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16-Year-Old Accused of Killing Pamela Vitale Arraigned
Aired October 21, 2005 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, breaking news. Scott Dyleski, the 16- year-old accused in the brutal murder of Pamela Vitale, wife of high- profile California criminal defense attorney Daniel Horowitz, has just left his first official court date. Tonight, he has been formally arraigned as an adult on charges murder one.
And as this investigation widens, police want to know: Did he act alone?
And tonight, more breaking news in a battle over an infant just 72 hours old, seized by child welfare today and placed in a foster home. Why? The father, a convicted sex offender.
Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight.
Tonight, breaking news in an intense battle over a newborn whose father is a convicted sex offender. Just hours ago, a judge orders the child away from his mother and into protective custody.
But first, tonight, breaking news in the case of the bludgeoning death of Pamela Vitale. This man, Scott Dyleski, 16 years old, just arraigned as an adult, charged with murder one.
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JIMMY LEE, SPOKESMAN FOR CONTRA COSTA COUNTY SHERIFF`S DEPARTMENT: Although we have a suspect in custody, the investigation is still going on. Much more work still needs to be done. As I speak right now, we are still interviewing people. We are still trying to establish the exact motive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: That`s right. Work still being done. Are there other people involved? Or did this 16-year-old, who went from Boy Scout to Goth student, mastermind, not only a murder, but a possible drug enterprise?
We go live to San Francisco for the latest. Standing by, CNN correspondent Ted Rowlands.
Ted, what`s the latest?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Nancy, Dyleski was in court for a short period of time this afternoon in Martinez, California. He is being held on $1 million bail. He did not enter a plea to the charge of murder.
He does have an attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area. That attorney was not present in court. And for that reason, he did not enter a plea at this time.
He`ll be held over. They`re treating this young man as an adult, according to the prosecutor, because of the nature of the crime. And, as you know, he is accused of beating to death Pamela Vitale, 52 years old, last Saturday evening on the estate where she and Daniel Horowitz lived.
And he is accused of beating her with a piece of crown molding and then etching into her back a cross-like symbol, then trying to cover it up by using the shower, trying to clean up and get away. He has been -- he was arrested two days ago.
And today, as you mentioned, he made his first court appearance, the first of many for this young man, who is being treated like an adult at Contra Costa County, California.
GRACE: Ted Rowlands, I think I heard you say he does not have an attorney at this juncture?
ROWLANDS: No, he does have an attorney, but the attorney was not present today in court. And they gave that as a reason for not entering a plea. They held that over. He`ll be back in court, presumably next week at some point, to enter a plea. He does have an attorney.
GRACE: I know at the beginning, from the time of his arrest up through many, many hours, Ted, he did not have an attorney. And I am just wondering when this attorney got on board.
ROWLANDS: Today at some point. We heard the name surface. And because I haven`t verified it, I`m not going to throw it out there. But this is an individual who is in the San Francisco Bay Area, who is reportedly representing this young man. But, again, I haven`t confirmed that, so I hate to say that man`s name.
GRACE: Got you.
And, of course, to Dave Foley, criminal defense attorney, those hours are critical, because, believe you me, police were talking to this young man, the 16-year-old man -- alert, everyone, tonight -- Scott Dyleski, who went from Boy Scout to Goth high school student.
According to many reports, the "San Francisco Chronicle," the "Contra Costa Times," he actually claimed to be reading Satanic materials at school, drew a pentagon at school. I`m sure that scared the heck out of the other students. But all that aside, today, just a few moments ago, arraigned in his first appearance in court for murder one.
To David Foley, very often you`ll see a very long, protracted affair as to whether a juvenile, 16 years old, will be treated as an adult or not. Not so today. Apparently, that decision already made.
DAVID FOLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely, Nancy. The prosecutor jumped on this immediately. Given the nature of this -- the nature of the incident, they immediately went to immediately pursue this as an adult.
GRACE: We here are taking a look at footage, aerial footage, of the dream home being built by Daniel Horowitz for his wife. Now, right beside it, the tiny trailer they had been living in during the construction. And I want you to take a listen to something I noticed when Daniel took me on a walk-through.
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GRACE: You can see that this is a foot path going up over this hill and down to their driveway. So whoever went into that trailer and killed Pam may very well not have even used the main street.
