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Oscar Pistorius Trial Begins

Aired March 3, 2014 - 19:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Breaking news tonight. There has been an arrest in connection with the disappearance of beautiful nursing student Holly Bobo, the cousin of country star Whitney Duncan. Will this lead cops to missing Holly? We`ll have that story in a second.

But first, tonight, fireworks in court as the trial of the century starts with a bang, literally.

Good evening, I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live. Hero and sports idol, Oscar Pistorius, on trial, accused of executing his stunning model girlfriend during a very nasty argument. Witness number one, an emotional female neighbor, describes how she woke up to a woman`s blood- curdling screams, followed by four gunshots, or bangs. Three of those shots killed model Reeva Steenkamp in Oscar`s bathroom.

Prosecutors say the couple was having a nasty argument, and Oscar murdered Reeva Steenkamp in cold blood. Reeve Steenkamp murdered in cold blood, they Oscar claims he thought the person behind his bathroom door was actually a burglar, which it wasn`t.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Neighbors have told police that they heard shouting before the shooting.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She screamed terribly and she yelled for help.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bang, bang, bang, bang.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the end of the day, she`s not coming back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The petrified screams, and shouts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not guilty, your honor.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The trial`s first witness lives about two football fields away from Oscar`s house. She said at 3 in the morning on Valentine`s Day, she said a woman screamed before any shots rang out. Before they rang out.

And she yelled for help. Then I also heard a man screaming for help. And he -- a few times he yelled for help.

Can you first give us a demonstration by using bang?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bang. Bang, bang, bang.


Now, that directly contradicts Oscar`s claim that he thought Reeva was asleep in bed when he fired through the bathroom door at what he claims he thought was a burglar. If Reeva was screaming before he fires the shots, clearly she was not sleeping.

So do you buy Oscar Pistorius` story that he thought his lover was an intruder, barricaded in the toilet stall? Call me, 1-877-JVM-Says, 1-877- 586-7297. Or go to my Instagram and insta-write me your opinion.

My expert Lion`s Den panel ready to debate. But first, a CNN correspondent Robyn Curnow, live in Pretoria, South Africa.

You were in court today. The whole world is watching this case. What was it like as Oscar Pistorius goes into court and faces the mother and father of the woman he killed for the very first time? This is the first time they were face to face.

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was. And Mrs. Steenkamp was in the court when he walked in.

I must saw, compared to Oscar Pistorius`s other court appearances, that bail hearing in the days after the shooting, when Oscar Pistorius kept on breaking down crying, sobbing, he was far more composed, far more centered. Also, her family dressed in black, mostly staring ahead. Quite unemotional at times, and not reacting to some of that quite hairy testimony we were hearing about, you know, blood-curdling screams, that kind of thing. There wasn`t a lot of reaction as such in court. So it was very procedural, which I think is an indication that the wheels of justice, although slow, are definitely...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me jump in there and let`s get right to the emotional testimony then. This trial began with an incredible witness, OK? This neighbor, who says, "I heard a scream and then the gunshots." That directly contradicts what Oscar Pistorius has said.

You know, this defense attorney, when it came time to cross-examine this neighbor said, "Well, make you`re wrong, maybe you got it all wrong. Maybe you never heard Reeva screaming at all."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m 100 percent certain I heard two different people that evening. I heard a male voice, and I heard a female voice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I tell you that his voice when he`s really anxious, it sounds like a woman, can you say it`s not so? Or do you simply say, I don`t know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m sure what I heard was a woman. So I`m quite convinced it wasn`t Mr. Pistorius.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Jon Leiberman, this witness lives about 200 yards from Oscar`s home, about two football fields away. You can`t believe her and believe Oscar Pistorius at the same time. It`s one or the other.

If they believe this woman, Oscar Pistorius is lying about what happened that night. Because if she heard the screams first, from Reeva, that means that Reeva was screaming because they were having a fight, or she was afraid. She was not asleep in bed, as Oscar explained.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, that`s right. And look, Oscar Pistorius` attorney, one thing he shot back at to try and discredit this witness was to say that, when Pistorius gets upset or emotional, he screams like a woman. I mean, if that`s the best that the defense has, they`re in a lot of trouble. Because Jane, this case, as you alluded to, comes down to credibility.

