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Nancy Grace

Anna Nicole Smith Fails to Show at Court Appearance

Aired January 23, 2007 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, CNN ANCHOR: Legal 911 tonight. She should be her very own class in law school, well, at least one semester. Tonight, brand new legal troubles come to a head for cover girl Anna Nicole Smith, unpaid legal bills, a formal inquest in the sudden death of her young son, eviction threats, throwing her out of a Bahamas seaside mansion, topping it all off, today is "D" day, a courtroom showdown on paternity of her new baby girl. Do I have to say, who`s the baby`s daddy?
And tonight, to Arizona. Just how did a sex offender enroll himself in Arizona elementary schools passing himself off as a 12-year-old boy? Well, he conned the board of education. But what about the school children in class with him?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Incredibly surprised. I don`t understand how a 29-year-old male can be misunderstood as a seventh grader.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was here for 50 days? Very shocking. I`ll have to definitely talk to somebody about that.


GRACE: Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. First, cover girl Anna Nicole Smith back in court.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Birkhead (ph) and Anna Nicole are both in the Bahamas. Anna Nicole was supposed to appear between 3:00 and 6:00 Eastern standard time to submit to the test. At the 11th hour, her attorney, who showed up in a Los Angeles superior court and basically said at the 11th hour, oh, no, we can`t proceed with the test because -- and the reasons they gave were too ridiculous to mention here. Anna gave Larry a heads-up in a text message that is in the public. She said, I`m not showing up. And she used the F word. And she is a very, very troubled woman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think first you have to look at what his motives are. And, you know, if he honestly believed that he was the father, based on when the baby was born, he should have handled it appropriately. You know, first he should have waited until Daniel was put to rest. And second, handle it through the proper channels, not through television and through the media.


GRACE: You know, that doesn`t even make any sense. Why are they fighting a DNA test? This argument is not going to go away. This happens in courtrooms every day, all across this country, paternity tests. It`s easy. Out to Jane Velez-Mitchell, investigative reporter, what`s going on?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: It`s absolutely crazy because if she`s so confident that Howard K. Stern is in fact the father, she would have no reason to fear taking this test. However, apparently she does. Apparently there was an AOL instant message exchange just yesterday, published by the celebrity gossip website between Larry Birkhead, the Los Angeles photographer who said he is the dad --

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait. We`ve got it. Hold on. Apparently Elizabeth has been text messaging with him as well. Anna Nicole, quit trashing me at the casino. Larry, not at a casino. Anna Nicole, go F my mom. Classy. Anna Nicole, y`all are sick. Larry, show up for the test with the baby. Anna Nicole, don`t think so. Larry, do what`s right. Anna Nicole, you wish. Larry, everybody just wants you to do the right thing is all. Grammar corrected. Anna Nicole, in your dreams. Correct me if I`m wrong, Jane Velez-Mitchell, but didn`t the alleged father, biological father just say, don`t do this in the media? Don`t do this on TV? Who leaked that text message?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Exactly. I mean, this has gotten ridiculous. The walls are closing in on Anna Nicole. This is just one of many legal actions being taken against her as we speak. And, you know, there`s an old saying, if one person tells you you`re wrong, maybe they`re wrong. But if six or seven or 10 or 12 people are all criticizing you, chances are they have a point. Her old law firm is suing her now, saying that she refuses to pay her bills and comes up with all sorts of excuses.

GRACE: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Why should she trust a bunch of lawyers? I`m not kidding. You know, I get a bill for $150,000 from a law firm. Doesn`t she just want an itemized bill? Wasn`t that her response?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She said she just wanted an itemized bill, but she also accused them of violating attorney/client privilege and violating their trust and their duty as attorneys and this is a pattern. Every time somebody comes after her for money, which she does, she files a counterclaim against them.

GRACE: Wait. Wait. Correct me if I`m wrong, Jane, because you`ve been on the story from the very beginning. But didn`t her lawyers, after they left the case, come out and publicly state that they were disgusted with her and Howard Stern, her husband, I think, behavior, her own lawyers? Didn`t they say that? Isn`t that a breach of attorney/client privilege (INAUDIBLE)?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One of her lawyers did say that. And of course, Howard K. Stern is not her real husband. They had a fake wedding ceremony just days after her 20-year-old son died of a mysterious drug-related death in which they dove off a catamaran into the waters outside of the Bahamas and selling those photos for about $1 million.

