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Arrest In 1991 Baby Hope Case; Miley Cyrus' New Album Number One On iTunes; An Interview With The Most Famous Lawn Mower In The Nation; New Evidence In Kendrick Johnson's Death Emerges
Aired October 12, 2013 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, Don Lemon, here in Los Angeles.
It is day 12 of the shutdown in Washington. The Senate Democratic leaders of the Senate left the White House after a meeting with President Obama. A lot to tell you about this story, but first we have some breaking news.
OK, the breaking news, just announced just a short time ago by New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. This is a case that has captured the nation's attention since 1991, involving the killing of a 4-year-old girl, Angelica Castillo. She became known to the nation as Baby Hope. Her body found in a cooler on the interstate in New York back in 1991. And police had no leads. They didn't even know her name. And just last week, they were able to identify her and her parents. And now, a major break in the case.
CNN's Margaret Conley has been covering this case.
Margaret, they announced an arrest just a short time ago. What was the break in the case? What led to this?
MARGARET CONLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, there were extraordinary developments, we heard, in a case tonight that was over two decades old. Commissioner Kelly named the man who admitted to killing the 4- year-old girl, who has been known for all of these years, all 22 years as Baby Hope. His name is Conrado Juarez. He was involved in the killing with his sister, who is now deceased. The other big news out of this is the name, Baby Hope. For the longest time, police detectives gave her that name. Now they know her real name, Anjelica Castillo.
And this has been a personal journey for a lot of the detectives from the 34th precincts squad. We actually met with them over the last few days. They're the one whose gave baby hope her name. They gave her a face from a computer rendering from her skull. And they also paid for her funeral out of their own pocket.
Now, this killing was extremely gruesome in that this 4-year-old's body was found in a cooler. It was folded over, tied, and she had been sexually abused. The detectives told us that if we ever saw a picture of her body, we would never forget it. And I did see it. And they're right -- Don.
So listen, I just want to give you a little bit more information, Margaret as we sit here and get more details because that press conference, if not just wrapped up. It is still going on.
Police commissioner Ray Kelly said it happened in Astoria, Queens, back in 1991. First of all, since she was born at Elmhurst hospital in Queens in 1987. In 1991, she was in with some family members in Astoria, Queens. He saw the young lady, Conrado Juarez, also known as Edino Juarez, saw the young lady in the hallways and then took her into his room and sexually assaulted her. When her body became lifeless, he panicked and went mess, his sister for help, told her sister. His sister advised him, this is according to Ray Kelly, advised to put her in the cooler. She went and got the cooler. Wrapped her in plastic, put her in the cooler. And then together they took a black livery cab to Manhattan and then carried it between them as if nothing had happened and then dropped it off near the Henry Hudson parkway where the construction workers found her body inside of that cooler.
Let's listen now to an assistant from the New York City police department and then you and I will talk, Margaret.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE REZNICK, ASSISTANT CHIEF, NEW YORK CITY POLICE: I can sum up my feelings in three words, I'm very proud. I'm proud of this department, I'm proud of the detectives. I'm very happy, elated. And certainly, I'm relieved for the fact that when we visited this plot now we can now attach a name to this little girl.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And that name now is Angelica Castillo, Angelica Castillo, 4- years-old from Queens, born April, 1997 at Elmhurst hospital. And as you said, Margaret, this became pretty personal to the detectives and officers who are working on this case. They gave her a name, Hope. They paid for her funeral arrangements and they even gave her a face through a computer rendering that they sent out trying to identify who she was and trying to solve this case.
CONLEY: Exactly, very, very personal for them. And as detective Reznick was just saying, that plaque that you are seeing right there, the identity of this little girl is still unknown. When I talked to them, they could not wait to take the plaque down, they knew that they were close, they knew that they had contacted baby Hope's mom. And they wanted to rip that that plaque down. They want to keep Hop up there, but underneath it, they wanted to set for real name in stone.
And Margaret, I want to talk to you about this because the commissioner talked about how they got to this point. They are saying that there was a crime stoppers tip recently, and also there was an anonymous phone call which led them to Conrado Juarez, and when they confronted him just yesterday at work, first they went to his House in the Bronx, and his, I believe they said it was his wife, who said he was not at home at the time. And that he was at work. So then they went to his work place and confronted him. And then he admitted to the sexual assault of this baby.
