tv The Situation Room CNN May 8, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT
>> what about outbursts? you say reaction but was it an outburst or -- >> well, nothing more than a natural reaction you might expect from someone who was really emotional. i imagine the judge before this, family members were brought in and supporters were brought in before the media was, before spectators were brought in. i imagine that they were given an admonition. we didn't hear it but it is common to get an admonition about outbursts. there weren't any that were outrageous or would upset any judge. >> did the judge warn the courtroom to control themselves? >> no warning at all. there was a big delay that was supposed to start at 1:30 local time. we didn't get in the courtroom until 1:38, 1:40. then when the verdict was read, it all happened very quickly. the prosecutor juan martinez came in. the defense attorney, kirk nurmi came in.
they brought in jodi arias. the jury came in. right away they handed that verdict to the clerk. >> any reaction from juan martinez? did he make eye contact with the family? >> honestly i could not see him. from where i was standing, ted. but, clearly, he is somewhat that supporters of the prosecution have been very happy with his performance, one of the stars of this trial if you will. >> reporter: we just saw one of travis alexander's friends leave the courthouse and that is why you heard the applause there. >> ted, we are over a block away from you. we can hear the eruptions of emotions, the screams. jeffrey toobin and i getting breaking news on our blackberries about some of the breakdowns of the jury vote. if you're just joining us i want to reset what we're covering here in phoenix, arizona outside of the maricopa county superior courthouse. a jury of eight men and four women has just reached its verdict and delivered that verdict in the courtroom,
guilty. jodi arias is guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of travis alexander, a brutal, to be sure, a brutal and painful death. that that man suffered over four years ago. jodi arias could have been found not guilty. she also could have been found guilty of lesser includeds. that did not happen. now this story will move to another phase, a phase in which the jury needs to decide if ther life is worth saving or if her life needs to be taken in the death penalty phase. i want to break down for you inside the courtroom what the jury decided and how it voted. there were two theories. one was a premeditated murder and the other felony murder. i think our viewers understand what premeditated murder is but felony murder means the killing or the death of travis alexander resulted in the commission of a
felony and these prosecutors said the underlying felony would have been break and enter. i can report to you as the jurors made their decision five voted it was premeditated only. seven voted that it was premeditated and felony and zero spoke for the alternative just felony murder. does that speak to you? >> i think the reason why this case is now a death penalty case is that 12 jurors found it premeditated. if i were the defense team, i would take a tiny bit of hope from the fact that there was not unanimity on both theories because that is -- they have to be unanimous when it comes to the death penalty. the focus is very different now. now that we moved to the penalty phase jodi arias is looking for one juror. that is all it takes. one juror can make this into a life in prison case and not a
death penalty case. the jury does not have to be unanimous if it's -- if it's not going to be the death penalty. it has to be unanimous for the death penalty but 11 to 1 for the death penalty is life in prison. that's where things get very difficult to predict because you never know what was going to move one juror to make it a nondeath penalty case. >> critical to remind our viewers that every one of these jurors that was empanelled during voir dire process was asked if they are essentially death qualified if they could in fact render a death verdict. they had to answer truthfully under oath that they could do so if required. >> that's true but that doesn't mean they will. one of the things, one of the theories behind the defense putting jodi arias on the witness stand for so long was it 17 days, 18 days? i've never seen anyone testify
in a criminal case for that long is to make the jury look at her and think, okay, she is guilty. are we really going to execute this woman? are we going to look her in the eye and say she has to die at the hands of the state? that is the only issue left and we'll start to know the answer tomorrow. >> a little more technical information is critical as well as we move into the next phase. our producers are letting us know the decisions have been made in terms of timing as to how we move forward. the aggravation phase will ultimately lead us toward life in prison or death, and there are some things in between there, begins at 4:00 p.m. tomorrow eastern time. it could be two days. it could take two days to go through this process. that surprises me. >> it could be longer than that. >> i would have thought it could be longer but it will be two days at this point. the jury will deliberate to see if the aggravateors are met. this is an unusual process in this jurisdiction and many other
cases jeffrey and i have covered. we essentially go from a guilt/innocence phase to an aggravators versus mitigators phase all in one big tub. >> right. >> but this jury needs to deliberate first in the aggravation phase on whether interest is an aggravated factor on cruelty, whether travis ail ex-anderlechter suffered cruelty in the manner in which he was killed. then they'll go to a further phase in a decision aggravators outway mitigators. this is a science i have never understood. i always imagined it was a formula, a checklist. and whether one checklist outweighs the other. it is not. it is a gut sensation after hearing all aggravators and mitigators. >> it is and isn't. that is the thing that the supreme court has struggled with for all of these years. in 1972 the supreme court of the united states said no more death penalty in the united states. 1976 they let the death penalty back in but set up the structure that has now become somewhat
familiar to many folks which is aggravating factors versus mitigating factors. wolf blitzer will take it from here. >> it remains to be seen. jodi arias could take the stand again to plead for her life as well and that is critical here. wolf blitzer continuing our coverage from washington, d.c. wolf? >> we'll have a lot more, guys, on the guilty verdict. guilty verdict for jodi arias. but let's go to cleveland right now. a news conference about to begin, the cleveland police department, the city prosecutor's office. they're addressing reporters right now. let's listen in. >> the cleveland federal bureau of investigation, our partners from washington, have completed the search of the seymour avenue crime scene and collected those evidentiary items they believe are necessary to successfully proceed through the criminal proceedings. we will not today, however, discuss the results of the search or the evidence that was
seized at the crime scene. i'm joined this afternoon by city of cleveland prosecutor victor perez, special agent in charge of the cleveland office of the fbi steve anthony, chief of police michael mcgrath, and deputy chief of police ed tomba. prosecutor perez will provide a synopsis of his review that was presented to him for consideration and his decision. following the decision and comments by prosecutor perez deputy chief of police ed tomba will respond to those questions which he can at this point answer. i know you've heard this before but i'd like to share one more time at least for today that this is an ongoing investigation of course and there is evidence that cannot be disclosed at this time. i know our law enforcement officials will do the best they can to provide accurate information to the extent
possible. ladies and gentlemen, i'd like to introduce the city of cleveland prosecutor victor perez. >> thank you. good afternoon everyone. my name is victor perez and i am the chief assistant prosecutor for the city of cleveland. first and foremost i believe i speak for everyone in our city that we are happy that michele, gina, and amanda are safe and healthy. second i would like to thank the citizens that came to amanda's immediate assistance when she was trying to escape that led to the eventual discovery of michele and gina. i would also like to commend the members of the cleveland division of police, the cuyohoga county sheriff's office, the federal bureau of investigation for their dedicated work in conducting the investigation in this case. i just signed criminal complaints charging ariel castro with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape.
the signed criminal complaints are first-degree felonies. the defendant will be arraigned tomorrow morning in cleveland municipal court and his case transferred over to the cuyohoga county court of common pleas. the cuyohoga county prosecutor's office will then proceed with the prosecution of these criminal cases. this case will proceed to the cuyohoga county grand jury at which time i expect will result in indictments on these charges and may result in additional counts. as it relates to pedro and onil castro no charges will be filed against these two individuals at this time. there is no evidence that these two individuals had any involvement in the commission of the crimes committed against michele, gina, amanda, and the minor child. however, both of them do have outstanding cleveland municipal court warrants for misdemeanor
cases. these misdemeanor cases for pedro and onil will both be heard tomorrow morning in cleveland municipal court. finally, as the chief prosecutor for the city of cleveland born and raised in puerto rico, i want to -- everyone to know that the acts of the defendant in this criminal case are not a reflection of the rest of the puerto rican community here or in puerto rico. i also want to remind everyone that this is now a pending criminal matter, and that we will not be able to provide any more comments at this time. thank you. >> questions? [ inaudible question ] >> four kidnap victims are gina, amanda, michele, and the young child and the victims of the rape are gina, amanda, and
michele. >> make sure you state your name and what media outlet you are working for. >> brian todd from cnn. could you tell us anything about a source we're finding out about a second residence on seymour avenue where officials went in with protective masks, suits, dogs, about two doors down from the castro home? >> that is a continuation of the search that we conducted at the home on seymour avenue during the course of our investigation over the last couple of days. information was obtained that provided us enough probable cause to seek another search warrant to go into that house and with an attempt to secure evidence. >> can you tell us anymore about what is going on at the house? are any suspects there?
