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New Tape Surfaces; Hero Mom Murder

Aired January 16, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, bombshell jailhouse video released of Casey Anthony, frustrated, angry, and talking a bit too much behind bars to her parents. All caught on tape.

CINDY ANTHONY, MOM OF CASEY ANTHONY: I was in Lake County two days ago. Is there anything there?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pointed questions from Casey`s mom back in the summer. What does it say about Cindy`s suspicions regarding her daughter`s role in Caylee`s disappearance, despite their insistence that she will be proven innocent? Did her parents suspect her from the beginning?

CINDY ANTHONY: You need to have something to go on.

CASEY ANTHONY: Mom, I don`t have anything.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meantime, meter reader Roy Kronk finally gets recognition for his role in finding Caylee`s remains. We`ll tell you how much reward money he just got.

Plus, shocking new details about how Charlie Myers allegedly murdered a young mother while she valiantly fought to stop him from sexually assaulting her 4-year-old son. Details prosecutors say make him eligible for the death penalty.

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stunning developments in the Caylee Anthony murder investigation tonight. New, shocking video just released. Some are calling it the lost video. It shows a frustrated Casey Anthony talking to her parents in jail back in August, long before little Caylee`s remains were found.


CINDY ANTHONY: I was in Lake County two days ago.


CINDY ANTHONY: Is there anything there?

CASEY ANTHONY: Mom! I`m sorry. I love you guys. I miss you.

CINDY ANTHONY: All right, here`s Dad.

CASEY ANTHONY: You know, I`m going to hang up and just walk away right now, because...

CINDY ANTHONY: Please don`t.

CASEY ANTHONY: I`m frustrated and I`m angry, and I don`t want to be angry. This is the first time I`m truly, truly been angry this entire time. But I`m so beyond frustrated with all of this. I can`t even swallow right now. It hurts.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. The video perhaps being the first indication that doubt may have begun to creep into the minds of Casey`s relentlessly supportive parents, George and Cindy. We will analyze that complicated relationship as well as show you much more, and I mean much more of this bombshell tape.

Also tonight, meter reader Roy Kronk collects a $5,000 reward for finding Caylee Anthony`s remains, but you will be shocked to learn who is giving him the money.

I am now joined by my expert panel: Dr. Bill Manion, pathologist and assistant medical examiner for Burlington County, New Jersey; and Rick Robinson, a former state trooper; as well as Brian Russell, a forensic psychologist as well as an attorney. Also, Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and adjunct law professor at the University of Miami; and Jeff Gardere, clinical psychologist. Boy, do we need a shrink tonight.

But let`s start with Mark. You`ve been following this case very closely. What do you make of this lost tape suddenly being found and released and the pointed questions Cindy and George direct at Casey in this video?

MARK EIGLARSH, ADJUNCT LAW PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI: The first thing I`m thinking as a criminal defense attorney is why did her attorney allow her to have this meeting? He knew, and so did she, because she acknowledges it on the tape, that this would be videotaped for the world to see.

In fact, she even says, boy to her parents, "Boy, the media is going to have a field day with this one."

The first thing I`m thinking, other than her parents don`t necessarily believe her and think that she`s holding back, is that she says on the tape, "I am angry. I have never been angry in the 30 days that I`ve been here. I am so angry."

My thought is that the prosecutors can have a field day with this. You mean this is the first time she`s been angry? A woman who professes her innocence, that she had nothing to do with this, who`s been falsely, allegedly, accused of slicing up her own child, is angry for the first time 30 days later?

My argument is, if this is me, if I`m accused of touching the hair on my three children improperly, they couldn`t build a jail big enough to contain my anger. So I -- to me, this is very compelling. The first time she`s angry. You mean that she`s been at peace, the fact that she potentially faces a death penalty? Back then she was. Now, she`s not. At least a life sentence. Now she`s angry?

I think that the defense failed in allowing her to have this interview with her parents.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got so much of this video. We want to keep playing it, because it`s all just so fascinating. I was struck by how Casey speaks of herself. Listen to this part of the conversation.


CASEY ANTHONY: Let me speak for a second. Dad, I let everybody talk. They`re not releasing it. I hope not. I`ll say what I have to about the police. Can someone let me -- come on.

CINDY ANTHONY: Casey, hold on, sweetheart. Settle down.

CASEY ANTHONY: Nobody is letting me speak. You want me to talk.



CINDY ANTHONY: I`ll listen to you.

CASEY ANTHONY: I want to say something. I`m not in control over any of this because I don`t know what the hell is going on. I don`t know what`s going on. My entire life has been taken from me. Everything has been taken from me. You don`t understand.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jeff Gardere, you`re the shrink. "My entire life has been taken from me." It`s all about me, me, me when it comes to Casey Anthony.

JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: That`s -- that`s exactly what we`re hearing. And some time ago we talked about what would happen once she`s in jail? Would she start to implode? And that`s exactly what we`re seeing right now.

I`m just struck at the nature of how immature she is. She`s acting like a child. Like a baby. More emotion than I`ve seen from her in a very long time since this first began.

But Jane, this is it. You`re right. This whole thing about "my life, my life has been impacted." Well, what about your baby?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian Russell, what about the baby? Where are the questions? We listened to minutes and minutes and minutes and not a question about, "Well, did they check here, did they check there?" Nothing that would indicate she`s concerned about finding the child, which she is claiming is alive.

BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Exactly. As Jeff said, you see the self-focus throughout the video.

What you also see, though, is you see the manipulativeness [SIC]. You see that she knows just how -- she says, "I`m not in control," but you see that she does exert control during that video over the parents. And you don`t just get that way when something happens to you at the age of 22, 23. You can see that she has been manipulating those parents for years.

And we were talking the other night on the show -- that`s why you have to watch the show every night -- about the guilt that Cindy may feel. And I think one of the reasons she may be feeling some guilt right now is because she may be realizing that she has raised this girl to be this way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. What I find fascinating, speaking of this whole thing -- Rick Robinson, you`re a former state trooper. This lost tape suddenly being discovered. Do you buy it?

RICK ROBINSON, FORMER STATE TROOPER: Well, I think -- I think there`s a pretty good chance there was probably a FOIA request, Freedom of Information Act request from some agency, news or otherwise, and they just did the same thing that we would have done. Just give it to everybody.

So I think it wasn`t that it was lost. It was just a request was made, and they made a decision to go ahead and release it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, maybe I`ve become a conspiracy theorist, but Dr. Bill Manion, you deal as a forensic pathologist with a lot of evidence. Is it likely that this tape just got lost and suddenly found, given that it contradicts exactly what Cindy Anthony said earlier this week, that "I believe my daughter is innocent and it will be proven," complete support for her daughter.

In this video she`s asking all sorts of questions. It sounds like she thinks that her daughter has some information that she`s not releasing.

BILL MANION, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Yes, it certainly does. And it seems unlikely to me that this tape would have just been lost. People are very careful with digital evidence nowadays. Each tape is cataloged, has a digital fingerprint on it. And so people are very careful about that.

What I thought was interesting on the tape is that, as a forensic pathologist, I deal with people committing suicide. And normally, when they commit suicide, there`s some catastrophic event or some catastrophic realization that pushes them to the brink. And I just think that she`s gotten through that catastrophic realization and now is able to live with herself.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you think, Jeff Gardere? Two faces of the Anthony family? And I want to say that I have complete compassion and sympathy for Cindy and George. The hell that they have been through, that their daughter has put them through, is absolutely unimaginable. So I certainly don`t want to pass judgment on them.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But it does seem like there`s two faces. There`s what they act and say when they`re talking to Casey and, apparently, at that point they might have been under the impression that the whole world wasn`t going to see this tape, and then there`s the face they present to the world, which is completely different.

GARDERE: Well -- and this is what we see in homes. That we behave a certain way with our children. Our children, as Brian has said here, correctly, they exert a certain control over us. That`s all of us as parents.

And then what we portray to the public is something completely different. We are faithful to our children and we want to make sure that we put the best face forward for them.

But this is a therapy session, a family session that we`re seeing. This is what`s fascinating me. Now we`re really seeing what happens behind closed doors with the parents and with this young woman, how, in fact, she does control them, how, in fact, she almost acts like she is completely in control of that family.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, maybe that`s the hidden dynamic, Brian Russell, that this is a girl or young woman who wanted attention, wanted attention from her parents and wanted to have more power in the relationship with her parents. And, guess what? She has gotten both.

At one point on this tape that was just released, the mother, Cindy, says hello and starts crying immediately. And Casey just has this huge smile on her face like, "Wow, mom`s crying over me. Wow, I`m getting this attention. Wow, I`m the focus finally."

RUSSELL: Yes, Jane. You`ve probably noticed this. You and I have both covered lots of cases like this, unfortunately. And one of the things that is very interesting about very self-focused, narcissistic types of people, is that even when they`re getting very negative attention, like being in jail, charged with murdering their child, you still see some signs of enjoyment of the attention. It`s very bizarre to the average person watching the show here tonight, but you`ve probably noticed that, too, in other cases, including this one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I want to examine that more when we come right back. Stick around.

