tv Lockup Grand Rapids Extended Stay MSNBC April 22, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
♪ how do i describe myself? i'm a mother [ bleep ]. >> an inmate tries to leave jail the hard way. >> she shoots him with the taser and he goes down. 50,000 volts. >> i went ahead and ordered a second drink. i don't remember anything after that. >> convicted of her fifth drunk driving charge, a female inmate could lose everything. >> i wanted to tell you that you are a good wife and a good mom.
>> and -- >> i can tell everybody that i had sex with i'm hiv positive. sometimes it doesn't happen. okay. i'm sorry. >> an outcast inmate makes a comment that leads to violence and panic. >> i am so uptight right now that i can't eat. i've been throwing up my food. grand rapids, michigan is consistently ranked one of the nation's best places to live. it might not seem that way, however, behind these circular walls just outside downtown. this is the kent county jail. while some are convicted, most of the 1,000 men and women here
are only charged with crimes and awaiting trial for the resolution of their cases. >> do the crime you've got to pay the time. you know? >> it's not the ideal setting in which to make friends. some do. jeremy feels like an outcast. >> jeremy is the model inmate. he's very quiet. never gets into trouble. he's generally in his cell and if he does come out of his cell he comes and he sits quietly. >> i don't consider anybody in here friends. i'd rather be in here than out there with some of those people sometimes because there's a lot of negative energy out there. there's not very many people to talk to me in here because i'm gay. >> merithew says he encounters too many attitudes. like that of ruben flores. >> if you want to be homosexual, that's good. that's your problem. it's your business. i'm going to tell you that god don't like homosexuals, that that's something against nature.
if you want to do it, that's on you. but it's not right. >> if the inmates in his unit are not always welcoming of homosexuals, merithew has another strike against him. he is hiv positive. not only that, his condition is what led to his high-profile arrest. >> do most people here know who you're here for? >> yes. because it was on the news and of course -- but actually, they don't really understand what i'm actually in here for because they think i'm in here for transmitting hiv and that's not what i'm in here for. i'm in here for non-disclosure. >> merithew, who had acquired hiv after a sexual encounter 12 years earlier, placed an ad in a guy day dating website for unprotected sex. he soon acquired a willing partner. >> basically, he approached me on my -- saw my profile and said, basically he came over around we had sex, and then he left. >> merithew's partner, a married man living a straight life, later told police merithew assured him he did not have hiv. following their encounter the
man grew concerned and contacted merithew again under a different screen name. this time merithew admitted to being hiv positive. >> then a couple days later the cops showed up at my door asking me questions about -- that's one thing i don't -- i mean, why would someone want to invite big brother and uncle sam into your sex life? >> the judge allowed his mother to bond him out under the condition he did not place more personal ads. six months later, he was back in jail. >> i had a full frontal nudity of myself as like my profile picture. and i went on a gay website to hook up. and they caught me. the judge upped my bond to like $300,000. >> though his victim later tested negative, merithew was convicted of sexual penetration wp an uninformed partner while being hiv positive and committing a crime with a computer. he is now awaiting sentencing. >> what do you think you did wrong? >> i don't think i did anything wrong. >> can you seriously say that? >> yes.
i don't think i'm guilty of anything that harmed anybody. that's for sure. this law isn't about really harming people. i mean, the dude's a married man. he's out having unprotected sex with complete strangers online. if he hasn't encountered something before, he's very lucky. >> merithew could face up to 15 years in prison. and this isn't his first offense. two years earlier he was convicted of the same crime with a different man but only had to pay a fine. >> that guy, i don't know what his deal was, but he was hard of hearing, and we were drinking the night when we met. so i made sure he was aware the next morning. >> ironically, merithew says he contracted the virus from a man who did not disclose his own hiv positive status. >> do you feel like the person that gave you hiv, that they should have told you? >> i take 100% accountability for me being infected. i knew about aids since, like, eighth grade. and so i knew i was having unprotected sex even though i was high at the time. that's no excuse. so i take full responsibility.
