Return to Transcripts main page
ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Does Letter Hold Key to Mom`s Murder?; Elizabeth Smart Gets Angry in Court
Aired November 10, 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, new mind-boggling developments in the murder of a 34-year-old woman found dead in her own home. A bizarre 911 call reports Julie Mitchell shot herself. There`s only one problem. The coroner says this mother was beaten to death. Cops say her husband was out of town and is a gambler. Is there a connection? Could an anonymous letter be the key to solving this murder mystery? And you won`t believe where they found her little baby.
Plus an innocent young teen stomped to death. Four young men accused of brutally murdering Bobby Tillman for no apparent reason. Tonight, the alleged killers talk on camera, giving their jaw-dropping explanations of what they claim happened. You will not believe what they`re saying.
And a head-spinning twist. Why is the prosecution looking to Europe in their attempts to prove Casey Anthony planned the murder of her daughter Caylee? That`s quite a leap across the pond. You won`t believe this latest development.
ISSUES starts now.
CHIEF BILL CITTY, OKLAHOMA CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT: There`s information in there that indicates who possible suspects are, and some of the details of the homicide. So they`ll follow up on those and hopefully use that to help solve this case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a baffling murder mystery, as the war on women rips through an all-American town. A young man -- mom, found beaten to death, her body hidden in the closet of her Oklahoma home. Julie Mitchell was a former cheerleader. There she is. Look at this beautiful woman. Ecstatic to be a new mom. Her 1-year-old baby daughter was found crawling next to her body, covered in her own mother`s blood. Sometimes these things are almost too difficult to talk about.
Julie Mitchell`s adult stepson reportedly found her and called 911 at about 10:30 at night. He told the 911 operator, quote, "Mom shot herself." So police race to the house, expecting to find a victim of a suicide. But what they found actually baffled investigators. There was no gun. Julie had no gunshot wounds. And ultimately, the coroner ruled Julie died from blunt force trauma. She was hit over and over on her head.
The attorney for Julie`s husband says Teddy Mitchell, the husband, was in Arizona when he heard this hideous news, devastated. He immediately chartered a flight and raced back home. But could Teddy`s alleged involvement in high-stakes gambling have put his wife`s life in danger?
Police scoured the house. They scoured the grounds. They have no suspects. So who killed this vivacious young mom? Are the answers in a spine-chilling anonymous letter? Hush-hush details of Julie`s murder were leaked to the media through a very creepy note. Look at this. Who knew this top-secret information? Was this letter written by Julie`s killer?
Give me a call: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
Straight out to Captain Patrick Stewart with the Oklahoma City Police Department.
Captain, what can you tell us about the 911 call that brought you into this case?
CAPTAIN PATRICK STEWART, OKLAHOMA CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT: Good evening, Jane.
What I can tell you is that Oklahoma City police did receive a 911 call from one of the stepsons of Ms. Mitchell. That 911 call indicated that the mother was deceased, or she appeared to be deceased and beyond help. And that was an apparent victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I understand that the baby, her precious daughter, little baby, was found covered in blood inside the closet where her body was? I don`t even want to think about that. But is that the case, sir?
STEWART: I can confirm that the child was with the mother inside the residence. I`m not going to get specific as to where the body was. But it`s true that the 1-year-old infant was with her mother, who had been deceased, and the infant did have blood on it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I can only pray that this child, who has been described as 13 and 18 months, depending on which news reports, is too young to remember that. I can`t -- when I read that, I just thought, what is wrong with this world, that somebody would kill this beautiful woman, and then leave her toddler child next to her drenched in blood? We`ve got a sick world out there. Go ahead, sir.
STEWART: It`s certainly heart-wrenching -- well, it`s certainly heart-wrenching and disturbing. I mean, it`s not something that, like you said, we hope that maybe that child won`t have those memories.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Dr. Janet Taylor, psychiatrist, do you think she will be able to remember this? And I hope she can`t.
DR. JANET TAYLOR, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I mean, most likely she won`t remember the exact incident. But what she will remember is the fact that now she doesn`t have a mother. And hopefully, she was not exposed to the direct blunt trauma. But you know, time will tell in terms of how clean she is, how much she cries. But it`s certainly a tragedy for everyone involved.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is so sick.
Here`s my big issue tonight. Lethal letter. A mystery person left a typed note in a remote area -- there it is -- on the side of a rural Oklahoma City road. You can see it was placed in a drainage ditch, buried under dirt and leaves. The anonymous letter allegedly explains why Julie Mitchell was murdered and names possible suspects.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CITTY: There`s information in there that indicates who possible suspects are and some of the details of the homicide. So they`ll follow up on those and hopefully use that to help solve this case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, it was addressed to local KFOR reporters that were given hints that led them to where this letter was hidden. KFOR reports the letter begins, "I am writing this letter to help. Hopefully it will solve the murder for Julie Mitchell."
