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How Did Molly Young Die?

Aired August 13, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, breaking news. New frustrations for a family desperate to solve the mystery of their daughter`s violent, baffling death.

A jury has just decided no charges will be filed in the death of beautiful 22-year-old Molly Young. She was found dead by her ex-boyfriend, shot in the head with his .45 caliber pistol at his apartment. Now, he says she killed herself. Her family thinks something far more sinister happened.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live. And I have the autopsy report right in my hand. Together, we`re going to try to solve this mystery right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a person in my living facility we believe to be dead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s the worst thing anyone can imagine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the guy is so calm on the 911 tape.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Waiting is even more torture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I woke up, and she was covered in blood.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want the truth to come out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s overdosed. She bled out through her nose.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Innocent people don`t have anything to hide.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want all of it to come out.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops respond to an eerily calm 911 call from Molly`s ex-boyfriend, Richie Minton, and his roommate. On that call, Richie claims Molly committed suicide, but he seems completely unfazed by her death. Listen to the 911 call.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via phone): Nine-one-one, what`s your emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via phone): We have a person in my living facilities that we believe to be dead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And who is this to you?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And how old is she?

MINTON: She`s 22.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. And is she not breathing at all?

MINTON: No, she -- I woke up, and she`s covered in blood. She`s overdosed. She bled out through her nose.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But it turns out it was not an overdose, as Richie claimed. But instead, a gunshot wound to the head.

Tonight, breaking news. Six coroner`s inquest jurors have determined there is not enough evidence to decide whether Molly really killed herself or was murdered, so no charges are being filed. But the case remains open.

Tonight, Molly`s family is furious and frustrated, saying they believe there was, in fact, foul play.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s the worst thing anyone can imagine. Our family is devastated. We want the truth to come out. We want all of it to come out.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Give me a call: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Now, we have an amazing panel tonight ready to debate the evidence and guess what? Our show has just obtained a stunning piece of information contained in the coroner`s 100-page inquest report. I will read it to you in a moment.

But first, straight out to WJPF News anchor Joe Ragusa.

You`re in Illinois, where all this is going down. What is the very latest?

JOE RAGUSA, ANCHOR, WJPF ANCHOR (via phone): Well, the very latest is Mike Carr publicly addressed the situation after it really started to hit the national news cycle, and he really wanted to get some of the news information out, because there`s been a lot of misconceptions about that. And really, that`s where it stands right now.

About a half hour press conference, and she answered a few questions about it, like why he hasn`t asked for a special prosecutor or a special investigator. But really nothing new has happened since that inquest, other than the fact that Larry Young, Molly Young`s father, asked for some of the documents, and then that same officer asked -- told him the case was closed. Mike Carr backed out on that and said that it wasn`t closed and that it was still open. The investigation is still on there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So that means that, presumably, if some further evidence comes in, at some point they could decide to file charges, or it could remain like this indefinitely.

Now, Molly`s family, as I told you, frustrated beyond belief, and they insist, hey, there are lots of inconsistencies in what Molly`s ex-boyfriend said happened that night. Listen to this.


LARRY YOUNG, VICTIM`S FATHER: From Richie`s gun, Molly was shot in the top left side of her hand, and she`s right-handed. Richie moved the body before the police responders got there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s take a look. According to the coroner`s report, Molly was shot in the left side of the head, but her family says she was right-handed. The report also says there was no residue on Molly`s hands.

Now, Richie, her ex, also did not have any residue on his hands, but he told cops washed his hands. There were also zero fingerprints on the gun.

Straight out into the Lion`s Den.

Jon Leiberman, you have been studying this case. What do you make of it?

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, this is a tragedy all the way around. Unfortunately, this young lady did pass away. Now the question is, how did she pass away?

Here`s the big problem, Jane, and the reason why prosecutors haven`t arrested anybody for murder and haven`t prosecuted anybody for murder is because they fear that the charges wouldn`t stick, and they fear that because of evidence that state police presented to the coroners during the inquest that shows text messages from this young lady, that showed her wanting to die, her wanting to kill herself. Documents from her computer echoing that same. Web sites that she visited talking about how to kill yourself. And most importantly, perhaps, not only one suicide note, but also a number of different messages to different family members...


LEIBERMAN: ... explaining her decision to kill herself.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... let me just jump in, because we have just obtained some stunning new information, and our own Dr. Drew is here to analyze this with us.

