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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Stepbrother Says He Helped Dispose of Stacy`s Body; Family Still Hopes to Find Missing Young Woman

Aired May 12, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, the case against Drew Peterson accelerates. Accused of killing his third wife, he laughed like a hyena as he was dragged into jail, but he might not be laughing after a grand jury finishes hearing evidence on his role in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy.

A key piece of that puzzle? Sworn testimony from his stepbrother Thomas Morphey. Morphey claims on the last day Stacy was seen alive, he helped Drew remove a barrel from his home which was warm to the touch. Morphey thinks it contained Stacy`s body. So are more charges coming down the pike for Drew?

Then does Jose Baez make a monumental blunder in the Casey Anthony case? He is not qualified to try a capital punishment case, so while he grills the major players, is he invalidating key pieces of testimony that could save Casey`s life? And could Casey use this to appeal the results of the trial?

And the frustrating search for beautiful Jennifer Kesse hits year three. She vanished from her Florida condo in 2006, but after thousands of tips, the case has gone cold. How does a woman just disappear?

Plus dramatic developments in the Anna Nicole Smith death. Former lover Howard K. Stern will be hauled into court tomorrow on charges he supplied drugs to the starlet. I`ll have a full preview of the looming legal battle.

ISSUES starts now.

Tonight, the case against Drew Peterson reaches a fever pitch as the flamboyant ex-cop remains locked up on $20 million bond, charged with the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

There is growing speculation he could also face charges for the disappearance and presumed murder of his fourth wife, Stacy. Peterson, the prime suspect in Stacy`s disappearance. And a grand jury is hearing testimony in the case. So could that grand jury`s findings spell double trouble for dodgy Drew?

He insists Stacy ran off with another guy and is still alive. Now it turns out Drew`s own stepbrother could hold the key to a possible indictment. Listen to that relative`s chilling words -- and I mean chilling on ABC`s "Good Morning America" as he describes a very disturbing encounter with Drew Peterson on the last day -- the very last day -- Stacy was seen alive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS MORPHEY, STEPBROTHER OF DREW D. PETERSON: He said, "How much do you love me?"

I said, "I do."

And he said, "Enough to kill for me?"

And at that point I -- I was in shock. I said, "That`s not something I can live with."

And he said, "What can you live with knowing about it?"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meantime, a battle brewing over custody of Drew Peterson`s four minor children, who were removed from their dad`s home, shrouded by a sheet. Imagine what that felt like to those kids.

Peterson has appointed his adult son as their keeper. Stephen Peterson confirms he has taken the four kids to live with him. Not so fast say relatives of Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson. They are looking into whether they can get custody. Kathleen Savio is the mother of Drew Peterson`s two teen sons. Stacy Peterson is the mom to his 4- and 5-year- old children.

So, has the long arm of the law finally caught up with this cagey ex- cop? I want to hear what you think.

But first straight to my fantastic panel: Judge Karen Mills Francis, retired Miami-Dade County court judge and host of "Judge Karen"; Drew Findling, Atlanta criminal defense attorney; and we`re delighted to have Martin Glick, attorney for the Savio family as well as Pam Bosco, spokesperson for Stacy Peterson`s family. But we begin with Joe Hosey, reporter with Chicago`s "Herald News" and the author of "Fatal Vows: The Tragic Wives of Sergeant Drew Peterson." Great title.

Joe, you`ve been on top of this case from the very beginning. What is the very latest?

JOE HOSEY, REPORTER, "HERALD NEWS": As you said in the introduction, the grand jury has nine days left, and I would not be surprised if an indictment is returned for Stacy Peterson`s disappearance and potential homicide. I think it will be a homicide indictment, and that`s going to be coming within nine days, I believe.

I think -- I wouldn`t be surprised if there were some spectacular witnesses appearing before that grand jury, and I think -- I know Drew Peterson`s attorney is trying to get his bond lowered. But if there`s another indictment returned for murder, he`ll have another bond to contend with, as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s an interesting point. Double bond, double trouble, speaking of potentially amazing witnesses on ABC`s "Good Morning America," in March, Drew`s own stepbrother made shocking claims about Drew and how he was allegedly planning to dispose of Stacy`s body.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORPHEY: I said to him, "Well, isn`t it going to smell? What about the smell?" And he said it would be in a sealed container. I knew it wasn`t -- it wasn`t good. He was planning on killing somebody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now listen to a friend describe his conversation with that very same stepbrother. This from NBC`s "Today Show."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALTER MARTINECK, FRIEND OF PETERSON`S STEPBROTHER: He just told me that he thinks he helped dispose of Stacy`s body.

MEREDITH VIEIRA, CO-HOST, NBC`S "THE TODAY SHOW": Why did he think that he had done that?

