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Amanda Knox Convicted Again In Italy; Boy Murdered Over "Thug Music"?; New Jersey Slaughterhouse Shut Down

Aired January 31, 2014 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Tonight, the ultimate betrayal. A teenager accused of two grisly murders. Gunning down his own father and his own little brother in cold blood. And then staging an elaborate cover-up. But cops say he did not act alone. Tonight, an entire town in Oklahoma is reeling as a whole group of seemingly well-behaved high school boys are now accused in a sadistic double murder plot.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell.


EMERGENCY OPERATOR: 911, what`s the address of the emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A father and his son gunned down inside their home. And then one week later, it comes out that their killer could be their son and brother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s taken everybody by surprise.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Eighteen-year-old Thorsten Rushing is charged with two counts of first-degree murder for allegedly executing his own dad and his own little brother. But cops say Thorsten saw murdering his family as a project to plan with his good friends. Police arrested four of Thorsten`s friends charging them from everywhere first-degree murder to accessory. This gang of teens allegedly plotted out these murders with Thorsten as the ringleader.

The night of the killings, cops say one friend hid in a closet for hours while Thorsten waited for the perfect moment to pull the trigger, killing his dad and his 13-year-old brother as they sat watching TV in the living room. Listen to the cold-hearted 911call, Thorsten standing in front of his dead father and dying brother, lying -- claiming two burglars broke in and shot his family. He has no emotion in his voice.


CALLER: They fired at us. They --

911 OPERATOR: OK. Is anyone hit?

CALLER: Yes, my dad and brother are both bleeding, dead. Like, they`re not moving. In the back, in the head. They are -- please hurry.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The teen says Thorsten thought his kid brother wasn`t bleeding out fast enough, so he smothered his little brother with his own hand, until the 13-year-old boy was dead.

Straight out to the lines. I`ve got to start with the psychiatrist, Dr. Judy Ho. You heard the voice of what cops are calling a double murderer. One teacher has described him as a dream student, very well-mannered, well- behaved. How do you account for that?

DR. JUDY HO, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, Jane, this happens all the time. I feel like this is not the first time we`ve heard of a crime where some well-to- do, very quiet, very modest student who has no behavioral problems. And so we need to stop thinking about those students as just -- they`re not problem children, only the ones acting out in class are the ones we have to be aware of, and that`s not true.

When I heard that tape, Jane, it sent shivers down my spine, because he was so composed and organized during that call. There wasn`t even like a flattening of his emotions, like he was numbing himself, or there was no urgency. It was like right in the middle, which is the creepiest, I think.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, look at his face. Look at the eyes. There`s a deadness there to the eyes. And a coldness and a meanness that I see. Now, listen, they deserve their day in court. I`m not convicting them right now. But cops -- speaking of that 911 call, we`re going to play more of it right now -- cops say Thorsten originally called 911 to report the murders and cooked up an elaborate cover story.


CALLER: Okay. We were all laying down in our living room, and some dudes come in with boots, like booty things, like you see on nurses and doctors. They fired at us.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Dorothy Lucey, social commentator, my dear friend, we`ve covered so many horrific crimes. This is chilling in its cold bloodedness. And he kept changing his description of the attackers. First he said it was two black males, then he said it was a white, Hispanic male, and he kept -- obviously they recognized inconsistencies from the get-go.

DOROTHY LUCEY, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: But again -- he could have just said anybody but me and my buddies.

Jane, you bring me in to talk about these things. I think you do it to torture me because you know I have a teenage son. It`s not that I have to worry about sex, drugs and him getting into college. Now you have to worry if your kids are armed and dangerous and planning things with their friends. And the part that really sickened me, it`s hard to pick out one part, but you mentioned it earlier, that his little brother wasn`t bleeding out fast enough, so he smothered him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know what`s really interesting? I am reading now - - we`ve just now gotten new information on this case -- that there are social media hints in this weeks leading up to this killing. The young man started posting cartoons on his Facebook page that were riddled with violent images.

