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Alleged Killer Cop Takes Stand in His Defense

Aired June 6, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, breaking news. The alleged killer cop takes the stand at his own murder trial. Tonight, Brett Seacat desperately tries to convince the jury he did not execute his beautiful wife and torch their home while their two young sons, toddlers, slept. Will the jury buy this handsome former cop`s story that his wife set the fire herself and shot herself in the head because she was depressed from taking diet supplements?


BRETT SEACAT, MURDER DEFENDANT: I`m smart enough that if I wanted to kill my wife, I could come up with something better than that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Brett Seacat may have been married to more than one woman at a time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He told me that it wasn`t his -- his doing. You know, he didn`t file for divorce.

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

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They called themselves high-school sweethearts, and yet he apparently lived with another woman for an extended period of time.

SEACAT: There`s a fire, and my wife is -- She shot herself. She`s in the fire.

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

I said, "Not with the kids at home."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Vashti Seacat`s friend and therapist testified that Brett had threatened to kill her and set the house on fire and that he also revealed that he had a dream about killing her and later even confessed to killing her.

Well, today, it was time for the jury to hear from the former cop himself. Check this out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Call your next witness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We call Brett Seacat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it`s my understanding he won`t -- he will allow audio, but not video transmission, is that correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is correct, your honor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very good. And...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: There he goes, trying to save his own skin. Brett decided at the very last minute that he did not want his handsome face on camera. Hmm, I wonder why? That`s why you`re going to hear him talking on the witness stand, but you will not see him. If he`s so innocent, why does he want to hide his face?

The defense wasted no time trying to humanize Brett as just a regular family guy who`d hoped to save his marriage and keep him, the wife and the kids together.


SEACAT: And I just said, "Am I getting served?" She nodded, and I think I just said, "So it`s divorce, then?"


VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s been a lot of evidence in this case. Death threats and he allegedly forged his wife`s suicide note. Can Brett convince the jury there`s reasonable doubt?

Straight out to Ted Rowlands, CNN correspondent who`s on the ground in Kansas. You`ve just come out of court, Ted. What were the biggest stunners from the mouth of this ex-cop who, prosecutors say, executed his sleeping wife?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I`ll tell you, Jane, it was his demeanor. You couldn`t see it, unfortunately, because as you mentioned, he did not want his face shown during his testimony, but the jury saw his face. And we could see his face in the courtroom.

He`s one of these guys that, when he gets nervous, he smiles. And he was trying to almost entertain on some level the jury. He was not coming across as sincere because of that.

When he was talking about the fact that his wife wanted a divorce and he claimed he didn`t want one, there was no emotion when he was recounting that emotion where he found out about the divorce. There was no emotion at all.

Jurors, at first when he took the stand, all had their notepads out. They were absolutely riveted. When he started telling long-winded stories and jokes, saying that he was at Panera Bread for 90 minutes, which is long in Panera terms, red balloon time. Everybody just -- it was awkward. It was almost awkward, where jurors stopped staring at him, stopped taking notes. He lost jurors because of the lack of emotion. I think that translates to lack of sincerity as he went through the pre-time before the murder.

He`s going to have to change his tune and his demeanor as he gets into the actual day of the murder if he has any chance of convincing this jury that he is not behind it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, one thing we know for sure: he`s an arrogant guy. Arrogant, arrogant. He thinks he`s all that. He thinks he`s really good looking. He thinks he`s smarter than everybody else. Hmm, who does that sound like?

The morning before Vashti died, Brett said that she gave him a big kiss, which he claims he found odd since they had been talking about divorce. Listen to this, and then we`re going to analyze it with Dr. Drew.


SEACAT: We had been back and forth about 50 times on divorce. And so, I just, when we went to bed that night, I thought we were still talking divorce. And then in the morning, she gives me a kiss, which makes me think not divorce. So it just let me know that we were back on the not- divorce track.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Drew, oftentimes, an attempt to be nice, a woman might give mixed signals, trying to cushion the bad news. It`s really great to have you on our show. What are your thoughts about his describing that, oh, he`s so confused, "because she`s giving me mixed signals"?

DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN ANCHOR: Jane, you know what I think? I absolutely agree with you that it is not at all unusual to someone to show some tenderness to a person that you might have been married to. We have been through an awful lot together, and to sort of express a bit of tenderness as things are devolving toward a divorce, that I think, would be completely normal.

What`s interesting about this guy is that he doesn`t seem to be able to interpret emotion. You mentioned the arrogance, and people before have mentioned the narcissism they think they`re seeing here, and that would sort of fit with that.

People with a lot of narcissistic qualities don`t really understand emotions. And emotions have less meaning to them, particularly in particular situations. They don`t attach value and intensity to emotions. And in my sense, he really has misread her intention in that kiss.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I think they only interpret emotions that go their way. In other words, when they`re interpreting things they only interpret what they want to hear.

PINSKY: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I`ve got a perfect example for you, Dr. Drew. Brett describes going back and forth with Vashti about whether to get divorced. And this is at the infamous Panera, where they`re having a discussion. He describes a long conversation they had in that restaurant. Listen to this.


SEACAT: All about divorce, reconciliation, staying together, splitting up, divorce, back; it just went round and round. At a lot of points in the conversation, I didn`t know what we were talking about because every ten minutes, it seemed like, Vashti was pursuing a different angle on it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s debate it. Is this testimony humanizing this defendant or are we seeing a narcissist who only wants to hear what they want to hear? Starting with Jordan Rose for the prosecution.

JORDAN ROSE, ATTORNEY: You know, it`s interesting, because I think this guy is going to get crushed on cross-examination.

We have to be overly careful when we have these police officers and folk who -- who know the law and who know what the CSI guys are going to look for when they`re examining the crime. I mean, he knows what to do and what not to do. And so in the direct examination, he looks like a star. But in cross, they have to be meticulous, because this is an officer of the law, and he could get away with murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Heather Hansen for the defense.

HEATHER HANSEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I mean, I think so far today, he has come across as sort of removed. And he`s going to need to spend some more time on the witness stand to become more comfortable. As he becomes more comfortable, I`m hopeful for the defense that he`s going to become a little bit more relatable, because thus far, he`s really not presenting well. And that can only get worse on cross-examination.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We are going to go to Jon Leiberman. You`re itching to get in.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Jane, every word this guy says puts him a step closer to a guilty verdict. I mean, his story defies any credibility.

And keep in mind he`s only testifying because the judge said before the trial started that they could only admit certain evidence if he actually testified to it, for example, allegations of affairs and allegations that she talked about suicide twice in the past.

His story doesn`t add up. He talks about, you know, torching hard drives because he`s worried about identity theft, but yet he leaves his old cell phone on his desk with the door to his office open. His story has a million holes in it. And as Jordan said, on cross-examination, he will get eaten up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Anahita Sedaghatfar for the defense, quickly.

ANAHITA SEDAGHATFAR, ATTORNEY: Jane, I don`t think he had a choice in light of the mountain of evidence against him. He had to take the stand. It`s still early on. I think the defense is hoping he will show emotion. He`ll get up on the stand, cry, say how much he loved his life, that he would never kill her; he would never do this to his children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s been on the stand for hours already, and he hasn`t managed to say he loved his wife.

LEIBERMAN: It`s not going to work.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go out to the phone lines. Christine, North Carolina. Your question or thought? Christine, North Carolina.

CALLER: Jane, thanks for taking my call. I have a question and a comment. The comment is, you guys have shown the injury on his leg, his singed hair, which if he did light the house on fire, gas does pop a lot more than any other kind of starter to start a fire. He could have singed his own leg.

