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Ledger Death Ruled Accidental Overdose/Six Shot to Death at Illinois Clothing Store

Aired February 6, 2008 - 20:00:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight in the sudden death of Hollywood superstar Heath Ledger, Ledger found unclothed, unresponsive, face down in bed inside his exclusive Soho apartment, over-the-counter, prescription drugs plus medications from Europe all near Ledger`s body. Tonight, cause of death lethal overdose from abuse of painkillers Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, anti-anxiety meds Valium, Xanax, sleeping pills, Restoril, Unisom all -- all -- in Ledger`s system, according to the medical examiner. Tonight, bombshell. We learn the DEA launches a full-scale drug investigation. Why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Heath Ledger died last month from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs, according to the New York City medical examiner. But it`s not over yet, a law enforcement source tells CNN the Drug Enforcement Administration requesting toxicology and prescription drug records related to Ledger`s death. Could this death investigation turn criminal?


GRACE: And tonight, a deadly shooting rampage at upscale Lane Bryant ladies` clothing store, six women gunned down execution-style. Police now believe that particular Lane Bryant store, located in a tony Chicago strip mall, was targeted and staked out. Just one shooting victim survived and is under super-tight round-the-clock security. Tonight, the manhunt in high gear.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It starred as a robbery but ended with five women shot and killed in the back room of a store in this suburban Chicago strip mall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Through the investigators inside, they were able to determine pretty substantially that the motive in this case was a robbery.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police locked down the shopping center briefly, but determined the gunman had already fled the area. Now the manhunt is under way and authorities are asking the public for leads. Police now confirm a sixth woman interrupted the robbery. She got a look at the gunman and survived. She`s now talking with investigators.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s described as a male black, 5-8 to 5-10, 230 to 260 pounds, 25 to 35 years of age, with a medium complexion, a dark- colored jacket below waist length with no writing on it at all, and a charcoal gray knit cap, with his hair pulled back.


GRACE: Also tonight, a Florida mom buckles up a case of beer, with a drunk driver driving on Super Bowl Sunday. The beer was safe and sound, but Mommy forgets to buckle up her 1-year-old baby girl, the girl in the back seat, no restraints, no carseat. The driver runs a red light, erratically steering across the center of a high-speed four-lane with the baby bouncing in the back. But don`t worry, the beer was protected.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Forty-six-year-old Tina Williams is behind bars this evening. Police say she was driving drunk. To make it worse, there was an infant in the car but not in a carseat. What was buckled? A 24- pack of beer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was fine. When I first got in the car, she was fine. But then (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police tell us that Williams faces a host of charges, one of them being DUI.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. The sudden death of Hollywood superstar 28-year-old Heath Ledger. Cause of death, overdose. Tonight, the DEA launching a full-scale drug investigation.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Six different drugs, two anti-anxiety drugs, two narcotic painkillers and two sleep medications. These are names that are familiar to many, names like Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Valium and Xanax. These drugs are a disaster when taken together. Basically, they make your brain stem stop working, so your heart forgets to beat. Your lungs forget to breathe. You could take just normal, regular prescribed dosages of these medications, and once you combine them, it can easily kill someone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The New York City medical examiner`s office says Hollywood superstar Heath Ledger`s death was an accident resulting from the abuse of prescription drugs, including pain relievers, anxiety and sleep medication. Ledger`s family says the death serves as a warning to the hidden dangers in prescription drugs, but a law enforcement source tells CNN the Drug Enforcement Administration has requested toxicology and prescription drug records related to Ledger`s death.


GRACE: Cause of death, lethal overdose. And now the DEA`s launching a full-scale investigation? Why? Let`s go straight out to Kelli Zink with Kelli, what happened?

KELLI ZINK, CELEBTV.COM: Good evening, Nancy. Well, let me point out that the main is that this was an accidental overdose, which is exactly what Heath Ledger`s family wanted us to know all along. They said this was not a suicide attempt, as a lot of people were speculating early on, but unfortunately, a lot of different prescription drugs combined. And like you said, the DEA is now launching this investigation to see if the doctors knew they were prescribing these drugs together because when combined, they proved to be lethal.

GRACE: I want to go out to Mike Brooks, former D.C. cop, former fed with the FBI. Mike, how is it when someone takes an overdose and you`ve got the DEA launching a drug investigation -- how can they determine whether this was accidental or intentional?

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, the ME`s already said this is accidental, Nancy, and...

GRACE: Yes. Right. How can they determine that?