>> no. no suspects are there. what is going on is that is the fbi evidence recovery team and that is their crime scene unit and they do put the protective suits on and go in with gloves and search and photograph very meticulously all of the contents of that home. i can't tell you the exact connection but i can tell you during the course of our investigation information that was obtained led us to that address. >> good evening sir. i work for fox news channel out of new york city. a lot of our viewers want to know did these girls over the course of that ten-year period, 11-year period, ever try to escape? were there drugs involved? was ariel castro drugging these girls to prevent them from escaping? what allowed them, what window of opportunity allowed them to escape this time? >> well, number one, we're not positive about any type of drugs if they were drugged. that's yet to be determined. number two, the only opportunity
after interviewing the young ladies to escape was monday when amanda escaped. they were in that home. they don't believe they've been outside of the home for the last ten years respectively. >> reporter: were they kept together in one room? >> they were not in one room, but they did know each other and they did know each other was there. >> one more question. what is the relationship, the child's relationship with the father? what will that be? >> that is amanda's daughter. as far as the relationship that has not been determined. there is going to be a paternity test taken. there was a search warrant executed on the suspect to obtain his dna. >> thank you. chief tomba, channel 13. i want to know if mr. ariel castro is cooperating with investigators, speaking to you, and do you suspect there are
other victims beyond these three women and the little girl? >> yes, he was. he was read his -- provided his miranda rights, which he waived, and he did speak with us and provided us the division of police, fbi, and prosecutor's office with a detailed statement and as of right now, we don't see or don't anticipate any other victims at his, where he is the suspect. >> can i ask about the reward money? do we know if anybody will be receiving any reward money particularly mr. ramsey? >> we don't but we are discussing that. that is going to be up to the entities that put up that reward money and what their protocol is, but mr. ramsey does deserve something. a lot of credit and he is the true key to this case. >> thank you. >> channel 3 here in cleveland. would it be safe to say the bulk of your case is based upon the statements of the women? how much of your case is based upon what they told you?
>> that's the major part of the case is what they told us and what the other interviews with the suspect told us and what the young ladies told us, without a doubt. they were the ones that were there. they were the main players in it. what they told law enforcement was key and it's going to be a key part in the case. >> were they able to get into the ten-year narrative here? i mean the history? so much has transpired. how much detail did you get? >> you know, as far as the history of it, it was -- it was a lengthy interview and i don't want to really get into that, but victims of rape, victims of trauma, particularly young victims, they've been known to disclose ten, 15, 20, 30 years later. so as of right now, they did provide us with enough information and enough factual basis that we would seek charges against ariel castro. >> thank you.
>> hi. alana samuels with "the los angeles times." is there any evidence that mr. castro or any of these girls could be in any way connected with ashley summers or any new information that's come to light about her? >> there is no new information that's come to light about her. ashley summers is an active, open investigation. and i can assure you that her disappearance was part of our questioning of the three subjects that we brought in. but that's still an open and active investigation. >> and is there any sign that mr. castro was interviewed by the cleveland police or the fbi prior to this date for any reason? >> nope. yesterday was the first time. >> thank you. >> wsyx out of columbus. wanted to ask, one, about the physical restraints he allegedly used inside this home to keep the girls there, what verbal threats he may have made, and, also, are there pregnancies, possibly miscarriages that the other girls may have had? >> you know, all of that is, you
know, evidentiary at this time as far as that hinges quite a bit on the prosecution. i don't really want to get into exactly an answer to those three questions. that's just something that is going to have to be brought out in court. i can't bring that out in a public -- [ inaudible ] >> okay. i know the chief mentioned something earlier about that today but as far as exactly what that was we cannot bring it out into the public forum at this time. it's not appropriate. >> news channel 5, cleveland. was a suicide note from ariel castro found in his home? >> that is another part of evidence that we recovered that i cannot comment on, on the basis of that. there was over 200 items taken from the home on seymour avenue. all of those items will be processed. they were all taken into custody of the fbi evidence response team. they've yet to be processed. exactly what they are i don't
know. there is a crime scene log but that is part of the open investigation. i can tell you there was over 200 items taken out of that home. any questions, ed, about the citizenship of the castro brothers? are they u.s. citizens? >> i don't know. i couldn't tell you. >> thanks. >> we had a lot of questions earlier regarding extra 911 calls that may have come up and not been responded to. >> i'll try and answer that question the best i can. immediately after the recovery of the three victims and the daughter from the home on seymour avenue we began a search of our records to determine whether or not there were any other calls for service to that house on seymour. our review indicated there were no other calls except one call for service in 2000 and we were able to identify the cleveland police were at the home once in 2004 for an incident that involved mr. castro as part of
his employment as a school bus driver here in the city of cleveland. as a result of the evidence obtained thus far, the statements from the suspect and the victims there is no evidence to indicate that any of them were ever outside in the yard in chains without clothing or any other manner. in fact, i think the evidence we've obtained thus far indicates that in the last decade they've only known themselves to be outside the home on two separate occasions and that was only briefly. >> josh haskel with abc news. deputy chief, can you tell us about onil and pedro's relationship with their brother ariel? did they know that there were three women living in the house against their will, have any idea of what was going on inside that house? >> as far as a relationship i couldn't tell you. we focused on their knowledge or lack of knowledge.
but absolutely not. there is nothing that leads us to believe that they were involved or had any knowledge of this. that comes from statements of our victims and their statements and their brother's statements. so as far as what their relationship was, ariel kept everybody at a distance. and, joe, they are from puerto rico, so to answer that question about their citizenship. >> jennifer lundgren channel 3 news. can you clarify why pedro and onil castro were taken into custody in relation to this case? >> they were with their brother and it was an investigative stop. as you know, early on you can only imagine the chaos and the relief that we had finding these three girls, so we had enough probable cause to bring them into custody. they were brought into custody as many suspects are.
we continued our investigation. we found no facts to link them to the crime. we do what we usually do is we consult with the prosecutor for charges or for them to be released. so that's the reason. >> can you tell us when their arraignment will be for their outstanding warrants and when they'll be able to go home? >> they should be in court tomorrow and it is up to the judge if he credits them with time served. they'll be in court tomorrow morning. >> thank you. >> all right. hi, bill. >> bill shield with channel 8. hi. i don't know if this is for you or maybe the head of the fbi. i don't know if it is a joint task force or not. we had a story yesterday where a gentleman who was i believe initially a suspect in gina dejesus's disappearance and a private investigator indicated to us that this gentleman said he had pointed authorities in the direction of ariel castro back in like 2004. yet i don't know who the appropriate person to respond is but is that true and what was
done with that if it is true? >> you want to address it, steve? >> just very quickly, we have obviously heard that same statement and with due diligence we have scrubbed our entire investigative file and have no reason to believe that he made the comments that he is purporting to the media. so just so i have it right, there was a conversation with him but you have no reason to believe that he made the statements to you that he made to us, is that correct? >> it's part of this long-term, joint task force investigation, he was interviewed at some point. and that's -- that must be what he is referring to when he said that he told us that. again, we have no information to believe based upon our investigative file that that's indeed correct. >> okay. thank you very much. >> pamela brown with cnn. it was mentioned earlier that the only opportunity to escape for the victims was on monday when amanda escaped.
