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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interviews with Robert Elder, Grady Irvin

Aired July 22, 2003 - 19:46   ET

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

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Wanted to know, right now, go to one of the -- to one of the police officers. We head to Chestertown, Maryland, where Dotson is being held right now without bail after refusing, as Gary said, to waive extradition to Texas.
Police Captain Robert Edler joins us now.

Captain, thanks for being with us.

Tell us what happened this weekend. Your office received a call from Carlton Dotson.

CAPT. ROBERT EDLER, CHESTERTOWN, MARYLAND, POLICE DEPARTMENT: Yes, Anderson, it was Sunday evening about quarter to five, a 911 center here in Kent (ph) County received a call from Mr. Dotson. He was requesting medical assistance at that time.

Two of our units and one Kent County deputy responded to Mr. Dotson, and subsequently transported him to the Kent (ph) Queen Anne's Hospital for treatment.

COOPER: What -- you said he was asking for medical assistance. Did he give any details of what the medical problem was?

EDLER: He -- at that time, he said he was hearing voices and needed to speak to somebody.

COOPER: I understand you were at the hospital as well. How did he appear to you?

EDLER: Yes, I was in the hospital with Mr. Dotson yesterday morning for two or three hours, and he appeared fine to me. He was calm, he wasn't agitated, wasn't very talkative, but nothing out of the ordinary.

COOPER: And then at some point he asked to speak to the FBI, is that correct?

EDLER: Yes. That would have been sometime after 10:00 or 10:30. I was relieved, and he made the request to speak to somebody from the FBI. We made those arrangements, and he spoke to whatever agent he was taken to.

COOPER: To your knowledge, did he confess to being involved in the disappearance of Patrick Dennehy?

EDLER: Not to my knowledge. The -- I was not privy to any of the information during he course of the interview with the FBI. Believe there was a detective from Waco authorities with the FBI as well, but I was not privy to any of that information.

COOPER: All right, well, Captain Robert Edler, appreciate you joining us. Thanks for telling us what you can. Appreciate it.

COOPER: Wanted to know, right now, go to one of the -- to one of the police officers. We head to Chestertown, Maryland, where Dotson is being held right now without bail after refusing, as Gary said, to waive extradition to Texas.

Police Captain Robert Edler joins us now.

Captain, thanks for being with us.

Tell us what happened this weekend. Your office received a call from Carlton Dotson.

CAPT. ROBERT EDLER, CHESTERTOWN, MARYLAND, POLICE DEPARTMENT: Yes, Anderson, it was Sunday evening about quarter to five, a 911 center here in Kent (ph) County received a call from Mr. Dotson. He was requesting medical assistance at that time.

Two of our units and one Kent County deputy responded to Mr. Dotson, and subsequently transported him to the Kent (ph) Queen Anne's Hospital for treatment.

COOPER: What -- you said he was asking for medical assistance. Did he give any details of what the medical problem was?

EDLER: He -- at that time, he said he was hearing voices and needed to speak to somebody.

COOPER: I understand you were at the hospital as well. How did he appear to you?

EDLER: Yes, I was in the hospital with Mr. Dotson yesterday morning for two or three hours, and he appeared fine to me. He was calm, he wasn't agitated, wasn't very talkative, but nothing out of the ordinary.

COOPER: And then at some point he asked to speak to the FBI, is that correct?

EDLER: Yes. That would have been sometime after 10:00 or 10:30. I was relieved, and he made the request to speak to somebody from the FBI. We made those arrangements, and he spoke to whatever agent he was taken to.

COOPER: To your knowledge, did he confess to being involved in the disappearance of Patrick Dennehy?

EDLER: Not to my knowledge. The -- I was not privy to any of the information during he course of the interview with the FBI. Believe there was a detective from Waco authorities with the FBI as well, but I was not privy to any of that information.

COOPER: All right, well, Captain Robert Edler, appreciate you joining us. Thanks for telling us what you can. Appreciate it.

Well, we want to turn to the other side of the story in the case of missing basketball player. Attorney Grady Irvin, Jr., represents Dotson. He joins us now from Tampa, Florida.

Grady, thanks very much for being with us.

Have you talked to your client today?

GRADY IRVIN, JR., CARLTON DOTSON'S ATTORNEY: Carlton telephoned me early this afternoon, he phoned my cell phone.

COOPER: How is he doing?

IRVIN: I'm not going to comment on that. I'm very concerned about his well-being at this time.

