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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
A Father's Fight; Pope's Farewell to the Faithful; Accused Priest on the Run; Countdown to Cuts
Aired February 27, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks.
Good evening, everyone. Tonight abuse victim or predator. Hot blooded lover, cold blooded killer. The many faces of Jodi Arias. They all come out on the witness stand now on day 12. It's amazing how long she has been on that stand. Shocking new testimony today as the prosecution in her murder trial goes in for the kill.
Later on the trial of a fugitive Mexican priest. He was already a suspected child rapist when he came to Los Angeles, an alleged serial rapist by the time he fled, and get this, the man who helped him escape justice was a top church official.
We begin, though, tonight with a father's tearful plea. Do something so that no dad, no parent ever has to feel inside the way he is feeling tonight. Do something so that no parent ever has to walk past a son or daughter's empty room. Do something.
Neil Heslin's son Jesse was taken from him at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on the 14th of December. Jesse and 19 other children killed. Today the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on stopping the next Newtown. They heard from Neil Heslin himself. Not just about the enormity of the tragedy but the heartbreaking simplicity of the moments leading up to it. Ordinary moments between a father and son, the kind you take for granted because you assume there'll be many, many more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL HESLIN, FATHER OF JESSE LEWIS WHO WAS KILLED IN SANDY HOOK SHOOTING: The morning of December 14th Jesse stopped at a (INAUDIBLE) deli. He got his favorite sandwich, sausage, egg and cheese on a hard roll, and he ordered me one. He always -- would always do that. I'd get a coffee, Jesse would get what he called a coffee, but it was a hot chocolate.
We proceeded to the school. It was 9:04 when I dropped Jesse off. The school clock. Jesse gave me a hug and a kiss at that time and said good-bye and I love you. He stopped and he said, I love mom, too.
That was the last I saw of Jesse as he ducked around the corner. Prior to that when he was getting out of the truck he hugged me and held me, and I can still feel that hug and the pat on the back. He said, everything will be OK, dad. It will all be OK. And it wasn't OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It certainly was not OK. Lawmakers now seem at odds about how to prevent the next gun massacre. They're fighting over an assault weapons ban, as you know, limiting magazine capacity, even expanding background checks, something the National Rifle Association once favored and now opposes. There was a fierce argument over that today between Milwaukee police chief, Edward Flynn, and South Carolina Republican senator, Lindsey Graham.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Almost 80,000 people fail a background check and 44 people are prosecuted. What kind of deterrent is that? I mean, the law obviously is not seeing that as important -- if it is such an important issue why aren't we prosecuting people who fail a background check and there are 15 questions there, they're not hard to understand if you're filling out the form. So I'm a bit frustrated that we say one thing, how important it is, but in the real world we absolutely do nothing to enforce the laws on the books.
Now let's talk --
CHIEF EDWARD FLYNN, MILWAUKEE POLICE: You know, just for the record, from my point of view, Senator. The purpose of background check --
GRAHAM: How many cases have you made -- how many cases --
FLYNN: You know what, it doesn't matter. It's a paper thing.
GRAHAM: Well --
FLYNN: I want to stop 76 --
GRAHAM: Can I ask the question first --
FLYNN: I want to finish the answer.
GRAHAM: Well, no. I'm asking --
FLYNN: I want to stop 76,000 people from buying guns illegally. That's what a background check does.
GRAHAM: How many AR-15s you legally own --
FLYNN: If you think we're going to do paperwork prosecutions, you're wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: With no agreement over policy, I want to turn back to the personal. And Neil Heslin who joins us tonight.
Mr. Heslin, you spoke incredibly movingly today about your last moments with your son. As you think back to that terrible day, I mean, what memory sticks with you the most?
HESLIN: The most touching is probably when he was getting out of the truck with me, I was unhooking his seatbelt, he gave me a hug and embraced me, and was patting me on the back and holding me.
COOPER: Why is it important for you and so important for you to have been in Washington today, to testify, to speak, not only about gun control but about your son?
HESLIN: Well, I just feel that it's something I have to do. I feel I'm Jesse's voice and I feel there's got to be changes made. Not just one change but several changes to be effective.
COOPER: You talked today about changes in mental health laws and background checks and gun control legislation and high capacity magazines. Is there -- is there one or, to you, is that you want all of these things to be acted upon?
HESLIN: Well, I think any changes is going to help. But I think for it to be significant change and they all have to take place what happened in Sandy Hook Elementary there was many factors that lead to that. The main cause was an assault style weapon that was carried out in the -- carried the massacre out. The main component of that was the high capacity magazine.
