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Nancy Grace for July 20, 2005, CNNHN
Aired July 20, 2005 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, live to Aruba, breaking news in the search for 18-year-old missing American girl Natalee Holloway. Aruban authorities now order an Aruban judge`s son, Joran Van Der Sloot, to hand over a DNA sample. I`m talking about a mouth swabbing.
And tonight, DNA also taken from those Kalpoe brothers, also seen with Natalee the night she disappeared off her high school senior trip. Tonight, we are waiting for DNA results on long, blond hair found on duct tape on a beach in Aruba. Does it belong to Natalee Holloway? And why is it on that thick duct tape?
And tonight, a fitness guru and nutritionist expert to the NBA Phoenix Suns basketball team. He even broke a world record for push-ups. But tonight, he`s arrested for murder.
Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. And I want to thank you for being with us tonight.
Fitness, an obsession for a wealthy businessman and well-known nutrition expert, Douglas Grant. Tonight, though, he may get a lifetime membership to a brand new gym -- in prison. Four years after the fact, Grant formally charged with the murder of his wife, Faylene. She was discovered drugged and unconscious in the bathtub of the couple`s Arizona home. Cause of death: Drowning and sleeping pills.
But first, live to Aruba. Breaking news tonight. DNA testing ordered for Joran Van Der Sloot, the Aruban judge`s son. DNA samples also taken from the two Kalpoe brothers, Deepak and Satish Kalpoe.
And tonight, we are waiting on those DNA test results, results on long strands of blond hair attached to the duct tape on that Aruban beach. Is it Natalee`s? She vanished into thin air the final night of her senior class trip now 52 days ago.
Tonight, in Aruba, Natalee`s mother is with us, Beth Twitty. In New York, forensic scientist Lawrence Kobilinsky. In Denver, defense attorney Lisa Wayne. In Atlanta, defense attorney Randy Keen and psychologist Michelle Callahan.
But first, let`s go down to CNN correspondent Susan Candiotti. She`s been on the Aruba case from the get-go. Susan, what`s with the request of DNA on the three suspects?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nancy, I`m told that the request for this DNA was made back on July 13th. Why? According to my sources, it`s because they wanted to get the samples, get them in hand, that there wasn`t a specific reason for asking for them.
And perhaps unlike some instances in the United States, you don`t have to have a specific reason, we are told, in Aruba in order to ask for a DNA sample.
Again, that was done on the 13th, but now there is a reason, because, on Sunday, a park ranger, who was collecting trash on a beach -- I`ll tell you more about that beach in a second -- found a piece of duct tape with hair on it. How much hair, how long is the hair, we`re not precisely sure. Yes, I`ve heard blonde hair and brown hair, as well.
Now, so the authorities there, of course, want to get DNA samples and have gotten them from both the Kalpoe brothers, as well as Joran Van Der Sloot, so that they can compare this hair, found on the duct tape, with them, and, of course, they have samples from Natalee`s hair, to see whether there is any connection.
Now, what`s happened to them? I can tell you this: They have sent one sample to the Netherlands for the laboratory work to be done there. But also, I can tell you that the FBI tells me that, tonight, a sample was also shared with the FBI, and an FBI agent hand-carried it out of Aruba. And that is arriving at the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, this night. It`s expected they`ll begin test work on it first thing in the morning.
GRACE: Well, Susan Candiotti, I get the timeline you`re referring to, that the hair found on the duct tape, the 12-inch blonde hair on duct tape on an Aruban beach was found Sunday. The request for the DNA was made by prosecutors before Sunday.
But what about this, Susan? What about anything that may have been found in the car or in the home? I`m talking about saliva. I`m talking about sperm, fingerprints, blood, who knows what? That could be a reason for the DNA testing.
And when we say testing, everybody, there`s two forms. You can get DNA from any bodily secretion, almost, but normally it`s done through an oral swabbing, although, Susan, when I took DNA testing from defendants, I would insist on a blood test.
CANDIOTTI: Well, in this case, I`m told it was saliva, a saliva swab.
I am told, Nancy -- and this is according to my law enforcement sources -- that all of the tests, DNA tests that have been done, from anything obtained from the Van Der Sloot home, from the vehicle that was searched there, tested for DNA evidence, has turned up negative without any connection. So you have to take it from there.
CANDIOTTI: I think it`s interesting, as well, in terms of where this duct tape was found. It was found on a beach called Boca Tortuga, also known as Turtle Beach, and it`s near a natural bridge, where a lot of kids, I`m told, like to hang out.
