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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Step-dad Charged in Toddler`s Death; Trained Dogs Help Haiti Rescue Efforts
Aired January 20, 2010 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight blood-boiling outrage in the tragic death of little Aveion Lewis. Cops now say that the step-dad has admitted he made it all up. This pathetic appeal all fake. There was no kidnapping, no ransom not, no home invasion. Cops say Aveion was dead before his step-dad even called 911. Now the step-dad`s been charged in the child`s death. So what really happened? And is anyone else involved?
Plus, shocking insight into a horrifying murder. A former "Playboy" model found burning in a Dumpster. The cold-blooded killer is still roaming the streets. This beautiful model was last seen leaving a Miami nightclub with a mystery man. Now furious family members are demanding answers. Tonight we will talk to her angry brother.
Plus, is this the photo we`ve all been waiting for? Take a good look. "The National Enquirer" claims they snapped the very first post-scandal picture of Tiger Woods at a sex rehab center in Mississippi. He`s been hiding out since the Thanksgiving Day debacle. We will analyze this photo. Is this picture for real?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a step-dad`s sickening lies finally uncovered. Days after frantically claiming baby Aveion Lewis was abducted, his stepfather admits he made the whole thing up. Police in Roanoke, Virginia, say the 2-year-old was already dead when step-dad Brandon Lockett called 911 on Thursday.
Was little Aveion murdered or was his death an accident? Lockett claimed Aveion`s three kidnappers busted into the house and knocked him out cold. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRANDON LOCKETT, STEP-DAD OF AVEION LEWIS: I heard a knock at the door. I went to the back door. All I remember was boom. That`s all I remember. And I came -- when I came to, my wife was standing over me. My son was -- he was crying. My daughter, she was gagged upstairs in her room. And that`s all I remember.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not making eye contact there.
Look at the before and after shots of Lockett. On the left, a picture of him last week after he claimed he was zonked on the head. On the right his mug shot taken today. So how did he get the split lip and the swollen eyes you see in the before picture? Did he perhaps beat himself up, trying to prove he was assaulted by these fictional kidnappers?
Tonight Lockett is charged with felony child neglect. But what does little Aveion`s mom know? Will she face charges, as well?
I want to hear your take on all this. Give me a call: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
Straight out to my awesome expert panel: forensic psychiatrist Dr. Dale Archer to weigh in. We`re delighted to have Judge Greg Mathis, host of "The Judge Mathis Show," along with criminal defense attorney Keith Sullivan. And we begin with "In Session" correspondent Beth Karas.
Beth, what is the very latest?
BETH KARAS, "IN SESSION": Well, good evening, Jane. As you just mentioned, this investigation has changed. It has taken a turn. It is no longer an investigation into a potential abduction. It is now a death investigation. Not a homicide investigation, at this point a death investigation.
Brandon Lockett stands charged with felony child neglect, the unlawful disposal of a human body, and obstruction of justice for leading not just the Roanoke Police Department but the FBI and the Virginia State Police on a wild goose chase by making up this story of an abduction of this little toddler.
Now, the investigation is continuing. They still have not found his body. And the authorities are concerned because there is a winter storm watch in effect from tomorrow morning to Friday morning, ice, a lot of ice, and rain expected, and that may hamper their search for the body.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Judge Greg Mathis, this is what I don`t understand. They`re searching for the body. The cops say that this person we`re looking at right here confessed to making it all up. So if you`re going to confess to making it all up and admit the boy was dead before you called 911, why not go the whole way and tell them where the body is?
JUDGE GREG MATHIS, "THE JUDGE MATHIS SHOW": Yes, that`s what I`m confused about, as well. He should -- I haven`t heard the explanation that he`s saying did happen. For example, it was an accident he`s tried to cover up, an accidental death, then he should say that. All we know, that he has said she [SIC] died before. And the body is missing. We know those two things.
But I think he should be charged with murder, not just neglect. Felony neglect.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s -- let`s examine that. Because police, as Beth Karas mentioned, are calling this a death investigation at this point, not a homicide investigation. Now, we don`t know whether this little boy, Aveion`s step-dad, has told police where the boy`s body is. We know cops just haven`t found it yet.
They have charged Brandon Lockett with felony child neglect, improper disposal of a human body, and obstruction of justice. So let me ask Keith Sullivan, criminal defense attorney, do the charges indicate that police believe little Aveion`s death was an accident and then the whole kidnapping story was a cover-up? Or could they simply be waiting for discovery of the body before they can consider a charge of murder?