BROOKS: Well, they -- they`re asking for toxicology and the prescription records. What they`re looking into -- and also, this has to do, apparently, with -- the source told CNN, with an active investigation. So who are they looking at right now? They`re probably looking at one of the doctors who most likely prescribed some of this medication. Every prescription pad, when you hand it in to the pharmacist, it has a DEA number. They want to take a look, OK, let`s take a look at these DEA numbers, is everything in order? That`s what their initial investigation is going to involve. But apparently, this involves already -- an already ongoing active investigation, Nancy.

GRACE: Out to A.J. Hammer, host of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" here at Headline News. A.J., how exactly -- what exactly do the autopsy results say?

A.J. HAMMER, HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Well, the autopsy results were initially Inconclusive. It`s the toxicology reports that came back today. And what it says, in its exact wording from the medical examiner, Nancy, is, "Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Diazepam, Temazepam, Alprazolam and Doxylamine. We have concluded that the manner of death is accident resulting from the abuse of prescription medication."

So the implication there, Nancy, really is that he took an improper combination of pills that reacted in such a way that, as your report said, effectively caused him to go to sleep and not wake up.

GRACE: A.J. will have more on Ledger`s death and now the new toxicology results tonight at 11:00 PM Eastern on "SHOWBIZ."

Out to Dr. David Posey, medical examiner and forensic pathologist. He`s joining us from LA. Dr. Posey, how is it when somebody ODs, they overdose, how can you post-mortem determine this is just an accident?

DR. DAVID POSEY, MEDICAL EXAMINER, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, you have to look at all the circumstances surrounding the death. Obviously, you have to look at the scene. You have to look at the autopsy itself, the body...

GRACE: What if the scene was cleaned up before police got there?

POSEY: It makes it very difficult. There`s usually tell-tale signs as to whether or not there is, you know, death caused by self-indulgence. Usually, you won`t find a victim as this Mr. Ledger was found. And often, there may be a note. Forty to fifty percent of the time...

GRACE: What do you mean by that, you won`t find him as Ledger was found?

POSEY: This is a typical finding, where you find an individual unclothed in their bed. They`ve just taken too many drugs, not realizing that they`ve overdosed themselves or taken too much of the medication or too much in combination.

GRACE: Dr. Posey, you`re saying look at the circumstances surrounding the death. And I am translating that, I am interpreting that to mean you can`t tell from the body itself, from the toxicology results themselves, whether it was accidental or whether it was intentional or whether it was even a homicide. But you take in the circumstances surrounding it, correct.

POSEY: That is correct. And I think you have to look at the fact we have multiple drugs involved. Usually, someone who`s intending to commit suicide...

GRACE: Gotcha.

POSEY: ... will pick one drug or more.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Lee in Wisconsin. Hi, Lee.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. How are you?

GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is, does -- it just seems to me like it was an unfortunate death, of course, but was this young man doctor shopping? And can they hold these physicians responsible for his death?

GRACE: Let`s unleash the lawyers. Joining us tonight out of Atlanta, prosecutor Holly Hughes, Renee Rockwell, defense attorney, out of New York, defense attorney Lauren Lake. Holly Hughes, what about doc shopping?

HOLLY HUGHES, PROSECUTOR: What`s going to happen, Nancy, is unless you can prove that these doctors had knowledge of each other and the fact that he was already on prescription drugs from someone else, they`re not going to be held liable. There`s not going to be any negligence unless they can prove that the doctor had knowledge of prior prescriptions.

GRACE: Renee?

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I want to agree with Holly. But Nancy, let me tell you one other thing. What these investigators also look for is whether or not the list of medication that was found at the apartment matches what was in his bloodstream. What if there was something else there that he may have gotten from somewhere else that was not legally prescribed, Nancy?

GRACE: Holly, I have a problem with the number of drugs. Renee, I have a problem with the types of drugs, all of them depressing the respiratory system. To you, Lauren Lake. What about it?

LAUREN LAKE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don`t like it, either, Nancy. And I`ll tell you what. I smell a rat in these situations. We are seeing this too many times. Why is this young man on so many drugs? We saw it with Anna Nicole. There is a problem in this country with abuse of prescription medication. And I am so glad the DEA is looking into it. And they`re right. If they can`t prove that the doctors were anyway negligent, nothing`s going to happen to them. But I`m glad there`s a spotlight on this situation.

GRACE: Well, it`s not -- there`s Anna Nicole, there is Elvis, who had a doctor that would bring him whatever he wanted...

LAKE: Yes.