COOPER: How difficult is it for you to enter this for the public arena? I mean, this is obviously very contentious. You know, the issues surrounding this are very contentious and there's different sides and the sides are firmly drawn and there are -- that there are emotions on both sides.
Just as a -- as somebody who's undergoing -- you know, who's experiencing grief and who's still in the -- in the midst of this and will be for the rest of your life really, how is it -- how difficult is it to enter the public arena?
HESLIN: If I didn't speak up and try to make a change I would feel that I was letting my son down. And -- but it's hardest and the worst day of my life was the day I lost my son Jesse December 14th.
COOPER: Your son was 6 1/2 and after listening to your testimony today, and I listened to it several times, I just felt I got to know him just a little bit. And I was thankful for that.
I guess, is there something you want people to know tonight about your son? About the little boy that he was?
HESLIN: Well, if you met Jesse once you, you would never forget him. He was a very strong force, very friendly child. He was wise beyond his years. He cared about everybody. Went out of his way to help the animals and care for them. And people. He was always putting other people before himself and tried to help him and I remember so many times when Jesse would hear a baby cry, he'd run over and try to cheer the baby up. And it was with keys or standing on his head or -- just was a wonderful, wonderful person. He was my best friend and my buddy.
COOPER: Stay strong. Thank you.
HESLIN: Thank you very much.
COOPER: It's hard to imagine.
Let us know what you think. Follow me on Twitter @Andersoncooper. I'm tweeting tonight.
Next we're going to take you to Rome for Pope Benedict's finale. We'll tell you what he'll be called as an ex-Pope, the power he may still wield behind the scenes, and the scandals still bogging the church. A lot of grounds to cover tonight.
And later, who's the real Jodi Arias? The prosecution today still trying to break down her claims of abuse and self-defense, trying to paint her as a very willing partner in some very consensual acts. A lot of details and expert analysis ahead.
COOPER: Hey, welcome back. It isn't often the Pope says farewell. And that's what happened today. For nearly 600 years they've only left office one way, by leaving this world. But tomorrow Pope Benedict XVI leaves under his own power with intrigues surrounding his departure, controversy clouding his succession, and scandal plaguing his church.
There is that and that's plenty but there's also the pomp and the majesty of the moment that no one in Vatican Square, no one alive has ever seen before.
COOPER (voice-over): To have seen more than 150,000 believers in St. Peter's Square, Pope Benedict XVI made history. Bidding farewell in an emotional, unusually personal public address.
POPE BENEDICT XVI, CATHOLIC CHURCH LEADER: We've been called to renew our joyful trust in the Lord's presence in our lives. And in the life of the Church. I am personally grateful for his unfailing love and guidance in the eight year since I accepted his call to serve as the Successor of Peter.
COOPER: An unprecedented moment in modern times. Not for 600 years has a pontiff voluntarily relinquished his post. It was a decision that sent shockwaves still being felt by the church. Today he tried to explain why.
POPE BENEDICT XVI (Through Translator): In the last months I felt that my strength had decreased and I asked God earnestly in prayers to enlighten me with his light, to make me take the right decision not for my sake but for the good of the church. I have taken the step in full awareness of the severity and also knew that with a deep peace of mind.
COOPER: A Pope known for his quiet nature, thrust on to the public stage back in 2005. The oldest Pope in 275 years. A dedicated adherent to dogma this Pope also had a softer side. A little known penchant for Prada and playing the piano.
A humble, soft-spoken professor considered by many as the greatest theologian of his day, leaving behind a legacy of returning the church to a more conservative path. But it was also a path dogged by scandal and corruption. A fact the pontiff acknowledged in his final address.
POPE BENEDICT XVI (Through Translator): The Lord has given us many days of sunshine and a light breeze. The days when the fishing is plentiful and there were also times when the water was rough and the wind, as in the whole history of the church, and the Lord seemed to sleep.
COOPER: But the Pope said he assured God would not let the church sink.
He'll be referred to as Pope emeritus, and can be called His Holiness Benedict XVI. He'll wear his traditional white robes. And while he'll continue to reside at the Vatican, papal experts say he'll likely never be seen in public again. The red shoes of the Pope gone and the gold ring of office as well as his personal seal will be destroyed.
While many questions remain about what changes may ultimately come to the church, for today the focus was on this servant of God who in his final words said, quote, "The Pope is never alone and now I experience it in the way that so touches the heart."
