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Anna Nicole`s Bahamian Funeral Plans Released

Aired March 1, 2007 - 20:00:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, after weeks of hand-to-hand legal combat in court, appeals judges order the body of covergirl Anna Nicole Smith buried beside her son, Daniel, on the island paradise the Bahamas. But rest in peace? No way. The battle rages over Nicole Smith`s 6-month-old baby girl and the $475 million she`s set to inherit. Tonight, two men emerge as contenders to control that nearly half a billion dollars. The body finally leaving a Florida morgue under tight security 0530 tomorrow morning. All the parties -- the mother, the boyfriend and the lawyer -- converge for a Bahamian funeral.
And tonight, mystery surrounding the disappearance of a 19-year-old straight-A Purdue student, just vanished one short block of the dormitory. We investigate.

And also tonight, day one of the John Evander Couey death penalty trial, Couey accused of kidnap, assault and murder of the girl in the pink hat, 9-year-old Jessie Lunsford. Kicker? Couey was already a convicted sex predator when Jessie went missing. What was he doing out on the streets?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you have sex with her?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you put your (DELETED) inside her (DELETED)?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did she -- how did she get her clothes off?

COUEY: I told her to take them off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You told her to take -- she took them off?

COUEY: Yes. She tried to put them back on (INAUDIBLE) leave them off.


COUEY: She put them back on. I just -- you know, I had intercourse with her.



MARK LUNSFORD, JESSIE LUNSFORD`S FATHER: Couey is a pathological liar. He`s a piece of (DELETED). Sorry, but it`s the truth. And if he was so willing to leave Jessie alone and free to go as she wanted to, then why did he tie her up and put her in a hole?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) all day today. America`s looking at this, going, You know, any second this guy`s going to jump across the damn thing and let him have it. What are you saying to Mark to reassure him, Look, let this thing run? How do you do this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were a few times today where it was very, very difficult for Mark, but he hung in there. There were tears and there are going to be more tears, but he`s strong.


GRACE: Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. First, will covergirl Anna Nicole Smith`s body finally leave a Florida morgue?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE Howard, I was here a few minutes ago when the news broke. The court ruled Anna is coming home.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you feel?

STERN: I feel very relieved. And I feel like the court got it right because they didn`t focus on me and they didn`t focus on Virgie Arthur, but they focused on what Anna`s intent was. And I think that that`s very important. It`s what Anna wanted. She wanted to be in the Bahamas with Daniel, and that`s what`s going to be carried out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there closure now or the beginning of closure for you?

STERN: There`s not closure yet. But just -- I feel, you know, grateful and relieved that I know Anna`s going to be with Daniel, which is important to me because I couldn`t live with myself if that didn`t happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You showed a lot of cooperation last night when Virgie came here. What was the mood like?

STERN: She watched Dannielynn sleep for 15 minutes. I wasn`t going to let her wake her up. I would not let Virgie alone with Dannielynn. That`s not going to happen. That, you`d need a court order for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I imagine a pretty stressful, intense period having her here because I sat in this very room and heard the words come from Anna`s mouth, saying, She may have touched me, but she`ll never touch my child.

STERN: She was angry that I wouldn`t let her touch Dannielynn or wake her up. And then after that, she just stood there and stared. And it was the type of look that Anna always used to describe to me as her "evil mom." You know, Anna called her "Mommy dearest."


GRACE: The words of Howard K. Stern, the so-called legal executor of Anna Nicole Smith`s estate, and he`s talking about Nicole Smith`s biological mother, Virgie Arthur. Now, her, Virgie Arthur`s, idea or perception of their relationship very different. This we know. All the parties converge in the Bahamas tomorrow morning for a funeral like no other.

To you, David Caplan, deputy New York bureau chief of "Star." What are the plans?

DAVID CAPLAN, "STAR" MAGAZINE: This funeral`s going to be over the top. Anna Nicole`s body will be picked up at the Broward County medical examiner`s office tomorrow morning at 5:25 by a hearse. It`ll go to Miami International Airport, fly to Nassau, Bahamas, in a private jet. It`ll go through customs, and then from 9:00 o`clock, it`ll be transported through the streets of Nassau to the Mount Horeb Baptist church in Nassau, and a service will commence at 10:30 and is going to last an hour.

