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Clara Harris Driven to Kill?; Two Teen Heroes Stop Gunman

Aired January 23, 2003 - 20:00   ET


CONNIE CHUNG, HOST: Good evening. I'm Connie Chung.
Will a jury believe it was an accident when she allegedly ran over her husband three times?

ANNOUNCER: Was she driven to murder?


GEORGE PARNHAM, ATTORNEY FOR CLARA HARRIS: And I'm going to ask this jury to find Clara Harris not guilty of the offense of murder.


ANNOUNCER: The trial begins for Clara Harris, the woman who ran over her husband three times after finding him with another woman.


MIA MAGNESS, PROSECUTOR: And the bottom line, folks, is, that's murder.


ANNOUNCER: Will a jury of mostly women be sympathetic?

U.S. armor readies for battle in Baghdad, tank warfare in urban combat. CNN's Art Harris takes you behind the wheel.

A teen with a gun held 30 students hostage.


CLAY GHEZA, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: Anthony (ph) comes right at me and I stop, because we made eye contact. And I thought it was over.


ANNOUNCER: We meet the two teen heroes who ended a deadly standoff.

Trista, "The Bachelorette," sends them packing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fellows, if you didn't receive a rose tonight, take a moment and say your goodbyes.


ANNOUNCER: Tonight: two hopefuls who didn't make the cut.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Life isn't fair. And you've just got to deal with it.


ANNOUNCER: And our "Person of the Day" says, hold the fries.

This is CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT. Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York: Connie Chung.

CHUNG: Good evening.

Tonight: opening statements in the murder trial of Clara Harris Harris, a sensational Texas case that features love, infidelity and a former Colombian beauty queen. Clara Harris has pleaded not guilty of killing her husband in cold blood by running over him three times with her $70,000 Mercedes.


(voice-over): She looked strained as opening statements began, in which two conflicting stories collided about infidelity, murder and a marriage on the rocks.

MAGNESS: See, the defendant had given him an ultimatum. And that ultimatum was, you make a choice. You pick.

CHUNG: Last July 24, Clara Harris hired a private eye to tail her husband, David Harris, and the so-called other woman to this Houston hotel. Then Clara showed up herself.

MAGNESS: And in her car, she had some doubts about whether her husband was going to choose her.

CHUNG: The prosecutor said Clara Harris, with her teenaged stepdaughter Lindsey, waited in the lobby.

MAGNESS: The evidence is going to show you that the defendant attacked Gail Bridges there in the lobby and how David Harris at that point told his wife: It's over. You and I are over.

CHUNG: Clara Harris was furious, said the prosecutor, as her husband and the mistress fled to the parking lot. Prosecutors say Clara Harris then cranked up her Mercedes.

MAGNESS: And then she turned her $70-some-odd-thousand-dollar vehicle into a 4,000-pound murder weapon, because the evidence is going to show you that she intentionally and knowingly hit him and she didn't stop. She did it again and again and again. And the bottom line, folks, is, that's murder.

CHUNG: Clara Harris says it was an accident and pled not guilty. Her attorney, George Parnham, portrayed Harris as a devoted wife and mother who just snapped after her husband promised to break off his affair, then turned around and betrayed her again. In that hotel lobby, Clara Harris caught her husband red-handed.

PARNHAM: And the elevator door opens and out steps David and Gail Thompson Bridges. Clara loses it.

CHUNG: David Harris separated the two women. Then Clara got into her Mercedes.

PARNHAM: Clara wants to stop them from leaving together: Gail Bridges cannot have my husband.

CHUNG: Parnham said what happened in the parking lot was not murder and asked jurors to suspend judgment. One piece of evidence, a videotape of the incident recorded by the private eye hired by Clara Harris, sources tell CNN it shows her Mercedes circling the parking lot, but it is unclear how it will play in court.


CHUNG: In a move that shocked some of those watching the trial, the parents of her dead husband express their full support of Clara Harris. Her father-in-law explained why.


GERALD HARRIS, FATHER OF DAVID HARRIS: Our ultimate hope in all of this is that this family will remain together. We love Clara and want you to know that we want her to be with her children.


CHUNG: Covering the trial today: KTRH News Radio reporter Gail Delaughter who joins us now from Houston.

Gail, it really was quite extraordinary that Clara Harris' father-in-law magnanimously said that they support her. Were they in court again today?

GAIL DELAUGHTER, KTRH REPORTER: They were in court today. And they have been with her every day. They walk in with her arm in arm. They say they want nothing more than for her to be home with her children. The way they talk about her, they consider her a daughter, one of the family.

CHUNG: Who testified today, Gail?

DELAUGHTER: Today, we heard from four employees of the Nassau Bay Hilton, the hotel where it happened. And all their stories varied somewhat, but they were fairly consistent.

