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Testimony Heard in Home Invasion Case; Man Arrested for Statutory Rape after Facebook Post

Aired September 14, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, gut-wrenching, horrifying testimony from a devastated father. His wife brutally raped and murdered. His two young daughters tied to their beds, sexually assaulted, burned alive. This affluent family was picked at random and tortured inside their own home. Tonight the sole survivor relives his hellish nightmare on the witness stand.

And an alleged rapist busted on Facebook. Cops say a 27-year-old man posted pictures with his girlfriend on Facebook, even declaring, "We`re engaged." Just one problem: the girlfriend is only 14 years old. Tonight, put those wedding plans on ice. We`ll tell you what happened to this would-be groom.

Also, the performance of a lifetime. A Hollywood actor accused of brutally stabbing his girlfriend more than 20 times.

SHELLEY MALIL, ACTOR: And I just went, like -- my hand was, like, going a hundred miles per hour. I stood up, backing up, and I...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The actor from the smash hit "40-Year-Old Virgin" takes the stand. Shelley Malil claims it was all an accident. Could his bizarre -- and I mean bizarre -- testimony blow up in his face?

Plus, fast-breaking news you in the Casey Anthony case. Tonight her legal dream team adds three new attorneys. Casey now has six lawyers at her beck and call. Tonight, does Casey`s defense put O.J.`s Dream Team to shame?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, bombshell developments in a Connecticut courtroom. A devastated father confronts the monster who he says murdered his entire family.

Accused rapist and killer Steven Hayes watched as Dr. William Petit took the stand and gave gut-wrenching testimony describing the hellish night his family was slaughtered in their quiet Connecticut neighborhood.

That day the Petits went to church, and they had dinner together. The doctor dozed off on the couch. Hours later, he awoke being hit over the head with a bat in the middle of a living nightmare. He was beaten to a pulp with a baseball bat by two intruders. Blood pouring down his face, he sees his attackers have a gun. He hears them say, "If he moves, put two bullets in him."

The attackers tie him up to a pole. They hid him down in the basement. Panic stricken, he listens for sounds of his wife and children. Upstairs, Steven Hayes, the defendant, is allegedly raping his wife, Jennifer, while his accomplice is allegedly sexually assaulting his innocent 11-year-old daughter nicknamed K.K. The doctor heard a voice saying, "Don`t worry. It will all be over soon." He sensed that it was moments, just moments, before something really awful might happen.

He wiggles free. He manages to literally crawl and roll next door. His neighbor doesn`t even recognize him, because he`s covered with blood but calls the police. It was too late.

The doctor says he frantically told cops, the girls, the girls are in the house. But they never made it out. Hayes allegedly strangled Jennifer, his wife, killing her. Then the intruders set the house on fire. The doctor`s two daughters were burning alive inside.


WILLIAM PETIT, SURVIVOR: Turned to ask Jennifer if she remembers the date, but she`s not there. I turn to ask Haley how her French class went and how crew practice was, and she`s not there. I turn to hug K.K. Rosebud and ask her if they finally served something that she likes for lunch, and if the boys behaved in gym class that day, but she`s not there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight we`re going to show you gut-wrenching, brand- new evidence photos that were revealed in court this afternoon. Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel. I want to begin with Erin Cox, reporter with WTNH.

Erin, you were in the courtroom today. Describe the emotions in court as Dr. Petit walks up and takes the stand, comes face-to-face with the monster who destroyed his family.

ERIN COX, REPORTER, WTNH: It was silent in the courtroom. Everybody wanted to hear every single word that Dr. William Petit had to say. Once he was on the stand, he was quite stoic and somber and even a little bit mechanical, obviously sounding like a survivor who has thought about these details and probably talked about the horrific details before. So he was quite methodical as he went through the events of that night and that early morning.

He actually didn`t seem to even glance over at the suspect, Steven Hayes. And Steven Hayes kept his head down during much of the doctor`s testimony.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Christian, you were also in court. What was the most dramatic moment for you?

MICHAEL CHRISTIAN, PRODUCER, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION" (VIA PHONE): First I must say that Erin is exactly right. Dr. Petit was a perfect witness in some ways, because he was talking about incredibly emotional things but not in an emotional way.

He left court at the end of the day, Jane, and he said to reporters that testifying had been very, very emotional for him but that he just tried to do the best he could for his family. I think certainly the most dramatic moment -- moments, I should say, are when he`s describing how he was attacked viciously. He didn`t understand what was happening. He just felt, ow, ow, ow. And he was kind of dazed.