And we`re going to have country singer Joe Nichols, who was Anna Nicole`s favorite country singer. He was contacted by Howard K. Stern to perform. And there`s going to be 300 people there, 100 guests, really, each from Howard K. Stern, from Larry Birkhead and Virgie. She`s going to be wearing a really gorgeous pink dress, I heard, designed by her friend, Pol Atteu. There`s going to be lilies and stargazers and pink roses. It`s going to be very Anna Nicole Smith.

And then afterwards, when it ends at 11:30, the family and friends -- and the number of people will be whittled down to about 30 -- will then go to the Lakeview Memorial Gardens, where Daniel is buried, and then there`ll be a more private, intimate sort of burial for Anna Nicole.

GRACE: OK, David, let`s slow it down just for a moment. Let`s go through the timeline. Elizabeth, could you put up the timeline? Go ahead, David.

CAPLAN: All right. So 10:30 AM, you see we`re going to have this funeral service. There`s going to be 300 people. We`re going to have Larry Birkhead and Howard K. Stern and Virgie. Howard K. Stern`s family members will also be there, a lot of her close friends. And of course, there`s going to be areas set aside for media outside the church because this is obviously going to be covered like an event, you know, really we`ve never seen before in terms of a celebrity funeral.

Then later on, by 11:30, the family, about 30 of them, are going to leave for the graveside service at Lakeview Memorial Gardens, and it`s going to be a very intimate, very solemn burial, of course. And again, the media will be set up nearby, but of course, very discreetly. And it`s going to be a short burial. It`s not going to be an hour, like the memorial service. And that`s going to be the time when it`s going to be very solemn, of course, and people are going to be kept at bay.

GRACE: Well, I don`t know about keeping anybody at bay. Let`s go down to Carlos Diaz, "Extra" correspondent joining us out of Nassau, Bahamas. I keep hearing the words "solemn," "dignified." Carlos, that`s not going to happen.

CARLOS DIAZ, "EXTRA": No, well, it`s not going to happen as far as the media might be concerned -- and I`m hearing myself in my ear, by the way, in a little echo. But here`s the thing. We have just learned that -- and I`m still hearing myself in my ear...

GRACE: You know, take out your earpiece and just answer, and we`ll get it fixed for you. Go ahead.

DIAZ: OK. This is what we`ve learned here. We`ve got this from Sandy Port (ph) Development, the Sandy Port Development Company. This is the -- where you have the church. The church is here on this private property. And this church is now charging every media outlet between $2,000 and $5,000 to be on their private property to cover the church service.

Now, here`s what this -- this is the contract right here. You can see the contract right here from Sandy Port Development Company for a live satellite uplink. You must pay $5,000, $5,000 to be on church property, which is private property. And for a local crew, for a crew that just has one camera, it`s $2,000 just to have a camera there -- $2,000 or $5,000. It seems that everyone`s looking to make money off of Anna Nicole Smith.

GRACE: You`re absolutely right, Carlos Diaz, Carlos joining us from "Extra." Everyone seemingly is making money.

There`s one person I know that`s not making any money. He gets paid a salary every year. It doesn`t matter who his patient is. It doesn`t matter how many patients he sees. It`s Dr. Joshua Perper. He is the chief medical examiner there in Broward County. He and a team of six others performed -- a team performed a six-hour autopsy on Anna Nicole Smith. And he is one of the few people that has safeguarded not only her privacy but the little bit of dignity she has been afforded in death.

Dr. Perper, when were you advised as to what time the body would leave the medical examiner`s office?

DR. JOSHUA PERPER, BROWARD COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER: Sometime between 5:00 and 5:30 in the morning tomorrow.

GRACE: And Dr. Perper, I assume, I hope that you are still intending to accompany the remains.

PERPER: Yes. I agreed to the request of the judge, and I`ll go together with the guardian for the child in the Bahamas.

GRACE: Milstein?

PERPER: Yes. We`ll go -- yes. We`ll go together in the same car tomorrow. There`s going to be a motorcade of four cars, including the hearse, and I`ll be in the same car with the guardian.

GRACE: Now, Dr. Perper, I understand that a private plane is flying you guys down. Whose plane is it?

PERPER: I really don`t know because I didn`t got any kind of details about the jet which is going to take us to the Bahamas.

GRACE: And Dr. Perper, how does it work? Is she traveling in a casket?

PERPER: Yes. Yes. She is going to be prepared by two embalmers, and she`s going to travel in a casket, right.

