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Did System Failure Contribute to Toddler`s Death?

Aired February 27, 2014 - 19:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Outrage spreading across the country tonight after the horrific tragic murder of a beautiful, innocent 2-year- old girl who did not have to die. Look at that face. Protesters in Vermont saying the system has blood on its hands, and it does.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.






UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When do we want it?




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The death of 2-year-old Dezirae Sheldon has shocked the community. The toddler`s stepfather, Dennis Duby, was arrested for allegedly crushing Dezirae`s skull and killing her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The signs were there. Pay attention to them. This little one could have been alive.

SANDRA EASTON, DEZIRAE`S MOTHER: What did you do to my baby? What did you do to my baby?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thirty-one-year-old Dennis is charged with second- degree murder in the brutal death of his stepdaughter, Dezirae. She was killed just three days after her second birthday. He`s behind bars on a quarter million dollars bond tonight.

But outraged critics say there`s another monster in this horror story who is still on the loose, Dezirae`s own mother, Sandra Easton. As that woman screamed at her husband in court, somebody pointed the finger at her. Listen.


EASTON: What did you do to my baby?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Less than a year ago, this mother was convicted of child cruelty in the breaking of little Dezirae`s leg. She did not serve any jail time, zero, and Dezirae was put right back in her custody just two months later.

The mom`s desperate family claims they begged the court not to restore custody, warning they know her. She`s part of their family, and she`s unstable and violent, they say. Sandra`s own sister started an online petition in a desperate last-ditch effort to get this child, her niece, away from her sister.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I said, "She`s going to kill her. She`s going to die. We`re never going to see her again. I know it. I know it in my heart it`s going to happen." Nobody listened.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That prediction came true. The child is dead.

Tonight, the outrage has spread, protesters gathering outside Vermont Child Protective Service. And Vermont`s Citizens` Advisory Board has launched an investigation to find out how on earth this innocent child ends up back with her mom, despite her mother`s horrific backstory. And we`re just getting started on what she`s done. People want to know why this beautiful child ended up dead.

Straight out to one of those protesters, Lindsay Miller. I want to thank you for joining us from Vermont. Lindsay, you participated in a protest in honor of Dezirae Sheldon, this little girl, this gorgeous, gorgeous innocent creature, who didn`t have to die. Why did this case touch you so deeply?

LINDSAY MILLER, PROTESTOR (via phone): I myself have two young children. So it just seems this poor little 2-year-old girl that really had no reason to be put back into that home, everything -- if you looked at it on the outside, everything told you no. Why did it happen? It just should have never happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It should never have happened. You`re absolutely right. It`s awful. It`s so awful, Lindsay, when you look at your own children. When I look at this little girl`s face, to think of how she died, and we didn`t even want to mention it at first because it`s too upsetting, but this stepfather allegedly crushed her head.

MILLER: It will make you -- it will make you sick, just thinking about it. It`s absolutely frightening. And I just can`t imagine that`s the last thing that she would see, is -- it`s just horrible. It just shouldn`t have...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s the stepfather. This is torture. This is torture of a child.

Lindsay, what is this community feeling like tonight? You`re right there in the heart of this community.

MILLER: They`re all upset. You know, they really, there was no reason this child should have been put with her. You know, what was the state thinking? Why? The state is supposed to protect these children from this person. That`s why they`re set up. Why?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re trying to answer that question right now on this show. So stand by as we explain this story and get our expert Lion`s Den panel involved. Because it`s an important question. If it can happen to this precious innocent, it can happen to other children.

Dezirae`s mother lost it in court and lunged at her husband. Watch this again.


EASTON: What did you do to my baby? What did you do? (EXPLETIVE DELETED) What did you do?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s crying and playing the victim. Certainly, what he`s accused of doing is horrific. But this woman is also a monster.

Six years ago, approximately, she got pregnant in the process of molesting a 15-year-old boy. She spent only five months in jail for that crime. OK. The court has been keeping that child out of her grasp, and the state now has custody of her 1-month-old baby. That`s right. She just had a baby by the husband who`s accused of murdering her 2-year-old.

