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Jane Velez-Mitchell

Misty`s Grandmother Opens Up about Haleigh`s Fate

Aired April 20, 2010 - 19:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, seismic new insight into the desperate search for Haleigh Cummings. Tonight, I`ll talk one-on- one with Misty Croslin`s grandmother. Yes, the woman who broke this case wide open and led cops down to the river.


FLORA HOLLARS, MISTY`S GRANDMOTHER: I heard she got a hold of one of Ron`s pills and swallowed it and O.D.`d on it. Misty supposedly hit her on the back of the head, and Joe supposedly raped her. Tied Haleigh with a yellow rope, and tied a brick or block to the rope and dropped her into the St. John`s River.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What really happened to this little girl? We`ll get the inside story, live from Grandma Flo.

And a Hollywood prince gone bad. The son of Michael Douglas faces justice. He was busted dealing meth and cocaine. Today he faced ten years in jail. So did he get a break because of his famous father and grandfather?

Plus, an outraged family demands justice. Stunning new twists and turns in the "Survivor" murder mystery. A hot shot TV producer accused of killing his wife at a lavish Mexican resort. Now, the victim`s family is headed towards the crime scene in search of answers. Why hasn`t anyone been arrested?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stunning new details in the gruesome murder of 5- year-old Haleigh Cummings. As the case rapidly turns into a homicide investigation, police say, "Nobody believes we are looking for a live child anymore."

A mystery tip led detectives to a boat dock on the St. John`s River five miles from where little Haleigh disappeared. Cops spent days searching for the little girl`s body. Two cinder blocks have reportedly been pulled out of the murky water. Could those cement blocks been used to weigh down Haleigh`s tiny body?

Misty Croslin, the very last person to see Haleigh alive, was brought to the dock in cuffs -- you see her there in blue -- and interrogated. Did she finally crack?

Tonight, Misty`s courageous grandmother blows this case wide open, 67- year-old Flora Hollars says she knows what happened to Haleigh. Misty told her everything.


HOLLARS: Tied Haleigh up with a yellow rope and tied a brick or block to the rope and dropped her into the St. John`s River.

She was crying. And I told her, I said, "Baby, don`t cry. This is something you should have said a long time ago."

She says, "But Nanny, I was scared."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Misty told cops Haleigh just disappeared one night, and she found a brick holding open the door of their trailer home. That was the first story.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said your back door was wide open?

MISTY CROSLIN, RON CUMMINGS` FORMER WIFE: There was a brick. Like a brick on the floor. When I went to sleep it was not like that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What -- what is the brick?

CROSLIN: It`s on the back door on the stairs like it has a walkway.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there was a brick laying there?

CROSLIN: Yes. It`s still there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Funny how a brick figures into so many of the stories that have come out of this.

Flora also talked to Misty`s brother Tommy. She says she broke Tommy, adding she, Flora, is the tipster that sent police to that dock. Now she is ordering granddaughter Misty to completely come clean.


HOLLARS: I`ve heard two different details. I heard that she got a hold of one of Ron`s pills and swallowed it and O.D.`d on it. And then I heard that Misty supposedly hit her on the back of the head and Joe supposedly raped her and then got rid of the body.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So which story is true? Was little Haleigh thrown into the river dead or alive? Hard to even think about. Tonight, I`m going to speak with Grandma Flora in a special one-on-one in just a moment.

Plus, Ron Cummings, Haleigh`s dad. His attorney says the heartbroken father was told to start planning a funeral.


RON CUMMINGS, FATHER OF HALEIGH: I just want my child back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want somebody to see her or find her.

CUMMINGS: I want my child back so bad. I would give them everything. All I want is my child.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But there is still no body. Will cops have enough evidence to charge somebody, anybody?

I want to hear from you. Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to my fantastic panel, but I begin with Misty Croslin`s grandmother, Flora Hollars.

Flora, first of all, I want to say I applaud your courage in coming forward, even though it could be at the expense of the people you love, your grandchildren.

Tell us exactly what your grandkids, Tommy and Misty, told you when they called from behind bars. Tell us the story.

HOLLARS: When Tommy called me, he was sort of whimpering like crying. I told him, I said, "You failed your lie detector test, didn`t you?"

And he says, "Yes, Nanny, I did."

I said, "OK, it`s time to come clean now. I want you to tell me if what`s in my heart is what is true."

He said, "Nanny, what do you have -- who do you think done it?"

