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Dalia Dippolito Conviction Thrown Out. Aired 8-9:00p ET

Aired December 7, 2015 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news now, live. A Florida beach beauty marries her dream man, the newlyweds set to live happily ever after until

death do they part. But what the 26-year-old beauty doesn`t plan on is the hit man she allegedly hires to murder the groom is a cop. That`s right,

the cops sting the bride on video.

Oh! She breaks down in hysterical tears, crying over her dead husband just hours after she herself allegedly puts the special finishing touch on

his shooting death. And it`s all caught on undercover surveillance video.

Bombshell tonight. An appeals court reverses! Dalia Dippolito walks out of jail tonight. How the state plans to strike back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, I`m sorry to tell you, ma`am, he`s been killed. He`s been killed, ma`am.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you want your husband dead?

DIPPOLITO: No, absolutely not.

I`m positive, like, 5,000 percent sure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you hire a hit man to kill your husband?



GRACE: That`s from ABC`s "20/20."

And live, reality star of "The Hills," "Laguna Beach" and "Dancing With the Stars" brother goes missing under bizarre circumstances, Kristin

Cavallari`s beloved big brother`s car found running, keys in the ignition, several yards off the road in a stretch of Utah desert, cell phone and

laptop still in the car, after obvious car trouble. That`s right, the car, the cell, the belongings, all intact. But where is he? Tonight, the

search turns desperate.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The brother of a reality television star...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... has been missing since the day after Thanksgiving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cell phones, laptops, all that were still located in the car.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Authorities say surveillance video shows Cavallari around 3:30 in the morning, four hours before his car was found.


GRACE: That`s from ABC`s "Dancing With the Stars."

And live, Travers (ph) City, a man accused of putting a tot boy in a burning hot dryer is set free by a jury after they actually buy his

cockamamie story that Mommy did it in her sleep!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A mother wakes up to find her beautiful little boy has burns over 25 percent of his body. Police arrest the mother`s

boyfriend and say that he caused the toddler`s injuries by placing the child inside a hot dryer. But the defendant has a shocking counterclaim of

his own -- the baby`s mother put him in the dryer while she was sleepwalking.


GRACE: And live, a multi-millionaire Grammy-nominated superstar bails her 37-year-old brother out of jail after he`s charged with sex attack on a

12-year-old little child.

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

Bombshell tonight. A Florida beach beauty marries her dream man, the newlyweds all set to live happily ever after until death do they part. But

what the 26-year-old beauty doesn`t plan on is the hit man she allegedly hires to murder her groom is a cop. That`s right, the cops sting the bride

on video!

She breaks down in hysterical tears, crying over the dead husband just hours after she herself allegedly puts those special finishing touches on

his death, and it`s all caught on undercover surveillance video.

An appeals court reverses the jury`s conviction! Dalia Dippolito walks out of jail. Tonight, how the state plans to strike back.

Before I go to anybody on this panel, the very first thing I want to do is play for you Dalia Dippolito when the cops tell her her husband is





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m Sergeant Ramsey (ph). I`m the one that called you. Thank you for coming. I`m sorry to call you. Listen, we had a

report of a disturbance at your house and there were shots fired. Is your husband Michael? OK, I`m sorry to tell you, ma`am, he`s been killed. He`s

been killed, ma`am.


[20:05:00]UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Try to calm down. (INAUDIBLE) we need to get you to the police station. I can`t let you see him, ma`am.

(INAUDIBLE) You need to calm down. (INAUDIBLE) Are you OK, ma`am? Is there anyone -- OK. Anyone who would want to hurt him? Witnesses say they

saw a black male running from (INAUDIBLE)

I can`t let you see him, ma`am. Ma`am, I cannot do this right now. Ma`am (INAUDIBLE) let me take you to the station. I can`t.

(INAUDIBLE) If you want to help your husband, OK -- if you want to help your husband, you need to go to the station with these gentlemen and tell

us everything you know about who he knows, who he`s connected to.

