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Nancy Grace

Photos Released of FLDS Leader Kissing Child Brides

Aired May 28, 2008 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight: A stunning ruling by a three-panel set of judges there up in their ivory tower sending 400-plus children back behind remote and isolated walls of a Texas polygamist compound. But tonight, authorities fight back, finally showing a little of what they`ve got. Shocking photos just released show the FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs planting deep kisses on two of his child brides, one age 12, the other 13. One shot, their first anniversary photo. She`s 12!
The crazy polygamy cult leader may be worshipped as a prophet, but the photos now prove he`s nothing but a pervert, proving allegations of systematic marriages forced on little girls, not to mention alleged abuse on little boys and 41 known children with broken bones. Yet the three- judge panel sent those children back to this? And to top it all off, Warren Jeffs caught on tape admitting he`s no prophet.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you think for a minute those kids at that polygamist ranch should be returned to their parents, take a look at this. It`s a picture of Warren Jeffs, the leader and so-called prophet of this sect, kissing a girl, and prosecutors say that girl right there is about 12 years old. He`s 52. This picture and other pictures are being introduced into evidence in the case in Texas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The complaint that the state has is they felt the children were in danger of being forced into marriage at ages 16 and younger, the girls in particular, and that`s why they moved in here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you saying that...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No force. No force.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But do women age 16 and younger marry out here? Is that common?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just want the children back. That`s all we`re talking about tonight.


GRACE: Can it get any creepier?

And tonight: Police race to an upscale San Diego home and they find a beloved elementary school counselor bludgeoned brutally on her kitchen floor. Alleged killer, the star of the high school basketball team, her own 14-year-old daughter.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say it was just before 9:00 Sunday morning when the woman`s husband, James, and her 21-year-old daughter were awakened by screams coming from the kitchen. Once on the scene, authorities say they found Becky Douse (ph) on the floor with a serious head injury, possibly caused by a hammer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say it was in the kitchen of this Scrips (ph) Ranch home where the girl hit her mother in the head with a hammer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Douse`s husband and one of the couple`s other children awoke to the sound of a scream and called authorities, who discovered Douse on the kitchen floor.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. Stunning photos just released by Texas authorities blow the polygamy compound bust wide open. The crazy polygamy cult leader is worshipped as a prophet. They`re (ph) worshipped by the FLDS, but these photos showing Jeffs deep kissing and creepily cuddling 12 and 13-year-old child brides, apparently carrying one of these children over the threshold, should make three Texas judges rethink their ruling to force 400-plus children back behind isolated compound walls.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Disturbing pictures have emerged of Warren Jeffs kissing some of his alleged child brides, at least one of which authorities allege is just 12 years old, Child Protective Services in Texas entering the pictures into evidence. They say the pictures show widespread abuse of children in the FLDS. But an FLDS spokesman says he doesn`t see the pictures as evidence of sexual abuse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was just an effort by CPS to try to get publicity for their larger attempt to paint everybody with the same brush. These photos have no tie to these particular families in a way that`s relevant to these proceedings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The allegation is this has been an area, a ranch, a compound, if you will, where underaged girls have had sex with much older men. There are a lot of child brides. Do you see that going on here at all?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do not. That is not the fact. There`s no facts to that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CPS won`t reveal how they`ve obtained the photos, as all sides wait for a possible ruling from the Texas supreme court.


GRACE: Straight out to Michael Board with WOAI Newsradio. I certainly hope those three judges, three male judges, who were sending all these children back to the compound see this show tonight and see these photos of the so-called prophet, Warren Jeffs, deep kissing a 12-year-old girl and apparently carrying a 13-year-old bride over the threshold. What do you think, Michael?

MICHAEL BOARD, WOAI NEWSRADIO: Doesn`t it make you queasy to see those pictures? This isn`t a picture of a couple in a loving embrace...

GRACE: Makes me mad.

BOARD: It`s not a loving embrace. This is a man who is showing his perverted lust in these pictures. It`s absolutely disgusting. And I hope the people on the appellate court see what they have done.

But the fact of the matter here is, this is not part of what this should be about. The appellate court should only be able to look at what was presented at the initial trial hearing. These pictures were just presented last week. They were not presented at the initial court hearing.

GRACE: Well, you know, Michael...

BOARD: So they shouldn`t be -- yes?