GRACE: Wait a minute. Hold on, Jane. Brett, let me see the Liz cam for a moment. Liz, is this the family scrapbook, Liz?


GRACE: Yes. These are photos apparently from Larry Birkhead, claiming that they have a relationship. That`s irrelevant. All that matters is what the paternity test says. Relationship doesn`t matter. So, OK, I agree, those look playful. That looks like somewhat of a relationship, relationship, probative of a relationship. Yes, they`re in a pool together. Keep going, Liz. Yes, they`re obviously on vacation. Now, there she looks like she`s in professional hair and makeup and he`s a photographer. Once again, professional shot, doesn`t prove relationship. That`s an ad right there. I`ve seen that in a million magazines. That`s a professional shot, professional shot. I believe that`s for her trim spa photos. OK. Professional shot, hair and makeup, not the Easter bunny. Keep it going, Liz. That`s a professional shot, full hair and makeup, full hair and makeup. Anything else, Liz? More family -- OK. That`s a professional photo, professional photo. Anything else? Yeah. One more. Yeah. We just had to add that one. So, the point of this, Jane Velez- Mitchell, I believe those were released to show they had a romantic relationship. At least half of those were professional photos that any photographer would take if they had been hired to do a photo shoot.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, she lives her entire life in front of a camera. She had a reality show based on her life, so I think that in most cases, that would apply as a point, except in Anna Nicole Smith`s case, where virtually her entire life is photographed.

GRACE: Take a listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Birkhead and Anna Nicole are both in the Bahamas. Anna Nicole was supposed to appear between 3:00 and 6:00 Eastern standard time to submit to the test. At the 11th hour, her attorney, who was supposed to be in the Bahamas as well, showed up in a Los Angeles superior court and basically said at the 11th hour, oh, no, we can`t proceed with the test, because -- and the reasons they gave were too ridiculous to mention here. But the long and short of it is, is Anna gave Larry a heads-up in a text message that is now on -- in the public. And she said, I`m not showing up. And she used the F word. And she is a very, very troubled woman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anna and I have been in a relationship and we love each other. And it`s been going on for a very long time. And because of my relationship as her lawyer, we felt that it was best to keep everything hidden. And we`ve actually done a pretty good job of that. Our baby is the one ray of hope. And it`s the one thing that`s really keeping her going. And through it all, even with all the pain, she has been a great mom, a very attentive mom and she`s always Daniel inside (ph).


GRACE: To Lauren Howard, psychotherapist. Why fight the paternity test? Why not put it to bed once and for all?

LAUREN HOWARD, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: There`s no question that fighting it makes her look guilty. But there`s a certain amount of bait and switch going on with her. She`s constantly killing --

GRACE: What, the baby?

HOWARD: Guilty of the father being not who she`s claiming the father to be. There`s this bait and switch, kill the messenger, lack of accountability, sue this person, sue that person. Anybody who says anything that is against her agenda, it`s, they`re wrong, they`re at fault. That`s a constant pattern with her. That`s what she does. She`s not accountable for her behavior. It`s just another way to avoid it.

GRACE: Let`s go out to the lines. Becky in California, hi, Becky.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy. Thank you for taking my call.

GRACE: Yes, ma`am.

CALLER: My question is, didn`t she receive millions and millions of dollars from her deceased husband?

GRACE: You know what, Becky? She is set to receive that. All of that came about as a result of a sexual harassment suit filed against her many, many years ago by one of her employees. She then declared bankruptcy. It went to a bankruptcy court and at that juncture, all the claims regarding his will or lack thereof or imperfection in the will came out. She fought it, Becky, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In the meantime, the dead husband`s son, who was fighting Anna Nicole Smith, died himself which took a lot of the teeth out of the tiger. So right now, I think the whole thing is in limbo. She`s made a ton of money off her diet ads and various other sales of photos of her wedding, the first baby pictures, you name it. So she`s not hurting for money. But she`s got bigger problems, Becky, than just this paternity test. That`s a very simple matter, a paternity test. She`s got a formal inquest coming up, an inquest, a coroner`s inquest into the death of her young son, Daniel. Let`s unleash the lawyers. Joining us tonight, Stuart Meltzer and Carmen St. George. Welcome to both of you.