If you believe the woman on the stand today, and other witnesses who will testify to about the same things that she does, then you can`t also believe Oscar Pistorius. And she contradicted him on several key points today. Also, it`s going to come down to the ballistics, and to the blood splatter evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s get to that in a second. But let`s talk about what the key conflict is. OK? Oscar Pistorius, this guy, who we can tell you has a history of violence -- and I`ll get to that in a second -- but he claims his girlfriend is asleep in bed. He thinks he hears an intruder, and he goes to the bathroom, hears something, and fires four shots into the door, killing this beautiful woman. OK?

Now, this first neighbor, Eric Guster, for the prosecution, she says, no, "I heard a woman scream first. I heard a woman scream first." Doesn`t that, if the judge -- and there`s no jury -- the judge believes that, doesn`t that blow him out of the water?

ERIC GUSTER, TRIAL ATTORNEY: That really hurts his case. When a woman screams first, that indicates that she was clearly not in the bed next to him, and possibly in a fight with him.

And I don`t buy his story one bit, Jane. If you are in the bed with your girlfriend, or wife, and you feel there`s an intruder, as a man, the first thing I do is reach other and tell her to hide. Let`s get her to safety. Then I would get my weapon to defend the situation. Because that simply doesn`t make sense. And when this neighbor heard that, and she said she was 100 percent certain that this was a woman`s voice screaming, then the shots, that really hurts his case tremendously.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Adam Thompson, I know you`re a criminal defense attorney, but how do they talk their way out of that one? If you`re asleep, you`re not screaming. It`s one or the other.

ADAM THOMPSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It`s not an easy situation, Jane. But let me just follow up on the last comment by the last speaker.

Neighbors -- neighbors are -- when you live in an apartment building and someone`s next door to your house or maybe on a big property, neighbors next door. This is two football fields away. I can`t hear what`s going on a couple of doors down from me. She can hear and differentiate not just the sounds of the voices, but say one`s a male, one`s a female? Come on.

I think a jury`s going to question that, and I`m sure the defense attorney is going to come back to that and have some kind of audio challenge to say, this is what a normal person can hear distance-wise, and there`s no way she could have been able to hear it from that distance, and differentiate from male and female, and all the other stuff she`s saying.

LEIBERMAN: But Jane...

THOMPSON: Once you throw down in it, it`s going to put down to everything else that she says.

GUSTER: But when you have something at night...


LEIBERMAN: Well, Pistorius has already contradicted some of what he said in his bail affidavit. And that`s aside from any witnesses. In the bail affidavit, he said he went out to get one fan, and bring it in from the balcony. Today in his statement, his attorney said there were two fans. It`s small things like that that are really...

THOMPSON: Jon, we`re just talking about the first witness. We`re not talking about his statement. We`re just talking about the first witness.

LEIBERMAN: The statement was given today, and it`s inconsistent with the statement he gave in the bond hearing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s listen to Wendy Walsh. I think we need a psychologist. All of us.

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I want to -0 I want to weigh in on this witness, too. The witness may be far away, but I want everyone to remember, that it`s dead silent at 3 in the morning.

GUSTER: Yes. Exactly.

WALSH: That`s why he went out to get the fan. Most everybody had their windows and doors open. In a dense community like this map looks, sound bounces off walls. I know I`ve been awake in the middle of the night and heard people have conversations on their balconies two buildings over.

THOMPSON: How do you know their windows were open? How do you know their windows were open?


LEIBERMAN: Pistorius had his balcony open. Pistorius, who claims...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on, one at a time.

THOMPSON: ... keep my windows closed with the AC running high.

LEIBERMAN: Pistorius said that the balcony door was open. Even though he was fearful of burglars, or robbers, he still had his balcony door open.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go to the phone lines. Bob, Pennsylvania, what do you have to say? Bob, Pennsylvania?

