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PRIMETIME JUSTICE WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD
Secret Deadly Affair; Shocking Shooting. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired November 9, 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] (JOINED IN PROGRESS)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good night, Andy. Up next is "Primetime Justice" with Ashleigh Banfield.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, PRIMETIME JUSTICE SHOW HOST: She`s laughing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: I hear nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A car seat.
PARNELL MCNAMARA, SHERIFF, MCLENNAN COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE: Very heartbreaking.
BANFIELD: Her mom shot execution style, too.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just don`t understand how somebody can just murder a one-year-old.
BANFIELD: But police say their killer was no stranger.
MCNAMARA: The little child was killed while still strapped in her car seat.
BANFIELD: Why they believe he stared straight into the face of his own little baby and pulled the trigger.
It was a miracle he survived. Shot twice in the head and left to die in his own bedroom. Surprise, he survived. And became the prime witness to the
escort police say nearly killed him. And just wait till you hear about the shopping spree on his dime.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) versus Rene Boucher (ph).
BANFIELD: Add one more to the list of broken ribs Rand Paul suffered when he was jumped by his neighbor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has absolutely nothing to do with any politics.
BANFIELD: And the man accused may also be sued by the senator for all six broken ribs and other injuries, too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a personal dispute between two neighbors.
BANFIELD: As for that claim, Rand Paul said it was not just a neighborly spat.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ll let that play out in court.
BANFIELD: What really happened behind the gates of this Bluegrass State?
This is not your average appearance. Wheeled into the courtroom in his hospital bed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I lost all three grandchildren.
BANFIELD: He`s accused of killing a family of five while drunk behind the wheel and speeding.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was the speed a half second before impact?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ninety-two miles per hour.
BANFIELD: And as if it couldn`t get worse for five teenagers accused of throwing a killer rock off an overpass and into traffic. Police say it was
a long-running game and that they just thrown a recliner off two days before. Will these kids go down for murder?
From romance to robbery, so much for model behavior. The man with the bad boy look decides to go full fugitive, and now he`s facing prison time.
Hello, everyone. I`m Ashleigh Banfield. This is "Primetime Justice." It is really tough to juggle two separate lives especially when you just can`t
seem to keep them hidden. Chris Weiss was in that boat and it must have been so frustrating for him. Married with two kids. Wouldn`t you know it?
His girlfriend got pregnant.
He could have chosen any number of options like come clean to your wife, beg for mercy, and try to fix the torpedo you just put into your family. Or
break up with the girlfriend and take responsibility for your new baby. But police say Chris Weiss chose option "C," stare straight into the face of
your one-year-old daughter and shoot her execution style in her car seat, and then execute her mom 20 feet away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCNAMARA: The little child was killed while still strapped in her car seat, and just a very sad, very brutal, cold blooded murder. Even on tough
lawmen, it`s so hard to see something like that, and you never get used to it.
BANFIELD (voice-over): Chris Weiss told police he was involved with Valerie Martinez right up until last week. Friends say he certainly was no ideal
father to their baby, Azariah, let alone boyfriend to Valerie.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Super nice person. Right off the bat I knew it was her estranged child`s father. I just don`t understand how somebody could just
murder a one-year-old. Cute as a button. Looked like a little baby doll. And it`s so sad because she looked just like the dad.
BANFIELD (voice-over): And when it comes to that dad, Chris Weiss, there`s even more. Police say when they found him, he was trying to skip town and
had a weapon in his truck along with his wife and two other daughters. He didn`t get very far, though, because tonight he was led from where you see
him there straight behind bars. And Valerie`s neighbors and Valerie`s friends, they`re, instead, planning a vigil for both mother and child.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: I want to bring in the sheriff of McLennan County, Texas, Parnell McNamara. Sheriff, thanks so much for being with us tonight. How did you
catch him? How did you know who you were looking for?
MCNAMARA (via telephone): Every clue and every bit of evidence that we gathered from day one, which was Sunday, Sunday afternoon, when we
[20:05:00] these two bodies, pointed to Christopher Weiss. And we did eliminate three or four other people, but we kept coming back to Weiss, and
there`s no question in our mind that he is the killer.
BANFIELD: So what did he say? Anything?
MCNAMARA (via telephone): He denies being the killer, of course. But there`s evidence that he was at the crime scene at the time of the killing.
