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Nancy Grace

Haleigh`s Dad Set to Testify against Misty; Ron Cummings to Take Plea Deal on Drug Charges

Aired May 17, 2010 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, Satsuma, Florida. A 5- year-old girl tucked into bed, five hours later, she`s gone. Daddy comes home from the night shift to find not a trace of little Haleigh. The last person to see her alive, new stepmother Misty Croslin, who goes on to flunk four polygraphs. Haleigh`s father, Ronald Cummings, and stepmother Croslin both booked, drug trafficking. Search teams, cadaver dogs, scuba divers, helicopters all comb the St. John`s River.

As the search for Haleigh`s entire body and for the murder weapon goes on, bombshell tonight. Is 5-year-old Haleigh`s father, Ronald Cummings, set to enter a plea of guilty in exchange for testifying against his own ex, Haleigh`s stepmom Misty Croslin? Why are prosecutors reportedly willing to cut decades off Cummings`s jail sentence? What does he know? And tonight, a stunning call from behind jailhouse walls, a call that could crack the case wide open.


RONALD CUMMINGS, HALEIGH`S FATHER: I know somebody took my little girl! Some sorry piece of trash that will be wasted when it`s all over!

MISTY CROSLIN, HALEIGH`S BABY-SITTER: I don`t know where she is!

CUMMINGS: It`s hard to believe that she don`t know more, but it`s also hard to believe that if she did know more, she ain`t already talking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ronald Cummings may testify against his ex- wife, Misty Croslin.

CUMMINGS: Especially if they got her locked up like they got me, man.

FLORA HOLLARS, MISTY`S GRANDMOTHER: They`d only known one another for four months.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to affiliate WESH, Cummings accepted a plea deal in exchange for his testimony against Croslin and her brother.

CUMMINGS: I`ll get it for you. No problem. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) two weeks, I can make the money to pay for them and eat it myself.

HOLLARS: To me, that was a staged marriage to keep from testifying against each other, but they found out real quick that it don`t work in Florida.

CUMMINGS: I pulled into the yard. The front door was wide open. She was standing in it. I asked her what she was doing up. She said that the back doctor was wide open and Haleigh was gone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Under the deal, Cummings will have to serve 15 years behind bars.

CUMMINGS: I don`t know if you do Roxies or whatever. I can get them, but they`re (EXPLETIVE DELETED) expensive.


CUMMINGS: I don`t care if they get me with injustifiable homicide. I don`t care. If I find out what happened to young`un, it doesn`t matter to me. It`d be worth life without parole or the death penalty or whatever.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us.

Tonight, is there a deal in the works? Is 5-year-old Haleigh`s father, Ronald Cummings, set to enter a plea of guilty in exchange for testifying against his own ex, Haleigh`s stepmother, Misty Croslin?


CUMMINGS: Somebody stole my child out of my bed!

I want to know, if she knows anything, what she does know.

This is my heart. And somebody stole my heart from me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ronald Cummings may testify against his ex- wife, Misty Croslin, in a drug case.

CUMMINGS: How the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) can you let my daughter get stole, (EXPLETIVE DELETED)!

MISTY CROSLIN: I still love him.

LISA CROSLIN, MISTY`S MOTHER: I know you do, baby.

CUMMINGS: We need to find my daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According to WESH, Cummings accepted a plea deal in exchange for his testimony against Croslin and also her brother.

MISTY CROSLIN: I would have woke up if I heard any noise, and I didn`t hear anything at all.

CUMMINGS: I don`t think Misty holds any information that`s going to find Haleigh.

You got some good dope or something?


CUMMINGS: I like to get high. That`s why I was asking if you had any powder to let me know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Under this deal, Cummings will serve 15 years in prison.

CUMMINGS: This is a setback in my life that when I come out, will remind me, you know, what I -- what I should be -- should be doing and not what I was doing or whatever.

The two of us have agreed to go separate ways. We can`t go anywhere without being questioned or people staring at us or anything like that.

GRACE: For the first time, I don`t believe you. I think you do suspect your ex-wife`s -- soon-to-be ex-wife`s story. Why? I don`t know that yet, but I`ll find out.


GRACE: Is Ronald Cummings, the man that has been on this show many, many times begging for help in finding his daughter, a man now behind bars on drug trafficking -- you`ve seen his involvement on undercover police pinpoint video taken from inside an undercover car. We`re going to show you that in just a few moments. But is he set to take a greatly reduced guilty plea in exchange for testifying against Misty Croslin?

There you see Ronald Cummings in the back seat. Rosie, can you open up the sound on that for me? We`re trying to get the sound for you on this video. This is secret police surveillance take within pinpoint camera. You hardly hear Ronald Cummings say a word. In nearly every one of these dope deals, Misty Croslin is running the show.

