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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Husband Tries to Kill Wife, Wants to Reconcile

Aired September 20, 2012 - 19:00   ET

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


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL starts right now.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, a seriously injured wife and mother fights back against her husband, who allegedly hired a hitman to kill her so he could be with the mistress cops say he lavished with homes and cash. Well now, are you sitting down? He`s trying to win his wife back. Will she forgive and forget, even though she`s been shot through the eye? We`ll uncover toxic secrets and also talk to Mary Jo Buttafuoco, who was also cheated on and shot in the face.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, cops say a church-choir husband led a secret double life, funding a mistress and other lovers while plotting the murder of his own wife. Prosecutors say the successful accountant paid a string of alleged hit men more than $100,000 to kill his wife. She was shot in the eye. But today she was eye-to-eye with her husband in court.

We`ll talk to Mary Jo Buttafuoco, who knows just how dangerous these dark secrets can be.

And outrage over the senseless death of beautiful coed Yeardley Love. The University of Virginia senior was murdered by her preppy lacrosse- playing ex-boyfriend when he attacked her in a drunken rage. Now Yeardley`s mom and her best friend tell Katie Couric never-before-heard details of the violence that foreshadowed this killing. What every parent needs to know.

Plus, shocking video of a girl fight posted on YouTube has some more outraged about the cop who broke it up. You`ll see why, and I`ll talk to one of the girl`s moms live tonight. We`re taking your calls for the hour.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In a Denton courtroom she faced her husband, who`s accused of hiring a hitman to kill her.

NANCY HOWARD, SHOT IN EYE BY HITMAN: I prayed through the whole incident. Oh, God, to save me. And he did. He carried me through.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Frank Howard not only faces accusations of trying to hire someone to kill his wife, but is being sued by his former boss for allegedly embezzling money.

HOWARD: I don`t know what that`s going to look like. But whatever he sends my way I`m ready to deal with.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a secret mistress, an alleged murder-for- hire plot and a wife and mother, as you see right there, shot in the eye and left for dead. Her husband of 30 years, a wealthy Texas businessman, behind bars right now as we speak, accused of hiring hitmen to kill her. And now he reportedly wants his wife back?

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.

Just look at Nancy Howard. You can see the torment that`s been inflicted on her. This wife and mother of three shot in the face after pulling into the driveway of her Carrollton, Texas, home just last month. The shooter left her for dead, but she survived after spending three long days in a coma. But she is permanently blind in her left eye as a result of this ambush.

What led up to the shooting? It`s mind boggling. Cops say her husband, a county executive, John Howard, spent years planning his wife`s murder and carried on a four-year affair with a woman in California, showering that woman, that mistress, with an $800,000 home and more than half a million bucks in cash.

Now, Howard is now locked up on a $1 million bond for allegedly plotting the murder and hiring these two cousins -- take a look at them -- to rub out his wife. Look at that black eye. In fact, cops say there could be as many as ten people involved in this very, very bizarre and intricate murder-for-hire plot.

Still, Nancy Howard, the victim, says she`s optimistic. Why? Because she lived to talk about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOWARD: I`m thankful. Thankful to be here. Thankful that I have life. Thankful that God has -- that he has given me life. It`s going to be a great future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. She came to court with a smile, unbelievably. Nancy Howard came to divorce court to demand a divorce from her husband, but he showed up wearing his wedding ring. And his attorney says he wants his wife back and he is hoping to reconcile with her. Are you kidding me? It gets worse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He would like to reconcile with her. And I believe she with him. I think they`ve got a possibility of doing that. I think they`re both people of strong faith.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you kidding me? Could Nancy Howard possibly want her husband back? Now, stranger things have happened.

Tonight we`re going to unlock the secrets behind this alleged elaborate murder plot and talk to a woman who knows exactly what Nancy is going through, because she was also cheated on and shot in the face.

Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to defense attorney Lisa Bloom.

Lisa, first thing that struck me was, hmm, he`s wearing his wedding ring. He says, "Oh, no, I don`t want to divorce this woman I cheated on." He admits cheating on her. And he`s accused of hiring hit men to kill. Could this be more about the charges filed against him for conspiracy to commit murder and less about the divorce?

LISA BLOOM, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think it`s about a couple things.

