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Jilted Michigan Teen Murders Ex-Boyfriend
Aired June 21, 2012 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, live, upscale Michigan suburbs. It`s not just puppy love when a gorgeous teen is dumped by her much older boyfriend/lover. But bombshell tonight. Cops say the jilted teen goes downstairs to the basement, gets the family shotgun, then blasts her much older lover point-blank in the face.
Tonight, justice grinds to a halt when the teenage girl announces she is, quote, "hearing voices," and now she insists she has schizophrenia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Authorities say Destiny Coulson...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Imagine a young, sweet-looking girl.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... who shot her boyfriend in the face with a shotgun.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Committing such a gory crime.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The murder charges for the shooting death of her 21-year-old boyfriend, David Quinn, Jr.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The shooting occurred after the boyfriend allegedly tried to break up with Coulson.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a big-hearted, kind person.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She must (INAUDIBLE) the consequences of that crime.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Poked (ph) through her boyfriend`s right eye and caused massive brain damage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Destiny Coulson sat motionless and emotionless.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is the teen now trying to fake mental illness to stay out of jail?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Testified her daughter had been on and off medication for mental issues.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She had a lot of problems with voices, just things that (INAUDIBLE) were talking to her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even a 5-year-old knows you shouldn`t blast somebody in the face.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us.
Bombshell tonight, live, upscale Michigan suburbs. Cops say a jilted teen goes downstairs to the basement, gets the family shotgun, and then blasts her much older lover point-blank in the face. He`s dead! Tonight, justice grinds to a halt when the teenage girl announces she is, quote, "hearing voices," and now she claims she has schizophrenia.
OK, Dave Mack, morning talk show host, WAAX. Dave, how can she suddenly start hearing voices?
DAVE MACK, CLEAR CHANNEL WAAX: Well, you know, she can start hearing voices because, all of a sudden, she`s not longer going to be treated as a juvenile. She`s going to be treated as an adult, face life in prison for murdering her boyfriend. That`s why she`s hearing voices!
GRACE: You know what`s so irritating is what this type of defense does to those who are legitimately insane, who legitimately are, for instance, schizophrenic, which is insane under the law in many circumstances.
Let`s go through the facts. Out to Mishawka (ph) -- Denise Bohn, reporter with CNN affiliate WSBT. Denise, thanks for being with us. Denise, let`s go through what happened when the teen gunned down her much older lover right there in the kitchen.
DENISE BOHN, WSBT CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Exactly, Nancy. You know, she`s charged with second-degree murder and felony firearms. It happened January 21st. She actually was living in her boyfriend`s home. And he`s 21-year-old David "DJ" Quinn, Jr.
They got into an argument. There was drinking that was going on. There was fighting that was going on. There was a cousin that was staying with him at the time. He testified that they had been drinking and partying and got into a big fight, and that there were some guns downstairs and that, actually, David Quinn at one point went down, got out a shotgun, and claimed during one of the fights that he loved Destiny so much, he was going to kill himself for her.
He grabbed that shotgun, he testified, and then put it back down into the basement. Later on, things fired up again and there was another fight. That shotgun was brought back out and it ended up in the hands of Destiny.
GRACE: You know, this young 21-year-old, David Quinn, Jr., shot to death there on the kitchen floor, shot at point-blank range. But now his teen lover says she`s insane.
Joining me is a special guest. It`s Cody Coulson. This is Destiny`s brother, and he`s also the dead victim`s best friend. Cody, thank you for being with us.
CODY COULSON, DESTINY`S BROTHER (via telephone): Thank you.
GRACE: Cody, what can you tell me about Destiny being schizophrenic? Growing up with her, was she under treatment for schizophrenia?
COULSON: (INAUDIBLE) that she was. Another thing that just hits (ph) me is that everybody is assuming the bad (ph) right away, just right away. And the biggest thing about it is they don`t look at key (ph) points (ph). this little girl has been having issues since she was little, ever since my dad was alive (ph), when I was (INAUDIBLE)
GRACE: Hold on! Wa-wa-wa-wait! Cody, Cody, Cody! Slow down. I cannot understand anything that you`re saying. And I really want to hear what you`re saying. It`s my understanding that she was not under treatment for mental issues.
COULSON: Well, at the time, yes, she was. She seen a doctor. There`s paperwork on it. But she wasn`t taking her medication. She didn`t do what she was supposed to do.