Brian Claypool, you`re a defense attorney. You`ve got to defend everybody. How do they defend these teenagers in this entire town in Oklahoma? I mean, these are the leading students, all good students? "Well liked students, good boys, popular." Quote, unquote.

BRIAN CLAYPOOL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: All those facts you just described about the killer and all these other teens, supports the proposition that there`s got to be some emotional instability here. These kids have to have some kind of mental disability or challenge.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All of them? All of them?

CLAYPOOL: Any of them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is it something in the water?

CLAYPOOL: I would focus on the shooter --


CLAYPOOL: I would focus on the shooter. He doesn`t have any prior record of getting in trouble. How in the world do you just wake up and you go and shoot your father and your brother while they`re watching TV, if you don`t have some kind of mental disability, bipolar disorder? I would order a psychiatric exam for him right now and start building an insanity defense for this shooter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen, I`ve got to say, he was the ringleader. He may be charismatic as some sociopaths or psychopaths are. And again, I`m not convicting him. His attorney invited on anytime. But he obviously seduced these other boys, allegedly, according to the cops, into taking part to the point where one of the boys, cops say, hid in the closet and cleaned up the crime scene.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Cody, Ohio, Cody, what do you have to say?

CALLER (on phone): Hey, Jane. I just think it`s crazy how (INAUDIBLE) can commit something so horrible. This is just crazy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is crazy. I think that is the word.

Now, it just seems like kids are influenced by social media, and regular media, movies. I went to the movies the other night, and I tried not to go to a violent movie, but all the previews just involved sadistic, horrific violence, people killing each other left and right. I`m like, what am I being subjected to these previews?

Now, cops say this may have been plan Bfor the attackers. Get this: police say two days before this execution of father and son, allegedly by the brother with the help of friends, allegedly -- the father bumps into a masked man as he`s leaving his own house, but the man runs off. Was that a foreshadowing?


Some of the boys were involved in the incident Friday night. And I thought we had figured out something was supposed to happen that night. But whenever Mr. Rushing came out of the house unexpectedly, those plans had to be changed.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops say these teens -- Joey Jackson, legal analyst for HLN -- they went through a huge amount of effort to cover their tracks. They fled the scene. They destroyed evidence. They had a meet-up according to cops at a grandparents` house to go over their story. It sounds like they almost turned this into a fun little game or project.

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, you know what, Jane? It`s problematic because what you have and what you point out is you have premeditation. That`s what they`ll point to in terms of moving forward. It goes to a larger issue, and you mentioned it, the violence in society. But you want to know more.

From a defense perspective, what you want to look for is mitigation. What does that mean? You want to look for circumstances that would have led them to this. Not that it excuses the crime. Is there any issue at the home? Was there some type of abuse? Was there some type of taunting? What were the problems with the parents? Is there substance or alcohol issue? Because it goes to lessen the offense.

Remember, Oklahoma certainly is a murder state. Not to suggest they would treat this as a capital case, but you never know, particularly when you add in the cruel and heinous aspects of this. It could become this. So you look to spare his life and save his sentence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Judy Ho, authorities say there was never any report of abuse, no child protective services or anything like that. But they said that there was, quote, "a little bit of turmoil in the household," that everybody thought these were the Three Musketeers, the dad and the two sons. And that they would do everything together. They appeared kind of perfect and happy. But apparently behind the scenes, quote, "it wasn`t all as nice as what we had heard at first."

HO: Right. So what that suggests to me is that this family is very involved in trying to keep their public image together. Maybe their public image is they are good values type of family where everybody is close. But there`s probably a lot of underlying resentment.

