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Former Indiana State Trooper`s Murder Trial Continues
Aired March 2, 2006 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, GUEST HOST: Tonight: He says he was at a basketball game, but the prosecution says he was home, taking part in the shooting deaths of his wife and two children. Tonight, former Indiana state trooper David Camm, on trial for the murder of his family, waits for the jury to decide his fate.
Also tonight: A precious 7-year-old boy from Michigan went missing and had a tragic end to his short life. Now his adoptive parents face charges of killing Ricky Holland. Tonight, live to Michigan to track down the case, here on NANCY GRACE.
Good evening, everybody. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, sitting in for Nancy Grace. Tonight, a heart-breaking story of 7-year-old Michigan boy Ricky Holland, who went missing for six months. Then the tragic discovery of Ricky`s body, and later, his adoptive parents are accused of his murder.
But first tonight, we are on a verdict watch in the David Camm case. The former Indiana state trooper is on trial for the brutal shooting deaths of his beautiful wife and their two young children. What will be more convincing, DNA evidence or Camm`s alibi?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have high-velocity blood spatter evidence that David Camm was at the scene of the crime when it occurred.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve got 11 alibi witnesses who will testify that David was at the gym from 7:00 o`clock until 9:30. And he got home and found his wife and kids murdered.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: David Camm did kill these three people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: David was playing basketball the night his family was killed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a small church gym that they`re playing in. He didn`t have time to leave and commit the crime.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The evidence has not changed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This blood stain pattern analysis is an extremely subjective interpretation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who do we believe? Do we believe David or do we believe Boney? We just don`t know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go straight out to investigative reporter Leslie Snadowsky, who has been tracking this case. What is the very latest? I understand no verdict yet.
LESLIE SNADOWSKY, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: That`s right, Jane. Well, these 12 sequestered jurors has had -- they`ve had three very tough days. In fact, they`ve been deliberating 11 hours the first day, 10 hours yesterday. Today, they started at 8:30. And so far, they`ve only sent one question to the judge requesting some testimony.
But basically, all this case really hinges on the DNA evidence, whether they buy the fact that blood found on David Camm`s T-shirt was blood spatter or blood that -- human contact with when he brushed by his dead daughter.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In fact, we have the prosecutors talking about that forensic evidence. Let`s listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The evidence has not changed. We have high- velocity blood spatter evidence that David Camm was at the scene of the crime when it occurred, specifically within four feet, that belonged to Jill Camm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to talk a little bit about this forensic evidence and how crucial it is to this case. but first, Leslie, give us a little of the back story of this very complex case because it began in 2000.
SNADOWSKY: That`s right. In December 28, 2000, Kimberly Camm, son Bradley and daughter Jill, were found shot dead in their garage in Georgetown, Indiana. David Camm was arrested, Kimberly`s husband. In 2002, there was a trial and he was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 195 years prison.
but a couple years later, the Indiana state court of appeals threw out the conviction, saying that testimony about alleged affairs or the fact that maybe he was seeking an affair should not have been allowed. So there is this -- right now, we`re going through the retrial.
But before the retrial, get this. In 2005, the Indiana state police tests DNA on some items found in that garage, and they found the presence of some other person there, Charles Boney, and now he was tried and is now serving time for the murder and conspiracy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it`s an absolutely wild case. Let`s go to Nick Stein. He is the attorney for Kimberly Camm`s family. How horribly gruesome, Nick, has this been for the family to go through for more than five years, David Camm`s trial, his conviction, then it overturned by the appeals court that decided, well, the evidence of his alleged affairs, 15 in 11 years -- I`ll say it again, 15 alleged affairs in 11 years -- was overly prejudicial. And now we`ve got the conviction of the co-conspirator and then the retrial of David Camm, and now this verdict watch. What is this family going through?
NICK STEIN, RENN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Yes, it has been a nightmare. As you`ve mentioned, it`s been going on for five years. There`s been many hearings that they`ve attended -- suppression hearings, bond hearings, the whole first trial in very confined quarters. It was unbelievably tense. And then we won, so we thought we were home free until the appellate court decision came down. Then we had to go through the whole thing again, another bond hearing, even whether or not we would have another case.
