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Murdered Baby`s Mom Testifies

Aired August 27, 2013 - 21:00   ET



DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a sobbing mom, her baby shot in the head and killed, looks the accused murderer in the eye and says this to the world.

SHERRY WEST, MOTHER OF MURDERED CHILD: I tried to stop him. I put my arms over my baby, but he still shot him.

PINSKY: The brother of the grieving mother is here with me.

Plus, a Montana teacher rapes a 14-year-old student who later kills herself. A judge reduces his sentence from 15 years to 30 days. You`ll not believe why he did this. Nor will you believe what my behavior bureau has to stay about it.

Let`s get started.



PINSKY: Good evening.

My co-host Samantha Schacher, host of "Pop Trigger" on the Young Turks Network.

Samantha, the disbelief I saw on your face, we are going to get to that case coming up. The rapist sentence reduced from 15 years to 30 days. The crime may have been connected to the victim of the rape`s actually suicide.

Let`s see that face again, Sam.

SAMANTHA SCHACHER, CO-HOST: I was absolutely maddened when I read this case earlier, Dr. Drew. I cannot wait to dive into it.

PINSKY: All right. We will.

But, first, the mother of a baby murdered in his own stroller testified today in the trial of the accused teen. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you see in this courtroom today the man who shot and killed your baby Antonio Santiago?

SHERRY WEST, MOTHER OF MURDERED CHILD: Yes. The young man in the blue.

The big one approached me and demanded me to give him money. I told him I didn`t have any. He said give me your money. He pulled out a gun. Then, he pointed it at me, and he tried to shoot me in the head. I asked him, why are you doing this? Please don`t do this.

He shot me in the leg and I said, please, don`t shoot my baby. He walked over and shot my baby.

I tried to stop him. I put my arms over my baby, but he still shot him.


PINSKY: Joining us, defense attorney Anahita Sedaghatfar, HLN host Lynn Berry, who is in the courtroom today, Crystal Wright from, and attorney Danny Cevallos. He is a CNN contributor.

Lynn, first you. Cross examination of a witness that has lost a baby. Did the defense navigate through these waters appropriately?

LYNN BERRY, HLN HOST: Yes, those are tough waters to navigate, Dr. Drew.

Let me tell you. The emotion shifted so dramatically in the courtroom from when she was testifying and recounting what she encountered that morning. And seeing her break down on the stand to complete defensiveness and really almost a combativeness with the defense attorney, and that`s because he went straight to the source.

He talks about the mental illness. He talks about the side effects of the drugs that she had been taking. He talked about hallucinations she could have had. He talked about vision impaired, that she had eye damage and that`s why she wore corrective lenses.

I mean, they went on for four hours. Finally, the prosecution said this is undue embarrassment. We have got to take a break.

They have finally crossed the line. The judge decided to call a recess until he could review some case law. And that`s when they finally adjourned.

PINSKY: And, Lynn, they also played a video of Sherry going back to the crime scene to reenact what actually happened. I want to play that for everybody. Look at this.


WEST: He says I`m going to shoot your baby. I said I don`t have any money. And he just struggled with me. He tried to grab my purse. And I said I don`t have any money. And why are you doing this. And don`t do this, don`t kill us. You know? And then he shot me in the ear like over here it grazed me. And then he shot me again in my leg.


PINSKY: Anahita, what`s the point of all this? You`re a defense attorney, right?

ANAHITA SEDAGHATFAR, ATTORNEY: Yes, Dr. Drew. I mean, I don`t think anyone can dispute that that testimony today was so heart wrenching. And I can`t I can`t imagine that wouldn`t have some type of impact on those jurors.

If what she is saying is true to have to sit on the witness stand and talk in detail about the killing of your 13-month-old baby, that`s beyond tragic.

But, Dr. Drew, the defense has a job to do. Their client is facing life in prison. He`s on trial for murder. So they need to do this. They need to raise reasonable doubt. They need to poke holes in the prosecution`s case.

And what it seems like they`re trying to do now is really try to blame the mother saying she might have some culpability.

PINSKY: Yes! Yes!

SEDAGHATFAR: And I think it can be risky.

PINSKY: Yes, although, Anahita, you make it sound so -- you wrap it up in such a nice package to present that to me. I want to take it in.

But, Danny, do you hear what she`s saying? They`re taking this woman who has been through the unthinkable experience. She has mental health issues and they`re making it her fault.

