Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Transcripts by Nancy Grace

I am posting this to show just how ignorant some people are. This woman definately doesn't know what she's talking about and has something against dogs.

Dad`s Pitbulls Kill 1-Year-Old
Aired November 7, 2006 - 20:00:00 ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, a South Carolina community in shock after four pitbulls maul a 1-year-old baby to death, his own father facing murder one charges.

And tonight, a firefighter mom disappears, seemingly vanishing into thin air, leaving behind three little children, including a 6-month old left home alone. Could she still be alive? Tonight, we follow the trial.

First to South Carolina, pitbulls once again a deadly weapon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) told us the child was in the bed, sleeping. And he went outside for a very short period of time (INAUDIBLE) And when he returned in the house, the dogs dragged the child to the kitchen floor, and the child (INAUDIBLE) kitchen floor bleeding very badly.


GRACE: Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. Pitbulls a deadly weapon? Once again, we hear about a little child mauled to death by a dangerous dog. Out to Court TV`s Jean Casarez. What happened?

JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV: Well, Nancy, 25-year-old Michael Young (ph) was living with his mother, raising by himself his 22-month-old little boy. They just moved into their brand-new home, and he also brought long his four pitbulls that were living with his mother but always stayed outside. But they stayed inside Saturday night. He went out for about five minutes to talk with his landlord, who was also his boss. He came back in, his little boy was on the kitchen floor, mauled to death.

GRACE: Jane Velez-Mitchell, did you just see those particular -- those pitbulls right there fighting?


GRACE: That was a yes/no. Can you imagine leaving a child, a 1-year- old child, with that?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nancy, you are absolutely right. That was a mistake, but it was a mistake made by a human being. We can`t demonize pitbulls because this father, as much as I sympathize with his grief right now, made some crucial mistakes. He had moved into a new trailer, and yet he let those animals in with his son and left them alone for five minutes. Now, these were animals that were used to being tethered outside, chained outside, which is something that...

GRACE: Do you see that baby? Do you see the baby? The baby is dead. And you`re telling me it`s not the dogs` fault!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I am telling you...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... it`s not the dogs' fault.

GRACE: Jean Casarez, have they gotten the doggie death penalty?

CASAREZ: Well, yes, they have, all four dogs. By the way, when investigators walked into the house, the dogs were wagging their tails. They were not attacking. They were very docile. But yes, all four dogs were euthanized, and they`ve been sent for rabies examinations.

GRACE: What do you mean, they`ve been sent? You mean their brains have been sent to be studied, to determine whether they have rabies.

CASAREZ: Yes. I didn`t want to get as graphic, but yes, their heads were cut off and their heads have been taken to be studied for rabies.

GRACE: Take a listen to this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He told us that his child was in the bed, sleeping. He went outside for a very short period of time, five to ten minutes, to speak with his new landlord and bossman (ph), and when he returned in the house, the dogs had dragged the child to the kitchen floor, and the child was laying on the kitchen floor, bleeding very badly.I went there prepared to do battle with four vicious pitbulls, using bite sleeves and correction collars. We opened the door and called the dogs to us, and they came with wagging tails and jumping all over us.


GRACE: There have been a series of cases involving not only pitbulls, presa canarios, various dogs trained to fight, with the reputation of being deadly, one case after the next after the next. What about it, Jane Velez- Mitchell? There have been many, many -- a string of cases likes this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sure. There`s one in San Francisco, where a mother is accused of child endangerment because her 12-year-old son was mauled by two pitbulls and he had approximately 140 injuries. The common denominator here is that you don`t put children in close proximity to pitbulls. You don`t put a horse in an apartment, a one-bedroom apartment, and then blame it if it knocks something over. You don`t put a bull in a china shop, and you don`t put pitbulls and leave them alone with a child.In this last case, the one that happened Saturday night in South Carolina, this little boy is 25 to 30 pounds. That is the weight of the smallest of the four pitbulls.

GRACE: Well, you know what, Jane Velez-Mitchell? Long story short, there are multiple cases -- and I`m referring specifically to a San Francisco case. The victim was literally an all-American girl. Her name, Diane Whipple. She was a very slight young lady. She was on the American -- all-American lacrosse team. She was minding her own business, coming in from bringing the groceries, leaving her apartment, trying to get in or out the door regarding the groceries. These two dogs, huge presa canario dogs, attack, tear the woman apart, tear the pants off her body, chew her up. They were not being restrained.So what you`re telling me is that you can`t think of a single scenario, after I`ve told you about the Whipple case, where dogs attack?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, I think that we have to be very careful about making sure that these animals are kept in appropriate living situations. All I`m concerned about -- and a lot of animal advocates tonight are concerned about demonizing the entire breed because these animals are either trained to fight or not kept properly, not spayed and neutered. You know, when they`re not neutered, they`re much more aggressive. And in a lot of these cases, they have not. They`ve been mated and they`ve been bred to fight. They have not been cared for properly.


