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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Rift Between Haleigh Cummings Family Grows Worse; Natasha Richardson Reportedly Near Death; Casey Anthony Case Witness List; Incest Trial Shocker; Octo Madness
Aired March 18, 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, tensions boiling over in the search for 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings. Shocking new details point to a fierce custody battle for Haleigh`s little brother, Junior.
Haleigh`s mom has now hired an attorney who has gone to Florida`s child services with shocking claims of a child beaten in the home until bloody. Others are saying Ron`s marriage to Misty could be a move to keep custody of Junior. I`ll have both sides of the story in this intense battle.
Then, outrageous details flood in about Casey Anthony`s murder trial and provide a stunning look inside the prosecution`s case. I`ll analyze the witness list from key family members to an ex-boyfriend to a childhood pal. Will they paint a picture of a pathological liar capable of murder?
And I`ll have a sneak peek at the defense strategy. Casey`s attorneys already grilling a cop who may have ignored tips on the location of Caylee`s remains way back in August. An interrogation not slated to end for another two weeks.
Plus, it`s a wild out-of-control mob scene as Octomom Nadya Suleman brings two of her babies home from the hospital. It was so out of hand that cops showed up. So when are the other six coming home, and how will this paparazzi circus impact all of them? I`ll have the bizarre details.
And the absolutely heart-breaking story of actress Natasha Richardson. After a minor skiing accident, the star reportedly near death. Her famous family, including husband Liam Neeson and mom Vanessa Redgrave, by her side for what could be her last moments. I`ll have the latest details in this tragic story.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, dramatic twists in the disappearance of little Haleigh Cummings. A custody battle over Haleigh`s brother, Ron Jr., set to explode at any moment. The gloves are coming off as police enter the sixth week of desperately searching for Haleigh. Her parents have started attacking each other with new claims of child abuse and drug use.
Here on ISSUES, last night, Haleigh`s mom, Crystal Sheffield, made a stunning claim about Misty Croslin, who is the new wife of her ex, Ron Cummings, and the last person to see little Haleigh the night she went missing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRYSTAL SHEFFIELD, MOTHER OF HALEIGH CUMMINGS: She`s been out doing drugs. He`s caught her with drug dealers. And I don`t feel safe with him there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No comment from Misty. Cops reportedly say there is no available criminal history on Misty.
We have also learned that just yesterday, Crystal Sheffield`s new attorney met with Florida`s Department of Children and Families, begging them to investigate claims -- and I repeat claims -- of abuse that allegedly left a child bloodied at the Cummings home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIM PICAZIO, CRYSTAL SHEFFIELD`S ATTORNEY: When a parent beats a child until the child is bloodied, that is a crime. It`s legally and morally wrong. And he needs to be brought to justice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Someone has told you that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ron`s grandmother, Annette Sykes, says she is enraged by these charges and responded to these horrifying allegations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNETTE SYKES, RON CUMMING`S GRANDMOTHER: This is ridiculous. Ridiculous. Ronald spanks his children just like -- like he said, just like children services say you can spank them. On the rear end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Will this rift between Haleigh`s parents take the focus off finding their precious daughter? And could Misty and Ron`s wedding be a strategy to boost their chances of retaining custody of Ron Jr.?
Meantime, the new Haleigh Bug Foundation, created to coordinate tips, had an unwelcome guest. Get this. An accused child molester showed up, hoping to donate office supplies? Unbelievable.
We will have all the details, and I will be taking your calls. Give me a holler: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
But first, my fabulous expert panel: Belisa Vranich, clinical psychologist; Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney; Paul Callan, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; Mickey Ziegler, divorce attorney; plus Rick Robinson, former West Virginia state trooper and professor at Dexville (ph) College in Ohio.
All right. Let`s jump right in. Jayne, do you think all these allegations are going to lead us to little Haleigh, who`s missing, or are they more about the brewing custody battle for little Junior?
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think it`s just jockeying positions for the custody. And unfortunately, it`s distracting from looking or talking about finding Haleigh.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But, Rick Robinson, I mean, you`re a former state trooper. If this mom feels her son is in danger -- and let`s face it, she does have a couple of points. There was another child of hers that went missing under the same watch of these two people. Shouldn`t she do everything to get that child?
RICK ROBINSON, FORMER STATE TROOPER: I`m wondering about a couple of things. One, I`m wondering why Crystal didn`t have custody to begin with. What was going on with that? You`ve got a guy who`s 25 years old and a young lady who`s 17. And I`m wondering how did that guy -- you and I both know men rarely get custody. So I`m wondering about that.
And then, looking at these allegations of abuse, it`s very common anytime there`s any type of investigation, whether it be a murder investigation or a missing person or whatever, where someone along the way will start saying the other person was spanking their kid and so on.
