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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Police Track Down New Leads in Nevaeh`s Disappearance
Aired June 2, 2009 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a flood of confusing developments in the frustrating search for 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan. Michigan cops now hunt for the drivers of two vans: one green and one silver.
Meantime, shock over Nevaeh`s mother`s comments that she hopes her two sex-offender buddies don`t hold a grudge against her, since they`ve been named persons of interest. What? My expert panel will analyze the troubling psychology of this case.
Then, it`s a clash over Casey Anthony`s meltdown tape. Two guards who saw Casey`s infamous jailhouse collapse were grilled by Jose Baez and allegedly admit the secret videotaping was cruel and unnecessary. Could this sway the judge to keep that explosive video out of the public eye?
And it`s happened again. A beautiful 27-year-old woman disappears. Cops say Tracy Ocasio left a Florida bar with James Hataway. Her car found abandoned 15 miles away near his house. This person of interest has been arrested on unrelated charges, but some are fearing the worst.
Plus, it`s a battle royale between Kate Gosselin and Octomom. Nadya Suleman tells Radar Online that Kate is desperate for attention. Is this another octo feud? While the two mothers parade their families in front of the cameras, both claim to be doing it for the kids. I`ll tell you how they`re justifying the potentially damaging exposure.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, stunning new clues as the forensic search for 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan continues. Cops now say there are more witnesses who could lead them to the little girl. She vanished nine days ago while playing outside the apartment complex where she lives with her mom outside Detroit.
Investigators, desperate to talk to a mother and two small children spotted in a silver minivan around the time of the disappearance. Investigators have also questioned the driver of an ice-cream truck. And they are furiously -- and I mean furiously -- hunting for a green box-style van that was parked at the playground on that fateful day.
Today the sheriff held a news conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF TILMAN CRUTCHFIELD, MONROE COUNTY SHERIFF`S DEPARTMENT: We`ve received numerous tips about green vans. We`ve received well over 800 tips and, of course, we continue to follow those tips. I`m not commenting on who is or who is not a person of interest, and we are still in contact with Jennifer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meantime, a shocking comment from Jennifer Buchanan, Nevaeh`s mom, about her two sex-offender friends who are both reportedly persons of interest and both currently in jail for possible parole violations.
The missing girl`s mom, who once served time herself on a home invasion conviction, says she hopes the men aren`t upset with her if they`re released. Quote, "Hopefully, they don`t hold a grudge against me. Hopefully, they can help as to who`s done this," end quote. Hopefully, the mother`s main concern is not how two sex offenders are reacting to being inconvenienced by the disappearance of her daughter.
As for James Easter, the third person of interest, the 64-year-old local man was freed by a judge yesterday who essentially said he`s been cleared, but then the sheriff quickly contradicted the judge and insisted Easter remains a person of interest in this case. Why the contradiction?
Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist; Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor; Mike Gaynor, retired NYPD detective; and the one and only Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels; as well as Tanveer Ali, staff reporter for "The Detroit News."
Stacey, you`re the prosecutor. I want to start with you. "The Monroe News" reports that James Easter allegedly once visited Nevaeh`s apartment complex and was once convicted of indecent exposure.
Now, yesterday, the judge said he was no longer a person of interest, and then, voila, the sheriff contradicts him and says Easter remains a person of interest until evidence comes back from the lab. What the heck is going here?
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, first of all, you have to look at what the judge`s obligation is. Does he have a right to hold him? Was there enough evidence presented at the time to be held on reasonable suspicion?
And obviously, the judge in this case is saying, "If you don`t have the goods I can`t hold him."
And the sheriff is saying, "We`re still saying he`s a person of interest. We`re not saying he`s completely off the hook. We want to wait and see if anything comes back from the lab," and that`s why contradiction. Although the judge has let him go, the sheriff is saying, "We`re still waiting for other evidence."
But the judge has to say, "If you don`t have the goods to keep him in, then I can`t keep him in," and right now they don`t.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tanveer Ali, you`re the reporter tracking this case. Apparently, this guy fell under suspicion because after they talked to him they spotted him burning something in his fire pit in the backyard. Tell us about that.
TANVEER ALI, "THE DETROIT NEWS": Well, the arson charges on which the judge -- on which the judge arraigned him yesterday, those are unrelated with the case. But what we do know is we had a tip to check the home of James Easter on Sunday, and they dig up -- dug up the backyard. And got some -- think they got evidence and we`ll see what that evidence shows.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m confused, Mike Gaynor, as to why they would take this very seriously, go in there, dig up stuff. Apparently, they took ashes from the fire pit. And then they arrested this guy on an unrelated arson charge, which was something about illegally burning in the backyard.
And then the judge says, "Oh, I was told by the prosecution and the sheriff that he`s not a person of interest. You can go now."