CASAREZ: ... that case could be differentiated, the Whipple case, from this case, from everything we know, because in the Whipple case, that dog was bred to fight. And many times, pitbulls are bred to fight. From everything we know about the South Carolina case, these dogs were docile. They were quiet. They were house pets. They were not bred to fight.

GRACE: Take a listen to this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These dogs were more dangerous than a loaded gun. And I call them like a time bomb because at least with a gun, you have to pull the trigger. But these dogs would go off on their own, over and over and over again, without warning, and that`s what made them so dangerous. And Diane Whipple didn`t get enough warning to get away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s screaming. She`s yelling. She`s hitting at the dog. She`s trying to get -- keep her whole body around Ms. Whipple to protect Ms. Whipple from the jaws of this berserk beast. The dog is pulling at her clothing, even underneath Marjorie, even though she`s under -- even though Ms. Whipple is underneath Marjorie, Ms. Whipple is being bitten on her sides, on her back.


GRACE: These dogs have just killed a 1-year-old baby boy. Let`s go out to the lawyers, unchaining now Mickey Sherman and Anne Bremner, Mickey Sherman out of the New York jurisdiction, Anne Bremner from the Seattle jurisdiction. So Mickey Sherman, there`s no doubt in my mind that these dogs should have rightly been put down. And I don`t see a problem with the father facing a murder charge.

MICKEY SHERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you know, you can`t believe - - you`ll get such an argument from so many people about even killing the dogs. I mean...

GRACE: What about the baby?


SHERMAN: Did you...

GRACE: Forget the dog, what about the baby?

SHERMAN: Did you hear what Jane said? It`s not the dog`s fault. And let me tell you, her opinion is really echoed...

GRACE: Oh, right! Guns don`t...

SHERMAN: ... by so many people...

GRACE: ... kill, people do!

SHERMAN: Well, no, I`m telling you...

GRACE: Save your breath!

SHERMAN: People would rather see their children be marched off to reform school before their dog gets a criminal record. I`m telling you, people get crazy over dogs and animal rights. And what was Jane`s phrase, which is appropriate, demonization of the breed. People are really concerned about ill treatment of animals, even when they do horrible things.

GRACE: Ill treatment of animals?

SHERMAN: Yes. I`m telling you...

GRACE: Mickey, you know, this is -- I`ve got to say, outrageous -- a 1-year-old baby boy lying in the floor! Did you hear -- you know what? Let`s go out to Dr. Daniel Spitz, forensic pathologist. Dr. Spitz, can you please describe what happened to this little baby, what he lived through before he died. The last thing he saw was a mouthful of fang!

DR. DANIEL SPITZ, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST, MEDICAL EXAMINER: Well, there`s no question that four dogs attacking this child would not be a pretty sight. There would be a tremendous amount of injury. The fangs of these dogs would rapidly penetrate the skin of this child. The major blood vessels are only a short distance underneath the skin, so those blood vessels are going to be penetrated and bleeding is going to be rapid. Certainly, it`s a painful and a traumatizing death.

GRACE: Let`s go back out to the lawyers, Mickey Sherman, Anne Bremner. Let`s talk about statutes. Are you guys familiar with statutes? They`re sprinkled across the country regarding breeds like pitbulls, Anne Bremner.

ANNE BREMNER, TRIAL ATTORNEY: Well, yes. But Nancy, the thing in a case like this -- in the Whipple case, it was thrown out. That verdict of guilty was thrown out by the judge after the fact. And in this case, you know, you`ve got a dog...

GRACE: I asked you about statutes.

BREMNER: Well, I mean, the bottom line, Nancy, is you`ve got to have some viciousness, some propensity shown, something in advance. It`s foreseeability, Trial 101, Nancy, that you`re not going to get negligent homicide or abuse of a child in a case like this unless there was some knowledge on the part of this particular parent.And you know, with dogs, I defended the Seattle police dogs in a case where they said use of police dogs is deadly force. Ten-week trial, the jurors said, You`re barking up the wrong tree.

GRACE: Mickey, I want to go back to what I asked Anne Bremner regarding statutes. The both of are you dancing all around it!

BREMNER: No, actually...

SHERMAN: No, it`s...


GRACE: There are statutes enacted because of dogs just like this!

SHERMAN: There`s broadly stated statutes, basically reckless endangerment. You do anything, any series of events that you set in motion...

GRACE: Right.

SHERMAN: ... that will cause the death or impairment of the morals (ph) or the health of a child. And that`s probably what they would go under here. But the better question, the bigger question, Nancy, is, Do you really need to prosecute this guy? He`s raising his child. His mother -- the mother has deserted the child. He`s raising a 22 -- year-old (SIC). Did he intentionally expect this to happen? Did he have any past...


SHERMAN: ... knowledge that his dogs were dangerous? He made a mistake, a stupid mistake. But do you think he`s going to learn any bigger lesson if we put him in jail, other than having lost his child in such a horrible way?