The letter apparently goes into details about Julie`s family`s life and about plans to cover up her death.
I know that the captain is with us tonight. He says, "I can`t talk about that letter," so I`m going to throw it out to Mike Brooks. This is astounding. It`s like -- it`s something out of "CSI."
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It really is. And of course, the captain can`t talk, but hopefully between some of the evidence that was found at the house -- they worked the crime scene there for quite some time -- and possible, either fingerprints, DNA, hairs and fibers, any kind of trace evidence that might have been inside that envelope that I`m sure that they are processing as we speak, hopefully, that will help them solve the crime. And especially if there are some people named in there.
And -- and also going back to the husband, you know, you always look, as investigators know, you look at the people closest to the victim. And try to find out what the time of death was. It`s hard to get exact time of death, Jane. But you can sometimes get in at least the ballpark.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I believe we`re looking at the husband there. Captain, I`ve got to ask you, have you confirmed that, in fact, he was out of state at the time? And do you have any idea of a motive? In other words, have you cleared him, given his alleged involvement with gambling?
STEWART: Well, we`ve not identified anyone as a suspect, nor have we cleared anyone as a suspect. Certainly during this investigation, the information about the illegal gambling activity has come to light. Whether or not there was an ongoing investigation by another agency in relation to that gambling activity, I`m not aware.
My understanding is our department was not conducting an active investigation on the gambling until it became known during this investigation. Whether it`s related to the homicide, or unrelated, is yet to be determined. And obviously, the investigators hope to determine that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes or no question, do you have a motive, an idea why?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Don`t have to tell us what it is, but do you -- you don`t have an idea of why this happened yet?
STEWART: No. It`s eight days into this investigation. The detectives are still conducting multiple interviews. I have multiple interviews to conduct in the future. And there`s a lot of work that needs to be done. And ultimately, the integrity of this investigation, not only so we can identify the person or persons responsible for the homicide, but also so we can have a successful prosecution is our goal. And we`re not going to speculate on what a potential motive might be.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sophia, Texas, your question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: Yes, thank you, Jane Velez.
CALLER: It`s chilling as to this tragic murder of Mrs. Mitchell. It seems to be a copy cat of the first segment of the "Dexter," where he murdered his wife, and the baby was in a puddle -- in a puddle of blood.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I mean -- OK.
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jane, I thought about that, by the way. Jane, that was one of the first things I thought about. The facts to me also, as a big "Dexter" fan, did mirror that. You know, it`s possible. But ultimately, I never like holding any producer or shows responsible for the potential actions of those who copy cat. It`s not the -- the show`s fault.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m not saying that. But it could give us a hint. I mean, if this matches up with an episode of "Dexter," which is -- this is the first I`m hearing about it -- I don`t personally watch "Dexter," because I have sworn off very violent programming, because I feel that`s part of our culture of violence. Even though he`s a good actor, I don`t want anything to do with that blood-drenched episode.
But if you`re telling me that you watch this show and you`ve seen a connection between some of the circumstances surrounding this case and that "Dexter," then we should find out who`s watching "Dexter" the night she -- go ahead.
EIGLARSH: Well, then arguably I`m a suspect and so is my wife. The point is, a lot of people watch that show. And I`m just saying that the caller and I independently thought, "My gosh, these facts seem to mirror that show."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well, you weren`t in Oklahoma City on the night she died, I don`t think. And if you were, well, Captain, check out Mark Eiglarsh.
Everybody, stay right there.
BROOKS: I`ll vouch for you, Mark. Don`t worry, brother.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on this mother`s murder mystery. And we`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
The Casey Anthony case pops across the pond. Could the key to proving premeditated murder lie in Europe, of all places?
Plus, the suspects in the brutal beat-down death of a totally innocent teenager who was killed for no reason, are now speaking out. You will not believe what they`re saying in their own defense.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MONIQUE RIVARDE, MOTHER: Bobby Tillman was my son. He was my only son. He was my best friend. He was a child of God. He was very loving. He was an angel here on earth. And I was blessed to be his mother.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CITTY: You can`t be quick to judge those types of things at this point. And so it`s not necessarily unusual.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Oklahoma City police chief addressing the bizarre 911 call that came from the murdered mom, Julie Mitchell`s, adult stepson. He reportedly told the 911 operator, "Mom`s been shot." But Julie had no gunshot wounds. She was actually beaten to death.