And then the sheriff says, "Oh, wait a second. No, he`s still a person of interest." I mean, this seems to me to be disorganization.
MIKE GAYNOR, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: Yes, well, there`s going to be a certain amount of disorganization when you have such a complicated case like this, and the police and prosecutors are going to go off in a number of different directions.
And this particular guy Easter who is burning trash behind his house, he caught the curiosity of police up for a couple of reasons. And they held him on a totally unrelated charge, and that`s what the judge responded to, not the missing girl. So this case still goes on, and everybody that`s mentioned is still going to be, as you say, Jane, a person of interest and, as I say, a suspect.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, that`s what they`re calling him. I don`t want to jump the gun on that.
GAYNOR: I`m with you. I`m with you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All these three guys have a past, OK?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We don`t want to jump the gun, because no matter what they did, if they`re not responsible for this, they shouldn`t be implicated. Nevaeh`s mom reportedly failed a question on a lie detector test, but is said to be cooperating with cops. Here is what she said about her daughter`s disappearance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER BUCHANAN, NEVAEH`S MOTHER: The little girl came in, and she said, "Nevaeh is playing outside in the road on a scooter." So I go outside, and I go to tell her not to play in the road, to stay on the sidewalk, and I couldn`t find her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Curtis Sliwa, Jennifer Buchanan may be innocent of any wrongdoing, but I think we can all agree that we can question her judgment. Letting her 5-year-old play outside unsupervised, allegedly dating a convicted sex offender, allegedly being friends with another convicted sex offender, and then commenting that she`s worried that her bad-boy buddies might be upset with her or hold a grudge against her. I mean, why the heck is she worried about them when her daughter`s missing?
CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: Jane, you know, as crazy as it sounds, the daughter may have been safer outside, outside of the house, because look at these freakazoids she had as friends in her house, who she knew had charges against them of pedophilia.
Then the other guy, he`s a real top-shelf guy, a wienie waver. This is like one big diagnostic clinic for people who are sexually dysfunctional. And they all seem to have a role in this case.
And the mother could have easily put the red light up and said no, no. No to friendship. Stay away from my daughter and protected. The daughter might actually have been safer outside of the house than in it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Dr. Dale Archer, as soon as I heard her comment, I thought people pleaser, co-dependency issues. When you`re more concerned about how other people are reacting and their emotions than your own crisis with your gorgeous, beautiful little daughter missing, that is really a sign of well, at least low self esteem.
DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I mean, it could be a sign of co-dependency, but I think that what she has to realize and what America has to realize is that, when you`re registered as a sex offender, it`s for this very reason. You will be a suspect in these cases every single time they happen around where you are. That`s why you`re registered, and the police have every right to go and look at them.
So you know, why -- what type of judgments are exhibited by saying that and what was she really feeling when she said that is shocking, to say the least. But I mean, she has a missing daughter. And obviously, any feeling human being is going to understand that you want to get your daughter back, and if you hurt their feelings, that`s fine. Let`s find the little girl.
HONOWITZ: It`s want even a matter of being a people pleaser. You can`t even look at it that way. There`s something obviously wrong and neglectful in her actions by allowing her daughter to even ever be around them. And that`s why the movement is for criminal cases now, for their laws to be in the book that, if you allow your child, a minor, to associate with a convicted sex offender, then you should be charged with neglect.
The fact of the matter is they could be charged with parole or probation violations because there are severe requirements for sex offenders.
ARCHER: And the requirement...
HONOWITZ: They`re not allowed to have contact with minors.
ARCHER: They`re not allowed to have contact -- right. They`re not allowed to have contact with minors, because they...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s why they`re in jail right now, because they -- on suspicion that they had contact with this child.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Curtis, what I found fascinating is that there was blood tested in the motel room of one of the sex offenders who was allegedly once the boyfriend of the mother, George Kennedy. The blood came back not Nevaeh`s blood. That`s good news.
But the mother`s reaction was kind of relief, like "I never thought he was involved." In other words, once again, you know, worried about this guy, it seems.
SLIWA: You`ve got to say to yourself that child welfare has to take any potential children this woman should ever have away from her. She`s just not capable of raising children. She endangers them. The children are like Bambi in the middle of hunting season with an orange fluorescent vest on, and the pedophiles are all around them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And yet, I have tremendous compassion for her. She`s going through hell right now, and we really shouldn`t judge, although we have to look at the facts of the case.
Hang on, fantastic panel. More analysis in a minute.
Is the confusion in this case hampering the investigation? I want to know what you think. Give me a holler: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
Then, jail officials say Drew Peterson is nothing but a big, fat liar. You don`t want to miss this explosive story.