GRACE: When had she seen a doctor, Cody?
COULSON: Last I knew is that they went to Kalamazoo and they met with the doctor up in Kalamazoo. And she was supposed to go for therapy, but she never followed up.
GRACE: When did she go to see the doctor? You`re saying he was located in Kalamazoo. When was that?
COULSON: I`m not too for sure on that. My mom does know all that kind of stuff.
GRACE: So you don`t know firsthand that she went to the doctor?
COULSON: I`m sorry, ma`am. I can`t speak with you about the case, but I can let you know that she did go to the doctor.
GRACE: OK. OK, I`m glad to hear that. When you were around her, what symptoms did she exhibit of her illness?
COULSON: She definitely had multi-personalities. One day, she was fine. The next day, she wasn`t. The next day after that, she could have been the happiest thing in the world. But then a couple hours later, she could have just been mad at everybody.
GRACE: Well, you know, a lot of people would argue that that`s just a teenage girl. But...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very true.
GRACE: But regarding an actual case of schizophrenia, an actual case of insanity, what symptoms did she exhibit? I`m sure there had to be some.
COULSON: Oh, well, she did. She was -- she was just -- if you was to see it, you`d believe it. And I know there`s nothing that I can say that`s going to change it, but for sure.
GRACE: Well, when you say, "if you could see it" -- when you say "if you could see it," I`d believe it -- what was there to see?
COULSON: Symptoms. She would flip out. She would have big mental breakdowns. She cried. She didn`t want to do nothing. There was times that she would lock herself in the room because she didn`t want to do nothing. When we would all...
GRACE: When you say she didn`t want to do anything -- yes, what type of things would she not want to do?
COULSON: She wouldn`t want to go outside and have fun. There was times that she would. There was times that she wouldn`t. When we would go all outside -- and this is -- this is what really hurts me the most is that when we would go outside and target practice with our guns on our back 40, she would never come out.
GRACE: Well, you know, there`s a lot of teenage girls who probably would not want to shoot target practice in the back yard. So I`m not getting that as a symptom of schizophrenia.
Let me ask you a couple of questions because I`ve handled many, many cases of alleged insanity. Did she, for instance, cut herself with razor blades on any part of her body?
COULSON: Not that I know of.
GRACE: OK. Did she have eating disorders, where she would starve herself or eat tons of food and then make herself throw up?
COULSON: Yes, ma`am.
GRACE: Did she -- OK, so she -- she did, what, wouldn`t eat?
COULSON: Before she went into the juvenile, she was actually about 97 pounds, and now (INAUDIBLE)
GRACE: Because all the pictures -- yes, because all the pictures I`m seeing of her -- and this is dating back to the past two years -- she is of a normal weight. She does not look overweight. She does not look underweight.
GRACE: Yes. OK.
COULSON: She would not eat at all. We would make dinner every night. Dinner would be made, just like a regular family, and she would not eat. And if she does, it was very little portions. And then after that, that was it. She`d leave the dinner table. She`d go upstairs. She`d get in her room. And that was about it with everything. She was really depressed.
GRACE: Because the pictures that we are seeing, she is of a normal weight. And her book-in sheet says that she is of a normal weight, somewhere between 110 and 130 pounds. So that`s a normal weight for her height. Had she been in school, Cody?
COULSON: I`m not -- I`m sorry, as in when?
GRACE: Had she been going to school?
COULSON: Previously to this incident?
COULSON: Actually, there was -- there is records on this which I can pull up and show everybody. She actually went and registered for (INAUDIBLE) alternative education with Brandon Murphy (ph). And he does have paperwork on it. When she went and registered, she was supposed to start school. And she would (ph) stay (ph). She never (ph) lived with her boyfriend. She stayed.
During my understanding and my mother`s understanding, David Quinn, Jr., and David, Senior, had his own -- he had two different homes. His son and Destiny were supposed to be staying with them (INAUDIBLE) that`s the only reason why they got legal permission to stay. Because otherwise, she would not have stayed at all.
GRACE: OK, what I understand is that she was a student at Eau Claire Middle School, but she chose to drop out in the 8th grade. Is that correct?
COULSON: She was having big problems. She really was. She would flip out on people. She would snap just like that. And she -- of course, you know, when you can`t hold nobody down like that because, you know, she (INAUDIBLE) I don`t know if that`s she didn`t want to do it or if it`s more along the line that she, you know, just -- it really hurt her because she just went to school every day.
