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PRIMETIME JUSTICE WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD

Investigation Underway; O.J. After Parole; Disturbing Details; More Charges Imminent; One More Thing. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired November 1, 2017 - 20:00:00   ET

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


[20:00:00] ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: When a stranger calls, do you remember that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

BANFIELD: Have you checked the children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, very creepy.

BANFIELD: Yes, terrified the babysitter by saying, get out, because the call is coming from within the house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s coming from inside the house, yes, I know.

BANFIELD: A day after Halloween, and I`m telling you this story because it turns out there`s this murder we`ve been covering, and it turns the arrest

came from within the house. PRIMETIME JUSTICE starts right now.

The 911 call that made a whole neighborhood shudder.

JEFFREY SCULLIN, SUSPECT: Somebody`s been attacked in my house.

BANFIELD: Now, someone is behind bars.

SCULLIN: We came home, we just came home.

BANFIELD: The man who made that call.

SCULLIN: I live here, I live here. She`s my fiancee`s mother.

BANFIELD: Was Mel Pleskovic literally stabbed in the back by her soon-to- be son-in-law?

Armed SWAT police stormed an elementary school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The teacher told us, get against wall.

BANFIELD: Dad takes the teacher hostage and beats another one bloody.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did not know, have no clue what was going on.

BANFIELD: Children cower in fear. Teachers lock down in panic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He may not have adhered to the school`s safety policies.

BANFIELD: Why did he terrorize his own child`s school?

The call no 14-year-old should ever make.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can somebody come and put me in handcuffs?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just shot my dad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just shot my dad.

BANFIELD: Police say she shot him in the face and wanted him to die.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my God, I don`t want to go to jail.

BANFIELD: But now she`s walking free thanks to her dead dad`s life insurance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know.

BANFIELD: But she`s going to have to talk and soon. She`s charged with his murder.

Found dead in a ditch and buried with teddy bears.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What he told us was that he went outside, could not find her.

BANFIELD: Her father jailed and forbidden to attend the funeral.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was contrary to what we were initially told.

BANFIELD: Nearly four weeks since the crime and no one is charged in her death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not the end that we wanted to have.

BANFIELD: Will Sharon Matthew`s dad face his daughter`s murder?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want answers.

BANFIELD: And talk about an uninvited guest. This suspected child rapist advertised for children`s parties. Mickey, Minnie, Spongebob and more.

And now police want your help.

And trick or treat? Depends on what you think of O.J., we`ve got the pictures of a Halloween night surprise.

Good evening, everyone. I`m Ashleigh Banfield. This is PRIMETIME JUSTICE. You may have thought that you had this one all figured out, that bizarre

mystery in suburban Ohio. More like that brutal whodunit on blazing star drive, the one that left the community stupefied, maybe not so much that

there was an awful murder on their street but more so everything that happened after Mel Pleskovic was stabbed and shot and left for dead on her

own kitchen floor.

There were all of those strange 911 calls both during the emergency and well before that emergency. Calls about weird people harassing the family,

creeping on their house, rattling their doors. But tonight, there`s something new in that case that will make your head tilt to the other side.

Police arrested someone inside that house, a man who lived there and was about to marry Mel`s daughter in a matter of days. In fact, he`d just been

out with Mel`s husband right before the two of them came in to find Mel dead on the floor, right before the husband called 911. Speaking of

strange calls.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 911, what`s the city of your emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Strongsville, Ohio. And we have people on the way already. I think someone killed my wife.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You think someone killed your wife?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it looks like she has stab wounds on her back. We`ve had people trying to break in our house all year, stealing shit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, I need to ask you questions, OK? Are you there right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just got in the door with my new son-in-law. You know, we`ve asked people to watch our freaking area. We`ve had people

attempt to break in just this week. I don`t know what`s going on in this city, but this (inaudible) shit isn`t getting done here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, I understand you`re upset. But can you give me your name please?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, you people dropped the (INAUDIBLE) ball.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, can you just take a deep breath? Is there any - -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This whole city`s getting freaking taken over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, I understand you`re upset, but I need you to stay focused, OK? You don`t think you can perform CPR, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can`t believe this. We`ve had a break-in all year. Things were stolen and missing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, what`s your name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m her husband.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, what`s your --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve had people try to break in our house like, a lot. They trash our cameras. We`re getting targeted and I don`t know who the

(INAUDIBLE) is doing this, but I`m pissed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[20:05:08] BANFIELD: As that husband was calling the cops from inside the house, that soon-to-be son-in-law/murder suspect was calling 911 from

outside the house.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 911, what`s the address of your emergency?

