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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
U.S. Dispensing Lopsided Justice?
Aired June 18, 2009 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a national outcry over lopsided justice. An ex-con strikes a deal with prosecutors and will only serve one year for child rape. And now accusations that prosecutors and the judge may have neglected charges that he also abused the girl`s brother.
Meantime, ex-Major Leaguer Mel Hall gets 45 years in the slammer for raping a 12-year-old. So what`s with the uneven penalty? I`ll analyze how our unpredictable criminal justice system often leaves justice denied.
Then Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, takes on the Mob. The infamous Gotti family allegedly tried to kidnap and kill Sliwa, but he was able to escape. John Gotti Jr. still holds a judge. And the two butted heads in court yesterday. I`ll speak to Curtis about his unbelievable face-off eye to eye with a Mob boss to see who will blink first.
And more Jon and Kate drama as the family unravels before our eyes. Kate is caught spanking her daughter, and Jon is spotted smoking what appears to be a joint. So is the reality show life destroying their family and sending them into meltdown mode?
Plus a break-in nightmare for Sarah Jessica Parker. Two men under investigation for allegedly breaking into the home of the woman carrying Sarah Jessica Parker`s twins. Oh, and did I mention these two are police chiefs, allegedly looking for some dirt to sell to the tabloids? Whatever happened to protect and serve?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a national outcry as we demand answers as to why a confessed child rapist was sentenced to just one year in jail. This as evidence of another possible young victim has come to light. But that`s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to lopsided justice.
Get this: 64-year-old David Earls of Oklahoma pleaded no contest to raping and sodomizing a 4-year-old girl, reportedly while he was living with the girl`s mom. In exchange, prosecutors lopped 19 years off a 20- year sentence. Listen to the assistant D.A. explain that one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LISA BIRDWELL, ASSISTANT D.A., PITTSBURG CITY, OKLAHOMA: We lost the little girl`s testimony. We lost the majority of our evidence. It was out the window.
Do I like that he only got -- served a year? No. Do I like that? No. Like I said, I would prefer child molesters go to jail forever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now the community is outraged to learn that prosecutors did not charge this deviant with allegedly abusing the little girl`s older brother, too.
Earls, I can hardly say this, allegedly made the 5-year-old boy watch as he raped and sodomized the younger sister. But, wait, there is more revolting charges against this sicko. David Earls` daughter speaking out, saying she, too, suffered abuse at the hands of her father, whom she calls a monster. I will speak to her in just a moment.
Meantime, another hideous crime, ex-Major League baseball player Mel Hall committed of raping a 12-year-old girl whom he coached on a basketball team in his home state of Texas. But Hall`s sentence is 45 times longer than the one slapped on child rapist David Earls.
And then there`s pro football player Donte Stallworth. A man is dead because Stallworth was driving drunk and plowed right into him. But after some wheeling and dealing with Florida prosecutors and the victim`s family, Stallworth will go to jail for 30 days. He originally faced up to 15 years behind bars.
Am I missing something here, people? Is our criminal justice system a total crapshoot? Oh, yes. Roll the dice; see what happens. It helps if you have some money.
I want to know what you think about this outrageous, all over the map, lopsided justice. Give me a holler.
Now straight out to my fantastic expert panel: Jeff Brown, criminal defense attorney; Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor; Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels; Judy Kuriansky, Dr. Judy, clinical psychologist; Mike Gaynor, former NYPD investigator and president of East Coast Detectives.
And joining my by phone, Denise Earls. Denise is the daughter of David Earls, the man who admits he raped and sodomized the 4-year-old girl. Denise joins me tonight in a prime-time exclusive interview.
Denise, first of all, let me say, I really admire your courage in coming forward and speaking out honestly about what happened to you at your father`s hands. But, first, let`s start with your reaction to your dad getting a one-year sentence for raping a child, a sentence that, with time served, has him out in three months, in September.
DENISE EARLS, DAUGHTER OF DAVID EARLS: Well, I`m just outraged. Because, I mean, you know, he got a year, but I have a life sentence because I`m the one who has to live with this every day. I still don`t understand how the D.A. and the judge could agree to this when all they had to do with our technology that we have, you know -- they could contact me. They could have seen if there was, you know, any other children or anything else like this had ever happened. There`s so much more that they could have done.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What did your father do to you at what age?
EARLS: The first time it happened, I was 8 years old. And he put so much fear in me, you know, telling me that if I said anything that -- you know, my grandmother was helping raising me -- that he would, you know, I would no longer be allowed to be around my grandmother. And he just instilled that fear at 8 years old. And then again it happened when I was between 9 to 10 years old. And the last time, it was 14.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, when you say "it," I don`t mean to embarrass or put you on the spot, but to understand the dimensions of this horror story, what are you talking about? What did he do to you?
