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Nancy Grace

Coroner Says 3rd Wife`s Death Should Not Have Been Ruled Accidental; Peterson`s 3rd Wife`s Body May Be Exhumed; O.J. Simpson Has Preliminary Hearing

Aired November 08, 2007 - 20:00   ET


PAT LALAMA, GUEST HOST: Breaking news tonight in the case of a young mom of two, the fourth wife of a veteran police sergeant, who goes missing in the Chicago suburbs. Family and friends saying no way would 23-year-old Stacy Peterson leave her children behind and not even contact her own family.
As the state`s attorney investigates the mysterious death of wife number three, a coroner rules her death may not be an accident after all, reports emerge the state now considering exhuming Kathleen Savio`s body. And the same police sergeant reportedly called before a grand jury. Was Drew Peterson before that grand jury about wife number three, now dead, or wife number four, now missing, or both?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dozens of volunteers continue to search for 23- year-old Stacy Peterson just hours after her husband, Drew, appears before a Will County grand jury. Drew Peterson`s third wife, Kathleen Savio, was found dead in a bathtub in her Bolingbrook home after her divorce from Peterson. The 2004 death was ruled accidental, but since the disappearance of Drew Peterson`s current wife, Stacy Peterson, authorities are reviewing the case. The Will County coroner said in a statement, "It is my opinion that, at the very least, her death should have been ruled undetermined."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many a time she told family and friends, anybody she could tell, I`m scared to death of him. He`s going to kill me. It`s going to look like an accident, and he`s going to get away with it.


LALAMA: And tonight: Flanked by a dozen officers, lawyers and high security, NFL Hall of Famer and former double murder suspect O.J. Simpson heads back into the court room, this time for an alleged armed robbery at a luxury Las Vegas casino, Simpson and five others accused of bursting into the room at the Palace Station hotel, then stealing $100,000 worth of sports memorabilia at gunpoint. And it`s all caught on tape.

A Las Vegas judge set to decide whether Simpson will go to trial on 12 felony counts. Get this. That includes kidnapping, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. A key witness and alleged victim takes the stand, while three of Simpson`s co-defendants strike plea deals. They agree to testify it was Simpson`s idea to bring guns to steal Pete Rose, Duke Snider (ph), Joe Montana and other memorabilia Simpson claims belongs to him, a plan we now know the FBI was aware of for weeks before it all goes down at that Las Vegas casino.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The former NFL star, now 60 years old, is facing charges stemming from a September 13 incident at a Las Vegas hotel room. The prosecution says O.J. Simpson and five other men barged into the room of a sports memorabilia collector and allegedly took memorabilia from two dealers at gunpoint.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the armed robbery kidnapping case against O.J. Simpson goes to trial, prosecutors will be counting on this man to help them put Simpson in jail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t care if he was my friend or not, nobody is above the law.


LALAMA: Good evening. I`m Pat Lalama, in for Nancy Grace. First tonight, a veteran police sergeant reportedly goes before a grand jury, his third wife`s mysterious death under the microscope, his fourth wife now missing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Investigators in Illinois want to interview the children of a Chicago police sergeant in the disappearance of his wife. Stacy Peterson disappeared last month. At first, her husband, Drew, said she ran off with another man, but he hasn`t repeated that accusation since. Police are also reexamining the death of Peterson`s third wife. Stacy Peterson was his fourth. But back in 2004, his third wife, Kathleen Savio, drowned in a bathtub. Her death ruled an accident. But now a coroner says her death, quote, "raised concerns" for him and her cause of death should have been listed as undetermined.

UNIDENTIFIED: Wife number three`s sister -- she said that the family supports Kathleen`s body being exhumed, if that`s what prosecutors determine they want to do, to reexamine the quote, unquote, "accidental" death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They should reopen that case and look at it as a potential homicide. And I think as we get into this case, we`re going to find a control freak who didn`t want his women to leave them, and if they were going to leave him, he said, You`re not leaving me, I`m going to kill you.


LALAMA: Is it looking like Kathleen Savio`s body will be brought up from the grave? Right to Michelle Sigona, "AMW," my good friend. Hello, Michelle. This coroner, what he`s saying now is startling, is it not?

MICHELLE SIGONA, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": Yes, it is quite startling. And you know, according to the press release that he released, he says, quote, Pat, "Her death should have been ruled undetermined. The coroner`s jury unfortunately ruled otherwise." And also, "Had this option been available in 2004, the ruling in this case would have been different."

Back in 2004, the laws were different than what they are right now, Pat. So he could have possibly, you know, been able to overturn this ruling, been able to look into the case a little bit more.

Now, Kathleen`s family, you know, as mentioned by her sister, they are definitely on board with bringing Kathleen`s body back up to be able to reopen this investigation. However, nothing is concrete yet. This has not been fully determined yet.

LALAMA: OK. Well, that brings me to Joe Hosey from "The Herald News." What will it take now -- you know, you keep hearing the family say, We`re all for it, and you keep hearing the state saying, We`re thinking about it. When`s it going to happen?

JOE HOSEY, "HERALD NEWS": Oh, I`m sure it`s just matter of time. The interesting thing, I had a police source tell me today he doesn`t know if they`re going to be able to find anything. Even if the body`s exhumed after it`s been cut up in an autopsy and all put back together, he`s asking, What do they expect to find from this.

LALAMA: You know, Kathy Chaney, a lot of people are curious about this coroner`s jury. I don`t think everybody has it. Can you explain that for us?

KATHY CHANEY, "CHICAGO DEFENDER": It`s my understanding if the death was not ruled natural causes, like heart attack or cancer or something like that, then they have to go through I believe a six or seven jury panel to determine the cause of death.

LALAMA: Oh, this is going to be something very interesting for us to discuss. But before it, let`s talk about the grand jury. And back to Michelle on that one. Now, there`s all kinds of speculation about what it means. This is still a missing persons case. So why was he allegedly, according to published reports, before a grand jury, Drew Peterson?

SIGONA: Well, from what we -- what we don`t know, Pat, is exactly what kind of evidence was brought forward there in that grand jury. Whether he -- Drew Peterson was just making an appearance or whether he was being questioned, he did actually go into that room with two lawyers present. So unfortunately, you know, a lot of these grand juries, we don`t know the outcomes of them, you know, as they`re going on.

But we do know that he was definitely in there. Again, whether he was being questioned or just made appearance, or you know, was giving information, you know, we`re just not too sure as of this time. But I can tell you that, you know, as investigations go on and as investigators are going through, they have searched his house not once but twice. They have brought out a whole list of evidence, a whole list of items, I should say, not evidence...


SIGONA: ... and you know, have brought that forward.

LALAMA: OK. Well, you know what ? Before we go back to the coroner, which is really just absolutely astounding, the idea of having to exhume someone`s body, Mike Brooks, quickly explain to us -- you know, it`s my understanding a grand jury is convened so that you can look at a criminal case. Is it possible they can just sit around and talk about what might be a criminal case and, We`ll bring Drew in and ask him some questions?

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: No, they`re not just -- they were looking for something, OK? They`re going to -- they`re going to ask questions to determine whether or not a crime occurred. That`s what a grand jury does. It`s a large panel, usually 24 people. They sit in there. They can ask you all kinds of questions. I mean, I even had -- when I was in the grand jury one time and someone asked me, How tall are you? So you know, they can ask you anything at all in these inquests.

But at the end of the day, they will make a ruling as to whether a crime was committed or not, and that`s what they`re trying to determine right now. And so they`re taking a look at the death in 2004, you know, the whole totality of Drew Peterson`s life, and also what happened. That`s what they`re trying to determine.

LALAMA: It`s all very fascinating. I want to go to our lawyers. We`ve got Lisa Pinto, of course, former New York state prosecutor, Renee Rockwell, defense attorney, Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, defense attorney.

All right, first of all, Lisa, you know, let`s talk about what do you make of this grand jury thing, first? Then I want to talk about the coroner`s business. But can just a plain old witness be called in a missing persons case? We can`t say, Oh, gee, he must be a suspect just because he went to talk to the grand jury.

LISA PINTO, FORMER NEW YORK STATE PROSECUTOR: Well, the fact that it`s the local grand jury tells me they`re not investigating a state-wide offense, like narcotics, terrorism or juvenile pornography on the Internet. This is some specific case, and they`re trying to decide if there`s sufficient evidence for someone to stand trial on a specific case.

I guarantee you that he had to waive his immunity before he took the stand. That is, that whatever he said, he would not be protected. He had to sign a document with his attorneys where he understood that the statements he made in front of the grand jury could be used against him at a later time. And if you`re getting someone to waive immunity, it`s because he`s a potential defendant.

LALAMA: Renee Rockwell, you know, weigh in on this. I think -- I mean, this doesn`t really look so good for him, does it?

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you know what? They don`t know what happened to wife number four, so they`re trying to figure out if something happened to wife number three. I can tell you, they`re investigating both cases. And what they have is nothing, really, for wife number four, and they`re trying to get some suspicious take on wife number three`s death. And I can tell you, it is not going to go well for him. I don`t know why his lawyers are letting him talk at all in front of this grand jury.

LALAMA: Well, Lida, why don`t you -- would you tell him, Don`t go in, don`t say anything, you know, take the fifth? What would you tell your client if it were -- if he were yours?

LIDA RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I would have told him, Pat, a long time ago not to talk. And you know, this all started going poorly when he decided to say that he had received a call from wife number four and that she had told him that she was leaving him. And it turns out those kind of things are trackable. He said that she called from her cell phone, and therefore, he`s going to open himself up and opened himself up probably because the investigation that`s going on in that grand jury, chances are, it really has to do with wife number three because that`s a good way for them to put the pressure on him with regard coming clean on what happened to wife number four.

