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Nancy Grace

Another Trayvon?

Aired February 04, 2014 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, live. Murder in Jacksonville? A 47-year-old white man guns down a black youth after they argue over the kid`s loud music at a gas station. After shooting the youth twice in the back and groin, he speeds off, two hours away, never bothering to call police.

Bombshell tonight. It`s George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin all over again. A 47-year-old, Michael Dunn, claims "stand your ground." "Stand your ground"? At what, a gas station? And you`re protecting yourself against what, loud music? And PS, you`re in a car! You can leave if you feel threatened.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our suspect, Michael Dunn, made a comment for them to turn the music down.

911 OPERATOR: How many shots did you hear?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was, like, Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like, kill that bitch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His statement was that, you know, I just fired at these kids.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re saying, kill him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then you heard, Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.


GRACE: And a Hollywood superstar, Oscar winner dead inside an exclusive Greenwich Village apartment, unresponsive on the bathroom floor, a needle in his arm, at least 70 bags of heroin strewn throughout his luxury multi-million-dollar home. Grainy surveillance video surfaces just before his death. What does it reveal? Was it an overdose or something else? Tonight, cops on the trail of the deadly dealer.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Authorities investigated the death of award- winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was found in an apartment after an apparent heroin overdose.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say they found nearly 50 envelopes containing what they believe to be heroin inside Hoffman`s apartment.


GRACE: And tonight, a Virginia woman mows down her ex`s fiancee in the driveway, leaving the girlfriend tangled in the front windshield, causing amputation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An angry ex-wife aims her car at her former spouse`s new fiancee.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These tire tracks mark what was a path of terror.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In an attempt to mow the woman down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fractures to her legs, the injuries so severe, her lower leg had to be amputated.


GRACE: That`s from NBC 4 Washington.

And tonight, Santa Ana suburbs. When cops search a 6th grade elementary school teacher`s home, they find a living house of horrors -- 400 pythons, mice, rats running wild. Oh, yes, 400 pythons!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Search warrant. Come to the front door.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a raid unlike any other in Santa Ana, police and animal services officers searching the home of an Orange County teacher that is filled with snakes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It smells like something`s dead.


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

Bombshell tonight, live, murder in Jacksonville. A 47-year-old white man guns down a black youth after they argue over the kid`s loud music at a gas station. Sounds like George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin all over again, as 47-year-old Michael Dunn claims "stand your ground." "Stand your ground"? At what, a gas station? And you`re protecting yourself against what, Mr. Dunn, music? And PS, you`re in a car. You can leave if you feel threatened.

Yes, take a look at Dunn behind bars. And let me take this opportunity to read a few of Mr. Dunn`s letters from behind bars. Let`s start with, "The jail is full of blacks, and they all act like thugs," says Mr. Dunn. His words, not mine. "This may sound a bit radical, but if more people would arm themselves and kill these" -- blank, blank -- "idiots when they`re threatening you, eventually, they may take the hint and change their behavior."

OK, here`s another one. I love jailhouse letters. "I`m really not prejudiced against race" -- all right, right there, you know it`s going to be something bad -- "but I have no use for certain cultures." Oh, who could that be? "This gangsta rap, ghetto-talking thug culture that certain segments of society flock to is intolerable. They espouse violence and disrespect towards women." Oh, whoa! I`m sorry, I thought you pulled the trigger, Dunn!

"The black community in Jacksonville is in an uproar against me. The three other thugs that were in the car are telling stories to cover up their true," quote, "colors."


I guess I`m supposed to pardon the pun.

"I am amazed at what is going on with the way the media has been covering this case. There have been several other shootings here in Jacksonville, yet they are all either black on black or black on white, and none of them have garnered any attention with the media. I guess it`s the news when someone dares to not to be a victim, but they are twisting it around saying I was the bad guy."

And just one more. "I`m not getting much in the way of sympathy from the press. They`re a bunch of liberal bastards." His words, not mine.

OK, that`s one thing I`ve never been called is a "liberal bastard." So that`s a first. OK, Mr. Dunn.

Let`s go straight out to Jacksonville, Florida, Jacob Long with CNN affiliate WTLV joining me at the courthouse. Is the jury going to hear these letters?

JACOB LONG, WTLV: It`s quite possible the jury very well will hear those letters, Nancy. The state is obviously hoping to use them as evidence. As you`ve been discussing, they are very racially coded, and in some cases not so racially coded. And the state is obviously hoping to use them into context that Mr. Dunn had some sort of a racial bias toward Jordan Davis.

