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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Casey`s Appeal Shot Down; Casey Juror Regrets Voting for Acquittal; Families Fight Over Release of Missing Woman`s Diaries; "Hot Sauce Mom" Guilty of Abuse; Reality TV Suicide; Murder Plot Implodes

Aired August 23, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARLOS DIAZ, HOST (voice-over): Casey Anthony`s appeal denied. The court says she will have to serve probation. So what`s next for Casey?

And late-breaking news. A guilty verdict in the notorious hot sauce mom trial. Did she abuse her son just to get on TV?

Then "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor Armstrong says she`s terrified to face her late husband`s family at his funeral tomorrow, because some are blaming her for his suicide. Plus, did Russell start taking antidepressants just before he took his own life?

And a battle breaks out over missing Susan Powell`s diary. Her parents say it`s private, but her husband wants it released, because he believes it offers insight into what happened. Does he fear he`s being framed? I`ll talk to Susan`s best friend.

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STAN STRICKLAND, JUDGE: I sentence Ms. Anthony to time served, which again, is 412 days, followed by one year of supervised probation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was a vindictive sentence based on his disapproval of the jury`s findings.

BELVIN PERRY, JUDGE: If anything could go wrong, it did go wrong here.

CASEY ANTHONY, ACQUITTED OF MURDER: I take complete and full responsibility for my actions.

PERRY: I will be frank and honest: I don`t know what I`m going to do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is done; this is over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Justice for Caylee! Justice for Caylee! Justice for Caylee!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Justice for Caylee! Justice for Caylee! Justice for Caylee!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Justice for Caylee! Justice for Caylee! Justice for Caylee!

PERRY: I see what you`re talking about. It`s a mess.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Without a shadow of a doubt, she did it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`ll get her judgment, some day.

PERRY: I don`t mean to be redundant, but this isn`t an easy case to decide.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DIAZ: The decision is in, and Casey Anthony will not be happy. Everybody, I`m Carlos Diaz in for Jane Velez-Mitchell.

Four days ago, Casey`s lawyers filed an appeal against Casey`s probation. But just moments ago, the appellate court ruled that Casey`s appeal is denied. The court essentially upheld the decision by Judge Belvin Perry, meaning Casey has got to report for probation on Friday at the latest. After that, she is stuck in Orange County for a full year unless her probation officer allows her to travel. I think it`s safe to say there`s no way they`re letting her out of their sight.

This all stems from that check fraud conviction last year after Casey stole checks from a friend and spent hundreds of dollars at Target and a grocery store. She pleaded guilty to seven charges and even apologized to the court. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CASEY ANTHONY: I just want everyone to know that I`m sorry for what I did. I take complete and full responsibility for my actions. And I`d like to sincerely apologize to Amy. I wish I would have been a better friend.

STRICKLAND: OK, thank you. Anything else?

CASEY ANTHONY: No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: So she`ll be doing probation, but did she get away with murder? Most of America thinks so. And now even the jury that freed her may agree.

An anonymous male juror has spoken out to "People" magazine, saying that since the acquittal, his opinion of the case has changed. He says, quote, "I`ve learned a lot about the case by reading the documents. If I had to vote now, I`d probably vote for manslaughter." Wow.

I want to hear from you on this one. Give me a call: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297. I`ll have a lot more from this juror in just a few seconds.

But first, I want to go out to Vinnie Politan, host of HLN`s "SPECIAL REPORT" and HLN`s "PRIME NEWS."

Vinnie, thanks for being here. This probation ruling came up while you were on the air. News breaking while you were on the air, moments ago. What does it mean if for Casey Anthony? Was this her last stand, or can she somehow still weasel out of probation?

VINNIE POLITAN, HLN ANCHOR: Well, you know, Jose Baez said earlier in the week that they will abide by the law. Right now the law is she`s got to report to probation by noon on Friday. And I expect that to happen, if it hasn`t happened already. I`m sure they`re setting up arrangements.

But she`s got to serve probation now. That`s what this means. It means she`s got to do what Judge Stan Strickland originally intended for her to do, which is serve the probation when she was released from jail. She`s released from jail now, so she has a year to prove what an upstanding citizen she is.

DIAZ: Are you surprised by that? You were all over this case.

POLITAN: I`m not surprised by this decision, and the reason I`m not surprised is it`s what the judge wanted; it`s what the judge ordered. And the whole concept of serving probation while in jail to me -- and I use this legal term al the time, Carlos -- is silly. It`s just silly. I mean, the whole point of probation is to integrate people back into society, give them some structure, so they can succeed and we can be protected. And if they act out and don`t do something, we can throw them back in the hole.

DIAZ: We had Debra Opri on last night, and she said a lot of other people have said, well, you know, Casey got this piece of paper while she was in jail, saying, "Hey, you completed your probation. Congratulations. Have a nice life." What do you think about that?

