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Janitor Kidnaps 8-year-old Girl?

Aired March 25, 2014 - 19:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, breaking news. Brand-new just- released surveillance video shows missing 8-year-old Relisha Rudd in a hotel hallway, with the accused murderer who cops say abducted her. Will this video help find this precious missing girl before it`s too late?

Good evening, I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s been missing for weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is sad. That is -- that is heartbreaking, actually.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Relisha Rudd is believed to be with a janitor, Khalil Tatum, who worked at the D.C. General shelter where the girl, her three brothers and mother were staying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I asked him to. I just want to know why he didn`t bring her back.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This just-released video shows Relisha on February 26, the very night of her disappearance, almost a month ago, walking side by side with a man cops say kidnapped her from her family and then murdered his own wife.

Relisha has not been seen by her family since February 26. That`s when her family says they let this man, a supposedly trustworthy friend and a janitor at the Washington, D.C., homeless shelter where the family was living, take the child to stay at his house.

But the video shows he took the little girl to a hotel.

But even though Relisha was missing for weeks, it was her elementary school and the homeless shelter, not her own mother, who finally reported the 8-year-old child missing, just last week.


SHAMILA YOUNG, MISSING GIRL`S MOTHER: I just want to know where my baby`s at. I want to know if she`s safe, and is she OK?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s the mother. Why wasn`t this mother raising hell when her daughter didn`t show up for school for days and then weeks? Did little Relisha just fall through the cracks of the system?

And now that she`s in the hands of an alleged murderer, is enough being done to find her?

I want to hear from you. Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

We have a fantastic Lion`s Den debate panel tonight. But first, out to a reporter for WNEW, Cameron Thompson.

Cameron, what is the very latest?

CAMERON THOMPSON, REPORTER, WNEW (via phone): Well, as you`re saying, Jane, it is this new video released just moments ago by the FBI and D.C. police, showing both Relisha Rudd and Khalil Malik Tatum. Now the video is almost a month old at this point. Showing the two walking down the hallway together, a Holiday Inn. It`s just three miles from the homeless shelter where Rudd lived and Tatum worked as a janitor. At the end of the 50- second-long video showing Rudd and Tatum going into a room of that hotel.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hate and hesitate to think why this man took the child to a hotel. I think we can all do the math. It`s very disturbing. My heart goes out to this precious, precious, innocent child, who has done nothing wrong. And yet who knows where she is right now?

I have a message for this man, Khalil Tatum. If you are watching, let her go. Let her go, and go off wherever you have to go. Just let her go. If you are in some hotel room somewhere, walk out and leave the child. Go on your way.

Relisha has not been seen by her family since February 26. It wasn`t until March 19 that she was reported missing. Here`s the little girl`s mom, now distraught.


YOUNG: I just want to know where my baby`s at. I want to know if she`s safe and if she`s OK.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: February 26 to March 19, we`re talking almost a month before the school noticed she wasn`t showing up. Their calendar showed school was in session the entire time. No scheduled vacations.

Why did it take so long for everyone -- the school, the shelter, the Department of Child Services, the mother, anybody -- to sound the alarm? We`re talking about an 8-year-old girl. Voiceless, helpless.

I want to go to Shahara Carter. This is our exclusive interview with this child`s godmother.

Thank you for joining us out of Alexandria, Virginia.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I know this is so difficult. Let`s try to get some back story here. This is my understanding -- correct me if I`m wrong, there`s a lot of confusion, many bits and pieces. But this is a mother, stepfather, this little girl, and three other children -- boys, I believe - - all in a homeless shelter in D.C. Why was this family in the homeless shelter to begin with?

CARTER: Well, I can`t really speak as to why that happened, because I was in school, in the process of a lot of transitioning.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re the friend; you`re the godmother of this child.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you have any idea why the family was in a homeless shelter? I mean, what was their life? How long had you known them?

