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NANCY GRACE

DA Releases Name, Photo of 14-Year-Old Accused of Killing Baby

Aired October 3, 2012 - 20:00   ET

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


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, live, Lakeland, Florida. Mommy, picking up after her 14-year-old girl, gets the shock of a lifetime. There in a cardboard shoebox wrapped in wet, filthy laundry, Mommy finds a full-term baby boy dead, brutally beaten, 32 blows to the baby`s head, blunt force trauma, manual strangulation. Mommy says her little 14-year- old girl was never pregnant, that she took two pregnancy tests, both negative.

Tonight, the awful truth. The 14-year-old girl runs water over two pregnancy test sticks, hides her stomach, pries the baby out of her vagina with scissors, then beats and strangles the baby boy, still attached to the umbilical cord, to death in the family bathroom.

Bombshell tonight. After sheriffs release the name and mugshot of the 14-year-old girl, outrage by many, claiming her privacy violated, even though she`s charged with murder one. If she did that to a puppy or a kitten, she would be behind bars, much less to a tiny baby. She murders her tiny baby boy with her bare hands, and she claims she`s the victim?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

911 OPERATOR: She said that she found the baby? (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Mother, sister are there. They called me and told me to get right over there, they found the baby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The young girl, 14 years old, charged with murder.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a fetus. My niece apparently had a miscarriage the other day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She delivered the baby into the toilet. She took the baby from the toilet. She checked it for a pulse, and it was moving, and then she choked it to death.

911 OPERATOR: So are you wanting your niece checked out or -- I`m not...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. There`s a fetus -- there`s a 5-month-old -- 5-month -- when a lady is pregnant, they are 5 months. The baby is here. We don`t know what to do with it.

911 OPERATOR: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don`t know how it got here or where they found it or how it got there.

911 OPERATOR: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But there`s a fetus that is in this house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She said, I didn`t know what to do with it.

911 OPERATOR: You don`t know where she found it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They will have to talk to the mother when they - - when she gets here, but right now, it`s in the kitchen sink.

911 OPERATOR: Did she hide it or -- ?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Listen, Wednesday, we noticed -- her mother has been, like, noticing her gaining weight. She did a pregnancy test, and (INAUDIBLE) we don`t give a -- anyway, it came out negative, which the girl just ran it under water. So Wednesday, she was taking her to a doctor. And apparently, sometime Wednesday morning, before she went to the doctor...

911 OPERATOR: She miscarried the baby?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know! I don`t know what happened. The only thing I know, when she got to the hospital (INAUDIBLE) I guess the cops were called because they said it looked like she was brutally, brutally raped, but she wasn`t. She wouldn`t talk to the cops or the social workers. But anyway, after Wednesday, they still sent her home, and this baby`s been in this house the whole time and nobody knew it! This little girl needs (INAUDIBLE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

Bombshell tonight. To Lakeland, Florida. Mommy picks up after her 14-year-old girl, gets the shock of a lifetime. In a cardboard shoebox in wet, filthy laundry, she finds a full-term baby boy dead, brutally beaten, 32 blows to the baby`s head, manual strangulation, as well.

Now sheriffs released the name and mugshot of the 14-year-old girl, sparking outrage by many, claiming the girl`s privacy is violated, even though she`s charged with murder one.

Now, let me get this straight. She allegedly murders her baby boy. She checks to see if he has a pulse. He`s still attached to her body by the umbilical cord, as she is beating him and strangling him to death. Now she`s the victim.

All right, I just want to make sure I framed that scenario correctly.

Out to David Lohr, senior crime reporter with HuffingtonPost. David, number one, what do we know about where the girl is being housed? And why did the sheriff in Florida choose to release her mugshot and her name?

DAVID LOHR, HUFFINGTONPOST (via telephone): Well, Nancy, the young lady is being held in a juvenile detention center right now. They haven`t decided whether to charge her as an adult. According to the sheriff, he had no choice but to release her name. In Florida, you have the sunshine law. This was a felony case. So even though she was a juvenile, because it was a felony, he had no choice but to release her name and photo to the media.

