to scream, started to panic, and that Ariel Castro reportedly said, if that baby dies, I'm going to kill you.
A complete scene of panic is what is being painted here, again with one of the captive girls, Michele Knight, being told she had to deliver the baby of Amanda.
Now I want to read you a quote that is coming from this source, and this is what the police source says. Quote, "What's most incredible here is that this girl who knew nothing about childbirth," talking about Michele, "was able to deliver a baby that is now a healthy 6-year-old."
So, Erin, just think about the picture that this paints inside the home where these three women are held captive. Amanda Berry is pregnant and then Michele has to deliver that baby in a scenario like this.
BURNETT: It is -- it is impossible to understand, Poppy. What else are you learning about the state of mind of these three women? And obviously from what you're describing even in that scene right there. There was a relationship between the three?
HARLOW: Yes, there was a relationship between the three. We are told by sources familiar with the investigation, close to the investigation that for most of the time these girls, Erin, were held apart in separate rooms in the house. But there were times when they were allowed to interact. That they were allowed to be together. And a police source with firsthand knowledge of this investigation has told our Pamela Brown that they were -- he thinks at different stages in terms of their state of mind, because we know that Amanda Berry ran out of the house.
That source says that she had reached her breaking point when she ran out of that house, when she had the opportunity that she somehow knew that Castro was not in the home and made her escape at that point in time. But that source says that Gina and Michele, the other two captive girls, did not run out of the house at that point in time, that they remained in the house. It's not clear why, but the source says they believe it's a very good indication of their state of mind. A fearful state of mind.
Also, this is very disturbing, but the source says that Castro would test these girls. That he would pretend to leave the home and then if they tried to escape, Erin, he would discipline these girls. It's not clear how he would discipline them, but he would discipline them. So playing these mind games with them. And again that they relied on one another in those moments when they were allowed to be together to get through this.
BURNETT: Poppy Harlow, thank you very much, reporting live from Cleveland tonight with that breaking news.
And on that I want to bring in Dr. Bethany Marshall, a psychoanalyst.
Dr. Marshall, thank you for coming OUTFRONT. You just heard our Poppy Harlow reporting this breaking news. I mean, this disturbing news about Amanda Berry when she gave birth to the child. What does that whole scenario say to you? And I'm also curious about what it says to you, as Poppy reported, that Ariel Castro allegedly said at that time when the baby stopped breathing to Michele Knight, the woman who delivered the baby, I'm going to kill you if this baby doesn't survive?
BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Well, it tells me so many things. First of all, the reason girls didn't try to escape earlier is that you have to understand these girls were brutally tortured, raped, controlled, intruded into, maltreated, starved. They were raised in a culture of fear over a decade, abducted when they were just children themselves. And that kind of torture and abuse dramatically interferes with the development of a core sense of self and the belief that you have autonomy and that you can emancipate yourself.
Now we don't know what other threats he delivered to them.
MARSHALL: He could have said I'm going to kill you, I'm going to kill your family. I'm going to cut your limbs off. So more will come out as this investigation proceeds. But most importantly, Erin, that baby is a key part to this story. I believe -- according to some reports, there were multiple spontaneous abortions or miscarriages.
BURNETT: Right. There are reports of that. Yes.
MARSHALL: But he wanted this little girl to live.
BURNETT: Yes. And that's what I find curious.
MARSHALL: So I think --
(CROSSTALK) BURNETT: I'm curious to your point on that.
MARSHALL: Was he grooming his next victim?
BURNETT: Right. I want to ask you about that because the little girl lives and she's now 6 years old, and then Amanda Berry, you know, this opportunity presents itself. And she reaches out for help, right? What could have had her hit her breaking point? She'd been there for 10 years, the child was already 6. What do you think happened?
MARSHALL: Because a mother's love conquers all. And the fact is that Castro may have allowed this little girl to live because this was going to be his next victim. And I don't find it surprising at all that Amanda Berry finally got the courage to escape when her little girl reached the age that she was about to be aggressed against.
BURNETT: Right. Very, very interesting point. And obviously we don't yet know if that's the case, but a huge question mark on that, and one only Amanda Berry can answer.
Thank you very much, Dr. Marshall.
Now the man accused of abducting and holding the three women captive, Ariel Castro is facing four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape at this time. Of course there could be new charges filed, those charges alone, though, could mean life in prison. So far no charges have been filed against his two brothers.
Now Ariel Castro has actually been questioned by police in the past. Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT now.
