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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
New Developments in Caylee Anthony Case
Aired December 29, 2008 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, breaking news in the Caylee Anthony case. As mother Casey remains behind bars, a new bombshell development. Reports now say her brother could face charges.
LEE ANTHONY, BROTHER OF CASEY: What I can tell you is my No. 1 focus is on Caylee.
CASEY ANTHONY, CHARGED WITH MURDERING DAUGHTER: Yes.
L. ANTHONY: My second focus is you.
C. ANTHONY: Yes.
L. ANTHONY: My third is Mom.
C. ANTHONY: Uh-huh.
L. ANTHONY: Then Dad, then me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ll talk to Lee Anthony`s lawyer.
Plus, could the 911 calls made way back in August by the very same meter reader who found Caylee`s body in December provide stunning new clues?
ROY KRONK, METER READER: I noticed something that looked white and there was -- I don`t know what it is. I`m not telling you it`s Caylee or anything of that nature.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does this guy deserve a reward or more scrutiny?
These issues and much more tonight.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, shocking new developments in the Caylee Anthony murder investigation. Nine-one-one tapes under close scrutiny tonight after reports there is a reward being considered for Roy Kronk. Listen to that meter reader who found Caylee`s body in December, begging police four months earlier to check out that very same location.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KRONK: There`s a swamp, and if you`re heading back out towards the main road, on the left-hand side in an area, I noticed something that looked white. And there was -- I don`t know what it is. I`m not telling you it`s Caylee or anything of that nature...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very interesting. We`re going to play more of Kronk`s August 911 calls and analyze them.
Meantime, another bombshell. The murdered toddler`s 22-year-old mother may not be the only one charged. Casey Anthony`s brother, Lee Anthony, could -- I`m saying could -- could also face charges for allegedly obstructing justice or aiding and abetting, even if it was not his intention to do so. That new information coming tonight from the brother`s own attorney, who we will talk to in just a moment.
Brother Lee has been conducting his own investigation into the disappearance of little Caylee, following leads for suspects other than his sister.
Also, there`s been increasing speculation and reports about Lee`s alleged misuse of funds donated towards the search for little Caylee. Both Lee Anthony and his lawyer flatly deny those allegations.
Joining me now is Lee Anthony`s lawyer, Thomas Deluca.
Thomas, thanks for joining us. I know this has to be very tough for your client. Our hearts do go out to him in this moment of grief.
Tell us what you know about these possible obstruction of justice charges against Lee. And why is your client, who was little Caylee`s uncle, possibly facing them? It doesn`t really add up to me.
THOMAS DELUCA, LEE ANTHONY`S LAWYER: Well, first of all, I`d like to thank you for your sympathy, as does the Anthony family. I want to make it clear that, again, no charges are pending as of yet.
What we are concerned with, however, is that here in Florida the laws regarding tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice are extraordinarily broad as opposed to other states. And because of that, there is some concern that some activities that Lee might have been involved with during the investigation might have -- be seen by law enforcement to be misleading or to be in some way hindering the investigation. And that`s what we`re trying to make clear, that throughout this investigation, he has been cooperating fully.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re dancing around something, and we`re trying to play detective here and figure out what exactly you`re saying. It occurs to me a couple of possibilities. One: that his sister asked him to do something that he thought was a totally innocent request, and it turns out down the road maybe it wasn`t so innocent.
Or perhaps he threw something out thinking it was completely irrelevant. People throw things out of their house all the time. Later it becomes relevant. Am I -- am I getting warmer?
DELUCA: Actually you`re not.
DELUCA: You`re very cold at this time.
DELUCA: Mister -- again, Mr. Anthony is not -- did not throw anything out. In fact, he has talked to Casey several times in the jail at law enforcement`s request, in the search for his niece. He has been fully cooperating with police, including giving a DNA sample.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, listen, you say he`s cooperating, but I just want to clarify, because I had read published reports that say he had to be subpoenaed before he would give his fingerprints. That`s not exactly giving them voluntarily.
DELUCA: Well, actually it is and it isn`t. It also -- a subpoena simply preserves the chain of evidence in any criminal case. A subpoena can or cannot be issued. That`s up to the state attorney office. That`s up to the law-enforcement agency itself.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Can I ask you a question about money, because there is this report swirling around of possible misuse of funds? There was a fund set up to look for Caylee.
We know that Lee was looking for suspects other than his sister, which is totally natural. I totally understand why he would want to do this as a brother and an uncle.
So where -- where do these allegations that he might have misused funds come from, and what`s your response to them?
