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Teen Sentenced for Murder
Aired September 12, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, the teen who shot a baby in the face learns his fate. The victim`s family joins me exclusively with reaction to the sentencing.
Plus, is this young woman being held captive by a Texas cult? Her parents say she`s being brainwashed. We`ll hear from them in the behavior bureau.
Let`s get started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Good evening.
My co-host is attorney and Sirius XM Radio host Jenny Hutt.
And coming up: parents claim church has brainwashed their daughter and will not allow her to leave. Those parents will be here with us.
But, first, life in prison without parole for a Georgia teen convicted of shooting a 13-month-old baby in the face. It`s a terrible story. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: A sobbing mom, her baby shot in the head and killed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He shot me in the leg. I said, please don`t shoot my baby.
He walked over and shot my baby.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s pointed that gun right between the baby`s eyes. Give me your money or I will shoot your baby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you see in this courtroom today the man who shot and killed your baby, Antonio Santiago?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. The horrible young man in the blue.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We find the defendant guilty of malice murder. We find the defendant guilty of felony murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: And just before De`Marquise Elkins learned his fate, the baby`s mom spoke directly to the court. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Murdering Antonio Santiago, the love of my life was taken way. His first word was never heard. His first sentence was never said. He never got to sleep in a toddler bed. He would have been a cute little boy wondering which toy. He brought me so much joy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Joining us: Laura Lake, attorney and host of TV`s "Paternity Court", which premieres September 23rd; Judge David Young, former Florida criminal court judge and the host of "Justice with a Snap"; and Brian Copeland, talk show host on KGO Radio in San Francisco and author of "Not a Genuine Black Man"; and Loni Coombs, former prosecutor, author of "You`re Perfect and Other Lies Parents Tell".
Lauren, to you first, do you have a reaction of this conviction?
LAUREN LAKE, ATTORNEY: You know, this is tough. This had to happen. It had to happen, Dr. Drew. He`s a young man, he`s a teenager, and as a former defense attorney, it`s my instinct to try to defend. But the evidence seemed to be, from I read, was pretty concrete, and this is the extent of it and this needed to happen.
Dr. Drew, night after night after night on this show, we are talking about violence against children. Babies!
This is unacceptable. We have to now, I think, as a culture begin to -- we have to make a statement. This sentence makes that statement. You will not, under any circumstances be allowed to commit crimes such as this and be able to get out of prison, I don`t care how old you were.
PINSKY: Brian, you agree?
BRIAN COPELAND, KGO RADIO: I believe that the sentence was just, life plus 105 years. But I don`t think that -- I disagree with the idea this is some kind of deterrent that`s going to send some kind of message because people who commit crimes like this don`t think they`re going to get caught.
This young man needed to be locked up for our protection, in order to protect society. He shot a baby and a pastor. Who does that?
PINSKY: Well, this guy does that.
But, Judge Young, you`re the one adjudicating over cases like this. Does it send a message? Does it deter others? And, again, you know, we are talking about teens being judged as adults for these kinds of behaviors as well.
JUDGE DAVID YOUNG, FORMER CRIMINAL COURT JUDGE: Well, you know, Dr. Drew, first of all, I brought this for you.
PINSKY: Fantastic, fantastic.
YOUNG: As a judge, you know, I modeled my judicial philosophy like Charlie Brown. He was going to get that kite to fly. Whenever I saw a young person in front of me, I said to myself what can I do to help this person? What can I do to end the cycle of criminal activity this child was involved with?
But there are certain times, dr. Drew, there`s not a darned thing you can do about it. This is one of those times.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
YOUNG: The violence shown by this young man, he`s no way -- no way can he be let out in a free society because he doesn`t respect it and he`s going to get worse and worse.
Listen, if you can shoot a baby at point-blank range, you can do anything. As far as I`m concerned, it`s better off in jail than outside. Sad but true.
PINSKY: The defense used the mom`s history of mental illness to somehow lead or tie her somehow to the baby`s death. I want you to watch this. Loni, you`ll react.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do have to ask you whether you suffer from mental illness of any kind. Bipolar disorder or manic depression?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bipolar.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Post traumatic stress disorder?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In order words, borderline personality disorder?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In other words, paranoia?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Loni, why put this young woman through all that?
