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NANCY GRACE

Loud Music Murder Trial; 5-Year-Old Dies After Being Forced to Drink Grape Soda

Aired February 10, 2014 - 20:00   ET

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


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, live. Murder in Jacksonville. A 45-year-old man guns down a youth when they argue over the kid`s loud music at a gas station. After shooting the youth three times, including in the back, he speeds off two hours away, never even bothering to call 911. It`s George Zimmerman all over again -- 45-year-old Michael Dunn claims self-defense. We obtain the stunning 911 call and secret surveillance video.

Bombshell tonight. In the last hours, the shooter`s fiancee breaks down on the stand. And tonight, the shooter`s son breaks his silence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what did the defendant say?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hate that thug music.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard pop, pop, pop. I heard another pop, pop, pop.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God! Somebody`s shooting!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michael said (INAUDIBLE) get in the car.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you see a firearm at that point in time?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Michael was putting it into the glove box.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: And tonight, Tennessee suburbs, 5-year-old little Alexa (ph) sneaks into the fridge to get one of Stepmommy`s grape sodas. Punishment? Stepmommy and the child`s natural father force the little 5-year-old little girl to drink grape soda, at least two liters that we know of, until the 5- year-old girl dies, dead -- dead! -- of acute fluid intoxication and brain swelling.

Evil stepmommy, you`re going to wish you had a cold grape soda where you`re going!

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The couple allegedly forcing the man`s 5-year- old daughter to drink excessive amounts of water and grape soda?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A form of punishment after Alexa was caught taking Mary Bond`s (ph) grape soda.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Allegedly, forced (INAUDIBLE) so much liquid...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The large amount of liquid brought on seizures and excruciating pain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: And a Denver mother traumatized when she learns a creepy stranger -- this guy -- sneaks into her home, taking a selfie on her cell phone, and leaves it for her to find. All the while, Mommy`s putting her children to sleep. Word to the wise. This is a stereotypical, textbook serial killer`s calling card.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A Denver woman had no idea that somebody had broken into her home until she found a selfie that the guy took.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This man walked into a home through a back door, found a cell phone and took a picture.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On her cell phone! How creepy is this?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: And tonight, a 10-year-old little boy hurts his knee on the basketball court. He`s rushed to the hospital, but it`s there in the hospital his injuries increase after he`s given a cocktail of seven drugs, including morphine, for a knee injury, putting the little boy into a comatose state.

Now, is it true? Did another little girl have the same injury but ending up dead at the same hospital?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The family of a 10-year-old boy claims their child was in pain after getting an X-ray on a basketball injury. After he was allegedly given morphine, the family contends he started his descent into becoming what they term a different person. The family claims the child had scary episodes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us.

Bombshell tonight. Live, murder in Jacksonville. A 45-year-old man guns down a youth when they argue over the kid`s loud music in a gas station, Michael Dunn claiming self-defense.

In the last hours, the shooter`s fiancee breaks down on the stand. And tonight, the shooter`s son breaks his silence. And also, we manage to get the words of the deejay, the deejay that spinned (ph) the tunes at the party Dunn`s at just before he guns down the youth, Jordan Davis.

Straight out to Heather Crawford, Heather joining us from CNN affiliate First Coast News. She`s at Jacksonville, at the courthouse. Heather, thank you for being with us. The fiancee was called by the state. And I noticed she was doing her very best to paint Michael Dunn in the best light possible, but she ended up breaking down on the stand. Why?

HEATHER CRAWFORD, FIRST COAST NEWS: Nancy, she began breaking down almost immediately to taking the stand. Trial was on Saturday. That is when she testified about what happened. She was very emotional, saying that she was in shock, she was scared. She thought that she was going to be arrested. She said they had just left Michael Dunn...