Let me read it first, and then we`re going to go to Dr. Drew. I`m holding in my hand Molly Young`s suicide note, and it is her hand writing, according to authorities, and it was read during this coroner`s inquest, which is a jury-type situation. Six jurors who read this, and they study the evidence and they made a conclusion that they couldn`t conclude whether she was murdered or whether she committed suicide. But the key evidence is what I`m holding in my hand. I`m going to read it to you now.

First suicide note: "I have been alone a long time, and that`s no one`s fault but my own. I can`t stop hurting and hating myself. And I don`t want to live like this anymore. I don`t want to exist. I wish I just had the ability to disappear, and for no one to remember me."

Then it goes on to address the ex-boyfriend, who is the one who is -- with the roommate called 911: "Richie, I love you and I wish things could have been different. All I ever wanted was to be with you, and I`m sorry that I made that so hard. I`m sorry I acted crazy."

And finally, "Mom and Dad, I love you. It`s not your fault."

So wow, that is heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking. I know we have Molly Young`s uncle with us, as well. And -- is he joining us now?

CHARLES LAMONT, MOLLY YOUNG`S UNCLE (via phone): Yes, I`m here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Charles Lamont, thank you for joining us, sir, exclusively. And I know this is very difficult for you. I know you want to do the right thing by your niece. I know your entire family wants to do the right thing by this beautiful young woman, 22 -- by some reports 21, by some reports 22 -- in the prime of her life when it was cut short.

Why do you feel, despite this suicide note, that there was foul play involved?

LAMONT: One of the things that the state police failed to do during the very slanted coroner`s inquest, and it was extremely slanted, was they failed to point out that her sisters dated some of the things in that suicide note, references to them and other writings, failed to note that that was dated over a year prior. That wasn`t recent.

And her computer -- her computer entries, as far as that goes, we do not know who had control of her computer and who may have constructed those entries to make it appear that it was her when, in fact, it may not have been.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you think that, yes, this is a legitimate suicide note, but it was written a long time before she actually died, and therefore, is irrelevant?

LAMONT: I`m not saying it`s irrelevant. I`m saying that the slanted presentation the state police provided via this coroner`s inquest and which they relied upon failed to note that the information they received, a lot of it was dated. And they failed to disclose that to the jury. But nonetheless, the jury still decided that it was -- that they couldn`t decide.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you think happened? And I have to say, and I want to stress, there are no suspects in this case. The ex-boyfriend, who was there and was involved in the 911 call, along with his roommate, they have not been charged. They are not considered suspects. The case remains open, however.

We reached out to the ex-boyfriend, Richie Minton, and did not hear back. We reached out to his attorney, actually, and he and/or his attorney are invited on at any time.

That being said, I know there is an entire movement, complete with a Web page and many supporters, justice for Molly. Charlie Lamont, we`re talking exclusively. You`re the uncle. What do you think happened?

LAMONT: Richie, through some means or another, lured her to his apartment, and we don`t know what happened after that. Because just as you found out from your show, Richie is refusing to talk to anybody. The supposed ex-boyfriend who is supposed to care is refusing and has refused to talk to anybody. He`s refused to cooperate with the police, and so that`s not surprising to me.

And we need to hear from him, and we need to hear from any other witnesses in the apartment complex that were there that morning that saw things that they may not have realized were in connection with what was going on in the apartment. We need to hear from him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to bring in Dr. Drew. And Dr. Drew, thanks for your patience. This is a breaking story. We just got our hands, the seconds before air time, on the coroner`s inquest report. It`s 100 pages long, and we were leafing through it and found the suicide note.

And you hear the dead woman`s uncle say, hey, that was written a long time ago, and it was not written, like, the night of this tragedy. What are your thoughts?

DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN ANCHOR: Listen, this is a tragedy. I don`t want in any way to be accused of not encouraging people to try to get all the facts out there. Indeed, there should be a proper investigation. But my goodness, the overwhelming evidence is that this was a suicide. Overwhelming.

And I understand how difficult that is for people to accept. I`ve been in many situations where people fight against that reality. But it`s common, and people write notes. They commit suicide in these sorts of fashions.

You know, as far as handling a gun with your left hand if you`re right-handed, I think anybody with a right-handedness can get a gun up to their forehead. It`s not a big deal. And so there really isn`t much of any evidence to the contrary.

