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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Police: Haleigh Could be Alive; Friends of Haleigh`s Family Under Suspicion; New Developments in Chris Brown Assault Case
Aired April 30, 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, stunning updates in the Haleigh Cummings disappearance. Cops reportedly rule out a stranger abduction, while at the same time speculating Haleigh may still be alive. That puts the focus on the bizarre cast of characters surrounding little Haleigh.
The latest to go under the microscope, Misty`s friend Nay Nay. She was allegedly with Misty the day before Haleigh vanished. Nay Nay is reportedly fresh out of jail and on suicide watch. So where does she fit into this messy soap opera? I`ll have a breakdown of who`s who.
Then fireworks in Chris Brown`s assault case. This photo that shocked the world showed a beat-up Rihanna. It was leaked, and now Brown`s high- profile attorney, Mark Geragos, will reportedly try to use that leak to get the case thrown out. Could that really happen?
Meantime, Rihanna`s dad says Brown is old news. So has Rihanna really moved on?
And is Jose Baez trying to pin Caylee Anthony`s death on somebody else? Why else would he want phone records from meter reader Roy Kronk? And the Orange County deputy who critics say who may have missed finding the body. I`ll have new insights into his extraordinary defense strategy that attempts to explain away Casey`s outrageous behavior in the days after little Caylee went missing.
Plus, cops and child services descend on Octomom`s house again, after one kid reportedly showed up to school with a black eye and bite marks. Is Octomom losing control of her brood? I`ll play the video, and you be the judge.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a firestorm of scandal erupts in Satsuma, Florida, the hometown of missing 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings, as the investigation into the disappearance of this adorable child reaches a fever pitch.
In a sign of hope for little Haleigh, who went missing exactly 80 days ago, cops have gone on the record to say they think she could still be alive. The chief of the major crimes department tells investigative journalist Art Harris they are not giving up on finding this child alive.
But, have they changed their focus since February 11, the day after her devastating disappearance? This is what they said back then.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAJOR GARY BOLING, PUTNAM COUNTY SHERIFF`S DEPARTMENT: All the world`s a suspect right now. We have not excluded the world. We`re focusing on a couple of family members, or persons who are involved or related to the family either by blood or marriage or friendship or whatever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: However, in just the last couple of days, investigators have narrowed their focus. They now reportedly believe whoever took Haleigh was no stranger -- no stranger -- to this family.
Meanwhile, truth has become stranger than fiction in the small town, where Haleigh`s family lives, works, and apparently parties. The twisted turns in the lives of this close-knit group of friends and family under scrutiny tonight.
There`s the young woman known colorfully as Nay Nay. She is party pals with Misty Croslin. She`s the teenager who was watching Haleigh when she vanished. Nay Nay sobbed hysterically as she was jailed earlier this week on drug charges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KRISTINA "NAY NAY" PREVATT, FRIEND OF MISTY CROSLIN: I didn`t kidnap no baby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m getting reports that you tried to kill yourself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why is Nay Nay crying? She is not a suspect in little Haleigh`s disappearance. But she did get in deep when she said publicly that she was partying and doing drugs with 17-year-old Misty Croslin in the days before little Haleigh disappeared, again on Misty`s watch.
Plus, more stunning developments tonight in a case so complex, we have had to create a flow chart/family tree, so you can follow the whole thing. We`re going to show you that in a second.
Straight out to my fantastic panel: Joanna Greenwald, criminal defense attorney.
JOANNA GREENWALD, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thomas Ruskin, former NYPD detective; Beth Karas, correspondent for the legal network In Session; Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, one of my heroes; and Art Harris, the investigative journalist who has broken a slew of news in this case.
Art, dare we ask what is the very latest?
ART HARRIS, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: The very latest is a revolving door for Nay Nay, Kristina Prevatt, who was Misty`s chauffeur, Misty Cummings, the babysitter the night that Haleigh disappeared.
Three days -- four days before this, called Nay Nay to pick her up. Big fight with Ronald Cummings, her then boyfriend, now husband. They went off on what turned out to be a revenge romance, with Nay Nay driving her all over Putnam County looking for drugs, looking for parties. I got this from the people who were in the car with her.
And now Nay Nay has come under the spotlight, back out of jail, bonded out last night, Jane, for the second time by someone who is questionable in the community, I`m told.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Beth Karas, you`ve covered so many of these cases. What I`m hearing are sort of pieces of the puzzle. The child may still be alive. Great news. We don`t think it`s a stranger abduction.
And then we have this convergence of bizarre individuals, let`s say, or colorful characters, who are all somehow intricately involved with each other, partying with each other, but sometimes angry with each other, allegedly sometimes some of them doing drugs or partying with each other. What do you make of it, in terms of the information we need to know to find this child?
BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, IN SESSION: Well, I`m making a list here about a motive for taking this child. There`s been no evidence that we know of a ransom note. So apparently, it`s not a kidnapping for that reason.
They, for some reason, have ruled out a sexual assault by a stranger. Sexual offenders, if they`re focusing on someone she knew. Maybe the child was a light sleeper and she didn`t cry out in the night. So it is not Misty, then somebody else a child knew. She went willingly. Perhaps it`s revenge. Perhaps it`s punishment, to punish the little girl or to get back at somebody else.
But apparently the police are not convinced with what the folks in this circle, this social circle of Misty and Ron are saying. So they must be suspicious with what these folks were doing then, and have come up with a motive of revenge perhaps.
HARRIS: That`s right.
GREENWALD: Drugs. It`s drugs.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, go ahead?
GREENWALD: I really think that this is all about drugs. I think that if you watch all the players in here, everything that ties them all together is drugs. And you have people that have been arrested. You have Nay Nay being led out. And it`s almost like a mouse game where they, like, let her out to try to see where does she go, what does she do? And try to see who does she bring them to?
I honestly think that this is about drugs. I think that if they do feel that a child is alive, after 80 days, and they haven`t put the kibosh on this situation, and now call it a murder investigation, that this is a drug-related crime that either a child was taken for drugs, or was given so that someone could get drugs.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you raise a very interesting point. I want to say that Nay Nay is not a suspect. And as far as the allegations that Misty did drugs for the two days leading up to little Haleigh`s disappearance on her watch, we have reached out repeatedly.
And Misty, if you`re watching, we want to hear your side of the story.
But two people, Curtis Sliwa, had said that the 17-year-old who was watching the child when she disappeared, along with the younger brother, was doing drugs in the days leading up. So you have to wonder if, you know -- I`m a recovering alcoholic. I know that you don`t stop doing a substance on a dime. You stop only if you get help.
So obviously questions are, if in fact she was doing drugs, was she doing drugs the night that little Haleigh disappeared? She says no. She says she was at home. Were there drugs in the home? Could little Haleigh have accidentally gotten her hands on them? What are your thoughts on this, Curtis?
CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: Well, I`ve got to tell you, the dysfunction bleeds all over this case. It`s like a small town of three-eyed cousin fornicators. It`s like the Jerry Springer show.
I`m saying after 80 days, you`ve really got to get tough with these individuals. Because if they are drug zombies, if they are in a drug- induced psychosis, man, you`ve got to take them, hold them, sweat them out, make them go through cold turkey, separate them from one another so that they can`t chitchat. Make them paranoid. Make them upset. And somebody will give it up.
I`m at the point I`d like to take them to Guantanamo and make the attorney general, Eric Holder, waterboard them...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, no. I don`t want anybody waterboarded. I am totally against that 100 percent.
SLIWA: Oh, please.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ron said that he doesn`t do drugs, even though, you know, there -- he has a record for arrests of drugs. Right? Art Harris? The father of the missing child has a record of drug arrests, but no convictions, correct?
HARRIS: A string of drug arrests, that`s right. Ronald Cummings, and most recently his father-in-law, strange as this sounds, Misty`s dad has accused him of trying to kill him by giving him some prescription drugs that he requested. There`s a police report that I obtained that goes into this.
And you know, now you have -- you have everybody who is involved in this drug-infested county, but at the same time police, getting back to Curtis` point, are outraged that this young woman, who has bonded out again. She pledged (ph) suicide...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me get to that, because you`ve raised some important issues.
Ron Cummings, Haleigh`s dad, of course, a lightning rod for controversy. You just heard there was a report Ron`s father-in-law, Misty Croslin`s dad -- take notes people -- accused Ron of trying to poison him by giving him unidentified prescription pills.
Ron`s attorneys had this response, quote, "Any statements made by Mr. Croslin that were reported to the police were done while he was under the influence of prescription medications and are false. And Mr. Croslin disavows any statements that he was in any way in fear of Ronald Cummings."
But you know, I have to get back -- Beth Karas, again, you`ve covered so many of these cases. Again, the theme of it is drugs, whether it`s Misty`s dad, whether it`s Misty, whether it`s Ron. I have no idea if any of these people have ever touched a drug in their lives. But these are the stories that keep coming up.
KARAS: Well, if it is indeed drug related, and it may be -- maybe the child is being held until a drug debt is being paid, but -- and maybe that`s where the police are going, and believing that she is still alive.
