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Mother Kills Her Baby in Microwave

Aired September 23, 2013 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, live, Dayton, Ohio, a newborn girl just 28 days old rushed to the ER in a little pink nightgown. She`s covered in severe burns to the face, the torso, her tiny limbs. The doctors try everything to save baby Paris. No good.

Bombshell tonight. Cops say the fatal burns not from a house fire, not from hot water in the bathtub. Oh, no. Baby Paris was literally cooked to death in the kitchen microwave. Suspect number one, Mommy. And tonight, microwave Mommy using legal loopholes to try and beat Lady Justice.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The injuries sustained by this baby could have only been caused by being placed into a microwave oven and having that oven turned on and cooked the baby to death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They told me that it looked like somebody had cooked her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just looked at my baby and I recognized all the burn marks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know why anybody would do that to her!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The child`s father says China Arnold admitted to killing their baby, Paris.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She just kept saying she ain`t know if she killed her baby, I wasn`t out cheating on her, my baby would still be alive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: DNA evidence confirmed suspicions about the burns that killed Paris Talley.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She put her in a microwave?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Burning Paris to death in their microwave. Montgomery County`s forensic pathologist -- he thinks Paris was in the microwave for longer than two minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has just pronounced it. This is -- this baby`s covered with burns.


GRACE: And tonight, live, LA, songbird superstar Whitney Houston`s shocking death in a Beverly Hills luxury hotel bathtub. At this hour, allegations a police sergeant comes to the scene, approaches Houston`s dead, naked body covered in a sheet, holds up the sheet to get him an eyeful of the songbird`s naked body. After ogling Houston lying there dead, he makes multiple lewd comments about her body.

And catch this. That sergeant gets promoted to a lieutenant!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need a paramedic. Apparently, got a 46-year-old female found in the bathroom. That`s all I`ve got right now. But they`re requesting paramedics.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Utter disrespect at the scene of singer Whitney Houston`s death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Houston was pronounced dead.

911 OPERATOR: OK. You don`t know if she`s conscious or breathing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apparently, she wasn`t breathing, and she`s 46 years old.

911 OPERATOR: She was not breathing?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A police detective allegedly took a quick peek at Houston`s body under the sheet and made comments about the way she looked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a senior patrol sergeant with the Beverly Hills police force, who says another detective walked into the hotel room where he had covered up Whitney`s corpse with a sheet and made the remark to the effect that, She`s still looking good, huh?


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

Bombshell tonight, live, Dayton, a newborn girl rushed to the ER in her little pink nightgown, covered in severe burns to the face, the torso, her tiny limbs. The doctors try everything to save baby Paris. No good.

Cops say the fatal burns not from a house fire, hot water in a bathtub. Oh, no. This baby girl, a newborn, literally cooked to death in the microwave! Suspect number one is Mommy. And at this hour, Mommy trying to use legal loopholes to outsmart Lady Justice.

We are taking your calls. Straight out to Phil Trexler with "The Akron Beacon-Journal." What happened that day? How did this happen?

PHIL TREXLER, "AKRON BEACON-JOURNAL" (via telephone): Well, Nancy, you know, this is one of the most hideous crimes ever in the history of Ohio. It starts out on a summer night, where a mother in a drunken stupor becomes jealous or outraged at her boyfriend and takes it out, apparently, on her newborn child in revenge.

GRACE: Now, isn`t it true, Phil...


GRACE: Phil Trexler joining us from "The Akron Beacon-journal." Isn`t it true that the mother and the father are fighting over paternity? The father doesn`t believe the baby`s his, they get in a big argument. And what is it, they go to the liquor store and what, they buy a big bottle of something, Jean Casarez, HLN legal correspondent. They buy a big bottle of something and go plop down at a park to fight about who`s the daddy.

JEAN CASAREZ, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: A big bottle of Bacardi rum. And so they sit in the park and they take swigs off the bottle. And then they come back, and she, the bio mother, goes into the house. And that`s when the story starts to split, many, many inconsistencies, but here`s...