POLITAN: Well, she got the paper. That`s fine and good, but it wasn`t signed by the judge. It was for the probation, you know. I think the judge -- we`ve got to abide by what the judge says. If we don`t abide by a judge`s order and disregard it, then what`s the point of a judge making an order, if it comes down to a clerical error, a scribner`s error? If we can be ruled by errors, then there`s bedlam in the streets. My goodness, Carlos. If the judge said it should be one way, that`s the way it should be.

DIAZ: Vinnie, great points.

Let`s get back to that anonymous juror. He claims he not only regrets acquitting Casey, but he`s also scared for his life. He says, quote, "I live in fear that someone will find me. I Google my name every day to see if anyone has figured out who I am. My own sister cussed me out. It has ruined my life."

I am thrilled to have Steve Helling joining us tonight. Steve, you wrote the story for "People" magazine. You interviewed this juror. He`s desperately trying to keep his identity hidden. First off, I want to know how in the world did you find this guy?

STEVE HELLING, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Well, I have different ways to find them. You know, I know some of the jurors` names, some of whom have spoken, some who have not spoken. And so just through good old-fashioned reporting, I figured out who this guy was.

DIAZ: Out of the 12 jurors how many have you got?

HELLING: Enough.

DIAZ: OK. I want to know -- I mean, when you first met with this juror, who remained anonymous, was it difficult to get this juror to talk? And what was the mood when you sat down for the interview?

HELLING: Well, you know, basically, the jury really wants to get their point out there, but they`re afraid of the backlash. So what I found is that he was willing to talk and was willing to be open and explained to me some of his thought process behind the verdict.

But the one thing he was very adamant about is, "I don`t want anybody knowing -- knowing who I am." And so it took some doing for me to even get him to -- to agree to me identifying him as a male juror.

DIAZ: Did he deny at first that he was a juror when you first found him?

HELLING: I was in the courtroom every single day. I was looking at them.

DIAZ: OK. So he was there.

All right, let`s go to Idaho. The phone lines, by the way, burning up on this one. Maury in Idaho. Is it Maury or Mauri? Mauri?

CALLER: It`s Mauri. Thanks for taking my call.

DIAZ: No problem.

CALLER: First, I have a comment. There is no way I could foresee that the appeals court would overturn such a knowledgeable hardworking jurist as Judge Perry. You know, he was just my hero during the entire trial.

And secondly, if probation wants to get Casey a job, I would suggest she`s so coated in Teflon maybe the mob is hiring.

DIAZ: Wow. You know, I`ve got to go to my man, Vinnie Politan, on that one. Vinnie, you were all over this. Do you get a feeling that Judge Belvin Perry is sleeping a little better tonight, knowing that a lot of people agree with Mauri that -- that he`s their hero in this case?

POLITAN: And that`s the way he came across, and that`s the way he ran this trial. I mean, down in Orlando, you were there. You saw, day in and day out. Folks saw it on television. This is a guy who took a trial that was completely out of control, got it on track and got it done.

And ultimately, the defense has to be happy with Judge Belvin Perry, as well. He got them a fair jury.

DIAZ: Right. I`m going to lose you, Vinnie, because -- the "A" block. I want to go right back to you. Where do you think she`s going to find a job?

POLITAN: That`s going to be difficult. I think she`s either got to get some sort of job where she doesn`t have to leave the house. You know, something online over a computer. Maybe she`ll be a telemarketer caller. Maybe she`ll call you up and try to sell you something.

DIAZ: All right. Last month, Judge Perry had to rule whether he should release some of the names of the jurors. By law, those names are supposed to be public knowledge. But Judge Perry was worried about some serious threats levied against the jury. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: What do I do when you have an atmosphere where you have people who want to filet people open, pour salt on them and feed their legs to the piranhas? What do I do?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Wow. People wanted to filet the jurors open. Yikes. It got so bad that one jury even left Florida because of the threats. She fled for her life. Now Judge Perry has said that he will release the jury names at the earliest on October 25. He thought that would be a sufficient cooling off period. But is it? I mean, these jurors are still afraid for their lives.

I want to go to Stacey Honowitz. Let me ask you. Can Judge Perry get away with releasing the names at all? Or should he reconsider?

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, listen, you know how high emotions were running after this verdict came in. And certainly with the death threats towards the jurors, the judge really did not have a choice in this case. He`s got to balance what the public`s perception is and the rights of these jurors not to be fearful at all times. And they were fearing for their life.

So I think that he made a very wise decision, and I think it is a good -- a good time period for cooling off. I think -- I don`t know how he picked that date. I don`t know where he said he thought that October 25 would be a good date. But I think it is a sufficient cooling off period, and by that time, people will realize that they cannot go after these jurors and just leave them alone. The decision has been made.

DIAZ: All right. Coming up next, we`ve got Steven Helling, who is here from "People" magazine. It`s the story that everyone is talking about. You don`t want to miss this coming up.