GRACE: They may have thought that with everything they had, including several child brides giving birth in custody, that maybe this appellate court panel would get it, but apparently, they didn`t. Maybe these photos will work. Where do these photos come from?

BOARD: Well, we believe these photos were obtained in that raid. We were talking about -- we were talking to some of the investigators after that initial raid and some of the things that they took out of that compound, and they said they took out boxes after boxes of photo albums. So we believe that this is only the tip of the iceberg, Nancy. We believe as this trial goes along and as more individual cases are brought against these...

GRACE: Hold on. Michael? Michael?


GRACE: Right now, we`re showing you, at the FLDS ranch, the photo of Warren Jeffs up on the wall, worshiped as a prophet. This is the guy in those photos deep kissing a 12 and 13-year-old girl, apparently carrying one over the threshold. You were saying, Michael?

BOARD: Yes, these photos were obtained in that initial raid that was -- that happened, I guess, last month, when they came into the compound there. And we were told by investigators that they removed box after box of photo albums, photographs. We really believe that these Warren Jeffs photos are just the tip of the iceberg, that once they get into individual cases against some of the sick perverts on this ranch, that even more pictures like this will be brought out. We know -- we`ve seen some of the lists of the fathers and the kids that were on these ranches. We know that some of these dirty old men were taking teenagers as their brides. We can only expect that as this goes along, we`ll see more pictures like this.

GRACE: Well, not only that, all of these thousands of people worshipping Warren Jeffs, who`s now behind bars, convicted of arranging child bride marriages, actually is caught on video admitting he is no prophet. Take a listen.


WARREN JEFFS, FLDS LEADER: I am hesitating while I`m giving this message as the Lord dictates these words to my mind and heart. I am not the prophet. I never was the prophet, and I have been deceived by the power powers of evil. The Lord told me to say, and I yearn for everyone`s forgiveness for my aspiring and selfish way of life, in deceiving the elect, breaking the new and everlasting covenant and being the most wicked man on the face of the earth in this last dispensation.


GRACE: It`s just a big sham, a sham for taking 12 and 13-year-old child brides. Look at these photos. And I`m speaking to you, you three judges on that Texas panel, who sent all these children back to this polygamist ranch.

Out to the lines. Nancy in New York. Hi, Nancy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow. How is it that they can send these kids back? They have all these photos. They have these young girls -- these are nothing but men pretending to be these worshipers, all they are, are molesters. They`re child molesters.

GRACE: And Nancy, it is ingrained. They all think it`s OK. So by sending all these children back, the parents don`t even get -- they don`t even comprehend that this is molestation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No! Can I ask you, why do the women all sound robotic? They all sound and they speak the same, like a robotic tone, like.

GRACE: You know, Nancy, I`ve got the perfect guest to answer your question. Joining me tonight is Carolyn Jessop. She is the former wife of the Yearning for Zion FLDS leader, Merrill Jessop. She`s the author of the book, "Escape."

And let me jog your memory. One of the women that gave birth while in custody is fighting to get the children back home. Carolyn was actually familiar with that situation and familiar with the children in these photos. Carolyn, what do you know? What can you tell us?

CAROLYN JESSOP, FORMER WIFE OF YFZ LEADER MERRILL JESSOP: Oh, I`m just sick about these photos, Nancy. I mean, I suspected that this kind of abuse might be going on and was terrified of it around the time I left. That`s why I was so urgent to get my daughter out. But to see -- physically see that this is happening, I`m outraged. And I`m outraged that more isn`t being done to protect these children.

GRACE: Tell me what you know about these two child brides.

JESSOP: Well, the 12-year-old is actually a stepdaughter of mine, and it`s just been heart-breaking to me to see that she`s abused like this. The 13-year-old is a granddaughter of Merrill, so I actually know her quite well, too. And there again, it`s just -- it`s heart-breaking.

GRACE: So you can confirm their ages as 12 and 13. What do these photos mean? I notice that one of the little girls being deep kissed by the prophet Warren Jeffs -- it says on there, Our first anniversary.

JESSOP: Well, these pictures mean -- for him to be touching them in that way means that they absolutely are his wives. They have been married to him spiritually. And he has full rights. They`re his property. They`re his possessions. There is no way a man in the FLDS a man could kiss a girl that way or hold her that way or be seen in a photo with her that way unless they were married, which gives him full rights.

GRACE: Full rights to?

JESSOP: To intimate relationships with them whenever and however he wants.

