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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Jackson Death Probe Focusing on Doctor; Does Michael Vick Deserve a Second Chance?; Jackson`s Doctor Raided; Hulk Hogan Battle Royale
Aired July 28, 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, bombshell developments in the Michael Jackson manslaughter probe. Cops storm into Dr. Conrad Murray`s Las Vegas home and medical office, their second raid in a week. This after unnamed law enforcement officials say they believe Murray gave Jackson the drugs that caused his heart to fail. TMZ even claims cops were told by Murray himself that he gave Jackson the powerful surgical knock-out drug which the King of Pop reportedly relied on like an alarm clock.
So will cops name Murray as a suspect in the death? And what`s his side of the story?
Then, nearly two years after pleading guilty to King-pinning a dog- fighting ring, disgraced NFL star Michael Vick is reinstated to the league. He`s free to play football again on a conditional basis. But will any teams want him? And does he deserve the second chance? We`ll debate it.
Plus, Hulk Hogan and ex-wife Linda finally settle their messy divorce. The Hulkster handles it with a typical flap, reportedly boasting, "I`m a free man." But with the Hulkamaniac on the prowl, is he leaving behind a family in tatters?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, fast-breaking new developments in the Michael Jackson death probe. Investigators turn up the heat on Jackson`s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray.
This morning at approximately 8 a.m. Las Vegas time, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the LAPD and local police armed with search warrants swarmed Dr. Murray`s Las Vegas office as well as his home at the Red Rock Country Club. Investigators looking for medical records related to all of Michael Jackson`s aliases. They took a computer hard drive and cell phones, evidence that could possibly help them build a manslaughter case against Dr. Murray.
Dr. Murray was at his Las Vegas home during this raid, and his lawyer says the doctor actually assisted the officers. The DEA spoke out late this afternoon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL FLANAGAN, DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION: At this time, the D.A. at the Las Vegas office -- the Los Angeles Police Department, in the search warrant here at Dr. Conrad Murray`s office.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sorry. Is there an arrest warrant involved in all of this? Two operations?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No arrest warrant. Today`s sweep comes less than a week after authorities took Dr. Murray by surprise, storming his Houston office and a rented storage unit there. They seized documents and drugs, but no Propofol was found at either location. That, of course, is the powerful surgical knock-out drug investigators believe may have caused Michael Jackson`s heart to stop beating.
And get this. An unnamed source tells the Associated Press that Michael Jackson used Propofol like an alarm clock, having a doctor start the IV drip when he wanted to sleep and stop it when it was time for him to wake up. Michael reportedly suffered from severe insomnia. A law enforcement source also tells the A.P. that authorities believe Dr. Murray gave Jackson Propofol sometime after midnight.
Dr. Murray`s lawyer has reportedly said the doctor, quote, "happened to find an unconscious Jackson in the morning," end quote. So what happened in between? We know he tried to revive him.
This is a theory Joe Jackson talked about on "LARRY KING" last Monday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON`S FATHER: You don`t take a doctor and stick him in the room there, and the doctor give him something to make him rest and then he don`t wake up no more. Something is wrong there. The doctor -- the doctor just -- somehow I understand that he left or went to sleep or something. I don`t know what happened there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We don`t know what happened. In response, Dr. Murray`s attorney has fired back, quote, "It`s a waste of time responding to all these timed leaks from anonymous sources, and I feel like a horse swatting flies. I have no doubt they want to make a case. For goodness sakes, it`s Michael Jackson!" End quote.
Here`s Dr. Murray`s lawyer one month ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED CHERNOFF, LAWYER FOR DR. CONRAD MURRAY: It`s still a mystery how he died to Dr. Murray. It was Dr. Murray, appearing, as you know that requested that the family ask for an autopsy, because it -- he needed to know as well as his physician what caused Michael Jackson to stop breathing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is it still a mystery?
Meantime, the AP source described harrowing conditions inside Jackson`s rented mansion. The bedroom was a disaster, the upstairs stifling hot. The heaters were on high because Jackson was always cold.
Straight out to my outstanding expert panel: Lisa Bloom, CNN legal analyst; Dr. Cathleen London, board-certified family practice physician; David Schwartz, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels; and Jim Moret, attorney and chief correspondent for "Inside Edition."
But first, we`re going to go straight out to Harvey Levin, executive producer of TMZ.
Harvey, you have been on top of this story from the very start. What`s the very latest on the investigation into Dr. Conrad Murray?
HARVEY LEVIN, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, TMZ: Well, you know, we`ve been telling you guys for weeks now that the LAPD has been treating this as a homicide. And the fact is they`ve really been treating it that way a couple of days after Michael Jackson died.
