updated 6/27/2006 4:07:04 PM ET 2006-06-27T20:07:04

Guests: Sean Walker, Mike Kane, Jeralyn Merritt, Peter Solis, Adam Reposa, Stacey Honowitz, Kimberly Lerner, Mike Haley, Jim Denton, Elliot Yamin, Paris Bennett, Lisa Tucker, Kellie Pickler, Bucky Covington, Ace Young

RITA COSBY, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Joe and good evening, everybody.  Tonight, a family is demanding millions of dollars from MySpace after their 14-year-old daughter meets and then sleeps with a 19-year-old man she met online.  Tonight, a judge is letting him go off house arrest to join us live and explain how he got caught up in this MySpace mess.  Plus.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Now, do you know these guys?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, I‘ve never seen them in my life.  I just moved down here from Georgia.


COSBY:  Cops want to know if the men in the surveillance video are responsible for that shocking 911 call.  Is the call even real?  More of the terrifying message coming up later in the show. 

But first, we begin tonight with an all points bulletin in Nevada.  A massive manhunt is on for a man who went on a shooting spree in a Las Vegas casino.  Take a look at this.  The terrifying incident was caught on surveillance camera as a group of people were about to walk out of the Silver Nugget Casino located off the Vegas Strip.  An argument started and the gunman opened fire, leaving one man dead. 

Joining me with the very latest is Sean Walker.  He‘s a public information officer for the north Las Vegas police department.  Sean, what‘s the latest on the search for the suspect?

SEAN WALKER, PIO, NORTH LAS VEGAS POLICE DEPARTMENT:  Well as you can see, this surveillance tape is going to be a great help to us in identifying who this subject is.  We did a get few leads over the weekend, that detectives are in the process of looking into at this point.  But as you can see from the surveillance tape, it‘s very clear.  And we‘re confident that because of the clarity, we‘ll be able to catch this suspect.

COSBY:  Do we have any idea if he was with these guys?  If it was a targeted shooting?

WALKER:  You know, we‘re really not sure at this point.  And if you look at him as he fires the weapon, he doesn‘t really seem to be taking aim at any particular person.  He fires in a couple of different directions as he‘s running out of the casino.  So we‘re not sure who he was targeting, but we do know that he did kill someone in the shooting.

COSBY:  And injured also a woman who I understand has been now released from the hospital.  As we put up the description of what we know about this guy, black male, late teens, early 20‘s.  Obviously a hooded sweatshirt, we saw the baseball cap.  Did this woman provide any information to you as to who we should be looking for, what sparked this?

WALKER:  The woman has spoken with our detectives and given interviews to them.  However, she seems to be just kind of an innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time.  These were people who were not known to her.  So, she gave us description wise as best she could, but the surveillance tape is really going to be the key.

COSBY:  Walk us through again as far as what you know happened and how she described—you know, you see at one point it looks he throws the liquid at the guy.  Do we know, was there an argument beforehand?

WALKER:  It appears there is, from the surveillance tape itself.  It appears that there is some sort of verbal argument that begins as they exit the room there.  It then turns physical as someone throws a punch.  And then as you mentioned, Rita, someone does throw some sort of liquid beverage at the shooter, which appears to be the reason he pulls the weapon and begins firing.

COSBY:  What about these other guys in there?  Have you questioned - - there‘s a lot of other guys at the beginning of this videotape.  Have you been able to pull any of these guys in for questioning?

WALKER:  We have talked to quite a few witnesses that were there, because remember, this is a casino, so we did have employees as well as patrons to the casino inside that were interviewed by our detectives. 

Anyone who knows anyone in the video needs to call North Las Vegas police or Crimestoppers in Nevada specifically at 702-385-5555.  We‘re looking to identify everyone in this tape, but paying particular attention to the shooter.

COSBY:  All right, well we‘re putting that number up on the screen and everybody, do call if you have any information.  Thank you so much.

And now let‘s move on to another amazing crime story.  An unbelievable live news report this morning out of southern California.  KNBC reporter Robert Kovacik was in the middle of reporting on the hunt for a man suspected of murdering his neighbor and injuring the neighbor‘s son when all of a sudden, that man, Alvaro Williamson, unexpectedly strolls up to the camera for a live interview.  You got to listen to this.


ROBERT KOVACIK, KNBC REPORTER:  Could you tell us what happened, sir?

ALVARO WILLIAMSON, MAN SUSPECTED OF SHOOTING:  Well, it‘s been an ongoing dispute with my neighbors.

KOVACIK:  Did you shoot your neighbor?

WILLIAMSON:  No comment.  I‘m going to turn myself in right now.

KOVACIK:  Did you kill your neighbor?

WILLIAMSON:  No comment.


COSBY:  And with me now to tell his story is that reporter that you just heard asking the questions, Robert Kovacik.  Robert, how startled were you that this guy is walking in?

KOVACIK:  Completely startled, Rita.  It was the last thing you expected.  There was a real sense of urgency among the LAPD this morning when they were looking for the suspect and with good reason. 

Just to give you a bit of a back story.  On Sunday night, Al Williamson is alleged to have gone to the next door neighbor‘s house.  He‘s apparently had problems with his next door neighbor for many, many years.  The next door neighbor is having a barbeque, there are relatives and friends there. 

Mr. Williamson has an angry confrontation with this neighbor.  It escalates to the point that Mr. Williamson allegedly tells his 17-year-old son to go into their home and get his loaded handgun.  His 17-year-old son obeys his father, allegedly bringing that handgun back.  Mr. Williamson, then allegedly shoots his neighbor in the head in front of his neighbors, friends and relatives. 