PINTO: Pat, I love these defense attorneys. They`re talking a lot of sense. I mean, 18 calls of domestic violence to a house -- it doesn`t look good.

LALAMA: Well, you know, let`s get back to...


ROCKWELL: That could be why he left -- or she left. Maybe she was out of there.

PINTO: Maybe, or she was moody or she wasn`t on antidepressants. Oh, she was...

ROCKWELL: But we don`t...


PINTO: ... and she left.

ROCKWELL: You know what? Just because -- and she might not be dead. But if she is dead, why does have it to be him, Lisa?

PINTO: Well, why four stories? If he didn`t do anything, why does he have to tell the cops four different accounts of why she`s gone? Why isn`t he out there looking for her himself?


LALAMA: Let me ask that question! Let me ask that question! Bethany Marshall, psychoanalyst, we shouldn`t emotionally indict him, I should say, for lack of a better term, because he`s not out there with flyers, right? Should he be out there with flyers...



MARSHALL: Well, he should -- you know what`s interesting? With catasymic (ph) homicide, and that is when there`s a feeling of bad feelings that build up towards the victim and then the person commits homicide -- usually, there`s a relief phase and flattening of affect after the committing of the murder, so usually, they`re not out looking for the other person and they`re trying to cover their tracks.

And look, these 18 calls for domestic violence calls -- this is not good. And what that tells me is -- in cases of domestic homicide, the perpetrator usually cannot distinguish between separation and abandonment. So when the wife wants to leave, he takes it as a personal rejection and then he wants to strike back.

LALAMA: All right, let`s go back to the real issue of the day, exhuming a body. This is not a simple process. And thankfully, we have Dr. Lindsay Thomas, medical examiner. Explain how this goes. I mean, it can be really creepy! For lack of a better term.

DR. LINDSAY THOMAS, MEDICAL EXAMINER, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, we don`t think of it as creepy. It`s a lot of work. You have to get the court`s permission in order to exhume a body, and then you need help with the people at the cemetery and the funeral directors. But once the body is removed from the ground, then they`ll take the casket and the body to a morgue where they can do an exam. But it`s not creepy, it`s a little more challenging...

LALAMA: I apologize because that is your area of expertise. I was not trying to be demeaning to the process.


LALAMA: But you know, we`re busy watching "CSI." And so, you know, we -- you know, it`s a little bit dramatic.

You know, Mike Brooks, let me ask you, you know, what does all this say to you today, as a person who, you know, in your lifetime has been involved in law enforcement? You`ve got the grand jury. You`ve got the coroner going, Whoops, maybe that`s wrong. What does it smell like to you?

BROOKS: You know, this case just gets stranger and stranger, more strange as we hear things. But Pat, you know, one of the things that we haven`t heard, whether or not he was even asked -- and I talked about this before -- whether or not he was ever asked to take a polygraph.

And you know, I`ll agree with Linda. The behavior that he`s exhibiting with the bandana over his face, you know, and going out on a motorcycle ride -- some people say, Well, maybe that`s his coping mechanism. You know, if I -- if this -- if I had a wife and she was missing, I would be at the command post every single day, especially him as a police supervisor, trying to find out where she is and what happened.

Now, you know, his story is she ran off with somebody else. The last time he called -- heard from her was on her cell phone saying that she was leaving. That should be pretty easy to find. They`ve got the computer from the search warrant. They`ve got cell phones through the search warrant. They can take a look and see what -- was there any communication whatsoever with her and someone else?


BROOKS: And also talking to the family members.

LALAMA: Right. You know, let`s go to our northern brethren. And I`d like to hear from Kathy from Canada. How are you, Kathy? Do we have Kathy? OK. Maybe not.

All right. You know what? Let`s get back to this issue of taking the body from the grave. Now, what`s really interesting that is a family member actually said she`d be partying up there if she knew we were going to do this. Now, that sounds like, Whoa, you know? But I think that the suggestion is that she wants justice. Would you say that, Joe Hosey, that that`s what the family was trying to imply, that Kathleen Savio would love justice in this?

HOSEY: Absolutely. And I was at the inquest in the audience -- the audience -- they were in the audience. And one testified. They said a lot of interesting things that would raise suspicion. But a state police agent there downplayed this. He said the investigation showed nothing else occurred, is the quote. There was nothing to lead us to believe that anything else occurred, except for an accidental fall.

LALAMA: You know...

HOSEY: So I mean -- I mean, the coroner -- I mean, he`s right to say that it was out of his hands. It was a coroner jury that made the decision and not him. But you had a state police agent testifying that the evidence shows an accidental fall, and there was nothing to lead us to believe that anything else occurred, was his exact quote.

