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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
New Leads in Haleigh Cummings Case; Search Suspended for Men Lost at Sea
Aired March 3, 2009 - 19:00 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, week three in the frantic search for Haleigh Cummings. Cops are following up on every possible lead as a new tip leads him to question a neighbor about a door bell. What could it mean? Was it another dead end?
As desperation mounts, the Cummings family released another batch of Haleigh home video in the hopes somebody will recognize this child.
Then a massive, intense search across the Gulf of Mexico. Two NFL players and another man lost at sea after going on a routine fishing trip. A fourth man already saved in a dramatic rescue. I`ll have the details.
And bad news for Casey Anthony`s defense. A judge rules that scandalous party photos of Casey will be released to the public. How shocking are they? I`ll show you, and I`ll examine how it will affect her murder trial.
Plus, an update on the Rihanna/Chris Brown soap opera, Rihanna reportedly back together with Brown less than a month after he allegedly battered her. Now Rihanna`s family speaks out, worrying she`s putting herself at risk. And why haven`t authorities charged Chris Brown yet?
Then we have the shocking video of a 15-year-old girl getting a vicious beating by prison guards as one slams her to the floor by her hair. Will the guards face charges, or is this just business as usual behind cell walls?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight it`s a race against the clock in the frantic search for little Haleigh Cummings. The investigation is now entering its fourth week, and authorities admit they are totally stumped.
In a desperate bid to drum up new leads, her family has released another home video recorded about six months ago. It shows the adorable little girl playing in front of the fireplace.
While thousands of tips have poured in, not a single one has brought authorities closer to finding this missing 5-year-old. Little Haleigh vanished from her bed in the wee hours of February 9. One mysterious tip about a doorbell chime led detectives to the home of a neighbor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTY HUBBARD, NEIGHBOR QUESTIONED ABOUT DOORBELL: They got a tip on my name, period, and they said that they needed to question me because that I had a door bell -- if I had a door bell that rang like a grandfather clock and which I said I don`t even have a door bell in my house, y`all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is the significance of that, if any? And why after all this time are there so many more questions than answers?
Let`s go straight to my panel: Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney; Vinny Parko, private investigator; Debbie Glasser, clinical psychologist; and Jennifer Bauer with CNN affiliate WJXT in Jacksonville.
Jennifer, what is the very latest?
JENNIFER BAUER, WJXT REPORTER: Well, unfortunately, Jane, for these two families there is not a lot of new information to report. Police tell us they now have 2,300 leads have come in, in the last 22 days since Haleigh was last seen. Seventy tips just came in over this weekend, and investigators tell us they are just continuing to follow up on every one of them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you a couple of things going back over this investigation. What happened to the missing sex offender. I believe his name was Chad Reynolds, 25. He lived in the area, and he disappeared mysteriously in early February?
BAUER: That`s right. Twenty-five-year-old Chad Reynolds. He is a sexual predator, registered sexual predator here in Florida. He was convicted of a sex crime here in Putnam County but has been missing out of Marion County. Still no information. Police have not been able to find him in the last 22 days.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, what about tests? We know that cadaver dogs last week hit on a Dumpster. Have they taken any of the material from within that Dumpster and had it tested forensically? Because they say they have absolutely no leads, but perhaps if they test it and found DNA or something in that Dumpster that the cadaver dogs hit on, we`d have something.
BAUER: You know, Jane, that`s a really good question. They had the one Dumpster where they were going through and searching and then they brought in a second Dumpster, an empty Dumpster, and they were transferring things from one Dumpster to the other and going through them piece by piece.
But that night, that Thursday night, they told us there was nothing. So I`m going to have to go out there and say that nothing has been forensically tested, because they told us that evening that the investigation in that Dumpster was over.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now I was hearing reports that they are still re- interviewing the relatives. This has gone on and on with these re- interviews. What`s the latest on that?
BAUER: We asked investigators about that today, and they keep telling us that as new tips come in, as new leads come in, and as they continue to receive phone calls, more questions come up, and they keep going back to the family for confirmation and for information. They say it`s strictly routine.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So I understand that the families are obviously just hanging on by huddling together with prayer. We only have a couple of seconds, but how would you describe them right now? Are they in the tents right near the crime scene from which Haleigh was taken, or have they scattered?
BAUER: They`re still in the tents, Jane, and I would use one word to describe these families, and I`d say desperate. They are desperate for information, and they are just beside themselves. Every day it gets harder and harder, and they just don`t know what to do at this point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jennifer Bauer, you`re doing a great job out there. Thank you for joining us and please come back soon, hopefully with some very good news about little Haleigh.