GRACE: Let`s go out now to Frank Taaffe, spokesperson for George Zimmerman, supporting the "stand your ground" law in Florida. Also with me, civil rights lawyer, attorney for Trayvon Martin`s parents Daryl Parks. Mr. Taaffe, Mr. Parks, thank you for being with us.

First to you, Mr. Taaffe. I don`t quite understand the defense here because what`s he defending himself against, loud music?

FRANK TAAFFE, FRIEND OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Well, you`ve got to understand the whole scenario here.

GRACE: Uh-huh.

TAAFFE: Those letters do not preclude (sic) guilt, Nancy, OK? Number one, OK? At that moment in time...

GRACE: What am I missing, Taaffe?

TAAFFE: You`re missing the fact that when he was at that gas station, he kindly asked Mr. Davis to turn down the music. And then the driver, Tommy Storns (ph), who`s a convicted felon, turned the music down, went into the store to buy his pack of Newports...

GRACE: So he turned down the music.

TAAFFE: ... and that`s when Jordan Davis said, F you, man. I`m going to kill you. And he asked him...

GRACE: OK, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait!

TAAFFE: ... to turn the music down -- what?

GRACE: Now, isn`t it true, Mr. Taaffe, that after the alleged death threat from one of the kids in the car, he goes...

TAAFFE: Jordan Davis.

GRACE: ... You`re talking to me...

TAAFFE: Jordan Davis.

GRACE: ... instead of getting in his car? If I was afraid, I would not engage with a person that I thought had a gun.

TAAFFE: Listen...

GRACE: That doesn`t make sense to me, Taaffe.

TAAFFE: Listen...

GRACE: I don`t think that`s what happened.

TAAFFE: OK, I`m going to try to make sense to you. Mr. Dunn kindly asked him to turn the music down, which the driver complied. Then Jordan Davis looked over at Mr. Davis -- excuse me, Mr. Dunn, and said, F you, man, I`m going to kill you. He said, I`m going to kill you. And that story is consistent in the three-hour police interview that Mr. Dunn...


TAAFFE: ... gave on the next day when he was arrested.

GRACE: Let`s hear from Daryl Parks, civil rights lawyer who represented Trayvon Martin`s family. All right, Mr. Parks, that`s not exactly the way the witnesses -- and I`m not just talking about the youths in the car, all right? I`m not just talking about the kids in the car. There were other people at the gas station. And PS, Mr. Dunn took off like greased lightning, drives two hours away from the scene to his fiancee`s home, never calls police.

And another thing. if I shot somebody in self-defense, I would call the police. I would not want them to die. I`d want to save them. But the other thing is, they were coming from a wedding reception party. Had they been drinking? I don`t know. I want to find out.

But first, Parks, let`s hear your response to Taaffe.

DARYL PARKS, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON MARTIN`S FAMILY: Well, without question, I think what Frank Taaffe and some people believes, that there are some who have the right to stop people like Jordan Davis. Well, in this case, I think anyone can see that it`s totally unacceptable that you would kill someone because of loud music.

GRACE: Well, here`s the other thing. I`m not saying he had to run, but it seems to me -- you know what? Let`s go out to Jacob Long.

Jacob Long, question. Isn`t it true that, according to the witnesses, after he says he got a threat, he continued to spar with the kids in the car? He`s, like, Are you talking to me? And PS, no long gun, no gun was ever found in that car. That is a lie.

LONG: Right. There was no gun ever found in that SUV that Jordan Davis and his three friends were inside of on black Friday of 2012. Police have said that multiple times. Mr. Dunn claims that he felt his life was in jeopardy during that dispute over loud music. And to be clear, that dispute, under my understanding, was never physical.


We`re talking about a verbal...

GRACE: Whoa, whoa! I`ve got another question, Jacob Long, WTLV. Isn`t it true that Dunn shoots in the car as it`s driving away? Do I have that fact correct?

LONG: I`m not entirely sure if he was shooting as he was driving away, but we know...

GRACE: No, as the car was driving away.

LONG: ... that he -- that continued to fire? Yes, I believe that is correct.

GRACE: OK, Justin Freiman, very quickly, what do we know about the evidence? And I`m talking about the physical evidence. Where was Dunn, and where were the boys when Dunn unloaded?

JUSTIN FREIMAN, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER (via telephone): They were all at a convenience store, at a gas station. And his girlfriend had just gone inside, allegedly, to get a bottle of wine, and that is where this little altercation went down, where the words were being exchanged. Next thing you know, shots are fired even as the teens are driving off.

GRACE: That`s what I was getting at.

All right, back to Taaffe and Parks. Jason Oshins, Darryl Cohen, I`ll bring you in in just a moment.

