updated 4/22/2005 2:41:50 PM ET 2005-04-22T18:41:50

Guest:  Susan Filan, Daniel Horowitz, George Felos, Jon Saltzman

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  Coming up, the mother of Michael Jackson‘s accuser continues her verbal war with Jackson‘s attorney. 


ABRAMS (voice-over):  He‘s trying to get her to admit she sought out celebrities for money and favors and that Jackson was just her latest target.  And we have the exclusive about why she took the Fifth. 

Plus, Florida investigators find no signs that Terri Schiavo was abused.  We talk with her husband‘s attorney, George Felos. 


ABRAMS:  And an emotional outburst as an alleged cop killer is arraigned, charged with taking a detective‘s gun and killing him. 

The program about justice starts now. 


ABRAMS:  Hi everyone.  First up on the docket tonight, a runaway witness in the Michael Jackson case.  The mother of the teen accuser refuses to answer questions today citing attorney-client privilege, this after taking the Fifth last week regarding possible welfare fraud and perjury.  We‘ve got exclusive new details about the allegations that kept her silent on that topic.

But first the accuser‘s mother no less combative than she was with defense attorney Tom Mesereau last week, playing by her own rules and answering questions in her own way, the long way, which prompted the judge to repeatedly strike her answers from the record. 

NBC‘s Mike Taibbi was in the courtroom.  Mike, sounds to me like this has been a long, car chase and that finally the car may have crashed. 

MIKE TAIBBI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  That‘s one way of looking at it.  I‘m not sure, though, that a lot of what this witness said, this is, after all, the mother of the accuser, can be totally discounted because there has been some corroborating evidence, some videotape, for example, of the surveillance she says was part of the whole intimidation campaign by the Jackson camp during and after the family‘s time at Neverland, so there is some of that. 

There are photographs being shown right now in redirect of injuries she and her son allegedly suffered in that J.C. Penney‘s incident years ago when she claims that security guards there and from Tower Records beat them, so I think the jury is looking at all that and cannot totally discount it, but this was a wild ride today.  Among other things, she did say that one of the ways the Jackson people were going to get rid of her was to send them off in a hot air balloon. 

Apparently, she told that to police in one of her earlier interviews and Mesereau said was that one of the ways your children were going to be gone from Neverland?  She said that‘s one of a variety of ways.  She now says that she was given only one meal a day, so it‘s sounding more like actual imprisonment at Neverland. 

And then, as you say, she‘d just sort of go on in her own tangents.  One of them was in answer to no question at all that had been posed, he, pointing to Jackson, gave my son alcohol and that was enough for me and as time progressed, it just got more and more and more...

ABRAMS:  And let‘s be clear Mike, did she know about the alcohol at the time or is she saying she learned about it after the fact? 

TAIBBI:  She claims she only knew for the first time that her son had ever drunk alcohol after everything was over and she was telling the story and the boys were telling the story for the first time to an attorney named William Dickerman, so that all happened later allegedly.  You know there are going to be witnesses who say that the kids were drinking on their own and doing other things when Mesereau puts his case on. 

ABRAMS:  Yes, so again, when she‘s talking about you know this is—well, what I know about him now is based on what she‘s heard her kids say.  She wasn‘t—the only thing she was an eyewitness to when it comes to abuse was this alleged licking of the head, right? 

TAIBBI:  You know, I guess that‘s true, but what‘s fascinating to me about this entire presentation by this witness is that she has an answer or an explanation for everything and it all leaves her totally innocent and her children totally innocent and other people, whether it‘s social workers, law firms she engages, newspaper editors, lawyers, everybody else is at fault and/or part of the conspiracy and all of it, she said, pointing again to Michael Jackson, started with him. 

He was the one who started the threats about her family being in peril and their lives being in danger.  He‘s the one who talked to everybody else and told them what to do, gave them the scripts, et cetera, which she was to read and her family was to read in this scripted performance in the rebuttal video.  So I mean she‘s been a fascinating witness in that way.  Tom Mesereau has not stumped her, that is to say left her at a loss for words.  She has had...


TAIBBI:  ... words and he‘ll have his say and the defense will as you know. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  Mike, if you can stand by for a moment, joining me now...

TAIBBI:  Sure.

ABRAMS:  ... is Connecticut state prosecutor Susan Filan, who was in court today and California criminal defense attorney Daniel Horowitz.  All right, before I go to what I view as a very interesting point here, Susan, what‘s your reaction to seeing her in court?  You said that you really wanted to be able to see her.  You‘ve seen her now.  How did she come across? 

SUSAN FILAN, CONNECTICUT PROSECUTOR:  Dan, she‘s a very complicated witness and she can‘t be summarized terribly simply.  In some ways she sounds credible and in some ways she sounds incredible but on balance, she has to be taken seriously.  You can‘t easily discard her as somebody who makes no sense or is making it all up.  There is enough corroboration to what she says that at times she‘s very believable and yet at other times, she cooks up these things that you think, OK, now I‘ve lost you. 