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That`s not what they`re doing, Doc. What`s happening is -- just like Anahita says -- a defense attorney has an obligation to test the perception abilities of a witness. And in this case, like it or not, this witness, this complainant, this victim has some perception problems.

And the good news is if you don`t like that avenue of inquiry even though it`s always relevant, ultimately the jury gets to decide. And anyone who watched this trial today probably reached the same conclusion, that this horrific experience probably outweighed whatever perception issues were raised.

But make no mistake about it, defense attorneys always have an obligation to test the perception of a witness. Fair to say when they pulled the gun, your eyes were focused on the gun and not on the face of the person holding the gun. That`s standard fare, it`s very appropriate.

And while the judge has discretion to limit it if it goes too far, there is nothing wrong. In fact, the defense attorney is absolutely obligated to go down that road.

PINSKY: All right. Crystal, the obligation to attack people with mental health, to me it -- you mentioned on this program before that in your family, you know people who have suffered from these conditions, I worry about the implications for other people as well.

CRYSTAL WRIGHT, CONSERVATIVEBLACKCHICK.COM: Right. But Danny just said something that`s curious to me. So people with bipolar disease have perception problems? They don`t have perception problems. And Dr. Drew can explain this later.

People with bipolar illness or mental disorder, they go through mania. They don`t have perception problems. They don`t go around shooting babies in the face. And I think is going to fall back --

CEVALLOS: I got news for you, we all have perception problems.

WRIGHT: Excuse me. Let me finish.


CEVALLOS: Go ahead.

WRIGHT: I listened to you talk. So, it`s not my turn, OK? That`s how this show works.

So, anyway, the problem is the defense is discriminating against this woman because she has bipolar illness. Instead of proving reasonable doubt, I think what they`re doing is they badgered her. They brought, I think, invoked sympathy among the jury for her illness.

And, frankly, it points to the fact that this little thug was very brazen and went up to her baby, asked her for money after he shot her in the leg, and then went boom in between the eyes.

From what I understand, Dr. Drew, they showed pictures of the baby in court.

PINSKY: The court.

WRIGHT: Horrific.

But I want to ask you, can you explain to our viewers once and for all because people who have mental illness will not seek treatment because of the stigma. Let`s clarify. I`d like you to clarify how many people with bipolar illness act out in a violent way?

PINSKY: Only in severe, unregulated mania can they get very aggressive. I mean, if you remember the -- oh, shoot, help me producers -- what`s the case with the woman that was just put on trial for colluding with the guy that had bipolar and became a murderer?


PIINSKY: No, no, that was a borderline disorder, which also again can have perceptional problem. It`s a little complicated. We`re going to get into it with the behavior bureau. The point is she`s a regulated bipolar patient with mild disease. She`s not likely to --

WRIGHT: On medication.


PINSKY: Lynn, go ahead and make a point.

BERRY: One quick point is that that was one -- one part of the defense`s strategy. They also went to alleged drug abuse. They also went to alleged child abuse of two other children that she had. Even going as far as saying that she starved her older daughter that she`s now estranged from. She paid for her drugs. That was the point that the state objected and they had the jury leave the room.

But those were accusations and they say that they have that daughter that they want to bring on the stand and testify. That`s going to be an interesting part of this.

PINSKY: Anahita, I know you`ve got one more point. But are we now going to see an army of experts come through here on both sides of this?

SEDAGHATFAR: Yes, I think we`re going to have to. I agree with everyone on your panel that throwing this mental problem issue in her face, it could possibly backfire because it could cause the jurors to sympathize with her. And I`m quite certain that experts will be called on the stand to testify that having bipolar disorder or schizophrenia doesn`t make someone more prone to violence or hallucinations or possibly even killing somebody.

But again, Dr. Drew, like I was saying, the defense has a job to do. I just hope that they do have some tangible evidence, some corroborative evidence, to back up their theory that this mom might have had something to do with this.

PINSKY: All right. Well, it`s not -- I`m going to make it simple. It`s not going to be her mental illness.

Next, was Sherry West involved in that baby`s death? The behavior bureau is going to put her under the microscope and try to make sense of all this for you.

And later, a teacher who raped a student, a 14-year-old, gets 30 days in prison. The judge`s reasoning may shock you. We are back after this.



PINSKY: The teen on trial for shooting a baby in the face --

BERRY: First let me say it is unthinkable that this crime could even occur.

WEST: He was a beautiful baby.

