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Shaniya Sold to Pay Drug Debt?

Aired November 18, 2009 - 20:00:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, live, North Carolina. A little 5-year-old girl vanishes without a trace from the child`s own home. Mommy tells police she left the girl on the sofa 5:30 AM. One hour later, the baby`s gone. How? How does a 5-year-old girl go missing from her own sofa? The child wearing nothing but a T-shirt and underwear. Shaniya`s favorite blanket found discarded, covered in feces, in the neighbor`s trash.

After grainy surveillance video surfaces of a 29-year-old man carrying the child in a local hotel room, the search for baby Shaniya comes to an end. Police find her little body hidden in dense woods. The man in the video, Mario McNeill, confesses to taking Shaniya to the hotel, but then clams up. In a heartwrenching and disgusting twist, Shaniya`s own mother behind bars for selling the little girl for sex.

Bombshell tonight. Was 5-year-old Shaniya`s life nothing more than a payment on a drug debt? Reports emerge Mommy owed McNeill money. And speaking of McNeill, why was he walking free, able to take the little girl in the first place? He`s got a rap sheet a mile long, including shooting several people, one in the head and neck -- dope, of course -- and running over a cop. Why wasn`t he in maximum security instead of checking into a hotel with a 5-year-old girl?

And tonight, we confirm another twist. After repeat inspections of Mommy`s house by DFACS, no one bothered to tell Shaniya`s dad. He had no idea. And why did Mommy pull the 5-year-old out of school in October, as soon as Daddy leaves town? Red flags everywhere!

Tonight, as police hint more charges to come, there really are no words to describe this mother. She doesn`t deserve the compliment of "mother." Her and her cohorts` animalistic behavior screams out for the North Carolina death penalty. At this hour, as that tiny body still sits in a cold morgue, we want justice for Shaniya!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We remembered driving through here earlier and smelling something pretty nasty, so we came back to check it, and sure enough, there were deer carcasses and trash. And then some of the officers from the Virgin Islands went through here and actually saw her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) positive ID on the child`s body found dumped on the side of a highway. More horrific charges are expected anytime now.

911 OPERATOR: 911. What`s your emergency?

ANTOINETTE DAVIS, SHANIYA`S MOTHER: Yes, ma`am. My name is Antoinette Davis at (DELETED) Sleepy Hollow.

911 OPERATOR: OK, ma`am. How can I help you?

DAVIS: I woke up this morning and my daughter was not in the house! I don`t know if she walked out or -- I don`t know what`s going on, but she`s not here.

911 OPERATOR: Hold old is your daughter?

DAVIS: She`s 5.

911 OPERATOR: She`s 5?

DAVIS: Yes, ma`am.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did engage in human trafficking with a child as the victim, knowingly provide Shanika (SIC) Davis with the intent she be held in sexual servitude. Do you understand that charge?

GRACE: Have they told anybody what was the cause of death, Byron?

BYRON COLEMAN, SHANIYA`S HALF-BROTHER: They actually -- I haven`t heard anything. I don`t think my father has, either. We`re not really sure of too much yet. We`re still trying to figure it out now, so, I mean...

GRACE: And there`s your dad right there.

COLEMAN: Yes, ma`am.

GRACE: There`s your dad. Would you please...

COLEMAN: I really do want to thank everybody for their support and prayers. I mean, it really does mean a lot. You know, we just want everybody to stay as strong as we`re trying to. I know it`s hard, but -- to the mothers out there, please don`t let this happen to your child.


GRACE: And tonight, live to the heartland. A 9-year-old Missouri girl walks home from a play date only about a thousand feet. Never makes it home. The body of 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten found in a wooded area just houses from her own home. Murder suspect in court today. It`s a 15- year-old girl. Details we learn in court? Stunning, including three causes of death.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you ever had somebody go in and just reach inside you, pull your heart out? That`s what it`s like!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news. The 15-year-old girl accused of brutally murdering little 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten has been certified to stand trial as an adult. Now 15-year-old Alissa Bustamante (ph) is facing first degree murder and armed (ph) criminal action charges that could send her to prison for life without the possibility of parole.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The sheriff wants first degree murder charges, which he plainly says this was something that was planned. He says that they have written evidence and that they`ve also talked with this 15-year- old girl.

