High-profile New York defense attorney Joe Tacopina is the lastest addition to the team of people representing the Missouri parents of missing 11-month-old Lisa Irwin.
Tacopina's roster of clients includes Joran van der Sloot's Aruba trial in the disappearance of Natalee Halloway, Michael Jackson in his molestation trial, and the New York police officer acquitted of charges of raping an intoxicated woman, among many others notable cases. It is unclear who has retained him or who is paying for his service.
Tacopina defended Lisa's parents Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin at a Kansas City news conference today, and maintaining that they were not involved in the disappearance of their daughter.
"I stand here to ferociously accept their presumption of innocence," he said.
Tacopina defended Bradley's revelation from today that she had been drinking on Oct. 3, the night Lisa disappeared, and may have been drunk.
"She was willing to tell the truth about it, even if it didn't make her look great," Tacopina said. "I think that goes to her credit. It's her being truthful."
Baby Lisa's Mother Changes Alters Her Story
He blamed Bradley's distraught state for her change in the timeline of events on the night that Lisa disappeared. For the past two weeks, she has been saying that the last time she saw Lisa was when she put her to bed at 10:30 p.m. Today, Bradley said she put her daughter to sleep at 6:40 p.m.
"On a normal night, when putting your kids to bed, you're not exactly clocking the time," Tacopina said. "She's a mother who is in a high state of trauma who trembles every day and cries. If her recollection isn't what it should be with certain times, I don't think we can be too hard on those inconsistencies, if they are inconsistencies at all."
"I don't recall under recent history anyone under this umbrella of suspicion being so forthright and outgoing, warts and all," Tacopina said. "They're eager because they don't feel they have anything to hide."
Tacopina said that the couple will not be doing any more television or radio interviews for the time being. He expressed his belief that the focus needs to stay on finding Lisa.
Tacopina said multiple times that he did not want to criticize the police investigation, but did express a desire for a more "boots on the ground" approach and said he wished certain unnamed things would have been done earlier.
"Do your investigation and start right here," Tacopina said indicating Bradley and Irwin standing behind him. "It's absolutely normal to start right here. But don't come to a conclusion before having the evidence and then looking for evidence."
Private investigator Bill Stanton announced that he will be leaving Kansas City today, but will continue to be involved in the investigation. He emphasized Friday's announcement of a $100,000 reward for information leading to Lisa or a conviction. "That is valid. That is real," Stanton said about the reward.
Earlier today, Bradley admitted that she was drinking the night of her daughter's disappearance two weeks ago.
"I was drinking, but it has nothing to do with my daughter's disappearance," Deborah Bradley told "Good Morning America."
The questions about whether she had been drinking arose after the discovery of a Missouri grocery store surveillance video from the day of Lisa's disappearance that showed Bradley buying boxed wine. But the mother is adamant that her drinking is unrelated to her missing daughter.
"It doesn't explain anything because that had nothing to do with anything," Bradley said.
In an interview with NBC's "Today," Bradley conceded that she drank "enough to be drunk" the night Lisa disappeared.
Mom Admits She Was Drinking When Baby Lisa Disappeared
Bradley also spoke about how she discovered that she had failed a polygraph test administered by a police officer.
"He said, 'You failed.' And I said, 'Failed what? What question did I fail?' And he said, 'You failed the one where, you know, where your daughter's at,'" Bradley recalled. "And I said, 'That's not possible. I don't know where she's at.' And I just proceeded to come unglued."
Bradley said she would have no problem taking another polygraph test and maintains that she had nothing to do with Lisa's disappearance, even though the investigation and the public have fixated on her.
"I know I have absolutely nothing to do with my daughter's disappearance," Bradley said. "I still understand they're doing their job. It's not personal, but it doesn't make me feel any better about it."
In regard to her extensive interrogations, Bradley said that during questioning, investigators showed her burned clothes and a "Doppler thing with pings from my cellphone."
"I hope the burned clothes weren't real," she said.
The blonde-haired, blue-eyed baby was last seen by her mother Oct. 3 when Bradley said she put her daughter in her crib. When Lisa's father, Jeremy Irwin, arrived home from his first overnight shift as an electrician, he said he found his home in disarray and his daughter's crib empty.
"Good Morning America" legal analyst Dan Abrams also spoke to Irwin. He maintained a united front with his wife and denied ever considering that maybe there was an accident with Lisa that his wife is trying to cover up.
"It's not possible," Irwin said. "If it's an accident, you can call the ambulance or whatever, but there's never any doubt in my mind at least that anything like that happened."
Irwin did offer new insight into the moments leading up to the discovery that Lisa was gone. His wife awoke when he arrived home at 4 a.m. from work and they chatted for a few minutes before realizing something was wrong, he told "GMA."
"I asked her, you know, 'What's going on?' She said, 'What do you mean?'" Irwin said. He pointed out that the lights were on, the door unlocked and the window open. "And she kind of jumped out of her bed like something was wrong, and that was when I kind of realized something might be wrong," he said.
When asked how the past two weeks have affected their marriage, the couple said it has made them stronger. "We spend every waking moment together since this happened," Irwin said. "It's actually made us a lot closer."
They also remain hopeful that their baby girl will come home.
"Oh, we're going to find her," mother Bradley said. "I have no doubt in my mind, we're going to find her."
Investigators had a busy weekend that included questioning a handyman who had raised suspicion, searching an abandoned house where used diapers and baby wipes were found and calling in the National Guard to help with the search.
None of these efforts led investigators to any hard leads or suspects.