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Arizona Teen Kills Mother With Frying Pan; Woman Claims Self-Defense in Killing of Nine-Month Pregnant Sister-in-Law; Family Therapist Sets Cat on Fire, Posts Pictures to FaceBook

Aired October 28, 2013 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, live, suburban Mesa. A young teen boy and his mom argue, and he gets grounded. Mommy takes away the cell phone. Typical teen, right? Wrong.

Bombshell tonight. After Mommy takes away his cell phone, her teen son waits to ambush Mom when she gets home from work, attacking her with a kitchen frying pan and a hammer, then drags Mommy`s lifeless body to hide it in the back yard tool shed. He lays in wait and tries to kill Daddy, too. Tonight, his defense argues he should get straight probation.

And tonight, they move in their troubled adult sister under the condition she stays off drugs and gets a job. But instead of starting over, she starts a fight instead, attacking her sister, nine months pregnant at the time, due to give birth the following week, with a ninja knife.

Tonight, her defense, that her 9-month pregnant sister, who had been praying with a neighbor just moments before the altercation, attacked her. That`s right, she claims she was attacked by a nine-month-pregnant lady who was praying.

And tonight, to Redlands, California, upscale suburbs. A family therapist gets mad at her own cat and sets the cat on fire. To top it all off, she posts pictures of the burning cat`s tail on Facebook. Sounds to me like the therapist needs a therapist -- and jail time, of course.

Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us.

Bombshell tonight. Suburban Mesa, a young teen and his mom argue. He gets grounded. Mom takes away the cell phone. Typical teen, right? Wrong. After Mom takes away the cell phone her son waits to ambush her when she gets home from work, attacking her with a frying pan, drags her body to the back yard tool shed and lays in wait to try and kill Daddy, too. Tonight, his defense says he should get straight probation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A 16-year-old boy is accused of murdering his mom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mesa police were investigating a homicide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say it`s because she took his cell phone away. That`s right, his cell phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mesa police responded to the scene shortly after the suspect`s stepfather contacted them, after the suspect allegedly attacked him with a frying pan. When police arrived, they found the suspect`s mother dead inside of a back yard shed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mom comes home, 16-year-old immediately attacks Mom. Ultimately, you know, she is killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Authorities say the teen and his friend then move his mother`s dead body to a shed outside the home. Why did he allegedly do it?


GRACE: Straight out to Jill Ryan, Newstalk KTAR. Jill, thank you for being with us. All this because Mommy confiscated his cell phone?

JILL RYAN, NEWSTALK 92.3 KTAR: Yes. Apparently, they had an argument the night before, and she said, You know what? You`re grounded. I`m going to take this cell phone away. You`re not going to get it anymore.

So what happened early in the morning is that the dad came home, and he told police he was attacked by his stepson, brutally attacked, and that`s when police were called.

GRACE: Joining me right now is a special guest out of Mesa. With me is Joan Knowles. She is the neighbor of the family. Ms. Knowles, thank you for being with us.

JOAN KNOWLES, NEIGHBOR (via telephone): Yes.

GRACE: Ms. Knowles, I understand that you spoke to the teen just before the alleged murder, a couple of hours, correct?

KNOWLES: That`s correct.

GRACE: What did he say? What was his demeanor?

KNOWLES: He seemed OK. He was looking at the house, telling us that -- we were asking him if they wanted to take part in a block party, and he said his parents had moved to Ohio to be closer to other family, and they gave the house to him.

GRACE: What? Gave the house to a 16-year-old boy, a teen?

KNOWLES: Yes. Well, you know, we didn`t know it. We thought he was older.

GRACE: So he looked older. He was just out of 15. OK, so it sounds to me like he`s laying the trap for the neighbors to fall into...

KNOWLES: Exactly.

GRACE: ... so they wouldn`t question why the -- they didn`t see the parents for a while.

KNOWLES: The parents worked graveyard. So it was 5:00 o`clock when we talked to the teen, and apparently, 4:00 AM is when they discovered the body.

GRACE: With me is Joan Knowles, a neighbor of this family. A teen boy allegedly beats his mom to death with a kitchen frying pan after she simply confiscates his cell phone.