>> but merithew feels differently about his current case. >> i'm taking half the responsibility, but i'm not taking responsibility for anything that happens to his wife or anything that happens to his children because of the fact that he's out having unprotected sex. >> sounds a little bit like you're not taking responsibility. that's what it sounds like. >> okay. >> you know? >> i take responsibility. i should tell everybody that i have sex with that i'm hiv positive. sometimes it doesn't happen. okay. i'm sorry. >> i used to talk to him like as a friend. why? because i wanted to bring him the gospel. not because i want to mingle with him. because i don't condone his activities. >> ruben was the first one that kind of sought me out and basically because my case is kind of high-profile, it's on the news. so everybody knows my business. maybe i was a little bit attracted to him. but the thing is as i learned his personality and stuff i am just like oh, my god, this guy's just like kind of childish and he's really not that attractive. >> i talked to him out of the kindness of my heart.
when i saw that he was, like, liking me -- i mean, i'm like, dude, i mean, i talk to you but i'm not gay and i'm not -- especially being gay in jail is not a good thing to be called. >> flores himself is in jail for failure to register as a sex offender after he was found guilty of trying to have sex with a minor when he was 18. >> ruben's basically you'd better pray because you're going to go to hell. i told him, i have a great big gray building reserved for me in hell and you're going to have the basement. and he got pissed off at that. >> coming up, jeremy merithew sets off a health crisis and ruben florez finds himself in the middle of it. >> he was a menace to the world. that's why they convicted him and found him guilty. now he's still a menace to other people. >> then -- >> right now i'm ready to get out of here. >> another inmate makes a run for it.
inside grand rapids kent county jail is a small room usually manned by a couple of deputies and a cadet. it's central control, the nerve center of the jail. from here staff can survey and control movement through the entire facility. >> i always say that we're kind of like 911 dispatchers crossed with air traffic controllers. >> where you going? >> central control staff can open and close every door in the jail, and the choreograph the movements of hundreds of inmates in a manner that is organized and safe. >> guys, to the left. >> just to be sure, deputies also take some low-tech precautions as well. >> so usually when doing the perimeters we go around. we do these three times a day on day shift. just check the handles. make sure everything is locked up. i always check this back gate and that's secured back through there because there's doors that lead to our building there.
>> with layer upon layer of security, escaping from the kent county jail requires either a good deal of planning or a lot of luck. dustin paul has had neither, but that hasn't stopped him from trying. >> how far did you get? >> not very far. not even out the door most of the time. >> right now i'm ready to get out of here. >> oh. there's probably anywhere from seven to ten attempts where he attempted to, i guess, exit his cell or his room area. >> paul is awaiting trial on charges of receiving and concealing a stolen motor vehicle, to which he's pled not guilty. >> i wasn't happy about being here. because really i shouldn't be here. i didn't know that car was stolen. >> many of paul's escape attempts were captured on surveillance cameras.
