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Women Cavity Searched During Routine Traffic Stop

Aired December 19, 2012 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight a routine traffic stop takes a very disturbing turn. These two women say they were embarrassed and humiliated when a Texas state trooper subjected them to a roadside cavity search. And they are here with us tonight live to tell their story. Just a moment.

And there`s a nation-wide manhunt tonight for two prisoners believed to be armed and dangerous. Their jail break right out of the movies. And cops want your help to put them back behind bars. We`re going to tell you how they did it. Unbelievable story.

And country superstar LeAnn Rimes and "Real Housewives" Brandi Glanville, they`re at it again. On Jay Leno LeAnn drops a double whammy on her reality show rival. We`re going to show you. It`s unbelievable.


ANGEL DOBBS, HUMILIATED DURING TRAFFIC STOP: I was molested. I was violated. I was humiliated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Angel Dobbs says she and her niece, 24-year-old Ashley Dobbs, were violated when this female trooper searched both their private areas while still on the side of the road in full public view.

ANGEL DOBBS: At this point, I mean, I`m in clear shock. I can`t even believe that it`s happening. Turns me around, goes down into the front of my pants, into my inner thigh. And at which point she comes up with two fingers. And I just look at her and say, oh, my God. I`ve just been violated.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a routine traffic stop turns into a humiliating body search on the side of a Texas highway. And tonight I`m going to talk live with these two women, an aunt and her niece, about what they call an extremely embarrassing experience.

Angel and her niece, Ashley Dobbs, were driving to Oklahoma in July when they were pulled over by a Texas trooper for allegedly throwing cigarette butts out the window. That`s called littering. Then the trooper claimed he smelled marijuana. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I smell marijuana in that car. And don`t lie to me.

ANGEL DOBBS: I don`t smoke marijuana.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, how much marijuana is in that car?

ANGEL DOBBS: I swear to God, I don`t smoke marijuana.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not asking you if you smoke it.

ANGEL DOBBS: I don`t think there`s any marijuana in the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. When is the last time somebody smoked marijuana in that car?

ANGEL DOBBS: I -- honestly, I don`t know. It`s my boyfriend`s car and I just borrowed it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: No marijuana was ever found in that car. But the trooper, the male trooper, then radios to a female trooper to come to the scene. Angel and her niece could never have guessed what would happen next.


ASHLEY DOBBS, CAVITY SEARCHED AT TRAFFIC STOP: She went down my front. And then she actually dug -- I didn`t know what I could say or what I could do. I felt hopeless.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Both women say the female trooper subjected each of them to a cavity search of their most private parts, one after the other, while the women were standing right on the side of the road as cars zipped past. We`ve blurred the video out of respect.

Ultimately, Angel and Ashley were let go with a warning for littering. Well, now they`re both suing both the male and female state trooper and the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety. "The Dallas Morning News" reports a case will be investigated by the Dallas County D.A.`s office and could go to the grand jury next month.

We reached out to the Texas Department of Public Service -- never -- safety. Never heard back.

But I want to hear from you at home on this. Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to Angel and Ashley Dobbs and their attorneys. Thank you so much for joining us, ladies.

Angel, let`s jump right into the part where this female trooper`s been called in. She puts this latex glove on. Without being graphic, describe what happens next. And what emotions you experienced as this was happening.

ANGEL DOBBS: Well, I was -- I was in a state of confusion, of course. I`ve never been treated this way at all before. I remember -- it`s so hard for me to even find the words because I was in such a state of shock at the time. She asked me if she had permission to search my person. At which time I had no idea what that meant. And I did clearly raise my arms up and say, I don`t know what that means. What does that mean? She at that point told me, started to say something. And at the same time she was putting on gloves. She had one under her arm, one in her hand. When she started to put on the gloves, I -- what are those for? Why do you have gloves?

Logically your mind flashes back to TV shows thinking they`re trying to protect themselves from if you have a needle or something like that on, just logically thinking. And at that point when I questioned her on the gloves she told me just to shut up and listen. At which point she said she would be checking my bra strap and patting me down in this region. And I said, "So you mean my body?"