Now, I agree it`s incomplete. We need more study. We need more to see if there`s any possibility of something, foul play here.

But of course that kid isn`t talking. His attorneys told him to stay out of the media, to shut up, and I`m sure he`s being held completely locked down by his legal representation. He`s not allowed to talk to anybody for fear that this will start to focus on him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re getting all sides. We`re on a search for the truth. We humbly look at the evidence, and as Dr. Drew does, and we try to come up with what really happened.

And as you heard, six jurors listened to an entire presentation, which is called a coroner`s inquest. It`s a hundred-page document. It`s a mini trial, and they were unable to reach a conclusion. And that`s why no charges have been filed. They say they don`t know whether it was a suicide or a homicide.

We`re going to take a very short break. Our panel has been listening to all this. They`re going to weigh in, and there`s another piece of the puzzle that`s huge and we haven`t gotten to yet. Stay right there.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said she`s 23?

MINTON: Twenty-two.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twenty-two? What`s her name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nine-one-one, what is your emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m going to send an ambulance.

MINTON: Amber...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They have a 1079.

MINTON: Amber?


MINTON: This is Richie. My girlfriend just committed suicide. Can you send an ambulance? Can you send a car over?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we`ll be on our way.

MINTON: Thanks, Amber.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two people were both in the same room. If a handgun were fired in this room right now over here, everybody in this corner may or may not have gun powder residue on them. It`s not an exact science. It`s not like a fingerprint.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What happened to Molly? Her parents believe it was foul play. They point to the fact that she was shot on the left side of her head, that she`s right-handed. No gun residue found on her hand or her ex-boyfriend`s hands, but he said he washed his hands.

Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, famed forensic scientist, you`ve studied the autopsy reports. What are your thoughts?

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST (via phone): Well, first of all, the bullet entered about 1 1/2 inches above her left eyebrow and about 2 1/2 inches to the left of midline. So it was on the left side of the head. The bullet went backward and slightly downward.

And the thing that stands out in my mind is that this was a contact shot. And we do know that more and more women do use guns for suicide. And I have to tell you that, among the most difficult determinations for any medical examiner, coroner, is the distinction between homicide and suicide.

It appears to me that the autopsy results are consistent with a suicide. However, you have to look at other things. There`s a psychological autopsy. There`s the finding of the suicidal notes, her attempt to commit suicide at some prior time. She was on a drug that sometimes is used to treat depression.

And I`m not saying with any kind of certainty that this was a suicide. But I`m saying that it`s consistent with a suicide, and I`m leaning in that direction rather than a homicide. And I think the problem is, how did she get that gun? That`s a powerful weapon. He should have kept it locked up. She shouldn`t have had access to it. But that`s another question.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Dr. Kobilinsky, I mean, a key aspect of this is that he is a police dispatcher, and he knows a lot of the people in law enforcement. So that`s a piece of the equation. I`m not saying look at that and conclude anything. But he is a member of law enforcement.

Now, you mentioned something very crucial. Toxicology reports show the anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam was found in Molly`s system when she died. Her family insists she did not overdose, as he ex-boyfriend claims. Listen to this, and then we`ll debate it.


YOUNG: I`m going to get all the facts so that I can prove what`s going on here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely, absolutely. It was not a suicide.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Dr. Drew, this is your specialty, Lorazepam, anti-anxiety. That drug pops up a lot of times in tragedies. How does it factor into this question?

PINSKY: It`s also known at Ativan. It`s an anti-anxiety medication similar to Valium. It`s a common drug of abuse. I`m not saying that`s what was going on here, but it can make people more depressed sometimes, rather it can decrease their anxiety but maybe not satisfy any mood problems. So it might have figured into this.

But I agree with strongly with Dr. Kobilinsky. I mean, there just -- there`s just not -- this is what we find normally when somebody has committed suicide. These are exactly the kinds of footprints or fingerprints you`d leave behind when somebody has killed themselves. You can call into question every little single detail about the circumstance, including whether he did CPR and how he did CPR and why he washed his hands after he was covered with blood. I mean, this is what happens at the scene of something like this.

