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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Federal Investigation to be Opened into David Hartley`s Body; Missing Mother of 3 Sought
Aired October 8, 2010 - 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, judgment day for Misty Croslin. The last person to see missing Haleigh Cummings alive is in court and sentenced for her role in a prescription drug-trafficking ring. Is the key to solving Haleigh`s homicide locked up behind bars? And are prosecutors using sentencing scare tactics to get Misty to finally tell what she knows about Haleigh?
Plus, Tiffany Hartley talked to me one-on-one last night, insisting she`s the innocent victim of a vicious pirate attack. Tiffany and her husband, David, Jet Skied into Mexican waters, confronted by gun-wielding pirates. Only Tiffany returned. Where is David`s body? If it`s been hidden, as she maintains, will heartbroken Tiffany take a polygraph to prove she`s telling the truth?
And the one and only Charo joins me tonight. You will not believe what she`s coochie-choochiing about this time.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight dramatic breaking news. Missing Jet Skier David Hartley`s last moments alive before he was allegedly shot and killed by Mexican pirates caught on camera.
That`s right. Stunning new dash cam video shows David and his wife, Tiffany Hartley, being pulled over by a state trooper right there. There are the Jet Skis right there, on their way to Falcon Lake. They were stopped about 40 miles away from the lake that borders both Texas and Mexico.
In the video, you can see both Tiffany and David and their Jet Skis attached to the back of their car. At one point, you can hear David, the husband, telling cops they are heading to the lake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TROOPER JOHNNY HERNANDEZ, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: The trailer had expired registration so we pulled it over, made contact with David Hartley. He advised he was on -- he was coming from McAllen, Texas, and was on his way it to Falcon Lake to enjoy the day over there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does this new video give us any more clue into what happened that day? And why wouldn`t Tiffany tell anyone they were pulled over together on the way to the lake? Or perhaps she did tell authorities.
Also new tonight, a drop of blood on Tiffany`s life vest could belong to her husband, David. What could that mean for the case? The life jacket is at a forensic lab being tested as we speak. Would that back up her story?
Tiffany says three boats of pirates sprayed bullets at her and her husband. David shot in the head, she said. She says she tried to pull him onto her Jet Ski, but, after staring down the barrel of a gun, Tiffany sped away leaving David behind. Tiffany believes the pirates may have taken her husband`s body with them.
She spoke to me last night right here on ISSUES about that very subject.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIFFANY HARTLEY, SAYS HUSBAND KILLED BY PIRATES: I don`t believe he`s in the water. That`s why they need to be on land. They need to be searching all the brush and area around that area. And maybe they just took him up on that side and took him in a little while and left him. I don`t know.
But they need to be on foot and in water, but I do believe that he is probably on land. But of course, that`s just what I think. But I don`t know for sure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to my fantastic expert panel. First to Joe Gomez, reporter with KTRH News Radio.
Joe, what is the very latest?
JOE GOMEZ, REPORTER, KTRH NEWS RADIO: Well, Jane, right now the Mexican government has released a statement saying that they`re opening a federal investigation into David Hartley`s missing body. Of course it`s been called for the Mexican government to do more to find the body.
Many think Mexican authorities aren`t really doing enough. In fact, they may be even corrupted on that side of the border, as happens in a lot of cases out there in Mexico. So they`re reassuring everybody that they`re trying to do their best to find David Hartley`s body. Sheriff also says that they have found some blood evidence on Tiffany`s vest. As you mentioned, they`re testing it right now to find out if this could -- you know, this could validate Tiffany`s story.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`m looking at this video, right there, which is pretty extraordinary. There`s the sheriff we just heard from, the sheriff`s deputy. He`s looking at the Jet Skis that are at the heart of this case, and so now we have established, Vinny Politan, that, in fact, Tiffany and her husband, yes, were headed to the lake, because some people had even doubted that.
So I`m starting to wonder about these skeptics now. Give me a break. This is a petite woman. She is there on the way to the lake with her husband, and she`s got blood on her vest. And what are these skeptics suggesting, that she somehow did something untowards with this 250-pound man, mysteriously disposed of him and the Jet Ski?
VINNY POLITAN, TRUTV`s "IN SESSION": Yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It doesn`t seem to make sense to me.
POLITAN: No, it`s not making any sense. And, you know, people are skeptical because we`ve been duped before in other cases, other stories. But this to me, this evidence right here that we`re looking at, these Jet Skis, is huge because now you`ve got two Jet Skis that day. They are, in fact, together, and their story consists in that they`re heading there.
