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Toddler Scalded at Day Care; Lindsay Lohan Sentenced to Rehab

Aired October 22, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, stunning new twists in a stomach-churning case of child abuse. A 2-year-old boy burned so badly his skin was peeling off. Cops say his baby-sitter didn`t call 911 for more than an hour. Why not? Tonight, you`ll hear the shocking tapes.

And Lindsay Lohan heads to court again. The troubled diva actress tested positive for cocaine, so will she be headed to the slammer or back to rehab? And will she ever learn her lesson?

Also, a devastated father makes a deal with the devil. His gifted young son gunned down walking home from the library, and the killers are still on the loose. Tonight, here on ISSUES, I`ll talk to this devastated father. You will not believe the astounding offer he`s making to get justice.

Plus, a stunning new inside look behind the scenes of the D.C. sniper. Tonight, the wife of this cold-blooded serial killer tells ISSUES this entire killing spree was aimed at her. Kidnappings, beatings, and death threats. How did she survive?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, stunning new developments in the horrifying scalding of a 2-year-old boy while he was at day care. We have now learned that this precious little child has second- and third-degree burns over his legs, groin, buttocks and back. And we warn you the photos of his burns will break your with heart and might be too graphic for some.

His caregiver, 37-year-old Irene Martin, has pleaded not guilty to three felony charges related to the boy`s injuries. She was sobbing all the way in and out of court. Does this woman deserve our sympathy or our scrutiny?

Here are the photos of little Corbin`s burns. At first, Irene Martin told police Corbin accidentally fell into hot water. Then cops say she changed it to lukewarm water. Then they say she changed her story and said she put the toddler in a sink in the garage, turned on the water and walked out. Did she know how hot the water was? And how long was the boy sitting there?

Here is the 911 call Martin made, allegedly one hour after little Corbin was burned.


IRENE MARTIN, CAREGIVER: He fell into hot water on his (EXPLETIVE DELETED), and his butt was -- started peeling when I pulled his pants off. And he has been with his legs closed, and he just opened his legs. He has blisters on his (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I didn`t think it was that bad, because it didn`t look that bad when I took off his pants. And I went and got him some ibuprofen.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That day care center is now shut down.

On top of that, the state of Indiana says it`s investigating whether Martin was running a legal or an illegal day care center based on the number of kids.

Was Irene Martin using this hot water treatment, perhaps, as punishment? Her lawyer says no one should rush to judgment, despite these horrifying pictures.

Straight out to the suspect, Irene Martin`s attorney, Annie Fierek.

Annie, thank you so much for joining us. How does your client explain these burns?

ANNIE FIEREK, IRENE MARTIN`S ATTORNEY: Jane, that`s something I cannot comment on today.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, look, I listened to the 911 call. She said the little boy fell into hot water, OK? Then she changed her story and admitted she carried the little boy to a sink and put him in water. So doesn`t the fact that she changed her story indicate consciousness that she did something wrong?

FIEREK: Jane, charges were just filed yesterday at 11:30, and I haven`t received a copy of any of those statements, and so discovery is still pending. So I can`t comment on that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is it that you would like to say here today?

FIEREK: Just that yesterday she went to court and that a trial court entered a "not guilty" plea for her and that she is presumed innocent on these charges. And we`d ask that no one pass judgment until the facts come out in the courtroom.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, people are very, very upset about it. And that`s why we`re here, so that you can advocate for her. So you`re saying you can`t tell me anything, that we shouldn`t pass judgment. We see the burns, but you won`t say a word that might explain her behavior? I`m giving you the opportunity to put -- put the audience in her shoes, and maybe there is some explanation.

FIEREK: Yes. I`m not permitted to discuss the case. I can only tell you that she is presumed innocent, and like I stated, this just happened on Friday, October 15. Charges were just filed yesterday, so it`s a brand-new case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The little boy also had some injuries to his face. Now, here`s what Irene Martin told the 911 operator.


MARTIN: When he was trying to get out he fell, too, and smacked his nose so...



VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. WISH-TV is reporting Martin`s 5-year-old daughter told investigators that the little boy wouldn`t go potty and that her mom carried him into the garage, because that`s where they go when they`re in trouble.