>> the officer's currently doing what we call a block check. he's checking on the inmates. in order for him to do this black check he needs to go into his sub day room and go into the individuals' cells. mr. paul happens to be out in his day room time in the sub day room and seizes that opportunity and runs out of his sub day room through the larger day room. >> where were you trying to go when you were running? >> trying to get as far as i could get and trying to set a record. see how far i could get here. >> how far did you get? >> not very far. >> even though he'd gotten out into this general area, he still would have gone through at least four more doors and through several areas where other officers are working. >> and i tried to keep going for the next one. and then i couldn't find one that was open, and then they rushed me. i just kind of said, ah -- >> from that time of this episode, when he actually got out of the day room area, he attempted at least two or three
other times to exit his cell while the officers were there. he tried to, like, push through the officers. >> one of those attempts began with paul faking an illness. >> while the nurse attempts to take his blood pressure, he becomes combative and jumps up off the bunk and you see the officers trying to restrain him and get him down. most likely, giving him direction to stay on the ground as they exit the cell. >> with paul not being compliant, paul decides to take another run for it before one of the officers stops him cold. >> she shoots him with a taser and he goes down. 50,000 volts. >> it was a rush. it just locks you up pretty good is what it does. it just -- locks all your muscles up. can't really move. >> most of the time you have no control over their ability to move or use their muscles or about five seconds. >> due to his frequent escape attempts, paul spent most of his time in segregation, locked in
his cell 23 hours a day with little to do. >> turned into a five-month stay. it was supposed to be ten days. >> was it worth it? >> no. no. not at all. >> most inmates prefer doing their time in general population. they can spend more time out of their cells socializing or watching tv. but in housing unit d-3a some graphic and disturbing developments might make some here feel they're better off living by themselves. they involve hiv-positive inmate jeremy merithew. the self-proclaimed outcast of d-3a. he has just been moved out of the unit into a segregation cell. >> some of the inmates in d-3a accused me of putting semen on bologna sandwiches that i was
giving them, and the deputy sent me down here to the hole because of my own safety. he said they wanted to kill me. >> an individual came up to me and told me that jeremy had said that he was going to give everybody in the pod hiv. he had told people he put a special sauce on his sandwiches. >> extra mayonnaise. that's what i said. and that was like four weeks ago. >> you're saying you did not do that? >> no, i did not do that. >> bologna sandwiches are not part of the jail's normal meal plan. they're usually given to inmates who require an additional meal for medication. due to his hiv status merithew was such an inmate. but he gave his sandwiches away. >> the sandwiches are popular because a lot of the inmates are indigent and he was giving them out for free, i guess. and if you can get anything free in jail, sandwiches or anything like that, you're going to take them. so they're going to be extremely
popular. >> i have a morning snack for you. there you go. >> thank you. >> you bet. >> there's so much almost hatred for him right now in here. i think i had 16 people eat sandwiches from him. >> ruben florez received several sandwiches from merithew in recent weeks. he ate some and traded the rest to other inmates. >> i don't want nobody to bring me food over here. somebody offered me a bag of cookies or they offered me a soup, i'm going to grab it. i don't think nothing that somebody got a sick mind and going to try to infect me with some type of disease by. >> robert bailey also ate some of merithew's sandwiches. >> we're not talking about somebody getting a cold. we're talking about hiv, which is a life-threatening and a life-debilitating disease potentially. so it's pretty scary. i mean, i'm anxious to say the least. >> all right, fellas. here you go. >> it's taken extremely seriously. i had medical come up and talk
to the individuals that wanted to be talked to. we got some of the sandwiches that he had handed out, and they'll be tested. >> some of merithew's sandwiches were recovered from the trash. those would be sent to an outside lab for testing. while the jail's medical staff conducts blood tests on the inmates who ate the other sandwiches. >> gonorrhea, syphilis. the hiv virus seems to be the one they're least worried about because outside the body it doesn't live long. and if they come up positive, then that's up to the administration on what they want to do. >> i'm only here on a misdemeanor charge. i don't want to go home with a life sentence. >> whether he said it joking or not, that's not a person that i'd be liable to believe that it was just a joke. he was a menace to the world. that's why they convicted him and found him guilty. now he's still a menace to other people. whether i took the sandwich from him or not, it's irrelevant. he should not have been with us. his body is a weapon.