KEITH SULLIVAN CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: What`s clear here is that felony neglect charge is -- indicates to us that the police know a lot more than they`re telling us. The statute requires that there be willful conduct. That`s an intentional standard that leads to serious injury. So there`s things that they`re aware of that they haven`t revealed to the public that merits out that he meet that standard.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me tell you something. We are learning now Child Protective Services has been involved with this family before. Aveion`s aunt says that child welfare workers came to the home when the boy was just 15 months old. They investigated the parents for possible neglect. No charges were ever filed.
Dr. Dale Archer, every time we cover one of these stories, who is one of the supporting characters? Department of Children and Family Services, and yet somehow in the story line they never quite intercept the tragedy?
ARCHER: No. And you`re right, Jane. It`s like a broken record. It`s time after time after time. And we`ve even seen cases where they`ve been evaluated by the parents and then they get the custody back.
We don`t know any of that in this particular case. But what we do know is that this guy told a lie, and people do things for a reason. So there are one of two things that are going on here. Either "A," he was directly involved in the harming of this child, or "B," which hasn`t been discussed, he is covering up for someone else.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I thought perhaps there was somebody else involved because how do you punch your own face and give yourself a completely swollen and bruised face? And when he`s giving the interviews - - we`ll show it in a second -- you can see that his face is all beaten up. And he said well, you know, these guys came in and they knocked me -- look at his face. He has black eyes there, and his face is totally puffy.
And he said well, you know, "They came in and they beat me up. So that`s why I have this bruised face." So who else is involved? Or did she smash his own face against the refrigerator door?
ARCHER: Well, I would predict that it`s the wife that`s involved and that`s why he`s protecting her with this crazy story.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we certainly -- she has not been charged with anything.
ARCHER: I know.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So we certainly want to be very careful about that and point that out. We`d be happy to hear from her if she wants to weigh in and give us her side of the story.
Here`s my big issue. Why on earth lie on camera? He is talking to a news crew right there. Step-dad Brandon Lockett repeatedly stepped in front of TV news crews and spewed not simple but ornate lies, even having the audacity to beg for this child`s return.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOCKETT: I don`t know what to do. I mean, I just want my son back. You know what I`m saying? I want my family back. And me having to go through all this, I`m willing to go through or so my son will come home. All I want is him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops are saying at that moment, he knows this little boy that he`s begging for the return of is dead. I have to go back to Dr. Archer. What does this tell you about his psyche?
ARCHER: Yes. This -- this tells a lot about his psyche. Because basically, we have a guy who has no eye contact. He has no emotion, and his delivery is totally flat. And he has just lost a child. He`s a stepfather to this child. And he is gone.
And all of that put together -- someone who doesn`t have any feeling or emotion for another human being and can lie blatantly -- indicates a sociopath or anti-social personality disorder.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. As shocking as his on-camera lies are, you know, we`ve seen this before. Who could forget Scott Peterson`s cold- blooded performances after murdering his pregnant wife, Laci, and dumping her body. He had the nerve to go on camera and ask for help in finding her. Listen to this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT PETERSON, CONVICTED OF MURDERING WIFE: When people accuse me of some involvement, that I had nothing to do with her disappearance, but people still accuse me of it. My response is the same to all of them: thank you for being aware of her missing from our family. And please do what you can to bring her home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a bad actor. In `94 Susan Smith murdered her two young sons by strapping them into their car seats and submerging her car in a lake. She told police and the entire world that an African- American man had carjacked her and driven away with her sons. Listen to this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN SMITH, CONVICTED OF MURDERING SONGS: He made me get out of the car. You know, I tried to get my children. I begged him, "Please let me take them." And he said no, he didn`t have time, because they were in car seats, and it was going to take time for me to get them out of the car seats. And he said, "But I want hurt them." And he just took off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This makes me sick. Liar, liar, pants on fire. Beth Karas, you`ve covered so many of these cases. It blows my mind that they have the nerve to go on camera and spew these lies.
KARAS: Well, you know, I can`t explain the psychology behind it, but these people have been convicted of the crimes that they were initially denying even occurred. Maybe they`re just trying to convince themselves that they didn`t do something as horrific as what Susan Smith did and what Scott Peterson did, both of whom dumped their loved ones into bodies much water and killed them that way.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want everybody to think, why would anybody go on camera? But first quickly, we are going to take a break. Stay right where you are.
