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Missing Toddler Spotted?; Latest on Mom Who Drove SUV to the Ocean with Kids; Wild Car Chase Caught on Video

Aired March 12, 2014 - 19:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, breaking news, three people -- three people -- now claim they saw little missing Myra with their own eyes, and she is alive. Possible sightings of this precious, precious child, adorable missing 2-year-old girl, comes just as controversy erupts over a delayed Amber Alert.

Good evening, I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live. Was it really little Myra Lewis that three people spotted at a motel almost 200 miles away from where she vanished? And why did an entire day go by? More than 24 hours before police issued an Amber Alert for this adorable child.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reported sightings of a missing toddler.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And looking for Myra.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It looked like her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looked like her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. It looked like the one she saw in the news.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who would do such a thing? She`s just a baby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 2-year-old was gone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Find this baby alive, because we do want this baby alive. OK?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Precious Myra Lewis and her siblings were playing outside her rural Mississippi home one morning about 12 days ago. It was a Saturday.

Now, her mom says she left for the store. About two hours later Dad says when he was making sandwiches, he realized 2-year-old Myra was missing. And he told reporters he drove around in his own ATV looking for her and used the family dogs to try to track her scent.

But this little girl has seemingly vanished without a trace. The FBI has now put up a $20,000 reward for information.

Then yesterday, police got a tip about a little girl at a Memphis motel. That`s about a three-hour drive to the girl`s home. The caller said the girl at the motel looked exactly like little Myra.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She didn`t say that she was confident that there was a baby, but she saw it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She saw a baby?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That looked like her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, that looked like the one she saw in the news.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Three people saw the little girl with the man. But by the time police got there, he and the child had reportedly driven away in a white car. So was it Myra? And if so, who on earth is the man with her?

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

Straight out to Therese Apel. You have been breaking news on this story for the "Clarion Ledger" in Jackson, Mississippi. You`re live with an update.

I want to ask you about this whole issue that we`re getting new information tonight, not just on this possible sighting, but on this new explanation that we`re hearing in your reporting about why the Dad said he thought Mom had her, and Mom said she thought Dad had her. Tell us, Therese.

THERESE APEL, REPORTER, "CLARION LEDGER" (via phone): Well, I know that in the situation with the parents, they`re framing it as just a miscommunication. He thought that she had gone with her mother to the store, and the mother thought that she had stayed at home.

And as you know, as far as the Amber Alert, the delay in issuing it, initially this didn`t meet the criteria of an Amber Alert. They didn`t have a description of an abductor or a vehicle that she had been taken in. And they initially believed that she had wandered off. So after the initial search, then they realized then she could be in imminent danger once they searched the whole four miles around the house. And at that point, that was when they issued the Amber Alert about 24 hours later.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jon Leiberman, author of "Whitey on Trial," didn`t they violate their own criteria for issuing an Amber Alert? Because my understanding was they said initially, "We can`t issue an Amber Alert, because there`s no suspect or vehicle description." And then, about 24 hours later, still no suspect or vehicle description, they finally issue an Amber Alert.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Right. And that`s not entirely accurate. What my police sources are saying, the reason why they didn`t issue an Amber Alert right away is because they had absolutely no proof of an abduction. And through questioning the father, and questioning other people, they truly, in the beginning, did not believe that an abduction had took place. Furthermore, Jane, what`s more concerning, and the facts back this up...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What changed, Jon? What changed?

LEIBERMAN: Well, one...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why did they initially said, "Oops, we don`t think that there`s an abduction here"? This child is missing. She`s a 2-year- old. She can only toddle so far.

LEIBERMAN: Well, what changed...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... with an abduction.

LEIBERMAN: What changed was, Jane, they canvassed the entire area. They spoke to neighbors. They did full-on grid searches, and she didn`t turn up. And at that point they decided to issue the Amber Alert.

But Mr. Klaas will back this up. What`s even more important is this delay. They believed the little baby wandered away between 10 and 11 a.m. And it`s not reported by the father until 4. That delay is priceless. That means so much more than any delay in issuing the Amber Alert, because the first two hours are the most important in abduction cases.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Therese Apel, according to your reporting, it`s actually more than 4 p.m. It`s all the way until 6 p.m.? How many hours did the family wait before reporting the child missing, Therese?