GRACE: Malice or premeditation can be formed in the blink of an eye, in the snap of a finger, the time it takes you to raise a gun and pull the trigger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Authorities say Bustamante strangled and stabbed Elizabeth to death just feet from her own home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The mindset of the killer is that there is a preoccupation with wreaking vengeance and seeking harm and rendering the victims into a very helpless state.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In court just moments ago, Bustamante sat shackled and silent as the judge read the charges to a teen not old even enough to vote, a teen who may never see the outside of a jail cell again for crimes allegedly committed against a defenseless 9-year-old girl.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The reality is, if the crime is premeditated, she`s going to be doing some adult time.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Tonight, was 5-year-old Shaniya`s life nothing more than a payment on a drug debt?


911 OPERATOR: What time did you wake up? When did you last see her?

DAVIS: I saw her at 5:30 last night.

911 OPERATOR: At 5:30 last night, is that when you put her to bed?

DAVIS: Yes, ma`am. No, when she went back to bed.

911 OPERATOR: OK. That was 5:00 this morning. Is that what you`re telling me?

DAVIS: Yes, ma`am.

911 OPERATOR: OK. Were there any doors open or anything like that?

DAVIS: She knows how to unlock the front door.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The shocking 911 call from Shaniya Davis`s mom, crying over her 5-year-old daughter, the same mom now charged with selling that beautiful little girl as a sex slave, giving her 5-year-old up as a prostitute.

CAREY LOCKHART-DAVIS, SHANIYA`S AUNT: I kissed her good-bye and I told her to be a good girl! She turned back to me and said, I love you, Aunt Carey, and see you later!

COLEMAN: My father recently gave her, Antoinette, a chance to give the mother a second chance to raise her daughter, I mean, because everybody deserves a second chance. Just like a convicted felon, I mean, he deserves a second chance because he could have changed.

911 OPERATOR: You said none of the doors were open?

DAVIS: No, ma`am, they were locked, but she knows how to unlock the front door.

911 OPERATOR: Was it closed this morning?

DAVIS: Yes, ma`am.

911 OPERATOR: And you said it was around 5:30?

DAVIS: Yes, ma`am.

911 OPERATOR: OK. Have you checked the neighborhood?

DAVIS: I checked everywhere! I haven`t checked the back end of the neighborhood yet, but I checked the front end. I`m just -- I don`t know what else to do. I`m so -- I don`t know what else to do.

BRADLEY LOCKHART, SHANIYA`S FATHER: I ask you to give me and everybody that loved poor Shaniya, my little baby, my angel, the strength to continue on!


GRACE: Straight out to Gurnal Scott with WPTF radio, joining us from Raleigh, North Carolina. Gurnal, thank you for being with us. Gurnal, please tell me I`m wrong. Reports emerging tonight that the life of 5- year-old Shaniya was worth nothing more to the mother than payment on a drug debt.

GURNAL SCOTT, WPTF RADIO: Well, I hope that we can tell you that you`re wrong, but we do know looking back that there is a connection -- they have -- Antoinette Davis and Mario McNeill been together. They`ve hung out together. There may have been a debt that needed to be paid. We are understanding that she may have owed him money. You, I, everyone are finding it hard to believe that a little girl`s life could be used as payment. We don`t want to believe that.

GRACE: OK, Marlaina Schiavo, our producer on the story, let`s just see if we can add two and two together tonight, OK, Marlaina? Work with me. Number one, we know, according to you and your sources last night, that drugs were allegedly sold out of the home, number one. Two, we know Mario McNeill, the 29-year-old man caught on camera taking the child into the hotel room, had a drug history. He`s got a rap sheet as long as the interstate. All right. We know she hands over the baby, according to police, to McNeill, to be a child prostitute. Now, what more do I need to know, Marlaina?

MARLAINA SCHIAVO, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: What you need to know, Nancy, is that, you know, as a result of the drug raid that happened over the summer, they found instruments in the home to manufacture drugs out of her home. We know people were in and out of the home selling drugs. We know that she had dealings with McNeill before Shaniya disappeared, and we know he has a drug history.

Now, you add all of that up, and with what cops are saying, that she owed him money, you would have to conclude that possibly she owed him money for drugs.

GRACE: That is what sources are telling us tonight. To Matt Zarrell, our producer on the story. Matt, let`s talk about McNeill for a moment. What`s his criminal history exactly? Let`s pin it down.

MATT ZARRELL, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Well, you`re right, Nancy, it`s a mile long. It started in June of 2001. He was arrested for shooting someone in the face, neck, shoulders and arms...

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Shooting someone in the face...


GRACE: ... the neck, the shoulders, the arm, and if I`m correct, Matt, two other people. That makes three people were injured in that shooting incident.