Out to Art Harris, investigative journalist at Art, what do you know?

ART HARRIS, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Nancy, Ronald Cummings has taken a plea deal to serve 15 years in prison -- decades less than he would have had he gone to trial to face three charges of trafficking -- to testify against his ex-wife, Misty, and his former brother-in-law, Tommy Croslin, in the drug charges. This seriously gives prosecutors in the Haleigh Cummings case a tremendous bit of leverage, Nancy, to try to crack her under more pressure.

GRACE: Out to Marlaina Schiavo, our producer on the story. Marlaina, it`s my understanding the plea deal is not yet confirmed. Now, this has been in the works for some time now, many, many weeks. But as of right now, has he gone in front of a judge and taken the deal? Has he put his testimony in writing, that we know of?

MARLAINA SCHIAVO, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Not just yet, but almost. His attorney, Ronald`s attorney, Terry Shoemaker, says that this deal is in the works. He is supposed to go to trial on July 19th, but Terry said he`s going to meet with prosecutors this week, hopefully, and get this deal done, Nancy.

GRACE: OK, what date is the trial date, Marlaina?

SCHIAVO: July 19.

GRACE: July 19th. Well, there`s nothing like a trial date to get a guilty plea in the works. I would go for months with something on the trial calendar, come Monday morning, the defense attorneys would be lined up on the courthouse steps, everybody trying to get a plea deal because sentencing much harsher after a trial.

Let`s unleash the lawyers. Joining us tonight, Eleanor Odom, felony prosecutor who has tried many death penalty cases. Also with us, John Burris, famed attorney out of San Francisco. Also with us, Alan Ripka, defense attorney, New York.

Before we go to the lawyers, Ellie Jostad, what more can you tell me about the possibility Ronald Cummings is entering a plea of guilty?

ELLIE JOSTAD, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Well, Nancy, Ron Cummings is facing five trafficking charges. Now, the mandatory minimums on those charges vary, depending on how much of the drug he`s accused of selling. What we`re hearing is that he is going to plead to the three lesser charges. One of them carries a three-year mandatory minimum, the other two charges 15 years. What gets dropped in exchange are two charges for more -- more drugs, a larger amount of drugs. Each of those carries a 25-year mandatory minimum. So he`s getting a lot shaved off his jail time if he testifies for the state.

GRACE: And when you say 15 years, Ellie, it sounds to me like pleading guilty on a couple of counts is all going to run concurrent. In other words...

JOSTAD: Right.

GRACE: ... at the same time, when a judge could stack it consecutively, 15 years and 15 years and 15 years, so total a large, like, 45, 50 years of jail time?

JOSTAD: Right. That`s right, Nancy. That`s what Terry Shoemaker, Ronald Cummings`s attorney, is hoping, that he could get out in about 15 years.

GRACE: We are taking your calls live. Take a listen to Ronald Cummings in the police undercover car in the middle of a drug deal.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to -- you want to hop in?

MISTY CROSLIN: Baby, get in. Get in. Who is that?

CUMMINGS: Unlock the door.


MISTY CROSLIN: I know that`s somebody. I know that (INAUDIBLE) somebody. I know her. I just don`t know who she is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve got them -- I`ve got them -- 10 in little -- little (INAUDIBLE) baggies, if you want to count them up real quick and make sure they`re all (EXPLETIVE DELETED) there.

CUMMINGS: I`m positive they are, man. I`m sure you...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s 100 there, should be 100 there.


MISTY CROSLIN: ... 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 in there. There`s 100 in there.

CUMMINGS: Got 100 in here. If they`re all in -- if they`re all in 10-packs, there`s 100.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. There should be...



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So just whenever. I mean...

CUMMINGS: It should be -- it`s going to take a couple days for me to get rid of 200 of them now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I mean -- I mean, I -- I mean, I got -- I got two weeks to play with it, so I mean (EXPLETIVE DELETED) two weeks, whatever.

CUMMINGS: OK. I`ll get it for you. No problem. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) two weeks, I can make the money to pay for them and eat it myself.




CUMMINGS: Hang on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, do me a favor...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the ground! Get on the ground! Go, go, go, go, go!



MISTY CROSLIN: Just going to ride right here by the school.


MISTY CROSLIN: Sorry -- $190.


CUMMINGS: Yes, $7 apiece. It`s actually $189.

MISTY CROSLIN: Well, yes, $189.

CUMMINGS: For 27 of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For 27 of them?



MISTY CROSLIN: You`re going to have to probably give me the money right here.



GRACE: You know, they act like they`re counting out jellybeans at the candy counter at Sears and Roebuck.

