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Report Drew Peterson Once Fired Gun and Nearly Hit Stacy
Aired December 12, 2007 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAT LALAMA, GUEST HOST: Tonight, her former police sergeant husband is the prime suspect in her disappearance, young mom of two Stacy Peterson vanishing in the Chicago suburbs. As the search continues for Stacy Peterson, the fight inside a Will County court over items police have seized from the Peterson home. Drew Peterson says he wants his stuff back, including two family cars and 11 guns.
And now new reports claim a gun gave Stacy Peterson quite a scare the summer before she vanishes. According to Stacy Peterson`s sister, Drew Peterson fires off a gunshot that narrowly misses Stacy in the garage. That incident apparently goes unreported to the police at that time.
Plus, more reports emerge about the former police sergeant`s controlling behavior during his fourth marriage. And did Drew Peterson`s appeal to America for money pay off?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is an explosive new accusation today against Stacy Peterson`s husband, Drew Peterson. Stacy`s sister says the former police sergeant nearly shot Stacy months before she disappeared. She told "The Chicago Tribune" Stacy was in the garage, getting a soda for Drew, when a bullet narrowly missed her. She said Drew was in a bedroom above the garage when the gun discharged. Peterson`s attorney dismissed the story, calling it more baloney. Stacy Peterson, of course, vanished in late October. Drew Peterson, the former Bolingbrook police sergeant, is the suspect in the case. Peterson, who`s denied any involvement, has now set up a Web site asking for money to help with his legal defense. His attorney says any money collected goes into a trust that Peterson will not control.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LALAMA: Good evening. I`m Pat Lalama, in for Nancy Grace. And tonight, reports of gunfire inside the Peterson home before young mom of two Stacy Peterson vanishes. And the court battle over Drew Peterson`s guns, two family cars and other items seized from his home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Attorneys for former police Sergeant Drew Peterson say police should return 11 guns, two family cars and other items seized in the Stacy Peterson investigation. Peterson is a suspect in his young wife`s disappearance but has yet to be charged. And as his attorneys point out during today`s hearing in Will County court, there`s no indictment. They also say the warrant is ludicrous because it implies Peterson used all 11 guns to kill his wife and both vehicles to transport her body. Prosecutors argued today that authorities still need these items for their investigation and blames the defense for trying to put a clock on the case.
Meantime, it looks like Drew Peterson will just have to keep renting cars because the judge says there will be no decision until Monday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LALAMA: Pat Lalama, in for Nancy Grace. Lots of good stuff and great guests. Let`s go to Kathy Chaney, reporter, "Chicago Defender." Interesting story about the gunfire. Why are we hearing it now?
KATHY CHANEY, "CHICAGO DEFENDER": Well, Cassandra Cales, Stacy`s stepsister, said that she did report the incident to the police after Stacy went missing, but it`s just now coming out in media reports.
LALAMA: And Pam Bosco, Stacy Peterson`s family friend and spokesperson, did you know about this?
PAM BOSCO, STACY PETERSON FAMILY FRIEND AND SPOKESPERSON: No, I didn`t, actually. I was made aware of it just recently.
LALAMA: And what`s your reaction to it?
BOSCO: You know, everything Cassandra says, I believe in. And she obviously told Illinois State Police for a reason, and this obviously (INAUDIBLE) for them to do with the investigation on it now.
LALAMA: We have an honored guest tonight, Joel Brodsky. He`s a household name now because he is the chief defender of Drew Peterson. We`re thrilled to have you here, sir, and thanks...
JOEL BRODSKY, ATTORNEY FOR DREW PETERSON: Thank you.
LALAMA: ... for taking time to talk to us. Your reaction to this latest story about the -- I know you`ve called it an "Elvis sighting."
LALAMA: And why don`t you believe it?
BRODSKY: Well, first of all, after speaking to Drew, what really happened was this. Drew bought Stacy a Glock, a .9-millimeter Glock, as a present. Stacy used to like to handle the gun from time to time. She was up in the bedroom handling the gun and it actually discharged, striking the floor. She was embarrassed. Nobody called the police because she was embarrassed. She was -- and so that`s what really happened. But more than that...
LALAMA: Well, wait. Hold on. Hold on. With all due respect, you`re saying this was Stacy`s mistake?
BRODSKY: Yes, the gun -- the .9-millimeter semiautomatic accidentally discharged while Stacy was handling it.
LALAMA: But Mr. Brodsky, why would the story come out that she -- you know, you`re saying out of embarrassment, this is how the story is being turned around?
BRODSKY: Well, not out of embarrassment. She -- you know, Drew was her husband. He was a police officer. They didn`t want to -- she felt embarrassed that the gun discharged accidentally, and she didn`t want to get anybody involved. Nobody was hurt. So they just let it go.
LALAMA: All right. Now, you know I`m going to ask some other people on the panel to respond to this, so...
BRODSKY: Could I just add one thing, though?
