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Caylee Anthony`s Autopsy Results Released; Reality TV Stars Jon & Kate to Divorce?

Aired June 19, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight a fierce battle in the Casey Anthony case as the judge decides if little Casey`s Anthony`s autopsy report will be made public. George and Cindy Anthony have fought tooth and nail to keep it sealed, saying its release would cause endless speculation. News flash: there`s already endless speculation. Wouldn`t releasing the facts put it all to rest? I`ll tell you what the judge thought.

And disturbing new reports in the disappearance of beautiful Tracy Ocasio, last seen leaving a bar with person of interest James Hataway. We know Hataway has an alleged history of attacking women, but now, cops say, he`s interested in cannibalism, vampires, and serial killers. What does this ominous news mean for the investigation?

Then Chris Brown and Rihanna will reunite Monday in the court room. Rihanna set to testify against her ex, accused of viciously assaulting her back in February. We`ll have a full preview of this superstar smack-down.

Plus Radar Online reports Jon and Kate Gosselin are splitting next week. So if they head to divorce court, will their show go on? And what about their poor children?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news tonight in the case against Casey Anthony. Little Caylee`s autopsy results have finally been released to the public right here.

An emotional George Anthony appeared before a judge today, choking back sobs. He pleaded and begged the judge to keep the gruesome details of his precious granddaughter`s murder sealed. As Cindy Anthony held her head and appeared distraught, George fought back tears and clutched a photo of little Caylee Marie before speaking on her behalf.


GEORGE ANTHONY, GRANDFATHER OF CAYLEE: Our family`s memory of our precious Caylee Marie is all we have left of her. Displaying (ph) the report at this time will allow others to dissect, misinterpret and sensationalize the information which will ultimately tarnish Caylee`s memory. This is for her, sir. This is for her today.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to feel for him. But despite George`s desperate pleas, Judge Strickland said he has to stick to the laws of the state of Florida.


JUDGE STAN STRICKLAND, ORANGE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: I`m not happy to make this ruling. I wish I didn`t have to. So the motion to discreet (ph) disclosure is denied and the items can be released.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Upon hearing that Caylee`s autopsy would be released immediately, a distraught George Anthony stormed out of the courtroom. But Casey Anthony`s defense attorney claims they`re not afraid of this autopsy becoming public. The autopsy reveals some very gruesome details about the condition of Caylee`s remains and how long the body might have been in the woods.

We will (UNINTELLIGIBLE ) the horrific details and what it means for the case in a moment. Meantime, should George and Cindy be more concerned with new information from their own neighbors just being released?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Casey had approached me and said she couldn`t find the key to their shed and wanted to know if she -- I had a shovel she could borrow to dig up a bamboo (ph) root that she had been tripping over.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s right. Casey borrowed a shovel just days after Caylee was last seen alive. We will listen to what else this neighbor said about Casey`s behavior that day.

And once again, I am holding the just-released autopsy report in my hands. Not a very thick document.

Now straight to my expert panel for analysis: Bradford Cohen, criminal defense attorney; Mark Eiglarsh, former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney; Jennifer Hartstein, clinical psychologist; Darren Kavinoky, criminal defense attorney and Voice of Reason; and very delighted to have Beth Harris, correspondent for In Session.

Beth, it was a day of dramatic developments with the release of this autopsy report. I know you`ve also had a chance to look at it. What happened in court and what do you see as the big headline coming out of this autopsy report?

BETH HARRIS, CORRESPONDENT, IN SESSION: Well, first of all, the judge`s ruling comes as no surprise. The Florida constitution says public records must be public unless there is an exemption. There is an exemption regarding autopsy reports, but not the report: for photographs. They are not being released. So the decision comes as no surprise.

I was a little surprised the judge even entertained the motion. One could have argued that the Anthonys didn`t have standing. It is their daughter`s case and maybe was her motion to make.

The headline out of the autopsy report is that there were layers of duct tape over the lower jaw and the maxilla, right here in front of her mouth, and duct tape still attached to hair. It seems to indicate -- I see it as evidence of why the prosecution is seeking the death penalty. You do not put duct tape over the mouth of a person who is dead. That -- this is probably the way she died.

The cause of death is not stated. It`s unknown. But there`s ample, I think, evidence for the prosecution to argue that she suffocated to death.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and what I found interesting is that, again, it`s homicide by undetermined means. But the medical examiner does have something called conclusion/opinion. And that has got some stuff in it. The autopsy results for little Caylee may clear up some serious questions.

Here`s what the report says: quote, "Although there is no trauma evidence on the skeleton, there is duct tape" -- as Beth just mentioned -- "over the lower facial region still attached to head hair. This duct tape was clearly placed prior to decomposition, keeping the mandible in place," end quote.