Eleanor Odom, John Burris, Alan Ripka, get ready. We`re taking calls. First to Stephanie in Missouri. Hi, Stephanie. I think I`ve got Stephanie with me. Rosie, can you hook me up with Stephanie in Missouri?


GRACE: Hi, dear. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I just want to touch on two different things...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... that`s really been bothering me.

GRACE: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first one is the visit, the timely visit of Joe. You know, was this a planned trip he had there, OK? And then the second one is, you know, maybe Joe and Misty have some sort of incestual (SIC) relationship and Haleigh might have woken up and caught them and said she was going to tell her daddy.

GRACE: OK. Stephanie, Missouri, I think your first question is very good. Second one about incest -- don`t have a scintilla, a shred of evidence to support that. But I want to go back to your question about, Was Joe Overstreet`s visit planned? What do we know, Art Harris?

HARRIS: I can tell you that investigators have looked into that because that was the big question. Did he leave right after Haleigh went missing? And they learned that he had plans to go there and then plans to leave that day. He went down with a friend who was a young woman named Jennifer...

GRACE: So it was pre-planned?

HARRIS: Pre-planned.

GRACE: OK. Lawyers, Eleanor Odom, John Burris, Alan Ripka. First to you, John Burris. He`s got all the reason in the world to testify against Misty Croslin. If the allegations are true, she and her relatives are responsible for the death, likely the murder of his little girl. Why shouldn`t he testify?

JOHN BURRIS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think he should, and I think he will testify. And I think that`s part of the agreement. The question is, what does he really have to offer to testify about?

GRACE: What about it, Eleanor Odom?

BURRIS: I mean, he...

ELEANOR ODOM, PROSECUTOR: Well, I think it`s good. The person who comes and admits guilt first gets the better deal, and there he is putting pressure on Misty.

GRACE: What about it, Alan Ripka?

ALAN RIPKA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He`s saving 20 years, so he has to do it, no matter what?

GRACE: Is Ronald Cummings set to enter a plea of guilty in exchange for testimony on what he knows about the night his 5-year-old daughter went missing? She`s never been seen alive since.


CUMMINGS: I`m not hiding anything for anybody. And if somebody had something to do with it, let them fry.

HOLLARS: Joe. I`ve been knowing this all along. I knew it was him.

MISTY CROSLIN: Youthful offender? I would do it. I would take it. Three years in and four years out? I`ll take it. I`ll take it and run.

HOLLARS: I just hope and pray that the child was already dead before she hit that water.




CUMMINGS: I want to get to the bottom of what happened. One way or another, I want my daughter to come home.

MISTY CROSLIN: I woke up and she was gone!

CUMMINGS: I come home from work, and my child was not there.

How the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) can you let my daughter get stole, (EXPLETIVE DELETED)!

MISTY CROSLIN: Me being in jail has nothing to do with Haleigh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The investigators have had an effect on her.

LISA CROSLIN: I see the smile.

MISTY CROSLIN: I need to just sit here and do what I got to do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s not going to crack.


HOLLARS: And it`s the story that Misty`s saying?

TOMMY CROSLIN: Yes, but it -- yes, that`s it.



HANK CROSLIN, MISTY`S FATHER: You tell them where Haleigh is and bring Haleigh home.

MISTY CROSLIN: I can`t just bring her home, you know?

CUMMINGS: Not a retirement plan, but an extra kick right now.

HANK CROSLIN: Well, you just fell into their game, Ronald and their game. Should`ve never been with Ronald in the first place.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s going to put a great amount of pressure on both Tom Croslin and Misty Croslin to come forward and tell the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you do for a living, ma`am?


I put her to bed and -- about 8:00 o`clock, and the back door was wide open.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bottom line, you don`t know where Haleigh is.

MISTY CROSLIN: Bottom line.

That`s what they think, I`m going to break? There`s nothing to break me on!

CUMMINGS: This (EXPLETIVE DELETED) will drive you crazy. This place ain`t but the size of two sheets of plywood.

MISTY CROSLIN: Over where that guy`s walking, I`m going to have you stop a little bit back here, and I`m going to get out of the car and walk.


MISTY CROSLIN: Because he don`t like seeing new people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t want to meet nobody new, either.

MISTY CROSLIN: Let us out right here and we`ll walk up there. Come on, Hope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. You want us just to hang out right here?

MISTY CROSLIN: Yes. Just go and -- go down and turn around...

CUMMINGS: We`ll go up here and turn around and come back, man. I`ll ride with you. Let me up front. (INAUDIBLE) in the back (INAUDIBLE) Slow down when you go past them. Let me just ask them where I`m going to meet them at. Hey! Hey! Where -- how far down y`all got to go?