EARLS: Well, I mean, when we are talking rape, I mean, it is complete rape. I mean, he did the ultimate worst thing that he could do. And he took away my innocence at 8 years old. And you know, that I can never get back.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you ever confront your dad about this?
EARLS: Yes, I did. I confronted him in 1992, face to face. I drove to his home and I faced him off and I said, look -- I said, "I need you to just tell me, you know, just admit to me you did this."
And he was like, "I don`t remember. I was drinking. You know, I don`t."
I said, "You know what? You will never see me again. You will never hurt anyone else again." I said, "You cannot do this. This is horrible. I`ve had to live with this."
And his excuse was, you know, "I did drugs, and I was an alcoholic, and I don`t remember."
And I told him then, I would never see him again. I told him to his face, "This is the last time. I `m done with you."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So when you heard about this case that came into the news just recently, how did you hear about it? And what was your reaction when you hear, "Oh, my gosh, my dad has admitted to raping and sodomizing a 4-year-old child"?
EARLS: I received a call from my mother exactly a week ago today, telling me that this was, you know, in the papers and stuff, because I did not know. And I was going to -- my first reaction was, you know, what about me? You know, I went through this, you know. I`ve suffered with this ever since I was 8 years old, you know. And it`s just not fair. It`s just -- I cannot believe that in September the 24th that he is going to be out. That they`re going to only give him one year and 19 years of probation. I just do not understand. This man is a monster. He will continually, repeatedly do this again.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did they ever try to contact you, the prosecutors, to see, well, he raped a child? Maybe he did something to his own daughter?
EARLS: Exactly. I`ve had no one contact me. As a matter of fact, I wrote up a small story and sent it to the attorney general on Monday, June the 15th. I have not received any phone calls, any contact from anyone.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, listen, first of all, I want to say, again, I admire your courage in speaking out honestly. And I hope that, in some way, it`s healing to you and gives you some kind of processing of what you went through.
And I want to have you back. We`re going to -- you sent me, you e- mailed me the letter that you sent to authorities. We`re studying it right now. I would love you to come back next week, and we`re going to continue to analyze this travesty of justice. A travesty of justice for you and these other children involved. it`s just a horror story. And I just want to say, God bless you.
EARLS: Thank you. Thank you so much. I just appreciate this. And let`s just hope that we can change the laws and we can protect our children.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much, Denise. We`ll talk to you next week.
Stacey Honowitz, why didn`t they call the daughter? Couldn`t they have used some of that in their case? Because they say, oh, they didn`t have a case. That`s why they had to give him a year when he could have gotten so much more.
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: I mean, I know it sounds horrible, Jane, and it sounds terrible to the public and to his daughter. That`s what the prosecutors had to deal with. What I `m curious to know is, what I wanted you to ask her -- maybe next week you can ask her -- is why didn`t she contact the authorities to report her father when she confronted him in 1992? Certainly, if the statute of limitations had not run on her case, she would have had a case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Dr. Judy Kuriansky, isn`t it sometimes really difficult for...
DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I exactly can answer that question. Certainly, Denise can have her own answer, but this is very, very common.
Every single thing that Denise shared, bless her heart, as you said, Jane, is so common, every part of the story. And the fact that the girls and the women do not report it. They are petrified. They`ve been threatened, just as Denise said. "You can`t see your grandmother. I`m going to kill your mother. I`m going to do all these terrible things."
HONOWITZ: Judy, can I say one thing? I understand every single thing that you`re saying, because I deal with it every single day, rape victims. And people that come back years later.
All I`m saying is she was threatened; she was ashamed; she was hurt. But in 1992 -- and I`m not blaming her. All I`m saying is if she had gotten up the nerve to go and confront him and ask him why he did this, then certainly it would have...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Curtis -- but Curtis, they repeat these crimes over and over again. She has a daughter. Come on. They could find her daughter, Curtis.
HONOWITZ: Jane, I`m telling you that, even if they had contacted her, it would have been great if you could go back in time...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I understand. Should have, could have, would have. But why didn`t they contact her? Why didn`t they do a little research? These people don`t just do it once.
SLIWA: Because Jane -- Jane, understand. This is like a supermarket. They have cases morning, noon, and night. Ninety-five percent of the cases are plea-bargained out, as long as they get all parties to agree.
Now, remember, in this case, the mother was going to agree, because she is the idiot who allowed her kids to be in the custody of this guy. So she didn`t want this to be publicized. And, obviously...
HONOWITZ: I `m sure you knew that, Curtis.
SLIWA: Oh, excuse me, like the mother wants to be seen as a complete imbecile for allowing her children to be in the company of this sexual abuser?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stay right there. We`re going to have more outrage in a moment. Did the justice system drop the ball by giving admitted child rapist and sodomist David Earls a year in jail? Give me a holler: 1-877- JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. I want to hear your take.