He allegedly then tries and fires at the neighbor‘s 19-year-old son, who is running away with all the other relatives trying to flee inside the house.  He allegedly hits the neighbor‘s son a few times in the lower torso.  He is injured, he is in stable condition, however, his father dies at the scene. 

So, Williamson and his son have completely taken of.  They have disappeared.  No one can find them.  We get to work on Monday morning, and the LAPD again, has a sense of urgency.  They have an all points bulletin out for this man, they are looking for him.  And when I went in to talk to the LAPD detective, Rita, he said, “Robert, not only is he armed and dangerous, not only do we want you to get this word out to the viewers, to if they see him, to call 911, but to make sure they don‘t approach him.  Don‘t go near him.  Just pick up the phone and call 911.”

And so Rita, he also said, if you see him, you‘re not going to miss him.  This guy is 6‘7 and 260 pounds.  Now as you see in this video, I‘m just over 6 feet, but he towers over me.  So, you can believe that when we saw him this morning, this 6‘7 guy just standing next to our camera, oh, you can bet we definitely...

COSBY:  ... You bet.  You know Robert, let me play actually more of this entire exchange.  It‘s incredible.  I want to show the whole thing to our viewers, here it is.


KOVACIK:  Williamson allegedly told his 17-year-old son to go and get his loaded handgun.  When the son did...

WILLIAMSON:  My son wasn‘t involved.

KOVACIK:  Are you Mr. Williamson?

WILLIAMSON:  Yes, sir.

KOVACIK:  Could we come back here live for a minute?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You‘re a suspect.

KOVACIK:  Could we come back here live for a minute?  I‘m sorry, you are Al Williamson?


KOVACIK:  Do you understand that the police are looking for you?

WILLIAMSON:  Yes, I‘m walking to turn myself in.

KOVACIK:  Could you tell us what happened, sir?

WILLIAMSON:  It‘s been an ongoing dispute with my neighbors.

KOVACIK:  Did you shoot your neighbor?

WILLIAMSON:  No comment.  I‘m going to turn myself in right now.

KOVACIK:  Did you kill your neighbor?

WILLIAMSON:  No comment.

KOVACIK:  Mr. Williamson, where have you been?

WILLIAMSON:  Where have I been?  I was in Jack in the Box (ph), I had a soda, a Sprite.

KOVACIK:  Sir, the police have been looking for you.  There‘s an all points bulletin.

WILLIAMSON:  I talked to them, I know.  The story you guys put out in false.  I‘ll clear it up right now.  My son had nothing to do with this.  I‘m the person that you are looking for, I‘m turning myself in.

KOVACIK:  Did you turn a gun onto your next door neighbor?

WILLIAMSON:  I‘m turning myself in.  If you guys—if you want to go here, you can walk in the counter with me.

KOVACIK:  I‘d like to just hear your story before we go, sir, before you go?


KOVACIK:  Could you just tell me what happened last night?

WILLIAMSON:  It‘s been an ongoing dispute, they continuously harass me.  They‘ve been bothering me for eight-to-10 years, OK?  And it‘s over with.  I‘m turning myself in right now.  I appreciate your time.  My son had nothing to do with this.  He didn‘t drive a getaway car like they said.  That‘s the farthest from the truth.  I talked to Sergeant Bunch (ph) and I‘m turning myself into him right now.

KOVACIK:  Do you admit that you shot your neighbor then, sir?

WILLIAMSON:  No comment, thank you.


COSBY:  You know Robert, what‘s so surprising, his demeanor.  You know, ongoing dispute, it‘s over with.  Meanwhile, he shoots his neighbor.

KOVACIK:  Absolutely, Rita.  And the LAPD detectives we talk to say that he had made an arrangement to come and turn himself in.  They couldn‘t get out quickly enough to tell us that.  So we were surprised by his demeanor, he was very calm.  He was very matter of fact.  This was a man—if you listen to the exchange that we had, didn‘t really want to so much talk about his involvement in this alleged horrific crime.

COSBY:  Yes, he seems to be protecting his son.  You know, real quick, Robert, where is he now?

KOVACIK:  Yes, he just wanted to do that.

COSBY:  Where is he now on these allegations?

KOVACIK:  Where is he now?  He is now in custody.  He has been interviewed all day long.  And he e has been charged, we understand with murder.  We also want to let you know that his 17-year-old son, accompanied by his mother, a short time after we talked to him on air, did arrive at the LAPD.  He too has surrendered.  His 17-year-old son has been booked with accessory to murder charges.

COSBY:  Well thank goodness they did turn themselves in.  Thank you very much, Robert.  Fascinating story and I‘m glad you are safe too.

Still ahead, shocking new details in the first pictures of a suspected sniper, tracked down after a massive manhunt.  That‘s coming up.  And that‘s not all.  Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Still ahead, a new tragedy for the family of Jonbenet Ramsey.  Her mother, Patsy Ramsey has died.  What does this mean to the cold case that rocked the nation?  Can we ever know, who killed Jonbenet?

And a multimillion-dollar MySpace mess.  A teen in big trouble for having sex with a girl he met online.  But find out why it‘s MySpace.com that could have to pay big bucks.  The young man caught in the middle of the scandal is LIVE & DIRECT.

And we‘re bringing you the “American Idol” all stars as they get ready for their superhot summer tour.

Plus, find out why everyone is calling heartthrob Ace Young the ace of hearts.  It‘s coming up on LIVE & DIRECT.



