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Dead Baby Found in Shoplifter`s Bag; Martin MacNeill`s Murder Trial
Aired October 21, 2013 - 20:00 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 after his 6-year-old girl finds Mommy, just out of a full facelift -- Mommy face up in the family tub, dead in red water, the death first ruled natural, but a red-hot affair with a younger woman revealed after Daddy has the nerve to bring the new girlfriend home as the new nanny to their eight children. Just hours after Mommy pronounced dead on a gurney at the hospital, Dr. MacNeill already cleans out Mommy`s closet.
Bombshell tonight. Day four of the Martin MacNeill facelift murder trial, and it is a forensics battle, testimony that contrary to MacNeill`s 911 call, he never performed CPR. He never even tried to save his wife.
And tonight, shoppers busted shoplifting at Victoria`s Secret. Employees grab the Victoria`s Secret bags to find inside not just undies and bras, they find a tiny dead baby boy in the Victoria`s Secret shopping bag.
And tonight, live to the exclusive Saddlebrook senior living community. A 68-year-old man guns down a 22-year-old man after finding the 22-year-old in bed with his 63-year-old wife.
Shoppers, female shoppers, busted shoplifting at Victoria`s Secret. Employees grab the Victoria`s Secret bags to find inside not just undies and bras, they find a tiny dead baby boy in the shopper`s Victoria`s Secret shopping bag.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A teen mom is stopped by security guards at a busy Victoria`s Secret store, suspected of stealing sexy underwear. While searching her bag, security notices a foul odor and makes a chilling discovery, a dead 8-and-a-half-pound baby boy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The only reason this is a first (ph) case is because of what was allegedly seen in her bag, allegedly a deceased child.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The teen mom allegedly says she miscarried and just didn`t know what to do. Police say the autopsy report makes a more horrific claim, that the baby was born alive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s not been charged with any crime regarding the child. The only charges she has right now is the shoplifting, not a very serious offense at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: The only charges against her are shoplifting, when the autopsy shows the baby was alive, had been alive. It was no miscarriage. The way they tell that, Dr. DiMaio, forensic pathologist, San Antonio, very simply, is a doctor can look at lungs, a baby`s lungs, and tell whether they have ever breathed air before, correct?
DR. VINCENT DIMAIO, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST (via telephone): Yes, see if they float in the water and that means they`re aerated and that they`ve taken breath, and therefore, they were alive.
GRACE: You know, you make it sound so simple. So what they do, the medical examiner takes the baby`s lungs out of the body and puts it in water?
DIMAIO: Well, they -- they could do that, or they can just take a section from the lung and see if it floats because just looking at the tissue microscopically is not really good enough in telling whether the child breathed. If it`s got air in the lungs, it breathed.
GRACE: So basically, they run,what, like, a tube down the baby`s mouth as if you were doing a GI series type tube, with a suture on the end, and they cut a tiny piece of the lung, take it out and put it in water?
DIMAIO: (INAUDIBLE) autopsies. They just take...
GRACE: Oh, yes.
DIMAIO: ... the lungs out and they take sections.
GRACE: I understand. So the child has already undergone autopsy.
GRACE: Well, that`s simple newspaper, and it really cannot be disputed.
Joining me right now is Noam Laden, news anchor with WABC. Noam, what happened?
NOAM LADEN, WABC (via telephone): Well, this is what happened. This 17-year-old, Tiana Rodriguez, has the baby in her friend`s home. And the very next day, she`s in Victoria`s Secret...
GRACE: Hold on!
LADEN: ... not shopping but apparently shoplifting...
GRACE: Noam, hold on. Everybody, you`re seeing her in the red sweatshirt. Yes, I would hide my head, too, totally hide my head. I would not let my face get out there.
Back to you, Noam Laden.
LADEN: So apparently, you know, just a day later, after having this baby boy, she`s at Victoria`s Secret, not shopping but apparently shoplifting, including a $44 pair of skinny jeans.
GRACE: A $44 pair of skinny jeans. She`s pictured walking out arm in arm with a man. Who`s the man, Noam?
LADEN: Well, the man is -- it`s her uncle, who is defending her, and saying that, you know, she doesn`t know what she did. She was out of mind, and that, you know, she suffered a miscarriage.
