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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
More Evidence Released in Casey Anthony Case; New Figure Sheds Light on Haleigh Cummings Case
Aired April 6, 2009 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight a title wave of new evidence released in the Casey Anthony case. DVDs chock full of video, documents and cell phone records released today. Stunning video shows Casey chuckling with detectives the day she was indicted.
Plus, surveillance video of Casey`s ex, Tony Lazarro, speaking to her brother about the smell in Casey`s car. I`ll analyze the new clues.
Then, new developments in the search for 8-year-old Sandra Cantu. More than 300 people canvassed the neighbor over the weekend. Cops released surveillance video, showing Sandra skipping around near her home minutes before vanishing in a nearby park. Meantime, cops confiscate two more vehicles, and bring another man in for questioning. Are they closing in?
And the search for Sandra barrels ahead. The search for little Haleigh Cummings takes a wild turn. A jaw-dropping new interview with a man who claims he had a relationship with Misty, shakes up the investigation. I`ll give you the outrageous details, and analyze how it could affect the case.
Plus, Chris Brown arraigned today in Los Angeles. He`s pleading not guilty in the assault on pop star girlfriend Rihanna. But reports claim he`s very close to a plea deal. Meantime, Rihanna is in Barbados to be as far as way as possible from the case. Does that mean she won`t testify?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news tonight. Have investigators found a huge clue in the case of missing California girl Sandra Cantu? A suspicious black barrel has been discovered and cordoned off. We will bring you the very latest in just a moment.
But first new shocking evidence in the Casey Anthony case today, as 23-year-old Casey Anthony awaits trial for the murder of her daughter, Caylee. Prosecutors dumped, and I mean dumped hundreds of pieces of new evidence for the public to see.
Three new DVDs released, chock full of never-before-seen police interviews of Casey on the very October day she was indicted for the first- degree murder of her own child. And how does she react? She laughs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
CASEY ANTHONY, ACCUSED OF KILLING DAUGHTER: Honestly, they`re a little tight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What`s so funny, Casey? This is no joke. You`ve just been indicted for the murder of your daughter.
Plus, another Anthony family member, Casey`s brother, Lee, caught on hidden camera revealing his reaction to the foul smell in his sister`s car around the time little Caylee went missing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEE ANTHONY, CASEY`S BROTHER (via telephone): I was like, holy (EXPLETIVE DELETED), I couldn`t even describe it. It smelled like garbage, you know. But I couldn`t -- I couldn`t describe -- it`s something you don`t want to, but you have to actually smell. It was atrocious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Even more shocking, Lee on tape calls his sister a compulsive liar and says he never even heard of Zanny the nanny, potentially destroying his sister`s defense that the nanny took the baby. We will play those shocking clips for you tonight.
So many issues. Give me a holler to weigh in on all of this: 1-877- JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
First, joining me, my fantastic expert panel: Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney; Darren Kavinoky, former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney who I call the voice of reason; Brenda Wade, clinical psychologist; and Bradford Cohen, criminal defense attorney; plus Jessica D`Onofrio, reporter with WKMG-TV.
Jennifer, what is the very latest?
JENNIFER D`ONOFRIO, REPORTER, WKMG-TV: Well, Jane, you know, we`ve been talking about all these new documents and videos released.
One that, you know, really sticks out is the one where Casey is sitting there on indictment -- on indictment day, when she`s indicted for the murder of her daughter, sitting there talking to an FBI agent. And she chuckles at times during this interview.
It`s not actually an interview, because she wants to talk to her attorney at the time. But, you know, she`s talking with the FBI agent, and, you know, he`s telling her, "We have a lot -- a lot of evidence against you." And, you know, she shrugs her shoulders.
She expresses a lot of disgust with the media in that interview, in that room before her attorney gets there. She`s kind of upset that the media knew that there was a grand jury that was going to convene a week before that grand jury convened. She wanted to know, how did they know if they convene in secret?
Then they also released...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what`s interesting about that, Jessica? She should be using the media when her child goes missing, the very second that the child went missing. If, in fact, it went missing. At least reach out to the media so we could help find her child. And that`s something she did not do. She did not report her own child missing for a month.
D`ONOFRIO: Well, Jane, you hear in the video, you hear the detectives say, yes, you know, the media can be crazy at times. But seriously, if we didn`t have the media, you know, we wouldn`t find half of the children who are missing out there. So they work to our advantage.
