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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Missing Mom`s Body Found; Guidance Counselor Accused of Inappropriate Behavior; Trump Claims Victory in Birther Battle
Aired April 27, 2011 - 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, the ultimate betrayal. Cops say a high school counselor who`s supposed to guide students was instead secretly photographing certain body parts of young girls. Cops say he literally used candy to lure them into vulnerable positions. We`ll tell you how these female students fought back.
Then, Donald Trump claims victory after President Obama reveals his long-form birth certificate. But is the mogul taking credit for a controversy he himself stirred up for his own ratings` purposes? You will not believe what the Donald is demanding now.
Plus, escalating outrage over a woman whose only crime is trying to get a better education for her 6-year-old son. She`s homeless, unemployed, and single and was arrested and jailed, all because she tried to enroll her child in the wrong public school. What? Is she being targeted, or are there holes in her story? I will talk to her tonight.
And the royal wedding countdown. Red is up as William and Kate prepare for the big day. We`re learning all the inside scoop. Will Kate Middleton be a throwback to a traditional white? Or will she carry on in the strong footsteps of Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher and the Queen of England herself? We`re taking your calls.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have some very tragic breaking news to tell you about. It has just come in moments ago.
The body of that missing mom has now been found not far from where she was apparently snatched right out of her car. Krista Dittmeyer`s baby daughter was found inside the car Saturday evening with the door open and the engine running. Police reportedly found blood in the car, and this is the beautiful young mother who we are now learning has been found. Her body has just been discovered in New Hampshire.
She is 20 years old. She went missing on Friday. And her car was found in a parking lot about 60 miles from her home near a mountain ski resort.
Now, they always considered this to be foul play. There was a second car found in the area. They are also examining her cell-phone records for clues along with that second vehicle. But police have declined to say what role that second vehicle may have played in this case.
I want to go out to former prosecutor Wendy Murphy. This again breaking news just in. It is the last thing we wanted to report. We wanted to say that this beautiful 20-year-old mom would be found alive. We know her family is devastated right now, because they were frantically searching for her.
It is believed that this mother is a hero, that she somehow convinced whoever abducted her to leave the baby there and she had the quick thinking to leave the hazard lights on so that someone would see the car and find the child. The child is OK tonight. What is the next step that authorities take, given that now the very worst had happened? And you speak as a former prosecutor.
WENDY MURPHY: Yes, Jane. What a terrible development. We did know that police and law enforcement officials were searching in water. They obviously had reason to believe that not only foul play had followed but that she was likely dead. Which means -- I mean, the good news is, if there`s any good news, is they have a strong sense of who and why at this point. We have to believe that, because they did target this location where they did find her body.
So now what we`re looking at is a homicide case, likely a first-degree murder prosecution. The next step is identifying and capturing whoever did this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at this beautiful woman. There is a war on women in this country. A mother, 20-year-old, with her 14-month-old baby, simply trying to live her life, has now been found dead. It is an obscenity. And we really have to get beyond just the who, what, when, where, and get to the deeper why of why this is happening so much in America today. It`s unconscionable.
And our hearts go out to the family of Krista Dittmeyer tonight. We know they are suffering.
Nancy Grace has so much more on this at the top of the hour. She`s all over this story, right here on HLN. So 8 tonight, you`ll get more on this terrible development.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s scary to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I trust all these teacher, and I want them to help me to get an education.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, trusted counselor or calculated perv? A high-school guidance counselor in suburban Boston accused of using candy as bait to take lewd pictures. Galen Stone would allegedly throw candy on cafeteria tables and snap cell phone photos of girls` clothes, chests, i.e., breast area as they reached for the candy.
An investigation started last month when three girls reported Stone to their principal. Police searched his phone, and they say that`s when they found dozens of pictures and videos of females who didn`t know they were on camera. And it wasn`t just students either. The suspect allegedly videotaped and photographed random women at retail stores, as well.
Now, the prosecutor says Stone has also downloaded porn on his phone. This man, by the way, has a master`s in social work and had worked with children for years. And this Stone man happens to come from a very prestigious and privileged Massachusetts family. Could that play a role in this case?