GRACE: Before we move on to the inquest about the dead body of her son, I believe he was 20 years old, Daniel, who died under very suspicious circumstances, right there in the hospital room with Anna Nicole Smith after the birth of her daughter, the paternity test. To you, Stuart Smeltzer, isn`t it just a matter of taking an oral swab like with a Q-tip in the baby`s mouth?

STUART MELTZER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, it`s that simple. In this particular case, I see two competing interests coming from Mr. Birkhead. One is, he stands to obtain substantial child support from Anna Nicole Smith. On the other hand, he does have a right as a father to know the test results. I simply don`t know why Anna Nicole Smith is avoiding the paternity test. Under our law, parties that are married, there`s a presumption that the child belongs to the married couple.

GRACE: Right.

MELTZER: That`s not the case here. So I don`t think Anna Nicole Smith --

GRACE: Yes, Stuart, you`re right. They are unencumbered with marriage vows. Yes, that`s true. But regarding the paternity test it`s a very simple matter. Yes or no?

MELTZER: It`s a simple matter. I would point out that the chain of custody in connection with this test should be protected.

GRACE: Ah, that`s a very good point. For instance, Carmen St. George, Stuart means you just can`t have anyone come in and take the oral swab with the Q-tip. It`s got to be protected as to the chain of custody to make sure it came from the baby, was handled correctly and remains pristine for testing. So why is she fighting it? What`s the legal benefit to her, for Larry Birkhead not to be the dad?

ST. GEORGE: Well, Nancy, she can stall it as long as she wants. I think she doesn`t want him to show up as the father because she does not want a formal relationship with him. She doesn`t want to give over custody, give over any funds.

GRACE: Money.

ST. GEORGE: She`s being encalcitrant (ph).

GRACE: Money. So you say it`s all about money, Carmen?

ST. GEORGE. It is. It has been and you look at the fact that she`s not paying her lawyers.

GRACE: OK. Let`s talk about the inquest. The second big problem Nicole Smith is facing right now, again, she should be her own law school class. Out to you, Dr. Bruce Goldberger, forensic toxicologist and professor at the University of Florida. Thank you for being with us. The allegation is that he was intentionally overdosed. Explain to us, what was in his system and how that could happen?

BRUCE GOLDBERGER, FORENSIC TOXICOLOGIST, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA: According to Dr. Cyril Wecht (ph), the independent autopsy physician, the blood sample contained methadone, three antidepressants, psydoephedrine (ph), Benadryl and a sleeping pill.

GRACE: Wait a minute. I really don`t think Benadryl matters. It`s over the counter, right?

GOLDBERGER: It is over the counter, but in combination with the methadone, it could be a problem.

GRACE: Methadone is very difficult to get your mitts on. Methadone is a cure for heroin addicts.

GOLDBERGER: Methadone is also used to treat chronic pain so it is widely available these days.

GRACE: Really? So doctors give prescriptions for methadone, as a painkiller, as opposed to some other painkiller?

GOLDBERGER: That`s right. So the treatment of chronic pain may involve the use of methadone. Of course methadone in the past has been used to treat heroin addiction.

GRACE: Let`s go to Kimberly in Missouri. Hi, Kimberly.

CALLER: Hi. I just love you to death.

GRACE: Thank you.

CALLER: And I was going to tell you too, I just heard him say this, but I had a question. I used to be on methadone for chronic pain, so that does happen.

GRACE: Really.

CALLER: Yeah. It`s not something you want to play around with. But I`ll just go from that. But so I was going to say is, her son passing away and her daughter born right away, it could be possible that she could be maybe suffering from postpartum, and without any doctor being treating her for something, she could have maybe bizarre behavior coming from that, which could be very bad if she`s not being treated.

