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Should DA Nifong Stay on Duke Rape Case?
Aired June 15, 2006 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, GUEST HOST: Tonight, the latest developments in the Duke rape investigation, critics and defense attorneys calling for District Attorney Mike Nifong to get off the case. Did public remarks by Nifong contradict the actual facts of the case?
Also tonight, day three in the manhunt for a Reno fugitive millionaire. Did suspect Darren Mack stop for coffee, coffee between the murder of his wife and the shooting of a judge? We`ll explain.
And tonight, we are taking your calls. But first tonight, to the Duke rape investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve never in my entire life had a prosecutor refuse to look at evidence that I was willing to show him. I want to see everything he`s got, and my experience is, prosecutors want to see everything I have.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in for Nancy Grace tonight. Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong under attack in the Duke rape investigation. Multiple public filings by the defense claim DA Nifong`s public comments contradict the facts of the case, in which three Duke lacrosse players are charged with the rape of an exotic dancer at a party back in March.
For the very latest on all these new developments, let`s go straight out to Kevin Miller, reporter with WPTF radio. He has been covering this case from the very start. Kevin, bring us up to date. What`s the latest?
KEVIN MILLER, WPTF RADIO: Jane, you would describe under fire, perhaps under siege would better remark -- would be the better remark for District Attorney Mike Nifong. These were papers that were filed last week by Kirk Osborne (ph) and Earnest Connor (ph), attorneys for Reade Seligmann, saying that, Look, there are inconsistencies in this case that we`ve heard publicly from Mike Nifong that don`t add up to the facts of the case, most notably that Kim Roberts Pittman (ph), the second dancer, initially said that the victim-accuser`s statements that she was raped were a crock, that the nurse was not certified as a rape nurse, that she was a nurse in training, that the physical trauma described by Mike Nifong was not found by the physician who examined the victim-accuser. In fact, the only evidence of any physical trauma was a laceration on her heel and a cut on her knee.
And again, this really plays into the fact that there possibly could be a write-in candidate to challenge him in the November election here in Durham.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the reaction in Durham is what tonight?
MILLER: Well, the defense team has done a marvelous job of pretty much controlling the airwaves, controlling thee press, and getting their message out that the victim-accuser, the second dancer -- every facet of this case lacks credibility, and most folks want this case to go away.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I understand that the prosecutor can`t even speak up now because once the indictments are handed down and it`s formal charges, he by law has to keep quiet.
MILLER: Right. He is bound under North Carolina law not to talk about this case once there have been indictments. There have been three so far.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, let`s talk about some of the amazing developments you`ve brought up, and let`s break it down. It`s very complicated, folks, but this is important. The devil is really in the details with this case. So I have a full-screen graphic we`re going to throw up of exactly the issues at hand. They are condoms, struggle, team cooperation, the 911 call, and the rape exam.
Now, let us go to defense attorney Richard Herman, who`s been studying all this, and talk about these alleged inconsistencies. First of all, let me ask you about this one. The prosecutor reportedly said that this accuser was hit, kicked and strangled, she was grabbed from behind, she had to struggle in order to breathe. But according to the defense, they`re now saying the accuser told the nurse that very night after the incident that she was not choked, that the medical staff reportedly saw no tenderness to her neck, according to the defense, the nurse noted that her head and neck were normal. How do you explain that kind of inconsistency?
RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jane, Nifong is making up the facts to fit some sort of portfolio here. He`s making up the facts of this case! It`s outrageous! I am calling for a criminal investigation of Nifong by the U.S. attorney`s office in Durham! This is outrageous! Everything he said in those 72 interviews have been proven to be false, blatant, black and white, not even a close call here.
And the most telling is the eyewitness who was with the alleged accuser the entire night, except for maybe five minutes, and she said it`s a bunch of crock, that coupled with the medical examination that was done that very night. There is no case here. Zero case!
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Before we get carried away -- and we do not know what happened that night, and nobody`s trying to pre-judge, but there are inconsistencies all over the place. Now, you`ve heard the defense say that the medical team found no evidence of head injury. Let`s hear what the accuser`s father said he saw with his own eyes.