So talk to us about how this came about from the crime stoppers tip to the anonymous phone call to the exhuming of her body to finding Mr. Juarez.
CONLEY: Right, these detectives, they deserve a lot of credit. Those two detectives that we saw speak at the press conference; they have been working on the case from day one. The assistant chief Reznick actually came back from vacation when the story broke in 1991. He came back and he has been on the case since then. He has a picture of the baby Hope grave site on his desk.
But what broke the case was the anniversary of her death was in July. And at that time, police blitzed the media, they tried to get the name out, another anniversary came. And something triggered a woman who has remember hearing several years ago, we heard five or six years ago, she remembered hearing a woman tell her that she thought her sister had been killed by her parents. That eventually made that way to the police. The police were able to track down baby Hope's sister.
LEMON: All right, Margaret Conley in New York, thank you very much. We appreciate your reporting, when we get more on this story, we'll bring it to you on CNN.
But the breaking news is there is breaking news on the baby Hope case. She has been went missing in 1991, her lifeless body found in a cooler in New York City, and it is 22 years in the making. And now, a culmination in the case, and maybe some resolution, after we hear more about this suspect, Conrado Juarez, who has been arrested, 52-years- old, of the Bronx.
In the meanwhile, other news to tell you about now.
The House of Representatives taking a break, you heard me right. Twelve days into this budget battle that is keeping the federal employees home from work and government offices locked, most House members decided to make a trip home for the Columbus holiday. That means the House is in recess until noon Monday, and only senators are doing anything toward breaking the standoff.
And just a few minutes ago, the Senate majority leader Harry Reid left the White House after he and three fellow democratic leaders spent more than an hour with the president. Reid said earlier today that he was cordially negotiating with Senate Republicans, cordially negotiating with them on the way to extend the debt ceiling and get the U.S. government back in business.
Straight now to the White House, and CNN's Brianna Keilar.
Brianna, so the focus is on the Senate now since many House members are now taking a break. Tell me about that meeting between the president and Senate Democratic leaders and what is the White House saying about it, if anything?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The White House really is not saying much about it. We know from their perspective, that it was a good meeting. They're talking about what they're going to do going forward. But we did just got readout, Don, from the Senate democratic leadership aide. And let me tell you what this does it.
It says the meeting was productive. Not really surprising, right, all Democrats in the room. It says that they compared notes, reviewed the options for moving forward. And listen to this, it says their conclusion that was while Democrats remained united, Republicans have yet to coalesce behind a clear negotiating position.
Now, it says that the president and the leaders have agreed that in the coming days their position -- or they should really continue to be discussing with Senate Republican leaders, but their position remains the same. The Democrats are willing to negotiate on anything Republicans want to discuss, and here is the big thing, as soon as we reopen the government and pay our bills.
So really, back to square one here. It is the White House and Senate Democrats saying we will talk to you. But first, raise the debt ceiling, reopen the government or we're not going to talk. So it is really sort of -- they're sort of digging in. And it is really a hard line that they're taking here on this weekend where we've seen the White House and Democrats dismiss a House Republican plan, a plan from some Senate Republicans. But we also saw vote fail in the Senate, Don, which would have been a clean extension of the debt ceiling beyond the mid-term elections.
LEMON: In the meanwhile, Brianna, people are not getting paid, people are furloughed. There are parts of the government shutdown, parks, monuments. A couple of states are using their money to keep the monuments open. And like the Grand Canyon and lady liberty, and Mount Rushmore. And so, we're back at square one.
The Senate is going to have a session tomorrow, obviously, with just one thing on the agenda. So what can senators do tomorrow to influence a House when they come back to work?
KEILAR: Well, really, and that is just the point, Don. I think more than anything this is not even about what all senators can do. At this point, it is really between Senate majority Harry Reid and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell who is appointed Senator Lamar Alexander as the point person in negotiations. We'll wait to see if they come up with some sort of framework of the deal that might be palatable to Senate Republicans. Obviously, that is the goal there.