This is on the opposite end of the island, on the north end, far away from where Natalee was supposedly last seen with Van Der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers.
GRACE: Well, they`ve come up with so many different stories, Lisa Wayne, as to where they dropped her off. How do we know where she last was?
LISA WAYNE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think that`s true. And I think, Nancy, that the reason to get the DNA now is to have that there, in case something does happen, there`s a body, there`s a crime scene, and that they can make that comparison, and have that there at the lab and do it right away.
That`s the only reason because, again, they`ve been making these comparisons all during the investigation and now are only asking for it.
GRACE: Right. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VINDA DE SOUSA, HOLLOWAY FAMILY ATTORNEY: Obviously, first of all, they want to establish if that hair is indeed human. And if it`s human, if it`s Natalee Holloway`s hair.
And furthermore, they want to see if there is any other DNA or other evidence that could link this piece of duct tape to the three suspects, or one of them, or, for that matter, anybody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: I want to go to Natalee`s mother. She is joining us tonight.
Beth, thank you for being with us. I understand you have hired a private investigator. Why?
Lost her completely?
Oh, darn. Beth, can you not hear me?
OK, Rosie, see if you can get that satellite back up.
You know, Randy Keen, very often, you will see in investigations the victim`s family hired their own private investigator when they are not getting answers from authorities. Are you surprised?
RANDY KEEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Not at all surprised. This investigation has been going on an awfully long time, dead end, after dead end, after dead end.
I`m glad that this DNA is coming up, but the more people who are interested, who are aggressively going after the meeting here, the end result, the better.
GRACE: I agree with you, Randy.
Back to Susan Candiotti. What can you tell us about Natalee`s family hiring a private eye?
CANDIOTTI: Well, that they`ve done so. And of course, it`s not uncommon for families who want to go that one extra step to see if perhaps that private eye can sometimes shake down people or question people, make them perhaps feel more comfortable, to get some information that might not otherwise be available.
As you know, sometimes people feel uncomfortable with talking to authorities, police officials, detectives, that kind of thing. And so that`s what they`re doing. And I understand they will also try to up the reward to see whether that might shake loose some additional information.
GRACE: That`s right, the reward is growing. And another thing, Susan Candiotti, private investigators are not held to the same standards that police officers are held to.
For police to get, for instance, DNA, you`ve got to have a warrant. You`ve got to go through a lot of legal hoops to get things. Private eyes, they`re just like you and me, Susan. What we may see or learn on our own is not held up to all of the legal standards that lawyers, prosecutors, investigators are held to.
I want to quickly go to Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky. A question about this hair. There are apparently two different types of hair. There`s blonde hair, there is dark hair. The blonde hair we know is about 12 inches long.
What if there`s not a root, a root, a hair follicle, attached to the hair? What good is it?
LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, the root would be important if we`re going to be doing nuclear DNA. On the other hand, doing mitochondrial DNA would be no problem. In fact, all you would need is about a third of an inch of that hair to do that analysis.
However, you need something to compare it to. And that brings us back to the duct tape. The duct tape is probably the key to this entire investigation, if indeed it`s found that that is Natalee`s hair.
And I must tell you that there`s a lot more to forensics than just DNA. That duct tape could have a lot of other information that could be critical in linking Joran or the Kalpoe brothers...
GRACE: Are you talking about fingerprints or fiber?
KOBILINSKY: Well, it could be fingerprints. It could be fibers. It could be other trace evidence, because that duct tape seems to imply something criminal took place. And if you can find something there that reflects the presence of Joran or the others, that would be important.
GRACE: I want to go try Natalee`s mother one more time, Rosie. Beth Twitty, can you hear me now?
BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, MOTHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY: Yes, I can, Nancy.
GRACE: Hi, Beth. Thank you for being with us.
TWITTY: Hi, Nancy. Thanks for having me.
GRACE: Beth, I understand, a, that you have hired a private investigator. Why?
TWITTY: Well, you`re right, Nancy. And as a matter of fact, they`re on grounds today. And I think there are two of them. And they will be on the grounds for the next couple of months.
And you know, I think that`s just another resource that we`ve just been so fortunate to be able to utilize. And it`s just having more eyes and ears here. And I just think, if anything, it can turn something up. You just don`t ever know, Nancy.