But I guess the biggest question tonight: did this suspect`s alleged fetish with teenage girls` breast areas and with photographs and videos, or could he have taken it to another, more graphic level?
Give me a call: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
I want to go straight out to Jon Lieberman, host of "True Facts with Jon Lieberman" on CyberUSA.com. He`s an investigative journalist.
What do you know about this very perplexing case?
JON LIEBERMAN, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Well, I`ll tell you, Jane, it`s concerning on a lot of levels. This guy Stone has now been released on $500 bail. That was $500 only bail. Prosecutors asked for $2,500. But because he didn`t have a criminal record and because, apparently, he`s not a flight risk, he was released on $500 bail and told not to have any unsupervised contact with children.
One thing police are looking into right now is not only did this guy work at a high school, he also did some consulting work at a middle school with much younger kids. So one thing that police are still looking into right now is did he do anything improper at this middle school, in addition to what he apparently -- or is accused of doing at this high school?
And one other point, Jane, is this. That when school officials confronted this guy after those three courageous high-school students came forward, when school officials confronted Stone and said, "What`s on your phone? Do you know why we`re asking?"
He said, quote, "Yes, I`m sorry; yes, I do." So he inherently told his bosses at the school that he knew that what he was doing was not right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, J. Wyndall Gordon, first of all, we attempted to reach the suspect`s attorney, leaving messages and e-mails. We did not hear back. But we want to be fair. If this suspect, Galen Stone, or his attorney want to come on our show, they are invited to tell their side of the story. We know there`s usually two sides to a story. So we`d like to hear from him.
J. Wyndall Gordon, the fact that he allegedly admitted when confronted that I know what, "Yes, I know what they`re talking about," and then they looked at his cell phone, is that going to hurt him if and when he goes to trial?
J. WYNDALL GORDON: Absolutely. The old candy and the boob cam trick. This guy is more or less a freak, in my opinion. And I think his admission to what`s going on could almost be considered a plea for help to help him with this current situation. I mean, there are much deeper issues here.
And yes, I`m also concerned with the fact that, you know, he`s been working around middle schoolers. And I think if you -- if the police continue to dig, there may be some additional information on this guy that could be even more troubling.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to go out to former prosecutor, Wendy Murphy, because not even in the role of a former prosecutor, as a role of a mother, you have children and you live in the general vicinity, I understand. What`s your reaction to this really shocking story?
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: You know, I`m not shocked that is happens. I`ve high schoolers, and they tell stories about teachers they think are lecherous or creepy. This goes way past that, though, Jane.
And by the way, this guy has a high school daughter, senior, about to graduate, and because he`s been ordered away from kids, he can`t go to the graduation. Ba-dum-bum.
I -- you know, I`m scared to hear these stories, because we think we know what the bad people look like. He looks real good on the outside. He`s rather dangerous, in my opinion, on the inside. Assuming the allegations are true.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, here`s my big issue. Faculty fetish. Not every pervert gets off with a violent act or has to take it all the way to a physical contact. A sexual deviancy, and I`m talking in general terms here, isn`t always so overt. Based on what investigators say they found on this guy`s phone, it looks like Stone may have been, allegedly was, obsessed with girls` breasts, even when they were clothed.
Of course, police are going to look for other skeletons in his closet, other potential evidence of other interests. And they also claim that there was pornography on this camera, this video that he had downloaded onto his cell phone, as well as homemade videos showing some kind of interaction in a classroom setting.
Dr. Judy Kuriansky, you`re a sex expert. This struck me, just from a layperson`s perspective as a fetish, somebody who is not necessarily interested in doing anything violent or physical, but who has an obsession with a particular aspect of sexuality, and that`s called a fetish.
DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, that`s very smart, Jane. I always said I was going to give you an honorary degree.
A fetish really means that you`re attracted to a body part and not really a person. Often, the fetishes cannot develop a real good relationship with a real person. Where does this come from that a guy is attached to the breasts?
Well, there are three stages of development it can come from. When you`re a child, you may be cuddled and comforted by a mother figure who has very large breasts. That`s where it can start.