Joan Knowles, again thank you for being with us. Did I hear you say both parents worked the graveyard shift?

KNOWLES: Yes. Well, I know the mother did. I don`t know about the stepdad.

GRACE: Do you know where they worked?

KNOWLES: She worked at the airport.

GRACE: From what I understand, they both worked like dogs to try to help the boy, to try to give him things that they never had, you know, like all of us try to do for our children. So how often did you actually see the parents?

KNOWLES: Never seen them, never -- never met them because of the hours they worked.


KNOWLES: But the boy would come to our house several times to visit.

GRACE: Really? What brought him to your home to visit?

KNOWLES: Well, we had moved in a year-and-a-half ago, and he came over a month after we moved in to introduce himself. He was in uniform because he was in ROTC and real proud of that. But when he visited us he talked all about himself. He never asked us questions about, you know, what we -- where we came from or anything like that.

And he`d often want ride to the skating rink. And different -- other neighbors, he encountered them to ask them if they would drive him somewhere.

GRACE: You know...

KNOWLES: Yet he told us he had a Shelby (ph) car, number 38 on the line, very expensive car. And I asked him, Well, where is your car? Well, it`s locked up in my friend`s garage because I don`t want it to get stolen.

So we heard a lot of stories from him.

GRACE: A Shelby car, number 38 on the line. I`m sorry. You know, I drive a Toyota minivan. What`s a Shelby car number 38 on the line? It sounds expensive.

KNOWLES: Very. Probably $130,000.

GRACE: Whoa. OK. So when he was over, he just acted like a regular teen, self-absorbed, trying to get a ride to the skating rink.


GRACE: Did he ever...

KNOWLES: And that he was adopted and he didn`t like his stepdad, and that he discovered his real family lived in Ireland.

GRACE: Do you think any of that was true, Ms. Knowles?


GRACE: You know what? I don`t, either.

KNOWLES: It didn`t take many visits to realize that he`s telling a lot of stories.

GRACE: Why didn`t he like his stepfather? I mean, the both of them, the stepfather and the mother, literally worked like dogs to try and give him more than they had. That`s my understanding. Why didn`t he like the stepfather?

KNOWLES: He said he was a jerk, never did anything around the house, never cleaned up around the yard or anything. And we thought, well, why couldn`t the teen help out? Why didn`t he help clean the yard and do chores? I don`t know. And then he had a boa constrictor and he had some kind of a special certificate to allow him to have these...

GRACE: Exotic animals?

KNOWLES: ... these snakes.

GRACE: Oh, OK. You know what? Ms. Knowles, this is becoming to be a very unusual picture, but part of it makes him sound like a regular teen, talks all about himself, just trying to...


GRACE: ... cop a ride to the skating rink. I mean, when you think of a teen going to the skating rink, that sounds so wholesome, you know, to most of us. But to think that he beat his mom to death...


GRACE: ... with a frying pan and a hammer. And you know, you`d think -- by the fact that he used a frying pan, Ms. Knowles, you`d think that it was just a spur of the moment, that he just grabbed what was there and hit his mom out of anger. But now we`re learning he actually had a friend helping him, posed as a lookout, so to speak, in the front yard. So this thing was very well planned out.

KNOWLES: (INAUDIBLE) definitely premeditated.

GRACE: You do think that?

KNOWLES: Yes, because he told us his parents moved to -- that they`re gone. They`re in Ohio.

GRACE: Unleash the lawyers. Stay with me, Ms. Knowles. Joining is tonight, Areva Martin, defense attorney to of LA, and Brian Claypool, also a renowned defense attorney out of LA.

First to you, Brian Claypool. You know, when you first hear that he used a frying pan on his mom -- this is a teen boy, all right? He and his mom apparently had been very, very close. As you know, she worked at the airport on the night shift to support him. But now we find out he actually had a lookout? One of his friends was posted in the front yard to make sure nobody drove up? That is premeditation, Brian.

BRIAN CLAYPOOL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, this isn`t voodoo...

GRACE: Why are you laughing? Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

CLAYPOOL: This isn`t voodoo justice.