CUMMINGS: We`re going to -- we`re going to pick you up right back right there.


GRACE: Tonight, reports that Ron Cummings, the father of 5-year- old Haleigh, is set to plead guilty in exchange for his testimony against stepmother Misty Croslin, his own ex-wife. We are taking your calls. This as a letter that allegedly comes from behind jailhouse walls said to crack the case wide open. Tell me about the letter, Art Harris.

HARRIS: Nancy, I can tell that you Misty has written a letter to her sister-in-law, Chelsea Croslin, up in Massachusetts, and it goes over in much more detail than she has before, according to what Chelsea told me, the details of that night and discusses -- and discusses going down to the river, trying to identify the dock that police took her to as the one that Tommy supposedly took her to, to show her where they threw Haleigh off.

GRACE: OK. Who`s got the letter, Art?

HARRIS: Chelsea Croslin has the letter.

GRACE: Has anybody seen...

HARRIS: Law enforcement has a copy of the letter.

GRACE: OK, so cops have a copy of the letter?


GRACE: Why don`t they have the actual letter?

HARRIS: Well, they see, everything that goes in and out of that jail, and they can do with it what they want. They -- they have the letter, Nancy. So...

GRACE: OK, but you`re sure the cops have the letter?

HARRIS: That`s what I`ve been told.

GRACE: Now, Art, isn`t it true that they were trying to sell the letter?

HARRIS: Well, I`ve been told that they would like to trade the letter for a used car to go back and forth to school and to work, that they don`t have a car that works right now.

GRACE: So bottom line, they are trying to sell the letter?

HARRIS: Correct.

GRACE: OK. Eleanor Odom, John Burris, Alan Ripka. John Burris, doesn`t that devalue the letter? I mean, if we can prove it came from behind jailhouse walls, fine. If cops intercepted it and made a copy of it, fine. But if not, how I do know this isn`t just some letter that the family fabricated to try to sell?

BURRIS: I agree with that. I mean, any time you have something from the jailhouse, you have to be suspicious of it in the first place unless you can authenticate it. I`d have real questions about this, frankly.

GRACE: Eleanor?

ODOM: You can authenticate it by using handwriting analysis. An expert witness can tell who wrote that letter.

GRACE: And Alan Ripka, is every letter and every phone call coming out of a jail fair game for law enforcement?

RIPKA: Absolutely fair game. Law enforcement can use it to prosecute and do with it what they will.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s your relationship with Misty?

CUMMINGS: There really isn`t a relationship, you know? Just, I guess, ex-wife-slash friend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, do me a favor...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the ground! Get on the ground! Go, go, go, go!




911 OPERATOR: 911. What`s your emergency?

MISTY CROSLIN: I -- I just woke up and our back door was open, and I can`t find my daughter.

911 OPERATOR: You can`t find what?

MISTY CROSLIN: Our daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say Misty was the last person to see the 6-year-old, and they have always accused her of not telling them everything about what happened that night.

MISTY CROSLIN: If I had something to do with it, if I knew where she was, we wouldn`t be sitting here today. We would have her.

CUMMINGS: Well, we don`t want to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) with him no more anyway if he don`t do good business. That`s the end of that.

When I find out, if I find out before the police, it`s going to be done for them. Done dealing. I`ll have satisfaction knowing that I got the person who stole my daughter from me.


GRACE: We are taking your calls live. Out to Jessie in Nevada. Hi, Jessie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Thank you for taking my call.

GRACE: Thank you for calling in, dear. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have two short questions.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did Ron and Misty meet? And why did they get married so soon?

GRACE: Good question. What do you know about it, Art Harris?

HARRIS: I can tell you that they met one day when Ron was at the bus stop to pick up his daughter, that Misty was walking with her family. He was standing next to a neighbor named Jerry Santos (ph). And all of a sudden, Ron remarked, Look at that girl. Isn`t she hot? And Ron (SIC) said, yes, Ron, if you like 15, it`ll get you 20. So she was very young, looked very young, and he was very surprised that this was someone Ron was attracted to. Next thing you know, they were -- they were together.

GRACE: Leonard Padilla, bounty hunter who offered to bail Ron Cummings out from behind bars -- Leonard, what do you think of the reports that have now surfaced Ronald Cummings now set to plead guilty in exchange for his testimony against Misty Croslin?