Or for adolescent, they may be pleasuring themselves and get attached to breasts. And when you get older as a teenager and, as this guy is, by watching videos, you can see, as we all do know, in these videos, they have women with very over-large breasts. If the man pleasures himself while he`s watching these, that continues the fetish.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So we are talking about fetishes tonight for a reason, because of the arrest of this high-school counselor who was allegedly photographing teenage girls` breasts. We`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Also, Donald Trump says he`s done a great service to the American people. We`re going to talk about some of his comments.
Plus, more on this so-called sleazy -- alleged sleazy high school counselor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s scary to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I trust all these teachers, and I want them to help me to get an education.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I can`t even contemplate the idea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who could contemplate? A high-school counselor using chocolate as bait to take lewd pictures on a cell-phone of female students` breast areas. That`s what Galen Stone is accused of. He allegedly tossed candy on the cafeteria table. Once the girls leaned in for the goodies, he allegedly took cell-phone pictures of their chests.
The proof, cops say, is right there on his cell phone, and if, in fact, that`s true, he`s going to have quite a time explaining that.
Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, what`s the next step? Do cops now get a search warrant for his home to see if there`s more serious pornography inside his home?
MURPHY: Well, that`s a good question. It`s very likely that they either already have done that or are in the process. Because once you find out, and he`s apparently admitted this, so they didn`t need a warrant for that, once you find out there are -- you know, there is evidence of a crime on a cell phone, you almost always can get a search warrant for a home computer.
You know, I`m worried because he is a father. He does have kids. If it`s -- if it`s a couple compulsion of some sort, it`s not likely that he only did it to these three girls. That`s what I`m worried about, what we`re going to find out in addition to the evidence we know so far.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Stone is certainly not the first faculty member accused of a horrific betrayal of students` trust. Do you remember Craig McDonald? He was busted and later pled guilty. Cops say he hid cameras inside smoke detectors inside a student bathroom. His arrest came two years after he was voted teacher of the year at a Houston charter school.
Police say he drilled holes in the smoke detectors to make room for a camera lens, which he aimed at the toilets. McDonald was caught after students noticed him looking down at a monitor underneath his desk every time a female student went to the bathroom.
Now, I`ve got to go back to Dr. Judy Kuriansky. That sounds like another fetish, this one focused on women in the bathroom going to the bathroom. Why -- why do people develop fetishes that are that specific?
I`ve even heard of a fetish for toe cleavage. When women wear high heels, they develop like a little breast right there, and there are men that are obsessed with that. It`s called toe cleavage.
KURIANSKY: Right. Exactly. Any body part or body practice can become fetishistic.
And the whole key here, the commonality, is that that man, usually -- although there are a few women who develop this -- cannot have a full relationship with a person, with a whole person. Their entire psychology and sexuality, which isn`t even totally sexual, it`s not mature, is attached then to that body part. You can really in a sense feel quite sorry for them.
The real difficulty is that they put themselves in positions, as you`ve said with the case before, as this case is now, and as John Wayne Gacey (ph) was one of the most horrific molesters of young boys is they put themselves in situations where there are young people. Being a clown for kids, being in schools.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re absolutely right.
Angelica, New Jersey, your question or thought?
CALLER: Hi. I think it`s (UNINTELLIGIBLE), because I`m a high-school senior, and we look up to our counselors for information. And what if these girls had issues that they confided in him about, and he used their sexuality, and he used that to his advantage?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re breaking up a little bit, Angelica. But I get your idea. We do, as students, confide in our teachers.
J. Wyndall Gordon, criminal defense attorney, if in fact there is this hard evidence on his cell phone to prove, and I say "if," would he be smart to make a deal and say, as Dr. Judy suggested, "I`ve got a psychological problem. I need help. I`m admitting it. Go easy on me, and I`ll do whatever I need to do to get psychological help"?
GORDON: You know what, Jane? I was just thinking about this. At first I was thinking about this from a human aspect, but from a defense attorney aspect, I`m almost questioning whether a crime was actually committed. I mean, it is not unlawful to take a picture of someone. And in order to have harassment, you would think that it would have to occur more than once. And from what I understood, he got caught with taking these pictures one time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy -- Wendy looks shocked.