GRACE: Well, do you think any criminal will learn a lesson? It`s not all about rehabilitation, Mickey Sherman.

SHERMAN: It`s about deterrence. It`s about deterrence.

GRACE: And it`s about punishment!

SHERMAN: Anybody who is going to have to learn a lesson, have learned a lesson enough instead of having to be prosecuted when their child is dead -- there`s no useful purpose in that, none whatsoever.

GRACE: Out to Mike Brooks, former D.C. cop and former fed. Mike, there have been a number of cases very similar to this one.

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, SERVED ON FBI TERRORISM TASK FORCE: Nancy, I`ve seen the pitbulls both docile and I`ve seen them also in attack mode. And you know, again, it`s the environment they`re put into. One morning, we served a search warrant. We came around. We had animal control with us. There were two pitbulls in the back. We came around with the loops. We went ahead and looped a dog. As I was coming around the back and I was sweeping the backyard with the flashlight on my sub-gun (ph), there was a golden retriever lying dead in the backyard because it had been put in there to use as bait with these dogs.Now, these dogs were raised to fight. It was the owners that raised them this way. And you also see them walking around neighborhoods with big, thick chains around their necks to strengthen their necks for dog fighting.But again, these dogs were not raised to fight. But you know, did he need to have four pitbulls? Why have four pitbulls and one little boy? And he should not have left those children alone. Again -- but I have to agree on certain things. There are no bad dogs, there`s bad owners.

GRACE: OK, Mike, I wouldn`t have a problem leaving a 1-year-old baby boy possibly with four little kittens or with four little turtles or maybe with four little wiener dogs. But four pitbulls?

BROOKS: Nancy...

GRACE: Why would anybody even have four pitbulls in the house?

BROOKS: That`s -- that was exactly what my question I just posed a second ago. But I`ve also...

GRACE: I mean -- no, no!

BROOKS: But I`ve also...

GRACE: It`s about the dog...

BROOKS: ... seen poodles...

GRACE: ... Brooks! It`s about the dog, too!

BROOKS: It is.

GRACE: Kittens don`t attack you and rip your throat out!

BROOKS: But I have seen poodles attack kids in the face and the neck and do serious damage to them, too.

GRACE: OK, wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wait! Do you have a big, long list of poodle murders? That is total BS! No, laugh all you want to~!

BROOKS: I`m not laughing.

GRACE: But you know, when it happens to somebody that you know or somebody in your neighborhood, when a dog like this breaks through a chainlink fence and attacks someone, when a dog like those two presa canarios leap away from their owner and literally bite a young girl to death, I don`t know -- you need to drink the coffee and wake up, Mike!

BROOKS: No, well, he does need to be charged. It needs to be looked at. There is a death investigation. He could be charged with neglect, with homicide by neglect. There should not -- he should not have left that little boy alone. You know, was he -- was the little boy playing with these dogs and it got a little rough? Because Nancy, the one thing about these dogs...

GRACE: Got a little rough?

BROOKS: Well, that -- we don`t...

GRACE: Whoa, whoa! Wa-wait! I want to see his face, Elizabeth!

BROOKS: Let me finish. Let me finish.

GRACE: I want to see Brooks`s face! They got a little rough.


GRACE: They ate the baby! The baby is dead! They`ve had their heads chopped off, Mike.

BROOKS: What I`m saying is, Nancy, he was probably playing. They were -- the police said there`s one scenario, that possibly he was playing with the dogs. It got a little rough. You know, maybe he poked one of them in the eye. And these kind of dogs, these aren`t the kind of dogs you play like that with. And once it tastes blood...

GRACE: Oh, so you admit that...

BROOKS: Once they...

GRACE: ... apparently, genetically, these type of dogs can be easily angered and attack.

BROOKS: Absolutely. And once they taste blood, that`s it.

GRACE: Well, there`s a fine how-do-you-do. Once they taste blood, that`s it.Joining us from Bamberg, South Carolina, Deputy Sheriff Norris Williams. He is with the Bamberg County sheriff`s office. Sir, thank you for being with us. Tell us about what you have observed in this case.

DEP. SHERIFF NORRIS WILLIAMS, BAMBERG COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, Nancy, this has been a very hard case for all of us here to deal with, especially dealing with the loss of a 1-year-old child. But it was not a typical pitbull case. We`ve dealt with several pitbull cases here very recently, where the typical pitbull owner is training their dogs to be vicious. This was not the case. We did not know that originally. Once we were told what happened, we just assumed that these dogs were your usual vicious pitbulls. When we approached these dogs, they were far from that. They were every bit of what I would consider a docile house dog.

GRACE: You know, I understand what you`re saying. And believe me, advertisers have clued into that for the last 25 years. If you see a wagging tail on a dog, then suddenly, your heart melts. I just can`t get the picture of this child there on the floor being mauled to death at 1 year old out of my mind.

