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Jane Velez-Mitchell

Casey Anthony`s Lawyer Asks to Move Case; Could Hog Farms Cause Flu Pandemics

Aired May 04, 2009 - 19:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, could the entire Casey Anthony trial have to pack up and move to a far-away city? Casey`s defense team goes on the attack, saying Casey will not get a fair trial in her home county. Now, the defense wants a change of venue.

Also, Casey`s high powered attorney, Linda Kenney Baden, angrily lashes out at local cops and the media. Wait until you see her shocking accusations.

Then, a family vacation becomes a hellish nightmare. Two years ago, adorable 3-year-old Madeleine McCann vanished from a resort in Portugal while her parents were out for dinner. Today, the distraught British parents spoke to Oprah in a desperate bid to bring more attention to their missing daughter. I`ll show you the heart-wrenching interview, and I`ll have an update on the search for Madeleine.

Plus, is David Hasselhoff still battling alcohol? Conflicting reports say Hasselhoff was rushed to the hospital for alcohol poisoning after his daughter found him unconscious Saturday. Sources close to the "Baywatch" star deny the reports. I will straighten out the facts.

Plus, swine flu has many in a panic. But all the attention gives us the chance to examine the jaw-dropping conditions in pig farms worldwide. I`ll tell you why the information everyone is ignoring is critical to your health.

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A flurry of breaking news tonight in the murder trial of Casey Anthony, accused of killing her adorable little 2-year-old Caylee. Tonight, Casey`s defense team goes on the attack, using the media to slam the media and prosecutors.

Famous defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden lashed out at Orlando`s local media, and what she calls tabloid media on NBC`s "Today Show" this morning, while simultaneously attacking the prosecution`s decision to seek the death penalty.


LINDA KENNEY BADEN, CASEY`S ATTORNEY: Yesterday, they announced, "We`re going to ask for the death penalty."

We wrote a letter, "Where is the evidence?" We don`t have an autopsy for the child, for which they`re seeking to take this woman`s life for killing her. The local media rushes to take news leak sources. When you lose somebody or someone you love, you grieve differently.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She pulled no punches during this fascinating interview. I will show you more of her shocking comments in just moments.

Meantime, team Baez also making decisive moves on the legal front. They have just filed for a change of venue.


JOSE BAEZ, CASEY`S ATTORNEY: Our motion specifically requests that this trial be moved to south Florida. One, it has the largest population. And, combined with the seventh lowest coverage out of the ten media markets that Florida has. So if you combine those two aspects, south Florida, believe it or not, is actually the best place to find -- to have the opportunity to sit a fair and impartial jury.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, really? But isn`t Jose Baez himself courting all this media attention by constantly holding news conferences? Like he did, just there?

The defense claims their client cannot get a fair trial in Orlando because Casey`s reputation has been irreversibly tainted by the local media. Would moving the trial really make a difference at this point? We will debate it.

A lot to get to tonight. Straight to my expert panel: Tom Ruskin, a former NYPD detective and president of CNP Detective and Investigative Group; Judy Kuriansky, Dr. Judy, noted clinical psychologist; Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney; Mike Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney. Both of them out of Florida. And by phone, Rozzie Franco, reporter with WFLA 540 AM in Orlando. Plus, Karen Mills-Francis, host of "Judge Karen."

Judge Karen, you are a former Miami-Dade County court judge.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, congratulations. I`m sure you did a lot of hard work before you got there.

That seems to be where Baez wants to move this case. I know there`s a lot of difference between South Beach and Orlando Beach. Do you really think dragging everybody to Miami, as much fun as that could be, will make a difference in this case?

MILLS-FRANCIS: Well, you know what? I ran two countywide races here. I had billboards up on 995. I had commercials on television, commercials on the radio. I have a TV show on every day of the week here. And I can go anywhere in Miami, and people don`t know who I am.


MILLS-FRANCIS: In my own hometown. I live in Miami. I think that very -- there have been a lot of cases that have national attention in the state of Florida that ended up in Miami. Ted Bundy`s trial, it happened in Tallahassee. The trial was moved to Miami. Jessica Lunsford trial. It happened in Homosassa Springs, Florida. It was moved to Miami.

The statute says that it has to be in a county with the same demographics as the county where the crime occurred. I think that means Miami. Orlando has a million people. Miami has 2.3 million people.

So I think it`s going to behoove both the prosecution and the defense, if they want to get a fair jury, to probably move the trial here. And my bet is, the case is coming to Miami.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Mark Eiglarsh, what is it about Miami that she can walk around all day and not get recognized, and people don`t care as much about Casey Anthony? I mean, is it so exciting down there? I`ve been to South Beach. It`s pretty darn exciting on a Saturday night. But is that why they just don`t care about Casey Anthony?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: She`s just being humble. We see her and we worship her. We love Judge Mills-Francis. Listen, if she was on "Nancy Grace" every Monday night, then maybe they`d recognize her.