can you let us know what the circumstances were that gave her the opening on monday? >> well, she explained some things in her statement that are privileged that i can't disclose, but for whatever reason, like i said the other day, something must have clicked and she saw an opportunity and she took that opportunity and i said it the other day and i'll say it today that she is the true hero. she is the one that started this but as far as what the circumstances were inside that home, and the control that he may have had over those girls, we don't know that yet. i think that's going to be -- take us a long time to figure that out. >> but this was the first time they attempted to escape, that's correct? >> yes, yes. >> quickly, can you let us know how the alleged abductions happened years ago? can you provide any details? >> no, no i can't at this time. i'm sorry. >> thanks. >> that's part, that was part of
our investigation. >> hi. donna linewand from "usa today." can you give us a general description of the conditions under which these women were living? i'll save my second question. >> okay. if you want a general description it was -- the house was in disarray but without going into any, you know, with any specifics, i did not go into the home. that was an active crime scene. i did not enter the home so that is, you know, we have a protocol about who enters that home. but just from what the guys were saying that it was in quite a bit of disarray. >> can you tell me what you mean by disarray? >> i guess everybody's definition of that would be different so, you know, that's just an integral part of our criminal investigation that i really don't want to go any further into exactly what they
found or what was in that home. >> okay. and then looking back over the years as you investigate d the women's disappearance are there any areas you see where you think, gosh, that was a missed opportunity for example some of these domestic violence incidents where his partner or wife or whatever she was asked for protection? >> you know, i have, you know, been part of this for quite a long time and, no. t and i know the investigators and agents and everybody that worked on it and we've asked ourselves that question numerous times over the last ten years. are we missing anything? is there something, is there a sign? is there an assignment or something that we missed? and i'm just very, very confident in the ability of those investigators and those law enforcement officers that they checked every single lead and if there was one bit of
evidence, one shred of a tip no matter how minute it was, they followed it up very, very aggressively. so i'd have to say, no. in hindsight we may find out that maybe we did, but that's going to be in hindsight and after this criminal case is completed. >> thank you. >> can you tell us about the young childress khudob rescued berry? was she born in that house? is she ariel castro's biological child? were there other pregnancies among the women? >> the answer to that is no i definitely can't tell you about her. she is a minor and i can't discuss her status at all. because it is a criminal investigation, and out of respect for the three young girls that were in that house. i think that information will come out eventually but it is not going to come out here today. >> were any of the other three impregnated? >> that is not going to come out here today. it's part of our investigation. we're not going to discuss that.
>> layla atasi with "the plain dealer." you mentioned the women left the house twice in ten years. what were the circumstances of those instances? also, did the women know castro through his daughters before their abduction? >> i'll answer the second one. there is nothing that leads us to believe that they knew, that there was knowledge between the two or a friendship or that they knew each other. and that was as far as them leaving the house twice, when you get a chance to see where the house is situated and the garage is situated, we were told that they left the house and went into the garage in disguise so those are the two times that were mentioned or that they can recall. >> so they never left the property. >> no. >> okay. there's no connection between castro and the girls preabduction is what you're saying, that there is no evidence that's true. >> no. we don't see that right now. you know, if that comes out
later, but no. not at all. >> okay. thank you. >> this concludes the media briefing. we'd like to thank everyone for coming out and everyone have a nice day. >> there you have the latest information from the cleveland prosecutors and cleveland police department. that was ed tomba the deputy chief of police of the cleveland police department saying that ariel castro is the younger brother. he is now being charged with four counts of kidnapping, three counts of rape. they don't anticipate other victims in this case right now, but they do believe that the victims include the three women, michele knight, amanda berry, and gina dejesus as well as the young child, the 6-year-old child who were held in that home. the two other brothers are not being charged at this time according to the police department and the prosecutors in cleveland. pedro castro and o'nil castro, no charges at this time. they are being held on other
misdemeanor allegations that were filed earlier but they -- the police chief and deputy police chief says they don't believe the two other brothers knew about what ariel castro was allegedly doing, had no involvement with these three women in the home. there will be a hearing tomorrow. we'll see what happens to pedro castro and onil castro and we're also showing some pictures of what's going on over at the house there in cleveland. let's bring in one of our cnn legal analysts to give us a little analysis of what we just heard. pretty surprising development. only ariel castro being charged with these felony charges, four counts of kidnapping, three counts of rape. two other brothers not being charged at this time. >> certainly that was surprising. i think many of us wanted to know what really was going on in that home and who knew what was going on.
i suppose now that this attorney is saying, the city attorney is saying they are not involved. it means perhaps these women, wolf, were kept somewhere where no one else could see them. we know that evidence has been taken out of that home, evidence of padlocks and ropes and chains. and so they may have been detained in an area that the brothers may not have seen or had access to. but i will say this. we're talking about four counts of kidnapping, three counts of rape. first-degree felonies. he is certainly looking at a maximum term of life in prison. and so these are very, very serious charges and this is just the beginning of this investigation so the bottom line is even though he is going to be arraigned tomorrow, a grand jury then will be convened and it is likely other charges will be set, additional charges perhaps will come down from the grand jury. we are hearing some evidence of
perhaps a sexually violent predator and that would be an additional charge so i just want to remind our viewers that this is really the very beginning even though we know four counts of kidnapping, three counts of rape there could be additional charges coming down. >> yeah. the deputy police chief made that point that there could be only the beginning with more charges down the road. jeff toobin you were listening carefully when we heard these charges being enunciated and explained. they said that the pedro castro and onil castro are not being charged at this time. that is based on statements from ariel castro that were made as well as the victims, the three women in this case. so it looks like the two other brothers at least if you believe what the deputy police chief had to say had no knowledge of what ariel castro was allegedly doing. >> that's where it stands today. we do have to recognize what an early stage of the criminal investigation this is and how much more there is to know. i am certainly interested in something that wasn't really
addressed at that press conference which is the competence of the cleveland police department and why these girls were not found for ten years when they were right there for all this time. it was all well and good to hear the cleveland police department say we did fine. we did a wonderful job. i think this case may well call for an outside investigation into whether that is in fact the case and could these girls have been discovered much, much earlier in this nightmarish kidnapping? >> were there signs the police failed to follow up on which is i'm sure going to be investigated down the road. right now brooke baldwin is on the scene for us in cleveland. brooke, tell our viewers where you are and what's going on. >> reporter: we're standing here on seymour avenue. you heard brian todd as part of the police briefing asking specifically about, you see the sheriff's cars behind me and also the fbi has been here for the better part of the afternoon. brian todd asked the folks in
that news briefing, tell us about the search that's been under way. i've been here for a couple hours. what we've seen, wolf, in addition to this home that is clearly the focus of the whole investigation in which the three girls and that one daughter sprung free two days ago, now we've learned that this unit, that the fbi recovery team, these individuals in white suits, protective gear, we've seen shovels, cameras, they are -- they've been going in and out of this home, the home closest to me here on seymour avenue so two doors down from ariel castro's home and then so you heard what was interesting, the question is well why did they go in this home and they answered it sort of in a round about way saying that there has been information obtained, sort of nebulous but information obtained potentially from talking to the interrogating of ariel castro and from this information they were able to get probable cause. then comes a search warrant and
they've looked with dogs and have taken photos inside the house. also you heard them say they had gotten some 200 items out of the seymour avenue address where ariel castro lived and where the three young women were kept prisoner so now they have to process all of those pieces of evidence. and one other item, wolf, that jumped out at me. they were asked about the three women. keep in mind these three women were total strangers ten years ago. i walked back through where each of them were abducted today and they all were taken along this same avenue. it was a couple miles from where i am and they were kept in separate rooms of the house but of course over the course of time they were aware of one another's existence and again they, through this news briefing, explained they had only been outside two times in ten years according to police, wolf. >> yeah. they were just taken to the garage in the back there on those two occasions according to
what the police just said. paul callan is a cnn legal analyst also joining us, a criminal defense attorney former prosecutor. you did hear them say that the suspect ariel castro, paul, had been read his miranda rights. i didn't hear whether or not he has an attorney, court-appointed attorney. did you hear anything along the lines of whether he has a lawyer already? >> i did not hear any mention of a lawyer at this point. it may very well be that he doesn't and it won't be until his first court appearance that an attorney would stand up on the case. that tends to be the way these things usually play out when the defendant arrives in court they appoint the lawyer and that's the first appearance of the attorney. >> so whatever he said, as long as they read him his miranda rights and told him he has a right to remain silent, and he has a right to an attorney, whatever he said, that can be used as evidence potentially against him? >> oh, absolutely. and what people have to understand is that simply