APEL: That is a good question. I believe it was around 4 p.m. is what we got. Between 4 and 6 p.m. is when they finally reported it. And at that point, he had allegedly already ridden his ATV all over the property and used their dogs. And I know that the grid search began between 4 and 6 and went on late, late into that night. So they had already pretty much searched that entire four-mile grid.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And when did the child go missing? Because we had heard originally around noon. And according to your reporting, it was between 10:30 and 11?

APEL: The sheriff`s department says they are comfortable with the family`s story that she went missing between 10:30 and 11 that morning, Saturday.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. So 11, 12, 1, 2, 3, 4. That`s at least five hours, maybe six hours.

Marc Klaas, president of Klaas Kids Foundation, father of Polly Klaas, do you buy the explanation that the parents have now -- we just learned, they`re saying, well, Mom thought Dad had the child; Dad thought Mom had the child. This is somewhat new.

Last -- yesterday when we reported this story, it was Mom told all the kids to go inside. She was going shopping. Dad was making lunch. And then he noticed the child missing. Now we`re hearing a new variation. What do you think?

MARC KLAAS, PRESIDENT, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Well, I think it depends on the initial stories that were told to law enforcement. If the stories now told to law enforcement are consistent with the stories then, then everything should be OK.

But if they`re different stories, or of there are variations on a story and details have changed, then obviously, something is wrong.

Now, if I could just say something very quickly about the Amber Alert, Jane. The Amber Alert in the United States is based on a false premise. That false premise is that you have to have a statewide entity that issues the alerts. In other words, local law enforcement will take the initial report, but then they have to notify somebody at the state police who will make the determination as to whether or not the alert should be issued. That wastes valuable time.

We can trust cops with guns, but I have no idea in the world why we don`t trust local law enforcement with the ability to make a local Amber Alert.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Elizabeth Espinoza, CNN Espanol anchor out of Los Angeles, what are your thoughts on the approximate 24-hour delay in issuing the Amber Alert?

ELIZABETH ESPINOZA, ANCHOR, CNN ESPANOL: I`ve got to tell you, this is ridiculous. And I do agree the law -- there aren`t rules that aren`t making it that the state police has to be who determines when you come out with an Amber Alert.

A 2-year-old is missing. I don`t care what mom and dad are saying, if there`s one version that is at this hour, the next hour. Time is of the essence. What is a 2-year-old girl doing by herself outside? This is ridiculous.

How many of these cases have I been out reporting here in Southern California about, and the minute a child goes missing, you better believe there`s Amber Alerts, everything goes across the board.

Now I`m concerned here. I`ll be honest with you. Let`s speak frankly here. This is a little African-American girl. If this was a white little girl, cute, blue-eyed, blond hair, it would be a different scenario.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Eric Guster, do you think we`re jumping to conclusions by turning this into some sort of racial incident? Or do you think that`s a valid question for us to be asking tonight?

ERIC GUSTER, ATTORNEY: Well, it is a very valid question. The facts are the facts. This is a young African-American girl. And they waited 24 hours to issue this alert. And this is a baby. This is not a teenager who may have run away from home. This is a baby that has gone missing. And regardless of if they thought the parents had something to do with it or not, they should have issued that alert instantly.

Because even if the parents had something to do with it, someone in the community may have seen what happened and saw the child go with someone else, or any type of information.

LEIBERMAN: But you can Monday morning quarterback the whole thing. I mean, the father should have reported it sooner. Clearly, there should have been an Amber Alert sooner. You can Monday morning quarterback the whole thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes. That`s what people do. That`s what we do in the media, Jon. We look at things and we analyze them to see if we can learn something.


LEIBERMAN: Right, but it`s not as if they didn`t...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You could call it quarterbacking or you could call it analyzing the situation. And that`s all we`re doing.

Adam Swickle, criminal defense attorney, what do you say?

ADAM SWICKLE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, first of all, I think we have to give props to these kinds of shows, because we need people in society to help us out in order to uncover these types of situations.