And then the second thing I thought was incredibly interesting and incredibly emotional was when he was describing escaping from that -- that building. His ankles were still bound with zip ties, but he was able to hobble up some basement stairs to the outside and literally roll to the neighbor`s house.

It was just incredible testimony. The jury was riveted. People were taking notes through a lot of it. But...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about the defendant? What about the defendant? What about this monster Steven Hayes?

CHRISTIAN: Erin`s right. He did not look at Dr. Petit through most of it, and Dr. Petit said later that he didn`t look at Steven Hayes either during his testimony. He tried not to focus on the defendant. He just tried to focus on the questions he was being asked.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Vinnie Politan, you`ve covered so many trials. We often expect tears and are surprised by somebody who has it all together and is able to maintain their composure. Isn`t that ironic, but it does happen all the time, doesn`t it?

VINNIE POLITAN, HOST, "PRIME NEWS": It does, and this is a victim who had to relive the worst day of his life, his family wiped out. And I don`t know if any of us could ever imagine what he is going through emotionally and what it`s like to be in the room with this killer. And to have the composure, the bravery, and the ability to do what he did, absolutely amazing, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Janet Taylor, how do you explain as a psychiatrist that he has basically no affect, that he`s not sobbing, that he`s not weeping on the stand?

DR. JANET TAYLOR, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, he has two things going for him. One, he`s a physician, so he`s used to being composed when making life and death decisions. And the other is obviously his utter just respect and courage as he exemplified getting out of the house and knowing that he has to do this in the memory of his daughters and wife and get these monsters put in jail.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, we have some of the bone-chilling evidence photos that were shown in court today. This is apparently -- we`re going to show you in a second the money the doctor`s wife, Jennifer, was forced to take out of the bank.

With shaking hands, she told the teller her family was being held hostage. They thought that if they did everything that these sickos asked them to -- there she is -- there`s the wife in the bank, walking out of the bank holding $15,000 in cash. And she thought if she did get that money and leave, that she and her daughters who were still at home tied up to the bed would be OK. But she was gravely mistaken.

Now, we also -- we just saw Jennifer on the surveillance video. There`s another shot of it, right before she`s strangled to death.

Now, we`re going to show you the Petits` garage. There`s the cash. You can see the cash that she was forced to withdraw. And there is the house as it was set on fire, OK? These sickos didn`t just -- that`s the garage. That`s the garage where Dr. Petit was held and from which he escaped. All of this really astounding evidence.

Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney, when it came time to do cross-examination, the defense -- the defense did not ask a single question of the doctor. Why not?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Perfect. Perfect move. That`s the last thing you want to do. No matter what your defense theory is, in this particular case, if they ask any questions and somehow disturb him, show disrespect, don`t embrace his loss, it will absolutely backfire. You`ve got to go another direction in a case like this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Now, yesterday a bank teller testified the doctor`s wife, Jennifer, showed up at the bank with shaking hands and asked to withdraw $15,000. Again, she was caught on the bank surveillance footage. The bank manager then called 911.

But various reports say the operator placed him on hold and then instructed them to call the local police headquarters directly. The doctor testified today that he managed to literally roll, physically roll to a neighbor`s house. That neighbor then called 911. Cops showed up right away.

So I have to ask, Michael Christian, field producer with "In Session," you were in court. The cops who showed up at the scene, were they responding to the neighbor`s call? Did the bank ever get the cops to come from that initial call?

CHRISTIAN: No. They were responding to the initial call. Basically, the neighbor, his name is Dave Simsik, he said that he started calling 911 when he discovered Dr. Petit banging on his garage door. And he didn`t recognize Dr. Petit at first because he was so covered with blood he didn`t know who he was. Dr. Petit is, like, "It`s me. It`s me, Bill. Call 911."

He started to call 911 and when Dave Simsik testified yesterday, he said he was in the process of starting to make that call when all of a sudden policeman with a gun showed up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks...

CHRISTIAN: Then he took the phone away and concluded the 911 call.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, is this domestic terrorism? I looked it up in the dictionary. Terrorism is a systemic means of terror as a means of coercion. Usually in political context. But to me, this is domestic terrorism.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, in the things I worked on for a long time, I wouldn`t say this is domestic terrorism because it wasn`t done for political or social objectives unless you call money social objectives.

