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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
All-Out Legal War in Caylee Anthony Case; Woman in U-Haul Flees Police in High-Speed Chase
Aired January 28, 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, another shocking twist in the Caylee Anthony case. A jailhouse spokesman shoots down the Anthony family`s bizarre request to throw a private memorial service behind bars so Casey can say good-bye to the child she`s charged with killing. Should this be allowed? We`ll take your calls.
Meanwhile, new, stunning details emerge about fabric softener. Was it used to overcome the stench of death in Casey`s car? And Casey`s attorney wants to get prosecutors off his back and off the case. We`ll have the latest.
Plus, tears flow as the Baby Grace murder trial begins. Jurors sob as they hear gruesome details: how a mother allegedly tortured and beat her 2- year-old baby girl to death, a child the same age as little Caylee.
He says he`s a man of God, as he seeks redemption for his affair with a male prostitute. The modern way, on Oprah.
OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: Do you think you`re gay?
TED HAGGARD, FORMER EVANGELICAL MINISTER: No.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now on the eve of an HBO documentary he hoped would mean a comeback, ex-mega pastor Ted Haggard is hit with another mega scandal. A former church volunteer says Haggard had an inappropriate relationship with him. You won`t believe these latest accusations.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lots of breaking news tonight, coast to coast. Yes, we are covering the very latest in the Caylee Anthony case, but you are looking at a high-speed chase going on in the Los Angeles area.
This one is a strange high-speed chase, because a woman is driving, and she`s driving, as you can see, a U-Haul truck. We`ve seen it all when it comes to Los Angeles, the high-speed chase capital of the universe.
This one apparently started in Palmdale, which is east of Los Angeles, then headed toward the coast, toward Los Angeles. And then this driver began driving on the freeways of Los Angeles, including the 5 freeway near Burbank, then got off the freeway, drove around streets at a high rate of speed for a while, of course, endangering everybody`s life in the process, that she might have come in contact with, and then getting back on the freeway, as you can see.
Now, this is being covered by air. A fleet of police vehicles following her at a safe distance. You can see the traffic is building. We`re about to hit rush hour in Los Angeles. And I`ve got to tell you, folks, I used to work in precisely the area where she is driving. It`s already hair-raising to drive in that area in the best of times, much less with a lunatic behind the wheel of a U-Haul. And why anybody would steal a U-Haul is completely beyond me.
As you just heard from the experts before on Mike Galanos` show, they come with LoJacks. She`s not going anywhere. All she`s doing is putting everybody`s life at risk. This absolutely makes me crazy! A woman driving a U-Haul. Where she plans on going, who knows? But we`re going to stay on top of it as we cover the Caylee Anthony case.
We`re going to put it in a little box so that you can see what`s happening as we continue with the stunning new developments tonight, and they are stunning in the Caylee Anthony murder investigation.
It is now all-out war between the defense and the prosecution. Casey Anthony`s lawyer, Jose Baez, has filed two shocking emergency motions. He wants the entire prosecution team thrown off the case. He also feels Casey`s mere presence in that courtroom creates such a media storm that she should not be required to appear. Can you say "diva"?
This new request flies in the face of the judge`s demand that Casey must appear at a hearing this Friday. That even though her lawyer complains everybody obsesses about her appearance, and that it creates such negativity she cannot get a fair trial.
Casey`s lawyer also throwing sharp darts at prosecutors, claiming they intentionally smeared his good name. He is asking a judge to pull them all off the case.
Also tonight, new developments on that very bizarre proposal from the Anthony family to hold a funeral services behind bars for little Caylee so they can grieve with Casey, who, of course, is accused of killing the very same child. The jail signaling it is highly unlikely they would let that happen.
Do you think the Anthonys should be granted a private service inside prison? I want to hear from you. Give me a holler: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297 to chime in with your questions about this case.
But first, I want to bring in my fantastic panel. Jeff Brown, criminal defense attorney; Paul Callan, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; as well as Brian Russell, forensic psychologist and attorney; plus, Leslie Snadowsky, top investigative reporter.
Leslie, you are tracking developments. What is the very latest tonight?
LESLIE SNADOWSKY, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, you were talking about this emergency motion to recuse. I mean, this is a huge motion. Basically, Jose Baez is trying to throw out the whole prosecution, and he wants the attorney general`s office to take over.
He`s doing this because he says the state prosecutors have waged a smear campaign against him, leaking all this false information to the Florida bar and the media. And that hurts him and then it hurts Casey. So his argument is that Casey won`t be able to get a fair trial.
He also says this is going to infect any jury pool, not only in Orlando, but in the whole state of Florida.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jeff Brown, have you ever heard of anything like this? The defense attorney saying, "I want all the prosecution team completely removed," because they say that the state attorney`s office, he claims, was sending things to the Florida Bar Association, sort of nasty things about him, trying to work up an investigation.
Now, if they did that -- and they`re not commenting tonight, and we have no independent knowledge that they did that -- but if the state attorney did start dropping lines to the Florida bar, like "Investigate this guy," would that be, not kosher?