For this young boy, I think he probably had schemes about this for a really long time, and he was sort of planning everything. He is the ringleader. And then he uses his influence on his friends and convinces them that this would be a good idea. And we all want to belong at that age. We`re all trying to belong to something, and to band together. This is why gang violence happens and why it can be so effective.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me point out that when we in America hear gang, we always think of inner city kids, you know, certain backgrounds --

HO: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: These are not those. They are a gang, according to cops. A killer gang, according to cops. And they`re good students. Never got in trouble. This one, the shooter, who executed, according to cops, his father and his kid brother and then smothered his kid brother when he wasn`t bleeding out fast enough -- according to a teacher, he was a dream student. A dream student. A dream student who cops say turned into a nightmare.

Up next, an Italian court has once again found Amanda Knox guilty. We know that. We`ve been covering that. But now the woman that some call Foxy Knoxy is speaking out in an emotional interview. Sobbing, saying she will fight this to her last breath. That`s next.



AMANDA KNOX, ACCUSED OF MEREDITH KERCHER`S DEATH: It`s hard to prove you`re innocent, that you didn`t do something.

I am not what they say I am.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After four long years, the Italian courts have at last believed her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fixated, according to the defense, on Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecitio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whether this is about the law or whether this is about politics and saving face.

KNOX: I really want this to be behind me. I need this. I don`t know how long I can defend myself.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, Amanda Knox in New York City, firing back against the Italian court`s latest guilty verdict. Breaking down emotionally on ABC`s Good Morning America, telling the world she will not go back to Italy to serve time or for any reason, vowing to fight forever if she has to.


KNOX: I am going through waves of emotion, in response to it. My first reaction was, no. This is wrong. And I`m going to do everything I can to prove that it is. And I felt very determined, and my family felt very determined.

But it was only on my way here that I really got my first cry. This really has hit me like a train. I did not expect this to happen. I really expected so much better than from the Italian justice system. They found me innocent before; how can they say it`s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?

I will never go willingly back to the place where I -- I`m going to fight this until the very end.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Some call her Foxy Knoxy and insists she did not kill her roommate Meredith Kercher while they were studying abroad in Italy. But she was found guilty of murder yesterday for the second time.

Now, it`s complicated. After the first guilty verdict came down, Amanda appealed, and she was found not guilty. But then the Italian judicial system said, let`s retry her. And then they find her guilty. We can`t do that here in America. That would be called double jeopardy. Italian prosecutors accused Amanda of essentially trying to force this young woman, Meredith, to take part in some drug-fueled, satanic sex game, and orgy. And when she refused, prosecutors claim Amanda slit her throat as her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito and another man held her down and sexually abused her.

I got to go to Joey Jackson. She`s saying that she will fight to the end. What does she do next to fight this?

JOEY JACKSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know what happened, Jane, there`s going to be a period of time she does nothing because it will take 90 days in order for the judges to release their report regarding why they found her guilty. Thereafter, there`s another 90-day period where their lawyers file and file an appeal which we certainly expect. Thereafter, it could take up to a year or more for a court to evaluate the case anew and make that decision. And that decision could be acquittal. Therefore, this could be all for naught.

In the event, however, Jane, that they don`t acquit and convict, I think she never goes back to Italy at all. I think the United States is a good- faith basis to avoid extradition on the basis of a, double jeopardy and two, Article 10, that says if there`s not reasonable cause to believe an offense was committed, you don`t have to be extradited. And therefore, I think she`s in a pretty firm position at this point, notwithstanding the guilty verdict.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about her ex boyfriend? Her ex boyfriend. Amanda`s Italian ex-boyfriend is in Italy. Okay? While she`s home in Seattle, watching the verdict, he was also found guilty. Now, Amanda told GMA she was devastated thinking about what he`s going to go through.


KNOX: He is vulnerable. And I don`t know what I would do if they imprisoned him. It`s maddening.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Shortly after the verdict, Raffaele was stopped near the Italian border with Austria. He claims he wasn`t trying to leave the country. Cops took his passport and told him you, Raffale, cannot leave the country. His lawyers said he`s not going to leave the country.

Now here he is, leaving the police station. We`re going to show you. I actually interviewed this young man on this show. He seemed to be like a very nice young man who was trapped in just a hellish miscarriage of justice.


