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Breaking News Following Yesterday`s Courthouse Shooting in Nevada
Aired June 13, 2006 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, breaking news out of Nevada following yesterday`s courthouse shooting. A sniper shoots a family court judge in his own chambers on the third floor of the courthouse. Now the wife of the chief suspect found dead in the last 24 hours. A local businessman -- is he angry over his divorce? Is he seeking revenge and murder?
And tonight: A romantic walk on a Florida beach turns deadly. She ends up dead, but are her husband`s wounds self-inflicted? We go behind the testimony for the answers. And tonight, we are taking your calls.
But first to Nevada.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is listed on NCIC as a suspect in the homicide of his wife, Charla, and he is wanted as a suspect in the shooting of Judge Weller.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: He is Dennis (SIC) Mack. He is a 45-year-old businessman out of the Reno, Nevada, area. His wife, in the last 24 hours, his estranged wife, has been found dead, stabbed to death. Was a family court judge shot, third floor of the courthouse, because he is angry over his divorce proceedings?
Straight out to Dennis Myers, news editor with "The Reno News and Review." What`s the latest?
DENNIS MYERS, "RENO NEWS AND REVIEW": Well, Judge Weller put out a statement this afternoon. It says that he has been moved to -- from Washoe Medical Center to an undisclosed secure location. He expresses thanks to the people of Washoe County for their support and to law enforcement. He says that, "With your support, with the help of God, my family and I will get through this difficult time."
The -- I also want to point out that the suspect`s name is not Dennis Mack. I`m Dennis. It`s Darren Mack.
GRACE: Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Question, Officer. Where is the wife right now?
OFC. FRED RIGLESBERGER, PIO, RENO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, we can`t - - because the investigation is ongoing, we can`t answer that.
GRACE: But you know where she is.
GRACE: I assume she`s safe somewhere?
RIGLESBERGER: We`re running down all the leads that we can. We have a couple vehicles we`re looking for. We`ve had numerous calls in, that are helping us with this investigation...
GRACE: Holy moly. Holy moly. We don`t know where the wife is. You got a judge shot. You`ve got another male shot in the apartment. I can only guess who that is. And nobody knows where the wife is?
RIGLESBERGER: Well, we`re still -- like I say, we`re still working on the investigation...
RIGLESBERGER: ... and as we speak, detectives are out there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: In 24 hours, one judge shot in his own chambers, and a woman dead.
Out to Jim Johns, the deputy chief of the Reno Police Department. Sir, thank you for being with us.
JIM JOHNS, DEPUTY CHIEF, RENO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Thank you, ma`am.
GRACE: What is the latest on the investigation? What has become of Darren Mack?
JOHNS: Darren Mack is in the wind. We currently have an arrest warrant out for him, charging him with the homicide of his wife, Charla. Detectives yesterday found Charla in that apartment. She was that body that was originally reported.
GRACE: What was the mode of the killing?
JOHNS: The mode of the killing? You know, we`re holding most of that close as we go through the investigation, but I can tell you that she suffered stab wounds to the upper chest.
GRACE: Eric, can you hand me the affidavit? We have an affidavit for the search, for the arrest of Darren Mack, and in it, I see a lot of what happened, including the complainant, the name and the age of the little girl. How did the killing go down, to your knowledge, sir?
JOHNS: Well, as I said, the victim suffered multiple stab wounds to the upper torso. We would hope that most of the information in the affidavit isn`t released to the public so that we can ascertain, when we talk to the suspect, the fine points in the conversation with him, what he knows and what he doesn`t know.
GRACE: You know, I know that the airport was closed down. Reno has about 200,000 people in the city of Reno. Where could this guy be? Do you have reason to believe that he has left by airplane? Is he gone, or is he hiding out somewhere there?
JOHNS: Detectives last night had a lead that reported that the vehicle that the suspect was in may have been parked on top of the parking garage. When they investigated, they didn`t find the vehicle, and it`s very possible that he either drove, flew from the area, or is still in the Reno/Sparks area.
GRACE: Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ensuing investigation led the officers to a location at 9900 Wilbur May Parkway, apartment number 1006. Investigators at that location did find a deceased female. That victim is now identified as Charla Mack, the estranged wife of Darren. She was located in the garage, and she did suffer multiple traumatic injuries.
