tv Lockup Charleston Extended Stay MSNBC May 7, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. an inmate finds himself at the center of more than one battle. >> again, i didn't start it, but i finished it, as i always do. >> and he traces his problems back to the real-life nightmare that haunts his family. >> the story you see like in the michael myers movie. >> some lady was like, honey, is that your blood? is that your blood? i'm looking at my hands like, no, it's hers. it's hers. >> a young new arrival faces a
charge of reckless homicide. >> i'm putting my life in the hands of a public pretender. >> another inmate fears that he might not have a good legal defense which could send him away for decades. and -- >> i was charged with third degree simple assault. i was brought over here. and booked into the facility. >> the day the sheriff was booked into his own jail. ♪ southern charm and a rich sense of history make downtown charleston, south carolina, a top tourist draw. ten miles away, however, is a
very different setting. the sheriff al cannon detention center serves as charleston's county jail. most of the 1,300 men and women incarcerated here are only charged with crimes and are awaiting trial and resolution of their cases. that includes david ratliff jr. he's currently in the jail's disciplinary segregation wing for his role the night before. >> i had a little altercation -- actually a big altercation with a few amigos yesterday. apparently i used to date one of his girlfriends. it's a small world. this is charleston. you know, everybody knows everybody around here. i didn't start it. i finished it. you got to. you got to fight if you're in
here and someone calls you out, you know. come on. >> staff reviews surveillance footage which shows ratliff did not throw the first punch. >> this is ratliff hanging around the pillar a couple of times. officer breaks it up. >> seconds later, another fight breaks out. a different camera angle shows ratliff joining the fight, which quickly escalates. >> this is where all six get involved. >> the punishment will be the same for all the combatants, extended stays in disciplinary segregation where they will be locked in one-person cells 23 hours a day and lose most of their privileges and possessions. >> we going to talk. we going to talk. all right. we give you 30 days. listen. >> come on, man. >> it seemed like the officer pulled you away, and then you ran back. if you hadn't ran back, you probably wouldn't have got 30 days. okay?
>> yeah. >> all right. >> damn! >> this is ratliff's third stay in segregation during the three months he has been in jail on two unrelated charges. the first is for fleeing the scene of a single car accident that left his passenger with injuries, including brain damage. while on the run authorities also charged him with criminal sexual conduct for an alleged relationship he had with an underage girl. ratliff has pled not guilty to both and is awaiting trial. >> got into some trouble, hung out with the wrong people. got into drugs. >> ratliff has had numerous prior stays at the jail and convictions including assault, trespassing, and drug possession. but the name david ratliff is known in the jail and in the city of charleston for other reasons. it's a name he shares with his father. >> that is my father.
this was taken probably about a year before everything happened. >> three years earlier, david ratliff sr. made headlines after a terrifying spree of violence ended in the devastation of his family. >> it was just all a nightmare. story you see in like a michael myers movie. he was having a mental breakdown and i just -- i heard it in his voice. and the things he was saying. he felt that everyone was against him. and he shot and killed my grandma. my grandpa said that he also tried to pull the trigger on him as well, but the gun jammed. well, it doesn't stop there. he actually went on the run for a few days and no one knew where he was. people thought he fled to florida. we were in protective custody. we got escorted to my mom's house. we had cops outside. the police escorted us back there and said it was safe to go in.
they overlooked him in the attic. i was downstairs, along with the rest of my family that was there for my grandma's funeral. he then waited for his moment. he shot my mom in the neck through the attic vent. my mom was rushed to the hospital. he missed by just this much. they couldn't operate, take the bullet out because it was so close to her spine. till this day the bullet is still in her neck, three years later. and after he did that, he turned the gun on himself. >> david ratliff sr. began his spree of violence shortly after his release from the same jail in which his son is now incarcerated. he had served 119 days for threatening and abusing his wife. family members say he had never been violent until about a year earlier when depression, alcohol, and drugs sent him over the edge. >> he was a great father growing up.