GRACE: Whoa! No, no, no, I mean, Wow, as in she was afraid she might be arrested, as well. And you know, that brings to question -- with me, Heather Crawford at the courthouse, from CNN affiliate First Coast News. It brings into question and speculation as to why they took off that night, they didn`t want to see police that night, they stayed overnight somewhere else where they had more alcohol. Here is a theory. Take a listen, Heather.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, while at the reception, do you know whether or not the defendant had anything to drink?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, he did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what did he have to drink?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He had rum and Coke, as well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know how many drinks he had?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He maybe had three or four.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After he left the wedding, I hadn`t heard from him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where did you go once you got into the store?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I went over to where they had the wine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you have anything to drink in the hotel?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had a rum and Coke.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And did the defendant have anything to drink?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, he did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did he have?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The same.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who made those drinks?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were they stronger than the ones you had at the wedding?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: So is it possible, Heather Crawford, joining me at the courthouse, that everybody was just snookered because we know that Michael Dunn had at least three to four rum and Cokes at the wedding. The deejay says that there were people talking about going out and partying more after the reception. Then we have her trotting into the Gate gas station to get more wine and potato chips. And then after the shooting, instead of calling 911, they kick back, order a pizza, rent a movie and have more drinks, even stiffer drinks, than the ones they already had.

CRAWFORD: That`s the question that from the beginning, it`s hard to imagine how a jury would interpret those facts, that they went to a hotel, they ordered a pizza, they watched a movie. In opening arguments, we heard the defense attorney say, Well, it was Rhonda (ph), the girlfriend`s, idea, to watch the movie because she was just terribly upset and couldn`t fall asleep.

Why did they order a pizza? Because she needed something in her stomach. Why did they drive almost two-and-a-half hours to their home in Brevard County the next day without ever calling police? That`s because she said she was scared, she was in shock. She thought she might be arrested. And they did all of this, according to her, out of shock.

GRACE: Also with me, Jonathan Beaton, anchor reporter with WDBO, who has been in and out of the courtroom, as well. Jonathan, also, the wedding -- how much did he really drink at the wedding? This is before -- before - - he guns down Jordan Davis. I mean, was he DUI? Did he have any idea what he was even doing? Because how is a jury supposed to weigh his credibility if he was three sheets to the wind? I mean, what do we know about the wedding?

Let`s see those wedding shots, Liz.

JONATHAN BEATON, WDBO: Well, Nancy, according to the fiancee, he had three to four rum and Cokes at that wedding, and then later on he did drive to that gas station where his fiancee purchased a bottle of wine. Now, it depends how long he was at the wedding. If it was just for a couple of hours, he could have been over the Florida legal limit, which is .08, but it depends, you know...

GRACE: Wa-wa-wa-wait! Wait a minute. Another thing, Jonathan Beaton, isn`t it true he was pulled over? You know -- you know, hold on. Let me go to Frank Taaffe on this, spokesperson for George Zimmerman, supports "stand your ground" law. You know, you always try to bring up to me, Taaffe, that one of the youths in that car had a record. You bring it up. Well, what about Dunn, Michael Dunn? Remember him getting pulled over for a DUI? You never mention that.

FRANK TAAFFE, FRIEND OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: No, he got pulled over into restricted airspace out of Brevard County. I don`t recall a DUI. But I want to tell you something, I applaud the...

GRACE: Whoa! Let`s get back to what you`re calling -- talking about restricted airspace because -- let`s talk about that. Take a look at this shot. He gets in a plane and flies over Cape Canaveral...

TAAFFE: So what? People do that...

GRACE: ... you know, where there are rocket and satellite launches?

TAAFFE: ... all the time!

GRACE: It`s government-restricted air space. They pull (ph) him. They get him. They get him down out of the plane...

TAAFFE: So what...

GRACE: ... thank God in heaven, and he says he`s confused and bewildered. Was he drunk then, too?

TAAFFE: I don`t know. What`d they do, shoot a missile at him to get him down? I want to go back to something that`s very important in this case. The state...

GRACE: Yes, it is.

TAAFFE: ... has laid out a foundation, whether they know it or not, for reasonable doubt. They presented a technician who showed a picture of a Dodge Durango. I hope you got a picture of it. This is critical to the defense, and I`ll tell you the reason why.

GRACE: How?

TAAFFE: Let me know -- because Michael Dunn was in the passenger seat, OK, number one. The spray pattern shows three shots intermittent to the front door.