No. 1, if he reconciles with her, he may be able to prevent her from testifying against him under the marital privilege.

No. 2, he`s a wealthy guy. He wants to protect his money. So he wants to stay married to her.

I think she has a beautiful attitude, as so many crime victims do. It was terrific hearing from her just then. But, Nancy, you`ve got to toughen up, girl. You`ve got to divorce him and get a separate civil lawyer and take him to the cleaners. Take everything he`s got in a civil case for assault and battery. Everything he owns should be hers and then some.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jon Lieberman, it gets worse, because there`s allegedly embezzlement involved. He was allegedly stealing to fund all the money he`s giving his mistress and the money he allegedly gave the hitmen.

JON LIEBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. I`ve been going through the documents. It is absolutely amazing. He is being sued now for allegedly embezzling $1 million plus. And bank records show that he actually paid some of this money to one of his mistresses even to send one of her kids to college. He allegedly bought her a house.

But the documents also say that this started way back in 2009. Mr. Howard would meet with these two alleged hitmen, and they would actually, quote, "talk about how to make this look like an accident." And they would brainstorm at a burger place ideas on, quote, "how to kill Nancy." That`s according to the court documents. It is absolutely mind boggling.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Make it look like a robbery and use a knife or a bat. That`s what cops say the husband suggested doing to his wife, Brian Russell, forensic psychologist. And now he`s saying he wants her back.

Also, I want to talk about reaction formation. Creating the mask of perfection and oh, choir boy, he actually sang in the choir. So the choir boy image he`s putting out to the world and then behind the mask, oh, my gosh.

BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, Jane, it`s nice to be able to agree sometimes wholeheartedly with my friend, Lisa Bloom, on her birthday, no less. Lisa`s 35 today. Happy birthday, Lisa.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Happy birthday, Lisa. I was waiting for a less morbid subject.

BLOOM: Thank you. It`s actually 51. Fifty-one, not 35.

RUSSELL: I agree with Lisa totally. You know, one of the things that you find practicing law, as I also do, is that people who are narcissistic, sociopathic and feel entitled to take what they want from others tend to not restrict that just to one area.

I`m getting ready to do discovery in a case and I can`t wait to get the defendant`s records because I`m sure I`m going to find other crimes in it.

And so you talk about reaction formation. That`s a Freudian idea of somebody going headlong in a direction when they know that they really need to be going in the opposite direction. I hope we`re not seeing that here from Nancy. I hope that this idea of them getting back together is only his as a way, as many people in these types of cases do, of knowing no limits to their own estimation of their manipulative powers.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I wasn`t suggesting she was experiencing reaction formation. I was saying he was because he`s putting out this choir boy image and singing in the church choir on Sunday when, in fact, he has a mistress, not one, but according to cops more than one. And he is allegedly plotting with numerous people at a burger joint to have his wife killed by knifing or batting her to death with a baseball bat, according to cops.

If this case rings a bell, you are correct. Bing. A woman named Mary Jo Buttafuoco was shot in the face. In her case it was her husband`s mistress who pulled the trigger. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMY FISHER, MISTRESS: I went to hit her again and the gun went off. I guess, obviously, I shot it.

MARY JO BUTTAFUOCO, SHOT BY HUSBAND`S MISTRESS: This girl is an attempted murderer, a liar, a prostitute. And the D.A. is accepting her statement that she and Joe were together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mary Jo courageously survived the shooting but lost hearing in one ear and her face was left partially paralyzed, as you just saw. Mary Jo joins us now on the phone. We`d like to mention that Mary Jo will be featured on "Oprah: Where Are They Now," on the O network. Congratulations.

Mary Jo, what is your reaction to this shooting and the claims by the husband that he doesn`t really want to divorce her and that she doesn`t really want to divorce him.

BUTTAFUOCO (via phone): Wow. Wow. Well, hi. Happy birthday, Lisa. Hi, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey.

BUTTAFUOCO: And boy, doesn`t this guy sound like a living doll? Huh? What do you think? Holy smokes.

I`ve been looking at this case. And, you know, obviously they have a lot against him. And, as one of the other panelists said -- I`m sorry I don`t remember your name -- that he is the classic example of a sociopath, that he can do this without conscience or awareness, has no remorse for anything.