CALLER: OK. Hi, Jane. Yes, I have a comment, and I have a question. First of all, did he have any remorse in the courtroom for what he did? And my comment is, I think this it was just a plain old murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, exactly. Let me tell you a little bit about his history of violence. Then we`re going to go to Jen Su, a TV and radio presenter in South Africa, who knows Oscar and knew Reeva.

Oscar Pistorius has a history of violence, particularly with guns. Weeks before his killing, the killing of his gorgeous girlfriend, Reeva, Oscar fired a gun, purportedly by mistake, inside a crowded restaurant. A year before that, he apparently fired a gun through the sun roof of a car. A year before that, in 2009, he was accused of slamming a door so hard on a woman at a party, at his home, she was badly injured. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And she had a party at his home. There was alcohol involved. And he`d asked a girl to leave his home. And as she left, he slammed the door, and the door apparently hit her leg, and she called the police.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oscar was arrested for assault. But the charges were dropped. Apparently, all the police officers wanted to take photographs with him.

That same year, in 2009, Oscar was seriously injured after slamming his speed boat into a pier. He was never tested for drugs or alcohol, but booze was found on the boat.

I want to go to Jen Su, TV and radio presenter out of South Africa, joining us live. I don`t want to put you on the spot. I know you are socially connected to a lot of influential people there. But you did have a dinner with Oscar and Reeva a couple of weeks before this horrible tragedy. Give us a sense of the Oscar Pistorius you knew.

JEN SU, TV AND RADIO PRESENTER: Well, I`ve always known Oscar. He`s one of my first friends when I came to South Africa about six years ago. And we had dinner. My husband and I had dinner with Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp. Just about two weeks before we were at a Tasha`s white party anniversary, socialite kind of party.

Oscar and Reeva came, very much in love, dressed in white. And he said, "Hey, why don`t you come have a bite with us?" So we went to have some dinner with them at a nearby restaurant in Melrose Arch. And they were very much in love. I was so thrilled, because I`ve also known Reeva, on the scene, very much on the socialite scene, as a model, as a TV -- she was involved with a reality show.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jen, we`re going to get to that reality show in a second. But not to put you on the spot, but what do you make of all these claims, that he was a gun nut who fired guns off and who had a very serious temper problem?

In the "Vanity Fair" article, for example, they asked somebody who was rooming with him during the summer Olympics, what was he like? And he said, "I left because he was shouting at everybody."

In other words, did you ever get a sense out on the circuit that, yes, he had a reputation as being a hothead?

SU: Never at all. He`s always been kind and gracious. And very polite. If anything, I think he was very soft-spoken from the first time I met him. I met him along with another gold medalist. The two of them were always very gracious. When I heard those reports, I was actually very stunned.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you were shocked. She`s shocked. She`s had dinner. This woman that we`re speaking with, the lovely Jen Su, has had dinner, knows Oscar Pistorius socially. All these reports about him doesn`t equate with the person she knows. Does he have two sides?

We`re just getting started. We`re taking your calls. And also, insta-write me, if you want something to say about this and you`ve got to say it. Tell us. Tell us.

So much more about this case coming up. We`re just scratching the surface.

And then in a couple of minutes, breaking news in the search for a gorgeous college student. Cops have now made an arrest in connection with the disappearance of Holly Bobo. This is a huge break in the case. We`re going to tell you who they`ve arrested and what the connection is to this woman`s disappearance.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Missing 20-year-old Holly Bobo.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Duncan is pleading for Holly`s safe return. They are cousins.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twenty-year-old college student vanished. The only person who saw the suspect was Holly Bobo`s brother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The brother is not a suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He told deputies a man in camo was with his sister in the woods.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The petrified screams and shouts. It was extremely emotional. The fear in that woman`s voice is difficult to explain to the court. I was traumatized from what I heard that evening. Just after her screams, I heard four shots. Bang. Bang, bang, bang.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The trial of the century today in South Africa. And the victim, Reeva Steenkamp.