They say there was an altercation in the lobby between Clara Harris and Gail Bridges, receptionist for her husband's orthodontics practice, a very heated altercation. The women were fighting. People wound up on the floor. Then it spilled outside. They ushered Clara Harris outside, because it's a very upscale hotel. They didn't want this going on in their hotel lobby.

And then Clara Harris got in the Mercedes. She backed out calmly. And then, as one witness said, she peeled out, raced around to the back of the hotel. Everyone went around to the back to see what was going on there. And then the witnesses gave varying version of how many times David Harris was hit with the Mercedes.

CHUNG: Now, was Clara Harris reacting in any way to any of the testimony or even the opening statements? Because we could kind of see her dabbing her eyes.

DELAUGHTER: She was very calm. They say she's a very intelligent, very analytical person. During George Parnham's opening statement for the defense, she was crying, dabbing her eyes. She was calm during most of the testimony. But then other times, you can see it's wearing on her. She will drop her head somewhat. And you can tell she's feeling a lot of emotion, having this reenacted in court.

CHUNG: All right, Gail Delaughter, I thank you so much for being with us. We'll check in with you again.

DELAUGHTER: Thank you.

CHUNG: The jury was chosen just last night, nine women and three men. What strategy is each side pursuing? Jo-Ellan Dimitrius is a jury consultant, who joins us from Los Angeles. And here in our studio: Court TV legal analyst Roger Cossack.

Thank you both for being with us.


CHUNG: Roger, there is something that the defense will, no doubt, deal with. And it's something called sudden passion. How will the defense try to use this?

ROGER COSSACK, COURT TV: Well, Connie, this case is all about whether or not Clara Harris went to that hotel to confront her husband or whether she went to that hotel to kill her husband.

The prosecution says -- and we saw part of the opening statement -- she went there to kill him. And, as the prosecutor said, folks, that's murder. The defense says she went there to confront him and then snapped. And, in a moment of being out of control, she committed this horrible act. And that's not murder, or at least it's not first- degree premeditated murder. And that's the two sides.

CHUNG: All right, well, Jo-Ellan, which will help the defense and what will help the prosecution? Because what you're dealing with are three men and nine women on the jury. Will this sudden-passion defense play with the women? DIMITRIUS: Well, I think, certainly, the defense was probably very excited by the fact that they got nine women on this jury, figuring that women would be more likely to understand the sort of scorned-woman aspect and more likely to they themselves having been victims of, somewhere along the way in their dating or marital life, something similar to this.

CHUNG: But what about the notion that women are harder on women?

DIMITRIUS: Well, indeed. And that's what perhaps the prosecution is looking at. I mean, it's a known fact that we women are very, very difficult in terms of evaluating another woman and very strict in terms of evaluating.

And I think that these women are going to be also looking at the testimony of the stepdaughter, who will testify that, about an hour before, the mom said something to the effect of, based on everything that had happened to her, she wanted to kill her husband and she would probably get away with it. So, these people -- these women, not only as women, but perhaps also as mothers, will be looking at the testimony of the stepdaughter, as well as, obviously, the testimony of Dr. Harris.

CHUNG: In fact, that stepdaughter was in the car, Roger.

COSSACK: That's right. That's right.

CHUNG: And no one knows what she's going to say.

COSSACK: Well, it's unclear what she's going to say. There have been various reports that, when this was over, she looked at Clara Harris and said: You killed my dad.

Remember, the victim in this case is her father, and Clara Harris was her stepmother, is her stepmother, and that she was at part of a visitation that she happened to be there that weekend.

CHUNG: But just moments before, when she was in the lobby and she and Clara Harris, her stepmother, discovered her father -- this is Lindsey - the stepdaughter's father, with the other woman, she was screaming at her father.

COSSACK: Well, there's no question that this is an unusual set of facts and an unusual situation. And, as you point out, no one really knows exactly what the stepdaughter's going to say.

But it really, I don't think, matters very much. The facts are not in dispute in this case. We know what happened happened. We even have it on videotape. How often do you see a murder on videotape?


CHUNG: That's because -- we should explain that -- the P.I., the private investigator, had -- actually, one of them who was helping Clara Harris, was hired by her. COSSACK: Had found David Harris in the hotel, had called Clara Harris and said, your husband is apparently not where he's supposed to be. He's with this woman in this hotel. And that's why Clara Harris went over there. No one is going to argue that this man had a heart attack.

CHUNG: And, in fact, there was a videotape of the actual accident, but we don't know what that looks like either.

COSSACK: Right. And so, even if the daughter comes in and said, my stepmother said, I could probably kill my husband and get away with it, well, who hasn't been angry and said that?

But there's a big leap between, I could kill my husband and probably get away with it, to doing it. And the question that that jury, as I said before, is going to have to decide: Did she go there to kill him or did she just snap when she saw him with the mistress?


CHUNG: By the way, I called it an accident. But, in fact, we don't know what it was and the defense might try to say that it was an accident.