GRACE: What`s really interesting about what you just said, Kimberly, everybody is so quick to throw a stone at Anna Nicole Smith, because they think she`s a tramp. She used to be a stripper. Her octogenarian husband married her. He met her at a strip bar and everybody just can`t wait to throw a stone at her. But here`s a newsflash. They were legally married when he died. Millions and millions of dollars typically would become hers. Nobody`s talking about that. Nobody`s talking about the possibility of postpartum depression. You never hear a word about that Kimberly. Liz, do I still have Kimberly with me?

CALLER: And what I was going to say is that possibly he could be another K-Fed. Oh, Lord (INAUDIBLE)

GRACE: Let me ask you something before you get away Kimberly. About this methadone, how did that make you feel when you would take a methadone, I guess tablet?

CALLER: I had a serious surgery and I was taking it, but I was taking like 20 milligrams a day.

GRACE: How did it make you feel?

CALLER: Basically it muted the pain, but the pain was so chronic that it didn`t -- it just muted it. But I wasn`t aware it was for a heroin addiction. So once I took it for nine months, getting off of it was horrible and they switched me to Oxycontin. So it isn`t a drug to play with at all.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After suffering the unbelievable tragedy of losing her son, enduring the unmatchable happiness of having a baby, allegedly having a secret affair with her attorney, a possible who is the father drama, we`re seeing that the life of Anna Nicole Smith is both outlandish and fascinating.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rules don`t apply in terms of, quote, normal living with Anna Nicole.


GRACE: You know, to Lauren Howard psychotherapist. There have been many, many deaths as a result of (INAUDIBLE) overdose of drugs. Is that what happened here?

HOWARD: Absolutely, it was the combination of drugs. Between respiratory failure, cardiac arrhythmia, methadone is a very, very serious drug. It is an opiate. It is a heroin-like drug. It is highly toxic. It is prescribed for pain but hard to get. It`s not just handed out. This is not Advil.

GRACE: Let`s go out to David Caplan, joining us tonight. He is the deputy New York bureau chief of "Star" magazine. David, she`s got the paternity test that was supposed to be there in court today. The results, I assume, or at least proof that she had submitted to the paternity test for the little girl. I assume that didn`t happen. And also and I think more disturbing, a bigger legal threat is this inquest into the death of her 20-year-old son, basically the ingestion of many, many drugs. She was right there in the room as was Howard Stern.

DAVID CAPLAN, DEPUTY NY BUREAU CHIEF, STAR MAGAZINE: This is shocking. And that`s what the chief magistrate in the Bahamas, Roger Gomez, wants to find out, what happened. The inquest is scheduled for March 27th and he`s going to be calling Anna Nicole Smith, Howard K. Stern and really anyone who had any contact with Daniel while he was en route to the U.S. to the Bahamas, really, anyone from even flight attendants who were on the plane just to see if he was drinking, if he was taking pills. This is going to be a really thorough investigation. The chief magistrate wants his answers. He`s going to get them.

GRACE: David Caplan, I really do not believe that either Anna Nicole Smith or her husband, Howard Stern, intentionally gave this boy anything, to have him suffer the (INAUDIBLE) overdose. Long story short, if they had methadone, if they unwittingly gave him a pain pill for his back ailment and it caused a death, that could be a big problem at this Bahaman inquest.

CAPLAN: Absolutely. Why would methadone even be there? So even if it wasn`t intentional, Anna Nicole is in big trouble. This is a big issue.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I understand the judge in Los Angeles wants Anna to come back and do the paternity test. Why hide it? It`s going to come out sooner or later that information. Just come back, Anna, and do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She gets the test. The child submits to a three- second test. Larry Birkhead will be determined to be the father. And what happens after that? Larry Birkhead will take the necessary steps to assert his rights as a father which will include custody and visitation.


GRACE: Yeah. And the little child support payment, too. I wonder if they thought about that yet. Let`s go out to the lawyer Stuart Meltzer, Carmen St. George. Carmen, you know what Oscar Wilde said. Be careful what you ask for, you will surely get it. You might get a big fat daddy pay your child support check.