EIGLARSH: Like Casey Anthony, you know? That`s the difference.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But look, I grew up in a big city, Manhattan. It can be very anonymous. And there`s a totally different mindset than in a small town like my first job in Fort Myers, Florida. You know, where everybody knew I was a little news girl. And it`s a completely different mentality. So is that big-city mentality going to help Casey Anthony`s defense team?

EIGLARSH: The defense -- the defense wants the case down here. Not for the reasons that Jose Baez stated. The No. 1 reason is because he thinks he can get an acquittal here, because we`ll definitely provide to him a more liberal jury down here in South Florida.

MILLS-FRANCIS: I disagree -- I disagree with you, Mark. Because this jury has to be death qualified. That means they`re going to be asked if the state proves its case to you beyond a reasonable doubt, can you impose the death penalty under the right circumstances?

Studies show that conservative jurors usually will impose a death penalty. So it doesn`t matter whether it`s in Orlando or in Miami. Those jurors more than likely than not are going to be conservative because they have to be death qualified.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. There`s a lot of issues here. And part of it is the local media in Orlando. Defense attorney Linda Kennedy Baden didn`t hold back in her criticism of the local and what she called the tabloid media on NBC`s "Today Show" this morning. Listen to this.


KENNEY BADEN: Every single day, since I`ve been in this case, which was December 11, there has been a story, a story, a story. Even when there`s a non-story, there`s a story. So the Supreme Court`s recognized that you can`t get a fair trial a lot of times with the local media coverage. You, for instance, the national media, give us a fair shake.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The local media is not giving you a fair shake? Not giving you a fair shake?

BADEN: Absolutely not. Just by even printing the stories over, the local media rushes to take news leaked sources, "law enforcement sources say." A lot of times the evidence that law enforcement sources have leaked was improper. So they`re willing to overlook and question, where the national media does not.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Linda Kennedy Baden, kissing up to "The Today Show" there. The defense says they slanted media is why they couldn`t get a fair trial in Orlando. But Linda Kenney Baden said, if you Google "Casey Anthony," you get seven million hits.

Now, Jayne Weintraub, given that the Internet is obviously everywhere, isn`t she proving the point that there`s no point in moving the trial? Because this case has been viewed nationally, and you get seven million hits when you Google this young woman`s name?

WEINTRAUB: Yes and no, Jane. The answer is that you`re both right. And the reason is, the -- the problem here isn`t only the local media. The bigger problem is the community sentiment. And that is one of the reasons set forth in the statute that there is a change of venue, and it should be granted.

The reason is, do you remember Sheriff Barry? Wasn`t he out there, yelling for people, "Please be calm, please be calm"? If the sheriff in the town has to calm these people down -- do you remember how the Anthonys were stoned at their house, the mom and the dad? I mean, this is a community that wants a conviction at all costs. This community is what has the potential jurors.

No, they can`t get a fair trial. Neither can the state.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You said -- you said the point that Jose Baez was making today. Jose Baez said people who live in Orlando have become so personally invested in this case, that that`s another reason to move it.

WEINTRAUB: I think that`s true.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen to this.


BAEZ: We have thousands of volunteers who have gone out to search for Caylee`s body. You combine that with the hundreds of people who attended both the vigils and possibly 1,000 who went to the memorial. This case has become deeply imbedded in this community.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Dr. Judy Kuriansky, I agree with Jose Baez here. And a lot of times I disagree with him. I mean, a lot of people spent many of their weekends, month after month, searching for this child, only to find out that prosecutors alleged Casey killed her within days of her going missing.

Now, wouldn`t these community members that you see here just going through, you know, on horseback, on their -- literally, their lawn mowers they were looking for this child. They`ve got to resent that.

JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I agree with you totally, Jane. And psychologically, it makes sense to want to move the trial. But guess what? From the psychological point of view, you could move this trial anywhere.

And we have all watched what has happened. We`ve read it. We`ve seen it on TV. And there are people all over this country, whether we move that trial to Colorado or Minnesota. There will be people who are going to be emotionally charged about this and already have in their mind that she`s probably guilty. They`re horrified by it.

I have worked with lawyers on jury selection. People have emotional reactions, especially to the Haleighs and the Caylees and all these young girls who are snatched and murdered.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course. Because it`s so horrifying.

KURIANSKY: Exactly. So it doesn`t matter. There`s always going to be bias.

WEINTRAUB: Isn`t the community invested and have a potentially fair jury there?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s save that question for the next segment. More on this legal drama in a moment. Don`t forget, Nancy Grace up immediately following this program at 8 p.m. Eastern. She will have the very latest on all the latest developments in the Casey Anthony case.

And here on ISSUES, I will be taking your calls right now. Should the Casey Anthony case be moved to Miami? Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Let me know.