The warrant has been entered into the National Crime Index, NCIC, so that any police officer in the United States that runs into Darren Mack and runs a warrant check will know that he`s wanted for the homicide here. We will, of course, pursue all leads, and it doesn`t matter if they`re in this city or in another state. He is listed on NCIC as a suspect in the homicide of his wife, Charla, and he is wanted as a suspect in the shooting of Judge Weller.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Back to deputy chief of the Reno Police Department, Jim Johns. How are you trying to control or at least surveil who is leaving the city, coming in and out? Do you have any roadblocks up?
JOHNS: We don`t have roadblocks up, but what we do have is, we have the assistance of the city of Sparks and Washoe County sheriff`s deputies. They both have detective units, and they`re helping my detectives take a look at all the surface streets and all of the possible leads in this case.
GRACE: Why do you believe he shot from the parking garage at the judge?
JOHNS: The parking garage is located approximately 100 to 125 yards directly north of the judge`s office chambers. The parking garage gave him a direct line of sight. And it really appears that this whole incident relates back to a recent case that he had on the judge`s docket involving him and his estranged wife.
GRACE: To Dean Tong. He is a forensic trial consultant, and he consulted with Darren Mack during the divorce proceedings. Welcome, Mr. Tong. Thank you for being with us. I`ve taken a look at some letters that you say came from the suspect, Darren Mack -- very, very disturbing. What were the grounds of the divorce? Why is this guy so mad?
DEAN TONG, TRIAL CONSULTANT FOR DARREN MACK: Thanks for having me, Nancy. The grounds were incompatibility, irreconcilable differences, mental cruelty, domestic abuse. They just could not mediate. They could not work it out. They tried to do so, and it became a very contentious, protracted custody battle.
GRACE: What exactly were her complaints about him?
TONG: Well, she had made allegations of domestic violence, that he had hit her. I had him tested by one of my psychologists, and the results of those findings and conclusions were that he had no propensity to be the monster that she was pinging him to be. I met the man last July in a Las Vegas hotel. We had breakfast together, and he certainly didn`t appear to me to be a risk to his child or his wife. So I mean, this is totally beyond surreal for me.
But basically, she was angry that -- she thought he could not be a fit father for their daughter, and she wanted to be the primary custodian of the child.
GRACE: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Mr. Tong -- with us, Dean Tong, he is a forensic trial consultant -- what do you mean? You can`t go into court and say, He`s not a fit daddy? Why is he not a fit father? What exactly are her allegations?
TONG: It was mainly, `He said, she said," Nancy. And you know, it was basically going to boil down to be a battle of the experts. Unfortunately, the last six months, I became incommunicado with the defense team, so I`m not privy to what the final things were done by his defense team.
GRACE: Here`s what the district attorney had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We now have a warrant arrest outstanding for Darren Mack for the crime of open murder with the use of a deadly weapon. Before anybody even asks, that has the potential -- it could -- has the potential -- and I`ll say that several times -- it has the potential of being a death penalty case under the state laws. I`m not saying it is a death penalty case. It`s way too early in the ballgame. Other sentences possible are life in prison with and without the possibility of parole.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Let`s go out to the lines, Elizabeth. Let`s go to Gina in Nebraska. Hi, Gina.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Thanks for taking my call.
GRACE: Yes, ma`am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just had a question for you. Do they know where the daughter is? And is she safe?
GRACE: What about it, Jim Johns?
JOHNS: I`m sorry. I didn`t hear the question.
GRACE: Do you know where the daughter is? And I understand that there are two additional children. And are they safe?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, ma`am. Our primary concern, following up the investigation, was the location of the children. All three of the children are safe and have been located.
GRACE: What`s another concern to me, Chief Johns -- with us, Deputy Chief Jim Johns with the Reno Police Department -- this guy seemed set on revenge on everybody connected to his case. What about his own lawyers and her lawyers? Have they been alerted?
JOHNS: We`ve had contact with probably 20-plus attorneys who have had contact with both the homicide victim and the suspect in this case over the years, and a couple of judges who have dealt with the previous case, also.
GRACE: I want to go back to Dean Tong, the forensic trial consultant who actually consulted with the murder suspect, Darren Mack, a well-known businessman there in the Reno area. I`ve got to -- taking a look at a letter that you claim Mack had sent you -- I guess it`s in the divorce proceedings team -- a lot of complaints, a lot of accusations, they would ruin each other financially. One threatened to maim the other physically and put their body parts in a freezer. I mean, are you familiar with these documents that you faxed to our show?
TONG: Yes, I am.
GRACE: OK. I`m going to ask you again if you could be more specific about why they wanted a divorce.
TONG: Well, there were allegations of Darren`s propensity toward this alternative lifestyle -- swingers, if you will. She went along with that, apparently, for a while, and then she became angry with that. And that was one of the issues in the complaint for the dissolution of marriage.
