U.S. Fugitive Convicted of Murder in Absentia
Aired December 2, 1998 - 9:00 p.m. ET
This is a rush transcript and copy may not be in its final form and is subject to update.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: one of the most compelling crime stories in the news. Ira Einhorn, a fugitive from United States justice for 17 years, convicted of murder in absentia. Will French authorities agree to extradite him to the United States?
Our guests are some of the key players this story.
In Paris, Meg Wakeman and Elisabeth Hall, sisters of the victim Holly Maddux; in Washington, Theodore Simon, Ira Einhorn's United States based attorney; and Mike Chitwood, a former detective in Philadelphia who found the body and who arrested Einhorn; and in Philadelphia, Lynne Abraham, district attorney of Philadelphia, who pursued this case from the beginning.
They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
As we begin tonight, we are asked to tell you that we invited Ira Einhorn, the principle subject in this to appear. He could not because of extradition proceedings still going on in France.
We also invited his wife, Anica (ph) Flodin to appear. She declined. And we attempted to get other members of his family, to no avail. So the only person here tonight here speaking on his behalf is Theodore Simon. However he is well represented. Ted is one of the more prominent attorneys, having practiced in appeals division of the United States Supreme Court -- many, many areas of jurisprudence.
We start though with Mike Chitwood. So we get a little history of this case. You were a Philadelphia police detective.
What happened to Miss Maddux?
MIKE CHITWOOD, FORMER PHILADELPHIA DETECTIVE: Back in 1977, Holly Maddux wanted to break off her relationship with Ira Einhorn.
KING: They were dating?
CHITWOOD: They were dating. They were living together. They had been in Europe on a trip. She came back and subsequently there was a heated argument. And she disappeared.
KING: Was there a manhunt, or...
CHITWOOD: There was a cursory investigation on a missing persons back in the fall of 1977. Subsequently, the family was very, very concerned, and they hired two former FBI agents, who were retired, to do a missing person investigation.
KING: Was Ira questioned at that time?
CHITWOOD: He was spoken to by one of the two detectives, but he really didn't have a whole lot to say.
KING: Was he concerned?
KING: No. All right. Then what happened?
CHITWOOD: Eventually, as a result of their investigation, I was assigned to do a follow up in March of 1979. And the purpose of my follow up was to see if we could get a probably -- enough probable cause to obtain a search warrant and go to Ira Einhorn's residence to search for what we felt would be a forensic evidence case.
KING: He was a suspect?
CHITWOOD: He was a suspect.
KING: Then what?
CHITWOOD: Around 8:50 in the morning of March 28, 1979, myself and other members of the police department went to Ira Einhorn's residence. We were met by Einhorn.
KING: In Philadelphia?
CHITWOOD: In Philadelphia.
KING: With a warrant?
CHITWOOD: With a search warrant. And eventually we went to the closet area where the focus of the investigation had been. The expectation and the belief from everybody involved in the case is that Holly Maddux's body had been put in the closet, and the body had decomposed over...
KING: This was the theory, based on things that have been...
CHITWOOD: This was a theory based...
KING: I want to get to the poi...
CHITWOOD: ... on the investigation.
KING: OK. Then what?
CHITWOOD: I go in and I go right to the closet area. And when I go to the closet area, which is in an outside porch, I asked Einhorn if he had keys to a padlock on the closet. He says he doesn't have keys. Eventually I tell him I'm going to have to break it. He says you'll have to do what you have to do. So I broke the lock, but I kept the mechanism in place.
When I opened the door, I noticed the suitcases and boxings, all -- most of which had Holly Maddux's name on it, personal identification belonging to her. And then on the bottom of the floor of the closet was a steamer trunk.
So, once we emptied the closet, all that was left was a steamer trunk. So I asked -- it was locked. I asked him Einhorn if he had a key for it. He said, no he didn't have a key for it.
Once again I took a crowbar and I opened the lock and I went inside. And when I went inside, the first thing I noticed were newspapers. Newspapers -- a New York book review, and a local Philadelphia evening bulletin.
One was dated September 17th, the other the end of August. I moved that to the side and as soon as I moved that to the side, there was a faint smell of death. I mean I had been a homicide detective for years at that time and I knew that there was something in that trunk.
There was a layer of styrofoam and Sears plastic bags. I pushed it back a little bit, and eventually I see a hand sticking up, and I go down and there was an elbow and an arm. And I stopped. I knew right away.
KING: Was Ira standing there with you?
CHITWOOD: He is standing...
KING: What is his reaction?
CHITWOOD: For two or three -- nothing. Very, very cool, calm and collected.
KING: What was the autopsy result?
CHITWOOD: The autopsy result was that it was Holly Maddux. She had -- her body weight was 37 pounds. She was mummified. And the cause of death was at least seven fractures of the skull. She had been beaten to death.
KING: Was he charged immediately -- arrested -- (OFF-MIKE)?
CHITWOOD: He was arrested and charged at the scene.
KING: OK. And charged with?
CHITWOOD: Charged with murder. He was charged with murder.
KING: First-degree murder.
CHITWOOD: He was charged with murder.
KING: What did he say? You arrested him?
CHITWOOD: I arrested him. He had nothing to say. He chose to remain silent, and then subsequently he was taken...
KING: Who was his first lawyer?
CHITWOOD: Arlen Specter was his first lawyer.
KING: Arlen Specter. Senator Specter.