But don`t forget the police are saying she may be still alive. And until they have absolute, or more evidence that she`s not alive, they`re going to hold out hope that she is.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Fantastic panel. Wow. More on this strange soap opera surrounding Haleigh Cummings` disappearance in moments.
Then, is Casey Anthony`s defense team trying to pin the murder on somebody else? Why the defense wants the phone records of meter reader Roy Kronk and an Orange County deputy. I`ll have the shocking updates.
But first, it`s hard enough for us to keep all the players straight in the Haleigh Cummings case. Imagine the difficulty investigators are having trying to solve this complex puzzle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF JEFF HARDY, PUTNAM COUNTY SHERIFF`S DEPARTMENT: The investigation has had so many different angles to it, that it`s just been extremely difficult to try to narrow it and focus it down to where it needs to be. And again, as has been previously reported, there`s been so many different inconsistencies and statements and stories.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIM PICAZIO, ATTORNEY FOR CRYSTAL SHEFFIELD: We have uncovered people, eyewitnesses that have seen her out that night with another individual. Whether or not she propped open the door and allowed a person in that night, we don`t know. None of us were there. But we surely know that she was not home with the children that night, according to our eyewitnesses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s the attorney for Haleigh`s biological mom, Crystal Cummings [SIC].
Thomas Ruskin, you`re a former New York City police detective. There`s a woman saying, "OK, we`ve got people who saw little Misty out, 17- year-old Misty out partying on the night that Haleigh disappeared." Misty claims she was home that night. Why haven`t we heard from those people?
THOMAS RUSKIN, FORMER NEW YORK CITY POLICE DETECTIVE: That`s what the police have to do, and that`s what the sheriff`s office has to do. He says in this statement that they have inconsistencies. Why aren`t they following up on those inconsistencies?
For them to say that they`re only focusing in now on the family members or friends of the family is ridiculous. You go in any avenue that the trail takes you, and you follow that lead to the end. And if you have holes in your dike, you break those holes apart, and you have the water flow. And you`ll find either, you know, God forbid, the body, or you`ll find the person who did this horrendous crime.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, it`s the investigator journalist and the bounty hunters and the attorneys who are digging all this up. But a lot of them say the cops knew all this, right, Art?
HARRIS: Jane, that`s right. In fact, they have had Misty in a number of times to look at these inconsistencies. And they know that she`s not telling the truth. But they don`t want to arrest her on that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Art, let me jump in.
GREENWALD: And they don`t have enough.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because I want to ask you for your analysis of all the players in the Haleigh Cummings saga. This is no easy task. Let`s take a moment to focus on who`s who in this tiny town of Satsuma, Florida, 70 miles south of Orlando.
You know, Haleigh was last seen by Misty Croslin on at the family`s trailer home on Green Lane, February 10. Misty, of course, the teen, a girlfriend/babysitter who was watching the kids and later, in a very strange twist, married the missing child`s father.
But Art, walk us through. We`ve got this flow chart here. Just give us a sense of who these other people are. I know this is going to take an hour, so try to do it quickly.
HARRIS: Very good. So you have Misty here...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got Misty.
HARRIS: Ron, of course, is -- is the father of Haleigh Cummings. And Junior, a little -- her little brother. He is now claiming, and the police back up, that he has an alibi for that night. He was at work at PDM Bridge Company. Cell phone pings put him there.
Then you have his ex, who is named Crystal. That is the mother of Haleigh and Junior. She is in a custody fight with Ronald, owes him $4,000 in back child support.
Then you have -- then you have Kim Picazio, who`s come in, has a family in Miami (ph), to represent Crystal, who has also been trying to broker Nay Nay`s baby scandal of her own.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just give us the Amber angle here. That`s it.
HARRIS: Amber is another former Ronald ex. And she and Ronald have - - purportedly have a child named Jordan. She is out on bond. She was with Nay Nay last week when they were out partying. And they were arrested for -- charged with cocaine possession.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But apparently Misty and Amber don`t like each other.
HARRIS: They have --in fact, the weekend that they were on the road at the party, in the party parade, they got into a fight and had to be pulled apart, my sources tell me. And suddenly, Amber is now out partying with Nay Nay, the chauffeur.
KARAS (ph): They actually went on MySpace, against each other: Amber versus Misty on MySpace.
HARRIS: That`s right. Threatened to take her child.
KARAS (ph): Saying, "I`ve got you. And I`m now the baby`s mom." So give me a break.
Again, this whole interlude that they have, the thing that`s very interesting, Jane, is that since we`re all talking about drugs, it`s not unusual for the police officers to have confidential informants left and right all over the place.
