Edition: U.S. | Arabic | Set Pref

 

Return to Transcripts main page

ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Caylee`s Remains Identified

Aired December 19, 2008 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JANE VALEZ-MITCHELL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Breaking news tonight, America finally hears the heartbreaking words all of us has been dreading. It`s now official. The remains found just blocks from the Anthony family home has been positively identified.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. JAN GARAVAGLIA, MEDICAL EXAMINER, ORANGE COUNTY, FL.: With regret, I`m here to inform you that the skeletal remains found on December 11th, are those of the missing toddler, Caylee Anthony.

As our usual protocol, the next of kin has been notified prior to making this information public.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VALEZ-MITCHELL: The announcement that the remains are little Caylee`s comes after the FBI`s forensic lab in Virginia matched a known sample of Caylee`s DNA with bones found in those woods. Caylee went missing in June. Her mother is charged with murdering her. Today the medical examiner also spoke of the manner of death.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GARAVAGLIA: The manner of death, though, is an opinion based on available information, including examination of the body, information from the scene, as well as circumstantial evidence. Based on all of this, the manner of death in this case is homicide. The cause of death will be listed as homicide by undetermined means.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VALEZ-MITCHELL: This is very, very sad. The medical examiner`s conclusion, little Caylee Anthony was murdered, but she added they cannot determine how. Meantime, another stunning development. The meter reader who found the skull called authorities three times back in August about this same location. That utility worker, Roy Kronk spoke out today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROY KRONK, UTILITY WORKER: On Thursday, on December 11, during the course of my duties as a county employee I discovered and reported to my management and appropriate authorities the remains of a human body. Back in August of this year, I had previously reported to Crime Line and to the sheriff`s communication center that I spotted something suspicious, a bag in the same area. I have been, and will continue to cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation by the sheriff`s office and the FBI.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Cops say Roy Kronk is not - not -- not a suspect. That he is a concerned citizen. Still, there are tons of unanswered questions. I want to hear your thoughts, call 1-877-586-7297, with your questions or comments tonight. Call me with your questions or comments.

Tonight, I am joined by Zach Stein, I reporter with WDBO Radio in Orlando, and my expert panel, Brian Russell, a forensic psychologist, Jayne Weintraub, a criminal defense attorney, Wendy Murphy, a former prosecutor and author of "And Justice For Some." and Doctor Bill Manion, a pathologist and assistant medical examiner for Burlington County, New Jersey.

I have to say to the entire panel, this is such sad news, and we`ve all become so emotionally invested it really pains me to have to report that. But that`s what happened today

Zach, you`ve been covering this from the beginning, the medical examiner spoke about the lack of tissue on the skeleton and the lack of trauma to the skeleton. What exactly did she say?

ZACH STEIN, REPORTER, WDBO RADIO: Well, the thing is, summer in Orlando, very hot. Even if they had found the body back in August, if deputies had been able to be a little bit more thorough, the searchers, and find the evidence then, there -- they are saying they don`t know if they would have had any sampling then. I mean, these bones, they have been clean. It could have happened as soon as two or three weeks after they had been out there. They are waiting for toxicology to come back. That might give them a little bit more information, but the bottom line is, as you heard Doctor G, the medical examiner, say earlier they don`t know if they`ll ever actually know a manner of death. However, the fact that everything is so clean. That there had obviously been no trauma, that tells you this must have happened in some way, that you know - it`s a bizarre - the story gets weirder since I talked to you last week.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes, it just gets stranger and stranger.

STEIN: We know, and we don`t know.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: And just when you think it`s gotten the strangest it could possibly get there`s a left turn and it gets even stranger. We`ll talk about the meter reader in just a second.

STEIN: Right.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Because that is the strangest development, perhaps, of all. But first, let`s talk about these medical examiner`s findings for a second. Jane Weintraub, you`re a criminal defense attorney, obviously, the defense is all about creating reasonable doubt. So if you have no tissue, no trauma to the body, no confession, no murder weapon, and you do have a body how this entire -- everything we learned today play out for the prosecution and the defense?

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, for the prosecution, remember, Jane, they have already charged Ms. Anthony with first-degree murder, not by premeditation. In Florida we have a felony murder rule. They have plead this case very specifically. Count two is aggravated child abuse, first-degree felony, and therefore, if a murder happened in the course thereof, that`s how they get a first-degree murder eligible for a capitol case.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Say that in English, please.

WEINTRAUB: Remember.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Say it in English what`s are you trying to say there?

VALEZ-MITCHELL: You know what they have to prove?

VALEZ-MITCHELL: What are you trying to say there?

WEINTRAUB: They have to prove that she maliciously hurt that child, physically abused by way of evidence that child, in order to get a first- degree murder. They will never be able to prove that, number one. Number two, what is extraordinary to me is how do they determine it`s a homicide and, yet, rule out an accident? How do they do that?