BERRY: Gruesome crime scene photos of little Antonio Santiago with the gun shot wound in between the eyes.

WEST: I had to watch my baby die. And I want him to die. A life for a life.

PINSKY: Was money a motive or was mom involved? The defense of this teen you might not believe.

But the attorney for this 17-year-old murder suspect says the mom Sherry West killed her own child, claiming that she wanted money from an insurance policy.

So why is the child`s mother being scrutinized and under attack?


MADDOW: Back with the behavior bureau and my co-host Samantha Schacher.

Joining us psychologist Judy Ho, forensic psychologist Cheryl Arutt, criminal investigator Danine Manette, author of "Ultimate Betrayal", and body language expert Patti Wood, author of "Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions".

Sherry West took the stands today, detailing events. This is -- I can`t imagine what it must be like to go through something like this. She had to detail the events leading up to the murder of a baby, her baby. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell the court and the jury what you did after you and the baby woke up on that day.

WEST: I changed his diaper and fed him breakfast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have some kind of a little fuzzy hat you put on his head?

WEST: To match his mittens. I`m sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You and the baby were walking to the post office?

WEST: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why were you in the street?

WEST: That road was smoother for the stroller.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you do as you saw them approach?

WEST: I moved to the right. The big one approached me and demanded me to give him money. He asked me if I wanted him to shoot my baby. And I said, please don`t shoot my baby.


PINSKY: Now, the defense maintains that the mom was involved in this shooting.

Patti, you are our body language expert. Do you see any deceptiveness coming from this mom?

PATTI WOOD, BEHAVIOR EXPERT: Not from the testimony today at all. And, of course, you have to be extraordinarily careful when you`re reading anyone that has mental health issues and is on medication.

But here we see a wonderful alignment of the emotions and the words. You need to have a match. There has to be a feel show, say, to identify that the person is in integrity and speaking honestly.


WOOD: And we have that during this testimony.

PINSKY: And, Patti -- Judy, Patti brings up a really important point. If anyone out there is feeling a little bit of a disconnect, some of that may be her meds and some may be her borderline disorder as well. Do you agree?

JUDY HO, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes. I think sometimes the mismatch can come from a pre-existing mental illness that is not well controlled. But as you mentioned earlier in the segment, Dr. Drew, she is under medication. She is well-controlled. Her emotions do match her words.

She -- I just feel so bad for this woman that she is being re- traumatized by having to detail that day. And I think it`s so sad the defense is trying to pick apart the fact that she obviously had some money with finances. I mean, that was part of the exchange that led to the baby being shot. And now, they`re using that as a possible motive in all of this and bringing her on the stand on this way.

PINSKY: Danine, I see you nodding through all of this.

DANINE MANETTE, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Right. You know, Dr. Drew, I`ve worked on many cases where people have gone into a crime together. They`ve committed a crime together. And one person gets arrested for the benefit of another.

And what this mother has done in this situation which to me gives me the opinion and impression that she had nothing to do with it is that she has completely thrown this kid under the bus and has point blank identified him in court. That`s something you just don`t do when you get into cahoots with someone and you make this deal. There`ll be phone records and other things that could tie them together down the road.

You say, you know, I can`t really remember what they looked like. I don`t know. She pointed to him in court and said that`s the person that did it. That`s not something someone would do if they had conspired with this person to commit this crime.

PINSKY: And here is more of Sherry West`s testimony. Take a look.


WEST: He walked over and shot my baby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he shoot your baby?

WEST: Yes. I tried to stop him. I put my arms over my baby, but he still shot him.


PINSKY: Samantha, how are people responding out there to this woman in social media and the entire case?

SCHACHER: Everybody is sympathizing with her, Dr. Drew. The defense`s tactic is not working.

By blaming her mental illness, by making her re-talk about the incidents -- I mean, this is the most horrific case that somebody could imagine, a little baby boy. Your 1-year-old baby being shot in the face, and I don`t think people are thinking that she is guilty of this crime. If anything, they are sympathizing with her.

PINSKY: Cheryl, let`s go through what Crystal was bringing up in the previous block about what the mental illness is here and its relationship, potential relationship to violence. What we know what she said on the stand -- post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline, bipolar, also associated with some personality disorder. It`s all kind of go together, unstable mood, unstable personality, and then, finally, some paranoia which is a symptom. There`s no schizophrenia, despite people having alleged that.

Cheryl, tell us what you think about those diagnoses and the potential to kill.

