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New Developments in Shaniya Davis Murder; More Charges Considered in Teen Burning Case

Aired November 24, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight a desperate father`s heartbreaking call to action after cops say his precious 5-year-old daughter was sold as a sex slave to this man, allegedly by her own mother. So why is Shaniya Davis` father defending his decision to give the girl to her mother, despite that mom`s history of problems?

Then, a boy set on fire still so traumatized he cries out for water to douse the flames, even as he lies in a hospital bed, undergoing painful treatments. Now, one of the youngest of the teens who cops say witnessed Michael Brewer being set on fire is wishing his former friend, who suffered second and third-degree burns, a speedy recovery. Now that Brewer`s finally strong enough to speak to cops, will more charges be forthcoming?

Plus, an exclusive interview with the Wal-Mart customer who faced 15 years in prison after being accused of cutting the line. Heather Ellis reached a plea deal in what has become an intense, racially-charged case. We`ll talk to her about her three-year nightmare and why she agreed to settle the case.

And Octomom said what? Nadya Suleman`s back in front of cameras, and this time she`s saying she might have more kids. Isn`t 14 children enough already? And she finally admits she needs to keep her kids in front the cameras just to pay the astronomical baby bills. Is Octomom addicted to babies?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, raw emotion as we revisit a father`s unimaginable pain. Bradley Lockhart`s daughter, precious 5-year-old Shaniya Davis, was found murdered and left in a pile of trash bags by the side of a North Carolina highway a week ago. Prosecutors say her own mother sold her into prostitution.

Shaniya was last seen alive in this chilling hotel surveillance video. We`re about to see it in a moment. Cops say the man -- there it is -- holding her, Mario McNeill raped and strangled her.

Shaniya`s father, Bradley Lockhart, had raised his daughter most of his life. He just recently let her go live with her mom. The devastated dad could barely find words at a candlelight vigil held in her honor.


BRADLEY LOCKHART, FATHER OF SHANIYA: We love you so much. I can`t bless you for this day, but I bless you for my daughter.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This past weekend Lockhart poured out his grief again at the funeral for his beautiful little daughter. He told a packed congregation of 2,000 people that God, quote, "did this for a reason," end quote.

This morning he appeared on NBC`s "Today Show."


MEREDITH VIEIRA, CO-HOST, NBC`S "TODAY SHOW": Do you regret the decision? Have you sat there and gone, "Gee, if I`d only realized this or that in terms of a red flag"?

LOCKHART: I do. But you know, we obviously make decisions in life that sometimes have repercussions or adverse...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bradley has said he wanted to give Shaniya`s mom a chance to raise their daughter, that despite a troubled history. Antoinette Davis seemed to be getting her life together. And now questions surrounding that fateful decision are being asked tonight.

What about those so-called red flags? Antoinette Davis has a history with drugs and with the Department of Social Services. What was her motive in allegedly selling her baby daughter for sex? Unimaginable. Unimaginable.

We will investigate all of this. And tonight`s big issue: sold for sex right here at home? We all know it happens all over the world, but under our own noses, in the U.S. of A.? You bet! We will explore human trafficking with an expert.

What do you think about all of this? Give me a holler: 1-877-586- 7297. I want to hear from you.

First, straight out to my fantastic expert panel: Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney; Brian Russell, forensic psychologist and attorney; Sonia Ossorio, president of the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women; and Michelle Sigona, investigative reporter and founder of

Michelle, I understand that you have more information that`s being developed as we speak. What is the very latest?

MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: The very latest, Jane, is that Mario McNeill has been transferred to a different facility. Right now he sits in the central prison in Raleigh. And I spoke with him just a short time ago.

And they say that he`s being housed in the safe-keeper section of that particular prison. This is segregated. Mario is segregated from all of the other convicted criminals. He is put in this area, maybe, because the sheriff actually asked for two different reasons. One, there could had been a mental health issue. Or two, could had been a security risk at the facility that he was being held at, at that particular time.

In addition, yesterday, I sat down and had a long meeting with the FBI, their crimes against children unit. And they have two fantastic initiatives to help fight child prostitution. And also in all these cases, Jane, that we cover when these children are abducted, their card team is launched into these areas to help law enforcement find these children. So there`s a lot going on here tonight.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now I understood that this suspect McNeill -- we`re looking at him now -- was on suicide watch. How does that dovetail with the new information that you`re developing, Michelle?

SIGONA: They will not confirm that. The prison will not confirm that at this time. What they did tell me is that he is housed in a single cell. He is able to come out into the common area with other pretrial inmates that are being held there at this time. And then once -- and if he is even convicted -- because again he`s only charged at this time -- that he will be moved it a separate section of that particular facility.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Brian Russell, isn`t it true that behind bars, those who are accused of committing crimes against children especially rape of a child, face danger from other inmates, who often have tremendous hostility toward them.

BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST AND ATTORNEY: Absolutely right, Jane. It`s interesting that there`s actually sort of a hierarchy within correctional facilities in terms of -- you know there are things that even incarcerated criminals won`t tolerate. Things that they think are beneath even them, and child molestation certainly is one of them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So many unanswered questions tonight in the murder of precious little Shaniya Davis. NBC`s Meredith Vieira spoke to Bradley Lockhart, the dad, about some of them.


VIEIRA: It`s one thing to lose a child. That`s horrible enough. And then to find out that her mom is charged with human trafficking, with selling Shaniya, possibly, possibly to pay for some debt. Knowing her the way that you know Antoinette Davis, do you believe that she`s capable of that?

LOCKHART: My heart would tell me no. But apparently, she -- she has some culpability in this. Somewhere down the road she had it in her to be able to do some heinous crime like this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: As for mom Antoinette Davis, her mother, Ann Summers, has insisted that Antoinette is a good mother and that she did not harm her daughter Shaniya. Her venom, the mom`s, is directed at Mario McNeill, saying, quote, "He`s nothing but a maggot. He`s going to get what comes to him," end quote.

Now Mario McNeill, as we`ve just mentioned, in jail, charged with murder and rape, not entered a plea. Reportedly on suicide watch. McNeill has a long rap sheet that includes drugs and gun violence.

But here`s what I don`t understand, Jayne Weintraub. Cops are still not saying if he`s the one who rented the hotel room when we see what appears to be him going into the hotel room with the little girl. What about Antoinette? Is she going to hit with more charges like murder or manslaughter?

Police say a task force is investigating, but what I don`t understand is the whole world wants to know what is the story here? Was this child given away in exchange for a drug debt, to pay off a drug debt? Why not just put it to rest and tell us what they think happened here?

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, because probably they`re still trying to get a statement out of Mario, and they`re probably interrogating him. That`s No. 1.

No. 2, they`re trying, probably, to make a deal with her before they decide what charges to lodge on in addition to her. Is she going to be a witness for the state? Is she going to claim battered wife`s syndrome? Is she going to be, you know, the addicted woman who just had no sense of reality here? Because we know that addiction has no boundaries.

Or is it a case of, he`s bringing the baby as debt to somebody at the other end of that hotel room? I think we would have heard by now if there was someone else involved.

Also we know from the search of his vehicle that there were clothes of the child in the vehicle. I mean, it tends to -- infer that it is he that they will focus on and that he was not bringing the child at that time to anybody else.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Judge Greg Mathis. We are delighted to have you joining our show this evening. We`re talking about why we don`t know all the details of this case. That authorities are being tight-lipped at this point. And I`m wondering about the charges.

Now the mother is charged with human trafficking, selling her daughter for the purposes of sex. And the man, McNeill, is charged with kidnapping, rape and murder. But if selling a child`s a crime, why not buying a child a crime, as well? Why isn`t he charged with something like attempting to buy a child for the purposes of sex?

GREG MATHIS, HOST, "THE JUDGE MATHIS SHOW": Well, he should certainly be charged with a conspiracy to do so. And I`m not sure why they haven`t. A lot of times they -- most times they throw the book at a defendant or a prospective defendant and try and go from there to see what sticks. And so I`m kind of curious to know why this might be the case that they haven`t done so.

And then with the mother, I think one of the reasons they haven`t thrown the book at her, because they could certainly charge her as an accomplice to murder, knowing that -- or at least suspecting -- that she delivered the child to the person they`re charging with murder.

So there`s a lot of murkiness here. And hopefully they`re doing a good job and just aren`t letting us know all of the facts.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to get to our big issue in a moment. But first, I just want to briefly ask Sonia Ossorio. You`re the president of Now New York City. I met you, and we began talking about child trafficking, and at that point I didn`t know a lot about it. And you were telling me some astounding things.

Nevertheless, I was completely shocked to hear this story. Were you as shocked as the rest of the nation that a mother could be accused of selling her own child into sex?

SONIA OSSORIO, PRESIDENT, NEW YORK CHAPTER OF NOW: Well, I mean my heart fell to the floor like most people. But I was not shocked about it. It`s not surprising.

In many cases, whether it`s in New York City or Miami or Atlanta or the slums of India or the red light district in Cambodia, it`s very often you know parents who are, on one end, who are selling their children to a trafficker who`s, you know, working as a broker.

