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NANCY GRACE

Duke University Lacrosse Team Member Suspended

Aired April 6, 2006 - 20:00:00   ET

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


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, the scandal continues at one of America`s premier universities. The clock is ticking down on DNA results. They will make or break the case, allegations of multiple beating strangling and sex attacks, with the finger pointed at Duke`s elite lacrosse team. What`s the hold-up on the DNA results? Is that report being held back in the hope that the controversy making national headlines will subside? And tonight: A lacrosse team member is actually booted off campus. But get this. It`s not one the alleged gang rapists.
And tonight, a 32-year-old minister`s wife behind bars for allegedly killing her husband, a highly popular Church of Christ minister. Tonight, a brand-new defense emerges, that the preacher`s wife is covering for the real killer. In spite of denials, we found out truth. Winkler was given special privileges to leave jail and visit her husband`s body. Tonight, exclusive new sound and video as we search for answers.

Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. Tonight, the Tennessee preacher murder mystery. Why did authorities and the defense cover the fact that Mary Winkler got special treatment, allowed to just leave jail and visit her husband, father and minister, the man she allegedly gunned down before taking her kids on vacation? And another defense theory made public, that the preacher`s wife, Mary Winkler, has gone to jail to, quote, "cover for the real killer."

But first tonight, Duke University multiple rape allegations. Are DNA results being held back to keep the peace? Why? And tonight, one lacrosse team member suspended, but not one of the alleged rape suspects. And tonight we are taking your calls.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most people are waiting for the DNA results to come back. But things will probably move pretty quickly once we know what goes on with that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re very disturbed that the district attorney has come out to try this case in the news media before all the evidence is in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Administrators know that a culture of violence, rape, a culture of gay bashing, racism and misogyny exists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The entire world is watching. How we handle this will determine what kind of community we are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am enraged and disgusted and embarrassed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The decadent e-mail raises the stakes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I`d have to say it, when I read it, I was sickened. I found it repulsive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We demand that the same standards of justice and investigations should be applied as in any other case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Are DNA results being held back while the controversy, hopefully, subsides? Does the district attorney already have those DNA results pointing the finger at three alleged rape suspects, all members of the Duke University lacrosse team?

Let`s go straight out to WPTF radio reporter Kevin Miller. What`s the hold-up on the DNA, Kevin?

KEVIN MILLER, WPTF RADIO: Nancy, Mike Nifong has been out town at a district attorneys` conference and announced later -- last week that he would hold off until early this -- next week, coming up, Monday or Tuesday, we expect them back. Now, the definitely that we`ve talked to here at WPTF and throughout the area has said that they welcome the DNA results back, and if the prosecutor does not release them, if they get the results back, they will release them. They feel confident that their clients are innocent.

GRACE: Question to you. The DNA was handed over, I understand through, oral swabs on March 23. The delay is very unusual in a high- profile case like this.

Let`s talk about the type DNA. You`ve got nuclear DNA. You`ve got mitochondrial DNA. When you`re taking nuclear DNA, there are various types under which different tests are used. There`s PCR. Sometimes that may take longer than other types.

Let`s go straight out to an expert in the field, Dr. Karl Reich. He`s the chief scientific officer for Independent Forensics. Dr. Reich, explain to me how quickly, typically, this type of DNA is turned around.

DR. KARL REICH, CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER FOR INDEPENDENT FORENSICS: It depends a little bit on how many analysts are assigned. But in this sort of sexual assault, where there are reference samples -- I believe are there 46 of them at least, and there are a number other evidence samples -- it can take at least five, seven, eight, nine working days before all that work is analyzed. There`s a variety of samples from the victim, and those have to be analyzed individually. And then, of course...

GRACE: Well, what`s interesting, Dr. Reich is in this case, allegedly -- and let me go to Kevin Miller with WPTF radio -- the alleged rape victim, gang rape victim, her name`s being bandied about. Now, assuming that during this alleged sodomy and rape, strangling and beating, these young men couldn`t keep up the pretense of fake names, we have the names!

MILLER: Right. That has been speculated, Nancy, in the search warrant and other warrants that have been released, that the accuser believes that the people that are accused -- that they, in fact, did use fake names. They actually started using their jersey numbers to call each other. And if you...

GRACE: During the rape?

MILLER: No, not during rape, but at this party where the dancing occurred. Then you have also the -- according to the warrant, where the dancer at the party actually said that members at the house identified themselves as members the Duke baseball team or the Duke track team to throw and confuse the two subjects, so they would make sure that they would not know who they are. Also, they used a fake name when they contracted for this.