And second of all, he wanted a particular overhead projector. Are there other projectors that scan things that keep them that can be found later?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jon Leiberman, and I want to ask you about this overhead projector. Co-workers say that he had locked himself in his office and was using a card from his wife with an overhead projector to basically forge the suicide note, because you can see the letters real big and you can trace them more exactly. He claims what?

LEIBERMAN: Well, it`s -- it`s more of this incredible story. He claims, yes, he was using the projector and, yes, he was practicing studying forging documents in this kind of round-about story but that he didn`t forge the suicide note. I mean, these are the types of stories that he`s trying to get this jury to believe. But when confronted with this mountain of evidence, I don`t think there`s any chance the jury is going to find him credible at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the other side of the break, we`re going to talk to Dr. Drew about the arrogance of people. When they think they`re smarter than everyone else, do they often do really stupid things because they`re wrong? They`re not smarter. On the other side.


SEACAT: There`s a fire. My wife, she shot herself. She`s in the fire. There`s smoke everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is everybody out of the house?

SEACAT: Oh, God.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you need to take some deep breaths right now. You`re getting real nervous.

SEACAT: Yes, I am. I`m thinking real hard about not saying things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You need to say them. We need to talk about them.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The defense claims Brett Seacat`s wife was depressed and killed herself because she was taking diet supplements that are mood- altering. Vashti`s sister -- that`s the dead woman`s sister-- took the stand for the defense. Kathleen Forrest (ph) was questioned about what she knew about a controversial diet drug called HCG and whether Vashti was using it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you said was she had injected HCG to my knowledge, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Line ten states that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: States that because that`s what you said, right?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Clearly she`s a hostile witness. She didn`t want to be there testifying for the man that she believes killed her sister. But could diet drugs be enough to get this guy off?

Dr. Drew, I don`t really know a whole lot about this particular diet supplement. I know some diet supplements are like speed, and that`s why you don`t eat, because it`s like you`re high on speed.

PINSKY: Right.


PINSKY: HCG is a hormone that`s produced by the placenta to mobilize fat from women`s body to create energy for the fetus. It`s a way of having the baby`s metabolic needs take priority over the mom`s and be able to mobilize metabolic nutrients for the mom.

Now, if you`re not pregnant and you`re taking HCG, it`s a way to sort of mobilize fat. It`s a diet that`s been advocated for a long time. It`s very controversial.

I looked far and wide to see if I could see any evidence that it precipitates depression. I can find none. It is not like a neurological - - it does not affect appetite like, say, a stimulant does. Those are neuro-active medications that are specifically effective on the brain to suppress appetite. This is not about that. This is about metabolizing and mobilizing things from other parts of the body.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I spoke to someone who had seen her days before her death. Didn`t sound like she -- or look like she had had a lot of weight loss.

PINSKY: Me, too.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They didn`t notice anything different.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So prosecutors say...

PINSKY: Well, apparently...


PINSKY: It seemed like it was sort of a popular diet. And there are women that -- I`ve talked to several women who knew her. They were taking the sub-label versions, and other women were doing it in the area. And no one was having any neurological or psychiatric side effects from the medication. It`s possible, but it`s very, very unlikely that this is what contributed in any meaningful way to this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But the defense is hanging their hat on the diet supplements.

Now, prosecutors say Brett Seacat plotted and carried out this vicious execution of his wife just a couple of days after she hit him with divorce papers. They say Brett was destroying evidence to cover his tracks.

But on the stand today, Brett had an answer for destroying computer equipment. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there some correlation between the two hard drives you destroyed in these two computers that were stored in your office?

SEACAT: Yes. I took the hard drives out of those two computers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why were you going to put a new hard drive in them?

SEACAT: I was going to sell them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why were you looking to sell the computers?

SEACAT: Because I thought I might have a divorce coming up, and I needed some -- it wouldn`t hurt to have some money.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s debate it with our expert legal panel. He`s selling hard drives for some extra cash because he`s getting divorced? Is the jury buying any of this? Starting with Jon Leiberman, HLN contributor.