The fact that nobody said that they`ve seen this child is highly unusual, because the fact that you have a kid that`s missing, and it`s directly, I think, related to something that`s come up with drugs, and nobody`s come forward, nobody. We have Amber alerts already. We have all this technology. No one said anything. Nor have they come up with, as far as that the child may not be alive anymore.
RUSKIN: Jane, if I was running this investigation, what you would do is you send your narcotics officers out. You make as many arrests as possible. And you try and turn those people around to try and get information against these people. And you lock them up and you put them in there and you squeeze them. As Curtis said, you basically pull them in and you interrogate them until they give up something.
HARRIS: That`s what they were doing, Jane. They were interrogating Nay Nay before she was bonded out, first by Cobra, then again when she went back in. And then suddenly she`s out. They are outraged. The investigators I`ve talked to.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: These are basically glorified teenagers. These are all young people, kids having kids, which I think is the underlying problem underneath all the other problems. These kids, they`re really too young to be responsible parents in a lot of ways. You have a 17-year-old girl watching these kids. Why is she even watching them? Why isn`t she worrying about going to her prom?
SLIWA: Well, let me tell you something. Let me say we have baby mama, mama-baby drama. I`m all confused. I would just say to the remaining scales and mopes in this group of young women, let`s tie their tubes. Make sure they never have babies.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No. That`s awful.
SLIWA: Let me tell you something, these people are so out of their minds. They are so dysfunctional. The cops need to put their arm on them and sweat the information out. Stop being good cop. It`s time to be bad cop.
GREENWALD: All right. Curtis, by the way, don`t forget, people do have rights, Curtis. Don`t forget that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, I don`t want to indict this entire community because of the questionable behavior of a handful of people. And we do not know what happened to Haleigh.
But I want to thank my excellent panel for their very controversial comments. I don`t necessarily agree with them all. But let`s hope we find Haleigh alive. That`s the bottom line.
Could Chris Brown`s assault case get thrown out because of leaks to the media? I`ll have an update.
Cops pay another visit to Octomom after -- get this -- one of her kids reportedly shows up at school with a black eye. Is she losing control of her brood?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the spotlight tonight, fireworks in the Chris Brown assault case, over a photo. Brown`s high-profile attorney, Mark Geragos, wants the case thrown out because this photo showing a battered Rihanna was leaked to the media. Geragos claims the leak amounts to outrageous governmental misconduct and wants charges dismissed. On what basis? That Brown can`t get a fair trial now?
Meantime, Rihanna`s dad tells "Us Weekly" Brown is old news and Rihanna is back to herself, saying like it`s like Chris never existed. Wait a second. Wasn`t it just yesterday they were reportedly back together and Rihanna was saying, "Deal with it, people"? So what is the truth here?
Joining me, Ken Baker, executive news editor.
Ken, great to have you on. We keep hearing talk of a plea deal. Now reports that Geragos is moving to use the leaked photo as leverage to get the case tossed out. What`s going on?
KEN BAKER, "US WEEKLY": Well, what`s going on is that everyone was focused on before yesterday`s hearing, that Geragos was working on a plea deal with the prosecutors.
Well, after that hearing, he comes out and he tells E! that he`s actually looking to dismiss the case, looking to file a motion to dismiss the case if it`s found out that that photo that was leaked was by the LAPD, and was specifically someone related to the investigation into Chris Brown, because he says that would show prejudice that they were out to get him and they wanted to make him look bad.
Now, we talked to "Extra" about this, and they said that it really could be a valid defense. The LAPD and the investigation is ongoing. They`re trying to find out who leaked those photos of Rihanna battered and beaten. They were just horrible -- I mean, the horrifying photos that we all say.
And so that investigation is ongoing. We`re told that could wrap up very soon. And I`m told that Geragos may be delaying this, may be stretching things out as long as possible, so that he can find out the results of this investigation before he has to work on any plea deal with prosecutors.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fascinating. Now, a judge has ruled that the LAPD has to return Rihanna`s jewelry from the night of the alleged attack. She was wearing almost $1.5 million worth of jewelry. That blows my mind. You know, you can`t just imagine somebody wearing all that jewelry while they`re being beaten.
Her lawyers have said there was no evidentiary value to the jewelry. They can take photos of it. But some have suggested the jewelry might have been held as leverage to kind of coax her into testifying against Chris Brown. Now that she`s getting the jewelry back, Ken, does that suggest the prosecution`s kind of giving up on her testifying?
BAKER: No, not at all. In fact, I don`t ascribe that conspiracy theory. What we know for sure is that her attorney, Donald Etra, told us as recently as yesterday. He said after that hearing that she will testify if she`s called upon by prosecutors. He said that they have not asked her to. They haven`t asked her to do anything yet. And I believe them on that.