LONI COOMBS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, remember, Dr. Drew, the defense is trying to point the finger to anyone but his client. So, they tried to put on evidence the mother somehow was involved in this, that the father was in the area and was involved in it, or that the co-defendant`s cousin was involved in this, trying to distract from the fact that his client shot three people -- let`s remember that -- three people within a 10-day span, the pastor, this mother who`s on the stand, and then her baby right in the face -- which is why you get the sentence that you get and why really, even though he is a child, he was 17 when this happened, he cannot be let out for the safety of everyone else in society.
PINSKY: Jenny, you want to react.
YOUNG: Dr. Drew, as the judge --
HUTT: Thank God he`s going away forever. Did you see that mother`s statement? I mean, it`s gut-wrenching. It`s the saddest thing in the entire world.
PINSKY: Judge, I know you want to ring in here. Go ahead, Judge.
YOUNG: As a judge, when you hear a defense lawyer go down a path you find absolutely objectionable, you can`t do anything. There`s so many times, Dr. Drew, I wanted to get off the bench and go, no! You can`t do that. You have to be judicial. You have to be decorum and professional.
PINSKY: One at a time.
HUTT: As a mother --
PINSKY: Jenny, you want to finish?
HUTT: I do. As a mother, the idea that her potential mental illness would have caused her to have her baby shot --
PINSKY: That`s bizarre. It has nothing to do with anything. But, Brian --
COPELAND: It`s disgusting.
PINSKY: Brian, I`m going to you. And I want to short of you a little polemic here, which is that Loni said something that made me upset, which is as a defense lawyer you will point the finger everywhere. Do you think when this legal system was established that was really the intent, that we have absolutely no regard for being responsible?
That we defend -- I understand you guys are chastened to come up with a good defense for the person you`re responsible for but -- at any cost? Is that really the world we live in? Defense at any cost, it`s not my responsibility no matter what I`ve done?
PINSKY: Brian, finish.
COPELAND: I was going to say, it`s my belief this attorney was covering his bases to make sure there was not any grounds -- there weren`t any grounds for appeal based on ineffective counsel. That`s why he threw everything out including the kitchen sink. Yes, it`s reprehensible, in my view, it`s that reprehensible, but you are entitled to a vigorous defense.
PINSKY: Go ahead.
COOMBS: And actually, that is one of the defense attorneys has said, he`s going to argue on appeal that the judge actually limited him to put on evidence about these other potential suspects. That`s what the judge has to worry about as the judge said, you always have to worry about this stuff because it becomes issue on appeal.
PINSKY: Judge Young?
YOUNG: That`s exactly my point. There could be one or two appellate judges that say, well, wait a minute, they cut short the defense and the defendant did not get a fair trial. So, the trial has to be done over again. And that cost the taxpayers money and it costs the victim`s family so many hours, so many restless nights and tears and reliving the horrible things that happened.
You know, sometimes as a judge, you say, but anything in the guy or the woman gets found guilty, God help them.
PINSKY: Lauren, go ahead.
LAKE: What I like to say, Dr. Drew, is defense attorneys often look like Satan`s sidekick. It comes with the job. People don`t like it. They don`t respect until their nephew, their cousin or their son gets in trouble. And the next thing you know, they want a defense attorney that`s going to poke any holes that they can.
PINSKY: Jenny, what`s that?
HUTT: I`m just happy that Mark Eiglarsh is not here tonight.
LAKE: Dr. Drew, I just want to say also --
LAKE: I want to say quickly, this mental illness thing, this really upset me. I`ve represented a lot of clients who have issues with mental illness. This is why people are so ashamed in this country.
LAKE: This is why people are scared to talk about it. This is why mental illness goes untreated, because of the way they are treated once they express it, but the light people try to shine on them once they say I may be having some mental issues. I think it`s sad.
PINSKY: And let`s remember, Lauren, that people -- even particularly the diagnoses that were listed in this woman`s interrogation are those that create someone who`s more likely to be a victim than a perpetrator. So, remember that.
Thank you, panel.
Next up, the baby`s family will join us. They`re going to join us just here exclusively, with their reaction to the sentencing.
And later on, a young woman held captive by a -- there she is -- by a Texas church. Her parents are going to join us in the behavior bureau and give us their thoughts.
We`ll be right back in a moment. Don`t go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back with my co-host, Jenny Hutt.