LEIBERMAN: I don`t think so. I mean, look, this -- how long has he had to come up with this contrived story? He`s had several years now. I mean, come on, burning the hard drives. Torching the -- I mean, to sell the computers for maybe 100 bucks each? It just -- and again, he said that one reason why he was doing it was because of identity theft, and yet he leaves his old cell phone, as I said before, on the desk in his office.

I don`t think anybody is buying the story. They`re certainly not going to buy it on cross-examination.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Anahita. Anahita, come on. I mean, you can come up with an explanation for anything. The reason I`m balancing this cup on my head is because, oh, I have a headache. And this provides relief. It doesn`t mean anybody is going to believe what I`m saying.

SEDAGHATFAR: And that`s true. But you know, the reason why he`s taking the stand is because he has to explain away some of the evidence that is working against him. That`s why he`s there.

And remember, it only takes one of those jurors to believe him or sympathize with him. So I mean, that`s why he`s there. Of course it`s not looking good. Of course he didn`t have time to...

LEIBERMAN: It`s grasping at straws, Anahita. It`s grasping at straws.

SEDAGHATFAR: That is why he`s taking the stand. So is the suggestion that he should take the stand and basically say, "Yes, I killed her. Yes, I did smash these hard drives."

LEIBERMAN: No, but he`s going to take the stand and he`s going to re- victimize the victim by claiming affairs and suicide. That`s the problem I have. Wait until tomorrow when he starts re-victimizing the victim.

SEDAGHATFAR: It`s about reasonable doubt, Jon.


HANSEN: Jane, Jane -- Jane...


HANSEN: Wait, wait, wait. There`s a presumption of innocence here. So you`ve got to assume that he`s innocent, and you`ve got to look at it like a guy who`s been served with divorce papers. IO have seen men who have been served with divorce papers. They do get confused; they do get emotional. Oftentimes, they don`t understand where their wife is coming from.

The fact that he`s getting money together, to perhaps get money for a divorce, you can sort of understand that. You could -- the state has to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jordan. Jordan.

ROSE: His story is just so bizarre and unbelievable. You`d think, if he had enough time to prepare at least a credible story that someone would believe. I mean, he`s got lots of cell phones around, and that made a lot of sense. The guy is just -- I think it was an absolute mistake to put this man on the stand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to debate more on the other side. More extraordinary testimony, as this defendant takes the stand to try to save his own skin.


SEACAT: If I didn`t want her around, I would have divorced, just granted her the divorce.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you would have lost contact with the boys, like you have them now. That`s the whole key to this.

SEACAT: Oh, no. Those boys love their mom. She (ph) wouldn`t do that to them.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s hard to believe that you had something to do with this. OK. You had no blood on you when you supposedly picked her up in the bed and held her to you close. You had no blood.

SEACAT: No, I didn`t hold her to me close.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You had no fire on the bottom of your feet. Now, if you walked through fire, you should have some kind of injuries besides a small injury on the top of one of your feet.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`ve got a breaking news curveball. New information just in about a woman who claims she was Brett, the defendant`s, common-law wife before he married Vashti.

Straight out to Ted Rowlands, CNN correspondent who`s just walked out of court. What on earth? Another wife but a common-law wife? What`s this all about?

ROWLANDS: Yes. Well, this is a woman that he apparently dated back in 2001. And under -- Kansas is one of the few states that recognizes common-law marriage. And this woman, apparently, once she found out that he was arrested and was suspected of murdering his wife, she freaked out and said, "Wow, I need a common-law divorce, because I think I might be married to him." And that, you know, sparked a lot of interest.

There`s no indication that he was a polygamist or had two wives at the same time. I think it was more that this woman came out of the woodwork and was nervous that she would somehow be connected to him financially and wanted the state of Kansas to recognize a common-law divorce and wanted nothing to do with it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. The defense called a forensic expert to testify about traces of gasoline found on Brett`s pants the day of the fire. He says, "Well, you can`t trust any of that evidence because, oh, sloppy police work." The old garbage in, garbage out.

