Art Harris on Jane Velez Mitchell Show, Thursday on HLN: Haleigh Update
By Art Harris, The Bald Truth, (c) www.artharris.com, all rights reserved
With Tommy Croslin now repeating the family mantra, that a Tennessee cousin killed missing Haleigh Cummingsâ€”and “needs to pay” for what he didâ€”The Bald Truth has learned exclusive new details about conflicts that remain between his story, and sister, then babysitter Misty Croslin –and will have to be resolved before a strong case can be made against anyone for the child’s murder.
My sources tell me that an arrest could be made within weeks, with investigators building a circumstantial case based on forensic evidence, time lines, phone records and witnesses.
As for conflicts in his story, Tommy now claims Joe was there not to steal Ronald’s prized assault rifle, but to borrow it to go deer hunting at night, and when it wasn’t there, went wild and killed Haleigh, according to his lawyer, James Werter, who offers more details tonight on the Nancy Grace Show.
Only other sources close to the case tell The Bald Truth Misty Croslin, the babysitter who reported the missing child, admits she was part of a plot to steal a rifle Ronald had shown off over beer a few days earlier when Tommy and cousin Joe Overstreet dropped over to see the gun collection.
With Ronald’s penchant for gunplay, at times putting the barrel in his mouth around ex-girlfriends and his own children and threatening suicide– and later murder, if he learned who snatched his five year old â€“ his then 17 year old girlfriend had every reason to want the gun out of the house.
That Sunday night, she’d just returned from a three day revenge romance with a light-skinned African American, and had stayed up all night with Ronald, talking over their differences, oversleeping and making Haleigh late for school Monday morning, my sources tell me.
“She didn’t want Ronald’s guns around; and had every reason to believe he’d kill her,” says a source.
Only she didn’t know he’d taken the guns out of the trailer, when she gave the all-clear to brother Tommy and cousin Joe Overstreet, who came over when Ronald was at work that night, with plans to steal the gun, sell it and split the proceeds with Misty. Had Ronald learned she was part of the conspiracy, sources tell me Misty believed she wouldn’t be long for this world.
Now she and brother Tommy are claiming she had someone else to fear, cousin Joe Overstreet, who both say went absolutely psycho after learning the gun was gone, and killed Haleigh in the trailer. That’s the new nugget his lawyer reveals on Jane Velez Mitchell and Nancy Grace Friday. .
He might appear small, and with no criminal record of violence, but Misty has claimed he molested her as a child, a story her mother also told me, and repeated so often, despite Overstreet’s denials, it’s become Satsuma swamp lore.
We have not reported it on this site until now because journalism ethics commonly dictate restraint in reporting names of underage sex abuse victims and details, but I now believe Misty’s claims may take on a new relevance as an alibi, or excuse, as to why she didn’t try to stop the murder of a little girl.
Not only has her family used the alleged molestation to explain why she was afraid of Joe, but other sources she’s confided in tell me Misty hid under the covers, clutching JR tight, and cowering as she heard Haleigh’s screams coming from the living room.
While he declined to confirm those details, her attorney Robert Fields tells The Bald Truth in an exclusive interview “Misty was afraid of Joe, and afraid of Ronald,” and has written a new two page letter from jail to a family member that reveals new details about what happened the night Haleigh vanished.
More about the letter later, but we have confirmed investigators have a copy, since all correspondence from or to the St. John’s County Jail are monitored.
To hear the story Croslin told his lawyer, Werter says on The Nancy Grace Show tonight that Tommy claims Joe killed Haleigh at the trailer after growing furious the gun he’d come to “borrow” was gone. “Things happened from there,” Werter said, adding that his client went to the trailer bedroom to find Overstreet in a rage and Haleigh dead.
While Misty says the killing happened in another room, those are considered “minor details” that sources tell me investigators will have to resolve if they expect a jury to believe known prevaricators Misty and Tommy were afraid of Joe, who appears on his My Space page pointing a gun, and has friends others tell me are gang members.
At the same time, Ronald Cummings could be the wild card, copping a plea to 15 years on his drug trafficking charges and agreeing to testify against his ex-wife and the ex brother in law who says Ronald called him from work to ask he drop by the trailer the night Haleigh vanished to check on Misty, who was not picking up her phone.
A trial date for Ronald Cummings remains scheduled for July 19.