GRACE: Can I ask why you`re laughing?

CLAYPOOL: Yes, because this isn`t voodoo justice, where you just...

GRACE: I don`t` even know what you`re talking about.

CLAYPOOL: ... pull a rabbit out of a hat. Well, how do you know -- how do you have evidence there`s somebody doing a lookout for this young man?

GRACE: Really? Because the police said so.

CLAYPOOL: All the evidence that I`m hearing -- Nancy, Joan Knowles would be my first witness...

GRACE: Excuse me!

CLAYPOOL: ... representing...

GRACE: Excuse me. Did you just hear what I said?

CLAYPOOL: She would be my first witness...

GRACE: I just told you police have also arrested an accomplice who the defendant, a teen boy, used as a lookout in the front yard. I don`t know how much more plainly I could state it.


GRACE: That`s why I say that...

CLAYPOOL: ... he`s innocent before proven guilty.

GRACE: ... because police have released it.

CLAYPOOL: Are you guys having a bonfire there with the U.S. Constitution over there? I mean...

GRACE: OK, you know what? Claypool...

CLAYPOOL: ... you have to have -- you have a trial first. There`s -- Nancy, hear me out. He might have some type of mental disability based on what Joan Knowles is telling us. He sounds delusional. He`s lying about everything. There`s no prior evidence of any aggressive, violent behavior with anybody. Then he just snaps and starts killing his mom and hiding her? Sounds like there`s a mental disability issue here.

GRACE: Really? Because you`ve gone to, Nancy, you`re making up the facts. And when I tell you it`s in the official police report, then you go, Oh, he`s a typical teen, and this is a witch hunt and voodoo justice, and I think he`s got a mental disability. If anybody`s delusional, Brian, sadly, I think it may be you.

Areva Martin, come on. Give me something that I can work with.

AREVA MARTIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Sorry, Nancy. I have to agree with Brian on this. I think the real issue is, how does a boy who has no history, as far as we know, of criminal activity or violence go from what we know also is loving his mom and telling his friends that he does love him mom to killing his mom and attempting to kill his stepfather?

We need to see some forensics get involved in this case, some psychological evaluation...

GRACE: Put her up!

MARTIN: ... of what was going on with this kid. I`m sorry, Nancy. I get really disgusted when I hear these cases of kids committing crimes, and we`re not dealing with the underlying mental health issues.

CLAYPOOL: That`s right.

MARTIN: This is not a typical response to someone taking a cell phone. I`m a mom. I`m worried. If I take my kid`s cell phone...

GRACE: OK, Areva -- Areva...

MARTIN: ... is she going to kill me with a frying pan?

GRACE: Bring it down. You say you want to see forensics? Here`s the facts.

Out to Clark Goldband. Are these the facts? If I`m wrong, correct me, that...


GRACE: ... he had a friend of his pose as a lookout, that he was angry because his mom confiscated his cell phone, that he long hated his stepfather, and that he waited, he had time to wait, he lay in wait, until she got home. After he killed her, he lay in wait until his stepfather came home, then he tried to kill him, too. Am I missing anything?

GOLDBAND: Nancy, I can also add, according to reports, you`re correct in what you`re saying. Also according to reports, that 17-year-old who allegedly served as the lookout in the front of the house also helped move the body to the back of the home, inside of a shed.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Classmates say the boy was friendly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She found out she once gave a ride to the 16-year- old suspect who is now in custody.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He seemed nice. I gave him a ride to his grandma`s, and that`s about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Authorities say he`s a killer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... after the suspect got into a heated argument with his mom, and his 17-year-old friend allegedly helped to discard any evidence of the murder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is moved into the shed, and then some evidence is tried to be cleaned up or gotten rid of, and both of those participated in that aspect of it.


GRACE: What mom and/or dad has never had a problem disciplining a child? You want your child to behave so you don`t have to discipline them. When this mom confiscated her teen son`s cell phone, she had no idea the series of events that she touched off.

Her body was found beaten to death in the back yard tool shed, her son apparently laying in wait until she came home from the night shift at the airport, and then slaughtered her in the kitchen, using the kitchen frying pan and a hammer, even thinking to get another teen friend to pose as lookout in the front yard.