GRACE: When you say prepared -- I know she`s already -- the body has been embalmed. What do they have to do to prepare her?

PERPER: Well, first of all, the body has to be brought to the room temperature. Then a judgment has to be made whether the body can be viewed. Then they have to see if there`s any need for additional cosmetics or cosmetic adjustment. Then the body has to be dressed in the beautiful dress in which she will be viewed and then placed in the casket. So there are a lot of basically technical procedure which they would have to carry.

GRACE: Dr. Perper...

PERPER: And that is going to be done today.

GRACE: Dr. Perper, has this group that is preparing her body, as you just said -- have they signed confidentiality agreements?

PERPER: Yes. They are basically the same people who did the embalming.

GRACE: Because that would be absolutely horrific, if they were to give an interview or take photos or cell phone photos of her body in the casket. And listen, Dr. Perper, it`s happened. It certainly has. And I`m glad you`re going along. I understand it is in a private jet. How do you secure something that size in a jet so it doesn`t move?

PERPER: Well, that`s not my responsibility. Probably the Miami police is going to do the arrangements.

GRACE: All right. Dr. Perper, why do you believe, even at this juncture, that it is necessary for you to accompany the remains?

PERPER: Well, that really was not my decision, and perhaps it`s not necessary. But the judge requested in open court from the bench for me to do so, and he felt that that`s going to give him some additional assurance that everything is going to be done properly. I have no doubt that the guardian ad litem is a very competent attorney and can do it on his own, but I am going to agree to the request of the judge because you always honor a judge`s request.

GRACE: Well, Dr. Perper, you`re being very modest. I`ll tell you why many people believe it is important for you to accompany the remains, because of the whole cast of characters, the whole kit and kaboodle, you are the only one representing nobody. You don`t have any skin in the game, no dog in the fight. You are the only one completely impartial, just doing your job from day one.

With us, Dr. Joshua Perper, who is going along with the transport of Anna Nicole Smith. Back in a moment with Dr. Perper.

Let`s go out to the lines. Cindy in Arizona. Hi, Cindy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I love your show.

GRACE: Thank you, dear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for taking my call. I would like to know, please, where this lady, the mother, is getting the funds to pay for the attorney to travel from Florida to the Bahamas and monies also to exhume the bodies of her grandson and daughter, as she`s trying to do?

GRACE: Good question. Good question, Cindy in Arizona. Out to you, Art Harris, investigative reporter. Now, I don`t know that Virgie Arthur has planned any exhumation, but we do know that if she has control over Dannielynn in any way that she may very well move the bodies so she and the child can be close to them. Art Harris, where is she getting the money? Where are any of the parties getting the money?

ART HARRIS, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Nancy, we`ve been asking that, and of course, the attorneys have given us a very lawyerly response that they`re not discussing it. But these are attorneys who have done very well before in contingency cases, suing big tobacco companies and also representing women who`ve had faulty implants. So they`re used to big money settlements, and you know, in for a dime, in for a dollar. So we can perhaps assume that they`re going to help her go after her share of the estate, if she believes she`s entitled to it.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Keith in Pennsylvania. Hi, Keith.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. How are you?

GRACE: I`m fine, dear. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want to know if there was any life insurance, and who`s the beneficiary.

GRACE: Smart guy!~ You know, we have not talked about that one time -- maybe way back at the beginning. With us tonight is John O`Quinn. This is one of Virgie Arthur`s attorneys. He is a veteran trial lawyer. Mr. O`Quinn, thank you for being with us.


GRACE: Was there a life insurance policy in any form?

O`QUINN: I`ve been told by sources that should know the truth that there were seven life insurance policies on Anna Nicole`s life, and the beneficiary was her son, who died under suspicious circumstances, and the alternative beneficiary is Stern.

GRACE: Did you say several or several?

O`QUINN: Seven, I`m told.

GRACE: Whew! OK. Were they paid up?

O`QUINN: I`m told they were paid up and in full force, and the primary beneficiary was her son, who died under very suspicious circumstances.

GRACE: Mr. O`Quinn, it gets curiouser and curiouser, does it not?

O`QUINN: Oh, yes, it does. This is all about money.

GRACE: Seven life insurance policies, all going to Stern. All right. Mr. O`Quinn, question. I understand that last night, there was finally the meeting between your client, Virgie Arthur, and the baby, Dannielynn. What happened?

