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LEGAL VIEW WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD

Severe Weather in Midwest; 4 More Arrests in Steubenville Rape Case; Yale University Under Shelter in Place Order. Interview with Ohio A.G. Mike DeWine

Aired November 25, 2013 - 11:30   ET

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


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: That's normal when you're not in Texas. That guy is in Texas scraping ice off his window. So November in Texas, is this the story already? This thing is actually moving, this weather system. It's getting dangerous across the country. 10 people have been killed since Friday. This is serious.

Our meteorologist, Chad Myers, is at the CNN Weather Center keeping track of this.

It seems that there's always some kind of Thanksgiving story when it comes to weather.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It's because you have so many millions trying to go so many places. Whether you're going to drive or take a bus, plane, whatever it might be, there will be problems when you get a big storm like this. Right now in the southeast and Midwest, it is poor. It is not good traveling through east and western Louisiana and even for that matter, even into Arkansas. That storm will move farther up toward the north and northeast.

Something else that I think you might want to watch out, if you're local weather man, and I don't know where you live, if you're local weather man says it's going to be raining and 34, I need you to watch out. Because the models do a poor job of getting that warm air in. They want to warm up. I've seen it too many times where the models say it's going to be raining, the weather men believe it and it rains and it's 31 and not 34. Only three degrees or two degrees will make a huge difference.

Now, by Wednesday, things begin to pull out. I don't think we're going to get half the planes in and out of the northeast on Wednesday. Just because of the wind. You can't get as many planes off the ground or on the ground when you have that much wind. Gusting 40, 50 miles per hour. And finally on thanksgiving, it's great. But the damage may already been done. The plane may not be where you think it is. Even if you're flying from Seattle into Indianapolis, your plane may be flying in from New York and it's not going to be there. If you can get out early, that's great. If you can't, then just wait. Tuesday I think is going to be the bull's eye for a lot of people up and down the Mississippi River Valley, Ohio River Valley and eventually into the northeast.

BANFIELD: And is Wednesday the busiest travel day of the year? Wednesday evening, after -- MYERS: It is. The kids are out of school. My kid still after goes to school tomorrow. I'm going to hope -- and I believe, you might even watch this in the morning. Pittsburgh reeling. Roanoke, in the morning they may pre-cancel classes because it maybe so bad by the afternoon trying to get those kids home. Think about that for your travel plans as well.

BANFIELD: And then, of course, for anybody who says, that's fine, I'm traveling Thursday, everything that happens Wednesday ends up folding into Thursday.

Chad Myers, keep an eye on it for us. Thank you.

MYERS: I will.

BANFIELD: Love Chad. Not when he's like this and tells us that kind of news.

And by the way, weather and airports seems to just go hand in hand. CNN decided to make the world's busiest airport, Hartfield-Jackson in Atlanta, made it the destination and got a fascinating look inside. On August 28th, more than three dozens journalists descended on that airport and documented their journey after months of research. You can check it all out at CNN.com/atl 24. You'll get a little inside scoop on just how this all works from the inside out. Interesting stuff.

Other stories that we're following today. A mystery in Maryland. A postal worker just 26 years old shot and killed while delivering someone else's mail route on Saturday. Rewards being offered at this point are totaling up to $125,000 for information about who killed Tyson Barnett. There were no witnesses and at this point no clear motive for that killing.

A San Antonio police officer charged with sexuality assaulting a 19- year-old woman during a traffic stop, while on duty while wearing the uniform. She says Officer Jackson Neil (ph) handcuffed her put her in the back seat and sexually assaulted her. We couldn't reach Neil (ph) for comment or find out whether he has yet to hire an attorney in this case.

We're hearing from the mother of Rebecca Sedwick, the mother of the teenager who committed suicide after relentless bullying. The state dropped the stalking charges against the two girls who were accused of bullying Rebecca. But this morning, Rebecca's mom announced what she plans to do next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRICIA NORMAN, MOTHER OF REBECCA SEDWICK: I have decided to file wrongful death lawsuits in civil court against the individuals that I believe are responsible for my daughter's death. I intend to hold them accountable to the full extent of the law. I'm going to make sure other children are not tormented like my daughter was.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BANFIELD: And Rebecca's moms also pushing for a new state law, called Rebecca's Law, that would criminalize bullying.

For nearly 11 years, she endured numerous, physical, psychological, and sexually assaults at the hands of Ariel Castro. And now Michelle Knight has bravely come forward in a brand new book. Her memoir set to be released this spring.

Two football players found guilty in the rape of a classmate. Happening now, new indictments involving other people. As we speak, even the school superintendent is now part of those being charged. We're going to take you live to Steubenville and tell you just what the attorney general has announced to the public.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: Welcome back. This just in to "Legal View." Four more people have now been indicted in connection with the Steubenville rape case. And one of them is the school superintendent. That was just announced by the Ohio attorney general just moments ago. The superintendent's name is Michael McVeigh, and he's facing felony charges of tampering with evidence and could be instruction of justice.