JEFF BROWN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, to answer that first question, in 18 years, this is the first time I`ve ever heard of trying to file a recusal motion to get the prosecution off the case.
They do have an obligation, though, if there are ethical violations that an attorney is making, they do have an obligation under the Florida bar rules to report that. Every lawyer in Florida does. We have an obligation, that if we see somebody committing a violation, we have to let the Florida bar know. And I`m sure that`s what they did. If they respond to this, they`re going to say, "We thought there was some ethical violations."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jeff, can I jump in here? If you have a problem with the defense attorney and you`re the prosecution team, wouldn`t you go before the judge and say, "Hey, judge, the guy here who`s representing the defendant, we`ve got a problem with him. Here`s a motion"?
BROWN: Well, normally I`d go to the prosecution. Normally you`d try to get along with the other side. You can be adversaries in the courtroom, but you try to get along outside the courtroom.
But yes, you can file the motion with the judge and tell the judge what`s going on, but you know, the judge isn`t going to grant this motion. The Florida bar is going to probably investigate it. Maybe they`ll wait and investigate it later. Maybe they won`t. But what he`s really doing is he`s pushing back. He`s basically saying to them, "I`m tired of getting pushed around. You need to respect me. You need to take me serious, and I`m pushing back."
PAUL CALLAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know -- you know, though, Jane, what`s bizarre about this is you have a defense attorney here who`s been accused by someone of unethical conduct, and he`s saying, you know, "If the prosecutor`s the one accusing me of unethical conduct, then they`re disqualified."
So all a defense attorney would have to do is act unethically, and you`d have to move the case to another county. So it`s totally ridiculous. The prosecutor has a legal obligation, as Jeff says, to report unethical conduct. So even if the prosecutors...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but do you leak it anonymously to the Florida bar?
CALLAN: Well, you probably -- you shouldn`t do it anonymously. Although, the press reports here are that the prosecutors -- well, if the prosecutors did this, they sent press articles. You know, there were articles in the press that Baez might be, you know, doing a book deal or doing...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Which he`s denied.
CALLAN: He`s denied all of this. And apparently, somebody sent copies of the press articles to the ethics authorities. Now, that doesn`t mean the prosecutors are acting as witnesses against him. So I don`t think, on any scenario, that the prosecutors acted improperly here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, last night, I had famous lawyer Tom Mesereau on the show. He has worked on extremely high-profile cases, like Michael Jackson, who famously was found not guilty of child molestation. I asked Mesereau what his advice for Baez would be. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM MESEREAU, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: If I were him, I would pay less attention to the media and more attention to the case. It`s easy to get -- easy to get distracted by the media and run around to a million shows and think you`re helping your client, but at some point, I think these media appearances can detract from your about to defend.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian Russell, you`re not only a psychologist, but you`re also an attorney. Do you think Tom Mesereau is right about that, that this is, basically, a giant distraction and Jose Baez should be actually going through the files and preparing his case as opposed to filing all these motions?
BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes, I do. You know, the guy`s only been an attorney for three years, and if he hasn`t done anything unethical, then he`s righteously indignant about this. I agree with the other panelists. He`s not going to get this motion granted.
But I will say that we don`t do enough in this country when there are false allegations made with no basis whatsoever to come down on the people who made them. So if the Florida bar investigates this thing and finds out that the prosecutors did make a completely bogus, completely -- an allegation founded on nothing but media stories, then they ought to sanction those people.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. And As we discuss this, we are continuing to monitor the high-speed chase in the corner below. That is occurring in the Los Angeles area.
A woman, which is odd for a high-speed chase, although it`s happened before, is driving a U-Haul, which is also odd. I don`t know if that`s happened before. She is going at a good clip, you can see there. This is being tracked, obviously, by helicopter. So she`s going a lot faster than it may seem, just looking at it.
But look, she`s passing all the cars, and she is just sort of tailgating. This is so dangerous. And I just pray that there`s no horrible accident at this end of this and that they find this person and prosecute them to the full extent of the law.
Listen, I want to ask a question, Jeff Brown, about these motions by Baez. To me, it`s a sign that this is becoming one of these trials of the century, one of these mega cases where it gets bitter and personal.
You remember during O.J., Marcia Clark and Johnny Cochran at each other. You remember during the Michael Jackson case, Tom Sneddon, the D.A., was accused of having a vendetta. There was such hostility there that they drew a line in court so that the two sides wouldn`t cross each other accidentally. It`s going this way.
BROWN: Yes. You know, I always say that a good lawyer has multiple speeds. In other words, he can play that card, and he can be aggressive but he also can play another speed or she can play another speed. They can play that speed of getting along. And they can go back and forth with these speeds.
What he`s showing is, he only has one speed. All he knows right now is how to play aggressive and how not to get along with others. And I think that is because of his inexperience.