For example, Mesereau made two excellent points on cross, although I have to say it was a very long, rambling cross.  It was disorganized and not focused and it took way, way, way too long, but the two things that I think were significant that he got out of her today were one, she gave a video in which she tells how much she loved Michael and he was daddy to the boy and that was from the heart.  Yet four days later when she gives the rebuttal video, that was all scripted.  That was forced and that was coerced. 

ABRAMS:  Right.

FILAN:  I think that‘s a problem for her.  And then secondly, toward the end she says that she goes to lawyers but she doesn‘t tell them about the molestation because she‘s going to save that for the police.  And she doesn‘t want the lawyers to know she‘s going to the police, but she doesn‘t go to police for months after that. 


FILAN:  He did trip her up a little bit on that, but otherwise, she made some great break-through points and she is holding her own against Mesereau. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  All right, here‘s part of the problem Daniel Horowitz, is that she‘s basically saying this audiotape, right, that this investigator for Michael Jackson comes in from Mark Geragos actually and asks her all these questions about the family and this—oh, he‘s great.  Everyone in the—nothing ever—oh, nothing—he‘s a great guy.  All right. 

So here‘s what she says about it today.  I already told them before everything that was on the Bradley Miller audiotape was from my heart, from the initial lovey-dovey meeting that I had in Miami.  I believed him and trusted him.  And here‘s what Bradley Miller said to us in an exclusive interview about what she said on the tape. 


BRADLEY MILLER, FORMER JACKSON DEFENSE INVESTIGATOR:  I asked each of them if anything had ever—anything improper had ever happened.  I asked about sleeping arrangements there and was told by the two sons that neither one of them ever slept alone in Michael‘s room without the other one being present, that nothing ever happened, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing sexual. 


ABRAMS:  Daniel Horowitz, as you know, the prosecutors would say that the abuse started after that tape was made. 

DANIEL HOROWITZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  Well Dan, it just makes no sense.  This woman to the jury is on the gravy train until the gravy train grinds to a halt with the Bashir documentary.  At that point she‘s still on the team, she talks to Protective Services, supports Michael.  She makes a videotape, supports Michael. 

And then when she sees it‘s not going to hold water, Michael is headed for disaster, she switches horses.  Wherever the money is, that‘s where this woman goes and Dan, the problem with her testimony for the prosecution is that it‘s no longer about whether Michael molested her son.  It‘s all about whether this woman is crazy, a grifter, honest, dishonest.  Best role to keep her on the stand for a year with that issue before the jury and not Michael‘s abuse...

ABRAMS:  But Daniel, she sworn...

FILAN:  Dan...

ABRAMS:  ... she‘s sworn she will not file a lawsuit.  If she does choose to file a lawsuit later, everything she said in this case about not wanting his money and not this and this and that, it would all come back to haunt her. 

HOROWITZ:  Dan, if she doesn‘t file a lawsuit, I will run naked around the Capitol building in Washington, D.C....

ABRAMS:  I don‘t know that anyone is going to want to see that...

HOROWITZ:  That‘s a good point, Dan...


HOROWITZ:  ... but you know what...

FILAN:  Dan, here‘s the problem...

HOROWITZ:  ... that‘s ridiculous that she wouldn‘t file a lawsuit and it‘s her son‘s lawsuit in any case.  She doesn‘t make the call.  That is patently a lie and we know it. 

ABRAMS:  All right, Susan, go ahead. 

FILAN:  Dan, here is the problem with the gravy train argument.  Right now the prosecution is doing extremely tight, extremely focused redirect and they‘re starting going right into the heart of the J.C. Penney lawsuit.  They‘ve got her to talk about what exactly happened and they‘re corroborating it with photographs up on a huge screen in a darkened courtroom come these shocking photos of her bruise on her arms and her legs and her face, and her son‘s arm is in a sling and in a cast...

HOROWITZ:  And when were those taken...


HOROWITZ:  Was that taken...

ABRAMS:  Wait, wait...

HOROWITZ:  ... at the time of her arrest or afterwards...

FILAN:  Her testimony...

HOROWITZ:  ... by lawyers? 

FILAN:  ... is that it‘s immediately after, immediately after.  So what, did she go beat herself up with a bat and bang her son around?  It‘s impossible.  If you look at where those injuries are, it‘s impossible that they‘re self-inflicted...

ABRAMS:  Mike...

FILAN:  ... and it‘s incredible that she stood there and let someone beat her for a couple of hundred thousand dollars. 

ABRAMS:  But Mike Taibbi, wasn‘t one of the things that she supposedly lied about was domestic abuse? 

TAIBBI:  Yes.  Apparently she conceded this on the stand, she admitted that she lied when she said that there was no abusive situation in the household.  That it was a good marriage with her ex-husband so the injuries all came from this alleged beating at the hands of security guards by J.C.  Penney‘s and Tower Records.  She‘s already admitted to several statements that were strictly the definition of perjury in that case and I‘ve got to tell you, Susan, the deeper that the prosecution delves into the J.C.  Penney‘s case, and we‘ve done a lot of original reporting on this, the more problematic it will be for her because if they ever get into the deposition the kids gave, in which there was an assessment that the kids were giving clearly scripted testimony, clearly (UNINTELLIGIBLE) her testimony, that‘s not going to be good...