GRACE: Whoa! Whoa! Wait! Wait! Wait, Jean! Look at your monitor. Look at her in her other court appearances. Do you see that? She is smiling! And there`s one of her that looks like she`s an advertisement for Talbot`s (ph) magazine, the one of her in the pantsuit looking over her shoulder with the million-dollar grin. Liz, see if you can dig that one up for me.

Every time she is photographed in court, she`s smiling. She`s happy. This is China Arnold, microwave mom, accused of, after a huge fight with -- there you go. After a huge fight with the daddy, the husband, she puts the baby in the microwave. And what, puts it on popcorn? What happened, Jean?

CASAREZ: Well, let`s look at the forensics. The forensics show that the baby was put on his back -- her back in the microwave because of the microwaves that came out. That`s where the burns are For over 2 minutes, 170 to 180 degrees, that baby was cooked. And those are the words of a forensic pathologist.

GRACE: Isn`t it true, Phil Trexler, joining me from "The Akron Beacon-Journal," that the mom admits that she said, If you hadn`t cheated, your baby would be alive tonight?

TREXLER: Yes. That`s exactly right. And it seems that that might be the reason behind this whole insidious act, is she has this jealousy going on inside of her, worrying about whether her boyfriend is cheating on her. So she takes it out on this helpless child and puts her in there for at least two minutes, in the microwave.

I mean, think about it, two minutes. And the baby literally cooks to death. It`s just unspeakable.

GRACE: Now, Jean Casarez, isn`t it true she and the husband have been out sitting in the park, as you said, passing a bottle of Bacardi rum. She`s angry at him because she thinks he`s cheating. He`s angry at her because he says the baby belongs to somebody else. The bottom line, she comes home and does she ever confess? Does she make an admission that she put the baby in the microwave?

CASAREZ: A long time after that. Finally, when police confront her, when they`ve got the forensics, that that`s what happened, she finally said that the baby had been put in the microwave. But there are many, many stories that she said.

GRACE: Well, isn`t it true that then she tries to blame a little -- like, a 5-year-old boy in the community, claiming that he liked to put dolls in the microwave and that he put the baby in the microwave? Didn`t at one point that was her story?

CASAREZ: At one point, that was her story. Another point, the baby just looked hot, and so she put the fan on it for the night because there was something wrong. Another story, she put the baby bottle in the microwave and then fed it and went to sleep and seemed to be fine.

GRACE: Unleash the lawyers, Eric Schwartzreich and Jason Oshins, Schwartzreich joining me from Miami, Jason Oshins veteran trial lawyer joining me in New York and -- where`s the lawyers? -- New York and New Jersey area.

All right, Jason Oshins, I want to hear your defense on this one, because if you notice what Jean said -- and I`ve noticed this with practically every defendant I ever put on trial -- she said the baby "had got put" in the oven.


GRACE: By what? By who? Who, a little green man from Mars? She never comes out and says, I put the baby in the microwave. The baby got put in the microwave. But she`s the only adult in the home, Jason Oshins?

OSHINS: Listen, what Jean said was -- was, you know, focused in terms of where the story diverged between the boyfriend, between her. She was drinking that night. I mean, there`s a lack of accuracy to what the story is.

GRACE: Put him up! What -- what -- she was drinking that night? Is that -- that`s your defense, she was drinking?

OSHINS: Well, I`m saying...

GRACE: And the story came after. Do you think the baby crawled in the oven, Jason Oshins?

OSHINS: No, we certainly know that that didn`t happen. And the question becomes a question of fact. I mean, she didn`t go there and say I`m guilty and we went to a sentencing phase. This is what goes on in a trial, Nancy. We put forth a defense as best that we can, and we work with the facts that we have, Nancy.

GRACE: Schwartzreich, weigh in.

ERICH SCHWARTZREICH, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, it`s a cruel and it`s an atrocious act. The defense has to be that is has to be someone else. I mean, you might sit there and you might say the 5-year-old child, you`re casting blame. Is it the father, the alleged father?