So I think people are concerned, because it`s not just the changing of the story, allegedly, but it`s also that there were bruises on this boy`s head, allegedly, eye, lip, that his mom says weren`t there when she left him there.

Now, let me ask you this because you`re not going to be able to answer that obviously. She`s crying.

FIEREK: That`s correct.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s crying going into court. She`s crying coming out of court. She`s crying on the 911 call. What is her emotional state right now?

FIEREK: She`s extremely upset.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, is she upset because she feels like she did something wrong?

FIEREK: She`s extremely about -- upset about the whole situation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So she pleaded not guilty. Is she maintaining that this was an accident? Or is she saying, "Hey, I did a dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb thing." Because on the 911 call she said she turned to the little boy on the phone and said, it was a dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, idea.

Do we know what this idea was? Did it have anything to do with the fact that he wasn`t being potty trained -- he wasn`t -- he wasn`t doing the potty training, and that then she put them in the sink. Some have speculated maybe that was her way of either punishing him or trying to train him. I don`t know.

FIEREK: Just a couple things, Jane. First of all, the trial court in Indiana is the -- they issued the "not guilty" plea on her behalf. And like I said, it`s a brand-new case. and I do not know enough facts to be able to comment on the statements that you`ve made.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ll advocate for her in one sense. She has never been in trouble before, according to what we`ve read. This is the first time that there has been any kind of incident like this.

And apparently, this child had been going to this day care in her home for a year and a half.

I want to thank you, Annie Fierek, to come back when you have some more information, because we do want to be fair and get both sides. But you have to tell us something for us to do that. So come back when you have more information.

FIEREK: Right. And like I say -- thank you. And since charges were just filed yesterday, it`s brand new. And when the case is resolved, I`d be more than happy to come back and talk to you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much.

The parents of other children in Martin`s care found out Monday that this daycare center was shut down. At least one father finds the whole thing hard to believe.


EDWARD CURTIS, PARENT OF CHILD UNDER MARTIN`S CARE: Because we feel like we know Irene so well, we were completely surprised that -- that people were with thinking that she would do something like this intentionally.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Murphy, I listen to the 911 call, she says he fell in hot water. And then she says at the end it was a dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb idea. So there has -- Then she admits that she placed the child in the sink, according to police. Your thoughts on this?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: It`s not that complicated. If it were really just an act of negligence or a dumb idea, there would have been no need for that first big, fat lie, now would there have been?

And look, I`m not sure which of the lies is the real lie, and which is the real truth, but when the first thing you do is come up with a story that makes no sense, you said it right, Jane, when you said consciousness of guilt, don`t you think?

I think the best person in this whole story so far is the baby- sitter`s own child, who ratted her out. I love it. And that what kids should do. You know, the fact that that child may end up being a witness against her parent? Too damn bad. And I think that -- you know, that child should not be shunned or blamed or, you know, what are you doing telling on your mom? That child should be seen as a hero for protecting other children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, here`s my big issue tonight. Training or torture? Martin`s 5-year-old, as you just heard, reportedly told cops her mom was mad at Corbin because he wouldn`t go potty.


MARTIN: It`s OK baby. It`s OK. I`m on the phone. She`s got help coming for this. She`s got help coming for this. You`re OK. You`re OK. I know honey, I know. It was -- I know. I know. It was a dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb idea.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Now, here`s another question. Steve Kardian, former police detective. Do you think cops are wondering why she waited an hour before calling 911?

STEVE KARDIAN, FORMER POLICE DETECTIVE: Of course they are, Jane. I mean, I don`t think there`s a parent out there, let alone a police officer out there that`s going to believe -- believe her story.

I mean, as a parent, the first thing you do, even when your baby is an infant, is you understand that heat factor. The mere fact that she left that child alone, even in just in that tub alone is reckless in and of itself. So this is very serious.

And that child`s bushes, you can see that the burns to her -- to his buttocks and lower region. That child was immersed and sitting in that water, and it looked like the water was running of off his back.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Remember, the photos you`re seeing are blurred, but they`re horrific. I saw them myself without the blurring, and I`ve got to tell you it was -- it was so disturbing. This isn`t the half of it, OK? He was burned on his front as well, his groin area. It`s very, very sad.