GRACE: The Florida sunshine law declares, everyone -- here`s the theory behind that, that there`s no detergent like sunshine, that everything should be in the open, that there are no secret proceedings or secret goings on. And in Florida, that is carried to the max. It`s one of the most open states in our country.

A lot of outcry tonight that that should not be applied to juveniles. As you know, almost always, even in divorce proceedings or custody proceedings, the child`s name is kept secret. So why is this decision by the sheriff sparking so much anger?

Do you want to see the girl`s photo and her name? She`s charged with murder one. At this hour, it is being contemplated whether she will be tried as an adult and bound over to superior court like other felons.

Out to Rachel Kent, social media expert. Rachel, what`s happening? Why is everybody so angry that the sheriff acted under the law?

RACHEL KENT, NANCY GRACE SOCIAL MEDIA PRODUCER: People are really angry that her picture is being released and her name. It`s all over the Internet. And they think -- some people on social media think it should be released. Some people don`t. There`s a lot -- there`s a big discussion about it on line. But most people are saying that she`s this little girl. She`s 14 years old. We can`t show her picture. We shouldn`t name her.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Karen in Louisiana. Hi, dear. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I have a comment and a question. If this was a boy, it would -- his name would have been out -- you know -- you know, God would have got the news before we did, you know? But my question is, is that -- I have a daughter. And I pretty much know -- as a teenager, you see changes in them and you don`t -- sometimes, you know, parents have a blind eye.

But I was wondering if this girl was messing with drugs or substances or something because, you know, of her -- I don`t know. It`s just -- I think if she -- if she was well aware, then she needs to be treated as an adult. You know, as a mother, I would have to do the same thing.

GRACE: OK, let`s talk about it. We`re taking your calls. First of all, to Eleanor Odom, felony prosecutor, death penalty-qualified, former senior attorney with the National District Attorneys Association.

Eleanor, you and I have both prosecuted in juvie, juvie, juvenile jail, all right? They`re not trials. You basically sit around with a juvie judge, who is appointed, not elected. And you`ve got a defense attorney sometimes. Usually, you got a social worker. And you kind of sit around and discuss the case and decide what`s the best outcome.

That is not a jury trial. And in most jurisdictions, the max that a child can get is five years. So weigh in, El.

ELEANOR ODOM, PROSECUTOR: Well, that`s right, Nancy. And I see every indication that she`ll be charged as an adult, which you can do for a murder case. And this is first-degree murder, pure and simple. That should not be handled in juvenile court because there, you don`t have the punishments that you do in adult court.

GRACE: Let`s go out to Bonnie Druker, joining us -- can you tell me what`s going on regarding where she is, what is happening to this girl behind bars? What is the schedule? What`s the daily life for this 14- year-old girl charged with the murder of her infant child?

He was a full-term baby boy. It was not a miscarriage. He was alive and breathing and crying when she pried him out of her vagina with scissors in the family bathroom, this after faking two EPT pregnancy tests by running them under the water instead of urinating on them, hiding her stomach for months, declaring she wasn`t pregnant.

Bonnie, where is she housed? What is her living situation? What are the amenities? Tell me, what do you know?

BONNIE DRUKER, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Nancy, she is in the juvenile detention center. She is eating bologna every day. She is getting classes. She is being well taken care of. We understand that she is behaving.

GRACE: Wa-wa wa-wait! Did I hear you -- were you trying to whine something about she`s having to eat bologna every day? Did you just say that?

DRUKER: Nancy, I disagree...

GRACE: Am I supposed to feel bad that she`s getting bologna?

DRUKER: No, I just disagree with you. I -- I think...

GRACE: I didn`t ask you whether you agree with me, Bonnie, no offense. I`ve got X number of minutes to cover this. I didn`t ask you that you`re sad she had bologna. I asked you where she`s being housed, what are the amenities, tell me about her life. Can you do that?

DRUKER: Yes.

GRACE: And after that, I will ask you to tell me about the life of the baby`s corpse, all right? Now tell me about the girl.