As somebody who`s been on the other side of that bullet, I sympathize so much with Nancy. She must still be reeling. I mean, this has only been a month. She`s finding all this stuff out. She`s in pain. She`s lost her eyesight. I see there`s some paralysis on her right side of her body. She`s just got to be reeling. And my heart just goes out for her, because this is just the beginning of a terribly long journey for her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But, Mary Jo, is there any possibility in your mind - - or let me put it this way, when you were shot, did you ever consider reconciling? And in fact, I think there was something to that effect.

BUTTAFUOCO: Well, in my case, Joe, which I did not know, but my ex- husband was a raving sociopath, but I had no idea at the time. Because I just didn`t understand that type of behavior. This was 20 years ago.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But you stayed with him, right?

BUTTAFUOCO: He swore up and down on the lives of our children that he had nothing to do with it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But yes, so you stayed for a while, despite all of this violence. And then, ultimately you moved on.

BUTTAFUOCO: There was nothing in any police reports other than he said/she said at that time to indicate that he had anything to do with it or that he was with her. So he convinced me that there was nothing going on between the two of them.

And it wasn`t until like a year later when he got indicted for statutory rape that I started to question it.

But when you`re going through something, you`re in pain, you`re sick, you`ve got surgeries. I mean, this poor woman you can see she`s going to have to have numerous surgeries for cosmetic reasons to repair the eye. And it`s not just losing an eye. It`s your whole depth perception. It`s a whole thing that just goes on. And it`s just going to take her a long, long time to get through this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right.

BUTTAFUOCO: I`m glad to see that she`s going through with the divorce. I think there`s a lot of evidence to show that he`s been doing this for a long, long time. And at least it sounds like she`s listening to that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And Mary Jo, we`re going to have more of you. Hang in there. And we didn`t know we were going to get that deep into your case. But of course, we invite all sides in that case to come on and tell their sides of the story at any time.

More on this crazy case on the other side.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. We acknowledge that. He`s human. But it doesn`t mean that he`s guilty of the crime.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was the attorney for John Howard who says, yes, I had an affair for four years with a woman I showered with gifts, an $800,000 Lake Tahoe mansion, half a million bucks in cash, money for this mistress`s daughter to go to college.

Get this, though: bank records show that John Howard was paying another woman for sex, as well. That woman in jail on drug charges. And he reportedly paid her, according to cops, $35,000. The documents say for actual contacts with John Howard. So he was cheating on the woman that he was cheating on his wife with.

Boy, my head`s spinning. You know, to me that`s a definition of irreconcilable differences.

All right. Let`s go to the phone lines. Regina, Tennessee. Your question or thought, Regina.

CALLER: Yes, thank you for taking my call. I don`t understand this violence. I don`t understand even contemplating going back with your perpetrator. But my question is, is sociopathic behavior on the rise, in your opinion?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think that we`re seeing more and more of it because we`re covering cases like this. And it`s also being acknowledged more as given official names like, well, domestic violence that leads up to perhaps something like this. He`s not accused of domestic violence.

But, Brian Russell, forensic psychologist, is it on the rise? Or are we just acknowledging it more?

RUSSELL: I think Regina makes an excellent point. I think it is on the rise, Jane. I think that we`re having an increasingly self-focused culture. And I think that when you have a large group of people drifting in a direction, you`re going to have a larger than normal subset of those people drifting to the extremes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, here`s what bugs me about this case. And it`s an outrage, actually.

A month before Nancy Howard was shot in the face, the alleged shooter, a teenager by the name of Dustin Hiroms, and his buddy, Jason, they happened to be pulled over for a traffic violation right near the home where the shooting went down. There they are. Dustin, the alleged shooter is the one with the black eye.

Now, police documents say Dustin told cops he was working for a guy named John. And there was a discussion allegedly, according to cops, about a hit or that somebody wanted to hire them for a hit. But guess what?

Lisa Bloom, they were held -- or he was held for a couple of days. And they ended up being released. And anything -- nothing ever came of it. Nothing ever came of it. A month later she is shot by this guy, allegedly.