GRACE: Exactly. Leslie Austin is with us, psychotherapist. My point, Leslie, is, if what she is saying true and this young lady, a student-turned-stripper, was at this party at this home, which is owned by Duke University and then rented out, do you really think these three guys could actually keep up the pretense of fake names during a rape, sodomy, strangulation and beating inside a tiny bathroom?

LESLIE AUSTIN, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Probably not very easily, but it does show some premeditation, some planning for...

GRACE: OK.

AUSTIN: -- bad activity.

GRACE: I`m working up to a bigger point. Dr. Karl Reich, my point is, if they used their real name during the rape, that means we`ve got the names of the three alleged suspects. Now, how long will it take you, with an oral swab from these three suspects, to match up to possible sperm?

REICH: The actual match can go very rapidly. The time it takes to process the samples from the evidence scene, that`s what takes the time.

GRACE: Take a listen to what the NAACP had to say today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The allegations surrounding the Duke lacrosse team, including sexual violence, gang rape, racial slandering, underage drinking, and a possible prior history of bigotry and public disturbance, were enough to raise grave concerns and to warrant the aggressive pursuit of justice by public officials and Duke.

Yesterday`s release of the decadent e-mail written shortly after two black women left the lacrosse team party raises the stakes. The evidence was apparently in the hands of the criminal justice system for some time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: That is an authority with the NAACP today speaking out. As you know, the student-turn-stripper was black, the alleged assailants are white, only adding more tension to the mix.

Back to Kevin Miller with WPTF radio. Now, a lacrosse student has been suspended, booted, the guy that allegedly wrote this disgusting, heinous e-mail. Now, Elizabeth, would you mind putting that up? I`ve decided -- now, this is within an hour after this young lady is found dazed and confused, crying, disheveled in the Kroeger parking lot. Within an hour, this Duke lacrosse player writes this e-mail.

"I`ve decided to have some strippers over to Edens 2C." Edens, I believe, is a dorm. "All are welcome. However, there will be no nudity. I plan on killing the bitch as soon as she walks in and proceeding to cut their skin off while (DELETED) in my Duke issue spandex." What are they, like, Speedos, Ellie, like...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... underwear, like, his -- the bottom half of his uniform (INAUDIBLE)

GRACE: OK. Yes. That`s nice. Kevin Miller, this guy was suspended. Question. What about the suspects, the alleged rapists? Are they still there?

MILLER: Yes, Nancy, as far as we know, number one. And it`s interesting, when you read this e-mail, this plays into the defense`s spin that they said these kids couldn`t have possibly do this who would be dumb enough to commit this crime and then write an e-mail. We heard from Joe Cheshire today, who basically said that, again, his clients are innocent.

I`m sorry. I`m just trying to get to this point here for a second. The fact that they wrote this e-mail is unsavory, it`s unpleasant, but it doesn`t prove they did this crime.

GRACE: Well, my question is, the guy who wrote the disgusting e-mail about killing and skinning strippers, after the last display he saw, he has been suspended. Why not the alleged rapists?

MILLER: Well, a lot of people are saying that. In fact, Duke University continues to try to respond to this. You`ve had protests. Richard Brodhead, the president, now having actually...

GRACE: Kevin! Kevin! Kevin!

MILLER: Nancy.

GRACE: I think it`s been about three weeks. I`ve got two hairs (ph) past a freckle (ph). How much longer are they going to they wait?

MILLER: Well, I think they`re going to wait until they`re charged.

GRACE: Until they`re formally charged?

MILLER: Yes, ma`am.

GRACE: They`ll boot the guy for a nasty e-mail, but they`ll keep the alleged rapist?

MILLER: Right. Because, again, this nasty e-mail, again, is unsavory. It`s not welcomed at Duke, and they`re proving a point.

GRACE: Unlike rape! Unlike gang rape!

MILLER: Well, but Nancy, let me -- I just remembered this. When talking to the defense attorney today, he said, Look, here is the theory...

GRACE: Whoa! The scandal meter is a-boiling, Kevin. Continue, please.

MILLER: Well, here is the theory that happened. These dancers were paid $800. They danced for three minutes. They left. They came back. They were angry. This is...

GRACE: Well, wait a minute! You left something out. Kev, I`m the lawyer! You`re the reporter.

MILLER: Yes, ma`am.

GRACE: Check out that affidavit! Why did they leave? Why did they walk out of the performance?

MILLER: Because of the allegation that the broomstick would be used to hurt one of the ladies there.

GRACE: Yes. Yes. And let me say, in a vaginal manner. Go ahead.

MILLER: Yes. I...