GRACE: ... Marilyn Monroe, the list goes on and on and on. And this isn`t cocaine, this isn`t heroin, it`s over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Plus, in this case, you also have thrown in drugs he obtained in Europe, not necessarily illegal drugs, but drugs that may not be allowed in the U.S. market.

Out to the lines. Debbie in Indiana. Hi, Debbie.


GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s six different pills that should not be taken at the same time. How many doctors were prescribing pills to him?

GRACE: I don`t know. Out to Kelli Zink with Kelli, did all of these come from the same doctor? What do we know?

ZINK: Nancy, we`re not sure, but we are talking about one of the reasons he was taking all these pills. And just a few weeks before he passed away, he did an interview where he said, I can`t sleep. I`m so involved in my roles that I`m taking an Ambien. It`s not working, so I`m taking another one. So he was clearly trying to get help, and in that help, he was self-medicating. And obviously, it proved to be unfortunately lethal.

GRACE: Out to Dr. Jeff Gardere, psychologist and author. Jeff, what about safeguards to prevent this from happening? And do doctors just turn a blind eye when it`s a celebrity like Heath Ledger wanting Ambien or wanting Oxycodone, Valium?

JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, the problem is that there is no kind of database where doctors can say, Well, let`s see what this other doctor prescribed. When people go in and see their physicians, they tell them what the symptoms are and the physicians have to accept them at their word. So if they say, I`m having problems sleeping or I`m having problems with anxiety, then they`ll just go ahead and prescribe these things. But the doctors don`t check with one another. And we do know that it`s not just celebrities, but there are four million people in this nation that are addicted to prescription drugs, and the reason is because they are legal and they can get them easily. They can even get them on the Internet now.

GRACE: Back to Dr. Posey, medical examiner and forensic pathologist. Dr. Posey, it`s just hard for me to take in that one person could take all of these different drugs and they are found in his system. It`s not the fact that they were just lying around, they were all in his system. And there`s no warning. There`s no way he could that know something horrible could happen, that his, for instance, respiratory system could be depressed?

POSEY: Well, I think probably, in behalf of the doctors prescribing the drugs, they more than likely warn him. But you know, he`s not a physician. And I think the public in general have a hard time understanding really the adverse outcomes of the individual drugs, let alone taking six drugs, four of which will definitely depress the respiratory system.

GRACE: Which ones? Which ones?

POSEY: Well, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, let`s see, Xanax will, and Diazepam will also -- and Restoril. So all of them will actually depress the respiratory system. And Valium is kind of a deal breaker. We know that in combination with alcohol, it`s extremely dangerous. So you`ve got, you know, five drugs by themselves that are dangerous, and you have Valium on top of it, it`s just...

GRACE: And for us to say to depress the respiratory system -- translation, you stop breathing.

Out to Sheeba in Illinois. Hi, Sheeba.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, dear. My question is, on the prescriptions that he had filled in the United States, probably in New York, were they filled at the same pharmacy? Because the pharmacists will usually call the physician -- I`m a retired nurse. The pharmacists will usually call the physician and say, Do you really want to do this? This is what he`s getting from So-and-So and...

GRACE: That`s an excellent idea, Sheeba. To A.J. Hammer. Where was he getting all of this filled?

HAMMER: Well, as Kelli said earlier, Nancy, we don`t know. And this is information that probably will come out in the DEA`s investigation, when they`re looking into exactly who was prescribing the meds, what pharmacies were actually dispensing those medications.

But if we take a reality check for a moment -- and I think some of the doctors have mentioned this very point -- who among us in America hasn`t received a prescription for something, and when we`re through with the bottle or it`s no longer effective, put it on a shelf in our medicine cabinet, sitting perhaps right next to something that it may interact with, but we have no -- not necessarily -- we don`t necessarily have the knowledge that it will interact.

Keep in mind Heath Ledger had just gotten back from shooting in London over that weekend. He was exhausted, presumably, when he got back to town and probably wasn`t in his best state of mind when he perhaps took one sleeping med that didn`t work, which perhaps dulled his senses even more, and took something else. I really have a feeling, when this all plays out, Nancy, it`s going to be determined to be one tragic, tragic accident.

GRACE: Out the lines. Clara in Utah. Hi, Clara.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, sweetie. I called you before. I`m the lady with the six (ph) twin siblings.

GRACE: Oh, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bless you, and Welcome back.

GRACE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s more a statement, you know, than a question. Today in our paper -- we passed House bill 119. I every now and then have to take a Percodan or a Percocet for pain. I would never, ever, ever take any of the medications that you`ve described there because I know better. And this House bill will notify the doctors immediately now when you`ve been given a controlled substance. And I think that`s something that they need to look into everywhere. It should be uniform across the nation.