We know that the reason police believe that Conrad Murray administered Propofol, Jane, is because he told the police that. He told them that in the interview, the Saturday after Jackson died, two days later. The police were stunned by it, and that is what triggered the second search warrant, where cops went in and they found the Propofol, among other drugs, in a closet that was hidden in the area where Dr. Murray was actually staying in the house.
But he was -- Jackson was hooked up to an IV drip. Murray said he had administered Propofol earlier in the evening. Some cops believe he really did at some point fall asleep, and maybe he woke up, finding Jackson already dead, because we know that the IV bag found in the room was empty. So whatever drug was in there, and we`re told it was Propofol, it was gone. And it may have been because this was a drip that had dripped to the point where his respiration stopped and then his heart stopped.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now we have to say, this is TMZ`s reporting. I cannot independently, nor CNN independently confirm that. But let`s talk about what you have broken in terms of the Houston storage facility story, about these two women showing up about three hours before 911 was called to Dr. Murray`s storage facility.
LEVIN: Well, they -- these two women work for Dr. Murray. At the time, they worked for him. One still does. One doesn`t. And they -- they showed up at the storage facility. It was the storage facility was -- the unit was in Dr. Murray`s name. His credit card was used to pay for it. He opened it back in April.
They showed up at 9:22 Los Angeles time -- it was 11:22 Houston time - - the day Michael Jackson died, picked up four or five boxes and left. Now, it could be a remarkable coincidence, but, you know, there -- one of the things we know police are looking at is who told them to pick this stuff up? And, you know, was it Dr. Murray who called? If so, why? And what was it that they were instructed to get? And those are really critical questions that really could take a turn.
Let me just say one other thing, Jane. You had mentioned a manslaughter -- possible manslaughter charges in this case. It`s premature to know that, but I will say this. That in addition to the possibility of manslaughter, it`s conceivable, if this all stacks up the way cops are seeing it now, it`s conceivable the D.A. could actually file second-degree murder charges. That will depend on exactly how the evidence stacks up. But a case like this, it would not be uncommon to see a charge like that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Harvey Levin, as always, my dear friend and mentor and former boss, it`s great seeing you. Always do an amazing job breaking these stories. I don`t know how you do it, but you do. Thank you, Harvey.
LEVIN: Sure, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go straight out to my panel now, and I want to start with Jim Moret, because I understand you also have some really startling information about the number of doctors. We`re so focused on Dr. Conrad Murray, but apparently there is a pretty wide net here in terms of the number of doctors being investigated.
JIM MORET, "INSIDE EDITION": One doctor I talked to who`s close to the family and who treated Michael Jackson said it`s his understanding that 19 doctors are being investigated in some form or another. And that 11 aliases at least were used to prescribe drugs to Michael Jackson.
And this is -- this is a huge number, clearly. And it gives you an idea of the scope of this investigation and the difficulty in tracing down this paper trail. The DEA is looking specifically at documents right now from Dr. Murray. They want to see Propofol receipts. They want to see where it came from, the lot numbers, trace it back to the manufacturer, see who paid for it, see how it got into Michael Jackson`s hands. If, in fact, Dr. Murray is the one that got it for Michael Jackson.
And all these are still questions that the DEA is sorting out, and it could, frankly, take some time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Lisa Bloom, it would certainly make sense that they`re looking at more than one doctor, because Dr. Conrad Murray reportedly got involved in May, and reports are now that Michael Jackson has been using Propofol for two years.
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Right. The biggest problem in any legal case against Dr. Murray is going to be causation. Even if he did give Propofol to Michael Jackson, was that the cause of Jackson`s death as compared to, say, all of the medications in his system that had been building up over a period of Lord knows how many years and the combination with the other drugs that Jackson may or may not have told Dr. Murray about?
And I`m going to disagree with Harvey Levin on one point. He`s terrific and reporting this directly. But I would be very, very surprised if Dr. Murray is charged with second-degree murder. Here in California, that requires the abandoned or malignant heart. I mean, it`s almost as bad as saying he intended to kill him. He`s going to have implied malice, which means a very, very high degree of recklessness, like shooting off a gun in a crowd of people. I don`t see that against a doctor. I see manslaughter as being the stop charge.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Curtis Sliwa, here`s what I don`t get. He died more than -- I heard somebody going ah. Go ahead. Ah.
CATHLEEN LONDON, FAMILY PRACTICE PHYSICIAN: Giving Propofol outside of the hospital? I`m a doctor, and I`ve got to tell you that is reckless. Period.
DAVID SCHWARTZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: But is it pure negligence? Or does it rise to the level of criminal negligence? And that`s what we have to ask ourselves. We have to watch out how we treat trained medical professionals in reviewing their work.
SCHWARTZ: We have to watch out for that.
LONDON: OK. I do that. I do review cases. There is nothing normal about doing that. It is so beyond the realm of reasonable.
SCHWARTZ: Can I just...
