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'MSNBC Live' for June 25

Read the transcript to the Monday show

Guests: Jon Lieberman, Jonna Spilbor, Susan Filan, Clint Van Zandt, Nikki Giavasis, Crystal Boultinghouse, Avery Friedman Jeffrey Jakmides, Ned Davis

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  For the hour tonight, the case against Bobby Cutts Jr.  The police officer arrested only an hour after his nine-month pregnant girlfriend, Jessie Davis, was found dead in a park Saturday.  Today he was arraigned, held on $5 million bond. 

His ex-girlfriend is with us.  And we‘ve got the tape of his own words from just days before his arrest.

I‘ll give you  my take on his case in a minute.


ABRAMS:  Now back to the murder case against Bobby Cutts Jr.  His lawyer would not comment on any possible defense.  Today‘s arraignment is the latest chapter in what began as a frantic search for Jessie, when her mother reported her missing 10 days ago.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Here is a developing story that we‘re following for you out of Ohio.  There is a desperate search going on right now for a young mother who has mysteriously vanished.  Twenty-six-year-old Jessie Marie Davis is nine months pregnant and she‘s not been heard from since Wednesday night. 

PATTY PORTER, JESSIE‘S MOTHER:  There are not words to describe what this feels like.  It feels like you have fallen into hell and you‘re hanging on (INAUDIBLE).  You cannot believe anything that happened to such a beautiful girl.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  So far, police say the only witness to the crime is her 2-year-old son.  Blake has been able to tell not only his grandmother, but investigators that his mother was crying, that his mother broke a table, and he said, “Mommy is in the rug.” 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Deputies have interviewed the father of Blake Davis, Bobby L. Cutts Jr., and he has been cooperating with deputies. 

CLINT VAN ZANDT, MSNBC ANALYST:  If I was working the case, I would want to know where he was from Wednesday night at 9:20 on, and I want to see both her cell and his cell phone records. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you believe Jessie will be found alive?

BOBBY L. CUTTS JR.:  Hopefully she‘ll be found alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Bobby, did you have anything at all to do with the disappearance of Jessie.

CUTTS:  No, I didn‘t.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  On Wednesday, June 20, 2007, a search warrant was executed at the residence of Bobby L. Cutts Jr.  Bobby L. Cutts Jr. was not arrested and not detained during this search. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Is Officer Cutts continuing to cooperate? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He is someone that we continue to talk with, and we are in communication with him. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Would you call him a person of interest in the case? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He is an acquaintance of Jessie Davis, as a lot of other people are that need to be contacted. 

KEITH OLBERMANN, “COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN”:  Late news in the case of the missing Ohio mother.  The search is over.  Murder charges are filed.  Just a short time ago, authorities announced they had found what they believe is the body of 26-year-old Jessie Davis and have charged her boyfriend with murder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Case number 2007 CRA02802 (ph), the state of Ohio versus Bobby Lee Cutts Jr.  Mr. Cutts is charged with two counts of murder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Bond is set at $5 million.

PORTER:  I believe my whole life has prepared me for this moment, and I am not sitting down when I see Bobby Cutts. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Patty, what will go through your mind when you walk in the courtroom?

PORTER:  I can‘t really verbalize the things that are going through my mind, but I wanted to make sure that he knew I was there. 


ABRAMS:  All right.

My take—the fact is police arrested him so quickly after finding Jessie Davis‘ body tells me Cutts is in big trouble here.  They did not have time to test anything found on her body, so they must have one or more of the following. 

Cutts may have confessed to police over the weekend, or at least told them where they could find Jessie‘s body, as some are reporting.  Or he could have confessed to somebody else who police questioned, or told that other person where the body was. 

The police also may have amassed enough evidence in the multiple searches of his house so that they were ready to arrest as soon as they discovered the body. 

And then finally, Jessie and Bobby‘s 2-year-old son who said, “Mommy was crying, mommy broke the table, mommy is in the rug,” may have also told his grandmother and the police something more than they made public. 

Our all-star legal panel tonight, former prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst, Susan Filan; former FBI profiler and MSNBC analyst, Clint Van Zandt; and criminal defense attorney Jonna Spilbor.

Thanks a lot to all of you for joining us. 

And joining us now on the phone, real quick, “America‘s Most Wanted” reporter Jon Lieberman. 

Jon, thanks for taking the time to join us.  We appreciate it.

Am I right in that your reporting is telling you that he did take the police to the body? 


Our sources are telling us two things.

Number one, that Bobby Cutts on Saturday, late morning, early afternoon, confessed to police his involvement in the disappearance.  Not necessarily that he killed Jessie, but his involvement, meaning he had something to do with her disappearance.

And then number two, he did, indeed, our sources are saying, lead police to Jessie‘s body.  And that‘s why the timeline is as it seems, which is he and his lawyer sat down with police on Saturday, and by Saturday afternoon they had recovered Jessie‘s body. 

ABRAMS:  All right.

Jonna Spilbor, if that‘s the case, then he has got some big trouble here. 

JONNA SPILBOR, DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  If that‘s the case, he is basically dead to rights.  But this is kind of strange, because his attorneys are basically negotiating for him before he has even been charged.  I‘m not so sure I buy this scenario yet.