So we know the duct tape was there before death. The report goes on, quote, "There is nothing inconsistent with the body being placed there soon after the date of being last seen alive."

So in plain English, Doctor G, the medical examiner saying the body could have been placed in the woods right after Caylee vanished June 16.

Now, let me as you, Mark Eiglarsh, what`s the significance of that, given the story, the back story we all know, that cops failed to find the body in August, despite being called to the scene repeatedly by meter reader Roy Kronk? That a private eye failed to find the body in November while looking in that very location. That gave the defense an argument that the body could have been put there by some mystery nanny after Casey was already in jail.

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I don`t know if we`re going to hear that argument. If we do, those who want her to be convicted should applaud it, because I don`t know if it`s going to go anywhere.

To me, the bombshell, using your language, in this report...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I didn`t say that today.

EIGLARSH: You didn`t. I know. You kind of...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because I knew you were on. I said, I`m going to be good. I`m going to be good.

EIGLARSH: You checked, and then it came over to me, and I`m going with it. To me -- to me the stunner, if you will -- and I know you will, because you have many times before -- is that the toxicology report revealed -- the testing revealed no drugs detected.

Not a shocker, but if the state is going to prove that it`s the chloroform that led to the child`s death, the absence of anything in her system is not something that can`t can explained away, but is yet another thing the prosecutors are going to have to spend time with the jury explaining why, if chloroform was used, why it`s not in her system.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, apparently, they never tested for it, Bradford Cohen. Because chloroform apparently occurs naturally during decomposition. I think that`s a crock. I think they dropped the ball by not testing for chloroform, given that chloroform was found in the trunk and that somebody on Casey` computer was Googling for chloroform and that chloroform has been used as a knock-out drug.

BRADFORD COHEN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It`s definitely going to be one of the things the defense is going to harp on the.

And the other thing they`re going to harp on is like you just released that clip where the guy said he -- she wanted to borrow a shovel. But this body wasn`t buried. Or the gas cans, and this body wasn`t burnt. There`s a lot of things that the state was going for and saying "This is probably what she did. This is probably how it happened" that start to fall apart. And it shows a little bit of a sloppiness here.

And another thing that`s going to happen is you`re going to have a battle of experts that are going to take place in terms of when the body was placed there, how the body was placed there, the roots that were growing. Are they indigent to that area? Is that the type of area that would support those roots, or is it from someplace else and she was transported there?

Although this report states that, that individual is not a plant expert that you could put on the stand to stay whether or not for sure that body was there and that`s where it was found and that`s where it was going to be.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: After George`s emotional -- and it was really, really emotional -- plea, the media attorney for "The Orlando Sentinel" asked him some pointed questions. Let`s listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many television appearances have you made recording this case?

G. ANTHONY: I have no idea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know how many times you`ve appeared on "LARRY KING"?

G. ANTHONY: Two times.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And did you recently appear on one of the morning television news talk shows?

G. ANTHONY: Yes, ma`am, the other day. As a matter of fact, we did the CBS "Early Show."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: George and Cindy argued the release would bring more speculation over Caylee`s murder. But some argue they`re the ones who have fueled that fire by appearing on all these TV shows.

And Darren Kavinoky, that was the point of the media attorney to call them on that, because they were coming in there with all that emotion, a plea to the heart, and it was kind of like throwing cold water on it.

DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: And I think the media attorney did a very effective job in pointing those things out. Ultimately, the judge`s ruling was really no shocker, to use Mark`s terms.

EIGLARSH: Mine? They`re hers. They`re not mine.

KAVINOKY: And to use -- and to use yours, Jane. There`s nothing shocking about it, because under Florida law...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I know all that. But what`s shocking about the autopsy? What`s shocking about this autopsy? Why were they so intent? I don`t buy this whole thing about, "Oh, they wanted to just" -- I have compassion for them. But...

EIGLARSH: Buy it, Jane. That`s what it is.

KAVINOKY: There`s gruesome -- there`s gruesome stuff in the autopsy photos.

The big headline for me is the inability for the -- for the coroner to pin down a cause of death. That`s yet one more thing that the defense will trumpet in this case.

Ultimately, the mission of the defense is to shift the burden right back to where it righteously belongs, to the prosecution. And if there are questions that they can`t answer, then that`s going to be something that the defense will make a lot of noise about.


EIGLARSH: I`ve got to help -- Jane, I`ve got to help you with this. Because I, too, was going, "What`s so emotional?" And then when I stopped and I said, let me just think God forbid this is my daughter that we`re reading about, it`s horrid. It`s agonizing. Think about it that way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I`ll think about it that way, but I still think there might be another reason why they wanted to keep this autopsy out of the public eye.