Yes, Jo-Ellan?

DIMITRIUS: One of the things that I think is going to be interest, too, is the fact that she ran over him three different times. And I think there may be people on this jury that may say, OK, we'll give her once for the sudden-passion element, as Roger talked about, but two, three times? That's a little bit different.

And I think it's also interesting to note that this private investigator had, interestingly, been hired by the lover of the husband years before to investigate her husband in terms of an alleged affair. So, it's a very tangled web, this case.

CHUNG: Oh, it certainly is, Jo-Ellan.

COSSACK: Jo-Ellan, only in Texas, Jo-Ellan, only in Texas.

DIMITRIUS: You know what? And they think it's only in L.A.


CHUNG: I have another question for you, Jo-Ellan, that four of the 12 jurors apparently said that they could emotionally relate to Clara Harris. Does that affect the jury decision?

DIMITRIUS: Oh, certainly it does. I would second-guess that these women themselves have either gone through something like this or someone close to them has and they can identify with what she went through and the emotions. And, clearly, that's going to be critical when they come down to deliberate with one another.

(CROSSTALK) CHUNG: All right, let me jump over to Roger in our last 30 second, Jo-Ellan.

If you were the defense attorney, what would you do?

COSSACK: I would be saying that this is a woman scorned who went over there to confront her husband, who had lied to her, lied to her, and lied to her. And when she saw it, finally, what had occurred, she lost every single bit of that education -- she, after all, is a dentist -- all of her rationale and she just snapped.

And it doesn't matter whether she hit him one time or she hit him 50 times. For that period of time, she was out of her mind. And I would look at that jury and say, you know there are things that can drive you out of their mind. And I'd look right at those women who said they identified with her and I'd look them right in the eye and say, and you know what I'm talking about.

CHUNG: All right, Roger Cossack, Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, thank you so much for being with us.

And still ahead: Why is a Gulf War Marine willing to risk his life defending Iraq?

Stay with us.

ANNOUNCER: Still ahead: readying for a war in Baghdad. We'll go behind the wheel of a 70-ton tank. What's it really like in there?



CHUNG: International opposition to a U.S. war with Iraq continues to grow, with some surprising additions.

Even though France and Germany have wrestled with terrorism, they continue to rally opposition to U.S. military action in Iraq. Today, Russia and China joined their ranks. And also today, some of Iraq's neighbors, whom President Bush says are in greatest jeopardy, met in Turkey to urge Iraq to comply in hopes of averting a U.S. invasion. Some border nations fear a fractured Iraq more than one led by Saddam Hussein.

And perhaps one of the most surprising opponents of U.S. military action in Iraq is a Gulf War veteran, a Marine who fought in the last U.S. military action in Iraq. Ken Nichols O'Keefe now heads Truth Justice Peace Human Shield Action organizing volunteers leaving Saturday to serve as human shields in Iraq. One of his volunteers is Tom Brogan, who also joins us from London.

Thank you both for being with us.

Tom Brogan, let's start with you.

You're only 30 years old. You have your whole life ahead of you. Are you really prepared to die?


CHUNG: I don't think people would be able to understand your decision. I think you need to explain it.

BROGAN: I'm sticking my neck for what I believe is right. I might only live another 10 weeks.

This war is wrong; 200,000 people died in the last war; 200,000 people, maybe even more than that, will die in the next 10 weeks, next couple of months. We can't let that happen. We're going to go there just to show the whole world how seriously we take this whole war.

CHUNG: Tom, you haven't told your mother. I mean, I'm sure, my gosh, it would break her heart. How can you do this to your family?

BROGAN: I'm going to tell her tonight.

CHUNG: Wasn't this very difficult for you to do, to make this decision and have to break it to your mother?

BROGAN: I only really made the decision in the last few days. I didn't want her to find out.

CHUNG: Mr. O'Keefe, you are hoping to have as many as 10,000 volunteers. Are you ready to take responsibility for their lives?

KEN NICHOLS O'KEEFE, TRUTH JUSTICE PEACE HUMAN SHIELD ACTION: Well, I'm not responsible for what other thinking adults do. It's their decision, not mine.

I'm calling on people to go to Iraq, calling on 10,000 people to do this. But, ultimately, it's their decision. Now, if they choose to do it, it's because they probably feel the same way I do. And that is that this war is not going to make it a safer place. It's going to make it a more dangerous place. And aside from that, the last thing that the Iraqi people need is to be bombed.

This is not the way America should be conducting itself. It's not going to win any points in the rest of the world. It won't make America a safer place. And, in fact, it's only going to increase the hatred and bitterness that exists. So, why are the American people allowing this to happen? It's just not right.

CHUNG: Did you support the Gulf War?

O'KEEFE: At the time, I felt that there was some legitimacy to the Gulf War. I believe in the concept of small nations being protected against larger nations.