GORDON: You take a picture of a whole person.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy looks shocked.
GORDON: I know it. But this is -- this is very true.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You made your point. Wendy, respond.
MURPHY: Come on, he`s charged with committing this offense -- two types of offenses against three different females.
GORDON: The whole -- the whole chest area.
MURPHY: Annoying and accosting criminal -- announcement, annoying and accosting. Look, the bottom line is he`s charged with multiple offenses against multiple girls. I don`t know how many you need before you see a crime, but I can see it.
GORDON: Well, you know...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Up next, Donald Trump is claiming victory.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, REAL-ESTATE MOGUL: Today I am very proud of myself, because I`ve accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish. But I am really honored, frankly, to have played such a big role. I am really proud. I am really honored.
So I feel I`ve accomplished something really, really important. I`m taking great credit, and honestly, I`m very proud that I was able to bring this to a point. Nobody else was.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Really? Tonight, Donald Trump sets a new standard for self-congratulation. He says he deserves 100 percent of the credit for resolving the birther issue. That`s right. After months of Trump publicly demanding proof of the president`s U.S. birth, the White House released Obama`s long-form birth certificate.
Guess what? He was indeed born in Hawaii, our 50th state. No kidding.
So, was this whole charade just intended to boost ratings for "Celebrity Apprentice," which apparently it did? Is Donald Trump seriously running for president?
Straight out to Wendy Murphy, who has been monitoring this whole saga.
This whole Trump side show is fascinating, because he is actually claiming credit for resolving an issue that he himself stirred up. It was just Monday on "ANDERSON COOPER" that he repeated his doubts and said that he`d been told that the certificate was missing.
MURPHY: Yes. Yes, I saw that.
And, look, he didn`t really start it. You can`t say he started it. You can`t even say he necessarily fanned the flames. The flames were roaring for a long time. You know, a variety of lawsuits al over the country has been filed to try to force the issue.
What he did was put it to bed. I mean, in some ways, I guess Obama should be glad that it`s over and be thankful to Trump for having literally put sort of, you know, the final, you know, cover on the flame, if you will.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I know who is definitely very grateful: Judy Gold, comedian, because this has given you so much material. Take it away, Judy.
JUDY GOLD, COMEDIAN: I can`t stand him. First of all, did you notice that he had the plane completely shut off when he spoke so his hair wouldn`t be flying all over the place?
He makes Charlie Sheen look selfless. This guy, he`s making a big announcement in a couple of weeks, he said, and I think it`s going to be his campaign slogan, which is "We shall over-comb."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now, here is what kind of disturbs me. No sooner did he resolve this issue but in the same breath, he`s bringing up now where are Obama`s college records, saying word is Obama was a terrible student. Is that fair, Judy, to immediately hit him on the college records?
GOLD: It`s -- this guy is so racist. You know, first he says, the blacks like me. Well, apparently not all.
And the other thing, you know, it just screams out affirmative action. This nasty comment. You know, he got -- I`m sorry, Donald. He got into Harvard, he got into Columbia. His daddy didn`t get him in anywhere. So Donald, I`m really sorry, but there`s a black man who`s more successful than you. OK, honey?
MURPHY: Well, I don`t agree with that. I think that`s unfair. First of all, to call him racist. Look, people hounded George Bush to proof that he got all "D`s," and it didn`t change very much but it was a disclosure. Even Obama`s people said, "Look, we don`t want to indulge Trump, because he`s going to then ask for more stuff." And...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there, ladies. But it is going to be an interesting campaign season.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Escalating outrage over a woman whose only crime is trying to get a better education for her 6-year-old son. She`s homeless, unemployed, and single and was arrested and jailed all because she tried to enroll her child in the wrong public school. What? Is she being targeted or are there holes in her story? I will talk to her tonight.
And the royal wedding countdown revs up as William and Kate prep for the big day. We`re learning all the inside scoop. Will Kate Middleton be a throwback to a traditional white or will she carry on in the strong footsteps of Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher and the Queen of England herself?