ABRAMS:  Well, I mean, Susan, look, we see this in cases all the time where either a guy comes forward and he says look, you know, “I‘ve got come clean.  I‘ve got help them find the body.  This is the mother of my child.  I have got provide some closure here.”  Or maybe they put a deal on the table where they say no death penalty if you bring us to the body. 

SUSAN FILAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  I don‘t think he has an altruistic bone in his body.  I think he‘s completely manipulative.  I think whatever he did he did purely out of self-interest, and I don‘t think the D.A. would put a deal on the table yet. 

I mean, you are dealing with a double murder, including the unborn child, a 9-month-old viable child.  That‘s why there‘s two counts of murder, because this child could have at that age lived outside of the womb. 

So, no, I think what happened was, Bobby Cutts just looked at the writing on the wall.  They had been looking at him for nine days, getting evidence out of his house.  It‘s closing in, it‘s closing in, it‘s closing in, and he says to his lawyer, all right, we‘ve got to make a fast move here.  But I don‘t think he did it because he wanted to help. 

ABRAMS:  But what does he get out of it.  I mean, you say no deal is on the table, so what is he getting?

FILAN:  Well, he‘s going to say, hey, I was helpful, I was cooperative.  Let‘s cut a deal after the fact.  The prosecutors are going to think about it, and they‘re going—this is the way the conversation probably went.  Well, if you‘re helpful we‘ll take that into consideration.

ABRAMS:  I don‘t know.  But as his lawyer, Jonna, I mean, if you‘re at the end of—and Jon, real quick, was his lawyer there? 

LIEBERMAN:  My understanding is his lawyer was there.  He lawyered up very early in the week last week. 

ABRAMS:  All right.

So, Jonna, he‘s got a lawyer. 

SPILBOR:  Right.

ABRAMS:  And if Jon‘s reporting is accurate—and again, there is a distinction here.  He could say, I came to the house, she was sick, I freaked out.  I buried the body somewhere.  You know, that is the sort of defense we might see, but it‘s the sort of defense that loses every single time. 

SPILBOR:  Yes.  It‘s just not plausible, especially given the fact that this guy is a cop.  So let‘s say he‘s savvy in the ways of the law, number—number one.  Number two, he left a 2-year-old child who belongs to him unsupervised for god only knows how long that was going to be?  That defense does not make any sense, that he freaked out and got rid of the body. 

ABRAMS:  Is that a crime in and of itself, leaving the child there? 

SPILBOR:  Oh, sure. 

FILAN:  Absolutely, yes.  But look, I think also he left a child alive that could have potentially identified him at the scene, and I find that extremely curious as well. 

ABRAMS:  All right.

Clint, let me ask you about that.  We are seeing a picture of the little boy there, Blake. 


ABRAMS:  How do you go about questioning Blake?  I mean, maybe Blake gave the authorities more, but you‘ve got be really careful when you are questioning a 2-and-a-half-year-old boy. 

VAN ZANDT:  Yes.  As you and your panel know, Dan, you can‘t ask leading questions whatsoever.  You have to sit there, you have to let him talk to you. 

Now, you know, some child psychologists will give him two different dolls.  They will identify, you know, here‘s a mommy doll.  Who do you think this doll might be?  And, OK, what happened between these two dolls?  And maybe let him act that out again. 

So there is a chance he may have said something else.  You know, he may have said, for example, “Daddy took mommy away,” which police could have held on to and used that as part of their investigative lead, but that in and of itself may not have been enough obviously to arrest. 

And Dan, the three of you know far better than I, you would never put a child of this tender age on stand because, you know, number one, you don‘t know what he is going to say.  And number two, how are you going allow the defense to cross-examine a 2-year-old. 

FILAN:  Clint, I actually disagree with you on that.  I think they may have to go with this boy.  Maybe not per se on the stand. 

VAN ZANDT:  On the stand?

FILAN:  Some kind of videotape deposition.  Yes, I think they‘re going to have to if there isn‘t a plead out and this is an actual trial. 

VAN ZANDT:  Then that‘s why I think they have this other woman in custody, Susan.  And that‘s why I think they‘re going to use her and they‘re going to jam her up against him so they don‘t have to use the child. 

ABRAMS:  Let me ask you about that.  And let‘s get our—Myisha Ferrell is the woman we are talking about.  There she is. 

She‘s charged with obstruction of justice, maximum sentence of five years in prison, bond $500,000.  But they found—you know, she is a former classmate of his.  Police searched her apartment for two hours on Saturday night and they removed bleach and other items. 

You know, Jonna, she is in big trouble right now. 

SPILBOR:  Yes.  And, you know, she has got be more than a former

classmate.  Either she is in love with the defendant and perhaps had much

more to do with this, probably more than the defendant did, for all we know

we haven‘t explored that avenue yet.  What if she is the actual perpetrator and he‘s covering up for her?

ABRAMS:  Let me play this.  This is—Bobby Cutts‘ attorney spoke to the media today.  He was asked a question about whether he thought the case might be moved, and then also asked about possible strategy in the case. 