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GRACE: And I want to go straight out to Jim Moret, chief correspondent with "Inside Edition." We know that this young man, Scott Dyleski -- and the photo we are showing you is one -- a recent one.
If you saw him in younger years, he looked like the clean-cut boy next door that would bring in your newspaper or cut your grass. This is what happened after he went Goth.
There you go. Thanks, Elizabeth.
To Jim Moret, those foot paths that would lead over and about these hilly areas, straight down to Daniel and Pamela`s home, neighbors would have known about it. This young man, Scott Dyleski, is a neighbor.
JIM MORET, CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": He`s not only a neighbor. He lived just down the road from this estate that was being built. And one thing you may not know -- you know the area where you set up just down the road in that canyon to conduct the interview with Daniel Horowitz?
Incredibly enough, where our cars were parked for that interview, 100 feet away, just on the other side of the street, is where Scott Dyleski`s home is. It`s just up a long driveway.
We drove up around the area today. We looked down. This house was actually featured in a special of so-called green or environmentally conscious homes. It`s built, we understand, out of straw. It has solar panels on the top, and they had a number of animals, goats and chickens in the front yard.
But he lived very, very close. And he lived there for about six years. So he presumably knew the terrain very well.
GRACE: And Ted Rowlands, I have confirmed tonight that Daniel Horowitz did a ton of free legal work for this family, really helped them out of a jam.
Ted Rowlands, what can you tell me about this investigation and about this young man, now charged with murder one, Scott Dyleski? Ted, do you really believe he acted alone, with these allegations of a pot, a marijuana enterprise?
ROWLANDS: Well, according to an official law enforcement source familiar with the case, they believe he acted alone at this point. They don`t have any evidence that someone else was with him during the commission of this crime.
They don`t believe he acted alone in that credit card scheme. They believe that he was doing that with at least one other partner. But as far as the murder itself, the brutal murder, they do believe he acted alone, at least that`s what they say.
They`re not pursuing other specific suspects at this time, leaving it open, as you might imagine, and continuing their investigation. It`s still really early on, if you think about it.
When his name surfaced on Wednesday of this week, and now here we are Friday, he`s already arraigned and on bail. They must have some very distinct evidence to hold him and be so sure. But, clearly, they have a lot of work to do, as well.
GRACE: And, of course, that bail set tonight, as Ted Rowlands was just pointing out, at $1 million bail. Ted Rowlands, what do his classmates say about him?
ROWLANDS: Well, I talked to a young man that actually played baseball with him a few years ago. And he said, at the time, he was, as you mentioned, a clean-cut young boy, part of the baseball team, a very good baseball player.
But then, he said, in recent years, he changed and started this different lifestyle, dressing in all black, and doing sort of what they call the Goth lifestyle. And by no means do all young people that do this lifestyle commit murders or do anything illegal, but they say that this young man did change over the last few years, according to his friends.
GRACE: You know, you`re right about that, Ted Rowlands. You`ve got to give me more than dressing in black, or else half of New York City would be behind bars tonight. There`s got to be more to his Goth lifestyle.
These reports of him reading Satanic material at school, drawing pentagrams, talking about his Goth lifestyle? You know, forget the lifestyle, forget the dressing in black. Let`s talk about the murder weapon. Take a listen to this.
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GRACE: A lot of the construction materials strewn around that she was looking at and picking. This was just a temporary residence for them.
The finishings that she was looking at, and a lot of that incorporated into their dream home, objects, tiles.
We don`t know what the murder weapon was. Pamela was bludgeoned to death about the head. A lot of this construction material was laying around. I don`t know if police have seized any of it. Let`s keep looking.
I know it`s farfetched, but I`m looking at all of this construction litter, not that I think a killer would slow down long enough to discard something here, but this place is just a huge scene. There`s a lot to be processed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: That investigation still ongoing tonight. Did Scott Dyleski, just 16 years old, act alone?
I`m going to go straight out to Renee Rockwell. Renee, in this case, when I went to the scene, those observations were made before we learned that the murder weapon was a piece of crown molding, before we learned that Scott Dyleski was a neighbor that could have used those foot paths back and forth.
Guarantee you, DNA was found, the murder weapon was found, and it`s tracked back to him. I have now confirmed tonight that this young man, Scott Dyleski, was covered in scratches, covered in scratches. Pam Vitale put up the fight of her life.
RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: She did, Nancy. And what`s incredible is that they`re going to proceed against him as an adult, which makes a big difference, because, had he been tried as a juvenile, he gets out on his 25th birthday.
Now he faces life without parole. It`s over. It`s over for him if he gets convicted. He won`t be -- they won`t seek the death penalty against him because he`s too young. But my concern is that they`ve been with this child -- I don`t know when the attorney was appointed, but you know they`ve taken many statements from him without the protection of a lawyer.
GRACE: Back to Jim Moret, chief correspondent with "Inside Edition."
Jim, what can you tell us about the investigation? Where do you see it going? We have heard many, many reports. It`s been in the "Contra Costa Times," the "San Francisco Chronicle," police sources, that this young man is not connected to just to a murder, but possibly to a marijuana enterprise inter-connected, inter-woven with credit card theft. Explain.
MORET: Well, the police were looking at this young man because of this credit card theft. And Ted Rowlands has reported that already.
What you need to know -- and people have said, "Why are you spending so much time on this case?" I tell you something: Dan Horowitz said to me last night, "Thank you to Nancy Grace, thank you to the media for putting out this information," because Ivan Golde, Daniel`s partner, told me today that it was because of the tip line.
Somebody in Walnut Creek where this boy was standing noticed the scratches on his face, noticed things seemed unusual. And that tip helped lead police to his arrest. So there is a tremendous value in what you`ve done so far.
GRACE: Jim, thank you.
I was at Daniel`s side yesterday when Pamela Vitale`s funeral occurred. And I appreciate your compliment, but there`s a lot of work to be done yet.
Jim, specifically, this alleged marijuana enterprise, inter-woven with credit card theft, how did it work?
MORET: The way it worked, as we understand it is, there was a communal mailbox down the street where all of the people in Hunsaker Canyon collected their mail.
According to police, there was an alleged scheme where the credit card bills would be taken. Those numbers would then be used to buy equipment, which would then be used to grow marijuana. And that was what police were honing in on.
And, according to one person in the investigation, it`s believed that this young man may have gone up to the house to retrieve a package that was sent there with one of these stolen credit card receipts. And that`s what brought him to the property on that day.
GRACE: Sixteen-year-old Scott Dyleski, formally arraigned in the murder of Pamela Vitale. He will be tried as an adult. Possible sentence: Life without parole. The question tonight, did Dyleski act alone?
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DANIEL HOROWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don`t know when she died or the time of death or anything like that. But I can tell you this. This is just like a feeling. When I saw her face lying there, I feel that she went into whatever you go into, as you fade, that there was love in her face, like maybe she was thinking of her family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Daniel Horowitz, in my layperson estimation, still in shock about the death of his wife, Pam Vitale. When I spoke to him as late as this evening, still speaking of her in the present tense.
Welcome back. I`m Nancy Grace. Thank you for being with us.
I`m going to go straight out to forensic scientists Larry Kobilinsky.
Elizabeth, do you have the shot of the alleged perpetrator, Scott Dyleski? Scott Dyleski, a 16-year-old, now arraigned under charges of murder one. Now, take into account that this is his photo from his yearbook. This is him fixed up, prettied up, prepared for his school -- there`s the before shot.
My point is, to Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, this is a 16-year-old. We had no fingerprints, no DNA on file, nothing. It all came down to someone in Walnut Creek calling in through the tip line. That`s how the ball got rolling.
But now, what do we look for?
LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, Nancy, I`ll tell you. My feeling is, those scratches all over Dyleski`s body will do him in. And I feel that it`s Pamela Vitale that will bring this fellow to justice.
Why do I say that? Because she fought like hell, as Dan Horowitz said. She`s probably got his tissue and blood under her nails. And with that kind of evidence, that DNA evidence, that will tie him directly to her. And that`s the kind of evidence that will get a conviction.
GRACE: You know, I want to go to Bethany Marshall, psychoanalyst. I`ve seen 16-year-olds kill all on their own before. I don`t have a problem accepting he did that all on his own.
BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Right.
GRACE: But, now that I hear evidence that`s starting to support the theory that he was involved in a drug enterprise, that he wanted to start a pot enterprise, possibly buying lighting for hydroponic marijuana or some type of mechanism to help grow marijuana, financed by credit card theft, those are the allegations that are out there now.
Do you really believe this 16-year-old could have mastermind an enterprise like that, Bethany?
