Guests: Julia Renfro, Aitan Goelman, Albert Levin, David Schwartz, Leslie Crocker Snyder, Gail Gross, James Montgomery, Renee Ferguson, Ozzie Knezovich, Don Clark
JIM MORET, GUEST HOST: Coming up: the city of Chicago about to pay millions of dollars because it took police too long to respond to a desperate 911 call for help.
The program about justice starts right now.
Hi, everyone. I‘m Jim Moret of “Inside Edition.” We will get to that story in a minute.
But, first up on the docket, Washington state police need your help finding a teenager missing for almost a week now. Nineteen-year-old Jamie Lynn Drake was last seen Friday morning by her boyfriend and his roommate at their apartment in Spokane. When the roommate returned at 1:45 that afternoon, Jamie was gone, along with her car.
She hasn‘t been seen or heard from since. But, late yesterday, police in Maple Valley, Washington, hundreds of miles where—from where Jamie was last seen, found her 1993 Ford Mustang, and then arrested 20-year-old Kevin Wayne Newlund for possessing stolen property.
There is still no sign of Jamie.
Joining me now on the phone, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and former FBI Special Agent Don Clark.
Thanks to both of you for joining us.
DON CLARK, FORMER FBI INVESTIGATOR: Thanks, Jim.
MORET: Sheriff, first to you.
OZZIE KNEZOVICH, SPOKANE COUNTY, WASHINGTON, SHERIFF: Thank you.
MORET: What‘s the latest? What can you tell us?
KNEZOVICH: The latest is, we received information that the vehicle had been spotted in Maple Valley. We requested help from the King County Sheriff‘s Office. And they went out and found the vehicle and apprehended the suspect, Mr. Newlund, yesterday. As of...
MORET: And he was driving basically hundreds of miles from where this girl was missing. So, it‘s obviously suspicious that he was in the car in the first place, wasn‘t it?
KNEZOVICH: Yes, it was.
We have sent a detective over to interview Mr. Newlund. And we are in the process of recovering the vehicle, bringing it back to Spokane for further investigation.
MORET: Is he—is he Kevin Wayne Newlund a suspect or a person of interest at this point, sir?
KNEZOVICH: He‘s been arrested for possession of stolen property, and we will be working on getting him back into Spokane County shortly.
MORET: And aside from the car, was there any other property that was missing, out of place, should have been—should have been there, wasn‘t there, so forth?
KNEZOVICH: Not that we know of. We‘re continuing to look at the leads as they develop. We‘re canvassing neighbors, looking for friends, family that may have information. And we‘re requesting that anybody that has information contact the Spokane County Sheriff‘s Office with that information.
MORET: Now, I know that her friend suggested that she wouldn‘t simply run away. Why would they say that? There‘s obviously information leading them to that conclusion.
KNEZOVICH: Apparently, Ms. Drake was a very solid teenager. She was very diligent in the things she did. She went to work and contacted her parents off and on, even though she was living away from the house. This is totally out of character for her.
MORET: Former FBI Special Agent Don Clark, when you look into a missing-person case, how do you determine if the person ran away or if there‘s foul play involved?
CLARK: Jim, it‘s very difficult on occasions.
But when you have a bit of evidence—everything starts from the evidence. And sometimes you have got to build a wall around what you have got, and sift through it to see if that—there is information there, and it gives you an idea that this person may have just taken off and run away, or there was foul play involved.
In this case right here, the car is a very good piece of evidence there. And whether it‘s possession of stolen property or what, I suspect that there‘s going to be a lot of opportunities for DNA and a lot of opportunities for examination, which may assist them further in this case.
But you have got to do that in every case to try to get to the bottom of the evidence.
MORET: Now, we‘re showing our viewers photos of this missing girl.
And there are stats and the numbers to call.
You know, when somebody is missing since Friday, obviously, every hour is important. As each other passes, sir, what‘s the likelihood that she will be found safe and sound?
CLARK: Well, you know, you want to keep a positive attitude about these things and hope that you are going to find them.
But, frankly, as time goes along, and once you sort of rule out that possibility that she may have just walked away, then it starts to really get less and less. And I feel for the families in these environments, but, nonetheless, my experience has been is that the longer she stays missing and nobody has any further information that can lead you closer to her location, that doesn‘t look very good.
MORET: Kara (ph), keep that missing tip line up on the screen. I will read the number once again. That‘s 509-477-4760. If anyone has seen Jamie Lynn Drake, call the Spokane County Sheriff‘s tip line, again. You can call it really any time. It says 7:00 to 5:00, but leave a message if there is nobody there answering, but 509-477-4760.
And, obviously, your calls, your tips are all welcome.
Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, thank you for joining us.
Don Clark, please stay with us.
KNEZOVICH: Thank you.
MORET: But now we go to Chicago, where the city is about to pay a mother‘s three children more than $4 million, because her family says the city is to blame for her murder. Their attorney says police took too long to show up after she called 911, pleading for help.
Ronyale White had a restraining order against her estranged husband.