Everyone, stay right where you are. We`re going to continue on, and we`re going to get some analysis from a psychotherapist about this daycare center provider.

Also, Lindsay Lohan let off the hook again! Again! She`s not going to jail. We`ll tell you where she is going.

But first, more on this horrifying child abuse. Why did this baby- sitter wait so long to call 911?


MARTIN: It`s OK baby. It`s OK. I`m on the phone. She`s got help coming for this. She`s got help coming for this. You`re OK. You`re OK. I know honey, I know. It was -- I know. I know. It was a dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb idea.



CAPTAIN DAREL KRIEGER, PLAINFIELD INDIANA POLICE: When these burn injuries occur, it usually has something to do with potty training the child. The caretakers or parents get frustrated with that, and they want to teach them that it`s not right to do that, and then they put them in water, just to clean them off. But a lot of times that water is scalding hot.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A 2-year-old experiencing unbearable pain tonight after being scalded by hot water, burning hot water. This little boy, precious child, has burns to his legs, groin, buttocks, his back. And the person responsible, according to police, his daycare provider. She is a mother of three. She is running an unlicensed day care out of her home.

Dr. Jenn Berman, psychotherapist, we`ve been listening to this 911 call. What do you make of this babysitter?

DR. JENN BERMAN, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, Jane, as a therapist and a mother, I`m ready to rush to judgment. When -- look, any childcare provider who has any basic cursory knowledge of child development knows that a 2-year-old boy is not going to be fully potty trained, and he`s going to have accidents.

And when I heard the description of her own child, saying that she was carrying him in, holding him by his ankles and his wrists while screaming at him while he was crying, that`s what her own daughter reported, it just made me leap to judgment that this is a clear situation of child abuse, whether she meant to turn on the hot water to train him in some way, even just that she left him in a sink with water running, a 2-year-old child, that is negligent.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The 911 operator told Irene Martin to put Corbin, the little boy, in a sink of cold water until the ambulance got there. Now, we all know a toddler can drown in just a very small amount of water. So why was Irene Martin willing to leave Corbin alone to answer the door? Check this out.

BERMAN: I think because she...


MARTIN: I got to go open the door real quick so the ambulance can get you, real, real quick, OK, honey? OK, don`t. Please, Corbin, honey, you`re in the sink, so you got to stay there. Don`t try to get out. Corbin, honey. Corbin, honey, look at me, honey. Don`t try to get out. OK? I`ll be right back.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, Wendy Murphy, you can assume that maybe she had to open the door for the paramedics to get in, so that in that case it made sense, or that was something she as forced to do.

And I`ll also say one other thing. I was thinking about it myself. I have many times turned on my tub, thinking that it was a certain heat, and then found out, oh, the tub`s a lot -- a lot hotter than I thought it was. I can`t get into it, and I`ve got to put some more cold water in it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, of course, I don`t have a baby in that tub. That`s the big difference. But I have miscalculated that many, many, many times. Your thoughts, Wendy?

MURPHY: Well, a couple of things. No. 1, one of the reasons you should send your child to a licensed daycare center instead of an unlicensed one is before you get your license, the people from the state will come and make sure that you have these kind of gauges where you can`t put water in the tub that reaches scalding. I have it in my house, because it`s a code regulation in my town. You can`t put it up too high.

And by the way, you know, she would have had to have been qualified in some manner. And maybe they might have checked out whether she thinks it`s OK to leave a kid in the tub, hot or cold.

You know, she seems a little -- I don`t want to say mentally unbalanced, but she`s so matter of fact on the phone about announcing to the public, basically, on the 911 call that she`s leaving a kid in the tub, as if she`s unaware that that might be a bad thing. That bothers me, that she`s got all those kids in the house, and she doesn`t even understand basic safety. She would have had to pass all kinds of tests to be licensed, so you know, parents beware.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy, you bring me to my big issue and my big take tonight. It is time to apply technology to protect children who are too young to speak up for themselves. We know that, in a lot of high-end daycare centers, they have Internet cameras, in the ceiling, looking down so parents can go online from their work and observe their children.