LALAMA: Yes, sir. Go right ahead.
BRODSKY: All right. Sure. Anybody that -- you know, that handles firearms or knows anything about firearms knows that a .9-millimeter is not that -- it`s a powerful weapon, but if you shoot it through a floor, the velocity of the bullet when it comes out of a very thick floor is not going to be great enough to really do any injury. Bullets are slowed down by plain glass windows, car windows. So the story that Drew tried to -- the implication that Drew tried to kill Stacy by firing through a floor is just ludicrous.
LALAMA: All right. Mike Brooks, our good friend of the show, and you know him, the former D.C. police officer on the terrorism task force, what do you think about that? I thought they used .9-millimeters on the LAPD as service revolvers. They got to be powerful, right?
MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, .9 millimeter was the standard. Many departments now going to .40. We were hearing earlier on that it was his service weapon that was discharged when she was down getting something out of the refrigerator in the garage. Now, it`s going to be very, very easy for law enforcement to go back, to find out whether or not a round actually did go through the floor.
And it depends. It depends on the type of jacket. Was it a full metal jacket? Was it a hollow point? Was it -- there`s all kinds of different rounds with different velocities coming out of a .9-millimeter, depending on what the model of the .9-millimeter was.
BROOKS: But it should be fairly easy to find out exactly, was it a .9-millimeter or was it a different caliber possibly of the service weapon used by Bolingbrook police?
LALAMA: Well, Susan Moss, family law attorney, I think the issue we go back to now is the difference in stories that we`re hearing because, you know, the sister claims, Hey, she pulled up the carpet and showed me the hole, and she said that -- you know, just -- I said, Hey, was it an accident, and she just looked at me all freaked out. I mean, what`s your response to Mr. Brodsky`s explanation of this?
SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Well, I`m glad that we`re getting an explanation because now the cops can go in and do some investigation to see whether the evidence supports the sister`s claim or whether the evidence supports Mr. Peterson`s claim. In the event that there are inconsistencies in Drew`s statement through his attorney, that will certainly come back to hurt him.
LALAMA: Renee Rockwell, defense attorney, I mean, I don`t -- look, if it`s a thing that happens in the home and it`s an accident, I don`t really see the need to call the cops. I mean, some people are saying, Why didn`t they call the cops? He is a cop, and if the couple felt it was an accident, you know, then so be it, right?
RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, but this is just what we`re talking about now in the news. Any kind of statement like that will never, ever, Susan Moss, come into court. You know that. That is hearsay. It`s pure, raw hearsay. And Brodsky, you`ll agree you`ll never hear anything like that in court because why? It can`t be cross-examined. It`s not reliable. It`s not trustworthy. Would you agree, Brodsky?
LALAMA: Yes, Joel, probably true, right?
BRODSKY: Absolutely. It`s hearsay. It`s a violation of the confrontation clause, so it would never make it into court. And I believe the police have already checked it out. They`ve had three -- two full searches of the house. I know that they`ve looked at that bullet hole. They know the caliber of it, and they knew what Drew`s service revolver caliber is. So this has already been checked out.
LALAMA: Well, you know, Jeff Gardere, psychologist and author of "Love Prescription," it still has a psychological impact because if there`s -- if this gentleman is ever charged, if he should be charged, you know, there`s potential jury pull-out (ph) there. They hear this kind of stuff, it hurts, does it not?
JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST: I think it certainly does hurt. But what we have to look here, from a psychological point of view, this may have been a marriage at that point in time that was having some severe dysfunction. So when you put that in light of the fact that a bullet did come out of a gun, it makes you say, Hmm.
LALAMA: Hmm is right. Alan Ripka, defense attorney, how important is it?
ALAN RIPKA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think it`s only important to spoil the jury pool. I think it`s relevant of nothing. First of all, there`s no evidence that he shot his wife or that he had a tendency to threaten her or to kill her. So this information means nothing as of now, until they find that if she`s dead and if there`s a -- and what the cause of death is. It`s just going to have to make Mr. Brodsky make a motion to change venue because now that the people have heard this, they`re going to think that he was a violent person.
LALAMA: Mr. Brodsky, it`s not easy doing damage control every day, is it?
BRODSKY: No, it`s not. It`s kind of frustrating because what we`re dealing with are leaks and rumors that seem to come out at some sort of pre-planned interval. I mean, I don`t know if there`s an intelligence behind it or not, but it certainly is a strange way of a case proceeding, that`s for sure.
LALAMA: You know, out in LA, where I live, when there`s a high- profile case, they hire publicists. Go figure. I don`t know if you need one of those yet, but...
BRODSKY: Well, maybe we`ll set up a Web site for that.
LALAMA: Yes. Exactly. We`ll talk about that momentarily.
Kathy Chaney, something did happen inside a courtroom today. It had to do with Drew`s 11 guns. Could you tell us what happened today?
