Return to Transcripts main page
ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
New Caylee Anthony Details
Aired January 9, 2009 - 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, a shackled Casey Anthony had barely returned to her jail cell when new bombshells burst in her murder case. It`s a war of the private eyes.
Anthony family P.I. Dominic Casey fights back with a sworn statement against accusations that he knew Caylee was dead and where she was buried a month before the toddler`s remains were found. But another private investigator reportedly insists he did know. Who is lying? And why was Casey Anthony smiling in court yesterday?
Also, new questions emerge in the hideously gruesome murder of an Ohio mother whose toddler was allegedly molested by his man, who had the audacity to apologize.
CHARLIE MYERS, ACCUSED MURDERER: I made a mistake and I apologize to the family.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, as a community gathers to say its final good-byes to the mom who fought valiantly to save her 4-year-old boy, disturbing new issues emerge about the suspect`s very troubled past. Another big question: has he tried this before?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s been a week of bombshells in the Casey Anthony case, and they haven`t stopped exploding. The accused murderer seen and heard for the first time in nearly three months. She is dragged into court at the last minute yesterday, shackled at the ankles and bound by handcuffs.
And tonight, a new battle heating up between private investigators. Anthony family private eye Dominic Casey swears under oath, mind you, that he did not -- did not -- know the location of Caylee`s body before her skeletal remains were discovered on December 11. That flatly contradicts the accusations, reportedly, of Jim Hoover, the other P.I. tied to the case.
It appears somebody is lying. We`re going to try to get to the bottom of it tonight.
Plus, on the legal front, judge Strickland ordering prosecutors to turn over critical forensic evidence to Casey`s defense team, including a decomposing hair thought to be Caylee`s, a forensic report on Casey`s car, and unedited copy of the calls made to 911 by meter reader Roy Kronk, and all the stuff seized last month from the Anthony home. That`s a lot of stuff.
Meantime, the mystery over immunity. Do George and Cindy Anthony have something to hide? Their attorney, Brad Conway, says no.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRAD CONWAY, ATTORNEY FOR ANTHONYS: For me to allow my clients to go into a room with the FBI and the Orange County Sheriff`s Office without protections that ensure that they can say what they need to say, without worrying about further ramifications, would be incompetence on my part. And I`m not going to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So much to talk about tonight. Let`s go straight to my fantastic expert panel. Lisa Bloom, anchor of "In Session," joins us, as well as Louis Schneider, criminal defense attorney; and Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney; as well as Dr. Bill Manion, pathologist and assistant medical examiner for Burlington County, New Jersey. And back with us again tonight, Rozzie Franco from WFLA-AM 540, who has more on all these stunning developments.
Rozzie, what is the very latest?
ROZZIE FRANCO, WFLA: I`m sorry, the very latest right now is -- is what you touched on with the Hoover-Dominic Casey controversy. Because we didn`t see this controversy surface until way after the meter reader found the remains of Caylee Anthony.
And then all of a sudden, there`s this video that`s back-dated from November 13, 14, and 15, where Hoover is alleging that Dominic was there. And Dominic said that he knew that Caylee`s remains were there but said, in fact, that they could not find Caylee`s remains.
Now, we do know he was on three different cell phones, and those cell phones, those cell-phone records are going to be very interesting when investigators dissect who he was talking to at that time. Because if he, in fact, had a tip, then he`s going to be facing obstruction of justice, as well.
Obviously, we won`t know that until investigators come forward with that, but the actual conflict between both investigators is very interesting at this point. You know, what if they have...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It sure is. It sure is. And I want to bring in Lisa Bloom, anchor of "In Session," who has seen just about everything on the criminal front.
This one is a humdinger. You have two private eyes who are both associated with the same family, the Anthony family. And they are at war with each other. Somebody appears to be lying, Lisa.
LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": You are so right, Jane. This is a critical piece of evidence, because how an earth, if indeed a private investigator is there a month before little Caylee`s remains are found, how on earth did he just happen to be there?
I mean, yes, it`s a location close to the home, but it`s far enough away that we`re talking about a pretty big radius at that point. Did he get a tip? Did he get a tip, perhaps, from Casey Anthony herself or from one of her parents?
And then the other issue is were these remains moved at some point? And we don`t have the results of the forensic tests yet. We don`t know that. But if they were moved and if he was there, there`s a lot for the defense now to work with in this case. And for the prosecution, really.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, what`s fascinating is we could have yet another lawsuit, Jayne Weintraub. Dominic Casey is reportedly thinking of taking legal action against Jim Hoover for his accusation that Dominic Casey knew the body was there a month before it was discovered.
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, that`s going to have to all be sorted out after. I think it`s outrageous to see these two experts battling it out so publicly. They are arms of the defense team, and the thought that these things are being aired publicly as dirty laundry is outrageous. And it also takes the focus off what Lisa was just talking about.