It`s been two years, meantime, since beautiful 3-year-old Madeleine McCann went missing while on a family vacation in Portugal. I will have an update on the desperate search.

First, Casey Anthony`s lawyers don`t think Casey will get a fair trial, thanks in part to media coverage. Here is Jose Baez taking a shot at the media, even as he holds yet another news conference for the media.


BAEZ: There are those of you who are much more -- have much more integrity than others. And there are those of you who just simply don`t care. You know, you`ll be dealt with in -- at its proper time and place. But right now I`m focused on my client.




CASEY ANTHONY, ACCUSED OF MURDER: I`ve seen everybody else`s side in this, but the worst part is nobody can see my side. And I have to keep my mouth shut. I have to keep my mouth shut about how I feel. And everything else. Because all I need to do is give the media more stuff, for the detectives and everybody else to throw back in my face when this goes to trial.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nobody is keeping their mouth shut in this case, it seems. Casey Anthony lashing out at the media during a recorded jailhouse conversation. Her lawyers now say the local media is responsible for painting their client in a bad light. The defense has just asked for a change of venue to South Florida.

What do you think? I`m taking your calls. Phone lines are lighting up.

Sheryl in Virginia, your question or thought, ma`am?

CALLER: My question is, why would anyone take a child`s life? Why should she have a fair trial? She didn`t give her child a fair life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well -- well, boy, everybody wants to weigh in on that one.

TOM RUSKIN, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: Let me answer that. Let me answer that.

EIGLARSH: There`s a document called -- there`s a document called the Constitution. And it applies not just to the Casey Anthonys of the world, but to everyone.


EIGLARSH: And it protects all of us.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s let Tom Ruskin have a chance to say something.

RUSKIN: Basically, the bottom line is, even as an ex-cop, who locked up plenty of people for plenty of crimes, she has the presumption of innocence, you know, before guilt. And we have to remember that.

She`s been arrested for a crime. She has a right to a fair trial. And she has a right to a jury of her peers. And if she can`t get it in Orlando, then they should move it to wherever she can get a fair jury. Because you want to know something? At that point in time we eliminate the possibility of an appeal based on not getting a fair trial.


KURIANSKY: And it`s a wonderful legal system, but exactly what the caller said is exactly how the people feel. They have a gut reaction to the fact that a mom could have murdered her child? And you hear the simple facts about it.

WEINTRAUB: I disagree with that. I disagree with that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rozzie Franco, you`re in the area. What is the mood down there? Is there this visceral hatred for this woman?

ROZZIE FRANCO, WFLA REPORTER: Absolutely. I mean, you saw the protesters. It was just absolutely crazy. But Jane, ultimately Baez, you know, he`s given the local media a tongue lashing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A tongue lashing.

FRANCO: He`s always sending out press releases: "This is when we`re going to have a press conference. This is when we`re going to do that." And from what I`ve learned from defense attorneys, they file a motion for change of venue a month before the trial, not eight months before the trial. So south Florida is going to be saturated with all these reports, as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re raising an excellent question. Mark Eiglarsh, if Miami finds out they`re getting this case, then suddenly they`re going to jump on the cover (ph).

EIGLARSH: Yes, I don`t think. Listen, we`ve got enough crime down here. This is not going to be on the headlines. Let me also say...

WEINTRAUB: That`s not the way it works.

EIGLARSH: They`re getting a fair trial, is defined by finding jurors, not who haven`t heard about this case. You`ve got to have moss because you`ve been under a rock if you haven`t heard about this case. We`re talking about jurors who can focus exclusively on the evidence and then make a decision based on the evidence presented and the law that the judge reads. It doesn`t mean they haven`t heard about the case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. Judy, you`re actually in Florida. What is your thought or comment?

KURIANSKY: I`m not in Florida.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, no, not that Judy. The Judy -- the Judy that`s calling on the phone. Judy from Florida. There`s another Judy out there.


CALLER: Glad to know there`s another Judy around, too. My question, how much is this going to cost us here in Florida?

MILLS-FRANCIS: A lot of money. But this case is going to cost a lot of money anyway, because it`s a death case. And death penalty cases cost the taxpayers a lot of money.

But you know, Jane, something -- something -- you know what, Jane, something that hasn`t come up? I think it`s pretty timely that the defense, you know what I think about this defense team. Casey Anthony hired the three stooges. So they come up with this big motion today. The "Orlando Sentinel" is running a two-part story on Baez.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And we`ve read it. It`s not that flattering.

MILLS-FRANCIS: It took eight years for him to finally get admitted to the bar. He filed bankruptcy. He had unpaid bills. In 2004, he founded a foundation called Miracles for Children Foundation. And he was $12,000 in arrears on his own child support.