More on the tragic death of this beautiful, adorable little toddler. And we`re taking your calls. I know we`ve got Brianna lined up. Hang in there, Brianna. We`re going to get to you in a second. 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1- 877-586-7297.
Plus, has Tiger Woods finally been spotted? "The National Enquirer" claims this is the picture we`ve all been waiting for. We`re going to analyze it. Is it Tiger?
First, lying to all of America. Aveion`s step-dad had no qualms about going in front of cameras and telling a totally made-up story, actually pleading for this precious child`s return. Now we know it was all B.S. Cops say the child is dead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE MARILYN MILIAN, "THE PEOPLE`S COURT": It was pretty clear to anybody who listened to this that this was a little bit suspicious and that this didn`t hold true. And unfortunately, we see this time and time again, where parents or husbands make this impassioned plea, and the first thing you`re thinking, as you`re hearing them or looking at them with a jaundiced eye. And then by the next day, things start to develop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOCKETT: I just want everything to be all right. I hope he`s all right. That`s all I hope. Because he can`t hold his own body temperature. Hay has a lot of medical problems.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like what?
LOCKETT: He has malrotation. He can eat but -- and eat and eat, but his body won`t absorb the fats that he needs. He doesn`t have the enzymes he needs. So he has medical problems. I mean, if you`ve got him, make sure you keep him warm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, boy. And meanwhile, that guy, cops say, already knew that his body was cold. Yes, somebody wants to say something.
SULLIVAN: Jane, the more you hear his story the more offensive it is. He has more fairy tale in his statement to the media than you will find in a kindergarten book shelf. It`s outright offensive, the stories that these people come forth with to cover up their own crimes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And it`s almost like diarrhea of the mouth. He can`t stop but adding more and more details. And of course, it`s those very details that get them into trouble. Police say they were suspicious from the very start about this guy`s story. And I want to talk about that in a second. But first, let`s go to Brianna in Missouri.
Your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Yes, ma`am. I just wanted to know if anyone had followed up on the story where he had mentioned to the media that someone had restrained his daughter.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Very good question, Brianna. Beth Karas, what do we know about that?
KARAS: You know, I am not aware of the reports on that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, basically in -- in his fabrication he didn`t only say that he was conked over the head. He also said that they tied up a 4-year-old child in the house and then they abducted the 2-year-old. And of course, everybody is wondering, you know, would this child confirm the story or would she be too young?
But we all remember what happened with little Falcon in the Balloon Boy case when he said, "We did it all for the show" and busted Dad. And Dad`s now, I think, doing time behind bars because of that. But this is a far more serious situation.
My question is why do they get so ornate, Dr. Dale Archer? And why do they pile lie upon lie and get into quicksand with al these details that -- that obviously are going to be contradicted by some fact?
ARCHER: Well, remember, Jane, we`re trying to analyze it from our view of what`s right and what`s wrong. When you are a person like this, i.e., a sociopath, you only care about yourself. Lies don`t matter. Cheating doesn`t matter. Stealing doesn`t matter. Anything that benefits you is OK.
So they have no remorse. They have absolutely zero ability to feel pain in any other human being. They only think about themselves. And if you analyze it in that perspective, then you can start understanding that, you know, a lie is no different than the truth for them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Will Aveion`s mom face any charges? That`s another big question. Police say Morgan Lockett has not been very much help to the investigation.
Her side of the family reportedly hasn`t even heard from her since Aveion disappeared last week. Morgan`s brother thinks that`s because she is afraid of her husband. He said, quote, "I believe my sister is scared to say something."
So my question to Judge Mathis, do you think prosecutors are going to try to get Morgan to testify against her husband?
MATHIS: Well, you can`t do that, quite frankly. You can`t have a spouse testify against the other. However, they can`t charge her with obstruction of justice or accessory after the fact. I think she knows something. She`s cut herself off from her family. She should be compelled to answer some questions from the police as a person of interest.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We just got some breaking news. We are getting information now that little Aveion was taken to a foster family for approximately a year in April of `09. So wait a second. April of `09. That would have to be less than a year because it`s not April of `10 yes. So we`re going to try to get the details on that.
But essentially, Beth Karas, we see this so often. We see these troubled families, and then social services comes in. They take the child away. Maybe they go to a foster family. Then they end up back. And look at this. I mean, if that child was with a foster home, he could be alive right now.
KARAS: That`s right. If it is, indeed, true that this child was removed from the home and was out of the home for the better part of the last year, clearly back in the home. If the statement of Lockett are accurate, that the child was dead, he was at least visiting or been returned to his parents, and it really is indeed troubling.
