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Did Vitamin Mogul Plot to Kill Estranged Wife?

Aired April 9, 2014 - 19:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight`s shocking developments in a sinister murder-for-hire mystery. Cops say a handsome, multi-millionaire vitamin mogul plotted to kill his stunning model, soon to be ex-wife, allegedly offering a friend 80 grand to murder her. And it`s all caught on tape. Tonight, this man is behind bars on $10 million bond, so why is his estranged wife still in fear for her life?

Good evening, I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. Thanks for joining me.



DINO GUGLIELMELLI, ACCUSED OF MURDER-FOR-HIRE PLOT: I believe in the American system, and I believe in the American story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was an $80,000 deal on the table.

GUGLIELMELLI: I have almost 400 employees. I am a success story.

BROOKLIER: My client is not guilty.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Friends and family say 52-year-old Dino Guglielmelli and his model wife, Monica Olsen, seemed to have it all. She`s a gorgeous model who walked the New York City runways and was photographed for top magazines. And he was a very handsome, very wealthy businessman who also sang in a rock band.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you think that sounds ugly, well, their marriage turned ugly very fast, as their relationship fell apart.

Cops say Dino and Monica were fighting tooth and nail over custody of their two girls and their multimillion-dollar vitamin and skin care empire. Investigators say the divorce almost turned deadly when Dino took a friend to lunch and offered him 80 grand to, quote, "get rid of Monica." Cops say the would-be hit man secretly recorded the entire hour-and-a-half conversation.

Tonight Dino is charged with attempted, willful, deliberate and premeditated murder and solicitation of murder. But the accused husband has one strong ace in his pocket. He has hired this legendary attorney, who`s famous for representing Hollywood Madam, Heidi Fleiss, and Hell`s Angels. And he has a whole defense strategy he`s going to unveil tonight.


BROOKLIER: I do think my client is not guilty. I think when you hear the tapes, or when the jury hears the tapes, they`re going to understand that he was a manipulator.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to the Lion`s Den. Joe Gomez, reporter, KRLD in Dallas, what are you learning tonight?

JOE GOMEZ, REPORTER, KRLD: Jane, this is a shocking tale of love and romance gone wrong. This multimillionaire vitamin tycoon right now is behind bars after police say he plotted to murder his beautiful ex-catwalk model wife. Perhaps it was fueled by jealousy; perhaps it was a custody dispute.

But what we do know, Jane, is that there is a tape recording of this man speaking to somebody else, who he`s trying to hire, allegedly, to murder his wife, paying him -- going to pay him $80,000 to take her life.

Even though the man is behind bars, Jane, she says that she still fears for her life, that somehow he can still reach out from behind prison and get her, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Diana Aizman, criminal defense attorney, you`re a former prosecutor. Does this woman, do you think, have reason to be afraid that somehow from behind bars that her estranged husband, allegedly having tried to hire a hitman once, could try to do it again?

DIANA AIZMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Sure. He`s going to have access to the phone. He`s going to have access to the ability to contact people. And if he has the right connections, absolutely she should be afraid.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s the cops` version of events.

Secretly wearing a wire, the information/would-be hitman recorded his hour-and-a-half conversation where he says this husband, this mogul, Dino, mapped out a cold-blooded plot over lunch in Los Angeles. The informant claims Dino offered him $80,000 to murder his model wife, Monica and allegedly told the hitman to, quote, "get rid of her." Husband Dino also allegedly asked, "There`s no way for them to track it back to me?"

I find that this is something, Rolonda Watts, host of "Sundays with Rolonda," my old friend, it`s like out of a bad Lifetime movie. And yet people allegedly still do this stuff. They get a friend, and they start talking about, "Hey, you know, if I gave you 80 grand, would you whack her?"

I mean, it`s crazy that people even think they can get away with something like this today.

ROLONDA WATTS, HOST, "SUNDAYS WITH ROLONDA": Listen, this guy has a history, based upon the research that I`ve been doing. He had a history of being very controlling, having a rage. And she had mentioned quite a few times that she felt that he was trying to sabotage her business. Maybe that was part of the control.