Also a family feud erupts over making missing Susan Powell`s diary public. Her husband believes it offers an insight into what happened. But does he really fear he`s being framed? I`ll talk with Susan`s best friend.

And as I said, it`s official. Casey Anthony must serve probation as the court denies her appeal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee! Caylee!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CASEY ANTHONY: Just wanted to let everyone know I`m sorry for what I did. Sorry. Sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Justice for Caylee! Justice for Caylee! Justice for Caylee!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Justice for Caylee! Justice for Caylee! Justice for Caylee!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Justice for Caylee! Justice for Caylee! Justice for Caylee!

JENNIFER FORD, JUROR IN CASEY ANTHONY MURDER TRIAL: Get anonymous letters from people that are hateful and nasty.

PERRY: I am also well aware of the threats.

FORD: "You`re ignorant. You should be ashamed of yourself. You let a murderer go free."

CASEY ANTHONY: Can someone let me -- come on.

PERRY: What do I do?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Is the Casey Anthony jury admitting their mistake? Another juror has come forward and says he got it wrong.

Plus, this juror has revealed some incredible details of what went on in that jury room. First, he says, "None of us liked Casey Anthony at all. She seems like a horrible person." And even after they all decided to vote not guilty, he says, quote, "We sat there for a few minutes and were like, `Holy crap. We`re letting her go free.` One of the women jurors asked me, `Are you OK with this?` I said, `Hell no. What else can we do? We promised to follow the law.`"

Steve Helling, you wrote this amazing article for "People" magazine. You interviewed this juror. He sounds like -- he sounds like he hates Casey Anthony as much as the rest of the America. Does he say whether his fellow jurors are also having second thoughts?

HELLING: Well, what he said was that, you know, even at the time, none of them liked her. None of them had any warm feelings to Casey Anthony, but they sat down and decided that what they were going to do was just go based on evidence that was presented to them.

So since then, he has read through a lot of things that weren`t admitted into -- into trial. And now he says, you know, "Maybe I would go for manslaughter at this point." But at the time, he didn`t have as much information as he does right now.

DIAZ: Let`s go to the phone lines. Like I said, they`re burning up on this one. Lakisha from Indiana, what have you got?

CALLER: Yes. I feel that it was very wrong for the judge to order her to come back to Orlando. They`re not thinking about Casey`s safety.

And the whole thing about the whole point about this: people need to get over it. Attorneys fight for us every day to free us in this country out of trouble. People need to go on with their lives. Let Casey Anthony live her life.

The only way I can put it is some people deserve a second chance in life, and others don`t. I don`t think she intentionally killed Caylee. I think she wanted to go out and party, because she is a young girl. I`m 33. You know, I do have a baby, but I don`t want to go out and party, but some people do.

DIAZ: I can hear your baby in the background. If you -- I can hear your baby in the background. If you actually accidentally killed your baby, you don`t think that`s a bad thing?

CALLER: Yes, it is a bad thing, but this is what I`m saying. You need to go on and let the girl live her life.

DIAZ: But you`re saying that -- you`re saying that Casey accidentally killed her baby, and that`s not a bad thing?

CALLER: She did accidentally kill Caylee. I don`t think she intentionally killed her.

DIAZ: OK.

CALLER: But I`m not saying that that`s not a bad thing.

DIAZ: Stacey Honowitz, what do you think about what Lakisha said?

HONOWITZ: Listen, I`m not going to argue with this individual on the phone, because certainly, we have a different perspective on the case.

The fact of the matter is, no, she was sentenced on her check forgery charge, and she has to do what the judge ordered. This isn`t a free pass, because you got acquitted on the murder charge. So we say, "OK, you got acquitted, don`t come back for this." The judge made a specific order. It`s to be upon release.

Judge Belvin Perry looked at that order and he agreed with it. And now an appellate court said that Strickland`s order will stand, and we will see you back in Orlando on Friday. And that`s what`s going to happen. And that`s what she deserves to do: fulfill the sentence that was given to her, back by Judge Stan Strickland.

DIAZ: See, we`re juggling two really big breaking stories here. First off, you have the big breaking story today that just broke: Casey Anthony will have to serve her probation in Florida. That came down just moments ago.

And then secondly, this amazing article in "People" magazine where Steve Helling interviewed one of the jurors. I want to go back to the juror right now. This is hardly the first time a juror has received threats. Only one of the 12 has been brave enough to give her name and appear on camera. Listen to what she says that she has to go through on a daily basis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FORD: It`s very stressful. And you know, you get anonymous letters from people that are hateful and nasty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do they say?

FORD: Honestly, I read the first sentence, and if it starts with, "Shame on you" in all capital letters, I just rip it up and throw it away, because I know it`s just going to be, you know. I`ve seen, like, things on Facebook, probably from the same person, you know, "You`re ignorant. You should be ashamed of yourself. You let a murderer go free," et cetera, et cetera.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: All right. So that was Jennifer Ford. One common thread is that all the jurors say they didn`t get the whole picture because they were sequestered during the trial. Not every state does this.