CHITWOOD: Arlen Specter was his first lawyer.
KING: And how did he plead him, not guilty?
CHITWOOD: Plead him not guilty.
KING: Was there no bail?
CHITWOOD: No. They got -- initially there was no bail and then subsequently they had a bail hearing, and...
KING: How did he get bail?
CHITWOOD: I don't know the answer to that, and I am still amazed that he was allowed out on bail.
KING: We'll pick up in a moment. Now we have got the story. Our panel is with us for the full hour. Mr. -- the subject at hand, here, Mr. Einhorn is in Paris. The two sisters of the decease side in Paris. The district attorney is in Philadelphia, Ted Simon and Mike Chitwood are here. And we will all be right back.
Don't go away.
KING: By the way, Mike Chitwood is currently police chief of Portland, Maine, he found the body and arrested Ira Einhorn.
Lynne Abraham, were you discontent?
THEODORE SIMON, IRA EINHORN'S U.S. ATTORNEY: I should correct you. When you said Ira Einhorn is in Paris, he actually is in Champagne-Mouton, which is where he lives and has to be there.
KING: Is that a suburb?
SIMON: It's pretty far from Paris.
KING: Are you splitting hairs with me, like Clinton, now: is, was...
SIMON: Well, I just want to clarify it.
KING: OK, all right.
SIMON: If he was in Paris, we would have a problem. Since he is restricted to a certain geographic area.
KING: I'll ask you to explain that as we go on.
SIMON: I'd be happy to.
KING: Lynne, were you district attorney then?
LYNNE ABRAHAM, PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Not at all, Larry. I was a judge on the court system of Philadelphia.
KING: You didn't hear about this case. Was it well-known throughout Philadelphia?
ABRAHAM: Everything about Ira Einhorn was well-known in Philadelphia.
KING: How did he get bail?
ABRAHAM: Well, I think that's one of the great mysteries of the world. You know, anybody else at that time in Philadelphia, charged with murder would not have gotten any bail at all. I believe, in part, it was due to the fact that Ira considered himself and other people in the community who were well placed thought he was some kind of a mystic guru type.
KING: Was he wealthy?
ABRAHAM: I don't think Ira had any money at all, but I know he had wealthy friends and friends in high places.
KING: Arlen Specter was no slouch as a defense attorney.
KING: He had been district attorney, right?
ABRAHAM: No, he had just been defeated for a third term as district attorney and represented Ira at the bail hearing.
KING: How did Ira get Specter?
ABRAHAM: I have no idea. I -- this is something that's between an attorney and a client and...
KING: Did Specter argue effectively for the bail?
ABRAHAM: Well, he argued, apparently, very effectively, because what happened was so remarkable that Ira was put out on essentially $4,000 cash bail. He posted the $4,000 and was out very shortly.
KING: Wait a minute. Hold it. Murder one; premeditated; $4,000 cash bail.
ABRAHAM: Well, we, in Pennsylvania, we don't charge a degree of murder, we just murder, generally. But it was commonly believed that this was a cold blooded and calculated killing.
KING: Is that, in your experience as district attorney, judge, and lawyer, the lowest bail ever given on this kind of charge, to your knowledge?
ABRAHAM: I have never heard of a bail this low in my over 30 years of public service in Philadelphia, most of it in the criminal justice system.
KING: Now, before we talk to the sisters of the victim, and you don't come into this, Ted, until when?
SIMON: I come into the case in, actually Ira Einhorn was arrested as a fugitive on June 13th, 1997, and his counsel that had represented him in his trial in absentia asked me to get involved, largely because of my experience with both state and federal law, as well as my knowledge of international law.
KING: In your research, how do you figure out the low bail?
SIMON: Well, the -- you might call it low bail today. This was 1979, a judge of the court of common pleas heard many, many witnesses on his behalf. The commonwealth had an opportunity to cross-examine them, and the court said $40,000 bail, at 10 percent, which is the way our system frequently works. Whether that was the correct bail or not, we do know that the district attorneys office did not appeal it and Mr. Einhorn remained on bail for a couple of years.
KING: How long after did he flee?
SIMON: Well, in 1981 it was determined that he wasn't present and he was determined to be a fugitive. It wasn't until 1993 that he was tried in absentia, as a result of a new case out of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
KING: I want to get to that. What happened during those 12 years, he was just being looked for?
SIMON: I assume so.
KING: There was a search on for him. Would you assume that? Did you leave the Philadelphia Police by then?
CHITWOOD: I was still around. But let me go back to the bail hearing...
KING: All right, because I want to get the sisters in.
CHITWOOD: I want to go back to the bail hearing. I have been in law enforcement 34 years; that was the biggest miscarriage of justice, that he was able to get out on bail. The day he got out on bail, I said to everybody in the room: "He will never go to trial."
KING: Even though he had witnesses that stood up for him?
CHITWOOD: It didn't matter. The evidence was so overwhelming, he knew that he was going to be convicted.
KING: How soon after did he flee; do we know?
CHITWOOD: It was about a month before the trial was to start. We went up, looking for him, to see where he was and he was gone.
KING: Meg Wakeman in Paris. I know you are the sister of the victim. Why are you in Paris?
MEG WAKEMAN, HOLLY MADDUX'S SISTER: We're here to represent our family at the hearing that was yesterday in Bordeaux.
KING: And what happened at that hearing?