ST. GEORGE: I believe so, Nancy. I think that`s what she`s so afraid of. But what she`s not realizing is that the judge is going to order her at some point to step in front of him or a warrant will be ordered. They have the ability, this court, at this point, to fine her, jail her, or what would be worse would be the estoppel argument.

GRACE: She told (ph) her because she hasn`t submitted her child to a paternity test. I don`t see that in a contempt of court. I do not see jail in the offing for Anna Nicole Smith, maybe a fine. And ultimately, Stuart Meltzer, she will submit. They`ll have the DNA paternity test. It will be all over. In the end, he will either get some type of monetary payment or some type of custody or he will be billed for child support. Yes? No?

MELTZER: Yes, I agree. And I think they will try to impose something far less drastic than incarceration or even a fine. They`ll give her, one, two, maybe three more chances. She will ultimately submit. And I think that Mr. Birkhead will assert his rights as a father.

GRACE: Let`s break in very quickly, everyone, we are getting breaking news about the story we brought you last night. Suspect Jerry White as you know, charged with kidnapping four young children and their mother has just been arrested without incident. We`ll bring you the latest, apparently arrested at a local motel in Indiana.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The four children that are missing range in ages between 8 and 16 months old. The eldest of the children is about 8 years old, like I said, and he`s a severe asthmatic. It`s been told to us that he requires to be placed on a ventilator every several hours for his asthma problem. The ventilator is still here at the house in Elkhart. So we don`t know what his condition is at this time.


GRACE: Breaking news, just in: After a four-day search, a family abducted from Elkhart, Indiana, has been found. Elkhart police confirm Kimberly Walker, her four children, have been found alive. The suspect in question, Jerry White, 30 years old, in custody.

They were found just minutes ago at allegedly the Sleepy Hollow Motel in Elkhart. Police and FBI, police across the Midwest looking for these children, some only a few months old, a massive manhunt. Allegedly they were abducted from their own home by gunpoint. One man shot in the face, still tonight in critical condition.

Straight out to Mike Brooks, former D.C. cop and former fed. What can you tell us?

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE: Well, Nancy, we`re able to confirm with the law enforcement sources that apparently everyone was found OK. Everyone`s safe, uninjured. And he was taken into custody inside the room with her and the children, without incident.

Everybody`s OK. There was no shots fired by police. And everybody is OK for right now. But the investigation will continue.

Now, this is a local hotel in Elkhart, Indiana, Nancy. And as last night we were talking, these people don`t usually go too far when these kind of things happen. But everybody -- we`re glad to report that everybody is OK, safe and uninjured, found at a local hotel in Elkhart, Indiana.

GRACE: You know, it`s interesting, we just called the hotel to confirm this, and they said, "We`re not allowed to say anything." That`s a dead give-away that it did happen, but they can`t talk about it. Otherwise they`d say, "What?"

You know what`s really interesting? According to police reports, the suspect came into the home four days ago, guns a-blazing, shot a guy in the face, and in the neck and chest area, and took the mom and the four kids at gunpoint. It`s awfully funny how big a man can act with a gun when he is bullying a woman and four little children, a babe in arms, literally. But when he`s surrounded by police, he`s totally got his tail between his legs. Ever seen that, Mike Brooks?

BROOKS: Seen that many, many times, Nancy. I tell you, you put the sights on somebody, and sometimes they cry like a baby.

GRACE: You know, apparently this guy broke into her car, beat her, stole the car. He`s got a very long, long rap sheet. And take a look at these children on the run with this guy, one with severe asthma, bunked up at a local motel. What is he looking at, Mike Brooks?

BROOKS: He`s looking at a number of different charges. Now, he didn`t cross state lines, but we`re still looking at false imprisonment, kidnapping, assault, attempted murder. He`s facing a lot of charges. He is not going to be out of jail for quite some time.

And, yesterday, Nancy, we talked about his rap sheet. This guy has a history of violent crimes for years and years and years and, in my opinion, should not have been on the street to begin with to even perpetrate this crime.

GRACE: You know, to you, Lauren Howard, it`s interesting that, in domestic cases -- and let me give you a recap, everyone. Breaking news right now. Apparently after a prolonged standoff, the family we told you about last night, kidnapped from their own home in Indiana, has been found safe and alive. All four children and the mom taken out of their own home at gunpoint, alive. The guy gave up to police once they were surrounded there in a local hotel, Elkhart, Indiana.