OK. I`ve got to go to Elura Nanos, former prosecutor for Staten Island Law. I mean, it`s one thing after another. So many reasons why she should have been kept away from this innocent child. She`s already been convicted of cruelty once when the child broke a leg.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She didn`t take her to the doctor for a week.

NANOS: This is absolutely a failure of the child protective system. And I think it`s difficult to point to which part of that system really is at fault here. Because as a child abuse prosecutor myself, I definitely had cases where I presented evidence, compelling evidence to a judge, saying do not return this child, and because of various reasons in the judge`s opinion, the judge did return the child.

So it may have been the judge. It may have been a lack of evidence. It may have been a problem with investigators and the social workers. It is absolutely a failure of the system. I want to point out while the system may have failed, it is the fault of these parents.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes. It`s the fault of these parents. But we also have to ask. We pay millions of dollars as taxpayers for these institutions to work in this exact situation and in this exact situation they failed miserably. It wasn`t just one mistake. One mistake.

Let me give you the litany, and then I will go to Wendy Murphy. OK?

This little girl died right after her second birthday, but she lived a lifetime of abuse. In two short years, Dezirae`s leg was broken. No one in her home reported it for at least a week. Then the doctors did a full body scan. It showed signs of earlier healed injuries, i.e. long-term abuse, which matches up with allegations made by the mother`s own family.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just opened the door and I looked at Dezirae, and her whole face was bruised. And I looked at Sandy and I said, "What happened?"

She said, "Dennis dropped her into the Pack and Play."

I said, "That`s not from a Pack and Play fall. Her whole face is bruised."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Her aunt, the child`s aunt, her mother`s sister, even started this petition, saying, quote, "Send her to prison. Terminate her parental rights" and even predicted in writing her niece`s death, saying, "I am afraid I will get a call saying they were killed by their unstable mother."

Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor. I don`t know if it`s CPS. I don`t know if it`s the courts. I don`t know if it`s a combination of both. It`s insane; it`s madness.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Look, you don`t have to be a genius to have predicted this child`s death. And the fact that everybody did and even a sister of the mom was saying she`s going to get killed, who thought she wasn`t going to get killed? This isn`t just a who in the system failed. It`s that every part of the system failed.

Here`s what`s important to remember: Kids can`t protect themselves when they`re 2. That`s why we have government, big government in their lives when they`re at risk of abuse. We need them to step in. Kids don`t have any money. They don`t speak when they`re this young. They don`t vote. They need government to protect them.

And guess what? Once in a while you can cut a parent some slack if they do something bad, they get in trouble and then they clean up their lives. How many bites at the apple does one deranged mother and her vile boyfriend, husband, whatever the hell he is, how many bites at the apple do you get in Vermont?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Simone Bienne -- Simone Bienne, behavior expert. This woman got pregnant in the course of molesting a 15-year-old boy. This woman is a predator, just by definition of what she did.

I mean, what kind -- what`s the mentality of somebody who would molest a 15-year-old boy and then get pregnant by that 15-year-old boy, who is thankfully far away from her, and then proceed to have another child who`s abused and then another. There`s a child that`s only a couple of months old right now.

SIMONE BIENNE, BEHAVIOR EXPERT: Yes. I mean, this case is just so incredibly tragic. And what is her pathology? Well, she is sadistic. And what makes me so sick, Jane, is you were talking about the fact that she waited a week until the child -- after the child broke her leg. She must be getting some perverse pleasure out of it. This woman is sick beyond belief.

I do not, like you, Jane -- it sounds like you don`t -- believe those crocodile tears, because she didn`t protect her child.