BRADLEY IAMS, ATTORNEY FOR BOBBY CUTTS JR.:  I think this is fairly unprecedented for Stark County.  It‘s really—it‘s too early to tell. 

You know, there is always the possibility that a jury can‘t be seated in a place like this, but it‘s something that‘s too early to tell.  We just have to wait and see.

I really have no intention of discussing the evidence in this case or legal theories or what I think about this case.  So you‘re not going to be happy with me.  I don‘t know what I can tell you that‘s going to be of interest to you, because I‘m probably not willing to answer those questions. 


ABRAMS:  Jon, is your information that that is the lawyer who was with Bobby Cutts when he told the police something about his involvement in the disappearance?

LIEBERMAN:  Yes, that is our information, that he, indeed, retained that attorney early last week.  But I‘ll tell you what, Dan, we can‘t give too much credit that Bobby Cutts—listen, I mean, he gave a lengthy interview to a local newspaper there, the “Canton Repository,” early in the week last week proclaiming his innocence.  He had nothing to do with the disappearance, and then he also showed up at Jessie‘s house Friday morning shortly after the 9/11 call came out...


LIEBERMAN:  ... in uniform and all of that.

So this guy isn‘t a brain surgeon.

ABRAMS:  Yes.  No one yet is giving this guy any credit, not even Jonna Spilbor, which tells you a lot.

All right.  Jon Lieberman, thanks a lot for calling in.  We really do appreciate it. 

LIEBERMAN:  Thank you.

ABRAMS:  Susan, Clint, Jonna are all going to stay with us. 

Still ahead on this special hour on “The Case Against Bobby Cutts,” up next his ex-girlfriend joins us.  She says she now regrets not stopping him before he could hurt anyone else.  She thinks he is and was capable of this type of crime. 



PORTER:  I believe my whole life has prepared me for this moment.  And I‘m not sitting down when I see Bobby Cutts.


ABRAMS:  Today Jessie‘s family came face to face with her daughter‘s alleged killer.  Her mom talks about that coming up.



IAMS:  It‘s been several days ago he contacted me.  And I‘ve been in contact with him since.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Prior to the weekend? 

IAMS:  Yes.


ABRAMS:  It is no secret that Bobby Cutts has a violent past.  Some were not surprised when he was arrested for allegedly murdering Jessie Davis and her unborn baby.  His ex-girlfriend says she experienced his dark side.  But before we talk to her, here is Cutts describing his relationship with that woman. 


CUTTS:  Me and Nikki dated in college, and we had a daughter.  Our relationship ended, like, around ‘99 or so, and our lives were going in two different directions.  And we had a—we had a child together.


ABRAMS:  Joining me now is Nikki Giavasis, Bobby Cutts‘ ex-girlfriend, and her attorney, Crystal Boultinghouse, from the J. Michael Kelly firm. 

Thanks to both of you for joining us.  We appreciate it. 

And I appreciate you coming back, Nikki, on the program.


ABRAMS:  No, Nikki, this has got to be a difficult time for you.  This is a man you knew well.  This is a man who fathered your child.  I know that you two have had some very difficult times.  But you must be surprised that it has gotten to this point, that he is now under arrest for the murder of Jessie Davis and their baby. 

Yes, it‘s shocking and it‘s horrifying that it has gotten—it‘s gotten to this.  My heart goes out to Jessie‘s family.  My prayer are with them all the time, because it‘s—it‘s just horrible what‘s happened. 

ABRAMS:  You knew him to be violent in your case.  Did you ever think he was capable of something like this? 

GIAVASIS:  I knew him to be violent, and in a way I did think he was capable.  That is why I fled him, and that‘s why I have such deep regret now that I didn‘t do more personally to stop him. 

ABRAMS:  Let me go over what happened in your case again, just for

people who don‘t know.  Is that he was charged with aggravated trespassing

this is December of ‘98.  He pled no contest, paid $180 in fines.  And he was ordered to stay away from you.

Did he stay away from you after that point? 

GIAVASIS:  No he didn‘t stay away.  And at the time, there was a lot of pressure, because he was initially being charged with a felony of breaking and entering, and I was told I would be ruining his life if I pressed charges.  So he was able to plead down to criminal trespassing and just be put on probation and be told to have no contact with me, which he didn‘t adhere to either. 

ABRAMS:  Let me ask you thins, when you told him that you were pregnant, how did he react?

GIAVASIS:  It seemed like it wasn‘t really concern about me being pregnant or concern about my daughter.  It always seemed to be it was concern about him to be pursuing me and control over me. 

ABRAMS:  I know that, again, there have been times when you said that he was violent.  Was he ever violent towards you while you were pregnant?

GIAVASIS:  No, not during, because I had broken off the relationship. 

So I was away from him. 

ABRAMS:  And then after that point is when he came and he came to knock on your door.  Tell us what it was that happened at the point. 

GIAVASIS:  Well, it was ‘98.  I was in a new relationship.  I had been in the relationship already for about a year and a half. 

And he had been out drinking that night and showed up unannounced.  He had a tendency to show up unannounced.  And he tried every way possible to get into my house, and he ended up succeeding by kicking the door in. 

