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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Trail of Murder and Kidnapping?; Judge Trades Convictions for Cash

Aired February 21, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a desperate manhunt. A mother cries out in anguish against her boyfriend. Crops say he brutally stabbed her daughter, leaving her half-naked under a wood pile. Now that boyfriend is also suspected of kidnapping an elderly couple who once owned the house they lived in. Why would he kidnap them? And why is the FBI combing an Ohio landfill?

SANDY FONZO, MOTHER: My kid`s not here. He`s dead because of him! He ruined my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) life!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And a mother rages against a twisted greedy judge convicted of sticking kids in jail in exchange for cash. This mom`s son killed himself after being released from a stint behind bars. Prosecutors say this judge used children as pawns to enrich himself. Will this Mr. Zero Tolerance former judge finally pay for his crimes? We`ll hear from this devastated mother.

Also, a grieving mob turns violent against two journalists at the scene of a crime. No, this isn`t a foreign entanglement. It`s happening here in the U.S. of A. What drove this crowd to attack? I`ll have the shocking video.

Plus, royal wedding shockers. Before the "I dos," the invitations arrive. Who made the cut for William and Kate`s royal wedding? You will not believe who`s on and off the list.

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARTHUR COSTIN, RUSSELLS` DOCTOR: My concern is for their life. I like the Russells very much. We`ve been friends for years and years. I`m very worried about them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, breaking news in a bizarre murder mystery. As we speak right now, cops are on a frantic hunt for a suspected killer on the run.

Now, cops believe 37-year-old Sam Littleton -- that guy, with the mustache, and the beard, right there -- murdered the daughter, the adult daughter of his live-in girlfriend. But it didn`t stop there. Now an elderly couple from the very same town is missing. Their car missing. Were they his ticket out of town? Are they his hostages right now?

Just last Thursday, cops found the body of 26-year-old mother of two Tiffany Brown. There she is. She was found partially clothed, OK, viciously stabbed to death, and shoved under a wood pile in the basement of her own mother`s house.

Now, at the time of Tiffany`s murder, her mother`s boyfriend, this guy, this creep, Sam Littleton, was living in the basement of that very house. Cops say they also found bloody clothing at the house. But before cops could do anything, before they could even talk to Sam Littleton, he vanished. And now Tiffany Brown`s friends are begging for him, please, come forward.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You need to come and just tell them what you know, Sam. There`s a lot of stuff that`s unknown at this point. And we need you here to put it all together. Please just come forward and let us know whether you did have part or you didn`t. We still need to know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So what is the connection to this elderly missing couple, Gladis and Richard Russell, to this guy? Well, they apparently sold Sam Littleton the house where he was living, where Tiffany`s body was found. And cops found his phone number on the Russells` kitchen table.

The Russells, by the way, are in their mid-80s. They need medication desperately tonight. Richard Russell also needs his wheelchair. But it was left at the house.

And now Sam Littleton`s ex-wife has come forward with a chilling warning. This guy is dangerous. She says he`s obsessed with knives and repeatedly tried to stab her.

So where on earth is this man tonight? And can police find the elderly Russells alive? WE certainly hope so.

Straight out to Bill Rinehart, reporter with WLW radio in Cincinnati.

Bill, you`re all over this story. What is the very latest?

BILL RINEHART, REPORTER, WLW: Well, the latest is they combed a landfill just north of Cincinnati for much of the day, and what exactly they`re looking for they may not know themselves.

Going back a little bit, last Wednesday, the Russells` car was found at a rest area in Butler County just north of Cincinnati. An Ohio state trooper noticed it backed up to a Dumpster. He ran a plate check on it. Nothing came back. It wasn`t reported stolen. It wasn`t reported missing. The Russells, as far as anyone knew, were safe and sound.

Now, Thursday, the Russells` neighbor in Bellefontaine noticed that the car was gone. Those -- they were gone; hadn`t seen them in a while. Got worried, called the police. The police went in, as you mentioned, found Sam Littleton`s phone number on a piece of paper in the house.

So police started a search for the Russells. Once they realized the Ohio state patrol had seen that car Thursday, they contacted the company that picks up the trash from that rest area, found out the trash had been dumped on Friday at the landfill. So they started making arrangements with Rumke (ph), the operators of the landfill, to search it. Now, that landfill is the largest in the state of Ohio. It`s the sixth largest in the entire nation.