And then the question is will the House Republicans accept it? The thinking goes, it is called jamming, that as you get closer to a deadline, one chamber can jam the other which maybe won't want to take up a certain bill, but when you have so little time left, if you can get momentum and push them to take something up they may ultimately have no choice other than sort of swallowing whatever the Senate puts out. Or they may just you know, or then we would see a default. And so that is really the tough choice, ultimately, we could be seeing the House make or certainly House Republican leaders make.
LEMON: No default. We don't want to default because the economy is just starting to get better. We do not need that, Brianna Keilar, so fingers crossed.
Appreciate it, Brianna, thank you.
And then, I want to tell you that tomorrow morning on the "STATE OF THE UNION," CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION," of course hosted by our very owned, Candy Crowley, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has been very vocal about this whole thing, talks exclusively to Candy Crowley. Along with Susan Collins of Maine, Senator Susan Collins, she is the one that tried to come up with the compromise today, the bipartisan compromise. That was voted down. They are going be on tomorrow in the "STATE OF THE UNION" 9:00 eastern and then again at noon right here on CNN.
So, we're already feeling the effects of the shutdown. Now, get ready to feel the debt ceiling be reached in less than a week. How bad will it be? And what is it going to do to you? We're going to take a look at that.
And he has become known simply as the lawnmower man, there is the lawnmower man, cutting the grass at the Lincoln Memorial because the government is shut down, Americans taking things into their owned hands. We like this guy, he has a fan following. I'm one of them. And many of you are, as well. We are asking him why he was doing it. He joins us live later this afternoon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like that right there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The standoff is in Washington, but the shutdown is hurting Americans all across the country and for all sorts of reasons like in South Dakota. And an early blizzard caught ranchers off guard this week, killing as many as 20,000 cattle. Well, the farm bill hung up in Congress because of the shutdown, there is no money to help ranchers. Some people lost everything and won't get any immediate help from Washington.
The cast of Discovery Channel's "The Deadliest Catch" could take a huge hit from the shutdown. The fed decide how much king crab boats can haul in. But now, those photos aren't being set for the boats are stuck in harbor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPTAIN KEITH COLBURN, CRAB FISHERMAN: On behalf of all fishermen, I'm asking Congress to end the shutdown now. I'm a small businessman in the big ocean with big bills and I need to go fishing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Even if Congress finds a way to reopen soon, it could be too late for those fisherman crab season, very short, and those captain could find it over before they set out to sea.
Beer lovers will be denied new brews because of the shutdown. Here is how it works, beers need labels, and the feds have to approve them. Also, officials need to give the OK to any nontraditional recipe, with the shutdown, that can't happen. That means beers can be launched, distributors can't sell them, and you cannot buy them, as well.
This coming week, the economy could take another huge blow when we hit the debt ceiling, how bad will it be? And what is it going to do to you?
And here to help answer that is Jeanne Sahadi. She is a senior writer at CNN Money and joins us now with more.
Jeanne, no beer, no crab, I mean, that is my life. And many people's lives, that is what Americans love. What is going on here?
JEANNE SAHADI, CNN SENIOR WRITER, CNN MONEY: Right, well, let's at least hope they end the shutdown, if they're going to end the debt ceiling, we are going to need the beer. We got to need a lot of beer.
Here is what we're coming up against. The shutdown has hurt the economy by half a percentage point of GDP. It is not awful, but it is not great. And if it goes on longer, we could get to one to one and a half percent points of GDP which is real money, as far to extend the economist said. But if we go past the debt ceiling, if we go past October 17th, when we will hit the debt ceiling and the treasury will basically be left to pay the bills with cash and fumes, there is going to come a point in the next few weeks, where treasury runs short. It won't be able to pay all the country's bills.
So, I can assure you markets won't like that very much. Your 401(k) could take a hit. Stocks will probably be very, very volatile if they don't see some action in Washington very soon that raises the debt ceiling. It is bad behavior on the part of Congress. This is amateur money management, you know, to the nth degree. So, we are going to be the one to see.
LEMON: I'm not sure because I got so upset about, you know, the beer and the crab, and because I mean, listen, those are those guy's lively hoods. That is what we do on the weekends, we all deserve that. And I'm not sure if I introduced you, a senior writer at CNN money, Jeanne Sahadi.
Jeanne, what about 401(k)s? Are 401 (k)s going to take a hit? Could people lose their jobs over this possibly?
