Mysterious Motive?

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This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 31, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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JOHN GIBSON, GUEST HOST: In the "Factor” follow-up segment tonight, as you know, "The Factor" has been covering the brutal murder of 50-year old Pamela Vitale (search), the wife of a high-profile California attorney. 16-year-old Scott Dyleski is charged with her murder. Dyleski's mother was charged with accessory after the fact, but prosecutors dropped the charges against her after she agreed to testify against her son.

Now there's a new development on the motive front. Joining us now from Chicago is criminal defense attorney Steve Greenberg.

So the original thought about the motive was that Dyleski went to Vitale's home looking for some hydroponic, pot-growing equipment that he thought had been sent there by mistake. What's the new idea?

STEVE GREENBERG, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the new theory is he did this because he thought that this lady had perhaps run over his dog. His dog was injured by someone who was a neighbor. And there's speculation that he thought that this was the neighbor who did it. And he went there to either complain about it or exact some kind of revenge.

But the source of the rumor is a family member. And I'm not sure that it's a credible source. We really don't know, and it's just idle speculation on the part of everybody involved.

GIBSON: Well, even if it were true, what difference would it make?

GREENBERG I don't think it would make any difference. The fact is that right now there is no motive for what was a very, very brutal crime. And even if there is a motive, who cares? It's a brutal crime that this young man is accused of committing. And none of the two theories that we've heard so far are going to justify what he did in any way, shape, or form.

I'm just wondering if the — if the lady who's coming up with this is the mystery Gloria Allred (search) client.

GIBSON: Well, it...

GREENBERG Maybe there's a book in there.

GIBSON: We'll have to see how that shapes up. But so what happens? You know, California has a large population on Death Row. I don't think that Dyleski would be a candidate for Death Row.


GIBSON: He can't. So under the California juvenile system, assuming that he is found guilty, what happens?

GREENBERG Well, if he's found guilty, first of all, he can't get the death penalty because of his age at the time, and the U.S. Supreme Court decided that you can't give the death penalty to those 17 and under. He could get life in prison. He could get, for first-degree murder, 20 to life.

GIBSON: Real life? Real life?

GREENBERG Life in prison in California means you go in front of a parole board and they decide if you've been rehabilitated. And we've seen other individuals who were charged with horrific murders in California or very high publicity murders, and I haven't seen any of them get out, dating back to Manson, to Sirhan Sirhan and so on through the years.

So if he were to get life imprisonment, I think it would mean real life, or it would certainly mean that he'd be old and gray and who knows when he gets out.

GIBSON: You know, as you look at this case and try to figure out what went wrong — what happened and why it resulted in this lady's murder, is there any explanation that — any possible explanation, anybody who's going to come up with that will make any sense?

GREENBERG None that I've heard. Now, the police only let us know what they want us to know, and they throw in details that they want to put out there, I think that are salacious that they don't need to put out there.

For instance, they said that he went over to his girlfriend's house to, quote, "have sex." I don't know what relevancy that had to anything.

What I see here is a young, troubled man. There's these events in his life that occur, such as the death of his stepsister, then these events with his dog, the divorce of his father and his stepmother, and the change in his behavior. And what we're eventually going to see, I believe, is an insanity defense.

Unfortunately, if there's a thousand insanity defenses a year, I'd be surprised if two work. So for him it's going to be a real hard, uphill battle.

GIBSON: And inasmuch as it is an uphill battle, the result is now known. He will be found guilty. He will go to prison for life.

GREENBERG I don't know if that's the result that's known. That's why we have trials.

GIBSON: Well, no. Of course that's why we have trials. But...

GREENBERG And it's California. Who can ever predict what's going to happen in a California criminal court?

GIBSON: But do you have any doubt about the facts here? Do you have any doubt that he did it?

GREENBERG From everything that's been leaked, obviously there's no doubt that he did it, but there's a gag order, and we've only heard one side of the story.

It's not going to get any worse for him from this point forward. I assume that his lawyers will do an investigation. They'll hire investigators, and maybe there's facts out there that we don't know.

GIBSON: Mr. Greenberg, thanks a lot.

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