WAKEMAN: Well, we got to hear the -- the civil parties speak and the prosecutor speak and the defense attorneys speak all about the evidence and the logic that they had in explaining the differences between the American and French systems, legal systems, and then it was determined by the Judge Regis (ph) that the decision would be made by the court on January 12th, next year.
KING: And, Elisabeth, that decision will either be to return him to Pennsylvania for another trial -- does he have two choices, three choices, what?
ELISABETH HALL, HOLLY MADDUX'S SISTER: That's -- my understanding is that if the decision is to extradite him, then he will be returned back to Philadelphia, and he has the option for a new trial if he requests it.
KING: Did your sister worry about him, physically, Elisabeth?
HALL: I don't know if she worried about him physically. I know that she tried to hide evidence of physical abuse, but she did not communicate to her family that she was being physically abused.
KING: Meg, is there any doubt in your mind that Ira killed your sister?
WAKEMAN: Oh, no, there is no doubt at all. He has been known to be a bully for a long time. He's continued his bullying behavior to some of the citizens in Champagne-Mouton, and he just hasn't changed. He's just been like that. We've found Holly's diaries, where she described some of the abuses that he did to her. And...
KING: Did you see him in court, Meg?
WAKEMAN: Oh, yes. Yes.
KING: Was it difficult for you?
WAKEMAN: No, he's just a human.
KING: Elisabeth, is it difficult for you?
HALL: No, it was not difficult for us to face him down. We've been looking for this opportunity for 21 years.
KING: All right, we're going to take a break, and when we come back we'll get into what happened here; how was he tried in absentia? What's going on in what seems like a 10-minute "Colombo"? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KING: Before Ted Simon gets us up to date on all the legalistics here which seem weird at best, Elizabeth, did you see your sister and Ira together a lot? Did you travel with them? Did you know them as a couple?
HALL: I never traveled with them, no. But I met him twice, and I was the last member of the family to see Holly alive.
KING: How soon before she was killed?
HALL: I saw her in London. I was there on a tour of high school students. London was our last stop, and Holly and I were there staying in a townhome with some friends, and I went to visit her for the evening. We hardly had any time alone. She couldn't get away from him. He kept following us from room to room. We finally had to go out in the garden to have privacy...
HALL: ... and at that time...
KING: I'm sorry, Meg, did you spend time with them together?
WAKEMAN: No, only when she brought him down to Texas for the visit, and I immediately knew that this was just someone to stay away from...
KING: What do you -- Ted...
WAKEMAN: ... and he really expressed no interest.
KING: And you didn't like him, obviously.
WAKEMAN: He didn't express any interest in a relationship with anyone, really.
KING: You had to go to Paris to take this on, right?
SIMON: I did go to Paris and visit him. As I said, I got into the case in June of 1997.
KING: And your role is not to judge him but to defend him.
SIMON: Well, it's -- it certainly...
KING: Are you saying he didn't do this crime?
SIMON: Well, for me, and for this case and what's at issue here is a pure legal issue. Let me explain it to you. When he was arrested in 1979, in Pennsylvania a person could not be tried in absentia unless they fled during the trial. If they were not present at the commencement of the case they could not be tried.
KING: And in most cases. SIMON: In most cases. In fact, that remains the law federally and in virtually every states of the United States. In 1992, our highest court, the Pennsylvania supreme court, rendered a decision called Sullens (ph), which said that persons who were not present at the commencement of trial could be tried in absentia. That is a result...
KING: Changing the law.
SIMON: Changing the law. It's kind of like changing the rules in midstream. But what happened then is the district attorney's office decided to try Mr. Einhorn, and they did so in 1993.
KING: That was Miss Abraham.
SIMON: I'm not sure if...
KING: Were you the district attorney, Lynne?
ABRAHAM: I was, and I made the decision, and he's a convicted murderer.
SIMON: And so what happened then, he's tried in absentia, and he was convicted, given life without parole. His appeals were quashed. And in 1997 -- in June of 1997, he was arrested in France. I became one of his lawyers at that point, and we quickly identified the issue at hand, which was, in France, while they permit trials in absentia, the law of France is that if you're tried in absentia and convicted, but later arrested or surrendered, you're entitled on the mere asking and you get a new trial. It's clear.
KING: France can tell America to give him...
SIMON: Well let me finish. That's the law of France. And there are many international treaties that require your presence at trial. But the treaty that we entered into with France requires the country that has the person to apply their law in extradition matters.
KING: So why not...
SIMON: So France must apply their law.
KING: So Pennsylvania'll give him a new trial. So what's the big deal?
SIMON: Well let me finish. So what happened is, in the first round we demonstrated he would not get a new trial and had really limited if no appellate rights. The French court said, "Hey, he's not going to get a new trial," among other reasons, and said they would not extradite him.
We move forward. The Pennsylvania legislature then passed a statute which basically tells the judiciary, and empowers the judiciary to give him a new trial upon his return, if he asks for it. The problem with that is there's 150 years of unbroken law that prohibits the legislature from interfering in final judgments within the judiciary.
KING: So you're going now to the Supreme Court with that?
SIMON: No, let me finish. What I'm saying is...
SIMON: If I may. It's a little complicated and there's good reason for it. The reason why the legislature is not empowered to do this -- they have certain functions and the judiciary has certain functions. The judiciary decides whether or not a person gets a new trial or not. The legislature has never been empowered -- and I'll show you some of the cases -- the legislature has never been empowered to direct that someone gets a new trial or...