COOPER: More now on the historic day and the history that is about to be made tomorrow. I spoke earlier with Christiane Amanpour, host of "AMANPOUR." She's obviously in Rome.
COOPER: Christiane, these comments from the Pope today talking of stormy seas, saying that they were moments when the Lord seemed to be sleeping, he certainly seemed to be making references to the scandal, the child abuse and corruption that have plagued and continued to plague the church, correct?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, clearly the Pope was talking about so many of the challenges that this church has faced, not just the external challenges that they're always talking about, but yes, these scandals that have (INAUDIBLE) and rocked the Roman Catholic Church, rocked the Vatican and just about every diocese in the United States, I might add, as well as in Europe, over the last 12 to 14 years. He was saying that this has been shocking and stormy waters that the church has sometimes seemed to be flying against the wind. But he then went on to say that he knew that God wouldn't allow the church to sing.
So yes, I think he very clearly made some reference to this on his final general audience. His final public appearance.
COOPER: And yet he made no really direct mention of -- you know, the child abuse scandals which I imagine for some people who have been directly affected, it's not going to be enough, the fact that he didn't actually bring it up specifically.
AMANPOUR: Well, it was unlikely that he was ever going to bring it up specifically on this day. But you're right. There are so many people, particularly in the United States, who have so much unanswered questions, and so much unfinished business. And we've been talking to Vatican experts, to priests, even to cardinals, and they know that while the Pope has talked about zero tolerance that that hasn't fully gone into effect, that they know that while abusers have been criticized and singled out, while those who have been abused, have been apologized to and met by the Pope that there is a lot of unfinished business, particularly amongst those in the hierarchy, who shielded priests who abused young people, young boys in these churches.
So even those who are very devoted to Pope Benedict XVI know that the next Pope must finish this business, must institute the kind of reform that will bring full transparency and accountability.
COOPER: You were in St. Peter's Square today. You were there back when the Pope was elected. The Pope -- I wonder what are the reaction you were hearing from people today. What did people make of his remarks?
AMANPOUR: Well, look. People came out. I mean, Anderson, there was nothing like the kind of crowds we thought we saw when Pope John Paul died. And when then the next conclave elected Pope Benedict XVI. This Pope is deeply loved by the very sincere and devoted and devout Roman Catholics but he is considered more of a professor, more of a theologian, more of an intellectual, somebody who never was emotional to that extent in public, unlike John Paul II. And so the farewell, as I was saying, more muted but still very much heartfelt by his devotees.
COOPER: And the Pope's last official day is tomorrow. Is there -- any idea exactly when the conclave to select that's going to begin? I mean, all the cardinals are there.
AMANPOUR: They are pretty much all here and they've had the time to gather because of his resignation which was announced a couple of weeks ago. They're not all here yet and we understand that the first full formal meeting of all the cardinals will happen on Monday. And only then will they decide what day to actually establish the first day of the conclave, and at that point those cardinals who were eligible to vote will start their secret deliberations. We're not sure when -- we're told somewhere potentially around the 9th, 10th, 11th of March.
COOPER: All right. Christiane Amanpour, appreciate it. Thanks, Christiane.
COOPER: All week we've been focusing, of course, on the controversy surrounding a Los Angeles cardinal, Roger Mahoney's role in electing the next Pope. He's going to take part on the conclave. He's been stripped of public duties after thousands of pages, thousands of pages of internal church documents revealed his role as Archbishop of Los Angeles in shielding sexual predators from justice.
Tonight in a special egregious name from those files whose now allegedly, with the church's help, a fugitive from justice. The nauseating story from 360's Gary Tuchman.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The first time Cardinal Roger Mahony learned that Fr. Nicolas Aguilar Rivera is when he helped bring him to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The reason? The archbishop of Mexico City wanted Aguilar got because of what he referred to Aguilar's, quote, "homosexual problem," which is often a euphemism for pedophilia.
Those are the allegations of lawyers who questioned Mahony in a deposition. Allegations Mahony has denied. The lawyers say even with that knowledge Mahony agreed to bring Aguilar to Los Angeles. And it didn't take long, authorities say, for Aguilar to begin terrorizing children in his new archdiocese.
FEDERICO SICARD, FORMER LAPD DETECTIVE: Back then there were 26 victim.
TUCHMAN: Former LAPD detective, Federico Sicard, worked on this case for more than 20 years.
