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Leo`s DiCaprio`s Niece Missing; Killer`s Wife on Trial for Helping Him Murder and Dismember Former Lover
Aired January 29, 2014 - 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. Off the top, bombshell tonight. In the last hours, we learn superstar Leonardo DiCaprio`s 6-year- old niece goes missing. Tonight, where is Normadie?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The niece of Hollywood A-lister and recent Golden Globe winner Leonardo DiCaprio is missing, as DiCaprio`s brother, Adam Farrar, and girlfriend Charity Moore (ph), remain behind bars on drug multiple drug and theft charges. What happened to 6-year-old Normadie?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: And live, North Carolina, a woman accused of helping her husband to murder and dismember his former lover, 27-year-old Laura Ackerson, goes missing. Well, tonight, another mother of two now accused of helping her husband kill and dismember the former lover.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jealousy killing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Severed into multiple pieces.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wife helps husband viciously murder ex-girlfriend!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Placed in an ice chest and acquired a U-Haul trailer, tossed her remains.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ms. Hayes (ph), you`re here because you`re charged with first-degree murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: And tonight, Danvers, Massachusetts suburbs. A beautiful and popular 24-year-old math teacher found dead, her throat slit. Suspect, a little boy thought to be a quiet and withdrawn student in Ms. Ritzer`s algebra class. Tonight, to add insult to horrific injury, did the boy actually videotape the sex assault and murder of his female algebra teacher?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Surveillance video shows Colleen Ritzer`s 14- year-old student, Philip Chism following Ritzer into the bathroom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... video surveillance at the school that he had assaulted and then murdered Ritzer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A new allegation in a shocking Massachusetts case, where authorities believe the defendant used his smartphone to film his horrific crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: And a female neighbor befriends an eight-months-pregnant Worcester woman, tricks her way into Mommy`s home, then murders the mother- to-be, physically cutting the baby out of Mommy`s tummy, gutting Mommy from pelvis to sternum, then goes on to pose as a radiant new mother herself with the baby. The murder trial kicks off. We are live at the courthouse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Testimony reveals Julie Corey was pregnant just a few months before the victim, Darlene Hayes, was found dead inside her bedroom closet with her unborn baby cut out of her womb.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Removing the live fetus and taking the infant to show off as her own.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Corey in tears at the defense table as witnesses say while at the hospital, Corey was upset and complaining that the father of the baby was leaving her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: And live to Tampa. A man tricks his girlfriend into taking the abortion pill. Is it murder?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s my everything and more.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Remy (ph) says her boyfriend handed her this prescription bottle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tricking his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Remy Lee (ph), into taking an abortion pill that caused her miscarriage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t believe that someone did something so malicious to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She woke up in a pool of blood Easter morning and went right to the hospital.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I remember...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us.
Bombshell tonight. In the last hours, we learn superstar Leo DiCaprio, Leonardo DiCaprio`s 6-year-old niece goes missing. Tonight, where is Normadie? We are taking your calls.
Very quickly, out to Alexis Tereszcuk, senior reporter, Radaronline.com. How can this happen? Leonardo DiCaprio -- you would think that his 6-year-old niece is very carefully guarded. Why would somebody take her? Is this some sort of a ransom for DiCaprio?
ALEXIS TERESZCUK, RADARONLINE.COM (via telephone): Well, it seems, Nancy, like the stepbrother, who has been in trouble with the law numerous, numerous times -- in fact, he was just arrested again last Friday, and the baby mama, also, she has a long rap sheet, as well -- it seems like it`s some sort of family kidnapping. But this is somebody that could be held for lots of money. Leo has millions and millions of dollars. He`s incredibly estranged with this brother of his...
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Back it up! Back it up! With me, Alexis Tereszcuk, senior reporter, Radaronline.com.
Everyone, in the last hours, we learn Leonardo DiCaprio`s, the movie star`s, 6-year-old niece has gone missing. Is this some sort of ransom? Is DiCaprio being asked to pay millions to get the 6-year-old girl back? We don`t know all the details. All we know right now is his niece is gone.