Then, a nationwide manhunt barrels ahead for little Haylee Donathan, believed to be on the run with her mom and her mom`s sex-offender boyfriend. Could allegations of drug use play a part in the mystery?
But first, a child rapist gets a slap on the wrist. The nation is outraged. But all parties involved were happy with the plea deal, and apparently, that`s why the judge accepted it. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE THOMAS BARTHELD, PITTSBURG COUNTY, OKLAHOMA: They were in agreement. The victim`s family was in agreement. The advocates were in agreement, and the defense was in agreement. So I took the plea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONTE STALLWORTH, PLEADED GUILTY TO MANSLAUGHTER: I want to offer my plea, and I accept full responsibility for this horrible tragedy. I assure you that this tragedy will continue to bear this burden for the rest of my life.
I understand the seriousness of these charges, your honor, and the significant expectations you, Mr. Reyes` family, and everyone else have for me beyond my plea agreement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A 59-year-old man is dead because Donte Stallworth killed him while driving drunk after partying in Miami. Is 30 days behind bars enough for a life lost?
We`re back talking about the glaringly disproportionate sentences that are handed down all across the nation. What is your take on this justice that seems to be crapshoot justice? A guy who rapes a 4-year-old child gets one year behind bars, but then you have Mel Hall, who had 45 years. He got 45 years in the slammer for raping a 12-year-old girl. One year, 45 years, 30 days for killing someone. It`s blowing my mind.
Let`s hear what the viewers have to say about all this. Darrell, Georgia, your question or thought.
CALLER: Jane, hi. I really appreciate you letting me call in. I really admire what y`all do.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.
CALLER: I`m a child advocate and deal with victims of abuse every day. I want to know about -- about this judge. What kind of, you know, justice or what accountability will he have for this type of thing, or is there any for allowing this man to only serve one year?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jeff Brown, let me say this, everybody`s attacking the judge. What about the district attorney? They`re the ones who put the whole case together. Why are they all attacking the judge?
JEFF BROWN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Exactly. There`s no reason to attack this judge. This judge is like a referee. Both parties came to him and said, this is the best deal we can get, judge. We want you to accept it.
And we`re focusing on the judge. We should be focusing on the D.A., but you know, even the D.A. didn`t do anything wrong. If you love this country, love the Fifth Amendment, the right to confront witnesses. This case went south and everybody did the best they can to salvage it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m not so sure this case went south.
HONOWITZ: You have no testimony, it goes south. But you have no witness to testify in a sex crimes case, your case goes south.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The witness was the child. The boy, I think he was 6 years old, that was forced to watch his little sister get raped.
BROWN: They lost the child`s hearsay testimony. They had no further evidence, so the prosecutor did the best he could get.
MIKE GAYNOR, FORMER INVESTIGATOR: That`s what the prosecutor said. The prosecutor said they lost some of their case when they...
BROWN: Exactly, they lost the child`s hearsay testimony.
GAYNOR: Not all of it.
BROWN: It was the best they can get. If you think the prosecutor gave this case away when he could have proven it, then your beef is with the prosecutor, not the judge.
GAYNOR: I think you can make a legitimate beef against the judge.
GAYNOR: Because the judge, who is the referee, as you said, had an opportunity to put that kid in another room, where a camera and an advocate could have been sitting there with them, both children, and gotten good testimony out of them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But let me say...
BROWN: No, no! You`re missing the fact. The child did not want to confront the accuser. That`s our Fifth Amendment.
GAYNOR: The child doesn`t make the decision.
BROWN: You don`t like the Fifth Amendment, don`t be a...
GAYNOR: The child has no Fifth Amendment right not to testify. In fact, the only one that has a Fifth Amendment right there is the defendant.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this.
BROWN: Let me see who`s testifying against him. The child wouldn`t testify against him.
GAYNOR: The state is the complainant in a case like this. The child is going to testify if the state asks the child...
BROWN: Not if the child...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second!
Listen, in February, David Earls attended a preliminary hearing to decide whether the girl could testify against him via closed-circuit TV. The girl closed her eyes and said, "I`m not looking at David Earls" twice. That`s when the judge decided to allow the child to testify outside the courtroom.
Nevertheless, the case never went to trial, and it pleaded out. There`s been some talk about how she changed her story and was inconsistent. Of course, she`s terrified! I mean, that`s the bogeyman for her.
GAYNOR: And she`s 4 years old.
BROWN: There`s evidence that the child didn`t want to testify. How are you going to make the 5-year-old get on a stand and testify when she`s...
GAYNOR: You don`t have to put the child on a stand. They could have put her in a nice comfortable chair, in a nice pleasant room with an advocate.
HONOWITZ: They let her testify from the outside.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Hold on, hold on! Stacey, let`s let Stacey talk for a second.