coming up, the hiv scare leads to a fight that ends in pepper spray, and accusations. >> call me snitches, call me bitch-ass all because of that gay guy. the guy with hiv. >> and -- >> my husband is devastated. he's taking it harder than anybody. >> a fifth drunk driving conviction tears a family apart. time hiring and not enough time in my kitchen. (announcer) need to hire fast? go to ziprecruiter.com and post your job to over 100 of the web's leading job boards with a single click. then simply select the best candidates from one easy to review list. you put up one post and the next day you have all these candidates. makes my job a lot easier. (announcer) over 400,000 businesses have already used ziprecruiter. and now you can use ziprecruiter for free. go to ziprecruiter.com/offer6
♪ the kent county jail in grand rapids might house its 1,000 inmates under the same sprawling room, but inside are two very different worlds. >> 87% of the people that are in jail here are males and 13% are female. and that holds pretty true from year to year to year. males clearly they could care less what everybody else's problems are. the women care very deeply what everybody else's problems are and they want to mother everybody else in the housing unit. >> this is our arts and crafts today. >> can't count on -- >> i missed yesterday. >> while arguments and fights do
break out among female inmates, pamala would agree with captain demery's description. when it comes to her own housing unit. >> it's like one big family in there. we all talk to each other, eat together. we help each other out, the ones in need. we support each other. somebody's upset, we're all right there. >> thank you. >> trace these on paper. and then i tear them out so that they have that ridged look. and then i color the outside in whatever colors i want. and then i put them on the back of an envelope and use deodorant, and you color it off -- and it makes it smell pretty, and it's going to look pretty when it's done. >> speckin has taken on the role of teacher today showing other inmates how to make decorative jailhouse stationery. >> don't do that on your envelope. look at what you're doing to your envelope. >> the role of nurturer is one she says she's familiar with. >> i love having a home. i love my husband. i love my kids.
i love going to work. i love -- i love having that. >> it could be a while before she sees that life again. >> i have a drinking problem. so i got another charge on drinking and driving. my fifth drunk driving, which is bad. my husband is devastated. he's taken it harder than anybody. very mad. he was very mad at me. he is still very mad at me. and he has every right to be. a good mother doesn't come to jail. >> i'm not a drunk. i'm not sitting at home drinking every day. i don't drink in my house. i drink probably three or four times in, you know, three years. >> but that changed one night, and speckin, who has fought addiction in the past, says she was having marital problems. at the time she was on probation
for her fourth dui conviction. >> i work at a bar restaurant, and i got done working and i decided that i'm going to have a screwdriver tonight, i deserve it. i went ahead and ordered a second drink. i don't remember anything after that. i don't remember driving. i don't remember going into the ditch. i don't remember walking up to these people's houses that they said i walked up to and asked for help. i was arrested right there, handcuffed and brought to the kent county jail. and this is where i've been ever since that night. >> speckin has been in jail three months. drinking that night led to her fifth dui conviction in the past ten year, and she is now awaiting sentencing. she once served 120 days in jail but knows this time it could be worse. >> my biggest concern right now is staying in county, not going to prison. i don't want to be far away. if i go prison, i won't see my family. not very much. to where now at least i can --
you know, they're 45 minutes away. i'm scared. i'm very scared. >> what do you miss the most about home? >> holding my little girl in the rocking chair. getting up every morning and holding her in that chair. and being able to kiss her. and tell her i love her. she asked me the other day when i was coming home and i told her i didn't know, and she started crying, and it was hard. that's really hard. coming up -- >> this is one of the worst parts. getting in a cage in a van. it's not normal. >> pamela speckin heads to court to hear her sentence. >> there were two sandwiches in the bag. both sandwiches tested. >> and inspectors provide inmates with life and death answers about the allegedly tainted bologna sandwiches. it's time to prove ourselves as men!
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behind the walls of grand rapids kent county jail, tensions inside housing unit d-3a have been running high since hiv-positive inmate jeremy merithew implied that he contaminated several sandwiches with body fluids and gave them away to other inmates. officers have just been called to another emergency one floor below. the fight has broken out between two inmates.
the officer on duty calls for backup. employs pepper spray in an attempt to break it up. but the fight continues. seconds later, backup arrives and the two men are separated. deputies then secure the unit, ordering all inmates back to their cells. >> told you -- >> the inmates involved are byron tolbert and wilfredo vasquez. >> get back over there. >> with their eyes still stinging from the pepper spray, the inmates are taken to the segregation unit. they're placed in separate cells and allowed to wash their eyes out. >> you need water? >> yes. >> right there.