because you're advised of your right to counsel, that doesn't mean you're going to exercise it. as a matter of fact, more often than not, defendants in criminal cases hear those miranda warnings and then they just keep talking to the police. so that doesn't necessarily mean an attorney is in the case yet. >> for two days now, we've been led to believe at least the suspicion was that all three of these brothers were involved, paul. now we're told two of them were not involved. what do you make of that? >> i find it very, very strange, wolf. bear in mind a couple things. first of all a lot of people are going to be very shocked by this. but in criminal law, it's generally not an offense to do nothing in the face of seeing a crime committed. you don't have to, for instance, intervene to protect somebody from being robbed on the street. you can't be charged if you do nothing. if you don't call the police or report it or intervene. so the other two brothers, i suppose there is a scenario here
where they had no active involvement, but maybe they were just aware that it was going on. my feeling, though, is that the police, it's premature i think for them to make this statement because even if they've interviewed all of the girls and they say the brothers had nothing to do with it, ariel was the only one we ever saw, they would have no way of knowing whether the brothers aided and abetted in the captivity. maybe they went out and bought food to enable. maybe they bought the ropes. maybe they assisted in some way in keeping the girls prisoners. so i really think it's premature to say that there won't be other charges coming down as the case proceeds. >> and the police chief, deputy police chief was specific in saying no charges would be filed and he used the words "at this time" as far as onil and pedro castro are concerned. i want everyone to stand by for a moment. gina dejesus one of the three women was welcomed back home today with her family by a huge,
cheering crowd and her parents spoke to reporters just a little while ago. >> i want everybody to know that the three of them are doing great. >> thank god. >> yes. i do thank the lord a lot. those were miracles. >> i am gina's father. i am the one that kept this family together. i'm the one that had the heart and soul to fight to see this day because i knew my daughter was out there alive. i knew she needed me and i never gave up. never gave up searching for her. but i have one, one god high and
mighty to give me the strength to fight to see this day. and also the reporters, the media. >> yes. we have to thank them. >> from everywhere, this is global. >> oh, yes. >> i want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. so that way everybody knows that we have a problem in the united states and everywhere across this great nation. we have a big problem and it's going to take all of us to fix this problem. >> parents of gina dejesus very, very happy their daughter is now home. she is 23 years old. she has been missing since the age of 14 back in 2004. she was kidnapped. the other two women, amanda berry, is now home. michele knight, we don't exactly
know where she is but all three of the women according to the mother of gina dejesus are fine right now. the word "fine" being relatively speaking. we're going to continue to watch the reaction in cleveland to the news that ariel castro, one of the three brothers who has been picked up, will be charged with four counts of kidnapping, three counts of rape. the other two brothers pedro castro, onil castro, no charges will be filed at this time against these two other brothers. we'll see what happens down the road. the other big story we're following is the guilty verdict for jodi arias. she was convicted, first-degree murder for killing travis alexander back in 2008. this was a unanimous decision by the jury. casey wian one of our reporters was inside the courtroom. he's joining us right now. tell our viewers how that went down, what was the mood when they got the guilty verdict,
first-degree murder? >> reporter: well, the mood in anticipation of that verdict was very, very tense as you can imagine, wolf. not a sound in that courtroom. but once the verdict was announced, members of travis alexander's family and his supporters gasped and some of them started sobbing. many of them had been praying before. i don't want to say many. a couple had been praying before the verdict. they just had an outpouring of what was relief, tears, thanking god, so happy that it was over. clearly, a big sense of relief on that side. jodi arias's side was further away from me. i couldn't see much of their reaction. there wasn't much at all. and viewers on television probably got a better view of her face than i did, and you can see her reaction coming up. >> you know, casey, as we watch this, i want to bring jeffrey toobin in for a moment. this next phase, jeffrey, they're going to determine basically whether she is going to get the death penalty or life
in prison. those are basically the only two options right now, is that right? >> there is a possibility that if she doesn't get the death penalty she could get 25 years. as i understand the arizona law, the judge would have an option of giving her life in prison, life without parole, or 25 years if she doesn't get the death penalty. but obviously the key task in front of the jury now is to deal with the question of whether she should be executed. >> ashleigh, is there, as well, ashleigh, this has been a dramatic moment. what, three and a half months this trial has been going on. now it's going to be several more days before we know what the penalty will be. >> and a very unusual set of circumstances in this jurisdiction. in fact, jeffrey and i were just discussing it. we hadn't seen this before. that in this second phase, it's a two-prong approach to assessing whether aggravators are met in this case and the judge laid out very early on in the case that the particular
aggravator of interest was the cruelty travis alexander travis suffered in this murder. if they agree cruelty was in fact an aggravator that existed in this murder then they will move on to the penalty phase and that's where the aggravators and mitigators would be presented in possibly many days. i can't tell you how many days it would take. there's been a mitigation specialist jeffrey and i were just talking about working with jodi arias for months and months and visiting her in jail. she's been in jail for four and a half years so plenty of time to assess just what quality she is as a person and how much, i hate to say it, it really comes down to the qualities of jodi as a person, whether she is worth saving, or the a essential evils of this woman and whether she is worth putting to death. so two more phases. >> and, wolf, just to make clear, jodi arias, herself, has the option of testifying in both of these proceedings.
this first proceeding about cruelty and then in the broader penalty phase jodi arias, who is a very familiar person to this jury, she testified for almost three weeks. she has the opportunity of going back on the witness stand and essentially to plea for her life. >> arizona jury, we just saw a little while ago, convicted jodi arias of first-degree murder and now we're going to find out what her fate will be. 25 years, life, or the death sentence. we'll have much more on this story coming up. we'll also go back to cleveland. you heard the police in cleveland say that ariel castro has been charged with four counts of kidnapping, kidnapping michele knight, amanda berry, gina dejesus, and the young child, the young child of amanda berry and three counts of rape, of raping michele knight, amanda berry and gina dejesus. we'll go back to cleveland
the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities. everybody has different ideas, goals, appetite for risk. you can't say 'one size fits all'. it doesn't. that's crazy. we're all totally different. ishares core. etf building blocks for your personalized portfolio. find out why 9 out of 10 large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus, which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing. risk includes possible loss of principal.
see lioutdoors, or in.ight. transitions® lenses automatically filter just the right amount of light. so you see everything the way it's meant to be seen. maybe even a little better. visit your eyecare professional today to ask about our newest lenses, transitions vantage and transitions xtractive lenses. experience life well lit. ask which transitions adaptive lens is best for you.
we're watching two developing stories right now going on in cleveland. much more on that in a few moments. right now jodi arias convicted first-degree murder. let's go to phoenix. ted roulands is on the scene. i guess the reaction is coming in quickly. she is this jury convicts her of first-degree murder of travis alexander. >> yeah, wolf, outside the courthouse, when the verdict was read, there were cheers. hundreds of people came down to the courthouse when they found out that the jury had reached a verdict. one of the people that is very invested in this is chris hughes. he is a family friend of the alexanders. he's known travis alexander pretty much his whole life. he has a unique perspective of knowing jodi arias.
first, your reaction to the verdict. >> we got justice for travis today. >> the family, you've talked to them since this verdict happened. this is not over. there's now the death phase. how are they coping with this, and what was their reaction? >> well, today was the major hurdle. today was the major hurdle. what everybody is unified on is they wanted premeditated in the first degree and that's what we got today. so they're happy. happy as they can be given the circumstances. >> do you know, does the -- does the alexander family want the death penalty? >> it's my understanding that they do. i can't speak for them. but yes, that's my understanding. >> you have the unique perspective, because you knew travis, but you also knew jodi arias. she was in your home many times. is it difficult for you to see somebody who used to be a friend, in the defendant's chair maybe facing the death penalty? >> it's really difficult knowing what she did with my friend. we've had to deal with that for
the last five years. seeing her there today, i mean, you know, i'm just glad that we got the right verdict today. but the difficult thing for me is just knowing what she did to travis in the last few moments of his life. >> will you testify? would you be willing to testify in the penalty phase? >> i'd be happy to. i've not been asked to. but absolutely, yeah. >> what would you say to this jury? >> i'm not sure. i've not thought about it. >> what did travis mean to not only you, but the people he had interacted with throughout his life? >> travis was among, if not the best friend i had outside of my own family. he taught me how to be a friend, how to serve. he taught me to be genuinely good. i mean, travis was a great, great guy, he really was. he was a great guy that got sucked into a bad relationship with a bad person. >> his character was attacked, to say the least, by this defense team, basically calling him a pedophile at one point.
