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Could Lifetime Movie Poison Jodi Arias Jury Pool?

Aired June 12, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, breaking news. New controversy in the Jodi Arias trial. We are just days away from learning whether Jodi will stand before a new jury to find out if she lives or dies.

Tonight, uproar. New uproar over a new movie trailer based on Jodi`s crimes. Will this bloody and brutal movie poison the jury pool for her retrial?

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell.


TRAVIS ALEXANDER, MURDER VICTIM (via phone): Twelve-year-old with her first orgasm.

I (EXPLETIVE DELETED) off every day, sometimes two, three times a day.

JODI ARIAS, CONVICTED OF MURDER (via phone): Are you serious?

JUDGE SHERRY STEPHENS, PRESIDED OVER TRIAL: "What is your understanding of the word `skank`?"

ARIAS: Oh, it`s like -- it just -- it just moves and it goes in (EXPLETIVE DELETED), it felt so good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The defense was trying to portray Jodi as a victim of the sexuality of Travis Alexander.

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

STEPHENS: "If you can`t want to be tied up to a tree, why would you go up and look for a place where he could do that?"

ARIAS: You make me so horny.

NANCY GRACE, HLN ANCHOR: Center stage, a phone sex tape scandal.

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


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jodi, convicted of premeditated murder in the brutal killing of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. But still, she doesn`t know if she`s going to spend the rest of her life in prison or be executed by lethal injection. The jury hung on that crucial issue.

But now a new movie walks viewers through how prosecutors say this terrible crime happened, with no shortage of blood and horror, showing exactly how cops say Jodi lured Travis into a vulnerable position, stabbed him 29 times, slit his throat, shot him in the face and tried to cover her tracks. Watch this just-released trailer of "Dirty Little Secret" from Lifetime.


JESSE LEE SOFFER, ACTOR: All right. That`s enough. I`m done.

TANIA RAYMONDE, ACTRESS: No, come on. Let`s just get a couple more. Come on, face the wall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s debate it with our expert legal panel. This Lifetime movie coming out June 22. Could it taint the jury pool for a penalty phase retrial, beginning with Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor and author of "And Justice for Some"?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Could it poison the jury pool? The jury pool has already been poisoned with sexual cyanide. I mean, what could possibly be wrong with a movie that shows the brutal nature of the crime? That`s what she did.

The fact that she is still in a fog, a fake fog about it, doesn`t matter. The jury already knows. Whatever -- whatever else people want to debate about this case, the gruesome nature of the crime is the one thing that is not in dispute.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jayne Weintraub for the defense?

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely it`s going to taint the jury pool. And what Wendy said is ridiculous, because the movie takes a little fact and a little fiction. In a courtroom, we get rid of the fiction. We just want the facts and the evidence before them. We don`t know what perspective it`s from, but I presume it`s from a prosecutorial perspective.

And even as the foreperson said, of the jury that heard the evidence, he believed she came from a dysfunctional family. He believed she was abused by Travis. This movie won`t portray it.

The jury should not be exposed to anything like this. And I sure hope the jury is sequestered for penalty.

MURPHY: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. The jury...


MURPHY: Wait, wait. That is so wrong, Jayne. The jury only got to hear facts, not fiction? Somebody forgot to tell Jodi. She was 18 days of fiction. What planet are you on?

SILBER: Give me a break.

WEINTRAUB: That`s not what I said.

SILBER: You can`t -- you can`t play a movie -- you can`t play a movie that`s going to prey on the most carnal and primordial emotions of people while the jury that`s going to decide in America, where we`re supposed to be sophisticated and live by notions of justice and law. These people who are out there who are going to be these jurors are going to be exposed to something that preys on their emotions as opposed to facts and evidence, like a sophisticated society says.

MURPHY: You missed the whole trial. You missed the whole trial, too.

SILBER: The whole trial. Maybe you should learn about evidence. You need to learn about evidence.

MURPHY: You been living under a rock? Are you kidding me? That trial was a joke, a circus.