GRACE: Well, you know, back to Mike Brooks. Mike, during the pregnancy, as you know from my visits to Atlanta, I had nausea all the way until the end of the pregnancy. And I remember them giving me some pill to try, ended not taking. And right on it was a sticker that said, Don`t take while you`re pregnant, all right? I immediately got on the phone with the doctor. So long story short, I don`t understand, if there are stickers that you can get on your pill bottle, why those were not in place, why the one pharmacy, if it is one, fills all of these prescriptions, and what the DEA plans to do about it. Remember Benoit? Remember all the huge amount of drugs and steroids he was on? I didn`t hear anything about the DEA getting involved.

BROOKS: No, you know, they did, I think, as part of a task force on the Chris Benoit case. But in this particular case, Nancy, you know, many times people, especially when they travel, instead of walking around with six different pill bottles, they`ll take one -- they`ll take a bunch of pills and mix them all together in one bottle and carry them around. But there are supposed to be labels on drugs such as Oxycodone and, you know, Hydrocodone.

GRACE: Everyone, to tonight`s "Case Alert." Some good news. A missing person story right here on NANCY GRACE last spring, happy ending. Twenty-year-old Milwaukee man Marshall Hutcherson missing since February 2007 found alive. He disappeared after leaving a health facility. Almost one year to the day, he is safe in Philadelphia. A motorist spots a man wandering along the interstate, and in a miracle twist, Hutcherson`s dad granted a special airline ticket to pick up his son. That`s after U.S. Airways agent sees the story right here. What a story!

And when we come back: Why did a gunman target upscale Lane Bryant ladies` clothing store in Chicago suburb for a methodical mass shooting?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Investigators are standing guard in front of the Lane Bryant clothing store in Tinley Park. Five women were gunned down during a botched armed robbery Saturday morning. And it`s now believed the sixth woman was inside the store. She was apparently grazed in the neck by gunfire and was able to call 911. The gunman is still on the loose.


GRACE: Six women forced to go into the back of a store, Lane Bryant, an upscale ladies` store there in the tony Chicago suburbs. Long story short, they were duct taped and then executed one by one. Only one survivor tonight under round-the-clock security. Now police believe that that Lane Bryant ladies` store has been staked out, had been watched, and that the shooter knew mostly women, women only were in that store.

To Kathy Chaney with "The Chicago Defender." What can you tell us?

KATHY CHANEY, "CHICAGO DEFENDER": Well, right now, the Tinley Park Police Department is working on getting out a sketch of the suspect. And I just got off the phone with them, and they said that they`re working on it right now and hopefully will have it released either later tonight or early in the morning.

GRACE: To Perry Williams, bureau chief with the Metro Networks in Chicago. Perry, what do we know about the appearance of the perpetrator?

PERRY WILLIAMS, METRO NETWORKS: Well, police are reporting that this person -- well, actually, there`s been a revised description of him given to the police by the survivor...

GRACE: Yes, what`s the description?

WILLIAMS: Well, three to five puffy cornrows within the hairstyle that he has on the top of his forehand, and one of those strands has three green beads hanging over his right cheek. That`s the real distinctive portion of his description. And he`s 5-foot 8-inches tall, between 5-foot- 8 and 5-foot-10, 230 to 250 pounds, and large frame, also wearing a black jacket at time of the attack.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just turn yourself in. Five lives! (INAUDIBLE) just turn yourself in!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s best for you to just go turn yourself in. Like I said, my sister, we`ll forgive you.


GRACE: Six ladies shot execution-style in a Lane Bryant ladies` store. Let`s go out to Chief Mike O`Connell, chief of police at Tinley Park Police Department. Chief, thank you for being with us. What do we know about the perpetrator? Why do you believe he staked out the store?

CHIEF MIKE O`CONNELL, TINLEY PARK POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, Nancy, a couple of things. Thank you for having us on to let us get our message out to the public. Right now, we don`t have evidence that says the individual necessarily staked out the store, but certainly, we know that that particular store was a target. Our investigation has yet to reveal why he chose that store. But for the purpose of information...

GRACE: Wait, wait. Let me ask you something, Chief O`Connell.

O`CONNELL: Yes, ma`am.

GRACE: The store was a target?

O`CONNELL: Pardon me?

GRACE: You believe the store was a target?

