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Did Mom of 2 Predict Own Murder?

Aired June 3, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. Coming to you live, we have breaking news from the Jodi Arias trial for you in just a few minutes. What is next for the woman convicted of killing Travis Alexander?

But first, chilling -- and I mean chilling -- new testimony just minutes ago in an ex-cop`s murder trial. Did his estranged wife predict that he would murder her in the exact same way that she actually died? Just wait until you hear what she told a friend just days before her death.


BRETT SEACAT, ON TRIAL FOR MURDER (via phone): There`s a fire, and my wife is -- she shot herself, but she`s in the fire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She told a friend a week and a half prior to this incident happening that you threatened to kill her.


JOY TROTNIC, VASHTI`S FRIEND & CO-WORKER: She said, "Do you think Brett would burn the house down with me in it?"

And I looked at her and I said, "What?"

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You threatened to burn the house down. You threatened to make it look like she did it.

SEACAT: That is, that is bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

TROTNIC: I was taken aback by that. I said, "Not with the kids at home."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you hurt her?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you pull the trigger?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you kill her?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. That was quite a "no."

Vashti Seacat, his wife, died a couple days after slapping that man who said "no," her husband, with divorce papers.

Prosecutors say Brett Seacat, a former cop and a CSI instructor, shot his wife dead as she slept and then torched their house with their two sons inside and forged a suicide note in an elaborate cover-up. Sons got out, thank God.

Brett claims his wife set the fire, herself, before committing suicide, but listen to what she told a friend just before her death. Extraordinary.


TROTNIC: "Do you think Brett would burn the house down with me in it?"

And I looked at her and I said, "What?"

And she said, "Do you think Brett would burn the house down with me in it?"

And I -- I was taken aback by that, and I said, "Not with the kids at home."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And listen to what Mrs. Seacat -- Vashti is her first name -- told the couple`s marriage counselor.


CONNIE SUDERMAN, COUPLE`S MARRIAGE COUNSELOR: She said she had been told by him, awakened in the night by him and told that he had a dream that he killed her. It was very disturbing for her. She told me that he had threatened that if she ever cheated on him, he would kill her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable stuff.

And she also told the couple`s marriage counselor that Brett -- there he is, movie star handsome -- threatened to kill her if she ever cheated. You just heard that. But there`s more. There`s a lot more. Here`s what I want to know. Will this ex-cop and crime scene investigation expert be able to overcome all the forensics in this case? Evidence includes gasoline on his pants, torched high (ph) drives, and an allegedly forged suicide note. What do you think? Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877- 586-7297.

Straight out to CNN correspondent, Ted Rowlands, who is on the ground in Kansas and was in court for today`s stunning testimony.

Ted, tell us about one of the biggest shockers of the day.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, today, Jane -- we didn`t hear this in the show open, but there was another friend, a co-worker that got on the stand today and said that Vashti actually came up to her shortly before her death and said that Brett, her husband, had threatened her with this exact scenario.

He said that her husband said that he would kill her, burn the house down, and make it look like a suicide. Very compelling testimony.

This is the eighth day of the prosecution`s case. We`re expecting they`ll wrap tomorrow. And then it is on for the defense. I think the only chance the defense has is if this former cop can get up there and somehow convince this jury that he didn`t do it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So a couple of things. One, you think he`s going to take the stand tomorrow?

ROWLANDS: Possibly tomorrow. We believe they`re going to start their case tomorrow. Now, they may start with him or they may finish with him. We don`t know. They won`t tell us.

But we do know, and we believe that`s the plan at this point, that he is going to take the stand and try to save his own skin.

And he really has to, because the evidence here is overwhelming. And it`s just compounding with each additional day of the prosecution`s case. He has to get up there and tell his story and tell it in a believable way for this jury to give him any shot.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh. Shades of -- and I`m not comparing him to somebody who`s been convicted, just the idea that we just got through this trial, which we`re going to tell you about more later of a woman who gets up and takes the stand for 18 days.