I want to go back to Steve Helling on this one. Do you have a feeling, Steve, that if the jury wasn`t sequestered, the outcome might have been different?

HELLING: Yes, I do. But, you know, the point of the sequestration was making sure that they didn`t know all the media that was out there. So they chose 12 people who knew very little about the case to begin with. And then they didn`t hear the stuff that you and I heard. And so for that reason, they came up with a different answer -- or a different verdict than perhaps you or I would have come up with. And...

DIAZ: Steve, I`ve got 20 seconds. I just want to ask you, what were the emotions like during this interview? Did the juror get emotional talking to you?

HELLING: His voice started to crack when he was talking about, you know, his sister cussing him out. And just he Googles his name because he`s petrified somebody is going to name him. So he`s very emotional right now.

DIAZ: All right. Steve Helling, great job on the interview. Thank you so much for joining us.

Stacey Honowitz, stick around. I want to use you on something else later that I know you`re going to have an opinion on.

Straight ahead, missing Susan Powell`s diary debate. Her husband wants her personal entries to be made public. I`ll talk to Susan`s best friend coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK COX, SUSAN POWELL`S FATHER: You`ve come out against my family. That`s what you`ve said. And I can have the articles and show them to you, what you said to the media. And it`s been a personal attack.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: As police launch a new search for missing woman Susan Powell, her family and her husband, Josh`s, family are clearly divided as you saw in that clip right there.

The beautiful mother of two mysteriously vanished over a year and a half ago from her family home in Utah. The night Susan disappeared, Josh says he took his two sons, ages 2 and 4, on a midnight camping trip in freezing temperatures.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

J. POWELL: A lot of times I just go camping with my boys. You know, not anything big. I just go overnight, and -- and we do s`mores and stuff like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Now to be clear, Josh is not a suspect in his wife`s disappearance. However, it does seem the two families don`t see eye to eye about who Susan was and what might have happened to her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COX: If you want to accuse my daughter of being promiscuous and everything else.

STEVE POWELL, JOSH POWELL`S FATHER: Susan had a very troubled childhood. She was suicidal. She told Josh, and it`s in her journals.

COX: No, no, no, no.

S. POWELL: She told Josh.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Wow. The families are now battling over the release of Susan`s diaries, as you just heard there. Joining us tonight, Kiirsi Hellewell, Susan Powell`s best friend.

Kiirsi, thanks for joining us, first, by the way. And do you think Susan`s diaries should be released?

KIIRSI HELLEWELL, SUSAN POWELL`S BEST FRIEND: Absolutely not. Susan is not a political prisoner in a Nazi war camp 50 years ago. She is a young woman who has vanished. She`s missing. She was ripped away from her family and her boys, and her private thoughts as a teenager just a few years ago should not be published.

DIAZ: OK. Shocking reports also from Salt Lake City today. "The Salt Lake City Tribune" say that Steve Powell, Josh`s father, made several unwanted sexual advances towards Susan. Steve Powell has denied these accusations, and CNN has not confirmed them. Kiirsi, tell me about the photos that he allegedly sent Susan.

HELLEWELL: One of the reasons that Susan and Josh moved to Utah, I found out a few months after they moved here, she told me was to get away from her father-in-law, Steve Powell, because he had made these advances to her.

And after they had lived here for a year or two, he sent her a packet of pictures in the mail of her favorite actor. So she opened the pictures, and she started flipping through them. And she -- her first thought was, "Oh, maybe he`s changed. This is actually nice of him to do this." And in the middle of the pictures were some naked pictures of men.

DIAZ: Did she ever confide in you or say to you, "I`m fearful of what Steve Powell can do to me?"

HELLEWELL: She didn`t say that, but she told me that she hated and despised him, and she did not want to ever be around him. She said -- she told Josh in front of my husband and me that Steve Powell was never allowed to step foot in her house here in Utah and that if he came to visit Utah, Josh would have to go visit him somewhere else.

DIAZ: Well, Josh says he`s being unfairly targeted by Susan`s family. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

J. POWELL: There are a lot of people who have done a lot of attacks against our family and my sons, led by Chuck Cox. I`m sorry to see what he chooses to do to try to bring it into my neighborhood repeatedly. Chuck Cox has used my sons as nothing but pawns in the media to elicit hatred of our family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Wow, amazing stuff. Thank you so much to our guest. I really appreciate your time.

Coming up next, more right here on HLN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VINNIE POLITAN, HLN HOST: This woman voluntarily went on to Dr. Phil and now she`s facing charges.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happens when you lie to me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I get hot sauce.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You get hot sauce.

When Kristoff lies we put soap in his mouth.

Don`t spit it.