MARTINECK: Because when he helped Drew -- this is what he told me. When he had helped Drew take something out of the house, it was warm to the touch.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Judge Karen, the something he`s referring to is allegedly the sealed blue container. According to the grand jury testimony, the container vanished from Drew`s garage around the very same time that Stacy vanished.

So is all of this enough for the grand jury to issue an indictment, given that the defense is hammering home that this stepbrother has a troubled history of mental illness and alcohol and drug addiction?

KAREN MILLS FRANCIS, HOST, "JUDGE KAREN": Well, you know what? It`s going to be a lot of evidence in the case. What the prosecution is going to try to do is to present to this grand jury every little bit of information and evidence that the state -- that the prosecution has against the defendant.

but you know, I think it`s really strange that this brother is talking on TV this morning, saying, "Do you love me enough?" "Yes." "Do you love me enough? Would you kill for me?" There`s a warm barrel. Where was this guy four years ago? Where was this guy two years ago?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He didn`t say that today. He said that in the past, but it wasn`t -- it wasn`t immediately after Stacy disappeared. He came forward.

All right. Yes, go ahead.

FRANCIS: Well, I think that Mr. Peterson is already under indictment for one murder. I believe that the prosecution would not have moved forward if they didn`t believe they had enough evidence for this grand jury to return two bills and an indictment against the defendant.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Pam Bosco, you were the spokesperson for Stacy Peterson`s family. Is this sort of a hollow victory when you see him clowning and joking around as he is arrested in the murder of wife No. 3, knowing that Stacy`s -- we still don`t know what happened to Stacy. That Stacy`s family is still in agony?

PAM BOSCO, SPOKESPERSON FOR STACY PETERSON`S FAMILY: You know, what Drew does and always has done in front of the media doesn`t really matter to us. We`ve always held that the investigation is what matters. And so not to say that we don`t care that Stacy`s case comes to trial, we really wanted Savio`s family to have resolve to their case, too. Because we always said, both of them, tied very closely (UNINTELLIGIBLE) so either one that comes to trial right now is good for us.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you just heard a prediction by Joe Hosey that they`re going to come up with an indictment of Drew in Stacy`s disappearance and presumed death. Do you agree? Do you think in nine days we`re going to be back here talking about another indictment?

BOSCO: You know, I don`t want to predict on that. We understand that there`s a lot at stake even with Stacy`s case. There`s a lot in that investigation, and we`ve always been very patient with them. We don`t want the Illinois state`s attorney or the state police to be put on any time table.

Rotation, if they need to convene another grand jury, we`d be OK with it as long as they have all the information they need for a good trial.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I kind of agree with you. There`s nothing -- you always want to be a little superstitious in these cases and not go out on a limb and make a prediction only to be disappointed. It`s better to be pleasantly surprised.

Drew Peterson`s clowning around, of course, notorious, something we`ve come to expect almost every time he steps out in public. Listen to this snarky comment to reporters as he was taken to jail on Friday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DREW PETERSON, ACCUSED OF MURDERING WIFE: How about this bling, this bling? Three squares a day and a spiffy outfit, how can you beat that? Look at this bling, my God.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we won`t soon forget the joke he reportedly made Thursday night when he was arrested: "I guess I should have returned those library books." Ha, ha, not funny. Even his own attorney, Drew Findling, admits this doesn`t play in Peoria. Why is he doing this, because this could actually, could it not, influence the jury pool against him?

DREW FINDLING, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It`s definitely bad form. And as a defense attorney I`d be pretty sick about it, because, you know, when all is and said done, you are being viewed by your potential jurors, even if you tried to change venue, these are still going to be your 12 people that are going to view you. So it`s definitely bad for him.

Now, that being said just because you`re a jerk doesn`t mean you`re a murderer, but it certainly doesn`t help him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to get into...

FRANCIS: He`s also being viewed by his children. I mean, he has four children who have both -- both sets of children have lost their mothers. And you would think he would show some contrition, but he`s obviously a sociopath, and I feel really sorry for those kids.

FINDLING: Well, I don`t think -- I don`t think...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re the Savio family attorney, what about those kids? Because his adult son is saying all four are supporting their dad 100 percent.

Martin, are you there?

MARTIN GLICK, ATTORNEY FOR SAVIO FAMILY: Sure. We would expect the children to support their father, but certainly, they`re going to have to think about and must be struggling with the issue of "Did my father kill my mother?" They have to be thinking about it, and I`m sure that the evidence will be disquieting to them. It`s very unfortunate.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I mean, how do they make an intelligent determination?

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, exactly. The two youngest are 4 and 5 and the two oldest are, I believe, 14 and 16. I mean, how the heck can they make any kind of objective view of this case? They can`t, and they must be horribly torn.

We`re going to get more into the custody issues in a second. More analysis of the case against Drew Peterson momentarily. Will his stepbrother be getting the key to justice for Stacy? Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Sound off.