TAAFFE: All right, listen...

GRACE: Daryl Parks, Frank Taaffe -- no, no, no, no, no. We`re taking turns, Taaffe. That`s how it works here.

Taaffe, did you hear that he kept shooting as the kids were trying to drive off? And let me point out that the dead kid, Jordan Davis, got shot in the back. That doesn`t sound like self-defense to me.

TAAFFE: OK, number one, the state`s got problems with the witness statements because they...

GRACE: You don`t want to address the shooting in the back, do you.

TAAFFE: ... what the facts and the evidence are in the case. I`m going to give you an example, OK?

GRACE: Shot in the back.

TAAFFE: The three -- listen, the three witnesses stated that there was no way Jordan Davis...


TAAFFE: ... could have opened that front door to that Durango because they said the childproof lock had malfunctioned!

GRACE: I don`t know -- what are you talking about?


TAAFFE: ... go into the crime lab. It worked perfectly!

GRACE: ... about the child lock.

TAAFFE: It`s consistent...

GRACE: The kid`s shot in the back, Taaffe. Deal with it!

TAAFFE: Nancy, it`s consistent with Dunn`s interview. He said that Jordan was the provoker of that situation. That`s why he felt his life was in imminent danger.

GRACE: Daryl Parks...

PARKS: Thank you, Nancy.

GRACE: ... my chest is hurting. Jordan Davis was shot in the back. That is not self-defense. Boom! And I don`t care what Taaffe stirs up, if he`s got a record, I don`t care if he stole a car. I don`t care.

TAAFFE: Facts and the evidence.

GRACE: I care about...

TAAFFE: I got the facts and the evidence.

GRACE: ... him getting shot in the back.

TAAFFE: It`s there!

GRACE: Is your name Daryl Parks? No. Your name is Frank Taaffe. Go, Parks.

PARKS: Without question, Nancy. You look at the facts of this case, the car was driving away. He shot into the car as the kids were trying to leave. That is not a defense.

GRACE: If this jury...

PARKS: He should be held liable for killing Jordan Davis.

GRACE: ... acquits again after Trayvon Martin, I am going to do a back flip.


GRACE: What?

TAAFFE: You`re all off base, OK?

GRACE: OK, you know what? Hold on. Let`s hear what your guy has to say, Taaffe. Liz, let`s roll Mr. Dunn, who just called me a what, a liberal bastard. Let`s hear what he`s saying behind bars.


MICHAEL DUNN, CHARGED IN SHOOTING OF TEEN: ... trouble. And I don`t know if they`re singing or what. It`s like -- they`re saying, Kill him. So I put my window down again, and I said, Excuse me? Are you talking about me? And it was, like, Kill that bitch. And you know, I`m still not reacting. But then this guy, like, goes down on the ground and comes up with something. I thought it was a shotgun. And he goes, You`re dead, bitch, and he opens his door.

And I (EXPLETIVE DELETED) bricks. But that`s when I reached in my glove box, unholstered my pistol. I mean, I`ve practiced this (INAUDIBLE) rifle and pistol range. I`m an avid, you know, gun guy and all that, no military training or anything, but I have friends who are in the military...


DUNN: ... that show me the...


DUNN: Yes.




GRACE: This case is not about loud music. And if I were arguing to a jury, I would tell them it is not about self-defense, either, because many of the reports say that Michael Dunn, then 45, fired four of the shots at the youth in the car while he was in his car. And as they speed off to try to save their lives, he gets out of his car and continues to shoot, ending up shooting Jordan Davis in the back and the groin.

All right, with me, Frank Taaffe, friend of George Zimmerman, supports "stand your ground" law in Florida. This is Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin all over again. Also with me, Daryl Parks, civil rights lawyer...

TAAFFE: Nancy...

GRACE: ... lawyer for the Trayvon Martin family. All right, what about that, Taaffe, that he is shooting from inside his car?

TAAFFE: Nancy, let me go back...

GRACE: When the kids try to leave, he gets out of his car and keeps shooting. Then he goes to a hotel two hours later -- two hours away and has a pizza. He`s not worried...

TAAFFE: Nancy...

GRACE: ... about the dead kid. He`s worried about pepperoni.

TAAFFE: Nancy, Dunn...

GRACE: What?

TAAFFE: Dunn`s story -- Dunn`s story is consistent throughout the police interview. The state has more holes...

GRACE: So? He lied the whole time.

TAAFFE: ... in their case -- listen, you know what that`s called? Reasonable doubt.

GRACE: What holes?