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NANCY GRACE, HOST: You said you saw bruises on her face. Where were they?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right up on the eyes and the jaw (INAUDIBLE)
GRACE: And where was the scratch on her arm?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was on her right arm, I believe (INAUDIBLE) And she didn`t tell me a lot of the details, but she did tell me that three boys had raped her. And I asked her where was it at, where did it happen, and she said at that house.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Former prosecutor Joanne Musick, is this a case perhaps where the defense can kind of cherry-pick different facts and line them up with other comments and paint a picture of inconsistencies that if we had all the evidence and we could look at all the paperwork that they have, we might say, Well, yes, there are some inconsistencies here because we`re dealing with human beings, but it`s not like there`s no case?
JOANNE MUSICK, FORMER PROSECUTOR: There`s always going to be inconsistencies with any case. What we need to know are all of the facts, and clearly, we do not know all of those yet. Some things may have been misstated in the press, either because the prosecutor was not aware of all the facts of this case, as he was initially talking to the media, making statements, but as he`s become more familiar with the case, I`m sure that he would be dismissing this case if he had no evidence.
We certainly have a complainant willing to come forward, willing to state her position, and she indicates that she`s been raped. The prosecutor needs to zealously prosecute that case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And former head of the FBI Houston bureau Don Clark, how much of this is simply that the defense has hired some excellent, excellent defense attorneys, they will leave absolutely no stone unturned? Some people have compared this to the Kobe Bryant case, where the defense team was so high-powered, they just outplayed the prosecution at every step.
DON CLARK, FORMER HEAD OF FBI HOUSTON BUREAU: Jane, it`s all about the defense, that they`re going to make every effort that they can to discredit the prosecution in this case. And the issue in this case is the evidence. And whether we talk about something that someone heard or someone said, that doesn`t matter. It`s the evidence that they`re going to be able -- have to link together to be able to take to a jury. And anything I think that the defense can find to discredit that, certainly, they are going to use it.
Now, one thing that happens, if the prosecution does say something and the defense gets their hands on it, then as an investigator, now you`ve got to start trying to work through that to make sure that that fits into your evidence scheme that you`re going to present to a jury, so when they see it, they will see all the facts. And until then, we`re just going to be talking about one way or the other here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what strikes me, former prosecutor Joanne Musick, is that on this show, on all shows that deal with crime, we always complain, Why aren`t they telling us more, Why don`t they hold a news conference, Why don`t they talk to us? Well, isn`t this an example of what can happen when the prosecution talks? They kind of box themselves into a corner.
MUSICK: Absolutely. Whether it`s the defense or the prosecution doing the talking, they make -- they have the potential to make a misstatement, and then they`re trapped into it and they`re crucified for it. And it can be simply a misstatement. This is a good reason why the prosecutor should not be out in the media, making statements about his case until he is very thoroughly familiar with the case and is permitted to do so in the courtroom. We have to remember what the prosecutor says is not evidence. It`s not fact. It is simply his observations of the case. The facts will come out in the courtroom.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Joanne, complicating all of this is the fact that this accuser may have been intoxicated or drugged, perhaps by someone else that night.
Let`s listen to the 911 call that came in that night.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is going to wind up being a 24-hour hold. She`s 10-56 and unconscious (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 10-4. You need a medical truck (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s breathing, appears to be fine. She`s not in distress. She`s just passed out drunk.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Defense attorney Richard Herman, complicating this entire issue now, if she was intoxicated, as that 911 call indicated -- and we`re not saying she got herself drunk, there`s been the possibility raised that perhaps she was subjected to a date rape drug or something else -- that also makes it difficult because then how can we trust what she said? Can she have spotty recollections that night when she was talking to the nurse? That sort of thing.
HERMAN: Jane, there`s no toxicology to support any claim of a date rape drug. And the reason the defense attorneys are going out in the press is because when Nifong did his 72 interviews prior to the indictments, he laid out what his case was. All the defense attorneys are doing is saying, Everything Nifong told the public why he`s bringing this case, is not true. It`s all lies.
Now, this woman had DNA -- semen in her from another -- other people. No one -- there`s no DNA from this alleged rape, in this 30-minute attack that supposedly took place. There`s time-stamped photos. This case goes nowhere, Jane. This prosecutor has an obligation, has an ethical obligation to dismiss this case. He cannot go forward with it. He`s got no foundation to bring it. There is no evidence...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know...
HERMAN: ... and I challenge anybody to show me, what is the evidence in this case?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It sounds like they should hire you to be the defense attorney. You`re very passionate about this.