CHUNG: All right, but how did you transform your position from fighting in the Gulf War to what you're doing now?

O'KEEFE: Well, it was over years of independent study and thinking critically for myself and reading alternative views, along with watching the mainstream media views, that I came to understand that the policies of the United States and that which was taught to me were two very different things.

And over the years, I've come to understand that the policies of the United States are actually not only destructive for the rest of the world, but highly destructive for the U.S. as well. And I think the American people owe it to themselves to look a little deeper, because, if they do, I'm sure that many of them would be sick to their stomach to know that our nation has been involved in some very nasty business.

CHUNG: Ken O'Keefe, you renounced your American citizenship back in 1999. Why should anyone listen to you?

O'KEEFE: Well, I'm still a human being. Whether or not I'm a U.S. citizen, I'm still a human being.

And I think, actually, you've hit right at the crux of the situation. It seems as if the Iraqi people don't matter at all or, in fact, dark-skinned people in other parts of the world don't matter. But they're still human beings. And they want the same things that you do. They want the same things that I do. They want to be able to put food on the table. They want a roof over their head.

They want to be able to be happy and explore their lives in ways that all of us would wish. And why would we want to bomb them, unless we didn't think they were our brothers and sisters? But, in fact, they are.

CHUNG: And you're willing to put your life on the line as well?

O'KEEFE: If the United States wants to carry itself this way, then take me out as opposed to the Iraqi people. They really don't deserve it. I don't really think I deserve it either, but, you know.

CHUNG: All right, Ken Nichols O'Keefe, Tom Brogan, we thank you so much for being with us.

If push comes to shove, Ken O'Keefe and Tom Brogan may someday find themselves staring down American firepower, a jet's targeting system, a rifle site or the crosshairs of a tank gunner.

CNN's Art Harris was given unprecedented access to tank-training sessions at Fort Knox last week. In fact, he even got behind the wheel. Wait until you see what that is like. As for the young lieutenants training in those tanks, they may find themselves using their new skills next in Iraq.


ART HARRIS, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The next war with Iraq may not be as easy as the first was in a wide-open desert. A dozen years ago, Major General Steven Whitcomb's tank command quickly wiped out an enemy brigade.

MAJ. GEN. STEVEN WHITCOMB, U.S. ARMY CENTRAL COMMAND: Less than an hour. Less than an hour, 45 minutes. Wham. See it. Kill it.

HARRIS: Iraqi crews fled their tanks.

WHITCOMB: The guy on the left blew up. The guy on the right: I'm not staying here. They cut and ran.

HARRIS: Today's beefed-up tanks can shoot on the move and hit targets more than two miles away. But that means little if the U.S. has to invade Baghdad, where tanks can't see around corners.

So, these young tank lieutenants are training for the worst, urban combat, in a mock battle at Fort Knox, Kentucky, hiding on foot, door to door, with only back-up support from tanks. In a city, tanks crews have to worry about what they cannot see.

ANDY ANDREWS, ARMY INSTRUCTOR: Because the threat is up close and personal. It's at arm's reach away.

2ND LT. JONATHAN NELSON, U.S. ARMY: Grab ahold right here.

HARRIS: Beginners learn by driving a tank in a simulator.

(on camera): Where is my steering wheel?

NELSON: There you go.

HARRIS (voice-over): In a city, turns are tricky.

NELSON: Easy. Turn to the right. Turn to the right.

HARRIS: Streets are narrow.

(on camera): On the wrong side of the road.

NELSON: Roger.

HARRIS (voice-over): Tanks lose their long-range edge.

(on camera): Tanks don't like cities.

NELSON: Not necessarily. It's like being in an elevator full of about 20 people. You feel a little bit cramped.

HARRIS (voice-over): Even out on the desert, this is no Sunday drive in the family SUV.

(on camera): Whoa! Whoa!

NELSON: It looks like the enemy spotted you, sir.


NELSON: Keep moving. Keep moving.

HARRIS: Oh, a stop sign. I just ran a stop sign.

NELSON: That's OK.

HARRIS (voice-over): It's like a high-tech ride at an amusement park.

(on camera): Whoa! Whoa!

HARRIS (voice-over): Only instead, we're playing for keeps.

(on camera): Was that us or them?

NELSON: That was them firing at us.

HARRIS: Boy, that wasn't very nice.

(voice-over): You wouldn't think a 70-ton tank would tip over.

(on camera): Let's see what she'll do here.

(voice-over): ... until you head down a desert mountain road too fast.

(on camera): Whoa.

NELSON: Forty-five.

HARRIS: Ahh. Oh! Did I hit the mountain?

NELSON: Yes, you hit it a little too hard sideways. So, pretty much, you crashed the tank.

HARRIS: Do I get to expense it?


HARRIS (voice-over): Now climb inside a real tank. It's cramped, noisy, but definitely a mean street machine.