It has no effect. So we went to hot sauce.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The conversation she was having is good but who can really listen with a mouth full of hot sauce?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you swallow it?

Why are you getting a cold shower?

Did you listen to your teacher today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you did not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLOS DIAZ, HLN GUEST HOST: Tonight, that woman is guilty of child abuse. A jury has just convicted a mom for punishing her son with hot sauce and ice-cold showers.

I`m Carlos Diaz, in for Jane Velez-Mitchell.

The verdict just came in for Jessica Beagley`s child abuse trial in Alaska. Three men and three women heard and saw the chilling evidence, videos of Jessica forcing her 7-year-old adopted son to swig hot sauce and strip down for freezing cold showers. She could now spend a year in jail.

This case has (INAUDIBLE) in part because Jessica`s crimes were taped. We want to warn you, the footage is really disturbing. Let`s show a clip from the mom`s appearance on a Dr. Phil episode called "Mommy Confessions".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JESSICA BEAGLEY, CONVICTED OF CHILD ABUSE: I have had him do jumping jacks before. It worked for a little while until he`s completely exhausted.

When Kristoff lies we put soap in his mouth.

Don`t spit it.

It had no effect. So we went to hot sauce.

Open.

We`ve been having a lot of problems. It will stay in the bathroom so it`s handy when we need it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: I mean I have to tell you that`s hard to watch. What next? I mean you start with hot -- soap didn`t have any effect so we go to hot sauce. Unbelievable stuff.

The prosecutor said Jessica used sadistic punishments on her son just to get on TV. Just to get on TV. Her attorney argued Jessica just wanted Dr. Phil`s help with her out-of-control child.

Do you think the jury was right to convict? And does Dr. Phil`s show share any of the blame? Give me a call on this hot button topic, 1-877- JVM-SAYS; that`s 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to Casey Grove, reporter for the "Anchorage Daily News"; Casey, you were in court. What was Jessica`s reaction to the guilty verdict?

CASEY GROVE, REPORTER, "ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS": Well, there wasn`t much reaction actually. It was pretty quick. The judge read the verdict. It was guilty, of course, and she stood and wasn`t a lot of emotion that you can see and pretty soon after, walked out of court. Didn`t respond to any questions from reporters, and headed out down a stairwell.

DIAZ: Now, Jessica`s attorney says 7-year-old Kristoff suffers from reactive attachment disorder and does not respond to more common forms of discipline.

Here`s another clip, which is chilling, from Dr. Phil.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEAGLEY: When Kristoff gets a cold shower --

Get undressed right now.

I`m at the end of my rope.

You are to do what you`re told.

Nothing has gotten a result that I want.

Do you understand what I am telling you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Wow.

I want to bring in Wendy Walsh from momlogic.com. What about the fate of this boy and Jessica`s other five children? Will her husband automatically get custody of the children? Or will they be taken out of her home?

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST, MOMLOGIC.COM: I`m not actually sure, but I do know that this is a mother at the end of her rope who was reaching out for help. It was a clear call to help for the world to intervene. And rather than Social Services coming in to give her some parenting classes and social workers to descend to help her with this child, instead she was punished and now there are six children potentially losing a mother? Is this really the society we want to live in Carlos?

DIAZ: Wendy, you and I disagree about everything. I mean I`m sorry Wendy. Do you know the facts of this story? I mean, the woman subjected - -

WALSH: I do.

DIAZ: She put in a tape to Dr. Phil and the producers of Dr. Phil allegedly said that`s not strong enough for TV. We need something more. Then she comes back with here`s some hot sauce and cold showers. Are you defending this woman?

WALSHI: I`m not defending her behavior in any means. But for her to reach out to somebody who has helped countless numbers of people, not only through his writings and through what he does on television is not actually a strange thing. People do it all the time. People send me e-mails and ask from me advice about their marriages and relationships. They send me photos about what`s going on. That`s not the strange thing.

The point is who are we as a society to decide this is the outcome. Remember this child was adopted from Russia. We now know that statistical probability is such this child may have had a neurological difficulty from fetal alcohol syndrome --

(CROSSTALK)

DIAZ: -- hot sauce? And you stick him in a cold shower?

WALSH: No, absolutely, her behavior is wrong. But to take away her - - these kids, now six kids, primary attachment figure, instead of intervening and supporting this family and helping to give them the tools they need because who`s hurt now? The children are hurt.

DIAZ: I don`t want these kids attached to this woman if she`s punishing them by giving hot --

WALSH: This woman is their mother. This woman is their mother, Carlos. And she is their primary attachment figure --

DIAZ: She`s an abusive mother --

(CROSSTALK)

WALSH: The injury is going to happen no matter what.

DIAZ: Wendy, I -- man, I -- you and I are --

WALSH: She was asking for guidance and help. She wasn`t thinking that she was necessarily doing the right thing. She was saying just help me -- help me with this family.