ABRAMS: Let me just remind—let me remind my viewers...

TAIBBI: Sure. ABRAMS: ... the J.C. Penney case involved a case where the boy apparently was stopped initially for shoplifting. 


ABRAMS: The family has been taken into custody. The mother claims that she is abused by the security guard. She doesn‘t say she was sexually assaulted but then when she files an additional brief in the case later on, then adds, oh, you know what else I forgot to mention before was that he—the security guard was groping my breasts as well...

TAIBBI: No, no—two—it‘s worse than that...

ABRAMS: Yes, go ahead Mike.

TAIBBI: Two years later, two years later she makes that allegation.

ABRAMS: Right.

TAIBBI: It wasn‘t just groping her breast, but it was also two minutes additional of groping her vaginal—her lower area. But she‘s saying that for seven minutes in broad daylight in addition to this beating there was this follow-on sexual molestation and that was never mentioned in any of the settlement agreement language at all. But that‘s something that she added on literally two years after...

ABRAMS: Yes, I mean...


ABRAMS: ... Susan, I agree with Mike on this. The more they get into this J.C. Penney case, the more trouble it is for this family.

FILAN: I don‘t know, Dan. I mean what‘s—where did the bruises come from?  Where—is it the husband that did this...

ABRAMS: Maybe.

FILAN: ... and beat his son...

ABRAMS: Who knows...

FILAN: I don‘t know.

ABRAMS: I mean I don‘t know. 

FILAN: I don‘t know. 

ABRAMS: I don‘t know, either...

FILAN: I don‘t think that her testimony can just be discounted. I don‘t think you can just listen to it and say baloney...

HOROWITZ: But wait...


HOROWITZ: ... how about the police who arrested her? 

FILAN: I really don‘t. I think it‘s much more complicated than that...

ABRAMS: but I think...


ABRAMS: I think the prosecutors would like them to just discount it, to tell you the truth.  I think the prosecutors would be happy at this point if the jurors just say let‘s forget about everything the mom said and let‘s see what else is out there.  I think that mom is such a bad witness for the prosecutors that they have to be concerned that not only are they going to discount it but they‘re actually going to use it against the defense in other aspects of this case.  Daniel, go ahead.

HOROWITZ: The whole point is if the police who arrested her during the shoplifting had seen her beaten up by the security guards, then they would have done something so I don‘t believe her testimony. Right now she‘s distracted the prosecution and the defense and the jury. It‘s all about her. It has nothing to do with Michael Jackson and her son. Dan, you‘re right. They would love to get her off the stand and Mesereau is not letting her off. He knows just what he‘s doing.

ABRAMS: let me read...

FILAN: Part of that‘s the prosecution‘s fault, though, because they really should have objected about 200 times and they didn‘t on the relevance...


FILAN: ... ask, the answer repetitive. 

ABRAMS: Well, yes it seems like her answers are all getting stricken from the record or a lot of them. Here‘s one of the questions she‘s being asked about in an interview with one of the investigators. You said the following: In my observance and their interaction and the accuser with Michael Jackson and the accuser‘s brother with Michael and sister with Michael, is that a father figure he provides them with a sense of humor.  He‘s very funny and a sense of direction and guidance and you meant that.  What you were saying, correct? Yes, I did. This is my observance of what I saw in Miami, but now I know different what was happening and I was clueless.  And then everything after the yes I did got stricken from the record. Mike, that happened repeatedly in court, right Mike?

TAIBBI: Yes, there was a lot of that. There were some other refrains, too. What a fool I was she said several times, you know, and it was a way of her segwaying (ph) back into it, but now I know exactly what he is, that his whole idea was to do what he was going to do with children and saying those things in that way buttressing the state‘s case...


TAIBBI: You know, she was a strange and as you say, a runaway witness.  I think that probably on balance, too many of the things she said were fantastical and not to be believed...

ABRAMS: All right.

TAIBBI: ... but not to do damage...


TAIBBI: ... to the things she said that were...

ABRAMS: Let me have everyone just stick around for a minute. When we come back, Mike has got an exclusive report. The accuser‘s mother has already taken the Fifth. We‘ve got exclusive details about why she may have done it. 

And Florida authorities find Terri Schiavo was not abused by her husband or her caregivers as some of her parents‘ supporters had claimed.  I‘ll talk with Terri‘s husband‘s attorney. 

Plus, a bizarre scene in a Rhode Island courtroom as a defendant is arraigned for using a detective‘s own gun to kill him.

Your e-mails abramsreport@msnbc.com. Please include your name and where you‘re writing from. I respond at the end of the show. 