how difficult was it, for not only you, but the family to hear those things? >> of course, you're outraged. but you've got to put the emotions aside for a moment and know what they're doing. jodi arias was fighting for her life. and we know that she lies. that's what you do when you don't have a defense. you've got to come up with lots of really thick sticky smoke screen to distract the jury. but there was not one person who testified for the defense. not one person that testified for them, that could come forward and said travis hurt me in any way. not a man, woman or child. they had five years to find them. instead they had crystal ball reading experts to get up and do that instead. >> you were very interested in this, invested in this. but thousands of people from around the world have been captivated by this trial. were you surprised by the amount of attention it's gotten? and why do you think it is that people were so attracted to this? >> i'm not sure, you know.
i am surprised. i mean, there's helicopters up in the sky right now and cameras everywhere. this is outrageous. so yeah, i'm surprised, but what do you say. i don't know. >> do you know why? can you put your finger on it? >> i don't. i mean, no, i can't. i've wondered that. >> chris hughes, thank you very much. and there's, wolf, a long way to go for this jury. they'll begin the mitigation phase tomorrow morning here in phoenix. first they have to decide whether or not the state of arizona can seek the death penalty under the law. and then they will have to decide whether jodi arias will live or die. >> that will be based on whether or not the jury believes that she committed this first-degree murder, in what is described as an especially cruel way, much more on that coming up. we'll take another quick break. once again, jodi arias guilty of first-degree murder. we're also watching the charges that have just been filed against ariel castro for
kidnapping four people, raping three women. much more, both stories right after this. mom always got good nutrition to taste great. she was a picky eater. well now i'm her dietitian and last year, she wasn't eating so well. so i recommended boost complete nutritional drink to help her get the nutrition she was missing. and now she drinks it every day. well, it tastes great! [ male announcer ] boost has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones, and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. and our great taste is guaranteed or your money back. learn more at boost.com [ dietitian ] now, nothing keeps mom from doing what she loves... being my mom. would absolutely not have taken a zip line in the jungle. i'm really glad that girl stayed at home. vo: expedia helps 30 million travelers a month find what they're looking for. one traveler at a time. expedia. find yours. ♪
[ female announcer ] nothing gets you going quite like the power of quaker oats. today is going to be epic. quaker up. [ male announcer ] just when you thought you had experienced performance a new ride comes along and changes everything. the 2013 lexus gs. this is the pursuit of perfection. the 2013 lexus gs. but i see a world bursting with opportunity,ople nervous. with ideas, with ambition. i'm thinking about china, brazil, india. the world's a big place. i want to be a part of it. ishares international etfs. emerging markets and single countries. find out why nine out of ten large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus, which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing. risk includes possible loss of principal.
in cleveland, we just heard the chief prosecutor, perez, announce that ariel castro, one of the three brothers arrested, will be charged with four counts of kidnapping, three counts of rape. the two other brothers, pedro castro and o'neal castro, will not be facing charges right now. at least as of this time. our own brian todd was there when victor perez made the announcement, surprising a lot of us the two other brothers not being charged with anything, because apparently he says that the -- that ariel castro says he was acting alone and that the three women who were held for a decade say they believe he was acting alone as well. right, brian?
>> that's right, wolf. the prosecutor is saying basically no evidence against the other brothers, that they just happened to be -- i believe they alluded to the fact that they happened to be with him when he was arrested, so they took them in. but no evidence they were involved in any of these alleged crimes. a couple of other things, wolf, that were revealed at this news conference. astonishing details, one in particular, that they said that these three young women left the house on only two occasions over heoursurse of a decade. twve of a decade. and they said that they went into the garage in disguise on those two occasions, and never left the property. astonishing detail on that. they said they didn't have any avenue to escape. any chance to escape, except for that moment on monday when amanda berry had that window of opportunity to escape. they say she took it. but only two times did they ever exit the house, according to police officials at this news conference. and they went into the garage in disguise, wolf. just incredible detail.
and just some insight into their predicament over the course of a decade in that house. >> and they said that ariel castro has been making statements. he was read his miranda rights and he has been talking. he will be formally charged. brian, don't go too far away. ariel castro, four counts of kidnapping, amanda berry, gina dejesus, michelle knight, and the child of amanda berry, raping these four women over the twours of ten years. also the other breaking news we're following as well. happening now, two breaking news stories we're following, a guilty verdict in the closely-watched jodi arias murder trial. so what's next? plus, charges in the cleveland kidnapping, but only for one of the three castro brothers. you're going to find out what happens next.
i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome our viewers from around the united states and around the world. and around the world. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com state of arizona verse jodi ann arias, verdict, count one. we, the jury, dully impaneled and sworn in the above-entitled action upon our oaths find the defendant first-degree murder, guilty. >> so there's the verdict, right there. announced an hour or so ago. jodi arias found guilty of first-degree murder for the gruesome 2008 murder of her ex-boyfriend. the drama is far from over. now the jury must find if arias will be put to death for her crime. ashleigh, how much of a surprise was this that she was convicted of first-degree murder? >> you know, based on the
screams of joy, literally from hundreds of people who gathered outside this maricopa county superior courthouse, on the plaza, perhaps, i don't know, not much of a surprise, but certainly a lot of jubilation. there were literally cries of joy that were moving out into the streets, as people began to disperse after that decision was read. you may have seen only a mere sigh on the face of jodi arias moments after learning this jury had convicted her of the most serious charge they could have. premeditated murder, carrying with it the death penalty. but certainly, the eruption of joy outside the courthouse was really quite remarkable. we were a block away and it was clear as day what we could hear from those who had come down here to hear this. there are some of the images of those who came down with their cameras, cell phones, the media that was here as well. i want to bring in my colleague,
casey wisconsinan, who was in t courtroom. casey, i don't know if you could see it outside the windows of this courthouse, but you certainly had the view from inside the courthouse. can you describe that for us? >> there were eruptions of joy, sobs, outpouring of emotion from inside the courtroom. i think when wolf played that clip of when jodi arias, you could hear one of the sighs. those turned into sobs of joy, of relief by travis alexander's family and supporters of his. we also had a lot of spectators upstairs, outside the courtroom, trying to get a seat. it was packed inside the courtroom. not many folks were able to get in. i want to share what one spectator who's been watching this trial all along said to me, he talked about the o.j. simpson case in california. he talked about the casey anthony case in florida. he said, this is not florida. this is not california. this is arizona. they're going to convict her. and they're going to convict her
of first-degree murder. that's the sentiment a lot of folks were sharing before this. and it turned out that they were exactly right. one more interesting thing i want to share with you, ashleigh. maricopa county sheriff joe ar papo has scheduled a news conference a half an hour from now. he's going to talk about the custody arrangement for jodi arias now that she has been convicted of first-degree murder. presumably those custody arrangements could change. we'll have to hear what the sheriff has to say about that, ashleigh. >> well, without question, casey, those state marshals are going to have her in their custody for a few more days to come in this courthouse, that we're in front of. because the cells that are in this courthouse are where people like jodi arias are kept while there are further decisions to be made about their greater future. so without question, she's going to be here, and she's going to have to go through a whole lot more in this courtroom in the days to come. i want to add that the family of
travis alexander, you saw casey during his report, reporting on their jubilation in the courtroom, they occupied three whole rows of that courtroom. the family of jo di arias occupied two rows, and understandably was silent after that verdict was read. very little reaction from her mother, if at all. at least what we could witness. no tears that we could see when the camera was on her. there were five rows of media. you can see our jean casarez in one of those rows, two of our cnn and hln correspondents, who watched these verdicts come down as well. extraordinarily dramatic, to say the least. it should be. this is a death-penalty case. i want to bring in our panel of experts with me. with me is sunny hostin live with us from philadelphia, as well as paul callin, professor of law who is live with us in new york city. my colleague jeffrey toobin joins me live here right outside of the maricopa county