Before her death, her star was really on the rise. Her modeling career was red-hot, and her new reality show was about to air and in fact, did air just a couple of days after she was gunned down by her lover, Oscar Pistorius. Check this out.



REEVA STEENKAMP, KILLED BY GUNSHOT: My name is Reeva, and I`m a model. And we`re in Jamaica this year. Be jealous. You can be jealous.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Wendy Walsh, psychologist. A year before the killing, Oscar made history, becoming the first double amputee to compete with the non-disabled runners at the 2012 Summer Olympics. By the night of the killing, could it be he was feeling insecure, wondering if his best days were behind him and was jealous that Reeva`s career was on the cusp? She was about to become a huge reality star.

WALSH: Well, research does show, Jane, that when a woman starts to become more successful than a man, he does start to fear losing her. And if he`s married to her, sometimes he ends up cheating in that way.

But I want to go back to what the guest said about when she had dinner with them, they seemed so in love. So in love. You know, as lay people, when you`re looking at couples from the outside, Jane, you have to be careful. Sometimes, if they`re very demonstrative publicly, hugging each other, public displays of affection, that`s actually called mate guarding, and that he`s doing that because he fears losing her. So he`s basically peeing on his fire hydrant, if you will to let everybody else know. And so that could be construed as love, but it could also be a kind of trying to keep her near.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Elizabeth Espinoza, anchor, CNN Espanol, the entire world is watching this trial. It`s a global phenomenon. It`s as big or bigger than the O.J. Simpson trial. And a lot of women are saying, this is basically a litmus test for how women are going to be treated globally in terms of domestic violence. There are protests outside the courthouse. There are people saying that, if he gets away with this, this is going to mean open season on women around the world.

ELIZABETH ESPINOZA, ANCHOR, CNN ESPANOL: You better believe it. It will be open season. It`s carte blanche.

I mean, this woman makes me sick. And I understand he`s a defense attorney, Adam Thompson. But listening to him before the break talk about, oh, we don`t really know if the screams -- his attorney, right? I mean, it could have been a woman, or when he gets nervous, you know, the voice goes up. That`s ridiculous.

I mean, having followed the O.J. trial, there is no doubt, it took me back to that, if it doesn`t fit, then you must acquit. That case ended differently, as we know. But it`s the same nonsense.

Clearly, he`s not denying that he killed her. But there`s no question when you do the math on this, yes, circumstantial evidence is key here, but there was an argument. They were upset. This is the night before Valentine`s. Hello! And how is it you find the woman lying in a pool of blood, locked in the toilet? Who does that? At 3 a.m. in the morning.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And let me say this. Jon Leiberman, there was her cell phone in the bathroom. And I`m trying to figure out if it was in the toilet stall or in the general bathroom. Who gets up in the middle of the night and takes their cell phone to the toilet unless they`re having an argument and they`re scared? And we have not heard yet what she may have texted. There`s so many unanswered questions.

LEIBERMAN: Yes, look, prosecutors kept close to the vest the cell- phone records. Prosecutors are going to, in this trial, say that the victim was hiding behind the door. That because of the blood splatter and the ballistics, that she was actually not on the toilet. She was hiding behind the door.

And one other thing, Jane. They`re also going to show that Oscar Pistorius was on his cell phone, surfing porn that evening.


LEIBERMAN: While they were supposedly at home. Watch for that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Yes. How do you talk your way around that, Adam Thompson?

THOMPSON: Hey, listen, you know, all these trials start out, and everybody says slam-dunk prosecution. Remember Zimmerman? Remember Dunn? You know, people can`t jump so quick.

Listen, as a defense attorney, I look for facts, how those facts fit into convicting somebody. And you have to wait and see as the evidence unfolds.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: When I want common sense, I always go to the phone lines.


THOMPSON: ... who was just -- who was just a few feet away.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mary -- Mary, Florida, what do you have to say? Mary, Florida?

CALLER: I think that he`s not guilty. I think it was just a tragic accident. She could have been, or in the house, or anywhere else. If he was in bed, he was -- didn`t have his prosthesis on, and he couldn`t figure out if he heard a noise.