GRACE: I`m also seeing, aside from allegations of swinging on his part, the threat that she would cut his private parts off and put them in a freezer. Did you read that?
TONG: I did not see that in specific, Nancy, no.
GRACE: Well, it`s in the documents that you sent us. Also, "I will ruin you financially if you ever leave me. I will make your life a living hell." This was not a happy couple. This is a bitter divorce proceeding. What did you advise this guy to do?
TONG: Well, first of all, I`m not his attorney, so I only can work with him to basically counsel him to have the attorney play out my strategy in court. I advised him to go for testing. He went through the testing. He took the HCR-20 and the Cappy (ph). There was no propensity toward physical child abuse or domestic violence. We were going to get a custody evaluator to evaluate the father and the mother and the child. I don`t know if that happened. He was worried that he was losing access to his now 8-year-old daughter. He was getting financially destroyed. Obviously, there was a lot of money on the table here.
GRACE: How much money are we talking about?
TONG: We`re talking about seven to eight figures.
GRACE: Whew! Let`s go to the lines. Eileen in Florida. Hi, Eileen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. You`re the best. Thanks for taking my call.
GRACE: Thank you. What`s your question, dear?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If this ultimately goes to trial and they find him -- and he`s found guilty, is Nevada a death penalty state?
GRACE: Oh, yes, it is a death penalty state. And of course, attacking a judge, had that ended in death, would be a qualification for the death penalty. But here you have multiple reasons to seek the death penalty, multiple aggravating factors.
What about it, Renee Rockwell?
RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It does seem like that it would be something that the state might consider. I don`t know if they would get it. This might be a guy that has been pushed to the brink. He`s in the middle of a domestic case. He`s probably lost his kids, in his own mind. He`s paying $10,000 a month spousal support. He`s probably been divested of his home. And he might be a guy who felt like he had nothing else to lose, so therefore, he`s going to kill his wife and kill the judge.
GRACE: Now, are you somehow saying that`s a defense to the death penalty?
ROCKWELL: I`m sorry. It just might be something where a juror could relate, just one juror could relate -- This guy was pushed to the brink, and we`re not going to kill him.
GRACE: OK. Are you saying that excessive alimony payments equals insanity? Is that where you`re headed?
ROCKWELL: It doesn`t, Nancy, but in death penalty cases, you know that jurors tend to want to let people off the death penalty, and that might be something that somebody could relate with. You know...
GRACE: I don`t know about that, but if you say so, I understand it`s America, right to free speech.
Joining me on the set tonight a special guest. His name is Sanford Sage, a former sniper team unit leader with the Somerset County SWAT team. Explain to me how a guy 300 feet away, over 300 feet away, three football fields away -- what?
SANFORD SAGE, FORMER SNIPER TEAM UNIT LEADER: One football field.
GRACE: Oh, thank you -- can get a shot off and get the judge in the chest with one shot?
SAGE: Well, that, in and of itself, for an individual or any individual that has some experience and at least some expertise and reasonably good equipment, is not -- would not be hard.
GRACE: What kind of equipment do you need to do that?
SAGE: This is the type of thing that could be accomplished with the average deer rifle that...
GRACE: You mean with a scope?
SAGE: With or without a scope, but yes...
GRACE: Do you have one with you?
SAGE: Yes, I do.
GRACE: Show it to me. What is a telescopic scope? How does that work? Is that how long distance targeting is achieved?
SAGE: It does facilitate it. It makes it easier.
GRACE: OK. Show me.
SAGE: Obviously, the scope magnifies your target, what you`re looking at through it. This is a telescopic scope that is mounted on a bolt action single-fire rifle, and this is the same type of scope...
GRACE: Now, this is...
SAGE: ... free in and of itself. Here we go.
GRACE: This way. Thank you.
SAGE: Here we go. What we`re doing is looking through that end.
GRACE: And then you just attach it. I see.
SAGE: It`s got a set of crosshairs in it to use as an aiming point.
GRACE: That`s here we get the -- in the crosshairs -- there is it right there.
SAGE: That`s -- that`s where the...
GRACE: So this is how he did it from that far away. Now, is it true -- you told one of our producers you could make a shot up to a mile away with one of these?
SAGE: With a telescopic scope mounted on state-of-the-art equipment, that could be done. It could be done farther than a mile.