She had friends. Don`t get me wrong. She had a lot of friends. But it was -- you know, she hung out with good crowds. But then she got with bad crowds and then she hung out with good crowds, and then she just didn`t hang out with nobody no more. And then (INAUDIBLE)
GRACE: Isn`t it true that she began using drugs and alcohol?
COULSON: That was -- actually, that was the first night that she actually used alcohol. But previous to that, yes, she did smoke marijuana. And it wasn`t a very bad habit. It was just occasionally.
GRACE: Another question that a lot of people have -- with me is Cody Coulson, Destiny`s brother, and he`s also best friends of the homicide victim, found dead on the kitchen floor, by gunshot blast to the face.
Cody, she was not seeing a doctor regularly or...
COULSON: No, ma`am.
GRACE: ... or taking any -- or taking any prescribed medication for mental illness. Is that right?
COULSON: That`s correct. But it`s very hard to get help if you`re not reaching out for it. And at the time, she didn`t want to reach out for it because she was scared.
I mean, for a young teenager in her shoes, how do you go up to somebody and tell them, I`m having problems and I want to -- you know, I just want to let you know?
So of course, now that this has happened, it doesn`t matter if she`s being trialed (ph) as an adult or if she`s being trialed as, you know, a kid because in her eyes, there`s only one life (ph) now. DJ was her everything.
Now, apparently, people are not taking and putting this story together. There`s more to it than what they think. And the cousin thing, that was never (INAUDIBLE). I grew up with him since he was little and he was just a little hellion.
GRACE: Cody, what do you mean when you say there`s more to it? What more to it is there?
COULSON: Well, no one`s looking at all the facts. They`re just assuming. There`s assumptions. Everybody`s -- you know (INAUDIBLE) comments on Facebook. As soon as it happened, people would post dreadful, nasty (EXPLETIVE DELETED) about it and -- sorry. Excuse my language. But it`s very irritating. If it was one of your family members and you experienced it and you`ve known and you`ve been with them every day of their life, you know, since they were little...
GRACE: Well, Cody, then tell me what it is. You say we don`t know the whole story. Here`s your chance. What`s the whole story? What are we missing?
COULSON: Well, I can`t -- I can`t -- like I said, I can`t explain to you about her case, but there is more to it.
COULSON: I mean, you just -- there`s records. There`s -- you know, and one doctor went in there and he diagnosed her with not having nothing wrong with her. But yet two doctors clearly stated that there was something wrong.
GRACE: Why can`t you state -- you`re not under a gag order. Why can`t you state what the facts really are? You can tell me. "If you only knew" -- tell me. What am I missing?
COULSON: That`s (ph) personal problems, ma`am.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Destiny Cougar (ph) Coulson...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Motionless and emotionless.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Accused of killing her 21-year-old boyfriend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With a shotgun blast to the face!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A gory crime.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So close and so powerful, it pumped (ph) through her boyfriend`s right eye and caused massive brain damage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sixteen-year-old Coulson.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even a 5-year-old knows you shouldn`t blast somebody in the face.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The shooting occurred after the boyfriend allegedly tried to break up with Coulson.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Quinn told the judge justice in this case could only be served by making sure that Coulson is charged as an adult so that she could be detained long enough so that she couldn`t hurt someone else. Coulson`s mother, Tara Pauk (ph), testified her daughter have been on and off medication for mental issues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back. We are taking your calls. This young girl now charged with homicide. They thought it was a case of puppy love until she goes downstairs to the basement, gets the family shotgun, and shoots her older lover point-blank in the face, leaving him dead on the kitchen floor.
Unleash the lawyers. Joining us tonight, Brianne Decellier (ph), Miami, Peter Odom, defense attorney, Atlanta, Seema Iyer, defense attorney, New York, and special guest Lanny Fisher, the lawyer for Destiny Coulson, accused of killing her boyfriend.
First of all, Lanny Fisher, you have a great reputation in your jurisdiction. Explain to me what`s going to go into your defense of insanity?
LANNY FISHER, DESTINY COULSON`S ATTORNEY (via telephone): Well, first of all, thanks for having me, Nancy.
FISHER: Second of all, I think I just need to correct a couple of things from earlier.
