Entries in Dr. Phil (11)


Alleged Houston Killer Used Past Tense in "Dr. Phil" Interview

ABC | Houston Police Dept.(HOUSTON) -- Mark Castellano, the Houston computer technician who has been charged with killing his ex-girlfriend, Michelle Warner, referred to her in the past tense during an interview with TV talk-show host Phil McGraw two days before allegedly confessing to police investigating her death.

In an exclusive interview to be aired on the Dr. Phil show Thursday, McGraw spoke with Castellano, 37, in Texas days after police say he snapped Warner's neck in the apartment the two shared while their 3-year-old son, Cayden, was in the next room.

Dr. Phil show spokeswoman Stacey Luchs released a statement Monday confirming the taping of the interview with Castellano in Texas last week.

"Mr. Castellano sat down for an interview with Dr. Phil in Texas just before his confession to law enforcement, late last week," she said in a statement.  "Dr. Phil also conducted an interview with Ms. Warner's family for this show, which is currently scheduled to air on Thursday."

Luchs did not say whether Castellano confessed to the crime in the interview with McGraw.  However, a later news release by the Dr. Phil show noted, "Castellano at times referred to her in the past-tense and even showed Dr. Phil her car, which is the very place he now claims to have kept her body for two days."

Det. Fil Waters of the Houston Police Department said Castellano shared the same information when taping the interview for the show that he had been sharing with investigators.

"I thought he was kidding, but it was the real deal," Waters said.  "He talks to Dr. Phil, provides Dr. Phil, as I understand it, with the same information he's been providing everyone else."

Castellano was charged in court late Monday with killing Warner and only spoke once, requesting a court appointed attorney, ABC News' Houston affiliate KTRK-TV reported.  He is being held on $150,000 bond.

It's unclear whether he has been assigned an attorney.

A missing persons report was filed by the family of Warner after they hadn't heard from her for several days.  The 31-year-old's family told police that Warner disappeared after she and Castellano, with whom she was living but was no longer romantically involved, got into an argument on Sept. 22.  He then left Houston with their son to drive eight hours to see relatives in Odessa, Texas, according to Houston police.

Castellano remained in contact with investigators in Houston, and agreed to fly back from Odessa to meet with them Sunday.  It was then that he admitted to his role in Warner's death, police said.

Castellano told police he choked Warner and heard her neck snap, and then stuffed her body in a closet with a plastic bag around her head.

Det. Waters said Cayden had walked around the corner and saw Warner's feet hanging off of a bed.  Castellano said that he told the boy that "mommy's asleep."

"We had an argument," Waters said Castellano told them.  "Couldn't take it anymore.  I grabbed her around the throat, pushed her on to the bed, and I hear her neck snap."

Castellano told the Houston police that he then drove back to the Midland-Odessa area where he attempted to bury her body in an oilfield.

After he told investigators where Warner's body could be found in Midland, FBI agents working with the Odessa police recovered her body and Castellano was arrested.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Casey Anthony's Dad Shook with Anger over Her Acquittal

Hand Out/ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- Casey Anthony's father shook in disbelief when he realized that his daughter was about to be acquitted of any role in the death of his granddaughter, Caylee.

George Anthony said on the Dr. Phil show Monday that he was disappointed by the verdict in his daughter's murder trial.

"I remember I started to shake... I got this deepness feeling in my heart... Then the second charge came through not guilty.  I'm like, ok, she'll be in jail for a while" for her role in Caylee's death.

"Then the third one came through for aggravated child abuse [and] nothing... I'm like, oh my God, my daughter is going to walk out of here and I'm never going to know about Caylee," George Anthony told Phil McGraw.

Casey Anthony was acquitted of murder and found guilty of lying to police.  She was released from Orange County Jail on July 17.

"I didn't want to see my daughter put to death.  I wanted her to be held responsible for my granddaughter and I still do," he said.

Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy, said that she prayed for her daughter to be acquitted of all charges.

"I was elated when all three of them came not guilty," Cindy Anthony told McGraw.

George Anthony grimaced as he rewatched defense attorney Jose Baez's opening statement that accused him of molesting his daughter.

"That was an extreme low blow," George Anthony said.  "I wanted to go and jump over this little railing…and I wanted to confront Mr. Baez… I haven't cared for him from day one."

George Anthony said that he does not believe that Caylee drowned and believes Baez was playing on the emotions of his wife and son, Lee Anthony.