She made four calls to 911 after he showed up at her house. Listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
RONYALE WHITE, CHICAGO RESIDENT: My husband is here. He‘s under an order of protection. He‘s not supposed to be here.
911 OPERATOR: He‘s under order of protection?
How did he get in? Did he break in or what?
WHITE: No. He came in through—he came in. He got a key.
911 OPERATOR: All right. Watch for the police, ma‘am.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have Ms. Drexel. She has an order of protection against her husband. And he‘s in the house now.
WHITE: He just clubbed my tires on my truck.
WHITE: Where are you?
911 OPERATOR: Hello?
WHITE: Where are you?
911 OPERATOR: Do you need assistance?
WHITE: One-zero-six-eleven South LaSalle.
911 OPERATOR: One-zero-six-eleven South LaSalle. What‘s wrong?
WHITE: My husband has a gun. He‘s trying to kill me.
911 OPERATOR: OK. You already called a few minutes ago, a minute ago, right?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MORET: Apologize to our viewers. Obviously, that‘s very disturbing to listen to.
By the time the police arrived, 17 minutes later, that woman was dead. Louis Drexel convicted of her murder. Ronyale‘s family says that should never have taken police so long to get there that day. And now the city apparently agrees.
Joining me is reporter Renee Ferguson with NBC Chicago station WMAQ, and James Montgomery, the attorney for Ronyale White‘s estate.
First to Jamie.
Give us the update. What‘s the latest?
Renee—I‘m sorry. Renee, what‘s the latest?
RENEE FERGUSON, WMAQ REPORTER: Oh, hey, Jim. Hey, Jim.
The latest is, is that, as far as we know, the city still hasn‘t officially signed the settlement papers. But just let me tell you this one thing. This was something that really, really shocked our city four years ago, and the police department really tried to withhold the tape for a very long time. They really did not want anyone to hear what everyone just heard.
This was a very, very disturbing case. And attorney Montgomery has been working on it for a long time.
MORET: Yes, you‘re right, Renee. That tape is horribly disturbing,, especially when you realize that there were four calls made. How unusual is this kind settlement for the city to make?
FERGUSON: Well, actually...
FERGUSON: You want to go ahead and tell that, Jim?
JAMES MONTGOMERY, ATTORNEY FOR RONYALE WHITE ESTATE: Renee, would you like me to speak to that?
MORET: Sure. James Montgomery, you‘re the attorney for Ronyale White‘s estate. Why don‘t you speak to that, sir?
Number one, the city would never want to have what you just played on the air heard by a jury. And once the Supreme Court of Illinois decided that the city was obligated to pay for any claims that we proved, then, of course, they were prepared to settle this case.
We have no—we had no opportunity to take depositions or anything. This was a case where the city definitely did not want this case to go before a jury, because it was a horrific thing that happened to this lady. These officers, we found, were doing things other than coming to respond to that call.
We found that at least two minutes, Officer Cornelious was used to talk to his brother. Another minute, he used to listen to his voice-mails, while he should have been responding. It could have taken him, if he proceed to that place at normal speed, three minutes and 12 seconds to arrive and save that lady.
He arrived 15 minutes later, a few minutes after she had been killed. He could have saved this lady‘s life. And the city settled this case for $4,250,000, because they did not want this case to see the light of day before a jury. And I think it was a good settlement for this family.
MORET: Sir, when you talk about the amount of time, there were four calls made. Let‘s listen once again to that second call for help.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
WHITE: He just clubbed my tires on my truck.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MORET: And, Mr. Montgomery, that call there indicates that the assailant was outside the house, so you‘re saying that if police had gotten there in a timely fashion, they would have stopped this guy before he went in?
The bottom line was, he was in the house. The evidence showed that there were two doors that were broken into by him, in order to get to her. So, it was pretty clear that this lady was fighting him off and secluding herself in one room or another, until he finally broke through and shot her to death.
MORET: Renee Ferguson, this is a huge settlement, $4.25 million. Talk to the amount. And it‘s a high amount, clearly. And there was other information that was released today, which Mr. Montgomery just went over, what these officers were doing. This is clearly a black eye for the city.
MONTGOMERY: There‘s no question.
FERGUSON: It is a difficult thing for the Chicago Police, especially because, as Mr. Montgomery said, the police officers, one of them was on his cell phone taking his personal messages.
And while they did not really get to depose these officers for trial, we know that they were doing something that kept them from saving this woman‘s life. The other thing, of course, that was very impressive to me was that Ronyale White actually believed in the system, because she had a protective order, and she called the police. She did the things that people who believe in the system do. The protective order didn‘t work. He came to the house with a gun anyway, and then she called the police, and they didn‘t come, until she was dead.
MORET: James Montgomery, how did...
FERGUSON: And, so, this was a—a very difficult situation.
MORET: Sir, how did they come up with the amount, $4.25 million?
MONTGOMERY: Obviously, we sat down and negotiated the numbers over a period of time, and came to a meeting of the minds. Obviously, it was a kind of a case that we were not going to settle for a small amount of money.