It was this disturbing photo that became synonymous with the case that went viral. A teenage girl who appeared to be catatonic, at least unconscious. So drunk, she said she could not remember what happened that night for the most part. But other people took photos and other people posted all sorts of stuff about the videos, putting it out online, joking, laughing, even threatening. Two Steubenville football players were convicted of the rape of that young woman in March of this year.

But it did not end there. The attorney general revealed after the trial that 16 people refused to speak to authorities about this case. A grand jury was convened to find out if more charges should be filed.

And then we get to today. But even prior to today's indictments, the Steubenville high school director of technology, the top I.T. guy, was charged with tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice.

And listen to the one thing the attorney general had to say about this all today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE DEWINE, OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL: While this started out being about the kids, it is also just as much about the parents, about the grownups, about the adults. How do you hold kids accountable if you don't hold the adults accountable?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

You know, you might just say amen to that.

We're joined now by our legal panel, HLN legal analyst, Joey Jackson; and criminal defense attorney, Heather Hansen.

This is something I've been waiting to find out. This grand jury has been seated for months, investigating this evidence for months. 16 people refused to speak to authorities.

Generally speaking, Heather, the resume of thumb is, you don't have a duty necessarily to speak to authorities unless --

HEATHER HANSEN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you have a duty to report child abuse, for sure.

BANFIELD: Especially if you're a teacher or coach?

HANSEN: Absolutely. And believe that that's what some of these indictments are going to encompass. After the fact, you have a duty not to obstruct justice, not to tamper with evidence and hide things to protect the children involved.

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely.

BANFIELD: And, Joey, listen, the list that just come out and distressing to see. Lynette Goreman (ph) is one of those charged. She's a principal at West Elementary School. Seth Fluhard (ph), the strength and conditioning coach and the wrestling coach. Matthew Bellerdean was at the time a volunteer coach for the football team. And then there's Michael McVeigh who is the superintendent. Do they bear any additional responsibility than, say, just any other adult?

JACKSON: You have to believe they do, Ashleigh, because --

BANFIELD: I'm talking about legally.

JACKSON: But at the end of the day, Heather alluded to the reporting retirement. And you have to look at and see what the children are doing and what the parents knew and when they knew it. Certainly, an indictment is simply an accusation. You don't want to presume anyone guilty. It's the process. It's the beginning of the process. But if you believe that adults knew something about it, had information about it and didn't come forward or report it, it becomes problematic. At the beginning of this grand jury investigation, if you remember, back in April, what DeWine said was we're going to up cover every stone and look at it. And if parents need to be held accountable, or anyone else in the community needs to be held accountable, teachers, coaches, we're going to find it.

BANFIELD: And, Heather, I think a lot of people are surprised to find out that the grand jury has been meeting since the spring. Does it mean it's the end or could these people squeeze and release more information that might lead to other indictments?

HANSEN: There can always be other indictments. If there's more evidence, there can always be further indictments. There can be more grand juries. You see that all the time. Suddenly you have to put a plea in. And for plea bargaining reasons, new people can be implicated. We saw the indictment of the I.T. director earlier and the other that was charged with a felony here. And now you see these. (CROSSTALK)

JACKSON: -- obstruction.

HANSEN: The same charges against the superintendent.

BANFIELD: A very unusual charge. His daughter, a couple of days, if not one or two days later, I think, also charged with similar kinds of charges but said they were unrelated to the father. They didn't say unrelated to this case.

HANSEN: And you question again, whether they're squeezing, as you said going on.

BANFIELD: Is that a real strategy? This is so high-profile. It is a strategy for law enforcement so say grab them because they may be involved but we know we can get the bigger fish out of them?

HANSEN: You can't bring a grand jury --

BANFIELD: Really, you can't?

HANSEN: But you can, based on politics and maneuvering. The grand jury doesn't know who they're trying to who they're trying to squeeze.

BANFIELD: Heather, it happens all the time.

JACKSON: But --

BANFIELD: They get people indicted all the time who say, I'm not your guy.

(CROSSTALK)

JACKSON: That's why I caution. Look, the bottom line is that it's an accusation. They hear all the information and they get the information and then they're charged ass to what the appropriate charges should be. And then of course does it stand the test of a trial. But when you have something like a superintendent being indicted on tampering charges what does that say to you about the ex- he extent to which presumably and possibly the people in authority went to cover this up.

BANFIELD: All four of these people -- this news is just coming in to CNN. If you're just tuning in right now, the Steubenville rape case where the photograph went viral of the two football players holding, an unconscious girl, the accusations of rape turning into convictions for two of the football players. And now the I.T. director charged and also a principal, a strength conditioning and wrestling coach, a volunteer coach for the football team, and the school's superintendent all now charged in this case.

Stay tuned. We don't know if there's going to be further developments in this.

Heather, Joey, thank you. Always good to see you. JACKSON: Thank you.

BANFIELD: Appreciate your insight.