courthouse. for starters, i think what's critical to outline is the process that comes next. this family is not through with what they're going to hear in that courtroom. >> no, they're not. this is a very unusual process. even among states that have a death penalty. it's a two-part penalty phase. the first part, which will start tomorrow afternoon here, is the -- is to determine solely if the crime was especially cruel. if the jury finds that the crime was especially cruel, unanimously, they then move to the more traditional penalty phase, where the jury will have to find unanimously to impose the death penalty. so at this point, all jodi arias needs is one juror in either this first short process or the longer penalty phase to say, no, this should not be a death penalty case. 11-1 for the death penalty is not enough at this stage. the state needs a unanimous finding in both this first
process, about cruelty, and then the penalty phase, the state has to win both of them unanimously for a death penalty to result. >> what might be even more sort of astounding, jeffrey toobin and i were going over it together, yes, the jury must be unanimous in its decision on the gravest aggravator, which is the cruelty aggravator. especially cruel is how they word it. but they also must be unanimous if they choose not to go ahead with that aggravator. there is a very unusual situation that can develop here, whereby this judge can impanel another jury. we were both astounded to see this in a sentencing face, paul callen. i don't know if you've heard in your practice that a second jury can be impaneled in a death penalty case? have you heard of this? >> no. i'm astounded by it. frankly, i wonder if it would be
constitutional. the whole idea in a death-penalty case is the jury sees everything, and understands that the crime is so heinous, that the death penalty has to be imposed. but on the issue of the aggravator, you know, i think she's facing a strong probability of a death penalty here. because if this jury wanted to cut her some slack, ashleigh and give her something less, they had a lot of options. they could have come in with second-degree murder, manslaughter, heat of passion situation. and was this a cruel murder? he was stabbed 27 times and shot in the head. he was naked in a shower. i mean, could a death be more cruel than that? and what will her mitigating factors be? it looks like he was unarmed. obviously the jury has already rejected her, that she was a beaten woman, or abused woman, and that's why she did it. so where are the mitigating factors? if you just apply the law, let's forget whether we favor or oppose the death penalty, you
just apply the law, this is a death penalty case. >> well, i just want to bring in a little bit more news. this is coming courtesy of our producer working within the courtroom. she's reporting that the aggravation -- at least the sentencing phase begins tomorrow at 4:00 eastern time, 1:00 local time here in phoenix. the state is expected to call one witness, at least for tomorrow. and that is the medical examiner, his name is dr. kevin horn. he's expected to take up most of the afternoon tomorrow. and i don't think it's any secret as to why. the medical examiner would be one of the first witnesses. former federal prosecutor sunny hostin, i'm sure you would have great insight as to why the medical examiner would be the first up on the stand and what some of the things dr. horn might say on that stand. >> well, it certainly makes sense if you're trying to prove the cruelty of this crime. and i agree with paul, i agree with jeff. i really don't think that the
cruelty, the aggravating phase is really the issue here, because under arizona law, ashleigh, cruel is described as wanting to inflict pain in a wanton, sadistic manner. i think we can all agree when that medical examiner gets on the witness stand and describes the shot, and describes the almost 30 stab wounds, and describes that travis alexander was almost decapitated in this, i think that certainly takes this out of sort of the norm of first-degree murder, into the cruel realm. and so i really don't think that this first phase of this two-part phase is really the issue. i think the real issue is what we will hear when the defense tries these mitigating factors, to put these mitigating factors in front of the jury. i think we'll hear a lot about the ptsd. i think we're going to hear, perhaps, about the remorse here. i think we're going to perhaps hear about -- from her family, how her family loves her, how
her life should be spared. but in my view when you look at this type of crime, once that medical examiner gets op the witness stand, i can't imagine that the cruel part of this is not going to be determined. >> sure. well, i'll tell you what, sunny hostin, if she wants to display any modicum of remorse in this courtroom, there will be version four of how this crime was perpetrated. and she will have to break down and sob and say that she is sorry for the premeditated killing of travis alexander. but she will have the opportunity, most likely, if she chooses, to get up on the stand. one other bit of business outside of the courthouse here, and we're at local time, 3:10 in the afternoon. the sheriff, well-known sheriff, nationally well-known sheriff, joe arapao, is scheduled to give a news conference somewhere in this vicinity. we're awaiting that, wolf blitzer. he's likely to give more
details, as we heard casey wian stated, the plans pending the next phase, the sentencing phase, but also beyond as well, wolf. >> ashleigh, jeffrey, everybody, thanks very much. don't go too far away. we're going to continue to monitor. we'll hear what the sheriff has to say. also, we're following other breaking news right now. we're getting new details about what happened inside the house in cleveland. where three young women were held for about a decade. poppy harlow is standing by, she's getting new information. also, the emotional homecomings of two of the victims. now their families are speaking out, very emotionally, about the ordeal. stay with us. want younger looking eyes that say wow? with olay, here's how. new regenerist eye and lash duo. the cream smooths the look of lids... softens the look of lines. the serum instantly thickens the look of lashes. see wow! eyes in just one week with olay. you'd do that for me?
really? yeah, i'd like that. who are you talking to? uh, it's jake from state farm. sounds like a really good deal. jake from state farm at three in the morning. who is this? it's jake from state farm. what are you wearing, jake from state farm? [ jake ] uh... khakis. she sounds hideous. well she's a guy, so... [ male announcer ] another reason more people stay with state farm. get to a better state. ♪ as part of a heart healthy diet. that's true. ...but you still have to go to the gym. ♪ the one and only, cheerios
decade, where those three young women were abducted by -- allegedly by ariel castro, who has now been formally charged with four counts of kidnapping, three counts of rape. what are you learning, poppy? >> great reporting by my producer, rose, who had a long conversation with a police source very close to this investigation today. there's a lot of things i want to run through for our viewers here. let me start with this. first of all, that source says that this is, quote, a slam-dunk case, saying, i cannot imagine a trial. talking about the charges now filed against ariel castro, the kidnapping and rape charges. also important to note, this police source said the chains were found inside the home. again, chains were found inside the home. as the fbi and cleveland police have searched that home, saying it is clear that these girls were held against their will. also an interesting development, wolf, this source says that the
girls remember watching the vigils held for them on television. they were sitting in that home against their will, watching vigils held for them on television, knowing that their families were looking for them. another important question that we've been trying to figure out, if any relationship, did ariel castro know gina dejesus, did he know the dejesus family. this police source that it is clear and confirmed that castro's daughter was a friend of gina dejesus. again, that castro's daughter was a friend of gina dejesus. also important to note, talking about the interviews. the interviews that the police and the fbi have done with these three women since they were discovered, this police source calls them very intense. very intense interviews, as you can imagine what they've gone through over the last decade or so. very intense interviews. we're also told that the fbi has
taken the lead on these interviews with those three victims. also important, in terms of talking about those charges, which were just handed down, those rape and kidnapping charges against just ariel castro, not the brothers, just ariel castro, this police source said, quote, we got what we need to prove the most important thing here, which is that they were held against their will. they're going to continue to do interviews with these victims. but again, that source saying they got the most important thing that they need, calling this a slam-dunk case. wolf? >> it sounds also, poppy, like they got statements from ariel castro himself, even though he was read his miranda rights. >> that's what we're hearing from police -- we're hearing that indeed they have been talking to ariel castro. we don't have details on what he has or has not said. but that is being reported at this time, that ariel castro has been talking to the authorities.
>> stand by. good reporting. thanks very much, poppy. let's go back to paul call n and sunny hostin, our legal analysts. paul, first to you, we did hear the deputy police chief, the prosecutor, suggest that they weren't filing charges against the two brothers, in part because of what they heard from ariel castro, in addition to the three women. just on that alone, we can assume he's talking. >> oh, you can absolutely assume he's been talking. and obviously, not implicating his brothers in talking. that's probably something that they factored in. because they most certainly would have asked him if he acted alone or had help. i would expect them to play it a little closer to the vest, to the other brothers, if it was an ongoing investigation. really, most of the statements seem to suggest it's over, and they're not really looking hard at the other two brothers. i find that approach to be kind of surprising by lawsuit. >> i do, too. let me ask sunny what she thinks about that. do you agree with paul, sunny?
