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Jane Velez-Mitchell

Baby-faced Killer or Dad`s Pawn?

Aired July 29, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Breaking news tonight. A dysfunctional family`s toxic secrets explode in murder. Take a look at this baby-faced Kentucky boy. He`s on trial for complicity to murder. He looks like a Boy Scout who should be playing in a sand lot. Instead prosecutors say he helped brutally bludgeon to death another boy who was a year younger, and you will not believe who that murder victim was.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live tonight. A murder plot involving what just may be the most dysfunctional family in America.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whose idea was it for you to plead guilty today?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was a shining light.

GOUKER: Before I knew it, it was over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Serving life in prison, convicted of brutally beating his 14-year-old stepson and now his own son, Josh Young, is on trial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A group of students made the gruesome discovery in a ditch behind Liberty High School.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is very hard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Josh is just as guilty as his dad. He was standing right there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know who would do, like -- who would do this to a -- just a 14-year-old. But everybody loved him. I just wish this never happened.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, this innocent-looking man-child is on trial for plotting to kill his younger stepbrother, who was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat or a pipe. Even more astounding, he is accused of plotting with his own dad to carry out this murder. A dad who is quite possibly the worst father anyone could imagine.

In an unbelievable act of cowardice, this man, this father, initially pins murder on his own son, saying, "Yes, my boy did it." Then he takes it back and finally pleads guilty. He`s behind bars tonight. But the boy is left on the hook and on trial for his life.

Meantime, the mothers of both of these boys -- the accused teenager and the murder victim -- remain in agony.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m familiar with the trial. I`ve reviewed this and I`ve read the pre-sentence report.

AMANDA MCFARLAND, VICTIM`S MOTHER: He`s a worthless person.

TERI ZWICKER, VICTIM`S STEP-MOTHER: God gets the final judgment, but please, your Honor, I ask you to consider Josh killed a child (UNINTELLIGIBLE), showed him no mercy. I ask you, I beg you, give him the maximum time that Josh deserves because we pay daily for a crime that Josh committed for the rest of our lives.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Those poor women. Tonight my exclusive guest is the man you`re looking at there, the biological father of the murder victim. A man who was mourning his son, who was viciously bludgeoned to death, and thrown in a ditch behind a high school. We will talk to him in just a second.

But first, straight out to Renee Murphy, anchor from WHAS out of Louisville, Kentucky.

Renee, what is the very latest on this case? And what`s the evidence against this baby-faced alleged conspirator to murder?

RENEE MURPHY, ANCHOR, WHAS: Well, where we are now, we`re still waiting for a jury to be seated in this case. We know they had over 100 potential jurors. It`s been whittled down now to about 60. So we`re still going go through jury selection tomorrow and then hopefully possibly get to opening statements and maybe...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We want to know -- we want to know what the evidence is against this young man right here. I understand you`re saying opening statements could begin as soon as tomorrow. But we want to know what the evidence is against this young man right here.

MURPHY: The evidence, I`ve gone through hundreds of pages of discovery and most of the evidence are statements from witnesses. As far as I know from what I have seen there has been nothing to link a murder weapon, any kind of DNA to this case. It is all witness statements.

Now, that could change as this goes out and more position that was not public will be released at trial. But right now, it is numerous witness accounts. Those who say this is what Josh Young told me. This is what Josh Gouker told me and what Josh Gouker has said. Josh Young has been very silent throughout this process.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Josh Young is the young man you`re looking at here. Now I heard some word that he might have bragged about the killing, but we don`t know because the trial is going to start with opening statements possibly as soon as tomorrow.

Now, Josh Young, again, this is the baby-faced boy who`s on trial for complicity to murder. He was just 15 years old when his stepbrother was beaten to death. His dad said the initial plan was, well, I`m going to pin it on my son, the kid you`re looking at here, with the expectation the prosecutors would go easy on him because he`s a minor.


GOUKER: I would not plan on killing Trey for nothing. That`s what we wanted them to think, that Josh did it, because she a juvenile. Josh if they catch us, you just play crazy, you know. You`re a minor.