Let`s go out to the lines. Anna in North Carolina. Hi, Anna.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. My question is -- I have a pitbull. I also have a 3-year-old and a 3 -- month-old. Never would I enter another dog into my home because I know what my pitbull would do. And never would I put my children in the same room alone with my pitbull. Why would he have four pitbulls, if they were just house dogs?

GRACE: Can I ask you a question? Because we always grew up having dogs, having more than one dog, cats, everything, but never a dog that was known to attack. I mean, how can a dog have a bad reputation? But guess what? Pitbulls and Rottweilers do have bad reputations. And Anna, were you ever -- I mean, it sounds like you`ve got your condition under control, but are you ever worried about having a pitbull and a baby?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, my 3 -- month-old, he doesn`t go outside. My 3-year-old only goes out with supervision. My pitbull is not on no chain. She`s never been trained to fight. She`s never been around any other dog like that. I do have a neighbor who has two Rottweilers. When she is loose and roams the neighborhood, the Rottweilers do aggress her, and they would fight. They would cause blood. But my dog has never showed any signs of aggression. And I would never take that chance as a parent because my child does come before my dog.

GRACE: Back out to Deputy Sheriff Norris Williams. Sheriff Williams, again, thank you for being with us. I know you`re in a tough spot. Have you ever actually seen a case like this in your jurisdiction?

WILLIAMS: No, ma`am. This was a...

GRACE: So this is a first for you.

WILLIAMS: Yes, ma`am, this was a first for me, and by far one of the worst situations I`ve ever dealt with in seven years of law enforcement.

GRACE: Don`t you have a pitbull?

WILLIAMS: I do. I have a pitbull of my own, and I also have three small children 7, 6 and 4.

GRACE: Why do you have a pitbull?

WILLIAMS: I have a pitbull because we confiscated several pitbulls from a fighting arena, and I brought them home to my kennel because I`m a canine handler and I have several kennels at my home. And my daughter fell in love with this one in particular, so I kept it as a pet. However, it stays outside in an outside kennel.

GRACE: Cities banning pitbulls -- Denver, Toronto. The list goes on.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The baby and dogs may have started out playing, then things got rough. Michael Young rushed his son to the emergency room, but the boy died. The baby`s father told investigators he wanted to leave the pitbulls outside but didn`t have enough time to build a post or fence before dark, so he brought the dogs in for the night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I went there prepared to do battle with four vicious pitbulls, using bite sleeves and correction collars. We opened the door and called the dogs to us, and they came with wagging tails and jumping all over us.


GRACE: A South Carolina community in shock tonight, a father possibly being charged with murder one after his four pitbulls mauled this little child, a 1-year-old baby, to death inside the house.Back out to Deputy Sheriff Norris Williams. Why were the dogs chained up anyway if they had never exhibited behavioral problems?

WILLIAMS: Well, the father told us that he was not a big fan of dogs in the house. He liked the breed of pitbulls, and where he lived previously, he just kept them outside. I don`t know the living conditions. I don`t know if they were tied down or if they were in a kennel, but they were outside dogs.

GRACE: Out to you Marcy Setter. She is here with Dakota Blue. She is the director of education and PR with the Pitbull Rescue Central. With her, Dakota. It`s a 4-year-old American pitbull terrier. Explain to me why pitbulls are often falsely identified, according to you, as attack dogs.

MARCY SETTER, PIT BULL RESCUE CENTRAL: Well, they`re often misidentified because pitbull is not a breed of dog. Pitbull is a term...

GRACE: Whoa, whoa! how big is that head he`s got?

SETTER: Yes, she`s got -- she`s a little -- she`s large. She`s about 67 pounds.

GRACE: Tell me about that jaw. Has she ever gotten anything in her mouth that she wouldn`t let go of?

SETTER: No, not at all.

GRACE: Like an arm?

SETTER: No, not at all. Don`t -- you can`t judge based on incidents like that.

GRACE: So what`s your take on what happened in this case?

SETTER: What`s my take? I read the articles, and I see they were outside dogs. There was mentioning of the dogs being chained. Four of them in a trailer with a child left alone is just not a safe thing.

GRACE: But if it were four kittens or four beagle dogs, we wouldn`t have that problem.

SETTER: Sure, you would. There are reported cases of Dachshunds and Pomeranians fatally killing people, as a matter of fact.

GRACE: Really? Because I couldn`t find...

SETTER: Absolutely.

GRACE: ... a single one on the Internet.

SETTER: Pomeranian, 2002 out of California. A Dachshund out of Kentucky. Absolutely.

GRACE: Let me tell you we`re armed with a computer here on the set.

SETTER: Go ahead. Absolutely look them up. Actually, you can go to my Web site...

GRACE: You`re on, Marcy!

SETTER: ... and see a lot of them.


