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Castro's Daughter: He's "Evil, Demonic"; Notes Found In Ohio Suspect's Home; Ohio Pushes For Aggravated Murder; Woman Survives 17 Days Under Rubble; Arias Trial On Hold Until Wednesday; Minnesota House OK's Same Sex Marriages; One WTC Spire Put Into Place; Spacewalk Set To Fix Ammonia Leak; Finish Line Identified as Bomb Target; Freed Ohio Women Face Long Recovery

Aired May 10, 2013 - 10:00   ET



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now in the NEWSROOM, a CNN exclusive, the daughter of Ariel Castro breaking her silence.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have no problem cutting him out of our life. I never want to see him again.


COSTELLO: Angie Gregg opening up talking about her father and piecing together the horrors that happened in her childhood home.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ever since my mom lived in that house, the basement was always kept locked.


COSTELLO: The warning signs, the abuse, and her message to her father.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There will be no visits. There will be no phone calls. He is dead to me.


COSTELLO: This morning Cleveland comes together, a vigil then a pause, to mend and heal. A special edition of NEWSROOM live from Cleveland begins right now.

Good morning. Thank you so much for being with me. I'm Carol Costello. We do begin in Cleveland where police have intensified their search in the backyard of Ariel Castro's home. What they find could help prosecutors seek the death penalty against him.

We're also hearing from Ariel Castro's daughter. The man she once lovingly called daddy, she now calls evil, vile, and demonic.


ANGIE GREGG, DAUGHTER OF ARIEL CASTRO: My father's actions are not a reflection of everyone in the family. They're definitely not a reflection of myself or my children. We don't have monster in our blood.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you look at your dad -- you call him monster?

GREGG: Yes. Yes. There will be no visits. There will be no phone calls. He is dead to me.


COSTELLO: And a community unites in its grief and shock. Clevelanders hold vigils to seek healing together. Let's go live to Cleveland now and Pamela Brown has new information on the DNA evidence taken from Ariel Castro. What can you tell us, Pam?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, we have learned that the state crime lab worked overnight to expedite the results, samples taken of Ariel Castro's DNA. The preliminary results of his DNA profile have been sent to Cleveland police. We're still waiting to find out exactly what's going to happen from here.

We have been reaching out to police and the prosecutor's office, but what we do know is that essentially officials will run his DNA through a database to see if it matches up with any previous crimes or previous missing person cases.

COSTELLO: And, Pam -- I'm sorry. Are they still searching in the backyard as we speak, or are they done doing that now?

BROWN: It's hard to say, Carol. You know, officials are staying very tight-lipped about the investigation. We know there have been several searches. We've seen the exclusive pictures in the backyard of Ariel Castro's house where the FBI put up tarps and dug holes, and it does seem like in talking to my sources that this is ongoing. So it wouldn't be surprising if there are more searches in the house and the yard there of Ariel Castro's home.

COSTELLO: I'm assuming police are keeping very tight-lipped about what they may or may not be finding.

BROWN: They are, but, Carol, I've spoken to sources, and we've learned more about a note that was taken out of the home during a search. This is a note that Ariel Castro allegedly wrote back in 2004, and in it essentially he is justifying his actions for abducting the women, explaining that some of it has to do with some abuse endured by his family member earlier on in life.

And he is actually according to sources, according to a reporter for WOIO blaming the girls for what happened saying that they should have never gotten in the car with the stranger in the first place, and these notes, he is also talking about how -- just how that they played a role in all this and how basically he is not to blame, but they are, so very disturbing stuff there -- Carol.

COSTELLO: You're not kidding. Pamela Brown reporting live from Cleveland this morning.>

If Ariel Castro is guilty of forcing his captives to suffer miscarriages, could he get the death penalty? Ohio prosecutors say yes. Making murder charges stick won't be easy, so we want to talk about that. Page Pate is a defense attorney and constitutional lawyer and Carrie Hackett is a defense attorney. Welcome to you both.

Thank you for being here. So the prosecutor says the law of Ohio calls for the death penalty for those most aggravated murder during the course of a kidnapping. If Castro caused a miscarriage, would that stick the law, Carrie?

