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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Teen Gunned Down by Man Who Felt Threatened

Aired November 28, 2012 - 19:00   ET

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


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Has the Trayvon Martin tragedy happened all over again? Another Florida shooting leaves a 17-year-old man dead. The suspect, a 45-year-old who claims he was in fear for his life. But he`s the only person cops found with a weapon. Will he use Florida`s controversial stand-your-ground law as his defense? We will investigate the seemingly senseless willing. I will speak with the shooter`s killing in her first national interview, next.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Has it happened again? Another unarmed 17-year-old African-American gunned down in Florida. This software designer claims he fatally shot Jordan Davis because he felt threatened. Are there striking similarities to the Trayvon Martin case? Will this latest shooter use stand your ground as his defense, like Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman? I`ll talk to a lawyer for Trayvon Martin`s family. And we`re taking your calls.

And the jackpot is now well past the half-a-billion-dollar mark. And the odds are very good that somebody will win it in just four hours. Lotto fever sweeping America. And I`m talking to a woman who won $112 million. What was the first thing she bought? We`ll hear her advice to whoever wins. So what are your fantasies?

And imagine being a high-powered attorney who keeps falling asleep. We`ll talk to a woman who struggled to stay awake, despite 18 hours of sleep. Her secret disorder, tonight.

ROBIN LEMONIDIS, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL DUNN: He was threatened. He was threatened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She says one of the teenagers told Dunn he was dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Davis was hit more than once and killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His statement was that "I just fired at these kids."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The suspect, 45-year-old Michael Dunn, got upset at the loud music Jordan and his friends were playing from an SUV.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say Dunn drove home from Jacksonville after learning 17-year-old Jordan Davis had been killed in the confrontation they had the night before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Call the police or something. Why shoot a gun?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s going to be an attempt at a "stand your ground" case based upon what we have heard.

LUCIA MCBATH, JORDAN`S MOTHER: They said, "Jordan`s dead." And I just -- I just lost it.

(CHANTING)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, new questions and escalating controversy as another unarmed African-American teenager is gunned down by a man who says he felt threatened.

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

We remember the outrage that erupted when 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, holding Skittles and an iced tea, was gunned down in Florida by Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

Tonight, a brand-new case with eerie similarities. This 17-year-old high school student, Jordan Davis, was shot dead the day after Thanksgiving, after a day of shopping.

Cops say it all started at around 7:30 in the evening when 45-year-old software designer Michael Dunn, seen here in the orange, was in his car at a Florida gas station, waiting for his girlfriend. First Coast News said she had gone in to buy some wine.

Cops say Dunn told Jordan Davis and three other young men in the adjacent car their music was too loud and to turn it down. Words were exchanged, and cops say Dunn opened fire, spraying eight or nine shots at the car. Jordan Davis, reportedly in the back seat, was hit and died.

Jordan`s heartbroken mother is struggling to make sense of this tragedy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCBATH: I don`t know what went on in that car. And I don`t know what those -- what the kids or what he said to Jordan or what -- I don`t know. It doesn`t matter. It doesn`t matter. You shot him. Over some music.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops say the shooter, Michael Dunn, left the scene with his girlfriend and was arrested the next day. He claims he was threatened, in fear for his life, and that he saw a gun. Here is his attorney on tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMONIDIS: He was threatened. He was threatened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In what way, specifically?

LEMONIDIS: With a firearm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, tell us what was said. We`ll edit it. Tell us what was said?

LEMONIDIS: "Kill that mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED), that mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED) dead, you dead (EXPLETIVE DELETED)." And he sees that much of a shotgun coming up over the rim of the SUV, which is up higher than his Jetta. And all he sees are the heavily tinted front windows that are up and the back windows that are down, and the car has at least four black men in it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And why that phraseology? Is that significant? To him? "Four black men"? Dunn says he saw a gun, but cops say the teens were not armed.

And now Michael Dunn may try to use the "stand your ground" law, the very same controversial defense used by Trayvon Martin`s shooter, George Zimmerman.

We`re taking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to our very special guest tonight, Robin Lemonidis, the attorney for Michael Dunn, who has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder.

This is your first national interview, Robin. Thank you for joining us. You say your client saw a shotgun, but police say the teens were not armed. There was no gun. How do you explain that discrepancy?