GRACE: A judge shot down in his own chambers, the third floor of the courthouse, a woman stabbed to death in an apartment. Is it all because of this judge`s rulings and a disgruntled divorcee?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We now have a warrant arrest outstanding for Darren Mack for the crime of open murder with the use of a deadly weapon. It has the potential of being a death penalty case under the state laws. I`m not saying it is a death penalty case. It`s way too early in the ballgame. Other sentences possible are life imprisonment with and without the possibility of parole.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Major APB, all points bulletin, out on this man, Darren Mack, a 45-year-old white male. He is the chief suspect. There is an arrest warrant on his head for the shooting of a local family court judge, Judge Weller, and in the death of his wife, the murder, the stabbing death of his wife, Charla. They were in the middle -- they were embroiled in a bitter divorce proceeding.
Out to Daniel Sieberg, CNN technology correspondent. What have we learned about Darren Mack through his various Web sites?
DANIEL SIEBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Nancy, as you know, the Internet can be a very rich resource for law enforcement. In this case, we`re learning that he was very active on the auction site eBay. He owned a pawn shop. He was selling all sorts of things related to diamonds and jewelry on eBay.
And he also posted some information about himself and his family. If we can go to the first page, I can show you basically what he`s saying. In the first image here, you`re seeing a picture of him with his mother. And I want you to pay attention to some text over here. I`m going to read you just a little excerpt from it because I think it`s kind of a real contrast to what you were saying earlier about him.
He says, "I deal fairly with concern to the needs of my customers and always with integrity. As you can see, I`m married to a lovely young lady and have three beautiful children." So quite a contrast to what we were hearing earlier, painting a rather rosy picture of his family and his family situation.
GRACE: You mean in contrast to him being a swinger with multiple sex partners?
SIEBERG: Well, that, and perhaps, obviously, his aggression has come out in recent days, and there`s no sign of it there on the site.
GRACE: Can any of these Web sites help police?
SIEBERG: They certainly can. The information -- in this particular case, I spoke with eBay, they`ve not yet been contacted by law enforcement for this information, but it`s possible they could get some sort of financial data.
What you`re not seeing on this site -- and maybe we can go to another page where you can see some of his -- his store site, where you`re seeing the stuff that he sells, the diamonds. These are thousands of dollars. What you`re not seeing is the financial information that eBay would have behind the scenes. That could include...
GRACE: Hey, Daniel...
SIEBERG: ... credit card information and financial data.
GRACE: ... is he getting -- is it a pawn shop, Palace (ph) Pawn Shop? Is that what he owned?
SIEBERG: It`s a pawn shop. He actually goes by a user name, which is ucdealshere (ph).
GRACE: But in reality, if you drive to his place of business, it`s a pawn shop.
SIEBERG: It is a pawn shop. And...
GRACE: Oh! Oh! Oh!
SIEBERG: ... it`s essentially the same thing on eBay. It`s more or less...
GRACE: Hey, Daniel...
SIEBERG: ... the same thing.
GRACE: ... you don`t look like the kind of guy that would buy your jewelry at a pawn shop, but as a prosecutor, I`ve been to a lot of pawn shops. You can have guns there that most likely can never be traced.
GRACE: There`s the business right there. Thanks, Elizabeth. You know what I mean, Daniel? Can you explain that?
SIEBERG: Sure. I mean, that`s quite possible. If you`re talking about something on line, in this case, eBay, it may be just as hard to trace some of those items. But they may want to go through, see who he`s been dealing with, and find out if he`s got any recent contacts, people he might try and contact in the future.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: One of my best friends is a defense lawyer, and she, believe it or not...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can`t believe it.
GRACE: Yes, I know. But she says she would rather represent a doper than a divorce case because the people getting a divorce are fighting over child custody, will shoot you They will shoot the lawyer in the parking lot!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
How many, many times, Renee, have you and I talked about that, while we would be trying a criminal case, a murder case, a rape case, and in the chambers down the hall we`d hear an outburst or a scuffle, it would be over a divorce proceeding.
ROCKWELL: All the time, Nancy. And what`s so sad now is you`re going to have judges that are going to be afraid to rule, especially family court judges, in the light of what happened. You know they have got to consider this.
GRACE: Yes. I want to go back to Dean Tong, forensic trial consultant. What did this judge do that made Mack so furious? What did he say from the bench? What did he rule to make Mack so angry?
TONG: Nancy, I`m not privy to the final judgment of the court, but I have to assume that Charla was awarded sole physical custody, that she -- like your guest earlier alluded to...
TONG: ... she was getting at least $10,000 in spousal support a month, plus child support.
GRACE: Yes, well, this guy had millions of dollars, so I`m not so sure that $10,000 is that much.
