updated 8/16/2007 10:00:56 AM ET 2007-08-16T14:00:56

Guests: Jay Fahy, Adrienne Supino, Latifa Lyles, Curtis Sliwa

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  We got breaking news tonight.  The NFL star quarterback Michael Vick has reportedly been offered a plea deal by federal prosecutors in the dog fighting case against him, “The Virginia Pilot” newspaper quoting two sources close the negotiations tonight who say that Vick has been offered a deal that would recommend he serve at least one year in prison in return for his guilty plea on a felony dog fighting conspiracy charge.  Vick reportedly has until 9:00 AM Friday morning to accept it or face additional charges next week.

Former federal prosecutor Jay Fahy is with us.  Jay, if you were his lawyer, knowing the impact it could have on his professional career, as well, do you accept the deal?

JAY FAHY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR:  I accept the deal.

ABRAMS:  Why?

FAHY:  Number one, all the money I think is going to show that he financed the farm (ph) and he financed these matches between the dogs.  Number two, you have co-defendants pleading guilty.  I‘m sure those pleas encompass them testifying against him.

ABRAMS:  But what about his career?  I mean, he‘s now going to be a convicted felon who will have served a year in prison.  You don‘t take the chance and say, you know, Wait a second, maybe I take this to trial?

FAHY:  I think the trial is going to be worse for him.  And if he has any chance of ever playing football again, this is his chance.  After a year in jail, if he comes out and he does mea culpa and feels sorry for—if people start to feel sorry for him in a little bit of a way, he could redeem himself.  I‘m not saying that‘s not a stretch, but...

ABRAMS:  So you‘re his lawyer, you say take the deal.

FAHY:  Take the deal.  No question about it.

ABRAMS:  All right.  Jay Fahy, stay with us.  We‘ll get a live report from the reporter who broke that story later in the show.

We got new details tonight in the execution-style murders of three promising college students in Newark, New Jersey.  It now turns out the alleged ringleader could have been, should have been stopped the day before he allegedly forced four students to walk to a schoolyard wall, kneel with their faces turned away, they were then shot in the back of the head.  One survived.

It turns out that on August 3, the day before the murders, a New Jersey judge reduced the bail for illegal immigrant Jose Carranza, then accused of repeatedly raping a 5-year-old girl, from $300,000 to $150,000.  And then the judge and prosecutor failed to do anything when Carranza admitted he didn‘t have a Social Security number.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We acknowledged receipt of the indictment (INAUDIBLE) plea of not guilty and request that bail be (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Not guilty plea will be entered.  Date of birth?

JOSE CARRANZA, DEFENDANT (through translator):  March 26, ‘79.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Social Security number?

CARRANZA (through translator):  I don‘t have it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He does not have a Social Security, not that he doesn‘t (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  All right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  He doesn‘t have it—ie, he‘s not legal~!  Did he have to scream it to the judge?

My take.  The more we know, the more horrifying this story becomes.  Not only is he an illegal immigrant whose vicious record including charges of aggravated assault dating back to last year, he‘s an alleged child rapist who preyed on a young girl for four years.  He was brought before a judge in January, charged with the repeated rape and sodomy of the girl, accused of forcing her to have oral sex and threatening to kill her family.

He‘s released on $150,000 bail, which he posted with the help of a bail bondsman on the condition he would never have contact with his victim or the family again.  Just, months later, he‘s arrested on sexual assault against the same 5-year-old.  And in May, the judge released him without any additional bail.  In August, he was arraigned on that 31-count indictment, and you saw the tape there.

Joining us now is former New Jersey prosecutor Jay Fahy, Adrienne Supino, reporter with the New Jersey News Network, and MSNBC legal analyst Susan Filan.  Thanks to all of you for coming on the program.

OK, Jay, I don‘t want to hear about backed up the courts are.  I don‘t want to hear about how tough these cases can be for prosecutors.  This is an outrage.  I know you know both the prosecutor and the judge.  How does this happen?

FAHY:  It shouldn‘t happen.  There‘s no...

(CROSSTALK)

FAHY:  The answer is—you said not to give the right answer.  The answer is it‘s overcrowding in Essex County.  New Jersey does not have a speedy trial act...

ABRAMS:  You know this judge, right?

FAHY:  Yes, I do.

ABRAMS:  You heard him, right?  The guy basically just screamed, I‘m an illegal immigrant.  I‘m charged with child rape.  How does that judge keep going in his—oh, OK, just keeps reading.  You don‘t have a—oh—oh, OK.  And he keeps going.

FAHY:  There‘s no good reason for that.  The Essex County jail holds about 2,000 prisoners, 2,000-plus every day.  Every day in Essex County, another 50 to 100 people are arrested.  The jail can‘t hold any more.  Somebody‘s got to get out and new people come in.

ABRAMS:  So at least...

FAHY:  This is...

ABRAMS:  But at least the judge, then, should make the decision, should say, You know what?  You don‘t have a—what‘s going on here?  I mean, is there overcrowding in the courts?  I mean, is the judge so busy, he has to get all the defendants out of there?

FAHY:  No.  The courts are pretty well—are well maintained.

ABRAMS:  Right.  So what is your excuse for the judge?

FAHY:  They only—there‘s no excuse for the judge, other than the system in Essex is that no—let‘s take—there‘s two issues.  The fact that he‘s an illegal alien means that ICE should have been contacted, Immigration should have been contacted and a detainer should have been put on him right away.  That‘s not put on him because if a detainer is put on him, he can‘t make bail because if bail theoretically gets made, then ICE is just going to keep him in the Essex County jail to begin with.