PATSY RAMSEY, JONBENET RAMSEY‘S MOTHER:  I‘m appalled that anybody would think that John or I would be involved—I did not kill JonBenet.  I didn‘t have anything to do with it.  I loved that child with my whole of my heart and soul. 


COSBY:  It was a case that stunned a nation and gripped headlines for years.  Six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey found murdered in the family‘s basement, beaten and strangled to death nearly 10 years ago.  No arrests were ever made, but many believe her parents, Patsy and John Ramsey, may have had something to do with her daughter‘s killing. 

And now, the latest, the death of JonBenet‘s mother, Patsy Ramsey, who died of cancer over the weekend.  So where does that leave the investigation?  NBC‘s Mark Mullen has more. 


MARK MULLEN, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  At the family home in Atlanta where Patsy Ramsey died, family members released a statement saying they were deeply saddened Patsy lost her 12-year-old battle with ovarian cancer, a woman those close to describe as a loving mother. 

LARRY POZNER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  This is perhaps the only way Patsy Ramsey was going to find peace, because she would be forever haunted, not only by the death of her daughter but by the horrible insinuations. 

MULLEN:  Many cast suspicions on Patsy and John Ramsey after the bizarre murder of their 6-year-old beauty queen daughter, JonBenet, 10 years ago this Christmas.  She was found beaten and strangled in the family‘s Colorado home, along with a ransom note. 

The crime fueled tabloids and TV movies, but the case was never solved.  Many blamed the bungled investigation on an inexperienced Boulder police team.  Former prosecutor Bill Wise.

BILL WISE, FORMER PROSECUTOR:  They kicked the FBI out early on.  They refused help from the Denver Police Department. 

POZNER:  The Boulder police systematically leaked wrong information, false information, rumors. 

MULLEN:  The Boulder Police Department declined to comment. 

Patsy and John Ramsey spent years afterwards fighting the perception they were involved, even writing this book in hopes of restoring their name. 

RAMSEY:  I am appalled that anyone would think that John or I would be involved. 

MULLEN:  Ultimately, a 13-month grand jury investigation found no reason to indict the parents.  And DNA testing cleared them. 

POZNER:  I look for the day that some good cop in another state sends in the DNA of a child molester and they match it up. 

MULLEN:  Still, as the family prepares to bury Patsy next to JonBenet on Thursday, the family may never quiet some conspiracy theorists, who may always speculate that secrets surrounding the murder of JonBenet will be buried along with her mother. 

Mark Mullen, NBC News, Los Angeles. 


COSBY:  And let‘s now go to the former special assistant prosecutor in the case, Mike Kane, and also criminal defense attorney Jeralyn Merritt, who is in Colorado. 

Mike, how could Patsy‘s death have an impact on the case down the road? 

MIKE KANE, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT PROSECUTOR:  I don‘t think it‘s going to have an impact at all on the case.  It‘s, from what I understand, there‘s not very much that‘s being done.  You have to remember, there were three prosecutors that spent two years, full-time working this case with five detectives, answering hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of leads, doing interviews all around the country.  And I don‘t think that kind of manpower is ever going to be put into this case.  So, I don‘t think it is going to make any difference. 

COSBY:  Mike, are you saying that this will probably never be solved, wherever it goes? 

KANE:  I don‘t believe it will ever be solved.  I think that any evidence that‘s ever going to be recovered has already been recovered.  And there‘s not enough to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that anybody did this. 

COSBY:  You know, Jeralyn, do you think it has any impact?  And do you think it will ever be solved? 

JERALYN MERRITT, DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  I agree with Mike.  I do not think that Patsy‘s death is going to change the case at all.  And I think that the only chance it has of being solved is if there should be a DNA match.  And they‘re checking against the FBI‘s database every week, but for all we know, the perpetrator could be dead and not commit another crime, and therefore his DNA may not be in the database.  So I think it‘s very unlikely.

COSBY:  They did try to do some DNA matches, nothing tied to the family, essentially cleared the family.  Do you feel that she got a bit of a raw deal, Jeralyn? 

MERRITT:  I do.  I think that in the last 10 years that I have been commenting on cases, I cannot think of anyone who has been vilified by the national media as much as Patsy Ramsey.  And yet, if you look at the opinion that Judge Carnes in a libel case wrote, she viewed all of the evidence, she said it is more likely that an intruder committed the crime.  The district attorney of Boulder, Mary Keenan, now Mary Lacy, came out and said that she believed that it was an intruder, and yet tabloid after tabloid, talk show host, reporter, pundit, everyone just blamed Patsy Ramsey.  It was so unfair. 

COSBY:  You know, Mike, as you sit here today, can you rule out the parents?  Can you rule out the brother? 

KANE:  Well, I think that the brother, it‘s unlikely.  He was 9 years old at the time, and obviously an adult wrote the ransom note. 

And I don‘t think—you know, I have to say that a couple of things commenting on what Jeralyn just said.  There‘s never been a court that has looked at this and ruled on the evidence that was gathered by the police department‘s investigation.  There was a civil lawsuit that looked at evidence that had been gathered in that civil case... 

COSBY:  Can you rule out the parents?  Mike, can you rule them out now?

KANE:  Well, I don‘t think you can rule anybody out in this case.  And I think that a lot of what‘s being pointed to as evidence that exonerates anybody is just simply information that‘s out in the public domain that doesn‘t necessarily correlate with what the police investigation established in this case. 