HONOWITZ: They need the child to testify. And do you think, honestly, that a prosecutor has a glorious day when they get to give a child molester one year in prison?
GAYNOR: Of course not.
HONOWITZ: They had no choice in this matter. You have no witnesses to testify.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, look...
BROWN: The right to have somebody testify against you under Crawford. Should be the first to tell you that child has to testify.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Judy Kuriansky, why are these girls -- there`s two children involved here, the girl who was raped and sodomized and her older brother who was forced to watch, allegedly. Why is it that it`s so difficult to get either one of these children to testify?
And listen, I went through Michael Jackson trial and it is hard. It`s hard to get children to say something and remember exactly what happened down to the last detail.
KURIANSKY: Exactly. And the children are terrified. And they also go into an altered state when this happens, sometimes. It`s almost like they`re not there. That`s how they protect themselves.
And this is what you would hear. Women like Denise who just shared with you her experience say, it`s like they`re up on the ceiling watching it happen. And so they lose a sense of reality.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s just so sickening, Mike Gaynor, that we have to hear the daughter say this happened to her so many years ago.
GAYNOR: By the way, I consider that daughter a survivor, not a victim.
GAYNOR: She`s doing very well. In 1992, she still had the right...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. We can all agree on that. She deserves a round of applause for coming forward.
Thank you, excellent panel. Curtis Sliwa, sit tight. Curtis will be back to explain how he went toe to toe with the Mob and lived to talk about it.
An invasion of privacy could mean home invasion for the woman carrying Sarah Jessica Parker`s twins.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the "Spotlight" tonight, confrontation in a courtroom as two bitter enemies lock eyes in a frightening face-off. In one corner, none other than Guardian Angels founder and friend of this show, Curtis Sliwa.
For years, Curtis has antagonized the members of one of New York`s most influential alleged crime families, the Gambinos. Witnesses to yesterday`s dramatic courtroom showdown were stunned.
Curtis Sliwa`s nemesis, alleged Gambino kingpin John Gotti Jr., who`s on trial for organized crime conspiracy, reportedly shot up from his chair, pointed at Sliwa in the gallery, and then reportedly said, "You`re going down."
This apparent threat was nothing compared to what happened to Curtis, the crime fighter, back in `92. But first, let`s find out what happened during yesterday`s wild courtroom confrontation.
Straight out to the man that was there, Curtis Sliwa.
Curtis, tell us as best you can for family -- our TV show what went down yesterday. The "New York Post" is calling it the equivalent of the kiss of death?
SLIWA: No question. We call it in the streets the maluchia (ph), the evil eye. Because John Gotti Jr. was in a hearing. He`s going on trial for a fourth time, September 14, for conspiracy to murder, cocaine, money laundering, and the attempted murder of me, the kidnapping and assault, on June 19th of 1992. The anniversary is tomorrow, in which the Gambino crime family caught me in the back of a cab and aerated my lower intestines with hollow-point bullets. And only because I was able to jump out of the moving cab was I able to avoid being room temperature.
Before that, they had attacked me with baseball bats. All because I was broadcasting against John Gotti Sr., who was on trial that time, the last trial. They put him away, triple life without parole and married (ph).
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So describe what happened yesterday in court. In other words, there was the hand movement. There was eye signals. There was -- what happened?
SLIWA: Well, this is what it is, Jane. He eye-fornicated me. He stared at me; he pointed his finger, and he said, "you`re going down."
And I said, "I`m not going down." And then I flipped him the bird. And I said, "Oh, yes?"
And then he came towards me. I came towards him. Obviously, the marshals separated us.
Then his liar for hire, his lawyer, went downstairs and said, "Oh, Mr. Sliwa had it all wrong. He was actually waving to an associate that he was going down." Oh, yes, he`s going down. He`s going to be doing triple life without parole in prison. And I hope he goes straight to hell without an asbestos suit when he dies and joins his father there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, now Gotti Jr. says he`s given up his life of crime, and he did that several years ago. What do you say to that?
SLIWA: Jane, could you be hopelessly naive, too? What is it...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m asking you the question.
SLIWA: 1999, I retired, they had a retirement dinner, gave him a gold watch, the condo in Boca Raton, the 401(k) that`s now a 101(k). There`s no way. The only way you retire from organized crime is if you`re swimming with the fishes under the ocean.
This is what we call a Neanderthal, a knuckle dragger. He has killed; he has maimed; he has ordered people`s deaths.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But, Curtis, I`ve got to ask you a question. Are you scared?
SLIWA: Jane, do I look like I`m scared?
SLIWA: There`s no Kool-Aid pumping through my veins and arteries.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re my hero, dude.
SLIWA: I do not surrender. I do not retreat. I fight crime in the streets and I fight organized crime. And up next, white-collar criminals who should be transported to Gitmo, because now organized crime is involved in using their No. 2 pencils and not just their .38-caliber weapons like they did on me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are right about that. I`ve known you for 30 years, always an amazing crime fighter out there on the streets. Curtis, thank you, stay safe. We want to have you back on.