>> man, it stings. it burns. oh, man. it feels like my face is swelling up. >> what happened in there? >> he disrespected me. calling me snitch, calling me bitch-ass, [ bleep ], all because of that gay guy, the guy with hiv. >> uh-huh. >> oh, man. said i was wrong for telling that people ate nut sandwiches. that wasn't wrong. that was not wrong at all. >> tolbert had been housed in the same unit as jeremy merithew. he was the first to report merithew's comments about the sandwiches to officers. >> extra mayonnaise, that's what i said. >> but in the eyes of some inmates that made tolbert a snitch. >> so he was moved down to here to get away from that pod because he had informed on them up there, and when he came down
here he kind of was bragging about that incident and how he came forward and gave us the information, and vasquez said, well, you're a snitch. started from there. and escalated. >> vasquez says he was honoring the long-standing convict code which says snitches should be punished. >> telling them something about somebody else, technically it is snitching. he kept calling me a bitch. when we started to beef over lunch. and i was like you a bitch man. what the [ bleep ] you say to the detectives. >> that was the right thing for me to, do was to tell. if anybody -- if anybody do anything to anybody's food they deserve to be told on. >> it wasn't a real thing. it was a joke. i mean, if anybody else would have said that in that pod, if they were giving their sandwiches away and said, oh, how's the extra mayonnaise on your sandwich, everyone would be laughing.
>> but merithew is not just anybody else. he's been twice convicted of having sexual intercourse with other men and not disclosing his hiv status. deputy flynn is assigned to merithew's unit. >> his comment about what he did to the sandwiches caused immense problems in my pod. and it puts me in jeopardy, puts my partners in jeopardy and everybody in the pod in jeopardy. it didn't just contain to d-3. it went down to d-2. i've heard m-2, m-3 all over the jail, and i just hope i never get a report like that again. >> merithew was awaiting sentencing on his latest conviction of failure to disclose, has been placed in segregation for his own protection. the inmates who ate the sandwiches were informed it's unlikely that they would have contracted hiv in this manner, even if merithew did contaminate them. but that hasn't lessened their anxieties. >> if it was a bluff or it was -- i don't know. and there's really not a way to find out whether there's a
possibility or there's not. >> mentally, i'm lost. i am so uptight right now that i can't eat. i've been throwing up my food. i've been so sick to the point where it's just -- i don't know if my life has changed yet or not. >> this is a bad situation. people are coming into here for driving with suspended license and now somebody give me a bologna sandwich and maybe got aids. >> i mean, either way, to even think that somebody would do something so gruesome to people. >> as the controversy spreads throughout the jail, other inmates have plenty to say as well. >> my thing is the dude, if you knew the guy had hiv, what the [ bleep ] you doing eating sandwiches from him for? you know what i'm saying? like, i don't even want to shake somebody's hand with hiv, let alone eat something out of their hand or their cell. >> if he was in prison he would have got butchered. they would have stabbed him. >> i'm going to talk to you each individually. okay?