You know, Lisa, you asked why was he there? I`ll tell you why he was there. Did it ever occur to anybody that maybe they were following the police? The police were already there. EquuSearch was there. The cadaver dogs were there.
Maybe the defense was being smart and wanting to take a preemptive strike, get out there and videotape so that when they take the depositions, which in Florida law we have in the criminal case, they will be able to show that the witnesses are lying about what was where and what they saw at the time.
Remember, the problem...
FRANCO: Jane, the problem...
WEINTRAUB: ... at that crime scene.
FRANCO: Jane -- Jane, the problem with that statement is this meter reader called back in August and then it was five months later whenever police were dispatched and actually went over there. And we learned that they never even went with cadaver dogs.
So if these guys were real private investigators, and they knew that that call came through -- because they had a very tight relationship with the FBI and the Orange County Sheriff`s Office. They would have had cadaver dogs there.
Now, I`ve talked to cadaver dog experts. And let me tell you something. They have pulled people out -- people that have drowned in larger bodies of water, OK, from...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, wait a second. Louis Schneider, criminal defense attorney, I have to ask you this. there were cadaver dogs, according to the detectives who went to that scene before Roy Kronk called and cleared the area. That`s why, when Roy Kronk called and said, "I`m a meter reader and there`s something suspicious here," one of the times they didn`t even visit, because they checked their records: oh, cleared by cadaver dogs.
Now we`re hearing that these private eyes go there a month before the remains are officially discovered. And they`re going there because of, well, a -- according to one, because they were tipped off that the body was there. According to the other, he was just clearing a tip from a friend of Casey`s who said, "You better look there."
LOUIS SCHNEIDER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right. And cadaver dogs -- cadaver dogs are not infallible. So having gone in there, my understanding was that this area had flooded and receded, and there was swamp water in there. So the cadaver dog is clearing the area. That`s one thing.
A just -- a private eye doing their job and following up is another. Is it possible that the defense counsel had these private eyes go in there? Or are they strictly working for the family? Because if the private eyes are there on behalf of the defense counsel, that`s not discoverable evidence.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sure. Now Lisa Bloom, I want to bring in this aspect, because this is also tricky. The Anthony family has been asking through their attorney for immunity. And we went back and did a little research, and we found out that on December 29, a local affiliate, the CNN affiliate WESH, reported that George and Cindy Anthony will be asked to take a major role in the case against their daughter or else. As one investigator put it, they`re going to be asked to help convict her.
If the Anthonys are not candid and truthful, sources say the end result could include obstruction of justice charges.
BLOOM: That`s right. I`ve got two words for you: Martha Stewart. That`s what they ended up getting her on. Remember? Also, Scooter Libby. I mean, people go to prison, even high-profile people, for simply lying to the police.
And so I think they are very smart to try to get immunity. I don`t blame them. If I were their attorney, I would insist on it. And this is what they should be looking for. They`ve got a very heated environment down there.
George and Cindy Anthony are not accused of doing anything wrong. George testified at the grand jury hearing against his own daughter. He should be applauded for that. But, look, they are in legal jeopardy. They should get immunity. I`ve got no problem with that at all.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, what`s so fascinating about this is the other issue, Jayne Weintraub, of work product privilege.
Now Dominic Casey gave a sworn statement that he did not know the body was there. He used to be on the defense team. Presumably, that`s why he wasn`t dragged in and interviewed by detectives the way Jim Hoover was.
Jim Hoover, who was not part of the defense team but was a volunteer working with the Anthony family, he actually went to the cops and reportedly handed over the videotape that they took of this location.
WEINTRAUB: And the work product privilege is very valid. Basically, it`s an extension of the attorney/client privilege.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
WEINTRAUB: Can you imagine if -- if the police can just come into a lawyer`s office and say, you know, "I want to know what your investigator asked that person"? Or "I want to know from him what did he talked about. Nobody would ever talk to a defense lawyer again.
BLOOM: Let me jump in on that if I could, though, because the work product privilege does exist. It does attach. But it`s more limited than the attorney/client privilege.
And there are exceptions. For example, the crime fraud exception. What that means that if somebody moved a body, for example, you couldn`t cover that up under the work product privilege.
WEINTRAUB: I mean, you know, speculation, speculation. I have some words for you: Duke lacrosse. Do you remember those prosecutors?
BLOOM: No product privilege in that tape.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, all right. You know what? OK.
BLOOM: This area was searched and then the body was found there. It`s not unreasonable to say that body could have been moved.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang tight everyone. I`m glad you`re passionate, but we`re going to get back to this in just a moment.
And don`t forget, Nancy Grace is up at 8 p.m. Eastern, immediately following this program. She will also have the very latest shocking twists and turns in the Casey Anthony case.