(on camera): Would you call this a hot rod?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, definitely, sir, the best on the planet.

HARRIS: Seventy tons of heavy metal.


HARRIS (voice-over): In battle, a tank crew often peeks through a periscope to see.

(on camera): What's it like? What are seeing down there? I can only look up and see blue sky and a couple of buildings.

(voice-over): Here, the big gun is too deadly to use among civilians.

(on camera): Tank warfare and urban combat is down and dirty, with troops going door to door to clean out the enemy and calling on tanks for firepower to help them advance, a sort of tag-team approach to battle.

(voice-over): Yet, in the city, a tank can be reduced to little more than a $4 million battering ram.

(on camera): As far as parallel parking?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, parallel parking a tank is real easy. You just pull up on top of whatever's already there.

HARRIS (voice-over): Still, it will be the men who lead the way for machines.


HARRIS: And who, in this mock firefight, learned a sobering lesson: If there is a battle for Baghdad, it could be bloody.

Art Harris, CNN, Fort Knox, Kentucky.


CHUNG: Remember those European nations urging against military action in Iraq? Well, the Bush administration isn't sitting on the sidelines. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dismissed dissenters as -- quote -- "old Europe."

And he wasn't the only U.S. official speaking out, as we see in tonight's look at "The World in: 60."


(voice-over): In a message aimed at reluctant allies, Secretary of State Colin Powell said many nations would join a U.S.-led war against Iraq, even without the support of the U.N. Security Council. Meanwhile, China and Russia joined France and Germany in voicing strong opposition to an attack.

A Kuwaiti man confessed to opening fire on two Americans in Kuwait, killing one man and wounding the other, earlier this week. Authorities believe the assailant did not act alone.

Four Marines were killed overnight when two military helicopters crashed during a counter-drug operation near the Texas-Mexico border.

It was a year ago today that "Wall Street Journal" reporter Daniel Pearl was abducted in Pakistan while pursuing a story on Islamic militants. Pearl was later killed. He was 38.

A freezing cold snap is spreading misery and havoc across much of the U.S. Temperatures are 10 to 20 degrees well below normal in the Midwest and Northeast, while rain and snow pummel the South and Northwest.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ANNOUNCER: Coming up: losing at love on national television.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not the first time I've had my heart broken either. I really believed tonight that I was going to be the guy that was going to be moving on.


ANNOUNCER: What's it like to be rejected in front of millions of viewers?

CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT returns in a moment.


CHUNG: Now a follow-up to a story we first told you about a few days ago, the case of a mother charged with faking her 7-year-old daughter's cancer just to get donations. The case was turned over to a grand jury today.

Terri Milbrandt, her husband, and her mother are all charged in the scheme. Even the daughter, Hannah, believed she had cancer. We wanted to find out how Hannah's doing. Her first-grade teacher, Nori McCall, is not only still in touch with Hannah. She is seeking custody. Nori and her lawyer, Todd Brecount, join me now from Urbana, Ohio.

Thank you both for being with us.


CHUNG: Hi, Nori.

Apparently, you saw Hannah just about three weeks ago. She's staying in a foster home. How is she?

MCCALL: Yes, I was allowed to take her for an entire day. And we just had a lot of fun. We went to Chuck E. Cheese. We baked cookies. We just had a really fun day. And Hannah was in really good spirits that day. So it was nice to see her.

CHUNG: Now, Hannah's mom had shaved her head. Hannah really believed that she had cancer.

Nori, did she talk at all about what her mother did? Was she aware of it?

MCCALL: She spoke to me three weeks ago. She did bring it up, because I didn't want to bring up the subject. But I thought, if she brought it up, I would talk to her about it. And she said that her mother had made a very bad choice, but she didn't understand the -- the mother didn't understand what she was doing because she was sick. So that's what Hannah thinks about it right now. So...

CHUNG: Does she miss her mom?

MCCALL: At the time, yes, she said she still miss her and that she still loved her mom.

CHUNG: How about her father? Did she say anything about him?

MCCALL: She just told me that he sat her down and explained what the mother had done to her, but that he was not involved in it.

CHUNG: Now, you've been her teacher. How was she at school before all of this happened?

MCCALL: Oh, before all this happened, she was a very popular little girl, just high spirit, just a happy child, a very intelligent child, just a wonderful girl, a girl you would just love to have in your home.

CHUNG: And did you notice a change in her?

MCCALL: It was probably after Christmas break, some time January, end of January, when Hannah had missed quite a bit of school. And it started out as a brain tumor, supposedly. Her vision had become blurry, so Terri took her to the eye doctor. And, supposedly, the eye doctor detected the tumor because it was on her optical nerve.

CHUNG: I see. And did you...

MCCALL: So, that's how it started.

CHUNG: You actually spoke with her mom, Terri.

MCCALL: Oh, yes.