LONDON: I would definitely call that...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a drug that`s not supposed to be administered except in a surgical setting in a hospital, and it`s apparently, allegedly being administered in a private home.
Sit tight, panel. Lots of stunning details to sift through. We just started.
Do you think Conrad Murray will be charged in Jackson`s death? Give me a holler: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Sound off.
Then an update in the brutal murder of a Florida couple dedicated to helping special-needs kids. One of the seven suspected killers is pleading not guilty.
But first, the Michael Jackson death probe closing in on Dr. Conrad Murray who was with Jackson when he died. Here is the eerie 911 call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he on the floor? Where is he at right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s on the bed, sir. He`s on the bed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, let`s get him on the floor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, let`s get him down to the floor. I`m going to help you with CPR right now...
Did anybody see him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we have a personal doctor here with him, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, you have a doctor there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, but he`s not responding to anything, to no, no, he`s not responding to the CPR or anything, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: It`s also been reported Michael Jackson had been a pain patient. And he may have had sleep problems related to pain, related to opiate withdrawal. God knows what. And this may have been a desperate attempt for relief, but not a safe one, and not an appropriate one, and certainly never appropriate for somebody with a history of addiction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky appearing on "LARRY KING LIVE" last night. Back with my outstanding panel.
And joining in, Drew Findling, Atlanta criminal defense attorney. Here`s what I don`t get, Drew. Is this too little to late, these raids? Michael Jackson died more than a month ago. Then, a week ago they raid his Houston office. Today they go to Dr. Murray`s home and office in Las Vegas. I mean, wouldn`t -- hypothetically speaking, if there`s anything incriminating there, there`s plenty of time for it to go bye-bye. And I`m not suggesting it, but I mean, just -- it doesn`t make sense to me.
DREW FINDLING, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, what is unbelievable to me about this is -- I agree. Time is passing, and there are going to be proof issues. We need toxicologies. We need a relationship between what is found and what`s in his body. But it`s unbelievable that a criminal case, a high-profile case is kind of a societal crack cocaine. So a couple of years ago, he`s...
FINDLING: He`s the victimizer. Now all of a sudden, everybody is crying that he is the victim. I mean, we`ve got to make up our mines one way or the other how we`re going to treat these cases.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s very poetic, but Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, my point was that they`ve waited a long time, and they never even made the mansion where Michael Jackson died a crime scene. So I admire the cops, and I could never do the job they do, but I think that this could be too little too late.
Obviously, they`re looking for something. And it`s a month now since Jackson died. Plenty of time for that something to go bye-bye.
CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: Look, can`t we just admit why Dr. Murray was hired by the promoters of the concert? It`s to keep Michael Jackson like a thoroughbred, ready to charge out of the box every day, to go into his practice sessions in which he`d wear himself down, and then to medicate him so that he could sleep and be ready for the next day. That was his purpose in being there. And you think he started...
MORET: Wait a minute. I have to -- I have to jump in.
SLIWA: Come on. He did this on a regular basis.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let somebody jump in.
SLIWA: He`s a pro.
MORET: I have to -- I have to jump in for one thing. I spoke to the chairman of AEG, the concert promoter. They wanted a London doctor because this is a concert that was going to be based in London. Michael Jackson specifically asked for Dr. Murray. Michael Jackson had a personal relationship with Dr. Murray.
SLIWA: That`s right.
LONDON: Are you kidding?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second. Listen. He was reportedly -- and I don`t have any independent confirmation of this, as I say all the time, but reportedly paid $150,000 a month. AEG didn`t want to shell out that money if they could avoid it. That`s why they said -- they went to Jackson and said, "Do you really need this doctor," Lisa Bloom, and he said yes, because this is the machine that keeps the whole thing going.
BLOOM: Well, and that 150,000 a month, if that`s accurate, gives the doctor a powerful motivation to give Jackson whatever he wants. I mean, imagine having only one patient. That`s a sweet deal for a doctor. So...
SCHWARTZ: Lisa, it`s powerful motivation -- it`s a powerful motivation to keep the guy alive. That`s what it`s a powerful motivation for.
BLOOM: I have never -- look, I have never said that Dr. Murray intended to kill Michael Jackson. Absolutely not. But it is a powerful motivation to give him the meds that he wanted. And look, it sounds like what happened was he fell asleep. He fell asleep, probably because it was...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s not charged with anything. And we have to make it clear, he`s not even being called a suspect. But let`s talk about, hypothetically, possible charges in this case. Listen to Jackson`s former attorney, Mark Geragos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK GERAGOS, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR JACKSON: The second-degree murder is what`s called an implied malice murder, which means you don`t -- you didn`t necessarily intend it. You did something so recklessly that it caused -- it caused the death.
The penalty for manslaughter is two, three, or four years in state prison. The penalty for a second-degree implied malice murder is 15 to life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So David Schwartz, we`re talking about a nuance that could mean a big difference in time.