GRACE: Beth, I understand that a reward, a substantial reward, is in place.
TWITTY: Well, we`ll implement it in full force tomorrow. But just a little bit of information about it is, you know, we`ve always had the reward in place, but we feel like we`re opening up another facet of it.
It`s going to be $200,000 for her safe return and then $100,000 for the whereabouts of Natalee. And also, it`s going to remain -- it`s going to let individuals here, you know, or whoever has information, to remain anonymous. They will be assigned a code.
And I just think that might help the comfort level of someone who might know some information about Natalee to feel forward -- you know, feel like they can come forward now.
GRACE: And Beth, we`re about to go to break. Please stay with us. Everyone, Natalee`s mother is with us. We`ve just got the satellite link hooked up down to Aruba.
Beth, very quickly, the lead investigator that had been on the case from the beginning, Van Der Straten, he`s retiring off the investigation. Happy to see him go?
TWITTY: Well, you know, Nancy, you know, Jug and I are just hoping, and Dave, and you know, the new guy coming in, you know, maybe just have a fresh set of eyes to look at the investigation and, you know, see what happens.
GRACE: Beth, Beth, you know what, Beth? You`re so much more discrete than me. You should be a diplomat at the U.N., Beth Twitty, because this is the guy in charge of the investigation that told me, told us all, "There`s blood on a mattress." Uh-oh, it`s a dog`s blood. "We found bones." It`s a donkey`s bones.
"We didn`t seize the car. It`s been sitting in the driveway for two weeks. There was a confession. No, there wasn`t." Putting the two defendants in handcuffs for a nice drive through the country so they could cook up a story. You know, you`re very, very diplomatic, Beth, but I say, "Van Der Straten, bye-bye! Good riddance."
Ms. Twitty, please don`t leave us. Everybody, we are live in Aruba with Natalee`s mother. We`ll all be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY`S FATHER: We`ve got three kids here that`s holding up everyone`s lives, including the people here in Aruba. We ran across a lady that had asked me, "Are you searching for Natalee?"
And I said, "Well, yes, are you searching for Natalee?" And she said yes. And you know, I had a conversation with her. And she was from around here. And she indicated that a lot of her friends and family members were just like us, you know, wanting to find Natalee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are voices on a wall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lord is faithful. He has already worked.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Natalee, you`re in our thoughts and prayers every day. We miss and love you. Come home soon.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I pray that God will use this to be glorified in each of you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Words of love and hope, prayer and faith, messages from classmates, parents, strangers, all touched by a young woman who, for them, remains as vibrant as the day she left.
BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, MOTHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY: I think she`s just a well-rounded young lady who can not only have this fun and enjoyment of life, yet still have the serious side of accomplishments and achievements.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think she was too concerned about setting an example, as much as she was about being herself. She was more just like, "this is me, and if you don`t like it, then that`s too bad."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: We`re talking about 18-year-old Natalee Holloway. Welcome back, everybody.
To CNN correspondent Susan Candiotti. Susan, I understand the FBI are there and have met with Natalee`s family.
CANDIOTTI: That`s right. Yesterday, the head of the FBI`s Miami office, the special agent in charge, Michael Clemens, had a private meeting with Beth Holloway. And I`m sure she can tell us more about it.
And then today, he spent a part of the day meeting with the attorney general there, as well as other law enforcement officials, and the prime minister was also at this meting. Now, you might be wondering whether the subject of perhaps more cooperation -- or you might recall just last week we were talking about the FBI being denied access to certain bits of evidence so that they could look them over again, give it a fresh eye, but were turned down because it was explained it was against the local rules there.
I am told that didn`t come up in the meeting, but that the FBI did continue to offer its full support and cooperation to the authorities down there and that they would continue to offer that support as long as possible, that the FBI director, Mr. Mueller, is behind this cooperative effort down there and, again, offered his sincere wishes to the efforts down there to try to find out what happened to Natalee, and that, however realistically speaking, it is a question as to how long the FBI will be able to remain on the island.
Certainly, they will stay there as long as everyone feels they will be able to make a difference.
GRACE: To Beth Twitty, Natalee`s mother. Wishes, shmishes. What does that mean? They wish them well? What good are all those well-wishers if the Aruban government will not cooperate with the FBI? I know for a fact that the Aruban authorities have frozen out the FBI.
TWITTY: Nancy, I`m going to have to let them speak on their behalf. I really think I just have to let them do their own communication about that.