And I turned around. And she went around my bra strap, she went down into my pants a couple of times. And then turned me around, went down to my inner thigh straight up. At that point -- it doesn`t show it on the videotape. But at that point she does have her hand placed on my shoulder very firmly. I actually did come off the ground with my left leg when it went there. And that`s when I looked at her and just said "Oh, my God, I`ve just been violated." And she looked me dead back in my eye and didn`t say anything.

And at that point I looked to my niece who was standing in the field. Because I knew that she would be next. And I was so uncomfortable. And I just looked at Ashley, and I just laughed like, oh, my God, did you see what just happened to me? Because I was just in total shock.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re getting callers like crazy coming in on this story. I think a lot of people are very taken with this story.

Let me ask you a follow-up question on that, Angel. You filed this lawsuit. The D.A. is investigating. We`re hearing reports on "The Dallas Morning News" that it could go to a grand jury next month. Do you feel that you were sexually assaulted or not?

ANGEL DOBBS: I feel that these people need to be taken off the street. I also feel that, you know, it`s a huge misconception with a lot of people. I`ve been reading a lot of the comments regarding our case.

And I want the public to know that, when that happened to us that evening, I did call the sergeant. And when the sergeant was on vacation and didn`t get back to me, and didn`t get -- I was livid by the next day when the initial shock wore off. I just was devastated. Couldn`t believe what had happened.

At that point I called the lieutenant and spoke with the lieutenant who assured me that it was all hearsay and that he would refer it back to the lieutenant -- from the sergeant. Yes, so...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me jump to your niece for a second.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just want to get her input as well. First, let`s listen to the male trooper who questioned Angel as you both sat in the car, it`s my understanding. Listen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have anything hidden on your person?

ANGEL DOBBS: On my person?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On your person. In your shoes, in your underwear, anything like that?

ANGEL DOBBS: No. It`s like I`m being treated like a criminal right now. What`s going on?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve got a female trooper up the road. She`s going to come down here, and we`re just going to check a little bit more.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now, in the lawsuit, it`s alleged that the female officer used her gloved hand to search the private parts of both of you, that the trooper did not change the glove she was wearing as she went from searching Angel to searching her niece, Ashley.

And so Ashley, I want to ask you about that. This is kind of horrifying, the idea that she`s wearing this latex glove. Do you concur that, in your opinion, the glove was not changed?

ASHLEY DOBBS: The glove was definitely not changed. And she -- and as I`m standing on the side of the road and Angel walks off and the trooper comes towards me to, I guess -- I followed her back to the front of the trooper`s car. And she proceeded to do the same thing that she did to Angel. I had no idea what I was in for.

But yes, she kept the exact same pair of gloves on. And it`s very disgusting on my part. Because she did use the same glove.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: By the way, we`ve invited the Department of Public Safety in charge of the troopers, the individuals we`ve been trying to reach them, the individual troopers unsuccessfully. They are invited on our show anytime. Anybody involved in this, we`d like to hear from them. No response from the Department of Public Safety.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Lisa, Illinois, your question or thought -- Lisa.

CALLER: And I just want to tell the girls that what they went through is just unrealistic, horrific. I`m getting upset watching it. And are they supposed to be police officers or doctors? What are they playing? And not changing the glove? They have no right. I mean, they -- and these girls in every opportunity have to go ahead and put a lawsuit against. This is not acceptable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa, I -- I want to ask Angel, what do you think was the real reason for all of this? There was no marijuana found in your car. You claim that that was -- your lawyer says that he feels that that was made up. This is a delicate question, but do you feel that there was a sexual component? Let`s face it: People have fetishes. Those fetishes are strange. Do you feel that there was some kind of sexual component, given the fact that your private areas were searched?

ANGEL DOBBS: I honestly have no idea what his motives were. I know the only thing that my niece and I smoke are cigarettes. And it`s never been addressed that he was so sick that he couldn`t even breathe through his nose when he pulled us over. And he does state that in the 51-minute tape, that he is so sick. And you can hear him sniffling through the whole thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So presumably, your...