SCHWARTZ: I don`t -- I don`t think this even comes close to rising to the level of a murder case. With that being said...
BLOOM: I would agree with him.
SCHWARTZ: With that being said, certainly there`s a manslaughter investigation going on. But this could also be simple negligence. And when you have simple negligence, the most you have is a civil case, not a criminal case.
LONDON: Wait a minute. If you`re going to be stupid enough to give Propofol in this way, and you -- you know, he`s got the money, motivation and the rest of it, why didn`t he have him on a monitor?
SCHWARTZ: Stupid is not necessarily criminal negligence. You can be stupid and...
LONDON: First of all, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) medically reasonable.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: As has been pointed out, he was a cardiologist, not an anesthesiologist.
SCHWARTZ: All he needs is one doctor to step forward in a case where you have to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, one expert to say it was reasonable, and that may be enough for an acquittal.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Jim Moret, let me ask you about my theory that they don`t have a smoking gun. That`s why they continue to do these raids. And they may be too little too late.
MORET: Well, they may also know that Propofol wasn`t the only drug in Michael Jackson`s system, that it may be a cocktail of drugs that killed him, much as -- the same thing that killed Anna Nicole.
So maybe -- maybe this is more complex than simply was there Diprivan in the room? Did the doctor give it to him? There may be Demerol.
The doctor`s own attorney said very clearly, early one, "My doctor -- my client did not give him Demerol or OxyContin." That`s what he said emphatically, because that`s what they were looking for originally. And then what happened, this doctor talked to police and the nurse, the nutritionist, came forward and said, "Four days before he died, Michael Jackson begged me for Diprivan." Boom, everybody`s looking at that now. It`s obviously very difficult to find in the system, as well, which may be why the toxicology reports are taking so long.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to thank my extraordinary panel. More developments in the Michael Jackson case in just a bit.
Also, disgraced NFL star Michael Vick reinstated to the league. But will any teams want the troubled quarterback? Plus, Hulk Hogan`s messy divorce finally settled. What is the cost?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the "Spotlight" tonight, NFL superstar turned ex- con Michael Vick free after serving 23 months for running a brutal dog- fighting ring. The NFL has announced they are conditionally reinstating the disgraced quarterback.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER GOODELL, NFL COMMISSIONER: I do believe that this transitional approach that we`ve outlined for Michael is the best thing for him. That it will have the best opportunity to have success for a young man with his life ahead of him. Whether he ever makes it on the field with the NFL is something that will be determined on the field.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Vick released this statement saying, quote, "The last two years have given me time to reevaluate my life, mature as an individual, and fully understand the terrible mistakes I have made in the past and what type of life I must lead moving forward."
Bankrupt Vick is ready to get his professional career started again, but critics say Vick was reinstated far too soon after his brutal crimes. Plus, will any team actually take him?
Straight to Jane Garrison, noted animal welfare advocate.
Jane, as I talk to you, I want to show you just a little snippet of what dog fighting does to dogs. You know, we cannot show you the worst of it at all. It`s really too gruesome.
Michael Vick says he plans to work with the Humane Society in a program designed to steer inner-city kids away from dog fighting. I think that`s great.
Do you think the NFL commissioner should have waited to see him actually do something, do some of that outreach? Look at this dog right here after a dogfight. Look at the condition of that face. Before accepting Vick`s word that he is, in fact, a changed man.
JANE GARRISON, ANIMAL WELFARE ADVOCATE: Absolutely, Jane. It is great that Michael Vick is working with the Humane Society. And I hope that his involvement will keep young people from getting involved in this hideous activity and will finally put an end to dog fighting once and for all.
But I can`t help but question his sincerity. And his -- I wonder if his desire to work with the Humane Society is just some P.R. move to help clean up his image. Let`s not forget that he did not stop dog fighting because he thought it was cruel. He stopped dog fighting because he got caught.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: NFL commissioner Michael Vick [SIC] addressed concerns that Vick is not yet rehabilitated. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOODELL: We worked with animal rights activist groups, and we are clear -- we worked with their medical professionals about the aspects of our evaluations. Michael fully cooperated with all of those tests. Those tests did not indicate that there was any reason he couldn`t make a transition forward.
But they also recognize that counseling and other aspects of support will be important for him going forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why would animal groups want Vick to get psychiatric counseling and testing? Because he admitted participating in killing dogs that did not test well for fights. The dogs involved in his operation were killed by shooting, hanging, electrocution, drowning and slamming to the ground. And then there`s the viciousness of the dog fights themselves. They often fight to the death.
So what would you say to a team executive considering hiring Vick to play?
GARRISON: Jane, I would say don`t hire Michael Vick. Playing in the NFL is not a right. Playing in the NFL is a privilege. And he lost that privilege by hanging dogs, electrocuting dogs, taking pleasure in throwing family pets into a ring with fighting pit bulls. This is a great opportunity to send a strong message to our youth that there are consequences for your actions.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jane, thank you.