SICARD: Back in January 11th, 1988, around 8:30 in the morning we got a call via the police radio and we were directed to go to this particular school in east L.A., the (INAUDIBLE) area.
TUCHMAN: Sicard arrived at Our Lady of Guadalupe to find four children who said they were molested.
SICARD: It was horrible. Because what the kids were telling us.
TUCHMAN: But Sicard never had a chance to question Aguilar.
SICARD: We went to interview the priest and they told us he was no longer here. He is gone. He was taken to Mexico.
TUCHMAN: Aguilar had indeed gone to Mexico. And how did he know the police were on their way? Recently released church files indicate he fled because he was tipped off a top aide to Cardinal Mahony.
SICARD: If we had been able to get our hands on him, yes, he would have been detained.
TUCHMAN: After Aguilar fled, more reports of abuse surfaced. The district attorney later filed a warrant charging Aguilar with 19 counts of lewd acts against a child.
Aguilar landed back in Mexico City. Even after all the charges against him was still an active priest. He was reassigned to this church. He eventually left the Mexican capital and worked at a church in the Mexican state of Pueblo. And the accusations of abuse continued.
San Juana Martinez is the Mexican journalist who's interviewed many who said they were abused by Aguilar. She's also interviewed Aguilar.
(On camera): You talked to him on the telephone.
SAN JUANA MARTINEZ, MEXICAN JOURNALIST: Yes, I talked to him.
TUCHMAN: How did you feel when you get off the phone with him?
MARTINEZ: Both angry and excited. You know? And I said, I can't believe that he's talking with me.
TUCHMAN: Aguilar repeatedly denied the allegations.
FR. NICOLAS AGUILAR RIVERA, CATHOLIC PRIEST: All this has been a series of defamations, slanders. That is what all of this has been.
TUCHMAN: Five formal complaints have been filed against Aguilar since his return to Mexico to 1988. He's wanted in the state of Pueblo for statutory rape. But authorities there tell us they've lost his trail.
We decided to look for Aguilar ourselves. And got a lead that he was last seen in the town of (INAUDIBLE), two hours south of Mexico City.
(On camera): Yes, you do. You recognize him.
(Voice-over): "Yes, I have seen him twice."
Amiliano, a local farmer takes us to a bus stop, where he most recently saw Aguilar. We asked Amiliano if he recognized Aguilar from the news.
(On camera): Yes, that's why I came with you. Because I have seen him.
(Voice-over): At the bus stop we meet a woman who tells us she sees him regularly. She has no idea about his past.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (Through Translator): I saw him on the bus and he said, I should take care of my baby. That was all.
TUCHMAN: She agrees to show us where she says Aguilar gets off the bus. Unfortunately once in the neighborhood the people we meet say they don't know him and our trail runs cold.
Back in Mexico City, the spokesman for the archdiocese, Hugo Valdemar, says the church has no further responsibility for Aguilar.
FR. HUGO VALDEMAR, SPOKESMAN FOR ARCHDIOCESE OF MEXICO CITY (Through Translator): Here in Mexico City we have no news of victims of Nicolas Aguilar. I'm not saying he may not have done things because we have the impression that he did. The church has done what needed to be done. It suspended Nicolas Aguilar. He is no longer a priest.
TUCHMAN: But church officials did not defrock Aguilar until 2009. Years after they knew about the alleged abuse. Valdemar told us it's He said it is not the church's job to hunt down suspect.
VALDEMAR (Through Translator): This is a job for the police.
TUCHMAN: But San Juana Martinez doesn't see any evidence the police are looking for him.
(On camera): Do you think that one day he will be arrested here or in Mexico?
MARTINEZ: I don't think so.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Gary Tuchman, CNN.
COOPER: It's unbelievable.
Just ahead, Congress is running out of time to stop those automatic spending cuts that kick in Friday at midnight. Tonight veteran journalist Bob Woodward is accusing the White House of tough tactics directed at him. "Raw Politics" on that ahead.
Also had another day of shocking testimony in the Jodi Arias murder trial. She says Travis Alexander, her ex-boyfriend, abused her physically and sexually, prosecutors say the messages they text each other paint a much different picture. The latest on the testimony in the court today from Randi Kaye ahead.