But first, the search for little Nevaeh Buchanan drags on, and it`s taking a toll on her family and the entire community. Here`s her uncle describing their nightmare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BUCHANAN, MATERNAL UNCLE OF NEVAEH: It`s rough for all of us. Still on a positive note, hoping for the best for all of us. That`s all we are wanting to think about at this time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLA ELLIOTTE, NEVAEH`S PATERNAL GRANDMOTHER: Jennifer, if you know anything, you know, please, come on. This has been long enough. We need Nevaeh home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa! That sounds like an accusation coming from Nevaeh`s paternal grandmother. Either that or there`s a family feud going on.
We`re back talking about new developments in the frantic search to find this adorable 5-year-old girl who simply vanished while on her little scooter from a Detroit suburb nine days ago and hasn`t been seen since.
Phone lines jam-packed. Susan in Missouri, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Hi, Jane. Love your show.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.
CALLER: Can Jennifer get into trouble right now with DPAC (ph) or criminally for knowingly having the child around sex offenders?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Excellent question. Stacey Honowitz, could she face charges?
HONOWITZ: You know, it could be a stretch in Florida, because the neglect statute is a little overbroad, but certainly, there is something -- there is food for thought here. When you knowingly endanger your child and you`re not looking out for the welfare and the supervision and the needs for your child, it`s neglect.
And so, if she knowingly put her child in harm`s way by associating with these sex offenders, letting them have contact with her child, there is a very good chance that she could be charged and, you know.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Curtis, apparently she met one of them at her parole office.
SLIWA: Oh, yes. And apparently, they fell madly -- not necessarily in love, but in platonic friendship and developed a relationship. And you`re saying to yourself, "Now, wait a second. Lady, it`s a pedophile. You`re bringing him to your house, exposing him to your daughter? You know he`s not supposed to be around kids at all."
You know, if you don`t put your seat belt on your kid, you could get fined up the kazoo and maybe even go to jail, because you`re endangering your child, but let the pedophile sit in the backseat as long as they`re both strapped into the SUV. That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I know. Little Nevaeh was likely snatched from a school playground, as we`ve been saying, next to the apartment complex where she lived. As far as we know, there are no security cameras that captured what happened to her.
Now take a look. This video of murder victim Sandra Cantu helped police put together a timeline. Remember this video? We saw the little girl skipping as they hunted for little Sandra`s abductor. This is a short, shocking video. But it helped. OK, helped cops.
Then there`s the time-elapsed photo of the suspect lurking outside the apartment complex in the case of missing Florida woman Jennifer Kesse. Now, unfortunately, it clicked right at the moment the suspect`s face was blocked. Police still can`t identify the shadowy suspect.
But if there was ever a place to have surveillance cameras, it would have to be here where little Nevaeh vanished. CNN affiliate WDIV shot this video that shows how close the apartments are to the school yard.
So Mike Gaynor, when are we going to get security video technology that works and where we need it?
GAYNOR: It`s already out there. The problem is it`s pretty expensive. Most of the videos that we see around the country are somewhat grainy, and they don`t help at all. But the more expensive equipment really does, and people seem to be against Big Brother watching all of the time. So that`s one of the wishes that they have to deal with.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it`s ridiculous, because it`s much more expensive, frankly, to lose a priceless child. You cannot put a price tag on a kid. I mean, Curtis, do you think it`s Big Brother watching you if you had video cameras in every single apartment complex?
SLIWA: Not at all. In fact, you know, particularly when the sun goes down and the youngsters, young adults and other miscreants are hanging around, those cameras, if they`re working, if they`re not placebos, will scare them away. It`s a great deterrent. And if somebody is breaking into your car at 3 a.m. in the morning, or doing something they shouldn`t do, you just go right to the video camera. If you`re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree. Karen in Florida, your question or thought.
GAYNOR: I don`t think it`s much of a deterrent, as we`ve seen so many crimes occur on videotape. So it is actually still, you know, not protecting people.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we could find out what happened to this child. We can at least...
GAYNOR: Yes, of course. Of course.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We can see what -- who took her and catch them. I mean, I think it`s absurd that we don`t use this technology to save lives, and we`ve got it in banks.
ARCHER: If you would put it anywhere, would you not put it around a school or a playground where kids are? And that would be the most important place to have it, in my mind.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course!
Karen in Florida, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Yes, first I like to make a comment to you. It`s very refreshing watching somebody with a tremendous amount of passion in everything that you do. You and Nancy Grace are phenomenal.
And the last caller did steal my comment that I was going to make. I believe that any mother that does this knowingly -- and there`s a very easy way of finding out if who you`re seeing is a sex offender, I think she should be severely punished.
But my question, and I do want to ask is why is it that sexual predators and pedophiles they say that they`re never cured, why are they let out unsupervised?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Dale Archer?