i loved him. he was my hero. i don't know any other dad that was better than he was. i really don't. he would get home from work every day and throw the ball with me. teach me right from wrong. spank me when i was bad. i love him for it. despite what he did. i do. coming up -- >> just came and sucker punched me and i beat his ass again, that's what happened. >> more troubles for david ratliff. >> i don't like to call it a fight. because a fight is exchanging blows and somebody got punched. >> a single punch leads to devastating consequences. are allergies holding you back? break through your allergies. try new flonase sensimist instead of allergy pills. it's more complete allergy relief in a gentle mist
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like many jails throughout the nation, the sheriff al cannon detention center in charleston, south carolina, is named after a man officials believe has had a stellar record and significant accomplishments. though it's usually someone who's retired or deceased. al cannon, however, is not only alive and well, he's still the sheriff. and has been for more than a quarter of a century. >> how are you doing? all right. >> i actually don't spend a whole lot of time over here. part of my management philosophy is you have to trust your people. i think they appreciate the fact that i have enough confidence in them that i'm not breathing down their back. >> al cannon began his career as a charleston county patrol officer in 1971, and was elected sheriff in 1988. he fought for and helped design three expansions to the jail, the largest consisted of two new buildings that opened in 2010, which more than doubled inmate capacity to 1,900.
they were designed with better security systems and open bay housing units which provide inmates with less confinement and more freedom of movement. >> we insisted that people who worked in the detention facility have an opportunity to provide input into the design. that also helped the morale, which after having been so overcrowded for so many years, was pretty low. >> shortly before the new buildings were opened the county council voted to dedicate the entire facility to sheriff cannon, stating over his long years of service he molded the sheriff's office into a premiere law enforcement agency. >> i'm honored. would i rather have it on a school? yeah. but this is who i am and what i do. everything good with you? >> maximum security inmates are still housed at the older section of the jail where they are confined to cells for the majority of the day.
>> you're in a room 20 hours a day. so for the most part, if i'm not sleeping, or working out, i'm writing something, i'm reading and thinking. a whole lot of thinking. ♪ time has come to set us free the time has to set us free ♪ ♪ fulfilling destiny ♪ what good is a heart when you don't have the brain ♪ ♪ what good a lion when the lion tame ♪ ♪ listen the time has come and they've got to set us free ♪ >> adrian smalls is no stranger to the jail. this time with a fiancee and four children to take care of, he's focused on his case and staying out of trouble with other inmates. ♪ the king shall rise and fulfill a destiny ♪
>> i don't partake in gambling, card playing, any that have stuff. i'm gambling right now, though, with my life. that's the biggest gamble, the biggest bet i ever made. >> small's gamble is whether to go to trial or accept a plea deal on his latest charge. >> try not to do 10, 15, 20 years for punching somebody. >> small says he was also gambling 18 months earlier when he was arrested on this latest charge. he and his alleged victim were shooting pool at a bar. smalls said he suddenly feared for his safety, so he made a preemptive strike. >> i don't like to call it a fight. because a fight is exchanging blows, and somebody got punched. this just happened to have been a situation gone totally wrong. >> prosecutors say that small's punch fractured the man's skull leaving him in a coma with permanent brain damage. >> i'm truly remorseful for what happened. yeah, my life has changed because i'm away from my family. but i'm healthy. i mean, this guy is a coma, brain damaged.
so, i mean, i can't sit here and just cry about it because his life is forever changed. >> smalls has had numerous prior arrests and convictions on charges including assault, criminal domestic violence and possession with intent to distribute. now he is charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. though he has admitted to punching his victim, he has pled not guilty. >> i'm here, not trying to plead my innocence. i'm just looking for leniency. i don't know how long i could end up being there. a simple assault turned into worst case scenario. now i'm fighting for my life. >> while one instant forever changed his victim's life as well as his own, smalls is hardly alone. geraldo johnson has just been charged and booked into the jail. ten days earlier he was the driver in a terrible car crash that took the life of his passenger. >> death happens every day but i watched my girlfriend every year die in front of me.