The latest on the Michael Jackson investigation, new information coming up next.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Another police raid and shocking new claims about Michael Jackson`s death. Stunning developments in the Michael Jackson custody case, too. Is the tug of war continuing between Debbie Rowe and sister, Rebbie Jackson with mom Katherine stuck in the middle?
Plus, Hulk Hogan and ex-wife Linda finally settle their messy divorce. The Hulkster handles it with typical class, reportedly boasting, "I`m a free man." But with the Hulkster maniac on the prowl, is he leaving behind a family in tatters?
Breaking developments tonight in the death of superstar Michael Jackson: cops raid the Las Vegas home and office of Dr. Conrad Murray, the very doctor who was with Michael Jackson when he died. All this following new reports claiming authorities are now operating on the theory that Dr. Murray gave Jackson the powerful surgical knock-out drug which may have killed him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Look, even an anesthesiologist should not be prescribing this medicine outside of a hospital, and certainly not for insomnia and certainly not with an addict history. It`s really just something that is just, unfortunately, really outlandish.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Murray`s attorney insists the doctor never prescribed or administered anything that should have killed Michael Jackson. We have to point out Dr. Murray has not been charged with anything at this point.
As the manslaughter probe intensifies, controversy over Jackson`s three children heats up as well. A huge hearing is set for this coming Monday, but will an agreement be reached earlier?
Back with my expert panel: Lisa Bloom, CNN legal analyst; Drew Findling, Atlantic criminal defense attorney; Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels; and Jim Moret, attorney and chief correspondent for "Inside Edition."
Jim, again, bring us up to date on today`s raids on Dr. Murray`s Las Vegas offices and how many doctors could ultimately end up being the target of this investigation.
JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": Well, this particular raid was directed solely at Dr. Murray. At his home, there was a four-hour search. DEA, Las Vegas authorities, LAPD authorities were all there looking for documents. And they left with cell phones, they left with hard drives.
They`re presumably looking for medical records; either e-mails, correspondence, pay slips, invoices, anything that would relate to Michael Jackson and the medications he was taking or those prescribed by Dr. Murray.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I wonder if they have the smoking gun. That`s the thing, Jim.
MORET: I -- well, you brought up on interesting point. It`s now a month later and the doctor would know that they`re going to come to his house.
MORET: They were just at his Houston office last week.
MORET: However, there is no smoking gun. This is the point, Jane. Maybe it seems off point, but I really don`t think we need to be defendant hunting right now. I mean, we`re trying to...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re not doing anything. I didn`t go and raid the...
MORET: No, no, but I mean...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... the Las Vegas offices of Dr. Murray this morning and neither did Lisa Bloom, right, Lisa?
MORET: But I mean law enforcements.
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Not today, Jane.
DREW FINDLING, ATLANTA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I mean law enforcement. You know, law enforcement does not need to feel pressure and say, hey, let`s just try to make a case. If that`s the case, I guess it`s convenient he`s in Las Vegas because next thing we know, O.J. He`ll contact with Dr. Murray because then we could be sympathetic with him because he can become a victim.
BLOOM: But Jane, when you talk about smoking gun -- the smoking gun is apparently, according to Harvey Levin at the beginning of this show -- Dr. Murray himself saying I gave Propofol to Michael Jackson. Everything is kind of anticlimactic after that, isn`t it?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: If they`ve got that on tape, that could be game, set and match, but that`s a big if. The Associated Press, by the way, quotes a law enforcement source who described the condition of Jackson`s rented home in harrowing detail. Get this -- he said the bedroom was a disaster with clothing and paper everywhere including pages taped to the walls with slogans like "Children are sweet and innocent" on them, a porcelain doll on the bed.
The upstairs was stifling hot. It`s a pretty big place. That`s got to me -- look at that mansion, look how big it is -- that`s got to be a difficult place to heat up to that degree. The heater`s on high because Jackson always complained of being cold.
Now here`s what Jackson`s former business associate told the CBS "Early Show."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Michael Jackson you knew, is that normal?
MARC SCHAFFEL, FORMER MICHAEL JACKSON BUSINESS ASSOCIATE: Well, sometimes his bedroom was a little disheveled, but the notes were a little bit unusual. I mean, he would put things up like little things he would buy or whatever and stick them on the wall, hand-written things. But I never saw any hand-written notes that he would stick on his wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Curtis Sliwa, some would call the disarray typical addict behavior.
CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: Addict behavior? It`s about kids again; the pedophile on a pedestal. He`s a dope fiend. He`s a freak.
And Dr. Murray was purposely approached and brought in because they probably raided his place a second time to see how many other patients he was the pusher man, too. That was probably his specialty.