CHANEY: Well, the judge delayed the ruling and said that he would rule on Monday about getting the guns, the cars and some of the other items back. However he did rule that Drew Peterson can get the iPods and the CDs back.
LALAMA: All right. Well, I just got to read you this -- some of this is quite poetic. And Mr. Brodsky, these must be your colleagues. One of the attorneys for the defense started this way. "About 200 years ago, we had a small problem with the British. The problem was search warrants that described what police were looking for in overly general terms." So what you guys are arguing is that, Hey, wait a minute. You know what? Let`s get specific. Why do you need to keep 11 guns unless 11 guns, you think, were committed in a murder, correct? Or used to commit a murder.
BRODSKY: Absolutely. You know, the specificity of warrants was put into the Constitution for a reason, because our Founding Fathers felt that the British used to use these broad warrants to just seize everything and really harass people. So they made a very specific requirement in the warrants that they have to be so specific that when you`re looking for an item, you have to be able to pick that item out of any other item in the house or in the area.
LALAMA: But Susan Moss, the prosecutors argue, Hey, you cannot put a timeline on how long we get to look at this stuff, and you`re not getting your guns back right now, at least if we have anything to say about it.
MOSS: That`s right. The police are entitled to keep these pieces of potential evidence pending the investigation. I just hope this guy doesn`t want his 11 guns back as stocking stuffers.
LALAMA: Whoa! OK. Alan Ripka, anything to say about whether this man should have his guns? Look, my understanding is that a judge can say, Hey, there`s reasonable suspicion here, I`m not putting guns back in the house where there could be problems down the road.
RIPKA: Well, there`s certainly reasonable suspicion because what they`re thinking is, if they find a body and they find a bullet wound, what they`re going to want to do is match the wound against the guns. That`s probably why they`re holding them as long as they are, because they obviously had plenty of time to test them and give them back. So they`re going to stall as long as they can.
LALAMA: Mike Brooks, a little bird told me you`re shaking your head in disagreement. Go right ahead.
BROOKS: No, no. I -- you know, right now, I would say, Don`t give the weapons back. But you know, after a time, either she walks back through that door, give the weapons back. Then if they find a body, then we`re going to find out what the mechanism of the injury was, that -- why she was dead. But also, Pat, all of these weapons, what law enforcement can do, forensics experts, they can go ahead, they can take a test tire fire. They can take an attack (ph) bullet. So they can do that and make comparisons on the striations of the lands (ph) and grooves in the different barrels of the different weapons, should they ever -- if they ever -- God forbid, they -- we don`t find a body, but if they did find a body and it was suffering from a gunshot wound.
LALAMA: Well, we got to give Howard Oliver a chance. You`re a former deputy medical examiner, forensic pathologist. You know, give us a little layperson`s primer on gunshot wounds. Should they find a body and a gunshot wound, you know, how easy is it, how important is it? Tell us what we need to know.
HOWARD OLIVER, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST, FORMER DEPUTY MEDICAL EXAMINER: Well, after -- hi. After this much time, the wounds wouldn`t be very apparent that they even exist.
OLIVER: Most likely, yes.
LALAMA: Wow. Wow! OK.
OLIVER: Yes. It depends on, you know, the deposition (ph) of the body, if there`s a body, after she died. In certain conditions, the wounds will stay there, but they may not be indicative of the guns that you have on hand. It might tell you the caliber, if there`s -- you know, you really need a bullet. The wound won`t show up very well because the tissue would have disintegrated pretty much by now.
LALAMA: Joel Brodsky, that -- I`m sorry, sir. Go ahead. Finish your thought.
OLIVER: Hopefully, you would have a projectile, and that would tell the whole story.
LALAMA: And Joel Brodsky, your client says, Hey, people, I`m persona non grata around here. I deserve to protect myself. Give me my guns. Does he have a point?
BRODSKY: Well, yes. First of all, you have to -- as a retired police officer, he`s entitled to carry a gun in all 50 states, by federal law. But that aside, what was said about the testing of the guns is absolutely true. All the police have to do is test fire these guns, keep the bullets, keep the casings, do a few other, you know, tests, scrapings, and they have all the evidence they`ll ever need. They don`t need to keep the actual weapons, so -- and they can conduct these tests in a matter of days, so there really is no legitimate reason for them to want to keep the guns, other than they just don`t want Mr. Peterson to have them.
LALAMA: Well, Susan Moss, on that note, actually, one of the defense attorneys today said, you know, You guys are just trying to vex Mr. Peterson. Is that a fair assessment?
MOSS: Why does this guy need the guns? Why does he need 11 guns? I mean, what could the possible reason, to scare off the media from his front yard?
LALAMA: Alan Ripka...
MOSS: There is no reason for him to get it back now.
LALAMA: Yes. Alan, why does he need 11 guns?
RIPKA: Well, first of all, it doesn`t matter if he needs them or not. In our country, you`re entitled to your property, right, unless it`s lawfully being held. So we`re not going to question why he needs them or not. Right now, he`s presumed innocent. It`s his property . The police can test it. They don`t need it. They`ve got to give them back.