ZARRELL: Yes, you`re right, Nancy. And now, what happened was is that he was out waiting on trial. And about a year later, he was arrested again, this time for drug possession. Now, what they did is...

GRACE: Stop. Pause. Pause. Pause. Did you just say that he was out waiting for trial? In other words, a judge let him bond out on a shooting, a multiple shooting?


GRACE: Correct?


GRACE: OK. All right. Go ahead, please. Put that rap sheet back up, Liz.

ZARRELL: OK, so what happens is, is that they consolidate the two cases. He pleads to a lesser -- two lesser assault charges and a less drug charge. He`s given 40 to 50 months of probation for shooting someone in the face.

GRACE: Straight probation for shooting somebody in the face and drug charges. All right, but it doesn`t end there, does it, Matt Zarrell.

ZARRELL: No, it doesn`t. Just a couple months later, he violates his probation. He is arrested again for drug probation. They -- he -- violating his probation -- he is sent to prison. Now, he`s sent to prison from October -- from October 2003 to May 2006.

GRACE: So this is the man that is pictured carrying little 5-year-old Shaniya in his arms into a hotel room. Thanks, Mommy!


COLEMAN: You can see from when Mario was carrying her how Shaniya`s hair was. And in the car, when Shaniya had her hair slicked back, to her birthday party, to her Halloween costume, you can -- Shaniya was well kept with my father. He took very good care of her.




911 OPERATOR: 911. What`s your emergency?

DAVIS: Yes, ma`am. My name is Antoinette Davis at (DELETED) Sleepy Hollow.

911 OPERATOR: OK, ma`am. How can I help you?

DAVIS: I woke up this morning and my daughter was not in the house! I don`t know if she walked out or -- I don`t know what`s going on, but she`s not here.

911 OPERATOR: How old is your daughter?

DAVIS: She`s 5.

911 OPERATOR: She`s 5?

DAVIS: Yes, ma`am.

911 OPERATOR: What time did you wake up? When did you last see her?

DAVIS: I saw her at 5:30 last night.

911 OPERATOR: At 5:30 last night, is that when you put her to bed?

DAVIS: Yes, ma`am. No, when she went back to bed.

911 OPERATOR: OK. That was 5:00 this morning. Is that what you`re telling me?

DAVIS: Yes, ma`am.

911 OPERATOR: OK. Were there any doors open or anything like that?

DAVIS: She knows how to unlock the front door.

GRACE: Have they told anybody what was the cause of death, Byron?

COLEMAN: They actually -- I haven`t heard anything. I don`t think my father has, either. We`re not really sure too much yet. We`re still trying to figure it out now, so I mean...

GRACE: And there`s your dad right there.

COLEMAN: Yes, ma`am.

GRACE: There`s your dad. Would you please...

COLEMAN: I really do want to thank everybody for the support and prayers. I mean, it really does mean a lot. You know, we just want everybody to stay as strong as we`re trying to. I know it`s hard, but -- to the mothers out there, please don`t let this happen to your child.


GRACE: Not only do we learn that Mommy handed over her 5-year-old little girl, Shaniya, to a convicted felon, according to police, we also learn that DFACS, department of family and children`s services, had been to the home on several occasions, but nobody bothered to tell Daddy. He`d been gone about five weeks at the time of the kidnap, leaving his daughter there at the home to allow Antoinette Davis a second chance at being a mom. Almost immediately, she takes the child out of school. Red flags everywhere!

We are taking your calls live. Let`s unleash the lawyers. Joining me out of LA, Gloria Allred, family law attorney, victims` rights advocate, Renee Rockwell, veteran defense attorney in multiple jurisdictions, including Atlanta, and out of the New York jurisdiction, defense attorney Alan Ripka.

Weigh in, Gloria.

GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIMS` RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, it`s really interesting. First of all, why, Nancy, did not the child protective services notify the father? What, in fact, is their policy when one parent is being investigated? Of course, they have a privacy policy, but should that extend to the other parent? I don`t think so. I think they should have notified him.

GRACE: Well, Gloria -- let me see Gloria Allred. Gloria, two words - - they`re sorry. They didn`t do their jobs. Come on! When this child is exposed to that type of environment and you don`t tell the primary custodian, the father, you dropped the ball!

You really think, Renee Rockwell, if that father had known what was going on inside that home, he`d let the girl stay there for five weeks?

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, here`s the disconnect because DSS was actually investigating some problems that were with the 7- year-old son. So I don`t even think that DSS knew that the little girl was in the house, Nancy. So the...