Out to David Caplan, celebrity journalist at Gossipdavid.com. David, you know, when you swipe the 6-year-old niece of Leonardo DiCaprio, there`s no telling what law enforcement has been called in. And I`m not saying preferential treatment, I`m just saying he`s got the numbers to dial. You know, just -- there`s no telling what they`re doing right now to try to get that girl back.
DAVID CAPLAN, CELEBRITY JOURNALIST: Yes, no, definitely. This is what (INAUDIBLE) celebrities. They -- you know, they bring out the big guns, and that`s why it`s sort of interesting that they still haven`t found her. And it`s just a perplexing -- you know, (INAUDIBLE) saying is that, you know, they -- the police -- they have the parents of the niece in custody in Texas, so it`s -- you know, it`s curious as to, you know, what information they`re seeing.
GRACE: Wa-wa-wa-wait! So do you think her parents -- and this would be his direct relatives, Leonardo DiCaprio`s direct relatives -- have something to do with the little girl, their little girl, being gone? I mean, is this some stick-up on DiCaprio and they`re part of it?
CAPLAN: Well, you know (INAUDIBLE) It`s unclear because the father, actually, of the girl`s mother actually spoke to Radar (INAUDIBLE) to it, saying that the girl is safe. You know, she said, you know, she...
GRACE: Well, how would she know that...
CAPLAN: That`s the -- yes, the father...
GRACE: ... if she wasn`t part of it?
CAPLAN: ... said that. That`s what`s bizarre. He said, I can tell you that Normadie`s safe, and that`s all I`m going to tell you. I mean, you know, she`s a beautiful child and quote, "she`s not missing." But then it also is curious because then he hasn`t had contact with his daughter, you know, the mother of -- you know, of Leo`s niece...
CAPLAN: ... in several months. So it`s very...
CAPLAN: ... contradictory.
GRACE: This whole thing is not fitting together. How would they know that she`s safe if they didn`t have something to do with her going missing?
For those of you just joining us, the 6-year-old little niece, absolutely a beautiful girl -- 6-year-old little niece of Leonardo DiCaprio has gone missing. Is this some sort of ransom to DiCaprio? Where is the girl? Now we hear her parents are somehow suspected of being involved in some way in her disappearance?
Justin Freiman joining me. What more do we know, Justin?
JUSTIN FREIMAN, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER (via telephone): Nancy, we know that the parents were actually picked up by police, but yet the girl not seen.
GRACE: OK, I lost Justin. Repeat, Justin?
FREIMAN: The parents were actually -- of this little child were picked up by police, but yet the child not seen.
GRACE: OK, what do you mean by that? What do you mean they were picked up, and who wasn`t seen?
FREIMAN: So the problem was that Adam Farrar, the child`s father, has been picked up by police on outstanding warrants, as has the child`s mother. But yet the child was not there.
GRACE: OK. Now I understand what you`re saying. Alexis Tereszcuk, senior reporter, Radaronline.com. Alexis, what does that mean? And what do you know about one of the parents saying, Oh, well, she`s fine? How would he know that?
TERESZCUK: What I do know is that the California Department of Justice, they are the ones that have declared this little girl missing. They are the ones who say she has been abducted. This isn`t just a family member saying they`re worried. The authorities are actually involved and are opening an investigation into where this little girl is.
They had been living in California with Leonardo`s niece, the little 6-year-old, and they left. They fled to Texas. They`ve been hiding in Texas for over six months. And in fact, this little girl hasn`t been seen by anybody since July 25th of last year, of 2013.
GRACE: Whoa! Wait, wait, wait! Alexis, how do I even know she`s alive?
TERESZCUK: We don`t. We absolutely don`t. And the Department of Justice in California is concerned and they want to know where she is.
GRACE: Well, this is what I know. Out to you, Dr. Janet Taylor, psychiatrist. Before I had the twins late in life, my nieces and nephews were what I thought were the only children I was ever going to have, my nieces and nephews. DiCaprio doesn`t have children yet. He`s got this niece, and she hasn`t been seen since, I think Tereszcuk just said, July? And now the parents are somehow in on this? What do you make of it?
DR. JANET TAYLOR, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, no matter what your relationship is with your parents, children are the ones that you`re the most concerned about. So it`s very disheartening that no one has seen her or raised a red flag about where this child is.