GRACE: Whoa! Whoa! Justin Freiman, the $44 pair of skinny jeans -- did she buy that or steal it?
JUSTIN FREIMAN, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER (via telephone): According to the security guards there, she stole it. They observed her taking it into the fitting room and then leaving that fitting room with the item allegedly concealed inside the bag, and stopped her when she attempted to leave the store without paying for it.
GRACE: Oh, so she pulled a Winona Ryder, goes into the changing room, comes out and stolen things are in the bag. Did you just say she cut the tags off?
FREIMAN: I`ve not seen whether or not she cut them. But they suspect that she did take them and stuff them in that bag and had no intention of paying for it.
GRACE: Marc Klaas is joining me, president and founder of Klaas Kids Foundation. This was an 8-pound, perfectly healthy tiny baby boy, perfectly healthy except that someone had killed him. I don`t know the cause of death yet, but I know he was alive when he was born, Marc.
MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Yes, Nancy. And she could have taken advantage of a safe haven law and turned that child in to a police station, a fire department, a hospital, any of a number of places, spared the child`s life and spared her the lifetime of -- that she`s going to be spending in prison now. It`s so sad and unfortunate.
GRACE: You know, Marc, I almost hate to do it, but unleash the lawyers. Joining me, Heather Hansen, New York, Darryl Cohen, Atlanta.
All right, Heather, go ahead and hit me.
HEATHER HANSEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, listen, Nancy...
GRACE: What are you going to say, baby blues, insanity, what?
HEATHER: I`m saying we don`t know that this baby was killed. You are jumping to conclusions. She has not even been charged with any crime. They`re going to look into how this baby died. The cord could have been wrapped around the baby`s neck. The baby could have died of asphyxiation.
This is a straight-A student who was looking to go to college and already has a 2-year-old at home. We are jumping to conclusions here. And until we know what killed this baby, it`s just unfair.
GRACE: Heather Hansen, do I look like a judge and jury to you?
HANSEN: Absolutely not.
GRACE: Look around. You`re in a TV studio. You`re not in front of a jury, are you!
HEATHER: No, ma`am. But I am telling you...
GRACE: OK, that...
HANSEN: ... this case may not even get to the jury, Nancy.
GRACE: Yes, because she`s probably going to be offered a cheap plea and plead out, which is normally the case with infant death. Darryl Cohen...
GRACE: I think I hear something. I think it`s Heather Hansen still talking.
Darryl, the reality is she was not insane. She did not have a mental defect. She had the sense to go into Victoria`s Secret and shoplift a pair of skinny jeans for herself. Thoughts?
DARRYL COHEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The reality is, Nancy, if she was in her right mind, she never would have taken that infant, who was dead, into Victoria jeans (sic). That goes to her state of mind. That goes to the fact that she really didn`t understand what she was doing, did not know what she was doing at the time. And because of that, that is an excellent defense. This woman needs...
GRACE: Well, she knew what she was doing...
COHEN: ... psychiatric, period.
GRACE: ... when she stole the bluejeans. Out to...
COHEN: No, I don`t think she did.
GRACE: Out to Neily in Wisconsin. Hi, Neily. What`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I actually don`t have a question, I have a comment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, a couple of them, actually. First of all, she knew -- you know, here`s the thing. If she didn`t know that that -- if that baby wasn`t murdered, why in God`s name did she put that baby in her purse and take it to a store? That`s just ridiculous. I mean, she knew that something was wrong there. She knew.
As a mother myself, for her to claim that that baby was miscarried at 8.5 pounds -- that is ridiculous. And also, anybody that was with her, anybody that was with her, as far as I`m concerned, they need to be charged with party to a crime to murder.
GRACE: Joining me right now is the attorney for Tiana Rodriguez -- the dead baby boy found in her shopping bag. With me is Genay Ann Leitman. Thank you for being with us.
GENAY ANN LEITMAN, ATTORNEY FOR TIANA RODRIGUEZ: Good afternoon. It`s a pleasure.
GRACE: You know what? You have an excellent reputation as a defense attorney. You got your work cut out for you on this one. What is her defense, Ms. Leitman?