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Interesting. Wendy Murphy -

(CROSS TALK)

You`re the former prosecutor. I know that you have a different opinion from what we just heard. But, I have to say that I agree with JD to this extent. They talked about no tissue. We had heard that the duct tape was over the mouth. Well, the duct tape is never put over a skeleton. It`s put over somebody`s tissue, if there`s no tissue how do they know the duct tape was on the mouth?

WENDY MURPHY, FMR. CRIMINAL PROSECUTOR: Well, thank you for at least pointing out that the duct tape being in the area of the mouth is at least some evidence that something abusive happened to the child. Because I know Jayne will not be able to cite an example where a parent lovingly taped their child`s mouth shut. But in addition, we know, at least a little bit about this possibility of drugs being introduced into this child`s body and that`s not an accident either, Jayne. Look, at least -

WEINTRAUB: But that`s not murder either, Wendy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it`s aggravated abuse.

(CROSS TALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s abuse that causes murder, gee.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: OK, -- wait. Wait. Let`s let a guy weigh in. Brian Russell, you were saying it is aggravated abuse?

BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: If they find Zanex, or chloroform in that hair, even though it will have been - it will have predated the death by some time, because that stuff - and Bill Manion can weigh in on this - that stuff shows up over time as the hair grows. Still, if that stuff was in that girl`s body at all that`s aggravated child abuse.

WEINTRAUB: No it isn`t, not under Florida law. I beg to differ, but I just so happen to have 827 with me and I`ll read it to you.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Well, don`t read the whole thing, please.

WEINTRAUB: Aggravated child abuse is torture, punish, or unlawfully cage somebody. Knowingly cause permanent damage. That`s not -

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Well, if you drug your child --

WEINTRAUB: No, no, no, not chloroform.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: I think it`s opened for debate. Let`s get to Doctor Bill Manion, who is a forensic pathologist. The toxicology test, Doctor, they are still being done although the medical examiner today said the chances of them revealing that much significant are minimal because of the levels. What did she mean? Will they be looking for drugs like Zanex and chloroform, which we all know is connected to this case?

DR. BILL MANION, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Yes. The bones have been skeletonized. That means all tissue - all the soft tissue is gone. The bones have been examined very carefully for any knife marks or bullet scratches, any fractures. The fact that there were no fractures found is kind of defense in these child abuse cases because often times battered children will have evidence of previous fractures that were never treated, never taken to the hospital or doctor. So there were no rib fractures. No fractures of the extremities that I heard reported so far. So that is - that`s the defense. But in terms of the drugs, the only - I think the only tissue available to be studied for drugs probably the marrow, which is within the bones and if there was any chance that any of that marrow remained moist enough that they could get something out of it possibly they can.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: And the hair?

MANION: And hair, also.

STEIN: Well, that`s what they`re going of the to do. The trunk of the car tested for unusual high levels of chloroform. Casey Anthony`s computer had a history of her searching on how to make chloroform. What was chloroform? It`s going to be a lot of circumstantial evidence and if you can get the toxicology that shows that she has a high levels of chloroform in whatever remains that they have and you put all that together, I think, that`s where this is going to go.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Doctor Manion, here is what I don`t understand. They said no trauma to the skeleton. Yet, the skull was found in the bag. So the skull was severed from the rest of the body. How can they tell that`s not trauma? That that happened naturally? Because, remember, there were searches on Casey Anthony`s computer for neck breaking.

MANION: OK, but I think that animals sometimes get at these remains and cause separation of the body. And I believe I heard -- didn`t that worker that found the bag, didn`t he say he picked up the bag and the skull rolled out?

VALEZ-MITCHELL: That`s what I`m saying. That is precisely what I`m saying.

WEINTRAUB: Exactly, Doctor. There was no broken neck.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy, how would they prove that this was premeditated?

MURPHY: Look, I`m not interested in looking for broken bones. It would be good if there was a lot of broken bones, you can make the argument that she was a historically battered child. I`m very, very taken by the drug evidence and I`m have happy they are going to be able to measure the hair and hopefully, the marrow as well. Listen, when we`re talking about Zanex and chloroform in a little kid`s body. You know when that stuff is commonly used? To sedate kids for porn, when parents pimp their kids for porn and sexual favors, when they sell their kids, they sedate them.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Well, nothing has ever been said about that in this case.

MURPHY: No, but that what I`m saying is they die by accidents sometimes. I`m not saying that`s what`s happening here. I`m saying that is why drugs like that are used to sedate the kids so they cooperate.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: You are saying that could be a factor in proving first degree murder?

WEINTRAUB: Because she died by accident, that would mean manslaughter, Wendy.

MURPHY: No, that`s aggravated child abuse when you give your kid so much Zanex and chloroform, whether it is for porn or anything else, that they die!

VALEZ-MITCHELL: But aggravated child abuse is not the same as first- degree murder, right?

WEINTRAUB: That`s correct. Aggravated child abuse, they have to prove in order to get the first-degree murder conviction, according to the way they indicted this case.

MURPHY: It`s not aggravated child abuse to give your kid so much chloroform and Zanex they drop dead?