GRACE: I`d leave, too. I wouldn`t walk out, you`d see nothing but the back my head and elbows as I`m running away, OK?

MILLER: You`re right, Nancy. You`re right.

GRACE: That`s why they left after three minutes!

MILLER: Right, Nancy. You`re running away, but then, again, the defense is saying, Well, why`d they come back?

GRACE: Well, it`s my understanding -- and correct me if I`m wrong because I firmly respect your better grasp of the facts than my own. You`re there. It`s my understanding, didn`t some of the lacrosse players come out and go, Oh, oh, we -- don`t listen to them! Come back in. We`ll take care of him, OK? We`ve already paid you. Please, pretty please with sugar on top. And they go, OK, and then they go back in.

MILLER: Yes. That is, according to the search warrant. On the other hand, then you think to yourself, Well, who would go back into something like that?

GRACE: Somebody that has to strip to make a living, maybe?

MILLER: Good point.

GRACE: OK, now, back to Kevin Miller. I`m not through with you yet, Kev.

MILLER: OK.

GRACE: Tell me -- so the guy that wrote the nasty e-mail, he`s out. The alleged rapists are still in. What else is happening as to the investigation?

MILLER: Well, I was really impressed with the comments by the North Carolina chairman the NAACP, William Barber. He said, Look, we don`t need to have over-aggressive pursuit of justice. On the other hand, we can`t vilify the accuser. He`s calling for peace. But again, tensions are running very hot here.

You have the defense going after Mike Nifong. He`s disappeared. He`s not talking to the media, after making his presence known, after airing these charges. And you know, when I talked to him, he was telling me about the DNA was bulletproof. Now he`s kind of backed off of that. I said, Look, what about eyewitness testimony? Why not just line these kids up and have the accuser do it? He said that eyewitness testimony isn`t as reliable as the DNA.

Nancy, by saying this, he`s put a lot of credit and reliability into this DNA. And again, he`s announced that even if he gets it back, he might not release it. Defense attorneys say that, Look, what they`re doing here at lab is they`re not going through all 46, they`re going with the -- the...

GRACE: The three.

MILLER: Right, the first three names. And if it`s not them, then they`re going to go a couple more. Cary Sutton (ph) said that to me next week. So they`re going to keep going until they find something, which lends into credence that there might be problems with prosecution`s case.

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait, wait, wait! Did you say the district attorney`s backing off the DNA?

MILLER: Again, he said to me that the DNA evidence was bulletproof. You can`t get false positives. The next day in "The New York Times" said, Well, even if there isn`t DNA, there could be condoms used. Then he said that he`s not going to release the DNA. Then he said that even if he has the DNA and it comes back conclusive, he might not release it until he has to.

GRACE: Why do you think that is, Kevin? I mean, what`s his reasoning? Why aren`t they going forward with charges? And the word tonight is we can expect formal charges sometime next week, as early as Monday?

MILLER: Right. He said that last Saturday, Nancy, but the issue here is it`s been over three-and-a-half weeks. If he had the evidence, people are saying on the streets here that he should have brought the charges already. It wouldn`t take long to get -- I mean, this is the biggest story ever, not only here but across the nation. I`m sure, as some people speculate, the results are back. Whether or not he, in fact, is going to release them, that is what people are waiting for. The longer he waits to release them, the more tensions build and the more credible the word on the street is that they don`t have anything.

GRACE: OK, let me go back to Dr. Karl Reich, chief scientific officer for Independent Forensics. Of course, Dr. Reich, you can prove a rape case without DNA. You can prove a circumstantial rape case. But Dr. Reich, let`s talk about DNA just a few more minutes. The oral swabs were taken. Explain to us how -- oh, there you go! Thanks, Elizabeth.

How do you show a circumstantial evidence case, how to prove a rape case without DNA? Believe it or not, I had to prosecute a couple rape cases, quite a few, as a matter of fact, before the advent of DNA. OK. Physical trauma. You`ve got possible vaginal, anal bruising and tearing. Torn clothing. Torn clothing indicates an attack. Contusions, which is a big word for bruises. Tears, broken nails, which we know we have in this case. She also said in the affidavit that she scratched one of the perpetrators` on the arm. Look for DNA under that nail, people! Emotional trauma, change in her demeanor, the outcry she makes to the first person. That would be in the Kroeger parking lot. Dishevelment. We already have that from witnesses at the Kroeger parking lot. Disbelief, anger, denial, fear.

Fear -- tonight, let me report to you that there are various news accounts that this young lady has left town. She has left town because she fears reprisal! Now, what kind of a message is that to rape victims?