LEMONIDIS (via phone): First, thank you for allowing me to speak with you all. And forgive my scratchy voice, because as you might imagine, I have done quite a bit of talking in the last couple of days.

Mr. Dunn, No. 1, has owned a firearm since his grandparents gave him a rifle as a gift when he was in third grade. And he has owned firearms, mostly long guns as he calls them, rifles, his entire life. He`s now 45 years old and has owned one since he was approximately 8.

He is the type of person who, when he does anything, he wants to do it well. Therefore, he practices shooting. He practices with military, ex- military, law enforcement, et cetera, and is a member of the lodges of gun and pistol, rifle and pistol -- the Port Malvern (ph) Rifle and Pistol Range here.

Your question was how do we explain the discrepancy between the fact that Mr. Dunn saw a firearm and the door opened and heard the words "You dead..."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Please -- yes, don`t use any profanity, please, thank you.

LEMONIDIS: No, ma`am, I`m just using -- going to use initials. I understand you are live.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But the gun.

LEMONIDIS: I don`t -- I`m sorry?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How do you explain the discrepancy? Law enforcement says there was no gun. He`s saying he saw a gun. But law enforcement says the teens didn`t have a gun.

LEMONIDIS: Law enforcement -- yes, ma`am. Law enforcement did not locate the firearm that was branded to Michael Dunn.

However, the red SUV pulled out of the parking lot and, according to the law enforcement official that gave a press conference of sorts yesterday or the day before, he stated that they left the parking lot, went around the corner or the block, and then returned to the convenience store where this event had occurred.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me ask you about that for a second, because your client allegedly left the scene with his girlfriend. She apparently - - they had been coming back from the wedding of his son, and correct me if I`m wrong...

LEMONIDIS: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... he said to his girlfriend, go in and get some wine, gave her $20...

LEMONIDIS: No, ma`am, no, ma`am, that is not accurate.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. First Coast News is reporting that.

LEMONIDIS: His fiance said, since we`re going home early, let`s stop and grab a bottle of wine, so we can sit in the hotel room and drink a glass of wine together before we go to sleep. They had a puppy that they had just gotten and had brought with them to the pet-friendly Sheraton Hotel in the Jacksonville area.

Michael Dunn is completely unfamiliar with the Jacksonville area...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me -- can I jump in just to clarify? And I want to just make sure I`ve got you right.

LEMONIDIS: Yes, ma`am.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re saying, OK, she`s the one who went in to get the wine while he sat in the car?

LEMONIDIS: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you`re saying that it was her suggestion, as opposed to his suggestion. They had been coming from a wedding.

LEMONIDIS: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did Michael Dunn have anything to drink at his son`s wedding?

LEMONIDIS: He did the traditional little toast and sip of champagne, toasting the bride and -- bride and groom, when that point in the reception, I guess we`d call it, began. After the hour-long photo session that, as everyone knows, takes place immediately after a wedding. And then...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So he had had something to drink?

LEMONIDIS: He had had a sip of champagne. And -- to be polite, yes, he had had a sip of champagne. And when I say, to be polite, meaning he is not going to sit there at his son`s wedding and say, "No, I`m not going to drink a drop." That would be ridiculous, and that would be rude.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, OK, so -- so you`re saying that his girlfriend was going in to get wine, and that he had had a little bit to drink, but he was not under the influence, in your opinion?

Why didn`t he just wait there? Why didn`t he call the police? According to the published reports -- correct me if I`m wrong -- he left, went with his girlfriend to a hotel. They found out on the news that the young man had died from a gunshot, and then he drives approximately three hours back to his home. And he was arrested the next day at his home.

Why didn`t he just call police and say, "Something terrible has happened"?

LEMONIDIS: Because he is very skittish and untrusting of the police and the way that police have been known to twist and trap -- twist words and trap people that are not accustomed to being interviewed by police or interviewed by anyone, for that matter. He is a computer geek. And I use that term not derogatorily but proudly, as my husband is the same and very proud to be.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me ask you a couple of other quick questions. I know your time is important, and we`re obviously on an hour show. So let me just ask you this -- this question.

You`ve been quoted as saying your client is no vigilante.

LEMONIDIS: No.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But what would you say to those who argue your client initiated the confrontation by reportedly telling the teens...