Dr. Janet Taylor, psychiatrist, isn`t it bizarre that he assumed, apparently, allegedly, that she killed herself? That -- why wouldn`t it cross his mind that, let`s say, an intruder didn`t break in?
TAYLOR: Well, I mean, I`m sure he -- it was the element of shock and surprise. All he saw was the blood. She`s in the closet, and he just assumed that she had shot herself. I mean, I think it`s not unlikely that he would come to that assumption.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, could Julie`s husband, his alleged gambling, be connected to her murder? Teddy Mitchell is said to be a high-stakes poker player and a bookie. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CITTY: You have a case here where an individual has been involved in an illegal activity for quite some time as a gambler, you know. It`s common knowledge now that he was involved in book making and things like that. And so we`ll talk to people that he`s associated with and dealt with, don`t -- (UNINTELLIGIBLE) don`t want to be known.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. So I`m wondering, you know, could somebody have assumed that there was a lot of cash in the house? Could he have owed somebody like a loan shark?
And we`ve got a caller, Daniela, Oklahoma. You`ve got a question about gambling.
CALLER: Yes. Hi, Jane, I love your show.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.
CALLER: I live in Norman, Oklahoma, which is 20 minutes away from Oklahoma City, and we have casinos all over Oklahoma that play high-stakes poker. And I was just wondering, why did he leave Oklahoma, where we do have legal casinos, to go to Arizona to get into a game?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Interesting. Captain Patrick Stewart, I know you can`t say much, but what can you tell us about his moves?
STEWART: I have no information about why he was out of state. I certainly know that he was out of state at the time that the murder was reported. But that`s all I can speak about.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s something in his favor, if he was out of state. He was not physically there with his wife. Because I know you always look at the husband first, because of the statistics of intimate partner violence. We have so many cases that we cover here of husbands who are persons of interest or suspects in their wife`s disappearance. So it`s, I would say, certainly in his favor that he was out of state at the time.
Police and firefighters responded to the murder scene. The firemen who were there accidentally leaked a report that Julie`s baby daughter, London (ph), was found in the closet with her mom`s body, crawling around in her blood.
So I`m kind of wondering whether the adult stepson, who called 911, if he didn`t notice the child, or if he tried to remove the child, but why was the child still covered in blood? I would think the first thing you`d do is wipe off the blood of this child.
Now, I`ve got to get back to this whole "Dexter" thing. "Dexter," apparently we had a caller and now Mark Eiglarsh, who`s a fan of the show, as well as an attorney, there`s some eerie parallels between this hit show and things vis-a-vis this crime.
Mark, take it away.
EIGLARSH: Jane, it doesn`t necessarily mean that someone who did this is a fan of the show. But that is one possibility. The other possibility is...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What are the similarities? Tell us the similarities first.
EIGLARSH: Well, you`ve got -- you`ve got a murder. You`ve got a very violent murder. You`ve got a child that was left behind, soaking in the victim`s blood. Again, it just seemed very similar.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I`m going to answer. Apparently -- correct me if I`m wrong -- in this series, which I don`t watch, he`s a serial killer, and when he was a little baby, his mom was murdered, and he was left drenched in her blood. And that`s why he decided to grow up and go out and become a serial killer who kills bad -- bad guys, and while he fronts as a blood spatter expert. Is that the long and short of it?
EIGLARSH: An absolute fair short assessment of it, yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We have another caller. And it`s Gary, Pennsylvania. Your question or thought, sir?
CALLER: Yes. I happen to have a quick question. Wouldn`t whoever did kill them have to know that the husband was out of town? And have to know where the stepson was, as well?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s a very good question, Mike Brooks.
BROOKS: That`s a possibility. But I`m -- this letter is what really intrigues me as a former investigator. And apparently, they`ve spoken to some people.
Now, there`s only -- witnesses are only going to know certain things, if they were involved in this murder. And you know, the captain, I respect the his integrity of this investigation. We`re just speculating here. But I think that`s going to be the key.
But the other thing, too, Jane, you brought up a good point about the stepson. That bothers me a little bit, that he would call 911, and the fire department leaked the report which shouldn`t have happened, but they report that the baby was crawling around in the blood. Why wouldn`t the stepson have removed the baby from that scene? That bothers me a little bit there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That bothers me, too, Dr. Janet Taylor.
TAYLOR: I mean, again, he`s a little baby. He might not have even noticed the baby initially. He might have opened the closet and closed it. I think, again...
BROOKS: This is a grown man. This is a grown adult.