I think he handled this case wrong from the beginning. You don`t always believe what your client tells you, just because your client said it. And he went out right away and held that press conference and said, "We`re looking for Caylee." I think an experienced lawyer would have had some knowledge and know they don`t always tell you what`s going on. And sometimes you have to protect them from themselves, back off a little bit and not just go out there and start playing the media card.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not only that, but this is going to create such hostility that every single sidebar, every single motion is...
BROWN: It`s a war. It`s a war.
CALLAN: You know, Jane, just adding to Jeff`s point, and I think it`s a good one, experienced lawyers kind of have a dual relationship with prosecutors. If there`s a cordial relationship outside of the courtroom...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, forget about that here.
CALLAN: Where -- where you try to work together to get the job done and there may be a public relationship that`s a little different. Obviously, this guy`s an inexperienced lawyer, and he`s really not handling it properly.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. All right.
RUSSELL: That`s why the experience of Linda Kennedy Baden will help.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stay right there, everyone. We`re going to get right back to it.
A quick reminder, Nancy Grace immediately following this broadcast. At 8 p.m., she will have the very latest on the Caylee Anthony case. Don`t miss it.
And, of course, we will have more analysis on the shocking twist in the Caylee Anthony case. Got a question or comment? 1-877 1-877-JANE- SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297. What do you think about defense attorney Jose Baez. And what do you think about this car chase? No. We`re not talking about that. We are monitoring the high-speed chase, but we will take your questions in just a moment on the Caylee Anthony case. Stay right there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So much going on tonight. We`re covering the Caylee Anthony case, obviously. But we`re also staying right on top of this high- speed chase in the Los Angeles area. Very strange one, indeed.
It`s a female driver, and as you can see, she`s driving a U-Haul. What got into her, we have no idea, because this is just dumber than dumb. U-Hauls come with LoJack. She`s not going to get anywhere. Either she`s going to run until she runs out of gas or they`re going to put down a strip, if they can manage to clear all the other traffic.
And I`ve seen them do this before. They put down a strip, which will basically bust out the tires, and that`s how they`ll stop her. But one way or another, they`re going to get this gal.
And what she was thinking on her high-speed tour of Los Angeles` famous freeways, including the Ventura Freeway and the Golden State Freeway, is beyond me. All right.
Sometimes those helicopter shots go off, but we`re going to bring it back to you. We`re going to stay on top of it. We`re going to track it, put it in a little box in the corner. And when she`s finally caught, hopefully, you will see it.
Now, we are back taking your calls on the Caylee Anthony murder investigation. Give me a ring, 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297 if you`ve got a question or comment with me, my expert panels. And we`ve been talking about the bizarre behavior, if you want to call it bizarre. Let`s put it this way, the unusual motions being filed by the defense attorney, Jose Baez.
Jeff Brown, he also says that Casey Anthony should not be forced to come to court. Now, the judge has ruled, specifically -- he`s tried it before, and the judge says, "No, she`s got to come to court. For important hearings that are not scheduling and that are not just minutia, she`s got to be there."
And he is again filing a motion that is an objection to that ruling and saying she should not be forced to come to court, because her mere presence creates such a media storm and craziness that they can`t conduct business. Do you buy it?
BROWN: Well, in Florida, we have a rule that says that if you file a motion, the judge -- with the judge, you don`t have to have your client appear for a pretrial conference. However, most judges get around that, because they just call it a disposition hearing or some other type of hearing, which requires your client`s presence.
So I understand where he`s coming from. These are -- some of these hearings, probably, there`s no need for the client to be there. And this is where the discretion of the judge has to come in. The judge has to decide, is this a critical proceeding? Is this something that we really need the defendant, or can we get past this and get some work done without her there?
I understand why he`s doing it. I understand why he`s doing it, but it`s just going to become a call for the judge to make on everything.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, the judge doesn`t want to do it, because if she doesn`t show up, then she can use that, possibly, as the basis for an appeal.
BROWN: I know, but that`s really tough to say there would be an appellate basis there, just because she`s not at this hearing. You know, it`s not trial. It`s not something like that.
CALLAN: There`s really another -- there`s another issue, though, Jane, that I think the judge is probably worried about it. He probably won`t publicly say it. And that is, you know, members of the public will think she`s getting special treatment. Every other defendant in the world has to show up for their case. Why shouldn`t Casey Anthony show up for her case?
Now, admittedly, there are situations where a defendant misbehaves, he yells and screams, he assaults somebody. Sometimes, they`re removed from a courtroom, and in fact, the trial can take place without them even being present.
But in a normal case, the defendant is there for every important aspect of the case. And why should she be treated any different?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I would think she`d want to be there. I would think she`d want to be there, you know, because she wants to show the world, presumably, that she cares about this case, that she cared about what happened to her child, that she`s interested. And the best way to do that is to show up in court. So it baffles me that he`s the one fighting to keep her out of court.
BROWN: Yes, except every time she shows up, somebody`s saying that she doesn`t show enough motion and therefore, she doesn`t care. So it`s a two-edged sword there. Yes, showing up is showing that you`re interested in the case, but then if you`re not crying they`re saying, "Look at her. She`s an ice queen." So...