COOPER: Welcome back. In "Raw Politics" tonight. Midnight on Friday it is getting uncomfortably close. That of course is when $85 billion in automatic federal spending cuts will be triggered and the blame game is raging still in Washington. The "Washington Post's" Bob Woodward is now in the thick of it. Today on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" he slammed President Obama for not deploying an aircraft carrier because of the budget cuts. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB WOODWARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: Under the Constitution, the president is commander-in-chief and employs the force. And so we now have the president going out because of this piece of paper and this agreement I can't do what I need to do to protect the country, that's a kind of madness that I haven't seen in a long time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Woodward has been calling out the administration for days now. In an op-ed he accused President Obama of moving the goal post and negotiations over the forced spending cuts. Now a short time ago on "THE SITUATION ROOM" he doubled down on that charge. He also said the White House has pushed back hard in response to what he wrote. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOODWARD: It was said to me in an e-mail by a top --
WOLF BLITZER, ANCHOR, THE SITUATION ROOM: What was he -- what was said, yes.
WOODWARD: It was -- it was said very clearly, you will regret doing this.
BLITZER: Who sent that e-mail to you?
WOODWARD: Well, I'm not going to say. I mean, it's --
BLITZER: Was it a senior person at the White House?
WOODWARD: A very senior person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, earlier I talked with CNN senior -- senior political analyst, David Gergen, and CNN contributor and "New York Times" columnist Charles Blow, and Republican consultant and CNN contributor, Margaret Hoover.
COOPER: And, David, it kind of boggles the mind that here we are facing yet another crisis and congressional leaders aren't even meeting with the president until Friday when the cuts already take effect.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: The media is very strange. I mean, it almost adds insult to injury for an awful lot of folks. And going around the country, I find Americans are turned off and tuned out of what's going on because there's -- there's no anger with the antics.
They understand that there are important issues at stake here but they are now increasingly saying, look, why can't both these sides get together? That's what we thought we voted for back in the election. And it's worse now than it was. I cannot remember a time when we have seemed so leaderless. Nobody is stepping up and taking -- and taking the reins and saying, OK, guys, this is serious. The country really is -- could suffer here.
COOPER: You know, Margaret, I mean, do you buy that it is a crisis? Because now you have the White House seeming to go into over drive. The attorney general today talking about this is going to endanger people's safety.
I just want to play some of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: There are not going to be as many FBI agents, ATF agents, DEA agents, prosecutors who are going to be able to do their jobs. They're going to be furloughed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have members of the Republican Party saying that it's smoke and mirrors. That the administration is crying wolf, that it's fear-mongering.
HOLDER: This is something that is going to have an impact on the safety of this country. Anybody who says that is not true is either lying or saying that it is contrary to the facts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So do you buy that?
HOOVER: Most Americans don't buy that. Most Americans -- I think this is fear mongering. I think this is scare tactics. I think it is very hard to say in budgets that have increased 17 percent since the beginning of President Obama's first term.
By taking 5 percent away from those budgets, you're to -- Armageddon is on us. What Republicans have done is that look, it doesn't make sense to just -- it makes sense to say -- to use a scalpel, right.
Give the president the flexibility to at least figure out where it makes sense to tighten and be smart about these cuts so that the government can do its regular functioning. We don't want to actually undermine the functioning of government, but we want to be smart about these cuts.
CHARLES BLOW, COLUMNIST, "NEW YORK TIMES": Here are the two problems, right. So when you say give the administration the flexibility. You are still taking them to take the pound of flesh for you.
HOOVER: That is a different issue.
BLOW: But the other part is, this is the biggest problem with the fear mongering crying wolf issue. Here it is. The biggest part the problem with the argument -- at this point something is going to happen. The biggest -- the person who has the most to lose if they are in fact crying wolf is the White House. If nothing happens and the White House has said all of this is going to happen --
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: No, I don't think they are crying wolf. I think they are allowing cuts to go on and that is painful. That's what irresponsible. With all due respect, Charles, it was this White House that proposed this bill with the rigidity built into it.
They now come out and tell us what it is going to shut down the airline. Traffic is going to make it impossible to travel. It is going to shut down the inspectors. We have to keep an airport open because of the tiny cuts.
The White House it does seem to me on this issue ought to say, yes, we would like more flexibility. It's the responsible thing to do to minimize the disruptions and to minimize the impact, the negative impact on so many people's lives.
You can find other ways to make these cuts. We don't want people to get complacent about the budget cuts. My goodness, the role of the president is first and foremost to protect the citizenry and I think that's where he's got to step up.
BLOW: You can shift the entire blame and burden of these $85 billion in cuts onto the president and have him -- make those cuts in the next seven months and think that he is going to be able to do that in an easy way?