I can say the most compelling piece of discovery I heard today was that jailhouse account from Lieutenant Tammy Unser. She`s the one who was with Casey Anthony the day that a child`s body was found in the woods down the street from the Anthony home. And she just goes into great detail about Casey`s reaction in that medical unit inside that jail. How she starts to breathe heavily, and she doubles over, and she starts rubbing her hands together, her palms -- her palms getting sweaty.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Basically having a meltdown when she`s watching the local news and they`re reporting, oh, a body`s been found near the Anthony home.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey`s ex-boyfriend, Anthony Lazarro, cooperated with cops and put a hidden camera in his car. And then talked to Casey`s brother, Lee, about the longtime nanny Casey claims took the baby. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For god`s sake, because I`ve never talked to this nanny. Like she always -- like she -- nobody knew this nanny.
L. ANTHONY: Everybody knew of this nanny. That`s the key here. My sister has used the -- yes, she`s with the nanny, or yes, she`s with the sitter. I had never heard my sister say the word "Zanny" or "Zenaida" before. Now, that doesn`t necessarily mean anything. Because I also haven`t been living at home for probably the past three years, you know what I mean? A lot of the time since Caylee was born.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark Eiglarsh, this seems to be, of everything, to be the most incriminating. Her own family apparently did not hear Zanny the nanny. At least Lee didn`t. And this is their entire defense.
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I agree. The most compelling evidence to me in this entire case has always been and remains the fact that she, a mother, does not report her own child missing for over 31 days. And let`s make sure everyone`s clear, she didn`t report her child missing. Her own mother then said, "Well, wait a second, we need to call police."
Well, let me just say, I have to take issue with you, Jane.
EIGLARSH: Jane, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You usually do. So don`t stop now. You know that`s your M.O.
EIGLARSH: Jane. I`m going to have to tell you. Go, Jane. I don`t believe -- Jane, I do not believe that the evidence showing her laughing on the videotape is shocking or compelling. And this is why.
First of all, it`s not coming into evidence, because comments on someone wanting their attorney, that`s what this is all about: "I want my attorney. I`m waiting for my attorney." It`s not coming into evidence.
But secondly, it was done in a joking manner, when the officer tried to get the handcuffs off. The officer then says, "Well, then you just take them off." And she chuckled. That`s all it is.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, Mark.
EIGLARSH: No big thing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Put up the sign one more time. Because I see you put a lot of work into that.
EIGLARSH: This. (HOLDS UP SIGN WITH A SLASH THROUGH THE WORD "SHOCKING") I was waiting for this one, too. (HOLDS UP A SIGN WITH A SLASH THROUGH THE WORD "BOMBSHELL") I didn`t go with this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I switched to "shocking."
But Brenda Wade, clinical psychologist, help me out here. Because I - - the reason I think it`s shocking is this. As I watched it, I thought, aha, Casey is up to her old tricks. She flirts. She flirts her way out of everything. This is how she`s gotten through life up until this point.
She`s had numerous boyfriends. And she seems to live the charmed life up until this point, because she`s so coquettish and flirtatious that she gets away with everything. And she`s trying it again but this time on two detectives that are not buying her act.
BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: You know, Jane, what I see in terms of personality is we look at personality over time and that reveals a lot about the person.
Over time we have her brother saying she`s a liar. We`ve had other friends say she`s a liar. We`ve had other people say she`s a big partier. And here we have her with a detective that, in a moment that should have been one of the most troubling and crushing moments of her life, and she`s laughing.
So what I see is that over time, there`s evidence that Casey`s personality type is one that doesn`t allow her, in whatever diagnosis we want to give her, whether she`s narcissistic, sociopathic. You can take your pick there; one of those is going to probably fit pretty closely, because her emotional reactions are inconsistent with what`s going on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Because apparently a lot of people feel that she`s deeply disturbed, and some sort of sociopath.
I will give Mark Eiglarsh this, Darren Kavinoky, voice of reason. In all of this, I didn`t see any smoking gun, like anything new that would truly advance the case, new forensics, any new shocker.
And I`m very confused as to how this discovery is being distributed. It seems very haphazard. For example, the video we`re looking at, that was shot in mid-October. So why are we just getting it in April? It was a video. It didn`t need to be studied in any sense, like go through a lab. It`s right there. Why didn`t they distribute this sooner?
DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I`ve got no good answer about that, Jane. I don`t know why it`s -- and as a matter of fact, I take the view that it shouldn`t be coming out at all, unless somehow the defense is thinking that if we don`t oppose it, if we don`t go in and seek some kind of a gag order, all of this is going to help in their change of venue to try and get this trial into place where people aren`t already biased and prejudiced against her, like possibly some other galaxy where she hasn`t already been convicted in the court of public opinion.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. All right. Well, now we`re talking outer space.