KING: They make the law in the first place.
SIMON: If I may, or empower the judiciary to give someone a new trial.
SIMON: So the reality, if I may, the question before the French court is whether or not they can be assured and guaranteed that Mr. Einhorn upon his return would get a new trial.
KING: We can answer it here. Lynne, will he get a new trial if Paris extradites?
ABRAHAM: You know, Larry, this is very frustrating.
KING: But why? It's either yes or no. Will he get a new trial if France...
ABRAHAM: Well yes, yes, the...
KING: All right, then we've solved it here.
ABRAHAM: Well wait a second.
SIMON: We haven't solved it.
ABRAHAM: Hold on. Wait a second.
SIMON: The reason we haven't solved it...
KING: Let Lynne answer.
ABRAHAM: I've been sitting here from 20 minutes listening to other people talk.
Did you notice, Larry, that the question that you asked him was not even answered by this lawyer, and it's obvious that what happened was Ted conveniently forgot that between 1979 when he was -- when the murder was committed by Ira Einhorn, and it was discovered -- the body in the closet where he had been living with this putrefying body for a year and a half in the closet. When he was released from bail he skipped the country right before his trial. That's around 1981. He had no intention of ever being tried, and he continued to flee using false identities, and forged papers for...
KING: Yes, we know all that.
ABRAHAM: ... 12 years. But that's the important point. So, what Ted is saying is, "Here's my client, who fled right before trial because he knew the evidence was overwhelming, and he hides all over Europe. And just when he's arrested, now they're worried about the fact that here's my poor client who fled, and isn't it terrible what they did to him?" when it was his own actions that put him in this terrible position of having fled.
SIMON: If I may respectfully respond. I didn't conveniently forget the facts earlier, because they're simply not material to this issue. The only issue before the French court is whether or not they can be assured, if I may...
KING: But she's just assured them.
SIMON: Well, it's not within the district attorney's power...
ABRAHAM: Oh, yes it is, yes it is.
SIMON: ... because, if I may, it's up to the court -- it's always up to a court...
KING: Which court?
SIMON: The court of common pleas and the supreme court of Pennsylvania. I'll give you a quote...
ABRAHAM: Wait a second, wait a second.
SIMON: A quote -- if I may, I'll give you a quote.
KING: I've got to take a break. We'll come right back. I don't want to get lost; we have other guests. Don't go away.
KING: Does your client want a trial, Ted?
SIMON: Well, we know that the statute is patently unconstitutional. It's obviously unconstitutional.
KING: Not the question.
SIMON: Well here's the answer. If he comes back, we cannot expect judges to act unconstitutionally. And if I may, this is from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court -- and I quote "A recognition that final judgments of the judicial branch are not to be interfered with by the legislative fiat and this commonwealth has long been established and is no longer open to serious question."
KING: You can't change a law after...
SIMON: You can't have the legislature granting someone a new trial that has already been finalized.
KING: Therefore you are in a sense happy he was tried in absentia.
SIMON: Well if he had not been tried in absentia we would not be in this legal problem.
KING: Why did you try him in absentia, Lynne which seems on the -- no matter how horrendous, unfair? He couldn't face his witnesses; he couldn't -- that just seems unconstitutional. How could you try him in absentia?
ABRAHAM: It is very simple, Larry. First of all, the answer to the first question that you posed to Ted is I have already promised -- its already written -- the statute is there. I have given my word on every television program in the nation, that if Ira Einhorn comes back and asks for a new trial, it's not the legislature granting him a new trial or ordering the court to do anything. It is Ira Einhorn coming back to Pennsylvania and saying I want a new trial. And I will say judge, in the interest of justice, we want to give Mr. Einhorn a fair trial. But he's not going and he doesn't want to do that because he doesn't want to be convicted.
KING: Why was he tried in absentia?
ABRAHAM: There's a very simply reason why he was tried in absentia. First of all when he got notice of his trial in 1981, he fled. Since -- and during the time...
KING: People do that all the time. The flee bail, but they're not tried.
ABRAHAM: No they are not. You're absolutely wrong, Larry with all due respect.
KING: You mean many people are tried not present at their own criminal...
ABRAHAM: Absolutely. Virtually every state in this union has law that says if you are given notice of a trial and you decide to flee the jurisdiction, you can't complain that...
ABRAHAM: Wait a second, Ted -- Ted just hold off now. You just hogged most of the program already -- just cool out for a minute. When you have gotten notice of a court date and you are supposed to show up and you really just don't want to go to trial and you flee, most states in this union say you have been given notice of the trial. It is unfair to make witnesses and victims wait while you just flitter around all over the world and we wait for you.
SIMON: I think we should correct the record.
ABRAHAM: Wait a second, Ted. So when he left in 1981, we waited for him to voluntarily come back to the United States, from 1981 until 1993 and he did not come back, and he had no intention of coming back. He, today, doesn't have intention of coming back and that's why all this legal mumbo, jumbo is all about. If he comes back he will be granted a new trial.
KING: She is guaranteeing that.
SIMON: It's not her guarantee, respectfully.
KING: What if the court guaranteed it?
SIMON: Well it's different. The district attorney does not have the power to guarantee Mr. Einhorn...
KING: If the court tomorrow said to you we will give him a trial, will you bring him back?
SIMON: That may be a different matter, but the problem is...
