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Topic : 07/24 One Mistake Away from Jail

Number of Replies: 40
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Friday, February 27, 2009, 02:14:21 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 03/05/09) Truancy, vandalism and drinking alcohol may seem exciting to some kids, but these actions can have severe consequences. Warren Messner found out the hard way, and his shocking story made headlines. In 2005, 15-year-old Warren and his friends were smoking marijuana and drinking in the woods when they happened upon an unsuspecting homeless man. What happened next was unthinkable and landed the teen in jail for 22 years. Dr. Phil cameras go inside a maximum security prison for the first televised sit-down interview with Warren, now 18. Learn what he says motivated him to commit a heinous crime. Then, his mom, Lori, joins Dr. Phil to talk about the warning signs she missed. What does she say she regrets the most? Next, 16-year-old Chris felt high school was a waste of his time, so he dropped out. His mother, Kerry, and stepmother, Lisa, say they're at their wits' end trying to cope with his aggressive ways. They say he assaulted them and stole their money, and they just discovered that he smokes marijuana. Is it too late for the teen to change? And, Janene says her 19-year-old son, Brett, has a bright future, but she fears that his drinking and driving could ruin his life -- or someone else’s. Brett already has two DUIs and crashed three cars but says he’s just being a normal teen. Dr. Phil urges these two young men to spend a day at San Quentin, one of the country’s oldest and most notorious prisons, as part of a program to deter them from a life of crime. Will Chris and Brett accept the challenge? Tell us what you think!

Find out what happened on the show.

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March 5, 2009, 6:44 pm CST

Teens in Trouble

Yes, the police dept. is a joke in our town.   We begged the police officer to take our son to jail when he forged a $100 check to the school for lunch money because we didn't give him enough.   We gave him money for the regular lunch and then $5 over and above that for extras and he was a growing teen age boy.  Even tho he was working and making money, he didn't think it was right that he had to use his money for anything even tho we were providing him with extra!     The police just talked to him.   We forced them to file charges.  He had also been at the same police dept for domestic abuse in our home.   Breaking doors and the like.  If he didn't like what we were having for dinner, he would sometimes throw a fit.   He missed the bus one morning (on purpose) and he was very rude and agressive and made threatening advances towards his dad and me when we wouldn't 'drop everything that minute' and give him a ride to school.    He went to the police dept and tried to get them to tell us we HAD to give him a ride to school.   In addition, he was on probation and we have a picture of him drinking a beer (while on probation), which we sent to his probation officer and she did NOTHING!!!!     She would give him the rules and then when he would violate them (i.e. runaway from home, be verbally abusive to us, hang out with people that drank and used drugs), she would just lecture him.    Then to top it all off, she release him early!     And didn't even let us know.   We got a letter about 60 days later!   


The police think we are the problem when we tried to discipline him.  He would tell the police lies and they believed him, not us.    One office told us he was going to call CPS on us.    We were licensed foster care parents and we know what we can and cannot do with any of our children, and we were not doing anything abusive or illegel, yet the officer believed the child (17 yrs and 11 mos) over us!   He was a problem since he was 12 years old.   Yet no one would help make him accountable.  We were the only ones that  would ever make him accountable, therefore we are the bad guys and he hates us and moved out when he was 18.    The school system, lets him get away with anything and everything; the court system, etc. etc.


Dr. Phil needs to be talking to all the agencies out there and tell them to support the parents.   He needs to talk to the police officers and other parents.    Our son is now living with another family.   They have never contacted us about why he is living there.    They believe  his lies that we have abused him,, etc. etc.   Why adults don't talk to the parents and instead  believe the word of a manipulative child is beyond me!!!!




March 5, 2009, 6:49 pm CST

03/05 One Mistake Away from Jail

Quote From: srnelson348

Hi. Im 19 yrs old. I have a brother thats in these kids' same situation. I think that if your parents are divorced that plays a role in it too or even peer pressure, but they have the choice to do it or NOT! I dont get what the thrill is of be a bad ass!!! If puttin them into jail wont make them learn then i dont get what will!Honestly i dont even think that near death experience will change them either. I will be watchin your show tmr to see what you have to say.

From personal experience.. they can't do it on their own... They are lonely and feel unloved but will never admit it.  They need someone to care about them and it takes more than just tough love-- it's alot of sacrifice on the part of the person who is willing to help and love him.. I know and I have no regrets.. I had two vehicles damaged, playstations stollen, called names, things broken, pushed, you name it... now... he won't leave without saying he loves me and checks in 3 times within an hour.  He is in every time he goes out by 11.  and .. Today he joined the Marines... He thanked me and loves me... and you are right.. it was because of a horrible divorce.

I love my children and would do anything for them....


Think about it... would you want you mom or dad to give up on you?

March 5, 2009, 6:50 pm CST

03/05 One Mistake Away from Jail

 What the hell has happened to PARENTING?   


Can anyone over 40 remember ever speaking to their parents the way these brats are - without SERIOUS repercussions?

March 5, 2009, 7:22 pm CST

Closing statement

I agree with the closing statement. Probabtion is a joke in our town. Young people get in trouble and get put on probation. So what? They are told "you have a curfew of 10:00", no one ever checks, so kids don't take it serious. They are told "you will do community service"  six months later they haven't even started. I believe that if there is strict supervision the young people will see the severity of the consequences instead of laughing about it. Presently, most of them end up in trouble again. Maybe if we, as a community, use a little tough love the first time around. There will be less repeat offenders.
March 5, 2009, 8:35 pm CST

is jail the worst that can happen.

