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Facelift Murder Trial Day Two
Aired October 16, 2013 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, live to Utah, a 911 call from a doctor/lawyer when his 6-year-old little girl comes home to find Mommy, just days out of a full facelift -- Mommy face up in, quote, "red water" in the family bathtub, the death first ruled natural, but tonight a full- fledged affair with a much younger woman uncovered after the doctor brings the new girlfriend, his mistress, home to be the new nanny to his eight children. And within just hours, hours after his wife is pronounced dead, Dr. MacNeill has already completely cleaned out his wife`s closet.
Bombshell tonight. Day two of the Martin MacNeill facelift murder trial.
And tonight, to St. Louis, a stunning turn after an 18-month-old baby boy found dead in a trashcan full of crumpled up beer cans and wet, dilapidated cardboard boxes. In the last hours, on the eve of trial, murder charges are dropped against the baby`s mother. That`s right, trash bin baby mom walks free and immediately gets pregnant!
And tonight, to Miami, a mixed martial arts expert brags to his Facebook friends he`ll soon be in the news because he shoots his wife six times, leaving Mommy`s 10-year-old little girl to find her mommy dead on the kitchen floor. And then he posts photos of mommy`s dead body on Facebook. Tonight, he wants bail, claiming self-defense!
Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us.
Bombshell tonight. A 911 call from a doctor/lawyer, his 6-year-old girl comes home to find Mommy, just a few days out of a full-on facelift, face up in red water in the bathtub, the death first ruled natural causes, but now a full-fledged affair with a younger woman. It`s day two in the Martin MacNeill facelift murder trial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s under the water! She`s under the water! I need an ambulance!
911 OPERATOR: OK, is she breathing at all?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is not!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prosecutors allege she was drugged and drowned.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got home from school, and I went to go look for my mom. And I went into her room, in the bathroom, and I found her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now MacNeill is facing first degree murder charges, accused of drugging and drowning Michele, then staging it to look like an accident.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need help!
911 OPERATOR: Sir, they`re on their way. Is your wife breathing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is not! I am a physician! I`ve got CPR in progress!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Everyone, it`s day two in fact Martin MacNeill facelift murder trial. He`s a doctor and a lawyer.
They`re having a hard time seating a jury, but in the last hours, we`ve learned a lot about one of the defense lawyers. We know that he recently got a porn king acquitted, I believe it was a New Jersey trial, after the defense lawyer breaks down sobbing in court, something to do with free speech. I`ll give you more of that in just a moment.
First, straight to Provo, at the courthouse, Jean Casarez standing by. Jean, how many jurors do we have so far?
JEAN CASAREZ, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Nancy, at this point, the individual questioning has continued.
CASAREZ: The jury, though, they believe, will be set. Opening statements for Thursday. But this just happened, Nancy. A big ruling for the defense in this case, and it all involves the timeline and the time of death.
GRACE: Tell me.
CASAREZ: All right. The blood that was drawn at autopsy, which was ultimately used for the toxicology testing to determine the drugs, the amount of drugs, and then extrapolating back to when the drugs would have been taken -- the judge has determined that the toxicologist here at the University of Utah that did that extrapolation, post-mortem redistribution of that blood occurs. It is not generally accepted in the scientific community to take heart blood when somebody has died, to do all of that, and it`s not Dr. Roland`s (ph) fault. He was just the toxicologist that did the testing...
GRACE: OK, let me get this straight, Jean.
CASAREZ: ... it would have been the autopsy...
GRACE: Let me break that down. I think -- and it`s very, actually, complicated, what she is telling us. There are two experts that were going to testify regarding the amount and the time of death, regarding all the drugs in her system.
Remember, she had Percocet, she had Ambien, she had Valium, she had Synegrim (ph) all in her body. Her husband, Dr. MacNeill, took charge of getting her the dosages. That`s what he told her treating physician, he would be in charge.
Now, what they`re trying to do in court is determine how close to the time of death was she given all these pills. One of the doctors said it was within an hour of her death. That doctor is going to be disallowed from telling the jury this because he was using a methodology that has not been accepted in the scientific community, taking the blood from the heart.