KING: It's a simple question. If the court says we'll give him a trial, will you bring him back? Why is this hard to answer? I feel like a dunce.
SIMON: We don't have a court saying that.
KING: If they said it.
SIMON: Would be a different matter.
KING: What does a different matter mean? Does it means yes or a different matter?
SIMON: It means completely a different matter. If he absolutely had a new trial then Mr. Einhorn could then make the choice and then...
KING: The choice being?
SIMON: The choice being, at that point he could have a trial and have the whole matter heard.
SIMON: The problem is now this statute is so unconstitutional and there is no question, if he came back, he wouldn't get a new trial. This is no disrespect to Lynne Abraham.
KING: Lynne can't give him a trial. SIMON: Lynne can't do it. There's plenty of cases...
KING: I want to ask -- I want to take a break and I want to think what the sisters and the arresting detective thinks of this.
Don't go away.
KING: Welcome back. We're discussing the murder case involving Ira Einhorn, who has been a fugitive from U.S. justice for 17 years.
Our guests are in Paris, Meg Wakeman and Elisabeth Hall, the sisters of murder victim Holly Maddux; in Washington, Theodore Simon, Ira Einhorn's United States based attorney; Mike Chitwood, the former Philadelphia detective, now chief of police, Portland, Maine, who found the body of Miss Maddux and arrested Ira Einhorn; and in Philadelphia, Lynne Abraham, district attorney from Philadelphia, who has pursued this case from the beginning.
Let's get the thoughts of the three other parties involved. What, Mike, do you think of what we have heard, so far, from Lynne and from Ted?
CHITWOOD: I think somebody said legal mumbo-jumbo. This guy murdered a young woman, brutally beat her to death.
KING: No doubt in your mind he did it?
CHITWOOD: No doubt in my mind. He's being treated as an international hero.
KING: By whom?
CHITWOOD: By the French government. He's over there drinking wine and planting his garden.
KING: Why would the French government treat him as if...
CHITWOOD: That's how he's being treated. They love him. I have no idea why. I have no idea why. And that's a sad commentary on the whole system because we have a young woman who has never had closure...
KING: OK. Would you admit from Ted's explanation, though, we have confusing laws here. Could fry him in absentia, then they withdraw it, then they put it back.
CHITWOOD: I'll give you my opinion.
KING: As a police detective...
CHITWOOD: This is the United States of America. He was arrested and charged with a murder in the United States of America. He was convicted because he was a fugitive in the United States of America. Who is the French government to tell us how to conduct our criminal justice system?
SIMON: Well, it's real simple.
KING: I want to hear the sisters response, and then you can go, Ted.
Meg Wakeman, how do you feel about what we have heard so far?
WAKEMAN: Well, you know, it goes from a very, very simple situation of someone beating someone to death, where there is one victim and that's Holly Maddux, to something that's made inanely surreal, that has no place in logic or justice in this world. And that's what I feel.
KING: And Elisabeth, your feelings?
HALL: Well, to listen to this constitutionality tap dance that Mr. Simon is doing is pretty nauseating. What it comes down to is the French judicial system does not have the right to determine the constitutionality of a U.S. law. That should be determined in a U.S. court.
KING: But France, Elisabeth, has...
HALL: Now, I think Ira Einhorn...
KING: ... the right to make their clause, right? France can make whatever laws it wants.
HALL: Yes. Now, I understand the differences between the French trial in absentia and the American trial in absentia. But what it boils down to is Ira Einhorn fled the country, fled his constitutional process to avoid trial. Now that he is caught and cornered, he is trying to hide behind the very same Constitution that he fled from in the first place.
KING: You got to admit, Ted, you may be technically correct but you are up against it here...
SIMON: Well, let's...
KING: ... unless you can say, there is another suspect.
SIMON: What if (OFF-MIKE) with a few...
WAKEMAN: I don't want really want to hear anything from Mr. Simon.
SIMON: Well, there is four people that have...
HALL: We've (OFF-MIKE).
SIMON: ... a position and it's understood why they feel the way they do. I understand that and I respect their feelings.
WAKEMAN: No you don't. HALL: No, you cannot understand how we feel.
WAKEMAN: You have no idea. There is an extradition treaty...
SIMON: I understand...
KING: You can't. You can empathize. It ain't your brother that was killed.
SIMON: No. I understand it.
WAKEMAN: No. There is an extradition treaty here.
SIMON: It's a very difficult matter, and I'm as sympathetic as one can be. I mean, I'm not a family member, but I respect that it's a difficult matter. But the problem is, you know, many people in America are blaming the French. The French and U.S. signed a treaty. It requires the application of French law. There is no question about that. When you're...
KING: Same would happen with us?
SIMON: Same thing (OFF-MIKE). You know, we've had cases before...
WAKEMAN: No. But the main problem...
KING: Hold on. Hold on.
WAKEMAN: ... someone committed a crime...
SIMON: There's four people.
WAKEMAN: ... and he fled.
SIMON: There's four people who are on one side and I would like a few minutes to explain.
KING: Well, we've invited all of your clients -- people to come. They haven't come.
SIMON: Well, then we have less time to speak. But there's -- this case is in the United States where we refuse extradition back to France -- they're from the United States Supreme Court.
Does that mean the French should get angry with the United States Supreme Court?
HALL: You know, I think.
KING: OK. But what you have to do here...
HALL: You know...
KING: ... I think they need to understand...