SILBER: Excuse me. Excuse me.

MURPHY: Manipulating emotions. Did you watch the trial?

SILBER: What would you be saying -- what would you be saying if there was a movie that was good for Jodi?

MURPHY: What wasn`t manipulative and emotional about it?

SILBER: Give me a break. That is the most dishonest argument I`ve ever heard.

MURPHY: Don`t lie -- don`t lie to the audience and say...

SILBER: Come on.

MURPHY: ... that trial had something to do with truth.

SILBER: You`d be saying that the...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think we can all agree to disagree on that issue. We are now learning...

SILBER: Outrageous!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... that one of the four people that wanted to give Jodi life, as opposed to the death penalty, when they hung was the foreperson. Listen to this from KDBK.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did you vote?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, so this is the exclusive, because I`ve never said it on air before. I did come down on the side of life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re one of the four?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. All of the testimony that I listened to and that I actually heard, as well as read, that I do believe that he verbally and mentally abused her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to bring in Travis Alexander`s dear friend, Dave Hall.

You just heard what the jury foreman said in an interview. Essentially saying that he voted for life because he thought that Travis had emotionally and verbally abused her, although he did not say physically. And we know she made a lot of claims about that, that the prosecutor said were outright lies.

What do you make of it, Dave Hall?

DAVE HALL, FRIEND OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: You know, what couple in America out there hasn`t had some type of an argument, a disagreement? Maybe even called each other names in the heat of passion? How on earth does that ever justify letting Jodi escape the maximum penalty, death penalty, simply because he thinks that they were in an argument at some point? It blows my mind that -- that he said that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you would like to see a retrial on the penalty phase. I know that.

Have you been talking to Travis Alexander`s family, these people who we saw day in and day out over the course of this very long trial, who spoke at the victim`s impact statement, who said their lives have been shattered? What do they want?

I mean, we`ve been in this waiting game now for weeks, wondering what`s going to happen. Are they going to say, "No, we can`t afford it. We`re not going to go forward"? Or are we going to go forward and all end up back in Phoenix again and retry that penalty phase, the life or death phase again, what does the family want?

HALL: Nothing has changed for the family. They`re all united and standing firm with the same position. They want Jodi Arias to have the death penalty for the crime that she committed against Travis Alexander, their brother.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And it doesn`t matter that their lives are going to be shattered again. I mean, his sister is a police officer in Carlsbad, California. She`s going to have to travel from California to Arizona. All of that falls by the wayside. They want it happening again. Right, Dave?

HALL: It`s a huge inconvenience for everyone in the family, but they want justice served, and whatever price that costs is just what it costs.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, let`s go out to the phone lines. Cathy, New York, your question or thought, Cathy, New York?

CALLER: Hi, Jane, nice to speak to you.


CALLER: I`m really, really torn about this show, "Dirty Little Secrets." First off, I think the name is off because that`s not true.

Second of all, I really feel that the timing of this movie is horrendous. How dare Lifetime actually put this on the air before this comes to a sense of conclusion? (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

And for the family, I hope the Arias family does not in any way profit from anything from any media that goes on.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: They`re not going to profit from this. Here`s the thing. I can tell you about this movie. Nobody is going to profit from it except Lifetime and people they`re working with. The Arias family isn`t going to profit, because they didn`t sell their story. We all know the story; it`s out there for free. We all sat through the trial. Anybody with a pen and paper watching this trial could write a movie script based on the trial itself, which was public information.

So rest assured, nobody whatsoever will profit from this movie in terms of Jodi Arias or her friends or associates or her family. That ain`t going to happen.

Now Jodi promised that she would be a model prisoner if the jury let her live. And I actually visited the jail that she was in and is still in; in right now as we speak, the Estrella Jail. Sheriff Joe Arpaio, that controversial sheriff out in Arizona, told me yes, she`s been very well behaved. Listen to this.


JOE ARPAIO, SHERIFF: She just had one small disciplinary problem, I think extra crayons or whatever. But she...