COSBY:  Let me read noted forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee, he consulted in this case, and this is what he said.  This is a pretty surprising statement.  He put it out today.  He said: “If she (Patsy) had a secret, then that secret is going to be gone forever, and it‘s going to be extremely difficult.  But on the other hand, if she did share a secret with anybody else, it may be easier now for that person to talk.”

How do you read that, Mike? 

KANE:  I think that Henry is just speaking the obvious, that if she kept—if she knew something and she kept it quiet, that‘s the end of it.  If she knew something and told somebody, perhaps their reluctance to come forward will change now, and I suppose that‘s always a possibility.

COSBY:  Jeralyn...


COSBY:  ... put out after her passing?

MERRITT:  You know, I think that‘s a really shameful statement by Dr.  Lee.  This isn‘t even his field, whether she had a secret or didn‘t have a secret.  There‘s no evidence that she had a secret.  There‘s no evidence that she knows anything about what happened to her child that night. 

COSBY:  But he did consult on the case, Jeralyn.  He‘s not a total outsider, he did consult on the case. 

MERRITT:  No, that‘s what I‘m saying, he‘s a forensic pathologist or criminologist.  He doesn‘t know about secrets.  That‘s something inside Patsy‘s mind.  That‘s not his field.  His field is looking at the evidence.  And he has nothing to suggest that she kept a secret.  I mean, it‘s just really bothersome, that here she is, she died at 49, after a 13 year battle with cancer, she lost her child, and people still want to act like she had something to do with the crime, based purely speculation. 

COSBY:  You know, as you look back Mike, major mistakes, don‘t you think, made by police department to, first of all, couple of things convoluted, the body was moved, I understand, first, by a family member and then the investigators moved the body.  Everything was such a mess.  Even if it was an intruder, how do you prove that? 

KANE:  Well, just the circumstances of the case made it difficult.  I think there were some mistakes that were made early on.  But the major problem that I saw, and I got involved in the case 18 months after it happened, was that the police department was not working with the district attorney‘s office.  And police departments need legal advice to move forward. 

COSBY:  You bet. 

KANE:  And they didn‘t have that in this case.  But those mistakes made early on, they were not flaws in the case.  The police department got its act together and they did hundreds of interviews and they followed every lead possible.  A lot of the speculation and a lot of the attention that was focused on Mr. And Mrs. Ramsey was really the result of their actions and things, when compare them to somebody like Elizabeth Smart‘s parents, there‘s no comparison with the way those people acted in the face of a crisis and the way that the Ramsey‘s acted.  And so a the lot of the speculation, and a lot of the focus of this case was on them because of the way they acted after it happened. 

MERRITT:  Wait a minute.  You are not going to disagree that they signed releases for probably 100 searches or requests for information.  They gave D.N.A.  They gave pubic hair samples, three separate interviews.  I mean, they cooperated, that was part of the media myth that the Boulder police put out in the beginning, hoping to get them to say something. 

COSBY:  Both of you, we‘re going to have to wrap it up.  We‘d love to have you both back on another time.  Unfortunately, we‘re not going to solve it tonight.  Both of, thank you very much. 

Now, for a shocking story out of Florida, a 911 call has cops looking for a man who says he was kidnapped.  But is it even real?  Take a listen. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Do you know these guys?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No I‘ve never seen them in my life.  I just moved down here from Georgia.  I just moved down here like three weeks ago.  I don‘t know anybody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They‘re opening the trunk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  They‘re opening the trunk.  Michael are you still there?  Hello?  Hello?  I just lost him.  They stopped and they opened the trunk.


COSBY:  Well, the man says he called 911 from the trunk, saying that he had been abducted by men with guns and locked in the trunk of a tan Honda.  He says he found a cell phone in the trunk.  Surveillance video from a nearby convenience store shows four men watching, matching the victims description.  The store clerk said they drove off in a tan Honda.  Investigators are now looking for those men for questioning.  If you have any information on the case, please call the police department in Lakeland, Florida. 

Also, tonight, NBC News has learned that conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh was detained by customs in Palm rMD+BO_rMD-BO_Beach rMD-BO_Florida, as he was returning from the Dominican Republic.  They found a prescription drug that was not in his name.  That is against the law.  It turns out that the prescription drug found on Rush Limbaugh was Viagra.  We‘re told that he will likely not face any charges. 

Limbaugh made a plea bargain earlier this year after admitting that he was addicted to pain killers.  As part of the deal, he was to continue undergoing treatment.  Limbaugh‘s attorney says a doctor wrote the prescription in his name for privacy purposes. 

And still ahead, he‘s planning on having, he‘s accused of planning and executing a sniper attack that nearly killed a judge.  Wait until you hear how the cops tracked this guy down.  And should MySpace.com be forced to pay millions to a family because their 14-year-old daughter slept with a man she met online.  The guy at the center of the scandal has a one day reprieve from his house arrest to tell his story.  He‘s going to be with us LIVE AND DIRECT, that‘s coming up next. 


COSBY:  Tonight, an exclusive interview with the man at the center of a mess involving Internet giant, MySpace.com.  A 14-year-old girl is suing my space for $30 million after she claimed she was raped by 19-year-old Peter Solace, whom she met on the social networking Web site.  Peter Solis admits to having sex with the girl, but he says he didn‘t know her age. 

Peter joins us for his first live national interview.  He‘s now under house arrest.  He has to wear an ankle bracelet and get special permission to do this interview.  We‘re also joined by his attorney, Adam Reposa.