We`re taking your calls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONYA MCDOWELL, MOTHER: (INAUDIBLE) because he thinks that I stole books, you know, away from him, like I took it away from him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a young mom scared to death she`s going to prison, all for sending her son to the wrong school? Yes. They arrested her. They put her in handcuffs, all because her little boy was going to a school in another district.
Hello? Law enforcement, we`ve got murderers and we`ve got rapists out there roaming free and you`re throwing a woman in jail because she wants her little boy to get a better education? Will you give me a break, please?
Tonya McDowell says she`s homeless and unemployed and she enrolled her six-year-old son at a public school in Norwalk, Connecticut. Cops say that she actually lives 14 miles away in Bridgeport, Connecticut and that her son should therefore have gone to a Bridgeport school?
I say (INAUDIBLE). Ok. I`m worried about the parents who don`t care where their kids are going to school who have juvenile delinquents for children.
Tonya says she just wanted a better education for her 6-year-old son. Cops say there`s more to it than that. What do you think? Is this mom being persecuted or prosecuted or both? Or did she somehow manipulate the system? Give me a call, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Now, we`re going to go straight out to Tonya McDowell and her attorney Darnell Crosland. Tonya is joining us on the phone. She wanted to come in but she couldn`t find a baby sitter for her son.
Thank you for calling in Tonya.
Ok. You`ve been quoted as saying you enrolled your son using the address of a friend who was living at a Norwalk public housing complex. Why did you decide to enroll your son in that particular school using the Norwalk address?
MCDOWELL (via telephone): Well, first of all, I used the address because at the time, you know, like everyone, I`m homeless and I didn`t have like an actual address to use. And Miss Mark`s (ph) kids those are my godkids and she reached out to me and, you know, she let me use the address not knowing that enrolling my child for a better education would, you know, add up to me like committed a crime and the result would be something like this. And all I want was like, you know, just to get a better education for Andrew.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I applaud you for wanting a good education for your kid. I wish that all parents felt that way. McDowell -- the young lady you`re just listening to insists that she`s homeless. You just heard. And that means according to federal law her son should have been able to stay at that school. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GWEN SAMUEL, CT PARENT`S UNION: If you have a dispute, which is clearly there`s back and forth about whether she was homeless or not, the child still under the federal act still had the right to stay in the school.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I feel for you, Tonya, and I certainly don`t think the punishment fits the crime.
I want to go to Darnell Crosland; you`re the attorney for Tonya McDowell. You`re also chairman of Connecticut`s NAACP legal redress committee. Why do you think they are going after and apparently prosecuting her? If she`s convicted, she could do 20 years in prison? Are you kidding me?
DARNELL CROSLAND, ATTORNEY FOR TONYA MCDOWELL: Yes, I wish this was a joke. Unfortunately, it`s not. The reason why I think this happens, is whenever there is a tight budget in different districts, they`re looking for all types of ways to cut costs. And when you have areas such as this, where you have very wealthy areas close to urban areas, you often find that the districts take these types of approaches. And it`s not fair.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, wait a second. We got this letter from the Norwalk Public Schools and they say, "The Norwalk Public Schools did not initiate a residency proceeding to remove Miss McDowell`s son from Brookside Elementary School. The Norwalk Public Schools did not initiate any action for tuition reimbursement," because they want her to pay more than $15,000 for the several months that her son went to the wrong school. "We did not initiate any action for tuition reimbursement against Miss McDowell or file a criminal complaint against Miss McDowell."
So back to Darnell, who did? If the school says they are not on your client`s case, who is on her case and why?
CROSLAND: I sort of knew what was going on all along. But today I got a hold of a real healthy, thick transcript here of a housing proceeding that took place in Norwalk. And strangely enough, it seems like the lawyers for the Norwalk Housing Authority was seeking this exact result.
So what they did was they went after the godmother of Miss McDowell`s children whose address Miss McDowell was using and they put together this big housing situation as though they cared about the godmother`s housing.
And right at the end of the proceeding, then they run over to the prosecutor`s office and say, hey, look, there`s something here that you might want to see that leads us to believe that she doesn`t live here. And they said, "We`re not making a complaint. We just want you to know this." And then the prosecutor then brought the charges.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have a quick question. Tonya McDowell, how long have you been homeless and why did you become homeless?