And, Martin, you've actually -- you know about that time and also you've obtained video of him being questioned by an officer back in 2008. What was that about?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, yes, this is really interesting, Erin, because, as you point out, it's five years ago. It's Ariel Castro and it's him interacting with law enforcement. OK. I want to set it up before we roll the tape.
So it's basically -- it's an average traffic stop, only it's Ariel Castro, and of course everything we know since. OK. Let's roll the video. What you're going to look at is the driver's view. It's the police officer view. And he's driving down (INAUDIBLE) Street, and notices a motorcycle whiz past.
Jim Simone is the officer here. And he looks at that motorcycle and realizes the license plate is sideways. That's a problem for him. It's against the law. He follows the driver of that motorbike, Ariel Castro. He's at a gas station.
What's interesting here, what you'll listen for, is how polite Castro seems. This is, of course, the same time authorities claim he's holding three women hostage. So the law officer walks off and begins this conversation. Listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me see your driver's license.
ARIEL CASTRO, SUSPECT: Excuse me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me see your driver's license, please.
CASTRO: What's wrong?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First off, your plate is improperly displayed. It has to be displayed left to right, not upside down or sideways. And the other question is, why are you riding it then? You don't have a helmet on, you don't have a license to operate it. And you subject yourself to being arrested. Is that what you want?
CASTRO: No, sir, I don't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: No, he definitely did not want to be arrested. One, he's a school bus driver, he knows he can lose his job, and two, according to authorities, he knows about the women that are waiting back home. And this is the real issue here. Eventually the police officer decided to give him a break because he was a school bus driver. Gave him two tickets and sent him on his way.
The last the officers saw of Castro that night, he was pushing his bike a mile back to this house where authorities say the women were being held prisoner -- Erin.
BURNETT: And Martin, when you get a chance to talk about that officer, Jim Simone, how does he feel today? I mean, there was nothing at that point, in that video you just saw, that would have indicated he could have ever gotten to the bottom of this, but he's got to be feeling frustrated now.
SAVIDGE: He does. I mean, well, here's the way he feels. And it's not necessarily the way you might think. He is haunted by it. But actually he says, you know what, he really believes he did the right thing, letting Castro go. Because he says you know what, if I had arrested him, if I had taken him into custody and downtown, then that would have meant that those three women, and by then a newborn child, would have been in that house alone, no water, no food and apparently no one knowing they were there -- Erin.
BURNETT: That is -- you're right, not exactly what you would think, an important thing for him to think about. Martin Savidge, thank you very much.
And still to come, we have new information about Ariel Castro. The man there that you see, that is believed held those women captive for more than a decade. And we're learning more about his family tonight.
Plus new dispatch audio from the Cleveland Police. A play-by- play of what those policemen found when they actually walked in to Castro's house.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We found them. We found them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And what's next for Jodi Arias? Guess what, we hear from her herself tonight.
BURNETT: Welcome back to a live special edition of ERIN BURNETT: OUTFRONT. We're hearing for the first time what exactly police encountered when they entered the home Monday when Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight were being held captive. We have obtained the police audio from that afternoon. It's incredibly emotional. And here's the moment that police entered the house on Seymour Avenue and rescue the three victims.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Adam 2-3, you've got a bust coming? This might be for real. There might be others in the house. Gina DeJesus might be in this house also. We found them. We found them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Copy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Send EMS here. We've got a female (INAUDIBLE). She's got a young child with her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We also have a Michele Knight in the house. I don't know if you want to look that up in radio -- in the system. Thirty-two years old.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And you can hear the women crying there in the background. We also have new video tonight of Ariel Castro, the man now charged with rape and kidnapping in connection with this disappearance of those three women. This exclusive video is shot by our affiliate WOIO inside the Justice Center in Cleveland. You can see him there trying to cover his face, wearing some sort of sweatshirt type of thing.
This is right after he was re-interviewed by police. He tries to go right there. They want him to go through the door.
Brian Todd is in Cleveland with the very latest on the investigation and the charges filed today against Ariel Castro.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Authorities in Cleveland lay out their case against Ariel Castro in the disappearances of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight. VICTOR PEREZ, CITY OF CLEVELAND PROSECUTOR: I just signed criminal complaints charging Ariel Castro with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape.
TODD: Castro's two brothers Pedro and Onil are not being charged. Authorities say the women were bound while they were in captivity, that there were chains and ropes in the home. We're also getting new details on abuse and abduction allegations against Ariel Castro which date back at least eight years.