The prosecutor attacked his testimony.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This analysis may have been flawed from the onset because the evidence wasn`t there. The evidence was not collected properly; it was not packaged properly. And it took 22 months, I believe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of all things that he could have found, he found gasoline, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess I don`t understand the question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The question is, what kind of luck would that be?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Drew, Dr. Drew, the psychology of people who think they`re smarter than everyone else always baffles me.

According to co-workers of Vashti, she told them that this guy who`s on trial right now told her, "I`m going to kill you. I`m going to set the house on fire. I`m going to make it look like you killed yourself and set the house on fire. And I`m going to get away with it, because," according to what these co-workers said, this defendant felt that firefighters were morons.

Now, I think firefighters are heroes and wonderful people who put their lives on the line. But there`s an arrogance there that really is actually stupidity.

PINSKY: Right. It`s a kind of blocking of the ability to perceive reality. But Jane, I know in your drinking days you must have suffered from something like this. It had to be that...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I never set anything on fire.

PINSKY: I understand that. But still, you could...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Maybe a flambe...

PINSKY: But you understand -- you understand that people have to have, when there are certain states and certain character pathology, they have real difficulty taking reality in on reality`s terms.

And I think this guy was even in an elevated state beyond that. If you look at those pictures of him, not so much these pictures alongside me now, but the ones -- that picture, where the white of the eye is visible above the eye and the pupils are blown, in spite of there being a bright light in his face. You`ve got to wonder, is there something even more going on with this guy than would otherwise be arrogant, have difficulty acknowledging feelings and taking reality in. He may have been in a manic state or maybe he was taking some supplements, something that really put him into a state that made things really, really crazy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Quickly, Susan, Florida. Your question or thought. Susan, Florida.

CALLER: Jane, this guy is so diabolical. I mean, he should have spent some of his money on acting lessons. Because he`s horrible. Go back and listen to his testimony.

I was cooking supper, and I heard it. And he was talking about putting gas in his dad`s truck. And he said that he didn`t have enough money to fill it up. And then he turned right around and said, when they said, "Was it $35 you put in there," he said, "Oh, I didn`t pay attention to the money. I just put 8.2 gallons in it." See, he...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ooh, very good catch. Susan, good catch. And it`s just like Jodi Arias. All -- they remember all these, like, quirky things like what they ordered at Starbucks. Or exactly -- I couldn`t tell you ever in my life exactly how much gas I put in a car, ever, once. I put it until it fills up and then it starts flowing out of the car and I stop.

All right. Later, the Jodi Arias trial. What were the attorneys saying to each other in those sidebars? Unbelievable new information. Explosive revelations about the vicious arguments that were going on between prosecutor Juan Martinez and Jennifer Willmott, the defense attorney for Jodi Arias. You will not believe what they were saying to each other. That`s next.


JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: With regard to everything that he did to you, how you feel and how you know of those circumstances and the situation that you were in with regard to Exhibit 205. Do you think, in your mind, because you were the one who was experiencing...


MARTINEZ: What are you -- what is it?

WILLMOTT: Objection.




JENNIFER WILLMOTT, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jodi cannot choose to have a personality disorder or not.

Having borderline personality disorder is not an excuse. It is not an excuse for what she did to Travis, but it is a reason.

KIRK NURMI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nine days out of ten, I don`t like Jodi Arias.

AMY MURPHY, REPORTER, KNXV-TV: She is a very mentally ill person.

JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: She knocked the blessing out of him by putting a bullet in his head.

JODI ARIAS, CONVICTED MURDER: You should have at least done your make up, Jodi -- gosh.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Tonight: breaking news. Stunning side bar secrets from the Jodi Arias murder trial. Just released information about the down and dirty vicious fighting that occurred when the lawyers went to side bar, which they did over and over again as we all know from watching the trial.