But let me say something about those time-stamped photos. And please, anybody in the panel disagree with me. I know, my camera, the time stamp isn`t correct. I haven`t set it properly in a long time. So I can take photos, but that time stamp might not be correct. And I`ve seen that in other cases where they say, We have a time-stamped photo, and it turns out that the time stamp wasn`t properly set.
So I`m not saying that it was or wasn`t. All I`m saying is, again, the devil`s in the details. There are a lot of nuances here. Everybody is seeing the same evidence and analyzing it differently. You raised a very important point, Richard Herman, and that is the DNA. And I`d like to ask Dr. Daniel Spitz, the forensic psychologist -- and pathologist, rather -- about that.
Let`s analyze the second alleged inconsistency. I`m reading here because this is details and I don`t want to get them wrong. The DA on television reportedly said, quote, "If a condom were used, then we might expect that there would not be any DNA evidence recovered from a vaginal swab." He apparently said that on March 31. But in the court papers filed, the accuser allegedly told the nurse right after the incident that no condoms were used. So what do you make of that inconsistency?
DR. DANIEL SPITZ, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, certainly, it`s an inconsistency, and it gives the prosecutor some difficulties. If a condom was used, you may not have DNA. But that appears not to be the facts of the case, and the prosecutor`s going to have to acknowledge that because that`s just the information that came out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And DNA, of course, is a science and it`s very specific, and it`s easy to talk in general terms and possibly get something wrong.
Let`s listen to the father of the accuser talk about his daughter`s reaction when the DNA results came back in negative.
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GRACE: You said that the night the DNA results came out, she cried all night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She (INAUDIBLE) cried all night long. She couldn`t believe it.
GRACE: What is she saying about the fact there was no DNA?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, she felt like they thought that she was lying and just -- she just couldn`t take it.
GRACE: Did she describe at all the series of events that led up to the attack?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. She didn`t describe all of it. A lot of things I learned later that really -- it really tore me apart.
GRACE: Like what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, like the broom they used on her and stuff like that.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. And I`d like to go back to Dr. Daniel Spitz because we are talking about DNA evidence and he is a forensic pathologist. My understanding, basically, of the DNA is that the prosecution says the DNA found underneath a fingernail in the bathroom can be linked to one of the suspects, and that fingernail was allegedly from the victim. The defense says that the DNA proved to be completely inconclusive. The only material recovered that matched anybody was from a single male source who wasn`t on the team. So when you see that kind of evidence, what does it tell you as a scientist?
SPITZ: Well, there is some DNA under a fingernail. Now, that`s a questionable sample because of how it was recovered. And when a sample is recovered from a wastebasket with other kinds of contaminants in there, you always have the problem of contamination. So even if it`s linked to one of the players, the contamination issue is a serious problem.
The DNA from the vaginal sample does not -- is not linked to any of these Duke players. It`s, in fact, linked to somebody else. So that indicates that this woman did have sex in the recent days prior to this alleged assault.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So we are out of time for this segment, but answer yes or no. Does it sound to you like a weak case, based on the forensics, or not?
SPITZ: It`s very weak. There`s no indication of an assault. There`s really no indication of any type of sexual contact. So I don`t think this case is really going anywhere very fast.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And it is so very controversial. We`ll have more on it in a moment.
Good news in tonight`s "Case Alert." An Arizona girl missing for 10 years is found safe in South Carolina. Rebecca Ann Brawn (ph), now age 12, abducted by her father at just 2 years old from her Tempe home. Fifty- seven-year-old Danny Moran was on the most wanted list in Phoenix. Moran was living in a mobile home with Rebecca and another woman, who was also arrested. Thankfully for Rebecca`s mom, a reunion between mother and daughter is expected soon.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a good feeling, knowing that, you know, this child is safe and been missing this long, and this child`s going to be reunited with her natural mother.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) the Duke lacrosse rape case had reported 10 years ago that she`d been sexually assaulted approximately 13 years ago. I will not comment specifically on either the facts of the current case or the circumstances of the previous allegations.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, filling in for Nancy Grace. Tonight, we are talking about the latest developments in the Duke rape investigation. A few critics, particularly the defense, want the DA to remove himself from this case, saying his public comments fly in the face of what the accuser herself said happened. And of course, with the DA`s office being an elected position, politics is playing a role. The DA, Nifong, triumphed in last month`s primary, but now another potential challenger has emerged, a county commissioner named Louis Cheek (ph), and he`s OKed a petition drive that could land his name on the fall ballot.