We are talking about this terrible about a teen who shot a baby in the face, held a gun at point black, counted down and shot the child. Sentenced today to life in prison.
David, Lauren, and Loni still with us.
Joining the panel, Jacob Stilling. He`s baby Antonio`s uncle and the brother of baby Antonio`s mom.
Jacob, your thoughts of the sentencing, and I wonder if you`re still angry about what the defense put your sister through.
JACOB STILLINGS, UNCLE OF MURDERED BABY: Yes. Definitely, Dr. Drew. Thanks for having me back.
I believe under Georgia law, that their hands were tied because he was 17 when this murder happened, but justice was definitely served, and -- I mean, to the fact that what they could do. I`m appreciative of that and pretty sure he won`t be shooting any more reverends or little babies in strollers. So, I believe that the community should actually feel better, too.
PINSKY: How is your sister doing also?
J. STILLINGS: I tried to get ahold of my sister today. She sent a message through family. She said right now -- she passed word along through my mother. And it was basically that she`s grieving. She had a hard day today. I don`t know if I could ever do that.
PINSKY: Yes, it probably gives her a chance to really start -- through the legal mess, you can start the grieving process. I wonder if anyone on my legal panel has questions for Jacob.
COOMBS: I do.
PINSKY: Who`s that? Loni, go ahead please.
COOMBS: Yes, Jacob. First of all, my sincerest apologies and sympathies to you and to your family. You know, actually, the process isn`t over yet. There`s this co-defendant, Dominique Lang, the 15-year- old, who actually testified and helped the president a lot in this trial. He`s still supposed to be tried for this.
Do you have a feeling as what would be the perfect sentence for him or did your family about the appropriate sentence for him? He did help the prosecution in this trial.
J. STILLINGS: We really didn`t talk about this. The younger man, I do really appreciate he decided to do the right thing and come forward. He was still out running wild with this young man and looking up to him and doing the wrong thing all together.
But he had stated already that he didn`t know that De`Marquise Elkins had a gun. He knew what he was going out to do with him. So, he needs to pay for whatever he was out to do. He didn`t know he had a gun that he states.
When he did see the shooting, he ran, he stated. He did come forward after that and finally did the right thing with the prosecution. So --
J. STILLINGS: Yes.
HUTT: Do you feel like your sister has an adequate support system around her to help her move past and through this horrific, horrific tragedy?
J. STILLINGS: I wish I could be much closer, I really do. I mean, from the start, me and my brother tried to get her to come back up to Jersey. She`s moved hundreds of miles away. But, still, in fact, I would rather have her by our side because we miss her dearly.
PINSKY: Is that offer still on the table, Jacob?
J. STILLINGS: That offer is still on the table. I know that everything has been going on with the -- you know, oh, she got insurance and this and that and everything. But that just barely covered the funeral and a little move and other little necessities.
PINSKY: I hope she does join you and your brother. I think that would be great for her. I really do. And, in fact, I`ve got Christine Stillings, Sherry West`s mom on the phone. She`s also baby Antonio`s grandmother.
Christine, thanks for joining us again. Your reaction to the verdict?
CHRISTINE STILLINGS, GRANDMOTHER OF MURDERED BABY (via telephone): Hello, Dr. Drew. Thank you. I thank the media for letting people in this nation see what can happen.
And there`s no preventive. I don`t know preventive. I know prayer. As my son said, we want to be closer to sherry physically. I know she`s in love with the state of Georgia. She just loved her town and she enjoyed, you know, the historical part of Georgia.
And to have something out of the blue come like this, it`s shocking. No parent should go through it.
PINSKY: It`s awful. It might be really good for her to join her brothers in another place and start over and do this grieving with family.
C. STILLINGS: Absolutely.
PINSKY: Sounds like the right thing to me.
Panel, again, you guys have anything for Christine?
YOUNG: I do.
PINSKY: Judge Young first.
YOUNG: Christine, first of all, I`m so sorry -- my heart -- I started to tear up when I heard the comments I heard earlier. It`s just beyond me.
So many times we have seen in our history people have taken a negative and made it into a positive. Is there any way your family through the healing process would become advocates against gun violence, against these young people just completely throwing their life away because of other opportunities for them?
PINSKY: Jacob, that`s for you as well. But, first, Christine.
C. STILLINGS: Judge David Young, I`ve watched your show on television. I admire you.
YOUNG: Thank you, ma`am.