GERGEN: Charles, nobody -- I think there will be some pain. I'm saying don't you have an obligation? We don't know that. There is a lot of pain when you intentionally allow cuts to go forward that don't need to be made.
BLOW: Everybody agrees -- the White House is trying to hurt Americans so they can make their point.
GERGEN: I am saying to you that the Democrats are willing to let this bill go forward and to stay in its current rigid form. Instead of asking for flexibility so they keep the people working at the airports. They keep the people working --
BLOW: It sounds like you are saying that the White House is trying to intentionally inflict pain to make a point.
GERGEN: I'm saying that I think they are willing to have the Washington monument syndrome. And then as you get some cuts in the budget and the first thing the bureaucrats do is close down the Washington monument because they know they are going to be screams.
I'm saying they are letting that Washington monument type situation to develop here when they should say we would like the flexibility to minimize the disruptions. I happen to agree you got to find some balance proposal at the end of the day. But it seems to be in the meantime while these cuts fall, why put the country through the ringer? I think now the blame is shared on this one. I think the Democrats and the president deserve as much blame as the Republicans do on this one and they have the responsibility on this one.
My working assumption, Anderson, I think one of the reasons the stock market is recently saying that most people assume that they would come to an agreement. People suffer unnecessarily because, people we entrust with enormous amounts of power. And the Republicans, they are acting irresponsibility. They are not acting like grownups.
COOPER: Good discussion. Thank you. Jodi Arias back on the stand today. Her testimony today focused on more of the details of their relationship more phone sex, a lot of x-rated text messages. The latest from inside the courtroom ahead.
COOPER: Jodi Arias back on the stand, answering more questions about her steamy text messages with the man she killed, her ex- boyfriend. She claims it was self defense. The question is, will the jury agree and will she get the death penalty, the latest ahead.
COOPER: In "Crime and Punishment" tonight, Jodi Arias, back on the stand in Arizona today for the latest installment in her marathon cross examination, (inaudible) details, deadly deception.
Arias, of course, has admitted that she killed her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in 2008 even though she lied about it for a long time. She first denied he was even there and then blamed the murder on an intruder and now she says she killed him in self defense. She is on the stand fighting for her own life and kind of smirking in the process.
Arias could get the death penalty if she is convicted. So much of the trial though has been focused on the tawdry minutia of the couple's sex life. Today with really no exception, the prosecutor's cross examinations now chronologically up to the day that Arias killed Alexander.
But it's stuck on the sex that they had that day and on dirty text messages and phone sex that they had. The subject of the trial has been mired in over and over again. Randi Kaye reports and we warn as always the testimony is pretty graphic.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jodi Arias had a nickname for Travis Alexander. She told the court she liked to call him "Hotty Biscotti." Why then if she had such affection for him, did she shoot him? Stabbed him dozens of times and cut his throat? Judging from the couple's phone sex tapes played in court today, Arias seemed to be enjoying the relationship especially their sex life. That enjoyment strongly contradicts her testimony that Travis Alexander physically and sexually abused her and made her feel like a prostitute. Here's more.
JODI ARIAS (via telephone): I really would like to marry some -- a return missionary, but like you, someone who can be freaky. I worry that I might feel like wilting flower, is all, who never really blossomed to her full potential, at least in a sexual realm. I feel like I have with you, but like, I still have plenty of blossom time left.
JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR, MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA: One of the other things that is we know from that conversation in terms of your blossoming is that you discussed making a movie right?
MARTINEZ: And you discussed making a sexual movie right?
MARTINEZ: And it wasn't that you told him no. You actually were into it as much as he was right?
KAYE: The couple's text messages about their plans for the movie were shown in court. In one text, Arias, she suggested she wanted to dress up and more.
MARTINEZ: It also implies or indicates that it is you that is the person that likes this sort of activity and looking like a horny little school girl right?
KAYE (on camera): It is no secret Jodi Arias hasn't exactly been forth coming with the truth. Not only about her relationship with Travis Alexander, but also about what really happened the night she killed him.
First she told investigations she wasn't even at his house that night and then she changed her story telling investigators and a reporter from "48 Hours" that it was a home invasion with two mask intruders. Clips of that television interview were played here in court including this part about her miraculous escape as her boyfriend lay dying.
ARIAS: At that point I just -- I just ran. I pushed right past him and I flew down the stairs and it was like I wasn't in my body. I tried not to stumble down the stairs and I just went out as fast as I could and out the door and slammed the door behind me. And I got in the car and left.