i had blood all over my hands. some lady was like, honey, is that your blood, is that your blood? i'm looking at my hands like, no, it's hers. it's hers. >> johnson has been charged with reckless homicide. police say he was driving too fast for conditions and veered across the road and crashed into a row of trees. his 17-year-old girlfriend was ejected from the car. by the time help arrived it was too late. >> they started doing cpr on her. i was giving her the breath. spitting blood out of my mouth, giving her the breath. spitting blood out of my mouth. and i asked, is she still there? and nobody wanted to talk to me. so much planned. so much we wanted to do. in june or july, we were supposed to move out with each other. we had our budget written down. how much the apartment was going to cost. the cable, the electric, the water. after everything that happened, i went to the house.
we had a safe. i opened the safe and looked at everything and it was just like, this isn't going to happen anymore. >> johnson will soon enter a plea and go to a bond hearing to learn if he can return home as his case proceeds. >> am i going to be here for a month? am i going to be here for a year? just trying to keep hope. there's nothing i can do about it. coming up, geraldo johnson faces the judge. >> you're charged with reckless homicide. >> but has support from home. a victim of violent crime shares her story with inmates. >> he held a knife to my throat that night. through this is our car. mr. parker, my parents have allstate. they have this claim satisfaction guarantee. really? their claim experience is fast, fair, and hassle-free or they get their, like, money back. saraaah!!! come to prom with me!!
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so, the amount. >> an escort is going to get them. they're going to bring him in front of the judge and the judge is going to put a bond on him or he may get a p.r., which is basically a get out of jail free card. and then he'll go home. >> johnson was arrested a day earlier, due to a car crash that killed his girlfriend. >> yeah, i've cried but i haven't broke down yet. i'm kind of sort of hoping i do and hoping i don't. once i do, it's going to hit me like a mack truck. >> outside the courthouse, a crowd of friends and family gathers to support johnson, including his grandmother and his mother. randy donaldson. >> i'm a juvenile corrections officer. so i deal with young people all the time. but i definitely understand how important family support is and support of friends because sometimes that can make a world of difference. >> geraldo johnson? >> sir, you are geraldo johnson jr.? >> yes, ma'am.
>> you're charged with reckless homicide. there are some people here in court on your behalf. ladies, is there anything you would like to say? >> i'm his grandmother. >> yes, ma'am. >> this was a very unfortunate accident. two lives have been destroyed. he's a good child. he's an athlete. doesn't drink. he doesn't smoke. he has massive support, friends, family, church. just about everybody in this room is here for him, to support him. >> i can't ignore the seriousness of the charge. on the charge of reckless homicide the bond is $50,000. we are finished, sir. thank you. you may leave the room. thank you. >> for $50,000 bond, johnson would need to post $5,000 to be released while he awaits trial.
the remainder can be posted by a bail bondsman. >> me and my mother, my grandmother, the three of us, there's not much money to go around. so it's like now i'm just sitting here. and i'm going to be sitting here for a while. >> while johnson faces an uncertain future, another group of inmates, due to be released soon, are in a program designed to help them not return. amy bartch is the founder of turning leaf. >> why do you think the rate at which violent crime survivors experience ptsd is much higher? >> turning leaf is based on an idea known as restorative justice. >> restorative justice is a concept that says punishment alone doesn't get most to change their behavior. there's got to be a different way in which we as a society can help people and get people to change their behavior without using incarceration as our only tool. >> what are the other emotional and mental impact on a violent crime victim?
good. all right. we got depression. what else? >> one component of the weeks-long program is inviting victims of violent crime to share their stories. >> i think what we're going to do now is kind of transition. we're going give floor to missy. >> while these inmates are not convicted of violent crimes, the goal is to make sure they never escalate, as was the case with missy hayes' husband. >> when i say he was an alcoholic addict, he was sober probably 95% of our relationship. and that 5% of the time that he chose to be an addict, he really went all out. >> missy says when her husband's construction business slowed down, his drug and alcohol abuse got so bad that she wanted to leave him. >> when i told him we were going to have to split, he left and he went out for a couple of hours. and he came home, completely wasted, worse than i've ever seen him in my life. that night, he was the devil. i could see evil in his eyes.