DRUKER: OK. She is in juvenile detention center. Right now, the DA is trying to decide whether to charge her as an adult. If he does that, she will be moved. She is getting bologna sandwiches. She is getting classes. She is sleeping in a dorm-like facility, Nancy.

GRACE: In a dorm. OK, why don`t I just Q&A with myself? I will answer the question I asked you. Wake up 5:00 AM, breakfast served to her, shower if she wants it. School at 8:15. All subjects are taught there, just as if she were in her regular school. In fact, they`re taught by the same school board, Polk County school board. Recreation time -- she has recess, 9:15, 10:15, lunch, rec time in the middle of the day, supper, snacks, lights out at 11:00 PM.

All right, here`s typical oatmeal, wheat bread, jelly, milk, lunch, soup, fruit, crackers, milk. Tonight, dinner is chicken fritters, white rice, chicken gravy, greens, mixed vegetables, bread and milk. Lives in a dorm. They are pods, so she`s living with just a few other girls. TV, books, reading material, Outdoor time, gym time.

All right, now, what were you saying about her eating bologna?

DRUKER: Nancy, I`m not saying anything. I just -- as I said earlier, I just disagree with this. I don`t think her picture should be up here. I just disagree. Where was her family? I feel like the system failed her. If this was your daughter, you would know she was pregnant.

GRACE: Excuse me. You just lumped in about 10 different thoughts. Let`s try, as we learned in law school, to marshal our thoughts in a coherent manner.

Now, let`s start with, where is her family? Her family has been very, very supportive and have stated numerous times if she had come to them, she would not have had the problem, she would not have had the incident of murdering her baby still attached to her umbilical cord.

And Bonnie, you keep saying you disagree with me, but surprise to you, I do not believe a child`s picture or name should be published. I do not believe that because we are angry -- or at least I`m angry -- about the crime that that should change the law.

Bonnie, we are a nation governed by law, not people. That is what sets us apart from the animals swinging out in the jungle is that we have rules, Bonnie. And I am not advocating that the rules be bent because I don`t like this crime. If she is bound over and treated as an adult, that`s a different matter.

Unleash the lawyers, Eleanor Odom, Eric Schwartzreich joining me out of Miami, Peter Odom, defense attorney, Atlanta. All right, Peter Odom, weigh in.

PETER ODOM, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, I don`t think that we should be prosecuting children. This is a little girl. We shouldn`t be prosecuting children the same way we do adults because they are different. Their minds work differently. They`re not fully developed now.

This is a particularly brutal crime...

GRACE: Could I ask you...

PETER ODOM: ... but we shouldn`t let...

GRACE: ... a question, Peter?

PETER ODOM: We shouldn`t let the brutality of these facts let us lose sight of the fact that she is a little girl.

GRACE: Raising your voice does not deter me. OK. Let me ask you a couple of questions. If you can answer rapid-fire, I would appreciate it. Where is she being housed at this hour, Peter Odom? Is she in adult prison?

PETER ODOM: Apparently, she is in a juvenile detention facility.

GRACE: OK, so the answer would be no. She`s with other girls her age. So in fact, she`s not being treated as an adult. Is she allowed to see her family throughout the day?

PETER ODOM: The DA`s office is weighing whether to prosecute her as an adult. When you ask me to weigh in...

GRACE: The answer would be...

PETER ODOM: ... on that...

GRACE: ... yes.

PETER ODOM: ... my answer would be...

GRACE: She`s not being treated...

PETER ODOM: ... she shouldn`t be.

GRACE: ... as an adult. She`s being treated as a child at this juncture. And Peter Odom, isn`t it true that you have prosecuted juveniles in adult court?

PETER ODOM: And defended them. I`ve done both.

GRACE: So that would be a yes, is it not?

PETER ODOM: I am telling you my personal feeling on this, Nancy. I do not believe that as a society, we should be prosecuting children. That`s correct.

GRACE: I`m not necessarily disagreeing with you in this matter because I don`t feel we`ve enough facts at this juncture to make the decision.

PETER ODOM: Well, that`s true, too.

GRACE: To Eric Schwartzreich. She`s being treated as a juvenile. So the law in Florida says the sheriff is supposed to. It directs him to release that information to the public. What did he do wrong?

