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How Did Haleigh Die?

Aired April 23, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, shocking new claims in the Haleigh Cummings mystery. I`ll go one-on-one with the lawyer for Misty Croslin`s brother, Tommy. Did Tommy lead cops down to the river? Was he there the night of Haleigh`s disappearance? And what about Grandma Flo`s shocking new allegations? What`s fact? What`s fiction? I`ll talk to Tommy`s attorney next.

Plus head-spinning new evidence just released in the Casey Anthony trial, including bombshell claims that Lee Anthony`s girlfriend told a co- worker Casey killed her little daughter. Is any of this true? We`re sorting through the new evidence, hunting for justice.

And an ISSUES primetime exclusive. I will talk with Lindsay Lohan`s dad, Michael. His troubled movie star daughter is allegedly in a drug- fueled downward spiral. He says he`s doing everything he can to stop it. Can Michael get through to Lindsay before it`s too late?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, breaking news, new vile, stomach-churning, I dare say, claims about what precious little 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings might have gone through the night she disappeared.

A horrifying new theory. Did Misty Croslin, who was baby-sitting Haleigh when she vanished, hear the little girl screaming while she was being sexually abused? Did Haleigh`s attacker threaten Misty and scare the teenager into staying silent?

Listen to this from last night`s "NANCY GRACE" show.


NANCY GRACE, HLN ANCHOR: Isn`t it true that there has been a scenario put out there, and it had to come from behind bars, that Misty Croslin heard the child in the next room screaming?


GRACE: Where did it come from?

HOLLARS: So did little Junior hear the couch bouncing.

GRACE: And my question is where did that story come from?

HOLLARS: It came from Misty.

GRACE: What did she say?

HOLLARS: That she heard Haleigh in there crying.

GRACE: And who was in the room with Haleigh?

HOLLARS: I`m going to say Joe or Tommy, one.

GRACE: Or both?

HOLLARS: Or both.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pretty serious claims there. Remember, Misty Croslin gave cops a totally different story, and police are not confirming any of these claims. It`s just one of Misty`s grandmother`s many theories.

But there is one thing Grandma Flo Hollars says she is sure of. Flo says she spoke to both her grandkids, Misty and Tommy Croslin, and she insists Misty says Tommy and their cousin, Joe, tied Haleigh to a brick and tossed her into the St. John`s River.

Tonight, we are delighted to have a very special one-on-one interview with the attorney for Misty`s brother, Tommy Croslin, who sits behind bars on drug charges. Was Tommy the one who finally cracked and led investigators to the specific boat dock along the St. John`s River? Cops launched an intense search for Haleigh`s remains at that very dock. How did Tommy know about this spot? Was Tommy in that trailer home the night little Haleigh was murdered? What, if anything, does Tommy Croslin know?

Straight out to my phenomenal panel, all experts in this bizarre mystery, but I want to begin with attorney James Werter, who is representing Tommy Croslin.

Jim, thank you so much for joining us. We have just heard some extreme allegations against your client from his own grandmother. We want to clear the air. We want to get your side of the story. What is your reaction about what Grandma Flo is saying?

JAMES WERTER, ATTORNEY FOR TOMMY CROSLIN: Well, that`s why I put my release out last week. It just -- all the rumors and speculation that are going around just totally annoyed me. And I put a press release out last week outlining how law enforcement came to the river on Monday night. That would have been April 12.

If you remember on HLN on the 26th of March, I informed you, well, maybe not you, but HLN that he would take a polygraph, and he did take a polygraph on April 8. I spoke with him on April 10 -- that was a Saturday morning. And on April 11, Lindsay called me, his wife, Tommy`s wife. So Monday morning, April 12, Steve Brown, the investigator, and myself sat down with Tommy. We discussed the results of the polygraph. And that evening...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What were the results? Did he fail or did he pass and what was he asked about?

WERTER: Well, I can`t really get into what he was asked about. I have a good working relationship with law enforcement, so that`s part of the investigation. So I have to refrain from that.

But because of the polygraph that night, Monday night, April 12, we were on the dock with Tommy and law enforcement. That would have been FDLE, Putnam County Sheriff`s Office, and those two agencies. We were there discussing the scene with Tommy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The investigators searched a dock along the St. John`s River, drudging up two cinder blocks and reportedly some yellow rope. Now, does this dovetail with Grandma Flo`s story that Misty told her Tommy and Joe tied Haleigh with a rope with cinder blocks and threw her in the river?

Cops brought Misty to the dock. They reportedly also brought Tommy Croslin to the dock.