If this man takes the stand, who knows how long he will be on; who knows what he will say? How will he explain a friend of his wife`s saying, "Oh, she predicted he was going to kill her in the exact way that she ultimately died"?

Brett is an ex-cop. At the time of his arrest, he was teaching crime scene investigation. Crimes just like the one he`s accused of committing. His brother is a cop. His dad was a cop. He has got law enforcement in his blood. Check him out as he finds himself being interrogated.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Things are just not looking good, and they`re adding up to that. You had something to do with this, Brett, and we need to know why.

SEACAT: Oh, no. There`s no why. OK? I didn`t do this. I love Vashti.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s debate it. Did Brett`s extensive background in law enforcement give him a false sense of security? Was his law-enforcement background, did it feel like the ultimate alibi for him? Starting with Wendy Murphy, author of "And Justice for Some."

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, you know, Jane, I have to believe that he thought that he would have good cover because he thought he was so smart and would rise above suspicion. May even get a little slack from his buddies.

But, look, there`s only so much you can do to make a suicide [SIC] look like a homicide [SIC], and as hard as he tried, do I think that`s part of why he`s going down. He tried so damn hard to make it look like a suicide that every little piece of evidence that points at him takes on even more significance. He tried, but it`s not going to work.


Michelle Suskauer, for the defense. This guy had papers in his dining room, on the dining room table, that were from a Power Point presentation outlining, well, how do you distinguish homicide from suicide and the ways that a fire can make a suicide and a homicide look like two different things. Exactly what was happening in the house at the time. How incriminating is that, Michelle?

MICHELLE SUSKAUER: Well, it sounds pretty incriminating, but guess what? Don`t you remember some incriminating Internet searches that we heard about in the Casey Anthony case? And guess what...

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, come on. So different.

SUSKAUER: She -- well, you know what? It`s a different case, but this is the state`s side, and we`re going to hear from the defense. But, again...


SUSKAUER: ... this is all we`re going to be saying. This is a law- enforcement officer who is not going to violate the law. They`re going to use that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon Leiberman.

LEIBERMAN: Well, look, the problem -- the problem is he`s going to come down to credibility, and Mr. Seacat, he`s going to have to take the stand, because they`re going to try to admit some evidence about how his wife at one point talked about suicide. He`s going to have to take the stand.

The problem is, you`re going to have to measure him up against this marriage counselor, who he essentially confessed to. And against the wife`s friend and all of these very credible people, he will crumble on cross-examination. Mark my words.

His story doesn`t hold up. He has no blood on his pants. He has no injuries, despite the fact that he claims he goes into the burning house, you know, and walks right by his ex-wife. It just -- it doesn`t make any sense.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Janet Johnson? For the defense.

JOHNSON: OK. Well I have the perfect theory. Here`s what they have to say. Not put him on the stand. They have his statement which is not at all exculpatory. And they have to say that she wanted to frame him, that she was going to kill herself and put this evidence out there and send this to people in order to make it look like he killed her. That`s the only explanation you can give. It`s not bad.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable.


JOHNSON: It`s true.

LEIBERMAN: This woman loved her children. She wasn`t going to commit suicide. She was hopeful. That`s why she filed for divorce. She was hopeful about the future. That`s not somebody who commits suicide.

JOHNSON: They`re going to have to play up this depression and possible mental illness. That`s what they`re going to have to do in order to...

MURPHY: There`s nothing to play. There`s no there, there. You can`t make a defense out of nothing. He won`t take the stand, because it will only make the jury hate him more, and they`ll come back faster with a vengeance. He should sit there and smile and look like Dream Date Ken and see how it goes.

JOHNSON: I agree with that, Wendy. I do agree with that. He can`t take the stand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know what? He is good-looking. You know, he reminds me of Kevin Costner. I just saw the movie "No Way Out," one of my favorites. And this guy is almost as good-looking as Kevin Costner. And you know what they say about good-looking defendants: they get away with stuff.

Prosecutors are pointing out a series of really strange things that Brett Seacat did in the days before and the days after his wife`s death. He literally torched some hard drives, claiming he was protecting his banking information, and he asked a co-worker to get an old-school overhead projector out of storage. Check.