I think it`s very interesting that he hires a big-time attorney who represents big-time mobsters and I wonder where he`s getting this idea that he was set up. What would be the person who was sitting on the other side of that table getting directions to go and knock off his wife, what would be his motive to set him up? If the guy said he wanted to get rid of her, if he asked if he couldn`t be tracked, if he was ready to lay down 80 grand, oh, my goodness, it sounds like that was a plot to kill her to me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, look how beautiful this woman is. And people say this multimillionaire CEO was very, very jealous of his model wife on many levels. Of men who might look at her. She says she became nervous whenever a man looked at her because she was afraid of her husband`s reaction.

And you know, there were other jealousies as well. Professional jealousies. A source says her husband was so controlling he wanted her pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen. But Dino was a wealthy businessman, and he also had a calling for the limelight. Remember, he`s also performing in a band, called Core. Listen again to what I think is pretty deadly music.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ouch. Man, I might sue just for what was done to my eardrums just now.

Wendy Walsh, psychologist, host of Investigation Discovery`s "Happily Never After," I mean, is this -- we do this over and over again, stories about people who seem madly in love -- look at this gorgeous couple. They both are on top of the world. Their empire was estimated at one point at $50 million. He`s a vitamin mogul. She`s got a skin care line that`s going into major drugstore chains. And yet, now he`s in jail and she`s cowering somewhere, afraid, she says, that he`s going to try to kill her again from behind bars.

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: You know, Jane, she has very good reason to be afraid. On "Happily Never After," of course, we cover the negatives, the terrible, tragic outcomes of these types of plots. And it`s so fortunate that this was caught early.

But, Jane, it happens when these relationships aren`t really based on love and trust, they`re based on control; they`re based on money. The very reason that they accumulated all this money meant that he wanted to have this so that he could have an identity of money, and he wanted control of the beautiful woman. And when she started to make money, that made him make -- get a little nervous. When her own skin care line was starting to be successful, that might have been a ticket to her freedom. And I don`t think he liked that very much.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Jeff Gardere, also a psychologist, what Wendy seems to be saying is that men can be so insecure that, if a woman starts outshining her husband, he wants her dead.

JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST: That`s why he was in that band singing so badly, because he`s a narcissist. He wants to be the center of attention.

And then you have the deadly mix, of course, that he`s having child- custody disputes with this woman. So even if his attorney is going to come on here and say, "Well, our strategy is going to be that he was manipulated into making this offer for 80k to kill her," well, why is he even thinking about, in the first place? I think it was implanted there from the very beginning by himself.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Evangeline Gomez, go ahead.

EVANGELINE GOMEZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jane, look, for him, he`s looking at, it`s quicker and its cheaper for her to be knocked off than for us to have to litigate it. The legal fees he`s going to have to pay through this divorce. Also community property in the state of California, assets that are going to be distributed.

You know what`s interesting, though, Jane? This guy has somewhat of a record. I mean, who would marry him? He has ties to the trash business. He hired a mob attorney. He`s a singer. These businesses are filing for bankruptcy. That`s pretty questionable to me.

If I were a U.S. Attorney, the first thing I would be doing is questioning this woman as to what other information does she have on him and his, quote, unquote, businesses and lifestyle.


WATTS: How can somebody set you up to kill somebody that you supposedly love? That is ridiculous. How can you be set up to kill somebody, to say you`re going to kill somebody that you supposedly love? That doesn`t even make sense to me. What would be the motive for anybody to set them up?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If this goes to trial, what I would say is, hey, if you really were entrapped, when the friend is then suggesting, as you contend, that you kill your wife, why didn`t you stand up and say, how dare you, and walk out of the restaurant?

WATTS: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why did you stay for an hour and a half, allegedly discussing this plot?

GOMEZ: And why did he go there with a wire on in the first place, Jane? Why was this guy all wired up and who did it? The cops ahead of time? Who knows what kind of setup it was.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this woman is...

GOMEZ: The only one that can successfully defend this case is Tony Brooklier. I mean, he`s a very well-respected criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. That being said, he is absolutely swimming upstream here. It`s a very difficult battle for him. He`s going to have a hard time convincing a jury of this for those reasons.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, first of all, Tony Brooklier is a friend of mine. I worked very closely with his wife. He`s a very smart, wonderful guy. We don`t knock him. We don`t knock the attorneys who represent people.

GOMEZ: Yes, he is great. Absolutely. I agree.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I look at this man, and maybe we can get this video of this guy back. This is what drives me insane. Is that these people have everything. They`ve got an estimated $50 million. They`re both gorgeous. They have children. They live in Los Angeles. He`s got a vitamin chain, Creation`s Garden. She`s got her skin care line. They`re on top of the world. But it`s not enough. It`s not enough, Wendy Walsh. They -- it`s like the greed for more of everything just overwhelmed, at least this guy.