CARTER: Well, we did communicate from time to time. But like I was in the middle of going to school. I wasn`t in a position to really give that extra push.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this question. Relisha`s mom, you know, a lot of people are wondering why she would allow this janitor to take her child away from the homeless shelter, and live with the janitor, and his wife. We`ll get to that whole issue in a second. Because he ultimately police believe murdered his wife. Her body has been found.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Obviously, it`s not great living in a homeless shelter, so I -- you can understand, maybe she thought, well, he has a grandchild, which we understand -- and they`re the same age. And oh, you stay there with this nice family, and they`ll take care of you while we`re stuck in the homeless shelter. Was that the basic thinking?

CARTER: I don`t think it was that. I really can`t speak on her thoughts as to why she did it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Shahara, let me ask you...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... let me ask you this question. I understand that you had felt a little bad, because they were in a homeless shelter, you were their friend and you thought that maybe I should have taken them in, none of this would have happened.

I`m not blaming you whatsoever. I`m trying to understand -- I`m trying to get a sense of what was going on that set the stage for this very bad decision to let a janitor, somebody she really didn`t know, who worked at the homeless shelter, take her child, and this child is now missing. So we`re trying to understand, what was this mother thinking? Do you have a clue?

CARTER: I don`t know. Maybe it was just trusting someone. I think there`s a lot of lack of communication going on. I believe that at some point, something should have -- you know, something in there should have made that want to change.

I don`t -- I don`t know what was going through her mind at that second, you know. I couldn`t imagine trusting someone. To my knowledge, I know nothing about this man. Until I saw the reports on the news, I didn`t know who he is. I know nothing about him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Shahara, let me just jump in with one last question. And I so apologize for interrupting you. We have a time -- time limit. Do you think Relisha`s mother is a good mother to her daughter?

CARTER: Yes, I believe she`s a good mother. I just think this was a very bad -- I don`t -- I don`t know how to word it. It wasn`t a good look. And now Relisha has to pay for this because of a decision that should have been overseen.

You know, you have to use your best judgment when it comes to a child. Your child.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And let me get some back story on this man we`re looking at. This alleged murderer who abducted this little girl was a janitor at the homeless shelter where Relisha and her family were living. He`s now accused of kidnapping Relisha and murdering his own wife. Cops found her body during the first 24 hours of searching for the child.

The little girl`s family says they were duped into thinking he was a nice man who would care for her daughter.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Lawrences (ph) would never feed them because their parents wasn`t available. Mr. Tatum took notice that the Lawrences (ph) would never give them breakfast, so he started feeding them. And the Lawrences (ph) told him that`s good.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s the child`s grandmother. Now this guy`s background check said he`s been arrested for breaking and entering and grand larceny. Cops say this 51-year-old has a large Egyptian cross tattoo on his arm and smaller tattoos.

We`re also learning he and his wife filed for divorce just days before he decided to take the child to supposedly his marital home as an alternative to the homeless shelter.

I want to go to Lisa Bloom, legal analyst for, author of "Suspicion Nation." And this is so disturbing. You know, I have to believe that if, indeed, he killed his wife, and as cops say he did, that she got clued into the fact that, "Oh, my husband, who I`m divorcing, has an unhealthy obsession with an 8-year-old girl."

LISA BLOOM, LEGAL ANALYST, AVVO.COM: Well, that`s a very possible conclusion. And as we watch this video, I have to wonder what`s in those bags that they`re both carrying into the room. I mean, you know, the mind reels with all kinds of awful possibilities.

She seems to be going along with him, you know, quote unquote, "voluntarily." By that, I mean, she`s not crying. She`s not screaming. She`s not resisting. So what has he told her to get her into that room? And certainly, what happened in that room, has that room been investigated for any possible evidence of foul play: blood, DNA, fibers, et cetera?

I mean, this is a crime that to me is solvable. It`s just a matter of the passage of time. And God, I hope that we can find this little girl. I hope she`s OK.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hope she`s OK. And that`s why I say, sir, if you`re watching, let her go, and go on your way. Leave her wherever she is, and leave.

Many people are asking what was this man doing babysitting an 8-year- old. Here`s what the little girl`s aunt told Nancy Grace.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first thing that has her right down -- we never had this problem out of him before. He always brought my -- our Relisha home.