Now allow me to demonstrate, OK? The 90-degree angle which the technician acknowledged were straight-on shots -- now, if you look at the back door, Michael Dunn`s in the front seat. If he had to reach out the door and do another 90-degree shot, which these sticks, or they call them dowels, show 90-degree shots right into the back door where Jordan Davis was -- the reason why this is critical, because there is no way in H-E- double-toothpicks you can get a 90-degree shot if you`re shooting back this way, Nancy. The shot had to be that that door was open. And the...

GRACE: OK, I`ve got a big news flash for you.

TAAFFE: Go ahead.

GRACE: Isn`t it true, Matt Zarrell, that there`s no way that door could have been open because we have learned that the safe -- the child safety locks were on? And that proves that Jordan Davis never left the car, he never opened the door. In fact, the bullet wounds to his back are consistent with what the three other boys say, that he`s sitting in the car, leaning toward the center of the car. He couldn`t get out if he wanted to. The child locks are on.

Those doors were never open, Taaffe. You`re trying to feed us a line of BS, but I`m not going to let you do that because that`s not what the facts show.

Let`s see that car again, Liz. What that shows me is that he, Michael Dunn, is sitting down, protected in his car, when he shoots out of the car, he shoots four shots from inside the car, then he gets up out of the car and continues shooting as the youths drive away.

That`s what that car shows. Those shots are even. They`re even with the Durango. He was sitting in his car, and that`s what all the witnesses say.

As a matter -- put Taaffe up. As a matter of fact, Taaffe...

TAAFFE: How do you get a 90-degree shot -- how do you get a 90-degree from this angle? You don`t! And it`s incorrect. And I`m going to point out what`s in evidence, and this was shared. The door locks were operable. The three witnesses that wrote sworn affidavits to the detective said that there was no way that door could open. But yet when they brought the Durango into the crime lab and the technician worked on that -- listen to me! Listen! It`s important!

GRACE: Get to the point!

TAAFFE: It`s important. The detective asked him if he could open those door locks, and he said yes, and from the inside, which controverts the other three witnesses` testimony...

GRACE: No. Let`s hear the testimony...

TAAFFE: ... one of which is a convicted felon.

GRACE: ... from the courtroom.

TAAFFE: One is a convicted felon...

GRACE: What they`re saying is that if you...

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: Do you have children? I can`t remember. Do you even have children, Taaffe?

TAAFFE: ... 90-degree shot!

GRACE: OK, I`m going to take that as a no because you in the front seat have to unlock the child safety locks. Sure, the technician at the crime lab could do it, but...

TAAFFE: Wrong (INAUDIBLE) Nancy, (INAUDIBLE).

GRACE: ... Jordan Davis...

TAAFFE: The doors were operable!

GRACE: Could you cut his mike, please? Because I can`t think with that in my head. You have to open child locks from the front. So of course, somebody at the crime lab could do it, but Jordan Davis couldn`t do it that night.

Let`s hear what was said in the courtroom, not what Frank Taaffe is saying.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In November of 2012, did either of the rear seat windows on the Durango work on their own?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could they be controlled?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the driver door.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Matt Zarrell, what do we know about the child safety locks? Jordan Davis couldn`t possibly have opened that door and posed a threat.

MATT ZARRELL, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: No, Nancy, all three teens testified that they could not open that back door. And one thing I should note is that the medical examiner testified that the bullets traveled flat, and that matches testimony from a prior witness that Dunn got low to the ground in a police pose and shot at the car.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, at some point, did you all also order a pizza?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, but -- because my stomach was -- (INAUDIBLE) Michael thought maybe I just needed to eat something!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you have anything to drink in the hotel room?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did you have to drink?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had a rum and Coke.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And did the defendant have anything to drink?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Out to the lines. Mark in Pennsylvania. Hi, Mark. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. I don`t think that murder -- the guy that shot, Michael Dunn, is, you know, self-defense. I think it was murder. I think he meant to do that, Nancy.

GRACE: You know what, Mark in Pennsylvania? I agree. I think that he was angry. I think he was angry because these kids didn`t do what he told them to do. And as a matter of fact, Mark in Pennsylvania, it`s not just what the three youths said in the car with Jordan. It was what a completely objective witness said in the gas station. They said that they heard him say, just before he starts firing, They`re not going to talk to me like that.