CALLAN: But of course, the precedent -- the precedent would be that every high-profile defendant gets not to come to court because people are going to decide whether they`re acting appropriately or not. You know, they have to grow up and learn to live with the system like everybody else.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Liz -- Liz in New York, question or comment, ma`am?
CALLER: Yes, Jane. I wanted to know, how does Jose defend Casey if they stay with the story that the nanny did it, when from what I see, there`s no evidence that the nanny did? And if he does and it`s a murder one case, they can never say accidental.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Leslie Snadowsky, there are many bizarre stories surrounding this case, and the nanny story is perhaps the most bizarre. I mean, that was their defense: the nanny took the baby. But there is no nanny, say the police.
SNADOWSKY: The interesting things is, the real Zenaida Gonzales is on the witness list, and she`s going to be called. And I hope they televise this trial, because I want to see her testimony.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. I certainly would love to see her testimony. And -- yes, go ahead.
RUSSELL: For the caller, we have to keep in mind that Casey Anthony does not have the burden of proof here. She does not have to prove that something else happened. The prosecution has to prove that she did it. And so we`ve got to keep our eyes on that ball as well as everything else.
Except the statements are going to be -- the statements that she made indicating that the nanny did it are going to become a part of this trial. And certainly, they`re going to say, "This is what she said in the beginning."
So he does have to deal with this. He`s going to have to back away from that as best he can. I don`t know how he`s going to back away from that at this point, but at some point, he`s going to have to disavow his defense from that, because that`s clearly not the defense any more.
BROWN: Sure, but his argument will have to be that, yes, she told some lies, but that doesn`t prove the guilt.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, I`m going to be really fascinated to watch this trial, and how they`re going to explain all this nonsense about Zanny the Nanny. And the prosecution`s going to show that Zanny the Nanny never existed and that this was a fiction, just like her job, just like certain people she made up.
All right. As always, thank you to my fabulous panel. George Anthony isn`t the only parent taking desperate measures these days. A father fired from his job shoots his wife and five children in the head before turning the gun on himself. The latest details in the shocking tragedy.
And we are going to continue to monitor the car chase in Los Angeles, the crazy lady in the U-Haul. Where is she? What`s she doing? Why`s she doing it?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we are continuing to monitor the high-speed chase in the Los Angeles area. You can see that she has moved into a new location. And let me tell you what location that is. Pacific Palisades, heading towards Malibu. She is on the famous Pacific Coast Highway.
And we have with us a very legendary reporter out of Los Angeles, Pete Demetriou, who works at KFWB News 980.
Pete, great to see you, by the way.
PETE DEMETRIOU, REPORTER: Very happy to be here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s been a while. You and I used to cover crime stories on the streets of Los Angeles, and we`ve got a high-speed chase right now on PCH. This is a woman in a U-Haul, and she is just going at a great clip.
What are your thoughts on the idea of a woman in a U-Haul, Pete, going on a high-speed chase on PCH?
DEMETRIOU: First of all, I begin to wonder about the sanity of anybody who wants to try to go at any speed up PCH at all. As to the traffic load out there, it`s a little bit less than normal than what you would have on the major freeways like the 10 or the 5.
The difficulty is, if you try to push it too fast there, they`ve got sweeping curves there, and you could quite easily run into another car, run into the side of the hills over there, or flip that vehicle. And it`s going to be a little difficult for police to try to stop a U-Haul, because you can`t use things like a pit maneuver on something that big without risking flipping the vehicle altogether.
Spike strips are also a problem on a four-lane highway like PCH, because you can`t really, you know, shut off enough traffic and then put a strip along a long enough area. You don`t have any dividers there on the roads, so it`s a little bit tough to try to use spike strips to try to stop a vehicle at that point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pete, this is the famous -- the famous PCH, Pacific Coast Highway. This is where Lindsay Lohan was accused of driving at a high rate of speed and doing wheelies around a former assistant. I mean, this is where the stars get caught, on this particular road, is it not?
DEMETRIOU: Well, yes, on that particular road. And there are a number of people who apparently like to drive a little bit faster than normal. Believe it or not, the recommended speed on PCH is about 45. It`s not uncommon to have people doing 55 and 60 or more. When you`re doing that, though, you`re definitely taking your life in your hands, doesn`t matter whether it`s day or night.
And it`s just a question of who`s going to stop her in this case, will it be the California Highway Patrol or will it be the Lost Hills (ph) Malibu sheriff`s station or people up there?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know what strikes me, Pete, is that this is so dangerous? We know that PCH is dangerous to begin with. I`m actually scared to drive it at night.
People get killed all the time jaywalking, because the cars go at very high speeds, often exceeding the speed. You can see, it`s in the famous area of Malibu right now. You can see the beach. The beach is right there toward the end of -- the low part of the screen. This is a very crowded area. People may not realize, but there are kids in that area. There are homes. This is not just where the celebrities live behind gated mansions. Real people live there. And this is...