ARPAIO: Crayons. You know, when you make posters from (UNINTELLIGIBLE). And the -- but she hasn`t caused us any problems for the past four years she`s been in this jail.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. But now we`re getting new information. A new discipline report we just obtained shows Jodi had a spotty record. The report said she accumulated 14 infractions, including attacking another inmate, hiding pens under her sink and in shampoo bottles, hiding creams, and possessing 19 unauthorized pictures.

So I`ve got to wonder, because when I was there talking to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, he said -- and we`ll show you some food -- that when you break the rules, you are forced to eat that bread. And I actually held it up and, frankly, I ate it and I thought it tastes pretty good, because I`m a strict vegetarian, and it`s got, like, a lot of vegetables and soy in it. But they put them on bread and water if they break the rules.

Now, Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, Sheriff Joe told me, and we`ve called him a couple of times, that she was pretty good. Now we`re seeing this report saying she was hiding -- by the way, you can hide pens in a lot of places. You might want to come to me for a second, because I have a little demonstration for you. They said she was hiding pens. Well, get this. See? Look at that.

I`ve got another one right here.

And I`ve got another one somewhere. I hid them and I can`t remember where I hid them. But just the point being that it`s easy to hide pens, Wendy Murphy.

MURPHY: Yes, remember she got in trouble for during the trial; we all heard that she was using ink to write secret notes inside magazines.

And you know, look, it`s not surprising to me that someone who doesn`t care about the law that prohibits murder would not give a damn about prison rules. She doesn`t -- so what? So she`s disobedient in prison. I mean, the woman has not suffered at all, in my opinion.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve got to wonder...

MURPHY: Come on. She`s also...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to quickly ask -- listen, I want to ask Dave Hall very quickly -- why is it important, Jayne?

WEINTRAUB: Because of future dangerousness. And that could be an aggravating factor when looking at the death penalty. And when you do a penalty phase, the prosecutor might use that information if she tries to say that she`s not violent, that she has been compliant in prison, and that she does have, you know, a future redeeming value, they would come back with this to counter.

Now remember, in penalty phase, work with aggravators and mitigators...

MURPHY: With a pen?


MURPHY: What is she doing with a pen, stabbing people?

WEINTRAUB: Wendy, a discipline mark is a discipline mark in a penalty phase.

MURPHY: Oh, yes, such violence. I mean...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ladies, they -- hold on.


WEINTRAUB: They would say that a pen can be used for violence, Wendy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Come back to me for a second.

SILBER: It`s ridiculous to be discussing these pens.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Come back to me for one second, because I found the pen that I was hiding. It`s right here. But it`s very easy to hide them. And I even forgot where I hid them. So there you go.

Listen, a couple of questions we`re going to answer. Do you think that Jodi Arias is enjoying the infamy of having a Lifetime movie based on her? That`s a question I think Dave Hall will be interested in.

And we`re also going to do a little experiment. There were a bunch of questions that Jodi Arias didn`t have to answer from the jury, because the judge said they`re not appropriate. But we`re going to ask our panel the same questions and see what they think Jodi would have answered. Stay right there.


ARIAS (via phone): That was surreal. I think, I mean, with the candlelight and the bubbles, they were good but you were amazing. You made me -- seriously, you made me feel like a goddess.



ARIAS: When I finally came to, I saw there was blood on my hands.

JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: And you enjoyed the Tootsie Pops and the Pop Rocks. Correct?

You think that the braids are hot, don`t you?

ARIAS: I think cute is more appropriate.

ALEXANDER (via phone): I love the braids.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In Arizona, jurors can ask questions of a witness. The jurors asked Jodi Arias more than 200 questions. Well, they wanted to ask even more, and now we`ve gotten ahold of some of the many questions that the judge said, "No, we`re not going to ask her that. It`s irrelevant or it`s too prejudicial." These were never asked of Jodi Arias, but the jury wanted to know.