Reporter Kevin Miller, tell us about how this new challenger or potential challenger to the prosecutor -- how does this relate to the Duke case? Has politics now totally seeped through on this case?
MILLER: Jane, you know, as a matter of course, I would say yes. We had a chance last week with Nancy to break this story that people around Durham were actively looking for candidates to go up against Mike Nifong. And Louis Cheek, I had a chance to speak with him -- he said to me, basically, he has no problem with Mike Nifong, but the lacrosse case is just part of the way he`s handling it, number one.
Number two, Louis Cheek also told me that he doesn`t believe he`s the only one that`s being actively recruited. You could have people that are pro-prosecution, that think Mike Nifong is not going quick enough, you could also have people that are pro-Duke, that want this case to go away, to get on the ballot. I can explain the process of how it`s going to work in Durham.
In addition, one thing that`s being left out about Mike Nifong is he`s a 27-year prosecutor in the Durham DA`s office. He was appointed by the governor just a few months ago. The governor is a former attorney general, a former prosecutor, so he had a lot of faith and a lot of confidence in Mike Nifong that gets underreported.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I understand that some of the people, or at least one of the people supporting this potential challenger are connected to Duke University in some way, though the fraternities and -- so there`s sort of this tie to Duke, possibly.
MILLER: Well, you see that. I mean, Durham is a small community and Duke`s a big part of it, so you are going to have people that are -- you know, with ties to Duke. You do have Mr. Cheek, who did represent Duke in the past, when he was involved with a bigger civil firm. Now, in fact, he has a small civil law firm of about six associates, and that would kind of cause trouble for him. He doesn`t have a lot of experience as a prosecutor. It`s been 25 years since he`s handled criminal law.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s get a call in. From West Virginia, Kelly, what is your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Jane. It`s great to get to talk to you. My question is, if and when the three Duke lacrosse players are found to be innocent, can the accuser be actually be prosecuted for making false allegations or...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Excellent question. And let`s go to defense attorney Richard Herman on that.
HERMAN: Well, Jane, basically, the district attorney would be the one to have to prosecute the accuser here. But if you look at Nifong, could he be prosecuted, or could he be sued by the lacrosse players? That`s the bigger question. And unfortunately, they cannot sue him civilly. He has full immunity. But he might face ethical issues with the grievance committee and he might lose his bar card.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I looked at what happened, I was appalled. I think that most people in this community are appalled. I think if Joe Cheshire weren`t representing one of the people in this case, he might even admit that he was appalled.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace. A Duke lacrosse team party back in March resulted in three players being charged with rape and kidnapping. Meantime, one of the young men charged, Collin Finnerty, faces another legal situation in Washington, D.C. -- that area, anyway -- where he was accused of being part of a fight and yelling a slur regarding sexual orientation.
Kevin Miller, what`s the very latest in that D.C.-area case?
MILLER: Well, that case could take precedence over this one, Jane, and it could impact the ongoing indictments here in Durham.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. And you know, we mentioned that alleged slur. And we don`t know for sure. He has not been convicted in that D.C.- area case, so we don`t know. But there was an alleged slur. Slurs were also a part of this case, as well. In fact, we have a recording of what`s believed to be the 911 call, the very first one that came in from that night. Let`s listen in.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
911 OPERATOR: Durham 911. Where`s your emergency?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I don`t know if this is an emergency or not necessarily, but I`m in Durham and I was driving down near Duke`s campus. And it`s me and my black girlfriend. And the guy -- there`s, like, a white guy by the Duke wall, and he was just hollered out (DELETED) to me. And I`m just so angry, I didn`t know who to call! I don`t know if this is an emergency. They`re just hanging out by the wall...
911 OPERATOR: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... on Buchanan, off of Buchanan Street. It`s right in front of 610 Buchanan Street. And I saw them all come out, like, a big frat house, and me and my black girlfriend are walking by, and they called us (DELETED)!
(END AUDIO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go to our psychiatrist, Dr. Lisa Weinstock. Now, we don`t know for sure what happened that night, but one thing that doesn`t seem very much in dispute is this issue of racial slurs. A number of people in the neighborhood reportedly heard them. Does that open a Pandora`s box? Once you open the door to racial slurs, can anything happen? Can an equal and opposite reaction be, Hey, this is war?