GRACE: A 1-year-old baby mauled to death by two killing -- four killing machines, pitbulls left alone with a 1-year-old baby boy. Tonight, a South Carolina community reeling.Let`s go straight back out to Dr. Daniel Spitz, forensic pathologist. The cause of death in this case, what is it?

SPITZ: Well, it would be pretty simple. Basically, these puncture wounds that these dogs are going to inflict are going to result in a tremendous amount of blood loss, mainly from blood vessels of the neck, the carotid arteries, the jugular veins. So blood loss is going to be cause of this child`s death.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One, two, three, strike.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When a pit bull bites, they don`t let go. They`ll rip. The bites can be more serious. They`re very strong dogs. The dog will be more committed to remaining with the bite so that the bite continues instead of latching on or letting go. Sometimes (INAUDIBLE) possibly broken.


GRACE: The U.K. banned pit bulls in 1991. We now know 21 percent of all attacks on humans are by pit bulls. Take a look at this. Now, I`ve got to tell Marcy, she`s absolutely correct. There was one attack in 2001 by a Pomeranian, one attack in 2002 by a dachshund. She`s absolutely right, both on 6-week-old infants. Back out to Jane Velez-Mitchell. Your opinion is that -- let me get this straight. Forget about the dead baby, it`s the four dogs that were mistreated?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely not. I want to save lives. And the way to save lives is not by banning pit bulls; it`s by banning the breeding of pit bulls. The people who are breeding the pit bulls to fighting machines, those are the ones who are the real culprits here, because they`re sending out all these thousands and thousands of animals. If we ban the breeding of pit bulls and then made sure that the remaining pit bulls were placed in appropriate homes where they were not in close proximity to children, that would be the solution. And that would be fair to the animal, and it would save a lot of lives. And I have to say one thing about this particular case. Those animals were chained up outside the trailer, according to the reports. Chaining an animal is a form of torture. There is a national movement to stop chaining of animals across the country, legislation that`s being pushed. The reason is it`s a form of torture. And then when you let the animal off the chain, there`s all this pent up energy that become aggressiveness. Now, these animals, these four pit bulls, were put into the trailer after being used to being trained. They`re put into a new trailer where they just moved in. They`re disoriented, and they`re let off their chains, and then they`re left alone with a 22-month-old child. That is sheer insanity.

GRACE: Well, to me it`s like leaving a child alone with a machine gun or an Uzi or near an open fire. Take a listen to this statistic. There have been 279 dog attack fatalities -- not just dog attacks, but dog attack fatalities -- in the U.S. in less than 20 years, in only 17 years, 279 dog attack fatalities. Dogs identified as pit bulls responsible for 60 of those attacks, over 20 percent, followed by Rottweilers, responsible for 29 attacks. To Dr. Leslie Austin, psychotherapist, explain.

LESLIE AUSTIN, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Nancy, when you mix humans and dogs, the psychology is different. Too many people treat their dogs like their kids, and they`re not. You have to understand the behavior. I would never have a pit bull with a young child. In the appropriate circumstances, pit bulls can be great dogs, but you have to know the behavior and the psychology of your animal and treat them appropriately. If a dog commits a bad act, it is 100 percent human trainer error, 100 percent humans have messed up that dog and not understood the nature of the animal.

GRACE: Back to Jean Casarez, Court TV correspondent, Jean, again, the facts as they relate to this particular human attack.

JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV: Well, I think that`s an important point, because the focus tonight has been brought on pit bulls, but investigators now are looking very narrowly in South Carolina at this particular case. What about these dogs? Did they ever exhibit this behavior before? Why were they chained up previously outside at the other home? What did the owner know about pit bulls? Because, to own a pit bull, you need to have some knowledge about what they are capable of. And if they do smell or sniff blood, that they are very aggressive at point. And what investigators are trying to determine, was this an accident or is this a crime?

GRACE: Let`s go out to the lawyers. Joining us tonight, Mickey Sherman and Anne Bremner. Let`s talk about this possible charge that the father is facing. A South Carolina community totally torn apart. Should this father face murder one charges? Out to you, Mickey Sherman. What are the possible charges?

MICKEY SHERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Some kind of reckless endangerment kind of charge. But, you know, the best, most effective witness is the sheriff who`s just been on, Sheriff Williams, who is on the scene and explained what his opinion of the dogs, that they were docile.

GRACE: That`s after the attack.

SHERMAN: Well, that`s the law enforcement person there.

GRACE: That`s after the attack.

SHERMAN: He`s also an expert on dogs. He`s got dogs himself.

GRACE: Oh, is your defense some other dude did it?

SHERMAN: No, he`s...

GRACE: Just because they were wagging their tails -- I mean, Ted Bundy smiled in the courtroom. What difference does that make?

SHERMAN: He has dogs himself. He knows the breed. And he saw these dogs after the attack. You know, dogs aren`t exactly going to put on some airs after they do something wrong.