>> yeah, i do. i mean, typically when you have an investigation that is ongoing, and you have three potential suspects, you want to speak to all the suspects, and perhaps get evidence from one of them against the others, or two of them against the other. and so it is surprising that you have the chief of police saying, listen, there is no evidence whatsoever against these men. but he did qualify it in a sense by saying that they weren't being charged at this time. and that's why i would like to stress that, one, i don't think any case is a slam-dunk, even though you may have very strong evidence, but two, cases change, investigations change as time goes on. so this is just very, very early. it's even early, wolf, quite frankly, that he's only been charged with three counts of rape. let's think about it. three girls over the period of ten years? i mean, you can certainly, as a prosecutor, prove beyond a reasonable doubt more than one count of rape for each girl.
so, again, this is very, very preliminary. >> you know, sunny, i also noticed when i was looking at the ohio statutes, there are other charges like involuntary servitude, unlawful imprisonment. there's a whole menu of charges, in addition to what you said, the extra rape charges that could be lodged in the case. so i just find it very, very hard to believe we've reached the end of the road on this in terms of the charges. >> let me bring jeffrey toobin into this. jeffr jeffrey, a lot of us remember some cases where prosecutors, initially police initially say it's a slam-dunk case and turns out to be not necessarily a slam-dunk case. do you think it's appropriate for them to suggest this is a slam-dunk case? >> i think it's completely inappropriate for them to say it's a slam-dunk case. i think it's inappropriate to say that you know for sure that the two other brothers were not involved, even though you haven't looked at any of the evidence that was just taken out of the house today.
and especially it is inappropriate to exonerate the cleveland police department at this point, which didn't find these girls for ten years, in the face of what certainly seems like at least some clues that they could have found. i think any immediate conclusions drawn this quickly are totally inappropriate, about the guilt of any defendant, the nonguilt of other suspects, and the conduct of the investigators who let these girls be unfound for a decade. >> yeah. well, you make some excellent points there. all right, everybody stand by. we're going to continue the breaking news coverage, including raising this question, why two of the castro brothers are not facing charges. any serious charges right now. what's that all about. plus, emotional homecomings for two of the victims. they are now reunited with their family and friends. friends and family they haven't seen in a decade.
we're following up on the breaking news. charges filed in the kidnapping of three young women held captive in a cleveland house for a decade. prosecutors have announced just a little while ago details of their case against the accused abductor. >> i just signed criminal complaints charging ariel castro with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape. the signed criminal complaints are first-degree felonies.
the defendant will be arraigned tomorrow morning in cleveland municipal court and his case will be transferred over to the ki ho a county court. they will then proceed with the prosecution of these criminal cases. this case will proceed to the grand jury, at which time i expect will result in indictments on these charges, and may result in additional counts. as it relates to pedro and o'neal castro, no charges will be filed against these individuals at this time. there is no evidence that these two individuals had any involvement in the commission of the crimes committed against michelle, gina, amanda and the minor child. however, both of them do have outstanding cleveland municipal court warrants for misdemeanor cases. misdemeanor cases for pedro and
o'neal will both be heard tomorrow morning in municipal court. >> there you have it. let's go to brian todd right now, in cleveland. brian, you were there when the prosecutor, when the police chief, where they made this dramatic announcement. and they also provided some other fascinating details. >> that's right, wolf. some details we had not heard before. one of them was key, because we'd been hearing over the last 48 hours that there were reports from witnesses and others, witnesses in the neighborhood actually, who had allegedly said that they had seen a woman naked in the backyard of that house, possibly a woman in chains. police addressed that pretty early on in this news conference. take a listen. >> the statements from the suspect and the victims, there's no evidence to indicate that any of them were ever outside in the yard, in chains, without clothing, or any other manner.
we were told that they left the house and went into the garage in disguise. so those are the two times that were mentioned or that they can recall. >> so they never left the property? >> no. >> so they never left the property and were only outside the house, according to police officials, on two occasions over the course of a decade. you just heard them say when they came out on the two occasions, they were in disguise and they went into the garage. another key point that i pressed them on in this news conference, i asked if ariel castro is the father of the 6-year-old girl and were there other pregnancies involving the three women who were held. police were very guarded on that. they said they could not reveal any details on that. and they said that may come out later in the investigation, wolf. >> brian, stand by. cnn's pamela brown is joining us on the phone right now. she's getting more information on what happened when the police first showed up at that house. is that right, pam? >> yeah, wolf, according to a
l.a. source i spoke to with firsthand knowledge of this cleveland investigation, we learned that when amanda berry escaped from the home on monday, the other two women inside could also have run, but they chose not to, according to the source. the source says that the two women were not bound, and that this decision not to flee reflected the women's state of mind, that they were brainwashed, and fearful, and that the women had, quote, succumbed to their reality. and it really goes to the fact that we hear over and over again, that amanda was the real here ro out of this. we learned from the source that she knew that he wasn't home at the time and that was her only opportunity. and during a press conference we learned that, and over the course of that decade, that on monday was the only opportunity for an escape. >> and that was that. and that was the successful escape indeed. what else are you learning about
their initial -- once they arrived there, and they saw what was going on, specifically what it was like inside that house? because we're told by a lot of people who have seen it already, that it was a disaster inside. >> yeah, wolf, officials are being tight-lipped at this point about the details, about what the conditions were like. it's just interesting to note that after amanda fleed, we're learning that the other two women, they had an opening as well. but they chose not to. and i think that that really speaks to, you know, their mind-set, and the fact that, you know, this is a long time. ten years. you think about it. in talking to the source, you know, i think after time you succumb to that reality, that it just becomes something that you think is going to be the way it is for the rest of your life. but as we saw with amanda's heroic act of escaping, that she's the real hero.
we also learned the women relied on each other over the ten years. that they interacted, but typically kept in separate rooms. >> let's not forget these women, amanda berry, she was only 16, almost 17 years old when she was taken back in april of 2003. let's not forget gina dejesus, she was only 14 years old. she's now 23. she was taken in april 2004. and michelle knight, she was older, she was 20 years old when she was taken on august 22nd, 2002. sad, sad story. what an ordeal these three young women have gone through. new developments unfolding right now in the cleveland kidnapping case. a law enforcement source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation tells cnn when amanda berry who escaped on monday, the other two women, as we just heard, they also could have run, but as pam brown just reported, they chose not to. they presumably were
brainwashed, if you will, they were fearful of leaving that house. they had only left that house twice to go to the backyard on two occasions, according to law enforcement authorities. the law enforcement source also says the women relied on each other for survival. just a little while ago, prosecutors announced they're charging ariel castro with four counts of kidnapping, three counts of rape. however, no charges will be filed against castro's two brothers at this time. a police source close to the investigation, he tells cnn that this is a, quote, slam-dunk case that may result in guilty pleas instead of a trial. also today, an fbi evidence recovery team in protective suits searched a second residence near the castro home. they were accompanied by dogs and could be seen carrying shovels at this second residence as well. we're following up on that. emotional celebrations for two of the three women held captive for a decade in that house in cleveland.
today gina dejesus on the left, let's show her, amanda berry, her 6-year-old daughter on the right, they were reunited with loved ones at the family homes just miles from the scene of the ordeal. but amanda berry had been expected, according to police, to make a statement, but instead her sister spoke instead. >> at this time our family would request privacy. so my sister and niece and i can have time to recover. we appreciate all you have done for us throughout the past ten years. please respect our privacy until we are ready to make our statements. and thank you. >> heartbreaking story. today, one of the kidnap victims' relatives publicly thanked john walsh. john walsh, standing by to talk to me.
we'll talk about what's ahead for the women, for the suspect who's now been charged with kidnapping and rape. john walsh, here in "the situation room." everybody has different investment objectives, ideas, goals, appetite for risk. you can't say 'one size fits all'. it doesn't. that's crazy. we're all totally different. ishares core. etf building blocks for your personalized portfolio. find out why 9 out of 10 large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus, which includes
we have some extraordinary audio that we're just getting in from the cleveland police department. this is the dispatch that they played, that they recorded as they were initially walking into that home in cleveland, where these three young women had been held captive for a decade. i want our viewers to listen to
this. john walsh is going to be listening to it as well. this is extraordinary audio. >> she had been kidnapped ten years ago. she's at that location now. the code one, 0149, 0149. >> copy. is she still on the line? >> she's saying that the male is ariel castro. 52-year-old hispanic male that lives at 2207 seymour, and that he's been holding her here for ten years. >> okay. >> she's saying she's at 2210. and she says the suspect lives at 2207.