But Ron, in the very first interview about did he abuse his child, he rolls off the words about Department of Children and Family Services. Like Department of Health and Human Services. Those words don`t just typically roll off of people`s tongues. So I`m thinking this is the guy...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, unless they`ve been visited by the...
ROBINSON: There`s been something going on for some time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And in fact, we had gotten a report through a reporter -- we can`t confirm this ourselves -- that police had been called to the home but that it was because neighbors complained of loud arguments. So that`s not the same thing as -- as a beating, which this family, Ron Cummings, completely denies.
Let`s listen to what Crystal said last night on this very show here, ISSUES, about Ron Jr. living with his father and step-mother.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEFFIELD: My daughter is missing. He has a 17-year-old that he is married to now. She`s a child. Obviously, she`s been out doing drugs. She`s caught her with drug dealers. And I don`t feel safe with him there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, these are very serious accusations. We have to say, we tried to reach Misty for her reaction to these charges. Got no response. She has an open invitation to appear on this show and tell her side of the story. We want to be fair. We want to tell all sides.
Meantime, law enforcement says Misty has no available criminal history.
ROBINSON: That`s because she`s a juvenile.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes, it is a cryptic comment, but that`s the only comment we got. And that`s why we`re sticking with it.
ROBINSON: But Ron, on the other hand, has a rather lengthy criminal history.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to get to that in a second. Misty spoke to investigative journalist Art Harris just a couple of days ago, claiming the kids love her more than their biological mom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MISTY CROSLIN, WIFE OF RON CUMMINGS: Love Haleigh more than anything in this world. That was like my baby. They used to call me step-mom. You know, they`d rather be with me than their own mother.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We need a shrink on this one. Belisa Vranich, it`s getting nastier and nastier. I think it`s because there`s a vacuum of information about where little Haleigh is. People are getting agitated and tense, and they`re taking it out on each other.
BELISA VRANICH, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Absolutely. We are missing information here, and I think people sense that, that there are distracters. There are things that have to do with the complicated family, but what about Haleigh? So we are missing information. You`re right on target. Your gut on that is correct.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now, we made some calls, and as we said, no criminal history available for Misty, who`s only 17 years old. However, as Rick Robinson mentioned seconds ago, Ron Cummings has numerous drug charges in his history, including possession of cocaine, cannabis, use of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a drug vehicle.
WEINTRAUB: And image, he was awarded custody.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But -- OK, it goes on and on and on. But what I can say is that Ron Cummings, and it`s important to point this out, has never been convicted of any drug charges, OK?
He and Misty have known each other for years. They might run in the same circles.
Rick Robinson, would cops be wise to test Misty for drugs as part of their investigation? Should they have done that the very first night? Do you think they`ve done it?
ROBINSON: They may very well have done that. And to be perfectly candid, Jane, I`m not convinced that that child went missing that night. That`s what everybody is reporting. That`s what everybody is being led to believe.
But for all we know, that child went missing days prior to that, maybe two weeks. I know that Crystal said that she had seen the child two weeks prior to the disappearance when Haleigh disappeared. So I`m just wondering did the child really disappear that night? Did something else happen?
PAUL CALLAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: And, you know, Jane, when you`re looking also, you`re talking about if she doesn`t have a criminal record, I mean, what do we have to look at? Her elementary school records? Her middle school records? Her high school personnel record? That`s where you`re going to find her record. I mean, she was a 16- year-old girl. Now she`s 17. She`s married.
This whole thing is just a colossal circus. Can you imagine this poor missing child? We see a marriage take place, and now there`s a custody battle going on. Does anyone remember this Haleigh?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s a great point.
WEINTRAUB: Crystal was only 17 when she had Haleigh to begin with. So, you know, for her to be casting dispersions on Misty because she`s 17 years old and she`s just a child, I mean, that`s just not fair.
VRANICH: But also remember, Crystal lost custody of the children back in 2005. There has to be a reason. I think both parties were alleging that each other was -- had these substance abuse problems.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what?
VRANICH: But the judge made a finding -- I mean, maybe based on something obviously concrete. And usually the mother is awarded custody. Isn`t that right?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is.
This is going to be an ugly custody fight, but apparently the mom hasn`t filed for custody yet. Why not?
VRANICH: She hasn`t since, apparently, December of 2005 when she lost custody of both of these children, and these new allegations of a beating -- and I`m assuming it`s Junior at this point. We don`t know when these beatings occurred and if it was Haleigh and/or Junior.
So the question really becomes is -- are these allegations credible? Will family services move forward with an investigation? Are they current? Are they current? We have no idea when they happened, who they happened to.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: If they happened.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: If they happened.
ROBINSON: The dad already said that he spanked the kids.
VRANICH: But that`s corporate punishment. That`s not child abuse.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Settle down. We`re going to talk more about this in a second. Much more to analyze. Stunning abuse claims.
What do you think of all this, this war between missing Haleigh`s mom and dad? Give me a holler: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Let me know.