It just -- unfortunately, it`s a terrible tragedy, and it doesn`t seem to be anything else. I just don`t see evidence. I`m open to it. I hope they come up with something more. But is this is somebody who`s been suicidal and had maybe overdosed before, who thinks about suicide all the time, that is precisely the kind of person who does this sort of thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Charlie Lamont, you are the uncle of this beautiful deceased young woman, and I know you feel that it wasn`t suicide. Why do you feel so strongly, given the fact that she had written a suicide note in the past and that she had been taking an anti-anxiety drug, which they have very bizarre effects sometimes. You`ve been hearing some of the experts.

LAMONT: Yes, I understand, and your other guest referred to the toxicology report. And I understand he looks at those things from a distance. He`s not here to see the locals and how things are done.

The toxicology report was mentioned briefly in the coroner`s inquest. The only thing they found in her system was evidence of a common over the counter antihistamine. That was it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, according to what I`m looking at, it said here -- and I`m looking at what was sent to us by the coroner`s office -- and it says comprehensive drug panel and it says, "Benzodiazepines, positive; Lorazepam, positive." That`s the anti-anxiety drug. I`m looking at it right here.

LAMONT: Granted, it may say that, but the same coroner who issued that report also made several mistakes, for whatever reason, on the death certificate. And we don`t believe he was truthful about those for one reason or the other. And the reason I say that was the differences of explanation of why that was the way it was, we got one explanation from the funeral home, and another explanation from him, and they did not match.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to take a very short break. Sir, if you could hang on. We also have our expert panel patiently listening to all this, getting ready to jump in and debate it. Stay right there, and we`re taking your calls. Just getting started.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The worst thing anyone can imagine. Our family is devastated. We want the truth to come out. We want all of it to come out.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did Molly commit suicide or did something very sinister happen? Was she a victim of foul play?

Her ex-boyfriend, Richie, was a police dispatcher, and he`s the one who, along with his roommate, they called 911. And they report that Molly is laying dead in his bedroom. And he actually calls one of the operators by name. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said she`s 23?

MINTON: Twenty-two.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twenty-two? What`s her name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: None-one-one, what is your emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, I`m going to send an ambulance.

MINTON: Amber?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They have a 1079.

MINTON: Amber?


MINTON: This is Richie. My girlfriend just committed suicide. Can you send an ambulance? Can you send a car over?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we`ll be on our way.

MINTON: Thanks, Amber.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to the Lion`s Den. You heard the familiarity there between the ex-boyfriend and the dispatcher, because he`s a dispatcher. Could that have been a factor? And then what about -- Molly`s uncle is saying, well, yes, there`s a suicide note, but it`s an old suicide note -- Tanya Acker.

TANYA ACKER, ATTORNEY: Look, Jane, there`s no way of getting around this. There`s something about this case doesn`t smell right. I think Dr. Drew made a great point. It looks like she committed suicide. I think that there are two issues here. The first is whether or not this case was prosecutable, and the second is whether or not there`s something that smells funny.

I think that certainly that how do you confuse a gunshot wound with overdosing? Certainly, there`s also familiarity. I think it`s too presumptuous to assume that he got special treatment. But given the fact that there`s some other pieces in this story that just don`t seem to add up, I think that familiarity will rightly add to the family`s suspicion.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Adam Swickle, you heard the 911 call. Richie has a flat affect -- the other dispatcher who`s dispatching the police vehicle seems more shocked than he does.

ADAM SWICKLE, ATTORNEY: Yes, let me just tell you something. It`s obviously a tragedy and you feel for the family, but this case screams of suicide. And to suggest that there`s a murder involved here is like taking a square peg and trying to bang it into a round hole.

We have a suicide note. We have prior suicide attempts. We have e- mails. We have research that she did in order to look up how to commit suicide or the issue of suicide. And to suggest that you have to pass the smell test in order to prosecute the case, it just -- it doesn`t make a lot of sense. And all of these other things...

ACKER: That`s not what I said.

SWICKLE: Much to do -- much to do about nothing. It doesn`t pass the smell test. Or last time I saw somebody get charged with a crime because it didn`t pass the smell test, I mean, we have a lot of "I don`t knows" in this case. Everybody is saying, "I don`t know what happened here. I don`t know what happened there." And let`s not forget, we have a panel of individuals...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s face it.

SWICKLE: ... who said there`s not enough evidence to prosecute.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not every crime, in fact, 99.999 percent of crimes are not caught on videotape.

SWICKLE: Of course not.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The reason why the Jodi Arias case was so fascinating is because there were inadvertent photos of the killing in progress.