KING: ... the emotions of these two sisters...
SIMON: Of course. You have to.
KING: ... and this gentlemen. No. What's beyond -- sometimes you can get a little nuts on a techinality.
SIMON: It's not a technicality. Let me say it a different way. What would happen if there was a popular politician who was tried and convicted for an offense, but yet he had friends in the legislature and they said, "Hey, wait a minute, let's give him a new trial."
Do you think that would be correct?
SIMON: No. It's the same issue.
WAKEMAN: That's not...
HALL: No, it isn't.
WAKEMAN: That's not close...
HALL: Wait a second. Larry...
WAKEMAN: Just a second...
KING: All right. Hold on.
SIMON: What would happen if you were injured in a severe car accident. Like we've had cases like that...
HALL: Oh, Ted get back to the point.
SIMON: ... and you get a substantial verdict. And then, when you're about to collect that verdict, the Pennsylvania legislature decides that, "No, we're going to change the law of torts, and we're going to give you a new trial."
KING: Well, I back...
WAKEMAN: Wait a second...
KING: I'm back then...
WAKEMAN: Wait a second.
KING: Hold it.
WAKEMAN: Just a second.
KING: I'm back to the simple question, then you'll go Lynne. It's a simple question.
SIMON: And that's why the statute is unenforceable.
KING: All right Ted. Then I'm back to the same question.
SIMON: Very good.
KING: Does he want a trial?
SIMON: This statute doesn't give him a new trial.
KING: OK. Lynne.
ABRAHAM: Look. You know...
WAKEMAN: He doesn't want a new trial because of the damning evidence.
ABRAHAM: You know what? This is a man who is a convicted murderer, who is a liar, who is a manipulator, who is a self- aggrandizer.
KING: You don't think he wants a trial is what you're saying?
ABRAHAM: This man will never ever voluntarily come back to this country. He will never ever...
WAKEMAN: That's right...
ABRAHAM: ... and he said he doesn't want to come back to this country. And that's why Ted was stuck with the question you asked him...
KING: Have you asked...
ABRAHAM: ... that he couldn't answer.
KING: Lynne, have you asked...
ABRAHAM: He will not come back to this country, and his lawyer knows he won't come back.
SIMON: The only question that I can answer is the one before us...
ABRAHAM: That one -- look...
SIMON: ... is whether or not the French can feel confident based on this totally, obviously, unconstitutional statute.
SIMON: Will he get a new trial?
ABRAHAM: Ted, give it a rest.
KING: France doesn't determine our constitutionality.
ABRAHAM: The people who are listening to this broadcast tonight, and the victims of all crime across America, who are looking at this program tonight are very angry. And that's because the very law that you are trying to defend, he can defend when he is in this country. Here he is in a foreign country living like an emperor, having all that wonderful life that Holly Maddux had the right to have...
KING: Where does that wonderful life, by the way, come from?
ABRAHAM: Well, I'll tell you, Anica Flodin, from what I am given to understand, is one of many women who supplied money to Ira because is that kind of a person. He is the kind of person who sponges off of women. He fancies himself some Lothario.
I think that everybody cannot take their eye from the ball. It's a really simple proposition...
KING: One unfair thing to Ted is...
ABRAHAM: ... and that is -- just wait a second, one second. That is that Ira Einhorn brutally murdered this woman. He left her body to rot in his closet locked up for a year and a half. When he was found, he fled the country.
KING: But that's not...
ABRAHAM: Now that he is caught, and unfortunately he is out on bail instead of in prison where he ought to be, we want the French to bring him back.
KING: Do you want?
ABRAHAM: I believe that he does not want to come back, no matter what the French government will say.
KING: But you do you agree that Ted has to defend his client...
ABRAHAM: Oh, listen...
KING: ... to the best of the constitutional ability...
ABRAHAM: Of course, but...
KING: ... and take every means possible, right? He's not -- or else we got crazy law, if Ted turns him in.
ABRAHAM: No. But wait a second. Just let me explain something to you.
HALL: He's going to (OFF-MIKE) to death.
ABRAHAM: ... The difference between America and France. In France, when they find something guilty in absentia, they don't have a trial. They just haul the guy to court. If he doesn't show up, they enter a small fact pattern into the record. He's declared guilty. When and if he is caught, he is given a trial, a new trial -- denovo (ph) -- a new trial.
What we are saying is something that is very simple. We are making every accommodation to the defense because they said, well, our client, he won't get a new trial. We said to the French, OK, we'll give him a new trial. Now they are saying, oh we don't want the new trial, because now we're claiming that's a -- this is just another Fred Astaire double step...
KING: All right. Let me get a break. We'll come back...
ABRAHAM: ... to avoid getting him back to this country.
KING: ... with -- we'll be back with more. We have other guests. Don't go away.
KING: Now, I want to get some phone calls in. But, Ted, you are saying, you are defending this solely on the basis of law, not on love for a client?
SIMON: No, this has nothing to do with personality. And, I, actually, am somewhat offended at some of the remarks here, because the question really is what the law is.
KING: Would you change the law?
SIMON: I didn't write the law.
KING: Would you change it if you could?
SIMON: No, I wouldn't change it, because the Separation of Powers doctrine, which this is based on is very, very important. It keeps each branch of government separate.
KING: If a person is tried in absentia, no matter what the crime, and goes to Paris, that's it; it's over, they live forever.