WEINTRAUB: I don`t mean to interrupt you, but as far as the change of venue is concerned, there are two things about the lawyer. One, he`s damned if he does, damned if he doesn`t. If he files it a month before trial, the judge would have looked at him and said, "Counselor, you`ve had this case for two years. You filed it now? We can`t possibly make arrangements."

Here, the lawyer diligently filed it in advance with appropriate affidavits by nationally-recognized experts who have looked at the particular case and the particular issue, and demographics, and have supplied the court with all the information it needs. That`s one.

MILLS-FRANCIS: Casey Anthony has been bigger problem than the venue of here case.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait, wait, wait.

WEINTRAUB: The governor will make an appointment.

EIGLARSH: If he doesn`t file this motion, she has a tremendous argument on appeal saying that he rendered yet again ineffective assistance of counsel. So he`s got to raise the motion. People understand that we only want to try this case once. But she`s convicted, you want to make sure it`s upheld on appeal.


RUSKIN: Jane, let`s look at this. The prosecution in this case has released a lot of damning stuff that I`ve never seen in any case that I`ve been involved in, in prosecuting a case, or supplying the prosecutor with - - with prosecutorial stuff. I`ve never seen this type of evidence come out ahead of a trial.


EIGLARSH: We`re in Florida. We`re in Florida. It comes out. That`s the sunshine law.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think this change of venue is going to make this case even bigger. Fabulous panel, stay right there.

WEINTRAUB: And nobody will know about...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll have more analysis of the Casey Anthony case in just a bit.

Plus, as the swine flu outbreak continues to spread, I`ll give you crucial information everybody else is ignoring.

And then, the very latest on David Hasselhoff. Did he have another slip? He was rushed to the hospital. We`ll give you all sides.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the spotlight tonight, global swine flu cases on the rise. U.S. officials say the virus still on an upswing, with 286 U.S. cases confirmed across 36 states. The fact remains: we do not know where this virus originated.

The virus is believed to have passed through pigs before it got to humans. But what pigs, and where? The pork industry argues no link.

We wanted to debate all these issues today, but one of our guests, the dean of agriculture at Iowa State University, canceled. She is welcome anytime to present her side.

Joining me, Jane Garrison, an animal welfare advocate, and Dr. Michael Greger, the director of public health and animal agriculture for the Humane Society of the United States.

Dr. Greger, since we don`t know where this virus came from, why do you believe we need to take a fresh look at conditions on industrial pig farms?

MICHAEL GREGER, HUMANE SOCIETY: The genetic fingerprint of this virus was finally just published, and the CDC confirmed that the main ancestor of the current viral threat was this triple hybrid mutant virus that arose on factory farms in the United States more than ten years ago. Since affected 90 percent of the pig herds in Kansas, Oklahoma, 100 percent of pig herds in Iowa and Illinois. This is not the first virus to emerge from factory farms. Unless we start giving these animals a little more breathing room, it may not be the last.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. And once again, the pig industry says there is no link. And this is something that scientists are investigating to try to find out where this all started.

Now, I can tell you the Pew Commission entered the debate last year with a report that said factory farms pose unacceptable risks to public health. Seems like these pig gestation crates are a reality on factory farms. Thousands upon thousands of pigs never see the sky, touch a blade of grass, living in spaces so small they`re barely able to move. They can`t turn around or scratch themselves.

Jane, you helped get these crates banned in California. It`s being phased in over the next couple of years. When you look at these shocking images, what do you say to those on the other side of this debate who say this is a perfectly, perfectly acceptable way to raise pigs?

JANE GARRISON, ANIMAL WELFARE ADVOCATE: Well, we wouldn`t force our pets to live in filthy, cramped cages for their entire lives, and we shouldn`t force farm animals to endure such misery either. If you made treated your dog like this for one day, you`d be facing animal cruelty charges. But sadly animals on factory farms, they have absolutely no legal protection from abuse. And all animals, including those raised for food, deserve to be treated humanely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Greger, when an animal can`t turn around -- and let`s talk a little bit about the I.Q. of a pig. Is it equivalent or even higher of than a dog? What happens to this animal, psychologically, and how does that affect their immune system?

GREGER: These animals are as smart, as smart as your dog that you have at home. And it`s the stress that drives these animals essentially crazy. And it`s the stress that can decrease their immune system.

And in fact, indeed, the Pew Commission on farm animal -- industrial farm animal production including the U.S. secretary of agriculture, unacceptable public health risks. We need to follow the advice of public health officials and say no more factory farms. However cheap the meat, Jane, it`s just not worth the risk.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And why is it that nobody else is talking about this? Ten seconds, Jane Garrison.

GARRISON: Well, the pork industry is really worried about their profits. They`re not worried about giving these animals more space, to see sunshine, to feel grass under their feet. There`s a reason that 70 percent of the antibiotics used in our country are pumped into animals to keep them alive in these miserable, horrific conditions.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to leave it right there. Thank you.