This needs to be a law across the United States, that there are cameras in every daycare center, however small, because it would with solve two things. Parents can monitor their kids and also, when cameras are on, it discourages abuse.

And, as you mentioned, Wendy, parents also need to be vigilant and not go for something that`s affordable. Obviously, Jenn Berman, going to an unlicensed day care where it`s just a few kids, it`s cheaper.

BERMAN: Well, this serves as a cautionary tale, and a lot of the time parents try to save money by going to unlicensed day care. And there are some that are OK, but parents have to do their homework. You need to do background checks. You need to do Google searches. You need to talk to other parents. You need to stop by unannounced on a regular basis. If they don`t let you do that, that is a sign that something is wrong. And you have to trust your gut.

All too often in cases like this, in retrospect, parents look back and say, "Yes, you know what? I showed up at the door, and the door was locked. I noticed there weren`t a lot of toys out. Something felt wrong. I had a gut feeling something was wrong." But they didn`t listen to it, because parents were so desperate to make sure that our kids are well taken care of. We don`t want to anger people who are taking care of our kids. So parents are scared.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Last question. Steve Kardian, she`s got three kids. Do you think authorities are looking at whether they might be taken from her? Yes or no?

KARDIAN: Oh, absolutely. She needs to be evaluated thoroughly, because it doesn`t appear that she`s fit to take care of three kids, let alone eight.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there. Up next, Lindsay Lohan headed back to rehab? We`ll tell you.



LINDSAY LOHAN, ACTRESS: It`s just been (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I don`t want you to think that I don`t respect you and your terms, because I really did think that I was doing what I was supposed to do. And I mean that with all my heart.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A wailing Lindsay Lohan breaks down in court at her July probation violation hearing. She was socked with a 90-day sentence, served just two weeks behind bars, and got out.

Today more tears in court. Once again, LiLo apparently eludes justice. She tested positive for cocaine back in ,September and now it appears she`s getting away with it again.

This all dates back to LiLo`s two DUIs three years ago. One of them involved a terrifying high-speed chase. She was behind the wheel. She showed up late to a probation hearing on those cases. She failed to complete her alcohol ed classes in the manner required. She ran off to France and shot a movie and was going to parties and missed a crucial hearing.

Then she showed up in court with an obnoxious curse word that starts with "F" written on her fingernails. Then her SCRAM bracelet also went off. She said somebody spilled a drink on it. And then last month she tests positive for coke. I`m not talking beer here. Coke! And yet it`s back to rehab for this Teflon prima donna!

Kim Serafin, senior editor, "InTouch Weekly," how does she keep getting away with it when poor people are banished to prison for years for crack cocaine?

KIM SERAFIN, SENIOR EDITOR, "INTOUCH WEEKLY": Yes. Well, a good lawyer definitely helps. Now, it does seem like she`s really making the effort this time. Of course, we`ve heard that before. She`s really made the effort. And that`s what the assistant D.A. was saying today. We`ve seen this before. She goes into the program, and then she violates the probation. Then she goes into a program, and she violates it again. And there`s a problem again. It`s just a pattern that repeats over and over again.

But if you remember the initial sentence for Lindsay Lohan was that she was supposed to be in rehab for 90 days. The rehab center, the UCLA rehab center, let her out early, and this judge signed off on it. So potentially, she might not have tested positive for cocaine had she still been in the rehab center, the initial sentence that she was supposed to be abiding by.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, this woman is an actress and a good actress. Nobody is taking that away from her. And she does her best performances inside the courtroom.

Now, TMZ is reporting -- are you sitting down -- Lindsay Lohan had the gumption to tell her probation officer that inpatient rehab, what she just got sentenced to again, you know, getting off the hook so she doesn`t have to go to jail, it`s killing her acting career and her clothing line.

Hey, LiLo, it was rehab or jail. Now you`re complaining about rehab? I don`t understand it.

This is -- it`s beyond outrageous that she thumbs her nose like this at the court, and nobody seems to put their foot down!

SERAFIN: Yes. You know, obviously staying in rehab was the way she could avoid jail time, and it is interesting that this report is out that she was saying this is killing her career. But obviously, the better thing to do is to stay in rehab, finish this, don`t go back to jail.