So we`re going to do an experiment. We`re going to ask those questions that Jodi never answered to our expert panelists and have those panelists answer as if they are Jodi Arias. They can take into account that she is a known liar.

Here`s question No. 1. It reads, quote, "It was brought up earlier in the trial that you had breast enhancement done while living in the house with Darrell. Can you explain why you did this, given the financial straits you and Darrell were experiencing?"

Starting with Jayne Weintraub.

WEINTRAUB: As Jodi, she would say, "Well, I didn`t think that that would make a difference, and I did think that the money problems were going to go away soon, as had already been planned. In retrospect, I guess it wasn`t a very sound judgment. I guess I was just very young."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian, if you were Jodi Arias, how would you answer that question?

SILBER: I guess -- I`d have to guess by saying -- she would say something to the effect of, she did it to please the man she was with. And I base that on the fact that this was a theme that her defense team brought out during the trial. She tried to do things to please Travis. So if I had to guess, I would say that`s probably how she would testify.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to go to Dave Hall, who was a friend of Travis Alexander`s and knew Jodi and, of course, saw her in action with Travis.

Why do you think she got breast enhancement surgery right before she met Travis when she was having severe financial straits, her house was about to go into foreclosure and she was -- she was going deeply into debt?

HALL: Oh, wow. You`re asking me to try to figure out why Jodi Arias does half the things that she does. I honestly think she would blame it on Darrell and say, "Darrell wanted it. So I was just going along with it." That seems to be her mode of operation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s go to Question No. 2.

Now, Jodi admitted to lying how Travis was killed, but only after she was caught red-handed. So here is the next question: "Considering all of the lies you`ve told and admitted to, would you consider yourself to be a pathological liar?"

And I`m going to throw that one at Wendy Murphy. Again, you`re Jodi Arias being ask considering all the lies you`re told and admitted to, would you consider yourself to be a pathological liar? And you`re on the witness stand.

MURPHY: No, no, I wouldn`t call myself a pathological liar. If I did stretch the truth, it was solely to edify Travis.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let me ask you a question, Jayne Weintraub. What do you think the real answer to that question is? And again, "Considering all of the lies you`ve told and admitted to, would you consider yourself to be a pathological liar?"

Because the problem with Jodi Arias, beyond the horrific killing that she committed, is that she has zero credibility, less than zero credibility. She is a pathological liar.

WEINTRAUB: Well, I think there`s a difference between, in all seriousness, between being a pathological liar and being somebody who just kept trying to spin and lie her way out of every web, and it became bigger and bigger and bigger, as does happen.

I think the truth of the matter is, is that she got caught so deep, she couldn`t get out of her lies. But the reality is, does she consider herself a pathological liar? No, and I don`t know that she is, because I think that many things she testified to were true during the trial.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy, I have to give you a chance to respond to that one.

MURPHY: Oh, my gosh. OK. First of all, if you are a psychopath, probably when you lie it comes from that psychopathy, because that`s how your brain works. You don`t think twice about lying, because you also don`t think twice about slitting a guy`s head almost off. OK?

The notion that she`s sometimes told the truth just shows us that she`s manipulative and cunning enough to weave some truth into her lies so that she can try to trick decent people into believing that she has a soul. She doesn`t. Jayne, hello, wake up.


SILBER: You know, I kind of agree with aspects of what both of them have said.

I agree with Wendy. You know, when you look at the checklist of things that a person has to exhibit in order to be considered a psychopath, I see a lot of things that Jodi Arias has. And I almost feel like, as we watch the testimony, that lying to her is not something that makes her feel bad. It`s a tool she uses to help herself.

That said, I also agree with Jayne that there definitely are parts to her story that were truthful. And we know that, because for instance, there`s an audio recording. You would have never believed that Travis said he wanted to tie her to a tree and sodomize her unless it was on audiotape. So we know she`s both a liar and a truth teller, but again, I also happen to think she`s probably a psychopath, too.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And on the other side of the break, we`re going to try to figure out whether Jodi Arias is terrified that a Lifetime movie has come out and will premiere soon that shows the killing that prosecutors say happened, what she did to Travis? Or is she delighted by the attention that she`s getting as a result of this horror? That`s on the other side.