GRACE: There you go, being diplomatic again.
I`m going to go straight back to Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky. With me in Aruba is Natalee`s mother, Beth, who is still in Aruba searching for her daughter.
I want to quickly ask you about this duct tape. What else can we hope to learn from it?
KOBILINSKY: Well, it`s possible that, by examining the edges of the duct tape, and making a comparison to, perhaps, duct tape that they have found in one of the homes of these individuals, that they could actually have a physical link up, and therefore, tell the origin of that duct tape.
If that doesn`t work, it`s generally speaking very difficult to determine the source of duct tape because it`s ubiquitous. It`s sold all over. It`s manufactured all over the world.
GRACE: You know what? Let`s slow that down. Maybe the Aruban authorities are listening tonight. See if you can match up the duct tape to any duct tape in the suspect`s home, all right? We do that here in America all the time, or at least we try to.
KOBILINSKY: Well, there are adhesive chemicals that can be analyzed instrumentally, the backing.
GRACE: An identical link?
KOBILINSKY: Absolutely, they can determine if there`s a match or not.
GRACE: I want to go to psychologist Dr. Michelle Callahan. Doctor, the significance of the duct tape to me is huge.
MICHELLE CALLAHAN, PSYCHOLOGIST: Emotionally, this is changing the nature of the game. Now we`re getting closer. We`ve got something tangible. And it could mean that there`s really a chance to begin to link things up.
This island is so small. It`s barely 20 wide and barely six miles high. It`s just -- there`s not that much...
GRACE: You were just there.
CALLAHAN: I was just there three weeks ago. There`s just not that many places for her to be, you know? And so for us to not be able to put our hands around this thing and make something happen, her parents have got to be feeling so torn with wanting to run with this thing and then being held up.
We`re hoping, just praying that this duct tape breaks this thing open, absolutely.
GRACE: Take a listen to this.
OK, Rosie, see if you can pull up that sound for me.
Very quickly back to Susan Candiotti. Susan, you told me that they took oral swabbings. Why not blood?
CANDIOTTI: I don`t know why they didn`t ask for blood, Nancy. But you know, saliva is commonly taken. And I don`t know why the Aruban authorities only decided to ask for and take those swabs instead.
You know, maybe -- this is pure speculation -- I`m sure if it got to that that point, they`d go back to the judge and ask for it, if that became necessary. But that much I have to do a little more digging to find that out. And I just wanted to say, as well...
GRACE: Well, maybe...
CANDIOTTI: And I just wanted to say, as well, that I am being told, in terms of the cooperative level, that the FBI is sitting in on more and more interviews, I`m told, that are being done, as more and more leads come in, perhaps a little more so than before.
And to stress -- I`m told that the people on the ground are working well together. It`s a matter of, as you pointed out, not being able to get past certain rules that don`t allow, apparently, the sharing of certain information with the FBI.
GRACE: Well, the reality is though, Randy Keen, the most important moments during a criminal investigation are the early moments, the early hours. After 72 hours have passed, that the FBI was frozen out, they`ve lost a lot of lead time.
KEEN: That`s right. That`s right. Time is very, very important in this case, which was -- it was very impressive that Natalee`s mother was there on the scene early on.
GRACE: Oh, man. You`re not kidding.
KEEN: And just pushed this thing. She didn`t let any time pass before she was all over this thing. And I think that was the single best thing that could have happened in this case. I wish the result had been a little different, though.
GRACE: Well, Randy, you`re right. I think she got more out of the Van Der Sloot family than the police have managed to get.
Very quick break, everybody. To "Trial Tracking." Today, the president called for the confirmation of John Roberts, Jr., to the Supreme Court by October 3, when the Supremes come back from a nice, long vacation. Roberts, who currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. has argued 39 cases before the Supremes and he even clerked for Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE JOHN ROBERTS, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: It is both an honor and very humbling to be nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Before I became a judge, my law practice consisted largely of arguing cases before the court. That experience left me with a profound appreciation for the role of the court in our constitutional democracy and a deep regard for the court as an institution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: But now, dig in, everybody. The Senate has its say. The U.S. Supreme Court has a profound impact on all of our lives. They rule on issues like abortion, gay marriage, privacy rights, and the continuing fight on terror in the years to come.
GRACE: A $200,000 reward for the safe return of Natalee, more money for information on Natalee`s whereabouts.
Welcome back, everybody.