ANGEL DOBBS: I have no idea -- the lawsuit suggesting that his sense of smell would be diminished by that.

Again, we invite the officers involved, the troopers involved, either or both, their attorneys, their representatives, and the Department of Public Safety on. We`ve been reaching out to the Department of Public Safety repeatedly today. No response.

More on the other side from these two ladies and their attorneys.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, what`s up? They`re both acting a little weird.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Which one do you want me to start with?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The driver is who I`m more skeptical of.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re going to show you more of this controversial search that was caught on dashcam video that is now the subject of this lawsuit by the women who were searched by this female trooper, as well as possible grand jury is going to be convene today take a look at this.

Charles Secting, I understand that you`re the attorney for these women. And that your father was a state trooper for the very same agency. What, in your opinion, did the male officer and the female officer do wrong? I mean, if you could condense it to what you feel their primary mistakes were.

CHARLES SECTING, ATTORNEY: Yes, ma`am. Thank you for having us on your show.

The real issue here is that we have a Fourth Amendment right to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. And in this case, there was clearly an unreasonable search, an unreasonable seizure of both Ashley and Angel.

The vehicle stop, whether there was actual cause for the stop, throwing the cigarette out, that`s debatable. But once we`ve crossed that boundary, once we crossed that line, and there is an actual search of the vehicle without consent and without probable cause of the contraband or illegal substances in the vehicle, that was the first violation.

The second violation was the search of their persons, of their body, of their body cavities. A terry pat down or a frisk is sometimes justified. But when there`s more information or evidence or...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me jump in and ask a question. They were littering. They threw cigarette butts out the window.

SECTING: Allegedly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No marijuana was found. Allegedly littering. Next thing you know they`re on the side of the road as cars are zipping past, and a woman has got her hand and searching their private parts. What do you think is really behind this? Because it doesn`t add up on its face.

I had asked the ladies, one of your associates, Scott Palmer, is saying he believes that the officer lied about smelling marijuana. I have no idea. He`s been invited on our show, and is. But what do you think was the real reason? Power trip? What?

SECTING: Scott and I have talked about this at length, and Angel and Ashley and I have talked at length, what could be the reason behind this? Is there something between these two officers, that this is something that they -- a pattern they engage in? Are they looking for larger drug busts? Or is this just a lack of understanding of the laws of our country?

And without talking to the officers, without getting some information from the state, we just -- we just don`t know why they would do such a thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Drew Findling, criminal defense attorney, a grand jury is going to convene. I guess my fundamental question was a crime committed here. We know they`re suing. But was a crime submitted, a sexual assault committed?

DREW FINDLING, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I think there was. One of the problems these officers has is Craig Watkins, the district attorney in Dallas, Texas, has quickly gathered national attention as somebody that pursues justice. As you know, Jane, he`s been responsible for freeing so many people that were wrongly convicted. He`s the wrong guy for these cops right now. Because there`s a chance they perpetuated sexual battery.

That is the improper and illegal touching of these ladies. And if they are deemed to -- if he is deemed to have penetrated any of their sexual organs, then the amounts of jail time sky-rockets.

I think they committed an offense because I think Charles is right. This was not a justifiable search. It`s a crime.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And just to be clear, the trooper, the male trooper called the female trooper. It`s the female trooper who conducted the search.

Quickly to the phone lines. Theresa, Georgia, your question or thoughts, Theresa?

CALLER: Yes. I`m retired now. But I was a deputy in Riverside, California, for 17 years. I didn`t become a deputy until I was in my early 30s, so I had life experience.

This deputy, I don`t know where she was trained or what she was trained to do in a cursory search. But from looking at it, it was completely unprofessional. It was done improperly. You never use -- I see her using her fingers to grab around the breast and the bra area in the front. You don`t do that. You use the blade of your hand. And you might shake the clothing. I have never in 17 years put my hand inside of somebody`s clothing to search. And certainly not down their pants.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me tell you something else, Theresa. I was listening to some of the chatter and watching this entire video, which goes on and on. And he`s asking all sorts of personal questions. Where are you going? She says Oklahoma. Oh, you got family up there?