BIENNE: That`s the only thing a mother must do, protect her children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the other side of the break, we`re going to talk to famed forensic scientist Lawrence Kobilinsky from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice about what this child went through. And why is this man only charged with second-degree murder? Shouldn`t this be murder one? Stay right there.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dezirae`s aunts claim they begged the court and DCF to terminate Eastman`s parental rights but say their allegations of abuse were ignored.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I said, "She`s going to kill her. She`s going to die. I`m never going to see her again. I know it."




EASTMAN: What did you do to my baby? What did you do? (EXPLETIVE DELETED)


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Crocodile tears. Is she a monster, too? Her husband, Dennis Duby, 31 years old -- you`re looking at him right there -- allegedly killed a little girl just three days after her second birthday. He`s only charged with second-degree murder. Listen to how brutal this child`s death was.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With such force that the dying is almost instantaneous. He admits that he is the only one who was with Dezirae and the only one present when she is first on the ground unresponsive, when her brain is swelling beyond repair.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You can hear people weeping in court. Straight out to Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, forensic scientist. It`s hard to say. It gives me -- it makes me sick to say it. This little girl`s head was crushed by being squeezed so hard that it crushed her skull. Can you enlighten us as to what that is like?

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST (via phone): Well, Jane, you know, that kind of severe intense trauma, obviously, will cause brain damage and severe hemorrhage, and death will be rather rapid.

Medical examiners understand what kind of trauma to the head occurs, for example, when a child falls. They have a very good notion of the level of damage to the skull and the brain from a fall from different heights. So this kind of injury is seen by medical examiners from time-to-time, and they can, you know -- they can determine exactly what caused that level of trauma, what kind of intense pressure.

Now, added to that, you know, you have X-ray evidence of former -- of old wounds in the process of healing. They can get a very -- a good idea of when these various traumas, wounds were inflicted on the child. This child experienced a horrendous past of abuse. We often talk about dysfunctional people, and unfortunately, the victim is so young.

I mean, this is just -- it reaches the level which words can`t even describe, just how heinous this kind of crime is. This -- this stepfather is just beyond the pale. It`s just too much to think about. But somebody`s got to do it.

He`s being charged with second-degree murder. Why second-degree? I think this is heinous enough. There`s nothing mitigating about this. This kind of intense blunt trauma. Well, he is facing 20 years to life, if he`s convicted.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But look at this face. She`s smiling. Despite all the abuse that she`s suffered, she has the capacity to smile. That is the innocence of children.

And I pray you`re right, Doctor Kobi. I pray that whatever happened happened quickly, and she did not suffer for too long.

I want to go to our attorneys, Brian Silber, criminal defense attorney, and Eboni K. Williams.

Eboni, I`ll start with you. Why only second-degree. Eboni?

Well, we`ll start with Brian then. Brian, why only second-degree?

BRIAN SILBER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jane, you know, we need more information about the facts of the case. You know, let`s understand the difference between first and second.

First-degree murder is an intentional, premeditated killing. And that`s where you have the cases where someone grabs a gun and goes out and bam.

Second-degree murder is a little bit different. And the difference is in the evidence. So what I`m gathering from hearing that they`re only charging second-degree tells me that there`s something missing in their evidence. And that`s what it comes down to, because of course, prosecutors are out there to get the highest level conviction possible.

So this really is an evidentiary issue. You know, if he was alone, for instance, with the kid, you know, who`s to say what happened and what didn`t happen?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. That`s true. No other witnesses that are adult. Eboni K. Williams, attorney, do you think it should be more than second-degree? It should be murder one?

EBONI K. WILLIAMS, ATTORNEY: It`s completely heinous, and I agree there`s no mitigating facts. But Jane, I think it`s second-degree. Why? Typically, first-degree murder requires an element of premeditation. And unfortunately, I don`t think that the facts support this in this court case. Very important, I agree. The you don`t want to overcharge in this case, because if you overcharge and you can`t meet that burden of proof, you`ll get an acquittal. Nobody wants that.

SILBER: I disagree with that. I think that`s incorrect?

MURPHY: What do you mean you don`t want to overcharge? If ever you want to overcharge, it would be when an innocent 2-year-old child is squished like a bug.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s ridiculous. That`s ridiculous.