ERIC SCHWARTZREICH, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, that`s a different issue. Under the law, he did nothing wrong. But what`s happened here is a scarlet letter A has been tagged forever on this child. Society is going to be judged or the United States is going to be judged how you treat your -- treat your children, your prisoners and your elderly people.

GRACE: Which...

(CROSSTALK)

SCHWARTZREICH: These are children, Nancy! One tragedy...

GRACE: ... are you talking about, the 14-year-old...

SCHWARTZREICH: I`m talking about a 14-year-old girl, Nancy.

GRACE: ... or the baby boy that was brutally murdered, still attached to the umbilical cord?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Accused of choking her newborn baby boy to death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My sister called me from in my home, and she said they found the baby. I don`t know where the baby has been located at, if it`s in the home in the bathroom...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Investigators say Mom insisted that she never new her girl was pregnant.

911 OPERATOR: Did she hide it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Listen, Wednesday, we noticed -- her mother has been, like, noticing her gaining weight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The mother was in absolute total denial.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: And tonight, controversy, outrage has been sparked when the sheriff, pursuant to Florida law, releases the 14-year-old girl`s name and mugshot. We are not doing that on our program. There`s a very good chance she`s going to be treated as an adult. When she`s in adult court, that`s a different matter.

Elena, North Carolina. Hi, Dear. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I want to start out by saying I love you. You`re a voice in the dark for children in the United States. If it weren`t for you, the children would be lost.

GRACE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You cause people to see what`s going on beneath the darkness.

GRACE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question for you is, how long was the child in the box? Did the girl go about her normal life without medical attention after giving birth to this child, or was it found soon after the birth? How long (INAUDIBLE)

GRACE: The baby was in the box, we think, several days, wrapped in wet, filthy laundry before the mom noticed a putrid smell in her daughter`s room.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

911 OPERATOR: So are you wanting your niece checked out or -- I`m not...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No! There`s a fetus. There`s a 5-month-old -- 5-month -- when a lady is pregnant, they are 5 months -- the baby is here and we don`t know what to do with it.

911 OPERATOR: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don`t know how it got here or where they found it or how it got there.

911 OPERATOR: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But there`s a fetus that is in this house.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: We are taking your calls. Tonight, outrage after the sheriff in Polk County releases the photo, the mugshot and the name of the 14-year- old girl accused of prying her full-term baby boy out of her vagina with a pair of scissors, then beating and strangling him to death manually while he`s still attached to her umbilical cord.

Out to the lines. To Chris in Colorado. Hi, Chris.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How you doing, Nancy? I just wanted to... GRACE: I`m good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... let you know that we really appreciate what you do with our kids. When they`re lost, you help find them. When they`re killed, you help find the murderers.

My question is, when is all this going to stop with kids killing their kids?

GRACE: Unleash the lawyers. Eleanor Odom, Peter Odom, Eric Schwartzreich from Miami. We`ve all handled juvenile cases, but Caryn Stark, it goes beyond what a court can do. It`s beyond what a judge or a prosecutor or lawyer can do.

CARYN STARK, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, Nancy, particularly when you look at the age. This is a 14-year-old. If you examined the history of anyone who`s a psychopath -- and I`m not saying or accusing that she is, but nevertheless, you see that there`s a history of destroying animals, hitting animals, abusing animals.

This was a baby attached to her, and she was able to treat it as though it was an object. So that`s a bad sign.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

911 OPERATOR: She said that she found the baby? Did she (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Mother, sister are there. They called me and they told me to get right over there. They found the baby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A young girl, 14 years old, charged with murder.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a fetus. My niece apparently had a miscarriage the other day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She delivered the baby into the toilet. She took the baby from the toilet. She checked it for a pulse, and it was moving, and then she choked it to death.

911 OPERATOR: So are you wanting your niece checked out or -- I`m not...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No! There`s a 5-month-old -- 5-month -- when a lady is pregnant, they are 5 months -- the baby is here and we don`t know what to do with it.

911 OPERATOR: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don`t know how it got here, where they found it or how it got there.