DELUCA: To qualify, I don`t know where these allegations have come from. There is a great deal of rumor and speculation and innuendo surrounding this entire case. I think that Mr. Anthony is simply being caught up in the periphery of this. He was running a parallel investigation with -- to the police looking for his niece, and...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Was he using those funds to do that? In other words, did people give him money thinking, "Well, this is going to be for T-shirts and flyers," and he`s using it to basically try to come up with a defense for his sister?
DELUCA: No. He`s trying to honestly use the money for what it was intended for, and he -- any money that was spent was spent appropriately. There was no misuse of funds. There was no misappropriation. This was a completely above-board...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Quick question. Have the authorities indicated to you that they could be hitting him with charges?
DELUCA: Well, they have not come to me as of yet. What they have done, though, is they have not yet issued him a subpoena for his trial testimony. That subpoena would give him immunity to anything he would say in court -- in a court of law. They have not -- the state attorney`s office has not issued a subpoena for him yet, and that is what troubles me, at least, as far as whether there might be charges on the horizon.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. No subpoena.
Well, listen, I want to thank you for your time and for speaking up for Lee. And, again, our hearts do go out to the Anthony family as a whole. They have been through a nightmare. And you totally understand why a brother would want to help out his sister and do anything he can to try to come up with a conclusion that somebody else was responsible for her demise. Thank you, Thomas.
New developments every day in the Caylee Anthony case. I want to hear what you think. Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297 with your comments and questions.
And we have an expert panel here to answer all of your questions. Brian Russell, forensic psychologist; and attorney Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney; and Kathi Belich, a reporter from WFTV, who has been following this case from the very beginning; as well as Anita Kay, criminal defense attorney and former district attorney.
Let`s start with the reporter. Kathi, this has to be a horrific holiday for the Anthony family. Bring us up to date. What`s the latest? What`s happening at the Anthony home and the location where the remains were found?
KATHI BELICH, REPORTER, WFTV: Well, the Anthony home is quiet. What we`ve reported today is the sheriff`s office plans to investigate a report by a private investigator who works with the Anthonys, who says that he videotaped the area where Caylee`s remains were found a month before they were found.
Now, he says this videotape shows that the remains were not there in mid-November, but investigators want to know why he was focusing on that area in mid-November.
Also investigators want to speak with another private eye who works for the Anthonys. They say they contacted him last week, and he has not gotten back to them for arrangements to talk to him.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Kathi, I`ve got to get back to what you just said. That`s a -- that is a bombshell. If there was videotape -- repeat what you said. There was videotape of the exact area that this Roy Kronk, the meter reader, where he discovered little Caylee Anthony`s remains a couple of weeks ago, and this is the same meter reader who called about this very same location in August three times, telling authorities to go down there.
Now, you`re telling me at some point in between that somebody videotaped that area and didn`t see the remains?
BELICH: That`s what they`re saying. It was a private investigator that worked with the Anthonys. And he claims that the remains were not there in mid-November. He says he took a videotape of that area.
And now investigators want to know why he was focusing on that area back in mid-November, what he knew, if he knew anything; who else knew anything.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Jayne Weintraub, every time this story -- every day it`s a wild turn of events. I mean, if that videotape is in existence and it is shown to investigators or the public, given how this case has been going, couldn`t that just throw a total curve into this entire case?
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it could. The issue there, Jane, really is the police going to the private investigator that`s hired by the defense. Highly, highly, you know, impractical, unethical, and not appropriate under Florida law.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second. If he`s got videotape that is of this area, and it doesn`t show any bag. And you have the meter reader calling in August, and then you have him finding it in mid-December, that to me is something that -- information that the authorities have to look at. Why -- why does it matter that it was a defense investigator?
WEINTRAUB: It matters, because the police do not have the right to interrogate, question, obtain evidence from the defense in their preparation of the case. Imagine. Nobody would ever talk to a defense investigator if they thought that it would be turned right over to the police.
We need to level the playing field. The constitution isn`t just for the state. It`s for both sides, for the defense. So private investigator is an arm of the lawyer. That`s why Florida has a work product privilege that is given to an investigator working for the lawyer.
Now, if this is leaked to the press or to the police or something, that`s a different story. They`re curious. It will come out in trial. Remember, Jane, this is not an investigation. This is a case that the state has announced...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Something has just occurred to me, Anita Kay. This area was supposedly under water. There was a storm that moved in toward the end of August and inundated the area with water. That`s why Tim Miller from -- beg your pardon?
ANITA KAY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: August 30 was the date.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. That`s why Tim Miller from Equusearch said he went there but wasn`t able to examine the area because it was underwater. So if the videotape shows -- Kathi Belich, let me go to you on this. If the videotape shows a bunch of water, that means nothing, because those remains could have been under the water. Right?
BELICH: He showed a short clip of that videotape to one of our photographers, who said he saw a multicolored blanket of some sort, and he saw the fence that he recognized as the fence in the area.