All right, gentlemen, and ladies. Stick around. The latest on the evidence dump in just a moment. Do you think this new evidence solidifies the prosecution`s case: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297. Let me know if you think it`s shocking.
Then, huge developments reported in the Haleigh Cummings disappearance. A new interview with the man who claims he had a relationship with Misty, shaking up the investigation.
But first, the smell in Casey`s car. Once again, the focus of the Caylee Anthony case. Here`s Cindy`s intense 911 call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CINDY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: The babysitter took her a month ago, that my daughter`s been looking for her. There`s something wrong. I found my daughter`s car today, and it smells like there`s been a dead body in the damn car!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
L. ANTHONY: I don`t know if I can believe what she`s saying, you know? Because, I mean, through tracking her like -- I don`t know if I should talk to you about this, but she really liked -- really liked the night life. My sister has, since middle school and high school, really, she`s always been -- if she`s deceitful, she`s doing it for -- you know, I can`t say that. I`m trying to think, does really she do it only to better herself, or does she just say white lies just to do it? I`m really trying to think now. Because sometimes it seems like she lies just to lie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Casey`s own brother calling her a pathological liar in newly-released discovery. Now, of course, he`s been subpoenaed by the prosecution to testify. So when he takes the stand, how do prosecutors question him about Casey`s lying and the whole Zanny story that Lee apparently isn`t buying either?
All right. Phone lines lighting up. Anthony in Louisiana, your question or thought?
CALLER: Hi, Jane. Thank you for taking my call. Just a quick -- just a quick comment and I`ll let your panel respond.
After all the discovery that`s been released so far, I can`t send this girl away for life on laughing at the wrong time, or crying at the wrong time and taking some racy photos. Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, Bradford Cohen, that -- if that person`s a juror, the prosecution is in deep doo-doo.
BRADFORD COHEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I`d certainly want him on my jury. We`ve got to take his name.
The thing is this, is that that`s what -- exactly what`s coming out with a lot of this evidence. A lot of this evidence isn`t going to come in. I mean, there`s hearsay statements that are made. There`s individuals that are asking for their lawyer, Casey Anthony is asking for her lawyer.
And as much as they want to say that this is not an interrogation, if you`re asking questions and you`re prompting answers, that is considered an interrogation. I don`t think any of that is going to come in.
I think what`s interesting in this case and what -- what should be focused on by the defense is the statement by this deputy, who at first says he went out to the scene, he found a bag, he looked through the bag with his night stick, and this guy Kronk was behind him. And then six hours later he changes his story completely. I think that`s going to be very important to the defense of this case.
Because you`ve got a deputy that`s changing his story 180 degrees, completely opposite. There`s at times they ask him, do you understand how important this is, right? You understand that this is really an important case? And he`s saying, "Yes, I understand." And then six hours later he changes his story.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Jessica D`Onofrio -- yes, I think you`re right. Jessica D`Onofrio, that was in the newly-released discovery dump.
But also, when they later find little Caylee`s body at the very location where this deputy went and did his cursory investigation, and then changes his story, he never called up and said, "Hey, that`s where I went to look for the body and didn`t find it." Which could potentially really bite the prosecution. So tell us about that.
D`ONOFRIO: Well, I mean, you know, the day that this call came in, he went out to that very spot where the body was eventually found. We really could have found Caylee`s body. Investigators could have found her body three -- months before they actually found it.
He said he went out there, he met with Roy Kronk, the meter reader, and he said he actually poked through some kind of bag. He tells that to investigators the morning of December -- well, one of the mornings after the body was found. And, you know, then he changes his story later on in the day.
Now, he`s still under investigation right now. He may lose his job at the Orange County Sheriff`s Office. But it`s a big thing for the defense.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. I don`t know if it`s shocking or a bombshell, Mark, but I think it`s actually great for the defense, this discovery that`s released, showing that this deputy went out there at all, went and gave three different stories about why he -- what did he do. One time he says he picked up a bag. The next time he doesn`t. And then never tells anybody when they find the body at that very location, doesn`t you know, remind them, "Hey, I went out there in August and didn`t find a body."
EIGLARSH: Now, that I agree with you on. Absolutely.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.
EIGLARSH: I think that`s the defense. And they`re struggling right now in looking for some type of non-Zanny the nanny defense to go with. It would start with things like this, that jump out at fine lawyers like Brad and myself.