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. That, I think, is a very plausible argument. But, again, she`s just been charged. We haven`t gone to trial yet.

Hold all your thoughts. I`ll be taking your calls for the full hour. At 1-877-JVMSAYS, That is 1-877-586-7297. Sound off on this tragic development in the Caylee Anthony case. It turns my stomach. It`s so sad to be talking about these gruesome details involving this angelic little child . It`s official now, the remains are Caylee`s. The story has touched so many people across he country and those working to the case are very emotional tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHERIFF KEVIN BEARY, ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA: I think there`s been an open wound in the community. And I believe we can start putting some closure to those open wounds and -- having a kid -- you know, I`ve raised two girls. Goodness, gracious. As Steve Ibisen said, from the FBI, bottom line is, folks, no child should have to go through this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GARAVAGLIA: The manner of death, though, is an opinion based on available information including examination of the body, information from the scene, as well as circumstantial evidence. Based on all of this, the manner of death in this case is homicide. The cause of death will be listed as homicide by undetermined means.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Today the remains of little Caylee Anthony finally identified. We may never know the circumstances of how she died but we do know now, it was murder, according to the medical examiner. I want to hear your thoughts, call 1-877-JVMSAYS, that is 1-877-586-7297.

And in just a moment, we`ll talk with our panel about these crazy, crazy side story of the meter reader, but the phone lines are lighting up.

Let`s go to Beverly in New York, your question or thought, Ma`am?

CALLER: Hi, Jane.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Hey.

CALLER: My question is, the duct tape around the skull. Since it was underwater for so long, would there still be able to identify fingerprints off of that?

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Doctor Bill Manion?

MANION: It`s very possible to find fingerprints and even find the epithelial cells. They may be able to find the DNA in the epithelial cells and find out who handled that duct tape when it was applied.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Mary from Montana, question or thought?

CALLER: Hi. I have two thoughts. What gets me is, OK, I have four kids, a five year old and a seven-year-old little boy, a three-year-old little girl, and two-year-old little girl. What gets me, because I`ve watched this from the beginning, how is it that Casey can sit there and turn around and hide from -- like not reporting her daughter missing until a month later? And then turn around and lie to cops about it, and like pull everybody around. And then, what I want to know is, how did she react when she found out her daughter was dead?

VALEZ-MITCHELL: OK, fabulous question. Zach Stein, what happened in terms of Casey Anthony today, as the medical examiner handed out this news? How was the family informed?

STEIN: Well, the first person that they notified was Casey Anthony at the jail and there was some controversy around that. Jose Baez (ph), Casey`s attorney said, I want to be told first and I will tell my clients. I want to handle the sensitive information. He waited and waited and stepped out for a moment and that`s when a chaplain came in and told Casey the news. Her reaction as not been reported because as I told you last week, last time that they - you know, when they found the body she had a panic attack and had to be se stated.

And Jose Baez (ph) realizes that this kind of information could come back to haunt them during the trial. So today he was mum and they are still maintaining that Casey is innocent and there are details that are going to come out during the trial that will blow the lid off of all this and there are all these stories that we don`t know, so they say.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s put it this way, this whole side story about the meter reader is certainly quite fascinating.

STEIN: Yes.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: I have to got Jayne Weintraub`s reaction to this. We have actually got a timeline that I want to put up because it`s a mind blower. And you have to look at the details. We all have to play detective here.

This guy, by the way, not considered a suspect, a concerned citizen. But there are a whole bunch of conflicting reports about what he did, and when he did, but the bottom line is this. This is according to the "Orlando Sentinel"

He sees a suspicious bag by the side of the road on August 11, and he calls in a tip. This is the very same location where they found the body a week ago yesterday. Deputy arrives finds nothing, Kronk is not there when the deputy arrives. Then August 12, the next day, he calls in a tip again. Says, hey, check out this location, the very place where the bones were later found. The call was handled by Crime Line, they noted the area was searched by cadaver dog. Nothing happened.

August 13, Kronk calls in the tip for the third time. Two deputies respond, they search the area and they find nothing, but this time, they actually talk to Kronk. This makes absolutely no sense to me, Wendy Murphy, whatsoever. If he saw a bag by the side of the road and it`s the same bag that had the skull, wouldn`t he have looked in it? If he looked in it and seen the skull we wouldn`t be here? Or if he didn`t see the skull, how would he know this was a suspicious location that he had to keep calling the cops over and over again?

MURPHY: Well, let me say this: I think that`s an incredibly important question we yet don`t know the answer. But he did say it was a gray bag. So, we don`t know whether he saw the same bag. But here`s something interesting. Guess what happened about four days later around August 18?

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yeah, I know.

MURPHY: Tropical Storm Fay pounded that area and buried that exact piece of land in tons and tons of water, so it is quite possible -

(CROSS TALK)

VALEZ-MITCHELL: I have to go to Zach Stein on this because, what is the significance of the timing? On August 11, 12 and 13, was this area underwater?