But Keith (ph) put fresh eyes on it and took a new look and said, Yes, we do. So it`s been extremely difficult for the family. It`s taken a toll on their health. But they`ve had tremendous resolve. They have tremendous faith in God. And they have a good family support system that`s helped them get through to this point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve heard some family members quoted as saying, basically, this is a toss-up because the appeals court threw out what they considered very crucial evidence. What`s your take on not allowing the evidence of the alleged affairs in?
STEIN: Well, I think it`s very important because I think this case with David Camm is very, very similar to the Scott Peterson case in California. And they were able to show his motive. His motive was -- it wasn`t just Amber Frey, he wanted that free life. His family was weighting him down. David wanted the same thing. He wanted to have many women. He wanted the free life. His family was weighting him down. Since they can`t put that in this case, it makes it difficult for a conviction.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, there`s two sides to every story. David Camm`s brother, Donnie (ph), has been very, very vocal in his defense. Let`s hear what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, David was playing basketball the night his family was killed, Kim, Brad and Jill, my sister-in-law and my niece and nephew. He was playing basketball. We`ve got 11 alibi witnesses who will testify that David was at the gym from 7:00 o`clock until 9:30, or about 9:30, when he got home and found his wife and kids murdered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s go out to David Mosley now, and he is the civil attorney for David Camm. What`s it been like for the Camm family? Apparently, it`s been a nightmare, as well, for them.
DAVID MOSLEY, CIVIL ATTORNEY FOR DAVID CAMM: It has, Jane, and they are, as you might imagine, on tenterhooks tonight.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes, I`m sure they are. Can you elaborate a little more? I understand that Donnie Camm said that if David Camm, his brother, was acquitted, that he was going to kind of squirrel him out of jail to somewhere far, far away because he was worried for his own safety. Have there been any threats against David Camm?
MOSLEY: I`m not going to go into the specifics of that, but I can tell you there`s an enormous amount of hatred that`s been stirred up in this community so I think it`d be wise for David to be cautious, if and when he`s acquitted.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Former federal prosecutor Michelle Martinez, what do you think is going on in the deliberation room right now? These are long hours. They`ve been deliberating three days -- 10 hours, 11 hours, 10 hours today. Apparently, only one question, no readbacks, no nothing. What are they doing in there? I know it`s like reading the tea leaves, but take a shot at it.
MICHELLE MARTINEZ, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, they`re being very careful. This was a long trial. It was seven weeks long. They heard over 75 witnesses. And any careful jury is going to take days to go through testimony like that. You can`t read the tea leaves. There`s no way to know which way they`re leaning, but they`re doing their job.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is it too early to ask, Oh, my gosh, are we in for some sort of deadlock. And that would be, of course, a horrible nightmare for Kimberly`s family to have to go through this yet again. That would be almost beyond comprehension.
MARTINEZ: There`s no reason to assume that this jury is going to deadlock. When they tried this case the last time, they were out for several days. It wasn`t the same jury, but that jury took several days also. In a complicated case, you need to expect the jury to want to go through the evidence carefully. That`s appropriate here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall, what are these two extended families going through right now, to sit there on pins and needles? Gee, it`s nerve-wracking for the reporters covering the case, wondering when the verdict`s going to come down.
BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Well, on the most obvious level, they`re being re-traumatized by hearing the gruesome details of the case. But I`ll tell you something else that`s happening for them. They are going to have a major learning curve because if David Camm did this, the likelihood is that he is a sociopath. You and I have talked about that before. You know what that means. That means he has low levels of empathy, low levels of anxiety. He probably doesn`t think he did anything wrong, and he`s going to sit in that courtroom and be sort of -- have a sense of bravado and a sense of blaming the victim and the victim`s family. And the family members are going to watch this and say, Holy moly, maybe this is the kind of guy who could have killed our daughter.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, one of the reasons this may be taking a long time is that there is a lot of complex forensic evidence in this case. Dr. Larry Kobilinsky, my good friend and forensic scientist, tell us about the crucial nature of this forensic evidence, especially now that the evidence of the affairs is out.