As far as race is concerned, I don`t know why we`re bringing race into it.

The Amber Alert issue, it is unbelievable that, in this situation, we would wait 24 hours or more before we issue an Amber Alert. It`s absolutely disgraceful. And it is something that needs to be changed in our situation and our society in order to protect these young children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Marc, I want to go back to you. You`re the expert on Amber Alerts. We`ve heard a number of different explanations for why there was a delay. One, that they didn`t have any evidence of an abduction.

Well, then they did the grid search, a four-mile radius. Obviously, she`s a 2-year-old. She can only toddle so far. Once they found out she wasn`t in that four-mile radius, they felt clear to issue an Amber Alert.

But the other explanation that we hear quite often is you can`t issue an Amber Alert unless there is something to describe, like a vehicle or a suspect, and they had neither of those in this case. So which is it?

KLAAS: Well, what you have, Jane, is you have an Amber Alert system based on a faulty premise that has criteria that is written in stone and that therefore eliminates the kids that need it most. Because predators do not advertise either themselves or the vehicles they`re driving in when they take these little children. That`s why Polly or Adam Walsh or Elizabeth Smart, none of these kids would have qualified for Amber Alerts.

They need to take it right back to is original source. This Amber Hagerman. And if it`s local law enforcement making a determination and notifying local radio stations in a very timely manner.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meanwhile, we still don`t know where this child is. But on the other side of the break, we`re going to talk about the sighting at a motel, right across state lines.

Coming up, as well, one of the most absolutely outrageous car chases/carjackings, multiple carjackings you will ever see. I mean, this suspect doesn`t just do one bad thing. He does a dozen bad things one after another, terrorizing car after car after car. A mom watches helplessly as her daughter is kidnapped. It`s unbelievable.

But first, so much more on the search for this adorable 2-year-old girl. Where is she right now?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her mother says she left her with her older sisters. But when she came back, the 2-year-old was gone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would like to have her home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have not been able to turn Myra up at this point.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reported sightings of a missing toddler.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More clues in looking for Myra.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looked like her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it looked like the one she saw in the news.

GREGORY LEWIS, FATHER OF MYRA: Just bring my baby home.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: At least four, possibly up to six hours went by between little Myra vanishing, and her dad, her parents contacting police. They say that`s because Dad thought the little girl was shopping with Mom. And Mom thought Myra was at home with Dad.

Now, Dad barely said anything at the news conference. Check this out.


LEWIS: Just bring my baby home.

DANIEL MCMULLEN, FBI: We believe that there`s someone out there that has information as to where little Myra is.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Simone Bienne, behavior expert, what do you make of Dad`s affect? And should Mom and Dad both volunteer to take a polygraph test, just to get that out of the way? I mean, these stories have changed a little bit. Why not clear it up?

SIMONE BIENNE, BEHAVIOR EXPERT: Yes. I like your point, Jane. Should they take a polygraph test? Absolutely. Because if a child is abducted, the most likely -- perhaps were the parents involved. So to me I`m smelling a rat.

And his body language at the conference, where he`s not giving away any information, where he`s not showing any sadness and remorse, absolutely concerns me. If that was my child, I would be feeling guilty that there was some kind of miscommunication between both of the parents. It`s not good enough.

So I don`t know, I somehow feel that the parents -- and I`m going to blame the dad here -- is involved.

We want to be fair. They`ve already gone through the worst thing a parent could ever go through. Their precious child is missing. And they`re not considered suspects. They are appearing -- this gentleman is appearing at a news conference. I mean, you know, we have to eliminate those closest. That`s what cops have to do. But my heart also goes out to them. We don`t want to point the finger unnecessarily.

I can tell you some facts about these parents. Mom was arrested for welfare fraud last year. When police searched the home after little Myra`s disappearance, cops say they found a weapon in plain view. Having a gun is a violation of her probation. So they arrested her. Now Mom has to appear before a judge before she can get out.