KNOX: I need a lot of help. I can`t do this on my own. And I can`t help people understand this on my own. Like there are people who know better than I do the way these systems work, and the way that there was this entirely preventable thing that happened that was systematic.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Amanda`s family, Dorothy Lucey, is out of money. They have spent every last cent that they have fighting for her. And when I was listening to her, it sounds like she`s pleading for somebody, a lawyer to step in and represent her for free because this is going to cost money, fighting this. She might have to do something in the United States, she might have to have an Italian lawyer. This is all very expensive.

LUCEY: And Jane, at some point, this might wind up on the president`s desk. This could go to the White House, deciding whether or not to extradite her. The president could have to decide about this, he could have to decide about Justin Bieber. Some of the things he`s going to be dealing with in the near future are a little odd.

But I prefer the "Eat, Pray, Love" Italy. This to me, this Italy, is very scary. You have a prosecutor who said, "I looked at her immediately, and I knew somehow she was guilty." This is in the face of all sorts of evidence that certainly makes it look like she`s not guilty. But the prosecutor somehow decided, immediately, by looking at her, that, yes, she was guilty. And now it`s like what are they going to do, best of seven? I mean, this is just crazy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s crazy. It`s like a bad stage play, not a criminal justice system. Remember, the guy who prosecuted her was convicted himself of prosecutorial misconduct for claiming in a previous case it was all about a satanic ritual. The guy is obsessed with satanism. It`s crazy!

A Florida man opens fire on an SUV with four teens inside. One of them, Jordan Davis, is now dead. His devastated father joins me next to talk about his fight for justice.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Investigators, he felt threatened at a gas station.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was in fear for my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Davis was hit at least twice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That should never have happened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s just so hard, because I miss him so much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thought he saw a gun.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our suspect Michael Dunn made a comment for them to turn the music down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say Dunn and Davis began arguing about the volume of the music coming from the teen`s SUV.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re saying, kill him. I said, excuse me? Are you talking about me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dunn pulled out a gun and shot into the SUV eight or nine times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Davis was hit more than once, and killed.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a chance encounter explodes in violence, leaving an innocent unarmed teenager dead. You are looking at that teenager. The gunman says his life was threatened, and he shot in self-defense. Prosecutors call it murder.

The father of 17-year-old victim Jordan Davis is my very special guest, right now. The fatal confrontation happened at a Florida gas station. Michael Dunn, you`re looking at him there, and his girlfriend pulled up next to an SUV with Jordan Davis and three of his friends inside. Listen to what Michael Dunn`s girlfriend told investigators.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And as Mike made comment about the fact about the music, what did he say?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said, oh, I hate that thug music.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hate that thug music. He said that when he`s pulling up, before anything else happens. While his girlfriend`s inside the gas station, Dunn tells the kids in the SUV to turn down their music. Things get ugly quickly.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy that was in the back is getting really agitated. And my window`s up. I can`t hear anything he`s saying. But it was a lot of (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and that (EXPLETIVE DELETED). And then the music comes back on. And I don`t know if they`re singing or what. But it`s like they`re saying, kill him.

So I put my window down again, and I said, excuse me? Are you talking about me? And it was like kill that (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dunn said he grabbed his gun out of the glove compartment and started firing. Police say he shot at least eight times. Jordan was hit twice, and he was killed.

Dunn`s murder trial starts on Monday. We`re all over it. In a letter from jail to a local reporter, he wrote, and this is disturbing, "This case has never been about loud music. This case is about a local thug threatening to kill me because I dared to ask him to turn the music down," end quote.