In other shocking news tonight, details flood in about Casey Anthony`s murder trial. I will take a look at the prosecution`s new strategy.
But first, the custody battle for Haleigh Cummings` little brother heats up big-time. Some wonder if dad, Ron, married Misty to keep custody of Junior. Here`s Misty`s take.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROSLIN: Everybody is going to take this marriage thing the wrong way, but it`s not. It`s still focused -- everything is still focused on Haleigh. This is what Haleigh wanted. She`s always talked about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON CUMMINGS, FATHER OF HALEIGH CUMMINGS: I just got home from work. My 5-year-old daughter is gone. I need somebody to be here now. I`m telling you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Listen to me, we`ve got two officers.
CUMMINGS: If I find whoever has my daughter before you all do, I`m killing them. I don`t care if I spend the rest of my life in prison. I`m telling you, you can put it on the record.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A father`s desperate phone call as he frantically looks for his missing little girl. Ron Cummings says he`s fighting for Haleigh. By the looks of it, he`ll have to start fighting for his son, Junior, as well. The custody battle heating up. We`re taking your calls.
Betty, North Carolina, your question or thought, ma`am? Betty?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How you doing, ma`am?
CALLER: Just fine.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your question or thought, please?
CALLER: I wanted to know if they tested Misty`s hair or her for drugs the night Haleigh was missing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s go to the former trooper, Rick Robinson. Is that something that they would do right away?
ROBINSON: There`s actually a number of things. I`m sure that they -- and I remember that we talked about the polygraph examination. They more than likely did ask her if they would do that, but they would need a subpoena to make her do it. I don`t know that they did. And we would know that. We would know that. Search warrant for her blood. You`re exactly right, yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hear Jayne Weintraub talking.
WEINTRAUB: They would need a search warrant, not a subpoena. But -- but nevertheless, they don`t do that right away. They -- these are victims reporting a crime. And when the police show up, that`s not the very first thing they ask. And they didn`t ask her to take a polygraph until the next day.
They take first what they have at face value. They see if they can get statements from the parents. Remember how cooperative both Ron and Misty were.
ROBINSON: Well, they appeared to be.
WEINTRAUB: They did give polygraphs. They said they were cooperative. And we don`t know to the contrary. So with all due deference to the former trooper, we do not know to the contrary.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. But I will say that they did appear to be a little bit late on certain pieces of key evidence like taking the door, the infamous door that was left open with a -- some kind of a block, a cement block. Apparently, they just took that a couple of days ago. That should have been taken...
ROBINSON: I know they did cordon it off as a crime scene. And I -- to the best of my knowledge, has anybody even been allowed to go in there other than law enforcement?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We had a reporter who said he himself touched it, and his fingerprints would be on it.
But anyway, Nancy, West Virginia, your question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: Hi, Jane, again. I have a comment. But I just want to address one little thing that one of your experts said, that -- that he thinks that she could have possibly been missing a week or two, nobody had seen her. But didn`t the paternal great-grandmother just stop there a couple hours before?
ROBINSON: That`s what she said. That`s what she said, but that doesn`t make it so because she said that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen, I don`t think we can implicate everybody here. I mean, you`d need a vast conspiracy for that to be the case. I think it`s...
ROBINSON: I think she would have a personal interest.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s well-documented that people saw her up until early that evening. And where it gets complicated is once Misty says she put her to bed at 8 p.m. So at that point, this is what`s so crazy about this case. Is how could there be inconsistencies when they`re all in this trailer, supposedly, by themselves for a few hours?
WEINTRAUB: You know what? You can hear his voice. You can hear Ronald`s voice when he calls the 911 and says that she`s missing. You can hear the credibility in that desperate father.
ROBINSON: Maybe you can hear it. I don`t think all of America -- I didn`t feel that way. I didn`t feel that way at all.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. You know what? That had a lot of credibility, but I want to roll up to one of the things that we had was -- well, we`ll get to it in a second. But essentially, it was, I believe, on "The Today Show," where he was asked why this discrepancy about the bathroom? Have you talked to Misty? And Misty is sitting right there. And have you talked to Misty about why she used the bathroom way over there where she could see the open door, instead of using the bathroom right behind her that`s adjoining the bedroom?
And basically, said he didn`t really have an answer to that. Now, how is that possible?
WEINTRAUB: I hate to be so crude, but maybe...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is the woman that lost your kid and you don`t have an answer to a very key question?
ROBINSON: This is exactly what I`m saying. These things are just not adding up. All of the information that we`re talking about, this is just not feeling right to me. And obviously, it was investigated.
WEINTRAUB: Of course. They`re in very close quarters. And maybe she`s being respectful and maybe she`s being...
ROBINSON: Yes, maybe, maybe, yes. But it doesn`t make any sense. It doesn`t make any sense, and you know it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Candy in Michigan. Candy.
CALLER: Sorry about that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No problem.