All right. Now, I don`t know what we`re looking at here, but it`s -- here it is. This is a note that was found in his pocket. All right? It says a couple of things: "One, calm. Two, her parents. And three, everything that the truth." Now what on earth does this mean?

For that, I`m going to go to Alexis Weed, producer for HLN`s "NANCY GRACE." You are also on the ground in Kansas. What is this cryptic note? It says, "One, calm." And various other things. We`ll play it over and over. Explain this note that was found in his pants pocket.

ALEXIS WEED, PRODUCER, HLN`S "NANCY GRACE" (via phone): Yes, this note was found in the pants pocket. Remember, he was wearing just pants when the fire broke out when he was found in the driveway when the first officers responded to the scene. Saying "Calm-died/accident; her parents; everything that the truth; no suicide." Jane, it also had three phone numbers listed on it.

And what the defense is planning to say, as we understand it, is that Seacat claims that he sought advice from his marriage counselor on how to break it to his children that their mother was dead.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But why? I mean, let`s say that`s not true. What does this really mean, Jon Leiberman? What exactly does this mean? "One, calm dash died slash accident. Two, her parents. No. 3, it`s coming up in a second, "Everything that the truth." It sounds like it doesn`t even make any sense.

LEIBERMAN: It doesn`t. It feels like to me like it`s a reminder to him of what to say to investigators when he`s being questioned. That`s what it feels like to me. That this is some sort of note that he wrote himself to act out during the interrogation.

And you`ll remember, he was emotionless in his initial conversation with the sheriff. He showed absolutely no emotion. Then in the interrogation room, he showed much more emotion. You`ve been playing some of those clips.

So his behavior is very erratic. Very inconsistent. But I think one reason why he will take the stand is because he does believe he can manipulate others in the system, because he`s one of them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And whose gun was this? Whose gun was this that we`re looking at?

LEIBERMAN: The gun that we`re looking at? I believe this was his gun is what I believe. I have to double check that. But if you recall, the way the gun was found, too, was underneath her torso in a way that, if she did kill herself, it would be almost impossible for the gun to have landed underneath her the way that it was found. It was clearly staged.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that is his gun. More on the other side.


SEACAT (via phone): There`s a fire, and my wife`s -- she shot herself, but she`s in the fire. There`s smoke everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via phone): Is everybody out of the house?





SUDERMAN: She told me that she -- she was deciding that she really needed to divorce him in order to take her life back.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Alexis Weed, you are a producer for HLN`s "NANCY GRACE." You are on the ground in Kingsman [SIC], Kansas. What have you learned about the gun? The gun that we have been seeing that was found in the room where Vashti was also found dead while this fire is starting? Of course, her husband, who is now on trial, claims that she killed herself with the gun. But what have you learned?

WEED: Right. So this gun, it was mentioned just before the break there that the gun was found tucked underneath her, and that would be unlikely in the event that she shot herself.

So what Mark Holloway, what the police chief, he testified that Seacat told him that Vashti committed suicide, and that he went into the bedroom, and that he picked her up, that Seacat physically picked up Vashti after this gunshot wound would have happened. And so the defense could argue that, if he picked her up, that then the gun could have fallen underneath her. That`s one of the ways that they could go with this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s interesting.

Now, an expert witness says that there was gasoline found on Brett Seacat`s pants. Obviously gasoline is an accelerant. The house is on fire. They had a trace of gasoline around the upper level of the house where the fire started. So that would point to him, wouldn`t it? Well, if prosecutors can prove that he set the fire, is that game, set, match? Listen to the 911 call.


SEACAT (via phone): My wife is upstairs. I`m going to have to go upstairs and try to get her out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s your phone number?

SEACAT: It`s 316- -- oh, there`s smoke everywhere.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Take a look at this. Brett Seacat had no blood on him. He had blisters on his feet and some, there it is, a little bit of singed hair on the back of his calf. Remember, he had gasoline on his pants.