And you would wonder, like, why did this happen? Why does an officer change his story? Maybe he was the one -- I don`t buy into it -- who put a piece of tape over the mouth when he discovered the body. I mean, this is the type of crap you`re going to hear from the defense possibly. But they`ve got to do something, because there`s a ton of circumstantial evidence here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, video evidence shows Casey talking about her daughter back in October, well before little Caylee`s remains were found, and insisting to the FBI that she was still alive. Listen to this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASEY ANTHONY: I know in my gut, there`s a feeling as a parent, you know certain things about your child. You can feel that connection. And I still have that feeling, that presence. I know that she`s alive. Whether you have a bucket-load of evidence downstairs that contradicts that and says otherwise, or all you have is speculation. Or -- or nothing at all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have more than speculation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Brenda Wade, clearly the FBI is not buying her story. What do you make of her? Either she`s telling the truth and we`re all wrong, or she`s got a great acting career if she`s acquitted?
WADE: You know, the most -- Jane, the detail that has troubled me the most from the beginning, all the personality issues aside, why would she not have called the police immediately when her daughter went missing? That, for me, I mean, as a mother, as a psychologist, that would be the thing you would expect: that she would immediately report it and ask for help.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s no way, Darren -- in ten seconds -- that she can get away with that in court. How are they going to explain that?
KAVINOKY: Well, the most troubling piece of information is that she didn`t call for 30 days. But as to that videotape, what else would you expect her to say? If she`s guilty, then obviously, she`s a sociopath and she`s going to go down that -- that road. And if she`s innocent, then my goodness, my heart really goes out to this woman who still has that connection to what she believes to be her daughter alive.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And if she is guilty, I always marvel at the acting skills of these untrained talents out there who are so convincing in their own way.
Thanks to my excellent panel. We will have more on the Casey Anthony case in a bit.
Elsewhere, massive search for missing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu. New developments. Cops bring in a man, and they find a barrel. The very latest coming up.
And then Chris Brown.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the desperate search for little Haleigh Cummings, the spotlight now on Misty Croslin. She`s the teenager who was watching Haleigh when she disappeared and later married the missing girl`s father.
Misty now at the center of scandalous claims, these being -- being made by one person, mystery man Greg. He`s a new player in this unfolding drama. Greg came up after being pointed out by the attorney for little Haleigh`s distraught mom. And a bounty hunter named Cobra publicly claimed Greg and Misty were together on the night little Haleigh vanished. But Greg now telling his side of the story in an interview with investigative journalist Art Harris.
Let`s go right out to T.J. Hart, program news director with WSKY 97.3, who joins me by phone.
T.J., what`s Greg saying about his alleged relationship with Misty, and what happened that night, or did not happen that night?
T.J. HART, PROGRAM NEWS DIRECTOR, WSKY (via telephone): Well, Greg is now telling everybody he can find that, especially our good friend Art Harris, who`s an investigative reporter, that it was no big thing. It was basically a hookup. It was a weekend get-together. They did some drugs. They had some intimate moments. And that was that. It was nothing like love or anything of the sort.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And he wasn`t there, he says, the night that little Haleigh vanished.
HART: That`s what he`s claiming. He`s claiming he was not, Quote, "only a fool would be in another man`s house laying up with his girlfriend." And he wasn`t there that night. He`s actually gone to the police and actually gave -- given his side of the story, and everything, early on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, as you mentioned, this mystery man, Greg, made another startling claim about Misty Croslin to investigative journalist Art Harris. Listen to this one,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREG PAGE, CLAIMS RELATIONSHIP WITH MISTY CROSLIN: She do pills and all kinds of (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
ART HARRIS, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: What kind of pills?
PAGE: Well, roxies and all that (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
HARRIS: Roxies? I never, never heard of roxies.
PAGE: Roxies is a new pill they got.
HARRIS: Oh, really? Is that -- oh, really? OK.
PAGE: It`s -- it`s a breakthrough for Oxycontin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Again, Greg`s talking about Misty. This is one person`s word. Greg, by the way, has a long arrest record and at least one felony conviction.
We`ve reached out to both Ron and Misty`s respective camps. As of right now, there`s been no response or comment about this interview. We would love to hear from either one of them. We want to hear all sides of the story here.
T.J., what about this accusation of drug use by Misty in the days leading up to little Haleigh`s disappearance?
HART: Well, there`s -- there`s something to this. There are a lot of people who are basically calling out from the shadows. They`re trying to bend anybody`s ears, saying that the little lady did have a little bit of an affinity for drugs on a recreational basis. And that`s something that I`ve heard from day one.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And has Misty given any response to that? I mean, we have been unable to reach her, but given that this has come up over and over again, has she ever told her side of the story on that?
HART: She may have told that to police. But she`s not told that to anyone in public. And as you know, she`s not been saying anything for about the last, oh, two weeks.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We only have a couple of seconds. But what are cops saying about all this? It`s almost like the bounty hunter, the investigative journalists, they`re breaking all the stories, and cops are just not saying a word.