CALLER: First of all, thank you, Jane, for giving a voice to the little ones that can`t speak for themselves.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, thank you. And we pray that showing little Haleigh`s photos, something will jar somebody`s memory out there and will help find her.
CALLER: I am sure it will.
First of all, let`s put things in proper perspective. This is a 25- year-old man that just married a girl only 12 years older than his missing daughter. And then he stood up there and said he had no enemies.
Well, listening to the 911 tape, he has a temper. And if you have a bad temper, you have enemies. I think they ought to be looking at the father and his associates a little bit closer.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, nobody has been excluded as a suspect, but let`s go to our psychologist for an answer on that one.
VRANICH: I like the idea of looking at them a little bit closer. I think we can guess a lot about the personalities and what they might be thinking, but I`m really looking forward to some psychological assessments being done, particularly on Misty. She strikes me as a very young 17-year-old, as someone who could be malleable or impressionable.
So I`m really looking forward to seeing when they do psychological tests what comes up concretely.
VRANICH: Great point. Jane, what`s going to happen is family services and/or Crystal does move forward with the custody application. Certainly, a court is going to order that a forensic psychologist come into play and interview all family members. That`s going to happen.
CALLAN: Jane, I think we should be very clear about one thing, too. In a long-term investigation like this, everybody remains a suspect. And as we go back and revisit the crime scene and revisit the facts of the investigation, everybody is a potential suspect in this case.
So, you know, the father can get on board and say he`s not, but I`m betting the police are looking at everybody.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to thank my excellent panel. Great analysis. We`re going to have you back real soon. Thank you.
Turning now to another heart-breaking story. Actress Natasha Richardson near death after a skiing accident. Her family by her side for what could be her last moments. I will have an update momentarily.
And then, from tragedy to chaos. Total chaos as Octomom brings two of her kids home from hospital. Look at this crazy mob scene outside her house. We`ll talk to a reporter who was in the thick of it. Unbelievable.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Heart-breaking news from the entertainment world the focus of our "Spotlight" tonight.
Acclaimed actress Natasha Richardson, severely injured and reportedly near death. Her family by her side at New York`s Lennox Hill hospital.
Richardson, part of a Hollywood dynasty that includes mother Vanessa Redgrave, is married to actor Liam Neesen and has two sons with him.
The tragic turn of events happened when he fell on a beginner`s run at a Montreal ski resort. At the time, ski patrol found no sign of injury and said she initially declined medical attention. But when Richardson, who wasn`t wearing a helmet, complained of a severe headache, she was taken to a local hospital. She was then flown to New York, with her husband by her side, for more critical care.
Let us turn now to Mike Walters, assignment manager for TMZ.
Mike, tell us what you know about this tragic occurrence.
MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: You know, this was one of those cases, Jane, where -- like Jennifer Hudson`s case we talked about before, where every phone call we made, we were hoping that it was not what was going to happen and not what the phone call actually was.
WALTERS: She started off where -- the first phone call was like, OK, she was laughing. She got off the slope, went back to the hotel, and she had a headache.
All of a sudden, turn of events, horrible, horrible tragic turn, and now she`s being flown from the hospital in Montreal to New York, and she`s on life support.
I can tell you for sure that we`ve now found out that the ambulance ride with her husband and her to the Lennox Hospital in New York was horrible. He was quiet; he was caressing her face. She was horribly unresponsive.
And at this point, we`re just awaiting the family`s -- her family to come out of the hospital and give the word.
But just horrid 180 turn-around and just the most tragic thing. I mean, when I was working on this story all day today, it`s just like you`re hoping that it`s not true, and it is. It`s just such a horrible situation.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s awful. Now, her husband, who is a famous actor, apparently was on location. Dropped everything immediately and raced to her side. Tell us about that.
WALTERS: Yes. You know, we got the call that her husband obviously -- she does have two young children, too, which is even more tragic. But her husband was on location shooting for his new movie. Heard it, went, just rushed to her side. And like I said, he rode with her in the ambulance once they landed in New York to the hospital.
And we`re being told that basically, he held her hand, he caressed her face, and just basically did what he could to say good-bye.
We have now new video and photos today of her mother and some other family members going into the hospital. And we`re told to do the same thing, just to say their last good-bye, that she`s off life support now. But just, you know, awaiting the inevitable.
But just, you know, like I said, horrible situation.
WALTERS: And I feel for her husband and her kids.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to jump in there, because CNN cannot independently confirm the report of her being off life support.
And certainly, I think you and I agree: we hope that`s not true. I mean, this is such a sad story. It`s so perplexing, because she was on a bunny slope. People fall all the time when they`re skiing. She didn`t hit anything. It appeared to be a minor fall, and she seemed OK.
And this sometimes happens. There`s doctors who suggest delayed bleeding in the brain, and it doesn`t initially appear to be dangerous. And then it becomes more dangerous as the hours progress.