CHERYL ARUTT, CLINICAL & FORENSIS PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I think if she didn`t have post-traumatic stress do disorder before, she certainly does now. And those illnesses that are described there are -- it could be that diagnostically somebody wasn`t careful and she doesn`t actually have all of those things because some of those can look like you said one another.

PINSKY: Yes, that`s right. They overlap.

ARUTT: Yes. But people with mental illness, especially with these mental illnesses are so vulnerable, are suffering so much already even without this kind of a tragedy and are likely to be the victim of a crime than to be a perpetrator of a crime. These are not the classifications that we usually see with people who are craftingly exploiting other people this way.

PINSKY: It`s absolutely true. I want to have Judy corroborate that as well. Although we discuss borderline in the context of Jodi Arias, it`s still unfair to people with borderline. They don`t characteristically behave the way Arias did.

ARUTT: With Jodi Arias, that was her psychopathy.

PINSKY: You`re right. We kept wondering why -- you`re right. You keep wondering a borderline would do this. There has to be something more.

But, Judy, do you agree with what Cheryl was saying?

HO: I do agree. I think somebody needs to look at the constellation of diagnoses that have come up for this individual and see if everything really matches. Somebody must be doing a more careful differential diagnosis of the situation.

But I do agree with Cheryl that she is not somebody that seems to be the type of person who is a perpetrator. She`s so withdrawn. Like she`s much more likely to attract victimization more than anything else.

PINSKY: Again, which is something borderlines do. They bring that stuff in subconsciously in weird ways into their life. They don`t perpetrate it.

Patti, finally with you -- anything in the body language that in any way corroborates or goes against this?

WOOD: No. I think it`s important to say that some people might be watching the interviews that she did before this courtroom testimony. And some of those things that we`ve been talking about in terms of mental illness, lack of affect, the emotional emphasis or her injuries rather than the baby -- I think during this courtroom testimony, we see the real her, the present her. And it`s authentic and she`s telling the truth.

PINSKY: There you go. Behavior bureau rests.

Next up, we have Sherry West`s own brother. People have been attacking her for some insurance policy on the baby. He`s going to set that record straight. And everything else you`d like to know about -- or my panel would like to know certainly about his sister. This is an exclusive.

And later, we are all asking ourselves why would a judge give a teacher convicted of raping a 14-year-old just 30 days? Answer coming up.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do have to ask you whether you suffer from mental illness of any kind. Bipolar disorder or manic depression?

WEST: Bipolar.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Posttraumatic stress disorder?

WEST: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Borderline personality disorder.

WEST: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another is paranoia.

WEST: Yes.


PINSKY: Back with my co-host Samantha Schacher. Still with us Anahita Sedaghatfar, Danine Manette, and Judy Ho.

De`Marquise Elkins is on trial for the murder of a 13-month-old baby. But his attorneys have suggested that the toddler`s mother was involved in the killing. There have been accusations that on the night of the killing, mom asked how soon she could cash in on a life insurance policy that she had taken out for the baby.

Joining us, we have Sherry West`s brother Jacob Stillings. He is her to support her sister and set the record straight.

First of all, Jacob, I want to say, (a), thank you for being here. And to be fair to you, our condolences. This is your nephew we`re talking about. This is just such a horrible tragedy.



PINSKY: Now, she -- your sister`s been criticized about this insurance issue. Can you clarify what that was all about?

STILLINGS: Yes. The insurance issue was about when she did have little Antonio, the hospital was running a promo for the first two months it was given away as the first two months were free and she could keep it going if she would like to but she didn`t have to.

It was the minimal policy. It was about $3 to $4 a month, I believe it was. I think it was a $5,000 policy. And it could be switched over at the age of 18 which it would double at that time.

It could go towards anything. It was a grow-up plan. Gerber life grow-up plan. It could be changed over a college books, college technical schools. Anything could be used out of that.

I mean, it would be penalized at the end without its main reason was. But that`s what it was for.

PINSKY: Tell us about your sister. Is there any way, any story you can make up in terms of her mental illness becoming terribly unstable or any circumstance in which you could imagine your sister became capable of killing her own child?

STILLINGS: There was absolutely no way. I talk to my sister. I -- as you know, she`s down in Georgia. She`s been down there for almost 10 years.

And I talk to her regularly on the phone. I send her an unlimited phone that we talk regularly. And I talk to her once, maybe twice a week. And I don`t see any differences in her tone, in her actions, in her -- I mean, I pick up on all that.