We`d like to get the other side of the story. You`re welcome to come back from Iowa, anytime, tell your side.

Casey Anthony, will she get a fair trial in her home county? Will they have to move it to Miami? We`ll debate it, next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A family vacation becomes a hellish nightmare. Two years ago, adorable 3-year-old Madeleine McCann vanished from a resort in Portugal, while her parents were out for dinner. Today the distraught British parents spoke to Oprah. I`ll show you their heart-wrenching interview.

And is alcohol still a hassle for David Hasselhoff? Hasselhoff was allegedly rushed to the hospital for alcohol poisoning Saturday. But sources close to the Baywatch star deny the reports. I`ll straighten out the facts.

More on Casey Anthony in a moment.

First, to another horrific crime, also in Florida. A father, Troy Ryan Bellar went on a murderous rampage over the weekend, killing his wife and two sons before turning the gun on himself outside his Lakeland home.

A third son, just 13 years old, avoided the massacre by escaping, get this, through the garage, and into the safety of a neighbor`s home narrowly dodging shots that were being fired at him by his own dad. Imagine what he`s going to have to deal with growing up. That kid`s a survivor.

The Polk County sheriff so horrified by this murderous now deceased dad said quote, "He will have the opportunity to burn in hell for this, which is a good thing," end quote.

Yet another case of senseless violence, when will it end, America?

Just an hour down the road from that carnage, another case captivating not just Florida but the whole country. Casey Anthony`s star-studded defense team on the attack today as they slam the local media, and ask the court for a change of venue.

They say their client cannot get a fair trial in Orlando, and they want the trial moved to south Florida. Are they right?

Back with my expert panel: Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney; and Karen Mills-Francis, host of "Judge Karen."

Judge Karen, you are a former judge for Miami-Dade County, retired. The very area the defense wants to move this trial to.

How does -- I`ve always wondered this, how does a court system feel when a hot-potato trial suddenly moves into their jurisdiction from a smaller town? Is it viewed as just this massive hassle that they don`t want to have?

JUDGE KAREN MILLS-FRANCIS, FMR. JUDGE, MIAMI-DADE CO.: You don`t understand Miami. I was also a criminal defense attorney there. Like I said earlier, Jessica Lunsford`s trial was held there.

And the courthouse -- and you barely knew it was going on. It was all over the local news every night, all over cable and national news. But you could barely tell that it was going on.


MILLS-FRANCIS: We have a lot of criminals in Miami. I mean, some of the strangest cases, some of the worst cases. You ever watch "America`s Most Wanted?" Don`t you realize...


MILLS-FRANCIS: ...that anytime they`re looking for somebody, they say, we believe he may be in Florida, probably down in Miami.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why is that? I thought all the kooks moved to California? Because I`m one who moved to California.

MILLS-FRANCIS: No, I assure you they live right here in Miami.


MILLS-FRANCIS: So it`s not going to be as big a deal here as it is in Orlando. I mean, we`ve just heard you say a little earlier that there are 900 children who have been missing in the last two years that nobody has found.

So there are a lot of other pressing cases, especially in Miami. It`s a big city. Twice the size of Orlando and so a case like this is not going...


MILLS-FRANCIS: ... to take the precedence that exists there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Quick question, Mark. Does she end up having to move down there and then just stay in a Miami prison institution or jail facility there? And then that could be worse for her as well. Because that might not be as nice as the Orlando facility, usually the smaller facilities are nicer.

EIGLARSH: Yes, they`re going to bring her down here. And yes, she`ll have to get used to our jails. Judge Karen just sent our tourism base back ten years. It`s a lovely place to be. And we welcome Casey Anthony down here. We will make sure that she gets a fair and impartial jury.

MILLS-FRANCIS: With open arms.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, all right, we`ve got some phone calls patiently waiting. April in Virginia, your question or thought?

APRIL, VIRGINIA (via telephone): Hi. I have a comment about Casey Anthony`s defense moving her trial. I don`t think it`s going to matter where they move it to, because anybody who`s anybody has heard of this case. And we all want justice for Caylee Anthony. We want Casey to do her time. We want this trial to begin. We want...

MILLS-FRANCIS: You`ve got this one-sided?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, ok. I get your point. I think we`ve been discussing that. Obviously everybody`s heard about it. Now, Casey`s attorney complained about the lack of evidence to NBC`s "Today" show. Listen to this.


LINDA KENNEY-BADEN, CASEY ANTHONY`S ATTORNEY: After they announced that they said that we`re going to get the death penalty. We wrote a letter, where is the evidence? And we haven`t gotten response. What we did get was something that was released Thursday and Friday.

First, is we have an autopsy of a snake, but we don`t have an autopsy of the child for which they are sticking to take this woman`s life for killing her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jayne Weintraub, they were referring to the snake that they took a lot of photos of and they did an autopsy and they released it.