We saw Jodi`s defense team and the prosecution practically come to blows during that marathon trial. Remember this?


WILLMOTT: Objection, your honor.

NURMI: Objection, your honor.

Objection, argumentative.

Objection, she`s answered the question.


Objection, argumentative.

WILLMOTT: Objection, can we ask him not to yell at the witness.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, we know just how down and dirty the side bar fighting got. In one of the side bars, prosecutor Juan Martinez said he would kill himself if he was married to Jodi`s defense lawyer, Jennifer Willmott. Quote, "But the thing is, that if Miss Willmott and I were married, I certainly would say I would f-ing kill myself. That doesn`t mean actually that I want to kill myself. All right? It means that there`s a bad relationship and I want you to leave me alone."

And then, "Judge, just for the record, I think that was an insult because he`s trying to say that if he and I were married,"

"Oh, come on. That was a compliment, a bad joke."

"I don`t see it as either," Jennifer Willmott said.

Straight out to reporter for KNXV TV out of Phoenix who was in the courtroom for this extraordinary trial; Amy Murphy, I was there, too. We all saw how heated it was, how it seemed to us, sitting in the gallery that these people hated each other. The prosecutor Juan Martinez and Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott, the defense attorneys really did not like each other. Now we are hearing and finding out they were basically trading insults with each other during side bars.

MURPHY: Yes, Jane, you are absolutely right. That argument that you just showed continued on to another day. Basically, Juan Martinez came back with another insult to Jennifer Willmott saying she needed to go back to law school.

And you know, the surprising thing is that Judge Stevens really didn`t do much to stop the insults from flying, it seems, from the court record. We also learned in side bar some interesting things that the jurors had in terms of their questions as well. So quite a revealing day yesterday, when the records were released.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, we are also learning there was a huge battle behind the scenes over the phone sex tape and when the tape recorded phone sex call would be admitted and when the jury would hear it. We all remember the call itself. Remember this?


TRAVIS ALEXANDER, MURDER VICTIM: The way you moan baby, it sounds like -- it sounds like you are this 12-year-old girl having her first orgasm.

ARIAS: It sounds like what?

ALEXANDER: A 12-year-old girl having her first orgasm. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) this hot little girl.

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



Jodi dragged Travis` name through the mud and made his most private, vulnerable moments public. You have to wonder, the strategy.

Jordan Rose, you are an attorney down there in Phoenix, Arizona. You really know all the players because you are one of the most prominent attorneys in that area. We are learning now that there was a strategic battle over when that sex tape would be revealed and the prosecutor wanted it revealed when she was on the stand as opposed to having some expert play it. Why do you think he was so intent on that strategy?

JORDAN ROSE, PHOENIX ATTORNEY: Well certainly, just as you just showed, the visuals of how she reacts to that sex tape were phenomenally good for the prosecution. I mean she could only react in a way that was negative and so I think he was very insistent upon that. It made a lot of sense.

Interestingly, you have Nurmi in these things trying to object to everything from cameras showing Jodi`s chained legs. I mean we didn`t know that. I didn`t realize, you know, if you are watching it on TV, you wouldn`t have realized that her legs were chained because your cameras weren`t allowed to show it because of Nurmi`s objections. Interesting to see how far these attorneys took their hostility and made it so personal behind the scenes in the trial.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well, I tell you, all of these megatrials, it happens every time. They always end up hating each other`s guts. O.J. Simpson, Marsha Clark and Johnny Cochran -- no love lost there. The list goes on and on. It gets very personal. The reputations of these individuals are made or broken.

Everybody will remember Juan Martinez from this trial. Everybody will remember Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott. This is the crowning moment of their careers undoubtedly.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Betty, Ohio, your question or thought -- Betty, Ohio.

