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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Middle School Teacher Charged with Kidnapping, Killing Girl; Marissa DeVault Finally Cracks; Time to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages

Aired February 21, 2014 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Shocking new evidence in a crime so brazen, so heinous, so evil, the whole country is reeling in shock tonight. Cops say a Missouri middle-school teacher and coach snatches a 10-year-old girl off the street in broad daylight in front of horrified witnesses just a block from her home. Look at this angel. Police say he later tied her hands together and executed her with a shot to the back of her head.

Tonight, horrific discoveries. A search of his home turns up child porn.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell.

Forty-five-year-old Craig Wood was hauled into court today, pleading not guilty to murder and kidnapping. The body of 10-year-old Hailey Owens was found in his basement. And that wasn`t all they found. They found a three-ring binder full of child porn. Several weapons. Has this alleged predator struck before?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want to find their daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That man grabbed her and pulled her in the truck and sped off really fast.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pulled her in like a rag doll.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A middle-school football coach.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don`t know where their daughter is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A little girl snatched from the front yard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a million different emotions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tragically, we`re not able to save Hailey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All we can do is hope and pray.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Beautiful young Hailey Owens was walking home from a friend`s house when the suspect drove up in his pickup truck. Witnesses say he called out to the 10-year-old girl, asking for directions. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My neighbor`s yelling at this man and her to get away from -- he was yelling at her, saying, "Get away from the car. Don`t go over there." You know, and telling him, "Don`t touch her, don`t touch her." And I guess the man grabbed her and pulled her in the truck and sped off really fast. So I got in my car and tried to chase him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That brave citizen, who chased this suspect, says he missed catching him by just ten seconds. Neighbors quickly gave cops a description of the suspect, his truck, and a partial license plate number.

Officers got to Craig Wood`s nearby home about 3 1/2 hours after little Hailey was kidnapped. Woods pulled up in his truck, got out holding a roll of duct tape, which he then tossed in the bed of his truck. They searched his home, and his basement reeked of bleach, and that tragically, is where they found little Hailey`s body in the basement, wrapped in garbage bags and stuffed inside a plastic storage bin.

This absolutely unspeakable discovery has rocked the nation, and this community, obviously. The girl`s principal and the district attorney both broke down on camera.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GARY TEW, WESTPORT ELEMENTARY PRINCIPAL: My obligation as educators is to take care of those kids and do what`s best for them.

DAN PATTERSON, GREENE COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: As a father of an 8-year-old and 11-year-old daughter, these are very hard facts. While they, tragically, were not able to save Hailey, I want to express my appreciation to the citizens who were aware and alerted law enforcement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Top prosecutors breaking down in tears. It`s unimaginable.

Look at this precious child, this innocent, minding her own business, going about her life, happy, joyous. And a monster executes her?

We`re going to hear from our expert Lion`s Den panel in just a moment. But first straight out to Adam Hooper, anchor for KSPR in Springfield, Missouri.

Adam, what do we know about this suspect? He`s a teacher. What do people who know him say about these horrific allegations?

ADAM HOOPER, REPORTER, KSPR (via phone): That`s what`s so surprising, is that he is a teacher. You know, just like any news organization would do, they`re looking into his background and looking into who is this guy. And not a lot turned up. A misdemeanor drug charge.

Everybody that we`ve interviewed so far says, you know, "This is something we never expected." This is just a guy who flew under the radar, as far as we`re concerned. And nothing in his background would suggest that something like this was ever possible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The suspect does not teach at Hailey`s school. Police say they don`t know that there`s any connection between the two of these individuals, except that they live five miles apart.

Little Hailey was abducted at 4:48 Tuesday afternoon, just one block from her home. Just five miles from the suspect`s home. Witnesses saw it happen and immediately called 911. Cops raced to the scene and got there 12 minutes later, at 5 p.m. Witnesses gave the police the suspect`s license plate number, eventually. They worked it out. And a description of the truck. The license plate was registered to the suspect`s parents.