CHUNG: Did you ever doubt that she was telling you the truth?

MCCALL: Not at all. Terri seemed like such a loving mother that would never do anything like she's done. So, I never questioned any of it.

CHUNG: Todd, what are the chances that Nori would be able to gain custody of Hannah?

TODD BRECOUNT, ATTORNEY FOR MCCALL: Well, I think Nori is an excellent candidate. And under Ohio law, any third party can intervene in a custody case. And Nori is close to Hannah. And they seem to have a terrific relationship. It's my understanding that Hannah just loves to spend time with Nori. And I think her chances are pretty good.

CHUNG: Nori, do you think Hannah would want to live with you?

MCCALL: Oh, definitely. Every time we get to spend some time together, Hannah is always just so happy. So, I think she would love it, myself. And I know I would love it.

CHUNG: All right, Nori McCall, Todd Brecount, I thank you so much for being with us.

And still ahead: bad enough when a woman turns you down, but on national television? We'll meet two of the guys who didn't get "The Bachelorette."

Stay with us.

ANNOUNCER: Next: They tackled the gunman holding their class hostage.


JONATHAN GRISWOLD, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: I'd rather get shot trying to stop him than get shot running away.


ANNOUNCER: Two high school students and the split-second decision that saved dozens of lives.

CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT will be right back.


CHUNG: We don't know whether Arroyo Grande High School might have turned into another Columbine, but thanks to two students, we're not going to know. Last Friday, a 15-year-old student in the California high school pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and took hostage the students in his language class. The teacher and classmates kept the student talking until two other students leapt into action.


GHEZA: Anthony (ph) comes right at me and I stop, because we made eye contact. And I thought it was over. Thank God Jonathan grabbed his arm.


CHUNG: Jonathan is Jonathan Griswold. And the classmate who was speaking was Clay Gheza. Both of them are with us tonight.

Thank you so much for being with us.

Jonathan, what were you thinking? What was going through your mind when you first saw your classmate going up to the front of the class and pulled out that gun?

GRISWOLD: I thought it was a test. I thought, this can't be happening. This can't be happening. I don't know.

CHUNG: Were you scared?

GRISWOLD: Oh, I was petrified. I was.

CHUNG: Clay, was he trying to threaten anyone? And were the teachers or other students trying to calm him down?

GHEZA: Well, the situation really was -- it was never really a threat. The child never made any notions to hurt anyone. But the whole class was really great. Everyone in there did what they had to do. They all started talking to him and were asking him about his problems, which I thought was great.

CHUNG: And what did he say to everyone?

GHEZA: He told us that -- in the beginning, he told everyone to shut up, that he had an announcement to make. And he started saying about his plan, that he had been doing this, thinking about doing this for about two weeks. And I, to tell you the truth, really didn't hear enough, because I was kind of thinking about what I had to do and that kind of thing.

CHUNG: Jonathan, I understand the classmate wanted the blinds closed and the doors locked. And he asked you to do that. What happened? What did you do? I went back to the back of the room and was -- and the whole time, I was wanting to get out of my seat, because I didn't want to be just sitting there.

GRISWOLD: I wanted to get out of my seat and try and do something. And I saw that was an opportunity to get out of my seat. So, I went to the back of the room and I started to close the blinds. And I noticed he was walking in the back of the room to make sure we were getting the blinds closed. And I decided to go back to the front of the room. And I walked backwards to the front of the room. And I sort of snuck up behind him.

And he was paying attention to my teacher, who was going to lock the doors. And Clay jumped up on the other side of the room. I don't know what we were thinking. But I guess he saw that I was going to do something. And he started running over. And that's when the boy pointed the gun at Clay. And that's when I saw the opportunity to jump on his arm and push him against the wall and the table on the side of the room.

And Clay was there in about two seconds. And we just got entangled and held onto the gun for our lives and we wrestled him for about a minute and a half.

CHUNG: Now, Clay, when he pointed the gun at you, you must have been petrified.

GHEZA: Yes. I just -- I thought it was over. I didn't know what to think. Thank God Jonathan did what he did.

I kind of got up and ran over there, not paying attention to what the situation was. The only thing I was thinking was how I could keep my friend safe. And when he pointed that gun at me, I swallowed my heart. I just -- I thought it was over. I thought that I wouldn't get to see my family again. But thank God Jonathan was there to save my life.

CHUNG: And he grabbed the young man's arm, didn't he, and pulled it away. Now, the police said that they thought that gun should have gone off. Is that what they told you?

GHEZA: Yes. Actually, there was a reason it didn't go off. I mean, I was surprised. But when I was wrestling for the gun with Jonathan, I put two fingers behind the trigger so he couldn't pull it, so it wouldn't be possible for it to go off. I don't know what made me think of that, but I just figured I had to handicap the gun in some way.

CHUNG: Oh, my gosh. This is unbelievable thinking, Clay.

