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U. Penn Professor Suspected in Wife`s Death
Aired January 5, 2007 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, the Ivy League, the worldwide gold standard for education excellence, a highly respected Ivy League professor literally living in his ivory tower, pulling down nearly a quarter million dollars a year. One little problem, his wife found bludgeoned to death in their upscale home, and police say the killer took the time to stage the scene, posing it like a movie set. Now, let`s see. Who would do that?
And tonight, a 20-year-old college student chasing the all-American dream, finally gets a football scholarship and begins to make good on the field and off, but his life cut short in a hail of bullets. And tonight, we want to know why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think what makes it a shocking case is the fact that the victim in this case, Ellen Robb, was so brutally beaten inside of her house. There was such rage and what appears to be such horrible wounds that were inflicted on her by the killer in this case. I think that`s more shocking than anything else that stands out right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight.
I`m sure you`ve all heard the term the Ivy League schools. Well, tonight, we`re taking a look at one of those Ivy League schools, a particular professor, as a matter of fact. Police are taking a look, too.
Let`s go straight out to Brad Segall, suburban bureau chief at KYW Newsradio 1060. Welcome, Brad. What happened?
BRAD SEGALL, KYW NEWSRADIO 1060: Oh, thank you, Nancy. It`s great to be on the program with you. This all started on the Friday before Christmas, when Dr. Rafael Robb got home and found his wife dead in their home in Wayne (ph), in Montgomery County here in Pennsylvania. That`s in the Philadelphia suburbs. He made a 911 call, and that`s when the investigation started, and really didn`t heat up till after the Christmas holiday, is when police really got the investigation heated up and when the media here in the Philadelphia region start to the pick up on this story.
GRACE: Interesting. Jean Casarez, everything that Brad Segall has said is correct. I`ve been taking a look at the class schedule there at University of Pennsylvania, and I believe his classes ended on December 20. She was killed December 22. Common knowledge they`d been leading separate lives for nearly 10 years. But why was he going back to the school that day? School was over. Final were done.
JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV: But grades had to be turned in. And he said, and administration agreed, that he went to the school to turn in the grades on December 22.
GRACE: I`ve got a lot of questions. Back out to Brad Segall with the suburban -- he`s the suburban bureau chief there at KYW Newsradio 1060. What was the time of death, Brad?
SEGALL: They actually have not released a lot of that information. He got back to the house -- the call was made to 911 at about 1:45 that afternoon, on Friday afternoon. There are still some details they have not released yet, but that`s what time he got back. According to his statements to detectives, he came in, is he saw his wife, claims that he touched his wife`s face, had gone upstairs, put his briefcase away, went to check on the dog, and then that`s when he made the call to 911.
GRACE: OK, wait. Wa-wa-wait. Where is the wife, Brad?
SEGALL: The wife is in the kitchen.
GRACE: He comes in, sees the wife in the kitchen floor, bludgeoned to death. It`s my understanding that her face, her head was so bludgeoned that at first, cops thought that she had been shot in the head. And he takes the time to go upstairs to his office to put away his laptop?
SEGALL: That`s according to what`s in the affidavit, the search warrant affidavit that the district attorney released earlier this week, according to what he had told detectives. That`s correct.
GRACE: Put away his laptop and checked on his dog. What else can you tell me, Jean?
CASAREZ: Well, he went to the bedroom, took the laptop, checked on the dog, then came downstairs to try to find a phone, went to the kitchen, there is a phone there, then decided he had to go to the restroom, so went to the laundry room, then saw the window in the laundry room had been broken, decided he`d better not go to the restroom, then went to his car, got the cell phone, called 911 from that phone.
GRACE: OK, wait. Wa-wa-wa-wait. Run through that one more time?
CASAREZ: All right. Was downstairs, walked in the door, saw his wife bludgeoned to death...
GRACE: At 1:45.
CASAREZ: No, before 1:45 because that`s when he called 911...
CASAREZ: ... which was not at that point when he walked in the house. He then went upstairs with the briefcase to his bedroom, put that down. There was a phone in that bedroom. But then he went to the bedroom where he heard a barking dog, looked in the door, there was the dog, shut the door back again, that was the dog`s bedroom, then went downstairs to the kitchen to look for a phone, then decided he had to go to the bathroom, so went to the laundry room, saw a broken window, then decided he`d better forego the restroom and get to a phone, but then went to his car where his cell phone was, and that`s when, at 1:45, 911 was called.
GRACE: Back to Brad Segall. Was there not a phone there in the kitchen?
SEGALL: There were actually working phones, from what I believe, in both bedrooms in the upstairs of that house, as well.