DEMETRIOU: Well, there`s an awful lot of -- there`s an awful lot of commercial traffic. There`s an awful lot of ordinary people and tourists, not to mention ordinary folks who just like to drive up PCH to take in the view. So you can`t say this is a remote road in any way, shape or form. You`ve got a lot of commuter traffic there and ordinary people who just drive there and it`s just part of their everyday life.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me tell you something. She`s also -- the road`s going to get narrower for this woman, literally. Because I used to drive up the PCH, on the way to the Jackson trial in Santa Maria, and you get to a point where it`s cliffs. And you know, they used to tell me, work the phones.
I`m like, "You`re going to kill me if I work the phones, because you`re going to go off a cliff."
So this woman, I think she could end up in serious problems, not just endangering somebody else`s life, but endangering her own life. Again, there she is in the heart of Malibu. We`re going to stay on top of it and continue to bring you the very latest in the Caylee Anthony case, as well as other breaking news. What a story.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: As we cover this dramatic high-speed chase winding its way through Malibu, California, we are also going to stay on top of the Caylee Anthony story. A reminder, Nancy Grace will have the very latest on the Caylee Anthony case coming up in just a little bit.
But first, this chase could be nearing an end. It looks like she`s slowing down a little bit. I am here with Pete Demetriou, who is actually quite a legend in Los Angeles, having spent many decades as a crime reporter, has seen many, many, many high-speed chases.
Pete, is this woman -- it just strikes me is that she has to be mentally unbalanced to try to pull off a high-speed chase in a U-Haul, of all vehicles that you could pick. That`s got to be the worst one.
PETE DEMETRIOU, KFWB NEWS 890: Well, she`s got some kind of issues here, because she evidently doesn`t want to stop. The question is exactly where she is right now, whether she`s off PCH, or that she`s up in any of the hills in the areas surrounding Pepperdine or somewhere else.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I get the feeling that she`s still --
DEMETRIOU: Oh, boy, she`s really getting a little bit close there to the curb, and if she`s not careful, she`ll flip that truck. It doesn`t make much on something like that. It`s top heavy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look how she`s pushing people right out of the way and those people are almost colliding with other cars.
DEMETRIOU: The people are doing the logical thing. They`re getting over to the side. They recognize what is happening here, the fact that you`ve got police behind her, they`ve heard the sirens, they`re pulling on over as far as they`re concerned. They don`t want to be a part of her accident when it happens.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Usually the crazy driving on Pacific Coast Highway, and I do believe this is probably still Pacific Coast Highway, because there`s not that many roads that are that wide in Malibu, that are that straight in Malibu. And most of the side roads are very windy.
So I personally believe this woman is still on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.
DEMETRIOU: I know where she is right now. As a matter of fact, she`s on PCH. She`s headed up towards Corral Canyon right about now. The speed limit there is about 50 to 55 miles an hour. It`s basically a wide open road.
There`s a major intersection coming up, down about a mile to a mile and a quarter ahead of her at that point with a stoplight. Now, they could, in theory, block it off at that point, she`d only be able to go up Corral Canyon or try to around the road block but will be a continuous --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, Pete, she`s sticking her hand out like she wants to signal. Now she`s, like, messing with her hair. It`s unbelievable to see this woman so nonchalant, as she just puts all these lives at risk.
Having covered so many of these, you and I both over the years, and we know that Los Angeles is the high-speed chase capital of the universe, because this is where most of the chases happened. I`ve always wondered, why is it?
Why is it people in Chicago don`t go on a high-speed chase? Why is it always Los Angeles, Pete?
DEMETRIOU: You`ve got room to run, the bottom line is the freeways here extend out in very long straight open expanses or where you have wide curbs. It`s easy to take them at speeds far in excess of what the posted limits are.
Whether it`s 65 miles an hour you could easily drive 80, 90, 100 miles an hour. And that if you can maneuver around, you can handle the road. And there`s just room to run. Where as in most major congested cities on the east coast, you don`t really have that much room to be able to do what is done here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pete, you could see the police car trailing her at a very safe distance. Why are they staying so far behind her? Why don`t they just get right on her tail?
DEMETRIOU: If you get ride on the tail there`s the possibility when she cracks up, you`re going to go right into it with her and you don`t want to have that happen. You also want to be able to if you can keep enough room behind you so that other cars can be kept out of whatever potential accident will happen.
The problem is she`s coming up on traffic here where she`s going to have to maneuver around these cars. Again, she`s going north on PCH. She`ll be hitting Zuma fairly shortly. And at that point, they`ve got a long stretch of PCH.
And probably at this point CHP is trying to put some people ahead her there. And they`re going to have to figure out some kind of a plan -- on someway to slow her down, either by putting cars around her, or as you pointed out setting up a spike strip in an appropriate location.
The problem is, you`re talking about two lanes there. You really can`t put a spike strip across that long a stretch -- of that wide of stretch of roadway. It just simply doesn`t work. She can maneuver around it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: If this could have happened on a weekend, this could have been even more dangerous. Because I`ve hung out at Zuma beach, I love to go swimming there, and let me tell you it`s packed with people dodging across PCH in bare feet and bikinis.