The furious search for Haylee Donathan reaches fever pitch. The girl believed to be on the run with her mom and her mom`s sex-offender boyfriend. Where, oh where, are they headed now?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More Jon and Kate drama as a family unravels before our eyes. Kate is caught spanking her daughter and Jon is spotted smoking what appears to be a joint. So is the reality show life sending them into meltdown mode?
Plus, a break-in nightmare for Sarah Jessica Parker, two police chiefs are under investigation for allegedly breaking into the home of the woman carrying Sarah Jessica Parker`s twins. The cops were allegedly looking for some dirt to sell to the tabloids. Whatever happened to protect and serve?
Tonight, the frantic nationwide search for a 4-year-old Ohio girl reaches a fever pitch. Haylee Donathan, said to be in extreme danger after she disappeared with her mom and her mom`s tier 3 sex-offender boyfriend, Robbi Potter.
Potter`s previous victims were reportedly just seven and nine years old. Tier 3 is the most dangerous ranking available for these predators; he`s a tier 3.
The fleeing trio was last spotted in Stratton, Colorado. That`s more than 1,000 miles away from their Ohio hometown. Little Haylee`s grandmother suspects they`re headed to Arizona but authorities say they could be anywhere right now.
Meantime, we`re learning more from the mom`s friends about the very strange personality of this new boyfriend turned fugitive, the tier 3. Here`s what one friend said about her first encounter with the sex-offender on "NANCY GRACE."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMANTHA COVERT, CANDACE`S ROOMMATE: It wasn`t very comfortable. He didn`t make any eye contact with me. And he had went outside the house and walked around the house for like five laps, just kind of staring up and down the house and things like that.
I didn`t have any kind of conversation with him at all. Candace just said, "This is Samantha, Samantha this is Robbi" and that was it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So who exactly is this Robbi Potter and why would mother Candace allow her precious daughter to be with him?
Straight to my expert panel: Mike Gaynor, retired NYPD detective and President of East Coast Detectives and by phone, U.S. Deputy Marshal Brian Fitzgibbon, the lead investigator in this case.
Marshal, thank you for joining us, I know you`re very busy working around the clock with your team. What is the very latest?
BRIAN FITZGIBBON, U.S. DEPUTY MARSHAL IN COLORADO (via telephone): The latest is, we`re still fielding hundreds of phone calls from tipsters that are extremely observant, especially in those tipsters that are on the road and I especially like to thank all the truckers that are calling in with tips.
And we`re going everywhere. Coast to coast, we`re pulling out all the stops. And we`re not counting anything out. You know, last sighting was Colorado, but we`re going everywhere.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Marshal, obviously, to travel they need gas. And now that you`ve found out that they were in Colorado, I would assume that if they know that they`re being sought, they`re afraid to get gas, because they`re going to be videotaped on a security camera at a gas station. Those are all over the place now. They`ve already been caught on video at least twice.
So are they just hiding out and not seeking gas or do you think they`d switched cars and are getting gas with another vehicle, and not this green pickup truck that we`ve been seeing?
FITZGIBBON: Right. We`re fielding all possibilities. There`s the possibility that they could be out camping somewhere. They could have shacked up with friends or befriended somebody.
Robbi Potter, he`s a manipulative person. He could tell somebody a sob story and they could be unknowingly helping them out. It`s a possibility. I would not be surprised.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, what have you garnered and learned in terms of your psychological analysis of what`s going on with this trio from the videotape that we have of Candace, the mom, getting out and getting gas, pumping gas, essentially and that`s a couple of weeks ago, but that`s the last sighting we have of her. She seems like doing it of her own volition?
FITZGIBBON: You know, it seems that way and that`s what it appears on the video. Candace did go on her own with Robbi and they did leave the state on her own. So she seems knowledgeable and accepting of the fact that she`s fleeing with this violent sex-offender.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, Brian Fitzgibbon, I know you guys are working very, very hard to try to find this trio. And we send a message out of course, if you`re watching and you`re Candace or Robbi Potter, just let it go right now because, eventually, they`ll catch-up with you.
And I pray that if the mom and child are being held against their will that this man lets them go and then continues on his way alone.
We are learning more and more about sex-offender fugitive Robbi Potter. Listen to Haylee`s uncle, a sex-offender himself, describe Potter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CYLE WATSON, UNCLE OF MISSING 4-YR-OLD: Probably that`s the only person that could give him a ride. The only person that would come, pick him up. Without no question, because my sister`s that way and she`s like, she`ll do anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would she take-off with him?