TAYLOR: And maybe he didn`t want to tamper with evidence. I think to implicate him, I think, is just a little early.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nobody`s implicating him, and he`s certainly invited on our show -- we haven`t mentioned his name -- to tell us about the story at any time. Nobody`s implicating him.
TAYLOR: But it`s a horrific situation. I think if you open the closet and saw your stepmother who is dead, I mean, I think none of us could predict how we would react.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: If I saw a baby there covered in blood, I`ll tell you right now, I`ll tell you 100 percent I would pick that baby up, and I would wash it off first thing.
STEWART: Jane, can I clarify something real quick?
STEWART: I just want to say that the fire department didn`t leak information. What happened was there was a report that was coded incorrectly, and because of the way it was coded, it was released. It wasn`t something that was done intentionally. It was basically a computer error.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s a big problem.
STEWART: And also -- it is a problem, and there`s a fix.
EIGLARSH: It is a problem. Information got out. And now somebody sits down...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED SMART, FATHER OF ELIZABETH SMART: I just want to thank everyone for their prayers, their love and support, not just here in Utah, but across the nation, across the world. Because we`ve had that kind of support.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s her dad. Tonight, angry words from Elizabeth Smart as she recounts twisted and sick memories from her nine-month-long kidnapping nightmare.
Smith [SIC] came to court in a black dress and pearls. There was nothing, however, demure about this courageous woman as she testified for a third day at the trial of Brian David Mitchell.
Mitchell, the creep you see in the beard there, charged with kidnapping Smart when she was just 14, raping her repeatedly, trying to force her to be his bride in some cuckoo sicko, religious fantasy.
Asked if she ever tried to send a message during her captivity, she told the court she once scratched the word "help" into a bathroom stall at a Salt Lake City, Utah, restaurant.
Joining me now, "In Session" correspondent Jean Casarez on our sister network TruTV.
Jean, you were inside the courtroom today. Tell us what made Elizabeth Smart so very angry.
JEAN CASAREZ, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": You know, I saw a totally different demeanor today. I saw an anger within her that she wanted to tell the jury exactly what it meant to be held captive for nine months.
She was asked a question, "Your opinion on whether he was a hypocrite."
She turned to the jury and she said, "God did not bring him to me. God did not deliver him to abduct me out of my bed with my sister. And what my mother and my father had to go through for nine months, it is a good God we have, not someone that would do this."
I saw a defiance in her.
And then, Jane, shortly after that, it became cross-examination. There was a cross-examination. There was a question in regard to Mitchell and if he was a light sleeper or not.
And she said, you know, "Thank you so much for refreshing my memory. Thank you so much."
So I saw a personality I hadn`t seen before. And I saw an anger in her. But the entire time she was eloquent, and she was a lady on that stand.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So I guess her point is, don`t buy all this religious spiritual nonsense. This is a sicko who wants sex with a child, and is using God as an excuse to get it. Basically, Jean?
CASAREZ: She testified that all he cared about was sex and alcohol. And he used religion to justify everything. She said he was rude, vulgar, self-serving, and selfish.
I mean, Jane, it would take me hours to tell you everything, but do you realize that they would go out, and he would eat at a function and wouldn`t allow Wanda and Elizabeth to eat at all? She starved some of the time, without food.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And didn`t he force her to watch pornography, as well, in addition to raping her?
CASAREZ: And another -- that`s another aspect of this. At one point he brought home to the camp a magazine, after being in Salt Lake City for the day. It was a pornographic magazine. And he made her look at it. He talked to her about it. And then after that, he raped her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And he`s singing again, right, and ejected from the courtroom because he`s singing one more time.
CASAREZ: Yes. Every day he sings.
But Jane, two things. No. 1, the way I`m sitting in the courtroom, I can see when they open the door, before he comes in, he`s not singing. But the minute he walks in the courtroom, he starts to sing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that tells me he`s a big phony.
Got to leave it right there. He`s not as nuts as he says he is.
Up next, you won`t believe this story.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Innocent young teens stomped to death. Four young men accused of brutally murdering Bobby Tillman for no apparent reason. Tonight, the alleged killers talk on camera giving their jaw-dropping explanations of what they claim happened. You will not believe what they`re saying.
And a head-spinning twist, why is the prosecution looking to Europe in their attempts to prove Casey Anthony planned the murder of her daughter Caylee. That`s quite a leap across the pond. You won`t believe this latest development.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you help them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, sir, not at all.
HORACE COLEMAN, STOMPING SUSPECT: I`m saying I`m innocent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re saying you`re innocent?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are innocent. Standing off to the side, minding his own business.