GRACE: OK, put Rockwell up. Put Rockwell up. Renee, you and I have both handled cases that touched on DFACS, and you know one of the first questions they ask is, How many children do you have? One of the first questions!

ROCKWELL: And Nancy, he cannot -- the father of this child cannot beat himself up because...

GRACE: Nobody asked him to! It`s not his fault.

ROCKWELL: I know that, but he`s -- he`s upset about this. He tried to do the right thing. But you`re absolutely right, it`s down to resources. And again, DSS...

GRACE: Put her up!

ROCKWELL: ... dropped the ball.

GRACE: OK, did you hear that, Ripka? Renee says it`s resources. I think it`s somebody didn`t bother to pick up the phone and do their job. Now we`re all Monday morning quarterbacking. What about it, Ripka?

ALAN RIPKA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, at the end of the day, if the father of this child thought that the mother was on drugs or involved with drugs, he would not have given her another opportunity at the child.

GRACE: We know that.

RIPKA: Furthermore, she doesn`t sound like on the 911 tape that she`s on drugs, nor does the way she appears in that tape when she`s being indicted...

GRACE: Is that supposed...

RIPKA: ... does it appear...

GRACE: ... to convince me of something, that she didn`t sound stoned out of her gourd when she called 911? Obviously, according to police, this was a planned phone call. She managed to keep it together for the three minutes she was on the phone call.

RIPKA: But she`s -- she`s got no history of drug abuse in the home, and so this does not seem likely that drugs have to do with this, Nancy.

GRACE: OK. Correction. Back to you, Marlaina Schiavo. Isn`t it true that we have been told by multiple sources that drugs were sold out of the home and drug paraphernalia was found in the home and DFACS checked on the home -- checked out the home because of a drug report?

SCHIAVO: That is all correct, Nancy.

GRACE: OK. We`re taking your calls live. Out to Phyllis in Tennessee. What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. It`s so nice to talk to you.

GRACE: Likewise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m talking about Shaniya`s dad. He said he didn`t know that that trash had taken their daughter out of school, OK? Why didn`t the school contact him? I don`t understand this. I mean, around here, if our kids are out of school and we don`t call and give a reason, they call us.

GRACE: Phyllis, you are so right!



LOCKHART: Well, we`ve talked about social services. I feel if they knew or they were aware of this case, a phone call saying that this was the type of environment -- I don`t know the whole case with Shaniya`s mother and social services at this time, but if they would have known, they should have contacted me.


GRACE: Tonight we learn Shaniya`s father blaming himself for her death. To Jeff Gardere, Dr. Gardere, psychologist, author of "Love Prescription," why? Why is the father blaming himself? There were red flags everywhere, but nobody waved them in front of him.

JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, he`s blaming himself, Nancy, because he felt that he gave the mother a chance to get herself together and perhaps it was the wrong judgment call on his part. So I can understand where he`s coming from. But he should not be blaming himself.

GRACE: Yes, but isn`t that common -- isn`t that common Dr. Jeff, that the survivor, the loved ones, always feel like there was something they should have, could have done to stop what happened?

GARDERE: Oh, absolutely.

GRACE: He had no idea this moron, McNeill, was going to come into the picture and that wife had a drug debt, allegedly. He didn`t know that.

GARDERE: This is very common, and he`s going to be blaming himself for a very long time. But my message to him directly is, Do not blame yourself. Come together with your family and grieve in the proper way. We can all learn from this.

GRACE: Very quickly, to Andrew J. Scott, former chief of police, Boca Raton. He is VP of Scott Robertson Associates. Sir, thank you for being with us. I want to ask you about Phyllis in Tennessee`s question. The child was taken out of school for weeks, but nobody contacted the primary guardian.



SCOTT: It`s a problem on several counts. With regards to, first and foremost, nobody from the school checking in on the parent and on the child as to why the child was pulled out. Secondarily, the father has just as much right to know what the condition of the student is, and particularly being his child, he should have known, as well. And both -- the system has failed completely on many levels for this child.

GRACE: On many, many levels, Andrew.

GRACE: To Howard Oliver, Dr. Oliver, former deputy medical examiner, forensic pathologist. Dr. Oliver, they`re telling me tonight that they haven`t finished the autopsy. That is complete BS. It does not take three days to do an autopsy. It doesn`t! Maybe they`re waiting on toxicology reports. But why would they even say that, because they don`t want to release the outcome yet?