Don`t worry (INAUDIBLE) Everything`s under control. And we`ll take care of everything else. OK? Thank you, guys.


GRACE: Watch the cop. Watch the cop turn around.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are they in it?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Dan, are her keys in the truck? OK.


GRACE: Oh, it hurts too much to even get into that car, doesn`t it, Dalia?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make sure we secure that.


GRACE: Don`t stop crying!

All right, joining me, Chief Jeffrey Katz, Boynton Beach Police Department. Chief, it`s a real honor to have you with us. You guys did

such a spectacular job. And you know, as I recall this case, Chief, this was not the first time she tried to kill him. Didn`t she try to poison him

in some chai tea from Starbucks?

CHIEF JEFFREY KATZ, BOYNTON BEACH P.D. (VIA TELEPHONE): You know, thanks for having me, Nancy. I appreciate it. I really -- I think it`s

important to point out in the very beginning that I can`t talk about very much in the way of specifics of this particular case. I`m here really to

speak on behalf of the department with regard to some of the allegations...

GRACE: OK, hold on.

KATZ: ... the defense...

GRACE: I`ll get back to that with you.


GRACE: With me is Chief Jeffrey Katz, Boynton Beach Police Department. And you`re going to be thrown for a loop when you find out

what Dalia Dippolito`s new and stunning defense is.

Roy O`Neill, reporter with IHeartRadio -- Rory, thank you for being with us. I will never forget that moment. Quick question. Hiring a hit

man to gun her husband down dead was not her first attempt on her husband. Didn`t she try to give him poisoned chai tea before?

RORY O`NEILL, IHEARTRADIO (via telephone): Well, we know that there was evidence on her computer that she was Googling or researching some way

to find some sort of a poison that could go into a tea, an odorless and flavorless antifreeze was tried -- she may have tried to sneak into his


GRACE: You know, the more I look at her, the more I`m doing a back flip. I hope Chief Jeffrey Katz cannot see the screen right now. This

woman has walked free out of the jailhouse after a jury convicts her of hiring a hit man to murder her husband.

OK, I want to show you the video of her in the car. And oh, by the way, did you see the first time, when the cops are telling her her husband

is dead, and she`s bending over in such pain at the news? And then you`ve got the one cop in the corner. He`s kind of, like, looking, Do-de-do-do!

I mean, he knows! And another one`s, like, scratching his head, like, What are we going to do with this lady?

OK, listen to her caught on video, bartering with a sting cop planning her husband`s shooting murder. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it`s not done by Wednesday, then I`ll call you. If it`s done by Wednesday, the only thing you`re going to hear from me is

to collect, all right? Which is why I say between now and when it`s done, you know, you`re not going to have an opportunity to change your mind.

Even if your change your mind...

DIPPOLITO: There`s no changing -- no. There`s no, like...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You definitely want to do this.

DIPPOLITO: I`m confident, like, 5,000 percent sure, like...


DIPPOLITO: (INAUDIBLE) I come up here and I`m looking at the (INAUDIBLE) he`s not (EXPLETIVE DELETED) coming, he`s not there (INAUDIBLE)

all of this stuff or whatever. Like, no, when I say I`m going to do something, I`m going to do it. (INAUDIBLE) I went, I grabbed it right

away. Like, we were good to go. Like, with me, you`re not going to have a problem. You`re not going to have an inch (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just wanted to make sure that, you know, this is what you want, all right?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You sure you want to kill this dude?

DIPPOLITO: Do we really have to -- you know, I just -- I`d rather it be left, you know -- whatever with you.


DIPPOLITO: I`m a lot tougher than what I look. I mean, I know you think, Oh, what a cute little girl, whatever, you know? But I`m not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you are. You`re beautiful.

DIPPOLITO: Thank you. But you know, I just need to make sure everything`s going to be taken care of.


GRACE: She was definitely right when she said less is more. She had talked a little bit less, she may not be in this jam right now.