We are also watching that big story this is Thanksgiving week. And I know your mind is what you're going to do on Thursday and maybe traveling or having someone travel to you. But there's bad weather hitting the midsection of the nation. And actually now some airlines are being warned that their brand new planes shouldn't be flying in thunderstorms. Are you kidding me? That story coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: I've got breaking news. The students and the faculty at Yale University are on a Shelter in Place order. We've got live pictures. I want to bring to you right away coming to us from WTNH in Connecticut. So the scene in New Haven right now, nary a student on the street but plenty of police activity. All of the students and faculty, anyone on campus has been asked to stay indoors locking their doors following reports of a person with a gun on campus. The picture you're seeing is not that person. In fact, this is a Twitter picture that's come courtesy of Easton, the sister of a Yale student taking this picture out of the dorm room in the old campus of some of the police activity. So while you're seeing report of a person with a gun at Yale and seeing a picture of a person with a gun, it is the police that you are seeing the picture of. So far, no confirmation.

That's very important to note there's no confirmation of that person with a gun. But they've locked everybody down just in case. Continuing with our live pictures from our affiliate, the university decided to post the following information to students. It reads this: "New Haven police have received an anonymous call from a phone booth in the 300 block of Columbus Avenue reporting a person on the Yale campus with a gun." There have been no confirmations of sightings of this person, Yale and New Haven police are in the area. They advise those on campus to remain in their current location until there is additional information. And please note, this notice added students are on November recess as of last Friday, according to their academic calendar, which is better news if there is any silver ling here in that there will be fewer students on campus, fewer faculty, as well. We'll keep updating you as to the Yale University campus.

Other top stories we're following, as well, more trouble for Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner and 747-8 jetliners. Boeing says there's a risk of icing problems on the engines made by general electric, and here's the weird part. Boeing is urging 15 carriers to avoid flying it the planes near high level thunderstorms. That's tricky. The move comes after six incidents involving five 757-8s and one Dreamliner with G.E. engines. Those planes apparently suffered temporary loss of thrust while at high altitudes. Something you do not want to experience. Think I can speak for everybody.

We'll be right back after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BANFIELD: New indictments have just been announced in the Steubenville rape case. I'm pleased to be joined now by mike DeWine, the Ohio attorney general, who just wrapped up a news conference moments ago.

Mr. Attorney General, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us at CNN about this.

I've got four names in front of me, all of them having to do with the schools in some way, whether being coaches or administrators or in one instance an elementary school principal. Will there be any additional names added to the list of those charged in relation to this case?

DEWINE: I think it is unlikely. I think, frankly, this community needs to move forward. The grand jury did an exhaustive job of examining what happened. And really, I think the message out of this today is, you know, how can we hold kids accountable if we don't hold adults accountable? And that's really what the grand jury is saying by these indictments.

You know, we have this superintendent of schools who's been indicted on multiple counts. We have a principal of one of the schools who's been indicted. We have a coach indicted. So I hope this does send a strong message. You know, people need to cooperate with investigations. They need not to the hide evidence.

And we hope that this, frankly, brings an end to this. This is a great community. There's a lot of great people in this community. We hope that now the community can move on.

BANFIELD: I think, without question, everyone wants to move on, but certainly not before everyone who is accountable is held accountable. I do want to ask you about the football coach. There had been numerous reports about some kind of involvement for a coach named Reno Sakatch (ph), the football coach. Some of the students themselves alleging some kind of involvement. Is there any chance the coach himself will face any sort of accountability here, or is he 100 percent in the clear?

DEWINE: Well, let me talk a little bit about the grand jury. The grand jury heard well over 100 witnesses. They went on for a number of months, a number of days. You know, they looked at charges, potential charges against a lot of individuals. But under Ohio law, and the law of most states, you have to have probable cause, you have to have the evidence, and there has to it be a specific crime enumerated in the Ohio revised code. When you look at what this -- they came back with these charges. They did not come back with a charge against the head coach.

BANFIELD: And I just have a minute left, but I must ask you, this town, Steubenville was absolutely polarized. Some blaming the victim. Vehemently blaming the victim. People torn apart over this case. That made me wonder, impaneling a grand jury, how confident do you feel about the results coming out of that grand jury, given what the population is like there? DEWINE: Well, I spent the last two days with the grand jury in their session. My prosecutors handled the first part of it, but I spent a long two days with them as they closed this up. I'll tell you, these are good people. They took this very, very seriously. Their message is accountability. Their message is, how in the world can we hold young people accountable if we don't hold the adults. They indicted individuals who they felt violated the law.

BANFIELD: OK.

DEWINE: And so I have a great deal of confidence in not only the grand jury system but this specific grand jury.

BANFIELD: It is good of you to join us. And I do thank you, especially as you just wrapped up the news conference.

DEWINE: Thank you.

BANFIELD: Attorney General Mike DeWine, thanks very much.

That is all the time we have today. But AROUND THE WORLD starts right now.

HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Flights across the nation canceled after wild weather threatens the Thanksgiving travel frenzy. A live report straight ahead.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: After the rough rollout of the Obamacare website, the president's approval rating continues to have its own set of glitches. We'll explain.

GORANI: And then, with a handshake and the stroke of a pen, Iran agrees to back off its nuclear program. Some call the deal a success for diplomacy. Others say it's a historic failure.

This is AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Hala Gorani. Suzanne Malveaux is off.

HOLMES: I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company today.