The statement that I heard that she made was, I killed my baby. Now, I don`t know if she actually confessed to putting the baby in the microwave, but I think you have to take that statement, I killed my baby...

GRACE: Well, Eric...

SCHWARTZREICH: ... into context.

GRACE: ... she went on. Eric, you`re right. She did say that. But then she went on and her lawyer went on to say that was in the metaphorical sense, that, It`s my fault my baby`s dead because I wasn`t there to save it. I killed my baby. It`s my fault.

They went on to explain it in that way, Eric. So even that one statement -- and I don`t know if it`s going to get in when they go back to trial, but that is the way they explain that statement.

But again, back to you, Oshins. You`re claiming, everybody -- it was a big drunk that night. Well, you know what? Voluntary intoxication or voluntary use of drugs is not a defense or everybody on death row would just say, Hey, I was drunk.

OSHINS: Nancy, you`re right. It`s not a defense. But it`s certainly a mitigating factor for what charges are put forth in the jury...

GRACE: You may think that. I`m not buying that it`s a mitigating factor.

Out to the lines. Out to Jason. Hi, Jason. What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Nancy. It`s great talking with you again tonight.

GRACE: Likewise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you here in Canada.

GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My question is, where is the baby`s father?

GRACE: Good question. Clark Goldband, what do we know about the father?

CLARK GOLDBAND, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Nancy, the father was devastated! He is out and he is just mourning the loss of his child. And it`s important to point out here, Nancy -- we`re just talking about a moment ago with the defense attorneys -- she was not sure why the child was burned. An ER doctor told China Arnold, according to reports, Your child`s burned, do you have any idea how that happened? And she was absolutely shocked, according to the doctor.

GRACE: To Dr. William Morrone, medical examiner, forensic pathologist and expert toxicologist. Doctor, thank you for being with us. What did that child go through? What did this tiny baby, a newborn baby, go through?

DR. WILLIAM MORRONE, MEDICAL EXAMINER/FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST (via telephone): The difference between microwave heat and regular confection oven heat is that in your regular sense, something gets heated from the outside in. And in microwave, it`s full-depth heating, all the way deep in the tissues. That`s why it looked different to the ER doctors.

That means pain not just on the outside, but all the way down to the bone. It`s indescribable, and it`s inescapable. And in 10 or 15 seconds, it`s irreversible damage. And in less than minute, it`s death.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: China Arnold`s 28-day-old baby girl had only one shot at life when microwaved...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A 3-week-old baby and it`s burned to death like that? Come on! What were you doing, Mom?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s fighting. She`s fighting hard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is just absolutely revolting and it`s sickening and it`s just -- it goes to the core of just evil to me, absolutely evil.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Lord blessed us with a little girl, and for something like that to happen, it`s -- you know, it`s unexplainable.


GRACE: That was baby Paris`s father, who has been in mourning since the child was murdered.

You`re seeing a shot of this newborn infant, baby Paris. She`s dead. Prosecutors claim Mommy, in a fit of drunken rage and jealousy, thinking the bio dad was cheating on her, put his baby in the microwave and literally cooked the child from the inside out.

Out to Marc Klaas, president and founder of Klaas Kids Foundation. You know, Marc, you have dealt with it so often with missing children, but when I look at cases where the child has been murdered, especially in a case like this, it`s almost as if the killer thinks that -- that the baby is an object. I mean, who would think of putting a child in a microwave, slamming the door shut and turning it on?

MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Well, Nancy, this is the kind of thing that somebody like Adolf Hitler would do. I mean, this is evil incarnate. This isn`t about infidelity. This isn`t about having too much alcohol. If it were about too much alcohol, Friday nights would be much, much more dangerous than they already are.

This is about evil and hatred. She must have despised that little baby to the point that she would do anything to get rid of it. And she -- she -- she went to the depths for it.