ARCHER: Yes. Well, you know, there is no cure for pedophilia, and that`s one of the big problems with these individuals right now. In fact, what seems to work the best is long jail sentences. But, you know, you have three different tiers, tier one, tier two and tier three, based on how severe the offense was. And you can`t just lock everybody up forever. So that`s the reason.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Todd, Oregon. Question or thought.
CALLER: Yes, hi. If he`s a registered sex offender, didn`t the cops -- don`t they check on him? And if they, you know, if they did check on him, they had to know that the girlfriend had a child.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Stacey Honowitz, we hear this time and time again. Every time we investigate one of these cases that somebody`s on parole or probation or a sex offender who should be doing something they`re not, and nobody`s watching. I think it`s phenomenally messed up.
HONOWITZ: Look, there`s no doubt that we have a serious issue with this system. And that`s why down in Florida we have Mark Lunsford and we have GPS monitoring on all these sex offenders.
Now, the police do take a responsibility in locating these offenders to make sure they`re at the place they`re supposed to be at, but certainly they can`t be on them 24 hours a day to figure out if they`re having contact with kids. That`s usually reported.
Their job, the police, is to say they`re registered, and they`re registered to live at this residence. And we have an obligation to check and see if they`re living there, and that`s where it stops.
SLIWA: Jane, they haven`t even beaten out the bushes. We saw three, two pedophiles and one wienie waver. You know how many more live in that immediate area? It will blow your mind
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... the number in America.
Thank you, panel. Amazing insight.
Just happened again, a beautiful 27-year-old woman vanishes after a night out, this time in Florida. I`ll tell you if cops think they have their man.
Another octo feud brewing. You won`t believe this one.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the "Spotlight" tonight, Tracy Ocasio, a 27-year- old Florida who vanished after a night year at a local bar. One week ago today, security footage caught Tracy leaving the night spot at about 1 in the morning with a man police say is 28-year-old James Hataway.
Her car was found abandoned just 15 miles from where she was last seen, not far from Hataway`s home. Police and cadaver dogs have scoured the area and found nothing. Hataway currently in custody on an unrelated drug charge. He is considered a person of interest.
Look at this beautiful young woman missing. This is sick! Hataway insists he is innocent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where`s Tracy?
JAMES HATAWAY, PERSON OF INTEREST IN TRACY OCASIO DISAPPEARANCE: I`m innocent.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened the last night with her?
HATAWAY: She left. I hung out with my father.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did you guys do that night?
HATAWAY: We just hung out. She gave me a ride home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did she say to you, where she was going? Did she say anything to you about where she was going?
HATAWAY: No. Nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: However, another shocker just in. We are just learning another woman is telling investigators that that man Hataway tried to strangle her last year when she gave him a ride home.
She also claims he slammed her head on the sidewalk. Does this man have a history of attacking women?
Straight to Kelli Cook, a reporter for Central Florida News 13, Orlando.
Kelli, what is the very latest?
KELLI COOK, CENTRAL FLORIDA NEWS 13: Well, I can tell you this. These two stories are eerily similar. She just came forward in a press conference just a couple of hours ago and said she saw this man`s face on the news and knew that this was the same man that attempted to kill her.
This is what she said. About a little less than a year ago, she knew this man before, James Hataway. She gave help a ride home from a bar and says that, when she dropped him off and turned to give him a hug, he attacked her. Luckily, neighbors heard her scream, so she was able to get away alive.
They say they have been searching for this man now for a little less than a year. He left his home in there Seminole County and moved here to Oconee (ph) and claims that police say they were unable to find him.
Now he is being held, but he`s not being held by any charges related to the disappearance of Tracy. He`s simply being held on unrelated drug charges with drug paraphernalia. And even with this woman coming forward, they say it`s not enough to charge him with anything more.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Kelli, an excellent summary there. Twenty- eight-year-old James Hataway, reportedly the last person with Tracy after she left the bar. He has, as you just mentioned, a criminal history. Court records show that he was arrested in April for criminal mischief charges. Cops found drugs, allegedly, in his home, and he reportedly has a juvenile conviction of kidnapping and bodily injury. Now this other woman coming forward, saying she was attacked last year.
Let me ask you this: in terms of Tracy`s disappearance, what do we know about her car, her cell phone and other essential belongings, let`s say, wallet and purse?
COOK: OK. So her wallet, her purse, well, I say this, a wallet, her keys and her cell phone cannot be found. They say they have not been able to locate it. They do believe that the purse is with the parents, and they found it in the car. But they don`t know where it is.
Now, the car was found within .2 miles of James Hataway`s home, and how they were able to determine that, as they do with a lot of other cases was by cell-phone pings when the mother gave a call about 8:30 the next morning when she had not heard back from her daughter but still searching for that cell phone, those keys. And, of course, her wallet, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, this is an absolutely sick case. Kelli Cook, I hope you come back. We`re going to stay on top of this case. Great reporting.