But there is a bit of luck on investigators` side. The driver who picked up the load from the rest area knew approximately where he put that load. So that narrowed the search down to about a one-acre area.

On the other hand, the trash there is 15 feet deep. Searchers went into the landfill today. They got into it. It was raining a lot. And they didn`t find anything. They had to cancel the search about 3 p.m. because it looked like more heavy weather was coming in.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s just hope and pray that they don`t find anything that is -- well, tragic. Let`s put it that way.

Tonight, the FBI has joined the desperate search for Gladis and Richard Russell, both in their mid-80s, feared kidnapped and in harm`s way. Now, again, as you just heard from the reporter, this is all happening about 100 miles outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, in the small town of Bellefontaine, Ohio.

Before the Russells were reported missing, a trooper happened to spot their car, just coincidence, at a rest stop on I-75, which is about 30 miles, at least, from their home. By coincidence, again, he runs a check. Nothing turns up. Well, they hadn`t even been reported missing yet. Today, crews searched the landfall landfill, as you just heard. And at this point, they can`t find anything when it comes to this couple.

Now, let`s take a look at their car. It`s a green 2004 Grand Marquis with Ohio plates, PDG-13E. That is the car that we`re looking for. Who is in it? Is it Sam Littleton with the two elderly people? Let`s hope that somebody spots them.

Joining me now, Mike and Susan Coder. Susan is the Russells` niece.

First of all, thank you for joining us. I know this has got to be so hard on your family. What is going through your mind and your heart right now as you watch this horror unfold, Susan?

SUSAN CODER, NIECE OF THE RUSSELLS: Well, Uncle Dick and Aunt Gladis are very much a part of our family. I mean, when we have get-togethers, they`re there, and it`s just they`re not now, and it`s very difficult. I mean, we just want them back. We -- you know, that`s all that matters to us. You know, we need them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I can`t even imagine what these two people in their mid-80s might be going through. They need their medication. Do they not, Susan?

S. CODER: Yes, they do, very, very much.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What would you say to Sam Littleton if he happens to be watching somewhere on the lam right now, holding these people you love so much as hostages, if that`s the case? What would you say to him?

S. CODER: Just that we want them back. We -- they`re part of our family. We need them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why on earth would he take them? I mean, what is -- what do they have to do with him, except that they sold him the house he was in?

S. CODER: That`s a very good question. We haven`t been able to figure that out. You know, there`s -- I suppose money, car, whatever, but we don`t really know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you had one thing to say, if your grandparents -- I`m sorry, if your uncle and aunt were watching right now, what would you say to them to keep them strong?

S. CODER: Just, we want you back. We miss you. We need you. You know, hang in there. I don`t know. Just we want them back.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Neighbors were the first to alert police that something was very terribly wrong at the Russells` house. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am worried about my neighbors. They`re an elderly couple. I walked around the house. A back door was open.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hank Kies, you are a friend of the missing elderly couple. You spoke to them the morning they went missing. What did they say? Did they indicate that there was anything amiss?

HANK KIES, FRIEND OF THE RUSSELLS (via phone): Nothing was amiss when I talked to them. I called to ask if Dick would like to ride along to the Lions district cabinet meeting.

And she said his blood sugar was around 4 -- a little over 400 which is dangerous. And -- but she said, "You want to talk to him?" So I did. And we talked, and I asked him how`s come he was gimping around.

And he said, "Well, I had to go out and feed the cats." And he fell on the ice and injured his ankle, break still severe.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my God. So this guy was injured even before.

KIES: And I`ve known them approximately 50 years, so...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my God.

Here`s my big issue tonight. Now, was somebody sleeping with the enemy here? Tiffany Brown`s mother, the dead woman`s mother, was actually living with this guy, the suspect, Sam Littleton, even after Tiffany was found dead. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEBORAH NEELEY, TIFFANY BROWN`S MOTHER: Laid down beside me for five nights and knew it. God help him. God help him. They better catch him before we do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist, imagine her horror to find out that she was sleeping with the person suspected of murdering, viciously stabbing her own adult daughter.

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: I mean, again, this is so scary that you sometimes don`t really know who you`re with until it`s too late. And we don`t know enough about this woman`s history to know whether there were signs that somehow could have alerted her to this fate. But nobody thinks that their boyfriend would ultimately...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes there was. Now the ex-wife of this suspect is coming out and saying that he has a history of violence, that he`s obsessed with knives, that he got drunk and tried to stab her once: "He grabbed me and threw me down in the basement and locked me there for two hours." But the ex-wife never filed charges. So there`s another lesson there, Robi Ludwig.