GRACE: And then, what`s so -- so odd -- I`m going to go to Judy Ho, psychologist joining me out of LA -- Judy, is the bio dad, the baby`s father, comes home. This is his home, too. He comes home. He gets in bed. The mom is laying in bed with the dead baby`s body. He gets in bed and holds the baby, and she`s cold and stiff.

Now, not only does she put the baby in the microwave, kill the baby in the most heinous manner, but then, lays the baby down like it`s asleep. What`s that?

JUDY HO, PSYCHOLOGIST: No, Nancy, I cannot believe the way that the woman would process something like this after she allegedly kills her own baby. Maybe there`s not even a regret there. But I think what was going on with that, she had a break with reality, not remembering later on that this has even happened, that she was shocked...

GRACE: Whoa! Wait!

HO: ... at the emergency room.

GRACE: Whoa! Wait! Did you just say she had a break from reality and she didn`t remember what was going on? Did you actually say that?

HO: I did, Nancy. I think she actually...

GRACE: Because when I put, you know -- when I put a baked potato in the microwave, I don`t have a psychotic break and then go lay down with it in the bed, all right, all covered up with a blanket.

HO: Right.

GRACE: I`ll tell you what she was doing. I don`t know what you`re talking about, Judy, Dr. Judy, but I`m telling you this. She took that a baby out of the microwave and put it in bed with her and covered it up with a blanket to pretend that it was alive so when her husband came home, she could go, What? My baby`s dead?

That`s why she put the baby in the bed. Now, would you like to rethink your answer about a psychotic break from reality?

HO: Well, Nancy, what I was trying to say was that she actually had a break after this happened and she was pretending that the baby was still alive because she couldn`t face what she did. So in the moment, she had no idea what she was doing, even though she obviously intentionally did it. That`s what I meant.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Homicide by hyperthermia and thermal injury.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They told me that it looked like somebody had cooked her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know why!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prosecutors say she confessed to the crime saying, quote, "I killed my baby. I wrapped her up. I put her in the microwave. I turned the microwave on and I went outside. She fit right in."


GRACE: For those of you just joining us, a mother, China Arnold, is trying to out-trick Lady Justice and with a legal loophole get a new trial on charges she murdered her baby by putting the infant, a brand-new baby, in the microwave and cooking it, at a jealous fit, rage over the thought the baby`s father was two-timing her.

We are taking your calls. Out to Dora in California. Hi, dear. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. Actually, Nancy, I`ve got a comment and possibly a question after that. But I saw the Facebook page and just recently read it there. I believe that this mother intentionally killed the baby because anytime in a trial, within 15 minutes before the actual occurrence of the crime, that`s what wins that trial.

So I really don`t know what happened within that 15 minutes, but I`m going to say that this mother was trying to hide something from the father of the child. And I just heard the comments from Judy, I believe? I don`t think that she had a lapse of memory because if she confessed to the crime, there was absolutely no lapse of memory there.

Also, I`d like to make a comment that any time any type of mental illness is seen like this, these people need to get fixed right away.

GRACE: You mean sterilized? Oh, sadly, Dora in California, that is unconstitutional. So she can go have another child after murdering this one.

Back out to Jean Casarez. Let`s talk about what Dora just asked. What was happening in the moments before she put the baby in the microwave, the argument?

CASAREZ: The argument. But this is what`s interesting. When they arrived back home after the argument, the father, the bio father, went in. It was about 10:00 o`clock at night, and there was the little baby girl right there in a car seat type on the sofa, just very healthy right there.

Then he leaves because the argument had continued. He didn`t want to be around. The mother, China Arnold, went in eventually, and then after that -- she was the only one in the home with the child and her other children, and the door was locked.


GRACE: Welcome back, everyone. For those of you just joining us, a mother facing charges that she put her infant child in the microwave and turned it on, leaving baby Paris to die, then setting up the scene as if the child wasn`t dead when the bio dad, the father, comes home. Now she`s trying to trick Lady Justice and use a legal loophole to get a brand-new jury.