C. WATSON: Because he`s a very, very manipulative person. This guy, you guys look at him in a picture and he don`t -- he looks like a regular person or whatever, but he`s very, very manipulative.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Also, HLN`s Nancy Grace asked Haylee`s grandmother and Candace`s mom about the relationship between Candace and Potter. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY GRACE, HLN`S "NANCY GRACE SHOW": Miss Watson, what got into her to romance a convicted sex-offender from behind bars? I mean, she knew he was in prison for a sex-offense with a minor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, she did not know.
GRACE: Well, didn`t she meet him behind bars?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. As far as I know, she did not. He has manipulated her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Gaynor, what`s your analysis of this situation?
MIKE GAYNOR, FMR. NYPD DETECTIVE: Well, I`m sure there`s a certain amount of manipulation that went along with this, but at best, Candace Watson, the mother of Haylee, is probably just a stupid woman.
She may not realize the magnitude of the problem that`s been created so far. The problem here is with Robbi Potter. This is a potentially dangerous, extremely dangerous guy. And whether or not -- go ahead.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me jump in here and say that we`re hearing a report that Candace`s friend and roommate claims when she saw Candace, Candace was in bed with Robbi and the child.
GAYNOR: Yes, I heard that report.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, that`s scary.
GAYNOR: Yes, well, that shows you that this guy knew right away what he was up to was no good. This is another one of these guys that needs to be caught quickly.
Marshal Fitzgibbon and the Marshal Service have mounted a nationwide manhunt to try to locate this guy and of course hopefully find Haylee in good shape.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
GAYNOR: It`ll a lot of work but they`ll get it done.
VELEZ-MITHCELL: Let`s hope. Let`s pray they find this child alive. Mike, thank you.
Tonight, breaking news: bombshell development in the lives of TV`s most infamous couple, Jon and Kate. Radaronline says it is official; the dueling duo are divorcing. The Web site reports that the marriage is over, kaput, fino.
It says Jon will be filing divorce papers next week. All this after a promo for their hit reality show, "Jon & Kate plus 8" promised a life- changing decision would be announced on this coming Monday`s episode. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATE GOSSELIN, ACTRESS: Recently, we`ve made some life-changing decisions. Decisions that will affect every member of our family, ones that we hope will bring each of us some peace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Doesn`t look good. Are the world`s most infamous parents splitting up? What happened to "Jon & Kate plus 8?" Has it turned into "Jon and Kate plus Hate?"
Straight to my fantastic expert panel: Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist and Kim Serafin, senior editor of "In Touch Weekly."
Kim, I`m going to start with you. Jon and Kate have released this huge promo for their next show, claiming a big decision will be made. And now we`re hearing all these reports about divorce.
Can we assume they`re not talking about something silly like, oh, Kate`s decided to get hair extensions, but rather, oh, yes in fact, we are divorcing, as has been reported.
KIM SERAFIN, IN TOUCH WEEKLY: Yes, I think this is pretty obvious to anyone who watches the show. I mean, a source has told "In Touch," a family friend of Jon has told "In Touch" a couple weeks ago that they had split for six months -- they have split up six months ago. And I think anyone who watches the show knows they`re not talking.
Even recent episodes of show, they`ve got to have had these buffers in there, whether it`s Emeril or the American Chopper guys. And even on that premiere episode, they admitted it, they were having problems. We know they didn`t spend their tenth anniversary together.
So I don`t think this is a big shock to anyone. And it`s very sad. It`s sad for the kids and it`s sad for them, but I think this was what everyone knew was coming.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon and Kate`s ten-year wedding anniversary was just six days ago. They even renewed their vows just last year. But now it`s looking more and more like this couple is going Splitsville.
They hadn`t been seen together in a long time. Not even on Kate`s birthday, he didn`t even call. They became famous because of this reality show called "Jon & Kate plus 8".
So you have to wonder, if they are indeed announcing a split, Dr. Dale Archer, how do they now continue on with their lives and this TV show? I mean, they`d have to change the TV show to, let`s say "Kate plus 8 minus Jon" and that`s not a great name for a show.
DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I think, obviously, the show is going to go on. So how they choose to do it, I don`t know. But I agree that basically, from watching this over the last few episodes that this was clearly a divorce waiting to happen.
I`m surprised it`s taken this long, but they need to move on, because there`s absolutely no communication. And then when you look at them, there`s no love at all.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what do they do with this show, Kim Serafin? Is the show over now? Can you do the show with just one parent? Or will they actually incorporate the divorce into the show, do you think?
SERAFIN: It does seem like they are really incorporating real-life events in the show. I mean, unlike other reality shows, they will show how the paparazzi is following them around. They will address the rumors.
I have a source that told "In Touch" that producers have starting to - - starts to look for an apartment for Jon, where it was camera friendly, where they could film.