GRACE: Now, Carolyn, explain to me the connection between the woman who gave birth and custody and these children. Are they in the same home?

JESSOP: Yes, they are.

GRACE: So she knows about this and she is standing by. She and her husband are standing by while a 12-year-old and a 13-year-old are married off -- you`re seeing it right here -- yet they want custody of their child back and they don`t understand why the state is saying no.

JESSOP: That`s correct. The 12-year-old is the aunt of the baby that`s in question right now.

GRACE: Lord in heaven!

JESSOP: This baby will go back to the same home that this crime was committed against a 12-year-old. And they don`t understand why the state is opposing that.

GRACE: I want to go to Natalie Malonis. She is an attorney ad litem for several of the children. And let me remind you that many of these attorneys are working for free at the request of the state. She is also representing Pamela Jessop, an FLDS mother.

Natalie, thank you for being with us. Natalie Malonis is a veteran trial lawyer. She`s joining us out of the Dallas, Texas, jurisdiction. Natalie, what, if anything, do these photos mean to you as you`re representing Pamela Jessop?

NATALIE MALONIS, ATTORNEY AD LITEM FOR FLDS MOTHER: Well, about Pamela Jessop, actually, in that particular case, I`m in the process of withdrawing, so I can`t say that they really mean anything particular with that case.

Now, I am representing three minor children on an ongoing basis, and it`s significant because this is the prophet, this is the person who they are taught to obey strictly. And they`re taught that this behavior is acceptable. Now, you know, under the laws of the state of Texas, this is sexual abuse. So it affects every child.

GRACE: And not just taking a 12-year-old bride, as we see in these photos, but also having other children in that home where child abuse is taking place, that in itself is child abuse. May I ask you, Natalie Malonis, why you are withdrawing your representation from Pamela Jessop?

MALONIS: Well, at our -- at the 14-day hearing of her infant son, the judge had -- there were two counsel, and the judge had said that one of us needs to withdraw. So my duties are really to the minor children, and that`s what I signed on for, and so I`m going to withdraw.

GRACE: To Carolyn Jessop, the former wife of YFZ leader Merrill Jessop. Who is Pamela Jessop?

JESSOP: Well, she is Merrill`s daughter-in-law, so she`s my stepson`s wife.

GRACE: OK. We need a flowchart for this family tree. But let me get this straight. Is Pamela Jessop -- is she in the home where these two girls are?

JESSOP: Well, I would imagine that she would be because the man that she`s married to is still real young and he would probably be living in the same home as his father, which I understand with his older brother is the case, and that`s why there`s a concern with the baby in question.

GRACE: We are taking your calls live. Out to Tara in Maryland. Hi, Tara.


GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The question I have is, these pictures that have come out of Warren Jeffs kissing a very young girl -- are these going to be enough -- oh, excuse me. Is this going to be enough evidence to go forward with the other FLDS members?

GRACE: Let`s unleash the lawyers. Joining us tonight out of New York, Alan Ripka, along what trial lawyer Pam Hayes. Alan Ripka, will this carry the day?

ALAN RIPKA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, I don`t know. I think that this picture is only about one individual, one child, maybe two, and not about hundreds. And as a result of it not being about hundreds, the appellate court will not be able to use that information to send anyone off the ranch.

GRACE: Interesting point, Pam Hayes, also a veteran trial lawyer -- Pam, the issue is that this one person happens to be this so-called cult prophet. He was nothing in my mind but a pervert after I`ve seen these photos. Long story short, this is who all of these families actually worship. They worship him. So if he can take a 12-year-old and a 13-year- old child bride, doesn`t this suggest to you, Pam Hayes, logically speaking, that that`s what is systematically done behind those compound walls?

PAM HAYES, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely, Nancy. The way I would try to get it in is, I would show some type of common scheme or plan, show that this is a tenet of their religion, where most of the families are required to embrace this type of behavior. Once you do that and you can show that is systematic, a court might entertain a motion just to have a Molonov (ph)-type theory that this is what they do, this is how they work, it starts up at the top and it goes down.

GRACE: But Pam, how old is your daughter now?

HAYES: Oh, Nancy, please! She`s 14. You know, I`d be on trial now if I had a crazy anywhere near her like that because they would be out.


HAYES: I can`t. It`s outrageous!