STILLINGS: And I -- she`s my sister. She was a loving mother.

PINSKY: OK. Now, I want to give my panel a chance to ask you questions. Sam, I wonder if you have anything to start out.

SCHACHER: Yes. I want to know why is her daughter, your niece -- I mean, she said questionable things, made a number of accusations against her. Why does her daughter have such an ax to grind with her?

STILLINGS: She may have come down on my daughter -- or her daughter a little bit more, Ashley my niece, when they were young. She was older than my nephew, so what happens is they had an estranged relationship since she was 10. It wasn`t eight.


STILLINGS: It was 10 years old.


STILLINGS: She went to live with her father and her grandmother.

PINSKY: OK. So this was a relationship that we -- and again, we don`t -- CNN/HLN cannot confirm anything about the niece.

Danine, you have a question for Jacob?

MANETTE: I do. I know they keep bringing up this insurance policy, trying to draw that connection. But I know if there`s no independent connection between the two of them, I don`t know how they`re going to be able to draw her as part of a co-conspiracy.

To the best of your knowledge, do you know whether or not she had any interaction with this thug prior to this happening? Did they live in a community near each other? Are there any cell phones -- anything that connected her to this hoodlum before this happened? Do you have any indication of anything like that?

STILLINGS: She said she didn`t even recognize him before that day.

PINSKY: Anahita, I wonder if you have a question for Jacob.

SEDAGHATFAR: I do, Dr. Drew.

First, I want to say thank you for being here, my condolences to you as well. I can`t imagine how difficult this is. As you know the defense is sort of leaning towards blaming your sister and possibly the baby`s father as playing a role in this child`s death.

And I`m wondering if you know what the relationship was between your sister and the baby`s father at the time of the death. Were they still in a relationship, were they just co-parents, were they just friends?

STILLINGS: They were still in a relationship. They did live separate. It was within -- across the street, but they were still in a relationship.

I mean, it was a rocky relationship, but they still held the love for their son and they still held love for each other as I know.

PINSKY: Do you think, Jacob, they`re going to call him to the stand?

STILLINGS: I would believe so. I would believe so.

PINSKY: Judy, finish me up here.

HO: OK. Thanks, Dr. Drew. Hi, Jacob. Thank you so much for being here. I`m sorry for your loss. I`m just wondering since these all have happened, how have you been taking care of your sister and how have you been trying to support her through all this when she`s under the gun now? They actually think she has something to do with her own baby`s death.

STILLINGS: She`s not too much concerned about that. She knows that she had nothing to do with that. And between phone calls and once she starts breaking down, I have no other choice but just to change the subject a little bit and to let it go. She breaks down regularly on me, you know, over the phone. And as a man, I can`t, you know, take that. It starts breaking me down, because this is the second nephew that I`ve lost.

PINSKY: What happened to the other one?

STILLINGS: Well, this is another misconception that`s been all over the news as well. On the media, they`ve said that he was part of a robbery. It was not that situation, because he was already enrolled in the police academy. He was already accepted in the police academy. He was about to graduate high school in another month. And a young man was trying to sell his girlfriend some drugs.

PINSKY: I got to stop you, because we have to sort of corroborate or, you know, confirm these allegations before we could report them. But he was like a young adult and this was one of Sherry`s children?

STILLINGS: He was a young adult. Yes. He was a young adult and he confronted a guy with two --

PINSKY: OK, got it.


PINSKY: So, she has lost two sons. Your sister.

STILLINGS: My sister has lost two sons.

PINSKY: My goodness.

STILLINGS: And I`ve lost two nephews.

PINSKY: Jacob, thank you for being here. We do appreciate it. We, unfortunately, have to go on. But you`ve been an important source of information, I think. Thank you, panel.

Next up, my own forensic expert, Dr. Bill Lloyd, is going to break down the evidence in the case.

And later, once again, that teacher I`ve been talking about who was convicted of raping a 14-year-old student gets a month in prison. What -- indeed, what was the judge thinking? Back after this.

VINNIE POLITAN, HLN ANCHOR: Coming up top of the hour on "HLN After Dark," there has been an absolute rash of teenage violence. Teenagers beating each other up and killing innocent people. What about the parents

RYAN SMITH, HLN ANCHOR: Yes, that`s right. That`s why our bold question tonight is, should parents of violent teens be punished? So, here`s what he we did, Vinnie. We`ve got out parents in the first row of the jury, our non-parents in the back. They`re going to go at it over this bold question.

