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Dog Thrown on Suspect`s Lap, Excessive Force?; Sheriff`s Dept. Sexting Scandal?; Do-Nothing Congress Finally Does Something; Naive Newlywed or Calculating Murderer

Aired December 10, 2013 - 19:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight a wild -- and I mean -- wild high- speed chase and a police dog pushed through a suspect`s car window. The bizarre arrest caught on dash cam is sparking an uproar.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live. A big debate tonight: Is this a good move or is it police brutality? You watch, you decide.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The dramatic end to a police chase.

CHIEF RALPH EVANGELOUS, WILMINGTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: Sometimes the job we do is not very pretty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The pit maneuver stops Johnny Williams` car.

JOHNNY WILLIAMS, SUSPECT: Most people would just have took me peacefully and arrested me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lifts a police canine into that car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The community should get to decide whether the use of force was reasonable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Told us he didn`t deserve to have the dog unleashed on him.

WILLIAMS: It was at least about 30 or 40 seconds before a guy came and got him off my shoulder.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are looking at just-released footage of the police chase that happened last month in Wilmington, North Carolina. After speeding through a DUI checkpoint, suspect Johnny Williams leads cops on a high-speed chase for 13 minutes. A T-bone pit maneuver causes his car to spin out of control and crash.

And here`s the key. You see his hands. Watch carefully. His hands go up like this. Hands up, can you see it? OK. The dog is in the lap. We`re going to show it to you over and over again. You`re going to be able to see, the hands go up and then the dog is put right through the window into his lap. OK. And literally forced through the window.

The police dog does what he`s trained to do. He latches right onto the suspect`s body and bites.


WILLIAMS: I didn`t have the opportunity to reach my hands all the way. The dog had come to the driver`s side window and bite me. And he hold onto me about -- I say it was at least about 30 or 40 seconds before the guy came and got him off my shoulder. Wish they would have just took me peacefully and arrested me, you know. Cause that`s what I was trying to do.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The suspect was taken to the hospital to be treated for bite wounds to his shoulder and face. And then he was booked on four - - count them -- four counts of assault with a deadly weapon for trying to ram police cruisers, a felony; speeding to elude police; and numerous traffic violations.

There we are. We`re looking at it once again so that you can decide.

You know, here`s my rant. I understand these cops risked their lives during this adrenaline-pumping 13-minute chase, dangerous, scary, frightening. Cops are human beings. They get scared; they get terrified. OK? It was that chase that led up to this decision to sic the dog on the suspect.

You`ve got the suspect allegedly trying to ram police cruisers. He could have killed somebody with his car. But I personally think the adrenaline and perhaps the anger took over when the cop pushed his K9 through the window into this dog [SIC].

You see the hands right there go up, and there is the dog right after that. There had to be a better way to handle this situation.

The suspect again, clearly -- you saw it right there -- both hands in the air, and the dog immediately after forced through the window.

But I have to say this. The suspect may have had his foot on the gas pedal, ready to take off. So instead of pointing a gun or a Taser at the suspect and saying "freeze," the officer decided to use both his hands to throw the dog through the window. All right?

I personally think he was angry and wanted to teach this guy a lesson. What do you think of the officer`s actions? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1- 877-586-7297.

We`ve got some breaking news. A grand jury just ruled this officer should not be criminally charged. Straight out to actress Sheryl Lee Ralph from Nickelodeon`s "Instant Mom." Do you think that was the right decision, that this officer is not going to be criminally charged?

SHERYL LEE RALPH, ACTRESS: Listen, my sister, there`s one thing we all know: two wrongs do not make a right, and the gentleman that took them on that wild goose chase, running all those lights, doing whatever he did, was doing under the influence, which was all of it together wrong. And like you rightfully said, you make these policeman have to chase you. Do not be surprised if they kick your behind, shoot you or sic the dogs on you.

Does it make it right? No. But at some point, somebody has got to stop putting themselves in these positions of wrong, wrong and wronger.

