The family lawyer of Carole Baskin's first husband, Don Lewis, says it's "impossible" to believe both the "Dancing with the Stars" contestant and the woman who has come forward with new information on the cold case.
As viewers of the Netflix "Tiger King" docuseries know, the big cat enthusiast who is the archnemesis of Joe Exotic, who is currently seeking a presidential pardon, has maintained her innocence since Lewis went missing in 1997 and was declared dead.
John Phillips, the Don Lewis family lawyer representing all of his children and grandchildren--who appeared in an ad on ABC's "DWTS" demanding answers into their father's death and offering a $100,000 reward-- spoke to Nancy Grace in an exclusive interview on Fox Nation's "Crime Stories."
Commenting on an interview on the new CBS limited series "48 Hours Suspicion," in which Trish Farr-Payne said she believes her ex-husband Kenny Farr, who was Baskin's former handyman, may have played a role in Lewis' 1997 disappearance, Phillips said the timing is really important.
"I've sat down and talked to Trish, formerly Trish Farr, Kitty Farr, his ex-wife, and it's really important to note that that call, that conversation she had with her husband, Kenny, was before the day before Carol reported him missing, Carol last saw him," Phillips said.
"If you believe this story, Kenny says Don's gone, he's disappeared, but Carol says she saw him the next day, and so that's impossible," Phillips explained. "Those two facts cannot exist in the same container of space."
The Lewis' family attorney said he sat down with Farr-Payne, who is "super reputable," and stressed: "There's no question in my mind she believes what she's saying."
Kenny Farr is named in Lewis' peer bill of discovery as they are suing for information under Florida law, a rare case.
"If we can date that Kenny knew he disappeared before Carol said he disappeared, we have a serious problem," he said, noting that Farr-Payne alleged her ex-husband informed her that if she left him she would go "in the grinder like I did Don."
"But we have sued here for information to compel depositions, interrogatories, subpoenas to try to determine if there was enough fraud, that we can open up some of the statutes of limitations," he told Grace.
"We're not dependent on that because Carol has this daily blog she issues that's defaming everybody involved every single day," he said. "And she comments on every post that's made, so she's just digging her own mess."
He believes Baskin will have to sit for a deposition and explain her side in the situation.
Lewis is also suing Susan Aronoff Bradshaw, who was the key witness on the Power of Attorney, for information.
"She's now saying ... she wasn't there. She didn't sign that. She said that in her answer to our petition. And so that's a big deal. She said that POA doesn't, wasn't real," Phillips said.
Baskin was known for trying to shut down Joseph "Joe Exotic" Maldonado-Passage's Oklahoma zoo for years, accusing him of abusing animals and selling big cat cubs. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role in a murder-for-hire plot that involved an attempt to hire someone to kill Baskin.
In retaliation, Maldonado-Passage raised questions about Baskin’s former husband. The documentary extensively covered his repeated accusations that Baskin killed her husband and possibly fed him to her tigers. Baskin hasn't been charged with any crime and has repeatedly released statements refuting the accusations made in the series.
A federal judge in June granted Baskin's Big Cat Rescue Corp. control of the Oklahoma zoo that was previously run by Maldonado-Passage and Jeff Lowe.
In March, the Hillsborough County sheriff asked for tips in the case of Lewis and announced a reopening of Lewis' case.