If there was any other master plan that she had, now you`ve narrowed the window of time on when she could have killed him. And I didn`t believe that she killed him. And to me, this corroborates her story, and really, we should be focusing now on following up her leads, keeping pressure on Mexican officials to get his remains, David`s remains, back to our country.
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Jane, there have been four incidents similar to this that have been confrontational on that lake since April. And even the Mexican authorities themselves call this area of the lake a conflict zone.
So maybe they should have looked at some warnings before they went there. They knew that there had been some problems, apparently, before. But nothing had happened recently that they had heard of. That`s the reason they decided to go there. But I`ll tell you what. This is strong evidence that maybe she is telling the truth.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we spoke to Tiffany here on ISSUES yesterday, and she never mentioned being pulled over on way to the lake. Why? I mean, that would certainly prove that she and her husband were together and on their way to go Jet Skiing at this lake.
Tiffany says she would consider taking a lie detector test to settle this whole matter. Let`s listen to precisely what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARTLEY: Possibly, but I don`t really think I need to, because I know my story and I know what I -- you know, what the story is. But if, you know, that`s what the authorities think I need to do, then that might be an option.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So she said that to Anderson Cooper last night. Yes, I`ve got to go to Mark Eiglarsh on this. Some people have said, well that`s hedging. But isn`t it possible she`s simply offended that she`s gone through this horrific trauma and that people are doubting what she says is the truth. And so it`s sort of a point of pride: "Well, why should I be, you know, the one tested and polygraphed when I`m the victim here?"
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely. I`ve said on this show a number of times, every time we`re duped, every time someone claims it`s someone else and it really is, let`s say, a lie, that that`s going to affect future cases.
People like this, who may be completely innocent, now have people scrutinizing them instead of out there looking for the pirates who really did this.
And her offer to take a polygraph is either her proof that she really does want to show that she`s innocent or, come game day, I don`t necessarily believe in those machines, they`re inaccurate, they`re not admissible in court, and I`m not looking to take one.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Christi, Virginia, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Yes. Thank you for having me, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you for calling.
CALLER: My comment is, first of all, I do believe in her innocence. You cannot fake that kind of grief. And my heart just goes out to her and her family.
However, if she were to go ahead and take a polygraph test, I feel like that would take the focus off of her and put it so law enforcement will start looking for what really happened and, you know, she`ll get the support that she needs, that she so needs right now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I happen to agree with you 100 percent, Christi, that that would be the smart thing to do. But, you know, sometimes, Vinny Politan, a young woman who just suddenly finds herself in the center of an international media storm, doesn`t really understand and have the sophistication to see how her comments might be judged.
Like I don`t know if she told cops, back when this happened, you know, "Hey, you stopped me on the way here. And you should check that out and see if there`s any video." She may not have the sophistication to connect the dots on all of these fronts.
POLITAN: That`s right. It`s like you`re reading my mind tonight, Jane. That`s exactly what I was thinking.
And, you know, in the law, we talk about consciousness of guilt. Well, here I think we`re talking about consciousness of innocence. You know? She`s not trying to hard. What she`s doing is, "Of course, I`m just telling you what I know. There`s no reason for me to have to give all these details to the public when I speak to them because I didn`t do anything wrong. I`m the victim of the case."
There`s no playbook for how to be a victim. We don`t prepare for it. It just happens. It happened to this woman. She`s reacting the way she`s reacting.
But I`m so glad that they got pulled over because, from my perspective, this is just more confirmation of what I thought. You know, there`s an eyewitness who helped her make the 911 call, the fact that all these attacks took place. And now we see that her and her husband are together, there`s two Jet Skis, and they`re on the way to the lake.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. Published reports say there was a tiny drop of blood on Tiffany`s life vest that is now being tested. Tiffany told me last night on ISSUES how she discovered her husband had been shot in the head. Listen to this. It`s gut-wrenching.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARTLEY: I can`t even describe the pain and the fear that I had of when I turned him over. I didn`t know what to expect, you know. Of course I was hoping maybe a shoulder or something. But I didn`t know what to expect, and I was sure not expecting that he would be shot in the head.
It was terrifying. It was absolutely terrifying, but there`s no question in my mind -- I didn`t even think about it. I just turned around to go get him. He`s my husband. He`s the love of my life. And he would do the same for me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ve got to say if she`s lying she deserves an Academy Award. I found her 100 percent believable. Mike Brooks, what`s the significance of this blood smear?