WALSH: But, Jane, you have to understand, the underside, the underbelly of narcissism is self-loathing. If you just look at the amount of plastic surgery on that man`s face, he does not love himself. And no amount of money, no amount of beautiful brides, no amount of notoriety, no amount of getting audience adulation on a stage, is ever going to help him love himself because underneath, he feels unlovable. And that`s how narcissism works.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The reason...

GOMEZ: Wendy does have a good point. Wendy does have a good point. I mean, she`s 20 years younger than he is, Jane. Maybe he -- maybe he married her thinking that -- we heard the quote that he wanted her barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. I mean, maybe that`s where he thought this was going. And he found out that she was actually getting ahead in life and that he couldn`t control her anymore and that maybe she was going to surpass him. Maybe that`s what triggered him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And guess what? On the other side of the break, famed attorney Tony Brooklier, who is defending this man, is joining us. He just got out of court a little while ago. And he is on the phone, and he wants to tell his side of the story. Stay right there.

Also later, caught on surveillance video, a topless woman goes berserk inside a Florida McDonald`s. What the hell is going on here? It`s unbelievable video. We`ll show you the whole thing. It`s a rampage that lasts quite a long time.

But next, more on what cops are calling the classic murder-for-hire mystery. On the other side, we`ll get the other side.


BROOKLIER: I do think my client is not guilty. I think when you hear the tapes, or when the jury hears the tapes, they`re going to understand that he was manipulated by somebody who was trying to help himself.



GUGLIELMELLI: I believe in the American system, I believe in the American story and I am truly that story. So that`s why I believe in it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And tonight, that man, Dino Guglielmelli, a vitamin mogul, is behind bars, accused of trying to hire a hitman to murder his stunning model wife. They were in a divorce battle. But cops say it could have turned deadly. He wanted to off her.

Now his attorney is a very famous guy, Tony Brooklier, who is famous for representing Hollywood Madam, Heidi Fleiss, to name just one; also, Hell`s Angels; a whole bunch of famous, famous clients. We`re delighted to have Tony Brooklier, the attorney for Dino Guglielmelli, with us tonight.

What`s the other side of the story, Tony, because our expert panel thinks, if the informants got him on tape, trying to pay $80,000 to kill his wife, it`s game over?

BROOKLIER (via phone): Well, Jane, first of all, how are you?


BROOKLIER: And second, you really have to listen to the tape, Jane. You have to listen to it closely, which I know our jury will do. We`re going to point out that it`s the informant who has a terrible reputation for being a liar and a conman who is leading the conversation. He has an agenda. He was coached by a detective before he went in and wired as to what to say.

He`s the one that is soliciting. He`s the one that is making -- making the overtures. This is something, Jane, that was never going to happen. This was all a fiction.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, a couple of questions, Tony. If somebody is going to try to encourage you or entice you to murder your wife, why don`t you just stand up and say, "Get the hell out of here"?

BROOKLIER: He never believed him, Jane. He knew that this guy was a con artist. He just basically found out that this man had been telling him that he was -- he had military connections, was going to bring a 480 -- excuse me, $280 million military contract in for vitamin supplements. This man had gone to the extent of actually counterfeiting the Department of Defense logo to make my client think, at least initially, that he -- this was real.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what did he get out of it? What did the informant get out of it, in your scenario?

BROOKLIER: That`s -- this is what happened. What the informant gets out of it is, he was enticing my guy for a couple of years now, getting money from him, et cetera, et cetera. But he knew that the game was up. Because the contract was supposed to come in and at least partially be funded. And that was just days away. That`s when he runs to the police and makes up this story.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I`ve got -- I`ve got to ask you about the whole dynamic between these two. They apparently jointly, the husband and wife, owned a very successful business. Her skin care line taking off; he`s a vitamin mogul. At one point, it was estimated to be worth $50 million.

And then, after he was arrested, reports are he gave his brother power of attorney. The brother filed for bankruptcy. The company was auctioned off. And the wife is deeply in debt. How do you go from $50 million to less than zero, Tony, and why?