GRACE: Let`s unchain the lawyers. Joining us tonight, Greg Skordas out of Salt Lake City jurisdiction and Mickey Sherman out of the New York jurisdiction. Mickey, got a lot of problems. Why didn`t he call 911 immediately when he saw his wife lying there covered in blood?
MICKEY SHERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He`s a strange guy. He`s a quirky guy. He`s more concerned about perhaps putting his computer to sleep properly. But you know, it doesn`t make him a killer. Not everyone reacts and not everyone does what you or I or anyone else would do. What he did is strange, different, but it`s not indicative of culpability, and that`s what counts.
GRACE: Back out to Brad. Brad, question. I understand that he was - - he took the little girl, the 12-year-old daughter, to school. Then he comes back to the home, leaves the home around 9:30 AM, went to a convenience store, a fruit stand, gets a ticket while at the fruit stand, goes to school, University of Pennsylvania, leaves, stops to get a drink, a soda, and then comes home. Yes, no?
SEGALL: Parts of that are what I understand, that had he gone to the fruit store. They have interviewed a clerk at that fruit stand or the fruit store. She knows Dr. Robb and says that Dr. Robb was not at that fruit store on the day of the murder, on that Friday, the 22.
GRACE: Brad, what I was working up to is, what kind of ticket was it? Was he -- did he intentionally park in front of a fire hydrant to get a ticket? Was he speeding? What kind of ticket was it that he got?
SEGALL: Nancy, to be honest with you, I`m not aware of the ticket.
GRACE: What do you know, Jean?
CASAREZ: What I know is that he parked, and yes, got a parking ticket. But he said that he was walking to the Wawa (ph) to get a drink, which is like a 7-Eleven in Pennsylvania -- they`re all over the area -- then walked back to the car, found the parking ticket. Wawas have parking lots. You don`t park at a meter to go to the Wawa. You park in the parking lot. Strange.
GRACE: OK, let`s go out to the lines. Let`s go to Ellen in Michigan. Hi, Ellen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi.
GRACE: How are you, dear? What`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to know, did they have children together?
GRACE: They had one 12-year-old girl. He is Israeli-born. She is from this area. The child, I believe, was born here in the U.S. He had taken her to school that morning.
Also Ellen, speaking of family matters, let`s go out to Caryn Stark, psychologist, joining us here in New York. Caryn, it`s also my understanding the two had agreed to a divorce. She wanted a divorce. She had filed several years before and tabled it. She had decided to go ahead and get a divorce here. They had separate bedrooms for a long time, living separate lives. She`s a stay-at-home mom, and had even been out with a realtor, Caryn, to look for a condo, stating her husband was going to give her $4,000 a year, but she was concerned that he was hiding money overseas, Caryn.
CARYN STARK, PSYCHOLOGIST: And she voiced that suspicion to his daughter, to their daughter, Nancy. So it really does look like it doesn`t make a lot of sense. Here she`s about to want to move out, and that`s when she gets murdered.
GRACE: To Jean Casarez. Police say that the scene looked staged. Why?
CASAREZ: That`s because of the window near the laundry room. There was a window and the glass was broken. And that would allow someone to then open up the lock and come inside. But the glass from the broken window was right there where it broke. It wasn`t through the home. And if someone had walked through the home after entering, that broken glass would be on someone`s shoe, it would get throughout the home, and it was not.
GRACE: Interesting. And back to Pat Brown, Pat Brown, high-profile criminal profiler, joining us tonight out of Minneapolis. Pat, I`m just wondering about that glass. I wonder if there was any blood on the glass. I wonder if the glass was broken out of the door before or after the bludgeoning. Also, Pat, the door was unlocked. So the perpetrator had an unlocked door and broke all the glass out.
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Exactly. The police have stated very clearly that they think it happened after the crime because this woman is sitting there wrapping presents, and somebody smashes in that window and she just keeps on wrapping her presents. No startled response. She didn`t jump up. So she didn`t hear that glass being broken. They think that what happened was, the crime went down, and afterwards, this afterthought was, Oh, wait, this doesn`t look like somebody came into the house, so let me smash out this glass and then just walk away, which is why the glass is not trampled on, carried in through the house, or there`s any blood anyplace on it.
GRACE: Pat, what jumps out at you about this crime scene?
BROWN: Well, it certainly doesn`t look like a burglar. Here`s a guy coming into the neighborhood, and he says, Which house should I pick, the one with a car in it, you know, where I know somebody`s home, or how about these other ones with no cars? And hey, that place next door, which has a UPS box sitting on the front doorstep? No, I don`t want any of those, I want the one with the car at home. I`m going to break in -- it doesn`t make sense. They could knock on a door if they were going to try that and...
GRACE: So her car was home, Pat?