We have three children here who have a long lifetime to live. And they‘re going to live it without a mother. And we think that that number was a fair and reasonable number and one that we could recommend to the client.
MORET: James Montgomery, attorney for Ronyale White‘s estate, and Renee Ferguson, reporter with NBC Chicago affiliate WMAQ, thank you both for joining us.
MONTGOMERY: You‘re very welcome.
FERGUSON: You‘re welcome.
MORET: ... another teacher arrested for having sex with her student. She‘s at least the third teacher arrested for the same thing in recent weeks. Are more teachers having sex with their students than ever? Or does it just seem that way?
And prosecutors say seven man were planning to blow up the Sears Tower, but lawyers for some of the Miami terror suspects say their clients are victims of government entrapment.
Plus: a new witness behind bars in the Natalee Holloway case. This guy says that he saw two people go out into the water the night she disappeared. Only one returned. We talk with Natalee‘s mother, Beth Twitty.
Your e-mails, send them to ABRAMSREPORT@MSNBC.com. Remember, include your name and where you‘re writing from, and I will respond at the end of the show.
MORET: Three infamous teachers set to the 1984 song by Van Halen “Hot For Teacher.”
It has happened yet again, another teacher-student sex scandal. It‘s the third we have reported on in the past three weeks. We first brought you the case of a 25-year-old Amy McElhenney two weeks ago. That‘s the high school teacher and former Texas beauty queen charged with having an improper relationship with a student.
Then, we told you about 29-year-old Zachary Loavenbruck. He‘s charged with sexual assault for having a relationship with a female student.
This week, it‘s a 25-year-old Sarah Elizabeth Dickerson, charged with five counts of criminal sexual assault for a relationship she allegedly had with a student when—when she was a high school Spanish teacher in Normal, Illinois. The alleged victim was Dickerson‘s student when the relationship started to develop just this past spring, progressing from e-mails and text messages to sexual encounters at her home.
The male student reportedly told authorities that the two had sex more than five times, that is, before his mother found some of their text messages and then called the police.
Joining me now to talk about this, psychologist Gail Gross, who specializes in children‘s issues, and criminal defense attorney David Schwartz. And joining us on the phone, former New York State Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder.
Thank you all for joining us.
First, psychologist Gail Gross. Are we simply hearing about this more, or is this a bigger problem than in the past?
GAIL GROSS, FAMILY AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT PSYCHOLOGIST: You know, I‘m a family and child development specialist, so we do a lot of longitudinal students. And these things have gone on.
It‘s not that—that it‘s something new. It‘s the way it‘s happening that‘s new, as you said, text messaging, cell phones, computers, privacy at a level that never was before.
And the idea that we even question is it right or is it wrong, of course it‘s wrong, and kids intuitively know it‘s wrong, so, they feel a lot of shame; they feel a lot of guilt. It stops them from progressing in their normal individuation process.
They end up with a teacher, instead of a peer, someone their own age. Adolescence is a time of experimentation. We want to see these kids say yes, no, against what kind—one kind of relationship and another. Instead, they‘re with an adult, who herself had to be traumatized, or she wouldn‘t be hanging out with adolescents and really misusing her power and authority, and manipulating them.
They like it. There‘s a lot of attention there for them. But, on the other hand, then they get caught. And they get caught into not telling, because they could get their—their grades lowered, or no one will believe them, or there‘s the fear that they were participating, and, by participating, they liked it, maybe looked for it.
And so we have all these confused things going on, and we have a—have a real responsibility as adults to make one rule for teachers, male or female, and cut it out.
MORET: Well, Judge Snyder...
LESLIE CROCKER SNYDER, FORMER NEW YORK SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: Yes.
MORET: ... what do you make of this, really, because it seems that we‘re seeing more cases? You‘re looking at one there, where the female student has a relationship with a male student. And, frankly, you have a very sharp divide on this issue. Men, when this all—when this first came about, would say, gee, I wished that happened to me, and they would be half-joking.
And, yet, obviously, it‘s wrong. It‘s bad. But we seem to be seeing more women involved now than before.
SNYDER: In a way, it seems surprising. That‘s true.
However, I don‘t really know how many of the women are—how many more cases there are now, because I suspect that many were hushed up, both for male teachers and female teachers, by the schools previously, and that it‘s become harder to do that.
But I think women will increasingly be treated equally, with—women teachers who take advantage of their relationship, which is what is shocking, will be treated as harshly as men.
MORET: But do you think—do you think they really are treated the same?
SNYDER: Not necessarily to date, but I think they will be, as we see more and more cases.
Now, if you take the—the case that you are showing on the screen right now, that woman was sentenced to a lengthy jail sentence, and, as you know, she then ended up marrying this kid, years younger.
MORET: Well, that case was just strange from the get-go. And it‘s really developed.
SNYDER: She was treated very harshly.
Now, some of the—there‘s a disparity in treatment of the teachers, male and female, depending on where the case is, depending on the particular judge. But I think, with time, we will see women teachers, because it‘s the abuse of the relationship that‘s is shocking. That is what we have to deter.