LEMONIDIS: He did not initiate.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... to turn down their music -- I`m just trying to -- let me just finish the sentence, and then I`d love you to clarify or give your opinion. The reports are that he told the teens to turn their music down, and that was when the confrontation started. Like why does he care what music they`re playing when he`s not at home?

LEMONIDIS: That is partially inaccurate. OK? So let`s break it down so that we can get everything accurate.

No. 1 is, this case may not be tried in the media. It must be tried in the court -- in a court of law. And that is where it shall be tried.

However, I am speaking to you in the interest of Michael Dunn not being annihilated in the media, as have been -- as other people have been, all the way up to our president, Barack Obama, being accused of being born someplace other than in the United States.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, let`s -- let`s stay on track here. I know you said you can only stay for a couple of minutes, but if you stay on the other side, I just want to ask, did he tell them to turn the music down or not?

LEMONIDIS: No, ma`am. He asked politely. Because he has had an injury to his left ear which causes him actual physical discomfort when noises are made at certain decibel levels.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.

LEMONIDIS: And certain...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have a hard out, Robin. I`m just going to ask you to hang on. We`re going to be back in a couple of seconds.

Stay right there if you would. Thank you, ma`am.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMONIDIS: He was threatened. He was threatened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In what way, specifically?

LEMONIDIS: With a firearm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, tell us what was said. We`ll edit it. Tell us what was said?

LEMONIDIS: "Kill that mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED), that mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED) dead, you dead (EXPLETIVE DELETED)." And he sees that much of a shotgun coming up over the rim of the SUV, which is up higher than his Jetta. And all he sees are the heavily tinted front windows that are up and the back windows that are down, and the car has at least four black men in it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is the attorney for shooting suspect Michael Dunn, and she is on the phone, and we are examining this case.

He is apparently, through his attorney, trying to distance himself from the other high-profile, highly charged case in Florida, Trayvon Martin versus George Zimmerman, by saying that Michael Dunn is not a vigilante, but others point to striking similarities between these two cases.

Both victims African-American, both 17 years old when they died. Both were shot dead by older men of other racial backgrounds. Both alleged killers say they were threatened, even though both teens were unarmed. At least, certainly, this is what appears to be the case so far in the Dunn case, although you just heard the attorney for Michael Dunn suggesting perhaps that there was a weapon that was discarded.

Natalie Jackson, you were the attorney for the Trayvon Martin family. You`ve been listening to my interview with Michael Dunn`s attorney, her first national interview. What`s your reaction to her explanation of events?

NATALIE JACKSON, ATTORNEY: Jane, I have to tell you, I have some questions about her explanation of events. One of the questions that I have is, why didn`t he just drive away? He was in a car. Why didn`t he just drive away?

The other question that I have is that, apparently his girlfriend was inside the store. How did he pick her up? And if he had time to stop his car and get her, why didn`t he just call the police? Why didn`t he call the police as he was driving away? Why did he wait until the next day?

I do not envy this attorney`s job, because there are a lot of questions that need to be answered, and I feel sorry for this family. They have my condolences. This should never have happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to go back to Robin Lemonidis to get her response. But first I want to go to Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst. Your thoughts on what you`re hearing this evening as the attorney for Michael Dunn explains her version of events?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, first of all, Jane, I`ve got a real problem, as a former investigator and a current gun owner who carried a gun on the job for 26 years. Now, he goes shooting with military and law enforcement, yet he doesn`t trust law enforcement if he fired his gun in self-defense. And then he leaves. Why not leave and call 911? I guess because of the trust issue.

Secondly, what does the video there at the gas station show what happened? You know, I just can`t get past the fact, Jane, that he left and did not call police. If he was a responsible gun owner, you know that if you do fire your weapon, that you`re going to have to call law enforcement. Just like if he was stopped while he had a gun in his car, he is under the obligation to tell law enforcement, "Hey, I`m a gun owner. I have a permit. I have a gun in the car." Whether it be on himself or in the glove compartment.

And he must have really injured his ears, after cranking off nine rounds at a very high decibel range, probably higher than what the music was.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, let`s ask Robin. You`re the attorney for Michael Dunn. Why didn`t he just when, if indeed those words were exchanged, the words that you say were profanity, including, "you`re dead," or words to that effect, why didn`t he just leave?

LEMONIDIS: Well, because the last words that were said was, this "S" is going down now, with emphasis. And at that moment, the shotgun had already been brandished and he heard the door pop and saw the door actually open. And the rear passenger side of the SUV.