But I`ll tell you what: you talk about the courage of this doctor. His survival mentality, Jane, is something like I have hardly ever seen before. And maybe that is why he has such an affect. He goes over this again and again in his mind, day after day after day. This guy is a true hero, a true survivor.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He really is. He is a hero.

Everybody stay right where you are. We`re just getting started on this heart-wrenching testimony. Will this be enough for the death penalty? And we`re taking your calls on the other side of the break: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Plus, everyone talking about their relationship on Facebook. Oh, we all post pictures and change our status from time to time. But it landed this guy you`re about to meet in jail.

But first, the perfect family tortured, raped, murdered set on fire inside their home. Tonight a devastated father takes us step by step through his own horrific nightmare.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After waiting more than three years, the Petit and Hawk families are ready for this process to finally begin and are hopeful in the end that justice will prevail.



PETIT: I still struggle every day after 58 days, and I`m not sure that will ever change.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Dr. Bill Petit, speaking just two months after the brutal murders of his wife, Jennifer, his 11-year-old daughter, Michaela, and 17-year-old daughter, Haley.

Today he came face-to-face with the monster accused of killing his entire family. Dr. Petit took the stand and gave heartbreaking testimony, describing the hideous, hellish details of the night that changed his life forever.

Kimberly, Arizona, your question or thought, ma`am?

CALLER: Hi. Thank you, Jane, for taking my call. Do we, briefly, know anything about their past criminal history, and are they using the same excuse as many do these days, whether or not they were on drugs?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They were drug addicts. I read a history of these two, and the phrase "crystal meth" came into the conversation. And we know when people are doing drugs, Mike Brooks, crystal meth and coke, they`re capable of doing unimaginable evil because their moral system is completely corrupted by the drug addiction.

BROOKS: You`re absolutely -- absolutely right, Jane. And we know -- we know Hayes and the other monster have been locked up at least 20 times apiece, 23 times I know for Hayes. And in fact, he was on parole. Where should he have been? He should have been in jail. That`s where he should have been.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you bring me to my big issue tonight. Did these two predators, aside from having drug addiction, have a crime addiction? Yes, crime addiction.

The other defendant, Joshua Komasarzjevsky, was on parole, as you just heard from Mike Brooks, and wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet. The "New York Times" reports just 96 hours after authorities let that bracelet get off of his ankle and be removed, Joshua was in the Petits` home, allegedly attacking innocent 11-year-old Michaela. He`s going to go on trial after this psycho.

Look at their records. Both men had at least 20 burglaries under their belts. Now, Dr. Janet Taylor, we all know that addiction is progressive. Criminals can get an adrenaline rush and a high of committing a crime, just like somebody can get high off a drug. And each time when -- I am a recovering alcoholic. I can tell you that addiction is progressive because, in order to get the same high, you need to raise the bar and make it more intense, OK?

And this is a perfect illustration. They started out with burglary. They end up with rape and murder. Do you see the crime addiction, Dr. Janet Taylor?

TAYLOR: I don`t see the crime addiction. I mean, you have to think about addiction, certainly, as a brain and body phenomenon. But in this case, these are hard-core criminals. They did a premeditated act, and I think to label them as crime addicts would really be letting them off way too easy.


EIGLARSH: Jane, I don`t know of any judge who`s going to buy me defending any of these guys in court by saying my clients are crime addicts. They`d laugh. They`d think that I`m doing stand-up again. It`s not going to fly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m not defending them. I`m trying to explain human behavior. You know, we can lock everybody up -- and I want these guys -- I mean, I think this is one of the most vicious, hideous crimes that I`ve seen.

BROOKS: These two guys are why the death penalty was ever put in place.


BROOKS: These two guys should die.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: These -- these are -- these are the two guys that are keeping the death penalty alive in Connecticut. That`s not my issue. My issue is trying to understand this so that the next Michaela and the next Haley don`t have to die.

And we do need to look at the progressive nature of crime and how there is a repeat phenomenon.

BROOKS: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Where it`s progressive and it accelerates. And you know, you can object to the word "addiction," but the phenomenon of progressive crime, that starts with a petty burglary and leads up to something this sinister and hellish, it`s -- it`s a real phenomenon.

POLITAN: Jane, it`s just like all these guys I used to see when I was a prosecutor. Every Friday they`d come into court. The rap sheet is one, two, three, four pages.

Their attorney gets up and says, "Oh, he just needs an inpatient drug program, and everything will be all right. Your honor, he`s not a threat to society."