David Schwartz, criminal defense attorney, where do you come down on this?
DAVID SCHWARTZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Oh, I—I come down—I agree and I disagree with some of the commentary.
The bottom line is, I understand what the psychologist is saying, but I completely disagree. I have done my own—my own tests on this—on this issue. And, believe me, the victim in this case, who from what I understand is a 16-year-old boy, will be just fine, OK?
MORET: Well, wait. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait. Wait.
SCHWARTZ: Jim, he will be just fine. He will not be traumatized.
MORET: What kind of tests you—you‘re not talking about scientific tests here.
SCHWARTZ: No. No. No, no. I—I—I—I have done my own poll, which I told Dan about a while back, where—where I have polled men on this issue.
And it‘s constant that, when you‘re looking at the victim impact, which is what goes into sentencing on these cases, this kid will not be that traumatized. So—so—so, the fact of the matter is, there are certain people that want to punish these teachers. They want to throw them in jail.
You know what? I agree. It‘s wrong. They shouldn‘t have a job anymore. They should get psychiatric evaluation. They may have to sign the sexual register and plead guilty and get probation. No jail for this teacher.
MORET: Dr. Gross...
GROSS: You know, adolescence lasts until you‘re about 24, and there‘s a 30-year longitudinal study by a fellow called Eugene Pompian Mindland (ph).
He studied the hippies, for example. And he said that when adolescence, a time of experimentation, testing yourself your environment, is stopped by a commitment, a relationship, or a group, before it‘s completed, through 24, the child is more likely to get fixated there. And you won‘t see a problem today. But, midlife, you will see that person not being able to be intimate, maybe drugs, alcohol, depression, anxiety, all the things that have to do with being exploited and out of control.
GROSS: And, by the way, let us not make a mistake. This is abuse.
And its not really consensual sex. This is a child in adolescence. It‘s being taken—he‘s being advantage of. And when you‘re out of control, the ultimate is that you control.
SCHWARTZ: I think that view is out of touch with reality.
MORET: Hold on. Hold on. One at a time. Hold on. One at a time.
MORET: First, let‘s go to Judge Snyder.
SNYDER: Well, I...
MORET: Let‘s say—let somebody come in—someone comes into your courtroom, a female teacher, and the student is, say, 17 years old. That‘s a different case than with a 12-year-old, clearly.
SNYDER: It‘s absolutely true. It is much harder to feel that a jail sentence would be appropriate in any way for that situation.
But the abuse of the relationship by the teacher—that person should never be a teacher again. And I agree with Dave on some of the things he said. I—it‘s very hard for me to believe that the long-term effect on a 16- or 17-year-old boy is going to be that traumatic. But I‘m not a psychologist.
MORET: Well, I mean, look, you‘re looking at this teacher here. And I would say it would be very difficult for anyone looking at Debbie Lafave to say, that if they‘re 16 or 17 years old, they wouldn‘t find her attractive, and they—and they wouldn‘t brag to their friends that she made a pass at me.
You know, I don‘t know if I buy the—the long-term effects.
However, that may be so. I don‘t know.
MORET: There‘s an abuse power though, clearly, because she‘s a teacher, and you‘re talking about a student.
GROSS: Consider the unintended consequences.
A baby can come from this. The person they may have met within their own peer group, they don‘t even date. A lot of these cases, the boys say they feel guilty about dating their own friends. They feel they‘re cheating on their teacher. And then there are sexually transmitted diseases. And then they may get stuck in a relationship...
SCHWARTZ: Well, of course a lot of can happen in any case.
MORET: David Schwartz, David Schwartz, weigh in on that.
SCHWARTZ: That could happen in any case. That‘s ridiculous.
SNYDER: Yes. I agree completely.
SNYDER: That‘s absolutely just a problem with any relationship these days.
SNYDER: I think the point is, we don‘t want teachers who are so aberrant that they‘re going to do things like this.
This is this—improper, intolerable behavior by a teacher. But let‘s not confuse the—and say that it‘s the same thing to have a 25-year-old woman have sex with a 16- and—or 17-year-old boy, as, say, a 40-year-old man with an 11-year-old or 12-year-old girl or boy.
MORET: David Schwartz, you get the last word on this.
GROSS: You would surprised.
GROSS: ... very traumatized.
SCHWARTZ: I totally agree.
I think Joan‘s (sic) opinion is out of touch with reality here. You know what? Adolescent kids have a lot of problems in this world. And, believe me, one of the problems is not going to be the fact that he had sex with his teacher. He‘s going to go on with his life.
MORET: And that‘s the last word for now. Obviously, this is not going to end here.
Dr. Gail Gross, Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder, and David Schwartz, thanks, all of you.
SCHWARTZ: Thank you.
MORET: Coming up: Seven men were arrested in Miami last week for allegedly plotting to blow up Chicago‘s Sears Tower. Now their attorneys are claiming entrapment, saying the men were cornered by an FBI informant.
Plus, a new witness comes forward with information on the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. What he says he saw the night Natalee disappeared could help solve the year-old mystery.