A complaint filed in 2005 against Ariel Castro by the Gramilda Figueroa, then listed as the natural parent of his child, claims Castro broke her nose twice, broke her ribs, gave her lacerations, knocked out a tooth, gave her a blood clot on the brain. Next to that it says inoperable tumor, dislocated both of her shoulders, and threatened to kill Figueroa and their daughters three or four times that year.
Fernando Colon was engaged to Gramilda Figueroa until her death last year. Here's what he says Figueroa told him about abuse at the hands of Ariel Castro.
FERNANDO COLON, FORMER FIANCEE OF CASTRO'S EX-WIFE: She said that any little mistake that she make, even if she drops a plate to the ground, he would get so upset that he would beat her, throw her down the stairs at one point. Throw her against the wall. Kicked her in the head while she was on the floor. Grabs some barbells with weights and hit her on the head.
TODD (on camera): Hit her on the head with barbells?
COLON: With barbells. She already had one brain surgery when I met her.
TODD (voice-over): But that domestic abuse case from 2005 was dismissed. Because Ariel Castro often didn't show up in court and because on a crucial day, Gramilda Figueroa's lawyer was not there. And Fernando Colon could have motivation for laying out allegations against Castro. Colon was convicted of molesting two of Castro's children several years ago. He claims Ariel Castro orchestrated the charges again him to deflect attention from Castro's own alleged crimes. Colon is moving ahead with an appeal of his conviction. He says this about the death of Castro's former common law wife last year.
COLON: She died of injury she sustained on her head, with brain aneurysm, all that, cancer, whatever she had on her head. All of that caused her death.
TODD: That complaint back in 2005 also alleges that Ariel Castro would abduct his daughters from their natural mothers several times, even though she had full custody of them. Also, regarding Fernando Colon, he told us that he told the FBI back in 2004 to look at Ariel Castro as a possible abductor of Gina DeJesus, but that the FBI didn't do it. Now an FBI special agent said tonight they have checked their records from that time, and there is no evidence they know of that Fernando Colon ever told them about Ariel Castro -- Erin.
BURNETT: I know. It's so hard to know what everyone is saying, what's true, what isn't. So many difficulties in this case.
I know Ariel Castro's daughter, his daughter Emily, that new Gina DeJesus also had a criminal record, Brian. And she's serving 25 years now for the attempted murder of her own baby daughter. What do you know about that case?
TODD: That's right, Erin. Now we have court documents on that case as well. This happened back in 2007. That's a pretty grizzly looking court documents which talks about how she slit the throat of her 11-month-old daughter four times trying to kill her that -- her own mother, Emily Castro's mother, that Gramilda Figueroa that we talked about, actually rescued the child. Wrestled the child away from her, hailed a passing car, got the child to a hospital, saved the child's life.
That child did survive. But Emily Castro, Ariel Castro's daughter, is now serving a 25-year sentence in Indiana for that attempted murder.
BURNETT: And Brian, there have been a lot of questions about the credibility, as we were just referring to, of a lot of people involved in the case, including the man who claimed credit for having saved these women, Charles Ramsey.
I want to play the 911 call that he made to police. Take a listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cleveland 911. Police, ambulance or fire?
CHARLES RAMSEY, HELPED RESCUE AMANDA BERRY: Yes, hey bro. I'm at 2207 Seymour, West 25th. Hey, check this out. I just came from McDonald's, right? So I'm on my porch eating my little food, right? This broad is trying to break out the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) house next door to me. So there's a bunch of people on the street right now and (EXPLETIVE DELETED). So we're like, what's wrong, what's the problem? She's like, this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) man kidnapped me and my daughter and we've been in this (EXPLETIVE DELETED). She said her name was Linda Berry or something (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I don't know who the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) that is. I just moved over here, bro.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, sir --
RAMSEY: You know what I mean?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, you have to calm down and slow down. Is she still in the street?
RAMSEY: Seymour Avenue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is she still in the street? Or where did she go?
RAMSEY: Yes, I'm looking at her, she right now. She's calling you all, she's on the other phone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is she black, white or Hispanic?
RAMSEY: She's white, but the baby look Hispanic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. What is she wearing?
RAMSEY: White tank top, light blue sweat pants, like a wife- beater.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know the address next door that she said she was in?
RAMSEY: Yes, 2207. I'm looking at it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I thought that was your address. So that house --
RAMSEY: No, no. I'm smarter than that, bro. I'm telling you were the crime was, not my house.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Sir, we can't talk at the same time. Do you want to leave your name and number?