Of course, we have much more analysis right on the way. Here is private eye Dominic Casey explaining what he would have done, had he found little Caylee`s remains when he searched the site back in November.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOMINIC CASEY, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Had I had the misfortune to stumble across any remains, the first thing I would have done would have been -- I would have prayed. The second thing I would have done, I would have stayed right at the location and called 911.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEONARD PADILLA, BOUNTY HUNTER: He mentioned to me that he had a film that he had filmed when Dominic called him on the 15th. And I asked him, I says, "How can you have a film of the area?"
And he says, "Well, Dominic called me on the 15th, told me Caylee had been found."
Hoover told me that he asked him, "Is she alive?"
He said, "No, she`s dead, but we`re going to go get her right now."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was bounty hunter Leonard Padilla, who really busted his whole controversy wide open by making that comment on "NANCY GRACE" a while back.
You know, I got to ask you, Lisa Bloom, because you`ve covered so many high-profile cases. Is this particular case -- as with many high-profile cases, stories seem to come up through unofficial channels that completely alter the case. I mean, when a case is this big, the story of the crime and its aftermath are constantly changing, because there`s so much new input from people coming out of the woodwork.
BLOOM: You`re absolutely right. And in high-profile cases, a lot of times additional witnesses and additional evidence come out that never would have otherwise, because people are interested. And they scratch their heads, and they say, "Hmm, you know what? I remember somebody told me -- or you know what? There`s a tape of this incident."
This happens all the time. We see it in the Scott Peterson case. We saw it in the Michael Jackson case, where they came out of the woodwork. And it`s happening here.
WEINTRAUB: They want to sell their story, just like with Scott Peterson or Michael Jackson. Everybody wants to cash in, and that`s the problem in this system right now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And speaking of cashing in, I...
FRANCO: Can I just climb in here for a second?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sure, but I want to ask about cashing in, Rozzie. Because Dominic Casey is counter-charging that Jim Hoover is actually trying to sell the videotape that they took on November 15.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you know about that?
FRANCO: Well, he`s not the only one, Jane. You know, the Orange County sheriff`s office plainly said to me that he shot the video to Channel 9 even before he went to investigators. I mean, what was his motive there?
And let me just say here, I dealt with Padilla from the very beginning of this case. You`ve got to take everything he says with a huge grain of salt. This is a person that came from California, with the Jay Blanchard Park, and stayed here for an entire week, looking for the remains and had divers there. Wait a minute.
And we knew -- everyone knew, including him, because he dealt with McSavage (ph), that the soil samples that came from the trunk of Casey Anthony`s car were not matched to that of Jay Blanchard Park, and they had been ruled out from the very beginning.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. You`re getting deep into inside baseball on this case, but suffice it to say that it seems that, in this particular comment -- excuse me -- that he made, he was on target. At least Jim Hoover confirmed what he allegedly said to Padilla and went to cops and reportedly said the same thing to cops. So let`s -- let`s leave him out of it for the moment.
I want to get to the forensics, because there`s so many fascinating developments on those fronts. Dr. Bill Manion, help me out with this.
On November 25, Judge Strickland ruled the defense cannot test the hair found in Casey Anthony`s trunk, because there`s too little of a sample. But then yesterday in court, the judge ruled prosecutors have 20 days to make hair found in Casey`s car available for the defense to inspect.
And I point out this is crucial hair, because it showed signs of decomposition. And it was determined to be one of the Anthonys`, and it clearly points to a dead Caylee in the trunk.
Is he changing his tune? The judge?
DR. BILL MANION, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, I think you have to be fair here with the defense. And certainly, the defense is entitled to retest all of the things that have been tested by the prosecutor. And this hair may be very important in developing a -- a theory or some type of defense for this homicide.
For instance, we talked earlier about looking for Xanax in the hair. And if Xanax can be found in the hair and also at different time periods in the hair, perhaps that could support an alibi that this child was drugged at different times so the mother could go out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Dr. Manion, either the hair sample is too small to test or it isn`t. That doesn`t change due to pressure from the defense to get -- get that sample. That`s a scientific determination that the judge made back in November that, hey, this sample is too small to test. Now they`re turning it over to the defense.
MANION: Well, many times it may be the prosecutor saying it`s too small to test, or even a physician. I mean, we`re -- we think we know things, but once we get into the fields of DNA experts and gas chromotology, mass spectrocity (ph), analysis, they can test things on micrograms and nanograms. You know, so...
WEINTRAUB: And that is probably what Linda Kenney-Baden brought up. And Dr. Manion, you`re so right. It wasn`t the judge on his own making that determination. It was based on representations from the prosecutor.