LARRY KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, Jane, there are a number of types of evidence here. Obviously, we heard about DNA. This is not reading tea leaves. DNA is admissible in all courts of the land, and in fact, it`s clear whose blood that is. That is Jill`s blood on the T-shirt of David Camm. So that`s not an issue.
On the other hand, there is blood spatter pattern that has been interpreted by some as being back spatter. As a result of a shooting at close range, a mist comes back from the victim and hit the shooter. And so the question is whether that is back spatter, or high-velocity spatter, in other words, or it`s contact. Did he come in contact with Jill`s hair and that would explain the pattern? I find that to be probably the most important piece of evidence.
But clearly, trajectory is very important because we have to know the position of the shooter, how far the shooter was from the victims, and exactly what position. Was he in the vehicle? Was he outside of the vehicle? Gunshot residue is important. I mean, clearly, there are handprints, palm prints evidence here. There`s a lot of evidence.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Larry, I mean, the bottom line is he says he was playing basketball when this all went down. And prosecutors say he basically took a break from the game, rushed home, killed everybody, I believe went back to the game, and then returned home and exclaimed, Oh, my gosh, somebody killed my entire family. And one of the key pieces of evidence -- actually, 2,000 of them -- are nearly 2,000 tiny brass particles found on the gym shorts that David Camm was wearing. Tell us why that`s so very significant.
KOBILINSKY: Well, these are basically microscopic particles. It`s not something you see with the naked eye. But when you`re loading ammunition into a relatively cheap handgun, you`re going to get particulates coming off on your clothing. And this, apparently, is what that is. The most crucial piece here is the tissue, Jill`s tissue, body tissue on the shirt, as well as these eight tiny little droplets that we`re hearing conflicting conclusions about.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And apparently, the reason why there weren`t more droplets, according to some theories, is that David Camm may have allegedly been wearing some kind of suit over it, a jumpsuit, and that`s why the spatter only hit, like, an edge of his shirt, right?
KOBILINSKY: Indeed. Or he could have been at that distance where he just caught the edge of the back spatter mist. That might be an explanation, as well.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, let`s see what David Camm`s civil attorney, David Mosley, has to say about all of this because prosecutors say it`s damming evidence, even without the evidence of his alleged affairs.
MOSLEY: Yes, this is just ridiculous. And there is no evidence. The idea of a jacket or a coat to cover it, that`s just sheer speculation. It`s fine for speculation...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait. I mean, there`s blood -- there`s blood there. That`s -- blood is not sheer speculation. Blood is blood, so...
MOSLEY: Jane, you had an equal number of highly trained scientific expert witnesses testifying on the defense side that this was transfer. So the question is, is this evidence disputable, or is it undisputable? And the question -- and the answer is, clearly, it is disputable. So that leaves you with the alibi.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There is so much more on this case. We have just scratched the surface. We`re going to be right back with more on it.
To tonight`s "Case Alert." Police today again search the Arizona home of William Craig Miller (ph) in connection with the mass murder on February 21 in a nearby gated community in Mesa. Miller`s still not a suspect in the killings that left five -- five -- dead. But police are saying he is an "investigative lead." Two of the victims were set to testify against Miller in his upcoming arson case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s absolutely no connection between Charles Boney and my brother. The state police have testified that they cannot find a connection between Charles and my brother.
Well, David was playing a basketball the night his family was killed, Kim, Brad and Jill, my sister-in-law and my niece and nephew. He was playing basketball. We`ve got 11 alibi witnesses who will testify that David was at the gym from 7:00 o`clock until 9:30.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace. We are on verdict watch in the David Camm murder trial. And there are so many factors in this case, from an Alleged co-conspirator who`s already been convicted to allegations that the youngest victim may have been molested.
Bethany Marshall, psychoanalyst, the prosecution`s implied that David Camm molested his 5-year-old daughter. Does that kind of dovetail with allegations that he had a lot of affairs? In other words, is he a sex addict?
MARSHALL: Well, here`s what it is. I`ll tell you how it dovetails. If he killed her, if he`s a sociopath, sociopaths are prone to inner boredom, inner deadness for all kinds of reasons that we can`t go into on this show. So what happens is that they stimulate themselves through sexuality. So there`s often a lot of sexual acting out. There can be child molestation. There can be multiple affairs.