HART: And the harder we reporters and the harder the investigators knocked at the door, the tighter the lists become at the Putnam County sheriff`s office and with the FDLE and with the FBI. And we get the same pat line, which is, "We cannot comment, nor will we divulge anything pertaining to an ongoing investigation."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, T.J., I want to thank you. As always, great job. Please come back soon. Let`s hope we get a break in this case.
And could there be a case in the search for missing second-grader Sandra Cantu? Authorities investigating a very suspicious container. This is a breaking story. We will bring you up to date in just moments with the very latest.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: New developments in the search for 8-year-old Sandra Cantu. More than 300 people canvassed the neighborhood over the weekend. Meantime, cops confiscate two more vehicles and bring another man in for questioning. Are they closing in?
Plus, Chris Brown arraigned today in L.A., he`s pleading not guilty in the assault on pop star girlfriend Rihanna. But reports claim he`s very close to a plea deal. I`ll analyze that case.
First, breaking news in the case against Casey Anthony; today prosecutors released tons of new evidence never before seen video, documents, pictures, the lot. We`re going through it with a fine-toothed comb.
Back with me is my fine panel: Mark Eiglarsh, former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney as well as part-time artist who puts up a lot of signs -- very fascinating; Darren Kavinoky, criminal defense attorney, we call him "The Voice of Reason;" and Jessica D`Onofrio, reporter with WKMG Orlando.
Jessica, what are some of the big breaking news stories from this discovery dump today that we haven`t gotten to yet? What are some of the other things?
JESSICA D`ONOFRIO, WKMG, ORLANDO, FL: Well, they released some pictures of Casey Anthony partying. Some pictures of her, you know, touching her chest. And carrying on with different women, and drinking. And of course, you know, we talked about that video of her with the FBI agent.
And I want to make a very important point here. You talk about how, you know, she didn`t report her daughter missing for 31 days. Well, I think in that video they`re really trying to corner her there, because they had been asking her and her attorney for so long to come and talk to them.
Let`s sit down and talk about this. If you have information, let us know. And in that interview, they actually get her on record, she`s annoyed that it took so long for them to sit face to face and talk about this. And she said, I`m willing to talk to you. You know, why haven`t we done this before?
And investigators look at her and said, "Well, we`ve asked your attorney a million times. And nothing has ever happened." And then she kind of admits in this video, "Well, you`re right. I probably should have told him. I should have initiated that or come to you."
And it just goes around in this circle. I think investigators are trying to illustrate that she may have not been helpful in all the months prior to this indictment that she could have come to them, talked to them. I know where she could possibly be.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is the significance though?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It`s not coming in. It`s not coming in. It`s not coming into evidence. It`s wonderful to talk about. It`s great to see it here in the court of public opinion.
But when an attorney asks for his or her attorney -- when a defendant asks for his or her attorney which is what happened at the beginning of the tape all the way through, you cannot put it in front of a jury. They`ll be trying this case again if the judge puts it into evidence.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Darren, is it actually a sign of a weakness in the prosecution`s case that we`re getting tons of stuff that, as Mark says, it`s fascinating, but is it really advancing the prosecution`s case in terms of new forensics, or in terms of something that we haven`t discussed before previously?
Is that scary for the prosecution?
DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the tape may or may not be coming in. And I agree with Mark, it`s highly likely that we`re actually going to get that videotape admitted into evidence, because she`s invoking her right to counsel.
The idea that she waited the 31 days, though, that`s something that likely will come into evidence. And that`s something that Jose Baez is going to have to explain.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I`m talking about this video. This video, what use is it? Why are they releasing it if they`re not going to use it, if it`s actually irrelevant to the trial itself?
KAVINOKY: Well, they`ve put out a bunch of evidence that is not likely to come in that may not ultimately be relevant to the trial itself. And in Florida, they have apparently very liberal rules regarding pretrial discovery released to the media.
EIGLARSH: Jane, I can help you with that.
KAVINOKY: Because certainly in other states, that kind of material is not going to be released.
EIGLARSH: Jane, its Rule 3.220. And just because they have an obligation to provide it doesn`t mean it`s coming into evidence. There`s a list of things that they must provide over to the defense. It doesn`t mean that even a fraction of it is going to be introduced.
A much smaller portion should be introduced to keep this case in chief a very lean filet mignon and not some fatty big steak that we saw in the O.J. first trial.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How about a couple of mistake I prefer that...
KAVINOKY: Well, providing it to the defense is one thing but providing it to the media and having it leaked to the public, that`s quite another thing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what guys I...