MURPHY: You don`t get a dismissal. You charge first and then if you don`t get first you get second.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s something called double jeopardy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One at a time. Who said double jeopardy?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did. There`s something called double jeopardy. And if you overcharge, and you get a dismissal you cannot bring that person to any type of...

SILBER: They`re not going to get a dismissal, that`s ridiculous. Any prosecutor can`t win this case, quit their job and surrender their bar license.

MURPHY: There`s no such thing as a dismissal. What are you talking about?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No one said a dismissal, an acquittal. That`s not how it works. There`s not always a lesser.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One at a time, guys. Let`s let --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The lesser included and then we`ll go around. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The lesser included offense...

That`s it.

The lesser included offense is not always.

Eboni, Eboni.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The lesser included offense of second-degree murder is not always inclusive of a first-degree murder count. If a jury finds that first-degree murder count is not met and acquits on that murder charge standing alone that is a disservice to that family and everyone that loves her. You never want to overcharge.

Now, Wendy.

MURPHY: That is so silly. During the break, I looked up murder in Vermont. You charge first-degree. Everything that isn`t proved to the level of premeditated murder is by definition second-degree. It`s always a lesser included offense, always, end of discussion.

SILBER: Wendy`s right.

MURPHY: You charge first, you don`t win first, you win second. And here`s another thing about Vermont law.

SILBER: Wendy is right.

MURPHY: Because it`s a child, a defenseless child, it may be well be over 20 years even if it`s a second-degree conviction, because that`s an aggravating factor and a judge could tack on more. But first-degree is 35 years minimum. Is this child`s life not worth 35 years minimum?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know what occurs to me?

Let me ask you this. Let me ask you this, and I`ll throw to it a former prosecutor. Had the sister, trusting her gut, said, this child`s going to die and kidnapped the child away from her abusive adult sister and taken that little girl and run off, you know darned well they would have charged her with kidnapping and she`d be doing time for a long, long time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is absolutely true.

MURPHY: Especially in Vermont.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on, let her speak.

MURPHY: God help the children in Vermont.

NANOS: We`re showing the reason why -- this case is the reason why legal maneuvers must be done the right way. The system cannot be abused to just charge people with the highest crime that we can think it would be nice for them to get convicted of. What we want to do is charge the appropriate time the evidence supports so that the system has everything it can have to work properly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it didn`t work properly. It didn`t work at all. Somebody has blood on their hands. Maybe a whole bunch of people. But this child was failed by systems that taxpayers pay a lot of money for. The first order of government is to protect the innocent and speak for the voiceless. Our government did neither in the case of this child. But we will. Stay right there. More on the other side.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A review process Dezirae`s family says failed. In their minds, Eastman is just as guilty as the man accused of squeezing the toddler`s head until it cracked.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She covered for him this whole time. She`s just as guilty as he is.




EASTON: What did you do to my baby? What did you do? (EXPLETIVE DELETED) You did it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That mother screaming is crying and yelling at her husband, who`s accused of murdering their 2-year-old child, but indeed many say that it`s the mother who is abusive, as well, also a monster in this horror story.

What occurs to me is they just had a child, an infant that`s approximately 1 month old. She`s not charged with anything, and it just blew my mind over the commercial break. I`m like, oh, my God, she could actually get that 1-month-old child back.

And I want to go to Elura Nanos, former prosecutor, because you`ve dealt with these family court cases and CPS, et cetera. I mean, that would be truly the Kafkaesque nightmare of all time if, despite all this, because she`s not technically charged in her child`s death, because she was out doing errands, supposedly, she could get the infant back?

NANOS: I really doubt that that will happen. Child Protective Services. While, you know -- while the system doesn`t always work and this is obviously a case of a massive failure on all fronts. You know, once the failure is clear, it usually does end there. And I really don`t see any way she will get the infant there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to jump in, Elura. You know what you`re saying. Read between the lines, Simone Bienne. We`re all talking about it on TV. That`s why she`s not going to get her 1-month-old infant back. Because they know if they do that we`re watching, and heads will roll.