I said, "I think Joe done it."

He says, "Yes, Nanny, Joe did do it." And then he started crying, and we started talking about his children and his wife.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Then Misty calls, what, about 15 minutes later?

HOLLARS: Uh-huh. And I told her exactly what Tommy had told me. And she started crying and saying, "Nanny, see, I`ve told you all along that Joe had something to do with this. I knew he did, I knew he did."

And then she called me on Monday to let me know that Tommy and Joe had wrapped Misty in -- I mean wrapped Haleigh in a yellow rope and tied a brick to it and throwed her off the dock in the St. John`s River.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. So if I understand you correctly, Tommy called and pointed the finger at Joe, but did not implicate himself.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Then Misty calls and implicates both of her cousins - - her brother Tommy and her cousin Joe.

HOLLARS: Yes, she did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So did Tommy also confess in any way, shape or form to his own involvement and admit that he was at the river, too? Otherwise, how would he help police -- how would he know, if he wasn`t involved?

HOLLARS: That`s what I`d like to know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, hmm, let`s break down the time line of events. Thursday, April 16, detectives give Tommy a polygraph. He reportedly fails it.

Then the lady you`re hearing -- seeing right here, Grandma Flo, says Tommy calls her Sunday night from behind bars and confides in her. Fifteen minutes later, she says her granddaughter Misty calls her from behind bars and also admits she knows what happened to Haleigh.

Monday afternoon, Tommy meets with the cops. Hours later, Tommy leads cops to the river dock, and the frantic search for Haleigh`s body begins.

Flora, do you find it at all suspicious? Or what is your reaction to the fact that, after more than a year of keeping their mouths shut, Misty and Tommy both call you just 15 minutes apart and finally spill their guts?

HOLLARS: I guess it was because of the way that I was talking to them, because I let them know that this has got to be solved. It`s got to be solved now. That child has grandparents just like you all do. And this needs to be an end. Let`s get it all out in the open, because I`m calling the police and I`m letting them know now, and I immediately called the head detective on the case and told them exactly what they had told me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Misty has repeatedly denied that she knows anything about what happened to little Haleigh, and she was baby-sitting the child. Listen to this.


M. CROSLIN: I got up because I had to use the bathroom, but I didn`t make it to the bathroom. I seen the kitchen light on and I walked in the kitchen and the backdoor is wide open. I didn`t notice about Haleigh then until I seen the backdoor open. And I go in the room and she`s gone. And that`s all I know. Is when I woke up, when I went to sleep, she was there, and then when I woke up, she was gone.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Even when police tried to break her while she was behind bars on serious drug charge, she insisted she knew absolutely nothing. Listen to this.


M. CROSLIN: They`re not going to put me away for something I didn`t do. And I didn`t have anything to do with Haleigh. And if I knew who did, I would tell them. I told them everything that I can tell them. So they need to leave me alone about that. This -- why I`m in jail has nothing to do with Haleigh.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Flora, why would Misty lie to investigators and her own family for more than a year and then all of a sudden confess everything to you. You say it was the way you were talking to her. But cops have grilled her.

And I have to point out that the Bald Truth is reporting that Misty took a polygraph on this whole story that she`s talking about, Joe wrapping a rope and a cinder block about Haleigh and dropping her in a river, and failed that polygraph. Do you really believe Misty, or could she be lying again?

HOLLARS: I believe her. I don`t believe she`s lying again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why? I mean, how can you tell the difference?

HOLLARS: Just the looks on her face when I see her on TV. Misty has not got the same look as she did have. Her eyes look like they`re more settled.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But when have you seen her since that phone conversation? The only time she has left, in my understanding, is to go down to the river to point out -- and there she is. It`s a far away shot. You can`t see her up close there.

HOLLARS: No, ma`am, but in my eyes, Misty had -- I don`t think Misty had anything to do with the missing of her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So how could she help them down at the river? There she is down at the river, being grilled by these three detectives. If she had nothing to do with it, how would she be able to help detectives and say, "Well, here`s where they did what"?

HOLLARS: That`s why I`m wondering, was she in that van, too?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you`re thinking that maybe Misty had something to do with it that night and was there when Haleigh`s body was thrown into the river?

HOLLARS: Yes, ma`am, I do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, so, in fact, your story is implicating, potentially, three people: Joe, the cousin in Tennessee who says he had nothing to do with this; Tommy Croslin, who`s behind bars on drug charges; and your other granddaughter, Misty. You`re saying all three, all three of your grandkids were involved in this?