He didn`t have nothing do with it. Josh loves me. I let him down. And...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That has to be one of the sickest, most demented dads I`ve ever encountered. He cowardly offers his own son up as a murder suspect thinking they`re going to go easy on him because he`s a kid. But they`re not going to go easy on him. He could go to prison for life.

Killing this innocent young boy. Take a look at this innocent victim, 14-year-old Trey Zwicker. Look at this child. Look at his innocent face. He`s a baby. But he`s dead. He was viciously beaten to death.

And tonight, we have an exclusive interview with his father, Terry Zwicker.

First of all, sir my condolences over the brutal murder of your son. My heart goes out to you. I don`t know how you deal with something like that. I -- I -- I don`t have a clue. But I thank you for joining us.

And I know that you`re speaking because you want justice for your son. Do you think the teenager who`s on trial, Josh Young, should be held responsible for your son`s murder even though his own dad finally admitted that he was the one who killed him and has been found guilty and is behind bars?

JERRY ZWICKER, FATHER OF TREY ZWICKER: Well, I mean, as far as I can tell you is, is I don`t really know what evidence they have against the little boy. I don`t really know -- never really was able to find out the evidence they had against the dad.

However, I have known both people for quite a long time, and I can tell you that the little boy is just as vicious as his daddy. So I would hold nothing back if I said it -- that I would hold him responsible for this. I was able to witness Facebook pages, other items that would lead me to believe that he was more incapable of doing it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And can you elaborate a little bit on that, sir, in terms of what you saw or read?

ZWICKER: Sure. I saw numerous -- numerous gang violence, a lot of profanity, a lot of stuff involving beatings and baseball bat beatings due to gang violence. Stuff of that nature. Alcoholism. Drugs. Everything was on that little boy`s Facebook page. And it was definitely him writing it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say this. And just to set the stage, there`s a lot of characters here. So I want to make sure our viewers understand.

Your ex-wife was married to this boy`s father, this ex-con by the name of Joshua Gouker. And so your innocent son ended up in this monster`s home along with this boy. So you have your son and then this boy and then this other very disturbed dad.

And there are some very disturbing details just coming out tonight about what home life was like once this very bad dad, whose name is Joshua Gouker, got out of prison for robbery and regained custody of his son, Joshua, the kid you`re looking at here.

Now, he allegedly showed this boy and your son, who was ultimately murdered, videos of him having sex with women. And there are claims in court documents that he shared drugs and smoked pot with both of them. Listen to this, and then I want to get your response on the other side.


GOUKER: Drinking, smoked weed. I`m my biggest enemy.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Joshua Young, the young kid who is on trial now, told police he did do drugs with his father nearly every day after moving back in with him. Listen to this.


JOSHUA YOUNG, ON TRIAL: Started off on Christmas Eve. Then every time I visited him, we smoked. And then when I moved in it was every day.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So your innocent son was stuck there, because your ex-wife is married to this monster. And there were drugs. There was alcohol. There were these sex videos. Did your son ever contact you and say this is what was going on in this very sick household?

ZWICKER: Well, for the fact is -- when, one -- me and Amanda were never married. We were just boyfriend and girlfriend and had a child in common.


ZWICKER: And I took -- I took custody of Trey soon after we split up. I guess he was about 2.

Amanda had married Josh, and they went on a crime spree together, as far as I know. I had no contact with them, and I didn`t ever look at any police records.

However, Amanda returned to Trey`s life just before first grade and at the end of the kindergarten year. And I knew that my child needed a mother figure in his life. So I told her as long as she got herself straightened up and no longer had Josh Gouker in her life, that that would be fine.

And at the time he was incarcerated, and he was going to be there for a long time. I did not gain knowledge of Josh Gouker being back at that home until it was already late. As a matter of fact, I had confronted her about it about three weeks prior to -- I asked if -- if she was back, and she assured me he was not. And of course, you know, after that many years of having a record as semi-all right record, far as we didn`t get along very well, but -- we shared Trey very well. And that was fine. I didn`t need her in my life, but I needed to make sure that my son was always safe. So I had no knowledge of what was going on in that household.