He has been consistent, saying that she will cooperate, no matter what. And even yesterday, after they returned her jewelry, $1.4 million worth, he said that she will be -- if she`s called to testify, she will.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is she back with Chris Brown? We have heard so many conflicting rumors over and over again.
BAKER: No, absolutely not. In fact, it`s been over a month since she`s even seen him. By all accounts, they`re completely broken up. She is moving on. She`s focusing on her music. She`s trying to get away. She was just recently with her family in Barbados. And they have all said that she seems back to normal. She`s moving on. It was a difficult time.
And let`s face it: in all honesty, she needs to stay away from him if she wants her career back. Because people don`t want her back with Chris Brown.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are so right about that. That`s the best way she can rehabilitate her career.
Ken, thank you so much. Please come back soon.
New clues emerge about Casey Anthony`s defense strategy. I`ll tell you all about it in a moment.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is Jose Baez trying to pin Caylee Anthony`s death on somebody else? I`ll have new insight into the extraordinary defense strategy that attempts to explain away Casey`s outrageous behavior in the days after little Caylee went missing.
Plus, cops and Child Services descend on octo-mom`s house again, after one kid reportedly showed up to school with a black eye and bite marks. Is octo-mom losing control of her brood? I`ll play the video and you, be the judge.
Tonight, a flurry of new developments as Casey Anthony gets ready to march into court again in just days; the defense now maneuvering to pin little Caylee`s murder on somebody other than Casey. And we could get to see hundreds of pages of new evidence as early as tomorrow.
Tonight, the defense is in an all-out war over phone records. Jose Baez meeting fierce resistance as he battles to get the phone records of two crucial players, meter reader Roy Kronk and the deputy who critics say failed to investigate that suspicious bag at the very spot where little Caylee`s remains were later found.
What exactly does defense attorney Jose Baez want with those phone records anyhow? The answer could surprise you.
Plus, the defense appears set to argue Casey`s hard-core partying in the months after little Caylee went missing was just "ugly coping." That`s the strategy, "ugly coping."
Sounds like the name of a heavy metal band to me. Ugly coping.
I`ll tell you where the defense got this idea.
Straight to my expert panel: Robin Bond, former prosecutor; David Schwartz, criminal defense attorney and former New York City prosecutor; Jennifer Hartstein, clinical psychologist.
And we begin with Beth Karas, a correspondent for the legal network "In Session." Beth, you have covered so many trials over the course of your career. There`s often these fascinating defense theories like the Twinkie defense, the urban survival syndrome defense, and -- one of my personal favorites -- the psychologically emasculated defense.
Now we could have the ugly coping defense. What exactly is it and will it fly?
BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Well, basically it`s looking at the behavior of someone after a crime has been committed. The suspect, that is. And people are judging this behavior saying, you know what, he or she does not act like a grieving parent, spouse, whoever the victim is. And so the evidence goes against them.
And they get convicted because of their behavior. People think they`re guilty because of their behavior because it`s unconventional.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then, it turns out their behavior was all just an ugly way of coping with...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ...being grief-stricken and distraught and they were just acting in a manner that we wouldn`t expect them to act. But it doesn`t mean that they`re guilty.
Now, Casey Anthony`s attorney, Jose Baez, sat down with Bob Keeling at WESH and had only -- and I mean only this -- to say about Casey`s apparent hard partying after her daughter went missing. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSE BAEZ, CASEY ANTHONY`S ATTORNEY: She has a very compelling reason for her actions. As much as I`d love to say it, that`s as much as I can say right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: During the interview Baez referred to the case of Cynthia Summer, a woman whose hard partying lifestyle after her husband`s death played a key role in getting her charged with murdering him.
She allegedly got breast implants with the life insurance money. But Summer`s attorney argued her partying was just a condition called ugly coping. Eventually she was freed from jail and exonerated.
So David Schwartz, will ugly coping work in the Casey Anthony case?
DAVID SCHWARTZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it shouldn`t work; it does sometimes work in cases. But when your client`s being charged with murder, what`s the evidence to show that the defendant committed a murder? Ok, how they act after the fact is sometimes known as consciousness of guilt.
But in this case, you know, there is no playbook for grief. And just because a person is partying after, it has nothing to do with showing who actually committed this murder. So I call it non-evidence.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: David, David, David -- she didn`t report her child missing...
SCHWARTZ: Well, that`s different.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ...for a month.
SCHWARTZ: That`s different.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: She says the nanny took the child. So theoretically she`s not even grieving. She`s not coping in an ugly fashion...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ...because she`s grieving. She said she was looking for this child and she went to the nightclubs to do her own undercover investigation to look for areas where this nanny, this mystery nanny that cops think is a total fiction, might have taken the child.