Now, I do want to make something clear. There are two different private investigators that I was referring to. The first one, who allegedly took the videotape, is not a member of the defense team.
The other private investigator who they want to interview was a member of the defense team until October, and he`s now working for the Anthonys. Investigators want to talk to him now. And the defense has concerns, obviously, about any privileged information that investigators might want to ask him about when he was a member of the defense team.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who as he -- you`re saying the private investigator took the video. Who was he working for?
BELICH: His name is Jim Hoover. It`s unclear. We`ve seen pictures of him with the private investigator who works for the Anthonys. He would not tell us who he works for, but we have seen him on the scene several times over several months.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Here`s the thing, Anita Kay, nobody knows exactly what videotape is taken. There have been stories where there`s a date on the videotape, and it turns out that was the wrong date. So you have another wrinkle. What if they present this tape, saying this was videotape proving the body wasn`t there, but that tape wasn`t taken when they said it was.
KAY: Absolutely. And the defense can try to use it at trial to show, hey, the prosecution has one theory. But look at little Caylee`s body, was not here at this time. But what you would do as the prosecutor to cross- examine is be able to say can we prove this date stamp is correct? Can you prove exactly when this videotape was taken?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is a stunning development. Stay right there. Much more to cover on the Caylee Anthony case.
And I`m going to be taking your calls. If you have a question or comment for our expert panel, give us a holler: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1- 877-586-7297.
But first, take a listen to Casey Anthony talking to her brother, Lee, from jail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
L. ANTHONY: I cannot speak to anybody else`s focus other than what they`ve told me. What I can do is speak to my own focus.
C. ANTHONY: Yes.
L. ANTHONY: What I can tell you is my No. 1 focus is on Caylee.
C. ANTHONY: Yes.
L. ANTHONY: My second focus is you.
C. ANTHONY: Yes.
L. ANTHONY: My third is Mom.
C. ANTHONY: Uh-huh.
L. ANTHONY: Then Dad, then me.
C. ANTHONY: Yes.
L. ANTHONY: OK? So I want to make -- and I don`t give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED)about Baez. I don`t give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED)about -- I don`t give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED)about anyone else. That is -- those are my priorities.
C. ANTHONY: Perfect, thank you. Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KRONK: You know, went down and there was a fallen tree (ph) with it. And it looked suspicious. I didn`t touch anything. And then a little bit further up you can tell where someone ran across with the mower, but the weeds are still real high in that area. It was like a fallen tree. It looks like someone had tried to cut on it at one point. Like, there was a white board hanging across the tree, and there was something round and white underneath of it. And I don`t know what it is, but it just doesn`t look like something that should be there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was utility worker Roy Kronk`s second of three calls to authorities made back in August. Kronk called to report seeing something suspicious in the wooded area near the Anthony home. He called four months before actually finding a bag of remains in the very same area on his own.
Kronk is now reportedly considering accepting a $5,000 reward for his discovery. Do you think Kronk should accept that reward, or should doing a good deed not come with a cash expectation? Give me a holler: 1-877-JVM- SAYS or 1-877-586-7297. Phone lines lighting up.
Michael, North Carolina, your question or thought, sir?
CALLER: Yes, I`m a former police officer and a criminology -- I have a criminology degree, and I think this Kronk needs to be thoroughly investigated. If they don`t absolutely rule him out, the defense is going to have a field day. And my cop gut tells me that he is involved in some way, shape, or form.
And by the way, I love your show.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, well, thank you so much, Michael. And we have to say as we go to Brian Russell, the authorities are saying that this man is not a suspect. He is a good citizen, a good Samaritan, who had a good gut and followed his instincts. Do you buy it?
BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes, I really do. I think -- I listened to his tapes. He sounds like he might be a little -- little busy, a little busy-bodyish, but other than that, he certainly doesn`t sound to me like somebody who is involved in any way, other than as a concerned citizen.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we just got to listen to some of this stuff, though, because I want to get everybody`s response. This is Roy Kronk`s first call to 911 on August 11. He`s, of course, the meter reader who found little Caylee four months later, the same person. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KRONK: There`s a swamp. And if you`re heading back out towards the main road on the left-hand side in an area, I notice something that looked white. And there was -- I don`t know what it is. I`m not telling you it`s, you know, Caylee or anything of that nature...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know what street Anthony home is on?
KRONK: Yes. It`s on Good Hope, isn`t it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Good homes. And what`s the nearest intersecting street?
KRONK: It`s the one that comes off of it. It`s like Suburban or something like that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Kathi Belich, it doesn`t add up. I mean, not necessarily his involvement, but the idea that somebody videotaped in mid-November. That call was made in August, OK? He found the remains in December, and now we`re hearing that possibly in November somebody videotaped that area and that body was not there.