Now, here`s what I don`t understand. Therese Apel, you`re the crime reporter down there in Jackson, Mississippi, for the "Clarion Ledger." She reportedly posted bail, but she`s still behind bars tonight. We reported last night she posted bail. What happened? Are there new charges? Is this part of a police strategy? Why is she...

APEL: I believe -- I believe it is actually just a court process issue. And I wish I was educated enough in that to tell you exactly what it is. But I do know that I asked the sheriff`s department that, and they just said that she has to have another court appearance before they can let her out because of the probation violation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you buy it, Adam Swickle?

SWICKLE: Well, I mean, it can be accurate as far as her needing another hearing, because of the violation of probation hearing. Because like here in south Florida, you can actually be held on a violation, even if you have a bond on a substantive charge.

But I do want to make one comment. I do a lot of family law down here, as well, and throughout the state of Florida. It is very common that one parent thinks that the other parent is picking up. One parent thinks that the other one is dropping off. And unfortunately, in these kinds of situations, you can have these kinds of miscommunications which are very, very reasonable and common.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but at the same time, as your child goes missing? I mean, that`s the -- I mean, isn`t that -- there`s something there that is sort of a coinkydink, as they say.

SWICKLE: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got some breaking news to tell you about. Investigators told us this tip, from the Memphis motel. OK? It was reported. It certainly wasn`t a confirmed sighting. They got calls. There were three people who reportedly saw this little girl at this motel in Memphis across state lines, all the way from Mississippi into Memphis, Tennessee. You`ve got breaking news on this, Jon Leiberman. What have you learned?

LEIBERMAN: Yes, I do. We just heard from Memphis police that, in fact, this little girl is not little Myra Lewis. They have identified who this girl is. And they have identified who the man was that she was with.

That being said, law enforcement is still following up on what I`m told are dozens more leads that have come in since that reward was raised to $20,000.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you remember, of course...

LEIBERMAN: So this sighting in Memphis is not her, but there are a lot more leads.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you remember Caylee. Caylee Anthony. There were thousands and thousands of sightings. And ultimately, we learned there was no kidnapping, and all of those sightings were obviously false.

Bob, Pennsylvania. What are your thoughts, Bob, Pennsylvania?

CALLER: Yes, I did have a question. Her mom, did they actually question her in prison? If she knew anything about her little girl?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I don`t think we have the answer to that. I don`t think cops are just opening up all their cards and laying them on the table. But you can certainly assume that they know where she is, and they are exploring all leads.

And again, this mother is not considered a suspect, but what happened to this child? We`re staying on this case.

Now, I want to show you something that just blew my mind. It blew everybody`s mind. People couldn`t stop watching this. It went on and on. This is just a tiny little part of a wildly crazy car chase/multiple carjacking event that also included the alleged kidnapping of a child that all went down today. We`re going to play it for you. You just have to see it to believe it. It`s coming up.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officials say their satellite images may -- I underscore "may" -- show the location of the plane.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have three cases of debris.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We know when the plane took off. We know when it stopped sending a transponder signal. But then it gets very murky.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It`s the only lead. And not only that, it is the most probable lead.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Huge breaking news. Has the jet with 239 people onboard that`s been missing for more than five days finally been found?

A Chinese satellite shows three large objects, all of them bigger than 18-wheeler trucks, floating apparently in the ocean after about five days of exhaustive searching. Is this the missing airliner? Or is it another false lead? We don`t know yet.

The plane and its passengers vanished seemingly into thin air. The plane`s transponder stopped sending signals about 45 minutes after takeoff. Radar tracked what officials thought may have been this plane for an additional hour, but it was headed in the wrong direction. The opposite direction.

Now, investigators seemed to be getting more and more confused about where to look, the jet`s possible whereabouts. Today the search area was initially doubled to 27,000 square nautical miles.

But just a few minutes ago, a Chinese government agency said satellite images captured three days ago may now show remnants of this jet.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was the point of last contact when its transponder was turned off. And you remember, this was the concentration. This was the area that they were searching in, in those early days, but not finding anything.

Now, you have the Chinese state television reporting these images located here. Just to the south and east of where that transponder turned off. And also, close to where some eyewitnesses had said they saw something that night.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course, our thoughts and prayers are with the desperate family members searching for answers tonight. So are we going to finally learn the fate of the 239 people onboard Flight 370?

