Return to Transcripts main page


Is Noise Complaint Tied to Hairdresser`s Disappearance?

Aired August 9, 2012 - 19:00   ET


ISHA SESAY, HLN ANCHOR: Jane Velez-Mitchell starts right now.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, a beautiful 21-year-old vanishes right around the time neighbors report an argument and later stomping and banging from Kortne Stouffer`s apartment. Police actually go to Kortne`s home. Did they just miss their chance to save her? I will talk to the woman`s frantic parents in just a moment.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, a frantic search for a beautiful missing hairdresser who vanished ten days ago from her apartment without a trace. Kortne Stouffer`s purse, cell phone and car keys all left behind. But what`s so mysterious is cops responded to her building over noise complaints not once but twice right around the time she disappeared. Was there banging coming from her floor? I`ll talk to her worried parents tonight.

Then, shocking allegations as cops arrest a nationally-known pediatrician after his 11-year-old daughter tells them her dad waterboarded her as punishment. The young girl says he would stick her head under a running faucet for so long she thought she was going to die. She adds her mother stood by and didn`t stop the alleged abuse. Tonight, you will not believe what this doctor is famous for.

Plus, a bizarre twist as cops arrest a mother of three after a body believed to be her husband is found. The couple was in the process of getting a divorce. And she claimed he pushed her around. But others insist he was a mild-mannered geometry teacher and a good dad. What the heck happened? I`m taking your calls.

And we`re learning more tonight about Randy Travis` outrageous DUI. Fans rush to the country star`s aid as he leaves jail following his arrest. Tonight, you`ll hear his spooked 911 caller reporting a man laying [SIC] in the middle of the road. How does Randy Travis turn it around and come back now?

SCOTT STOUFFER, FATHER OF MISSING WOMAN: Hope that nobody has to go through this. It`s just -- it`s unexplainable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Family and friends gathered at the Palmyra fire station to search for Kortne who has been missing for ten days. But no sign of Kortne.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I haven`t been able to sleep a lot lately. Just not knowing where she is.

S. STOUFFER: I like to keep hope. I like to hope that we find nothing today is really what I hope to find.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Volunteers search a field close to Kortne`s apartment where she was last seen.

S. STOUFFER: If you`re a father, I hope this hits you. I want her back. Help us get her. Help us get to her. Help bring her home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kortne`s lost. Kortne`s gone.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good evening. Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live. Stunning new questions tonight in the mysterious and suspicious disappearance of a beautiful young hairdresser, 21-year-old Kortne Stouffer`s parents join me in just a moment.

Their daughter vanished ten long days ago after a night of dancing at a bar in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Neighbors saw her return home, which was about 15 miles from the bar, just before 4 a.m. on Sunday, July 29.

In a very strange twist, police were called to her duplex not once but twice right around the time she disappeared. The first call from a neighbor complaining about Kortne somehow arguing or talking with a neighbor loudly.

The district attorney says the second 911 call was from the person living below Kortne who heard stomping and banging coming from her apartment. Now, we asked police if the responding officer saw anything suspicious, and police told us no. How is that possible?

Her parents are desperate for answers.


S. STOUFFER: If the person`s listening today that knows where Kortne is or has any information, if you`re a father, I hope this hits you. I want her back.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, so heart-wrenching. After Kortne was reported missing police found her keys, purse and cell phone inside her locked apartment. She also had a dog who we understand her parents have taken in now that their precious daughter and beautiful, really stunning daughter is missing.

What happened to Kortne? Is it possible somebody from the bar followed her home that night? And how is it possible that a cop responds to 911 calls involving Kortne, and despite cops showing up twice, she vanishes. That doesn`t make sense to me.

Straight out to crime blogger Levi Page. Again, we`re going to talk to the parents in just a moment. But first, what have you learned tonight, Levi?

LEVI PAGE, CRIME BLOGGER: Well, Jane, we know that law enforcement has a lot to work with in this case. The people that she was at the bar with, her friends, they`ve probably already interviewed them, got statements from them to see if anybody in the bar was suspicious, anybody acting strange or weird around this young woman.

We also know that she was having an argument with her neighbor, the neighbor complaining about her dog. That was one of the last people to see her alive. So police are obviously going to use their common sense and zero in on that neighbor. If they`re having an argument, did it turn violent? Was there problems with this neighbor in the past? Had they argued before?