We are live and taking your calls. Michael in Arizona. Hi, Michael. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Nancy. Great -- great to be on the show. I`m a big fan of your...

GRACE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A big fan of your work.

GRACE: Thank you.


GRACE: Thank you.

CALLER: Well, I have a question, and a comment. I mean.


CALLER: My question following up with my comment is, what -- what kind of a defense could she possibly now ask for a new trial? I mean, this is, this is an outrage. I mean, and if -- and there was a comment, or a question on the Facebook page asking, should she get the death penalty? I mean, my feelings on the death penalty, I am very pro-death penalty myself, but I think there is a flaw in that system, in my own opinion. This is just basing it out of my own state.

GRACE: I`ll tell you what the claim is, in Arizona, Michael in Arizona, the claim is this -- that the state should not be allowed to put people on the jury that are death penalty qualified. That is their claim. Because in the -- if there is an upcoming trial, it will not be a death penalty trial. So their argument is, those conservative jurors should not be allowed and should not have been allowed on the trial. That`s what they`re claiming, a legal loophole. Completely ignoring the facts in this case, and I want to hand it to prosecutors for trying the case, for trying it as a death penalty case, for going forward with it, because in so many cases, isn`t this true, Marc Klaas, when the victim is a child, the case gets pled down to something like involuntary manslaughter or a really cheap plea?

KLAAS: Well, there`s no question about that, and the reality is that we don`t really know the depth of some of these criminals` histories because of the plea bargaining. I don`t know what the percentages are. You know much better than I do, but very few cases ultimately get to to trial, because so many have been pled down and a deal made prior to that time.

GRACE: That`s true. Out to the lines. Deborah in Texas. Hi, Deborah. What`s your question?

CALLER: Hello there.

GRACE: Hi, dear.

CALLER: I wanted to let you know that I read up on it, and one thing that really I see that I think is probably going to be pulled off is she`s going to try to pull moments of insanity, and see if she can sit there and maybe get life on death row or life in prison. And I`m hoping that that does not happen, that the jury can see through her lies of moments of insanity.

GRACE: You know, let`s talk about that, Deborah in Texas. Out to Brad Lamm. He is an addiction specialist, founder of Breathe Life Healing Centers. For those that don`t know, not only is he an expert in addiction, he was once addicted himself, and has now devoted his life and his career to saving others.

Brad Lamm, she is right. They`re going to try and claim only was she drunk, but she was depressed. Depression and intoxication. I`d like to hear your response to that, Brad Lamm?

BRAD LAMM, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Well, they go hand in hand. I`ll tell you, Nancy, I`ve just about seen all of it and done a lot of it. And when I heard this story, I just pulled over in the car and cried. It just broke my heart that in addicted families, this kind of stuff happens. Here are some statistics, though. Over 60 percent--

GRACE: Whoa, whoa. Brad Lamm, in addictive families this kind of stuff happens. I`ve never heard of a baby being cooked in the microwave.

LAMM: But you`ve heard of kids getting their heads beat in and --

GRACE: Yes, I have heard of that.

LAMM: And dying in drunk driving accidents.


LAMM: You`ve heard stories that aren`t as -- I will tell you and admit this was ripped from the headlines like no other, but dead is dead is dead, and we know plenty of stories where somebody does something awful in a blackout and wipes a family out, and this, I bet, Nancy, had something to do with an alcoholic blackout or some -- something that is directly related to her use of alcohol and drugs.

GRACE: Brad Lamm, Brad Lamm, an alcoholic blackout? On a blackout, wouldn`t you just be lying across your bed after you threw up a couple of times?


LAMM: Nancy, sadly, many times I drove home in a blackout. You know I worked in D.C. for years and I would actually drive home from the studio, not even knowing I was behind the wheel of a car. Now, thankfully I never hurt anybody. I was never arrested. I wish I had been, in fact. It might have helped me earlier. But people do things in blackouts all the time where their memory is not even part of the equation. My sense is that that could be very likely what happened here.