So let`s debate it. Let`s take a look at all that evidence and decide, is there a smoking gun in there? Starting with Jon Leiberman.

LEIBERMAN: I don`t think that the gas necessarily is the smoking gun, but this is like a puzzle, and prosecutors have every single piece of the puzzle here. So I don`t think there`s one thing that you can point to and say, "This is the smoking gun."

But you have his statements. You have the gasoline issue. No blood on him. His timeline doesn`t add up. I mean, on and on and on. Again, a forged suicide note. I mean, so taken in totality, I think this guy is done.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Michelle Suskauer, take a look. There`s only a little bit of singed hair on his calves. If you were running up the stairs and, indeed, a fire had broken out. The woman, according to him, had just killed herself and fallen down, but she managed to start a fire that got out of control, and he goes in to try to save her. But then, oops, no, he figures she`s dead; "let me go for my two sons." Wouldn`t he be a lot more burned?

SUSKAUER: Yes. He could be. I mean, again, it depends on where the fire was. He`s -- they`re going to try to attack by bringing this in. They`re going to try to attack the way that the evidence was collected. And he -- look, they`re going to have to bring out the fact that he is, had to try to preplan this.

But, again, he is a law enforcement officer, and when he takes the stand, which he absolutely will, they`re going to talk about the fact that this is someone...


SUSKAUER: ... who has given himself to public service. He did not do this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Come on. Wendy, listen to me.

SUSKAUER: Giggling. Giggling. It`s going to...

MURPHY: Let me just say this. If he takes the stand and says one thing about oral sex, I am quitting my job. I just want to be clear.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What are you talking about? Let`s keep it clean, ladies and gent. But how is he going to explain this?

I think -- here`s my personal opinion. I think he felt that he had a pass since he was a crop, and he was entrenched. His brother is a cop. His dad was a cop. He had been a cop. And how he was a CSI instructor. And I think he just thought everybody would take his word for it. He had an explanation for everything.

OK. So the day before the wife dies, he`s using a projector with a card that belongs to his wife in what looks like forgery. OK? Somebody comes up to his office to ask him a question. Well, he says, "Well, actually I was just investigating Social Security fraud." You know, he has an answer for everything, and I think...

SUSKAUER: He was doing his job.

LEIBERMAN: But he actually admits...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Job? Let`s see...

SUSKAUER: Wait a second. He is a law-enforcement officer. OK? So it could go both ways. He could say, look, he planned it or the fact he is a public servant, he wouldn`t do this and it depends on what this jury is going to buy.

LEIBERMAN: He was bullying -- his words, his words, he admits bullying his wife the night before the murder. No. 1.

Two, he admits to forging other documents. He just says, oh, no, I didn`t forge the suicide note. The guy has no credibility, and I believe this woman will get justice here.

JOHNSON: He would have done a better job.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got more debates on this subject on the other side. Very controversial case.

And coming up, a special treat for you. I get arrested and spend the night in jail. Yes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not trying to get loose, are you?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No. I wouldn`t do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have one new female, Miss Jane Velez-Mitchell.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re not for real on this, are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely, yes I am.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Were those knickers?

This is like a really bad hotel.

Are you kidding me? I can`t get out?




SEACAT: I`m smart enough if I wanted to kill my wife, it would have been a lot -- I could have come up with something better than this. This is (EXPLETIVE DELETED) insane. This is what a crazy person does.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, not necessarily. Crazy in love. Crazy for his kids.

SEACAT: Don`t try and twist it around.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: So there he is saying, essentially, oh, why -- you`d have to be crazy to do all these incriminating things. And I`m wondering maybe if he`s using reverse psychology, like, "Well, I could do all these things because nobody in their right mind would do all these incriminating things."

I want to go back to Ted Rowlands. You`re there on the ground. You`ve been in court during the extraordinary testimony today. Even this defendant admitted there are a lot of red flags that point to him. What are some of the biggest red flags?