ABRAMS:  Right.

FAHY:  So that‘s another problem with this case.

ABRAMS:  Adrienne, let‘s talk the facts here, all right?  So he‘s charged with this child rape case.  He then gets released on bail, right?

ADRIENNE SUPINO, NEW JERSEY NETWORK NEWS:  Right.

ABRAMS:  He then, what, the next month, is then charged with raping the very same child?

SUPINO:  Exactly.  And this is a family member.

ABRAMS:  And no additional bail?

SUPINO:  And this is a family member.  And the judge...

ABRAMS:  A family—one of his...

SUPINO:  Yes, and there‘s a pattern here.  I mean, there‘s a pattern.  Each time that he goes before a judge, he‘s granted bail.  Then his bail is reduced.  And then he‘s allowed to use a bail bondsman to cover it.  So there‘s really a pattern here each time he goes before a judge, where he could have—the judge could have been a lot tougher...

ABRAMS:  Is it the same judge?

SUPINO:  Yes.

ABRAMS:  This is your law school classmate?

FAHY:  I think it might have been a different judge, actually, but I think it was a different judge for the first hearing.  This is a very—this judge is a bright man.  He graduated top of his class.  He‘s a fair judge.

(CROSSTALK)

FAHY:  He‘s not known as a bleeding-heart judge.

ABRAMS:  Look, Susan Filan knows this because she‘s on this program a lot.  I am not—unlike some on other cable networks, I don‘t just go after judges and—you know, and prosecutors where mistakes were made or things, you know, that maybe shouldn‘t have happened did, based on oversights, et cetera.  I don‘t do that.  I don‘t do that on this program.

But when I see something like this, Susan, and you watch the demeanor of that judge in that courtroom, who just seemed to listen to them say, Oh, you know what?  Yes, he doesn‘t have a Social Security number, and they just let it go, then you got to say this is one of those cases that‘s unique.  This is one of these cases where there do need to be repercussions.  Heads do need to roll.

SUSAN FILAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  That‘s right.  I mean, this is sickening.  This is an outrage.  Somebody who‘s already out on bail shouldn‘t be granted bail that he can make when he comes back on the same exact charge, accused of raping the same exact child.  This is where the system has failed.

ABRAMS:  But I don‘t understand.  Let‘s even put aside the fact that he was illegal immigrant.  Let‘s put aside the fact that he was charged with assault in the past.  I mean, just the allegation of raping a child...

FILAN:  Yes.

ABRAMS:  ... for the second time, and he‘s released on bail...

FILAN:  Yes.

ABRAMS:  I mean, Jay, How do you explain that under New Jersey law?

FAHY:  There‘s no way to explain that.  The only—what the courts right now—what the court is saying and what the prosecutor is saying—because the attorney general is investigating this and our supreme court is investigating this.  What they‘re saying is that on both cases, bail was set at $150,000 and it was merged, so therefore, his total bail was $150,000 and he already posted that.  Now, I‘m not accepting that, but that‘s what—right now, that‘s what the courts are saying and that‘s what the prosecutors are also saying.

FILAN:  But actually, there‘s a different problem because, originally, the bail on the second charge was set at $300,000...

FAHY:  Yes, it was.

FILAN:  ... and it looks like it was unilaterally changed in chambers with the stroke of a pen by the judge.  And that‘s what‘s also being investigated.  Did he do it without the prosecutor and the defense weighing in?  Did the prosecutor assent to it?  What the heck happened?

ABRAMS:  Yes, and here‘s—let me play a little—another piece of sound.  This is the judge saying goodbye to everyone and—as they go on their merry way at the end of the hearing the day before the murders.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That‘s it on this.  Make sure...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you (INAUDIBLE) I‘ll see you back on the 13th.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  Make sure your client signs this (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He‘s signing it now.  Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  See you next week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And I will advise him also that if he‘s not present on the 13th, a warrant will be issued.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  (INAUDIBLE) prosecutor on behalf of the state...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  That‘s the guy, the top of his class guy you were talking about?

FAHY:  Yes, he was.  He‘s a bright—he‘s a fair judge, also.

ABRAMS:  Is he done?

FAHY:  He—I don‘t think so.  What—he—there‘s another fact here.  The bail was reduced on the day that he was on vacation.  He came in to sign a bunch of judicial orders.  So the question as to whether there was actually a record made when this bail was reduced is another issue.

ABRAMS:  Honestly, the bail reduction to me is, like, the last issue I care about at this point.  I mean, honestly, yes, probably shouldn‘t have happened.  It definitely shouldn‘t have happened.  But of all the missteps and mistakes that were made in this case, the fact that the bail was reduced—I mean, that‘s the least of my worries.

Adrienne, you want to say something?

SUPINO:  Yes.  Exactly.  I mean, the fact that he was a violent offender, you should say that right there that he shouldn‘t be on the streets.  But this has really shone a light on the system.  I mean, unfortunately, it seems like this is happening a lot more than we know.

FAHY:  It is happening a lot more than people (INAUDIBLE)

ABRAMS:  And real quick, about this prosecutor, Jay—this is a prosecutor who apparently refuses to prosecute cases if there‘s only an eyewitness in the case.  And in this case, there may only be an eyewitness, which is the survivor.  And you know, another—adding to it another layer.