GRACE: Back to you, Alexis Tereszcuk. You`re saying she hasn`t been seen since July. My question is, who reported DiCaprio`s niece missing?
TERESZCUK: It doesn`t seem like anyone actually reported her missing, but the authorities in California have been worried about where her whereabouts are. So there seems to be a budding conspiracy, perhaps, of people hiding what they really know.
GRACE: OK. Yes, that`s a disconnect. David Caplan, celebrity journalist -- David, that doesn`t make sense to me. Why haven`t the parents reported her missing? Why did they flee to Texas from California? And why have they been picked up? What more do you know about it?
CAPLAN: Yes, it`s very...
GRACE: I mean, now that I hear she hasn`t been seen since July?
CAPLAN: Yes, no, it`s very perplexing. You know, just interesting (INAUDIBLE) the father of the niece, you know, Adam, he was actually picked up at a facility in Texas when he was visiting, you know, the -- his wife, you know, the mother of the niece. And that`s when the police in Texas were, like, Hey, this guy is wanted on outstanding warrants.
Then he was picked up. That`s how he ended up in custody in Texas. And then the police in Texas are saying that when he visited, you know, the niece`s mother at this facility, he wasn`t with the child.
But again, you know, I go back to the -- you know, the girl -- the woman`s father, Don Moore (ph), saying, you know, if it was anybody`s business what`s going on, I would tell you. And that`s obviously what he told Radar...
GRACE: OK, everybody, this is breaking as it goes. We`re getting information right now about DiCaprio`s 6-year-old niece. When we can confirm what we`re hearing, we`ll report it back to you.
When we come back, a mother of two accused of helping he husband to murder and dismember her husband`s former lover.
And then later, a man tricked his ex-girlfriend into taking the abortion pill? Is that murder?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He came over to my home with the pills that he had, he weapon of choice. He had told me to have -- to keep taking them. I was supposed to take three a day for days. I can`t believe that someone did something so malicious to me, and not only to me but to himself. It was our baby.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: And now live to Raleigh, a mother of two accused of helping her husband murder and dismember his former lover.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The severed remains of a white female were found in Oyster Creek.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And who struck the fatal blow? Who cut Laura`s arms off? Who cut her legs off? Who cut her head off?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Amanda Hayes killed Ackerson, dismembered her body, packed the remains in coolers and then drove them to Texas in a U-Haul.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And dump her dismembered body!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: A mother of two tonight facing charges? She helps her husband murder and dismember another mother, her husband`s lover? Are you kidding me?
Jean Casarez, CNN correspondent -- Jean Casarez -- where`s Jeannie? Jean, how can you get a mother of two to help murder and dismember your husband`s lover? You know what? If I found out my husband had a lover, number one, he wouldn`t come back in the door. Number two, much less talk me into trying to kill the girl and dismember her?
I mean, this woman, I think she`s, like, a 27-year-old mother herself, and the wife helps the husband murder and dismember his -- her -- sorry -- husband -- he`s cheated on her -- lover? She`ll never see her children again if she goes to jail!
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That`s so true. You know, Nancy, you and I have covered so many cases, and dismemberment cases are just so difficult to comprehend, how somebody gets the saw and does it. But prosecutors say that it was in the apartment that her body was dismembered and then stored, like, in the shower area until it was ready to be packed in the coolers for the drive to Texas to discard it.
GRACE: Jean, what I`m trying to figure out is, how do you do all that with your children around? I mean, I can hardly cook a pot of Kraft macaroni and cheese with them buzzing around. How do you go about killing the former lover and dismembering her? How did the husband talk her into that?
CASAREZ: You know, I`ll tell you, Nancy -- well, and that`s the defense right there. The defense is saying, I didn`t have anything to do with it. My husband did it all, and he was the one that drove me to Texas, and finally, with a machete in his hand told me, that if I didn`t say I did it that I would be gone, too. So the defense is turning it all on him.
But I just think the aspect of the sawing and the noise and the cleanup? Nancy, that`s a messy crime scene.
GRACE: Also with me, Steve Sedahl, news director at WTKK, joining me out of Raleigh. Steve, this is incredible. And I understand that they are intending to call the husband to the stand? What, against the wife or in the defense of the wife? I mean, he can`t take the rap because he`s got to face a possible appeal.