"My whole take is that Cindy's emotional state was played, her heart was played the whole time through Jose, through my daughter," George Anthony said.  "I wanted my daughter to have a good defense, but I also didn't want to be played like a fool."

George Anthony previously told McGraw that he believes his daughter overdosed Caylee so that she could go out partying.

Baez challenged those claims on The View Monday.

"I think it's preposterous and it certainly doesn't surprise me that he's making these statements.  Now his recent claim that Casey and someone else may have drugged Caylee, it's sad that he would say that.  Caylee died on a Monday afternoon... If you live in Orlando, you know there's not many parties on a Monday afternoon," Baez said.

George Anthony said that he felt Baez turned him into a target to create reasonable doubt in the mind of the jurors.  Cindy Anthony told McGraw that Casey Anthony's defense team could have attacked the Anthony family even more, but she believes her daughter made Jose Baez hold back.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Cindy Anthony Blames Seizures, Postpartum Illness for Casey's Behavior

Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy Anthony, suggested a series of possible medical problems from gran mal seizures to a brain tumor to postpartum schizophrenia to explain what may have led to two-year-old Caylee's death and her daughter's callous behavior.

Cindy and George Anthony, the grandparents of Caylee, appeared in their first interview in over a year on the Dr. Phil show Tuesday. During the first part of the two-part interview, the couple described to host Dr. Phil McGraw their marital troubles and Casey Anthony's behavior before and after Caylee went missing.

Casey Anthony was acquitted of daughter Caylee's murder and released from the Orange County Jail on July 17.

"I'm not making excuses for her. I want to find out what's wrong with Casey. I know that there's something wrong," Cindy Anthony said.

Casey Anthony's mother asked rhetorically how could "this caring young person who cared about everybody, loved kids and then all of a sudden something tragically happens to Caylee and Casey completely goes off the deep end?"

Cindy Anthony said that her daughter's bizarre behavior during the time that Caylee was missing might be the result of gran mal seizures. During the time that Caylee was dead and had yet to be reported missing, the young mom partied at clubs, got a tattoo that read "Bella Vita" and spun a web of lies about her daughter's whereabouts.

Cindy Anthony raised the possibility of Casey Anthony suffering a seizure on the day Caylee died.

"I don't know if she had a seizure that day and blacked out," Cindy Anthony said.

Cindy Anthony said that her daughter's ex-fiancé, Jesse Grund, called 911 when she suffered a seizure in November 2007. She also claimed that her daughter suffered a seizure while she was home on bail in 2008.

"I don't know why she's having a seizure. Does she have a brain tumor, were the seizures caused by stress?" Cindy Anthony speculated to McGraw.

George Anthony did not comment or contribute to his wife's claims about the seizures during the interview.

Attorney Wendy Murphy, who has followed the case closely, said that Anthony's parents might be trying to create sympathy for their daughter.

"Last I read, she was the most hated person in America...She has nowhere to go but up in the eyes of public," Murphy said. "Her family, no matter what they think... they realize at this point that she could benefit from some sympathy."

Cindy Anthony admitted to McGraw that she has a history of making excuses for her 25-year-old daughter. Both she and George Anthony told McGraw that they noticed a change in their daughter after Caylee was born in August 2006.

"Looking back now, I'm almost wondering if she didn't develop postpartum schizophrenia or some issue after her pregnancy, a hormonal type of illness," Cindy Anthony said.

George Anthony took a harsher stance when reflecting on his daughter's behavior, saying that she played him and his wife like fools with her lies and by stealing money from them. Casey Anthony even stole from her grandmother, they said.

George Anthony admitted that he can't rule out that his daughter might have rode around with a dead Caylee in her trunk.

"Some parts of me do believe that she was possibly back there," he said.

Prosecutors claimed that Casey Anthony's car smelled of death and that a strand of Caylee's hair was in the trunk along with high levels of chloroform.

The second part of Cindy and George Anthony's interview with McGraw airs Wednesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dr. Phil: George and Cindy Anthony Divided over Casey’s Innocence

Cindy and George Anthony, parents of Casey Anthony, are the first to leave the courtroom, with their attorney Mark Lippman, after their daughter was found not guilty in her first-degree murder trial, at the Orange County Courthouse, in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, July 5, 2011. (Hand Out/ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- George and Cindy Anthony are divided over daughter Casey Anthony’s role in two-year-old Caylee’s death and Cindy Anthony is “very much” in denial, Phil McGraw said on The View Monday.

The first part of McGraw’s two-part interview with George and Cindy Anthony will air Tuesday on the Dr. Phil show. It is the first interview for the parents of Casey Anthony since their 25-year-old daughter was acquitted of murdering Caylee.  McGraw told the ladies of The View that Caylee’s grandparents said they still don’t know what happened to the toddler and they have not seen or talked to their daughter since she was acquitted.

He said the two are divided over whether their daughter could have murdered Caylee or dumped the little girl’s body in the woods.

“They have a very different view of that.  He [George Anthony] is very critical.  She [Cindy Anthony] seems to make an excuse at every turn,” McGraw said.

“They question themselves every minute of every day.  What did we fail to see? What could we have done differently? Their position is up until the pregnancy, she was showing reasonably normal behavior and then it began to change,” McGraw said.

In one clip from the interview played on The View, McGraw asks George Anthony about whether he had any role in Caylee’s death.  Defense Attorney Jose Baez argued throughout the trial that George Anthony helped dispose of Caylee’s body after the child accidentally drowned.

Cindy Anthony defended her husband from those claims.

“George would never have put us through those six months of not knowing where Caylee was if he knew where Caylee was because I watched his heart break every single day and I watched him as frantic as he was,” Cindy Anthony told McGraw.

In another clip from the interview, McGraw asks the Anthonys whether they believe Casey Anthony drove her white Pontiac Sunfire with a dead Caylee in the trunk.  The prosecution argued that Casey Anthony’s car trunk smelled like death and that a strand of Caylee’s hair was found in the trunk, as well as high levels of chloroform.

Cindy Anthony told McGraw, “Truthfully, to this day, I don’t know, to be honest.”

George Anthony said, “Do I want to believe that Caylee was back there?  I don’t want to believe it, but I’m going by what investigators have told me.  All I know is that Caylee is not with us anymore.”  

Cindy Anthony famously told a 911 operator that it smelled like there had been “a dead body in the damn car” while reporting her granddaughter’s disappearance in July 2008. Caylee had been missing for 31 days before authorities were alerted. McGraw said that when he pressed the Anthony couple about their behavior during those 31 days that they went without seeing Caylee, they told him that they believed Casey Anthony was keeping Caylee from them out of spite.

“She [Cindy Anthony] got to a point where she believed that Casey was keeping Caylee away from her on purpose, but she said my mind never went to the fact that she could have done something to her,” McGraw said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Alaska's 'Hot Sauce' Mom Sentenced for Child Abuse

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) -- A judge sentenced an Alaska mother of six to three years' probation for child abuse for forcing her adopted son to drink hot sauce and take cold showers on a taped segment of the Dr. Phil show.

Calling the woman's actions "an extremely serious offense" and a "premeditated and gratuitous act," District Judge David Wallace on Monday sentenced Jessica Beagley to 180 days in jail and a $2,500 fine, then suspended both sentences and told her she needed the time and money to help rebuild and heal her family.

Beagley could have been sentenced to as much as one year in prison. She must continue to receive counseling until professionals decide it is no longer needed.

Last week Beagley, 36, was found guilty of one count of misdemeanor child abuse by a jury of three men and three women.

At the sentencing, Beagley addressed the court, saying she felt that it was her most important job as a mother to care for and teach her children.

"I have three little boys all with special needs. I have one little boy who is much more special...who came to me with special needs that I didn't know how to handle," she said.

Her husband, Gary, who is an Anchorage police officer, also addressed the court.

"We both love our children, our adopted and our biological. It makes no difference...we have 11 different therapy appointments every week. We are just trying to be the best parents we can," he said.

According to court documents, police began to investigate Beagley after she appeared with "Dr. Phil" McGraw in November 2010 of last year on a segment called "Mommy Confessions."

Beagley told McGraw about her difficulty disciplining her 7-year-old son, Kristoff. Video shot by her 10-year-old daughter showed Beagley at home in Alaska disciplining the boy.

Beagley and her husband adopted twin boys from Russia when they were 5 years old, the Anchorage Daily News reported. The boy seen drinking the hot sauce is one of the adopted children.

"We've tried a lot of different things to punish the kids," she said on the show.

On camera, Beagley is seen pouring hot sauce down the boy's throat as punishment for lying. Beagley, leaning over the boy as he sits on the bathroom counter, says, "Don't spit it."