O`QUINN: I wasn`t there. I know that Mrs. Arthur was not treated correctly as a grandmother. She asked to hold the grandchild, her own grandchild, no question about it, and Stern said, You can`t touch your grandchild. I find that a very despicable thing for a person to do to a grandmother.

GRACE: Well, and the other thing is this, Mr. O`Quinn. You`ve seen the sound bites from Anna Nicole Smith, who clearly resented her mother. From what I`ve seen of Virgie, she didn`t feel the same way back. But the reality is, this baby`s only blood relative that we know of right now is Virgie Arthur. That`s it!

O`QUINN: That`s correct. That`s correct. And a lot of people have been raised by their grandmothers, and that`s traditional in our country and also in the Bahamas. Grandmothers are honored. They deserve to be honored. And they`re very good people to help raise a grandchild.

GRACE: Well, you`re talking to one of them. My grandmother helped raise me, along with my mom and dad, and...

O`QUINN: It`s true for me, too. That`s one of the reasons I agreed to help Virgie. I was raised by my grandmother, and I respect her greatly and I love her greatly for it.

GRACE: You know what`s interesting? I want to go to psychoanalyst Dr. Bethany Marshall. Bethany, I spoke with Virgie Arthur, and it was clear to me Anna Nicole hated her. She resented her. I don`t know where it came from. No one`s ever been clear about it. But I never got that feeling back from Virgie. How could their perceptions be so different?

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: As I mentioned in a prior show, you have to take into account the severe drug addiction that Anna Nicole seemed to have had. When you think about that, you wonder if she vilified the mother because the mother was trying to intervene in drug abuse. People have said that, you know, Anna Nicole left home when she was 16. Was she a burgeoning drug addict at that time, and did Howard Stern keep Virgie from the baby because Virgie was on to him and the whole pattern of drug abuse and him supplying Anna Nicole Smith?



ANNA NICOLE SMITH: You want to hear my child life? You want to hear all the things she did to me? You want to hear all the things she let my father do to me, or my brother do to me or my sister, all the beatings, the whippings and the rape? That`s my mother. That`s my mom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you want to say to her?

SMITH: I want to say to her, How dare you, bitch! How dare you! That`s what I want to say. Come after me. Come on, get yours. You know what? I used to cry after you. I used to cry after you from the day -- even when I`m a baby girl, I cried for you. And you ask Howard. I cried for my mom. I cried for my mom when I saw her on CNN and I saw how evil she was and evil she looked. All of that is gone now. All of it`s going away. So bring it on, Momma, Mommy dearest!


GRACE: That was an interview played in court last week, an interview Anna Nicole Smith gave "Entertainment Tonight" back in October, where she talks about her estrangement from her mom, Virgie Arthur.

Let`s go out to the lines. Kathy in Florida. Hi, Kathy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Hi, friend. How are you? Nancy, my regards to Miss Arthur, first of all. Drugs or no drugs, how do you hate your mother? And my question is -- this Howard Stern is on exclusively "Entertainment Tonight." Where is this guy getting his money? Are they paying him big bucks for these interviews?

GRACE: Let`s unleash the lawyers. Jeff Skatoff, Richard Herman, Brian Neary. We don`t know that he is getting paid. But if he is getting paid -- to you, Richard Herman -- is there anything wrong with it, other than we just don`t like him making a buck off of her death?

RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: There`s nothing wrong with that, Nancy. If he`s getting paid, so what? All these people are getting paid. Virgie Arthur`s getting paid. It was despicable seeing her have that video shot when she was at the cemetery in the Bahamas. It`s outrageous. All these people are still sucking off of Anna. It`s unbelievable.

GRACE: So according to you, it`s OK for Stern to get paid but not Virgie Arthur?

HERMAN: She can get paid, too. She can get paid also.



STERN: There`s not closure yet, but just I feel, you know, grateful and relieved that I know Anna`s going to be with Daniel, which is important to me because that`s -- I couldn`t have lived with myself if that didn`t happen.


GRACE: That burial set for tomorrow, the body leaving at 5:30 in the morning.

Out to you, Mike Brooks, standing by in the Bahamas. What`s the latest on your end?

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, SERVED ON FBI TERRORISM TASK FORCE: I was at the cemetery early this morning, Nancy, and they were throwing all the press out, putting up barricades, and they had the four-sided tent up over the gravesite.