i mean, i was -- that night i was scared. i had never feared him ever before. but that night, i was worried. he held a knife to my throat that night. >> missy's husband was eventually convicted of assault and served 3 1/2 months in this very jail. >> while he was incarcerated his mother died. they refused to let him go to her service. and i think that was the beginning of his real hate for life and for me. >> when he was released from jail, missy's husband, david ratliff sr. murdered missy's mother. three days later, while on the run from authorities, he hid in the attic of his family's home and shot missy through a vent. >> i was setting at the kitchen table and my house lit up like a flash of lightning. i've never heard a gunshot before. i didn't even know what it was. well i heard my brother's screaming, he's in the house. he's shooting.
i still didn't know that this was a gun that i was hearing. i didn't know that i had been shot. and my father came, grabbed me. we heard another shot. that shot was david killing himself. >> the tragedy sent missy's son, david ratliff jr. who, at the time was 21, on a downward spiral. >> 21-year-old man. how did you deal with that? >> not the right way. i started -- my drug use took a whole other level. i started shooting heroin, shooting whatever i could. i mean, that was it. i was numbing myself to complete numbness. kept coming to jail. kept getting other chances. >> what is your relationship with your mom now? >> after everything happened, it was crappy.
i blamed her for a lot of it. i blamed her. i blamed myself. i blamed her parents. you know. i felt like everyone just came down on my dad too hard. and i still feel that way a little bit. >> i get a lot of the blame. and, of course, i understand it. and i take it. and i accept it. and it's okay. i'm a mom. that's what i do. i know that what his father did is not my fault. i love my son. he's my heart. and i'll never give up on him. although i have practiced tough love. i'm not a parent that looks the other way and pretends that he does no wrong. >> missy says that david has written her several angry letters. so for now she has decided to stop writing back or visiting. >> tough love, you think? >> sure. however long she's going to use that excuse. tough love. what, she can't talk to me?
she can't write me back? whatever. >> i love him and support him, no matter what he does. but i'm not going to enable him. he keeps making bad choices and that's why he keeps ending up here, because he has a drug problem, which i don't think he'll admit to that, even so. he thinks it's more recreational, that i'm his mother and i've been around it long enough. >> how are you making a different path than your dad? >> as of right now, i'm not. following in the same footsteps as him. but i don't ever see myself doing something crazy like he did. i just don't have it in me. but i'm sure he said the same thing. coming up -- >> you come in this jail and talk to 150 other guys who got the same lawyer. >> adrian smalls voices serious concerns about public defenders. and they agree with him.
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i'm dara brown with the hour's top stories. france now has a new president. 39-year-old centrist candidate emmanuel macron defeated far right candidate marine le pen with more than 2/3 of the vote. current vice president francois hollande calls his victory a confirmation of france's commitment to the european union. president obama taking the spotlight in boston as he accepted the profile in courage award at the jfk library for some of his key accomplishments in office, including health care reform. now back to "lockup." due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. >> in charleston, south carolina about 27,000 men and women were
year are booked into the county jail, better known as the sheriff al cannon detention center. >> being booked in that? medically screened. bond hearing set up and classification. >> the majority of those booked return to the streets within 24 hours. either on bond or a promise to return for later court hearing. but all are photographed, fingerprinted and processed into the system. it's usually a routine procedure except when arrestees are intoxicated, high or agitated. [ screaming ] >> one booking two years earlier was very unusual. it was for the man the jail is named after, sheriff al cannon. >> i'm a police officer first and foremost. i don't just sit behind a desk. one morning on the way in to
work, i was nearly rammed by an individual. my initial assessment was that this was a reckless kind of action that indicated to me that there was something going on with this driver. so i hit my blue lights and siren. and that began a pursuit that lasted for about 35 minutes. the last ten minutes or so was in the middle of the national forest. and he wrecked. >> the multi-car pursuit, which reached speeds of 120 miles per hour ended with the apprehension of the suspect. >> i go over to the back door where this kid is sitting and i said what the "f" is wrong with you? you could have killed i don't know how many people. he said nothing wrong with me, man. and when he did, i slapped him. >> cannon says he quickly realized he had crossed the line. >> i needed to make the public
