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DNA Test Results for Castro are In; Ariel Castro's Mother Speaks to Press; More Charges May Be Filed Against Castro; Tamerlan Tsarnaev Buried in Virginia; Jodi Arias in Psych Ward, Trial on Hold; Woman Found Alive in Rubble
Aired May 10, 2013 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": Good morning. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.
We are beginning our program today with that incredible story out of Ohio, and what is developing right now.
Just moments ago, we learned new information about that little girl, the six-year-old girl who escaped from that house with her mother, Amanda Berry, a captive.
Reuters is reporting that new DNA tests confirm that kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro is, indeed, the father of that child.
Also, one local prosecutor says he is now looking to seek possibly the death penalty in this case. The Cuyahoga County prosecutor says that he is ready to press for more charges against Ariel Castro, including aggravated murder.
Why aggravated murder? Well, they would be for the alleged termination of his captives' pregnancies. Michelle Knight alone told investigators that she had been impregnated five different times, and she miscarried after being starve and beaten in the stomach.
As for Knight, she remains hospitalized today. All of this as CNN has learned that she had been removed from a federal missing persons database years ago.
We're expecting a statement from the police as to why this happened, although "The Cleveland Plain Dealer" said it was because of a misunderstanding with how the database was updated and how it was managed.
And, finally, we're hearing from the suspect's own mother. Here's what she had to say to reporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LILLIAN RODRIGUEZ, ARIEL CASTRO'S MOTHER (via translator): I have a sick son who has done something serious. I'm suffering very much.
I ask for forgiveness from those mothers. May those girls forgive me.
I suffer the pain they suffered. I'm suffering for my son's pain. My son is sick, and I have nothing to do with what my son did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: That was Lillian Castro, Ariel Castro's mother, and we are also hearing from one of Ariel Castro's daughters.
Here's what she had to say about these revelations in a CNN exclusive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGIE GREGG, ARIEL CASTRO'S DAUGHTER: I can't forgive him. Like, there's no way. And, you know, the main emotion that I have besides gratitude that these girls are home is disgust
You know, when I really sit down and start thinking about him, I literally want to vomit, that he was so deceptive to where I never picked up on it and family members never picked up on it.
I mean, he was good at it. He was good at hiding it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: That was Angie Gregg who sat down exclusively with our own Laurie Segall who joins me live now from Cleveland.
Laurie, I think so many people have so many questions about Ariel Castro's family, how close they were to this man, this suspect, and if they had ever been in his house while all of these horrors were allegedly going on.
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I mean, Ashleigh, Angie, when we spoke to her, she was very, very close with Ariel. She's actually been -- if you look behind, this home here on Seymour Avenue. This is where it's all happening.
You know, she's been -- she was in his home quite a bit. She was there a couple of months ago. She would go in and Ariel would cook her food. They would listen to music.
And so you can imagine the shock when she found out her father was behind this.
She actually took a while to speak and she wanted to gather her thoughts. She wrote her emotions down and she read it out loud to me. Listen to what she had to say to, Ashleigh.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREGG: My husband and I are in complete disbelief that the friendly, caring, doting man I knew as my daddy was, in fact, the most evil, vile, demonic criminal that I have met or heard of over the past 10 years.
SEGALL (voice-over): This is part a letter Angie Greg wrote after learning her father was allegedly behind the kidnappings in Cleveland, Ohio.
Now, she's speaking out.
GREGG: ... and to go to the visuals, to show these girls the footage of their parents pleas for the return, to rape, starve, and beat innocent human beings, I'm disgusted.
SEGALL: You've learned that your father wasn't the guy you thought he was.
SEGALL: What is that like?
GREGG: It's like a horror movie. It's like watching a bad movie.
SEGALL: Only you're in it?
GREGG: Only we're in it. We're, you know, the main characters. And I never suspected anything was going on, but the more I sit and dwell on it, I think of things that make a whole lot of sense now.
SEGALL: You look back and you say, OK, you can piece together -- you are beginning to piece together a puzzle. What were the signs?
GREGG: Well, he never wanted to leave the house more than a day at a time. He was adamant in the fact that he wanted to leave home early morning and he had to be back by evening.
SEGALL: Were there certain areas in the home that were just off limits?
GREGG: Ever since my mom lived in that house, the basement was always kept locked. I've never been upstairs in the house, and I never had reason to be.
I asked him if I can see my room for old times sake, and he says, oh, honey, there's so much junk up there, you don't want to go up there.
