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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Teen Accused of Murdering Grandparents, Torching House

Aired March 25, 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, horrifying violence. Cops say a teen boy murdered his grandparents and their family dog in cold blood, then called two friends to come over and get high and help him torch the house. In a bone-chilling twist, a friend claims the suspect even bragged about the killings and had video of the crime. When a grandson is the prime suspect, is our culture of violence out of control?

And our two bombshell cases set to explode on the same day. Casey Anthony and Conrad Murray both headed to court May 9, but while Dr. Murray`s case is already in jury selection, Casey`s case has slowed to a crawl. Are her attorneys just trying to stall?

Also Lindsay Lohan drama-rama. In a primetime exclusive here on ISSUES, I`ll talk one on one with Lindsay`s dad, Michael. Did he beat up his fiancee? And mom Dina is now claiming Lindsay Lohan is ditching her last name. Is it all part of the feud between Michael and Dina?

Plus, defending the innocent. A controversial law criminalizing the photographing of factory farm animals. It has outraged critics, asking what are they trying to hide? Are they trying to stop undercover investigations that reveal hideous abuse?

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHIEF BRANDON CLABES, MIDWEST CITY, OKLAHOMA, POLICE DEPARTMENT: Firefighters were able to knock down the fire fairly quickly. Once inside the residence, they found two bodies, a male and female, and from what we`ve learned from inside the crime scene, it`s obvious that the deaths are suspicious in nature.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight unimaginable violence explodes in a quiet Midwest town. What could possibly possess a boy to bludgeon his own grandparents to death, as cops put it?

The battered bodies of David and Rose Garrick were discovered inside their burning Oklahoma home Wednesday. Their teenaged grandson -- look at him right there in orange -- is the prime suspect, Kyle Smith. This kid is only 17 years old. In fact, he just turned 17 and spent his 17th birthday behind bars yesterday. Look at those eyes.

Police say after beating his grandparents and their dog to death, Kyle dumped their bodies in the bathtub while he plotted his next move.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLABES: The victims suffered severe head trauma, and so did the pet that we found dead in the bathtub.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kyle allegedly then recruited two buddies to come over and help cover his tracks. Police say the first thing they did was smoke some pot. Then they allegedly drove to a convenience store, bought a can of gas, came back to the house, and set the house on fire.

That`s not all. Right after the murders, Kyle allegedly went to a different friend`s home. Police say he bragged about the murders and even showed the boy a cell-phone video of the horrific crime scene.

Where are this boy`s parents, mother and father? Was this a catastrophe waiting to happen?

Straight out to investigative reporter Michelle Sigona with MichelleSigona.com. One of the most horrifying stories I have heard of late. What is the very latest?

MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, I have the affidavit in hand, Jane, and I also spoke at length with the police chief earlier today.

And after firefighters arrived on the scene early Wednesday morning, that`s when they did discover those two bodies, realized it was a homicide, and then were able to preserve the crime scene as much as possible.

When investigators -- when all this was breaking, what I`m told the police chief said, that the mom, which would be the victim`s daughter, was at home watching this unfold on the news and said, "Oh, my gosh. That`s my parents` house." She called authorities and said, "I think my son, Kyle Smith, may have something to do with this."

At that point, investigators were able to get a warrant, tracked his cell phone. He was arrested by 6 p.m. that evening. He had a friend with him. Now, that friend was not an accomplice in this particular crime. He did offer to show the friend the video, but that friend did not want to see the video.

There was another friend that he did show the video of the aftermath of the murder to. And that friend is also a witness in this particular case, not someone who was charged.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.

SIGONA: At that point -- go ahead. It`s a very complicated case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is and we`ve got the police chief, Chief Brandon Clabes, with us, and I just want to set up something before we go to the chief.

Kyle`s friend says when he -- when Kyle told him he had killed his grandparents, the friend didn`t believe him. I mean who would, really? Well, then Kyle takes out his cell phone and shows him video on his cell phone of the gruesome scene. The friend initially thought this video was staged. It was that horrific.

The boy told cops that Kyle was talking as he shot the footage of the crime scene. One part of the video showed the end of a machete poking at one of the victim`s eyes. We`re talking about his grandparents here.

The boy says Kyle told him he hit his grandmother about a dozen time with the machete. He allegedly put the machete in a black bag in the back of his grandparents` truck that he was driving when he was arrested.