WALTERS: Right. You know, I got to tell you, I have a family member or I had a cousin that this happened to. So it hits home really hard for me. He fell on a bunny slope on a snowboard and hit his head. And he actually was awake and conscious when they took him in. And there was a turn of events and he also passed away. So it happens, but it`s so, so tragic. And I hate to see it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike, thank you so much.
Switching views, Octomom, it is a zoo. We`ll bring it to you.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN ANCHOR: A stunning twist in the horrific Austrian incest case. In a shock even to his own lawyer Josef Fritzl pleads guilty to raping and imprisoning his daughter for decades. I`ll have the latest details.
Plus, it`s a total wild, out of control mob scene as octo-mom Nadya Suleman brings two of her kids home from the hospital. It was so out of hand that cops showed up. I`ll analyze how the paparazzi circus will impact this family.
Octo-mom madness just moments away.
But first, wild developments in the case against Casey Anthony tonight as the prosecution releases its witness list. The window into the state`s case is now wide open.
George, Cindy, and Lee Anthony all subpoenaed to testify against their beloved Casey. Prosecutors reportedly hoping for testimony that will reveal Zanny the nanny never existed, period; Zanny, the infamous possibly fictitious babysitter, Casey still claims kidnapped little Caylee.
Also on the list, Casey`s ex-boyfriend -- he told cops Casey`s lied to him about little Caylee`s whereabouts. Casey`s own grandmother who apparently suggested that Casey was lying and was involved in Caylee`s disappearance. She`s on the list, too.
Also on that list, a childhood friend who says she and Casey -- get this -- buried pets in the very same spot and in the very same manner as little Caylee`s remains were found.
So will these witnesses paint a picture of a pathological liar capable of murder? And could a quirk in Florida law give the family immunity for their testimony?
Meantime, the defense already grilling a sheriff`s deputy who may have ignored tips on the location of little Caylee`s remains, Deputy Richard Kahne in the hot seat for more than three hours as Casey`s attorneys peppered him with questions and they`re not done, people.
So did cops drop the ball? Roy Kronk, the man who called in those tips, says yes. Is that why this interrogation isn`t slated to end for another two weeks? How is that possible?
Back with me: Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney; Ric Robinson, former West Virginia State Trooper; and joining us, David Kaloyanides -- I hope I said that right -- criminal defense attorney, and John Dill, attorney for Zenaida Gonzalez.
Jayne, first of all what is this quirk in the Florida law that might give the family immunity for their testimony?
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it is unique to Florida state court law. And it is when they compel your testimony, issue a subpoena, the state is conferring immunity. Is that blanket law and is that a license to lie? No.
It means that they can`t use what you say on the witness stand when they`re compelling your testimony against them or leads from what you say. However, you must tell the truth. You still can be arrested for perjury if you`re lying under oath.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Ric Robinson, just off the top of our heads, we figured out a whole bunch of questions that are likely to make any member of the Casey Anthony family, mom Cindy, dad George, brother Lee, squirm.
Here are some of the questions. Casey didn`t work. Didn`t go to college; didn`t want the baby; the family dysfunction. The reported fight the day before little Caylee goes missing between Cindy and Casey where allegedly, reportedly, Cindy said she was going to try to get custody of the child.
The fact that nobody in this family ever saw a Zenaida Gonzalez, the woman claims -- Casey claims took the child. I mean, how is the family going to answer those questions without feeling like they are betraying their daughter, who they clearly want to defend?
RIC ROBINSON, FORMER STATE TROOPER: And then you go back to when they were in the jail and the comments that the grandmother made clearly believing that Casey was lying and that she knew exactly where Caylee was. And these -- I`ll tell you what, this is a lot of circumstantial evidence that you`ve talked about, but, boy, when you put that together, it`s pretty damning.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, well here`s something that`s not quite as circumstantial. Kio Marie Torres Cruz, Casey`s childhood friend is on the subpoena list. She told the "National Enquirer" recently that she and Casey buried their childhood pets in the very same spot...
ROBINSON: Right in the same place.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ...and in the very same manner as little Caylee`s remains were found.
Quote, "We put the hamster in a plastic zip-lock bag and put that inside a paper bag. On the paper bag, we drew five or six hearts as signs of love and wrote, `We will miss you, Sage,` on it. It`s too much of a coincidence. The place, the hearts, the bags it all adds up." End quote.
WEINTRAUB: But Jane...
ROBINSON: People work in comfort zones. They work where they`re comfortable. They go where they`re comfortable. They know areas where they feel -- they feel like they fit in or they`re comfortable there.
WEINTRAUB: How much was she paid for the article? What was she looking for?
ROBINSON: And when you`re looking for a killer, you`re always looking some place very, very close.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, just so in case our viewers don`t know but I`m sure they do because track this case carefully. Little Caylee`s remains were found in a hamper bag and then in a garbage bag and so it was double, triple that...
