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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Rudolph's Attorney Says He Was Not at Any Crime Scene

Aired June 2, 2003 - 19:01   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, ANCHOR: First, Eric Robert Rudolph, a suspect in bombings in Alabama and Georgia, is in a Birmingham jail this evening.
Rudolph was first in federal court in Asheville, North Carolina early this morning, where he heard the charges against him: three bombings in Atlanta that killed one, wounded dozens; and a blast at an abortion clinic Birmingham that killed an off-duty police officer and critically injured a nurse.

Gary Tuchman wraps up the day's events.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After spending millions of dollars to find him, new expenses now to keep Eric Robert Rudolph safe as he was transported to court.

Flying aboard a Black Hawk helicopter amid intense security, he was taken 110 miles from Murphy, North Carolina, to Asheville, North Carolina, where a motorcade brought him to a federal courthouse. Where he met up with his court-appointed attorney who got the case on Sunday night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is not guilty of the charges.

TUCHMAN: The federal government told Rudolph, sitting in court in a bullet-proof vest, that it wanted him sent to Alabama to stand trial. And after that, to Georgia for another trial.

Rudolph listened quietly with occasional whispers to his attorney as a prosecutor spent 20 minutes reading the 21-count indictment with four bombings, including the one in Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park which killed one woman and injured more than 100 other people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The court advised the defendant of his rights under the law.

TUCHMAN: Which included the right to plead guilty right away in North Carolina and not be extradited. Rudolph and his attorney chose not do that.

ROBERT CONRAD JR., U.S. ATTORNEY: As far as I know he wasn't anywhere near anything that happened, but I can tell you that nothing that he did was that sort of defiant, arrogant it's their fault, not my fault, you know, I'm in the Army of God and they had it coming. I mean, nothing. He didn't talk about that.

TUCHMAN: The accused serial bomber spent the past weekend in a small county jail in Murphy, a mile from where he was caught.

His attorney says Rudolph has revealed to police the location of at least one of his hideouts.

CONRAD: I think, you know, out of fundamental decency he told him where his campsite was, one or more campsites, and he was not armed. As far as I can tell from everything I've heard, he didn't have a gun at his campsite.

TUCHMAN: So what he did have at the campsite? The attorney says he nose of one particular thing.

CONRAD: I know he had a copy of the biography of Gandhi in his campsite, I can tell you that much.

TUCHMAN: The attorney says the campsite was close to the grocery store where Rudolph was caught.

Rudolph was quickly flown to Birmingham after the 30-minute court hearing, where legal proceedings could lead to him getting the federal death penalty.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TUCHMAN: It was a very hectic day for Rudolph. Not only did he have his legal proceeding in this courthouse behind me in Asheville, North Carolina, but also went on a helicopter ride, then on a plane ride and had two motorcades. But now his home for the time being and maybe for a very long time, a federal prison in Alabama.

We want to tell that you the frustrating search for Rudolph had been scaled down over the last couple of years, but his capture has ramped up the investigation, particularly in the effort to determine if anyone assisted him over the last five years.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: That, of course, is the big question. Gary Tuchman, appreciate you joining us.

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