Did that police officer have to shove the dog in the window? No. But did you have to drive drunk down the street and then make them chase you for 13 minutes? No. All of these wrongs do not make anything right, and in the end you got bit.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You got bit, but who should take the hit? OK. That`s what I want to know.

Now this officer is on paid leave. No charges have been filed. There`s an internal investigation going on. I want to ask Greg Kading, former LAPD detective, author of "Murder Rap" out of the L.A. bureau. Do you think, Greg, that this officer should have been criminally charged, and given that he isn`t going to be, do you think he should be fired?

GREG KADING, FORMER LAPD DETECTIVE: No, I do not think he should be criminally charged. I don`t think that what he did was so egregious that it would warrant criminal prosecution.

I understand what happens in these situations. I`ve been there. Your adrenaline is pumping, and it does sometimes affect your judgment. There was a much better and safer way to handle this situation. He`s got a lot of tools at his disposal, and it was not a tactically sound move for any involved.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what should he have done instead?

RALPH: Absolutely.

KADING: Well, first...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Former LAPD detective, what -- if you`re standing there, you`re a K9 officer, you`ve got the dog right there. The T-boning has just happened. This guy has just put his hands up like this. What do you do? What`s the right thing to do?

KADING: Now that his vehicle has been stopped, that threat is significantly diminished. So you have to reassess that situation. There`s no more immediate threat. They are now in control. They have him stop, and they can utilize all kinds of different, safer tactics than running up to the car and throwing a land shark in there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, Dr. Tiffanie Davis Henry, HLN contributor, you know, I admire police. I actually took a police training course for a day. And I was told, "You`ll never be a police officer" because on a film, I shot, like, 15 people. I`m not kidding. And they were like -- the took me aside and said, "You`ll never, ever be a police officer."

DAVIS HENRY: It`s not your gift, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s not my gift. I`m a little over -- I`m triple Type A, you know; I`m overexcited.

But no. But seriously, you know, it gives you an indication of what it`s like to be inside. Cops aren`t robots.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: They`re people. They get the adrenaline pumping. They get scared. Their heart is pumping.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s very hard when a chase ends to be completely rational. I mean, do you think that this cop -- it`s all about intention. What was the intention of the cop when he put the dog through the window: to punish the guy or to restrain him?

DAVIS HENRY: I think it was to restrain him. Now, it you -- if you look at all the facts, the guy sped through a DUI checkpoint. He didn`t let officer on a chase. He rammed into a patrol car. He took off again, ran through several different stop signs, and then that`s when the officer slammed into him.

Now he says, you know, "They could have taken me peacefully and arrested me." Well, look, brother, you`re resisting arrest as it is. OK.

So if they threw the dog in there -- first of all, Ms. Sheryl Lee Ralph, I love you, sister, and I`m telling you I agree with you 110 percent.

RALPH: Thank you.

DAVIS HENRY: He had no business running from the police. This is what we`re taught to do. Don`t run from the cops. You know what I mean? If you`ve been drinking, you know what? Lay down on the ground, do the sobriety test. Do whatever you`ve got to do, but there was no reason to do all of that. So he got what he got.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Don`t -- don`t drive drunk.

RALPH: He got bit.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He got bit. And I`m certainly not blaming the dog.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The dog was following his orders and is doing what he`s trained to do.

DAVIS HENRY: That was a good dog right there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And you know, that`s why they have these K9 officers. But I`m kind of surprised, because Sheryl Lee, I would have expected you to come down hard on this police officer and say fire him, charge him, you know, he`s way out of line. But you`re much more nuanced.

And it makes me -- it comforts me, because I was really going back and forth all day on my rant. Do I slam him? Do I understand him? Go ahead.

RALPH: Listen, sister, Jane, this thing about it is, is was it extra? Was it mean to sic the dogs on the man? Absolutely.

But the man led them on a chase for 13 minutes. When you`re drunk, I know you`re thinking outside of your mind; you don`t know what`s going on; you make some bad choices. That was a bad choice, and he got bit.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stop the madness!

On the other side we`re going to show you more madness. You won`t believe it. More of these types of situations, a slew of them. Stay right there.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The dramatic end to a police chase.