KAVINOKY: Sunshine laws. It`s called sunshine laws.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think that they`re going to have to look at their discovery rules in Florida. Because actually, this is creating the very situation by releasing all this stuff, and we`re looking at it, and discussing it, the very situation that`s going to have Baez say we need a change of venue.
D`ONOFRIO: Well, something did come out today that shouldn`t have come out today, Jane. We got an email from the state attorney`s office today saying that we shouldn`t have released that audio of Lieutenant Tammy Unser (ph), the one who is with Casey...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
D`ONOFRIO: ... in the jail when she has that reaction and Billy Richardson who is also a corrections officer in the jail.
D`ONOFRIO: The judge still hasn`t ruled on that motion yet.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, we`ve got to go.
D`ONOFRIO: Jose Baez doesn`t want that video up.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I think there are problems here with the discovery process. That`s all I can say. Thank you, excellent panel. Jessica, thank you. Mark and Darren, stick around.
And don`t forget "NANCY GRACE" is up next at 8:00 p.m. She will have an exclusive interview with the Anthony family private eye, Jim Hoover, as well as analysis of today`s new evidence. It`s a stunner. Don`t miss it.
Now, more of breaking news tonight in the search for missing 8-year- old California girl Sandra Cantu, a suspicious black container -- there it is right there -- just discovered just two miles away from little Sandra where she vanished ten days ago.
So that container found just two miles away from where the little child disappeared. Forensic pathologists on the scene right now as we speak; authorities scrambling to uncover what is inside of this barrel.
Family members, understandably anxious, in agony as they wait to hear news from investigators. They are calling this find very disturbing. Police today explained why the container was so very suspicious.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SGT. TONY SHENEMAN, TRACY POLICE SPOKESMAN: Well, it wasn`t there when they filled up the pond the last they saw the bottom of the pond. And it`s there today. Early on in the investigation, we asked the public to contact us with anything that they thought was suspicious.
To find a container floating in a pond out in the middle of an agricultural area was suspicious to the people who saw it. It is to us. And that`s why we`re here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Could this be a major break in the case?
Joining me now, back Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor and Darren Kavinoky, a criminal defense attorney, as well as Pat Brown, criminal profiler and CEO of Pat Brown Criminal Profiling Agency.
But let`s start with Blake Taylor, morning news anchor with Newstalk 580 AM KMJ in Fresno. He joins me by phone. What is the very latest, Blake?
BLAKE TAYLOR, NEWS ANCHOR, NEWSTALK 580 AM KMJ, FRESNO (via telephone): Yes, you`re right, Jane. Thanks for having me. I appreciate the time.
That black container, you just showed it on the TV just moments ago, discovered around 10:00 this morning, again, about two miles from the mobile home park where Sandra disappeared ten days ago.
This is on, like you heard the cops say there, on some rural ag-land, farmland, in an irrigation pool. It wasn`t there when they filled it up. It was there today. Again, those farm workers draining this area this morning when the case floated to the surface. It looks much more like a duffel bag type of suitcase.
Now these guys that were draining this pool area were very much well aware of the search for Sandra. They called the police almost immediately, they say. Now, at a press conference, you just played a snippet of it just a few seconds ago, this press conference took place just a little bit over an hour ago.
Tracy Police says at this point, at this point, there`s no indication that anyone or anything is inside that container. But they`re not ruling anything out. They`re not taking any chances. They`re processing the scene, quote, "with utmost care" and the police say that container will be opened later tonight at an undisclosed location.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Pat Brown, I think the average person would think, why didn`t they just open it when they first saw it. But there are very good reasons, are there not, like footprints, which apparently they`re analyzing around that area, so that they gather evidence, so that when they open that -- God forbid there`s bad news -- at least they have built their case and haven`t destroyed it.
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Exactly, Jane. Because we know that that object is not going anywhere once it`s found. It`s there. So they can take their time. And they should take their time. And it`s very unfortunate because we know when most children disappear they`re usually not alive within hours.
I mean, police really worked hard to hopefully find this little girl alive, you always want to that. But the reality is, usually they`re not found alive so you want to -- you`re going out there looking for, unfortunately, the child`s body and not the child most of the time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Another important piece of information came out this weekend after police released new footage of the 2nd grader.
Now, take a look at this. This surveillance video shows the 2nd grader in the mobile home park. You`re going to see it in just a second, where she lives. And there she is. She`s skipping. She`s happy. Look at her waving her arms, walking around.
Sandra`s agonized mother says this shows her daughter`s joyful spirit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIA CHAVEZ, SANDRA CANTU`S MOTHER: She was just a little girl, that`s how she was, happy, smiling with hope.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Darren Kavinoky, obviously this is helpful, because it shows what the child was wearing, what she looked like. But are there any other clues that investigators could get that might help them in this video?