LEITMAN: Right now, Nancy, she`s -- and please call me Genay. She`s only charged with a misdemeanor, petty larceny, shoplifting. There is no felony charge pending. The judge released her on her own recognizance, which is totally appropriate because she has never been in court before, never been in family court, never been in criminal court, no record, according to the criminal history sheet that`s attached to her arrest papers. And all the charge is, is allegedly shoplifting a pair of jeans for $44.50.
GRACE: Can I ask you a question?
LEITMAN: And one of the things you should know -- we have to remember she`s a child. She`s 17 years old. She just turned 17 last month. She`s an A student, as one of your other guests just mentioned. She lives at home with her mother. She`s a very good art student...
GRACE: And her 2-year-old child.
LEITMAN: That`s correct. So when she was 15...
GRACE: Can I ask you a question?
LEITMAN: ... she had a child. But you know what? She didn`t abort that baby, did she.
LEITMAN: She had a child.
LEITMAN: She takes care of that child.
GRACE: I appreciate that. Can I ask you a question?
LEITMAN: Yes, of course.
GRACE: Where`s the baby?
LEITMAN: The child? The grandmother...
GRACE: The dead baby.
LEITMAN: Oh, the dead baby`s at the coroner`s office.
GRACE: So the autopsy`s still ongoing.
LEITMAN: That`s right. So when everyone`s jumping to conclusions...
GRACE: So we don`t have a cause of death yet?
LEITMAN: We don`t know how the infant died. We don`t know...
GRACE: Let me ask you another question...
LEITMAN: ... if it was a miscarriage or if it was a live birth. We don`t know.
GRACE: Well, we already know it was a live birth because...
LEITMAN: Well, how do we know? We don`t have a coroner`s report.
GRACE: Because it has already leaked that the baby had breathed air.
LEITMAN: We don`t know that unless we get a coroner`s report.
LEITMAN: You`re basing it on...
GRACE: I`m going to ask you a question and see if you can answer. Here`s the question. You stated that according to the papers, she did not have a criminal history. Do you know of a criminal history during her juvenile years that`s not showing up on a rap sheet?
LEITMAN: My information, and that information is also information I received from the assistant district attorney on the case, that they did not discover any family court history. That equates to no history.
GRACE: So you`re telling me her rap sheet, which is for an adult, does not have a history. Was she ever arrested before this incident?
LEITMAN: I`m being told by the authorities that she has no criminal history as a juvenile in family court or in criminal court as an adult. She`s 17. She`s actually a youthful offender.
GRACE: When employees at the Victoria`s Secret store nab a shoplifter, they find more than bras and undies in her bag. They find a dead baby, an 8-pound baby boy that was born alive. He has air in his lungs.
We are taking your call. Out to Tina in Connecticut. Hi, Tina. What`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Hi. I don`t really have a question. I just -- well, actually, I do. I don`t know why that kid is not charged. It`s very obvious that the child was murdered. You can`t have an 8-and- a-half-pound miscarriage. It`s impossible.
GRACE: Well put. Well put. I`m wondering why not only are there no charges, but also, the mother who gave birth at a friend`s house and then goes out shopping the next day, is out. She`s not even being held pending charges.
We are taking your calls. To John in Connecticut. Hi, John. What`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Nancy. My questions is the same thing. I mean, the child was born and -- alive, they said. And then the mother went out shopping the next day. My opinion, she should have went to the hospital and everything. She should have told them that the baby -- you know, what happened to the baby, and this and that. But she should be charged if the baby is dead.
GRACE: You know, everyone`s acting like she didn`t have the sense to know what she was doing. She has the sense to know to hide her face, and to me, that shows a guilty mind.
I mean, Noam Laden, joining me from WABC, when you leave your apartment in the morning to go to work, do you hide your face on the way to your car? Do you try to hide your face?
LADEN: I don`t think so. I mean, you know, here she was -- in that bag -- in that bag, allegedly, she had that baby, you know, walking into Victoria`s Secret. The whole time she`s walking around, knowing that this fetus is in a black plastic bag surrounded by a canvas bag, and she`s just carting it around like it`s a rag doll.
GRACE: You know, Noam, earlier, it was stated that the baby had air in its lungs. How do we know this?
LADEN: Well, you know, we have some reports from the chief medical examiner, but the final report hasn`t come out. The first one was inconclusive. And that might be some of the reason why we`re not seeing any charges.