JEFFREY SCULLIN, SUSPECT: Somebody`s been attacked in my house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody`s been what?

SCULLIN: Attacked.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They attacked who? Who was attacked?

SCULLIN: Mel Pleskovic. Mel Pleskovic was attacked.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was attacked by whom? Do you know?

SCULLIN: No, we just came home and she`s on the kitchen floor. I took her son and my daughter outside. Her husband is inside with her now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So the husband attacked her?

SCULLIN: No, no, no. We just came home. We just came home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You came home and found her injured on the floor?

SCULLIN: We found her in the kitchen. She`s not moving. I took the kids and I walked outside. I don`t know --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So does she look like she was beaten or what?

SCULLIN: She has blood all around her. I didn`t look. I just grabbed the child and left.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir? Hi. OK. All right. I have the medics and police responding, OK? All right? I need to get --

SCULLIN: There`s a lot of blood.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s a lot of blood? OK.

SCULLIN: I only got --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, OK. How do you know this woman? Is she --

SCULLIN: I live here. I live here. She`s my fiance`s mother.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So it`s your fiance`s mother, OK. Has she had anybody trying to harm her, harass her, anything like that?

SCULLIN: No, no.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your name?

SCULLIN: My name`s Jeff, Jeff Scullin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, who`s talking to you right now?

SCULLIN: That`s (INAUDIBLE) her husband. We just came home together.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, and what`s (INAUDIBLE) telling you? Is she conscious?

SCULLIN: He says she had multiple stab wounds and he`s on the phone with somebody else.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, she`s got multiple stab wounds.

SCULLIN: That`s what he just came out and told me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you see any like, forced entry or anything to the house?

SCULLIN: I`m outside. The door was locked.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The door was locked?

SCULLIN: The front door was locked.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: We`re guessing the wedding is off now that that guy, Jeffrey Scullin, Jr., is facing a murder rap. Here`s what`s also really weird

about this family`s history with 911.

Four days before Mel was found dead, this guy, Jeffrey, was calling police and complaining about yet again a weird person creeping on the house where

they all live together.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s your name?

SCULLIN: My name`s Jeff Scullin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s your emergency?

SCULLIN: Someone just tried to walk into my house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, what did they look like?

SCULLIN: I didn`t really see him. I saw a blue hoodie. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A blue hoodie?

SCULLIN: A blue hoodie and sweatpants. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, could you tell if it was a male or a female?

SCULLIN: Probably male.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, which door did he try to get in? The front or the back?

SCULLIN: The back door.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. We do have officers en route. Can you remember anything else? Did he have -- he didn`t have gloves on. Did he touch the

door?

SCULLIN: He touched the door.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. This is -- I don`t want you to touch anything. I don`t want you to go out back.

SCULLIN: I already did open the door, though.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From the inside or the outside?

SCULLIN: From the inside and I walked out on the deck --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

SCULLIN: -- when it happened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Don`t touch anything else.

BANFIELD: These constant calls to 911 had been happening for almost two years. Just two months before that last call you heard from Jeffrey, this

woman, the victim herself, dialed up about strangers yet again haunting that house or at least what she thought were strangers.

MELINDA PLESKOVIC, VICTIM: We just had two people -- two big, giant adults trying to pull on our back door.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

PLESKOVIC: They`re gone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you see which way they went?

PLESKOVIC: No. We grabbed the flashlight and came out and by the time we got out here, they`re all gone but we live in a common area, so.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, and you said it was your back door?

PLESKOVIC: Yes. Two big white guys. That`s all we could tell. One with a hoodie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Only one of them had a hoodie?

PLESKOVIC: Yes. One was by the door pulling on it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, and what is your name?

PLESKOVIC: Melinda.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: And yes, there is more. A month before that call was made, it was Mel`s daughter dialing 911, the bride-to-be whose fiance is now in

custody.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this the Strongsville Police Department non- emergency number?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it is. How can I help you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There were creepy people walking in our backyard and hiding behind our tree. And, we asked them to leave and they kind of

hinted that they`re going to come back to our house later. It`s just really suspicious because our cars have been broken into before.

[20:10:03] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many people were back there?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An adult, two teenagers and a little dog but they were like hiding and being all weird.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: So knowing what we know now, that Mel Pleskovic would be dead and her almost son-in-law charged with that murder, it makes you wonder a

whole lot more about those calls. It certainly makes you listen to them with a different kind of ear.