So with that I want to go to Chief Brandon Clabes. One of the most horrific things I have ever heard of. Now is he -- did he -- did he videotape the murder? Or did he start videotaping, allegedly, right after the murder, kind of poking around at the grandparents that you`re saying he just slaughtered by bludgeoning them to death, sir?

CLABES (via phone): Well, Jane, the actual videotape is after the murders occurred, and it`s obvious from the evidence from the tape, it`s very horrific video that we`ve seen. And we`ve actually also heard the video, too. It`s something, I don`t know how to describe it, except for pure evil.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why? Why did he do this? Any indication of why he had this murderous rage, allegedly, against his own grandparents?

CLABES: Unfortunately, Jane, he was raised by his grandparents. His natural mother is the one that contacted us and felt like he may be involved. But we really haven`t gotten a lot of information from her. In fact, at this point, she`s hired an attorney to represent him, and unfortunately, the suspect, Kyle Smith, has refused to speak with us, so we don`t know what the motive is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s my big issue. Where were these child -- this child`s parents?

He reportedly moved in with his grandparents several years ago. A neighbor says she hadn`t seen Kyle`s mom recently. Neighbors also say they`ve heard Kyle arguing with his grandparents over his smoking. We heard that he allegedly smoked pot. And witnesses said he threw knives at a backyard fence.

And by the way, here`s an odd little twist. He used to attend a military school in Missouri. Who`s his dad? We don`t even know. Why wasn`t he living with his parents? And, Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist, why did his mom call and say, "Oh, my parents` house is burning down. I think my son might have something to do with that"?

DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Well, first of all, I don`t think that we can say just because he was living with the grandparents that that would in any way be a predictor of this type of violence.

Secondly, the fact that the mom immediately thought that he was the one indicates that he had a propensity for this type of violence when he was young. And then it makes you postulate was it something the mom could not handle, and that`s why she sent him to live with the grandparents, thinking that perhaps they could do a better job?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, police say Kyle and the two -- go ahead. Go ahead.

JOHN LUCICH, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Well, no, I just got to jump in on this, Jane. Certainly, I agree with Dr. Archer that an individual living with their grandparents isn`t a predictor of some kind of violent crime, but it really does beg the question, where were his parents in all of this?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

LUCICH: And as I was reading this story, you know, parenting is one of the only jobs that a person can do that, if you screw it up, the repercussions can last generations, hundreds of years. And so God only knows what it was that was the genesis of this kind of violent rage.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ll tell you what. I think -- I think kids like to be with their mother. They will never admit it, but they have a bond with their mother. And when the mother ain`t around, they become resentful and angry. They feel they`re dumped with somebody that they don`t want to be with. They feel alienated. They feel discontent. Why aren`t the other kids who grow up with their parents, and I think it creates a lot of resentment. And...

ARCHER: Jane -- Jane, I got to jump in on that. I mean, look, there are certain times when it is in the child`s best interest to move in with a relative. The mother may be having problems. The father may not be around. So you can`t just say, look, every child needs to be with their mother. In an ideal world, of course they do. But sometimes it is best for the child to live with another family member.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Steve Moore, former FBI agent, go ahead.

STEVE MOORE, FORMER FBI AGENT: If you don`t deal with the resignation and cynicism that happens among our young population or people in general, we can`t act surprised when we see this kind of really aberrant behavior. It sounds like a horrific crime, but fundamentally, until we step back and say, "Why is this going on?" we don`t have a prayer of avoiding it in the future.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Steve Moore, former FBI agent, what distinguishes this horror from all the other horrors we cover every day is the seeming -- just the relishing of it to the point where this kid allegedly videotaped it and went around with a machete, poking at his grandparents` eyes after he had allegedly bludgeoned them to death, then showing off the video to his friends.

MOORE: Yes, there was a huge amount of anger involved in this. This wasn`t so much of a premeditated crime. The evil that you`re seeing is anger. Or at least it`s shown out as anger.

And when you look back and you see that he`s been taken out of the mom`s home and then he`s sent to a military school, obviously this has been a pattern that has gone on for a while. Military schools are full of kids that parents couldn`t handle, and they`re hoping they get straightened out there. He fails there. He comes home. Somebody should have blown a whistle about the time they started seeing this kid throw knives at fences.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Exactly. Everybody, stay right there. We`re just getting started on this horrific violence.

Later, I`m going to talk one-on-one with Michael Lohan in a primetime ISSUES exclusive. We`re talking Lindsay Lohan`s dad. Did he really beat up his ex-fiancee? And is Lindsay really dropping the Lohan last name?