So it`s going to be interesting to see how all of this turns out. Hopefully, we`ll have a positive outcome.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She is model beautiful and worked as a hairdresser. Look at this gorgeous young woman. We don`t know where she is tonight. Before she disappeared Kortne went dancing at a club in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Now, here`s the club. It`s called the Hardware Bar. And it`s, well, quite a place. Their motto: "Get hammered, nailed and screwed." That`s what their motto is. And on their Web site they embedded a video showing what goes on in the bar. Watch this from YouTube.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you see that that could be advertising, but girls were dancing on the bar. It seems like it`s quite a wild place. We called the bar. It doesn`t open until 9. Anyone from that bar welcome on our show at any time.

But I want to go out to Robyn Walensky, investigative reporter, anchor, "The Blaze." Kortne is seen arriving home. The cops are called not once but twice because of banging inside her apartment. But then she disappears. It`s interesting to me -- is it interesting to you -- that police referred all calls to the district attorney`s office?

ROBYN WALENSKY, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Jane, good evening. It`s going to be extremely interesting if and when those 911 calls are released.

The first call is at 3:12 a.m. And we know that the responding officer was there for 37 minutes. Did he go inside the apartment? Did he walk around the premises? Then, oddly enough, he leaves.

And then at 4:12 there`s a second call, that`s 4:12 a.m. About another disturbance, a noise complaint. And that time he`s present for 24 minutes. So I`d like to see the transcripts of the phone calls, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have so many questions for the parents. They are hooking up right now, their microphones. We`re taking a very brief break. On the other side this beautiful missing woman`s parents, they are frantic. They`re going to give us information. We`ve got to find her. Stay right there.



S. STOUFFER: I hope that nobody has to go through this. It`s just -- it`s just unexplainable. I`d like to keep hope. I`d like to hope that we find nothing today. That`s really what I hope to find. Because I honestly believe that Kortne is somewhere alive.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We are here now live with the parents of Kortne Stouffer.

Mr. and Mrs. Stouffer, Wendy and Scott, thank you so much for joining us. And my heart goes out to you. We want to be helpful. We know you`re going through a nightmare right now. So we`re going to talk to you and try to jog somebody`s memory out there. If you know anything, if you saw or heard anything, call police.

So police were called to your daughter`s apartment building not once but twice. So let me start with you, Wendy. What did cops tell you about whether they interacted with Kortne? And if so, what was their interaction?

WENDY STOUFFER, MOTHER OF MISSING WOMAN: We were told that they were called to her house for a noise disturbance and that they had talked to Kortne and to the neighbors and that they were all told to go back into their apartments and leave each other alone.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, police then came back again. We understand, that somebody heard from beneath your daughter`s apartment stomping or banging. So what happened then? Did they go back to her apartment?

W. STOUFFER: As far as we know, they went back to her apartment. And they didn`t see anybody or hear anybody. All the lights were off. They knocked on the doors, and they left.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. That`s upsetting, obviously, that police were right there. And let me ask you this: when they -- the first time when they arrived, did they see anybody in her apartment? If the person downstairs is hearing stomping and banging, there`s a very good chance that there was somebody else, possibly a male, in her apartment. Did they -- did anybody -- did you talk to neighbors? Did they hear a male voice? Did cops talk about anybody inside the apartment with her?

S. STOUFFER: There was a male with her in her apartment. And it was one of the gentlemen that were with her that evening. He had stayed, I guess, to stay over at the apartment that evening with her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, that`s new information. Who was that male?

S. STOUFFER: I`m going to hold back on names right now. I mean, that`s brand new. But I don`t think it`s really something we need to hold back on at this time. I think it`s something that should be known.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Have police talked to this -- this young man? Is this somebody that she knew from her past or that she met at the dancing location, the bar?

W. STOUFFER: This was a friend of hers. Kortne thought that he was a friend of hers.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did they -- did you talk to him? Did -- or did police talk to him? Did you talk to him? Did he describe an argument in the apartment?

W. STOUFFER: Scott has talked to him. The police have talked to him. And he said that there was no argument.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So did he...

S. STOUFFER: There was...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He did -- yes, how did he explain the banging?