MARTINEZ: And that is another version of the events that occurred on June 4th, 2008 correct?
MARTINEZ: And they are not true?
ARIAS: Neither of them. Well, it is all the same thing, just different version. I couldn't keep my life straight.
KAYE (voice-over): And that wasn't the end of her life. In court, she was asked about a call she made to the detective investigating Alexander's murder just days after she killed him. On that recorded call she lied again playing dumb about how he was killed even though she knew she had stabbed him and shot him.
ARIAS: Do you know when all this happened? I mean, I got a call last night --
UNIDENTIFIED INVESTIGATOR: Sometime between Thursday and last night. We're not sure.
ARIAS: Was there a gun?
UNIDENTIFIED INVESTIGATOR: I can't say what type of weapon was used -- do you know of him having any weapons at all in the house?
ARIAS: His two fists. That's it?
COOPER: Randi Kaye was in the courtroom today. She joins me now live. What is the story with the gun? Where did she get it do we know?
KAYE: Anderson, she says she got the gun from Travis Alexander's closet that it was his gun, but the state says no way, he didn't have a gun. They believe that she stole that gun from her grandparent's home just days before the murder.
But also, Anderson, in court today, they focused a lot on this rental car that they believed she drove to Mesa, Arizona on the day of the murder in that week. They said that this speaks to premeditation.
Because she apparently according to the state told the rental car agency that she didn't want to rent a red car because it attracts police. They also try to show that she filled up three gas cans in California before she left so won't have any record or receipts of filling up in Arizona, which would put her there the week of the crime or the day of the crime.
And finally, they said that she flipped her back license plate on that rental car upside down so if anybody saw her or spotted her at the scene they wouldn't be able to make out that license plate in the back.
COOPER: Interesting. Randi, appreciate it. Thanks very much. Joining me now is CNN's senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and also criminal defense attorney, Mark Geragos, co-author of the upcoming book "Mistrial: The Inside Look At How the Criminal Justice System Works and Sometimes Doesn't."
Jeffrey, it's interesting when you look at the photographs of Jodi Arias before the killing, I mean, she's blond. She sort of looks completely different and now on the stand she looks sort of demure. Is that conscious?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You have heard of a makeover. This is a make-under. She is very much intentionally looking less glamorous, less bababoom. She has these very mousey glasses. She has the very conservative glasses. Her hair is shoulder length.
As Mark knows defense attorneys always care a great deal about the appearance of their clients on the witness stand. I think it's almost too different. If the jury will almost recognize that they are trying to sell a very different Jodi Arias, but it is a very --
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, it is kind of a given that if you have somebody who is extremely attractive as a female. They have done studies on it. Female jurors are very turned off to that for whatever reason. And that is in the sociological kind of analysis.
COOPER: So as a defense attorney, do you see your client --
GERAGOS: Yes, Jeff calls it a make make-under I call it the frump look. That is on purpose. I guarantee that they've done it on purpose.
COOPER: Also in her testimony she is always looking over at the jury. Is that something you counsel clients to do?
GERAGOS: If you watch a good law enforcement type when they are testifying. They do that. They will talk directly into the eyes of the lawyer or the prosecutor. But when the defense lawyer is questioning them, they go and talk to the jury.
TOOBIN: We always taught law enforcement to speak to the jury in cross-examination. Just to establish a rapport and to make the jury feel like they are a participant in the trial. Not they are just somehow sort of eaves dropping there.
GERAGOS: This is -- we are going back to last night. I was talking about I thought the prosecutor was over the top. You have one audience here even though this is gaining traction on cable TV and elsewhere. The audience is the jury. And that is who you are playing to.
You want to make sure that your witnesses are bonding with them and you are not turning them off. That is why I was so adamant yesterday about the prosecutor what he was doing that I thought he could potentially turn the jury off.
TOOBIN: Today, I thought he dialed it back -- very effective stuff. Randi mentioned at the end when you were talking to her. This business about the gas cans I thought was actually quite devastating.
I mean, why in the world when you are driving from California to Arizona do you fill up your car and fill up these cans to take with you other than to avoid buying gasoline in Arizona to prove that you weren't there. The big issue in this case is premeditation. And that gas can thing I thought that was very powerful stuff.
GERAGOS: Absolutely devastating stuff. He is a remarkably different today than he was yesterday. Yesterday, he was over the top and if he just got in there, less is more a lot of times and I counsel lawyers on this all the time. You don't have to sit there and beat the hell out of them. Talk about the gas cans and talk about the gun and focus on the fact -- you don't need to be scatter shot and in there for a lengthy period of time. Get in there and get out.
