Are John Couey's Charges To Be Believed?

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 18, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight, reaction from Jessica's family. Joining us from Miami is Herb Cohen, who's one of the attorneys representing Jessica's father, Mark Lunsford (search).

What say you about this, counselor?

HERB COHEN, ATTORNEY FOR MARK LUNSFORD: Well, Bill, I saw the letter. And from the beginning, you were very active about talking about the people in the trailer. And I think this confirms that they might have known something, something might have known something, maybe Matt Dittrich because he says he.

So it surely is a smoking gun and another step in the direction to look forward to and look at carefully.

O'REILLY: But if nobody looks at it, which may be the case, counselor, because I'm on television, you're in Miami, King is stonewalling, we know that, there's no question about it, the feds we haven't heard from.

So we have the letter. Again, it has to be verified.John Couey (search) is an accused murderer, confessed murderer. So we have to look at what he says and check it out ourselves. But what if nobody does anything?

COHEN: Well, you know, like I said, I got a call from the FBI a while ago, after I wrote to the U.S. attorney. I think, especially if you keep on this track, sometime down the road, someone's going to look at it.

I know I spoke to Pete Magrino (search) numerous times. He's diligently processing...

O'REILLY: Now you're going to have to tell the audience who that is. Who's Pete Magrino?

COHEN: Pete Magrino is the assistant state attorney in charge of prosecuting John Couey.

O'REILLY: All right, so he works for Brad King (search)?

COHEN: He does work for Brad King. He's a prosecutor I work with down here in Fort Lauderdale, a good man, a strong prosecutor.

But this is a tangent for him right now. So yes, it should be looked into, but who's the right parties to look into it? Maybe somebody else from Brad King's office? Maybe the FBI or the U.S. attorney's office.


COHEN: It sure...

O'REILLY: Well, I think it's got to be federal now, because...


O'REILLY: ...King's got too much to lose. You know, he's on the record. He's stonewalled it from the beginning. You know that the sheriff's department down there has botched the first search for the little girl. She should have been found. She was within yards of her house.

They didn't question Couey's trailer mates the right way. I mean, they went to the trailer. And Jessica Lunsford could have been in the trailer.

So all of the small town politics in Citrus County down there, I mean, we can't leave it in their hands anymore. But I don't have any confidence at all, counselor, I have to say, I have no confidence the feds will do anything.

And Governor Jeb Bush (search) is the chief law enforcement officer of the state. Unless they force him to do it, he isn't going to do it.

COHEN: Well, you know, Bill, it sure is another piece to the puzzle. And maybe when enough pieces of this puzzle come together, people can't keep turning a deaf eye to it.

O'REILLY: All right. I hope you're right, but I know I'm not as confident as you.

Now the big thing that I — and I feel very strongly, I don't think John Couey could have lifted that girl into that trailer. There was a ladder from the backyard up to his window. I do not believe that — because there were no drugs in Jessica's body, as you know. OK? Not drugged. I do not believe that man had the physical strength to lift that 9-year-old girl up that ladder, through that window and into a closet without that little girl screaming her head off and somebody hearing something.

I think this letter shows there's another person involved. And he says it, Couey says it. There's another person involved, who we don't know. And there's a lot more here than we've heard.

But I do not believe Couey could have incapacitated that girl for two or three days, dragged her into a trailer without anybody knowing anything about it. I'll give you the last word, sir.

COHEN: Well, there's another piece to this puzzle, Bill. There's fingerprints. And a new report show at first there was Jessica's fingerprints on a cardboard box and allegedly on a pizza box in the bedroom.

Now if that's the case, some of the agents I spoke to not to long ago, said we're going to try and track down when that pizza was delivered. But if her fingerprint was on a pizza box in Couey's bedroom, that's a possibility.

And another issue is whether or not she was dragged up that ladder, or she just obeyed what he told her...

O'REILLY: It's always possible.

COHEN: He says that.

O'REILLY: But that little girl was horribly abused. And it's always possible.

Counselor, thanks very much. Keep us posted. Again, we would like all of you to call Governor Jeb Bush's office in Tallahassee, Florida, and demand something be done about this. Florida state authorities should be investigating, not the locals.

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