SAHADI: Well, with the debt ceiling nobody knows what is going to happen, if we get past that point where treasury doesn't have enough cash to pay all the bills. We have never done it before. We have the world's largest economy and we'll roll the dice. So the range of responses is wide. But independent economists, independent budget experts, constitutional investors, none of them think it will be a good result. They think it will be a bad result. The question is just how bad.
The expectation is that the first response will be stocks. They will get very volatile. If the situation persists, right? So if it is just one day that treasury runs into this problem, all bets are going to be off. But that might be a lot more manageable than if this goes on a week or more.
So what is going to happen is, it is very possible if stocks go crazy, people will run into the bond markets and rates will fall. Or bond traders will not like the situation at all, even if the treasury is able to pay interest on U.S. debt which is what the people think treasury will try to do to the best of its ability. Will they accept that segments of American society are being told sorry, we can't pay you, your payments will be late. That will hurt the economy. How will the bond market respond? It is a big question mark. But the general response is nothing good is going to come of this.
LEMON: You're right, and people with money will run to the bond market, most of Americans don't have that sort of money, that sort of leverage, and what they will do is they won't get paid, they will lose their jobs. Their 401(k)s will suffer. And then the Congress, you saw them leaving today, the big SUVs with their drivers.
Thank you, Jeanne. We appreciate it.
SAHADI: Thank you.
LEMON: Exclusively new details about the death of a Georgia teenager found inside a high school gym matt, investigators say Kendrick Johnson's death was an accident, his parents say he was murdered and they can prove it. The shocking story you absolutely have to see, that is next.
LEMON: The death of Kendrick Johnson, was it an accident or something more sinister? Tonight, we continue our reporting on this case trying to get at the truth of what happened to him.
Kendrick was a 17-year-old high school student in Georgia, an athlete whose body was found upside down in a rolled up gym matt back in January. Investigators ruled the death a tragic accident, that while reaching for a sneaker, he got stuck and he suffocated. A former FBI agent reviewed images from the scene of the death and told us he believed Kendrick was a victim of foul play. And here is why.
What appears to be blood dripping from a wall in the gym, local investigators concluded it did not belong to Kendrick and have not found out who it belongs to. A sweat shirt found near the body which may have blood on the cuff, but the lab report indicated it was tested either. An orange and black gym shoe found near Kendrick's body, his parents say it bag didn't belong to their son, but it appears there is blood on the shoe. Investigators concluded, the stains were something other than blood to the shoe was not collected as put into evidence. Kendrick's parents never believed the official conclusion and hired a private doctor to conduct a second autopsy.
I want to bring you in now CNN's Victor Blackwell in Atlanta. He was been involved Georgia and on this story since the very beginning and doing a heck of a job reporting it, Victor. You know, the family is seeing disturbing new information.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, today actually was KJ day. I want to also tell people, the shoe there that you saw was actually involved there was a matt. There is another orange and black shoe that actually was not collected, that one was taken in. But the family and their supporters, yes you are right, have new disturbing details, up until maybe six months into this.
They have been trying to get answers about how Kendrick died. But now after what you're about to see, there are new, difficult questions to ask about what happened to his body after he was removed from that gym.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): It's the second time Jacqueline Johnson cried next to her son Kendrick's grave. The first time he was being lowered into the ground. This time he's being pulled out of it.
(On camera): Did you ever expect to have to exhume his body?
JACQUELYN JOHNSON, KENDRICK JOHNSON'S MOTHER: No, I didn't expect to have to bury his body.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): In June, Kendrick's body was sent to Florida. The Johnsons hired Dr. Bill Anderson to conduct an independent second autopsy. In that autopsy Anderson told the Johnsons he found evidence that Kendrick died as the result of a blow to the neck and not accidental asphyxia after slipping into a rolled gym mat at school, as investigators in Georgia had said. But what Dr. Anderson did not find shocked them.
BILL ANDERSON, PATHOLOGIST: We got the body for the second autopsy, that organs, the heart, lungs, liver, et cetera, were not with the body.
BLACKWELL (on camera): The brain?
ANDERSON: The brain, they were all absent.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): Every organ from the top of Kendrick's head to his pelvis, gone, and his family had no idea.