But first, cops say a 17-year-old -- he just turned 17 -- murdered his grandparents, bludgeoning them to death along with their dog. Has our culture of violence just gone over some kind of cliff?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was black smoke, and I saw it coming out of the stacks of the house there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLABES: It`s more of a crime, you know. You obviously -- sympathy goes out to the Garrick family. They`ve lost two people, innocent people. Both worked at Tinker Air Force Base.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A husband and wife slaughtered inside their house. Their 17-year-old grandson -- their own grandson -- charged with bludgeoning them and their family dog, and then getting high with their friends and torching the grandparents` house. Even worse, this alleged teenaged killer showed friends a home video of the entire scene.

Chief Brandon Clabes, you`re handling this case. Have you ever seen anything like the videotape that you saw off this cell-phone camera? And describe it as best you can.

CLABES (via phone): Well, to answer your first question, no, I have not, and as it is the only description I can say would be out of a horror movie, it is absolutely terrible. It also comes with audio from our suspect, saying some things that obviously we can`t repeat. And the actions that he takes with his dead grandparents is just something that we can`t even speak of. It would give somebody nightmares if they saw it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But suffice it to say you believe you have an open and shut case based on that video, right?

CLABES: Well, that and all the other evidence we have from the additional witnesses that we`ve interviewed and his two accomplices who have also confessed to the crime and what their role was.

BLITZER: Why on earth did they participate in allegedly burning down the house? I mean, if somebody came up to me and said, "I just murdered my grandparents and the family dog. Can you come over and help me burn down their house, too?" I would say, "Excuse me" and run as fast as I could in the other direction.

CLABES: Well, you would hope so. I mean, I`m a parent and have children and in this case, there`s obviously no moral fiber with these kids. And I just can`t fathom that they would go over and actually see a horrific crime scene like they actually experienced and then sit in the living room just a few feet away from both the bodies and smoke marijuana while they talk about how they`re going to either clean up the crime scene or destroy it with fire.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You bring up an important point, smoking marijuana. Police say Kyle and the two other suspects got high on pot before they torched the victims` home. Which makes me wonder whether Kyle was high at the time of the killings.

So much of the crimes we cover here on ISSUES boils down to some kind of addiction. Which is why I wrote my book, "Addict Nation." We are a nation in the throes of a variety of addictions, and drug addiction obviously is one of the big addictions of our time.

Dr. Dale Archer, there is a sadism here, and a relishing of violence that just turns my stomach and makes me terrified, if this is the kind of teenagers we`re producing in this day and age.

ARCHER: Well, two things. First of all, drug abuse and drug addiction, No. 1 predictor of violent crime in America.

No. 2, you know what? We know that genetics play a role in a lot of behaviors now. Well, now there`s actually a so-called evil gene, genetic DNA predisposition with an evil gene that predicts this type of violence. This is an early theory. It`s got to be tested. But you know what? We know genetics play a role in everything else, and you see this crime, and you literally do not come up with any other explanation except there`s something going on in the genetics, DNA, brain chemistry of these individuals.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I beg to differ. I beg to differ, because I feel, as I wrote in my book, this is the first generation that is subjected to this much imagery of violence. The average American kid, by the time they reaches 18, will have seen 200,000 acts of violence, including something like -- I don`t know -- 30,000 murder or 18 -- it doesn`t matter. Tens of thousands of murders. OK? This is what they see just on television. That doesn`t include video games.

I see kids, and they spend their entire afternoon shooting on a -- on a video game with a headset. That`s got to -- Darren Kavinoky, you take that and you add pot to it and you get them high, and I don`t even think they know where fiction begins and reality begins anymore.

DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. And you really can`t overlook the addiction piece and, as you well know, Jane, as a criminal defense lawyer and also an interventionist, I see both sides of it.

And what really is a frustration for me is that we have a legal system that`s designed to deal with some specific drug crimes, and we see that with drug courts and specific treatments of options that are available. But the amount of crime that doesn`t appear on its face to be drug related but is, is overwhelming. The number of theft crimes and violent crimes and other -- other criminal behavior that has, at its root, addiction and alcoholism, it`s truly staggering. And again...

ARCHER: I`ve got to jump -- I have to jump here...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One at a time. Hold on. Michelle Sigona, go.