Like I`ve been pulled over for speeding tickets. I`ve never had an officer say, "Oh, where you going? Oh, you got family up there?" I`d be like -- I would respectfully say, "None of your bees wax, officer."

I mean, this is very bizarre behavior, because it`s sort of an assumption of power that does not exist. This -- the reason this is important is that these wonderful law enforcement -- I`m a big fan of law enforcement. I love to be protected by law enforcement. And the vast majority do an extraordinary job.

But they are powerful. They carry guns. They can order you out of your car. They can order you around. They can make you stand there while they`re searching you. But they have rules. And when they cross those rules there are consequences.

More on the other side.



ANGEL DODD: This has been an eye-opening experience for me, OK? Never been pulled over. Never searched like this. I mean, I was like totally violated over there a few minutes ago.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: They were accused of littering, and they were let go with a warning. They allegedly threw a cigarette butt outside the window. And then they were pulled over.

Now, I want to ask you this, Angel. You say you were violated by police during this roadside cavity search. The lawsuit and the audio of the dashcam tape has this male trooper saying to the female trooper, "They`re acting weird." Do you know what he`s talking about? You and your niece? Were you acting weird in your opinion?

ANGEL DODD: I feel like I was excited a little bit. I was very nervous, because I didn`t understand why all this was happening to me. Like I said, I`ve never been ordered out of my vehicle. I`ve never been subject to a sobriety test or -- it was all just so confusing.

So maybe I was a little hyper in my talking, because I didn`t understand what he was smelling. And he`s telling me that he`s smelling marijuana. And I know for a fact that I`m not a smoker. So I just -- you know, I was so confused. But no, I don`t think that I was acting rude or weird in any way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Angel, what has the emotional impact been for you?

DODD: Oh, anger. I was very angry for months after this happened. Just livid. Couldn`t sleep at night. I mean, the "should have, would have, could haves" were just going through my head. It`s had a traumatic experience on me.

And to know that he doesn`t like his authority challenged and now that I`ve come forth and filed a complaint and I actually did file that complaint back on July 27 for the viewers to know that with DPS, and they`ve never responded in five months. That`s why we`ve pushed forward with this suit to make sure they get off the streets and this doesn`t happen to anybody else.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, some reports claim that when you filed the complaint with DPS supervisors that you were told that if you filed an affidavit you would be charged with lying?

ANGEL DODD: Yes, ma`am. I actually contacted the sergeant first and the lieutenant, which both just brushed it under the rug.

The sergeant, actually, when he contacted me back, after watching the video, allegedly, said that there was absolutely nothing at all wrong with the stop, and that he has known this state trooper for 15 years, and he would not do something like that.

And at that point, I said, "You know what? You`ve said all that you need to say. So I either need to call the news or I need to contact an attorney." I hung up on him, and I`ve had no contact with him since.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Charles, you`re the attorney. I understand that these troopers have not been reprimanded. What would you like to see happen?

SECTING: I think first we need to -- the grand jury is a good step for this. That the initiation of criminal charges is a good step. The next step is that these troopers need to be taken off the street.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What criminal charges? What criminal charges?

SECTING: Whatever the Dallas County district attorney thinks is appropriate. That`s their position -- their position and their job. And I don`t have any business being involved with.

But there was an assault. There could have been a sexual assault. That`s something for the grand jury to decide and for the public integrity division to charge with. But for our purposes we need to see changes with the Department of Public Safety. We need to have troopers that know what`s the law, what they`re allowed to do and when they can and cannot infringe upon people`s rights.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have to wrap it up. We`re out of time. But please keep us updated.

The extraordinary thing, I always say thank God for videotape. Because this would have been a "he said, she said." And now we have the videotape, which obviously, if there is a grand jury, they will see that tape.

Again the Department of Public Safety or any of these individuals, any of these troopers involved, are invited on our show. We want to get all sides. We`ve reached out. And we`ll keep you posted, viewers, on what happens with this case. Angel and your niece Ashley, thank you so much for joining us as well as your lawyer.