Panel stay there. More analysis of today`s ruling.

Then cops say the man who last saw Tracy Ocasio is interested in serial killers, vampires and cannibals. We`re going to analyze this ominous claim.

But first today, a judge in the Casey Anthony case shot down the pleas of Cindy and George Anthony, and Caylee`s autopsy report was finally released. And we have it. We`re discussing it. It was a big defeat for the Anthonys. But they`ve had recent victories lately, such as when the judge ruled to suppress video of Casey`s jailhouse meltdown when she learned a child`s remains were found near her home, before they were I.D.`d.

Here`s one witness`s description of Casey`s reaction.


LT. TAMMY UNGER, EYEWITNESS: She collapsed into the chair and started to what appeared to be hyperventilating. She lost her breath. We told her a couple of times take some deep breaths. She was -- got really shallow breathing. Her hands started to sweat. She started rubbing them profusely.




LEE ANTHONY, CASEY`S BROTHER: I was just like, holy (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Like, it just -- I can`t even describe that smell, like garbage. You know, but I couldn`t -- I couldn`t describe. It`s something you don`t want to but you have to actually smell. It was -- it was atrocious.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lee Anthony, Casey`s brother, describing the smell in her car`s trunk around the time little Caylee went missing. Was little Caylee`s body in that trunk that was driven by Casey Anthony? That car was driven by Casey Anthony.

And could Caylee`s autopsy give us any clues linking her homicide back to Casey`s car?

Straight to my expert panel. I want to bring in clinical psychologist Jennifer Hartstein. We need a shrink on this one. What I don`t understand about George and Cindy is that their efforts repeatedly boomerang. They continually say they want to keep -- preserve the memory of their precious granddaughter and keep the focus of the media off. And yet everything they do boomerangs and simply puts the spotlight.

I mean, what they did today put a spotlight on the release of this autopsy report. You couldn`t hire a team of publicists to do more to tell the whole world, "Hey, this autopsy report is coming out."

JENNIFER HARTSTEIN, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Right. It`s absolutely true. And I think they have good intentions about wanting to do what`s best, by the way, for their granddaughter. But what they do is they keep saying, "Look at us, look at us, look at us."

And then it forces everybody -- you know, you mentioned. They don`t want to have more speculation, but they`re creating more and more and more by staying in the focus. If they could kind of be involved but take a little bit of a back seat to it, it wouldn`t be so in our faces all the time, and we wouldn`t always be going, "Well, what are they hiding?" Or "what`s different?" Or "What do they need to reanalyze and how do we need to rethink it?" And you wouldn`t be, you know, holding the autopsy and analyzing it so specifically.

They just don`t get that maybe they should take a step back. Maybe they should stop, and actually things might work better for them than they are.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They never seem to get it.

KAVINOKY: Hang on, Jane. Hang on. Mark`s point before the commercial break is so well taken. If you take a step back and consider this as if it was your relative, these autopsy reports are horrific. And of course they`re well-intentioned by wanting to keep that from the public`s eye. And they know well and good that once those reports are out, whether they tried to block it or not, those things are going to be scrutinized and poured over.

HARTSTEIN: Well, they`re going to be, true. But we wouldn`t necessarily be talking about them on television so much because they wouldn`t be in court.




HARTSTEIN: We might, but you never know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me bring in Beth Harris. Look, during recent trials that you have covered, the Phil Spector case, for example, the family repeatedly refused to speak. Even though everybody was saying, "Speak. Speak out for your daughter." In the end they did get the conviction they wanted. They said nothing for years as the system played out.

HARRIS: That`s right. Not only in Phil Spector, many cases like in the Scott Peterson trial. Sharon Rocha was not talking to the media all the time. The Petersons also weren`t, but certainly, everybody did afterwards. They kept it really low key until the trial was over. And, by the way, Laci Peterson, cause of death, never known. Scott is on Death Row.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now what -- go ahead.

COHEN: The problem that you have, though is that this is their daughter. In the Peterson case, that was someone who allegedly killed their daughter. This is they`re defending their daughter as well as trying to, quote unquote, "find the murderer" of their grandchild.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But my point, Brad, is that they`re not doing a good job.

COHEN: No. And...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If they had professional PR people, they would -- the PR people would say shut up and don`t talk.

EIGLARSH: Here`s what`s happening. You also have the lawyers that are involved in this case. Should be advising them that, A, No. 1 is they didn`t have standing to make this motion. No. 2 is the Florida constitution is going to -- is going to be thrown in your face. They knew this motion is not going to succeed. I don`t know why they would go forward.


KAVINOKY: The judge did the right thing politically to entertain it, so the judge looks good. And of course the court has always got to be concerned with public perception. And I think Judge Strickland did the right thing by entertaining the motion, by giving it considered thought. He looks good and the system looks good by virtue of...