BETTY, OHIO (via telephone): Yes, Jane. Thank you for taking my call. Every time I think about Arias, I get upset. I mean this (inaudible) somebody`s going to let her off. She`s going to get life or whatever. I hope Martinez doesn`t cave in. I hope they have another jury and they find her guilty so she can be put to death. That`s exactly what she needs without a doubt. That family can get some peace of mind then.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Amy Murphy, you`re a reporter at KNXV on the ground there in Phoenix -- any buzz? We heard from Dave Hall. He said the family wants to go forward. They want a retrial. They don`t care if their whole lives are disrupted and they have to live in Phoenix even though most of them are from California. What are you hearing? What is the buzz about what is going to happen?

MURPHY: Well, I too have heard that Travis Alexander`s family is ready to go ahead and go for the long haul at this point. They have already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money to continue this process. And they would like to see Jodi Arias get death.

The buzz here, actually, from a very prominent appellate lawyer, Jane, has been that if Jodi Arias does get the death penalty, there`s actually probably a 50 percent chance that it could be overturned because in the appellate process, it would go to the state supreme court. They have a 50 percent rate of overturning cases in Arizona.

Rather -- if she gets life in prison, it would go to the court of appeals and the court of appeals is not as lenient. So, she would definite will be staying in jail at that point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. That is so interesting. On some level, it might be more of a punishment to have her get life than to get death that never actually happens but has a greater chance of having it be overturned -- fascinating. Thank you for that new information.

And we have more new information on the Arias case right on the other side. And we are taking your calls.


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

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



MARTINEZ: You are advocating on behalf of the defendant and you are only presenting things that benefit her.

WILLMOTT: Objection.

MARTINEZ: Correct?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Side bar secrets. A document revealing that there were vicious fights during those many side bars that we sat through during the Jodi Arias trial. Well, we are also learning that there was huge controversy over Jodi`s rambling during her 18 days on the stand. You remember it. It felt like an eternity, didn`t it? Remember this?


NURMI: Defense calls Jodi Arias.

Did you kill Travis Alexander on June 4, 2008?

ARIAS: Yes, I did.

He began to remove my clothes.

I thought we were going to kiss. He lifted up my skirt, pulled down my underwear.

He wanted me to dress up in a schoolgirl outfit. He spun me around and bent me over the desk.

The main reason is because I was very ashamed of what happened.

It`s hard to explain.

As I write right now that I love Travis Victor Alexander so completely.

I just have the sense that he was chasing after me.

Lying isn`t typically something I just do.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s debate it. Did the judge allow her to ramble on too long? We are now learning from this document that the judge really wondered why her answers had to take so long but should she have said "Hey, move along honey, wrap it up and get to the next subject."

I`ll start with Anahita Sedaghatfar for the defense.

ANAHITA SEDAGHATFAR, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well Jane, I think a lot of people will be happy that the judge did show concern about Jodi`s rambling. I know she received a lot of criticism for that. But this is a capital case. Her life was on the line and the judge had to give Jodi Arias a lot of leeway in order to not create appellate issues.

So I think she did do the right thing by allowing her to talk, testify in order to, I guess, get a clean conviction in case she was convicted and not create additional appellate issue.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jordan Rose for the prosecution?

ROSE: I actually have to agree. It`s a capital case -- the judge can`t very well not allow her to talk and talk and talk, but boy, do I wish she would have stopped. If you look at, I think it would be interesting to look at the time the defense spent on the stand versus the time the prosecution spent in their --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. The prosecution was like nine days.

ROSE: Yes, it was nothing. Then look at the amount of time they spent in side bars -- huge, huge. Now we get to see what it is.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Want to hear this? The reason why we wouldn`t hear it is they had a white noise machine playing. Because we were all sitting there trying to hear what they were arguing about and they had a noise machine playing there so we couldn`t hear it and that`s why we`re just finding out about it now.

Continue on Heather.