Very quickly to Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky. What`s the difference? What would you do an oral swabbing as opposed to blood? I always got blood samples when doing DNA comparison.
KOBILINSKY: Well, I think scientists would prefer a blood sample rather than saliva.
GRACE: That`s what the crime lab told me.
KOBILINSKY: Yes, well, you`ve got other things in blood that might be useful, enzymes and other substances that could be tested if need be. But the fact of the matter is, saliva and blood both have DNA. And it doesn`t matter where you get it, as long as you`ve got enough DNA to test.
GRACE: And Lisa Wayne, of course, is the issue of the ease of getting the DNA. It`s a lot easier getting on oral swabbing than holding somebody down and sticking a needle in their arm.
WAYNE: A lot of courts, at least in this country, perceive that as less intrusive. So if you just do the swabbing, it`s not considered as intrusive.
GRACE: Quick break, everybody. We`ll all be right back in Aruba.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARLENE ELLIS-SCHIPPER, ARUBAN ATTORNEY: There is no grand jury in Aruba. It`s a different system. You are arrested based on suspicion, on strong suspicion. After a maximum of 146 days, the prosecution must determine the criminal offense that has been committed and make an official summation for court. And God forbid that they cannot determine what criminal offense has been committed, the case remains open, and it can remain open for a whole number of years, actually, until the due process, the international rules about due process, up to two years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. We are live in Aruba tonight with Natalee Holloway`s mother, Beth Holloway Twitty. Ms. Twitty, you had your blood sample taken, correct?
BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, MISSING GIRL`S MOTHER: Well, I did. And I heard you mentioning that to a guest earlier on your show, and you seem to be questioning why they didn`t draw blood, why did they only do the swabbing.
GRACE: I was. I was. Of course, you can get DNA from an oral swabbing, but for all of the years I prosecuted, I would -- the crime lab told me they would prefer to have a blood sample, so I always got them a blood sample -- pursuant to warrant! I didn`t go grab the person myself and actually drain their blood. But yes, we always, always got a blood sample, Beth.
TWITTY: Well, Nancy, I had my blood drawn on two separate occasions, one from the Aruban authorities` side and then also from the United States officials. So I was just wondering why I had to have two separate ones, in addition to the swabbing.
GRACE: And I also want to ask you about all these various stories Joran Van Der Sloot has given. The other night, I was talking to Karl Penhaul, and he told me on air that there were between 9 and 15 different versions that Joran Van Der Sloot had given about the night Natalee went missing. Do you know what the different versions are, Beth?
TWITTY: No. And you know what`s even more frightening than that, Nancy, is I don`t know if we`ve heard all of them. And let alone, I don`t know if he`s finally disclosed the last story. I don`t think we`ve ever gotten to where he actually -- that he and the Kalpoe brothers actually left Natalee or were with her last.
GRACE: I think you`re right. I think there are more revisions modifications to come from Joran Van Der Sloot.
And to Randy Keen. The reality is that you can easily get a conviction when a defendant, a suspect, keeps changing their stories. You know there`s only one version of the truth, so even if this duct tape does not reveal anything forensic, with Joran Van Der Sloot, at least nine different stories -- Randy, come on! You were a judge.
RANDY KEEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The problem with the defendants and what`s going to happen in this situation, I think, is the defendant -- is Mr. Van Der Sloot is going to paint himself into a corner with all these different renditions. That`s going to be the problem. What`s going to put the nail in -- nail the coffin shut is going to be the duct tape. Hopefully, there`ll be some DNA there.
GRACE: Yes. And very quickly, before we go, Dr. Kobilinsky, regarding the hair on the duct tape, I know now from Susan Candiotti for sure some of that hair went to the FBI. Right, Susan?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That`s right. And they will probably begin testing on it first thing in the morning. And it could take up to 72 hours, three days, if they`re doing the nuclear test. It kind of depends on whether they have a hair root on there. But it may not even take that long. They could get the results much more quickly than that.
GRACE: So she`s saying you`ve got the nuclear DNA testing from a hair follicle, a root. You got mitochondrial possibilities...
LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Right.
GRACE: ... and that is DNA passed down through the mother specifically. That would be Beth Twitty we`ve been talking to. But how do you part the hair so the Netherlands get hair and Quantico FBI gets hair?
KOBILINSKY: It`s really not a problem because all you need is about one to two centimeters to do the testing, so no problem parceling out the hair. Let me just say this, that first they do a microscopic analysis to determine whether the hairs are similar or not. If they`re not, there`s an exclusion, no further testing is warranted.