Can`t anyone figure this out? This doctor`s specialty was administering drugs to his patients and getting paid a lot of (INAUDIBLE), a lot of dockets, a lot of cheddar.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what`s kind of sad, though -- that was well-done -- what`s kind of sad, Jim Moret, is that obviously he was an extraordinary artist. He gave us so much. And because of the circumstances of his death, instead of talking about that, we`re talking about stuff like his room was a mess and he had notes pasted to the wall and it was stifling hot.
It`s really tragic -- doubly tragic in a sense.
MORET: Well, look, Michael Jackson`s legacy is his music. I think it will be his music.
But right now people are trying to figure out why he died. It`s natural that we`re looking at how he lived the last days of his life; who treated him. The one doctor that I talked to suggesting 19 doctors could be under investigation.
You know, with the Anna Nicole case we thought, wow, this is horrible. We should never see this again. This is worse.
And you know what? Brian Oxman on this show said you think Anna Nicole was bad? This is worse. And it looks worse.
BLOOM: Let`s not pick apart every little detail. Singers like it warm because it`s good for their vocal chords. They tend to have warm home environments.
And finally, by the way, I found something that I have in common with Michael Jackson. I`m always cold, too. I don`t think we shouldn`t hold it against him that he keeps his house warm.
FINDLING: Jane, Jane, I call this the Mickey Mantle syndrome. Mickey Mantle said at the end of his life -- he said, "If anybody just stopped me from drinking, I would have had a healthier life and better career."
Enablers just surround these people, whether it`s Michael Vick a few minutes ago. Everybody in his life, whether it be lawyers or agents, knew what he was doing. Everybody in Michael Jackson`s life knew that he was self-destructing, but they wanted to ride the gravy train. That`s the bottom line with all of these people.
People don`t want to say no to them because they want to make money.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s talk about the custody battle. Katherine Jackson`s attorney told NBC`s Matt Lauer, quote, "Absolutely there will be a custody deal between Katherine and Debbie Rowe before the hearing coming up this coming Monday." Here are more details.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
L. LONDELL MCMILLAN, KATHERINE JACKSON`S ATTORNEY: The agreement is a custody agreement. Whatever the agreement will be will not be based on money.
MATT LAUER, NBC HOST: Is it possible that there will be some shared custody between Katherine Jackson and Debbie Rowe? Is that something that`s currently on the table?
MCMILLAN: What`s best for the children is what Michael wanted and what has been happening, Mrs. Jackson to have custody of these children. We expect to be making an announcement very shortly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa Bloom, the shocker in that statement is that any agreement is not going to be based on money. Now, that dove-tails into...
BLOOM: You know what I see there?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, go ahead. I see that to mean -- I see that to mean that they had agreements in place with Debbie Rowe that said, "Here`s your money. You`re not getting any other money under any conditions."
And now Attorney McMillan is saying we`re sticking to that. And it does sound like he`s very confident that they`re close to an agreement.
Look, they put the custody hearing off twice already. That`s always been pretty clear to me that they were trying to work out a settlement.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So what you`re saying essentially is that it`s really about money even though it`s not about money because Debbie Rowe wanted to make sure, Jim Moret, that she was still going to get paid according to that old spousal support agreement that she made with Jackson before he died.
MORET: I think Debbie Rowe wants to make it clear that this is not about additional money. I think Debbie Rowe, rightfully so, is worried that people think she`s a pariah; that she`s a person who sold her kids. Maybe, maybe she wanted these children solely for Michael. Now that he`s gone, she`s concerned about them.
I don`t want to look into her mind and tell you what she`s thinking. I do believe that Lisa is right. I think there will be an agreement before the hearing and I think that`s what the judge wants.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Curtis Sliwa, what I found so shocking about all of this is that Katherine Jackson claims to be in dire financial straits, living on social security and seeking an allowance so that she can provide for the kids as well as herself as this entire estate battle is played out. After all these years, it`s amazing to me that that`s their financial condition.
SLIWA: That`s right. Flat broke, cold busted. I`m saying to myself, Rebbie, whatever your name, Rowe, Katherine, I don`t have a problem with them having shared custody. I`m worried about Joe Jackson Sr.
Those kids need an order of protection from that old man who probably is sitting on a pot of gold and looks at those three kids and sees the Jackson Three. "I can take them on tour. I can be back in the big time." Please protect those kids from Joe Jackson Sr.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, ok.
Well, guess what, Drew Findling, we`re going to give you the last poetic word on this subject for this evening.
FINDLING: Well, I just think that the bottom line is that we can`t really read into anybody`s motivation just as long as it`s not about money.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You can`t.
FINDLING: But as long as it`s for the well-being of the children. At some point somebody has to prioritize the well-being of these kids.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That I would agree. That`s priority number one; we can all agree on that.