We are taking your calls. Out to LynnAnn in Arkansas. Hi, LynnAnn. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Thank you for taking my call. It`s more of a comment, really.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This teen (ph) needs to be tried as an adult. It was clearly premeditated. He had a helper. I mean, I don`t know what planet some attorneys live on when they think that this should be just probation. I`m boggled.

GRACE: You know, I agree, and I`ve got Claypool and Martin here acting like this is some kid that`s straight out of the quilting bee, all right? He`s not. He got an accomplice. He hid the body.

Just think about this, Areva Martin, as the two of you want to handle him with kid gloves. He got his friend to pull his mom`s dead body through the back yard to hide her in the tool shed. And as both of you know from trying so many cases, that the judge will instruct a jury, if it gets that far, that they are allowed under the law to take into mind the circumstances before, during and after the crime, including hiding his mom`s body in the tool shed, cleaning up the kitchen and waiting on Daddy.

What about that, Areva Martin?

MARTIN: First of all, Nancy, no one -- no one is exonerating this young man from this horrific act. Obviously, killing your mom is just the most unthinkable thing that anyone can do.


MARTIN: But we have to look at the totality of the circumstances. It looks like this boy panicked. You know, hiding the body after...

GRACE: Panicked? He laid in wait!

MARTIN: ... he finds out his mom died -- I don`t think there`s enough evidence at this point...


MARTIN: ... that he laid in wait. It looks like a crime of passion.

GRACE: That`s the evidence!

MARTIN: It looks like they were arguing. He takes a frying pan. Who would plan to kill their mom with a skillet...

GRACE: OK, let`s...

MARTIN: ... Nancy?

GRACE: ... get the facts.

MARTIN: I just don`t think there`s evidence of premeditation there.

GRACE: Let`s get the facts. Paul Penzone, former sergeant with Phoenix PD, child advocate. Paul, isn`t it true that he did lay in wait, waiting for mom to walk through that kitchen door? She hadn`t even made it into the den yet. The back door opened right into the kitchen. She got in, like, three or four steps, and wham, right in the head with a skillet.

And not only that, he had an accomplice. That means he planned this ahead of time. I agree with Lynn Ann in Arkansas. What are these two defense attorneys tripping on?

PAUL PENZONE, FMR. SERGEANT, PHOENIX PD: You know what? It`s frustrating for me also as an investigator. I think you hit on the three most critical elements, which is before, during and after.

It`s obvious that he was already planning this if he was making statements to the neighbors relative to him owning that home and his parents no longer being a part of it.

And what conversation took place -- I mean, I`m -- I would just be very surprised if he made a phone call to his friend, said, Hey, by the way, I killed my mom. Would you come over and help me hide the body?

He probably shared with him advance his anger, his frustration and maybe even his plan to hurt his mother or kill his mother and his stepfather.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The teen allegedly tells cops he got into a heated shouting match with his mom on the phone. When she comes home from work, he decides to kill her.


GRACE: Welcome back, everyone. We are taking your calls.

Mommy walks home from the night shift to get a blow to the head with a kitchen frying pan. But it was not an intruder, it was her own teen son, angry because she had confiscated his cell phone after he acted out at school.

Out to the lines. Leo in Illinois. Hi, Leo. What`s your question?

Oops. Hold on. Let me know when you get his satellite back up, Liz.

In the meantime, to Daniel Spitz, forensic pathologist joining me, Clinton township. Daniel, thank you for being with us. What will we learn from the mom`s autopsy and from a search of his body?

DR. DANIEL SPITZ, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST (via telephone): Well, obviously, you`re going to learn the exact cause of death. And think what`s important there is not so much, you know, how she died because I think that`s very apparent, but it`s trying to link up any of the injuries with a particular weapon or weapons.

Certainly, you want to know if only one of these individuals was involved, or maybe both of them were involved in the actual crime. So trying to link up what injuries may have been the result of the frying pan, what, if any, injuries are the result of the hammer, and to try and link up, you know, who exactly was involved.