WEINTRAUB: And then one of the defense lawyers pointed out, "Judge, that can`t possibly be true, because now our expert and one of the forensic medical examiners will say, `All I need is, like, a nano-drop`." And that, of course, has to be there. So the defense is entitled.
I`ll tell you what`s interesting, Jane, about those motions and the rulings, is that all of a sudden, they are being given an extra 60 days. This is a regular, routine murder case, if there is such a thing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is not a regular, routine murder case. Excuse me.
WEINTRAUB: ... rules and laws that have to be applied. They have 15 days to provide the defense, from the date of the notice of discovery, with witness statements, expert statements, photographs, all of this stuff in every murder case, every day here in Florida. And prosecutors all across the state manage to comply.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to ask Lisa Bloom a question about forensics. The judge also said that all the stuff that was seized at the Anthony home December 11 and December 20 have to be handed over to the defense.
Now, what`s fascinating about that -- and this obviously is the crime scene where the remains discovered, but there`s also plenty of video that we have of the investigators carrying boxes and bags out of the Anthony home. And there they are.
And what does the defense do with all this stuff? I mean, you`d have to get a warehouse to -- and then where do you begin looking at it? It`s just mind-boggling.
BLOOM: That`s the point. First of all, we want to make sure we get this right. If, indeed, Casey is the killer and she is convicted, we want to make sure that all of her due process rights were protected.
And so of course, yes, the defense should have access to all of the information the prosecution has. Jane is right about that. Although delays and continuances are common even in routine cases, which this one is not. What are they going to do? They`re going to have to pour over all of this stuff. And they are at a disadvantage. Because the state has law enforcement. The state has labs and technicians that are on the table.
BLOOM: The defense does not have that, and the defense has to comb through it on their own nickel. The defense in this case and in every case is at a real disadvantage. The more forensic evidence continues to mount, the more difficult it can be to keep up with the state.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Bill Manion, it`s not every day that we get to see the -- the evidence being carted out, and this was overwhelming. I mean, it took a long time. How do you even begin? What box do you open first?
MANION: Well, it depends on what theory the defense is trying to develop to try to help in the case. And if they come up with a particular theory that this was an accidental death or someone else killed the child, then they would try to focus on that.
In addition, if they can find errors made where some of the DNA got mixed up -- and remember, there may have been hundreds of samples here, hundreds of pieces of evidence: DNA evidence, trace evidence, fiber evidence.
MANION: If they can find a few errors, they can muddy the water a bit.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Everyone hang tight. We have got the very latest developments in the Caylee Anthony murder investigation. I`m going to tell you why Casey Anthony`s attorney wants the case to move forward as quickly as possible.
Now here`s that lasting image of Casey Anthony struggling to raise her cuffed right hand in court yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raise your right hand for me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you solemnly swear (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(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 at -- you know, I`ve raised two girls. Goodness gracious. As Steve Ibison said from the FBI, the bottom line is, folks, no child should have to go through this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: An emotional Sheriff Beary at the news conference on December 19, announcing at the remains were, indeed, those of little Caylee Anthony`s.
We are back talking about this horrific murder case against her mother, Casey Anthony. And fantastic panel. I want to ask for your input on this whole discovery issue.
Now, back in December, we had the video that everybody saw of the investigators removing tons of stuff from the family`s home, the Anthony family home. We`re talking not just about boxes. They also removed vacuum cleaners. They also removed pesticide cans. Again, it was truckloads of stuff. There you see the pesticide cans.
Now contrast that with what we found out just yesterday, that defense attorney Jose Baez has an expert team of six forensic experts scattered all across the country and even in Canada that is going to be analyzing the evidence.
His argument for wanting to have access to the disks that the prosecution said he should not be able to mail is, "Hey, these people are all around the country. They can`t come in here to take a look at these disks."
So how the heck, Lisa Bloom, are they going to analyze boxes and boxes of evidence? It just doesn`t make sense to have that argument yesterday and, at the same time that you`re -- you`re taking all of this evidence to have the forensic experts look at.
BLOOM: Well, the reason why the photos on the disks is not to be sent around is because, God forbid, some you know, unsavory news outlet -- not CNN, not "In Session" but some unsavory news source -- wants to put a picture of this poor little child`s remains on the front page. And there are places like that. So the judge is being careful about that.
But look, it doesn`t matter if the experts are all over the place. They`re going to have to come on down and analyze this stuff and review it if they want to take a close look at it. It`s a high-profile case, and so it`s attracted high-profile experts from all over the country, most of whom, I suspect, are working for free or next to free.
But they`re still going to have to do the job. They`re going to have to come down, take a look, do the analysis before they testify at the trial. They`re just going to have to do it, Jane.
SCHNEIDER: And Jane, that`s potential evidence. That`s not all evidence. That`s a fishing expedition. And when they do -- when the prosecution finds evidence they wish to use, they have to turn it over to the defense.