C. STILLINGS: I really -- I really feel that my ministry work through biblical sources help young people a lot. But as far as a nation, there`s never enough teaching and training the young people about, you know, possibly hooking up to a gang or maybe trying to prove something by gun violence. There`s never enough education on this.
J. STILLINGS: I would like to say something as well.
PINSKY: OK, Jacob, quickly finish, then Lauren. Jacob, go ahead.
J. STILLINGS: I would like to say something as well. If we don`t start in the prisoners themselves, it`s not going to get reiterated out on the streets, as earlier segments of your own, Dr. Drew, these young men are getting locked up for no reason at all. All they become is harder, harder criminals, harder with more demeanor and everything. They get connections inside and get more guns. If we don`t correct the corrections system, then we won`t correct the community.
LAKE: I had a question. Of course, my sincerest condolences. Have there been any plans to honor your sister, a foundation, anything that we can do to keep her beautiful baby`s legacy alive and hopefully make sure this does not happen to another beautiful child?
J. STILLINGS: Right now, there is a foundation out there. It`s in the works right now. There`s a small trust fund put together for my sister. It`s Sherry Lynn West Trust Fund at 1217 Newcastle Street, Brunswick, Georgia, 31520. And that`s going to go towards a foundation.
PINSKY: We`ll put that up on our Web site, Jacob, so people can check that out there.
J. STILLINGS: OK.
PINSKY: All right. Jacob, Christine, thank you so much again. I hope this closes a chapter and I hope your daughter and sister does choose to get near you guys so she can really get support as she goes through this. What an awful, awful story.
J. STILLINGS: Thank you, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: All right, guys. Thank you, panel.
We are changing gears. We are talking next about a young woman perhaps brainwashed by a church in Texas. That is she. Yes, her parents will join us and the behavior bureau.
And later, the woman accused of pushing her husband off this cliff out of jail tonight. Back after this.
PINSKY: I`m back with my co-host Jenny Hutt.
Now, 26-year-old Catherine Grove living with her parents in Arkansas, picks up and joins a church in Texas. Her parents claim church leaders have brainwashed her, forcing her to cut all her ties with her family and friends. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We feel like she is being controlled and told what to say and do.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Groves believe the church has coerced her and holding her against her will.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it`s just one of many false allegations that have been made against our church.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it a church or a cult?
Their allegation is that the church is brainwashing her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mom and dad, I can`t listen to you anymore. I have to keep my hands over my ears and I can only listen to my elders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That allegiance needs to be cut. It must be severed. That mean cannot truly bow the knee and workshop in adoration and true service to the Lord Jesus Christ.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We met with her two times with the elders present and they spoke for her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not keeping silent. We actually want people to be saved. We`re trying to spread the gospel.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
PINSKY: Back with my panel.
Danine Manette, criminal investigator, author of "Ultimate Betrayal", she joins us. Also, HLN`s Lynn Berry on the phone.
Lynn, you`ve been following the story like crazy. What can you tell us that`s new?
LYNN BERRY, HLN HOST (via telephone): You know, it depends who you talk to, Dr. Drew. I interviewed both the parents and elders of this congregation. And the parents are adamant that their daughter is being brainwashed as a result of this church. The elders call that slanderous. They go to the extent that they`re saying that this family is spewing venom.
The parents say they admit their daughter found this church on the Internet. She went on her own accord. She lived there. But the problem is that they are saying that she brainwashed by this congregation. They`ve tried to see her. They`ve claimed that the elders will not allow her to be alone in a room with her parents.
The elders` side of the story is, listen, it`s all up to Catherine. And Catherine has decided that they do not want to be -- she does not want to be alone with her parents because she`s afraid her parents will make her leave this congregation she wants to be with.
The sheriff has visited this family -- or visited this congregation three times and they confirm Catherine is there on her own accord.
PINSKY: So, they can`t force her to leave something that she is doing essentially volitionally.
Now, Jacob Gardner is one of the church leaders. He claims the Groves have lied about some other things, like their other daughter`s past life. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACOB GARDNER, CHURCH OF WELLS ELDER: They said before the whole town that their daughter has never been involved in Satanism. That was a blatant lie.