DR. LISA WEINSTOCK, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, you know, it`s hard to know. We know there was this party, that there was a lot of drinking involved, that regardless of what happened in terms of the rape, they had these, you know, female dancers there. And there may have been a demeaning aspect to the whole experience, to begin with, which would then make it more likely that these young men would sort of fall into this, you know, racial slur- like pattern. So it`s really hard to know what the slurs themselves implicate.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But it certainly could have created anger, resentment, and even a desire for revenge.
WEINSTOCK: Well, that`s absolutely true. And so we don`t really know whether the victims, hearing these kinds of things, were more likely to, you know, say things that may turn out not to be true. It`s just such a mystery at this point. But that`s an excellent point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is. And once you start using those slurs, you never know where it`s going to end up. It`s a dangerous combination.
We at Nancy Grace want very much to help, in our own way, solve unsolved homicides, find missing people. Tonight, take a look at 34-year- old Sandra Young from San Francisco, California, Sandra found murdered in the Bay area December 2, 2005. Any information on Sandra Young, call the Carole Sund Carrington Foundation toll-free. The number is 888-813-8389.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never saw a rape occur. Everybody knows, I think -- it`s hard for me to remember who knows what, you know, because the facts are so simple to me, so elementary, so simple.
The time line, what -- all that stuff that`s so confusing to everybody, I was there from the beginning to the end. The only thing I did not see was the rape, because I was not in the bathroom at that particular moment.
Everything leading up to it, I was there. Everything leaving from it, I was there. And, mind you, I believe I was the only sober person in the place.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that was the woman who went with the accuser to that house that night to do some exotic dancing for the lacrosse team. This investigation is such a heated and emotional issue, so many difficult subjects to discuss, so bear with us. I apologize in advance, but this is rather graphic.
According to the prosecution, this woman was allegedly raped vaginally, anally and orally. But, according to the defense, when she was there with the nurse, she did not mention all of that.
So let`s go back to Dr. Daniel Spitz, who is not only a forensic pathologist, but as well a medical examiner. How can that kind of discrepancy occur?
SPITZ: Well, you know, it can occur by having her tell the nurse if that occurred, and it just doesn`t seem like it did, based on the evidence that we have. This is a big problem with what people say and what the evidence shows. And, so far, forensically, the evidence just doesn`t support that kind of claim.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But, former prosecutor Joanne Musick, when a woman is traumatized and she may have been intoxicated, for whatever reason, and she`s at the hospital, is it possible that her story is going to be jumbled and she won`t remember all the details, let`s say, until a future time because she is so traumatized?
MUSICK: Absolutely. The victim is under a tremendous amount of pressure, shock, disgust, embarrassment, just a traumatic trauma at that point, and she`s trying to relay the story as best she can. She may have relayed details that didn`t end up in the nurse`s report; she may have not.
You need the chance to reflect clearly on what happened. You have to remember that, to the victim, this seemed like an eternity that she was in that house where she couldn`t get out, if that is, in fact, what occurred.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s absolutely true. I mean, when you try to measure time -- and here we are in the news business, so we have a pretty good understanding of time. But if somebody asked me off the cuff, "Well, how long were you in that coffee shop getting coffee?" I might say five minutes, and it might have been 17 minutes. That kind of thing happens all the time. And, in fact, studies have shown that recollections are very off.
We have a caller, Deanna from Texas. What is your question, ma`am?
CALLER: Well, Jane, how are you tonight?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m doing well.
CALLER: Listen, my question has to do, going back to the DNA, because we`ve talked about it at several levels, but the broom the father mentioned that his daughter said was used on her. Has there been anything said on that subject as to whether or not DNA was found on the broom?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s go to the reporter who`s been covering this from the very start, Kevin Miller. Excellent question, ma`am.
What do you know about -- and, again, very graphic stuff -- this whole broom aspect?
MILLER: Well, according to statements released by the defense and in court filings, there was no mention of a broom being used by the victim- accuser. And as one person who has interviewed Mike Nifong when this initially came out, and getting back to the DNA part, he said that the DNA was bulletproof and that it was more accurate in these cases than an eyewitness identification.
That`s why the stress has been on the DNA, and that`s, when it didn`t come up conclusive in either DNA trials, there`s been a big swing in momentum here locally and nationally.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kevin, you actually talked to the D.A. who is now at the center of this controversy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think that he did a little too much lip flap, that he was basically jawboning a little too much before all the facts were in or not? What`s your sense of it?