EVANGELOUS: Sometimes the job we do is not very pretty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The pit maneuver stops Johnny Williams` car.

WILLIAMS: Wish they would have just took me peacefully and arrested me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lifts a police K9 into that car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The community should get to decide whether the use of force was reasonable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Told us he didn`t...




EVANGELOUS: Sometimes the job we do is not very pretty. It`s just the facts. I mean, there are sometimes bad guys out there who are violent.

The K9 incident is still pending and administratively, there`s an administrative investigation going on as we speak.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The officer who put the dog through the window is not going to be criminally charged, but there is an internal investigation, so who knows what`s going to happen there?

Listen, I`m not picking on cops. Millions of cops do their job and risk their lives every day. OK? But recently, we`ve covered sort of a string of cases where you`ve got to wonder, don`t they remember that there`s a video camera rolling?

OK. Remember this jail video of the female DUI suspect? She was shoved so hard into a metal bench she busted her eye socket and had her teeth knocked out? Prosecutors say the cop was furious because she refused to face a certain way for her booking photo. That officer now facing battery charges for causing these injuries.

And who could forget another female DUI suspect who crashed her car into an unoccupied house, and the Tallahassee officers threw her face first onto the pavement. Remember this?




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Take a look at that woman`s face. Last month a grand jury faulted police for, quote, escalating the arrest.

Now, Ryan Claypool, defense attorney, why is this case different from those, the case we were talking about with the cop putting his dog, his K9 through the window?

RYAN CLAYPOOL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The difference here, Jane -- by the way, I`ve actually prosecuted over 20 civil rights cases involving alleged use of excessive force by law enforcement. And the difference here is the suspect was engaged in a very, very dangerous car pursuit that could have - - he could have actually killed or injured many pedestrians that led up to the culmination of the car pursuit.

So when you`re deciding whether to prosecute a police officer in this context, you have to factor in whether you can get 12 jurors to convict this police officer. And I guarantee you, in this case, even though I think the use of force was excessive, there`s no way a prosecutor is going to get a conviction here, because the suspect put so many other people in danger.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think you`re right.

Michelle in Indiana, your quick thought on this. What have you got to say?

CALLER: Hi, Jane.


CALLER: I was raised to respect law enforcement all my life. I believe this police officer definitely crossed the line. What if that dog would have done serious permanent damage to that man`s face or even killed him, for that matter, or took off in the car with the dog?

I think that police, unfortunately, either they`re getting big heads. And I think this guy should be fined or fired and do some community service at the Humane Society with the pooper-scooper.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I like that, the pooper-scooper. You know what? You should be a judge, my friend, Michelle, Indiana.

All right. Up next. Where`s my book, "Fifty Shades of Gray"? "Fifty Shades of Gray," the bestseller, is really the theme behind a wild sex scandal. I`m talking thousands of kinky texts. It`s ripped from the pages of the steamy best seller. It involves a top law-enforcement officer. It`s a jaw-dropper and a page-turner. Stay right there. I`ll be right back with it.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A scandal implicating the former No. 2 in the Santa Barbara County Sheriff`s Department, alleging sexual harassment, assault, battery and emotional distress straight out of "Fifty Shades of Gray."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is pretty steamy stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what had been a casual relationship with Peterson then turned more graphic and sexual.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa, in tonight`s "Buzz," a shocking -- and I mean shocking -- alleged sex scandal rocks the glamorous and upscale city of Santa Barbara, California, and it`s ripped from the pages of the bestseller "Fifty Shades of Gray," with the man at the center allegedly wanting to be called Christian Gray, the man character in the erotic thriller, soon to be a movie.

His supposed real-life Anastasia Steele is now coming forward, ready to sue him and the Santa Barbara Sheriff`s Office. In a new complaint -- I`ve got it right here; woo, it`s a page-turner -- Valerie Walston says she was sexually harassed by former Undersheriff Jim Peterson for a year while he was in office and that the sheriff`s department didn`t properly investigate.

She also says she went along with it, fearing she would lose her job as a spokesperson for the Santa Barbara search-and-rescue team. She claims, according to this complaint, that the married Peterson sparked a sexual relationship with her that consisted of more than 11,000 texts, many of them extremely erotic, according to her.