And I know I can`t hear my neighbors next door with their dogs barking and that. I don`t know how this lady could hear this screaming. You know, if it`s a man or a woman. And it`s too far away.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, can you convict anybody of anything today? I mean, it`s unbelievable.

The detective who originally responded said it was open-and-shut. And he was thrown off the case, because he said, "This is murder, outright."

And they said, "You`re not opening your mind to hear other possibilities. You`re off the case."

We`re just getting started. More on this on the other side.

And Holly Bobo, breaking news. Could they be close to finding her? They`ve made an arrest in connection with her case.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She had, you know, beauty and intelligence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pistorius allegedly shot his girlfriend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I woke up from a woman`s terrible screams.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s Reeva. She was even more beautiful on the inside.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This offense was indeed an accident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you plead?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She had, you know, beauty and intelligence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fear in that woman`s voice is difficult to explain to the court.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oscar Pistorius, on trial for murdering his absolutely stunning girlfriend. Were they fighting, as the prosecution contends? Or did he wake up in the middle of the night to retrieve a fan and think, "Oh, the sounds in the toilet, that`s a burglar? I`m going to shoot four times through the door?"

Now people who socialized with the Olympic hero said when he drank, his personality could change, and he sometimes became rude and even hostile, violent. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were waiting for something like this to happen. He had a trip switch and, you know, he would get violent and angry and fight with people and cause a lot of problems. And I mean, that`s -- the incident with me and him was because he was drunk at a party and he started shouting and swearing on the phone.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Eric Guster, trial attorney for the prosecution, according to reports, cops tested his urine and blood after this deadly shooting. I haven`t heard what happened to those tests. I mean, it would be very interesting to know if he had alcohol in his system, if he had drugs in his system.

Also, "Vanity Fair" claims detectives found syringes and needles and unidentified liquids in little bottles at Pistorius`s house. So you have to wonder, was there something else going on here? Because, well, one of the things that I`ve learned over time -- and this is hypothetical, not necessarily connected to this case -- is that often when there is a violent acting out of any sort, it involves alcohol, drugs, somebody`s not quite themselves. Eric, why haven`t we heard about this yet?

GUSTER: Well, the trial is just beginning, so I`m sure that we`ll get into that type of evidence very soon. They`re expecting this trial to last two or three weeks.

And now in reference to the testimony today, people are saying, this defense attorney is saying that 200 yards is so far. I play golf, and I`m not very good, and when I holler "fore," it`s only 2 hundred yards away and somebody can hear me clearly. And this was at night.

Second thing, this young lady had her cell phone in the bathroom, which indicates either she was talking to someone she may not have been supposed to talk -- she may not have supposed to been talking to. Or there was an argument of some sort, and Pistorius got angry at her, and she was trying to call for help.

There is clear evidence that there was something going on in this house. It was simply not as what he is saying. And I believe they`re going to get to the bottom of it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me go back to Elizabeth Espinoza. There have been some published claims she may have reached out, or had been reached out to by an ex-boyfriend, who is also a sports star.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And so could that be a trigger for anger, rage?

ESPINOZA: Yes. Absolutely. There is no question that something happened that night. And again, my understanding is that they still, the prosecution and detectives, have all that information, the cell phone, the texting and all that. And then we`ll have more of an idea.

But clearly, this is -- I mean, if your ex is going to text you something, it will probably be the night before Valentine`s Day, Valentine`s Day or the day after.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know what happens? I`ll tell you what happens sometimes. You get a text. The person you`re with wants to see it. You don`t want them to see it.

ESPINOZA: Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You say, "Oh, no. I`m going to go to the bathroom. There`s nothing to see here." You get into the bathroom and you lock the door. You`re looking at the text.

And the other person says, "What the heck? What are they saying? Who texted you? What is he asking you?" We`re going to see.

ESPINOZA: Yes. That`s exactly what probably happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s see if the prosecution makes that case and connects the dots.