COLEMAN: I don`t even think he`s the type of guy, who would just try to just come at somebody and start something with them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, jaw-dropping explanations from the young men accused of beating and stomping 18-year-old Bobby Tillman to death for absolutely no reason. This all went down outside a huge party in the Atlanta area. In a jail house interview, they told CNN affiliate WSB they`re innocent.
Bobby Tillman was minding his own business when he was attacked early Sunday morning. All because another teenager decided to, quote, "hit the next person I see", end quote. And that person ended up being this young man, Tillman, who was a very soft-spoken, and nonviolent young man.
Tonight, cops say that young man, the one who allegedly instigated this deadly beating, is one of these four men under arrest. However, the problem is, the sheriff`s office will not say which one. Where does that leave the other three?
The Douglas County Sheriff`s office says they`re in wrap-up mode. Does that mean they know who did what to Bobby Tillman at this party with more than 50 witnesses? Will the forensic analysis of the suspects` shoes reveal who really murdered this very kind young man? Call me, 1-877-JVM- SAYS.
Straight out to WSB radio reporter, Condace Pressley. Condace, what is the very latest?
CONDACE PRESSLEY, REPORTER, WSB-TV (via telephone): Jane, the very latest is that the police in Douglas County continue to chase leads. They spent much of today talking to neighbors; other people in that neighborhood who were looking out their windows saw this brawl as it took place.
Today we also had the release of the 911 tape. Neighbors calling saying, the party was getting out of control. And one lady even said she saw one of those four boys kicking Tillman in the head.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. So if she can identify which boy she saw, then we might be able to narrow it down. Get this, when the reporter from WSB- TV interviewed these young men, who are behind bars right now, one of them, Tracen Franklin, seemed to have a hard time looking the reporter in the eye. Check this out carefully.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn`t get caught up and hit him if you didn`t really mean to in your heart?
TRACEN FRANKLIN, STOMPING SUSPECT: No, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look me in the eye.
FRANKLIN: No. I did not. I did not hit Bobby Tillman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You made one mistake.
COLEMAN: Going to the party. And I listened to my mom.
EMANUEL BOYKINS, STOMPING SUSPECT: He`s bigger than me, you know what I`m saying. I got younger brothers and younger siblings and I wouldn`t want nobody to hurt them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
Dr. Janet Taylor, it seemed the first young man that was interviewed there, seemed to look away when he said I did not hurt Bobby Tillman. He looked away. Does that lack of eye contact indicate a possible guilty conscience?
DR. JANE TAYLOR, PSYCHIATRIST: Certainly it indicates that he`s feeling something. I mean, as well they should, if they were there as well as the other ones who stood by and watched this senseless killing happen. I mean I hope that they got the four men who did it because we have to stop this violence.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, we absolutely do. We`re going to talk about solutions in a second.
But I want to get to my big issue tonight, and that is, was this a total mob scene? The sheriff`s office tells us one of the suspects, just one, is the person who started the beat down on Bobby Tillman. But then the suspects contend 20 people jumped in.
Listen to this description.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOYKINS: Bobby looked at me, and I was just like, what are you looking at. He`s like, what are you looking at. A friend of mine came and he said, we`ve got a problem. I told him, no, I don`t know. We didn`t talk about him.
He ran across the street or whatever and he punched me. And he fell on top of the car. When I was trying to put my friend off of him, you know what I`m saying, more people came in and jumped in. I don`t know who those other people were.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Attacking Bobby?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t have any idea why?
BOYKINS: No, I really don`t.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, there were up to 70 people at this party. It was a mob scene. The young men are now saying they didn`t do it but, well, they`re describing being drawn into a scrum similar to what happens for example in a rugby match.
So my question to Mark Eiglarsh --
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: No, no, no, no. That`s not a rugby match.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. We`ll go to Mike Brooks first then we`ll get Mark Eiglarsh --
BROOKS: I played rugby for 20 years, Jane. This is nothing like a rugby match. I guarantee you that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me ask you this. Couldn`t some innocent people get caught up in being blamed because it`s hard to sort out when everybody`s jumping on one person, who exactly is doing what? He`s claiming he tried to pull somebody off of him.
BROOKS: Well, yes, "my friend". If you hear Mr. Boykins who said, you know, "What are you looking at?" "What are you looking at? Then his friend came over and says, we`ve got a problem. He said, no, we don`t have a problem. But then his friend went over and punched him and he fell against the car. But he was trying to pull his friend off.