But what I really want everyone to understand is that this is happening here in our country. And while this is a horrific, horrific situation that has happened to this baby, this child, it is happening every single day on the streets of our cities, being -- children being sold on Craigslist. Kids that are not much older than Shaniya. Kids that are 11, 12, 14. It`s commonplace for them to be commercially, sexually exploited every single day in our country.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Sonia, that has to stop, and we can`t just cover this story as a crime story. It`s nauseating, but we`ve got to look at the big picture. That`s what we`re going to do when we come right back.

How can we stop this from happening in the U.S. of A.? My gosh. More on this in a bit.

And I`m taking your calls in this heart-wrenching story: 1-877-JVM- SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. What do you think?

Also coming up, the woman at the center of the Wal-Mart line-cutting scandal reveals what really went down when she was busted by cops. Heather Ellis speaks out tonight right here on ISSUES in an exclusive primetime interview.

But up next a dad tries to channel his grief after his beautiful 5- year-old daughter is allegedly sold for sex, then raped and murdered.


LOCKHART: I love you so much. I can`t bless you for this day but I bless you for my daughter.



CAREY LOCKHART-DAVIS, AUNT OF SHANIYA DAVIS: The last time I last saw Shaniya was four weeks ago on a Friday. I went to go visit her mother. I packed her with two days` worth of clothes. I got her out of the car and I kissed her good-bye, and I told her to be a good girl. She turned back to me and said, "I love you about, Aunt Carey" and "See you later."

I have to go. I`m sorry. No more comments.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That woman enduring unimaginable torture. That was Shaniya`s devastated aunt a week ago. She helped raise the child, along with her brother, for most of the little girl`s life. Her emotions were no less raw yesterday on the CBS "Early Show."


LOCKHART-DAVIS: I hope everyone can understand that, even with all of the prayers and the sympathy, that still does not bring my Shaniya back. But I thank them...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re watching -- sorry, go ahead.

LOCKHART-DAVIS: But I thank them for that, and I want to apologize on behalf of myself if I seem unsentimental to the support I`ve received. I just miss my Shaniya.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to Barbara Davenport. She`s the manager of the Sleepy Hollow Mobile Home Park where Shaniya`s mother`s and Shaniya`s mother`s sister lived with the little girl until this nightmare unfolded. She`s also a retired investigator with the sheriff`s department.

Barbara, thanks for coming back on our show. I know you`ve tracked this case from the very beginning. What is the community reaction now that we`re getting details that this mother is accused of having sold this child for the purposes of sex?

BARBARA DAVENPORT, MANAGER, SLEEPY HOLLOW MOBILE HOME PARK: Well, the reaction that I`m hearing from a lot of folks is they don`t believe the father or the aunt`s hands are completely clean in this.


DAVENPORT: Let`s just say there`s a lot of red flags that have been raised. A lot of inconsistent statements read and to the police. Basically, just about every time they open their mouths, they raise another red flag.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think you may be...

DAVENPORT: I just heard that little clip of her saying that the last time that she saw Shaniya was four weeks ago when she dropped her off with two days` worth of packed clothes. OK, four, weeks ago she dropped her off worth of two days` worth of clothes?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look I have to say something, Barbara. Twenty-twenty hindsight is always perfect vision.

DAVENPORT: Oh, I understand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I think that we have to be so, so careful here, because this family is grieving.

But, Michelle Sigona, the question is, did they show the best judgment in allowing this child to go live with the mother even though there had been problems with social services showing up -- she also has a 7-year-old son -- and also talk of drugs?

SIGONA: You know, Jane, and this is a sensitive issue. And you have to think that, when you have two parents and they have a child together, that you want both of the parents to be involved. And I think that that`s ultimately, when I spoke to Bradley, what he wanted for his daughters, for Antoinette to be involved in her life.

And that`s why they had a working relationship over the last five years of her life. And when Antoinette wanted to see Shaniya, he wanted her to be involved. And when she came to him and said, "Look, I have a job. I have a place for her to live. I would like to take responsibility," he wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I`ll tell you one thing: anybody who`s involved with drugs, do not give them the benefit of the doubt until they are proven to be in a program of recovery for a specific period of time.

RUSSELL: That`s right, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because drug addicts do not change.

RUSSELL: Jane, can I weigh in on that? I`m a child custody expert, and I understand what she just said is absolutely right. It`s tragic when a parent is so dangerously dysfunctional that they can`t be involved in the kid`s life. It`s a huge loss to the kid.

And I`m sure that this father wanted to believe that an actively involved mother was possible for his daughter, but you can`t allow that wish to cause you to overlook huge red flags.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got it. Got it.