GRACE: To Brian Russell (ph), forensic psychologist, co-host of "Fatal Vows" on Investigation Discovery. Brian, thanks for being with us.

We already hear the defense arguing mental defect. We haven`t even had the bind-over hearing for him to be treated as an adult yet. But the fact that he had an accomplice and that he waited for his mom, hid her body, then waited on his dad, that is premeditation. I don`t care how you guys slice the bread.

BRIAN RUSSELL, CO-HOST "FATAL VOWS": Yes, and hiding the body afterwards would indicate consciousness of guilt. I mean, to listen to these defense attorneys, Nancy, we might as well say it`s society`s fault for not having tight enough frying pan control laws.

But one point I would like to make is that you said that these parents were out there working all the time, trying to make sure that this kid had things they didn`t have. And that can be a dangerous thing to do because it`s easy for that to spill over into creating a sense of entitlement in a kid. And a kid who would bludgeon his mother to death because she took his cell phone away is a kid with a profound sense of entitlement.

GRACE: OK, you know what, Brian Russell? I get it. No more shopping sprees at Target or the Dollar Tree for the twins.

Everybody, when we get back, they move in their troubled sister under the condition -- she`s an adult -- under the condition she stays off drugs and gets a job. But instead of her starting over, she starts a fight instead, attacking her own sister, nine months pregnant at the time, due to give birth the following week, with a ninja knife.


GRACE: They move in their troubled adult sister under the condition she stays off drugs and gets a job. But instead of her starting over, she starts a fight instead, attacking her sister, who was nine months pregnant at the time, due to give birth the following week, with a, quote, "ninja knife."

Tonight her defense, that her nine-month pregnant sister who had been praying with a neighbor just moments before this altercation, attacked her. That`s right. She claims she was being attacked by a nine-month pregnant lady who was praying.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A woman accused of brutally stabbing her sister- in-law reportedly using a double-sided, Chinese martial arts dagger inside the victim`s home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Already a mother of two, she was nine months pregnant with her third child.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I wanted to be was a good father, a good provider.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Documents painting a disturbing picture of an ongoing battle between Ashley and her sister-in-law.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When police arrived, they found the body of 26- year-old Ashley Indico facedown in a pool of her own blood inside her bathroom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Records show a neighbor who went to see what was going on described loud moans coming from Elinor. It was first thought there was kinky sex going on. Then it sounded as if Elinor was really enjoying what she was doing to Ashley.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Both she and her unborn body did not survive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It shouldn`t have ended like this.


GRACE: What a story. This woman, nine months pregnant. She was set to give birth the following week. She had a 5-year-old little boy already. They take in their sister. It was her sister-in-law, to help her start over, under the condition she would stay off drugs and get a job. That`s all she had to do. But instead, she ends up killing her sister-in-law just before he gives birth. Now she claims the nine-months pregnant sister attacked her.

One more vital fact. Just moments before she was murdered, the pregnant sister was praying with a neighbor. Praying with a neighbor. They joined hands in prayer, praying that this sister-in-law would go ahead and move out, because she was so horrible in the home. She was praying to God for deliverance, and then she was murdered.

Now the defense, this is the shocker. That the nine-month pregnant woman was attacking her. The nine-month pregnant woman who was praying. Joining me right now is a special guest. It is the husband, the father of the unborn child. With me, is Aristeo Indico. Sir, thank you for being with us.


GRACE: I know you must be hurting so badly, and I want you to know that so many people have been praying for you and thinking about you, and the little boy you were raising. Please -- please know that you are not alone, that people are thinking of you. Please know that, sir.

INDICO: Yes. When I found out what the detectives are talking about, about these knives, I told them that she can`t bring that around our house, because we have two kids. And we didn`t want them to be hurt. She snuck those on us. And -- and I`m not stupid. I said, (inaudible), is that what she did? She used those? Murdered my wife? After all I`ve done for her? This is how she`s going repay me.

GRACE: Mr. Indico, you said after all you had done for her. I know that you and your wife opened up your home to your sister, under the condition she never did drugs again and that she--

INDICO: Right.

GRACE: Got a job.


GRACE: What moved you to allow her to come to your home? What were you thinking at that time?