Now the director of "Inferno," which is the movie that she has been planning on doing, she was supposed to start filming in November. Obviously, that`s not happening now. The director is saying he is going to wait for her. He`s hoping that they can actually start filming in January when she finishes rehab. He`s very hopeful this will happen. He says he`s in constant contact with her. And it just goes to show how good of an actress she is. I mean, what kind of actress or actor would get this many chances? Obviously, people think she`s a great actress.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to leave it right there. Up next -- thank you, Kim -- a father fighting for her murdered son. You won`t believe his dramatic offer.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A devastated father makes a deal with the devil. His gifted young son gunned down walking home from the library and the killers are still on the loose. Tonight -- here on ISSUES I`ll talk to this devastated father. You will not believe the astounding offer he`s making to get justice.

Plus -- a stunning new inside look behind the scenes of the D.C. sniper. Tonight, the wife of this cold-blooded serial killer tells ISSUES this entire killing spree was aimed at her. Kidnappings, beatings and death threats -- how did she survive?

Tonight -- a grieving father makes a shocking offer in his quest to find his son`s killer. Zack Marco was walking home from the Arizona State Library on Sunday night when he was viciously gunned down. Police say the suspect stole his laptop and cell phone -- all worth about $200.

How sick is that? You destroy a family. You kill a promising young man for 200 bucks, if that? Police say there were two men involved, a shooter and getaway driver. Zack`s father is a criminal defense attorney who wants to strike a deal with the getaway driver. He says, "I will get you a good lawyer in exchange for the identity of who gunned down my son."

Will that be enough incentive to get this thug to turn himself in and rat on his buddy?

I am honored to welcome Zack`s father Dan Marco and also Zack`s sister Katy. And first of all, I just want to say to both of you, we can`t imagine what you and your family are going through right now. Our condolences, our hearts go out to you. And we here on ISSUES want to help you get justice. Do you --

DAN MARCO, ZACK MARCO`S FATHER: Thank you very much.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: yes. Mr. Marco, do you think your offer is enough incentive? Why don`t you say it again? Tell us the offer. Maybe this creep is watching and this is your opportunity to talk to him.

D. MARCO: Ok. The offer initially -- I`m actually modifying it today. The offer initially was, if you turn yourself -- there are 12 detectives working on this case. I`m not at liberty to say where they are in the investigation. But I need to tell this guy that the noose is tightening around his neck and the police are getting close.

I want this to end, and I want it to end now. So my offer to him is, if you turn yourself in and you give us the identity of the guy who pulled the trigger -- because that`s the guy I`m interested in -- I will assist in putting a defense team together, provide you with a lawyer.

I can`t pay for it. But get you in contact with a lawyer. I will assist in the plea bargaining process, the victim in Arizona under the Arizona victim`s bill of rights has a lot of power in the plea bargaining negotiations in speaking at sentencings. And I will do my best to assure you that you will see the light of day.

Because he needs to understand right now that Arizona`s felony murder rule is as follows -- if you participate in a felony that results in the death of another, it doesn`t matter if it was planned, premeditated, it doesn`t matter if you`re a mile away, it doesn`t matter whether you were expecting a killing, if this was a big a surprise to you as it was to my son, you are guilty of murder. Right now this guy is looking at life in prison or potentially execution depending on the circumstances. I`m willing to assist him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I understand what you`re saying. Go ahead.

D. MARCO: I want to modify the order, add to it, because a reporter asked me a very good question yesterday. And it`s why should this guy believe you and trust you? And you know when you`re preparing a case you do look at the facts and circumstances from the point of view of your opponent or your enemy. And it dawned on me, maybe he wouldn`t.

So I want to modify to this extent. If you come in and turn yourself in and you have your own lawyer or public defender is appointed to represent you, I will waive my right under the Arizona constitution to not be interviewed. I will participate at the direction of your attorney in front or behind the scenes in seeking a negotiated plea that allows you to see the light of day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me translate because you`re an attorney, Mr. Marco, and for those of us -- those watching who are not attorneys, you`re basically saying you`ll help him get a plea deal if he right now turns himself in and says who was the shooter. I want to go --

D. MARCO: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- to your daughter Katy. And again, my condolences, Katy, on losing your very handsome and I understand very gifted brother. The photos we have of him he seems like such a wonderful, wonderful guy, smiling and handsome, just -- I seem to be able to tell that this is a very, very special young man.