HOLLARS: Yes, ma`am, I think they were. I really do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why do you think that?

HOLLARS: It`s just the way that they act. Joe, ever since he came back from Florida, he`s not been the same child. And every time I talk to Tommy, and I talk to Misty, they`re not the same people that I`ve talked to.

Misty came to my house and stayed for about ten days. And I talked to her and I talked to her. And evidently -- I think she may have been able to break at that time, but she wanted to leave and go back to Florida. So I couldn`t talk to her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because originally, you had said you didn`t think Misty is involved, but now that you think about it, you believe Misty, Tommy and Joe all were involved in disposing of Haleigh`s body in the St. John`s River?

HOLLARS: How did Misty know where to point to in the river?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why? Why would they do this?

HOLLARS: That I don`t know. I know one thing: Misty had been out on a drug binge for three days. Her and Ron had fought that day, and she told him she didn`t want to baby-sit. And he told her, "Yes, you are going to baby-sit." And he left the kids there with her. And she was still strung out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think she could have possibly taken out her frustrations on the child?

HOLLARS: I don`t think she would have really hurt a child deliberately, because she`s had more chances than one to do it. She`s kept every -- just about every one of my great-grandkids, and she`s always been good with kids.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So how would she have done it then?

HOLLARS: Well, that -- I just think she may have been in that van, because she know where to go to.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to have more of you. Don`t go anywhere. Grandma Flo, you are fascinating and courageous. We`ll talk to you more right after the break.

And we`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

And from one Misty to another, a Hollywood producer accused of killing his wife in a Mexican resort. Why hasn`t he been arrested?

But first, who is telling the truth in the desperate search for Haleigh Cummings?


M. CROSLIN: I want out of here. I want out so bad.

L. CROSLIN: I know.




JOE OVERSTREET, MISTY`S COUSIN: I can`t imagine what they`re going through. I didn`t do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You didn`t do it?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know who did?

OVERSTREET: If I knew who did, I would straight call the police and tell the cops who did it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Misty Croslin`s cousin, Joe Overstreet. Tonight on ISSUES we`re delighted to have Misty`s grandmother, Flo Hollars with us.

And some breaking news. Flo has just told us that she now believes all three of her grandchildren -- Misty, Tommy and Joe -- were involved in what happened to Haleigh Cummings and her allegedly ending up in a river, which is the theory that police are operating on now.

Did you struggle, Flo, when it came time to call the cops? Were you torn about whether to implicate your own flesh and blood?

HOLLARS: Yes, ma`am, I was. And I talked to my daughter that lives with me. And she told me, she says, "Mama, you do what you think is right, and you know what you`re going to do."

I said, "Yes, I do. I`m calling the police right now."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you regret it at all?

HOLLARS: No, ma`am, I don`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`d do it all over again?

HOLLARS: Yes, ma`am, I would.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve been thinking about the cinder blocks. Now, at first, Misty said that she woke up in the middle of the night. Haleigh was gone, and the other thing she noticed was a light on and the door propped open with a block.

Now we`re hearing her say to you that Joe and Tommy wrapped a rope and attached it to a block and threw it into the river. Do you find it odd that the block or the cinder block is a constant theme in her stories? And could she have taken the block -- you know, they say in every lie there`s a little bit of truth.

HOLLARS: Yes, ma`am.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you find it odd?

HOLLARS: Yes, I do find it odd.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In what sense?

HOLLARS: Why would all the blocks be involved? I had never heard of a cinder block. I know them by brick-o-blocks.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got a caller. Someone wants to weigh in here, so we`re going to do this very briefly. Sasha, Nevada, your question or thought.

CALLER: Hi, Jane. I just want to say I love your show.


CALLER: My question is, with all the, you know, talk between Misty and other family members and Tommy and other family members, and all those conversations are recorded because people come and see them, is there any chance that any of the phone calls between Misty and her grandmother or Tommy and his grandmother were recorded, because it`s such a high-profile case?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m sure that there`s a very good possibility. We`ll ask our experts in a second.

But do you think they were aware when they talked to you that they were potentially, at least Tommy, confessing, or talking about a case that could implicate them on tape?

HOLLARS: He knows that that was being recorded. He`s knowed all along that all of his phone calls is recorded, and so does Misty.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did Misty have a reputation in the family as having a serious drug problem or a drug problem?

