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A case of a fatal beauty?

A former Savannah, Ga.,  beauty queen who was acquitted of murder is counter-suing the victim's family.  MSNBC-TV's Rita Cosby talks to the parents of the killed boyfriend.
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Sharron Nicole Redmond only held her title of Miss Savannah for four months before being charged with killing her boyfriend. 

In March, though, a jury acquitted Redmond of killing Kevin Shorter, claiming self-defense.  Shorter’s family is now suing Redmond for wrongful death.  Redmond has fired back with a lawsuit of her own. 

'Live and Direct' host Rita Cosby recently sat down with Redmond, who goes by the name Nikki, and her attorney, Michael Schiavone to find out more about the suit.  She also spoke with Phyllis and Daniel Shorter,  Kevin Shorter’s mother and father and their attorney, Jeffrey Laskey. 

To read an excerpt of their conversation, continue to the text below. To watch the video, click on the "Launch" button to the right.

RITA COSBY, HOST, “LIVE AND DIRECT”:  Let me start with you, Nikki.  Why the lawsuit?  You were acquitted.  Why not just leave it?

SHARRON NICOLE REDMOND, ACQUITTED OF KILLING BOYFRIEND:  The thing about it is, I never intended from the onset of this case to villainize or attack the character of Kevin Shorter.  However, it’s also not my responsibility to defend the character, either. 

And what’s right and true is what’s right and true.  And it needs to be told.  And it needs to be what stands and what’s put forth.  And so, if I’m going to be attacked on a legal front, then I’m also going to have to fight back in the same manner. 

COSBY:  Now, why did you stick around with him?  Because I’ve heard some reports that he was abusive, that he wasn’t appropriate to you.  Why did you stay with him? 

REDMOND:  Well, Rita, on many levels, love is blind.  But also, when there’s an inherent fear created in you on the part of that person that greater harm or even imminent faithful harm will come to you from that person, you tend to deal with what’s going on in your relationship and feel like it may be better for your health and for your wellbeing to stay. 

COSBY:  This is one of the comments in the lawsuit.  I want to show a quote from the lawsuit itself.  It says, “The defendant,” meaning you, “stated to Kevin Shorter, ‘I’ve got something for you.’  The defendant reached inside of her car and removed a .40-caliber pistol from the front seat and pointed it directly at Kevin Shorter.”

Why did you have a gun in the first place?  And why were you pointing it at him? 

REDMOND:  I did not point the gun at Kevin Shorter. 

COSBY:  Were you just happening to be wheeling it around for the fun of it? 

REDMOND:  I wasn’t wheeling it around.  I had the gun in my car.  I was being stopped by a man who was formally convicted of killing his mother.  And it was at Kevin’s suggestion and force that I purchased the gun. 

I’m a law-abiding citizen.  I have a constitutional right to bear arms in this country.  So in that form, I was breaking no law. 

At the point that the gun became involved in a situation with Kevin was where there was an imminent threat of danger to my life coming from Kevin in the form of him going to acquire his weapon. 

COSBY:  Let me bring your attorney in, Michael Schiavone.  Do you believe your client has a case? 

MICHAEL SCHIAVONE, ATTORNEY:  There’s no question she has a case.  You know, this is not a situation where Nikki filed suit against Kevin Shorter.  Unfortunately, Kevin’s parents decided to file this civil suit which, frankly, a civil suit is all about money. 

This case was litigated in a court of law.  Everybody had an opportunity to present their evidence.  A jury of 12 people in this community found that my client acted in self-defense. 

Clearly, she was not the aggressor.  If anybody would be entitled to damages, it would be Nikki Redmond.  But we had to counterclaim because the Shorter family decided to file suit in this particular case and bring Nikki back into court. 

COSBY:  We’re now going to go to the other side.  Daniel, what kind of a son did you have? 

DANIEL SHORTER, FATHER OF KEVIN SHORTER:  My son was a wonderful person.  He never had any violence.  He was brought up in a religious home.  He was taught to treat everybody right and never to harm anybody. 

Everyone loved him.  He was just like a little teddy bear.  People just loved him all over the place. 

COSBY:  Now, Phyllis, you know, we just heard some of the allegation that, you know, he was abusing Nikki and other things.  Is it possible your son had whole other side that maybe you just never saw, Phyllis? 

PHYLLIS SHORTER, KEVIN SHORTER’S MOTHER:  No, it is not possible for Kevin to have another side that would be possible for him to be abusive, because he was not brought up in an abusive home.  He was brought up in a home with unconditional love.  He’s never seen his dad abuse me or I abuse his father. 

And our son was taught about peace.  He was taught scripture.  He was raised up in a religious home with plenty of love.  We would surround him with love and affection, and we cherish our children because they’re our greatest assets.

No, I will not ever believe Kevin was ever abusive. 

COSBY:  Now, Mr. Shorter, why go after now this countersuit?  Because the jury has spoken.  The jury acquitted Nikki. 

D. SHORTER:  I want to just speak for my son to clear his name.  He’s been called all type of drug dealers and all the stuff like that.  You know, we just want to clear his name and show what type of person he was. 

He was the type of person where he loved the Lord.  He went to church.  He stayed in church all the time.  And he was just a lovely person.  And he just loved people.  He just loved to be around people. 

And I just can’t express the love that he had for people that he had from his mother and his father. 

COSBY:  Mr. Laskey, when do you think this will go to trial?  And what is the lawsuit, in your sense, trying to prove? 

JEFFREY LASKEY, SHORTER FAMILY ATTORNEY:  We’re going to go to trial hopefully in the spring of next year.  And the Shorters really do want to clear Kevin’s name, Rita.  And they also want to make sure that Nikki Redmond never profits one penny from killing Kevin Shorter. 

All we heard about were book deals and movie deals after the acquittal.  And the Shorters want to make sure that no one ever profits from killing another human being. 

Watch 'Rita Cosby Live & Direct' each night at 9 p.m. ET on MSNBC.