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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN
Castro Held on $8 Million Bond; Who is Ariel Castro?; Woman Found Alive in Rubble in Bangladesh
Aired May 10, 2013 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: He was arraigned on kidnapping and rape charges and prosecutors plan to pursue an aggravated murder charge now for the alleged killing of one of his victim's fetuses.
After yesterday's arraignment, we're finding out a lot more about Ariel Castro, including an eerie first look at the backyard of his home, and a glimpse into his shadowy past.
Let's go live to Pamela Brown. She is outside the home of freed kidnap victim Gina DeJesus.
Good morning to you.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Zoraida. That's right. We are outside the home of the family of Gina DeJesus. You can see behind me there are batches of balloons here. There's been a big outpouring of support from the community.
And also, you can see the blue tarp. This is so that Gina DeJesus can go into her backyard and have some privacy.
Our Anderson Cooper spoke to her yesterday and her aunt says that right now she's just trying to adapt back to a normal way of life, simple things like listening to the birds chirp. Listening to the wind howl, things that we might take for granted, these are the things that Gina DeJesus and the other women have to readapt to.
Let's take a listen to what Sandra Ruiz told our Anderson Cooper last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SYLVIA COLON, GINA DEJESUS'S COUSIN: She's in great spirits. You know, finally some people listen, and she spent an hour and a half outside and I've never seen her -- I mean, it's just exciting.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: What -- I mean how is the family doing? To have her back?
COLON: Words cannot express, cannot express, the joy that we have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: And, Pam, we heard a lot about Michele Knight, who is still in the hospital, and about the unspeakable pain that she has suffered. You know, perhaps being forced to miscarry.
Could you tell us about these additional charges now that Castro could face because of that?
BROWN: Yes. We heard from the county prosecutor yesterday, and essentially we're learning that officials are looking at case law, that they're studying case law, looking at all the evidence that they have that could support aggravated murder charges.
This is in connection, as you mention there, Zoraida, to these alleged miscarriages that Michele Knight reported to police. Knight said that she was pregnant at least five times, and that when Castro would find out, he would hit her in the stomach and starve her so that she would have miscarriages.
So, authorities are looking into whether they can file these aggravated murder charges against Castro, in addition to the four kidnapping charges, and three rape charges he faces. And, of course, if he does face aggravated murder charges, that he could face the death penalty.
SAMBOLIN: And Pamela we're also learning that Castro may have written about all of his alleged crimes in 2004. Do you have some details for us on what he wrote?
BROWN: We do, Zoraida. According to our affiliate WOIO, a reporter there, Scott Taylor, Ariel Castro wrote in these notes that the women, they are against -- or that they're here against their will because they made the mistake of getting in a car with a total stranger.
We're hearing from sources that this was a diary of his actions. That Castro gave a detailed account of his actions, and the reasons behind his actions. Basically, justifying them after he allegedly abducted the women, and kept them chained in his basement. And also he talked about being abused by family -- by a family member as justification for his actions, and also, according to sources, he talked about thoughts of suicide in these documents.
SAMBOLIN: All right, Pamela Brown live outside Gina DeJesus' house. Thank you very much.
And we are also hearing for the first time from the daughter of Ariel Castro. Angie Gregg spoke exclusively with CNN's Laurie Segall. She recalls the disgust that she felt the moment that she heard what he had done.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGIE GREGG, DAUGHTER OF ARIEL CASTRO: It was like everything crashed down, like I just wanted to melt into the floor. I just wanted to die.
I have no problem cutting him out of my life. I have no problem doing that. I never want to see him again.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SAMBOLIN: Despite the anger and all of the heartbreak that she now feels, Castro's daughter says that her father was generous to her and her sister, even giving her a puppy.
And a clearer picture this morning of how all of this happened. The man who was engaged to Ariel Castro's former wife says there were signs throughout the years that he could be a monster.
CNN's Brian Todd has more.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Looking down and despondent, Ariel Castro hears the words from a judge, indicating he won't get out of jail any time soon.
With four cases against him, that means his bond is $8 million. His defense attorney says he doesn't have any money.
Castro doesn't respond as she speaks to him.
The prosecutor has plenty to say about how Castro allegedly treated Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michele Knight while they were held in his house.
BRIAN MURPHY, CLEVELAND CITY PROSECUTOR: While in captivity, there were repeated beatings. They were bound and restrained and sexually assaulted, basically, never free to leave this residence.