Police went to the parents` house 20 miles away. The parents told them their son drives the truck. The next stop was the suspect`s home, where they got at 8:30 in the evening, nearly four hours after Hailey was grabbed off the street.

I`m not knocking police. They did an astounding job of finding this suspect. But I have to go out to HLN law-enforcement analyst Mike Brooks.

People say, well, they got the license plate number. They got the vehicle description. They got the suspect description right off the bat. They were there within seconds, as the car drove off. Is it fair to ask, had they connected the dots a little faster, could they have caught this man in time to save little Hailey from execution?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW-ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: There`s a possibility of that, Jane. But the PIO for Springfield police said the witnesses had given partial plates. So they had to run a different number of combinations. They finally came up with this.

I think they did a fantastic job, and in just a short amount of time, by getting to this monster`s house and getting him locked up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I do, too. We have to ask the questions.

BROOKS: Sure.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is the truck that witnesses saw drive down the street. He asked a question of the little girl, and then grabs her and throws her into his lap while he`s in the driver`s seat and races off. Some say 60, maybe 80 miles an hour.

There`s the suspect you`re looking at. A coach at a neighboring school in the same community. A teacher in the neighboring community. I mean, this is unbelievable.

Straight out to our very special guest tonight, Diena Thompson, one of my heroes, a courageous champion of voiceless children.

Diena, this case has to take you back. The parallels are chilling. Your precious 7-year-old daughter, Somer, was also snatched off the street as she walked home, by a stranger, who lived also within your community. And then she was murdered.

I know it`s difficult to talk about, but for the sake of getting to the truth, let`s review your case.

On the surface, your daughter`s killer, Jarred Harrell, was a quiet neighborhood man. Nobody paid much attention to him. But it turns out he was a deviant involved with child porn whose roommates had complained to the cops about the porn they had discovered on this guy you`re looking at - - on his computer. In this new case, cops entered Craig Wood`s home and found a binder filled with child porn and various guns. Again, Diena, the parallels are chilling.

DIENA THOMPSON, MOTHER OF SOMER THOMPSON: They are, Jane. And thank you for having me on tonight.

I`ve heard that he put her in trash bags and stuck her in a plastic bin. And obviously, that`s how Somer got transferred to the landfill, in a plastic bin. So that really, really bothers me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s something that should get the hairs on the back of your neck going straight up. Because it`s a sign. It`s a contrarian indicator.

Brian Claypool, criminal defense attorney, I understand that he is entitled, supposedly, to a defense. How can anybody defend this man?

BRIAN CLAYPOOL, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I`m not real sure you can defend this guy. I think the bigger question for your audience is, was there a red flag years ago that would have led law enforcement or the school he worked at to stop him from doing this?

What I mean by that is I`m one of the lead lawyers on the Miramonte School child abuse case out here. And Jane, what we found in that case as there was a 20-year history of the teacher in that case having abused kids.

And I think law enforcement in this case needs to go back to the school and look at his personnel file, and find out whether there were prior complaints against him, to see if this could have been averted.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, he had a binder, a binder full of child porn. OK? A binder full of child porn in his house, according to the search warrant that I have right here.

On the other side, why does this guy have a public defender? There are some astounding reports about a trust fund? When we come back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The man grabbed her and pulled her in the truck and sped off really fast.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He pulled her in like a rag doll.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was a football coach. He was quiet. It`s just extremely sad to know that he would do something like that to a 10- year-old little girl.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... parent-child abduction. An Amber Alert was issued.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The stranger grabbed Hailey Owens, threw her in his truck and drove away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A Ford Ranger pickup, gold in color.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was blocks away from her own home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve got every officer combing Springfield, looking for her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I can do is hope and pray.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at that angel. Yes, talk about culture of violence. Look at precious Hailey. And this man, a respected coach, teacher at a school nearby, who lives only five miles away? Cops say he abducted her in broad daylight? Grabbing her, throwing her into his lap and then taking off in his truck as frantic neighbors jumped in their cars, trying to race after him, missing him by ten seconds?