And our continuing series, “Manhunt: Sex Offenders on the Loose”—our efforts to find missing sex offenders before they strike again. Our search today, in Wisconsin. Police are looking for Monta Drinkard. He is 25 years old, 5‘ 5“, weighs 100 pounds. He was convicted of second-degree sexual assault of a child and has not registered his address with the state.
If you have any information on his whereabouts, please call the Wisconsin State Police at 608-240-5830.
We will be right back.
MORET: Coming up: Lawyers for some of the men arrested for plotting to blow up the Sears Tower say their clients are victims of government entrapment. We will talk to one of them—but, first, the headlines.
MORET: Last week, the Justice Department announced it had busted a group in Florida with plans to launch a terrorist attack here in the U.S.
Seven men, including five U.S. citizens, are suspected of plotting to blow up Chicago‘s Sears Tower and several government buildings in Miami. The charges include conspiring to provide material support to al Qaeda and conspiracy to levy war against the United States.
According to the indictment, the men swore an oath of loyalty to al Qaeda and asked for supplies, including machine guns, bulletproof vests, and combat boots. The FBI learned about the plots through an informant, who met with the defendants and then tape-recorded their conversations.
They thought he was a member of al Qaeda who could help them carry out the planned attacks. And now their attorneys are claiming this is a case of entrapment and their clients never would have acted without the FBI informant.
Joining me is Albert Levin, court—a court-appointed attorney for Patrick Abraham—he‘s one of the seven suspected terrorists—and former federal prosecutor Aitan Goelman, and retired FBI Specialist Don Clark.
First to Albert Levin.
You‘re claiming this is entrapment. Why?
ALBERT LEVIN, ATTORNEY FOR PATRICK ABRAHAM: Well, Jim, it‘s a little early really to say whether or not it‘s actually entrapment.
Whenever the government uses an informant or otherwise conducts some kind of a proactive investigation, obviously, we‘re going to look for evidence of entrapment, to see exactly whose idea the crime was. Was it the defendant‘s idea or was it the government, through their agent or undercover, what—whatever the case may be?
So, at this point, I would anticipate that an entrapment defense could be utilized, based upon what the tapes reveal, based upon what the government‘s proof is, which, obviously, we don‘t have yet. My client is going to be arraigned tomorrow. And some time—some time after the arraignment, we will receive the discovery, and we will start looking at the evidence that they have.
MORET: Aitan Goelman, as a federal prosecutor, how do you set up a case like this? You obviously want informants, right? And you get valuable information. How do you protect yourself against a claim of entrapment?
AITAN GOELMAN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, entrapment is—you know, it‘s commonly claimed, but rarely is it ever successful.
I mean, you have to show, to show entrapment, that there was some kind of persuasion or inducement, and that the defendant had no predisposition to commit the crime. If you just invite somebody to commit a crime and they accept your invitation, then that‘s not entrapment.
I mean, here‘s a case where I presume that the government didn‘t just go around knocking on doors and asking whoever opened the door if they wanted to conspire to commit crimes against the United States. They probably had some reason to suspect that, you know, these seven guys harbored hostility or—or were, you know, already engaged in—in some kind of plotting.
So, I—I think that Mr. Levin has a—an uphill battle, and it may be a tough sell to a jury of Americans, when they, you know, hear that these seven guys swore an oath to someone who killed 3,000 of their countrymen.
MORET: Mr. Levin, let me play devil‘s advocate for a second here. If somebody comes up to me in secret and says, hey, let‘s blow up the Sears Tower, I‘m going to say to. Why—so, saying yes, I can‘t really say it‘s entrapment, right? I mean, there—there must be a motivation to carry out some attack, carry out some malevolent act against the United States, if you are going to say yes, if you believe the charges.
LEVIN: Well, Jim if you have the predisposition to commit a crime, or you have the intent, and that intent is yours, then entrapment is not going to fly.
But when the government is providing an opportunity to a situation where you had no intent and no predisposition, that‘s a case of entrapment.
MORET: So, you‘re claiming that...
LEVIN: And my client...
MORET: You‘re—you‘re saying that your client...
LEVIN: Go ahead.
MORET: ... was basically approached and, what, talked into this plan?
LEVIN: I‘m not saying he was approached. I don‘t really want to comment on the evidence, which I haven‘t seen yet.
But the government used an undercover, whether it be an agent or a witness, to go in to discuss doing things that my client, at least, had no previous intent or had any desire to do, blow up the Sears Tower, blow up other federal buildings in the country. That‘s just it. Whose idea was it? Is this fantasy vs.—this is fantasy vs. reality.
MORET: Don Clark...
LEVIN: If my client had the pre—go ahead.
MORET: Oh, I‘m sorry.
Don Clark, you‘re a retired FBI agent.
LEVIN: That‘s OK.
MORET: Walk us through—what‘s the role of an FBI informant, somebody who goes undercover? How do you infiltrate a group and then do what was supposedly being done here, get a group together that—that purportedly want to blow up some structures in the U.S., and then bring it out? You know, how—how do you go about this?