BROWN: Her car was there. And so this guy had to break in, and then when he left -- what`s really strange is he didn`t leave the way he came. He should have gone out that same door, tracking all the blood out the laundry room door, because that went out the back of the house, where nobody could see him. Instead, he goes into the garage, opens up the garage door, and goes out and closes the garage door? I don`t think so. And it`s just a very poorly staged crime scene.
GRACE: OK, back to Brad Segall. He is with KYW Newsradio 1060 there in Philly. Bead, let me get this straight. So the killer comes in through one door. The door`s unlocked, but he breaks the glass out anyway -- I`m assuming the glass is on the inside and was broken from the outside in -- and then decides to leave, go through the house, go directly through the garage, lift the garage door and go out that way?
SEGALL: That`s correct. And track the blood on the boots out through that way, as well. And in addition, they say...
GRACE: OK, there`s something really wrong with this crime scene!
SEGALL: In addition, they say that the -- he also took the time to lock the family dog in one of the bedrooms, which they believe, if this was created by a burglar and it was a burglar who did, indeed, do that, they would not have taken the time to put the family dog in a bedroom. And she would not -- they don`t believe a burglar would have inflicted the kind of wounds on Ellen Robb that detectives found when they got there.
GRACE: To Caryn Stark, psychologist. Brad brings up a very good point regarding the nature of the wounds. What does this type of an intense beating about the face and head suggest?
STARK: That`s the thing that stands out the most to me, Nancy, because that tells you that the person knows the other person because it`s so angry. Her face was unrecognizable. It was severely beaten. And so a burglar would have no reason to do that. All a burglar would want would be to have her be out of the way. That`s anger, intense anger and rage.
GRACE: Speaking of Rafael Robb, the professor, take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAFAEL ROBB, WIFE MURDERED IN HOME: I`m just agitated. I prefer not to talk.
QUESTION: The police think you killed your wife. Did you kill your wife?
ROBB: No. No.
QUESTION: Absolutely not?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is not excluded as the killer, and in this case, we understand that Mrs. Robb was intending to seek a divorce from her husband, which could create -- emphasize, could create -- a possible motive for murder.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He went to turn in some grades, and he stopped, I think, to get a cup of coffee and came back to the home and made the unfortunate discovery when he got there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Let`s go out to the lines. Katie in Pennsylvania. Hi, Katie.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello.
GRACE: What`s your question, dear?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the beginning of the investigation, they had mentioned that he had called the local police number, not 911.
GRACE: Interesting. Let`s go out to his attorney. Rafael Robb`s attorney is with us tonight. He is a veteran trial lawyer, a defense attorney in that jurisdiction, Frank Genovese. Frank, thank you for being with us. Did your client call the local police number or 911?
FRANK GENOVESE, ATTORNEY FOR SUSPECT RAFAEL ROBB: Well, good evening, Nancy, and thanks for having me on the program.
GRACE: Yes, sir.
GENOVESE: There has been some confusion about that. I think the latest I had heard was that he may have called a local police number, and that may very well be because, you know, he knew that number from living in the township for a number of years. So that wouldn`t surprise me, if he called the police as opposed to 911.
GRACE: Well, I agree. I think everyone`s natural impulse is to call 911 -- mine would be -- unless, for instance, some people have it posted on their fridge. It could be by the telephone. It could be on the telephone, the local numbers.
I`ve got an issue. I don`t understand why, when you see your wife lying there, bludgeoned to death -- I think she was wrapping Christmas gifts at the time -- he would, instead of calling police immediately, go upstairs to put away his laptop.
GENOVESE: Well, as a former prosecutor, you well know you don`t always put everything in your affidavit (INAUDIBLE) probable cause. And I`m sure Mr. Casher (ph) did the same. Dr. Robb was questioned for quite some period of time on the evening that he first went to speak with the investigators, and he gave them a lengthy statement.
What he has told me that he also told them in his is that his first concern after seeing his wife, above and beyond calling the authorities, was for his daughter`s safety. That`s why he went upstairs to check the bedrooms, just to make sure that she hadn`t come home and something had happened to her, as well. So that`s why he went upstairs. He did have the laptop and the briefcase with him when he went in the house, put them down upstairs and came back down the stairs after checking on his daughter to make sure she wasn`t home. And that`s when he called the authorities.
GRACE: Hadn`t he just dropped her off at school?
GENOVESE: Well, no. That was several hours earlier. He dropped her off at school in the morning, somewhere after 8:00 AM. That was before he went down to the campus.
GRACE: And what time did she normally get home from school?
GENOVESE: She would not normally get home from school until later in the day. However, it was an early dismissal as the Christmas holiday was approaching, so she was due to come home early that day.