If the prosecution were to use evidence that wasn`t turned over to the defense, this case gets overturned on appeal.
And as for this cast of characters that`s come out of the woodwork on high-level -- high-profile prosecutions, they are opportunities for the defense and a nightmare for the prosecution.
There is a lot of evidence. But it`s, again, it`s a fishing expedition. And the prosecution must be pulling their hair out right now with all of the characters that are coming out of the woodwork.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. I think both sides to a certain degree. Although in confusion there can be reasonable doubt.
WEINTRAUB: I think that they`re scrambling. And I`ll tell you why. I think the prosecutions are -- the prosecutors are completely scrambling and at odds with themselves, even.
You know, they`ve given certain statements, they`ve made statements to the press, to the public. And now all of a sudden, when they`re ordered to turn over, pursuant to our Florida rules, right away, copies of statements or copies of tapes, for example, the 9/11 Roy Kronk tapes. Jane, you`ve been talking about that for a couple of weeks already. They have those tapes. They have the transcripts. The judge orders them. Why didn`t they just order...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang in there, people. Don`t go anywhere. Our expert panel will sort through more legal bombshells in this case in just a moment.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, a stunning new battle in the Caylee Anthony murder case. As accused mom Casey returns to jail in shackles to await her trial, a war has erupted between two private investigators. The dispute, did one of them tell the other Caylee was dead and where her remains were located a month before she was found? It would appear somebody is lying.
Back with my fantastic panel talking about the legal fireworks and the forensics in the Casey Anthony case. Lisa Bloom, anchor of "In Session," Lewis Schneider and Janey Weintraub, both criminal defense attorneys, Dr. Bill Manion, pathologist and assistant medical examiner for Burlington County, New Jersey, and Rozzie Franco from WFLA-AM 540.
You know, everybody has been talking about the big smile Casey Anthony bestowed on her attorney, Jose Baez, in court. We`ve got it there. We`re showing it to you. We`re not suggesting at all that there`s anything untoward here, but there have been a couple of reports worth mentioning. One that Baez has referred to casey as "my girl."
Also, Central Florida Local 13 reports that on October 31, Orange County jail officials reportedly reprimanded Baez for allegedly hugging Casey during jail visits.
Rozzie, you`re there at the scene. What is the scuttlebutt on this? Again, we`re not suggesting anything untoward. What is going on here?
FRANCO: Sure. You`re absolutely right. I got to tell you, whenever Casey was at home for that first bond that the California bounty hunter celebrity Leonard Padilla got her out of, she didn`t stay home very often. She was actually at her attorney`s office most of the time.
And it`s funny because when I spoke to Padilla, I got one perspective. When I spoke at Tim Miller (ph) at Equusearch, I said, what`s going on here? He said, well, basically, George went to the room and almost choked her. And she goes to her attorney`s office for some kind of, like, just some kind of like emotional soothing, some kind of, you know, something from Baez.
I suppose that he`s giving her -- this is coming from the mouths of the people that were in the room with this girl, in the house, very close with her. We do know that Leonard Padilla had one of his .
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`ve got it out for Leonard Padilla obviously. I don`t know what he said to you. But it`s a tense situation and frictions do erupt. Not just between attorneys but between reporters and people involved .
WEINTRAUB: What happened in jail -- lots of times -- it`s natural to hug your client at the end of an emotional discussion or give them a little encouragement. You know, pat them on the back. It`s not like he`s kissing his client in jail.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What`s the appropriate behavior? And where do you draw the line when you want to comfort somebody who may be in some kind of emotional pain?
BLOOM: It does happen, Jane. Jane Weintraub is right. But this is a little inappropriate to me. You should keep your hands off the girl. Let`s not forget, she has a certain allure to men.
BLOOM: She`s cute. Even as an inmate. Look at her. I don`t know how her hair is so cute when she`s an inmate. She is and she`s appealing to men. She was involved with law enforcement a long time ago. But men like her. He should be careful. He is in the public eye. That`s all I`m saying.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You actually raise a good point. Rozzie Franco, we do forget that one deputy sheriff, I believe, had to resign .
FRANCO: One? There was at least an Orlando police officer, there was a deputy sheriff, there was a former firefighter. I mean, this girl, you know, she had her fun.
WEINTRAUB: She`s not on trial for being an slut. She`s on trial for first-degree murder.
FRANCO: I`m not saying she`s a slut. I`m not calling her a slut. I`m saying after reading the transcripts .
VELEZ-MITHCELL: Let`s bring a male attorney in on this. Lewis Schneider, you`re a male attorney. You deal with female clients. Sometimes attractive female clients. Sometimes young attractive female clients. What is the protocol? How do you behave? Do you hug your clients sometimes? Do you call her "my girl" or not?