FAHY:  In fairness to the prosecutor, what her policy is, is that she does not allow local police departments to sign arrest warrants for murder unless there‘s enough proof there.  In most counties...

ABRAMS:  That‘s not actually what her policy is.

FAHY:  That‘s my understanding.

ABRAMS:  No.  The policy is not just if there‘s not enough evidence there, it‘s she wants more than an eyewitness.

FAHY:  Yes, but she will not allow the local town detectives to sign those warrants until—yes.  And her criteria is an eyewitness or (INAUDIBLE)

ABRAMS:  Whether it is fair or it is unfair, I think, in the end, this is going to be one of those cases where they need to clean house.  They need to get rid—heads need to roll.  I know that this guy—you say this guy—I trust you.  You say he‘s a fair judge, et cetera.  But there have to be repercussions in a case like this.  There has to be a—you know, a record set and a precedent set.

All right.  This case just, as you can tell, just gets me, so I‘m going to take a deep breath.  Jay Fahy, we‘ll see you in a minute.  Adrienne Supino, thank you very much.  Appreciate it.  Actually, Jay, I‘m saying good-bye to you.

FAHY:  OK.

ABRAMS:  All right.  Susan will stick around.

Coming up: Newly released 911 tapes revealed a chaotic scene as a man allegedly performs a violent exorcism on his granddaughter.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

911 OPERATOR:  911.  What is your emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, I got a -- (INAUDIBLE)

911 OPERATOR:  Hello?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, I got an emergency (INAUDIBLE) what‘s going on.  My brother‘s in the room, just yelling and screaming to get out, get out of my daughter‘s soul.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  We talk to the police about how they stopped it.

But first: A member of the Rutgers women‘s basketball team is now suing Don Imus, but he did not even mention her by name.  So does she have a case?  We‘ll debate, up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIA VAUGHN, RUTGERS WOMEN‘S BASKETBALL TEAM MEMBER:  I believe that he said, quote, “ho,” and unless, in my case, a “ho” stands for achievement or something that you‘re getting done (ph) and you know that you‘re a wonderful person, then I‘m not a ho.  And at that, I‘m a woman, and I‘m someone‘s child.  And you know, it hurts a lot.  It does hurt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Rutgers University basketball player Kia Vaughn now suing Don Imus for referring to the team as, quote, “nappy-headed hos.”  She‘s alleging slander, defamation of character, claiming Imus‘s comments were “heard, believed and understood by millions of listeners as factual pronouncements concerning the character, chastity and reputation of the plaintiff.”  Vaughn filed suit in New York against Imus, his former co-host, along with CBS, CBS radio and MSNBC.

Here now is radio talk show host Curtis Sliwa and Latifa Lyles, vice president of the National Organization for Women.  Thanks to both of you for coming on.  Appreciate it.

All right, Latifa, let me start with you.  Don Imus never mentioned Kia by name.  She then went on the program.  She talked about this, as, you know, she had every right to do.  And she comes across very well in that regard.  But isn‘t it—does that hurt her lawsuit, the fact that she then sort of went public?

LATIFA LYLES, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN:  I don‘t think it does.  I think if she wants to take a shot at it in the legal system, I say go for it.  Frankly, I think that this case is going to have more of a positive effect than it will have a negative effect.  I wouldn‘t be surprised if other members of the team decide to follow suit and to sue him, as well.  I think that it sends a very strong message.  This woman—put ourselves in her shoes—was hurt by this.  And I think she has a right to exhaust other remedies that she thinks with her lawyer.

ABRAMS:  Curtis?

CURTIS SLIWA, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well, wait a second.  What revisionism here.  The ambulance chaser files the suit the very day that Don Imus walks out like the cat who swallowed Tweety Bird with $20 million of CBS‘s money because they executed him too quick.  He ends up with the money, but then the people who actually were the victims, the Scarlet Knight women, who had had a meeting with Don Imus—remember, it was at Drumthwacket, the very night that Jon Corzine, the governor, was injured on his way there.  And I remember the coach coming out and saying, yes, we had a three-hour conversation, and we‘ve forgiven Don Imus.  I didn‘t hear this young lady or any other young lady thereafter say, Oh, no, the coach was speaking for herself, not for everyone else.

Now she looks like she‘s just in it for the dough-re-mi, for the moolah-schmoola.  And that actually sullies the victimization process that had taken place.

LYLES:  Well, I think it‘s interesting to talk about the dough-re-mi, as you put it.  I think that what‘s really outrageous is the fact that for decades, the network and the corporation has been profiting from just the thing that Don Imus was fired for.  I mean, that‘s where the money is, really.  And frankly, no one‘s crying for him.  He‘s doing quite well, in fact, won his settlement.  And who knows who‘s going to pick him up next.  But you know, it‘s been said that he‘s in a great position because of the high-profile case and the fact that someone might pick him up and even give him more money.

ABRAMS:  Let me play the sound.  This is Kia Vaughn on the Oprah program.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST:  Can you tell me, Kia, how you first felt when you first heard that you had been called—or defamed in such—or that you were called a “nappy-headed ho”?

VAUGHN:  When it was first told to me, I was shocked.  I was, like—exactly what I said in the interview, unless “ho” is given a new definition, then that‘s not who I am.  That‘s not part of my characteristics or anything else.  So (INAUDIBLE) I was very upset.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Curtis, this is according to Kia Vaughn‘s attorney.  And this is number one.  This is—this is part of the—why she‘s filing this lawsuit.