FISHER: Destiny has never been diagnosed with schizophrenia. We had -- I filed a motion challenging her competency at the family court level, and a Ph.D. psychologist spent a considerable amount of time with her, testing her. His diagnosis was actually schizo-affective disorder, the depressed type. And that`s marked by components of a mood disorder, and other psychotic symptoms like hallucinations.
And maybe there`s not a huge difference, but the bottom line is he took a long look at her, looked at all of the history that we have with her being in the system and -- the mental health system diagnosed her as schizo-affective disorder.
GRACE: Well, isn`t it true that, as a matter of fact, the state shrink has dealt with over a thousand kids with schizophrenia for over 30 years and says that your client is faking?
FISHER: It is true that he said that. First of all, he`s not the state shrink, Nancy. He doesn`t work for the state. He works for a private...
GRACE: Was he appointed by the court?
FISHER: Once our family court judged deemed her mentally incompetent based on the assessment by the psychologist, he ordered this shrink to come in and see her.
GRACE: So he`s appointed by the state. That was my question. This is the shrink appointed by the court.
FISHER: To try to bring her up to a level competency. He met with her for 25 minutes and diagnosed (ph) her some Abilify. A week later, he wrote his report that she was faking these symptoms, never gave her...
GRACE: Well, did the -- hasn`t -- has the court agreed that she is mentally competent?
FISHER: Based on the second report, Judge Nelson (ph) in the family court did find her to be mentally competent. And we have a phase two hearing. In Michigan, we have a two-phase system, the second phase determining whether she should be treated in juvenile or...
FISHER: Yes, Judge Nelson, based on the second report, said that he agreed with the second doctor that she was...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Quinn`s parents having to bury their only child.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, he was a nice young man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s pretty much devastated her family (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A young, sweet-looking girl.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Coulson had dropped out of school in 8th grade and had serious behavioral issues.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mental health experts believe the teen was faking symptoms of schizophrenia.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Destiny Coulson sat during the court proceeding only staring down at a piece of paper. At issue, whether the 17-year-old should be moved into adult court to face second-degree murder charges for the shooting death of her 21-year-old boyfriend, David Quinn, Jr.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back. A teen beauty guns down her lover after he jilts her. But now, her lawyer says she`s insane.
With me, that lawyer, Lanny Fisher. Lanny, you were just saying that the judge and a state-appointed shrink, a court-appointed shrink, all agree -- and this is after a hearing -- that your client is faking mental instability. And your response regarding what Cody Coulson had to say?
FISHER: Well, my response is he wasn`t sure when Destiny (INAUDIBLE) a doctor previously. She saw a doctor in Kalamazoo. Cody referred to that. That was in December of 2009. And that was a psychologist who determined her to be disabled for Social Security benefits.
GRACE: Oh, a Social Security doctor!
FISHER: Yes. She...
GRACE: Yes, where all their patients come in and they all get Social Security after that.
FISHER: Well, I`m not sure what percentage do, Nancy. I know in this case, she was depressed. She was having a lot of issues. She had stopped going to school in 8th grade. She dropped out of school in 8th grade. She had -- I have her report card. She had seven failing grades in every subject.
GRACE: So she dropped out of school. You know, Lanny, all due respect, because you`re a fine lawyer -- in fact, a great lawyer by many accounts. But just because some Social Security doctor says she should get a paycheck every month and she drops out of school, I`m not getting insanity out of that.
FISHER: I agree (INAUDIBLE)
GRACE: And the best Cody Coulson could tell me is she`d get angry and lock herself in the bedroom. Please! Come on! That could be any teenage girl in this country that runs to her room and slams the door. That`s not crazy!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s just 16 years old when it happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The shooting death of her 21-year-old boyfriend, David Quinn, Jr.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Authorities say 16-year-old Destiny Coulson shot her boyfriend in the face with a shotgun.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On and off medication for mental issues.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She had a lot of problems with voices.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just before the shot was fired, the teen could be heard asking her boyfriend, Do you want me to F`ing kill you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back, everyone. For those of you just joining us, a teen beauty guns down her much older lover right there in the kitchen with a blast from a shotgun to the face after he tried to jilt here. But now her lawyer, joining us tonight, Lanny Fisher out of Michigan, says she`s insane.
We are taking your calls.
Unleash the rest of the lawyers, Brianne Desellier, Peter Odom, Seema Iyer.
All right, Peter Odom, former prosecutor, now defense attorney.
PETER ODOM, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes.