DIAZ: Wendy, how many kids do you got?

WALSH: I have two.

DIAZ: Would you have this woman baby-sit your kids?

WALSH: After some parent training I might. Yes. But she needs the intervention.

DIAZ: So when your kids come back and they say hey, mom, this woman was pouring hot sauce down our throats --

WALSH: No, but after some good parent classes, she`s going to learn - - hey Carlos, let me ask you. 50 years ago, do you know how many people in America had their mouths washed out with soap? You know how many people --

DIAZ: 50 years ago. You know what kind of advancements we`ve made in the last 50 years?

WALSH: Absolutely. It`s all wrong, but we didn`t send the parents to jail. We helped and assisted them. That`s my point. This family needs intervention, it needs family therapy, they need good parenting classes. We don`t need to take the mother out of the picture and injure the children more. Think about the kids here.

DIAZ: I`m thinking about the kids and I think the kids need to be away from this woman.

All right. Wendy, you and I -- I`m going to say, I love having you on because you`re intelligent --

WALSH: And I love you, Carlos.

DIAZ: But you and I disagree on everything.

Here are the child abuse laws in Anchorage, all right. She could face one year in jail and a $10,000. But the code in Anchorage does not mention hot sauce. However, it does include a section on burning.

I want to bring Stacey Honowitz in. Stacey, do you think the sheer emotion in this case -- as you can see with Wendy and I -- seeing the acts on tape, hearing the boy`s cries, do you think that led to the conviction?

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: I think that when Wendy says that her behavior is wrong. The behavior that she did is criminal. It`s called child abuse. I don`t know why she think right away that she`s going to jail and she`s worried about the other five kids. You have plenty of time when parents are convicted of child abuse and the jury was right in this case, then that`s what the court does.

The court looks at other circumstances and the court sometimes will say I`m not going to send this person to jail but I`m going to get this person on probation with parenting, with anger management. But to call her a mother after seeing what we saw and to go to the extent of exploiting your child and making things worse just to get on TV is pathetic and it`s criminal. In this case, the jury got it right.

DIAZ: Wendy, I got someone that just called in after hearing our little discussion named Kate. Kate claims that she was abused by her stepmother. Kate claims that she was punished with hot sauce. Kate, what are your thoughts about this?

KATE, PUNISHED BY STEPMOM WITH HOT SAUCE (via telephone): My jaw is just hitting the floor. You know, I wish somebody would have taken me out of that situation. When we stay in those situations, and I think it`s hard to help a person who`s a real hard core abuser. When we stay in those positions as children, we grow up to have substance abuse issues. We have poor relationships. We have anger issues. We have suicidal thoughts. We have depression.

Those are the things I needed to be rescued from. I don`t think any kind of therapy would have helped her cross over to become Mary Poppins.

DIAZ: And I don`t want --

WALSH: But the difference Carlos -- Carlos, the difference between abusing a child in secrecy and having a mother reach out for help saying I`m at wits` end with this particular child who`s adopted who may have neurological problem, there`s a world of difference.

Yes, she did wrong, but should -- and I don`t know what the punishment is going to be. But you mentioned it could be up to a year in jail. I don`t think that`s the right sentence for this family. I think yes, she was convicted, yes, she broke the law, all that I agree with; but we have to think about what`s right for families in our culture and how we can better support families to give them the tools they need.

And I think yes, child abuse in secrecy is a terrible thing. This is a woman`s public appeal for help.

(CROSSTALK)

HONOWITZ: It`s in secrecy or it`s out, it`s the wrong thing.

DIAZ: Let`s be quick. In the past, you always said keep the family structure together. And I applaud you for saying that in this case.

But Kate, you have a problem with that?

KATE: I have a problem with it because the abuser that goes to this level to hurt their child -- the abuser that held my mouth open poured hot sauce down my throat, screamed at me to swallow it, swallow it, threw me in a room because she didn`t want any more marks to show up on my body, that is not a family that wants to be put together any more. That`s a family needs to be separated.

My life didn`t start until I ran away at 15 or 16 and started paying rent on my own, you know. It was complete hell until that time then my personality was able to develop. Thank God I was able to get out of there.

DIAZ: Stacey, I want to get to you but I want to give Wendy the last word --

WALSH: It`s tragic.

DIAZ: -- we have 30 seconds. I`m sorry -- because I want to get to Wendy. Wendy you`ve got 30 seconds -- what`s your last word?

WALSH: I think absolutely what this caller is describing is the travesty and tragedy of child abuse. And absolutely this woman should have been separated, this stepmother -- evil stepmother separated from this child. But we`re talking about a very thing here. We`re talking about a Christian mother who raised five children successfully. Had one that she`s having trouble with and asked for help --

(CROSSTALK)

DIAZ: Stacey you have 10 seconds, real quick.

HONOWITZ: What`s the difference -- what`s the matter -- what`s the difference Wendy, if she`s Christian or Jewish or Catholic? She abused a child.