Just a reminder, I will be filling in for Nancy Grace immediately following this program at 8 p.m. Eastern. We`re going to take a look at all of the stunning developments in the Caylee Anthony case.

And, of course, I will have much more analysis of these incredible new videos of Casey Anthony from jail. It is just chilling to see how self- centered she has seemed to be throughout this entire ordeal.



CINDY ANTHONY: I was in Lake County two days ago.


CINDY ANTHONY: Is there anything there?

CASEY ANTHONY: Mom! I`m sorry. I love you guys. I miss you.

CINDY ANTHONY: All right, here`s Dad.

CASEY ANTHONY: You know, I`m going to hang up and just walk away right now, because...

CINDY ANTHONY: Please don`t.

CASEY ANTHONY: I`m frustrated and I`m angry, and I don`t want to be angry. This is the first time I`m truly, truly been angry this entire time. But I`m so beyond frustrated with all of this. I can`t even swallow right now. It hurts.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re beyond frustrated? How about the rest of the country?

That`s brand-new video just released of Casey Anthony speaking to, and sometimes yelling at, her parents during a jailhouse conversation back in August. Tapes just released.

Mark Eiglarsh, as you hear that sound bite and the mom asks, "Well, I was up in this area. Anything there?"

"Mom, jeez?" What is she saying when she says, "Mom, jeez?" In other words, "Hey, people could be listening."

EIGLARSH: That`s one thing. Because later in the tape, she references that, you know, I discussed this very carefully with my attorney, Jose Baez. And he ultimately deferred to me as to whether I wanted to do it, knowing that the media would have a field day with it. And she`s absolutely right.

At that point of the investigation, every single morsel that flowed from her lips was being analyzed. I cannot believe that anyone with a law degree would put her in a position where we would now be able to watch 20 minutes of video and audio items flow from her lips to analyze.

Now, granted, I don`t necessarily agree with this being a bombshell. Bombshell is a busload of nuns watching her slice up her daughter and throw her remains in a wooded area.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. That`s a good definition. Yes.

EIGLARSH: And maybe they videotaped it, too. Because you know how those nuns can be. You need a videotape of it, too.

But -- but I don`t necessarily think that this is the bombshell. It`s yet another piece of evidence that prosecutors can use to show that she`s acting inconsistent with someone who`s innocent.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, just because you said that, I`m going to put a moratorium on the world "bombshell" for the rest of this show. But I`m not promising about tomorrow or Monday.

All right. Rick Robinson, as a state trooper, you have observed a lot of criminals, defendants, people behind bars talking to their relatives. Do they engage in a conversation that is essentially, "Hey, read between the lines? Because there`s things I can`t tell you because the authorities are listening. So I`m going to talk in -- is code and you better pick up on what I`m saying, what I`m really trying to say to you."

ROBINSON: No. To be perfectly candid, the people that I`ve dealt with in areas such as that, they may have known they were being taped, and they really didn`t care. And they weren`t smart enough to know what they should have said and what they shouldn`t have said.

But I`ll be perfectly candid. Maybe I`m the only one on the panel, but I really don`t think they realized or thought about the fact that they were being taped.

I realize that one of the folks on the panel mentioned something about the media will have a field day with this, but I just didn`t read what she was saying exactly that way.

I`ll tell you something I did notice as an investigator. She -- Casey went 6 -- almost 6 1/2 minutes before she said "Caylee." Just like you said, Jane, it was "me, me, me."

I have been on countless investigations where people were concerned about a husband, a wife, a child, and it`s all about that person. What`s going on? Have you heard anything? She didn`t say that at all the entire 30 minutes of that conversation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s absolutely astounding.

But getting back to my original point, because I do believe I`ve actually watched video of jailhouse conversations, Brian Russell, where the guy behind bars is talking in code to a relative, trying to convey something that they don`t really want the authorities to pick up on because, let`s face it, they are in a situation where everything they say is being observed and listened to. But yet they`ve got to get some key information out. That`s why the relatives are there. Not just to say, "Oh, I love you."

RUSSELL: Yes. I think you`re right. I think that does happen. I think we see sometimes, like with drug cases where there`s evidence still, maybe, to be found or evidence that`s hidden. And you see people in the jail trying to give clues to somebody on the outside about, maybe, where to find something, how to get rid of something.

Also in this video, what`s interesting is you look at Casey`s body language. You have to interpret non-verbal communication in context. And so you look at -- if you turn the sound off and you watch, she looks frustrated. She looks tense. But what is the frustration and tension about?

And then when you turn the sound on and you listen, it`s all about what she`s going through, just as you`ve noted and as Rick and others have noted.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s absolutely fascinating. And it`s consistent. It never changes.

Listen to another part of the conversation between Casey and her mother, Cindy.