Jim, again, we want to get your side of the story. Your client had originally said, according to published reports, that he went to the trailer the night Haleigh disappeared at 10 p.m., knocked on the door, nobody was there, Misty wasn`t there and he left. Now we`re hearing possibly many other different stories. My question to you is why did police bring Tommy to the dock?

WERTER: Again, we`re getting into the facts, and I talked to your producers about this. Getting into the facts of that evening, which are in the hands of law enforcement. And it`s really hard for me to discuss that because I don`t want to jeopardize the investigation.

I will tell you that I feel comfortable with Tommy and representing Tommy. But the fact of the matter is I don`t know if they pulled anything out of the river because I can`t get a straight story from anybody on that. So all the things about bones or cinder blocks, things of that nature, I think it`s pure speculation at this time until an arrest is made.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me just say this. I guess what we`re all wondering, and I understand you`re limited in what you can say, but I guess what we`re all wondering is, if he had nothing to do with it, how would he know what to point out down at the river? That`s what nobody seems to understand.

WERTER: It is a good point, and I`ll leave that to your speculation. You`re a brilliant woman.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t know if I`m a brilliant woman. Thank you for that, but I think everybody is trying to solve this puzzle. It is a true mystery, and we can`t figure out what`s going on.

So we have these people who were talking, particularly Grandma Flo. Now let`s listen to this. Misty`s Grandmother Flo told Nancy Grace she thinks Haleigh was molested while Misty hid in the other room. But here on ISSUES, Flo said she thought Misty`s jealousy over Ron`s attention to his daughter could be the motive. So let`s break down all of Grandma Flo`s inconsistencies.

WERTER: You want to leave that to me? Well, the fact...


HOLLARS: First thing that I was told was that Joe had killed her. I was told that Misty had knocked her in the head and killed her and that Joe and Tommy got rid of her.

Misty had been out on a drug binge for three days. Her and Ron had fought that day. And she told him she didn`t want to baby-sit. And he told her, "Yes, you are going to baby-sit." And he left the kids there with her, and she was still strung out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you also think the conspiracy extends to Ron. You think it`s four people involved in the conspiracy?

HOLLARS: Yes, ma`am, I do.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, Jim, as Tommy Croslin`s attorney, what do you think of all her stories and the inconsistencies in those stories?

WERTER: I would have to call her a defense attorney`s field day for cross-examination. She told so many different stories.

But I can tell you this. I had a discussion with Tommy twice, and when he called to get in touch with myself and Steve Brown, he did not talk to Flo Hollars about what happened that night. He simply told her to get a hold of Lindsay, to get a hold of me, that he wanted to talk to Steve and myself. So if you put her on the stand...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So are you saying that Tommy -- are you saying that - - she`s saying Tommy called her, and Tommy said Joe did it. Can you at least tell us whether your client is denying that?

WERTER: Oh, yes. Flat out, he is denying that. He did not discuss the case with Flo Hollars, and that was on Sunday night. Flo, from my understanding, got a hold of Lindsay, Tommy`s wife. Lindsay got a hold of me, and then we discussed everything on Monday morning.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you`re saying Grandma Flo is making up this entire story out of whole cloth, because you`re saying Tommy has said to you flat- out, "I did not tell Grandma Flo anything about who did what to Haleigh"?

WERTER: This is what Tommy told me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, what about the fact that Grandma Flo says Misty called 15 minutes after Tommy? Everybody`s found that very odd that they should both be behind bars for such a long time and then, within 15 minutes of each other, get it into their heads to call Grandma Flo.

WERTER: That in itself tells you something about the quality of information that you`re getting. These people do not have communications between each other.

I think after the Anthony debacle with the letters going back and forth, I think the correctional facilities have tightened up on inter- prisoner communications. So you just have to look at content that this lady is putting out, and it`s just not consistent.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me just say this. The reason why people are taking her seriously is that cops did go down to the river, and they did search for several days and spent huge amounts on divers. Why?

WERTER: Based on -- based on Tommy`s discussions with him, with the FDLE and Putnam County, on Monday night, April 11.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In other words, Tommy knows something. But you`re saying he`s not responsible, but he knows what happened?

WERTER: Again, I will say -- well, I will go with that, yes. I am quite comfortable in you saying that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tommy knows what happened, but he`s not responsible.

WERTER: Correct.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Stay right there. That`s good information. We`re going to have so much more on this Haleigh Cummings mystery in just a moment. What was Tommy`s role in all of it? You just heard. His attorney says he knows something, but he is not responsible.

Plus, more bad news for Casey Anthony. First her prison inmates claim she killed her daughter. Now who else is saying the very same thing?

But first little Haleigh, still nowhere to be found, and neither is the truth. We are hunting for answers. What happened to this beautiful little child?