BLOOM: You know, hitman cases are hard to prove, actually. Because the hitmen come forward and say, "He solicited me to kill his wife." And then, you know, the defense has a field day with them. They`re usually people who have criminal records who have an axe to grind who may have done a deal with the prosecution. So they can be very, very difficult.

I mean, I think the bottom line, though, is this guy has to be criminally prosecuted. She cannot get back together with him.

Nancy, please do not get back together with him. Go to your family. Go to your friends. Surround yourself with intelligent support people. They will guide you in this. But please, do not get back together with this guy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I find it incomprehensible. We called her attorney, and she would not comment except to say, "I want to thank everyone for their prayers and support."

So on the other side of the break, we`re going to talk about this alleged conspiracy to kill and how it involved hanging out at a burger joint and having long conversations, bouncing around ideas, allegedly.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOWARD: I`m thankful. Thankful to be here. Thankful that I have life. Thankful that God has given me life. It`s going to be a great future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That woman survived a murder-for-hire plot, according to police, who say her husband was the mastermind, the puppet-master.

And while she is in Texas, he has a mistress in Lake Tahoe. And he bought her something like an $800,000 house in Lake Tahoe and was giving this woman money to send her daughter to college.

But I got to say, the snowy -- I`ve been to Lake Tahoe. It`s a beautiful place. And it`s a beautiful resort. There`s gambling and there`s skiing. In fact, you can ski from Nevada to California and back again. And so this is where his mistress is.

Meanwhile, his wife`s in Texas. And he is concocting this plan, allegedly, to rub her out. And it was almost like a layaway plan, according to cops. He would give $10,000 here and a little money there, and he was paying up slowly to allegedly pay for her being rubbed out.

Now, Jon Lieberman, here`s what gets me. According to cops, the suspect, this John Howard, this insurance executive or accounting executive, I should say, OK, cops say he set up a special phone account to communicate with sort of a group, team hit you might call them. There`s the -- the suspected mastermind of all this. That he allegedly provided this hit team with photos of his wife, a copy of her schedule, location of their home. And then they would go to this place like a burger joint. And what would they do there?

LIEBERMAN: They would go to the burger joint, and they would discuss different ways, potentially, to allegedly kill John Howard`s wife.

And get this. One day they met at a Wal-Mart, allegedly, and they exchanged some money. And then John Howard in his Lexus, according to the police documents, took one of the alleged hitmen and drove him by the house. But then he said he wasn`t sure, according to the court documents, that he wanted his wife killed in the home but that she would be staying in a nearby hotel for a few days. But then her plans changed.

And get this: this is a quote from the police documents. "Dustin stated that John believed that a gunshot would bring too much attention. And John wanted to make it look like a robbery and either kill Nancy with a knife or a bat."

And one other thing, Jane...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So why was he -- why was she shot, then, ultimately?

LIEBERMAN: Well, because this plan never came to fruition, because according to the documents, it looks like the plan got a little rushed because some of the players started to get nervous.

And in fact, one of the alleged hitmen`s stepfather even called the FBI after the shooting and said that Howard contacted him in the beginning to do the hit, as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And here`s what I don`t get. I mean, this is a guy who...

LIEBERMAN: It looks like...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... he`s smart enough to be an accounting executive. You get it? Know a few things to be an accounting executive. And now he`s being sued for alleged embezzlement. And he concocts, allegedly, this very ornate plan involving a lot of people.

How does anybody with half a brain think that this story isn`t going to get out? Really. I mean, we`ve been watching too many TV shows, apparently, when we`re not singing in the church choir. Oh, my gosh.

We`re going to stay on top of this. But absolutely, Lisa Bloom is right. Go through with that divorce if you`re even thinking, Nancy Howard, about taking this one back.

And, Nancy, another Nancy, Nancy Grace, has an incredible story for you at 8 p.m. Eastern -- Nance.

NANCY GRACE, HLN ANCHOR: Jane, on the radar tracking crime and justice, Lamida (ph), the young wife of a fine-dining restaurateur vanishes without a trace. Tonight, a sick and stunning development. Did Dawn`s husband, a chef, slow cook his own wife in a human crock pot for four days, Jane? Until the meat literally falls off the bones.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The killing has shattered the idyllic calm of this campus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Found unresponsive in her bedroom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This young lady was the victim of something far worse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a pool of blood on her pillow. It didn`t take police long to zero in on a suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guilty of second-degree murder and grand larceny in the murder of Yeardley Love.