K. JOHNSON: We have been let down again and when we buried Kendrick, we thought we were burying Kendrick, not half a Kendrick.
ANDERSON: I'm not sure at this point who did not return the organs to the body but I know when we got the body, the organs were not there. BLACKWELL: So CNN contacted the two entities that had custody of Kendrick's body and access to his organs. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which conducted the first autopsy in January, and Harrington Funeral Home, which the Johnsons chose to embalm and prepare Kendrick's body for burial days later.
A spokeswoman for the state tells CNN after its autopsy the organs were placed in Johnson's body. The body was closed, then the body was released to the funeral home. State investigators say it's their normal practice, but what happened after his body arrived at the funeral home was anything but normal.
(On camera): What was in the place of the organs?
J. JOHNSON: Newspaper.
(Voice-over): Dr. Anderson showed me the pictures of Kendrick's body he'd taken during the second autopsy.
(On camera): It's a Black Friday ad, JCPenney ad.
J. JOHNSON: They stuck newspaper in him like he was a garbage can inside his body. It's unbelievable.
K. JOHNSON: I'd imagine that that is a different kind of pain.
BLACKWELL: Yes. Why do you think that there would be newspapers stuffed in your child?
K. JOHNSON: I never heard of that before. Never.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): Neither had the founder of a National Embalming Academy contacted by CNN who said it's not consistent with the standards of care in the industry. Nor had the president of the National Association of Medical Examiners who told CNN he's never heard of this practice.
(On camera): Why would the funeral home discard his organs and stuff them with newspaper?
K. JOHNSON: The question is, why didn't he tell us?
BLACKWELL (voice-over): So what exactly did the Harrington Funeral Home do with Kendrick's organs and why was he stuffed with old newspaper? We went to their office to find out but their response to us, "no comment." However, in a letter to the Johnsons' attorney, Harrington Funeral Home owner Antonio Harrington denies he received Kendrick's organs.
He writes in part, "His internal organs were destroyed through natural process and henceforth were discarded before the body was set back to Valdosta." It's another disappointing answer for parents determined to know what happened to their son before and now after his death. And they admit they're struggling.
J. JOHNSON: Unbearable, just about. Only thing that wakes you up in the morning is just to keep pushing.
BLACKWELL: So Don, we contacted the Georgia secretary of state which licenses funeral homes. We wanted to get some information about the history of Harrington funeral home. But when they heard about the details of our story the folks there opened their own investigation. They want to know where are Kendrick's organs and they want to know more about this practice of stuffing the body with newspaper.
LEMON: Oh, my goodness, Victor, those poor parents.
You know, the family and their attorney says that video from surveillance cameras at the school video is being with held and they want it released, I mean, who wouldn't? What do they suspect is on that videotape?
They believe that there is surveillance footage of Kendrick being beaten to death. Now, we have to say it is not really video they take stills of every few moments. But let's look at this. Aside from what you just heard, consider that there is surveillance footage inside the gym, at least four cameras. And we know that the investigators, at least, or the school district, they looked at it because they gave us several frames of Kendrick walking.
If on day one they saw the surveillance of Kendrick find it into the matt, if they have it on surveillance, why would there then be a four and a half month investigation? One hundred interviews they say they did, forensic evidence. If you have it on day one, is there a need to go on for four months to actually get answers to what actually happened?
LEMON: All right, Victor, stand by.
Next, more of this exclusive report coming up on CNN, and the possible legal action that is coming this week.
LEMON: Kendrick Johnson would have turned 18 this week, I say would have. Kendrick Johnson was a young man whose body was found inside a rolled up gym mat at his high school in Georgia, his death first ruled an accident. But now the evidence points more and more to a mysterious death.
I want to bring back CNN's Victor Blackwell. He joins us from Atlanta. He has been in Valdosta, Georgia and on this story since the very beginning.
Victor, you confronted the man who may be able to reveal a crucial key to the mystery of Johnson's death, what did he say to you?
BLACKWELL: Well, Don, he said a lot, the sheriff's office said their case is closed. The Georgia bureau of investigation stands behind their work. There are now two men who can move this case forward to try to get the Johnsons some answers, one is a U.S. attorney who has reviewing the case. He has not yet decided if he will launch a federal investigation. The other is the coroner in the Lance County.