GRACE: Well, you know, everyone is whining, We don`t know how the baby died. We don`t have the autopsy report. But this is what I have, an official statement from police. Law enforcement says the baby died of asphyxiation soon after birth.
So Darryl Cohen, Heather Hansen and Genay Ann Leitman, the woman`s lawyer, cops have already released the cause of death, asphyxiation. They`ve already stated the baby was alive and breathing and that it was asphyxiated.
To you, first, Mrs. Leitman.
LEITMAN: I haven`t received one report. And first of all, let`s understand how the criminal procedure works in New York. I`m appointed. I had the good fortune, so to speak, of volunteering to do arraignments on Saturday. And lo and behold, I picked up a young girl of 17 who was charged with shoplifting. Turns...
GRACE: I appreciate how you got...
GRACE: But for your information, Genay Ann...
LEITMAN: But I want to...
GRACE: ... we`re all trial lawyers. We all know how you get cases, how cases are appointed. Everybody on the screen right now has tried homicide cases, and many, many other cases. I`ve tried over 100 cases myself, and Cohen has been a lawyer a lot longer than me.
To Ramani Durvasula, clinical psychologist and author. Dr. Ramani, the fact that this baby was born alive, that it was strangled or smothered, asphyxiated, wrapped in two layers -- which you and I know that, forensically, that means something, that you wrap the baby up, that you put something over the body or conceal the body. That`s very, very strong psychological evidence.
How can people say that she didn`t realize what she had done?
RAMANI DURVASULA, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I think there`s a split here. I think she knew what she was doing. Obviously, she wrapped the baby. She hid the baby. But then, Nancy, her judgment seems way off. I think she just started making lots and lots of bad decisions. Something went down with that baby, but then to carry the baby around and then commit another crime? She was asking to be caught. I mean, this is where it starts turning really wonky...
DURVASULA: As a psychologist...
GRACE: You can say that about practically any killer that ever existed.
GRACE: You could say, Oh, Ted Bundy, why didn`t he stop after the first murder? He knew he`d get caught. Guess what? He -- until, like, 20 murders later. You could say that about every case, like Dr. MacNeill. You know, (INAUDIBLE) say, Wow, he should have taken off all her clothes first and then drowned her or -- but you could second-guess every murder case and say, Wow, they really screwed that up.
That doesn`t mean that they`re innocent or that they`re insane!
DURVASULA: No, no, no! I`m not saying...
DURVASULA: ... she`s an innocent. She`s neither innocent or insane. She is messed up, and at this point, she might even be dangerous because her decision making is totally off.
GRACE: Welcome back, everyone. Victoria`s Secret employees nab a shoplifter. But when they open the lady`s bags, there`s more than bras and undies inside. There`s a dead baby who was born alive and died of asphyxiation.
Marc Klaas, just because the coroner has not -- or the medical examiner hasn`t issued a report doesn`t mean it`s not true. Law enforcement cops have stated, have given a quote, that the baby was born alive and asphyxiated.
KLAAS: That`s right, Nancy. And that really begs the question that has been alluded to many times here. What kind of a justice system is it that allows somebody to walk around with a dead child in a bag through a shopping mall, discover that dead child and then let that woman walk out of a courtroom and not be spending her time in jail? It just boggles my mind!
GRACE: And also, the woman, Tiana Rodriguez, is 17, soon to be 18. She`s treated at this juncture like a juvenile. But Heather Hansen, Genay Leitman, who is representing Ms. Rodriguez -- Darryl Cohen and Heather Hansen, the reality is that right now, she`s being treated as a juvenile. That`s true because it`s just a shoplifting. But when those charges are upgraded, isn`t it true, Darryl, her case will be bound over or sent to adult court?
COHEN: In all likelihood, it will be. But let`s just wait and see. Let`s not jump to conclusions. But I am going to jump just a little bit, Nancy. Let`s assume that all of your evidence, all that you have is accurate. But let`s just see what happens.
GRACE: So that`s what -- you go to three years of law school and you try cases for what, 20 years, and you just said, let`s see what happens. Of course, we`re going to see what happens because we don`t have an alternative. She`s got a lawyer. There`s the lawyer. She`s very well known in the area. She`s tried a lot of cases. Of course it`s going to unfold.