STEVE SEDAHL, WTKK (via telephone): Well, he is -- he says his wife didn`t do it. He says that his wife, yes, killed her, but it was in self- defense, that...
GRACE: Whoa! Whoa-whoa, Steve Sedahl. Did you just say, he says his wife, quote, "just killed her"?
SEDAHL: His wife killed her in self-defense because Laura, his ex- girlfriend, attacked her. And so then -- not sure how it all happened, but rather than call 911, if that`s what happened, no, they decided the best thing to do was to chop her up and take her to Texas.
GRACE: OK. Well, that makes a lot of sense. So they get into a fight after the dead victim starts the attack, and then they decide instead of calling 911, they`ll just dismember her body and drive it in a cooler to Texas.
OK, unleash the lawyers. Joining me, Peter Odom, defense attorney, Atlanta, Jennifer Bonjean, defense attorney out in New York.
Out to you, Jennifer Bonjean. Here`s the problem with the husband taking the stand. Where`s Jennifer Bonjean? The problem with that is he is facing an appeal right now. Anything that he says is going to hurt his case. And how likely is it that they`re going to believe his lover, OK -- his lover -- wasn`t he having a fight with his lover over custody of the children he shared with her -- that she attacks him -- attacks his wife there, and it`s self-defense when there`s the husband and the wife that take part in the murder?
JENNIFER BONJEAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, he`s saying, I`ll testify for either side, the prosecution or the defense. Whoever wants to call me, this is what happened.
But here`s the problem. She has never asserted an affirmative defense of self-defense. She says, I didn`t know any of it. He did it. He sent me out to the Chick-fil-A with the kids. And he`s the one that dismembered it. I had no knowledge of the murder itself. I had no knowledge of the dismemberment. And...
GRACE: So she`s got the Chick-fil-A defense. All right, Peter Odom, so her story is not even jibing with the husband`s, if he comes in to testify.
PETER ODOM, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right. Right.
GRACE: He`s says, Oh, she did it. She did it. My wife did it all, killed and dismembered my girlfriend, to save his own skin. And she`s saying, I didn`t know anything about it. He sent me to Chick-fil-A.
ODOM: Right. Unfortunately, you know, the husband`s testimony is not going to help the husband because he`s got an appeal pending, and evidently, it`s not going to help her, either. So everybody`s in a difficult position.
BONJEAN: But the prosecution may want to use his testimony just to show that she have knowledge and was, in fact, involved in the actual crime.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Accused of killing her husband`s ex-girlfriend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The suspect purchased an ice chest, dismembered the body, placed it in an ice chest, acquired a U-Haul trailer, put the ice chest in the trailer and transported her through several states, tossed her remains into Oyster Creek.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amanda Hayes (INAUDIBLE) hurt so bad. She`s dead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: So Justin Freiman, explain to me what the defense is saying exactly. This is almost impossible to comprehend. This is a mother of, I believe, two children, and her husband talks her into helping murder and dismember his ex-girlfriend, who also has children by him.
So what`s the story, Justin?
FREIMAN: That`s right, Nancy. What the defense is actually saying is that she had no knowledge of this killing, even though the body dismembered was in the bathroom for days in their home. Then on the way to Texas, he springs it on her that the woman`s been killed, the parts of the body are in the back in the U-Haul and threatened her with a machete that she`s got to go along with it and tell her sister in Texas that she`s the one who did the killing.
GRACE: OK, Jean Casarez, is that it in a nutshell?
CASAREZ: That`s it in a nutshell. But I think what is amazing here is that she, the defendant, is pinning it on her ex-husband by saying, I had no knowledge of it. And I want to know, what is the evidence that she helped to commit the crime?
GRACE: OK. The trial is kicking off, and we are waiting to see what the defense really turns out to be, a mother on trial for allegedly helping her husband murder and dismember his girlfriend.
When we come back, did a little boy videotape the sex assault and murder of his female algebra teacher?
And then later, a man tricks his girlfriend into taking the abortion pill? Is that murder?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He came over to my home with the pills that he had, the weapon of choice. He had told me to have -- to keep taking them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Everybody, breaking news. We have earlier been reporting that Leonardo DiCaprio, the super movie star`s, 6-year-old niece has gone missing. While we`re on air, we are hearing reports she may have been found. We are hearing that from sources within the police department. We`ll try to confirm that for you.