Back to Karl Reich. To prove this case with DNA, if you`ve got three sperm donors plus the victim`s own DNA, vaginal and anal, how difficult is it to isolate four DNAs?

REICH: You won`t be able to isolate all of the contributors. They would be mixed, if they contributed to the same orifice. Excuse me. If they`re mixed, you`re going to have a mixture when you do the analysis, and mixtures are difficult and complicated to figure out.

GRACE: But they can be isolated.

REICH: All of the sperm would be mixed together, and you wouldn`t be able to isolate the individual contributors.

GRACE: Maybe that, Dr. Reich, is the hold-up.

Very quickly, everybody, we`ve got to take a break. Let`s go to tonight`s "Case Alert," Liz. Convicted killer escaped from the U.S. penitentiary, Pollitt (ph), Louisiana, name Richard McNair (ph), 47, serving life sentence for murder one.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Duke has an elaborate, conscientious disciplinary discipline system, and particular offenses go through the disciplinary system. We`re really not here talking about the individual conduct of students over time, we`re talking about a behavior as a team.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Welcome back. The scandal continues at Duke University, the elite lacrosse team, now their entire season has been ended because of allegations of gang rape at an off-campus party.

Let`s go to Trial 101, to Paul Looney. Another hold-up. Of course, there`s the chain of custody. You`ve got to very carefully protect the chain of custody. Very often, if you`ve watched trials, you`ll see an evidence envelope -- thank you, Clark, for making it so realistic -- an envelope full of evidence. And what the cop will do -- say he found those fake fingernails on the bathroom floor -- put them in here, then the top seals it, and will write over it the name on the seal. Right, Looney?

PAUL LOONEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That`s exactly right.

GRACE: And why is that? They then drop it into a mailbox container- type secured evidence receptacle.

LOONEY: That`s right.

GRACE: And someone who is just a transporter, typically, will get the evidence, once or twice a week, take it directly to the crime lab, hand it over to the crime lab. They sign for it. The scientist opens it up, reseals it. And then they bring it to court. And you will see them in court opening up the evidence, and you`ll see the name. A good lawyer like you, Mr. Looney, will look to make sure that name is still over the seal, to show it has been untampered. Yes?

LOONEY: That`s very much correct.

GRACE: As a veteran defense attorney -- everyone, Paul Looney out of the Houston jurisdiction -- what`s your first attack on the case?

LOONEY: Well, the first thing that I do on a case of this nature that involves searches is dig up the affidavit for the search warrant and the search warrant and look and see if the police followed the law or if they broke the law.

GRACE: Oh! Mr. Looney wants to suppress the evidence! Go ahead.

LOONEY: I absolutely do, if it`ll help my client. You know, in this country, not only do the laws pertain to the -- to the perpetrators of crimes, they also pertain to the police officers. And we want to make sure that the evidence in this case has been obtained legally.

GRACE: How would you attack it?

LOONEY: Well, the first thing that I would do is look at the affidavit supporting the warrant, to see if the affidavit has the necessary sworn statements to justify the issuance of a warrant. And unfortunately, in this case, the very first affidavit is just horrible. The second...

GRACE: OK, but the first affidavit does say the victim claims she was raped, right?

LOONEY: That`s all it says. It doesn`t say anything about what evidence they expect to find and why they believe it will be connected to the crime. They just say, Well, the lady says she was raped, and we want to go take a look. That`s not good enough. That`s what we call a general warrant, and it`s unconstitutional on its face.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s the coach of the team. He has a responsibility as a whole for the team and their actions, whether he condones them or not. So I think it was the right thing to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m just going to say in response to that, that when the coach offered his resignation, I thought, by this point, it was quite appropriate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Protests ongoing on Duke University campus at the slow reaction by Duke authorities.

Let`s go to the lines. Betty in California. Hi, Miss Betty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello, Miss Grace, and thank you. I am concerned that with all of this talk about not being able to isolate mixed DNA, is it not a very strong possibility that there were other students present at that party, other than just the lacrosse team?

GRACE: You mean that could be witnesses?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That could have been a part of this rape.

GRACE: Ah! Very good point. What about it, Kevin Miller?

MILLER: Yes, I`ve talked to defense attorneys, and they say there were other people there present besides lacrosse players. There were other people there.

GRACE: So possibly, you know, Betty`s got a good point. The 46 that have given the DNA, the perp may actually not be on the lacrosse team. OK. But you know what? I know that there are witnesses that are ultimately going to come forward and name the three men in the bathroom with this girl. So Clark Goldband, what are the stats?

CLARK GOLDBAND, NANCY GRACE INTERNET REPORTER: Well, Nancy, the stats are hard to know right now because Duke no longer in the league. Hofstra number two...