We have a lot of evidence against him. He has not taken any responsibility for anything. He is the ultimate lowdown coward to gun down a wonderful
mother, 24 years old, and then brutally gun down his own one-year-old child while she`s still strapped in the car seat. This has been a heart breaker
for all of us.
BANFIELD: And I know you`ve been at this business a long time, and I do hear this on occasion, that there are just some crime scenes that even the
most seasoned among you really struggle to process.
MCNAMARA (via telephone): That`s absolutely true. And this is one of them. And I`ve seen a lot. I`ve been in law enforcement over 40 years, 33 years
in federal law enforcement. And this crime scene, I can`t get it out of my mind. I can`t -- I wish I could.
But the sight of the little baby shot down, gunned down in cold blood in that car seat, I will never be able to get over that. And neither will our
guys that were out there on the scene. I don`t know what else to say. It was so disturbing and just a heart breaker in every way.
BANFIELD: Well, sheriff, sometimes, you know, we go to work every day and it becomes sort of mechanical. And we do our jobs by rote, and then
something like this hits you as personal as you`re saying it does. When you said you have a lot of evidence against this guy, what are you talking
MCNAMARA (via telephone): We`re not going to talk about the evidence right now, but believe me, we do have a lot against him, and we`re going to keep
gathering even more. And just stay tuned, because we`re going to do what we can to bring this creep to justice.
BANFIELD: I heard a little rumor that he was changing his stories. Each time someone`s presented with evidence that shows maybe what you just said
isn`t quite true, it morphs slightly. Is that the case with this suspect?
MCNAMARA (via telephone): Absolutely. His own family described him as a pathological liar, that he cannot tell the truth, and that certainly is the
case with this guy.
BANFIELD: Can I ask you, we`ve read some of the arrest affidavit information, and one of the witnesses interviewed named Jennifer Gilbert
said that the victim in this case had been asking him for child support.
And another witness interviewed in the case, Rigoberto Contreras, said that he heard fighting between this suspect and the victim just the night before
she was found or at least the night before -- I guess the night before she was last seen alive. What do you know about these two witnesses and their
connection to this case?
MCNAMARA (via telephone): Well, as far as we can tell, they were close associates and knew them and all indications are that he was arguing with
the victim the night of the murder and several things that led up to that. So we consider them credible witnesses because we have multiple witnesses
that are saying the same thing.
BANFIELD: But do we think at this point this case, in terms of motive, is going towards she might have been asking for child support and instead she
got a bullet and so did their baby?
MCNAMARA (via telephone): That`s a very good possibility.
BANFIELD: It`s just unfathomable. So many people, even you watch this show, you see a lot of ugly crimes, but a little baby who needs help and a mom
who discovers, as we understand, that he wasn`t the person he said he was. He never told her he had another family. He certainly never told her he had
two other daughters.
Sheriff, tell me about the arrest. Is it true those other two baby girls were in his truck with him as well as his wife as well as birth
certificates and that it looked like he might be making a run for it?
MCNAMARA (via telephone): Absolutely. We had his house under surveillance. And he took off in the afternoon about 4:00 in the pickup with his wife and
two daughters. And so we followed him. And it looked like he was making evasive maneuvers. And we, the sheriff`s department, along with the Temple
Police Department and another agency made the arrest in downtown Temple ironically right in front of the Temple City Hall. And he was in his
[20:10:00] He did have birth certificates in there. The back of the pickup had tubs full of clothes and, you know, all indications were that this guy
was trying to make a run for it. I don`t think there`s any question about that.
BANFIELD: Did his wife know anything about what was going on when you nabbed him or was it all a complete shock to her?
MCNAMARA (via telephone): We don`t really know what she knew. She knew that we had questioned him and were looking at him for this. So whether she
knows any more at this point, we`re not sure exactly what the wife knows, but she did know that he was a suspect in this double murder.
BANFIELD: What about those two kids in the car? Did they have any idea what was going on? And what`s their circumstance right now? Other victims in
this case, other little kids, you know, where are they?
MCNAMARA (via telephone): Child Protective Services has the two little girls and they have been taken out of the home for the time being to
protect them. We`re not sure what kind of danger they will be in. This is a very fluid, what we consider a very dangerous situation. And, of course, he
is in jail. He`s under $1 million bond. And we just got to take care of these children and do the best we can to protect them.