HOWARD OLIVER, FMR DEPUTY MEDICAL EXAMINER, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, that`s correct, Nancy. It only takes about two hours to complete an autopsy. Apparently, they don`t want to release the results because it interferes with the evidentiary gathering at this time.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are also charged with felony child abuse. Do you understand that?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Human trafficking, ma`am, is a class C felony. It is punishable by 261 months in prison. Do you understand that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No further charges will be forthcoming until the jurisdiction has been determined.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: North Carolina prosecutors aren`t filing any other charges against the mother of 5-year-old Shaniya Davis. Not yet, at least. Antoinette Davis is charged with human trafficking and child prostitution. A man caught on hotel surveillance video carrying the child, Mario McNeill, he is facing kidnapping charges. But they said that more charges will follow.

They did say that they feel they have the two main key players in Shaniya`s disappearance behind bars right now.

NANCY GRACE, HOST: I know you guys have seen the mom in court. You have seen the video of that guy and Mario McNeill with her. You guys knew Antoinette. How can she just hand the baby over, Byron?

BYRON COLEMAN, SHANIYA DAVIS` HALF-BROTHER: And that`s something -- I mean it`s something that`s hard to believe a mother would hand her child over to a complete -- I don`t know.

She was real giggling. Once you got to know -- she would not go to any stranger, no male at all. She was real giggly, she was always laughing. And once you get her talking, she would not be quiet. She would talk you to death.

She would take every female -- my girlfriend to female friends that would just come over to visit, aunts, grandmas, and take them in the back and try to do make up with them. Play -- show them all her toys. Shaniya would just -- she was always laughing. You could never see a frown on her face.


GRACE: We are awaiting autopsy results tonight. That tiny body is still at the morgue. We are taking your calls live. Sonja, Oklahoma. Hi, Sonja.

SONJA, CALLER FROM OKLAHOMA: Hi, Nancy. Thanks for taking my call.

GRACE: Thank you for calling in.

SONJA: I`m curious about the custody agreement. If the father had sole custody, can he be charged with leaving her with that monster and not notifying the court where the baby was?

GRACE: Interesting question. I don`t believe the mom had any type of formal custody. What about it, Marlaina Schiavo?

MARLAINA SCHIAVO, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER, COVERING STORY: No. There was no formal custody between the two. I think it was more between the two of them and their agreements together.

GRACE: What about it, Gurnal Scott? Gurnal joining us from WPTF.

GURNAL SCOTT, ANCHOR/REPORTER, WPTF RADIO: We know about no formal custody agreement. And Marlaina is right, it seems to be something the two of them figured out. And again, he trusted her and said I`m going to let my daughter stay with you.

GRACE: Well, bottom line, Gurnal, true. She may be alive today. She would be alive if he hadn`t left her there. That`s true. But you can`t blame him for the criminal act of the mother, allegedly, and McNeill, the doper, the convicted felon.

You can`t blame him for what they did. Yes, in retrospect, he shouldn`t have left her there, but he did not murder the child.

SCOTT: Absolutely not.

GRACE: There`s no doubt in our minds about that. Back to the lines, Susan in Missouri. Hi, Susan.

SUSAN, CALLER FROM MISSOURI: Hi, Nancy. My question is regarding the school. We discussed school, that the child was not in school?

GRACE: Right.

SUSAN: But my question is, was anybody from Shaniya`s family on dad`s side calling or seeing her, contacting her within this five-week period, if the mother was so drugged out all the time?

GRACE: What about it, Matt Zarrell? What do we know?

MATT ZARRELL, NANCY GRACE STAFFER, COVERING STORY: Well, what we`ve been hearing is that the aunt would take her on the weekends occasionally during the five weeks. And she would see her. Now we have her allegations of.

GRACE: Now wait a minute, wait a minute. Hold on. When you say the aunt, you mean the father, biofather`s sister who we saw speaking earlier.

ZARRELL: Yes. Yes.

GRACE: Yes, she took the little quite often. Go ahead.

ZARRELL: OK. Now there have been allegations that while Shaniya was in the home, that there were burns that Shaniya suffered. Now we have talked to the father, the father denies that. He said that Shaniya suffered from eczema, a skin condition, and that`s what caused what appeared to be burns, but was not burns.

GRACE: To Coco in Virginia, hi, Coco.


GRACE: Hi, dear. What`s your question?

COCO: Nancy, first, I want to tell you that I love you so, so much. I have been trying for so, so long to get ahold of you. Thank you for being an advocate for the Holloway case, Caylee Anthony, for all the cases that you do. You`re inspiring me. And after this today, I worked at a telephone company for almost 10 years, but I said I`m going back to school and I want to start out in criminal justice and I want to be a prosecutor like you.