ARIAS: When he (EXPLETIVE DELETED) on my face and walked away without a word, it kind of felt like I was a prostitute.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: This case has become so notorious, there`s Jib Jabs being made of Jodi Arias`s lawyers and a Lifetime movie set to premiere June 22 that people are saying is very graphic.

Dave Hall, a friend of Travis Alexander`s, I`m wondering how you feel about this movie, and do you think that Jodi Arias is afraid that this movie is going to make it harder for her, and increase her chances of getting the death penalty or delighted that she`s getting all this attention?

HALL: Well, obviously it`s Jodi delighted that she`s getting all this attention. Jodi has never met a camera that she didn`t like. She`s like that bug headed towards the bug zapper, even though he`s seen thousands of other bugs get zapped. She just can`t control herself. And her attorneys are begging her: "Please, don`t go in front of the camera," but she doesn`t listen to them. She jumped right in front of the camera. In fact, if they made the death penalty televised on pay-per-view and she knew cameras were going to be there, I think she`d be back in favor of it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ouch. Wow. Well, don`t hold back, Dave Hall. That`s your opinion, and I think, you know what? You might be right. I don`t know.

She has said that she wants to die. She said that right after the verdict.

WEINTRAUB: Jane, she begged for her life. She went before that jury and she allocuted and begged to live. And she gave all the different reasons why she wanted to live and what she would do with her life, even accepting the fact she would be in prison for the rest of her life.

So that she made that comment right after her verdict...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She also did a TV interview where she said death would be the ultimate freedom. That`s on camera; it`s on tape.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And she said she thought she`d have a long life, and she doesn`t want to live behind bars and she asked for the death penalty. This is Jodi Arias`s problem, Brian Silber, criminal defense attorney. As she says two things within a very short period of time, and they`re polar opposites. What`s one to believe?

SILBER: Well, I think when this comes back before whatever jury she ends up having, I think the focus is going to be on her mental health. And the comments that she made immediately following the verdict can be explained by the stress of the moment.

You know, obviously, it was a very stupid thing for her to do. It was a very egotistical thing for her to do. Probably was manipulative. But you can`t deny the fact that she was just convicted of first-degree murder, and no person -- I don`t care who they are -- is going to be in the right frame of mind.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ten seconds, Wendy Murphy.

MURPHY: Can I just say one -- look, she said that to give her lawyer a reason to file a motion to withdraw, because they wanted to buy time before the death penalty part of this case.

WEINTRAUB: Oh, please.

SILBER: Ridiculous.

MURPHY: That benefits the bad guy. Please. Spare me. I wrote about this on my Web site. Don`t...

SILBER: How does that benefit her in this case? Tell us what the benefit is.

MURPHY: Don`t acknowledge her lies. You`re not that stupid.

SILBER: What is the benefit? Tell us the benefit. What is the benefit?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, all right. Settle down. Settle down. Settle down. All right. Thank you, fantastic panel. And boy, are you fired up today.

We`re going to take a break. On the other side, a very scary, awful case. There`s a mother who`s missing. We`re going to try to find her. And stay right there. We`re going to do everything we can when we come right back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a car here. But it just -- there`s another car out front. But it is very suspicious why there`s nobody here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So did you yell or anything or...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I hollered hey, you know, walked around the building. It`s just -- I don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They saw a gray or silver minivan leaving that establishment.

HEERINGA: He probably lured her out by saying he needed help. Jesse would have helped anybody, and that was probably her downfall.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s been more than a month and a half since Jessica Heeringa disappeared. She left behind her purse and her keys. No money was stolen from the gas station. So was Jessica the target of somebody who knew her schedule and waited for the right moment to snatch her?

Straight out to Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor -- you have prosecuted so many horrific cases. What is your sense of this case, Wendy?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, you know, the good news is, they have a sense of the van -- its color, the fact that there was a guy there. A silver minivan, that`s not a common car. So the possibility of finding that van I think is great.