ANGEL DODD: Thank you so much.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll be back on the other side.

A wild jail break. Something out of a movie. Crazy.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the capture of two escaped bank robbers in the Chicago area.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Schools in Tinley Park were put on a soft lockdown as a manhunt took place for escaped bank robbers Kevin Conley and Joseph Banks.

TOOBIN: They escaped federal prison, scaling down 20 stories on a makeshift rope made of bed sheets.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight it`s something out of a movie but it really happened: a manhunt underway tonight for two brazen bank robbers who escaped jail by tying together sheets and blankets and squeezing out of a tiny window on the 15th floor and then dramatically scaling down the side of the building.

Cops say escaped cell mates Joe Banks infamous as the second-hand bandit and Ken Conley should be considered armed and dangerous. People in the community are frightened. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With everything happening around the nation, all of a sudden crime, you know, can happen anywhere. So to see escaped men like these is kind of scary.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: These two convicts got up to a 9-hour head start before jail guards realized, oh my gosh, they`re missing yesterday morning. Police say the men went straight to one of the suspects` mother`s home but by the time the SWAT got there they`d be gone for hours.

Ken Conley mom said, "He was in the house for two minutes. I can`t tell you if he was armed. He could be in Paris by now. I don`t have a clue."

I want to hear from you. Call me.

Straight out to investigative reporter Jon Leiberman. What have you learned tonight, Jon?

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: I have to tell you Jane, when I was on "America`s Most Wanted" I worked on the case of these two guys. They were colorful characters back then. And here`s what law enforcement is really afraid of. They`re afraid that these guys are set up well for life on the run and I`ll tell you why.

When Banks was convicted just last week, it turns out that most of the loot that he stole, more than half a million dollars, was never recovered. So law enforcement is afraid that that money is somewhere that Banks can get his hands on it.

Here`s the other thing. Banks was always known as a big time, aspiring clothing designer who could sew anything together.


LEIBERMAN: They actually believed that banks has spent much of the last several months figuring out a way to sew together these bed sheets and rappel down the building. This is only the second escape that this very high security prison has ever had.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, last I checked, they didn`t have sewing machines in these jail cells. You talk about him sewing. This is unbelievable. First of all let me say the families of the go men just want to turn themselves in. Listen to this. Turn yourselves in, they say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just hope that they don`t have to hurt him. I just want that he just turns himself in.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Drew Findling, this is unbelievable. Take a look at the logistic. Cops say the two men made a rope by tying together or sewing together as it were at least 200 feet of bed sheets, towels and blankets and then they squeezed out of a window that`s only five inches wide, seven feet tall. And then they rappelled down 15 stories.

Again, something out of la movie -- I want to show you this, Drew Findling and our viewers at home check this out, all right? This is five inches. In other words, it`s a long window but it`s only 5 inches wide. Those two guys, they must have been dieting along with sewing. Because how do you get out of something, a window that`s 5 inches wide?

DREW FINDLING, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That`s just -- Jane, it`s absolutely insane. There`s no doubt there was a tremendous amount of planning that went into this. But I will say this. Regardless of the amount of money they may have hidden away and the plans that they have, it`s a different generation for escaped convict. I`ve seen so many of these cases and ultimately you`re caught.

Because we live in a generation right now with video feeds and surveillance feeds absolutely everywhere. And this is a federal break, which means the federal authorities, specifically the FBI, is involved. The manpower that`s going to be used is going to be enormous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, look at that guy who was down in Belize, that high-tech mogul running around holding news conferences. They still couldn`t find him. Cops say the manhunt is on here. And this is the United States so it`s different. But the trail has gone cold, they say. Listen to this.


JEN SULLIVAN, FBI SPOKESPERSON: Unfortunately the trail has gone cold since then. We are pursuing these. We hope that someone has seen these pictures; someone has seen them and can share some information that leads us to these two.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there any reason to believe they`re still together?

SULLIVAN: We don`t know. The last time they were seen they were together.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: One of the men, Joe Banks, could have stashed away almost half a million dollars from his last robbery. Jon Leiberman, could he get his hands on that money and then go underground?