ROBINSON: With the hearts on it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- and the heart sticker was placed on the duct tape that was over the child`s mouth according to prosecutors I mean, this is identical.
But, Jayne, you`re pointing out that her telling the story to the "National Enquirer" destroys her credibility.
WEINTRAUB: And Jane, I think so, I think that everybody wants to cash in on it, and I can`t wait to see what the jurors are going to do with this. I mean, if they ever get that far and get a venue where they can have an impartial jury. To me, the friend means nothing. She could just be making it up.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, absolutely, now here`s another -- just a shocker.
In an interview with Geraldo regarding the drug testing of Anna Nicole Smith of all things, famed forensic scientist Dr. Michael Baden was asked a question relating to Caylee Anthony. Let`s watch what he said.
All right. Well, essentially he said they found chloroform in the baby`s hair. And he has since come out with a statement saying that he misspoke. He is married to Linda Kenny-Baden, who is on Casey Anthony`s defense team.
Now, Jayne Weintraub, this is very damaging. Because obviously chloroform, extremely significant to the case. Chloroform found in the trunk of Casey`s car. Somebody on Casey`s computer searched -- Google searched...
WEINTRAUB: That would be her boyfriend, Ricardo Morales.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s what the defense is going to claim...
WEINTRAUB: And Cindy...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ...but Ricardo Morales broke up with her before little Caylee went missing.
WEINTRAUB: Exactly. But you know what -- you know what`s unique about hair samples, Jane, and whether or not there was chloroform -- first of all, I believe Michael Baden. I`ve known Dr. Baden for a very long time and if he said he misspoke, I believe he misspoke.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll let`s hear, we`ve got the sound. Let`s hear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: If a drug overdose is in play, is it totally irrelevant to test her hair in the way the tested poor Caylee Anthony, the baby`s hair?
DR. MICHAEL BADEN, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Yes, I think where they found chloroform in the baby`s hair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There you go. Continue on, Jayne.
WEINTRAUB: But I`ll tell you something that`s important Jane, it`s not that damaging. It really isn`t. Because whether or not there is a sample of hair with chloroform, we don`t know when it`s from. It could be...
ROBINSON: Yes that`s still a possibility.
WEINTRAUB: ...and left in the hair for months and months and months.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, let me go to Zenaida Gonzalez`s attorney.
ROBINSON: But, but wait a minute Jane. But to find it both with the baby and her hair and in the trunk of the car, that`s one hell of a coincidence.
WEINTRAUB: It was transfer, you know that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, please. It is an absolute link that is incredibly good news for the prosecution. And if that was a slip, and he misspoke, he didn`t do a service to his wife, who was on the defense team.
WEINTRAUB: I`m sure they don`t even talk about it as much as they have in the past days.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, settle down. Settle down. Ok.
John Dill, Zenaida`s attorney, let`s get the latest from you about the whole deposition controversy. Cindy and George were going to go to court...
JOHN DILL, ZENAIDA GONZALEZ`S ATTORNEY: Right. Correct.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ...to stop the deposition. Now apparently everything is lovey-dovey. They`re going to do their depos.
DILL: Well, I don`t know about lovey-dovey, but we have their deposition. It`s been agreed they`re going to go forward with the deposition coming up I think April 9th.
And some of the questions you asked before I actually wrote down because those are pretty good ones as far as Zanny the nanny, has anybody seen her? This is somebody that was supposedly taking care of Caylee for years according to Lee Anthony.
And we`re curious that these parents who live in the house whether George and Cindy ever saw this person. I also found out that the investigators that were supposedly out working for the Anthony`s were not even pursuing trying to find the kidnapper, which is very interesting to us.
So we need to find out the answer to these questions to help clear our client and clear her name.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: David Kaloyanides, you`ve been very patient. I`m sorry we haven`t gotten to you until now. You just heard that.
Is the civil case that Zenaida is waging against Casey Anthony for allegedly destroying her life by defaming her, by linking her name with this possibly fictitious Zanny the nanny who Casey insists stole the child, is this sort of a prelude to the criminal case? In other words, does it do some of the work of the prosecutors for them?
DAVID KALOYANIDES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, actually no. It`s going to be more damaging to the prosecution`s case and here is why. The one thing we love as criminal defense lawyers is the more a witness for the prosecution makes a statement and another statement and another statement, those statements become inconsistent.
And we get to use those to show that they`re making the story up. They don`t remember. They could be downright lying.
The prosecution in this case is taking a very curious approach by publicizing so much material so early on and giving the defense more than even it`s admitting it requires.
And these depositions in a civil case where there are much, much freer kinds of questions, the types of things that they can say under oath can come back and really bite the prosecution because the very solid defense team that is here is going to be able to use every one of those statements against those witnesses at the criminal trial.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, John Dill, what I don`t understand is in most of these cases, you see the civil case postponed until after the criminal trial is resolved. You`d think just hearing that that the prosecution would want to push a postponement of the civil case. Why hasn`t that happened yet?
