Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nancy Grace Interrogates Attorney Jose Baez

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 8:00 PM Transcript from Nancy Grace's Show

GRACE: With us tonight, a special guest. The lawyer, Jose Baez, the attorney for Casey Anthony, little Caylee`s mother, is with us live. We are taking your calls live tonight.

GRACE: Let`s go out to Casey Anthony`s attorney joining us tonight. He`s a veteran trial lawyer out of the Orlando, Florida, area. We`re happy to have with us tonight Jose Baez. Mr. Baez, thank you for being with us.


GRACE: Mr. Baez, it`s my understanding that police have discounted the tipster because the tipster, a woman, could not give a flight number or a date for the flight to Atlanta. Is that true?

BAEZ: No, that`s not true at all. In fact, we know the dates. We know the airline. We know the destination. So I believe that`s all being worked out. This is the first I`m hearing that they`ve discounted it. In fact, we find it to be a very credible lead because the entire family spoke with Caylee.

GRACE: Could you give us, then, that information, the date, the airline? We know the destination was Atlanta.

BAEZ: Well, unfortunately, I wrote it down and I don`t have it with me right now. But I do know that that is a very credible lead. And some of the things that -- what we find very credible about it is, A, it`s an entire family. It`s not just one person. B, the information that was gathered -- apparently, the way Caylee said her name is what really is encouraging the family because only the family would know exactly how she would say her name and...

GRACE: Without the H, "Antony."

BAEZ: Exactly. Antony, exactly. And not only that, she also includes her middle name when she says her name. When someone asks her what`s her name, she says, Caylee Marie Anthony.

GRACE: Marie. Well, anyone who`s watched this news story knows her name is Caylee Marie Anthony.

BAEZ: Yes, but someone -- you know, you`d have to make the conclusion that she wouldn`t just say Caylee Anthony. And also the "Antony" is also very encouraging. We`re also -- you know, this all happened in an airport, so we`re going to be able to verify certain things. But everything that we`ve -- all the information we`ve been given and everything indicates that this seems to be a credible lead.

GRACE: Well, sheriff`s investigators have told our producers that the tip does not lead them to be optimistic because, again, they state that there`s not a flight number, that there is not a date. And I find that very -- you know, that`s a complete dichotomy with what you`re telling me.

BAEZ: It certainly sounds that way.

GRACE: But you cannot remember even the flight carrier? You don`t know if it was Delta or Airtran coming out of Orlando?

BAEZ: I believe it was Airtran, but unfortunately...

GRACE: Well, that narrows it down to just a few flights a day, then.

BAEZ: Correct. No, I -- like I said, I wrote it down. I have it in my file. I didn`t know I was going to be asked about that, just, you know, the exact information. But I know for a fact that we have that information and we`re following through with it and following up.

GRACE: Question. When the tipster asked the little girl her name, did the tipster know that Caylee Anthony was missing?

BAEZ: No, she did not.

GRACE: And so she only put two and two together after seeing news reports.

BAEZ: Correct.

GRACE: Question. Why did she not go to police? Why did she contact Casey Anthony directly?

BAEZ: I believe she tried contacting police through the tip line, and unfortunately, we`ve had a couple of reports that they`re not -- they weren`t able to get through. And this isn`t the first person we`ve heard this from. So they took it a step further and contacted the Anthonys directly.

GRACE: Interesting because we`ve called the tip line and we got straight through. I want to ask you a couple of questions regarding your client. And I completely understand the attorney-client privilege. It`s my understanding that your client will not meet with police until she`s granted immunity. Is that true?

BAEZ: That`s totally not true. That`s 100 percent false. And I heard that in the beginning of your broadcast, and I was hoping to have an opportunity to clear that up. We have never, ever, ever told the police, Look, she`ll talk, but only if she`s released or granted immunity. Nothing like that ever transpired, and I...

GRACE: Well, Mr. Baez, why hasn`t she spoken and sat down with police since she was first interrogated?

BAEZ: Well, the police have not contacted me with any specific information that they want to ask her. I`ve instructed the police, and I even sent -- after there was a whole debate of going back and forth as to what I said and what they said, I decided to put it down on paper. I sent them a letter explaining to them, Look, I`m willing to have her accessible to you. We`re willing to assist in the search, so long as it`s concentrating on the search and not on her prosecution.

GRACE: Well, you know, it`s interesting...

BAEZ: I can`t expose my client to that.

GRACE: ... because Orange County sheriff`s deputy Carlos Padilla (ph) says that you, Jose Baez, have not returned detectives` calls to set up a meeting.

BAEZ: That`s untrue. And Mr. Padilla and I have had a couple of disagreements over the last week, and this is just another one of those.

GRACE: Well, if you`re agreeing to meet with them with your client, then why hasn`t it happened?