NANCY GRACE, HLN ANCHOR: Why is an 8-year-old girl being babysat by a grown 51-year-old man?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It wasn`t that he was -- she was there babysitting. He has a granddaughter that Relisha is friends of, that Relisha was playing with.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Attorney Areva Martin, it would appear he was using his own granddaughter as kind of bait to lure this child in.

AREVA MARTIN, ATTORNEY: We`ve seen so many of these cases, Jane, where someone trusts a family friend, or someone who is posing as a friend to gain some advantage with a child.

What really is disturbing to me about this case is how the safety net failed this child. She`s not even reported missing by her school, by the homeless shelter; the Department of Children Services has not called in.

And even compounding the situation, she`s been missing now, and the report has been out for several days. But I can tell you, I watched Hannah Anderson when she was abducted, and you couldn`t read a newspaper without hearing about it. You are one of the few stations that is really covering this story. And I want the media to jump on Relisha`s abduction the way they did with Hannah Anderson. This little girl is endangered...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We want to find this child. Areva, this is priority No. 1. Find this child, and bring her back. I can`t say home, but bring her back, OK.

On the other side of the break, our investigator, Jon Leiberman, has breaking information on this case. We`ll be back in a second with that new info.


ANTONIO WHEELER, STEPFATHER OF RELISHA: Relisha is very smart. She`s got a big heart. She -- she likes to make friends. She`s not a bad little girl. Just -- I just want to know why he didn`t bring her back. I asked him to bring her back. I just want to know why he didn`t bring her back.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She would stay overnight. She would go out of town with him. On his cell phone he showed me and Ashley (ph) in this picture of her at the veterans memorial. And then he showed us pictures of her at the zoo.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Eight-year-old Relisha Rudd, missing for about a month. She was finally reported missing last Wednesday. And cops searching for her found her alleged kidnapper`s wife murdered in a hotel, a different hotel from here. This is the last she was seen.

Now I want to go out to Jon Leiberman. What have you learned tonight?

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, Jane, I worked covering cops in Maryland and D.C., and here`s what they`re telling me at this point.

They`re following some very strong investigative leads, leads that were able to be generated from the crime scene inside the motel where Tatum is accused of killing his own wife. They did recover some evidence there that is helping them in their search of what I`m told is several different locations on the east coast.

Now, that being said, police are also extremely frustrated by what they call is a hampering of the investigation by some people very close to it, including, unfortunately, this little girl`s mother.


LEIBERMAN: They haven`t been able to -- they have not been able to nail down exactly when the last time this mother saw her daughter was. They know when this video was, and they know when the girl was last seen in the homeless shelter. But they don`t know exactly -- and they`re saying it could have been in the first week of March -- that somebody other than Mr. Tatum had contact with this little girl. So they`re...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, because a neighbor -- what we`re hearing reports, a neighbor, a neighbor of who, I don`t know, but presumably, of this guy, saw her March 15, they thought. So maybe -- in other words, she started living out a, quote unquote -- well, no, it couldn`t be a normal life. Because February 26, the day she left the shelter is when she ended up in this hotel. Why is she in this hotel?

And I want to go to Gaetane Borders, who is an advocate for missing children and president of Peace in Their Time (ph). As you look at this video, the child`s not running away from the man. What do you see?

GAETANE BORDERS, MISSING CHILDREN ADVOCATE: Jane, thank you for having me on this show.

When I see this footage, I am petrified; I`m enraged. It actually reminds me of another case, Shaniya Davis, where there was footage of her being carried into a hotel lobby, as well.

And this reminds me so much of it. The thing that sets me off, Jane, is that there are reports that he lavished gifts upon this child. That`s called grooming. And so I don`t understand why the personnel at the shelter didn`t see anything wrong with that.

I`m highly upset at the parents. Who hands their child over to anyone, specifically an adult male? And why is it that he has such ample time to share with a child that is not even his?