ROWLANDS: Well, I tell you, the biggest one that came out today in court was another one of these testimonials from a friend, Jane, that said pointblank, "She came to me and said she was worried because her husband threatened her with this exact scenario. Said that `I am going to kill you. I`m going to burn the house down, and I`m going to make it look like a suicide`." That was a dramatic moment in court today. This witness did not want to be identified.

All the witnesses in this case have a choice, whether they want to be identified on camera or even have their audio. This witness wanted nothing to do with it, so the camera was turned off and the audio was turned down, but it was a dramatic moment.

And he, in court, I got to tell you, he is one of these guys that is just focused. He`s got his -- his computer out, very small courtroom. He has testimony on both sides. He`s got a split screen. And he`s scrolling through it, looking up. Very engaged in his own defense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, oh, he also said some incriminating things to daycare workers after his wife dies in this fire and all of it. And he goes to the daycare workers, and he says some incriminating things. Do you know about that?

ROWLANDS: I don`t know about that. I have not seen that. I just got here today, so I don`t know about that one.


ROWLANDS: But you can add it to the list.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You can add it to the list, Ted. That`s for sure. Hey, let me ask you this. Now, his wife told this to a friend. Did the friend explain how his wife knew this -- had this horrible foreshadowing? In other words, that he said...

ROWLANDS: She said it was a direct threat. Yes. Yes, she said it was a direct threat, and there was another person in the room, another employee of Cox Communications where they work. So, we haven`t heard from that individual yet. We may tomorrow as the prosecution is wrapping up their case.

But it`s incredible when you add that to the other friend who we saw video of talking about the same scenario. I mean, this is such a strange scenario with the house burning and the suicide. He was laying the groundwork. He was threatening her with this exact scenario, and she was talking about it in the days before her death.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes, I just looked it up, and it turns out that he`s talking to these daycare workers for his two young sons, ages 2 and 4, and he tells these teachers, "Oh, I told my wife that she wasn`t going to take my boys away, and if she did, she`d never see them again." Now, that`s also crazy. Like, why would you say something so incriminating unless on some subconscious level, you want to get caught?

You know, the subconscious mind is often doing something completely different than the conscious mind and tripping up the conscious mind. That`s why we`re sometimes self-destructive, because our unconsciousness is thinking thoughts that we don`t even know we`re even thinking. I think that`s going on here.

We`ve got more on the other side.

We`re also going to talk about breaking news in the Jodi Arias case. We`re all over it with our producer, who was in court for the entire trial. We`ve got some new information coming in on Jodi Arias.

But first, much more on this incredible case.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Things are just not looking good, and they`re adding up to that you had something to do with this, Brett, and we need to know why.

SEACAT: No. There`s no why, OK? I didn`t do this. I love Vashti.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Things are just not looking good and they`re adding up to that you had something to do with this, Brett. We need to know why.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Authorities out here questioned his story from the very, very beginning, finding it eye-rollingly ridiculous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His best defense is I would have done it better if I were guilty? He`s going down.

BRETT SEACAT, ON TRIAL FOR WIFE`S MURDER: There`s no why. Ok? I didn`t do this. I love Vashti.

There`s smoke everywhere. Just a second. I`m going to get a wet rag.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get everybody out of the house.

SEACAT: Oh, God.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: A ruggedly handsome former cop and CSI instructor on trial for the murder of his wife. It was his voice you heard calling 911. Hysterically screaming, "Oh my gosh, there`s a fire, please come help us."

He manages to escape with his two young sons and ultimately says, well, she shot herself in the head. She was suicidal. His wife, that is. A couple of days earlier, she had served him with divorce papers. So was she suicidal or not?

Now, stunning new testimony in his murder trial today -- the couple`s marriage counselor saying that Mrs. Seacat -- Vashti was her name -- was depressed when she first started counseling but got a lot better over months of therapy. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She improved dramatically. Those same symptoms diminished markedly to the point where she was saying she felt better than she had in years.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So let`s debate it with our expert legal panel. She was at a crucial juncture with the divorce, the stress of raising two young kids during divorce. Her husband accusing her of cheating on him. She was going through a lot.