TAAFFE: How much reasonable doubt do you need to present to a jury for an acquittal? This much, a whole lot, or just a little bit?

GRACE: Where`s the gun, Taaffe?

TAAFFE: The onus is on the state to prove...

GRACE: Where`s the long gun?

TAAFFE: ... to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

GRACE: And you know what, Parks...

TAAFFE: There`s too much reasonable doubt.

GRACE: If someone said to me...

TAAFFE: Too much reasonable doubt.

GRACE: If somebody says, I`m going to kill you...

TAAFFE: Look...

GRACE: I would get in the car and speed away. He`s in the car.

TAAFFE: The statute...

GRACE: Instead, he says he rolls down his window...

TAAFFE: Nancy...

GRACE: Hey, you talking to me? Oh, yes, he was egging...

TAAFFE: Nancy, the statute is clear.

GRACE: ... it on Parks.

TAAFFE: If he or she feels...

TAAFFE: Without question, Nancy...

TAAFFE: ... that his life...

GRACE: I can`t hear Parks. All I can hear is Taaffe talking about the Constitution.

PARKS: I know.

GRACE: Go, go, go, Parks. I think he`s taking a breath.

PARKS: Without question here, when you listen to the facts of this case, this guy was sitting in his car. These kids are trying to get away. They were no threat to him. And so he decided in his mind.

But listen to some of the things that this guy says in his statement in the letter, right? He believes that certain people are intolerable. And so he felt that he needed to do something about the young men who were sitting in the car. This is totally wrong. The facts in this case speak for itself. This guy has very little defense to defend himself in this case.

GRACE: Well, here`s my thing. You`re at a gas station. It`s happened to all of us. You heard loud music. You don`t necessarily like it. So what? You`re leaving in two minutes. Suck it up, little sister! Go. Fill your car up and go.

And another thing, I suspect they`re all tanked up on booze. Now, coming from a wedding reception, he sends his girlfriend in to get more wine...

TAAFFE: He had three drinks.

GRACE: ... as if they haven`t had enough yet. So you can confirm he had been drinking?

TAAFFE: OK, I`m going to give you a fact right here.

GRACE: Did you just say that? Did you just say two drinks?

TAAFFE: He had three drinks at the party.


GRACE: Three.

TAAFFE: That`s what his girlfriend said.

GRACE: OK, what were they, vodka straight up? What was it?

TAAFFE: I don`t know, wine spritzers.

GRACE: I know it wasn`t a Shirley Temple, Taaffe.

TAAFFE: I don`t care. "Shirley Temple, Taaffe" -- I like that one. OK.

GRACE: So he was drinking at the time. All right...

TAAFFE: He had three drinks.

GRACE: OK, Back to Jacob Long, reporter with CNN affiliate WTLV joining us at the courthouse. Are these interviews coming into evidence? I`m sure they`ve been the topic of a pretrial motion to suppress.

LONG: We believe they are part of the discovery that the state is going to use. There has been a little bit of an access problem in covering this trial. There is a huge chunk of discovery that the state has yet to release, that local media here in Jacksonville is fighting to get released. Certainly, some of those jailhouse interviews and jailhouse phone calls...

GRACE: OK, Jacob Long -- I hate to break this to you, Jacob, but it`s not all about the media. I`m asking, is a jury going to see it?

LONG: I believe so, yes. The state will probably present it at trial.


GRACE: I just confirmed that it was three rum drinks at the wedding. So it sounds like a big drunk to me. Then he gets out with his gun. I`ve also confirmed, according to Dunn himself in other reports, he fires off four shots from the car, then four more shots as the boys are trying to drive away.

Now, Frank Taaffe, Daryl Parks -- Mr. Daryl Parks, lawyer for Trayvon Martin`s family, how can it be self-defense when you shoot somebody in the back?

PARKS: Without question, Nancy. I think you`ve got to also look at the fact that he fires from the car first. This other car is leaving, going away from him. He continues to get out of his car and shoot. There`s no defense there. He became the aggressor from the initial part when he was in the car. He continued the aggression when he got out of the car. So I don`t think he has no defense.

GRACE: All right, Taaffe, how are you going to get out of this one?

TAAFFE: Oh, I got this one. You know when he went for his concealed weapons permit, you`re taught if you have an automatic weapon, you empty the chamber because once you believe that you have your life in danger, you`re going to make -- you`re going to ensure...


GRACE: They didn`t have a gun, Taaffe.

TAAFFE: ... that other individual -- excuse me.

GRACE: How`s his life in danger?

TAAFFE: Excuse me.

GRACE: The kid didn`t have a gun.

TAAFFE: Mr. Dunn stated...