Well, they are threats to society. And if you can`t conform to the rules 20 times, go away. Lock them up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree. I`m just trying to understand it so that we can address it, because I don`t care what the problem is, how hideous the problem is. If you don`t get to the understanding of some of the components that lead to it, you can`t really stop it in the next generation.

EIGLARSH: Well, Jane, most -- most of the time the addiction is the actual drug and alcohol. People not coping with life on life`s terms. That`s the issue. That`s really a disease. But to say that crime, somehow they`re addicted to crime and they`re powerless to control, not hurting someone, Jane...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Some people get a dopamine rush, an adrenaline rush, a dopamine rush off sadism. This was sadism. Go ahead, Doctor.

TAYLOR: No. I was just going to say, to your point, you could be addicted to anything because of that dopamine rush and how the brain responds to reward.

But if we look at the underlying factors of crime, again to your point, it`s the brain`s reaction, certainly, to the rush and also opportunity, how victimized they were as children, and what they get out of being just heinous criminals.

POLITAN: They`re selfish; they`re lazy; they`re addicted. They need to go away.

BROOKS: And the criminal justice system doesn`t look at burglars as a violent crime. They look at it as more of a property crime. That`s the other problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you all. A Hollywood actor accused of stabbing, next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the wedding is off after a 27-year-old man brags about being engaged to his 14-year-old girlfriend on Facebook.

Robert Nixon Jr. and his teen bride, they couldn`t wait to spread the good news. They changed their Facebook status to engaged and posted lots of photos of themselves together. Big mistake, people. Especially you.

A special computer task force set up to find sickos like this did just that, and they went to have a talk with this 14-year-old girl. She admitted Nixon bought her an engagement ring and that they`d had sex at least four times at his apartment. Nixon is now under arrest for alleged statutory rape.

Straight out to my guest, psychiatrist Dr. Janet Taylor. Court documents indicate, Doctor, that both people knew what they were doing and knew that it was wrong. So why on earth did they post it on Facebook for the entire world to see, including the cops?

TAYLOR: You know, they were both stupid and probably a little too confident. The good thing is this pedophile is behind bars where he needs to be. And hopefully -- you wonder where are this 14-year-old girl`s parents. How could you not notice that she`s dating a 27-year-old? And he -- they went to his home, where his father was. How do you let a 14-year- old sleep with your son?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I agree. This so-called couple only dated for about a month before Nixon bought the 14-year-old girl a ring. And here`s a text message he reportedly sent her: "I wish I had my own place and you lived with me. I would get to see you every day, no matter what time I get done and no..." Whatever the heck he said. Whatever. Little love chat.

Dr. Taylor, the suspect is charged with statutory rape, but I really think this is more like, if he`s guilty of this, pedophilia, don`t you?

TAYLOR: There`s no question it is. I mean, there`s no state in the United States where you can have sex with a 14-year-old that I`m aware of. And the bottom line, he knew what he was doing. He coerced her. And it`s easy to manipulate a 14-year-old, no matter how developed she is, no matter what she says. She`s still 14. And men who are predators can find ways to talk to these girls.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and I have to say, Facebook is cooperating with this investigation. They`ve taken this page down, which is very smart. We know a whole lot of Web sites, Facebook, MySpace, Craigslist, they`re under a lot of scrutiny right now. Craigslist, in the wake of that Craigslist killing and various other controversies, facing accusations it`s become a hub for underage prostitution.

So when these social networking sites get to a certain size, they do seem to attract controversy. But what I find fascinating, Dr. Taylor, is that people think they can post all sorts of personal stuff that somehow the rest of the world isn`t going to see. There`s actually a funny story, a woman who thought she was responding privately to a lover and turned out she told her 400 friends really intimate details of what had happened the night before.

TAYLOR: Well, that will teach you not to respond.

I think what happens, because technology is at our fingertips so much, we kind of get involved in the delusion that it`s just between us and this electronic technology we`re using. But the bottom line is whatever you write, whatever you text, whatever you tweet and the world is watching.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and also, you`ve got to master the settings. I think the reason why that woman basically revealed to all her friends the intimate details of the sexual encounter she had had the night before is that she didn`t really understand the settings. And people are really not computer savvy.

You know, there was a -- a burglar who broke into someone`s house, called up his Facebook page on the victim`s computer and then left before he took it down, and they caught him.