ABRAMS:  He has had a custody battle ongoing with you until, I understand it, today.  Is that correct? 



ABRAMS:  Yes, Crystal, go ahead.  Yes.

BOULTINGHOUSE:  Yes, we have gotten news from the Ohio court that this morning, Judge Strucky (ph) has dismissed Mr. Cutts‘ original petition for custody of their daughter which was filed actually more about two to three years ago.

ABRAMS:  What has taken...

BOULTINGHOUSE:  It happened in...


ABRAMS:  What has taken so long?

BOULTINGHOUSE:  For him to—oh, that is a good question.  That is a very good question. 

We don‘t know.  It has been 11 months since the trial in July, and the decision fortunately came down today. 

ABRAMS:  And so finally they said this guy is accused of murder, so maybe it‘s time to resolve the custody battle? 


BOULTINGHOUSE:  Yes.  It has been a frustrating process, waiting for so long. 

ABRAMS:  And Nikki, during this case, which is kind of amazing, the court-appointed lawyer who was appointed to represent the child said a lot of negative things about you, about why you weren‘t suitable to be the parent, and actually seemed to be siding with him. 

GIAVASIS:  Yes.  It was so frustrating, because she initially spoke with Mr. Cutts, and she lived in the town with him and had frequent contact with him.  And so everything that he said to her she took as fact.  And it was really fiction.  So it was very frustrating to deal with. 

ABRAMS:  Do you know at all this woman who was arrested along with him, this old friend of his? 

GIAVASIS:  No, I don‘t know her at all. 

ABRAMS:  And you‘ve told us before that you didn‘t know Jessie at all. 


GIAVASIS:  No, I didn‘t know Jessie.  My daughter knew her and Blake and told me she was amazing.  She was really, really nice.  But I never met her. 

ABRAMS:  And I have to say that when we spoke about this a couple of days ago and you heard Bobby‘s comments to a local reporter, you were suspicious.  I mean, you didn‘t seem to think that he was telling the whole truth in that interview.

GIAVASIS:  Yes, because from what I dealt with him in court, it sounded so similar to when he was lying, like I said, then.  And it‘s so eerie that now it‘s come out that he was lying. 

ABRAMS:  You feared for him so much that you left because you saw that he could have this sort of tendancy? 

GIAVASIS:  Yes.  And that‘s what I regret the most, is because the most recent incident in 2003, when I was put in a neck brace, if I would have had the courage then to press charges from what he did, instead of being fearful that maybe nothing would happen because he was a police officer, maybe he couldn‘t have gone this far, thinking he could get away with whatever he wanted to do.  So I live with regret all the time that I didn‘t press charges and that I just fled to California. 

ABRAMS:  I know that you now feel very strongly about domestic violence cases as well. 

GIAVASIS:  Yes.  That‘s another reason why I am speaking out, just because it‘s something that goes on behind closed dors. 

It‘s an isolated thing, where the person keeps abusing you.  And a lot of people don‘t know their behavior because their public behavior is very different than their private behavior with you.  So, speaking up will hopefully help a lot of women get out of a similar situation and be safe. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  Nikki...

BOULTINGHOUSE:  And also have the courage to press charges and to think about the next person they will be in a relationship with.  And if you see the signs with you, domestic left unchecked only gets worse. 

ABRAMS:  Oh.  Well, look at this.  I mean—all right.

Nikki and Crystal, thank you very much for taking the time again to come on the program.  We appreciate it.  I know again what a difficult time this has been for you. 

Thank you. 

GIAVASIS:  Thank you.


ABRAMS:  Up next, as we continue our special coverage of this case, Jessie Davis‘ family spoke out right after his arraignment today.  We‘ll show you their emotional comments up next. 


PORTER:  I am not the judge, and I am not—I am not God.  And God is the ultimate judge of Mr. Cutts. 


ABRAMS:  And later we hear from Bobby Cutts in his own word from only days before he was arrested.  You know it‘s always risky to talk when you‘re the key suspect. 

Didn‘t you? 


ABRAMS:  We are back with our special hour of “The Case Against Bobby Cutts”.

From moment one, Jessie Davis‘ mother has been pleading for help, help in finding her daughter.  Well, today she faced her daughter‘s alleged killer in court. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Did you want Bobby to see you? 

PORTER:  Absolutely, I wanted him to see me. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Did he look at you? 

PORTER:  Yes he did.  I believe my whole life has prepared me for this moment.  And I am not sitting down when I see Bobby Cutts. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Patty, what was going through your mind when you walked in the courtroom? 

PORTER:  I can‘t really verbalize the things that were going through my mind, but I wanted to make sure that he knew I was there. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Patty, what‘s your reaction to $5 million (INAUDIBLE)?

PORTER:  I almost started cheering at $5 million, wishing it would have been $10 million.  I am not the judge, and I am not—I am not God.  And God is the ultimate judge of Mr. Cutts.  And I‘m going to leave it at that. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Will there be justice for Jessie? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes.  I think everybody knows what happened here.  Everybody knows who is guilty. 

PORTER:  We do not want vengeance.  We want justice. 