and then get your story together. figure it out. >> the detectives take the inmates' statements and fill them in on the investigation. >> pictures were taken of him. it's in the report. >> then they delivered the news everyone has been waiting for. >> so there were two sandwiches in the bag. both sandwiches were tested and they were both negative. >> in fact, none of the tested sandwich came back positive, but that doesn't mean merithew is off the hook. >> it will get presented to the prosecutor and it will be given to the circuit court judge. >> later, lieutenant newman received the inmates' blood test results. >> those results also came back negative. so there was no inmates that were ever in danger of any kind of diseases as a result of that incident. >> with the sentencing only days away, jail officials have continued to keep merithew isolated. >> i shouldn't have said it, but i did. so -- because to be honest i think it was a good thing in a sense because it got me down
here by myself and i've been just chilling and relaxing and stuff and -- so it's just -- i feel better being by myself sometimes. i mean, because i'm introverted and i don't like being around a bunch of guys, especially a bunch of uneducated guys that are just pouncing at you. and they're obviously bigoted and homophobic and all kinds of other things. so it's just -- >> so in a way it was a good thing? >> yes, it was a good thing, for my mental health. >> as merithew awaits his sentencing, the time has arrived for another inmate. three months earlier, pamala speckin was convicted of dui for the fifth time in ten years. today she goes to court to hear her sentence. >> my guidelines are still 7 to 23 months. i'm expecting that judge trusok will go in the middle and give me 15 months. the worst that can happen is he can max me out to five years if he wants. he's the judge.
>> watch your head. >> this is one of the worst parts. getting in a cage in a van. it's not normal. and it smells in there. >> bye, guys. coming up -- >> it blew my mind away. i hyperventilated. i had to sit down. i couldn't breathe. >> pamala speckin's judge delivers her sentence. then -- >> my beard represents how long i've been here. >> after multiple escape attempts dustin paul tries something new.
pamala speckin, a married mother of three children, has just gotten back from court where a judge handed down his sentence on her most recent drunk driving conviction. >> i was going in there thinking i might get at most 15 months. it's my fifth drunk driving. the judge pretty much lectured me, you know, and he was right. i could kill somebody or kill myself, and that's what i really got to think about. you know, i'm a threat to the community. if i'm on the roads. and he gave me three to five years in prison. >> the sentence is final. and speckin must now wait for her transfer to the state's only female prison, about 2.5 hours from grand rapids. >> it blew my mind away. i hyperventilated. i had to sit down. i couldn't breathe. i felt like the whole world was just ending. my 4-year-old, i'm going to miss her first day of school.
i'm going to miss her fifth birthday. her sixth birthday. i missed her fourth birthday. i'm going to miss christmases. my husband lost his wife. and he's doing it all by himself now. and that's not the way it should be. >> speckin's family lives about 45 minutes from the jail in another part of kent county. with her husband working full-time and raising their two youngest children, visiting is difficult. but the jail has recently taken steps to help inmates like speckin. they set up a system that allows families to visit from home via the internet. >> hi. oh, the kids are there. >> today, speckin's husband nick and their 4-year-old daughter bailey will visit from their living room. >> what's that? what's that? >> tweety bird. >> that's tweety bird? >> that's nice. because you can see. you can see something other than jail. like i just see my living room. it's home. >> how are you? >> ah -- it's rough. >> yeah?
>> because her transfer to prison could come any day, this might be the last time speckin sees her family for a long time. >> yeah. >> possibly years. >> all right. well, i wanted to tell you that you were a good wife and a good mom. and i wanted to tell you that. before whatever happens. you know? that's something that i wanted to say to you. okay? and i love you very much. >> i love you too. i needed to hear that. thank you. and i'm still very sorry for all this. i know this is -- i don't even know. i can't -- i can't make up any, you know -- it is what it is. i'm sorry. >> i just can't believe it went from laying in bed next to each other to this. you know.
this is the last time we're going to talk for a while. >> i mean, if i'm not going to call home. you don't want me to call home ever? >> i can't take collect calls. so i don't know how you're going to call here. we can't take collect calls. >> i don't want to do three years away from my family. i don't -- i don't even know how to do it. >> all right, honey. i love you. i'm just going to hang up. >> tell her you love her. >> i love you. >> i love you, baby. >> i love you, too. >> okay. >> i guess i should be grateful that they're just saying good-bye for three years and not forever. and i hope my husband and i are still together. i hate to lose him over my mistakes. >> speckin will soon leave the jail on a state prison transport bus to begin her sentence.