Dagna, Indiana. Quick question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Yes, Jane, I just wanted to ask you, it was said that the mother of Shaniya of taken her out of school in October?


CALLER: OK, do you -- and is there a possibility that maybe she was prostituting her out and she didn`t want to go back to school, send her back to school in case they might have been -- might check her out? I mean, maybe it happened before.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this. At this point, I don`t think -- thank you for that good question -- that we have the answers. And law enforcement is being tight-lipped, as they should be, because they`re trying to establish a case.

But one thing we know is that this is a cautionary tale. And anybody who has a problem with drugs, have -- you cannot trust them with a child until there`s absolutely overwhelming evidence that they are no longer on drugs.

Up next, an ISSUES exclusive, Heather Ellis accused of cutting in line.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A teen set on fire finally able to give his first account of the vicious attack to police. Fifteen-year-old Michael Brewer has severe burns over 65 percent of his body. This is the very first picture we have seen of this poor child since last month`s assault in Florida.

Investigators won`t release details about what Michael told them. They say several teens took part in drenching him in alcohol. Then one of them flicked the lighter to ignite Michael. His family says his flashbacks of the attack are pure torture.


MICHAEL BREWER SR., VICTIM`S DAD: I need some water to put the flames out.

REENIE BREWER, GRANDMOTHER: He screams for his dad and he screams, "Help." And he says he`s on fire.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh my gosh. Three teens charged as adults with attempted murder. They pleaded not guilty. Investigators haven`t decided whether or not to charge two other boys who were there, allegedly. You`ll hear from one them in a moment. S

Joining me now, Shannon Hori, reporter for WFOR.

Shannon, you had a very candid interview with Michael`s family. How are they holding up?

SHANNON HORI, WFOR CORRESPONDENT: Jane, they`re emotionally and physically exhausted, as you can imagine. Since this happened on October 12, they`ve been basically by his bedside nonstop.

And in those first few weeks Michael was in so much pain, there was so much concern about infection for him: was he even going to make it. So he`s been on a lot of drugs, but now he`s slowly becoming more aware, more aware of where he is and also more aware of what has happened.

And you heard the families say that he wakes up and he thinks he`s on fire. And they have to try to break through to him sometimes and tell him that he`s not fire. And the grandmother says -- she says to him, "Look at your legs, Michael. You`re not on fire."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, burns are the most painful, and that`s not even half of it. Then there`s the psychological aspect.

One of two brothers involved in the attack is charged. The other, a 13-year-old boy who police say watched the attack, made this statement to the victim. Listen.


JEREMY JARVIS, DEFENDANT`S BROTHER: I want to express my deepest sympathy to Mikey and his family. I will pray for Mikey to grow stronger every day and for Mikey`s speedy recovery.

I want to tell my brother, D.C., I love and miss him. I just hope and pray we all get through this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The boy`s attorney says he doesn`t think that apology will affect whether or not that child is charged. I can`t help but wonder if the remorse was genuine or perhaps is there a tinge of "Maybe if I apologize, this can reduce my chances of being accused, as well."

HORI: Well, you`re right, Jane, the state does have about 90 days from the date when he was arrested to decide if they are going to file charges.

But the attorney says that Jeremy Jarvis, the 13-year-old you just heard from, wanted to make an apology. This is something that he`s wanted to say to Mikey, because believe it or not, these two, he considers Michael one of his best friends. And so obviously, he said that -- the attorney said that this something that Jeremy has been very hurt by.

And he also misses his brother, who as you mentioned, is behind bars right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what strikes me about all of this, these are all kids.

HORI: These are kids.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: These are children. And we have a problem in this country with children and crime. I mean, this is being replicated: different cases, different stories all around the country. And it`s time we look at this issue of children and crime. And what is the underlying problem here?

HORI: Jane, you are absolutely right. And I think that`s why this has impacted so many people in the south Florida community and also the world, because we`re looking at this extreme violence among kids. The youngest was just 13. The oldest was 16. This is ridiculous.

And this is something, also, that Michael`s parents spoke about. They said, "We have to have this violence end. We can`t continue this."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And we`re going to stay on top of it. Thank you for your insight. Come back soon.

Next, an ISSUES exclusive. We`re going to talk with a woman arrested after she was accused of cutting in line in Wal-Mart. She could have done 15 years. We`ll talk to her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: An exclusive interview with the Walmart customer who faced 15 years in prison after being accused of cutting the line. Heather Ellis reached a plea deal in what has become an intense racially charged case. We`ll talk to her about her three-year nightmare and why she agreed to settle the case.