Peter, you had to go to great lengths to even come, to do this interview.  Why did you feel it was important to speak out tonight? 

PETER SOLIS, ACCUSED OF RAPE:  I just felt that the truth needed to be out there, get most of the facts straight. 

COSBY:  Let‘s go through some of the fact.  When did you first meet this girl and how did you meet her online? 

SOLIS:  Probably early May. 

COSBY:  And how did that happen?  I mean, how were you actually looking for her online?  How did you connect online? 

SOLIS:  She sent me a friend request. 

COSBY:  And what did you respond back? 

SOLIS:  I just accepted it. 

COSBY:  And what happened from there? 

SOLIS:  We started having conversations over MySpace and sending messages to each other. 

COSBY:  What was the nature of the messages, what did you say in the messages back and forth? 

SOLIS:  Just getting to know each other, what we did for fun.  Just ordinary stuff.  Teenagers. 

COSBY:  And how long did until you met in person?  How did you plan to meet in person? 

SOLIS:  Probably about a month until we met and our plans were to meet at her high school.

COSBY:  And who‘s idea was it to meet?

SOLIS:  It was mutual.

COSBY:  It was mutual.  OK.  And so, you meet her.  Did you know—at any point, how old did she say she was online to you? 

ADAM REPOSA, ATTORNEY FOR PETER SOLIS:  If you pardon me, Rita, I really don‘t think at this point—I don‘t want to answer that question until I get all the facts from MySpace, because I don‘t want any of this to get confused and for anybody to seem like they‘re misrepresenting the truth.  I think it‘s clear that she represented she was older, but I just don‘t want to get caught up in either side lacking credibility. 

COSBY:  And do we know how old?  We were reading in a couple of reports that she was saying she was about a year older?  Is that correct?  

REPOSA:  I believe that‘s true.  But I don‘t, again, I don‘t want for him to misrepresent something that‘s contained within those emails when those emails will be available, and then we‘ll all know what the facts are. 

COSBY:  And we would love to see them when you get them available. 

REPOSA:  Of course.  We‘ll get them right to you. 

COSBY:  Peter, you guys meet.  Tell us about the date.  You pick her up at the high school, you said.  And then what happens? 

SOLIS:  I picked her up at the high school, and we went straight from there to Wonder Burger (ph).  And she just starts talking about school some more.  We both ordered a meal.  And then we were off to the movies after that to see “Mission: Impossible III.” 

COSBY:  And then you had sex with her, what, in the parking lot? 

SOLIS:  Yes, it was an apartment complex. 

COSBY:  And did you know what you were doing was wrong at the time? 

Did you have any idea? 

REPOSA:  Well, pardon me, Rita.  Aside from the question of whether he knew it was illegal, you know, we talked about was it wrong?  The fact is, in Canada, the age of consent is 14.  And I‘ve talked to a lot of people, obviously, since I‘ve gotten this case and asked a lot of peoples‘ opinions.  And the impression I‘m getting...

COSBY:  Well, however, in Texas—and as you know—and in fact, let‘s put it up.  In Texas, the law is 17 years old, age of consent.

REPOSA:  Which makes it...

COSBY:  She said that she was 15.  That‘s still under the age. 

REPOSA:  Right.  Which makes it illegal. 

COSBY:  Absolutely.

REPOSA:  Which is a different question of whether it‘s right or wrong. 

COSBY:  Did you know it was illegal?  Let‘s do this.  Peter, did you know it was illegal?

SOLIS:  No, I did not. 

COSBY:  You did not? 

SOLIS:  No, ma‘am.

COSBY:  So, you had what you thought was a romantic—and you believe it was consensual?

SOLIS:  Yes, ma‘am, it was. 

COSBY:  And you had no idea that because she is 15, it was illegal in the state of Texas? 

SOLIS:  No, ma‘am. 

COSBY:  And did you know that there was anything wrong with your date?   I mean, did you see anything?  Was she upset?  Did she say she was going to go back and tell her parents? 

SOLIS:  None whatsoever. 

COSBY:  And did you speak after the date? 

SOLIS:  Yes, we kept in close contact through text messages and phone calls. 

COSBY:  And then when did you know there was a problem? 

SOLIS:  A week later.  I had a call from the detective.  And he said, I had a message from a detectives saying that he needed to talk to me about the case. 

COSBY:  And what was your reaction?  What was your reaction?

SOLIS:  I was just shocked.  I mean, I figured nothing was wrong.  I had not done nothing wrong at that point, that‘s what I thought. 

COSBY:  Both of you, if you could stick with us, because I want to bring in two of our experts just to talk about this.  I would love to come back with you guys in a second.  The big question, of course, a lot of people are asked, should Myspace.com be held accountable?  Who should for this incident?  Let‘s bring in criminal defense attorney Kimberly Lerner and also sex crimes prosecutor Stacey Honowitz. 

First of all, your reaction, Kimberly, to what you have been hearing? 

KIMBERLY LERNER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  It‘s interesting, Rita, because statutory rape is a strict liability crime.  It doesn‘t matter what his reasonable belief was.  Even if she said she was 17, even if he reasonably believed it, his subjective belief is irrelevant. 

In terms of defending the case, the best they can hope for is, one, mitigation in terms of sentence, and if this case went to trial, jury nullification.  They can hope that the jury will disregard the law if they felt that this law was absolutely so over the top and that this was so unfair to this defendant. 

COSBY:  Stacey, what‘s your reaction? 