Now, Jonathan, I know you can't tell us who the boy is or what his name is, but can you describe him? Did you all know him very well?

GRISWOLD: I didn't know him very well at all. I knew he sat next to me in class. I heard him talking to some other people. I had never really talked to him myself. He seemed like a normal, nice kid. And he seemed to have good friends. And he never really complained or acted like he had any problems at all. I would never have expected him to do it.

CHUNG: Clay, this was such an emotional moment for you. I mean, I saw you when you were telling others what happened. How has this impacted your life?

GHEZA: It's kind of hard to understand for me, because it seems that we have to look at the good side of a tragedy. And it seems that my life has changed, because everything is so much more enjoyable. And it really put a lot of things into perspective for me, like grades and friends and how important they really are until you're faced with that situation.

CHUNG: Jonathan Griswold, Clay Gheza, I just hope my son grows up to be as wonderful as you two are, fine young men. Thank you so much.

We'll be right back.


CHUNG: "The Bachelorette"'s revenge has begun.

Granted, Trista Rehn is not getting revenge on "The Bachelor," the guy who dropped her on television nine months ago, in favor of -- I don't know, whoever it was. But she is getting a chance to be on the other side, dumping guys, including one of our guests tonight.


TRISTA REHN: I'm really not going to say this to anybody else, but, if I had -- I'd like to get you and (INAUDIBLE) And it was really hard, because you're...


CHUNG: Bob wasn't the only one who got the boot. BOB GUINEY, FORMER "BACHELORETTE" CONTESTANT: No.

CHUNG: No, because other suitors got the boot, too, Jamie Blyth. But they're both being very good sports about it. And they're here with us tonight.

Pronounce your last name for me, so your mother can hear your last name.

GUINEY: Bob Guiney.

CHUNG: Guiney. Bob Guiney.


CHUNG: Thank you.

GUINEY: You're welcome.

CHUNG: Thank you for being with us.

GUINEY: Thank you for having us.


CHUNG: Now, we just heard her saying, oh, I really would have chosen you. Did you just cry and cry and cry your eyes out?

GUINEY: I did. I have no more tears to cry, Connie.


GUINEY: No. She and I had created a relationship that was a little more of like a friendship, I think, than courtship. And we got along great. We shared the same sense of humor and got along well. So, it was a nice, thoughtful gesture of her. But I think she ended up with the right four guys in the end.

CHUNG: Jamie, you actually asked her if you could kiss her or if she could kiss you?

BLYTH: I asked if I could give her a small kiss good night.

CHUNG: All right, let's listen to this.

BLYTH: Sure. OK.


BLYTH: Do you mind like to kiss you good night? Is that OK?


REHN: That is pretty forward.

BLYTH: I don't want to be too up front.

REHN: Well, it is kind of a first date. So, maybe right here.

BLYTH: Sure, a little one. OK. Thank you. I appreciate it. I'm timid in that aspect. So...

REHN: Yes. But thank you for asking.


CHUNG: Wait a minute. I want to see that again.

BLYTH: I don't want to ever see that ever again.

CHUNG: Was that on the lips or kind of side like?

BLYTH: I think it was like on the side.

CHUNG: I got you.

BLYTH: You know what's interesting, though, is, on our first date, we were in the shower. But the kiss wasn't...

CHUNG: You're kidding. You really were?

BLYTH: Yes. My first date with her was in the shower. And I didn't know that -- I just didn't want to be too up front with it. I just didn't know, after watching the first episode, that she was kissing Russ and all these other guys.


CHUNG: You know, it's funny, because I didn't think it was forward. I thought it was very polite.

BLYTH: Oh, well, thank you. I'm a little embarrassed by it, because I was a little tentative with it.

CHUNG: Now, here's what I want to know. I spent a few minutes with you guys before we started this thing. And you just don't seem like two guys who would be hard up to go on national television, potentially humiliate yourselves, and just to find a babe. I don't get it. Why?

GUINEY: The way I look at it is, why not? We had an opportunity presented to us. I wasn't going on there to look for love. I was going on there to look for an experience. And I had a great one. Living on ABC's tab for six weeks wasn't such a bad



GUINEY: I got to meet a lot of really cool guys. The producers and the staff associated with the show were tremendous to us. And Trista is a really nice person. I came away with it with a lot of good friends.

CHUNG: Jamie, a member of our staff, Megan (ph), said you are gorgeous with a capital G.

BLYTH: Well, that's very nice of her.


CHUNG: We have plenty of news babes downstairs now, and upstairs, too. I don't know why you would need to do this.

BLYTH: Well, after watching this, I don't know why I did either.


BLYTH: But the same thing with him. It was kind of, why not? It was an adventure, really. I'm always open to kind of discovering new possibilities and not be confined with what I'm doing now. And I always seek out interesting, adventurous type things. And it kind of corresponds with this book that I'm writing as a way to confront social anxiety and panic disorder.