GRACE: Mr. Genovese, it`s my understanding your client told police that he owns several pairs of work-type boots such as Timberlands. Police believe that that is the type of shoe tracked through the home. Police could not find any such shoes in the home. Where are his shoes?
GENOVESE: Well, he also told police later that he may have gotten rid of those shoes prior to this incident occurring. So I believe he told them he may have had a pair or two of those type of work boots. When questioned more extensively, he said that he may have gotten rid of those boots before the incident occurred. Again, he cooperated fully with the investigation, gave them consent to search the entire house. My understanding is they searched the house and did not find boots of that type.
GRACE: Did they find anyone else`s fingerprints, Mr. Genovese?
GENOVESE: Well, that`s a good question. That`s something I am very interested to know, as well. Just recently this week, on Wednesday, we submitted fingerprints, palm prints, DNA samples for the district attorney to use for comparison purposes. My assumption is that he has something he wants to compare them to, so I believe they must have prints at the scene they think may be of value and they`re going to compare those to Dr. Robb`s.
GENOVESE: We`re confident that when they do, they`ll be able to rule him out as a suspect.
GRACE: Is he a U.S. citizen?
GENOVESE: Actually, I believe he has dual citizenship.
GRACE: Did police impound his car and search his car for forensics?
GENOVESE: He gave them consent to search the home, to search his car, to search his office. He gave them the clothes he was wearing. He`s freely submitted to samples of his DNA, of his fingerprints. So yes, he did give them permission to search.
GRACE: With us is Frank Genovese. He`s a veteran defense attorney, representing Professor Rafael Robb. Question. About the crime scene, about the bloody footprints leading away from his wife`s body. The perpetrator left through the garage. Did those footprints go all the way out the garage, or did they stop in the garage, where the car is?
GENOVESE: I believe that the footprints stopped in the garage.
GRACE: I`m sorry, I couldn`t hear you. Repeat?
GENOVESE: I believe the footprints stopped in the garage, Nancy. I don`t believe that the information I have, at least at this point, showed that they went outside of the garage. I don`t know, at this point, we can say the killer went out through the garage, went into the garage, stopped, came back in through the house. We`re not really sure of his manner of exit from the home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They originally thought -- when they investigated the murder, they originally thought she took a shotgun blast to the face. Turns out that she was badly beaten about the head, but it looked like she had taken a shotgun blast right to the face.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: A stay-at-home mom bludgeoned to death in her own home, her husband now emerging as a suspect, this well-respected University of Pennsylvania professor free tonight, his 12-year-old daughter living with him in the home where mom was bludgeoned to death.
Let`s go to the lines. Alice in Arizona. Hi, Alice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good evening, Nancy.
GRACE: Hi, dear.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was wondering, with the professor, since he`s of Israeli descent, would there have been cultural shame in having a divorce?
GRACE: Very interesting. Out to Caryn Stark, psychologist. What about that?
STARK: I don`t know that that`s any different, the shame in Israel, than it would be here. I mean, it just seems unusual that he would have a wife that`s dead at this particular point.
GRACE: And it`s also my understanding -- out to Alice in Arizona -- he is Israeli. She is not.
I want to go back to the conditions found at the scene, back to his attorney. Rafael Robb`s attorney is with us tonight, attorney Frank Genovese. Frank, let me get this straight. The bloody footprints, believed to be a work boot type shoe, lead from the body there in the kitchen area out a door, through the garage, and they stop in the garage. That`s where the footprints end.
GENOVESE: My understanding is you`re right. They end in the garage.
GRACE: Where the cars are?
GENOVESE: Where a car could have been, correct.
GRACE: OK. Did he park in the garage that day?
GENOVESE: Did my client park in the garage that day?
GENOVESE: Not to my knowledge.
GRACE: Well, where did he park?
GENOVESE: I believe he parked in the driveway when he came into the home, because his car was still outside, when he went out and retrieved the cell phone to make the call to the authorities.
GRACE: When he left that morning, was his car in the garage?
GENOVESE: Yes, my understanding is it was still outside when he left that morning.
GRACE: Where was her car parked?
GENOVESE: I believe it was outside in the driveway, as well. It was obvious that people could see that her car was parked in the home at the time.
GRACE: Right. So if her car was in the driveway, wasn`t somebody`s car in the garage?
GENOVESE: Well, I mean, the driveway is big enough to park cars behind each other. So no, there wouldn`t necessarily have to be a car in the garage. They have two cars in the driveway.
GRACE: Interesting. Out to Greg Skordas, defense attorney. Professor Robb gave quite a statement to police. Thoughts?
GREG SKORDAS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, this statement, the one I`ve got, is a 12-page single-spaced press release. How any prosecutor can release something like this to the public and expect to have a fair jury in any jurisdiction in this country is beyond me.