MILLER:  I will tell you, Dan, that this family, every conversation I had with them, every meeting I had with them, any interaction with them centered around either money, fame, celebrity and/or possessions.


ABRAMS:  That was my exclusive interview with former Jackson investigator, Bradley Miller.  His sentiments echoed in court today when the accuser‘s mother was cross-examined and we‘ve got more exclusive information on the case. NBC News has uncovered the details behind the accuser‘s mother taking the Fifth last week refusing to answer questions about possible welfare fraud and perjury. 

Mike Taibbi is back with us with revelations that it could be a big part of the Jackson defense - Mike.

TAIBBI:  Well I think it will be central to the defense case, Dan, the same way that what Bradley Miller was saying will be the kind of witness and the kind of testimony we‘ll hear later.  This mother, as we‘ve been reporting, is still on the stand and she‘s either a key witness in what the prosecution said was the Jackson-led conspiracy that preceded the alleged molestation or as the defense claims is the architect of the shakedown scheme in (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Jackson‘s money.  I mean that‘s the defense‘s case that perjury and fraud are part of this woman‘s history.


TAIBBI (voice-over):  When the mother of Jackson‘s accuser took the Fifth Amendment rather than testify about her welfare history, even the prosecutor said she may have committed perjury in certain of her applications.  NBC News has had an exclusive look at those applications for welfare and food stamps, documents that show the mother claims she had virtually no assets after she‘d received a six-figure court settlement and tens of thousands in donations for her cancer patient son.

On November 5, 2001, the mother‘s lawyer distributed over $100,000 from J.C. Penney‘s and Tower Records whose security guards, she claimed in a lawsuit, had beaten and sexually assaulted her—the guards denied it—after her older son had been caught with clothes that hadn‘t been paid for.  At least 32,000 of that settlement money was deposited in one bank account with separate interest bearing trusts set up for each of her sons.

Yet 10 days after the payout, she sent in her welfare applications under penalty of perjury that she and her children had no money from any source.  No court settlements, no bank accounts, no interest income.  She also said they had no health insurance though her ex-husband‘s policy was and remains in force.  In monthly eligibility reports and in a reapplication in October of 2002, the accuser‘s mother reaffirmed those answers and collected benefits until March 2003.  Still a prosecutor not involved in the Jackson case says the mother‘s continuing testimony cannot be discounted. 

FILAN:  Just because she lied on her welfare application doesn‘t mean that she‘s lied in this trial. 

TAIBBI:  But a Jackson lawyer who is not part of the singer‘s trial defense has formally asked the Los Angeles district attorney to investigate the accuser‘s mother. 

TONY CAPOZZOLA, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL JACKSON:  That‘s (UNINTELLIGIBLE) fraud, more importantly than fraud, in my opinion, that‘s (UNINTELLIGIBLE) perjury.


TAIBBI:  Of course, the accuser‘s mother has denied repeatedly that she‘s after Jackson‘s money or that she will ever seek any of Jackson‘s money and Dan, she‘ll have more opportunities to make that denial because she‘ll be on redirect tomorrow, probably recross again somewhat significantly after that.  The 54th witness in this trial and the beginning of its seventh week will have spent almost four full days on the stand, more than any of the witnesses who precede her...


TAIBBI:  Just a note about how important she is to both the prosecution and defense...

ABRAMS:  Let‘s talk a little more about this J.C. Penney case...

TAIBBI:  Sure.

ABRAMS:  ... because I think this is crucial because the prosecutors are now—been going back into it on the redirect.  Here is some of the cross-examination about what came out about the J.C. lawsuit.  All right.

She says when I was laying on the floor while they were beating me—this is what she says happened—one of the Tower Records guys, another security officer—do we have this—OK—had his hand over on my breast and on the front area of my private area.  My pants were on.  There was no intercourse, no rape, no nothing like that. 

I was just trying to describe that his hands were on my breasts, which I repeatedly kept saying I just wanted his hands off of me. 

Question then, do you remember testifying that your nipple was squeezed 10 to 25 times? 

Yes, he wanted to humiliate me like he‘s trying to do at this moment and making me say it‘s millisecond per millisecond. 

You testified to these facts to get money, true? 

It was a civil lawsuit, yes it was.

The final set of questions—did she lie about the abuse by her husband to get money. 

You testified under oath that you never had any black and blue marks prior to the incident at J.C. Penney, correct? 

Yes, that‘s correct.  I was too embarrassed to tell anyone.

You made that statement because you wanted any injury you ever had to be attributed to J.C. Penney and Tower Records, right?


If you testified truthfully, you said your bruises were from your ex-husband, the amount of monetary damages you could get would have been lowered, true?

It‘s incorrect.  I would have never told anyone until my ex-husband got arrested that he was giving me these bruises, never.  People see me with bruises and I would never, never, never tell them.

You know, Daniel, the problem that she has in this J.C. Penney case is that the allegations in some ways are so similar to the allegations here.  Sure, it‘s her son making them here, but again it‘s sexual abuse, it‘s false imprisonment, and it‘s about as the defense would say, money. 