Three 1/2 hours later cops get to his house after tracing the license plate and they find this child dead, in garbage bags, in the basement. And the suspect is wreaking of bleach and has blood on his shirt.

Straight out to Lisa Bloom, legal analyst, Avvo.com and author of the incredible new book, "Suspicion Nation." As if all that is not enough, in court, prosecutors said this guy should not have a public defender, claiming he has a $1 million trust fund. He`s a teacher who drives his parents` pickup truck. He`s 45 years old. Doesn`t sound like a trust fund baby to me. What are your thoughts?

LISA BLOOM, LEGAL ANALYST, AVVO.COM: You know, there`s nothing that`s more outrageous than abducting and murdering a little girl. It`s just so sickening, it`s almost hard to talk about.

But it is surely also outrageous, and disgusting, that he would want us, the taxpayers, to pay for his defense, after what he did? And he`s got a $1 million trust fund? Are you kidding me? I hope the court smacks that down immediately for the outrageous conduct that it is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian Claypool, you certainly can`t believe that this guy should get a public defender now.

CLAYPOOL: Yes, Jane, he doesn`t deserve a public defender. I mean, he`s lucky to even have a lawyer in this case. I mean, most parents, Lisa is right. I`m a single daddy of a little girl who`s 8 years old. She`s in third grade, and this little girl`s in fourth grade. So I`m not -- I`m not sure I`d even allow this guy to go to trial if I got my hands around his throat ahead of time. So forget about the public defender.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Areva Martin, what defense does this guy possibly have? I mean, they`re going to test the blood on his shirt. If it`s little Hailey`s blood. She was found in his basement.

AREVA MARTIN, ATTORNEY: Yes, I don`t think there`s going to be a defense mounted in this case, Jane. It`s really going to come down to does he get the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

And I think I want to go back to your point about did the police act quickly enough? I think one of the incredible things in this case and a teachable moment is how engaged these citizens were, the neighbors, you know, the man that chased after him. The family that called the police that gave the partial license plate. I think all of us can learn from that, in terms of how important it is for a community to come together to support kids.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hear, hear.

MARTIN: Because it is because of that engagement that they did get there in the three hours or four hours that it took them rather than days later.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But it wasn`t fast enough. It wasn`t fast enough.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: It wasn`t, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They saw that vehicle; they knew about that car. And I`ve got to say, had there been cameras on the street corners, this guy lived five miles away. He was right there. He grabs the child. He takes her, really down the block, five miles away to his house. And according to cops, kills her before they can get there. They get there at 8:30. He picked her up at 4:48.

I mean, there`s got to be a better way. In this high-tech world, where I`ve got all these smartphone devices, OK, that track my every move, that tell me what I want to buy before I can buy it, that tell me where I`ve been, and what deals are within a three-minute radius, my gosh, somebody speak up here. Mike Brooks? There`s got to be a better way.

MURPHY: Jane, Jane, Jane -- can I say -- can I say one thing about the cops here? I want to be -- I want to be very clear. I don`t know exactly what they knew.

But listen, what I`ve read said that at 4:48, the cops were aware of the color, the description, and the license plate within one. When you have that information, you push a button in your cruiser, every truck matching that description with any license plate remotely similar to that number should pop up. And you go. Three and a half hours? No. Until I hear an explanation, the cops did not act fast enough.

BROOKS: Wendy, I don`t know if you`ve ever worked a case...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks.

BROOKS: Wendy, with all due respect, I know you`re a great attorney, former prosecutor. I don`t -- if you ever worked a case like this before, it`s not just the press of a button. OK? It takes a little bit of time...

CLAYPOOL: Yes, it is. Mike...

BROOKS: No, it`s not. No, it`s not. I`m telling you.

CLAYPOOL: Mike, Mike...

MURPHY: Come on. You run the guy`s plates. You run his plates.

BROOKS: You all know everything. Go ahead. Go on the record.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One at a time.

CLAYPOOL: Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian Claypool.

CLAYPOOL: Jane, let me -- yes. Jane, when the guy that was following Wood was on his phone, was ten seconds behind him, he`s calling 911. Radio dispatch goes out right away. "Hey, I`m following this truck. It`s this color. It`s on this street. It`s not that big of a town. He didn`t drive...