LALAMA: Well, what do you say, Renee Rockwell?
ROCKWELL: Give him his cars back and quit handicapping him. And you know what? Give him some money for his defense. That`s what I say.
LALAMA: Oh, we`re going to get to that subject!~ And let`s talk about that real quickly. But first, let`s take a call from Barbara in Florida. Barbara, hello.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I was wondering if Drew Peterson`s older two children have been interviewed, since they`re teenagers and they may have some kind of insight.
LALAMA: Yes, they have. Pam Bosco, Stacy Peterson`s family friend and spokesperson, the teenage children have spoken to authorities. I don`t believe it was before the grand jury but in a more neutral setting. Do you know anything? What can you tell us?
BOSCO: I actually thought one had gone before the grand jury. But excuse me, I must go back...
LALAMA: You`re probably right.
BOSCO: I must go back to this statement that Mr. Brodsky made about Stacy and that gun incident.
BOSCO: That has to be the most idiotic statement and explanation I have heard to date. I need to know, did Drew, was he trying to teach Stacy at that point how to shoot a gun in the house with children around? Or do the guns just lying around where Stacy actually had that gun in her hand and she accidentally shot it off? Where is the common sense behind that statement?
LALAMA: Mr. Brodsky, did you hear that question?
BRODSKY: Absolutely. According to Drew, he bought that gun for Stacy as a present. She had a -- what we call a FOIC card here in Illinois, so she was legally entitled to own the gun or have the gun. And she used to like to take it out every once in a while and handle it.
LALAMA: Pam, have you ever heard that, that Stacy liked to handle a gun?
BOSCO: And I`d want to know why a police officer, and Drew, who knew the were children were in the house, would actually allow his wife -- and Stacy, being the mother as we know her, would play with a gun in the house with children around -- that is beyond reason. It is beyond belief.
BRODSKY: That`s why -- I`m sure that`s why she was embarrassed about the accidental discharge.
BOSCO: Oh, embarrassed?
LALAMA: Well, OK...
BOSCO: Poor explanation, Mr. Brodsky. Poor explanation.
LALAMA: Mr. Brodsky, you`re saying that she would do something like that, she`d play with a gun in the house and then be embarrassed that she fired it?
BRODSKY: That`s -- well, it was an accidental discharge of the gun. And anybody that`s handled, you know, semiautomatics knows that occasionally, that`ll happen. And Stacy, you know, according to what Drew tells me, liked this gun. She would like to every once in a while take it out and look at it and handle it. Glocks are nice weapons. And it was an accidental discharge. That`s not all that unheard of. It happens from time to time.
LALAMA: OK. Very interesting. We`ll revisit it.
Tonight, exciting news. Coming soon, exclusive video of Nancy at home with the babies, the twins. It`ll make its debut on Nancy`s baby blog. And check out the latest messages from Nancy about baby Lucy and baby John. It`s all at CNN.com/nancygrace.
And remember, Nancy returns to Headline News January 7, 8:00 PM Eastern, in this very chair. Mark it down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The law is clear that the state is only allowed to keep property seized in a -- with a search warrant for a reasonable amount of time. Of course, reasonableness, you know, varies depending on the facts of the case, and the person that determines what`s reasonable and what`s not is the judge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LALAMA: I`m Pat Lalama, in for Nancy Grace. And we`re talking about this gunshot incident that happened in August. And we are pleased to have Joel Brodsky, the attorney for Drew Peterson, with us. And you know, somebody was just asking me, Mr. Brodsky, you know, if she was so embarrassed about it, why`d she even have to bring it up to her sister? She wouldn`t want to know that she put her sister -- you know, put her kids -- her sister to know that she put her children in jeopardy.
BRODSKY: I don`t know what her reasoning was at that time. There was a lot going on in the house, obviously, and a lot going on in the relationship, so I have no idea. I can speculate as to why, but you know, that`s a good question.
LALAMA: But Pam Bosco, family spokesperson, I mean, she literally pulled up the carpet, as we hear, and said, Look here. I mean, it does seem a little odd to bring it up at all if you feel really silly about it.
BOSCO: Again, I need to know from Mr. Brodsky if Drew, who was very knowledgeable in firearms and safety precautions -- how he would allow a gun in the house with bullets to be played with.
LALAMA: Mr. Brodsky?
BOSCO: Was he not there with Stacy?
BRODSKY: No. At that time, he tells me he wasn`t in the room with her when that happened.
LALAMA: So you`re saying he had no knowledge of her messing around with the gun in the house.
BRODSKY: Well, he knew she used to like to, you know, handle the weapon, but he wasn`t there when that happened, no.
LALAMA: And Pam, you know, as long as you`ve known the family and as much as you`ve been talking to family members and friends recently, have you ever haired anyone say that Stacy had a gun interest?