I`d like to welcome my very special guest, Ron Davis, the victim`s Jordan`s dad. Thank you for joining us, sir. Michael Dunn, it`s not disputed, killed your innocent unarmed son. But he then turns around and maligns your son`s character. What would you say to speak up for your son right now, tonight? RON DAVIS, MICHAEL DAVIS` FATHER: Well, the first thing is that, you know, you drive up next to a vehicle, and you hear loud hip-hop music, and all of a sudden you say to your girlfriend that it`s thug music. You can`t appreciate that type of music, why do you call it thug music as if they`re bad kids? They`re not bad kids. Kids go to school, you know, the kids are good kids, they come from good homes. But you call it thug music.

And the other thing that I hear that you say is that, you roll the window down and you act like you very politely said, you know, could you boys please turn your music down? You didn`t say that politely, according to what I was told. So, let`s be real and let`s tell the truth. You made the first contact with these kids. And then after the music went down and you rolled your window back up, you made another statement that the music got loud again and you couldn`t hear yourself think.

So how do you know what my son said to you, because he`s still in the vehicle with his wind do halfway closed and you`re in your car with your window closed? So how do you know what my son said to you? But you take it upon yourself, again, to make a second contact with these kids and rolled your window down. These are your own words. They`re damning words you said about yourself that you made the second contact with these kids. They -- these kids never reached out to you. So you can`t be the aggressor, and then all of a sudden say you fear for your life, you know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at all the bullet holes in the vehicle in which your son was when he was killed. Now, this guy, Michael Dunn - now, we established, he pulled into that gas station. He heard the music, and cops say he made a snap judgment that your son and his friends were somehow thugs. Knew nothing about them. After the shooting, investigators, while grilling this suspect, set him straight. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know how many times that kid`s been to jail? Never! He has no history of violence.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not talking about a violent kid here.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Back to Ron Davis, the father of the victim, Jordan Davis. What`s so fascinating about watching the police interview is that you get the impression that Michael Dunn feels like he`s going to go in there, tell his story, and say, I was scared of him, and I shot him. And he thinks they`re going to say, oh OK, go on your merry way. And that`s not what happened, in fact, when they say you`re charged with murder, he goes, "That sucks." That`s a quote. That`s exactly what he said.

Your reaction to Dunn`s attitude when he goes in, it`s almost like, hey, I`m the good guy by default, and those kids are the bad kids by default.

DAVIS: Right. It`s like an automatic reaction to him that he, you know, that he`s in a different level than these kids, you know. These 17-year- olds, they`re not allowed to be in your presence and dispute anything that you say.

So you think that this calls for some type of force. So you`re going to grab your gun and you`re going to start shooting at these kids. Nobody shot at Mr. Dunn, you know? Nobody even opened the back door to approach his car, to touch his car, to touch his vehicle. Nobody harmed a hair on his head. Yet he wants to lie to the viewers and lie to the public and say that he felt threatened.

How do you feel threatened -- if I`m feeling threatened, I`m not going to roll my window down twice and contact the people that are threatening me? Why should I do that if I really feel threatened, you know.

And then you`re going to call them thugs, just because of their music, you`re going to call them a thug. You want to violate their civil rights to be Americans, and call them thugs just because of the type of music they`re listening to. You have to pay for that and you will pay for that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this case is going to trial on Monday. We`re going to be all over it here. And you know, of course, this case people are saying it`s the next George Zimmerman case essentially. They`re saying there`s eerie parallels to the killing of Trayvon Martin.

Both Trayvon and Jordan Davis were both, 17-year-old African-American teenagers, gunned down in Florida by older white males, critics in both cases say these shootings were racially motivated. Zimmerman as we all know was acquitted of second-degree murder last summer.

I want to bring in Mark O`Mara, CNN legal analyst and, of course, the famed criminal defense attorney for George Zimmerman. What do you say when people say, hey, this is Zimmerman all over again?

MARK O`MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good evening Jane. First of all, my true condolences to Mr. Davis and his family for the loss of his son -- a sad event. This is not similar at all. Not just because I represented George in the case, but really, when you look at the facts, though some of the similarities -- the factual similarities are there.