Now, at some point, he said he would help the Johnsons get some answers. But then he changed his mind, so we paid him a visit.
BLACKWELL: Mr. Watson, Victor Blackwell, CNN.
(Voice-over): This is Lowndes county coroner, Bill Watson, he can order something the family of Kendrick Johnson desperately wants, but he is not agreed to give it to them.
BILL WATSON, CORONER, LOWNDES COUNTY, GEORGIA: I will not comment on anything, I would like you to leave my office.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): We'll come back to this in moment. But first, for more than several months, eight hours a day, six days a week, this has been the scene in front of the Lowndes County judicial center in Downtown Valdosta, Georgia.
Kenneth and Jacqueline Johnson, supporters, signs and a question, who killed Kendrick Johnson?
J. JOHNSON: We want answers and are not leaving until we get answers.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): They have never believed the theory from Lowndes County sheriff's investigators that their 17-year-old son climbed onto a rolled gym mat at school in January to grab a shoe at the center of one, fell into one, got stuck upside down and was accidentally suffocated.
K. JOHNSON: We are mostly concerned about what happened to Kendrick and what they know about what happened to Kendrick. Then, why is they are not telling us the truth.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): The Johnson's exhumed Kendrick's body and the second autopsy the family paid for found that Kendrick died as the result of a blunt force trauma to the neck, not an accident, a homicide.
And with opposing theories on the cause of death from competing pathologists, who can get to the bottom of how Kendrick died?
Bill Watson can, by ordering what is called a coroner's inquest. Watson has the power to impanel a jury of five, and in one alternate to listen to testimony, review evidence then deliberate and determine how Kendrick Johnson died, an answer his parents sorely want.
In March, the family's attorney sent Watson this letter as a formal request that the coroner's inquest be convened immediately. In mid- April, the attorney received a response from Watson, saying he was precluded by statute from impaneling a coroner's jury, because the investigation was not complete. This petition requesting a coroner's inquest was submitted to the district attorney with more than 400 signatures.
We spoke with Watson after Lowndes County sheriff's office had closed its case. Here is what he said about launching a coroner's inquest for the Johnsons.
WATSON: If they requested one, and they don't feel that this is sufficient then, you know, I'm elected to do what is best served to the people that elected me. I made them a promise, took an oath to the effect that if I was elected, I would stand up and speak for those who can't speak for themselves. And that is what I've done, since January the 11th.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): Would you welcome the inquiry?
WATSON: Yes, sir, I will. I have nothing to -- there is nothing to hide.
K. JOHNSON: He has already said that he will give us one and we want one, and why wouldn't he give us one.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): So this month, five months after that interview, we went to visit Watson. And that takes us back to where we began.
(On camera): Mr. Watson? Victor Blackwell, CNN. Are you going to order an inquest into the case of Kendrick Johnson?
WATSON: I'm not commenting on anything, I would like for you to leave my office.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): You told me in May you would order an inquest, what changed your mind?
WATSON: No, I didn't tell you that.
BLACKWELL: Yes, you said that on tape, sir, that if the people wanted one that you would order one. Now, are you going to order an inquest into the case of Kendrick Johnson?
WATSON: I'm not commenting on anything.
BLACKWELL: Why have you sir, changed your mind, you told me on tape you would order an inquest? What has changed?
WATSON: And that is the way it is.
K. JOHNSON: Pressure from the sheriff's department and the system here in Lowndes County. That is why he is not going to do it now. But we surely want a coroner's inquest.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): The sheriff's office wouldn't discuss that case, and the Johnsons would be the first to get one during Watson's time as coroner.
(On camera): Can you tell me at least, what is a coroner's inquest?
WATSON: I would rather you look it up.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): They are rare in Lowndes County. There are have been fewer than half a dozen here since 1985.
What has changed, sir?
WATSON: Thank you.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): Watson would not answer that question, but the Johnsons promise one thing will not change, their fight for an answer. They will continue to sit in front of the court House with their supporters and their signs and their question.
J. JOHNSON: If they want us to leave, they're going to give us answers, we're not going nowhere.
LEMON: So victor, the family's attorney is taking some legal action this week, right?