MILLER: Boy, that`s a tough call to make, Jane. He was so convincing, and he was so pure in his belief in the victim-accuser, and he was so forthright. It`s amazing, when we talk about Mike Nifong, because I said, "What about the DNA?" And then the next day he`s telling publications, "Well, even if there`s not DNA, perhaps they used condoms."
It was already -- we were starting to hear these other theories that were coming out. And the code of silence -- and if you believe the defense, Jane, there wasn`t a code of silence. They were looking out for their clients.
But, I mean, he was so believable. We had him on for a half an hour on WPTF, and many people at the time believed him.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Richard Herman, defense attorney, Kevin has brought up one of the other inconsistencies that we want to go into here. The D.A. had said that some of these team players, or all of them, were sort of creating a stone wall of silence, that they had more loyalty to their team than to the community.
But let`s hear, before you answer this question, what one of the charged students, Dave Evans, said about his level of cooperation with the authorities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVE EVANS, ACCUSED IN DUKE RAPE CASE: If I can go back to two months ago when the police first came to my home, I fully cooperated and have continued to try to cooperate with them.
When they entered in and started to read the search warrant, my roommates and I helped them find evidence for almost an hour and told them that, if they had any questions, we would gladly answer them to show that nothing happened that night.
After that, I went down to the police station and gave an un-counseled statement, because I knew that I had done nothing wrong and did not feel that I needed an attorney. After going through photos of my teammates and identifying who was there, I then submitted, perfectly willingly, DNA samples to the police.
I then turned over my e-mail account, my AIM account, any kind of information that they could have to show that I had not communicated in any way that anything had happened because it did not happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Defense attorney Richard Herman, I know you`re chomping at the bit to weigh in on this.
HERMAN: Well, Jane, it`s just another lie by Nifong. All this guy does, he`s a compulsive liar in this case.
And, you know, the caller called in earlier about that broom handle. Jane, when they first executed the first search warrant, they didn`t go to look for a broom because it was never mentioned by the accuser. It only came up later on, after the fact. It really -- I mean, the case has boiled down to absolutely -- it`s just outrageous what`s going on here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got Karen from South Carolina. We want to get in another caller. Karen, your question.
CALLER: Yes. If the Duke players are found innocent, do the attorneys think that there will possibly be a civil case, as in the O.J. Simpson trial?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, well, that`s similar, but maybe not, to another question a caller had. I`ll let former prosecutor Joanne Musick answer that.
If there is no criminal case or if, I should say, these defendants are found not guilty, then what could happen civilly, if at all?
MUSICK: Well, there can always be a civil lawsuit. The victim can come forward and file a suit. Her family can come forward and file a suit. It doesn`t mean she will prevail. And, you know, that`ll really depend on how the evidence actually shakes out in trial.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, I want to ask Dr. Lisa Weinstock, psychiatrist, how this community can heal. This has been so divisive. But, in situations like this, sometimes there is opportunity, there is opportunity to go from the worst to the best. What should this community do?
WEINSTOCK: Well, I think one thing that`s going to help them heal is time and more information. I think, when this first came out, it was very polarizing. People immediately went and, you know, had an opinion either one way or the other.
And, as more facts have come out, or lack thereof, I think people have had more time to reflect and think rather than have a gut, instinctual response. So I think talking, having meetings between different, you know, groups of people, time, and really, you know, going over the facts and the information is really what`s going to lead this community to heal more than anything else.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re almost out of time. But, in a sense of spirit, what should the spirit of the people and the community be at the campus and around the campus, one of forgiveness and understanding? Should they try to let the heated emotions sort of fade away?
WEINSTOCK: Absolutely. I mean, it`s very easy to make a rushed judgment based on a little bit of information. I think people need to take a step back and really wait before they make a decision.
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MIKE NIFONG, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: You know, there are certain people who told me that the timing of this could not be better for the election; that had nothing to do with the timing of this case. It had nothing to do with anything about this, other than the fact that what happened here was one of the worst things that`s happened since I have become district attorney.
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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... saying it`s a Bushmaster gun, just like this, that Darren Mack used in his attempt to kill Judge Weller earlier this week. Now, I`m out here in a safe environment with (INAUDIBLE) sniper team, and they`re showing me how to use this gun safely and properly.