GRACE: Well, before you attack the prosecutor, I was trying to talk to you about the value of the statement that he gave police.
SKORDAS: The value of the statement that Mr. Robb gave to police?
SKORDAS: Well, he cooperated with the police fully. He was interviewed by them. He allowed them to search his house. This isn`t the acts of a man who`s trying to cover up and hide a murder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is not excluded as the killer, and in this case, we understand that Mrs. Robb was intending to seek a divorce from her husband, which could create -- emphasize could create -- a possible motive for murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: The Ivy League is considered the gold standard for education, but now they`re under scrutiny for an entirely different reason, an Ivy League professor suspected of murder.
Back out to Frank Genovese, the defense attorney in this case. Why didn`t your client admit to police they were getting a divorce?
GENOVESE: Well, Nancy, this has been going on for a long time now. Now, his wife first filed for divorce in 1993...
GRACE: He was evasive.
GENOVESE: Nothing happened with the divorce for over 10 years. (INAUDIBLE) it`s any question that there was recent talk about a divorce. In fact, they had gone so far to look for places that Mrs. Robb may want to go live and take the daughter to look at it, as well, so I don`t think the divorce in this case...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Rafael Robb earlier this week submitted palm and fingerprints, and also mouth swabs, DNA evidence, for prosecutors in Montgomery County. The next step would be getting the results of that DNA. And it`s likely, I believe, prosecutors don`t believe that it`s going to show them anything that they don`t already believe happened inside that house.
They don`t expect this to be a DNA case, because Dr. Robb lived in the house, so his DNA is going to be all throughout the house. But I guess they would use that to find out if there`s another suspect. And then the next legal step beyond that would likely be an impending arrest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Why was an innocent, stay-at-home mom, the mother of a little girl, known as the Cookie Mom at school for bringing cookies to school and arranging cookie sales, why was she bludgeoned so badly on her kitchen floor it appeared as if she had been shot with a gun in the face?
I want to go out to a special guest joining us, Dr. Daniel Spitz, forensic pathologist and medical examiner. Question, Dr. Spitz, how can they determine whether, as the affidavit says, a long, cylindrical object was used or a two-by-four was used? And also, Doctor, rigor had already set in. Her body was stiffening. Can`t we determine time of death?
DANIEL SPITZ, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, first of all, you can certainly look at the wounds and evaluate the pattern that the instrument leaves on the skin to come to a conclusion as to the type of instrument that inflicted the blows. You can usually narrow it down. You can`t exclude everything, but you can narrow is down to a cylindrical object, or...
GRACE: But if her head was smashed like a watermelon, if they thought she had been shot, if she was beaten to that degree, how can they make out any imprint?
SPITZ: Well, you can still forensically evaluate the wounds. And certainly, you can`t do it at the scene. You need to take the body back to the medical examiner department and shave the wounds and evaluate the wounds. And once you`re able to do that...
GRACE: What do you mean, "shave the wounds"? What is that?
SPITZ: Well, you shave the hair around the wound...
GRACE: The hair around the wound.
SPITZ: ... so that you can forensically evaluate them, and measure them, and do the analysis that`s needed to come to a conclusion as to the type of object that was used to inflict the wounds.
In regards to the rigor and the cooling of the body, certainly that tells you that she had been dead for certainly several hours, which puts her death several hours before the noon hour, if she was found at 1:30.
GRACE: When you say "several hours," what do you mean by several hours? And her body was cold.
SPITZ: Yes, if her body was cold and the rigor had set in, that takes several hours. Certainly, it could be four, five hours. It could be a little bit longer. But certainly it fits with her death occurring...
GRACE: What`s the minimum? What`s the minimum time, four hours?
SPITZ: Well, it depends on the environment. And assuming that her environment was a room-temperature-type, comfortable environment, certainly four or five hours would be very consistent.
GRACE: Let`s backtrack then. If he comes home -- let`s just say 1:15, because he makes a call at 1:45 -- we`re backtracking four hours, give me your best estimate of the time of death.
SPITZ: Sometime in the morning hours of that same day.
GRACE: So 1:00, 12:00, 11:00, 10:00, he leaves that morning at 9:30. So that`s giving us a 30-minute to one-hour window when someone comes into a clearly occupied home and commits hari-kari.
Another issue, we just spoke to his attorney -- a veteran trial lawyer, I might add -- representing this Ivy League professor, Frank Genovese, who states that his client did not likely park in the garage. Good that you`re saying that, because the bloody footprints go to the garage where the car would have been. Then it all stops. They don`t leave the garage. They don`t backtrack into the house.
But in the affidavit that police have, Jean, I recall something very different.
JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV: Well, now we`re talking about after he says that he has gotten home and he realizes he has to make a call to 911 and has to get a phone, so he goes for his cell phone. And he goes -- quote, he says, "He went through the garage to his car," where he retrieved his cell phone and called police."
So through the garage -- does that mean literally through it to the outside, or through it to where the car is in the garage? That shows he has a habit of parking inside the garage.
GRACE: Frank? Frank Genovese, does he park in the garage?
FRANK GENOVESE, ATTORNEY FOR RAFAEL ROBB: I believe, from what I know from Dr. Robb, he parked in the driveway. His wife`s car was also in the driveway that day; that`s why it was visible from the street. It would have been obvious to people that her car was there.
I believe he pulled in behind that car, both when he came home in the morning, after dropping his daughter off from school, and then when he came back home in the afternoon, after coming back from campus. So when he says he went through garage to his car to retrieve his cell phone, he literally means he walked...
GRACE: But why would he do that if you have to lift the garage door, instead of just walking out the door to it?
GENOVESE: Well, I think you have to put yourself in his shoes, and you also have to remember, if you put 10 people in that situation, presented with the circumstances that he found, you`d probably have 10 different reactions. So I think, while the D.A. is trying to make his actions look suspicious, not everyone reactions the same way under the same circumstances.
GRACE: Let`s go out to...
GENOVESE: And that he walked through the garage to get his car, I don`t find that unusual, certainly not suspicious enough to charge him with murder.
GRACE: OK, if I had to go through the door, walk through the garage, manually lift the garage door to get to the cell phone to call 911, after I decided not to use the one in the kitchen by the dead body, yes, I got a problem with that.
GENOVESE: What Mr. Castor didn`t put in his affidavit was that Dr. Robb told him that he could not find the phone that was normally in the kitchen. It was not in its cradle.
GRACE: OK. Let`s go out to the lines. Lisa in Massachusetts, hi, Lisa.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy. Was the house actually burglarized?
GRACE: You know, that`s a great question, because everything I`ve looked at, Brad Segall -- Brad joining us from KYW NewsRadio 1060 -- I can`t find a list of anything stolen. Where`s the inventory list? What was taken, TV, VCR, DVD?
BRAD SEGALL, KYW NEWSRADIO: That`s correct, Nancy. There is no -- at least as far as what we`ve been told, there is no list of any inventory of any items that were stolen from that house.
GRACE: Frank, did the burglar take anything?
GENOVESE: Well, obviously, Dr. Robb didn`t have a chance to take an inventory of the house on the day that it happened. Once he reported the incident to the authorities, things happened pretty quickly from there. So there was no report.
GRACE: Was anything taken?
GENOVESE: To the best of my knowledge, at this point, no, I can`t say that there was.
GRACE: Out to Kathy in West Virginia. Hi, Kathy.
CALLER: Hello, Nancy. You`re wonderful. And I love you.
GRACE: Tell that to the defense bar. You can tell Mickey and Greg Skordas that in a few moments. What`s your question, dear?
CALLER: Well, basically my question is, what her time of death was, but you addressed that first before I got to you. But I want to know how it fits into his time line. I mean, how easy would it be for him to murder his wife and then say, "OK, I`m going to leave and create a time line that I was gone, and then come back"?
GRACE: What about it, Jean?
CASAREZ: Well, it`s interesting. Dr. Robb said, when he left that morning, that she was wrapping presents. Well, she had only wrapped two presents when she was murdered, and she didn`t even have the to-and-from card on the second present attached to the gift. So that means, according to the statement, she was murdered very close in time to when he left that morning.
GRACE: Let`s go out to Mickey Sherman and Greg Skordas, our lawyers joining us tonight, in addition to Frank Genovese. Mickey, what`s your best advice at this juncture? And what do you think is the strongest evidence the state has? I`m throwing you a little boomerang. It may come back and hit me in the head. Go ahead.
MICKEY SHERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: My best advice is to stay with attorney Genovese, because it sounds like he`s doing a hell of a job, and he`s got a great handle on this case. And I don`t know him.
GRACE: And he knows how that garage door works, too, very important, in my mind.
SHERMAN: But he`s explaining the things extremely carefully, and not stammering, and stuttering, trying to come up with the right answer. He`s coming up with the true answer.
And what he`s doing is pointing out what the problem is here, and that is that this investigation -- and everyone here on this panel, except myself and the other defense attorney and, of course, Mr. Genovese -- really is just trying to explain why there is so much confirmation that this is the bad guy and this is the killer, as opposed to really looking for or seeking information that maybe it`s somebody else.
GRACE: OK, you know what? I don`t know what you just said, but I think you just said keep your lawyer. What about it, Greg Skordas?
GREG SKORDAS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I think Mr. Genovese certainly knows what he`s doing. He`s giving his client good advice.