That`s the way I understand that doctor, that his testimony is going to be ruled out. That really hurts the state.
Is there another toxicologist that`s going to be ruled in, Jean Casarez?
CASAREZ: Yes. Yes. But this doctor can only say -- and this is important for the prosecution -- that the drugs were not at toxic levels, but in combination, the drugs taken together could have been partially that cause of death.
GRACE: You know, that brings me to another issue, and that goes to timeline. To Clark Goldband. You`ve also been researching this ruling that Jean is breaking right now. What`s your understanding of the judge`s ruling regarding the toxicologist. This is very important to the state, and the jury is never going to hear it.
CLARK GOLDBAND, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Well, the jury`s not going to hear it, but here`s the thing. It helps narrow down the timeline of when the drugs were taken, Nancy. You remember, this expert said all four of the drugs that Martin MacNeill allegedly obtained were found in Michele MacNeill`s system. There you see them -- Lortab syrup, Ambien, Oxycodone and Valium. He believes those were ingested within about an hour or so of here death. The jury`s not going to hear this, Nancy, if he`s not allowed to testify.
GRACE: You know what`s so important about this, also, is the timeline, Clark, the timeline. Now, Dr. MacNeill went to a health fair that morning...
GRACE: ... and he made sure that people took photos of himself. Then he goes, picks up his little 6-year-old from school, brings her home. He sends the 6-year-old girl in to find Mommy.
GRACE: He`s sitting there. The little girl comes running out, Mommy`s face up in the bathtub in red water. Then he goes in and calls 911. Liz, I want you to cue up that 911 call for me.
Clark, what time is that 911 call, 11:00...
GOLDBAND: It`s made at about 46.
GRACE: 11:46 AM?
GOLDBAND: Yes, was the first call.
GRACE: OK. Jean, Jean Casarez, what are the times of death, the defense and the state times of death?
911 OPERATOR: She got to the hospital at 12:24, which is an important point of time right there. They kept doing CPR on her, and she had metabolic processes going on. She was finally determined to be dead later that afternoon.
GRACE: I know she was pronounced dead later that afternoon. Clark, what is the defense theory on time of death and the state theory on time of death?
GOLDBAND: Right. Well, the state -- you know Dr. Perper, appears on this show quite often. He believes that within one hour of Michele MacNeill`s arrival at the hospital -- one hour prior to that, she was dead. Now, the defense expert, according to recent...
GRACE: OK, repeat. Repeat. Hone in. Focus in. Doesn`t the defense say time of death was 11:40 -- what, 11:44?
GOLDBAND: From 24 to 45, according to documents. They give about a 20- minute window. That would be, Nancy, one minute before that first 911 call.
GRACE: So the defense time of death -- everybody write this down -- defense time of death is 10:20 -- 11:24 to -- 10:44 to 11:45?
GOLDBAND: No, 24 to 45 in that same hour, 11:24 to 11:45. It`s about a 20-minute window.
GRACE: OK, so 11:24 to 11:45.
GOLDBAND: That`s right.
GRACE: That`s what the defense says was her time of death. And we know he`s there at 11:45 because he`s already come home, sent the daughter in. The daughter runs out. He comes in, finds the body and calls 911. He`s there...
GOLDBAND: Right. He picks up that daughter from...
GRACE: I can`t believe this!
GOLDBAND: He picks up that daughter...
GRACE: The defense is placing him there at the time of death!
GOLDBAND: He picks up that daughter from school at about 11:35, so just a few minutes before.
GRACE: OK, Clark, where does the defense -- I mean, where does the state place her time of death?
GOLDBAND: Now, the state is placing it an hour before she arrives at the hospital, so from about 11:24 to 12:24, according to the testimony of Dr. Perper.
GRACE: OK. Correct me if I`m wrong, Jean, maybe I`m missing something here, but by the defense`s own timeline, he would be there within that window of time of death, 11:24 to 11:45.