To you, Lauren Howard, it seems to me that a lot of his prior offenses have kind of slid because they were domestic offenses.

HOWARD: Well, often that happens. We know that, because, you know, the argument is, it takes two to tango. So often you see it, Nancy -- you know it better than I do, that in domestic cases, we don`t look at them quite in the same way we look at violent crimes to strangers. Because if the parties are known, the assumption is somebody brought it on.

GRACE: You know, I know that that is one outlook to it. But from my point of view, let`s unchain the lawyers again. Stuart Meltzer, Carmen St. George, in my mind, domestic cases are even worse, because your attacker is typically the person you have trusted the most.

Carmen St. George, interesting. Authorities said that White had been harassing the woman for several days, and nobody did anything, Carmen.

ST. GEORGE: Nancy, that`s the difficulty with domestic cases. It takes a lot for them to be taken seriously sometimes. And witnesses a lot of time are reluctant to come forward, to be descriptive about the threats. And sometimes they even minimize them and they don`t take them as seriously. They think they can control the situation.

These crimes are even more serious than certain other assaults, when you have domestic violence with people that are known to each other.

GRACE: Everybody, we are switching gears. Can someone explain to me how a nearly 30-year-old adult male sex predator managed to enroll himself at elementary school in Arizona and actually attend classes posing as a 12- year-old boy?

I say, out with the board of education. Take a listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Twenty-nine-year-old Neil Roderick fooled many, posing as 12-year-old Casey Price. The convicted sex offender spent six weeks sitting side by side with unsuspecting children and adults. And this isn`t the first time the 29-year-old got inside the classroom. He was registered in Payson, in Prescott Valley, and busted at a Chino Valley school.


GRACE: Out to reporter Hanna Scott, with 550 KFYI radio. Hanna, explain to me how a nearly 30-year-old man passed himself off as a 12-year- old boy to get into classes with children.

HANNA SCOTT, REPORTER, 550 KFYI RADIO: Well, Nancy, really, police and school officials are kind of throwing their hands up right now. The district here in Maricopa County, I talked to surprised police earlier tonight, they don`t know how this could have happened. School officials saying, you know, he just kind of hung out with the kids and acted like a 12-year-old, acted like a young student. People are shocked here. They can`t believe that this happened, but nobody has an answer right now.

GRACE: Nobody has an answer. Also joining us tonight, Scott Yavapai with the -- Scott Reed with the Yavapai County sheriff`s office.

Welcome, sir. You`re the public information officer. I`m stunned that he would be admitted into an elementary school. Apparently he attended one elementary school for six weeks before he was apprehended at another board of education. So what happened? And how was he apprehended?

SCOTT REED, YAVAPAI COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE: Well, I think a lot of folks in our community are stunned to hear some of the things they`re hearing. And I`ll tell you, I think we`re all very thankful to some sharp administrators at the Chino Valley School, where they caught him very quickly.

GRACE: The Chino Valley School. I know it may sound like a dumb question, Officer Scott Reed, but how did they catch on, this 30-year-old guy was really not a 12-year-old?

REED: Well, I know that they had one, in particular, a lady that was working there that noticed some discrepancies in the paperwork. And I think that, along with a good look at this kid, certainly probably -- well, I`m sure her gut told her something was wrong.

GRACE: He`s got a beard, Scott. He`s obviously not a 12-year-old. Paperwork, shmakerwork. Can`t you just look at the guy and tell he`s not 12?

REED: Well, the best I can tell you, whether or not he even looks young for his age -- I know that he was, from the information we have, shaving parts of his body...

GRACE: I don`t think that the school secretary`s privy to those body parts, Scott.


GRACE: I hope not.

REED: Yes, he also used -- certainly not in this case. In fact, I can tell you not. But he was also using makeup to complete the ruse.

GRACE: Good lord. You know what`s crazy, Lauren Howard? And the officer is right, Officer Scott Reed. In Chino Valley, you`re not a 12- year-old, but in another school jurisdiction, there in an Arizona elementary school, he attended classes for six weeks, Lauren.