BROOKS: Well, it just says -- I think it kind of goes with her story that she went back to check on her husband, and he was shot in the head. You know, how much blood was there? We don`t know. Would it have splashed onto her because there`s water around? Did she get some on her hand, on her vest? We don`t know all this.
But I think she sure seems credible to me, Jane, and in light of the area and the problems they`ve had before there, I`ll tell you what. It sounds like it`s a credible story to me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Stay where you are. We`re just getting started on this.
Also, Misty Croslin, a huge day for her. Unbelievable news. The last person believed to have seen little Haleigh Cummings alive made some major jaw-dropping statements today in court about rape, about drugs. I`m going to tell you about her sentencing-day shockers.
Plus, so much unfolding in this Mexican border mystery. But where is David`s body tonight?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARTLEY: It`s awful to think that they would think that. I mean, I can`t say that, you know, I can imagine why they would, but he was my life. He did everything for me. He took care of me. He provided for me. He loved me unconditionally. He was my -- my rock.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, stunning breaking news. The man allegedly shot by Mexican pirates on Falcon Lake was pulled over that very day for an unregistered trailer that was hauling two Jet Skis, and it`s all caught on tape. Does this back up Tiffany Hartley`s story?
She says she and her husband were sightseeing on the lake when they were sprayed by gunfire. She says three boats chased her and shot her husband in the head. They cannot find the body. They cannot find the Jet Ski. Some people are skeptical. But after talking to her last night here on ISSUES, I do personally believe her story.
What do you think?
Francesca, Florida, your question with or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Yes. I have a question. How close were the boats while the pirates were shooting at her? And why do you think they would ever allow a witness to flee the scene and alert authorities?
And was there any prior discussions or arguments with the pirates? Where they got close to her, where she explained where they were able to get close to her to hurt her husband?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say a couple of things. I asked her about that. And she -- you know, she said she was in the shock of the moment. She couldn`t tell us precisely, but she said that she was approached by three boats and that they did, after she found her husband dead in the water, they did point a gun at her. And they kind of talked amongst themselves but she couldn`t understand what they were saying, and then they took off. And then she left.
And then as she was going away on her Jet Ski, she heard a couple of pops of some gunshots being fired, spraying her area but she was unscathed. So that answers your question.
Joe Gomez, tell us the time line here. What do we know about how this all -- from the video of the traffic stop all the way to the dramatic conclusion of this day, what happened?
GOMEZ: Well, as far as we understand, you know, Tiffany and her husband, David, were on their Jet Ski -- Jet Skis for the majority of the day. This probably happened closer towards the end of the day that these pirates apparently attacked them.
Let me tell you about how well-equipped these Mexican drug cartels are. They have ground-to-air missile capabilities. I mean, they have AK- 47s. They have -- they`re better equipped than the Mexican government in some cases.
So they could be a good distance away from David and Tiffany when this attack happened and could probably still, with great accuracy. And if they are the Zetas, the drug cartel that has paramilitary training, they could have, even at a great distance shot David in the head.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tiffany Hartley says she is frustrated and hurt that some people have expressed skepticism over her story that she and her husband were randomly attacked. Here`s what she told me last night on ISSUES.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARTLEY: It`s hard being judged and thought of that I might have done something to him, but I -- like I said, I know what I know. And as long as I, you know -- I know the truth, God knows the truth. And other than that, it almost doesn`t really matter it to me, because I know what happened that day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark Eiglarsh, the skepticism began when the Mexican government initially said they had questioned her story because they couldn`t find the body, or the Jet Ski or anybody who had heard gunshots.
But if this entire area is controlled by drug cartels, who the heck is going to come out and say, "Yes, I heard gunshots"? One of the drug cartel members?
And also, there were questions about how thorough their search was. So the whole world`s been talking about this. That gives plenty of time for the drug cartels to have taken the body and the Jet Ski and disposed of it.
EIGLARSH: Yes, Jane. And anyone who`s relying upon Mexican authorities to somehow establish skepticism might want to rethink how their psychology is working. I`m not suggesting they`re corrupt in this particular case, but they have been in other cases.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I just want to ask everybody about the whole skepticism issue in general. You know, you pointed out, Mark Eiglarsh, yes, we`ve had things like balloon boy recently, and this other story of the woman who faked throwing acid in her face or actually did and said she was attacked.
And then you have the whole issue of pirates, Mike Brooks, because I think part of the problem is, when people think pirates, they think "Pirates of the Caribbean."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And it`s very hard for them to take it seriously, even though on the way to the studio today, I saw a report about pirates attacking a Taiwanese vessel.