Repeat, Leonardo DiCaprio`s 6-year-old niece may have been found. We don`t know what her condition is. We don`t know where. We know nothing except we`re hearing that report now, and we`re trying to confirm it. We`ll let you know as soon as we get the confirmation.
And now, a beautiful and popular 24-year-old math teacher found dead, her throat slit. Suspect, a little boy in her algebra class. And to top it all off, did the boy videotape the sex assault and murder of the female algebra teacher?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s quiet, just kept to himself, nothing out of the ordinary, just a quiet, normal kid.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was found with a blood-stained box cutter, a pair of Ritzer`s underwear and credit cards in his backpack.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the furthest thing from reality for me to believe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now police say they think the high school freshman may have even filmed the crime on his smartphone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So why would anyone, let alone a student, want to kill her?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ritzer`s body was later found in the woods behind the school next to a handwritten note that read, "I hate you all."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Incredible. Incredible story of violence on everyone`s favorite algebra teacher. Straight out to John Zaremba, reporter with the Boston Herald.
John, I`m overwhelmed at the degree of violence, and what`s really astounding is this is a boy, a little boy, that is charged with it. Is it possible that he videotaped the whole thing?
JOHN ZAREMBA, BOSTON HERALD: You said it, Nancy. Every time we get a new development in this case, it somehow becomes even more and more horrible. And the investigators certainly believe he certainly did videotape it. At least, that`s what they`re saying in the court papers. They have a search warrant for his phone, and they believe that because this was such a violent homicide of such a sexual nature, they believe that that is the reason he may have done this. They say people who commit these sort of crimes often do videotape them, either for their own gratification or even to relieve their guilt. And that is their reason for suspecting that he may have taken some video with his smartphone.
GRACE: Michael Christian, you and I have been together since way back when at CourTV. Michael, you and I have often commented about how killers keep mementos. Typically we see that with serial killers. For instance, John Wayne Gacy actually buried a lot of his boy victims in the crawl space to his basement. Other people keep clothing. BTK would get driver`s licenses of his victims, jewelry, ticket stubs, something that only they know the significance of that item.
Those are seasoned serial killers. This is a 14-year-old boy, Michael Christian. I was just talking to John Zaremba of the Boston Herald. He had the teacher`s underwear and a box cutter on his person when they caught up with him, Michael.
CHRISTIAN: Yes, it`s interesting, Nancy, because he may have been smart enough to realize what was on the phone was going to damn him and tried to destroy it. Apparently, according to police, he tried to destroy the phone that afternoon. After the killing. He said he did it because he wanted to disable the GPS chip inside so police wouldn`t be able to find him. But police say they don`t believe that. It`s that easy to disable the GPS without destroying the phone. Their theory is he destroyed the phone to destroy evidence that was on it.
GRACE: With me is forensic pathologist, Dr. Vincent DiMaio joining me out of San Antonio. Dr. DiMaio, What was the cause of death on the algebra teacher?
DR. VINCENT DIMAIO, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Apparently it was an incise wound on her neck. Her throat was cut.
GRACE: Dr. DiMaio, this is, in my mind, a particularly savage, a brutal killing. Do you agree or disagree and why?
DIMAIO: Yes, I think it`s very savage. Unfortunately, a number of rape-homicides are like this. The individual not only wants to sexually violate them, but wants to almost destroy them with injuries.
GRACE: I understand, Liz, if you could roll it, if we manage to get it, there is video of the boy in the hallway at the school. Question to Michael Christian -- actually, let me go to John Zaremba, Boston Herald. John, was she killed -- was she sexually assaulted, raped and killed in the school? Because her body was found out in the woods.
ZAREMBA: That`s correct. The police are saying now they do believe that the sexual assault -- and we should be very clear, there were two sexual assaults, according to police, in this case. They believe he had actual sexual intercourse with her in the restroom, and she was also found violated with an object when her body was found in the woods. They believe that occurred outside.
GRACE: Unleash the lawyers. Jennifer Bonjean, New York, Peter Odom, Atlanta. You know, Peter, generally you would think a 14-year-old would be treated as a juvenile, not as an adult.