MARSHALL: I believe he could, and I think there`s a great possibility he acted alone.
You know, a lot of people are murdered during the commission of another type of crime. That`s something important to keep in mind. And this guy falls into the category of what I would call a sudden murderer.
And in the literature, what you see about these type of guys is usually they have a series of upsetting events in their life. They have antisocial tendencies.
The wish to kill brews over time. They select a victim -- and in this case, it was Pamela, obviously. The victim can be even selected 10 minutes prior to the murder. Usually the victim is selected because of envy and resentment.
And Pamela certainly had a lot to be envious of. She had a great life. She was a beautiful woman. There`s explosive frenzy of rage during the act, and then there`s a feeling of relief that follows.
And that`s what you see in the amazing fact that he took a shower, he drank a glass of water afterwards, is that after he expended all that rage in this violent attack, there was great relief. I hope this guy gets put behind bars, because I really believe, with all this type of evidence, what`s going to happen is the wish to kill would build up again over time.
GRACE: And to Diane Dimond, investigative reporter, how many cases have you covered that the alleged perpetrator was behind bars without a lawyer for a couple of days, period of time, and began talking to police? Mark my words: If anybody else is involved, Diane, he has sung like a bird.
DIANE DIMOND, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Yes, probably. But you know, I look at this guy -- and I`ve done cases with the Goth sort of individual -- they`re usually loaners and they`re usually extremely angry, Nancy.
You look at this boy`s background. You see the clean-cut boy, and then you see what he looks like today. About three years ago, his older half-sister was killed in an automobile accident.
And, everyone, all of the reports I`m reading, say, at that point, he got, quote, "very, very sad." He apparently just fell into a depression and adopted this Goth lifestyle.
So, you know, I`m going to tell you, my police brain tells me this kid probably got in over his head. She caught him at something. There was a huge struggle in that room, according to our friend, Dan.
Their big screen TV was moved two and a half feet. There was a fierce struggle. And there`s going to be forensic stuff all over that trailer, on the glass of water, in the sink where he washed his hand, maybe in the shower where he stopped to take a shower, on the doorknobs.
If they even find his hair on, say, the shower drain, it`s over. I mean, there`s no reason he would ever -- should ever have been in that shower.
GRACE: And, Diane, you went right to the heart of the evidence. When I went into the crime scene with Daniel and he showed me the tub, totally covered in Luminol testing for blood and dark powder for fingerprinting. You`re right.
DIMOND: See, they`ve got this kid on something more than just a suspicion, Nancy. You don`t go after a 16-year-old with nothing. It`s going to take a while to do the CSI testing on, you know, the fingerprints, and the DNA, and under her fingernails, like Dr. Kobilinsky said...
GRACE: Well, they had time for that DNA. They waited for a charge for several days.
We`ll all be right back. But very quickly to "Trial Tracking."
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay in court today on conspiracy and money laundering charges. DeLay turned himself in yesterday at Harris County Sheriff`s Office, Texas. DeLay fingerprinted, photographed, released on $10,000 bond. DeLay and two associates accused of illegally steering campaign contributions to state legislative candidates.
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REP. TOM DELAY (R-TX), FORMER HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: Ronnie Earle and the Democrat campaign behind him will be unsuccessful. I will fight this prosecutor`s abuse of the legal system, and I will be absolutely exonerated.
I will not -- I will not -- let a prosecutor who pursues his political enemies by abusing the law and manufacturing baseless charges wreck our justice system.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL HOROWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I know Pamela, because we`ve discussed it. We`ve agreed that, in any time there`s a life -- any attack, we just fight like hell. We`re going to die fighting. We`re not going to die whimpering. And she was a lion like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back. Thank you for being with us.
As you know by now, 16-year-old Scott Dyleski, formally charged in the murder of Pam Vitale. Straight out to Jim Moret, chief correspondent with "Inside Edition."
Now, Jim, you`re also a lawyer. You know the state does not have to prove motive. But practically speaking, a jury`s going to want it.
MORET: Sure they`re going to want it. Investigators are still trying to figure out what that motive could be.
Even if you presume that all of this evidence that they supposedly have about a credit card scheme is correct, even if he went up to the property looking to retrieve some property, something sparked this act of violence.
Daniel doesn`t know what it is. I know that that`s going to haunt him forever. He said to me last night, "My life is over now," in a very, very sad way. This is the light of his life that has been extinguished. Her family has been ripped apart and destroyed. This has been very difficult.