BANFIELD: Just unbelievable. Sheriff, stand by, if you will, for a moment. I want to bring in John Carroll. He`s the senior investigative reporter for
CNN affiliate KWTX in Waco, Texas. John, there`s one count of capital murder. And in Texas, capital murder applies when, if it`s under 16, maybe
help me with the age, when someone over the age of 16 is killed as well. But why only one count? And are the charges authorities saying that another
count is coming soon?
JOHN CARROLL, SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, KWTX (via telephone): Well, I believe so, Ashleigh. First of all, they were building their case
investigating this after the murders. And as the sheriff said, surveilling his house down in Temple where he was living with other family members.
And at that time it just seemed like, you know, that it was best to charge him with one count, if there`s any -- you know how technical things can get
even in cases that seem to be shut and closed. So they can continue to build their case, get all of the evidence that they`re building and
gathering. And then levy that other capital murder charge if anything ever happened that messed up the first charge.
BANFIELD: So just real quickly, I know that the sheriff is limited in what he can say in the evidence, you know, with regard to the evidence at the
scene, and I get that. They don`t want to mess this case up, but I know that you`ve got some information on how these bodies were found and the
position of these bodies. What can you tell me?
CARROLL (via telephone): Well, the child was in the car seat in the back seat of the car. There is possible indications that she might have been
asleep. And that -- but we`re not positive about that. It just depends on exactly when the murders occurred. They might have gone out to the lake
sometime between midnight -- we just don`t know. Then the bodies were found of course around noon the next day on Sunday.
BANFIELD: Where was Valerie?
CARROLL (via telephone): Valerie was about 20 feet from the car. And strangely, laying down on her back like she was sleeping with a bullet hole
to the forehead. Of course the child had --
BANFIELD: And I think I -- go ahead. I think I interrupted you when you were going to continue the description of the scene in the car.
CARROLL (via telephone): Sure, I`m just going to say the child was shot through the head and the bullet went through one side, came out the other
and through the car seat side.
BANFIELD: You know, as I look at the pictures of this adorable child who really does look a lot like Christopher Weiss, if the child was in the car
seat, there really would have been no other way to shoot that child execution style other than staring straight into her face.
CARROLL (via telephone): That`s exactly right. I mean, you know, whether the child was asleep or not, he`s looking at this child and admitted in the
affidavit, that`s my child.
BANFIELD: Takes a certain level of evil.
CARROLL (via telephone): Yes, I`m not sure if he has --
BANFIELD: Takes a certain level of evil. Stand by, if you will, John. I want to bring in Jessica Krupicka. She is a friend of Valerie Martinez and
she is with me now live. Jessica, I`m so sorry that you are having to cope with this horrendous, horrendous loss in your life as well. Can you help me
sort of navigate how Valerie ended up with Christopher in the first place?
[08:15:00] JESSICA KRUPICKA, FRIEND OF VICTIM VALERIE MARTINEZ (via telephone): Yes. They met on POF, which is Plenty of Fish. At that time,
his name was -- he was going under the name James Talamentez (ph). So for the first year of -- almost first year of her life, that`s who she thought
his name was.
BANFIELD: He never gave her his real name? He used to fake name right from the get go and she never knew that his name was really Christopher Weiss
KRUPICKA (via telephone): No. She didn`t know. She tried everything to try to contact him. She never even had his phone number. And so after his wife
and everyone already found out that Valerie and Azariah existed, then he ended up giving her his phone number.
BANFIELD: So how did that happen? How did those two separate secret lives he was living end up colliding? How did they find out about each other?
KRUPICKA (via telephone): Well, he would come around like every once in a while, and one time I guess towards the end, something in her told her to
remember his license plate number. And so she did and looked it up. And it came up under Christopher Weiss. So she looked that up on Facebook, and she
found these pictures that was on POS. And it showed, you know, he was married to April Weiss and had two other kids.
BANFIELD: Is this -- to your knowledge, Jessica, is this a case of a man who was being pressured for child support, was being pressured to
acknowledge his responsibilities in this second secret family he had, and decided just not to do that?
KRUPICKA (via telephone): Well, see, as far as child support goes, she really could care less. Like she didn`t ask him for diapers, she didn`t ask
him for money. She just wanted him to be a dad. She just wanted him to be a part of his daughter`s life.
BANFIELD: Did she have any indication that he had any kind of violent tendencies at all?