HANSEN: Well, they did. The white noise machine is what we see all the time. But the one thing that I do think judge could have done is control those side bars a little bit more. It`s natural to get contentious. As you said it becomes very personal, especially if you believe in your case. But to let those side bars go on, the way that they did and with the contentious sniping I don`t think that that`s productive in any way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well on the other side, we are going to talk about an insult that was ruled at Jennifer Willmott and should the judge have done something about it. Or is that just the way it rolls on a high-profile case?

Stay right there.


ARIAS: You should have at least done your make up Jodi, gosh. Goodness.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for Pet of the Day. Send your pet pics to

Connor, oh, you are gorgeous. And Roxie, she is sitting pretty on a fancy chair, enjoying life. And Dottie -- oh, magnifique, very chic, look at that outfit. Charlie`s just an average guy, but fabulous in his open way, very special. Charlie.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She would just totally flip out on me. I have my good friends call me in the middle of the night. You need to get Jodi some help.

Just like -- call me one minute happy; in the next minute in tears.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jodi Arias` mother. She also destroyed her own family`s lives. Prosecutor Juan Martinez, turns out we learned tonight was insulting Jennifer Willmott, the defense attorney for Jodi Arias and her professional skills. When Willmott asked about hearsay, Juan told Willmott quote, "you should go back to law school. Maybe you ought to go back to law school."

This is a new revelation of what they were saying during side bar. Let`s debate it. Did prosecutor Juan Martinez cross the line? Starting with Jon Leiberman for the prosecution.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Look, Juan Martinez was passionate. He was speaking for the state of Arizona. He was speaking for Travis Alexander`s family. And he is a normal person, lawyers are people, too. They get fired up. Sometimes they say things that they probably wish they could take back, but that is what he was feeling at the moment.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Anahita Sedaghatfar, for the defense.

SEDAGHATFAR: I actually agree with Jon. I mean you have to remember they`re in the heat of battle. I know whoa -- they`re in the heat of the battle --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second. Hold on a second. I sat in that courtroom. I think he did a great job. I think everybody did a professional job, everybody had a role and they played it. And I`m not talking about the defendant. I`m talking about all the professionals in that courtroom.

But to say you ought to go back to law school, Heather Hansen, I don`t know.

HANSEN: It is definitely not appropriate. You have to remember, it is a long trial. If over the course of the trial the worst that he said is that you ought to go back to law school over the course of the frustration, I can understand that. I wouldn`t be happy with it. If I were Miss Willmott, I certainly wouldn`t be happy with it but it happens in the course of a very high energy trial.


Robin, Tennessee, your question or thought -- Robin, Tennessee; thanks for your patience, Robin.

ROBIN, TENNESSEE (via telephone): Hi.


ROBIN: The first thing I would like to say is I think the two things that Juan Martinez needs to focus on to get a death conviction is first of all, Travis had no verbal abuse to her until he realized that she was psychosis, and that is when it became obvious that you know, she was nuts. And she never made Travis aware that she was against his sexual fantasies, ever until she led him to believe she liked. That is why he kept doing it. And I hate the fact that she`s singing "Oh, Holy Night" because --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what, Robin, Tennessee -- you make a good point. Engaging consensually in kinky sex games has nothing to do with being a victim of domestic violence, two different things. Two different things.

On the other side, we`re going to talk again to Amy Murphy, who interviewed this woman up close and personal and thinks she is crazy. Stay right there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Reporter Amy Murphy, there is a hearing in two weeks in Phoenix, what do you think is going to happen eventually?

MURPHY: Well, that is a very good question, Jane, you know better than anyone, you were here, you were in the courtroom. Anything could happen at this point. Expect the unexpected. Of course, if they decide to move forward they will be impaneling a new jury on July 18th. And as we all know it will be hard to find a jury that has not heard anything about this case and isn`t impartial in some way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And thank you for buzzing it up. We`re going to stay on top of it. And who knows what`s going to happen next?

Nancy`s next.