MURPHY: And here`s the plate.

CLAYPOOL: There should have been police...

BROOKS: Could have, would have, should have. They did a good job, OK? That`s the bottom line.

MARTIN: We don`t know that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on a second. This is one thing that occurs to me. Had they called in Springfield instead of driven to Springfield, which is 20 miles away, and then run into his parents, who say, "Oh, that truck is driven by our son," who`s way back at the crime scene, approximately, was there any way -- and I`m just playing devil`s advocate here -- I`m not criticizing anyone. I could never be a cop. I could never do what they do. They put their lives on the line every day. Please make that clear.

But Mike Brooks, I just want to give you the opportunity to explain, would there be any way to make that a phone call instead of driving over there? And if not, why not?

BROOKS: Because the -- it was registered to the parents. Was maybe one of the parents involved? They don`t know for sure. They have to go there, because what if the guy`s there? Then they can lock him up right there. But he wasn`t. So they come back.

And you know, they`re talking to their people back in Springfield saying he`s not here. And then they got his address. That`s when they went over, and they locked the guy up. I mean, the floor was still wet with bleach when law enforcement went in there to do a check inside the house before they got the search warrant and found her body. So, you know, always blame it on the police, you know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m not blaming the police. When I started this, I said we have all this technology, maybe we can put the technology to better use. Because they seem to know everything about me, these phones. So that`s what I was saying, maybe with surveillance cameras.

It wasn`t an attack on the police, believe me, Mike. I`m just talking about using technology. Not just to sell stuff, but to solve crimes. And to stop crime before it turns deadly. More on the other side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have in fact discovered a young female body.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She did fight against him. And struggle with him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess the man grabbed her and pulled her in the truck and sped off really fast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a high degree of confidence that it is our victim, Hailey Owens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have many different emotions. I`m just concerned. I`m worried about her. We want to hear something that gives us positive feedback, and let us know something`s going in the right direction to bring her home. All we can do is hope and pray.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s heartbreaking; it`s gut-wrenching.

Here`s a rap sheet of the murder/kidnapping suspect Craig Wood, a local teacher, coach. Here`s his rap sheet. 1990, pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana. 2001, pleaded guilty to killing a turkey. So we know he knows how to presumably shoot. And they found several weapons in his house.

I want to go out to a very special guest that we have on the phone right now, Ricky Riggins, who I consider a hero.

Ricky, I believe you`re one of the people in the neighborhood who just risked your own life to chase after this guy. Describe exactly what you and the neighbors did in an attempt to stop him as you witnessed him. And first start by exactly what did you see, Ricky?

RICKY RIGGINS, WITNESS (via phone): OK. I was coming home from work. And I was -- before I come in my driveway, she was right across the street from my house, sitting on a fire hydrant. And when I pulled in my driveway, I sat in my car and watched Hailey for probably three minutes. Then I looked away to look at my phone. And I hear my neighbors yelling at this man in a truck. You know, get away from her. Don`t touch her. Don`t do anything.

I get out of my car real quick to see what`s going on. And when I got out of my car, he had -- he had taken her and sped off down the street really fast. Almost hitting a couple kids down my street.

Then I get in my car and try to chase him down to try to get her back. And I ended up -- we ended up getting on a street where there was no way for me to pass cars. And it was really busy. It was heavy traffic. Everybody getting off work. It was around 5.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How fast was he going?

RIGGINS: He was going over 60. About close to 70.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So he`s driving like a mad man...

RIGGINS: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL; ... screeching down the street. H`s grabbed this child. You`re trying to get him. What is going on in your heart, your mind? I mean, what was that like for you?

RIGGINS: I -- I was just running off adrenaline when it all happened. There was really no time for me to think. I was just sitting there, and as soon as my neighbor said, "That man took that little girl," I was like, OK, because I knew exactly what he was talking about. I got in my car and was just trying to get her. And it was very nerve-racking and very depressing that I wasn`t able to get her. Because of -- because the way traffic was and everything else.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now I want to ask you a question. You said she was sitting there for three minutes near or on, around a fire hydrant?