All right. Let`s get to the rest of my panel. Jayne Weintraub, the FBI is involved, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Putnam County Sheriff`s Office, and still no leads on this child. How is that possible?
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, we don`t than that they don`t have any leads. We just know that they haven`t released any information. I mean, you raised one good point about the pedophile that`s registered that hasn`t appeared yet.
We also know from the doorbell chime that they have re-interviewed her younger brother, even though he`s only 3 years old. He speaks. He heard. He knows what he heard, Jane, and if it sounded to him like a doorbell chime, maybe it was a cell phone ring, a BlackBerry ring. Maybe that`s one way that they can look to identify if they`re speaking in the neighborhood or if it`s a portable ring. I think that they`re on to something with listening to the little boy. That`s all they`ve got.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I actually have a couple of thoughts on that.
Debbie Glasser, Haleigh`s mom said that her little boy, who was 3 at the time of this abduction of his big sister, and is now 4, had sort of revised -- or there`s been a revision of his description of what happened.
He had said initially that a man in black had come in and taken Haleigh, and now he`s changed it to a black man dressed in black. Can we really trust what a 3-year-old has to say, given that they often live in their imaginations?
DEBBIE GLASSER, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Right. It`s a really touchy situation. And plus, he said he was 3 at the time and now he`s 4. You know, a lot of changes take place in the lifetime of a young child, 3 to 4. Enormous cognitive changes, neurological changes, physical changes.
You know, this family is clinging to everything. And, of course, investigators must track down every lead and follow every piece of information they get. It`s just really, really challenging to pin a whole lot...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not to interrupt, but if the child is having a flight of imagination, that could hurt the investigation, because then it puts people on -- in a wild goose chase.
GLASSER: Right. Well, hopefully, the investigators are tracking down all leads and not doing one instead of another. There`s an enormous amount of information coming in. This poor family is clinging to everything. And the truth is perhaps the 3-year-old did hear something, and that needs to be investigated.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Early on in the investigation, bloodhounds have reportedly tracked Haleigh`s scent to the area along the banks of the nearby St. John`s River.
Now, as you can see from this Google map -- take a look at this -- it`s not far from the Cummings` home. Reportedly, investigators came up empty. You see the river there. But does this mean it was really a dead end?
Vinny Parko, private investigator, do you think we`ve heard enough about the possibility of Haleigh`s abductor, let`s say taking her away by boat? Or what about thoroughly dredging this river?
VINNY PARKO, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: You know, you have to try everything. I mean, you`ve got a poor little girl that`s missing. Every lead can help you. If the dogs found a scent towards the river, then that would be an area that I would look at.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And you know what I`d like to talk about very briefly is the fact that Ron Cummings has gotten a tattoo. And he was so devastated by the events that have occurred, his little daughter being taken from his home, that he decided to go get a tattoo. And it`s a tattoo of little Haleigh`s face. And this is something that he has done sort of as a sign of solidarity with his missing daughter. Debbie Glasser, good therapy?
GLASSER: You know, everybody reacts to stress in their own way, and this is such extreme stress. There`s no way we can put ourselves in the shoes of this family and what they`re anything through. You know, if putting a tattoo of his daughter`s face is going to help him stay hopeful and cooperate with investigators and do everything that they can to bring little Haleigh home, then that`s when he needs to do.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Everyone, sit tight. We are just getting started. Do you think cops are grasping for straws in the search for Haleigh Cummings? Give me a holler: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297 and let me know.
In other stunning news, a 15-year-old girl is viciously beaten by prison guards. It is caught on tape. I will show you more of the shocking video in a moment.
But first, here is the Cummings` neighbor showing support for Haleigh`s family after cops questioned him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUBBARD: Anything I could do to bring this girl home, that`s what I`m here for. You know, this is my neighbor. This is my neighborhood. So, you know, I mean, I`ve got grandkids, you know, and this worries me to death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON CUMMINGS, FATHER OF HALEIGH CUMMINGS: I`m here on plead for the life of my daughter. I want her to come home. If you have her, please send her home. I don`t know care how she gets here. Just get her home.
And if you`re watching, baby, I love you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Haleigh`s dad making a desperate appeal to anyone with information about his daughter.
I am back with my panel, talking about the latest developments in the search for 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings. Her family refuses to give up hope. Her grandmother says one reason is detectives on the case have described it as similar to that of Elizabeth Smart.
Elizabeth was abducted from her Salt Lake City home in June of 2002. She was snatched from the bedroom she and her kid sister shared. Miraculously, Elizabeth was found alive nine months later.
I am very pleased to welcome her father, Ed Smart, president of the Surviving Parents Coalition.