Everybody failed this child. And I pray to God that she is safe. Grooming is what I see.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What I don`t understand is this guy is a janitor. So he takes her on February 26 and he goes to this hotel with the child. He`s still the janitor at the homeless shelter. Does he keep showing up for work? And if he doesn`t, that would be a red -- a huge red flag. But we`re not getting the answers to those questions, Gaetane.

BORDERS: We`re not. And I had those questions as well. And why, then, is there such reticence in filing a missing persons report? Why is there something hampering the mom assisting the police?

I believe that she`s hiding something. And I don`t trust what she`s saying. There`s more to this story than meets the eye. Why protect the abuser? Why protect the person that`s holding her child away from her? It makes no sense. And if it makes no sense, it does not make sense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But here`s the thing. Is she protecting the abuser, or is she trying to protect herself because people are criticizing her? That`s what I don`t understand. Because certainly it`s incomprehensible protecting the kidnapper of your own child. But because people have said, "Hey, what were you thinking," is it possible that she`s just holding back, Lisa Bloom, because she`s ashamed, and embarrassed, possibly?

BLOOM: Well, she could be protecting the kidnappers. She could be protecting herself. But she`s supposed to be protecting her child. That`s the mother`s first obligation, which clearly she failed here.

You know, I don`t know all of the facts. I don`t know her relationship with him, if it was reasonable under the circumstances for her to trust him. I highly doubt that. And I highly doubt that the people at the homeless shelter consented to any of this, knew about any of this. How did they not know that this little girl was missing, she had gone off with one of their employees? How did that not become immediately obvious? This is an 8-year-old child.

So clearly the mother failed, but as we`ve all said, so did everybody else involved in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian -- Brian Claypool, criminal defense attorney, everybody, it seems, dropped this ball. This poor child. I mean, this is infuriating. We talk about speaking up for the voiceless on this show. Who could be more voiceless than this child? And she has no options here. She is literally holding hands with her kidnapper, and no one was looking for her.

BRIAN CLAYPOOL, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jane -- hey, Jane, for everybody out there watching, look at this story before you ever become a parent. Kids can`t choose their parents. If you`re not ready to be a responsible parent, then do not have children. And this is exactly why.

There`s absolutely no excuse on this planet for this mother to have gone two and a half, three weeks without reporting her child. For allowing her child to go with this janitor. Completely, patently irresponsible.

I`m sorry, but I don`t buy her comment, "Gee, I want to know where my child is." That`s ridiculous. You want to know where your child is, you have her by your side.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t believe anybody on this panel -- correct me if I`m wrong -- knows what it`s like to be in a homeless shelter. As a reporter for many years, I`ve visited them. And they can be dreadful. It`s possible the mother said, and we don`t know what circumstances landed them in the homeless shelter, because even the child`s godmother doesn`t seem to know why they`re in a homeless shelter.

But the whole family -- and there`s three other children reportedly, OK? This mother has three other children. I want to know where they are tonight. Has the Department of Family Services stepped in and taken those children?

There`s so many unanswered questions. We`re just getting started. More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Where is little Relisha Rudd? The 8-year-old is seen here with the man cops say kidnapped her, and also they say murdered his own wife, with whom he was going through a divorce.

He was the janitor at the homeless shelter where Relisha was living with her family, and he somehow said to the family, hey, let me take this child. It`s a mess. And we need to find this child right now.

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

CALLER: OK. I have a comment about this Relisha.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Go for it.

CALLER: That the name of the girl, Relisha?


CALLER: I had my daughter when I was 17, and there`s no way I would let her go with anybody, let alone a man.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I agree with you 100 percent. That -- it`s a short comment, but it`s a good comment. I mean, it`s just common sense.

Yes, you`re in a horrible predicament. You`re stuck in a homeless shelter, but why let your daughter go with a man?