SCHNEIDER: I have a policy in my office that I will not meet with single women or women that are by themselves alone. I always have someone in my office just as a doctor has a nurse present.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s a smart rule.
SCHNEIDER: I tell you why. Because when you`re in trial or you`re in the middle of a divorce, emotions run high and there`s this attraction that goes on and I don`t want to get caught up in that. And in a case like this where someone`s life may be on the line, what you need to do is emotions are running high. So the question is what do you do? What you do is you put your arm around them, you maybe give them a hug, but you`ve got to maintain that professional boundary. And once you cross it, you do your client a disservice. You become emotionally involved in a case and you`ll hurt your client.
FRANCO: Jane there is one thing I want to say, and it came from the words of Lee Anthony, Casey Anthony`s brother. He was on tape and he said when he went to a jail visit, he said be careful of Jose Baez. Anything you want to get to me, please get it to me through the Orange County jail. You don`t have to go through him. He doesn`t have to be your attorney. That said a lot. Spoke volumes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A lot of people are beating up on Jose Baez. But given the nature of this case - I don`t know - I would grade him pretty high in terms of how he`s handled this chaos and confusion, Lisa Bloom. I mean, it`s easy to attack him and say, who knew about him before this case and he`s a publicity hound, but you`re going to get publicity on a case like this and he seems to be doing a relatively good job so far. Although the prosecution kept accusing him of all things yesterday.
BLOOM: He`s being an aggressive advocate for his client, and that`s what he`s supposed to do. And Jerry Falwell, remember him? He had a rule that he would not be in a room alone with a woman who was not his wife. He would always have his door open for 50 years, that`s probably the only thing I ever agreed with Jerry Falwell about. You do have to be careful.
You can be accused of misdoing. If you`re a human being you can be attracted to somebody in an inappropriate situation. Jose Baez should be careful with her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to bring in Dr. Bill Manion who is so patient and polite here. Dr. Manion, it is true that in these big cases, emotions run high. I`ve certainly seen it in the cases I`ve covered. In the Michael Jackson case, the emotions were beyond running high. There was a mass hysteria at times at the courthouse. For example, when Michael Jackson showed up late in his pajamas. Even people who were normally very, very sane became a little crazy.
You are a very studious and somber professional, but do even the professionals, even the forensic experts, do they get sucked into the vortex of drama?
MANION: Oh sure. Absolutely. Because we oftentimes will meet with the defendants in the courtroom. Before I testify I`ll meet with the defendants. And oftentimes these are very sad stories, very tragic stories. And you can develop empathy for them. They were drunk when they did something, they were on drugs when they did something, and they didn`t have a history of this. So there`s naturally a relationship that goes forward. And as an attorney, as an expert witness, I`m trying to be an advocate for them as a pathologist and try to give their side of the story to mitigate the terrible charges and accusations made against them. So you can`t help but feel empathy. But likewise you remain professional.
WEINTRAUB: There`s an old saying about .
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Then we got to go.
WEINTRAUB: There`s an old saying about the criminal clients. They`re on their best behavior when you meet them. And the civil clients are absolutely at their worst. When you sit down with somebody accused of murder, they are very kind, normal, sweet people that are going on in their everyday lives that are in the check-out counter at the grocery store.
The divorced clients I think are crazy. And Lisa Bloom, tell me you never hugged a woman in a divorce case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to give Lisa the last word.
BLOOM: Female clients. I`d be very careful with a young, attractive male camera. Hugging in front of the cameras. That`s all I`m saying. I`m no fool. I wasn`t born yesterday, Jane.
VELEZ-MITHCELL: You sure weren`t. I want to thank my fantastic panel, Janie, Lewis, Bill, Rozzie. Thank you so much. Lisa, hang tight. Don`t forget, Nancy Grace up at 8:00 p.m. Eastern immediately following this program. She will have the latest shocking twists in the case against Casey Anthony.
Coming up, I`ve been telling you about the young mother killed trying to save her mother from an alleged child molester. You will not believe the shocking details emerging about this suspect. We`ll tell you next.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A heroic mother killed trying to save her son from an alleged child molester. Did the demented suspect stalk his victims? Authorities say yes. Those details coming up in a minute. But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.
Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel serving 20 years to life in prison for the murder of a 15-year-old Martha Moxley back in 1975. Skakel was 15 at the time, but now in a new appeal, Skakel`s lawyers claim they were never given two bombshell pieces of evidence, one implicating another suspect. Another discrediting key witness Gregory Coleman.
Coleman testified Skakel confessed to the killing, saying he would get away with it because quote, "I`m a Kennedy," unquote. Turns out Coleman was high on heroin when he faced the grand jury and had a history of lying to authorities to get drug money. Murder, drugs, power, fame. This case has all the drama of a soap opera. I will be sure to keep my eye on it for any new twists and tell you about them.