TODD: The details get more horrifying in a police incident report obtained by CNN. One of the women held captive, Michele Knight, said in the report that she was pregnant at least five times but was starved and punched until she eventually miscarried.
According to the police report, Amanda Berry stayed at the six-year- old girl she gave birth to inside the house is Ariel Castro's child.
A source familiar with the investigation tells CNN when Berry went into labor, Castro ordered Michele Knight to deliver the child. The baby was delivered in a plastic tub or pool to contain the mess.
(on-camera): And the source says, once the child was born, there were moments of horror and panic. The child stopped breathing, according to the source. Everyone screamed, and Ariel Castro allegedly threatened to kill Michele Knight if the baby didn't survive.
(voice-over): According to the report, Michele Knight said she breathed into the child's mouth to keep her alive.
The revelation that the women were bound, the chains and ropes were in the home, is consistent with the accounts of Fernando Colon. He was engaged to Grimilda Figueroa, Ariel Castro's ex-wife, until her death last year. Colon told me Castro would beat Figueroa mercilessly, sometimes with barbells and --
FERNANDO COLON, FMR. FIANCEE OF CASTRO'S EX-WIFE: She told me she was locked in the house, he had tinted the windows, she had padlocked the doors. The only time that she was able to come out was for her appointments. That was it.
TODD: But Fernando Colon could have motivation for accusing Arial Castro. Colon was convicted of molesting two of Castro's children several years ago. He has long said he's innocent, claims Ariel Castro orchestrated the charges against him to deflect attention from Castro's own alleged crimes.
Colon is now planning to appeal his conviction. The three kidnap victims say they never left Ariel Castro's property, but there are counts that Castro did take the little girl out.
Moses Cintron says he occasionally saw Castro with the six-year-old girl in a neighborhood park. The girl, he says, wouldn't play with other children but would pet his small dogs.
MOSES CINTRON, SAW ARIEL CASTRO RECENTLY: She was well-dressed Sunday, you know, and well-cared of. Slightly slender, but, you know, she was also kind of white.
TODD: Cintron now says he'd like to take one of his dogs to the girl to let her play with it so she won't have to come back to that park.
Brian Todd, CNN, Cleveland.
SAMBOLIN: And we are also hearing for the very first time from the mother of Ariel Castro. Lillian Rodriguez made a tearful plea for forgiveness to the young women and their mothers, saying I suffer because they suffered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LILLIAN RODRIGUEZ, ARIEL CASTRO'S MOTHER (through 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)
SAMBOLIN: May the girls forgive me, she says.
And Castro is charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape.
The discovery of the three women held captive is sparking outrage from the community leaders. Several meetings were held in the neighborhood last night, where residents voiced their complaints about crime in this community. One gathering was hosted by a group called Imperial Women, which is named after 11 female victims of a strangler found back in 2009. The daughter of a missing woman whose body was found at the end of March blames the mayor and the police. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELIQUE MALONE, DAUGHTER OF MURDER VICTIM: The mayor has done nothing. The cops in the streets have done nothing. No one is doing anything for black people in my neighborhood.
I live in this neighborhood. I raise my children in this neighborhood. And no one is doing anything. No one seems to care.
And we have had enough. Enough is enough. Enough is enough! Enough is enough! Enough is enough! Enough is enough! Enough is enough! Enough is enough!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: They are reassured -- police met with another group at another outreach community last night, reassuring them that they are doing the best that they can do in order to try to keep all of these neighborhoods safe. We're going to have a guest coming up, John, and we're going to talk about that, about, you know, this, this -- the difference in what the community is saying versus what the police are saying about crime in this area, about the response from the police department, and you know, try to shed some light on that for everyone.
BERMAN: All right. Thanks so much, Zoraida.
We do have some breaking news to report. Miraculous breaking news. A woman has been found alive in the rubble of a collapsed factory building in Bangladesh. This is 17 -- I'm sorry, 16 days, 16 days after this building collapsed. This comes on the day of a tragic milestone.
The death toll from that collapse 16 days ago is now 1,039. Workers continuing to sift through the rubble there. This bit of good news may mean there are still more survivors there. This is the deadliest industrial disaster in that country's history.
Again, the breaking news this morning, 16 days after that collapse, they have pulled a woman from that rubble alive. We will get more details on that as soon as we can, and bring you this really truly amazing news.