How many of these do we have to have, you know, before America wakes up and says enough of violence against women who just want to go out and have a good time and let`s stop blaming the women.
A key ruling on the way in the Casey Anthony case. A judge reviews explosive arguments surrounding Casey Anthony`s jailhouse meltdown.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a clash over Casey Anthony`s meltdown tape. Two guards who saw Casey`s infamous jailhouse collapse were grilled by Jose Baez and allegedly admit the secret video tape was cruel and unnecessary. Could this sway the judge to keep this explosive video out of the public eye?
Plus it`s a battle royal between Kate Gosselin and octo-mom. Nadya Suleman tells Radar Online that Kate is desperate for attention. Is this an octo feud?
More on Jon plus Kate versus octo-mom -- can you keep up -- in just minutes.
But first, new developments tonight in the Casey Anthony murder case. Defense attorney Jose Baez finally files the official motion asking the judge to block the release of Casey Anthony`s now infamous jailhouse meltdown video where she hyperventilates and rocks and needs to be sedated.
Meantime, a stunning admission by the jail workers who plunked Casey in front of that TV that day, they said it was a cruel thing to do. The accused murderer was caught on camera breaking down after seeing the news on TV that the remains of a small child were found near her home, but before authorities knew those remains belonged to Caylee.
So the whole point is why was she`s so upset. One of those jail workers described Casey`s meltdown.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
LT. TAMMY UNCER, JAIL WORKER: She collapsed into the chair and started to what appeared to be hyperventilating. She lost her breath. We told her a couple of times to take some deep breaths. She was -- got real shallow breathing. Her hands started to sweat. She started rubbing them profusely.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is jail worker Lieutenant Tammy Uncer, also deposed jail officer Billy Richardson, will their criticism of what they were ordered to do by their supervisor convince the judge that the public should never see that shocking video.
Straight to my fantastic expert panel: Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor; Michael Cardoza, criminal defense attorney; and Drew Findling, Atlanta criminal defense attorney.
Drew, there are also claims that Jose Baez wanted to get to Casey before she could see the news on television and some now claim that he was held back while they caught her on tape reacting. If that`s true, is this manipulation a big miscalculation by the state?
DREW FINDLING, ATLANTA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it is a big miscalculation and let`s think about what took place at that hearing today. The allegation -- and it doesn`t seem to be rebutted right now -- is that this was a coordinated effort by the Orange County Department of Corrections, the Orange County Sheriff`s Department and the Medical Division at the jail to get her there with the understanding that she was going for medical treatment and coincidentally have her in front of the TV while the story broke.
So if you`ll notice in the hearing today not only was the district attorney`s office there, but the actual county attorney was there. And what Baez and the defense team were claiming is before we even talked about the admissibility, we shouldn`t let the public see this, but because she was going for medical treatment her rights of privacy, HIPAA and state rights prevent anybody from seeing this because it was in the course of medical treatment.
A total miscalculation, constitutionally and from a privacy standpoint, they`re in a lot of trouble as far as I`m concerned.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but at the end of day, Michael Cardoza, was it all worth it if the prosecution can show that she had consciousness of guilt, that the reason why she started rocking and hyperventilating and asking for sedatives is that she and she alone knew that those remains were in fact those of her daughter?
MICHAEL CARDOZA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, I`ve got to tell you, it`s in the eye of the beholder. When and if we see that tape I can guarantee you every person that sees the tape will have an individual opinion about whether it shows a consciousness of guilt or if it`s a mother horribly worried that she`s now has been informed that her daughter is in fact, for sure dead.
Did the state make a mistake? Did the prosecutors make a mistake? There would be a lot -- and there is a lot of people that would argue no. She`s lost all her constitutional rights. She`s in jail. Isn`t it the job of the prosecution to prove she`s guilty?
Yes, she`s being treated medically, but in that case, this isn`t part of the medical treatment. Do I think the tape should be shown? No, I don`t, because it`s going to prove nothing.
You could look at it, Jane and come to one opinion, I may well come to another so it`s going to be a whole lot of to do about nothing in this situation.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, the defense released the depositions of these two officers who saw Casey`s meltdown. First there was Billy Richardson, quote -- here`s the question: "While this was going on, did it bother you at all that this was being done to Miss Anthony?
Answer: Yes, it did.
Question: Did you find it a little cruel that they were doing this to her?
Answer: Personally, yes, I did.
The second witness Tammy Uncer asked the same question, this is another jail official.
Question: Do you feel that taking somebody to view the news at a time like that is not mean?
Answer: I believe it was unnecessary the length of time. I believe it could have probably been handled in a different nature.
Question: So would you agree that what was done to her was cruel?