RAMSEY: Charles Ramsey. R-A-M-S-E-Y.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are the people she said that did this, do you know, are they still in the house?
RAMSEY: I don't have a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) clue, bro. Like I said, I just came from McDonald's.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you -- can you ask her if she needs an ambulance?
RAMSEY: You need an ambulance or what? She needs everything. She's in a panic, bro. I think she's been kidnapped, so, you know, out yourself in her shoes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll send the police out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That is one of the most amazing things I've ever heard, Brian. What more do you know about Charles?
TODD: Well, Erin, what we've been told by neighbors, and we talked to one of the neighbors across the street, this was the neighbor actually who Amanda Berry ran to across the street to call 911. That neighbor says that it wasn't Charles Ramsey who kicked part of that door down to free Amanda Berry, that it was a man named Angel Cordero. And apparently other neighbors have also said that that person was Angel Cordero who kicked the door, and not Charles Ramsey.
Now we do have to say that the police have publicly thanked Charles Ramsey for what he did that night. So it's a little less clear at the moment who was the real hero here, and maybe we'll get some clarity on that in the coming days.
BURNETT: Most certainly will. A lot of people really have connected with Charles Ramsey.
Thanks to Brian.
And OUTFRONT tonight, criminologist Casey Jordan.
Casey, when you hear -- we keep getting more information.
CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Right.
BURNETT: Now we have new information about the baby and how it was born in some sort of a plastic tub.
BURNETT: And Ariel Castro allegedly threatened the oldest woman, Michele Knight, that he would kill her if she didn't make sure Amanda Berry's baby survived because the baby is not -- every detail is more and more strange.
JORDAN: But it's out of the horse's mouth. I mean, this is from police reports, from the interviews with these three women in the first 24 hours. And even though they're traumatized, they've been bottling this up for years. Right now, their memories are going to be the most clear that they will ever be. Sometimes the adrenaline actually will bring on more clarification of the memory. Memory gets worse as time goes on. So if the women are saying this, it's probably credible and most likely true.
And the detail of that. Having a baby in a kiddie pool to minimize the mess that it would make. This is just the sort of thing that nobody would make up. And it's really disturbing because it shows the mentality of the captor and the suffering of the captives.
BURNETT: And can you explain more how someone could keep this a secret? I mean, we've talked about this neighborhood, that it was -- you know, the houses are close together. People live life in the warm weather very much out on the street. Ariel Castro among them. Barbecuing, drinking with friends out and about. He had a job until November. He was -- he was not often there. How does this happen and you keep it a secret?
JORDAN: Because he's out and about is how he keeps the secret. And we've seen this with dozens of serial killers. Jeffrey Dahmer was drinking beer with his neighbors all the time, too. But in the case of the captive, remember, he needs to act normally, so that nobody ever suspects him, which is why he speaks in that video when he's stopped on the motorcycle. He's so polite. Nervous, but very polite and respectful to the officer, which is why the officer lets him go and wheel his bike away.
JORDAN: Remember, the minute he starts acting odd, and the oddest thing is that while he was cordial with his neighbors, he never allowed them into his house. The bottom line is --
BURNETT: He's never that close.
JORDAN: In the lower socio-economic neighborhood, they often suffer from what we call a siege mentality. It's a distrust of the police, government agencies, and it's a mind-your-own-business credo. You know your neighbors on a superficial level. And you'll help them out if you need to. But if there's trouble in the neighbor's houses, most people do not want to get involved.
And they expect the same courtesy if there's ever trouble at their house. Mind your own business. Little bit of backstreet idea of what justice is and how things should be taken care of, taken care of at the neighborhood level. So his activities would very rarely come to the attention of police.
BURNETT: Casey, thank you very much. Casey Jordan. A criminologist and profiler for the FBI.
Still to come, a verdict announced at the Jodi Arias trial today. What the prosecution actually had to do to get that job done. Plus what's next for Arias, could she avoid the death penalty by lethal injection?
And we're also following other key stories tonight. Seventeen U.S. officers with the ability to launch nuclear weapons suddenly removed from duty and Benghazi.
BURNETT: Welcome back to a special live edition of OUTFRONT. It is 11:30 on the East Coast, 8:30 on the West. And we start the second half of our show with the stories where we focus on our reporting from the front lines.