And at that point, his training just kicked in, just as it would with any military or law enforcement person, and that is when he reached for his...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK.

LEMONIDIS: ... firearm, which was in the glove compartment, and securely cased.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, you`re the law enforcement analyst. I`d like you to...

BROOKS: Well...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... your perspective on what he just said -- as a former firearms instructor I can tell you whatever training he was getting was the wrong training.

No. 1, was he able to identify his target who had that gun?

And secondly, after he shot eight or nine rounds, it is his obligation, as his training would have told him, to -- to go to a safe area and contact law enforcement. Not to go to the hotel and then to another county the next day after he was at his hotel, locked in his room, with his bottle of wine and his fiance, safe. He can call 911 there.

But I`m not buying this trust issue with law enforcement. I`m just not buying that. If he has friends in law enforcement, he`s been through all this training.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have to take a hard break for a couple of seconds. We`re going to be back with more from all sides. Stay right there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCBATH: He said, "Jordan`s dead." And I just -- I just lost it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The mother of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, who was shot dead this past Friday. And our understanding is he was a high-school student who had just said prayers over Thanksgiving dinner the night before, thanking a new job he had gotten working at McDonald`s. He was in a car with three friends. They had stopped at a gas station, and there was a confrontation with Michael Dunn, a 45-year-old software designer who was at that gas station as his girlfriend went in to get some wine and come out and there were words exchanged. You`ve heard the words from his attorney that he says were exchanged. And he fired, according to police, eight or nine shots. And Jordan Davis died.

And now we`re talking to his attorney. We`re also talking to the attorney for someone involved in a similar case, Trayvon Martin`s family attorney.

But I want to go to my dear friend and television personality Rolonda Watts. We covered the Trayvon Martin case together and continue to cover that. You`ve been listening to all sides. What do you make of this?

ROLONDA WATTS, TV PERSONALITY: It`s just so -- it`s devastating. And I know that the young man`s mom does not want us to talk about the divisiveness that this case may represent, but it is eerily similar to Trayvon Martin. Another 17-year-old kid, African-American boy, shot by what seems to be a vigilante.

It is making people, I know, on my Facebook page, Jane, especially mothers, very concerned. Not just black mothers, but mothers of any kid who plays loud music. And there`s so many questions, as you have brought out, so many questions.

It`s hard for me to believe that this guy was that skittish when he`s carrying that glove around in his glove compartment. It really makes me so shattered emotionally when I think about the lack of civility, the lack of humanity, that goes with somebody who fires off a gun, unloads eight, nine, maybe nine bullets, doesn`t even -- what about the quality of life? I guess they don`t care about that when you blow off eight to nine bullets. But that doesn`t sound like somebody who`s skittish.

If somebody is skittish of the cops, then I think there`s certain mores that go with somebody who claims to be an aficionado of guns, and who carries guns. You should have called the cops.

He never turned himself in, based on the reports that I`m seeing. He had to be arrested after he drove three hours away, a day after he fired off eight, possibly nine rounds.

It really -- I don`t want to keep pushing the race issue. I don`t want to do that. But we`ve got a real problem, folks, if kids can`t stop at a gas station with loud music playing. It was none of his business. Pump your gas, get your wine, go home.

And I do wonder. Maybe he left and didn`t call the cops because he was under the influence of alcohol from his son`s wedding. Maybe he did do some drugs, I don`t know. But it does raise a question why you blow off nine, possibly nine bullets, and don`t even stop? Don`t turn himself in? Don`t make not one phone call? I`m sorry, but that doesn`t sound like a skittish person to me. It sounds like what the police are calling it, an alleged murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have to take a break again. On the other side, we hope that the attorney from Michael Dunn stays there so that we can continue to get all sides in this controversy as it unfolds.

And you`re hearing some of the stuff -- we`d like to get Robin`s response to some of the things that you just heard from Rolonda. She said that he was not under the influence, but what about some of the other comments? Stay right there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBIN LEMONIDIS, MICHAEL DUNN`S LAWYER: He was threatened. He was threatened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In what way specifically?

LEMONIDIS: With a firearm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell us what was said. You know, we`ll edit it, tell us what was said.