BROOKS: Oh, yes. We`ve seen it in Taiwan. We`ve seen it in -- off the coast of Somalia. And now we`ve seen it here.
You know, Jane, I would be skeptical if there had not been any other incidents on Falcon Lake. But there has been. So that says to me, yes.
And as I said before, if you have the Mexicans, you have the Mexicans, like Mark was saying, you have the Mexicans calling this a conflict area, you know, they`re going to downplay it a little bit. So this is a free fire zone. I`d say if the Mexicans are calling it a conflict are, I would call it a free fire zone.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and you know -- go ahead.
GOMEZ: The point I was going to add, Jane, I don`t think that anybody in the Mexican side is going to come forward and talk about this. I think the chances of finding David Hartley`s body are very small, because if they do, they could get killed by the drug cartel.
To give you a quick example...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re out of time. But I think you made an excellent point. Unfortunately, it`s very, very likely this case is never completely solved. Thank you, fantastic panel. But we`re staying on top of it.
A crazy, actually heartbreaking twist in a very convoluted case. Misty Croslin sentenced today. And she breaks down hysterical, crying.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a family`s desperate search for a mother of three, missing for more than two weeks, and now her allegedly abusive husband is nowhere to be found. That`s making the family of 35-year-old Amanda Sinkhorn very suspicious.
Sinkhorn`s brother, Brandon, dropped her off for class September 22 at Kansas City, Kansas, Community College. And that`s the last time he saw her.
Her brother says Amanda was about to divorce her husband when she went missing. Amanda`s brother maintains the husband, Lee Anthony White, abused her, broke her arm, ribs and beat her unconscious. Now, if all that`s true -- and we don`t know -- but no wonder she wanted to get away!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LORI DOW, SINKHORN`S SISTER-IN-LAW: I hope and I pray that she just took off. But my gut feel tells me she didn`t.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police are not calling the husband, Mr. White, a suspect, but they do want to talk to him.
Straight out to my very special guest, Brandon Dow, the brother of Amanda Sinkhorn. He is devastated.
Brandon, thank you so much for joining us. What do you think? What do you fear happened to your sister?
BRANDON DOW, BROTHER OF AMANDA: I fear that she`s been taken against her will. I fear that she`s been forced to leave her family.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What happened that day, the last time you saw her?
B. DOW: The last time I seen her was the 22. I had dropped her off at school, which I wait in the parking lot for her every day until she gets out of class. And as she had told me she was going to go to lunch with a friend and then on from there she was going to go to church, and I didn`t hear from her nor did I se her again. And then that Thursday I was called by her friend that she was supposed to have gone to church with and says that Amanda has never shown up at my house.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about her relationship with her husband? Where is this person? Why has he suddenly disappeared? Does he have a job that he`s supposed to be at?
B. DOW: No, ma`am. He has no job, no car, no driver`s license. No residence.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And he just disappeared around the same time that she disappeared?
B. DOW: Yes, ma`am. I`ve been told by his family that he had disappeared that Friday, which was also the exact same day that -- last time Amanda was seen at school, that Friday.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s very suspicious if true. My big issue tonight, why no sense of urgency? This woman has been missing for more than two weeks and it`s just a missing persons case?
Now, Kansas City, Kansas, police sent us this press release, and it shows a picture of Amanda Sinkhorn. They are supposedly assisting, they tell us, the community college police. Huh? Why isn`t there a photo of her missing husband on this press release? Why aren`t they circulating a photo and looking for that guy? Wouldn`t he be a missing person, too, Mike Brooks?
BROOKS: Normally, you would -- you would think so. But is there anything to say that there is any foul play? What about her cell phone? We haven`t heard anything at all about whether or not she had cell phone with her, anything like that to possibly find out where exactly she is. Or if there`s been any activity on any ATM card.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course we invite this missing husband anytime to tell his side. You`re saying Brandon she was about to file for divorce. Was she scared of him?
B. DOW: Yes, ma`am. She was very much terrified of him. That`s why she came to live with me at my house.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ve got to say that I think more needs to be done on this case. We`re going to stay on top of it until this woman is found. Unbelievable. Thank you. Come back soon, Brandon.
Coming up, breaking news in the desperate search for Haleigh Cummings. Misty Croslin breaks down in court as she hears her sentence. It`s unbelievable.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight -- breaking news. Are we any closer to solving the Haleigh Cummings homicide? Or is the secret of what happened to the precious child 19 months ago locked up forever?