POLITAN: I wonder who`s going to hold the parents responsible. Top of the hour "After Dark."



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you see in this courtroom today the man who shot and killed your Baby Antonio Santiago?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Point him out to us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The young man in the blue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you say?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said a name and what was that name?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell us where he is.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you see the person in the courtroom that made those statements to you?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE Could you point him out for us?


PINSKY: Back with my co-host, Samantha Schacher. Now, witness after witness said De`Marquise Elkins is the teen who shot Baby Antonio in his own stroller. But What does the evidence show? Back with us Lynn Berry, Crystal Wright, Danny Cevallos, joining the panel, forensic pathologist, Dr. Bill Lloyd.

Dr. Lloyd, take us through what you think happened here and what does the evidence show you?

DR. BILL LLOYD, PATHOLOGIST: It`s all about the gun, Drew. We know that there were two rounds fired. One went to Sherry`s leg and the other one, of course, struck Baby Antonio in the head, a lethal shot. Now, they found gun powder residue on Sherry`s hands later. She could have been involved in a struggle, but there was also another important discovery.

Days later, they found the weapon and they found the weapon because De`Marquise mother, Karimah Elkins, took the police there. So, the connection is with De`Marquise and the gun. Not sherry.


PINSKY: Crystal, go ahead.

WRIGHT: Well, I mean. Thank you. Thank you, our forensic expert for saying the obvious. And everybody was reporting, oh, you know, Sherry had -- the mom had minuscule -- I want to repeat minuscule amount of gunpowder on her hands because she rushed to her kid after he was shot in the face to try to revive him.

So, she`s going to get gunpowder on her like you said either from the leg wound or touching her son. And they also found minuscule amounts of gunpowder on her husband because she touched him, I would imagine.

PINSKY: By the way, a gun goes off, the powder goes around. That`s not an issue.

WRIGHT: Right. It goes in the air. What I`m saying is this isn`t unusual. Again, we`re trying to vilify the mom. I just want to add one little quick thing on this. What I find kind of curious, too, is the news media hasn`t commented on the fact that the shooter was a young Black male, and that`s all we heard -- we heard about race when we talked about Trayvon Martin, but you know, that`s neither here nor there, I guess.

SAMANTHA SCHACHER, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: Crystal, really quickly, the outrage with Trayvon Martin was that it took 45 days --

WRIGHT: Because they never should have filed the case. We`re not going to talking about that.

SCHACHER: Yes. Let`s not do that.

PINSKY: Apparently, a pastor who claimed Elkins used the same gun to rob and shoot him ten days earlier took the stand. What do you think about that?

DANNY CEVALLOS, ATTORNEY: Well, I have to wonder if there was a motion (ph) to try and keep this evidence out by the defense. This is obviously tremendously damaging. And just as a defense issue, you have to wonder if that prior act can really be used to show in this case. The judge must have ruled on emotion because the defense had to try to keep this out, because prior to bad action (ph) generally not admissible to show that you did something on a particular day.

However, if it`s a similar crime, a similar act, if the acts itself are similar enough in nature, then the evidence can come in. So, I think that`s probably the justification here.

PINSKY: Lynn, you`re trying to get in there -- Lynn.

LYNN BERRY, HLN HOST: Why this was so important and they keep bringing up the gun because they did have an expert on the stand that said we can`t confirm or deny that that was the gun found that linked to the crime scene. It could be. But we can`t confirm that that`s the exact weapon.

But what they did do is they brought number of witnesses to the stand that described that 22 revolver as almost looking like a toy gun, like a cowboy gun and over and over again they linked that gun to De`Marquise Elkins. And so in the minds of the jurors, they put two and two together.

PINSKY: All right. Guys, thank you. I got to go, guys.

Next up, we are finally getting to that judge who convicted a rapist to merely 30 days in prison. Not 30 years, 30 days.

And later, Alec Baldwin and his temper are back in the headlines. There it is. My opinion about this might surprise you. We are back after this.


PINSKY: Back with my co-host Samantha Schacher. And Sam, we`re finally going to get to this story that both you and I have been in disbelief about all day.

SCHACHER: Outraged.

PINSKY: Outrage, I guess, would be the right way to describe what we`re feeling, but there`s got to be more to it. You guys judge for yourself. Crystal Wright, Danine Manette, Cheryl Arutt, stay with us. And joining us counseling psychologist, Debbie Magids.