LEMONIDIS: Kill that mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED), that mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED) dead. You dead (EXPLETIVE DELETED). And he sees that much of a shotgun coming up over the rim of the SUV, which is up higher than his Jetta. All he sees are heavily tinted front windows that are up and the back windows that are down and the car has at least four black men in it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is the attorney for this man you`re looking at here, Michael Dunn, a 45-year-old software designer who is now accused of murder and attempted murder for allegedly shooting eight, maybe nine -- a spray of gunfire into the car that had four young African-American teenagers in it. And one of them, Jordan Davis, died.

And tonight, we are talking with, in the first national interview she`s given, Robin Lemonidis, the attorney for the suspect in this case, Michael Dunn. We just heard your interview, Robin, and thank you for staying with us. And you refer to the racial identity of the men in the car. You heard Rolonda Watts, television personality, say a moment ago that race is an issue in this case. What would you say to that?

LEMONIDIS (via telephone): I say that it is not the issue. The issue was that Michael Dunn was threatened with a firearm, and he is very familiar with fire arms and knows one when he sees one. It would not have mattered if the people in the car were black, white, Asian, Hispanic, abled, disabled, old, young, et cetera. It only mattered that he was threatened to the extent that he felt his life was in danger and that violence was imminent.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, Joey Jackson --

LEMONIDIS: And let me add --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Can I just ask you to pause for one second? Joey Jackson, criminal defense attorney. If there were words that were said, first of all, we don`t know if anybody could ever prove that, even if there`s surveillance video it wouldn`t necessarily have audio. But if, hypothetically, there were words said that were threatening words, is that enough to successfully use the stand your ground law in Florida that allows you to shoot somebody if you are presumably in fear of your life?

JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jane, no, it`s not. There`s a lot of questions here. The first thing that the defense has to overcome is, number one, was he the initiator? In the event you don`t like loud music or you have an ear problem, you roll up your window.

Number two was the force that he used proportionate to the threat posed? He shot eight times, which leads to question number three.

Was that reasonable under the circumstances? Were his actions reasonable and appropriate?

Number four, when you evaluate this Jane, you ask yourself, was he intoxicated? We may never know, why -- because he left the scene of an accident.

So that`s number five. Why leave? It demonstrates consciousness of guilt. He also was at a wedding. I know when my son gets married, lot of years to go for that, I hope he does, I`m not going to be too sober, Jane I`ll admit that. It`s a happy occasion.

And so what was his state of mind? I think here`s a lot that has to be explained by the defense here Jane,. before that stand your ground law could be used or even self-defense could be used.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Natalie Jackson, Trayvon Martin family attorney, your thoughts as we hear all sides.

NATALIE JACKSON, TRAYVON MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: My thoughts are that as the attorney said, this is not a black issue. I would caution her for throwing out the words black men in a car. If she doesn`t want to make this a racial issue, don`t make it one, because we don`t have to go there because what happened here was egregious enough for him to go to jail and spend a lot of time in prison.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we have to leave it right there but we are all over this story. Obviously it`s just getting started. We want to thank everybody. Natalie and Robin Lemonidis for joining us. And I hope you all come back again as this story unfolds.

Rolonda Watts, my dear friend and television personality, it`s always great to see you.

On the other side, we`re talking about something much happier -- the lottery. It`s more than half a billion dollars now. Stay right there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your "Viral Video of the Day". Watch as this poor, innocent deer, disoriented, crashes through the glass door of a beauty shop in Detroit. We`re happy to say that the deer is ok. But boy, the world`s not made for deer these days -- poor thing. Let`s hope it gets back into the woods and ok.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lucky ticket is right here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m going to win.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It all comes down to this. Big money tonight, it`s America`s favorite jackpot game. This is Powerball --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Speaking of money, lotto fever is sweeping the country. Who can blame us, right? A record jackpot for tomorrow`s Powerball drawing just got even bigger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The odds of winning are one in 175 million for each ticket. You can buy more tickets.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Can you feel it? It`s Powerball fever. It`s contagious. I got my ticket today.

Take a look at these lines to buy a chance at a record $550 million Powerball jackpot, the biggest jackpot in Powerball history and it could get bigger. Now, it`s up to at least $550 million. Experts say there`s a 75 percent chance somebody will win. Will it be you?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Half a billion dollars -- I have no idea. That`s just way beyond my comprehension.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take a trip, down a beach somewhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have grand kids, so I`d make sure they got scholarships to college.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody says can you just imagine winning? And I say yes, I can imagine it and I imagine it all the time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re all over the story. Reporters standing by live in Riverside, Missouri, Houston, Texas and CNN`s Mary Snow in Manhattan. Mary, you`ve been talking to Powerball players all day, what have you got for us?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Jane, we can tell you as that drawing becomes closer tonight, we`re seeing more and more people coming in, taking a shot, including Tunise Gonzales (ph), who came into this convenient store. And Tunise, why now?