Other top stories we're following. A Tunisian man who allegedly wanted to spread terror through the U.S. and start his own terror network is now in custody in New York. Ahmed Abassi was arrested and charged with lying to immigration authorities. Investigators say Abassi radicalized one of the suspects in a plot to blow up a passenger train in Canada.
New developments this morning in the Jodi Arias murder case. Arias is waking up this morning in a prison psychiatric ward under constant supervision. This after she admitted she wants to die after a jury convicted her of first degree murder. Also, Arias will not be in court today. The sentencing phase of her trial has been postponed until next Wednesday. Smoke jumpers fighting forest fires in Oregon have led police to a marijuana growing operation allegedly run by Mexican drug traffickers. Sheriff's raided the site Tuesday, wiping out more than 1,500 plants, finding several guns, as well. Police are warning hikers who use public lands in Oregon to be careful of these illegal marijuana growers because their operators are known to carry weapons.
So when an alligator takes a bite out of crime, yes, it's got to hurt. A Florida gator did not appreciate a suspect hiding from sheriff's deputies in his creek and the reptile just tore into the guy. The suspect was treated for bite wounds on his face, arm and torso, before his trip to jail.
Still ahead the term Tea Party taking on a whole new meaning in Washington, as Britain's Prince Harry attends a real life Tea Party in the nation's capital. More on the dreamy royal visit to the states. A live report, coming up.
BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. Forty-five minutes after the hour. Some top stories we're following.
BERMAN (voice-over): An Olympic gold medalist death raising questions about the safety of high-speed yacht racing. Thirty-six-year-old Andrew Simpson was killed when his yacht crashed in San Francisco Bay yesterday, trapping him underwater for about ten minutes. This is the second violent crash of a high-speed yacht in just the last seven months.
Police will not say where, but the body of Boston bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, has finally been laid to rest. For weeks, funeral directors could not find a cemetery that would accept Tsarnaev's body. Police in Worcester, Massachusetts, released a statement thanking a quote, "courageous and compassionate individual who offered up the burial site." Tsarnaev's uncle says his nephew was buried outside of Massachusetts.
Minnesota is one step closer to becoming the 12th state to allow same- sex marriage after the House voted in favor of letting gay couples marry there. The state Senate plans to consider the bill Monday. It is expected to pass the Senate, too. Governor Mark Dayton in Minnesota has pledged to sign this into law.
So, looks like some big changes are in store for "American Idol." Randy Jackson who's been a judge on the show since it started is calling it quits. The once powerhouse singing competition has struggled lately. "Idol" is going through its second straight year of double digit ratings declines.
So, "Maxim" magazine mocking Manti Te'o a little bit. The magazine named the San Francisco Chargers' rookie's invisible girlfriend to its hot 100 list. Maxim saying, quote, "We think it might be nice to have an invisible girl of our own to love. Why not? She's got a ton of great qualities including looking awesome in a bikini." That was "Maxim."
BERMAN (on-camera): It is day two of the latest British invasion, Prince Harry's visit to Washington, D.C. The royal bachelor had the ladies swooning and snapping pictures on Capitol Hill. Yes, nothing says dreamy romance like Capitol Hill. Our Max Foster is on royal watch in Washington for us this morning. Good morning, Max.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Have to say, John. Extraordinary scenes up there on Capitol Hill yesterday. This was a lockdown area. I mean, all of these locations Harry is going to are security lockdown areas. But even then, they couldn't stop all of these young women working on Capitol Hill trying to get an introduction, get a picture of Prince Harry. Take a look.
FOSTER (voice-over): It's already got a name, Harrymania, and the prince did his best to ignore it.
(on-camera) So, here he is, Prince Harry on the first stop of his U.S. tour. And this particular event is an exhibition about landmine clearance. It was, of course, close to Diana's heart, and this particular leg is about keeping his mother's memory alive, her legacy alive.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: Frankly, I found him to be a very attractive young man. And I think he's very serious certainly about this issue, so I was very impressed.
FOSTER (voice-over): Then, a surprise stop at the White House with the first lady was helping children make gifts for Mother's Day. Harry showing his creative side. Swiftly on to a reception at the British embassy in Washington. They call it gentle diplomacy, a chance for influential Americans to meet the prince and learn about doing business with the U.K.
PRINCE HARRY, UNITED KINGDOM: This gives me great personal pleasure to my mother who believe passionately in this cause. She would be so proud of my association with it (ph).