TOOBIN: I don't want a noticeable car. I'm covering up the license plate. I don't want to buy gas in Arizona. I mean, this is a woman if you believe the prosecution theory, who was planning for a long time to kill this guy.
GERAGOS: And you are starting today to paint a picture of somebody who is diabolical. And if they want a death penalty and there are thing that is they have to go through and hoops. That is what you have to do. You have to get the jury to do it.
COOPER: Do you day-by-day try to assess what jurors may be thinking?
TOOBIN: Hour by hour and minute by minute.
COOPER: Do you look at that juror?
GERAGOS: Always I say the most fascinating thing about a jury trial is that kind of jury analysis in realtime.
TOOBIN: You have the client speak to the jurors directly?
GERAGOS: Yes. What happens is it isn't the 12 you are looking for the person who is going to drive that jury.
TOOBIN: You don't need that if you are the defense. You need one juror to say no death penalty and that part of the case is over.
COOPER: We are going to talk about that at 10:00 tonight.
GERAGOS: Who is your co-host?
COOPER: Nancy Grace. Nancy Grace is going to co-host the 360 special report "Killer Testimony, The Jodi Arias Trial" is at 10:00 p.m. Eastern right about an hour and 10 minutes from now.
Up next, a first grader's battle to be recognized as a girl, she was born male and identifies as female. Her school banned from her doing and how her family is fighting back.
Also a great white shark was caught on tape just minutes after it killed a swimmer. What we are learning now about this rare attack. We will be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back. Let's get you caught up on some other stories we are following. Deb Feyerick is here with the 360 Bulletin -- Deb.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson. Well, Chuck Hagel, the former Republican senator from Nebraska was sworn in as secretary of defense. He took the oath in a private ceremony at the Pentagon on his first day at work. His bruising confirmation battle is now a thing of the past.
The parents of a Colorado first grader are taking their battle public. They filed a discrimination complaint after school officials banned 6-year-old Coy Mathis from using the girl's bathroom. Coy was born male, but identifies as female. An attorney for the school district said officials believed they have acted reasonably and fairly.
That killer caught on tape just minutes before this video was shot, that shark killed a swimmer off New Zealand's coast. The victim was a man in his 40s. The shark reportedly a great white was 12 to 14 feet long -- Anderson.
COOPER: Deb, thanks very much. "The Ridiculist" is next, find out who's on it ahead.
COOPER: Time now for the "Ridiculist." Tonight, beer aficionados in three states are taking a stand. Lawsuits have been filed in California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey alleging that Anheuser Busch is watering down its beer to save money.
Budweiser's name in the lawsuit is being watered down, but Bud is just the beginning. Other beers are named as well namely Mikelob, Mikelob Ultra, Bud Ice, Bud Light, Platinum, Bud, Hurricane High, Gravity Lagger, whatever that is, King Cobra, Natural Ice and Busch Ice.
Busch Ice, come on, Busch Ice drinkers expect the best. They are the true and don't even mess with natural ice drinkers. If you listen closely, you can almost hear the sound of a thousand fraternity brothers simultaneously saying dude.
The lead attorney in the case says former Anheuser Busch employees report that it's standard operating procedure to water down the beers. The company says that is a bunch of bush and I quote, "Our beers are in full compliance with all alcohol labeling laws. We probably adhere to the highest standards in brewing our beers, which have made them best-selling in the U.S. and the world."
Now full disclosure, I'm not much of a beer drinker. I wouldn't know Bud Light Platinum from a regular Bud Light and I'm not much of a drinker of anything really. And if you ask a beer snob they will tell you of course those beers are watery.
But this claim that Budweiser, the king of beers is watered down. It's kind of a big deal. So CNN had to get someone on the case, the obvious choice for a taste test, Wolf Blitzer.
That was Frank the tank from old school. If you ask Wolf really nicely he might show you his six pack. Look, I don't know if this lawsuit holds any water whatsoever, but there is one way to make sure you are getting the sweet, sweet alcohol you want. Just make it yourself.
It's like I always say you can't go wrong with some good old fashioned bath tub gin. That way you can control the alcohol content yourself and make sure it's always happy hour on the "Ridiculist."
That is it for us. We'll see you again one hour from now for a special on the Jodi Arias trial, all the latest on testimony today. Thanks for watching. "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" starts now.