CASAREZ: That is correct. Let`s remember one more thing. It`s the prosecution`s theory that he drowned her. So during that window you`re talking about, he would have to go into the bathroom and drown her.
GRACE: Whoa! OK. But he`s got her so doped up, Jean, according to the state, that would just be a matter of bringing her body in there and sticking her under the water.
Hey, Jean, take a listen with me to that first 911 call. Remember, he made a couple of calls and was so belligerent and angry to the 911 operators, he hung up on them. He gave them the wrong address. Let`s see what we learn in that first 911 call at 11:46 AM. Roll it, Liz.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
911 OPERATOR: Pleasant Grove Police Department (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need an ambulance! (INAUDIBLE)
911 OPERATOR: OK, what`s the problem, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) medical.
911 OPERATOR: Sir, what`s wrong?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife`s fallen in the bathtub! (INAUDIBLE)
911 OPERATOR: Who`s in the bathtub? Who`s in the bathtub?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife!
911 OPERATOR: OK, is she conscious?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s not! I`m a physician!
911 OPERATOR: OK, sir...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need help!
911 OPERATOR: Sir, I need you to calm...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
911 OPERATOR: Sir, I can`t understand, OK? Can you calm down just a little bit?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need help!
911 OPERATOR: OK, your wife is unconscious?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is unconscious! She`s under water!
911 OPERATOR: OK, can you get her out of the water?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can`t. I couldn`t lift her (ph). I let the water out! I have CPR in progress!
911 OPERATOR: She`s under the water!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is out of the water now! (INAUDIBLE) I need an ambulance!
911 OPERATOR: OK. Is she breathing at all?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is not!
911 OPERATOR: OK, sir, the ambulance has been paged. They`re on their way, OK? Do not hang up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
911 OPERATOR: What? Sir?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: OK, that was the first 911 call. She says, Do not hang up, do not hang up -- click.
Unleash the lawyers. Joining me tonight out of LA, Areva Martin, defense attorney. Out of New York, defense attorney and civil lawyer, Jason Oshins.
All right, first to you, Oshins. Why does he give the wrong address on the next 911 call, which I`m going to play for you in a moment?
JASON OSHINS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Why does he give the wrong address? Nancy, everyone reacts differently under stress. That`s an enormous -- for him, taking the supposition that he`s not involved in this murder and it`s not calculated, he`s under enormous stress.
GRACE: Second verse same as the first!
OSHINS: It`s not wrong. Nancy, everyone reacts...
GRACE: He is...
OSHINS: Everyone reacts differently to this stress, Nancy.
GRACE: You know -- that may be true, Jason, but every time I`ve ever asked you that very same question about someone`s behavior when they`re charged with murder...
GRACE: ... why they act the way they do after the death, you always say the same thing.
OSHINS: Nancy, there`s no...
GRACE: They may have different reaction, but you always have the same answer!
OSHINS: Nancy, there`s no norm. I have yet to read anything in any psychological profile, how someone is specifically supposed to react. Maybe prosecutors think that there`s a specific way, but I certainly don`t.
GRACE: Well, I can tell you this much. I can tell you this much, Jason. I know that cleaning out your wife`s closet, her socks, her shoes, her perfume, her lotions, her potions, her rollers, her clothes within a couple of hours after she`s pronounced dead on a gurney -- that is not normal!
GRACE: And I don`t care what you say!
OSHINS: Nancy, abnormal behavior by anybody is not going to make for a murder conviction.
GRACE: Out to the lines. Crissy in Iowa. Hi, Crissy. What`s your question, dear?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello, Nancy. I have two questions, actually.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: First, I wondered if the doctor had been given a polygraph test.
GRACE: I`m sorry. I couldn`t hear you. The control room is in my ear. Has the doctor what?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has he been given a polygraph test?
GRACE: OK, next question.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The next question I had is, on the 911 call, he stated that she`s under the water.
GRACE: Oh! Good catch.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So why would he have not got her out of the water before calling 911?
GRACE: OK, I think we`re going to have to call Crissy in Iowa as an expert witness.
What about it, Jean Casarez? She`s right. He says she`s under the water. I mean, my instinct would have been to pull the person out of the water, Jean.