COHEN: Absolutely. Jane, what happened was Brad Conway probably said, "You have a snowball`s chance in hell by getting the judge to ignore the law."

And so George looked at him, probably like in that scene from "Dumb and Dumber": "You mean, I`ve got a chance? You`re saying I`ve got a chance."

And they went ahead and argued this ridiculous motion. And you`re right; it boomeranged on them. I understand why George did it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Beth Harris, why no Casey Anthony in court? We had heard all these legal battles and then the result was Casey has to go to court ever time there`s a hearing. Now she`s not there.

HARRIS: Right, but it wasn`t her motion. It was her parents`. And that`s why. And the judge did say that as soon as he took the bench. And when Brad Conway did at one point say that he thought releasing the autopsy report could poison the jury pool. That`s when the prosecutor was on her feet in a heartbeat, saying no argument related to the murder case, because that`s not what this motion was about. So the judge, you know, cut him off. Although the father has made the same argument.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, Mark Eiglarsh, Baez didn`t stay silent. That`s impossible for him. And he jumped in there and started arguing on his client`s be half. So why wasn`t she there? Given that we know that he`s going to say something?

EIGLARSH: The question is why is a defendant ever there when the defense attorney waives their appearance? The only reason why is because the prosecutors objected. They want to make sure there`s no issues on appeal. And this was not her motion. She didn`t have to be there at all. And so the judge said OK, in this case, she doesn`t have to be there. It`s the right ruling.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Ten seconds. Brad Cohen, is this autopsy the big story? Or is it just much adieu about nothing?

COHEN: I don`t think -- I think the big story is, A, they don`t know the cause of death. I think, B, the big story is about the duct tape and the expert witnesses that are going to take effect. Whether or not it was post- or anti-mortem. That`s the big thing to me, at least in terms of defense and the state attorney`s office.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want to thank my fantastic panel. Feisty debate. We will have more of Casey Anthony analysis in just a moment.

Plus Jon and Kate Gosselin reportedly about to file for divorce. So what will happen to their hit reality show?

And Rihanna will testify against Chris Brown on Monday. Set to, anyway. What kind of drama can we expect to see in this superstar smack- down?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A stunner tonight in the rocky marriage of reality TV stars Jon and Kate Gosselin. Radar Online says the clashing couple is divorcing, and that`s not all. The Web site says Jon and Kate have not slept in the same bed for months now.

The speculation began when a super-intense promo ran for their next show, claiming a life-changing decision was about to be made. We`re not talking hair extensions. A new promo shows the couple visibly emotional about the declining state of their relationship.


KATE GOSSELIN, REALITY TV STAR: We haven`t known where we were going, but we`ve been dealing with this for a long time. A slow progression that has not popped up one day. It`s not been, like, a secret.

JON GOSSELIN, REALITY TV STAR: It just got worse and worse and worse. With all the tabloids and all that, it just made it even worse.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sounds like put a fork in it. So does their hit reality TV show, "Jon & Kate Plus Eight," do their family in? And will the show go on if it become "Jon Minus Kate" or "Jon & Kate Plus Hate"?

Straight out to Ant, a pop-culture expert and comedian who has made frequent appearances on "The Tonight Show."

Ant, great to see you.

ANT: Hey, thank you, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Has the show jumped the shark or is it about to take on a whole new life, a life of its own that could make it even more wildly popular, even as it appears to showcase a family disintegrating?

ANT: Well, I think they`re going to have to change the name of the show to be "Kate Minus Jon Plus 8: Alimony is Great" is what they should change the title of the show.

And I love how they say, you know, like Radar Online, you know, shocking news. They haven`t shared a bed in seven months. Well, that`s what happens when you`re leading up to divorce. You don`t share a bed anymore.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Or maybe when you have all these kids and all these cameras in your face. I mean, how can you possibly have an intimate relationship with not only the eight kids?

ANT: They found time to write a book.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s what I`m saying. When`s the time to be alone? When`s the time to have an actual relationship?

You know, everybody has been talking about this messy marriage.

ANT: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Even their own siblings. Kate`s brother and sister- in-law told Radar Online their perception of the relationship.


JODI KREIDER, KATE GOSSELIN`S SISTER-IN-LAW: All we know is what Jon has told us. That Kate came to him a while ago with a contract stating that he can have girlfriends and that he can do his own thing, that they will live separate lives. And...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They just need to...

KREIDER: Continue the show. Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In exchange, Jon needs to show up for filming, basically, is what it`s saying.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So we know there`s been bad blood between the siblings, possibly over money. We don`t know if any of this is true. But it brings up an interesting point. I mean, could they have been separated a long time ago and just putting on an act?