911 OPERATOR: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But there`s a fetus that is in this house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She said, I didn`t know what to do with it.

911 OPERATOR: You don`t know where they found it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They will have to talk to the mother when they - - when she gets here. But right now, it`s in the kitchen sink.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: We are live and taking your calls. Tonight, outrage sparked by a Florida sheriff`s decision to post, to release the face and name of a 14-year-old girl charged with prying her unborn child -- he was a full-term baby boy being delivered -- prying him from her vagina with a pair of scissors while still attached to her by the umbilical cord. She allegedly beats him to death, 32 blows to the face, neck and head, and manually strangles the child.

Then her mother gets the shock of a lifetime when she finds the dead corpse of the baby boy in a shoebox wrapped in wet, filthy laundry in the girl`s room.

Tonight, she is in juvie jail. The big decision, whether to release that name and photo, that mugshot. Do you think it should be public? Would you want to see that?

Why shouldn`t it? She strangles and beats her infant child to death there in the family bathroom, after lying to her family for months that she`s not pregnant. Yet she says she`s the victim.

The law is, in many jurisdictions, that a child`s name, a child being a juvenile under 18, is kept secret. Why should we violate that law? Or should we?

I`m getting a flood of e-mails, and most of them deal with the Country Western song sang by Pam Tillis (ph), "Call Me Cleopatra Because I`m the Queen of Denial." A lot of people are also calling for the prosecution of the girl`s family for allowing this to happen. Well, that is not going to take place in an American court of law. Any and all responsibility, if any, is going to be placed on the girl.

We are taking your calls. Out to Shara, North Carolina. Hi, Shara. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, ma`am. I was just wondering, though, when her mother took her to the ER for examination of a miscarriage, upon them doing their exam, did they not find any trauma from the scissors?

GRACE: It`s my understanding that they did, Shara in North Carolina, that a lot of the blood that her mother found in the bathroom was actually where she had cut herself, digging the child out of her vagina with a pair of scissors. That`s the way I understand it.

Out to Brett Larson, investigative reporter. What do you know, Brett?

BRETT LARSON, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, Nancy, that is absolutely true. Her mother did take her to the hospital the day that she delivered the baby in the bathroom. And I guess that is when the reality of what had happened set in, though no questions until the baby was found by the mother.

But -- and as you`ve said many times, friends and even family members had said all along that they thought the girl was pregnant.

GRACE: To Dr. Kent Harshbarger, medical examiner, forensic pathologist. Dr. Harshbarger, the blood the mother found in the bathroom - - is there a way to forensically determine, was that part of the birth process? Was that the child`s, the baby`s blood, or was that a result of the girl digging the child with scissors out of the birth canal?

DR. KENT E. HARSHBARGER, MEDICAL EXAMINER (via telephone): We could determine if it was the child`s -- the infant`s blood because the father`s DNA would be present, as well. You could test the blood and determine if it`s the infant. What you could not determine is if it`s mother`s blood from cutting herself or from the delivery process itself.

GRACE: OK, so when you bleed in the delivery process, that`s blood out of your veins. It`s not blood related to the placenta or any other blood that would be different from the blood in your veins, running through your body?

HARSHBARGER: The placenta would be. But most of the blood that`s going to be forensically detected at the scene is going to be from her own body and her DNA. The baby and the placenta might have a mosaic. You could find some bleeding there, but...

GRACE: What`s a mosaic?

HARSHBARGER: A composition of the father and mother, basically.

GRACE: Ah. OK. I understand. I don`t know how much the mother cleaned up the bathroom. That`s how she found it. She was cleaning the bathroom when she found all this blood from where the child, the girl pried the baby out of her birth canal.

Joining me right now, producer Wendy Whitman. Wendy, why the outrage?

WENDY WHITMAN, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER (via telephone): Well, it really bothers me when I hear people say you shouldn`t treat, quote, "children" legally the way you would treat an adult. If you just look at the facts of this case, it was an extremely brutal murder. It was planned. She even knew enough to check for the pulse before and after she strangled him for a full minute. This is her own child.