She says the sheriff`s second in command sent photos of himself in different states of arousal and one where he said he and his wife, quote, "have an arrangement and understanding. Hahaha."

Walston also claims the pair rendezvoused in secret locations to kiss, grope and fondle each other.

These are just some of the photos that the woman in this case reportedly sent our affiliate, KEYT, that she claims the former undersheriff, Jim Peterson, sent her.

Now, we reached out to Peterson`s attorney, who says he`s unable to comment at this time. And Walston -- Valerie Walston`s attorney says he`s not commenting at this time either.

But I know who is commenting: Sheryl Lee Ralph, actress, Nickelodeon`s "Instant Mom." Woo! Take it away. I`m tossing this hot potato over to you.

RALPH: Let me tell you something. I wrote it in my book "Redefining Divas." Ladies, if a man tells you "If you do this for me, I will do that for you," there is one thing you will definitely get. You will get screwed. Come on.

And it was some steamy stuff in Santa Barbara, beautiful Santa Barbara. Oh, honey, please.

And Jane, I`m telling you, I just didn`t know. Big Brother is really, really watching. How many times do we have to say do not text anything you don`t want people to read, because they`re reading it?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me tell you something: we cannot repeat a lot of what is in this complaint. It`s a 17-page claim that this woman, Valerie Walston, makes a slew of damning allegations against the former undersheriff. She says he told her, if he was crossing a line she should use a "safe word," which they allegedly decided would be "Bill Brown," who happens to be the sheriff they worked for.

We reached out to the sheriff for a statement. He couldn`t go into detail because of the potential lawsuit. But he did say, quote, "As soon as allegations of sexual harassment were brought to my attention, I initiated an internal affairs investigation led by an independent investigator," and that the claim, quote, "is incomplete representation of what transpired when compared to the results of our investigation."

That sounds like a lot of gobbledy-gook. I guess what he`s saying is there`s another side to the story, Dr. Tiffanie Davis Henry. I mean, this woman claims, "Oh, I resisted it. I kept reminding him he was married. I played along with the kinky games, because I was afraid it would damage my career if I did otherwise." But do you buy that?

DAVIS HENRY: I`m really not buying it, Jane. There`s a fine line between going along and enduring this type of harassment because you`re fearing professional retaliation. There`s a fine line between that and doing what and saying whatever it is you have to do to get the promotion that you want.

My question actually is, would she have reported this had she gotten the promotion? Or is she just reporting it because she didn`t get the promotion?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but I`ve got to say, Brian Claypool, defense attorney, this is not just something that was, you know, just sort of written on the back of a cocktail napkin. This is a 17-page complaint that, honestly, I was blushing as I read it. It is highly erotic. In fact it makes this book look like a fairy tale for kids. OK? Highly erotic.

CLAYPOOL: Jane, what we have to do is jump out of the steam room that you`re talking about and jump into the courtroom. In the courtroom, she`s got a weak case. She has to have filed some kind of complaint with the human resources department at the sheriff`s department, letting them know this is taking place, No. 1.

No. 2, then there had to be some kind of adverse action that was taken against her because she reported it or that the environment that she`s working in is so offensive that she can`t work there anymore. And she consented to all of this. So her case in the legal courtroom is weak.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In this document Valerie Walston claims Peterson sent her thousands and thousands -- thousands of steamy texts. In one he allegedly writes, "I shouldn`t have gone this far with you, but I did. I truly don`t want to cause any problems for either of us."

But at the same time -- OK, that`s one alleged comment by Peterson. "But at the same time I am feeling a spark I want to light with you."

In another, allegedly, he typed in a long scenario in which she sexually pinned Ms. Walston`s arms behind her back and made her obey his orders "as you should," end quote, according to her.

She also claims he called her a "hot doll that makes me burn," and stated he wanted her naked, vulnerable and exposed.

You know, this almost sounds as good as Gilbert Gottfried reading "Fifty Shades of Gray" in the skit from


GILBERT GOTTFRIED, COMEDIAN: "Oh, please," I groans.