CHUNG: And I know you suffer from that.

BLYTH: Yes, I do.

CHUNG: I think you're doing well now, don't you?

BLYTH: Yes. It was more in the past and kind of how I overcame it and how I deal with it now.

CHUNG: Good for you.

Bob, I want to know what happened that we didn't see. What was it like at the house when you guys were there?

GUINEY: This could be a whole show in itself. I'm not going to kid you.

It was crazy. We basically -- I jokingly said to Trista one night when she came back to the house. She said, how come every time I go on a date with you, I come back and everyone's sleeping? I go on date with anyone else, I come back, and it's "Animal House." I couldn't help but say, I was like, well, you know, where I'm from -- I'm from Detroit.

CHUNG: You were the instigator?

BLYTH: Yes, 15 guys dating one girl, that's a butt-kicking. That's not a TV show. So, it was kind of fun. And she really got my humor, I think. And it was really cool.

And, yes, what went on at the house was basically just mayhem, a lot of fun. And that's -- when you come away from it, Jamie and I both never had individual dates with Trista. So, we were primarily on group situations, which was cool by me. That was actually a great way for me to get to know her.


CHUNG: When you say it was like "Animal House," do you mean that you all were drunk all the time?

GUINEY: Not me, but the other guys.

BLYTH: Bob and I don't drink.


BLYTH: Did you see him put the dog food bag over his head?

CHUNG: Yes. True.

BLYTH: Crazy.


GUINEY: Yes, he looked a lot like Jamie.

CHUNG: Yes, you did drink. Now, come on.

GUINEY: I did. I had a couple drinks once. And I saw, in last night's episode -- or the other night's episode, I guess, would be that I had two scenes where I didn't actually have a drink in my hand. So, my folks should be real proud of me.


CHUNG: You have a Web site. And how many hits have you gotten on it now?

GUINEY: Yes, my band's Web site. We are a band called Fat Amy. And it literally averages about 1,500 to 2,000 hits a month. And in the last week, it's gotten like 55,000 hits.

CHUNG: Oh, my gosh.

BLYTH: That was me. Big fan.

GUINEY: Yes. Jamie has been downloading all my music for the last week.

CHUNG: All right, Bob, Jamie, thank you so much for being with us.

GUINEY: Thank you very much. It was great meeting you.

BLYTH: Thanks. We appreciate it.

CHUNG: And, you know, you don't want to get married yet.


GUINEY: No. No, we're good.

CHUNG: Great.

Still ahead: Will the Bee Gees on without brother Maurice? The answer when we return.


CHUNG: Tonight, we begin our "Snapshot" with a sudden loss for both stage and screen.


(voice-over): Actress/singer Nell Carter is dead. She collapsed in her Beverly Hills home this morning. The Emmy-award winning star of "Gimme a Break" also won a Tony for "Ain't Misbehavin'." Carter was 54.

The death of Bee Gee member Maurice Gibb marks the end of the band. The surviving members say they will retire the band name, but plan to continue singing.

Don't give much thought to Justin Timberlake's new album. He says the theme of "Justified" is just to shut off your brain and not think.

"Wheel of Fortune"'s Pat Sajak will be spinning his wheels on cable TV soon. He'll try his fortune as a celebrity and newsmaker talk show host.

A Mobile, Alabama, woman found more than just horsepower under her hood. After hearing a muffled but persistent bark, she pulled over, opened the hood and found a 10-week old collie stuck between the radiator and the engine. Police pulled the pup out scared but OK.


CHUNG: Our "Person of the Day" has a hunger for justice.


CHUNG: Tonight: a legal ruling that left both sides with a good taste in their mouths inspired our pick for "Person of the Day."

Manhattan federal Judge Robert Sweet ruled on a potentially landmark case, the case of teenagers suing McDonald's for their obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol. He tossed out the case, making McDonald's and a lot of other fast-food joints very happy.

Judge Sweet, an 80-year-old who reportedly can't remember the last time he went to McDonald's, says he was concerned about the trend toward obesity among America's youth. And in a move that pleased the plaintiffs, he gave them time to file again and suggested they try to argue that fast-food processing leads to more ingredients than customers may be aware of, a ruling that kind of splits the hamburger right down the middle, just as Solomon would have, making Judge Robert Sweet our "Person of the Day." Mayor McCheese would be proud.

Earlier,we told you about the start of Clara Harris' trial for allegedly running over her cheating husband three times. Well, tomorrow, you won't believe the cast of characters in this case. It makes "All My Children" look like "The Waltons." You won't want to miss it. Trust me.

And coming up next on "LARRY KING LIVE," Larry profiles a woman who is no stranger to his program, Nancy Grace.

Thank you so much for joining us. And for all of us at CNN, good night and we'll see you tomorrow.


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