HOLLARS: No, ma`am, not when she left Tennessee. But when -- after she left my house. I kept her, and I kept her in school here, the longest time she ever went to school. And then, when she went back to Florida, that`s when the drugs started.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think Ron Cummings, Haleigh`s dad, is completely innocent and has nothing to do with any of this? Or does he know more than he`s saying?

HOLLARS: No, ma`am, I think he knows more than what he`s saying.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You do think Ron Cummings knows more?

HOLLARS: Yes, ma`am, I do.


HOLLARS: The fact of him leaving those kids there with her and her still high on pills. Would you leave your kids with somebody that`s all doped up?


HOLLARS: I wouldn`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, I wouldn`t.

HOLLARS: No, ma`am.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. All right, Flo, will you come back soon? I hope so. You`re fabulous. And we applaud your courage. Really, we do.

HOLLARS: Yes, I`ve lost quite -- I`ve lost quite a bit of family, but that`s OK. They`ll come back.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thanks...



M. CROSLIN: They`re not going to put me away for something I didn`t do. And I didn`t have anything to do with Haleigh. And if I knew who did, I would tell them. I told them everything that I can tell them. So they need to leave me alone about that. This -- why I`m in jail has nothing to do with Haleigh.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, is Misty Croslin finally admitting the truth about what happened to 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings, who disappeared on her watch? We are delighted to have Misty`s grandmother, Flo Hollars, with us tonight, a very courageous 67-year-old grandmother who called cops, even though it was not really in her best interests in some way, shape or form, but she felt the search for the truth was more important.

And we`ve been wondering how would Misty know that it was a yellow rope that bound Haleigh, allegedly, in her story, unless she saw it? Because that`s not the kind of detail that somebody would tell second hand.

I have a fantastic panel here. And I would like to start with Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst. You`ve been listening to Flo. What would you like to ask her or what are your thoughts, Mike?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: You know, I really think that Ms. Hollars` story makes perfect sense.

And Ms. Hollars, again, thank you for being with us.

HOLLARS: Thank you.

BROOKS: Now, when Joe Overstreet was down in Florida when Haleigh disappeared, did you see him shortly thereafter? And if you did, did you have any contact with him? And how was he back then?

HOLLARS: Yes, sir, when he come back from Florida, he was a totally different person than he went down.

BROOKS: How so?

HOLLARS: He didn`t even have the same attitude about him. Everything had changed, his reactions and all.

BROOKS: Now, how close -- how close is Joe Overstreet with Ronald and with Misty and with Haleigh? And then also Tommy? Are they very, very close?

HOLLARS: He`d only known Ronald for two weeks. Because that`s how long he stayed down there. Now, according to what Misty and Tommy told me, he threatened to come back and kill them if they opened their mouths and said anything.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Can I ask a follow-up on that? Ron reportedly told somebody -- and they said it on our show -- that Ron told them -- oh, it was Art Harris -- that Cousin Joe liked to go down and fish right at that spot at the river where they were searching for Haleigh`s body. What do you know about that, Flo?

HOLLARS: I don`t know. Well, I know that he did go there to fish. And according to Tommy, he said that would be a nice place to commit a murder and get by with it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa, who did that?

HOLLARS: That`s what Joe told Tommy and Hank.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Say that one more time, Flo?

HOLLARS: Joe told Tommy and Hank that that would be a good place to commit a murder and get by with it, because the alligators would eat the body.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And apparently in the van, there`s some reports that Misty told a voice stress analyst that there was blood in the van, and it was deer blood that might have been used to put on Haleigh`s body so that the alligators would eat her?

HOLLARS: Mm-hmm.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, boy. Elizabeth Kelly, your question?

ELIZABETH KELLY: Well, Mrs. Hollars, undoubtedly your grandchildren love you and they trust you, but I`m wondering, why they decided, after all this time, to basically confess to you on a prison phone without the presence of a lawyer.

HOLLARS: That`s what I can`t understand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In two seconds, we`re going to be back and we`re going to have more with Flora and questions with her and from you, as well.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, sir. Let me talk to your wife. Let me get some information from her.


911 OPERATOR: OK. Can I talk to her? OK?

CUMMINGS: How the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) do you let my daughter get stolen, (EXPLETIVE DELETED)?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What happened to Little Haleigh Cummings? Suspicion has been cast on Misty Croslin`s cousin, Joe Overstreet, who says he had nothing to do with Little Haleigh`s disappearance. She got three cousins pointing the finger at each other.