To Karen in New York. Hi, Karen. What`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I just wanted to know where the parents were.
GRACE: The parents of the 17-year-old. Well, I can tell you where the mom is. She`s at home, taking care of Rodriguez`s other baby, who`s 2 years old.
Noam Laden, why are there no charges in this case?
LADEN: Yes, well, we have the one charge, of course, the petty larceny, possession of stolen property. But I`ll quote you -- you know, the assistant district attorney here said shoplifting with a baby in her bag...
GRACE: I`m talking about the baby!
LADEN: Yes -- who`s with the baby?
GRACE: No, I`m talking -- I`m not talking about charges on the underwear. I`m talking about manslaughter or murder charges.
LADEN: Yes, well, I`ll tell you that the assistant district attorney said to the judge -- he was pleading with the judge, Put her behind bars at least on $1,000 bail. But the judge denied the request.
GRACE: Bombshell tonight. To Utah, day four of the Martin MacNeill facelift and murder trial. It`s boiling down to a forensics battle, testimony that contrary to MacNeill`s 911 call, he never performed CPR. He never even tried to save his wife.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
911 OPERATOR: Pleasant Grove Police Department.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need an ambulance! (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My father orchestrated this whole plan in how to murder my mother.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s fallen in the bathtub!
911 OPERATOR: Who`s in the bathtub? Who`s in the bathtub?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And she started to cry and said, Alexis, if anything happens to me, make sure it wasn`t your father.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s under the water?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s under the water. Now get me an ambulance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. We are live in Utah. Bringing you the latest in the MacNeill facelift murder trial. To Jim Kirkwood, talk show host, KTKK. Bombshell testimony. The last witnesses on the stand describing what Martin MacNeill said and did while EMTs frantically tried to perform CPR. Looked like Dr. MacNeill is caught in a big fat lie about performing CPR.
JIM KIRKWOOD, KTKK: Yes. Detective Ray Ormond (ph) made it clear that as soon as they started performing CPR her color changed pink to blue, which would indicate that blood had not been moving. And when they did that, it started moving, and her color changed. That`s really critical, Nancy.
GRACE: Straight out to Dr. Vincent DiMaio, forensic pathologist joining me out of San Antonio. Dr. DiMaio, explain the significance of that.
DIMAIO: What it means was that the CPR given by the EMS was effective. It was oxygenating the blood. Anything done before that, was not oxygenating the blood, and therefore was a waste of time or useless.
GRACE: What do you mean it was useless?
DIMAIO: I mean you want to get oxygen into the blood. So if they were doing, or if someone is doing CPR and they`re not getting the oxygen in, then the CPR is not working. It`s not being done properly.
GRACE: Unleash the lawyers. Joining me, Heather Hansen, defense attorney from New York, Darryl Cohen, veteran defense attorney, former prosecutor from Atlanta. And special guest joining me there on the scene at Provo, Greg Skordas, he is former Salt Lake D.A., now defense attorney. He knows all the prosecution team and all the defense team.
Greg, first out to you. What do you make of the presentation so far?
GREG SKORDAS, FORMER SALT LAKE DA: Well, I think that the defense is sitting back and saying, OK, the state has the burden of proof. The state has a high burden of proof. That is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. We don`t have to prove anything, and so bring it on. And I think the defense is going to say, A, they can`t prove this was a homicide. There are forensics, as you already mentioned, (inaudible). And B, they can`t prove that their client did that.
GRACE: Darryl Cohen, we keep hearing over and over that you can`t prove a homicide, that is just circumstantial evidence. But Darryl Cohen, this is a yes, no answer. I know it`s hard for lawyers, including myself, to do that. But isn`t it true that this judge, like every other judge in a criminal case, will instruct the jury that circumstantial evidence is as strong as direct evidence?
COHEN: The judge certainly will instruct the jury it is strong, but it is not as strong as direct evidence. He performed CPR according to him.
GRACE: I did not ask that.
COHEN: I know you didn`t, but that`s what`s true.
GRACE: And you paraphrased it. The law says, the law says in black and white, none of us can argue with this, that the judge will charge this jury that circumstantial evidence is deemed under the law to be equal to direct evidence. It`s up to the jury if they wish to believe it or not. Isn`t that true? I would like a straight answer from you. Just this one time.