Special guest joining me right now, Brian Claypool out of LA. He is the lawyer for Dalia Dippolito. Claypool, thank you for being with us.

What is your defense for Dalia Dippolito.

BRIAN CLAYPOOL, DALIA DIPPOLITO`S ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, thanks for having me. The defense is that those videotapes you just saw should never

have been admitted into evidence because they are the byproduct of what`s called egregious police misconduct.

[20:10:05]And what that means, Nancy, in Florida, they have what`s called objective entrapment, and that means the court looks at not what the

suspect was predisposed to do, but they focus on whether there was egregious misconduct by the police that violated Dalia`s substantive (ph)

due process rights.

We filed a 55-page motion to dismiss all of the charges...

GRACE: OK, hold on.

CLAYPOOL: ... based on...

GRACE: Brian, I know you filed a huge whopper of a motion, very, very well written, very, very well researched. But I still don`t understand

what the defense is. You`re saying entrapment and egregious police conduct in what way?

CLAYPOOL: Right. Right. Yes, let me explain. The informant that was used as a middleman to get Dalia to go into the truck that you saw with

the undercover police officer threatened Dalia Dippolito to do this. And he in turn was threatened by the police department. We have testimony

under oath by the informant saying that the Boynton Beach Police Department threatened to prosecute him unless he forced Dalia to go forward and do

this videotape. So that is egregious misconduct by the police department. And also...

GRACE: Are you saying she knew that she was being videotaped during this?

CLAYPOOL: She knew she was being videotaped in the video you`re showing right now with -- yes, with both Mohamed (ph), the undercover

informant, and the police officer. It was all part of a YouTube video that they were putting together to post. And by the way...

GRACE: Wait, wait, wait. A YouTube video who was putting together?

CLAYPOOL: The undercover informant was part of the plan to put together the YouTube video. He had previously been on a show called "Burn

Notice (ph)" that replicated this alleged murder-for-hire plot. So he was involved, along with Mike Dippolito and Dalia to put together this video to


GRACE: Wait. OK, hold on.

CLAYPOOL: ... in hopes of getting a role. Right.

GRACE: Maybe you`re getting ahead of me. Maybe I don`t get it, or maybe it just doesn`t make sense. You just said that the egregious police

conduct was that the informant forced her in the car. But now I`m hearing you say this is a joint venture by Dalia Dippolito to make this video to

put on YouTube.


GRACE: So if she`s voluntarily making it, how can she be forced to do it?

CLAYPOOL: Well, no. No, that`s a fair question. The plan, Nancy, was never to have the police to be involved in this. It`s Dalia`s

position, which you`ll hear if there is a second trial, that the informant had suggested that we get the police involved to make this more credible,

to make this a more believable video to post.

Dalia was backing out of the plan. And that`s why the informant goes into a Chili`s restaurant with a gun, carrying a concealed permit, and he

was -- he was miked, by the way, Nancy. And we don`t have that conversation.


CLAYPOOL: Why don`t you ask Mr. Katz where...

GRACE: I will.

CLAYPOOL: Ask him where -- no, Nancy, ask him where that -- where is that audiotape of that conversation in Chili`s? Because Dalia was telling

the informant, I don`t want to be involved in this anymore...

GRACE: OK. Hold on.

CLAYPOOL: ... at which point, he threatened her safety and the safety of her family.

GRACE: You know, I hear what you`re saying, and I`m trying to grasp what you`re saying.

Hold on. Before I get to Chief Jeffrey Katz, Boynton Beach Police Department, also with me is Jason Brodie. This is Michael Dippolito`s

divorce lawyer, OK?

Jason, very quickly, isn`t it true that according to your client -- before a hit man was hired to kill him, according to police and a jury that

found her guilty -- now she`s walked free because an appeals court reversed -- Jason, isn`t there an allegation out there that she tried to poison him

with Starbucks chai tea?