And then, as I said earlier, there`s the low levels of empathy, so it`s really easy to do away with another person`s life. And that`s how this thing really ties together is it paints a portrait of a certain type of personality who might be more able and willing to kill a family member.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, David Camm`s brother, Donnie, says the whole molestation issue is nonsense. Let`s hear what he has to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will agree that something happened to Jill. And what happened to Jill happened when she was murdered, and it did not happen prior to that.
The evidence is that Jill was perfectly fine all day long and every day leading up until when she was killed. The prosecution`s own expert testified that her injuries were so severe that she would not have been able to function normally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, it`s my understanding -- and we`re going to go to Lauren Lake now, defense attorney -- that the judge ruled that the prosecutors couldn`t directly accuse David Camm of molesting his daughter, but they could present evidence. And in a sense, in their closing arguments, they kind of danced around it. Doesn`t that hurt the prosecution? Don`t jurors want to hear something laid out, clear-cut?
LAUREN LAKE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely. There`s a lot of gaps in the prosecution`s case here, and one of which is the fact that you`re saying that he molested this child, but you really have no evidence to say that he did. You have a genital injury, but you don`t necessarily know that that`s caused by molestation.
And I think that right now, the jurors are in there hammering it out and saying, Hey, these prosecution theories are a little weak, and the defense seems to have some very strong alibi witnesses saying, Hey, the man was playing basketball with me and sat out one game, not three games. He didn`t say, Hey, man, I`m going to go out and get some Kentucky fried chicken for everybody and come back. He sat out one game, Jane. And so I think there`s a little problem with the prosecution`s case on that end.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, they did say that Jill was molested, according to experts provided by the prosecution, within 24 hours of her death, and they say that that is why David Camm allegedly killed his wife, because she had discovered the secret. What do you make of that?
LAKE: It`s ridiculous and they`re drawing at straws, and the jury`s going to be able to see through that. There is no way they can make those dots connect with this little bit of evidence. It`s inflammatory and ridiculous.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`ll have to see. The jury is deliberating as we speak. We`re going to stay on top of it.
To tonight`s "Case Alert." A 16-year-old relative of the man charged with 25-year-old Teresa Halbach`s murder also facing charges. The 16-year- old boy was arrested based on statements he made to police. Teresa Halbach vanished last fall after a visit to Steven Avery`s auto salvage yard, and her remains were found in a burn pit on his property. Avery continues to maintain his innocence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Debbie (ph) Renn did wonderful on the trial. She asked Charles Boney, she looked him right in the face and said, You were there, correct? And he said, Yes, ma`am, and he was. But his story is, Yes, I got the gun and I was there, but I didn`t commit these murders. This helps the conviction for Camm in Warwick (ph) County because now we have a means that Camm could have gotten home in 20 minutes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace. We are on verdict watch in the David Camm murder trial. He is accused of killing his wife and two children. There`s another man involved in all of this. His name is Charles Boney. He`s already been convicted.
Let`s go out now to Leslie Snadowsky, investigative reporter, and try to figure out his role, Charles Boney`s role, in all of this.
SNADOWSKY: Well, he`s a felon and he was serving time for armed robbery, but he was released from prison three months before the Camm murders. And he was arrested after investigators identified a sweatshirt that was found at the murder scene. They figured out it was his. And they also identified a palm print on Kimberly Camm`s Ford Bronco. Now, Boney said that he actually sold David Camm the handgun, and it was at -- he was at the house at the time of the murders, but he said he had no idea Camm was going to kill his family.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s hear from Charles Boney himself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES BONEY, CONVICTED OF MURDER: It`s commanded by my heavenly father that I respect and forgive all of my enemies. There`s a lot of people that have wanted the worst for me in this case. I forgive them right now -- the confidential informers, the snitches, the jailhouse romance people. I`m a little emotional right now, but I can talk about those things. And I just want to say thanks for all that you have done, for those of you who are with me. And I will be back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Former federal prosecutor Michelle Martinez, he is going away. I don`t know if he`s going to be back because he`s been sentenced to 225 years. Is it fair? I mean, even the prosecutors are saying he`s not the trigger man. He sold the gun, and he was there. He`s in jail for 225 years, and David Camm is on his second trial.