MCDOWELL: I`ve been homeless -- I was staying at a shelter at the Norwalk Emergency Shelter for eight months with my child and shortly thereafter a friend of mine offered me a place to stay.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why did you become homeless?
MCDOWELL: I became homeless because I was unemployed.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Here`s my big issue tonight. The educational system is supposed to be the great equalizer. Anyone, regardless of race or income, should be able to get a great education and grow up to perhaps be president of the United States. It`s supposed to level the playing field, the public educational system. It should not have anything to do with how rich your parents are, where they live, or how fancy your address is.
But the truth is -- the reality of our culture is -- if you live in a poor area, you have a much greater chance of having outdated computer equipment in that school, incompetent teachers and books that are falling apart at the seams.
So I want to go to Wendy Murphy. What do you make of this situation that this woman is not only being prosecuted but she is also being asked to repay more than $15,000 for the cost of the education that her son apparently incurred when he spent a few months at the wrong school.
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, you know, good luck getting blood out of a stone as that goes. I think the only thing that`s going on here, Jane, is the school system is trying very hard to make an example of her because obviously they are concerned that she`s not the only one and they want to make it clear that you can get in serious trouble if you do this.
But let me say two things. First of all, there`s lots of good evidence that she was not homeless at that very hearing that Darnell said where the school was supposedly doing something terrible, they asked her under oath, what is your address and are you homeless? And she said I live in Bridgeport, never once said that she was homeless. That was January and that was right at the time they said well, this child has to leave.
In other words, they asked are you homeless because if she had said yes, they would have let the child stay.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say something.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me jump in on that point. Homeless people actually stay at other people`s houses because when you don`t have a home, what you do is you bounce around from place to place and you try not to spend your entire time in the street or at a homeless shelter. So you ask people, you know, can I stay with you for a little while.
MURPHY: I understand.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I want to give Darnell Crosland a chance to respond. Is that the situation? In other words, she was staying at this person`s house but she didn`t feel that she actually -- like she hadn`t registered to vote there, she hadn`t gotten her mail there. Is that correct or not?
CROSLAND: That`s absolutely correct. And while you`re on that, I`m on the board of the homeless shelter in Stanford and I`ve been on the board for five years now and people come and go all the time. And they are there with us for a little while and then they`re gone. And they are hoping to try to get a position going where they don`t have to come back.
So she was absolutely homeless but needed an address and that`s what this is about and it`s really sad to see. The school district is not really to blame here. It`s the mayor`s office, the prosecutor, and the housing authority who actually --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want to go to a caller -- we want to get a call from Linda, Arizona. Your question or thought, ma`am?
LINDA, ARIZONA (via telephone): Yes, ma`am. I live in Arizona and I`d like to know why they don`t prosecute. We have illegals down here, hundreds that go to our schools and it doesn`t seem to be an issue here. And I`d also like to make a comment. I heard earlier on the show that the superintendent made some derogatory comments about this lady being a convict or something. And he shouldn`t be the judge. We all --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Let me -- ma`am, you`re raising some interesting questions. Darnell, do you want to respond to this convict claim?
CROSLAND: Well, for one, I would say in terms of the comment about people being illegal in the schools, that`s definitely not at issue.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s a totally other -- that`s another issue we can spend an hour on. I`m talking about -- did somebody in authority say something about your client`s history? We`re talking about a 6-year-old boy here. That`s the person who counts. Not the mother.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want the 6-year-old boy -- I don`t have kids. I have spent years, decades paying property taxes that go to schools. I don`t mind. I`m happy to pay the property taxes even though I have no children. Why? Because I believe in public education. And I do believe it is the great equalizer.
So I`m happy to pay even though I don`t have kids. I`m not going to turn around and charge my neighbors who have kids a bill.
Go ahead 10 seconds.