HOLLARS: I believe the one that Misty told me, that they tied her up in a rope and dropped her in the river. I just don`t know whether they raped her or not, but I sort of believe that they did. I just hope and pray that the child was already dead before she hit that water.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your face is getting fat again. Yes.

TOMMY CROSLIN, MISTY`S BROTHER: I`m not strung out on the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) pills no more.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Today we are talking one-on-one with Tommy Croslin`s attorney, Jim Werter, who just told us here on ISSUES that Tommy knows what happened to little Haleigh but was not involved. But we can extrapolate he knows enough to have led police down to the riverbanks.

Our team of experts and panelists standing by, just itching to get in on this conversation.

Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst, what are your thoughts or questions?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, again, since we know that there was a phone call from Tommy to Flo Hollars, most likely it was tape recorded by the Putnam County sheriffs. Have you heard the content of that exact phone call yet?

WERTER: No, I haven`t. They`re kind of slow on releasing those kind of things.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark Eiglarsh, your thoughts or questions for Jim?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Oh, gosh, I have so many, Jane. First of all, phenomenal interview. You didn`t let him off. And finally, he admitted that his client knows something but just isn`t guilty. All right, so we got that out of the way.

But I`ve never seen a defense lawyer, including myself, bring up a polygraph unless the flying colors, passing with flying colors comes next. He didn`t say whether he passed or failed it. Is it fair, then, to suggest that he failed it, and what was the relevant question asked before he failed?

BROOKS: He`s not going to answer.

WERTER: Oh, is it back to me?

EIGLARSH: Oh, it is.

WERTER: OK. Yes, OK. It`s not going to answer. And if you remember my interview, if you`ve seen my interview on Nancy`s show, polygraphs, it`s not always a fail or flunk thing. It`s an investigative tool. And it led us to that dock, so I would say that it worked.

EIGLARSH: Well, there was a relevant question asked, and it should have been a yes or no. And it either showed deception or not. What was the specific, relevant question asked that he failed?

WERTER: That`s going to be in the hands of law enforcement, as I said earlier in the show. I`m not going to interfere with their investigation. Tommy has been cooperative with law enforcement.

EIGLARSH: Bring us the truth.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. Going to bring out the old gavel. All right. I`m trying to get a timeline on this crazy case.

We know at 7:30 Great-Grandma Annette Sykes drops by the trailer, drops off some laundry. She says everything seems fine. We know that Misty had originally claimed she woke up at in the morning and Haleigh was gone. She claims she put her to sleep at 10 p.m.

So I mean, there`s this whole area of time there in the evening where something crazy, something untoward occurred.

Let me ask you this, Jim.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Was your client, Tommy, there at any time during the evening?

WERTER: Right now again, as I told your producers, until -- until there`s an arrest made, I really cannot talk about the actual crime itself. What I`m talking about now is the timeline on how they came to the dock. So -- I can`t answer.

BROOKS: What about the night -- what about the evening of, where Flora Hollars says it was Tommy and cousin Joe Overstreet that went to the trailer? Is he friends? Was he in Florida at the same time and with Joe Overstreet?

WERTER: Well, that`s a matter of fact. That`s open knowledge that Joe Overstreet has been -- I`m sorry, my earpiece popped out -- but that they were in Florida. Joe -- Joe lives in Tennessee, but he was down visiting. Tommy lives in Florida. He lives in the Satsuma area. That`s open knowledge. That`s no problem there.

BROOKS: Were they together at the trailer of Misty Croslin that evening?

WERTER: Again, what are you doing? You`re getting into the facts.


EIGLARSH: Jane, I have another one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but here`s the -- here`s the point. Grandma Flo, OK, says Misty pointed the finger at Tommy and Joe. You`re saying Tommy knows what happened, but he wasn`t involved. OK, but Grandma Flo also says that Tommy said Joe did it. Would you at least be willing to give us a yea or nay? In other words, did Tommy ever implicate Cousin Joe, or could there be somebody else involved?

WERTER: Well, I can`t answer the latter part of that question. What I did say was Tommy did not discuss this case with Flo Hollars.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to bring in Howard Samuels, founder and CEO of The Hills Treatment Center. There is so much drug aspect to this case. Misty was on a three-day drug binge, reportedly, leading up to this. Flo Hollars claims that her parents had drug problems.

Now we`re hearing claims that Flo is a liar and that she`s been on national television lying. What do you make of it as a person who deals with addicts?