“This is about Kia Vaughn‘s good name.  She would do anything to return to her life as a student and respected basketball player, more simple life before Imus opened his mouth.”

ABRAMS:  You know, I didn‘t know anything about NCAA women‘s basketball until this event.  And now I know Kia Vaughn and some of the other players.  And boy, they handled themselves well.  But now I have second thoughts on all of this, like, Wow, is this about who‘s going to get a slice of the pie, of the Don Imus pie?

And you know Don Imus is going to settle.  He wants to get back into the game of talk radio.  He doesn‘t want these suits hanging over his head.  And the lawyer‘s going to get a third of it.  It would have been better to put the arm on Don Imus at the meeting at Drumthwacket and say, you know, We have shelters for battered women.  We have misogynists who are out there who need to be redirected.  If you could use some of the wealth you‘ve accumulated to help us in getting that message across with PSAs and funding these efforts, that would have been a much better way of making these points.

ABRAMS:  And also—and again, I want to play this piece of sound from Don Imus on the “Today” show.  I mean, he did—and again, lawsuits can still be filed even after someone apologizes.  But Latifa, you‘ve been making it seem like there sort of needs to be change.  Let me play this sound from Don Imus and then ask you why that wasn‘t enough.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DON IMUS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  I am going to apologize to them and ask them for their forgiveness.  I don‘t expect that, and I don‘t think they have any obligation to either forgive me or to accept my apology.  But I have a responsibility to—and I think it‘s important.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Latifa, didn‘t change anything for you?

LYLES:  Well, what we know is this is not really only about Don Imus. 

We know that he‘s not the only one who spewing these terms and will continue to in the future, as he has for decades.

ABRAMS:  Are these other people named in the lawsuit?  Because maybe I missed that.

LYLES:  No, they‘re not.

ABRAMS:  Oh.

LYLES:  But you know, I think that it‘s clear that this—this is a pattern.  It‘s not about him.  And sure, it‘s of him to say he was sorry, but the reality is that what difference does that really make in the long run?  It doesn‘t change the facts.  And we know that there are going to be women all over who perhaps may be empowered to speak up the next time and say, Hey...

ABRAMS:  Yes, but see, now, that‘s...

LYLES:  ... this is outrageous.

ABRAMS:  Yes, but that‘s—that‘s—that doesn‘t tell me anything about whether this lawsuit is legitimate.  I mean, that‘s—we can have a policy debate about this, as we did many times when his happened.  But today the story is that there‘s a lawsuit been filed.  Curtis, I‘ll give you the final word.

SLIWA:  And you know what‘s going to happen in deposition.  The lawyer for the corporations and obviously for Don Imus is going to say, Have you ever listened to Foxy Brown, Jay-Z?  Have you ever listened to Sean Puff Daddy Combs?  Have you ever listened to 50 Cent?  And if she says no, oh, she‘s telling a tall tale there because they use those words 24/7, 365!  And she‘s acting like she was totally offended.  In fact...

LYLES:  Not towards young college women.

SLIWA  -- as a victim, she stood on a pedestal.  As now a complainant, it looks like she‘s in it just for the money.

ABRAMS:  Got to wrap it up.  Curtis Sliwa and Latifa Lyle, thanks a lot.

LYLES:  Thank you.

ABRAMS:  Appreciate it.

Coming up: New 911 calls from a deadly exorcism, a family member‘s call to police to try to stop a grandfather from literally squeezing demons from his 3-year-old granddaughter.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They‘re putting circles around their doors, throwing all the shampoos away, all the stuff on the walls they‘re throwing away.

911 OPERATOR:  Wow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They‘re saying it‘s the devil‘s stuff.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  But first, it‘s not even the holiday season, but the toy rush is here.  Two networks claim to have had the first interview with the CEO of a big toy company.  Let‘s just say Santa won‘t think too highly of one of them.  That‘s up next in “Beat the Press.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Time for tonight‘s “Beat the Press, our daily look back at the absurd and sometimes amusing perils of live TV.  First up: Over in the “No Spin Zone,” my friend, Geraldo Rivera, and Fox‘s Bill O‘Reilly went after the media for the coverage of the murders in Newark last week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GERALDO RIVERA, “RIVERA AT LARGE”:  No national TV news organization was doing this story.  It was to me very depressing and outrageous that the story wasn‘t getting any coverage.  Then what happens?  A couple of days later, it is revealed that one of the alleged perpetrators, may be the alleged ringleader, is an illegal alien.  Suddenly, cable news can‘t get enough of the story.  Why is that?

BILL O‘REILLY, “THE O‘REILLY FACTOR”:  Number one, the mainstream elite media doesn‘t care about inner-city crime.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Wow!  Whew!  That would be disappointing—if it were true -

that Fox was the only network covering the story before the illegal immigrant angle.  But of course, just the opposite is true.

On Monday, the first weekday after the Newark murders, we covered the story, on this program, along with “NBC Nightly News,” “CBS Evening News,” CNN‘s “America Morning, “The Situation Room,” Anderson Cooper.  And you know who didn‘t cover it?  “The O‘Reilly Factor”.  They didn‘t touch the story on Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday.  Briefly touched on Thursday.  It wasn‘t until Friday, when new information came out that one of the suspects was an illegal immigrant did “The O‘Reilly Factor” do a full segment on the story.  Who‘s the elite media?