KRUPICKA (via telephone): No. She actually -- I had seen her that night before -- like that was the last time I`d seen her was 10:00 at night
Saturday night. She was leaving to go and meet with him. And she wasn`t like -- they had been getting along. She didn`t say anything bad about him
BANFIELD: I am so sorry, Jessica, for your loss, and I`m so appreciative that you could help, you know, tell Valerie`s story. And tell Azariah`s
story, too. Our thoughts and our wishes go out to you as you try to put the pieces back together in your community as well. Thank you so much.
KRUPICKA (via telephone): Thank you.
BANFIELD: A man shot in the head twice and then left to die in his own bedroom. And police say he knew the shooter immediately, but she wasn`t his
wife, she wasn`t his girlfriend. Investigators say, no, this young woman, she was a pro.
[08:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BANFIELD: Nearly three days with two bullets lodged in his head and somehow he survived. That`s how long a man in Washington State waited for someone
to come and rescue him after police say an evening with an escort went wildly off track. The victim was shot twice in the head before police say
Marissa Wallen left him for dead, but not before emptying his wallet and then going on a shopping spree on his dime.
That was Saturday night. Alive but virtually paralyzed, police say he remained that way all night long Saturday night and then all day Sunday and
all night long Sunday night and all day Monday and then all night long again Monday night, bleeding from the head and probably going without food
or water that entire time.
By Tuesday morning, police burst into the house and he was rushed to the hospital. When Marissa Wallen was arrested, she told the police that she
wasn`t in the mood for sex when she got to her client`s house that night. So instead, he performed oral sex on her, and she said when it wasn`t going
her way, she shot him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was stunned on Tuesday night when the first detective came to our door that he said your neighbor was shot twice in the head.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: The femme fatale was caught on surveillance cameras from the scene of the crime to the shops that she was in. She was captured leaving
the victim`s house and racking up $2,000 on his credit cards basically leaving the police with a forensic footprint in the days after she`d
allegedly left him for dead.
Police said this about her. She was emotionless and cold and calculating when they brought her in for questioning, saying that she was clearly proud
of her job. She even told them if they could be so kind, could they please call one of her other clients, so that he could post her bail. Sometimes
you actually just can`t write this stuff.
I`ll start with Jesse Weber. He`s the host of LawNewz.com. He joins me now live. I don`t even know where to begin on this one. Honestly, Jesse, three
days, he`d been shot twice in the head. Start there. How did he survive this?
JESSE WEBER, HOST, LAWNEWZ.COM: Well, luckily he worked from home and his employer was concerned because he wasn`t logging on to work. His mother was
also concerned because he is an overweight gentleman and he suffers from some medical conditions.
[08:25:00] So they did a welfare check where police come to his home to see if everything was OK. They walked in. No forcible entry. And what they
found was a grisly sight of him leaning up against the wall. Luckily he survived, but he had two gunshot wounds to the head, dried blood on his
head, and he was responsive.
He survived the shooting but he was responsive. And then they did an investigation of the camera system he had in his house and they saw this
young woman leaving his house in a hurry and she took his credit cards with her.
They did an investigation into his financial records. As you said, Ashleigh, she went on a shopping spree. She spent over $10,000 in the
course of a few days shopping online, shopping in stores. She sent money to an associate of hers, Jenner Matthews (ph) on Facebook.
This is a girl, who as crazy as it is, this motive that she said -- and I`ve heard a lot of things, but I`ve never heard this one. It sounds like
she really did this for the money. So I can`t even make this up. It`s bizarre. An interesting case to follow.
BANFIELD: Here`s the other thing. And I`m a huge supporter of having cameras inside your house and outside your house, pretty much anywhere in
your house a bad guy or a bad girl can go. This guy did that. Like he had the ring.com which shows you coming in, and then he also had cameras
throughout the house. Has this literally given the whole narrative of the crime to the police?
WEBER: Well, it`s a great thing that he had it. They`re motion sensor, they`re motion capture. He was able to see that no one else entered that
house, no one else entered that house in that time frame. She was the only one to enter and she was the only one to leave in a hurry and it was very
clear from the video tapes that she was carrying something. She not only took his credit cards. She took his gun as well.