That`s the only reason. That`s why it`s important for us to do these stories, Simone. It`s very important, because they respond. All these bureaucrats are public servants, and they`re people; and they respond to public pressure.

BIENNE: And thank goodness for you, Jane, and thank goodness that we are talking about this, because every single mother wants us to be talking about it. Every single parent.

While it is absolutely distressing and turns all of our stomachs, we need to protect the children so that this doesn`t happen again. I cannot fathom and get my head around the fact that she`s a pedophile, and she`s being allowed to look after her children. This is absolutely bonkers.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me go back to Lindsay Miller, who participated in a protest, and she lives in Vermont where all this is happening. Lindsay, have you and your friends who are upset about this discussed even the possibility, hypothetically, that since she`s not technically charged with anything, she could get that infant back, possibly?

MILLER: It`s come up in discussion. I hope that they would learn from their mistake the first time, that not to give her child back.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen...

MILLER: I don`t understand why the real father had no chance on getting Dezirae.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Exactly. This was the stepfather.

Let`s go to the phone lines quickly. Jasmine from New York, you`ve been so patient. What do you have to say? Jasmine.

CALLER: I just want to say that I don`t understand why, when there are cases like this, that the child goes back with the abuser. I feel like they should either go in foster care, or in this example, they should have took the child and put her with the aunt. You know, and there were so many warning signs.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Exactly. The aunt is there. She`s a decent person. She`s the one complaining. I mean, the courts had a perfect solution.

And I`ll throw that to Eboni K. Williams. I mean, they just don`t use logic.

WILLIAMS: Righty. We know that from the statement, Jane. The commissioner from the Child and Family Service Department says, well, it`s a balancing test. I`m sorry, but the balance is lost on me, where you return an infant child to a proven and convicted child abuser. There is no balance in that remedy.

And exactly, you`re right. There were several other alternatives that were not taken, because many times, Jane, these agencies become beholden to the parents and they do what`s in the parents` best interests as opposed to what they`re legally obligated to do, what`s in the child`s best interests.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. I agree with you 100 percent. Just the fact that there`s blood shared, that doesn`t trump everything. OK? That`s -- that`s irrational. Deadly irrationality.

Coming up next, stunning new information. A model and mom found dead, her body discovered in the family pool. We have unbelievable new information about this case. What does her estranged husband know, if anything, about this woman`s death?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wasn`t completely shocked because I considered that Mr. Frasch was a dangerous person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has not been charged in his wife`s death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I felt so strongly about that that I started carrying a gun in my car.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s lady laying in the pool, in her backyard in her pool. She`s dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Frye is a dangerous person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, ma`am. She`s dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It appears that he`s in a lot of trouble. I`d be worried about the kids more than anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Neighbors describe extravagant parties at the Golden Eagle home and a driveway often field with Maseratis and Ferraris?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s dead. She`s dead. She drowned. Somebody has killed her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, shocking developments in the death of a stunning model and mother of two young children. We had just obtained the 911 call. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 911, what`s the address of your emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma`am, can I get an officer out here? There`s a lady laying in the pool, in her backyard in her pool. She`s dead.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Was it murder? She was found dead in the pool at her palatial Florida home. Her very close friend insists this was no accident.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: French couture model and singer Samira Frasch was in the middle of a nasty divorce and custody battle with prominent local doctor podiatrist Adam Frasch. The doctor was seen leaving the home with their two young daughters. Then just two and a half hours later that maintenance man you heard, discovered her body in the pool.

Again, here`s more of the just released 911 call.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sitting here looking at her. She`s at the bottom of the pool.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ok. She`s in the -- she`s still in the water?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s still laying in the water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know how old she is?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, ma`am. I think she`s about-30 something.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, ma`am. She`s dead.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Samira`s husband was just released from jail a little while ago accused of taking off with the young daughters in violation of the custody agreement. Now, that was just hours before she was discovered dead in the pool. He has not been called a suspect in Samira`s death. I want to make that clear.