O`CONNELL: No, I believe -- you know, why he chose the store, we have yet to determine. But obviously, since he did commit this crime in there, it was a store that he chose, and we have yet to determine why. But for the purpose of clarification, I`d like to clarify the physical description which came out. We changed the physical description earlier today, and I think it`s important that the public get an accurate description.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Connie Woolfolk went to the shopping center for a manicure and on a whim decided to look for deals in Lane Bryant. Woolfolk worked for the village of Park Forest for many years. She was the mother of two sons.

Carrie Chiuso was married a little more than a year ago and looked forward to starting a family. She graduated from Homewood Flossmoor High School and a decade later returned to be a social worker at the school.

Twenty-two-year old Sarah Szafranski of Oak Forest were the youngest victim. Her family released a statement saying Sarah was loved by all who knew her and we are counting on that love to sustain us while we mourn.

Another customer was 34-year-old Jennifer Bishop, a nurse and mother from South Bend, Indiana.

Rhoda McFarland was the store`s manager. She was recently engaged, remembered as a warm and forgiving woman.


GRACE: All these ladies lost their life in a Chicago suburban Lane Bryant ladies clothing store, including customers.

To Mike Brooks, according to the "Chicago Tribune," the perpetrator targeted the store. That requires watching the store. In order to get a store where only women would be in there that he believed could not defend themselves, in this case, he was correct. What is your take on what happened, Mike Brooks?

MIKE BROOKS, FMR. DC POLICE DETECTIVE, SERVED ON FBI TERRORISM TASK FORCE: Well, Nancy, one of the things that if I was an investigator, and I`m sure the chief and his investigators are looking into this, was -- taking a look at everyone there, all the employees, some of these people just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. But are any of the employees -- you know, could this perp has been connected with the store in the past? Was there any relationship with he and possibly some of the employees that work there now.

They said there was no surveillance video in that store but apparently there was some surveillance video outside of the store in the surrounding area. And I`m sure they are taking a very, very close look at that. But they`re looking at a lot of different angles here, Nancy. You know, because they said, the motive, initially, robbery. But I find it hard to believe that the total motive behind this crime would be robbery, something else has to be involved.


BROOKS: You know, you just don`t go into a store, put something over a victim`s head, and shoot them execution style, especially a lot of people that you don`t know. And that`s the whole question. Did this person know any of these victims? Did they just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time? Were they victims of -- random acts of violence? I find that - I find that very strange and there`s got to be something, Nancy.

GRACE: You know, Mike, I remember prosecuting a case, a murder case over a $10 debt. So I believe that was the case when I quit asking why. Why ask why?

BROOKS: Right.

GRACE: Because why never makes sense when you`re talking about murder.

Out to the Chief Mike O`Connell, chief of police with Tinley Park Police Department.

Chief, was the tape that he used there or did he take it in with him?

CHIEF MIKE O`CONNELL, TINLEY PARK POLICE DEPT.: We don`t know at this time. We`re looking in every possibility. The evidence we`re gathering is still under forensic examination.

GRACE: What`s your updated description?

O`CONNELL: Our updated description is, we are looking for a male black individual, a 5`10" to six foot. Kind of a husky build but described as a -- has built proportionate to his height. And he was clean shaven, well groomed with his - with three to five heavy, thick braids from back to front, and one distinguishing character was a small braid on the right of his face that hung in front of his right ear with three green - three or four green beads on it.

GRACE: According to reports, the perpetrator brought the tape into the store with him.

And to Holly Hughes, prosecutor, that says to me that he planned this whole thing out. This is not just a robbery. He went in there planning to tape them up and shoot all the witnesses.

HOLLY HUGHES, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Nancy, I agree with you on half of that. I think what happened was he went in there prepare to effectuate a robbery, he brought the duct tape to detain these women, wanted to them into the back room. I think what happened in the reports that are published have told us that one of the women has blood under her fingernails and some scratches so she may have attempted to fight back. That was Connie Woolfolk, who is the mother of two sons, the youngest of whom has (INAUDIBLE).

She was described as a devoted mother, would have done anything to fight to stay with her children, and I think what happened was, he thought he`d get them in the back, tape them up, put bags over their heads, and continue on with his robbery when one of them fought back. And he didn`t expect from women, we`ve talked about that, how he targeted a shop with women only in it, he panicked and he didn`t know what to do and at that point in time, Nancy, he lost control and just executed them to get himself out of there.

GRACE: Out to Mike of Pennsylvania. Hi, Mike.

MIKE, FROM PENNSYLVANIA: Hi, Nancy. Welcome back and.

GRACE: Thank you, dear.

MIKE: You`re the best. Congratulations.

GRACE: Thank you.