And, by the way, the client cooperated with the police early on, led them through the house, walked them through the house, sat down with them and gave them his explanation of what he had done that morning, provided them with every place he had been. This man`s been cooperative, even though he`s had an attorney.
GRACE: Yes, he certainly had that alibi down pat. Let`s go out to Sue in Pennsylvania. Hi, Sue.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy. I just have a quick question. You`re talking about the footsteps by the going into the garage and stuff. If the husband also went by the body, shouldn`t there be two different sets of footsteps with two different types of shoes?
GRACE: Repeat, Sue?
CALLER: I`m just curious, with the footprints that were going to the garage and everything, if the husband went from the body, shouldn`t there be two separate kinds of footprints? Shouldn`t there be two different types of shoes through the bloody prints?
GRACE: What about it, Brad?
SEGALL: I`m not sure I understand the question real well, Nancy. You were talking about the time when he got back home?
GRACE: I think she`s talking about after the body was found and he went back out to his car.
SEGALL: Why would there be two sets of footprints?
GRACE: Because he had been around the body and touched the body. She was lying in a pool of blood.
SEGALL: Still not sure I understand that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CANDY ARNOLD, MOTHER OF MURDER VICTIM: You talk about terrorism overseas. We`re being held captive. This shouldn`t go on any longer. We have to say "stop." This is America.
He had a special place in his heart for children, young children. He volunteered for summer camps in the city of Silver City, where we live. And he was just a real special young man.
Nick had a special place in his heart for kids, and especially youth at risk. He always kind of felt like there wasn`t enough done and, instead of being part of the problem, he wanted to be part of the solution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: A 20-year-old college student chasing the all-American dream, and he finally got it, a four-year scholarship, football scholarship, and he was a star on the field and in the classroom, known as the peacemaker amongst all of his friends, the good guy, the good boy, until he lost his life in a hail of bullets.
And now, the confessed killer -- repeat, the confessed killer -- is walking free without a trial. I don`t like it. Jean Casarez, what happened?
CASAREZ: Well, the judge dismissed the charges; that is right. And the reason the judge dismissed the charges is that he found that the statement, the confession, that the gentleman made that was charged with first-degree murder was coerced by law enforcement. He suppressed the statement, meaning it would not come into trial, but then dismissed all the charges.
GRACE: OK. What was in the statement that we know of?
CASAREZ: I think he actually confessed. I think, because up to that point, it was just circumstantially someone believed he was the one that had killed Nicholas Lee Arnold, but he confessed.
GRACE: But why? Why was there a shooting to start with?
CASAREZ: Well, I think it possibly had to do with the car they were in that was recognized as being another type of car. They were at a fast- food place. It was late at night. Three young men, totally innocent, just sitting eating hamburgers, bullets came at them, and Nicholas Lee Arnold was the one that was killed.
GRACE: Well, this is what I know, in addition to what Jean knows. When detectives were questioning Oliveras (ph) about the shooting at first, he said he didn`t know anything about it, then finally admitted he owned the SKS rifle involved, that it was his car in the shooting.
He went on to describe the shooting and then invoked his right to remain silent, according to him, nine times. Police continued to ask him questions, and that is why the judge threw out the confession.
Joining us tonight is a very special guest, Candy Arnold. This is the victim`s mother.
Ms. Arnold, thank you for being with us.
ARNOLD: Nancy, thank you for having me.
GRACE: I`m stunned. March, last year, we found out that these charges were going to be dropped. The prosecutor said then they were working up the case. There`s more than one way to skin a cat, Ms. Arnold. You don`t have to have a confession in every case.
For instance, how about the eyewitnesses? Who were the two people sitting in the backseat? They can`t even find that out, for Pete`s sake? They would know, in the killer`s car. Wouldn`t they be witnesses, Ms. Arnold?
ARNOLD: If they could find them.
GRACE: What are police doing to reignite this case?
ARNOLD: The police are working on a regular basis on this case. They are going through different sweeps, different investigations, and trying to get witnesses to come forward during different gang sweeps, neighborhood sweeps, other arrests that are being made for other charges, and to see if they can get some kind of information or some kind of deal with someone there in the city of Tucson.
GRACE: Let me put this tip line out there: 520-882-7463. Don`t let the murder of this all-American offensive lineman go unavenged. Don`t give Lady Justice a kick in the teeth.
This man wanted to help others. He wanted to become a juvenile probation officer, helping other young people in trouble. Instead, he has become a victim in our own criminal justice system. Take a look.
Let`s go out to the lawyers. Joining us again tonight, Greg Skordas and Mickey Sherman, both veteran trial lawyers. Now, Mickey, you`ve handled a lot of high-profile cases. But dare I mention the name, Michael Skakel, the Kennedy cousin, ultimately convicted of the death of a 15-year- old girl, Martha Moxley. And that case took 25 years to bring to a jury.