SEGALL: When you think about, you know, what was behind those doors, how do you cope with that?
GREGG: It all makes sense now. Now I know.
It's hard, but I have no sympathy for the man. I have no sympathy. He is just another person who has lied and deceived and manipulated people, and I could never forgive him.
I could never forgive him. If you were to ask me this last week, I would have told you, he is the best dad and the best grandpa.
SEGALL: Now Angie realizes Ariel Castro may have fathered a daughter with one of the women he allegedly held captive, meaning she may have a sister.
GREGG: He showed me a picture that was on his cell phone, randomly, and he said look at this cute little girl.
It was a face shot and I said, she's cute, who is that? You know?
And he said this is my girlfriend's child, and I said, dad, that girl looks like Emily. Emily is my younger sister.
And he said, no, that's not my child. This is my girlfriend's child by somebody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEGALL: Very powerful, as you can hear, Ashleigh, and you know, yesterday was a really tough day for Angie because she's a mother, and she sat down her two sons and she told them what their grandfather had done.
And it was a very hard conversation, as you can imagine, because she is still trying to wrap her head around it. There were tears. She said the younger one, luckily, is too young to really understand it.
BANFIELD: Laurie, what about any kind of -- I don't even know how to phrase this question -- relationship, conversation? Any future connection with this father?
Has she said, or is it too early to even wrap her head around where she wants to be in the future with this man?
SEGALL: Well, listen, when we sat down with her, we know where she is at right now which is she keeps saying he's dead to me. He's not my father anymore. This isn't the man I knew and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him.
So at this point, you can't imagine that she would go and she would face him, just having found out all the things that he was capable of.
BANFIELD: Just so many families destroyed and these horrors.
Laurie Segall, excellent work. Thank you for that. Reporting live for us in Cleveland.
And you can see more of Laurie's exclusive interview with Angie Greg. That is the daughter of the suspect in this horrible crime. It is on CNN.com.
And Ariel Castro, that suspect, is now a captive himself. He is sitting in a jail cell, and it is really unlikely that he's going to make bail because the judge set it at $8 million.
And while he sits in that cell at the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's -- or rather, when he sits in that cell, that prosecutor now wants to bump up those charges. It's kidnapping and rape now, but he says he wants charges for each and every instance of sexual violence, and for each and every day that those women had been undergoing that kidnapping, had been held captive. He also says that he wants to pursue perhaps even the most serious of the list, the aggravated murder charges he says are possible. He says the theory here, the deaths of the women's unborn children.
Joining me now is CNN legal analyst, Joey Jackson, and attorney Danny Cevallos as well.
Let me just be clear right off the bat. All we know now are reports that one of the women has said that she had five pregnancies. We also know that one of the women had a child.
We don't know anything beyond that, but Joey, let's just start with the potential of any kind of murder charges in a state that carries the death penalty. Do you see this as a possibility?
JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, it certainly is a possibility, Ashleigh. Now, that will be contingent, of course, upon the ultimate facts that are determined in the case.
As we know, there will be a grand jury that convenes. There'll be, certainly, evidence that's presented to the grand jury, And who you need in this state that does have, as you mentioned, capital murder, is you need to show an aggravating circumstance.
And you would certainly have it here. Not only did he cause the grave risk of death right, but exposed the grave risk of death to others, but under 13-years-old. Not that they were under 13.
But certainly if there was a fetus there who was alive at the time, if there were miscarriages that he forced, then certainly the prosecution can pursue that, and in the absence of pursuing a successful death penalty prosecution, Ashleigh, they can also, of course, be -- he can be exposed to a life sentence on each of those charges.
So either way, the punishment will be very severe if he's convicted.
BANFIELD: I mean, absolutely. If these are consecutive, I think each of the felony charges right now carry three to 11 years. If he gets the maximum, consecutive, he's in his 50s. He's never going to see the light of day.
Danny, weigh in, though, on the possibility of actually litigating a case like this, with the background that if anybody is confused as to why there would be a murder charge of a fetus that didn't have a birth certificate, this is not unusual.
There are 38 states that have homicide statutes that actually apply to the killing of unborn fetuses, and Ohio is one of at least 23 states that say that can be the earliest stages of pregnancy in this case.
But it is not as simple as that. Evidence is critical in these kinds of prosecutions. And what kind of evidence do we have here?
DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, that's a great question.
So Ohio allows for an aggravated murder where there's an unlawful termination of pregnancy.