Just hours ago, little Haleigh`s teenage baby-sitter and one-time stepmom, Misty, was sentenced to 25 years in prison and fined $500,000 for her role in a prescription drug trafficking ring.
During the dramatic hearing, Misty made a shocking claim about being raped in the seventh grade. Misty became hysterical -- and I mean hysterical -- when her own mother took the stand to testify on her behalf. We`ll tell you what Lisa Croslin had to say in moments.
Misty is now the fifth and final dealer in a tight-knit bunch of bandits to be snared in an undercover videotaped sting, copped a plea and be sent away. So, what does this mean for the unsolved mystery of Haleigh`s disappearance and presumed death? Do investigators still have scare tactics up their sleeve to squeeze Misty for the truth? Does Misty even know the truth?
Misty`s sister-in-law Chelsea says yes, she does and explains why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHELSEA CROSLIN, MISTY CROSLIN`S SISTER-IN-LAW: Misty`s not afraid of Ronald hurting her. Misty is so infatuated and in love with Ronald that she thinks that she has to keep the secret for him, whatever it may be. He has her so in her mind thinking that she is implicated just as much as he is because she was the one at home that night with her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meantime, the justice system is not done with Misty, not by a long shot. Today`s sentencing was just one of eight counts that`s she faces. She could face additional prison time later in the month for the other seven counts.
I want to begin not with our fantastic panel but with somebody who`s very, very close to all of this. Chelsea Croslin. You are the sister-in- law of Misty Croslin.
You just found out that Misty, who I understand you have strong feelings for, familial ties, an 18-year-old girl is going to spend at least the next 25 years of her life behind bars. That means -- well, when they do the other counts, who knows if she`ll ever see the outside of a prison again. What is your reaction to this news?
C. CROSLIN: It makes me so mad. It makes me so angry because I just don`t think that it`s fair. Misty was 18. Yes, she was doing something wrong, selling drugs. But she was doing it because she was under the control of Ronald, just like this Haleigh stuff.
Misty wasn`t a drug dealer. Misty did what Ronald said. Misty went by Ronald`s lead. Misty only sold what Ronald told her to sell. And for 25 years plus more for an 18-year-old little girl -- that`s just outrageous to me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What would you say to Misty right now? Apparently when she heard the sentence she just became hysterical in court, which is totally understandable. I mean, I think we feel like we all know her at this point. We`ve watched her so much. I have to say that my heart breaks for her as a human being, one human being to another.
C. CROSLIN: I don`t -- I just -- I don`t even know what to say to her. I don`t know how to get through to her any more at this point because, you know, I believe Misty maybe has told what she knows. Maybe she has.
I spoke with her the other day on the phone and she said that she`s promised me -- she said, I swear to God, Chelsea, I would tell if I knew any more than I`ve already told. She said, I told them everything. But the police don`t believe me and they don`t want to hear it.
It`s Ronald. They don`t want to believe Ronald had anything to do with this disappearance. They cleared Ronald from day one. They were best friends with Ronald, riding around with him, hanging out with him, like he was their buddy or something. I don`t --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, he`s doing 15 years. He is doing 15 years, Chelsea. He also got sentenced. And he`s doing 15.
C. CROSLIN: Out of five charges. Out of five charges. Tommy had one charge and got 15 years. Ronald had five charges. What was his plea deal? That he knew so much that got him out of the other two. He`s the drug boy. Doesn`t everyone hear him saying that on the jail tape?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ve got to tell you today`s hearing was emotion-packed, and Misty took the stand in her own defense and claimed she was raped in the seventh grade. What do you know about that, Chelsea?
C. CROSLIN: Misty had her virginity taken from her by a man who brought her out in the woods and raped her and beat her. And we found her with sticks in her hair when we had to call the police and have them come help her and bring her to a victim advocate. DNA was done.
Misty went through so much trauma after that. She stopped going to school. She was scared of everybody. And he only got sentenced to eight years. His name is (INAUDIBLE). He`s a rapist and pedophile and he got eight years in prison. That`s it. Eight years.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Misty`s mother also testified on her behalf. Lisa Croslin admitted on the stand that she was a terrible mother to Misty who used drugs while she was raising Misty. She also admitted to blackmailing Misty for Xanax during the Haleigh investigation.
I`ve got to go to Art Harris on this. What on earth kind of information would Lisa, who you`re looking at right there have on Misty that she would blackmail her own daughter while they`re searching for Haleigh?