S. STOUFFER: Well, there was no argument between him and my daughter. There was an argument between my daughter and the neighbors when they came home that morning, approximately 3 -- it was about 3:20 a.m. when they got home. And she had gotten into an argument with the neighbors.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, did this young man claim that he left before police showed up the second time? What was his explanation in terms of where he went that night? And where -- what did he see your daughter do? Did he say that he said good night and left your daughter at her house? Or did he say that she left? Or what did he tell you about that?

S. STOUFFER: Well, he pretty much said that he stayed the night there. And they went to bed about after the second, I guess, time the police were called. Somewhere around 4:15, 4:20 they went to bed. And then he woke up about 7:30 and left, and my daughter wasn`t there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh. He claims that she wasn`t there when he woke up that morning?

W. STOUFFER: Correct.

S. STOUFFER: Correct.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Would you mind if I bring in former prosecutor Wendy Murphy for a moment? Because she`s very good at analyzing these things.

Your thoughts, Wendy, as you listen to this.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, you know, my eyebrow went straight up, as I`m sure lots of your viewers did.

Jane, look, this is the man who was last to see this woman alive. He claims to know nothing. The police got there at some point near in time to when he was supposedly going to bed, and they said no one was in the apartment. I`m thinking they didn`t go to bed. That`s what makes sense to me. That -- that he clearly knows more.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So how was your daughter ultimately reported missing? I know she has a dog. So did he claim that, oh, he just woke up and left the dog there? Or would he have walked the dog? Would he have called somebody?

She obviously doesn`t just walk away without a purse, without a cell phone, without shoes, leaving her dog in the middle of the night, and then doesn`t come back. It doesn`t make any sense whatsoever.

W. STOUFFER: Right. Let me go back to the first phone call. Kortne and the neighbors were having an argument. The downstairs neighbor and Kortne were in an argument. And when the police arrived, they were told to all go to their apartments.

I don`t know what happened the second time. Just that no one answered the door. And then in the morning, this boy left. And we know that he left. We have video of him at a store texting Kortne and saying, "I left. I didn`t see you. What happened to you?"

So something happened to my daughter after 4 o`clock, then, that morning. And I called her, and I texted her all day Sunday. Her brother tried to get a hold of her. We didn`t hear from her. And that is not like Kortne to get in touch with somebody. Monday morning...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: When you were in the apartment, did anything look like it was upset? Chairs turned over or any sign of a struggle?

W. STOUFFER: No. No. Monday morning I got up, and it just worried me that I did not hear from my daughter. So I drove to her house. And when I got to her house, I knocked on the door. The dog came right to the door. The door was unlocked, which was very unusual. Kortne would keep her door locked. But her car was there. So I went in and I called her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this question, what have police told you about this young man?

W. STOUFFER: Nothing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did they say he had an alibi that showed that whatever he said -- you said there was surveillance video of him the next morning.

But let me ask you this, did Kortne have any kind of a boyfriend? Did she have anybody that might have pulled over to take her somewhere? Have you checked with her friends that she was going out with that night?

W. STOUFFER: No. Her boyfriend was not around. She had a boyfriend. He lived there with her. But he was not -- he was not there. He was not there for the weekend. And he has a very strong alibi. He didn`t have anything to do with this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, will you hold on? We`re going to go to a break very briefly. We`re going to come back. We`re going to talk to you more and get some analysis from the experts we have lined up. We want to help you find your beautiful daughter. Stay right there.



S. STOUFFER: I hope that nobody has to go through this. It`s just -- it`s unexplainable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Family and friends gathered at the Palmyra fire station to search for Kortne, who has been missing for ten days. But no sign of Kortne.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I haven`t been able to sleep a lot lately. Just not knowing where she is.

S. STOUFFER: I`d like to keep hope.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`ve got some new information as we`re talking to these frantic parents and trying to help them find their precious beautiful daughter, Kortne.

Robyn Walensky, you heard now we just discovered, talking on this show, of this young man who was there and he claims he spent the night and then he left the next morning. Your thoughts quickly, Robyn.

WALENSKY: Jane, absolutely nothing adds up. It doesn`t make sense to me.

First of all, this girl, 21, was a dog lover. She had a dog by the name of Sheba. She`s never going to leave that house without her beloved pet. What is he doing there, this guy? Her boyfriend`s out of town. Who is this person? It`s very suspicious. And he`s still there, wakes up. "She`s not there? That makes no sense to me at all, Jane. I`d like to subject him to a lie detector test.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Wendy and Scott, what did police tell you about their interview with this person? And you say you spoke to him. What was your gut reaction to the story he told you?

