Court TV's Jami Floyd on the case of John Couey, convicted of murdering Jessica Lunsford
Jami Floyd: It is one of the more bizarre and disturbing things about the case. He had had an argument with his sister that day -- the day Jessica went missing, I believe, perhaps the day before. But police think that was some sort of triggering event. Still, that's pretty much all we've heard about the meaning behind the statement. I think we'll hear a whole lot more about it next week.
Question from uma: Was porn found on Mark's computer?
Jami Floyd: There was an argument in court, again out of the presence of the jury, about porn found on the computer. So yes, according to the court record and the police reports, there was porn on the computer in the Lunsford home, BUT there is no way to know who put the porn there. It could have been spammed. It could easily have been downloaded by another member of the family. We don't know the extent of it, in terms of the volume, how MUCH porn, but we do know that the judge considered it, and ruled it inadmissible in the Couey case. I agree, btw. Not at all relevant for a jury to hear that, but it is relevant for those of us who want to understand the entirety of Jessica's life. Mark, btw, is not at all happy that this part of the case is being discussed on Court TV (on Closing Arguments) and apparently on the boards. But, despite Suzanne and others who think it unfair to victims to talk about the totality of the circumstances, I believe our duty is to give you the facts rather than advocate for the victims (or the defendants, for that matter).
- Who the hell is going to put it there besides him, his mother or father? Why are you excusing this? I'm sure he's not happy it's being brought up, who would. I believe he's guilty and the media and government covered it up, for what reason? I'm not sure. Except they can see that he could make them a LOT of money!!! Of course it won't be allowed into Couey's case, it was found on Mark Lunsfords machine!! So was any charges brought up against Mark Lunsford for having child porn????
Question from TLC: Was it child porn or adult porn?
Question from hello: QUESTION: was it kids porn? and thanks.
Question from lynn: Was it child porn?
Question from LJ: Was it child porn?
Jami Floyd: That is the allegation, yes. I haven't seen the evidence. I can only tell you what is in the public record. That's why the qualified response.
Question from nyparrot: Jami: Do you believe we will ever find a cure for a person like Couey...or is life in prison and the DP the only cures for child rape and murder?
- Notice how once they said yes, they didn't go into it further? Why? Sounds to me like he's a sex offender.
Jami Floyd: Oh my goodness. That is the hundred million dollar question. Went out last night with Jamie Wasserman - she's one of the shrinks who is on CTV all the time - and our spouses, one a criminal defense attorney, the other working in a profession having nothing to do with the law. And we spent a good part of the evening debating just that -- well, not debating but wondering that. I'm not dodging, promise. Here's what I think: no, I don't think they can be cured. People like Couey the ten percent of serious sexual predators that Mark Klass talked about on Best Defense yesterday. But I do think two things: first, not all sex offenders are the same. There is a wide range of treatability. A 19-year-old who has sex with a 17-year-old is a sex offender, I think most would agree on the easy side of the scale, and then there's Couey, and everything in between. But we are wasting resources tracking a much larger group than we should be tracking. We need to define the problem more clearly and then give law enforcement the training, tools and money to manage the most serious offenders. And here's the second thing: I think we can't fix the ones who are out there, but we CAN figure out how they got that way and reduce the numbers by getting at the root cause. Okay enough. I could go on and on, but i will say that if we're gonna lock 'em up or execute, let's be honest about that up front. We shouldn't back door our way into changing the Constitution.
Question from Lexi-Atl: If one believes, as I do, that sexual predators are 'grown', not born, what sort of behavioral earmarks should one look for in a younger, developing predator?
Jami Floyd: That's exactly what we were talking about last night. Dr. Wasserman believes it is a combination of nature and nurture, that there is something about the brains of these folks that is different, but that it is only triggered by something in their early childhood environment. She made the analogy to serial killers. As for what to look for: the damage she feels is in the frontal lobe, but you're not gonna see that from the outside! So you look for boys who have been sexually and/or physically abused as children and the earlier the abuse, she believes, the worse the damage. And you look for grooming behaviors, like we all talked about in Michael Jackson. It's a very dangerous business because we don't want to incarcerate or even get to a place where we suspect every man who is kind to children (teachers, doctors, coaches, ministers), but that's what we're coming to in this country, I fear.
- Oh give me a friggin' break!! If sex offenders have a problem like you mention, then where is their disability checks? This is a bunch of BS. Do you have proof to back this up??? I don't think so! It's all fear tactics...
Question from Renee: I am confused ... how did this man manage to dig a four-foot hole without detection while a child is missing from a home so close?
Question from DevilsAdvocate: Why didn't the scent dogs pick up her scent 150 feet or yds from her house?
Jami Floyd: Those are both excellent questions that haven't been answered and may not be. Here's another bit of behind-the-scenes: the Lunsfords apparently were considering a lawsuit against the police for failure to find Jessica while Couey says she was still alive. Now, with the prosecution going forward and with what the police say they found on Mark's computer, there is a quid pro quo of sorts: no prosecution/no lawsuit. I think the Lunsfords have a pretty good case for SOMEthing. He's digging a hole. She's in a closet in a small trailer where other adults live. Then there's the fresh earth itself. How do they not SEE that? But at the same time, Mark and his family may want to be done with the whole thing and to sue would mean dredging up the initial days during which Mark and his father were the main suspects (reminding us all why it's important to presume someone innocent until proven guilty. Can you imagine that?!).
- Yeah, except if they are not in politics, government, rich or famous, then they are guilty until proven innocent. You are a bunch of damn hypocrites!!
Question from gizzmoe: Jami, do you think that Couey's family knew Jessica was there in the house? And maybe the sister had been abused along with Couey and the sister and or people that lived in the house just didn't care what was going on.
Mark, Joshua and Gerald Lunsford Court Documents: