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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Three Arrested in L.A. Wildfire; Murder Cover-up of Alfred Wright?; New Jersey Bridge Scandal; Report: Benghazi Attack Was Likely Preventable: Warnings Were Ignored; California Bill Aims To Ban "Affluenza" Defense; Investigation Into Dead Teen's Missing Organs Yields Few Answers; CNN Confirms Fired Christie Aide Bridget Anne Kelly And Others Get Suspended In Brigdegate Scandal; No Charges Have Been Filed In 2012 Case: Authorities Have Not Commented Publicly On The Investigation
Aired January 16, 2014 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Very cute. I'm Don Lemon. "AC 360" starts right now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, good evening, everyone. Tonight breaking news. What began as a camp fire became a wildfire is now a 1700-acre inferno. Look at the images. The blaze is consuming the Glendora Foothills about half an hour northeast of Los Angeles. It's totally uncontained, seriously out of control and like nothing they've seen in this corner of L.A. County since 1968. Means there is a lot of brush and a lot to burn.
Casey Wian is on the fire lines joins us now with the latest on containment evacuations and three arrests as well.
So this started out as a pretty aggressive fire earlier today. What's the latest, Casey?
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, it sure did. When I got out here early this morning just a couple of hours after this fire began, I thought today was going to turn out a lot differently. But firefighters and residents so far today have really caught a break. You can see all of this hillside behind me that has completely burned. And you can see some of the firefighters, the crews that are up there on foot.
They have just come in in the last couple of hours to try to control these lines. But what you've seen all day long is an aggressive air assault with fixed wing aircraft and helicopters dropping water and fire retardant on these flames. What they were very concerned about is these unseasonably hot temperatures, above 85 degrees today. Humidity less than 10 percent. And there were winds forecast as high as 25 to 35 miles an hour.
So you can see all of these homes over here to my cameraman, Mike Love's left. We can see those homes. The fire got within 100 yards of those homes earlier today. But because the winds remained relatively calm this afternoon, firefighters were basically able to hold the line on this fire. They say they're not reel releasing any official containment numbers but there are no active fire lines going on right now. So as long as the winds stay calm overnight, they should have the situation pretty much under control, Anderson, five homes, though, completely destroyed, 17 other structures damaged, one firefighter injured not critically - Anderson.
COOPER: And three -- three people in custody? How did this start, do you know?
WIAN: It's really strange. Police say three guys, all in their early 20s, built a camp fire early this morning, and allowed this camp fire to grow out of control. Despite the fact that everyone in Southern California, unless you've been living under a rock, has known that there have been these red flag warnings about fire danger for some time because of the drought and these high temperatures.
These fire -- these three men were spotted by a corporal with the police department. They were taken into custody. Police say that one of them actually admitted to starting this fire. They were very apologetic. But they are in jail. $20,000 bail. Facing felony -- possible felony charges that could bring them up to three years in jail.
I also want to point out, Anderson, one of them was found with marijuana in his backpack. Won't face any charges for that because he had a California medical marijuana card.
COOPER: And when will officials start allowing people to return back home?
WIAN: We don't know. They're not saying. 10,000 different homes in this area under evacuation orders. Right now they're acting with an abundance of caution, telling people to stay away until they have this completely contained. But it is Southern California. It is the foothills. These residents are used to these fires. Many of them have remained home, decided to tough it out and fight the fire with hoses if they need to if it gets to that -- Anderson.
COOPER: So -- just so I'm clear, at this point they're not saying how much contained it is?
WIAN: They're not saying. There was a news conference that just went on. And they said that it's still 1700 acres but they're not releasing any official containment figures. We believe that's because they still don't know what's going to happen with the weather and the winds, and they don't have it completely locked down --
WIAN: -- even though there's no active fire lines right now.
COOPER: All right. Casey Wian, appreciate the update. Thanks.
Now "Keeping Them Honest," an especially chilling new development in the strange and mysterious death of a man named Alfred Wright. We've been covering this all week. He's the Texas father of three who vanished last November. His family found his body nearly three weeks later. That was two weeks after local authorities gave up searching in the exact area where ultimately his body was found by his own family.