DILL: Well, I`m not sure, but I know that for our client`s sake, we want to get this case moving as quick as possible.
WEINTRAUB: But don`t forget in Florida you have depositions in the criminal case, Jane.
DILL: Yes, that`s true.
WEINTRAUB: So that everybody on that witness list that you were mentioning before and alluding to, every single person will sit for hours and hours on end for the defense lawyers. There will be no surprises. The defense will have a full, full examination in depositions for criminal murder case in Florida.
DILL: And let`s not forget to speaking with the gentleman, David was saying Casey Anthony has had many, many inconsistencies in this case. And that`s to be played out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right, we certainly know that.
ROBINSON: That`s for sure.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unfortunately, we have to leave it right there. Thank you all. Come back soon.
For mom Casey to octo-mom brought home two of her octuplets last night, and it is a mob scene. What`s your take on this circus? 1-877-JVM- SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Let me know how you think this media frenzy will affect the family.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADYA SULEMAN, OCTUPLET`S MOTHER: I`m not a celebrity, thank you. I`m not a celebrity. But I`m not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re absolutely a celebrity. You`ve got paparazzi around you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was octo-mom Nadya Suleman. She may not be a traditional celebrity, but she attracts the paparazzi like a true star. I will have the unbelievable video of the mob scene outside her house.
But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.
A stunning twist in the Austrian incest trial: in a move that surprised even his own lawyer, Josef Fritzl pleaded guilty to all charges including imprisoning and raping his daughter as well as allowing one her children to die.
So why did he change his mind? Fritzl claims his daughter`s harrowing 11th-hour testimony made him come to grips with his sick behavior. Do you think?
For decades, Fritzl kept his daughter locked in a basement dungeon and over time raped her so many times that and he fathered seven children with her, one of whom died.
This completely grotesque story that has gripped the globe finally has a conclusion; Fritzl, age 73, faces life in prison. His daughter and her six kids currently recovering at a secret location. That is tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Pure octo-chaos broke out as Nadya Suleman finally brought two of her babies, new babies home from the hospital last night. Listen.
Photographers swarmed. Helicopters hovered. Leading to bedlam at the normally quiet residential neighborhood in La Habra, California. It was totally out of control, a mob scene, turning the babies` much anticipating homecoming into a nightmarish obstacle course.
Look at this.
The paparazzi ruthless, the scene so intense that some of the mob got trapped when the garage door actually closed behind them. Others actually broke the door after banging it hard. Is there no moral obligation to back off these innocent children?
Radaronline.com was allowed inside the octo-house and got this close-up footage of octo-babies, Noah and Isaiah. The new video also sheds light on a super tense relationship between Nadya and her mom. And it gives us a glimpse of the psychological impact these new additions could have on her other six children.
I will be taking your calls on all of this.
But first, back with me to discuss this complete craziness: Mike Walters, assignment manager at TMZ; and joining the discussion, Dr. Terry Lyles, psychologist -- boy, do we need one -- as well as Mary Beth McDade, a reporter with CNN affiliate KCAL.
Mary Beth, you were reporting live during all this craziness outside the octo-house last night. We want to know from you how crazy it was. Describe for us what it felt to be in the middle of that mob scene. Take us there.
MARY BETH MCDADE, KCAL, LOS ANGELES, CA: Oh, goodness. Craziness, pandemonium, call it what you will. Yes it`s absolutely, I got there around say 7:00. And at first, there were only two dozen people there, a few paparazzi and press.
And then as the night wore on and people realized well, the babies are definitely coming home tonight, word spread. By the time these babies arrived a little bit after 10:00 there was probably at least 150 people there; people, press, paparazzi.
The car starts coming up the hill and all of a sudden pandemonium breaks out. The paparazzi, they hop on top of the car. They are able to hold on, they have their cameras pressed up against the dark, tinted windows trying to get pictures of Nadya and the babies.
They stay on the car as the car goes up the drive way into the garage. And then sort of everyone gets swept away into this garage. Some of the reporters were knocked over. And I didn`t see any security. I mean, some of the people that were in the car were actually nationally syndicated photographers. So I don`t know where the security was in all this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mary Beth, where were the cops? Where were the cops?
MCDADE: Yes, the cops, they were not there. They were not there. The cops had been there earlier in the evening when I first got around 7:00. Apparently, someone was walking around the house in a place that they shouldn`t have been. The cops were called there. They dealt with that call and then they left.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s crazy.
MCDADE: So there was no security, no cops -- oh, absolutely. And let`s keep in mind, there are two preemie babies in this car. And one is like five pounds, the other five pounds 13 ounces. These little newborn babies are at high risk here.