STEIN: Well, yes, after Tropical Storm Fay, but not before. But an important thing, the sheriff`s department is admitting that they are not happy with how any of this was handled and there will be an internal investigation because there are reports coming out right now saying there were snakes in the area and the deputies were not comfortable going in the area because there were rattle snakes and they went ahead and cleared the scene. Now we know the significance. The sheriff`s department is going to look at it themselves and say maybe we didn`t do something right here. And unfortunate that will bode well for the defense.

(CROSS TALK)

WEINTRAUB: Keep your eye on the ball, Zach. Keep your eye on the ball. Who cares about an internal investigation of some dumb deputy that blew it?

MURPHY: It`s not going to help the defense.

(CROSS TALK)

WEINTRAUB: .benefits by the passage of time.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: It totally helps the defense, reasonable doubt, reasonable doubt.

WEINTRAUB: Reasonable doubt, what? The cops didn`t see the bag.

(CROSS TALK)

WEINTRAUB: Maybe the body wasn`t there.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to continue this.

(CROSS TALK)

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Zach, I wanted to thank you so much for joining us. Your great reporting on this case.

Hang tight panel, I want to take a moment to remember how this little child, such a vibrant and joyous presence on this Earth before her young life was tragically cut short.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAYLEE ANTHONY (SINGING): You`ll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please, don`t take my sunshine away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KRONK: On Thursday, December 11, during the course of my duties as a county employee I discover and reported to my management and appropriate authorities the remains of a human body. Back in August of this year I had previously reported to the Crime Line and to the sheriff`s communication`s center that I had spotted something suspicious, a bag in the same area. I have been and will continue to cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation by the sheriff`s office and the FBI.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VALEZ-MITCHELL: We`re back taking your calls on what is an incredibly sad day for those that loved little Caylee Anthony. And, really, for the entire country.

The medical examiner announced today the remains found in the woods are those of little Caylee. She is dead. And so many people had become very emotionally invested in the story so it`s heartbreaking for all of us. It`s a very depressing day.

Linda from South Carolina, your question or thought?

CALLER: Yes, my comment is everybody is jumping on this meter reader and back in that time, it was before they had -- the sheriff`s office found out that Caycee been dating two police officers.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, you are so right.

CALLER: Could one of them have possibly have gone to the site when the calls were made and been possibly protecting her?

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Brian Russell, I don`t know about two police officers but I know that one deputy was fired on August 22 and he admitted to having an intimate relationship with Casey Anthony, the toddler`s mom, and these calls were made an August 11, 12 and 13. Are we trying to connect too many dots here?

RUSSELL: Yes, I don`t we have any evidence yet that the cops did anything intentionally wrong. I know it doesn`t look good that they got these reports and they didn`t find these remains until recently. But in their defense, they did sweep the area with cadaver dogs and the body may have been covered with pesticide, which would have obscured the scent.

(CROSS TALK)

WEINTRAUB: They changed the color of the bag from grey on the side of the road, to black on the other side of the road?

RUSSELL: It might have been a different bag.

WEINTRAUB: Because the flood - well, that`s what was so suspicious, that gray bag. And the flood wouldn`t have changed the color. And you know what the meter reader said today? He said in his press conference today that it was animals that might have moved it. What is this, Lassie go home, the dog took it very gently across the way?

(CROSS TALK)

VALEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Murphy, you have to agree with Jayne Weintraub, that something doesn`t make sense about all of this. I mean, we all - I walked to work today. I saw about 25,000 bags on the way to work. Of course, this is New York City.

But nevertheless, a bag on the side of the road in and of itself isn`t necessarily suspicious. Admittedly, and I think we do have a Google map of the area, it is close to the Anthony home but it`s not at the Anthony home. I mean, there are plenty of other places that you could conceivably look for this little child. In fact, they looked many other places, what was it - if this man didn`t look in the bag and didn`t see the skull, if he has no connection to the Anthony family whatsoever, which is what he said, how is it that he knew this bag was "the bag" that was so suspicious? And if he did, why didn`t he look inside the bag? And if he looked inside the bag and didn`t find a skull, then it`s not the same bag. So, why would he keep call - it doesn`t make any sense.

MURPHY: I agree with you. It`s weird.

WEINTRAUB: Because only the criminal returns to the scene of the crime, over and over.

MURPHY: Oh, stop, Jayne, shame on you. It`s really weird. But let`s also remember Richard Jewel. This is a huge case, right?

VALEZ-MITCHELL: He is not a suspect, not a suspect.

MURPHY: Everyone is watching. Richard Jewel was one of these super duper helper types that wanted to be a hero. What was Jayne saying about him, back then? Leave the guy alone, he`s innocent. Turns out she was right, but that also could be what this guy is doing.