S. STOUFFER: Difficult, very difficult to believe. He was the last person to see my daughter, so I felt that there was just more there. I still feel there`s more there. It`s just difficult.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, listen, you have friends that stay over. Hey, I`m going to crash at your place, it`s too late to drive. Or I`ve had something to drink, I don`t want to drive. But that`s different from somebody who might have romantic intentions. Your daughter I know a beautiful happy-go-lucky person, maybe a little naive to allow him to stay over, thinking he`s a buddy. But do you get a sense he had other intentions with her?

S. STOUFFER: You know, I don`t believe there`s romantic intentions in there. My daughter was very loyal to her boyfriend. And she had shared that with us many times. It might have been a shelter for the evening. They might have been drinking. So it`s probably just a safe place.

But it`s very difficult for me to believe that in a span of three hours that someone just vanishes, and you`re in the same house and you have no idea. And you hear nothing. And you see nothing.


S. STOUFFER: ... we realized she`s -- I`m sorry.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead. No, no go ahead.

S. STOUFFER: You realize she`s gone the next day. And she has an animal at the house, phone at the house still, and you don`t make an effort to call someone that you know knows her, part of her family, reach out to someone. It`s just...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How long has your daughter known this guy?

W. STOUFFER: They were friends about two years ago. They would hang out and do stuff as a group of people. And since she`s been dating her boyfriend, she really didn`t have much contact with him.

I know that he had stopped by about a month ago. And that was the first time that her boyfriend had any interaction with him and met him. And I think because her boyfriend was away, she thought she could hang out with him and have somebody to protect her and hang out with. A guy friend to hang out with.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Can you tell us whatever you`d like to say. I know there`s a reward for information. And if Kortne is listening, is there any kind of message that you would like to send?

S. STOUFFER: You know, if money`s the motivator, the reward`s $23,700. And, you know, they can whatever -- just tell us what it is that you want. We just want our daughter back. That`s really the bottom line. We want to get her back in our arms. We want to hold her and try to make up for the last ten days. Help her forget some of her pain.

W. STOUFFER: We just want her to come home. I just want her home.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I know this has got to be hellish for you.

S. STOUFFER: It is because, you know, human nature. You have so many emotions to deal with. The person that`s responsible, you know, you go through a lot of different thoughts. But...

W. STOUFFER: Somebody knows something about my daughter. Somebody knows where she is. I just want them to tell me where she`s at.

S. STOUFFER: I don`t even care if they`re held responsible. I just want my daughter back. So we can try to help this never happen again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Have police seized the car of this young man to examine it?

W. STOUFFER: Not that we know of.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Mr. and Mrs. Stouffer, my heart goes out to you. We hope that somebody out there has heard something and knows something. Please, if you know something, call police immediately. Please keep us posted. Thank you.

S. STOUFFER: Thank you very much.

W. STOUFFER: Thank you.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a sight you dread seeing as a body was rolled out and evidence bags were checked in. The stay-at-home mom filed for divorce just last Thursday and was trying to get child support from her husband Jason. Julie said Jason has become violent with her.

The search for her started as a welfare check around 11:00 last night and took a deadly turn.

LT. KELLY CAIN, CARLSBAD POLICE: We have found a deceased male, white male adult in his 30s.

So where is Mrs. Harper?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did this beautiful stay-at-home mom murder her own husband? Cops have arrested 39-year-old Julie Harper on suspicion of murder. Cops say they got a call Tuesday to check on the welfare of a man at the couple`s home. When they got there they found her husband dead; Julie and her three kids -- nowhere to be found.


CAIN: We have found deceased male, white male adult in his 30s. We do not know where Mrs. Harper is.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight Julie is behind bars after she reportedly surrendered and was arrested at her dad`s house which is about 45 minutes away from her Carlsbad, California home. Her children, an 8-year-old boy, a 6-year-old girl and 18-month-old boy are reportedly ok tonight. We`re happy about that. Neighbors and students have been quoted as saying Julie`s now-dead husband Jason, a math teacher, was a great dad and very nice guy. So were there toxic secrets in this seemingly perfect family?