A judge in Montana has sentenced a teacher -- a former teacher to 30 days in jail for the rape of a 14-year-old student who short time later committed suicide. The judge reduced the sentence from 15 years. The judge says the victim was quote, "older than her chronological age" and quote, "in control of the situation."

CNN`s Paul Vercammen spoke to the judge. Paul, those quotes are the things that sent us all reeling. What did you learn from the judge?

VOICE OF PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, he called me back on the phone and he basically said that the young lady was 14 or so at the time. And now, I`m quoting directly. "It`s not probably the kind of rape that most people think about. It was not a violent, forcible, beat the victim rape like you see in the movies, but it was nonetheless a rape." It was --

PINSKY: Wait a minute, Paul. Paul, I have to stop you.

WRIGHT: Oh, my gosh.

PINSKY: I have to stop you. The kind of rape I think about is when a grown man sleeps with a young girl. That`s rape. That`s the kind I think about. I can`t believe he would say that.

SCHACHER: And an authoritative figure at that.

PINSKY: I consider rape when doctor with the patient, when the teacher with the student even when there isn`t an age problem, when somebody is intoxicated. In California, three beers, you can`t give concept (ph) for rape.

WRIGHT: Rape is rape. We`re sounding like the crazy Republicans now.

PINSKY: Finish the description, Paul. I`m sorry.

VERCAMMEN: I`m just quoting from him directly. And he said, "But it was nonetheless a rape. It was a troubled young girl and he was a teacher and this should not have occurred." So, that`s what he had to say about that.

WRIGHT: And you get 30 days. Wow.

PINSKY: Why reduce the sentence? And by the way, that was after this guy, concomitant (ph) with this guy not satisfactorily completing treatment. I can read between the lines. He was not participating in treatment properly.


WRIGHT: Yes, right. It happened in 2004. He grabbed the waist of a student and he stroked the student`s thigh. I mean, this guy is a pedophile. He`s a pig. But I mean, let`s talk about -- I do think there`s an important something to talk about. The judge`s twisted mental state here. I mean, twisted in a sense that he`s skewed.

And I think the reason why is because we -- and this is separate and apart from what the rape of this 14-year-old by a 40-some-year-old man, a teacher at that. But I think what we`re seeing in society is an over- sexualization of young girls. And we all know -- I know we don`t want to admit this. We know that 13, 14, and 15-year-olds are getting pregnant. They`re engaging in sex was too early. And frankly --

PINSKY: All right.

WRIGHT: You know what this reminds me of, Miley Cyrus` vulgar Video Music Awards. The only thing missing from that was a pole dance.


WRIGHT: I think this is why adults are getting skewed.


PINSKY: big people take care of little people. That`s how the world works.

WRIGHT: I know that. I`m talking about the judge.

PINSKY: -- anything else which is that day the judge pointed out that this was, in fact, a troubled teenager. In fact, a teenager with mental health issues which is precisely the one that needs to be even more highly protected as opposed to exploited. Debbie, your thoughts.

DEBBIE MAGIDS, PH.D., COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes. This is so outrageous. This guy`s a sex offender. And they are notorious for blaming the victim. No responsibility on themselves. He is personality disordered. And quite frankly, the judge is acting just like the sex offender. I mean, he is blaming the victim. And it is so frightening to me that this is the guy in the charge.

PINSKY: Danine, you`re shaking your head, nodding your head vigorously -- Danine.

DANINE MANETTE, AUTHOR, "ULTIMATE BETRAYAL": Yes, Dr. Drew. I`ve had cases where people have accused an eight-year-old of being provocative and enticing them into sexual relationship. I think you had one on your show a week ago.


MANETTE: It is so not OK. I don`t care how she dresses or sits on your lap, she`s a little girl.

PINSKY: That`s right. Cheryl, take me home.

CHERYL ARUTT, PSY.D., CLINICAL & FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: This -- oh, my god. This case makes me so mad. I have had it with this victim blaming stuff. This judge -- and by the way, I don`t think we should protect him by making him anonymous. I think his name is Judge G. Todd Baugh or Baugh (ph).

WRIGHT: Judge Todd Baugh (ph).

ARUTT: Thank you. He is actually running for re-election. I`m wondering whether his campaign slogan is child sexual abuse, no biggie. You know, I mean, this is really, really a problem in that, you know, maybe when there`s statutory rape cases where you have boyfriend/girlfriend and she`s a 17 and he`s 18 --

PINSKY: No still not OK.