Up next, gorgeous college student, Holly Bobo, missing for nearly three years -- we`ve covered this story. We`ve talked to her devastated mother. Now cops make a major arrest in connection with this case. We`re going to talk live with Holly`s cousin next.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sometimes I have a hard time leaving home, because it`s like, you know, I`m away, I`m sitting there waiting on Holly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Holly Bobo is still missing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know that someone knows something.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And they need her back, alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please, just let Holly go. Let her come back to her family.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A 20-year-old college student vanished. The only person who saw the suspect is Holly Bobo`s brother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The brother is not a suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He told deputies a man in camo was with his sister in the woods.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It might have been somebody close -- somebody that kind of knew her routine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know there was a lunch pail. We know there was blood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She knew that she was in fear of her life, so she was complying with his demands.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Holly, I love you so much. Please, please try to get home to us.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The poor family, breaking news in the case of a beautiful Tennessee college student -- a nursing student who disappeared almost three years ago. We covered this case so many times. Holly Bobo was last seen being led from her home into the woods by a man wearing camouflage. Could that man now be in police custody? Cops just arrested this man, Zachary Adams, while searching the property he shares with his grandfather in connection to Holly`s case. Now according to published reports, this guy told them, "I`m not the one." Quote unquote. Adams is charged with aggravated assault for allegedly holding a black revolver to another woman`s head and threatening to, quote, gut her with a knife. Neighbors say Adams had a very creepy connection to Holly Bobo. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s an incident (inaudible), a week before she disappeared. In my heart I believe they`ll find something. They`ve been here all day. My gut feeling is they have found something.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Investigators reportedly brought an excavator, and even searched the well on the property with an underwater camera. Finally, could there be some news for Holly`s devastated family, after all this time?

Her cousin, country singer and "Survivor" contestant, Whitney Duncan has been tweeting updates. I spoke to Holly`s mom shortly after Holly went missing. It`s been hell for her. Watch.


KAREN BOBO, HOLLY`S MOTHER: -- come forward because there are four of us in our family. And one of us is missing. And, you know, if it was someone in your family, you would want -- if someone knows something, they need to tell us so that we can get Holly home where she belongs.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The family deserves to know what happened to her daughter. We want to bring her back alive. We`re going to talk exclusively in a second with Kristin Smith, Holly Bobo`s cousin.

But first, I want to go to Tereszcuk of RadarOnline. You`ve been following this case. What are the breaking developments, Alexis?

ALEXIS TERESZCUK, RADARONLINE: Well, the good think is this the first time in three years -- it`s been almost three years to the day that Holly went missing, that the police have actually been publicly saying that they have a break. They`ve searched this farm. It`s only 15 miles away. It`s so close to where Holly disappeared from. And it`s been a huge process, days and days.

Not only is the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation involved, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is involved. They`ve really brought in the top people across the country. They have searched every inch of this property. But the one thing that they are saying is that they`re trying to bring Holly home to her family. They`re not saying they`re looking for a body. Although with a cadaver dog and searching the wells, it seems to indicate that. But what they`ve said in all their announcements is they want to bring Holly home alive. And they think this property could give them some clues about that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Holly`s brother, Clint, was the last person to see her. Let`s listen to this.


CLINT BOBO, HOLLY`S BROTHER: There was a silhouette of two people in our garage at the time. I had no idea who the people were. And then I`d come to realize later that that was my sister and her abductor. That Holly was supposed to be in school that morning and realized that that must have been her at the house. And then I looked back out and saw Holly and a male walking towards the woods. And that`s the last time I saw her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Clint said that the man with his sister was wearing camouflage. A neighbor says she saw -- this is crucial -- that Zachary Adams, this character has been arrested, and his friends, following Holly around at a coon hunt dinner about a week before she vanished. If he was at a hunting event, he`s probably a hunter, which means he probably owns camouflage. We know he has weapons, because he was just arrested for allegedly pulling a gun on another woman and threatening to gut her with a knife. Could he have targeted and stalked Holly?

Kristin Smith, Holly Bobo`s cousin, joining us exclusively by phone from Tennessee. First of all my heart goes out to you and your family. I know this had been hellish for you. What is the reaction in your family to this break in the case?