KAVINOKY: Well, you`re exactly right, Jane. It shows us exactly what she was wearing close to the time that she went missing. It -- sometimes videotapes can reveal other items of evidence as well.
In this particular case, I mean, my heart just goes out to this family. It`s just -- just horrible.
And certainly everybody`s going to be looking at this tape to call whatever little tidbits they can. But as your other panelist has said, the statistics about missing children simply aren`t good.
Mark, your thoughts on the significance of this barrel; we only have a few seconds left.
EIGLARSH: Well, I would work backwards. I would assume the defense lawyers will challenge upon the defendant`s arrest that the crime scene was contaminated with, so do it right the first time. Get the guy who wrote the book and have him there protecting the scene.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, panel. Thank you so much.
Turning to a horrific story in Washington; five children killed in their home. Their father suspected in the murders, killed himself. I will update you on this sick story.
Chris Brown arraigned today in the Rihanna assault case. But is his legal team wheeling and dealing behind the scenes? Do you think Rihanna will testify against him? Give me a holler, 1-877-JVM-SAYS; that`s 1-877- 5867297 -- next.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Chris Brown pleads not guilty in the Rihanna assault case. But could he be working on a plea deal? I will have an update.
First, "Top of the Block."
An entire family wiped out in a nightmarish killing spree just outside Tacoma, Washington. Cops responded to a 911 call Saturday and entered a house of horrors.
Five children, ages 7 to 16, shot dead in their own home. Four of them killed in their beds and one in the bathroom. Cops suspect the father, James Harrison, murdered them. They found Harrison dead in his still running car from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Investigators do not yet have a motive. But one report could shed a light on these brutal killings. A friend of the eldest daughter was told Friday that the parents got into an intense fight and the mother left.
Neighbors also reportedly called Child Protective Services on the dad several times in the past; just a sick story of totally senseless violence. The kind we hear all too often in this country.
What are we going to do about it, people?
That is tonight`s "Top of the Block."
A media circus in L.A. today as Chris Brown pleads not guilty in the vicious alleged assault on pop star girlfriend Rihanna. Brown strode into court on felony charges that he bit, punched, choked and threatened Rihanna. With his lawyer by his side he stepped up with his plea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Brown, how do you plead to count one, a violation of section 245-a-1 of the penal code?
CHRIS BROWN, SINGER: Not guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to count two, a violation of section 422 of the penal code?
BROWN: Not guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So not guilty entered. But it may just be an exercise. As TMZ reports Brown very close to a plea deal with prosecutors. The twist? Rihanna -- get this, listen carefully -- Rihanna allegedly wants Brown to cop a plea because she does not want to testify.
Please. She`s already said in a statement that he beat her to a bloody pulp. Police reports show her blood was spattered all over his car.
Brown faces a maximum sentence of nearly five years in prison if convicted. But if he gets a plea deal, he might see no time in jail; Brown due back in court April 29th.
Joining me is the fabulous Ashleigh Banfield, an anchor at the legal network, "In Session;" and the equally fabulous Mike Walters, managing editor of TMZ.
Mike, TMZ broke this story of a possible plea deal. Tell us what you know and what Rihanna`s possible involvement with this plea deal is.
MIKE WALTERS, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ: Yes, Jane, I can tell you that for sure they are very close to a plea deal.
Today`s not guilty plea in court was a mere formality in that they`re waiting until they can get the exact details broken apart to whether he`s going to get a felony, what he`s going to plead down to, or if will or will not get jail time. These are things they`re really close to being able to hash out but aren`t there yet, obviously. He pleads not guilty then they can figure out what`s going on.
Now, about Rihanna, here`s what`s weird. After the court hearing we have it up on our Web site right now, Donald Etra, who`s Rihanna`s attorney is the one that`s speaking on behalf of Rihanna and Chris Brown. People are asking him questions.
WALTERS: And he says Rihanna this, Rihanna that. She wants it to be over soon. She knows that she has to testify, she will. I`m thinking to myself the whole time, "why is Rihanna`s lawyer speaking at the hearing?"
It`s like, you know that these people are all together. And like you said, it`s weird, but we were listening to this case through Rihanna`s lawyer`s eyes after the hearing and not Chris Brown`s lawyers. So, it`s really interesting.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s wild. Now, the law obviously differs from state to state. In California, can prosecutors compel Rihanna to testify if she doesn`t want to? And if she refuses, can they fall back on the statements that she gave to authorities outlining in detail the way she claims this guy beat her up?
ASHLEY BANFIELD, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": Two different questions.