TONG: And plus at least -- right. Plus at least half of his business. Now, arguably, he was making about $44,000 a month.
GRACE: To Dennis Myers with "The Reno News and Review." Do we know specifically what Weller may have done from the bench to make this guy so angry, angry enough to try to kill two people?
MYERS: I read through some of the court filings today. It seemed to me like a fairly ordinary divorce case, but we don`t have much information on what Judge Weller`s final rulings were, if there was one.
I can tell you that Darren Mack is a substantial citizen here. He`s testified before the legislature in downtown redevelopment. His business is right smack downtown, about 100 feet from the famous Reno arch. His parents operated it before him. This is not, you know, a guy who sleeps in doorways.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The vehicle that we are trying to locate and may be being used by Darren Mack at this time is a silver Ford Explorer; that vehicle is reported to have California license plates 5POR272, 5POR272, on a silver Ford Explorer. We are still seeking that vehicle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: There is no way this guy is still in that vehicle, 45-year-old Darren Mack, now the prime suspect, an arrest warrant on his head for shooting a judge, a judge standing in his own office in family court, and the death, the stabbing death of his wife, 27-year-old Charla Mack.
Welcome back, everybody. We are live in Nevada in the manhunt for Darren Mack. In my hand, the criminal complaint -- we just got it this afternoon -- for his arrest.
Elizabeth, show me a shot of that family photo. It looks like something you would see on a Christmas or holiday card, a happy family, the youngest girl, their girl, the other two from another marriage. And in this criminal arrest warrant, we hear allegations that he brutally and repeatedly stabbed his wife to death -- she was unarmed -- then dragged her body away from the vehicle she was in, leaving behind a bloody drag stain.
When you look at this picture, it`s very, very difficult to take in.
I want to go back to Sanford Sage here on the set with me, former sniper team unit leader with the Somerset County SWAT team. What kind of a round must he have used to get that far, then through the glass of the courthouse to shoot the judge?
SAGE: Well, it would have to be what is commonly referred to as a high-powered round. A center-fire rifle round would be the most efficient way to accomplish something like that.
GRACE: Can you demonstrate?
SAGE: Yes, we can. This is a bolt-action rifle, as we said before, with a telescopic scope mounted upon it. This would probably be the easiest way to facilitate and enact what we`re discussing.
SAGE: As long as it was set up properly, in other words, sighted in to shoot where the scope was looking, it wouldn`t be that difficult to make a shot of approximately 100 yards, which is what we`ve been told, through a plate-glass window and strike your target in the chest area on the first try.
GRACE: These are some of the ammos that has been brought to us on the set by Sanford Sage. We`ve got three different types. What are these?
SAGE: All right. The large one in your left hand is a .50-caliber round.
SAGE: This would probably be the largest possible center-fire rifle that would be use. The one you`re holding up now, Nancy, is a .30-caliber round, which would probably be the most common.
SAGE: And that`s a .223-caliber round, which would probably be the smallest or lightest round that would be used.
GRACE: Like a .20 -- OK. Now, here you go. It`s almost too difficult to believe that this is what would come out of a gun. It`s huge. Well, not all of it would go, but are you saying that any of these three could be used?
SAGE: Any of those could be used.
GRACE: To Joe Lawless, just a crazy question, Joe. All of us have practiced in many, many courthouses across the country. Why not bullet- proof glass? It`s a courthouse!
JOE LAWLESS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That`s the first thing I thought of when I read this. Judges in family court particularly are at risk, and they don`t have the security they should have.
The richest man ever to stand trial for murder years ago, Colin Davis (ph) in Texas, hired somebody to kill a judge. But in a courthouse, they don`t have the kind of security they should have, and I don`t see any reason why there shouldn`t be bullet-proof glass in a judge`s chambers. I think the judges need much more protection than they have right now.
GRACE: Let`s go to Nola in Nevada. Hi, Nola.
GRACE: What`s your question, dear?
CALLER: My question is, what about his first ex-wife?
GRACE: Interesting, interesting. To Dennis Myers with the "Reno News and Review," has anyone heard a peep from the first wife?
MYERS: Not a sound. And I suspect that, you know, that`s a (INAUDIBLE) at a time like this when he is still at large, you would want to stay silent.
GRACE: Very quickly to Dr. Michael Hunter, forensic pathologist and medical examiner joining us tonight, what type of evidence would you be looking for in that garage scene, where Charla Mack was killed?