TAYLOR: This is fascinating stuff. Thank goodness -- thank goodness for knuckleheads. And people at work, employees send message only meant for one person out to everyone.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Doctor.

All right. Up next, a Hollywood actor takes the stand. You won`t believe this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The performance of a lifetime. A Hollywood actor accused of brutally stabbing his girlfriend more than 20 times.


SHELLEY MALIL, ACTOR ACCUSED OF STABBING EX-GIRLFRIEND: And I just went like -- and my hand was like going a hundred miles per hour. Then as I stood up, I`m backing up and just, you know --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The actor from the smash hit "40-Year-Old Virgin" takes the stand. Shelley Malil claims it was all an accident. Could his bizarre -- and I mean bizarre -- testimony blow up in his face?

Plus, fast-breaking news in the Casey Anthony case. Tonight her legal dream team adds three new attorneys. Casey now has six lawyers at her beck and call. Tonight, does Casey`s defense put O.J.`s dream team to shame?

Tonight, wild -- and I mean wild theatrics on the witness stand. Could an actor`s own bizarre testimony help put him behind bars for life? "40-Year-Old Virgin" star Shelley Malil is on trial for attempted murder. He`s accused of going to his ex-girlfriend`s California home back in 2008 and stabbing her more than 20 times, nearly to death.


MALIL: And I just went like -- and my hand was, like, moving a hundred miles per hour. I was coming up like this and then as I stood up I`m backing up and, you know, back and forth, back and forth, and just looking for space.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Malil`s courtroom drama is a far cry from the big laughs he got in "40-Year-Old Virgin". Here is a clip from his biggest hit.


MALIL: So, tell me, Montel, why weren`t we invited to the party? What are we, al Qaeda?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now hold up a second.

MALIL: No, no, no.

STEVE CARELL, ACTOR: Andy, she gave me her number.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. That was his good acting. Now I think we have some bad acting in court possibly. Malil claims he was acting in self-defense and had no clue it was his ex Kendra Beebe he was attacking.

Now, these are photos of her horrific injuries. She gave testimony about the assault that left her critically wounded.


KENDRA BEEBE, ATTACKED BY MALIL: He had his hand behind his back and he starts walking up you to me. And I thought, "Oh, my God, he`s going to hug me." Then I thought, "Oh, no," as he got closer, "He`s going to punch me."

And then I see, like, this flash of silver. And he goes, bang, bang, bang. So I screamed at the top of my lungs, like, "Help. Help. 911. Call 911."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is a gripping trial. Malil could face 21 years to life in prison if found guilty. Does the jury buy his explanation? Do you buy his explanation? Will his own words get him convicted?

Straight up to my fantastic expert panel. First to Dylan Howard, senior executive editor of RadarOnline; Dylan, dare we ask on this one, what is the very latest?

DYLAN HOWARD, SENIOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR, RADAR ONLINE: Well, Jane, this is a question now for the jury to decide, a question of sanity and also a question of self-defense. Now, this case is winding down. It`s going to go to the jury room shortly, but it`s not after it`s most dramatic day yet.

And of course, we saw there when Shelley Malil made those admissions, if you`d like, before the jury, admitting that his hands were moving at rapid rate of more than 100 miles an hour in his mind and admitting that he stabbed her more than 30 times, his ex-partner.

Now, of course, his defense to all of this is self-defense, and claiming it was someone else. It`s now going to be up to the jury to decide whether or not they buy those claims.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s my big issue on this case. Is Malil a bad actor? He claims he was acting in self-defense.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The prosecutor asked Malil if perhaps he wasn`t, well, going too far in defending himself. Listen to this.


MALIL: This is a question I`ve been asking myself the last two years, was there a moment, you know, a conflict that I could have stopped? I`ve asked myself over and over and over again. I`m telling you I still don`t know that. I still cannot honestly say there was a moment that I said, you know what? This is enough. There`s never been a moment.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s got that thing going with his voice, but there`s no tears coming out of his eyes.

Midwin Charles, you`re a legal contributor for "In Session". You`ve seen so many cases. Do you buy this performance?

MIDWIN CHARLES, LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR, "IN SESSION": I really don`t, but I will tell you it`s really good and perhaps Oscar worthy. I don`t understand why his defense team would have him re-enact and do this show- and-tell. Because what it does is tell the jury, you know what? He really looks like someone who is capable of inflicting those 20, 30 wounds on this woman.