LALAMA: Very quickly, Dr. Lindsay Thomas, you know, when they talk about -- when the coroner says, Well, it should have been ruled undetermined, that`s a little bit shocking, isn`t it?

THOMAS: Well, I don`t quite understand this archaic system of coroner`s inquest...

LALAMA: Exactly. Exactly.

THOMAS: ... injuries. I mean, that just seems like...

LALAMA: And are those civilians? Are those civilians, Doctor? I mean, just regular old people who decide...


LALAMA: ... whether somebody was accidentally...


LALAMA: ... dead or murdered?

THOMAS: Yes. It`s really archaic, is the absolutely only way to describe how ridiculous it is to have that kind of a system for deciding how somebody died.

LALAMA: Yes. Unbelievable. All right, we`ll get back to that.

The twins are here, and Nancy has a special new message about baby Lucy Elizabeth and baby John David. Now, to check out this exciting new message and exclusive video, go right to and click on Nancy`s baby blog.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very shaky circumstances with the third wife. These two were getting divorced. And of all indications, he is the guy that they should be looking at.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every expert in the United States is saying it was bad job, it was a bad job on the coroner`s ruling, and they should reopen that case to look at it as a potential homicide. And I think as we get into this case, we`re going to find a control freak who didn`t want his women to leave him, and if they were going to leave him, he said, You`re not leaving me, I`m going to kill you.


LALAMA: I`m Pat Lalama, in for Nancy Grace, talking about wife number three in the Peterson case. And by the way, that coroner`s jury is no more, as I understand it, and the coroner even says if, you know, we had the system now like we -- or then like we do now, it would probably not have been ruled an accident.

Renee Rockwell, does it look like this coroner`s report was kind of, like, helping out old Peterson and the police, or is that just unfair?

ROCKWELL: Well, you know what? I`m not going to make a comment on what happened back then. You can bet one thing, that there`s a whole `nother source of law enforcement that`s looking at this death again. They`re reinvestigating it. It`s not the same police department.

Let me make one other observation. We talk about people going in front of the grand jury. Lisa Pinto, you know who runs the grand jury. Who? The district attorney. So the prosecutor is running this whole show, and he`s in charge of all these inquisitions...

LALAMA: All right, go get her, Lisa!


PINTO: Here`s the thing, Renee. Maybe we should ask the medical examiner. Explain to me -- you`re walking along in your bathroom. Oops, you fall, you hit your head. You roll over, you fall down in the bathtub and you drown?

LALAMA: And there are bruises and cuts on her body. Was this a cover-up?

PINTO: And 18 times the cops have come to the home, and they decide the situation`s resolved because she sleeps at her girlfriend`s house?

LALAMA: Lida...


LALAMA: Jump in there, Lida.

PINTO: ... her head on the dining room table? What is this?

LALAMA: Get in there, Lida.

RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Obviously, what you have here is a confluence of bad facts, as we defense lawyers say.


RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: But look, there`s a couple of things that you got to focus on. Number one, the -- call it a bad inquest, call it a bad process, whatever. They cleared him the first time around, and now they`re all of a sudden going, Oh, oops, what went wrong here? If you really look at the question that Renee was asked -- you know what? Cops do get special treatment when they are defendants, and it`s a bad thing. And maybe what really happened here is people really thought, Oh, it`s not going to happen again, it was an accident, or, We`re not going to -- we`re going to look the other way until another death occurs. So you know, before we start blaming him, let`s look at the process and wonder why these kinds of things happen.


ROCKWELL: You know what, Pat?


ROCKWELL: Let me say one thing. Wife number four could start rolling in on the next train and say, Hi, I`m here, I was on a break, and they could still investigate him for wife number three because the time is not going to run on that. They`re never going to run out of time. They can still prosecute him on wife number three if they think it was a homicide...


LALAMA: Hold on! Hold on! I got to go to a break! Hold on, guys. I`ll be right back with you.

Nancy`s twins are here, and tonight she has a special new message about Lucy Elizabeth and John David. Go to and click on Nancy`s baby blog.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wife number three`s sister we spoke to, and she said that the family supports Kathleen`s body being exhumed, if that`s what prosecutors determine they want to do to reexamine the quote, unquote, "accidental" death.


LALAMA: I`m Pat Lalama, in for Nancy Grace. Kathy Chaney, we know that there was a second search warrant executed at Mr. Peterson`s house. Do we know what they were looking for or what they may have found?

CHANEY: They were concentrating on the garage area to try to see, I guess, what could pop up. We`re not sure what they were looking for, but they were centralizing on the garage area.

LALAMA: Mike Brooks, as a law enforcement expert, can we possibly surmise that that second search warrant which came, like, I think, if I got this right, came, like, right around the same time as the grand jury, but I`m not sure exactly. You know, could they be connected, like, they found something and said, OK, now we want to talk to him, or, We talked to him and then he led us to something?