Thanks so very much for joining us, and thank you for all the very good work that you do, Ed.
ED SMART, PRESIDENT, SURVIVING PARENTS COALITION: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: They have actually cited your daughter`s miraculous recovery as a reason for hope for little Haleigh. Do you agree, and if so, why do you agree?
SMART: Absolutely. You know, I think that the Cummings are going through an incredibly difficult time. I remember how hard it was for us. And you get to a point where there are all these people working, trying to do their best to find her, and yet it still seems to be so far out of your control to have any control on the situation. And it`s just so difficult.
You know, one of the things that really helped us was, you know, a former -- or should I say another family member that had been through the same situation before, talked about trying to keep the focus, keep the picture of Elizabeth out there. Certainly, in this case keeping Haleigh`s picture out there. And we -- we just didn`t know what we could do to try to find her, and we had everyone helping. Now, certainly, things have changed.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ed, let me jump in and ask you...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You at some point took matters into your own hands. What did you do?
SMART: Well, you know, we had a -- the Law (ph) Recovery Center came in and set up a search center. And we had a number of searches going on, numerous dogs, heat-seeking helicopters, volunteers that were there time and time again combing the area. We -- my brothers were amazing. They just would not give up, and they kept trying to search on any tip that they -- they heard about.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But didn`t you call "America`s Most Wanted"? Didn`t "America`s Most Wanted" get involved at a certain point?
SMART: They did, and it was a few months down the road. But John Walsh was amazing. In fact, it was because of his show that Elizabeth was found. And, you know, the -- having everyone there trying to help was...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me get into that...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... because it is so crucial. I mean, it was on "America`s Most Wanted," and then people started seeing the video of the girl. And they connected it to a child that they had seen in the area?
SMART: No, really what it was, was we had just come out with the picture that was supposedly of this Brian David Mitchell. And we -- two people had seen that picture on "America`s Most Wanted." and initially they spotted Brian Mitchell. and then they spotted Elizabeth or they thought who was Elizabeth. and so that was, you know, that was key, of course, in finding her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to ask you one other question. It was the kid sister, your youngest daughter, who had the epiphany and suddenly realized who it was. She actually cracked the case one day and said, "Dad, I know who did this." And apparently, authorities didn`t listen to her.
SMART: That`s right. They brought her in. They said, you know, "She says, `I think it might be.`" And you know, she had said to me, "Dad, I think it is." Well, I think and being the only witness there, certainly puts the most credibility on what she had to say.
And of course, that wasn`t considered or was downplayed significantly to a point that, you know, there wasn`t as much attention that needed to be focused in that direction.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. And it`s just because she was a kid, right?
SMART: Right, right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And so we have a similar situation here. And Ed, I want to thank you so much. I really want to thank you for all the great work that you do as part of the Surviving Parents Coalition, helping people in these hellish situations get through this kind of stuff.
But Jayne Weintraub, you just heard it right there. In that previous case the child solved it, and nobody listened because it was a kid.
WEINTRAUB: And that`s exactly what I think is happening here. And just because he`s 3 years old, you know, those of us who have had children we all know, maybe it was in the questioner. Was he wearing black or he was all in black? Maybe it wasn`t clear. If he`s saying what it was and what he saw, he knows.
But I also have to tell you, I`ve had the pleasure of meeting Ed Smart and his entire family. And that`s what this is all about, keeping the message going, never giving up. Their faith, their support system.
And the Cummings family seem to be overcoming their dysfunction and whatever from the divorce. They`re hanging together. He`s tattooing. You have to keep it out there...
WEINTRAUB: ... because something happened to Haleigh.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thomasina, Florida, your question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: Yes. I understand that Haleigh`s dad Ron had a long rap sheet for arrests involving drugs. I`d like to know how he got sole custody of his kids with such a long criminal record.
WEINTRAUB: Because she did -- oh, sorry.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead. Answer the questions. I don`t have the answers.
WEINTRAUB: Because I think that it was also alleged that the biological mother was having the same situation and the same problems and also was not employed and couldn`t care for the child. And one of them was deemed more fit.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to be more careful, because I don`t have any independent confirmation of that. And again, I think that one of the things the grandfather said is let`s not beat up on this family. We all have a past, and at this point, certainly, the dad`s alibi, whether the sheriff`s department said was firm. He was at work when this child was taken.
So you do have to wonder, Vinny Parko, why don`t they eliminate the family members as suspects, because they have studiously refused to eliminate anybody as suspects.