I would like him to see us and know not only what he has done to our family, but, you know, people in the community—Christians know that he has a family as well.  And we are asking people to hold his family.  And for Yanna (ph) and Taylor (ph), there‘s a lot of little children that are being absolutely devastated over this, and we can‘t forget them as well. 

Blake is doing as well as could be expected for a 2-and-a-half-year-old whose mom is not coming home. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Does he understand that? 

PORTER:  No.  We tell him that his mom is with Jesus in heaven.  And he still asks for her.  And he has an old cell phone and he calls her and talks to her. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Does he ask for his dad at all? 


I don‘t know if there are words to express the heart ache.  Absolute -

just, you know—we know that only God can heal this kind of pain. 

Because if there was something we could take to make it go away we would have.  It is just an unbearable loss. 


ABRAMS:  All right.  Coming up, this a cop with a troubled past.  His felon cousin was even found with his gun.  So what was he still doing on the force? 

But first...


CUTTS:  I mean, I‘m just numb.  I mean, I cry, I stare into space. 


ABRAMS:  ... Cutts‘ own words from only days before his arrest.  We‘ll listen very carefully to what he said before Jessie was found when our special coverage of “The Case Against Bobby Cutts” continues.



ABRAMS:  We‘ve an update for you in the death of Chris Benoit and his wife and daughter.  They were found dead in their Atlanta-area home this afternoon.  “The Atlanta-Journal Constitution” now reporting police are investigating the deaths as a murder/suicide.  We will get you more information as we hear it. 

Now back to our continuing look at the case against Bobby Cutts Jr.  Every word Cutts uttered before today could be crucial.  Last week, before he was arrested for killing his pregnant girlfriend, Cutts spoke to a local newspaper reporter, and those words now become that much more important. 


Q:  When if the last time you saw Jessie or talked with her?

A:  Well, I spoke with her on Wednesday, Wednesday evening.

Q:  About what time was that?

A:  I think around 8:00, that was it.

Q:  You said that you spoke with Jessie Wednesday evening.  Did you see Jessie at all on Wednesday evening?

A:  No, I did not.

Q:  Have authorities given you any indication that you are a suspect?

A:  I mean, they continue to say I am not a suspect.  But I mean, I would be dumb and naive to think they weren‘t treating me as a suspect by the different things I‘ve had to go through in the past couple days.

Q:  Do you understand why people, or how people, are viewing and portraying you?  You are a married man who has fathered one child and is expecting a second with another woman.  Do you understand, you know, where people are coming from with all that?

A:  I mean, I understand that, but everyone has problems, I mean like, me and my wife, I mean, we‘re still married, but we weren‘t together and things happened when we weren‘t together.

Q:  How much does your wife Kelly know about your relationship with Jessie?

A:  She—she knows about the relationship.  She knows things are going on.

Q:  How long has she been aware of that?

A:  I don‘t remember exactly.

Q:  For the record to clear this up, how many children do you have?

A:  Currently I have three children.

Q:  And expecting a fourth with Jessie, correct?

A:  Possibly, yes.

Q:  One with Jessie, one with Nikki, and then one with Kelly, is that correct?

A:  Correct.

Q:  How is Blake doing?

A:  He‘s dealing with this as best he can, you know.  He‘s only two. 

I mean, he misses his mother.

Q:  Did you have much of a chance to talk with Blake at all?

A:  I spoke with him a couple of times.  I tried to.

Q:  How have your coworkwers, and colleagues and supervisors at the Canton police department been throughout this process? 

A:  They‘ve been very supportive, and they‘ve told me they have my back.  Anything I need.

Q:  Do you believe Jessie will be found alive.

A:  Hopefully she will be found alive.

Q:  Bobby, did you have anything at all to do with the disappearance of Jessie?

A:  No, I didn‘t.


ABRAMS:  It is unbelievable listening to those chilling words. 

I should say real quick, talking about Chris Benoit, the WWE star who was found dead today with his son and his wife. 

All right, still with us, we have our legal team.  We‘ve got Susan Filan.  We‘ve got Clint Van Zandt and we have got Jonna Spilbor. 

All right, Clint, as you listen to those words of Bobby Cutts, what sticks out to you as possible evidence? 

VAN ZANDT:  Well, I mean, should he be guilty of what he is charged with, Dan, I mean, this guy would prove to be a lying manipulative, sociopath, who felt entitled.  I mean, in this particular case, he tried to make himself the victim and elicit sympathy. 

But let‘s go beyond that.  Let‘s say, what did he say?  He said he had telephone contact with 8:00, and that was the only other contact.  Should law enforcement either show that he had subsequent phone contact with her, or should they show that his cell phone either came up in the vicinity of her house, or in the vicinity of the national park, you know, 30, 45 miles away where the body was disposed of, that would be strong evidence that law enforcement would cling to.

ABRAMS:  Jonna, what is it that leads people like this guy. who knew he was a suspect, right, to want to talk so badly? 

SPILBOR:  I don‘t know if it is the 15 minute of fame. 

ABRAMS: They want to clear their name. 

SPILBOR:  Clear my name. 