SIMON: Well, not necessarily. First of all, they shouldn't be tried in absentia. But under this scenario, and what we have here, when you have case law from 1850, to the present day that says that the legislature is not empowered to interfere or mettle with final judgments, and there's case law from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
KING: All right, that's very well stated. Lynne, that sounds logical. You're changing the boat after it left the dock.
ABRAHAM: No, no. You know something, the reason he was tried in absentia was because the supreme court, since Ted is so concerned with the law which I accept, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania said, you know, it isn't right for people to flee trials. That's our system of justice. We didn't start looking for Ira Einhorn after the supreme court decided that in 1992. We had been looking for this man for 12 years, and every time we just caught up with him, he was tipped off or managed to make his escape, and lie his way into France, change his identity, get a new passport and do whatever he had to do. He knew -- and I'm going to just tell you -- make you a guarantee right hear on national and even international television -- even if we hadn't tried in absentia, and we did it because witnesses were dying, including, unfortunately, Mr. Maddux Sr. and Mrs. Maddux, people who were very important to our case and had an interest in seeing that their daughter's name was brought to the fore, and she was given respite and justice.
And we tried him because people were dying, and that's the important thing that this country ought to know, that we wont rest, and neither should Ira Einhorn rest, because if we hadn't tried him -- just using Ted's logic for just a moment -- I will tell you something, when the French arrested him for being a fugitive and for entering France illegally, he would have been long-gone from France now. He wouldn't have to have waited on the second hearing on the law, which was changed to accommodate him. He would have been gone already.
KING: All right, let me get a call in. Las Vegas, Nevada. Hello.
CALLER: I have a question. Trial in absentia aside, OK, given the overwhelming evidence and the fact that this man fled our country rather than face a fair trial, can anyone there explain to me how this man continues to get support from people? He is supported financially in this country.
CHITWOOD: He is the ultimate con man. I mean, he's been a con man, he's a -- he's a bad guy. I mean, he's a murderer; he's a woman abuser; he's a batterer. The history...
KING: But he's entitled to his defense, right? You agree with that.
CHITWOOD: He had all that. He had all that, he fled and he still contin...
KING: You can never lose the right to that.
CHITWOOD: ... he still continued to use the great con game. And that's unfair. That's unfair to the entire system.
SIMON: We have an obligation to abide by the rule, the rule of law and the Constitution. And the day that we disregard the Constitution, we are truly in trouble.
KING: But we have amended it, and we change laws all the time.
KING: Nothing is locked in stone. SIMON: Nothing is locked in stone. But one thing is very clear, that the law I am talking about, I didn't make up. And it's there for a good reason.
KING: But it's a law you agree with?
SIMON: Yes, I agree with it. It may help him Mr. Einhorn in this case, but it helps the average citizen every day. And to impugn these other issues -- it's important. If you represent someone in civil matter and the get a substantial verdict, like we have in other matters, and then, when they're going to collect the legislature should change the law. They're not empowered to do those things.
KING: But you can understand, though, where Ms. Abraham and the two sisters, especially...
KING: ... and Mike, are really upset over this.
CHITWOOD: Larry, can I...
KING: You may be -- let's say you're even on fore of it legally correct, you can understand they're emotional.
SIMON: I understand their emotions, and that's why there's the Constitution, because it protects against that.
CHITWOOD: He violated the Constitution, when he beat Holly Maddux to death.
KING: The Constitution is there to defend the Iras of the world.
CHITWOOD: But what about Holly Maddux? When he beat her to death, and buried her in the steamer trunk for a year 1/2, he broke the Constitution.
KING: The Constitution doesn't mention victims, does it? The victims has no rights.
CHITWOOD: There's fairness.
ABRAHAM: It's not that the Constitution doesn't mention victims.
KING: It doesn't.
ABRAHAM: It doesn't, but there is a substantial body of case law, and even our Supreme Court has held that victims have had substantial impact by crime, and they are permitted to offer testimony about the impact of the crime on them.
KING: All right. Vero Beach, Florida, hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry, how are you?
KING: Hi. Go ahead. CALLER: Good. My main question, right now, is to Mr. Chitwood and to Ms. Abraham.
KING: Go ahead.
CALLER: Why wasn't the passport held at the first investigated thought, when this gentleman was thought to be...
KING: OK, Mike. Well put. Why didn't they hold the passport?
CHITWOOD: I'll let the D.A. answer that.
ABRAHAM: Well, what happened was, it was guaranteed that he wasn't going to go anywhere. His lawyer, his then lawyer, Arlen Specter, guaranteed that he would show up. Everybody in the legal community, I think, believed that he was going to flee. And what happened...
KING: So why not just take the passport, just as a precaution?
ABRAHAM: It didn't make any difference, because he had other fake passports and other means of escaping the country, so. Not only that, when you take a passport from someone, they can just go to another passport office in another place, and say, I lost my passport, may I apply for another one.
KING: All right. We'll be back with more on LARRY KING LIVE. Tomorrow night, Dan Rather.
Don't go away.
KING: Meg Wakeman, we have some photos of your late sister. Can you give us -- as we show these -- what your impression was of how well it went in the court yesterday? There is the late Holly Maddux. What's your impression as how it went, Meg?
WAKEMAN: In the court yesterday, I think it went pretty fairly, all the sides were heard. There were numerous journalists there taking notes, and I think afterwards, everyone came up with the same conclusions, that both sides had been heard quite well.