Straight out to Evyenia Pommpouras, security threat assessment expert.

If -- and that`s a big if, if these three large apparent floating pieces turn out to be the wreckage, it means the jet did not veer off- course but something terrible happened mid-flight. If this is the plane, what might this new information, these new satellite images say about the cause, if anything?

EVYENIA POMMPOURAS, SECURITY THREAT ASSESSMENT EXPERT: Well, look, obviously, if the satellite images are legit, and this is where the plane did go down, then they`ll be able to recover the plane and get the information they need, which is the actual plane.

And when you have the plane, you have your evidence. They can reconstruct the plane, see, was there a blast, was there a fire, was there mechanical? What happened. Was it a hijacking? Was it -- which one of these things was it, since we have all this conflicting information? We need something tangible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, When they get to this area, of course, there`s currents, there`s wind. Whatever it is that they`re looking at may not be right there. And of course, their priority No. 1 is to find whatever it is that`s there and get the black boxes out, which will reveal so much. And apparently, they`re set up to transmit for about 30 days. So they still could be recovered essentially intact, is that true?

POMMPOURAS: Supposedly that`s true. But again, that`s if they can get their hands on the responders.

It`s almost a little bit sad, this story, because it`s been how many days and the story keeps changing. Maybe it`s here, maybe it`s there. So it`s all these "what ifs." Yes, it would be great, but I feel as more time goes on, we have less and less and less of a chance of getting the answers. I feel like that window as an investigator is starting to close slowly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon Leiberman, I have to say I think this is the biggest break in the case thus far. We`ve had nothing tangible at all and then suddenly the Chinese government releases its satellite photos that appear to show three large objects, the size of 18-wheelers or bigger in the basic flight path that the jet was supposed to take.

LEIBERMAN: Well, you hit the nail on the head, Jane. It`s the first actual tangible, something we can look at and say, this could in fact be the big break. Everything else has been contradictory from the Malaysian military, from the Malaysian government, from the airlines, from Interpol. This is something we can actually sink our teeth into and say maybe we have something to go on here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now tonight we`re learning a lot more about the men piloting this plane. We already knew that the co-pilot made some very questionable decisions in the past, letting some very attractive young women hang with him in the cockpit during a flight a few years ago. We`ve got something else, too, but listen to this.


JONTI ROOS, MET CO-PILOT OF MISSING PLANE: The co-pilot and pilot came back and asked us if we wanted to sit with him in the cockpit during the flight. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I was pretty surprised by it. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

But I thought the fact that they`re doing it must mean it`s something that happens quite often.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: My gosh. She`s even wearing his hat.

We`re learning that the pilot -- that was the co-pilot -- the pilot, this man, of the plane was so serious about aviation, he built a flight assimilator in his house, and you can see it behind him in this video we posted on YouTube.

So what does that say? I mean, it`s sort of odd that we`ve got all this information now about these two -- the pilot and the co-pilot.

POMMPOURAS: Yes. You have almost two different types of individuals. One person is letting these women into the cockpit, taking photos and letting them wear their hat, which just in a sense is a very unprofessional thing to see in just that behavior.

Then you have the other opposite of the extreme, having that simulator at home. So you see almost two contradicting behaviors there as far as the way they carry themselves. Could the pilots` behavior have something to do with this? Yes, absolutely.

Let me go to crystal, Iowa. Very quickly, you wanted to talk about this. Tell us.

CALLER: Yes, I was just wondering. Ts the IFS different in other countries than in America?

An excellent question. Would it be easier to get into the cockpit in this particular jet as opposed to, let`s say, an American domestic carrier flying domestically?

EYVENIA POUMPOURAS, SECURITY AND THREAT ASSESSMENT EXPERT: Yes, absolutely. Since 9/11, our protocol here, TSA and all that, we`re on a different level. We operate on a different level.