VALEZ-MITCHELL: We have to go. But I have to re-emphasize, the police are saying he`s a good citizen and not a suspect. But it is weird. OK,

The phone lines are lighting up. Call 1-877-JVMSAYS. Tell me what you think about this case.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. JAN GARAVAGLIA, MEDICAL EXAMINER, ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA: With regret I`m here to inform you that the skeletal remains found on December 11th are those of the missing toddler, Caylee Anthony. As our usual protocol, the next of kin has been notified prior to making this information public.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN ANCHOR: With that tragic announcement we enter a new chapter in the Caylee Anthony case. Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS, that`s 1-877- 586-7297.

How long do you think we`ll have to wait for justice? Her mother is charged with the murder but the trial is still months away.

Tonight America finally gets this very sad news we`ve dreaded hearing. The remains found just blocks from the Anthony family home have been positively ID`ed as those of Caylee Anthony; the manner of death is homicide. The announcement comes after the FBI`s forensic lab in Virginia matched a known sample of Caylee`s DNA with bones found more than a week ago.

The utility worker who found the skull had called authorities three times in August with similar tips about the same location. What does it mean? That`s what we`re trying to figure out with our expert panel and the phone lines lighting up.

Charlyn in Texas, thank you for your patience ma`am, you`re question or thought?

CHARLYN IN TEXAS: Thank you Jane, my question is for the people that are taking the defense position and I don`t understand the whole reason for the question on the first-degree murder or the malicious intent?

I mean, she basically has shown all along that she`s lied. There are no real suspects. For the lack of evidence, any other reason or any other person would allude to the fact that, you know, we know who the person is here and I don`t understand that malicious intent issue.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right Jayne, I`m going to -- bottom line, they think she`s guilty and we don`t know that. Her trial hasn`t even started but they`re like, hey, this is an open and shut.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: And here`s the problem. Number one, you have to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. You can`t just speculate, have a really good gut feeling or think about it. You have to have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, whether it`s circumstantial or direct, eyewitness or scientific, you have to have evidence.

Feeling and thinking it and acting, she acted weird, being a bad mother, guilty; being out partying -- guilty. That doesn`t equate to first-degree murder, it just doesn`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy, reasonable doubt, and again, this man is not a suspect. He`s a good citizen, according to police, who happens to be -- probably a brilliant detective. Maybe he should switch careers and become a detective.

But does this open the door for the defense to create reasonable doubt?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes, of course, of course. The defense will point to God almighty as a suspect, if they can. I mean, they`ll blame Jayne Weintraub as their plan B suspect, if they could because she lives in Florida.

They will make a mess out of anything that doesn`t make it legitimate. It doesn`t mean there`s any validity to it. They love the fact that this guy did something odd because they`re going to turn odd into reasonable doubt.

But you know what, you have to put together a bunch of dopes for jurors in order for them to latch on a completely made up theory about the fact that the guy was there and acted weird becomes he is a killer?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, Brian Russell, it said maybe the body wasn`t there in August. That`s what I think they could create.

MURPHY: But that doesn`t help Caylee. That doesn`t help Casey at all, though.

BRIAN RUSSELL, PH.D., PSYCHOLOGIST/ATTORNEY: Jane, I said that the behavior, not just of the parties to these things, but also of jurors. And I think that we`ve got two terrific lawyers in Wendy Murphy and Jayne Weintraub.

But I believe that if I had 12 jurors here in my studio with me wired up to response meters, Wendy would be winning this debate tonight.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course she would. But -- we haven`t got a trial yet.

Listen to Casey Anthony`s attorney. He was on "The Today Show" this morning before the remains were officially identified. But listen to what he has to say about the meter reader.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSE BAEZ, CASEY ANTHONY`S ATTORNEY: If you look at the facts and you look at the circumstances, we`re going to question it. We`re going to challenge the evidence in due course and it`s not necessarily about that they could have cracked the case months ago. It`s certain actions.

And until everything comes to light and until we have all of the facts, there`s no telling what the future for this case holds, really.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy?

WEINTRAUB: You know what Wendy would say about this? You know what Wendy would say about a guy on the side of the road going to the bathroom near a school? Normally Wendy Murphy, tell the truth.

MURPHY: Listen, don`t talk about something else, this is not a story about pedophiles.

WEINTRAUB: Either he is going to the bathroom in the woods near the school, or is on the side of the road looking at that grave there.

MURPHY: Keep your eye on the prize.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let Wendy speak.

MURPHY: Jayne`s job as a defense attorney is to get everybody to stop keeping their eye on the ball. That`s what they do they ought to escape, they messed up, they do the dog and pony show over here because they don`t want us to looking at a mountain of evidence that implicate this woman.

And you know shame on Attorney Baez. Not only is he doing the PR spin, which he can do, but he accused the cops of lying today.

And you know what, that struck me as a little ironic. Him saying the cops lied? Does he realize who he represents? And that he`s on "The Today Show" yakking up a storm about all the evidence, why doesn`t he tell us what the list of evidence is that the cops took from the Anthony home.