ARUTT: It`s still not OK, but those are the cases where people start to think, well, you know, this is a tricky thing. And you`re right. That`s not OK. But this guy is a sex offender. He`s had an ongoing problem. He can`t stay away from young girls. The community failed this girl. They`re blaming the victim who was so damaged she committed suicide.

PINSKY: I got to go to break. We`ve got more on this. I got to wrap. We got more -- to be fair to the judge, we don`t know what the legal sort of nuances were that he was stuck with. I mean --


PINSKY: -- are what are so disturbing to us. More on the story.

And later on, Alec Baldwin back in the headlines. And on our show we will discuss and I`ll tell you what I think. More after this.


PINSKY: Back with my co-host, Samantha Schacher, and our panel. Talking about the Montana teacher who will spend merely a month in jail instead of 15 years for raping a student. And crystal, you wanted to say something about this whole notion of forcible rape versus frankly the more common place rape that goes on these days.

WRIGHT: You know, as a woman, last time I heard, rape is rape, and especially when you`re trying to deal with a minor who`s under 18. But it`s just repugnant that a man would even say that. And I want to know if this judge even knows what the definition of rape is, frankly.

PINSKY: It`s interesting. Debbie, help people understand what I was talking about with the teenager who is in trouble. Their (ph) signs of mental illness are sexually acting out, provocation, drugs, promiscuity. That`s the sign of mental illness. That`s precisely where adults need to put the boundaries down -- Debbie.

MAGIDS: Yes. Completely. I mean, this girl was showing every sign of not having any self-worth, inadequacy, mental illness. And you rely on the teachers, the adults to take care of the student, not prey upon the student. I mean, this cannot go on. And it`s outrageous what`s happening.

PINSKY: Danine?

SCHACHER: And this teacher is getting 30 days, Dr. Drew. Lindsay Lohan served more time than him. This is outrageous. What is this world coming to?

PINSKY: Danine.

MANETTE: I remember sitting across the table from a convicted child molester getting ready for appeal. And when asked why what he did was wrong, why molesting little girl was wrong, his answer was because she didn`t like it. So, this message, it`s OK to have sex with children if they like it. It`s not OK. And that`s exactly what`s being purported here by the judge.

PINSKY: Cheryl, I know this is really a hot, hot issue for you. What would you like to tell us in our final moments here?


PINSKY: Cheryl.

ARUTT: I would like to tell any kid or teen out there that if some adult is being sexually inappropriate with you, it is not ever your fault. And do not let judges who need some serious sensitivity training make you think, otherwise. Tell somebody. It`s not your fault. This guy has done a lot of harm. And I feel terrible for this victim and the family.

PINSKY: The girl is dead. The girl killed herself. The most extreme manifestation, how people die from mental illness. One of the ways, suicide. This guy contributed. That`s all I`m saying. And yes, that judge needs some education. And let`s be aware of teens who are in trouble and not vilify them. Let`s get them help. Thank you, panel. "Last Call" is next.


PINSKY: It is time for the "Last Call." Now, Sam, I want to show you and the viewers something here. Alec Baldwin has a history of saying and doing what he thinks is right. And here`s a case in point. Confronting a paparazzo who got too close to his wife near their home in New York City. He would scuffle with the man as this picture show.

Police were called. No charges were filed. So Sam, I want to ask you, what are people saying out there about Mr. Baldwin`s behavior?

SCHACHER: Well, you`re actually seeing a split. Some people are saying listen, you signed up for this, Mr. Baldwin. You`re in the entertainment industry. You live a very privileged lifestyle. Other people are arguing, well, the paparazzi are purposely going after him, going after his wife. She just had a baby.

And what`s interesting, after the scuffle, Dr. Drew, the same photographer went back into the tea shop where the wife was and continued to harass her. So, they can be very aggressive.

PINSKY: All right. Listen, I`m not in favor of taking the law into your own hands. I`m not saying physical violence is OK or assault is OK, but Alec Baldwin, slow clap.

SCHACHER: Yes. You get it.

PINSKY: I know how threatening it can feel when these people come onto you.


PINSKY: I would not do that, but I think -- I`m not sure -- I would just say thank you. Don`t take law in your own hands anymore. Don`t assault anybody, please. But I`m just saying. Thank you all for watching. We`ll see you next time. "HLN After Dark" begins right now.