BOSCO: Never. And Mr. Brodsky, you seem to know a lot about guns and your interest in guns. Is this a gun that would probably be given to a wife?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He invited the media in from the beginning. And be careful what you wish for, Drew, because they`re sticking to the story. You know, Stacy would not leave her children. She would not run away. She loves her babies. She loves her family, and she would not do this. And since he brought the media in, I would say to him, Be careful what you wish for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LALAMA: I`m Pat Lalama, in for Nancy Grace, having an interesting discussion about whether Stacy actually accidentally fired off this gun, whether Drew did it. Pam Bosco, family friend, you want to know from Mr. Brodsky, is this the kind of a gun a man would buy his wife? Mr. Brodsky, what do you say?
BRODSKY: Oh, a Glock is a very nice -- I mean, if you like guns, a Glock`s a beautiful gun. It`s certainly the type of gun that somebody would give as a gift. And Stacy, as I said, according to Drew, had a firearms owner identification card, so she obviously had an interest in weapons.
LALAMA: Mike Brooks, very quickly, is this something someone might buy for their wife?
BROOKS: They could. But most of the men I know, most cops I know have bought their girlfriends or wives -- there`s a certain make, Smith & Wesson, a revolver. It`s a lot easier to use. She`s small. She wouldn`t have to worry about any moving parts, making sure there was one in the chamber. I wouldn`t have bought her a Glock, that`s for sure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: An explosive claim from Stacy Peterson`s sister. She says Stacy`s husband, former police Sergeant Drew Peterson, nearly shot her several months before she disappeared. Stacy`s sister says Drew was in his bedroom when his gun went off, the bullet pierced the floor and landed a foot behind where Stacy was standing in the garage. The incident was never reported to police. Drew`s attorney says it is just a rumor. Meantime, Peterson tried to make a public plea for money for his legal defense at a new Web site. It`s called defenddrew.com. But the site was suspended last night because it was generating too much traffic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LALAMA: I`m Pat Lalama in for Nancy Grace. Does it surprise you? We`ve got lots of callers. So let`s go to Diane in Florida. Hello, what is your question?
CALLER: Thank you for taking my call. I would like to know if anyone has checked into whether or not Drew or Stacy had any access to prescription drugs that could have put her unconscious or poisoned her.
LALAMA: Well, that -- let`s go to Joel on that first because, doesn`t Drew say that Stacy was on medication for some time?
JOEL BRODSKY, ATTORNEY FOR DREW PETERSON: No, not that I recall. All I do know regarding that is that -- I mean, the state police have -- and the FBI have over 100 special agents doing an investigation here. So I`m sure that that issue has been well checked out and well documented.
LALAMA: Pam Bosco, family friend and spokesperson, did Stacy take any kind of prescription medicine that you know of?
PAM BOSCO, STACY PETERSON FAMILY FRIEND & SPOKESPERSON: You know, I don`t know actually if she took any kind of medication.
LALAMA: OK. All right. So at this point we just don`t know. I`m sure that authorities have checked out every possibility. Now we have to go to an issue, Mr. Brodsky, you created quite the firestorm yesterday when you implied, some say, that the minister who came forward to say that Drew killed Kathleen was having an affair.
Now let me just tell you, because I want to be a fair journalist, I have the transcripts from your appearance on some other network. And it says you said, OK -- well, the questioner says, "you`re now accusing the pastor of having a relationship with Stacy." You say, "I have heard today, I have gotten several calls." The questioner goes, "oh, come on," but you actually say, "I don`t think there`s any validity to it."
And I think a lot of people have, in fairness to you, have avoided the fact, I`m not going to accuse them of doing it deliberately, but I just didn`t hear a lot of you saying, there`s no validity. Where do you stand on this issue? Do you think she had an affair with the minister or not?
BRODSKY: All I really said was in response to a question about what leads, if we hired an investigator, would they follow? And my response was, obviously, the Rosato (ph) brothers and the one that was exchanging those racy text messages. And I also said that given the minister`s story had some holes in the way it was presented, that he was reluctant to talk, that it was Mark Fuhrman that got him to talk, I thought that he -- you know, he should be checked out. That`s all I was saying, and that`s what a thorough -- that`s what a defense lawyer does, you know, we check out all leads, we check out all possibilities, we leave no stone unturned.
LALAMA: Well, that`s true, but you got beaten up for that. I watched it, I must say. Pam Bosco, are you incensed by the -- even the discussion that leads here?
BOSCO: Again, I`m amazed at his responses. Is this just to throw some doubt, another wrench into that kind of -- it`s just amazes, Mr. Brodsky, when you come up with some of this. It has to be a little bit more logical when you use it. You can`t just throw it out there. He has shown nothing in his report that would even indicate any kind of relationship with Stacy outside of anything that`s respectable.
LALAMA: Go ahead, Mr. Brodsky, answer that. And I`m going to bring in our other panelists.