GRACE: Brad Lamm, do you have any idea what her blood alcohol level was that night? Or are you just like, spinning this tale?

LAMM: I don`t.

GRACE: You`re projecting what you think may have happened but you don`t know the facts?

LAMM: I do know that over 61 percent of all violence in the home is directly related to alcohol abuse.

GRACE: Whoa -- oh -- directly related to alcohol abuse? That`s not the same as what you are describing as an alcoholic blackout.

LAMM: Nancy, it`s reprehensible, it`s awful. I think she should be locked up and the key should be thrown away.

GRACE: What do you mean locked up? Jean Casarez, help me out. First to you, Jean. An alcoholic blackout. There is not one shred of evidence to suggest that, other than Brad Lamm, who just gave the defense attorneys a brand new idea to use at trial. An alcoholic blackout? She`s -- (inaudible), Bacardi rum, how big was it? A fifth.

CASAREZ: A fairly large bottle, but Nancy, there were so many conscious decisions that were made. That child was initially in a little car carrier sitting on the sofa. The decision had to be made to take it out, a decision made to put it on the back in the microwave, decision to shut the door, decision to press the button, and then, Nancy, she was in a little nightgown, a raspberry pink nightgown when the bio father found her. No blood. No mucus at all. She was put in a brand new nightgown to try to hide the fact that she`d been cooked to death.

GRACE: That is not a blackout. Putting the child in a different outfit? Clark Goldband, what do you know about the booze?

GOLDBAND: Two experts claim that they estimate her blood alcohol was between a 0.299 and 0.33. But let me caution you, there is no evidence that a blood alcohol level was actually taken. These are just estimates by defense experts.

GRACE: So they will never be able to prove that at trial, because blood alcohol was not taken.

Out to Bill Hunt, retired lieutenant, Orange County. Thank you for being with us. First we learned the defense is going to try to blame a 5- year-old little boy, although the mother has said under oath that they did not live in that neighborhood that time. The little boy wasn`t there. They`re going to try to blame that little boy for doing it. Two, they might try to blame the father, although I`m pretty sure he has an alibi. She could even blame another child in the home. How do you eliminate other potential suspects?

BILL HUNT, RETIRED LIEUTENANT, ORANGE COUNTY: Well, fortunately, law enforcement doesn`t have to worry about that. They did that in the preliminary investigation. I mean, they would have gone through there, looked for evidence, looked for people who had access to the premises. Looked for people who were in a position to do it. Find forensic evidence to match that up, and then ultimately put the case forward to the D.A., and they did that in this case and got a conviction. Law enforcement can`t worry about what the defense does. Their job is to come in there and present the case, present the facts as they did in this case, and hope that the jury sees that the evidence is strong and warrants a conviction.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Injuries sustained by this baby could have only been caused by being placed into a microwave oven and having that oven turned on and cooked the baby to death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They told me that it looked like somebody had cooked her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just looked at my baby and I recognized a lot of burn marks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know why were anybody would do that to her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The child`s father says China Arnold admitted to killing their baby Paris.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She just kept saying that she didn`t know that she killed our baby. And if I wasn`t out cheating on her, my baby would still be alive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: DNA evidence confirmed suspicions about the burns that killed Paris Talley.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you put her in a microwave?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Burning Paris to death in their microwave. Montgomery County`s forensic pathologist thinks Paris was in the microwave for longer than two minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just pronounced it. This baby is covered with burns.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Houston was found dead in the bathtub in a Beverly Hills hotel room.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, how ya doing. This is security from Beverly Hilton.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need a paramedic. Apparently I got a 46-year- old female found in the bathroom. That`s all I`ve got right now, but they are requesting paramedics.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s still looking good, huh? That is what a detective is accused of saying about Whitney Houston`s naked body the day she died.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, but she is breathing now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know. The person who called me was irate, and I didn`t get much out of her.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Commenting about how she quote, "looked attractive for a woman of her age and current state."