JASON BRODIE, MICHAEL DIPPOLITO`S DIVORCE ATTORNEY: Good evening, Nancy. Thank you for having me. I`m listening to this whole thing, and it

is totally absurd. Not only did she try to poison him, she hired another hit man before this.

Everybody`s missing the boat on this. She found somebody on the street, paid him money, and the guy disappeared. This wasn`t her first

attempt. So this whole story, as you say, Nancy, is cockamamie. It`s ridiculous. It makes no sense.

I`m the only person to ever depose her. She said that this was all for TV, so when I was deposing her, Michael was on the phone with me,

deposing her, why didn`t she say, Michael, tell them, this is all made up? This isn`t truthful. The reason is, she`s lying.

GRACE: Actually, you brought up a really awesome point. Claypool -- look, I don`t mean to gang up on you, but I don`t get it. She`s already

lived through one trial. Why didn`t she use this at her first trial as her defense? I never heard a word about a voluntary YouTube video. Why is it

just coming out now?

CLAYPOOL: Well, let me respond first to the remarks made by your -- the lawyer there. First of all, he never took Dalia`s deposition.

[20:15:03]Second of all, there`s never been a single criminal investigation, Nancy, of Dalia Dippolito attempting to kill her husband

through poisoning or any other means.

GRACE: OK. All right. All right. I know that. We`re not in...


GRACE: No, no. Cut their mikes. Cut their mikes, Liz. We`re not in a court of law, all right? So I can say, was she ever accused of this or

was she ever suspected of this. We don`t have a jury over in the corner. There`s not a judge up on the bench, all right? Look around. You`re in a

TV studio.

OK, guys, everyone is coming back with us. I want you to see this video. You judge for yourself. Is this the real deal, or is she just

acting, that she knows she`s being tape-recorded by police?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m Sergeant Ramsey. I`m the one that called you. Thank you for coming. I`m sorry to call you. Listen, we had a report of a

disturbance at your house and there were shots fired. Is your husband Michael? OK, I`m sorry to tell you, ma`am, he`s been killed. He`s been

killed, ma`am.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen. Try to calm down.




[20:20:20]UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, I`m sorry to tell you, ma`am, he`s been killed. He`s been killed, ma`am.

DIPPOLITO: No! Oh, my God!

Oh, he`s alive!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you want your husband dead?

DIPPOLITO: No, absolutely not.

I`m positive, like, 5,000 percent sure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you hire a hit man to kill your husband?



GRACE: Did you hear that? She`s 5,000 percent sure she wants her husband dead. That was from ABC`s "20/20." Not 100, not 200, not 500 but

5,000 percent. Busted on video.

Now, according to Brian Claypool -- he is a veteran trial lawyer out of LA who is representing Dalia Dippolito and is with us tonight -- this

was all a plan. It was a YouTube video that Dalia Dippolito, her husband, Michael Dippolito, and others were creating for YouTube, and somehow,

police got in on it, and that she was forced to get in the car with the sting.

OK, Brian Claypool, even if she`s forced to get in the car with the undercover agent caught on video, where she`s 5,000 percent sure she wants

to kill her husband, how do you explain the other video where she`s told her husband is dead and she bends over in grief?

CLAYPOOL: Well, because both of these videos, Nancy, are what`s called fruit of the poisonous tree. They are the result of the police

department at Boynton Beach putting undue pressure on both the informant, who you see there in the first video, and on Ms. Dippolito.

And let me share another piece of evidence that we just learned in the last few months. There were 500 phone calls made by that informant in the

truck with Dalia before she ever agreed to go into that truck -- 500 phone calls.

GRACE: OK, hold on just a moment.

CLAYPOOL: Ask Chief Katz.

GRACE: Let me understand something.

CLAYPOOL: Hang on! Ask Chief Katz where -- ask Chief Katz where those 500 audiotapes are of all those phone calls.

GRACE: OK. You know, Rory O`Neill with me, with IHeartRadio and Daphne Duret, criminal courts reporter with "The Palm Beach Post" -- first

to you, Rory. If I was trying that case as a prosecutor, I`d be thrilled that there`s 500 phone calls between her and the would-be hit man because

that shows me...