BLACKWELL: Yes. The plan is to file a lawsuit on Tuesday at the very earliest. And it is to implore the district attorney in Lowndes County to force the coroner to launch this inquest. Now, typically it is up to the coroner's discretion. But they say to know the information about the surveillance video that is being with held. And also the blood on the wall and all the questions about the investigation to not order that inquest is an abuse of that discretion.
And I want to be -- make sure that people are clear about why this is important. Because if that jury decides that Kendrick's death was not an accident and indeed was a homicide, the death certificate will be changed. The cause of death will become homicide. That, then, is forwarded to the district attorney who can start another investigation to try to get to the bottom of who is responsible for that homicide.
LEMON: CNN's Victor Blackwell, great reporting.
Thank you very much for that, Victor.
BLACKWELL: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: He has become known simply as the lawn mower man, cutting the grass at the Lincoln memorial because the government is shutdown. So why is he doing it? We're asking him live next.
LEMON: Has it really come to this? At first it looks just like a guy just mowing the grass, but that is not just any grass. That man is mowing the grass at the Lincoln memorial. The political standoff in Washington has shuttered many government operations. So Chris Cox took it upon himself and began to mowing the national mall.
He also took his mower to the areas between the Lincoln and World War II memorials.
Chris Cox joins me live from Washington.
Let me just say this, before we get started here. You're a great American, and you're a patriot. And thank you.
CHRIS COX, MOWING AT NATIONAL MONUMENTS: Thank you.
LEMON: I'm humbled.
COX: I'm happy to be here.
LEMON: I'm humbled by your presence. You say it is your duty to be there, mowing the grass and cleaning up around the monuments, why?
COX: Well, it is not about our government, it is more about our country. And as a civilian, we don't get a lot of opportunities to serve our country, so when we get one we need to step up and seize it.
LEMON: They asked you to leave, police did, at some point, right?
COX: Yes, sir. I explained to them that it is not against the law to pick up litter. It is against the law to throw it on the ground. And that being said, I told them if they're going to arrest me, then take me now, or back off and let me finish what I started.
LEMON: Yes. And some people want to help you, I want to help you because as I understand, you don't have a riding mower. We are going to talk about that and talk about what else you're doing. You have volunteers like you and we want to help more. I want to talk more about that right after a quick break. We are going to talk more to lawn mower man, Chris Cox, in just a moment.
LEMON: So at first, this looks like just any guy mowing the grass, but that is not just any grass. That man is mowing the grass at the Lincoln Memorial, the political standoff in Washington has shuttered many government operations, apparently including mowing the grass.
So, I want to bring back in now, Chris Cox in Washington. We call him lawn mower man. A lot of people are calling him that. He has taken up on himself to mow the grass and clean up the monuments.
Chris, people joined you today to help in the cleanup efforts, why do you think they joined you?
COX: It was unbelievable. Today, we had volunteers. I have a volunteer that heard about it yesterday in Ohio. They drove all through the night to get here today so that they can teach their children what activism is. We had had people reach in their pockets and buy air plane tickets from as far away as Seattle Washington, and California, Colorado. People flew in from all over the country. It was just unbelievable, the response that we had today. We were a true militia today. We marched down the sidewalk, and we emptied every trash can, picked up every cigarette butt, and I couldn't be prouder of the rally from the memorial militia and making a difference.
LEMON: Yehey! to you and the people who helped. And I asked you, I said during the break before you came on, I was like man, why don't you have a riding lawn mower and you said?
COX: Well, I didn't become an artist for the love of money. Therefore, my pockets are a little more shallower than I would like to admit. Instead of making a donation I had to clear my schedule and I have been here since day one and plan of being here and seeing this out.
I want to tell our viewers that here is where you can go. Go to crowditforward.com, just like it sounds, Crowditforward.com. And that's where you're raising money. And so far crowditforward.com has raised $680 already to help you buy a riding mower. What you make of that?
COX: No, sir. I'm not asking for any anymore. The moment I take money I will set myself up for criticism. And I won't be as well received as I have been. I don't know --
LEMON: No, we are not saying that you did it. No, they are doing it for you. They are doing it for you. That's right, so what do you think of that? They are doing it for you. You will take the mower, right?