Isn't it ironic that with all of these house of horrors discussions that, ultimately, the crimes that will get -- that may merit the death penalty are to people that were never born?
And, in this case, unlawfully terminating the pregnancy of another is something that could warrant aggravated murder and potentially warrant the death penalty.
Although, it's not easy to get the death penalty. The death penalty, capital punishment, is precluded in Ohio unless one of these aggravated circumstances that Joey was talking about.
But how will the prosecution prove it? It will be difficult because there won't be any medical records. There will be zero scientific evidence, zero medical records. It will rely exclusively on the testimony of these victims who will have a horrific tale to tell, and certainly will likely be credible.
But from the defense perspective, look out for the defense to circle their wagons around the fact that there isn't any doctors' evidence, and there isn't any scientific, documentary evidence of these terminated pregnancies.
So it will be interesting to see what they develop, and you better believe law enforcement is going to do their best to develop that evidence. That's probably why they're going over that residents with a fine-tooth comb. They want to bring their case, and when they make it, they want it to stick.
BANFIELD: Joey Jackson, I think what Danny says is critical. In many of these prosecutions, you must have some of the medical evidence, which obviously doesn't exist at this point.
But one thing they do have, they don't just have one witness' story. They don't even have two witnesses' stories. They have three witnesses who can corroborate this.
And if any defense attorney comes at them and says, but your memory might be skewed, can you make that allegation thrice?
JACKSON: You certainly can. There are a number of types of evidence in any case, Ashleigh, and certainly even circumstantial evidence. That is that people can give evidence in a courtroom that may not be direct.
But, you know what, if you walk outside and it wasn't raining when you came in, but it was wet, you could conclude that it rained when you were in.
And so, when you have direct evidence, which is the witness herself who's saying, listen, he terminated my pregnancy, when you have other witnesses in that home who can say, you know what, I was a witness to that, I was an ear witness, I was an eyewitness to that, and it certainly would then be very credible, and if the jury believes that it's credible and warrants it as an aggravating factor, then you would have the death penalty.
But, as Danny says, certainly, it would be some difficulty to prove, and it would be defense attorneys who would be yelling and screaming, there's no medical evidence. You can't just go on the words.
You know what, Ashleigh? They certainly could, that jury.
BANFIELD: And I just want to let you know. At the beginning of this broadcast, we said that Reuters had the confirmation of the DNA testing proving that the suspect was the father of that child, and CNN has confirmed that he has tested positive as the father of Amanda Berry's baby.
I don't know that we would all be surprised by it, but you have to have it confirmed.
Thank you, Danny Cevallos and Joey Jackson, to you both.
Stay put, if you will. A first-degree murder conviction is not the last chapter in the Jodi Arias story because today that woman is under guard in a very special cell. It is the psychiatric ward in a different jail.
She has been moved. The drama continues, both inside and outside the courtroom. We're live in Phoenix, next.
BANFIELD: Breaking news to tell you. Four weeks after the death of the suspected bomber from Boston, the body of this man, Tamerlan Tsarnaev has now been buried in a Muslim cemetery located in Doswell, Virginia. This according to a source close to the investigation telling CNN that burial is in effect in Doswell, Virginia. The mystery solved. It was only a few days ago that that body had remained in a funeral home in Worcester, Massachusetts, where that funeral director had been at his wit's end trying to find someone, anyone, who would inter the remains of this man. Finding brick walls just about everywhere. Finally there was a mystery location that's been secured. Mystery no more. A Muslim cemetery in Doswell, Virginia.
Jodi Arias, in the meantime, in a Phoenix jail cell on suicide protocol. It's not just any kind of cell. She's been transferred to a psychiatric ward in a different jail. I want to get you state straight to our legal expert Jean Casarez who is live now in Phoenix.
So, let's just try to back this all up -- the developments are fast and furious, Jean. She's convicted of murdering her former boyfriend Travis Alexander. We're awaiting the penalty phase in all of this. We were expecting it yesterday. Then comes the news that she's been transferred to the psychiatric ward. Then comes the news that there's an exparte meeting in judge's chambers, and then comes the news that it's all of a sudden on hold until Wednesday. My question for you with your background, is this an issue we may start seeing as a competency problem. Could the trial potentially be hung up on her competency? JEAN CASAREZ, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Ashleigh, it's all very sealed so we don't know, but I definitely think that you're going in the right direction. And we have confirmed we are live right here at the Lower Buckeye jail here in Maricopa County, Phoenix. We have confirmed Jodi Arias remains committed to the psychiatric ward this morning. We have learned that she has constant care and observation 24-7 by a team of doctors and nurses.