aware of what i had done. and as a result of that, i was charged with third-degree simple assault. i was brought over here and booked into the facility. >> cannon qualified for pretrial intervention, a diversionary program for first-time offenders in south carolina. after completing the court ordered counseling program and 30 hours of community service, his charge was dismissed. >> i picked up trash along the road. i certainly have a greater appreciation for the trash and littering problem. it was an unfortunate incident that was not what we expect of the sheriff's office, certainly not what i expect from myself. i did accept responsibility for it and dealt with the system and the process the way it's supposed to be dealt. >> with multiple stays in the jail, adrian smalls is familiar with the intake process. he's awaiting trial after punching a man during a pool
game. the victim was left in a coma. he suffered brain damage. >> i always expect the best but prepare for the worst, you know. because i know that is my reality. i could end up in prison. >> smalls faces up to 20 years if found guilty. he admits to injuring the man and has pled not guilty in hopes of reaching a plea deal for a shorter sentence, but says the odds are stacked against him because he is represented by a public defender. >> i'm putting my life in the hands of a public pretender. my representation is, i feel, minimum. very minimum. i come in this jail and talk to 150 other guys who got the same lawyer. so, how much time does she even have to put in on my case or, for that matter, anybody else's? >> i talk to clients every day who are extremely frustrated, and i can't say that their concerns are not perfectly legitimate. they are. >> attorney ashley pennington oversees the public defender's office for charleston and one
other county in south carolina. >> the south carolina public defender system is symptomatic of an overall, grossly underfunded legal system. >> how are you? >> when you have 700 people in jail and 20 lawyers to deal with that 700, the odds are stacked against you. what's going on is that the lawyers are in court all the time. as a result, the ability to get over and actually have that face time is just very scant. >> this is something that you're going to have to do yourself. >> 150, 160 is about average for our office. many times, the smaller charges take just as much time as the larger charges. that's very difficult, trying to balance all of their needs. >> the personal contact with an attorney is less important than it was 20 years ago. >> sheriff cannon, an attorney himself, says public defenders have access to their clients through phones and video conferencing and their long
hours in court is actually a benefit. >> public defenders actually, in many respects, have an advantage over other paid attorneys because they are in more -- in court more. they're in a better position to weigh the relative cases that the prosecutor has. this is an argument that is rarely made. >> you got some people trapped in here because they're trapped in the system. they're really here because, you know, they actually committed a crime. they're here because they're in the system, trapped, and don't know a way out. >> adrian small says the problem with overworked public defenders leads to prolonged jail stays like his of more than 18 months now. and plea deals taken out of desperation. >> i see the same situation over and over again. i been here ten months. now they're telling you, you got a trial coming up, if you lose in this trial you're going to get 30 years in prison. so are you going to take this ten that we're offering you? because he has no legal defense and -- it's just sad to watch. some people don't have the means
to buy lawyers, bond out. we you don't got it -- you don't have it, you don't have it. >> geraldo johnson fears a long jail stay, if not a prison term, could be in his future, as well. he is charged with reckless homicide due to the death of his girlfriend who was in a car he lost control of and crashed into a stand of trees. with a bond of $50,000, he needs $5,000 to leave jail and await trial at home. >> they need the money, everything in my room, just sell it. just sell it. >> mr. johnson? you can have your phone call. >> johnson asked permission to speak to his mother on the phone for an update. >> thank you. >> hello. so what's the plan? so i'm getting out today? thank you, mom. thank you. i love you, too.
really good to hear. my mom basically my backbone. any time i need something, regardless of how she's feeling, she get it is done. i don't know how many times my mother has pulled out miracles. >> yes, ma'am? >> yes, sir, i'm coming to pick up my son, geraldo johnson jr. >> the bond is heavy. prior to even coming to court this morning, i prayed. i stayed in constant contact with a lot of friends and family. a lot of people have been praying for us. i knew that as long as he got a bond it was going to be okay. and that's exactly what it is. >> all right, man. be easy now. >> this is one of those things that i couldn't put a band-aid on it. i couldn't kiss it and make it go away. it's a process and it's definitely been hard for myself and my entire family.