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He told investigators how he had kicked in Love`s bedroom door shaking her so violently her head continually hit the wall.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Love`s right eye had been swollen shout.

CASAREZ: Yeardley Love had been his girlfriend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Talk to your friends if you see them in an unhealthy relationship.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tragically, no one spoke up for Yeardley Love.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was an incredibly sweet girl and just kind to everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s her memory that will never be forgotten.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was goodness epitomized.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Outrage tonight over a young, innocent, beautiful life snuffed out in a horrific attack. Now there`s a shocking new re- enactment of sorts in an effort to make sure there are no more victims like Yeardley Love.

Her ex, George Huguely V beat her to death in her college apartment two years ago. Her devastated family has now filed a $30 million wrongful death lawsuit against lacrosse coaches at the University of Virginia where the couple met.

Yeardley`s family is also speaking out trying to wake people up to the reality of dating violence. Her mom told Katie Couric she had no clue her daughter was in any danger.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARON LOVE, YEARDLEY LOVE`S MOTHER: I had no idea. Had I thought she was in a dangerous relationship, I would have taken her out of school and kept her out for a semester and then put her back in after he was gone. But I had no idea. Violence to us was foreign. It never existed in our home. So it wasn`t on our radar at all. We never thought it was possible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Coming up, you`re going to hear Yeardley`s mom describe the red flags that she missed. George had been convicted -- was convicted of second-degree murder and he was sentenced to just 23 years. The judge in fact lowered the jury`s recommended sentence by three years. In my opinion that is an outrage. This man took a life. If he gets credit for time served and good behavior and all that it`s possible he could get out in his early 40s -- his whole life ahead of him. It`s further proof that relationship violence is not taken seriously enough in this society.

Check out this eye opening new clip from Yeardley`s family`s foundation, One Love.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(TRIBUTE TO YEADLEY LOVE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to one of my heroes, Brenda Clubine. Brenda, thanks for joining us. You were a domestic violence survivor. You served 26 years in prison for killing your abusive husband. And now this guy gets 23 years. You know, he had been charged with murder one. But he ended up being convicted of murder two. Even though prosecutors say he kicked her door in and then beat her, left her there with severe head trauma to die and took her laptop computer.

Now, this is a son of privilege. He`s on the lacrosse team. He comes from a very prominent family. Do you consider this an outrage? Do you think he should have gotten murder one?

BRENDA CLUBINE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVOR: Absolutely. This is absolutely indicative of society`s closed eyes to intimate partner violence. Just because they`re dating and not married doesn`t mean that it`s not horribly violent and that this young, beautiful young girl was not a horrible victim to this monster. Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I agree. I mean, if you take the exact same set of circumstances and Lisa Bloom, you put a stranger attack in there, let`s say a poor young man from the neighborhood gets high or drunk -- this guy was in a drunken rage -- and kicks in her door, a stranger, and then beats her and leaves her there with blunt force trauma to die and then steals her laptop, don`t you think he would probably get murder one?

LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: You know, I get so tired of seeing judges bend over backwards to help affluent white defendants and get a sentence that`s clearly out of keeping with this crime as you say beating her, leaving her there to die, stealing her laptop, showing absolutely no remorse.

And that was just a chilling video that her family made. How important is that for us all to keep in mind -- all the excuses that go through our heads. It`s none of my business, maybe she`s participating in this, maybe he was just drunk. We`ve got to get rid of those excuses and open our eyes. When we see this in our own communities, to speak out, to report it, to do anything we can.

I just really salute this family for trying to take positive steps to prevent this from happening to anybody else.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: George Huguely had attacked Yeardley Love before, choked her on his bed before the night of her death. And it`s one of the reasons she broke up with him. Now, here`s one of Yeardley`s friends on Katie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YEADLEY LOVE`S FRIEND: I think the breaking point in Yeardley and George`s relationship was when he held her down in his bed at a party. And I think she was for the first time saw like a completely different side of him. That was the first time that he got truly aggressive with her. And I think that completely blindsided her and turned her off of him forever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, a domestic violence expert on Katie`s show says this is chilling. A woman who was choked by her partner is five times more likely to be killed by him. Ok? So if your boyfriend or your husband, if you`re a woman out there has ever tried to choke you, get out before something worse happens.