STACEY HONOWITZ, SEX CRIMES PROSECUTOR:  Well, I have to agree.  I mean, ignorance to her age is not a defense.  At least in Florida it‘s not.  I don‘t know what it is in Texas.

But, Rita, this is a problem with these chat rooms such as Myspace and the other Internet chat lines.  This is what happens.  Kids go on, they claim they are older than they are.  Defendants go on, they claim sometimes they are younger than they are.  And this is the result. 

All these things, when they have meetings and they meet up and they want to have sex, it‘s not even just sexual batteries that take place.  It‘s murders, it‘s robberies, it‘s anything.  And that‘s why regulations, that‘s why now all of these chat rooms have to start putting in new regulations so problems like this don‘t exist. 

COSBY:  You know, but Kimberly, what do you say in the case of this guy, where he‘s 19 and again, it‘s unclear , but if she was 15, obviously that‘s a young person you are picking up from high school.  The bell should go off.  On the other hand, what if he did not realize the age of this girl and thought it was just another young woman he was meeting for a date? 

LERNER:  Well, the fact that he met her at the high school is not really relevant, because seniors in high schools could be 17, 18 years old. 

COSBY:  Yes, but it should also, well, wait a minute, how old are you?  Let me just check a second.  It‘s not like you‘re picking her up at a restaurant nearby, right, Kim?

LERNER:  Yes, but again, she obviously looks like a teenager.  She could have been 16, 17, 18 years old.  I don‘t think the fact that he picked her up at a high school—maybe if he picked her up at a middle school, the bells would go off...

COSBY:  Yes, the bells better go off then, come on.

LERNER:  But I don‘t think the fact that he picked her up at a high school is so damaging.

COSBY:  Let me play you the Myspace comment, because this is what an attorney who is supporting Myspace had to say.  Because the big question is, they‘re going after Myspace, the family, tooth and nail.  Let‘s play—this is what the attorney had to say. 


KURT OPSAHL, ATTORNEY:  Just as you wouldn‘t hold a bookstore liable for what‘s published in a book that it sells, or a cafe liable for what‘s posted on its bulletin board.  This heinous crime was perpetrated by somebody who was using Myspace, but it‘s not Myspace‘s responsibility. 


COSBY:  You know, Kim, should Myspace be held accountable?

LERNER:  Absolutely not, Rita.  Myspace is just a medium.  And when somebody posts personal information, they do so at their own risk.  If you were to hold Myspace responsible, then every time someone places a personal ad in a newspaper, the newspaper would be responsible if the person lied in the ad or if something... 

COSBY:  That‘s a fair point.  Let me bring in Stacey.  Stacey, should Myspace be held responsible? 

HONOWITZ:  Well, I think in this case, you are going to have a problem, because it is acting, but the problem with all of these things are that there‘s no regulations. 

COSBY:  Well, now Myspace has stepped up and have these blockers, if you‘re 16 or younger.  But it wouldn‘t have helped in this case.  

HONOWITZ:  That‘s never going to work.  That‘s never—that‘s very difficult.  I mean, to try to figure out whether or not someone is lying is the same way you want to try to figure out whether or not a pedophile or a known pedophile is going there.  You are not going to be able to check their criminal record. 

So I go to schools, I lecture all the time, I talk about this, how kids go on and they want to be older, they want to meet these people, and it‘s a safe haven for these people that don‘t do it in public.  Cyber sex and all this (inaudible). 

COSBY:  Let me read a little bit of Myspace‘s comment. “Ultimately, Internet safety is a shared responsibility.  We encourage everyone on the Internet to engage in smart Web practices and have open family dialogue how to apply offline lessons in the online world.” 

Let me go back to Peter.  Peter, what advice do you have for parents tonight? 

SOLIS:  Just be aware of your children.  I mean, keep a close eye on them, so they‘d be safe and this won‘t—hopefully, it won‘t happen to anybody else. 

COSBY:  What do you think happened in this case, Peter?  You said that everything was fine for a few days, then she went back, and then you find out that now, you know, you are facing these charges.  Do you think she told her parents?

REPOSA:  You know, Rita, he is obviously in no position to conjecture as to what happened between the victim in this case and her family.  That would be unfair. 

COSBY:  What I think is important, though, Adam, is it sounds like everything was fine, right?  It does not sound like she left saying that she was raped or anything to that degree is what you are saying? 

REPOSA:  Absolutely.  That‘s our position.  I think that will bear out.  I think if you‘ve read the probable cause affidavit and some of the other reports in this case, it seems pretty clear this was a consensual interaction.  I think the questions may have gotten raised when she got home at a late hour. 

COSBY;  You bet.  I‘m sure her parents went crazy when they found out a 14-year-old and 19-year-old—keep us posted, too, and let us know about those emails, guys.  Thank you very much. 

And thank you, everybody.  And there‘s a lot more coming up here on MSNBC tonight.  Let‘s check in with Tucker Carlson now with a preview.  Tucker, what do you have? 

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, THE SITUATION:  Well, Rita, we‘ll have more on the death of Patsy Ramsey.  We‘re bringing you the top five unsolved murders of all time. 

Speaking of death, two deaths to come in the world of Harry Potter. 

Author J.K. Rowling says she‘s going to murder some of her own characters. 

We‘ll give you the latest on that. 

COSBY:  And Tucker, where are you?  You have a beautiful background behind you?

CARLSON:  Well, I am continuing our pre-election tour of the northeastern United States.  I am in Bethel, Maine tonight. 

COSBY:  Well, it‘s a beautiful backdrop.