MARTINEZ: Well, the jury convicted him, and it`s fair because he was there. He provided the murder weapon. And he can claim he didn`t know what was going to happen, but the jury obviously believed differently.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nick Stein, attorney for Kimberly Camm`s family, what are your feelings on this? Because I would assume that your family believes, essentially, that David Camm is the main bad guy.
STEIN: Yes. Of course, they were ecstatic that Boney was convicted, but that was just merely a side show. The real show`s going on down here in Warwick County. They`ve known from way back that David Camm -- they firmly believed that he committed these murders, and they really want the truth. And of course, we won`t get that here because we won`t hear all of the evidence. And they want justice. And they have faith that this jury will do that.
Let`s talk about this alibi you keep talking about...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what? We`re going to have to cut you off, but you made a very, very good point, sir. And there are 12 individuals in a jury room right now, trying to achieve justice. We`re going to stay on top of this case.
We at NANCY GRACE want very much to help, in our own way, solve unsolved homicides, find missing people. Tonight, take a look at 13-year- old Phillip Brown. He was last seen in Chicago December 3, 2005. Any information on him, call Chicago police, 312-745-6052.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The injuries to Ricky`s body, in conjunction with his sudden bizarre disappearance and his discovery in a remote area wrapped in plastic bags, support a conclusion that his death was the result of harmful volitional actions committed by another or others.
The preponderance of our evidence in our investigation leads to a conclusion of homicide by unspecified means for the cause and homicide as the manner of Ricky Holland`s death.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace. Tonight, the tragic story of Ricky Holland, the young boy who saw more than a lifetime of suffering before his premature death.
Ricky`s first set of parents failed him. And then, at the age of seven, his second set of parents, the two people who adopted him, are charged with killing him. Let`s go right out to "Detroit News" reporter Karen Bouffard in Mason, Michigan, with the very latest on this case -- Karen?
Karen, can you hear us?
KAREN BOUFFARD, REPORTER, "DETROIT NEWS": Hi, Jane. Yes, I can.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What`s the latest? What happened today in court?
BOUFFARD: Well, today was the third day of testimony in the preliminary examination. And there were four witnesses for the prosecution. All four of them were employees of the Jackson public school system where Ricky Holland attended school before he moved to the Williamston area last spring.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, this is such a bizarre case, Sheriff Gene Wrigglesworth, the Ingham County sheriff. And I thank you, sir, for joining us.
It`s such a bizarre case, because the husband, Tim, is accusing the wife, I understand, of killing the child. And the wife, Lisa, is accusing the husband of killing the child. Which story do you believe? What do you think is the truth? Can you explain?
SHERIFF GENE WRIGGLESWORTH, INGHAM COUNTY: Well, they`re conflicting stories. The truth is going to be determined by a judge at some point in time, but there certainly is conflicting stories, as there usually is in this type of case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. But you`re talking about two wildly different stories. You`re talking about a man who says his wife killed the child, and you`re talking a woman who says her husband killed the child, yet they`re both charged with murder.
Let`s go to the judge in this case, Rosemarie Aquilina. She is the judge presiding over the preliminary exam. How come, technically, can you explain to us how two individuals can be charged with murder in this situation?
JUDGE ROSEMARIE AQUILINA, 55TH DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: Well, because anybody who participated in a crime, such as murder, or for that matter any other crime, can be charged with the same offense.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And another bizarre...
AQUILINA: If you aide or abet.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Aide or abet, thank you, ma`am. Another bizarre aspect of all of this is that this couple, Tim and Lisa Holland, on July 2nd, when they say the child disappeared, called 911, and then later kind of went public, and encouraged hundreds of volunteers to search for this child, and hundreds of people did throughout the hot summer, some of them singing lullabies as they went, hoping to lure the child out of the bushes.
Let`s hear what Tim Holland, the adoptive father, actually said this past summer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM HOLLAND, ACCUSED OF ADOPTED SON`S MURDER: My wife and I would like to thank the Ingham County Sheriff`s Department for everything that they have done for us, and especially thank all of the volunteers that have come out to take time away from their families to search for our son.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall, authorities believe at the time that he was saying that he already knew that his son was dead. What kind of a person is capable of doing that? And I have to tell you, there`s tremendous anger in the community...