CASEY ANTHONY: How are you feeling?

CINDY ANTHONY: Not -- we`re not doing well, Case. None of us. Lee has been sick. Dad`s -- Dad`s blown up at the media.

CASEY ANTHONY: Yes, I heard.

CINDY ANTHONY: Someone just said that Caylee was dead this morning, that she drowned in the pool. That`s the newest story out there.

CASEY ANTHONY: Surprise, surprise.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Jeff Gardere, the grandmother obviously just devastated, crying her eyes out, and says the reports are that this little child may have drowned in the pool. And the mother of the child`s reaction is, "Surprise, surprise."

GARDERE: Yes. Exactly. Completely disconnected emotionally. And that has been consistent throughout this case.

The mother, as you can see, the grandmother here, Cindy, is so appropriate in her feelings and has been. You know, "Where is our granddaughter? What is going on? What`s going on?" And seems like she`s trying to get this information, in a very ginger way, from her very explosive daughter.

But as you`ve said, look at her reaction. "Well, surprise, surprise." Almost anyone else would have broken down as soon as that came up about a theory as to what happened to Caylee.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have another theory that occurred to me while I was reading transcripts. This is a very long interview, and I`ve seen most of the video, but there`s transcripts, as well, where at one point on this tape, Casey has a message for Zanny the nanny, who police think does not exist, that this is a total fiction, that she made up somebody who allegedly took her child from her.

And Casey says, just tell her that we forgive her. At that moment, it occurred to me, is it possible, Brian Russell, that she suffers from multiple personality disorder or a split personality, and that Zanny is one of the personalities who takes over?

RUSSELL: I don`t think so. I think -- people have asked me during this case, is it possible that something that begins as a lie can become a delusion? I think maybe that`s a closer far -- kind of still far-out theory about what can happen, where somebody does something and they make up lies and they tell them so long that they start to lose track of what`s true and what`s a lie. I don`t think that`s happening to her either. I really don`t see any evidence of a psychotic process going on. Psychopathic, sociopathic, maybe. But psychotic, no.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Stay right there. More on the latest developments in the Casey Anthony murder case in just a minute. And we`ll have more on the strange details concerning meter reader Roy Kronk.

First he`s throwing cops under the bus, and now he gets a $5,000 reward? My panel, my fantastic panel, will try to make sense of it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Casey, did you kill Caylee? Did you kill Caylee?




CASEY ANTHONY: How are you feeling?

CINDY ANTHONY: Not -- we`re not doing well, Case. None of us. Lee has been sick. Dad`s -- Dad`s blown up at the media.

CASEY ANTHONY: Yes, I heard.

CINDY ANTHONY: Someone just said that Caylee was dead this morning, that she drowned in the pool. That`s the newest story out there.

CASEY ANTHONY: Surprise, surprise.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Surprise, surprise. What a reaction.

We are back discussing the latest developments in the Caylee Anthony murder investigation.

And I want to talk briefly about meter reader Roy Kronk. Then we`re going to get back to playing more of these absolutely fascinating tapes that were just released. Meter reader Roy Kronk, Mark Eiglarsh, is getting $5,000.

And what`s fascinating is he`s getting it from Mark NeJame, who`s an attorney who used to represent Cindy and George. Mark NeJame says, "I made about $5,000 on the case, and I want to give all of that money to Roy Kronk."

Is that weird for an attorney to do?

EIGLARSH: Weird? It`s unprecedented. Attorneys giving -- attorneys giving any money away is bizarre.

But what I think is not great from a prosecution perspective is, you don`t want any of your witnesses receiving any money or any benefit during the pendency of a case.

Here in Florida, there is a jury instruction that they`ll get which says when you`re evaluating the credibility of a witness, consider whether they`ve received any benefit along the way.

And while I don`t know that this guy actually did what he did to receive any money, it just muddies up the water. You don`t want to have to go there. So it`s not necessarily a strong thing for the prosecution.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Brian Russell, there`s another twist to this. Mark NeJame, who used to, again, work for Cindy and George, has sort of switched teams and is now representing Tim Miller, who runs EquuSearch.

And on top of that, Tim Miller is fighting Casey`s defense team, which is demanding that Tim Miller turn over something like 20,000 documents related EquuSearch`s volunteer search for Caylee, which was unsuccessful, by them anyway.

And Tim Miller is saying, "Well, if you do that, nobody is ever going to want to join a volunteer search team, because you`re violating their confidentiality." But is it odd for an attorney to jump sides, essentially?