Could she have been suicidal, or is this, as somebody said, a ridiculous eye-rolling story? Starting with Wendy Murphy for the prosecution.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, look. My answer would be even if she were suicidal, which apparently she wasn`t, there`s no evidence of that, not at the point in time that matters. There`s so much evidence against this guy. The problem with this case, in terms of why I laugh every time we try to debate it is there`s not much to debate because everything points at his guilt -- every single thing.

And, yes, he might say, well, I had gasoline on my pants because I went to the gas station the day before. Ok, but it also turns out there was gasoline used as an accelerant. And oh, by the way, two neighbors heard the gunshot go off 40 minutes before you called 911. How, I mean, I don`t know how you have a stronger case. He has motive, intent, opportunity, and, you know, this is --



Murphy: -- his arrogance, his arrogance does not work to his advantage because he thought he would be smarter than everybody and he wasn`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Janet Johnson?

JANET JOHNSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: There`s one way to have a stronger case; that is if he confessed, which he didn`t do. So what you have to do from the defense perspective is embrace the things you can`t deny, deny the things you can`t embrace. And obviously, you know, she was in therapy. There was a sense in the beginning she was suicidal. I`m sure there will be an expert that can say.

We haven`t heard the defense yet, so let`s not jump to conclusions that she was at peace because she was going to commit suicide. And I think even though we roll our eyes at it, the best defense is he is a CSI instructor and this is the best he could come up with? It is laughable, but it`s laughable because it`s such a dumb plan.


MURPHY: It`s stupid.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I mean that`s what doesn`t add up. Michelle Suskauer, if this guy is a CSI investigator, why is he making so many mistakes? Why is he forging in his office the day before the killing? Why is he asking, asking co-workers for a torch so he can torch hard drives? Why was he leaving out a PowerPoint presentation manual on the difference between suicide and homicide when it involves fire? It`s almost pathologically self-destructive, if you believe the prosecution.

MICHELLE SUSKAUER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely. And, you know, look, this is an incredibly difficult case for the defense. There`s no question about it. But, again, driving the point home, they`re going to bring up the fact -- they`re certainly going to have an expert who`s going to say, when you have depression, you can go up and you can do down. If you have suicidal ideations, maybe you`re sharing them, maybe you`re not sharing them.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon Leiberman, quickly?

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Look, you can pay an expert to say anything. But look, we`ve seen so many cases where cops are accused of murder. They have emotions like everybody else, and most times their emotions do get the best of them despite however many years of experience they have or however much studying they`ve done on the theory. Killing can be emotional. That`s what you see here. That`s why he made so many mistakes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course, this was the most tough time -- the toughest time for a woman is when she says "I`m going to leave." That`s the most dangerous time for a woman. The most likely to become a victim of intimate partner violence at that moment she says hasta la vista.

MURPHY: But it`s not a reason to stay, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course not.

MURPHY: It`s not a reason to stay.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I say get out and call your lawyer when you`re in another state.

MURPHY: Get a gun. Get a gun.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: I say get out of town and call a lawyer and have your lawyer tell your husband or your boyfriend that it`s done. Don`t be in the same house.

Ted Rowlands, it`s my understanding that he had, quote, bullied her into allowing him to remain there even though she was going to leave him and he was sleeping not in the same bed but downstairs, you know, sort of like in the -- I don`t want to say doghouse, but go ahead.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. Well -- and he was supposed to be out. There was a court order for him to be out, but he convinced her to let him stay, sleep on the couch. And then he claims she called him on his cell phone from upstairs and said, get up here and get the kids because they`re in danger and that`s when he found the fire. But he was not even supposed to be in that house according to the court.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Throughout the seven-hour interrogation, Brett denies he had anything to do with his wife`s death, but listen to his responses to the detective`s questions. Not -- it`s just odd. Listen to it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you murder her?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you pull the trigger?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you kill her?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. To me, that sounds like if he yells "No" loud enough then they`re going to believe him. Ok? That`s my interpretation. He`s in law enforcement, he`s used to people -- and let me tell you, when you see when I spent a night in jail, you`ll know what I mean. When they say do something, you do it. They say jump, you say how high? And so he`s used to being obeyed.