But we haven`t gotten the autopsy results released to the public. And she`s complaining about that. What`s the delay?

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The delay is, they don`t have a cause of death. And they will never have a cause of death or manner of death. And you know what that means, Jane? That means that they will never be able to prove to 12 jurors the murder that she is charged with, and seeking and getting death because they can`t prove...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But my question is, why are they not releasing the autopsy? The autopsy was done a long time ago. Why not release that to the defense?

WEINTRAUB: That`s a very good question that I think the defense will be raising pretty soon in a motion to compel the state.

EIGLARSH: They`re going to get it, though. Jane, they`re going to get it, they`re entitled to it.

MILLS-FRANCIS: It`s small and they`re entitled to everything.

WEINTRAUB: But the real answer, Jane, is because it doesn`t fit their theory right now.



WEINTRAUB: And because they know that the defense will be jumping up and down because as it is, there are no fingerprints on any evidence, no chemicals.

EIGLARSH: I don`t that`s it either.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, got to go fabulous, fabulous panel. Jayne, Karen, Mark. Sit tight for the very latest twist in the Casey Anthony case.

Tune in to "NANCY GRACE" tonight, she is up next at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

This also marks a somber anniversary for the parents of missing child Madeleine McCann. It was just two years ago last night that the precious 3-year-old went missing while her family vacationed in Portugal. Little Madeleine, a British citizen, soon made international headlines. Her abduction, every parent`s worst nightmare, a little girl lost in a foreign land seemingly without a trace.

Her parents faced intense scrutiny because they left Madeleine and her infant twin brother and sister alone the night she went missing. The kids were in an unlocked hotel room less than 100 yards away from where the McCanns were dine with friends. The McCanns later cleared of any involvement in the child`s death but what happened to little Maddy? He parents spoke to Oprah this afternoon.


OPRAH WINFREY, "OPRAH" SHOW HOST: Do you think that somebody was watching your family?

KATE MCCANN, MADELEIN`S MOTHER: I think so now, yes.

WINFREY: Do you think somebody was watching you over a period of days or?

MCCANN: Yes. Which is horrible, I mean, it makes you feel sick actually when you think about it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The pain etched on that woman`s face. What a surreal, horrifying ordeal. Thankfully now there is high-tech age progression technology that allows us to see what Madeleine would look like today.

Take a look very carefully at these photos and compare them. We will analyze all the latest on the search for this precious little girl.

With my expert panel, back with me: Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor and Tom Ruskin, former NYPD detective and president CMP Protective and Investigative Group.

Tom, during your time with the NYPD, you oversaw missing person`s cases. What went wrong in this investigation? They discovered this child missing so quickly, the group was still at dinner. And one of them came home. The mom actually and couldn`t find her. And yet they didn`t get a leg up on finding this child, even though they caught this disappearance within minutes.

THOMAS RUSKIN, CEO, CMP PROTECTIVE & INVESTIGATIVE GROUP: Right. They should have basically had two teams working on it, one team working on the parents to get all the information and to possibly target in on the parents if they were responsible.

And the second team would have been putting out an abbreviated amber alert. We`ll be closing down the roads, putting the alerts to the rail stations, the airports and concentrating on any evidence. They should have had a forensic team go into the apartment, take prints, determined where this child may have gone.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Madeleine`s parents, Gerry and Kate, told Oprah they still have hope she will be found. Listen to this.


GERRY MCCANN, MADELEINE`S FATHER: There`s two ways I think Madeleine will be found. That`s the age progression picture. Someone knows where Madeleine is around and will recognize her. And that`s why we want the image out there (INAUDIBLE).

The second thing is, it will identify the abductor. And that`s the key.

K. MCCANN: Or, or somebody knows something.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s been two years, Mark Eiglarsh, since this little child went missing. We have seen children turn up often long after their abduction. The Elizabeth Smart case is an example. But it is rare.

What in your opinion, if you were advising this family, should they do now? Should they return to Portugal and just beat the bushes?

EIGLARSH: See, I`m very biased. I have three beautiful young children, and my daughter looks a lot like her. There`s no way that I could be objective. I would never give up the search. I would never say, well, I guess my daughter must be dead and I`ll move on. That would never happen.

So I would probably do what they`re doing, use Oprah, a wonderful platform, put out clues. And there are children, it`s unlikely, but there are children who have been found years later. I would never give up hope.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, what`s really sad is in the days after this little child`s disappearance, her parents Kate and Gerry -- you just saw them there -- were vilified in the media, because they`d left little Maddy and the twins alone that night. The media had a field day focusing on them, calling them bad parents rather than staying focused on the investigation.

Now, doesn`t that, Tom Ruskin, seem reminiscent of the Haleigh Cummings case? You know that Florida girl has been missing three months, the focus has been on the drama between the estranged parents.