And you know what he said in response to the media`s request that he tell us what that evidence was because he says he wants the truth? You know what he said, oh, well, I couldn`t be revealing that. That`s how much he wants the truth. He told us a whole lot of nothing about the real evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, let`s look at the other possibility. Brian Russell, let`s look at the other possibility that, yes, he is a fantastic sleuth and he deserves a feather in his cap because he did spot something and the cops went there and didn`t see what he had seen even though apparently he didn`t see it enough to actually pick it up and say, here`s the skull or whatever.

But let`s say the police did sloppy work, how does that impact the trial?

RUSELL: Well, I think it`s helpful to the defense. It`s like the O.J. Simpson all over again. It`s the garbage in, garbage out thing that you`ve talked about in previous shows.

Maybe he investigated a little further when he found this most recent bag because he didn`t feel like they responded much when he called them before and so he was going to do a little more digging this time, literally, before he called the cops again.

And we have to keep in mind, that they were getting thousands of calls during this time. Not just calls from this dude.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes and Dr. Bill Manion what about evidence at the scene? I mean, the way this and there`s so such conflicting information on this. But the way it seems to play out is that the bag was at the side of the road when he originally called it in.

The bag was found meters inside in the woods when they ultimately found it, when he found it several months later, a week ago yesterday. So, there were rains in between. Can evidence float like that?

DR. BILL MANION, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: I`m sure it -- it could have been flooding and that could have moved it along. There could have been animals. Most commonly animals get at these bodies. Pardon me?

WEINTRAUB: Doctor, wouldn`t the bag could be -- if it was like that and through these woods, look at the scene there. And in one of these hurricane winds, which, unfortunately, I live through, you will have the bag opened. It will have broken. It will have severed through the winds, through the trees, through the debris there. Please. That bag never would have been intact.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Also, I don`t see an animal grabbing a plastic bag and carrying a plastic bag across the street. I mean, you see animals with little bones. But just visualize it Doctor, an animal like some kind of fox or something with a plastic bag pulling it across the street? That would be on like a TV show?

WEINTRAUB: How about the skeleton -- the sheriff said it didn`t have any clothing and he`s on TV saying it and the next press conference, last week all of a sudden there is clothing? What is it?

MURPHY: Can I just say something. Here`s what the prosecution is going to make of this whole thing. They`re going to say, even if the police should have found the bag, they didn`t. They bumbled a bit. So what? Here`s the mountain of evidence against Casey Anthony.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to get to this. The meter reader, as we know we`re talking about this called in three tips about the same location four months ago. Listen to a reporter ask the sheriff today about possible mistakes by investigators.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, given the report that the meter reader did call three times in the middle of August about some suspect evidence, or potential evidence in the same area, are you looking at the possibility of mistakes and/or lapses by your investigators?

KEVIN BEARY, ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA SHERIFF: We had people go out there. We`re pulling all the tips. We`re totally reviewing it. But I will tell you right now I`m not throwing anybody under the bus because we don`t know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, we`re just -- so many calls coming in and I want to get the reaction to that. But let`s also get to some of the calls, Norma from Texas, your thought or question, ma`am.

NORMA FROM TEXAS: Yes hi, Jane. I just love you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.

NORMA: I have a question about the skull being covered in tape. My theory is, possibly, could she have covered the skull up and then dowsed the body in fluids and would that have caused chloroform smell? And then if the body had fallen apart, maybe that`s why some of the remains are all over in that area.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Bill Manion -- thank you, ma`am, for that question. It`s a good question, Dr. Bill Manion?

MANION: Well, the -- as the bones deteriorate the soft tissue breaks apart. The tendons break apart. The body will disarticulate and believe it or not, animals will get at them and pull them apart. I`ve found bodies with an arm ten feet away, the skull 20 feet away. This is what happens. And dogs will do it. Cats, squirrels, whatever.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, I understand that. I`m distinguishing between two things, yes, the bones were scattered, we know that; all over this are, one acre. They found some more yesterday, significant.

But we`re talking about the skull being in a bag moving from one location to another and remaining in the bag. That`s what`s weird, if in fact that`s the same bag.

MANION: Well, the other thing Dr. G. today said that, she didn`t see any injuries to the bones. Now, I didn`t know whether she meant any injuries like from a bullet or a knife or an ax or something like that. But I would have thought there may have been some bite injuries. Some, you know, teeth marks and stuff from animals getting at these things.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, hang tight. Some much fascinating stuff --

MANION: If there`s not then that body was brought back there months later if there are not any teeth marks.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok we want to get to that in just a second.

WEINTRAUB: Now you`re talking.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on, hold on.

Just a reminder, Nancy Grace will have the very latest on the Caylee Anthony murder investigation immediately following this program at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. You do not want to miss it.

Plus, I will be taking more of your calls on the Caylee Anthony case. Dial 1-877-JVM-SAYS, that`s 1-877-586-7297.

And now, listen to this infamous phone call Casey Anthony made from jail back in July.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEE ANTHONY, BROTHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: Do you think Caylee is ok right now?