BELICH: I think that that person wants people to believe that the body was not there at that time. I think that videotape, it sounds to me that the videotape was taken to -- before the remains were found there to show somehow that they weren`t there.
But the videotape was a small area, from what I understand, and that area is a pretty large area and very thickly wooded. The sheriff`s office said today, well, you know, "If we were criticized for not finding it in that area after three days, then why didn`t this person who videotaped in November find it?"
But I think the purpose of the videotape was to try to show it wasn`t there, which brings the question how did he know to focus on that area a month before the remains were found? Big question.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Exactly, Jayne Weintraub. Now, Roy Kronk, apparently is -- now that he`s got his 15 minutes, considering which media outlet he`s going to tell his story to. I really think he has got to tell it soon, because there are so many questions.
I mean, either he is the amateur sleuth of the century and has this incredible honing device that leads him to this location where, remember, the whole world is looking for Caylee. The whole world, including Tim Miller of Equusearch, including the authorities, including the FBI, and he`s the only one who has that instinct that it`s got to be right there. I think he needs to tell his story.
WEINTRAUB: He`s trying to sell his story, that`s what he`s trying to do. And you know, Jane, this just begs the issue that we really need to pass a law and have rules that no witness or juror or participant can profit from their testimony in any way, shape, or form or jury service.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what? I don`t know that he`s trying to profit. We haven`t -- we haven`t said that. I mean, I understand what you`re saying, but we don`t know that for fact.
Nancy in Florida, your question or comment.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi. Your question or comment.
CALLER: Hi. Hi, I`m just wondering about the charges pending against Lee Anthony. I was wondering if you thought that maybe he was admitting to some of the Internet searches over at the house.
And also I just wanted to know if you can elaborate on the prosecution team for Casey. Like, I always hear about the Dream Team and how great they are, but what about the prosecution team? I mean, who are they. And I hope they`re good, and I hope they don`t mess it up like the O.J. case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, those are excellent questions. I certainly don`t think that anyone could possibly say, Kathi Belich, who was searching on that computer. All they know is that it was Casey`s computer.
What about the prosecution?
BELICH: Well, let me make a point there, though. This -- the evidence that they have released is evidence that they plan to use against Casey Anthony. So I believe they believe she was doing those searches. Otherwise, that information would not become part of this case, and it would not have been released as possible evidence in the case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
BELICH: The prosecutors, however, are very, very experienced prosecutors. One of them did the first DNA case in the country.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to talk a little bit more about the prosecution in a second. Give us a holler. What do you think about these shocking new developments?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re back, continuing our discussion and taking your calls on the Caylee Anthony murder investigation. Give me a call at 1-877- JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
Let`s go right to the phones. Janelle in Michigan, your question or comment, ma`am.
CALLER: Hi, Jane.
I`m calling regarding the meter reader issue. I used to be a meter reader, and we cover more areas by foot than the average person, you know, would normally ever see. And some of us learn to develop instincts about our surroundings, like what belongs, what`s out of place, you know, et cetera.
And, you know, some of us, not all, made more observances than others, and we took this as a responsibility. I think Mr. Kronk should be applauded and thanked instead of being called a busy body just because he reacted to his instincts.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Janelle, I think you make a very good point. Anita Kay, should he get a reward, in fact? There are reports that he`s being offered $5,000 by somebody who used to be the representative for Cindy and George Anthony, who apparently doesn`t want to profit. And he`s saying, "I`m going to give this guy $5,000."
KAY: Well, here`s the thing, Jane. If he`s entitled to the reward, sure, he should get the reward. But my understanding was he may not want it, because he was just doing what he felt was right, what he thought was right in reporting the information. So I say, you know, if he takes it, fine. If he doesn`t, fine.
But something that we talked about earlier was if Mr. Kronk is going to sell his story. That`s been where I sort of draw the line, because as a prosecutor, if this were my case, I don`t want my witnesses out there giving interviews, getting paid to give interviews before the case even goes to trial.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let me ask you a question about that. Is -- there is a lot of speculation as to how the defense team is paying for its slew of experts. These are some of the top-flight lawyers in the nation, some of the top-flight forensic experts in the nation. Linda Kenney-Baden, Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, Dr. Henry Lee, the list goes on and on.
Would it be illegal, Brian Russell, for the family to sell the story? In other words, there are laws that prevent criminals from profiting from their crime by selling their story, but what about family members?
RUSSELL: Well, I don`t think -- it`s a state by state thing, and Jayne and Anita can weigh in on this, but I don`t think so. I think it would be certainly very smarmy and not helpful to their daughter`s defense for them to be engaging in any talks about that at this stage.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, how are they going to pay for it? I mean, Jayne Weintraub, how are they paying for all this? This has got to cost many, many tens of thousands of dollars, just the tests alone.