But wait a minute. Before I throw out the board of education, let`s talk about him. Let`s talk about the real culprit, a child predator, to what lengths they`ll go to, to be around our children.

HOWARD: It`s not just him going to those lengths. The two men that he was living with, he was living with them and telling them he was a 12- year-old. This was all a part of sort of this group think.

The problem is, Nancy, we`re trying to understand the mind of someone who is not average or typical, or doesn`t comport with our rules and regulations, or our conscience, or our ethics. I mean, you want to figure this one out? Write a book. I`ll tell you, this is a strange, strange story.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. White, from our investigation, has been determined to have an extensive criminal history. Some of those things do include some domestic battery issues, with Kimberly Walker being the victim of those. We`re still investigating how extensive that is, domestic battery...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s considered to be an absolute emergency. Young Jaylan, we`ve done a lot of searches and checking with drugstores and places of that nature to see if there`s been any type of, like, asthma medication purchased. There`s nothing along those lines that have led us to believe any of that`s been done.


GRACE: For four days, a massive manhunt for a woman and her four young children, taken from their own home in Indiana at gunpoint. In just the last few moments, they have been recovered alive. What particularly disturbed police is that this man shot his way out of their home. His victim, four days ago, still in critical condition.

With a long criminal history, Jerry White apparently surrounded by police, gives up. Inside, the victims were found. The women and all four children recovered alive and well.

Out to Mike Brooks. How does it go down, when you actually have somebody surrounded, and you know this guy`s not afraid to take a shot at somebody?

BROOKS: Well, Nancy, one of the things that you probably -- I`m, again, speculating, because we don`t know exactly what went down in this particular case, but most of the time, if you have time, you go ahead and you try to evacuate the rooms on either side of where they are, just in case there is some kind of gunplay.

And then you go ahead and you make a call or use a bull horn to try to get the person to come out and just let them know that basically their options are done. They`re either coming out -- and hopefully you don`t have a tactical resolution. But it sounds like this was through a negotiated surrender, which we always hope happens. And 85 percent to 90 percent of these incidents through a negotiated surrender, and that`s what happened tonight.

And everyone is safe and sound. And hopefully Jaylan, the 9-year-old who has severe asthma, can now get the medicine that he does need and hasn`t had for four days.

GRACE: You know, Elizabeth, could you show the picture of the little baby girl with the little bow on her head? To take this child out of a home at gunpoint, little Kayla Walker, if this is true, this guy is a beast.

Out to the lawyers. Stuart Meltzer, Carmen St. George, Stuart, the defense has one thing and one thing only going for it. And that is, he is the biological father of the four children. How will that help him?

MELTZER: Well, I think that could help him, in the sense that, if he went to the home, and if he was faced with some type of provocative physical violence on the part of this other male that was there, that was shot -- perhaps he was faced with a weapon -- I would argue some kind of justification defense.

We don`t have all the facts. Perhaps he may have been justified. Perhaps he may have even -- I may suggest -- saved these children from harm on the part of this other male that was in the house.

GRACE: OK. Hold on. Stuart, I know you`re giving it your all. You`re a veteran trial lawyer. But, Carmen, let me get this straight. You two are working as a tag team tonight. Carmen, the guy allegedly breaks into the home at 2:00 a.m., shoots the sister`s boyfriend in the face. He`s still in critical condition; he may not live tonight. So what`s your best defense on the facts as we know them tonight?

GEORGE: Well, I think, Nancy, as we know them tonight, maybe there`s a mental defect. Maybe there`s some sort of emotional disturbance that he can raise as a defense. I don`t see anything else, based on the facts that we have.

GRACE: Let me just remind the both of you that voluntary consumption of alcohol or drugs is not going to be a defense, Carmen.

GEORGE: That`s right. But perhaps there`s some other emotional defense that he has a mental defect that we don`t know of. We don`t know his history, his family background, what emotional problems he had.

GRACE: Family background? What does that have to do, whether he`s a pedigree or a mutt?

GEORGE: No, perhaps he has a history of emotional disturbances. We don`t know that.