And octo-mom said what? Nadya Suleman`s back in front of cameras, and this time she`s saying she might have more kids. Isn`t 14 children enough already? And she finally admits she needs to keep her kids in front of the cameras just to pay the astronomical baby bills. Is octo-mom addicted to babies?

In tonight`s spotlight: the woman at the very center of the bizarre Walmart line-cutting trial talks exclusively to us here on ISSUES tonight.

Heather Ellis was accused of cutting in line at a Walmart almost three years ago. Little did she know it would escalate into a rationally charged case that would divide the small town of Kennett, Missouri.


KAY MCDANIEL, FORMER ASST. MANAGER, WALMART: She looked at me and told me that I wasn`t anything but a stupid, white, uneducated Walmart employee. And she called Betsy an old, gray-headed lady.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re going to see what Heather has to say about those claims in just a moment. But everybody agrees the alleged line-cutting incident somehow spiraled out of control and Heather was arrested. She said, white officers roughed her up and used racial slurs. Police claim she resisted arrest and assaulted them.

Heather faced the responsibility of -- get this -- 15 years in prison. But as jurors deliberated her future, Heather struck an 11th-hour deal.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me, it`s a good result in this case. I think nobody wanted to see her go to prison. And nobody wanted to see her spend a long time in jail. And on the other hand, the message does need to be sent to people that if you`re being arrested, you can`t resist it or something will happen, there will be consequences.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we finally have the surveillance tape that we hope would tell the real story here. But you will not believe what the video doesn`t show. This case was ultimately resolved without Heather`s life being ruined. But on ISSUES we`ve been asking all along with all the murderers and rapists running loose, terrorizing this country, was this really the case to spend time and tax dollars on?

In an ISSUES exclusive, Heather joins me all. Heather, first of all, thank you so much for coming on the show, ISSUES. We`re delighted to have you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`d been offered a plea deal in the past but you`d turn it down. Why did you finally decide, "Hey I`m going to accept this deal from the prosecutors at very last minute," even as the jury was off deliberate your fate?

ELLIS: Jane, I think that I`ll have to answer the question like this. I think that I`m a victim of judiciary rape. I was raped by the system. I`m watching the jurors laugh. I watched the jurors talk to each other, communicating. We had jurors that were asleep.

The prosecutors who recused himself from the case and during deliberations he was approaching the bench. Laughing and joking with the judge while the jury sent questions out. I saw him pacing back and forth around the areas that the jury was deliberating -- where they were deliberating.

It was a very split-second decision made with a lot of tears and a lot of things were weighed in the balance. And along with me and the prayers of my family and all, we all came to a conclusion that this was the best for me, not to have anything on my record in the end and to not let a very biased jury decide the fate of my life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And by the way I want to point out you were a college student at time. You had no criminal history. You were now a schoolteacher and you`re engaged to a state trooper?

ELLIS: Yes, ma`am.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We had been begging to see the store surveillance video all along. Well, guess what, now we have it. The problem is, it doesn`t show much of anything.

Here`s the footage, check it out for yourself. There`s the check-out line. There`s something that looks like Heather`s arm moving something. She may be -- there she is shoving some items out of the way on the conveyor belt. Then the cashier picks up the phone.

And here`s the footage from the parking lot where Heather was arrested. It`s tough to make out but it appears to show what, at least some say -- I can`t tell, but some say she may have been kicking backwards at officers as they handcuffed her.

It is really tough to make any conclusions on the basis of this videotape. Wait, what do we see in there? We`re seeing -- what do you say happen? Give us your story.

ELLIS: Ok, this is it.

I was in line. My cousin and I split the line to see who would get to the front of the line first. There has been a lot of controversy about the line cutter, Heather cutting the line.

Just to set the record straight, Teresa Kinder, the lady who was in front who claimed we broke in front of her. When she got on the stand Wednesday evening, she was the first witness of the state. She came to the forefront and told the truth that we -- she actually cut in front of us because my cousin, she didn`t see anything in his hands.

She broke in front of us. And also she admitted to pushing me. I did move her items but it wasn`t a throw or shove. The conveyor belt was moving and of course it looked more dramatic than it was.

But come on, come on, Jane. Walmart --- it doesn`t show our faces. You mean to tell me over 197 views, the Walmart cameraman, the asset protection specialist testified that they had over 197 views. And out of those 197 you`ve never seen our face in the store? All you see was our hand.

He testified that he picked out the pieces of the tape that he thought was relevant and the rest of the evidence is destroyed forever. That seems a little fishy to me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Heather, I think you might want to go to law school and become an attorney because you`re doing a pretty good job of defending yourself.

My big issue, was this case much ado about nothing? There are certainly more outrageous cases of even shopper altercations that do not end up in court.