We`ve discovered Julie had just filed for divorce from Jason last week. Something his own father said he knew absolutely nothing about. In court documents Julie claims her husband had a hard time controlling his temper, was violent and had completely cut her off financially.

Ironically the home her husband was found murdered in is the very same home she wanted to keep exclusively in the divorce. So did this woman finally reach her breaking point and make a deadly decision? Or was a good man murdered for no apparent reason?

We`re going to talk to a woman who was convicted of killing her abusive husband in just a moment.

But first, former prosecutor, Wendy Murphy, they were going through an ugly divorce. She wanted child and spousal support, the house, not to mention him paying taxes and the mortgage. We haven`t been able to hear the husband`s side of the story because he is deceased.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes. You know, Jane, I try really hard to be fair along gender lines when I hear these stories and I`m going to say what I would say if this had been the husband killing the wife. Divorce is an option if there`s violence and you can separate. Murder is never the answer -- period, end of discussion.

And, you know, I suspect that she may have been frustrated or even upset and maybe he was violent toward her, but unless he was violent at the moment she killed him, this was no excuse. And I`m not going to give her a pass just because she`s a woman. I`m not. You cannot kill the father of your children.

And maybe he wasn`t the nice guy everybody thought he was. Oh, the nice teacher who was always sweet. Maybe he was a bum. Maybe he was a bad guy. And taking away her money, oh, is there a more cruel and abusive way to treat your almost-ex-spouse? But you still can`t kill the guy. I`m sorry. You can`t kill the guy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to go to Brenda Clubine who might have a different perspective. She was convicted of killing her abusive husband and actually served, I believe, something like a quarter of a century behind bars. Thank you for joining us, Brenda. What do you say to what Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, just said?

BRENDA CLUBINE, CONVICTED OF KILLING ABUSIVE HUSBAND: You know, I think that a lot of times, you know, nobody else is in the home but the people that were there at the moment that the crime happened, that the incident happened. And I think typically it is kind of given that people want to write their own scenarios. And I think it`s really important right now that we get all the facts, that we listen to the woman that has been accused because even herself she said in her divorce decree that she had filed divorce papers. She said, you know, he had been violent.

Families are not going to come up and say, "Yes, my son was violent, my daughter was violent." They`re not going to come up and bring out this information willingly. People are going to say, "Hey, these were great people." But people don`t know what goes on behind closed doors. That`s a big part of the problem.


MURPHY: You know, I agree with that. That`s not inconsistent with what I said. Look, all I`m saying is murder is almost never the answer, ok? Male or female, it`s almost never the answer unless you`re defending your own life or the life of your children.

And that may turn out to be the case. If she was defending herself or her children, I`m all on board. You know, let her walk. And I would say that about a guy too doing self-defense. But if that`s not the story, if this is just an angry woman, she was pissed off because he wouldn`t give her money, that`s not an excuse for murder. And the fact that she`s a woman is no defense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s talk about some of the details. Julie Harper says she was abused. She filed for divorce just recently, August 2nd. She claimed Jason had become violent, had used profanity in front of the children. She said he pushed her and again, was profane and shoved her and twisted her wrists.

However, Jason`s neighbors describe him as friendly and outgoing saying he was often seen playing with his kids and seemed devoted to them. He was a popular geometry teacher at Carlsbad High School. Here`s what one student had to say.


ALLY TOMKINSON, CARLSBAD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: He was really nice, a great teacher and really understanding.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Robyn Walensky, we just checked. No history -- no history of domestic abuse that we could find in terms of police going to the house previously -- only a traffic violation.

ROBYN WALENSKY, ANCHOR/REPORTER, THEBLAZE.COM: Jane, you know, people put on a face where they work. Maybe at the school he was the world`s best guy and the kids and the fellow teachers know him one way. But then maybe he had this horrendous dynamic with the wife. Did either one of them -- were they having affairs?

I would also like to hear from the kids, the 8-year-old boy and the 6- year-old girl are old enough to tell the investigators what was going on with mommy and daddy. And it`s really, Jane, a he said/she said but he`s dead so we`ll never hear his side of the story.