LEONARD PADILLA, BOUNTY HUNTER: Well, Nancy, that situation started about three, maybe four weeks ago. And at that time, I had to cool my jets on bailing him out because there was a bail reduction schedule, and one thing would have led to another. And there was some thought in my mind that he might follow up with his threat to get out of jail. And there was also some thoughts that it might mess up his plea bargain that he had going. So at that time, I decided to back off. And it looks like the plea bargain is going to go through as far as Ron and his deal with the DA.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Misty has been deceptive. Her stories don`t make sense. The key to this case lies with her.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Ronald Cummings may testify against his ex-wife, Misty Croslin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police have always that -- you know, first, you know, if you divorce Misty, you know, we`ll find something out. You know, she`ll crack.

MISTY CROSLIN, FORMER STEPMOM/BABYSITTER OF HALEIGH CUMMINGS: I don`t want a divorce. But heck, that`s what he wants. So whatever. I`m not going to fight him.

RONALD CUMMINGS, FATHER OF HALEIGH CUMMINGS: He said she didn`t give two (EXPLETIVE DELETED) about her brother, her mama, her daddy. Nobody,. When I talked about you being locked up, she started pouring them. And they were real.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They told him, you know, if Misty got in trouble, if Misty was in jail, we could probably get her to crack.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the ground. Get on down. Get on down!

CUMMINGS: They went to the jail and was talking to her and Jason said man, I`ve never seen her cry. Real tears. You know she always has to jerk a tear out. Jason said no, man, this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) was like pouring. And you know what when it started? And I said when? He said when we started about you being locked up and losing Junior.

M. CROSLIN: When Haleigh`s found I will be let out of jail because that`s the only reason they`re keeping me in here. The only reason they set me up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, like I told her earlier, I`ll just give you a call when I`m done out there and start hearing this way and we`ll see what`s up at that point.

M. CROSLIN: All right.

CUMMINGS: Yes, if I can`t -- I mean I don`t know if you do Roxies or whatever. I can get them. But they`re (EXPLETIVE DELETED) expensive.



NANCY GRACE, HOST: Out to the lines, Harriet in Florida. Hi, Harriet.

HARRIET, CALLER FROM FLORIDA: Hi, Miss Nancy. How are you?

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

HARRIET: Well, I have a comment. One, one of the questions brought up was Haleigh has got a little purple fuzzy hat and that reminds me so much of that little girl that John Couey killed and buried or buried alive.

And the other, I think Joe Overstreet is the most important person in this case. I think he has done it. I think he has used these other people, but they are idiots. But anyway, I hear you`re from Macon and I was born there.


GRACE: So you`re a Macon girl. I miss it.


GRACE: Harriet, it`s really interesting what you`re saying about Overstreet, because out of the three, he`s the only one that`s not behind bars right now. And I wonder how much they are using him as a scapegoat or how much he`s actually involved.

To Ellie Jostad. Ellie, what do you make of it? Because here we`ve got Ronald Cummings set to testify against his ex -- stepmother Misty Croslin -- but we hear little out of Joe Overstreet.

ELLIE JOSTAD, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER, COVERING STORY: Right, Nancy. And Joe Overstreet`s name actually came up just within a few days of Haleigh`s disappearance. And at the time, police told us they checked him out, they`d interviewed him a couple of times.

I think it was even the FDLE or the FBI that may have also talked to him and we have heard repeatedly, he is not a suspect, he is not a person of interest.

GRACE: But for all I know, Ellie, they`ve got a tap on every line he`s got.

And to Andrew J. Scott, former chief of police, Boca Raton, VP, Scott- Roberts and Associates, what about tapping a cell phone? Isn`t that possible, too?

ANDREW J. SCOTT, FMR. CHIEF OF POLICE, BOCA RATON, FL.; VP OF SCOTT- ROBERTS AND ASSOCIATES, LLC: Oh, very easily. It is quite capable and they should be doing it, and if they haven`t, I think it`s a good move, but they can very easily do that, Nancy. It`s not a problem.

GRACE: Because they keep saying Joe Overstreet is not a suspect. They are probably watching him, listening to every phone call he makes, seeing correspondence he sends back and forth if he is corresponding to anybody behind jailhouse walls.

What do you think, Andrew?

SCOTT: Oh, I think so. I think that anybody that was at least a person of interest probably is going to have some type of surveillance being done on them, either electronically or physical or both, and it would make sense to do all of that because somewhere along the line they`re going to get some good information.

GRACE: Now here is what Tommy Croslin has to say about with cousin Joe Overstreet.




T. CROSLIN: I said he`s got to pay for it.

HOLLARS: He`s got to pay for it. He`s got to pay for it, he says.

T. CROSLIN: He can`t hurt nobody.

HOLLARS: He can`t hurt nobody. Do you know, Tommy?

T. CROSLIN: What`s that?

HOLLARS: Do you know?