The first one, they used to be able to compel domestic violence victims to come into court and finish the job that they started.
After all, those domestic violence victims called 911. The cops came out. They started an investigation, opened a case, spent thousands of dollars. Only a few weeks or months later to have the victim change her mind. It was a big waste of money.
They used to threaten them and say, look, you`re going to be charged with contempt of court. You`re going to do some time if you don`t continue what you started.
And then they went to the high court and they said, "You can`t do that. You can`t compel these women to do this."
In the end, no, you can`t force them to testify. But there are legal scholars out there, Jane, who say that these cops in this case charged this case not as a domestic violence incident, but as an assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury.
Some people are out on this one. The legal scholars are differing on how you may or may not be able to push her into court because it`s not a domestic violence case. Others say, no way, it blankets her.
There`s a whole different issue about her statements, though. Can her statements to the police immediately after the crime come in and here`s the answer to that. Yes and no. I`m sorry, but that`s the law, right?
Here`s the no. No, because you have a sixth amendment right in this country to confront your accuser. If your accuser said something to police about you, and she`s not in court for you to confront, you can`t use her statement.
Here`s the caveat. The big old Supreme Court of the United States decided in a case called "Giles" that if you`re the reason that that person`s not appearing in court, you threatened her, you threatened family, you did something to make sure she disappears as a witness, well, you lose that sixth amendment protection.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But they don`t seem to be scared of each other because apparently there`s one person talking for both of them right outside the court.
BANFIELD: Listen, you hit the nail on the head, Jane, because if they can prove that Chris might be the reason that she`s not coming into court to testify then they can use her words to the police against him and he doesn`t get the privilege of confronting her in court. But it`s very hard to prove whether he might be guilty of some kind of obstruction of justice or some kind of threat. It`s really tough.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ten seconds, Mike. It was a mad house outside court, wasn`t it? I mean, it was a media frenzy.
WALTERS: Definitely. Definitely. Well, the last thing is, a couple seconds, basically Chris Brown and Rihanna are back together is what we`re told. So a lot of that stuff about what they`re doing in court has to do with them being together and working it out together.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang in there. We`re back with more in a second. Stay right there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Chris Brown enters a plea of not guilty in the Rihanna assault case. But TMZ says a plea deal is in the works.
Back taking your calls. Elizabeth in Michigan, your question or thought, ma`am.
ELIZABETH, MICHIGAN (via telephone): Yes. I think that he should be held accountable for his actions because if he can be held accountable maybe other men will stop putting their hands on women.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I agree. I think he has to face justice.
But let me address this to Mike Walters. We`ve seen so many of these stories with celebrities and yet it`s going on all across the country. Don`t we also need to take a look at the fact that this guy was a ticking time bomb because he observed, according to him, brutality against his mother in the home? And stats show a kid who sees that is going to grow up and have a greater chance of doing the same thing.
WALTERS: Right. I think actually the question is right on, too, Jane. I mean, at this point Chris Brown in this whole, you know, aura of what`s going on down at the courthouse with the prosecutor, that`s what the prosecutor doesn`t want.
The prosecutor doesn`t want to let this celebrity off easily with a misdemeanor, with no jail time and kind of get out scot-free after everyone`s seen the photo of Rihanna, everyone knows how bad this was, everybody, even Chris Brown has said like you said in the past that this is going on.
And I think they don`t want to have this come forward as Chris Brown walks away with a misdemeanor, no jail time, and everybody goes along their merry way. This was a horrible vicious attack and they don`t want that, especially in L.A. where we know how celebrity justice works, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to ask you this, Ashleigh. We`ve both covered so many of these stories. And yet we always talk about crime and punishment. Don`t we need to go beyond crime and punishment?
Yes, he needs to face justice, but don`t we need to look at why kids who observe abuse in the home are not given the tools to change before they enter the criminal justice system. That we don`t intervene early in our society and teach peaceful conflict resolution, give these kids therapy, help them understand that they`re more likely to repeat this behavior?
BANFIELD: Well, all of the above, yes. But the problem is in trying to police those who have a propensity to commit a first offense you just can`t do it or you`d have police in every second home across America, and that`s just not doable and it`s not constitutional either. And that`s just not doable. And it`s not constitutional either.
So sadly, our justice system, while it isn`t perfect, it`s pretty good. We kind of have to catch it after it happens.
What I find weird, though, Jane, is I just saw those pictures you were running; all those screaming fans. They`re screaming as though they`re loving this guy. And I kind of wonder why.
Why when you -- you haven`t got resolution on it yet.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have a love-hate relationship with our bad boy celebs. That`s it for me -- ISSUES.