(CROSSTALK)

WALSH: She`s someone who had reached out for help.

DIAZ: All right. Stacey Honowitz, Wendy Walsh. Thank you so much. Kate thanks for calling. I really appreciate it.

KATE: Thank you.

DIAZ: All right. Got to leave it right there.

Straight ahead, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor Armstrong says she`s terrified to face her husband`s family at his funeral tomorrow. Is she afraid of the backlash after her claims of physical and verbal abuse reportedly drove him to suicide? Give me a call -- this is a very spirited night -- 1-877-JVM-SAYS; that`s 1-877-586-7297.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re so vocal when it comes to speaking out about domestic violence and, you know, with the allegations. Is that going to be addressed on the show?

TAYLOR ARMSTRONG, "REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS": You have to tune in and see but a lot of the issues in my marriage are definitely addressed this year.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tragic cautionary tale about the dangers of reality show fame.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Allegedly there was a terrible altercation.

ARMSTRONG: A lot of the issues in my marriage are definitely addressed this year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She did have severe damage to the side of her face that involved reconstructive surgery.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Taylor tried to keep those injuries under wraps.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said, well, this is the way reality TV is. I said, "Russell, this is brutal."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The show characterized him as someone that abused his spouse.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They`ve just no plans to re-edit the show.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He says, "It`s ratings." They don`t care about how people feel or how they`re hurt or if it destroys their marriage.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Tonight, chilling new information about the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" suicide.

I`m Carlos Diaz, in for Jane Velez-Mitchell.

Cast member Russell Armstrong stopped taking his anti-depressants just two weeks before he killed himself. That`s according to RadarOnline. Russell`s body was found hanging last week in the LA home where he`d lived since (INAUDIBLE) with wife Taylor. She accused him of physically and emotionally abusing her.

Is there now evidence that Taylor was a battered wife? "Entertainment Tonight" claims to have graphic photos of Taylor beaten and bruised, her face beaten and bruised. Now ET did not air the images and we have not seen them for ourselves.

The abuse claims has to complicate Bravo`s decision. Will the network decide to let Russell`s tragic drama play out on the new season or will they honor the family`s demands to edit him out completely.

Straight out to Dylan Howard, senior executive editor of "Star Magazine"; Dylan, did police find anything at Russell`s home that indicates that he quit taking his meds?

DYLAN HOWARD, SENIOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "STAR MAGAZINE": Well, no medication at all, Carlos. And that`s the interesting thing. As they scoured the home, after discovering his body hanging from the ceiling, they established that there was no medication in the house whatsoever.

And a source very close to the situation told RadarOnline today that Russell some two weeks before he died took himself off his anti-depression medication. Medication he went on in the first instance to deal with his anger management issues and his rage issues which most certainly have been highlighted once more with the revelations from "Entertainment Tonight" on Monday night that there are graphic photos showing Taylor Armstrong with a cut on the right side of her face from her mouth to her eye socket. She`s bloodied, bruised and battered.

I would describe those photos as being very graphic and certainly gave the appearance that Taylor Armstrong had been struck with, quote, "tremendous force", end quote, according to "Entertainment Tonight".

DIAZ: Well, in his final interview in late June, Russell claimed the man you see on the "Real Housewives" is not really him. He said he`s just playing a pathetic stock character created by the evil producers of Bravo saying, quote, "Everything you see on that show is bleep. Those Bravo bastards take every little argument out of context and just magnify it. Taylor and I lie in bed watching these stories about our terrible marriage and we laugh."

I want to bring in Jawn Murray, entertainment journalist; Jawn, do we know who the real Russell was? An abusive husband with a mountain of debt; or just a regular guy crumbling under the weight of his own show?

JAWN MURRAY, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: Some of the -- reality TV can camouflage a lot of things. And they can sensationalize a lot of things but physical abuse and debt, those are things that can be made up by producers. I think it`s terrible that Taylor is afraid to go to the man`s funeral to face his relatives because if the allegations of domestic violence are true, even in death, she`s still a victim here.

It`s a tragic incident and I think reality TV is going to have to take a step back, like the talk shows did during the Jenny Jones era when they had an incident and say you know what, we have to use some accountability.

DIAZ: Jawn, you make some very, very good points right there about reality shows taking a step back. I`ve always said that there`s going to be that Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction moment in reality shows where they go whoops, we`ve gone too far. When the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction happened at the Super Bowl, the FCC clamped down on everything. And we all had to change everything about radio and TV and the whole thing.

I want to go to Dylan Howard. Dylan, do you think that reality shows have gone too far and if you were in charge of the "Real Housewives", would you take advantage of this controversy and show it on TV?

HOWARD: No, I wouldn`t. I wouldn`t for the simple fact that it`s morbid. And certainly when you`ve got the family of Russell Armstrong saying that they`re going to take action, you have to err on the side of caution and common sense and decency.