These guys resent the fact that people are calling Mack a sniper. Snipers save lives; they don`t take lives. Snipers protect people like you and me. And these are the guys that are going to take a guy like Mack off the streets.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, sitting in for Nancy Grace. The manhunt is still on for a handsome, millionaire businessman from Nevada who is now an accused murder; 45-year-old Darren Mack is still on the lam after allegedly knifing his estranged wife to death on Monday and then shooting his family court judge a short time later.
Is he still in Nevada, or has he fled to Northern California or possibly even out of the country? There have been tantalizing new hints to his possible whereabouts.
Let`s go straight out to my friend, Ed Miller, reporter for "America`s Most Wanted." Ed, your show now involved in this case. What is the latest on the track for Mack?
ED MILLER, REPORTER, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": Well, I think you really hit the nail on the head. The big question is -- you have a millionaire playboy with lots and lots of money at his disposal -- did he already leave the country?
There are some indications that he stashed money. He declared bankruptcy, even though just a short while ago financial records showed that he had $10 million and was making $45,000 a month, believe it or not, $45,000 a month. How can a man declare bankruptcy all of a sudden? Well, maybe he stashed some of that cash out of the country; that`s what many people think.
So he could have slipped out of the country very easily. He does have this -- it`s not quite a pilot`s license. It`s a student`s pilot`s license. And, of course, you know, renting a plane is not like going to Hertz rental car. It`s kind of a loosy-goosy business, so he could have rented a plane and could have escaped.
But that is the key question: Is he here or is he not?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And a couple of hours after the shooting of the judge he turns up -- or evidence of him turns up in Sacramento at the airport. A corporate credit card available to Mack is used at a parking garage. We went on the Internet and found out, yes, he could have made that drive, theoretically, from Reno to Sacramento.
So are they focusing their search on that area?
E. MILLER: No. And, you know what, to tell you exactly how that credit card was used, he used it for a very short time, you know, to exit an airport parking lot. So it was like 84 cents or something, so he was in or out. And, obviously, the common thinking was, "Well, he ditched the car there and took another car," but they looked all over for that silver SUV and they couldn`t find it anywhere.
So did he use it? Did he get someone else to use it? Was it designed to throw police off track? You don`t know. But, definitely, that SUV was not there.
And they looked through all of those horrible, grainy surveillance video camera pictures that I`ve been hounding you folks about, because surveillance cameras are frequently very bad quality, and the quality again was so bad they couldn`t tell whether it was him or Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. So that turned out to be a dead end.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. And another fascinating angle to this entire story -- and we could possibly flash up a time line as we discuss this -- of course, the crimes occurred on Monday.
And apparently, Dennis Myers, news editor of the "Reno News and Review," Darren Mack, in between the time he allegedly killed his wife, Charla, and shot the judge, who thankfully recovered, stopped for coffee with a friend. Tell us about this.
Hello, Dennis, can you hear us?
DENNIS MYERS, NEWS EDITOR, "RENO NEWS AND REVIEW": Can you hear me?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well, Dennis. Are you there?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, yes, can you tell us about the coffee pit stop, the cup of Joe that Darren Mack had in between, allegedly, these two crimes?
MYERS: Well, at the time that Mrs. Mack, Charla Mack, was murdered, there was a family friend in the house, and there was also the couple`s child, a toddler. The family friend got the child out of the house.
And we had been told up to before now that the family friend had some idea of what was happening in the house and so got the child out of the house. But now there`s this story that the family friend later met up with Darren Mack at a coffee shop and had the child with him, brought the child back into Darren Mack`s presence. You know, I haven`t got that confirmed myself, but it`s a published report.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It would be certainly chilling, if true, because that would strike me as somebody quite cold-blooded, able to do this, allegedly, to his wife, then have a cup of Joe with his daughter and a friend, and then go and allegedly shoot the judge in the chest from across a river, three football fields away.
Thankfully, again, the judge out of the woods, OK, in hiding right now, or under protection.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I would like to go to our reporter, Clark Goldband, our NANCY GRACE reporter, who always has all the facts. The suspect, Darren Mack, was furious, furious about this bitter divorce. Tell us about it.
CLARK GOLDBAND, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Well, that`s exactly right, Jane. And the question that people seem to be asking is: What could have drove someone to be this upset at someone who`s a family court judge?