Chris Mosby is the Ohio editor for Patch.com joins me from Cleveland. I don`t know about you, Chris, but the first time I heard those calls, I

thought the story was weird. Now to hear that Jeffrey Scullin has been hauled in on a murder rap, we listened to all the calls through again and

it seems even more strange. And I know I`m not the only one.

CHRIS MOSBY, OHIO EDITOR, PATCH.COM: It`s a very strange case, and police have been very tightlipped about any possible connections between Scullin

and those calls, but there`s a long history of calls coming from that house, coming from residents of that house to complain about suspicious

people and break-ins and attempted break-ins, and it`s certainly a very strange situation.

BANFIELD: You just sort of hit the nail on the head with the question I have, that if I could ask the police something, if they would be, you know,

open to answering questions, it would be, what about all those calls? It sure seems strangely coincidental or maybe not. You know, what exactly is

that?

And quite frankly, to the credit of, you know, your press corps, Charles Goss, who is the director of Public Safety, was asked that question towards

the tail end of, I think, an all of four-minute news conference and this is how he reacted to it. Have a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there anything in this about the harassment though? Is he associated with the harassment the family --

CHARLES GOSS, STRONGSVILLE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC SAFETY: Thank you all again for coming. I apologize we can`t respond to questions.

(END VIDE CLIP)

BANFIELD: Thank you for coming. That`s the answer, Chris, that everybody got about the elephant in the room. What are the whisper rumors, what are

the threads that reporters are going on, what`s the prevailing theory out there as to why Mr. Jeffrey Scullin has been charged with Mel`s murder?

MOSBY: Well, I`m reticent to speculate without confirmation on some of this stuff from police, but I can tell you that the incident started with

teenagers in about 2016 in the summer and escalated from there until we were seeing reports of break-ins in cars, attempted break-ins of the house.

And it`s a very strange situation when you have Scullin making a 911 call from the scene and then subsequently being charged with aggravated murder.

And certainly --

BANFIELD: Yes, four days. Let`s not forget the timeline here, Chris. I mean --

MOSBY: Yes.

BANFIELD: -- he made that call complaining about an intruder four days before Mel has a knife in her back and a gunshot wound and is dying on the

floor. I want to just replay a minute, like a really hot minute of the call that he actually made during the emergency. There is one very small

part of it that made me sort of -- made me wince because of all the calls prior.

So, with this idea in mind that this home has been calling 911 for almost two years and on the night Mel`s dead, he`s on the phone and he`s asked by

the 911 operator if maybe they`ve been targeted by someone or something. You think his answer would be, hell, yes, I`ve been calling and calling.

Instead it was this. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you know this woman? Is she --

SCULLIN: I live here. I live here. She`s my fiancee`s mother.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s your fiancee`s mother, OK.

SCULLIN: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has she, like had anybody trying to harm her, harass her, anything like that?

SCULLIN: No, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: No, no. The answer is no, no. is Bobby Chacon a retired FBI special agent. He joins me from Palm Springs.

How about no, no, Bobby? No, no, we haven`t had anybody targeting us. Doesn`t that sort of make you think, I need to question that guy further?

BOBBY CHACON, RETIRED FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Yes, I think he forgot what his story was at the height of the excitement of this call. You know, in your

mind, when you`re going to do something like this, you prepare and you rehearse. But the in the spur of the moment and the excitement of moment,

when you have to perform, I think he forgot what his story was. And he and maybe others took a lot of effort to set this alibi up, if you will, and I

think in the moment of truth, you know, he forgot what they had set up.

BANFIELD: So let me do this. So let me play -- you know, Bobby, I just said that this press conference was all of four minutes. And, you know, in

our line of business, that`s crazy. That is short. That is way too short for a story that has people nervous. It`s unsettling. An arrest that is

so close to the actual victim herself makes people very uncomfortable.

[20:15:00] Unfortunately, you know what, I don`t have this -- it was the chief, Mark Fender, and here`s what -- will you have it now?

All right, that happens in TVs. So let me just summarize what he said. OK, this is crazy. I don`t know, I feel like I got an echo going through

my ear saying, we got it, we got it, we got it, it`s all right.

This is what the chief said, Bobby. In this press conference -- and I`m telling you right now, when I play this little moment, it`s kind of almost

the whole press conference. Have a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK FENDER, CHIEF, STRONGSVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: This afternoon, we`re here to report that we`ve arrested 20-year-old Jeffrey William Scullin, Jr.

in connection with the brutal murder of Melinda Pleskovic. Jeffrey William Scullin, Jr. is believed to be the fiancee of the victim`s daughter.

Jeffrey William Scullin, Jr. has been charged with aggravated murder and the case is being forwarded to the Cuyahoga County prosecutor`s office for

review.

