Cops: Trucker Who Claimed Drew Peterson Approached Him Was Lying

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," December 7, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Hello, and welcome to a special edition of "On the Record: Cops and Cases." And tonight, we cover the most intriguing cases in the news. First, breaking news in the Stacy Peterson case. Remember that trucker story? A trucker claimed Sergeant Drew Peterson asked him at about 3:30 in the morning, just hours after Stacy was reported to have disappeared, to transport a suspicious container.

Well, tonight, police say that trucker is a liar and that the trucker's cell phone records prove he's a liar. According to police, the trucker's own cell phone records place him in the state of Louisiana at the time he claimed to have been having a sinister conversation with Sergeant Drew Peterson. What does this mean for the case? And what other new information is there still that may help solve the case?

Our panel will be with us tonight for the entire hour. Former LAPD homicide detective Mark Fuhrman joins us in Spokane, Washington. Criminal defense attorney Geoff Fieger is in Southfield, Michigan. And in New York, criminal defense attorneys Ted Williams, Bernie Grimm, defense attorney Michael Cardoza and forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden.

Mark, since you are the man who's been on the ground in Bolingbrook, and are going back there, I might add, this is not insignificant news that the trucker apparently is a liar.

MARK FUHRMAN, FORMER LAPD HOMICIDE DETECTIVE: No, it's not insignificant, Greta, but I think — it's interesting. We know his cell phone was in Louisiana. Where was he? Is there some dispute there, or maybe they've already come to grips with that and he's admitted it. But my first question outside of that is, Does he know Drew Peterson? Has he ever met Drew Peterson? Does he know anybody that knows Drew Peterson that might want to throw a monkey wrench in this whole investigation, cast doubt on this and then hope that that rolls downhill and casts doubt on everything else.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, my guess is that his cell phone wasn't vacationing by itself in Louisiana.


VAN SUSTEREN: As much as Ted's from Louisiana, he'd probably vacation there, but I doubt that his cell phone will. I'll go with the likelihood that the trucker is a liar.

Geoff, since you're on our away team, as well, today, what do you think of this news about the trucker?

GEOFFREY FIEGER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you know, Mark is right. Absent some collusion to throw the police off, which would, you know, inure to Peterson's benefit, I really don't think it changes anything. The search warrants that I'm sure you're going to get into have been executed against his premises. They are searching long and hard. And absent some other possibility, the fact that a mother of two just disappears off the face of the earth is consistent with foul play. And Mr. Peterson's behavior up to this time has been highly suspicious.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. You're talking about behavior. The viewers just had the pleasure of seeing Sergeant Drew Peterson with the handycam. Now, I know that I'm guilty of using a handycam myself. But Michael, probably not a real good idea for Drew Peterson to be out there handycamming the media and making it look like this is a big "Ho, ho," his wife's missing.

MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: You know, like I said the other night, the more I see him, the more I dislike him. The more I see the chief of police and hear from him, the more I like him.

But what I — let me get back to the trucker. What I don't like about this trucker thing — trucker's a liar. The police say that. So when Mark — and I know Mark is still clinging to being a police officer, saying, Well, maybe he could be telling the truth for some reason. No. Police put this out. I think it's pretty clear. Truck driver's lying.

My question is, What are the police going to do about this? Do we just sort of blithely walk by this and go, Gosh, you pulled a good one on us. You lied to us. How about they prosecute him to show people, Don't come into our investigation this way and throw us off.

VAN SUSTEREN: They may very well do that. Bernie?

CARDOZA: I hope they do do that.

BERNIE GRIMM, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I mean, Detective Fuhrman's sort of got to let this go, at this point. I mean, this whole thing — I didn't like it when it first came in. This guy...

VAN SUSTEREN: No, you're like Ted.

GRIMM: What?

VAN SUSTEREN: You're like Ted, after the fact.

GRIMM: I don't like Ted at all.


GRIMM: At any rate, to get back to...


GRIMM: Getting back to the show — hold on, guys. I didn't like it when it first came in — some trucker, some stop. This guy is into this...

VAN SUSTEREN: Wait! How did...

GRIMM: ... up to his ears.

VAN SUSTEREN: Had it been...


GRIMM: The problem is he's not that stupid to do something like this.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I don't know. I mean, you've had a lot of clients, Bernie, and so I'm surprised — I mean, a lot of clients do pretty stupid things.

GRIMM: Yes, I mean...


GRIMM: If they weren't stupid, I wouldn't be representing them.

CARDOZA: That's why we're in business.

WILLIAMS: But this is the key. Look at the body language of this police officer. It tells you a lot. He's out there laughing, joking. And you know why? Because if he had something to do with this, he knows where the body is. Everybody is looking in the Pacific Ocean while it could very well be in the Atlantic Ocean, if he had something to do with this. The body language tells a lot about this guy. He's listening to television. He's watching these reports...

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, but that — that goes back to...

WILLIAMS: ... and he's...

VAN SUSTEREN: But that goes back to (INAUDIBLE) Michael raised, that it's easy to dislike him based on what is he showing the public. But body language ain't going to get you convicted.

CARDOZA: Well, no, wait. Body language? Look what happened in Scott Peterson. What kind of evidence did they have there? They didn't like Scott. You sat through that trial. I sat through that trial.

VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, they had a body wash up on shore...


VAN SUSTEREN: They had a body and they had a girlfriend and they had a motive and they had evidence.


VAN SUSTEREN: It wasn't body language!

CARDOZA: A big part of that conviction was they didn't like Scott.


CARDOZA: No, they didn't!

VAN SUSTEREN: Michael went to a different trial. Michael went to a different trial.


DR. MICHAEL BADEN, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: I have to come to Michael's defense.

CARDOZA: Thank you, Doctor.

BADEN: With Scott Peterson, they never established the cause of death, the place of death or the time of death.


BADEN: And what was established...

VAN SUSTEREN: Who killed her?

BADEN: ... nobody — the jury pool didn't like him.

CARDOZA: They didn't like him.



FIEGER: Scott Peterson — no! That isn't the reason! The reason is Scott...


VAN SUSTEREN: The away team. Let's got to the away team. Geoff?

FIEGER: The reason Scott Peterson was convicted is because he was in a boat in exactly the same place where her body washed up. And that coincidence was far too strong.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's not body language. That's not body language. It's called evidence, Michael.

CARDOZA: But I'll tell you, how do you get to the death on that case? Let's talk about the...

VAN SUSTEREN: Which death? On which case? Scott Peterson?

CARDOZA: On Peterson.

VAN SUSTEREN: Scott Peterson?

CARDOZA: You got...


CARDOZA: ... the death penalty portion of that because...

VAN SUSTEREN: Oh, I'll tell you how.

CARDOZA: OK. Fine. Wait. Let me finish. Because Scott could have easily had hit her before. They could have had an argument. It could have been a manslaughter type case. How did the jury get to death?

VAN SUSTEREN: I'll tell you how...

CARDOZA: Because they didn't like Scott.


FUHRMAN: Greta? Greta?

VAN SUSTEREN: ... but the thing is, that was pre — the jury could reasonably find it was premeditated because he bought the boat, didn't tell anybody about the boat. He researched the area. And that's how you could get to that. But now, let me just say one thing. I believe that he's going to get a new trial.

WILLIAMS: I've said that.

VAN SUSTEREN: I believe that he's...

CARDOZA: I know, the rocking of the boat.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... guilty, but...


VAN SUSTEREN: Now let's go to Mark on the away team. Go ahead, Mark.

CARDOZA: He knows something about this.

FUHRMAN: Greta, you know, when I listen to Ted and Bernie, you know, I never felt that the trucker thing — it was too big of a gift. That's why I'm suspicious of where it came from, whether it was anonymous, third party. I was always suspicious. I said, This is too good to be true. But the other thing that Ted said, I've said from the beginning that he is making it too obvious where they think the body could be.