BRODSKY: And that may very well be the fact. I mean, I don`t doubt that that may very well be the fact. All I`m saying is that we have to check it out, that`s -- and check and see if there is anything there. That is my job, to make sure that there`s no stone unturned in defending my client.
LALAMA: But, Susan Moss, family law attorney, a lot of people have said, you didn`t even need to go there publicly, why did you even tell that to anybody in the media? What is your position?
SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY & CHILD ADVOCATE: I think you have to be careful or else it`s really going to affect the amount of donations on the Web site. Even making a suggestion that she had an inappropriate relationship with a clergy member really goes beyond the line. There`s a thing about blaming the victim in this country and every time it is brought up, it backfires.
LALAMA: Well, Renee Rockwell, defense attorney, did he have a right to say that, if Mr. Brodsky got calls suggesting it? You know, why should we stop now in terms of throwing stuff out there in the media?
RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I mean, there is one thing, you try somebody in the media, which is not fair, because you want to make sure they are going to get a fair trial. And then there`s what is going to go on in the courtroom. One thing you can say is that doesn`t come in. That does not come in in court. Why? Because it`s pure, raw hearsay. It`s not reliable and you can`t cross-examine it.
LALAMA: But Alan Ripka, defense attorney, yes, it doesn`t get into court, but we all know these days that the media plays -- and it shouldn`t probably, plays such a big role in people`s perceptions of good, bad, evil, not evil, and should this have ever been out there?
ALAN RIPKA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Mr. Brodsky has an obligation to question the motivation of this particular clergyman, as he has a motivation to understand why would Stacy go to him and tell him this kind of thing. And unfortunately, this was one of the motivations that he indicated, although did he at a later time indicate that he did not believe that was valid. So he questioned it and then indicated it wasn`t valid. So I see it as a proper investigation.
LALAMA: Jeff Gardiere, psychologist, some people think maybe the minister came forward for not so good reasons, others say, hey, he might feel guilty about not having done something before, what is your take?
JEFF GARDIERE, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I think it`s probably the latter, that he didn`t come out and say something before. Supposedly Stacy had told him that she -- that Drew had said something about killing his third wife. And so having that kind of information, that kind of guilt might have been the motivation for him to now start giving us all of this appropriate and sometimes inappropriate information that we nay not really need to have.
LALAMA: Mike Brooks, probably in the course of your storied career you have had to deal with clergy people. What is your take on this? Do you think this young minister -- and my gosh, he looks like he`s 12, but he sounds like a decent and intelligent man. You know, how do you deal with something like that? There is that privilege, we do know.
MIKE BROOKS, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Pat, now that he has come out and he has given his story, if I was an investigator, if I was one of the FBI agents who was involved in this particular case -- and when I was assigned there, I used to use this tool, a great investigative tool, on a regular basis. Bring him in, interview him, ask him if he would be willing to submit to a polygraph to find out whether or not this information could possibly be false or he made it up. The FBI used that on a regular basis as an investigative tool. They are involved in the investigation right now, bring it on.
LALAMA: Connie from North Carolina, hello, Connie, and what is your question?
CALLER: Yes, I would like to know why Drew Peterson is soliciting donations for a defense fund if he hasn`t been charged with a crime?
LALAMA: Well, you got me to my next subject there, Connie. And here we go, Mr. Brodsky, once again, you know, these days you`ve got to walk around with padding on to take all the pellets you`re getting.
BRODSKY: It`s OK.
LALAMA: . you`re raising money on the Internet. You know, that`s not done that often, I know in the Scott Peterson case, they`re actually doing that now for his appeal. Some people say that is like lower than whale droppings, OK? What do you say?
BRODSKY: Wow, wow. Well, all we were trying to do, because we have raised -- we have taken the Web site off because we have met our initial goal.
LALAMA: All right. OK.
LALAMA: Wait, wait, wait, wait, before you go on, you don`t want to tell us how much you raised. Now I understand there`s that attorney-client privilege, but if it was good enough to get in the media that you asked them -- you know, used the media for help, why not tell us how much people have given you?
BRODSKY: That was a good question when I was asked it, and I checked with the state -- they have an ethics hot line that we lawyers can call in the state to get advice about questions like this, and they advised me that it`s privileged information and it`s not proper to discuss the financial arrangement between attorney and client. And so I`m prohibited by ethics from doing it.
But, you know, we didn`t get -- we got enough, but you know, not as much as people would imagine, but we did get enough to cover some initial costs and fees and that was all we were looking for. And we really appreciate the generosity of the people who believe that there should be a level playing field, that one person shouldn`t have to take on hundreds of investigators and basically have to lose everything they have worked for in order to defend themselves.
LALAMA: Susan Moss, I have got like seven seconds, give me an answer, give me a response.
MOSS: All right. Instead of raising money for lawyers, this guy should be raising money for a muzzle. If he wouldn`t have been on the media and on the press circuit for so long making statements, this investigation wouldn`t be where it is today.