We desired to have this press conference to show that indeed they do have a daughter that a Satanist. And Catherine has been very much affected in her past life. For two years, she lived with this particular sister and she has very severe spiritual issues still residuating from that experience, those two years she lived with the Satanist daughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Loni, he`s claiming Catherine`s sister in a past life was a Satanist. What`s your thought?
COOMBS: Not sure if that`s a word or not. But, look, I have some very strong feelings about being careful throwing the word around, "cult." We have the right to worship as we please in this country. It`s a very important protected right. And people seek out religion for many different reasons, whether they want to feel a part of a group, looking for salvation, they`re trying to right wrongs in their life. There`s a lot of different reasons why they do it. There`s a lot of different ways to do it.
And just because the parents feel like they`re being cut off from this 26-year-old daughter of theirs doesn`t necessarily make this religion a cult.
Now, I`m a member of a Mormon Church and I grew up with a lot of kids telling me as I was growing up, you know, you`re a member of a cult. And I was like, what are you talking about?
And I think we throw that word when you don`t understand a religion or an organization, or we don`t agree with it. This is a new organization. A lot of times, when there`s new organizations, they face a lot of persecution or they perceive a lot of persecution.
But I don`t see at this point you have the deputies going in there and meeting with them. You know, usually, you worry about, there`s a lot of secrecy and a lot of, you know, keeping the public out.
I haven`t necessarily seen that level of secrecy in this situation.
PINSKY: All right. Hold on, I`m seeing a lot of interesting looks in everyone`s face. I`m going to start with Jenny.
HUTT: OK. This is what? The church of the hot boys, Dr. Drew? Come on. This is -- to me, it looks like a cult. It looks like online, she got roped in by these good-looking, young strapping boys that got her where they are and they kept her there. This is not a real church with a real spiritual --
PINSKY: Well, we don`t know that.
Lauren, what do you think?
HUTT: I don`t think it is.
LAKE: I will state my opinion and it`s just my opinion, about as real as a three dollar bill. I`m not buying this. I don`t like it. And the minute you tell me that a 26-year-old girl can`t go talk to her parents --
LAKE: -- by herself, I`ve got a problem with it.
PINSKY: Judge Young, let me ask you this. There are actually -- Loni, I agree with you. Throwing the term around cult is irresponsible, but there are cultish organizations all over this country. There are people that do reprogramming and people get sucked into these things. My question to the judge is, the parents really have no authority to do much of anything, do they, legally?
JUDGE DAVID YOUNG, FORMER CRIMINAL COURT JUDGE: The parents can do nothing. But when I hear elders, I think of someone who`s at least old enough to buy drinks at a bar, you know what I mean?
YOUNG: Those three, I don`t think so. Dr. Drew, what happened to one of the 10th commandments? Honor your father and your mother.
PINSKY: Of course.
YOUNG: What am I missing here?
Loni Coombs, attorney: -- because I went to the website and I read some of their doctrine and they quote Luke chapter 14:26 where it says "If any man come to me and not take his father, mother, wife and goes through all the family, then he`s not a true disciple." And that`s what they`re using to say that, you know, what you need to turn away from your family and really focus on Chris. Now, I`m not advocating that this is a true religion. I`m just saying I think we need to be careful.
PINSKY: I agree with be careful. But Danine, you and I get to see people that actually are sucked into this cult issue phenomenon and it`s really hard to get them out.
DANINE MANETTE, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Absolutely. And, you know, if these guys are elders, I was alive during the civil war. That`s ridiculous.
MANETTE: I think these parents went about this completely the wrong way. Instead of knocking on the door and saying, hi, you know, we`re here to rescue our daughter from this prison and we have no legal authority to do so or any right to do so, but we`re here to just kind of infiltrate and free our daughter.
What they should have done is themselves or someone that they know should have dressed in the long dress and put their hair back in the bun and taking off the makeup and knock on the door and say, hey, I`ve been reading about your church. I want to worship with you. You`ve got to infiltrate these places.
You can`t just come to the door and say, I want to come in and take your new baby maker away. You have to actually try and become part of them. You`re not going to get any information if you`re trying to come from the outside. They got to work these things from the inside.
PINSKY: Lauren, you want to finish?
LAKE: I just want to ask Danine. Law enforcement. What are the steps to determine whether something is a church or a cult? What is this? How do you determine that?