DR. MICHAEL HUNTER, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: You know, on a domestic case like this, there`s a lot of violence. And when you have sharp-force injury, there is going to be blood, which is going to be transferred from the victim to the assailant.
The assailant most likely is going to be very bloody. He`s going to eventually move from that area elsewhere in the house. He`s probably cleaning up. He might be changing clothes. All of that materials might be blood-soaked. You`re going to be looking for that type of item at the scene and then move forward.
GRACE: Doctor, we have several different calibers of bullets here. What would you expect the wounds to be to the judge? At first, we were told he was shot four different times. Last night, police cleared up for us that it was one shot, one hit that looked like four wounds.
HUNTER: Right, well, what that description is, is a projectile that has struck an intermediate target, and that target is going to be the glass. And what`s happened is that, when the bullet strikes the glass, it will fragment, and these different fragments will subsequently strike the body. And it may look like four separate wounds, when it actually came from a single projectile.
High-velocity injuries to a victim are incredibly devastating injuries. If this was a gunshot to the head or one of his major organs, like the liver or the heart, that`s devastating, but I think he`s lucky in that a lot of this goes into the chest, probably the lungs, and that`s one structure that can sustain an injury like this.
GRACE: I want to thank you to all of my Nevada guests, and we now travel across the country to our next story out of Florida, where a romantic walk along the beach turned deadly. She died, but were his wounds self-inflicted? Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He told me he thought that April was dead because she wasn`t talking. And so I asked him if he tried to find a pulse. He said no. So I asked him, "Did you try mouth-to-mouth resuscitation?" And he said no; he said he didn`t even know whether she had been shot or not. She was like a daughter to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Out to Court TV`s Jean Casarez who has been in the courtroom all day long. Bring us up to date, Jean.
JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV: Well, today was a big day for the prosecution. It is the prosecution`s case in chief. And, first of all, we had the other woman take the stand who was having an affair with Justin Barber at the time of the murder. We had a financial analyst take the stand, saying that Justin Barber had credit card debt of $58,000 when his wife died. And finally, we had a life insurance salesman that said that Justin Barber came into his place of business about a year before the murder, saying that he wanted to take out a life insurance policy on himself and on his wife.
GRACE: OK, Jeannie, I`ve got my victim here on the set with me, and I`m going to try to explain so our forensic -- I don`t know why the murder victim is wearing a NANCY GRACE t-shirt, but, that aside, explain to me what -- OK, the wife was shot one time in the head, correct?
CASAREZ: Yes, in the left cheek.
GRACE: All right. What were his wounds?
CASAREZ: His wounds were first to the left hand, to the left shoulder...
GRACE: I`m sorry, the left what?
CASAREZ: Left shoulder.
CASAREZ: To the right chest.
GRACE: Right chest.
CASAREZ: And then also to the right shoulder.
GRACE: Right shoulder. And in the report, I believe it said the shoulder-neck area?
CASAREZ: Yes, shoulder/neck area.
GRACE: Huh. OK, now, Jeannie, please hold up your left hand and show me where he was shot on his left hand. Could that have been a defensive wound?
CASAREZ: I believe it was right there.
GRACE: And which wound was that supposed to match up to on his torso?
CASAREZ: That was supposed to match up to the chest wound. That`s a good question. Now, this is the defense theory...
GRACE: But that doesn`t even make sense.
CASAREZ: ... that one shot came through the left hand, because it was in a defensive posture, and then went through the right chest.
GRACE: OK, we`re going to all be right back on this story. She dies. He lives. And how much was the life insurance policy, Jean?
CASAREZ: Two million dollars.
GRACE: Ow! And how many affairs had he had in the last year?
CASAREZ: At least five.
GRACE: OK, I see how the case is shaping up. We`re going to go straight back out to Jean Casarez where their marriage was certainly no walk on the beach.
But very quickly, as we go to break, to Clark Goldband. What`s the number-one most stolen car in the U.S., Clark?
CLARK GOLDBAND, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Well, Nancy, all you have to is turn on HBO`s "The Sopranos" and some rap videos for an answer. It`s this car behind me, the Cadillac Escalade. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Escalade the number-one stolen car in the U.S.
GOLDBAND: Chrome wheels, fancy seats, and, Nancy, that all-too- tempting DVD system. Also on the top five: the Mitsubishi Lancer, trucks from Dodge and Ford, and the Chrysler Sebring. Least likely to get nabbed? The Ford Taurus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were specifically asked if you had had sexual relationships with anybody else close in time to her death and prior to her death. Did you lie to them?
JUSTIN BARBER, ON TRIAL FOR MURDER: Yes, I did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did you lie to them?