PARKO: You can`t eliminate anybody until they find the child, either alive or dead. And anybody could be -- everybody is a suspect. That`s unfortunate, but that`s the way it is.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Tonya, Indiana. Question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: Yes, I was wondering, have they done any investigation into the air-conditioning repairman since he was left in the house alone?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: My understanding is that there was an air- conditioning repairman that day and that they have checked him out and that he is -- his alibi is OK. He is not a suspect, even though they haven`t officially taken anybody off the suspect list. That`s what the reports were from the local reporters, is that his whole story checked out.
Kathleen, New Mexico. Question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: Yes. I was wondering, my comment is, is that either being man or woman, young or old, when you wake up in the middle of the night and the door is propped wide open, the first thing you would do is call the police, not knowing if somebody else is in that house. And that`s my comment is why she didn`t call the police right away.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Vinny Parko, what do you think?
PARKO: That`s a good question. I have no idea why she didn`t call the police right away. Maybe she called her boyfriend, the father, right away, but a normal person would call the police right away.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: As we wrap up here, I want to do our part, because the family says that we really have to get the distinguishing features of this little girl out there. We do have a couple of photos showing her distinguishing features. And hopefully, we can go to that.
You see that she has light brown birthmarks, one on her left cheekbone and the other on her right jaw line. Details like this can make a difference. Look at this child`s face, and if you see her call authorities.
I want to thank my excellent panel, and please come back soon. Let`s hope we have good news in this case.
From the search for Haleigh to another intense search, this one in the Gulf of Mexico. Two men, including two NFL players lost at sea. Harrowing details.
Plus Rihanna`s family not happy with her getting back together with Chris Brown. We`ll tell you about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE COOPER, MARQUIS COOPER`S FATHER: He`s a fighter. I mean, he`s an undersized linebacker at the University of Washington. He`s an undersized linebacker in the NFL, but he doesn`t back down. He`s just an extreme fighter. And so what I`m holding onto is that he`s out in the water right now just fighting. He doesn`t back down and won`t give up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was the father of NFL player Marquis Cooper, who has been lost at sea for three days, speaking before the Coast Guard`s announcement late this afternoon. Just hours ago authorities said they are suspending the search for Cooper and two other athletes at sunset today, meaning the search has now ended.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPT. TIMOTHY CLOSE, U.S. COAST GUARD: We`re extremely confident that, if there were any survivors on the surface of the water, that we would have found them. And it`s our intention that at sunset today approximately 6:30, we will suspend active search efforts on this case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cooper and three friends including NFL player Corey Smith, plus former college players Will Bleakley and Nick Schuyler went fishing during a routine fishing trip late Saturday afternoon.
After clinging to the capsized boat for more than 40 hours, Nick Schuyler was miraculously rescued yesterday. The Coast Guard has combed through 24,000 square miles of open sea, finding only a water cooler, a life jacket and a vinyl jacket. As the search ends tonight, the fate of these men seems sealed. It is truly heartbreaking.
Let`s get the very latest from Bo Zimmer from our affiliate WTSP. The information has been changing by the minute.
What is the very latest, Bo?
BO ZIMMER, WTSP REPORTER: Well, the very latest is at sunset the U.S. Coast Guard, in fact, did call off their search for the three missing individuals.
As you can imagine, this was heartbreaking for the families involved, who arrived here around 3 p.m. this afternoon. They were briefed by the U.S. Coast Guard and, in fact, told the Coast Guard that they intend to continue the search on their own. Some of the family members plan on heading out on boats and doing whatever they can to try to continue searching for their loved ones.
As you can imagine, this is just a heartbreaking situation for all of these families. And it`s hard to hear the Coast Guard say, "We`re going to just stop searching," but the Coast Guard has done everything they can. Fifty individual missions, 230 hours searching in the air and on the water and searching about 24,000 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico.
As you know, the temperatures down here in Florida have dipped a little lower than they normally go, and it`s a little chilly out here this evening. And I`ve got a jacket on. I`m dry. You can only imagine what it would be like in the water. And the reality of the situation is, if they had any inkling of a possibility of thinking these guys had survived or would still be alive out there on the water, they would still be searching, but that is not the case tonight.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now Schuyler was spotted sitting on the hull of the boat. Would it be correct to say that his survival really depended on him having the ability to somehow climb onto that hull and stay there, because it reduced his exposure to the water?
ZIMMER: You would think just from experience, you know, when you`re wet and you`re outside of a pool or outside of the water and the wind starts blowing, that you feel very cold.
Well, actually when you`re in the water, doctors say you actually lose that body temperature much, much faster. You lose it from the areas underneath your armpits and your neck area and your head area. And so they`re saying that these guys that were in the water would have lost a lot of that heat.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sad story, thank you very much, Bo.