And Trey, as -- as it stood, he had already told me that he was back. So I knew. But in the -- for the most part, I had something that weighed on my mind, because I had already talked to Amanda about getting Trey up out of there again. And I had also made -- initially made a call to the courthouse, just to make sure that our written agreement from the judge was still -- would still go in effect and, of course, they told me yes, it was.

And she said she was -- in the best interests -- always looking at the best interests of Trey. However, she was lying from the get-go. She always told me he wasn`t there. He was -- he was out of jail but was no longer in the household. And, of course, come to find out she was lying.

And I understood Trey`s point of view. He didn`t tell me a lot of those things, because he knew that I would take him out, and there was only one person that was holding him back in that home anyway. And that was his little sister. He had feared for his little sister, so he would not leave his mother`s home for no reason, because he had a little sister there that would have to remain that I could not -- it was not my child. I could not take her. And I had to respect his wishes for that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re breaking my heart.

First of all, we could say that Amanda Campbell is invited on any time to give her side of the story. We want to get all sides.

But you clearly are a good dad who cared for your son and did not know that he was in the presence -- is my understanding, what you`re telling me, is you did not know he was in the presence and under the influence of this monstrous dad, this other person, Joshua Gouker. And had you known that, you would have pulled him out of there and -- it`s just so -- it`s so, so horrible.

And I want to thank you, and I know that you want justice served.

Now, what we`re going to do is debate some of the key issues of this case with our panel. Let`s take a look at our panel. And I want to start with Jon Leiberman. You`ve been studying this case.

When you listen to his father, this breaks my heart. It`s like a punch to the stomach that this little boy didn`t have to die, but he says he didn`t know what was going on there in the home. The hideous things, the drugs, the -- the sex tapes. All of this.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Look, clearly Josh Young was influenced by this man. And what you have to look at, Jane, is this. The problem for prosecutors in this case is the motive. I mean, by all accounts, Josh and Trey got along. So what happens to then make a 15-year- old turn into a vicious killer?

And police do believe that Josh helped to hide the murder weapon, helped to hide some of his stepbrother`s clothing, so you really have to wonder. But the reality is the dynamics inside of that house contributed to this case in every way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to continue to debate this. We`ve got more information just coming in, and we`re taking your calls. Stay right there. Short break and we`re going to be back with what could be the most dysfunctional family in America. It led to murder. But who did it? This man alone or did he have the help of his young son?


GOUKER: I hit him. He went down. I stepped on his hand, pulled the bar -- still had the bar in his hand and hit him. Before I knew it, it was over.




ZWICKER: I got one of the people that -- we need to put in for the rest of their life. And we`ve got one more. Josh is just as guilty as his dad. He was standing right there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, there is Josh Jr. He is -- on trial for complicity to murder. His dad has already been convicted and is behind bars for the murder of this kid`s stepbrother, the dad`s stepson.

Now, this bad father, Joshua Gouker, appears to be, among many other things, demented human being but also a pathological liar. He told four different stories about what happened to his stepson.

When police initially questioned him, he told them, one, Trey was probably jumped on and beaten by some neighborhood kids. Then, No. 2, he says his own son killed him. His third story was that he killed the boy himself as punishment for stealing food and a cigarette lighter. And his final story was that he killed his stepson to punish his wife for having an abortion of the child they conceived together. Listen to this.


GOUKER: His mother aborted my kid. And -- I tried to let it go and I couldn`t. Amanda killed my kid. You know. That`s just -- (EXPLETIVE DELETED) crazy. We`re even.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... over that with you.

Straight out to the Lion`s Den. How can you believe anything a killer and a proven liar has to say? Now, if the charges are based on what the father is saying about his son, Kelly Saindon, former prosecutor, how can you believe a pathological liar? Are they overcharging this young man?

