Six teenage girls and two boys were arrested and charged in the beating of a young 16 year old cheerleader and it was later determined that they would all be tried as adults for beating Victoria Lindsay, 16, and filming it with the intention of putting it on YouTube.
The story reverberated across the Internet and in the media, six girls viscously attacked another 16 year old girl and filmed it so they could post it on YouTube. Three days later, a staff member from the Dr. Phil show, bailed one of those attackers out.
The eight arrested were Mercades Nichols, 16, of Lakeland, Brittini Hardcastle, 17, of Lakeland, April Cooper, 14, of Lakeland, Cara Murphy, 16, of Lakeland, Britney Mayes, 17, of Lakeland, Kayla Hassell, 15, of Mulberry, Zachary Ashley, 17, of Lakeland, and Stephen Schumaker, 18, of Lakeland.
First reported by MyFoxTampabay.com, a representative for the Dr. Phil show, bailed Mercades Nichols out of jail on Friday night, April 11, 2008, for the purpose of obtaining an "exclusive", as evidenced by the representatives own words in claiming that they "have exclusivity", as he tried to keep photographers and reporters from speaking to the girl and her family. (See video)
All but two of the teenagers bonded out on Friday night with their bonds ranging from $31,000 and $37,000. On teen was described as "smiling and laughing behind a piece of paper as she tried to shield her face from the cameras."
The producer said the Dr. Phil show had signed exclusive rights to Nichols' story.
After the news broke that a producer from the Dr. Phil show had bailed out Nichols, EFlux confirmed via email with a spokesperson for the Dr. Phil show, Terri Corigliano, that the show did, indeed, bail the girl out, with Corigliano explaining that the show has previously helped other “guests and potential guests” of the show with different needs, then further stating the staff member that bailed her out, "went too far and broke the rules of the show."
These staff members have been spoken to and our policies reiterated. In addition, we have decided not to go forward with the story as our guidelines have been compromised," Corigliano wrote in the statement.(Note- The Hollywood Today website where the below quote came from has gone down, I will relink to that specific article when Hollywoodtoday.net comes back up)
Today reports are coming out that a representative of Phil McGraw's TV show are now saying that they have, "have decided not to go forward with the story as our guidelines have been compromised.”
Mercades Nichols is the young girl that posted a note on her MySpace page after the attack and the news coverage began about this story, saying, "“F*CK YALL! ID DO IT AGAIN!!”
That page was saved to PDF format at the time she wrote it and her MySpace page has since been terminated. No word as to whether MySpace terminated her account or if she or her mother did.