FUHRMAN: He's almost planting certain ideas in the police — in their suspicions. I kind of tend to believe it's in the opposite direction that they're actually looking...

WILLIAMS: Absolutely.

FUHRMAN: ... but that's just a suspicion.

VAN SUSTEREN: But both of you are talking about what sort of your gut reaction is and what — you know, when you — but there's no evidence, which is the problem. You've still got to have proof.

FUHRMAN: Well, there actually is evidence, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: With the body's in a different direction...


WILLIAMS: Greta, body language tells you a lot about individuals and...

VAN SUSTEREN: It does not!

WILLIAMS: Well, it does!

VAN SUSTEREN: It does not! Body language? You should be on "O'Reilly"...


CARDOZA: I was going to say O'Reilly does body language.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Go ahead. Let me go back to Mark. Go ahead, Mark. We cut you off.

FUHRMAN: Greta, listen to the evidence. Drew Peterson actually laid down his own evidence. He is very cell phone-wise. He knows about triangulating a cell phone call. He does this with Thomas Morphey. He makes sure that that cell phone is there in front of him, so he can document through a witness and through electronic corroboration when that came in and where it came from.

Now, he did that on purpose because he knows that will come back. Now, did he do the same thing when he drove to six, seven, eight locations that night, made a phone call so his phone would be triangulated to that location, which they've already said stimulates the search in certain areas?

VAN SUSTEREN: All right...

WILLIAMS: But Mark, there's one problem I'm having with this Thomas Morphey situation. And that is we've heard only hearsay upon hearsay from this guy. I would like to hear from...

VAN SUSTEREN: Wait a second! Stop!

WILLIAMS: ... his own mouth...

VAN SUSTEREN: You will support body language as proof...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... yet you have a problem with Thomas Morphey telling his friend? Are you kidding me?

WILLIAMS: Well, wait a minute.


WILLIAMS: Why haven't we heard from Thomas Morphey himself? Why are we hearing from other people? If this guy is out there, he should be able to talk for himself. I think he's a grown man.

VAN SUSTEREN: Believe me — believe me — all right. Can I just have — although I've laughed at the body language stuff and — let me just say there are two quotes that Drew Peterson has made to a newspaper, supposedly, The Herald News, which I think we have to talk about. One is he says, "I'm not going to get another date." That's because he has a missing wife and a dead third wife. And the other is, "The rumor about me doing a spread for `Playboy' is false."

Geoff Fieger, if this were your client and those were the statements he was making, what would be your conversation tonight with your client??

FIEGER: Well, you know, I would have thought that that conversation would have taken place a long time ago. He lawyered up a couple weeks ago, and that lawyer has appeared on just about every place that's asked him. So I would have thought that his lawyer would have told him, You're not making any glib statements. You're not doing anything anymore. And yet he's out there doing cam shots of the press and he's doing the type of things you do. That's not going to inure to his benefit. Just like Scott Peterson, when he gets in front of a jury, if they ever find a scintilla of proof, he'll be convicted of the ultimate crime.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, there's one little correction I'd make to you, Geoff. You said he's appeared all over. Yes, he has appeared all over, Joel Brodsky, the lawyer, but he has stopped appearing here on this show. And the reason is Michael Cardoza, Bernie Grimm and Ted Williams, who have insulted him, and now he won't come back to this show...

FIEGER: Well, they insult me all the time!


VAN SUSTEREN: And you come back, Geoff. You come back.

CARDOZA: We told the truth about what's going on with him.

VAN SUSTEREN: You've run my — you've run one of the most important guests off this show.


CARDOZA: Why is he afraid of us? If he's a real trial lawyer — if he's a real trial lawyer, step up. If this bothers you as a trial lawyer, you shouldn't be in this business.

WILLIAMS: That's right.

GRIMM: Let me jump in here...