We learned today that on the night of September 11th, eight months ago, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, briefly spoke with his deputy, the number two, Gregory Hicks. "Greg, we're under attack," Stephens told him and then the line went dead.
During a House hearing, Hicks recounted the night that ended with the death of Stevens and three other Americans. And Hicks testified today that everybody knew it was a terrorist attack from the beginning.
Now, on Monday, former FBI agent Tim Clemente said on this program that forces would have had time to deploy. That, though, remains questionable. There are many questions that remain, though, including whether this could have been avoided.
Well, the last people on earth who should be failing a performance review, and yet today we are learning that 17, 17 Air Force officers who have the authority to launch nuclear missiles have been stripped of their powers for poor performance. They're being sent back to training for up to three months on how to do their jobs. And you may be absolutely shocked by this, you're not alone, but guess what, this has happened before. A 2008 Pentagon, quote Pentagon report found -- a serious erosion of focus, expertise, mission readiness, resources and discipline in the Air Force's nuclear weapons program.
It has been 643 days since the United States lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back? Well, you may remember the first company that became a poster child of dead access Enron. Jeffrey Skilling, the former CEO of the company responsible for one of the biggest frauds in history, may get out of jail early. A little monopoly here. A deal made with the Justice Department. Ten of his 24 years maybe just lopped off. And they say that that's going to help them somehow get 40 million more dollars in restitution for the victims.
And now to the other breaking news story that we are following tonight. Jodi Arias found guilty of premeditated murder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The state of Arizona versus Jodi Ann Arias, verdict count one. We the jury duly empanelled and sworn and above entitled action upon our oath do find the defendant as to count one, first-degree murder guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: It took a jury of eight men and four women, just over 15 hours to convict Arias of the 2008 murder of her former boyfriend Travis Alexander. Tonight we are hearing from her. Right after the verdict she spoke. This is also pretty shocking. In an interview with a local affiliate, Arias says a guilty verdict was unexpected and she's already thinking, preparing for a possible death sentence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIAS: I said years ago that I'd rather get death than life, and that still is true today. I believe death is the ultimate freedom. So I'd rather just have my freedom as soon as I can get it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Arias will begin a sentencing phase tomorrow. And she could face death by lethal injection.
Ashleigh Banfield is live in Phoenix, outside the courthouse tonight. And Ashleigh, I know you were there, I was watching you every minute, getting ready for this as this verdict came out. You know, Jodi Arias was found guilty of premeditated murder of her boyfriend. This trial went on for four months. The defendant took the stand for a record 18 days. Why so much time and so much focus?
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: A lot of material and a very serious potential outcome. A death penalty. So you could say the prosecution was crossing every T, dotting every I. Some have been critical but no matter what, preserving a record and making sure that everything is done as carefully as possible to avoid an appeal may be one of the reasons that there was this much testimony and this much length of time.
But can I just make a reference to that interview that we just aired from the FOX station here in Phoenix? This is one of the most un-orthodox things that many people who've covered trials for a very long time have said, we've just never seen this. We've never seen a defendant give an interview just moments after being found guilty in between a phase in which she still has to be adjudicated with regard to whether she's going to face the death penalty or not.
And Erin, to hear her actually say I just -- I'm hoping for a death, a quick death is just remarkable given the fact that even as late as tonight we got our hands on this motion for discovery, of victims' impact evidence that her attorneys are trying to get. So while her attorneys are working feverishly to save her life and get information from what the prosecutors on what their victim's impact witness are going to say in court in advance of these proceedings. And then to find out that she herself is just giving up and saying, you know, I'm ready for the death penalty now, it's just one of the more remarkable aspects of this case.
And then just a little bit more reporting for you, Erin, tonight after that interview, her mother -- her grandmother and two aunts were given access to her, they had a 33-minute visit with her at the Estrella Jail here in Maricopa County, and our Jean Casarez was there for an exclusive interview and was able to ask her mother, how is she doing? And her mother was in tears, and was only able to mutter the words, she's good, before they all left that jail.
Some of those family members are actually getting on flights, those aunts are getting on flights and leaving. Some of the victim's family members and friends are also leaving this jurisdiction tomorrow at 1:00. You know, the local time here, Pacific Time. The penalty phase is going to begin, a two-pronged penalty phase.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Ashleigh Banfield.
The questions also about how long that penalty phase will take. They have to decide everything unanimously to actually have death by lethal injection.