WEINTRAUB: I really -- I`m not in a position to say, and I wouldn`t know.
Who`s paying for the state experts? We`re going to pay, taxpayers in Florida, just millions of dollars on forensic experts.
I mean, what`s more of a concern, Jane, to me, for example, is about witnesses that are interested in rewards and interested in the money. For example, do we want to encourage people to be paid for discovering evidence? Or do we want to encourage them to just come forward and say what you saw?
You know, normally Crime Stoppers, for example, is a leading tip towards the arrest and conviction of a guilty person. This is after the arrest of a perpetrator who`s already charged with a crime ready for trial. This is not like a Crime Stopper lead. Why is this guy taking any reward? Why should there be a reward?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, he hasn`t said he`s going to, and I think we really do need to have him tell his story.
If you`re watching, Roy Kronk, call us and tell us your story, because we want to hear it. We`re all very curious.
Hold all of your thoughts. More viewer calls in just a moment. Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297. Tell me if you think the prosecution will seek the death penalty.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bombshell developments in the death of Caylee Anthony. Casey Anthony is charged with murdering her daughter but could other family members also face charges.
Plus, the shocking 911 calls from August by the utility worker who found Caylee`s body in December.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I noticed something that looks white and I don`t know what it is. I`m not telling you it`s Caylee or anything of that nature.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The meter reader is now being offered a reward. Do you think somebody should get a prize for finding a child`s remains? Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS, that`s 1-877-586-7297 and tell me what you think.
We are back discussing the latest developments in the Caylee Anthony murder case and taking your calls. I am joined by my expert panel: Brian Russell, forensic psychologist and attorney; Jayne Weintraub, a criminal defense attorney; Kathi Belich, is a reporter from WFTV who has been following this case from the start; and Anita Kay, criminal defense attorney and former district attorney.
We`re going to go to the phone line in just a moment.
But I want to ask Kathi Belich, what is happening with funeral plans and memorial plans? And I understand they are dependent on the second autopsy that the defense wants to conduct. Tell us about it.
KATHI BELICH, WFTV REPORTER: That`s right. And they are keeping very quiet about this. We have been told that they want a private ceremony and a public ceremony but there have been no arrangements made public at this point.
The defense did say they wanted to do a second autopsy; wanted to do it at the medical examiner`s office. That was not an idea that the medical examiner was fond of and we haven`t heard any details about that at this point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Has the defense begun going onto the area where the remains were found and doing their own investigation there?
BELICH: No, they said they wanted to do that. They were going to court before the investigators had left asking for the right to be there as investigators were working. Judge said no.
And at some point they just decided they`re not going. They said that pretty much everything was gone at that point and their efforts to preserve evidence would have been futile at that point because everything was gone.
So apparently they`re not going back. They have no interest in going there. And there are no trespassing signs up everywhere.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But they`re going to get everything from the discovery -- the photograph and everything as it comes out in the normal of course of discovery.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Peggy from Iowa, thank you for your patience, ma`am. Your question or thoughts?
PEGGY FROM IOWA: I just want to know what the prosecution is going to do because of all the evidence that`s been put on the TV. How are they going to guarantee Casey a fair trial? Even if they move it to a different town or state, with all the talking about it, I mean, I don`t think she`ll be able to get a fair jury.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well Jayne Weintraub, a lot of people are saying this is going to be one of these trials of the century and it`s going to be a circus. So how do they ensure a fair trial?
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the issue -- as the caller correctly points out, she wouldn`t get a fair trial if it was just about whether or not you`ve heard or read about the case because everybody in this country has already read or heard about it.
The question and the legal standard that will be asked and tested in court is whether or not what you read or heard in the newspaper or watched on television, whether or not that will influence or may influence your verdict for the listening of the testimony in this case.
Will you be able to set aside everything that you`ve read or heard? Those are the questions that the judge will be asking. And I totally agree with the caller, there is no planet that she`s getting a fair trial on in the immediate future.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well all right. Harvey, in California, your thought or question.
HARVEY IN CALIFORNIA: Yes, my question at the same time near the beginning of the trial, Lee Anthony was asked and his mom and dad were asked to take a lie detector test. And why, if he`s so innocent and they`re innocent, why did they and he tell his parents do not take a lie detector test?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think it`s an interesting question, Brian Russell. From what I`ve heard the attorneys simply are saying that they don`t trust lie detector tests. That if people are very nervous, they can set it off. And they didn`t feel that it was something that was going to be of use in the courtroom, so they decided not to do it. Do you buy that explanation?
BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST AND ATTORNEY: Yes, I do.