BROOKLIER: Well, I`ll tell you, they were operating. Even though they grossed a lot of money, they had a lot of employees, at some points 200 to 300. And he was the company, Jane. Without him, it would be -- the company doesn`t move. He was the -- he was the thing that made everything move. And when this happened, and he went into custody, everything just stopped, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tony, let me just ask you this question, because others say that he was extremely jealous of his wife, that it was her skin care business that was taking off, that it was going into major drugstore chains and that he couldn`t stand it, and he sabotaged the business because he was so insecure that his wife`s success drove him crazy?

BROOKLIER: Well, I never heard that one before, but it doesn`t make any sense to me, because he was the one who created this skin care line. It was his idea, and he was the one that fronted his wife, so that makes no sense to me at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And by the way, I have to say, we`ve reached out to Monica Olsen. She`s invited on, or her attorney, any time. We want to get her side of the story, too. It`s a very complex case.

But she is -- according to some published reports, Tony, she`s still scared, even though he`s behind bars on 10 million bond. She`s scared that he might try to hire someone else to kill her.

BROOKLIER: Well, you know, I don`t know her. I can`t speak to her mental state at this point, Jane. But at -- when all this comes out, I`m very, very confident the jury`s going to see right through the prosecution`s case here and acquit my client.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Diana Aizman, criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, he`s a great attorney, Anthony Brooklier. Do you buy it?

AIZMAN: You know, honestly, we haven`t heard the evidence in this case. We have to hear all of the evidence. At this point, only 14 minutes of that 90-minute tape has been played. So it`s unknown what the rest of the evidence is.

I think like I said, if anybody could convince a jury, it`s Tony Brooklier. So really, we`re going to have to wait and see.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Rolonda Watts, do you buy it?

WATTS: No, I don`t buy it. I have a great deal of respect for Tony. I know he`s going to do a bang up job at what he can do.

But at the end of the day, if I`m sitting at a table and somebody`s talking with me about killing the father of my children, I`m going to get up from that table and run the to the closest police department. I`m not going to sit there and take it. That`s going to be a real, big issue for me.

GARDERE: That`s right. And why would he...

WATTS: You go for the best attorneys when the facts are against you, Jane. That`s the way I see it.

GARDERE: Why would this guy want to do business with this informant? Why would he do business with someone who would even manipulate him into thinking about hurting his wife?

E. GOMEZ: And how did he know this person?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy -- Wendy.

WALSH: He loved money more than anything else. And this idea of this potential $280 million, you know, I can sort of see how they might have just over cocktails made a joke out of it, it was all part of it. But unfortunately, that`s still a crime, if you say you might kill your wife.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you don`t joke for an hour and a half.

He`s in court in a couple of weeks. We`re going to be all over it.

On the other side, a woman cops say was drunk and caused a horrific wrong-way crash that killed two beautiful young women. She`s now under arrest, but it took five months after this horrendous incident. What took so long? She even pleaded too drunk to care just before the crash. I`ll talk to the father of one of the young victims.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Christine Ferrante lost her daughter back on November 17 of last year. Investigators say Mendoza was driving westbound in an eastbound lane of the saw grass mills expressway. Her cab slammed into the car Kaitlyn Ferrante and Marisa Catronio were in. The two were best friends, and both were killed in the crash.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She took my baby girl, took my wife`s best friend.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Late breaking news, this hard-partying 20-year-old who proudly tweeted "two drunk to care" just hours before killing two beautiful young women. She`s finally arrested. Finally forced to face a judges and the victims` families. But you will not believe her excuse for her behavior.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You caused or contributed to the death of another human being.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We both want to see her go and walk -- be put away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wanted her to see us, I wanted her to see our faces.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at this. That is suspect Kayla Mendoza hiding her face under a blanket as she`s wheeled past the family members of the two young women she killed. Is she too cowardly to face the families whose lives she destroyed? Cops had to wheel her into jail, because she still can`t walk after offering two broken legs and a brain injury from the accident that she caused.

Cops say the 21-year-old self-proclaimed on Twitter as a, quote, "pot princess," was allegedly drinking with coworkers at a Florida bar five months ago. After 1 in the morning, cops say Kayla hopped into her car and went speeding the wrong way down the freeway at more than 80 miles an hour.

She collided head on with another car, killing these two beautiful young women, Marisa Catronio and Kaitlyn Ferrante, both just 21.