(CROSSTALK)

GOLDBAND: ... surging ahead of Sacred Heart last night, 19 to...

GRACE: Clark, Clark, I don`t mean the athletic stats. I mean the rape stats. What would that have to do with this case?

GOLDBAND: I`m sorry, Nancy. I misunderstood. But we do have the rape stats.

GRACE: Continue.

GOLDBAND: As well. I apologize. One out of four females will be likely sexual assaulted on a college campus. One in eight will be raped on a college campus -- staggering numbers. Also, 84 percent of females who were raped knew their assailant. We don`t know if that`s the case in this. And 57 percent of rapes occur when on a date.

And Nancy, finally, alcohol largely responsible for rapes on college campuses, 72 percent of those who have been raped have been intoxicated.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: We`re talking about gang rape at Duke University allegedly by members of lacrosse team. Eli, isn`t true the president has also in order to meet the challenge, appointed committees.

Five committees have been appointed. Is it true, Kevin Miller, that this young lady has moved out of town?

MILLER: We`ve been by her place several times and we can`t find her.

GRACE: Well, I`ve been reading "The New York Times" and other AP reports stating that she is afraid reprisal on campus and she`s pack up and left.

MILLER: Right, that she`s staying with friends somewhere outside the area.

GRACE: Good to know that they have appointed some committees to talk about tension on campus. To Reverend William Barber, a very special guest joining you, joining us tonight in case you don`t already know. He is the president of the North Carolina state NAACP. Welcome, Reverend. It is an honor to have you. I know you have met with the Duke president. What came of the meeting? And how do you feel about the president`s statement yesterday?

REV. WILLIAM BARBER, PRESIDENT, STATE NAACP: Well, hello, Nancy. First all, we did meet with him. We`ve said three things that clearly that we had to face on this investigation and to him and to the community, to Duke. And that investigation needs to proceed in a way that would guarantee the community that if it were my three boys for instance, the investigation, the arrest, the DNA would all be the same. Then we have to face the truth, whatever that truth is we don`t know what it is yet. (INAUDIBLE) But whatever it is, we would have to face it and then face the kind of justice that it demanded and then thirdly, we would have to face especially in the season of Lent, how we repair, repent and restore the community.

What we what said in the NAACP and I want to say that with six other groups with us, both branches that stood today with the both branches, three branches in Durham, the interdenominational (INAUDIBLE) alliance, Durham committee on black affairs. What we have said is only, only the truth can set us free. And there`s no need to try to villimized (ph) the victim. There`s no need to prejudge the persons that have been alleged but be sure that the process is the same process without any consideration of power, privilege or prestige. And that is what we are demanding in this --

GRACE: Reverend?

BARBER: Yes.

GRACE: All I know is this lady`s fingernails were broken off and laying on the bathroom floor. Now, OK, I agree. The truth will set you free and I`m waiting for the district attorney to agree with me, Reverend. Go ahead.

BARBER: And, Nancy, we have -- in that same vein, we`ve started last week requesting through our legal redress committee meeting with the DA. We have gotten that meeting set up. What we have said even to the defense lawyers, we, as a community, we demanded they don`t spend all their time trying to villimize (ph) this young lady.

GRACE: Well, that`s my concern as well.

BARBER: What the truth is.

GRACE: In fact, according to reports the truth is that she`s had to move out of town. I want to go to Alicia Aaron Johnson, a junior there at Duke University. What is the feeling on campus as to the way the administration`s handled this?

ALICIA AARON JOHNSON, JUNIOR, DUKE UNIVERSITY: I don`t seem to think that there is -- I think there`s a lot of just general tension over on this issue. I mean it is an athletic school. So I don`t think this is surprising and I think that the problem`s a lot more acute and that students on campus are just dealing with it in their own way and manner that may necessarily not be the best manner.

GRACE: Doesn`t the student body believe there has been an appropriate response?

JOHNSON: I think that that question is -- is not something that I can I -- I can answer because the fact of the matter is that it`s different for those people who know those people and because the school`s relatively small, if you know those students, you`re biased towards believing that they didn`t do anything and you`re not going to have an objective --

GRACE: That`s a good point. I want to go now to Monica Johnson Hostler. She`s the director of the North Carolina Coalition against Sex Assault. Welcome, Monika.

MONIKA JOHNSON HOSTLER, DIRECTOR, NC COALITION AGAINST SEX ASSAULT: Thank you.