KELLY SAINDON, FORMER PROSECUTOR: You know, as a former prosecutor I do think they`re overcharging this young man. He was definitely influenced by his father. He was under the influence at different times of drugs and alcohol. And I don`t think they should base it on Joshua, who`s already pled and in prison, his testimony. I think they have to look at the facts.

He should be charged. He has to know there`s consequences for his actions. He was complicit in hiding it, but you can`t blame someone who`s scared of what a murderer is going to do to them. So I think they went a little above and beyond. And hopefully, the facts are going to bear out there`s a reason they went this high.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The convicted killer, father, has been all over the map. You just heard four different stories in terms of what happened in this case. It`s really mind-boggling to hear him talk about his stepson`s murder. He shows absolutely no remorse. Listen to this.


GOUKER: After that, I hit him. I didn`t say nothing. I didn`t think he would be on us like this. I didn`t think that -- it`s one murder. It`s not like it was a whole bunch of murders. It`s been 15 months. It`s time for it just to be over with.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to the Lion`s Den. Did you hear this monster talk? "Oh, I didn`t think it was such a big idea and such a big deal because it was just one murder," Danny Cevallos, "not a whole bunch of murders." I mean -- this guy is unbelievable.

DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Shocking. In a case like this, really raises a dialogue about the way we perceive criminal responsibility in minors. In a case like this, it`s evident by the fact that all the different states have different rules about what is the minimum age of liability.

And here, even more so, when you have a parent that may have forced a child or encouraged him to be involved, the law in Kentucky allows for accomplice liability or complicity liability for anything as simple as just being a lookout. So they don`t need a lot of facts to convict this child the way the law is written. It`s written very broadly for...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He could go to jail for life. This child...

CEVALLOS: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... could go to jail. Eric Schwartzreich, I mean, under the influence of this demonic father, this kid could go to jail for life?

ERIC SCHWARTZREICH, ATTORNEY: Jane, Danny is absolutely right. I mean, how society is judged is by how we treat our weakest members, that being children. This case is a tragedy all the way around. But one tragedy should not begin another tragedy. Children, juveniles, especially dysfunctional...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Eric, let me jump in here. The father of the dead boy, who I think deserves more weight in terms of his opinion than anybody else, except perhaps the mother of the dead boy, he says this little boy has to pay. He even referred to him as a little boy, but he said, "That`s my son who`s dead, right there." That`s a picture of the dead boy. "And if this boy was involved and there`s evidence that says that he was, he has to pay."

SCHWARTZREICH: Jane, it is heartbreaking. And it is his son that was killed here. But here`s the bottom line.

This is a 15-year-old child. Children -- there have been studies on this. The adolescent brain has not fully developed. Children don`t understand the ethical or intellectual consequences of their actions. This is the child of a dysfunctional family.

And look at this child. I mean, just look at him. He is in adult court. I know this is a serious act. But on these allegations, with this dysfunctional father, with what was going on in this home, is this the case that a juvenile should be charged as an adult? It does not appear that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We will be back on the other side. More debate and another exclusive guest. The attorney for the bad dad.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Josh killed a child for (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a lighter. Show him on mercy. I ask you, I beg you, give him the maximum time that Josh deserves, because we pay daily for a crime that Josh committed for the rest of our lives.




GOUKER: It`s one murder. It`s not like it was a whole bunch of murders. It`s been 15 months. It`s time for it just to be over with.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who killed this innocent 14-year-old boy, Trey Zwicker? Well, the man you just heard from, the monster, behind bars right now. He said, "I did it." But he first pinned it on his son, who is also now on trial for complicity to murder. So was he really involved? Or is the dad just a coward who tried to pin it on his own son?

Straight out to Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, noted forensic scientist.

Doctor Kobi, thank you for joining us tonight. We know that there are -- no murder weapon is recovered. No DNA has been found. They went and they looked at the baseball bats at the home. They found no DNA. They have no forensic evidence that connects this boy to the killing. What do you do with that as an investigator?

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST (via phone): Well, I think -- what you just pointed out makes this, to me, a very interesting case. Because I think the public is used to hearing about forensic science solving every crime.