GRACE: OK, OK, we don`t know it. You two giving it your best, the old college try. Out to Mike Brooks, regarding the recovery?

BROOKS: Well, Nancy, we`re hearing now that apparently White had made three calls to family members over the last couple of days from a pay phone nearby the motel, letting them know that they were OK.

Now, we heard reports over the last couple days, but law enforcement wasn`t able to say exactly how they knew that everyone was safe. But apparently that`s what happened. And then apparently the officers knocked on the door of the motel room and heard some rumbling inside. They opened the door, and everyone was trembling and crying.

The officers got her to safety, was followed by the children, and they caught him, they caught White as he was trying to escape through an air duct in the room. So it was a good work by police, and it sounded like a coordinated effort, once they decided to go ahead and take this guy down.

GRACE: We have also learned tonight that investigators were able to trace the alleged kidnapper and the family to this Sleepy Hollow Motel there in Elkhart -- it`s on the city`s north side -- because Walker had made three calls to -- guess who -- family members from a nearby pay phone, saying that they were all safe. So what were they tracing, the families -- doing a PIN register on the families` phone, the relatives` phones, Mike?

BROOKS: That`s one of the things they could do. They could also go to that pay phone. They can go ahead, and while they were doing that, they do a trap and trace, either a PIN register or a trap and trace on the families` phones. Because we heard the...

GRACE: Hold up. Explain trap and trace.

BROOKS: Trap and trace is where they can press certain numbers and it will go right back to where the telephone is. I`ve had a couple cases that led us right to a pay phone numerous times and were able to make an arrest. And that`s what happened in this particular case.

They probably went out, sat on that particular phone. When he made the call, they were able to see him, went back to the motel to a particular room. And that`s how they were able to take him down tonight.

GRACE: OK, I`m getting an update as we go, breaking news tonight. The family we told you about last night, the mother and the four children taken at gunpoint from their own home in Indiana, are safe, are alive, well and safe, at a local motel, Elkhart, Indiana. That little baby is safe.

And what I`m now learning, Mike Brooks, is that, when officers knocked on the door of the motel room, they heard rumbling.

BROOKS: Right.

GRACE: The mom came to the door, trembling and crying. And White, the suspect, was trying to escape through an air duct.

BROOKS: Exactly. So apparently when they had gotten the kids, when they went to the door, I guarantee you they went to that door with shields and guns ready, and got the kids out. They went in. They found him going through the duct, took him down without incident, and now he`s locked up.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re concerned for all four children. But Jaylan kind of ups the ante a little bit with his medical condition. There are several things that we`re using right now, as far as some tactics, as far as trying to locate them. And because the investigation`s ongoing, we`re not going to release what those tactics are at this time.


GRACE: Breaking news tonight. Within the past half hour, those four little children and their mom taken by gunpoint out of their Indiana home have been found, found alive and well. Just got into my hands for immediate release a statement from Elkhart Police Department, stating that they are all alive and well. It says it`s a good day to be in law enforcement, says Detective Captain Steven Mach (ph). A press release at 9:15.

Mike Brooks, finally, some good news.

BROOKS: I`ll tell you what, Nancy, having been on as a detective and also assigned with the FBI, and when you take down a case like this, and there`s no one hurt, that`s what you want to do. You want to make sure that none of the victims are hurt and that all the policemen and police officers go home to their families.

GRACE: Hey, Mike, I can`t wait when this finally goes to trial for this guy to try to explain why he had his upper body in the air duct vent in the top of the hotel room. I`m going to be on standby. I will be reporting that live, everybody...


BROOKS: I also want to know why he held that family for 9 1/2 hours after he shot that guy twice, once in the face and once in the chest.

GRACE: Everyone, let`s stop our legal discussion on crime and justice to remember Marine Lance Corporal Ryan Mayhan, 25, Hawthorne, California, killed, Iraq, second tour of duty. He spoke English, Spanish, learning Arabic. He wanted to join the Secret Service. He routinely called home to his mom. They remember him as their hero. Ryan Mayhan, American hero.

Thank you to our guests. And congratulations, Elkhart police. Good night, friend. END