SIGONA: I just wanted to say the complete disregard that, after allegedly beating his grandparents in the head with a machete and going through this entire process and allegedly setting the house on fire, but then taking their vehicle and driving around, and also bragging about it to friends and showing video and using the grandmother -- allegedly using the grandmother`s credit card and filling up the gas tanks and talking about it, I mean, there`s a whole after effect, I think, that goes just with the crime. And then the complete disregard for anything else around him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I think, Dr. Dale, killing the family dog on top of it. To me, that is that is so personal. Thirty seconds.

ARCHER: Right. Jane, I`m going to agree with you. Addiction is the problem, but it`s not a drug addiction here. It`s an addiction to violence. And the theory about the evil gene, the evil gene predisposes the individual to be addicted to violence and to committing violent crimes. So the two go hand in hand, but it`s a different type of addiction.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think we do live in an addict nation. I believe we are addicted to violence to a culture. We`re also addicted to drugs. It`s a pandemic that we must address as a culture if we want to prevent something like this from happening again.

Thank you, fantastic panel.

Later, famous actor Jeff Conaway and his girlfriend, hurling damning accusations at each other. You will not believe the drama. I`m going to talk to Jeff Conaway`s girlfriend about this in a primetime exclusive interview. You won`t believe what she`s got to say.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL JACKSON, POP STAR: I love you so much. I love you so much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s a quiz: what do Michael Jackson and Casey Anthony have in common? I`ve got a hint for you: two huge trials on opposite coasts barreling towards us. In a wild coincidence, they are both set to start on the very same date, May 9. Fasten your seat belts.

In L.A. jury selection just got underway in the manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray. Michael Jackson`s personal doctor is accused of giving the superstar a deadly double dose of the surgical knockout drug Propofol. But in Florida, the case of Casey Anthony, accused of murdering her daughter, perhaps with a deadly dose of chloroform, it seems to be dragging on and on and on with a slew of hearings this week. Are they anywhere near jury selection? If not, will Casey`s murder case really get started on time?

Straight out to attorney Darren Kavinoky. Darren, how come Casey`s case is so far behind Conrad Murray`s when they`re both supposed to start in the same day?

KAVINOKY: Would it be self-serving to claim the obvious superiority of California lawyers?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No.

KAVINOKY: OK, so the reality here, Jane, is that, while these both -- while these cases are both high-profile cases that have captured the nation`s attention, really, there`s some fundamental differences.

In Casey Anthony`s case, we have a death penalty case. The prosecution is seeking capital punishment. There are certain safeguards that happen in those kinds of cases. They always tend to go a little bit slower.

Also, in Florida, all of the discovery is made available to the public. That`s not the case in California. So we haven`t had a chance to look at a lot of detailed material relating to Conrad Murray. But it appears that, with the volume of the discovery and the complexity of Casey Anthony`s case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey`s got all that discover there on her desk. She seems to be rifling through it every hearing. I`d like to know exactly what she`s doing there. Is that just for the cameras or is she actually studying all that stuff? But that`s a subject for another day.

Let me ask you about this.

KAVINOKY: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. They`re going to pick the jewelry for this Orlando trial, not in Orlando, but some other city in Florida, and then they`re going to truck these jurors in to live in a hotel in Orlando during the trial.

And you mean to tell me that they haven`t even started that process yet? And you really think this trial is going to start on May 9?

KAVINOKY: Well, it`s going to be a long process just to get through that jury selection. Being able to time-qualify those jurors, to find a population of potential jurors that are able to take that much time out of their lives and to live in those kinds of conditions, even that part is going to take a long time.

If I`m going to bet on this thing, I don`t think we`re starting that trial on the ninth.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How are you going to find people who are willing to leave their hometown and go to another city? And the judge says that they`re going to move them from hotel to hotel. They might be at different places every other night. It sounds kind of exciting to me, but I can`t imagine that it`s going to be easy to find people willing to do that for a trial that could last at least two months.

KAVINOKY: It sounds exciting to me, too, and they`ve never let me on the jury, as much as I want to get that experience and see the other side of it. But the truth is, though, that being on a jury is an important component of civil service, really, in helping to administrate that justice. It`s the highest calling. No joke.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, you`re a cheerleader for criminal justice. Thank you.

Up next, Michael Lohan, his ex-fiancee claims that he beat her up. I`m going to talk one-on-one with Michael in an exclusive interview next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The Lindsay Lohan dramarama. In a primetime exclusive here on ISSUES, I will talk one-on-one with Lindsay`s dad Michael. Did he beat up his fiance? And mom Dina is now claiming that Lindsay Lohan is ditching her last name. Is it all part of the feud between Michael and Dina?