GRACE: You know, before you even get started, don`t try with me, because I`ve tried many, many mental incapacities, incapable of standing trial, insanity cases. So we all know that the legal standard with sanity is, do you know right from wrong at the time of the incident. Not incompetence at the time of trial. But insanity at the time of the incident. The all but not test, Peter.
Now, here`s the deal. She`s talking of going back and forth, and just before she shoots him, the witness hears what -- you just want me to shoot you? Then she goes down the stairs to the basement, gets a shotgun, comes back, blast, he`s dead. And let me point out -- hey, Matt Zarrell, isn`t it true that at the juvenile center after her arrest she was found to be the most high -- the highest functioning youth at the entire center, scoring 95 out of 100, out of all the juveniles in juvenile jail, juvie jail, she was the most high -- the highest functioning?
MATT ZARRELL, NANCY GRACE STAFFER, COVERING STORY: Nancy, you`re correct. In fact, the doctor who testified for the state said in about 20 doctor visits over a period of years, she never mentioned any hallucination whatsoever.
GRACE: Uh-oh, or as I like to say, Peter Odom, ruh-roh. So here she is, the highest functioning of any teen at the whole facility.
All right, Peter. I`m ready. You heard Lanny Fisher lay it out. I`m going back to you in just a moment, Lanny. Hit me, Peter.
ODOM: Nancy, look, the insanity defense rarely works. It`s used when people are charged with murder because frankly the -- what happens to you if you`re found insane is you go to a mental institution for the criminally insane. So it`s rarely used. It`s always used for homicides. It rarely works. Jurors just don`t like to accept the insanity defense. I will -- I -- to Lanny, I`ll say, you`ve got to --
GRACE: You know what, stop right there, Peter. Peter, hold on.
GRACE: Because right there, there you go, you know, put perfume on the pig. Jurors don`t like to accept the insanity defense. Like it`s the jury`s fault.
ODOM: Right. Well, because it`s often misused.
GRACE: No, it`s not the jury`s fault.
ODOM: Because it often misused.
GRACE: Typically they`re not insane.
ODOM: I`ll grant you, Nancy, that it`s often misused. However, the times that it works are times like this where there`s a document --
ODOM: Where there`s a documented history of mental illness. I think that gives Lanny a shot.
GRACE: Now hold on a moment, Matt Zarrell, what were you just telling me about documentation of mental illness?
ZARRELL: Yes, they don`t have any documentation that he was -- she was diagnosed as schizophrenic. That in years of doctor visits, over 20 doctor visits, she never mentioned any type of auditory hallucinations. In fact, the doctors who testified for the state said she had evidence of malingering, faking it, being intentionally deceptive to avoid any serious consequence such as this criminal charge or when she went to get the disability, all a sudden then she had these hallucinations and she was crazy.
GRACE: Out to the lines. June in Virginia. Hi, June. What`s your question?
JUNE, CALLER FROM VIRGINIA: Hi, Nancy. I watch your show all the time.
GRACE: Thank you, June.
JUNE: My question was, did she have any former problems? But when I look at her and read all about it, I think that she deliberately did it and she`s trying to hide the fact that she did it.
GRACE: You know, June in Virginia -- don`t hang up on June.
Liz, come in my ear and tell me where are we getting these pictures of her? Are these on Facebook or -- what are these pictures? Facebook. OK, so she`s on Facebook, Liz. Is that what -- is that right, Matt?
ZARRELL: She`s on Facebook. In fact, Nancy, on her Facebook page, one of her activities that she likes is acting.
GRACE: OK, Lanny Fisher. You know you got a problem, I know you`re not going to admit it because you`re a great lawyer and you`re going to say, I don`t have a problem, Nancy. This girl is insane. But what about her being on Facebook, leading up to -- right up to the time she blasts her lover when he tries to break up with her and leaves her dead on the kitchen floor?
Acting and singing. I`m looking at it myself right now, Lanny. And she -- she`s going on and off Facebook right up until the time of the homicide. Now how is that insane?
LANNY FISHER, ATTORNEY FOR DESTINY COULSON, TEEN ACCUSED OF KILLING BOYFRIEND: A couple of things, Nancy. First of all, there`s a second prong in Michigan, and I`m sure it`s in other states as well, that she has to be able to assist me in her defense. And this is a girl --
GRACE: Well, that`s not insanity. That`s incompetence.