Here is ISSUES panelist, Curtis Sliwa weighing in on that.

ELLIS: I think if I understand your question I will answer it like this. I went to court because I needed this story to get out.


CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDERS OF GUARDIAN ANGELS: If I`m rushing to the front the line fighting with cashiers, fighting with attendants. Yes, they sometimes get dragged out by 5-0, the police. They cool out for 72 hours and get a disappearance ticket and everybody goes their way.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was basically Curtis Sliwa explaining that he served on a check-out line, that was a job he had once and there were far worse things.

Now on a much more serious note, there was last year`s Black Friday stampede. Apparently an employee at a New York Walmart was trampled to death by shoppers clamming to get inside -- clamoring to get inside.

You know -- and then we have all of the unsolved rapes and murders that cops and prosecutors can focus on.

Here`s what I really don`t like about this case, it is not a good use of our tax dollars. You did not go in there to rob. You did not go in there to kill. But there are plenty of people going into stores and banks and everywhere else and mini-marts and doing precisely that: trying to kill, trying to rob.

ELLIS: I agree.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And until they solve those cases, I say, even if you did lose your temper, that that is not a case that should be prosecuted, given the fact that are there so many violent criminals out there doing terrible things and you have no criminal record.

ELLIS: And just to jump in, they showed a video clip of me speaking as I walked out of the store and waving my hand. As you can see when I talk, I use my hands when I talk and I`m virtually a loud person.

But just to give you the truth about what I was saying, I turned to my right and I said instead of harassing me -- and then we have crackheads, drug dealers, prostitutes on the street. Why don`t you harass the?

And he made the comment, "No stupid, blank, blank, idiot, I want to harass you." He continued to follow us out of the store. He yanked me up. He ripped my coat. We presented all of this in court.

And let me show you a twist to the story of how I knew that I wasn`t facing a fair chance. Each and every one of the 13 witnesses the state had, all agreed, they all came to -- I say the stage because it was like a show. They all got on the witness stand and testified that prosecuting attorney Sokoloff had brought all of them in the room together. Let them hear everybody`s testimony and coached them on what to say.


ELLIS: Showed them the videotape and explained to them, when you compare the witness`s -- the statement that the witness wrote out three years ago to what they got on the stand -- the stage, let me say, and testified to, it never came in. They said how do you know this if you didn`t write in your statement three years ago? Because Sokoloff explained it to me. What is that?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s talk about this whole race issue. Many people had said that your race played a big part in this trial. The special prosecutor completely and totally denies that. Listen to this.

ELLIS: Oh, my gosh.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s listen first.


MORLEY SWINGLE, SPECIAL PROSECUTOR: Kennett is a town where it`s just like anywhere else in the United States. This is -- this is not a racist environment. As I said in closing arguments...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, those were Heather supporters booing. Civil rights activist Boyce Watkins was on our show last week and he told us that the prosecutor Morley Swingle wrote a book that had a confederate flag on the cover. He was very upset about that.

So we checked it out. Now here it is. It is a historical novel set in the Civil War era. It`s got an American flag on top. And then the stars and bars of the confederate flag on the bottom. Now some might say this is offensive. Others might say it`s ok, it`s a historical novel.

I don`t know, but is it possible, Heather, that things have gotten blown out of proportion because emotions are running so high? What do you think?

ELLIS: I don`t think that I have blown anything out of the proportion. As a matter of fact, everybody`s using race. Race was not used as a part of my defense throughout the entire trial. Race was not brought into the picture until the prosecutor at the end made a statement that if you -- a vote for Heather would be a vote for Dunklin County. If you vote for Heather and then it would be saying that you agree that Dunklin County is a racist place.

And I know that you showed a clip about Kay McDaniel testifying that I called her a white, ignorant Walmart associate and also testifying that I called her...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you? Did you do anything like that?

ELLIS: No, ma`am. She didn`t even say that on stand. That`s never - - in all of the three years in her written statement, that`s never been in there. She was coached to say that, of course. I never said anything about white, nor did I call Betsy Wild (ph) who was the cashier any names and Betsy Wild testified to that.

All of the witnesses testified that they did not hear me talking yelling or screaming or cursing in the store. They said that I was using a loud voice.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I could talk to you all night. Will you come back and weigh in because you`re a very articulate spokesperson for yourself and we`d like to have you on our show as an expert on some of our panels.

ELLIS: No problem, anytime you need me Jane. I`m here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, ok, we`ll give you a holler. Thank you so much.

Coming up next the octo-mom has a frightening announcement. She already has 14 kids. Will she be a mother again?