GRACE: Monica, I want to go back to what we know tonight. We know that we are waiting on DNA results. In fact, they may already be in. And that they`re being held back to avoid continued controversy. Is DNA so crucial to ID the perpetrators? Can prosecutors make a case if the DNA is so mixed together, it cannot isolated?

HOSTLER: Absolutely, Nancy. I think you`ve already said you`ve prosecuted several these cases and you know that DNA`s just one piece of a puzzle when prosecuted in a rape case. We have fingernails as you suggested. We have a woman that was battered and bruised. And I`m sure the rape kit once it all comes out in court, the same nurse can speak to all of the evidence that she collected outside of DNA, being the one piece of the puzzle.

GRACE: And to Greg --

HOSTLER: That we concentrated on.

GRACE: And to Greg Skordas, defense attorney. The fact that sperm may be present, both vaginally and anally, wouldn`t that help the state make their circumstantial case even if it can`t be isolated?

GREG SKORDAS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes and what the state`s going to need in addition to that is a DNA expert who can say that based on the body fluids that are found or the tissues that are found under the fingernails that the suspects, the people that they ultimately charged cannot be excluded, that their DNA could be in that sample as you know from having prosecute these cases. They may not find or be able to isolate DNA. Obviously if they don`t, they`ve got some huge problems. But certainly they can`t exclude the suspects if they`re going to charge people.

GRACE: Well, Greg, I`ll tell you how I think they could prove the case. If the DNA is so intermingled amongst the three attackers, it can`t be isolated, for some brave young man who could be a friend of the alleged rapists to come forward and say, I heard her screaming. I heard them in the bathroom. I saw her come out. They said one, two, and three when they came out of the room. That`s what this case will take to be cracked, if there`s not DNA. Greg, agree, disagree?

SKORDAS: I agree. I think that ultimately someone saw something in that house that is bothering them and it may even be this person that wrote this horrible e-mail. There`s something, if you read that, that seems very troubled in the person that wrote that.

GRACE: You can say that again.

SKORDAS: And there may be people who come forward and say, look, this -- this should have never happened. This is something that was so out of what anyone had planned that I can`t let this ride on my conscience anymore and I`ve got to talk to authorities. That happens.

GRACE: To Jeff Benedict. Let`s not forget, you can`t just stand by and watch something wrong happen and wash your hands and say I don`t have any part in that, because in my mind that makes you just as bad as the perpetrator. You stand by and let it happen. You don`t come forward to police and tell the truth. But they can`t be charged, those standers by. Jeff, how do you compare this to other similar cases?

JEFF BENEDICT, ATTORNEY, AUTHOR, "PUBLIC HEROES, PRIVATE FELONS": Good evening, Nancy. This case is actually pretty unusual. Normally when we read about or see college athletes getting implicated in rape cases, it`s one player or sometimes a couple but not 40. You`ve got a whole house full of people, and I think one of the things is all this emphasis on DNA, has really been -- I don`t want to minimize its importance, but there`s an awful lot of physical evidence, witnesses, people who were there, all kinds of other material that have allegedly been collected in this case. To focus so much on the DNA, really we get away from some very basic facts. You have her word or her testimony. And you`ve got a bunch of other people who were there, who saw things, who heard things, who did things. And presumably, the prosecutors are doing more than just looking at this DNA. They`re looking at a lot other things as well.

GRACE: Jeff Benedict is not just an attorney, everybody. He is the author of "Public Heroes, Private Felons, Athletes and Crimes Against Women." It`s an incredible book, directly on point. Back to Paul Looney, defense attorney. Paul, I know as a veteran defense attorney, the first thing you would do is attack this search warrant and the affidavit. The way that works, everybody cop goes to judge, says I swear one, two, three, four. Here`s a written search warrant, why I should search this home and what I`m looking for. But Paul Looney, things that may not be outlined in the written affidavit, can be sworn to orally and you know that is what the cop is going to say if the defense tries to suppress this.

LOONEY: Well, it`s possible. But almost never does that turn out to be true whenever they allege that they swore to something orally. Because almost every magistrate in the United States requires that be additionally written down and sworn to in writing along with the paper affidavit that goes with it.

GRACE: You know Paul, Paul, Paul, I`ve gone with. I can`t even count how many cops and investigators to get warrants. And while the judge is signing, he may very well say, well, what about so and so? What about so and so? As he signed the warrant and the cop`s going oh yeah, one, two, three and four. So they don`t always put that in writing.

LOONEY: But that`s fine, but that`s not under oath and it doesn`t count as part of the affidavit either.

GRACE: I would say -- I would argue with you that it is still under oath.

LOONEY: Not unless he`s sworn to it and he`s being questioned formally, no it`s not.