CASAREZ: He also says that he`s performing CPR on her. Now, that`s a question of fact, I think, for the jury. But you would have to move somebody. So if she`s under the water, maybe that shows he called right away, right when he got in there.
GRACE: Bombshell tonight. It is day two of the Martin MacNeill facelift murder trial. They`re trying to seat a jury in Provo, and joining me from the courthouse is Jean Casarez. Also with us, Jim Kirkwood, talk show host, KTKK.
Jim, are these jurors from that area, or did they bus them in? Is the defense claiming they can`t get a fair trial?
JIM KIRKWOOD, KTKK (via telephone): I haven`t noticed that claim yet, Nancy, but these are local people. And as I mentioned to you yesterday, this is probably the most religiously conservative area in America. My joke would be they could give Southern Baptists lessons. And so that`s why that question about adultery was on there.
And the defense is very concerned about local community standards. The defense lead attorney there is obviously a returned LDS missionary to Japan and understands the culture very well.
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! The defense lead attorney -- is he the one that represented the pornographer in New Jersey?
KIRKWOOD: Yes. Isn`t that interesting?
GRACE: OK. Whoa. Whoa. So let me go back to the lawyers, Jason Oshins, New York, Areva Martin, LA. Areva, do you see a conflict there? He is a conservative LDSer, Latter Day Saint, and he just represented a pornographer, a porn king out of Jersey, and broke down sobbing, crying in front of the Jersey -- in front of the Jersey jury, claiming the pornographer had constitutional rights?
AREVA MARTIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Come on, Nancy! You know what his religious beliefs have to do with his profession. Absolutely nothing. He can defend someone...
GRACE: Don`t look at me!
MARTIN: ... in his job as a lawyer...
GRACE: Not my fault!
MARTIN: ... anything to do with who he represents! And the answer is no! That`s his job! That`s what he does for a living! What he believes and who he worships in terms of his God have nothing to do with who he defends. You know that!
GRACE: Welcome back, everyone. Bombshell tonight. It is day two in the doctor/lawyer Martin MacNeill murder trial. He sent his 6-year-old little girl into the home to find Mommy`s dead body.
Out to Cheryl Hunter, a new guest joining us tonight. She is a trauma recovery expert, author of "Use It: Turning Setbacks Into Success." Cheryl is a victim of violent crime herself.
Cheryl, like you, I`m a crime victim. And I want to hear your thoughts on how this little girl -- she`s now 12 -- can ever recover. And while we`re talking, Cheryl Hunter -- Liz, could you please put up the diagram for Cheryl to see on her monitor, the diagram the little girl drew of Mommy in the bathtub.
And these are -- it`s her handwriting. Her hair was going into the drain. Her hair was out of the water. Her eyes were open. All the water was red.
It`s bad enough when you are an adult victim of violent crime, but what about when you`re a 6-year-old little girl?
CHERYL HUNTER, TRAUMA RECOVERY EXPERT: Nancy, this is unfathomable, that this 6-year-old then, Ada (ph), had to go through that.
One of the things that`s most striking to me is how markedly different her representation of the story is than the father`s 911 call. And one of the things she`s having to now deal with is making a new normal for herself. Not only has her mother been killed or died, allegedly been killed, but now she`s lost her father, as well, and everything that she`s thought this pillar of her life was.
This is -- she`s got a huge road ahead of her to make a life for herself where she can trust again...
GRACE: Let me ask you a question, Cheryl.
HUNTER: ... and live a life.
GRACE: In your case, did you testify in court?
HUNTER: I did not. The men who dumped me in a park after beating and raping me and holding me captive chased me, and I leapt on a train. I was in Europe. And I never saw justice being served.
GRACE: Cheryl, do you think that this girl, who is now 12 -- I mean, if I were the prosecutor and I had to use her, I would use her to get a just verdict. Do you think she should testify?
HUNTER: I do. I feel like it could -- for her perspective, it could be the first step in a real road to recovery to have her story heard and understood, be vindicated in that way.