CARLSON:  Getting a sense of what‘s the rest of the world talking about.  It‘s terrific. 

COSBY:  We‘re jealous.  It looks like it‘s beautiful there.  Thanks so much, Tucker. 

And be sure to tune, everybody, into “THE SITUATION” just a few minutes from now. 

Still ahead, your favorite “American Idol” stars are answering your questions.  We took your emails to them and the “American Idols” now respond.  That‘s coming up. 

And next, how did cops convince a man suspected of a sniper attack on a judge to turn himself in?  And how did that go down?  That‘s next. 



SCOTT FREEMAN, DARREN MACK‘S ATTORNEY:  We believe that the district attorney‘s office has a conflict of interest, that that conflict existed before the filing of the complaint.  We would like the additional time to file the formal objections as necessary.


COSBY:  Suspected sniper Darren Mack made his very first court appearance today with his attorney by his side.  Mack was on the run for nearly two weeks until he finally surrendered to authorities in Mexico at the end of last week.  Mack‘s been charged with murder in the stabbing of his wife and attempted murder for the shooting of Judge Chuck Weller, the judge who presided over his divorce. 

With me now is Judge Weller‘s spokesman Jim Denton and also the undersheriff with the Washoe County, Nevada sheriff‘s office, Mike Haley.  Mike, let me start with you.  First of all, describe sort of Darren Mack‘s conditions.  What kind of a cell is he in, and is getting any sort of special protection?

MIKE HALEY, UNDERSHERIFF, WASHOE COUNTY SHERIFF‘S OFFICE:   Well, he‘s not getting any special protection.  His cell is about a 10-by-15 cell.  He‘s in administrative segregation, which means that he‘s alone in the cell.  But he‘s being treated like any other inmate that would be that‘s in the position that he‘s in.

COSBY:  I understand he‘s under some sort of special watch status. 

What is that?

HALEY:  Well special watch status is when you first arrive in our facility, we do some mental health and some physical assessments through our medical contract.  And we want to make sure that we know this person, that we know what condition that they are physically and mentally in and that we‘re prepared to manage them in a way that doesn‘t exacerbate their stay with us.

COSBY:  How is his mental health, needless to say?

HALEY:  He is cooperating.  He is being cooperative with the rules and regulations that we have in our facility.  And he‘s responding to the needs of our organization.

COSBY:  You know, Jim, you worked with the judge.  What was his reaction to Darren Mack finally surrendering?

JIM DENTON, JUDGE WELLER‘S SPOKESMAN:  Well, I think, Rita that the judge and his family as well as numerous people in the community, including the Mack family, were all very relieved that Mr. Mack gave himself up peacefully and that there was no further blood shed in this very, very tragic episode for all of these families.

COSBY:  You bet, how did judge find out and is he still in isolation, Jim?

DENTON:  No, the judge is no longer in isolation.  In fact, he will be holding a news conference here in Reno tomorrow, Rita.

COSBY:  Oh, he will?  What time is that going to be?

DENTON:  Eleven o‘clock.

COSBY:  And what is he going to say?

DENTON:  He‘s going to talk about his experiences over the last 10-12 days since the shooting.  I can tell you one of the things that he will definitely comment on is the outstanding job that the sheriff‘s department here of Washoe County, that undersheriff Haley and Sheriff Balaam‘s department did in this entire episode in not only protecting the judge, but the excellent job all of law enforcement.  The Reno police county, the Washoe County sheriff‘s department, and the Sparks police department, along with the federal authorities.  The outstanding job they did from beginning to end in this very tragic episode.

COSBY:  How is the judge doing physically?  I mean, obviously well enough to conduct a news conference tomorrow, Jim.  But how is he doing physically, mentally through this whole ordeal?

DENTON:  He‘s doing pretty well.  He‘s doing pretty well.  Obviously, this is kind of a tragic event, that it takes time to adjust to.  But Chuck Weller is the kind of judge and the kind of person that.  Mike can tell you more than I can and in terms of the protection they had him under, but knowing Judge Weller as many years as I have, he‘s not one to sit around playing tiddlywinks and I know it.  He‘s looking forward to getting back to work here in the very near future.

COSBY:  You know Mike, real quick, what kind of security.  Now we can get some of the details out—did you have around the judge?

HALEY:  Well you know, Rita, immediately after this incident occurred, all of the local jurisdictions got together and we divvied up responsibilities in order to manage this case well.  The sheriff‘s office was directly responsible for managing the security around the Weller family and Judge Weller specifically.  We sequestered them in a safe house and watched over them 24 hours a day until the day that Darren Mack turned himself in.

COSBY:  You know real quick, Mike, how are the other inmates reacting to Darren Mack there in the jail?  Is there a buzz about him being there?

HALEY:  Well there is a buzz about him being there and it‘s the same buzz that‘s occurring in the community and the nation at large.  This is a serious case and one that drew a lot of attention.  And the inmates get the newspaper and they listen to the news also.

COSBY:  Well, both of you, thank you.  I‘m glad this ended peacefully at least in this regard.  Thank you very much. 

And still ahead, find out what happens when we take your e-mails to your favorite “American Idol” contestant.  You ask, they answer.  We‘ll show you how they responded.  And wait until you hear what “Idol” heart throb Ace Young has to say about his love life.  Find out why they call him ace of hearts.  He‘s coming up.


COSBY:  Well, I think that I need to keep my night job, not my singing job.  The American Idol finalists are now just about a week away from kicking off their summer tour.  As you know we just got back from our visit with them, where we asked them your questions which you emailed us.  In fact, we received so many emails that we could not fit them all into our special last week.  So here is more of your favorite Idols answering more of your questions. 


COSBY:  We had tons of viewers.  One of them wrote, the prospect that

you talked about on the show with me, when you were on with Ace.  You

talked about the prospect of cruising L.A., looking honeys.  The Yaminions

would like to know exactly how the ‘honeys‘ can submit their applications

to be ‘cruised‘

ELLIOT YAMIN, “AMERICAN IDOL” FINALIST:  Well, the honeys will have to get in line.  It‘s pretty long, and it‘s wrapped around the corner.  And I am only kidding.  No time to really cruise right now.  We are focused on our career, and this tour, and that‘s stuff we will work on later on in life, but right now we have our ducks in a row, and we have our priorities.  So we‘re just going to be focused on the career stuff right now. 

COSBY:  One of our viewers asked, which places are you all looking forward to having the chance to travel to on your tour?  Is there one spot?

PARIS BENNETT, “AMERICAN IDOL” FINALIST:  I am looking forward to going to, I am looking forward to going back home to Georgia.  I am readying to back to Georgia.  I have not had a chance to go home since I got eliminated of the show.  So I‘m excited to go to Georgia and just do it the way they know how I know how to do it.

COSBY:  One wrote in a question to you.  It says Lisa, do you miss your senior year? 

LISA TUCKER, “AMERICAN IDOL” FINALIST:  Of course I missed it.  I graduated on Monday.  I had my graduation. 

COSBY:  Congratulations.

TUCKER:  And of course I missed out on some senior events and stuff like that, but I walked with my class and everything like that, so I couldn‘t have, you know, asked for a better senior year.  You know, most people would dream of doing what I did, so I can‘t complain at all. 

COSBY:  What is the biggest detriment to winning the title?  Is it the constant pace, the lack of privacy, not being able to be with family?


COSBY:  You have a visitor here. 

BUCKY COVINGTON, “AMERICAN IDOL” FINALIST:  I‘m not allowed back.  And just for the note, I call it Salmon too.

PICKLER:  Thank you Bucky.

COSBY:  You didn‘t call it Salmon on the show.

COVINGTON:  Well no.  I also have never tried calimari.  I had no idea what calimari was.  I knew what squid was.  Why don‘t we call it squid? . 

PICKLER:  I don‘t know.

COVINGTON:  Just trying to make things hard.

COSBY:  Did you try and give her advice? 

COVINGTON:  I don‘t know.  I was glad she on first.  Well, I didn‘t

think that she screwed up on it

PICKLER:  He learned from my mistakes.

COSBY:  Bucky Covington, Kellie Pickler, how did it feel, were you proud to represent the south out there? 

COVINGTON:  Yes, the south is great.  I wanted to come out to L.A. for a long time.  L.A. is great too, but, you know there‘s something about the south,you know, it‘s home. 


COSBY:  And thanks to those idols.  By the way, Chris Daughtry and Katharine McPhee, they were not available that day.  We do hope to catch up to both of them soon. 

And so still ahead, a lot more American idol, find out why they call contestant Ace Young the Ace of Hearts, what he reveals to us about his love life.  And behind the scenes of American Idol, that‘s next.


COSBY:  Well, he may not have been crowned the next American Idol, but Ace Young did win the hearts of many Idol viewers.  He was even named one of “People Magazine‘s” hottest bachelors. 


ACE YOUNG, “AMERICAN IDOL” FINALIST:  It‘s nice that I am single.  I am blown away.  I was in Florida, and I went to New York to do a morning show, and they did this whole dating game on the show for “People Magazine,” for the hottest bachelor, and I won that, which was great, and it‘s crazy.  It‘s been really crazy. 

COSBY:  What are you looking for in a woman?  You can tell America right now what you are looking for? 

YOUNG:  I think the most important thing is to be understanding of my time, because I don‘t have much.  And when I do have time, I will enjoy it to the fullest. 

COSBY:  How much has “American Idol” changed your life?  You have been singing for a long time, but Ace Young has now became a household name in the last two weeks, literally the last few months.  

YOUNG:  Yes, it‘s been six months.  Six months ago I was playing the piano and performing around Los Angeles.  And I had already performed all over Colorado, but I could not get to my potential fan base.  Now people know what I like, and they know what I like to eat and where I like to go.  They know the sports I like and they are interested in my family and my interests and music. 

COSBY:  We have a lot of viewers who are writing in, because we opened this up to viewers, and one of our viewers wrote, how do you feel about close friends or your family girlfriends putting out quite intimate details, you know, private text messages, hints about your sex life?  How does that feel? 

YOUNG:  I think it‘s OK.  I have a big family so I never had any secrets.  Everything that I have done has been documented in Boulder County and Denver and all throughout the Colorado area. 

COSBY:  How tough is it though to be in the spotlight.  Everything in your past and everything you do from here on out will be under a microscope? 

YOUNG:  Yes, we have been chosen. 


COSBY:  Coming up tomorrow, millions remember him as the geeky Screech on “Saved By the Bell.”  Now he‘s hoping all those fans will help save him.  The actor is asking the public to donate money so he doesn‘t lose his home under foreclosure order.  We‘re going to ask him why he thinks American will come to his rescue.  That‘s all tomorrow night right here on LIVE AND DIRECT.  And that‘s LIVE AND DIRECT tonight, everybody, thank you for joining us.  I‘m Rita Cosby.  “THE SITUATION” with Tucker starts now.



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