GRACE: And everybody just stands by and lets it happen. I want to go to psychologist and author Dr. Jeff Gardere. Dr. Gardere, the defense of all these women we`re showing right now is going to be -- if there ever is a criminal prosecution -- that they were brainwashed. They thought it was OK because that`s the way they were raised. Ignorance of the law is not a defense, Dr. Gardere.

JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST: It`s not a defense, but the truth of the matter is that these young girls, as we`ve seen, from birth are raised to understand that by the age of 12 or 13, that they must be willing spiritual brides. So that is real brainwashing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shocking photographs have surfaced showing former FLDS leader and self-proclaimed prophet Warren Jeffs kissing girls who appear to be minors, one girl alleged by Texas Child Protective Services to be Jeffs`s 12-year-old child bride.




JEFFS: I am hesitating while I`m giving this message as the Lord dictates these words to my mind and heart. I am not the prophet. I never was the prophet, and I have been deceived by the power powers of evil. The Lord told me to say, and I yearn for everyone`s forgiveness for my aspiring and selfish way of life, in deceiving the elect, breaking the new and everlasting covenant and being the most wicked man on the face of the earth in this last dispensation.


GRACE: Well, you can certainly say that again. Stunning photos of the prophet, Warren Jeffs, deep kissing a 12-year-old and a 13-year-old girl, one of them in their first wedding anniversary photos. She`s 12, and it`s her first anniversary? The other one shows him creepily cuddling a little girl, apparently carrying her over the threshold. Yet apparently, the Texas court of appeals is very happy with its ruling to send 400 children back to this type of treatment.

We are taking your calls live. To Teresa in Tennessee. Hi, Teresa.


GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want to know if any of the women or the children decided not to return to the ranch.

GRACE: Excellent question. To Michael Board with WOAI Newsradio. I know that six went to a safe house. What more can you tell me, Michael Board?

BOARD: Well, yes, many more have gotten hotels -- excuse me, not hotels, apartments or living quarters off of that compound in a bid to try to get temporary custody of their kids back. I know many of them have gotten apartments around here in the San Antonio area because they want to show the court that they`re trying to do everything they can to get their kids back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is it like without the children being here right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, it`s a sad feeling. It`s quiet. We need -- you know, we just love children. They`re beautiful things. They`re beautiful people.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no force here. Everyone has their choice to do exactly what they would like. There is no force. And we want the children and they want us. They are clean and pure, and this is the worst thing that has happened to them. They are learning terrible things just in the questions that are being asked, things that they have never been exposed to.


GRACE: Well, let`s take a look at what they have been exposed to, these stunning photos just released of the so-called prophet, Warren Jeffs, the man that all of these Yearning for Zion FLDS worshipers revere. He is their prophet. They worship him. And in these photos, he is shown very clearly deep kissing and cuddling a 12-year-old bride and a 13-year-old bride.

Out to the lines. Lynette in Pennsylvania. Hi, Lynette.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I just find it extremely ironic that they say that the government has no business getting into their business, but they have no problem living off of us, the taxpayers, by supporting them through Welfare and the Medicaid system and everything else. But they want us to stay out of their business. They only want us to support them and their children.

GRACE: To Carolyn Jessop, former wife of the YFZ leader Merrill Jessop. Are the women on government assistance?

JESSOP: Well, I don`t know about the YFZ. I know that the last figures I heard that were coming out of Colorado City and Hilldale, Utah, 60 percent of that community is on Welfare. It`s a substantial amount.

GRACE: Carolyn, these photos -- obviously, Warren Jeffs, their prophet is not afraid to be photographed basically molesting a child.

JESSOP: Well, I think that in Texas, they just thought they had these big walls up and I think they just got feeling comfortable. And they took their crime to another level, and then they`re obviously photographing it. They feel comfortable enough to photograph it now.



GRACE: A three-member panel of Texas judges has sent 400 children back behind compound walls. The FLDS cult religious group worshiped this man, shown in these newly released photos deep kissing a 12 and 13-year-old child bride.

There you have it. In one photo he is depicted apparently carrying one of them over the threshold. And everybody thought that was OK.

Out to Mike Brooks, former fed with the FBI, CPS, Child Protective Services, will not reveal where they got the photos. Why?

MIKE BROOKS, FMR. DC POLICE DET., SERVED ON FBI TERRORISM TASK FORCE: Well, Nancy, in case they got them from a source. Maybe some of those people who are in that safe house, they want to make sure that no retribution goes on any of their kids or relatives who might still be in that compound.