"Quiet," he orders, not taking his eyes off mine.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Kathy, Oregon, oh, boy.

CALLER: Hi, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now I`m tossing this hot sweet potato over to you. What have you got to say?

CALLER: Well, I think it takes courage, regardless of whether she would win or not. I think she`s courageous for having come forward. A lot of times we do things that we think that it`s against our better judgment, but we don`t know exactly what her situation was. So I`m glad she came forward, and I think that it should depend upon a jury whether or not if -- you know, whether or not she has a case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, I have to say, this man was the second in command at the Santa Barbara County Sheriff`s Department. He suddenly retires in October. OK?

But, you know, during a time that he was in charge, he put a lot of people and his agency put a lot of people behind bars. And I got to wonder are all those people going to come out of the woodwork and say, "Hey, I want a new case. I want a new trial" because of all of this?

This is just getting started. We`re going to stay on top of this one. Woo!

Later, from matrimony to murder, a bride accused of pushing her new groom 200 feet to his death, and you`re looking at their wedding video


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jordan, did you kill Cody? Did you mean to push your husband off a cliff, Jordan? Jordan, are you going to get a plea deal?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The most do-nothing Congress in the history of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Less than 60 bills have been signed into law so far this year.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The American people work hard and they`ve got a right to expect their elected representatives to do the same.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s nothing like a deadline to sharpen one`s focus. So less than three days before their Christmas vacation starts, our "less than zero" Congress has finally almost done something, almost. Bipartisan negotiators just reached a deal to head off another government shutdown. Listen to this gem -- your gift from moments ago.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: This agreement makes sure we don`t have a government shutdown scenario in January and makes sure that we don`t have another government shutdown scenario in October. It makes sure that we don`t lurch from crisis to crisis.

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D), WASHINGTON: We made a conscious decision, as Chairman Ryan said, in the few short weeks we`ve had to focus on where we can agree.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Great. Republicans and Democrats are finally willing to compromise three days before they leave for the year. They`ve got a gift for timing, don`t they? Remember this still has to be voted on by the full House and the Senate and signed by the President. And even if that happens, it really does nothing to solve our long-term problems. It`s kicking the can down the road, if you know what I mean postponing the really hard decisions.

The deals that were made were the usual appeasements and the handouts to the military corporations or as somebody said, Christmas has arrived in Washington again.

Straight out to Alison Hartson of Wolf PAC. You know, I hear the same thing over and over again. It`s almost like the puppeteer is making the mouth move. It`s so clear that they`re basically appeasing certain groups that they need for reelection. Ok, we`re not going to -- ok, we won`t touch military families, we won`t touch medical research. But, you know, really, is that same old tired thinking going to get us where we need to go?

ALISON HARTSON, WOLF PAC: Absolutely not, no. Let me tell you, as a teacher and as an American, I give this Congress an F. If I had a student come and bring me their homework and 50 percent of it was done and they said but "Miss Hartson look, I did it really well, the 50 percent I did do." I`d say "Congratulations, but that`s still an F."

Our Congress doesn`t even do 50 percent of what they`re supposed to do -- massive fail.

John Aravosis, thank you for joining us. You`re an editor of and you work for Senator Ted Stevens. What do you think needs to happen? Because I believe that there is a way -- you`ve got Occupy Wall Street on one end and you`ve got the Tea Party on the other -- there`s actually a lot of commonality if you got rid of some of the social issues that nobody is ever going to agree on? You know, people who are pro-choice are not going to go the other way, vice versa.

If you got rid of some of those bedroom issues and you focused on money, there`s a huge group of Americans, I would say the new silent majority that really feels government is fundamentally broken and wants to redo it. And we need to speak to that silent majority and it includes the Tea Party and it includes Occupy Wall Street.

JOHN ARAVOSIS, AMERICABLOG.COM: You know, I don`t disagree with you. The problem is I`m not sure what we do. Because I think, first of all, even on this show, I`m not sure that we all even agree as to what the problem is. I would argue that you`ve got a fringe on the right that controls the party, Tea Party but also the religious right on the Republican side. On the Democratic side, Occupy Wall Street doesn`t control anything. They don`t have a member of Congress at all.