Judge Greg Mathis, you`ve been very patiently listening to all of us. What would you like to ask Grandma Flo Hollars?

JUDGE GREG MATHIS, HOST, "JUDGE MATHIS": Well, first, I would like to thank her for coming and tell her how smart and insightful I believe she is. One of the things I would suggest and ask is whether you believe it was a conspiracy between the three of them, whether it`s a conspiracy to murder, whether it`s a conspiracy for accessory before the fact, or after the fact. Because if it`s either of those, then what we could see is charges against them on one of the three or all three charges that I mentioned.

And in that sense, we could be able to take their DNA and compare that DNA to what we find on the bricks. And then, in the other way, and we wouldn`t necessarily need the body.

So, do you think it was a conspiracy?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, tell us about that, Flo. What kind of conspiracy?

HOLLARS: I think they all three had something to do with it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Have they been friends in the past? Or was there friction?

HOLLARS: Oh, yes, they`ve always been friends. Now, Misty stated that Joe had molested her when she was up here in Nashville. But she never once said anything to me about it. And she always wanted to go to his house. So, if he molested her, she must have liked it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say this. First of all, Joe has a standing invitation and/or his attorneys to appear on this show at anytime. And we certainly have no knowledge of that. He has not been charged with any crime and he has said that he`s completely innocent of all of that.

So, we want to really stress that.

But -- well, that one kind of left me a little speechless.

Levi Page, you`re the host of the "Levi Page Show." You`ve been studying this case. What would you like to ask Flo Hollars?

LEVI PAGE, "LEVI PAGE SHOW": Yes, I would like to ask: has Joe -- does Joe have any criminal record that he had when he was a juvenile that has been sealed? If so, what were those crimes? His attorney is not addressing that. Maybe you could shed some light on that.

HOLLARS: Stealing automobiles. He served time in Woodland Hills for auto theft. As a matter of fact, he turned 18 in Woodland Hills.

PAGE: Any sex crimes? Any sex crimes?

HOLLARS: No sex crimes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you just also stated something about that. So, that`s a -- that`s an area obviously that we have to be very, very careful with.

Let me ask you this. Explain -- you said, Flo, that Joe told Ron and Tommy, oh, that would be a great place, the river, to commit a murder. When did he allegedly say this?

HOLLARS: This is right after he got down there. It wasn`t Ron, it was Tommy and his daddy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. And Joe said, allegedly, that would be a great place to commit a murder. When did he say that?

HOLLARS: And get by with it. A couple days after he was there -- my daughter called me and told me about that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You mean after Haleigh disappeared?

HOLLARS: No, no, no, no. Before Haleigh disappeared.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hmm. Well, what are your thoughts on that, Mike? We have a couple of seconds to wrap up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, it`s very interesting, you know -- was she maybe saying this to plant so she -- you know, as Ms. Hollars said, that she thinks that both -- that all Misty, Tommy and cousin Joe all may be implicated in this.

So, was she trying to set up a story then? Because apparently, if I`m right, Ms. Hollars, Misty hadn`t known Ronald that long when this happened.

HOLLARS: Four months.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s not very long at all.

HOLLARS: No, it`s not.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why do you think Ron -- why do you think Ron married Misty even though his child disappeared on her watch?

HOLLARS: Because he didn`t think she could testify against him and he believed in her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, you also think the conspiracy extends to Ron? You think it`s four people involved in the conspiracy?

HOLLARS: Yes, ma`am, I do.


HOLLARS: Because the fact of him marrying her and then turning around and saying that the law made him divorce her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very smart, very smart lady.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, Flo, you are a courageous, smart lady. We thank you for taking all the time. And we are going to switch gears here. But wow. We`re going to have you back soon. Amazing stuff.

All right, fast-breaking developments in the drug sentencing of actor Michael Douglas` eldest son Cameron. Did the judge cave under pressure of a letter-writing campaign by Cameron`s famous family?

After letters from movie star Michael Douglas, dad`s famous wife Catherine Zeta-Jones and the defendant`s famous grandfather, Kirk Douglas, the judge gave the admitted drug dealer a five-year sentence. Federal sentencing guidelines call for twice that. Cameron Douglas was caught up in a drug bust at a swanky Manhattan hotel in 2009. He was allegedly trying to sell half a pound of crystal meth earlier this year. Cameron pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute drugs and heroin possession.