He has -- he was issued a $1 million bond by the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: So, look, I cut it there and that`s kind of it. There was a lot of like, thanks for coming afterwards.

Bobby, my reason for playing that for you was this. They have said nothing. We have called and called and called. All of the local reporters

have called and called and called. They are keeping everything close to the vest more so than most murder cases that we cover. Strategy?

CHACON: Yes. And I think that it portends something further. I think -- you know, and this is only speculation on my part, but I think there`s more

to come. I think that they are -- you know, if this was the end of the line, if they had looked at this, because they obviously have enough

forensically to charge the son-in-law, the future son-in-law, so they know something. They have enough to feel confident to charge him.

They also probably have other things that are leading them to believe that someone else might be involved in this, now it`s somebody else could be --

those people that were skulking around the backyard trying to form his alibi. I have to tell you, that call from the husband, and I`ve been

involved in cases like the Laci Peterson case where we look at husband`s behavior, that call from the husband was quite disturbing to me as well. I

mean, he seemed more upset that there wasn`t enough done about their prior complaints than there were about -- than he was about his wife bleeding to

death on his kitchen floor.

BANFIELD: I`m glad you brought that up. I`ll tell you what, I`m going to say this right now. He hasn`t been charged. So, we don`t even name this

guy. He has not been charged, but I felt the same way you did. In fact, there was a moment in that call where the 911 operator actually said, you

know, can you do CPR, can you do anything. We didn`t play this moment.

CHACON: Right.

BANFIELD: But, he did say effectively, no, she`s not even breathing at this point.

CHACON: Right.

BANFIELD: And guess what? Mel Pleskovic actually died at the hospital. So she was alive on that floor while he was pissed off at the police for,

you know, not responding to all of their break-ins in the past. So I --

CHACON: And that`s the actual words he used.

BANFIELD: -- differently. Yes, and it --

CHACON: He used the words, I`m pissed off.

BANFIELD: He said it himself. But everybody grieves differently. We`ve covered cases where people who looked extremely guilty were anything but,

so we`re not going to cast any aspersions on this man and let police do what they do best. Bobby, we`re going to have you back, though because

this story is not over. Thank you, sir.

CHACON: Thank you.

BANFIELD: OK. A terrifying -- and really, there`s only no other way to put this. A terrifying standoff because it was at an elementary school and

when you have kids like that, and SWAT teams surrounding your classrooms, it is a bad story. When a parent takes a first grade teacher hostage, it`s

even worse.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:22:47] BANFIELD: They say he violated the school`s safety procedures, skipping visitor check-in, roaming the campus and entering the classroom of

a first grade teacher. And normally, you might take a parent to task for cutting corners like that. But in this case, you can`t.

Not with Luvelle Kennon whose daughter reportedly is in first grade at the school. That was her teacher that you just saw. And you can`t take

Luvelle to task because he`s dead. And his daughter, his own little daughter, first grader, scarred for life. Reportedly, Luvelle took his

daughter`s teacher hostage, barricaded himself with that teacher for almost seven hours before a SWAT team had to come in and take action.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN RAILSBACK, OFFICER, RIVERSIDE POLICE DEPARTMENT: I`m sure she`s going to suffer some, you know, emotional trauma. We`re glad that it doesn`t

look like she has any physical but we`re glad she`s alive. We`re glad that she is safe now.

BANFIELD: She, being that 70-year-old teacher safe and alive, yes. Fortunately, the students were all evacuated and outside cowering happened

to actually be at lunch at the time. That nearby park was where they ended up while the police tried to negotiate with that father who the family says

had suffered a breakdown.

RAILSBACK: The decision was made for the safety of the victim to enter that room and rescue her. And unfortunately, an officer-involved shooting

did occur but we were able to rescue the victim.

BANFIELD: But others in the path of destruction including a substitute teacher who had actually tried to intervene and stop him ended up assaulted

with a broken nose.

RAILSBACK: This person is also a hero in this thing. He did everything he can to try to prevent the suspect from taking the teacher into the

classroom and being held hostage to the point where he got hit in the face pretty good and I believe the last update, he might have broken his nose.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: So while Luvelle Kennon is dead, his daughter is also safe. And tonight, she`s with family. The teachers, as you`ve heard, are also

recovering. Still a lot of questions about why this happened and what was going on with that man.

Officer Ryan Railsback, he`s at the Riverside Police Department, he joins me live from Riverside, California.