TUNISE GONZALES: Well, it is the highest jackpot amount, so why not go for it? I want to have a day where I don`t have to go back to work tomorrow. So I`m going to cross my fingers and pray that I have the winning ticket.

SNOW: Good luck. A lot of prayers, a lot of fingers being crossed here -- Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, it looks like everybody`s having fun.

Let`s go to Houston, Texas. Ryan Korsgard (ph) KPRC, what have you got for us?

RYAN KORSGARD, KPRC: Jane, a lot of people here, they estimate they`ve sold 20,000 of these tickets since 6:00 this morning. You can see the lines here. They`re lining up the cash registers through here; also right over there. If you don`t want to wait in line, you can go over to the electronic machine and actually buy there.

The store owner tells me this is basically like the Super Bowl for him today. A lot of people hope that this is their big winning night.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, let`s see. Doing a little bit of -- that`s my ticket. Mitch Webber, Kansas City, Missouri, KSHB -- what have you got for us?

MITCH WEBBER, KSHB: Yes, Kansas lottery officials estimate $3.6 million in lottery tickets have already been purchased. A lot of people started lining up as early as 7:00 a.m. here at this largest retailer in the Kansas City Metro Plus.

If you didn`t want to stand in line, there is this. This is the machine that people have been coming to today to not stand in line. You can buy your Powerball tickets here. The only drawback is you have to have the exact cash because it`s not giving you back any change if you put a $10 bill in and you only want one ticket.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, boy -- that`s very complicated. I prefer to buy the old-fashioned way.

WEBBER: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re delighted to have with us Cynthia Stafford, lottery winner, won $112 million. She was featured on the TLC show "The Lottery Changed My Life". So Cynthia, we`re going to see some video of you on that show.

First of all, I want to know, what was the first thing you bought after winning?

CYNTHIA STAFFORD, LOTTERY WINNER: Ok, the first thing I bought was my beautiful home.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I like that, you think big. Ok.

STAFFORD: Yes, definitely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then what was your first interaction where you realized, oh my gosh, I am now a multimillionaire, people are starting to treat me differently?

STAFFORD: Just when I would be on the street and people would pass me by, they would stare. They still do. They just would stare like Wow, that`s that person, that`s that woman that`s won the money.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Were you ever afraid that somebody would do something harmful to you in order to get your money?

STAFFORD: No, I don`t -- I strive not to live in fear. Because I believe that what you dwell on, you will manifest. So I -- fear is not a part of my vocabulary.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I love your attitude. I love the fact that you show that winning the lottery can be fun. We hear all these horror stories. You`ve won $112 million and you`re just loving life and we manifest, right? We manifest?

STAFFORD: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen. We love having you on. We`re going to have you back when we find out who this winner is so you can give that person or persons, perhaps a whole group of people from an office, advice as to what to do. So next time --

STAFFORD: Awesome.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- you`re going to tell us exactly what you did, break it down, all right?

STAFFORD: I will definitely do that for you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you so much.

On the other side, we`ve got an attorney who was unable to stay awake. This is a fascinating story. It`s a wild story. She slept 18 hours a day and she still couldn`t stay awake.

Stay right there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for "Pets of the Day". Send us your pet pics to hlntv.com/jane. Mimi and Emmett. Oh, I love your toys. And Missy, you are just -- you`re a movie star. And Studley is studly. Well-named, you are. And Toby`s chilling, he`s chilling like Dylan. Just hanging out, love it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNA SUMNER, SUFFERING FROM HYPERSOMNIA: I thought if I don`t go to sleep right now, I will literally not survive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No amount of sleep was enough. She never felt rested or fully awake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This made her sleeping disorder that often affects women.