The Jodi Arias trial of course captivated people around the world and the nation for more than four months. There were a total of 38 witnesses, 38 witnesses, including Arias herself. And as I indicated she spent 18 days on the stand in her own defense. We'll have more on that later, this appears to be a record globally.
I want to bring in criminal defense attorney, Mark Geragos, who defended Michael Jackson and Scott Peterson, and former prosecutor, Wendy Murphy.
And Mark, let me start with you on the little sound bite that we just played of Jodi Arias saying she would prefer death to life. Because already people saying, well, of course, she's saying that because if the jury thinks she wants death then they'll give her life and of course she really wants life.
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I'll tell you the truth.
GERAGOS: I think this is the first time you can say she's absolutely telling the truth. I've been in this situation with clients, there is no question that given the choice, whether going through this period, do you want to be life without or you want to be death? You want death. And the reasonable for that is, you get infinitely better treatment if you are sentenced to death. You get infinitely better resources if you're sentenced to death. And this is precisely why death penalty machinery and the apparatus --
BURNETT: And why is that? You also appear to get infinite appeals because --
GERAGOS: Yes, exactly. And that's why the apparatus is broken because if you're sentenced to death, you are sequestered, number one. You get all kinds of resources and you get appellate review that goes on ad infinitum.
BURNETT: Which does appear to be --
GERAGOS: And I'll tell you, I think the other thing is here, remember who the sheriff is in this county.
BURNETT: Joe Arpaio.
GERAGOS: Yes, Joe Arpaio.
BURNETT: Of course famous -- yes.
GERAGOS: Yes. Famous or infamous or from my standpoint a clown. And I think he probably orchestrated this because he thought this would bring attention to him, and I hate to bring any more attention to him because he is a clown. But I think he's behind this and orchestrated it.
BURNETT: Wendy, were you shocked at all by this verdict? I mean, you know, it seemed to people watching it sort of casually seemed to me there was no other way this would come out, but yet there have been other trials that have seemed that way to the public, whether it be O.J. Simpson or Casey Anthony that did not end this way. Was there any doubt in your mind that this ever could have gone another way? A lesser charge, for example?
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: No. But I have 25 years of experience in the business which means -- and I prosecuted homicide cases. I've seen seemingly nice people who look good on the outside, be dastardly on the inside and be capable of these kinds of things so well I think the thing she had going for her was that she doesn't look like a monster and she's cute, you know, for me that wasn't worth anything because the objective evidence was overwhelming.
And let me say this about her comment about the death penalty. I think the jury is going -- if they hear anything about that is going to take that as more manipulation. And why she fancies herself a philosopher king, death is freedom. I mean, this woman doesn't learn. She ruined her case when she testified and lied to the jury. Now she's probably guaranteeing herself a death penalty result because she's continuing to be manipulative and jurors don't like that.
They don't like her. They will save her life, they will spare her life if they find something redeeming about her, if they can identify with her in some way. She hasn't given them any reason, any reason to feel anything but hatred toward her.
GERAGOS: But I'll tell you. And Wendy, I like the new hairdo. She's gotten blond. But the thing that -- where I will disagree is, they had the ability to decide what theory they were going to find for first degree today, and it could be premeditated, it could be felony murder or it could be a combination. They were split 5-7. I think that that argues for -- if she doesn't do anything crazier than what the sheriff has let her do already that (INAUDIBLE) for life --
BURNETT: In terms of the interview. Right.
GERAGOS: Yes. In terms of the interview.
MURPHY: I don't agree with that, Mark.
GERAGOS: I think --
MURPHY: Let me just say something about that.
MURPHY: Because I've heard you say that several times today.
MURPHY: I didn't agree with felony murder because yes, she broke in, but then they had sex. Yes, she broke in, but he seemed to be OK with that. I wouldn't have voted for felony murder. Premeditation, yes.
GERAGOS: Yes, why -- MURPHY: So I don't think it says anything about death penalty. I think you're wrong.
GERAGOS: Why a split? It was a 7-5 split, number one. And number two, the other thing that I think is significant --
MURPHY: Because it wasn't a good case.
GERAGOS: Well, remember --
MURPHY: Felony murder was not a good theory.
GERAGOS: Yes, but remember the others saying about --
MURPHY: It's not a strong theory.
GERAGOS: Remember when they were asking questions, Arizona's got this crazy rule that, you know, I'm in California, we do the same, where the jurors can ask questions. They were not asking about the defendant. They weren't asking about Miss Arias or Miss Arias, they were saying Jodi.