You know, Jennifer Hartstein, the whole concept of this is that people don`t respond to grief in the way we assume they respond. And that is true. That is valid. I mean, a lot of times you expect people to weep and they`re just numb.
But can you really take the ugly coping defense and apply it to this case where she`s out partying, dancing, dirty dancing at nightclubs? Just going out on the town when her little girl is missing?
JENNIFER HARTSTEIN, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Right. It`s really hard to really accept this, because in so many ways, her behavior is exactly the same as it was before she was missing, if you listen to how she was acting, if you listen to friends. This is kind of who she was.
So if she`s continuing to act along the same way, there`s a disconnect there for me. And I`m having a hard time believing that it`s just a coping response.
Everybody responds to grief differently. Some people are numb. They don`t have any response at all. And there are times when people act in the exact opposite way. But this seems in line with who she is and how she`s been over time. So there`s still something missing from this whole explanation. I`m not sure that I buy it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean David, you`re saying, oh, this could be an explanation. But from what I know, she didn`t think her child was dead. She thought the nanny took the child, and her whole family was chasing down false leads right up until the very day that little Caylee`s remains were found, on the assumption that the child was alive.
So why ugly coping of grief?
SCHWARTZ: Jane, Jane, this is the problem with the whole analysis. This is not the criminal justice system in this country. It is not up to Casey Anthony to sit there and to explain her actions.
It is up to the prosecutions -- the prosecutions to prove her guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. And if they`re not going to present any evidence other than her reaction to her missing daughter, well, they`re going to be in big trouble in this trial.
They better present some evidence, some hard evidence in this case. And that`s what I`ll concentrate on, that`s what the defense will concentrate on in this case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well Robin Bond, you`re the prosecutor. You know that they have forensic evidence. They`ve got the cadaver dogs hitting on the trunk of the car. They`ve got the air test from the Tennessee body farm that say there was decomposition in the trunk of the car.
They`ve got a hair that they say connects to the victim`s hair in the trunk of the car. This was Casey Anthony`s car. Her own parents said it smelled like a dead body in the damn car?
ROBIN BOND, FMR. PROSECUTOR: Yes, right, I think there`s a couple main points that she`s want to make. First of all, she has the motive. I would paint her as a liar and a schemer and somebody who was wanting to return to her free single unencumbered lifestyle.
Her own cell phone records will help clear up any timeline inconsistency and place her at the scene of the crime. Her own statements, her texts, her emails, what she said while she`s been in jail and, you know, her own actions, her demeanor.
I mean, this all points to who else likely did this. Is there any other evidence that anyone did it? And I don`t think there is.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, guess what, they`re going to try. The defense, it seems is going to try to pin this on somebody else.
Now, this brings up the next issue, Deputy Richard Cain responded to meter reader Roy Kronk`s phone call about a bag that he thought could possibly be Caylee`s remains in a lot back in August.
The deputy went there, found absolutely nothing that day. Then months later, in December, Roy Kronk, the meter reader goes back and finds Caylee`s remains in the very same location. Deputy Cain was interviewed twice about the events of the August day when he failed to spot a body.
First he said he found a bag and dumped it out only to find yard waste. Later he was caught in an apparent lie saying there never was a bag. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POLICE: But earlier you said it was a bag and you picked it up and leaves fell out of it.
RICHARD CAIN, DEPUTY POLICE: Right.
POLICE: But that`s not the case.
CAIN: No. I mean, my perception may have been it was in a bag and I just picked it up, looking for the bag, but I didn`t, I didn`t pick up a bag.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the defense is seeking Deputy Cain`s phone records. He is refusing. They also want Roy Kronk`s phone records. He doesn`t want to give them over.
Is it possible that, Beth Karas, they`re going to take these phone records and weave some kind of story to prove, A, that the deputy messed up. He didn`t do his job right. And B, maybe the body wasn`t there in August, that it was dumped there after Casey Anthony was put in jail, so, therefore, she couldn`t have put the body there?
KARAS: Well, that may be where they`re going. But their subpoenas for these phone records are overbroad. And that`s the objection to them. They`ll get some of the records. But they`re not going to get everything, because there`s private information in there that Baez, quite frankly, is not entitled to.
He may want to see if there was any more contact between Cain and Kronk or if this were the only calls that were placed. It will corroborate, or it may -- may not, what they say in their police statements. But he`s overbroad in the subpoena.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, let`s get some of your calls starting with Bernie from Indiana. Bernie?
BERNIE FROM INDIANA: I read meters in the City of Phoenix, Arizona so I have a little bit of knowledge. Meter readers, they get on a route, and then that route is alternated. They don`t get back on that route for several months.