RUSSELL: Not only is it odd, but it might be unethical. And Mark Eiglarsh, it can speak more directly to what the rules are on that down in Florida. But it looks like a conflict to me. Because he`s now representing somebody whose interests appear to be adverse to this former client, Casey Anthony`s, in that I think what they`re trying to do here with the EquuSearch guy is they`re trying to get evidence from him that they`re going to try to use to show that the body wasn`t there at a previous time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And getting back to Mark Eiglarsh on this, why would this attorney suddenly jump over and start representing Tim Miller from EquuSearch who, again, is going up against the very people that he used to be associated with?

EIGLARSH: I have absolutely no idea. I agree with Brian 100 percent. At a -- at a minimum, it creates the image of impropriety. At a maximum, there is a conflict of interest. You just don`t do it. You stay away from those types of jumping ship in terms of representation. You don`t do it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we got that taken care of, but we are going to get back to the video just released in just a moment.

And we`re not calling it a bombshell, but I really think it is. More on the Caylee Anthony case in a moment.

Plus, a mother killed trying to save her young boy from sexual assault. I`ll tell you if suspect Charlie Myers will face the death penalty. Don`t go anywhere.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN ANCHOR: Shocking new developments as the world gets to see new video of Casey Anthony talking to her parents in jail last summer.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fending off her parents` pointed questions. Why were Cindy and George grilling the daughter they now insist is totally innocent?

And we`re back analyzing and discussing the shocking new video of Casey Anthony talking to her parents in jail this past summer. Some are calling it the lost tape.

I`m joined by my fantastic panel: Dr. Bill Manion, pathologist and assistant medical examiner for Burlington County, New Jersey; Ric Robinson, a former state trooper; as well as Brian Russell, a forensic psychologist and attorney; and Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and law professor at the University of Miami; as well as Jeff Gardere, clinical psychologist.

Jeff, do you think this video was going to end up in court? It seems pretty damning. Is there a way the prosecution could use this to present their case of motive and lack of concern about the child`s whereabouts, thereby sort of pointing the finger that, hey, she knows the child is deceased?

JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, certainly I`m not an attorney, but I do believe that if this is admitted into court and prosecution gets to use it and they have a good clinical psychologist or psychiatrist who can interpret what`s going on, they can certainly make the case that this is a woman -- if she is guilty of this horrible crime -- was absolutely detached from her child and is capable of committing a very horrific crime because of her very severe personality issues, not insane, severe personality issues.

So she can`t use this for an insanity defense. But it can be used against her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Mark, Jeff seems to be saying that it could be effective. How could it end up in the trial? Or could it?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It absolutely can. Legally, prosecutors have and will always use this type of evidence. Again, I am going back to that blockbuster, shocking.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait, you said you weren`t going to say blockbuster.

EIGLARSH: I don`t think that it is. But I think it`s great because it gets the viewers -- it gets me to wear makeup, I feel pretty and it`s wonderful but it`s not --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You look marvelous, darling.

EIGLARSH: Thank you. But it`s not, let me explain something to you it doesn`t offer, I think, any compelling evidence towards the issues of whether this was aggravated child abuse, which is what they`re still alleging, that led to a child`s death.

That`s where this case is the most challenging. They`ve already got overwhelming evidence that she`s a sociopath and has lied and that she didn`t report her child missing for 30 days. So they`ve got that evidence that she`s not the mother of the year.

But the question is what evidence do they have on the aggravated child abuse? And this in my opinion, offers very little, if any, to support any prosecution theory.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Dr. Bill Manion, as a forensic pathologist, you know better than anybody else that the prosecution`s task is to create a story with a beginning, middle and an end. And part of that story, the forensics. The other part of the story, the psychology and the motive. They`re not required to prove motive, but it certainly helps when the jury has an idea of the why.

How do you weave in her behavior with the cold, hard facts of the forensics? How do they do that?

DR. BILL MANION, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, they get as many experts as they can find to look at the different evidence and try to re-create the whole story, the whole chronology, which took place.

And as I said, I was -- I was very worried about her committing suicide when she was first arrested. And just from reading suicide notes all my life of people that actually committed suicide, this terrible realization that maybe you did something terrible and people know about it and it`s been discovered. I was worried about her committing suicide.

And frankly, the fact that she`s weathered this -- and now it`s becoming about all of the experts. The defense team is getting an anthropologist, they`ve got a DNA expert, they`ve got toxicologists, botanists. And now, she`s got some hope because as the experts come on board now it`s the battle of the experts and she can kind of get on the sidelines.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got a new expert that`s been added to the dream team, Scott Fairgrieve. He`s a forensic anthropologist, from a Canadian University, very highly regarded.

The dream team, Brian Russell, that the defense is setting up really rivals anything that we`ve seen since O.J. Simpson. In fact, Dr. Henry Lee, who was part of the defense team, became a household name during the O.J. Simpson trial.