MARSHALL: Of course.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... among the people who really, really gave their heart and soul to this search.
MARSHALL: Well, an abuser. And we know that 80 percent of children who die from child abuse and neglect are killed by the parents, not neighbors, not social workers, not teachers, by the parents. And both parents fit the profile of somebody who can murder a child, and I`ll tell you how.
When a child is murdered by a mother, usually it`s maltreatment. And we know this little boy was being malnourished and underfed. We know that from a neighbor`s testimony. When the father kills the child, usually it`s physical abuse.
And we know from the very same neighbor that the father had called the little boy a Ted Bundy. And so, I mean, a little kid is not a killer, so you can guess the father is attributing his own destructive impulses to the child.
He also said to the neighbor, "We can`t get pets, because this little boy would kill them," so there`s confusion between self and other in the minds of the father. So I think, you know, what kind of father could offer this testimony, I mean, or say this to the public? I`d say, what kind of dad would call a little kid a Ted Bundy? An abuser.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, Bethany, that`s a very good question. So we have with us tonight the attorney for Lisa Holland, the wife, Mike Nichols.
Good evening, sir. Thank you for joining us.
What does Lisa say? This is such a convoluted case. And apparently, they were presenting a united front until something happened and it was an incident with a hair dryer. Can you explain, please?
MIKE NICHOLS, ATTORNEY FOR LISA HOLLAND: Well, Jane, I`m not going to comment on what Lisa has to say.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, then I`ll tell you what happened with the hair dryer. This is what I understand. You can correct me if I`m wrong.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tim accused Lisa of throwing an electric hair dryer at him when he was in the shower, OK? And then she was later arrest and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. And the next day, Lisa told police that her husband had killed Ricky.
NICHOLS: Jane, that felonious assault charge related to the hair dryer was dismissed. And at this point, we`re in a preliminary examination on an open murder charge. We`ve been put on notice that our clients, Tim and Lisa Holland, are going to -- there`s a bind over that will be sought on a child abuse charge in the first degree.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But let me just say this...
NICHOLS: That`s what we`re dealing with.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... you`re saying that she`s innocent. What is her explanation of what happened? Tell me your side of the story.
NICHOLS: Well, Jane, all I can tell you is that we`re going to try this case in the courtroom. The one point that I want to make is -- Bethany made a comment, an analysis related to malnourishment on the part of Lisa Holland.
I guess the MRPCs, the Michigan rules of professional conduct, would let me respond to something that I think is inaccurate in analyzing evidence.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, go ahead and respond, because we`re running out of time. We want to hear your side.
NICHOLS: Well, what I would say, Jane, is that the testimony that I heard today is not that that child was malnourished. There was testimony that he was skinny and that he was short, but the testimony that I heard, in fact, from one of the school officials was that he didn`t seem to be malnourished at all.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Lauren Lake, defense attorney, what do you think? When a neighbor, we had read in news reports, said that this youngster suddenly surfaced inside her home and was in the refrigerator looking for food. And she fed him two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and he said, "I don`t want to go home. I don`t want to go home." And she said, "Well, you can`t stay here," but she was a kind lady. But that sounds like a hungry kid, not a psychotic kid.
LAKE: Well, Jane, you`re right. And this is sickening. This case is from my home state, and I`m just sickened by it, to tell the truth.
But, unfortunately, I have to put on my defense hat and say, even if they were malnourishing the child, we still don`t know which of these two people actually killed the child. And as a defense attorney, it just amazes me sometimes that your clients can be their own worst enemy, because had neither one of those two said a word, there was really very little evidence in this case to convict them on, being that the child`s body was so decomposed when it was found.
So here you`ve got them saying, "No, you did it," "No, no, you did it," and it`s just the silliest game. And it`s going to end in defeat for one, if not both of them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It would be silly were it not so tragic. I agree with you entirely.
Let`s go to Dr. Larry Kobilinsky, forensic scientist. Where did they find the body? I understand the body was in a plastic bag. What was the condition in? Who led them to the body?