T. CROSLIN: All I know is that he`s got to pay and he can`t get to none of us so it don`t matter.

HOLLARS: He`s got to pay and he can`t get to none of you all so it don`t matter, but get his lawyer there.

She said is it you or is it somebody else?

T. CROSLIN: It ain`t me. No. It`s not me. She should know that.

HOLLARS: It`s not him. It`s not him.


GRACE: So, how is it -- is it just convenient, Eleanor Odom, that they are blaming Overstreet? He`s the only one not behind bars. Police seem to think the other two are more important.

ELEANOR ODOM, PROSECUTOR: Exactly. And remember, Misty is the key, as we have said so many times, and she was actually at the trail that night. She knows what happened to little Haleigh and she`s not talking.

The cops are probably letting Joe be out and about and doing his own thing so they can do a lot of surveillance on him.

GRACE: To Art Harris, investigative journalist. Art, I want to, A, go back to that letter but first, if this is correct, if Ronald Cummings is set to enter a plead of guilty in exchange for his testimony against Misty Croslin, the stepmother, what would he know? He wasn`t there that evening.

ART HARRIS, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST, ARTHARRIS.COM: Exactly, Nancy. The question is what leverage could Ron possibly have other than trickling down and touching Misty`s heart? As the officer told him, he`s the only thing that makes her cry. And she`s got him tattooed right above her lower back.

GRACE: OK, thanks, Art, for that little tidbit. To Terry in Maryland, hi, Terry.


GRACE: Hi, dear. What is your question?

TERRY: Yes, Cousin Joe. He`s not listed as a suspect and the authorities questioned him. Why didn`t they give him a lie detector test to see if he passed or failed and they would learn more about the case because I think he would fail?

GRACE: Well, Terry in Maryland, I think he knows more than he is telling. I`m not convinced that Misty Croslin is telling the truth about his involvement. But regarding the lie detector, you cannot force a suspect or a defendant, a person of interest onto a lie detector. You absolutely can cannot under our Constitution. Isn`t that right, Ripka?

ALAN RIPKA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right. They are not required to take a lie detector test. One may think that he`d want to to show he`s innocent, but he doesn`t have to.

GRACE: What about it, Burris? How often do you hook up one of your clients to a lie detector test?

JOHN BURRIS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It depends on what I think they`re guilty or not.


GRACE: So give me a number.

BURRIS: Well, I don`t do that. I don`t do that --

GRACE: Give me a ballpark number.

BURRIS: I don`t do that.

GRACE: I bet you in all your years of practice which has got to be at least, at least 20, at least. I bet you haven`t hooked up to --

BURRIS: I have people. No, I have not hooked up 20 people, you`re absolutely right. And --

GRACE: No way.

BURRIS: And generally --

GRACE: Because, hey, you don`t want to know the answer, huh?

BURRIS: Well, three to four people, I certainly have. No, if I think a person can be cleared, I definitely will hook them up and try to give that to the district attorney`s confidence so I have done that in more than one --

GRACE: So you`re telling me you`ve had less than 20 people you thought were innocent that you represented?

BURRIS: No, I haven`t said that. But you know, sometimes it makes --


GRACE: I can add, all right? I do know a little math on this end. OK. Out to the lines. Angela, Ohio. Hi, Angela.

ANGELA, CALLER FROM OHIO: Hi there. I can`t believe I`m on here. I just love you and when I don`t get to see you, I`m recording you.

GRACE: Thank you for calling in, dear. What`s your question?

ANGELA: I have some question and actually some comments.


ANGELA: Misty knows the system. I mean you can just tell a bad person when you are around them, you know? And the way she manipulates her mother, she -- like her mother agrees with everything. Like I see that smile and yes, I know, honey, it will be all right. And she just agreed and that makes me sick to my stomach. You know and --

GRACE: Well, you remember she was trying to get her mother to give up her house payment to try to bond her out. Remember that phone call? Go ahead, Angela.

ANGELA: OK. And if Ronald Cummings is going to testify against her, then he had to have known something, right? I mean --

GRACE: Well, he may know things that happened afterwards. There may be things that she told him, inconsistent statements. It could be a number of things, right, Eleanor, without him being involved in the murder?

ODOM: Exactly. And he probably knows, as you said, about her actions and can testify as to that so I think this plea deal is just to put pressure on for a later case, perhaps a murder case.

GRACE: To Dr. Janet Taylor, psychiatrist and MD, now that Croslin is hearing behind bars that her true love, Ron Cummings, is going to testify against her, what direction -- in which direction will that push her?

DR. JANET TAYLOR, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, it`s got to push her to one of instability, because as we have heard, he was her rock and I`m sure she`s very shocked that he`s going to do that but hopefully, maybe it`ll put the pressure on her to finally tell the truth.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s like looking for a needle in a haystack.