And one other thing I want to talk about in preparation for the ceremony tomorrow. One of the other people who`s going to be involved in this is Eric Gibson. They call him here on the island King Eric Gibson. Now, he`s the father of Shane Gibson, the former immigration and labor minister who`s been involved in some -- maybe some underhanded things. But it`s very interesting. He`s going to be singing tomorrow. He told me last night that he`s going to be singing at the service "Bridge Over Troubled Water." So you can read into that what you may.

GRACE: Mike Brooks, joining me in the Bahamas. What`s the security there at that cemetery?

BROOKS: There`s not much at all, Nancy. It`s a very, very small, private cemetery. It`s got some security cameras, but there`s no fence all the way around it. Earlier in the week, we could just walk right on and walk right off, but they have put up some barricades around that. I`m hearing from sources that police are not going to play a big role in this. They`re just going to be there if someone gets out of hand, but they`re not going to be there like you would see in the United States. But there are some high cliffs around there that will give the media some pretty good access. But there`s not much security there whatsoever.



HOWARD K. STERN, ANNA NICOLE SMITH CONFIDANTE: I feel very relieved, and I feel like the court got it right, because they didn`t focus on me, and they didn`t focus on Virgie Arthur, but they focused on what Anna`s intent was.

And I think that that`s very important, that it`s what Anna wanted. She wanted to be in the Bahamas with Daniel. And that`s what`s going to be carried out.

There`s not closure yet, but just I feel, you know, grateful and relieved that I know Anna`s going to be with Daniel, which is important to me, because that`s -- I couldn`t have lived with myself if that didn`t happen.


GRACE: It`s not over yet. The body of Anna Nicole Smith headed for the Bahamas for burial, while the DNA battle over paternity is yet to be fought. Back to Dr. Joshua Perper. Dr. Perper, when will you leave to come back to the states?

DR. JOSHUA PERPER, BROWARD COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER: The same day, tomorrow afternoon, about 4:00 or so.

GRACE: Dr. Perper, they`re not making you take vacation for this, are they?

PERPER: Well, I would call it hardly a vacation, because I think there are a lot of activities and that I`m going to come back. But, you know, I think that that`s -- I don`t have any problem.

GRACE: Dr. Perper, from a lot of people, a big thank you for what you`ve done in this case.

Out to Joyce in Maryland. Hi, Joyce.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy. Anna Nicole abused drugs even while she was pregnant. Has the baby, Dannielynn, ever been examined for drug-related neurological damage? And if not, could the court-appointed guardian, Millstein, have the baby examined now?

GRACE: Excellent question. What about it, John O`Quinn?

JOHN O`QUINN, ATTORNEY FOR VIRGIE ARTHUR: Well, that`s a very excellent question. And also an excellent question is this man, Stern, who tries to cast himself as being some kind of hero, handled the drugs, took them in the duffel bag, and gave them to Anna, went to the drugstore and got them while she`s pregnant, for narcotics, methadone.

GRACE: Mr. O`Quinn, is he getting paid for these interviews? Do you know?

O`QUINN: Well, somebody`s paying for a half-a-million-dollar funeral burial service. It`s like when they buried the pharaohs. And Daniel Stern has got the connection with the industry to raise that kind of money from them. This thing has been turned into a disgraceful, disgraceful spectacle. And I`m ashamed that it`s happening; this is not the way to bury a person.

GRACE: And to you, Art Harris, the paternity test battle is about to begin. We haven`t finished the funeral yet, but that`s the next legal battle. Number one, when will that start?

And, number two, can her will be probated down in -- you know what? Let me ask Jeff Skatoff that. You`re the probate expert. Can her will be probated in the Bahamas?

JEFFREY SKATOFF, WILL AND PROBATE ATTORNEY: I think the answer to that, Nancy, is probably yes, if she was a resident of the Bahamas, as it appears that she was. So her will could be probated in the Bahamas. Although because her lawsuit was based in California, there will also probably be a probate action that needs to take place in California.

GRACE: And to you, Brian Neary, a veteran trial lawyer, Brian, the issue of paternity, we`ve been having the fight out of California, Florida, now the Bahamas. I never understood why they didn`t just file in the Bahamas to start with.

BRIAN NEARY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, there has to be respect between the two jurisdictions, the two political bodies as to what the decision should be. The Bahamas are in the same tradition as courts of the United States. They`re based on the common law and the English law, so that there has to be some respect done to one of the two.