Even more outrageous, Kayla infamously tweeted just two hours before that dead crash, "Too drunk to care." Well, I wonder if this defendant cares now? Now that she`s allegedly killed two people, now that she`s landed herself in jail with a brain injury and broken legs.

Kayla had a blood alcohol content of .15, almost twice the legal limit. Plus traces of pot, marijuana, in her system. It took five months to arrest her. But now she`s charged with two counts of DUI manslaughter, two counts of vehicular homicide and two counts of driving without a license causing death. Being held on $600,000 bond. We have a fantastic Lion`s Den debate panel.

But first I want to go out to my very special guest, the father of one of the victims, Gary Catronio.

Sir, I am so sorry for your loss. This woman convicted of killing your daughter and her best friend, I have to tell you now, and this is disturbing. She`s now claiming that she was slipped something, and that oh, it wasn`t her fault that she was drunk. Does that infuriate you?

GARY CATRONIO, FATHER OF VICTIM: That doesn`t make me -- doesn`t make me happy. OK? I mean, the facts are the facts. Her blood alcohol level was almost two times. She had traces of marijuana in her. It`s devastating for anybody. To even make a comment like that, with all the research and investigation that went into this, to make this arrest that we`re so grateful to finally happen.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It took five months, though, Gary. Did that upset you and the other family, that -- that it took so long for even the first step of justice?

CATRONIO: The reason -- the reason it didn`t upset me is I knew right out at the get-go, was that this would be a long haul.

Actually, I thought it was a shorter time than they anticipated. But I knew that the hours (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to get everything correct was going to be worth the while on the end result. And it was. It was worth the while on the end result here. There`s over 900 pages of reports that were put together to make this arrest.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I certainly hope you get justice, Gary. If you could stand by for a minute, Kayla was only 20 years old at the time of this accident, way too young to be drinking legally in a bar. But she wasn`t hiding her partying. Check out some of her Twitter feed. This is unbelievable

"Too high to care." OK? Then she wrote, "My car permanently smells like weed." She also wrote, "I have a test at 8 a.m. Why am I drunk right now?" And we have just obtained this brand-new Vine that was taken in the months leading up to this horrific crash where this young woman is drinking and she`s sort of bragging about all the beer she`s drinking.

I mean, clearly, Wendy Walsh, this young woman has a substance abuse problem. Where are her parents? The judge said it appears she never even had ever obtained a driver`s license.

WALSH: You know, that really is the question: where are her parents? Because my suspicion, Jane, is that those parents weren`t around for a long time, and that`s one of the reasons why she had this drinking problem.

Binge drinking is a big problem, Jane, especially with young women in our culture right now. It`s a dangerous, dangerous thing, and now you can understand why.

My heart goes out to the family of these victims. But here is this young girl whose life is also wasted.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joe Gomez, reporter, KRLD -- I really shudder when I hear she`s now starting to say, well, somebody dropped something. She clearly has a history of getting tanked and getting wasted.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So now, on this night when she kills two people, "Oh, somebody dropped something in my drink." I mean this is infuriating.

GOMEZ: Yes. That`s pretty hard -- that`s pretty hard to buy, Jane, especially if she was tweeting out, you know, just hours before she got in this wreck that she was too drunk to care. Days before she was too high to care. And then she was getting drunk before she had a test to go to class. And then suddenly somebody slipped her a Mickey when she gets in a wreck that actually kills somebody?

I mean, of course, this was going to happen eventually, if she didn`t get her drinking under control. This was a very traumatic event and it`s very sad to see this happen to a young woman and that two other people`s lives are lost. But let`s hope that at least -- I know, I know that her life will always be changed forever. This young woman will never forget this for the rest of her life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Evangeline Gomez.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Evangeline Gomez, look, if she were slipped the Mickey, people slip women a Mickey to have sex with them, not to let them get in the car and drive off. So it doesn`t pass the smell test, because she tweeted that she was too drunk too care hours and she got in whoever`s car because she`s not -- she doesn`t even have a driver`s license. Got in supposedly her car I guess that smells like pot -- oh, it`s the boyfriend`s car, we just learned, and then took off.

E. GOMEZ: It`s an unbelievable defense. But let me tell you something Jane. She can fix her hair all she wants. Put all the makeup she wants. Take all the selfies. She`s very ugly. She is a very ugly individual and I hope the state of Florida suspends her license permanently and she does time for what she has done.

JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST: All right. May I take an unpopular position here and say what this young woman did was absolutely horrible. It was murder. But too -- what did she say -- she was too drunk to care. I believe this young woman was suicidal because she`s alcohol dependent --



E. GOMEZ: No she wasn`t.

GARDERE: -- marijuana dependent. She was suicidal.

E. GOMEZ: She was celebrating a --

GARDERE: She was suicidal subconsciously.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One at a time. One at a time.

GARDERE: She was suicidal subconsciously.

E. GOMEZ: A lot of young people today -- she was celebrating and glorifying --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One at a time.

GARDERE: She didn`t care whether she killed herself. I don`t even know why -- I don`t even know why we`re arguing about this. She was suicidal, she didn`t care about herself or anyone else. So anyone who she took out along with herself --

E. GOMEZ: She was a party girl.

GARDERE: -- that`s what it was all about, OK?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You have had your point, Jeff. Evangeline?

E. GOMEZ: She was a party girl, narcissistic, that`s a term that`s been used today. And she cared about herself and feeding her desires before putting anybody else`s welfare and safety ahead of her selfish interests.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Walsh, what do you think?

WALSH: What is a party girl? A party girl and somebody who binge drinks is somebody who (AUDIO GAP) -- she disassociates because the real world is too painful.


WALSH: I think this young lady was in a lot of pain and a tragedy happens that hurt everybody.

E. GOMEZ: She could have come from a privileged life.

WALSH: And now she has a brain injury.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on one second. We can`t make excuses because two beautiful young women died. Their families are devastated. And if we spend all our time worrying about this defendant, it`s as if we`re killing these girls all over again.

Justice exists for a reason. It doesn`t matter whether she regrets its now. At the time she didn`t care -- too drunk to care.

Coming up, a man spends 25 years in prison for a murder he didn`t do -- commit. And guess what? There was proof, there was proof that he was at Disney World, there was a lot of proof that he was in Disney World not in Brooklyn committing a murder. And the proof was ignored. Now he`s out finally after 25 years.


JONATHAN FLEMING, 25 YEARS IN PRISON FOR CRIME HE DIDN`T COMMIT: I waited for this day to come 24-and-a-half years, for this nightmare to be over. And this day is finally here. And I have dreamed about this many nights and I`m finally a free man.




TRICIA FLEMING, MOTHER OF JONATHAN FLEMING: He`s a fighter. My son is a fighter. He knows he didn`t do it and he never gave up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fleming was convicted of a murder back in 1989 here in Williamsburg at the tenant (ph) houses, but he always had an alibi. He was at Disneyland with his family.

J. FLEMING: I feel wonderful. I`m going to eat dinner with my mother and my family. And I`m going to live the rest of my life.

T. FLEMING: I`m not angry, I`m just glad to have him back.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well I am angry. Tonight a man walks free after almost 25 years behind bars for a crime he didn`t commit. Jonathan Fleming, now 51 has spent half of his life in jail for the 1989 murder of Daryl Rush. Here`s the worst part. Rush was murdered in Brooklyn, New York; Jonathan Fleming was a thousand miles away -- a young man. He was at Disney World with his family.

In his original trial, his family testified he was in Florida. They had photos. They had videos to prove he was nowhere near the Brooklyn murder scene. Prosecutors ignored that evidence; instead based their entire case on one witness. That woman later recanted her testimony just a couple of weeks after Jonathan was convicted. She said police urged her to lie and threw out the larceny charges against her in return. Jonathan was left to rot behind bars. Now a quarter of a century later, he`s finally free.


J. FLEMING: I waited for this day to come 24-and-a-half years for this nightmare to be over. And this day is finally here. I have dreamt about this many nights and I`m finally a free man.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The most disturbing part, Jonathan Fleming isn`t the only one -- dozens and dozens of cases are being reopened in New York. Jonathan is the third man released this year after decades behind bars.

Tonight, how many innocent people are still locked up? Straight out to the "Lion`s Den" -- if the only eyewitness in Jonathan`s conviction admitted she lied just a couple of weeks after the conviction, and there was proof that the defendant was at Disney World. I believe the prosecutors had to have to known that he was framed. So I would like to know Rolonda Watts, should something happen to these prosecutors? Should they be arrested and charged for letting an innocent man rot in prison for a quarter of a century?

ROLONDA WATTS, RADIO HOST: Jane, if they had that information and they withheld it, and this is the outcome, they should go to hell, that`s where they should go. This was a crime against humanity. It was the slaughter of justice. How dare that happen?