DEMETRIOU: Not only that, you would have had an awful lot of cars that are going in and out of the area, in and out of the parking lots, crossing the double yellow in the appropriate places and it`s very easy to have an accident up there, especially when people aren`t paying attention, because they`re looking at the ocean or the scenery and then all of a sudden there`s a car in front of them and here you go.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Pete, this is the area where the stars live. I mean, this is ground zero for stars. The Barbra Streisands of the world, the Nick Noltes, they all live in this area. You and I know that because we`ve covered many cases involving those stars in Malibu.
This is the strip where so many of those stars -- and I`m certainly not referring to Barbra Streisand, but others have been pulled over famously, or infamously, as it were.
DEMETRIOU: It`s just a question of what you want to do on PCH to get the attention of law enforcement. If you speed on PCH, odds are you`re going to get stopped. If you`re speeding and you`re drunk, let`s not even go there at this point.
The main thing I`m concerned about here, is you`ve got a woman here with rather large vehicle. It could do a lot of damage if it flips, if it hits another car. And keep in mind you`re talking there about -- you don`t really have that much of a separation between the two sides of the highways.
If you have a multi-vehicle accident here, it`s going to be across all the lanes and people are going to be hitting their breaks and basically in a situation to where you would have a lot of people getting hurt very, very quickly.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: People might be aware that this chase is happening, because I see cars pulling over even before she has arrived at them. In other words, maybe they`re listening on the radio and they hear there`s a high-speed chase on PCH and they`re just pulling over to the side of the roads.
DEMETRIOU: That or they look at rear view mirrors, they see a car coming up and then they see lights and sirens or hear the sirens and see lights behind them and think you know what. The logical thing to do, is of course as the teachers in drivers ed, you see red lights behind you, pull over to the right, let it go by you, and let that situation go past you rather than be a part of the problem.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me tell you something, Pete, and you know this well too, again, I have driven this so many times when I was leaving Los Angeles to go up to Santa Maria to cover the Michael Jackson trial, I would take PCH. And if you keep going on this road, you get to a point where it is winding and steep cliffs, drops of hundreds and hundreds of feet.
You know the area that I`m talking about. As you leave Malibu and you get into farm country and it`s one of the most scenic places in the entire world. And that`s why I took it. Instead of taking the regular freeway, I wanted the scenic route.
But it is treacherous. And I remember, just driving slowly, I would get scared. Can you imagine if she doesn`t run out of gas and she goes all the way up there and she starts going through those winding roads, she could literally go off a cliff and plummet into the ocean in that U-Haul.
DEMETRIOU: Let`s not get into a Thelma and Louise situation unless we have to on this one.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s true.
DEMETRIOU: Because it looks like -- she`s holding -- she`s staying ahead, it doesn`t look like she`s at too great of a speed at this time, but what worries me, is that she`s occasionally going across that double yellow line into the median area itself and you`re going to have some problems here.
You`re coming up to intersections and you`ve got cars there. Now, they`re stopping and of course, she`s threading her way through it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: She just went through a red light, she just went through a red light, clearly because everybody else was stopped.
DEMETRIOU: Well, that`s about a $400 ticket, right off the bat.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s talk a little bit about what she could be facing.
DEMETRIOU: Felony evasion, right off the bat. The question is, if the car is stolen also, you`ve got failure to yield; you`ve got possession of a stolen vehicle. You`ve got reckless endangerment.
I mean, you know, the gamut goes on and on and on. What the police want to try to do though, is just to get this person to stop before she hits somebody else. And that`s the main thing that they`re worried about here, is other motorists` safety.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pete, you and I again, have covered so many of these over the years. I am always astounded that people are willing to throw their entire lives away, just because they didn`t want to initially pull over when cops asked them to.
I`ve covered high-speed chases where when you finally ask the person, what were you running from, they don`t even know. The cop wanted to pull them over and they felt like they might get a ticket and they took off and then it sort of takes on a life of its own.
And they don`t realize that they`re entering into felony after felony after felony with this kind of behavior when what they were fleeing was probably a misdemeanor.
DEMETRIOU: Either a misdemeanor or, in most cases, it was simply speeding. I`ve known too many law enforcement officers who will pull you over, and rather than give you a ticket, if it`s just 5 or 10 miles over the limit, they may admonish you, "Just take it easy on the speed."
In this case, that has gone way beyond that. Somebody`s going to jail here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I saw her shrug, just a second ago. She appears to be a young woman, slender, dressed casually. Her arms are bare and at one point, she put her arm out. But she doesn`t seem to be hysterical. I mean, she doesn`t seem to be agitated in the slightest. It`s just like, oh, la-de-da, I`m going on a ride up PCH.
DEMETRIOU: It is a pleasant day -- I`ll say this, it is a pleasant day and it`s a wonderful view for a drive. It`s just a shame that she`s doing it in such a fashion that she`s going to wind up in handcuffs at the end of it, or in a hospital.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes or possibly endangering somebody else`s life.