LEIBERMAN: Well, this is what I wanted to say. Police are extremely concerned. They believe that these guys had help both from inside the facility and then afterwards in the form of a getaway driver. They are now tracking the phone calls in and out of the jail, the visitors` logs to these guys. They`re looking at who worked in the laundry room, who could have gotten these guys extra sheets.

This is going to take I`m telling you a tip from the public that recognizes these two guys to get them back behind bars. Because it is believed that they had a boat load of help.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This reminds me of another famous intricate jail break from the movie "Shawshank Redemption". Check this out.

Yes. I mean that`s the thing, Jon. It seems like something out of a movie. We`re watching -- take a look at this video. Look at this. This is a high-rise. They rappelled down 15 stories. You see the cop cars at the bottom of the street. Nobody looked up and saw? And you know they`ve got to have videotape of this rappelling down the side of the building.

LEIBERMAN: Absolutely. And they`re putting together a timeline right now because there was a 10:00 p.m. bed check. And then by 7:00 a.m. these guys were gone. They actually stuffed their bed with dirty clothes and with other linens to make it look like there were guys in their beds. But it also appears they used homemade weapons to cut out a cinder block underneath that slit that you describe. So they actually had a little bit more wiggle room.

This was a master escape. And hopefully somebody will drop a dime on these guys now and get a master arrest of these guys.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All I can tell you is when I change my bed sheets, I have two sheets and maybe whatever, another comforter. And it fills up a huge bag this big. How did they have 200 feet of bedding in their jail cell hidden? Where did they hide it?

We`ve all seen these jail cells when we watch all these shows that show jail cells. How did they take all of that bedding and keep it hidden while they were sewing away? A couple of seconds, Drew Findling, I don`t get that.

FINDLING: Here`s what happens. When you`re talking about a correctional facility, there`s a complete subculture. There are ways to make contacts. There are ways to trade favors. You can get candy bars, you can get extra linens. You can get things that you can use as weapons. That`s the life that takes place behind bars.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, whoever knows how they got it is probably being grilled right now inside that facility by law enforcement because this is an embarrassment for that facility, a big embarrassment. Hopefully they`ll catch him and we`ll update you.

I got to tell you -- coming up next we`re going to have the latest on the tragedy in Newtown. And there is some stunning new information coming in about the shooter. We`re going to have an update live from Newtown, Connecticut next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Our must-see video of the day. This is unbelievable: a landslide in Washington State takes out, boom, part of a freight train. Witnesses say they heard the ground rumbling and then the land just gave way and boom. Look at that -- unbelievable. The force it would take to knock those cars off the tracks. Unbelievable -- no threat to public, thank God, but quite a mess.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your little heart`s breaking. He`ll never see little Johnny or little Kimmy or -- and all the funerals going on it`s hard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the school should be torn down. It should be torn down and a memorial made there for the kids.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Funeral services continued today as four more victims from the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school were laid to rest, including heroic teacher Vickie Soto.

Tonight we`re learning new information about the shooter. What was going on in his Newtown, Connecticut home leading up to Friday morning`s deadly rampage?

Straight out to Rita Cosby who is in front of the gunman`s house tonight; Rita, what have you learned about where the shooter`s mother was in the days leading up to this hideous massacre?

RITA COSBY, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Well Jane, we had some exclusive details that are very significant in this case. We have been told from friends and also verified by other sources that Nancy Lanza was not home for about two and a half days prior to the shooting. This was very significant because we always heard, Jane, that Nancy Lanza was watching her son all the time.

But what we understand is in later years and in recent years, particularly, she felt comfortable to go on these sort of mini vacations. Take a few short trips and leave her son at home. She would precook food because she didn`t want him using necessarily the kitchen, particular the oven or stove while she was gone. She would prefix meals, leave them there but she would actually leave him alone home.

We`re told that is indeed according to friends and other sources what she did. We are told -- and again we have this verified -- also from the hotel and a number of other locations, this is significant. Because remember, he killed his mother Friday morning. She was found dead in her bedroom shot four times in the head.