It`s going to come down to evidence. And I guarantee you, Douglas County sheriffs are out there today with photographs, doing a photo line up with neighbors, asking them if they can pick anyone out that they may have seen that was involved in this incident.
But this "my friend" and three of them were interviewed. There was one guy, Quantez Mallory (ph), Jane, he refused to be interviewed. But we do know the guy who instigated this is one of these four.
And I find that not being able to look Mark Winny (ph), the reporter from WSB, in the eye, I would have loved to interview that guy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Mark Eiglarsh, my point is not -- obviously this is a horrific murder. This kid was doing nothing wrong. And just to give our viewers a back story, there was a fight and a girl ended up punching a boy. And one of these young men, the young man who was punched said I`m not going to hit you back because you`re a girl, but I`m going to hit the next guy who comes by, and that happened to be poor Bobby Tillman. We don`t know which of the four allegedly started it that way.
But my question is, this happened in the front yard, it`s dark --
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- there`s 50 to 70 people there. And then everybody`s jumping around, and is it possible that somebody innocent could get swept up in this, Mark?
EIGLARSH: Absolutely, Jane. I`ve had case both on the prosecutor side and defense side where there`s a difference between believability and accuracy. Someone could believe that they saw one of these kids, all these kids doing something specifically but completely be inaccurate when it comes down to it.
So that`s a challenge for prosecutors, to find credible witnesses who somehow can sustain the scrutiny, the vigorous scrutiny of cross- examination and be believed by the jury.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I understand that one of these guys said that 50 people named him and he cited peer pressure. I don`t know if that`s something I`ll buy.
Dr. Janet Taylor, briefly --
BROOKS: But Jane, it`s just a matter of time before they start turning on each other. The first one that comes forward is going to get the best deal.
TAYLOR: And there`s no question there is a mob mentality.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course. And that`s what -- you bring me to my call to action. My call to action right now is that there is a push in congress to pass a law that would target a whole lot of money and attention to teenagers who are at high risk of becoming violent.
Watch this from YouTube.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A bill that will provide opportunity for our children and families most at risk of violence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A bill that will save taxpayers billions of dollars.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A bill that will save lives.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Join us in supporting --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Join us in supporting --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Join us in supporting --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Join us in supporting the act.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Join us in supporting the Youth Promise act.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make a difference. Get involved. YouthPromiseAction.org.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, one of the people behind this push is Student Peace Alliance executive director Aaron Voldman who joins us tonight. Aaron, tell us in people terms what the idea is here. What would this law do to stop the kind of horrific violence we`re seeing with Bobby Tillman?
AARON VOLDMAN, EXEC. DIR., STUDENT PEACE ALLIANCE: Thank you, Jane. This legislation is going to keep kids out of graves and out of jails by supporting community peacemakers who are able to engage young people in our community, who can speak to young people where they`re at, providing mentorship opportunities for them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What are they going to do? Paint a picture. I hear -- I`m all in favor of this. But I`m hearing gobbledygook. I want to know. Are they going to sit in talking circles, are they going to have mentors? Tell us really what`s going to happen here.
VOLDMAN: When passed the legislation will provide an opportunity for communities to decide themselves the most effective way to deal with these issues. Programs such as what`s going to happen tomorrow in the county where this happened. Where young people are going to gather at a teen summit, to express what`s going on with them, why is there so much rage, and what they need to create communities where we truly can live together in nonviolence and where we can deal with this in a way that will not see this happen again.
Last year --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to get in front of the problem. We can`t just -- yes, whoever did this should be locked up.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But once we lock them up, it`s not going to stop the next pack of teens from doing the exact same thing, that`s where we have to get proactive and get to these kids early and find out why they`re so angry. We`ve got to give them another method besides this for dealing with their emotional issues.
BROOKS: But the problem is, Jane, a lot of times and Aaron will agree, a lot of times the people who come forward to some of these summits, they`re not the ones that really need the help. These are the ones that want to help.
TAYLOR: And Jane --
BROOKS: But -- but the ones who really do need the help, they`re not going to be -- they`re not going to show up at these summits.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Janet Taylor, ten seconds.
TAYLOR: And it -- and it starts -- it -- it starts at the home. We have to stop exposure to violence.
BROOKS: Thank you.
TAYLOR: These violent kids probably would have been exposed to violence in their homes. It starts with the parents and what`s happening in their homes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to stop this cycle of violence. But if a kid is born into a dysfunctional home, we can`t just discard them and say, well, let`s wait until he commits a crime and then lock him up forever. We`ve got to get proactive about intervening on these kids and teaching them nonviolent conflict resolution.