And most routes are so big, that they cannot lollygag. And I understand this meter reader was in a heavily wooded area. Generally, meters are not in wooded areas. What was he doing in such a secluded area?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: David Schwartz, that sounds like a defense closing statement.
SCHWARTZ: That could be the defense closing statement. You know, Kronk is a material witness here and so is Cain. So of course he`s entitled -- of course the defense is entitled to the phone records.
We have to remember, we have a defendant here who`s facing the rest of her life in jail.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s facing a possible death penalty.
SCHWARTZ: Of course.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: They put the death penalty back on the table.
SCHWARTZ: And that is true. But I don`t think they`ll ever get the death penalty on this case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why not? Why not?
SCHWARTZ: All right, so this is not even a death penalty case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why? Because she`s a young woman and she`s cute? Because she`s middle class?
SCHWARTZ: That`s a different case all together; this is the prosecution performing a strategy. She`s not getting the death penalty.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why not?
SCHWARTZ: But she is going to face the rest of her...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, if we are going to have a death penalty, we should apply it to everybody. I don`t care if she`s young and pretty and white and middle class. It should apply to everybody or nobody.
SCHWARTZ: Well, that`s a different story all together. It shouldn`t apply to anyone. But regardless if...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, you know what -- we`re going to have to leave it there. And I think it`s a good place to leave it because I kind of agree with you, although I go back and forth when I hear really heinous crimes and suddenly I`m for to the death penalty again.
Again, Robin, David, thanks. Jennifer, Beth sit tight.
The fiance of accused Craigslist killer visits her troubled boyfriend in jail for a frank conversation. This as cops reportedly found more disturbing evidence under his bed.
Then police swarm octo-mom`s house yet again, because one of her kids reportedly had a black eye. Is her brood out of control?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops called to octo-mom`s house again. I will tell you what brought them there this time.
But first, "Top of the Block."
Huge developments surrounding accused Craigslist killer Philip Markoff. He was visited in jail by none other than his fiance -- make that ex-fiance -- Megan McAllister. Yesterday`s jail house visit was McAllister`s first time seeing the preppy med student since his arrest on April 20th on robbery and murder charges.
Wouldn`t you love to be a fly on the jailhouse wall to hear that conversation? The couple reportedly spoke in private for about 25 minutes. McAllister did not appear to be wearing her engagement ring during the jail visit. Afterwards, her attorney said the wedding is off for good.
Meantime, law enforcement officials say they found 16 -- 1-6 -- 16 pairs of women`s panties, along with 60 pairs of flex handcuffs hidden under Markoff`s bed in the apartment he shared with his fiance.
Be sure to tune in to ISSUES tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. Eastern for analysis of these stunning developments.
That is tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Octo-mom in hot water again after cops and Child Services descend on her home for another visit. Authorities descended on Suleman`s home after reports of neglect when one of her kids show up at school with -- want to take a guess -- a black eye and bite marks on his neck.
Here is her shocking explanation to Radar Online.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell us what happened?
NADYA SULEMAN: Nothing. I think that they just came over to their teacher. Her (INAUDIBLE) to check about -- I`ll just show you his back.
Show me. Show me. He has a bite mark on his back from this guy. They wanted to verify to make sure that he`s okay, not being -- made sure he`s being supervised enough.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So did they talk to the kids?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did they talk to the kids?
SULEMAN: They did talk to the kid -- Gentle, Gentle, be nice. This one`s aggressive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Be nice, be nice, little one. What`s going on with that little toddler? Is Nadya losing control of her brood? She downplayed her other child`s injury, offering this explanation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said that Aiden has a little bite mark and a little bit of a black eye. So how did he get those?
SULEMAN: He had a meltdown. It`s normal to have meltdowns. He throws himself down, in the process of throwing himself on the floor. He hit his face on the desk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa. No children were removed from the home but maybe octo-mom needs to spend less time talking to the camera and more time talking to her kids, interacting with her children without a camera present.
Back with me: Beth Karas, correspondent for the legal network, "In Session;" Jennifer Hartstein, clinical psychologist; and -- very delighted to have with us today -- Dr. Carol Lieberman, psychiatrist.
Doctor, you have an exclusive for us, I understand. You have filed just hours ago your third complaint against octo-mom. Tell us about the complaint, who you filed it with, and why you filed it.
DR. CAROL LIEBERMAN, PSYCHIATRIST: I keep hoping that eventually they`ll listen. I filed it with L.A. County Child Department -- the Department of Child and Family Services, Child Protective Services -- the Orange County version of that, and also, the police department in La Habra because they came along with social services to look at Nadya.