And how do you not stop when this woman is screaming at the top of her lungs?

BROOKS: You`re right, Midwin.


CHARLES: None of what he`s saying makes sense.

BROOKS: It puts the knife in his hand, and let us not forget, he came with one knife, he was disarmed. He went and got a butcher knife and came back at her another 17 to 18 times. Come on.

His attorney must have been going, what are you doing? What are you doing, you idiot? Don`t do that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve got to see that clip again where he`s doing that thing on his hands and knees and flailing around.

CHARLES: It makes no sense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to pull that one up because that was really -- I wasn`t sure what somebody was doing there on the panel. Now I realize that was applause for a performance. And I agree.

BROOKS: Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think we should all give him applause for his performance.

CHARLES: Yes. Oscar-worthy. And then, Jane, you have to ask yourself, too, who was he defending himself from?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There it is. Hold on. Well, there it is. There it is. Hold on.

BROOKS: Maybe he can give some acting lessons in jail because I think that`s where he`s going.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Come on. Let`s give him a round of applause for this one. This is really out of control. Well done. Well done.

We don`t want an encore, though, that`s for sure.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: If prosecutors can prove Malil planned this attack, it does open the door for a life sentence. Prosecutors say Malil used two knives to stab his ex-girlfriend; one he brought with him and the other from her kitchen.

Now, bringing the knife to her house does indicate premeditation, as Mike Brooks mentioned, but Malil denies he brought the knife. He insists he found the blade in his girlfriend`s backyard a day before the stabbing and that he for some reason stashed it there in, of all places, the umbrella well of her patio table.

So let`s get this straight. He finds a large butch knife, sticks it in a hole of a table where usually the umbrella goes. And this mom who`s there with young children doesn`t see it and leaves a butcher knife stuck there?

You know what? Dr. Janet Taylor, I mean he should be writing scripts in Hollywood, that`s what he should be doing.

DR. JANET TAYLOR, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, absolutely. The facts speak for themselves. I mean it was his ex-girlfriend. Reportedly he might have seen her sipping wine with someone else. He became enraged. And the reality is that when there`s domestic violence, the highest risk is after a breakup -- one of the highest risks.

So, I mean he had a lot of motivation to really be just enraged and lost it. Essentially he could have killed her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Darie in North Carolina, your question or thought.

DARIE, NORTH CAROLINA, (via telephone): My thought is that he`s ridiculous and he was trying to kill her. He was enraged. He came with a knife, and he should be convicted to life in prison.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I agree. And listen, this guy and his ex had a very ugly breakup. He had revenge on the brain. He admitted that he went to her home to apologize for -- are you sitting down, everybody -- stealing her vibrators and marijuana from her home. Now, that`s darn nasty. That`s darn nasty.

And one more thing, he also admitted that he e-mailed her employees photos of the two of them having sex.

Dylan Howard, please, please take that one away.

HOWARD: Jane, this is one of these cases where, unfortunately, the truth is stranger than fiction, and it reads like something out of Hollywood. Now, his defense team has somewhat foolishly tried to create a level of question of credibility over his ex-partner Kendra Beebe by saying that she lied at a previous custody battle.

So this is all set up now for the jury to make a verdict in this and, as you say, well with, they`re going to look back upon the testimony yesterday and that`s either going to make or break Shelley Malil`s career and life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, if he does get out, he`s going to be in Karate Kid 2, but I think he`s probably going to go away for a while.

All right. Fabulous guests, thank you so much.

Oh, you won`t believe this. Breaking news in the search for missing Utah mom Susan Powell; you will not believe some of the new developments just coming down right as we speak.

And next I`m going to talk one-on-one with Casey Anthony`s defense attorney, the one and only Jose Baez, and why he has hired some more members of their dream team. We`re going to talk about that in a moment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s all I have.



CINDY ANTHONY: And you perjured yourself with this because she`s not Fernandez. So there you go. You want to fight it? Go for it.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news to tell you about right now. We are waiting to find out if the body of a woman found on a remote Wyoming ranch is that of missing wife and mother Susan Powell.

The unidentified body was found last week about 400 miles from Powell`s hometown of West Valley City, Utah. This body reportedly matches Powell`s general description. However, just moments ago, we here at ISSUES heard from a Powell family representative. They believe this is not Susan.

This is a story we`ve covered so much right here on ISSUES.

Susan disappeared nine months ago. Her husband Josh has maintained that she disappeared while he took their sons camping in the middle of the night. He is considered a person of interest.