TMZ was right there when Michael Douglas arrived at court today. He blames his son`s troubles on his family`s fame and a long legacy of drug and alcohol abuse in that family.

Let`s get real. Would any regular Joe have gotten the same sentence? Straight out to my fantastic panel, plus Howard Samuels, founder and CEO of the Hills Treatment Center; and "Inside Edition" chief correspondent Jim Moret.

Jim, let`s begin with you. Cameron addressed the judge today. What did he have to say for himself?

JIM MORET, "INSIDE EDITION" CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: Well, he was standing in a suit, his voice was trembling. He looked at the judge and apologized to the court for a situation that he, by his own admission, created. And he also looked at his parents, Diandra and Michael Douglas, and apologized to them for the nightmare that he said was of his own making.

He said that he hoped to find a true path. He hoped that one day he would be a role model for his younger siblings.

And I think the significant thing is Michael Douglas himself was at least happy that his son for the first time in a long time was sober.

And when you say, did the judge cave? I think the judge would have caved if he had a prosecution saying the sentence was too light. The prosecution didn`t say that. He got five years.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, you know, the inherent inequities in the criminal justice system are not just about the defense attorneys. It`s the whole system.

Cameron Douglas reportedly became hooked on drugs when he was only 13. And this certainly is not the first time he`s been in trouble. He was previously arrested in 1999 from buying cocaine from a dealer who was a police undercover.

In 2007, Cameron in trouble again, charged with a felony possession of a controlled substance. Police found a syringe with liquid cocaine in the car. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct. Cameron was quoted as saying he wouldn`t go to rehab unless it was court ordered.

Howard Samuels -- is anything but a jail term going to be effective with a chronic re-lapser?

HOWARD SAMUELS, FOUNDER/CEO, THE HILLS TREATMENT CENTER: Well, you know, listen -- as a recovering addict myself, I`m a convicted felon. And, you know, the courts and the law intervened on my addiction, and they gave me a choice of either four years in prison or a year in rehab. Now, I must say, I think that this is going to save Cameron`s life.


SAMUELS: The only thing I`m concerned about is that he -- the system today is wrong. He should have been probated to treatment for at least two years, because he`s a drug addict, no question.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So when you`re saying when he gets out, he`s got to go into a secure facility for drug treatment, because, even the five-year sentence isn`t going to necessarily sober him up forever. Yes?

SAMUELS: Well, what`s wrong with the five-year sentence is that that doesn`t treat the addiction.


SAMUELS: I mean, the good news is --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- I have to get to this. I have to get to my big issue. Using versus dealing. His family says he`s an addict, he needs help, not incarceration. But Cameron Douglas was dealing large quantities of meth and coke over a three-year period, not just using.

SAMUELS: Yes, but, Jane, I was dealing -- I was dealing heroin and cocaine to feed my addiction, OK?


SAMUELS: I`m still an addict. Now, that doesn`t make it right or wrong. And he has to serve the penalty, but you`ve got to treat the addict so that way he becomes a productive member of society. Otherwise, he`s going to be dealing in his addiction again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you. But I think that we have to be fair. If we`re going to show compassion to Cameron Douglas, we also have to show compassion to those thousands and thousands of other men who have done even less serious crimes and are serving much harder time.

Judge Greg Mathis, isn`t there a huge disparity -- millions -- isn`t there a huge disparity in how people are sentenced? And it`s a racial disparity and it`s an economic disparity. Take it away.

MATHIS: It`s absolutely. You know, those who are the most wealthiest in our society get the best justice over the poor and over the minorities.

You know, up until recently, in the recent several months, the mandatory sentencing was such that those found with enough personal use of crack cocaine, that is a few grams, were mandatory sentenced to five years in prison, whereby those, the suppliers usually that had over half a pound of powder cocaine could get probation. That`s because the supplier -- typically, white male -- with means and money, versus the street youth -- typically a black male -- on the street, dealing small amounts of crack was considered more dangerous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s the problem.

MATHIS: And the fact is --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Judge Mathis, is it not true that most people who use drugs in this society are white and most people who are in prison serving time for drugs are nonwhite?

MATHIS: Absolutely. Those who come from the suburbs, obviously -- well, not obviously -- many of America`s suburbs are lily-white. And when they come to the city, most of the customers are white in the black communities.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I believe in compassion, but I just think it has to be fair, OK?