MIKE: Quick question. Does Chief O`Connell think that this perpetrator acted alone or is it possible there were accomplices?

GRACE: What about it, chief?

O`CONNELL: (INAUDIBLE) at every angle, Nancy. You know, until we keep gathering information and we finally captured this individual, we won`t know whether he worked in 10 or with anybody.

GRACE: Out to Chris in Ohio. Hi, Chris.

CHRIS, FROM OHIO: Hi, Nancy. It`s an honor to speak to you. I hold you in the highest regard and I wanted you to know I pray for you and the twins every day.

GRACE: Well, Chris, before you ask your question, I really believe that`s why they are at home with me and gaining weight right now.

CHRIS: I`m so happy for you. You deserve it. You`ve had so much - I can`t express. My question really was answered already by Mike. I feel that there`s some connection amongst the victims that this man could not have obtained enough money to go in there and cold-bloodedly killed those people. I think there`s a connection and I think if the police probe hard enough, it`s a vendetta. Tight flamed.

GRACE: To Kathy Cheney, Chicago - Chicago Defender, how much money -- following up with Chris in Ohio, how much money was actually taken?


GRACE: Perry Williams, do we know?

PERRY WILLIAMS, BUREAU CHIEF METRO NETWORKS CHICAGO: I`ve been heard -- the first report I was working on, it was a botched robbery were it didn`t seem like there was any money taken.

GRACE: What time of the day did it happen, Perry?

WILLIAMS: It started Saturday among, shortly after the store opened.

GRACE: Well, Chief O`Connell, they wouldn`t have even made any money yet.

O`CONNELL: Well, again, these are part of the forensics and the evidence that we`re gathering. I really can`t go on to those details.

GRACE: OK. To you Mike Brooks, they really would haven`t made any money yet.

BROOKS: Unless.

GRACE: At 10:0 a.m. you open the door, then somebody comes in and arms rob - even I know and certainly not in retail that all the money is typically taken away at night.

BROOKS: Maybe so. There are some establishments, Nancy, where they have a drop safe there in the office and the manager would be the only one who would have access to that. Then that`s one of the things that I would be, as an investigator, did they make that drop the night before that, Friday night, one of their busiest time, or was that money there in the morning? And that`s something they need to look into on exactly what happened, what brought him there, and what the patterns of the store were.

GRACE: Back to the lawyers, Holly Hughes, Renee Rockwell, Lauren Lake.

I can`t believe in this day and age, Lauren Lake, that a business doesn`t have surveillance video going, rolling all the time and the jury is going to want that. They expect them now.

LAUREN LAKE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: They want it. Nowadays, I mean everything is caught on tape. We carry cameras on our cell phones. So why does this store not have a surveillance camera. But you know what? If it`s not required by law, if it`s not protocol in the store, then it`s not required.

GRACE: Out to Diane in California. Hi, Diane.

DIANE, FROM CALIFORNIA: Hi, Nancy (INAUDIBLE). We just love your necklaces and we hope you keep them for the babies.

GRACE: Thank you. What`s your question, dear?

DIANE: My question is, with the victim that lived, will she be able to view all of these tapes?

GRACE: Good question. Chief O`Connell, will the victim look at the videotape that was obtained from other stores?

O`CONNELL: Nancy, I`m sure that as we gather these tapes, if the investigators feel it`s appropriate or that would be fruitful, I`m sure that she would be allowed to do that.

GRACE: Everybody, when we come back, the beer is buckled up for safety but not the baby? Thanks, mom.

Tonight, APB, all points bulletin for special moms and dads. If you know a parent who`s an inspiration to others, get your camcorder. Go to and click on i-Report. Enter that parent in the "Extraordinary Parent Contest."




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police tell us when they approached Williams`s window, not only did they notice the 1-year-old infant in the backseat, not in a car seat, not wearing a seat belt, but they notice a 24-pack of beer secured, locked away in this passenger seat belt. Beyond the booze, police say they also found drug paraphernalia inside her car and despite this police report stating that 1-year-old Maya was not in a car seat or wearing a seat belt, Maya`s mother says otherwise.

AMBER TEDRICK, MOTHER: We`re wearing a seat belt but she wasn`t in a car seat.


GRACE: Don`t worry. The beer made it safely and the baby was bouncing around in the backseat and that was A-OK with mom? Actually buckled in the beer, a 24-pack. A double seat belt, shoulder strap and seat belt to maintain the beer`s safety. This on Super Bowl Sunday.

To Eben Brown, senior investigative reporter, Eben, what happened?