Straight out to senior producer Selin Darkalstanian -- Saline, you have learned new information about the circumstances surrounding this model and the mother`s death in the pool. Tell us.

SELIN DARKALSTANIAN, HLN SENIOR PRODUCER: Jane, we know that Samira was found at the bottom of the pool. A maintenance worker found her at the bottom of the pool wearing a nightgown, no underwear and shoes. What does that tell us? She obviously wasn`t going for a swim dressed like that.

And I have reached out to the coroner. I just got off with him to find out what is the cause of death because that`s going to tell us a lot. Was she pushed in there? What happened to get her to the bottom of the pool?

And the coroner said that they still do not have a cause of death. Now, what`s interesting is we spoke to a very close friend of Samira`s -- the woman that was found dead in the bottom of the pool and she told us that just a few weeks ago they were joking around with one another that they did not know how to swim. That they were saying, "We`re both adults. We should take swim lessons one of these days because we really -- we don`t know how to swim and we should learn."

So we know that, you know, she didn`t know how to swim. She wasn`t going for a swim. So what happened to this woman? That`s the big question. And that`s what they`re trying to find.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And she wasn`t wearing a swimsuit. She was wearing a nightgown, no underwear and shoes. Let`s think about that a second and she doesn`t know how to swim and her husband, Dr. Adam Frasch, was not supposed to be there taking the children. He wasn`t supposed to be at the house at all per court order yet his attorney claims the plan all along was for Frasch to pick up his two little girls Saturday morning and take them to his beach house about 80 miles away.


JOHN LEACE, ADAM FRASCH`S ATTORNEY: UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Adam took the kids over to their beach property for the day with the intention of Rhonda going later.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So when he left that house, she was alive and well?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: So that`s interesting. Now, the attorney for the husband is saying, she -- this woman you`re looking at -- was alive and well, when he left the house with the two kids, in violation of the court ruling.

I want to go to Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, forensic scientist. First of all, how can you tell if somebody accidentally drowned when they`re found in the pool, at the bottom of a pool or that they were killed and put there or that they were killed inside the pool and drowned in a murder, for example?

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST (via telephone): You`re asking very good questions. You know, the first thing of course is to determine the cause of death. I think what needs to be done during the autopsy, which as you know is an investigation from top to bottom, side, left to right and front to back, they have to determine if there is any obvious issue. Was she strangled? Did she drown? They will even go so far as to find diatoms in her respiratory system because, you know, pools usually have filters that are diatomacious (ph). So finding those little diatoms can give an indicator of whether or not she can -- whether water entered her system, was she still breathing?

So you need to rule out a lot of things. Was she sexually assaulted? Was there any kind of marks on her neck? Once you`ve got the cause of death, then it becomes the issue of manner of death. Was it a murder? Was it an accident? Theoretically, it could even be natural causes even though it`s unlikely.

First of all, you need the physical information on what the cause of death was and then other factors come into play.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`ve given us a very good analysis what needs to be done to determine how this woman died. Samira had a very nasty divorce with this Adam, after being married three years. He basically lost everything. She was still pursuing her modeling career and branching out into music videos and here is one she posted on Facebook.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now, she claims that her husband threatened physical violence when she refused his sexual advances, that he threw her against the wall, did all sorts of things and she also got the mansion.

Look at everything that he lost. He has to pay $1,500 in alimony, $2,000 a month in child support, the mortgage, insurance taxes, the rental debt of his wife. He gets no time with the kids.

I mean let`s go out to the "Lion`s Den". Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, that`s a big loss on his part. He is not a suspect in her death but hypothetically we could ask could that be considered a motive?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: I would say that`s a very big motive, Jane. This is not one of those mysteries that, you know, we`re going to wonder about. They were definitely having trouble. That is a huge insult to this guy getting kicked out of his house and having to pay all those moneys.