SWICKLE: Most people don`t film their own suicide either. People don`t film their own suicide. So, you know, that`s consistent in that respect.

LEIBERMAN: I agree with Adam to a certain extent, and especially there is a text message from this girl`s phone from the night that she allegedly committed suicide, talking about her desire to take her life and why she has made that decision.

But this is still an open case. Keep that in mind, too. Cops are still looking for other evidence in this case, if it is to surface.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll be right back, and we`re taking your calls. What do you think?


YOUNG: I`m going to get all the facts so I can prove what`s going on here. You know what? I can`t -- you can assume a lot of things. There`s suspicious actions going on by several different factions in this.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Innocent people don`t have anything to hide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was Richie`s gun. Molly was shot in the top left side of her head and she`s right handed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our family is devastated. Our hearts are broken.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was not a suicide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This case remains open.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Molly Young, 21 years old. Some say 22. Beautiful young woman, found dead. Did she kill herself or did something far more sinister, nefarious occur? Was she the victim of foul play? Now she was on again, off again with a fellow by the name of Richie Minton, who happened to be a police dispatcher at the time, and they were apparently talking to each other in the wee hours. She was ultimately found dead inside his apartment.

Now, here`s a timeline, according to Molly`s family. I have to stress. The cops would not confirm this timeline. We`ve reached out to Richie, through his attorney, we haven`t heard back.

3:28 a.m. Richie Minton arrives at his apartment and texts Molly quote, "Help me", end quote. About 20 minutes later, phone records show Molly calls Richie`s cell phone. 5:45 a.m., Richie`s roommate gets home. He says he sees Molly`s purse and shoes, notices Richie`s asleep in his room. A few minutes later, he texts Molly to let her know Richie is asleep. Richie is supposed to be at work by 7:00 a.m.

7:30 a.m. Richie`s roommate says he goes to sleep. Between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m., Richie Minton wakes up his roommate and tells him to call 911, he claims he can`t find his phone. Cops arrive at 9:15 to find Molly with a fatal bullet wound to her head.

Again, the coroner who examined Molly said she died some time between 4:45 and 5:45 in the morning and we cannot confirm that timeline.

But we have an exclusive guest, Molly Young`s uncle, Charlie Lamont. First of all, I cannot confirm the timeline that you provided to us. We just shared it with our viewers. But why is that timeline suspicious to you in any way, shape or form?

CHARLIE LAMONT, MOLLY YOUNG`S UNCLE: Well, there are a number of things that pop up with that timeline if you look at it. Even a casual glance at that will show you that even if her death was established at 5:45 a.m., why did it take over three hours to call 911? And what went on during that time?

And how did Richie communicate with his deputy father and his dispatching mother to get to where he was before the state police ever arrived? A lot of things in that area alone are suspicious.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go right out to "The Lion`s Den" and bring in our panel. And we`re going to include in our panel famed forensic scientist, Larry Kobilinsky. Dr. Kobilinsky with the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, you know, here you hear the family saying what they`re saying, that they think that her death is suspicious. And yet you and Dr. Drew and most of our panel says "No, it really appears to be a suicide." Why?

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST (via telephone): Well, these things are quite mysterious, because there`s no clear signal as to what happened to her. And there will always be a mystery, even if there`s further investigation.

First of all, the coroner`s inquest is really not a full trial. In fact, the findings can even be reversed by the coroner if the coroner gets additional information. And there`s a lot of things here that we`re talking about that are not that significant. For example, the lorazepam in her body was at a very low level. The therapeutic amounts in the body, they range from 50 to 240 nano grams. She`s got far less than. So I really -- I`m going to downplay any effect that the lorazepam that may have had.

But nevertheless, the fact that this is a contact wound, the fact that, you know, women can use weapons like this to the face, to the head, it happens. It`s consistent with suicide.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, wait a second, Dr. Kobilinsky, , I thought that -- I`ve heard you say in the past that women, especially pretty women, don`t like to shoot themselves in the face because they are still concerned about their looks even when they`re suicidal.

KOBILINSKY: Correct. Actually correct, however more and more often, women are killing themselves with guns and shooting themselves in the head and face. It can and does happen.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Many people, including Molly`s family, are saying that they feel foul play occurred. And they would like her former boyfriend, whose house this tragedy occurred, who is a police dispatcher or was at the time, to come forward and to be more forthcoming about what he said happened.

Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More evidence has to be obtained and that is investigating on the other side of this. They did a thorough job of investigating Molly. We would like to see that investigation extended to the other side. The innocent people don`t have anything to hide.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is Richie Minton`s mug shot after being arrested for a DUI just months after his ex-girlfriend Molly was found dead in his apartment. Now, we want to stress, he is not considered a suspect in his ex-girlfriend`s death. He called 911, along with his roommate, and they had expressed that they felt that it was an overdose or suicide. They are invited -- he and his attorney are invited on our show any time. We want to be fair, we want to stress that he`s not considered a suspect.

But Joe Ragusa, you`re a reporter and an anchor out there at WJPF News Radio in Illinois where this is all going down. I think part of it is that he was a dispatcher at the time. He was the son of a long-time sheriff`s deputy. What`s the public -- what`s the buzz about all of that?

JOE RAGUSA, WJPF NEWS RADIO (via telephone): Well, there is a large consensus among the people in Carbondale. There are a few groups for Molly Young that really paint the picture of Richie Minton as the guy who did this, which is contrary to what police have been saying all along.

Now, I do want to go back with a few of the points that you made before. The timeline was actually discussed during the coroner`s inquest by State Police Special Agent Aaron Cooper (ph). He talked about how they were -- in the 24 hours before the death, (inaudible) was sending text messages between Minton and his roommate Wesley Romack and they were talking about -- and she was talking about possible overdosing on some sort of drug. And this was pretty much during the last 24 hours.

And then during the late-night, early morning hours before she was found dead, Minton was out drinking the night before. There was a report that he was so drunk he fell over a coffee table and he texted Molly that he needed help. And some time between then Young also texted Romack about that that Richie wants help so -- and then after that, Young texted Romack at 4:40 saying that she thinks she`s going to shoot herself in the head. So there was a timeline that was discussed by state police there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Joe thank you for that. And again, we invite Richie Minton, the ex-boyfriend on, or his attorney or the roommate is invited on, as well. And I want to tell you that Charlie Lamont -- you are Molly Young`s uncle. And thank you for joining us exclusively, sir. I know you`re on a search for the truth. We are, as well. We are discussing this, we don`t have the answers. All we know is it`s a tragedy that this beautiful young woman is dead. And my heart goes out to you -- my condolences.

I want to thank my fantastic panel as well. Dr. Drew has so much more on this mystery tonight with his "Behavior Bureau". Molly Young, was she murdered or take her own life? That`s top of the hour, 9:00 p.m.

On the other side, a dramatic showdown between superstar, Usher and his ex over their kid, who just got out of the hospital. What`s going on?


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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Singer, Usher Raymond`s son nearly drowned in the pool at his Atlanta home. He is music superstar Usher`s five-year-old son.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His ex-wife Tameka Raymond filed for any emergency hearing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His ex-wife Tameka Foster blames the accident on negligence and a lack of supervision.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My nephew was in the pool. He went. I couldn`t get him. I tried to get him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Foster accused him of being an absentee father.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say Usher Raymond (inaudible) fell to the bottom of the pool.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Usher could lose custody of his kids.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Miss Raymond`s only focus is on the health and safety of the children.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, breaking news, a superstar`s son released from the hospital after he almost drowned in the superstar`s pool just as his parents` custody battle heating up. Usher is who he was talking about. His family drama will head back to court in a couple of weeks, his and his ex Tameka duking it out over their two sons, four and five now.

Right now the singer has primary custody. Five-year-old Usher Raymond V fell to the bottom of his family`s pool and his arm got stuck in a drain. Thank God a contractor was there and heroically got him out and resuscitated the boy as his aunt called 911.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My nephew was in the pool. And he went -- I couldn`t get him. I couldn`t -- I couldn`t get him. I tried to get him. And they got him out now doing CPR on him. He`s five years old.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stay with me. Is he awake?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he breathing? Is he breathing? He`s breathing, yes, ma`am.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to E`s Liz Hernandez, you`re all other the story. Thank you so much for joining us tonight. What do you know, what`s the latest?