Now I want to turn to stunning revelations in the gruesome murder case out of Ohio. Police say 22-year-old Charlie Myers wielding a gun and sexual devices showed up at the home of a family whose car he`d stolen weeks before. Kicked the door down and then allegedly sexually assaulted a four- year-old boy, shooting his mother to death after she tried to stop it. But reports show this wasn`t the first time Myers stalked his car theft victim. Sky Cunningham says she was first approached by the 22-year-old when he asked to see her DJ booth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SKY CUNNINGHAM, FORMER VICTIM OF MYERS: He was a face I had never seen before. Within five minutes that I was gone, he had made his way back up there and taken the essentials from my purse. Car keys, wallet, identification.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He then showed up at her door when she wasn`t at home. Her roommate answered and later told her the story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CUNNINGHAM: He just said there was a knock at the door today. A man I didn`t know with a speech impediment said, is Sky Cunningham home? It was just a matter of timing, you know, that I wasn`t at the door. That could have been me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fortunately, Sky Cunningham managed to avoid a tragic end, but the young Ohio mother was not so lucky. A funeral service held today for that heroic mother who police say gave her life to protect her young son. As the family grieves, authorities still trying to piece together what they know about suspect Charlie Myers. That while prosecutors consider giving him the death penalty for committing such horribly gruesome crimes, allegedly.
Just a note. We are not using the names or showing the faces of the mother or toddler so that we can protect their identity. With me now, Lisa Bloom, anchor of "In Session", Dr. Judy Kuriansky, clinical psychologist and very famous author as well, Denise Alex, anchor and reporter with the Ohio News Networks. Lisa, help me with this one. You`ve covered so many horrific crimes. This one seems to reach a new low and it`s bizarrely unusual pattern of stealing a car and showing up at a person`s home, what do you make of this?
BLOOM: It`s absolutely horrific, Jane. It`s so tragic. This young mother, a heroine, sounds like she was just acting on instinct. She`s tied down, she breaks out of her shackles, she grabs a knife and goes after him and she loses her life in an attempt to save her four year old boy from an accused molester. Anybody who has got a kid or loves a kid has to be heart-broken over this story. Most of us would have done the same thing or we hope we would have done the same thing in that situation. Hope we would have had that kind of courage. Her life should be celebrated. This guy, if he`s good for this crime, I hope he gets justice.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s so sick and it`s interesting, Denise Alex, I understand that you`ve dug up some information on him, that he may have had fetal alcohol syndrome. Tell us about that.
DENISE ALEX, OHIO NEWS NETWORK: When he was 17, charlie myers faced charges of breaking into an elderly couple`s home, burglarizing them. He also stole women`s clothing there. The investigation showed and his defense lawyer said that he was -- he had a troubled background. His mother died of an alcohol and drug-related death and he did have alcohol in his system when he was born. So it seemed like Charlie Myers didn`t have a chance from the time he was born until now, 22 years old.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police said the suspect robbed the family vehicle, found the family`s address, went to the home, broke in, tied up the mother, sexually abused the boy, then shot the mother, left her to die when she tried to rescue her son. The man is now saying, get this, I`m sorry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE MYERS, ACCUSED OF MURDER: I`m sorry for the crime. This is my first time I`ve ever had in my whole life. I`m 22 years old and I`ve never had a gun in my whole life. I made a mistake. I apologize to the family. One thing I`d say I wanted their stuff, but I took the child because I wanted to make sure the child stayed away from the parent because the parent had passed away. And I dropped him off at the rest area. My fault. I apologize for the victim. And I had a lot of mistakes. And I have got to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Judy Kuriansky, this suspect, a very troubled childhood. Put in foster care at the age of four after his mother died. Has a hearing impairment. Has brothers who were subjected to unspeakable abuse and may have had fetal alcohol syndrome. Give us a diagnosis of what you think this .
DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, there is a lot of multiple causes here really, Jane. Because there`s genetics that could be involved obviously with fetal alcohol syndrome. When there`s someone who is sexually assaulting, there could be all kinds of imbalances in the hormone system and imbalances in the brain chemicals, which is why sometimes we try to treat these people with medications. There`s obviously a lot of psychodynamics, too. Being an analyst you could put this guy on the couch. Not that it`s an excuse at al for anything that he did. But many times when we analyze these kinds of people, we find that in childhood, he had the tremendous loss of his own mother. This is a reenactment in some bizarre way of his own distress as a child. Losing a mother figure, acting this out, taking the child from the mother. His own mother being taken away from him. And reenacting these kinds of things.