And I do agree with your previous guest that just because she`s a woman, you know, if she did it, then she`s going to have to face the music. But it is a gated community, Jane. So the odds originally of this being an outsider or intruder were very slim from the beginning.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And it`s allegedly; as we know this woman has just been arrested on suspicion of murder. Let`s go out to the phone lines. Blair, Texas -- your question or thought, Blair.

BLAIR, TEXAS (via telephone): Hi, Jane. I really appreciate you taking my call. That is very nice of you.

My question is why wouldn`t this woman just divorce her husband instead of just deciding to kill him? This is beyond me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Brenda Clubine, you may give us the final word on this.

CLUBINE: You know, part of it, you know just like myself, I spent 26 years in prison for protecting my life against my abuser. My life changed in a matter of moments for 26 years.

I don`t believe that this woman -- but I don`t know all the facts -- that this woman plotted to kill her husband. I think there are a lot of factors that need to be paid attention to -- a lot of dynamics. And you know what? You`re right, murder is never the answer. But your life is just as important as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, thank you, panel. We`re going to stay on top of it and tell you what happens in the coming days.

The "Shocking Video of the Day" takes us on a frightening plane ride in Idaho. Check this out as the cockpit camera catches all the action in this single-engine plane that never quite gets high enough and comes crashing back down to the trees. You almost feel like you`re in the crash. The pilot suffered a few broken bones, but everybody survived.

Again, wow. You really get a sense of things now with videotape of what it would be like to be in a plane crash.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Check out our "Viral Video of the Day". Wow. A dad built his daughter a roller coaster in their backyard. Wow. She is the envy of the neighborhood. Check this out. She is -- not sure mom`s loving it though. But wow, look at this -- this is fabulous. Why didn`t I get this when I was a kid?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More trouble for country music star, Randy Travis. He was arrested in Grayson County, Texas last night on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According to police they found Travis lying naked on a remote road in northern Texas smelling of alcohol. And that`s not all. His car apparently was wrecked nearby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While he was being transported, Travis made threats to shoot and kill the troopers working the case.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, country music fans circling the wagons around legend Randy Travis. Travis arrested after cops found the 53-year- old star laying in the middle of the road as naked as the day he was born and reeking of booze. Listen to the 911 call.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grayson County 911.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello? I just found a guy laying in the road.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a male on 911. He stated that he has just come upon a male subject laying in the roadway. And he does appear to be nonresponsive. Are you ok?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m spooked out.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops say when they arrested Travis for DWI he threatened to shoot and kill the troopers. So they stuck him with a felony retaliation charge too.

It looks like his string of bizarre behavior started earlier in the evening. A store owner says a naked Randy Travis tried to buy cigarettes.


MIKE ZIYADEAH, STORE OWNER: A customer walked in, he was butt naked and demanding cigarettes. He`s asking for Marlboro Lights and some other kind of cigarettes. And we told him, "Man, what are you doing over here?" Because, you know, he didn`t have nothing on. He said "Just go ahead and give me the cigarettes." He`s looking at his hand. Didn`t have even no money on him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you when you`re naked. But local fans aren`t willing to give up on Randy. In fact one local super fan paid over $21,000 to bail him out. And another fan gave him his legal services.

Straight out to Mike Walters, news manager TMZ; Mike, what`s the latest?

MIKE WALTERS, NEWS MANAGER TMZ: Well, I`m surprised, Jane, at the local people supporting Randy Travis. This was such a dangerous situation. But he`s such a big star especially in this area. The guy that you`re talking about, his name is Gary Corely. He`s an attorney. He`s actually in the photographs when Randy Travis was released from jail yesterday.

Anyway, this attorney goes into the jail to bail him out. He`s not his actual attorney. He`s not even a friend of his. He just knows of him and he lives in the area. He goes in. The guy in front of him in line is already paid a cash bond for Randy Travis. Another fan, person there to support Randy, both gentlemen walked him out.

You see this Texas hat he has on when he walks out, that was Gary`s hat. He gave him the hat right off of his head to wear out so he didn`t get photographed by the photographers. Once they get out, two pickup trucks idling with drivers. You know, cowboy limousines right there waiting for him to take him anywhere he wants to go.

It blew my mind that these people supported him so much after what he did. But, you know, this guy is a legend in that area. And I was just blown away that there were so many people there to support him and help him with his legal problems.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s remember, he didn`t hurt anybody. Ok. This could have been a heck of a lot worse. And he has an opportunity to really turn this around.