GRACE: They`re driving away.

TAAFFE: Excuse me.


GRACE: In danger from what?

TAAFFE: Mr. Dunn stated that he saw a barrel of a weapon.

GRACE: 50 Cent?

TAAFFE: OK? Just like in the Trayvon Martin case.

GRACE: What?

TAAFFE: Trayvon had Skittles and iced tea, OK?

GRACE: Was Kanye doing a rap? What was he afraid of?

TAAFFE: Doing a rap?

GRACE: Yes, the music. That`s all that happened. He heard some music.


GRACE: ... and opened fire.

TAAFFE: The music was the precursor to Davis telling him, I`m going to kill you, man. That`s what he heard. Three-hour interview with the police, he never wavered off it! He stayed consistent. What`s inconsistent in this story are the three witnesses that were in the vehicle, one who is a convicted felon and the other one`s awaiting trial for a robbery charge in St. Petersburg! How about them apples?

GRACE: How about I don`t care what they did before. How about I care why there`s a dead unarmed boy.

TAAFFE: OK, the stage is going to have...

GRACE: That`s what I care about.

TAAFFE: OK, Nancy, when you prosecuted a case and you had a known convicted felon, how valid or how -- what is his credentials when you present them to the jury?

GRACE: Actually, here`s the law.

TAAFFE: It`s going to create reasonable doubt!

GRACE: Cut his mike. Here`s the law on that. The law is that a victim`s reputation may not come into trial. Repeat, Mr. Taaffe, a victim`s reputation...

TAAFFE: So witness...

GRACE: Why am I hearing him? May not come into trial unless and until it goes to the defendant`s frame of mind that made him believe self- defense. In other words, if Mike Tyson came in that studio door right now and pulled (ph) back, I`d have reason to shoot him because his reputation is he is a heavyweight champion. He`s going to kill me.

Dunn didn`t know these guys from Adam`s housecat. Their reputation meant nothing to him. This is what I know -- shot the boy in the back. The jury is being seated right now. It`s Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman all over again. Maybe this time, we`ll see justice! Mr. Parks, Mr. Taaffe, thank you.

When we come back, Hollywood superstar, Oscar winner dead in an exclusive Greenwich Village apartment. Tonight, cops on the trail of the deadly dealer.

And then later, when cops search a 6th grade elementary school teacher`s home, it`s a living house of horrors -- 400 pythons, mice, rats running wild.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The stench is overwhelming. What`s that smell? It smells like something`s dead.



GRACE: A Hollywood superstar, Oscar winner, dead in an exclusive Greenwich Village apartment. 70 bags, at least, of heroin strewn throughout his home. Tonight, cops on the trail of the deadly dealer.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hoffman was found dead on his bathroom floor with a syringe in his arm.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They found nearly 50 envelopes containing what they believed to be heroin. Street named Ace of Spades.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sad. Such a waste of a great talent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police are trying to piece together the final moments of Hoffman`s life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re told that the West Village fixture spent his final hours having a casual burger dinner, no drinks, with two friends.


GRACE: Tonight cops on the trail of the deadly dealer. Straight out to Nischelle Turner, CNN entertainment correspondent. It`s my understanding that the new heroin is very often laced with fentanyl, a very powerful painkiller for cancer patients, and it`s even more powerful than morphine when combined with heroin, correct?

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, that`s the deal with heroin, Nancy. I mean, people are looking for a really strong high for a cheap price. And so that`s why, No. 1, they go to heroin, and they buy this instead of like an Oxycontin or something like that, because it is cheaper, and they put other things in it to give you even more of a rush. So yes, that`s correct.

GRACE: Pat Lalama, correspondent with Investigation Discovery. Pat, what more do we know?

LALAMA: Well, you know what`s really interesting at this point is a, they want to figure out what`s in those drugs. Secondly, who the dealers are. What could they possibly charge those people with? They`re trying to track the surveillance tape. But Nancy, the thing to me, it`s clear that he was in this spiral, this chemical abyss. There were so many other narcotics and other prescription medications found, anti-anxiety, anti- depression, muscle relaxants, attention deficit, blood pressure medicine. This man was clearly sinking, sinking into this chemical abyss as I say.

GRACE: With me, Clark Goldband. There have been 20 related deaths in Pennsylvania in one month alone. Another 22 dying of fentanyl/heroin overdoses in Rhode Island in one month. It`s about 100 times stronger than morphine.