And I will tell you, Child Protective Services -- the state organizations are often blamed for this -- the neglect, the conduct, the crimes, that happened inside the home. But ultimately, it`s the folks that are caring for these children who are to blame. Child services, they do what they can, but they can`t monitor and be there 24/7.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And guess what? We`re getting some more new information just in as we speak. Reports are that this child, Aveion, was eight pounds at 15 months. Eight pounds at 15 months.
Now, I know that the stepfather said he was born premature and that`s why he needed to stay warm. But there`s really something -- obviously seriously wrong before this child`s tragic death.
Keith Sullivan, what`s going to happen to these other kids? There were a bunch of other kids in the home.
SULLIVAN: I`m quite certain that they`ll be taken away by Child Protective Services without a doubt.
What the police have done here is divide and conquer. It`s a classic approach. The husband is now incarcerated. The wife is out. And you can rest assured that they`re working on the wife to try to flip against the husband. They can also monitor the conversations between the husband and wife now that he`s incarcerated, as well.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. By the way, 15 months, you should be at least 21 pounds.
Thank you, fantastic panel.
A family`s hunt for justice. A former "Playboy" model murdered, her body found burning in a Dumpster. The killer still on the loose, possibly in Miami tonight. I will talk to the dead woman`s outraged brother.
Plus, a very special story on four-legged heroes. Unbelievable dogs risking their lives in Haiti and digging through the rubble to save lives. And we`re going to show you examples and a dog.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In tonight`s "Spotlight," amazing heart-wrenching rescues in Haiti and some heroes who have four legs. Search-and-rescue dogs truly do what humans cannot: find people buried deep beneath the rubble, using their nose.
This rescue dog named Hunter saved three young girls in Haiti. Hunter kept frantically barking around one large pile of debris. Rescuers started digging, uncovering three young girls under four feet of rubble. They`d survived with no food or water for five days. Kudos to this wonderful dog.
Joining me now, Tracy Sargent and her wonderful dog, Cinqo. Tracy is a canine handler and search, rescue and recovery specialist.
Tracy, we`re so excited to have you and Cinqo here. Tell us how these canine search-and-rescue teams are able to find what humans can`t. How are dogs able to be so effective?
TRACY SARGENT, CANINE HANDLER/SEARCH-AND-RESCUE SPECIALIST: Well, as you mentioned, their sense of smell is incredible, and we utilize that. What we can`t see or sense ourselves, we have the dogs tell us. And in this case, they bark. When they give us a bark alert, then that tells us we need to check this area and find out what`s down there.
We can`t say how many people, or the dog can`t tell us how many people are there, but they can tell us there`s live human scent in this area, and you need to dig in this area so you can rescue those people.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what`s the difference between them just being generally excited, as dogs get, and them spotting someone? Do they do any kind of a movement or...
SARGENT: What they`re trying to do, these dogs go through extensive training for approximately a year to a year and a half. And we train them that when they find somebody alive, we want them to bark. And that`s what we call their trained alert, to tell us there is someone here, and this is what the area we need to concentrate on.
So it`s -- yes, the dogs get excited. For them it`s a hide-and-go- seek game. And it`s a lot of fun, and we train these dogs with all positive reinforcement.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And sometimes they risk their lives, because there`s glass and there`s all sorts of things they encounter.
Now, since the devastating quake occurred, we have been telling you here on ISSUES how to help the millions of people impacted. And by the way, Haiti`s animals also desperately need food, water and vet care.
You can help them, as well, by donating to organizations like the International Fund for Animal Welfare at IFAW.org. I actually made a donation today. They have a team ready in the Dominican Republic that will enter Haiti with a mobile veterinary clinic when they`re allowed to. That`s IFAW.org.
You know, Tracy, we saw this with Hurricane Katrina. Millions of animals left to fend for themselves in these major natural disasters.
SARGENT: Yes. It was so heartbreaking. We actually worked Hurricane Katrina. And personally, that was the worst animal disaster I had experienced myself. And it is just a terrible, terrible situation. Not only are the people helpless in those situations but certainly the animals. And they need our help.
As we can see how incredible these dogs, the job that they perform for us, and how important they are. So we want to look after them, not only in our working canine partners but certainly the other animals that need our help.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How long can these animals work before they become exhausted and have to either be taken off the island or given a break of a couple of days?
SARGENT: Yes, in these situations, you have hot, humid conditions. So we`re looking at probably 30 to 45 minutes.