Last Wednesday Relisha was finally reported missing. And within 24 hours, cops found the truck matching this guy, Tatum`s vehicle description. They found it at a hotel less than nine miles away from the homeless shelter. But instead of finding this man or Relisha, they found his wife`s dead body.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Once we got on scene, we checked several rooms, and we came across a deceased adult female suffering from trauma to the body.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now according to reports, Tatum and his wife filed for divorce in February, just days before he ended up taking this child. Was the wife murdered because she realized there was something wrong with her husband, and perhaps she caught them, God forbid, in some kind of terrible act?

You know, there are so many unanswered questions here. But one of the things that really bugs me, Areva Martin, is that one of the neighbors -- and we don`t know exactly a neighbor of whom, but presumably of Tatum, OK - - says that she spotted the girl on March 15. OK. So that`s only a couple of days before all this reaches a head. Because it was on March 19 that the school finally reported, hey, this child is not here.

Is it possible that they were kind of acting a little normal, and then all of a sudden at the point that the school says, hey, this child`s missing, and the police start looking, that`s when the thing turns murderous, he kills his wife, and he takes off with the child?

MARTIN: Absolutely, Jane. It`s possible. And I don`t want to, you know, suggest that what the mother did here was OK, because it`s not OK. But I do want the audience, and I want everyone to be sensitive to, these people are in a homeless shelter for a reason. So something has gone terribly wrong in their life. No mom checks herself and her four kids into a shelter. There may be substance abuse problems. There may be mental illness issues. There may be a range of issues that have some role to play in why this child was given to this man. So I think we have to also be careful, because the mom may be a victim herself.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Gaetane, let me ask you this question. There`s three boys, apparently, that this mother has. Should they be in foster care tonight? Because we don`t have the answer to that.

BORDERS: Well, I do believe that the people need to be looking closely at what`s going on with them. Where are they? Their safety. And from what I understand, there was CPS involvement with this family prior to this. So, you know, there`s a lot to be known right now. But I certainly am worried about their safety.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, we`re going to stay on top of this story.

Coming up, we`ve got so much. We`ve got some other mysteries. And we`ve also got, well, one of the most famous judges on the planet arrested and thrown behind bars. We`re talking about none other than Judge Joe Brown. And we will play for you the confrontation that he had in court that got him thrown behind bars.

But first, a man on trial for killing his wife and plotting to cash in on her insurance policy so he could be with his girlfriend. You will not believe this murderous story.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prosecutors say Escoto plotted with a girlfriend to murder his wife to collect a $1 million insurance policy.

Trapagna`s mother was even brought to tears when Escoto asked her to look at a photo of the victim. The question is, how does this all play in the eyes of the jury?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Charges that he drugged his newlywed wife and choked her to death to collect on her $1 million life insurance.

Uncomfortable to watch as he questioned his ex mother-in-law.

The 21-year-old was found bludgeoned to death.

Facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of his wife seemed to do more harm to his case by representing himself.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a toxic love triangle leads to the grisly murder of a beautiful young bride, just three days, three days after her wedding. Michel Escoto, that`s the guy, is accused of plotting with his girlfriend to murder his brand-new wife all so he could collect $1 million in life insurance.

21-year-old, Wendy Trapaga, was drugged, choked and bludgeoned to death. Look at this beautiful young woman. Her body was found outside a Miami warehouse. And it was a gruesome scene.

Now, in a crazy twist the husband and accused murderer, is representing himself on trial, and had to cross-examine the victim`s mom. That`s right, his former mother-in-law.


MICHEL ESCOTO, ON TRIAL FOR WIFE`S MURDER: Do you think that I could kill Wendy?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I never thought you would be capable of something like that. You were her husband.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Escoto`s one-time girlfriend and alleged accomplice got total immunity for turning on him. There she is. The ex-girlfriend told investigators she helped the defendant crush up powerful painkillers in order to drug the victim. She also drove the getaway car.

But that`s not all. Perhaps the most shocking thing in this case, the ex-girlfriend says she allowed the defendant to dunk her head in a bathtub of water so they could practice drowning his wife. Are you kidding me?