O`NEILL: Some of those phone calls were a big part of the first trial, as well. So this is a very well-documented case in terms of text

messages, phone calls, and obviously, as we`ve seen, so much video surveillance tape that was made as part of the investigation.

GRACE: Right. And Daphne Duret with "The Palm Beach Post," I mean, I would be overjoyed as a prosecutor that my target, Dalia Dippolito, had

actually called the would-be hit man -- 500 calls, all right? That shows me they`re planning a murder, right? But the defense says, no, it was all

planned by the police?

DAPHNE DURET, "PALM BEACH POST" (via telephone): Well, I think that was the -- that was some of the claims that were made during even some --

even during the first trial, that Dalia and Michael had planned together to do this for a reality television show and that the police acted

overzealously. I think some of the claims of police going above and beyond were sort of there in the -- in some ways even during the first trial.

GRACE: OK, because I never heard that as a defense. Chief Jeffrey Katz is with us, Boynton Beach Police Department. All right, Chief, I want

to hear your response to you and your people orchestrated this whole thing. What was it for, an episode of "COPS"? Is that what they`re claiming?

KATZ: Well, yes. That is what they`re claiming. The facts simply don`t add up to that, though. You know, we had an arrangement with "COPS."

They came in on the -- on the 5th of August was the first day they started doing filming in our jurisdiction. It also happened to be the day that we

arrested Ms. Dippolito.

This investigation occurred many weeks beforehand, and so you know, the nexus between the "COPS" program and this particular criminal

investigation is coincidental. And I know it`s being used as a means to try to impeach the investigation, but it`s simply coincidental.

GRACE: Well, the other thing, Chief Katz -- Chief Jeffrey Katz is with us from the Boynton Beach Police Department, who is now under fire by

Dalia Dippolito and her lawyer, Brian Claypool, claiming that police were in on this because it was all going to be an episode of "COPS." Was there

ever a Dalia Dippolito episode on "COPS," Chief Katz?

[20:25:09]KATZ: Yes, there was an episode where this investigation was highlighted on the show. But as I said, the relationship that we have

with the television show occurred months before, and they just happened to start filming the morning that we made the arrest in the Dippolito case.

GRACE: I see. Chief Katz, all these 500 phone calls that occurred between Dalia Dippolito and the hit man were long before you guys said,

Sure, come film us. We don`t care. Right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. You know, like I said, I can`t get into the specifics of the timeline, but I can tell you that the -- that it`s simply

coincidental, that "COPS" was filming in our jurisdiction at the time of this arrest.

Our investigation was ongoing far before they ever agreed to come in and do any filming. And they were with our jurisdiction, by the way, for

eight weeks covering a variety of other things, as well.

GRACE: Everybody, take a listen to this from ABC`s "20/20."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you want your husband dead?

DIPPOLITO: No, absolutely not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you hire a hit man to kill your husband?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you explain what we have all seen and heard on those videotapes?

DIPPOLITO: I`d like to be able to explain that to you right now, but I can`t because the attorneys legally have told me that we`re saving that

for our day in court.




GRACE: A jury convicts Dalia Dippolito of hiring a hit man to kill her husband. But an appeals court reverses that and she walks free. It`s

caught on video. Liz, can you cue up the video when her husband walks into the room and she still continues to act? To Jason Brody, Michael

Dippolito`s divorce attorney, what do you make of this defense?

JASON BRODY, ATTORNEY: As I told you before, it`s absurd. It didn`t work the first time when they said it was for a reality show. This time

now it`s for a Youtube video. They`re throwing things up against the wall to see what sticks, because she has no defense. They`re putting the

Boynton Beach police department on trial. They`re trying to do it -- what Johnnie Cochran did in the O.J. trial. They`re trying their best. They`re

doing their best. But there`s nothing here. She`s guilty. That`s the bottom line.