RUSKIN: The parents have to be responsible. Like going on Oprah today, keeping it in front of the media. The only way to possibly find this child is someone saw something they didn`t think was important at the time and they have to basically draw their memory and have them come forward.

As Mark said, you can`t give up the hope.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There is a man, somebody in their party saw a man carrying a child. Didn`t see the child`s face and they believe that is the man who abducted this girl. And they just have a sketch. He`s just an ordinary looking guy; could be in his 30s, who knows.

RUSKIN: Well, the key now is going to be to target in and find where Maddy is. And determine who may have taken her can take seconds, but to look for this little child throughout Europe, throughout the world to find her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my God, I can`t even imagine what this family is going through, Mark. I`m sure you see it in their faces, just the hell, the hell. It`s unimaginable.

EIGLARSH: It is the worst nightmare ever.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, gentlemen.

The search is on for a 3-year-old boy taken by two gunmen from his California home, an update on this amber alert.

And David Hasselhoff rushed to the hospital for alcohol poisoning this weekend. His camp denies the reports; which side are you buying?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: David Hasselhoff allegedly rushed to the hospital for alcohol poisoning this weekend. I will sort through the conflicting reports.

But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.

California cops furiously searching for a kidnapped 3-year-old boy, Briant Rodriguez taken at gunpoint Sunday after two gunman stormed in to his family`s home. After stealing money and property the man took Briant and left the rest of the family, his mom enforcedly tied up inside the home; Briant`s dad at work at the time.

About nine hours after the incident, the California highway patrol issued an amber alert. Briant, three feet tall, weighs 40 pounds, with brown eyes and curly brown hair. What a cute child. He was wearing a yellow shirt, blue striped shorts and sandals at the time of the abduction.

Here on ISSUES we will stay on top of this truly terrifying story. That is tonight`s "Top of the Block."

Also tonight, scandals swirling around TV star David Hasselhoff. Shocking reports that the actor turned reality show judge was so dangerously drunk over the weekend he had to be rushed to the hospital for alcohol poisoning. reports Hasselhoff`s 16-year-old daughter found him unconscious on the floor of his L.A. home and kept slapping his face to quote, "keep him alive." Radar says his blood alcohol was more than four times the legal limit.

The world, of course, stunned back in May of 2007 by disturbing home video showing Hasselhoff trying to eat a burger off the floor apparently in mid-stupor. It was shot by his older daughter and later released by the TV show "Extra."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell me you`re going to stop.





VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hasselhoff called that incident a brief relapse. As for these claims, says the Hoff had indeed been drinking, but says reports of his level of intoxication greatly exaggerated. For his part, Hasselhoff`s publicist says he is quote, "fine and well and happy."

Wherever the truth lies, how much he allegedly drank is not really the issue. I`ll explain.

But first, let`s get to the bottom of the story with two amazing guests tonight. So pleased to have Dr. Drew Pinsky, addiction specialist and host of VH1`s "celebrity rehab;" and also, very pleased to have A.J. Hammer, host of HLN`s "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT."

A.J., let`s start by clarifying. Did Hasselhoff`s camp even downplaying the report saying point blank he was not drinking, or did they side step that crucial issue?

A.J. HAMMER, HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGH": Well, some will view it as having side stepped it. They certainly didn`t come out and say yes, he was knocking them back and was in fact on the floor. But what they have said in fact as you pointed out, Jane, is that the claims, these very sensational claims that he was found unconscious, that his ex-wife had to come and bring him to the hospital and he had to be helped to the hospital, his lawyer, Hasselhoff`s lawyer coming out and saying, that`s not what happened.

He wasn`t feeling well. His daughter did call the ex-wife. She came and brought him to the hospital. But he walked to the car on his own, walked into the hospital on his own. Got out, attended a party last night and he in fact is doing just fine.

But the sensational claims, Jane, against the back drop of that cheeseburger videotape that you just showed didn`t have a lot of us today when we got the news saying, "Oh, that must not have happened."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, it`s interesting because RadarOnline, Dr. Drew Pinsky has just came out just moments ago with new claims that he was so drunk he was foaming at the mouth which they say is a symptom of alcohol poisoning, that he spent 12 hours at the hospital hooked up to the IV.

I have no independent confirmation of what`s true, but we do know he had this slip that we`re looking at in 2007. He`s admitted to be a recovering alcoholic. He said that was a brief slip.

The fact that they didn`t say point blank he wasn`t drinking. Do you think this is a case of a chronic slipper?

DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, "CELEBRITY REHAB": There`s no doubt he has a long-standing struggle with alcohol. He`s an alcoholic. He`s in maybe in relapse. I don`t know understand this is creating such a sensation when alcoholics relapse; they usually pick up where they left off. And they usually drink very heavily. A level of 0.39 is was quite heavy. It`s consistent with being unconscious.