[20:25:01] Officer, thanks so much for being with me tonight. First question is this, seven hours this standoff lasted and as we understand it,

there was little to no communication at all with this teacher, 70-year-old Linda Montgomery. Were the police and the SWAT officers worried that

something had gone terribly wrong and that either she was dead or in imminent peril of dying?

RAILSBACK: Yes. That`s one of the factors that was made in determining when to actually breach the room and enter in to rescue her. The suspect

had -- we had established communication with the suspect at a few different times during that ordeal, but really we weren`t able to verify the well-

being of the victim. So it got to a point where her safety and her well- being was in peril to us. So our officers made entry.

BANFIELD: They made a move. Let me ask you this. So you were able to speak with him. He clearly wouldn`t let you speak with her. But what was

he saying for those seven hours?

RAILSBACK: Unfortunately, because this is still an ongoing investigation, we`re not able to disclose what was being said to the negotiators. He was

given plenty of opportunity to peacefully surrender, you know. And unfortunately, he didn`t make that choice. And because we were very

concerned about the safety of the teacher hostage, we ended up having to go in to rescue her.

BANFIELD: Yes, and I understand because it`s still open and, you know, clearly I don`t think we`re going to have a prosecution on this one. He`s

gotten his punishment. He is dead.

However, there are a few things I hope you can clear up that are floating around there. There are reports from the school PIO that his behavior

prior to getting to that school had made his own family members very unsettled, raising concern among family members is the way the reports have

it. And then it`s a little bit -- the syntax is weird, but work with me, if you can. I think that the family members of Luvelle Kennon reached out

to the school to suggest if he arrives there, you`re going to need to call the police. Are those reports accurate?

RAILSBACK: Those were the same reports that we`ve received from school officials and from family members. We`re still investigating what led up

to this incident and how it escalated so quickly once he arrived on the school. But, yes, we are hearing that he might have been having some type

of breakdown or some type of a, you know, mental health episode. We haven`t been able to confirm that yet, but that`s something that our

detectives are strongly looking into.

BANFIELD: Officer Railsback, can you at least guide me here as to whether this was a custodial issue, meaning perhaps he wanted his little girl and

wanted to get her out of that school and go somewhere with her, or if this was a beef that he had with the actual teacher, this first grade teacher

who suffered sort of the most terrifying seven hours of her life?

RAILSBACK: We`re actually still looking into whether or not there was some type of history with this teacher. Right now, we don`t necessarily believe

so. We believe he came on campus with the intent to either find his daughter at the classroom. The kids happened to be at lunchtime at that

time. So the teacher was right near the classroom when this all started.

We`re also looking into the possibility if there was something -- some custodial issue, we don`t know. We`re still learning the dynamics of the

family and his relationship with his daughter and the mother and any other family members as well, but we`re not able to come to a conclusion on that

yet.

BANFIELD: I think any time, you know, we as Americans look at the images of a school surrounded by terrified children who`ve been evacuated, very

frightening looking officers, you know, with guns, which you know, really terrifies the hell out of little guys, we all want to know as much as we

can just maybe to sort of suggest this could never happen to us. And then, the interviews all sound the same, I never thought it would happen to me.

And it`s just so frightening that this can happen.

There is one report I want you to help me clarify. It`s either witnesses or police, and we`re not sure which, saw smoke coming from the room where

she was barricaded with this father. Was this smoke that the police saw and worried about, or was this smoke that the police were using as a tactic

to try to bring an end to the situation?

RAILSBACK: No. Early on, there was no diversionary tactics or smoke or devices used when the initial patrol officers responded. While they were

there and securing the building and the room and kind of isolating it from everyone else, they did notice some type of smoke coming from the room. We

still don`t know yet if it was something he brought into the room or if it was a fire extinguisher or anything like that.

It appears that it dissipated pretty quickly. So we don`t think it had any type of effect on the situation, but we`re still trying to determine if

that`s something he brought in himself or something that might have gone off, like a fire extinguisher in the classroom during the struggle.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, PRIMETIME JUSTICE SHOW HOST: More than a cigarette if you`re thinking it might be a fire extinguisher. One last question for you.

And I get it if you have to be vague on this. But so often in these standoff situations, there is such incredible new technology to help people

and negotiators in their work.

We`ve heard things like bug cams that can go through air vents, under doors. Tiny, tiny, mobile drone-like devices that can get you eyes on the

situation. As we understand it, it was extraordinarily difficult to get eyes on this situation. Were your officers ever able to get some kind of

electronic eyes on what was going on in that classroom?

RAILSBACK: No, no. The suspect it appeared had been barricading the room from the inside. Not just so, you know -- mainly so we couldn`t get in or

the police officers couldn`t get in. So we did not know what was going in there. We believe he may have brought at least one or two bags on to campus

with him.