Yes, a young black male was killed, he was unarmed when it happened, but when you look at Mr. Dunn, his argument has got to be to this jury that he was reasonably in fear of imminent great bodily harm. In the Zimmerman case we know what was argued in that case. In this case, at least the evidence presented so far, we don`t see that imminent great bodily harm to Mr. Dunn. Was he having a conversation he didn`t like with a couple of kids in a car? Yes. But under Florida law, that doesn`t allow you to take out a gun or use a gun unless you really believe you are in immediate fear of great bodily harm. Very, very great uphill battle under the facts presented so far.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`m holding in my hand a copy of Florida`s infamous Stand Your Ground law.

O`MARA: I know it well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I want to go to, yes, Joey Jackson on this. Is this sort of a "get out of jail" free card? This gentleman, in the interrogation room, says, you know, I believed he had a gun. Did he have a gun? Well, cops say no, he didn`t. Oh, maybe it was a stick. But I believed at that moment he had a gun.

Is that enough in Florida to shoot somebody because of the Stand Your Ground law?

JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely not. And I think the best arguments that were advanced here were advanced by the brave father of this teenager, Mr. Davis. He laid it out as a prosecutor will lay it out. Not only are the facts going to show that this is distinguishable from the Zimmerman case, as Mark O`Mara pointed out, but certainly it will show that it`s a far cry from that case.

There`s no imminency (ph) of a threat here. There was no struggle here. There was no fight here. He fled the scene and he went to order pizza. He didn`t call 911. He rolled the window down when he felt that he was in fear. If you`re in fear, you leave. Really -- you felt that you were in fear so you rolled the window down? You say, "Are you talking to me?"

I don`t think that evidences fear, I think it evidences the starting of some trouble. I think he`s going to have to account for that and explain that to the jury. And it will certainly be a lot to overcome.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And on the other side, we`re going to talk about what Michael did, Michael Dunn did after the shots rang out -- at least eight shots.

As you just heard Joey mention, he and his girlfriend went back to their hotel room, and they ordered pizza. And it doesn`t end there.

Stay right there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By the time you say you get to your hotel room, you`re calling to order pizza. Why aren`t you calling us?

MICHAEL DUNN, CHARGED WITH MURDER OF JORDAN DAVIS: I wanted to come back to my hometown to do that, and our dogs and everybody, where they needed to be.




DUNN: I shot four times, and the SUV pulled out. Like I said, in my mind they got a gun. I was still scared. And so I shot four more times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s no weapons in the car. I don`t know what you saw.

DUNN: They could have (inaudible) off and they dumped it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They never left the parking. They drove out, circled right back around and came right back to that spot.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: He shoots at least eight times -- four times, when they`re not moving and then four more times as the red SUV with the teenagers inside tries to get away from him.

And you heard Michael Dunn there say, well, there was no gun found. Well, maybe one of the kids tossed the gun out of the car. In the few moments that they left the gas station and they ultimately circled right back. He instead drives to his hotel and orders pizza and falls asleep watching television.

So I want to go back to Ron Davis, the father of the victim, Jordan Davis. Do you buy, or what would your reaction be, or what do you think the prosecutors should do when this defense team says, hey, these kids did have a gun, but when they drove away in fear for their lives, that`s when they dumped their gun somewhere and it was never found?

DAVIS: Well, they were in a little strip shopping area, so they didn`t go more than a few yards away. So they were clearly in sight of the witnesses. So they never was out of sight. And he said that they had a full-blown shotgun, not a sawed-off shotgun, but a full-blown shotgun, which couldn`t even basically fit in the car. Teenagers don`t run around with these full-blown shotguns.

So, you know, he was kind of stuck with the story, because his former attorney came in with that and I believe he fired his first attorney. So he`s kind of stuck with that story.

My son has never owned a gun. I have never owned a gun. I`ve never taught my son how to shoot a gun. I don`t even know how to shoot a gun. So my child has never been around guns. Ok?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go out to --

DAVIS: So I know my child didn`t have a gun.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, sir. Thank you sir. So many people want to weigh in.