COHEN: You`ve got it, Nancy. But it is not as clear.
GRACE: According to you, it`s not. To me, it is.
COHEN: According to the jury, the jury is not going to take the same circumstantial evidence, the same as direct evidence. Just doesn`t work that way in the human mind, in the head.
GRACE: Well, I`m telling you that the circumstantial evidence is mounting. And the law is, although you keep twisting it around, I hear what you`re doing, but the law is that it is as strong as direct evidence.
I want to go to Michael Christian, investigative reporter. Michael, it`s extremely telling -- and Liz, in just a few moments, I want you to cue up the 911 calls. But, Michael -- here is what we`ve got. Matt Zarrell, I need you to help me out too.
We`ve got the EMTs getting there and he hasn`t even yet gotten her out of the tub until a neighbor came, the third neighbor to come. He would not take her out of the tub, allegedly because he`s so frail with cancer. He doesn`t have cancer. That`s been disproved. But he hasn`t done CPR. Because when they first do the very first compressions on her, and we`ve been showing you what correct CPR looks like, the water starts coming out of her mouth and nose. That`s one of the first things that happened when you do CPR. And it hadn`t happened. That means he had not done CPR, Michael Christian.
MICHAEL CHRISTIAN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: It`s very strange, Nancy, because he tells the first people to arrive, who are both women, that he needs a man there to help take her out of the tub. That he can`t do it by himself. He needs a man. Well, other witnesses have said, I could have gotten her out by myself if I had to. That wouldn`t have been the problem that apparently Dr. MacNeill was making it. Also, he`s telling 911 that he is in the act of performing CPR. That he`s doing it. People say that he looked like he might have been performing CPR. But there`s no rise in her chest, that corresponding rise and dip that you would get if somebody was breathing into her lungs. They`re not seeing that. So was he doing CPR? Probably not.
GRACE: We are taking your calls. Joining me right now is a very special guest. It is Jill Harper-Smith joining us exclusively tonight. She is the niece of Michele MacNeill. Jill, thank you for being with us.
JILL HARPER-SMITH, NIECE: You`re welcome, Nancy.
GRACE: You know, Jill, I`ve spoken with several of Michele`s daughters, and they are convinced their father murdered their mother. This is a very different thing to take in psychologically. Usually children will do -- even adult children, anything to escape the fact that one parent kills the other. What, if anything, did you observe about Dr. MacNeill, Martin MacNeill`s behavior?
HARPER-SMITH: Well, he was always just really cold and not a part of what was going on. Kind of aloof. I mean, at family functions and everything like that. I mean, I`m close to all my relatives. But I`ve never been close to Martin and I`ve never felt -- he`s been really cold.
GRACE: With me, Jill Harper-Smith, also taking your calls. She is Michele`s niece. Jill, isn`t it true that after Michele`s death in the bathtub, Martin MacNeill tried to give away their adopted child?
HARPER-SMITH: That`s true, Nancy.
GRACE: What happened?
HARPER-SMITH: Well, after Michele died, it was routine for me to go visit all the adopted children, Jezelle (ph), one of his daughters wasn`t there and around. And later we learned that she was in the Ukraine. And I took off by myself and went to the Ukraine to bring her back so she could be a part of our family again.
GRACE: How old was she at the time that MacNeill sent his adopted daughter back to the Ukraine?
GRACE: And everybody wonders why Russia is calling off Russian adoptions. Did you say she was 16?
HARPER-SMITH: She was 16.
GRACE: I was hoping that she was one of the younger children, and that she would not really understand what her father had done. Not ever have to know her own father sent her back. What was her reaction when you found her and got her in the Ukraine, what was her reaction? Did she realize what had happened? That her father gave her back?
HARPER-SMITH: Yes, she did, Nancy. I mean, I talked to her on the phone before I flew out there. And had asked what the deal was. And she said that she was under the impression she was going for a vacation. She had a small backpack of clothes with her. And Martin was supposed to be in contact with her, and never was. And so, I just simply asked if she wanted to be back here, and she just started crying, and was really upset, and really just wanting to come home. I mean, the situation there was terrible.
And I wouldn`t -- I wouldn`t have been able to imagine it except I was there for myself to see where she was living and where she was staying, and she was she really excited that she would be able to be back in Utah and be a part of the family again.