MATHIS: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It can`t be a system where we give this guy five years and somebody else who`s four and who`s not famous does 25 years for the exact same crime.

More on Cameron Douglas in a minute.

Plus, a reality show producer accused of killing his wife, still a free man. Are the walls closing in on Bruce Beresford-Redman? The family demands answers.



KIM SERAFIN, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": This really does go back to a lot of these children of celebrities influenced by their parents -- their parents who are hugely successful. And, of course, in the case with him, you have not only his father being enormously successful, but his grandfather an acting legend. So, of course, the pressure is on a lot of these children to live up to the expectation of their parents.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Douglas wrote in his letter to his judge that his son is a single child of a bad marriage. But, is that a valid excuse for doing drugs? His dad is famous for a slew of movies including "Wall Street." And then there`s Michael`s father, Kirk, the grandfather of Cameron who is truly a screen legend.

Howard Samuels, do you believe this mantra that the cards were stacked against Cameron Douglas because of his famous legacy?

SAMUELS: No, I do not believe that. I believe it`s stacked against him because addiction and alcoholism runs in that family. So, that is what the issue is. He`s a product of the alcoholism that he grew up with.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jim Moret, you`ve been hearing our discussion -- Judge Mathis talking about the disparity in sentencing. I want to be compassionate to everyone. I`m a recovering alcoholic might myself.

But, is it fair to give him five years when others are doing 25 years for the same crime?

MORET: No, it isn`t. And that`s not to say that he should have gotten more time, but perhaps those other people should have gotten less. I mean, the older I get, I look at these cases less as a lawyer, more as a parent and as a realist. And I think really it`s in between the judge and the doctor.

I think you`ve got to -- you`ve got to look at this case. You`ve got a person who is distributing, not just using. And I understand that Dr. Samuels is saying, that most users also sell. I think you need a penalty and a treatment.

And I think what`s lacking in this case, unfortunately, for Cameron is the treatment part of that puzzle.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And why don`t they have treatment, real treatment in incarceration? Better treatment than they have now? Howard?

Oh, OK.

Well, Jim Moret, you and I have covered so many celebrity cases. I have many times sat there in court waiting for the famous case, as of you, and seen the not so famous case, the guy with a public defender get sent away in two seconds flat to the slammer while the celebrity case drags on for years. You know what I`m talking about.

MORET: There`s no question about it. It`s not just celebrity, it`s also money. I mean, let`s face it, if you can afford a high-powered lawyer, we`ve been in those courtrooms before and we`ve looked and we said, wow, that`s it? And, you know, there is a disparity in this country.

And I think in this case, I would have loved to have seen some element of treatment in this case. And I think, you know, Michael Douglas, did he have any sway over the judge?

The judge was very clear. He said, if you`re going to portray him as a victim, it`s not going to fly. So, the judge didn`t cave as you suggested earlier, but this is a lighter sentence, significantly lighter than he could have gotten.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you so much, Jim Moret, and I know we`re going to talk to you soon about your book -- later this week, fascinating book. And we look forward to that.

MORET: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re switching gears now.

Stunning new developments in the chilling murder that has mesmerized Hollywood -- the wife of a hot shot reality TV producer ends up dead. Now her husband, best known for his work on "Survivor" is the chief suspect. Monica Beresford-Redman was found dead April 8th at a lavish Mexican resort. She was strangled. Her body dumped like trash into the hotel sewer.

Witnesses heard the couple arguing that night. Her producer/husband Bruce was covered reportedly allegedly in scratches. He`s been ordered to remain in Mexico as this investigation unfolds.

"Radar Online" reports Bruce was having an affair with this woman, Hollywood casting director, Joy Pierce. There she is. Monica`s mom talked about the alleged affair on ABC`s "Good Morning America."


ELY BURGOS, MONICE BERESFORD-REDMAN`S MOTHER: It wasn`t going very well anymore. Since he had a mistress, things were in disarray. So, the relationship was jeopardized.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Monica`s family is going to Mexico to demand justice. They do not buy her husband`s story. Listen to this from "GMA."


JEANE BURGOS, MONICA BERESFORD-REDMAN`S SISTER: We want the person that murdered my sister. I want this person in jail, to pay for the rest of his life for what he did. Nothing is going to bring my sister back. But we want justice. We want justice.