RIGGINS: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did that strike you as odd? Because I`m wondering if maybe he had been tracking her, or -- I mean, why was she just sitting there?

RIGGINS: Yes. It was very odd to me. That`s why I was paying attention to her. Because that was my first time actually seeing her, so she was kind of -- you know, she kind of stood out to me. And I was watching her, because all the kids up and down my street are usually like with friends, or whatever else. They`re usually paired up with somebody. And she was by herself. And I thought she was kind of young to be by herself. So I was watching her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Can you stand by for one second? I want to bring in Wendy Walsh, psychologist. You`ve been very patient. Author of "The 30- Day Love Detox." You`ve been listening to all this. What`s your thought?

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, my thought is to talk about why she might have been sitting on that fire hydrant. I have a 10-year-old daughter, too, Jane, and it`s very easy for children, even if they`re only walking one block home, to get distracted. Sometimes just by wonderful thoughts. They daydream. They sit down and go, "There`s a butterfly and this is happening. And I`m going to sit and relax, and then I`ll move again in a few minutes." They`re not -- you know, they don`t have mature brains at this point.

So the other thing I want to say, Jane, is that it`s really important that we give our viewers some news they can use here. Adults never ask children for directions. So that`s the No. 1 thing you need to tell your child, is if an adult approaches you from a car or on the street and asks you for directions, run the other way. Run to another adult. Do not talk to them. Do not engage with them.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want to find their daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The man grabbed her and pulled her in the truck and sped off really fast.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He pulled her in like a rag doll.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Middle-school football coach.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don`t know where their daughter is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A little girl snatched from the front yard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a million different emotions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tragically we were not able to save Hailey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I can do is hope and pray.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This beautiful child, 10 years old, walking home, snatched cops say by a local teacher/coach who then takes her back to his house, ties her hands and executes her. We do not know the horrors inflicted on this child between the time she was abducted and the time she was murdered but we know it all happened within three and a half hours and that authorities found a binder full of child porn in the teacher`s home -- the teacher/coach`s home.

We`re talking with Ricky Riggins, a heroic neighbor who saw the child, then heard neighbors shouting there was an abduction. He was right there. He took off in his car, chasing after the suspect, who was going at high speeds, at least 60 miles an hour and lost him ten seconds away from catching this guy. He`s joining us right now.

Now, police arrived on the scene very quickly. Ricky, tell us what happened when police arrived on the scene, because they got there fast, right?

RICKY RIGGINS, NEIGHBOR (via telephone): Yes. They were there within probably five minutes. They were there pretty fast.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about the license plate issue? Like tell us how they collected the information to pursue this man.

RIGGINS: Ok. That was my neighbor`s part. My neighbors were the ones that actually seen the guy. They seen him, they got a good look at his face and everything, and they got his license plate. If it wasn`t for them, we wouldn`t have gotten anywhere. They were the ones that, you know, seen everything -- I barely seen anything. All I know is she was gone and I was just going to try to get her back which I was unsuccessful which, you know, made my heart --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But you were there when the cops -- first of all, I want to say you`re my hero for trying to do that. And I think everybody in our panel applauds you for jumping in there and trying to catch this guy. So don`t blame yourself if you couldn`t go as fast as some speeding criminal.

But, did you see how police were doing all the work to collect the evidence? We`re just trying to understand this situation.

Yes. They were in front of my house for a good six, seven hours before I went down to the police station. And they taped off the area, searched for some things. They found her phone. She had a phone on her that she dropped whenever he pulled her into the truck. And they traced it. And found it there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Mike Brooks, to your point, first thing they`ve got to do is figure out who this child is. And they see her cell phone. They`ve got to find out, they don`t have any idea who the child is, and I think probably one of their first orders of business was to -- well, find the parents of this child.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Right, exactly. That`s how they were able to get an Amber Alert out so quickly. You know what I mean. That`s just -- things like this take time. A lot of people don`t understand, things just don`t happen second by second by second.