Plus defending the innocent: a controversial law criminalizing the photographing of factory farm animals. It has outraged critics asking what are they trying to hide? Are they trying to stop undercover investigations that reveal hideous abuse?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LINDSAY LOHAN, ACTRESS: I know that I was ordered to go once a week and I wasn`t, you know, I wasn`t missing the classes, to just hang out and doing anything like that, I was working mostly in Morocco, the trip I was working with children. At wasn`t a vacation, it wasn`t some sort of a joke and I respect you. I`ve been taking you seriously.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are breaking news tonight with a primetime exclusive interview with Michael Lohan; his famous daughter at the center of a storm over the last few days, a slew of wild developments and the drama just keeps escalating. The latest, Lindsay just decided to go through trial for felony grand theft, rejecting a very safe plea deal. Plus there are reports that mom Dina says that Lindsay is dropping her last name, claiming no one in the family wants anything to do with her dad Michael.

Why would she be doing this? Could it have anything to do with Michael being charged with misdemeanor domestic violence for an alleged abuse on his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Kate Major?

We`re going to get it straight from the horse`s mouth. Straight out to Michael Lohan, Lindsay`s dad; he is here in an exclusive ISSUES interview.

Michael, you`ve been a friend of the show. We want to give you an opportunity to tell your side of the story with all of these dramas and scandals. What`s your response first of all to the reports that your kids, including Lindsay, changing their last name, Lindsay will now only go by her first name?

MICHAEL LOHAN, LINDSAY LOHAN`S FATHER: First of all, I want to say that Dina and I are not -- I`m not at war with Dina. I don`t know why she would say something like this.

First of all, I don`t think it`s true at all. I would never imagine any of my kids changing their last name, especially with Lindsay.

Could it have to do with the drama with Kate? You never know. I just think that after reports from PopEater, Rob Shuter the other day saying that Lindsay -- I asked Lindsay for bail money and that I`m living hand-to- mouth, which are both totally false. I never asked Lindsay for a penny, I put the $20,000 up myself but I didn`t need it anyway. I certainly don`t live hand-to-mouth.

And now they`re coming -- Rob Shuter comes out with something like this, that they`re changing their last names. I don`t know how anyone can give credence to his Web site or the things he says.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s not attack the messenger. You`re saying it`s not happening. Because he says he talked to saying Dina. So Dina may have said this to him. So you`re saying it`s not happening. Have you talked to Lindsay about it?

M. LINDSAY: I got from Lindsay. But you know what, Jane, with all due respect to Dina, Dina has said a lot of things over the years that have never come to fruition, including the fact that my son Michael is doing a movie with her which never happened. And he just did something on YouTube called "Razors and Balloons", and he`s drinking a beer spitting bottle caps out of his mouth.

I don`t know if that`s his movie --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you about this because I know we`ve got limited time here. There`s been obviously explosive news about you and your on-again, off-again, live-in, live-out girlfriend Kate Major. She made headlines as a reporter for "Star" magazine. She quit her job and went public with her relationship with her former fling, Jon Gosselin of "Jon and Kate" fame.

Now, just this week, you were arrested after you allegedly assaulted Kate Major. We made every effort to reach out to here, didn`t hear back.

Michael, tell us your side of the story. What really happened with you and Kate in your opinion?

M. LOHAN: Well, this was all premeditated and we have evidence that we`re bringing to the DA`s office where Kate left messages for people saying that she was planning on having me arrested because she wanted some money. I have been supporting her for over a year and a half when nobody else would do it, not even her father.

And there`s some issues there. I just wish Kate the best. I mean she really needs some help. Dr. Drew actually did an intervention when she showed up on the set of "Celebrity Rehab" and she went to a place called "Cry Help" and talked her way out of getting into the program.

There`s a lot of issues with Kate and I tried to help her, but I was on "Celebrity Rehab" for co-dependency and Dr. Drew helped me out tremendously with that. And we`re still working on some issues that -- you know, I have a broken sparrow syndrome where I try to help people.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you hit her? That`s the bottom line, did you hit her?

M. LOHAN: Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, I`m the one who got cut. I mean my forearm, look at my forearm.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, let see. Raise it up. Raise it up. Raise it up. I can`t see it. Better raise it up.

M. LOHAN: How do I do this? There. Do you see that?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There we go. Ok. Right there, yes, yes. You`re saying that`s from Kate?