Next up: The chairman and CEO of Mattel made the rounds, answering questions about the major toy recall.  There‘s always a rush to try and get a big newsmaker like that first.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Joining us is Bob Eckert, Mattel‘s chairman and CEO.  It is a first on CNN interview.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Bob, I thought “first” meant before other networks.  So to be first, that would mean that he couldn‘t have been on CNBC 18 minutes earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  CEO Bob Eckert joins us live from the company‘s headquarters in El Segundo, California.  Mr. Eckert, we do appreciate your being with us this morning.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  I guess it‘s true it was first on CNN, meaning the first interview CNN had done with him.

Finally, a funny moment on CNN last night with comedian Bill Maher taking a call from a viewer who was interested in more than his take on politics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you believe Mr. Bush might ever be impeached? 

And have you been working out?

BILL MAHER, “REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER”:  Have I been working out?

(LAUGHTER)

LARRY KING, “LARRY KING LIVE”:  He said, Have you been working out? 

He‘s interested in your health.

MAHER:  Odd question from a man, but OK, look, Larry, I‘m very secure in my masculinity.  That doesn‘t bother me very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Oh!  Was Larry King serious?  I don‘t know (INAUDIBLE)

Still ahead, new 911 calls released in connection with the violent exorcism of a 3-year-old girl.  Details from the chaotic scene coming up.

Plus, that former NBA ref pleads guilty to illegal gambling, betting on his own games.  Now the FBI wants to know what role the Mob played in the betting scheme.  We‘re joined by a panel of former mobsters to talk about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

ABRAMS:  Breaking news tonight in the Michael Vick dogfighting case. 

The former NFL star has reportedly been offered a plea deal by prosecutors.  Joining us now on the phone is David Forster.  He‘s broke the story for the “Virginia Pilot” newspaper.  Thanks a lot for coming on the program.  Appreciate it.

All right, so what do you know about this plea deal? 

DAVE FORSTER, REPORTER:  I‘ve had two sources who are familiar with the talks between attorneys and prosecutors in the case tell me today that basically they‘ve offered a plea deal in which they would recommend that Vick serve at least a year in prison.  He‘s got until 9:00 a.m. on Friday to make his decision.  That‘s going to be when a couple of his codefendants are set to begin hearings to accept their own plea agreements here.  If Vick takes a deal, the idea is that he would avoid further charges next week when a grand jury meets to consider a superseding indictment in the case. 

ABRAMS:  Do you know what he‘d have to plead to exactly? 

FORSTER:  It would be the charge that he‘s facing right now, this felony conspiracy charge, basically, that centers around illegal activity of dogfighting and gambling. 

ABRAMS:  All right, David Forster, thanks a lot.  Appreciate you coming on the program. 

FORSTER:  Thank you.      

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DISPATCHER:  911, what is your emergency?

CALLER:  Yes, I got a—yes, I got an emergency.

DISPATCHER:  What‘s going on?

CALLER:  My brother‘s in the room just yelling and screaming to get out, get out, get out of my daughter‘s soul.

DISPATCHER:  OK, what‘s your brother doing?

CALLER:  I went to the door and he started screaming in a voice I never heard before to get out of here, get out of here, get out of here, screaming real loud.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Frantic family members placed three separate 911 calls trying to stop a violent exorcism in a Phoenix home.  Police responded to that scene to find 43-year-old Ronald Marquez barricaded in a bedroom allegedly choking his 3-year-old granddaughter by holding her in a headlock.  The girl‘s mother standing by naked and bloody, holding a religious picture and chanting.  The police were forced to taser the man twice so he‘d release the little girl.  He later died at a local hospital.  It‘s a story we told you about on this show recently, but tonight we have the newly released 911 calls in the case which reveal a chaotic, violent scene.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CALLER:  They‘re like doing some kind of exorcism or something, because she thinks God sent her to be an angel.

DISPATCHER:  The niece does?

CALLER:  Yes, they‘re screaming at the top of their lungs.

DISPATCHER:  OK, so they‘re performing an exorcism at this place?

CALLER:  Yes, or something, that‘s what they think they‘re doing.  They‘re in the bedroom, with the door closed, and she‘s got a little girl that‘s like 3 years old.  And she‘s in there screaming and crying like she‘s scared, you know, like she doesn‘t know what‘s going on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Joining us now is Sergeant Joel Tranter with the Phoenix Police Department.  Sergeant, thanks a lot for taking the time.  Appreciate it.  All right, do you think that if you guys had not arrived, that that 3-year-old girl would have died? 

SGT. JOEL TRANTER, PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT:  Yes, I think, Dan, you‘re right on that.  Common sense dictates at minimum we believe the young girl would have been injured.  She did sustain some minor injuries.  And when our officers made forced entry into that house and intervened, she was in the process of being violently assaulted.  So I think, again, without a doubt, she would have suffered serious injuries. 

ABRAMS:  And what about the 19-year-old mother, what is her condition? 

TRANTER:  Well, condition right now, she‘s still hospitalized.  I‘m limited on what I can tell you, but I can tell you she‘s getting a psychiatric evaluation, as well as some medical care for some serious facial injuries that she suffered, sustained prior to our officers arriving on scene. 