Now, unfortunately everybody thinks just because we operate on that level of security that the rest of the world does. They do not. They do not have the same standards. A lot of countries are more lax than we are. We are obviously not as lax because of September 11th. So it is not the same -- much easier on another airline.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much Evie. And we`ve got some important information coming up about breaking news about that mom who drove her kids into the ocean. But first, everybody`s talking about this around the world. Here`s our Skype gallery.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fact that nothing can be ruled out with Malaysia Airlines Flights 370 does leave a true mystery. But the fact that it`s a Boeing 777, it will be found eventually. That plane is enormous. But until then, we can only pray until it is.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I first found out it was her, it did bring tears to my eyes. Because, you know, something could have been done earlier.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A woman drove her minivan and her children into the ocean.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re charged with attempted first-degree murder for which you have no bond. You`re also charged with two counts of child abuse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are they saying "help"?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, shocking developments in the case of the pregnant mom, Ebony Wilkerson, who cops say tried to kill her three kids by driving them into the ocean. Thank God they got out ok, thanks to some heroes.

Well tonight, we`ve got a huge exclusive interview with the husband of the woman, Ebony Wilkerson killed in a car crash seven years earlier. Seven years before she drove her own kids into those waves.

But first, there`s explosive new family drama for, who else, Ebony Wilkerson. Now we`re learning that just three days before she drove her kids into the ocean, she called cops claiming her husband held her down and raped her. Cops say they interviewed the husband and did not file charges.

Now, her sister tells a judge, she fears for her own life, the sister, claiming Ebony`s husband threatened the sister with a knife after she tried to stop him from allegedly strangling Ebony, the pregnant mom, during a fight. And this sister says the threats have gotten worse since Ebony allegedly tried to kill her own kids.

Now, this is the very same sister who called 911 to tell cops that Ebony was hearing demons and talking to Jesus shortly before Ebony veered her SUV packed with kids into the ocean.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is she doing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Talking about Jesus, and that there`s demons in my house, and that I`m trying to control her but I`m trying to keep them safe.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She thinks there`s demons in the house?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: I am holding right now the injunction that was filed. Now a judge is saying Ebony`s husband has to stay at least 500 feet away from Ebony`s family. That means he can`t go to court and be in the same room with this woman. Ebony`s husband says these abuse claims are completely false, blaming it on Ebony`s mental illness. We`ve reached out to him and we haven`t heard back.

Straight out to the "lion`s Den", according to the police -- the police report said the first thing Ebony said after cops confronted her when she drove her kids into the ocean, was that she was abused by her husband for years and even allegedly attacked right before she drove to Florida.

Simone, you`re a behavior expert. If that`s true, if, and that`s a big if, can abuse trigger a woman to have a psychotic break and drive her own kids into the ocean?

SIMONE, BEHAVIOR EXPERT: We all have a breaking point. And look, if you are in such a desperate state, then yes, trauma can trigger all sorts of things. Because you can exhibit exactly what post-traumatic stress signs we see in soldiers. So this kind of strange behavior can happen.

But what concerns me, I`m sure you`re going to talk about with your - - the interview with the husband, is what happened seven years previously. When you put the two together, then we start to see a bigger picture of who Ebony Wilkerson, I believe, potentially could be.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Eric Guster, do you buy it? Do you think that this woman was pushed to the brink by the abusive husband who says, "Uh-uh, I didn`t do anything, she`s mad as a hatter, essentially." Or do you think that`s a big excuse for really, really incomprehensible behavior?

ERIC GUSTER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think it`s an excuse. When a lady drives her children into the water, into the ocean and then all of a sudden, "Hey, my husband made me do it," or "I was scared of him." Why didn`t she drive to the police station? Why didn`t she call 911 for help to get away from the abusive situation? She tried to take the lives of her children. And according to her sister --


GUSTER: I`m sorry. She was actually hearing demons so, come on.


ESPINOSA: Jane, I`m sorry, I`ve got to jump in here. You know why? Because I understand that and that is a cheap shot, right, to say my husband, you know, I`m having a nervous breakdown, that`s why I drove my kids into the ocean. Hold on -- breaking news everybody. We`re talking about a woman who is mentally ill. I don`t know her whole history. I don`t know what kind of --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You can`t say she`s mentally ill, Elizabeth. She has no history of mental illness. No, she heard demons right before.