GRACE: But the way it works, there are the seven deadlies. Designated felonies. How does that work when it`s almost automatic that a juvenile is going to be treated as an adult with an adult sentence?
ODOM: Remember, this kid is 14 years old. But for a crime like this, something this brutal, and frankly any murder, there is a presumption that he will be treated as an adult, even though he`s only 14. That means it will go to adult court, an adult grand jury will indict him, and he`ll be subject to an adult prosecution. Only if the state decides to waive that right and bring it to juvenile court will it be -- I don`t see the state doing that here.
GRACE: You know what`s disturbing, in addition to what the crime is, the fact that he lied, had the wherewithal to lie about the cell phone. He knows -- we believe now that he actually videotaped part of the sex assault on the algebra teacher and her murder on his cell phone. That`s cold, Peter Odom. That is cold.
ODOM: The facts that we know about this case make it look, frankly, very sophisticated. That`s why I don`t think the state is going to opt to bring this case in juvenile court. It`s going to remain in adult court.
GRACE: OK, Jennifer Bonjean, is he going to be treated as an adult or a juvenile? If he`s treated as a juvenile, he could be out in as little as about 14 months for this.
BONJEAN: He`s going to be treated as an adult. However, I don`t think there`s anything sophisticated about the way this crime was carried out. I believe it was an act of someone who was in a psychotic state. We have evidence that he was mumbling to himself.
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, psychotic?
BONJEAN: He committed the act in a high school with a video camera.
GRACE: Miss Bonjean, are you telling me there is a good place to commit a rape and a murder with a box cutter?
BONJEAN: Yes. If you`re a sophisticated criminal, there are much better places than your high school where there are videos.
BONJEAN: He had the victim`s underwear on him. How sophisticated can you be if you have someone`s underwear on you?
GRACE: Being sophisticated and not being insane are two very different things.
GRACE: In fact, I believe -- John Zaremba, Boston Herald, I believe that most criminals are unsophisticated or they would not be committing the crime to start with. John Zaremba, if he were treated as a juvenile, how much -- how light can his sentence be?
ZAREMBA: Well, in Massachusetts, at age 14 or over, if you are charged with murder, you are tried in adult court. That`s pretty much decided. There is a very interesting debate in the state right now about parole. Right now it`s life with, I believe, 15 years is your earliest eligibility. The district attorney, including the district attorney in this case, are pushing for a longer time before he`s eligible for parole.
GRACE: So he could walk conceivably at age 29 for the rape and murder by box cutter of everyone`s favorite algebra teacher.
Everybody, when we come back, a female neighbor murders a mother-to- be, physically cutting the baby out of the mother`s tummy, and stuffing the mom in a closet. She goes on to pose as the radiant new mother, even having a baby shower, even asking people, do you think the baby looks like me? I vote that the baby looks like the lady in the closet.
And then later, a man tricks his girlfriend into taking the abortion pill. Is that murder?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He came over to my home with the pills that he had, the weapon of choice. He told me to have -- to keep taking them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: A female neighbor murders a mother-to-be, physically cutting the baby out of mommy`s tummy from pelvis to sternum. Then she goes on to pose as if she is the radiant new mother. The murder trial kicks off.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The defense admits Corey and her boyfriend had the infant with them when caught two days after Haynes` decomposing body was found.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Crime scene photos are horrific, very difficult to look at, showing the victim`s abdomen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A 9-inch incision from the bottom of her stomach to the top of her stomach.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: We are live in the courthouse, standing by Alexis Weed there at the Worcester courthouse. Alexis, what`s the latest out of the courtroom?
WEED: Nancy, huge revelation today in court. We learned that Julie Corey was pregnant. We thought she was faking it all along. It turns out that, no, she was pregnant, almost full-term pregnant all the way up to about three months before the murder.
GRACE: Okay. Is that why, I guess you could say in a crazy, upside down world, that her due date was changing? And how did we learn she was actually pregnant?
WEED: So the prosecution put up a doctor on the stand. There are medical records that show she went to the emergency room seeking some sort of assistance. We don`t know exactly what the problem was, why she went to the emergency room, but those records show she had a baby with a beating heartbeat, and sometime thereafter, now we`re learning, she lost this baby. She had a stillbirth.