It`s just, like, horrible. It`s so hurtful. I can`t even express how much pain is inside my body.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Back with me, HLN law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks, and criminal defense attorney, Elizabeth Kelley. And we`re delighted to have with us, Alison Triessl, the attorney for the dead woman`s devastated family, and we`re also delighted to have CNN producer Alan Duke.

Alan, I understand you`ve got some new information.

ALAN DUKE, CNN PRODUCER: Well, I do know that the family, at least, Monica`s mother and her sister, Jeane, who we just heard from, arrived in Cancun this afternoon. They took a direct flight from Los Angeles International Airport. But they hope to meet with the attorney general down there. It didn`t happen this afternoon.

Last word is they were stuck at the airport going through customs and trying to get their visas cleared. But what they wanted to do down there was talk to the prosecutor and try to convince them to go ahead and make charge against Bruce.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Alison, how frustrated is this family over the lack of an arrest at this point? Despite what everybody is saying is a lot of evidence?

ALISON TRIESSL, ATTORNEY FOR MONICE BERESFORD-REDMAN`S FAMILY: Horribly frustrated. It`s been two weeks. This family was devastated to hear the news that he was missing, much leas that she had been murdered. And then to suspect that it was her own husband that did it, it`s been horribly frustrating.

At the same time, of course, we want Mexican authorities to do a thorough job. We want them to investigate this case completely. But, on the other hand, we don`t want him to leave Mexico because he takes off. So, we`re all very frustrated.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to have more on the other side of this break on this incredible mystery and what the attorney for the dead woman`s family has to say.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue. Why no arrest in the death of a Hollywood producer`s wife? Husband Bruce ordered to stay in Mexico, his passport taken from him. You`d think Mexican authorities would keep their eye on their chief suspect, right? No.

Here`s a clip from NBC`s "Today" show.


FRANCISCO ALOR QUEZADA, MEXICAN ATTORNEY GENERAL (through translator): Me? I haven`t heard from him. I don`t know if you`ve talked to him. No. Nothing. Not a call. No word at all.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Alan Duke, that`s pretty crazy when you have Mexican authorities saying they don`t -- they haven`t talked to him.

DUKE: And the latest word today is: still no word on when they might take some action against any suspect in this case. They`re still waiting on results from toxicology tests and other evidence before they take any action. And, of course, everything has been pointing so far that they would re-emerge him as a suspect, but nothing today. And we`re waiting every day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Alison, you`re the attorney for the dead woman`s family. Mexican police cite glaring inconsistencies in the husband`s story saying he said his wife went shopping the morning she vanished, yet people saw them arguing that night at the hotel and there were reports that they were arguing inside the room.

And what I think is most fascinating -- a record of the hotel key card activity allegedly shows the couple`s room door was opened a dozen times between midnight and 6:00 a.m. on the evening she vanished.

TRIESSL: Yes. It`s very disturbing. There`s been a lot of inconsistencies.

And I think for us, immediately Jeane, who is the sister that flew down to Mexico today, got a call from him the Tuesday after she had gone missing. And the call came in at 1:45, and he rarely called her.

And he stated, Bruce stated, "Jeane, Monica`s missing." And she said, "What do you mean she`s missing?" "She went shopping yesterday morning at 8:30 in the morning, and I don`t know where she is." Well, Jeane said, "Well, call her." "She left her cell phone."

And Jeane, who is very close to her sister, said, "She`d never do that. She would never leave her two beautiful children who she cares for alone, no cell phone, and be gone for a day, and you`re just telling me now? You`re just telling me on Tuesday afternoon?"

And he said, "Well, you know, she told me she was going to come home late. And so, we just went to bed."

So, this family has been concerned from that phone call. And Jeane has confided in most of us that the minute she got that phone call she knew, she knew. And, unfortunately, Monica`s body was discovered on her 42nd birthday. And her family has just been devastated ever since -- absolutely devastated.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And didn`t the sister warn her sister not to go there and try to save her marriage?

TRIESSL: Yes. There had been a lot of problems with the marriage, and the family was aware that there was another woman involved. There had been a lot of problems, and they said that this was not the time to go to Mexico.

She had planned a trip to Brazil with her children for her birthday. But he insisted that they go to Mexico. He insisted that they try and work through this marriage and they do it immediately.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we have to leave it right there. But thank you for the fabulous information. Thank you, panel.