LALAMA: OK. To tonight`s "Case Alert," a Texas mother admits to a 911 dispatcher, dropping her toddler girl over the second level railing of their home to try and kill her. Padmaja Enjeti facing charges she injured her child. According to the latest, Enjeti says she dropped the little girl not once but twice because she became fussy, the toddler girl suffering skull fractures. The 37-year-old mom reportedly has mental health issues and a history of hallucinating, a judge granting her $100,000 bail on the condition she enters a mental health facility.
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CALLER: I tried to kill her.
OPERATOR: You tried to kill your daughter?
OPERATOR: OK. What exactly happened?
CALLER: I pushed her from the stairs.
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LALAMA: And on a much lighter note, thankfully, coming soon to Nancy`s Baby Blog, exclusive video of Nancy at home with her twins. And check out the latest messages from Nancy about baby Lucy and baby John, that`s cnn.com/nancygrace. And remember, Nancy makes her much anticipated return to HEADLINE NEWS January 7th at 8 p.m. Eastern, so mark your calendars.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, my name is Master Sergeant Dorsey Sanchez (ph). I`m here at Camp Virginia, Kuwait. I would like to wish my family, Diego Sanchez (ph) and Savannah Riddle (ph) at Fort Meade, Maryland, happy holidays. Love you, miss you, see you soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have got to say what`s good for the goose is good for the gander. I mean, all of the women that like Stacy knew she was the "other woman" with Kathleen. And I think Kathleen, if I`m not -- I may be incorrect on this, but I think -- I remember that she also knew that Drew was involved with his second wife when she was with him. So I mean, these women made a choice.
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LALAMA: I`m Pat Lalama in for a Nancy Grace. Let`s not forget we are still searching for Stacy Peterson. Kathy Chaney, what`s the latest on the search?
KATHY CHANEY, THE CHICAGO DEFENDER: The divers were back in the water today, but nothing fruitful came up with that, so they are just going to continue searching.
LALAMA: OK. You know, I want to go to Howard Oliver, former deputy medical examiner, forensic pathologist. As time goes on, we`re talking about really cold conditions now. The cold, does it hurt or help?
HOWARD OLIVER, FORENSIC PATHLOGIST: The cold helps. It preserves the tissues. Most of the time when we`re at the coroners office, bodies are kept at about 39 or 40 degrees Fahrenheit. So the cold helps to preserve the tissues.
LALAMA: And someone was saying, I think the other day, that let`s just say her, you know, she might -- her body may be somewhere contained in this barrel everyone talks about. Let`s hope not, but if it is, that if it is closed up, that could actually help the situation as well, to keep the elements out.
OLIVER: Yes, it helps because keeps out the bacteria, it keeps out the insect vectors or rodents or anything like that. Usually when we get tissues that have been like wrapped in black paper, garbage bags, or in barrels or that sort of thing, they`re very well preserved, surprisingly. And if it`s in a cold place, it would be an even better situation.
LALAMA: Well, let`s hope the best we can possibly get from this. I want to take a caller before we continue on. Cicely (ph) from Alabama. Hello, Cicely.
LALAMA: What is your question?
CALLER: I was wondering, Stacy is such a small woman, and I was wondering, how much trigger pressure pounds it takes to fire a .9 millimeter, because I`m 5`4" and 125 pounds and I have shot a Glock .9 with not a hair trigger and it took a lot of pressure to pull that.
LALAMA: Mike Brooks, I am not a gun expert, I am putting this one on you, buddy. Go ahead.
BROOKS: I think that a Glock .9 millimeter, depending on what mile (ph) it is, I`m thinking somewhere between four and five, possibly six, seven pounds of pressure. Now there is a safety on the trigger of all Glock revolvers. I own a Glock .40 caliber myself. But -- and I carried a .9 millimeter for years and years in law enforcement.
But it`s not that much and it`s all double action, as you know, with a Glock. It`s not like other weapons or a revolver where you can have single action, double action. But it still takes pretty decent strength to go ahead and fire one of these.
LALAMA: OK. You know, I want to go back to the issue of the Web site and asking for money, because I`m just curious. Renee Rockwell, you know, a lot of lawyers ganged up on Drew last -- or, excuse me, on Mr. Brodsky, Joel Brodsky last night, saying, oh, this is the lowest thing, I can`t believe he`s part of our profession. What do you say to that?
ROCKWELL: Well, you know what, I applaud him because somebody has got to represent this guy if he gets charged, either he pays for it or the nation pays for it. Because if he gets charged, Peterson will be represented by an appointed attorney if he can`t afford one.
And the second thing is -- my understanding is this fund was generated for three purposes, a trust fund for the children, money to defray expenses for the defense, and also money to help locate her. So I`m all for it. I`m sorry I didn`t get in on time.
LALAMA: Pam Bosco, family spokesperson, what do you think about Drew`s appeal to the public for funding?
BOSCO: He has got Mr. Brodsky for that.