BROOKS: Well, it depends. You know, the -- from all the -- from the other search warrant from the search of the cars, from the interviews they`ve done, there was something that led them back to that house. It was something that -- maybe a missing piece of something that they`re looking for, you know? And then all that information, then you -- whoever is gathering the evidence there from the Illinois State Police -- and let me just point out again, the Illinois State Police, they`re running the lead investigators for the investigative part and for the forensics part. It`s not the local police. They have totally recused themself of any investigative part her to show any -- to make sure there`s no conflict of interest. But...

LALAMA: Go ahead.

BROOKS: But someone will, after -- after all this comes, as they develop their evidence from the search warrants, they will go to the grand jury and present what evidence they have to the grand jury.

LALAMA: OK. Now, Michelle Sigona from "America`s Most Wanted," I`ve got just a few seconds, but essentially, they`re not even admitting that he was before -- Peterson and his lawyers are not admitting he was before a grand jury, correct?

SIGONA: You`re absolutely right, Pat. They are not admitting that. We do know that he was, in fact, in the building, but we do not know exactly what happened in front of the grand jury.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The search for the missing Illinois mother of two. Investigators are now saying that they want to talk to her children, one of them just 2 years old, the other 4 years old. Twenty-three -- year- old Stacy Peterson vanished 11 days ago, her husband a local police sergeant who says that she left him for another man. Her family strongly disputes that, saying that there`s no way she would leave her children. This is Drew Peterson. He`s 30 years older than Stacy. He`s been married three other times, and his third wife drowned in a bathtub back in 2004. It was ruled an accident at the time, but the state attorney`s office now says it intends to reexamine that case.


PAT LALAMA, GUEST HOST: I`m Pat Lalama, in for Nancy Grace. And Sherri in Illinois, you`ve been so patient. What is your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just send congratulations out to Nancy and her husband on their little bundles of joy.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But here`s my question. And no one has brought this up yet.

LALAMA: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How in the world did he get away with dating a 17-year-old girl? It is illegal in Illinois. If an 18-year-old boy is caught having sex with a 17-year-old girl, he is arrested and then has to register a sex offender. How did he get away with it?

LALAMA: That`s a good question. But Joe Hosey from "The Herald News," my understanding is he claims he went to the department, said, I have a 17-year-old girlfriend, and they said, No problem, right?

JOE HOSEY, "HERALD NEWS": I don`t think he necessarily went to the department. The department found out about it, and they went to the state`s attorney`s office, he says, and he was given an opinion that it was OK. The problem -- she was 17, he was 47. That`s legal unless he`s in a position of authority. The department was saying as a police officer, he`s in a position of authority, but apparently, the state`s attorney`s office felt otherwise.

LALAMA: Bethany Marshall, I got a couple of questions for you. We`ve got the -- Kathleen Savio`s family saying, Hey, we`re all for exhuming the body. Bring it up. Let`s see what we can find out. We`ve got the fourth wife, Stacy`s family saying, We don`t think she`s alive. These are people who are pretty strong-minded, it seems like. They`re not in denial, and they`re willing to face the truth at whatever cost.

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Well, in cases of domestic abuse and domestic homicide, it`s not just the woman that are the victims. It`s the extended family. It`s the children. And so I imagine that all these family members heard something. And they`ve been victimized, especially wife number three. That family`s been victimized for a long, long time by not knowing the real truth about her death. I mean, I heard one report that Peterson came in the next day after the wife three supposedly drowned in the bathtub and cleaned the blood out of the bathtub, and no one stopped him from doing that.

You know, it`s important to remember, too, the reason we look to the spouse in cases of homicide is that murderous feelings often occur in close interpersonal, intimate relationships -- envy, rage, jealousy, you prefer someone over me, envy, you have something I want, I want it, betrayal, you`re going to leave me. And so this is why we look to the family members, and then we rely on extended family to hear what they have to say about the situation.

LALAMA: Dr. Lindsay Thomas, I would imagine that bringing a loved one`s body from the grave is not an -- you know, it can`t be a psychologically easy thing to go through. I mean, I know they don`t see any of it. But it`s a tough process, as you explained, not a creepy process. And yet I want to know, after all these -- let`s see, it`s three years now -- can you really glean much three years later that you didn`t know before?

DR. LINDSAY THOMAS, MEDICAL EXAMINER, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, I think, really, the key in this case is, before they look to exhumation, is to review the autopsy that was done. Was it done by a board-certified forensic pathologist? Was adequate toxicology performed? Were pictures taken? And to have somebody review the autopsy that has been done because it`s very difficult to get information from an exhumed body. I mean, you can certainly look for injuries and make sure that all of the parts of the body were examined. You know, was the neck examined to see if she was strangled, documenting injuries that may have been missed the first time around. But certainly, especially with a diagnosis of drowning, which is basically you rule out everything else, that would be very hard to do in an exhumed body.