>> okay. i copy. >> there you have it. dramatic moments when the police arrived at that home in cleveland and found the two women, the other woman, the other woman ho had made that call, amanda berry to 911, across the street. john walsh is here, the former host of "america's most wanted." very chilling to hear the police say, we think it's for real. >> for that officer to say it's real. for me, it's real mixed feelings. i looked for two weeks for my son. wish i would have heard one of those calls, and didn't hear that call. because you want to believe it. but there are literally thousands of parents out there, wolf, who don't know what happened to their children, don't have a clue. it's wonderful that these three girls are back. but people have got to remember, there are thousands of parents out there, that are praying that some day they'll get that call, like terry dugard's mother did. i saw them last night.
jaycee said -- you know, the media, you, me, everybody, we need to give them the time. give them the time to heal properly with good, good therapists. good therapists. but jaycee dugard and her mother said last night, it's tough. it's a tough road back. it's a terrible tough road back. and jaycee has two little girls. the toughest road may be for amanda with a little girl. >> you never gave up. when you were hosting "america's most wanted," you did it for two decades-plus. >> 25. >> when it came to these young women in cleveland, we've got a little clip. this is back in 2004. a clip of "america's most wanted." we're talking here about, you were interviewing a woman named arlene castro, whom we now believe to be the daughter of this ariel castro. today he's been charged with four counts of kidnapping, three counts of rape. let me play this clip from "america's most wanted." >> two girls were walking home together, hoping to spend the
rest of the afternoon at gina's house. >> i decided to call my mom and ask her, and so she gave me 50 cents to call my mom. and so my mom said no. that i can't go over to her house. and so i told her i couldn't. and she said, well, okay, i'll talk to you later. and she just walked. >> she's talking about gina dejesus, her friend. your correspondents from "america's most wanted" spoke to the daughter of ariel castro. >> the ironic thing is, and i'm not here to criticize police, and again i say it, 140 cops died in the line of duty last year. the only job you go to work and don't know if you're going to come home that night, your children don't know. but i always believed amanda's case and gina's case were linked. now i'm absolutely sure that when gina lent the 50 cents to ariel to ask that she call her
parents. not to ariel, to arlene, she called her parents to say, can i go over, or can gina come to my house. and when her parents said no, you can't, then gina walked home. she didn't have bus money. she walked home. i always believed, whoever got her to walk home, i'm absolutely convinced it was ariel, it was arlene's father had knowledge that gina dejesus who was obsessed by, he could grab her on the way home. i think that -- >> it looks like all three of these young women were kidnapped in the same kind of way. >> no doubt. for years, nobody has seen -- in almost 99% of cases, including my son, you get all kinds of this information and you never know. they're gone in an instant, wolf. but i think this guy grabbed these girls right off the street. and i also think that he probably -- it will come out. i say debrief these girls professionally, that he grabbed amanda. that the first ride she ever took instead of coming home was
with ariel. and that those were the first two. he probably grabbed the knight lady, she's a lady now, but she was 20 at the time -- >> michelle knight. >> -- michelle knight, he probably engaged her on the street, too. again, i think everybody's sort of missing the fact today that michelle knight, nobody even cared that she was gone. >> they just thought she was a runaway. >> it's so sad, wolf. because when they get in the house, even the cops are going, everybody in cleveland knew about gina and amanda, but they're going, there's a woman in here, michelle knight, and she even had been in the house the longest. it's just -- i believe some good will come out of this, wolf, that cops will start to say, we have to take what the parents and friends are saying much more serious, because gina dejesus' parents told me over the phone many times, why wasn't she an amber alert? i fought for three years to get the amber alerts passed. >> the parents publicly thanked you for the work you tried to do over these years.
i'll thank you on our behalf as well. john walsh, thank you for coming in. >> thanks, wolf. we're also getting new details about the attack that killed four americans in libya. including the ambassador, for the first time in public, the second in command to the slain u.s. ambassador recounts his final phone call with his boss. did you know, your eyes can lose vital nutrients as you age? [ male announcer ] that's why there's ocuvite to help replenish key eye nutrients. ocuvite has a unique formula not found in your multivitamin
most of the emotion was passion, through a partisan commission. a public account of the benghazi attack. the second in command to the slain ambassador, chris stevens. >> i found two missed calls. i punched the phone number i didn't recognize. and i got the ambassador on the other end. he said, greg, we're under attack. >> for 30 minutes, greg hicks told the story of the deadly attack as he lived it, from a command center at the u.s. embassy in tripoli. >> about 3:00 a.m., i received a call from the prime minister of libya.
i think it's the saddest phone call i've ever had in my life. and he told me that ambassador stevens had passed away. >> hicks was commended for his service by both parties. the bipartisanship was there. they invited hicks to bolster gop accusations that the administration botched the response and misled americans afterwards. especially u.n. ambassador susan rice's television appearance. >> my jaw dropped. and i was embarrassed. >> did she talk to you before she went on five sunday talk shows? >> no, sir. >> hicks said it hurt u.s. relations with libya, by offending the libyan president. hicks also argued the u.s. military could have helped quash the attack by scrambling fighter jets to fly overhead. the defense secretary and joint
gun. >> let's dig a little deeper. candy controly rowley. i'm sure there is going to be fallout. there was partisan i did vied. >> very. even though there doesn't seem to be a lot new that came out of this, what we had was on the ground wrenching, emotional testimony. that immediately sort of rekindles all of this. we also heard chairman isa say at the end, we're hearing that the investigation is not. so they intend to continue. i think a particular interest here is who gave the stand down
order to the group in tripoli who wanted to go to benghazi and we're told that stand down, like how far could that go? it's clear that republicans are not satisfied with the report that was put out by two very esteemed men who investigated this because they believe that there are higher ups. and i think we can -- particularly at the state department k. department, can go higher up. they believe there are others that will be held accountable. it was a pretty damming report that was given on benghazi. there were just failures along the line. but the republicans clearly feel that higher ups were involved in this and made some missteps that even might have saved some lives. i mean that's the general gist of all this. >> and the other issue is that it directly relates to your sunday show that here we have the firsthand testimony from the deputy chief of mission, the number two u.s. diplomat in libya saying from the beginning they knew this was an al qaeda
terrorist separation, not a spontaneous demonstration because of the youtube anti-muslim film. but on your show and four other shows, the ambassador went out there and suggested it was a reaction to what was going on in cairo. >> where that goes, obviously, there is no trust in government, et cetera. now what the state department says now and what the white house says now is she went with the best information at the time. but this clearly wrangles -- i think what was really interesting is, you know, that susan rice, the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. undermind the president of libya who said instantly this is a terrorist attack. he said it made him look foolish. i don't know quite what the word was. but it undermind him. so it is another aspect of this. >> number two diplomat in libya said he was outraged when he heard what she said on your show and the other shows. she was reading from the classified talking points that they gave her. >> that, of course, is the other
show, "talking points." >> candy, thank you very much. we're going to have a lot more on this. all the day's other news throughout the evening here on cnn. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. two breaking stories, a verdict announced at the jodi arias trial. we'll tell what you happened in the courtroom today and what she's facing tomorrow. plus, two of the women held captive for ten years in ohio return home today. new late-breaking details on how the suspect allegedly kept them chained literally and figuratively and how they ultimately escaped. and police have just released dispatch reportings from the moment the police entered the home where the women were held. we're going to let you hear exactly what happened. let's go "outfront".