M. LOHAN: Yes --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re claiming that`s from Kate.

M. LOHAN: Yes. And when I called the police department first and she raced there in the car while I was walking there to press charges before I got there. And they wouldn`t even let me file the report. They had -- they just arrested me on the spot like they do Lindsay, you have the Lohan name and you`re going to get nailed for it.

Listen. The truth will come out if it goes to trial and unfortunately a lot more will come out and I don`t want it to go to that. I mean I`m down here trying to help teens with troubles with their families and with themselves. It has helped me out a lot.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: By the way, Kate, you`re invited any time to tell your side.

Just this week, your daughter Lindsay rejected a plea deal in her felony grand theft case. That means she`s going to go to trial. Some experts think she`s taking a big risk. She could have only served 19 days in jail under that deal. Now if convicted, she`s looking at up to three years in prison. Do you think she made the right choice, Michael, as her father?

M. LOHAN: Absolutely, I certainly do. Just like in my case, I`ll go to trial. If you`re innocent and you have evidence to prove that you`re innocent, then you go to trial.

The judicial system, as you know, Jane, weighs heavily upon trying to make a plea deal so that they have a better reputation for getting people, you know, to plead guilty. That`s not the case with me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael, she could go to jail for up to three years. Prosecutors say they have got her on camera putting on the necklace and walking out. I don`t know, I wasn`t there, but she`s risking going to prison for three years, Michael, you think she made the right choice? Instead of just spending 19 days in the clink?

M. LOHAN: Well, Jane, you have to realize, they started off with three years and then they went down to three months. They offered her three months recently. And the video actually shows that Lindsay had the necklace on at the beginning when she first went in there. Walked around with it the whole time and didn`t try to hide it and at the end she stood for seven minutes talking to the owner of the store with the necklace clearly visible. She`s even touching it I believe, and you know, she`s having conversations about how she`s going to promote it.

You don`t hear that, but you do see that she`s with a woman for seven minutes and why would they wait three days to make a report like this and sell the video, Lindsay`s evidence for $35,000?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There are reports that Lindsay is out partying, although she is seen with a can of Red Bull often.

I want to bring in Ken Seeley; do you think that`s smart given that she`s in early sobriety?

KEN SEELEY, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Yes, no. I mean I drink Red Bull, so I think it`s ok. It`s just about, you know, how strong is your recovery. Is she being seen going to meetings and working her program? I think that`s the most important. If she puts her recovery first, she could do pretty much anything.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Is she putting her recovery first? Is she going to meetings?

M. LOHAN: Absolutely. 100 percent, she goes to the gym, she goes to AA, and I agree with Ken who`s one of the best in the business beside who I consider Dr. Drew to be the absolutely best in the business as well.

Yes, it`s all about program, it`s about following up and going your AA meetings and your aftercare and unfortunately because of this --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Last question, real quick, there`s reports TMZ says Lindsay`s upset because ex-girlfriend Samantha Ronson kissed another girl. I wonder, is Lindsay in love with Samantha Ronson?

M. LOHAN: I don`t know. You`re going to have to ask her. All I know is I`m in love with my family and no one else. And I`m sure Lindsay feels the same way.

But I don`t know what her relationship with Samantha is. You know, it hasn`t been toxic like it was in the past and I`m happy for that. But Lindsay`s got to focus on herself.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are out of time. As always, thank you for coming on and continue the good work you`re doing with your rehab work.

M. LOHAN: Thank you Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, on the other side of the break, actor and admitted addict Jeff Conaway is accused of -- he`s in a big dramarama with his girlfriend. I`m going to talk to his ex-fiancee about Jeff and his addiction and their unbelievable drama in a primetime exclusive ISSUES interview, next.

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JEFF CONAWAY, ACTOR: It was like a 14-week party, you know. Everybody, they were very actor-friendly and letting us be as creative as we could.

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CONAWAY: It was like a 14-week party, you know? Everybody, they were very actor-friendly in letting us be as creative as we could.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, one of the most talented actors out there now tragically in the midst of a very public scandal. Jeff Conaway, the handsome guy we all know from "Grease" and "Taxi" has had his share of troubles, a decades-long battle with drug abuse and addiction and now a dust up between Jeff and his girlfriend of seven years Vikki Lizzi is making headlines.

We`re going to talk to Vikki in an exclusive here on ISSUES in just moments. Now Jeff claims Vikki set him up. Listen to this from RadarOnline.