And then the Casey Anthony case takes a really wild turn. Could Jose Baez be making a blunder that could cost Casey her life? Find out next.

But first, murder charges, missing wives, it`s all a big joke, it seems, for-not-so funny man Drew Peterson. Here he is, cracking one of his many lame one-liners back in 2007.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

D. PETERSON: What do you get when you cross the media with a pig? What do you get? You get nothing, because there are some things a pig won`t do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DREW PETERSON, ACCUSED OF MURDERING WIFE: How about this bling, this bling? Three squares a day and a spiffy outfit, how can you beat that? Look at this bling, my God.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Drew Peterson`s love for media attention on full display Friday as he`s hauled off to jail. We`re back talking about the chances that this wise-cracking ex-cop will be indicted for the murder of his fourth wife, Stacy, now that he`s facing charges for allegedly killing third wife Kathleen Savio.

The phone lines jam-packed. Terry in Illinois, your question or thought?

CALLER: Hi, Jane. Regarding the change for a venue. Rather than changing the entire trial to another venue, can they just fly the jury in from out of town and save the taxpayers some money?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Judge Karen, what do you say?

FRANCIS: Are we talking about Casey Anthony?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No. No. We`re talking about -- they`re talking about it, you know with all these high-profile cases they always talk change of venue. That`s right. What do you think? Change of venue?

FRANCIS: Well, you know what? In Florida, the Florida statute does provide that a court can pick a jury in the jurisdiction where the trial took place and then move that jury to another location, so that the...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we don`t know if it happens in Illinois.

FRANCIS: We don`t know if that happens in Illinois, but it`s a possibility.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Suzanne, South Carolina, your question or thought.

CALLER: Yes. Can you hear me?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I can.

CALLER: OK. My thing that I`ve been wondering about, is if Stacy is really gone and she`s not deceased, when he went to jail would she not have called her parents or somebody and wanted to see her kids when she didn`t have to worry about him being around?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ooh, very interesting. Joe Hosey, what do you make of that as proof that sadly, authorities do believe that Stacy is deceased?

HOSEY: I think there`s plenty of proof besides that. I don`t think - - I mean, it`s a nice point, but I don`t think that`s the lynchpin on which her potential homicide rests. I think we can -- I don`t think Stacy`s coming back.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Give us some of the key points that show that she`s dead. We talked about the bin and the barrel. Is that it?

HOSEY: No. We have no evidence of her, there are no credit card calls. Her cell phone has never been used again. She supposedly ran off with another man, but no one knows who this other man is, and no -- none of her friends have been reported missing. There`s no indication or point that she did run away other than Drew Peterson says so.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. And boy, we have other evidence, too, like there were other witnesses apparently, Pam Bosco, who saw this blue barrel in the Peterson home. And then it suddenly disappeared right around the time that this relative says that he helped remove a barrel that was warm to the touch -- Pam.

BOSCO: ... a blue container that Friday before she left. But besides that, there`s actually stacks of information and evidence that the police have that`s not publicly known. I mean, what little we know is actually amazing, but there`s information that`s not publicly known that, obviously, is much more detailed.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Drew Peterson`s kids, they`re really in an unthinkable position. Their dad accused of killing their mom or being responsible for her disappearance. On April 24, Kathleen Savio`s two teenage sons appeared on "The CBS Early Show." Listen to what 16-year-old Thomas had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS PETERSON, SON OF DREW PETERSON: I would say that he`s the greatest dad in the world. Not a lot of people know that. People see the news all the time and see what everyone has portrayed him to be. But to our family, he`s -- no one could ask for a better -- a better dad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here are the kids being escorted from their home on Thursday, draped with a sheet to keep their faces hidden. This has to be a nightmare for them.

Drew Findling, not only conflicting loyalties, being indoctrinated by one side. These kids, some of them are 4 and 5, and the others are 14 and 16. They`re really too young to judge this case objectively. What must they be going through?

FINDLING: Well, you know, we`ve seen this in several other cases. Of course, we saw this in the O.J. Simpson case and other cases that I`m aware of and it`s a tremendous conflict. And really what you`re hoping for is family to step in and make the best decision, and I would think that Drew Peterson`s lawyers are going have to advise him.

He`s got to deal with his murder case, but it`s going to look really poor to the public if he starts advocating for a child to take care of them, he`s going to -- the best decision for them is the best decision for him to the public and that is to let family step in and be their guardian for the time being.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Martin Glick, are you going to, as the Savio family attorney, try to get custody of these kids, the two of them at least, possibly four so they could stay together?

GLICK: Actually, Jane, it`s not my area of practice.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I mean, give us a prediction.

What do you think they`ll be doing?

(CROSSTALK)

FRANCIS: In Illinois, Jane...