And clearly this is a self-serving statement which will never come in to serve him.  The only way that statement comes in is if it‘s going to be used against him, because he can‘t bring it in; it‘s against the rules of evidence.

ABRAMS:  It reminds me of, Susan, our old friend Scott Peterson.  And I want to play a little soundbite from Mr. Peterson, because it just—and, again, we don‘t know, you know, what the deal is going to be in this case, but Scott Peterson at least had that need to talk to everybody. 


SCOTT PETERSON:  She knows how much she‘s loved, how much she‘s missed, and be strong, and we‘re working to get you home. 


ABRAMS:  You know, that really came back to haunt him in the case. 

FILAN:  It did.  It did.  It was absolutely to hilarious look at those crocodile tears. 

ABRAMS:  Do you think that the same thing is going to happen now with this Bobby Cutts interview? 

FILAN:  Absolutely.  Because if you do a timeline of statements, if what we can surmise is true from the statements we think he gave today, where he either lead to the body or confessed to the killing, how does that square with, I hope she will be found.  I talked to my son.  It‘s just poor me.  He wants pity. 

And these people are so arrogant.  They think they‘re smarter than everybody else, and they can fool people.

ABRAMS:  Let me play another piece of sound from this interview that, again, I am certain will become evidence in some way or another in this case.


A: Every second of it and when it seems like it‘s turning or going to change it goes back to the same or it gets worse.  It‘s different the way I‘m being.

Q:  Do you feel like...

A:  Betrayed and just—I mean, I have been myself.  I can‘t sleep.  I can‘t eat.  Anybody that knows me, if I‘m normal, I‘m joking around, and just trying to have fun, make everybody else laugh.  It‘s just been hell.

Q:  For people who don‘t know you, what‘s your—what‘s your normal personality like?

A:  I‘m like one of the silliest guys in the whole world I mean, my friends tell me all the time, “Man, you‘re just retarded.  I‘m a happy person.  I mean, everyday, up until this, everyday I wake up I think, “you know, you gotta make at least one person laugh today.”

Q:  Has this whole experience been surreal?  Have you watched or heard or read much of the media coverage of Jess‘ disappearance?

A:  This is like the worst—I can‘t even imagine.  I mean, this is like a movie.  It‘s just not—no where near seems like reality.  It‘s just terrible.

Q:  How are you holding up, and how is your family holding up?  How do you—how do you kind of cope with this thing from day to day?

A:  I‘m really not holding up.  I‘m trying to but if it wasn‘t for my

family and my friends I don‘t know.  I mean I‘m just numb.  I mean, I cry -

stare into space.  I don‘t know, it‘s not real, it doesn‘t seem like it‘s real.

Q:  When you think of having a normal day, how far away do you think that is for you, how many days away from having a normal day do you think you are?

A:  I honestly, I don‘t know.  I have no idea what a normal day is, even resembles right now.


ABRAMS:  Well, even more than that right now, now that he‘s behind bars on $5 million of bond. 

All right, Susan, so Nikki Giavasis, his ex-girlfriend, listened to that tape, and the first thing she said was you know, it sounds to me like he‘s lying, and it sounds like the same type of lying he did in our custody case.  Ever come into evidence? 

FILAN:  Yes, I think it actually would.  It‘s going to go to prior bad acts (ph), it‘s going to a pattern, especially if he testifies about what a great guy he is, and how he loves to make people laugh, and Nikki is going to tell you there wasn‘t anything funny about their relationship. 

ABRAMS:  But that would only really come up in a death penalty phase, right, where you‘re talking about what a great guy he is? 

FILAN:  No, no, no, no.  No, no, no, no, not necessarily.  Look, if we‘re just going to talk about propensity for violence, propensity to batter women, propensity to exhibit rage-like behavior, I think it does come in if you can show a consistent pattern of these prior bad acts. 

VAN ZANDT:  Hey Dan?

ABRAMS:  Yes, go ahead, Clint.

VAN ZANDT:  Nikki also said he would be drinking and he would show up unannounced and then he would be violent.  What we know of in the investigation is that it appears that he had been drinking for three hours and then the police suggest early that next morning was when he encountered Jessie. 

So, as Susan was talking about, that‘s saying drinking, showing up unannounced, and perhaps being violent is one more pattern of behavior that seems consistent with this guy. 

ABRAMS:  Jonna?

SPILBOR:  You know, if that‘s the case, that turns out to be true, then maybe this case gets knocked down from a double murder to something less, not murky gray (ph). 

VAN ZANDT:  You don‘t want this case? 

FILAN:  No way!  Not for a ...

VAN ZANDT:  You don‘t want this case, right?

FLIAN:  No way.

SPILBOR:  I‘ll take this case.  You bet you I‘ll take this case. 

VAN ZANDT:  Come on.

FILAN:  There is no way if you voluntarily intoxicate yourself, you can use your intoxication as a defense .

SPILBOR:  But look, how about this...

FILAN: diminish ...

SPILBOR:  ... how about the proof that he‘s got two personalities, because Scott Peterson came out like him, but Scott Peterson ...

ABRAMS:  Oh yes.

SPILBOR:  ...never, never led anybody to a body.  Scott Peterson maintained his innocence the whole time.  This guy ...