MANETTE: Well, it`s really difficult, because she`s an adult, and adults can get together and form a group and meet. You know, if they want to, if no one --
MANETTE: You know, she`s an adult.
PINSKY: Well, there are -- I looked on the internet before we came on, and there are people that help deprogram and there are people that define these things. There`s disciplines out there related to all this. So, yes, you can find that information online.
MANETTE: But they`re not doing anything illegal.
PINSKY: Yes. That is the point, A, B, the parents are actually here. They are asking for help. We are going to talk to them, Danine. Maybe you can help them, maybe we can`t. But I`m interested to hear what they have to say.
Later, the bride accused of pushing her groom off a cliff is getting out of jail. I believe she`s out of jail. Is that right, control room? She`s out right now? Right now, she`s out of jail and I will tell you why.
VINNIE POLITAN, HLN ANCHOR: Coming up at the top of the hour on "HLN After Dark, we are going to do a bold comparison between the Baby Eleina case out of Ohio and the Casey Anthony case from Orlando a few years. You won`t believe the similarities. Unreal.
RYAN SMITH, HLN ANCHOR: Oh. And yes, we`re talking about the families, too. You start wondering, what`s going on with these parties? And that`s why our bold question is, is the boyfriend covering for Baby Elaina`s mom. Our in-studio juries ready.
POLITAN: A verdict, top of the hour, "HLN After Dark."
PATTY GROVES, MOTHER OF CATHERINE GROVE: We go, we`re Mr. and Mrs. Grove. We`re looking for our daughter, Catherine Grove. Their very first words to us where we have reason to believe that you`re going to kidnap your daughter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When she says she doesn`t want to see her family, we say, OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Time now for the "Behavior Bureau" and my co-host, Jenny Hutt. We`re talking about the young woman whose parents believe she has been brainwashed and then subsequently held hostage by her church.
Back with us Danine Manette, joining us family therapist, Wendy Schwartz, psychotherapist, Wendy Walsh, author of "The 30-Day Love Detox," and we have Katherine Grove`s parents, Andy and Patty Grove. Andy, thank you for joining us. When was the last time you spoke with your daughter?
PATTY GROVE: We spoke with her the last time was on Sunday, August 26th, on a cell phone. We don`t know where she was at that time. The last time we saw her was on August 19th for about five minutes. And the time before that was on August 2nd, that we really had any contact with Catherine was August 2nd.
PINSKY: And what happened when you tried to speak to the elders about your daughter`s situation?
PATTY GROVE: About what?
PINSKY: When -- either of you, when you spoke to the elders, how did they react to your coming around?
PATTY GROVE: When we first got there? When we first met them?
PINSKY: Were the elders cooperative or were they difficult for you to deal with?
ANDY GROVE, FATHER OF CATHERINE GROVE: No. They -- the elders had to have an elders` meeting, some kind of committee meeting amongst the elders, to pray and discern whether or not it would be permissible to ask Catherine if it was OK for us to -- to ask to speak to her.
PATTY GROVE: It took us four hours, when we first met them, to even acknowledge that they might tell Catherine we were there.
PINSKY: Let me ask you --
PATTY GROVE: To ask her if she would like to see us.
PINSKY: Let me ask you guys this. Did you hear what one of my panelists said in the last segment that she -- Danine, why don`t you say it again in shorthand so the parents can hear this just in case they didn`t hear it before?
MANETTE: I`m saying that going in to the front door, knocking on the door and saying that you want to come and see your child was probably not the best approach. I`m wondering if there was anybody that you can get to pay, you know, pay for their services or someone in your family that can infiltrate the church from the back, that can, you know, pretend as though they want to join the church.
So, at least, you can find out what`s going on inside. You may be surprised and find out it`s not a cult after all, but at least you will know. Is there anyone you can get to go inside from the back way and get this information?
ANDY GROVE: Well, we`ve considered that. I`ve even suggested it to the law enforcement, and they thought it was entirely too dangerous.
PINSKY: Have you guys --
PATTY GROVE: When we went there, we went very open minded.
PATTY GROVE: We went very open minded to just talk to Catherine, to just -- you know, we had no intention of telling Catherine to leave. Actually, on the very first night we met them after it took us five hours to be able to talk to Catherine, we said, Catherine, maybe this might be a good place for you.
We had no idea that they were going to cut us off from all communication to her. And we have not been able to contact her by her cell phone.