The idea of alcohol poisoning suggests respiratory suppression which would require ventilator support which should be an ICU hospitalization. He would still be hospitalized now if he had true alcohol poisoning. So he did not have that.

Now, my big question here is, why do we know this man`s personal private medical record? Why do we know anything about what his blood alcohol level was? Somebody violated HIPAA laws profoundly by allowing that information to go out. So A, there`s a very significant ethical problem and legal problem with us knowing this information and B, and alcoholics relapse. Ok.

Now time to get sober again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you on both points. And I think it happens a lot in Hollywood, in the hospitals. Where obviously we see this time and time again, with celebrities where personal details of their medical history get out.

Let`s take another look at that embarrassing home video shot by Hoff`s daughter and released by the show "Extra" back in 2007.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell me you`re going to stop.

HASSELHOFF: I`m going to stop.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. According to "Extra," Hasselhoff asked his daughter to document him in a drunken state, but it was never meant to become public which gets to Dr. Drew Pinsky`s point.

A.J., Hasselhoff claimed the video appeared to have been released by his ex-wife.

HAMMER: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She denied it. But they`re in a very, ugly, ugly battle that has gone on for years this divorce battle.

HAMMER: Yes and that`s a huge part of the back drop of all this going on because if you remember, after that tape got out and David Hasselhoff and his team accused his ex-wife, Pamela Bach, of releasing it, well, David Hasselhoff ended up getting custody of the kids. And now you have this situation.

And just going back to what Dr. Drew was saying, yes, it absolutely would be a huge legal violation if in fact somebody from the hospital leaked the fact that he blew a 0.39, or he had a 0.39 in his system. He probably didn`t blow that kind of a level because he wasn`t drinking while driving but if they had tested him in a hospital.

The truth is we don`t know if that`s even a factual number. David Hasselhoff`s lawyer said that all of the stories that I have read about him, David Hasselhoff, are completely false. We really don`t know what to believe.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Somebody with an ulterior motive is what they said. And obviously he is in the middle of a divorce battle. So we don`t know. But we`ll investigate that further. Ok.

Be sure to catch A.J. Hammer on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" at 11:00 p.m. Eastern.

Much more on the Hasselhoff scandal in moments.



HASSELHOFF: I couldn`t get a job. I was the "Knight Rider"; the man who talked to a car. And so I said, well, forget, it I`m going to wait and let this little character die.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a cute young guy he was. David Hasselhoff, talking about how he`d been typecast and shunned by Hollywood producers. In the almost 20 years since that interview Hoff`s image has taken much more severe blows.

We`re back talking about the scandal swirling around reports that he fell off the wagon this past weekend. Making matters worse, a war of words over who leaked this story to the media.

Back with "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`S" A.J. Hammer and Dr. Drew Pinsky, author of "The Mirror Effect: How celebrity narcissism is seducing America." Boy, I like that title; got to check that book out. You also have a fabulous TV show called "Celebrity Rehab" which I cannot stop watching.

But you know, seriously, it seems that there is an endless supply of celebrities for your show. And celebrities and their struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction really take center stage. Like I, personally, am a recovering alcoholic with 14 years of sobriety. I look at this, and I say, boy, there but for the grace of God go I.

How can people at home, average Americans, look at these incidents and learn something to help them in their struggle with sobriety?

PINSKY: Wow. That`s quite a mouthful. And congratulations.


PINSKY: I would say, look, these are human struggles, these are real conditions, this is a genuine disease, and there`s a real treatment. A hallmark of the disease often is relapse, and poor Mr. Hasselhoff is clearly struggling with this condition.

There`s an organization out there, there are 12-step programs, there are professionals that can help. If you or someone you love has alcoholism addiction, get help. That`s all I can say.

And if you yourself, if that person doesn`t want help and you yourself are involved with somebody with this disease, go to a program called AlAnon and get yourself some support because you become part of this disease when you`re around it.

I would just say let`s look at Mr. Hasselhoff, let`s send our well wishes and rather than our disdain and judgment...


PINSKY: ... let`s hope he does get sober.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And I think we all agree, A.J. Hammer, that this is a cautionary tale. We all have compassion for him, we hope he gets sober. We can also learn a little bit.

HAMMER: Yes, I think that`s absolutely right. And there`s somebody who suggested to me, actually a recovering alcoholic I spoke with, earlier, Jane, who said maybe somebody like David Hasselhoff doesn`t really know what true bottom is because even when he`s at his bottom he still has all of his money and his yes men around him that are enabling him.


PINSKY: Yes. That is one of the challenges of being a celebrity. Not only do they do have relatively low bottoms, it`s very difficult for them to stay anonymous and to go to programs and be open and honest where they need to be.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is. But it`s something you`ve got to do.

PINSKY: Got to do it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much to my panel.

Be sure to join ISSUES tomorrow night for more octo-mom developments. You don`t want to miss this; a shocker.