But here`s the thing. Even when you have a really strong motive and a history of domestic violence you still have to prove that he was the guy. What we have there is he was the last one seen with her. He was the last one known to be there. He acknowledges being there to take the kids. What I`m worried about -- and a neighbor apparently saw his car there.

What I`m worried about is that poor maintenance guy will probably become the Plan B suspect. Watch this defense devolve?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh no. I mean listen, we don`t know what happened. It could have been an accidental death, stranger things have happened. She certainly probably wasn`t going out -- wasn`t headed on her way out because she was wearing her nightgown, no underwear and shoes. Nobody is considered a suspect in this case right now.

We`re going to stay on top of it.

Now meanwhile, there`s another wild case right around the horn (ph) on the other side of the break. A Texas man was not drunk, wasn`t high yet cops arrest him for DUI. Prosecutors say there was nothing to charge this guy with. so why did police pursue this case?

We are going to talk to him about his year long ordeal. Could this happen to you?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Davis walks the line. He does the one-leg stand, then, this. The handcuffs click in place and he is under arrest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m like, why? What did I do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Davis insists he only had one drink that night and a voluntary breath test minutes later at the county jail showed he had not had too much to drink. He blew a 0.00.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was arrested for nothing really.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many drinks have you had? You had one drink? Is that it -- just one?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Davis walks the line. He does the one-leg stand. Then this -- the handcuffs click in place. Austin police are standing by their decision. He blew a 0.00, the lowest reading possible.

So why did Austin police arrest Davis here in this parking lot.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, could this be you? A man in Texas gets pulled over, asked to do a field sobriety test. He`s arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated but he blew a 0.00 on a breath test, the lowest result you can get on a breathalyzer. What the heck`s going on here?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many drinks have you had tonight? You had one drink? Is that it, just one?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Larry Davis spent the night in jail, even and voluntarily took a drug test to prove he wasn`t on any drugs.


LARRY DAVIS: I said I would do a blood sample as well just to prove I had nothing in my system. I was arrested for nothing, really, just suspicion of drunk -- DUI, which I wasn`t. It was surprising to her at the same time.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Larry says the tests came back negative, not high, not drunk, still arrested for DUI. Joining me now is that man, Larry Davis, and his attorney, Daniel Betts.

Larry, you were telling me that this is still on your record even though the charges were ultimately dismissed?

DAVIS: Yes, ma`am.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How has this messed up your life?

DAVIS: Financially, I had to pay to get my car out of the pound. I had to pay to get this expunged off my record as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m glad you`re smiling, sir, because I`m not. I feel this is an outrage. We reached out to the Austin Texas police department for comment. Didn`t hear back but our affiliate KVUE spoke with the supervisor of the arresting officer and he reportedly even says Larry could have been on another drug like pot that wasn`t part of the test. Check this out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, to err on the side of caution with public safety. If there is someone that is impaired, we obviously don`t want them driving. We need to get them off the road.

See that was probably his mind set. I think he did the right thing and did what he was supposed to do.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa Bloom, author of the amazing book "Suspicion Nation" -- which we`re going to talk to you about in a second -- am I losing my mind? Is this is a Kafkaesque nightmare? You`re not drunk, you`re not high, and they still say well, you know, you might be on something so we have to arrest you. I mean this could happen to anyone.

LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: You know, could have, should have, would have, that`s not the way our system works that you could be high, if you pass a blood test and you have a 0.0 you should not be incarcerated. I think that`s pretty basic.

And Jane, I`m going to talk about the elephant in the room, race. I knew this was going to be about a black man before I even saw a picture, before I saw this gentleman on TV. You know, African-American men in our justice system suffer this kind of injustice everyday. It`s wrong, it`s disgusting and this is another example of it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I want to thank our affiliate, KVUE, for getting this story out. And they found out this isn`t the first time something like this has happened. Check this out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you have to drink tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just had one drink actually.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re under arrest for driving while intoxicated.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: KVUE reporter, Tony Plohetski, you did a great job on this. I saw you reporting and I said, wow, you really uncovered something important. How bad a problem is this?