GRACE: Well, are you saying the dog did not do the attack? I mean, how they acted afterwards has absolutely nothing to do with this.

SHERMAN: I think it has to do with their vicious temper.

GRACE: And even the law is in a lot of jurisdictions, behavior after the fact is inadmissible.

SHERMAN: Bottom line is, it`s a civil case. It`s a lawsuit.

GRACE: Oh, you don`t like that, do you? You don`t like it when I quote the law. You hate that. Ixnay on the aw-lay.

SHERMAN: That`s a cheap trick. That`s a cheap trick.


GRACE: Right. What about it, Anne Bremner, possible charges?

ANNE BREMNER, TRIAL ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, it`s possible like a negligent homicide, but the fact is, look at the behavior before the fact. You know, there are no bad dogs. I mean, people make bad dogs.

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

BREMNER: But, Nancy...

GRACE: The dogs ate a baby.

BREMNER: Here`s the thing, Nancy. It`s like, you know...

GRACE: There are no bad dogs. OK, thanks, Anne.

BREMNER: No, I`m not done yet, though...


GRACE: ... possible charges.

BREMNER: ... possible charges are probably negligent homicide, but it`s not here because...

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, slow it down, high-profile lawyer.

BREMNER: OK, Nancy, I`ll slow it down.

GRACE: OK, you know what? I`ll tell you two the possible charges. All right, you`ve got a possible felony murder.


GRACE: About whether a pit bulls are allowed under these circumstances and a death occurred. You`ve got a possible involuntary manslaughter, illegal act, keeping pit blues in an illegal manner, also it`s around a child. In my mind, those are the two charges. So let me make it easy for you: Agree or disagree, Mickey Sherman?

SHERMAN: Disagree. What jury is going to find this guy guilty of murder? There`s so no intent in this case.

GRACE: I would go with an involuntary manslaughter.

SHERMAN: And that ain`t going to happen. The man made a mistake, and it was a mistake that was not so foreseeable, according to the expert on the scene.

GRACE: Not foreseeable?


GRACE: The number-one attack dog in this country is the pit bull. He`s got four locked in the kitchen, people.

SHERMAN: Twenty-seven deaths in the country?

GRACE: No, no, no, no, no, 279. Multiply that by 10, Mick.


GRACE: Yes, you said 27. It`s nearly 280.

SHERMAN: The percentage is infinitely small. More people die from choking on pudding.

GRACE: Really?

SHERMAN: I checked the -- no, but it sounds like a pretty good statistic though.

GRACE: OK, I didn`t think so. Let`s go back out to Mike Brooks, former D.C. cop and former fed. Mike, the reality is that this dog was banned in 1991 in the U.K. There are multiple cities that have rules governing pit bulls. And I know all the dog lovers are angry right now. I`m a dog lover. But not dogs that attack children, Mike.

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE: I agree, Nancy. I mean, I`m a dog lover. I have dogs. You know, but there`s some dogs that -- you know, at my gym, I go to a gym in Decatur. And there`s this large poodle that runs around in there. And you never know.

GRACE: He`s back on poodles again?

BROOKS: Absolutely. Look, I have -- as a volunteer firemen, I`ve seen what poodles can do. You don`t know how many dog bite reports I`ve taken over the years.


GRACE: OK, you know what? I`m going to come back when you`re ready to get -- leave the poodles alone, and get back on point.

BROOKS: OK, you`re going to talk about Daschunds, Pomeranians, German shepherds?

GRACE: Listen...

BROOKS: Look, I`ve been bitten by police dogs before, Nancy. Let me guess...

GRACE: What do you mean by police dogs, German shepherd dogs?

BROOKS: Yes, German shepherds.

GRACE: You were bitten because?

BROOKS: Well, I happened to reach down and grab a tennis ball while we were doing a bomb sweep of the Davis Cup match, and the dog bit me.

GRACE: And the dog was trained? Was it a trained dog?

BROOKS: Yes, it was. And the owner had to come over and actually grab him by his collar and pull him off my arm.

GRACE: Trained to attack? Trained to attack?

BROOKS: It was actually dual. It was a bomb detection dog and an attack dog, which a lot of dog experts don`t believe that they should be cross-trained like that, either.

GRACE: Let`s go to the lines. Roy in Missouri. Hi, Roy.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy.

GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

CALLER: Well, I have two questions. Where exactly -- I mean, how long did this gentleman own these dogs before this happened? And where was he during the 10 minutes the attack occurred?

GRACE: I know that he was outside for the 10 moments that the attack occurred. He was outside. I believe his boss had driven up and he left the baby inside. Jean Casarez, I know that he had had these dogs at a prior home with his mom and the mom told him, "When you go, the dogs go." Do you have any idea how long had he had them?

CASAREZ: Well, I think he had them for a while. Now, the dogs weren`t that old. There were four of them, two males, two females, 2 years old was the oldest one, 10 months was the youngest one, 65 pounds was the largest one, 35 to 40 were the other three.