The mom. My question is, how come they haven`t filed murder charges on the mom?

GRACE: Coco in Virginia, number one, other than being called mommy, that`s one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me, what you just said. But, why are they waiting? I think they are waiting -- first of all, they are waiting to identify the body. I think they`re going to come out with a formal announcement that this is her body and a formal announcement of cause of death.

And in that indictment, let`s go to the lawyers, Gloria Allred, Renee Rockwell, Alan Ripka. There may be other charges they are waiting on, Gloria Allred, such as -- they may be waiting on a sex kit, a rape kit result, comparing DNA back to McNeill, and if so, there`s going to be a rape charged, there may be aggravated sodomy charge. And the mother would be complicit in that, too, if those charges are handed down, Gloria.

GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIM`S RIGHTS ATTORNEY, CHILD ADVOCATE: Depending on where the evidence leads. And we don`t know what evidence they`ll have to support those charges.

And Nancy, could we change the law and stop calling it sexual servitude and let`s call it what it should be called, which is sexual slavery? And there are a lot of children that are being sold into sexual slavery. It`s shocking that we don`t hear more about it. But we`re going to have to find out what the evidence is that will support further charges against the mom.

GRACE: Liz, let`s put those stats up about sex slavery amongst children. And I don`t mean over in some other country. I`m not talking about Bangkok. I`m not talking about far, far away, a place you may never have been. I`m talking right here in America where this little child was going to be used before she was murdered.

I want to go to Renee Rockwell and Alan Ripka on that same question. Why the delay in the murder charges, Renee?

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, my understanding is they`re trying to decide where the murder actually took place. But they need to hurry up, Nancy, because both individuals have bonds.



ROCKWELL: If they make bond, they are out of there.

GRACE: I`m sick about that. But the reality is, Renee, one`s got a $50,000, translation $5,000. One`s got a $100,000, translation $10,000 bond. Look, if she was selling her daughter for a drug debt on a hit of crack, she didn`t have $10,000. She had two pennies to rub together.

ROCKWELL: Nancy, maybe not her, but he`s out of there. If somebody goes to a bonding company and makes a promise, he`s out of there.

GRACE: You know what, you`re right, Renee. And I think the bond is way, way too low. I don`t know what that judge was thinking.

To Alan Ripka, defense attorney, New York, another reason they may be waiting on the formal charge, an indictment, is because they may be researching aggravating circumstances. You know they`re not afraid of the death penalty in North Carolina.

ALAN RIPKA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: They certainly are not. But on the other hand, if they determine that the baby was kidnapped from the mother`s house, then she`s never going to be charged with murder. And there`s no -- the tape showing the child going to the motel did not include the mother. So in fact she may not be charged with that at all.

GRACE: Put Ripka up. Alan.


GRACE: We already know the entire 911 call was a fake. So why are you saying -- I want to you to look in the camera, all right? You`re speaking to your friends, your colleagues, people who don`t know you. Why would you say she didn`t know what was happening?

RIPKA: Because there`s no evidence that she knew anyone was going to be murdered.

GRACE: It doesn`t matter. If she knew.

RIPKA: It does make.

GRACE: No, it doesn`t. If she handed that child over for child prostitution and the child ended up dead, that is a felony murder. A death occurred in the commission of a felony.

RIPKA: If, in fact, that`s proven, you`re right. But you first have to prove that she was handing the child over.

GRACE: OK. So to you, Gurnal.

RIPKA: That`s not happening now.

GRACE: Let`s address that. What do we know that suggests the mother knew?

SCOTT: Well, what we are seeing is -- well, with the -- like you said, with the 911 call, the mother may have faked that 911 call. We don`t know that for sure, yet. And police are researching that. It`s still all tied up in the investigation. We don`t know who is in charge. And we`re going to have to find out what people know in order to get to the truth of that.

GRACE: As you know, everyone, November, National Alzheimer`s Awareness Month. Over five million in the U.S. live with it. The seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. It`s a brain disease. Progressive, fatal, no cure. Warning signs, memory loss, misplacing things, changes in mood, personality. Early diagnosis crucial. For information, go to



UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten was brutally murdered. Walking home from a play date, just feet from her house. The alleged killer, 15-year-old, Alyssa Bustamante, who has just been charged as an adult with first degree murder.

SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY & CHILD ADVOCATE: The fact that this juvenile didn`t immediately call in and say that there was an accident leads me to think that this was something may more nefarious than that.