CASEY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: My gut feeling? As mom asked me yesterday and they asked me last night and the psychologist asked me this morning that I met with through the court. In my gut, she is still ok and it still feels like she`s close to home.

LEE ANTHONY: Ok.

CASEY ANTHONY: I mean, that is still my best feeling at the moment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes this is Orange County utility & emergency dispatch. We found a human skull.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know we`ve got a -- I think it is a meter reader, yes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to let you speak with a representative of our field services facilities.

Everything is recorded. Here he is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A skull of what we believe is human?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s the location?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right off of suburban and Chickasaw in the Caylee Anthony area, right by the school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, the remains of Caylee Anthony positively identified. We now know it was murder. We still don`t know how or exactly why, although theories abound.

I`m back with my panel and they are all lined up and we`re taking them in one second.

During the break, my floor manager, Bob, asked a very good question. He said, well, did the deputies respond and talk to Crank at the scene and if so, why didn`t he point out the bag? And the answer reportedly is that they went in the woods to look for the bag and said, "Don`t come in with us because there are rattle snakes."

Now, Jayne Weintraub, could that be used to create some sort of a cover-up defense even if that`s completely, you know, there`s no basis except for that one little interchange.

WEINTRAUB: You mean, for the cops to cover up the cop not seeing it?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

WEINTRAUB: How about that fact that it wasn`t there. He cleared the scene because it wasn`t there. We know that. You know that and I know that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re actually maintaining that you think that the body was moved? What are the implications of that, Wendy Murphy?

MURPHY: I think she just makes stuff up. It`s beautiful. I love Jayne. No, look, the possibility exists that -- and the first two times he called by the way, he didn`t go to the scene.

The cops did a cursory look and didn`t see anything left. The third time he did go to the scene they asked him questions. They looked around and didn`t see it. It`s quite possible that it wasn`t within the view of where he was and they did go in and they didn`t see it and there`s no real conspiracy here.

It`s just that they went because he was persistent. He went to the scene with them. He didn`t see it there, perhaps it was real trash and, oh, I don`t know, the trash guys picked it up. There`s a thought.

WEINTRAUB: How about consciousness of guilt? Is it that even on your radar screen? Come on. Look, she was a terrible mother.

MURPHY: Who`s got consciousness of guilt?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait, what are you -- whose consciousness of what guilt?

WEINTRAUB: The consciousness of guilt of going back to the scene. Back to the scene, that is typical of somebody who`s guilty -- like Richard Jewel.

RUSSELL: It`s not the meter reader. It`s not the meter reader, Jayne.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait, wait, wait, I want to stop you right there. The authorities have said this man is not a suspect. We have to trust them to know.

RUSSELL: It`s not him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I would presume that they`ve looked in his commuter to see that he has said he has absolutely no connection with the Anthony family.

WEINTRAUB: Oh, he said so? Come on, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I presume that the authorities would not hold a news conference -- I really don`t want to go there. I think it`s premature and I don`t think it`s fair to this man, who is, according to all accounts, a good citizen who has been trying to do the right thing.

Now, I don`t understand how he was able to pinpoint this area without looking in the bag the first time around. It doesn`t exactly add up but I don`t think we can leap to conclusions at this point.

MURPHY: Maybe he didn`t want to mess up the evidence. And he watches CSI like a billion other people.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, let`s go to the phone line. Cheryl in North Carolina, your question or thought ma`am?

CHERYL IN NORTH CAROLINA: Yes, I want to ask about the defense attorney is saying there`s no evidence. What about the decomposition that was found in the trunk, the hair with the death band. What are they going to say now? The nanny stole the car and put Caylee`s body in the trunk? I don`t get it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes, Brian Russell, how are the -- how`s the defense going to deal with the fact that this body has been identified there? Because the whole defense has been up to this point Zanny, the nanny, took the kid and the kid somewhere, I have a gut feeling and the kid is ok nearby.

Now tragically, this child is deceased.

RUSSELL: Well, I think even Jayne Weintraub would agree, that there`s some problematic -- a lot of problematic circumstantial evidence in this case for the defense to deal with.

But as she said many times their only job is to create reasonable doubt in the minds of those jurors about what happened to this little girl. And so, you know, are they going to be able to come up with an alternative explanation that makes sense for why that stuff was in the trunk of the car? Maybe so, maybe not.

But they`ll really don`t have to. It`s the state`s job to prove beyond a reasonable doubt what happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what about this absolutely tantalizing question. There is -- evidence photos were supplied from the authorities to the public; 173 photos put up. One of them shows a -- it looks like the cover of a book or a page of a book and we have that.

We`re going to show it to you in a second. There it is, and then we have an even tighter shot of it and this tight shot, look at it. Study it. Study it, study it.

Now we`re going to play the video of little Caylee with the book that she was reading.

This is the heartbreaking video where she sings this love song to her relatives and that book, at some point, when you hold up the book it looks very similar to that, whatever that was down there on the dirt. You`re analysis of that, Dr. Bill Manion?