You also have Linda Kenney Baden who helped Phil Spector get a mistrial the first time around. And Dr. Werner Spitz who was involved in JonBenet Ramsey case. All these people aren`t working for free. And certainly this defendant who is notoriously unemployed cannot pay for it.

What do you make of these high-powered people being involved in this case? How do you think they`re being compensated? Is the compensation just the publicity?

BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST & ATTORNEY: Yes, possibly. As somebody who testifies in cases as an expert myself I could tell you that people want to be associated with these high-profile, high-publicity cases.

And you`re right. The last one that was really of this magnitude was O.J. Simpson number one. And so, even though Henry Lee has had a high profile ever since then, not only do you need to establish your profile as an expert, but you need to maintain it by showing us in other high-profile cases sometimes.

So I do think that a lot of these members of the dream team are in it largely for the publicity.

If I could real quick toss a question to Jeff Gardere about that video. Because he`s done therapy just as I have and it looks to me -- does it look to you, Jeff, like that family may have actually had some family therapy? Because the father and mother seem to have adopted a tag-team strategy of dealing with her when she gets difficult. She gets difficult with Cindy and she goes, well, here`s dad.

GARDERE: Yes, I think the possibility certainly is there. You`re absolutely right. They seem to be very therapeutic in how they are dealing with her but also, very afraid in how to talk with her and get some answers from her.

I think this is a fascinating, fascinating rerun of exactly what happens in their relationship and at home.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. I agree.

EIGLARSH: Jane, I wanted to comment about how they`re paying for this. I agree that a lot of these people on board for the 15 minutes of fame, to be a part of this case, but I know for a fact having spoken to some inside sources, there are photographs of Casey as a child, compelling photographs that I`ve seen because they were attached to the brief that was submitted to get the death penalty waived.

They`re compelling photographs. I know for a fact that those photos if they haven`t been already been sold, they will be sold. You`re going to see them in interviews; you`ll probably see them in tabloids. That`s one of the ways that they`re making money in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s certainly the speculation although we can`t say for sure because at this point we don`t know. I don`t have the evidence to say that. Now, here`s --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Then you said it. That`s good.

Here`s another part of the conversation where it seems like Cindy is pressing her and Casey doesn`t respond well. Check this out.


CINDY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: We need to have something to go on.

CASEY ANTHONY: Mom, I don`t have anything. I`m sorry. I`ve been here a month. I`ve been here a month today. Do you understand how I feel? I mean, do you really understand how I feel in this? I`m completely, completely out of the loop with everything. The only information I get is when I see my attorney. That`s it.

CINDY ANTHONY: Yes, I know that.

CASEY ANTHONY: Outside of that, I have nothing to go on. Every day I have to sit here and wait and wonder. I wonder if something is going on. I wonder if -- I`m wondering if there`s something new.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jeff Gardere, she plays the victim. And isn`t it true that a lot of people who engage in criminal activity play the victim? They build up resentments then they decide that they`re justified in what they do, and they proceed in their criminality, but still regarding themselves as the victim.

GARDERE: Well, that`s how they become criminals to begin with because they never take responsibility for their own behavior. It`s always pointing fingers at others.

And then if they do get caught, then they fall back on that same coping, very faulty mechanism of looking at everyone else and not ever saying, perhaps there`s something that I have contributed to this.

And that`s why I think we`re seeing some sort of a borderline personality and going back to what Brian had asked, I think the other thing is if they haven`t been in family therapy at some point because they were raising perhaps a sociopath or someone with the borderline personality, then shame on them.

So I think there may have been some therapeutic things going on there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Therapy is always a solution. Unfortunately, sometimes it`s not done early enough to prevent tragedy sometimes.

Ric Robinson, we`re going to give you the last word. Is this one of the most bizarre --

RIC ROBINSON, FORMER STATE TROOPER: Bizarre cases that I have ever seen? I came away from watching that video with the family as thinking that the parents are good people. And as an investigator, I would absolutely rule them out as knowing anything.

And the mother, Cindy, I think one of the things she said was, do you think she`s ok saying this to Casey. She, of course, knows that her daughter has done something with that child. And now we know that she`s dead.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s -- it`s really a tragedy. And let`s never forget that there`s a beautiful little girl at the center of all of this.

ROBINSON: Exactly right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gentlemen, it was fantastic to get your insights. Please come back soon.

And don`t forget, I will be filling in for Nancy Grace immediately following this program at 8:0 p.m. Eastern. I will have all the latest developments in the Caylee Anthony case.