CLARK: Well, you know, Jim, oftentimes, an informant gets into a place because he‘s had some association with these people at some time or another. And, so, sometimes, he‘s just easily acceptable.
And, on the streets, people can drop names and so forth, and then you can get an informant in a situation. It‘s a very delicate task. But the entrapment issue is very, very—the FBI makes a really careful effort to keep that out, because so many cases would have been thrown out of court. That‘s not the case.
There are rules. There are procedures. They know that they‘re trying to develop what these people, these suspects are trying to do, and not trying to plant the seed. And the FBI agents, the handlers, are not going to let that take place, because they have got to get it to a prosecutor, so it can get through, and a prosecutor would throw it out.
So, it‘s the procedures that they go through. They make sure that they are not going to be leading these people into activities and letting the informant be the leader in that. When that happens, that‘s not good, and that‘s what monitoring these informants should take place and do.
MORET: Mr. Levin, your client was allegedly an illegal alien—illegal immigrant who had overstayed his visa. If he hated the U.S. so much, why didn‘t he just leave?
LEVIN: Well, first of all, he doesn‘t hate the United States.
And I just want to respond to what the gentleman just said. You know, FBI agents are human beings. And following policies and procedures, that‘s, in a perfect world, what happens. But, sometimes, policies and procedures aren‘t followed.
And I anticipate, maybe in this case, that was one of those times, that this was one of those times where policies and procedures were not followed. My client was an—is an overstay on a tourist visa. Basically, he came to this country when he was 17 years old on a tourist visa. He had been here for five years.
He has never been in trouble before. He‘s a student of religion. And he basically just forgot to renew his tourist visa. He does not hate the United States.
CLARK: Jim, can I just make a comment, though?
MORET: Sure. Of course.
CLARK: Is—is that the—the FBI guys do know the policies and procedures, and they know that every time you get involved in these type of operations, the first record and the song that‘s going to be sang is that entrapment.
So, they now how to guide these informants and keep them from doing that. And just look at the track record itself. Very few cases, as the prosecutor said early, ever gets tossed because of entrapment. So, that should be—tell you something.
MORET: Let‘s bring Aitan Goelman back in really quickly.
How closely do prosecutors work—work with the FBI and with informants on these kinds of cases?
GOELMAN: In sting operations, you know, the good agents will get the prosecutors involved very early. And that I think provides another kind of level of reassurance.
But I want to respond to something Mr. Levin said, that, you know,
this was just kind of dreaming and it was never really going to happen. In
in—you know, you hear this in a lot of these terrorism conspiracies that are nipped in the bud.
And, in this kind of situation, the government is kind of damned if they do and damned if they don‘t, because, if they let this play out long enough, so that there‘s really good evidence, like, you know, two tons of ANFO, like the guys in Canada had, and then something goes wrong, where, you know, the—the guns or the bomb-making equipment, they don‘t get all of it.
I mean, think of the criticism that the FBI would be in for then, or -
or, God forbid, if they actually failed to deter the attack, to prevent the attack. So—so, saying, you know, this was only in the planning stage, it never really happened, they were dreamers, they were fantasizing, you know, that is—is something that, you know, the government has to really ignore a little bit, whether or not they actually are going to pull the trigger when they‘re sitting in front of the building and they have the trigger in their hand.
They have to make sure that they‘re not in that position at any time.
MORET: Albert Levin, you have got a client on the line. You get the last word.
LEVIN: Jim, they—they found nothing. They had—these guys had no money. They had no manner, opportunity, means to carry this out.
This case is—you know, it remains to be seen what the government‘s evidence is, but the reality is here, I mean, are we really sleeping any easier now that the Liberty City seven are in custody? I submit not.
MORET: Albert Levin, Aitan Goelman, and Don Clark, thanks to all of you.
GOELMAN: Thanks, Jim.
MORET: Coming up: Aruban police have a new witness in Natalee Holloway‘s disappearance. He says he was on the beach the night Natalee disappeared. What took him so long to come forward? We will talk to Natalee‘s mother about the latest development.
Your e-mails, send them to ABRAMSREPORT@MSNBC.com. Remember, include your name and where you‘re writing from. And I will respond at the end of the show.
MORET: Coming up: A new witness in Natalee Holloway‘s disappearance, he says he was on the beach the night she went missing. So, why is he only coming forward now?
MORET: It‘s been over a year since Alabama teen Natalee Holloway was last seen in Aruba. And we‘re now learning a 10th person is being held in connection with her disappearance, a new witness. He‘s been jailed since early May. And what he‘s telling police about what he saw the night Natalee disappeared could be the break that Natalee‘s family has been waiting for.
Joining me now on the phone with the latest is Julia Renfro, editor in chief of “Aruba Today.”
Julia, thanks for joining us.
What‘s this witness saying?
JULIA RENFRO, EDITOR IN CHIEF, “ARUBA TODAY”: Well, the Aruban authorities haven‘t really given us any details.