I`ve been in this case since day one. We represented him in his first divorce, my partner Josh Friedman and I. We know the facts of this case.

Mr. Claypool is making statements now he has no knowledge of because he`s just new to this case now. For six years, we`ve been in this case.

There`s been nothing -- one time that she has spoken until now. Why do you think she`s speaking now, Nancy? Because she has no defense, and their

only defense is to hopefully get to a jury pool. There`s no other reason for it at this point in time. She`s guilty.

GRACE: Jason Brody, what do you think is the single most powerful evidence that would suggest guilt? And you`ve heard Brian Claypool`s

defense. So what`s the evidence the state is going to use to strike back?

BRODY: My client. Michael Dippolito. He said none of this is true. It`s a farce. Since day one, he was shocked when they woke him up at 5:00

in the morning and pulled him out of bed to tell him his wife was about to kill him. He had no knowledge of any of this stuff. If he did, what`s his

benefit? He`s sitting there -- she`s taking money from him.

GRACE: Now I want you guys to see the coup de grace. Listen.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come here, please. Come here. Mike, come here! Come here, please! Come here!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can`t. I can`t.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why not? I didn`t do anything to you.





GRACE: Reality star of "The Hills," "Laguna Beach," "Dancing with the Stars," brother goes missing under bizarre circumstances. Kristin

Cavallari`s beloved big brother`s car found running, the keys still in the ignition, several yards off the road in a stretch of Utah desert, cell

phone and laptop still in the car, after obvious car trouble. That`s right, the car, the cell, the laptop, belongings, all intact. But where is

he? Tonight, the search turns desperate.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michael Cavallari is the brother of Kristin Cavallari.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say Michael Cavallari`s car was found abandoned beside a highway in Utah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looked like the air bag had been deployed, but nobody was around the car.


GRACE: You just saw ABC`s "Dancing with the Stars" with Kristin Cavallari. She and I became friends during the many, many months we were

together. And I`m trying to figure out what`s happening in the search for her brother. There`s Kristin on "Dancing with the Stars" right there.

Phil Mueller is with us, anchor KCNY and KCPX. Phil, thank you for being with us. I understand that he goes missing around 3:20-ish a.m.

after Thanksgiving dinner, all right? So this is the early Friday morning after Thanksgiving, and he goes to a Maverick gas station, and the clerk

tells us that he was perfectly normal. The clerk interacted with him. And he`s actually caught on video. There he is. Thank you, Liz. There he is,

getting gas. That`s about 3:20 a.m. We have confirmed that`s the last time his credit card or ATM had been used. Then he gets in his Honda

Civic, and there it is. What do we know, Phil Mueller?

PHIL MUELLER, KCNY: Well, we found his -- the sheriff`s office acting on a citizen`s piece of information found his wrecked Honda about five

hours later, around 8:20 a.m. on the 27th. Some distance off of I-70 at an exit known as the Floyeck (ph), exit 175. He -- as you indicated, he was

seen coming both in and out of the Maverick store in Monticello, also pumping gas at the gas pumps at Monticello. That`s shown on the

surveillance camera, as well. Looking at his vehicle, which is a dark- colored Honda, it appears he is the only person in that vehicle or having anything to do with that vehicle at that hour. The question is--


GRACE: You know what else is interesting, with me, Phil Mueller, anchor with KCYN and KCPX. Dr. Michelle Dupre, forensic pathologist.

There is Kristin on "Dancing with the Stars." Her brother, for those of you just joining us, goes missing the day after Thanksgiving, early morning

hours. Dr. Dupre, his air bag deployed. And I`m just trying to figure out if his air bag deployed, apparently from hitting a big rock on the side of

the road, if his air bag deployed, could it have hit him in the head? If he did not have on his seatbelt? That he has been wandering in the Utah

desert, the temps going down to the 20s, Michelle Dupre?