HOWARD SAMUELS, FOUNDER/CEO, THE HILLS TREATMENT CENTER: Well, I`ve got to say, Jane, this crime makes me so sick to my stomach, so horrific. And once again, we find that drugs are in the middle of it. I mean, drugs push people to do such horrific things, and this is the tragedy here, OK? And, you know, this is why there is such a crisis in this country as far as murder, you know, abuse, rape. I mean, it`s just sick what drugs do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I think you`re right, because none of these scenarios would be believable, except for the fact that there`s been so much reporting about the drugs being all around the house, et cetera. So that makes you believe anything`s possible.

But everybody stay right where you are. We are putting this puzzle together. So many questions in the desperate search for little Haleigh. Everybody connected to this case seems to have a theory. Is anyone telling the truth?

Plus, an ISSUES exclusive. I`m going to go one-on-one with Lindsay Lohan`s dad. He claims his daughter is in deep trouble.



T. CROSLIN: I hate (EXPLETIVE DELETED) having to be here myself. I`d do anything to get up out of this situation, but besides make up a story. I ain`t making up no damn story.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Another stunning new theory: did Haleigh accidentally overdose on drugs? Here`s Grandma again.


HOLLARS: I know one thing. Misty had been out on a drug binge for three days. Her and Ron had fought that day, and she told him she didn`t want to baby-sit. And he told her, "Yes, you are going to baby-sit." And he left the kids there with her, and she was still strung out.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And now Tommy`s wife, Chelsea, confirms there were always pills lying around Misty and Ron`s trailer home. It`s actually Timmy`s wife.


CHELSEA CROSLIN, MISTY`S SISTER-IN-LAW: I believe, you know, there`s many more things to it. What happened -- what happens if Haleigh overdosed? Because there were loose pills laying around in that house. and I don`t care what anybody says. I know for a fact there was.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Jim. Misty and Tommy are both behind bars on drug conspiracy charges. Tommy has acknowledged that he was taking a lot of pills before he was arrested. What do you know, if anything, about the drug use going on in the home? And do you think this might be a plausible theory?

WERTER: There are so many theories going on. And again, it addresses the issues of the investigation. And I have a good relationship. Should I jeopardize that relationship or the investigation itself, I cannot disclose that kind of information. I just can`t do it. I want to see a successful end to this investigation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course, but let me just ask you this. You know what Tommy -- in other words, Tommy says he knows the story, but he`s not involved. You know the story that Tommy`s told you. So you know what Tommy`s theory is or what Tommy`s story is.

WERTER: I know that theory.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Levi Page, host of "The Levi Page Show" on blog talk radio. Your question for Jim?

LEVI PAGE, HOST, "THE LEVI PAGE SHOW": Yes, I want to go back to the night that Haleigh vanished. I want to know, is it true that Tommy went to the trailer that night after Ronald couldn`t get a hold of Misty? He called her phone over 90 times, so then he called Tommy go over to the trailer. Is that true?

We also know that Tommy and Ron were going through a series of fights over the summer. We know that Ronald and Misty were seen by a neighbor putting a dead, decapitated rat in the mailbox of the Croslin family. Are those events related to the night Haleigh vanished?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, I think that, Jim, you`re probably going to say you can`t answer any of that, or can you?

WERTER: I can`t, and it`s a compound question.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Let me ask you this. Let me ask you this. How does Tommy feel about his grandmother throwing him under the bus?

WERTER: Well, you`ve got to think. I mean, this is your grandmother, and she`s coming out over the past week or so with so many types of bad theories, you know, how these terrible children did this, that. What kind of grandmother would do this?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What`s your thought on why a grandmother would do this?

WERTER: Well, this is a strange group of people, I have to admit. I`m a New Yorker like yourself, so I`m not quite used to this motive, what I call emotional I.Q. You`re familiar with E.Q.


WERTER: And you can`t relate. You can`t -- you can speculate, but how accurate your speculation would be, that would be speculation. So this is -- this is a different group of people. You just can`t think that way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is, indeed, a curious clan. Thank you so much, Jim. Please come back soon. I really appreciate you being a good sport about all those questions.

WERTER: Not a problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: From one blockbuster case into another, new documents just released in the Casey Anthony case. Who`s admitting now that Casey killed Caylee?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Head-spinning new evidence just released in the Casey Anthony trial, including bombshell claims that Lee Anthony`s girlfriend told a co-worker Casey killed her little daughter. Is any of this true? We`re sorting through the new evidence, hunting for justice.

And an ISSUES prime time exclusive: I will talk with Lindsay Lohan`s dad Michael, his troubled movie star daughter is allegedly in a drug-fueled downward spiral. He says he`s doing everything he can to stop it. Can Michael get through to Lindsay before it`s too late?