GRACE: Outrage tonight after the death of America`s songbird Whitney Houston in a luxury hotel there in Beverly Hills in the bathtub. We now learn about allegations of highly inappropriate and lewd behavior at the scene of her body.

Out to Mike Walker, senior editor, "National Enquirer." I`m disgusted and I heard also in a related story, Mike Walker, that Ray J (ph), who was dating Whitney Houston at the time of her death, was furious, because he heard a group of police officers, or people, he couldn`t see who, but the police officers were in there with her dead body, laughing.

I want to get back to this story. What do we know, Mike Walker? Is it true that a police officer, a Beverly Hills police officer, a sergeant at the time, got in, lifted up the blanket that was covering her naked body, looked at her dead body and started making -- what happened?

MIKE WALKER, NATIONAL ENQUIRER: OK. It`s -- you can`t get the full impact until you read the actual complaint that Brian Weir (ph), the sergeant who was making the complaints against another police officer, says that Detective Sergeant Nutall, another officer, for no legitimate law enforcement inquiry, knelt beside and leaned over Whitney Houston, removed the sheet and covering from her body, and below the pubic region, came in close proximity to touching the body while making inappropriate comments to the effect and substance, that she looked quote, "attractive for a woman of her age and, damn she`s still looking good, huh?" Quote/unquote.

Now after he did that, he --

GRACE: Whoa, whoa. Whoa, whoa. This guy, Nutall, was a sergeant at the time, now he has been bumped up to lieutenant.

WALKER: He has been promoted. Yes.

GRACE: So he comes in, according to Weir, now you do know that Nutall was in charge of like stolen cars and police liaison, something like that. Why he was at the scene of a potential homicide, a suicide, nobody knew it was just an accident at the time, what is he doing there?

WALKER: He was senior patrol --

GRACE: So he just shows up and comes in.

WALKER: He was the senior patrol sergeant on duty at the time.

GRACE: OK. So he was legitimately there.


GRACE: I want to talk about what happened then?

WALKER: Well, after he saw this, Brian Weir saw this, he made a complaint immediately to the department and said that Nutall had done things that were, you know, against all kinds of laws and statutes, you know, moving, you know, a sheet covering up the body, possibly contaminating DNA evidence, et cetera, et cetera. You don`t do it. Also there is a code that says you cannot do things that would make the family of a deceased victim angry or furious or upset. In other words, there were are all kinds of reasons for him to complain, so he complained. And what happened after he complained? Well, he was demoted. He was originally with the prestigious jobs of canine and S.W.A.T. team. He was taken off those. He was demoted. He was removed from various things that gave him overtime, et cetera. He`s lost all chance at promotion and he has been ostracized and is constantly getting nasty remarks from fellow officers, et cetera. That`s his payout for this.

GRACE: And you`re telling me that Nutall is the guy who looks at her dead body, and makes comments about how good looking she is.


GRACE: Her dead body, and staring down at her pubic region and --

WALKER: Ray J (ph), you know, of course, Ray J who famously was living with Whitney Houston. In fact, they broke up briefly when she discovered he was the one in the famed Kim Kardashian sex tape, but they got back together. And he was outside in the corridor on the fourth floor of the Beverly Hilton hotel. Of course it was a complete mob scene out there, and the police are inside, they`re outside, and he hears the laughter and sort of the lewd kind of -- doesn`t say he heard the exact words that were spoken, but he got so angry, he two times tried to charge into the room, and finally they had to remove him from the hotel. They took him down off the fourth floor, and there was another report at the time. I remember this. Because I talked about it on a TV show. Maybe yours, that we had heard from other sources that there was lewd laughter, suggestive laughter. No one was sure exactly what it was.

GRACE: With me, Mike Walker, senior editor, "National Enquirer." To Nicole Partin, investigative reporter. Nicole, you have such a background in funeral director and embalmer. I mean, if this were done to a lady in my family, I would be furious. And, also, at that time, police did not know that this was an accident. That it would be ruled an accident one day. For all they knew, this could have been a homicide. It could have been a suicide. They didn`t know what it was. And yet they were touching the sheet on the body and looking at her naked body? I mean, aren`t there rules in place, Nicole, to protect the bodies of our loved ones who have died?