Robin, Florida what do you have to say?

ROBIN, FLORIDA (via telephone): Oh, Jane, Jane, Jane -- I was on the fence about this to begin with. If I was a juror, there is no way the defense could prove to me that this guy was acting in self-defense. These are children, children, they never got out of their cars.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Mark O`Mara, I want to go back to you, because you successfully defended George Zimmerman. And many people felt that the state had an open-and-shut case against your client. So again, I hold in my hand the Stand Your Ground law, which, you know, a person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril or death or great bodily harm. I mean it boils down to what`s in somebody`s head, and whether that`s reasonable. But is that in itself a reasonable way to decide whether it`s ok to kill somebody?

O`MARA: What the statute says is that under the circumstances that are reasonable, you can react to an imminent threat. But and like you say, Jane, what the real focus has to be is what Mr. Dunn was perceiving that night. He can`t just come out and say, "I thought it, therefore I`m free."

What he thought has to be based upon a reasonable interpretation of what was going on around him. Now if he cans, if he saw a shotgun, where is it? If he can say he was in fear as though the guys came out and were beating him up, that is reasonable fear like we had in the Zimmerman case.

What he`s -- the fact that he`s taken on the reasonable fear of great bodily injury under the statute is quite honestly the only defense that he might have to these facts of the case. But it is a very, very difficult burden to come out with the defense and say, here are factual bases for that reasonable fear. Here is them attacking him. Here is a gun that we did find. Here is their prior history of violent acts, whatever they may come up with.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And they have none of that.

O`MARA: None of it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But what I do have in my hands -- and I`ll read to you right on the other side is a letter that this Michael Dunn, the suspect wrote from jail. And it is disturbing. Some say it`s racist.

Stay right there. We`re going to talk about it on the other side.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many shots do you think it was? Yes, it was more than six. Because it was like pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. And then it stopped for a second, and then you heard pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ok. So would you say close to ten?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About, yes. It very well could have been.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She saw Dunn put his gun back in the glove box. Dunn told he shot at the car with the loud music. She asked him why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said I feared for my life. I said, why? And he said, they threatened to kill me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In a letter from behind bars, Dunn writes something very disturbing. So please don`t blame the messenger, I am quoting the letter that this man purportedly wrote. Quote, "The jail is chockfull of blacks and they all appear to be thugs."

In another letter, he wrote, quote, "This gangster rap thug talking culture that certain segments of society flock to is intolerable. The three thugs that were in the car are telling stories to cover up their true colors."

Brian Claypool, criminal defense attorney, if he has an attorney, first of all, how on earth does he allow him to write these things, and will these very incriminating letters be introduced at trial against him by the prosecution?

BRIAN CLAYPOOL, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Jane, you`re right. I mean that letter clearly shows racial animus toward these teenagers. But I wanted to make one point and I think Joey Jackson hit the nail on the head. The most important fact that I derive from that jail house interview of Dunn was when he said that he put his window down after he heard the kids in the car make a comment. He could have simply kept his window up, turned his car on, put his foot on the gas and drove away. He precipitated the entire confrontation. And he cannot now rely on the Stand Your Ground law.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Mark O`Mara, isn`t that similar to what they said about Zimmerman, if he had just stayed in his car and not followed Trayvon, none of this would have happened? We only have a couple of seconds.

O`MARA: That`s very correct. Sorry -- and I agree with him. But the reality is, what Dunn was thinking at that precise moment, he has to have evidence to support his fear. So far, we haven`t seen it. Those letters are going to be devastating if he testifies and they come in, in rebuttal, and they probably will.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ron Davis, the father of the victim, Jordan Davis, I want to thank you for joining us. My heart goes out to you. We are going to be all over this trial. And we are not going to stop as the search for justice unfolds. Thank you, sir, for joining us tonight.