MANION: I`m sorry, the book belongs to the girl and they will try and use digital imagery and try to magnify and make sure that that is the same book. Since they have the book, they may also be able to find fingerprints or DNA and get that off the book and say that the girl handled this book.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It seems to have the same coloring, Wendy Murphy.

MURPHY: Yes, I mentioned this to your producer earlier, I said we should talk about this book. But it`s not entirely clear, and the cops wouldn`t tell us whether it is in fact the book.

But I`ll tell you this, remember the other day we talked about this issue, what did they find at the crime scene that gave them permission to go to a judge, and the judge lickety-split gave them a search warrant to go back into the house? What connected the crime scene to the Anthony home? This could be the thing where they said, "My God, this is the kid`s book. Look, we`ve got the video, this is her book. We now have to go back and --"

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But who would leave that kind of evidence near a body? That seems very self-destructive.

Hang tight. More calls on the tragic Caylee Anthony murder in just a minute.

First, listen to the attorney for the utility worker who found Caylee`s remains.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID EVANS, ROY KRONK`S ATTORNEY: His participation in this matter is strictly as a concerned citizen with a sharp eye, good instincts and perseverance. He has no connection whatsoever to this case. He has no connection whatsoever to the Anthony family, or any of the proceedings that have gone on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. JAN GARAVAGLIA, MEDICAL EXAMINER, ORANGE, COUNTY, FLORIDA: With regret, I`m here to inform you that the skeletal remains found on December 11th are those of the missing toddler, Caylee Anthony. As our usual protocol, the next of kin has been notified prior to making this information public.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a sad day. And I`m back with my panel to discuss these developments.

Angie in Georgia, your question or thought ma`am.

ANGIE, CALLER FROM GEORGIA: Hi. I was wondering why they are so suspicious of the meter reader, since they found that hair in trunk of Casey`s car.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. I mean, Wendy Murphy, there`s -- let`s put it in context. There`s overwhelming evidence that there was a dead body in the trunk of the car, the hair in the trunk of the car was from a decomposed member of the Anthony family. And there was only one person missing.

MURPHY: Yes. And, you know, but it`s a really important point. You can connect the dots between her car and the evidence found at the crime scene, right? And you can`t connect this poor guy to anything nefarious. And yet hours and hours are spent making this guy sound like a villain.

It`s part of the defense spin, part of the defense strategy, they want to snooker us into fantasy land so that we`re not paying attention to the evidence.

You know I respect Jayne`s position. I love her. If I ever got in trouble, I would hire her in a minute. And it`s a much tougher position. I`m always on the right side. I`m on the side of the angels; 99 percent of the time, people charged are in fact guilty. But you know, she is entitled to a fair trial.

She`s not entitled to --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Which she`s never going to get. On what planet do you want her to get this fair trial? And from what jury pool?

MURPHY: Oh, please.

WEINTRAUB: She can get it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian Russell, isn`t this why people aren`t good Samaritans, and they don`t step forward, because look what this guy has been through?

RUSSELL: That`s a great point. And we have seen several -- we have reported on stories recently, of people not being good Samaritans when the opportunity was there and they should have. And I think you`ve got a good point there.

I think it`s not the meter reader. People do return to scenes of crimes like Jayne said, but it would be very, very rare for somebody to try to draw the police on to evidence like this quicker, you know. You see that sometimes with arsons, where the arsonist wants to watch the firefighters come try to put out the fire. You see it sometimes with like BTK in my state of Kansas trying to get police to follow his trail years later, but right afterwards like this, I`m not feeling it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, you know what?

RUSSELL: You know what you are feeling, Brian? What you`re feeling is this horrible tragedy with this gorgeous face that you`re looking at of a two-year-old.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have to leave it right there.

I think we can all agree, this is a horrible tragedy. This was on angelic little child. It`s really sad, sad that she is now confirmed to be dead. Thanks so much for your insights tonight.

I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: An incredibly shocking and somber day today as the Orange County medical examiner positively identifies the remains found just over a week ago to be those of little Caylee Anthony. No one has been more on top of this story than Nancy Grace. Nancy, what do you have tonight?

NANCY GRACE, HLN ANCHOR, "NANCY GRACE": Well, Jane, as you know, skeletal remains found just 15 homes from the Anthonys confirmed to be little Caylee. Her death officially ruled homicide. We are on stand by tonight for toxicology and other test results.

Also, Jane, that utility meter who found the child`s skeleton breaks his silence.

And tonight we learn some of the tot mom`s reaction to the news behind bars.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This case is so complex, it`s so tragic, and Nancy will have the very latest to help us sort through the incredible details. "Nancy Grace" starts right now.

END

Home  |  Asia  |  Europe  |  U.S.  |  World  |  World Business  |  Technology  |  Entertainment  |  World Sport  |  Travel
Podcasts  |  Blogs  |  CNN Mobile  |  RSS Feeds  |  Email Alerts  |  CNN Radio  |  Site Map
© 2009 Cable News Network. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.