GRACE: A 15-year-old girl is the murder suspect? Not just murder, premeditated malice murder, one suspect. This was planned.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Bustamante now facing life in prison without parole for allegedly strangling and stabbing Elizabeth Olten. Elizabeth`s body found in a nearby wooded area.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: 15-year-old suspect alleged YouTube profile page lists her hobbies including cutting and killing people. The YouTube page also contains disturbing video allegedly showing the teen girl suspect giving herself shocks from an electrified fence on purpose.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A police officer testified in court that Bustamante confessed to killing Elizabeth because she wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone.


GRACE: She actually told the police that was her motive? She wanted to know what it felt like to kill somebody?

Also tonight, we are learning there is evidence that she lured the little girl. A little 9-year-old girl into the woods that she had dug a shallow grave several days before in anticipation of murdering this little girl, Elizabeth Olten.

You are seeing photos that have just been obtained today -- up until today because the alleged perpetrator, a 15-year-old girl, is a juvenile. We haven`t been able to show you her face.

Well, here she is in all her splendor and glory.

Ladd Egan, news director/anchor at KRCG in court today. Ladd, what happened in court?

LADD EGAN, NEWS DIRECTOR/ANCHOR, CNN AFFILIATE KRCG: Well, first of all, 8:00 in the morning, there was a certification hearing. This hearing she came in shackled in an orange jump suit. And this hearing was to decide if she would be better served in a juvenile court system or as an adult.

And at the end of that hearing, the judge said she will be tried as an adult. She was immediately re-arrested by the sheriff there and taken and reprocessed. So -- and a lot of bombshells came out in the court proceedings.

One of those we learned is that the highway patrol investigator said that five days before the murder, on a Friday when school was out, she went out into the woods and dug two graves. Five days then passed. The weekend. She went back to school for three days before the night of the alleged murder.

Also, we learned in court that the highway patrol investigator said that Alyssa Bustamante told him she did the murder, she murdered Elizabeth Olten, the 9-year-old, because she wanted to know what it felt like.

GRACE: OK. Motive evidence out the ying-yang. Of course not to (INAUDIBLE) needs to prove motive.

To you, Ellie Jostad, our chief editorial producer, who has been on the story. Three causes of death, Ellie? One wasn`t enough?

ELLIE JOSTAD, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER, COVERING STORY: Right, Nancy. Well, in the indictment, we learned that she`s charged, mind you, with first degree murder in an armed criminal action. And in the indictment they alleged that she strangled, stabbed and cut the little girls throat.

GRACE: OK. Rupa Mikkilineni, from our staff, our producer also on the story from the very, very beginning.

Rupa, what is the evidence suggesting that she lured the little girl out to the woods to kill her? And isn`t it true that her family had been concerned that she spent so much time in the woods?

RUPA MIKKILINENI, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: That`s right, Nancy. We have heard from neighbors in the community close by that observed, first of all, that the two young girls, the 15-year-old and the 9-year-old.

GRACE: Hold on. Hold on, Rupa. I just want the viewers to know you`re seeing video of this girl, now charged with murder one of a little 9-year-old girl. This is video she herself posted on YouTube or MySpace, showing -- electrocuting herself and her little brothers on an electric fence. Nice.

OK, Rupa.

MIKKILINENI: Right. So the 15-year-old and the 9-year-old -- neighbors have said that the 15-year-old Alyssa Bustamante is quite thin, quite small. There`s no way, according to their observations, that she could have dragged a dead body of a 9-year-old, which is maybe about 60 pounds, 300 or 400 yards outside from the house into the woods where her body was found. So the theory is that the 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten was lured by Bustamante.

GRACE: To Dr. Howard Oliver. Dr. Oliver, stabbed, strangled, throat cut. Why? Why three causes of death? And can you tell which one was the actual cause of death?

HOWARD OLIVER, FMR. DEPUTY MEDICAL EXAMINER; FORENSICS PATHOLOGIST: Well, not all wounds are necessarily deadly. The autopsy will tell which one was deadly. Maybe all three were deadly. But apparently, she wasn`t successful with killing the other child with one or two methods and had to revert to the a third method to finish the little girl off.

GRACE: Elizabeth Olten, 8 years old, on her way home, broad daylight, from a little play date. It turns out the play date`s older sister is Bustamante, the 15-year-old now charged in her brutal murder.

Unleash the lawyers. Gloria Allred, Renee Rockwell, Alan Ripka.

Well, Gloria, tonight we know she will be treated as an adult. But there`s still a chance she can get out in six years. Once there has been a plea or a conviction in this case, the judge will then determine whether she will stay in juvenile or be treated as an adult in the adult penal system.