We have the divorce papers right here. And as you can see, Darren has to pay $10,000 a month spousal support, $849 a month child support. It doesn`t stop there, Jane. The first mortgage, the second mortgage, and then -- listen to this -- he`s got to pay all the bills for his wife, including lawn, gas, pool, satellite, insurance, water, alarm, garbage, pest control, even the telephone.
So while spousal support, Jane, is tax-deductible, I don`t think that`s enough of a positive spin on $10,000 a month.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. And I would like to ask Dr. Lisa Weinstock, psychiatrist, can people snap because of a divorce, or do you think they have an underlying psychological problem and then, when something stressful like a divorce occurs, suddenly these character defects come to the surface?
WEINSTOCK: Absolutely. I mean, there`s no question that divorce is stressful, even in the most "easy," quote, unquote, divorces. And this one sounds like it was very not easy.
However, I think to snap to this degree reflects on some underlying psychological problem. This guy seems like he really has no sense of remorse, really kind of like character-logically deficient, in terms of his sense of what his responsibilities really were.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Rita in New Jersey, your question?
CALLER: I know this person was upstairs with one of the children. I`d like to know, how come there wasn`t any noise if somebody`s being stabbed multiple times?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Interesting. Let`s go to Dennis Myers. I know that this friend who was asked to come over had a dog. The dog started barking and then ran up the stairs covered in blood. So, to follow up on our viewer`s question, why didn`t he call the police right then? I mean, a dog appears covered in blood; the man appears later with his hand wrapped. Why didn`t he call right away?
MYERS: I don`t know the answer to that. We haven`t been given information about the acoustics in the house or so on. And, as for why he didn`t call the police right away, we don`t know that, either. Information is being held very closely.
But I want to return to what one of your other guests said earlier. There`s a real tone of blaming the victim here, that, because she was being given $10,000, that this was an extravagant amount. I have seen their tax returns. That was about 20 percent of their annual income, was what she was receiving. The fact that she received that monthly allowance does not mitigate in any way what was going on, what happened here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, absolutely. And I don`t think anybody is trying to blame the victim. We are trying to ascertain the facts to understand why people do what they do so that, God willing, we can prevent people from doing this kind of thing again.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just always had such a positive mind. For this to have happened, he had to have been pushed to such an extent, to such a brink of despair, he felt he was losing everything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely not a violent man. I`ve known him for 40 years; he was the furthest thing from a man that would be a violent person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But police say Darren Mack has turned violent. They are hunting for him. They suspect him of killing his wife and trying to kill his family court judge in a bitter divorce battle.
Let`s go straight out to Daniel Sieberg, CNN technology correspondent. Tell us about some of the ominous purchases that he allegedly made online?
DANIEL SIEBERG, CNN TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Well, it seems as though he was running an eBay Web site. We`ve heard that he is a pawn shop owner, brick and mortar store, traditionally speaking. Also running an eBay Web site where he was selling a lot of high-end jewelry. Perhaps we can bring up that eBay site.
He had a feedback page where he was receiving some fairly positive feedback as an eBay seller. And this is an item that we have actually discovered that he received some feedback on this item just yesterday. Now, whether this item arrived within the last few days or someone was able to send it out on his behalf, we simply don`t know.
I have spoken to eBay, and they have been contacted by the Reno Police Department to try and track down some more information. And we can pull up his feedback page.
And also, these are some sites you might be familiar with, Yahoo! Personals and Match.com. These are online dating sites. So, in a sense, Darren Mack apparently has had a lot of digital footprints out there. He used these online dating sites.
And what you can see here is Match.com. I want to draw your attention to this part of the page right here which it says "active within 24 hours." This is important, because he may actually have had access to this page recently and contacted people, and police are warning any people who have seen him on these sites to be careful.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Excellent information. If you see him, don`t approach him. Call police, and stay away. He`s believed to be armed and dangerous.
Thank you so much.
Tonight, we remember Army Specialist Sean Creighton, an American hero. Creighton, 21 years old, killed in Iraq on his second tour of duty. His relatives remember him as a generous man. Tonight, an American hero.
We want to thank all our guests tonight for their insight. Thanks to you at home for tracking these important cases with us. I`m Jane Velez- Mitchell in for Nancy Grace. We hope to see you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. Have a wonderful evening. Until then, thanks for joining us. Bye.