And on my own practice I`ve found that a lot of times that lie detector tests give you very accurate, a very good information, but as a defense attorney I think it`s almost standard -- almost be malpractice not to advise your clients that way.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I thought I heard somebody trying to jump in on Jayne Weintraub saying --
RUSSELL: That was me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s no way she could get a fair trial on his credit.
RUSSELL: They will get a fair -- they can get a fair trial. You would be surprised. What Jayne said was right, the issue is, are they able to put aside anything that they have learned or heard about the case and people can do that, people have done it in lots of other cases.
But if you went to a shopping mall in Florida and you stood there and you stopped people and said, what do you think about the Casey Anthony case? You would be surprised how many people would go, did she have something to do with the bailout -- or the Blagojevich -- you`d be surprised how many people would not know.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, you can find plenty of people who don`t know anything about anything and that is really shocking, but it`s true. I want to ask Kathi Belich, if she`s heard about this published report that to me is pretty stunning. Talk about another stunning development.
Published reports claim somebody on Casey`s computer did a Google search for a show called "One Tree Hill" and their 100th episode right before Caylee disappeared. That episode reportedly featured a nanny kidnapping a child.
BELICH: That`s right. That was our report, and that search was done in March; back in March at the same time she was researching neck breaking, chloroform, how to make chloroform.
So that was back in March, and that`s one of the things that was released in the discovery. At the time no one got in there and tried to find out the details of it until recently, but that information was released as part of the discovery.
So it`s something prosecutors obviously are looking at.
RUSSELL: And she rented a movie from a blockbuster that had a similar story line.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you know which move that is?
RUSSELL: I think it was "Jumper" and it had something to do with the mother killing the kid and then traveling through time or something like that. We reported it on "Prime News" back in the summer.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, well I want to get Anita Kay to weigh in on this. Because to me, if they could actually show in court that this Google search was made on Casey`s computer and then actually play a clip from that show -- and I haven`t seen the show -- but let`s say it`s correct that the show does show a nanny kidnapping a child, that`s a huge piece of evidence, is it not?
ANITA KAY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNY: Absolutely, Jane. It`s every little piece of the puzzle. We talk about this time and time again with cases that are circumstantial such as this case. And you look at each piece, each Google search that was done on that computer
And while one of them may not mean a lot, put them all together. You look at the context, then you look how Caylee was found. You look at the stories that Casey told about this baby-sitter that doesn`t exist and you look at all the lies, and that`s how the state`s going to build a case, and that`s how they`re going to try and convict --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: My head is exploding. We`ve had so many bombshells just on the show tonight, and I`m thinking how is the prosecution going to take all this and assimilate it and turn it into a story line that is clear for the jurors given what the defense is likely to do.
I understand that they`ve even set up a tip line trying to get more tips that could lead to information that could exonerate Casey. And if you think about the videotapes, this private investigator claiming he videotaped this area where the remains were later found, I mean it just -- sometimes Jayne Weintraub, does it get overwhelming?
Does just the sheer amount of evidence in a case like this that is so watched that it really starts creating its own new developments become overwhelming for either side?
WEINTRAUB: Well, it becomes overwhelming for all the participants and all of the lawyers, absolutely. But what`s interesting is as your reporter -- as Kathi said, well, we`ll get it, the defense isn`t interested anymore in looking at the crime scene because they`ll get it in discovery.
Well, they couldn`t be further from the truth. What they get in discovery, all we get as defense lawyers is what the prosecutors and the police write down they saw and what they found. We just basically in a larger part have to take their word for it. That has become very troublesome.
That`s why there are so many innocent people on death row, and that, that is the whole reason for the "Innocence Project." You know, the burden is on the state to be able to prove by a reasonable -- beyond a reasonable doubt that somebody is guilty.
They`re not even at that state. They`re just gathering everything, putting it into theory. A blockbuster movie three months before the girl is even missing? Out of a whole series of a TV show? Come on.
This can`t be real in evidence in a real murder case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t know. I think if she Googled this particular TV show and this particular TV show has a story line, that episode that shows that a nanny kidnapped a child, to me given the fact that her whole argument is that the nanny, Zanny the nanny, took the child and we`ve never been able to find any nanny named Zanny, I think that that speaks volumes.
What do you think, Anita?
KAY: Absolutely. And that`s the thing; everything that Casey has done in the past year is going to be under a microscope when she goes to trial. And some of the things may be completely innocent. Some of the things maybe not and it`s the prosecution who is going to lay out a road map that says this is what this Google search meant.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
KAY: This is what our theory is --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Quick question --
KAY: And then it`s up to the defense to tear it down.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Quick question from Pat in Texas if you can get a quick one in.
PAT IN TEXAS: Hi, I was just wondering where does the average person get chloroform?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Let`s see, let`s throw that one at Jayne Weintraub.