GOLDBAND: It is scary, Nancy. And you hit the nail on the head just a few moments ago. Let`s look at some information we`ve learned and check this out. We hear that heroin is cheap, but I`ll show you why it`s become so popular. Not only is it cheap, it`s easy. One pill of Oxycontin will run you between 50 and 80 bucks. But check this out. For just $6 on the street, you can get a bag of heroin, and it does not stop there. Heroin is everywhere. As you said, in the last month alone, there`s about 40 heroin deaths just in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, in two states in the last month. It is a huge problem spreading across the country. In fact, Nancy, at this hour, lawmakers in Washington, D.C., want to hold hearings --

GRACE: Blah, blah, blah. Washington, D.C. hearings, they`re going to do nothing except spend more money on themselves. I don`t even want to hear D.C. But Clark, one thing I do want to hear about is the crime scene.


GRACE: He had on shorts, t-shirt, glasses.


GRACE: He was, like, sitting back casually. This is what we know. Many of the bags of heroin had the Ace of Spades mark on them.

GOLDBAND: Correct.

GRACE: How am I going to use that in connection with the surveillance video of the dopers, we believe, handing off the dope? How do I find these dopers?

GOLDBAND: Okay, well, here`s what the NYPD is actually taking care of at this hour, Nancy. It`s not only ace of spades but ace of hearts. And here`s the thing. Whenever heroin busts go down, the cops will enter what logo is on the bags. Cops say they haven`t seen the ace of hearts brand in over a year. In fact, heroin in these ace of hearts bags may be laced with fentanyl as well.

GRACE: Let`s go to Brad Lamm, addiction specialist and founder of the Breathe Life Healing Centers, a former addict himself. Also with me, Norm Kent, president of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. With me, Brad Lamm and Norm Kent.

All right, first to you, Norm Kent, fentanyl is actually a pain drug for cancer patients that are in great pain. So I guess your theory is that it`s okay to lace the heroin with fentanyl?

KENT: My theory is that pot smokers share joints and go to Simon & Garfunkel concerts in New York. They don`t inject needles in dark alleys.

GRACE: That`s stereotypical, isn`t it? It`s interesting you say that. I was picking up on something Brad told me yesterday. Out to Phil Rosenbaum joining me who -- a longtime acquaintance of Philip Seymour Hoffman`s, actually went to college with him. Phil, what do you recall of him in college? Philip Hoffman, as you knew him.

PHIL ROSENBAUM, PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN`S COLLEGE FRIEND: Nancy, in college, we called him Phil Hoffman. Phil was a really good guy and very quiet. He didn`t speak much. And I really remember him going around our dormitory on a skateboard most of the time. He was barefoot, and he was often drunk.

GRACE: Isn`t it true that immediately out of college, he had to go to rehab?

ROSENBAUM: He was in rehab just out of college. And from the reports we`re hearing, he was clean for 20 years until more recently.

GRACE: You know, when I hear that, Brad Lamm and Norm Kent, he`s leaving behind the love of his life and three children. Because he started with a gateway drug of booze and pot. That`s just what you said, Brad. And as much as he tried staying sober and clean for over 20 years, he couldn`t beat it. He could not beat the addiction. And it started with booze and pot, Brad. That is exactly what you said.

LAMM: You know, the populations in treatment today, Nancy, more than any other population are these young opiate addicts, people that are starting in their early teens before their brain is even fully formed. Then they move from pot to alcohol to pills in their parents` cabinets to heroin because it`s so, so easy to get.

GRACE: Okay. You don`t see that, Norm, that you are pushing -- you are pushing the legalization of pot. You and everybody in the government want that tax money on pot. I don`t want it. Because of what Lamm just told me.

KENT: Nobody -- nobody dies from pot, Nancy. It`s just a joint. It doesn`t kill people. Alcohol, heroin, opiates have. Let`s be honest, Nancy. It`s just pot. Just like Larry Flynt once said. It`s just sex. It`s just a joint.

LAMM: Norm --

KENT: People use it to spiritually enhance and empower themselves.

GRACE: I don`t even know what you`re talking about. They use it to sit on the sofa and eat chips, Brad.

LAMM: If Norm has any point, it`s that pot is less addictive than heroin. Fair enough, Norm. You win that point. But this really isn`t about scorekeeping. It`s about people dying, people getting sick and addicted. So your points are sort of by the wayside. Some people get sick from pot and alcohol and die.

GRACE: Okay, guys, unleash the lawyers. With me, Jason Oshins, New York, Darryl Cohen, Atlanta. Let`s talk about the facts right now with this award-winning actor. What about the dopers, Jason Oshins, when they find them, and they will, what can they be charged with?