There`s blood. We know it`s her blood. Is there a possibility of that being mixed with maybe some DNA cells from whoever the offender was, whoever took her?

The downside of the case at this point, Jane, is it`s been a while. It`s coming up on two months. And in a case like this, if you haven`t found the victim by now, the odds aren`t good. But we still have to try, because that van holds some important clues.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at this beautiful girl. What is wrong with our society that a woman cannot work alone without risking her life? Shortly after Jessica vanished, a very worried man pulled up to the Exxon Gas station and he called 911. Listen to what he said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just walked inside, there`s nobody. There`s a car here, there`s another car out front. But it just -- it`s very suspicious why there`s nobody here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ok. So did you yell or anything?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I hollered hey, you know, walked around the building. It`s just -- I don`t know.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: ABC News is reporting tonight that an employee at an adjacent store said he saw a man in a silver minivan -- similar to this one -- approached Jessica and say, "Hey, what are you doing over there? Aren`t you supposed to be inside," in a flirty tone.

Again, this is the man that cops are looking for. He is described as a white male, 30 to 40 years old, six feet tall with wavy hair parted in the middle. And we understand that there was some blood -- was there a camera inside this convenience store? If there was, maybe we would have video of this person. If there wasn`t, why wasn`t there? Those are the questions I have. I don`t have the answers.

Cops think Jessica knew her abductor, and her mother told our affiliate she believes the person who took Jessica lured her by saying she needed help.


HEERINGA: I think whoever did this had been in the gas station before, and maybe Jesse knew him as someone coming in or even a regular, maybe. And he probably lured her out by saying he needed help. Jesse would have helped anybody and that was probably her downfall.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: My heart goes out to that woman. And if you know this man, or think you know that man, definitely call authorities immediately.

Sally, North Carolina, your question or thought, Sally?

SALLY, NORTH CAROLINA (via telephone): Yes. I was just wondering not to judge or anything, but is there not possibility that she was in on it?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A possibility that what?

SALLY: That she was in on it, that she knew what was going on?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t think so, and I`ll tell you why. I don`t think that`s how -- if a woman wants to disappear, how she does it. I don`t think this woman would torture her family. I don`t think she would leave her purse and her keys behind and her vehicle. She has a child. She has a fiance who is devastated.

I don`t think that`s how it`s done, and I think this woman is -- if we`re lucky -- in danger. And I pray, I pray that she`s found. If you know anything, please call authorities immediately. We`re looking for this man right here.

All right. Up next, George Zimmerman jury selection. What the heck is going on? Next.


GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, ON TRIAL FOR DEATH OF TRAYVON MARTIN: I looked out and he said, you`re going to die (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and he reached for -- I saw his arm going down to my side, and I grabbed it and I just grabbed my firearm and I shot him.




ZIMMERMAN: I just felt like something was off balance.


ZIMMERMAN: Something`s wrong with him. Yes, he`s coming to check me out.

I saw him walking back that way, and then cut through the back of the houses.

ZIMMERMAN: He`s got something in his hands. I don`t know what his deal is.

They said, "Are you following him?" I said "Yes," because I`ll lose, you know, in the area. They said, "We don`t need you to do that." I said, "Ok."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you following him?


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


These (EXPLETIVE DELETED) -- they always get away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George is a real person. He`s not just whatever images people flash across the screen.

SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: The heart has no color. It`s not black, it`s not white, it`s red.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, will George Zimmerman be a murder charge in one of the nation`s most highly anticipated trials? It may all depend on who is sitting on that jury. Potential jurors are being grilled all week to determine who will be on the panel. They`ll decide whether George Zimmerman pursued an unarmed teen, Trayvon Martin, as he walked home from a convenience store in the rain.

Zimmerman insists he fired the deadly shot in self-defense after Trayvon attacked him. Will Zimmerman`s own words, however, come back to haunt him?