BARBER: I was embarrassed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: A romantic walk on the beach turns deadly. She dies; he lives. Joining us there at the courthouse, Court TV`s Jean Casarez.
Another interesting thing, Jean, is he gives this vague description of the assailant, all right? I can understand that if you`re attacked from behind. But his gunshot wounds came from front to back, correct?
CASAREZ: That is right. But in his defense, it was a very dark night and I don`t think there was much of a moon out, so you really couldn`t see too much.
GRACE: OK, all right, I`ll give you that one, Jean. But here`s my next question: Isn`t it true that he dragged her body a ways up the beach, then got in his car, and he drove quite a distance before deciding, "I`ll call 911." How many houses did he pass before he decided to call for help for his wife? And where the hey was his cell phone? Hello?
CASAREZ: OK, lots of questions. He drove 9.6 miles, and I`ve taken that route because I just wanted to see what was there business-wise. It`s very desolate, the first four miles. Then you have mansions that really have guarded gates, so I don`t think he could get into one of those homes. Then you start seeing some businesses and restaurants.
GRACE: You mean guarded gates where there would be like security guards at the gates?
GRACE: Yes, OK, go ahead.
CASAREZ: OK, just very -- mansions, but automatic gates. And then, finally, you come to some businesses that I question whether they would be open at night, but you did come to a gas station. He didn`t stop there. He stopped a little farther up, basically in the middle of the street, trying to flag down cars.
GRACE: When he first spoke to police, what was his statement? Wait a minute. What happened to his hair? Where is his hair?
CASAREZ: Well, he shaved it off at one point. Why? We don`t know. But he shaved it off, and now he`s got his hair in the courtroom. But his initial statement to police was, when he was in the hospital with his four gunshot wounds, and that was audiotaped -- and the statement has really stayed the same, but I think the problem with the defense is that the forensics that we`re going to hear in court just don`t match up with his story.
CASAREZ: Why? Because he says that they were both shot at the shoreline, and then he dragged his wife -- they both were shot at that point -- he dragged her up to the walkover, which is where you would walk over to get back to the highway. And the problem is his blood is not really on her.
Now, I think there`s a little bit of his blood on her, but not very much, and her blood isn`t really too much on him. And if both had been shot, you would think there would be a lot of blood transfer at that point.
Additionally, there was blood coming out of her wounds in a unidirectional manner. And if you had just dragged someone, the blood wouldn`t be so just in one manner, based on gravity. So the prosecution is saying he shot her right there at the walkover after he dragged her there.
GRACE: Hmm. To Pat Brown, criminal profiler, in many, many high- profile cases, don`t you just hate it when there`s a double shooting and the husband gets a flesh wound and the wife gets shot in the head and dies?
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: It`s a shame, isn`t it, Nancy? If you look at this actual scene, from the point of view of the robber, it`s absolutely ludicrous. First, we have a guy who says, "Oh, look, there`s some people beach-combing or taking a romantic walk. They must be people with lots of money on them." So he runs after them.
Then he gets there, he holds up a gun, and he says, "Give me your money," and the guy fights instead of giving it over. Then he shoots the woman directly in the face, manages somehow to knick this man and he passes out. And standing over Mr. Barber, wanting to finish off the only living witness, he manages to shoot him in the shoulder, left shoulder, and his hand.
This has got to be the worst gunman on the face of the planet. So I don`t know what Mr. Barber was thinking he`s going to get away with this one, but pretty poor story.
GRACE: But the reality is, though, to Andrea Macari, instructor of psychology, what kind of willpower must it take, Andrea, to shoot yourself in the chest? That`s kind of hard to take in.
ANDREA MACARI, INSTRUCTOR OF PSYCHOLOGY: Well, what would you prefer, a boo-boo, Nancy, or going to jail and being convicted of murder? I think I`ll take the boo-boo. If you read the documents after he left the hospital, all they gave him was an antibiotic cream for his bullet wound.
GRACE: No, I did not -- he got a cream? Is that true, Jean Casarez, all he got was a cream? He didn`t even have stitches?
CASAREZ: That`s what we heard in opening statements. We have yet to hear from emergency personnel at the hospital, but I think he was released two days later, not the next day.
GRACE: Andrea, it was a boo-boo. I thought you were underplaying it a little bit even for my taste.
MACARI: No, no Nancy.
GRACE: That he got a cream.
Did you hear that, Joe Lawless? Your client gets a cream, an antibiotic cream, and the wife is dead?
LAWLESS: First of all, first of all, he`s not my client.