So Stacey Honowitz, these are the jail officials that maneuvered her into that spot so she could see the TV. They`re saying it`s cruel. Is that going to impact the judge`s decision as to whether or not to release it?
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Jane, absolutely not. I mean, the judge really isn`t concerned what their personal feelings are. You can have a lot of police officers that take a stand at some point and say do you think you should have been arrested for something like that, no, that`s my personal opinion.
It really doesn`t matter. That`s not the legal standard. I have to agree with Michael. I think in a case like this, the actual showing of this might not be necessary for the prosecution because you are going to have people up there thinking that she is a grieving mother.
HONOWITZ: And so, sometimes...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.
HONOWITZ: ...if you don`t need it you don`t put it in and I don`t think in this case this is actually a piece of evidence that the prosecution needs to convict her of the crime.
FINDLING: Jane -- Jane, your question goes to part two which we haven`t got into yet and they haven`t handled in court yet and that is its admissibility in the criminal case.
The defense said in the hearing that they didn`t even know whether it help or hurt, but they we`re going to address the constitutionality issue.
And let me just say this, I disagree. Just because you`re in jail in doesn`t mean you lose your constitutional rights. Law enforcement is an extension of the prosecution. And you cannot take somebody represented by counsel and purposely put them in a position to have a physical response because the law says that physical is just like talking.
So this was clear manipulation which ultimately the prosecution will pay the price for when it`s not admitted.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you have to wonder what else the video tape...
HONOWITZ: Well, I don`t think they`ll pay the price -- I don`t think they`ll pay the price because quite frankly, I think maybe in reevaluating the situation they might think to themselves, you know what, if it`s not coming in we`re not that concerned about it because Drew, quite frankly, everybody is going to have a different opinion of it. It`s not...
FINDLING: And I do agree with that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, thank you, fantastic panel.
We`re going to turn now to mind-boggling developments in the case against Drew Peterson as the accused killer is caught in a lie.
The loud-mouthed ex-cop charged with the murder of his third wife Kathleen Savio was called out by jail officials today who were not happy with dodgy Drew`s collect phone calls to the media. They say it`s a problem claiming, quote, "This guy makes jokes and says things that aren`t true," end quote.
Jokes like this wise crack Peterson made to a morning radio show. Listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
WLS RADIO: And how`s your love life?
DREW PETERSON, ACCUSED OF KILLING THIRD WIFE: My love life? Well, I`ve got a lot of buddies here that are real anxious to, you know, wash my back in the shower. But you know, what`s that all about, you know, hey, I got it, you know, leave me alone, you know.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, here`s the problem jail officials say, Peterson is kept segregated and showers alone so not only is that crass and not funny, it`s not true, Drew. You`re lying.
Legal experts say Peterson is hurting himself with these antics and ask why can`t his defense team muzzle that obnoxious mouth?
Still with me: Michael Cardoza, a criminal defense attorney; and back with us, the one and only Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels. Curtis, why can`t Drew`s lawyers control this guy or perhaps maybe for some reason they don`t want to stop him?
CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: Well, he`s completely out of control as you can see, but he`s behind this tall-walled jail in Joliet. It`s infamous, it had John Wayne Gacy. I`ve got to wonder how the screws (ph), the CEOs are giving him access to the phone and giving him access to Matt Lauer and remember he`s in PC which is not just Protective Custody, that`s "Punk City" so he`s isolated.
I don`t understand how they`re giving him access to the media. This guy is a total degenerate.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Michael Cardoza, I know I`ve tried to get interviews with people behind bars and it`s a long cumbersome process and often the jail official says no, you can`t go in there and talk to them, even if they want to talk.
Why is it that he can make legally these collect phone calls to major media outlets and radio stations and yak it up?
CARDOZA: Well, he gets 20 minutes a day of collect phone calls. So he can call who he wishes to call. Some might say that this is a brilliant move by the prosecution and by the jailers.
Let him at it. It`s almost like giving him the rope. Here, Drew, here`s the rope. Hang yourself. Here`s more rope, Drew, say something stupid. Oh, you`re going to say something stupider now.
What do you think the effect on the jurors, the potential jury pool in Chicago when they`re about this? People are beginning to dislike or hate Drew Peterson more and more and that`s why they`re going to have to have a change of venue within the state of Illinois.
So I think it`s a brilliant move by the prosecution. Let him talk -- he is talking himself right into a guilty verdict in this case. Even though they may not have enough evidence to convict him and I`ve done this for over 30 years, jurors, if they don`t like a defendant are more inclined to convict.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
CARDOZA: So all Drew is doing is getting himself convicted here and that`s why Brodsky should muzzle him, but I don`t think he has enough horse power to do that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well after a recent hearing Kathleen Savio`s nephew accused Peterson of actually mocking the victim`s family while in court even as he faced a murder charge. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL LISAK, KATHLEEN SAVIO`S NEPHEW: He was waving to my mom; just continuously looking at my mother and our family, the Savio family, almost in a mocking way. He was rocking back and forth in his chair the whole time like he was waiting to, you know, go see a movie or something.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Curtis, 20 seconds, waving to the victim`s family in court. I mean, this is beyond.