BAEZ: Well, you`d have to ask the detectives that. I mean, they`re the detectives. They`re supposed to be investigating this case. I don`t know what they`re doing, but it appears from every report that I get that they`re just simply concentrating on prosecuting Casey. For example...

GRACE: Well, don`t you believe, if that were true, Mr. Baez, that they would leap at the chance to be alone with you and your client in a squad car driving around town in a search for Caylee?

BAEZ: Well, they haven`t requested that, so maybe you`re a little bit ahead of them.

GRACE: So Padilla is completely lying when he says you have not returned his phone calls?

BAEZ: One hundred percent. One hundred percent.

GRACE: A couple of questions about your client`s earlier statements to police, for instance, claiming that she dropped her daughter, little Caylee, off at a baby-sitter`s house on June the 9th, and when she came back, they were gone.

BAEZ: Correct.

GRACE: Well, that`s not true.

BAEZ: Well, you know, I wasn`t privy to the conversations that she`s had with police. My conversations with her is that she dropped the baby off with the baby-sitter and she has not seen her since. And that`s...

GRACE: So she told you that, as well? Because her mother told us on air that that was her story, when, in fact, police did track down the so- called baby-sitter, Zenaida Gonzalez, who says she never even met Caylee or Casey Anthony and has never baby-sat for them ever in life.

BAEZ: And you can also refer to the same police report, where it says they showed her a photograph of the person they spoke with, and my client said that that is not the Zenaida Gonzalez.

GRACE: I`m sorry. I couldn`t hear you. Your client said what?

BAEZ: If you refer -- I guess you`re referring to the police report. But in that same police report, it states that they showed a photograph to my client and she stated that that was not Zenaida Gonzalez, the same Zenaida Gonzalez.

GRACE: She also told the police that the apartment where she dropped the child off -- she showed them the apartment -- that apartment has been vacant since February 29, Mr. Baez.

BAEZ: I`ve certainly heard -- I`ve seen that in the report, and that`s what the police are saying she said. I- unfortunately, she is locked up right now. I haven`t had the opportunity to go with her to specific locations to show me where she told the police that she dropped the child off and to verify a lot of these things. Unfortunately...

GRACE: You have had the opportunity to meet with her. You were in court with her...

BAEZ: Absolutely.

GRACE: ... and you also had time to prepare with her. And the jail allows attorney-client visits. You have had the opportunity to meet with her, so...

BAEZ: I didn`t say I haven`t had the opportunity to meet with her. I said I haven`t had the opportunity to go to these places with her to verify that what the police are saying she told them is the truth.

GRACE: So you`re...

BAEZ: Unfortunately...


GRACE: ... the theory that the police may be...

BAEZ: I`m sorry? I`m sorry. I couldn`t hear you. I was talking over you.

GRACE: So you`re functioning under the belief that the police have fabricated this?

BAEZ: No, no. I`m under the belief and it`s my experience that, number one, you don`t always believe everything you read in a police report. You verify it and you do your job and you do your investigation. So that`s part of my investigation that I have not had the opportunity to do yet because my client is locked up. And the only one who can take me to where she took the police would be my client. And I`m hoping to have the opportunity to do that relatively shortly.

GRACE: Well, another thing that is concerning, Mr. Baez -- everyone, with us tonight is the attorney for Caylee`s mom, Casey Anthony, a veteran trial lawyer, Jose Baez, joining us out of the Orlando, Florida, jurisdiction. It`s my understanding that she also told police she worked at Universal Studios and actually took them there, all the way there in the car, got out of the car, walked up to where she said she worked, and then finally turns around and says, You know what? I don`t work here. As it turns out, she was fired from there. So why would she lie about something as innocent as where she worked?

BAEZ: You know, again, that`s another -- that goes along the same lines. I don`t know if she actually told that to the police. I don`t know if that actually occurred the way they say it occurred. And I`d like to certainly look into that a little bit further. If there are audio recordings of their conversations, I`d like to be able to play them for my client and ask her about those things. But that is part of the process of defending a case. And that`s part of the things that I, unfortunately, because we`re not at the discovery phase, haven`t had the opportunity to do.

GRACE: You don`t have to be in the discovery phase preparing for trial to find out the truth from your client.

BAEZ: Well, you have to be in the discovery phase to get everything you need from the police, like audio recordings, so that way, you can go over them with your client and verify the accuracy...

GRACE: Mr. Baez...

BAEZ: ... or any interpretations or to see if any of this stuff was taken out of context.

GRACE: Yes. Mr. Baez...

BAEZ: That`s part of the job.

GRACE: ... where was your client for the four weeks that Caylee has been missing?

BAEZ: That`s -- part of that is some of the things that I simply can`t discuss because it`s protected by attorney-client privilege.

GRACE: But why? Why is that a secret, if she wants to find her little girl alive?