This, by the way, started in Palmdale, which is east of Los Angeles, which is a rather sort of dusty area, where often people go, I believe, on the way to -- well, it`s kind of like -- describe Palmdale.
DEMETRIOU: Well, she`s gone from Palmdale down into Los Angeles and then out the 10 Freeway and now out on Pacific Coast Highway. You realistically begin to wonder when she`s going to run out of fuel.
Because even with a larger fuel tank on a mixed car/van like that, which is probably somewhere between 20 and 25 gallons, you`re not doing great. That`s not a Prius. You`re not doing great on fuel economy here. And eventually, she`s going to run out of gasoline.
As long as they can follow her and don`t force her to the point where she does something dramatic or extreme or dangerous, they`ll be content to keep coming right on after her. Because, guess what, they can relay officers in there. She`s not going to outrun Motorola, is the famous phrase.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, exactly. And the other thing is, we`ve just received word, that authorities are not aware whether or not she has a weapon in the vehicle. I haven`t seen any evidence of it.
DEMETRIOU: No, well, again, that would change the dimensions of what was going on dramatically if they felt that she was armed, had brandished a weapon or anything else like that. They`d be treating this completely differently.
And it looks like she`s slowing down at this particular point. You`ve go people who apparently have watched this on television, are now lining the sidewalks and you sort of have a gawker situation there.
I wouldn`t be on the street looking at this. I`d be inside saying, by your leave, go on, do what you have to do, I don`t want to be a part of the problem.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but it`s hard when that goes by, it`s hard not to watch you know that. Pete, stick right there, Pete. We`re going to stay on top of this breaking news; a high-speed chase through exclusive Malibu.
Who is this crazy woman and why did she decide to take a high-speed tour of most of Los Angeles? We`ll answer that question or we`ll try.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re continuing to monitor this extremely bizarre and dangerous high-speed chase that has really covered a lot of ground in the Los Angeles area.
It started in Palmdale, which is kind of a dusty, inland area. And sometimes rural, there are horses there, that kind of thing. It went into Los Angeles, on the freeways, off the freeways, downtown.
Now it`s headed up the coast, Malibu is where this U-Haul is at this moment in time. And Malibu is like 27 miles long. So we`ve been watching this for a while, as it started in Malibu that`s closer towards Santa Monica and headed all the way up the coast toward, really, a very dangerous area, where there are going to be, in short order, some rather narrow turns, if in fact she continues on this route.
Now, she`s gone through -- this is a woman, driver, by the way, this is highly unusual. Most high-need chases involve males. And it`s highly unusual for anybody in a high-speed chase to be driving a U-Haul. This appears to be a young woman. She`s bare sleeved; she is sort of casually dressed.
We have no idea why she has chosen to do this. She`s covered a lot of ground, at this point. We`re hoping that she just runs out of gas soon. The police are keeping a very safe distance, because they don`t want to smash into the back of her U-Haul if she suddenly jerks to a stop.
We have seen people pulling off the side of the road to avoid her. It`s really a dangerous situation. And while it does encourage a lot of looky-loos, in this particular area of Malibu, there aren`t a lot of looky- loos. This is an area where there are a lot of big homes and estates and people off the road.
So that`s good news.
We`ve left the area of Malibu where a lot of tourists gather and we`re more in the less-traveled areas of Malibu. We`re going to stay on top of this and continue to monitor and we`ll bring it back, hopefully, for a conclusion. And let`s hope it`s a safe conclusion.
Now, to the shocking, and I mean shocking charges against former mega- pastor, Ted Haggard, who resigned in disgrace after a gay sex scandal with a male prostitute. Haggard has been hit with stunning new allegations of inappropriate relations with a then-22-year-old male volunteer at his former church.
Haggard appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show today, promoting a new HBO documentary on his time in exile. Oprah asked the question on everybody`s list.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, "OPRAH": And do you think you`re gay?
TED HAGGARD, FORMER EVANGELICAL LEADER: No, I don`t think I`m gay. I did wonder about that after this crisis. The first therapist said you are a heterosexual with homosexual attachments. So we processed through that. I wasn`t sure what that meant. And then we went through --
WINFREY: Nor am I, nor is the audience. Nor is -- certainly nor are the gay people watching right now.
HAGGARD: Yes, and it is -- I do believe I don`t fit into the normal boxes. I do think there are complexities associated with some people`s sexuality. I don`t know about other people.
WINFREY: I would agree with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Haggard, a champion of traditional family values and a crusader against homosexuality was first banished by his church after allegations that he used drugs and patronized a male prostitute in 2006.
Jim Beck, national field director of the Christian Coalition of America and well-known clinical psychologist and sex therapist, Dr. Judy Kuriansky is with me tonight as well as the Reverend Susan Russell, senior associate for pastoral life at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena.
We`re going to get right to it because obviously we`ve had that breaking news with the truck. So we`re a little condensed.
But Dr. Judy, these new allegations against Haggard, graphic. They`re part of the story I have to tell you. This young man says Haggard masturbated in front of him and sent him thousands of text messages describing his sexual experiences. Your thoughts, doctor.
DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I`m going to venture a solution to this dilemma that was posed on the Oprah show about him when he said, "I`m not gay, I`m a heterosexual, said the therapist, with some -- with some attachments to men." That sounds very much like a bisexual. And he fits a lot of these criteria.
His wife said they had an amazing sex life. So that`s good sex with a woman. At the same time, he admitted he still has thoughts about men. Well, between two and up to five of people in different surveys over these past two decades have identified themselves as bisexual. He wants to accept himself; that can be an acceptance.
Dr. Judy, very interesting analysis there. Grant Haas has claimed to have a relationship with Haggard, who he accuses of masturbating in front of him against his wishes. Here`s what else he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRANT HAAS, FORMER PARISHIONER AT HAGGARD`S CHURCH: He really thought he was invincible. He used to say to me, "You know what, Grant? You can become a man of God and you can have a little bit of fun on the side." And I really think he believed that philosophy that he can do whatever he wants as long as he`s praying and fasting on the side. As long as he`s doing God`s work, he can have a little bit of fun on the side.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In a statement, Haggard responded, quote, "Two years ago, I met with Grant Haas, along with a church overseer and my wife to ask Grant`s forgiveness for our inappropriate relationship. Prior to that, I discussed it with my wife, my therapist and our children. Although there was no physical contact, I have regretted my irresponsible behavior. Once again I ask for his forgiveness, as well as the people of the church."
Jim Beck, take it away. What`s your explanation for this man`s behavior?
JIM BECK, CHRISTIAN COALITION OF AMERICA: I think Ted Haggard is -- his time, usefulness to God is not over but his time in terms of ministry in a pulpit is over. There are a lot of ways you can serve the Lord.
I`m going to just tell you this. This may shock you but at the end of the day our faith makes no distinction between big sins and little sins. And Ted Haggard`s sin of apparent homosexuality is no worse than the sin of adultery. And I can tell you this --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It shouldn`t be a sin, though, Reverend Russell. It`s not a sin; it is a condition. It is what people are.
REV. SUSAN RUSSELL, ALL SAINTS EPISCOPAL CHURCH: Exactly and that would be my answer. We have a tragic situation here where someone has been fed a pack of lies by the church and told that it is a sin to be gay or bisexual or transgender. In this case, we`re talking about someone who is --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We have to leave it there. We apologize because of the high-speed chase, we are condensed. We`re going to bring all of you back again soon and more car chase.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More breaking news as we continue to track this U- Haul in a high speed chase. It`s gone all throughout Los Angeles and it is a woman driver, which is highly unusual.
We have with us Pete Demetriou, a legendary crime reporter out of KFWB News Radio in Los Angeles. Pete, you have been talking to law enforcement. What are you hearing about this chase?
DEMETRIOU: Bottom line at this point she`s out of Los Angeles County; she crossed it about eight to ten minutes ago. She`s now at Ventura County coming up on Pacific Coast Highway headed towards what is the Point Mugu Naval Air Station area.
Again, the highway here divided and that`s a little bit of a problem. You just have a double yellow line there in the middle. This is where you were talking about, where PCH twists and turns. Yes, that gets to be a problem in here because if you are going too fast in here, you can easily flip that truck which is -- you will notice she is not in a lane. She`s over there over in the -- in the shoulder area. And sort of driving a little bit erratically at this point, she is weaving.
Speeds there of about 60 to 65 miles per hour but once she gets around the big rock up there, just beyond Homer Broome State Beach with the sand dunes where she just passed three to four minutes ago, it`s more or less a straight line all along that area, along Point Mugu leading up into Oxnard and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) area eventually up into Ventura.
And in theory, she could make it all the way up to Santa Barbara if she`s so inclined and it does not run out of fuel. The problem is if she continues to take PCH up there, she`s going to run into the 101 freeway. And at this hour the 101 going north into areas like Ventura and -- well, she has a lot of traffic people going into that particular area.
Once you get beyond Ventura about a 25-mile stretch of PCH is more or less two lanes, wide open, you can do 70 miles an hour beyond until you hit the traffic in and around Santa Barbara. Question is, how much fuel does she have left in that truck? And if she doesn`t make a mistake and do anything erratic. It does look like the speed she is doing or anything which are high speed or dangerous --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: She just popped on her lights, Pete. I can understand why. Because, again, I have taken this road as have you. It is getting windier and windier at this particular juncture. The juncture she just went through was really one of the windier areas. Now she might be hitting a straightaway. But --
DEMETRIOUS: She is hitting a straightaway and parallel and literally to the point of the naval air station there and the property along in there. That part of PCH is basically wide open, flat and straight for about three to four miles.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just want to stay that we are going to continue to monitor this and you will see, viewers, the conclusion because we will bring it to you tomorrow right here on "ISSUES." We are going to tell you what happened to this kook who decided to put so many lives at risk.
Thank you so much, Pete. Come back soon.
I`m Jane Velez Mitchell and you are watching not just a crazy car chase but "ISSUES" on HLN.