EBEN BROWN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Good evening, Nancy. This happened in St. Augustine, Florida which is in the northern section of the state. But Super Bowl Sunday, Amber Tedrick went for a ride with her friend, Tina Darleen Williams, out to get some - well, she believed that she was going to get some food from the grocery before the game would began.

And she took her little daughter with him while she was in the backseat with the daughter who apparently was unrestrained, the car was waving all over the place, had a couple of near-misses, and when they went to get some gas, the police officer came to check out the driver. They had already stopped.

GRACE: Wait, wait, wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait.


GRACE: You`re telling me the mom Amber Tedrick thought they were just going out for snacks? Then tell me how did a 24-pack actually get buckled in for safety?

BROWN: Well, that`s it. They made a stop at the liquor store on the way to the grocery store and that`s when they put the beer in the case in the front seat.

GRACE: So the baby is bouncing around, unrestrained in the back and they take the time to actually buckle in the beer in the front seat?

BROWN: Well, not only that. The car has automatic seat belts so when you shut the door the shoulder strap comes automatically in front of the passenger but someone actually has to go ahead and secure the lap belt down and that was secured over the - beer case.

GRACE: Let`s take a look at the booking sheet, please, Elizabeth, the booking photo, the mug shot for Tina Williams. Not the mom, the driver, that`s what I want to see the mug shot of. And tell me, Eben, the mom insists she did not know the driver was driving drunk, correct?

BROWN: That is correct. She says that she did not know that her friend was driving drunk. Yes.

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, she -- have you seen the picture, the booking of Tina Williams? I mean she looks drunk. She looks drunk.

BROWN: Well, the mom is legally blind without her glasses and she doesn`t have a license of her own to drive a car and she insists that she didn`t know what was going on.

GRACE: Really? But she could find.

BROWN: .although she kind of got a little scared when people started honking at them while they were driving erratically.

GRACE: But she could find her way around the liquor store?

BROWN: Well, the mom claims it was her friend Tina Williams that went in to the liquor store and bought the beer.

GRACE: Uh-huh. All right.

Out to Sheriff David Shoar, with St. John`s County Sheriff`s Office. Sheriff, is the mom in jail?

DAVID B. SHOAR, SHERIFF, ST. JOHN`S COUNTY: The mom has not bonded out. She is still in jail.

GRACE: She is in jail. Where is the baby?

SHOAR: Now when you say - well, actually the mother`s not in jail.


SHOAR: The drive`s in jail. The mother has not.

GRACE: That was my understanding. Why is the mom not charged with some type of a crime on the child?

SHOAR: Actually, Nancy, right now we are looking at that with the state attorney. We`ve got some nuances in the law in Florida in terms of seat belts and child endangerment. But, you know, I`ll tell you. We`re very incredulous that the mother did not know or have some idea that the driver was intoxicated so she`s not out of the woods yet.

The mother, obviously, the driver has been charged with multiple offenses. We are currently meeting with the state attorneys down here and probably we`ll be bringing charges against the mother shortly.

GRACE: With me, Sheriff David B. Shoar, with the St. John`s County Sheriff`s Office. Sheriff, tell me, what state was the driver in?

SHOAR: The driver was intoxicated. I mean our deputy, Deputy (INAUDIBLE), could smell alcohol before he even got close to the door.

GRACE: So this mom is legally blind and she lost her sense of smell, too?

SHOAR: Well, that`s a great question and you know, it`s a whole sad - this whole thing is a said testament to parenting in America today. I mean my goodness, child unrestrained and we`re going to restrain our 12-pack.

GRACE: You know what? You know what? Today, today, when I was changing Lucy, I wouldn`t even walk out of the room without buckling her little seat belt on her changing table. Just so she can`t move. But just in case, what if she rolled and rolled off the changing table?

SHOAR: Well, you`re right.

GRACE: And the girl is still with the mother? And the girl is with the mother tonight?

SHOAR: Yes, but the DCF has been notified and DCF, which is the Department of Children and Families, they`re looking into this as well. And the fact that this.

GRACE: They`re probably having a Kegger in the backyard right now.

SHOAR: Yes. Well, I could tell you, if all of our parents paid attention like you do with your child, Nancy, we would haven`t half the problems when they grow to be adults.

GRACE: Out the lines. Brenda in Georgia. Hi, Brenda.

BRENDA, FROM GEORGIA: Hi, Nancy. Congratulations for being a mom.

GRACE: Yes. That`s my new title. Forget attorney-at-law. My title is Ma. Thank you.

