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Expect news today in the Natalee Holloway case! There is a showdown in a New York state court today — we will be there to watch and then report back to you tonight. You will hear not only from us, but from the key people involved in this showdown. Both of Natalee's parents will be together on our show tonight.
We will also have the lawyers for both Natalee's parents and the Van der Sloots. The two lawyers will be arguing over the issue whether the civil suit brought by Natalee's parents against Joran and Paulus should remain in the New York state court or be booted out. Joe Tacopina and his clients say the New York court is a "forum non conveniens" — meaning that it is "inconvenient" to everyone involved, including potential witnesses. John Q. Kelly, who represents Natalee's parents and brought the suit for them, says the case should be litigated in New York City. We shall see....
I have posted a bunch of pictures today. There are pics of our walk and interview with Tim Donnelly, a Minuteman. He showed us two fences — one which you will see anyone can get through. I am not sure what the purpose of the barrier is, since it is not to stop people or cars (you would not drive a car on that terrain!) The area around this fence is very rugged and you can see that one risks his life coming through there since there is almost no place to go for miles and miles. It would be very easy to get lost and it is very hot in the daytime and can be very cold at night. In short it is dangerous if you are on foot and not familiar with the area.
I shot pics of our "shooter" shooting the interview with the Minuteman, so you can get a better idea of the behind the scenes of our show. (Incidentally, I know Scott, the shooter, well... I have worked with him many times when I am on the West Coast.)
The second fence shown is not supposed to be penetrable — you can't see through it when it is in good condition, but smugglers have sabotaged it in many areas. The Minuteman organization — at their own cost — have welded barriers in the fence holes to prevent smugglers from going through. Of course it is not easy to stay ahead of the smugglers and plug every hole. I put my camera on the other side of the fence and discovered a well-beaten path to the particular hole shown in the photo. It is obvious the hole through which I stuck my camera was used much until the Minuteman organization plugged it.
The final set of pictures posted are of the show and setting up Monday night on the border of Mexico (Tijuana) and USA. The people in the pics are from our L.A. bureau and if you have been coming to Gretawire.com for a long time, you will recognize them from previous picture postings. We worked with them on the Jackson, Peterson, etc., trials. I know them so well that they feel like siblings to me.
Now for some of your e-mails. Note that I asked viewers last night to e-mail me whether they agreed or disagreed with Geoff Fieger on the issue whether the bond should be reduced in the case of a former teacher charged with trying to kill his student. The former teacher is accused of breaking the student's neck and leaving her in a park, but ultimately leading police to her near- death body. As a result of her injuries, she is currently in the hospital with no cognitive abilities — I do not think the bond should have been reduced and do not agree with Geoff this time. I think the man is a flight risk — he is currently facing attempted murder charges and if the young woman dies, he faces murder. (As an aside: my husband e-mailed me mid-show that he does agree with Geoff.)
E-mail No. 1
This guy should be in jail. He attempted to kill this young girl. Attempted murder is the same as murder. This case could even be worse! She could be brain dead, which is worse than real death. Fieger is way off the track on this one. Set the bond at $2,000,000.
Gary J. Strickland
E-mail No. 2
Geoff has an air of "authority" and doesn't mince words, yes I agree with Geoff's opinion on this one (and probably all of them).
Jane K. Rothrock
Redondo Beach, CA
E-mail No. 3
I'd sure like to know what planet Geoffrey and the judge are living on, whoever heard of such a ridiculous judgment/sentence/statements by Geoffrey. I'll tell you, defense attorneys have "mindsets and reasonings" all their own, needless to say, I'm absolutely opposed to their excuses...
Las Vegas, NV
E-mail No. 4
Geoff Fieger is a genius. If he says let the system take its course then he knows what he's talking about. Mr. Fieger is seldom wrong.
I watch the show every night just to see if Mr. Fieger will be on. I'm waiting for the " Geoff Fieger Show" someday. He is the voice of reason.
E-mail No. 5
Could not believe what Geoffrey just said. He is full of it! I will be curious to see if you do get any e-mails in support of him. I thought he was smarter than that.
Have a good night,
P.S. I hope I spelled his name right. I just went blank, what with all the frustration and amusement going on after that debate with the panel. That dude (the one who admitted to the crime, like I said, I went blank here) has no business being out of jail. Yes, a bat out of hell he will be.
E-mail No. 6
Geoff is completely right, every person is entitled to the presumption of innocence. Bail is a right of the accused, all seriously accused offenders would have a reason for flight to avoid prosecution. Without the right of bail you are taking away a basic right of the judicial system for all persons.