And then when they were at that garage door, ok there`s no security. This Good Samaritan who is a resident, the big guy, he is the one who kind of pushed everyone out. He was like, get out, get out.
Well, one of the paparazzi took some kind of a wooden beam, placed it in front of the garage door so it couldn`t completely shut.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh my gosh, that`s outrageous. I mean, these are...
MCDADE: Yes, that`s what happened to the garage door.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mary Beth, these are not drunk starlets coming out of a nightclub...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ...at 4:00 in the morning and doing provocative things. These are little babies, infants. It seems like the paparazzi weren`t distinguishing between the starlets they normally cover who are adults, capable of making their own decisions, and newborns.
MCDADE: And let`s remember the only pictures of the babies at least that I have seen are the ones that have been on Suleman`s Web site. So as you can only imagine, getting the first pictures of these babies...
MCDADE: ... is probably going to bring them big bucks.
MCDADE: However, remember, she had a nationally syndicated photographer in that SUV that escorted her from the hospital. And then she also had two nationally syndicated...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, I`ve got to jump in there because we`ve got a lot of things but that`s a great description. It turns out octo-mom saw this chaos. She called the cops.
Here is her 911 call while she`s trapped in the garage swarmed by paparazzi courtesy of radaronline.com.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADYA SULEMAN, MOTHER OF OCTUPLETS: Hi, yes, this is -- ok, my name is Nadya Suleman. I`m coming back to come to my house. I`m picking up two of my eight babies. The paparazzi is dangerous. They`re trying to break up the garage door. We`ve pooled in here and they`re swarming the whole area. I need help.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Psychologist Terry Lyles, she appears astounded by this. I mean, how is it possible that she`s shocked? Anybody could predict this.
TERRY LYLES, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I mean, the rule of thumb is when you live in the media, you have to live with the media. She`s brought some of this on herself. It doesn`t justify the behavior of like you said almost a drunken frenzy of cameras and paparazzi trying to get these photos that they could sell for big bucks.
But I`m concerned about the children, as we just mentioned a moment ago. I mean, here are these little babies and not to mention her other siblings that are going to be traumatized by this situation every time that they go in and out of the house.
This is a circus, kind of out of control. If they don`t figure something out, it`s only going to get worse from what you have seen last night.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Guys, stick around. Much more octo-madness in just moments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA SULEMAN, GRANDMOTHER OF OCTUPLETS: These new kids have no blankets.
N. SULEMAN: Are you mad at that?
A. SULEMAN: No. I`m not angry. I`m saying they have no blankets. Nobody told us.
N. SULEMAN: Calm down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That awkward moment between octo mom and octo grandma, courtesy of Radaronline. Phone lines are lighting up over all of this.
Connie, New York, question or thought, ma`am?
CONNIE, NEW YORK: About the authenticity (ph) on her back injury and her settlement that she did get or has yet to receive. The proof is in the pudding as far as her park -- time this week in the bumper cars. She carried the car seats in last night with the two little children. She drop the purse, picked it up instantly.
I have a question about that authenticity of her back injury. I think that should be investigated to find out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Walters, assignment manager, TMZ.
MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: You know I don`t know. I don`t know if she`s actually injured. I know she did get the settlement. Word is that she spent most of that money on these in vitro fertilizations for the babies. But I have to tell you, also, my favorite part of this whole thing last night was, she refers to herself as octo mom for the first time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re kidding?
WALTERS: Yes. She actually says, "What am I, the president?" As everyone banged on the car then she says, "Here she go, octo mom`s going to call 911 again."
Look, it`s gone overboard and I`ll tell you, let me finish one more thing; talk about the baby`s being traumatized. Two seconds after that video that you`ve all just seen, there`s eight cameras inside of the nursery while they`re trying to eat. The octo mom`s literally holding the baby feeding a bottle and there are these cameras in the room and then one of the twins come like it`s going to change its diaper and you see the still photographer like pull back, like, he`s going to take a photo.
Look, it`s gone overboard and I think the video shows how bad it`s getting but you know, octo mom now knows she`s octo mom. So I think that the money`s still going to roll in and we`re going to keep talking about it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: When you told me about the photographer wanted to take a photograph of the diaper being changed it was like, I almost got sick, seriously.
WALTERS: The truth is they back off and here comes the other twin. They`re going to change his diaper and you see the still photographer like kind of backing away. You can see him and it`s like, what are these people doing in there?
I guess that everybody even KCAL-9 which I was watching by the way, great coverage.
MCDADE: Thank you.
WALTERS: They are covering the outside as they come in. Which you know, everybody was with us.
WALTERS: But when the babies are eating their bottle inside the nursery and there`s a still photographer above them taking pictures, it just at a point, you know, octo mom who now she knows that she`s octo mom needs to realize that it`s going to affect these babies.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bad behavior all around. The only but sure ones, the infants.
I want to thank my fabulous panel for joining me.
I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell and you`re watching ISSUES.