OSHINS: Listen, you know, NYPD isn`t always developing and focusing as much resource as they are to this because it`s a high-profile case. But when they do --

GRACE: That has nothing to do with this, Justin. Please answer the question.

OSHINS: It certainly does. It`s certainly a point of fact.

GRACE: I`m asking you what can they be charged with?

OSHINS: I`m answering. Once they do get them, they can get them for distribution if they find them in their stash house, if you will, and there`s large amounts of opiates, depending on what they possess, that could raise that to a level A felony and face a lot more time versus let`s just say finding them with pot.

GRACE: They`re not going to find them in a warehouse, Jason. If they did, that would be great.

OSHINS: We`ll see.

GRACE: They could go down for distribution and manufacture. But they are staying far away from any warehouse, Darrell Cohen, right now because the heat`s on.

COHEN: Of course they`re going to stay away from the warehouse. But Nancy, what we`re really looking at --

GRACE: Not forever.

COHEN: -- it`s not just a tragedy from an actor. We`re looking at a national tragedy. And the police, the government has to close it from both sides. Stop the dealers, educate the people who are going to kill themselves.

GRACE: Everybody, when we come back, a Virginia woman mows down her ex`s fiancee in the driveway, leaving the girlfriend tangled in the front windshield, causing amputation. And then later, cops search a sixth grade elementary school teacher`s home to find a living house of horrors. 400 pythons.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The stench is overwhelming. What`s that smell? It smells like something`s dead.



GRACE: A Virginia woman mows down her ex`s fiancee. His new girlfriend in the driveway, leaving the girlfriend tangled in the front windshield, causing her amputation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In an unusual case of road rage --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Margaret Henry is accused of using the car as a weapon when she drove toward her ex-husband and his fiancee as they stood in the driveway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The victim, one of her legs is mangled so badly that part of it has to be amputated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Emergency crews say they found the victim, quote, entangled in the windshield of the Hyundai.


GRACE: That`s an NBC 4 Washington, Michael Filipelli with me. Michael, I don`t quite understand the reasoning. She sees her ex`s fiancee, I guess the new girlfriend, standing in the driveway, and mows her down, causing her leg to be amputated?

MICHAEL FILIPELLI: Yes, Nancy. Apparently it was a very volatile relationship over the years. And it eventually just simmered and boiled over into a tragic accident. The incident happened in Lorton (ph), which is in Northern Virginia, just southwest of D.C. between Mt. Vernon and Manassas. And the fiancee, like you said, was standing in the driveway with the ex-husband. And according to investigators, it wasn`t clear how fast the vehicle was going, but Margaret Henry drove a car off the boulevard, through the yard, struck the victim, and the car then hit a utility trailer before stopping in the yard. The driver`s ex-husband restrained her until the police arrived, according to the search warrant. And a few days later, tire tracks were still seen sawed into the home`s front yard.

GRACE: Unleash the lawyers. Jason Oshins, New York, Darrell Cohen, Atlanta. With me, clinical psychologist Seth Meyers from L.A.

Oshins, Cohen, Meyers, thank you for being with us. Jason Oshins, she`s so full of jealousy, she mows down her ex`s fiancee in the driveway, leaving the girlfriend tangled up in her windshield, and the girl has to get her leg amputated.

OSHINS: Right. Certainly a tragic accident, Nancy.

GRACE: Why do you always say that?

OSHINS: Well, it is.

GRACE: You know what? You should work at a funeral home.

OSHINS: It`s tragedy. Anytime someone is hurt or injured, Nancy.

GRACE: You`re emoting so much, another tragic accident. Who cranked the car up? She did. Who turned the wheel? She did. Who hit the gas? She did. That is not a tragic accident.

OSHINS: It`s certainly a tragedy for the victim in this. The question, of course, is the state of facts. We need to forensically reexamine everything from the car, its mechanical condition, past bad statements towards this fiancee, and why couldn`t it just be a tragic accident, Nancy? Why couldn`t it?

GRACE: Darrell Cohen, let`s hear your side.

COHEN: It seems to me, Nancy, that what she saw was red and that`s all she saw was red. I think at the moment, she probably didn`t know right from wrong. She saw her ex-husband, saw this woman that took her husband from her, and all she could do was create a tragedy.

GRACE: Took her husband from her. Last I looked, he was standing in the driveway. He really hasn`t gone anywhere. All right, Seth Meyers, we need a shrink. Have you ever heard the saw red defense that Cohen just spouted out?

MEYERS: Yes. Well, I think what happened here is I think there was a cumulative effect of phenomenal anger towards this woman. For a long time, this woman was probably stressed at the time, which made her more predisposed to act in irrational ways, but I think there was so much anger this woman felt, she really didn`t care about the consequences. She said this woman deserves it.