GLICK: He looked into it one time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who is speaking in Illinois? Who`s talking? Who`s that?

Pam?

FRANCIS: That`s me talking.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Go ahead. Go ahead, Judge Karen.

FRANCIS: In Illinois, until his parental rights are terminated, he has the right to appoint a guardian for his children in writing. So it`s too premature right now for any other family members to seek custody, because remember, the Constitution says he`s presumed innocent of these charges, and his parental rights haven`t been terminated.

So the question becomes are these children in any kind of danger? Are they being emotionally harmed or physically harmed, because the court will look at what`s in the best interests of the child. And maybe there can be an argument made that this media circus that he`s putting his children into is not in these children`s best interests.

FINDLING: Well, that being said -- that being said, I mean, he`s in jail, so he`s not taking care of them from the jail cell. And I guess my point is just like he needs to be advised not to be flippant when he`s talking to the media when he`s walking and back and forth in his perp walk, the best decision for him is to do what`s best for those kids. Because otherwise the public is going to get angrier and angrier at him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but Pam Bosco, this was a guy who was arrested shortly before he was whisked to fly to Reno to interview for a job in a brothel that`s on a TV show. Wouldn`t that be enough to challenge custody?

BOSCO: So much, it`s not about the children. It`s about Drew. Everything he has done has been abusive and manipulative to the children. Put them on air to get their opinion for this case is just the start of it. You know, the Illinois State Police covered them to walk them to the car. That is not what Drew Peterson is doing for his children at this point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So yes or no, are you going to seek custody, Pam?

BOSCO: We are in the advisement with the lawyer to see what are legal -- what`s legally available to us at this point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you. Fantastic panel, for amazing analysis.

It has been three years since Jennifer Kesse vanished from her Florida condo. Up next, I will speak to Jennifer`s heartbroken dad about this family`s nightmarish ordeal. Then a preview of tomorrow`s dramatic courtroom face-off in the Anna Nicole Smith drug case. You won`t believe it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the spotlight tonight, Jennifer Kesse, the beautiful, young, Florida woman who vanished three years ago without a trace, not a single trace.

Concern began when the ambitious financial analyst did not show up to work one January morning in 2006. Her car found abandoned near her Orlando condo. Cops have only a few clues. Surveillance footage shows a man parking Jennifer`s car and leaving it on the side of the road and walking away from it. The footage grainy, but images continuously circulated in the hopes that somebody out there may know who this creep is.

The case is now reaching a somewhat desperate phase. Cops say they need new leads or it might go cold. The Orlando Police Department has assigned one detective to work on Jennifer`s disappearance full time, but his undivided attention to this case may soon be over.

Jennifer`s anguished parents are set to meet with authorities soon to plan the next step. I want to bring in a very special guest: Drew Kesse, Jennifer`s father.

Drew, thanks for being here. I can`t even imagine what you, and your wife and your entire family have been going through since your beautiful daughter disappeared. It`s hell, I`m sure.

DREW KESSE, JENNIFER`S FATHER: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You will likely meet with police soon. What would you like to see happen next in this investigation?

KESSE: After three years, and we`re getting up to four months now, I think they need to be up front with us, which most of the time they have. I really have to say that, but if it`s starting to be cold, then I must say that when I opened up the "Orlando Sentinel" this morning, actually, on the front page I was quite surprised at what I read. I would have expected that information to truly come from the police before I read it in "The Orlando Sentinel," but it`s -- it`s...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s got to hurt.

KESSE: It`s -- you know, you say it`s a hell. I`ve -- I`ve been known to say I wish I could get back into hell, that would be a step up. But it`s so frustrating, especially for Jennifer, the challenges that we`ve had all along. It`s heartbreaking, as me as her father, responsible, truly in my mind to find her no matter what. It`s -- it`s -- it`s becoming extremely difficult on the entire family at this point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Our thoughts are with you, and we want to help any way we can. Let`s take a closer look at the surveillance video.

One of the very few clues in this baffling case is surveillance cameras captured Jennifer`s car being parked and then abandoned. It`s right there in the top right-hand corner. A 2004 black Chevy Malibu. Surveillance video also captured the man getting out of the car.

Now, the video is very difficult to see, but it`s the only hint we have as to who may be responsible. Now, this is what I want to know from you, Drew. Why are we seeing this particular image of him behind the pole? Why don`t they take it a few frames earlier where you could basically see his face? This is the worst angle to freeze this from.

KESSE: This is probably the luckiest person on earth. It is a surveillance camera that takes a shot every three seconds, every three seconds, his face, as you see, sat behind a pole.

However, if someone knows that person, we`ve said it many times, you would be able to know if that`s your brother, your sister, your uncle, your cousin, a friend. You would be able to tell. You don`t have to see someone`s face to know that that is someone.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And he looks like a young man. He looks like a young guy, a slim, young guy, medium build, medium height. Find this -- find this creep, people!