And I should note that it wasn`t that gun that was used in this crime, but she stole it. She stole it. And when you have that videotaped surveillance
footage on top of the fact that she confessed to police and, let`s not forget, she changed her story multiple times until eventually telling
police what really happened. So when you have that video surveillance footage and a lot of times that`s so crucial in these kinds of cases.
BANFIELD: Yes, that`s never great when you change your story when presented with evidence that refutes what you just said Jodi Arias style. Real
quickly, Jesse, look, put me on the straight and narrow. When I read this, I thought that`s got to be a mistake.
And I think this comes from the police saying during their interview with her where she was just heartless about the whole thing, they said. They
mention that the victim said -- or excuse me that the suspect said, if he makes a recovery in all of this, could you please ask him not to pursue
some of these charges? Did that really, really happen?
WEBER: You know, Ashleigh, there`s a term. Never use or say anything that can be used in a courtroom of law against you. She was not represented by
her attorney at that time. She was Mirandized. And then she just said whatever was in her mind. Saying that is not going to look good for her
defense moving forward. Now, again, she was arrested. We imagine a criminal complaint will be brought against her. She`s going to have robbery charges,
identity theft, assault. It`s not looking good for her.
BANFIELD: She`s in a world of hurt. Hold on for a second, Jesse. I actually want to bring in Dr. Paul Camarata because he is the chairman of nurse
surgery for the University of Kansas Health System. Doctor, how on earth did he survive three nights and all those says with two bullets in his
head, virtually paralyzed? How did he survive that?
DR. PAUL CAMARATA, NEUROLOGIST, UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS HEALTH SYSTEM: That`s a real good question, Ashleigh. Ninety percent of victims of gunshot wounds
to the brain, many of them die actually before they get to a hospital. So, these bullets, again, I`m not privy to the predictors of the case, but must
either have glanced off the skull or gone into a portion of the brain that is less vital.
You know, if you get a bullet lodged in the brainstem or that traverses both hemispheres of the brain, the right and the left side, it`s very rare
that you are able to survive that. So these bullets must be lodged somewhere in what we call a non-eloquent part of the brain.
BANFIELD: I don`t want you to surmise something that wasn`t there at the crime scene, but if he was in that room for three nights and three days,
would he have been able to do anything like get water, get food or try to reach for a phone or would he literally have been almost in the same
position for that length of time?
Doctor, are you still there? Oh, rats. You know, I think we lost the doctor. While we try to get that question up and get the doctor back, I
want to go to Joey Jackson for a moment. Joey Jackson, as a defense attorney, you`re the only one who is going to know the answer to this
question because I`m completely perplexed by it.
She is facing robbery. I get that. Assault and identity theft. And I thought maybe the second page would have the attempted murder on it.
[08:30:00] JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY, CNN AND HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Exactly.
BANFIELD: There`s no second page, Joey. There`s no attempted murder. Is that a big yet or is there some other way this crime can be looked at?
JACKSON: You know, Ash, I always say that you miss your calling in terms of being a judge and a lawyer. The fact is that`s the first thing that popped
out at me. And from a defense perspective, I mean that`s a very good thing, right?
The bottom line though is how you get away from that not being amended at some point because by all indications if you have a situation where
someone`s shot in the head twice, there are admissions as to why you did it. I don`t want to repeat what she said as to why she did it.
And then of course you go on a spree, there`s some indication that you intended it, right? And so attempted murder is to attempt to kill someone.
The fact that you were not good at it, you don`t get out from under that. So I`m baffled as to why to this point it`s not there. But we have to hold
our horses, Ashleigh, because we don`t know whether authorities will amend the complaint and add it at a later time pending more evidence.
BANFIELD: OK. So there`s one other nugget of informational evidence that they got in this interview with her. You heard Jesse from LawNewz say,
apparently she was Mirandized and the lawyer wasn`t present, so she just kept spewing which is about the dumbest but most awesome thing for us when
we look at a prosecution.
She said something along the lines of, I thought he was dead. When I left, I thought he was dead. So how does that play into a possible charge of
JACKSON: So what happens is the defense, of course, is going to be looking to suppress, that is to get out any statement that she had been made, that
she may have made and did make. Why? Because of the fact that there was no attorney present. Was it a voluntary knowing waiver of her rights? Did she
in fact -- was it a custodial interrogation meaning, "A," was she in custody, "B," was she interrogated?