When you normally are on suicide watch, which is what she is, you can have visits from immediate family. Well, Ashleigh I was here last night, and Jodi Arias's mother came to visit her. She walked through the doors behind me just like all visitors do. She came out in ten minutes, Ashleigh, and she told me that she was not allowed to see her daughter because they said that Jodi was under watch. So that is very interesting because her mother was not allowed see her, and doctors make that determination. Jodi doesn't make that determination. The team of psychiatrists and psychologists determine what level you are at when you are within the psychiatric ward and on suicide watch.
BANFIELD: Well, I don't know if she's assisting her attorneys, which is critical in this process, because if she can't, that is a competency problem. If she is assisting her attorneys right now, Jean Casarez, they've done something that might be very unpalatable to the family of the dead man in this story. They have asked that anybody who is going to give a victim's impact statement in the penalty phase of this trial, and right now I think it's only scheduled to be two family members, they're asking that they put it on video and not actually appear live in court. Could you please explain to me why and why it would make a difference, and if she has any shot at this whatsoever?
CASAREZ: All the motions from the defense, from the beginning of this death penalty trial are going to be constitutionally based, and what they're concerned about here is the right to a fair trial by Jodi Arias because they are believing that if the victims -- these are close family members that have been in the court day in and day out. If they stand up and give that victim impact statement, that the emotion could be so great, not only from them, but others in the gallery, that it would trigger something so that there would be an unfair trial situation for Jodi Arias. I have never seen victim impact statements recorded like this unless someone would be old, elderly, feeble, sick, not able to come to the courtroom, and, remember, victim impact statements can be in writing or live.
BANFIELD: Also given the fact that there weren't insane outbursts at the time of the verdict, I don't know what grounds there are to suggest that anybody might have an outburst at the statement, but, you know, we've seen other things happen in court, so this will be yet another drama to unfold. Jean Casarez, live for us in Phoenix at that Buckeye jail. Thank you for that.
Also, we want a remind our viewers you tune in tonight. My colleague Anderson Cooper had an excellent piece on the testimony and the evidence all as the Jodi Arias murder trials entering its sentencing phase. "MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE: INSIDE THE JODI ARIAS TRIAL" begins at 10:00 eastern tonight. This is one of those good news stories out of an awful news story. Buried alive in a collapsed building, but 17 days later they have found a woman, and there she is. She's alive. Alive from the rubble. The story is next.
BANFIELD: These are the words, "I'm alive, please rescue me" that workers heard this morning. Here it was, as 16 days after a building collapsed in Bangladesh rescuers found this woman still buried in the rubble, alive. Suffering. but alive. It took them one hour to get her out safely. We only know her name right now as Reshma, and she is one of 2,400 people who did survive that ordeal, but her survival is nothing short of a miracle.
Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is going to have more on how that is possible coming up next hour on "NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL."
Meanwhile, the death toll is not as pleasing of a story. Now well over 1,000 people dying in that tragedy, and certainly that tragedy putting a spotlight on awful conditions in which millions of people work in Bangladesh's garment factories.
At last it is done. The crowning achievement on One World Trade Center. The workers this morning bolted that 408 foot spire on top of the building and a symbolic message to the world of New York's comeback after the 9/11 attacks. That building soars now to a height of 1,776 feet in recognition of the year of the United States declaring independence 1776. Congratulations.
He is a prince. He is also a veteran of war in Afghanistan, he's a chopper pilot for the army. This morning Britain's Prince Harry took part in a solemn ceremony at the Tomb of The Unknown in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Harry, as a pilot in the British army, recently returned from a combat tour of duty in Afghanistan. He placed that wreath at one of the graves with a message. "To my comrades in arms in the United States of America who have paid the ultimate price in the cause of freedom." Captain Harry Wales is the signature at the bottom of the card.
Harry is also doing other things on his visit. He visited some of the wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed Medical Center. That's coming up shortly.
Many are calling Amanda Berry a hero for escaping and alerting police to the other women who have been abducted against their will and held captive for a decade. Could police perhaps have found these women earlier?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They didn't seem to give any real true desire to the case.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BANFIELD: That man said that he is almost certain it's not certain that he saw Gina DeJesus the day he was abducted moments before she was abducted. He said police did not want to listen. His story next.