What do you think about this? 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Jon Leiberman, investigator, take us through the grisly timeline from wedding vows to murder.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, let me tell you this, Jane, ironically, this guy was in charge right after the murder. What happened was he sued the life insurance company, claiming that he should have gotten the $1 million faster. And he gave conflicting statements as to what happened during that civil trial.

That`s when police in 2005 actually charged him, and then they found this ex-girlfriend. And they got her to flip on him as well. This has been a very lengthy case. It`s now carried on for more than a decade. And quite simply it`s going to come down to, does this jury believe this ex- girlfriend who flipped and got complete immunity? Do they believe her blow-by-blow testimony of exactly how he did it, how he did the murder?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, my gosh, considering what she`s admitted to, she has gotten away, this woman, with horrific acts almost (ph) for agreeing to flip, basically. And turncoat and turn against the defendant. This woman, by her own admission, practiced -- she allowed her boyfriend to practice drowning her in the bathtub? She was the model for him to practice trying to kill his wife?

I can`t get my head around that, Lisa Bloom.

LISA BLOOM, LEGAL ANALYST, AVO.COM: Yes, it`s very disturbing. You know, the whole system where somebody gets complete immunity, even though they`ve committed a terrible act, is awful. Except what`s the alternative? I mean if they want to get the primary killer, this man allegedly, then they have to have evidence against him. And she`s the primary witness.

So boy, I agree, I would sure like to see her behind bars as well, but I guess the thinking is, it`s better to get one of them than neither of them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the victim`s heartbroken mother testified. She could not believe it when her daughter told her that this guy had bought life insurance on her while the couple was just living together, not even married. Mom also talked about vicious fights the couple had before he just really pressured her, "Let`s get married. Let`s get married now."

Listen to the defendant, this accused murderer, this monster, if you believe the prosecutor, cross-examining his ex-mother-in-law.


ESCOTO: To your recollection, ma`am, did you ever see any signs of physical abuse on Wendy?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One day I saw a little bruise here.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know Brian Claypool, criminal defense attorney, when I see somebody representing themselves, what`s that old thing, if you represent yourself you`ve got a fool for a client. But beyond that, there`s something horrific and violating about this man who cops say murdered this woman`s daughter, being able to cross-examine this mother in court. It makes my blood boil.

BRIAN CLAYPOOL, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jane, he chose to represent himself, so he had no choice but to cross-examine her. But if I might be able to comment on the point about this criminal justice system that we have, that affords a woman to be able to practice killing somebody, and then she does nothing about it, hides the secret, and then she says, oh, oops, can you cut a deal for me and I`ll give you the testimony you need?

What message does that send to people across the country? That you can go out, be a co-conspirator, commit a crime and that the prosecution can`t do their job and get other evidence, and you get off the hook. It`s horrific.

LEIBERMAN: It`s pathetic.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m saying it`s all a mess. It`s all a mess, Areva Martin. I mean the fact that this guy can represent himself and grill the mother of the woman that he bludgeoned to death according to cops with a tire iron? And she`s got to sit there and answer his questions? It infuriates me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then the idea that as Brian and Lisa Bloom mentioned, that this woman gets to get up there and talk about, oh, yes, we practiced how to murder somebody, and she walks away scot-free? It`s all infuriating.

MARTIN: It is. And you know what`s really scary about this woman, Jane? This woman is probably a sociopath. Because she said she knew that they were -- that the boyfriend was killing the woman for money and it didn`t matter to her.

She had no feelings of remorse. She had no feelings whatsoever about -- she just wanted the man, at any cost, any means necessary. She wanted that man even if it meant him killing his bride. That`s very scary.

LEIBERMAN: But in this case --

MARTIN: It says to me she may do it again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon Leiberman?

LEIBERMAN: First of all, Jane, in this case, though, there was the potential that nobody would have been charged with this murder had she not flipped. Police did not have much evidence at all, number one. All they had was his conflicting statements. So getting any conviction in this case would have been extremely, extremely difficult without her testimony.

Let me point out one other thing, Jane. The family sued her in civil court for wrongful death, and she owes the family of the victim $44 million. So financially --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And maybe she has $44 in her pocket.