And just to back up, on those 911 tapes, you have a little bit of the insight what the officers had prior to their arrival.  When they arrived on scene, they heard for themselves a young girl screaming, as well as adults screaming.  They had to make forced entry into the house.  They pushed that bedroom door open.  They made forced entry.  They were able to look into a small gap, saw the 19-year-old, who‘s the 3-year-old‘s mother, naked.  She exhibited extreme facial injuries, blood all over her face, her body.  She was chanting.  The young girl was in the process of being assaulted, physically assaulted, choked and squeezed by the grandfather.  And by all accounts—and, again, you heard some of the 911 tapes, that‘s just a few brief minutes of probably about 10 minutes worth of tape of an exorcism in progress. 

ABRAMS:  Let‘s play another piece of sound.  This is Ronald Marquez‘s sister speaking. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CALLER:  They‘re screaming, like there‘s a devil in my mom‘s house.  my brother lives with her, with his daughter, and her daughter.  And they‘ve been screaming since 3:00 in the morning or 4:00 in the morning.

DISPATCHER:  All right, do they have any weapons in the house that you know of?

CALLER:  No, there‘s no weapons there.

DISPATCHER:  Do you think they‘ve been drinking or using any drugs?

CALLER:  Have they been drinking, using drugs?  No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Sergeant, why were there so many 911 calls?  There were three of them, right?

TRANTER:  Well, what happened was, as you just heard on the 911 tape, the disturbance started about 4:00 a.m.  Phoenix police received a call about 7:20 a.m.  So there was this exorcism or commotion going on into the house for a number of hours prior to us being notified and our officers being dispatched. 

Now, it was an elderly lady that lives in that house.  She was concerned.  She heard what was going on for a number of hours.  We believe that they actually fortified or barricaded the bedroom door by pushing the bed in the door to prevent these other family members from making entry.  The elderly lady was concerned enough that she walked out of the house, walked some distance, contacted another relative, who placed the first 911 call. 

ABRAMS:  Sergeant, are you planning on filing charges against the mother, too? 

TRANTER:  All I can tell you, there‘s an active criminal investigation going on.  I spoke with the lead investigator from our crimes against children unit.  That‘s one thing we are looking at, but there‘s a couple of things that we have to wait for.  Number one is for the 19-year-old mother to get out of the hospital for medical conditions to be stabilized, and then we‘ll proceed as far as any criminal matters. 

ABRAMS:  Let me play another piece of sound.  Again, this is from the brother, a separate 911 call than the one you just heard, again, talking about this exorcism happening as they spoke. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CALLER:  They‘re putting circles around their doors, throwing all the shampoo away, all the stuff on the walls.  They‘re throwing away, saying it‘s the devil‘s stuff.  She hit her head about a week ago.  Now she‘s hallucinating.  She‘s got God behind her.  She scared my mom out of the house for the past three days. 

DISPATCHER:  What exactly is she doing?

CALLER:  She‘s, like, she‘s going crazy.

DISPATCHER:  OK, you need to elaborate on going crazy.

CALLER:  She‘s like saying that she‘s speaking to my grandmother. 

She‘s talking to God in the backyard.

DISPATCHER:  OK, so what does she need?  Does she need an ambulance?

CALLER:  She‘s going to need—my brother and her need to go get evaluated at the state hospital.  They‘re going crazy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Susan Filan, real quick, do you think the mother is going to get charged in this case? 

SUSAN FILAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  Wow, Dan, this is a legal thicket.  I‘m sorry I can‘t give you a yes or no.  There‘s three things you‘ve got to look at.  One, is she a victim herself here?  Two, is she nuts?  And, three, does she have a religious freedom defense?  I mean, she does have the free right to exercise religion.  Obviously, harming a child is not the free exercise of religion, but I‘m just not sure what her state of mind was.  I also wonder about the other adults in the house.  Didn‘t they have a responsibility like at 4:00, when they heard the noise, to do something then?

ABRAMS:  Yes, Sergeant, why didn‘t the other adults do anything? 

TRANTER:  Well, that‘s a very good question.  I think they were fearful.  They left the house.  They called us.  They actually did make an initial confrontation of these people.  They were yelled at, they were screamed at.  They were fearful, and they left the house called 911, they called police.  But just based on her initial comment from the other guest here, you know, freedom of religion, that‘s wonderful.  (INAUDIBLE) not going to intervene.  You can do that all day long.  But when there‘s a young child that‘s physically being assaulted, we‘re going to step in. 

I will also say that the mother, the 19-year-old physically assaulted the officers as they tried to pull that young child from the room.  So I mean, there was a physical confrontation, a fight, both by Mr. Marquez, 49 years old, the 19-year-old mother.  Mr. Marquez was partially handcuffed at one moment.  He broke free, and he was slashing at the officers with that free handcuff. 

ABRAMS:  I‘ve got to wrap this up, Susan.  

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  Hey, Susan—Sergeant, real quick, the 3-year-old is all right? 

TRANTER:  Yes, that‘s the good news.  Physically, she was transported to a children‘s hospital.  She was treated.  She‘s released, and she‘s in child protective services right now.

ABRAMS:  All right, sergeant and Susan Filan, thanks a lot. 

Appreciate it.

FILAN:  Good night, Dan.

ABRAMS:  Over the past month, police in Arizona and Indiana have uncovered violent exorcisms like this one.  These religious rituals apparently aren‘t a rare occurrence.  As “MSNBC Investigates” found out recently, an exorcism on demand is a service you may be able to find at your local church or even a hotel conference room. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB LARSON, BOB LARSON MINISTRIES:  What‘s wrong with you undergoing an exorcism, having a demon cast out, and giving the glory to Jesus, and for once letting the defeat of Satan be a public spectacle?  Amen.  Face me.  Get your eyes open and look at me.  Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  You‘re not going to hide.  You‘re not going to get away with this.  You understand me?  You‘re not going to get away with it.