We`re going to stay on top of this and bring you the very latest on all of this tomorrow here on ISSUES.

Also tonight -- breaking news, Casey`s dream team just got a whole lot dreamier for the indigent defendant. The announcement came this morning at a last-minute news conference. Casey`s getting three new powerhouse lawyers -- three added to the team; a replacement death penalty defender, a medical witness and a new guy to handle that whole Zanny the nanny drama.

Casey`s attorney Cheney Mason explained it today.


J. CHENEY MASON, CASEY ANTHONY`S ATTORNEY: We were up against the state attorney`s office that has changed his position of death penalty or not death penalty, have unlimited resources, you know, a law firm of 150 people. And they can bring whatever resources they want to.

We`re having to scrap from the bottom up against all of them. And as I said, when all of the enemy has got you surrounded, that`s good because I`ve got them right where I want them.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not backing down, is he. But time-out, what about the price tag for all of this? Aren`t Florida taxpayers on the hook for an amount of legal bills already? It turned out the new people are going to work for Casey Anthony pro bono, which means for free.

Meantime, Casey`s defense team is claiming that the state is withholding critical evidence for them and has been for two years. Just how critical? We`ll we`re going to go straight out to my very special guest, Casey`s lead attorney Jose Baez.

Jose, thank you so much for joining us. You held this big news conference today. Tell us why you felt the need to hire more attorneys and how many do you have at this point on your dream team?



BAEZ: Well, you know, the issue is -- is this. We`re facing, as Cheney mentioned unlimited resources and it`s something simply that we cannot --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you mean unlimited -- what do you mean by that?

BAEZ: Well, the prosecutors in this case don`t work on other cases. This is their case to -- to prosecute, and meanwhile we have to maintain practice -- a full practice. There`s over 200 lawyers in that building, and they can just pick up the phone and have any number of law enforcement officers go out and investigate whatever they need investigated.

We simply can`t compete with those types of resources so I would tell you that what we have up -- very close to what we`re up against is -- is minimal. It really is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, how do you divide up the labor with that many attorneys and I understand you have something like 8,000 documents? Who knows how many pages? With all these new attorneys coming on all the time, how do you catch up and -- and get a handle on all this evidence?

BAEZ: Well, first of all, it`s 23,000 documents and over 300 hours of audio and video. Every alphabet of law enforcement has taken part in this case. And, you know, we`re fortunate that I have a lot of experience behind me with -- with all of these lawyers, and everything that they`re doing is very specialized.

So these are lawyers that can pick up the ball and run with it and deal with their specific area and their specific issues. And that`s what we`re -- we`re hoping that the new members will be able to contribute.


So today`s big announcement, three more big-time lawyers joining Casey`s dream team. And you know, you guys went out of your way to make us aware that these people are not going to be charging the taxpayers. Let`s listen to exactly what was said at the news conference.


MASON: Graciously accepted my arm-twisting to come in and join the rest of us in a pro bono effort to defend Casey. There again, you know, a twisted arm in order to come in and help pro bono.

BAEZ: It takes a lot to ask a lawyer to sign on, A, to be a part of a case and even more importantly to do it pro bono.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you`re pro bono, you can really be selective.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here is my big issue: pro bono, pro bono, pro bono. That was a lot of talking about pro bono, but last question to you, Jose, are taxpayers not on the hook for some of Casey`s defense? I understand that the tab has been six figures at this point already. Death penalty expert Andrea Lyon has billed up several thousands. You`ve been paid.

I mean, I`m not saying you shouldn`t be paid. But you`re talking about these new people pro bono, but there are still a lot that the taxpayers are going to foot.

BAEZ: There is a lot that the taxpayers have not paid for. And the taxpayers are paying for this prosecution -- number one the first and foremost. And all of the lawyers on this case are not being paid by the state. It is just the costs that are being paid such as depositions and things like that.

It`s not an issue -- if Casey had the public defender`s office representing her, she -- they would have to pay for the lawyers and the costs.

So, in actuality, the taxpayers are paying much less than they would normally pay --


BAEZ: -- if -- is Casey was to use the public defender route. So that`s a big misconception.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jose -- we`re going to ask you to stand by.

BAEZ: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, we`re going to talk about another really extraordinary case that you`re handling in just a moment. And we`re going to move on for a second with the Casey Anthony case.