Tonight breaking news in the Casey Anthony murder case: hundreds of new never-before-seen documents just released. We are hearing claims that the girlfriend of Casey`s own brother Lee has been telling people that Casey`s guilty?

The new docs show FBI scientists were trying to find signs of human (AUDIO GAP) vacuums and steam cleaners inside the Casey Anthony home. Did somebody try to clean up the crime scene? And they tested numerous items like dirt, trash, bugs found near Caylee`s remains. Casey Anthony charged with killing her 2-year-old daughter back in 2008.

Also released today: transcripts of a brand new interview with the sister of a woman who allegedly had an affair with Casey Anthony`s father, George.


SKYE BENHAIDA, SISTER OF GEORGE ANTHONY`S ALLEGED MISTRESS: I`ve sworn in there and I`ve made my statement and I`ve told the truth. That`s it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What does this woman really know about Caylee`s death and who is responsible? Detectives also interviewed a local reporter about Casey`s brother Lee. Now Lee`s girlfriend allegedly told a co-worker that Casey killed Caylee.

That local reporter is with us tonight. She is Rozzie Franco with WFLA 540 AM. We also have criminal defense attorney, Mark Eiglarsh and "In Session" correspondent, Jean Casarez.

Rozzie, we have to begin with you because you`ve been covering this case since the start. You`re in Orlando. Your name has now popped up in these documents. Tell us about it.

ROZZIE FRANCO, REPORTER, WFLA 540 AM: Well, and just like I told the investigators, Jane, I was casually having a lunch with a boyfriend of mine and the waitress, we were actually talking about the case and the waitress named Heidi came over and interjected and said, "Are you talking about the Casey Anthony case?" And we said yes and we just sort of exchanged some information.

And I didn`t disclose that I was a reporter. I just kind of picked her brain a little bit and she said Mallory worked at that restaurant.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who`s Mallory?

FRANCO: Mallory is Lee Anthony`s fiancee, his girlfriend. And she claimed at that point that Mallory in passing mentioned that Casey did it, they believe Casey did it and Lee also believed that Casey did it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you talked to a waitress who was a co-worker with another waitress who is the girlfriend of Casey Anthony`s brother Lee and you heard what again?

FRANCO: All that is true except for Mallory was a hostess, and in passing, Heidi said Mallory told her they believe Casey did it and that Lee also believes Casey did it and was responsible. Those statements are very strong.

Instead of reporting hearsay, I went to investigators and let them know and then they decided to put me on record and they investigated the claim.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark Eiglarsh, why is this in these documents? Rozzie Franco is a great reporter and she`s a very credible person, but isn`t this, trying to count, triple hearsay anyway?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Oh, yes, and completely irrelevant.

First of all, you`re not allowed to speculate with a witness as to whether that witness thinks the person is guilty. That`s for the jury to decide, but this isn`t just one witness, this is Lee telling a girlfriend, telling a co-worker telling -- please. It is completely irrelevant and does not come into a court of law.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s talk about these two sisters who keep coming up in this investigation. Cecilia Benhaida goes by the name Skye. Her sister Crystal Holloway (ph) goes by the name River. Isn`t that interesting? The sister claims River had an affair with Casey`s dad, George Anthony. And they claim that George told them Caylee`s death was an accident. Listen.


BENHAIDA: She was in love with George. She told him that I would never ask you that and in reply he said it was an accident that snowballed out of control.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Again, Jean Casarez, so what? I mean, is this what they call hard evidence? I don`t really understand why this is so significant that it`s in a document dump.

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Well, I think that what could be significant and Cecilia goes into about this relationship. She believes it was a physical relationship. Her sister has never admitted that but talking about the duration of it, that her sister was so emotional when George Anthony seemed to cut it off.

That could then give credibility to George Anthony telling Crystal that it was an accident that just snowballed. But one also could say it was just him, what he believed and what he wanted to believe.

I think very significant here though is the soap opera this is becoming because Cecilia who is a sister of Crystal was in jail with Casey at the very same time she says her sister unbeknownst to her was knowing George Anthony. She says she passed mail and she delivered mail to Casey along with some of her meals.

EIGLARSH: Jane, let me add something.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, go ahead.

EIGLARSH: Let me add one thing. The rule here in Florida, 3.220 of Discovery doesn`t mean that you have to release all evidence that`s going to be admitted; just anything that could lead to admissible evidence. So maybe some of this stuff gives the defense an opportunity to explore further and then leads to admissible evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue -- you`ve led me to it -- lightweight evidence. Lee Anthony`s girlfriend allegedly goes around telling people that Casey did it. George allegedly tells his alleged mistress that Caylee`s death was an accident. Seems like a lot of hearsay to me and there doesn`t seem to be a lot of credibility, to put it mildly, to the claims of Casey`s so-called inmate friends like, for example, confessed killer Maya Derkovic.