MURPHY: In terms of the question of whether she`s a con, she`s currently being prosecuted for 26 bags of pot and possession of 14 bags of crack cocaine. Is that a good mother who cares about her child?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, wow. We`ll, we`re out of time come back. Come back. We`re going to continue this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIANE BASILIUS, MICHIGAN RESIDENT: I`ve followed the royal family my whole life. My parents named me after Princess Di so it`s something I always grew up admiring and watching Diana and following her and her boys. It was just something that I could watch on TV from the states or I could get a front row seat.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: For many little girls, it is the dream of a lifetime, to become a princess. Well, on Friday we`re going to watch it happen as Kate Middleton marries her prince. But what kind of princess will she be? One who caters to her prince`s every whim or a strong woman like Diana or lady -- or the Queen or Margaret Thatcher?
Well, Will and Kate, they arrived at Westminster Abbey today for a private rehearsal dinner with clergy, Prince Harry, who is the best man and Kate`s family. The guest list is a mile long and even soccer star David Beckham is downright giddy about coming to this wedding. Who wouldn`t be?
Posting on Facebook, "A royal wedding, it`s amazing. It really is amazing."
What did you want to know about the royal wedding? We`ve got some experts with us tonight. Give me a holler, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Straight out to our own CNNi correspondent, Isha Sesay; and you are live in front of Westminster Abbey -- lucky you -- site of the royal wedding. What is happening back there? Are there crowds already gathering?
ISHA SESAY, CORRESPONDENT, CNN INTERNATIONAL: No doubt about that, Jane. The crowds have already taken their place. They started camping out just over at the abbey yesterday. And if I look behind I can actually see the tents and their blankets. Some of them don`t even have tents, Jane. They are just lying on the cold sidewalks on thin blankets.
They are here, they want to make sure they get a great spot, they get a great view of that royal couple when they come out of the abbey which is just there behind me.
This is a wedding, a ceremony that has been planned down to the last detail. It will begin at 11:00 a.m. sharp; at 12:15 thereabouts, we expect the royal couple to come out. But the atmosphere, Jane, it really is buzzing here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, the guest list is a mile long and of course, it includes royals from all over the world. There is a short list of personal friends and an even shorter list of celebrities. I was actually shocked that there are not more celebrities coming. It`s just Elton John and his partner, David Furnish; David and Victoria Beckham; and director Guy Ritchie, Madonna`s ex; and English singer, Josh Stone. That`s it.
Jessica Callan, news director for "Life and Style Magazine", I am shocked; half a dozen celebrities? Really?
JESSICA CALLAN, NEWS DIRECTOR, "LIFE AND STYLE" MAGAZINE: It just goes to show how very different, of course, William and Kate are. They don`t want to have celebrities just for the sake of it. They want people who they have relationships with and who mean something to them. So they have 1,900 guests going to the wedding and yes, you`re right, a handful of them celebrities.
There`s also the actor who plays Mr. Bean in all those terrible Mr. Bean films, he`s also going.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I don`t even consider him a celebrity.
CALLAN: He is in some parts of the world.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh. Well, here`s another sign that William and Kate are trying to have a normal life, whatever normal is. People.com reporting they will not be hiring a personal chef, butler, valet, or any servants while they live in a remote island in Wales, where William is stationed as a helicopter pilot.
This is my big issue. No servants or do they mean no spies? I mean, really? What`s the risk of bringing strangers into the home of Will and Kate when it`s been said that the entire monarchy really rests on them staying married and not following in the footsteps of Prince Charles and Lady Diana who engaged in extramarital affairs purportedly even by their own admission apparently, as well as just all sorts of drama before they ultimately divorce -- Isha.
SESAY: Well, you know, I think that if I heard you correctly, it`s still quite noisy where I am. I think that the case of William and Kate, they just want to live as normal a life as possible, as you mentioned that they are going to take up residence in Anglesey, Wales, where they are right now. We don`t know where the official residence in London will be. They have access to Buckingham Palace as well as Clarence House.
But, you know, William is very much Lady Diana, Princess of Wales` son. He`s been raised by her and her legacy lives within him in the sense that he just wants to have a normal life. He wants to carry on his career and Kate will be by his side supporting him. But we don`t know much else about what will come afterwards.