And it is karaoke time. I`m going to explain why I am singing and dancing in this video and it`s pretty scary. Right after the break.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The octo-mom strikes again. You will not believe what Nadya Suleman has got say. As we all know she`s already got 14 kids. Does she want more?

But first tonight`s "Top of the Block".

There is a war brewing over, get this, karaoke. It sounds crazy, but there`s some serious cash at stake. Top artists like Taylor Swift and Gwen Stefani are brought of this lawsuit brought by BMI. They`re basically the music license police. They want to bust karaoke bars who play songs without paying for the rights.

Now I have done some undercover reporting on this topic. And the evidence of my work surfaced suddenly on TMZ. Take a look at this clip of me, courtesy of my dear friend Harvey Levin.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, not bad, right? Come on, you`d karaoke with me, wouldn`t you? That was back when I was a correspondent for Celebrity Justice. That clip appeared on TMZ TV.

And I have to tell you Harvey, if you`re watching, you were my karaoke partner many times and I will have to find a video of you singing. And air it on ISSUES especially when you sang "My Way" five times in a row and bribed the karaoke guy so that you could sing over and over again, the same song, enraging everyone else in the audience.

All right. That is tonight`s "Top of the Block".

Brace yourselves. There`s a new drama from octo-mom. Nadya Suleman`s latest, crazy admission, she wants more kids. Huh? Nadya already has 14 children.

Here she is in a Fox Special. Look at her trying to wrangle all of those little kiddies. She said that she would have more on ABC`s "Good Morning America". Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you ever have more children?

NADYA SULEMAN, MOTHER OF OCTUPLETS: My goodness. I won`t even talk about that. I don`t know. If I get married some day in the future.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You could see maybe having more?

SULEMAN: You know, I`ve been kind of a science -- well, by choice, science experiment, for almost ten years. And if I wanted to do it the traditional way and get married that is like another chapter.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh my gosh. Check out this video. ABC`s "Good Morning America" ventured into octo-mom`s lair. They`re brave. Her house`s already complete chaos kids climbing, crawling, screaming, one little guy even lobs a screwdriver at her mom`s head. Where is that? Hit her smack in the nose. I would love to see that.

I understand. I don`t blame that guy. These octo babies are paraded in front the camera treated as commodities. Here they are shooting a Fox Special and they just wrapped up filming for an hour-long documentary that reportedly raked in a quarter of a million bucks.

But of course, that barely makes a dent in octo-mom`s expenses. Nadya admits keeping her kids on camera is the only way to support her enormous brood financially. Lift to this from ABC`s "Good Morning America".


SULEMAN: I am dammed if I do, dammed if I don`t because if I don`t do what I need to do in the media to take care and support the kids I can`t take care of them.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh poor, poor, Nadya. Pour me another bottle of formula.

Nadya does have a few other moneymaking tricks up her sleeve. You will not believe what they are.

Straight out to my fabulous expert panel: joining me tonight my dear friend, "Extra" correspondent Carlos Diaz. Carlos, I`m almost afraid to ask, what`s the latest with octo-mom?

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": Well, she did talk about the fact that she wouldn`t rule out getting married again, doing it the traditional way. And then getting married for the first time, I should say, and of course having more kids.

But here`s the thing. She talked about her expenses: $10,000 a month on nannies; $1,000 a week on food; 4.5 gallons of milk a day. She said that she`s already looking for a bigger house because these kids are growing by the second. And she says she sleeps two to three hours a night because she`s up writing a book all night to pay for her expenses. So she`s obviously a very busy person.

Not to mention having 14 kids running around.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think that she`s obviously an addict. My big issue tonight: is Nadya a baby junky? To take care of her kids Nadya spends as you just heard form Carlos about $10,000 a month on a team of several nannies. She`s also got diapers, food.

Listen to her on ABC`s "Good Morning America".


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me see if I have got this right. You go through $1,000 a week in food?

SULEMAN: About. Approximately.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 700 diapers a week?

SULEMAN: On average. On average, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And this is the one I love; 4 1/2 gallons of milk a day.

SULEMAN: Well, there are six other kids.


SULEMAN: Six other kids.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s a lot of milk.

SULEMAN: I know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then eight load of laundry a day.

SULEMAN: Average.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian Russell, how did she pay for this all? She thinks shoving cameras in the faces of the children is a solution and that`s how she justifies exploiting her children and then she wants more of them?

I honestly believe that she is addicted to having children. And the one thing that we know about addicts, it`s progressive. It only gets worse. This is really getting into a point where it`s not just child abuse but it`s a scary situation.

BRIAN RUSSELL PSYCHOLOGIST: How about addiction to attention, Jane? But I`m going to shock you here.