FISHER: And that`s what my motion was for, Nancy. It was for incompetence. And part of it is I need her help in defending her. Especially on a case that carries a life offense. And let me just go back -- we put a lot of talk about her being the highest functioning child at the juvenile center. She was 17 at the time when he said that. She`s in there with 12-year-olds. I would hope that even --
GRACE: There were other teens her age in there. I`ve already looked at that one, Lanny. There were other teens her age.
FISHER: And --
GRACE: By a couple of months.
FISHER: Even Dr. Christiansen, the doctor that we`re talking about who found her incompetent, said that she has low mental processing speech, borderline intellectual range. And it`s essentially -- here was his argument, Nancy, in a nutshell. That she`s been diagnosed and treated 20 times, and she`s never told anyone about it. Well, that`s just simply not true. Two years ago in `09, the last time she was diagnosed, she told Dr. Griffith about it. And she received --
GRACE: Wait, this is a Social Security doctor.
FISHER: And the second time, the next time was the psychologist that the prosecutor picked, who found her to have schitzo-effective disorder. Both times --
GRACE: Now hold on, Lanny. One doctor says she`s insane, one doctor says she was hallucinating. The only --
FISHER: And hearing voices.
GRACE: So they -- whoa, now hold on, hearing voices is extremely serious. Now hold on a moment.
Bethany Marshall, psychoanalyst, author of "Dealbreakers," auditory hallucinations are the ultimate and -- when you`re looking at -- as I recall from looking at insanity cases and trying them in front of juries and dealing with doctors and shrinks, which no offense, Bethany, they`re all crazy.
Auditory hallucinations, as I recall, is a very, very serious symptom. In fact, people claim or do have visual hallucinations more often than auditory when you get to auditory hallucinations, you`re really and truly have hearing voices, you`re insane.
Wouldn`t that go along, Bethany, with other manifestations of mental illness? I mean for her to go, I hear voices, well, I`m looking at her Facebook, she says my favorite thing is acting. And there are no other symptoms? She does not have an eating disorder. She has never self- inflicted pain. You don`t see any cutting or self torture. No examples of killing the cat or the dog. Pulling the wings off of a fly. Nothing. We got nothing until she shoots her boyfriend in the face.
BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST, AUTHOR OF "DEALBREAKERS": Well, we have two different categories here. One would be the schizophrenia, which has the auditory, visual tactile hallucinations. That is a biologically driven mental disorder. And what you would see with that is social withdraw, isolation and strangeness.
GRACE: And we don`t see any of that in this case.
OK. To Brianne Desellier and Seema Iyer, and don`t worry, Lanny Fisher, I`m going to come back to you.
All right, Brianne, let`s hear your side.
BRIANNE DESELLIER, ATTORNEY: Hey, you know, I think, first of all, it`s important to distinguish between medical insanity on the one hand and legal insanity on the other. It may very well be that she was experiencing these symptoms that her brother Cody has described to us. But I don`t think that we`re dealing with a defendant here who lacks the ability to appreciate the consequences of her actions.
GRACE: OK, hold on. Brianne, the judge has already ruled that she is competent to stand trial.
What Brianne is talking about, everybody, is you`ve got insanity at the time of the incident or competency to stand trial.
You know, Peter Odom, no judge has an interest in having a crazy person in the courtroom. So if this woman, this girl, was incompetent and could not help Lanny Fisher try the case, could not assist him, I really don`t think a judge would allow it.
ODOM: Correct. But remember, this is just that judge`s opinion. And the opinions that -- have been expressed that she`s faking, those are just the opinions of psychologists.
GRACE: All right. Yes, well.
GRACE: Yes, right. Right, Odom. That`s why we have doctors. There`s just the opinion of the doctor, as you`re saying.
ODOM: But you can say the same thing about the defense doctor. All right, Seema Iyer.
SEEMA IYER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The most compelling evidence here, Nancy, that it is insanity, is that she -- she refuses to admit that she hears voices. I, like you, have incredible amounts of experience with psychiatric defense cases, and that`s the most compelling piece of evidence. She won`t even admit she hears voices.
GRACE: So Matt Zarrell, why do we think she does hear voices?
ZARRELL: Well, Nancy, they`re still trying to figure it out because the state expert believes that she was faking it. In fact, Dr. Christiansen noted that the day before he was scheduled to see her, the nurse at the detention center faxed him reports that she was talking about the intensity of the symptoms the day before about these hallucinations. However, prior to that, she made no mention of hearing voices while she was at the juvenile detention center.