WEINTRAUB: Thanks. No clue. None in my house.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The Internet, I think right, Kathi Belich? Haven`t you shown that people go on the Internet and get that stuff?
BELICH: People go on the Internet to find out how to make it. You can put household items together and make it. We found more than two million websites when we looked up how to make chloroform.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, thank you so much. Wow. A lot of developments: Brian, Jayne, Kathi and Anita; fabulous job as always.
Just a reminder, Nancy Grace is up immediately following this broadcast at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. She will have all the latest details on the Caylee Anthony case.
Violence mounts in Gaza as Israel and Hamas conduct what some call all-out war. I will tell you if President-elect Obama can bring his message of change to the Middle East so that both sides could finally make progress.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There you see hundreds protesting Israel`s Gaza air strikes. I`ll have an update on what some are calling an all-out war between Israel and Hamas in just moments.
But first, at the top of the block tonight: 36-year-old Jennifer Seitz was on a Christmas cruise. Surveillance video from that cruise shows a woman falling overboard at 8:08 p.m. on December 26th. Here is the problem folks, her husband didn`t report her missing for another eight hours. And the husband was arrested for domestic violence back in April. The charges were later dropped.
The search for Jennifer Seitz in the Gulf of Mexico has now been suspended, but the FBI is investigating to see if a crime was committed aboard the ship. Her family sadly believes she may have taken her own life.
We will keep an eye on this developing story and give you an update once we have more information.
Now, let`s turn to another tragic story. Israel is now in an all-out war with Hamas according to the nation`s defense minister. Palestinian officials have reported well over 350 people killed and more than 1,000 wounded so far. This is the third straight day of air strikes in Gaza.
The U.S. has called on Hamas to halt the ongoing rocket fire on Israel. The United Nations Secretary General is urging an immediate cease fire on both sides and calling Israel`s use of force excessive. Protesters have gathered in cities all around the world from Paris to London and beyond, outraged at the Israeli air strikes.
My question tonight is -- this is the 21st century. Are we ever going to get beyond the cycle of violence, revenge, and still more violence in the Middle East? When is the whole world going to stand up and say, enough?
Here to hash it out, a fantastic panel: Joe Pagliarulo, who we know as Joe Pags who hosts San Antonio`s first news News Radio 1200 WOAI; Lisa Schirch professor of peace building at Eastern Mennonite University; and James Phillips, senior fellow at Heritage Foundation.
Joe Pags, I want to start with you. Israel says it`s very sorry that it has killed children while it tries to do targeted air strikes against Hamas militants. But you how can you do targeted air strikes in an area that is twice the size of Washington, D.C., that contains 1.5 million people?
I mean, come on, that`s like saying we`re going to do targeted air strikes in midtown Manhattan. Of course you`re going to hit civilians, and they have, including kids.
JOE PAGLIARULO, NEWS RADIO 1200 WOAI: Well, it`s a good question Jane, but at some point we have to ask the question when is enough, enough? You`ve had rockets flying into Israel. What exactly should they do? Hamas and Hezbollah these terrorist organizations, whether it`s a government or not there in the west bank, in Gaza, these groups hide behind women and children.
What should you do? Just let them keep on launching rockets -- hey look some more rockets today and U.N. saying it`s successive ok, U.N. what should Israel do? Ok here`s a rocket for you, oh here`s come another rocket, I`ll send you another rocket.
I think Israel is going in and trying to end this, ok. You`re going to keep on sending rockets since the ceasefire in December 19, we`re going to go and show you what can happen if you keep this garbage up. Boom, boom, boom, knock it off and we`ll knock it off. I think they did the right thing here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well listen, I`ve got to tell you. I think Hamas definitely deserves blame. I mean, it`s idiotic, they`re hitting Israel with rockets. But a lot of these rockets are homemade and they`ve done relatively minimal damage compared certainly to this onslaught. Since the beginning of 2008, 17 people have been killed by the Hamas rockets in Israel; 9 of them civilians.
And yes they deserve a lot of blame. They refused to extend the peace agreement that they have had with Israel, essentially a cease-fire. They are provoking Israel, but nevertheless, this response, Lisa Schirch, is what they call shock and awe -- Israeli style.
And didn`t we find out during the Iraq war, shock and awe doesn`t work at the end of the day? It simply inspires people to become more violent. With every person that`s killed, the entire family of that person turns into radical militants?
LISA SCHIRCH, EASTERN MENNONITE UNIVERSITY: Absolutely, and I think what we need to remember are the words of General Petraeus, about Iraq when he said there is no military solution. The solution is economic and political.