SARGENT: But we have teams of dogs where we rotate the dogs. So we`ll have a couple of dogs work the debris pile. So we`ll take those off, bring two more in, and we`ll keep rotating the dogs.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tracy, please come back. You and Cinqo are amazing, and we thank you for your great work.
SARGENT: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Moving on, an outraged family desperate for answers. Who killed Paula Sladewski? The "Playboy" model`s body found burning in a Dumpster. Cops say she was last seen leaving a nightclub in Miami. What are cops doing?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Shocking insight into a horrifying murder. A former Playboy model found burning in a dumpster; her cold-blooded killer still roaming the streets. Now furious family members are demanding answers.
Plus, is this the photo we have all been waiting for? Take a good look. "The National Enquirer" claims they snapped the very first post-scandal picture of Tiger Woods. We will analyze the photo. Is this for real?
Tonight a desperate search for clues in the murder of Playboy model Paula Sladewski. Her charred body was discovered in a burning dumpster in Miami on January 3rd.
Police has said they are going to publish a sketch of her possible killer. But 17 days later, still no sketch. In fact, police tell ISSUES witnesses seem to be having a hard time remembering anything. Why?
Paula and her boyfriend, Kevin Klym, partied at club space January 3rd. Kevin told cops they had a fight and he was booted out by bouncers at 7:00 a.m. Cops say they confirmed Kevin`s alibi that he took a taxi cab back to his hotel after leaving.
Now as for Paula, cops say this surveillance video shows her leaving the club about 20 minutes later. Was she alone? Did somebody follow her? Now nobody seems to remember. Her body was found 14 hours later in a dumpster about ten miles away from the club.
Meantime, HLN affiliate WFOR obtained surveillance video from a BP gas station convenience store in downtown Miami. It is hard to see but according to a private investigator, hired by the boyfriend, Kevin Klym, the video was taken on January 4th in the 3:00 a.m. hour; so a day later.
In it the boyfriend Klym appears to be showing the clerk a picture of Paula as if he is searching for her. The clerk told them that he appeared tipsy. So much to cover; we will not let this case go cold.
Straight out to my fantastic panel: back with me, Judge Greg Mathis of "The Judge Mathis Show"; and I`m honored to be joined by Paula`s brother, Thomas Bussell; and also here with us, Lt. Neal Cuevas, spokesman for the North Miami Police Department; and via Skype Kyle Munzenrieder, a reporter with the "Miami New Times".
Lieutenant, I want to start with you. What`s the holdup with the sketch? Last we spoke you said well, they say that Paula walked away with this mystery man. And we are getting description from the witnesses who saw that and we are going to give you that sketch and we still don`t have the sketch. What`s up?
LT. NEAL CUEVAS, NORTH MIAMI POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, keep in mind that these sketches are put together from information that we get from eyewitnesses. So it really depends on the information that we get from them. And if the -- eyewitnesses don`t have very many details by which we can put together a sketch that makes it awfully difficult.
As of right now, at this moment anyway, we just don`t have enough details about this person to put together a useful sketch. The detectives have been working nonstop trying to identify and locate anyone who has -- who has any information concerning Paula`s disappearance and eventual death.
It is extremely disappointing to us that we have a club with upwards of hundreds of people and no one has come forward and provided us any information that we can use to put together a sketch and to identify people in the case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me just make sure I am understanding you. Are you saying that somebody is being uncooperative? If you have people who say yes, I saw this guy walk away and now they are like well, I`m not so sure, it is -- is somebody covering up for somebody?
CUEVAS: No, it is not a cover-up. It is what people remember. Unfortunately, people remember only those things that stand out in their minds. And in this particular case, we just don`t have enough of this person; height, weight, facial features, hair, and anything else that we can put together a useful composite.
That`s not to say that that won`t change sometime in the future. But as of right now, we are unable to put anything together.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hear you, I hear you lieutenant. And by the way, I appreciate you coming on. There`s a lot of law enforcement that when these kinds ever things happen, they don`t go on camera. And I appreciate the fact you are willing to talk to us about it.
We are here with Thomas Bussell, who is the dead woman`s brother. Thomas, do you have anything to ask the police now that we are all here having a conversation about this case?
THOMAS BUSSELL, BROTHER OF PAULA SLADEWSKI: Well, I have -- I have been speaking indirectly, through e-mails and quite frequently with the lead detective. And although he can -- he has to be very vague to what he says to me because he`s a homicide detective; I believe that they are doing everything they can. I really do.