And so he goes "no". Right? "No". Therefore, he thinks everybody is going to just accept that. Yes, sir. "No". It doesn`t work that way, but he doesn`t know that. It`s a fascinating, fascinating case. And let me tell you, tomorrow right here, he`s expected to take the stand. We`re all over it. Join us 7:00 p.m. Eastern for that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, we have breaking news in the Jodi Arias trial. We`re going to tell you about it right on the other side of this break. Stay right there.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you sorry you got caught? You said you couldn`t answer that at the time.

JODI ARIAS, CONVICTED MURDERER: Well, I couldn`t answer that I don`t know if I would turn myself in. I`d like to think that I would because that would be the right thing to do. On the other hand, it`s -- can you imagine willingly giving up your freedom? That`s a difficult decision to make.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve been all over the Jodi Arias trial. Now there is breaking news that our own senior producer, Selin Darkalstanian has for us. She was in court for the entire trial. We`re going to get that news from her, next.



ARIAS: I`m ready to meet my maker, but if that time should come --

CROWD: Justice for Travis. Justice for Travis.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brand new information tonight in the Jodi Arias trial. We are only days away from knowing whether or not Jodi Arias will stand before a new jury to find out if she lives or dies. Jodi, of course, convicted of premeditated murder in the brutal killing of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, but her fate is still hanging in the air.

That`s right. We still do not know if we are going back to trial and have to sit through 18 more days of this.


ARIAS: When he (EXPLETIVE DELETED) face and throws candy my way and walks away without a word, it kind of feels like I was a prostitute.

I had plans to commit suicide. I didn`t know what to think. I just wanted to die.

TRAVIS ALEXANDER, MURDER VICTIM: I`m going to tie you to a tree and put it in your (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

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


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to our own senior producer Selin Darkalstanian, you were in court for the entire trial. What is the very latest?

SELIN DARKALSTANIAN, HLN SENIOR PRODUCER: Jane, the "Arizona Republic" is reporting that Jennifer Wilmott actually has a conflict with the date that is set for trial. Remember, when everything ended, the judge said we will be back here to retry this case on July 18th. But now the "Arizona Republic" is reporting that -- they are reporting that Jennifer Wilmott, her defense attorney, has something else going on, and can`t start trial that date, so will likely be pushed back again.

So it won`t be starting in July after all. But remember even before that, we`re meeting in a little over two weeks. We`re going to be back in that courthouse to find out what the prosecutor has decided in the first place.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. So if they do decide, it`s going to be who knows when. And will they be able to find another jury, especially after Jodi said this on "Good Morning America" after her conviction?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think of this jury? It`s pretty clear they don`t think too much of you. I wonder what you think of them.

ARIAS: I don`t know. I feel -- I feel a little betrayed by them. I don`t dislike them. I just was really hoping that they would see things for what they are, and I don`t feel that they did.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s debate it. What will happen next? Predictions -- starting with Wendy Murphy.

MURPHY: Look, I predicted, and it`s at my Web site,, in an article after the verdict, this won`t go forward on the 18th because the defense will come up with some cockamamie reason they can`t be available. It`s an old trick. It`s an ugly and old trick.

However, I also told Travis Alexander`s family`s lawyer that I would draft for them a motion that they can file because victims and their families in homicide cases have a right to a speedy disposition, too, and it`s a constitutional right in Arizona, and I offered to do it for free. I will write them the motion to enforce their speedy trial rights.

They`ve been waiting five years. I don`t care what that lawyer has to do on July 18th. This case has to go forward. She has to be put to the right jury to make the right decision in this case. The family isn`t --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Jon Leiberman, given the intense media scrutiny that everybody knows, it seems, about this case. People come up to me on the street wherever I go and ask me about this case. How are they going to find 12 jurors?