So stand by there. And I`m going to bring in, wow, I`m delighted to be joined by another major player in the Casey Anthony trial. William Jay is the lawyer who represents Casey`s ex-boyfriend, Tony Lazarro (ph). Tony is the one who was seen on the secret undercover video with Casey`s brother Lee. Cops actually fitted Tony with a fire so he could try to get information about little Caylee from Lee.

William Jay, thank you for joining us. I think that the most significant testimony that your client could offer is that he was dating Casey Anthony when the child disappeared and he had no idea for the whole month that she was missing before Cindy called 911. Is that correct?

WILLIAM JAY, ATTORNEY FOR TONY LAZARRO, CASEY`S EX: That is what his prior statements definitely say, is that he didn`t know anything about it, and he was interviewed several times by the police and his -- his story has never wavered from that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, so I mean, he`s dating her and she is not telling him that her daughter is missing, even though her contention is that she was secretly searching for her daughter during that time. Is your client going to be called as a key witness in this case?

JAY: I would expect that he`s going to be called as a key witness both during the fact phase and perhaps if there`s a penalty phase to talk about case Casey`s behavior during that month as well for possible mitigation if there is a sentencing phase. So I think he`s a witness for both parts of the case.

V-M: All right. Well, thank you, William Jay. Please come back soon. And thank you again Midwin Charles. Always great to have you.

We have more with Jose Baez after the break.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. We`re switching topics, but we`re keeping star guest Jose Baez with us.

Listen to this bizarre and troubling story. Jose Baez is representing a 32-year-old Florida mother who cops say mistakenly arrested her when they thought she was a prostitute. She just happened to have the same name.

Now, there`s his client on the right. Turns out the real wanted woman had failed to show up in court on prostitution and drug possession charges. And the cops somehow got mixed up.

Jose`s client, the mother, not the prostitute, was arrested while carrying her baby in her arms as she stepped off a cruise ship. She was thrown in the slammer for 36 hours.

Jose, this went down over Labor Day weekend. How is your client doing now, and what exactly is she so upset about?

BAEZ: Well, she`s horrified. It was a horrible experience. It`s actually been misreported where they came to her cabin in the cruise ship as they were embarking, woke her and her family up at 5:00 in the morning. Made her leave her baby with her husband and they arrested her, took her off the cruise ship, strip searched her, and when she tried to complain, they put her in solitary confinement.

My client is incredibly traumatized over the situation. She`s afraid to drive, afraid to go anywhere without having to prove that this is A, not the person that got arrested.

Unfortunately she`s still not out of the nightmare. I have to take her to court and put her before the judge and prove that she is not the woman who was arrested in Osceola County and wanted for prostitution and heroin possession drug charges.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She spends 36 hours behind bars. She`s totally innocent. The only crime she`s committed is being born with the same name as this person who cops say did commit a crime.

But isn`t that why they have fingerprints. And they don`t look alike at all. Why couldn`t they have just cleared this up with a couple of checks to the computer?

BAEZ: Unfortunately because of the holiday weekend, there were no law enforcement officers available to send the fingerprints over. I went to the jail over the weekend and got her booking photo. After showing it to Broward County, they still refuse to release her.

These two people couldn`t look more different than -- as you can see in the photographs. And it was just a horrible, horrible nightmare. We had to get the duty judge over the weekend to allow -- to sign an order to release her after exposing all of this.

It was just too slow of a process when we have the technology available nowadays to be able to clear something up like this in a matter of seconds.

These women didn`t have the same birth date. My client is five inches shorter and weighs 40 pounds more and they couldn`t look any different. It was just a horrible, horrible experience and we`re hoping to get her through this and just finally put it behind her. She`s at the point where she`s ready to change her name.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Really? Well, we only have a couple of seconds. What exactly do you want? What legal action are you taking?

BAEZ: Well, right now we want to clear her name. That`s the most important thing. I have to get her out of this criminal system before she can even think about the next step. And until then, we are just hopefully it will be a quick process.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I would think that there`s some kind of lawsuit here. I certainly would call a lawyer and sue if this happened to me.

BAEZ: Well, you know, that`s not what we`re thinking about right now. Of course, she`s keeping all of her options open. Right now we just want to clear her name and get her out of this nightmare because this certainly hasn`t been easy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Great seeing you, Jose. Thank you.

BAEZ: The pleasure --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re out of time.

BAEZ: The pleasure was all mine, Jane. Take care.


Nancy Grace is up next. Don`t miss it.