You have to take all these different pieces of the puzzle to put it together and you start to see the puzzle coming together. And I thought they did a pretty good job.

But Jane, one of the other things I want to say, one of the things they have to start, this binder of child porn, was it taken by him? Is he part of a network? Where does he get his kiddie porn? So they`ve got to look at his computer. You`ve got to look at anything inside the house to find out is he part of a network. Where has he been? Where does he go on vacation?

Because I do not think this was the first time that he has done this. He has probably tried, and maybe he has done this before, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Wendy Murphy, there were video cameras, according to the search warrant I`m holding in my hand, there were video cameras found in his family room. God only knows.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes, I mean, I don`t even want to think about what he was doing. You know, the sad thing is that binder full of child porn means there are a lot of other victims in that area. And his million-dollar trust fund, I hope every dime of it goes to the still living children that will be identified in those videos.

BRIAN: Hey, Jane?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

MURPHY: You know, there`s no question in my mind this guy was making money and abusing a lot of kids.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian?

BRIAN: Jane?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

BRIAN: Can you ask Ricky whether he communicated to the police what direction Wood was driving when he drove off with the little girl? Can you ask him that?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m sure he did. But Ricky, to that, did you tell cops which way he was going?

RIGGINS: Yes. He was going east on grand.

BRIAN: Why did the police drive off to the parents` house which was in the opposite direction?

RIGGINS: I don`t know. We told him which way he left. I have no idea what they were doing then.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, there`s many police cars, and they could have easily gotten on the phone and been directing another car --

BROOKS: Radio.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, exactly on the radio. We can`t sit around and - - you know, it`s easy from our armchairs to second-guess. Let`s say within three and a half hours, they found what they believe is the killer of this child. We`re going to stay on top of this story. My heart goes out to the parents of little Hailey. I`m so sorry.

Our next story, many people are comparing this woman, Marissa DeVault to Jodi Arias. You will not believe the astounding tape, interrogation tape where she finally breaks down and describes how she used a hammer to bludgeon her husband to death. We`ll show it to you on the other side. There she is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just hours after Marissa DeVault`s husband Dale Harrell was found bludgeoned with a hammer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The two were having marital problems. Police say she confessed to hitting her husband with a claw hammer while he slept. The defense told the jury a different story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would she take the hammer and hit him over the head if there were guns in the house?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Between long, awkward pauses and a chuckle, she tells the detectives she blacked out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Check out this smash and grab. Guys back their car to a convenience store -- it`s a long way to go, just to steal a warm case of beer. Imagine that. Hope you enjoyed the beer, guys because they are going to catch you. If they haven`t already -- warm beer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was so brutal, there was blood flowing out the back of his head.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The two were having marital problems.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) was covered in blood?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, she`s not laughing anymore. Tonight: stunning new interrogation tapes played in the death penalty trial of defendant Marissa DeVault. Hours and hours of grilling resulted in Marissa laughing and crying and spewing lie after lie. But finally, the accused murderess breaks down and admits on camera how she bludgeoned her husband using a hammer, just like this one. But listen carefully. Is she`s still weaving in some lies?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARISSA DEVAULT, ON TRIAL FOR HUSBAND`S MURDER: I was so tired of the sexual abuse. I didn`t mean to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many times do you think you hit him?

DEVAULT: I don`t know. I just never wanted him to touch me again. I just wanted him to feel every time he touched. I wanted him to know what it felt like. I didn`t even think about it. I really put any effort into it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She didn`t put any effort into it? She wanted him to feel what it felt like? Did she ever get hit with a hammer? We have a photo of the injuries she allegedly inflicted and admitted she inflicted to Darrell -- to Dale Harrell Stone.

And we have to warn you. Here`s the before picture of the victim. This is very graphic. But it shows you just how gruesome the attack on this man, this nice guy was. Ok? This is what he looked like before, and this is after. Take a look at this man`s face. He never recovered from the attack. He died three weeks later.