GRACE: Guys, as we switch gears and go to another story -- Beth Twitty, I`m going to put up on a full screen again the newly announced reward amount, $200,000 for Natalee`s safe return, $100,000 for info on Natalee`s whereabouts. Tip line, 877-628-2533. That`s a toll-free number. Take a look at Natalee Holloway. Beth, thank you for being with us, friend.
TWITTY: Thank you, Nancy. Thanks for having me.
GRACE: Yes, ma`am.
Everybody, we are quickly shifting gears from Aruba. But don`t worry, we`re going to keep you updated on Aruba. We are waiting for the DNA results from that hair, and we`ll bring it to you as quickly as we can.
I want to go to another story. Tonight in Phoenix, Douglas Grant`s defense attorney, his name is Mel McDonald, is joining us. But first, I want to go to "East Valley Tribune" reporter Mike Branom. He has been covering a very unusual story. Mike, bring me up date on the death of Faylene.
MIKE BRANOM, "EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE": Well, this is a very interesting story, and let`s start with the day in question. September 27, 2001, Faylene Grant, 35 years old, is found drowned in her bathtub. Initial investigation says that she took an overdose of Ambien, a sleeping medication, and drowned. Police started looking into it, and it gets more and more interesting.
GRACE: And why do you say it gets more and more interesting?
BRANOM: Well, first, there`s Doug Grant, the husband. Police say that he changed his story enough that they were very -- red flags were raised. And then also -- and here`s a big red flag -- - that three weeks or so after she -- her death, he got remarried.
GRACE: Whoa! I thought it was nine days that he got engaged, right, Ellie (ph)? Nine days after his wife`s death.
BRANOM: Well, it was a short time, no matter how you look at it.
GRACE: It was a quick engagement. It was a very quick engagement. I`m going to go to the defense attorney on that. Mel McDonald, what`s with the nine days after her death, her body is hardly cold in the grave, he gets engaged?
MEL MCDONALD, GRANT`S ATTORNEY: They had dated for a year.
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! During the marriage?
GRACE: Where was the courtship?
MCDONALD: They were divorced for a year prior to the remarriage. They then remarried and were married for two-and-a-half to three months when she passed away. The deceased wife, Faylene, had indicated to others she had a premonition of her death and talked about that premonition, and in fact, sent farewell letters to people involved in the situation, wanting him to marry her. In fact, he did, but it wasn`t something that was the spur of the moment. They had gone together for a year.
GRACE: Now, who did she recount these premonitions to?
MCDONALD: There are many, many people. I`ve only been on the case for five days. Today, I had the opportunity of speaking to someone who the police never interviewed, didn`t know about, that provided me letters that she had written to them about her death and how she was going to meet her husband -- this person`s father on the other side.
GRACE: OK. So can you tell us who she recounted these premonitions to?
MCDONALD: There were many people. There were members of her family. There were friends that she wrote letters to. And again, I would emphasize, I`ve been on the case five days, but I`ve already spoken to a number of witnesses that were never known to the grand jury, never disclosed to the grand jury, that would bring a lot of this information to light, to show that...
GRACE: Well, I`m really looking forward to hearing about those letters, Mr. McDonald. Mel McDonald is the defense attorney in this case. And the guy you are seeing is a renowned fitness guru. He was a nutritionist expert to the Phoenix Suns team. He even holds a world championship. He broke all the world records for numbers of push-ups. So in a moment, I`m going to get that dateline straight about when he was with the girlfriend. What was her name, Ellie? Hillary (ph)? When he was with Hillary, and was it during the marriage.
But very quickly, back to "East Valley Tribune" writer Mike Branom. Does Faylene`s family think she committed suicide?
BRANOM: No, they do not. I spoke with a family friend today, as well, and he said she wasn`t the type to do that. She had been through trials, tribulations before, two divorces, and she came through them. And she just had got remarried, and they see absolutely no reason why, all of a sudden, she would start thinking that way.
GRACE: Tell me again the circumstances of Faylene`s death.
BRANOM: She was found in her bathtub the morning of September 27, 2001, and toxicology tests showed that she had lots of Ambien, the sleeping medication, in her system. So the initial theory was that she took the medication and took a bath and fell asleep and drowned.