Now, mind you, Nancy, a trial is never a happy ending for anyone. Even if he is put away for life, she`ll still have the inner journey of having to cope and create a new life for herself. But I think a trial and being heard could be a first step in that important road to recovery.
GRACE: Well, I agree with you, Cheryl Hunter. And right now, there`s a big controversy brewing about whether she will even be allowed to testify.
And yes, I know, Jean Casarez, it will be extremely traumatic for her, this little girl, to take the stand. But I think in the years to come, she will wish that she had taken the stand, win or lose, to know that she did everything she could to vindicate her mother`s murder.
CASAREZ: And here are the facts, Nancy. The judge has not ruled on it yet because the defense says that little Ada has been influenced by her sister, Alexis. So judge may not allow her to testify.
GRACE: Welcome back. For those of you just joining us, it is day two of the Martin MacNeill murder trial. MacNeill comes home, claiming he`s been at a health fair. He pointedly has pictures taken of himself at the health fair. Remember, all of these locations are just about 10 to 15 minutes apart. His wife found dead, face-up in the family bathtub, just days out of a full facelift he persuaded her to take.
We are taking your calls. Out to Susan Constantine, jury consultant and body language expert. What`s the holdup in seating this jury?
CONSTANTINE: This is a very tough process. We`re looking at individual voir dire. And looking at what we`re looking at too with that jury questionnaire. There is a ton of information on there that these attorneys have got to sift through, you know, question by question. And when we also find some hot spots, they`re going to continue to probe, because either side is going to decide whether they`re going to strike them or maybe use it as a cause challenge. So this is a very tedious process in a high- profile trial. This is not unusual.
GRACE: With me today, special guest Pat Brown, criminal profiler. Pat, Dr. MacNeill made several calls to 911. I want you to listen, specifically, to the last call, Pat. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, this is 911. Can I help you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need help!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Okay, they`re on their way. Is your wife breathing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is not! I am a physician! I`ve got CPR in progress.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re doing CPR? Sir, how old is your wife?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife is 50 years old. She just had surgery a couple days -- a week ago.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What kind of surgery did she have?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She had a facelift.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She had a facelift?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Okay, do you know how to do CPR?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m doing it!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Okay, do not hang -- [ dial tone ]
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: To Pat Brown, before I make a comment on what I just heard, I want to hear your analysis.
BROWN: Well, whoever said before that behavior doesn`t matter, yes, it does, because this case -- this whole trial is going to be a case of what his behavior is before, during, and after. And this 911 call is extraordinarily strange. Back to the caller who said, hey, you know, she`s under the water, what do you do? You see your wife underwater and then you make the phone call? Obviously, that`s very, very outstanding as a red flag. But also, he`s very belligerent, he is very angry. He wants them to do what he wants them to do, which is basically just get over there and take her away, because he`s done with what he`s done, in my opinion. He`s finished, he wants this body to be removed so he can go on with his life.
GRACE: You know, Jean Casarez, fact question for you. When EMTs got there, was she out of the bathtub?
CASAREZ: When who got there?
GRACE: The EMTs? The ambulance.
CASAREZ: At that point, Nancy, I want to say she was, because the neighbors there, little Ada, went and got neighbors and the neighbors came, and yes, MacNeill said he didn`t have the strength to take her out of the bathtub, because, remember, he said that he had cancer, and so a neighbor helped him get her out of the tub.
GRACE: Is it going to come into evidence what he told the neighbor about him having cancer and it turned out to be a big, fat lie?
CASAREZ: Let`s put it this way, I have not heard that that will not come in, because it was a big part of those months right before her death.
GRACE: Yes, him claiming he had cancer, so he could sneak away to meet the mistress, claiming he was in the hospital, out in Tucson. Yes. And then he didn`t have cancer. It was all a big lie. I wonder if the jury is going to hear about that. I already know they`re not going to hear that he tried to give back four of his adopted children.