Nancy, this is not a cult. It`s a criminal conspiracy. He`s not a prophet, he`s a predator, plain and simple.

GRACE: And out to Pam Hayes and Alan Ripka, veteran trial lawyers joining us tonight, how do you, Pam Hayes, authenticate these photos?

PAM HAYES, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, first of all, that`s what your expert will do. If you could find the person in the photograph, you can ask her if she`s that person and then what you do is you just send it to a lab person who will tell you that that`s it.

GRACE: And also, Alan Ripka, there`s another layer. You have to be able to show, under the law, the approximate date, the locations, the circumstances surrounding this event that the people are who they depict to be. For instance, couldn`t Carolyn Jessop who knows both of these girls testify who`s in the photos?

ALAN RIPKA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, she could. She have to testify that she knew both people, she identified them, she knew them and what their approximate age was. And she probably couldn`t testify that it wasn`t edited, though, or digitally enhanced or change, Nancy.

GRACE: Let`s go out to the lines. Sue in New York, hi, Sue.

SUE, NEW YORK RESIDENT: Hi, Nancy. First, I want to say, you rock. You are my hero and your beautiful babies are blessed that they have you as their mom.

GRACE: Thank you.

SUE: My question is this: now that the appellate judges used their infinite wisdom to send these poor children back, what legal avenues do we have now that we can go down to try to get these children out of this nightmare that they`re forced to live in?

GRACE: To Michael Board with WOAI Newsradio, the state is appealing the three-judge panel decision, correct?

MICHAEL BOARD, REPORTER, WOAI NEWSRADIO: Yes, going to the state Supreme Court, and the state Supreme Court has already told the attorneys that are representing the mothers that they have until 9:00 tomorrow morning to submit their reasons why the case should be tried to see the way they see it.

And it`s important to remember that these photos of Warren Jeffs are not in play here. The only thing that these courts should be looking at, were the evidence that was presented at that first day in court that happened -- I can believe it`s early this month, late last month, whenever this all started.

These just came out last week so these photos should not be part of it. But all that evidence that came in to the court, all the bishop`s records showing these old men spiritually married, that will be part of it.

GRACE: Back out to the lines. Lisa in Texas, hi, Lisa.

LISA, TEXAS RESIDENT: Hi, Nancy, how are you?

GRACE: I`m good, dear, what`s your question?

LISA: Well, my question is, basically, if these children, God forbid, are returned back to their families, can the judges put retraining orders on these families to stay at least in the state of Texas where they can take of the.

GRACE: Lisa?

LISA: Yes?

GRACE: Lisa, do you know where a lot of these kids came from?

LISA: From different states.

GRACE: Exactly. I mean, sure, you can put a restraining order on the parents, Lisa in Texas, but the reality is they know what the law is, that`s why they are so secretive. And they violate the law systematically, according to Texas prosecutors. Do you really think, Jeff Gardere, that they would pay any attention to a restraining order?

JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST, AUTHOR OF "LOVE PRESCRIPTION": No, because they have their own laws and many of those laws come from their own culture which is to look at the outside world as being the enemy.

GRACE: And to Dr. Marty Makary, physician and professor of public health at Johns Hopkins -- Dr. Makary, thank you for being with us.

Question: a lot of these -- I don`t want to call them adults, they seem to be adults -- could actually be underage. Is there any way medically to tell the age of someone?

DR. MARTY MAKARY, PHYSICIAN, PROF. OF PUBLIC HEALTH, JOHNS HOPKINS: There`s no way to tell by looking at them or doing a test. But the DNA is going to tell us a lot, because if the mother is 26 years old and the daughter that matches to that mother is 13 years old, we know that that mother must have conceived that child at age 12 or 13.

GRACE: And the reality -- back to Michael Board -- is that a lot of the parents apparently have not shown up and I`m just wondering, these children that are coming from other ranches in other states, there`s no way they can match DNA up with them?

BOARD: Well, you have to remember, though, a lot of these people came from Hilldale, Utah and from Colorado City, Arizona. The FLDS basically runs those two cities. They own those two cities.

Nancy, how easy do you think it would be if you run a city to produce a birth certificate?

GRACE: Pretty easy.