  I know that statement may make people think I am crazy, but to tell the truth, crazy is what I live with everyday. I went through a lot when my only son was a teenager, the drinking, drugs, drunk driving etc..He has one DUI, he is on probabtion,  he is 22 years old now. he may not be a teenager anymore, but he is still living with the effects of his teenage choices as is the rest of his family. No, he is not locked up in a cell, but he is locked up in his own mind.  I cant say whether the drugs caused schizophrenia or the schizophrenia led to the drug and alcohol use, but either way, I watched my son go from a care free young man with a good future ahead of him to a wreck of a young man who cant see the future because the voices in his head dont give him any peace. I would like to say he learned his lesson, but since the mental health system is so screwed up, it is difficult to find the right kind of help, so he continues drinking, drinking just to fall asleep at night. and when he wakes up in the morning, he doesnt remember sleeping at all because the voice never stop yelling at him. I am glad to say that he doesnt use drugs anymore but at this point it doesnt really matter, the damage is done. my advice to parents out there would be to watch and watch closely, never take their word for it and dont try to be nice because you want to be friends with your kids and you dont want them to think your an uncool parent. take the lead. be the parent, the one in control.
March 5, 2009, 9:23 pm CST

03/05 One Mistake Away from Jail


 My son is 17 and is currently on probation, this stems from an arrest last July. He has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, ADHD,conduct disorder, and borderline personality traits. Rusty thinks its just a big joke. He was arrested on 2 counts of residential burglary and he had been drinking and smoking marijuana. He had gone out to sell magazine subscriptions and I believed the man when he told my husband and I that Rusty would be with him all day, he lied. He dropped our son and another boy off together in town. We were told that he would have Rusty home by 8:30pm, that time came and went finally around 9:30pm I called the police to file a missing persons report because the man was not answering his cell. I hung the phone and it rang it was the police department. Rusty was fine, however he was in some trouble. Rusty had been home just 5 days after spending 7 months in a residential treatment facility for his behavioral issues. Then he was taken to a juvenile facility where he stayed for 17 days. Rusty said that he wasn't worried because he knew that all he would get was probation. These kids act like probation and juvenile detention are rites of passage! He still worries us, just this evening he told us that he has been huffing. I don't know what to do this kid needs a wake up call! seriously he will be 18 in July. I truly believe that if we could have gotten help for him at an earlier age things might be different now. We will not give up on him. I turn everything in to his probation officer and try to make him accountable for his actions.

March 5, 2009, 9:26 pm CST

Its a tough job

Dr. Phil should consider the danger the parents face when they do try to intervene in their teenagers behavior.  Teenagers can and do retaliate in vicious ways when a parent steps in to prevent their children from associating with the wrong crowd .  My 15 year old daughter made a false abuse accusation about me after I took a hard line about her school performance and the type of people that she associates with.  I was there on a daily basis and would make sure that she was in class and stayed away from other troubled teenagers.  For my efforts I was almost arrested.  And I am still battling CPS over the false allegation even though my daughter came clean and told them it was made up.   There seems to be no way to win.  
March 7, 2009, 6:44 am CST

people getting loose

well i was good friends with Jef Spurgeon and i think that every single one of them deserved jail time though and i mean EVERYONE i do not think that it is right that they are paying for their cosequences and Fe is not he got loose he had pictures on his phone and everything i think he deserves to pay for his concequences too!
March 7, 2009, 4:32 pm CST

don't judge

Dr phil.  Don't judge until you have walked the parents shoes.  I know I've been there and it ain't easy.
March 8, 2009, 1:37 pm CDT


Hi Dr. Phil,


I have watched your show since it started and make it a point to record it daily so that I'm able to watch it in the evening.  This is the first time that I have ever felt compelled to post a reaction. 


I found this episode to be particularly disturbing because while I can empathize with how Warren's mom feels, I think that she is delusional about the opportunities and existence that her son deserves.  She is able to go and visit her son , regardless of whether or not she is paying visits at a prison; that is much more than the mother of the man killed is able to do.  Who kills an innocent person for fun???  What is wrong with kids today???  Why aren't kids being taught right from wrong??  Why do parents fear their children and think that being a "friend" is more important?? 


Warren and his "friends" deserve to be punished, deserve to be treated the way that they treated an innocent man and have no business being in society with productive, innocent individuals.  Why should this "man" be given educational opportunities now , opportunities that weren't valued prior to his current situation??  A 22 year sentence is not long enough for what he and his friends did.  A 15 year old is old enough to know right from wrong, as well as know that he should and will be held accountable for his actions.  "Not seeing the signs" is a JOKE!!!!  I am sure that his previous educators and counselors did everything possible to work with this kid, as well as inform his mother of the path that he was CHOOSING to go down.   The sad thing is that tax payers are floating the bill for him and many others.


I don't believe that prison inmates deserve the right to receive a college education on taxpayer dollars when focused students and those who work hard to do well in high school in order to go to college are forced to take out student loans in order to pursue higher education.  Why should this kid or anyone else serving a sentence expect to have fun??  - - Had they not been IDIOTS, they would be having fun.  Being fed three meals might actually be a bit too generous. 


I love you for telling everyone that teens need to be accountable!!!  Not only do teenagers need to be TAUGHT to be accountable for their actions, their parents need to be accountable and the parents need to enforce rules and/or seek help when they aren't able to do it on their own.  Teens learn bad behavior from their parents, but most importantly from their parents lacking follow through and commitment to discipline.  Why should it be society's responsibility to raise these kids and to pick up the pieces when things go wrong???  Do the crime, do the TIME!!  (Unfortunately the time is often NOT long enough!!)

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