We`re going to get to that savage beating.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bad news for Casey Anthony`s defense as a judge rules that scandalous party photos of Casey will be released to the public. I`ll show you the shocking images.
Plus an update on the Rihanna/Chris Brown soap opera. Rihanna reportedly back together with Brown and her family is not too happy about it. I`ll have the details.
Then we have the appalling video of a 15-year-old girl getting a vicious beating by prison guards. Will the guards face charges or is this just business as usual behind cell walls?
I will get to Rihanna`s reported reunion with Chris Brown in just a minute, but first an update on the twin torments in Florida. In Satsuma where the search for Haleigh Cummings is now in its fourth week a new video is being released by the family hoping to generate new leads about the missing 5-year-old. Meantime, authorities acting on one of 2,000 tips so far question a neighbor about a mysterious doorbell chime.
Now let`s turn to the other case captivating Florida, the Caylee Anthony murder case; in a blow to Casey Anthony`s defense team, a judge has ruled that these and other salacious photos -- yes, you`re looking at them there -- of Casey Anthony dancing and drinking and being groped can be made public.
How bad are some of these photos? We shall soon see. Anthony appeared in court yesterday as defense attorney Jose Baez asked the judge to block these photos and the videotape of Casey reacting to the news that remains were found near her home in December. The judge has yet to rule on that.
Now, in the meantime, he set a tentative trial date for October 12th, but it`s not all bad news for the defense team. Prosecutors also announced that they will not be putting the death penalty back on the table. Will not.
And this news, just in to HLN: Anthony family attorney Brad Conway filed a motion today seeking to keep private all information on Casey`s dad George`s suicide attempt, particularly the suicide note. He doesn`t want anybody to see that suicide note.
Now to my panel: Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney as well as Leslie Snadowsky, an investigative reporter.
Leslie, let`s start with these embarrassing photos. Do we know if all of them are out there already and if not, when are more photos going to be released and by whom?
LESLIE SNADOWSKY, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: We`ll it definitely that it looks like we`re going to see a lot more of Casey Anthony. And according to Jose Baez, a lot of photos are out there already, but there are some others that haven`t been released yet and those are the ones he`s really particularly interested in trying to keep quiet, I guess.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who has -- does the prosecution have them and then they will release them in discovery --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- and then at that point the public will get them?
SNADOWSKY: That`s exactly how it`s done, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, when are we going to see them, then?
SNADOWSKY: Well, they`ve already been copied and they`re already probably in the clerk`s office for Mr. Baez and anybody else. And I`m sure the media already has copies of the discs available to them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Take a look at some of the more salacious photos that came back into the media`s attention after Baez`s motion to block them.
All right. Here`s one. She`s apparently being groped by a guy and then we also have this shot of Casey at a toilet with a caption. The photos paint a picture of a girl who really likes to party.
Now, a judge has ruled all the photos -- there is apparently a lot more -- can be released publicly, but listen to what a lawyer for the Orlando Sentinel said in court just yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL FUGATE, ATTORNEY FOR THE ORLANDO SENTINEL: The Orlando Sentinel has copied many photos from the photo bucket page. Just because they haven`t published them doesn`t mean they don`t have them. My clients inform me that they have.
Now, is that every photo that`s in discovery? I don`t know because I don`t know which photos they are. But my client has informed me that they did go to photo bucket, copied lots of photos. And Mr. Bowes actually just informed me today that many of those photos were still up on photo bucket as of this morning.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, Jayne Weintraub, the photos, the Orlando Sentinel has had a lot of these photos --
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That`s right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- and they haven`t published all of them. So did Jose Baez do himself a disservice by filing this motion and as a result making them more newsworthy so that we`re discussing them and newspapers will start publishing?
WEINTRAUB: Well, we`ll never know the answer to that question, but as far as the pictures are concerned --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, I don`t want an answer to that question.
WEINTRAUB: The one thing that we know about the pictures is it`s not taken as a motive for the murder. It`s not taken and it doesn`t indicate if it`s relevant or admissible in a court.
What it will do is poison the jury pool and that`s the problem. And that`s something that a change of venue isn`t going to cure. You see, what I would like to do is I would like to get these jurors to swear and I`ve said this before in these high profile cases that they will not profit in any way, shape or form from the jury.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh listen, that`s another issue, but I asked you a question and you didn`t answer it.
Did Jose Baez shoot himself in the foot by making such a big issue out of these pictures that now they are newsworthy and we are looking at them?
WEINTRAUB: Well, I don`t think he made such a big deal. I think he filed a motion which he should have filed to seal the records at least until it`s determined or not whether they`re admissible in court because many of them were taken years before and won`t be admitted.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, one picture that stood out to me was this image of little Caylee. Notice there is a heart on this photo seemingly drawn in by somebody, perhaps Casey, we don`t know.