It`s called dual jurisdiction. What do you think about that? She could walk in six years.

ALLRED: Well, that`s right. Because if she`s treated as a juvenile, then she could walk at age 21. And as an adult, she can get life in prison without the possibility of parole. And so, my sense of it is that it`s highly likely that she will be treated as an adult.

GRACE: Renee, Alan -- first to you, Renee. Let me guess, she`s crazy, right?

ROCKWELL: Nancy, what else is there? There`s got to be a mental defense in this case.

GRACE: At least you`re honest. At least you`re honest. What else is there? Why do you say that, Renee? Why do you say it like that? What else is there?

ROCKWELL: Well, Nancy..

GRACE: Because you know when there`s absolutely nothing you can say, you say insanity.

ROCKWELL: Well, Nancy, she`s not going to be able to use anything else like provocation or some type of self-defense. But you have a situation now that she spilled the beans. She talked about a grave -- two graves, Nancy -- that she dug five days in advance. Can you say premeditation? And the very fact that she`s been certified to be tried as an adult is - she`s clearly facing the possibility that she will spend the rest of her life in jail.


GRACE: Yes, you know, Ripka, Renee is right. You can get life without parole even if you`re a juvenile at the time that you commit the offense. What`s your best defense? Your best defense, Alan Ripka. And I shudder to think who`s going to be in that second grave she dug.

RIPKA: Well, what`s going to happen is that statement is going to be thrown out. That statement is going to be thrown out because the officer shouldn`t have took it because she was a minor. And as a result of not having.

GRACE: What, what -- put him up.

RIPKA: . they will not have corroborating evidence to get a prosecution in this case. If nothing else is.

GRACE: Do you have any idea whether anybody was with her such as a guardian or a lawyer at the time of the statement? You don`t, do you?

RIPKA: My assumption there wasn`t because there`s been no report.

GRACE: So that says a big fat no to me.

RIPKA: Well, Nancy, assuming there was no guardian, and this officer improperly.


RIPKA: . violated her rights.

GRACE: Everyone, on a happy note, happy 86th to Florida friend Claire. A mother of two songs, grandmother of two grandsons. Loves HLN, movies, and playing cards with, quote, "the girls."

Happy birthday, beautiful, beautiful Claire.





BUSTAMANTE: OK. I`m about to grab this electric fence with my hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you kidding?

BUSTAMANTE: Oh, my god. OK.



GRACE: Yes, that`s what all normal 15-year-old girls do in their spare time. They shock themselves with an electric fence on YouTube. They post it on YouTube, along with shocking their little brothers. That is video from YouTube of Bustamante shocking herself. I guess that`s not going to come into evidence, defense attorneys.

Out to the lines, Amy in Pennsylvania. Hi, Amy

AMY, CALLER FROM PENNSYLVANIA: Hi, Nancy, how are you?

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

AMY: I am just a little bit curious here how we haven`t heard any responsibility to the 15-year-old`s parents. It seems to me that there are probably attorneys there hush-hushing something because I have three teenage boys. And if they get detention, I want to know what`s going on in their life.

GRACE: Good question. What do we know, Ellie Jostad, about her home situation?

JOSTAD: Well, Nancy, we don`t know much about her parents. We do know, however, that her grandmother has been her legal guardian for at least eight years since 2001.

GRACE: Well, hold on, Miss Ellie. My grandmother -- God rest her soul -- helped raised me, too. So if anyone is casting aspersions on a grandmother being part of your upbringing, that`s no good. But what about, Gloria, Alan? Do you think that`s going to come up at trail, Gloria?

ALLRED: No, I don`t think it`s going to come up in trial. I think it`s about her responsibility, that is the defendant`s lack of responsibility or what she did and that`s about it.

GRACE: Yes. Ripka?

RIPKA: I think I`m going to have the grandmother on the stand discussing, or you know, a family member discussing what she`s been like her entire life and why she needed to do this thing.

GRACE: Rupa, when will this go trial?

MIKKILINENI: Nancy, December 7th is the next court date. But that`s just a status hearing we`re hearing right now.

GRACE: Everyone, let`s stop and remember, Army Specialist Jonathan Welch, 19, Yorba Linda, California, killed, Afghanistan. Wanted to be in the Army since he was six. Loved music especially punk rock. Leaves behind parents Ben and Gina, brother Daniel, sister Mary.

Jonathan Welch, American hero.

Thanks to our guests but especially to you for being with us, inviting us into your home. I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.