GUSTER: But if she`s hearing demons -- this may not be true against her husband. This lady`s hearing voices. We don`t know what the true story is.

ESPINOSA: That`s a good point.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me add another layer of crazy onto the whole thing and another layer of cruel. We have now uncovered a dark secret in Ebony`s past. Seven years ago, she caused a car crash that killed a young wife and mother. Doug Krane and his three-week-old son were in that car and survived. But the mother of that child did not. His wife did not. He says he thinks Ebony will stop at nothing to get herself out of trouble. Listen.


DOUG KRANE, WIFE KILLED BY EBONY WILKERSON: I didn`t think I would ever hear her name again. Yes, I was shocked. And, you know, when I first found out it was her it did bring tears to my eyes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me take you back to the horror that you experienced. You`re driving in the car with your wife and the child. And suddenly this van or this vehicle behind you hits you from behind. What happened?

KRANE: She was weaving in and out of traffic. She got in the lane to the right of us and somehow got a little bit behind us. And then, you know, like you see on "Cops" she hit us from behind the back right tire and did like the pit maneuver. And instead of stopping right there on the spot, she tried to keep going.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you feel -- first of all, I want you to look at this woman`s face, because a lot of people said she looked catatonic, she looked out of it, she looked odd in court on the case of driving her kids into the ocean. What was your sense? Did you get a sense she was mentally ill? Was she just irresponsible? What was your sense of this woman?

KRANE: At that time, I thought she was just young, you know. Everybody`s young and drives foolish. But, you know, then once she got to the hospital, she wasn`t very nice to anybody. They said she was the nastiest person they had ever dealt with.

And the only other time I really dealt with her was in court where obviously because she was trying to save her own skin. She pretty much told the judge that myself and my wife hit her, instead of her hitting us.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you`re saying she lied?

KRANE: Oh, yes. Yes. I pretty much said that in court that day, ma`am. With not such a nice word in front, that she lied. And I don`t know. They never really took any account of that. They just let her lie and they didn`t really do anything about it. There was hatred back then which I really tried to not keep inside of me for the better -- to better my son.

But, yes, there were days where I drove up there and just sat across the street from her house, watched her play with her kid and her husband. And, you know, just thinking to myself how that isn`t fair.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What would you say to Ebony Wilkerson, if you could say anything to her, if you could talk to her directly?

KRANE: What comes around goes around. And if you do something wrong and you try to lie about it, not take responsibility, then obviously some day soon, you will get what you deserve.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Our "Lion`s Den" panel, response. Ten seconds -- Adam Swickle, criminal defense attorney?

ADAM SWICKLE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I haven`t heard anything that would cause any connection to the 2007 incident and this incident.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What? Irresponsibility -- irresponsibility behind the wheel of a car. This woman should have done jail time. She should have been locked up, in my opinion.

SWICKLE: Well, if the investigation was done and they didn`t find anything she shouldn`t have done any jail time. It all depends on the investigation at the time, and they found nothing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Help me out. Eric Guster, she basically slams the back of a car and a woman`s dead and that`s seven years ago, and now she drove her kids into the ocean.

GUSTER: Jane, this is one of those cases where the mental health facilities and the police and the court system should come together to give this lady some help. She`s clearly not stable.

SWICKLE: I agree.

GUSTER: And this is one of those cases where it failed. Luckily there was not a tragedy and death from this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to say, I`m worried not so much about her, but her kids and anybody else she might meet on the road, which won`t happen again, I hope.

GUSTER: Oh yes. Scary.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops say a man car jacks two vehicles, steals another. It`s a police chase like you`ve never seen before. We`re going to bring it all to you next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was listening to the car chase on the radio, and sure enough, I had the green and a car just came through the intersection and blasted the silver car in front of me and got out of the car and proceeded to take the car that was right in front of me after he stopped in the intersection.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The desperation of this person. You`ve already carjacked two cars, endangered the welfare of a child, possible abduction charges as well. And what is this person on the run for to begin with?