PINSKY: I got you. Patty, thank you. Wendy Schwartz, I saw you react when her dad said something about this potentially being dangerous.
WENDY SCHWARTZ, PSY.D., FAMILY THERAPIST: Yes. I was just wondering about the police and why they would think that that was dangerous when, you know, they did go in and they didn`t have any concerns. So, now, they`re saying that the police that it`s dangerous.
PINSKY: What`s that all about?
ANDY GROVE: Well, I think what I was referring to is the -- very, very few people apparently leave this group. Once they come in, they stay.
PATTY GROVE: We actually had an officer tell us that, that they would not consider sending somebody in because they might get caught in it and --
PINSKY: Do you have a follow-up question?
PATTY GROVE: We have never said this group is a cult.
PINSKY: OK. Right.
PATTY GROVE: We never labeled them as a cult ever.
SCHWARTZ: Or religious group. I`m just wondering if we have any evidence about safety issues, danger, you know, what is it so threatening? If you`re saying people go in, but they don`t come out, I mean, it`s possible that good stuff is happening, too.
PATTY GROVE: We don`t know. It`s very secretive. We have no idea.
PINSKY: Wendy Walsh, I know you`re there. I`m going to have you comment in just a second. Wendy Walsh, my question is, there are people that help people get out of cults. Why don`t they consult with someone like that?
PATTY GROVE: All we want to do is be able to have a conversation with our daughter like she`s a U.S. citizen, 26 years old like they keep quoting. If they would treat her like she`s 26 years old and a U.S. citizen, then why don`t they just let Catherine talk freely to people? She can`t see anyone.
PINSKY: Yes. That`s bizarre. Guys, thank you.
PATTY GROVE: That`s the question.
PINSKY: I want to thank Catherine`s parents.
ANDY GROVE: We`ve been in Wells, Texas for ten weeks.
PINSKY: Wow. I`m so sorry. You`ve been there the whole time just trying to get your daughter or get some clarity about this or resolve it, is that right?
PATTY GROVE: Yes. We`re not trying to get her to go home. We`re not trying to force her to do anything. She`s an adult. All we want to do is be able to talk to our daughter just like any one of you would want to talk to one of your kids. That`s all. That`s all we want to do is be able to sit down and talk.
PINSKY: We`ve had lots of technical problems here, and I thank you for joining us. But yes, whenever someone cuts you off from your family, you should be very suspect. There`s very little justifiable reason for something such as that. The "Behavior Bureau" is going to chew on this for a little while.
But later, the woman accused of shoving her husband off a cliff just eight days into their marriage, now out of jail. And we have some interesting information about what`s going on with her tonight after this.
PINSKY: Back with my "Behavior Bureau" and my co-host, Jenny Hutt. We`re talking about the young woman whose parents believe she has been brainwashed, held hostage by her church. Wendy, I know I was holding you back there. I want to give you a chance to react to it.
But I also want to throw out a question before you do which is, are there ways to know who`s at risk for being vulnerable to these sorts of things and is there anything about parenting or parenting styles or the parents have done to put someone at risk for that?
WENDY WALSH, PH.D., PSYCHOLOGIST: Excellent question. I think dependent personalities are obviously more at risk. And if you have an authoritarian kind of parenting where you make your child very compliant or your child has a compliant personality, they`re of course going to be sucked into this kind of stuff.
But Dr. Drew, what we`re really trying to do here is make a distinction between what is illegal and what still might be very hurtful coercion, emotional coercion that could be very damaging. And, you know what, remember this? This is the church, this is the steeple, open up the doors and there`s all the people. Why are the doors not open?
This house looks like Ariel Castro`s house to me, boarded up on the windows. It`s not a church. There`s no steeple. It`s a (INAUDIBLE) house with boards on the window. This is not an open church and it scares me.
PINSKY: And Jenny, you agree with that?
JENNY HUTT, ATTORNEY: I agree with that. And thankfully, my kids aren`t super compliant.
HUTT: Second of all, this is totally wrong, but I`m thinking about how my mother would have behaved if I had gone with a cult or church or whatever. My mother would have found a S.W.A.T. team. She would have been the S.W.A.T. team and she would barreled into the door. They would have been scared of her and thrown me at her.
PINSKY: This is not specifically a cult. We can`t say it is. Wendy Schwartz, thoughts?