Here you have no weapon. You have no clothing found. And what complicates things is that the victim, as well as Gouker and Josh Young, all living in the same place.

The autopsy report might have shed some light on the weapon used, whether it was actually a lead pipe or a baseball bat, but, you know, forensics can`t solve every case. And this is just going to be one of those cases where the other evidence, the other circumstantial evidence, is going to come into play. And whether it`s strong enough to convict, you know, Josh Young is a very interesting question.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, this is a young boy who was 15 at the time, now 17. And his father is very heavyset. Would there be something the autopsy that would show whoever hit the child with the pipe was either having a lot of force from being heavyset or it was less force from him?

KOBILINSKY: I think that`s -- that`s very, very difficult to answer. Because it depends on if it was a baseball bat or a lead pipe, how it was wielded. And I think you can`t -- you`ve got to be conservative in this kind of approach.

But by examining the victim, and looking at the fracture -- I`m assuming the skull was fractured -- you can probably differentiate a baseball bat from a lead pipe. And that might even corroborate or negate the story that Gouker, Josh Gouker, is just telling everybody.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So it occurs to me, Kelly Saindon, former prosecutor, would it be possible to give this child, who is on trial, who could spend the rest of his life behind bars if convicted, a polygraph?

SAINDON: You know, polygraphs are usually not reliable and the reality of the situation is some courts don`t admit them and lots of people don`t base them.

But I don`t think it`s a bad idea, because Dad is all over the board. This kid is looking at the rest of his life. He`s being charged as an adult. And I think he`s remorseful. I do think he had good feelings towards Trey, and I think he`s conflicted and torn.

I think put him under oath, get him attached, see what he has to say. And as a prosecutor, if he agrees to do it, then make your decision if you`re going to charge him as an adult.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I wonder if he is going to testify and take the stand in his own defense.

On the other side, an exclusive interview with this guy`s lawyer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know who would do, like -- who would do this to just a 14-year-old. But everybody loved him. I just wish this never happened.




JOSHUA GOUKER, IN PRISON FOR KILLING STEPSON: (inaudible). You just play crazy. You know. You are a miner (ph).

I just snapped. And I had him, he went down. I stepped on his hand and pulled the bar, he had the bar in his hand. I hit him and before I knew it, it was all over.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: And that is the dad who is now serving a life sentence for murder. And he said he killed 14-year-old Trey Zwicker, his stepson, because he snapped when his stepson stole some food and a cigarette lighter from him. Later he said "No, actually I beat him to death to get back at his wife for having an abortion of a child that he and she conceived together.


GOUKER: I just snapped. I had him, he went down. I stepped on his hand. Pulled the bar -- he had the bar in his hand, I hit him. Before I knew it, it was over.

I didn`t even really think about it when I -- at first. It was just too late. I hit him. I don`t know. I couldn`t stop.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This man is also accused of killing the family dog with a baseball bat and killing the family cat by throwing the animal out a window.

Mark Hall, you are another exclusive guest with us tonight. I thank you for joining us, sir. You are the attorney for this man who many describe as a complete monster. Reading about some of the things he allegedly did according to court documents, among the allegations in court records, Gouker, this guy, your client showed Trey, his stepson, and Joshua, his son, videos of himself engaged in sexual acts and regularly gave them drugs at Easter. Marijuana concealed in Easter eggs. These are allegations.

With all due respect, your client sounds like a monster.

MARK HALL, ATTORNEY FOR JOSH GOUKER: Well, thanks for having me and inviting me on speak to you tonight. I think that the allegations that you speak of related to the marijuana use, I think Mr. Gouker admitted to that in court, admitted during his guilty plea, illustrated that that was something that he, his wife, Miss Campbell, as well as the two children, something that they engaged in daily. And it was just part of their every day action, that`s what they did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait, wait, wait.


HALL: That`s --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Marijuana is one thing. By the way, (inaudible) -- you are invited on the show any time to tell your story. Let`s leave her out of this for the time being. I mean he is the one who admitted that he bludgeoned the child to death. But showing these two boys videos of themselves engaged in sexual acts?