I think the thing that really needs to be done is one body, one law system has to start to make decisions. The key here: Who`s the father in this case?

GRACE: And to you, Art Harris. The paternity battle starts as soon as the burial is done. What`s next?

ART HARRIS, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Yes, March 16th, Nancy, Larry Birkhead marches into Bahamian court, and Debra Opri, his lawyer, will ask the Bahamian to get some DNA from the baby and compare it to his and then, you know, let the games begin. The custody fight will commence.

GRACE: And, Art, is there any talk of settlement?

HARRIS: Well, Nancy, you know, we`ve heard rumors of that. There`s plenty of estate to go around, if that is to happen.

GRACE: Art Harris, investigative reporter, joining us with all of the latest.

I want to tell you about a missing persons case. A young freshman student at Purdue University vanishes into thin air just one block short of the dormitory. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This blond-headed baby with the bright eyes and chubby knees grew up to be a Purdue college freshman who has now vanished. Steffee disappeared after he left a fraternity party. Students, friends and strangers have scoured the area looking for him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wasn`t wearing a jacket. He left a cell phone charger, probably only had around $50. There`s been no use of his credit card or his ATM card.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to stay strong because we could get him back and he may need us.


GRACE: Please help us tonight. The tip line, 765-496-3784. There is a reward. This young man, Wade Steffey, just 19 years old, a straight-A student, gone.

Wayne Pratt with WBAA Public Radio, what happened?

WAYNE PRATT, NEWS DIRECTOR, WBAA PUBLIC RADIO: Well, Wade Steffey vanishing in the early hours of January 13th. He was in a well-lit area of this campus, and he was just outside a dormitory building, apparently trying to go back in to get his coat. It was a rather cold night, and that`s the last we`ve seen of him. Investigators are still trying to follow up on leads as they come in, but there are still no clues surrounding this disappearance.

Joining us tonight, two very special guests, Dale Steffey, Dawn Adams. These are Wade`s parents. To both of you, thank you for being with us.

First to you, Dawn, what`s being done tonight to find him?

DAWN ADAMS, MOTHER OF WADE STEFFEY: Well, the Purdue police continue to look for him. They interviewed over 600 felons at a DNA gathering over the weekend. They`re still following up on any kind of tips or leads, and the snow should be melting. I think there will be more searching soon.

GRACE: And to Wade`s father, Dale, what`s your understanding of what happened?

DALE STEFFEY, FATHER OF WADE STEFFEY: We have a very slight understanding of what happened, but the things that he left behind indicate that he`s nowhere of his own free choice at this time. And we`re just very concerned, and we want to get him back.

GRACE: Now, I understand, at 12:31 a.m., he makes a call to a friend, Dale. What did he say?

STEFFEY: He was just attempting to get his coat back. The friend told him that he was -- actually, there was a poker game in the dorm where Wade lived and invited him to come to that game, and Wade said he wasn`t interested, and that was the last I think anybody heard from him.

GRACE: And to you, Dawn, what about his car? And what about his cell phone? Do we have any tips there?

ADAMS: Well, his car -- he was a freshman, and he didn`t have a parking privileges. His car is in our driveway.

His cell phone is a really big mystery. It was triangulated through phone records to be on campus, or near campus, but we searched with about 300 volunteers and didn`t find it on the outside, anyway.

GRACE: And to you, Wayne Pratt with WBAA Public Radio, how long passed before he was reported missing?

PRATT: Well, the way we understand it, he disappeared in those early hours on the 13th, and then there was some time in there before people actually noticed he was gone, and then the actual release and police notifying the media happened on the following Tuesday. And that was the first time I had the chance to talk with his parents, on that Tuesday morning.

GRACE: Dawn, has he ever gone this long without contacting you?

ADAMS: Never. He would definitely be in contact at least with his friends. When he was at home, he would either -- he`d be on his computer and on the phone at the same time, all day long.

GRACE: This young man, Wade Steffey, 19, straight-A student, Eagle Scout, full scholarship, gone from Purdue University. There is a reward. Please help us. That number, 765-496-3784.

And tonight, it`s simple Trial 101. Police now trying to use triangulation to determine where the ping from his cell phone, Wade Steffey`s cell phone, was to help try and bring this boy home.




MARK LUNSFORD, DAUGHTER JESSICA ABDUCTED AND MURDERED: My daughter was kidnapped, raped, and buried alive.