I don`t know how you could face first degree murder charges under a fact pattern like this and not be tried as an adult. And I think that you can make a lot of excuses for people who are under age, but not when it comes to cold-blooded murder.

GRACE: So Wendy Whitman, the reality is that Florida law demands that this be public.

WHITMAN: Yes, the law says -- I don`t really -- to me, the issue really isn`t identifying her. To me, the issue is what happened. And I think she committed a very deliberate -- I would consider it premeditated because she checked for the pulse. And then she strangled him and then she checked for the pulse again to make sure he was dead. I mean, I...

GRACE: Stay with me, Wendy Whitman. Hold on. Out to you, Odom. Response, Peter Odom?

PETER ODOM: Yes, I just disagree. I just disagree with Wendy. You know, she feels differently...

GRACE: Can you give me more than "I disagree"?

PETER ODOM: Here`s why, Nancy. I don`t feel that the brutality of the crime means that we should change our policy of society. As the other attorney said, we will be judged as a society...

GRACE: OK...

PETER ODOM: ... on how we treat the elderly and our children.

GRACE: I`ve heard the speech, but thank you.

PETER ODOM: You`re welcome.

GRACE: As a matter of fact, Eleanor Odom, the whole point here is that that is the law in Florida. I mean, Peter Odom is just chasing his tail. I mean, what`s he going to do when he catches it? He`s saying, Follow the law, follow the law. The law is that her name and her face be revealed. That`s the law. So his argument is a non sequitur. It doesn`t follow. It doesn`t make sense.

ELEANOR ODOM: Well, and we can`t do anything about it. I mean, the law is the law. We can`t change the law in Florida. If they want to change it regarding juveniles, they can. I mean, it`s unfortunate that a juvenile`s picture has been published before she`s been charged as an adult. Once they`re charged as an adult, though, all bets are off. That picture would be published. The name would be published. Everything would be out there for the public consumption.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: Back 90 seconds. We remember Army Specialist Robert Donenski (ph), 19, Peoria, Arizona, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, amateur boxer, loved sports, parents Linda (ph) and Gankgo (ph), brother Chris (ph), Robert Donenski, American hero.

And tonight, happy birthday to our superstar Atlanta Hawks fan Adrian (ph). Isn`t he handsome?

Back in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess my sister -- my sister is the one that found it. Yes, get somebody here quick! Please, please, please, get somebody here quick! It`s a full -- please!

911 OPERATOR: We`re on the way. We`re on the way. Stop. Listen. We`re on the way. Just get away from it for right now, OK? Ma`am?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

911 OPERATOR: OK, just keep everyone out of the room where the fetus is, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes!

911 OPERATOR: I know it`s hard, but we have help on the way, OK? Just stay on the line, OK?

(END AUDIO CLIP)

GRACE: We are taking your calls tonight. Outrage after a Florida sheriff publishes the face -- the mugshot -- and the name of a 14-year-old girl charged with locking herself in the family bathroom and prying her full-term, living baby boy out of her birth canal with scissors, then strangling and beating him to death while he`s still attached to the umbilical cord.

Now, that`s something I never thought I`d say when I was studying in law school, but there you have it. The law is in Florida that that name and mugshot cannot be shielded, as it is in many other states.

To Wendy Whitman. Wendy, I don`t understand the outrage if that`s the law in Florida, but it leads me to the question, why in Florida, when the majority of U.S. states do not allow the publication of a name or mugshot or the release of identity of a juvenile, a minor.

WHITMAN: I think it`s interesting that people seem more upset about her identity than about what she did. And her crime was very brutal and very calculated.

And I wanted to respond to something Peter Odom said. We should be judged as a society by how we punish killers and the worth we place on the lives of murder victims. And coddling kids, teenagers 14 and up who did incredibly violent stuff -- that doesn`t show -- speak well for society. That`s my opinion.

GRACE: And another thing. While we`ve got Peter Odom on the air -- please put him back. Let`s see him and Schwartzreich and Eleanor.

Odom, when I tried to pin you down and asked you had you ever prosecuted a juvenile for an adult crime in adult court, you tried to wiggle out of it. You wouldn`t say yes, you wouldn`t say no.