GRACE: Saw red. That`s a new one, Darrell Cohen. With me, special guest out of San Diego, Rusty Haight, the director of the Collision Safety Institute. He`s an accident reconstruction expert. Rusty, what do you make of it? Where do you start with a case like this?


GRACE: Great.

HAIGHT: This is -- you know, I`ve got to laugh. You pointed out the tragic accident. This isn`t an accident. It`s a collision. It`s an intentional event. Cars don`t do anything without somebody behind the wheel. You know, in this case, we can find that out by looking at what`s going on in the roadway, you know, in the area where this happened. Looking at the car itself says, and this car is equipped with one of these event data recorders. It will tell us whether her foot was on the gas or on the break, and how much application of acceleration and even the speed at impact. And from that we`ll be able to pretty much tell what she meant to do, the person behind the wheel meant to do.

GRACE: Rusty Haight, director of the Collision Safety Institute, joining me out of San Diego. When we come back, cops search an elementary schoolteacher`s home. They find 400 pythons.



GRACE: (inaudible) in the suburbs, cops search an elementary schoolteacher`s home and find 400 pythons. Yes, 400.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The stench is overwhelming.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wearing masks and protective suits, a team entered the 53-year-old`s house with guns drawn and found filthy rooms stacked high with plastic --


GRACE: Pat Lalama, correspondent with Investigation Discovery, 400 pythons?

LALAMA: Unbelievable. They are still trying to keep alive 170 of them. Consider this, a stench so bad people were gagging and throwing up in the neighborhood. They go in, they find these plastic bins, 30 to 40 of them, stuffed inside, and they can`t move, so the bins don`t need a top. Mice and rats, which of course the nutrition for these pythons, running around all over the place. It started out as a hobby turned into a hoarding.

GRACE: How can you hoard a living creature?

LALAMA: Well, this man apparently lost his mother, became severely depressed, started out liking snake, interested in them, and then it just grew--


LALAMA: -- into this psychological obsession. I feel sorry for the guy.

GRACE: 400 pythons? You go ahead and feel sorry for him.

I would be mad if you didn`t.

Seth Meyers, clinical psychologist. He`s depressed, all right. 400 pythons? Not all right.

MEYERS: I think that what is going on here is a severe form of OCD probably. This is hoarding--

GRACE: Animal cruelty. They are depressed. They are depressed, Seth Meyers, the snakes, and in a crate so tight they can`t even move. It is animal cruelty.

MEYERS: It is a good point you are making. Because actually, hoarding of animals always ends up in some sort of abuse or neglect of the animals. So even though the individual says no, I`m going to care for them and love them, it is all BS.


GRACE: A sixth grade elementary school teacher hoarding 400 pythons, rats and mice running wild. Unleash the lawyers. Jason Oshins, Darrell Cohen, there was no food and water in their cages, and it is not as if you didn`t know what he was doing wrong. Jason Oshins and Darrell Cohen, because he would actually park his car at a nearby playground or park and walk home because he knew the cops were angry and after him about this. He knew what he was doing. Jason.

OSHINS: Nancy, this is a case of mental illness. Clearly we look at society and hoarders or anyone else involved in this notwithstanding the horrific animal abuse, this is a case of mental illness. If ever there was a time when the criminal justice system calls out for compassion for the person, this is clearly the instance, Nancy, notwithstanding anything else.

GRACE: You know what? You have said that about 100 times before in different cases that this is the time for compassion.

OSHINS: This is the time.

GRACE: What about the animals that aren`t fed and don`t get water and him sneaking around so cops don`t find him? What about that?

OSHINS: This is all mental.


COHEN: It is definitely compassion for the animals, compassion for the pythons. Saw one in Costa Rica this weekend. They are great animals. When they are abused, it is horrible. And this guy does need compassion and he needs psychological help, but that`s what he needs, and he needs it bad.

GRACE: I agree he needs psychological help, and he can get that behind bars.

OSHINS: That`s not the place.

COHEN: No, he shouldn`t be behind bars, absolutely not.

GRACE: I`m going to let you two go spend the night at his place with 400 pythons. I`ll bet you`ll be singing a different tune come Monday morning.

Let`s stop. And remember American hero, Marine Sergeant Major Robert RJ Cottle, 45, Yorba Linda, California. Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon. An L.A.P.D. officer, loved hockey and skydiving and junk food. Parents Kenneth and Janet, sister Bonnie. Widow, Emily, serving the Navy. Daughter Kella (ph). Robert Cottle, American hero.

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