LUDWIG: Well, the best way to predict whether you`re with somebody who`s violent is to find out about their past relationships. If they start giving an indication that they hate women, or they were violent towards women at any point in their history, than that`s a -- that`s a dangerous sign you need to take very, very seriously.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Again, the hunt is on. Thank you, fantastic panel. We hope they find this elderly couple OK.

Coming up later, shocking video, and I mean shocking. A mob attacks a TV crew. And we`re going to talk to the reporter who was attacked live. But first, a corrupt judge convicted of sending kids to jail in exchange for cash.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FONZO: My kid`s not here! He`s dead because of him! He ruined my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) life! I`d like him to go to hell and rot there forever!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prescription drugs are making us high. Fast food is making us fat. TV seduces us with glamorized violence. "Addict Nation" is a blueprint for change.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is an intervention. My new book, "Addict Nation," available online now, Amazon.com. I talk about our culture`s addiction to violence and crime and what we can do about it. Check out "Addict Nation" at AddictNation.org or Amazon.com. Read it and find out how together we can all counteract our nation`s addiction to crime.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FONZO: No, you know what you told everybody in court, they need to be held accountable for their actions. You need to be. You remember me? You remember me? You remember my son, an all-star wrestler? He`s gone. He shot himself in the heart. You scumbag!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rage and anguish boil over as a mother confronts the corrupt judge who put her son away. Sandy Fonzo`s son committed suicide after serving a way-too-harsh sentence for a very minor drug-related offense. It was all part of Judge Mark Ciavarella`s sick scheme to get rich from the bench. Now that mom is so mad. That guy, this greedy judge, now former judge, convicted Friday on 12 charges, including racketeering and money laundering.

Now, here`s how his scheme worked. He sent kids to juvenile detention centers in exchange for cold, hard cash, moulah, from friends who owned those facilities. As the cash rolled in, Judge Ciavarella incarcerated juveniles at break-neck speed. We`re not talking about locking up dangerous violent criminals here. We`re not talking about rapists and murderers. In most cases, these were minor crimes by young first-time offenders.

Listen to one young man who was blindsided by this judge`s twisted court of corruption.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVIN WILLIAMSON, SENTENCED BY JUDGE CIAVARELLA: I was honestly expecting, like, some form of, like, simple probation or some type of fine or something like that. The last thing I expected was to get sent away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, tonight, the tables have finally turned as this judge awaits his sentence. What do you think he deserves? I say put him away for good.

Straight out to Andy Mehalshick, reporter for WBRE.

Andy, you have been tracking this case from the very start. What is the very latest?

ANDY MEHALSHICK, REPORTER, WBRE: Well, in fact, I can tell you, Jane -- first of all, thanks for having me on here tonight. This case broke late in 2007, early 2008, with rumors that there was something going on at the private detention facility involving the judges. Whereas you know the FBI, very quiet with their investigation.

As it broke in January 2009, the mother`s anger you saw there tonight, really, many would agree epitomizes and is an example of how many people are frustrated, angry, hundreds of families who say their kids were sent away for very minor crimes, creating Web sites making fun of teachers. One son was sent away for breaking the hood ornament off her mother`s car. The mother wanted to be tough love, sent the kid before Ciavarella, and he went away for about 15 months.

So what you`re seeing there is cost of the anger that many parents feel pent up.

Jane, I can also tell you this much for sure. Many people even more angry after the guilty verdict, because they say former Judge Mark Ciavarella, moments after he was found guilty of extortion, denied and still denies any Kids for Cash scheme. Basically, he says it was a finder`s fee from the builder...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s minimizing the whole thing. But he can`t minimize away what I hope is going to be a very long sentence.

Now, this mom, Sandy Fonzo`s son, Edward, he was just 17 when he was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia. It was his first brush with the law. Judge Ciavarella sentenced him to 30 days in juvie, followed by four months of boot camp. Sandy says it sent her son on a downward spiral. He did not get an athletic scholarship he was hoping to get. He developed anger issues. Last June, he shot himself.

CNN`s Don Lemon asked Sandy if she could ever forgive this former judge. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FONZO: There is no justice. He`ll never receive my sentence, what I have to live with, every day of my life without my son. He left on that beautiful day yesterday to go back with his family. I have nothing anymore. And he still has no -- nothing -- it was all for nothing. It was all for greed and for more and more. He never had enough. And he took everything from me. And I`ll never, never forgive him, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Drew Pinsky, who is joining us this spring with his own show here on HLN. This case is a reminder of the impact being locked up has on a young person. It often taints them forever, like a scarlet letter, in fact.

DREW PINSKY, NIGHTLY SHOW DEBUTS THIS SPRING ON HLN: Well, that`s exactly right. And the fact is, it`s a cautionary tale about being too harsh with punitive measures for people with substance problems particularly. And the state of our treatment of particularly young people under the age of 18. You see these outcomes are not very good.

Also, a cautionary tale for any professional of any stripe taking kickbacks. Because, you know, perhaps he does have a clear conscience, and he was just being very tough with the law. Well, he was tough with the law and taking kickbacks. It doesn`t look very good.

And he was applying the -- sort of a vigorous application of punishment where it wasn`t clearly indicated and where, clearly, as you hear from these story, the outcomes are not good.

God willing, some day these guys...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This guy was getting money, Dr. Drew, almost $1 million.

PINSKY: Wow, that`s unbelievable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that`s what`s so horrifying, is that, you know...

PINSKY: It`s unbelievable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... our justice system is screwed up. May I say that?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FONZO: My kid`s not here! He`s dead because of him! He ruined my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) life! I`d like him to go to hell and rot there forever!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A mother in a rage because her son committed suicide after being sentenced by a corrupt judge.

Here`s my big issue. Zero tolerance. Judge Ciavarella was known as Mr. Zero Tolerance when he was on the bench. Now his judge should show him zero tolerance. Give him the max: 157 years in prison.

He seemed defiant and arrogant even after his guilty verdict. Listen to his lawyer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL FLORA JR., ATTORNEY FOR JUDGE MARK CIAVARELLA: This is not a cash- for-kids case, and we hope somebody starts getting the message!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, let me tell you something, nearly 30 officials are allegedly involved in this corruption scheme. I want to go to Lourdes Risoto of the Juvenile Law Center.

I understand you and your organization helped bring this scandal to light. How did you bust it wide open? How did you figure out this horrific corruption was taking place, Lourdes?

LOURDES RISOTO, JUVENILE LAW CENTER: Well, we found out that kids were being adjudicated delinquent by Ciavarella and sent away, and they weren`t being represented by counsel. No attorneys were talking on behalf of the children.

We got contacted by an alarmed mother in 2007, saying her daughter had been sent away for a third-degree misdemeanor, a harassment charge. A child who had never been in trouble with the law before. She had no lawyer.

We started investigating and found other cases of children, same situation, no lawyer, had been sent -- being sent away for minor crimes.

And then we looked at the state statistics, and it showed that, where the state average was 5 percent for kids appearing without lawyers in delinquency proceedings, 50 percent of the kids appearing before Ciavarella were going to trial and being adjudicated delinquent without lawyers.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the whole point was that he was getting rewarded for sending these kids, because it was in the best interest of these people who were creating these incarceration systems and facilities for these kids, right?

RISOTO: He was convicted. That`s right. He was convicted of racketeering and accepting money from the developer of these for-profit detention facilities.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: For-profit detention facilities. That`s what I want to stress. OK. Why are we putting our criminal justice system in the hands of people whose business it is to make money?

You know how you grow your business? You grow your business by creating more criminals. That`s how you grow your business. This shouldn`t be something that is involved with the private sector. And yet one of the biggest corrections systems that we have in the United States is a for-profit corporation that`s traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Has nothing to do with this particular scandal at all, but the whole point of prison privatization is frightening and terrifying to me.

Dr. Drew, what if we took all the money we spent locking everybody up and put it into treating their disease?

PINSKY: Wouldn`t that be something, Jane? Yes, that`s exactly what I was going to say. We hope some day people look to this and are enlightened about this. The fact is sending people and criminalizing them and institutionalizing them, turning them into almost professionally institutionalized individuals or patients. We could turn them into flourishing, antonymous, independent adults if we treated the underlying condition that had them running in with the crime.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But yet we are addicted to incarceration in this country. We lock up more than 2 million people every year in the United States, more than any other country, in fact, equivalent to the size of Macedonia, when we could be spending those billions on preventing crime. Think about it. Thank you, fabulous panel.