I believe that the North Miami police have donated a lot of time. I believe they want this killer off the streets just as much as we do. And it is their daughters and family members that are living down there, you know. So I believe -- I pray for them every day that they catch these scum bags.
I pray for you, lieutenant. I really do. I will keep praying. I will keep e-mailing. We are going to stay after these bums. We`re going to do everything we can to get them off the street.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is unclear whether Paula left the club alone or with someone, whether she was followed. Take a look at this clip from ISSUES nine days ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CUEVAS: The witnesses reported seeing her walking away with a man that was described only as a black male; not an African-American. Black male could be of any nationality and that`s the only description we have at this point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lt. Cuevas, are you close to finding this man, do you think? I mean, I always hate to use as a description just a person`s race because I think it makes -- it can hurt people in general that have nothing to do with it. And it is not really helpful.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: As recently as Friday, HLN affiliate WFOR reported the cops are working on a sketch. What happened between Friday and now that we -- we are going sort of backwards on this whole sketch issue?
CUEVAS: Again, they were correct. We were working -- trying to put together a sketch. Unfortunately, since we are relying on witnesses` memories, we were not able to accomplish that as of right now. That`s not to mean that it won`t change.
As far as the report of a black man walking away with Paula from the front of the club, that`s what we had reported to us. And that`s what we -- disseminated to the public.
We have -- we have competing interests here. First of all, we need to let the public know -- they have a right to know, when there is danger in the community. And that`s the report that we had and that`s what we issued.
Had he mentioned a blond, blue-eyed woman, we would have done it as well. So racism really doesn`t play into this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, we weren`t saying racism. We were saying it is - - better to have a description than -- that`s more than that simplistic, one word. That`s all I`m saying.
CUEVAS: We were hoping -- we were hoping it would jog someone`s memory they saw Paula with the person that was described to us as a black man. For no other reason but to maybe jog someone`s memory.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Paula`s boyfriend, Kevin, was kicked out of club space by bouncers after he and Paula got into an argument. Listen to what Paula`s sister says Kevin told her about that incident.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The way that Kevin told me is he grabbed her by the waist to try and say, "Come on, let`s go." And she said, "I don`t want to go." And boom, within seconds, the two bouncers were on him kicking him out.
There`s a reason they wanted to get rid of him. They wanted her in there alone. I don`t believe they ever went back in and asked Paula what, you know, when he pleaded that to get -- to get my girlfriend out of there. I don`t believe they ever went back in and said, "Paula, he wants you to come out." I don`t believe any of that.
I believe this was all, you know -- they had something do with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ISSUES left word at Club Space asking for a comment. We will have people on from that club at any time to give us their version of events.
Kyle Munzenrieder, you are the reporter for the "Miami New Times". What do we know about the boyfriend`s activity after he left the club?
KYLE MUNZENRIEDER, REPORTER, "MIAMI NEW TIMES": Supposedly he went back to the hotel room and went to sleep. As has been pointed out he didn`t have a car. And his attorney in front of investigators is saying that there`s no way he could possibly have transported the body. And so as far as what he did exactly after, you know, I guess it was just go back to the hotel room and sleep.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In ten seconds, Lt. Cuevas, is he still a person of interest?
CUEVAS: Yes, he is. He is still a person of interest. Although he is cooperating, he is no longer in Miami and a lot of the aspects of his story have checked out with the detectives.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. He has a good alibi. He went back to the hotel and you`ve confirmed that.
Fantastic panel, thank you so much.
Coming up, what caused Charlie Sheen`s wife to be rushed to the hospital? Could the TV star visit his wife without breaking the law?
Also, the paparazzi finally tracking down Tiger Woods; you be the judge. Is this Tiger Woods? We are taking your calls on this, 1-877-JVM- SAYS. What do you think? Is it Tiger? 1-877-586-7297, give me a holler.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Could it be? Tiger Woods spotted? Yes there are photos out there; the very first of Tiger Woods since the scandal. But is it really him? You decide in just a moment. We`re going to show them to you.
But first, "Top of the Block."
Brooke Mueller, the wife of actor Charlie Sheen is in an L.A. hospital today. She was admitted to Intensive Care Unit after getting a high fever following surgery for an impacted wisdom tooth. TMZ.com posted a picture of Sheen entering Mueller`s hospital despite that protective ordering against him due to allegations he threatened to attack his wife on Christmas day.
However, it seems Sheen has done nothing wrong because, according to that very order, the couple can be in the same room together as long as they don`t have any direct contact or communication. So what are they doing, just like staring at each other?