JOHN EVANDER COUEY, ACCUSED MURDERER: I went out there one night, and dug a hole, and put her in it, buried her (INAUDIBLE) plastic bag, plastic baggies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was she dead already?

COUEY: No, she was still alive. I buried her alive.

LUNSFORD: Couey`s a pathological liar. He`s a piece of shit. I`m sorry, but it`s the truth. And if he was so willing to leave Jesse alone and free to go as she wanted to, then why did he tie her up and put her in a hole?


GRACE: Day one of the trial against John Evander Couey. As you all know by now, his alleged confession to kidnapping, attacking and murdering a 9-year-old little girl -- recall the girl in the pink hat -- thrown out of evidence. But guess what? He was sitting there watching Dr. Phil and having a latte behind bars. Not kidding. Not kidding. And he started blabbing. That confession is coming in, by all accounts.

Out to Eben Brown, reporter with 970 WFLA Radio, was in court today. Eben, what`s the latest?

EBEN BROWN, NEWSRADIO 970 WFLA: Good evening, Nancy. The latest is opening statements have been made and testimony has begun. The first three people to testify, a friend of the Lunsford Family, Ruth Lunsford, the child`s grandmother, and Mark Lunsford, the father of Jesse Lunsford. They got to make their statements today, talking about the final day-and-a-half or so of Jesse`s life, and how they remember it, and when they realized Jesse was missing.

GRACE: You know, Eben, speaking of Mark Lunsford, through it all I feel that he`s become a friend. So I`m biased in his favor. I`ve seen him working in Washington to help missing and murdered children, not a penny to his name, battling on their behalf. And when I saw him in court today, I really thought he was going to jump over the pews and grab Couey by the neck. Did you see his face in court, Eben?

BROWN: There were a couple of times where Mark had a look on his face that I had never seen before. Maybe he was letting some of his emotions show through. But Mark, for the most part, just -- he kept his calm, especially when he was up on the stand, recounting things.

And one thing that may have -- I think people were expecting to be a little bit more emotional was when -- there was a little plush toy, a toy dolphin that Jesse -- that he had won for Jesse at a county fair, that was missing when Jesse was missing, and it was found with Jesse`s body.

He was asked to identify that toy on the stand, and I think there was a collective gasp among some people in the courtroom, although he just did it as a matter of fact. He said, "Yes, that`s the toy that I won for Jesse."

GRACE: Take a listen to this.


MARK GELMAN, ATTORNEY FOR MARK LUNSFORD: America saw Mark`s glare all day today. Understandably.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you saying to him? America`s looking at this, going any second this guy`s going to jump across the damn thing and let him have it. What are you saying to Mark to reassure him, look, let this thing run? How do you do this?

GELMAN: Mark is very strong. To be honest with you, I`m not having to say too much to him.

JOHN EVANDER COUEY, ACCUSED MURDERER: I went out there one night, and dug a hole, and put her in it, buried her (INAUDIBLE) plastic bag, plastic baggies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was she dead already?

COUEY: No, she was still alive. I buried her alive.

LUNSFORD: Couey`s a pathological liar. He`s a piece of shit. I`m sorry, but it`s the truth. And if he was so willing to leave Jesse alone and free to go as she wanted to, then why did he tie her up and put her in a hole?


GRACE: Joining us tonight, Mark Lunsford`s attorney, Mark Gelman. Mr. Gelman, thank you for being with us. How is he after this first day of trial?

GELMAN: Hi, Nancy. He`s doing great. Today was difficult. They were very anxious going in there. But he did very, very well. He`s resting now. He`s getting ready for tomorrow.

GRACE: You`re seeing Mark Lunsford in court right now, and he kept that gaze straight at Couey throughout the entire proceedings.

To you, Eben Brown. What can you tell us about the circumstances surrounding the confession that will come in, the latte Dr. Phil confession?

BROWN: This confession was -- well, what set this confession apart was that the first two were made during interrogations by police officers, where Couey apparently asked for a lawyer and wasn`t given one. So the judge ruled that these confessions were, you know, were a violation of his Miranda rights.

GRACE: The ones that are coming in, Eben, the ones that are coming in, tell me about that.

BROWN: OK, well, the one that`s coming in is one where Couey just started rattling his mouth while sitting in jail to a couple of jail guards. And at one point, those jail guards, testifying in a motion hearing, said, "Hey, we told him he may want to keep his mouth shut, he may not want to say any more, but he kept talking." So, therefore, Judge Howard said this confession`s going to be in.