ABRAMS:  The famous split personality defense.  It‘s always a winner.

SPILBOR:  If this guy‘s claiming his innocence and three days later

FILAN:  You know, if you really have a split personality ...

ABRAMS:  I got—I got to wrap up.

SPILBOR:  All right.

FILAN:  That‘s just a get of jail free card.

ABRAMS:  Yes, I don‘t even know that Jonna believes what you‘re saying.


ABRAMS:  Susan Filan, Clint Van Zandt, Jonna Spilbor, thanks a lot, appreciate it. 

VAN ZANDT:  Thank you.

SPILBOR:  Thank you.

ABRAMS:  Still ahead, Cutts had a number of run-ins with the law and was even found guilty of breaking into his ex-girlfriend‘s apartment.  So the question, why was he still a cop?  We‘ll talk to the attorney for the police union. 

And later ...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Don‘t get hurt, you know, just be careful and most of all, most of all, let‘s bring Jessie home. 


ABRAMS:  Jessie‘s father breaks his silence.  Hear why he waited until his daughter was discovered.  (INAUDIBLE).


ABRAMS:  The man accused of murdering Jessie Davis had other run-ins with the law, including breaking into his old girlfriend‘s place.  So the question, what was he still doing on the force?  Coming up.



POLICE CHIEF DEAN MCKIMM, CANTON POLICE CHIEF:  Regardless of who you are or what position you hold in Starr (ph) County, the law enforcement will pursue justice and hold guilty parties responsible as the facts dictate. 


ABRAMS:  That is the police chief of Canton talking about this case we‘ve been talking about, Bobby Cutts.  And—remember, Jessie Davis‘s mother, up to this point, has been very vocal.  She‘s been pleading for the public‘s help in finding her pregnant daughter.  But Jessie‘s father Ned Davis had remained quiet until today. 

MSNBC‘s Chris Jansing spoke to him earlier.  She began by asking how everyone in the family is doing during this difficult time. 


NED DAVIS, JESSIE DAVIS‘ FATHER:  They‘re holding up.  They‘re made out of pretty tough stuff.  But this is devastating. 

CHRIS JANSING, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Again, I just—I can‘t even begin to imagine—tell us a little bit about Jessie if you will, because when I talk to the head of EquuSearch, he said there had rarely been a response anything like this, and he‘s done hundreds of these searches.  So clearly, there was something about your daughter that touched a lot of people.  Tell us about her.

DAVIS:  A lot of what you‘ve—when you look at Jessie‘s picture, a lot of times you look at a picture, it‘s one dimensional.  In her case, it‘s pretty three-dimensional.  Jessie, you know, her mother said it very well.  Her sister Whitney (ph) said it very well.  Now, as her dad, I‘m—

I know this is all real.  But, I think I‘m—it‘s like I want to deny this isn‘t happening. 

Jessie‘s very caring, very loving person.  A lot of just very alive. 

JANSING:  She always seemed to have a smile on her face.  Was she a happy woman, a happy mom? 

DAVIS:  Yes, yes.  Jessie loved her family, Jessie loved her son.  Jessie was so looking forward to the birth of Chloe.  I wish I could say that my relationship with Jessie over the last two or three years had been a really good, but it hadn‘t.  There has been a divorce.  It did cause a lot of family mess.  But Jessie has prevailed through so much with so much class. 

JANSING:  Could you believe how many people—I mean, they were out there, just in droves, people so determined to find Jessie. 

DAVIS:  The first day of this—of the major search, if memory serves me, there was approximately 1,800 -- the Red Cross said they had served 1,800 meals, so that meant, at minimum, 1800 people.  That first day we were doing segments of 100 people, and they going out and looking.  They‘ve got two on the wheel list.  They went down the next day to segments of 50. 

But, you know, I am looking at these people, and no disrupt to the press, but I didn‘t talk to you all until the last day because I felt if I talked to you then I wouldn‘t be able to look as effectively, and besides Whitney and her mother were doing a tremendous job. 

JANSING:  And you actually got on those buses, didn‘t you, and talked to some of those people who were helping to search? 

DAVIS:  Well, I waited—I started waiting for the last bus to go out, but I‘d go on the bus and I‘m get them to shut the door, and I‘d give them what I coined the daddy brief, which was, be careful out there, watch your buddies, be aware of where you are.  Don‘t get hurt.  Just be careful, and most of all, most of all, let‘s bring Jessie home. 

That person that found her, thank you. 

JANSING: If she was listening now is there something you would want her to hear from you?

DAVIS:  Oh, Jess!  Jess, I love you!  And I‘m sorry for all the pain whether—I just love my girl. 


ABRAMS:  Up next, it is clear Bobby Cutts had a troubled background.  He‘d been in trouble with the law.  So why was he still a cop even before he was arrested for murder?  That‘s up next. 


ABRAMS:  We‘re back.  For the past seven years, Bobby Cutts has served as police officer, but with a checkered history.  In 2003, temporarily lost his job, after his gun was found in the possession of a drug-dealing cousin of his.  And earlier we heard from his ex-girlfriend about his history of violence.

So why was he on the police force? 