GRACE: Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it the belief of the investigators that Mr. Grant drugged his wife and then put her in the bathtub so she could drown?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s correct.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Mike Branom, what kind of drugs are we talking about, Ambien, sleeping pills? She had had a fall before that, so she was apparently taking some pain medication, Mike?
BRANOM: On the second honeymoon for Faylene and Doug, they`d gone to Utah. And while hiking, she had fallen about 60 feet, and she had taken some -- she had been prescribed some medications at a hospital. And when she returned to Arizona, a friend of Doug`s had prescribed even some more medications, in fact, gave her a shot...
GRACE: Whoa, whoa! Who -- who...
BRANOM: ... of (INAUDIBLE) muscle relaxant.
GRACE: Who prescribed her medication?
BRANOM: A physician`s assistant. His name is Chad White (ph), a friend of Doug`s.
GRACE: I thought you said a friend of the defendant`s.
BRANOM: A friend of Doug`s, yes.
GRACE: And the night that her body was found, apparently, when he pulled her out of the bathtub, the water was all the way up the bathtub, about two or three inches to the top. And she had been taking all of these drugs, was in the tub. Who did he call first? Did he call 911?
BRANOM: He says he called Chad, and then he called 911. Investigators say that he may have called Chad, but they have no record of him calling 911 at all.
GRACE: OK. When we get back, we`re going to hear from this fitness guru`s defense attorney. He is with us tonight. He`s a veteran trial lawyer, and that`s a good thing for Mr. Grant. Mel McDonald is with us. And I also want to find out from our scientist here why the victim had not only water, in addition to that she had frothy, frothy water mixed with air in her lungs. Does that indicate a struggle? Stay with us.
GRACE: You are taking a look at fitness guru Douglas Grant, world- renowned, apparently a nutrition expert who consulted with the Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat. But now he`s got a brand-new title. It`s called a murder suspect. That`s right, he was arrested under suspicion for the murder of his wife, Faylene Grant. He got engaged nine days after her death.
Are they still happily married now, Mel McDonald, he and his other wife, Hillary?
MCDONALD: Yes. She`s a wonderful woman. They`re very happily married, a beautiful couple.
GRACE: Why didn`t he call 911 that night?
MCDONALD: I have been on the case five days. There`s a dispute as to whether the 911 was called. He did call friends, seeking help.
I think the important thing that you`ve got to focus on -- you`ve talked about how grateful he must be to have an experienced defense attorney. A grand jury indictment and the grand jury presentation, as you know, is controlled by one side, the prosecutor. In the last four days, I have talked to people that were with him, with her and him, the last two or three days of her life, people that were never interviewed by the police, people that saw his care, his attention, his love for his wife. The part that I find frustrating...
GRACE: Mel -- Mel...
MCDONALD: Let me finish. The part I find frustrating is people that will jump to judgment because he happens to get engaged to somebody that he`d dated for a year nine days after marriage.
GRACE: Yes, you`re right!
MCDONALD: It`s got not nothing to do with the tea in China about whether he killed her.
GRACE: Well, the tea on China ain`t on trial for murder, OK? So when you jump up and get engaged nine days after your wife -- I mean, have they even put a headstone on her grave? PS, did he pay for her funeral?
MCDONALD: Nancy, this has nothing to do...
GRACE: I just want to know!
GRACE: I just want to know if he paid for her funeral!
MCDONALD: Of course he paid for the funeral. And he loved his wife. Every witness -- my phone`s been ringing off the hook from people that knew both of them, that have described the loving, tender, caring relationship that they had.
GRACE: I still got a problem with him not calling 911, so he had better bone up on that before he gets on the stand! Mel, you know it`s true. You`ve got to explain why there`s no record of a 911 call.
MCDONALD: Nancy, when a person has been without sleep for two days, as he was in this case, you walk into the...
GRACE: Without sleep?
MCDONALD: Without sleep. These are witnesses that the police knew about but didn`t interview.
GRACE: Well, why -- what does that have to do with not calling 911?
MCDONALD: The reason that it has to do with 911 -- and again, you`ve got to understand the circumstances of it. But we don`t know whether he called 911 or not. The police don`t have a record of it. He remembers doing it, but in the chaos of the situation, finding a wife you dearly love floating in the tub, and the call and the panic that goes with the situation...
MCDONALD: That`s why -- that`s why we have juries, not news people, that decide the guilt or innocence.