The investigation is wide open. That`s something that`s very important. The police have not stopped with this one suspect. They`re looking for motive they`re looking for other suspects who may be involved.
And this is an ongoing investigation, Nancy.
CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I`m Catherine Callaway with your "Headline Prime Newsbreak."
Hurricane Wilma is pounding the Yucatan Peninsula. The storm has officially made landfall, squarely hitting the resort island of Cozumel and bringing with it 20-foot waves. Wilma`s expected to pummel the region for two days before heading towards Florida.
A woman accused of throwing her three children into the San Francisco Bay is pleading not guilty to three counts of murder. Coast Guard vessels suspended their search for two of the children who are missing and presumed dead. The third body was recovered. Lashuan Harris` family says she`s been hospitalized twice this year for schizophrenia.
A Medford, Oregon, man says it is a distinct possibility that his family has won the $340 million Powerball jackpot, but Steve West hasn`t come forward with the winning ticket yet. He says he wants to talk to a lawyer first.
And that is the news for now. I`m Catherine Callaway. And now back to NANCY GRACE.
GRACE: You`re looking at video of the home of murder suspect Scott Dyleski. He is a 16-year-old man that lived on the Horowitz estate. There you see, basically, a before-and-after shot, before Goth, after Goth.
Now, remember, this is after he got fixed up to be in his high school annual photo. I wonder what he looked like today at that first hearing.
Welcome back, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace.
Dyleski in court today, $1 million bond set in the murder of Pam Vitale. This 16-year-old now suspected of trying to start a marijuana enterprise, as well as being under suspicion of credit card fraud and theft to finance that enterprise. It is quite a tangled plot.
To Renee Rockwell, today -- of course, an arraignment is when you`re formally charged in court. That normally happens in adult court. Now, today is a loose arraignment. It is actually called a first appearance. Explain first appearance.
ROCKWELL: Nancy, within 72 hours, the officials would have had to have brought him in front of a magistrate, where he`s formally notified of the charges against him. Interestingly enough, he`s been set million- dollar bond, which is tantamount to no bond.
I can assure you he`s not getting out, unless he`s got a bonding company that`s going to go that bond and his family`s got probably about $150,000 cash to put down. But it`s also interesting that he has not entered a plea at this time, because, remember, there`s an attorney somewhere in the mix that`s probably thinking about a not guilty by reason of insanity.
I don`t know if it will fly.
GRACE: Based on what? Diane Dimond`s throwing out there that he had a death in his family. You think that they can somehow conjure up an insanity defense?
ROCKWELL: It`s to me? I don`t see it as an insanity defense, but it`s all he`s got. Remember, Pam Vitale`s coming into that courtroom with their fingernails, with the hair that she may have, with the fibers that she may have pulled from his clothing, and she`s going to be testifying louder than anybody in this case.
GRACE: David Foley, defense attorney, how integral were these first few hours that he was behind bars without a lawyer?
FOLEY: Well, Nancy, in this case, remember, he`s only 16 years old. So it`s not the same as if he were an adult at that time, where they would be inclined to have him speak freely, or he may speak freely with that and the statements can be used against him.
The law protects juveniles. And we saw it in the shaken baby-sitter case last week, where the baby-sitter given a statement. It has been struck, and the case was dismissed.
So the law protects juveniles. So even if he did give statements, without an attorney present, that doesn`t mean that necessarily the state can get them in.
GRACE: Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: We are now back at the trailer where Pamela was murdered. Now, if you can see how close the trailer is to this dream home -- and let me tell you something, it is a dream. This is what Daniel Horowitz worked for, for years, long days in court, weekends, to build this for his bride.
Now, the perpetrator likely came right up here, knew exactly where he was going. I`ve been inside the trailer. And, from the kitchen window, you could see someone coming up.
Now, we know Pamela was still in her nightshirt and undies, suggesting that this was a morning attack. Remember, Daniel Horowitz left around 7:00 a.m. to go work on a Saturday.
I am in front of the door. I`m shielding part of it. I promised Daniel that none of Pamela`s blood or anything of Pamela would be on this video.
But I`ve been in and out the door. And the place of her death is immediately as you walk in the trailer door. So the theory that she was attacked right there is correct.