subaru. kelley blue book's most trusted brand and, now, lowest 5-year cost to own. think about what you value most. subaru. david ratliff has just completed his 30 days of disciplinary segregation for fighting. the rec yard and general population is as barren as in segregation, at least now he can walk it without handcuffs and shackles. >> feels good. it sure does. still jail, though, you know. so, it still sucks, but it's better than being just in jail and jail in jail. >> ratliff will be allowed much more time out of his cell and have other privileges restored. >> ready to eat some food, some
canteen, shave. looking pretty rough. i just actually got a mirror that i could see myself in. i look bad. oh, man. >> hey, boo! >> ratliff is now in the same unit as adrian smalls, who has been writing spoken word pieces while awaiting trial. >> stand up, black man, stand up and rise to power. this is our year, our month, new day and the time is ours. we must all crawl before we walk and also think before we speak. because the blood of our black brothers mixed with the tears of our black mothers have cried our very own red sea. >> smalls hopes to reach a plea deal on his charge of assault and battery, the result of a punch that left another man brain damaged and in a coma. >> this is where i spend a lot of my time at right now. this is like my outlet. i call it my lab. i sit and write my mind. write what i think. before you strap on your combat boots and pick up your gun to shoot remember this lesson i'm trying to teach must go forward if my message is ever going to
get through. you could easily learn about guns, drugs, murder and sex if that was the only thing ever taught to you. but now that you're grown think about the consequences before, not after you shoot. this is one of the books that i've been reading. called breaking the course of willie lynch, the science of slave psychology. a lot of my writings come from after i read books like this. anybody can tell you anything. unless you dig into that subject for yourself, you always have a judgmental aspect on it. america has the nerve to spend billions of dollars on wars in afghanistan and iraq when, in fact, the real war is right here in america and blacks are under attack. so many dead bodies are being stacked in these new modern day plantations, prisons, are overpacked. medicaid and medicare is being cut while the price of a good education is being jacked. written for the people. my people. by yours truly, adrian smalls. >> response. >> suddenly, an emergency call is issued for officers to respond to a fight in smalls' unit. after two inmates exchanged
words, one threw his food tray at the other, triggering a brawl. following jail protocol, unit officers wait for the jail special operations crew or soc, to arrive. >> when a fight breaks out we call s.o.g. the unit officer, they're supposed to step back and clear the area. get everybody back to their cells. let the two combatants continue. only time we'll step in is if one of the combatants has a huge edge and the other is in danger. >> armed with less than lethal weapons, a s.o.g. officer arrives and orders the men to stop fighting. one inmate tries to comply. the other continues to fight. so the s.o.g. officer jolts him with an electrical shot from his taser. s.o.g. officers move one of the men out of the unit. having just been released from segregation, david ratliff is now on his way back. [ bleep ] >> what happened, man? >> i beat this dude's ass on the street because he was beating on this girl at the bar. he just came over and sucker
punched me and i beat his ass again. that's what [ bleep ] happened. i can't go nowhere, bro. god just [ bleep ] got out of this today. >> got out of here today? >> yeah, i just went into the unit an hour ago. [ bleep ] >> did you see any of it? >> no. i was in the room. i have a blind spot back there so i can't really so too good. but i know what happened, though. one dude screaming, i just come out of lockup. well, your ass going back. >> i beat him pretty bad on the street. i guess he saw me when i came in today. came in my room at dinner, sucker punched me. i pulled his ass in the room. the door was open. we kind of broke up and then i knew i was going to one anyway so i went back at him. again, i didn't start it. but i finished it, as i always do.
>> the other inmate involved in the fight is kevin russell. >> have a seat in that gray chair. >> both men are taken to the infirmary for examination. >> how are you feeling, man? are you all right? talk it over, man. you don't hit females! >> obviously you heard him say that about hitting the girl. any truth to that or is he just making up stuff? >> no. me and my old lady got in a little scuffle. i held her back from hitting me and that's what that's all about. >> after the investigation and another hearing, ratliff and russell both get 30 days in disciplinary segregation. >> 30 days. it will be 80 days i've done this whole entire trip. that's more than half my time i've been here. so -- >> do you see a pattern developing here, david? >> i got an anger problem, i guess. each fight i have been in, i have not started it.