The boy can be heard screaming when Beagley forces him to take a cold shower.

"When [he] gets a cold shower, I am at the end of my rope," Beagley said on the show. "Nothing's gotten the results that I want."

She told McGraw her son is "the biggest stress in my life."

Prosecutors had argued that Beagley performed the abuse to get a spot on the show. Her defense team argued that she came on the show in a desperate move to find ways to help her son.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dr. Phil to Casey Anthony's Parents: 'You Know the Truth'

Hand Out/ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- Dr. Phil McGraw has filmed his sit-down with Cindy and George Anthony, the parents of Casey Anthony, who was acquitted in July of murdering her daughter Caylee in 2008.

Her parents broke their silence with the TV therapist in an exclusive interview that will be the main focus of the 10th season premiere of Dr. Phil, which will air Monday, Sept. 12 on CBS.

A promo for the interview shows McGraw holding the parents' feet to the fire.

"You know the truth, don't you?" he asks.  "There are millions of people that want to shake you awake," McGraw said of the parents, who only found out their granddaughter was missing 31 days after she was last seen alive.

George and Cindy Anthony's responses were not shown.

The pair became globally famous after Casey finally admitted her two-year-old was missing, stringing an elaborate web of lies as to who may have kidnapped her.  Caylee's body was found by Florida authorities six months later in a swampy area not far from where Casey Anthony lived with her parents.

Later, George and Cindy took the stand in their daughter's trial.  George Anthony was accused by the defense of having sexually molested Caylee, which led her to cover-up her daughter's accidental death, according to her lawyers.  He denied the accusations, but the defense was ultimately successful.

Casey Anthony is currently free, but in Florida undergoing a year of probation on check fraud charges.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Alaska's Hot Sauce Mom Found Guilty of Child Abuse

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) -- An Alaska mother of six has been found guilty of child abuse for forcing her son to drink hot sauce and take cold showers on a taped segment of the Dr. Phil show.

Jessica Beagley, 36, was found guilty of one count of misdemeanor child abuse by a jury of three men and three women. She will be sentenced on Monday and could face one year in prison.

A police investigation began after Beagley appeared with "Dr. Phil" McGraw in November of last year, according to court documents. The segment of the show was called "Mommy Confessions."

Beagley told Dr. Phil about her difficulty disciplining her seven-year-old son, Kristoff. Video shot by her 10-year-old daughter showed Beagley at home in Alaska disciplining the boy.

Beagley and her police officer husband adopted twin boys from Russia when they were five years old, the Anchorage Daily News reported. The boy seen drinking the hot sauce is one of the adopted children.

"We've tried a lot of different things to punish the kids," she said on the show.

The mom admits to spanking her child and forcing him to do jumping jacks until he's exhausted. During the show, the boy is being punished for getting "three cards pulled" -- three infractions at school.

On camera, Beagley is seen pouring hot sauce down the boy's throat as punishment for lying. Beagley, leaning over the boy as he sits on the bathroom counter, says, "Don't spit it."

The boy can be heard screaming when Beagley forces him to take a cold shower.

"When [he] gets a cold shower, I am at the end of my rope," Beagley said on the show. "Nothing's gotten the results that I want."

She told Dr. Phil her son is "the biggest stress in my life."

Prosecutors argued that Beagley performed the abuse to get a spot on the show. Her defense team argued that she came on the show in a desperate move to find ways to help her son.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Casey Anthony's Parents to Tell Their Story to Dr. Phil

Hand Out/ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- George and Cindy Anthony, the parents of acquitted murder defendant Casey Anthony and grandparents of murder victim Caylee Anthony, will tell their story to Dr. Phil McGraw in an interview to air on his show's season premiere Sept. 12.

"We appreciate the way in which Dr. Phil has helped others, and we trust him enough to completely open our hearts in telling our story," George Anthony said in a written statement released by Paramount Television on behalf of the Dr. Phil show.  "He is a professional that understands the uniqueness of our family situation.  There's no one better to do this interview than Dr. Phil.  We knew he would ask the difficult questions, and we were right."

Both George and Cindy Anthony were key witnesses at their daughter Casey Anthony's trial, at which Casey Anthony, 25, was acquitted on July 5, 2011 of charges she killed her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, but convicted of charges she lied to authorities about the case.

During the trial, defense attorneys accused George Anthony and other members of the Anthony family of abusing Casey Anthony, accusations that were denied.