Take a look at these photos. That one little girl aged 12 doesn`t even come up to Warren Jeff`s belly button, except, of course, here where he`s holding her, apparently carrying her over the threshold. That is his child bride. That is his child bride. People attended the wedding. Photographs were taken.

Look at this. Stunning photos just released.

Out to the lines, Lynn in North Carolina. Hi, Lynn.

LYNN, NORTH CAROLINA RESIDENT: Hi, Nancy. Mine`s more or less just a comment. The polygamists claim that they`re very religious and when it clearly states in the New Testament of the bible, one husband and one wife, and anything else is adultery, so I just don`t get it.

GRACE: Lynn, I`ve been trying to nail that down, whether they consider themselves Christians as in the New Testament Christians, Christianity, but apparently not.

Let`s go to Carolyn Jessop. Do they conveniently follow some of the New Testament rules, the ones that they like and just kind of pretend they don`t know about the rest?

CAROLYN JESSOP, AUTHOR OF "ESCAPE", FORMER WIFE OF YFZ LEADER MERRILL JESSOP: Well, we were taught when I was there that the bible was misinterpreted. I mean that -- you know, that it -- had been warped and it wasn`t correct and so it had to be interpreted by a prophet for us to understand what was right.

GRACE: Back out to the lines, to Theresa in Ohio. Hi, Theresa.

THERESA, OHIO RESIDENT: Hi, Nancy. My question is deals with the DNA.


THERESA: As far as -- if they didn`t do the DNA testing, if they didn`t submit to that, how do they know who they`re sending these kids back to?

GRACE: Michael, what about it? What about those people that did not submit to DNA testing?

BOARD: Well, that`s the state`s argument. As they say, they can`t return these kids back to the parents because they don`t know who the real moms and dads are. They were systematically lied to from the second they got on to that compound and they say there`s no way to tell who to give the kids back to. In that case they can`t legally give them back.

GRACE: I want to go back to Natalie Malonis. She`s a veteran trial lawyer joining us from Dallas, Texas, and she is an ad litem attorney for several of the FLDS children.

And I want to remind you once again, for all of you people that hate lawyers, and I completely understand that, that a lot of these lawyers are working for free, donating their time to help these children.

Back to Natalie Malonis, if you had to choose right now, what do you do with the children that you are representing? What are you asking the judge to do with them?

NATALIE MALONIS, ATTORNEY AD LITEM REPRESENTING SECT MOTHER PAMELA JESSOP: Well, if I had to make a decision right now today on the children I represent, I would have a great deal of trouble sending them back to their parents. I don`t think I could make that recommendation.

GRACE: You know, Natalie, I`m a new mother. I don`t want to see children that are loved by their parents ripped away from their parents.


GRACE: But the state of Texas is not being given an alternative because they`ll be going back into homes where these systematic child bride marriages, abuse of little boys, broken bones, is ordinary.

MALONIS: Right. That`s correct. And one of the big problems in this case is that the victims really don`t consider themselves victims so they`re not -- it`s difficult to help them.

GRACE: Joining us tonight, Natalie Malonis, trial lawyer out of Dallas, Texas, representing several of these children.

Everybody, when we come back, we`re taking your calls live.

Police race to an upscale San Diego home find a beloved elementary school counselor bludgeoned and brutally on the kitchen floor. Allegedly killer? The star of the high school basketball team, her own 14-year-old daughter.

But now we salute our troops.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like to say a salute to my son who is my hero, Specialist Michael Schmidt, who is currently serving over in Tikrit, Iraq with the 101st Airborne Unit. They`re currently stationed at Patrol Base Witka(ph).

Just want to say we love and miss you, Michael, and we couldn`t be any prouder of you. Please come home safe. You are greatly missed by me, your mom, your wife, your daughter, and your two nephews Madison and Erin, and your sister Erica.

We love you, Michael.





UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Police are trying to determine the motive behind the brutal killing of 56-year-old school counselor Rebecca D`Aoust.

D`Aoust`s14-year-old daughter was taken into custody and is now in juvenile hall on suspicion of murder. Police alleged the 14-year-old killed her mother with a hammer or another blunt object inside the family`s home Sunday morning.

D`Aoust`s husband and one of the couple`s other children awoke to the sound of a scream and called authorities, who discovered Douse on the kitchen floor.

After reviewing the evidence, the direct attorney`s office has decided to charge the 14-year-old as an adult.


GRACE: Incredible.