ANT: Well, I mean, you know -- Jane, you and I both know how long it takes to draft a contract. So obviously, it looks like it`s been happening for a long time. But that saddens me that, you know, what I just heard, because I mean, that sounds like she`s putting the show ahead of her children.


ANT: Even -- you know, I mean, it`s just so -- it`s just -- I have a -- I feel dirty. I feel dirty.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Garner (ph) says somebody saw Jon in New York City apartment hunting at Trump Tower, which is not cheap.

ANT: Trump Tower? I can`t even afford Trump Tower. How much are they paying them? I can`t even afford a water tower.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, we`re going to have to see what happens Monday night. We`re going to have you back to discuss...

ANT: I`ll be back.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... and dissect it all, Ant. Thank you so much.

Beautiful -- this is a sad story now we`re switching to. Beautiful Tracy Ocasio, missing since late May. Cops make a very disturbing claim about James Hataway, the last man to see Tracy alive. It involves serial killers.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Disturbing new reports in the disappearance of beautiful Tracy Ocasio, last seen leaving a bar with person of interest James Hataway. Now, cops say he is interested in cannibalism, vampires and serial killers. What does this ominous news mean for the investigation?

Then Chris Brown and Rihanna will reunite Monday in the courtroom. Rihanna is set to testify in Brown`s assault case. We`ll have a full preview of this superstar smack-down.

Breaking news tonight as a judge rules that little Caylee Anthony`s autopsy results could be released to the public. Although her grandfather George Anthony made a desperate plea to have the results sealed Judge Strickland had to stick to the laws of Florida and release the child`s autopsy today. The autopsy reveals very gruesome details of the state of Caylee`s remains and just how long she might have been in those woods.

How will these potentially crucial details affect Casey Anthony`s defense?

Straight to my expert panel: Mark Eiglarsh, former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney; Beth Karas, correspondent for "In Session."

Beth, George and Cindy Anthony argued that making the autopsy report public would fuel speculation. But the media attorney argued, "Hey, everybody has already been speculating because a report hasn`t been released."

Essentially, their imaginations often exceed what`s right there on the page and after looking at this autopsy reports I have to agree with the media attorney?

BETH KARAS, IN SESSION: Absolutely, in fact before she got up to make her argument, I was thinking the same thing. And say what a minute, let`s get the facts out there so people stop speculating although, we will continue to speculate until the cause of death because that is undetermined.

However, duct tape over the mouth and layers of it in such a way that it held the jaw in place when many other parts of her body were separated and scattered indicates that she probably was alive. I mean, you don`t put duct tape over somebody who is not alive.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes it`s disturbing, but I think the question is, is it new? Is any of it, as you parse through this -- Mark you`ve been covering this case from the very start. I mean, we`re reading about the double bagging for example in garbage and laundry bags and that the remains were found with a "Winnie the Pooh" blanket but we knew that already.

MARK EIGLARSH, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Absolutely nothing new of significance, there`s tiny little details that I found interesting but on the big picture nothing new. And I`ll tell you, there`s nothing more damaging in this report than -- that you can compare to her dressed in the America flag at parties.


EIGLARSH: There`s nothing worse than her at parties while her child is missing. That`s the bad stuff. That -- if you`re going to devote you`re resources of keeping from public viewing, which they wouldn`t be able to do, it`s what you had to fight for, not this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Beth Karas, as we look at this case and you`ve covered so many criminal trials. I personally have never seen a case where so much discovery has been released in dribs and drabs over such a long period of time in preparation for a trial that may not even begin until next year.

Is this sort of unheard of?

KARAS: Well, in my experience, I`ve never seen this. But I haven`t covered anything as big as this in Florida. And I don`t know of any other case in Florida where the law is different from other states where we don`t get this kind of discovery, everything is posted online. It`s hard to keep up with.

By the way, another thing we learned in the autopsy report and this is just something we might hear the prosecutors say in opening or summation, there are letters that came off the clothing that Caylee was apparently wearing that said, "big trouble comes small."

They put together these letters and that will probably be a theme that the prosecutors will use. "Big trouble comes small." Yes, it was trouble for Casey and that is why she killed her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you have to say that again. Because that sounds like something that is significant that I haven`t really heard before. Explain one more time where this information come from.

KARAS: It`s in the middle of the autopsy report. Its page six of the autopsy report and there is a description of the clothing. And the dirt, debris and the threads and these little letters that came-off a shirt apparently. And they found b-i-g and then they found -- that "trouble" -- the letters of "trouble" and then they found "comes" still attached together and then "small."

I mean, anything that goes to the issue in the case...