Thank you, fantastic panel, for a very fun debate. See you soon.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Addiction is a chronic illness in America and in my new book, "I Want," I reveal details of my own personal battle with alcoholism and my road to sobriety. It`s a recovery memoir due out this fall.
You can pre-order your copy right now. Just click on cnn.com/jane and look for the pre-order section. This book is also about the surprising turns my life took after I got sober and some other addictive behavior pains (ph) that had surfaced that I had to face. It`s an interesting read, I guarantee you that.
Up next on ISSUES: adorable 8-year-old Robert Manwill missing since Friday; cops interview more than 100 sex offenders nearby. Did they find any answers?
Also, Hulk Hogan finally ends his messy battle royale with his ex-wife. The divorce now behind him what is next for this man with that wrap on his head. Is he leaving a family in tatters behind him? 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1- 877-586-7297; please sound off on the Hulk.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The battle royale between Hulk Hogan and his ex-wife, Linda, finally over. We will analyze whether this messy divorce damaged the family. You think?
But first, "Top of the Block" tonight: new developments in two harrowing stories we`re staying on top of. Adorable Idaho boy Robert Manwill has been missing since Friday night. Cops first thought the 8-year-old may have been on his way to a friend`s house for a birthday party after his mom said, no, you can`t go. But now that has been ruled out.
Today, investigators say they have interviewed more than 100 registered sex offenders living within two miles of Robert`s home. A hundred -- within two miles of his home? This after a massive dragnet over the weekend involving FBI, local cops and volunteers came up empty-handed. Cops have dozens of tips but still no breakthrough leads.
And now to another frantic investigation, this one regarding the vicious murder of a Florida couple loved for adopting special-needs kids. Melanie and Byrd Billings gunned down in their own home July 8th when a group of criminal commandos dressed up in ninja garb raided their house and stole a safe that turned out to have nothing of value in it.
One suspect currently in jail in Alabama will be extradited to Florida. Donald Stallworth Jr. will face trial in Florida for double murder and robbery charges. He is one of 7 suspects charged with murder. He is expected to plead not guilty. That is tonight`s "Top of the Block."
The battle royale between Hulk Hogan and his wife Linda, finally it`s over. Former pro-wrestler Hulk Hogan and his wife, Linda Bollea (ph) finally settled their extremely messy divorce today in court. The terms of the agreement are to remain confidential but the couples were all smiles and cutie-cuddly (ph) today.
Linda announcing the war is over. That`s nice. Both are saying they`re grateful for the settlement.
All of this a very far cry from the blistering battles of their VH1 reality show "Hogan Knows Best" that some say was the starting point for their marital woes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDA BOLLEA, HULK HOGAN`S EX-WIFE: Are you taking Star or not?
HULK HOGAN, PRO-WRESTLER: Yes, but I can`t get the cat.
BOLLEA: Forget the cat. Or you`re just busy seeing your face and I don`t know if you`re going to take Star or not. If you say you`re going to take her, then take her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ouch. So while these two may be parting ways, some point to the fact that they filed for divorce not long after their son, Nick, was involved in a serious really awful car wreck that left a 23-year-old Iraq war veteran brain damaged.
A lawsuit later blamed Hulk and Linda both for Nick`s alleged need for speed. They`re seeking millions of dollars.
Hogan declined to comment today on how or if the divorce settlement will affect this case. That`s why this divorce has interest beyond the paper it was signed on today.
I want to hear what you think about the Hogan.
Straight out to my expert panel -- a fantastic group tonight: Karen Desoto, defense attorney and former prosecutor; Brenda Wade, clinical psychologist -- boy do we need one; and A.J. Hammer, host of "Showbiz Tonight."
A.J., you have been following this tumultuous 20-month-long divorce marathon.
A.J. HAMMER, HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just really want these people to go away, especially Hulk. Is this the end of the madness?
HAMMER: You know something Jane, earlier today when we first got the judgment summary about the divorce saying it was final, I thought, there is no way this thing is possibly over. This thing is as nasty as it could possibly get. Contentious is a huge understatement when you talk about this.
Think of the accusations that were hurling back and forth. Money being hidden, the idea that Hulk Hogan said things are so bad, you know, "I can understand how O.J. felt."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was the most unbelievable statement, A.J.
HAMMER: Yes, yes. An attorney being presented at one of the hearings where they were trying to reduce the amount of money Hulk had to pay Linda, an attorney brought a witness forward that said Linda was snorting cocaine on the family`s boat.
I mean, every nasty thing could be said, and then the two of them as you see in this video really sort of lovey-dovey, kissy-kissy, everybody is smiling and making nice. They each released statements saying, "We`re glad it`s over. All is well with the world."
Can we believe it? I don`t know. Do we hope it stays nice and calm as it is now? Yes. I mean, the truth is this is a show family and now they may just be putting on a show to save face. They do have the civil suit that they`re still facing as you mentioned.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`m just thrilled that he wasn`t wearing that head wrap in court because he was criticized.