What I`m hoping, as I`ve been asking them to do ever since February 12th, when I filed my first complaint, is to take the children out of the house. I mean, I was asking originally for the eight children not to come home, the octuplets, never to come home and to be adopted by families.
But at this point, you know, what concerns me is not only the safety of her 14 children, but also the impression that this is giving to parents all over the world. I mean, by them not stepping in and doing something, it is showing parents all over that the kind of behavior that you just showed in those videotapes is okay.
And in fact...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But you know what, in a weird way, it could be presenting an interesting object lesson to people around the world, the dangers of having too many children. We live in a world where we have diminishing resources, where there are literally hundreds of thousands of children around the world who have malnutrition or dying of starvation or left orphans, and then there is this woman narcissistically deciding, "I want to have 14 kids and I`m going to have them," when she could chosen to adopt a child who is hungry and needs a parent and needs a home and is sitting in an orphanage, rotting in an orphanage.
Do you see, Beth Karas, that there might be some possible lesson here for people about how not to conduct their lives?
BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Absolutely. I`m sitting here listening to this, Jane, thinking, on its face, it seems like it`s absolute negligence. There`s no way that one person can take care of 14 children, a single parent it seems, with limited resources. We`re not talking about someone who has millions of dollars, to be able to hire a lot of help here.
And so it seems she should have to prove why this isn`t negligent. Otherwise it seems like it`s on its face negligence.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jennifer Hartstein, Dr. Lieberman`s complaint actually lashes out to a certain degree at Child Protective Services, saying do you not have a psychiatrist available who has the experience to see abuse when it`s right in your face?
JENNIFER HARTSTEIN, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Right. Chances are they may not.
I mean, the Child Protective Services throughout the country is so overtaxed and they really have to be so careful because this is so in the media all of the time that they have to be careful. They have to be aware and now she`s going to stay on their radar for a very long time. But they may not have a psychologist to evaluate her effectively.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know what? We`re going to get to this in a second.
She actually claims, Beth Karas, that CPS Child Protective Services said, "Good job, you`re doing a great job. And good luck to you." Obviously, if they had a problem they would have taken the kids out of the home or done something.
KARAS: But you know, visits are -- she`s a little more in the spotlight than others. Visits can be spotty and short. It is not always that they`re getting all the information they need.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More octo-mom madness in a moment. Hang in, we`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did they talk to the kids?
SULEMAN: Gentle, gentle, be nice.
This one`s aggressive.
I`m going to give you a warning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s the very latest tidbit from Radar Online inside the octo house. So many people have concern for the welfare of these 14 children.
Suleman claims child services authorities were happy with what they saw. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They came and checked it out. Did they say that they`ll be back or is this the end of the road or...
SULEMAN: They said that they`re shocked that every time everything is so organized and that we`re (INAUDIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So she is claiming, Dr. Carol Lieberman that Child Protective Services says she is doing a good job. The fact is if they had found something problematical, what would they have done?
LIEBERMAN: Well, they could certainly take the children out of the home. I think that they need to take the eight babies out of the home not the six.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but what I`m saying, the fact is that they went there and they didn`t do anything.
LIEBERMAN: But we can`t believe her. She has lied about numerous things in the past. We can`t believe that just because she says that it`s true especially when she`s saying that when we see the babies are crying, they`re lost. The little one is trying to get the camera out of his face. They`re not getting enough attention.
We see this in video after video after video and no one does anything about it. That`s the part that gets me really infuriated as a psychiatrist. We`re seeing it in front of our faces that she is a terrible mother and nothing is happening.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Beth Karas, there are a lot of terrible mothers out there. What is the criteria where it rises to the level where it`s abusive and CPS pulls the kids out? Because let me tell you, if they`d pulled a kid out, you know the paparazzi are all around that house, we would know about it.
KARAS: Well, they make home visits for a reason. Because they want to see the home itself and if the children are old enough, perhaps speak to the children -- that`s really not the case here, certainly not for infants.
So they have to look and see what the condition of the home is and do their best to evaluate the children. Whether the standard -- I`m not sure the standard is like probable cause or preponderance or whatever to remove children, but they have to make a finding that a judge is going to be satisfied with. And that`s clearly not what happened here because if any of the children were taken away we`d know that. They are satisfied at this point.
If she`s lying to CPS, they`re believing her and they haven`t had any reason to doubt it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, it`s fascinating to me. As I look at these kids, that little baby, yes, there`s a black eye but also they -- sometimes they seem happy and like they`re having fun. It`s hard for me to tell.
Thank you, fabulous panel. Please come back. I`m sure we`ll debate this again.
I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell and you are watching ISSUES on HLN.