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CONAWAY: She called and said you can find him passed out with cocaine all over the room, if you want to go bust a star, then here`s your chance. That`s what I think happened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you think she was setting you up?

CONAWAY: Yes, I think she was setting me up.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: But is addiction really what`s at the heart of this scandal? Vikki says yes. Remember, Jeff has a long history of addiction, attempted recovery and relapse. Here`s Vikki on Radar.

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VIKKI LIZZI, CONAWAY`S EX-FIANCEE: He is on so many pain meds that it`s affecting his mental state and all these things that he`s making up. You know, he`s blackmailed me. If I ever left him, he would, you know, tell lies to the cops, press charges against me to the DA.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Jeff is saying he is a recovering addict which technically means he`s sober. Listen, you be the judge.

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CONAWAY: I don`t want to see any harm come to her. You know, from one recovering addict to another, I wish her all the love and the luck in the world.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Before I get to Vikki, I want to go straight out to Maxine Page, senior editor for RadarOnline; Maxine, the allegations flying between Jeff and Vikki, pretty explosive involving cops and the courts. It`s confusing. Give us a nutshell. What`s going on here?

MAXINE PAGE, SENIOR EDITOR, RADARONLINE: It`s kind of crazy, it started off with Vikki filing her restraining order at the end of February, alleging that Jeff punched her in the face and threatened to kill her. And then a few days later, as cops came to serve him the restraining order, he subsequently filed a restraining order of his own alleging that she injected him with painkillers at 3:00 in the morning and then planted piles of cocaine around his apartment. I mean it`s pretty crazy stuff.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is pretty crazy stuff and to sort it all out, we have Vikki Lizzi with us tonight. She`s the ex-fiancee of Jeff Conaway, his girlfriend of seven years.

Full disclosure here, I have known Jeff since we were little kids. His dad who passed away was my father`s best friend. I wish Jeff nothing but the best in this world. And by the way, we did make every attempt possible to reach Jeff before deadline.

Vikki, what is your current relationship with Jeff and tell us why you took out this restraining order?

LIZZI: Hi, Jane, first of all, thank you for having me. I am grateful for this opportunity because it`s my hope that I can be an inspiration to anybody, girls or boys out there who feel that they are in any kind of trapped or abusive relationship and that there is a way out. There is a way out and unfortunately, it took me way too long to figure it out and realize it because my heart ruled my head, but enough was enough.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what happened between you and Jeff? You -- I have got the court papers right here -- You make some pretty serious allegations dating back to this past August. Tell us about that briefly.

LIZZI: Yes, since August, they switched his medications from Oxycontin to Dilaudid which you`re only supposed to be taking after surgery in a hospital. And he`s been on that regularly and I saw his mental state just deteriorate to the point where he`s just not even in reality. He can`t comprehend reality anymore because he`s so fogged with pain meds, benzodiazepams and mixing alcohol which is a lethal, lethal combination.

He`s been on four 51-50 psychiatric hold in the last eight months since August. And it`s just -- it`s repeatedly happening and he`s going downhill very, very fast. And he was in Mission Community Behavioral Health Center just a couple of weeks ago, and a friend of ours took him out, saying that he would care for him, which is sad because, you know, Dr. Drew knows that he needs the help and he was instrumental in trying to tell him what his friend had to do to help him out of this situation. But unfortunately, he`s been released. So I`m not sure if he`s going to get the help that he needs now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You mentioned Dr. Drew. Jeff has struggled with drug addiction since the `80s. I don`t think anybody would dispute. And he has done two stints on "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew". Check this out from VH-1.

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CONAWAY: I have suicidal tendencies.

DR. DREW PINSKY, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: You`ve been talking a lot about suicide.

CONAWAY: I talk about it to get it out.

PINSKY: That`s not the way it usually works.

CONAWAY: People that don`t talk about it do it. People that do talk about it don`t do it.

PINSKY: Well, if we weren`t concerned about you, we wouldn`t waste our time and energy. If you want help, we would like to give it to you, if you don`t want it you`re of course within your rights to go do whatever you want.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue. Is there hope for Jeff? He`s 60 years old at this point and it`s not a good sign when a professional like Dr. Drew is begging him to get help and you can`t help anyone who doesn`t want to help themselves. Again, I say this only because I wish Jeff the best and I really pondered in my heart should I do this story, but maybe this is something that Jeff needs.

Jeff, if you`re watching, we all want the best for you. I don`t sense that anybody here is not on your side.

Ken Seeley, what do you think? Do you think listening to his voice that he`s sober?