SUMNER: It was like an addiction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sleeping up to 18 hours a day but never feeling rested.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sort of that curiosity to figure out, what is this?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a medical mystery that perplexed doctors for years. Anna Sumner was on the top of the world, graduating from Princeton and Duke Law, working as a high-powered attorney when a mysterious illness overtook her life. She became addicted to sleep getting up to 18 hours a day but never feeling rested.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They get diagnosed with laziness. They get diagnosed with depression. They get diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it turns out she had a very rare sleep disorder called hypersomnia. Joining me now is Anna Sumner and the doctor who helped discover her sleep disorder, Dr. David Rye.

Anna, thank you for joining us and having the courage to talk about this. I so admire that. Tell us what it was like. So many people suffer from not being able to sleep. You`d be there working at work or doing an argument in a courtroom and all of a sudden you`re getting drowsy?

SUMNER: Well, thanks so much for having us, first of all. But the real problem was that I calculated every aspect of my life by when I could get additional sleep. So I started the day, I woke up the first thing I thought about, how can I organize my day so that I can sleep? That I can get back into bed? Because I had this -- this desire because I thought next time it happens, next time I get a little more sleep, I`ll be rested.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And did you ever fall asleep during like important conferences?

SUMNER: No, that was the one blessing of this whole thing is I was able to stay awake for work, but unfortunately, what the disorder did was it meant that I did nothing but work. I worked and I slept. So it was debilitating from a, you know, spending time with my family, friends. I essentially stopped the remainder of my life in favor of sleep.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It kind of sounds like an addiction of sorts. Did it feel like that?

SUMNER: It absolutely did. It was a craving, it was -- it was such a strong desire that it overrode every other aspect of my life. I wanted to sleep to the exclusion of eating, seeing friends, of going outside, of exercising, of almost every other thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then, when you woke up, you probably were like it was hard to get out of bed, I bet.

SUMNER: Waking involved numerous alarm clocks. At one point in time, I couldn`t even wake up when the house alarm went off. So it was always a challenge, but you always wake up and your first thought is, I don`t feel rested. Ten more minutes, 30 more minutes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If it makes you feel any better, I go through that every morning, three alarms and I`m like, just ten more minutes. But not to make light of it.

You had a serious condition and I`m so glad that you solved it. Dr. David Rye, you helped her discover what was really wrong and now apparently the medication that helps her overcome this is running out?

DR. DAVID RYE, ANNA SUMNER`S DOCTOR: Well, the medication has an approval for a small indication or a small population of patients -- patients, for example, that are overdosed or exposed to too much -- what are known as benzodiazepines. So what you get when you have a colonoscopy, Verced (ph). You don`t wake up quickly after that you might get this medication to help you be more vigilant.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that`s what she was taking. And that makes perfect sense when you come out of a surgery and you`re trying to wake up again, they give you that to snap you out of it and that`s what helped her and now it`s running out.

Taking a brief break. Fascinating stuff -- more on the other side.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Most of us have dozed off at inopportune times. Even it would appear Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was seemingly dozing a little bit when President Obama was speaking recently. But for Anna Sumner, it was no just -- something that would happen once in a lifetime. And she had a disorder that caused her, a prominent lawyer, to sleep up to 18 hours a day and still feel drowsy. Anna, thank you for sharing your story with us. I have to ask you, I`m just curious, how did this disorder affect your romantic life?

SUMNER: Well, I think the easiest way to put it is it probably didn`t exist for at least my late 20s and early 30s. It`s awfully hard to go out on a date when you`re not sure in the middle of the date if you`re actually going to either feel the need to go to sleep in the middle of the date or have your date drive you home so you can take a nap.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It must have been awkward, and yet, you seem to have such a great spirit about it. Was there something it taught you or being able to triumph over it was powerful for you, empowering?

SUMNER: I think what it taught me is that there`s a way that a single person can make a difference. One of the reasons I decided to try this medication -- I`m the only person in the world on it -- is because I was convinced that I couldn`t be the only person in the world with this disorder. We think it`s going to be much more common than initially thought. And if this can help me, then it can help thousands and thousands of other people.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I certainly hope so. And I certainly hope you do get the medication you need. I mean, America`s awash in people taking medication they don`t need. Prescription pills that they don`t need that are getting them hooked on drugs that they shouldn`t be taking.

And yet, here you are desperately needing medication, you should be able to have it. It`s that simple. And I hope you get it. And I hope you get just a good night`s sleep, nothing more, and congratulations to you and your doctor. Thanks again.

SUMNER: Thank you so much.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nancy next.

SUMNER: Bye.

END