Then after he pulled the teacher into the room, we didn`t have eyes on the inside. So we couldn`t tell what was the status of the teacher, what her

well-being or what he was doing. We don`t know if he had any weapons that he brought with him. We just couldn`t see inside.

BANFIELD: You have as many questions as I have, officer. Good luck with this investigation. We`re so happy that Linda Montgomery is OK. We`re

certainly worried about this little first grader who has had to go through this. Thanks so much for being with us tonight to help us sort through

this.

RAILSBACK: You`re welcome, thank you.

BANFIELD: I`m not sure if this next story is more of a trick or more of a treat. But last night, O.J. Simpson was seen with trick-or-treaters and

their parents at a Las Vegas home where he`s reportedly been living ever since he got out of prison.

If it seems like we`ve seen a lot of O.J. in the past months since his release, we have, he`s gotten a driver`s license, brand new, he had to go

to the DMV for that. He registered with the Las Vegas Police Department and was photographed also at local bars and restaurants often with a couple of

very pretty ladies.

And earlier this week, we said O.J. didn`t seem to be laying low since getting out of prison. And today, we heard from his defense attorney

Malcolm LaVergne. He said O.J.`s performance on parole is a "plus" and the media is fueling the frenzy and many of the images taken were taken

secretly without his consent including the pictures of him last night. And that`s the story of O.J. on Halloween.

So this is a decision that no mother could ever be prepared to make. Let your teenage daughter accused of killing her father, rot in jail, or use

that dead father`s life insurance money to bail that teenage daughter out. Here`s the question. Which one would you choose?

[20:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: When police charged a suspect with murder, it is difficult but not impossible to bond out while awaiting trial. Sometimes bail can stretch

into the millions. But tonight, a teenager`s bond for a murder charge is raising some eyebrows. And what`s weird it`s not for the amount.

Not even that she was able to post it. It`s because of how she got the money. First, here`s what`s happened. Police near Cincinnati say a 14-year-

old girl shot her father, James Ponder, in the face, and then did something very surprising, called 911 and spilled her guts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): 911, what`s the address of the emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Hi, the address is -- can somebody come and put me in handcuffs?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): I just shot my dad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): What?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): I just shot my dad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): You just did what to your dad?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): I just shot him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): You just shot your dad?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Yes, I did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): OK. Where`s your dad?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): He`s in the bedroom. I don`t think he`s alive.

(CRYING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: Officers say while the teenager waited outside the home for the police to arrive, she left the gun and her dying dad inside. And now that

14-year-old is charged but as a juvenile with aggravated murder.

She`s free on $30,000 bond. And remember we said that was unusual? It`s because her mother used part of dad`s $250,000 life insurance policy to pay

for that, which has a lot of people asking, is that even legal?

Melissa Neeley is an anchor and reporter for 700 WLW Radio, and she joins me live now from Cincinnati. So this is a very strange -- i guess, Melissa,

you could say, sequence of events.

[20:40:00] She used money from her victim`s life insurance policy, alleged victim`s life insurance policy. But it was her mother that actually paid

it. So was it all on the up and up?

MELISSA NEELEY, ANCHOR AND REPORTER, 700 WLW RADIO (via telephone): Well, I don`t think we know at this point just because it does seem a little

suspicious that -- and especially the circumstances with the call where the girl had called and she was turning herself in and the police, the

investigators still have not come forward with any motive for the killing.

So it does seem rather unusual that her mother would use the life insurance from her dead husband to pay for her daughter`s bond.

BANFIELD: I`m glad that you brought up that motive thing because that is what -- it`s $64,000 or $30,000 question, right? Why would she have done

this? There has to be something that, you know, ultimately will be said whether at trial or during plea or maybe not.

But let me play one more moment from the 911 call, because if you`re ever looking for motive, sometimes you can learn a lot from the demeanor of the

person who`s charged. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Where did you shoot your dad?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): In the head.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): In the head?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Yes.

(CRYING)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Where is the gun?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): It`s in the bedroom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): It`s in the bedroom. You don`t have it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): No. I don`t have it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): It`s in the same bedroom? What?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): It`s in a different bedroom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): What happened?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): I don`t know. I just --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): You don`t know what happened?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): I just shot him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): You just shot him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): I just --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): What?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): I don`t know. I don`t know. Oh, my God. I don`t want to go to jail. Am I gonna go to jail?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): What?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Am I gonna go to jail?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): I don`t know.