GRACE: All I can say -- dog lovers get mad at me -- but the death penalty for these four pit bulls.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Although this intersection is only a couple of hundred feet from Margaret`s house, this road is miles from anywhere. There`s no bus service, and there`s no cab service in this area. Now, we know Margaret left her car and her cell phone, so the question tonight is, where is Margaret?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The main suspicion would be that she is just not in this area at this point. We don`t have much pushing us in any other direction at this point, just that she has vanished.


GRACE: Tonight, to Warren Township. A firefighter mom seemingly vanishes into thin air leaving behind three children, including a 6-month- old child home alone. This does not sound like Margaret. To Court TV correspondent Jean Casarez, Jean, what happened?

CASAREZ: Well, now, Nancy, it`s day 28. She disappeared Tuesday, October 10th. That was the last time that her husband saw her mid- afternoon. He waited 48 hours to call police, but then he did on that Thursday, just about the same time, and he says that he didn`t call because she had exhibited this behavior before and he thought she was just coming home.

GRACE: To Eric Martin, Central New Jersey Search and Rescue. He led the search for Margaret Haddican-McEnroe. Eric, thank you for being with us. I`m not quite sure I understand why the husband waited 48 hours to report his wife missing.

ERIC MARTIN, LEADS SEARCH FOR MISSING MOTHER: Well, Nancy, he had waited in the past because she had walked away or left in the past before. She usually has come home on her own within 24 hours. The question we had is, why did he wait an additional 24 hours after that? And there`s just a lot of pieces that aren`t coming together on that case.

GRACE: Eric, has that been documented that she actually did leave the home for 24 hours in the past?

MARTIN: Well, as per the Warren P.D. and the Somerset County prosecutor, which have been doing a phenomenal job on this case, yes, she`s had a number of situations...

GRACE: Well, if he didn`t report it, then how would they know?

MARTIN: If he didn`t report it? Because that`s her family. It seems like there had been a number of situations that have happened in the past between the two where she`s left the home.

GRACE: Question: Is this information all coming from the husband or from other family members that she had vanished in the past for 24 hours?

MARTIN: Well, primarily, from what we were told, this is coming from the husband. But the police department has done investigation and interview with the family members now to get a better vibe on what`s going on.

GRACE: What can you tell me about the search, Eric?

MARTIN: Well, right now, we were brought in on day number nine. It`s kind of difficult for a land search and rescue team to really have anything to go on, that late into the situation. Clues usually disappears, scents, tracks, prints, a lot of evidence. Right now, what we did was we originally put her in a despondent category and followed reflex tasking, which means basically...

GRACE: Despondent?

MARTIN: Yes, we had been told that she was a postpartum depression.

GRACE: Who told you that?

MARTIN: The husband, through the police department.

GRACE: So the husband again is your source?

MARTIN: Yes, ma`am.


MARTIN: And what we end up doing is, at that moment, because of the fact it`s so long into the search, we basically go with statistical data and theoretical data. If she is despondent, usually they want to seek solitude. With postpartum depression, it doesn`t really seem -- we don`t have any hard evidence that would lead us to believe that she would have had any intent to do any type of injury or harm to herself.

GRACE: Did she take her cellphone?

MARTIN: No, she had -- the police department stated that she had destroyed the cellphone in the home.

GRACE: Oh, really? Says who?

MARTIN: Says the husband, and also the police department. And the police department did have her destroyed phone.

GRACE: Well, how does the police department know she destroyed her cellphone?

MARTIN: Well, that`s a great, great point.

GRACE: Well, what do you mean "destroyed"?

MARTIN: Well, it seems that what happened was it was broken in pieces. I`m not really sure.

GRACE: She broke her own cellphone into pieces?

MARTIN: I can`t say she broke her cellphone. I can say that her cell phone was broken.

GRACE: OK, because I thought I heard you say -- now, I`m not trying to antagonize you. I`m on your side. I want to help find her, OK? But I thought I heard you say she destroyed her own cell phone?

MARTIN: As per a quote from the police department, that was what the husband had stated. And you`re not antagonizing me. At this point, you`re being very helpful in us finding this young lady.

GRACE: OK. Officer -- with me, a special guest, Eric Martin from Central New Jersey Search and Rescue -- were any tests done within the home, such as forensic tests?

MARTIN: No, ma`am. No, ma`am whatsoever. At this point, we were basically taking this as a missing person, which to my understanding, with the Warren Police Department and the Somerset County prosecutor`s office, she`s still being listed as a missing person. It hasn`t gone into a criminal investigation as of yet.

GRACE: Take a listen to what the husband had to say.

TIMOTHY MCENROE, HUSBAND OF MISSING WOMAN: She could be almost anywhere. She`s got friends and family throughout the country. We have our share of problems, but everything seemed to be working out with my stepdaughter and stuff, so it seemed very good. I actually think that she wants to come back now, but she might be afraid to. And she has no reason to be afraid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because she`s been gone so long?