Marissa told a million lies about how this happened. She even tried to blame her developmentally disabled renter. Now, in these newly released interrogation videos, she`s supposedly coming clean. But she`s still claiming that her husband sexually and physically degraded and assaulted her. Playing the victim, curling up in the corner, bawling her eyes out, while her husband, just hours earlier, had his skull beaten in by her.

Prosecutors say she planned the sneak attack and hit him while he was fast asleep. And the people Marissa said were witnesses to the abuse are not backing up any claims.

Out to the "Lion`s Den". Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, after she tells cops she was sexually assaulted, ok? She says, oh, we were in bed together. He sexually assaults me and then I got the hammer out and attacked him. So he could feel what it feels like. Can she possibly argue self-defense?

MURPHY: Not after the fact. I mean, for a woman who is being attacked, to be physically violent and try to resist and so forth, that makes sense. Killing after the fact, it reminds me of "The Burning Bed" story, the famous Farrah Fawcett movie, where while the guy is sleeping and after years of him beating the hell out of her, she kills him at the only time she really can, when he`s completely disabled by sleep. You can`t really defend yourself by slamming the guy`s head with a hammer after the rape, because the rape`s done, you know.

That`s a punishment when you do it after the fact. That`s a punishment, that`s not self-defense. The theory everybody`s going to go with here is the one that makes sense. She wanted him out of the picture. She had a tremendous amount of financial debt. And, you know, there was no other way to get rid of the guy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Wendy Walsh, we`re going to get to that -- Wendy Walsh, psychologist, when you hear her and you see her, to me, it`s like a bad high school play. How does it appear to you?

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, you are right, Jane, to say she reminds us of Jodi Arias. I don`t know. I just feel a lot of insincerity. We`re going to find out that this young woman has woven some tangled webs. There`s another man involved that she owes a lot of money to, who thinks she was a single mother, she may have been working as a stripper, the husband may have had a big trust fund. I think if we follow the money, we`re going to get the story.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, to that point, moments after Marissa`s tearful confession, interrogation video shows her -- get this -- making a phone call, allegedly to her secret lover after the investigator leaves the room. This is after she bawls her eyes out. Check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEVAULT: Hello. Yes, I`m being charged with attempted homicide. You and I need to talk in private and make some very distinct boundaries. We`ll just have to make some very distinct boundaries and we`ll discuss what our memories were, and we`ll take care of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to discuss what our memories were and take care of it. Ok, there she is. Sandra Haros, reporter Newstalk 92.3, tell us about the tangled web, the secret lover, Allen Flores, the $300,000 she owed -- talk to us.

SANDRA HAROS, REPORTER, REPORTER, NEWSTALK 92.3 (via telephone): There are so many inconsistencies with her story. It just doesn`t make any sense. What I found particularly interesting, that back in 2009, DeVault actually told Flores, that Harrell, her husband had become so mad at her, and Cook had come to her help and basically killing him with a tire iron. He wasn`t dead yet. She killed him allegedly the next day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh wow. Oh, my gosh.

HAROS: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me go to Lisa Bloom on that. When you tell somebody, that you owe a lot of money to, that you`re having sex with, oh, I killed my husband, but it just turns out that it was the day before she actually killed him, that hurts.

LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY, AVO.COM: Well, that`s game set and match at trial. I mean, come on. And also to prove self-defense claim, you have to be in reasonable fear of imminent great bodily injury or death. It can`t be that he attacked me a little while ago, now he`s asleep and now I`m attacking him. It doesn`t work that way because the fear is not imminent. Her better course would be to run out, call the police on him and what he did then he would be the one going to jail if he really bothered her, not her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know what? If you have time to go get a big heavy hammer, you have time to get out of the house, and run to safety or hail a cab or walk away.

Stay right there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for Pet of the Day. Send your pet pics to hlntv.com/jane.