Tell us about him. I understand he was very ambitious, a hard worker.

KATY MARCO: Yes. My brother, to say he was a hard worker, was an understatement. Like no matter what time of day I called him he was whispering on the phone because he was in the library or in class. And he was very driven to be the best in all his classes.

I remember the first time he ever got a B he was devastated and I took a picture to send everybody in my family. He just wanted -- he wanted to be like my dad, and he tried really hard because he wanted to be in -- a partner in my dad`s law firm when he graduated law school. He was very excited for that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was a family tradition. I understand Dan -- if I can call you Dan -- you worked in law with your dad and you wanted to hand down this great tradition to your son and now you`ve been deprived of that by murder.

D. MARCO: Yes. I worked with my father for 16 years. My older brother was in the firm, my younger brother was in the firm, my wife is a lawyer licensed in Ohio. We all worked together when my dad retired I moved up to New Mexico and then to Arizona. I`ve put together three firms, two in Arizona, one in Las Cruces, New Mexico, each of which with the absolute intention to hand the keys to Zachary when he graduated from law school.

Zachary was going to be the man that I could have and should have been. He was the best of all of us. He had more drive, ambition and focus and very few character flaws. This is a kid that worked 18 hours a day. He took eight classes this semester to try to simulate what law school would be like.

He tutored classes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with his main focus being on how to teach kids how to study because he said they came out of high school without knowing how to study. He would teach them how to study in addition to principles and theories of political science. This is a kid that was -- go ahead.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this because we want to help you get justice. What do we know about these killers? Is there a getaway car? Is there anything that police are going on? Do they have any leads?

D. MARCO: Yes. They do have leads. There are 12 detectives working on this. There was a lot to work on. So there`s a lot out there. They`ve been very --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did someone see them drive off?

D. MARCO: There was a witness. There was a kid on a bike, and he did -- the kid on the bike thought they were shooting at him, and he jumped off his bike and hid behind a pole. But he -- yes, there are descriptions.

There`s a lot actually available, which is why I`m trying to tell this punk, dude, no one`s ever going to make you an offer again. You may not trust me because nobody`s ever helped you before. And I`m not really wanting to help you. I want the guy that killed my son and I need you to come in.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Katy, what really, really drives me absolutely crazy and makes me sick about this case is a cell phone and a laptop? What a senseless death. Nobody can use his cell phone because that would obviously allow cops to track them to the killer. And an old laptop is not going to resell for anything. You might as well just walk up to somebody and shoot them for no reason. It`s completely senseless, Katy.

K. MARCO: Yes. It was heartbreaking. It`s been really hard on my family to know that he lost his life over something so not worth it -- for $200.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How`s your mom dealing with this?

K. MARCO: She`s trying really hard to keep her head up, but it`s really, really hard on her. She lost her only son and she`s devastated like the rest of us.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This family is completely destroyed. We have to do something about violence on the streets. There`s a false sense of security in college campus areas. There`s crime there. We`ve covered so much of it.

Dan and Katy, thank you so much. My thoughts are with you and your family. Good luck finding justice.

D. MARCO: Thank you.

K. MARCO: Thank you.


D. MARCO: Thank you so very much for having us.


Next, married to a monster; tonight I will talk one-on-one to the ex- wife of the D.C. sniper, and you will not believe this new twist on this case. He`s responsible, along with his sidekick, for killing at least ten people, possibly a lot more, but wait until you hear his ex-wife`s story. You will not believe it.


MILDRED MUHAMMAD, WAS MARRIED TO DC SNIPER: He said in the garage, that you will not raise my children on your own. You have become my enemy and as my enemy, I will kill you. I knew he was going to kill me and I knew it was going to be a head shot.




MUHAMMAD: He said in the garage that you will not raise my children on your own. You have become my enemy and as my enemy I will kill you. I knew he was going to kill me and I knew it was going to be a head shot.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: New and terrifying insight into the mind of the D.C. sniper. John Allen Muhammad`s brave ex-wife is my very special guest tonight. Of course, this guy brutally terrorized her and kidnapped their kids long before he terrorized an entire city.