EIGLARSH: Jane -- yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I see it -- I see it right here. "Big trouble comes small."

EIGLARSH: But Jane I was going to say, Jane interesting.


EIGLARSH: Interesting, sensational but absolutely has nothing to do with the manner or cause of death at all, just additional facts that will be tossed around perhaps the trial.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t know, I think we`re going to have to analyze that one in the coming days. Thank you both for your excellent insights. It`s great to have you here.

Turning now to truly ominous developments tonight in the disappearance of beautiful 27-year-old Florida woman, Tracy Ocasio; new revelations that the lone person of interest in the case James Hataway has a deep fascination with the dark arts. That according to authorities includes cannibalism, vampires and serial murders.

Hataway, who is now behind bars on an unrelated drug charge; he has also been charged with a brutal attack on another Florida woman has not responded to these new allegations. Tracy`s parents -- that`s the missing girl`s parents understandably extremely upset.


ELIZABETH OCASIO, TRACY OCASIO`S MOTHER: I don`t know what happened. And I really have to find out what happened to her. And I hope she didn`t suffer. But, with the way things are going and the more we learn about him, I don`t know if that is true or not.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tracy vanished late last month after giving Hataway a ride home from a local bar. Her car found abandoned close to his house. But Hataway maintains his innocence.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened the last night with her?

HATAWAY: She left. I hung out with my father.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what did you guys do that night?

HATAWAY: We just hang out and she gave me a ride home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did she say to you? Where is she was going? Did she say anything to you about where she was going?

HATAWAY: No, nothing.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, nothing. Meantime authorities have searched Hataway`s house and came away with two computers. Could they provide more disturbing clues?

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: Steve Kardian, former criminal investigator and Director of Defend University; Darren Kavinoky, criminal defense attorney; and by phone, reporter, Rozzie Franco with WFLA 540 AM in Orlando.

Rozzie, you have been tracking this case from the start. You`re doing some digging, I understand. What is the very latest?

ROZZIE FRANCO, WFLA 540 ORLANDO (via telephone): Well, the very latest right now is James Hataway is looking more like a suspect as the investigation goes on. And they seized the computer from his home and as we`ve learned he has been looking into murder, suicide, cannibalism, vampires, serial murders.

I mean, this guy has done his research on crime and mutilation. He is now, obviously, the suspect in the disappearance of Tracy Ocasio.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Steve Kardian, there are a lot of people who are fascinated by vampires and the very famous works of fiction about vampires, but when you take vampires and then you add cannibalism and then you add serial killers, that`s pretty darn scary.

STEVE KARDIAN, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Yes it is Jane and when we look at -- and I`m not calling him a serial killer, but when we look at a serial killer we see common denominators of cannibalism, of serial killer profiles where they are looking at someone that they look up to in the serial killer world if you will.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s just scaring me, Darren Kavinoky, this story is getting darker and darker. And now they have seized computers as well as computer disks. What can they learn from those? Because people don`t -- and I`m not saying that he is responsible or that she is dead, but authorities are obviously very concerned.

She has been missing for a while. She gave him a ride home, she hasn`t been seen since. And he`s the suspect in numerous cases at this point or being investigated in connection with numerous cases at this point.

What have they learned from this computer about his mindset and if he were to hypothetically leave something -- a body for example, where he would put it?

DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, obviously his interest in the dark arts refers to more than just a finger painting hobby. Here is a guy who clearly has two scoops of crazy in his breakfast cereal.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Three scoops.

KAVINOKY: And the question is whether -- three scoops perhaps and -- but the ultimate question is whether or not that will mean anything relevant to a criminal prosecution. The idea that he`s got mental problems could foreshadow a mental health defense in the case if he is ultimately charged.

But we may also be looking at a guy who is dark, who has some mental health issues but may be factually innocent and ultimately going through -- every bit of that computer is going to guide authorities.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Perhaps, wait until you hear this -- this is scary...

FRANCO: Jane, this isn`t just dark, he posed for his driver`s license photo wearing porcelain fangs. He`s very caught up in this vampire...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They let him do that? That is sick.

KAVINOKY: Yes, but that may not be relevant to an issue in the criminal case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. I think it`s going to be relevant.

KAVINOKY: Well, Jane, Jane...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wearing fangs for your driver`s license photo?

KARDIAN: Jane, if I can go back to his assault on the young lady from the adjoining county.


KARDIAN: She reports using words like -- he tried to break my neck, he tried to strangle me, he tried to bang my head into the cement walk way; that`s all indicative of extreme rage. A choking maneuver is extremely rageful.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And perhaps acting out some kind of vampiric fantasy.