INDICO: Well, she was my sister. And I was -- as a family member. As her only family, you would do anything to protect your family. I believe family is stronger than money, and the bigger the family, the richer you are in life. And that`s what we believed in. That`s why we wanted more kids, and you know, we worked for (inaudible), and just the smile on their face and the thought that, you know -- every night my son -- my daughter has, too, tell me that they miss their mom. And -- I stand in front of them and I cry and tell them that mommy`s in your heart and she`s in your memory. So my son gets nightmares and my daughter gets nightmares.

GRACE: Mr. Indico, I -- what did your sister say? I mean, how has she been able to explain any of this to you? And now she`s claiming that your wife attacked her. That`s -- that is impossible. Your wife was about to give birth. She`d been with a neighbor praying just moments before this happened.

INDICO: That`s a complete lie. Even -- I talked to my own father. My family disowned her, the fact that she`s a pathological liar. And the things that she did to my wife, to their daughter-in-law. This heinous thing that she did to us, to hurt our family name. To hurt my wife`s family name is unthinkable. We`re -- we`re outraged. No one`s going to be behind her on this one. Nobody. Someone would --

GRACE: Mr. Indico, who -- who is taking care of your children?

INDICO: My wonderful mother-in-law and my grandfather. My -- my father-in-law. I`m here at their place, in West Hills. And they`ll go to -- (inaudible), and I have my family`s support, my company`s support, the victims of crime support and Metro support, everybody`s been very supportive, but I just want my wife to come back.

GRACE: And had you already picked out a name for your unborn son?

INDICO: The hardest thing that I had to do was -- it was Anthony [inaudible] -- Indico. That`s what`s on his birth certificate.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A local Las Vegas resident was shocked when her neighbor`s 5-year-old son came through her door with blood on his hands saying, my mom is bleeding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was every man`s dream.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The police say Aristeo`s sister Elinor stabbed Ashley, who was nine months pregnant, following an argument in his home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She initially told them the fight was about money. Cops now say Elinor was being kicked out of the home and had to move out in just days.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ashley found dead in the bathroom with stab wounds.

Both children witnessed the crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will never, ever, talk to her. Not for what she did to me.


GRACE: Out of the goodness of their heart, they move in their troubled adult sister under the condition she stays off drugs and gets a job. But instead of starting over, she starts a fight instead attacking her sister nine months pregnant at the time, due to give birth to a baby boy the following week. Attacking her with a quote, "ninja knife." Tonight her defense, that her nine-month pregnant sister who had been praying with a neighbor just moments before the altercation is the one who attacked her. We are taking your calls.

Out to Dino, New York. Hi, what`s your question?

CALLER: I just want to know how can a woman who`s nine months pregnant start a conflict with the sister, who she let in her house on their own freewill? How does that happen?

GRACE: Yes. Let`s throw that to the defense lawyers. Brian Claypool, Areva Martin. Areva, how does that work?

MARTIN: You know, Nancy, this is just a horrific case. Who can`t feel sorrow for a mom who`s stabbed with her unborn baby, but we don`t know what happened in that house, and we have to reserve judgment until all of the evidence comes out. We do know --

GRACE: You know, you say that on every case.

MARTIN: -- (inaudible) was a drug user.


MARTIN: We know that Elinor was a drug user. She was a drug user. So perhaps we`re going to be dealing with diminished capacity in this case.

GRACE: Really? Correct me if I`m wrong, Areva Martin, but isn`t the law that voluntary use of drugs or alcohol is never a defense to a crime, unless you are totally comatose at the time? Isn`t that the law?

MARTIN: Nancy, we know that drugs can cause someone to be in an altered state of mind.

GRACE: Could you just answer that question?

MARTIN: Drugs and drug use and the effect of drugs on you can be a defense, Nancy. We don`t know what the --

GRACE: Voluntary. I just said, voluntary use of --


MARTIN: Nancy, we don`t have all the facts in this case and we have to reserve judgment on that.

GRACE: Hold the phone (ph). You have investigated enough cases and we all know, if we`re being honest with the viewers, that the voluntary use of drugs and alcohol, voluntary use, is not a defense to a crime, or else everybody in the jailhouse tonight would go, oh, yes. Yes. I had a beer. I was drunk. Walk out free.