You know, Frank Taaffe, that doesn`t sound like self-defense. He didn`t say, No, no, put the gun back.

TAAFFE: Nancy...

GRACE: He said, They`re not going to talk to me like that. And did you hear Matt Zarrell? He gets out, and after he shoots four of the shots at the boys, he gets out like he`s Rambo and takes a police pose down on his knee and keeps shooting in a gas station parking lot as the kids try to get away. What -- and you know another thing?

TAAFFE: Listen...

GRACE: Pulled over by a DUI, then he`s caught flying around over Cape Canaveral in a plane...

TAAFFE: Yes, that shows murderous...

GRACE: ... saying he`s confused and disoriented?

TAAFFE: That shows the mind of a murderer.

GRACE: No.

TAAFFE: You`re right, Nancy.

GRACE: No, it shows the mind of somebody...

TAAFFE: Listen...

GRACE: ... of somebody that will get behind the wheel when they`re drunk.

TAAFFE: I don`t know where -- I don`t know if Matt Zarrell just got back from on assignment in Colorado doing the medical marijuana, but here are the facts and the truth in the case. I don`t know what he`s smoking, but here`s the deal.

There was not enough room between the two vehicles for Mr. Dunn to get out into a gun-ready pose or a police-ready pose, as he stated earlier. That was only after they had exited -- the Durango had exited the Gate gas station. And I`m going to tell you, I`m going on record...

GRACE: As he kept shooting.

TAAFFE: ... if you read...

(CROSSTALK)

TAAFFE: If you read it, the three said the door couldn`t open up and the police said that door can open! Read it. It`s in the discovery.

GRACE: OK, you already said that, and I did read it. Frank, I did read it, and...

TAAFFE: And I brought you George`s Band-Aid for the back of his head that you said, OK?

GRACE: You know what? This is too important to be muddled up by levity.

TAAFFE: I`m not.

GRACE: And I`m going to go to you. Heather Crawford is joining me at the courthouse from First Coast News. The reality is that all three boys said Jordan could not open the door because the child lock was on. Once you get the Durango to the crime lab, of course they can do it. All they`ve got to do is push a button. So what the report says is that the doors were operable, not that they could open that night, Heather.

CRAWFORD: And the former medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Jordan Davis testified today -- she was the state`s last witness called, and she testified that the bullets -- three times, Jordan Davis was shot and that the bullet wounds were consistent with Jordan Davis sitting in the back seat in that Dodge Durango, sitting down, leaning away from the car door, to support the state`s theory that Davis was not getting out of the car, not lunging (INAUDIBLE) but instead shying away from the door.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you woke up, was the television on?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it was.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And did you happen to see something on the news?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At that point in time, did you learn that a teenager had been killed at the Gate gas station?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I did!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you then tell the defendant that you wanted to go home?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And why did you decide...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Well, there you see the fiancee on the stand crying. You know, she`s crying today in court. She`s crying when she`s on the stand. But she wasn`t crying that night, the night that a boy, Jordan Davis, was gunned down sitting in his car.

And I`m going to bring in John Phillips, the attorney for the family of Jordan Davis. Mr. Phillips, thank you for being with us. You know, they brought on Jordan Davis`s father today, which I thought was horribly cruel to do, to suggest that the other three boys came over to Davis`s home to get their stories straight. And now they`re attacking police, saying that the boys threw a gun out?

That`s not what happened. That is not what happened, according to police, John. Police say that he shoots the boy in the back, shoots him three times. They speed off as Dunn continues to fire after them. Then they realize -- there`s his headstone -- 17. He`s got a headstone. How wrong is that?

So then they realize that Jordan is shot. They try to reach for him and blood is all over their hands. They turn around and go straight back to that gas station to try to get help. And people pull Davis out and try to resuscitate him.

You`re seeing funeral footage right now of this boy, a 17-year-old sitting in his car unarmed. And now the defense, John Phillips, is trying to argue that the boys really took off so they could throw their shotgun out of the car. I mean, there`s no evidence of that, John.

JOHN PHILLIPS, ATTORNEY FOR JORDAN DAVIS FAMILY: There`s not. And these are good middle-class kids. These aren`t the type of kids that ran like that. I mean, they were just listening to loud music, having gone girl shopping, you know? It`s the all-American teenagers` day.

And then Michael Dunn takes offense. And like you pointed out a little earlier, he didn`t say, Don`t point your gun at me like that, or, Don`t threaten me like that. He said, You`re not going to talk to me like that, and then opened fire. And you know, how about the hypocrisy of him complaining that these boys didn`t call 911 exactly according to his time clock when Michael Dunn and Rhonda Rau (ph) were -- never even bothered to pick up their phone?

GRACE: With me is John Phillips, the attorney for the Jordan Davis family, joining me out of Jacksonville. And in the last hours in court, the defense actually calls the boy`s father to the stand for the defense. I don`t know how he -- I mean, it`s been 30 years since I had to take the stand in my fiance`s murder trial. I still remember it like it was yesterday. And I don`t know why they had to do that to this man.

With me also, Daryl Parks, civil rights lawyer, lawyer for Trayvon Martin`s family. You know, Daryl, when I hear them start to crucify these boys -- they didn`t do anything. I was reading this article about how they were all trying to get ready and put on cologne and do their hair to go to the mall to try to meet girls. It just broke my heart.

When I think of my son, who is only 6 now, doing something as innocent as trying to meet girls at a mall, and then this happens? They did not have a gun, Daryl.

DARYL PARKS, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON MARTIN`S FAMILY: Nancy, I have to agree. You know, you think about the mentality of Mr. Dunn, when he said he hates this type of thug music, the mentality he had even before he saw those kids. He knew in his mind that he probably didn`t like them and went after them the way he did. Jordan Davis in no way, shape, form or fashion should be dead. And as you saw his grave, at 17 years old, this is a tragedy.

GRACE: And with me, John Phillips, the attorney for Jordan`s family. You know, John, did he know -- did the father know that the defense was going to call him to the stand?

PHILLIPS: No, it was a surprise. Even the prosecutors afterwards came up and apologized and said, you know, We exchange witnesses, but he never told us that he was going to do that. It was a complete surprise. You know, more conspiracy theory by Cory Strolla (ph). If he does it -- you know, I hope he does that in a public forum because we`re going to slap a defamation suit on him, which...

GRACE: Well, that`s a shame...

PHILLIPS: It`s just not right to victimize the victim.

GRACE: And I`m just telling you, John, being up on the stand and having to relive what happened like that is extremely traumatic, to call his father. I was looking at the picture of his father putting the tie on him, putting the tie on Jordan Davis. Looked like he was about 15 maybe. And it just nearly broke my heart. And now here he is testifying in the case where his son is murdered.

I`m just -- there you go. When I saw that, it just makes me think of getting my own son, you know, ready for church on Sunday mornings or something. It`s just -- and then I look at his headstone. I just don`t know how the father held it together on the stand, John.

PHILLIPS: He`s a man of great courage. And you know, it`s been a long year-and-a-half. As Mr. Parks knows from walking with Trayvon`s family, you know, this is a tough road. And I was just staring at him, you know, helpless to be able to put conviction in his heart to do well by Jordan, and he did. You know, he -- he -- it`s a love story of a fantastic family, and I`m glad America is getting to see the real true and fine Jordan Davis.

GRACE: Well, I got to tell you something, John. There wasn`t a thing you could do except sit back and let the defense do what they did to Jordan`s father. There`s nothing you could do to stop it.