Canton Police union attorney Avery Friedman joins us, and his ex-girlfriend Nikki Giavasis‘ attorney, Jeffrey Jakmides, joins us on the phone as well. 

Thanks to both of you for joining us.  We appreciate it.

Mr. Friedman, let me ask you, why was he on the force? 

AVERY FRIEDMAN, CANTON POLICE UNION ATTY.:  He was on the force because he belonged on the force.  If I were the chief of police, I don‘t think I‘d ever have a police officer had ever had any problems.  But commonly on most forces, you have people that have bumped into the law and had problems.  So Bobby Cutts‘ service as a police officer as what it should have been. 

ABRAMS:  And does that include knocking down his girlfriend‘s door, and the misdemeanor charge, and the fact that his cousin was found with his gun?  That‘s all part of it.

FRIEDMAN:  Well, unlike you, Dan, a judge heard that evidence and concluded that on, at least insofar as the gun issue, it was unfounded. 

ABRAMS:  Did the judge find it was unfounded... 


ABRAMS:  Hang on, let me ask you a question.  Hang on.  Mr. Friedman, Mr. Friedman, Mr. Friedman?  Can you stop for one sec? 


ABRAMS:  You said a judge said it was unfounded.  Did a judge say it was unfounded, or was there a not-guilty verdict in connection with that? 

FRIEDMAN:  No, as a matter of fact it was dismissed after the prosecutor put its case on. 

ABRAMS:  Dismissed meaning...

JEFFREY JAKMIDES, NIKKI GIAVASIS‘ ATTY.:  Mr. Friedman has this case confused with Mr. Fowler‘s case.

ABRAMS:  Yes, that‘s what I thought. 

Mr. Jakmides, go ahead.

JAKMIDES:  That is not the case.  Bobby Cutts was found not guilty by a jury.  He‘s speaking of a Mr. Fowler, who‘s case was dismissed after the prosecution presented the case, another Canton police officer.

ABRAMS:  Why would a union attorney—and I ask you this, because I really don‘t know the answer, Mr. Friedman.  Regardless of whether Bobby Cutts is guilty or not, I would think at this point the union would want to back away from this guy. I would think you guys wouldn‘t really want to have piece of this guy anymore? 

FRIEDMAN:  Well, to be honest with you, the union doesn‘t have a piece of him.  This is case in which the union has asked the federal district court to pursue a claim against the department in terms of the disparity in the treatment of officers.  The department has nothing to do with this present litigation, nothing.

ABRAMS:  It does sound like—you said he‘s the kind of guy you want on the force.  It sounds like...

FRIEDMAN:  I never said that.  I said he‘s typically the kind of guy you will find in police departments throughout the United States.  I also said...


ABRAMS:  Wait, wait, wait.  I want to let Mr. Friedman finish. 

Go ahead, Mr. Friedman.

FRIEDMAN:  I said, If I were the chief, I would prefer to have no officers having any problem, and I think you‘d feel the same way. 

ABRAMS:  All right, Mr. Jakmides, go ahead.

JAKMIDES:  Well, Mr. Friedman two night ago said on TV that Bobby Cutts was a model father and a model police officer. 

FRIEDMAN:  No, what I said was that the department, his colleagues said that.  I reported what his...


ABRAMS:  Hang on, one at a time. 

JAKMIDES:  Mr. Friedman, you also don‘t mention the fact that Bobby Cutts was involved in another incident when he was a police officer, when he showed a crime victim a photo.  This crime victim was to go to a photo lineup and view a photo lineup in an attempt to pick out the perpetrator of a crime.  Cutts went to him before he looked at that lineup and showed him  a picture of the suspect, tainting the...


ABRAMS:  Mr. Friedman, it just sounds like this guy was a bad and a bad cop.

JAKMIDES:  He should have been removed from the force at that time. 

FRIEDMAN:  The point is if evidence—for example, I heard Nikki talking a little bit earlier that she never reported some of this violent behavior, strikes me that if she would have, this guy wouldn‘t have been on the department, wouldn‘t be on the force. 

JAKMIDES:  Well, and that‘s something she‘s going to have to live with. 

ABRAMS:  I‘ve got to wrap.  Susan Filan, real quick. 

FILAN:  The whole thing is Nikki‘s false. 

FRIEDMAN:  No, I wouldn‘t say that, ma‘am.


ABRAMS:  Wait a minute, everyone is talking at once. 

FILAN:  Dan, he‘s not the kind of cop you want on the force.  He‘s not a model officer.

ABRAMS:  Bottom line is, I don‘t really know why Mr. Friedman is defending this guy. 

FRIEDMAN:  I am not defending him. 

ABRAMS:  If I were him, I‘d be backing away and getting as far away from him as possible, but that‘s his choice, and I do appreciate...

FRIEDMAN:  I need you to pay attention—we‘re not—the union is not defending him. 

ABRAMS:  I got.  That‘s what it sounded like to me, though.  Thanks a lot for coming on the program.  Appreciate it.  That‘s all the time we have for tonight.  Stay tuned for “To Catch a Predator,” tonight, Chris Jansing, and “Morning Joe” tomorrow morning.  Thanks for watching. 



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