Up next, a TV crew goes out to the scene and is attacked by grieving relatives.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A grieving mob turns violent against two journalists at the scene of a crime. No, this isn`t a foreign entanglement, it`s happening here in the U.S. of A. What drove this crowd to attack? I`ll have the shocking video.

Plus, royal wedding shockers: before the "I do`s", the invitations arrive. Who made the cut for William and Kate`s royal wedding? You will not believe who`s on and off the list.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t have to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) -- this is public -- I`m here and I`m talking (EXPLETIVE DELETED). It`s public.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, let`s go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You aren`t him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, anarchy and I mean anarchy erupts at an emotional memorial service. Grief-stricken family members launch a vicious physical attack on two local news reporters. News flash -- this didn`t happen in a foreign conflict zone. It happened right here in the good old U.S. of A.

Emotions ran very high as family and friends gathered in a Sacramento IHOP parking lot to remember 27-year-old Chester Jackson who was shot and killed in the very spot the night before. Now, a local reporter and his camera woman approached and tried to get a brief interview and all hell breaks loose. They`re literally mobbed and beaten to the ground. Take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(TV CREW BEING ATTACKED BY MOB)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Straight out to KTXL reporter John Lobertini. John, you look like you`re ok. You don`t look like you have any scratches or bruises or bumps so I`m happy about that. But you were the reporter attacked at this memorial service.

JOHN LOBERTINI, KTXL REPORTER: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Paint a picture. We`re going to show some video. Tell us exactly how it all happened.

LOBERTINI: Well, we were led to believe that these people wanted to talk to us. And, you know, they would give us a picture and this is how we do news stories. When we approached the scene and we did so very gingerly, they were very upset that the camera was there. I tried to explain to them this was a public place and that really incensed them.

There were three or four women there that were hugging. They started screaming and yelling. And as they became more frantic, a crowd that was gathered about 40 yards away or so started to come towards us. And it became apparent they wanted a piece of somebody.

And one guy stepped through the crowd and went for my photographer. Well, as you know, you don`t touch the camera. That`s when I intervene between this guy and Rebecca Little, my photographer. But while I`m doing this, some of those women are circling back around and dragged her to the ground.

At that point, I`m fighting off a crowd. I`m try to get people -- keep them back so that Rebecca can get up off the ground because I know this crowd is going to start kicking and stomping. I`ve been that person on the ground before.

And fortunately, whatever -- whatever stunned her and left her on the ground there for a few minutes, she overcame that and popped up and fortunately this ended a little better than it certainly could have.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s my take. These individuals, however put upon they felt, had absolutely no right to physically assault you and your camera woman. These attackers in my opinion -- I don`t know who -- there`s a lot of people there, some of them are just talking, but whoever actually attacked you and they can prove it on tape must be prosecuted or it will send a terrible message that it`s open season on journalists.

I`ve been a reporter. I spent decades showing up where I was not welcome: courthouses trying to interview people facing criminal charges or civil lawsuits; crime scenes trying to talk to witnesses; public hearings on a controversial subject. Often, in fact, most usually, usually, I was met with resistant or outright hostility. It comes with the territory as you say.

But for us to have a free and open society, media has to be able to dig up information without fear of retribution. We must protect the rights of journalists to do their job without fear of physical attack, period.

All right. So a question, John. Was anybody arrested? And are you going to press charges?

LOBERTINI: Well, no one was arrested. And I haven`t decided yet if I`m going to press charges. The police department told me that the video evidence -- and remember, there`s our videotape and then the videotape from two competing television stations. They tell me that there could be sufficient visual evidence for the district attorney to move forward and arrest and prosecute these people.

I`ve got to tell you that the response from the public has really taken me aback. You know, we have people try and stop us from doing our jobs every day. But I mean an overwhelming majority -- I`m talking more than 90 percent -- really seem supportive of our right to go out and ask questions and inform the public.

Because let`s face it, if something big goes down and the news media doesn`t cover it, the first thing the public is going to ask is why didn`t somebody tell me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: David Schwartz, attorney, first of all, how are we going to make sure that only the people who actually assaulted him are charged? There`s a lot of people there. Maybe some of them were upset but didn`t assault. So what are they going to be charged with?

DAVID SCHWARTZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, you need a police investigation obviously to see who the perpetrators of this crime. It`s a crime. It`s a gang assault and they should be prosecuted.