KRISTIN SMITH, HOLLY`S COUSIN (via telephone): Well, I would say that everyone is -- the family, along with the community as a whole, is just ecstatic that finally maybe we are getting somewhere. This is probably the biggest break since Holly went missing. And so everyone is just very, very hopeful for new information we`re having in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now Holly was last seen being led into the woods near her house. Blood -- sorry to say these details, but it`s part of the facts of the case -- later found near her home. Investigators have always suspected that whoever took Holly was a local who knew the area. Listen to this.


DANIELLE DARNELL, NEIGHBOR: Heavily wooded. We rode four-wheelers back there. We made our own trails. It`s a heavily wooded area.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Kristin, Adams` home is just 14 miles north of where Holly was last seen, in other words, from her home. We`ve heard that whoever did this had to know the area well. He lives in a heavily wooded area. Holly`s lunch box was found in creek about eight miles from her home shortly after she went missing.

And then we have all of this talk about how a week before at this coon hunt dinner a neighbor says that he, this Zachary Adams, was following her around with a group of men, and stalking her, was the word that this woman used. I have to wonder, Kristin, since the authorities did search his property before, have they taken too long to connect the dots here?

SMITH: Well, we have questioned that sometimes ourselves. But from what we understand, from my understanding, is that new information was brought to their attention, to the authorities` attention, and that is why everything is being re-searched, and maybe starting to connect the dots now.

Commenting on the heavily wooded area, yes, you would have to know the area in order to get to Holly because it`s back roads. It is a very, very rural area. And you -- it has to -- you would think it would be local to navigate your way around such wooded areas.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Was there any talk -- because I understood that even Holly Bobo`s mother had heard about this stalking of Holly at this coon hunt dinner a week earlier. Was there any talk of that? In other words, did you feel like this was something that was, oh, it`s in the air? There`s some mystery guy and now you`re like, aha, this is the guy who was allegedly stalking her at the dinner?

SMITH: Well, the information about Holly, quote, "being stalked" at the event here in town is kind of new information, as far as the public. I`m not sure exactly everything that Holly`s mother had shared with the authorities prior to this information coming out recently. The event that`s held here actually is annual. And it raises money for St. Jude Children`s Research Hospital. It`s an event that`s been going on for 30- something years.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, a raccoon hunt, yes. So there were thousands of people there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But these guys stood out, because Holly was -- she`s a beautiful, lovely young woman up there singing and having a good time. And somebody noticed. Somebody who knows this guy said, she noticed he was looking at her and following her.

So did she give him the brush off? Did he figure out where she lived? We don`t know. We don`t want to imply that this man is a suspect at this point in Holly`s disappearance because authorities are not saying that.

What we do know is he has a rap sheet. We`re going to tell you about that on the other side. This is a huge break in this case we`ve been covering for three years, and we`re taking your calls.

We`ve also got a friend of Holly Bobo`s family on the line exclusively to talk to us on the other side.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s an incident, a coon hunt a week or so before she disappeared. In my heart I believe they`ll find something. They`ve been here all day. And my gut feeling is they have found something.




MARK GWYN, TBI DIRECTOR: Also along with those search warrants, we`re conducting several interviews here in Decatur County and surrounding counties. This is an ongoing investigation. An investigation that will last well into tonight, tomorrow, and possibly the next several days.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Zachary Adams arrested in connection with this beautiful young woman`s disappearance. They searched this guy`s home and property before. But now the FBI came back and executed search warrants last week. Why come around the second time? What did they learn? Listen.


GYWN: We believe that there are people, individuals in Decatur County that have some vital information pertaining to the disappearance of Holly Bobo.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Crime blogger Levi Page, host of the National Tennessee Levi Page Show. Cops towed four cars from the property. They brought in cadaver dogs and an excavator. They were reportedly using metal probes to search the ground. What do you make of everything -- all the information we`ve presented to you tonight?