GRACE: You`re here taking his side, yes, no?
LAWLESS: No, I think it`s a very strong circumstantial case.
GRACE: Now you`re not representing the defense tonight?
LAWLESS: No, no, I am.
LAWLESS: It`s a very strong circumstantial case for the state. However, there are some things that have to be considered, and I think you raised it correctly. Even if it`s just a boo-boo, to shoot yourself four times anywhere, I guarantee you the first one hurts.
And unless there`s something seriously wrong, which there may be with this fellow, you have to have a tremendous amount of willpower to pull that trigger four times, particularly to shoot yourself in the chest. It`s a tremendous risk involved.
There`s an explanation for that. The problem is there are just so many circumstances, after circumstance, after circumstance.
GRACE: Yes, they start piling up. They start piling up.
LAWLESS: It`s a very strong circumstantial case.
GRACE: To Dr. Michael Hunter, would he have passed out after one of these superficial shots from an assailant?
HUNTER: No, I think that was one of the things about it that he sustains these gunshot wounds, passes out, and then wakes up sometime later. If you go unconscious, the reason why you go unconscious from trauma is going to be due to head trauma, say, a blow or a gunshot wound to the head. Otherwise, it`s hard to explain why he would pass out.
GRACE: Very quickly, Tony in Florida, hi, Tony, what`s your question?
CALLER: Hi, Nancy. How are you? I love your show. I watch it every night.
GRACE: Good, dear. Bless you. Repeats at 10:00.
CALLER: My question is: Do you think Justin will take the stand in the trial?
GRACE: Oh, oh, good one. That`s a yes/no, because we`re running out of time, Jean Casarez. Will he?
CASAREZ: I think he went on the stand today. We saw a video of walk and talk on the beach that he did himself with investigators.
GRACE: So in answer to your question, Tony, she`s right; the answer is no. They will let that video speak for Justin Barber.
Quick break, everybody. But as we go to break, let`s go to tonight`s Amber Alert for two young children, Indiana, four-year-old Collin, two- year-old Monte, taken at knife point. Suspect, their father, 32-year-old Katron Walker.
Here`s the tip line: toll free, 888-58-AMBER.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever done any research on an Internet site to determine the circumstances of living in Brazil?
J. BARBER: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When was that, that you did that?
J. BARBER: Any time over the past four or five years, I`d say.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And why would you do that?
J. BARBER: My company has business in Brazil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Yes, he went online and looked up moving to Brazil. But to Jean Casarez, I`m more interested in him downloading the song from Guns and Roses -- what was the name of the song?
CASAREZ: Well, I know what the first two lines are. "I used to love her, but I had to kill her."
GRACE: "I had to kill her, I had to put her six feet under, and I can still hear her complain." Now, timing is everything. He downloaded this before the shooting and then erased the download that night, correct, Jean?
CASAREZ: Exactly, that is right, but it was still on his hard drive and investigators found it. It`s going to go before this jury.
GRACE: Oh, I hope they play it karaoke-style in court.
To Demetria in Iowa, hi, Demetria, what`s your question, dear?
CALLER: Hi, it`s Dimita.
GRACE: Oh, hey, Dimita.
CALLER: I`m sorry. And I wanted to ask if there`s more motive than the insurance money or if it`s about the affairs?
GRACE: Jean Casarez, where is the state pitching motive, the insurance money or all the affairs? P.S., the mistress was in court today.
CASAREZ: Yes, they`re putting it all in, but I think the financial motive is probably what they`ll focus on at the end, because he was in debt to the tune of $58,000 on those credit cards, and he probably needed some money, and I think that`s the push for the prosecution.
GRACE: Jean Casarez, I`ve got 10 seconds. You told me today that he was taking advances to do e-trading online?
CASAREZ: That`s right, $50,000 cash advances on those credit cards to play with the stock market.
GRACE: OK, with us at the courthouse, Court TV`s Jean Casarez.
Let`s stop to remember tonight Corporal Richard Wahler (ph), an American hero. Wahler, 22, killed Fallujah, Iraq. His family served in the military three generations. He wanted to be a Marine since age five. Corporal Richard Wahler, an American hero.
Thank you to our guests tonight. Our biggest thank you, to you for being with us.
And here in the studio with us, Tim, a friend of the show, a good night from Tim. And tonight, a special happy birthday to my sister-in-law, Jan. Here we are, just this weekend, taking pictures of our show billboard right in Times Square.
I`m signing off for tonight, everybody. See you tomorrow. Until then, good night, friend.