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Published: Monday, 4/14/2008

'Dr. Phil' TV program posts bail for teen in Florida beating; show canceled

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Mercades Nichols, 17, a suspect in the videotaped beating of another girl, was freed from jail after TV talk show Dr. Phil posted her bond.
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<img src=http://www.toledoblade.com/graphics/icons/video.gif> <b><font color=red>AP VIDEO</b></font color=red>: <a href=" http://video.ap.org/vws/search/aspx/ap.aspx?t=s60&p=ENAPus_ENAPus&g=0414dvs_teen_beating_update&f=OHTOL"target="_blank "><b>One Teen Still in Jail in Beating</b></a>
Mercades Nichols, 17, a suspect in the videotaped beating of another girl, was freed from jail after TV talk show Dr. Phil posted her bond. <br> <img src=http://www.toledoblade.com/graphics/icons/video.gif> <b><font color=red>AP VIDEO</b></font color=red>: <a href=" http://video.ap.org/vws/search/aspx/ap.aspx?t=s60&p=ENAPus_ENAPus&g=0414dvs_teen_beating_update&f=OHTOL"target="_blank "><b>One Teen Still in Jail in Beating</b></a>
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BARTOW, Fla. - Employees of the Dr. Phil television show posted bail for a central Florida teenager jailed for taking part in a videotaped beating of another teen, a spokesman for the show's host confirmed.

Staff members of the talk show helped Mercades Nichols - one of eight teens facing charges in the case - post bond over the weekend, Dr. Phil spokesman Terri Corigliano said in an e-mail.

"We have helped guests and potential guests in the past when they need financial assistance to come on the show - assisting with clothing allowance, lost wages, accommodations, travel, and necessities," Ms. Corigliano wrote. "In this case, certain staff members went beyond our guidelines (re the bail being paid).

"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."

The show's producers were in the process of booking guests for a program about the case, Ms. Corigliano wrote.

Only one of the eight teens accused of participating in the videotaped beating of a classmate remained behind bars yesterday, after a seventh bonded out, authorities said.

Brittany Mayes was released on $33,000 bond, said Polk County Sheriff's Office spokesman Scott Wilder. Still jailed is Stephen Schumaker, 18.

The teens, the youngest of whom is 14, face kidnapping and misdemeanor battery charges for the violent beating, which has been viewed widely on national television and the Internet. The state attorney's office has said the six girls and two boys will be tried as adults.

They are accused of participating in the beating of another teen, which was videotaped.

A judge on Friday set bails ranging from $30,000 to $37,000 for the teenagers.

Phil McGraw drew criticism earlier this year when he confronted troubled pop star Britney Spears at the UCLA Medical Center during a stay at the facility.

At one point, Mr. McGraw had planned an episode of the Dr. Phil show about Ms. Spears, but quickly abandoned the idea. He has since apologized for discussing his visit publicly - but not for visiting her.



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