Coming up, a heroic mother killed trying to save her four-year-old son from a sexual attack. I`ll tell you if the suspect, Charlie Myers, will face the death penalty in this shocking case.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: A heroic mother killed trying to save her son from a sexual attack. And now we learn that the death penalty is on the table for suspect Charlie Myers. I`ll have the shocking details from the indictment in just moments.

But first, "Top of the Block" tonight: breaking news in a truly bizarre case out of Italy. Twenty-one-year-old American Amanda Knox and her Italian ex on trial today for ritualistic murder of pretty coed, Meredith Kercher; Kercher was found half naked and stabbed in the neck back in November 2007. The death was the result of an apparent drug-fueled sex game with Knox, her boyfriend, and a third man. Authorities say Knox poked at Kercher with a knife while Kercher was being sexually assaulted.

Prosecutors claim they have evidence, physical evidence, placing Knox and her ex at the scene and that both have given contradictory statements. The high-profile trial is expected to last months. And here on "ISSUES," I will update you with the very latest developments.

I want to turn now to some shocking developments in the case of the hero mom who gave her own life trying to protect her now five-year-old son. Charlie Myers accused of murdering that young mother, kidnapping her son and subjecting him to untold horrors. Now prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty.

Meanwhile, in a shocking twist, the boy was ruled competent to testify before the grand jury. He`s 5 years old. Grand jury proceedings are secret, so we`ll never know if he did. The question now, will he take the stand at the trial? This reminder, we have decided not to identify either of the victims in this case for their privacy.

Let`s go straight out to Montgomery County, Ohio. Sheriff Phil Plummer, sir, thank you for joining us tonight; very happy to have you. First, to the new details emerging -- break it down for us. What exactly do you believe happened when Charlie Myers showed up at this family`s home? What went down?

PHIL PLUMMER, SHERIFF, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, OHIO: We believe Charlie Myers, he forced entry by kicking the front door in. He was armed with a shotgun. As soon as he got in, he immediately took the victim downstairs, the mother, and tied her up to a chair. Once he had her tied up, we believe he proceeded upstairs to have some kind of sexual contact with our younger victim.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Question -- did he confess or what because we got initial reports that he had confessed. And now we`re hearing he`s only admitting to taking the child from the home and leaving him at the rest stop. What`s the story there?

PLUMMER: You know, I`m not sure if he confessed to the investigators. Initially they said he did. That was the report I was given. I have not listened to the taped interview. I plan on doing that later today. So I`m really not positive on that question.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: When you got to the home of Charlie Myers, you found some astounding evidence. What was it and how will it help build a case for his prosecution?

PLUMMER: Well, there was obviously the sign of forced entry. You know, our victim, we had our victim laying there. Her car was missing. Her vehicle was missing, which helped us locate the suspect. We did our usual investigation, searched for fingerprints. The deputies did a great job there on the scene.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this question. The mental state of Charlie Myers -- I don`t know if you`ve had any interaction with him -- but some people say that he`s developmentally disabled with the functionality of an elementary school child, possibly as the result of fetal alcohol syndrome from his mother`s drug and alcohol abuse prior to her death.

PLUMMER: You know, I don`t know the history on him as far as that is concerned, but I know he was very competent when he was interviewed by our detectives. He obviously knew what he did. He knew the elements of the crime and he knew some of the penalties of the crime. He was very aware of what he was doing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So he didn`t strike you -- yes or no -- as being developmentally disabled like a child?

PLUMMER: No, he did not strike us that way at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Sheriff Phil Plummer, thank you so much. And come back and keep us up to date on this horrific case.

Let me bring in my always-fantastic panel: Ashleigh Banfield, anchor of "In Session"; Brian Russell, forensic psychiatrist and attorney; and Denise Alex, anchor and reporter with CNN affiliate, Ohio News Network.

Denise, what`s the very latest on this courageous boy who just turned five, by the way, after going through this horrific trauma. Now the way is cleared for him to testify?

DENISE ALEX, ANCHOR AND REPORTER, OHIO NEWS NETWORK: That`s right, Jane. He turned five over the weekend. I talked to the prosecutor`s office just a few hours ago and they told me that there is a possibility that this little boy may testify. He is capable to do that. So they`re going to wait to see if indeed they need to hear that testimony from him.

I did speak with the little boy`s grandmother and she tells me that he is already seeing a psychologist to help him get through what he has gone through the past couple of weeks and especially that Friday night that his mom was murdered.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian Russell, could that further traumatize him or could it be -- actually testifying -- a way to expunge this is move on? And would you recommend that he do it on videotape or in person?

BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST AND ATTORNEY: As a psychologist, I hope he doesn`t have to testify at all. If he does testify, I hope he`s able to do it on videotape rather than in open court. I think that you make a good point that it`s possible that when he gets older -- if he does have to testify -- he could see this as having done the right thing and helped get justice for his mom and for himself.

But I think right now at his age, the preferable thing would be to have him not testify, especially not in open court.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ashleigh Banfield, we`ve been talking about whether or not Charlie Myers is developmentally disabled. You talked to an official who was at a juvenile facility where Charlie Myers was once housed. What did you hear from that person?

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": I`ve got two reports actually from two different officials at the Indian River Juvenile Correctional facility in Ohio where he spent upwards of three years, only a few years. He`s only 22 years old right now. They`re not good reports, Jane.

Apparently, according to one official, he sexually assaulted a younger youth while in that correctional facility. He was on a mental health ward, but he was moved because he was so violent toward the other youth on the floor. He was moved to another ward with older inmates.

Apparently he became affiliated with a gang, was threatening harm towards others, was sexually inappropriate to the female guards and other members who were employed there. Here`s a quote for you from this official: "I am surprised he got caught up in this deal because I think someone might have put this in his brain."

He was described to me as someone who couldn`t talk or hear -- almost like a deaf/mute -- somebody who was somewhat slow. Also, a follower; I was told he was really quite a follower, but yet a very troubled young man and a problematic young man.

So some insight there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ashleigh, we have to ask really ourselves, is this a failure of the foster care system or some system in our society because this is a child who was troubled from the get-go? Very troubled, dysfunctional, alcohol or drug-addicted parent. The mother died. Then the father was living with this boy in a homeless shelter. Then he gets moved to anywhere between 12 and 20 different foster care facilities.

This is a kid who began smoking pot at seven; drinking at eight. Where -- when can we -- yes, where can we learn from this horror so that we can save the next life? Because just locking him up or even giving him the death penalty isn`t going to stop the next one.

BANFIELD: The simple answer is, you can`t always. When you`re talking about juveniles they have a lot more second chances than adults do. And let me tell you this, one officer said to me, that he feels somewhat responsible for Jenny Nelson`s death because he feels as though maybe he could have done something more to have Charlie Myers charged and then kept at an adult facility pending his release from the juvenile facility. That`s tragic in itself.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to talk more about this in just a moment. We`re just getting started.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you have to say about those charges?




MATHIAS HECK, JR., PROSECUTOR, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, OHIO: We`ve asked for the death penalty in cases very sparingly here in Montgomery County. It`s been our policy and so is our policy. We reserve it for the most violent, senseless and vicious crimes and defendants who pose the greatest threat to our community. This is such a case.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was the prosecutor announcing why he has decided to seek the death penalty for Charlie Myers.

Brian Russell is a forensic psychologist. How do they weigh in the defendant`s possible developmental disabilities when weighing whether or not to kill him?

RUSSELL: For sure those will be mitigating factors that the defense will use at the penalty phase of the trial to try to, obviously, get life in prison, no parole, instead of the death penalty. Now, there`s a possibility, depending on -- he`ll have to have IQ testing done, to see where his IQ falls because the Supreme Court in Atkins said that you cannot execute somebody who falls in the clinically, mentally retarded range, which is determined by people`s IQ scores. And so that will be a pivotal thing that they`ll want to do as well.

I`ve worked on an Atkins appeal where somebody was in jail and then the issue -- on death row -- and then the issue came up as to whether or not his IQ fell into that range and so that could make him not eligible for the death penalty ultimately.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ashleigh, you and I cover so many horrific cases and we always try to learn something from them that could be instrumental in preventing a similar case down the road. Where I see it as really the ball being dropped is that he was placed in foster care 12 to 20 different foster homes.

Something is wrong there. If a child isn`t working repeatedly, that means that child needs extra counseling. Something extraordinary has to be done to stop this trajectory.

BANFIELD: And if they get into a juvenile facility, I`ve been told that the only punishments that he`s received so far for his bad behavior -- sexual offenses and violent offenses -- was three days of isolation, a report that went on his record, essay writing -- if you can believe it -- and privilege-level reductions. And that`s not going do anybody -- anybody any good if they have the kind of serious problems that this young man apparently had.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, his mom died of a drug-induced heart attack when he was a toddler. Then he was living with his dad in a homeless shelter. Apparently the parents were very abusive to him. And then he was put in foster care as a very young child.

As our society, we have to start pre-empting these horror shows by giving intensive therapy to young, extremely troubled kids when they`re very, very young; when they`re toddlers. That`s the only way we can stop it.

Ashleigh, Denise, Brian, thank you joining me tonight.

I am Jane Velez-Mitchell and you are watching "ISSUES" on HLN.