So from my perspective, a lot of what`s broken down is you`ve got a party in power, the Republicans who don`t really want government to do anything. So in a way they`re getting exactly -- they won the negotiation by not having it at all. And I`m not sure how you resolve that with people who just don`t want to govern.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I came out here to the streets of New York City to vent about this "less than zero" Congress and I ran smack into a guy, a dog walker who`s talking my language.

I don`t think any lobbyist representing any industry should have an ability to communicate with any member of Congress, period.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree with you 100 percent. Congress is occupied territory. Maybe they have four-year terms so that they`re not constantly having to walk around with their hands out fundraising and beholden to all those special interests.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but you know what, I think even if they have four years, they`re still going to be thinking incessantly about keeping that power. Because once you get into that chair you don`t want to give it up. You`re going to be obsessed with hanging on and staying in the club.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They used to go into public service for the sake of public service. Now a lot of these guys are going to spend two, four, maybe six years in Congress and then they`re feathering their nest for when -- what they`re going to go to do when they get out of politics and that means you should go into a fat lobbyist job in a corporation

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. What do you do, though?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Believe it or not, I have a dog walking service.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`ve got to give me your card.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I work for the 0.0001 percent.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You walk rich dogs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very rich dogs.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, Alison Hartson, there is a new silent majority that feels that our government is broken. Quick comment from you. What do we do?

HARTSON: Constitutional amendment. That`s how we do it. We have to fix our broken Congress and we have the answer. If you want to help us, you go to We need to get a constitutional amendment and fix Congress. They`re not going to fix themselves. So we can do this at the state level. I do think that there actually is a solution to this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: John Aravosis, quickly, I think you know when they say we can`t stop medical research, that`s not where we`re going to cut, and yet I see so many horribly wasteful research programs that the government is funding and I think why that blanket thinking?

ARAVOSIS: I think as you said, the special interests control everything whether it`s the Pentagon and both parties have terrified to touch the Pentagon, God forbid. Whether it`s on health care, the pharmaceutical companies, I pay five times for my asthma drugs here in the states for what I can buy them for in Europe. The reason is, we aren`t allowed to negotiate prices here in the states with the government. And it`s because pharmaceuticals control Congress and so does every other interest group.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s corporate socialism.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I think we all agree it`s a mess. Let`s fix it. Thank you, fantastic panel.

Speak of messes, newlyweds beaming at the cameras, starting their new lives together. Eight days later, the groom dead, the bride ultimately charged with murder. Did she push him off a cliff?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jordan Graham out of jail returned home crouching in her parents` car. Probation officers papers in hand spoke with the now infamous bride as she began home confinement as ordered by the judge -- a slap in the face to friends of Cody Johnson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want them to do the right thing. I want justice for Cody. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: #Hilarioustime -- all the single women gathered to catch this bride`s bouquet. And one of them really takes the plunge. Let`s see it. Boom -- all right. That`s what I call really wanting to get married.

Tweet, Facebook or e-mails us your #hilarious videos of the day. You might see your pic right here.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jordan did you kill Cody? Did you mean to push your husband off a cliff, Jordan?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Maybe this was a mistake. Maybe I should not have married him."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jordan, what`s your defense.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And pushed him off a cliff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want justice for Cody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jordan Graham is a calculating killer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To escape their eight-day old marriage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or an innocent bride.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: One dead -- one on trial. Tonight in the "Lion`s Den, was she an innocent naive bride who accidentally pushed her hubby off a cliff during an arguments eight days after their marriage. Or is she a calculating murderess who lured him to Montana`s Glacier National Park and said "hasta la vista, baby" and then shoved him face first off a cliff and 200 feet down to a gruesome death.

Here is Jordan Graham the bride, and Cody Johnson the groom enjoying their first dance. Eight days later, prosecutors say she murdered him. The bride says no, they got into an argument. He grabbed her and she instinctively pushed him away and in one swoop, he just plunged to his death.