BLOOM: -- which she`ll never be able to pay.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She owes $44 million but she`s got $44 in her pocket.

LEIBERMAN: I`m just making the point. Of course, she doesn`t have the money.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So good luck with that. Listen, Lisa Bloom --

MARTIN: But that lawsuit was important Jane. That lawsuit did lead to the prosecution. That was an important lawsuit to be filed.


BLOOM: Yes, but this --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead Lisa.

BLOOM: -- but these private individuals shouldn`t have had to pursue a civil case. And the gall of this guy suing for the insurance money, I mean the gall. And now representing himself -- I mean that really shows the ego that`s involved here, the arrogance of this man.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say something to all women out there. If your man wants to take out a life insurance policy on you before you`re even married, or even after you`re married, if there`s really no good overriding reason, it`s a red flag. It`s a huge red flag.

I can`t tell you how many cases -- and I`m sure our panel will agree - - that we`ve covered where a guy gets life insurance on his lover, wife, girlfriend, and then proceeds to kill her. Be careful if your lover wants to take a $1 million life insurance policy out on you.

Coming up, Judge Joe Brown gets a smack down from another judge. What did he do to get himself thrown in jail? And why is he so angry?


JUDGE JOE BROWN: Now, grow up. You`ve got a five-year-old daughter. You do not have time to be hoochie mama, being fly girl and party. Act like you got a college education. You`re supposed to come in here dressed like your mother instead of coming in here with a micro miniskirt.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I challenge your authority of the hearing.

I`m a little hot under the collar.

If you want to get into it, let`s get into it.

This sorry operation needs to stop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 24 hours, Shelby County jail for contempt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will file a petition for habeas corpus and close this place down like I did before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then they won`t close their mouth, and it gets to the point of not are they a fool, but how big a fool can the fool be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you listen, you might learn something.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh. Tonight, former tough talking TV judge Joe Brown gets sentenced to his own medicine. The 66-year-old former judge is arrested and thrown in jail after he flips out and goes on a vicious rant when he doesn`t get his way in court. And it`s all caught on tape. You will not believe who he`s comparing himself to now, by the way. That`s a hint right there.

Judge Joe Brown was in court in Memphis yesterday, representing a child support case. When he was told his case was not on the schedule Judge Brown went ballistic. The former TV judge kept screaming and yelling until he was slapped with a five-day jail sentence and dragged out of the courtroom in cuffs. Listen to his meltdown.


BROWN: You want to get into this, let`s get into it. This sorry operation needs to stop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 24 hours, county jail for contempt. You may have a seat.

BROWN: Excuse me. If you try to do this, you need to straighten yourself up and you need to cite your authority.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you wish to have a second day Mr. Brown? Do you wish to have a second day?

BROWN: A second date?




BROWN: I tell you what, you cite the authority. You find it. I looked it up before I came in here. You have $10 maximum contempt jurisdiction. Now you jump in here. Ok. Ok.

I`ll tell you what; I`ll be out here very shortly on a petition of habeas corpus and I`ll bring up all these problems. And guess what; you might not be operating tomorrow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have a seat, sir.

BROWN: Ok. As a courtesy to the officers, I`ll do that. This is a circus, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s three days.

BROWN: You can do all you want.


BROWN: You don`t have the jurisdiction. I had to do it. You`ve got to be up above (inaudible) -- you`ve got $10.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Holy gavel, Batman. He was released early on his own recognizance. Straight out to the "Lion`s Den" and our special guest Judge Larry Seidlin -- you are a judge -- how outrageous is Joe Brown`s behavior?

LARRY SEIDLIN, JUDGE, FLORIDA STATE COURT: Well, it was tremendously disrespectful to the courtroom, to the judge, to the folks waiting to have their hearings heard.

Judge Joe Brown was a real judge. And then he was a TV judge. And he`s having a hard time transitioning from being a judge to an attorney.