Mueller has been attempting to modify that order and the couple was due in court today to discuss the issue. That hearing of course has been rescheduled this time from Friday.
Brooke is expected leave the hospital later today. We do wish her well and hope for a speedy recovery. And we`ll see her in court.
That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block."
All right, here it is. The photo everybody has been waiting for. I wonder if Tiger Woods was watching ISSUES when I begged him to show his face because tonight "The National Enquirer" claims they have snapped the very first photo of the golf superstar. Drum roll, please. Here they are. "The Enquirer" says the photos were taken in Mississippi at Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services.
Tiger allegedly checked into the sex rehab program called "The Gentle Path". HLN has not been able to independently confirm this. But a freelance reporter for "The New York Times" magazine says he is a recovering sex addict and he spent time at this very clinic and he claims his sources confirm Tiger is there.
Listen to this from NBC`s "The Today Show".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENOIT DENIZET-LEWIS, AUTHOR, "AMERICA ANONYMOUS": My sources confirmed what other sources reported over the weekend, including the local NBC affiliate in Mississippi that Tiger Woods just checked himself into the Pine Grove Treatment Center in Mississippi. It`s very challenging to recover from sex addiction. It is, for many people, it`s a lifelong process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: HLN affiliate WJTV also reports that Tiger is there. Now, check out this brand-new video. Right now the rehab center is putting up fences and hanging up large tarps, black tarps, over those fences.
Tiger has managed to hide out since his Thanksgiving Day crash. It has been a few months now. Long enough for Tiger, if this is him, to grow a beard. There he is again. Look at that outfit. Quite an outfit there, it looks like he might be trying to cover his face. He`s got a cap and then he`s got -- like a hooded sweatshirt over it. But he doesn`t have it through his arms. So it`s kind of like using it to just to cover his face.
Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: were delighted to have Howard Samuels co-founder of the Wonderland Center here with us. And he is certainly one of the top addiction specialists in the U.S. And Judge Greg Mathis, host of "The Judge Mathis Show"; and we`re also thrilled to have Lisa Guerrero, "Inside Edition`s" special correspondent and former NFL sideline reporter.
I`ve got to ask all three of you to give me your guess. I know you`re not there, but you`ve seen the photo, you know all of the details. Do you think it`s him? Let`s start with Lisa.
LISA GUERRERO, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": Well, according to one of his mistresses, she says that he has very skinny calves. So I`m going to say yes because the man in the picture appears to have very skinny calves. So I`m going to say it`s Tiger.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Howard what do you think?
HOWARD SAMUEL, CO-FOUNDER WONDERLAND CENTER: Yes, no, without question, it`s him. I mean, you`re not going to have a "New York Times" reporter who has been there and obviously has inside sources to confirm that. No, he`s definitely there. And I congratulate him. I think it`s absolutely wonderful he`s gotten help.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I do, too. Judge Greg Mathis.
GREG MATHIS, HOST OF "THE JUDGE MATHIS SHOW: Yes, well, based on the body of evidence, which is I should go by I would say it`s him. It looks like him. You have the covering over the fence. That`s for a reason. And then you have a credible reporter saying he spoke with insiders.
But I want folks to know that it`s not an invasion of privacy, as I read on some blogs. Celebrities have no privacy. So it is not an invasion of his privacy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes there is a controversy about that. And by the way, I believe it`s also him. Simply because who would wear their hooded sweatshirt like that?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, you put your arms through it unless you are simply trying to hide your face. And I think that the physique, because we saw in the "Vanity Fair," and he`s buff, he`s got a great physique and I see that in that photo as well.
Let`s go to the phone lines. Terry in Ohio, your question or thought or if do you think it`s him? What do you want to say?
TERRY, OHIO: Yes Jane, you`ve just mentioned something about hiding his face. And there was a report from an NHL coach that Tiger had reportedly been seen in a Phoenix hospital by a surgeon who did plastic surgery on hockey people. And I just thought that was quite interesting because no one has seen his face ever since the accident.
And the night, you know, at the house. And all of a sudden now he`s got this hood over his face and all he`s doing is covering his face. And I`m just wondering could that be possible? And is there more credibility to this now that he`s been seen covering his face? And I just thought that would be...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I think Terry you are raising a very good point because we had all heard that report because we know that this was all sparked by that Thanksgiving fiasco where we -- we heard that the back of his vehicle was smashed by a golf club. And that there had been reports that maybe he was injured.