ART HARRIS, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Jane, we reported this at artharris.com. Do you remember when Lisa Croslin was claiming she suspected Misty knew a lot more than she was revealing a long time ago? That was at a point when Misty had Xanax that both Lisa and her husband Hank wanted. And she would not give it to them according to my sources. And that is what Lisa -- you know, it led Lisa to perhaps dangle this, "I`ll tell more if you don`t give me the drugs."
BEHAR: Here`s my big issue, and it`s called turn of the screw. Misty is charged with a total of eight counts, but today`s sentencing was only for one count, and she got 25 years, a quarter of a century. So why not sentence her to everything? Could this be a clever way to turn the screw and say to Misty, hey, ok, you`re getting 25 years, but you could get the rest of your life, Levi Page?
LEVI PAGE, CRIME BLOGGER: Yes. I mean, that`s a good way to get her to talk. And you know, I agree with Chelsea in the sense that Ronald is involved, but I disagree with Chelsea saying that Misty has told all. I mean she`s failed lie detector, she failed a layered voice analysis. I think she knows more than what she`s saying. And it`s obvious.
And let`s remember Ronald Cummings in a situation over a year ago had Misty and himself put a headless rat in Tommy Croslin`s mailbox, a headless rat. And Tommy -- Ronald told Tim Miller, I told Misty to lie for me and give me an alibi because I wanted to see how good she lies. Only someone that is guilty that wants Misty to cover for him would say something like that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I have to say --
PAGE: She`s a 17-year-old girl that he can control very easily.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. I have to say that there`s a standing invitation for Ron`s lawyer -- Ron is behind bars -- but Ron`s to come on and tell his side of the story. We want to be fair here.
There are two --
HARRIS: Jane --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead, Art.
HARRIS: Jane, I can tell you that this is just the first course law enforcement has planned for Misty; she has seven more counts facing her. And they hope that between now and three weeks from now when she comes back to court that she will crack even more.
You saw that two weeks ago I reported artharris.com that she did give up some information she had never revealed before. Whether it`s true or not she said --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Like what?
HARRIS: Her brother Tommy was the one who took Haleigh from the trailer.
C. CROSLIN: That`s a lie, Art. She never said that. That`s a lie.
HARRIS: She said that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s hear Chelsea. Wait a second. I want to hear from Chelsea. Hold on.
HARRIS: I don`t know what you know, but I do.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s hear Chelsea`s side.
C. CROSLIN: I know exactly what her lawyer told me, that that was a lie. Misty never once said her brother is the one that took -- Tommy has no ambition and no reason to do anything with Haleigh.
HARRIS: Well, he may have been taking her --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: One at a time.
C. CROSLIN: That was a lie that Misty never said that. That came out of her lawyer`s mouth. Why would a lawyer lie and say that when he`s already said everything that he said.
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That`s right. Lawyers don`t lie.
HARRIS: I have other sources, Chelsea. And I hate to say it but that is what --
C. CROSLIN: Other sources aren`t Misty. Misty and the lawyer are the only two people who would know.
HARRIS: No, no. There was interrogation, Chelsea -- there was interrogation by law enforcement, by investigators at the prison.
C. CROSLIN: Law enforcement told us all we did it, Art Harris. Law enforcement told us all we did it. They say everything and anything they can to get you to try and say whatever you want. They try to tell me I did it. They told my husband he did it. They told Tommy he did it. They say whatever they can until someone gives them what they want.
They`re going to tell Misty, they`re going to give her the frigging world in prison if she doesn`t tell what they`re going to hear. That`s not -- interrogation is nothing. What comes out of Misty`s mouth and Misty`s lawyer`s mouth is what`s believable.
HARRIS: Misty said Tommy knows everything. She told law enforcement to go talk to Tommy, that he knows everything and your grandmother told me, Chelsea, that she was talking to Tommy and he said to come visit him on the yard in the prison where nobody had a telephone call that could be taped and he would tell her details.
C. CROSLIN: Which grandmother? Is that Nanny Flo?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Hold on. We have to take a break. We`re going to have more on Misty Croslin on the other side.
An absolutely stupendous day, not for her; big news but it`s tragic news. She is sentenced to a quarter of a century behind bars. More next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MISTY CROSLIN, RONALD CUMMING`S FORMER WIFE: She is up there and she`s real nice. She did my hair. Can you see it?
LISA CROSLIN, MISTY CROSLIN`S MOTHER: Yes. I see it. It looks real good. I`ll have mine done like that.