LIZ HERNANDEZ, E!: Thank you Jane. Well we know that they did meet in an Atlanta courtroom and Tameka and Usher both gave their testimonies and the judge did rule in Usher`s favor. Now we know that when Tameka took the stand, she did become very emotional and she did mention that Usher had not visited their son during his hospitalization and she recounted what had happened and again was just trying to get primary custody for just a temporary time until they can join together in court again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And why do you think she doesn`t have it? Why do you think she doesn`t have her son tonight in her arms at home?

HERNANDEZ: Well, you know, they went through a lengthy custody battle last year and again the judge did rule in Usher`s favor. That is why he has primary custody. The reasons why, I mean those were discussed in the court last year. They know the primary reasons. But for whatever legalities, Usher does have that custody.

And again she held this emergency custody hearing because of the near drowning. So I think it was just her attempt to gain more custody of her children until they can meet in court again on August 27th.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I can understand why she wants to do that. Now even though little Usher is home tonight and ok. At the emergency hearing the mom, Tameka told the judge she doesn`t know what kind of long-term damage could have been caused to her precious son in that pool.


TAMEKA FOSTER RAYMOND, USHER`S EX WIFE: I don`t know if my son is going to have a brain defect. I don`t know that his heart is operating correctly. I don`t know that my son is going to be one 100 percent the boy he was before this incident.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Alexis Tereszcuk, RadarOnline, she`s got a point. When you`re under water, that is a situation that can cause long term irreparable damage.

ALEXIS TERESZCUK, RADARONLINE: And Tameka even said on the stand, she said when she got to the hospital the doctor told her that basically her son had died and was brought back to life. Now the judge immediately shot that down. He would not let her testify to that. He said that`s hearsay. The doctor is not here. You cannot say that.

But that is how this mother feels. She feels like that she almost lost her son. And in fact, you know, she lost another son last year. So this is a very emotional woman.

But what was pointed out in this very brief emergency hearing by Usher`s lawyer was that her own sister and her own nannies had testified against her saying that she was not a fit parent, that she didn`t pay enough attention to the children. And that she actually sought publicity more than trying to take care of her children. That`s what his lawyers snuck in during that hearing. So that may be a huge reason why; people that were so close to her testified that she was not a fit parent.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh my gosh, what a mess. On the other side we`re going to talk to a very well-known family law attorney and try to sort it out. Stay right there.


USHER RAYMOND, SINGER: It did not cross my mind to call her as I did not know what to tell her. I still did not know what had taken place. I wanted to know first.

TAMEKA RAYMOND: This is ridiculous. This is ridiculous.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I`m denying -- dismissing the motion.


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USHER RAYMOND: I went straight there to assess what really happened. When I arrived my son was hysterical and in the back of the ambulance. I knew that there had been an incident in the pool. I didn`t have clarity of exactly what took place.

TAMEKA RAYMOND: I had been there since 4:00, 3:50 the day of the accident and I left this morning at 9:45. I had not left the hospital ever.

This is ridiculous. This is ridiculous.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Both sides fighting over their son. Kelly Saindon, noted family law attorney out of Chicago, why do you think Usher, the famous one, has custody?

KELLY SAINDON, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: You know, I`m shocked by this. I represent a number of professional athletes and when there`s a split invariably the mom gets custody. So there`s something about Tameka with the hearing before that they decided Usher was the better parent; that it was in the best interest of the kids to be with him.

He has put his life on hold. He`s not done a number of concerts. I think he`s canceled close to 90 concerts since he`s been the primary caregiver. And I think that he was successfully able to establish that she was more interested in publicity than parenting.

It`s pretty shocking though when he won before and I know they`re still fighting it out. I was surprised and even today there`s something in her past with all of the testimony against her that the judge thinks that he`s the right choice, that Usher is going a good job.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So it couldn`t be -- just to play devil`s advocate -- that he`s got the fame, the money and the power.

SAINDON: It`s actually usually the reverse. Usually what happens is if you have money you can support this lifestyle, the mom can take them around, take them to classes, get them in camps and has nothing else to do because she`s getting paid by Usher and his bank roll. The difference is he has to put his life on hold to do this and employ other people.

So that speaks pretty negatively towards her because the reality of the situation, he`s financing everything.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She claims that he`s away 85 percent of the time but maybe he`s changed. Either way the judge says, this is not an emergency, even though the kid almost drowned. Then what is an emergency?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Usher`s custody battle heads to court in two weeks and we will be all over it. Please join us again tomorrow night and Nancy Grace is up next.