You remember it was the fall of 2002. Muhammad and his young sidekick Lee Boyd Malvo went on a murderous rampage in the Washington, D.C., area.

They randomly picked off strangers, just picked them off, shooting them from afar with high-powered rifles. Innocent people, just going about their day, just plucked off; gunned down by a single bullet from a high- powered assault rifle.

Muhammad and Malvo were captured three weeks into their really horrific killing spree that left at least ten people dead. Malvo, the young one, got life in prison. Muhammad got the death penalty and was executed.


LARRY TRAYLOR, VA DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS: The execution of John Allen Muhammad has been carried out under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mildred Muhammad reveals she, she -- this is a shocker -- she was the ultimate target of her ex-husband`s twisted killing spree. So how close did she come to being the 11th sniper victim?

I am honored to welcome Mildred Muhammad. And she is not only a domestic abuse survivor; she is the author of "Scared Silent." And she worked so much to try to get the truth about domestic violence out there.

Take us back, Mildred, to the moment when you found out that your ex- husband who you had three children with was arrested as the D.C. sniper, a serial killer.

MUHAMMAD: Well, ATF knocked on my door on the 23rd of October, took me down to the police station and began asking me questions of when was the last time I had seen John. I told them that it was at an emergency custody hearing which was September 5th, 2001.

Well, it was at that time when they told me, well, Ms. Muhammad, we`re just going to have to tell you we`re going to name your ex-husband as the sniper. And I said what? They said, yes, we`re going to name your -- your ex-husband as the sniper. Did you think he would do anything like this? I said, well, I don`t -- yes. And they said, well, why would you think that?

I said, because he said while we were watching a movie, I don`t remember the name of it, he said, I could take a small city, terrorize it, they would think it would be a group of people, and it would only be me. I said, well, why would you do something like that?

He changed the subject and it was at that point that the police asked me, didn`t I know that I was the target. And I said, well, how would I know that if I don`t know my way around? So they informed me that I was the target of the shootings.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So the idea was that he would kill all these people and then you would be the penultimate victim.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then you would die and he would rush in there as the grieving ex-husband and get the kids, your three kids. Was that all part of his plan, to get these kids back that you had gotten custody of?

MUHAMMAD: Yes, ma`am. That was the ultimate purpose for what he had done.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable.

Ok. So your ex-husband -- ok, let`s -- let`s do a little back story on him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: He got an expert rifleman`s badge during his years in the Army. That`s where he learned to shoot.

MUHAMMAD: Yes, ma`am.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Obviously that`s his skill that played a role in his killing spree years later. He was a sergeant in the first Gulf war. You have said that when he returned from the war he was a totally different man; that he suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Was he abusive to you before going off to war and it just got worse after the war? Or was he basically a nice guy before he went off to the war and then came back completely changed and -- and abusive, violent?

MUHAMMAD: Well, basically he was a good guy before he left. He was the life of the party. Everybody wanted to be around him. However, when he returned from the Gulf war, he was a different person, as many soldiers that come from a war zone are different people. He was diagnosed with PTSD. However, he was not debriefed nor was he counseled for this diagnosis.

We have to also pay attention to the soldiers that are coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq and the spouses because there`s a lot of domestic violence in the military community that needs to be addressed as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, here is what I want to ask you. Apparently the abuse began. So first of all, tell me some of the things that he did before he became the serial killer to abuse you after he got back from the war.

MUHAMMAD: Well, John`s abuse was mostly verbal and it wasn`t that he was yelling. He just made me feel that I wasn`t a good mother, I wasn`t a good cook. Things that I enjoyed he belittled. I had my favorite clothing and he would throw them away. Certain things that I made a big deal about, he minimized them to make it appear that they wasn`t really anything at all.