HOROWITZ:  Exactly, Dan.  And on top of that, she‘s involved her child in both of these cases.  The jury has to be thinking, wait a minute.  She may have lied about the J.C. Penney case.  It seems kind of fishy and her son was right there as part of the lawsuit.  After all, he had stolen clothing with him.  She got him to steal once.  If he stole from J.C. Penney‘s, would a kid lie for millions of dollars if his mother trained him from a very young age to do so?  And Dan, I think the answer is a resounding yes, this mother is undermining the entire case.

ABRAMS:  Susan.

FILAN:  Dan, the problem is that J.C. Penney paid out an enormous sum of money, $150,000.  That‘s way more than a nuisance settlement.  That‘s way more than just make her go away.  She also testified today that she wasn‘t even in the store.  She was working at a store in the mall next to it.  She wasn‘t there when the alleged theft occurred. 

She came after and saw the security guard beating her husband and her son.  She went to intervene and they started beating her, too.  Well, the case against her—she was arrested but the case against her was completely dismissed.  All charges dropped.  So I mean if we‘re going to have a mini trial within a mini trial, it isn‘t a slam-dunk that she‘s a stolen liar and that this never happened.  She‘s a money grubbing fisher.  I mean she got a significant sum. 


TAIBBI:  Susan, Susan...

ABRAMS:  Go ahead...

TAIBBI:  ... wait a second, Susan...

ABRAMS:  ... Mike, yes...

TAIBBI:  ... we did all of the original reporting on that.  She had sued originally for 100 -- for $3 million plus and had asked for other things, could her children be involved in commercials for Penney‘s, et cetera, and that was, in fact, what the lawyer for J.C. Penney‘s described as the make it go away number.  On the eve of the trial they had a settlement conference and said...


TAIBBI:  ... what‘s the minimum that we can do and make it go away and that was at 137,000 from Penney‘s and 15,000 from Tower Records...

ABRAMS:  And no one denies that there was some sort of fight in the parking lot...

TAIBBI:  There was a scuffle in the parking lot...

ABRAMS:  Right.  Right, no one denies that...

TAIBBI:  Absolutely, there was a scuffle in the...

ABRAMS:  Yes, and as a result...

TAIBBI:  ... correct.

ABRAMS:  ... you know look, any time security guards get in a fight, literally a fight with patrons or whatever, it‘s possible problems...

TAIBBI:  Right.

ABRAMS:  ... for the company. 

TAIBBI:  Let me just say one more thing about that, Dan.  This is someone who is close to the prosecution and close to this family and we won‘t identify him, but he said at the end of the day, whatever you think of this person and her history with welfare, her history with the Penney‘s case, what does any of that have to do with the question of whether Michael Jackson molested this woman‘s son.  And at the end of the day that‘s going to be—it may not be her credibility...


TAIBBI:  ... that‘s a factor at all but the credibility of her son and her younger son who is the only corroborating witness who claims to have seen at least two of the acts of molestation and the jurors are going to be reminded of that by the prosecution.  And if they can be reminded in a way that is compelling...


TAIBBI:  ... and that tells them once again how serious this is, none of this other stuff is going to matter. 


TAIBBI:  J.C. Penney‘s, her testimony, her balloon trip, none of that‘s going to matter.

ABRAMS:  Yes.  No, that‘s a fair point.  All right, Mike Taibbi, Susan Filan, and Daniel Horowitz, thanks a lot. 

Coming up, Florida investigators find no signs that Terri Schiavo was abused between 2001 and 2004.  We talk with her husband‘s attorney, George Felos.

Plus, an emotional outburst as an alleged cop killer appears in court. 

We talk with a reporter who was in the courtroom. 


ABRAMS:  Coming up a Florida judge has ordered the release of abuse reports relating to the Terri Schiavo case - shocker, no evidence that Terri was abused by her husband.  We‘ll talk with Michael Schiavo‘s attorney.  First the headlines. 


ABRAMS:  We‘re back.  When Terri Schiavo died nearly two weeks after her feeding tube was removed, some protesters outside her Florida hospice called Terri‘s husband, Michael, a murderer for going ahead with what courts have confirmed was her wish, not to be kept alive in a vegetative state and there were plenty of accusations against Michael Schiavo before those final weeks.  At least 89 reports that were investigated by Florida‘s Department of Children and Families between 2001 and 2004, the results of those investigations were released over the weekend and they show, as I predicted, no signs that anyone abused Terri. 

George Felos is Michael Schiavo‘s attorney, I just spoke with him about his reaction to the released information. 


GEORGE FELOS, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL SCHIAVO:  Well Dan, of course, I‘ve seen the documents before but could not comment on them.  These documents, evidence part of the very sad tale of how the Florida agency charged with protecting children and vulnerable adults was corrupted by political influence.  Floridians should be outraged and should demand an investigation to explain how this agency was so misled from its statutory purpose. 

ABRAMS:  Let me read some of the supposed claims here and what they found. 