COOPER: You no doubt heard the officer saying that he had said he was hearing voices. This was sometime Sunday. Can you comment anything about that?

IRVIN: I think eventually what you're about to see within the next several days is law enforcement shut down making comments about this case, because every comment that they make would tend to lead to the very credible assertion that Carlton is not well. Carlton was hearing voices. Carlton asked for medical assistance. He was taken to the hospital on Sunday. He received, quote, unquote, "treatment."

And it's amazing that this officer, his department, were not privy nor participated in the questioning that was done by FBI agents if, in fact, it ever took place, or by the detective from Waco. I think that that's very, very interesting, and, quite frankly, it's very alarming.

It's obvious that Carlton's mental state was in question. This officer that just appeared before me commented on that. And it has to raise tremendous suspicion by anyone who has any inkling of what the law is all about and what person's constitutional rights are that it appears more and more obvious that any statements that were given by Mr. Dotson, if any, couldn't have been freely, couldn't have been voluntary, and couldn't have been done while he was coherent in any way, shape, or form.

COOPER: So you're saying he, in effect, was not coherent? I mean, the -- you're saying there is some sort of -- in -- I don't want to characterize it, but some sort of mental issue?

IRVIN: Well, I think that the officer supported that just now. I mean, he stated that he needed assistance, he wanted medical attention, quote, unquote, he got "treatment." Those are his words, not my words. And he said treatment. He certainly clearly did not say that there was an -- that there was a cut or an abrasion, a wound of any type of sort. I think he clearly would have commented on that.

I think the term "treatment" means exactly what it says. Apparently this individual was under treatment.

Now, why police officers remained there, why police officers continued to be present, whether or not they advised him of his rights, all of those things have now come into question, and it's becoming more and more evident that there is something very wrong with Carlton, at least at this point, and he's been under a tremendous amount of stress, it appears, a tremendous amount of pressure, because of, you know, media reports, et cetera.

But I think that -- I think very soon you're going to see law enforcement shut down from making public comments, because I think they're beginning to dig themselves into a hole which is going to be almost impossible to get out.

Right now, as an attorney, and I think any attorney who may be reviewing this situation, has to say they're going to have problems. They seem to be indicating that they're making a path where anything that has been stated by Carlton may come about and be suppressed

COOPER: Well, let me, let me ask you...

IRVIN: ... because it wasn't free and voluntary.

COOPER: At this point, do you feel you know what statements Carlton Dotson has made to authorities? Because he went in, apparently on Thursday, apparently of his own free will, without you or any attorney present...

IRVIN: Well, whatever he said, whatever he said on Thursday was not sufficient for an arrest warrant to be issued. He was released on Thursday when he went to police, understand this, he went to police on his own on Thursday.

COOPER: To your knowledge...

IRVIN: Now, (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

COOPER: ... has Carlton Dotson confessed to the shooting?

IRVIN: No, no. What -- you've got take it in sequence. On Thursday he went to police on his own. On Sunday, he contacted 911 and asked for medical attention. He did not seek police assistance. He sought medical assistance. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

COOPER: And then at some point apparently asked for the FBI.

IRVIN: Beg your pardon?

COOPER: I mean, apparently at some point asked to speak to the FBI.

IRVIN: That's what you're told to believe. You don't know that for sure. Neither do I.

COOPER: OK, you're saying OK. At this point, do you know, has Carlton Dotson confessed to anyone of an involvement in the disappearance, possible shooting of Patrick Dennehy?

IRVIN: I think the best words from that come directly from Carlton Dotson. I think you've got footage there when Mr. Dotson was in handcuffs. He was walking to the police commissioner's office, and he stated, publicly, in front of cameras, in front of the media, "I did not confess to anything."

COOPER: All right.

IRVIN: So those are his words. Those are not my words. I don't know if there's anything for him to confess to. I think that police have accomplished what I believe they've sought out to accomplish, and that's to take the attention off of them and the microscope that's being conducted over their investigation.

And I trust, I truly trust, that this investigation and the decision to get an arrest warrant for Mr. Dotson...

COOPER: OK.

IRVIN: ... is not about -- is not as a consequence of the police trying to direct focus away from themselves.

COOPER: All right. We're going to have to leave it there.

IRVIN: Sure.

COOPER: Greg Irvin, appreciate you joining us. Thank you very much.

IRVIN: Certainly. Have a good evening.

COOPER: All right, you too.

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