HALL: Well, I know that there was evidence and allegations that the night of the murder that there was a videotape that was made of Mr. Gouker and Miss Campbell. I`m not specifically aware that this was shown to the boys at any time. Those allegations came forward. That`s not something Mr. Gouker and I had any conversations about specifically. So I`m not exactly certain what --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this.

HALL: Sure.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What kind of a man says oh, my son killed him. What kind of a man pins as murder on his own son?

HALL: Well -- and I`m not here to -- I`m here to defend Mr. Gouker in a court of law. I can`t condone the actions that he pled guilty to. I don`t think that as defense lawyers that that`s what we do. That`s not our job. Our job is to ensure that the evidence that is presented to the court, that the evidence that the commonwealth has to try to prove a case against a criminal defendant, that that evidence is valid, that it`s obtained legally, that it`s brought before the court legally, and that when a conviction is obtained and we`re going to take the liberty away from a criminal defendant or a United States citizen, that we do it the right way.

And so I`m not here nor was I in court trying to condone the actions that Mr. Gouker pled guilty inform. I don`t think anyone could. And I don`t think that that`s my job.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, that`s a good point. Let me ask you this. How do you put the genie back in the bottle? Once he said "My son did it," even though he later took it back and said "You know what, I killed this boy myself," and pleaded guilty. That genie out of the bottle and now his son faces the prospect and it is the boy in the blue shirt there, the rest of his life behind bars.

What`s -- what`s your reaction to that? Did he expect to be able to say never mind? Oh, never mind. No, his son is on trial now.

HALL: Sure. I think that`s one of the -- I heard someone indicate earlier it is a tragedy I did. I would agree with that assessment. I think the case has -- unlike any other I have ever personally been involved in and I think the circumstances surrounding it are clearly tragic for the entire family.

And I think that interestingly, when this case first started, I think there was a lot of suspicion, I think there was a lot of people pointing the finger at Mr. Gouker and I think that they believed that Mr. Gouker had his hand in it -- if he wasn`t the actual murder or was one who was involved, you know, in great detail.

However, he was not charged until almost a year after -- a year later than Mr. Young was. And the reason why was because all of the evidence tended to point towards Mr. Young. Now, was that --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meaning the son. The son, not everybody has a employee chart. You are saying the dad --

HALL: Ok. I`m sorry. The son. The dad`s -- correct.


HALL: The dad was trying to -- well, just let -- the original --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just sum it up if you could.

HALL: -- the original indictment -- I`m sorry?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sum up your point.

HALL: The original -- the original allegation was made against Mr. Young. It was done at the -- by the statements, pursuant to the statements that Mr. Gouker made. Every turn of the case, Mr. Gouker`s own indictment came after he made statements to the press and to others about his involvement.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think that the boy did it or do you think the dad did it?

HALL: I think the evidence that was presented to us by the Commonwealth that was obtained in the investigation, I think that the physical evidence -- there was none, obviously. I think the autopsy reports and the evidence of the medical examiner is probably the most convincing evidence that is out there to corroborate Mr. Gouker`s guilty plea and the circumstances about he --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So you think the dad did it. Thank you. I`m sorry to cut you off sir but we are running out of time.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But thank you. You`re saying essentially --

HALL: Sure.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- your client, the dad did it.

I want to go to our "Lion`s Den". Straight out to "The Lion`s Den" and, wow -- yes, he can`t defend a monster. Everybody gets a lawyer in this country and that`s the way it goes. I`m not attacking him personally. Wow, Eric Schwartzreich, he`s saying his client did it. But the son is on trial now.

ERIC SCHWARTZREICH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Wow, Jane. I can`t believe you just asked him if his client was a monster. But yes. I mean you want the genie out of the bottle, his client is a monster.

And here is the bottom line -- his client was an animal. That`s the genie out of the bottle. This kid, the son, was better off being raised by a pack of wolves than this father.

Now Jane --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey leaves wolves out of it. Move to --

SCHWARTZREICH: All right. Wait, wait -- I`m not going to pick on the wolves. I happen to like the wolves.