M. CROSLIN: She had it to do it through the little bars, but she did it for me.
L. CROSLIN: Don`t cut it.
M. CROSLIN: I`m not cutting it. I`m going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and cut my hair.
L. CROSLIN: No and don`t cut it at all.
M. CROSLIN: They can all put this on TV and kiss my (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
L. CROSLN: That`s right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news tonight -- Misty Croslin, unlike that video there, very emotional, breaking down, crying hysterically in court as she is sentenced to 25 years behind bars and slapped with a $500,000 fine for drug trafficking. Her life effectively ruined.
Will any amount of prison time scare Misty into talking about what happened to little Haleigh? And what about Haleigh`s visibly distraught dad, Ron -- what, if anything, does he know?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONALD CUMMINGS, HALEIGH CUMMINGS` FATHER: Please, if you have my daughter, bring her home. Please. All I want is Haleigh. That`s all I want. I don`t want nothing else but Haleigh. That`s it. Please, if you have her, bring her home.
Baby, if you`re watching, you know you`ll always be daddy`s little girl. I love you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: By the way, we reached out to Ron`s attorney regarding accusations against him in the Haleigh mystery. He has declined comment.
Victoria, Florida, your question or thought, ma`am.
VICTORIA, FLORIDA: Hi, Jane.
VICTORIA: First off I wanted to say I love your show.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.
VICTORIA, FLORIDA (via telephone): I just wanted to say, coming from a former law enforcement officer and also I`m in recovery for addiction myself that the bottom line is drugs and everything like that, it`s going to equate jails, institutions and death. And I think Misty has been very deceptive the whole time and it`s very tragic about little Haleigh. But I think Misty Croslin got what she deserved.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, and she hasn`t even gotten everything that she`s going to get. Again, she`s going to court and get sentenced for more and could spend the rest of her life in prison.
Does anybody on this panel -- and obviously Chelsea you have compassion for her -- but does anybody on this panel as a human being have compassion for this 18-year-old?
EIGLARSH: Jane -- Jane, I do.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead Mark.
PAGE: I will whenever she tells what happened.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark. Mark.
EIGLARSH: Let me -- let me say this, we know probably two things about Misty. Number one, she loves her cigarettes and number two probably knows more about where Haleigh is. So I do -- my first reaction was, oh 25 years, maybe we`ll learn more now as a result.
But here`s what I`m thinking. This judge might have factored in too, the fact that this is a high-profile case, that she may, if there are big numbers put on the board, somehow will lead to further information. That to me is considering things that are outside what she is being sentenced for, and that sets a very dangerous precedent. She`s 18 years old, no priors. Obviously a horrible life, that the judge could have consider for mitigation.
I`m just suggesting that 25 years just five years under the maximum, especially when she didn`t go to trial, might be deemed excessive.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now --
HARRIS: Jane --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- could they undo that in any way, shape or form, down the road if she decides to talk?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead, Mark.
EIGLARSH: Yes, what the defense would do is file a motion to mitigate or the prosecutors would go in there and, yes, an agreed-upon order, the judge can reduce the sentence. Hopefully that`s what takes place.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, there are two emerging scenarios --
HARRIS: I don`t think it is --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- of what might have happened to Haleigh.
One points the finger at Misty`s brother Tommy and Cousin Joe. Joe denies having anything to do with Haleigh vanishing. And the other looks squarely at Ron. Let`s listen to both scenarios.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FLO HOLLARS, MISTY CROSLIN`S GRANDMOTHER: Tommy and Joe had wrapped Misty I mean have wrapped in a yellow robe and tied a brick to it and throw her off the dock in the St. John`s river.
C. CROSLIN: My theory of what happened that night is that Haleigh OD`d in the home. I think she got a-hold of Ronald`s pills and she died accidentally. I think that the argument phone calls between Ronald and Misty were over how to get rid of the body.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Chelsea, you said you spoke just the other day to Misty. You know she`s facing this enormous jail time. Did you try to shake some sense into her and say, tell us what really happened? It`s not -- it`s not that difficult to explain if -- if you know the truth. Just spit it out.
C. CROSLIN: I did. I did. I asked her -- I asked her if she had heard that I came on the show the other day and she said yes. I asked if anyone had showed her the tape and she said no. Why? And I just broke down.
And I said, Misty, you don`t understand how bad this hurts us and how bad you`re hurting your family and what we`re going through. We`re the ones taking the rap for this.
And we`re the ones who have to live through this every single day not knowing what happened, not knowing who`s hiding what from us. And I asked if Ronald had anything to do with it, and she told me she can`t tell me over the phone. She said she told the cops everything but they don`t believe her. And she said that she did take a lie detector -- but that she wants to take a lie detector on what she told the police recently but they won`t give her one.