And at the same time was she otherwise aware that she had that right? And so it may be a possibility, still early, that any statement she makes could
be thrown out by a court and they may have to go and proceed in this case with all the other evidence absent her own statement.
BANFIELD: I just hope that this victim is able to overcome this, but I think --
JACKSON: He`s alive. That`s amazing, though, right, Ashleigh? Wow.
BANFIELD: It is remarkable. He has a long road ahead of him though given what we heard. I`m so sorry we lost the doctor because that was my next
question, is there a chance that he could actually make a full recovery. Joey, can you stand by? I`ve got other stuff for you in a minute.
JACKSON: Of course.
BANFIELD: OK. We thought that whoever had the strain of evil in them to shoot a mother of six behind a cash register, that had to be somebody who
was so sick and twisted and probably a career hardened criminal, right? Because he shot and killed that dollar store clerk in Dallas. We told you
about this last night. Even though she gave him all the money instantly in the register, when he made that demand.
But the breaking news tonight is the suspected killer that they have caught, that guy, 15 years old. Fifteen years old. A kid. Remember I told
you that that clerk has six children? Just, you know, about four or five years older, that`s that child. We asked you last night to help us hunt him
down. Thanks to the tips from the public, the 15-year-old is in police custody tonight.
We are also learning after all of this, he didn`t even end up with the cash. The cash drawer that Gabrielle Simmons handed over to him so quickly,
because he apparently -- she was able to hit the alarm after she was shot and that spooked him. He got scared and he dropped the bag with the money
drawer in it. But 15-year-old arrested in the killing of that mother of six tonight in Texas.
Mystery surrounding a U.S. senator`s injury just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser. Senator Rand Paul allegedly tackled by his next door
neighbor on his own property. And remember when we told you six ribs were broken? Now there`s other news. There`s a -- we told you five and there`s
now six. Five ribs? No, six ribs were broken. The attacker`s attorney says it`s all regrettable.
The mode of trivial. But that`s not what Rand Paul`s people are saying. No, no, that`s not it at all. There`s a lot more to this very strange story.
We`re going to get to the bottom of it.
And then this guy once appeared on the cover of romance novels and course, of course he did, look at him. But after an admitted cross-country crime
spree, he may have wanted to avoid the new nickname he`s now got which is beefcake bandit.
[20:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BANFIELD: Six broken ribs and a possible lawsuit. That is what is new tonight in this bizarre neighborly dispute out of Bowling Green, Kentucky,
that is really honestly not very neighborly at all. Senator Rand Paul now says his neighbor fractured not five but six of his ribs when he got jumped
Senator Paul also says he`s suffering from excess fluid around his bruised lungs. All of this happening while he was reportedly just out mowing the
lawn. The senator has now hired an attorney
[20:40:00] and plans to file a personal injury civil lawsuit. And as for the neighbor`s description of the fight being a neighborly dispute that`s
been going on for years and erupted over some grass clippings, et cetera, not quite.
According to Senator Paul`s adviser who said it was a blindside, violent attack by a disturbed person. Anyone claiming otherwise is simply
uninformed or seeking media attention. But next door neighbor Rene Boucher showed up in court like this today looking not at all, you know, worried.
He pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor assault in an arraignment that lasted just two minutes. We`re not going to be seeing him until the end of the
month as investigators have to determine whether the charges should be more serious and be upgraded. And we still don`t know why this happened.
The neighbors point to this dispute over yard waste ending up on each other`s lawn while others say, no, no, no, it was politics. But Boucher`s
attorney insists it was just a "regrettable dispute between neighbors that most people would regard as trivial." And after hearing from the county
attorney today, we`re left with a few more questions than answers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you say about what caused the incident?
AMY MILLIKEN, WARREN COUNTY ATTORNEY: I cannot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you dispute his motive, the one that one of his attorneys put out there that it`s over a landscaping issue of some sort?
MILLIKEN: I`ll let that play out in court.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was he intoxicated?
MILLIKEN: I have no comment. I don`t know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has there been drug or alcohol tests to your knowledge?
MILLIKEN: To my knowledge, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you aware of any previous disputes between these two individuals?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did he have any criminal history?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Like I said, more questions than answers. That`s where Sean Baute comes in. He is a reporter with CNN affiliate WBKO in Bowling Green,
Kentucky. Mr. Bouty, you are going to have to help me with this one. I have been told since I wasn`t there and I only have the camera`s view that that
courtroom was never more packed in its existence. What do you know about that?
