Hornbeck Family Attorney Responds to Disturbing Report, Photos

This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," February 1, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: How are Shawn and the rest of the Hornbeck family handling this obviously awful situation, and what do they say about the newly released photographs believed to be of Shawn Hornbeck while in captivity?

Joining us live is Hornbeck family attorney Scott Sherman. Welcome, Scott.


VAN SUSTEREN: Scott, first let's talk about these pictures that apparently have surfaced. Yesterday we talked about them. We showed them to the viewers. And of course, we have no idea what the facts and circumstances are surrounding them. Any thoughts tonight on the pictures?

SHERMAN: I first viewed them in St. Louis the way most people did, on the local FOX affiliate here. I have private thoughts about them which I'm not going to share, for obvious reasons, because of the ongoing criminal investigation. I've seen them, and the family's been aware of them. They were made aware of them in the same manner that — by that broadcast.

Basically, anything that happened from the time that Shawn was abducted until the time he was rescued we're not going to comment on. I think we leave it up to the viewers to take a look at those and come to their own conclusions. As far as any kind of analysis goes, I'm not trained as a therapist or a psychologist, and I wouldn't even begin to try and analyze that. But I can tell you this...

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you — go ahead.

SHERMAN: I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Greta. Basically, Shawn and the family are working as closely as they can with prosecution teams and the investigators to bring about a justice in this case, and do it in a way that's respectful to the legal process for the defendant and the whole process.

VAN SUSTEREN: I take it that you won't reveal any confidential communications that you have with your client, but do you take issue with any sort of the factual stuff that at least Chris has set forth, generally sort of the outline of events?

SHERMAN: I really have no basis to do that. I think that the investigation is going forward. There are people that are going to be prosecuting these cases that are looking into this. And you know, I could give Chris credit for doing what a lot of reporters want to do, which is get to the facts and get to some answers for this incredible story. The problem we have here, as you know as former attorney yourself, is the wheels of justice move much slower than the journalism wheels, and you just can't get the answers that we want as fast as we can...

VAN SUSTEREN: How is the family...

SHERMAN: ... until the criminal...


SHERMAN: I'm sorry.

VAN SUSTEREN: Until the criminal (ph) has done its course. How is the family doing?

SHERMAN: I think they're doing as well as can be expected. These kinds — we call them mini-tremors, these little revelations that come up. And they're not unexpected, that things are going to be coming out in the press. It's just unusual because these are such normal people put in an extraordinary circumstance. All of a sudden, their personal business is broadcast all over the world. And when that happens, you don't really know how to react.

The only thing I can tell you that Craig and Pam Akers, Shawn's parents, are doing is, every day they have him is better than the day before he was rescued. And they can deal with all these things. And they understand people's interest and the public's fascination with the case and the well wishes for Shawn.

I think everybody wants the same thing. First, they want justice for Shawn and Ben. But I think other people want an understanding as to how not only can we have the kids that are missing reunited with their families, but also maybe look into these issues and try to figure out how we can prevent something like this from happening again. Those are all noble endeavors, it's just is going to take long, and a little longer than the news cycle.

But they're there and they're strong and they're ready for the fight. and we just hope that journalists keep doing their job but understand the process that's in place.

VAN SUSTEREN: What appears to me is that, you know, generally, people are enormously sympathetic to your client, 11-year-old kid on a bicycle, gunpoint, kidnapped. I mean, the information that has come out has not been, at least in my view, hurtful towards your client or make him look bad. I just think that it's sort of the bad thing about being connected to any public event is that it comes out in the media.

SHERMAN: That's exactly right. There's no malice here on the part of the press. Nobody's out to get Shawn. Nobody's out to stick it to him. They all want to find out the answers to this. It's just a very delicate situation. The details of this, I'm sure as they come out through the trial and as the reports come out, are going to be, I'm sure, disturbing. But the reality of the situation is that there are some very difficult and disturbing things in this world. Hopefully, what we do...

VAN SUSTEREN: Indeed, there are. And I don't mean to cut you off, but I do hope that...

SHERMAN: Not at all.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... if you think that we're coming close to the line — because the last thing any of us here in the media — and I don't just mean here at FOX News, but none of us wants to sort of step over the line and interfere with the prosecution. But I assume you'll give us a heads up if we're near that point.

SHERMAN: Greta, we always feel that we defer to your professionalism. You guys do a great job at FOX, and your show in particular. And we really appreciate the forum to come on and talk about the family and talk about Shawn.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I hope you come back. And again, give us a heads up if you think we're going too far. You can get our phone number. It's pretty easy to find us. Thank you, Scott. We'll see you soon.

SHERMAN: Greta. I appreciate it. Thank you. Any time.

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