I think when you have that familiarity in this case, it doesn't breed contempt. She may get life and actually --
MURPHY: Listen, she --
GERAGOS: I don't think she wants life in this case.
MURPHY: She gave them that intimate access by talking about her vagina too much, Mark. It was not that they liked her.
BURNETT: Wow, OK.
MURPHY: It was not that they liked her. She made --
GERAGOS: Wendy, OK. We talked about -- we talked about Wendy's blonde hair. And that's -- thank you very much, Wendy.
BURNETT: I love the look on Wendy's face. Yes, Wendy, you should look self-satisfied. You got us.
GERAGOS: Yes. As she said vagina --
BURNETT: No. Now it's been said twice like I said -- it's 11:40 thank you both of you.
BURNETT: All right, still to come. More of our coverage of the Jodi Arias verdict. We're going to go inside the courtroom the moment the verdict was read and talk about what was on the faces of those jurors.
Plus the sentencing phase of the trial begins tomorrow. And we're going to talk about this in great detail, death penalty or not.
BURNETT: We are following breaking news tonight. Jodi Arias found guilty of murder in the first degree. The sentencing phase starts tomorrow. And she could face death by lethal injection.
Casey Wian was in the courtroom when the guilty verdict was read.
And, Casey, you know, we played just that one moment when you see, you know, guilty and Jodi Arias' mouth just drops open a little bit and you see her teeth. You were able to look at everyone. Travis Alexander's family and the other jurors. What was it like?
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was a markedly different reaction to the reaction that Jodi Arias had. She was clearly trying to keep her emotions in check. People on Travis Alexander's side of the courtroom where I was sitting were openly sobbing and relieved, saying thank God and they were very happy that this verdict was reached. They did not make any effort to hold back their emotions, lots of tears, lots of sighs of relief.
You look at the jurors as they exited the courtroom, they were stone faced, expressionless. All of them walked right past me about 10 feet away from me. I looked every one of them in the face, and you could see that they were very serious still. And that's because, Erin, they've got a lot of work ahead of them tomorrow as this aggravation phase begins.
They're going to -- have to determine whether Jodi Arias killed Alexander in an extremely cruel way. We're going to hear a medical examiner testify tomorrow about that and we might see some of those graphic photos again that have been displayed earlier during the trial of the dozens of stab wounds, of the bullet hole through his head, and the most graphic of all, his throat slashed wide open. We could go through all of that again tomorrow -- Erin.
BURNETT: And Casey, I know this starts tomorrow afternoon, do you have any sense of how the sentencing phase will go? I mean, in terms of how long it takes and also I know that unanimity is required for any kind of death penalty verdict, right?
WIAN: Right. That's exactly right. We don't have a sense of how long it's going to take. They describe it as a mini-trial. Our understanding is that the prosecution in addition to the medical examiner, if they want to, can call up members of Travis Alexander's family, friends, other witnesses. There's going to be closing statements from both sides.
If the jury does decide that the prosecution has proved its case, that this was an extremely cruel murder then it moves on to the penalty phase. The defense will get its chance to present mitigating evidence, mitigating factors why her life should be spared. If they don't prove the extreme cruelty, then the case goes right to the judge for sentencing and she has two choices, either 25 years to life which means the possibility of parole after 25 years or life without the possibility of parole -- Erin.
BURNETT: Casey Wian, thank you very much.
And the Jodi Arias case is now looking at three possible sentencing scenarios as Casey was laying out. One of them is death by lethal injection, the others -- without parole or and possible parole, as Casey just indicated, after 25 years.
OUTFRONT tonight, criminal defense attorney Jayne Weintraub who has tried death penalty cases and former prosecutor and CNN legal analyst Paul Callan.
Paul, let me start with you. Obviously the crucial question here is death penalty or not. A moment ago I played a very short clip of what Jodi Arias said today. She actually gave an interview, got full television makeup on, and gave an interview saying, I want the death penalty. I don't want life. I want to play what she said after that, though. Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIAS: I would much rather die sooner than later. Longevity runs in my family. You know. I'm pretty healthy, I don't smoke, and I would probably live a long time. So that's not something I'm looking forward to. I said years ago that I'd rather get death than life, and that still is true today. I believe death is the ultimate freedom. So I'd rather just have my freedom as soon as I can get it.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So you're saying you actually prefer the death penalty to being in prison for life?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Do you believe letter?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's just astounding that she's out giving television interviews the very day she's convicted of this horrific crime.