Drew, thanks. Please come back. We want to help you.

KESSE: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A defense team shake-up in the Casey Anthony case, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did Jose Baez make a monumental blunder in the Casey Anthony case? He is not qualified to try a capital punishment case. So while he grills the major players is he invalidating key pieces of testimony that could save Casey`s life?

Plus Anna Nicole Smith`s former boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, will be hauled into court tomorrow on charges he supplied drugs to the starlet. I`ll have a full preview of the looming legal battle.

Dramatic twist in the case against Casey Anthony: as Casey -- accused of murdering her adorable daughter Caylee -- sits in jail, is her defense team botching her case? Her lead attorney Jose Baez is not death penalty qualified so he has announced he has hired a qualified attorney to join team Casey, yet he continues to do depositions of key players in the case without that mystery lawyer present.

So could Baez`s lack of experience in capital cases jeopardize his client when this circus moves to trial, whenever that might be? Or perhaps worse, in the eyes of some, could it open up grounds for appeal if Casey is ultimately convicted?

Plus, in a jaw-dropping twist, WFTV reports that Baez is set to depose a DCF, that`s Department of Children and Family Services worker who investigated a previous child abuse accusations against Casey. Wow! We checked and we`ve never heard of child services investigating Casey before her little girl went missing. So what`s all this about?

Also the Orange County Corrections Department says a former inmate`s shocking story about another Casey jailhouse meltdown is totally bogus.

That Casey has been a very cooperative prisoner. But remember when Casey lashed out at mom Cindy in jail just last year?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CASEY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CAYLEE ANTHONY: Can someone let me -- come on.

CINDY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY: Casey, hold on, sweetheart. Settle down, baby.

CASEY ANTHONY: Nobody`s letting me speak. You want me to talk and...

CINDY ANTHONY: All right. I`ll listen.

CASEY ANTHONY: Give me three seconds to say something.

CINDY ANTHONY: Is there anything there?

CASEY ANTHONY: Mom. I`m sorry, I love you guys, I miss you.

CINDY ANTHONY: I love you sweetheart, here is dad.

CASEY ANTHONY: No, I`m going to hang up and I just walk away right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does Casey`s history of partying and lashing out give more credence to the former inmate`s story?

We will debate it all, but first my expert panel: Rebecca Rose Woodland, criminal defense attorney; Judy Kuriansky -- Dr. Judy, clinical psychologist; Drew Findling, Atlanta criminal defense attorney; and Judge Karen Mills-Francis, host of the "Judge Karen Show."

I want to start with Rebecca Rose Woodland, is Jose Baez making a big boo-boo by going ahead with this depositions of cops and all sorts of other people even though this is a death penalty case and he is not death penalty qualified?

REBECCA ROSE WOODLAND, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know Jane, I hate to say this, but yes, I believe he is. He`s not qualified in Florida. In Florida you have to be qualified by the court to try a death penalty case because where a client is facing death, it is so serious, there is a second phase to the trial. If the jury finds her guilty, which they may or may not, if they do, you go on to the death penalty phase.

There is so much involved. You provide mitigating circumstances while your client should not be put to death as the prosecution provides all of their evidence why they should. You have to be qualified in Florida. So you need an attorney who is. He is not.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, let me say this -- let me say this.

ROSE WOODLAND: Ok.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey`s defense team, as you mentioned, none of whom are death penalty qualified. The State of Florida announced last week, they`ve hired this new mystery attorney to the team, however, they aren`t announcing who the mystery lawyer is.

ROSE WOODLAND: Yes. Why not?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This new lawyer will attend the next court hearing on May 28th where this person`s secret identity will be revealed.

Now, Drew Findling, why all of the secrecy? Is this a publicity stunt? Have they perhaps not hired anyone or as one legal expert suggested, is this a defense team addicted to drama?

DREW FINDLING, ATLANTA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, let me say this, and that is that there are very few cases in which you can afford to retain somebody in a death penalty case. I have personally defended cases where I`ve been hired and it`s changed over to the government paying because nobody can afford you to represent them in a death penalty case because all of the...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do mean -- I don`t understand...

FINDLING: Because there is so much work now to be done. It is just not a guilt/innocence case. You have to prepare for the possibility of your client being found guilty and fighting for their life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What does that have to do with revealing the person`s name?

FINDLING: Well, I don`t know where they`re coming up with the money for this person. And it makes me suspicious that they have somebody or somebody that would be willing to do it for next to nothing.

KAREN MILLS-FRANCIS: Jane.

FINDLING: My thought -- my thought is that if there is -- I`m surprised there`s no judicial intervention right now because I could tell you this, if a new lawyer comes on that`s death qualified they`re going to want to re-do all these depositions and most courts are going to let them do it.