Now, there were red flags in George`s past -- public drunkenness, violence against a female officer. He tried to choke a female friend. And he beat up one of his teammates, somebody who testified, said he woke up to this guy pummeling him, this guy pummeling him because he had had the nerve to leave a party with Yeardley Love.

Jon Leiberman, investigative journalist, I also can tell you that he struggled with alcohol. And I personally believe -- this is my personal opinion as a recovering alcoholic -- that he is an alcoholic and that as so many alcoholics do, he became rageful when he drank. And that he almost -- you go into a blackout where you don`t really even know what you`re doing. But that doesn`t excuse it because you have the choice not to drink.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely, Jane. I mean, I sit on the board of the National Domestic Violence Registry. And we see this all the time, this escalation of violence. You just ran down the laundry list starting in 2007 of this guy starting to display his temper. And then as you mentioned you add in alcohol. And this is what happens.

And to Lisa Bloom`s point, we must do a better job at taking domestic violence seriously whether it`s rich kids at a private college or whether it`s poor people in urban areas, whoever it is, must do a better job of taking it more seriously.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Violence is violence. When Yeardley`s family heard that George had tried to choke Yeardley in his bed, they tried to do something. But apparently since Yeardley was breaking up with George and the school semester was almost over, the general consensus was maybe the danger was past.

Listen to this from Katie because this is so crucial.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATIE COURIC, TALK SHOW HOST: You felt comfortable with the fact that she said she was never going to see him or she was ending the relationship for good?

LOVE: It was over. It was absolutely over, the relationship. And I had no idea that anything else would become of it. And it was three weeks to graduation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, Brenda Clubine, again, you served a quarter of a century for killing your abusive husband. This is the confusion, oh, if I break up with him, then I`m out of the danger zone. That is the danger zone. A rejection -- when a male is rejected, that`s often something that triggers the rage.

CLUBINE: Absolutely. 75 percent the risk increases once you leave an abusive relationship. Whether it`s a boyfriend, a husband, a girlfriend, I don`t care who it is, the risk of the victim being killed increases 75 percent. Those are horrible, horrible statistics.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And so it`s a cautionary tale. Our hearts go out to Yeardley Love -- look at this beautiful girl -- Yeardley Love`s family. We really applaud the fact that they are taking this action with the One Love Foundation.

You can go to my Web site, hlntv.com/Jane and learn how to download an app that will basically tell you whether or not your boyfriend is prone to violence. It`s a great thing. Check it out.

Time for your "Shocking Video of the Day". Now, if you`re afraid of heights, you might want to watch this with one hand over your eyes. Because these thrill seekers were stuck at this ride at a California amusement park 300 feet in the air for two long hours. You know how terrifying that had to be? And by the way, this is the second time this ride`s broken down.

Imagine, that`s -- what is it -- 300 feet in the air and you`re stuck there for two hours? Scary.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s your "Viral Vid of the Day". You know, our companion animals can be very ingenious. There`s a little kitten -- or actually a cat, getting food out of a container by literally -- can we see that again? That part where they --

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The girl is a hundred pounds. She felt that her daughter had been brutalized. The outrage is sparked not by the incident itself but when people see the videotape.

Shocking video tonight of two teenage girls, they`re in a fight. But that`s not the astonishing thing caught on tape. A police officer working in the school steps in to break up the fight, but it appears he slams one of the girls to the ground. The violent video starts showing two teens apparently going at it. That`s what teens do sometimes, you know, grabbing each other by the hair, et cetera. And then two people step in and try to break it up.

But it`s the school cop`s response that has everybody talking. Now, we reached out to the sheriff`s department where the officer is employed -- take a look at that, boom -- and they had no comment.

Joining me now in an exclusive interview is the mother of the 13-year- old girl who appears to be slammed down by the cop. Dani Cratsley, thank you for joining us from Elmira, New York. How did you find out about this?

DANI CRASSLY, MOTHER: I went to the school and my daughter informed me right after the incident happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you saw the video when? And what was your reaction to seeing the video?