HAMMER: First good decision.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Exactly. Decision number one that is actually admirable. There he is. And now we know why he wore the head wrap.
Hulk`s son Nick served time last year -- and this is a very serious and sort of just absolutely tragic aspect of this case. We don`t want to make light of this whatsoever.
Hulk`s son Nick served time last year for causing a crash that left his friend John brain-damaged. Hulk made some startling comments about that in a jailhouse visit. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
H. HOGAN: And I know he was pretty aggressive and used to yell at people and used to do stuff, but for some reason, man, God laid some heavy [bleep] on that kid. I don`t know what he was into.
NICK HOGAN, HULK HOGAN`S SON: John was a negative person.
H. HOGAN: He was what?
N. HOGAN: He was a negative person.
Will you work on that reality deal...
H. HOGAN: Yes.
N. HOGAN: ...for me and get that thing lined up so the minute that I walk out of wherever I walk out of, it`s there, boom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brenda Wade, that is -- that`s the conversation between father and son...
BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ...as a man lays in a wheelchair literally unable to move without help.
WADE: Yes. Jane, when I look at this family -- and I`ve been following the case -- everybody has dysfunction in their family, but they put the capital "D" in dysfunction. But I`ll tell you what I love about the Hogans.
The Hogans are the family you can look at and say this is exactly what I don`t want to do and what I don`t want to be in a family. The lack of maturity is shocking. They are so immature and the real symptom of the immaturity is that they have partners now, each of them, that are exactly their age mentally and emotional.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In other words very young partners.
WADE: Very, very young. I understand that mom`s partner is about 19...
HAMMER: He is 20 years old now.
WADE: ...20 years old well, there you have it.
So she`s about 20 mentally and emotionally and I don`t know how old his partner is.
But my point is if you`re coming from that level of immaturity, how can you teach your child how to approach a situation as serious as an accident with maturity?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I mean one look at Hulk Hogan and you see immaturity written all over his outfit.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stay right there, everyone.
Don`t forget you can catch A.J. Hammer at "Showbiz Tonight" at 11:00 p.m. Eastern. He will have more on the Hulkster`s divorce and Michael Jackson.
We`ll be back with more on the Hulkster mania.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to wrestle with me here, are you going to come across the camera? Then be quiet. Be quiet. Be quiet, be quiet. You had your time. You`re done. You`re done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was a taste of the ugliness of the long running battle royale between Hulk and his ex-Linda. Today, they announced it`s over after reaching a settlement in court.
Back to my fantastic panel, I want to bring in Karen Desoto, defense attorney and former prosecutor.
Ok, the deal that they reached -- their divorce deal is secret, but they are worth an estimated something like $30 million. How would that affect the lawsuit going on right now file on behalf of the Iraq -- young Iraq war veteran who was so severely injured in the car crash being driven Hulk Hogan`s son Nick?
KAREN DESOTO, DEFENSE ATTORNEY & FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, at least you know where to find money Jane, at least they know that have money. A lot of times, you sue and there`s no money anywhere to be had.
The problem here is that, Nick was a minor at the time that this happened. So if you`re going to be getting into somebody or getting into their personal bank account, you have to prove that the Hogans, as the parents, are somehow culpable. So if you`re going to sue Hulk Hogan or the mom or the parents. Let`s face it, if we were liable for our kids` actions, we`d all be poor.
So usually, the standard is propensity. Did the parents know that the child had a propensity for drinking and driving, for getting into accidents?
So there`s a lot of money at stake. And the $30 million is great because now their attorneys know that there`s some money somewhere, but at the end of the day, are they really going to be liable for their child`s actions?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, it`s going to be -- and he`s always is in court, have you noticed that?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A.J. Hammer, what I find totally extraordinary is that after the debacle of their reality show, they think nothing -- Hulk Hogan anyway -- of appearing on his daughter`s reality show.
HAMMER: Yes. Well mom`s not going to be appearing on it anytime soon. I don`t get that impression, daughter Brook made it pretty clear that mom is persona non grata. I don`t know if going to change. Because now, according to statements from both sides, from both Hulk`s side and Linda`s side, they`re going to start doing things as a family.
When Linda first filed for divorce back in 2007 Jane, she said she was doing it because their marriage was irretrievably broken. I have to believe that is now the state of this family given everything that has gone on with son Nick. By the way, big birthday present for him, he turned 19 yesterday.
And I have to believe their reputation now, irretrievably broken. But as you mentioned, he goes on the reality show with Brook.
HAMMER: Because he writes the Brook list.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It sounds like he hasn`t learned. Thank you, fabulous panel for joining me.
Remember click on cnn.com/Jane; pre-order your copy of my new book, "I Want."
You`re watching ISSUES on HLN.