Prosecutors say, no, it didn`t happen that way. That this young woman committed murder, first degree murder, because she was just horrified, fell out of love, crying, really miserable eight days after marrying this guy.

If that isn`t already weird enough, listen closely to their wedding song written just for them. Listen to the lyrics.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone wants a safe place to fall and you`re mine. You helped me climb higher for a better view.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is too weird. That is really, really weird.

You won`t believe what else cops found -- what looked like a blindfold near his dead body. Straight out to the "Lion`s Den" and got to kick it off with Sheryl Lee Ralph. Was she a scared little rabbit as her defense attorneys described her, who lied because she was panicked or was she a calculating murderess?

SHERYL LEE RALPH, TV PERSONALITY: Come on, Jane. You push your husband to the edge. You do not push them off the edge of a cliff. It`s your honeymoon for God`s sake, don`t ruin it for everybody. Come on, now.

This does not look good. And she had a choice. So what? He makes you mad. It`s only practice for later years in marriage. You don`t push him off the cliff. You just push him to the edge. That`s how you get what you want when you`re married.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I say anytime somebody says let`s have an argument and, oh by the way, let`s do it at the edge of a cliff with a 200-foot sheer drop --

RALPH: At the edge of a cliff?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- I say, you know what, let`s text instead. The bride`s maid of honor shared some pretty damning text messages in court showing how unhappy Jordan was in her just very new marriage. In one text the bride wrote "I should be happy and I`m just not" just days before getting married.

A groomsman at the wedding said he even warned Cody "Don`t marry this woman. There`s something wrong with her."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During the wedding when they were exchanging vows, Jordan was looking down and wasn`t looking at Cody when she was exchanging vows. To me that`s odd. You know, you`re up there with the love of your live. You`re usually lost in each other`s eyes, you know, sharing your vows with this person so you know they mean it. And she couldn`t even look at him. It was odd.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, famed forensic scientist. Dr. Kobi, the prosecution says she pushed him face first off the cliff with both hands. He was found face down in a puddle 200 feet lower than where the cliff started. How can they make that determination? Nobody else was there.

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, I think that`s right on target. The prosecution -- the case is going to turn on whether the prosecution can demonstrate that he fell off or was pushed off of that cliff face forward. And the way to do that is getting a mannequin of the same weight and size and dimensions as Cody Johnson and doing some experimentation. As you said, he was found face down in a pool of water at the bottom of the cliff. If they can demonstrate that he had to be thrown off that cliff face down -- face first, that is pretty good proof that the likelihood is high that she pushed him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. So they -- I wonder if they actually did get a mannequin and do those tests because how else would they be able to make that determination.

Now the bride was her own worst enemy. She told a slew of elaborate lies in the days after she shoved her husband off of the cliff. Her maid of honor says that texted her after the groom went missing saying quote, "The last thing my husband said to me was that he was going for a drive with some friends that were visiting." They`re not true at all -- ok. The bride even created a phony e-mail address from a guy named Tony that said her husband had fallen and died while hiking in friends. Again, it`s a total lie, total cover-up. Tony doesn`t even exist.

So cops trace the e-mail address back to the bride`s parents` home where she was staying. They found the e-mail address was made just days after the groom went missing.

So straight out to Brian Claypool, defense attorney, it`s a circumstantial case. Is the cover up enough to show yes I killed him intentionally?

BRIAN CLAYPOOL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, the cover up is not enough, Jane. And I`m going to change my profession if I dare see that wedding song brought into evidence at the trial to prove premeditation, I`m done.

Getting back to the case though, you have to -- Dr. Kobilinsky is right but I bet you he would agree with me that this is a real hard case to prove exactly how he fell over the cliff, to prove that he was pushed face forward. That`s going to be a big hurdle. Another big hurdle Jane is the text message that Jordan Graham sent earlier in the day. She said "Cody Johnson has been aggressive with me. I`ve had some issues with that." And she intimated that she feared for her own safety. So it`s clearly --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We have only a couple of seconds -- I`m sorry to jump in.