What we know now that on Tuesday, this is December 11th, she checks into a hotel. This is the Omni Mount Washington Resort and Hotel in Brenton Woods, New Hampshire. It`s in northern New Hampshire, about four and a half hours away drive time from here. She checks in at 12:10 in the afternoon. This is on Tuesday; checks out of that same hotel, Jane, on Thursday at 12:27. And then we are told her friends say that she always was driving back and forth. They even spoke with her and communicated her on Wednesday night. They knew she was away. Everything was fine, her demeanor nothing unusual she was saying. It sounded very happy. I looked at some of the communications -- appeared to be in good spirits according to the ones that I saw.

And then would make it that she would have gotten back here, if she drove, we`re talking about at dark on Thursday night sometime. Again remember, she is found on Friday morning. That`s very significant because it shows she was not home at the time. Did her trip -- could that have played some sort of role? Definitely, a lot of questions now, this opens the door -- a lot of new details in this case, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It certainly leaves open the possibility that he was left alone to kind of spin and perhaps plot and plan all. this. He`s left alone in a house that we`ve been told by authorities had six guns, including this assault-style rifle. So, by himself in that big house with all those guns and presumably ammo as well; who knows what he concocted in his mind?

We do know Friday morning, right after his -- hours after his mother gets back, he kills her, shoots her four times while she`s sleeping. And then goes to the school and does the unthinkable there.

We also have new information about the shooter`s home life. According to a person who knows the shooter`s father, Peter Lanza who is a top flight executive, move out of the Newtown family home back in 2001, eight years before officially divorcing his wife Nancy. That happened around 2009.

Adam and Peter continued to talk for years, father and son continued to talk for years after the separation. But then something changed in the relationship between the shooter and his father.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are now learning of a strained relationship with his son.

Peter Lanza`s home is less than an hour away from where his son Adam opened fire in Sandy Hook Elementary School. But a person who knows him says he hadn`t had any communication with his son in about two years, when Adam cut his father out of his life about the time the elder Lanza remarried.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You look at the photo of the son, the shooter, and I can just look at him and see that there`s something off. His eyes are -- got bug eyes. His eyes are -- the expression is not a normal expression. Something`s wrong. Jon Leiberman, what do we know about the shooter and his relationship with the father?

LEIBERMAN: Well, investigators are probing this relationship to see if it had anything to do with this massacre. We do know this. We know that their relationship deteriorated. However, we also know that the shooter`s father kept up with his financial obligations. He paid on average $250,000 a year to his ex wife for alimony and to take care of their son.

Also, we have learned that the wife got the house in the divorce, although she had to keep up the mortgage. But the father agreed to pay for all college, all schooling for the shooter as well.

But the key is this. They separated in 2001, but yet the divorce wasn`t finalized for eight years after that. So we`re trying to find out what dynamic was at play during this entire time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think one of it -- one dynamic is that the father, Peter, having been divorced, met another woman and remarried is my understanding. And it`s at that point that the son, the shooter, stopped talking to the father and cut off all communication.

So I could see him becoming more and more isolated. He`s got problems. And then he cuts off the relationship with his father who would certainly be a good role model. He`s a very successful executive. And he`s left with his mother. And then the mother goes away for a couple of days to vacation in New Hampshire. And he`s left with his own thoughts, which is a bad idea.

Let`s go to the phone lines quickly. Pastor C.J. from New Jersey, your question or thought -- Pastor.

PASTOR C.J., NEW JERSEY: Well, first of all, I just want to acknowledge the Lord. He said to acknowledge him in all our ways and he will direct our path. America is in a rude awakening and it`s been going on forever. That when you take God out of everything and only call on him when things are going bad, it`s not that God has not done everything and put everything here, but we can be -- let`s say in unity for the right cause towards our children, first of all family.

If we acknowledge him, meaning the Lord, and having really the sanctity of home and keep keeping things where our children can learn.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pastor, thank you so much for your thoughts. And yes, people are hugging their children tight tonight.