I hope that legislation passes. I hope we can sit here. The trouble is, you can`t take credit for a crime that doesn`t occur. That`s one of the problems.
Thank you so much, fantastic panel.
An unexpected detour in the Casey Anthony case: the prosecution takes their investigation to -- Europe? Are you kidding me? I want to hear from you, call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF KEVIN BEARY, ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA: This would be a police chief or sheriff`s nightmare case. I think there`s been an open wound in the community, and I believe we can start putting some closure to those open wounds and -- having to -- having a kid at the -- you know, I`ve raised two girls. Goodness gracious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight the battle lines are shaping up, and we`re now getting a sense of the weapons that both sides are planning to use in the Casey Anthony murder trial. The defense has said repeatedly, there is zero evidence that Casey was murdered, much less premeditated killing of little Caylee.
Not so fast, say prosecutors. We are now learning prosecutors plan to focus like a laser beam on chloroform. The prosecution theory, that Casey used chloroform to knock out and smother little Caylee. Their experts say an air test of Casey`s car turned up large amounts of chloroform.
So is chloroform the linchpin for prosecutors? Could it determine whether Casey is convicted and even sentenced to death? And will the defense try to show that it was somehow added to the car during the forensic testing.
The answer might be revealed in a new document that shows prosecutors have reached out all the way from Florida to a European company based in Monte Carlo of, all places. That company produces a product that looks for blood in an area, even when the blood`s been cleaned up.
That company called BlueStar has now sent a letter that says, quote, "There is no chloroform in the product". Meaning, you can`t say that we added the chloroform when we were doing the tests. I`m taking your calls on this fast-breaking news. 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Straight out to Mark Eiglarsh; Mark, have prosecutors blocked the defense from messing with their theory?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY, FLORIDA: Say that again, Jane? I`m sorry.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`m saying, with prosecution -- the prosecution getting this letter --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- from this BlueStar company that makes the chemical that analyzes the blood, and they`re saying --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- there`s no way that we could have accidentally added the chloroform --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- does that preclude from the defense from arguing, hey, the chloroform, garbage in, garbage out that the --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- the chloroform wasn`t there. Those -- those messy forensic testers put it in their accidentally.
EIGLARSH: That`s one possibility. And I know that they`re not committing to any specific defense at this time. They`re going to, with their experts, come up with every reasonable hypothesis as to how that chloroform could have gotten there, different from obviously a decomposing body, and/or using chloroform to kill her child. You`re going to hear that come game day.
So they`re exploring every possibility at this point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. I`m going to hone in on this, because I think it`s so fascinating. Will the defense try to use smoke and mirrors to shoot down the prosecution`s theory of how this child was murdered?
That`s my big issue, because if the defense does, it would be a classic move that began back with the O.J. Simpson murder trial. The defense back then, we all remember, argued garbage in, garbage out.
O.J.`s lawyers said that the detectives contaminated the crime scene when they were collecting the evidence and basically mixed everybody`s blood and DNA together. When you think about it, it`s a little crazy. What were these forensic investigators supposed to do, fly in and collect the blood while they were hovering above the crime scene? You do have to walk around a crime scene to collect the blood.
So my question to Leonard Padilla this whole -- can`t trust the evidence because it`s contaminated, will the defense be able to use that in this case or is the prosecution trying to preclude that by defensively getting letters to show that that`s not possible?
LEONARD PADILLA, BOUNTY HUNTER: Ok. When we were back there, Cindy says that the baby was in the pool swimming, Casey got home, took the baby, gave her a bath. Now, you take a diaper that`s got urine and you take pool cleaner, and what does that turn into, chloroform. So it`s easier for the defense to say that there was a diaper in the trunk of the car, or there was a diaper on that child, that had been in the pool, and there was urine, and you`ve got chloroform. That`s the simplest way to get chloroform in the car from the defense. They don`t have to go to Europe or anywhere else.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait, wait I`m not a scientist. And -- and I don`t have a child, so I don`t know about the diaper situation.
PADILLA: You`ve got Mark, you got Eiglarsh there. He`ll tell you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, Eiglarsh do you buy this --
EIGLARSH: Well, what makes me --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- what is it that you take -- tell me one more time, Leonard? Wait, wait.
EIGLARSH: I`m not following you. Listen -- listen --
PADILLA: Urine and -- and pool cleaner.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Urine and pool cleaner equals chloroform? I mean --
EIGLARSH: Yes, Padilla -- Padilla with all due respect is an expert in everything. So I`m not necessarily buying into that --
PADILLA: Yes, I am.