You know, for example, it is suspected that Mr. Schiavo is shooting in Ms.  Schiavo some form of insulin.  On more than one occasion, Mr. Schiavo has been heard to say is the (blank) every going to die?  The husband said, when will the (blank) die because I‘ll be rich.  The husband has made the statement I can‘t wait until the (blank) is dead.  I want to buy a new sports car. 

And here‘s what they found.  Medical records show no references to any blood sugar problems.  There‘s no supporting documentation that the husband ever made statements about is the (blank_ ever going to die or when will she die because I‘ll be rich.  Hospice staff say the spouse is always courteous and is rarely alone with the patient.  So where were these coming from? 

FELOS:  Well, these were the charges of—we‘ve heard all over again in the media, dredged up against Mr. Schiavo that have been brought up and adjudicated and resolved in his favor by the courts.  But Dan, let me just read to you something very important in these reports. 

DCF says there have been numerous court decisions in this matter up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which found that Teresa Schiavo is in a permanent, persistent, vegetative state and that the feeding tube could be discontinued.  And they go on to say, the issues and fate of Teresa Schiavo is in the hands of the court, which has jurisdiction over this matter. 

Why, after 89 investigations and four years when DCF deferred to the court, all of a sudden, there was a turnaround in which the head of DCF said...


FELOS:  ... the courts don‘t matter.  We don‘t have to listen to their decisions. 

ABRAMS:  And of course, you‘re...


ABRAMS:  Just so my viewers—you‘re referring to the fact that at the very end of this, DCF comes in and says we effectively want to take custody of Terri Schiavo.  That‘s what you‘re talking about. 

FELOS:  Yes, well we want to intervene. 

ABRAMS:  Right.

FELOS:  We want to take custody. 

ABRAMS:  Let me read you another quotation from this.  It is alleged that Terri had broken bones in her ankle and in her back that was never explained.  Terri‘s husband had training as a nurse.  Five times after he was in her room, he had other staff members leave.  Terri would get sick after he‘d leave the room.  It is believed that Terri‘s husband did something to cause her sickness.

What they found, there were no signs of any medical problems or distress during the time that Ms. Schiavo had been a patient of hospice.  The spouse has always been courteous and very compassionate towards his wife. 

Now look, are you going to—any lawsuits going to come of this in terms of the things that people have said about Michael Schiavo? 

FELOS:  Dan, I can‘t say what‘s going to happen in the future.  Obviously, Mr. Schiavo has gone through a very traumatic event, the death of his wife, all of this litigation, I think he‘s just starting the healing process and there will be time to make decisions in the future.  But Floridians and everyone in this country need answers.  We call on the Florida attorney general, Mr. Crist, to perform an independent investigation on how this state agency became corrupted.  Floridians have a right to have faith in their organs of government and this corruption has to be gotten to the bottom of and I hope somebody will do that. 

ABRAMS:  Has he been in contact at all with the Schindlers?  I mean because we heard from one of his brothers who at one point said that they might be able to work out where Terri‘s body was ultimately going to be buried to the satisfaction of the parents. 

FELOS:  Well, there are no discussions about that to my knowledge that have gone on.  And as we had mentioned before, no final determination as to Terri‘s final resting place has been made as of yet. 

ABRAMS:  So there have been no contact between the Schindlers and Michael Schiavo? 

FELOS:  Not that I‘m aware of. 

ABRAMS:  Finally, in retrospect, they say—you know, one of the things they say is well, there are 30 plus allegations that have not been addressed yet and made in February, et cetera, and they say that there were some from before 2001.  What do you say to those who are saying well, what you‘re seeing here with these recently released documents is just a piece of the puzzle? 

FELOS:  The alleged new allegations, Dan, are nothing more than the same allegations that have been made over and over again over the past five years.  Terri is being starved to death.  Her rights are being violated.  Michael Schiavo is mistreating her.  There is absolutely nothing new that DCF is investigating now. 

ABRAMS:  How is Michael holding up these days? 

FELOS:  He‘s doing the best you can expect under very difficult circumstances.  He‘s—you know, if anyone has experienced the death of a spouse or a close loved one, they know how difficult it is and he has better days and he has more difficult days but he‘s a very strong man.  He‘s a very determined man and I‘m sure he‘ll get through this. 

ABRAMS:  George Felos, thanks for coming back on the program.  We appreciate it. 

FELOS:  You‘re welcome, Dan.  Thank you. 


ABRAMS:  We also asked Terri Schiavo‘s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, as well as their attorney, David Gibbs, to appear on the program.  We got this statement from Mr. Gibbs. 

Quote --  “We are disappointed that DCF did not conduct more thorough investigations using outside independent experts in 2001 and 2003.  If these outside experts had been called in to review Terri Schiavo like Dr.  Cheshire of the Mayo Clinic did for DCF in 2005, she very well could be safe and alive today.  Dr. Cheshire‘s opinion that Terri was not in a PVS and that she was communicating, recognizing people, feeling pain and projecting a distinct impression of life, could have saved her in 2001 or 2003.  Tragically, Dr. Cheshire‘s opinion in 2005 was too late for DCF to effectively do its job of protecting Terri as a disabled, vulnerable adult from being starved to death.”