There is the remnants of a pool of blood, blood on the wall, on the inside of the door. That is where the attack and the death all took place, right as she opened the door that morning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Straight out to Jim Moret. Jim, I want to go back to possible motive that we were talking about earlier.
We know there are allegations this young man had been using credit card theft. We know that there`s a communal mailbox for everyone on that mountain, down near Horowitz`s gate. He could have easily seen Pam Vitale going in and out of the gate.
I confirmed tonight that Pam was the one that would always go and get the mail. Horowitz was coming home from court so late in the Susan Polk case. So Pam Vitale would have gotten any mail. She would have intercepted any mail, be it wrongfully or rightfully sent to that address.
MORET: Right. And it`s possible that this hydroponic equipment that you were talking about, him possibly using for a marijuana-growing scheme, could have been directly sent to their house to shift suspicion away from him.
He may have been going to that house to retrieve this item and then came upon Pamela Vitale. That may be what sparked the confrontation.
But still, as Ivan Golde, Daniel`s partner, said to me today, "That still doesn`t make sense. What caused this person, or whoever did this, to commit such a horrible crime?" And you`re talking about -- Nancy, you saw the scene. You described the blood around there. This was a vicious attack.
GRACE: Well, I want to go to psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall. Not only was it a vicious attack that could justify an argument of manslaughter, attack out of anger or passion. But then we have the horrific detail that apparently on Pamela`s back was etched some type of a crude cross. The description I`ve gotten, it is similar to a Lorraine cross, which is one vertical, two horizontals.
Now, that blows the whole out-of-control manslaughter theory out of the water.
MARSHALL: Well, this guy did all kinds of things to cover up what he really was intending to do. In other words, I think he joined the Goth culture to cover up growing antisocial tendencies.
He may have carved the cross on her back -- the Lorraine cross in order to cover up, make it look ritualistic rather than just the fact that it was a rage killing.
Look, you know what? This guy wasn`t mentally ill. I can stake my license on that. He was doing too much that required a great deal of cleverness and intelligence.
I mean, credit card kiting takes a lot of organization. And mental illness does not surface until the age of 18, generally. And it never surfaces, rarely surfaces, for the first time during the commission of a crime.
GRACE: Well, another issue -- following up on what Bethany said -- to Renee Rockwell, regarding motive, I`m thinking now ahead to trial time. If we do get that far, of course, the state`s proceeding on murder one or felony murder.
The defense is going to argue, a, he didn`t do it. And, b, if he did, he was out of control.
But what if these theories are correct, that he had been using their location as a mail drop, unbeknownst to them, that equipment somehow related to a drug enterprise was expected to get there?
If you take a look -- hey, Elizabeth, can you show me the construction site, please? Everywhere around there is construction equipment. Inside the basement of this behemoth -- it`s a huge mansion, three stories, plus an elevator.
There was all type of construction equipment and supplies there. What if he went there to look for his package and he got caught by Pamela Vitale? If that was the reason, that blows manslaughter out of the water. He was there for a purpose.
ROCKWELL: Nancy, he was there for a purpose, but it seems to me like...
GRACE: That whole thing to the right that you`re seeing is a dumpster full of construction materials.
ROCKWELL: But, Nancy, he goes there -- and look at what the murder weapon is. It`s a piece of crown molding. So it doesn`t seem to me that there was any premeditation. It seems more like maybe he was surprised or was confronted by Ms. Vitale, at which point that he fought back and ultimately killed her.
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, fought back against what, a woman in her underwear and her t-shirt? I`m just missing the -- you`re suggesting she somehow started the attack. And I`m not going to let you get away with that.
And let me point out -- Elizabeth, I don`t know if you can you pull it up -- look at all that construction material. When I went to the door of her trailer home, all of the crown molding and tiles were outside. So he didn`t find himself inside and grab crown molding. He went there. He grabbed it before he hit her, if he is, in fact, the perpetrator, Renee.
ROCKWELL: If he -- and he`s only a suspect. That should be noted.
But you have a situation here where he`s going -- he might have thought that he could have slipped something in on her credit card bill, have it delivered to the house. She may not have known it, may not have realized it.
And it might have been dropped off at the front door of the trailer. At any rate, it`s certainly something that the police can go on and his attorney can go on, if he, in fact, wants to say, "OK, fine, I`m going to plead guilty. But let me tell you about the rest of this operation," and he`s testifying against other people.