There`s currently two warrants for his arrest.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s accosted a third car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he strike a trooper?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The car just came through the intersection and blasted the silver car in front of me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my lord. What a wild dramatic car chase, caught on tape, like nothing we`ve ever seen before. For almost two hours cops say the suspect went speeding, tearing through the suburbs of Denver, Colorado in three different stolen cars. Two of which were carjacked.

It started when he allegedly stole this red SUV at a gas station with a four-year-old boy inside. The boy`s mother just feet away paying for gas when cops say this (inaudible) character jumped in the car and took off with her son. He then cuts off this silver SUV, right there, and car jacks the next driver. Seconds later, after doing that, he is on the run again.

Check this out. This is terrifying. Yes, get the heck out of there, lady. Oh, my gosh. He`s driving in the wrong direction. Eventually he exits and slams into that car. He jumps out of the SUV he`s driving, frantically trying to think of his next move. But then nowhere to go, let`s jump right back in. Oh, yes, I think I changed my mind. Let me get back in there.

Then we see after a while -- yes, that`s a good move right there -- the car starts smoking. It looks like there could be a problem with the wheel. So now he`s got to lose this car, doesn`t he? So what does he do? Why not side swipe yet another car, forcing that driver to move over to the shoulder.

Now, this poor lady doesn`t know that this guy is a lunatic, so she pulls over like, I wonder if I can get your license or registration. No, she`s got a maniac creeping up on her and she actually tries to stop him. Look at this. Whoa. She said, no, you`re not taking my car. She`s lucky to have her hand. He steals his third car.

But his luck is about to run out. He speeds through the traffic light, and boom. Right there, smashes into a car at the intersection. He`s got nowhere to go. What does he do? Like most of these morons, he takes off on foot, yes, causing crash after crash in his wake. Let`s take off the jacket. That will help me. My tank top. Oh, that will give me the speed I need -- not.

This is thankfully just about the end of the road. But he`s been watching too many action flicks because look what he does now. Oh, this is a gem. Yes, I think I`m going to pull a stunt right out of "Mission: Impossible". I think I`m going to -- you know, it`s not funny, it`s pathetic, but it`s not funny. I think I`m going to, let`s see, scale a fence. That`s what I`ll do. Whoa.

Yes, but it`s not like in the movies. It`s a little more difficult. Don`t have the upper arms. Don`t have the upper body strength for that. Yes, they got me. Get down on the ground, you knucklehead. Oh, my god.

Jon Leiberman, what is this guy facing, and I hope he never gets behind a car again.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, let me tell you something Jane, there is good reason why he`s running. He had just been arrested a month ago for attempting to sell a large amount of drugs and then arrested a couple of days after that arrest for possessing a large amount of drugs.

He`s known as a menace in this community. He`s got a criminal rap sheet, you know, larger than my arm span here, and he`s just looking at a host of crimes here from attempted murder to carjacking. I mean and you see all -- a lot of the evidence is caught right on tape. He will go away for a very long time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Apparently in the course of all this, he runs over a trooper. We`re happy to say the four-year-old boy, the little boy is ok, thank God.

We`re going to tell you more about -- look at those spike strips that they throw in a desperate attempt to stop this raging lunatic.

More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops and one trooper were seriously injured in this chase. He was trying to lay down spike strips when Ryan allegedly hit him with the car. I mean, look at that. Whoa, whoa. Yes, there he is. Throw those spike strips out -- boom. Unbelievable.

We`re happy to say that the little boy who was jacked in this car show is ok, but the police officer, he basically ran over a trooper.

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Donna, L.A. I know you`re at the car capital, the car chase capital of the world. What do you have to say about this one in Denver -- Donna.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you have to say?

DONNA: Hi. I`m from Louisiana. Lookie here. This is a gentleman that when they caught him the first time, they should have kept him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes, you`re right. And you know what I say, Jon Leiberman, the words meth. Whenever that word is in the picture, anything can happen.

Absolutely, and they did some tests to check on what he had in his system, toxicology. We`ll find those out very soon as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Don`t you know you never get away -- like 99.99 percent of car chases, you`re caught.

Nancy is next.