PETER ODOM: I don`t think I was wiggling.

GRACE: You tried to smile and look handsome for the camera. You went, Oh, no, I defended them.

PETER ODOM: I think I answered your question.

GRACE: But you prosecuted them, too, didn`t you.

PETER ODOM: Yes, I did.

GRACE: All right. And what type of crimes are generally prosecuted when a juvenile is the defendant in adult court? What type of designated felonies are prosecuted in adult court?

PETER ODOM: Generally, they`re the serious felonies.

GRACE: Let`s just get right down to it, Eleanor, since he won`t answer. They are the deadly seven.

ELEANOR ODOM: Yes...

GRACE: Murder...

PETER ODOM: That`s state by state.

GRACE: Rape, armed robbery, aggravated assault...

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: ... and there you go. There you go. Those seven...

PETER ODOM (?): That`s terrific.

GRACE: ... are prosecuted almost hands down as adult crimes. So Eleanor, why all the uproar?

ELEANOR ODOM: I don`t know, Nancy. And I can understand. It`s a horrible thing all the way around. But let`s focus, too, on this victim. This victim wasn`t a 5-month-old fetus. It was a fully formed 9-and-a- half-pound baby boy that she strangled and caused blunt force trauma about this child. That means she hit the child. That means she banged the child on some hard object.

There`s more to it than just, Oh, this was a fetus and this was just something she didn`t want. There was a lot of planning in it, Nancy. And that`s what concerns me.

GRACE: Marie in Nebraska. Hi, Marie. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello?

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is pertaining to her age. You had asked if I feel that if a minor 14 years of age, knowing the crime that she committed, that it was premeditated, if I feel she that should be tried as an adult, and also if I feel that her face and identity should be notified to the public. And I agree with you 100 percent.

GRACE: All right, weigh in, Schwartzreich.

SCHWARTZREICH: It`s no bombshell tonight, Nancy, that a 14-year-old child doesn`t have the same capability as someone that`s older and someone that`s in their 20s, 30s. This is a young child. We have to be very careful how we treat our children. She`s 14 years old.

GRACE: Are you talking about the dead baby boy?

SCHWARTZREICH: I`m not talking about the dead baby. That`s a tragedy...

GRACE: Of course not!

SCHWARTZREICH: ... and that`s awful, awful, Nancy. But the bottom line is -- an I know you know this because you protect children. You make your life protecting children. This 14-year-old is a baby. We need to look at the facts. Does she have a prior criminal history? That`s something they talk about when you consider the seven...

GRACE: So now wait a minute. You`re telling me...

SCHWARTZREICH: ... crimes that...

GRACE: ... if she had ever shoplifted at the 7-Eleven, then maybe her picture should be released? It depends on her reputation and character?

SCHWARTZREICH: I think -- that`s -- that`s a different issue, Nancy.

GRACE: Well, that`s what you just said.

SCHWARTZREICH: You`re talking about the sunshine -- no, releasing her name -- we have a sunshine law. But we need to balance the interests. Someone`s presumed innocent until proven guilty. In this day and age, proliferation of Facebook, social media, Twitter, everything is out in the open. But to release a juvenile`s name that she`s presumed innocent...

GRACE: Well, wait a minute!

SCHWARTZREICH: ... until proven guilty...

GRACE: Put up Schwartzreich!

SCHWARTZREICH: ... Nancy, that`s a problem. But it is a problem, Nancy.

GRACE: Everything...

SCHWARTZREICH: It really is.

GRACE: ... is not out in the open. Have you seen her picture on this show? Have you heard me say her name?

SCHWARTZREICH: Nancy, that`s because you`re taking the high road and being a class act when you`re not doing it.

GRACE: So the answer would be no.

SCHWARTZREICH: You know why you`re not doing that? Because you protect children -- because you protect children, as well, Nancy. This is a tragedy.

GRACE: Well, here`s why.

SCHWARTZREICH: You can`t just look at this on one way.

GRACE: Here`s why we`re not. Because in most jurisdictions, the face of a juvenile and their name is kept secret.