GRACE: Oh, my stars. Okay. That really doesn`t change the nature of the case, though. The fact that she is charged with basically planning this whole thing, going to the mother`s home the night before under the pretext of having wine coolers with her. They knew each other. The mother was beaten and suffocated, and then she cuts the baby out of the stomach. If anything, this goes toward premeditation and motive, Alexis Weed.
WEED: Yes, that`s what it looks like. It looks like the prosecution is getting ready to set up motive for this woman, saying that she lost this baby, and that`s why maybe she wanted a baby so bad that she would go so far as to cut one out of another woman`s stomach.
GRACE: Alexis Weed, so far Julie Corey has been sitting there stoic in court, even when she sees crime scene photos of the mother-to-be victim, dead in a closet, literally with the inside of her stomach having been cut out. It`s that little closet she stuffed the mom in. That`s about a 14- inch-wide closet. So is she remaining stoic or has she showed emotion?
WEED: Whole different story today, Nancy. We saw a ton of emotion out of Julie Corey. As soon as the doctor started talking about what happens in a stillbirth, she broke down, she was wiping her face -- at least ten times I saw her wipe her eyes, her face welled up.
GRACE: She started crying when they talked about her stillbirth, right?
WEED: That`s right. You got it.
GRACE: Everyone, before we show that photo again, OK, we showed it. Be careful, guys. This is a graphic photo. That is the victim`s actual foot and body there at the bottom of that crime scene photo. This mom, barefoot, beaten brutally. Jean Casarez joining me, who has also been covering the story. Jean, what were the extent of this mom-to-be`s brutal injuries?
CASAREZ: Brutal injuries. Cause of death, asphyxiation, fractures caused to her head by blunt force trauma, and then, of course, that cut down her middle, which was the incision to get the fetus from. But here`s the thing, Nancy. Think about potentially the suffering this woman went through. Because to cut out the entire uterus as she did, and to have a healthy baby, there would have to be some blood flow through the body of the victim, so she may have realized and have known that she was having her baby cut out of her.
GRACE: Oh, dear Lord in heaven.
Dr. Vincent DiMaio, forensic pathologist. Dr. DiMaio, it`s my understanding that the uterus is one of the thickest and strongest muscles in the body, to protect the unborn child. I can`t even imagine what this mother went through while this woman is hacking and sawing her stomach open, cutting through her uterus to get her baby.
DIMAIO: Well, it would be extremely painful if she cut through the uterus. You know, obviously painful when you cut through the abdominal wall. And then you`re pulling the child out and cutting at the frays. It would be a very bloody and painful experience.
GRACE: Oh. Alexis Weed, the defense is trying to claim that the boyfriend had motive to kill the mom. How is the state responding to that, or are they? Are they just ignoring it and focusing on their case against Julie Corey?
WEED: No, they had to address it today. There were some hearings outside of the jury`s presence, and the defense wants all of this information in to show that the boyfriend could be the culprit here. The prosecution said, well, you know what, we`re not charging. We don`t see that it goes to motive for this boyfriend, that the boyfriend, even if he didn`t want this baby, that he would go so far as to cut the baby out of the stomach. The prosecution said that just doesn`t make any sense.
GRACE: It makes no sense whatsoever. To Dr. Janet Taylor, psychiatrist joining me. Dr. Taylor, the mindset. Very often once a criminal starts the crime, they`ll back out. That is not unheard of. Can you imagine, she had to beat the mother to be, a pregnant lady, eight months pregnant. She had to strangle her, asphyxiate her, and then to cut her stomach open, to cut through her uterus to get the baby out? The mindset it must have taken to do that. I`d like to hear your thoughts, Doctor.
TAYLOR: It`s pure evil. You can understand the fact she lost a baby, she`s in desperate need to prove she had this baby, but to make a mother suffer after she had a loss herself? I just can`t imagine the pain this mother went through. It`s awful.
GRACE: Unleash the lawyers. Jennifer Bonjean, New York, Peter Odom, defense attorney, Atlanta. All right, Peter, let`s hear your defense on this one. The defense is not insanity.