And it wasn`t what your client, Skakel, said to cops that got him in hot water. It`s what he allegedly said to other people. Now, I know you claim it was all taken out of context, they were all liars.
SHERMAN: It`s baloney. It`s baloney. Absolute baloney. He was wrongfully convicted.
GRACE: Yes, yes, I don`t want to rehash Skakel. But my point is, because I think he did it and so did a jury, but it`s not always what you say to cops. Even if that confession is thrown out, what about what he may have said to other people?
SHERMAN: Well, certainly, that was a problem with Michael Skakel`s case. It was the statements made to other people, allegedly. They turned out to be bogus. But, as you say, the jury found him guilty. I`m not going to go there.
But, you know, the real anger here -- and my heart goes out to Mrs. Arnold -- the real anger here is not necessarily with the criminal justice system. I think the judge did their best and the state`s attorney and the prosecutors obviously trying to do their best.
But cops should know better. You don`t let somebody invoke their right to not speak and then nine times -- maybe once or twice, you`re making a mistake, you`re being sloppy. But nine times, it`s deliberate. And that`s why we have rules. And it stinks.
GRACE: Well, that is why we have the Miranda rules, why you have the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
And to you, Greg Skordas, there`s also this tact and that is, if any confession was made before he invoked his right to remain silent, that portion of the confession under the Constitution should be allowed in.
SKORDAS: Right. And apparently though, Nancy, what he said before the police violated his constitutional and Miranda rights was that he didn`t participate in this or that he had no involvement or knew nothing about it.
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Nancy, has been around for over 200 years. The Supreme Court reminded us all that we need to remind people of that by the Miranda warnings over 40 years ago. So for the detectives to do this at this stage...
GRACE: Right. Yes, I`m very familiar with the Constitution being around 200 years.
Very quickly, to Jose Robles, this is our guest joining us tonight who is actually representing the alleged shooter in this case, welcome, sir. Question: Are prosecutors working on reigniting the case against your client?
JOSE ROBLES, ATTORNEY FOR ORIGINAL SUSPECT: That I don`t know.
GRACE: Would your client be interested at all in cutting a deal?
ROBLES: Well, there`s no deal to cut. He had nothing to do with the shooting.
GRACE: Well, he confessed.
ROBLES: I beg to differ on that one, because, for one, he tried to -- he did invoke his rights right at the onset of this whole thing.
GRACE: Well, it doesn`t mean he didn`t confess.
ROBLES: No. Well, if you look at the entirety of the case, nine times he invoked and 69 times he denied he had anything to do with this, and they continued to test him, to coerce him to make statements.
GRACE: Man, what a week in America`s courtrooms. Take a look at the stories and, more important, the people who touched all of our lives.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Hold that Diet Coke! I`ll take the frozen O.J. That`s right, frozen O.J. Finally, a judge takes justice into his own hands, freezing assets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Part of what took a little bit of time is just trying to ascertain how best to proceed in the face of conflicting reports and conflicting evidence about what monies were being paid and where they were being paid to.
GRACE: Twin infants snatched away, the kidnapper eluding cops in a cat-and-mouse game.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are witnesses who saw her with these twins, who saw what a wonderful mother she was.
GRACE: Ricki, Ricki, long story short, in order to hold on to this boy, this on-and-off lover, she decides to adopt the kids. Now they`re happily adopted with the Needhams and -- ruh, roh -- she wants them all back, and they all end up in Canada.
A hysterectomy ordered for a 6-year-old girl? A child frozen in time. They say it`s for her own good. But my question is: Is it even legal?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m really disturbed about the sanctimonious criticism that the parents have received.
GRACE: Before you label everyone that is in not agreement with the parents as sanctimonious, remember, everyone has their burden to bear, sir, just as these parents do.
A 20-year-old college student chasing the all-American dream, but his life cut short in a hail of bullets.
ARNOLD: No one can ever know the impact that it`s had on our family. Nicholas was just a light.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: And the tip line in the Nicholas Arnold case, the victim, we`ll have on our Web site, 520-882-7463.
Let`s stop to remember Army Lieutenant Paul Finken, 40, of Iowa, killed, Iraq. A West Point grad with the Bronze Star, he served as an adviser to the Army Brigade, a devoted husband and dad, volunteered at his kids` school, leaves behind a huge family, a grieving widow, Jackie, and three little girls. Paul Finken, American hero.
Thank you to all of our guests, but our biggest thank you tonight and every night is to you for being with us. A special good night tonight from the New York control room. Night, Liz.
NANCY GRACE signing off tonight. See you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. Until then, good night, friend.