M. CROSLIN: There was nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were willing to take the effort to look for that needle.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST; FMR. D.C. POLICE DET., FBI TERRORISM TASK FORCE: Who was with her, the last person with her? She was.

CUMMINGS: I still got one pending that`s assault with a deadly weapon, charge pending and I never -- I didn`t even -- my guns were at home are locked up in a gun cabinet, dude.




M. CROSLIN: Ronald`s family is not as good as everybody think they are.

CUMMINGS: I have been slandered into a sorry father.

M. CROSLIN: They all take pills. They all do (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Haleigh`s father Ronald Cummings is trying to arrange a plea deal on his drug charges.

CUMMINGS: I was a dope boy and I must have ripped somebody off.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: According to affiliate (INAUDIBLE), Cummings accepts a plea deal in exchange --

CUMMINGS: This is between me and you and whoever`s listening to our recording.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Croslin`s in jail waiting to be tried on drug charges. She is the last person --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: In exchange for testifying against his ex-wife, Misty Croslin.

CUMMINGS: I`m not hiding anything for anybody.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And former brother-in-law, Tommy Croslin.

CUMMINGS: If somebody has something to do with it, so be it. Who ever it might be.

M. CROSLIN: I would never hurt her.

CUMMINGS: That is who it is.

BROOKS: What does Ronald know in this, too?

HOLLARS: Her and Ron had fought that day.

CUMMINGS: I know she was the last one to see her.

HOLLARS: And she told him she didn`t want to babysit.

M. CROSLIN: They look at me like their mom.

HOLLARS: And he told her, yes, you are going to babysit.

TERESA NEVES, HALEIGH CUMMINGS` MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER: My grandchildren loved Misty and that Misty love my grandchildren.

HOLLARS: I think he knows more than what he is saying.

CUMMINGS: I don`t think that she holds any information that`s going to find Haleigh.

HOLLARS: The fact that leaving those kids there with her and her still having pills.

CUMMINGS: Nobody knows whether it`s a psycho or sicko.

HOLLARS: Would you leave your kids with somebody that`s all doped up?

CUMMINGS: I know somebody took my little girl. A sorry piece of trash that will be wasted with when it`s all over. Somebody stole my child out of my bed. I come home from work and my -- my child was not there.


GRACE: Ronald Cummings, is he set to plead guilty in exchange for his testimony about stepmother, Misty Croslin, his ex-wife, the last one to see little Haleigh alive?

We are taking your calls. Out to the lines, Blaire, North Carolina. Hi, Blaire.


GRACE: Hi, dear, I`m good. Thank you for calling in. What is your question?

BLAIRE: I`m just -- I have two questions and I have a serious comment. My first comment is, how in this -- excuse my French -- how the hell can you sit there and walk arm in arm with the -- the last person that just seen your child alive?

I`m sorry, I don`t agree with the man putting his hands on a woman but when it comes down to your child that`s a whole other story. I`m sorry there is no possible way I can see myself arm in arm, even with my husband, if I think that something even a little bit happened to my child in his care.

And also, I just don`t understand how he`s not a suspect in this case because of simply because of that and his demeanor. I mean you`re a father --

GRACE: OK. With your first comment, I agree. With your question, I`ll tell you how he is not a suspect that we know of.

BLAIRE: Mm-hmm.

GRACE: He was punched into work at the time she went missing. We know what time he went to work and while he was at work, a relative -- a believable relative -- came to the home. He was not there. He was at work.

Only there as an adult was Misty Croslin. His employer has been questioned. He did not leave his place of business to go home. So he was gone -- what was it, Ellie Jostad -- from that afternoon until 3:00 in the morning.

And she -- Haleigh was alive and well when the relative came to visit around 7:30 p.m. Ellie?

JOSTAD: Yes, that`s right, Nancy. It was, I believe, the grandmother who had been there earlier in the evening. She said she saw the kids. They -- she brought in some lawn drill, the kids had dinner, everything was fine at that point.

GRACE: I want to go to Dr. Glenn Kolansky, board certified physician. Dr. Kolansky joining us out of New York.

Dr. Kolansky, it was stated by one of the persons of interest that Haleigh`s murder occurred in the home. There is no DNA that we have learned about that points in that direction. Could both things be true that there is no DNA evidence and that she was murdered in the home?

DR. GLENN KOLANSKY, M.D., BOARD CERTIFIED PHYSICIAN: Well, certainly she could have been murdered in the home and basically I believe another family moved into that home. Certainly they could have lean cleaned up DNA evidence. Certainly, you know -- anything like the fingerprints or any kind of body fluids. It`s easy to remove those with simple cleaning fluids. Basically, we really have no idea.