But what we understand is, he has come forward—around April, he was brought to the police by a member of the media. And this man claims to seen Natalee being taken out into the water and disposed of. It—it seems like a wild story, but the authorities find his information credible.
RENFRO: Why? Because he had some specific details, and, apparently, he had had—he was holding on to several pieces of—or items that might have forensic evidence on them.
MORET: Well, you know, this happened a year ago. What took this man so long to come forward?
RENFRO: Well, he is an illegal alien on Aruba. And just like in the United States, once he came forward, he was detained, you know, because he‘s going to be deported. And—and I think he was fearing being deported.
MORET: Well, let‘s go over the details.
You say—I believe he said he saw a tall, thin man with light hair and a woman with light hair on the beach. Is that something about what he said?
RENFRO: Yes. He—he says he was—he was on the beach in the early morning hours, and he was actually asleep in his car, and heard some noise and screaming, woke up.
MORET: Screaming as in for help, or screaming—playful screaming?
What kind of screaming?
RENFRO: It—it wasn‘t clear. Like I said, the authorities haven‘t given us that information.
MORET: Then, the other thing that I read is that—that he saw two people go into the water, and only one come out?
MORET: Is that correct?
MORET: So—so, the—the implication is, he saw two people go in and then, what, that Natalee was left in the water? Is that what police are—are gleaning from this?
And—and, apparently, he also claimed that he felt that she was being held down by something heavy, a pipe or something. And I don‘t know if the authorities have been able to retrieve this or if they‘re still looking for it. That also is unclear.
MORET: And what about the items you say that he found on the beach?
Are they personal items belonging to Natalee?
RENFRO: That‘s what they‘re saying. Like I said, the authorities have not released that information, you know, for the reasons of, you know, right now, that‘s the only evidence we have, so...
MORET: Well, are they calling this man a suspect or a witness?
RENFRO: No, absolutely not. They are calling him a witness. If he was a suspect, the authorities would have released his initials by now, and they haven‘t.
And the reason why he‘s being detained is, because he is an illegal alien, he cannot live on the island, and he‘s needed if—if this case goes to trial. He‘s going to be needed as a witness, so they don‘t want to let him go back to Colombia, or they don‘t want to force him to go back to Colombia, because they need him.
MORET: And based on this sketchy description that he‘s giving, Natalee would have been alive when they went into the water, if she was screaming.
RENFRO: Like I said, that‘s unclear as well. We—we really don‘t know that at all.
MORET: And are they—they‘re calling this the most credible witness so far, or are they not really saying?
RENFRO: Like I said, they haven‘t released any information. We feel that this is important, because, you know, he‘s been detained since early May. So, we‘re working on almost two months of detainment.
We don‘t know how far they are or what the next step is, but what we do know is, the authorities are continuing to investigate this case and to find out what happened to Natalee Holloway.
MORET: Julia Renfro, thanks a lot for the update.
We will talk next to Natalee‘s mother, Beth Twitty, about this latest news in the search for Natalee.
Plus, our conversation yesterday about a judge who blocked a law that would keep sex offenders away from places like school bus stops got a lot of you riled up. We will read those e-mails.
And our continuing series, “Manhunt: Sex Offenders on the Loose”—our efforts to find missing sex offenders before they strike again.
This week, we are in Wisconsin. Police need your help finding David Hardin, 42 years old, 5‘8“, weighs 190 pounds. He was convicted of sexual degree—a second-degree sexual assault of a child. He has not registered his address with the state. You see his picture there.
If you have any information on his whereabouts, call the Wisconsin State Police, 608-240-5830.
We will be right back.
MORET: We‘re back with more on the news of a new witness in the mystery behind Natalee Holloway‘s Aruba disappearance over a year ago.
A man from Colombia living on Aruba illegally says he was awakened while sleeping in his car by screams the night Natalee was last seen. When he got out to see what was going on, he says he saw a tall, slim, light-haired male walking out to sea with a small, light-haired female. The man then returned to the shore alone and drove off.
Now, this witness went over to the area where he says he saw the two. And he says he gathered several items, which are now being tested in a forensic lab in the Netherlands. He has been detained since May.
Joining me now is Beth Twitty, Natalee‘s mother.
Beth, it‘s good to see you again. Thanks for joining us.
BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, MOTHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY: Thank you, Jim.
MORET: Beth, when you hear these things—and I know you been on this roller coaster. You and I talked in Iraq. We talked in Birmingham at your home. You even talked at our—my home in Los Angeles. This is a roller coaster.
And every time a new development comes, you say, we will have to wait and see. This is new and different though, isn‘t it?
HOLLOWAY TWITTY: Well, in a way it is. And—but I think about how much time has transpired now. It‘s been, gosh, you know, 12 or 13 months. And, you know, I think that we‘re all just a little skeptical about this.
And I think John Kelly, our attorney, of course, he‘s—he‘s much more skeptical than we are about it. I think he knows we have been down this road many times, and only to reach a dead end. So, he‘s really just pulling back on this one.