Certainly you have the videotape as the most important piece of evidence. But then you`ll have the testimony from the witnesses, including Mr. Lobertini who was very brave there actually. If you notice on the video, he lured the crowd away from his colleague in order for his colleague to run away. That was a really brave thing that he did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue tonight: violence as a solution. This crime, a 27-year-old man being shot to death after a fight breaks out at IHOP, the International House of Pancakes happened because violence was used as a solution to that argument.

Then you have the memorial service. Mourners getting upset and they also decide to use violence as a solution. Now, this is a vicious cycle. They shouldn`t blame the messenger who`s there trying to report on the story. They should be upset with the gunman who murdered their friend.

Unfortunately, Dr. Drew Pinsky, whose new show premieres nightly this spring on HLN, I can`t wait, personally. We seem to be using violence more and more as a solution in this country. It`s like nobody`s learning non- violent conflict resolution. And everybody`s seeing violence being used as a solution on TV, in the movies, in video games. It`s conditioning them to become violent.

DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST: No, Jane, you`re absolutely right. In fact, I`ve seen parents openly condition kids to do this and suggest to them that that`s the means whereby they should have conflict resolution.

In fact, I saw some of the raw footage of this assault. And later on a group -- sort of approached the cameraman and started begging her appealing to her for privacy, which is of course the appropriate thing to do. For there to be violence, for us to allow people to act out their emotions and for that to be ok when it comes to harming other people, no, not ok; even in a group setting, by the way.

And you know, throughout human history, mobs have behaved in irrational way. That still doesn`t make it ok for any individual in that mob to lose themselves to the mob.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I understand that they were upset because they had lost their friend. At the time of the attack, two suspects were on the loose in this IHOP murder. And the report by the news media could have actually helped get justice for this family because obviously the report is going to bring attention to who did it and maybe somebody`s going to trigger a memory or a tip. Ok.

PINSKY: Right and to try -- to try to understand what was going on for these folks, I mean, they felt deeply violated by the -- the crime that had been committed against them. And this now was another -- as they saw it -- violation so to speak of their privacy and it triggered all their rage of that violation, the feelings those violations have created.

Again, doesn`t make the behavior ok. We have to simply understand that there are certain limitations to what we can act out in our emotions. It`s ok to have the feelings. It`s not ok to bring them to bear on other people.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, let me ask you, John Lobertini, was there any point where they said, please go away, we`d like to do this privately, and we`ll talk to you afterwards, we`ll come across the street and we`ll send a representative over? I mean, there`s a lot of ways to negotiate this. This happens with every story. Anything like that?

LOBERTINI: Well, no, there was no dialogue. It escalated from 1 to 10 very, very quickly. They started screaming and yelling. Told us we had no right to be there.

And, you know, Jane, as you know, as a reporter, you have to stand your ground. You know, this was a little different situation. I handled it -- tried to handle it initially with kid gloves. You know, it was obvious they wanted us to leave. But it wasn`t a request. It was an order.

And, you know, like I`d done so many times before, I thought that, you know, I could calm these people down and, you know, remedy the situation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and listen, for people watching, please understand that if something is happening in a public spot, the news media has the right to be there. And if you want to have a private memorial then have it indoors where you can`t be seen. But the idea that you`ll have a public memorial outside on the street and you expect privacy; that is a false expectation of privacy.

So there were quite a few ways to handle this in a non-violent manner. First of all, they could have said, look, please give us some space. We`ll send a representative over to give you a statement. Because you have to understand, I`ve been a reporter out there. You get set on a story and you come back with no sound, you can be in trouble with your boss because they want a news story. And I`ve been in that situation where I`ve come back and I`ve been too meek and then it`s like where is the sound so we could do a news story on this.

So this person has no desire to interrupt this memorial. He`s desiring to keep his job so that he can get a paycheck and support his family.

All right. That`s how it operates. So anybody -- I hope nobody who`s watching ever has to have a memorial for any sad thing but if you do, you can negotiate and send one person over to say something and then it`s all going to go away. There is a way to do things peacefully. But we have to want to be peaceful and we have to practice peace.

Thank you, wonderful panel, including Dr. Drew. We`re so excited that your show is joining us right here this spring on HLN.

On the other side of the break, royal wedding shocker, the invitations are out. I`m going to bring you all the details. You will not believe who`s on the list and you will not believe who`s off the list.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember back in `93 a member of the royal household saying that the knives are out for Fergie and it appears that they still hold some resentment against her. So I don`t understand why she`s been snubbed in this way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRINCE WILLIAM, BRITISH ROYALTY: I`m actually excited; quite happy when the interview`s over. But now, she`s excited. It`s -- we`re looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight rappers, superstars and royalty. The invites are out for the wedding of the century. Mine got lost in the mail. So who made the cut? Who got the royal snub?