You know, look, “My Take” on that.  That sure sounds like the same old, same old to me.  A medical opinion and a tiny minority driven more by religious conviction than by a medical assessment.  I‘ve said it before on this program, but that‘s just “My Take”. 

Coming up, emotions run high as an alleged cop killer appears in court.  We‘ll talk to a reporter who was there. 

And many of you writing in suggesting that the mother of the boy accusing Michael Jackson should be arrested for letting her son sleep in the same bed with him.  Your e-mails coming up. 

Remember, abramsreport@msnbc.com.  We go (UNINTELLIGIBLE) we (UNINTELLIGIBLE) make sure to read them at the end of the show.


ABRAMS:  Coming up, a bizarre scene in court as an alleged cop killer is arraigned on charges he took a detective‘s gun, killed him, and then jumped out a third story window.



ABRAMS:  Drama in a Rhode Island courtroom today from the family of an alleged cop killer.  Esteban Carpio was in court this morning charged with killing a Providence police detective, James Allen, early Sunday morning.  He was wearing a mask to protect his badly bruised face.  A result, police say, of him jumping out of a third floor window while trying to escape.  His courtroom entrance triggered an emotional outburst from his family. 














ABRAMS:  Carpio was being questioned in police headquarters on Sunday by Detective Allen about his possible involvement in the stabbing of an 84-year-old woman.  According to the police, Carpio wasn‘t handcuffed.  He grabbed the detective‘s gun, shot him and jumped through the window.  As he left the courtroom this morning, another family yelled—member yelled out and Carpio tried to respond through the mask. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I love you, baby. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I love you, too, mom. 




ABRAMS:  Joining me on the phone now from Providence is “Boston Globe” reporter Jon Saltzman, who was in the courtroom for today‘s hearing.  Thanks a lot for coming on the program.  We appreciate it. 

All right.  So were any family members of the police officer there listening to this? 

JON SALTZMAN, “BOSTON GLOBE” REPORTER (via phone):  No, we didn‘t see any family members of the officer.  There were quite a few of his colleagues, police detectives who were lining the back of the courtroom.  But we didn‘t see any of the family members. 

ABRAMS:  Was there any response on their part?  I mean was this just—was the outburst just from the family of the defendant? 

SALTZMAN:  Yes, it was just from the family of the defendant.  I mean as you can imagine, there were a lot of detectives who were standing in the back with their arms crossed and glaring at the defendant, but none of them were, you know, saying anything loudly or anything like that. 

ABRAMS:  Here is what the prosecutor said happened that led to this. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  During questioning of this defendant by James Allen of the Providence Police Department, this defendant initiated an unprovoked attack on the officer, he overcame the officer, removed his weapon and shot the officer twice, killing him essentially instantly here. 


ABRAMS:  Do we know how this happened?  I mean some people are going to be saying how is it possible that when he‘s questioning a defendant, the guy ends up getting his gun? 

SALTZMAN:  Well, there are a lot of details that still have to come out and the police chief himself said that they are trying to reconstruct this and they‘re going to discuss that after the funeral of Detective Allen on Thursday.  One thing that the police are emphasizing is that this guy was not in custody at that point.  He was being questioned and there‘s a gray area between when someone is in custody and when someone is merely being questioned.  So if they had slapped cuffs on him, then he would have been in custody and then he would have had to have his rights read to him and it would have been a whole other ballgame. 

ABRAMS:  Are they saying that the injuries to his face occurred from him jumping out of the window or because he resisted arrest? 

SALTZMAN:  Both.  The police chief said that, you know, he did take—he did fall 60 feet from this window or he plunged 60 feet from the window, but he didn‘t deny that officers did struggle with him as they were trying to arrest him and initially according to the chief, four officers grabbed him and the chief said many, many more officers came after that. 

ABRAMS:  Here is what the prosecutor said about that in court today. 


PAUL DALY, PROSECUTOR:  He was apprehended some distance from the police department by various police officers.  At that time this defendant then violently resisted arrest with those officers.  They were able to overcome him and he was placed in custody. 


ABRAMS:  What happens now Mr. Saltzman?

SALTZMAN:  Well, the matter is going to a grand jury.  There is a wake Wednesday for the police officer and a funeral on Thursday.  Detective Allen is the third officer who has been killed in the line of duty in Providence since 1994 and these tend to be enormous funerals with law enforcement officials from all over New England and we‘re hoping that after the funeral, the police will be a little more forthcoming about what the circumstances were and whether they‘re going to change their protocols. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  Jon Saltzman, “Boston Globe”, thanks a lot. 

Appreciate it. 

SALTZMAN:  Oh thank you. 

ABRAMS:  Coming up, a long overdue change in the law is coming.  That means the rest of us won‘t have to foot the bill as often when people declare bankruptcy.  It‘s my “Closing Argument”. 