Georgie Porgie -- oh, my gosh, you`re so cute. Oh, Kody -- you`ve got to cut back on the snacks, baby. Penny -- a penny for your thoughts; she says "look at me, look how stylish I am". And Pepsi he says "I`m naked, and I don`t care."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Foxy, you and I pass carriage horses on our walk every single day. Tonight, critics say it`s time for the horse-drawn carriages to ride into the sunset and into the history books; a national movement growing to end what critics call cruel and unnecessary use of carriage horses in traffic-clogged big cities. A lawmaker in Chicago is now fighting to ban these carriages in his city. He joins newly-elected New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio who also wants to see horses off the streets, even speaking out on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK: The bottom line is this, in a humane society, I really believe this, horses do not belong in the middle of traffic in New York City. They don`t belong in an urban environment like this. It`s not safe for them. It`s just not -- it`s not fair when you think about what their lives should be and what our society is like.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that`s the mayor. In critical documentaries like the movie "Blinders", critics say this antiquated practice sticks horses in terrifying, fast, loud traffic, creating dangers if they`re spooked. Exhibit A -- take a look at the pictures. Critics say it tells the story. Look at these accidents. All right? Look at that. That is wild stuff.

Straight out to Donny Moss, my dear friend and the leader of the fight to ban horse-drawn carriages and director of the documentary "Blinders". Donny, why do you think it`s so important to ban these carriages?

DONNY MOSS, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: Like Mayor de Blasio, we think it`s inherently inhumane to have horses pulling carriages in congested areas. These are living, breathing animals but by putting them in the streets with aggressive taxi drivers and buses and ambulances, we`re treating them like inanimate objects like motor vehicles.

It`s unfair to them. It`s unsafe for them and it puts the public safety in jeopardy. Remember these are flight animals. When a horse spooks and bolts down a busy city street with a carriage attached to his or her back, they become weapons. There`s no amount of regulation that could prevent a horse from spooking.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now Mayor de Blasio said the end of horse-drawn carriages is, quote, "nonnegotiable". In a written statement he told us he wants to work with drivers and people in the industry to make them part of the solution.

However, the organization that works with the horses, the Historical Horse Drawn Carriages of New York, says they adamantly oppose the mayor`s pledge to end the business, adding there are 144 pages of regulations in place, and that no owner or driver has ever been convicted of animal cruelty or abuse.

What`s your response to them saying, Donny, this really needs to be a part of New York forever?

MOSS: Look, tradition is never an excuse for the inhumane treatment of animals. When you think about what these animals` lives are like, they spend nine hours a day stuck between the shaft of a carriage, and they spend the rest of the day inside a stall. New York City has no pasture. They have no place to graze, run, roll, or interact physically with other horses, as herd animals do. Really, they`ve been stripped of the ability to do anything that comes naturally to them.

If Barcelona, Spain, can ban bullfights, which really were a part of a tradition there, then we can certainly take these horses off the streets and out of harm`s way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The coalition to ban horse-drawn carriages want signatures on their change.org petition that asks Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Council to ban horse-drawn carriages by the end of the year. So to sign the petition or learn how to get involved, you can go to BanHDC.org, BanHDC which stands for horse drawn carriages.

You know I`ve got to say that there are plenty of alternatives that are being proposed. Donny, for example, there are some alternatives like electric cars that are being suggested, and we`ve got some video of various proposals that people are suggesting.

Now, there are already young people -- there are the electric cars being proposed -- there are young people who ride around -- oh. Look at that. Now, that looks like fun. But that looks kind of expensive. The fact is, there are already bike carriages that young people bike around the city, they pick up money, they get exercise, the people get to see whatever the sites are. What`s wrong with just having some more of that?

MOSS: Look, any alternative to using animals in the city streets would be welcomed. But we shouldn`t have to have an alternative to shut this business down. They`ve had years and years of advanced warning that a ban is coming, and they are clinging to the horse-drawn carriages. So the goal now is to do what de Blasio said, which is to take these horses off the streets.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, full disclosure, I`m not happy about these horse-drawn carriages, and when Foxy and I walk by them, they don`t look too happy to me. I mean, really? With the cabs racing past them? We`ll see what happens. Mayor de Blasio, we`re watching you.

Nancy`s next.

END