FUHRMAN: Greta — Greta, do you realize that Joel Brodsky — I have actually been with him, talking with him when he didn't know his client was talking to the press. So I'm not sure there's a whole lot of communication going on there, or certainly communication that nobody's listening to. And conversely, Joel Brodsky is actually making statements that are completely in the opposite direction of what his client is actually telling people.

VAN SUSTEREN: What I may do on Monday is play two sound bites, where on two occasions, I asked him on this show, Have we treated you fairly? And on two occasions, Joel Brodsky, the lawyer, says we've treated him fairly, I have, except for, apparently, the brats on this panel who have run him off.


VAN SUSTEREN: Bernie, your turn.

GRIMM: This case is not going to be made on people like Morphey, who's got a drinking and drug problem. It's going to be made on forensics. And for all of our viewers out there, I'm sure they watched earlier today, was — it's called "Forensic Friday." I don't know if you watch it, Greta, but I do. It's great. I should be working, but I'm watching it. Mike Baden was the featured guy on there, and Mike talked about — Mike, could you cover? It was soil and something else. You used big words that I couldn't pronounce, and that's...


VAN SUSTEREN: Is that dirt? Soil and dirt?


GRIMM: I can say it, I can't spell it.



GRIMM: ... epidemiologist and geology...

BADEN: ... entomologist...

GRIMM: Right. That's why I went to pre-law out of pre-med.

BADEN: ... and a geologist.

GRIMM: Right.

BADEN: They asked specifically to get the soil from the vehicles, which they've have had since — for over a month. And that soil looked at by geologists — the FBI has a whole lab on this — can give it — tell you where in an area that vehicle had been.

GRIMM: And soil is — if I drive down two miles of a road, soil...


BADEN: The soil is entirely different two miles down the road, from a mile down the road, from half a mile down the road.

VAN SUSTEREN: Which is one of the things in that search warrant that they asked for.

BADEN: They specifically asked for it.

VAN SUSTEREN: They specifically asked for it.

BADEN: And they asked other aquite (ph) of materials, which could include bugs because bugs and insects, when they fly around, get in your windshield, they stay within a few hundred yards their whole lifetime. So an entomologist, a bug doctor, not a word person...


BADEN: ... can give an idea of where in a certain area that vehicle had been.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you noticed how the level of discourse is so elevated when we get away from the lawyers and we get to Dr. Baden?

CARDOZA: That's when we get very quiet.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, we get quiet!


BADEN: One of the things that was interesting with Michael Cardoza, which I listen to when these guys — what your brats say on the air...

VAN SUSTEREN: They are brats! They ran off my guest!


BADEN: ... specifically said about Brodsky that he shouldn't be talking to he press, so he decides not to talk to the press!


WILLIAMS: No, no. Michael, he's still talking to the press. He's talking to everybody but us...

BADEN: Yes, because you said he shouldn't talk to the press.

WILLIAMS: You know what you got to remember? This show is "On the Record." He is coming "On the Record," and he doesn't want to talk on the record.

CARDOZA: No, what we're doing is pointing out what he is doing wrong, and he doesn't like it.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know what I — you know what I actually think? I think the problem is, is that I think there's one — I only have one question left for him, and that is a simple one, is that, Where was your client on October 28 for the succeeding 24 hours? You know, that — I just — give me the timeline so that we can then send Mark Fuhrman out to check it out and find out — you know what? Maybe he's telling the truth.

CARDOZA: You know what? You know what I (INAUDIBLE) I wonder if he's talked to him about that because some of the things — if he's giving opposite statements...

WILLIAMS: He told us he has.

CARDOZA: ... from what his client's doing, then I wonder if he's really had a sitdown with this guy.

WILLIAMS: No, no. Michael, the excuse is that the Illinois police has taken a report from his client, and they know what his alibi was. And unless the police release it to the defense lawyer, he's not going to present that evidence. That is the most "stuck on stupid" argument I've ever heard from an attorney.

VAN SUSTEREN: And with the "stuck on stupid"...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... I'm going to — we're going to take a quick break, come back, then we go to the away team, too, because they need to straighten us out.

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