DUPRE: Nancy, that could be the case. Typically, air bag injuries are not that significant. But if he is dazed or has any other type of

medical conditions, certainly being out in the elements like that, that`s obviously a concern. Also, water. Water -- people cannot survive without

water. And that would be a definite concern.

GRACE: Michael Christian, I understand that there has not been or there is about to be an aerial search, about the time we`re going to air

right now. An aerial search. But have dogs been brought out?

CHRISTIAN: You know, we haven`t read about dogs specifically, Nancy. But police have said they have been searching this area since the day they

found the car. And there has been absolutely no trace. None. It`s a complete mystery.

GRACE: Are you telling me -- did you say they have or have not used dogs?

CHRISTIAN: I have not read that specifically. But it certainly would make sense.

GRACE: Everybody, you`re seeing MTV`s "Laguna Beach," the real Orange County. Unleash the lawyers. Hugo Rodriguez, Miami. Alex Sanchez, New

York. First to you, Alex. If -- if he hit his head during the deployment of the air bag, he gets out of his car, car still running, Alex. There you

go. That`s just posted in the last hours by Kristin Cavallari. That`s her and her brother when they were kids. He could be wandering the desert, for

all we know.

Unleash the lawyers. Joining me, Hugo Rodriguez, Miami. Randy Kessler, Atlanta. First to you, Kessler. If he hit his head when that air

bag deployed, he could have -- think about it. The key is still in the ignition. The car is still running. He gets the gas 3:20 a.m., drives

about two hours. We`re at 5:20 a.m. When he hits that rock on the side of the road. Runs off the road. What happened then? If he has been

wandering the desert all this time, dogs could have found him easily.

KESSLER: You know, there are a thousand things that could have happened. He could have been, no cell phone, he wasn`t conscious enough to

make a cell phone call today. Everyone has a cell phone. I`m sure he had a cell phone. Who knows, it`s a bad sign they haven`t heard a peep from

him, and that the car was running, and that the air bag deployed. It sounds like a horrible accident and he struggled to get somewhere. He`s

got to be within the vicinity. I would look everywhere.

GRACE: You know, that`s a good point, because Hugo, this is not too far from the Arches national park, some very, very serious terrain there.

If he wandered that way -- this is my concern. Why is it so many times -- and I`m not knocking the cops. I understand why they do it. So often,

these type of cases are treated as if someone voluntarily disappeared, and that is not always the case.

KESSLER: That`s true. But there`s no indication of any criminal wrongdoing, so now they`re looking at it as a missing persons. You know

there`s usually very little or no emphasis on any investigation as a missing persons.



GRACE: Live, Traverse City. A man accused of putting a tot boy in a burning hot drier is set free by a jury. They actually buy his cockamamie

defense that mommy did it in her sleep.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who placed the 21-month-old little boy inside a hot drier? An act that resulted in burns over up to 30 percent of his

body? Police say it was the boyfriend of the child`s mother, but the defense claims that it was actually the child`s mother who was sleepwalking

the night she put her own baby in the drier.


GRACE: I am stunned. My -- I`m reeling. James Gemmell, news director at WJRW. How could a jury actually believe that mommy slept-

walked and put her own baby in the drier?

JAMES GEMMELL, WJRW: Well, first of all, it was a -- they couldn`t reach a unanimous verdict the first time around. And there was a second

trial. They had to push that one off, as well. I guess there was just a lot of things they were looking for. There was circumstantial evidence,

but the child could not testify, Nancy. So this --

GRACE: Okay, you know what, I hear you, Jim Gemmell, WJRW. But I guarantee you the child did not crawl into the drier, shut the door and

turn it on by remote. That didn`t happen. There were three people in the house, there is the mommy, the daddy, and the baby that gets put in the

drier. I want to warn you, the photos, the two photos I`m about to show you are graphic.

This is what we`re talking about happened to this tot boy. Look at his arm. Okay? That`s just part of the burns that he suffered. He was

pouring blood down his face. I talked to the bio dad, and he said the little boy`s face -- that`s been cleaned up, by the way. Was so bad, that

it looked like the scene in "Carrie" where somebody dumps blood on her.