CARRIE HACKETT, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I think so. If he purposefully causes the termination of a pregnancy that can be aggravated murder. In this case, I think it's going to be a little bit more difficult because we're going to have to prove, first, the causation, and, second, the pregnancies actually occurred. I think the investigation in trying to determine whether there actually is a fetus is going to be very integral and important.

COSTELLO: That's probably why they're digging up the yard, right?


COSTELLO: Page, 38 states have fetal homicide laws including Ohio and Georgia. Can you just in general outline what those laws say?

PAGE PATE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYER: Well, basically they're treating the fetus as a person, and if there's an unwanted or unlawful termination of a pregnancy, it's just like killing someone. It's just like --

COSTELLO: At any point during the pregnancy?

PATE: Yes. Basically, there's not a lot of case law to determine when it's OK and when it's not OK as long as it's unlawful, and that's the key thing. If it's unlawful, it can be aggravated murder. If it can be aggravated murder, it can mean the death penalty.

COSTELLO: And sadly, Carrie, we only have the victim's word for this, right? I mean, how could police get proof that this actually happened?

HACKETT: I don't think we know yet what we have. I think that we could just have the victim's word. These other women that were held captive as well could have witnessed the pregnancy, so that victim's word could be corroborated ultimately. They could find the fetus in the backyard or somewhere else. They could determine that there are other physical signs that have shown that this woman has gone through a pregnancy, and certainly she hadn't before the time that she was kidnapped.

COSTELLO: Yes, because I understand according to some laws in some states that a doctor has to actually examine a fetus or have some other sort of proof that a woman was pregnant and I can understand how there might be signs a woman was pregnant, although very early on I don't know if -- it would be hard to detect.

PATE: You know, I don't think ultimately they anticipate convicting him and sending him to death based on these unwanted or unlawful termination pregnancies. They're going to use that as leverage. They're going to say, look, we're going to charge you with aggravated murder. You're facing the death penalty so it is in your best interest to go ahead, cooperate with this investigation, plead guilty, and serve the rest of your life in prison.

COSTELLO: Well, I know a lot of women who say he should face the death penalty anyway, right? But that you can't for rape and kidnapping and stealing someone's young life and --

HACKETT: Not in Ohio.

PATE: The thing about that too the death penalty. If we really want to do that, we're talking about a lengthy trial, we're talking about a lot of appeals, and do these women really want to go through this experience again?

COSTELLO: That's a tough question. Only they can answer. I think back to Jaycee Dugard, right? She went through all of that and it had to be horrible for her. The judge had -- you know, I don't think she ever appeared in the courtroom, right? So he protected her.

HACKETT: I don't believe she did.

COSTELLO: But still, she had to, like --

HACKETT: There would be a lot of psychological trauma from having to testify, I believe, regardless of the situation, whether you actually needed to appear in front of your captor or not.

COSTELLO: Carrie Hackett, Page Pate, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

We'll have more on our special coverage from Ohio in just a minute, but, first, an incredible story of survival out of Bangladesh. Just a few hours ago, a woman was rescued after spending 17 days trapped underneath the rubble of a collapsed garment factory.

Crews somehow heard her pleas for help, and they eventually, as you can see, pulled her from the debris. She was underneath that rubble for 17 days. She's now being treated at a hospital. In the days following the building's collapse, 2,400 people were, indeed, freed, but early on in this process 1,000 people died in this factory collapse.

Coming up in the NEWSROOM, an unexpected break in the Jodi Arias murder trial, why the proceedings are now on hold, and why Arias has been moved to another facility.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COSTELLO: Convicted killer, Jodi Arias, is being held in a psychiatric ward this morning at a different jail. The next phase in her first degree murder trial is on hold until Wednesday. It was postponed after Arias and her lawyers met with the judge behind closed doors.

Casey Wian joins me now from outside the jail in Phoenix where Arias is now being held. So Casey, take us through what happened.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was really a bizarre day, Carol, yesterday, as if this case needed to get my more bizarre. There was supposed to be a hearing at 1:00 local time at the beginning of sort of the penalty phase in the Jodi Arias case where jurors would decide whether there were aggravating factors in this horrific murder that could make her eligible for the death penalty.