EIGLARSH: Yes, well, all I`m saying is if there are explanations of how that got there inconsistent with the prosecution`s theory, the defense will explore it. And they`ve got the best experts at their disposal --
EIGLARSH: -- to do so.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Diana in Washington your question or thought ma`am?
DIANA, WASHINGTON (via telephone): Hi, Jane.
DIANA: I`m about as sick of this stuff as you are with all the violence. But to Casey it really makes me mad. She had 30 days-plus to report this child missing, ok? Then she comes into court with smiles now, and now they are throwing up smoke and mirrors.
I`m sorry about your experts but, yes, you`re not going to throw Roy Kronk in there who tried to call 911 several times. No one ever came out, or if they did, they never found anything. And then he finds it, his wife makes up stuff because they are divorced, his stepson that didn`t have this -- or I guess it`s his stepson because it`s not the same last name is making up stuff. Everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame nowadays. She`s guilty. She should be on death row.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hear what you are saying and I agree with you.
EIGLARSH: Jane? Jane?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Roy Kronk, just like the chloroform is going to be a linchpin. Roy Kronk is going to be a linchpin. On the other side of this break, we`re going to get into Roy Kronk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CINDY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: Casey, hold on, sweetheart. Settle down, baby.
CASEY ANTHONY, CHARGED WITH MURDER OF DAUGHTER: Nobody is letting me speak. You want me to talk, then --
CINDY ANTHONY: All right. I`ll listen to you. Go sweetheart.
CASEY ANTHONY: Give me three seconds to say something. I`m not in control.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Back to Casey Anthony in a moment. But first, we have been getting fabulous responses on how you at home are working to save the environment.
Today, a wonderful e-mail from Rose. She says, "We have our own garden and I can green beans and apples and freeze peaches for use in the winter. Extra produce is given to a food bank. We have a compost pile for fertilizer. We recycle all paper, cans and battle. I hang my clothes on a line outside."
Rose, we`re getting rid of these, aren`t we? And your eco-canister from ISSUES is in the mail.
Do you have a green improvement? Send them to me at cnn.com/Jane. Let`s all go green.
And, bravo San Francisco for saying no to luring little kids into unhealthy fast foods with toys. The new Bay City ordinance moves toward banning toys being sold with fast foods and requiring that if they want to give toys they need to meet new nutritional standards. Hallelujah.
We`ve got an escalating obesity crisis in this country; it`s creating massive health problems. Growing scientific evidence shows high fat, high calorie junk food creates cravings similar to cocaine and even heroin addiction. This makes the idea of hooking young kids on fast food even more sinister. Critics believe it`s increasingly the likelihood that some kids will be destined for obesity.
Now, the fast food industry is not happy with this ordinance. So, I say, if you don`t like it, executives, then retool your menus to include more fruits and vegetables and less fat, sugar and salt. For now, I applaud you, San Francisco.
All right. Back to Casey Anthony. How many more pages of documents will the prosecution dump on the public? There were 910 pages in the last dump, over 5,000 the time before. The total now, tens of thousands of documents.
Rozzie Franco, investigative journalist, I am drowning, literally in documents. I don`t understand how the defense or the prosecution are handling this massive amount of paper.
ROZZIE FRANCO, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST (via telephone): Yes it definitely seems to be confusing, but I did want to get back to the Roy Kronk deposition here because I know we talked a little bit about it earlier. I think this is key for the defense because, I mean, as we talked about Roy Kronk before, we just -- there`s so many questions surrounding him.
I mean, the guy called three times and he doesn`t have one clear answer. So as far as smoke and mirrors, I know the defense is going to try to point the finger any which way they can other than Casey. I don`t think this is a bad thing for the defense pointing their finger toward Roy Kronk.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well -- go ahead.
EIGLARSH: Strategically, it`s not. It`s not. Listen. You know, certain things are for certain. Number one, they`re not going to say that their client did it. Number two, they have to point the finger somewhere. Kronk, the court of public opinion, has already found that his actions, many of them, are bizarre at a minimum. So why not, from the defense perspective, point the finger at him?
The prosecution is going to say no good deed goes unpunished. Here`s a guy who was just doing the right thing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A letter for the --
PADILLA: Jane --
VELEZ-MITCHELL; Do you think this guy who cops say is a Good Samaritan is going to get fried on the stand?
PADILLA: The only problem that Kronk`s got is he won`t tell the truth about getting the information from his girlfriend who works for law enforcement. The law enforcement people don`t want to subpoena her and take her deposition.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There you go again, Leonard.
Roy Kronk, come on our show and give your side of the story.
We`re out of time. You are watching ISSUES.