SEAN BAUTE, WBKO REPORTER: Well, I`ll tell you, you`re not wrong. It may never be like that ever again. This district court is something that Judge
Brent Potter certainly says he`s never seen, both him and county Attorney Amy Milliken, you heard from her, kind of took a second, were taken aback
by kind of how many people were actually there.
I counted maybe just shy of 10 cameras in that courtroom. For a courtroom that`s used to seeing a lot of traffic violations and similar stuff like
that. Amy Milliken usually only takes stuff up to class "A" misdemeanor which you`re just looking at the actual case.
Class "A" misdemeanor is something that you wouldn`t expect to see this many cameras there. It`s something that our city of Bowling Green has
certainly maybe never seen this kind of attention for a small case like this, but it`s definitely something that I`ve never seen, but take it from
the county attorney as well as the judge there.
BANFIELD: Well, when a senator, you know, a U.S. senator ends up with six broken ribs and fluid around his bruised lungs and then starts saying, and
I`ve hired a personal injury attorney, no, there`s something more to this. There`s something much bigger that`s afoot. Real quick question for you,
the guy on the right, we`d never heard of him before, but now he`s on the news every day, Rene Boucher.
When he showed up in that courtroom, right when he came through the doors, I`m not the only person who got the impression that he had sort of a smug
affectation. It was sort of like chin up. I know what`s up here and I`m fine. Is that my kind of snooty assessment of this? Or did he have an air
BAUTE: I don`t think you`re far off. I do think it`s something that he`s very good at kind of keeping his emotions close to his chest. You didn`t
really hear him talk. A lot of the talk was done by the attorney, Matt Baker. I was able to speak to him today.
A lot of the talking, of course, has been done through his attorney. We`re still like as you mentioned, it`s really a mystery as to what happened. You
have one side saying one thing and one side saying another thing. But he`s certainly not showing that much emotion or saying one thing one way or the
other without his attorney`s help.
BANFIELD: Well, he`s not looking humble, that`s for sure. And I`ve always felt when you walk into a courtroom, there`s a different God all of a
sudden in your life. There`s an additional one and that`s called the judge. And you need to behave that way.
Let me just bring Joey Jackson back in here for a minute. Joey, the capitol police questioned Mr. Boucher today. You know, they don`t have a federal
charge on this right now. As you just heard, Mr. Baute, it`s a county charge and I think that`s only about up to a year if you`re convicted at
the top. But fed is up to eight. That`s really serious. What would be the difference? What would take it to fed?
JACKSON: Well, you know, I don`t think that it will go there, but let me just say this, OK? First of all, what happened to neighborly love, right?
In the interest of full disclosure, I`m not crazy about my neighbor either, Ashleigh. I wouldn`t tackle him, though.
But in any event, federal charges, there is crime where there`s a member of congress, it`s an assault on a member of congress and as a result of that
it`s a misdemeanor as well. You can do it there. But what takes this up and elevates it and this is goof from a defense perspective,
[20:45:00] is the level of intent. Did you intend to cause serious physical injury? Not just physical injury, but serious physical injury. So we know
that there are these rib issues but did he really intend to do that or did he intend to be angry with him because they were arguing over shrubs? The
other thing is, there was no weapon or anything else involved. It was a dispute.
And so even though this is a member of congress, a very significant member of congress, it`s a stretch and there would be major arguments made by the
defense, Ashleigh, with regard to upgrading these charges and certainly making them federal.
BANFIELD: So, a lot of people say it all has to do with politics whether it goes fed, other people say, no, it`s a senator and that`s just all it
takes. Is there some nuance in there?
JACKSON: Doesn`t matter, Ashleigh, whether you`re a Democrat, whether you`re Republican, whether you`re an independent, whether you`re an
aristocrat. If you commit a crime and it`s a member of congress irrespective of party affiliation, then certainly you need to be held
accountable for it. But the law doesn`t look and it`s colorblind and politics blind in terms of the penalty.
BANFIELD: Hey, when you break six ribs -- I`m saying that as though he`s convicted. He himself admitted he did the jumping. I think he`s litigating
himself what the motive was. But when you do that and if you do face a personal injury lawsuit, what are you facing? How much of a ding could this
be for him?