CRATSLEY: They had informed me that a student had videoed it and it appeared on Facebook. So I recorded it with my phone off the screen.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you think this police officer is doing wrong?

CRATSLEY: He grabbed my daughter by the throat and slammed her on the ground. He`s a trained police officer and knows protocol. There is absolutely no reason to use excessive force.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, you`ve told me that your daughter is 4`8 and 100 pounds. So she`s easy to control physically. What happened to her as a result of this alleged slamming?

CRATSLEY: She had a busted lip on the inside. And she also still has back and neck pain from where he slammed her and ended up on top of her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you going to do something about this?

CRATSLEY: I`ve already gone to the sheriff`s department. And I have tried to search lawyers locally, but nobody will touch it because nobody wants to sue the local sheriff`s department. So I kind of need help finding a lawyer out of town to sue them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you are planning to take legal action. More on the other side --

CRATSLEY: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stay right there. Don`t go anywhere.

Now, we have a slightly lighter story here, your "Kooky Video of the Day". Listen as this teen gives a stunning rendition of "I Will Always Love You" on a karaoke machine at a shopping center. More than a million YouTube hits later she gets a record deal.

(GIRL SINGING "I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU")

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: time for my favorite, "Pets of the Day". Harvey, you are just magnificent. And let`s see who we got here. Molly, she`s just hanging out, you know, making the scene. And Molly says I`m going to be very curious. And Chloe says I`m just chilling. I`m chilling like Dylan.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, ok. This is sparking controversy. A 13-year- old girl gets into an argument with another girl. And that`s not the shocking part. The shocking part is that a sheriff`s officer comes in to break it up and after some other adults try unsuccessfully, and the sheriff`s officer, boom -- that`s where the mom gets upset. The mother of this girl who was thrown to the ground.

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Anthony, Ohio. Your question or thought, Anthony.

ANTHONY, OHIO (via telephone): Yes, ma`am. I saw that. From what I can see is that it looked like the mother and daughter is the aggressor in the fight because she was on top of the other girl. Now, I know when I went through criminal justice training in high school we were taught to get the suspect to the ground and under control as soon as possible. That to me looks like what the officer did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. So Dani, I want to give you an opportunity to explain. Because some people have looked at this and said, well, these girls are a little out of control. And he`s trying to break it up. Your thought.

CRATSLEY: No, the other girl actually started the fight. What happened was the other girl approached my daughter in the hallway and my daughter actually said, "I don`t want to fight you. I don`t want to fight in school." The other girl grabbed my daughter`s hair when my daughter put up her hand, saying she doesn`t want to fight. And the other girl grabbed my daughter`s hair and pulled her down.

That`s the part that is not shown in the video. The cop not only is trained to pull my daughter away or any child away from the fight. Why was not the other kid slammed in this video?

Plus, this officer slammed a child in the fight. It is not about who is the aggressor, who is not -- that`s excessive force.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes and we can`t -- Dani we can`t confirm that. We`ve reached out and reached out to this officer any time we would be happy to get his side. We want to be fair. More on the other side.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s country star Miranda Lambert singing one of her amazing hits from Sony Music Entertainment. Miranda is a huge proponent of animal adoption. She has at least seven dogs on her Oklahoma ranch.

Tonight we`re trying to help her. She is desperately searching for one of her dogs, who is missing, Loretta. This small black lab vanished in Tishomingo, Oklahoma a couple of days ago. Loretta has a pink collar with a tag. She is very friendly.

If you see her, please either call the number of the tag or post a comment on my Jane Velez-Mitchell Facebook page or go to Jane Velez- Mitchell, hlntv.com/Jane. We want Loretta to come home.

And I have to say I`m very excited because starting on Tuesday we`re launching Rico`s rescues. We had such a fabulous response when NFL coach Tortorella from the New York rangers came on to try to get Benny adopted. And guess what? Benny got a fabulous home the next day.

So we were inspired. We decided to bring you a different homeless pet who needs to be adopted every Tuesday night and my mom`s rescue dog, little Rico will be my very special guest host. We`re calling it "Rico`s Rescue" and we`re going to find homeless animals a new home. Every single Tuesday night and you can be a part of it. I`m excited. Let`s make it happen.

Nancy is next.

END