LALAMA: Well, what do you mean? I mean, the whole idea.
BOSCO: Mr. Brodsky came in, I thought he was doing this ad hoc (sic) -- however you want to call it, with Drew, and I don`t know how else they decided to do this. It was a new thing that they`re putting out there right now. So there was an issue before, why did they approach it this way, and again, I think that Web site was strictly to pay Mr. Brodsky. And I didn`t think that was the arrangement at first.
LALAMA: Mr. Brodsky.
BOSCO: At least, not what he had declared.
LALAMA: . why don`t you explain. It sounds like you`re not doing this case pro bono. You don`t have to answer, but...
BRODSKY: Well, I can say I`m not -- I mean, I don`t work for free. But, you know, what we were asking for is a tremendous amount of effort being put on from the prosecutorial side and the fact that Drew is just a working man who has a house and a pension that it would seem unfair and that there wasn`t a level playing field in the justice arena and we were hoping and we got help in leveling that playing field to some extent.
LALAMA: Well, Susan Moss, would you do something like this?
MOSS: No. I mean, just another -- just some more lawyer jokes, I can just imagine what`s going to be on the Internet tomorrow. But I really think it`s distasteful. You have a woman who is lost, you have his third wife who is dead in a bathtub with no water. It really is distasteful and I truly think this is throwing mud into Stacy, into Kathleen`s family, every time they have to go on the Internet and see Drew asking for money. It`s disgusting.
LALAMA: Alan Ripka, what have you got to say on that one?
RIPKA: I completely disagree. I think it`s funny, this man is being tried in the media. For example, if the public at large thought he was innocent, then people would be throwing money at the Web site. It`s because this perception that he`s guilty that everyone is making a big deal out of it.
And by the way, no one has to give money, no one has to go to the Web site. So I don`t know what the big deal is.
LALAMA: Joel Brodsky, my understanding is that this request, a sort of three-tiered -- first, the legal defense, then money for searching for Stacy, and then the rest goes to the kids, do I have that right?
BRODSKY: Yes, well, actually, the legal fees and the private detective fees would be co-equal. They would the same. And then if there`s anything remaining, it would go to the kids.
LALAMA: Pat Lalama in for Nancy Grace. Let`s go right to Utah -- the state of Utah and the caller is Nancy. Hey, Nancy.
CALLER: Hi there. How are you?
LALAMA: I`m great, thanks.
CALLER: I have a question. I would like to know if Drew has sold any of his personal items such as his boat and his airplane to help raise funds for his defense?
LALAMA: Mr. Brodsky, has your client sold any personal items to raise money?
BRODSKY: No, but he`s going to have to soon.
LALAMA: You think so?
LALAMA: Boy, don`t you wish we had like another hour for all of this stuff? Let`s go back to the issue of the minister. You know, Alan Ripka, defense attorney, while I got him, Mr. Brodsky, everybody wants to know about this. What was that minister`s motivation? I mean, do you think he had the right to say, I`m coming forward and I`m going to say this?
RIPKA: Well, I think after the fact -- I mean, certainly, if he thought she was alive, he would not have been able to do that. There was probably some confidentiality there, an ethics aspect to it. But if he thinks that there was a crime and that he has information to lend that may help solve that crime, I think he should come forward and he did.
LALAMA: You know, Mr. Brodsky took a lot of heat last night on bringing up the minister. And then I`ve heard others say today, hey, you know, that minister has no right talking. Susan Moss, what do you say?
MOSS: I think that he was -- if he was told by Stacy not to speak during their initial conversation, he didn`t have the right to speak. Now his conscience is taking the best of him and he needs to come -- he wants to come forward, apparently, with information he believes is very relevant.
LALAMA: Joel Brodsky, I`ve just got a few seconds. Could it be this kid really -- I shouldn`t say kid, he`s a young man. Should -- maybe it is eating away at him, and he needed to tell somebody.
BRODSKY: Possibly. But why was the person that he came out to Mark Fuhrman, of all people? I mean, you know, why didn`t he come out a lot earlier. Why didn`t he come down in the beginning? So there`s a lot of questions I would like to ask him.
LALAMA: OK. Well, listen, we want to have you back, so come on, keep us on the list, sir. Thank you very much.
Tonight, let`s stop to remember Army Corporal Gilberto Meza, only 21, from Oxnard, California, killed in Iraq, awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. He dreamed of a military career. He loved getting dressed up and his favorite song was "Fade to Black" by Metallica. He leaves behind grieving mom Sylvia (ph), stepdad Guadeloupe (ph), brother Rigoberto (ph), and grandmother Maria (ph). Gilberto Meza, truly an American hero.
Thank you to all of our guests, and to you at home for being with us. Remember to visit Nancy`s Baby Blog, cnn.com/nancygrace. See you tomorrow night, 8:00 p.m. sharp Eastern. Until then, please have a wonderful evening, and we can`t wait to see you tomorrow night. Good night.