To Clark Goldband, I was saying, it was a Jersey case. It was a Utah case, I`m pretty sure, Clark, where the defense attorney represented the porn king. The defense attorney in this case, defending Martin MacNeill, represented the porn king. Now, didn`t he break down crying, the lawyer, crying, in court, claiming the pornographer wasn`t getting his constitutional rights?
GOLDBAND: His client was the owner of a home video store, Nancy. This was in the `90s when they were quite popular, and he did rent pornography, according to authorities. And this attorney broke down in tears. And according to the prosecutors at the time, said he engaged in unprofessional conduct when the verdict was read that his client was found not guilty.
GRACE: All right. So he breaks down in tears in front of the courtroom for a porn king. And I`m not talking about "Playboy," where you have airbrushed Miss January. I`m talking about sex acts that are deemed pornographic. That`s who he was representing. Not judging, I`m just giving the facts.
GOLDBAND: Yes, home videos, yes.
GRACE: Out to Dr. William Morrone, joining me out of Madison Heights. I`m not going to ask you about pornography, I want to talk to you about the drugs in her system and how that doctor could determine when the drugs were administered. The jury -- the judge is not letting the jury hear it, but I`m very interested. That toxicologist says he can narrow it down to the hour before her death, that she was administered these drugs. How can he do it?
MORRONE: It`s a very simple matter of chemistry and body metabolism. The longer those drugs are in your body, the more they`re metabolized. We call the unmetabolized drug the parent drug. And the higher the level of parent drug in the system, the closer to the time that it was either taken orally or injected. And the longer they`re in, and it flows through the liver, they`re metabolized. So if you have low levels of parent drug and high levels of metabolites, then it was hours and hours ago. But we know that the half-life of these drugs is two, three, or four hours. So the parent drug level is very important here.
GRACE: You know, Dr. Morrone, one other thing on this. There was already lividity in her body, which means, however you die, in what position you`re in, the blood settles down. For instance, if you die facedown, the blood will go to your face and your stomach. That was already occurring when the EMTs got there. So, does that give you any idea about how long she had been dead?
MORRONE: Again, it would be within the first hour.
MORRONE: Lividity doesn`t happen three or four hours later. It happens within that first hour. And that`s --
GRACE: Just as the blood is starting to settle. Everybody, when we come back, an 18-month-old baby boy found dead in a trash bin. The bin full of crumpled up beer cans, wet, dilapidated cardboard boxes. In the last hours, on the eve of trial, murder charges are dropped against the baby`s mother. That`s right, trash bin baby mom walks free.
GRACE: And now to St. Louis. An 18-month-old baby boy found dead in a trash bin. The trash dumpster full of crumpled up beer cans and wet dilapidated cardboard boxes. The little boy was just laying on top, like he had been posed there, with a jacket over him. In the last hours, on the eve of trial, the murder charges are dropped against the baby`s mother. That`s right. Trash bin baby mom walks free, and when she`s arrested, she immediately is pregnant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Charges against a mother in the murder of her 18-month- old boy have suddenly been dropped after reports surface an alleged confession from an ex-boyfriend was never shared with homicide detectives. Cops say the child suffered numerous injuries and was beaten or strangled to death. With the trial set to begin in days, the charges against Jackson were dropped, after Jackson`s attorney says testimony revealed information that was never shared with detectives working the case.
Jackson`s attorney says police found DNA on one of Jackson`s ex-boyfriends, who routinely slept in his car near where the body was found.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: So in all the months of preparing for trial, on the eve of trial, they drop the charges against trash bin baby mom. To Jill Ryan, news anchor, joining me from KTAR. Jill, is it true that at one point, the ex- boyfriend of mommy said he did it and the mom put him up to it?
JILL RYAN, KTAR: Well, here`s what we know, Nancy. According to the depositions, a patrol officer actually testified under oath that one of Melissa`s ex-boyfriends admitted to killing and dumping the baby. Now, this information was, according to records, never passed on to the homicide detectives, so they were never told about the confession, and therefore, never followed up on getting more details about this guy and what had happened with the little boy.
GRACE: OK. My question, Jill, is, is it true that the trash bin baby mom`s boyfriend said he murdered the child and that the mother, Melissa Jackson, put him up to it?