PENZONE: You`re absolutely correct. There`s something to look at. We have a nine-month pregnant woman who is limited in her physical abilities. It`s just human nature. Therefore, if you`re in a confrontational position, you have the freedom to flee from her without her being able to chase you or hurt you. Secondly I want to see those injuries on this accuser, or the person who carried out the crime.

GRACE: Joining me out of Vegas, is a very special guest. It is the actual defense attorney in this case. He is the attorney for Elinor Indico. The deputy public defender in the homicide unit Clark County, Norm Reed. Norm, you`ve got quite a reputation. You`ve tried a lot of cases. What`s your defense going to be?

NORM REED, ATTORNEY: I think it`s pretty obvious. Self-defense.

GRACE: Self-defense what? Against the mom? And the unborn baby? Nine months pregnant? The one that was praying right before the incident?

REED: Well, I don`t know where you got your facts about the praying part.

GRACE: From the neighbor.

REED: But certainly we`re going to wait until all the evidence comes can out like the one lawyer said. But someone who is nine months pregnant, is not incapable. Someone with military training isn`t incapable. Many women have their children and work right up until the day their child is born. There is a lot information I think you are assuming that is not true.

GRACE: Let me ask you a question, Norm.

REED: Sure.

GRACE: Norm, are you married?

REED: Yes.

GRACE: Do you have a child?

REED: I have two.

GRACE: And your wife, did she work up until the day of delivery?

REED: Both times. Yes.

GRACE: And you would say, then, I assume that she was capable of murdering an able-bodied adult female with a ninja knife at nine months pregnant?

REED: I absolutely think that she could have wielded a knife. Quite easily. Yes.

GRACE: Really? I was in a wheelchair. It was kind of hard for me to take in this woman who the neighbor says was praying with her about her drug addled house guest that would be your client. Whose ninja knife was it?

REED: I wouldn`t describe it as a ninja knife. I would like to see an actual picture of it, if the police would give it to us, but it was her knife.

GRACE: Whose knife?

REED: Ms. Indico`s.

GRACE: You mean your client, Elinor? So it was her knife. So now the nine month pregnant woman sneaks around, and finds the knife, and then attacks the drug addled sister-in-law with it?

REED: I don`t think it took much for her to know where her sister-in- law keeps her knife.

GRACE: Okay. Let`s go to the husband. To Aristeo Indico. You do hear the defense is claiming your wife, the mother of your children, you`ve got two, I think, nine months pregnant with a baby boy, also was a ninja knife enthusiast. Did the knife belong to your wife?

INDICO: No. We told my sister to leave that knife behind, because we have two kids, and we don`t want them finding it and getting hurt. When I found out it was in my house, I was [EXPLETIVE DELETED] livid. Because she disobeyed what I said, and my wife.

GRACE: Well, I don`t blame you. I don`t blame you. Joining me right now, Dave Mack, morning talk show host, WAAX. Dave, what more can you tell us?

DAVE MACK, WAAX: Nancy, I can tell you, I understand the defense lawyers have a job to do. I understand that, but as a husband and father, I`ve been there. I`ve watched my wife when she was nine months pregnant, and you can try to make sense out of the unsensible. Bottom line, you`ve got a drug addict who claims that the woman who put her up in her own home, who goes to a neighbor and says, we gave her until this weekend to go out and I`m just praying to God she`ll leave tonight. That she won`t put us through this until the end of the week, and you`re expecting us to believe that the nine month pregnant woman attacked her? We can`t buy it. It makes no sense. It doesn`t add up, and my heart breaks for the man. Thank you for coming on, but good grief, Nancy.

GRACE: And to Mr. Indico, you`ve got a long road ahead of you. A trial, a defense. The main thing is raising those children. Now, please know, you do it with the support of a very, very big country.

INDICO: they miss their mom so much.