KOBILINSKY: Well, I can only tell you, Jane, that this body was approximately seven months sitting in a plastic bag in a ditch. And the fact of the matter is that, after such a prolonged period of time, there is no longer soft tissue; all you have are skeletal remains. And that is precisely the reason that the medical examiner could not determine the cause of death. Matter of death...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But weren`t there fractures? Weren`t there fractures on the bones?
KOBILINSKY: Indeed there were, and that tells the tale. Not only did the medical examiner find fractures, he found different kinds of fractures, fresh fractures that were unhealed, and fractures that were older and in a state of healing. In fact, the fresh fractures were extensive.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what does that show?
KOBILINSKY: Well, it shows that this child was abused, physically abused over a lengthy period of time. It didn`t happen just at the time of death or a few days before, but a lengthy period of time this child`s bones were broken.
Now, if the child had been perhaps punched in the abdomen and soft tissue damage resulted in hemorrhage, that could have been the cause of death. We will never know the cause of death.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because of the decomposition.
KOBILINSKY: That`s correct.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Doctor.
And we have to stress, of course, these two individuals have only been charged. They do have the presumption of innocence. And we did attempt to contact Tim Holland`s attorney. We invited him on the show. He politely declined, saying he was very busy working on the case, which is certainly understandable. We`re going to have more on it in a second.
Quickly to "Trial Tracking," the case of Lita Sullivan, the Atlanta socialite gunned down at her front door by a hit man carrying a box of pink roses. Day four in the trial of Lita`s estranged husband, James Sullivan. He allegedly hired the hit man for $25,000. Prosecutors say Sullivan spoke on the phone with the hit man just days before the 1987 shooting. Today on the stand, an FBI agent, who examined James Sullivan`s diaries from around the time of the murder, testified he saw no entries about Lita Sullivan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have a recollection of the mark on Ricky that caused your attention (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It looked like a burn. It was a pretty good size. It was kind of like black and blue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you concerned for Ricky Holland`s safety at all?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I was.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought she might have been mean to him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace. We`re talking about the sad, short life of Ricky Holland and his untimely death at the age of seven. And now each adoptive parent accusing the other of killing him.
Let`s go to reporter for "Detroit News," Karen Bouffard who`s been tracking this case. Apparently, a hammer factors into this. Can you tell us about that?
BOUFFARD: Yes, Jane. In this swear-to report that sheriff`s deputies gave to the judge when they requested the warrant for the arrest of the Hollands for the murder of Ricky Holland, they gave a lot of information that they say was provided to them by Tim Holland.
According to that court testimony, Tim Holland had gone to the prosecuting attorney and had told them that Lisa had hit Ricky with a hammer and killed him with two blows to the head with a hammer. And then he had instructed him to bury the body, and that he had gone and buried the body. And after providing this information to the prosecutors and the sheriff`s deputies, he led them actually to the place where Ricky was buried. And this is how they found the body.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, do we know what Tim`s story is? Do we know what Lisa`s story is, rather? I mean, because we have Lisa`s attorney on tonight, but he is very restricted in what he can talk about. Have we heard any reports about the other allegation, what Lisa is saying Tim did, aside from disposing of the body?
BOUFFARD: Right. There`s very little information about what Lisa`s story is. In the report by the officers, it just says that she had blamed it on Tim, but really didn`t provide any details as far as what her story is.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let`s hear and see Lisa emotionally speaking out this past summer, encouraging hundreds of people to search for her boy, at a time when prosecutors say that she knew all along that he was already dead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LISA HOLLAND, ACCUSED OF MURDERING ADOPTED SON: I don`t want anybody else to have to go through this. It plays on your emotions. It plays havoc on your family, because everybody is upset.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Nichols, you`re the attorney for Lisa Holland. I understand you`re restricted in what you can say. But, I mean, here she is speaking on camera, crying, hundreds of people, 600 at one point, searching through lakes, and bushes, and everything for this child. And prosecutors say she knew that he was dead at that time.
What can you say in defense of your client about those statements? Because this community is quite angry that they were deceived.
NICHOLS: Well, Jane, I`m asking you and your viewers and the community not to prejudge Lisa Holland. She`s innocent in the eyes of our system. You know, people can react to situations and events many, many different ways, and the point of what I want to convey is Lisa Holland is innocent until proven guilty.