Everybody, when we come back, Stepmommy and Daddy force a little 5- year-old girl to drink grape soda, at least two liters that we know of, until the 5-year-old girl dies of brain swelling.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: Live, Tennessee suburbs. A five-year-old little girl, Alexa, sneaks into the fridge to get one of stepmommy`s grape sodas. Punishment? Stepmommy and the child`s natural father force the little girl, just five years old, to drink and drink and drink grape soda, at least 2 liters that we`ve been told of, until the five-year-old girl dies of acute fluid intoxication and brain swelling. Hey, evil stepmommy, you`re going to wish you had a cold grape soda where you`re going.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nine-year-old Savannah Harden eating a candy bar she wasn`t supposed to. And when Savannah`s grandmother found out, she made Savannah run around the outside of this house for three hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A nine-year-old child is actually run to death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The kindergartner was sent home from school after misbehaving. His father who shares custody punished him by hitting him in the rear a few times and then forced the child to do push-ups and squats for 20 minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thomas Joseph Presley (ph) lost control, beating Blake to death. Cops say Presley tried to cover it up, staging a hit and run accident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dr. Morris is accused of waterboarding his 11- year-old daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her mother stood by and watched.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Held her face under a faucet at least four times in the last two years to punish her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: And now a child, a five-year-old little girl -- look at her. Look at that -- forced to drink grape soda until she`s dead. To Jeff Bobo, bureau chief of the Kingsport Time News. Jeff, thanks for being with us. When I first read this, I thought I had misread it. I had to go back and look at it again.

JEFF BOBO, KINGSPORT TIME NEWS: My editor had the same reaction when I told her I had a story about a child that was murdered with grape soda. She thought I was making a bad joke. It`s a very small, tight-knit community, and when Alexa Lindblum (ph) died, there was already a lot of suspicion on her stepmother, because she has five siblings ahead of her in school, and it was pretty well known that they were subjected to some bizarre punishments.

GRACE: Like what?

BOBO: Being forced to run around their house in their underwear in all kinds of weather, being forced to stay outside for --

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Jeff Bobo --

BOBO: Yes.

GRACE: Was Child Protective Services ever called in?

BOBO: Apparently not. The attorney general told me there was no record of child abuse. This is information--

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: Now we have a dead five-year-old? Hold on, hold that shot right there. Mary Vaughn and Randal Lee Vaughn, these are the two that forced this little girl Alexa to drink grape soda until she`s dead.

BOBO: Right. Right.

GRACE: I don`t even understand -- hold on. With me right now is Sheriff Ronny Lawson with the Hawkins County Sheriff`s Office. Sheriff Lawson, thank you for being with us. I know you`re swamped. I`ve never heard of a case where someone was forced, much less a five-year-old child, forced to drink until they`re dead? What do you know about this? What did the parents say when you got there?

RONNY LAWSON, SHERIFF, HAWKINS COUNTY: Well, we didn`t get in contact with this case until the child had already arrived at the hospital, and that`s when the other complaints you`re talking about came to light was the punishment they were receiving.

GRACE: Have you ever -- were there complaints about the other children getting mistreated?

LAWSON: No. I hadn`t had any, my office hadn`t had any or any of the departments of children`s services.

GRACE: Why was Alexa, just five years old, why was she forced to drink grape soda until she goes into brain swelling?

LAWSON: OK. There were seven children in the house that night of new year`s eve. One of them was a visiting child. And when the parent got up, they found an empty grape soda can, and when they asked the children who had drank the soda, they told them that Alexa had. And that`s when the punishment began, because she had taken it upon herself to drink one of the grape sodas.

GRACE: Clark Goldband, what more do you know?

GOLDBAND: Nancy, as you said, this story is quite shocking so we got the cold, hard facts and obtained this autopsy report. I can take you through it now. It just hits home. We`re talking more than 2 liters of fluid, not only grape soda, but water. As you can see behind me, this was over a period of just one to two hours. And take a look at this, as we advance through, you`ll see this little girl needed help, and she needed help quickly. She vomited multiple times. Authorities say she told her parents she had stomach pain. But then, curiously, the parents do say she was awake in the car playing patty cake.

However, if we advance to the next screen, guys, you`ll take a look at this and see that 2.4 liters, that`s right, 2.4 liters of soda found in her body, and take a look at this, guys. It just continues to be shocking, as we see. She was otherwise healthy but vomited multiple times, asked to take a bath, fed her oatmeal, Nancy, and then when she couldn`t keep the oatmeal down, according to authorities, that`s when she went into this demise.

GRACE: To Dr. Bill Manion, medical examiner, joining me out of Philly. Dr. Manion, hydroencemic encephalopathy. What is that?

MANION: Well, the sodium does -- the soda does not contain much sodium. So basically -- and this child at the age of 5 probably has the weight of about 40, 45 pounds. So all the blood in her system amounts to about 2 liters. Basically, they made her drunk as much fluid, over 2.4 liters, as much blood as she has. So this fluid she`s drinking does not have sodium, so she keeps lowering and lowering her sodium. As you lower the sodium, the brain begins to swell, because you don`t have the electrolytes holding fluid in the circulation.

GRACE: Unleash the lawyers. Eric Guster out of Atlanta also joining me. Trinity Hundredmark. All right, Guster, what`s your defense? That evil stepmother sat back and had a laugh. She`s going to need a cold grape soda where she`s going. And you know where that is. Hell.

GUSTER: This is not a murder case. This should be a manslaughter case of negligence.

GRACE: It`s murder.

GUSTER: No, it`s not a murder case. No one would think that drinking soda in any amount would kill someone, and that`s what this mom did. It`s very unfortunate, I`m sure they`re --

GRACE: Not unfortunate, it`s murder.

GUSTER: -- beating themselves up over and over about this, but this is definitely not a murder case.

GRACE: Punishing the child, Trinity, because she had a grape soda, so they make her drink soda until she goes into failure, brain swelling?

HUNDREDMARK: Yes, it`s definitely unfortunate, Nancy, but I agree. I don`t think they intended to do this. Clearly when stuff started to go downhill, they tried to get her fixed and they took her immediately to the hospital. They didn`t try to hide her or do anything else.

GRACE: Take her immediately?

(CROSSTALK)

GOLDBAND: No, they didn`t. Authorities say they waited between two and three hours until she was actually brought into the hospital.

(CROSSTALK)

HUNDREDMARK: They tried to get her to vomit and to eat something. They did things normal parents would do--

(CROSSTALK)

HUNDREDMARK: They didn`t let her sit home and die, they didn`t wait forever. And there`s also indications she had issues before. She has had issues with urination, with being thirsty, so she seems to have some medical issues in her past.

GRACE: Yes, they probably abused her. What are you shaking her head about?

HUNDREDMARK: She was abused in her previous home and she was put in with these people because of her previous abuse.

GRACE: Listen to the two of you together. You`re like Beelzebub.

GUSTER: This was not a murder case. It was a horrible mistake that the mom did. Just like--

GRACE: Stepmother! Stepmother! Leslie Austin, psychotherapist, this was no mistake.

AUSTIN: Well, they certainly intended to harm her, and the amount of sadism and cruelty in punishing her for drinking a grape soda is unthinkable. The result, obviously, she`s dead. I don`t know the legalese here, but it`s absolutely sadism, and that is unconditionally inexcusable. There is no reason to punish a child like that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: A Denver mother traumatized when she learns a creepy stranger, this guy -- take a look at him -- sneaks into her home, takes a selfie on her cell phone, leaves it on the counter for her to find. All of this happens while she`s putting her children to sleep.

Word to the wise. This is a textbook serial killer`s calling card. Look at this guy. Police looking for him now. Imagine you putting your children to sleep in their bedroom. You come out, you clean up the kitchen, grab your cell phones, go plug them in, when you find this guy has been in your home, you see your home in the background. This guy has been in your home, taking his own picture while you`re down the hall putting your children to sleep.

Let`s see that poster again. If you have information, there is a $2,000 reward. Call 720-913-STOP. 720-913-7867. We got to catch this creepy guy.

When we come back, everybody, a 10-year-old little boy hurts his knee on the basketball court. He`s taken to the hospital. There he`s given a cocktail, according to his family, of seven drugs, including morphine, putting the 10-year-old boy into a comatose state?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: A 10-year-old little boy hurts his knee on the basketball court. He`s rushed to the hospital. But it is there at the hospital, his injuries become serious. He`s given a cocktail of seven drugs, including morphine, for a knee injury? And tonight we learn another little girl also ends up dead at the same hospital when nurses do not monitor her pain pills.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After he sustains a basketball leg injury, he was allegedly given morphine. His family contends he started his descent into becoming what they term a different person. The family claims the child had scary episodes and is looking for answers from the hospital. We`ve reached out to the hospital for comment, and no legal action has been filed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Out to Michelle Terry, joining us, the aunt of Jahim Powell. He just hurt his leg on the basketball court. What went wrong at the hospital?