1,800 invitations for Prince Williams` big day in the mail and you`re looking at them. Don`t hold your breath because the guest list is strictly A-list. The royal family tried to keep it top secret but we did a little bit of digging. And here`s some of the famous faces you will see in the pews at Westminster Abbey.

They`re the closest thing to royalty in this day and age; ok, we`re taking Posh and Becks, AKA soccer superstar David Beckham and his ex-Spice Girl wife Victoria in the house. It`s even rumored that Kate Middleton may want Posh, who is now a fashion designer, to make her dress. Wow.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(ELTON JOHN PERFORMING "CANDLE IN THE WIND")

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, Sir Elton John who famously sang "Candle in the Wind" at Princess Diana`s funeral also made the cut. But it seems the prince and soon to be princess also wanted a somewhat hipper musician at their big event. They sent rapper Kanye West an invite -- that`s right, Kanye on the list. Maybe Prince William is a fan. Hopefully, he will not interrupt, Kanye, that is.

And some heartbreaking news for all the want-to-be princesses out there -- sorry -- best man Prince Harry has reportedly already asked his blonde ex-girlfriend Chelsea Davie (ph) to be his date.

So who will be sitting at home watching it all go down on TV? Can you say Fergie, Duchess of York? Her invite definitely got lost in the mail. And actually I think was thrown in the circular file. Even though Sarah Ferguson`s kids will be there, her rep confirms mom did not make the cut. Ouch.

Maybe Fergie can have a viewing party with the Obamas. Yes, they`ve rubbed elbows with the Queen but the President of the United States of America and his wife were reportedly not invited.

Straight out to Rob Shuter, Pop Eater`s "Naughty but Nice" columnist; Rob, what is the latest on the shindig?

ROB SHUTER, POP EATER COLUNIST: It`s going to be a huge wedding as you said. The news that is buzzing around London and America is the Duchess of York will not be attending this wedding. Sources tell us she is devastated about this and was even in tears. She won`t even be in London. She`s going to be in New York while the wedding happens watching it on TV like you and me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now, who do you think should be on the guest list? Ok, here at ISSUES we had a little free time. We came up with some people we thought should be in attendance.

First up, I voted for reality royalty, the Kardashians. Come on, they got to be there. And we also can`t forget about pop princess Britney Spears. Yes? I mean -- she may be toxic but maybe she should be on the list.

Now, how about Charlie Sheen? Let`s face it. He has done a lot to bring attention to himself. Maybe he should be rewarded. And maybe he should be able to bring his porn star, one of the few porn stars.

And of course Lindsay Lohan can come as long as she doesn`t try to steal the crown jewels. And I personally think prince of pop Justin Bieber should perform.

But my favorite, favorite, favorite fantasy invites are to Snooki and "The Situation". They would liven it up, right? You could just see Snooki, you know, slapping the Queen on the back, right? Or maybe the backside? All right.

We`re delighted to have Lisa Vanderpump, cast member of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" with us. Hey there, just take it away, Lisa. I know you got some stuff to say about this.

LISA VANDERPUMP, CAST MEMBER, "REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS: Well, I mean, I can`t believe that the Duchess of York hasn`t been invited. I mean, I know it was a bit of a fiasco and embarrassment to the royal family last year. But her daughters are going to be there. I do feel really sorry for her, I have to say.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t know, I don`t feel sorry for her. Doesn`t she have her own show on the own network now?

SHUTER: She does.

VANDERPUMP: Yes. I believe she does. Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So she`s gone from being British royalty to American royalty. But go ahead.

VANDERPUMP: Yes. But I`m not surprised that Beckhams have been invited. Because, you know, David`s been recognized with by the Order of British Empire before and England loves him. So I`m very pleased for them that they`ve been invited.

But it`s a shame for the Obamas. I mean, we`re allies. I think they should have been invited. And the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills", what`s wrong with us? Maybe our invitation`s on the way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frankly, I was shocked that the Obamas weren`t invited. And then I remembered Michelle Obama, I think, did a no-no when she touched Queen Elizabeth on the back for a second during their meeting and this was a violation of protocol.

VANDERPUMP: I know.