Thanks Geoff for being open minded,
E-mail No. 7
I absolutely support Geoffrey Fieger on this one. Flight risk? What is the maximum punishment he faces for attempted murder? Couldn't he be looking at 60 years or so? 35 years? 25 years? Does Missouri have Truth in Sentencing laws that would mean he would have to serve 85-100 percent of his time? I don't imagine at this point he feels there's much difference between a life sentence and whatever sentence he could get for attempted murder. And because it is a first offense and one to which he has given a statement, there probably won't be a death penalty should the young girl die. I don't think there's any greater risk of flight risk for the charge he's facing now and a murder charge. Fieger's right.
E-mail No. 8
In my opinion Geoff is right, no matter what people think the person is allowed bond and to be out on the street. Laws cannot be changed to suit the criteria of each case. You cannot assume someone is a flight risk when you do not how he thinks or what he is feeling.
E-mail No. 9
I am just an ERISA attorney, but even I believe the individual discussed tonight poses a significant flight risk.
Bail was not proper.
Michael S. Travinski
E-mail No. 10
I agree with the view point of Geoffrey Fieger since we should, as citizens, be treated as innocent as long as there is no compelling reason to revoke or reduce bond. I was once charged with a crime by a vindictive ex-wife that claimed I was a flight-risk even though I owned a home and operated a business and didn't have a criminal history. She was able to raise it by another $25,000 over this claim that I would run. Well I didn't run... everything worked out okay and I was out more money because of her outrageous claims.
Please read Judge Napolitano's book "Constitutional Chaos" and you might agree. While reading his book, I find myself nodding my head in agreement often since I have lived some of the horrors of having my rights violated.
Thank you for your time and I really enjoy your show!
Grand Rapids, MI
E-mail No. 11
THANK YOU! I am so glad that you brought this story to national attention. I live in St. Louis and was outraged to hear that he was let out on bond. I agree that if Ashley dies he will flee the area. I hope by you bringing this to a nationwide audience that they may reconsider letting him out if that is in fact legal. The other reason this upsets me is that he had a number of underage girls contacting him via e-mail and I fear that they may be at risk and was surprised that this didn't play a part in keeping him behind bars.
E-mail No. 12
"Mary Batchelor" what a befitting name. Talk about "reasoning and justification" — these polygamists have justifying answers for it all, don't they. To me they are just a group of swingers hiding, in a religious guise, as a front.
E-mail No. 13
I was starting to have hope for Fieger but alas... I was an ICU nurse for years and cared for a few patients who were struggling to live while their assailants ran free. I can assure you that not only is this girl's family afraid, but those who are attempting to save her are on edge as well. Most hospitals still do little to adequately insure the safety of their staff.
E-mail No. 14
Jeff's correct. The man is entitled to bail. Time will tell if he is a flight risk and forfeits the $80K bail.
San Diego, CA
E-mail No. 15
You know that my husband and I are bondsmen in OK, and we both are in agreement that bond should have been withheld. I understand that the law may allow bail to insure the defendant's return to court, but somewhere there should be a moral obligation to society. No amount of money is worth that risk. Sorry Geoff, I'd have to turn the money down.
Great show again,
Terry and Dori Sartin
E-mail No. 16
I live in St. Louis, MO, and with this judge agreeing to lower the teachers bond I feel like I live in the Wild West instead of the Midwest. Geoffrey Fieger is wrong in believing the judge was correct in lowering the teacher's bond. It's my opinion the teacher shouldn't be eligible for bond — period.
E-mail No. 17
I am a regular viewer and was surprised you disagreed so strongly with Mr. Fieger. I agree with Geoff that the bond was fair because: (1) it was very high — $800,000; (2) the accused led police to the girl, indicating cooperation with police plus perhaps remorse; (3) he will be monitored; and (4) we don't know the elements of his "confession." He may not have been the only person involved. For all we know he may be helping police get a third party involved or the circumstances might have been somewhat accidental, i.e. the classis rough sex defense. Mostly though, he is presumed innocent at this point and the girl is still alive.
E-mail No. 18
I enjoy your show very much; but you do need to get a hairdresser (doesn't FOX News provide one?) Also a wardrobe consultant would help. Someone in your position needs to "look the part."
E-mail No. 19
Your words on quote "this is Duke, and not University of Wisconsin" should not be the best way to compare University of Wisconsin. I hope you do want us to stay late and listen to you.
ANSWER: I am a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin. I am also proud of plain speaking... that is not an insult to say someone uses simple words. And yes, some at the University of Wisconsin use the word "exculpatory" — I was just having some fun at my own expense.
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