CROSLIN: And she also --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I don`t even understand what the last thing she told police is at this point. My head is swimming. What is the last story that she told, Art Harris?
HARRIS: I can tell you that when she was interviewed two weeks ago Friday, Jane, she said Tommy knows everything. And despite what her lawyer told Chelsea, my sources say that she also said that Tommy took Haleigh from the trailer. Not that Tommy hurt Haleigh but that he took her from the trailer.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But that`s different --
HARRIS: And that Joe was innocent -- that is very different from what she said before. Yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- from what Grandma Flo says she told. So what do we have here?
HARRIS: And Grandma Flo told me actually also, Jane --
PAGE: That`s -- that`s the problem -- Jane --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold -- Levi Page?
PAGE: Yes, you know, what I think is interesting here is that she`s told so many stories that anything she has is going to have to be verified by a polygraph.
HARRIS: That`s right.
PAGE: And let me say something. Let me defend the police in this case. I don`t think that the police are friendly with Ronald Cummings. I think they know that he has some involvement. I think the reason they gave him a plea deal is because he gave them new information.
Now think about this, why would Ronald only give information? Oh he did it to save his own butt from going to jail for a very long time. And if he gave them new information, why he didn`t give that up in the very beginning of the case? You know why -- because he got an attorney very early on.
Major Derry Bowing (ph) was quoted --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Got to leave it there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Guys, I`m going to have you back on Monday. We`re going to talk about this again on Monday. Chelsea, join us on Monday.
Up next, Charo, and you won`t believe what she`s doing now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In tonight`s "Animal Case Files": a growing global fight over bullfights. They`ve been going on in Spain for centuries, but that doesn`t make it right. That makes it backwards. The idea of being entertained by the suffering of an innocent creature is something that should not be happening in the 21st century.
Tonight, ISSUES is delighted to be joined by the world`s toughest crusader against bullfighting -- the one and only Charo.
Charo, great to have you on ISSUES.
CHARO, CRUSADER AGAINST BULLFIGHTING: Hola.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You just got an award from PETA for your work which has resulted in the banning of bullfights in Catalonia and a move to do the same thing in Barcelona.
You`re a world famous entertainer. Why are you making this particular issue your life`s work?
CHARO: That`s a good question. But first, I want to thank you for inviting me. And I want to tell you that I love your show ISSUES everywhere I go. And they should know that you are brilliant and also speak beautiful Spanish.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you my dear.
CHARO: I am very honored be in on your show.
CHARO: Yes indeed.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s talk about the bulls.
CHARO: Ok. De nada. I was born in Spain and I came to America when my hoochie coochie was only a hichi cichie. And since I was a little girl I hate the barbaric event called bullfight. They are incredibly cruel with such a beautiful animal. And they do it for what? To show what?
Spain is a great country that has art, musicians, flamenco, food, art -- and why they have to sacrifice a beautiful animal just for an entertainment?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, they don`t. They don`t. And recently -- I have to tell you, the world was stunned by this footage. Let`s check it out.
Now, this is a bull so desperate to escape the ring, this poor creature actually jumped right into the stands sparking a stampede that leaves 50 people injured. Now, Charo --
CHARO: Bravo, bravo.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I know. I say bravo for the bull too. I`m on his side.
CHARO: Exactly. Exactly.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is done that leaves them so bloodied and terrified in this unfair fight where they are guaranteed to lose?
CHARO: Jane, I said (INAUDIBLE) -- what they do to the bulls prior to the fight. I joined together with PETA, which is the greatest animal professional company in the world. And Don Matthews, he`s my partner, and we send incognito reporter that they filmed, the animals had been tortured and abused six days prior to the fight. They lock it in a small box and they throw socks full of sand on the kidneys to break the muscle in the kidney. They shave the (INAUDIBLE) to expose the nerve. They don`t give it food or water and they got the tendon in the neck so the animal cannot even raise the head.
So when the bull is almost half dead, then they throw it to the plaza -- you understand, la plaza del toro -- and then, oh, God, they come in the matador dressed sparkling and brilliant attire, surrounded by a bunch of cowards. I hated that. They torture.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree. We have to leave it right there. But I want to tell you that I love you and your new album, "Sexy Sexy". There is nothing sexier than compassion. You are my hero.
Charo, come back soon. I love you.
CHARO: Thank you very much everybody. Bye-bye. Gracias, Jane.