ZIMMERMAN: -- and he saw -- he looked to the side, he looked at it and he said, "You`re going to die (EXPLETIVE DELETED)." And he reached for it, I saw his arm going down to my side, and I grabbed it, and I just grabbed my firearm and I shot him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s debate it. Will they be able to find an impartial jury? And if so, should that jury be sequestered? Starting with Michael Skolnik, editor-in-chief of

MICHAEL SKOLNIK, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, GLOBALGRIND.COM: I certainly think they can find an impartial jury. I was just there in the courtroom for the past two days. You have folks down in Florida, some of the folks haven`t even heard of the case. A woman came into court yesterday and said the first time she heard George Zimmerman`s name was yesterday. A guy came in to day and said he never heard of this case ever before.

So I truly believe you`ll find an impartial. But we have to remember this case can be won or lost by who is on that jury.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rolonda Watts, host "Sundays with Rolonda" on Blogtalk Radio.

ROLONDA WATTS, HOST, BLOGTALK RADIO: I believe they can find an impartial jury. I think it`s going to be like finding a needle in a haystack but that`s why we`re going to have to really see the skills of these attorneys.

You`re absolutely right, Michael, this jury is just -- this is going to be everything about this case. And I do believe you can find an impartial jury. I do believe the jury members will recognize the gravitas in this case, and step up to their responsibility.

It may take a long time, but I do believe that they can find them. I find it hard to believe that anybody in that county has not heard of this case, and at least formed some little bit of an opinion about it. But this is where the skill of those attorneys is really going to have to come to fore.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what? You know what I did this afternoon? I took the re-enactment video that George Zimmerman taped with law enforcement very soon after the deadly incident, and I watched it. It was about 17 minutes. And it was fascinating.

A crucial part of George Zimmerman`s 911 call is when the dispatcher asks him, "Are you following him?" And George Zimmerman says "Yes". Now, he brought that up during the re-enactment. Everybody on our panel and at home, listen very closely, and then we`re going to debate something he says.


ZIMMERMAN: They said, "Are you following him?" I said "Yes," because I was, you know, in the area. They said, "We don`t need you to do that." And I said, "Ok." So I -- that`s when I walked through here to get the address so I could give to a police officer. And then they said, "He`s not (inaudible). Do you still want to come?" And I said yes. And he said "Where do you want them to come?" And I said, "Just tell him to meet me at my truck."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now, here`s the thing that struck me about that. He acknowledges that the dispatcher says to him, "Are you following him," and he says "yes" and the dispatcher says "you don`t need to do that". Then he says he keeps on walking because he`s looking for an address to give the dispatcher so he can meet police. Now, the problem I have with that is if the dispatcher said you don`t need to follow him, and he continues looking, even if he`s saying he`s looking for an address, he`s still walking around after he was told by the dispatcher basically stand down.

Frank Taaffe, you`re a friend of George Zimmerman. You live in the neighborhood, what`s your -- what`s your response to that?

FRANK TAAFFE, FRIEND OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Jane, on that tape, he was complicit with 911. They asked him not to follow and he said ok, I`ll do that. He was walking back to his truck. And that`s the most darkest part of the entire complex where he was. And also, if you remember in the tape, they asked him, well, "Where are you at? What address do you want to meet at?" He said, "I don`t know. I can`t see him." Did you not hear that part? He says, "I don`t know where he is." Please, listen to it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. But here`s the other thing that he said. He said, well, my truck is right past the clubhouse, and if you make a turn after the clubhouse. So why couldn`t he have met the cop at the clubhouse?

TAAFFE: Jane, he was back en route to the clubhouse, and his truck was parked right before the T. He was en route. He was complicit. He did not say to the operator, hey, f-you, this is over, I`m done with you. He said I will remain complicit. I`m on my way back to the clubhouse to meet you guys. Now let`s be --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on a second, Rolonda, do you have some thoughts on that? Does anybody in our panel have thoughts on that?




JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You can`t take it out of context and that`s why the jury should be sequestered and only listen to the evidence --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on a second, hold on a second. Rolonda?

WATTS: Well, listen, the dispatcher told him to -- that they did not need help. The dispatcher did not say give me an address, go around --

TAAFFE: Rolonda -- the 911 was not law enforcement.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold only, let Rolonda finish. Let Rolonda finish.

WATTS: The dispatcher said, stay put, stay there. He can say whatever he wants. The bottom line is --

TAAFFE: He did stay put. Listen to the tape.


SKOLNIK: Frank, you know --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on one second. Michael?

SKOLNIK: Fred, you know if your friend George never got out of that car, Trayvon Martin is not dead, there is no murder trial of George Zimmerman today in Sanford, Florida. He did not listen to the police. He`s changed his story four times.

TAAFFE: If Trayvon was at home -- if Trayvon stayed at home.

SKOLNIK: He hasn`t a right to go to the store and get Skittles and ice cream?

TAAFFE: No one said he`s not.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Hold on, guys. I know it`s heated.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s hang on for one second. We`re going to take a short break. We`ll be back with more of that tape.



ZIMMERMAN: When he was hitting my head against it, I felt like my head was going to explode. I felt like I was going to lose consciousness. So I tried to squirm so that I can get -- he only had a small portion of my head on the concrete so I tried to squirm off the concrete. When I did that --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Should this reenactment tape be part of this trial, starting with Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney?

WEINTRAUB: Well I think it will be part of the trial and I think that it`s George Zimmerman -- it will be part of his defense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Skolnik, editor in chief,, do you think that that reenactment video is something that should be played at the trial?

SKOLNIK: Sure. But I think that more important than the reenactment video, George Zimmerman has to take the stand. If he wants to claim self- defense, if he wants the American people to believe him, he better take the stand. If he does not take the stand, he`s a coward.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, here`s my thought about this tape. And again it`s confusing. Watch the tape. It`s out there on YouTube. We`re going to play the tape over and over again as we start this trial. Different people can have different analyses but I believe he kind of locks himself into a story here Jayne. And that could be a problem if he takes the stand because he`s very intricate in his details.

WEINTRAUB: Jane, I don`t think it`s going to be a problem because I think it`s George Zimmerman`s story to tell. I think it is his truth to tell. I mean I can also tell you I have worked with people on his defense team. I`ve worked with Robert Hirschhorn, the jury expert. I`ve worked with Don Weston. These are very experienced lawyers. They know what they`re doing and they`re working for very little money, if any.

I think that this is George Zimmerman`s story of what happened. I don`t think George Zimmerman set out that night to kill anybody. I don`t think when he was told to stand down he went to kill somebody and to disregard what he was told. I think he`s a cop wannabe and you need to get it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Michael, I`m going to give you --

SKOLNIK: Well, first of all, Don Weston -- Mark O`Mara said in court last week, they`re making $350 an hour for this case so they are being paid. And secondly George`s interview with Fox News in Sean Hannity contradicts this tape so he`s got a lot of explaining to do in court.

WEINTRAUB: And I`m sure he`ll do that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well that`s another thing -- the more you talk, then they match up what you said here, what you said here and what you said here; and if there`s any discrepancies that can be a problem.

More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Final thoughts on this tape, 30 seconds each starting with Rolonda.

WATTS: I just think that this is going to be a real case for these attorneys. They`re going to have to find an impartial jury, that`s a going to take a while. And we just have to hope that justice will play itself out. I do believe that this is going to be our justice system at its best. I`m hoping that, that we will see it play itself out in the best that we can to find justice.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank Taaffe, friend of George Zimmerman.

TAAFFE: I think -- I`m a student of CSI. CSI is a come machine sense index. Let`s apply common sense to this tragic scenario and move forward and let the legal system work.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you all for participating in this heated but very important conversation. We`re staying on top of the George Zimmerman trial as it unfolds every night 7:00 p.m. Eastern for the very latest.

Nancy Grace is next.