DIAZ: Wait, are you saying you would not do it because they`re threatening action, not because of common decency?

HOWARD: No. I said common sense -- I said common sense and decency. Now inevitably, this is a business for Bravo. The network makes a decision about the future of its franchise based on the enormous success that it`s been. But in this instance, they`re facing condemnation from the public and must act accordingly.

Is this going to change reality television, though? No.

DIAZ: All right. Great. Jawn Murray, great points. Dylan Howard, great points as always, my friend. Thanks for joining us.

Coming up next, cops say a New Jersey woman was gunned down by her husband`s lover and he helped plan the murder. That`s coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The woman was down, laying on her back, and the gunshot wound to her chest area and I would think over the heart. I knew as soon as I saw her she was already dead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a sad story, I mean what we can do about it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually, one of the kids was outside with him when it happened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Too shocking. She is too young. 27 years old. She`s happy. She`s coming to visit us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Tonight, the New Jersey love triangle murder investigation reaches a new level. A judge just slapped the husband accused of hiring his mistress to kill his wife with $3 million bail, cash only. That`s a $2 million increase for Kashif Parvais, who is said to be mastermind behind the alleged murder plot.

Cops say he hired this woman to shoot his wife as they walked along a quiet New Jersey street. Did I mention that she shot his wife in front of their toddler son? The wife, Nazish Noorani, died on the spot. Now some are saying the husband was about to make $2 million in a shady real estate deal and didn`t want to share the money with his wife.

I want to hear from you on this one; 1-877-JVM SAYS.

Straight out to Florida prosecutor Stacey Honowitz; Stacey, I presume the judge did this, increased the bail so the husband couldn`t use his potential fortune to bail himself out of jail.

HONOWITZ: Well, absolutely right. You know, Carlos, when a judge is looking to determine what the bail should be, there is really one particular thing that he`s looking at. How is he going to come back? Is he going to come back to court if he`s released? They look at several things. What the funds are, if he`s going to flee, if he`s going to come into money.

These are all things -- prior convictions -- these are all things they take into consideration. So there must have been some evidence or some feeling that the judge had that if he bonds out of a certain amount, he`s not going to come back.

DIAZ: Get this, ok, the victim`s two young children, 3 and 5, are with the husband`s family. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KALEEM NOORANI, NAZISH NOORANI`S BROTHER: We tried to talk to them. We tried to call, but no one picked up the phone, so we have no idea right now how they are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who has the children?

NOORANI: Kafish`s parents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The killer`s parents?

NOORANI: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Unbelievable stuff Stacey Honowitz. We know the mother`s family has hired a law firm to represent the children. But how could this be? I mean let`s reset the case.

This guy has allegedly has his mistress kill his wife and the kids are in the custody of the guy`s family. How can this be?

HONOWITZ: Well, I don`t know how it can be because it`s very unusual that the court would give it to the husband`s family if he`s the defendant in the case. So I don`t know what the maternal setup was. I don`t know if they were not able to take the children for some reason.

But without realizing what the court -- what was in front of the court at the time, it is highly unusual that the defendant`s family would have right -- would take the kids into custody at this point.

So we`re going to have to wait and see, Carlos. It is very early on. We really are only hearing the facts that surrounded the bond hearing. But all the other factors, what the relationships were between the defendant and the woman that shot, if it was his mistress if he hired her, all these facts are going to start coming out later on in the weeks to come.

DIAZ: And real quick, you have 10 seconds. Are the text messages between the killer and the husband, are they the smoking gun here?

HONOWITZ: Well, absolutely. I mean, you`re going to have to try to figure out what the relationship was and if the husband planted and asked her to participate. If they were involved in a conspiracy to commit murder and then did commit murder, those text messages are going to play a huge role in the prosecution`s case and in the filing decision.

DIAZ: Stacey Honowitz, great job as always. Thanks so much.

We`ll be back right now with more on this amazing earthquake that hit the East Coast today. One moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just looked out the window. I saw the building shake. We were in a meeting. I said, "I need to leave." I grabbed my purse and said I`m going.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was on the line with someone in Virginia. They were telling us this is shaking and shaking. What is it? Then I said it is shaking over here too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a small vibration and then it got worse and worse and worse and worse.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: So full disclosure. I just moved out from the West Coast where I lived for ten years to Atlanta. All my friends on the East Coast are freaking out about that 5.8 earthquake that hit Virginia and sent shock waves throughout the East Coast today. But in full disclosure, all my friend on the West Coast are going, 5.8, come on, we don`t get out of bed unless it is a 7.0. I`m just saying.

You have a lot of people on the West Coast kind of like snickering at people on the East Coast. If you`ve never experienced an earthquake like you`ve experienced today, how do you to know what one feels like?

I`m Carlos Diaz in for Jane Velez-Mitchell. Nancy Grace is coming up next.

END