RYAN: That is true. The officer testified that she was behind the entire ordeal, and that she had actually told him, you killed the little boy, and they found DNA on this guy`s clothes. He was known to regularly sleep in his car in the alley, near the trash --
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Jill, TMI. I`m just asking you, the boyfriend said he did it and that the mom made him do it. Is that correct?
RYAN: That is correct.
GRACE: To Matt Zarrell, what more can you tell me, Matt?
ZARRELL: Nancy, Markel`s (ph) body was found wrapped in jacket. It was lay atop a bad of plastic trash bags, full of crumpled beer cans, soiled paper towels and cardboard boxes. He was killed, Nancy, three times over.
GRACE: What do you mean by that?
ZARRELL: He had three -- at least three separate fatal injuries, including brain trauma, neck injuries, multiple rib fractures, and multiple liver lacerations that resulted in internal bleeding. He also had ligature marks with corresponding injury to the inside of his neck.
GRACE: Keep that graph up. Brain trauma from beating, bone fractures, lacerated liver, ligature marks -- oh, PS, they were on the inside of the neck too, that`s how severe they were -- and internal bleeding. He was 18 months old.
Joining me right now is special guest, the lawyer for Melissa Jackson, who has been dubbed trash bin baby mom. Scott Rosenblum, joining me out of St. Louis. Mr. Rosenblum, you have an excellent reputation as a trial lawyer. Why were charges dropped against your client, Melissa Jackson?
SCOTT ROSENBLUM, ATTORNEY: Nancy, that`s always a better question to ask for the prosecution. It`s my belief that the prosecution obviously is under a duty to continually review its case, and if it determines it cannot make a case beyond a reasonable doubt, then it`s, in my opinion, the appropriate thing to do is to dismiss the case or drop the charge.
GRACE: I assume that you are going to address the fact that the ex- boyfriend claimed he did it?
ROSENBLUM: Well, I listened to you a little bit, and what you said was not 100 percent accurate.
GRACE: Oh, good. Clarify.
ROSENBLUM: The way it developed, in the course of discovery and the deposition, a patrol officer came upon this ex-boyfriend, who did sleep in a car, not owned by him, on a somewhat regular basis. At the time that he was questioned, that morning, the morning that Markel was found, apparently he was, or indicated that he had been rather intoxicated, both by alcohol and some other substances. And according to the police officer, made a spontaneous statement that the mom wanted me to do this, or something like that. You know, it wasn`t all that clear, but taken in the context of some of the other evidence and lack of evidence against Melissa, I think that certainly this gentleman or this person made a better suspect in our view than Melissa.
GRACE: OK. I understand, Mr. Rosenblum. To you, Matt Zarrell. So, you`ve got the mom who made incriminating statements. And you`ve got the boyfriend, who says, OK, I did it, and she was there, she made me do it. Who`s being held responsible for the child`s death tonight? Since they`re both basically pointing the finger at each other? Anybody?
GRACE: Nobody is being held responsible? Is that what I`m hearing?
GRACE: OK. Matt, I`m sure we contacted the prosecutor`s office. Do they have any plans of indicting the two of them together? Or is it just OK to beat and strangle a baby and leave him on top of cardboard boxes?
ZARRELL: The D.A.`s office, Nancy, says they`re still investigating the case. They will not give details on whether they plan to pursue charges against the ex-boyfriend or where they go from here.
GRACE: You know what? While they`re deciding, I`m going to stay on the story. The fact that they let her slip through their fingers is not enough. I want justice. Whether she did it or the boyfriend did it, somebody knows the answer. And I want that somebody behind bars. Out to the lines. Mary, Virginia. Hi, Mary, what`s your question?
CALLER: Hi, Nancy. I want to thank you for your persistence and strength on behalf of abused children and murdered children.
GRACE: Thank you.
CALLER: I also advocate on Twitter about the cases, and it seems to me that right now, we have way too many moms that are moving in, live-ins, and we are losing too many children and babies at the hands of the live-in boyfriends. And my comment is, what has happened to the maternal instinct of the mom to protect her children? If they don`t have --
GRACE: You know, Mary in Virginia, at 18 months old, there was no way that this little boy could defend himself to such a brutal attack.