And I think that same wisdom that General Petraeus gave for the situation in Iraq is true also here for Gaza because while most Americans are friends and supporters of Israel, we haven`t found a way as a nation to be both pro-Israel and pro-peace. And so I think we need to find a new way forward in our relationship with this whole region to greatly increase our understanding of the root causes of this conflict. Because the story doesn`t start just with the cycle of violence of the rockets going into Israel and now the counter attack by Israel against Gaza.
The story starts with the whole region of Gaza being like a prison with a humanitarian disaster. And just like a cat being cornered, the desperation, the sense of humiliation, the frustration and despair there is so great, that until that situation is dealt with, it`s hard to see a way out of this.
So I think, you know, for the U.S. and Israel, a better strategy for Israeli security and security for the whole region is to think about dealing finally with the root causes of the situation rather than this tit for tat that we see now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, James Phillips, I mean, what are we going to do? The United States has signed an agreement to give Israel $30 billion over the next decade. That`s approximately $3 billion a year.
Can money be tied to a policy of nonviolence?
JAMES PHILLIPS, SR. FELLOW, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: I don`t think money should be tied to such a policy. And I think such a policy would be a disaster. When an ally is up against a terrorist organization that is wedded to violence, to try to limit them to a nonviolent response I think would be courting disaster.
And Lisa mentioned General Petraeus in Iraq, and General Petraeus has led an unrelenting struggle against Al Qaeda in Iraq and his distinguished between the irreconcilable terrorist elements that he must deal with --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well look, I understand what you`re saying, but I`m looking at a big picture. I`m not involved in the strategy of war. I`m actually more interested in the strategy of peace. You know, doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result, that is the definition of insanity.
We live in a global village right now, Joe Pags, where basically the entire world sees everything that goes on. And judging from the demonstrations, this is a public relations disaster in some levels.
PAGLIARULO: Well, like I say, let`s not fall for the propaganda that comes out of Hamas or even Hezbollah the last time that something like this happened. It`s propaganda. They`ve got 2,000 people marching in countries that have millions and millions of people.
People are marching -- kids are holding signs in Venezuela that were handed to them by somebody from the government. I`m sure the kids are smiling, as they say no more bombing in Gaza.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to hold it right there. But we`re going to be back with more in just a moment.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re back with our fabulous panel, talking about the Israeli air strikes on Gaza.
Joe Pags, President-elect Obama is not really weighing; he`s saying there`s only one President at a time. But let`s face it, he campaigned successfully on a mantra of change and he`s also considered an anti-war candidate.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was how he first made his name, was being in opposition to the Iraq war. So what can he do to change the dynamic?
I understand that, yes, they had to do something. But listen, we`ve been down this road before. We just did this in Lebanon a couple of years ago. This is a new century. Can`t we come up with new alternatives than just bombing the hell out of civilian areas?
PAGLIARULO: It`s an interesting question. You know, but actually, President-elect Barack Obama sounded like George W. Bush today. I saw a quote, and I`ll paraphrase, where he said, "Hey, if somebody keeps throwing rockets into my backyard, I`m going to do everything I can to stop that from happening."
So he kind of sounded it like he likes war. I almost agree with him, Jane, if you can believe that.
Some sort of change has to happen, but it has to happen at the end of violence. I think that Israel`s response here is big enough and bad enough that maybe, maybe Hamas and the Palestinians and Egypt and Jordan can finally say, "Ok, wait a second, I remember George Bush said we should make a Palestinian state. Why don`t we go back and revisit that?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right, the Arabs are getting together, Lisa Schirch to discuss this. What is their responsibility in trying to come up with a peaceful solution so we don`t keep doing this over and over again?
SCHIRCH: Well absolutely. As I said before, Gaza is like a prison, and they have no way out. They have no passports, they can go nowhere. So I think that we absolutely need to -- as in the United States put pressure and along with the international community for the entire region -- to deal with the crisis in Gaza. Because it`s not just Israel`s fault, it`s the entire region and the history of what`s happened with the Palestinian people.
But I think that we do need to be thinking about the next steps, and we need an immediate diplomatic surge. So sending people over immediately, along with the international community to get another cease fire between Hamas and Israel --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know what? I want to jump in here, --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- because to me, it`s almost like money could solve all this. We spend billions, and all these weapons cost many, many billions; and yet the problem, as you`re mentioning, is partially poverty.
I mean, one-third of the Gazans live in refugee camps. Half of the population according to the U.N. Secretary General is under 18. We`re talking about kids here. We could give them a lot of money, and we could say, hey, turn your area into a resort, it would probably cost the same as it would to bomb, and wreak the havoc that we`re wreaking here.
Listen, I want to thank my entire panel. We are out of time, but we`re going to continue to discuss this day after day, obviously.
I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, and you`re watching "ISSUES" on HLN.