LALAMA: You know, listen to this. I just want to read to everyone something that the coroner said. Quote, "The state could have lodged criminal charges without a coroner`s jury ruling."

But Lisa Pinto, I mean, you still got to have evidence, right? I mean, it`s -- Oh, forget the coroner, we`re going to go charge him with something. You have to have a case.

LISA PINTO, FORMER NEW YORK STATE PROSECUTOR: Well, they had it. They had these detailed notes that she left to the family in the case that he killed her.

LALAMA: But that`s not direct evidence. I mean, that`s not...

PINTO: It`s good enough. It`s like Nicole, a message from the grave saying what the marriage was like and how he treated her. And hospital records -- you had those hospital records when he banged her head into a dining room table. That is powerful stuff in a case like this.

LALAMA: Well, Renee and Lida, would you say that`s powerful enough to have indicted this man for murder?

LIDA RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Entirely possible. People get indicted on less. And you also had the issue of the fact that they -- although they had been divorced, the final settlement of the assets had not been made. And it turns out that he had a $1 million life insurance policy on her life, which because they were already divorced at the time that she died, went to the children. So now his children -- who, by the way, were also living in the house with the last wife, Ms. Peterson -- are the beneficiaries of that million dollars.

LALAMA: Well, you know what else is, I think, relevant, is that, allegedly, according to Kathleen`s letter to the state, he said, The judge ruled I have to pay child support, and I don`t want to have to pay child support. Isn`t that a common theme, unfortunately, that people might be willing to kill their spouses because they got to pay the money, Lida?

RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Entirely possible that that`s yet another issue. I mean, lots of people don`t want to pay child support, they pay it and they don`t kill anybody. So it`s a fact that can go either way. But you have, as I said before, a bad confluence of facts, you certainly might possibly have probable cause to indict.

PINTO: You have 600 grand and other assets that the couple shared for the sale of their bar and stuff like that, that he got after she died.

LALAMA: Yes, he got money from the bar, money from the house and the insurance policy. Renee, get in there.

ROCKWELL: I got to jump in because the only thing that`s really problematic right now that he has to face is the fact that he`s committed himself to that phone call that was allegedly made. And he may be sorry that he said that if they can`t prove it. The only other thing that I can say is he might have called her phone. He might have called her phone.

LALAMA: Yes, let`s let Mike explain how that might work. He says, She called me at 9:00, said, I`m leaving you for somebody else. He could have messed with the cell phones, correct?

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, as an investigator, I`d say, OK, Mr. Sergeant Peterson, where were you at the time you made that call? And then he`s going to commit himself, Well, I was at this location. OK. Fine. Then go back, take the cell records, see how many cell sites had the call -- her phone had been through, as opposed to where his phone was at that particular time. They can do that to see what cell site the phone was picking on at the time the call was made, and what time -- and where he was and what cell site he was near when he received the call. There better be some good distance between that, or else he could be in some serious trouble.

LALAMA: Lisa, let me just ask you really quickly. Got a few seconds. I mean, it seems like -- I mean, is it fair to say if you go before a grand jury that you`re suspicious? Is that unfair? I mean, could they be hiding the fact that they consider the person a suspect and just not telling anybody, or is it just he just went in to answer some questions?

PINTO: It just goes to that, Did they have him sign a waiver of immunity? If they did that, that`s a good sign they`re looking at him as a suspect in this case. If he was just a normal, run-of-the-mill witness, like the 10 other people lined up outside, they wouldn`t have him do that.

But I`m wondering about this plane. We got to talk about the plane.

LALAMA: Yes, yes.


PINTO: ... a New York doctor tried to throw his wife`s body outside...


LALAMA: Well, that airport doesn`t apparently keep records, so you know, who knows?

When we come back: O.J. Simpson -- oh, no, not again -- back in court, this time for an alleged armed robbery Simpson claims was an undercover sting operation to retrieve his storied (ph) sports memorabilia.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fromong says he`s known Simpson for years and even supported him after the former football star was accused of murdering his wife, Nicole, and Ron Goldman. In fact, Fromong testified on Simpson`s behalf during the civil trial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: O.J. was a very good friend. I mean, I knew him for 17 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want him to go to jail?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that jail may be the answer to O.J.`s problems.


LALAMA: I`m Pat Lalama, in for Nancy Grace. And boy, is our timing perfect because you are looking at these pictures happening as we speak, O.J. Simpson, you know him, leaving court today on all kinds of new charges having to do with an alleged sting operation where he allegedly ordered guns to get some memorabilia back. I can`t believe -- I covered the criminal case, the civil case and I`m looking at him again.