There seems to be a theme, Leslie, of hearts throughout this entire case. Could this photo be used as evidence somehow since the duct tape on Caylee`s skull was found with a heart sticker on it?
SNADOWSKY: Well, I think you have a good point, but Jose Baez did have a point, too, and your other guests touched on it. He felt that all these photos on were relevant because most of them were taken before Caylee even disappeared. But then it also brings into play the motives behind these photos. And we found out also at this hearing that I believe Casey sold some of these photos for $200,000 and the defense was trying to sell some of them to "People" magazine.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s a report and we don`t know that for sure, but that`s the claim. Those are the claims that we`re hearing.
SNADOWSKY: Exactly the claim.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you make of that, Jayne?
WEINTRAUB: I don`t think there`s anything wrong with it. If she sold them that was before she was charged and before she was indicted with first-degree murder and what was wrong with raising money so that she could help look for her child or fend off a defense which had already honed in on her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Leslie, my understanding was that if any photos were sold they were much more wholesome. They weren`t these photos. They were probably photos of her with her child.
SNADOWSKY: Now, you`re 100 percent right. But I also think we need to talk about the videotape, Jane. This to me was very interesting. We all heard reports about what happened when Casey found out that bones were discovered not too far from home and they were probably that of Caylee`s.
We all heard reports that she hyperventilated and she doubled over and she some asked some medication. Now we know that there was a videotape of this that was taken in jail and the prosecution wanted to release it and the defense, of course, yesterday also at the same hearing had a motion and say they don`t want that released at all. And they had a partial victory, it looks like the prosecution will be able to use it at trial but they`re trying to delay the release of it to the public.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and apparently a reporter who saw that video said that Casey became hysterical was the word she used.
WEINTRAUB: As any mom would.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jayne and Leslie, thank you so very much. We`re obviously going to be back on this case every single day.
Casey Anthony`s photos aren`t the only ones in the national spotlight.
This photo posted by TMZ reportedly of a very badly beaten Rihanna shocked the entire nation. The severe cuts and bruising allegedly suffered at the hands of her boyfriend Chris Brown.
Well, tonight the outrage continues. This time coming from those closest to the pop superstar; family, relatives still coming to terms with reports that Rihanna and Chris Brown have made up and gotten back together. And on the legal front the LAPD`s investigation into Brown still ongoing and they`ve not yet made its way to the Los Angeles County District Attorney`s office.
That`s where it will be decided finally if Brown will indeed face charges for this alleged beating. Brown is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday. And we don`t know if that`s even going to happen.
I`m joined now by Mike Walters, assignment manager from TMZ. Mike, what is going on? What`s the latest with this case?
MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: Jane, I can`t believe we`re even talking about this right now, but yes, these two are back together. They spent the weekend at Diddy`s house in Miami. We have the most unbelievable photos and video on our Website of Chris Brown jet skiing around in the ocean. And at one point he`s even like flexing in it because he knows the cameras are shooting on him.
It`s unbelievable and Rihanna was there the whole time. We also have them getting off a private jet and getting off in L.A., they are right now they`re shacked up in L.A. in a hotel together.
It`s like, I can`t we`re even believe discussing this right now, let alone these two even talk to each other still. Obviously, she alleges and told the police that he beat her up and now her family`s come out today and said they`re a little worried about this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh yes.
WALTERS: Yes, of course, they are.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well, in fact a lot of people aren`t happy about this reportedly --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- this reconciliation of Rihanna and Chris Brown. One relative as you just mentioned and spoke to "People" magazine and said this, quote, "Everyone wants them to take a break, to cool off. No one wants them back together. I`m concerned. I don`t want her to make a mistake and I don`t want her to ever go through this again" end quote.
But Mike this flies in the face of what Rihanna`s dad said just a couple of days ago that he supports his daughter`s decision whatever it is. Is this family waking up to the fact that this could be dangerous for her, physically, emotionally and even career-wise?
WALTERS: Well, Jane, I learned this listening to your show. But I`ll tell you this that she`s a victim and that`s her dad. So, of course, her dad is going to say I support my daughter for whatever decision she makes. But you know that her family`s upset a little bit about this right now because it looks like these two are jumping back in a relationship.
Chris Brown was recording music in Miami and he`s recording in LA and Rihanna is like by his side. So I mean this is not only are they sort of talking. They`re like hanging out, so this is, you know, jumping back into a relationship.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey Mike we only have a couple of seconds. What`s the buzz in Hollywood because a psychiatrist will say this is battered woman syndrome --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- and it is a very unhealthy message for kids out there.