GRACE: When we come back, we head to Miami. A mixed martial arts expert brags to Facebook friends, he`ll soon be in the news in a big way, because he shoots his wife six times, leaving mommy`s 10-year-old little girl to find her mom dead on the kitchen floor. Then he posts photos of mommy`s dead body on Facebook. Tonight he wants bail, claiming self-defense.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s charged with murdering his 26-year-old wife, Jennifer Alfonzo (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She just started throwing punches like crazy. Wouldn`t stop.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like really attacking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He claimed in his online confession that he shot his wife, because he could no longer take her physical abuse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She did make threats upstairs about me dying, and she hopes I die.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Autopsy reports--
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: He is a mixed martial arts expert. Michael Christian, investigative reporter, how is he claiming self-defense? And wasn`t she shot six times? He didn`t have a scratch on him. She was shot at a downward angle, and then posted pictures of her dead body on the kitchen floor on Facebook?
CHRISTIAN: That`s right, Nancy. He was claiming he was a victim of battered spouse syndrome. He says that he was the victim here, that she was assaulting him, she punching him in the temple, in the neck, she had a knife at one point, and then he shot her in self-defense.
GRACE: OK, with me special guest, the lawyer for Derek Medina (ph), it`s Saam Zanganch, and let me warn you, you`re about to see the graphic photo his client posted on Facebook. Thank you so much for being with us, Mr. Zanganch. It looks to me like she was kneeling, she was shot at a downward angle. How could this be self-defense? And why did he put a picture on Facebook?
SAAM ZANGANCH, ATTORNEY: Hey, Nancy, thank you for having me on the show. Let me go ahead and address the picture issue. You know, Mr. Medina, in his interview with law enforcement, gave a reason why he posted the picture, but I`ve got to tell you, I don`t think that that question can be properly answered until a mental health professional sits down and speaks to him. I got to be honest with you, I don`t even know if Derek knew why he posted the picture.
From a legal standpoint, I don`t think it`s relevant to our defense of this case. He does make a statement on that, but he (inaudible) that statement later on when he meets with law enforcement agents.
GRACE: He`s a mixed martial arts expert that claims self-defense. He shoots his wife six times, leaves her on the kitchen floor, and posts a photo of her on Facebook. With me his lawyer, Saam Zanganch. Again, thank you for being with us. Just one question. I know you can`t explain why he posted the photo of her dead body on Facebook, but my next question is really a yes or no. Mr. Zanganch, did he have bruises or cuts on his body?
ZANGANCH: He did have some injuries, yes.
GRACE: What? What injuries?
ZANGANCH: He had injuries around his chest. He had some bruising on his shoulders, but you need to take into account the totality of the circumstances here, Nancy. The whole argument that started this confrontation between Ms. Alonzo and Derek started because she wanted him to wake her up at 1:30 in the morning to watch movies, and he didn`t. And we`ve seen through text messages her stewing in her own venom from 1:30 in the morning until 9:30 when she wakes up. She`s texting her friend telling her she wants to rip Derek`s eyes out, telling her she`s having angry thoughts about him.
GRACE: Mr. Zanganch, I`m sure you learned in nursery schools, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. Words are not justification. That`s why he`s charged with murder.
Everyone, let`s just stop and remember, American hero Army Staff Sergeant Jesse Infante, 30, Cyprus, Texas. Bronze Star, Purple Heart, NATO medal, dreamed of being a drill sergeant. Father Jesus, stepmother Nancy, four siblings, fiancee Anjelica, daughter Cassandra, son Jesse Jr. Jesse Infante, American hero.
And tonight, happy birthday to my brother Matt Grace, a top sales rep in the whole country, husband, father of two boys, both of whom he and his wife put through college, a fitness freak, and also the greatest brother in the whole world.
Happy birthday, Mackie.
Dr. Drew is up next. I`ll see you tomorrow night. 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.