We also know that 40 episodes have been ordered for this season. So I think they have to find a way. And they do, do enough of those episodes, even in the past where you know Jon spends a special day with one of the kids...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I`ve got to say, that`s got to be weird for the kids, not only to be subjected to these cameras in their lives, in their face all the time, Dr. Dale Archer. But then the TV crews are going to follow Jon as he`s dating someone else, possibly, or even the mom as she`s dating someone else?
ARCHER: Yes. It puts it in a different realm, but I think that kids see their parents go through divorce every single day. So I think that the fact that we`re able to watch this on a reality show is ok. And it`s going to be different for the kids, but it`s real.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. It`s getting a little too real for a lot of people. Thank you so much, both, for your excellent insights.
A teen couple accused of killing the girl`s mother, allegedly because she didn`t approve of their relationship. This is a sicko story I`ll have in a moment.
And two cops being investigated on suspicion of plotting to break into the home of the woman carrying Sarah Jessica Parker`s twins. All because these police chiefs allegedly wanted to dig up some dirt for the tabloids. Has our celebrity-obsessed society gone off a cliff?
1-877-JVM-SAYS, sound off to me. 1-877-586-7297.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A home invasion scare for Sarah Jessica Parker. Wait until you hear who the suspects are.
But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.
A very sicko modern-day Romeo and Juliet-style murder will leave you speechless. A 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old boyfriend arrested and accused of killing the girl`s mom, allegedly on the run since Friday.
Police nabbed the girl. We can`t name her because she`s a minor, along with Steven Colver (ph) in California. Cops may have a motive. They says the mom did not approve of her young daughter`s relationship with Colver, who was five years older.
Look at that beautiful mom there, she`s dead right now. And she even tried to have him charged with statutory rape. The mom was found stabbed to death in her home after failing to show up for work Friday and Monday.
A friend of the couple claims Colver admitted to killing the mom and even brandished the bloody kitchen knife. That is nauseating.
And it`s tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Turning now to a real-life drama for actress Sarah Jessica Parker, two men, both police chiefs under investigation for allegedly plotting to break into the home of Parker`s surrogate mom. What sounds like a movie plot and a strange one at that, is actually a very real nightmare for the "Sex and the City" actress.
Parker and actor husband Matthew Broderick has been in fear for the safety of their unborn twin daughter`s surrogate mom since last month. Parker spoke to "Access Hollywood" about her fears.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH JESSICA PARKER, ACTRESS: Well obviously, there are those that don`t care about her or her health or safety or my children`s health and safety and that they should go to term and not go into an early labor and God forbid suffer all the things that can happen. And that is a real possibility.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But are those who don`t care police chiefs? You won`t believe this. Two police chiefs are being investigated over suspicions they broke into the surrogate`s home to snoop for dirt to sell to a national tabloid. Both cops say they`re innocent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARRY CARPENTER, POLICE CHIEF: In the long run, I`ll make sure that in my job nobody will ever be falsely accused again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So we don`t want to convict them. They`re saying they didn`t do it. Now, today one of them, Chief Barry Carpenter said it was all a joke and he was just messing around with the tabloid reporter.
Since when is that part of serving and protecting? Look, Sarah Jessica Parker isn`t the first celeb to have the private details of her life bought by the highest bidder. Where do we draw the line between public and private?
Straight to my fabulous expert panel: Kim Serafin, senior editor of "In Touch Weekly" and Ant a buddy, host of VH1 Celebrity Fit Club, has made frequent appearances on "The Tonight Show;" and Mike Walters -- you are all buddies all of three of you -- assignment manager for TMZ. Mike, what is the very latest?
MIKE WALTERS, TMZ: I`ll tell you what Jane, let`s start with this.
Now, I have heard some stuff in my time and I`ve had the pleasure of actually learning some investigative journalistic stuff from your Jane Velez-Mitchell, but the fact of the matter is that two police chiefs are being investigated for breaking into the house of Sarah Jessica Parker`s surrogate mother is the most unbelievable thing I`ve ever heard.
And I can`t even believe that two police chiefs and that we`re even talking about this, but that`s what the allegation is. And law enforcement sources have told us that they have meat in this case, which what he meant was, that they actually have hard evidence that they`re looking at, that might show that these guys might be involved in this.
I can`t believe that we`re talking about this. But that is what`s going on right now.
ANT, HOST, CELEBRITY FIT CLUB: Well, they actually admitted to getting -- I mean, Carpenter admitted to being in the house and seeing a bust of her belly in the house. I mean, that`s not something you have on the front lawn for sale at a yard sale with your salt shaker.
ANT: I mean you have to be in the house to see it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, apparently...
ANT: And he said that the door was just open. Well, it`s summertime in Ohio. Of course the door`s open.
And Kim Serafin, the fact is that investigators found a photograph of a plaster of Paris bust of the surrogate mother`s stomach.