And right now, I`m going to go right to my very good buddy, CNN correspondent Dan Simon. Preliminary hearing today. We know that mean`s the prosecution is trying to build it`s case or at least show crime was committed. How did it do?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, there`s no question that this case is going to go to trial. I think the first witness who took to the stand, Bruce Fromong, a pretty effective witness. You know, he said that O.J. Simpson came into the room and that there were some guys there and they pointed guns at them, pretty convincing stuff, from my estimation, the defense trying to poke holes, trying to tarnish Fromong`s reputation. But no question this case is going to go to trial, Pat..

LALAMA: Kristen Flowers, news anchor KXNT AM 840 in Las Vegas, you know, O.J. looked like -- O.J. Simpson looked like he was rolling his eyeballs. He looked so bored today, like this didn`t mean anything to him. Did you get that perception from him?

KRISTEN FLOWERS, KXNT AM 840: I did get that perception. I actually walked right near O.J. into the courtroom, and he just seemed to be a little out of it, wearing sunglasses, and didn`t even take the sunglasses off when he entered the courtroom, finally had to be asked to take his sunglasses off, then just sat there quiet the whole time and until he, you know, looked over at his lawyers and made little comments and just looked just out of it, not interested in the trial at all.

LALAMA: You know, Dan Simon, back to you for a second. Is there any possibility he would say, I do not want to go through a trial, I`ll take a plea deal?

SIMON: I`m not sure what he would plead guilty to. And if he does make a plea, I think he`s looking at some jail time here. So you know, that`s a tough question here. I mean, you`re looking at 12 charges here. One of these charges involves kidnapping. That carries a possible life sentence. If he does make a plea, he`s looking at some jail time here. Maybe he`ll roll the dice and go with the trial, Pat.

LALAMA: Well, Kristen, a lot of people are saying, that, you know, so many people involved with this are so unsavory. I mean, we`re talking criminal records, and I`m not talking petty theft, that, you know, that`s going to be helpful to the defense because who`s going to believe these people with all their big criminal pasts?

FLOWERS: Absolutely. I mean, both sides of this. It`s going to be hard to prove which side is, you know, most thug, I guess you could say. I mean, these guys that are with O.J. are considered his cronies, his gang. And they proceeded to act like that when they stormed into the Palace Station Hotel. And even Fromong on the stand today said they came in almost militant-style...

LALAMA: Right.

FLOWERS: ... with guns and yelling and screaming. I mean, this is going to be a hard -- hard -- you know, hard for the defense to prove that these are honest guys.

LALAMA: Mike Brooks, let`s just start with -- let`s look at this case. The most important thing to me, it seems, is the gun. Now, either he didn`t know that they had guns, OK, which you might say that makes it easy for him, or he did order it, as some are alleging. But my understanding from case law is that just hanging around a bunch of unsavory people and going to do something that is not so good, not so stellar, you have this consciousness that things could go wrong and that there could be arms involved. Is that -- and that you`re still responsible. Is that fair?

BROOKS: Well, you know -- well, you know, Pat, he said all along -- he`s been saying, No, there were no guns. Now, three of the former co- defendents who flipped on him now, you know, one of them said, Yes, there were guns. In fact, McClinton, who had one of the weapons, he turned over two to the attorneys. Now, what happened today, when, you know, Fromong was testifying, he said that when they came in, he called it a, quote, a "military-style" invasion...

LALAMA: Right.

BROOKS: ... into that hotel room.

LALAMA: Right.

BROOKS: Now, he said that the second guy through had a gun and there was somebody else that also had a gun.

LALAMA: Yes. You know, it`s really interesting. Andy Kahan, director of victims crime office for the Houston mayor -- you know, the victim -- you know, Bruce Fromong, he doesn`t have a criminal past, but still these guys are involved in some shaky stuff. Is that going to be a sympathy factor if there is a jury in this case?

ANDY KAHAN, VICTIMS` CRIME OFFICE FOR HOUSTON MAYOR: You know, the big decisive factor`s going to be whether a jury`s going to believe the witnesses cut a deal, you know, to testify. But you know, I -- it just appears, from my perspective, looking at Simpson -- you know, look at the quote that they have him attributed to. It`s like out of a B-movie script. You know, Don`t let anyone out of this room...

LALAMA: Or -- yes, or one of them...

KAHAN: Nobody leaves.

LALAMA: One of them claimed to be...


LALAMA: One of them claimed to be a cop and said, You`d be dead in LA. I`ve just got a short amount of time. I want to get everybody in here. Lisa, Renee, Lida, Lisa, go for it. What kind of a case does the prosecution have here?

PINTO: Oh, it`s an incredible case. They`ve got the two guns that were described. They`ve got the three co-defendants testifying against him. Sounds like they`re going to be pretty consistent. You`ve got O.J. being -- making all sorts of cockamamie statement, and you`ve got the stuff.