SCHWARTZ: Yes. I mean, this is the ultimate separation anxiety for any parent. You know, I think, you have an adult who`s also trying to search herself, separate herself, individuate, you know, try to, you know separate --
PINSKY: Become a person. Yes.
SCHWARTZ: The thing that`s so concerning for me is they have two girls. And one of them went to the dark side with the Satan stuff and the other went to the church. And so, I`m just curious what happened in this family, you know, to possibly make this a possibility that they would think this was an interesting choice.
PINSKY: We will have to leave it at that. Next, we`ve got the woman who is charged with murder for pushing her new husband off this very cliff. She`s been released tonight. You`ll find out what the circumstances are for that release, what the details are, what she has to comply with after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can`t take too deep of a breath yet because, you know, she`s not convicted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back with my co-host, Jenny Hutt. That was a friend of Cody Johnson, the newly wed husband allegedly pushed off a cliff to his death. His Bride, Jordan Graham is charged with his murder. Breaking news right now, the judge ordered her release and tonight she is walking free, sort of. She`s on a GPS device. She`s under house arrest. She has to seek psychiatric care, it sounded like. Mental health care was in the specific directives from the court.
The "Behavior Bureau" is still here, Wendy Schwartz, Danine Manette, and Wendy Walsh. Danine, what do you think?
MANETTE: Well, they didn`t determine her to be a flight risk. They decided that she didn`t have any substantial risk of fleeing, that, you know, she has a GPS on. She doesn`t have any people out of the country she`ll go stay with. She`s grounded here. She doesn`t have a criminal record. They figured she wasn`t a flight risk. So, there she is.
PINSKY: They did take her passport away. Joining me by phone, Cody Johnson`s uncle, Richard Soto. Richard, again, we report of sad stories. I`m so sorry for your family. Do you have a reaction to her having been released tonight?
VOICE OF RICHARD SOTO, CODY JOHNSON`S UNCLE: Just complete outrage. Don`t understand. If it would have been anybody else, I believe, they`d still be behind bars especially with admitting to pushing them off the cliff.
PINSKY: Is there any more information about what went down? What this was all about?
SOTO: I don`t have any further information than what I`ve heard from the news and from all of these stories that have been published.
PINSKY: Wendy Schwartz, you wanted to comment here?
SCHWARTZ: Yes, Richard, any red flags at all? I mean, any possibility that anybody had any red flags before they got married?
SOTO: Not that I was aware of. As other friends have stated, I believe, she was just very distant, just didn`t like to hang out with anybody. There was a time that Jordan had Facebooked me and said that all of his friends were mad at her because they felt she was pulling him away from his friends.
PINSKY: Wendy Walsh, we again have a situation where somebody is causing someone to pull away from family and friends, always a suspicious circumstance. Any thoughts, Wendy Walsh?
WALSH: Always a suspicious circumstance whether it`s a cult or whether it`s a couple. You know, human beings are meant to be interconnected in a big community and marriage is supposed to be a bridge between families. When if it comes isolated, warning signs go up.
PINSKY: And Danine Manette, the thing that bothered us so much last night was that she, after pushing him off, left him down there, who knows, maybe to die.
MANETTE: Yes. That was so disturbing to me, because if a chance that he could have been rescued, if it had been an accidental fall, then she would have gone and gotten help. If she had gotten angry and pushed him and thought, oh my goodness, then she would have called someone. He probably died at the bottom of the hill after laying there for a couple days. That is so disturbing to me.
PINSKY: I am out of time, guys. "Last Call" is next.
PINSKY: It`s time for the "Last Call" and back with us again is the victim`s uncle, Cody Johnson`s uncle, Richard Soto. And Jenny, you have a question for him.
HUTT: I do. Richard, you mentioned before that anyone else would have been kept in jail. Why do you think Jordan was let out?
SOTO: I`m not exactly sure. I don`t know what`s going through the judge`s mind. But, you know, to me, personally, if the FBI has all the evidence and she was in jail and admitted it, she should be still there. At least they have her on GPS tracker and everything else, though.
PINSKY: And they want her to undergo mental health care. I wonder what that`s all about. We`re going to keep an eye on that. Richard again, thank you so much for joining us. Jenny, good job tonight. Thank you all for watching. "HLN After Dark" starts right now.