Has that what it`s come down to? That we`re so obsessed with celebrities that a photograph of a plaster bust of a surrogate mother who is carrying children for a celebrity -- I mean, my head`s going to explode.
SERAFIN: Yes, it`s disturbing. It`s not even about Sarah Jessica Parker, it`s about the surrogate. And what`s crazy is that Sarah Jessica Parker is someone who really does keep to herself.
She`s not someone that you see shopping on Robertson, really courting the press and the paparazzi. She`s very private. You`re more likely to see her walking her son to school on the streets of New York than out at a fancy Hollywood party.
So I think that`s why this is so jarring as well.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, this didn`t happen in Hollywood, it happened in Ohio.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The Mayor of Bridgeport, Ohio, where this woman lives, spoke out defending the top cop. Listen to this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN CALLARIK, MAYOR BRIDGEPORT, OHIO: All our chief did was call-up there and made an appointment and that`s all he did. And as far as the way I look at this thing, I don`t think either one did anything wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Ant, this reminds me some kind of crazy spinal tap movie where the Hollywood mentality invades a small town and everything goes to fluey.
ANT: I can`t believe we`re even listening to that man. I mean, he still thinks Taft is still the president. How old is he, I mean seriously?
But you know what it boils down to? It boils down to these celebrities have no privacy at all anymore because the tabloids are paying big bucks for those photos, for these exclusive stories. And I blame them more than I blame actually the cops for breaking and entering.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I blame -- listen, I don`t know that the cops did it and we don`t want to convict them. They say that -- what do they say, Mike Walters? I mean, I`m hearing so many different stories that they are plotted to break in...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ...that one of them walked in because the door was open, that one of them met with a tabloid reporter.
WALTERS: Jane, let me tell you something. Here`s what we`re told which is -- I have family in law enforcement. What the chief is saying is that he drove-by a residential neighborhood and saw a door open, so went in to see if everything was ok.
And I can tell you, for sure, that the police chief of any town does not randomly go on patrols around residential neighborhoods. That`s what his story is, is how he ended up in there. And then, all of a sudden, he`s going to make a joke with some reporter? Come on. It doesn`t add up.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang on. We`ve got so much more on Sarah Jessica Parker and the star of sex culture.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARPENTER: In the long run, I`ll make sure that in my job nobody will ever be falsely accused again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Which he says he`s innocent, with stars like Sarah Jessica Parker no stranger to tabloids going to any length or any scrap of information about her personal life. Remember Britney Spears, swarmed by paparazzi while being wheeled-out of her home on a stretcher in 2008?
And then there was George Clooney, his medical records we`re illegally looked at by 27 hospital employees in 2007, all of whom were suspended. And then, most recently, Farrah Fawcett was so sure her hospital was behind leaks about her battle with cancer, she actually set them up. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FARRAH FAWCETT, ACTRESS: When my cancer came back, that`s when I set it up with the doctor. And I said, ok, you know and I know. I`m not telling Redmond, I`m not telling Ryan, I`m not telling my father. I`m not telling anyone. So I knew that if it came out, it was coming from UCLA.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Poor woman, struggling so valiantly.
It`s sick what is being done to some of these celebrities. Robert, L.A., your question or thought? Robert?
ROBERT, L.A. (via telephone): Well, I think this whole mess with Sarah Jessica Parker is ridiculous. I mean, these cops say they didn`t do and then they say they were just joking. And if there`s solid evidence against them, why are they still working? Why are they still on the force?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I think that`s an excellent question, Kim Serafin. They are still on the job, paid.
SERAFIN: Yes and it`s so different than the Farrah Fawcett example, you just brought up, she became a huge advocate for patients rights after that. And that law was actually passed here in California. And fines have been given with octo-mom, the other patient materials and records had been let out there.
So they need to pass laws, they need to deal with this. But, obviously, the police are who you go to when you see the law being broken. So this is a different situation.
ANT: And it`s such a small -- I`m from Londonderry, New Hampshire, I mean, it`s a small, small town, there are probably two people on the entire force. What do they do then? I mean, suspend them both?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well Ant, what is the answer? Because we are covering these stories more and more.
ANT: You know the answers -- here is what I don`t -- and I hate to say this, I believe those cops, if they did do it, they should be terminated and brought to justice, really. Because just like any criminal would.
But why don`t Sarah and her husband have security on this woman, because it`s very well known who she is. I don`t understand that part of it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I don`t know that we can blame them. I mean, there`s...
ANT: No, no, I`m not blaming them. What I`m saying, though, is that they should have -- they`re public people and unfortunately, there`s a lot of crazies out there and you`ve got to just protect -- you`ve got to protect yourself and your child and your unborn child, as if they were with you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I agree. I know TMZ is going to be on top of this story. More to come, thank you, fabulous panel.
ANT: Thank you Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are watching ISSUES on HLN.
See you, Ant.