GRACE: So if the judge starts writing his signature, you think that ends the formal questioning?

LOONEY: I think that ends the information with which he made his decision. Everything after that is --

GRACE: You know what, I have to say, Paul Looney, once again you have got a good point. That is going to be a point of contest at trial, suppressing this. Very quickly, Clark Goldband, tell me the rest of those stats, please.

GOLDBAND: Nancy you can`t deny these stats. They come from Harvard University. And listen to this, 72 percent of those females who have reported being raped, they were intoxicated or alcohol was involved. We have to remember, there was drinking happening at this house Nancy. Some under aged drinking was happening as well. And schools with high drinking rates, well, your odds of being raped increase by 180 percent.

GRACE: Very quickly to tonight`s case alert. Aruba`s lead investigator in the Natalee Holloway case kicked off the case. Aruba`s chief of police Gerald Dompig booted from the search. Neither Holloway`s father nor Aruban investigators say why. Holloway theorizes Dompig might be protecting somebody in the case. Search crews continue to scour the sand dunes and areas near the lighthouse where this young girl, Natalee Holloway was last seen.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Mr. Friess (ph), question, when I asked you the other night, did your client get a chance to visit her husband`s body before he was buried, you had not talked to her at that time. Now that you`ve spent a day in court with her, did she get to say good-bye to her husband one last time?

FRIESS: Nancy, I did get to talk to her today and intentionally did not ask that question.

GRACE: Why? Why? Why?

FRIESS: I thought you might want to know the answer. Know the answer. Know the answer.

GRACE: Is it because you don`t want people to than she got out jail to visit her husband? I mean why would you want to keep that a secret?

FRIESS: That doesn`t interest me whether she did or get out of jail.

GRACE: Well you just said you intentionally didn`t ask so obviously (INAUDIBLE) thinking about it a lot.

FRIESS: No, I intentionally didn`t ask because it didn`t enter my mind to ask.

GRACE: But you just said you intentionally didn`t ask so obviously you thought about it, so it did enter your mind.

FRIESS: Nancy --

GRACE: You`ve been thinking about -- you`ve been thinking about me a lot.

FRIESS: Guess what.

GRACE: Yeah.

FRIESS: You`re right on both accounts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. As you know, 32-year-old Mary Winkler behind bars tonight. Is she getting special treatment? I want to go straight out to sheriff Ricky Roten with McNairy County, Tennessee Sheriff`s department. Sheriff, thank you for being with us. I`m trying to get a straight answer from somebody, although it`s already been quoted in "People" magazine and other sources that Mary Winkler was allowed to go visit her husband outside of the jail cell. Is that true?

RICKY ROTEN, McNAIRY CO. SHERIFF: I`m not really want to comment on that, Nancy. And I`ll tell you why. If she did or if she didn`t, that`s something that would be private with her and his family and I just don`t feel comfortable commenting on that question.

GRACE: Sir, the taxpayers are paying for Mary Winkler`s board and upkeep. She is charged with murder one, premeditated murder. And I think the public has a right to know whether your people escorted her out of jail, gave her a ride to visit the body of the man she`s accused of gunning down just before take her kids on vacation.

ROTEN: Yeah, I understand that. But let me tell you this, I know it came out in the local paper that she did go. I believe it said 5:00 a.m. in the morning. I can tell you this much, I was in bed at 5:00 a.m. in the morning.

GRACE: Well I`m glad to know that. And I bet I was too, minding my own business. God help me. But sheriff, let`s forget that 5:00 a.m. time. What you`re saying is incorrect. Was she taken at any time? Was she escorted by your people for a private viewing of her husband`s body before his funeral?

ROTEN: No, not by my people. I told you before I don`t feel comfortable commenting on that.

GRACE: OK.

ROTEN: It doesn`t have anything to do with the case.

GRACE: So she was taken but not by your people?

ROTEN: I`m -- I didn`t say that.

GRACE: Well, was she taken at all? Not by your people?

ROTEN: I`m still not going to comment on that Mary -- Nancy. Because I just don`t feel comfortable with that.

GRACE: Why do you feel uncomfortable about telling the truth? Aren`t you in charge of the sheriff -- aren`t you the sheriff in charge of the jail?

ROTEN: Yes, I am. But I just don`t, I don`t have to comment on that question. I feel like if it did happen or if it didn`t happen, then it was a private -- it was a private thing for her and the family and that`s pretty much all I`m going to say on that.

GRACE: To Liz Daulton, reporter with WREC radio. More and more is beginning to emerge about the case against Mary Winkler. As everyone knows by this time, she is charged with premeditated murder in the shooting death of her husband. One gunshot wound to the back in the bedroom, his bedroom, he was found face up. How often is it that murder one suspects are allowed out of jail?