GRACE: To Donna in South Carolina. Hi, Donna.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy. I love you.

GRACE: Well, thank you. Thank you for watching. What`s your question, dear?

CALLER: Where is Jessica`s mother?

GRACE: Good question. And to Mark Gelman, where is her mom?

GELMAN: From what I know, she`s in Ohio. Exactly where, I`m not sure. I know she`s not in Miami.

GRACE: Yes. And the reality is Mark Lunsford and his parents were raising the little girl, had raised her, I think, her whole life. Let`s go out to the lawyers, Richard Herman, Brian Neary.

Brian, you know this guy had a sex predator history. Did you know that? And there he is right there, catty-corner to Jesse Lunsford?

NEARY: I did, Nancy. That might be important with regard to Megan`s Law and those kinds of notifications. People will have to make that judgment. Of course, you know that the jury is not going to be told about that. They`ll decide this case on the facts in this particular case and whatever defense is going to be raised by his lawyers.

GRACE: And you know what? He`s right, Richard Herman. The jury won`t know anything about the priors, one including a 12-year-old little girl that served as a probation revocation, where he went into her bedroom, just the way he did allegedly with Jesse Lunsford, but they may hear about it at penalty phase, if he gets that far. Explain, Richard.

RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, this case is going to be a flash verdict. He`s going to get convicted. It`s going to be open and shut. As a defense attorney, all you can try to do is save this man`s life.

They`re going to use a diminished capacity defense. They`re going to put on a mental health expert. And they`re going to do everything they can to try to save his life, because the evidence is overwhelming. The blood on the mattress, with his DNA and the sperm, it`s over, Nancy. They don`t even need the confessions...

GRACE: You know what? That`s a really good point you said about mental illness.

To you, Bethany Marshall, he seemed pretty coherent behind bars with his latte, yakking about killing Jesse.

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: He seemed pretty coherent to me, too. I understand that the defense is talking about mental retardation. And I want to say that only 5 percent to 8 percent of all sex offenders have formal mental illness.

The fact that he was a drug user complicates the diagnosis, because you cannot diagnose mental illness when a person is a drug user. Probably the mental retardation, if so, it`s very mild. The only way it affected the crime is it lowered his impulse control.



LUNSFORD: I`m confident in the system. I`m confident in the prosecuting attorneys, the state attorney`s office. I`m confident in all those people.


GRACE: There are reports -- out to you, Mark Gelman, Mark Lunsford`s -- that Couey colored throughout the trial. Is that true?

GELMAN: It is. I think he was actually coloring today. From where we`re sitting, it`s kind of hard to see what he`s doing in front of him, but I saw him drawing with some pencils.

GRACE: Bethany Marshall, let`s put Bethany up with the two lawyers. He`s coloring. He`s coloring with crayons and colored pencils.

MARSHALL: Well, I`m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he was trying to say his anxiety.

But I think, most likely, you know, fixated pedophiles, which he was, are very childlike themselves. So this makes an argument for the fact that he is a pedophile, and also he showed tremendous disregard for Jessica Lunsford. He buried her like trash. So the fact that he colored during the trial, it`s just the same kind of disregard that`s so...


GRACE: Richard Herman, I`ve got 20 seconds. What are you going to do with your client coloring with Crayola in front of the jury?

HERMAN: I`d say the guy`s nuts, it`s transparent, and I don`t know what to do with this one, Nancy. It`s very bad.

GRACE: Brian Neary?

NEARY: Coloring doesn`t matter, Nancy. The penalty with regard to the death penalty is going to be made on other issues.

GRACE: Maybe not to you, but I think the Crayola debacle will matter to the jury.

Let`s stop for a moment to remember Army Staff Sergeant Alan Shaw, 31, Little Rock, killed, Iraq. He left school to serve as a Marine, then put the family business on hold to enlist in the Army. He leaves behind a large family, grieving widow, Sarelle (ph), three children, ages 6 to 10. His wife said he lived and breathed his job, even having 0311, a military specialty code, tattooed on his arm. Alan Shaw, American hero.

Thank you to our guests. And our prayers to you, Mark Lunsford. NANCY GRACE signing off for tonight. Why don`t you help us find Wade Steffey? Until tomorrow night, good night, friend.


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