SCHWARTZREICH: Nancy, I believe you`re doing it...

GRACE: And what concerns...

SCHWARTZREICH: ... because you`re above the fray.

GRACE: Oh, I`m hearing something. And what concerns me...

SCHWARTZREICH: I`m sorry. You`re above the fray on this.

GRACE: OK, cut his mike. And what concerns me here, Schwartzreich, is that not whether the public gets to see her face or hear her name. What concerns me is that we get justice in this case. I want the correct outcome. And right now, I don`t really know what the outcome should be.

Everyone, I want to remind you, Friday night, 8:00 o`clock Eastern, please join me, kick back. Cold-blooded murder, gambling, jealousy -- inside the most baffling, the most heinous crimes ever committed, cutting- edge technique meets science combined with crime sleuthing.

We uncover what makes the average man or woman cross the line and commit murder. Sometimes, the answer is simple. Other times, the answer is never found.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

911 OPERATOR: Did she (INAUDIBLE) if it was breathing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They don`t know how to handle things like I do.

911 OPERATOR: OK. But did they (INAUDIBLE) that the baby was breathing or...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. It was a -- it was a fetus. My niece apparently had a miscarriage the other day.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

GRACE: Out to the lines. Miranda in Ohio. Hi, Miranda. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I just want to know why this judge (ph) gentleman is saying, Let`s remember she`s a child. Obviously, she was having sex, so obviously, she knew what she was doing when she got pregnant with this child.

GRACE: OK. To you, Steve Kardian, former police detective and instructor, Defend University. Response to Miranda`s question?

STEVE KARDIAN, FMR. POLICE DETECTIVE: Social media is a very powerful tool, Nancy. We don`t like to see a 14-year-old girl`s picture posted. I don`t need to see it. But when she committed that crime, according to Florida state law, she gave up her right to privacy. So it`s not a socially acceptable thing, but it`s one we have to live with right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re getting help, young lady. You`re getting some help. (INAUDIBLE)

911 OPERATOR: Don`t engage with her right now, OK? Wait until the officers get there and they`ll talk to her, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. We thought the baby was smaller than this. But it`s not. It could have lived!

(END AUDIO CLIP)

GRACE: To Patricia. Hi, Patricia. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Nancy, I was wondering, when she was having the baby, you know, she was evidently reaching up in there with scissors, stabbing it and pulling it out to get it out of her because she was in so much pain. But I was wondering if the stab things would have killed it anyway, or after -- I know she choked it to death afterwards. Not that it would matter, but...

GRACE: Patricia, that is an excellent question. It`s an excellent question. The answer is -- out to Dr. Kent Harshbarger, medical examiner, forensic pathologist. The cause of death is manual strangulation. Many people believe that some of the 32 lacerations and blows to the baby`s head are from the scissors, Doctor.

HARSHBARGER: That`s possible. The scissors didn`t kill her because there would have been a puncture wound. So what we have is the prying mechanism or the scissors pushing on the scalp and crushing it and causing the damage, but not stabbing into the head. And that would have been seen at the autopsy. So we would have known if the scissors directly killed the child as an impaling injury versus a crushing injury, as she`s prying on the baby`s head.

GRACE: And Dr. Harshbarger, how can you look at a corpse -- this is a corpse of a fetus, a full-term, healthy baby boy -- and know that the cause of death was manual strangulation versus the blows to the head?

HARSHBARGER: That`s a really tough question, Nancy, and it makes it even more difficult in that three days have passed since the time of death.

GRACE: Would you be able to determine possibly the hemorrhage petechiae in the eye?

HARSHBARGER: Well, that would probably be gone, particularly in a fetus`s age, by three days after it`s been in that closet. So what`s most damaging is her testimony and saying what -- the findings of strangulation in a this age infant can be consistent with what she said without finding anything. So really, her testimony`s what`s, I believe, driving that cause of death, and then you have the 32 other injuries and the severe head trauma that leads you to the conclusion it`s a homicidal action and not just the trauma of birth.

GRACE: Everyone, "DR. DREW" up next. I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 o`clock sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.

END