FRANCO: You know, Jane, I just want to add to that.


MAYA DERKOVIC, CASEY ANTHONY`S FORMER INMATE: -- like a rag, like a wash rag and put it over the baby`s face, so she`ll inhale it and that would knock her out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did she say what she used to knock her out?

DERKOVIC: Um, I can`t pronounce it, chloro--


VELEZ-MITCHELL: somebody was saying they wanted to add to it -- go ahead.

FRANCO: As we`re talking about hearsay, this is the very reason I didn`t report this, and I gave this tip to investigators because right after this incident, investigators went over and interviewed this waitress, Heidi. She denied it.

But I think what`s most interesting now is that Lee Anthony is not denying it. He`s saying no comment.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now, we also have a hearing coming up, Jean Casarez with the new judge. And we`re getting already some signs that he`s a tough guy because he`s saying nobody at counsel table will be allowed to make gestures?

CASAREZ: Right. This was something that was basically, I think, routine that came out yesterday. It was printed in 2003, and I`m sure he sends it out to everyone. But you can definitely tell this judge who was the chief judge demands decorum and respect in his courtroom.

And I think it will be interesting to see what happens on Friday. Many have been reporting that he may change the date. I counter that because this was a previous order. The defense said they needed the time and there is a right to a fair trial that I`m sure this judge will respect and won`t want to be reversed on appeal for speeding up this case.

Got to leave it right there, fantastic panel. Thank you so much.

Plus, an ISSUES prime time exclusive: I`m going to go one-on-one with Lindsay`s dad, next. He claims his daughter is hooked on drugs and now he`s desperately trying to get her help.

But first the feel-good story of the week: I want you to meet Buddy, a German Shepherd who lives in Alaska.

His owner`s house caught fire. The owner suffered burns on his face and told his dog, "Get help, Buddy." And that`s what Buddy did.

The dog found a police cruiser searching for the house and led that cop down numerous dark roads. Look at Buddy. He keeps checking over his shoulder making sure the cop is keeping up with him. Cops found the house. He led fire fighters to the scene. Nobody was severely hurt. Thanks to Buddy, the house was saved with very little damage.

Speaking of animals, be sure to watch the Genesis Awards this weekend. Our show ISSUES won a special award for the many stories we do on animal issues.

The awards show will air on Animal Planet Saturday at noon Eastern and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. You don`t want to miss it.

Michael Lohan, up next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Turning now to an ISSUES exclusive. We are joined by Michael Lohan who says he is in a life or death mission to save his troubled daughter, movie star Lindsay Lohan. Michael took cops to Lindsay`s Los Angeles home yesterday to do a welfare check on his other daughter, 16-year-old Ali, who is hanging with Lindsay.


MICHAEL LOHAN, LINDSAY LOHAN`S FATHER: I`m here to check on my kids.


LOHAN: No one wants to do anything; I`m going to do it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lindsay was furious and went on a Twitter rampage ranting, quote, "I need a restraining order. He`s nuts, another cry for attention on his part when we have stated that he is not a part of our lives nor has he been for a while. Stop lying, Ali is in school. It`s called home school. It`s not easy in public school when you are publicly humiliating your own children and the mother of them."

Well, these are some angry words from a young woman who appears to have been on a downward spiral for years. She`s had multiple drug arrests, three trips to rehab and is currently denying claims that she stole a $35,000 Rolex watch.

So where do we begin? I am thrilled to welcome Lindsay`s dad Michael Lohan along with his attorney Randy Zelin.

Michael thanks for being here. I want to start with asking you, what was the specific event that prompted you to go to Lindsay`s apartment yesterday and what did you see when you went inside?

LOHAN: Jane, to be honest and Randy will concede that I`ve been trying to do this quietly with Lindsay`s lawyer for quite a while now, but when I heard what went on down at Coachella at the festival and Ali being down there without any supervision other than Lindsay, who is not in a position to supervise Ali at all, and that they were driving home at over 115 miles an hour, and I got on a plane and I came out here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to read this statement we got from Lindsay`s attorney, quote, "Lindsay and her sister are afraid of their father and consider his conduct of yesterday to be nothing more than a publicity stunt. With respect to the Rolex, we adamantly deny the allegations."

Michael, both Lindsay and her lawyer called your visit yesterday a cry for attention and a publicity stunt. I want to give you a chance to respond to all of that.