Here`s the problem though, this kid, young man, dysfunctional family with this father is now in adult court. Even if he did it -- and this is awful, tragic. He is a child, with a child`s mind -- even if he`s with him in adult court.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Jon Leiberman -- you`ve made your point. Yes. Jon Leiberman --

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: And he brings up a good point. Keep in mind. Josh Young had absolutely zero criminal record. He wasn`t a kid going around committing crimes. Now, that being said, you will see in this trial, prosecutors and cops are going to bring out a number of statements that Josh Young allegedly made to other people about his connections to this murder. At the end of the day it will be up to the jury.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Ok, Danny -- quickly, Danny.

DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. I mean -- look. This -- here`s the problem. We have a child, criminal responsibility varies in all these different states. How responsible are we going to hold a minor when he is under the very -- influential spell of a father? I mean, what kind of defense does that create for the child? And as a society, what are we prepared to accept and what are we prepared to punish for when it comes to our children?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable story. We are all over it. This trial getting started possibly opening statements tomorrow. I want to thank my fantastic panel. And thank you for sticking with us. We have a lot of exclusive interviews tonight.

On the subject of trials, I want to let you know, I have written a book on the Jodi Arias trial in honor of victim Travis Alexander. The book is dedicated to Travis. It comes out August 20. A portion of the proceeds will be given to charities.

The book is called "Exposed: The secret life of Jodi Arias". Its purpose is to understand the deeper why of this case in the hopes that by (AUDIO GAP) we can prevent something like this from happening again. You can order -- pre-order the book right now online, either directly or going to I do hope you check it out.

There is a lot we can learn from this tragedy. And Of course, the case isn`t over yet. Jodi Arias` retrial on the penalty phase starts -- will be set next month.

On the other side, Amanda Bynes, you will not believe -- money just spinning out of her life.


AMANDA BYNES, ACTRESS: Very stressful.

A.J. HAMMER, HLN HOST: Intense, right?

BYNES: It is really intense. And I think as long as, you know, I -- I don`t know -- I guess as long as I`m surrounded by positive people, it will, you know, be ok. But as I get older I definitely want to have a family and step away.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened to this Amanda?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Forced to go into a psych hospital for mental evaluation.

DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST: This is the age, 18 to 22, 18 to 25, when major mental illness strikes.

BYNES: I hope to one day just be as happy as I am now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, mind-blowing behavior by former child star, Amanda Bynes. We now have new court documents filed by her parents and they are making unbelievable claims about the actress` latest shenanigans. They say she covers smoke detectors because she is extremely paranoid about being watched and she`s blowing her fortune -- spending nearly a quarter of her $4 million savings in a very short amount of time. We are talk $100, buck as month. This, right after Amanda`s bizarre bender where she allegedly trashed a fancy Ritz Carlton hotel room and then tried to start a fire on a stranger`s driveway causing a witness to call 911.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ok. What`s on fire?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is -- like a small piece of cloth and it is a gasoline tank which is why I`m calling 911.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ok. And where is it? Is it in roadway?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. It is in a driveway.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That stunt landed the former Nickelodeon star in a California hospital under an involuntary hold. As doctors evaluate her tonight, her parents fighting for a conservatorship; they fear their gorgeous daughter has serious mental problems.

You think? Look at this -- strange video. It is heartbreaking actually that she posted on Vine. A judge holding off until he talks to Amanda and her doctors to make a final decision.

Tonight our senior producer, Selin Darkalstanian analyzing the newly- released court documents; what have you found -- Selin?

SELIN DARKALSTANIAN, HLN SENIOR PRODUCER: Jane, these court documents are heartbreaking, as you said. This is Amanda`s parents, her mom and dad, have filed these papers and they are saying that they have no idea where Amanda Bynes` money is going. She had $4 million in savings. They don`t know -- she`s blowing $100,000 one month, she`s pulling out another $100,000 the other month.