BRENDA: Oh I`m a mom and I love my children greatly. But my question is, child protective services ever been to this woman`s house? Because if she`s in the car, and someone`s driving, you can obviously smell the alcohol, what kind of choice - I mean, what`s going on? She`s on TV now with this baby, are they watching after to make sure that the baby is not going to be harmed?

GRACE: Eben Brown, what about it? Has (INAUDIBLE) ever been to the home before?

BROWN: We`re not aware if the child protective services have been to the family`s home before. We do know that the driver has a long criminal history dealing with drugs. She had a cocaine conviction, she apparently spent some time in jail for a previous DUI charge, as well as probation and fines and community service. So at least with this driver, there`s been a documented history, I think, both with Florida and Georgia that she`s obviously had problems and had to undergo court supervision.

GRACE: Yes. 1992, 1992, DUI, `99, DIU, 2006, indicted for possession of cocaine, 2007, catch this, sentenced on a first offender act. This is after three priors. She got the first offender act. I`d like to find out what judge let that happen. Go ahead.

BROWN: Well, she had to - she was fined for 1500 bucks, I think, in that specific incident, but she got a long history of drug problems and at one point, she was mandated to undergo relatively drug and alcohol screening, not treatments, but screening.

GRACE: Right.

BROWN: The court wanted to keep up on her activities.

GRACE: Well, something went horribly wrong.

To Brandon in Virginia. Hi, Brandon.

BRANDON: Hi. I`m 12 years old, I was in (INAUDIBLE), Virginia, and my thing is, what else can they charge this woman with to get that baby away from her? Because this was woman has no business being a parent if she`s going to treat her baby like that and you know that better than anyone with your new twins.

GRACE: You know, Liz, tell me, is this the mom that we`re looking out on the video? Yes. She`s looking right at the camera. Look, this woman, can see - look at that. She`s - this woman. you know what, Sheriff, you better get a vision test on this before you let her go into court and claimed that she is legally blind.

Renee Rockwell, what are they looking at?

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, nothing other than child endangerment for not having her - the baby strapped in, nothing else.


GRACE: To "HEADLINE PRIME`s" Glenn Beck. Hi, friend.

GLENN BECK, HOST: Now that we`ve joined the ranks of big shot TV shows that, you know, bring you live political coverage, let me make it clear. It`s a lot easier on tape because I get sleepy doing this live stuff.

Tonight, we`re going to have complete Super Tuesday wrap-up and the race tightens between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. And if you think John McCain has it wrapped up for the Republicans, you might be wrong.

We`ll tell you why. We have a sit down and in depth conversation with "Survivor" host Jeff Probst, all that and more next.

GRACE: They buckled up the beer but left the baby unrestrained in the backseat.

Weigh in, Mike Brooks.

BROOKS: Nancy, both these ladies, you know, they ought to have their heads knocked together. You know, when they pulled the driver over to ask, hey, can I see your license? I never had one, then, after they processed her, got her under the (INAUDIBLE) sobriety check, then they asked the mother who also, apparently reeked of liquor, said, have you had anything to drink? I`ve had a few. She could see the can in her hand but she couldn`t see anything else. Come on, give me a break.

GRACE: And she lost her sense of smell, you forget that one.

Holly Hughes, what kind of charges could they face?

HUGHES: Well, what the driver is facing obviously is the DUI, the possession of drug paraphernalia, child endangerment. The mother should absolutely be looking at child endangerment and stupidity, Nancy.

GRACE: Why, Dr. Gardere, why would a mother allow this?

DR. JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST, AUTHOR OF "LOVE PRESCRIPTION": This is a woman, who I agree with you, is not legally blind. You could see that in the thickness of the lenses. I`ve done a little bit of this work, believe it or not. But I think she should absolutely be charged because she was responsible for the care of her child and she didn`t do it.

GRACE: Everyone, let`s stop and remember Army Specialist Christine Ndururi, only 21, Dracut, Massachusetts, born in Kenya, she enlisted straight from high school, awarded the National Defense Service medal and the Iraq Campaign medal Loved singing in her church choir and leading the youth group, the youth group choir. She dreamed of becoming a nurse. Leaves behind parents Wilson and Mary, brothers George, Simon and Ambrose, sister Faith.

Christine Ndururi, American hero.

Thank you to our guests but especially to you for being with us. A special good night tonight from Alabama, a friend of the show, Sherry, and get well to Martha Heller(ph) in Boston Mass General. Your chocolate chip cookies got me through law school.

Everyone, I`ll see you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp Eastern and until then, good night, friends.