And on the other side of the break we`re going to talk to Cody Alan, who`s host of CMT Radio Live out of Nashville, Tennessee, who says the fans are really rallying for Randy Travis. And how does he get out of this jam and reclaim his position at the top of the country world? We`re going to tell you on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And pet of the day. Oh, Tessie and Trixie -- what a pair. Koda, you are spectacular looking. These are the pets -- Taio -- that our viewers have sent in. We want to see yours. Like Bella. Bella`s a beauty.

Send it to Tessie and Trixie, want some company. So does Koda.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, this is what is going to happen. You`re going to go to jail for public intoxication.



TRAVIS: Are you kidding me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, sir. I`m not going to kid you.

TRAVIS: You`re kidding me.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Randy Travis, "Heroes and Friends", Warner Music on YouTube. He`s so talented. What a voice.

Cody Alan, host, Country Music Television; from a PR perspective, how does Randy Travis turn this around?

CODY ALAN, HOST, COUNTRY MUSIC TELEVISION: I think it`s pretty easy. You know, first of all, country music stars, you know that people love them. The country music fans love their stars.

So I think Randy, first of all, needs to get some help. He obviously has perhaps alcohol abuse problem and some other things going on there that he needs to work on. But I think ultimately a hit song could probably turn him around and bring him back into favor with the country music community.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, do you think he should write a song about all of this? I mean it sounds like -- somebody had said it sounded like a country song because there was a story line. Maybe that`s the way to turn it around.

ALAN: Absolutely. You know, after he receives the help and recovers from all of this, he`s probably got a few lyrics he`d like to write down about the journey that I think will make a great country music song, indeed.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And you know, I`m a recovering alcoholic -- I say it all the time because it comes up so much on this show. He didn`t tell anybody. He can clean up this mess. He can go to rehab. Do you think he will go to rehab?

ALAN: Oh, I hope so. I think you know, this is the second incident this year with Randy. And so I hope that he`ll see this as a sign. You know, it`s great to see his friends bail him out of jail and getting back on track and fans, by the way, doing that as a story you told a moment ago.

I think what will happen now is that Randy will hopefully see the light. I do believe that human tragedies happen. But let`s remember, as you said, this is one of the greatest country music vocalists we`ve ever heard. And so we want to forgive but we also want to see Randy get some help.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. Some callers that will ask you a question, Cody, on the other side.

ALAN: All right.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And here is Randy Travis performing the duet, "Is It Still Over", with Carrie Underwood at the 25th Opry anniversary from YouTube.

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Angela, North Carolina -- your question or thought, Angela. Angela, oh Angela, you`ve ridden off into the sunset.

Cody, let me ask you this. There had been plenty of country stars and stars from Hollywood and everywhere else who have gotten in trouble. It`s really how they handle it afterwards that counts. And America loves it when somebody comes out and says, you know what, I messed up. Remember Hugh Grant when he got caught with -- in Hollywood and he went on one of the late night shows and said basically, "I bleeped up". And everybody loved him for it.

ALAN: I think Robert Downey, Jr. is another good example from Hollywood, a guy who fell down, and then came back to be very, very successful.

Even George Jones, looking at country music for someone who`s had their share of tough times and yet risen to the occasion to be redeemed, if you will, in the eyes of the public. I think that`s probably going to be the case with Randy, also. We have to look at the whole of the person here and not just an incident and let them find forgiveness and recovery within themselves and let them come back.

And I think you`re right, the American people and country music audience certainly loves that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me ask you this. Do you think that given all this, he`s desperate enough to go to rehab? Because sometimes we talk in recovery about the gift of desperation -- you have to really hit something big to say, "Ok, I surrender. I`m going in."

ALAN: Yes, it really has to be in your own heart, that decision to change and to be better. And I think -- I would think, by looking at the - - just mug shot alone, if Randy takes a close look at that, he would probably within himself say, "Man, I need some help." And I hope and pray that he`ll find that help.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, when he`s looking at this situation, wherever he is, he might think, oh, this is the worse and he`s been going through a tough divorce. But it isn`t. On a scale of one to ten, it`s not that high up because he didn`t hurt anyone. And so this is a mess you can clean up, Randy Travis, we are rooting for you. We want you to turn it around. Be that star.

Nancy next.