GRACE: So Matt Zarrell, she did at that point say she was hearing voices?
ZARRELL: Right before she was scheduled to see the psychologist. But before that while she was at the center, she made no mention of it before that. But a day before, all of a sudden, now she has these hallucinations.
GRACE: OK. So Seema Iyer saying that she never says she heard voices. In fact, the day before she goes to the shrink, she says she hears voices. Is that right, Matt?
ZARRELL: You have that correct, Nancy.
IYER: For years this girl, Nancy, refused to admit she heard voices. And --
GRACE: Yes, because she wasn`t.
IYER: No. No. Absolutely not. And you should know this from your experience. Like Bethany Marshall knows this. People who are crazy don`t want to admit they`re crazy. They don`t want to admit --
GRACE: No, actually people that are crazy talk back to the voices, Seema. That`s what crazy people do.
IYER: And maybe she did that, Nancy. Maybe she`s done that, too.
GRACE: Yes, well, according to everybody, she didn`t. According to her brother, she never talked to voices. But according to Matt Zarrell and the court documents, Lanny Fisher, the first time she actually says to a doctor she`s hearing voices is just before she`s evaluated. Is that right? Correct me if I`m wrong, Lanny. I`m ready.
FISHER: The first time was in 2009, Nancy. Two years before this incident, about 25 months.
Let me just say this, Nancy. Dr. Christiansen came in and said this girl has been in the system. I have 15 or 20 evaluations where she`s never talked about voices. So the fact that she`s talking about them now means she must be acting. You can`t --
GRACE: Well, wouldn`t that be a rational conclusion, Lanny? I mean - -
FISHER: Nancy, let me quote this for you from the report, which was submitted as evidence. He`s saying she never told anyone about voices previous to this. So she must be making them up. But this is Dr. Christiansen`s own report. And it`s also in direct contrast with the usual situation with psychosis, where the person is very frightened by the hallucinations and is often very reluctant to tell about them. So what Dr. Christiansen is saying is --
GRACE: Wait, wait. So you`re telling me --
FISHER: Yes, people with psychosis are afraid.
GRACE: -- though, Lanny -- but you`re telling me when it`s time to get a Social Security check and evaluation, she`s suddenly not afraid.
FISHER: She`s growing up, Nancy. At that point she was 15 years old. She`s growing up and probably reaching out for help. I`m going to tell you right now, Nancy.
GRACE: Reaching out for a Social Security check.
GRACE: She guns down her lover when he tries to break up right there on the kitchen floor. He is found dead by a point-blank gunshot wound to the face. But now she says she`s insane. With me, her lawyer, Lanny Fisher, reporters and our panel of lawyers.
Very quickly, I want to go back to Denise Bohn, reporter, CNN affiliate, WSBT. You were in court when Destiny Coulson was in court. I`m looking at video of her right now. She looks perfectly normal to me. Explain, did you see anything at all unusual? What did you learn about her alleged mental instability, Denise?
DENISE BOHN, REPORTER, CNN AFFILIATE, WSBT: Nancy, I can tell you by looking at her she is a beautiful young lady. You had mentioned her weight. She looks normal that way. The thing that is startling, the numerous times I`ve seen her in court. She doesn`t look up. She stares down. And she is motionless and shows no emotion at all in court. The three times I have seen her.
She has not obviously testified or anything like that. Her mother has taken the stand and said that her daughter had a lot of problems growing up, with hearing voices and that she was on and off medication, mental illness.
One thing I find interesting that has come out --
GRACE: Wait, wait, wait, Denise. Right there. OK, number one, Denise, do you have children?
BOHN: I have four children.
GRACE: Well, if you`re like me, I would absolutely like to help my children, but there`s no documentation that this girl was ever on medication.
BOHN: And, Nancy, you know what else is interesting that I did some follow-up on? I don`t believe that once they started getting Social Security checks that she was ever taken back to receive ongoing treatment. And another concern I have was, why didn`t this mother have her in school? She was in eighth grade when she dropped out. There was talks about getting her home-schooled and talks about getting her a GED. It never happened.
GRACE: Welcome back. This teen claims she is insane after she goes down into the basement, gets the family shotgun and blasts her much older lover. He`s now dead on the kitchen floor. This is after he tried to break up with her.
We are taking your calls. Out to Dr. Bill Manion, medical examiner, joining us out of Salem tonight.