NICOLE PARTIN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Absolutely. And first and foremost, you take every precaution to ensure dignity and respect for that deceased by covering the individual up. You treat the corpse with the same respect you would treat a living individual. A good rule of thumb, Nancy, is would you do it or say it if the deceased`s family member was in the room. There is a law called abuse of a corpse, and we work very carefully to ensure dignity and respect of a corpse.

GRACE: And when we come back, Mike Walker, senior editor, "National Enquirer," new book coming out, "Halloween Out for Blood" is taking your calls.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sergeant Brian Weir filed a claim accusing a detective of pulling back the sheet over Houston`s naked body that day.

KEVIN COSTNER: I held her hand and told her that she looked beautiful. I told her that I would be with her every step of the way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got a 46-year-old female in the bathroom. That`s all you`ve got right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the greatest voices of her generation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She fell or was in the bathroom with the water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And commenting about how she, quote --


GRACE: Welcome back. For those of you just joining us, now claims have surfaced of police misconduct on the scene of the discovery of Whitney Houston`s dead body. Mike Walker, senior editor, "National Enquirer," new book "Out for Blood" coming out Halloween, Mike, in a nutshell, what is the claim and what`s being done about it?

WALKER: Not much is being done about it now, and that`s what`s so sad. The complaint is still there, it is being pursued. Brian Weir has a lawyer who has brought this to the city of Beverly Hills, the police chief and others involved, and he is demanding that all of his duty assignments be reinstated, and the pay that he`s lost be reinstated. He`ll also ask for damages.

What will happen is very tough, because you know how this is.

GRACE: Is Terry Nutall denying it? Does Nutall deny the whole thing?

WALKER: Yes, the police are just saying, it never happened.

GRACE: I`m hearing in my ear with me, Alexis Tereszcuk, senior reporter, What`s happening out there, Alexis?

ALEXIS TERESZCUK, RADARONLINE.COM: What`s happening is that you asked what happened to Nutall. He in fact has been promoted since Whitney`s death. He is now a lieutenant, he has suffered no repercussions from this whatsoever. So Weir`s lawsuit is really bringing it to the forefront of something what was a well-kept secret within the Beverly Hills Police Department for over a year. He`s been struggling for a year. He`s faced this retaliation, and he finally said this is it, I`m not getting anywhere, I am going to take it public and I am going to take it to the courts. He`s hoping he will get, as Mike Walker said, a lot of money. He is asking for money. He does want his job, but he wants the money, too. This has completely destroyed his livelihood.


GRACE: We remember American hero, Army Specialist Matthew Powell, just 20 years old. Slidell, Louisiana. National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, parents Lloyd and Janice, stepmother Connie, sister Tiffany, brother Michael. Matthew Powell, American hero.

Now, back to LA and the investigation surrounding the death of Whitney Houston, and potential police misconduct on the scene. Back to you to, Alexis Tereszcuk, senior reporter, I understand Lieutenant Terry Nutall, who has now been promoted since this incident, is denying everything, but is Sergeant Brian Weir standing his ground?

TERESZCUK: Absolutely. Brian Weir says this did happen. He has the exact words that he says he said on the night that Whitney Houston died. He says that he made the lewd comment, saying, "damn, she looks good," and "for someone her age she looks attractive" while she was naked, and he pulled the sheet back. He absolutely stands by what he says, and as I said, Nutall has been promoted. The police absolutely have no qualms about promoting somebody who has these claims against him. And it`s been a year. It wasn`t just one time. He has complained over and over about the situation, and unfortunately nothing has been done until the lawsuit.

GRACE: Everyone, we are on the story, and tonight a special good night from friends of the show, Tracy and Chris. Dr. Drew is up next, everyone. I`ll see you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp Eastern, and until then, good night, friend.