CALLAN: And it's so manipulative because people who oppose the death penalty, the argument they always make is, you know what's worse, making them go to prison for the rest of their life without parole. So she gives this statement and she says, the worst thing for me would be if you don't give me the death penalty, you sentence me to jail for life.
CALLAN: That would be the ultimate punishment for me. She's manipulating the jury pool or attempting to obviously in advance of the sentence.
BURNETT: Right. I mean, now, Jayne, what do you think? You've tried these kinds of cases before, do you think she'll get the death penalty or not? And I guess I should highlight here, when you look at the jury, you only need one person to not go along with the death penalty for her not to get the death penalty?
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, that's true and as it should be. But no, I don't think that she'll get the death penalty. I think that they wrestled with a verdict themselves in the jury room after 15 hours finally they reached a verdict. It was not quick, it was not a slam dunk. And they didn't even agree on the kind of murder it was.
WEINTRAUB: They didn't agree that it was felony murder or premeditated murder so I don't see that 12 people are going to agree so fast. Also, you know, every murder, every homicide is a tragedy for both families, the defendant and the victim's family. This is not an especially heinous atrocious crime in my mind because he was dead almost immediately. And I hate to say -- you know, say that in a callous way. I mean that in a medical or scientific way. Because that's what's important. He wasn't getting superficial stab wounds and, of course, it will be the defense position that the bullet was the first gunshot before the stabbing. And that that killed him immediately.
CALLAN: You know, I don't know. You know --
WEINTRAUB: So that he didn't suffer. That's the point.
CALLAN: You know, I've heard of problematic defenses, and boy, this one is at the top of the list. The defense that, you know something, when he was stabbed he was already dead. You know, the 29 stab wounds maybe he didn't feel them. I mean, I -- if you have a death penalty, and people have a conscientious objection to it, and I understand that. But if you're going to have a death penalty. You've got a case here where someone stabs somebody 29 times, almost decapitates him, shoots him through the head and then he's armed with a bar of soap and then tells lie after lie after lie to the jury during the trial.
WEINTRAUB: But, Paul, doesn't that show you the passion?
BURNETT: All right. I --
WEINTRAUB: The rage?
CALLAN: The passion to kill maybe. Yes.
BURNETT: I have to leave it --
CALLAN: It shows me that. BURNETT: The passion, yes.
CALLAN: It shows me that.
BURNETT: Thank you both very much. We appreciate it.
BURNETT: And the number of people who traveled to witness the Jodi Arias verdict, there were people, yes, who traveled. Got on planes and traveled. And there they are. They tell one story. But we have the stats to tell a very different one about this sort of tale.
BURNETT: Welcome back to our live breaking news coverage of the Jodi Arias verdict. Jodi Arias, of course, found guilty of murdering her ex-boyfriend in the first degree. Bringing to an end the trial that captured the attention of so many Americans.
Jodi Arias spent an unprecedented 18 days on the stand. She answered more than 200 questions from the jury alone.
Now I want to put that in a little bit of perspective. Because during the Nuremberg trials, Herman Goering, one of the men responsible for the deaths of many millions of people during the holocaust, spent just seven days on the stand.
So why the obsession with the Arias trial? What led millions of people to tune in and care? What caused them to travel, in some cases huge distances, spending days, week, even months at the court house just to be there for the verdict today? Maybe this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIAS: When he (EXPLETIVE DELETED) on my face and (INAUDIBLE) and walks away without a word, it kind of feels like I was a prostitute.
JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: You were the one that had the KY?
ARIAS: Travis wanted to have a threesome.
JUDGE SHERRY STEPHENS, MARICOPA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT: Having sex with Travis.
MARTINEZ: Sexual manner.
ARIAS: (EXPLETIVE DELETED), like, whoa, you're like (EXPLETIVE DELETED), at the same time I was around there, just (EXPLETIVE DELETED), just like all over. It was so hot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Fact of the matter this, this stopping a trial a long time ago. As Buzzfeed's McKay Coppins told us today the Arias trial had every hallmark of a classic tabloid story or soap opera. A four- month soap opera. It's pretty sad. And that brings us to tonight's number, 1.7 million. That's how many dollars Arizona taxpayers have paid for Jodi Arias' lawyers. She couldn't afford to foot the bill herself, so she got two court appointed lawyers. And the tab could run a lot higher with appeals.
So if you're one of the people who enjoyed the entertainment of the past four months, the salaciousness of it, thank the taxpayers of Arizona.
"PIERS MORGAN" is next.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.