WALTERS: Yes, you`re exactly right. I think this is going down a bad path and I think that the DA is going to get this case this week. He`s going to be charged with felony and domestic battery and they don`t need Rihanna for that anyway.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I don`t know about that. Mike, we`ll have to wait and see what happens. Right now he hasn`t even been arraigned and we have to make that clear. But Mike, great job as always. Thank you and thanks to TMZ.
WALTERS: All right, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More drama as octo-mom Nadya Suleman back in the news. New reports claim cops have been called to her home eight times, eight times in the past year. I`ll have the stunning new details.
And then I will show you this really horrifying video of cops giving a 15-year-old girl a savage beat down. You don`t want to miss this. We`re going debate it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A 15-year-old is viciously beaten by a cop and it is caught on tape. We`re going to show you and debate that shocking video.
But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.
Another batch of troubling details emerging about octo-mom Nadya Suleman: TMZ reports that Suleman was investigated by the LA Department of Children and Family Services before giving birth to octuplets.
A neighbor complained that Suleman`s six kids were not clean or fed properly. The investigation concluded those allegations were unfounded, but there`s more. Cops have reportedly been called to Suleman`s home eight times since January of last year. It`s like the octo-mom`s house is cursed or something.
Thankfully Suleman has told Radar Online that she and her brood of 14 are moving into a new home and getting off food stamps. Will this be a fresh new start to a less outrageous life? For the sake of the children I hope so, although I have no idea how she is going to pull that one off.
That is tonight`s "Top of the block."
Now horrifying video of the brutal beating of a 15-year-old girl at the hands of a King County sheriff`s deputy in Seattle that has the whole country in an uproar. A quick warning to everyone, this video is graphic.
Last November 15-year-old Malika Calhoun was arrested for auto theft, but got a lot more than a phone call. Sheriff`s deputy Paul Sheen allegedly kicked, pushed and punched the teenage girl after she kicked her shoe at him. She didn`t hit him, she kicked her shoe at him.
Sheen claimed she was assaulting an officer. Mallika spoke with "The Early Show`s" Julie Chen about the brutal beating she experienced.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALIKA CALHOUN, VICTIM OF POLICE BEATING: It was horrible, like, my head hit the wall when he first came in and kicked me. And then my head hit the wall in the back and he kept -- he threw me to the ground and was pulling my hair constantly. It was horrible.
JULIE CHEN, HOST, "THE EARLY SHOW": Were you screaming for him to stop?
CALHOUN: Yes. I said I`m not resisting, I`m not resisting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: After an internal investigation, Sheen pleaded not guilty to fourth degree assault. That is a gross misdemeanor, by the way. He has been released on his own recognizance and is now on paid administrative leave.
Why is he still being paid? That`s what I`d like to know. This isn`t Sheen`s first run-in with excessive force or allegations thereof.
In two separate incidents in the past he allegedly shot two people reportedly killing one of them. Both shootings were ruled justifiable -- we want to say that. As for the beating, the second officer in the jail cell never reported this incident. Should he be held accountable?
So many issues and I`m going to be taking your calls on this one, but first let`s get straight to my expert panel: Ted Conover a former prison guard at Sing Sing and author of "Newjack Garden: Guarding Sing Sing" and Steve Schmitt, former police sergeant and professor of criminal justice at Montgomery County Community College plus Lisa Bloom, anchor on the legal network "In Session." Great to have you all.
Lisa, we`ve both looked at this beating. Is there anything in your mind that could justify this kind of violence toward a 15-year-old girl?
LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": Absolutely not. They can use force in restraining her and getting her down, but yanking her back by the ponytail, shoving her down and once she`s down and restrained and the officer pulls back his arm and bam and strikes her repeatedly is clearly excessive force.
Keep in mind, in the eyes of the law this is a child, Jane. She`s a 15-year-old girl. She`s a minor, I don`t care if she flung a shoe at him, this is outrageous.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is.
Ted, you`re a journalist and you became a prison guard at Sing Sing to kind of research it and then you wrote a book about it. Is this kind of thing a true aberration or is this something that happens more often than we`d like to admit?
TED CONOVER, FORMER PRISON GUARD: I think it`s an aberration in a bunch of ways. For one thing it happened in front of the camera and that`s the strange thing to me. Officers know where cameras are and it takes a kind of nut to do something like that in front of a camera.
That said, prison is a violent place, yes, but 99 percent of prison employees are good people who resist these violent urges that arise, I`d say in most of us many times of the day. It`s a job about being provoked. It`s a job people taunt you, they try to get you to do something and being a professional means not doing anything, means holding yourself back.