There has been rafts, volumes of paper written about what she said, what Tim has purportedly said, things that I heard Karen Bouffard talk about relative to a hammer. None of that is in evidence yet.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, they have other children, four other children. I understand that three of them are Ricky`s biological siblings and then one is their biological child. What`s the status of those children right now? Who`s taking care of them?
NICHOLS: The other four children are in protective custody. They have been placed through Michigan`s Department of Human Services. They are, I believe living -- two siblings with one paternal relative, and two siblings with another paternal relative.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Former federal prosecutor Michele Martinez, we`re running out of time. Did this child fall through the cracks?
MARTINEZ: Absolutely. And it`s a tragedy, but it happens all the time. You know, foster children do get killed, and people in the system do make mistakes. It`s tragic, but hopefully justice will be served and the parents will be convicted.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s so sad, because some of the neighbors were saying that this child would show up at their doorstep saying that he wanted to stay there. He didn`t want to go home.
And, of course, those people can`t take the child in. Some of them did call protective services. And obviously, we`re going to find out what, if anything, was done by the powers that be to protect this child. It really is a disgrace. It`s a beautiful little boy, and he should be alive today. He should be alive having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And it`s a tragedy.
We will be right back.
Quickly to tonight`s "All-Points Bulletin," FBI and law enforcement across the country on the lookout for this man, Michael D. Johnson, wanted in connection with an execution-style triple murder last November in New Mexico.
Johnson, 26, 6`4", 210 pounds, black hair, brown eyes. If you have any information on Michael D. Johnson, call the FBI at 505-889-1301.
Local news next for some of you. We will all be right back. And, remember, live coverage of the Lita Sullivan Atlanta socialite murder trial, 3:00 to 5:00 Eastern, Court TV.
Stay with us as we remember Army Private First Class Jason Sparks, 19, of Monroeville, Ohio. Sparks` platoon was engaged in direct enemy fire in Iraq. In high school, he played offensive line for the football team. His Aunt Becky describes him as one of those good kids who just never got into trouble. Jason Sparks, a real American hero.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... did receive a letter from his biological mother asking that she be given his remains. We had a number of people call the office and say they wanted to bury Ricky, they wanted to do something in Ricky`s memory.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are talking about little Ricky Holland`s, whose badly decomposed body was found in a plastic bag. Let`s go straight out to Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who is the presiding judge in this case.
What happens next with these two adoptive parents, ma`am?
AQUILINA: Well, we have about five more days of hearing, and then either the matter will be dismissed, if there`s not probable cause, or it will be bound over to circuit court.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, let me go to Karen Bouffard...
AQUILINA: There are about...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m sorry, ma`am? Go ahead.
AQUILINA: I was just going to say there are probably 20 more witnesses that have to be heard.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So it`s kind of like almost like a mini-trial, in a way.
AQUILINA: It is, but it`s one simply to find probable cause that the crime was committed and probable cause if the individuals who are accused did the crime.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Karen Bouffard, reporter for the "Detroit News," I`ve read that a lot of people in the area are furious because they spent so much time, effort, money, dogs, helicopters, boats, you name it, searching for this child for a prolonged period of time, for months. What`s the mood in the community?
BOUFFARD: That`s correct. Well, I think it`s a mixture of sadness and grief over the loss of Ricky, and just complete dismay that this sweet little child was murdered, and also outrage that it was allowed to happen, that there were safe protection workers that were aware that he was being abused, a lot of questions about why wasn`t he removed from the home, a lot of questions about his remaining siblings that continued to live with the Hollands until after Ricky`s body was discovered.
So there are a lot of questions, a lot of sadness, and a lot of outrage.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, thank you for joining us. And as we wrap up, I can tell you one neighbor said, quote, that this boy told them, quote, "I ran away because the people don`t want me. They want a baby." And that was what this young boy said to a neighbor, according to that neighbor.
We want to thank our guests tonight for their insights. And thanks to you at home for tracking these very important cases with us.
Coming up, headlines from around the world. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell sitting in for Nancy Grace. We hope to see you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 Eastern. Until then, have a wonderful evening.