but dustin paul will still be here for a while. >> how do i describe myself? i'm a mother [ bleep ]. that's how i would describe myself. >> over the past five months paul has been trying to leave the jail through his own ill-fated escape attempts. >> i know there's no way i'll get out of here. that's not going to happen. i was really just upset i was in jail. you know? that was just my way of saying [ bleep ] you pretty much. >> escape can carry up to a ten-year prison sentence. but since the farthest paul ever got was the day room of his housing unit jail officials have not filed criminal charges. instead they've kept him locked up in segregation. >> my beard represents how long i've been here. how long my hair is, that's how long i've been down here. >> but lately paul has ceased his escape attempts and given himself a new look. because of his good behavior, jail officials have moved him to a less restrictive housing unit.
>> everybody thought that there's no way we're going to change his behavior. and to see him today, he's a totally different person. even to speak and communicate with. he's not the same person that we initially had when he first came in. i think actually one of the real breaking points was getting him to communicate with staff and his family members. for a long time he wasn't communicating with anybody, and we ended up when he was in administrative seg, getting it to where he was able to have visits with his family, and that really seemed to be the turning point. things started changing. he was no longer attempting some of those negative behaviors we were seeing earlier. >> i'm getting ready to do a visit. that's the highlight of the week. so to speak. >> 2:00 for dustin paul. >> the person who visits paul the most is the woman who helped raise him. his grandmother sheila. >> i'm sure you hear this from every grandmother, but he is a real good-hearted kind person and never was in trouble his
whole life. never even got in a fight in school. but i think basically there was a substance abuse periodically through the years. that's what caused this behavior. >> me and my grandmother are really close. she's like a second mom to me, basically. my grandmother. >> we've always been very close. very close. >> though his grandmother has arrived in person to visit -- >> there he is. hey, dusty. >> even at the jail visitation is conducted through a video link between the housing unit and a visitor center. >> so here's the news of the week. right after i left for a few hours i started choking really hard, like i couldn't breathe. so i went to emergency, and i was there for four days. >> hmm. >> so they diagnosed me with pneumonia, copd, congestive heart failure. >> really? >> yeah. they're going to monitor me real closely.
>> that is not good. >> no, it's not good. it sounds horrible. >> i'll say a prayer for you. >> thank you. but it's good that they caught it. you know? >> right. >> and that i went to emergency. >> i have to stay positive so he can be positive too. he said, i don't know what i would ever do, grandma, if you weren't in my life. you know? that's how he feels. >> i love you very much. >> okay. i love you, too. >> we just move forward. on the right track. >> yeah. that's all you can do. >> yep. that's right. okay. we'll see you next week. >> okay. all right. have a good day, grandma. >> you too. love you. >> all right. all right. love you, too. >> bye-bye. >> it's not very -- it's not very good. you know, i worry about her dying while i'm in here now. i mean, because then that wouldn't be a good thing at all.
so it makes me worry a lot about grandma's health. i'm in here, there's nothing i can do to help her, unfortunately. coming up -- >> all's i ask is that you wear a condom. don't do it in our home and don't catch anything. >> pamala speckin takes an unconventional step to hold her family together. >> and because people are saying you've put seminal fluids into foods you were sharing with other inmates -- >> jeremy merithew faces an angry judge on the day of his sentencing. it's time to prove ourselves as men!
and as fans of awesome tv shows! because we are the couch-dwellers, the binge-watchers, the work-skippers! and we refuse to waste the greatest tv week this proud nation has ever known! but time is scarce my friends, so fetch your fancy voice remotes and join me! three, two, one... watchathon! big is back. xfinity watchathon week now until april 24. the greatest collection of shows free with xfinity on demand. good-bye, everybody! bye! >> i love you. >> love you. write me. >> pamala speckin has spent her last night at the kent county
jail. her transfer to state prison has come through and she will now leave to serve a three- to five-year sentence for her fifth drunk driving conviction. >> you were a good wife and a good mom. i just can't believe it went from laying in bed next to each other to this. >> speckin recently said good-bye to her husband. afterwards she wrote him a letter with a proposal she hopes will keep them together. >> i know that i'm going to be gone for a long time, and he goes to work every day, takes care of our home, our children. he's got to have something outside of that. this is a letter to my husband. it says, "nick, i want you to know that i don't expect you to stay faithful. all's i ask is that you wear a condom. don't do it in our home, and don't catch anything. be safe. don't fall in love.