MILLS-FRANCIS: That`s not going to happen.

FINDLING: Well, why not?

MILLS-FRANCIS: Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead Judge Karen.

MILLS-FRANCIS: Jane you know what, we`ve been talking a lot about this for the last three or four weeks about the fact that Baez...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Three or four weeks, my goodness.

MILLS-FRANCIS: I`m talking about you and I have been talking about it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, all right.

MILLS-FRANCIS: About Baez not being death qualified. You know the smarter rule of criminal procedure is 3.112 and what that rule says is that no attorney shall be appointed by the court in a capital case who doesn`t meet these qualifications.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right.

MILLS-FRANCIS: And when the Florida Supreme Court promulgated this rule they weren`t thinking about a case like Casey Anthony because 99 percent of all defendants in capital cases are represented by the Office of the Public Defender or private attorneys who have been appointed by the court.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Point, point, point.

MILLS-FRANCIS: So Baez really is off the hook. He doesn`t have to be death qualified because she hired him.

FINDLING: Well, he doesn`t have to be...

ROSE WOODLAND: No, no, he does.

FINDLING: He doesn`t have to be death qualified but ultimately his case would be subjected to an 11th Circuit Review...

MILLS-FRANCIS: Absolutely.

FINDLING: ...if it were death. And in an 11th Circuit he`d be dead meat and the court would be dead meat for letting him go forward without a death qualified lawyer.

(CROSS TALK)

MILLS-FRANCIS: The United States Supreme Court has said the only issue on appeal is whether or not she had adequate representation.

(CROSS TALK)

FINDLING: No, no, no. That`s not -- that is not what the Supreme Court says. It`s a deficiency and the deficiency causes prejudice. If you don`t know how to handle a death penalty case which is a complete specialty unto itself...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right.

FINDLING: ... you are being set up for a case to be revoked.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: May I move on to the next big issue? Let`s move on to the next big issue. Casey`s jailhouse freak-out; she bugged out of course, on Cindy and George last year and we saw that. There is the famous bug out there.

With that in mind, let`s take another look at what former inmate Teri Thomas told Radar Online about Casey Anthony`s demeanor when told the prosecutors would seek the death penalty.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TERI THOMAS, FMR. FELLOW INMATE OF CASEY ANTHONY: She had tears in her eyes and she was screaming, "I`m pissed" and looked directly into my room and said "Help me." She was laid down on this leather, it was a leather (INAUDIBLE) bed, per se but the bed was concave, so it wasn`t a bed as if you were going to sleep on it and they strapped her down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did she struggle at all or...

THOMAS: Of course, she struggled, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As they were tying her.

THOMAS: As they were tying her down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or tying her with strap she was struggling?

THOMAS: Absolutely. Crying and agitated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sounds like a scene right out of the snake pit, but Orange County corrections spokesperson Allen Moore responded saying, quote, "I have been able to confirm that there was no time in which inmate Anthony had to be placed on a restraint bed. Additionally, there was no indication that the incident as described in the tabloid media ever occurred. As we have stated before Casey Anthony has been a very cooperative inmate who follows jail rules and has created no operational problems or disruptions."

Dr. Judy, given her wild history of partying and out-of-control behavior -- and I`m sure we have a few of those photos to show you -- is she a likely candidate for model prisoner?

DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I doubt it sincerely. She has very, what we call labile emotions...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Labile...

KURIANSKY: Those are all over the place, and they go up and they go down. I could certainly see her saying she`s pissed at getting the death penalty thrown at her potentially and the point is that most people would be angry, they would be depressed, they would be frantic.

But that word, "I`m pissed" is very indicative from the psychological point of view which shows the anger and impulsiveness that`s in her that fits in my view with the potential that she could have murdered her child.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, again, the jail officials say it never happened.

That woman, though, she does deserve some kind of Academy Award for A really compelling Meryl Streep-like performance if she`s making all of that up out of whole cloth.

Affiliate WFTV reported today Jose Baez is set to depose a Department of Children and Family services worker who investigated a previous child abuse claims against Casey Anthony.

Now, we don`t have any independent knowledge of prior abuse allegations against Casey.

Drew Findling, we were trying to figure out what this report was all about because there is child services showing up after little Caylee disappears, but we couldn`t find any record of it before. What could this be all about and what could it mean to the case?

FINDLING: Well, I`ve said all along that I was surprised that a defense was not being cultivated which was the original charges where -- went to neglectful parenting that out of nowhere a defense could be, "Hey, she`s a neglectful parent. She made some really poor choices, she let her kid go off with people she shouldn`t have, she didn`t report for 30 days and we`re here to say she`s the worst person in the world, the worst parent in the world, but she didn`t do anything to her child."