LIZ DAULTON, REPORTER, WREC: We haven`t heard anything on whether she`s been allowed out of jail or not. We haven`t heard anything on whether that`s normal in McNairy County or not. We haven`t heard any comment from the McNairy County justice center at all.

GRACE: Well the reports are rampant and they`re in print. So it`s out there. And I`m just trying to find out. Leslie Austin, psychotherapist. Why would this woman be given special treatment as opposed to other murder one suspects?

AUSTIN: Well, Nancy, I`m absolutely sure that there`s more going on here than we know and that we don`t yet know the full story. It may be that the police thought maybe she`d get emotional and start talking more. She hasn`t been talking hardly at all yet. I know that there is more to this story than we presently know about the motivation and what happened.

GRACE: Let`s talk about the possible defenses. Again, with us, Paul Looney, veteran defense attorney. It seems that a new defense is emerging, that she is covering for someone else, in other words, the real killer. Think that will work in court? There you go, you have got self-defense, mistaken identity. Somebody else did it. It was an accident, postpartum depression, defense of a third person. But now we`re getting toward some other dude did it.

LOONEY: The old (INAUDIBLE) defense. Well, Nancy I didn`t read as much into that statement as you did. All I saw was that the allegation was that we only know about 10 percent of the facts and that she was covering for somebody. I didn`t --

GRACE: Yeah, well I got the covering for somebody part.

LOONEY: Yeah, but I didn`t take it to mean that she was covering for somebody else having committed crime.

GRACE: Well, who would you think she`s covering for?

LOONEY: The statement was so wide open. My first reaction was that she was covering for the reputation of her deceased husband.

GRACE: OK, we`ll take that up in just a moment, everybody. I want to remind you, local news next for some of you.

Don`t forget about the Milwaukee police on trial for civilian beatings, 3:00 to 5:00 Eastern, Court TV.

Tonight we will remember Marine Corporal Brandon S. Schuck, 21, Stafford, Arizona, a combat engineer. He took his corporal stripe the day his son turned one years old. Brandon Schuck, an American hero.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: The ever-changing defense, preacher`s wife, Mary Winkler. With me is Blake Carroll, Baptist minister there in Selmer, Tennessee. Welcome, preacher. Preacher, what are the pressures of being a minister like?

BLAKE CARROLL, SELMER, TENN RESIDENT: Nancy, being a minister is a very beneficial job. It`s a very rewarding job. It certainly has eternal benefits, but at the same time, it can be very demanding and very stressful.

GRACE: I understand that and you were a very popular Baptist evangelical minister, and you gave up that full-time position with the preacher, it`s his wife April Carroll. April, did you feel like, as a preacher`s wife, you`re constantly under a microscope?

APRIL CARROLL, SELMER, TENN RESIDENT: Yes. I feel like, you know, going through the motions and everything. And you`re constantly -- everybody looks at you like you`re on a pedestal. You`re really -- you`re just a normal person like everybody else.

GRACE: And back to Blake. Do you and April sympathize in any way with Mary Winkler? Do you think the pressure just got to her?

BLAKE CARROLL: I really honestly, Nancy, don`t know the facts to the case.

GRACE: Yeah.

BLAKE CARROLL: Don`t know what Mary Winkler is feeling so to speak. And out of a great deal of respect that I have for her family and her friends in our community I really don`t want to express any personal views.

GRACE: You know what I respect that. I really do. I want to go now to our producer Phil Rosenbaum. Phil you actually saw Mary Winkler behind bars. What was her demeanor?

PHIL ROSENBAUM, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Her demeanor was good. She was smiling, Nancy.

GRACE: Smiling?

ROSENBAUM: She was smiling.

GRACE: Are you sure it was Mary Winkler?

ROSENBAUM: Yes, absolutely sure, smiling. She was receiving members of her family, her father and some other relatives, as well as a lot of people from the town of Selmer. They`re coming out in support of her and giving them the best, giving her the best support they can.

GRACE: (INAUDIBLE) And what`s on the menu for tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`ll be dining on a nice hardy meal of meat loaf Nancy and tomorrow we have catfish.

GRACE: Meat loaf, mixed veggies, salad. I`m having leftover Chinese OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well you`re making me hungry too.

GRACE: She has got a better meal than me tonight everybody. Thank you to all of our guests especially our pastor and his wife. Our biggest thank you is to you for being with us, inviting us into your homes. I`m Nancy Grace signing off again for this Thursday night. Hope to see you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. Until then, good night.

END

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