Out to Phil Farrar, news anchor and reporter with KOGO Radio joining us from San Diego. What happened, Phil?

PHIL FARRAR, NEWS ANCHOR & REPORTER, KOGO RADIO: Nancy, this is such a, such a sad case, a mother is dead, a family is devastated, divided and a 14-year-old`s life has changed forever.

We do know that this happened on Sunday morning and that is when police got the call. They believe it was from the 21-year-old daughter that was there, and as your report just said, the husband and the daughter were asleep and that`s when they received the phone call.

GRACE: This is incredible to me. Phil -- Phil joining us from KOGO Radio in San Diego -- Phil, I understand that she was found brutally bludgeoned in the kitchen floor, apparently with a hammer, although police are not confirming that at this juncture. Do we know if the attack occurred there had in the kitchen? Did it start in another room? What do police believe triggered the fatal attack?

FARRAR: What we do know, like I said, that, you know, they were asleep and those were the only two that were awake in this household. The police have been extremely tight lipped about this, so has the district attorney`s office because she is a minor.

And I`m not going to jump to conclusion, but they did find her, you know, bludgeoned with blood in that kitchen -- in that kitchen room.

GRACE: What do you mean you`re not going to jump to conclusions?

FARRAR: We don`t know if it happened someplace in another part of the room.

GRACE: Oh I see.

FARRAR: I mean of the house.

GRACE: Do we know of any suggestions the girl had a history of mental illness? I understand that she was shy and skilled, but she played on the basketball team. She obviously did well.

FARRAR: Played on the basketball team. The mother would show up at practices. The coach said that the mom would come in, you know, nicely dressed, talked to neighbors who said, you know, they hadn`t heard of any problems, that this was a family, a family indicative of this particular community.

If you all remember the fires here in San Diego in 2003 and 2007, this was an upscale community where the fires had touched and had burned -- this house, obviously, wasn`t touched -- but this is an upscale community. They did a lot of things together. They went camping, they went to church. There was no sign of this at all.

GRACE: So Jeff Gardere, while I am rocking my infant twins to sleep, what do I say, whisper in their ear, please don`t bludgeon mommy to death with a hammer when you`re 14? I mean, this is very unusual, parricide, slang parenticide. Not only unusual, but a girl as the killer.

GARDERE: That`s right, it is very rare. But I suspect what may have happened, there may have been a history between the mother and the daughter, some issue of teen rebellion. Maybe the girl had stayed out late or when she got home in the morning.

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. When I had teen rebellion, I tried to wear lipstick, I didn`t know I was putting concealer on my lips, but that was big rebellion. This is not teen rebellion.


GRACE: This is an alleged murder case.

GARDERE: Well, two things may.

GRACE: I can`t believe you even said this is teen rebellion.

GARDERE: Several things may have happened, but one thing that may have happened. We know that this girl was very quiet. And she was a star athlete. She did very well. But what we do know was she was not one who had gotten into fights before. It could have been she had been sitting on a lot of rage, a lot of anger, and there may have been a clash between her and her mother if she is, in fact, guilty of this. And.

GRACE: Jeff.

GARDERE: . what happened was it turned into a fight and.

GRACE: Jeff.

GARDERE: . the mother got killed.

GRACE: Jeff, on cross-examination, you are limited to yes, no answers. You are not given a chance to explain. My question to you on cross is, did I hear you just say this was teen rebellion?

GARDERE: Well, what I`m saying is.

GRACE: Yes, no?

GARDERE: . this may be part of a teen rebellion.

GRACE: Yes, I`m going to take that as a yes.

GARDERE: . where, in fact, there may have been.

GRACE: Thank you.

GARDERE: . a history where they were fighting, Nancy, and it led to something.

GRACE: I heard you.

GARDERE: . like this that went horribly wrong.

GRACE: Mike Brooks, police are still saying they`re not revealing or don`t know what the motive is. Do we care? Motive does not have to be proven by the state.

BROOKS: No, it doesn`t have to be proven by the state. I`m sure there`s enough physical evidence in that house, either maybe blood spatter on the suspect, blood spatter in the kitchen, or wherever the murder took - - or the assault, I should say, took place. They should have enough evidence like that.

And also, you know, with the 14-year-old girl, the statement she`s given them, if she is, in fact, cooperating with them at all.

GRACE: Out to the lines, Floyd in Pennsylvania. Hi, Floyd.