Detectives have got a search warrant to search the home where Hataway lives. They`ve pulled out two computers. We were able to track down James Hataway`s MySpace page before it was deleted. On his page, Hataway had an album of photos dedicated to injuries, which showed bloodied cuts and abrasions. He also had another album with numerous insensitive comments on about women.

So Steve Kardian, I`ve got to ask you this profile that`s coming together is scary.

KARDIAN: It`s very scary Jane and they`re going to see a blue-print of what he`s been into over the past weeks prior this events` past months. And they`re going to have a really good and clear picture about his mindset and about what he`s into.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes and by the way...

KARDIAN: But all of this is stuff -- Jane hang on -- all of this stuff is highly relevant in the court of public opinion, but it`s a whole other thing when we`re talking about a court of law, this is all what we call prior bad actions...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They haven`t found this woman yet. And it`s not looking good. Equusearch says they`re going to suspend their search after tomorrow -- not a good sign.

Our heart goes out to family.

Thanks everyone for your excellent insights.

The man who stalked Tyra Banks is sentenced. I`ll tell you if he`ll do hard time.

And Rihanna prepares for her make-or-break testimony in the Chris Brown case. I will have a preview of Monday`s courtroom smack-down.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rihanna and Chris Brown set to face-off in court on Monday. Find out if Rihanna`s testimony could decide Brown`s fate.

First "Top of the Block" tonight.

A celebrity stalking scare over, for now anyway: the man convicted of stalking Tyra Banks sentenced. But guess what, he`s going to be able to stay out of jail. Isn`t that lovely, 38-year-old Brady Green, got one year of probation and he has to complete a harassment class. Oh, yes.

He`ll also be prohibited from contacting Tyra for at least two years. I hope that works. Green was accused of following the star all across the country and sending her flowers and packages and spreading love notes. In March he was arrested outside the New York studio of "The Tyra Banks Show" where he allegedly threatened to kill Tyra`s assistant.

Banks went toe-to-toe with Green when she testified against him in court yesterday. The judge ruled if Green fails to attend all the classes or violates any other aspect of his sentence he will be thrown in jail for 90 days.

Big whoop, let`s hope it never comes to that.

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

Also tonight: a dramatic superstar Smack-down in a Los Angeles courtroom heating up. Stunning pop princess Rihanna says she will testify against one-time boyfriend, R&B singer Chris Brown in court this coming Monday. Cops say Brown delivered a horrific beating to her back in February. That, after a violent verbal confrontation sparked by a text message sent to Brown by another woman, according to a sworn statement by police.

Brown allegedly punched Rihanna bloody bitter, slammed her head into the window of their car and made death threats against the beautiful Bahamian-born singer. And now Brown will face the music, so to speak, and his former girlfriend turned state witness during the first phase of his criminal trial. That is unless -- and it is a big unless -- Brown`s high- powered celebrity attorney Mark Geragos wrangles a last minute plea deal between now and Monday afternoon.

Funny, because back in April it was full-on denial.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Brown, how do you plead to count one, a violation of Section 245-A1 of the penal code?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And sir as to count two, a violation of Section C-422 of the penal code, criminal threats charge?

Thank you very much.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: If he is convicted on all counts, Brown could be sent to the slammer for almost five years.

Meantime, there`s an all-out image rehab for the vilified vocalist who says he is not a monster.


BROWN: Everybody that is haters, you`ve been haters. All my real fans, I love you all. I`m not a monster.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So what if Chris Brown changes his tune and says mea culpa? Is his career down the tubes? And what does all this mean for Rihanna?

Straight out to my fantastic panel: Bradford Cohen, criminal defense attorney and pop culture expert who`s made frequent appearances on "The Tonight Show;" and my buddy Mike Walters, assignment manager for TMZ. Mike, what can we expect on Monday?

MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: Well, you know what, Jane? It is go time. We`re finally going to have Rihanna go to court in this case. She`s going to hit the stand and we`re going to hear blow-by-blow what exactly happened that night from her own words.

Now, I can tell you for sure, they`re going to arrive separately -- that I do know. But what I also can tell you, is Rihanna -- what is interesting to me in this case is, remember the police report, Rihanna said to the cops, "Not only did Chris Brown beat me badly" -- and you just listed off the stuff that she said he did -- but also that it was escalating violence in the relationship up until that point.

Here`s what`s interesting, is she going to stick by the guns in court or is she going to roll over and go, you know, oh well, you know and try to go back and forth about what...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Minimize it, yes.

Bradford Cohen, she could minimize it. They could also reach a plea deal before this happens on Monday and it would be an 11th hour plea deal. What is the incentive for the prosecutors? They have the photo, they have the blood from the car, they have her police statement which goes on and on about a long-running Smack-down?

ANT, COMEDIAN: Jane, the incentive is he is a celebrity and in California celebrities don`t get convicted.