LALAMA: All right, hurry up, Renee. We`ve got just a few seconds.

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I see an acquittal. Let me tell you why. It`s going to take one juror to say, Wait a minute, he went to repo his own things? He might walk.

LALAMA: Lord help us all that we got to go through this again.

All right, tonight, a happier story, "CNN Heroes." Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think people hear about these diseases and they think, Oh, you know, forget it, it`s incurable. Well, I don`t think so. I really don`t.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Julianne Moore, and my heroes, Tom and Peg Lindsay (ph), who are working very, very hard to bring awareness and find a cure for tuberous (ph) sclerosis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tuberous sclerosis causes benign tumors to grow in major organs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tommy was born on June 27, 1999.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At about five weeks, I started to see his shoulder twitch a little bit. They gave him CAT scans and, you know, it was terrible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Finally, after an MRI, they realized that they were looking at tumors in Tommy`s brain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: First the neurologist came in, and he said, Your son has tuberous sclerosis. He`ll never walk. He`ll never talk. You should consider an institution. But in talking to other people, life wasn`t that bad. It`s not a death sentence. He does have a chance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I made a pact that we weren`t going to allow this to happen to anyone else, if there`s anything we can do about it. We decided we wanted to make tuberous sclerosis a household name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s just as common as cystic fibrosis, yet no one in the medical community is very familiar with it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were sending out all of these letters and trying to get some kind of recognition without an answer back from anyone until the day that I ran into Julianne Moore.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m walking along the street, and I hear, Julianne Moore! (INAUDIBLE) my name is (INAUDIBLE) This is my son, Tommy. He has a disease called tuberous sclerosis, and we just had brain surgery!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I tried to get the last three-and-a-half years of his life out in 20 seconds, said, you know, I`m just one father. My wife is one mother. We need somebody to help us out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) I`ve kind of been involved as their spokesperson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She went and testified before Congress with me. She comes to every fund raiser -- remarkable woman. Remarkable, remarkable woman. It seems to me now that my life was almost mapped out. It was supposed to happen. Tommy was given to me for a reason. We were supposed to find a cure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like we might not be helping Tommy, but we`re helping the next kid.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you deal with something that`s this extraordinary, you`re saying, I`m going to educate other people in the world about this. I`m going to make this part of the kind of fabric of our lives. And that`s what they`ve done.



LALAMA: Pat Lalama here for Nancy Grace. I want to take a call from Peter in my home state of Ohio. Peter?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I watched the trial today, and the first gentleman that testified said that the stuff wasn`t memorabilia, it was an heirloom that he wanted to give back to O.J., and they were friends up to about two years ago.

LALAMA: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they were trying to work something out to give them back.

LALAMA: To give O.J. back his stuff?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The stuff, yes. Now, do you think he was trying to extort money from O.J.? Because he kept on saying they were going to negotiate on trying to give him his stuff back.

LALAMA: Dan Simon, CNN correspondent, were you able to hear that question? And maybe you can explain to us, you know, was there any good to this, someone was trying to help O.J. get his stuff back or -- you know, put it in perspective for us.

SIMON: Well, from what we understand, Bruce Fromong -- you know, he had a long-standing relationship with O.J. Simpson. At one point, they were friends. When the dust had settled in the days after this, he had mentioned that he had some of O.J.`s past possessions, including some heirlooms, and he wanted O.J. to get those items back. Whether or not he was attempting to get money for O.J. for those items, I didn`t get that sense at all. I think this is a guy who quite honestly is trying to give O.J. Simpson some of his stuff back. I mean, that was the impression I had. So I don`t think money was involved here.

LALAMA: OK. Bethany Marshall, I just got a few short sentences -- excuse me -- seconds -- easy for me to say. But O.J.`s saying, Hey, this is because I wasn`t convicted in Nicole`s death, and they`re trying to get me now. Quick answer on that one.

MARSHALL: Well, I think he`s being really grandiose, and I think the timing is his book advance and royalty was given to the Goldmans. He felt something was stolen from him. He may have a heightened sense and want to steal from other people.

LALAMA: Very interesting.

Tonight, let`s stop to remember Army specialist Aaron "A.J." Walker, only 23, from Harker (ph) Heights, Texas, killed in Iraq on a first tour, remembered for his huge heart, love of God, country, family and friends. He loved his real (INAUDIBLE) Jesus tattoo on his back. He leaves behind parents Daryl (ph) and Annie (ph), sister Andy (ph) and brother Alex (ph). Aaron Walker an American hero.

Thanks to all our guests, and biggest thanks to all of you for being with us and taking us into your homes. Remember, visit Nancy`s baby blog for exclusive video and messages from Nancy on her newborn twins at

See you tomorrow tonight. Hey, Nancy, hope you`re feeling great. 8:00 o`clock sharp Eastern. Until then, have a very wonderful evening. Good night.