ODOM: I think that would have been a really good defense in this case, but what they`re doing, and you commented, Nancy, that she has been sitting stoically watching the evidence come in. Her defense is going to be reasonable doubt. Remember, this is a case that is built on circumstantial evidence. The only physical evidence tying her to this very dynamic and bloody and ugly crime scene is a fingerprint. That fingerprint could have been left--
GRACE: Is that true, Alexis? Is that the only evidence tying her to the crime?
WEED: There is also DNA on a wine cooler bottle that was found in the living room of the victim`s home.
GRACE: A wine cooler. Yes -- Jean Casarez, I think that`s the one that Peter is referring to. But Jean, I mean, come on, the timing. She gets her stomach cut open, and within hours, Corey has a brand new baby girl that the DNA matches up to her.
CASAREZ: That`s right. I think that`s your smoking gun right there, she has a brand new baby and it`s not hers, and she and then her boyfriend go to a homeless shelter in New Hampshire, where it`s discovered that she has this baby. The DNA is tested and that`s the story.
GRACE: Jean Casarez, CNN correspondent. Alexis Weed at the courthouse in the thick of it.
When we come back, a man tricks his girlfriend into taking the abortion pill. Is that murder?
GRACE: Did he trick his girlfriend into taking the abortion pill? Is that murder? All right. Let`s find out. Brett Larson, investigative reporter, what happened?
LARSON: Nancy, you know, it`s interesting to say how could this not be murder? What he did--
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, wait. This is not about abortion, Brett Larson. I`m not saying -- I`m not fighting with the pro choicers and I`m not fighting with the pro lifers. I`m talking about jail. That`s what I`m talking about. Now, is it murder or not?
LARSON: Well, it`s looking like it`s not. He gave the girlfriend an abortion pill, telling her it was an antibiotic that she needed for an infection that she had, and, of course, 24 hours, 36 hours go by, she has cramping, she starts bleeding, she goes to the hospital and miscarries the baby. Turns out the boyfriend didn`t give her the antibiotic that he promised, but instead gave her the abortion pill. 13 years in jail, a low, low federal penitentiary. Low security.
GRACE: Matt Zarrell, she had no idea, she thought he was feeding her antibiotic and she immediately started severe cramping?
ZARRELL: Yes, Nancy, no idea. In fact, the guy`s father is a fertility doctor, and he forged the doctor`s signature to get the prescription.
GRACE: To Gil Sanchez. He is the attorney for Remee Jo Lee (ph), duped into taking the abortion pill. And again, people, this is not about is the abortion pill right or wrong. We can fight about that till the cows come home. Gil Sanchez, what is your client saying happened?
GIL SANCHEZ, ATTORNEY: She was given a chemical bullet without her knowledge. She went to Dr. Welden`s (ph) office, who is John Andrews` father, who is an obgyn, actually a fertility doctor. Goes in for a visit, doctor said everything is okay, sonogram looks good, heartbeat as well. Sends her home. Says, have some bedrest. And then within 24 hours, she`s getting a call from this boyfriend saying, my father found that you have a bacterial infection and you need some amoxicillin, I`m heading over there. And lo and behold, she ends up taking Citatech (ph), which is the brand name for misilproxil (ph).
GRACE: Out to Gil Sanchez, the attorney in this case. Gil, is it true the boyfriend secretly gave her the abortion pill because he didn`t want his other girlfriend to find out about the baby?
SANCHEZ: That is absolutely correct. He stole the prescription pad from her father, who is an obgyn, forged his father`s signature on it, called up the pharmacy for Cytotec. They don`t have it. They call in. He gets 60 pills of Cytotec and tricks her into taking it, saying it`s amoxicillin for a supposed bacterial infection she had.
GRACE: You know what, whatever side of the fence you`re on, pro life, pro choice, this is horrific, to feed your pregnant girlfriend the abortion pill and make her go through basically a miscarriage. So your girlfriend - - your other girlfriend won`t find out about the baby. You know what? 14 years is too good for him.
Let`s stop and remember American hero, Army Master Sergeant Mark Coleman, 40. Yelm (ph), Washington. Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, a 22-year Army vet. Fluent in Thai. Mother Alice, adoptive father James. Bio father Harley. Widow and high school sweetheart Barbie. Children, Jessica and Brad. Mark Coleman, American hero.
Drew up next. I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.