LEVI PAGE, HOST, NATIONAL TENNESSEE LEVI PAGE: You know Jane, what also struck me was a PT cruiser was taken from the property. And according to reports, it was riddled with bullet holes. So I think that that`s extremely telling.

We have this man allegedly -- aggravated assault on a $1 million bond. That amount is also very telling. That means that police want to make sure that he is in custody, with a bond that high on an aggravated assault charge.

And it`s extremely troubling that he is accused of putting a gun to a woman`s head, and saying that he would gut her with a knife, given the facts that we`re hearing from witnesses, that he was allegedly stalking Holly Bobo.

So this is a man who is potentially very violent. This is not looking good.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Jon Leiberman, take it away because we also put up his rap sheet.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Let me update -- let me update you on this investigation. My police sources are saying it`s focused on the meth trade in this area. This suspect -- not a suspect in Holly Bobo`s disappearance yet -- but this man, Adams, we`re talking about, has been convicted in connection with dealing meth before. They`re focused on this entire group.

He`s accused this week of assaulting his girlfriend`s sister. She now, too, the alleged victim of his assault, has been locked up on a failure to appear on a theft charge. Reason being, police are focused in on an entire group of people involved with the meth drug trade in this area. They think they`re making tremendous progress --


LEIBERMAN: -- in this investigation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is so disturbing. When I hear meth, I`ll tell you one thing, I know he`s been arrested on drug charges. But when I hear meth, I hear people capable of anything -- anything. And that makes me nervous, and upset. It`s scary. I`m scared for the situation.

We`re just getting started. We have more on the other side. We`re going to talk to Tammy Raimey, a friend of Holly Bobo`s family who has been involved in the search for this beautiful, innocent nursing student, who did everything right, was loved by so many people, and who vanished from her home, pulled away by a man in camouflage, and now an arrest in connection with this case.

Stay right there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: An arrest in the disappearance of Holly Bobo. He is not considered technically a suspect but he`s definitely arrested in connection with her disappearance and they`re searched his grandfather`s property where he lives.

Zachary Adams is what we`re talking about -- the center of a Holly Bobo disappearance investigation. And he`s got a rap sheet. He`s a scary guy. He`s arraigned in court on assault charges. According to reports Zachary was arrested this past Friday after he reportedly held a gun to another woman`s head and threatened to quote, "gut her". He also pulled a knife on her as well.

And just days before that, he bonded out of jail in a different county on drug related charges. And now we`re hearing that -- from Jon Leiberman that there`s a connection possibly, allegedly, purportedly to the meth trade. If this has a lawyer, we`d be happy to hear from him. We want to get all the facts.

But I want to go to Tammy Raimey, who has joined us exclusively tonight. She`s a friend of Holly Bobo`s family. I know that there`s a certain belief that there`s information but this kind of information is also very upsetting. It`s upsetting to me. This guy sounds very dangerous.

What`s your reaction to this news -- Tammy?

TAMMY RAIMEY, BOBO FAMILY FRIEND: Now this is the most that has been done and -- well since the beginning. And the whole community is just hoping for an answer and hoping to bring Holly home safe. And I just don`t feel that if they didn`t have some sort of new evidence or solid evidence that they wouldn`t be doing all this. So we`re just hoping and praying that there is something.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tammy -- Tammy, it`s a very small community that we`re talking about. Was he a known person in this community? Does anybody know of this Zachary Adams?

RAIMEY: He was -- I believe he was very well known. He is much younger than me so, you know, I didn`t know him. I`ve read of him in the paper before but to know him personally, I didn`t but he`s known in the community.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have to tell you, that smile scares the wits out of me -- Wendy Walsh, psychologist.

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, you know what really occurred to me Jane -- you said earlier that when he was arrested, he used the words "I`m not the one". Now if I were to be arrested for something I didn`t do, I`d say, "I didn`t do it. Why are you arresting me?" But what he said is "I`m not the one", almost implying that he knew who the one was. I think --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you make a good point and there was a group of men who allegedly stalked her at the dinner a week earlier. Could somebody else also be involved?

We`re staying on top of this. We`ll have more tomorrow.

Nancy next.