MICHELLE TERRY, AUNT: Well, Nancy, I got a frantic call Monday morning from my brother saying that my nephew would not wake up. And it was very scary. He kept saying Jahim, Jahim, he wouldn`t wake up. I kept saying, what happened? What`s wrong? He said that he was given morphine. At that time my brother only knew of maybe two or three drugs that was given to him. And later on we found out it was a total of seven. So while --

GRACE: Now I`m finding out, Ms. Terry, about a `98 incident when a 10-year-old little girl Lisa Shore (ph), actually died. Two nurses were charged with criminal negligence causing the death of that child. Those charges were later dropped. I don`t know why. But that child died when her pain medication was not monitored. With me right now the father of Jahim, John Powell III is with me. Mr. Powell, thank you for being with us. What was that like sitting at that bedside watching your son -- you had just been watching him play basketball, the star of the basketball team.

JOHN POWELL III, FATHER: It was horrific. It was the worst nightmare a parent can experience. It was horrifying for us to see my son be in that state. It was like I was living someone else`s life, but lifeless.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: I`m just thinking of all the times when my children have a fever or something goes wrong, I immediately rush to the emergency room because I`m certainly no M.D.

Back to you, Michelle Terry, the aunt of Jahim Powell. He just got hurt on the basketball court and suddenly he`s being given morphine. When he was in a comatose state, what was he doing?

TERRY: Well, he was yelling and screaming, not knowing where he was. He couldn`t see my brother. With his eyes --

GRACE: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Are you saying he had his eyes open or closed and he couldn`t see? What happened?

TERRY: His eyes were open. He could not see my brother. He was screaming, yelling, daddy, where are you? My brother kept saying, I`m right here, I`m right here. I was actually on the phone when all of this happened.

GRACE: And you could hear the screaming in the background?

TERRY: I could hear my nephew screaming. I could hear the -- my brother crying, my sister-in-law crying. And they did not know what was going on. And they were scared.

GRACE: Back to John Powell, the father of Jahim, did you ask them, did you say, he was fine when he came in and now he`s comatose? What happened? Did you ask them? What did they say to you?

POWELL: I`ve asked many times, and I`ve heard nothing. They just made excuses that he had problems -- he probably had problems, mental problems before I brought him into the hospital.

GRACE: Mental problems? He`s 10 years old playing basketball. Out to you, Eric Guster, what is your defense of the hospital?

GUSTER: This young man may have had a chemical reaction to these drugs that any person may have had. And if it`s according to how it was administered and if it was properly administered, because in hospitals, people give multiple drugs.

GRACE: Do you have children?

GUSTER: I do not.

GRACE: OK. That`s a wasted question on you.

Trinity, do you have children?

HUNDREDMARK: I do, Nancy. I have a 2 1/2-year-old little girl --

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: -- into the hospital and the child just has a knee injury, and suddenly they`re comatose, what`s your defense?

HUNDREDMARK: Certainly, Nancy, but I think that these cases are very hard to win. Juries are usually very reluctant to hold hospitals, to hold doctors responsible. They have an understanding that people make mistakes, particularly in the practice of medicine, and that`s just what it is, it`s a practice.

GRACE: You know what, Trinity --

HUNDREDMARK: I understand.

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: You know what? There are parents in that jury box and you may get a very different verdict. Tonight our prayers continue for Jahim, just 10 years old.

Let`s stop and remember American hero, Army Private First Class Nicholas Cook, just 19, Hungry Horse, Montana, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, loved snowboarding. Parents Jeffrey and Charlotte, grandparents Chet and Kathy, brother Christopher. Sisters Melody and Jacqueline. Nicholas Cook, American hero.

Tonight, a special good night from friends Mary and Brooke. Aren`t they beautiful?

Drew up next. Everyone, I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. Until then, good night, friend.

END