SLIWA: Oh, yes. It`s adding insult to injury and clearly, what this guy wants to go down is as somebody who just doesn`t care. He wants to be infamous and guess what? His argument will be, "I need a change of venue because everybody here hates me," just as the defense attorney said and he might get it which is just great.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, maybe it`s that strategy to get a change of venue.
Curtis, Michael, thank you so much.
Don`t miss Nancy Grace`s exclusive prime time interview with Peterson`s attorney Joel Brodsky. That`s tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, do not miss it.
And here on ISSUES, an update on a man`s fight to get his son back. Five years ago his wife fled to Brazil with their young boy; now finally, justice.
And the feud heating up between octo-mom and Kate Gosselin; octo-mom told RadarOnline, Kate is desperate for attention. Whose side are you on? Give me a holler.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is it all-out war between octo-mom and Kate Gosselin? I will tell you what the feud is all about in a second, but first "Top of the Block" tonight.
This is ultimately a feel-good story.
A while back, I brought you the story of a dad fighting tooth and nail to get his son back home. In 2004, David Goldman`s wife left him and fled to Brazil with their son, Sean.
Sean`s mom then later died in 2008 in Brazil while giving birth to another child and Sean`s custody was awarded by a Brazilian court to -- get this -- his new stepfather in Brazil. Goldman`s five-year legal battle to get his son back garnered international attention and even had Secretary of State Hillary Clinton involved.
Finally last night, his lawyer announced that a Brazilian court ruled in favor of the New Jersey dad. So, 8-year-old Sean Goldman will be returned to the United States and the dad who never gave up on his adorable, handsome son. What a sweet, if overdue, victory.
That is tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Now to the octo feud that is heating up between octo-mom, Nadya Suleman, and Kate "plus 8" Gosselin. Today, Suleman went after the reality show star and mother of eight attacking her hit reality show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADYA SULEMAN, MOTHER OF OCTUPLETS: I just want it to be very not like "Jon & Kate plus 8" where I think -- I feel they are allowing them to be exploited and invaded.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The little baby`s is kind of like, "What`s mom talking about now?" Does Nadya really think her newly-inked reality show will be any less exploitive for her 14 kids?
These moms of multiples may have more in common now than you think. They`re both claiming they`re doing all of this, oh, just for the kids, just for the kids.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATE GOSSELIN, "JON & KATE PLUS 8": My kids are the reason I have always done everything. My kids are the reason I laid on bed rest for 30 entire weeks. My kids were the reason why I wrote the books. It`s always about them, and I know that it looks, you know, like it`s all about me al. of the time and whatever, but what you don`t see is down deep inside it`s a desperate desire to provide for my kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m playing a violin here. Meanwhile, TMZ is reporting that octo-mom finally set up a trust fund for her 14 kids, but you will not believe how much the kids are getting.
Give me a holler, weigh in on this multiple mess.
Straight to my expert panel: Michelle Borba, psychologist; Dawn Yanek, editor at large for "Life and Style" magazine; and Mike Walters, assignment editor for TMZ.
Mike, what exactly does this trust fund look like for the octo kids?
MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: Well, Jane it`s called a Coogan account, and I think that it`s actually a legal thing that has to be set up for children of a certain age where when they work on film or on scene or on set they get 15 percent of what`s made and then the rest of it goes into an account until they`re 18 or whatever.
Point is that we know for sure that these are set up so the kids are going to get something, but let`s go back to the best part about this story.
Octo-mom versus Kate Gosselin? Yes. It can`t get any better than that. It`s like -- I was thinking we`re talking about both, now they`re just going to fight. Let`s just let them fight. Let`s put that on TV and let`s watch that.
That`s way better.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. But I want to cover the money issue because it`s so important. Coogan is named after Jackie Coogan, the famous child actor who was ripped off by his own family and later became poverty stricken even though he was, on paper, a millionaire when he was a kid and that`s why they have these Coogan laws.
Dawn Yanek -- let me go back to you, Mike; 15 percent is what I heard. I heard and clarified it if it`s not true, I want to be accurate. I heard that octo-mom is going to set aside 15 percent. Is that for 14 kids because that would amount to essentially about 1 percent per kid? Big whoop.
WALTERS: No. Each kid has their own account. You`re right -- 15 percent of what they make goes into this account which she cannot touch at all. Remember, it`s like when you`re a kid actor and you make money like any of the ones we know around here in this town, the parents, if the manager, other people control their money, the 15 percent is protected 100 percent.