As I said, no excuse, but an explanation. And one thing that`s interesting here, he`s expressing some kind of remorse. A lot of times these kinds of crimes, the perpetrator does not express any remorse. Then we have no sympathy for the person. But after all there is no way to excuse what has been done.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely not. But what`s fascinating Lisa Bloom, is that he has a history of apologizing when he was caught at an earlier car theft case, at one point in his career he wrote a letter to the judge admitting bad decisions and mistakes. Does that sound familiar?
BLOOM: It`s bizarre. It`s one thing to apologize for doing something to the car. I`d another think to apologize for taking the life of a human being and saying, you know, it was the first time I had a gun. It seems like this young man is mentally slow in addition to all of the other challenges that he has. Put it all together, I would expect even if convicted he will probably not get the death penalty in Ohio given everything that he`s saddled with.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is that because of the fetal alcohol syndrome?
BLOOM: I would suspect because of that, because if he has an IQ test, I suspect it will be very low. The history of foster care, the potential abuse. He`s got a lot on his plate. These are the kinds of people typically who do not get the death penalty. In the State of Ohio, I`ve watched a lot of high profile death penalty cases there. Jurors are reluctant to impose the death penalty. They have it in that state, but they don`t impose it very often.
KURIANSKY: And I agree. These are the times that psychological assessments come into play and juries become sympathetic and then people end up in mental institutions as opposed to getting the lethal injection.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Denise Alex, what is the reaction in the community to this crime? This is truly horrific. Is there any sense that this man is basically just not all there? Does that temper at all the outrage, even as funeral services are held for this courageous and valiant woman?
ALEX: You know, I think emotions are kind of all over the place. I think people are that people are very upset how anyone can take a mother away from her four-year-old son but then with this background and all this information surfacing, people do feel a sense of sympathy for Charlie Myers. His mom died. He`s been in and out of foster homes. In and out of the system. In and out of homeless shelters since he was a little boy and a judge back when he was 17 years old an convicted of arson and some other charge and said, Charlie, you better straighten up or you don`t know where you will be down the road.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I tell you what. I am concerned about the little 4-year- old boy who was allegedly sexually assaulted by this guy and we`re going to hang right there. Discuss that, the impact psychologically on him has to be unbearable. A lot more to talk about in this very disturbing case. Should Charlie Myers face the death penalty? But first, again, listen to his apology to this horrific crime. I hate to break it to him but sorry won`t cut it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MYERS: I want to say sorry for the crime but this is the first time that I`ve ever had in my whole life, I`m 22 years old and I`ve never had a gun in my whole life but I made mistakes. And I apologize to the family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CUNNINGHAM: He just said there was a knock at the door today. A man I didn`t know with a speech impediment said is Sky Cunningham home? It was just a manner of timing that I wasn`t at the door. That could have been me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was a former victim of Charlie Myers, the 22-year-old wholly molested a four-year-old boy and then shot his mother to death. Back to discuss this very gruesome case. Lisa Bloom, Myers killed one woman. He`s facing eight counts of aggravated murder. And he allegedly kidnapped. And of course these are all allegations at this point, even though he appears to have done some sort of semi confession. Four counts kidnapping. How do you get four counts of kidnapping and eight counts of aggravated murder?
BLOOM: Beats me. That`s a good question, Jane. Really one person here. So I don`t know unless they are slightly different charges. Unless we`re talking about lesser-included charges. I don`t know. I have no why idea that is in this case. It doesn`t make a lot of sense to me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It doesn`t to me either. Dr. Judy Kuriansky, happen to be looking in this classic book "Healing the Shame the Binds You". In the area where talking about crime. And the theory proposed there is that a child who is traumatized, unless they have a healthy way to express and process that trauma, will be driven, driven to express it by repeating the very crimes perpetrated against them.
KURIANSKY: Well, that`s really not fair to say. It is true that it is possible, like with Charlie. If he has been abused or watched this kind of thing, it can be repeated. But it`s so unfair to say that anyone who has been abused will end up repeating this. And I do need to say that kids, although they are major traumatized by watching, this little boy, by watching his mother be murdered and possibly molested also, will be traumatized. And does need help. But I have even personally been involved in a case where a young man called me on the radio said that he had also watched his mother be murdered. And he was traumatized. But this young man grew up to be a very well-adjusted and very well -- have a happy relationship and be a famous person, by the way. And so it is possible that this kid can adjust.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to give Lisa Bloom the last word. We only have couple of seconds. One small comfort is authorities i do not think that woman was assaulted.
BLOOM: Well, that is one small comfort. Not a lot. Not a lot in the case and I think that we should be celebrating this woman, as you have Jane. She fought for her four-year-old boy. She lost her life for doing it but God bless her. What a valiant courageous woman.
She is a hero and praise her tonight and say that this woman is truly a hero trying to save her child. Lisa Bloom, Doctor Judy, and the reporter we had there a little while ago, thank you, all. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. So happy to be here. You are watching ISSUES.