GRACE: Well, I`m certain -- you know, you`re an attorney, as well, and you wouldn`t violate the attorney-client privilege...

GRACE: I would want to find the little girl alive, Mr. Baez!

BAEZ: I`m a little confused as to why you would ask that question.

GRACE: Because I want to find Caylee alive.

BAEZ: If she knows where...

GRACE: And obviously, you and your client do not.

BAEZ: She does not know where Caylee is and...

GRACE: The case becoming more and more bizarre, but at the heart of it is this 2-year-old little girl, Caylee Anthony. With us tonight, her mother`s lawyer. Jose Baez, the attorney for Casey Anthony, is with us.

GRACE: Back to Jose Baez, the attorney for Casey Anthony. Sir, you keep telling me over and over that your client, the mother, does not know where Caylee is.

BAEZ: Correct.

GRACE: Where did she leave her?

BAEZ: With the baby-sitter. And we believe...

GRACE: What baby-sitter?

BAEZ: ... she`s been kidnapped. Zenaida Fernandez (ph) Gonzalez.

GRACE: Where?

BAEZ: She gave me a specific location. I`ve -- all I have is an address. But I want to verify...

GRACE: What`s the address?

BAEZ: I certainly don`t have it with me, if that`s what you`re looking to get.

GRACE: You don`t want me to know it because it`s the same place the cops went and checked out and she didn`t live there. It was vacant.

BAEZ: No, that`s not the case.

GRACE: Then what is it?

BAEZ: Well, you know, if you had told me you were going to ask me this question, I would have certainly had it with me and...

GRACE: I would assume you would know the facts like the back of your hand.

BAEZ: Well, you know, that`s why -- I`m human. I write with a pen and paper. And that`s -- hello?

Straight back out to Jose Baez, the attorney for the girl`s mom, Casey Anthony. Your client, according to you, says she dropped her child off on June 9. But that`s not true. The grandmother saw them together on June 15.

BAEZ: Yes. Absolutely. Apparently, they were mistaken on those dates. Everyone seemed to be mistaken on those dates. And we certainly were able to confirm that the time has been shorter than that.

GRACE: Well, don`t you think your client should know the last time she was with her own daughter?

BAEZ: Well, everyone who -- since this was so long ago, it was just simply a confusion...

GRACE: It was last month!

BAEZ: ... of dates.

GRACE: It was last month!

GRACE: With us tonight is the attorney for Caylee`s mother, Casey Anthony. Jose Baez is joining us out of Orlando, Florida.

So, Mr. Baez, you are telling me point blank your client nor you have asked for immunity for her?


GRACE: Under any circumstance?

BAEZ: Under any circumstance.

GRACE: And you claim the fact you have not met with her and investigators is simply a failure in communication?

BAEZ: No. I don`t think that they`re -- for some reason, you know, there`s a lot going back and forth, and -- but I`ve reached out to them. I`ve expressed it, I put it in writing, and.

GRACE: Well, actually, sir.

BAEZ: . they have yet to respond.

GRACE: Our control room has them on the phone right now.

BAEZ: Perfect.

GRACE: And they`re happy to arrange a meeting between you, your client and police. When would you like to do it?

BAEZ: Well, I -- where are they? Put them on the phone. Let`s talk.

GRACE: Give me a date and a time.

BAEZ: Well, I`ll meet them at the jail right now. If they have.

GRACE: Well.

BAEZ: If they have any credible belief.

GRACE: Can you wait for about 10 minutes.

BAEZ: Hold on a second, hold on.

GRACE: . until we get to commercial break.

BAEZ: Again, I didn`t hear you because I was talking. If they have any credible leads that they want to bounce me -- they want me to bounce off of my client, they can meet me at the jail in about half an hour. And I`d be more hand happy to go inside, talk to my client and find out exactly what the answer is to any of those leads that will help find Caylee.

GRACE: So will you sit down with you, your client and police, and go through the evidence?

BAEZ: If there`s any leads they want me to go over. Now I`m not -- I`m not going to be there to prosecute my client or to assist them in prosecuting my client. I will be there to.

GRACE: How about assisting in finding Caylee?

BAEZ: I will be there to ensure that my client`s rights are protected. But I`m there to help find Caylee. That`s the only reason I`d be willing to meet with law enforcement.

GRACE: Because, it`s 8:32.

BAEZ: Not for anything other than trying to Caylee.

GRACE: It`s 8:32.40 and that`s the first time tonight, sir, that you have stated you`re here to help find Caylee.

BAEZ: Well, I -- no, no, apparently on your show, because I`ve been saying it all along. I -- you might be able to (INAUDIBLE) in the times on that one.

GRACE: Good to know. Good to know.

GRACE: Everyone, we are switching gears -- Mr. Baez, thank you very much for being with us.

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