They could be setting the stage for that which I thought they would have done from the very beginning.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Rebecca Rose Woodland, it seems like they`re setting the stage for everything. They keep hammering in on Roy Kronk, so everybody is figuring, "Oh, they`re going to try to pin it on him."

They seem to be gathering information about old boyfriends and there`s speculation, could they be trying to pin it on them? And now we`re hearing the bad parenting defense.

MILLS-FRANCIS: Yes, they`re throwing everything up against the wall.

ROSE WOODLAND: They absolutely are. But you know what they`re trying to find out what there is, who knows what, they are doing their form of discovery. Do they have a method to the madness? I hope so. She`s facing death, Jane. I hope there`s a method to the madness.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we can`t figure it out if there is. But we`ll wait and see if anything emerges.

I want to thank my excellent panel.

The trial for the brutal rape and murder of a beautiful grad student begins. I will tell you about the shocking opening statements.

Meantime, another legal battle forges ahead, Anna Nicole Smith`s former boyfriend set to face the judge in an alleged conspiracy to furnish drugs to the starlet who died of an overdosed.

I want to hear your take on this fierce courtroom face-off involving Anna Nicole Smith. 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Give me a holler.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Anna Nicole Smith`s former boyfriend/lawyer prepares for tomorrow`s dramatic courtroom session. I`ll have a preview.

But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.

A really brutal rape and murder trial begins with shocking opening testimony. Back in 2006 beautiful 24-year-old grad student Imette St. Guillen was killed in New York City after a night partying with her friends. The next evening cops found her naked body, her mouth was stuffed with a sock, her hands were bound, her face wrapped in packing tape.

Accused of this atrocity, Darryl Littlejohn, a bouncer at the bar where Imette St. Guillen was last seen alive. Littlejohn has pleaded not guilty but he`s currently serving 25 to life for a kidnapping of a different woman in what authorities say was part of a spree of sexual assaults.

Investigators say cell phone records place Littlejohn in the very area where St. Guillen`s body was dumped shortly after her death. In their opening statements yesterday, prosecutors say they found Littlejohn`s DNA and fibers from his apartment on the body.

Here on ISSUES we will stay on top of this horrific trial to see that justice is done.

That is tonight`s "Top of the Block".

Anna Nicole Smith`s former boyfriend/lawyer/handler, Howard K. Stern will be back in court tomorrow to face drug conspiracy charges related to the accidental overdose of Anna Nicole Smith. Stern arrested in March for his part in an alleged -- alleged conspiracy to furnish the high-wattage star with prescription meds -- tons of them. Stern`s lawyers fired back with one simple response, innocent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE SADOW, HOWARD K. STERN`S ATTORNEY: I`ve come to California to represent Howard K. Stern for one fundamental and simple reason. He is innocent.

Anna made her own choices and decisions. No one told her what to do or when to do it. No one enabled Anna Nicole Smith. She was her own person.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But take a look at the former playboy playmate`s bizarre behavior in this home video shot by Stern and shown in court two years ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNA NICOLE SMITH, REALITY TV STAR: Huh?

HOWARD K. STERN, SMITH`S BOYFRIEND: Is this a mushroom trip?

SMITH: Huh?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: "Is this a mushroom trip?" Stern is coherently asking her that question; Smith clearly out of it. Perhaps these sterling images are part of why California`s attorney general filed these charges.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JERRY BROWN, CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: What we have in this case is a conspiracy among three individuals, Howard k. Stern is the principal enabler, Dr. Eroshevich and Dr. Kapoor are prescribing drugs excessively to a known addict and using false and fictitious names all in violation of the law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

After Smith`s death, Florida investigators found 11 different prescriptions, some in Stern`s name in her hotel room. So what fireworks can we expect tomorrow?

Joining me: Judy Kuriansky -- Dr. Judy, noted clinical psychologist; Lisa Bloom, anchor of the legal network "In Session" and CNN legal analyst; and Jim Moret, attorney and chief correspondent for "Inside Edition."

Jim, you have been all over this case. What is the very latest?

JIM MORET, ATTORNEY, "INSIDE EDITION": Look, I think what you are going to hear tomorrow is not the word "innocent" because it`s not a legal term. You`re going to hear "not guilty." Howard K. Stern among the -- of the three defendants is going to probably be the loudest to say, "Not guilty. I didn`t do anything wrong."

That videotape you showed with Anna Nicole Smith in clown makeup still haunts me. It is so disturbing to see that and to listen to what Howard K. Stern was saying to her, talking about how this tape is worth money; asking her if she`s on a mushroom trip. It is so disturbing because you really wonder who is controlling whom?

Clearly, the California attorney general believes that Howard K. Stern, the lawyer and friend and two of her doctors were controlling her and keeping her drugged up and that eventually led to her death.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this, Lisa Bloom, in light of these new charges could her accidental overdose death be re-examined because we`ve been hearing that Broward county prosecutors are actually watching all this to see if they should examine California`s officials` evidence to see where it might lead them in terms of re-examining the death.

LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": That`s a very insightful observation, Jane, and it would aren`t surprise me. Courts do that. They look at a ruling in another state. They`ll look at what a jury or investigator does in another state and they`ll re-examine if the evidence is appropriate.

I think Howard K. Stern`s attorney is really missing the boat. The question isn`t whether Anna Nicole Smith was her own person. It doesn`t matter if she was her own person. The question is whether Howard K. Stern and these doctors were working together to get and then distribute to Anna Nicole an excessive amount of prescription drugs knowing that she was an addict.

No one`s saying she`s a child. No one`s saying she`s incompetent, but even if she wanted these men, if they did the acts as alleged by giving them to her knowing that she was an addict and knowing that it was excessive, they`ve committed felonies under California law.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, during the court battle over Anna Nicole`s remains, Stern was asked about his celebrity girlfriend`s drug use. Listen to what he said. Fascinating.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She took methadone prior to the last five months?

STERN: She did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And are you aware that methadone is a narcotic?

STERN: Sir, I think it`s a prescription medicine, it may or may not be narcotic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In that same court appearance, Howard K. Stern stressed the drugs weren`t illegal.

Mind you, Dr. Judy Kuriansky, abusive prescription drugs a huge problem in America. And I think a lot of people think, "Well, if it`s a prescription drug that makes it okay, we can do anything we want with it."

DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Oh, that`s so absurd. It`s absurd to think that she was her own person.

The big operative word that you know so well here is enabler. Not only was Howard K. Stern enabling her by feeding her the drugs and letting her indulge in them and for his own good, for the money, for the videotape, but these two doctors were behaving unprofessionally. It`s unheard of in our field. You cannot write a prescription in someone else`s name to protect their privacy. This is ridiculous. It is so unprofessional...

MORET: Jane, one of those doctors, Eroshevich...

KURIANSKY: And on top of this...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me just -- jump in, Jim.

MORET: Well, one of those doctors, Dr. Eroshevich, was with -- traveling with Anna Nicole Smith, at the time of her death. And in the last five weeks of her life the medical examiner found she had consumed some 600 pills. You think that sounds like too much?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: 600 pills. We`ll be back with more analysis in just a moment. A looming legal battle.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STERN: She was my best friend, my lover, the mother of my daughter, everything to me. I mean, literally everything; my whole world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, not exactly the mother of the daughter because it`s not his daughter. Howard K. Stern back in court tomorrow, facing drug conspiracy charges related to the death of Anna Nicole Smith. Could the man who once declared his love and dedication to the former Playboy playmate eventually be convicted of having played a role in her demise?

Phone lines lighting up. Michelle, Illinois, your question or thoughts.

MICHELLE, ILLINOIS (via telephone): Yes, hi, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey.

MICHELL: My question is all the focus seems to be on Howard Stern and I was wondering when the doctors are going to get called into court because they really seem to be the root of the problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jim Moret?

MORET: Well, the doctors are going to be called into court at the very same time. All three are going to be arraigned tomorrow. And all three play a role in what`s being alleged as a conspiracy. So the doctors are said to have conspired. That`s what the allegations are. Conspired with Howard K. Stern to fraudulently prescribe and provide these narcotics.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Stern says he was totally devoted to Anna Nicole. Here`s what he told CNN`s Larry King in 2007 after she died.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STERN: Anna was my world. You know? I worshiped her. I worshiped her. To me her happiness was more important than my own. And you can say whatever you want about that. But I got my happiness from her being happy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Dr. Judy, what Howard called love, Attorney General Jerry Brown called enabling. But enabling is a sign of another addiction called co-dependency. Co-dependents are addicted to the other person, and they`re often unable to say no to the person they`re hooked on.

Could that be an unusual defense for Howard K. Stern? Saying he couldn`t say no because he was co-dependent?

KURIANSKY: Well, you put the perfect description on it. But that would not get him off the hook for what he did. This happens in Hollywood all the time.

The sycophants or the lovers who are around the celebrity people, get their -- they`re so dependent on that celebrity, they get that contact high from the person, that they`ll feed them anything. They`ll do anything to keep up that kind of excitement around them. That`s not a defense, though.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jim Moret, we only have about 20 seconds. What`s the latest with little Dannielynn? How will this affect her situation?

MORET: It shouldn`t affect her situation at all. I mean, really, the whole inquiry here is to Anna Nicole, whether she was illegally prescribed this medication. They`re going to look at how she died, and I predict if there`s a conviction here they`ll also re-examine Daniel`s death.

KURIANSKY: Any part of it is going to upset Dannielynn when she finds out when she gets older what this is all about.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s so great seeing both of you, my dear friends.

I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. You`re watching ISSUES.

END

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