We have to understand that 80 percent of domestic violence, the victims and survivors do not have physical scars, so there`s 80 percent of people walking around emotionally damaged. And although statistics state that every 9 to 15 seconds a woman is abused, I`m trying to shift the thinking of society to go back to the number one, because the number one starts with a verbal assault. After the verbal assault, then it escalates into a physical assault which leads to mutilation and then death.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, let me --

MUHAMMAD: So you have to learn how to talk to each other.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this. I understand at one point, he kidnapped your children when you were trying to get away from him. He kidnapped the children you both had. Why wasn`t he prosecuted for kidnapping? Because if he was prosecuted, he would be in jail and he wouldn`t be the sniper?

MUHAMMAD: Well, number one, it was considered custodial interference. We did not have a parenting plan. He took the children in that window of opportunity that we call it. And so he was not charged with kidnapping. They said he had as much a right to the children as I did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Mildred, we have to leave it right there. I hope you`ll come back and be a part of our regular panel as we stay on top of this issue of domestic violence against women. You are a hero.

UF1: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Up next, we`re going to go to NBA legend John Salley who loves animals and we`re going to walk together on Sunday.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s what NBA star and my good buddy John Salley and I are doing this weekend on Sunday. We`re hanging out in New York City, and we`re walking for farm animals. It`s the Farm Sanctuary walk for farm animals all over the country in 75 cities. Thousands of people are walking this weekend to say, no to factory farming and yes to compassion for animals and healthy eating.

Listen to what this basketball great said in this clip from YouTube.


JOHN SALLEY, ANIMAL ACTIVIST: Believe it or not, most supermarket food does not grow on those pretty little farms you see on the packet. Most of the meat people eat actually comes from those massive industrial farms. They pollute our air, water, and soil.


VELEZ-MITCHELL; Factory farm critics say these poor food animals, 10 billion of them every year, killed, are subjected to horrific conditions. Pumped full of antibiotics, stuffed into tiny cages so confining they can`t turn around or lie down.

Straight out to my dear friend John Salley, NBA champion and wellness guru. John I`m going to be walking right behind you this Sunday in Central Park.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead, John.

SALLEY: There`s going to be a lot of shade behind me. Is that why you`re walking behind me?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why are you doing this? Why is this so important to you?

SALLEY: I became the grand marshal of this walk, and I believe in it. Two years ago, when I was doing PSAs as a vegetarian, became a vegan, and I started paying more attention to the food and the food that we were supposed to be eating -- how the animals are being treated.

I mean I just read in the "New York Times" today that they`re going to now start putting carbon dioxide by literally gassing them before they kill them because that`s supposed to be more humane. And I kept thinking how could that benefit my body? How could that benefit my kids, and how could that benefit the world?

Talk about -- the bible says thou shall not kill, but then everybody can`t wait to get to a steak dinner. I just think every creature deserves to live. So I --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So I`m right there with you. I read that same article in the "New York Times". Only some companies are doing it. The vast majority of chickens are still being killed in a very cruel way.

Beyond exposing and stopping cruelty on factory farms. What this organization that I love Farm Sanctuary does, they find animals on dead piles clinging to life and they rescue them. And this wonderful organization then lets the farm animals live out their lives as nature intended.

John, Americans are decent people. Most of them have no idea how horrific the conditions are for these animals on these factory farms, right?

SALLEY: And they have no idea, and just let them know, you can go to Farm and you can check it out. Or because you have to register to walk with us -- so you`ll know, if you`re in New York City and you want to hang out with Jane and I, make sure you go to

And my mentality is if you would see it, and I say this to my daughter, and my daughter is -- she`s 6, she`s 7 now. Someone says you don`t eat chicken. She says it`s a bird. And she goes, no it`s chicken. She said do you eat pigeon? She goes, no I don`t eat pigeon. She goes why it`s a bird?

And she kept saying why would I want to eat a bird? And I just look at the 7-year-old and was like, wow, you`re smarter than most folks. And she understood that.

And then when you watch and you hear about these different ways that their killing them. When you have a guy named Gene who is in charge of this, I`m going to dinner with him at (INAUDIBLE) he literally go into dead piles and take these the animals. And some of the animals that you see on these advertisements were off in dead pile.

They weren`t even dead and he healed -- they take the cruelty that`s done inside these farm places, if people paid attention to the food they were eating and how it was treated they wouldn`t --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: John, I love you. Once again, join us this weekend. Walk for the animals. -- check it out.