MCENROE: And a lot of people are looking for her, and she might be a little freaked out.


GRACE: Freaked out over what? Back to you, Eric Martin. He said "our share of problems." Those were his words. Has there ever been a domestic call to this home that you know of?

MARTIN: There was a domestic call the day prior to her leaving the house. The Warren Police Department did respond to the household on a domestic. It was basically resolved prior to their arrival, and there was no follow-up, from what we were informed, by the Warren Police Department.

GRACE: When we say "domestic," Dr. Leslie Austin -- Leslie joining us, psychotherapist -- why do we call it "domestic"? Domestic sounds so nice. It sounds like you`re about to come home, and you`re going to sit on a nice, cushy sofa, and turn on the TV, and smell some chicken soup in the kitchen. That`s not what a domestic is.

AUSTIN: No, we`re using it in the narrow sense of the word, as in the home or in the home-family environment. And most crimes are committed by people who are known to the victim. So it`s the first place you look when somebody`s gone missing or you suspect foul play. You look in the domestic situation in the home, with the relatives, with friends, with partners, to see, is there any possibility of foul play there?

GRACE: Out to the lines, Lee in California. Hi, Lee.

CALLER: Hi, how you doing?

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

CALLER: Where`s the baby at this point? I mean, it seemed...


GRACE: Oh, good question. What about it, Jean? Where`s the baby?

CASAREZ: I think the baby is still with the father. And there are two young children, three children, actually, at home still with the father.

GRACE: And I`ve got another question. To you, Jane Velez-Mitchell. I heard Eric Martin say that -- I believe it was Eric say -- the Somerset County district attorney`s office is involved. Why would they be involved if it`s not a criminal investigation?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, a very good question. There are some very interesting aspects to this case, most notably that the husband has reportedly refused to take a polygraph. And, of course, all of the information we`re getting from him, as you pointed out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re all concerned, very concerned. And if she`s out there, we really hope very much that she`ll get in contact with someone, she`ll get in contact with the police, she`ll call us. We all love her. We want her home; we want her back.


GRACE: A firefighter mom has seemingly vanished into thin air, leaving behind three children, including a 6-month-old baby left unattended at home. Let`s go out to the lawyers, Mickey Sherman, Anne Bremner. Anne Bremner, it`s not to be harsh, but statistically we always start with a look at the husband...


GRACE: ... or boyfriend or within the home. Why?

BREMNER: Well, because oftentimes the husbands are involved. And those are the stats. But, you know, listen, in defense of the husband -- so I`m going to be in defense of the dogs, too, Nancy, it`s all -- I say...

GRACE: I don`t know if he wants to be lumped in with some killer dogs, devil dogs.

BREMNER: No, but the thing is, but if you`re going to say that all the dachshunds and the shepherds and the pit bulls and the poodles are killers...


BREMNER: ... I`m getting to the story, then you`re going to say all the husbands are killers based upon the fact that there`s some stats that say husbands are killers. I`m not getting married, if that`s the case, but it`s a fallacy to use that as a proposition to say he did it. There`s no evidence here to say that he did.

GRACE: Correct. Mickey Sherman, why do we always start with the husband, the boyfriend, the loved one? And, also, what`s the deal with not taking a polygraph?

SHERMAN: Well, statistically, you`re always more likely to be killed by someone you love. It`s just the American way, I guess. But the bottom line is...

GRACE: No, it`s not because it`s the American way. It`s because statistically it is the boyfriend or husband or ex-lover that does the deed.

SHERMAN: Because that`s the person who most enrages the other person. Usually you don`t enrage other strangers. I`m not it`s justifiable homicide, but that`s the statistics. And your (INAUDIBLE) cross- examination, saying that all the information came from the husband, I mean, you`re really giving this guy a hard time. I`ve got two words for that: Jennifer Wilbanks, OK?


GRACE: You know what? You got me so good on that one, but I never thought it was the fiancee. I thought some meth-head had dumped her in the trunk and taken off with her. And you know what? She got me good. I hope she`s happy tonight. Maybe she`s still cutting grass as community service. Very quickly, everyone, as we go to break, let`s remember Army National Guard Sergeant Lawrence Parrish, Lebanon, Missouri. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Sergeant Lawrence Parrish, American hero. Thank you to our guests. If you haven`t voted yet, there may still be time. See you tomorrow night. Goodnight, friend.



Blogger kellycoxsemple said...

I don't know if you've ever seen Nancy Grace "address" other issues, but her M.O. is the same across the board. Extremely narrow focus (even or perhaps especially if it's not accurate), and relentless. If anyone would accuse her of being a journalist, it is surely of the yellow sort. Sensationalistic to get ratings. Unfortunately, she leaves a lot of collateral damage in her wake.

12:32 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home