We also reported on TV -- sorry?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but 15 percent of what? If you have 14 kids, I`m not a mathematician, but if you`re giving 15 percent away to 14 kids it doesn`t exactly add up.
WALTERS: Right, it doesn`t.
I can`t say -- I`m going to back up octo-mom for a second one more time, but we did find out also that -- remember that Web site that we talked about before on your show where you can just send in money with your Visa to octo-mom, when they first came out. They made about $50,000 on the Web site, but I was told by her lawyers that it was all put into a trust account just for the kids and she didn`t touch a cent. That`s what she`s claiming.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll give her the benefit of the doubt at this moment in time. Let`s listen to what octo-mom said to RadarOnline.com.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SULEMAN: This is like digging up -- this is just resurrecting the dead. It`s over, it`s gone. I moved on with my life. My children are extremely healthy, strong and happy.
Don`t you have like issues in your life, a lot of mental problems? Why are you trying so desperately to come into my life, for attention?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dawn Yanek, this is getting really catty?
DAWN YANIC, EDITOR AT LARGE, "LIFE & STYLE": It is and the really interesting thing about this is that Nadya is commenting on an interview that happened on the Dr. Phil Show a few months ago. So we see all this renewed interest in Nadya right now of course because she just inked this reality deal, and of course she`s striking while the iron is hot, and it`s kind of like one of those cases of the pot calling the kettle black.
Now, of course, as we`ve seen in "Life & Style Weekly" millions of times, the public`s interest is very, very fickle and of course you want to make sure that you`re capitalizing on this as much as you can.
But of course there are children at the heart of this, and you have to weigh the pros and cons of making your money, which of course is not the only way to make money in the world, by parading your children on TV, versus making sure you`re there for your children and making sure your relationships don`t fall apart.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Michelle Borba, this is all a big joke. It`s like professional wrestling. They are both sort of trying to suppress their smiles as they do this feud to get attention to increase their stock in trade.
MICHELLE BORBA, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, exactly because the whole show is whether you get the money. It`s called ratings-driven. And someplace along the line you watch carefully, is the impact long-term on a kid, who`s always under the limelight. Four possibilities...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stay right there. More debate. Octo-feud again, next.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The "Big Tease:" the desperate search for Tracy (INAUDIBLE) barrels ahead. Cops have one person of interest in custody and now a woman is coming forward saying that same man attacked her viciously just last year.
Tomorrow on ISSUES, we will have the very latest on this extremely disturbing case, including a conversation with Tracy`s desperate parents.
But tonight: octo-feud boiling over as octo-mom Nadya Suleman telling Kate Gosselin, "Stop judging me." What do you think about this octo- madness? Straight to the phone lines. Linda in Texas, your question or thought, ma`am.
LINDA, TEXAS (via telephone): Hi, Jane.
I just wanted to say that I think it`s really a shame that these parents want to exploit their children and make money. And I also would like to say that I believe these children should have -- should be under the cameras just a minimal amount of time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, Michelle Borba, Nadya Suleman is now saying that her new reality show is not going to be like Kate`s and it`s going to be more highbrow and she`s going to make it documentary style and focus on one of her children`s autism and another`s attention deficit disorder.
You know what I say to that? Well, that`ll take about five minutes of the reality show up, and then they`ve got to get back to the exploitation.
BORBA: Exactly because it`s not ratings-driven. And there lies the whole nuts (ph) of the -- it`s called responsive parenting. At one point along the line you weigh the financial gains versus the emotional gains. There isn`t any emotional gains in a child being under limelight like this. What you have five years from now is a child who`s probably going to resent it, who`s probably going to be very anxious watching all these egg shells and 50,000 cameras watching you 24/7 and knowing 10 million people are looking at your baby book.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not only that but when the cameras go away then they get depressed like many child stars who feel really left in the dark because the spotlight`s not on them anymore.
Alicia in Mississippi, your question or thought, ma`am.
ALICIA, MISSOURI (via telephone): Hi. It`s actually Alicia from Missouri.
ALICIA: sorry. I just wanted to say normally I agree with everything you have to say, Jane.
ALICIA: But I wanted to say Kate, Jon and Kate cannot be compared to the octo-mom. They were a couple that had fertility problems. And she already had six children, some of them that were handicapped. And I haven`t heard of any sturdy background of any kind of employment for the octo-mom.
And Jon and Kate both had good careers. I think things just got a little out of hand with their relationship and that`s why the book tours have increased, because of the problems at home with her and Jon.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Mike Walters, is there going to be more of these shows and more families, we hear that they`re actually going on Craigslist and soliciting other large families.
Got to leave it right there. But let`s hope this isn`t a trend. Two is enough.
You`re watching ISSUES.