LOHAN: Well, thank you, Jane. And I think -- I think Randy can help in this as well. Randy and I have been in touch with Lindsay`s lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, for quite a while now as I have with Dina to try to sit down and do this quietly.

I wanted to do this with Lindsay, Dina and myself. Dina will never come to the table. The therapists, Lindsay`s doctors and everyone have asked her to come to the table and she won`t do it because she`s got her own issues. And I`m not going to point and take the -- I`m not going to take the focus off what the problem is.

First of all, there was no publicity stunt involved. No one knew I was coming out here, I went and the cameras were at Lindsay`s apartment. I didn`t want to look like a moron like I -- having cameras following me around. I went up there to check on my daughter Ali and what I saw up there was not a pretty sight.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What did you see?

LOHAN: And Ali is not the one -- the place is a mess. The girls were laying on a mattress on the floor with a sheet and then some girl that was -- looked like she was in -- she was coming off a drug binge walks out of the other room and I suppose this is the one they call the guardian, so to speak.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What -- what problem -- what problem do you feel your daughter Lindsay has? Let`s talk about the big elephant in the room and what are you afraid of?

LOHAN: What I`m afraid of -- listen, and you know, I`m not knocking the treatment centers that she went to already, but when people don`t -- when people with addiction problems go into a treatment center I don`t think they should go in without being on prescription drugs and come out being on prescription drugs.

Every time Lindsay went to a rehab they put her on more and more prescription drugs. She`s got a major problem with prescription drugs now and we know that when you mix it with alcohol and other illicit drugs or illegal drugs you have a toxic combination there. And you don`t know when your last day is going to be or when you mix the wrong combination of things -- might how that it might be fatal or lethal and I`m not going to let that happen.

I`ve been trying to do this with Dina. Randy will tell you I`ve been trying to deal with the lawyers. And Shawn Chapman Holley was on the phone with me yesterday and she knows it wasn`t a publicity stunt. I tried to do this quietly and sit down with Lindsay before going to the apartment and checking on Ali with the sheriff`s department.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: When you saw Lindsay, how did she look? Did she look drugged out in your opinion?

LOHAN: She looked like she had a major hangover, her eyes were red and her makeup was smeared all over her face. She was irate.

Listen, Dina, and Lindsay and Ali they can say that I don`t see the kids, I`m estranged. I was with the kids a week and a half ago at the house. I was with Cody and Dina and Ali about three weeks ago signing Cody up for Catholic school, so you know what, they can say what they want. I`m tired of all the lies.

You know, it`s time to just step back and do things the way I have to legally and, and I`m still offering Lindsay the opportunity to sit down with her mother and I. And Dina should -- Dina should put everything aside and put our daughter first and let`s get Lindsay help and let`s get Ali back in school.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s talk about your ex-wife Dina Lohan. She has jumped to Lindsay`s defense saying her daughter is just fine. Now, Dina said, quote, "Lindsay is 100 percent not a bad influence on her sister. Why would I let my daughter go anywhere that`s dangerous?" End quote.

But Dina clearly realizes Lindsay needs help because last November she told RadarOnline she tried to get Lindsay into rehab. So let`s listen to this for a second.


DINA LOHAN, LINDSAY LOHAN`S MOTHER: She`s really sad and really hurt and really despondent, you know? So she`s been through a lot, Michael. You don`t even know what I went through, trying to get her into, like, rehab and stuff. Punched me in the face and threw me out of the car -- like you don`t know the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) I went through trying to get her an intervention by myself. It was very difficult.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael, it seems you both have the same goal. You both stated you want to see her in rehab. What do you make of Dina`s mixed messages about Lindsay? I mean, one minute she`s saying Lindsay`s fine and the next she`s trying to get her into rehab.

LOHAN: There you go, Dina says what`s right at the moment. Dina -- Dina wants to be Lindsay`s friend. She wants to stay on her good side and she wants to make everything look like it`s -- it`s -- everything is fine and dandy. It`s not.


LOHAN: Why? Because she wants to be her friend. I mean, she just -- listen, I don`t care about being a friend. I`m a father, and if I have to be on her (EXPLETIVE DELETED) list, so to speak, then let me be there. Maybe she`ll hate me now, but she`ll love me in the end.

I`m not going to let my sister die -- my daughter die or succumb to a problem like this. It`s not going to happen on my watch. There is no way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s get to what you can do, there are parallels between Lindsay`s troubles and those of Britney Spears, the hard partying pop star who hit rock bottom two years ago.

LOHAN: I agree.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You remember this Michael, she was whisked away from her Los Angeles home in an ambulance and she was put on an involuntary 5150 hold. That meant she was considered a danger to herself or others.