Now, this video speaks for itself. That officer failed to act that way.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have the phone lines lighting up. Miranda in Louisiana, your question or thought, ma`am.
MIRANDA FROM LOUISIANA: It`s not a question, it`s a comment. I`m sitting here watching this video that you`re playing and this is just reprehensible.
I was paying attention to what you had said how she simply kicked the shoe at him and not physically touched him and attacked him and even if she had, this is a 15-year-old. This is a juvenile. Are there not, you know, standards in place on how they respond to, you know, how these juveniles behave?
This is just unbelievable.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we have somebody here who`s representing law enforcement. Steve Schmitt, you used to be in law enforcement. What do you say to those who say there is no excuse? It doesn`t matter what she did, you shouldn`t be doing this to a 15-year-old or anybody.
STEVE SCHMITT, FORMER POLICE SERGEANT: The incident does appear to be brutal and there`s a possibility that the deputy`s action are inexcusable, but I don`t think I should be part of the YouTube jury. We have questionable content here, but what is the context? We see some things that are obvious that appears to be a juvenile female in custody and not in restraints in a holding and she appears to strike a defiant stance with her arms across her chest but not an aggressive one.
She kicks off her shoe and may have struck the deputy which is technically an assault --
BLOOM: Yes but about when she`s face down and restrained on the floor and he pulls his right hand back and gives her a couple of right hooks? What possible explanation could there be for that?
SCHMITT: None that I can think of. It does appear there is a punch and it doesn`t show he hit her if that was indeed a punch.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not only that but he`s on paid administrative leave, I don`t think that that is necessarily justice. On top of that he`s only charged with a gross misdemeanor. Don`t you think that any civilian caught on tape pummeling somebody like this would get a felony assault charge?
BLOOM: Yes, absolutely. And just think if they were assaulting a police officer. I mean, we`re all human beings here and subject to equal rights.
I don`t really mind the paid administrative leave while this is being investigated, but once there is a conclusion this should definitely be at least felony charges. This looks like an intentional assault.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are just getting started. More fallout from the shocking jailhouse beating when we come back in just a moment.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: 15-year-old Malika Calhoun says that she and the deputy sheriff had been arguing before the brutal beating. She told Julie Chen on "The Early Show" more about how this altercation started.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CALHOUN: He first -- when he first came in when I kicked the shoe off in and I was going to take the other one off he said you know that`s assaulting an officer and that`s when he charged in and started beating me. And I was yelling, I was like -- I`m not resisting, I`m not resisting. And he said whether you`re resisting or not that was assault. And he just kept doing it and kept going and going.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Later the second deputy said she was, quote, "real lippy" and called the officers "fat pigs."
Ted Conover, does the second officer have a responsibility to report this and should he be disciplined for not reporting it allegedly?
CONVER: I think so. Where I worked at Sing Sing there are over 600 officers and I`d say most of us knew that there were three or four guys who were liable to go overboard if provoked. That is, they enjoyed a chance to get physical which you are not ordinarily given in the course of your day.
Most people want to steer away from that, others look for this catharsis so the question you brought up before is there is a witness there, why didn`t this come out. And to me, that`s just as disturbing as the violence against the girl is the fact that this other guy doesn`t do anything. He just sits there.
BLOOM: And, Jane, you know, being lippy is not a defense to assault. This is what teenagers do especially teenagers who are in custody. It doesn`t justify an officer hauling off and striking her once she`s down. It does not matter what word comes out of their mouth and the question is, were they in some sort of physical danger and clearly they are not.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Lisa, who is she going to sue? She has to sue these officers, do you think, and the county?
BLOOM: Yes absolutely. She can sue them individually and she can sue the county. And she can get their records and find out what their history is. Does the county know about their priors? What do they know? Were they negligently still on the job? Absolutely. I think she`s got a great lawsuit.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got it.
Deb, Pennsylvania, question or thought, ma`am?
DEB FROM PENNSYLVANIA: You know, this is a female child and that is an adult male. She kicked a shoe and she did not pull a knife on him. To me clearly it`s an abuse of authority.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Steve Schmitt, last word for you.
SCHMITT: The good thing about the system is there`s a willingness among law enforcement officers to police ourselves and that`s why this video saw the light of day. That`s what the prosecutors and the --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Apparently --
BLOOM: She actually got it in discovery in the lawsuit. They didn`t just voluntarily release it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I am so glad it got out, though, and what I want to say to all of you as I thank you is thank God for TV cameras.
BLOOM: That`s right. They should be in every jail.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ted, Lisa, Steve, thanks for joining us. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell and you`re watching "ISSUES" on HLN.