Doctor, we understand it was a point-blank shotgun would to the head. What would that have caused, what injury?
DR. BILL MANION, M.D., MEDICAL EXAMINER, BURLINGTON COUNTY, NJ: Well, death, of course. Instant death, instant unconsciousness and death with it. You`re destroying the whole brain basically with a shotgun blast like that.
I have seen a few cases like that, and the only thing good you can say about it is the person didn`t suffer. Now I don`t know if he was -- thought the gun was not loaded, if he was challenging her, if she thought - - that might be a defense. I don`t know if -- anyone brought up that, they didn`t know the gun was loaded, and they were just acting out.
GRACE: What is Celexa, Dr. Manion?
MANION: Celexa? I believe -- that may be a medication for -- oh, I`m not sure, to be honest.
GRACE: I`m trying to figure out if it`s for depression. Or -- Clark, look that up for me, C-E-L-E-X-A. I think it`s just for depression and if she were schizophrenic, wouldn`t she be taking something other than that?
Hold on, Dr. Manion. I`ve got Bethany Marshall.
What is Celexa? That`s not for schizophrenia, is it?
MARSHALL: Celexa is an antidepressant and it`s used for depression. If she was schizophrenic, she would be on an antipsychotic, which is not in any of the reports although the attorney on your panel did mention Abilify and that would be more to control a mood disorder.
GRACE: So Lanny, Fisher, she was only prescribed Celexa and if she were hearing auditory hallucinations and was manic depressive or schizophrenic, she would be on something much strong than Celexa. Try Lithium.
FISHER: She should have been, Nancy, yes. The doctor who saw her for her Social Security disability recommended that she follow up with counseling and medication. She took the medication, by all accounts, for about --
GRACE: Welcome back. She now claims she is insane after blasting her live-in lover dead in the kitchen floor.
We are taking your calls. To Matt Zarrell, isn`t it true that she told people -- she changed her story, told people that the victim asked her to kill him and apologized?
ZARRELL: Yes, Nancy, in fact the police officer who was on the scene with Destiny Coulson, heard Coulson repeatedly tell her mother that DJ, the victim, gave her the gun and told her to shoot him.
And also, Nancy, a witness at the scene, the cousin, who was there right as the shooting happened, he said that he heard Coulson say she was sorry and I love you, DJ, right after she shot him in the face.
GRACE: OK. Dave Mack joining us from WAAX, a judge has ruled she is competent to stand trial. I guess they are going forward with an insanity defense at trial if she is competent. She can assist her lawyer. But their complete defense is insanity, correct?
DAVE MACK, REPORTER, WAAX: That`s what it looks like, Nancy. But again, you know, something you hit on earlier is that it seems like the only time these voices are in her head was when she was filing for disability or right now. I mean that`s the only time. Other than that --
GRACE: Is that true, Denise Bohn?
BOHN: It is true, Nancy, absolutely.
GRACE: OK, Lanny Fisher, attorney for Destiny Coulson, with us out of Buchanan, Michigan.
Lanny, thank you for being with us.
Let`s stop and remember Army Major Kevin Jenrette, Lula, Georgia, killed Afghanistan, Bronze Star, Purple Heart. Lost his life weeks before his 10th wedding anniversary. Loved outdoors, hunting, fishing with his two sons. A 5K race named in his honor. Leaves behind parents, Bill and Ursula, widow Shannon, children Cory, Brody and Megan.
Kevin Jenrette, American hero.
Thanks to our guests but especially to you for being with us.
Congratulations to crime thriller "Seven Ways to Die" by the late "New York Times" best seller, Bill Diehl. It wins the 2012 Beach Book Festival. Bill Diehl leaving behind his beautiful widow, VG, who completed the book for him.
And tonight, breaking news, my "GMA" sparring partner, Dan Abrams.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: I don`t know a single parent that when their child goes missing laughs on the 911 call.
Dan, when you ever have a child, maybe you`ll understand. You can say whatever you want. But I know what I know, Dan.
DAN ABRAMS, ABC NEWS: I know. And that`s good, Nancy, except that`s not the way the law works.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Well, tonight, welcome to the world, baby Everett Floyd Abrams, Dan`s new baby boy with Florinka Pesenti. My goal to turn Baby Everett into the very best prosecutor that ever lived.
Dr. Drew up next, everyone. I`ll see you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.