GRACE: Well, I`m just thinking about a different kind of cause of death, Eleanor.

ODOM: Yes, something like strangulation, Nancy, wouldn`t necessarily leave body fluid that they could test for DNA. So yes, there are causes of death that you wouldn`t leave a trace there in the trailer.

GRACE: And another thing -- out to you, John Burris -- you know, a lot of people have tried to get rid of blood DNA with various household cleaners and you practically have to pull out something akin to muriatic acid. It`s a very strong chemical additive to get rid of DNA.

It`s very hard to get rid of. You can even put bleach on it. It can break it down, but it can`t get rid of it.

BURRIS: Well, I agree. I don`t know that you can easily get are rid of it. And I think that, you know, you can overlook it initially. And so it could be there and you don`t know. But there are certain kind of death that are caused where you don`t necessarily leave it in the first place. So I think that point is right.

GRACE: You know, Marlaina Schiavo, we`ve also been told that Tom Croslin wants a deal, wants a plea deal but prosecutors don`t have anything to do with him.

MARLAINA SCHIAVO, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER, COVERING STORY: Yes. According to his attorney, Jim Werter, he wants a plea deal also but they will not negotiate with him, Nancy.

He wouldn`t say why he wouldn`t but it probably had something to do with the fact that all the information he`s provided --

GRACE: That they think he is guilty?


GRACE: Because take a look at it, Eleanor. Out of the three behind bars -- you`ve got Ron Cummings, the father, Misty Croslin, the stepmother and Tom Croslin, the relative -- he is the only one who`s getting a deal. That says to me cops don`t think he`s implicated in Haleigh`s murder.

ODOM: Exactly, Nancy. And if Tommy Croslin wanted to plea guilty so badly, he could do that. Nothing is to stop him from pleading guilty to the drug charges whatsoever. He`ll just take what the judge gives him at that point because there is no plea deal on the table.

GRACE: Tonight, breaking news, is Ronald Cummings set to plead guilty to exchange for testimony against his ex-wife, Misty Croslin, and the disappearance of their 5-year-old girl Haleigh?

As we go to break, thoughts and prayers to Georgia friend, Jo Horn, just coming out of surgery.

Jo, get well.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are starting to talk.

M. CROSLIN: It`s, you know, it`s so hard to talk. It`s going to hurt two people. Use your head and you`ll know.

HANK CROSLIN, MISTY CROSLIN`S FATHER: It`s hard to destroy her right now. She`s just an 18-year-old girl. Give her a break.

CUMMINGS: All we want is my child. That`s it. I just want my daughter back.

I would love for whatever sorry piece of trash took my child to hand her over to someone who will hand her to proper authorities and she can get back to me because this is my heart and somebody stole my heart from me.


GRACE: Out to bounty hunter Leonard Padilla, joining us out of Sacramento, California.

So, Leonard, you say this plea deal with Ronald Cummings has been in the work for sometime. About a month, right?



GRACE: What do you believe Ronald Cummings has to offer at trial -- at a murder trial?

PADILLA: Well, I don`t think it`s so much what he has to offer at a trial. It`s the thought that Misty has to have in her mind and Tommy has to have in his mind as to what does Ronald have that he might be able to say against us in the criminal trial on the narcotics, on the drugs. Somehow Misty has to get her mind to retaliating against him.

Now one of the things Joe keeps being brought up. His belongings that were dumped at a gas station before they got back to Tennessee or on the route to Tennessee, when the young lady gave him a ride back, they were searched by the authorities back there and they are in the custody of the authorities.

So in my way of thinking, if there was something incriminating in his belongings, he would not be free today. So there`s much left of speculation as to why Joe is being talked about by Tommy and Misty as being the culprit in this thing when they themselves have a lot to --

GRACE: Got it.

PADILLA: -- own up to. Tommy himself lied about being at the trailer and Misty has lied throughout the whole situation.

GRACE: Everyone, let`s stop and remember Army Staff Sergeant Jacob Thompson, 26, North Mankato, Minnesota. Killed Iraq. On a second tour, awarded two Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star, Army Commendation medal and Iraqi Freedom Ribbon.

An avid fisherman from the age of 7. Always helping others. His leg adorned with three tattoos, each with the name of a friend killed during the war. Leaves behind grieving parents, Barb and Scott, brothers, John and Jason, two nephews, six nieces.

Jacob Thompson, American hero.

Thanks to our guests but especially to you for being with us. Tonight, in our New York studio, Connecticut friends, Gregory, Cheryl and Kristy. Aren`t they a beautiful family?

Everyone, I`ll see you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.