LEIBERMAN: I actually, Jane, think that they can. I actually believe they can find an impartial jury. This is big in our universe, and this is big for a lot of people. But there are still people out there who you walk up to them they don`t know who Jodi Arias is. I`m confident they can get an impartial jury.

I also believe the prosecutors are not going to stop. I think Juan Martinez and his boss want to see this through and they are going to take this to the next phase. I really believe they will retry the sentencing phase.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, you made your prediction on camera, on live television. We`ve got it now on tape. And we`ll see what happens. And we`ll see if you`re right or wrong. I honestly don`t know.

I go back and forth. Is it going to happen? Isn`t it going to happen? I don`t know.

Next, I do know this. I go inside prison and I end up getting arrested and locked up for an entire night in prison, b behind bars, jail, people.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: One of the worst things I think that a human being can experience -- the loss of freedom and isolation. And that`s what jail is. Loss of freedom, and isolation and lack of power; you`re completely powerless.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for pet of the day. Send your pet pics to Milky Way -- you are just stellar. And Big Foot and Patron -- I think that`s a very large yard you`re in. Felix, Sunny and Shadow -- you`re a pack of cats. I love it. Molly -- Molly says, I just like to go it alone, and I`ve got a fabulous outfit to do it.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jane Velez-Mitchell?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do me a favor, take your hands out of your pockets, please.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you kidding me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No I`m not. Are you Jane Velez-Mitchell?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I don`t understand. What is going on?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a warrant for your arrest.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It was like an out of body experience. I`m like, "What is going on here?" It is almost like your regular life is taken off the desktop and thrown in the trash file but you realize this movie is actually happening to me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Travis Alexander was killed five years ago tomorrow. And Jodi Arias has spent almost five years in jail and we have covered her trial for months and months now. With all of this discussion about her case, I wanted to find out what is life like behind bars.

So I spent the night in a jail cell similar to what Jodi has been in as she awaits her fate. I experienced first-hand that even before that prison door shuts and slams in your face your freedom is completely, completely stripped away. Check this out.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I covered a whole lot of trials and still never registered in my mind how completely emotionally annihilating being behind bars is for a human being.



This is -- it`s not the way everybody thinks it is. I didn`t do it. Please recycle. In the future this wouldn`t have happened. Just put the plastic bottle in the bin, the recycle bin, not in the garbage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not trying to get loose, are you?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No. I wouldn`t do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I have one new female, Miss Jane Velez- Mitchell.

Just stand over near the wall and face the wall, please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You been drinking? Use any drugs?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m 18 years sober so no.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ok. Ok. You have anything on you I should know about?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: When I go in there and I have to face the wall whenever they say "face the wall" and then they start putting me through these machines to see if I have metal hidden in my body parts.

Is that why it is beeping?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s why it is beeping. Do you have a prosthetic hip?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Must be the zippers in my boots.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Checking my cheeks and putting my face one way and my face the other way.

Why would I have metal in my mouth?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`d be surprised what people have.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean I`m a number. I`m not a person who has any kind of voice.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that was just the beginning of the process. I was treated like an actual prisoner. I felt totally powerless. A female cop even strip-searched me for hidden contra band.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ok. Miss Velez-Mitchell, we are going to give you a new outfit.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are going to strip search me? Wait a second. You are not for real on this, are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely, yes I am.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely, yes I am.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: I can`t wear my normal bikini underwear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody wears the same stuff when they come to jail.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Obviously I knew going in that I was doing this for a story. But it`s so shocking how I quickly forgot all that. And I really felt like, wait a second, you`re telling me I have to stay in here. I wasn`t able to do what I wanted to do. I couldn`t just say stop tape I`m going to take a break now, I`m going to come back in an hour. So I really got to experience what it is like to lose those freedoms.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were those knickers?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Those are my knickers.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Up next you will not believe what some prisoners try to sneak into jail and where they try hiding it? Even more shocking. Stay right there. It gets better or worse.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All this week HLN focuses on America behind bars. And tomorrow night I will have more of that.

Nancy next.