GRACE: With me is Jill Harper-Smith, this is Michele`s niece. So she didn`t realize until you got there to bring her back that Martin MacNeill had tried to dump her back in the Ukraine, basically null and void the adoption?
HARPER-SMITH: Right. Well, I mean, I think she realized it after a couple of weeks had gone by. But she didn`t -- there was no contact between her and, you know, anybody. And so there was no way for her to come back.
She believed that she was being told the truth. That she was there on vacation, and it was a nice gesture by Martin to be able to let her go and kind of be around her biological sister and everything. But it was all just part of his plan.
GRACE: Why did he do it, Jill Harper-Smith? Why did he want to get rid of his adopted children? Why did he do this?
HARPER-SMITH: Well, he actually ended up in federal prison as well as Gypsy Willis for identity theft. And basically they had a scheme to take Jezelle`s (ph) identity from her, to clear Gypsy`s name from debt that she had accumulated.
GRACE: We are live in Utah. A 911 call from a doctor/lawyer, a 6- year-old little girl finds mommy just out of a full facelift that he insisted she have. Mommy is face up in the family tub, dead, in red water, according to the little girl. The Martin MacNeill facelift murder trial is boiling down to a forensics battle.
Now testimony from the witness stand that contrary to MacNeill`s 911 call, he never performed CPR. Never even tried to save his wife. Now we learn that Dr. MacNeill staged a family conference call to assure everyone, with the medical examiner on the line, that this was natural causes. He wanted to convince everybody and went on a tear, telling all of his neighbors that he had had this conference call. It`s like giving a speech about how everything was on the up and up, that it was natural causes. It was like nobody asked him, but he felt he had to tell all the neighbors individually that it had been confirmed that Michele died of natural caused. Out to the lines. Hi, Deborah, what`s your question?
CALLER: Hi, Nancy, my question is this is Utah and polygamy is very famous. Has anyone thought of the polygamy with this doctor, and was that what he was planning to do before he murdered his wife?
GRACE: Unleash the lawyers. Greg Skordas, Heather Hansen, Darryl Cohen. It`s my understanding of polygamy that you can have multiple wives, why bother to kill one, Heather?
HANSEN: That would be the case, unless Michele MacNeill didn`t want to be one of multiple wives, which certainly seems to be the case. However, I don`t think that`s going to play in here at all. Won`t be evidence in this case. What we`re dealing with is the evidence in the trial before this jury to determine whether or not Dr. MacNeill is guilty.
GRACE: I want to show all the lawyers, Liz, the graphic of how Dr. MacNeill says he found Michele. He tells police, and correct me if I`m wrong, Matt Zarrell, he tells police that when he gets there, Michele is bent over the tub as if sometimes you can -- his first version was part of her was on the outside bent over the tub as if she were washing her hair in the -- and the faucet, turning on the water and washing her hair. What about it?
ZARRELL: Well, I think the big bone of contention here is that MacNeill`s own daughter, who was the first person on the scene, she testified -- she`s going to testify that Michele was laying with her back against the wall with her head near the faucet, which is different than MacNeill`s description of her head submerged in the water.
GRACE: This is what he says. He says he finds Michele MacNeill hanging over the tub as if she were washing her hair. I don`t know what he`s talking about. Because, A, she wasn`t naked. The little girl says she was fully clothed. Other members of the neighborhood says she was partially clothed. What about that, Darryl Cohen?
COHEN: Part of the problem is you need to walk a mile or even ten feet in his shoes. He`s freaked out. He sees his wife in the water.
GRACE: Can you answer the question?
COHEN: I`m doing my best to answer the question. The truth is, he probably doesn`t remember. So the evidence doesn`t necessarily correlate with his mind. The problem is, his mind is different and what he saw and what he said. He sees his wife, who he`s been married to for years, dying, and he just loses it. That`s purely and simply.
GRACE: So he does not even try to get her out of the tub.
COHEN: He can`t.
GRACE: Then he lies on 911.
COHEN: He can`t get her out of the tub. He tried to get her out of the tub.
GRACE: He didn`t even try.
COHEN: You try, Nancy, you try to pull someone in the tub (inaudible).
GRACE: He wasn`t even damp. He was fully dry. He did not try to get her out.