>> walker, daniel, i'm back! >> as ratliff begins his next 30 days in segregation, jail officials allow us to leave him a digital camera to record his thoughts. >> what's up? i swear, they hand out 30 days like [ bleep ]. 30 days. i don't care. i don't care what anyone says or how hard or how tough -- man i'm [ bleep ] telling you it hurts. i'm telling you, man. these walls start to talk to you in your [ bleep ] mind, man. god put me in here for a reason, you know. shape me up. as long as i blame my mom for everything that happened. she drove him to craziness.
you know, i have no right to blame my mom or my grandparents or anyone for that matter for everything that happened. can't blame nobody but myself. and, trust me, i am. i'm very disappointed in the person i've become. i look in this mirror every day. and tell myself things are going to be different. and i'm not going to be the person, you know, my dad came to be. i know he had a helping hand in screwing my head up. he did. yeah. but still i look in this mirror and i see a man that's going to change. that has to change if i want to live. got to change.
david ratliff jr. and his mother missy hayes have had a troubled relationship since his latest arrest several months earlier. still missy is a frequent visitor to the jail. >> she volunteers here at the jail. tells her story and tries to lead inmates into the right direction. it's a crazy story. i know it can touch some people and help some people. >> i think he's proud of me for doing it. my concern was that i would have some of his cell mates in the program and i didn't want them to go back and harass him in any way, shape or form.
but this is what i do. stop getting locked up and it won't be an issue. >> still awaiting trial on unrelated charges of leaving the scene of an accident in which his passenger was badly injured and criminal sexual conduct for his alleged involvement with an underage girl, ratliff has had problems both in and out of jail. he says everything went wrong three years earlier after his father went on a spree of violence. he murdered missy's mother, shot and wounded missy, and then took his own life. >> this right here is my mom and dad in florida. >> what do you think when you look at that picture of your parents, happy together? >> only good things, you know. the good days, when everyone got along and that's a great picture of my son and my dad. i love that picture. that is where she was still here, helped me, and helped me through these times, and feel
like he wasn't finished teaching me things sometimes. i don't know. >> what would you say to your dad? if you could say anything to him now? >> the question everyone wants to know. why? and i love him. and why? why? why? why? >> ratliff says he has not heard from his mother in weeks. >> i wrote her a letter last night. i haven't heard back from her yet from the last letter or the letter before that. she's an [ bleep ]. whatever. pisses me off. i mean, that's my mom. >> it pisses you off or hurts you? >> both. it does both. i mean, she's been my mom my whole life. >> i'm not currently speaking to him. he thinks i hate him. >> ratliff's mother, missy hayes says she will not respond to his angry letters. >> personally i think it's manipulation at its finest. i know he's hurt. i know he's angry.
i know he feels lost and abandoned. and all of that is completely natural. that doesn't give him the right to be mentally or emotionally abusive to me. i think david has misplaced anger. he doesn't know how to handle what his dad did. he has never dealt with it. because he chose dope to cope. he put himself there. he's the only one that can pull him out of it. i cannot fix this. >> missy still lives in the home where her husband, david sr., fired the shots that forever changed her life. >> well, my mother was killed here. i was shot at the kitchen table. i'm not going to let that take away from my home. he took enough. i love my home. i love coming home to my home. i'm very proud of my home. it's my peace. this is my happy. this is my safety zone. believe it or not. >> you've lost your mother in this horrible way. he almost took your life. but tell me what's the hardest
right now and why? >> my son and watching him suffer. my mother, she's at peace and she's good. and i'm good with where she is. and big david, well he did what he did. and he's at peace. and little david is still walking and breathing and suffering and it's just hard to watch that. i pray for him every day. every day. every day. first thing i do when i wake up. last thing i do before i go to bed.
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. that's their money over here, how they pay their debts. if they don't pay, that's what happens. a fight breaks out. >> in progress is a fight. >> come on. >> a fight breaks out over snacks, but officers want to know if there was something else behind it. >> you're considerably bigger than this individual, and he's coming into your room and saying, "give me your" -- >> that don't mean nothing when you're in jail, miss -- excuse me -- >> sergeant wilson. >> that don't mean nothing when you're in jail