Britney`s dad stepped in and he was named her conservator -- that`s a court-appointed guardian for an adult. And he took over, everything, her finances. She seems to be doing well. She`s stayed out of trouble and she`s taking care of her kids now and she`s turned her life around.

What are you planning to do next, Michael?

LOHAN: Well, I plan on working with attorneys out here and with Randy Zelin to coordinate something that would be similar to that.

But let me clear one thing up first. I want nothing to do with Lindsay`s finances. The people around her have destroyed her finances already and I want nothing to do with it.

All I want to do is get my daughter into a place in her life where she can rebuild and resurrect her life and her career. And if someone has to be a conservator, whether it`s me or anyone else, whoever is in the right position to do that, that`s what I want.

I just want Lindsay to get help and have her life back. I love her. She`s my daughter. This is not about publicity.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this question. You are sober. You`ve had your share of problems, but you`re in recovery now. Has that been the reason why you`ve been inspired in part to her get sober?

LOHAN: Jane, it`s not only that. You know the hardest part is I deal with teen challenge and Sea Field Center on Long Island and I help so many other kids and their families. I mean, people will verify this.

It`s so hard when you can help so many other people but you can`t even help your own. I`ve been down this road. And you know, none of us are perfect. We all have our good days and bad days but --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to go. We`ll be right back after the break and let you finish that. Just a moment, stay right there.

LOHAN: Thank you.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on until I tell you, ok. We`re going to go up right there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lindsay, my battery pack is going out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You need to move.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Lindsay Lohan facing an Army of paparazzi in Los Angeles looking like she`d been partying for days. A beautiful girl, but it`s showing on her face, her hard-partying ways. At least that`s what I see.

Her dad, Michael, joins us. And in an ISSUES exclusive he says he is fighting to save her life.

I want to ask a quick question of his attorney, Randy Zelin. Lindsay`s got legal problems, too. She`s facing a lawsuit over this 2007 wild car chase down PCH. She`s reportedly failed to show up for several depositions but must show up in May.

This girl`s got some serious problems, does she not?

RANDY ZELIN, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL LOHAN: Well, look, I would invite your viewers -- I would invite the world to make their own decisions about what`s going on. One of the blessings and the curse of technology and the Internet and just worldwide news that we get in an instant, it`s real time. But I don`t need to convey my own thoughts; I can leave it to your viewers to decide. Quite frankly --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask Michael, then. Michael, where did this problem stem from? I mean as a recovering alcoholic myself, I know my dad, God rest his soul, was an alcoholic who never got sober, but he was a high- functioning alcoholic, and for me it was genetic and environmental. Where did Lindsay get this problem?

LOHAN: Well, I believe that part of it is genetic. I believe that it also has to do with people, places, and things in your life --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m talking about Lindsay, though. I`m talking not generically.

LOHAN: Well, I had a problem. Dina has a problem drinking. There`s members in Dina`s family that have problems drinking. And I think Lindsay was around it. Thank god my other children don`t have that problem. My brothers and sisters don`t.

But I do think that it has to do with -- the elements in her life, her environment. But I will say this, too, Jane. You talk about this deposition that Lindsay has missed. It`s -- the same thing happened with Dina three weeks ago. The judge ordered Dina to be at depositions in her child -- in the support case, and she didn`t show up, either.

I mean, Dina`s got to set a good example for Lindsay. She`s got to stop drinking. She can`t party with her. And she`s got to be there as a mother. Stand by my side. Put our differences aside. And let`s help our daughter. And --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re saying Dina is partying with Lindsay?

LOHAN: Oh, come on, we`ve seen it 100 times when she`s out here and when she`s in New York. They`re always out drinking together. They go to the same clubs together. You never saw me once --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, wait a second. How can a woman who has tried to put her daughter in rehab to get sober go drinking with her if that`s -- we invite Lindsay`s mom, Dina, to come on and tell her side, but that`s a really big problem if true.

LOHAN: Well, you know what? It`s funny, too, because again, I`m going to refer to another show. And Dina just got done saying I`m a three- time felon. That has nothing to do with what`s going on.

First of all, I`m not a three-time felon. I was charged with one felony. And her family`s got more felonies under their collar than I do. But that`s not the problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael, I have ten seconds. If Lindsay doesn`t get help, do you think she will die?

LOHAN: It`s a strong possibility.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That your daughter will die?

LOHAN: Anyone can die in her position. And what she`s doing. I just want the people around Lindsay to know that they`re on notice. If something happens to my daughter and you`re around her and you enable her, you`re going to be held responsible too. And my lawyers will make sure of that. And I will as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re watching ISSUES on HLN.