GRACE: And, very quickly, to Diane Dimond, how did they find the perp? How was he arrested?
DIMOND: Well, he was arrested at a relative`s home. This is a kid, it should also be noted, that, guilty or not, he does have a tumultuous home life. His mother divorced his father many years ago. He was waiting for his father to pick him up at another location when the police came and arrested him.
His stepfather is out of the picture now. His mother is a baker, who is also said to be a long-distance healer. And she believes that you can manipulate DNA to fight off disease.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL HOROWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: When they got there, I was talking to her, crying, we`re sobbing, we`re banging, we`re screaming. I mean, every single emotion in the world. And then they came. And the person on the phone said, "Mr. Horowitz, you have to walk to the police."
GRACE: You mean they called you on your cell phone?
HOROWITZ: Well, I called them on my cell phone, because I didn`t want to be in the house on that regular phone, because the regular phone was away from her. I wanted to be with her.
HOROWITZ: And some part of me...
GRACE: You didn`t even want to leave her for a minute.
HOROWITZ: No. And even though my brain is saying she`s dead, and I know it is, I guess I wanted them to come to help.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Daniel Horowitz speaking to me following the murder of his wife, Pam Vitale. As you know by now, 16-year-old Scott Dyleski under arrest for the brutal beating death of Pamela Vitale.
He will be treated as an adult. He has been charged with murder one. He has $1 million bail set tonight. To Jim Moret, what next?
MORET: Well, we`re at the beginning of a rather long process. Next week, presumably, this man will enter a plea. You and I sat in on the Peterson case. That took months and months.
And presumably, it could take a very long time before Daniel Horowitz`s family and Pamela Vitale`s family final have some closure in this incident.
GRACE: If they ever do, Jim.
Very quickly, like every good trial lawyer, we are switching files. I`m going to go straight out to Diane Dimond, investigative reporter.
What is the latest about the newborn -- I think the baby, 72 hours old -- and taken away by child custody because the dad is a convicted child molester? What`s the latest?
DIMOND: You`re talking about the case in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Yes, the court has ordered now that that baby be taken away from the mother, put into foster care.
They have given the mother -- the story is just developing now, Nancy, so we don`t have all the details. But they have given the mother some visitation opportunities.
Will it be enough for her to actually nurse this child? We`re just not sure about that.
But, not only did the court say that they thought the past bad acts of the father, so to speak, these sex crimes that he was convicted of, was a bad thing, but, apparently, the mother had told some county officials at one point that she had taken cocaine, methamphetamines, and had actually been a prostitute at one time in her life.
GRACE: Aren`t there two other children, Diane, that are also in foster care?
DIMOND: Yes. And one is the product of this couple. One was a child that she had with another man.
That baby`s -- well, he`s not a baby. He`s 8 years old now. Both those children have been taken away from this woman. And yet she continues to have children with a man that the courts have already said, "You can`t keep the child if you have it with this man."
This man says he`s an Indian chief, says he`s an undercover police informant, that he`s been to a Buddhist seminary, you know, all sorts of sort of unbelievable things. So I can`t imagine she`s surprised.
GRACE: I thought his birth name was John Joseph Lentini from the Northeast. And then he decided he was an American Indian, in fact a chief, and changed his name to DaiShin WolfHawk. You know what? Live and let live.
But the courts, to put the baby back in the home, would have to allow this third child, while two have been put in protective custody, to grow up with a convicted child molester, right?
DIMOND: Right. Now, the father -- it should be said here -- the ACLU has taken the tact that the father, who has had this past conviction, has served his time and that`s it. You know, you got to give him a break.
But he does live 20 miles away from the mother and the child. She lives with her elderly father. So that`s something to take into consideration.
DIMOND: But the judge today said, at the hearing, "Father, no visitation at all. Never, period."
GRACE: Bethany Marshall, response?
MARSHALL: Well, you know, the ACLU stance that he served his time, 43 percent of offenders re-offend within four years after being released from jail. And the recidivism rate goes up with time.
The ACLU is also making the case that he never molested younger children, just adolescent girls. And the fact is, 71 percent of pedophiles cross over from one age group to another.
There`s a very important study done on that in 1999. So the fact that it was older, while still minors, but adolescent girls and not young children really doesn`t matter when you look at the research.
GRACE: I`ve got 30 seconds to break. David Foley, give me your best shot.