In the Paramount release, Dr. Phil expressed sympathy for the Anthonys' "ordeal."  But he added that "nothing is off limits" during the interview.

"Cindy and George have suffered a horrific loss with the untimely death of their granddaughter Caylee, and they have since endured an unprecedented public attack on their family," Dr. Phil said.  "Have these attacks been warranted, or not?  I looked them straight in the eye and asked some very tough questions.  Despite living under a 'media microscope' for years, THEIR story has never really been told and there's so much more to it than we've heard in the media."

Cindy Anthony offered her own reasons for breaking her silence about the trial and its verdict.

"We knew that we'd want to speak at some point, and we figured there was no better place than with Dr. Phil," she said in the written statement.  "We are hoping that by doing this interview, we will be able to help other people who may be experiencing struggles of their own.  We certainly don't want anyone to experience what we have these last three years."

Paramount emphasized that the Anthonys did not seek payment for the interview, but they asked for an unspecified donation to "Caylee's Fund," a separate charity that will honor their granddaughter, argue for missing and abused children and grandparents' rights.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dr. Phil Pleads for Stronger Violence Against Women Act

Theo Wargo/WireImage for Turner(WASHINGTON) -- Television personality and psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw delivered powerful testimony to Congress Wednesday, imploring lawmakers to reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act, which enhances law enforcement’s ability to prosecute domestic violence crimes and creates community support systems for victims.

Two million women are victims of domestic violence every year, meaning within the first hour of the committee hearing 228 women were being “beaten, terrorized and intimidated,” McGraw said.

“These numbers are alarming, but the reality, senators, is worse,” McGraw said at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday. “This is one of the most under-reported crimes in American life, and sadly, the victims are getting younger and younger.”  

According to McGraw’s testimony, domestic violence is the most common cause of injury to women ages 15 to 44. A third of teenage girls who are killed in the U.S. are murdered by a boyfriend or former boyfriend.

Dr. Phil showed the committee jumbo before-and-after photos of beautiful, healthy-looking women who were then beaten and abused by their husbands or boyfriends. One woman’s face was completely scarred after being lit on fire with gasoline.  Another lost her left eye after being beaten and will likely go blind in the other eye, McGraw said.

“Above all we need to cut through the red tape when a woman is in crisis, because red tape in the system means red blood will be spilled in the home,” he said.

The act is especially important now because during an economic downturn, when people are more stressed because of finances, domestic violence spikes, Dr. Phil said. Since the recession began, he said the number of people reaching out for help has shot up 400 percent in some areas.

Dr. Phil says while thousands of women are being helped by federal, state and local programs each day, a recent report said some 9,500 women each day could not get the help they needed.  They were told “there’s no room at the inn,” he says.

“I worry about those 9,500 women because I know the danger they face.  Nearly 70 percent of injuries and murders in domestic violence cases happen to women after they leave abusive relationships, a phenomenon known as ‘separation assault,’” McGraw said.

The original act, which was signed in 1994 by President Bill Clinton, was sponsored by then-Senator Joe Biden, who remains a vocal supporter of the legislation as vice president.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Hot Sauce Mom' Sparks Outrage In Russia After 'Dr. Phil' Appearance

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(SEATTLE) -- Jessica Beagley got in a lot of trouble with the government of her home city, Anchorage, Alaska, after she appeared on the Dr. Phil television show last month, charged with child abuse after she was seen forcing her adopted Russian son to drink hot sauce and take cold showers.

Now she is in more trouble – this time with the government of Russia.

"This is the not the first case of the cruel attitude of adoptive American parents towards Russian kids," Yevgeniy Khorishko, the Russian Embassy's press officer, said. "We are in contact with the U.S. officials regarding this case."

Beagley, a 36-year-old mother of six, was charged with misdemeanor child abuse in an Anchorage courtroom last week. She was not present at the arraignment. Her attorneys entered a plea of not guilty.

A police investigation began after Beagley appeared with Dr. Phil McGraw in November of last year in a segment called "Mommy Confessions." Video shot by her daughter shows Beagley at home in Alaska with the boy. As a punishment for lying, she pours hot sauce down the boy's throat.

Beagley and her police officer husband adopted the boy and his twin brother when they were five. They went through a group called the Alaska International Adoption Agency in June 2008.

Officials from the Russian Consulate in Seattle visited the home in late January. For now, the adopted boys are still at the home pending the outcome of the case, Khorishko said.

Beagley's next court date will be in March.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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