DAVIS: Thank you, Jane. And we need to go ahead and rewrite Stand Your Ground. I want to please say that, that we need to rewrite Stand Your Ground.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s going to be a big part of the debate. I hope you come back and help us debate that important issue.

Stay right there. More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for "Pet of the Day", send your pet pics to Bailey -- you make me smile with that outfit. And let`s see Peanut. He says "I`m simple, and relaxed." And Dakota says "I love the snow. I don`t care if everybody else is miserable in the snow. I like it." Hazel says, "I hear that, dude I`m having a blast."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, little Rico, two huge stories for animals tonight. A new farm bill was passed without the infamous King amendment. Now, we`re happy to say Congress threw out that terrible piece of legislation which would have wiped out the very few state laws that protect factory farm animals. That was a victory for farm animals.

Get this. Here`s another victory. The USDA temporarily shut down the Catelli Brothers Calf Slaughter Plant in New Jersey after the Humane Society of the United States conducted an undercover video investigation of what was going on. What they found, they say, was so horrific. In fact we can only show you a tiny bit of the evidence. It`s the stuff of nightmares.

Calves shot repeatedly before finally becoming unconscious. They are shocked, hit and sprayed with powerful hoses. This is supposedly one of the largest lamb and veal companies in the country. According to their own Web site, the Catelli Brothers plant was shut down. No criminal charges have been filed.

So we reached out to the Shrewsbury New Jersey Police Department to find out why. We`re waiting for their response.

Straight out to Paul Shapiro, vice president of the Humane Society of the United States. Paul what did your organization uncover during this undercover video that, again, it`s so horrific we can only show you bits and pieces?

PAUL SHAPIRO, VP, HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES: Jane, our undercover inspector went inside of the Catelli Brothers Slaughter Plant and found baby calves who were too sick or injured even to stand and walk to their own slaughter, and these animals were tormented. They were dragged with chains, they were hit in the face, they were even lifted by their own tails.

Once the plant was able to get them inside of what they call their kill box, even then the abuse continued with some of these baby animals --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at it -- right there.

SHAPIRO: -- some of these animals were still --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You see it. You see them.

SHAPIRO: -- they were still fully conscious after two minutes their throats had been cut. That`s why when we present the U.S. Department of Agriculture with this evidence, they came in and shut the plant down.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, it`s upsetting but people, bear witness. Please have the courage, and I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, viewers, for having the courage to bear witness for a couple of seconds so that we can do something about this.

According to the company Web site, 250 people work at this facility. Nobody saw this?


SHAPIRO: In late 2013, the Humane Society of the United States went undercover at Catelli Brothers, a kosher and non-kosher calf slaughter plant in New Jersey. This is the video that led the U.S. Department of Agriculture to take action and shut this plant down.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In a statement, the Catelli Brothers said, quote, "We take our commitment to humane treatment of every calf seriously. Any mistreatment of our animals at our facility is unacceptable, and our established practices strictly prohibit the processing of any downed calves."

Now a company representative is welcome on this show any time. Paul, what`s frustrating is this statement echoes what we hear every time this cruelty is uncovered. Do these words have any meaning in your book?

SHAPIRO: No, of course not, Jane, and you`re absolutely route. The fact is that time and time again, whistle blowing exposes at slaughter plants and at factory farms are revealing a culture of callousness throughout the meat industry toward the treatment of animals. We`re finding that they tend to view animals more like units of production on an assembly line rather than the feeling individuals who they are.

It`s great that the USDA has shut this plant down. It`s good that the plant is closed. But the USDA needs to close a loophole in federal policy that incentivizes this type of abuse. The USDA still allows baby calves who can`t even stand or walk on their own to be dragged into slaughter plants and killed for their meat for human consumption. This is outrageous and it`s time for the USDA to stop allowing this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is. And it`s a consumer issue. You the consumer, you go to the Humane Society Web site, Get involved. Let your lawmakers know this should not stand.

Thank you, Paul Shapiro of the Humane Society.

Nancy Grace is next.