We sat around, several reporters, outside the courtroom, waiting for the proceedings to begin at 1:00. At 1:30 a court official came out and said proceedings have been delayed until Wednesday of next week, giving no explanation.

Later we found out about that exparte meeting you referenced between Jodi Arias, her defense attorneys, and the judge. The results of that meeting were put under seal, so we don't know exactly what was discussed, but we do know proceedings have been delayed until Wednesday of next week -- Carol.

COSTELLO: OK, so Jodi Arias is now in a psych ward. What do we know about her mental health?

WIAN: Well, we know that as you mentioned, she is in the psychiatric ward here at the lower buckeye jail, known as LBJ, run by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arrpajo. As a result of that interview she gave right after her conviction where she talked about wanting the death penalty.

She had also sent out tweets through an intermediary talking about suicide, apparently enough to raise concerns about her mental well being. She is under psychiatric watch. One indication of how serious this issue may be, her mother tried to come here last night and visit her in jail. She was not able to see Jodi -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Casey Wian reporting live from Phoenix this morning.

Just ahead in the NEWSROOM, more of our special coverage out of Ohio and also the latest on the Boston marathon bombings. Why authorities suspected the finish line could be a bomb target days before that attack went down. We'll be right back.


COSTELLO: Ahead, more special coverage from Ohio, but, first, a check of other top stories at 17 minutes past the hour. Supporters of same- sex marriage are cheering a major step in Minnesota. The statehouse passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. The state senate is expected to follow suit, and the governor says he will sign that bill into law. As of now 11 states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriages.

One World Trade Center is now officially the tallest building in the western hemisphere. This morning construction crews finished bolting a 408-foot tall spire into place. The Manhattan building is now 1,076 feet tall. It will serve as a broadcast antenna.

The International Space Station crew will take care of a repair job tomorrow. The commander tweets the two crew members will go on a space walk to fix an ammonia leak in the cooling system. The leak was detected after the crew saw small white flakes floating away from the station. NASA says no one is in any danger from the leak.

An intelligence assessment just days before the Boston marathon bombing warned that the finish line could be a target for a bomb tag attack. A spokesman for the Massachusetts State Police is playing down that report saying the alert was based on commonsense, not a specific threat. In the meantime, Boston's police commissioner testifies before Congress about the attack.


COMMISSIONER EDWARD DAVIS, BOSTON POLICE: If we knew everything that we know now absent the blast -- without the blast being involved in it, but if we knew all of these things that have come out since then, we would have taken a hard look at these individuals. But at this point in time, I can't say that when we knew things that we would have done anything differently.


COSTELLO: Davis also said authorities must protect civil liberties as they work to fortify vulnerable targets.

Some new details too in the older bombing suspect's six-month stint last year in Russia, "Time" magazine is reporting Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent a lot of time with a distant cousin who happens to be one of the area's most prominent Islamists. Russian authorities this week interrogated (inaudible) in connection with the Boston attack. His lawyer tells "Time" that the cousin insists tried to talk Tsarnaev out of any interest in extremism.

Our special coverage of the Cleveland kidnapping case continues after a break, and joyous homecomings for the women held captive, but their long-term recoveries will be difficult. We'll talk to a hostage survivor.


COSTELLO: Back to our special coverage in the Cleveland kidnapping case. There are very few people who can truly understand what those three Ohio women went through in their nearly decade long captivity. Jessyca Mullenberg Christianson, sadly, knows this firsthand. She was abducted in 1995.

For three and a half months Jessica was held hostage by someone known for her family. She was 13 years old at the time. Jessica suffered physical, mental, and sexual abuse from her kidnapper, and she was rescued only when someone noticed her abductor and called police.

Jessyca Mullenberg Christianson joins us now. Good morning, Jessica. Thank you so much for being with us.


COSTELLO: Thank you so much for sharing your story. We really appreciate it. You were abducted by someone known to you when you were 13. You were in a car with him. At what point did you realize that he was kidnapping you?