COX: I'm flattered. I want to keep the attention on America and standing behind America. It's not about Democrats, Republicans or independents. We are coming together to be Americans. To show we're fed up. We need to have a contest in Washington on who has the biggest set of ears. Because last time I checked ears were made for listening. And these politicians need to start listening to the people who put them in office.
LEMON: Oh, my God, Chris Cox. I'd give you a hug if I was there in Washington. Again, Crowditforward.com, as I said, you will take the mower, though because you're not doing it. They're doing it for you.
COX: Well, to be honest with you, I don't have a need for a mower. I don't have a yard. I don't have any need for a blower. I have need for Americans to rally together behind the flag. The flag is our constitution right now. We need to come together and support memorials and parks around the world. We need to show a solidarity and we need to come together to show the politicians that if the government is not going to do it, we have citizens that are willing to step up and take the responsibility upon themselves. And today was a good example of it. People from all over the country, even Costa Rica showed up with trash backs and rakes.
LEMON: Thank you, sir. I hope America -- I hope Congress is listening. Folks in Washington and America is listening. Thank you. Best of luck to you, lawnmower man, OK? You take care of yourself.
COX: Thank you. And God bless America.
LEMON: All right. Amen, brother.
We'll be right back.
LEMON: Miley Cyrus was a hit on "Saturday Night Live" last week despite her shocking twerking performance on the MVA's just a few weeks ago. And now, her new album is number one on iTunes in 60 countries. So, is all this just a brilliant marketing ploy and her plan all along?
I'm joined now by psychologist Wendy Walsh and social commentator Samantha Schacher.
First to you, Wendy, why are we still talking about Miley Cyrus?
WENDY WALSH, HUMAN BEHAVIOR SPECIALIST: Because she has a brilliant business machine behind her and we are helping her sell more records as soon as we say her name and tweet her name. That is about the money, Don, not about what my 10-year-old is doing.
LEMON: Is this possibly, as you said Wendy said, Samantha, that she has a brilliant team behind her. Is this a brilliant business plan?
SAMANTHA SCHACHER, HOST, POP TRIGGER: OK. At first, I don't think it's necessarily a team behind her. If you listen to Miley Cyrus' interviews, if you watched her recent documentary that premiered on MTV, Miley Cyrus was very specific that she is the one that is steering her own ship. And she said hey, I want to be shocking. I want to be the shock queen. I want to be controversial. And you know what, it's working for her. We are still talking about her in the media. Her album is number one around the world, on iTunes. So, this is all according to her master plan.
LEMON: I mean, Wendy --
WALSH: But should we be cheering her, Don?
LEMON: I'm sorry. Say again.
WALSH: Should we be cheering because she's making money. Because as I said, my 10-year-old, I wrote an open letter to her and (INAUDIBLE) this week on my Web site where I interviewed my 10-year-old and asked her what she thought of the wrecking ball video.
SCHACHER: She shouldn't be watching it.
WALSH: She's been a fan since she was three or four. You can't just fire fans. LEMON: One at a time. Go ahead Samantha.
SCHACHER: Wendy and I love each other. OK, Wendy and I are dear friends. But with all due respect, Wendy, I have to disagree with you. I don't think young kids should be watching the new Miley. The new Miley is 20 years old. She's an adult. She's provocative. She's not the first provocative performer to come on the scene, and she is not going to be the last. And that's where parents have to be really specific about censoring what their children can watch.
Really quickly, I want to talk about a positive aspect about Miley Cyrus. Her performance was distasteful. She's known to be a really nice, hard working, diligent person and the end of the day, that should trump her twerking and her swinging on a wrecking ball.
LEMON: Wendy, I have 10 seconds.
WALSH: And Sam, darling, when you become a mother yourself, you'll see how hard it is to control what goes into your kids heads. It takes a village and the Internet is our village and they are finding stuff. You'll see.
LEMON: Yes. Should we be cheering her, no.
SCHACHER: I think you need to watch less Miley.
LEMON: But some things you just have to do because you like paying the mortgage.
And that is talk about Miley.
OK. So, thank you both ladies.
Is Miley Cyrus a brilliant businesswoman or a fallen star? Judge for yourself after you watch a CNN special presentation "The Life of Miley" coming up 30 minutes from now here on CNN.
But first, another CNN special presentation, Christiane Amanpour sits down for a conversation with actor Tom Hanks. That begins right now.