Let`s not have any more kids go through life with her as a mom. Let`s go ahead and give her what she`s wanted all along. Let`s give her a reality show but let`s have it be "Adoption Idol" where good parents from around the country compete to adopt this woman`s kids.

You can be a judge. I`ll be a judge. She gets her show. She gets her money. The kids end up with parents who aren`t complete loons. Everybody wins.

DIAZ: Oh my God.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know what`s so scary? She`s actually defending the doctor who implanted her, Jayne Weintraub. So she`s like he`s the pusher and she`s saying, well, you know, he did nothing wrong even though he`s been disciplined.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, he`s been disciplined for obvious reasons. But isn`t the reality here that we`re not allowed to legislate or regulate who has babies, how many babies. And the bottom line is, although I don`t respect her choice and how she went about this, the bottom line is she is maintaining the responsibility of taking care of them. And she isn`t...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More octo-drama in a moment. I`m going to challenge you, Jayne Weintraub, after the break.



SULEMAN: And I have all of them back. There`s eight of them here. And here we have Makai (ph) and the one crying right now just came home, Jonah (ph). And then right there is -- who`s that? I can`t see.


SULEMAN: That`s Noriah, and here is Malia (ph). This is Isaiah (ph). This is Noah (ph).


VELEZ-MITCHELL: There she is on RadarOnline bragging about her brood. And now she`s defending the doctor who implanted her with six embryos.

Listen to this from ABC`s "Good Morning America."


SULEMAN: He should never have been reprimanded because based upon my past reproductive history he did nothing different; nothing wrong, nothing different than when I had twins.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The American Society for Reproductive Medicine told Dr. Michael Kamrava, get out, "You broke the rules by implanting too many embryos into Nadya Suleman." A woman of Nadya`s age should have one, maybe two embryos implanted. This guy reportedly popped in six and then two of them split.

It`s reportedly not the first time he has done this. Records show the doc transferred an average of four embryos to patients under 35.

Jayne Weintraub, why is he still practicing?

WEINTRAUB: Well, because it might not have risen to an ethical violation of how many embryos one as a practice should implant. However, he didn`t do anything that was negligent in the sense of harming the embryos or harming the mother.

And you know what, Jane? I don`t know if it`s the doctor`s choice. I really don`t. I think this is a moral discussion...


WEINTRAUB: ... not a legal discussion.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Come on. We`re talking about Propofol with Michael Jackson. Just because he asks for something, a doctor`s got to give it to them? I mean...

WEINTRAUB: No, but these were her embryos, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What if I go and ask a doctor for heroin?

WEINTRAUB: These are her embryos. Technically, these are her babies. And we`ve had -- it`s not as if we haven`t seen multiple births before.

I`ll tell you something else. I was pretty impressed that she`s had eight children. I had one at a time and it was a problem. You know, you just don`t know...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And do you think she`s able to give all these children the attention they need? My gosh, I`ve got three Chihuahuas.

WEINTRAUB: No I don`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I can`t give them all the attention that they need.

WEINTRAUB: No I don`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Much less 14 human beings. And now she`s talking about having more? That is absolutely beyond the pale.

WEINTRAUB: That`s her choice Jane. Her choice -- was a religious and ethical choice. And I have to respect that. I don`t share it and I disagree with that...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s not a religious and ethical choice.

You know what? She`s a resource hog. You know, there are starving children all around this world that do not have homes who are starving right now as we speak. This is a very narcissistic decision, to have 14 kids...

WEINTRAUB: Absolutely. But Jane, she didn`t want to...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So don`t call it an ethical decision. Don`t call it an ethical decision.

WEINTRAUB: ... to abort.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, I want to go to our fabulous caller, who`s been waiting patiently. Anita, California, your question or thought, ma`am.

ANITA, CALIFORNIA: Yes. First of all, I`d like to say I love your show.


ANITA: And -- but I do not understand when it comes to the octo-mom. You seem to really have a personal problem with her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I do. You`re right. Maybe I need to go into therapy, Carlos Diaz, for octo-momitis. I`m going to give you the last word.

DIAZ: Yes, well -- yes Jane, I mean listen, I kind of agree with -- the caller, you do have a certain venom, but I think you echo what a lot of people think. But this is why it`s an interesting topic, because you have that venom toward her. You think that what she`s doing is wrong.

I`m of the opinion of she`s doing what she can now to survive by putting these kids on TV not in a reality show but in a documentary. That`s what she`s doing.

She`s not doing a reality show like Jon and Kate. She`s doing documentaries, which pay her $250,000.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re going to leave it right there. Thank you, fabulous panel. I`m going to go into octo-therapy.

You are watching ISSUES on HLN.