COHEN: There`s no evidence that he was not damp. Not at all.
GRACE: Yes, there is. Isn`t it true, Matt Zarrell, that he was not wet?
ZARRELL: You`re correct. Nancy, that`s one thing that the witnesses noted is that he really was not wet at all.
GRACE: Greg, here`s a theory. I don`t see Greg Skordas. Greg, the little girl comes home, she sees her mother and actually describes what she`s wearing, laying in the tub face up. The dad comes in. He sends the little girl away. OK? During that time, somehow Michele loses her pants. I think that he looked and he went, oh, my stars, nobody is going to believe she was taking a bath fully dressed. And tried to get rid of her clothing. I think that`s what happened to her pants, Greg.
SKORDAS: And I think that`s exactly what the state is going to try to show. It`s just a pattern of deception, both to his children, to the investigating people who came, to the EMTs, if you will, with respect to -- he`s a doc, the first thing you would expect him to do is to try to save someone`s life.
GRACE: Welcome back. We are live in Provo. Now, Dr. MacNeill took great effort to tell all the neighbors that the M.E., medical examiner, had a conference call with the family saying it was natural case death, even though nobody asked. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were just out in the driveway, just in the common driveway part, and he said -- he told me that she died of some kind of heart problem like the basketball player that just died over on the court. I don`t remember any of the names of any of it, but that`s how he referred to it, that I would know that a basketball player just died, but I didn`t know that, either.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn`t know about the basketball player?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. It was some kind of heart thing, and then he said that, you know, the doctor had called, they had a conference call with the doctor and made sure the family knew that it was nobody`s fault, that it was just all natural. And I asked him, because -- well, yes. I asked him, so well, Martin, how are you doing? Because I heard he only had like six months to live. And he said something to the effect of don`t write me off yet, I`m still here now, or something to that effect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back, everyone. To the exclusive Saddlebrook seniors` community, a 68-year-old man shoots a 22-year-old man after finding him in bed with his 63-year-old wife.
OK. Stacy Newman on the story. Stacy, is it true that first, the 68-year-old husband poked him with his cane?
STACY NEWMAN: You`re absolutely right, Nancy. This 68-year-old man, he poked this 22-year-old lover, who was in bed with his 63-year- old wife, said stop sleeping with my wife, get out of the bed, get out of house. The 22-year-old, Steven Chapman, refused. That`s when he called 911, pulled out a gun and shot the wall. The pellet ricocheted and hit Steven Chapman in the hand, Nancy.
GRACE: You`re saying a pellet, a pellet. Wasn`t it a bullet?
NEWMAN: Correct, but here is what happened. It`s a .41 caliber. He shot it into the wall. It sprayed, the pellet sprayed, and that`s what hit Steven Chapman in the hand.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 911, what`s the location of your emergency?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need the police to come here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I found a guy in bed with my wife, and then I - - I told him to get out. And he attacked me. I shot him. The police are coming. No, you stay here. No, you stay there. The police are coming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Stacy, what I don`t understand is why is a 22-year-old lover, why is he in jail? He got shot.
NEWMAN: Nancy, right, but sheriffs say he was warned to get off this property, and did not listen. He charged at the husband, and the husband had a right to defend himself.
GRACE: Wait a minute, whoa. Darryl Cohen, Heather Hansen, he`s in bed with the wife, the 63-year-old wife. I think he had permission to be on the property.
COHEN: Not from the husband he didn`t. He clearly was told by the husband--
GRACE: He had it from the wife.
COHEN: -- get out of here. He did not have it from the husband. The husband came in.
HANSEN: Not only that, Nancy, but he was defending himself. The younger man charged him after he tried to call the cops. He hit a warning shot. He didn`t fire at the younger man, and a stray pellet hit him. He deserved it.
GRACE: All I can say is I`m glad the mug shot is from the neck up. Everybody, tonight, let`s stop and remember American hero, Army Specialist Blake Whipple, just 21, Williamsville, New York. Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge. Loved board games, video games, and baseball. Parents David and Kim, brothers Brian and Shawn. Blake Whipple, American hero.
And tonight, a special good night from our Cajun and Georgia friends, Edgar and Marlene. Thanks for being here in studio. Everyone, court is done out in Provo, but Dr. Drew is up next. I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. Until then, good night, friend.