MORET: Yes. And I guess what bothers me most is, you hear somebody coming forward now or even a month ago, when—when authorities say he came forward. You know, it‘s been so long. Why did he wait so long? It couldn‘t simply be because he was there illegally and was worried.
If he really thought somebody was killed, he should have come forward sooner. And that‘s what bothers me about this.
HOLLOWAY TWITTY: Well, and the one thing that really troubles me, Jim, is, I‘m thinking, if this really did transpire, he seems like he would have tried to intervene that very fateful night, if he was actually seeing this happen.
Now, I can‘t imagine just somebody standing by. Even if he were on the island illegally, you know, during the middle of the night like that, it seems like he could have come forward at that time.
So, a couple of things about it don‘t add up to me. And, you know, I think that John Kelly is just—he‘s pretty skeptical about this. But, like I said, we‘re just waiting to see. We‘re still waiting on the information on the forensics that they did on a piece of steel cable that was recovered from the location where the Colombian witness was describing he had seen this tall male with whom he thought was Natalee.
MORET: Well, and he says he gathered some items on the beach. And—and I suppose that—that tests could show some connection there with Natalee as well. And you‘re waiting for that, too.
HOLLOWAY TWITTY: Right. Right.
And we have not heard a word back, not a peep from any results from that. So, you know, we‘re so hoping—hoping that that will reveal something.
MORET: Beth, do you think that this—this investigation is still a real and active investigation? Or do—do you have faith that these—these leaks that come out, these announcements that come out every so often, indicate the case is really moving forward?
HOLLOWAY TWITTY: You know, Jim, the only thing that I have hope for is, I have hope that we will still get justice through a New York judge being able to say yes to having this case heard in the United States.
I will be honest. That is our last shot and what we feel as if is our only hope at getting justice right now. That‘s it.
MORET: And when you hear this—when you hear this description of a young, tall, light-haired male walking with who would presumably be your daughter, do you think that Joran—you still believe Joran is involved in this, don‘t you, Joran van der Sloot?
HOLLOWAY TWITTY: Well, I think we have to, you know, go back to the facts and the early facts surrounding the case.
And with Joran‘s repeated lies that he told the officials, you know, with him being known to be the last male seen with Natalee alive, we know the condition she was in, it doesn‘t look good for him. And I think that we all go back to those facts, and we see him as the original perpetrator into her disappearance.
MORET: Beth Twitty, I have seen you for so long as an advocate for your daughter and also other teens. And I hope everyone knows that, too.
And thank you so much for joining us today. I hope that the results are—are revealed shortly.
HOLLOWAY TWITTY: Thank you, Jim.
MORET: Coming up: your e-mails about the New York man arrested for helping his wife commit suicide.
MORET: And time now for your—got ahead of myself.
Time now for “Your Rebuttal.”
A few of you had different opinions on the decision made by the federal judge who blocked a law that would forbid convicted sex offenders from living, working, and loitering within 1,000 feet of public sites, like school bus stops, because it might infringe on the constitutional rights of the offenders.
Bjorn Gray from Jackson, Mississippi, says: “Banning sex offenders from living near a school bus stop is 100 percent unconstitutional and unfair. What about murderers, drug dealers, and devil worshipers? We don‘t ban them. This shows just how backwards some Americans‘ thinking really is. Once a person has paid his or her debt to society, that person should have the legal and natural right to live wherever they choose.”
Lori Comfort says: “I find it abhorrent that anyone is interested in the constitutional rights of sex offenders when it comes to them having access to children by living near a bus stop. It is common knowledge that a pedophile is a pedophile for life. It is the lawmakers‘ duty to make the world safe, especially for children who are incapable of doing it themselves.”
And you also had a bone to pick about Victor Han, the man in New York who was arrested for aiding his wife‘s suicide, when she drove off a cliff with her children, because he knew of her psychological state, and left the kids in the car all the same.
Barbara from Vermont writes: “What is the difference between the husband of the woman who drove off a cliff with her children and Andrea Yates‘ husband, who also knew his wife was ill and left her alone with those children?”
Well, for starters, Victor Han‘s children survived the crash. And we also don‘t know enough about this case to start making appropriate similarities.
Mark from Oklahoma writes—quote—“I am infuriated with this case. It is suicide. She killed herself. No one else is responsible for that final decision. You are looking at this all the wrong way. She tried to kill her children. She was willing to take their lives because of her own selfish inability to cope with negative changes in her life.”
Now, obviously, Mark doesn‘t have any doubts about where he stands on this case. I, for one, still need more time and new developments before I make my decision.
Mike Kirwan from Los Angeles, California: “Anyone who has been married knows that, if you want the marriage to work at all, tune out the other party to the point where the endless nattering is only recognizable as human sounds if you force yourself to concentrate.”
Thank you, Joyce Brothers. And thanks for that advice. I can‘t wait home—to get home and try this one out, but I just don‘t think it‘s going to work.
Send your e-mails to ABRAMSREPORT@MSNBC.com.
I‘m Jim Moret from “Inside Edition.” Thanks for watching.
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