SEELEY: Yes. No, Jane. It doesn`t sound like he`s sober at all. And what`s heartbreaking here is, you know, as we all know, no addict ever stopped using without consequence and he just hasn`t hit that rock bottom. He hasn`t felt enough consequences and for the people and Vikki that love him, please, let`s create consequences that are going to mean something to him so he`ll surrender to this recovery process that he desperately needs because he`s dying. This disease is winning.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Such a talented actor, such a handsome guy; I always looked up to him.

LIZZI: I absolutely agree with that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just was like always looking up to him.

LIZZI: I always looked up to him. Me too.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Check out my new book, "Addict Nation", available at Amazon.com. If you know somebody who`s suffering from addiction, give them the book, it could help.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Workers were skinning -- were skinning a calf alive directly in front of a USDA inspector, who on our hidden camera tells another worker that if another inspector saw him doing this, they would be shutdown.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is a horror. Almost ten billion farm animals raised and killed for food every year have very few legal protections against cruelty. And now, it could get even worse for these voiceless, helpless animals. Because of so many undercover investigations, hideous accounts of animal cruelty have been exposed.

Look at those pig gestation crates. Look at some of that stuff. That is not staged. Ok. You cannot stage that. Cows abused and left for dead or shot. Chickens having their beaks twisted off. Pigs with their tails cut off.

A slew of states have already made it criminal to take undercover video or photos at factory farms. Other states are trying to push through these laws, ok, that criminalize taking a photograph of a factory farm animal.

The laws are supported by agribusiness. In Florida, they want to make it illegal to film even from public property. What are they trying to hide? That is my question.

Straight out to Paul Shapiro, senior director of the factory farming campaign at the Humane Society of the United States; Paul, this is very upsetting to me. Tell us what is going on with this push to criminalize these undercover investigations.

PAUL SHAPIRO, HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES: Jane, these are outrageous bills that are intended to keep the American public in the dark when it comes to the routine cruelty that animals face on factory farms and inside of slaughter plants. Because the agribusiness doesn`t want the public to know that it locks up millions of animals inside tiny cages where they can often barely even move an inch, especially in the egg industry and in the pork.

And rather than trying to prevent this type of extreme cruelty to animals, the factory farmers simply want to prevent the public even from finding out about their cruelty in the first place.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, you were looking at pig gestation crates and those battery cages. These animals obviously are packed into these cages. These pigs, which have a higher IQ than dogs cannot turn around to even scratch themselves and they become psychotic.

Now, we reached out to legislators in Florida and Iowa for comment, they didn`t hear back. They are invited. You want to come on and talk about it you`re invited on this show. We`ll debate. I have questions for you, as a matter of fact.

Iowa`s House of Representatives passed a bill just last week that would criminalize photos taken on farm property without the owner`s permission. It would be a first degree felony; you could go to prison for years. Now, the state rep who introduced the bill said it is about bio- security, livestock and quote, "our livelihood".

As I say Paul, always follow the money when it comes to animal cruelty.

SHAPIRO: That is exactly right. The facts of the matter is there is money to be made by abusing these animals on these factory farms and we need more whistle-blowing on this type of animal cruelty and food-safety problems that are being perpetrated by animal agribusiness, not less transparency. And many of the images that you are broadcasting right now from Iowa`s egg factories, it would be illegal for you Jane, even to broadcast these images in Iowa if this bill were to become law.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So we could not do this story because this is a national show and it goes to Iowa. So if any of this video came up, I would be arrested. Whoever shot the video would be arrested. Let`s arrest everybody.

I have another idea. Why not change the conditions of these animals and give them more room so they can turn around and stretch their limbs and stretch their wings. How about that?

I, again, have a message for these legislators. Come on the show. I have a question or two for you.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think they are feeling any pain. I just keep doing it until the cow goes moo.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, look at these poor animals jammed in gestation crates. Paul, how can Americans, decent people who love animals demand action from their legislators and stop this movement to criminalize these undercover investigations that are exposing horrific conditions that can also impact human health?

SHAPIRO: We need to keep in mind that what is happening on these factory farms is only allowed to happen because it remains hidden from the public because the more people know about the cruelty and food safety problems associated with animal agribusiness in the United States today, the more outraged they would be.

And we need to let our legislators know that we want to see reform of these animal factories, not pushing them further and further into secrecy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: HSUS.org, contact your legislators. In Iowa, particularly, they are trying to pass this now.

Nancy Grace next.

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