But you take a look at this home, Rita Cosby. And we just saw these divorce documents show that Nancy Lanza, the mother of the shooter, got significant alimony from the shooter`s father -- this year alone almost $300,000. You`re talking about wealthy people. And this shows you that violence really doesn`t know any boundaries -- certainly not socioeconomic boundaries, Rita, quickly.

COSBY: In fact, I talked to investigators early on in this case. I said did money have an issue here. They said absolutely not.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I just want to compliment you on your reporting out there -- excellent exclusives and must be so difficult.

COSBY: Thank you Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I was there for a couple of days. And it`s heart- wrenching. I mean, everybody is shaken who touches this story in any way, shape or form.

Well on the other side we`re going to take a break and go to the lighter side. And we`re going to talk about, well, a little back and forth. Jay Leno, superstar Leanne Rimes and her new song and why it`s so controversial.

Stay right there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight we have a very special "Pet of the Day". These are some of the comfort dogs sent to Newtown, Connecticut, to help comfort those impacted by this unthinkable shooting, and they really provided love and warmth to everyone, myself included -- there I am petting one of them. Such wonderful creatures.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: The escalating war between country superstar Leann Rimes and "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Star", Brandi Glanville --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She went from being America`s sweetheart to a villain. She is not equipped to handle this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Leann Rimes lets "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star, Brandi Glanville, have it. Leann famously stole Brandi`s husband, actor Eddie Cibrian, and then married him. And now the singer`s taking their feud to the "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.

First she got out this zinger against her reality star rival.


LEANN RIMES, SINGER: Here is the therapy coming out of me. The positive, I should feel flattered that I`m that interesting.


RIMES: That I can be such an amazing storyline on a reality show.

LENO: Well, there you go.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oops, then Leann added insult to injury turning her affair with Eddie into her latest new love song about not wanting to give back a man that wasn`t hers to begin with. Listen closely to her performance of "Borrowed" on the "Tonight Show".


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think all of these folks are in love with themselves. Straight out to Alexis Tereszcuk, entertainment editor of RadarOnline, wow, a lot of intimate secrets in that song, which, you know, I like that song. I don`t know if it gets me in trouble but it`s kind of fun. Is this an intentional slap in the face from Leann to Brandi?

ALEXIS TERESZCUK, ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR, RADARONLINE: Absolutely 100 percent. The one thing that I think is interesting, this song is called "Borrowed". Leann has not given any indication she is planning on giving Eddie back to Brandi. So maybe this could be a little bit of, you know, hope that it`s Christmas season for Brandi that Leann is about ready to give back her husband to her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh. That`s a fascinating thought. We could have a whole reality show on the other side and then Leann could have a reality show, too.

TERESZCUK: And they could write books.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. "Borrowed". "Returned" -- how about "Returned"? On the other side -- well, of the ring -- and this is a fight, a boxing match. We have Brandi Glanville, and of course, she`s a "Real Housewife". She seems like she would not be one to tangle with. Watch this as she confronts another alleged mistress in this clip from Bravo`s "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills".


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don`t cry really because I lost my family. I lost everything that I have. So if anyone is going to cry here, it`s not going to be you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh. You can`t cry. There`s no crying in baseball or, apparently, in a reality TV show involving this Brandi except for Brandi, of course.

Ok. This is the guy they`re fighting over. He`s good looking. I have to give you. He`s quite good looking. He is studly. So that is why, look at him. He`s the one they are battling over.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Leann went from America`s sweetheart to America`s most famous home wrecker, and she broke down about that in a recent interview with E!


RIMES: You can`t break what`s broken already. No one (inaudible)


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Alexis, final thoughts on all this dramarama. These are the luckiest people on the planet, and they`re all crying.

TERESZCUK: Exactly. What I think it does is it keeps them in the news. It keeps them relevant. And it keeps them rich. Leann is going to sell records, Brandi is going to sell her book, Eddie will hopefully get a new acting job and everybody is going to be just fine. These are not problems that everybody else has -- just rich people.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Leann, Brandi, Eddie, you are all gorgeous, you are all making a lot of money, we`re all talking about you. Smile. You are very lucky people.

Nancy is next.