GRACE: I know. I can`t even imagine, Mr. Indico. I cannot even imagine having to tell a little boy and a little girl their mommy can`t put them to bed, that she`s in heaven and she`s living in their hearts. I just -- everyone, we are shifting gears. When we come back, a family therapist gets mad at her own cat, and sets the cat on fire. To top it off, she posts photos of the burning cat`s tail on Facebook. Sounds like the therapist needs a therapist, and, of course, a lot of jailtime.


GRACE: To Redlands, California, upscale suburbs, a family therapist gets mad at her own cat and sets the cat on fire. To top it off, she posts photos of the burning cat`s tail on Facebook. It sounds like the therapist needs a therapist, and jail time, of course.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A horrifying video was posted to Facebook of a woman lighting a defenseless cat on fire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An open flame catches a cat`s tail on fire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say they arrested a woman in connection with the cruel act. Monica Ferrari (ph) faces an animal cruelty charges. She reportedly answered her critics by saying, the cat isn`t set on fire, it`s a bit of her fur. Chill. Well, now she could soon have plenty of time to chill behind bars.


GRACE: Jane Velez, what happened?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN ANCHOR: It`s absolutely horrifying, Nancy, and I want to thank you for covering this important story. This woman seen on a Facebook posted video setting her cat`s tail on fire. This is outrageous. This woman had the audacity to commit, according to cops, this horrid act of animal cruelty, setting her cat`s tail on fire. And then when someone says, please, tell me why this is in any way amusing? She responds -- chill, I just burned some of the animal`s fur. I didn`t set the whole cat on fire. To which the other woman responds, oh, so we could set your hair on fire and that would be funny?

The idea that anybody would do this is so sick and unconscionable. Police took the action they needed to take. They arrested this woman on suspicion of animal cruelty. She could face some serious, serious criminal difficulties.

Frankly, I hope she does.

What happened was, that this video showing this poor cat going up in flames -- and we`re happy to say the cat has survived and is doing fine, was pulled off. They yanked the video after 12 minutes, perhaps sensing they might be in big trouble, but what happened was screen grabs were taken, and they went viral all over the country, so everybody`s looking at this screen grab. Now cops are hunting for the video itself. That is the key evidence in this case of animal cruelty, which I hope is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: California woman allegedly lit a cat on fire. The horrifying image was part of a video posted on Facebook. The status reads -- lighting Monica`s cat on fire. As for the response to the post, some people seemed outraged, others not so much. The woman allegedly in the gruesome video stands accused of animal cruelty and could be spending time behind bars.

An open flame catches a cat`s tail on fire. The horrifying image was part of the video posted on Facebook earlier this week. The status reads lighting Monica`s cat on fire. Police say they arrested a woman in connection with the cruel act. Monica Ferrari (ph) faces an animal cruelty charge.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t believe somebody would do something like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We showed neighbors the image. They were stunned by the bizarre and violent act.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So they`re posting it on Facebook like they think it`s cool?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Good question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say someone in Boston saw the post on Tuesday and forwarded it to them. Immediately detectives and animal control began to track down the suspect. Yesterday they arrested Ferrari in Redlands. The cat, which is 15 years old, is now with animal control. There`s relief the alleged crime was reported quickly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I definitely would call the authorities and tell them about the indent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As for the response to the post, some people seemed outraged, others not so much. Ferrari responds to critics of the images, saying the cat isn`t set on fire, it`s a bit of her fur.

We stopped by Ferrari`s listed address tonight.

Is this Monica Ferrari`s house? The man who opened the door would not speak to us.


GRACE: Jane Velez, what happened?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There is unfortunately a sick, sick trend of people posting animal cruelty on the web. There are crush videos where there are some sickos out there who gets some kind of sexual gratification over the torture of animals. All of these people should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And I will say this, as horrible as all this is, it`s nothing compared to animals that are sometimes skinned alive for fur coats, so there`s a lot of horror going on that we don`t catch on video.

GRACE: We remember American hero, Army Private First Class John Andradi (ph), just 19, San Antonio. Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, dreamed of being a police officers. Parents Betty and Cesar, stepparents Paul and Juanita, siblings, widow Elizabeth. Son John Jr. John Andradi, American hero.

Dr. Drew is up next, everyone. I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. Until then, good night, friend.