We don`t even know if they`re going to accept titles, which they may do. It`s a discussion to be held between them and the Queen. That decision will be made and announced on Friday. Who knows, they could become the Duke and Duchess or something else by Friday morning. But there`s just so much we don`t know, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. You are an absolute encyclopedia of information.
Keep it here on HLN for all of the wedding coverage. We`re going to blow it out on Friday. Stay with us.
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MARK FLANAGAN, ROYAL CHEF, BUCKINGHAM PALACE: Well, obviously, the closer we get to the actual service period, the tension will ramp up.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I`m wondering tonight what kind of a wife Kate Middleton will be. What kind of a princess? Will she serve her husband the future king of England or will she be a strong-willed woman and set her own path like, for example, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher or her future grandmother-in-law, the Queen, grandmother-in-law. Queen Elizabeth has ruled Great Britain for well over half a century. She hasn`t been just a wife and a mother. She`s been a leader. She really got her hands dirty during World War II, learning how to become a mechanic and a driver. Queen Elizabeth isn`t just a figurehead.
Now Kate is a blank slate right now. Jessica Callan, news director for "Life and Style", do we have any idea what her politics and passions are?
CALLAN: I think we do know exactly what kind of monarch -- Queen Katherine will go on to be. This is a role they have been preparing her for the last few years. This isn`t just someone who`s just start going out with Prince William and just working out what his family is like. She`s been really getting to know the royal family for about nine years now. She knows just what is expected of her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No. What I mean is -- let`s say Princess Diana got involved in the ban of land mines. She got involved in the AIDS crisis. She really stood up to the royal family and set her own path and not just doing sort of the hospital openings and the traditional things. She was controversial. Do we get any idea of what Kate is going to be like in that role?
CALLAN: We actually don`t know yet. We know she will definitely be doing charity work that`s for sure because she`s not going to sit around in palaces looking at all her jewels. She`ll be doing charity work. The understanding is that may start off by doing some children`s charity work which is something she`s very interested in.
But whether she will be as controversial as Diana, I don`t think so. Diana by that point was separated from Prince Charles when she was controversial and they very much want Kate and William to be seen as a couple rather than her going off and doing her own thing. And of course, she will be going under the banner of the royal family. When Diana was doing that controversial charity work she was on her own.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And look at the paparazzi -- that is the gauntlet of paparazzi this poor young woman -- well she`s 29 now so she`s been through it for a while. She`s known him for a decade.
Look at this gauntlet of paparazzi that this poor girl has to go through every time she wants to go out of her flat and go into a car. So you can understand why they don`t want to have a maid or a butler inside their home because -- selling a story. That`s a real problem.
Isha, I have a controversial question for you and I don`t mean to be morbid but I`ve been trying to figure this out. Now, the succession lines, we have Charles, all right. And then right after Charles is William. And she is marrying William. Is there any chance that she becomes a queen just like Queen Elizabeth, in other words just the queen?
SESAY: If I understand your question correctly, when Katherine marries Prince William, she will be Princess William of Wales, that will be her official title. Now the issue about her being a queen, the formal title will be, when that day comes, she will be queen consort. Let me clear -- that is what she will be. She will be queen consort to King William. I think that is something like William V, if I got that right.
So that`s what her title will be. There`s a whole issue about the line of succession. But right now --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are blowing out the coverage on the royal wedding this Friday. You got to stay on HLN for it.
Jessica Callan, for "Life and Style", what`s going to happen in terms of all the parties, the soirees after they get married?
CALLAN: Well, after the parties and after the honeymoon it`s back to Wales for them where William is stationed in the Royal Air Force where he`s a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot. They really are going to go this tiny farmhouse which costs William $1,000 a month to rent. No servants, no cooks, no cleaners. It will just be the two of them and, of course, his security -- getting on with married life. And for the next three --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you, how long is she going really be able to hang in there? I`m a city girl. I lasted in the country maybe a weekend?
CALLAN: Well, she is very much a country girl so she will be very happy with her prince that`s for sure.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re talking about what is it Buckleberry where she was born? All right. Thank you so much.
Nancy Grace is up next.