One of the things that did happen at the very end, though, that needs to be told to people, is that after all of this was in French, the defendant gets up, he requests to address the judges, and instead of addressing the reason that he's there for this extradition, he says in English, as he laughs, "Just one thing; I didn't kill Holly Maddux," and that's all. And we thought that was really inappropriate for the time, but also we wondered why on Earth he's trying to tell these people this when that's not the course that they were following at that time.
KING: Meg, did you get any impression as to which way the judge was leaning?
WAKEMAN: No. They all seemed to listen. There were three main judges and then the president there.
KING: Elisabeth, when do you get a decision?
HALL: We get a decision on January 12th in Bordeaux.
KING: Is that appealable, Ted?
SIMON: Yes, either side.
KING: Either side can appeal that.
SIMON: Either side can...
KING: To the French supreme court -- their version of the supreme court.
KING: Atlanta, hello. Atlanta, hello.
CALLER: Yes, Larry.
CALLER: I have a question for Mr. Simon that may speak to your two previous questions earlier about how Mr. Einhorn may have gotten Arlen Specter and all his high-profile people to testify in his bond hearing. Mr. Simon, to what degree have you, or might you in the future try to develop evidence for Mr. Einhorn's contention that the CIA or other intelligence-community operations, whether American or foreign, figured in the circumstances surrounding Holly's murder?
SIMON: For me, the issue is a purely legal one, based upon the extradition matter, and that's what I'm involved in. I'm not involved in those earlier issues, and...
KING: Have you ever heard of this, Mike? That the CIA was somehow involved in...
CHITWOOD: When he was initially arrested that was his claim. Most recently he talked about government agencies.
KING: But that's not Theodore's claim. He's claiming the issue...
CHITWOOD: No, no.
KING: Did you hear that, Lynne?
ABRAHAM: It's just another baloney story that Ira's been sprouting about because he can't answer how come a dead body is in his closet, which was his girlfriend. And just...
KING: Have you asked -- Lynne, asked the president to call Mr. Chirac to...
ABRAHAM: I think -- let me just -- I think there's something, I think, that needs to be said, Larry. This man was arrested when Ed Rendell (ph) was the district attorney. He fled when Ron Castille (ph) was the district attorney. I became the district attorney in 1991, so I want your audience to know that I've been in this case since 1991.
I have, to answer your question -- I have spoken to the attorney general of the United States, and the Department of Justice, and the State Department, and I have urged all of them to get in touch with the president of France...
KING: What have they said?
ABRAHAM: ... through Felix Rowatin (ph), and ask President Chirac to get personally involved in this matter, because this is an international matter, and I believe it should be handled at the highest levels.
KING: What did they say?
ABRAHAM: The attorney general did not tell me that she would call President Chirac, but she does know the depth of feeling. In fact, Meg, and John, and Buffy went to Washington with me, and the attorney general of Pennsylvania to press our claim with the State Department.
KING: I got to get a break. We will be back with a closing comment from everyone after this.
KING: All right, with limited time, Elisabeth Hall, what do you think is going to happen?
HALL: What I think is going to happen is the judges are going to listen, they're going to consider what was said in the courtroom yesterday, and think that the United States has addressed their issues that they had regarding the trial in absentia. They have given an answer back, they have promised and assured a new trial, all he has to do is ask for one, and what I'm hopeful is that they will agree to let any constitutionality issue be answered by the United States Supreme Court.
KING: Mike, what do you think will happen?
CHITWOOD: My hope is that he comes back, and stands trial, and the...
KING: That's your hope; what do you think?
CHITWOOD: My fear is, based on what the French have done to this point in time, my fear is that he may not come back.
KING: Meg, what do you think? WAKEMAN: Well actually, I think that the French and the United States legal systems understand each other a lot better, and even though they might take different routes, they all will come -- they both come to the same level of justice, and I believe he will be returned.
ABRAHAM: I think this is just a sideshow orchestrated by Ira Einhorn to take our thoughts away from what happened in the case, and my judgment is that if the French court does return Ira to this country, he will never voluntarily come back to this country. He and his wife will flee to some other place, and I am reasonably certain they already have their plans already made out, and he's gone.
KING: What's going to happen, Ted?
SIMON: Well, the issue...
KING: Do you have to go over to France for...
SIMON: No, I don't have to. The issue before the French court is whether or not they can feel confident and assured that Mr. Einhorn will get a new trial based on this statute. We've provided plenty of evidence to show the case law is clear that this statute is unconstitutional, it's unenforceable, and he will not get a new trial.
KING: Are you concerned if President Chirac told the court that he guarantees them a trial based on his conversations with the attorney general of the United States, Chirac has a great relationship...
SIMON: The problem is every -- you know, individual prosecutors or others can promise things. And with due respect to them, the question is really not up to them; it's up to the courts, and there's plenty of cases that say, where prosecutors in Pennsylvania have asked for verdicts to be overturned based on agreements with the defense, the courts have said, "No, you can't do it." They just can't do it.
KING: We're out of time. We haven't heard the last of this. We promise more on it. We thank all of our guests. I'm Larry King. Closing comment after this.
KING: Thanks to all our guests for being here tonight.
Tomorrow night: the one and only Dan Rather of "CBS Evening News." He'll wear suspenders too, he always does when he's with us. He's here for the full hour, and he'll take your phone calls.
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