CHRISTIANSON: I didn't realize he was kidnapping me until about two hours into the trip. I fell asleep, and I woke up, and he had tied me to the inside of the car, and he told me you are not going home. Your name is going to be Cindy Johnson. I'm going to be your dad, Dave Johnson, and you're going to listen to me and do what I tell you.

COSTELLO: I'm sure at some point you fought back right away, but we always hear about kidnapping victims being brainwashed. Did the brainwashing start right away?

CHRISTIANSON: Not right away. I would say after three weeks he had convinced me that my name was Cindy Johnson. That I was dumb, stupid, fat, ugly. My parents didn't want me. They didn't love me. After you hear this so many times, you begin to believe it. Even when the FBI came to rescue me, they asked me if my name was Jessyca Mullenberg, and I said no, my name was Cindy Johnson.

COSTELLO: During all the -- saying all of these horrible things to you, he was also beating you physically, and you still have problems with your jaw today because of that, right?

CHRISTIANSON: I do. If I didn't do a sexual act the way he wanted me to do it or if I didn't eat something certain that he wanted me to have, he would hit me with his hands, his fists, so now I have a deteriorated jaw, and I have had ten jaw surgeries and I need another one.

COSTELLO: I think it's difficult for people who haven't been through that kind of trauma, that kind of hell to understand why captives wouldn't run away. For example, when Amanda Berry escaped from that house in Cleveland, the other two women didn't follow her out the door. They only came out of hiding when police arrived, when police went into the house. What was their mindset? Can you help us understand?

CHRISTIANSON: I wasn't held captive as long as they had been, and I don't know their circumstances, but generally the person, the kidnapper, someone that has you, they threaten you, I'm going to kill you if you don't do this, or they say they're going to kill you or your family members.

And most people's instincts are to save your other family members in place of you. The other thing is that sometimes you are tied up, and you just can't get out. You don't have phone access. It's not always possible to get out like people think you can.

COSTELLO: And I would suspect your world shrinks and a part of you depends on this horrible person holding you captive. At what point did that happen in your ordeal?


COSTELLO: I would think that you would become dependent in the way on the person who kidnapped you. Did that happen to you too?

CHRISTIANSON: Well, you are. I mean, I was locked up in the bedroom for three and a half months. I couldn't go anywhere. I couldn't do anything. I couldn't talk to anybody. Your only source to talk to or source of food is from your kidnapper, so you have to listen to them so that you get the nutrients and the stuff that you need in order to survive.

COSTELLO: The other part about this would be the loneliness because he didn't let you see or talk to anyone but him. How did you handle that, and come out the wonderful person you are today?

CHRISTIANSON: It's very hard. I mean, I just kept on thinking of getting back to my friends, getting back to my family members, to the people that cared about me. You know, I did some homework, schooling that he gave me, and I just, you know, imaged happy times in my life to try to get through it day by day.

COSTELLO: So even though he made you believe that your family didn't want you back, that they hated you, that you were worthless, a part of yourself remained strong?

CHRISTIANSON: I just knew, like, inside that there was something out there worth fighting for, and you have to do that in order to survive. And if that means, you know, getting hit and being raped, you know, you just have to work through that for the outcome, and I did.

COSTELLO: When you were finally rescued, can you describe the scene for us?

CHRISTIANSON: Yes. I was at the Houston, Texas, airport, and with the FBI agents, and then I saw my mom coming out of the airport, and I ran to her and I gave her a huge hug, and it was just the most wonderful thing ever. And I got to see my step-dad and my two brothers, and it was a true blessing and something I that worked for very hard.

COSTELLO: We're seeing the reunion scenes now, and it's really touching. What was your first night at home like?

CHRISTIANSON: It was really hard. You know, when you are used to being tied up and getting beaten in a room that's quiet. It's hard to get back to a regular life and regular routine. It's not something that comes overnight. It takes time.

COSTELLO: How did you do it? CHRISTIANSON: I just took it, you know, one day at a time. You know, I talked to the media. I talked to my family. The biggest thing that I did was I involved myself in so much stuff that I was so busy. I went to school, to work, to sports, to homework and to bed, and I did that until now. So I just got a full-time job and did sports and kept myself busy so I didn't have to think about all the stuff that happened to me.