ABRAMS:  My “Closing Argument”—remember when it used to be shameful to declare bankruptcy?  Something only a compulsive gambler or a father who didn‘t want to pay child support did?  Having to admit that he couldn‘t pay any of his debts had a stigma attached to it.  Well over the past two decades—quote—“going bankrupt” has become just another business decision and change was long overdue.  Nearly 1.6 million Americans filed for bankruptcy in 2004 more than double the number who filed a decade ago.  It just seemed all too easy to decide can‘t pay anybody back and you file for personal bankruptcy under Chapter seven, which means your debt is wiped clean.  Leaving those of us who pay our credit bills on time or don‘t miss a car or mortgage payment to foot the bill in the form of higher interest rates and excessive banking fees, as much as $400 each year. 

Well Congress wisely voted to change that last week, passing the largest overhaul of U.S. bankruptcy laws in over 25 years.  Under the new law, whether someone can wipe their debt clean depends on how much money he or she makes.  You make enough to afford at least $100 a month, you‘re on the hook for at least part of your debts.  American Bankruptcy Institute says up to 20 percent of bankruptcy filers will be affected by the new law.  Certain Democratic opponents argued the bill is going to hurt working class people who have suddenly lost their job or gotten a divorce or have unexpected medical bills.  They claim the new law is just an effort to protect credit card companies and banks. 

Look, regardless of the motivation, it‘s good policy.  It is about personal responsibility.  You buy the goods, you got to pay.  The laws are being abused, making it too easy to declare bankruptcy and just wipe away debts.  Someone has to pay for that money that was owed.  Look, with any change, there will be some honest people who would have been better off under the old system.  But remember, if you don‘t have enough money, the new law won‘t change the protections already afforded by bankruptcy.  I don‘t want to hear about any more people having their debts wiped away and still keeping the Lexus.  This new legislation will help prevent that. 

Coming up, many of you ask why haven‘t charges been filed against the mother of the latest Jackson accuser for allowing her son to sleep in Jackson‘s bed.  Your e-mails next.


ABRAMS:  I‘ve had my say, now it‘s time for “Your Rebuttal”.  A lot of you writing in with questions about the Michael Jackson case.

From Alabama, Harold Thornton, “Has California‘s law allowing prior accusations, such as in the Michael Jackson case, been tested in higher courts?  I find it to be very prejudicial and makes it appear that he is guilty.”

Harold, California courts have considered Section 1108, as it is called, the new law that allows prior accusations to be admitted in cases like this, even if no criminal charges were filed.  It has been determined to be constitutional.  The courts have acknowledged that prior offenses are prejudicial, but have held that the serious and secretive nature of sexual crimes makes prior acts especially relevant in those cases. 

Mike McMullan in Florida writes, “Why have no charges been filed against the parents of the victim?  Anyone heard of child endangerment?  This is crazy.  Arrest her.  The state should file charges and not only protect kids from people like Jackson, but from idiot parents like this one victim has.”

Also Friday we talked with Jake Goldenflame, a convicted sex offender, who said there‘s no way that sex offenders can ever get rid of their urges to molest children but they can learn how to control them. 

From Hawaii, Tresa Taniguchi, “How incredibly humble one must be to admit to the public and his peers of his sickness that threatens all of us.  How incredibly brave one must be to risk complete public and personal humiliation and discrimination by writing a book about his illness for the expressed purpose of educating all of us about the inner workings of a mind like his.”

But Kay Kalidja in Idaho, “On Jake Goldenflame, a chicken farmer never consults a weasel to protect his chickens.  Please.”

Someone who identifies herself as BoPeep Crose in Illinois writes, “I disagree that sex offenders can be rehabilitated.  My reasoning for my opinion is that I‘m a woman who‘s attracted to men.  No amount of counseling or rehabilitating is going to change my mind or my preference.”  All right.

Your e-mails abramsreport—one word -- @msnbc.com.  We go through them at the end of the show. 

“OH PLEAs!” - you‘d think that beating up rapper Eminem in high school would leave you with enough street credibility to last a lifetime.  Just think about the stories you could tell.  Well it seems a sanitation worker, Deangelo Bailey wanted to clean up more than.  Bailey sued the eight-mile rapper in 2001 over the song “Brain Damage”.  Eminem‘s song names Bailey and describes how Bailey bullied him in junior high. 

Bailey claimed everyone—quote—“knows my name as Deangelo Bailey.  Bailey alleged Eminem‘s lyrics invaded his privacy by publicizing unreasonable information that put Bailey in a false light.  Like a rap battle in the movie “8 Mile”, Bailey lost the war of words.  He appealed to the Michigan appeals court.  Three-judge panel ruled that a listener wouldn‘t take the song literally.  They didn‘t outright call him a rangster (ph), though.  In the words of Eminem, it seems he can finally tell Deangelo Bailey to go lose yourself.  A nice reference Dan.

That does it for us tonight.  Thanks for watching.  Good night.



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