And what`s so scary is that is there`s so many others behind bars that could be freed right now based upon whether it was corruption or whether it was the inefficiency in the justice system or the lawyers themselves. What`s really even scarier is the fact that this could happen to any of us. Any of us this can happen to.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s unbelievable, because the amount of proof that this guy had that he was in Florida is overwhelming. We`re going to get into it with his attorney in a second. I mean he had corroboration of his innocence. He had proof that he was in Florida at the time of the murder in New York.


TAYLOR KOSS, FLEMING`S ATTORNEY: Whether or not this receipt was recovered from his pocket, it`s clear now it was. How is that a mistake? He had it in his pocket.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Listen, we have Taylor Koss on, the attorney for Jonathan Fleming. First of all, excellent job, and we`re going to talk about this missing receipt in a second. First of all I think we want -- our entire panel wants to give you a round of applause because - - bravo for getting this innocent man out.

KOSS: Thank you. Thank you very much.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And shame on those who had to have known, come on.

KOSS: I can`t express how thankful I am for you having me here tonight on behalf of my co-counsel Anthony Mayol. We`re pleased to be here with you tonight, Jane.

And what a tragedy to Mr. Fleming. What a great guy and he was railroaded without a doubt.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He was railroaded.

KOSS: I mean this is such a shame.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me go down quickly, the defense provided photos, home videos of him in Florida. He paid a bill for the phone calls from his hotel room with a receipt. They claimed they never got the receipt. We just showed it to you. And it turns out after all this when they started investigating these cases, the receipt was right there in the police records.

Taylor, this is criminal behavior.

KOSS: I mean listen, you don`t have to tell me. In my former life, I was actually the deputy chief of this very conviction integrity unit in Brooklyn, New York that was started by my former boss, Charles Hynes. Thank goodness if this unit didn`t exist, Mr. Fleming would rot in jail for the rest of his life.

And you know, at the trial, he had stacks upon stacks of alibi evidence. But you know what the prosecutor said, and this is what very frequently they rely on. Oh, but the alibi witnesses are all his family and his friends, and they have an interest in the outcome of the case, so you can`t believe them.

And so, you know, there are pictures of Disney World and videos, but you can`t video every second of every day. And so that leaves a little opening right. That leaves an opening for the prosecutor to stand before the jury and say well, Mr. Fleming had an option of 53 different flights he could have taken back and forth to New York. To leave Disney World, go murder this poor guy in Brooklyn and come back, you know, to Orlando.

But of course --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But look, Diana Aizman, criminal defense attorney, all you have to do is send a detective to Florida, go to the hotel, show them a photograph of this guy and say was he here, did he pay for this receipt? Even if the receipt didn`t exist, there`s ways to document that this person was in Florida.

And I don`t care if it was the late 80s, there were still ways to do that. This is -- this is obscene.

DIANA AIZMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. This is an absolute travesty of justice. This individual was absolutely railroaded. There`s no excuse -- no excuse why law enforcement did not follow up on every single defense lead. There`s no excuse why any amount of exculpatory evidence wasn`t brought before that jury. There`s no excuse why this individual spent half of his life in prison for a crime he did not commit. There is no excuse.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why was this case reopened now, 25 years after he was convicted? Because the Brooklyn DA just took office and he`s investigating dozens of alleged wrongful convictions, many of them stem from arrests made by one man -- an infamous retired detective Louis Scarcella. In fact, he and his partner were nicknamed "Batman and Robin".

And they didn`t work on this particular case, there`s Louis Scarcella. But when a man was arrested for murdering a rabbi and was found innocent after 23 years behind bars, the Brooklyn DA ordered a review of more than 50 cases. Scarcella says he`s absolutely innocent. But I want to go to Vinny Parco, private investigator -- I mean a lot of people feel this is the tip of a very deep iceberg.

VINNY PARCO, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Well, I got the icepick for that iceberg. Right now we`re doing what we call presumed innocent, we have people that -- and Jabar Collins which is another famous case, he`s on board with us. We`re looking at cases like that. But we`re doing it from a private stand point.

You`ve got to remember some cops want convictions. Some DAs want a conviction. The more convictions they get, they get promoted, notoriety, they become famous. They don`t care about justice, they care about numbers. And some of their attitudes, maybe he didn`t do this one, but he did other crimes so we`re going to get him for this one too.