(CRYING)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BANFIELD: So I`m assuming that you may be be thinking some of the same things that I am, that that kid might be a victim herself, a person who

knows the answer to that potentially would be a victim`s rights attorney. Just so happens we have one, who is also a CNN legal analyst. Areva Martin

joins me now live.

Before I heard the call, I thought why on earth is this kid charged as a juvenile? Why didn`t they throw the book at her? This happened when she was

14. You can easily charge her as an adult. Then I heard that.

AREVA MARTIN, VICTIM`S RIGHTS ATTORNEY, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: This story has so much that we don`t know. I`m concerned that the shooting took place

apparently in the bedroom and given the mother`s response, she`s bailed her daughter out, with the insurance money, she`s paying for the legal defense

with the insurance money.

A lot of questions. Were there complaints made to child protective services? Were there complaints made to other family members? Does this

family know something about the relationship between that father and that mother -- that father and that daughter that we don`t know that may have

caused her to shoot her father? And you see, she says on that call, come get me, put me in handcuffs.

BANFIELD: Yes, what is that? You are a victim`s rights attorney.

MARTIN: That`s her acknowledging --

BANFIELD: You have this in front of you all the time.

MARTIN: Yes.

BANFIELD: Do you read into that stuff in your cases? Do you look at this and say, oh, dear, God, it`s a perfect case of a victim who --

MARTIN: I would be looking first and foremost to see what kind of relationship. Was there any sexual relationship? Was there any abusive

relationship between this father and this daughter? You don`t shoot your father. Daughters love their fathers. So something had to happen in that

relationship pretty serious that caused her to take this kind of action and then say come get me and lock me up.

BANFIELD: Lock me up and I just don`t know. Here is the deal. I know that there are probably people out there right now saying, for God`s sake,

Ashleigh, get your head out of the sand. It happens all the time. Teenagers can be horrible. I see that too.

MARTIN: It can be. Sometimes things like that do happen. Maybe dad was a disciplinarian and daughter was rebelling --

BANFIELD: That happens a lot.

MARTIN: -- because of his disciplinarian type actions towards her, but I want to know more about that relationship.

BANFIELD: As do I.

MARTIN: And the courts held her over as a juvenile, but they consider her possibly a serious juvenile offender. So even though she is in juvenile

court, she still may face adult sentencing.

BANFIELD: Right. She can get that blended sentence --

MARTIN: In juvenile court --

BANFIELD: I`m glad you said that because for the naysayers who think lock her up forever, that could happen here. But I think you`re right. I think

once you hear that call, you have more questions than you have opinion. And your opinions may subside until you know what happened.

MARTIN: And the mom is apparently standing by her daughter.

BANFIELD: Yes.

MARTIN: That tells us a lot, too, that mom isn`t throwing her under the bus. You killed my husband, you killed your dad, you`re on your own. Mom is

saying I`m standing there with you.

[20:45:00] That also tells us a lot.

BANFIELD: We`ll watch this case. We`ll find out more, if we ever do. Areva, stand by, don`t go anywhere.

Speaking of more questions than answers, the investigation into that little girl from Richardson, Texas, Sherin Matthews, boy, has that one taken a

turn. Remember her dad lied to the police about where Sherin was?

And then all of a sudden, Sherin was found in a drainage ditch, and he changed his story. So why is dad not being charged with murder especially

if that little girl was laid to rest in secret?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: Not everyone is an open book. And we know that most families have secrets. Just don`t want to talk about them. So I guess we shouldn`t be

surprised that three-year-old Sherin Matthews

[20:50:00] from Richardson, Texas, was laid to rest in a private small ceremony with only a handful of people there to pay respect. Reports say

there were teddy bears and flowers on her casket. Dad was a no-show. More on that in a second.

Sherin was found in a drainage ditch more than two weeks after her adopted father told the police that he punished his daughter in the middle of the

night by making her stand outside for not drinking her milk.

Here`s what he said or here`s what he really did not say to all the reporters who were peppering him after his daughter`s body was found.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wesley Matthews, how are you feeling after they found the body that may be your daughter?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mister Matthews, do you want to say just a few words just to let people know what you`re feeling right now? What time were you

all notified? Do you have anything to say?

WESLEY MATTHEWS, ADOPTIVE FATHER OF SHERIN MATTHEWS: No, the answer is no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: No. The answer is no. He didn`t have anything to say, at least to us. Because he`d already been talking a lot to investigators, changing his

story, saying that, oh, sorry, yes, i didn`t put her outside after she refused to drink her milk, she actually choked to death after I "physically

assisted her in drinking her milk."