JACKSON: I think there`s a significant ding. I mean, there`s an insurance issue here, right, because certainly people are insured regarding these
matters. But when you physically injured someone, you look to a number of things, duty, breach, causation, damages. What does that mean in English?
You have a duty to your neighbor, not to do this to your neighbor but to look out and be reasonable. Causation as a result of you hitting or, you
know, bowling into him, that caused this. And the damages being the ribs. So therefore, you breached that duty. You`re responsible. And forgetting
about what happens criminally, Ashleigh, I think there will be a payday here in some respect.
BANFIELD: And you know something, those cameras are not going away. What Mr. Baute said about all these cameras in that courtroom, they`re watching
to see what the next steps are. Don`t go anywhere, Joey Jackson.
JACKSON: Right here.
BANFIELD: Coming up, court appearance the likes of which I don`t know many people have seen before. This is how this guy came to his court appearance,
rolling in in a bed. Good reason for it, too.
[20:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BANFIELD: In Michigan, new revelations in the case of five teenage boys charged with second-degree murder. As we`ve been reporting, one of them
hurled a six-pound rock from an overpass into a car below as police say and that killed Kenneth White, father of four kids.
Now comes this, just two days earlier, a recliner was reportedly tossed off a bridge on to the same highway. Police say this has been a long running
game for these suspects. It was not a game. It is deadly. And there is a high price to pay for it. But, Joey, they`re also kids. Are they going to
pay a high price?
JACKSON: I think they will, Ashleigh. Unfortunately, they`re being pursued as adults. As a result of that, there has to be some accountability. You
don`t do this stuff, get away with it, keep doing it. It`s always funny until someone loses an eye or someone died here.
BANFIELD: Yes. It`s been drip, drip, drip with the info too. We`re going to follow it. But we`ve also got this man facing five counts of murder in the
death of a couple and their young children after a head-on car crash. A total family of five. So this is how he was wheeled into the Kentucky
courtroom, on a hospital gurney. Take a close look.
This is Daniel Greis. Prosecutors say he was, I think, going about 96 miles an hour on a country road when he plowed into the Pollitt family. Blood
alcohol level tested above state limit, wouldn`t you know? The children were ages 6, 8 and 9. They died in the backseat. Their grandmother voiced
outrage over Greiss medical care.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TINA MORGAN, MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER OF VICTIMS: And talking about rehab like I lost all three grandchildren. So young. I could care less what kind
of rehab he needs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Joey, is there any sympathy from the system when the suspect is on a hospital gurney?
JACKSON: Not at all. I`ve defended these cases. They`re awful. They wreck families. Very briefly, Ashleigh, don`t drink and drive, everyone out
there, please. Get an Uber, get a ride. This is the result of that conduct.
BANFIELD: Yes, a no-brainer. Romance novels don`t usually have a chapter on fugitive robbers, but this real life story of a model who poses on the
covers of those hot and heavy supermarket novellas is really all about that. This is David Byers who went from shirtless beefcake cover boy to
fugitive of the law.
The police caught up with him. He was captured in San Diego a couple months ago after a series of bank robberies and gas station stickups. See the big
red arrow? Yes, that`s him. He`s now pleaded guilty in federal court in connection to a bank robbery in Connecticut, and he`s facing up to 20 years
in prison. My guess is you don`t get a lot of modeling jobs behind bars, Joey Jackson.
JACKSON: No, you really do not. You can try for them, but he will not succeed.
BANFIELD: Yes, that would be the right thing. Don`t go anywhere. By the way, Washington, D.C., capital of the United States, but what`s the auto
theft capital? One more thing, when we come back.
[20:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BANFIELD: Voting is now underway for the CNN hero of the year. And here`s one of the candidates, Jennifer Maddox.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER MADDOX, CNN HERO CANDIDATE: A lot of our young people are fearful to even come outside. The shooting, the killing. Five, six, seven-year-
olds. They`re losing people that they love and care about.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My godbrother.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My cousin.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My uncle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My brother.
MADDOX: We are in a state of emergency here in the city of Chicago. I`m a law enforcement officer, but I`m also a mother and a member of this
community. I don`t think that any child should grow up feeling like this could be it. Our center offers an escape for the young people. We make sure
that the kids have healthy hot meals.
[21:00:00] they get help with their homework.
Eleven, so what do you do with the one?
We mentor them.
Don`t cry (ph). No credit.