And sometimes cops are incompetent. Just because a guy`s a detective, doesn`t make him a good detective; same thing with a DA. So what happens is a lot of these people, they get a case and they run with it. Oh, this is great. It`s going to make me look good. I`m going to get a grade. I`m going to get promoted. Sometimes they overlook a lot of things because it`s not in their best interest to find him innocent.

Not in his best interest to use exculpatory evidence to help the defense because the defense is against them. It`s a war. They want to convict these people. I have many cases I`ve been working on that are like that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ve got to say, Vinny, I`m interested in your cases. I want to congratulate Taylor Koss once again. And here`s my question to the prosecutors who had to have known this guy was framed. How did you sleep at night?

A mother of two, wearing nothing but a thong goes on a violent rampage at McDonald`s. What led up to this?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some lady just came in our store and started wrecking everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pinellas Park Police say a topless Sandra Suarez walked into this McDonald`s.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s topless, in her panties. She has blonde hair.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She knocked each register onto the floor before going behind the counter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not going to talk -- ok.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She had no shirt on, no bra on.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a woman ransacks a Florida McDonald`s wearing a thong and nothing else. The viral popped up on Lively and it exploded. Cops say 41-year-old Sandra Suarez walked in to the fast food chain and asked an employee if he wanted oral sex. He said no and the woman then went on a 12-minute rampage allegedly knocking off a register. She`s trashing the place. But at one point she takes a break to have some ice cream, directly from the soft serve machine.

The incident apparently cost $10,000 in damage. Freaked out employees hid in the back and called 911.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s going on there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody just came in our store and started wrecking everything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did she look like?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s topless and in her panties. She has blonde hair.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s at McDonald`s now on 66th. She`s inside wrecking everything.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I like the flat affect of that 911 operator.

Doctors reportedly say there were no signs of alcohol or drugs in this woman`s system. So the first thing that comes to mind when people think, you know, probably she`s trashed, she`s wasted. No.

Straight out to the "Lion`s Den" -- Jeff Gardere, clinical psychologist, if it`s not alcohol, if it`s not drugs then what would cause somebody to do this?

GARDERE: I would think this is probably a bipolar disorder in a manic phase and psychotic. This is a woman perhaps who is not on her medication.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, when you say bipolar, I mean I don`t know. Listen, Wendy Walsh, you`re also a psychologist. I thought psychotic break. I don`t know what really, those are just words. But what happens when somebody is in reality and then all of the sudden they lose it like this and they take their clothes off?

WALSH: Well this is the thing about mania. It is such heightened energy. I mean she`s not actually having, you know, hallucinations or delusions necessarily, but she`s full of energy and needs to get her needs met in a way almost like an addict does. Her neurochemistry at that point is craving whatever it is. I`ve heard reports that she was saying that she was looking for sex while she was in there -- whatever it was.

But it may have been bipolar disorder. She could have been a borderline having a psychotic thing. She could have maybe a bit of schizophrenia. Until we examine here, we really don`t know. But this is what it looks like when you`re detached from reality and filled with mania.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And mental illness --

J. GOMEZ: My concern is for her children. I mean if she has two kids at home and she had a psychotic break like this at McDonald`s, what is she going to do at home with her kids? My god, she looks like she`s on PCP or something.

WATTS: I`m glad she wanted sex and not blood in this incident.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She pushed, pulled, she tried to kiss, bite, lick -- my understanding is none of the officers were injured as a result --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s charged with criminal mischief, resisting arrest, was violent. But also a lot of sexual behavior going on here according to the video, people who saw her in action, she allegedly licked the officer, asked an employee if he wanted oral sex and walked down the street practically.

Diana Aizman, criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, if she`s indeed suffering from severe mental illness, do we prosecute her? Do we hospitalize her?

AIZMAN: I think that you`re going to have an issue with prosecuting her because number one you`ve got to have a little bit of compassion. She`s suffering from serious mental health problems, obviously. This is not a person in her right mind. And so there`s going to be criminal intent issues with respect to getting a conviction against her. She needs help, not prosecution.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jeff Gardere, five seconds.

GARDERE: That hyper sexuality is part of a manic behavior, part of a psychosis. She does need help. I`m concerned for her children. She needs to be on medication. That`s it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, fantastic panel.

Nancy is next.