That is what he saw, the photo of his little boy. That father joining me right now, Christian Gilbert. The dad of the tot put in the drier. Mr.

Gilbert, thank you for joining us.

A, I don`t know what mommy was doing with this guy slung up in the house anyway, but, B, what is your response to a jury buying his cockamamie

defense that mommy did it in her sleep?

GILBERT: Well, first off, Nancy, thanks for having me. I do appreciate finally being able to --

GRACE: Yes, sir.

GILBERT: -- shed some light on things that I know, things that weren`t necessarily allowed to be known by, um, you know, the case in

itself. I`m in complete disbelief, you know. I spent five years every day and every night with that woman, my son`s mother, and not once did I ever

encounter her sleepwalking. The first trial, it was a hung jury. 10 said guilty, two said not guilty. The second trial was declared a mistrial

because Mr. Holdaway`s (ph) lawyer looked at the jurors and said to them that they were there today because the previous jury could not come to a


GRACE: Oh, good gravy. The defense brought on a mistrial on their own.

GILBERT: Purposely.

GRACE: One jury said no, the already has already been heard by another jury, well, that`s an automatic mistrial. Christian Gilbert is the

biological father of this tot boy that was put in the drier, according to prosecutors, by this man, mommy`s boyfriend, who tells a jury mommy did it

in her sleep, and they actually buy it.

Mr. Gilbert, you said there`s a lot of evidence that did not come in front of the jury. Like what? What`s the strongest evidence this man did


GILBERT: There was a time when they were downstairs, Mr. Holdaway and my son, and my son was playing when Mr. Holdaway was doing the laundry, and

all of a sudden there was quiet and then screaming bloody murder. And then another time my son was just playing, pinching the paint off the walls, and

while my son`s mother was getting ready, Mr. Holdaway stripped my son down to naked and repeatedly -- repeatedly slapped him on the behind extremely

hard, four different times.

GRACE: Hold on. With me is the dad of the child put in the drier, Christian Gilbert. Ashley Willcott, certified child welfare law

specialist, there is evidence that the alleged perp, right there that a jury let walk free, joked with the mom about putting the baby in the drier.

You know what? If somebody joked about putting my child, either one of them, in the drier, I would totally jerk a knot in their neck, then you

would have to defend me, Ashley. What do you make of this? Why would you keep a man around that made a joke like that about your child?

WILLCOTT: Why would you keep a man around like that and have them care for your child? It`s an awfully convenient defense to come up with,

oh, she was sleepwalking. She did it in her sleep. That requires no witness, no culpability. They had only been dating a few months, according

to the mother of the child. You have got to be careful. You can`t let people around your kids and take care of your kids. You can`t do it. It`s

not a joke. You don`t joke about putting your child in the drier. You don`t do it.



GRACE: A tot boy put in the drier, and the alleged perp walks free. We have not confirmed he was stripped of his Navy position or had any

priors. Greg Cason, psychologist, why would a woman keep a man like this around her child?

CASON: That`s a good question, Nancy. I can only imagine this was a domestically violent situation, where he had some kind of control over her.

When a woman gets caught in the web of domestic violence, she does not just get up and leave. She has to rally her own defenses and she has to think

about her own self and her child`s welfare, and it takes a little while.

GRACE: Yes, she has to find her kid with horrible burns in a drier I guess is what you`re trying to say, Greg Cason. Let`s remember American

hero, Army master sergeant Joseph Andres Jr., 34, Seven Hills, Ohio. Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, buried Arlington. Combat

medic. Parents Joseph Sr. and Sandra. Five sisters.

Joseph Andres Jr., American hero.

And bombshell, our signature handcuff jewelry available. Special coupon code, Proceeds to child abuse and neglect victims.

Help us.

Thanks to our guests, but especially to you for being with us. Nancy Grace signing off. See you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until

then, good night, friend.