I‘m getting into the face of the devil.  I‘m getting mad at the devil.  I stand in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.  That‘s the authority in which I come. 

The angel of life comes to smite you, to smite you, murder.  Go to torment! 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We‘re not finished with him yet.

LARSON:  Yes, well, I‘m finished with you.  Go to torment!

And so in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, I command in Jesus‘ name the spirit of fear.  Fear.  Come out.  There it is, in Jesus‘ name.  Yes, in the name of Jesus, you will come out.  You will not torment my sister now.  Yes you will come out.  Come out, I said, in Jesus‘ name.  Thank you, Lord. 

She is going to feel so liberated.  She‘s going to feel so happy. 

You will come out of her.  In the name of Jesus, I command all thoughts of suicide, I command all thoughts of lust and anger and bitterness and self-pity, I command you, come out, in Jesus‘ name!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He‘s in my face and he‘s screaming at me, and I remember the demons telling him that I belong to them. 

LARSON:  You will all come out.  I‘ve called you by name.  Yes, I‘ve called you by name, Satan.  I called you by name. 

Go to torment until the hour so that this woman can hear the word of God.  Go down.  Go down!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Coming up, a caregiver videotaped beating an elderly patient. 

But, first, today former NBA ref Tim Donaghy pled guilty to illegal gambling.  Now investigators want to know if he was connected to organized crime.  We‘ve got a panel of former mobsters with us, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Congratulations.  Here‘s your graduation present.  Everybody gets pinched, but you did it right.  You told them nothing, and they got nothing. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I thought you were mad? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m not mad of you.  I‘m proud of you.  You took your first pinch like a man, and you learned the two greatest things in life.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Look at me.  You never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Well, former NBA referee Tim Donaghy forgot about those two greatest things in life.  Donaghy pleaded guilty in a Brooklyn federal court today to two felony charges, admitting he provided tips on basketball games he officiated to professional gamblers.  The FBI investigating possible connections to organized crime.  Law enforcement officials say the bets involved thousands of dollars.  He could get up to 25 years, but he‘ll be sentenced to far less time as part of a plea deal.

So the question is, how much does the mob really influence pro sports?  How relevant is it in this case?  Joining me now is Henry Hill, a former mobster and the inspiration of the young mobster you just saw in the “Goodfellas” clip, and Michael Franceze, also a former member of the mob.

Gentlemen, thanks very much for coming on.  Appreciate it. 

All right, Henry, if there is a mob connection, what are those mobsters doing now?  Are they going to try to get him before he testifies, or are they going underground? 

HENRY HILL, FORMER MOBSTER:  No, I would think that they‘re going to -

sure they‘re going to try to get to him.  Yes, if I was him, I‘d be in a witness protection program right now.  I mean, seriously. 

ABRAMS:  Really?

HILL:  Because, you know, the mob is totally involved.  And it‘s going to come out.  And he‘s going to sing like a canary.  And who else is—and there might be other players and refs involved, also.  There‘s so much money in sports. 

ABRAMS:  I‘m sorry, go ahead, Henry, yes.

HILL:  No, I said there‘s so much money involved in sports betting today that it‘s just phenomenal. 

ABRAMS:  Michael, this is from a quote from the “New York Post.”  “His family thinks he‘ll be killed if he goes to prison or, if he doesn‘t, because he‘s ratting on the mob, I don‘t think the mafia would take that very well.  I mean, it is the Gambinos.”  What do you make of that? 

MICHAEL FRANCEZE, FORMER MOBSTER:  Obviously, it‘s serious.  I mean, the reason he took the plea, I‘m sure, is because he‘s going to cooperate.  And if there were mob guys involved—and it seems that that‘s the guy—then he definitely has some concerns.  

ABRAMS:  Do you think he should be asking to go to the witness protection program? 

FRANCEZE:  I think he probably will.  I mean, that‘s normally what follows.  If he‘s going to do jail time or if he‘s making some kind of a plea deal, I‘m sure he‘ll be offered the program, then it‘ll be up to him whether he wants to go in or not.

ABRAMS:  And, Henry, what is it like in the witness protection program?  

HILL:  I mean, for me, it saved my life, so I have no complaints about it.  You know, they‘re real strict, and you have to toe the line, you know?  And I‘m just not a perfect person, and I just couldn‘t do what they wanted me to do.  Otherwise, I‘d probably still be in it.  But, I mean, it saved my life.  So what can I say?  I got nothing but praise for those people and the job they do. 

ABRAMS:  Michael, look, you‘re involved in counseling some professional sports players and teams, et cetera, about some of these issues.  How pervasive, how influential is the mob in pro sports? 

FRANCEZE:  Very.  I mean, you know, I say this all the time and have been saying it continuously and, of course, experienced through it through my time in the mob.  That‘s why they selected me to come and talk to these players.  I mean, it‘s big business.  And guys in the mob are always looking for an edge.  They control most of the bookmakers throughout the country.  If they can get an athlete or anybody associated with the game involved is such a way or, you know, get them over a barrel, so to speak, where they owe something, well, then they‘re going to try. 