As the song "Coldplay" says, "I rule the world." He`s used to ruling his courtroom and he`s having a hard time not wearing the crown anymore in that courtroom. And it`s a sad commentary what took place. The judge that sentenced him --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think what you`re saying is -- I think what you`re saying is, he was on TV for 15 years, then his show was canceled, and now he`s like a little insecure, running around essentially saying, "Do you know who I am?"

Judge Joe Brown is running for district attorney at this time, right now. A lot of people are saying, hey, maybe this is a big publicity stunt. Our affiliate said he stole into the courtroom shaking hands and asking people to vote for him.


BROWN: I`m a little hot under the collar. 40 years, I`ve never seen such a circus as they`ve got down there.

This is politically motivated.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kelli Zink, host,, publicity stunt?

KELLI ZINK, CELEBTV.COM: 100 percent. And actually, I applaud this man for being so TV savvy. He knew exactly what he was doing. He`s used to being around the cameras. He knows how the PR routine works. He went in there -- we`re talking about him right now. And by the way, is he still in jail? No -- right, he`s out.

So he did exactly what he wanted. And maybe he`s buddies with the judge -- who knows. Maybe they acted this out in practice. Allegedly -- I`m just saying.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It gets crazier. After the judge was cuffed and thrown in the slammer, are you sitting down? Don`t fall off your chair. His political campaign -- remember, he`s running for D.A. -- (inaudible) down his Facebook profile picture with one of Martin Luther King Jr. being arrested. He`s comparing himself to Martin Luther King. Listen to part of his court rant.


BROWN: Excuse me. You tried to do me -- you need to straighten yourself up, and you need to cite your authority.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you wish to have a second day, Mr. Brown? Do you wish to have a second day?

BROWN: A second date?




BROWN: I tell you what, you cite the authority. You find it. I looked it up before I came in here. You have $10 maximum contempt jurisdiction.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Areva Martin, did he slip when he said I looked it up before I came in here? It sounded like he looked up what he would get for contempt before he walked in knowing that he was going to have a smack down with this judge.

MARTIN: I think Jane, not only did he look up what the contempt (inaudible), he also called the media. Because why would media be hanging around this courtroom for a child custody case. There was more media there than like the trial of the century. So Joe was either looking for another show. He`s looking for some publicity and he`s definitely looking for a lot of both if he`s serious about being District Attorney.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know what --

MARTIN: I don`t think any of this has any other relevance other than his ego and his media.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- let`s put it this way. We all know now that he`s running for District Attorney. So when people see his name on the ballot. Maybe they`ll go ok, Judge Joe Brown, ok I`ll vote for him.

Who knows? It may be a brilliant move.

On the other side, something even crazier. A YouTube video of Judge Joe Brown is going to cause you to fall off your chair perhaps.

Stay right there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for Pet of the Day, send your pet pics to

Wow, a horse named Blue. I could never be blue looking at you. Roxie, she says "I`m dressed for the party. Bud, you look a lot like my little Foxy. I love those ears honey. And Lucky, we are lucky to have your photo because you are a gem.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s three days.

BROWN: You can do all you want.


BROWN: You don`t have the jurisdiction. I had to do it. It`s got to be (inaudible)



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, five days, five contempts because of that rant in court. Judge Joe Brown just this past summer, he was caught on tape seemingly quite inebriated. Watch this from


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you drinking on over there?

BROWN: (inaudible) Look, I need a granddaughter like you.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: FYI, by the way Judge Joe Brown, married. (AUDIO GAP) Zink, ok, you believe this is a publicity stunt because he`s running for D.A. but once you open that Pandora`s box, you don`t know what`s going to come out.

ZINK: Yes, but what? The guy was having a cocktail on camera, who cares? And obviously, he loves the spotlight. He loves the camera so I keep shying away.


ZINK: There was media therefore a reason, right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what -- Judge Larry Seidlin, here`s the thing. Give us 10 seconds -- talk to Judge Joe Brown.

SEIDLIN: I think it`s a two-edged sword. You want respect from the people that appear in front of you, therefore you should reciprocate and give respect to the judge in front of you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there. Judge Joe Brown said he`s coming on tomorrow. I hope so.