Police say that Wesley Matthews ultimately admitted to moving that little girl`s body from the family`s home. But even after that admission and

although Wesley remains behind bars, Wesley is still not charged with baby Sherin`s murder. Instead he faces a felony count of injury to a child, but

why not murder? And how long does this take?

Kate Delaney is an investigative reporter and syndicated radio host. She joins me from Richardson, just where this happened. What`s the answer to

this question? Why is it taking weeks now to see a murder charge in this case?

KATE DELANEY, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, SYNDICATED RADIO HOST (via telephone): It is so baffling, isn`t it, Ashleigh? And what I was told by

detectives I know with the Richardson Police Department is, of course, they haven`t officially released the autopsy report. They haven`t even revealed

the cause of her death.

You mentioned the milk and choking on the milk, that she drown in the milk and what were the particulars of that. And I was told by this detective

that it`s because they`re really piecing this together and it takes time. But it seemed like it`s taking way too long. And again, this is what was

emphasized to me several times.

BANFIELD: So what about this story that he was on suicide watch, that he was off suicide watch? What`s his status in prison? Clearly he was not

allowed to go to the funeral, the secret funeral of his little girl.

DELANEY (via telephone): Yes, he is on suicide watch. And the latest that I heard in checking just before jumping on the air is that he is at the

Dallas County Jail and he is on suicide watch.

BANFIELD: Well, we`ve been told he was off. So maybe there`s just -- you know, conflicting reports or timing or one officer knows and the other

officer doesn`t know. Let me bring in Areva Martin real quickly on this one because I get how this works. I get that once you do the charge, your clock

begins.

Your case has a finite amount of time. It`s called constitutional right. But in this one it just seems like a no-brainer because he lied to the

police and that car was seen driving in the middle of the night but he never told them that either. He changed his story. Come on.

MARTIN: Yes. I think it`s just a matter of time before he`s charged with more serious crimes related to the death of this little girl. The story has

changed, as you`ve indicated, and they`re going to be able to piece this together because apparently it was him and the little girl in the home.

So I suspect there`s going to be DNA evidence that links him to her death. We already know there`s inconsistencies in his story.

BANFIELD: The DNA, heavens, that`s her dad.

MARTIN: Well --

BANFIELD: What can that tell you?

MARTIN: Well, it can tell us a whole lot about what happened that night.

BANFIELD: Really?

MARTIN: I think so.

BANFIELD: Maybe if his DNA --

MARTIN: How did she die? How did she die? That`s the autopsy report. We don`t know. Did he strangle her?

BANFIELD: Yes.

MARTIN: How do you die from assisting someone from drinking milk?

BANFIELD: Well, if you`re pouring it down her throat and choked her --

MARTIN: Pour it down her throat?

BANFIELD: I`m thinking that the autopsy will tell you if there was actual milk in her system.

MARTIN: We don`t even know if that was true.

BANFIELD: He doesn`t say a lot of things that are true. Certainly that night he didn`t.

MARTIN: The beginning story, the fact that he would say he put her outside, I mean that was so shocking to me as a children`s rights advocate that a

parent --

BANFIELD: At 3 a.m.

MARTIN: -- would think that`s appropriate to discipline a three-year-old by putting her outside in the cold, in the night, in the dark.

BANFIELD: Yes.

MARTIN: So I think this father is going to spend probably the rest of his life behind bars.

BANFIELD: P.S., injury to a child, which he is facing has life in prison in Texas.

MARTIN: Even without the more serious charges, I think we`ll see murder charges in this case.

BANFIELD: I wouldn`t be surprised. Real quickly to Kate. Kate, I got like 10 seconds left, but the stories about the flowers and the teddy bears at

her secret funeral.

[20:55:00] Why are they keeping that secret? They are not even saying where she was buried. All these people in the community are so upset about her.

They can`t even like grieve or mourn with her or with that family. What`s that story?

DELANEY: It shouldn`t be secret, I can tell you that. As somebody who lives in Richardson, this is all anybody is talking about, Ashleigh. They want to

be able to do it. They want to be able to lay things out. But they will not tell anyone. They`re afraid.

BANFIELD: Yes. Everything in this story has been bizarre. Kate, thank you. Areva, thank you. Straight ahead, the biggest attempted murder story that

you may never have heard of. Not kidding. One more thing ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: So one more thing, on this day back in 1950, November first,

[21:00:00] did you know that there was a massive attempted assassination of President Harry Truman? Neither did I. So that`s our one more thing

tonight. Thank you very much, everyone, for being with us tonight.

My thanks to Areva Martin, the lovely and talented...

END