And, you know, I wasn‘t shocked at all when I heard this, because I know these guys are targeted.  And with gambling so accessible to everybody today, it was just a matter of time before somebody got in too deep, made a mistake, and got involved with the wrong people. 

ABRAMS:  Let me do this, gentlemen.  A little bit of a lighter side. 

Here‘s a parody that we found on the Web, and then I‘ll ask Henry about it. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Never rat on your friends, and always keep Kobe below 20. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I always wanted to be a rat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hey, Mom, what do you think? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You look like a gangster.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You handle this right, there‘s going to be other things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  By the time I grew up, we had the Knicks losing half their games.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Spurs by seven.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Consider it done.

We had it all.  It was a glorious time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It‘s going to be a good season.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  But I should have known it wouldn‘t last forever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  When I found you, you were schlepping shoes at the mall.  And I can send you right back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What do you need that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘ve got an away game in Detroit. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Another dead Celtic, huh?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Where is all this money coming from? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The feds are closing in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You know you‘re going down? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hey, why do you got to be busting my balls?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What did you do?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I flushed it down the toilet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Why did you flash it, Karen? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The feds were everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We needed that. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Henry, what do you make of it?

HILL:  That was cute.  That was good.  Yes, I mean, the guy may be on drugs.  He may have an alcohol problem.  And, you know, he‘s got to be treated as a sick person.  You know, and you know he‘s going to cooperate fully, but he‘s got addictions, and it‘s a terrible thing, addictions. 

ABRAMS:  Henry Hill and Michael Franceze, thanks a lot.  Appreciate it.

FRANCEZE:  Thank you.

ABRAMS:  Up next in “Winners and Losers,” a dog owner gets the last laugh over her pooch‘s last rites.  A pup takes the final bite out of disgraced D.A. Mike Nifong‘s law license.  And a caregiver in the doghouse for the way she treated a 90-year-old man.  Today‘s “Weiners and Losers,” up next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ABRAMS (voice-over):  It‘s time for tonight‘s “Winners and Losers” for this 15th day of August, 2007.

Our first winner, dog owner Judy Hagan, who‘s won the right to keep a headstone she purchased for her deceased dog.  The marker sparked controversy because it commemorated his canine‘s notorious name, which began with a four letter s-word and ended with “head.”

Our first loser, Mike Nifong, who earned the same notorious name for his mishandling of the Duke lacrosse case.  The disgraced D.A. has sparked even more controversy by claiming a puppy destroyed his revoked law license, a document that could now serve as a headstone for his career. 

The second winner, single mother Angela Kelly, who won a record-breaking $70 million in a European lottery this weekend.  The 41-year-old Scottish postal worker is now richer than Princes William and Harry.

The second loser, single socialite princess Paris Hilton, who will ultimately be worth far more than Angela Kelly, is apparently shopping around for a club to bestow the honor of shelling out a half-million dollars to host the Paris Hilton New Year‘s Eve bash. 

But the big winner of the day?  Texas citizens improving their agility with scooter exercises.  These sprightly senior citizens dodged through an obstacle course, striking only a few traffic cones on their way.

But the big loser of the day?  Anastasia Olouch, caught on tape repeatedly striking a senior citizen.  A surveillance camera installed in 90-year-old John Taylor‘s Baltimore home after he suffered a stroke caught her punching him in the head and chest. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ABRAMS:  Unbelievable.  Lisa Robinson from NBC‘s Baltimore station, WBAL, has the full and ugly details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAKI TAYLOR, VICTIM‘S DAUGHTER:  Are you OK?  Do you want anything?  

LISA ROBINSON, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  Jaki Taylor says her 90-year-old father, John Taylor, is getting great care in the facility he‘s in now.  She brought him to a nursing home after finding out he was being abused by his home caretaker.  Taylor says she knew because of the security camera she installed in their home.  And this is what she saw 54-year-old Anastasia Olouch do on four different days while her father was in her care. 

TAYLOR:  In the video, I saw, she‘s taking her fists and hitting him in the chest, she was hitting him in the stomach, hitting him in the arms.  I mean, and then when we back a few days before, she had him on his side.  She actually was taking her knuckles, and she was banging him on the side of his temples, slapping him in the back of his head. 

ROBINSON:  Mr. Taylor has suffered two strokes and was unable to defend himself or communicate.  Police arrested Olouch, and a grand jury indicted her on multiple counts of assault, abuse of a vulnerable adult, and reckless endangerment.  August 8th she was to stand trial but didn‘t show up. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The state would like to go forward with this case.  A warrant has been issued for her arrest.  And we are asking the authorities to seek her via the warrant and bring her to justice. 

ROBINSON:  Since the beatings, Mr. Taylor has suffered several brain seizures.  Doctors can‘t say for sure if they are a direct result, but Jaki says her father‘s health has deteriorated since then.  She says, if you see this woman, contact police so they can bring her to justice.

TAYLOR:  This is a woman who sat in my dining room everyday and supposedly read the Bible.  And then you look at that video, and you go, “Oh, my God, what God was she serving?”  Because it‘s not the one I know. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ABRAMS:  Well said.  If anyone has any information on Anastasia Olouch‘s whereabouts, police are asking that you call 410-396-2012. 

That‘s all the time we have for tonight.  Up on the Doc Block, “Scenes from a Murder.”  I‘ll see you here tomorrow. 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

END   

Copy: Content and programming copyright 2007 MSNBC.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2007 Voxant, Inc. ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon MSNBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

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