FOLEY: A child away from a mother? She`s not convicted of any sex crimes with that. There`s no clear and present danger to that infant.
With that, it`s outrageous. This is America, and you don`t take children away from people just on a whim. They don`t live together. And based on that, is that this child should be with the mother.
There`s no clear and present danger. And her constitutional rights here of her to be with her child, that`s what should be dominating this case.
GRACE: OK, OK, OK, I`m hearing the Constitution, clear and present danger. You`re really throwing it all into the stew.
Renee, 15 seconds, clear and present danger? He`s got a double child molestation conviction.
ROCKWELL: Nancy, this was 22 years ago.
GRACE: It was 10 years ago.
ROCKWELL: This is the most reprehensible thing I have ever seen, the government getting involved. It`s 22 years. Don`t forget, he didn`t get convicted. He took a plea, and that wasn`t part of the plea deal, no kids?
GRACE: And a plea equals an conviction. In fact, with the plea, he swore under oath he did it all.
We`ll all be right back. But very quickly, to tonight`s "Trial Tracking." On the docket, a judge rules that the $250,000 insurance policy Scott Peterson took out on wife, Laci, goes to her mother. Because Peterson was convicted of killing his wife and their unborn baby boy, Connor, he`s not entitled to the money. Under California law, criminals cannot profit from their crimes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The life insurance policy, why take one out on Laci, $250,000?
SCOTT PETERSON, KILLED WIFE AND UNBORN CHILD: We have life insurance policies in place that were established when we bought this home that you`re in right now two years ago. There was no life insurance policy taken out recently, as has been reported in the "National Enquirer."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Also on tonight`s docket, in Knoxville, Tennessee, a grand jury indicts modern-day Bonnie and Clyde, George and Jennifer Hyatte, first-degree murder charges. The two accused of blasting their way out of a Tennessee courthouse, killing Officer Wayne "Cotton" Morgan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are very pleased to announce tonight that George and Jennifer Hyatte have been apprehended in Columbus, Ohio. They were at a Best Value Inn there in Columbus. Agents with the U.S. Marshal Service, the FBI, and the local Columbia police apprehended George and Jennifer Hyatte without incident.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: What a week in Northern California. The brutal murder of Pam Vitale, the wife of prominent attorney, colleague and friend, Daniel Horowitz.
GRACE: We are live in California with special coverage of the brutal bludgeoning death of Pamela Vitale.
When did you know something was wrong?
HOROWITZ: When she didn`t pick up the phone during the day when I called her.
LEE: The cause of death is listed as blunt force trauma to the head.
GRACE: A lot of the construction materials strewn around that she was looking at and picking, this was just a temporary residence for them.
HOROWITZ: When I go up the steps and I look at the door, I see smears on the door, but it`s nothing like blood, Nancy. It`s darker. But I know it`s not right.
LEE: The manner of death is listed as homicide.
GRACE: What can you tell me regarding a neighbor giving a DNA sample in the form of hair?
HOROWITZ: I screamed, I cried. But I know I just basically sat with her and I just told her, "I love you," and, "You`re beautiful," and, you know, just whatever things you say to somebody you love. I just looked at her face and it was beautiful.
GRACE: Pamela was bludgeoned to death about the head. A lot of this construction material was laying around.
LEE: Last night, sheriff`s office investigators served two search warrants. As a result of the search warrants, investigators started focusing on a 16-year-old male.
HOROWITZ: I want to believe that she did not suffer. I want to believe that she fought back as hard as she could and that, when she struck that blow, that she didn`t suffer.
LEE: At 10:00 p.m. last night, the 16-year-old was arrested for murder in connection with the killing of Pamela Vitale.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: The killer, according to police sources, bludgeoned Pamela Vitale to death 39 times. The murder weapon, as you mentioned, a piece of crown molding.
HOROWITZ: When I saw her face lying there, I feel that she went into whatever you go into, as you fade, that there was love in her face, like maybe she was thinking of her family.
GRACE: Tonight, an arrest in that case, 16-year-old Scott Dyleski behind bars.
Thank you to all of my guests. But most of all, thank you to you for being with us tonight, inviting us into your homes.
Coming up, headlines from all around the world, and a special goodnight from our New York control room. I`m signing off for tonight. See you right here Monday, 8:00 sharp Eastern.
Our prayers with Daniel, his children, and their family. Good night, friend.