FOSTER: On day two, expect Prince Harry in uniform, paying his respects to JFK and the tomb of the unknown at Arlington National Cemetery.
FOSTER (on-camera): This is personal, really. He's a serving soldier, John. So, the crowd is going to be kept away. But this is a personal moment, really, I think, for Prince Harry today.
BERMAN: It sounds like a busy day, Max. What else is on the agenda?
FOSTER: From Arlington where he will -- he'll be at JFK's gravesite and also at the tomb of the unknowns. He'll go on to the Walter Reed Medical Center, wounded soldiers there. He'll be meeting soldiers who served in Afghanistan, which is where he's also served. And he's very keen to meet these guys.
He sees them as war heroes. Also talk to them, talk them through their experiences, and in the back of his mind, of course, John, is always the idea that he could be killed or even wounded in combat.
BERMAN: All right. Max, an important day, a meaningful day for the prince here in the United States. Our appreciation to you.
Forty-nine minutes after the hour. EARLY START back right after this.
BERMAN: Breaking news we have this morning and really is miraculous. Out of Bangladesh, a woman has been found alive in the rubble of a collapsed factory building 17 days after it went down. Crews saw a woman called Reshmi (ph) waving her hands, crying out for help. They apparently used a hand saw, welding and drilling equipment to get her out. Amazing.
This comes as the death toll from that collapse has risen to 1,039 people. Workers obviously continuing to sift through the rubble at this hour. This is the deadliest industrial disaster in that country's history. Again, a woman just found alive in that rubble 17 days after the factory collapsed in Bangladesh.
BERMAN: Those details just coming in at this minute, Zoraida. We will, of course, bring you the latest as we get it.
SAMBOLIN: That is absolutely incredible and such great news. Thank you, John.
Meantime, here in Cleveland, the entire city is celebrating that safe return of the three women who escaped from captivity. A so-called victory vigil. Can you believe it? A victory vigil was held in a local park and participants, as you can see, released balloons into the air as part of that wonderful event. It was organized by local radio stations and the domestic violence center. A sign that this community coming together to really celebrate this amazing rescue.
You see it all the time. All over the neighborhoods. People celebrating. Everybody here is just, you know, in shock, and they're so happy for these families. The outpouring of support for the three victims in Cleveland has been overwhelming. The police now is asking for help in letting the three women recover from their ordeal.
Hundreds of people turned out to welcome home the two women who, so far, have returned to their families. Now, police are asking that they be left alone. Any cards or gifts for Amanda Berry, except for cash, they say, should be dropped off at the police department's first district. That's on West 130th Street.
Any cards or gifts for Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight should be dropped off at the second district. That is on Fulton Road. Financial contributions are being handled separately. So, money donations can be made at any key bank under the name, The Courage Fund. A lot of people are trying to figure out how they can help. They're going in swarms over to the houses, and now, you have an opportunity, also, to help with this particular fund that's being set up that will go to the victims. John, back to you.
BERMAN: Zoraida, so many people all over the country want to help right now. We will, of course, post that information on our website so people can check it out. We'll give you the links to donate there.
That is all for EARLY START. I'm John Berman. "Starting Point" begins right after this break.
BERMAN: Good morning, everyone. I'm John Berman live in New York.
SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. I'm live in Cleveland. Our "Starting Point," the suspect accused of kidnapping three women and forcing them to live in depraved conditions for ten years to face more charges, and maybe even the death penalty. This as we get a look at the house of horrors.
Then a CNN exclusive. Ariel Castro's daughter shares harsh words for her father and asks the question that is on everyone's mind.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGIE GREGG, DAUGHTER OF ARIEL CASTRO: Why did you take these girls and why did you never leave? And why did you never feel guilty enough to let them go?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: Plus, the clues she wishes she had not missed.
And also brand-new this morning, 17 days after a factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,000 people, a woman has been found alive in all of that rubble. The incredible details in moments for you.
And Jodi Arias being held in a psychiatric ward this morning. We'll look at the next phase of her trial coming up.
It is Friday, May 10th, and a special edition of "Starting Point" begins right now.
And we are learning horrifying new details this morning about the abuse and torture three women were forced to endure for a decade inside this home right behind me on Cleveland's west side. And the daughter of Ariel Castro, the suspect who lived in this house of horrors, is speaking exclusively to CNN about her father's arrest and the charges that he is facing.