FLOYD, PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENT: Hi, Nancy. I love you and God bless your kids.

GRACE: Thank you.

FLOYD: I wanted to know, did they ever take a drug test on her to see if maybe she was on the influence (INAUDIBLE)?

GRACE: Excellent question. What about it, Phil Farrar?

FARRAR: We have not heard that. But one thing that we have heard, Nancy, and we cannot confirm or substantiate it, we have spoken -- I spoke to homicide detectives yesterday and today, she may have been adopted.

So that may have thrown a whole other wrench into this case, not only her but the other two sisters as well. But we just not -- have not been able to confirm it, although homicide detectives will not confirm it and they will not deny it.

GRACE: Out to the lawyers, Alan Ripka, Pam Hayes.

Pam, how do you go about questioning a 14-year-old murder suspect?

HAYES: Well, first of all, she`s not going to be answering any questions if she`s my client. I don`t know what`s wrong. Do they have a confession? I mean, I need a little more here than, you know, just saying she hit the girl -- she hit the mother in the head with the hammer.

GRACE: Out to Alan Ripka, she may have already talked.

RIPKA: Well, she may have, Nancy, but I want to say, how do you know this wasn`t self-defense? Usually what will happen here is a family member will come to the aid of a juvenile and together they`ll pick an attorney and they`ll make decisions about what -- you know, what they want to do and how they want to proceed.

But everyone here is jumping the gun as this girl is a murderer without knowing anything about what happened on (INAUDIBLE).

GRACE: OK. Let`s career that up.

Phil Farrar with KOGO, was there evidence of a second weapon, yes or no?

FARRAR: No. We have not heard that.

GRACE: All right. So.

FARRAR: We understand that the mother is an outstanding citizen.

GRACE: So if.

FARRAR: A counselor at the school.

GRACE: Just following up on Ripka`s discussion of self-defense, when somebody slaps you, Alan, you don`t have the right to defend yourself with a -- an assault rifle. So in light of the fact that there was only one weapon, this could not be legitimate self-defense. If there was another weapon, maybe.

RIPKA: Well, Nancy, hands are also weapons and if someone takes your head and bangs it against the wall and you grab a hammer off a table and swing it, that could be self-defense. And you just don`t know that yet.


GRACE: Out to Dr. Marty Makary from Johns Hopkins. Dr. Makary, she lingered for a while before she died. What type of suffering did she actually experience?

MAKARY: Well, whenever there`s a head injury, blood actually cumulates inside the skull and as that blood builds up it puts pressure on the brain and somebody will slowly pass out.

GRACE: Out to the lines, Tammy in New Mexico. Hi, Tammy.

TAMMY, NEW MEXICO RESIDENT: Hi. I want you to know you`re an inspiration to all of us.

Was this child still unseen at the time that police arrived? And if so, what was her demeanor?

GRACE: Tammy, thank you for what you said. And to Phil Farrar with KOGO, I assume she was still on the scene and was taken to a jail, not a hospital. That should tell me something about her demeanor.

FARRAR: Yes, Tammy, she was, and yes, Nancy, she was still on the scene and police picked her up later that day.

GRACE: Shawn in South Carolina, hi, Shawn.

SHAWN, SOUTH CAROLINA RESIDENT: Hey, how are you, Nancy?

GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?

SHAWN: I`m wondering if you know anything about the mother`s mental history.

GRACE: Excellent question. Phil?

FARRAR: What we know is the mother was a counselor at an elementary school and, you know, she was revered in the community. She, you know, went to bake sales and she walked around the community and everyone knew her and she went to church. We have not heard anything about mental illness with this woman.

GRACE: Tonight, Rebecca "Becky" D`Aoust, age 56, dead, from bludgeoning apparently with a hammer. Prime suspect, the star of the local basketball team, her own daughter.

Let`s stop and remember Army Staff Sergeant Robert Wilson, 28, Boynton Beach, Florida, killed, Iraq, on a third tour, awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Global War on Terrorism service medal, a respected leader with a strong work ethic, loved mentoring younger soldiers and telling a good joke. Leaves behind grieving parents, Willy and Peggy, two sisters, one brother.

Robert Wilson, American hero.

Thanks to our guests, but, as always, our biggest thank you is to you, for inviting all of us into your homes. And tonight a special good night and happy birthday to Florida friend of the show, Joe Feinberg.

Everybody, we`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern, and until then, good night, friend.