And what`s frustrating about this is that we don`t see a close-up shot. So here we are again speculating. And that`s why I have always said, Tiger just tell us that you are there. And it would be less news and less focus on you if you just confirmed it one way or another.
Now, a reporter who says he has confirmed that Tiger is in this Mississippi sex rehab clinic knows a lot about sex addiction from experience. Benoit Denizet-Lewis he writes for "The New York Times" magazine and he says he does not think this is a PR stunt as some have claimed just to rehab Tiger`s image.
Listen to him on NBC`s "The Today Show".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENIZET-LEWIS: It`s a really hard question. I can`t -- I can`t -- I`m not in his mind, you know, I`m not a psychic. What I can tell you is that most people who come into treatment for sex addiction are not coming because they expect to sort of have a holiday in treatment or they are looking for some excuse for their behavior.
They`re coming because their life has been profoundly impacted by this; their jobs, their marriages, their friendships. You know, this is a real addiction. But people have a hard time with this one. I mean people have a knee-jerk reaction. There`s a lot of misinformation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa Guerrero, you`ve been a sideline reporter. Is there a mixed signal sent to these athletes? Remember Wilt Chamberlain bragging that he slept with 10,000 women?
GUERRERO: Yes. And we`ve talked about this before, Jane. I absolutely think there is a mixed signal.
I have no problem with an athlete, professional athlete or Tiger Woods going out or having sex with cocktail waitresses or porn queens or whoever. My problem is the fact he got married so he`s dragging Elin, his wife and two innocent children into this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More after this. Hang in there.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TIGER WOODS, PRO GOLFER: Hey, it`s Tiger. I need you to do me a huge favor. Please, you have to do this for me. Can you take your name off your phone? My wife went through my phone and may be calling you. Take your name off your phone. You got to do this for me. Just have it as a number.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. That was a little levity, slow jam, remix on YouTube.
Now, let`s check out some TMZ video of Elin Woods, Mrs. Tiger Woods. "The National Enquirer" reports part of Tiger`s therapy will include sessions with Elin. Now HLN has not independently confirmed that.
But Howard Samuels, you run a rehab center. Is it common for a spouse to take part in recovery from sex addiction because what "The National Enquirer" claims -- and we have no independent confirmation -- is that there`s going to be something called Disclosure Day where Tiger will have to disclose and confess all his infidelities in front of his wife.
Is that -- does that kind of thing happen in sex rehab?
HOWARD SAMUELS, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Well, it does happen in sex rehab, because now that there`s no trust. I mean, if you take a look at what Tiger has gone through, there have already been reports of 14 different women. So obviously Tiger has a history of lying to his wife on and on and on.
So if we`re going to develop any kind of trust here, a disclosure of everything is going to be vital in order for the spouse to repair some kind of trust which is a cornerstone of any marriage.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Huh. Ok. Here`s my big issue tonight: shattered serenity. What about all the other patients at this clinic? I mean, take a look at this, we have fences going up, tarps being thrown over them.
We`re going to show you that in a second. There it is.
This is the clinic where "The National Enquirer" says Tiger`s getting sex rehab. I`m sure photographers are going to start swarming the place now. It`s got to be distracting for the other patients trying to get on with their recovery. Imagine you finally get the courage to go into rehab and then Tiger Woods is there.
However, there is a woman on the phone, Vivian from Florida, apparently thinks this is not Tiger. Hi, Vivian, what are your thoughts?
VIVIAN, FLORIDA (via telephone): I`m listening to you -- what was said before about people saying that it wasn`t him because his legs were so skinny, his calves, and I`ve been an athlete all my life. I was a dancer, ice skater, but every athlete builds up a certain muscle tone through their body. Whether it`s a swimmer, whether it`s a runner, whether it`s a golfer or body builder and I -- if they say these calves are too thin then I say it is not Tiger Woods.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, that`s an interesting one. It`s really hard to say. I mean, this has gotten to mythological proportions as this point.
But I have to ask Howard Samuels, what about having a big celeb in the midst of rehab? Does it ruin it for everybody else?
SAMUELS: Well, it definitely is a distraction. There`s no question about that, but the clients love it. I mean, the clients love having that kind of celebrity in treatment.
The problem, though, it takes them out of their treatment experience because of all the press, because of all the attention. So in a lot of ways it`s very disruptive for everybody.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And then, of course, the celebrity is supposed to learn humility and he`s like everybody else, and sometimes with all the tarps and all the other stuff, he doesn`t get that lesson.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, fabulous panel.
You`re watching ISSUES on HLN.