put my face on whoever you're doing that with. just get it in, do the deed, and walk away. i love you. give the kids love for me." i don't think he'll do this in a million years just because i know him. but i want him to feel okay. i don't want him to leave -- i don't want him to leave me -- leave me for somebody else. you know? because of that. >> i wish i wouldn't have picked up a drink. i had choices, and i made the bad ones. now i have to suffer the consequences. i don't like it, but it is what it is. >> all right, ladies. >> there's no way to ever know if i'll pick up a drink again and get behind the wheel.
i've got to pray that i won't and i can say that i won't, but i've said that before and here i sit. and it's a disease. it's called addiction. and as much as we want to say no, sometimes we just can't. we just can't. >> it won't be long before jeremy merithew might also find himself inside a transfer van to state prison. he's due to be sentenced today for not disclosing his hiv-positive status to a man he met over the internet and had sex with. his recent comments suggesting he contaminated sandwiches with bodily fluids could also come back to haunt him. >> i am worried about the sandwich incident to the extent what the judge is going to think about it. i don't know how he thinks. you know what i'm saying? i'm not inside his mind. so i don't know how he's going to view that. it might influence how he makes his decision. >> the court therefore sustains the defense's objection to ov-12.
>> it doesn't take long for the judge to affirm merithew's fears. >> he's removed from the cell that he's in. he's put into an isolation ward. he's told why that is happening, for his own safety because people are saying you've put seminal fluids into foods you're sharing with other inmates, that you have the ability to have in your cell only because of your medical condition. if it's not true, why doesn't mr. merithew then have the absolute ability to say it's not true, i was just kidding around, ha ha, aren't i funny, or words to this effect, and then at least takes whatever affirmative steps he is capable of taking to stop this problem? really it can be most easily analogized to it's like shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. >> merithew will now be sentenced on three charges. two charges of failure to disclose hiv because he had both oral and anal sex with his partner. and use of a computer to commit a crime. >> the sentence of the court is the defendant will be incarcerated on count 3, the use of a computer, for not less than
56 months nor more than seven years with credit for 113 days that have been served previously. on counts 1 and 2 the defendant will serve not less than 24 months nor more than four years. these counts will all run concurrently. >> merithew is sentenced to a total of 4 1/2 to 7 years but he will face a lifelong sanction as well. >> in addition, the defendant shall be required to comply with all requirements of michigan sex offenders registry act. i am convinced after having had the responsibility of presiding over this case the entire time it has been in the circuit court that the defendant is either unwilling or incapable of following the requirements of the law and there is simply not any evidence to suggest that he will change that behavior in the future. >> as a sex offender, merithew's name and address will be displayed on a public list for the rest of his life. >> defendant is remanded to the custody of the sheriff for transfer to the department of corrections. thank you.
>> registering as a sex offender over this case, i don't know how i feel about it right at moment. i mean, i don't agree with it. registering as a sex offender is a big deal to me, because usually people associate that with pedophiles and rapists. i did not rape anybody and i don't molest little children. >> now facing several years in prison, merithew could find himself in more trouble, if his urges get the better of him. >> can i remain celibate for four years? that's a good question, i don't know. do my best, i suppose. i think i probably could. it's just about controlling yourself, i suppose.
a young man plummets to his death when he crashes through a 25th floor window of the a tulsa high-rise. shockingly, his wife, two months away from giving birth, is charged with his murder in i know what happened. i was the only other person there and i will always maintain my innocence. >> now, her future lie in the hands of a judge. >> don [