BRADFORD COHEN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, that is not true. That`s not true. If you look at Paris Hilton, she`s the evidence of that. Not only did she get convicted, she went to jail for a longer period of time than anybody else.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was a dramarama.


COHEN: When it comes to this case, Mark Geragos, he was seeking a continuance just for that to try and get a plea deal on the table. And the time for the plea deal was really at the beginning of this case when Rihanna and Chris were still talking to each other. And then maybe you could mitigate it at that point.

Now to do a plea deal is because Rihanna doesn`t want to take the stand, she doesn`t want to do this. She will if she has to. But I think the prosecutor has to look at the whole picture here.

You still have an unwilling victim. Even though she is cooperating, she is an unwilling victim. So on Monday, Geragos has to decide whether or not to take the gloves off and go after 110 percent, which every defense attorney has to decide at what point do you do that against the victim that may still try and help you.

ANT: You know what, though, that is a sad case though if Rihanna does not testify because what kind of message is that sending to girls and women all across the country?

COHEN: I`m not saying that she is not going to testify.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s the thing guys. She can`t minimize it because there is a police report that outlines everything that she told cops that night, Mike Walters.

So if she contradicts the police report, it`s like -- if she says it`s no big whoop, just a little thing, well, there`s a police report. She gave a statement.

WALTERS: Right, but you know, I agree with Bradford. One of the things is, is Geragos going to take the gloves off? Now remember, one of the reasons it stalled -- I can tell you from our sources -- is that Chris Brown doesn`t want to go to jail. That`s what`s holding up the plea deal. Is Geragos going to go after Rihanna who you know they`re in cahoots? All these people together is going to go after her and get Chris Brown off or try to get him off and Chris doesn`t want to go to jail.

So either we`re going to hear the Rihanna and get the entire story or Chris is going to jail.



COHEN: If it goes to a preliminary trial...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What happens, Brad...

ANT: It`s stalled also because Geragos is French for "buy more time." What happens to the bruises, black and blue marks when you have a long stretch of time? They heal and go away. So no jury is ever going to think that that picture`s...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There are photographs, though, Ant.

I love this feisty panel. Sit tight.

When Brown was in court in April, it was a mad house outside. It`s sure to be even crazier this coming Monday.



RIHANNA, SINGER: We are role models not only by our music but by our style. So we have to keep up.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Words of wisdom from Rihanna during a Red Carpet interview back in 2006. If all goes according to plan, the alleged victim of domestic violence will be a role model for women everywhere when she takes the stand Monday to testify.

ANT: Yes. If she takes the stand.

Can I just point out?


ANT: This is important. This is important. This all started over a text message from another woman. What happens, God forbid, if they get married and she forgets to do the dishes?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They`re not getting married. She`s moved on. And -- get this -- Chris Brown is doing battle on two fronts. While celebrity attorney Mark Geragos is taking care of legal business, Brown has a celebrity crisis management company working with him. There`s "I Ate a Monster" video he posted to YouTube last month. This reportedly is part of the campaign to resurrect his image.

But what about this weird stunt? He took a dead ringer for Rihanna to game five of the NBA finals last week. In fact, when I saw the picture -- look at her in the glasses there -- I thought it was Rihanna. I was like, what? No, she is an absolute look-alike for Rihanna.

Who told him that was a good idea, Ant?

ANT: I don`t know who told him that was good. That is certainly not something that you want. They look like they`re trying not to get attention, yet they all dressed up like they`re extras from "The Matrix." Wearing sun glasses, too -- crazy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I will have a prediction from all three of my expert panelists. Will there be a plea deal? I want a yes or a no starting with Bradford Cohen.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, Mike Walters.

WALTERS: No way, I`m with Bradford. He`s the legal mind.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ant. Will there be a plea deal?

ANT: No way.


ANT: No because Rihanna is going to testify. She wants to. Girl, if you`re watching this, you better testify. Don`t make a bad example.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike, she doesn`t want to testify is what we`ve heard. It`s back and forth. One report says yes, she`s willing to testify. She`s moved on. She`s got a new boyfriend.

ANT: Guess what? When you`re a grown-up, you`ve got to do the hard, grown-up things.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Mike, what do you know about this?

WALTERS: She`s definitely going to show up. She`s definitely going to testify unless there is a plea deal and I don`t see one coming.

Unfortunately, there`s going to be no cameras.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know like they say in that movie, "Forget about it Jake, it`s Chinatown." I say, "Forget about it. It`s Hollywood." Who knows what the heck is going to happen on Monday.

I guess you`re just going to have to watch ISSUES.

Thanks to my fantastic panel for joining me tonight. And you are watching ISSUES on HLN. See you Monday.