GRACE: Well, I`m glad you`re clearing all of this up for me. I still don`t understand why he didn`t call 911. But these premonitions of her own death are troubling. As a former prosecutor, I`d have a problem with that. It could indicate a suicide.
My next question to you is -- this theory he had that -- and I`ve got what he said to the police right here. First he said she was not suicidal. Then he said, Well, maybe she was suicidal. "In fact, one time I walked into the bathroom a long time ago and she had filled the tub up with water and had prescription drugs lying out, surrounded by candles."
Now, you know what? That sounds very coincidental that he has come up with this scenario, just like the one where she died!
MCDONALD: If you read on in the police report, you would find that she herself conceded that incident and event. When you see the letters that she wrote to people, she was talking about her death. She gave farewell letters, in fact, return address to a lady, saying that she was going to be visiting with her husband -- her father in heaven. And this was before she died.
GRACE: Have those had a writing sample, a writing comparison to your client`s handwriting?
MCDONALD: I am looking forward to the writing sample. You see, they were found -- I`ve interviewed neighbors that were in her house that day, that saw letters that she had left to people saying good-bye, that were written, obviously, before her death.
GRACE: Well, wait a minute. Did your client tell the cops about that?
MCDONALD: The cops were the ones that were supposedly going into the house to obtain the information. And they have...
GRACE: So a neighbor saw it, but the cops didn`t see it.
MCDONALD: The cops have it. They were turned over by my client`s prior counsel. This information has been provided. The concerning part is the information that`s not given to the grand jury. As you know, Nancy, the prosecutor controls what they hear and what they don`t hear. In Arizona, we have a right to challenge the grand jury indictment if they have misled the grand jury, omitted critical relevant evidence. We -- I have been on the case five days. I received a set of police reports today. But already, people are calling me from around the country.
GRACE: All right, quick break, everybody. We`re going to be right back with the defense attorney, Mel McDonald.
To tonight`s "All Points Bulletin." FBI and law enforcement on the lookout for this man, Marvin Mercado. Mercado, wanted in connection with a series of 1995 murders and attempted gang murders in and around LA. He`s 32, six feet, 160 pounds, black hair and brown eyes. If you have any information on Marvin Mercado, call the FBI, 310-477-6565.
Local news next for some of you, but we`ll all be right back. And remember, live coverage of the retrial of a multi-millionaire accused of murdering his wife tomorrow, 3:00 to 5:00 Eastern, Court TV`s "Closing Arguments."
Please stay with us as we remember Lance Corporal Devon P. Seymour, just 21, an American hero.
GRACE: We at NANCY GRACE want very much to help solve unsolved homicides, find missing people. Take a look at 7-year-old Richard Holland. He went missing from Williamston, Michigan, July 1. Police believe he could need medical attention. If you have any information on this boy, Richard Holland, contact the Ingham County sheriff, 517-676-8211, or go on line to Beyondmissing.com. Please help us.
I`ve only got a few moments left. Very quickly, Dr. Kobilinsky, this is a forensically challenging case for any prosecutor. Mel McDonald`s right about that.
KOBILINSKY: Very much so. The fact is, we know that the cause of death was drowning. However, the manner of death is very complicated, and I don`t know that a medical examiner has any solid evidence to indicate other than it was an accident, a suicide or a homicide. The fact of the matter is, examination of her husband indicates no signs of any kind of wounds.
GRACE: To Mike Branom with "The East Valley Tribune." What can you tell us about Doug Grant?
BRANOM: Well, he owns a company, Optimal Health Systems, based in rural Arizona, southeast Arizona. He -- on his CV, he lists himself as the team nutritionist for the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat. I contacted these teams, and they say they have -- they`ve never heard of him. The company insists that, yes, he is their nutritionist, has the photos and voices and all that to back it up.
GRACE: Very quickly, Mel, would your guy be willing to take a polygraph, or has he already done that?
MCDONALD: I`ve only been on the case five days. I don`t know. The problem with the polygraph, as you know, Nancy, is they`re inadmissible in court. They have made the prosecution decision, and we will meet them at the OK corral and see them at trial.
GRACE: Mel McDonald, veteran trial lawyer for the defense. Thank you, sir.
But I want to thank all of my guests tonight. And as always, my biggest thank you to you for being with us, inviting all of us into your homes. Coming up, headlines from around the world, Larry on CNN. I`m Nancy Grace, signing off for tonight. Hope to see you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 o`clock sharp Eastern. Until then, good night, friend.