Dr. Tiff, listen, they found a blindfold nearby. That puts a whole different spin. We just got a couple of seconds. What do you make of that?

DR. TIFFANIE, DAVID-HENRY, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well she strikes me as a younger, less calculating version of Jodi Arias really.

I know, we bring her up -- she comes in every once in a while.


DAVIS-HENRY: People may be able to excuse the fact that maybe she accidentally pushed him off of the cliff. But all of the lying and the cover up and all of that, that kind of lessens her credibility in my mind and heightens her intent for murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, up next we`ve got an amazing story. Here`s a hint. Here`s a hit -- yes, Christmas outfit.

All right. Stay right there. We`ll be right back. Where`s your hat?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for "Pet of the Day". Send your pet pics to Saki -- oh, look at your wings. You`re an angel. And look at those antlers, Shelby. What are you on a ski patrol? You are very -- ah. Lucy. Lucy hanging out at the spa. Is that a hot tub? Maybe. Oh, I love it. And Gizmo says, I just stick to the carpet, because it matches my do.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey there, Foxy. Tonight in our "Animal Investigations Unit" we`re trying to save the birds. The Port Authority which oversees New York City area airports added the snowy owl to the list of birds that could be killed to protect, they say, planes from bird strikes. Even going as far as shooting three snowy owls dead after an owl was reportedly sucked into an engine. But thanks to passionate animal lovers like you at home, the Port Authority is forced to change its policy following a petition posted to, which got more than 7,000 signatures demanding New York and New Jersey stop shooting these snowy owls dead. Port officials relented and announced they will now trap and release them instead.

Yay -- victory. On the heels of this victory, critics are now asking -- what about the other birds? Airport officials say geese, swan, blackbirds, (inaudible) and other birds pose a threat to aircraft and that officials act in the interest of keeping passengers safe, often citing the miracle on the Hudson where a double bird strike forced Captain Sully to land a plane in the Hudson River. We all remember that day.

Understandably, we all want to be safe. I fly out of these airports all the time, but there has to be another way other than rounding up birds and killing them, slaughtering them. Look at the hundreds of geese that are shoved into crates near the airport and headed for I don`t know where. I don`t even -- every single one of those crates filled with geese to be slaughtered. Ok? This is a huge controversy. There has to be another way.

Straight out to Edita Birnkrant, New York director for "Friends of Animals". Edita, first of all, congratulations on your victory for the snowy owl, but if they can trap and release the snowy owls can`t they do something more humane for the geese and the other birds?

EDITA BIRNKRANT, FRIENDS OF ANIMALS: We definitely believe so. And while it`s a victory that the snowy owl will no longer be killed. When Friends of Animals first found out about this, we were on fire. We were furious, and we immediately took action. We mobilized our legal team to research potential illegality. We got our members and supporters involved make phone calls. I contacted the Port Authority.

And when CBS News aired the piece last night that stated that Friends of Animals planned to take legal action, within a few hours the Port Authority reversed their kill policy and stated that they plant to implement a trap and release program of these birds, which should have been happening.

And I`d like to announce on your show now that Friends of Animals plans to file a lawsuit against two federal agencies next week, because we do believe that these agencies violated environmental laws designed to protect snowy owls. And I think it`s just indicative of this really destructive shoot first, ask no questions mentality that permeates our federal wildlife agencies that permeates our New York City airports that has permeated the Bloomberg administration that really has waged a war on wildlife in the past few years. As you`ve said, thousands upon thousands of Canada geese and their babies stuffed into crates, sent to gas chambers to die a slow death or sent to the slaughter house.

Now we have swans that are on the kill list. We have snowy owls. When is it going to end? So we are very much looking forward to taking this legal action so that we can force these agencies to have transparency, to do the right thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know what? I can`t independently confirm everything that you said but I think that I can co-sign your determination for humane responses. You know, the U.S. government is killing more animals -- it`s obscene.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for your Slice of Happiness. He isn`t Evel Knievel, but this cat decided to use his human companion`s aquarium as a swimming pool. All right dude, time to dry out -- impressive.

Nancy`s next.