SHUTER: It caused a lot of scandal in Britain when that happened. The queen is -- do not ever touch the queen at all. Nobody`s going to touch the queen.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You think they`re getting back at her? Hang on. More on the other side.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATE MIDDLETON, PRINCE WILLIAM`S FIANCEE: We had wonderful holiday in Africa and (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you get down on one knee?

PRINCE WILLIAM: You`ll have to wait. That`s going to stay a secret, Peter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

You VELEZ-MITCHELL: got to hand it to them. They are a cute couple. It is going to be the wedding of the century. We`re all over it here at ISSUES. Tonight the invites are in the mail. Prince William will wed Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey at the end of April. Who made the cut and who was snubbed?

I want to go back to Lisa Vanderpump. You should have been invited. You`re a real housewife of Beverly Hills. Maybe you could have taken Richard Branson -- one of the richest men in England, if not the richest -- to the wedding. What happened?

VANDERPUMP: I know, but -- you know what, maybe I am, maybe my invitation`s not here yet. I`m still waiting for it. But I --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re dreaming, honey.

VANDERPUMP: I think this party`s not going to be really suitable for Charlie Sheen, I have to be honest. Mind you, Prince Harry, he can get a little wild. But Charlie Sheen, no, I don`t think he`s going to make the cut.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He could end up like taken off with some of the guests and -- who knows what could happen? They could all end up in jail.

All right, Rob Shuter, I want to get back to the royal outcast, Fergie. This is just one more public humiliation for the Duchess of York. Sarah is reportedly devastated over this snub but she shouldn`t be surprised she didn`t get an invite. She was caught on tape trying to sell access to her ex-husband Prince Andrew for some quick cash. And royal watchers predicted the Queen would never forgive her for bringing that very humiliating drama to the royal family.

Let`s check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHUTER: She`s messed up several times. And trying to sell access to the prince is the latest scandal. So I think that she`s finally out of that family for good.

JOY BEHAR, HLN HOST, "THE JOY BEHAR SHOW": But there was also this rumor that because she didn`t get along with Diana towards the end that they didn`t want her there. But excuse me, Camilla took the -- took the husband, the father, away from Diana. She`s at the wedding.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Joy really knows her royal stuff. Check her out later tonight. Now, I got to say, Rob Shuter, what about this whole thing about Kate being a commoner? First of all, I don`t buy that nonsense, that there`s different bloodlines or whatever. Is Kate getting the royal askance look for being a commoner?

SHUTER: She is technically a commoner. She doesn`t have a royal bloodline. She`s not -- her parents are not lords or ladies. Princess Diana was a lady before she married Prince Charles. So this is the first time in history that a royal has been able to marry a commoner.

However, times have changed. And nobody`s looking down their nose at Kate in Britain for being a commoner. They really like her. The public`s definitely on her side.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s pretty. She`s pretty as they say.

SHUTER: That`s probably more important nowadays than actually where your blood is from. But she`s certainly pretty. The public have embraced her so much that they`re really excited about this big day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m excited about Kanye West because hopefully they don`t have that part about -- if anybody has an objection, because you know he`s going to jump in. Remember what he did to Taylor Swift and he jumped in and interrupted her? Imagine what this guy could do, the damage, Lisa.

VANDERPUMP: It could go horribly wrong. We need to nail him to the chair, for goodness sake. No, that is a bit of a scary thought.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I got to say, I think both of you are royalty. You may not actually be royalty; to me, you are royalty.

SHUTER: You to me, Jane.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you will be back here again for more of our royal coverage. We`re doing to have a lot of fun with this.

All right, more right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A card carrying member of addict nation has a new twist on drive-through liquor stores. Check out this video. A man caught on camera driving straight into a package store. When he can`t get through the doors, he gets out of the car and -- get this -- he reaches for a beer on the counter but comes up empty-handed.

There he is, reaching. Then he hops into his vehicle and drives away. Even more shocking, this man is a doctor. This is a perfect example that addiction can strike anyone anywhere anytime.

Speaking of addict nation, Cheryl from Texas says her drinking problem began at a young age after years of sexual abuse by a relative. Five years ago, she realized she was drinking to cover the pain. She has been sober ever since.

Rock on, Cheryl. We`re sending you an autographed copy of my new book "Addict Nation". Congratulations.

Let me hear your story at cnn.com/Jane. "Addict Nation" available online now or go to addictnation.org.

Nancy Grace is up next.

END