She doesn`t have any living expenses. They don`t even know where she is living. They say that they think she is essentially homeless and she was living up in New York City until July 20. She arrived in L.A., they asked her how did you get to L.A. from New York. And she said she cabbed it.

So there are -- alleging a lot of bizarre behavior by their daughter and they are really, really worried about her and these papers, just wondering where all this money is going. Where she is living and what she is doing. They have no idea.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And -- RadarOnline, senior executive editor Dylan Howard, she`s also -- tweeting -- I just weighed myself. I`m only 114 pounds -- only 14 pounds closer to 100. So there`s also potential anorexia.

DYLAN HOWARD, RADARONLINE: Body disforming (ph) is at the very heart of her issues. Sources have been telling us for some time that Amanda`s actually addicted to plastic surgery. Jane, I was actually communicating with Amanda Bynes in June when she told us exclusively that she had her breasts implants removed because she thought they looked better. This, the following week, she goes in and has a nose surgery. She`s had so many cosmetic procedures, it is not funny.

This week we also spoke to a very close friend of hers. A friend who knew her in New York City dating back to November last year and she said she has body issues.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes -- clearly. It is so sad because she is so beautiful -- she doesn`t need any of that enhancement.

More on the other side -- we are just getting started.


BYNES: I`m very lucky. I have a great family and I just have my eye on the prize which for me is a long career and I just -- I don`t want to -- I don`t want to blow what I worked so hard to, you know, to achieve.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for Pet of the Day, send your pet pics to Oscar in the pool, you are so cool. And let`s see, missy kissy -- that`s what they are -- they`re kissing, Miss Kitty and Sissy and they like to kissy. Look at that. Bugsy, Jasmine, Magnum -- you`re a trio, a triumph. I love you all -- gorgeous. And then there`s mountain lion. What an angel. She`s out there in the desert. I can tell.



BYNES: You know, the club scene and drinking doesn`t appeal to me so it`s actually easier for me not to do it. I have no problem. I`ve never even been offered drugs. And people when I`ve told them --

HAMMER: What a shock.

BYNES: I know. Because I don`t go -- I`m never -- I mean even if I`m there I`m surrounded by people who aren`t interested in that. Birds of a feather flock together and I definitely don`t fly with that crowd.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was her a while back, sounding so clean. Amanda`s parents believe she`s blown a lot of her money on marijuana as she denies doing drugs or even drinking. But let`s face it Dylan Howard of RadarOnline, she has two DUIs, last year. And she allegedly threw a bong out of the window of her 36th floor Manhattan apartment. Do you think drugs are a factor?

HOWARD: There`s no doubt drugs are a factor. Her parents, their words, she`s a quote "substance abuser". That incident at her Times Square apartment was predicated off the back that she was smoking marijuana in the lobby. There were also suggestions that at the Ritz Carlton Hotel when she was ejected just a few weeks ago that that also involved the use of marijuana.

So there is no doubt that at the very center of her downward spiral has been her indulgency in illicit substances.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: By the way, that dog you saw, the dog is ok even though she doused the dog with gasoline. The dog has been rescued and is with her parents.

But we have to ask, what`s really wrong with her? Remember when she was the sweet level-headed star of Nickelodeon? Check this out -- memories.


BYNES: Now today on "Cooking with Me", I`m going to make a very special soup called Cream of Me. Now, the first thing you need to make cream of me soup is me. Next you add two quarts of heavy cream.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s so heartbreaking, Dylan because look at this now, what she posted on Vine. I mean this is serious mental illness it looks like to me.

HOWARD: It is. Here`s someone who has been eliciting signs of mental issues for times. Her parents talk about how she used to rip the alarms out of smoke alarms and believed that those alarms next to her be were actually secretly following her every move. She`s had these issues for some time. She`s getting the help she needs. The next step though, she will be in court on August 1 where she`s going to attempt to be freed from that 5150 hold.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side. Stay right there.


LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: She needs help clearly. She`ll probably be in for a few days. Then be released then she`ll have more problems, then she`ll be back in. I mean God forbid she harms somebody or harms herself.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m back tomorrow 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Nancy Grace is next.