A USC Student Is Accused of Murdering Her Newborn

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 25, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O’REILLY, HOST: Twenty-one-year-old University of Southern California student Holly Ashcraft (search ) is charged with murder after authorities say she put her newborn son in a trash bin. Authorities also allege Ms. Ashcraft gave birth to another baby which has disappeared.

I guess that was last year. Joining us now from Irvine, California, Paul Wallin, an attorney representing Miss Ashcraft.

The police tell us a homeless man picking through trash discovered the dead baby and called police. Is that what happened?

PAUL WALLIN, HOLLY ASHCRAFT’S ATTORNEY: That is how the baby was discovered or the fetus was discovered. That’s correct.

O’REILLY: And they are holding your client on $2 million bail.

WALLIN: Which is absolutely outrageous bail, absolutely outrageous.

O’REILLY: It looks like she is in huge trouble here.

WALLIN: A lot of people look like they are in huge trouble, Mr. O’Reilly, right? A lot of people, Michael Jackson, yourself, many other people look from the media at the beginning they are in huge trouble, and then the media looks pretty stupid at the end, don’t they? I don’t think we should judge.

O’REILLY: I think you’re right that we have to give everybody the presumption of innocence, certainly, but in this case, you have some evidence that has been released to the public, that she apparently gave birth to another baby, hospital authorities at Good Samaritan Hospital (search) say she was hemorrhaging.

Doctors determined she had recently given birth, but they couldn’t find the baby. And your client says the baby was stillborn. Is that what happened?

WALLIN: No, and that’s exactly right. You can’t use the word but, Mr. O’Reilly, after saying there is the presumption of innocence, but. There is just the presumption of innocence. What you’re saying are not the facts. That’s just what you have got from the slanted one side. I will tell you, though, that my client was not arrested, was not prosecuted, nothing regarding that prior incident. She fully cooperated with the police, and there was no evidence to tie her to any crime. So it’s dangerous, and you know it’s dangerous, Mr. O’Reilly, to do that.

O’REILLY: But you’re not going to deny she gave birth in April, 2004, correct?

WALLIN: I’m not going to discuss the merits of that case other than to say, because it’s too early, that everyone needs to just keep an open mind just like they would like it for themselves.

O’REILLY: All right. We’ll keep an open mind. But when the Los Angeles Times reports a good Samaritan doctor said she gave birth in April, 2004, there was no baby, she couldn’t find any baby, she said it was stillborn and she got rid of it, and then a year and a half later, there is another baby that she births and it’s found in a trash bin, there is a serious situation here, counselor. I don’t think we should be diminishing it by any means.

WALLIN: I am telling you this is a tragic situation. It’s one of the most tragic situations a family can ever find themselves in. But that has nothing to do with prejudging guilt or innocence.

O’REILLY: I’m not prejudging anything. I’m talking about the evidence.

WALLIN: Why would you support the Los Angeles Times?

O’REILLY: I’m not supporting anybody. I’m telling you what the authorities are putting out there. I’m telling you that they’re .

WALLIN: The Los Angeles Times, your favorite newspaper.

O’REILLY: It’s not my favorite newspaper, OK?

WALLIN: Exactly. So don’t rely on it.

O’REILLY: Are you telling me all of this stuff is a big lie? Are you telling me the homeless man didn’t find her dead baby?

WALLIN: I am telling you it is not that kind of a case. The facts will come out, just like they come out in other cases, just like you said on television, you were being vilified by the media. And when the facts came out, things were different, weren’t they?

O’REILLY: OK. That’s fair enough. Do you want to put out any facts right now that would.

WALLIN: I do. I want to put out the facts that my client is sitting in jail on $2 million bail when another woman in Northern California under the same facts is on $100,000 bail, and my client was on a full ride scholarship to USC. Which you should know is like one out of a thousand. So we’re not talking about some person that doesn’t have a tremendous amount of potential, and people have to step back and say this woman is going through a horrendous tragedy, her family is going through a tragedy, and wait for the evidence to come out.

O’REILLY: Fine. I think you’re absolutely right. And we’re going to keep on the case. We hope you will come back and we appreciate you making the case for your client. And we’ll be right back.

WALLIN: Just want you to be fair and balanced.

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