TONY PLOHETSKI, KVUE REPORTER: Thanks. Well, you know, from the police perspective, listen, they can`t take a chance. If they believe someone is intoxicated based on a field sobriety test, their decision has to be made on the spot, on the side of the road.

And I think in a lot of cases what they had told me is that they go ahead and make an arrest and then let the judicial system and let the prosecutors look at the evidence sometime down the line and then decide whether or not a case should actually go forward. From their perspective, they can`t take that risk.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me jump back to Daniel Betts. Daniel Betts, attorney for Larry Davis, to me, that`s an upside down world. Somebody is going to say you blew a 0.00 on a breathalyzer but to me you look high. I mean that`s insane.

DANIEL BETTS, ATTORNEY FOR LARRY DAVIS: I agree, Jane. I mean that`s the problem with these tests. DWI investigations are just modern witch hunts based on junk science. If Larry could fail that test and not have anything in his system it could happen to any one of us.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It could happen to any one of us, anybody who is driving a car. I think this -- I get chills because, you know, thank God I`m in New York City. I don`t have a car anymore. In L.A., I drove for many years; I drove all over this country. It scares me the idea somebody could pull me over and say, I`m always acting goofy. They probably think I`m drunk all the time even thought I`m 18 years sober.

I think I want to say, Larry, I hope that something really good comes out of this. Get a book deal, get a movie deal. I mean are you going to sue? Yes or no?

DAVIS: I`m in the process of getting a lawyer to look into it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, look into it.

Up next, "Suspicion Nation", an incredible must read book by Lisa Bloom about George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on trial for murdering unarmed African-American teen Trayvon Martin. The trial mesmerized the nation. His acquittal outraged millions and now a stunning must-read book by Lisa Bloom called "Suspicion Nation" explains how prosecutors blew this completely winnable case.

Lisa, I couldn`t put it down. I was turning these pages all night long -- unbelievable stuff. Why did prosecutors blow it?

BLOOM: Thank you Jane. Well just quickly, from my table of contents, they missed their best evidence. They were too squeamish to talk about race. They bungled the science. They allowed their star witness, Rachel Jeantel, to be neutralized, they mishandled the 911 call and closing arguments were a disaster for the prosecution where they were essentially arguing reasonable doubt right alongside the defense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you point out for example in the 911 call where you hear screaming and you hear a gunshot and they didn`t use that 911 call to their advantage. How did they mess that up?

BLOOM: Well, and they also missed a scientist who wanted to testify that Trayvon`s lung was punctured by some of the bullet fragments which would have prevented him from speaking at all. You know, on that 911 call, the person screaming stops right when the bullet rings out. It sure sounds like it was the victim, not the perpetrator. Prosecutors never argued that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It was like the defense framed the entire case and the prosecution was on the defensive the whole time.

BLOOM: That is right, Jane. And you know, I have new information inside the jury room as to the very painful experience that Mattie, the only non-white juror experienced during those three weeks of sequestration -- I start the book with that. I have the story of Rachel Jeantel what she told me about how poorly she was prepared to testify. How she was essentially just thrown up on to the witness stand and not supported. This is really an appalling injustice. That is why I had to write this book.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you do such a good job. And I have to tell you, reads like a mystery story. You know, at first I thought, well I covered this case and I know it backwards and forwards. But everything I saw in here, even Trayvon Martin`s past of how he was really profiled as a -- a kid in school, it blew my mind. How did you get this information? Ten seconds.

BLOOM: Well, it was so disturbing to me, I got his school records. I got the school rules and it clearly was a violation of the school rules the way that he was disciplined very, very harshly for minor infractions like tardiness. I hope people will read the story and draw their own conclusions.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: "Suspicion Nation". You must get this book. Read it now. It is a must --