The local sheriff told them there was no sign of foul play. The family is alleging a murder and cover-up. They're disputing nearly everything in the official count, from the cause of death to the condition of his body to the notion that Wright, a father of two with no history, they say, of drug use, let alone abuse, sprinted off into the Texas scrub forest one day, stripped down to his boxers and gave himself a lethal dose.
Now in addition to all that, there is this. An ordinary, everyday item found near Alfred Wright's body, that in this case could be something of a calling card.
Deborah Feyerick tonight is "Keeping Them Honest."
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On bramble-covered trail not far from Alfred Wright's body volunteer searchers immediately noticed out of the ordinary.
PASTOR RAY LEWIS, FAMILY FRIEND: The one thing that really stood out when we first found the body, we couldn't explain the dime. Why is there a silver dime laying on top of the ground. We couldn't figure that one out.
FEYERICK: It's unlikely the dime fell out of Alfred's pocket since he was found wearing only black boxers, his shoes and a single sock with his cell phone tucked inside. There had been lots of rain and heavy winds, yet the shiny dime was spotted in plain view on the edge of a trail. That trail is off the cattle field which Sabine County sheriff's deputies had supposedly searched looking for Alfred in the days immediately following his disappearance.
LAUREN WRIGHT, ALFRED WRIGHT'S WIDOW: I mean, there's an open gate here. Almost a straight path. Then his body was right through the gate. The fence here. In one of the only open trails in these woods.
FEYERICK: The presence of the dime seemed strange, strange that is to everyone but Brenda Chastain.
BRENDA CHASTAIN, SHERIFF'S EX-GIRLFRIEND: When I heard that a dime was found close to his body, that spooked me.
FEYERICK: The east Texas woman was in a relationship with Sabine County Sheriff Tom Maddox. The sheriff in charge of the search for Alfred Wright. She says she and the sheriff dated not exclusively for about three years. She broke it off not long ago in part she says because weird things were happening.
CHASTAIN: I have found a dime like in different places like the bathroom sink, pull the covers back, the dime's there. The car where you -- when your car door is shut, it's set in there somewhere when you open it, it falls out.
FEYERICK: : We asked her to show us.
(On camera): So that morning you know definitely you had made the bed.
CHASTAIN: Most definitely, yes.
FEYERICK: OK. And what did you find?
CHASTAIN: Well, after I'd got in my shower and got ready for bed, what I normally do I'll either throw the pillows in that chair. But what I do is like that number. And then when I pulled this back, there was a dime, sitting, laying on the --
FEYERICK: Right in the middle of the bed.
CHASTAIN: Right in the middle of the best. On my side, yes.
FEYERICK: On your side.
CHASTAIN: Which is interesting. How do they know which side I sleep on? How do they know I don't sleep on that side? Who knows I sleep on this side? Who knows my habits?
FEYERICK (voice-over): Chastain says she has no idea who left the dimes, but found no evidence tying them to the sheriff. In the criminal world, dropping a dime means snitching on someone. And leaving a dime at a scene can be a warning to keep your mouth shut.
Chastain lives in Russ County, more than an hour from Sabine. She'd been complaining to her local police and sheriff deputies about suspicious behavior and what she calls a known meth house adjacent to her 63-acre property.
CHASTAIN: Complained to the sheriff, anybody that would listen.
FEYERICK: People in Sabine County and surrounding towns say there are a lot of drugs, a lot of meth in these areas.
Alfred Wright's official autopsy found three types of drugs in his system, meth, cocaine and amphetamines. His left ear and his tongue were missing. The 28-year-old physical therapist and married father of three was on his way to treat his last patient of the day when his truck broke down at a liquor store. He was on his cell phone with his wife, waiting for his parents to pick him up, when he disappeared. Bolting into the deep east Texas woods, according to the store clerk, who was one of last known people to see him alive.
Despite finding his clothing on a nearby ranch, the sheriff had called off the search for the college grad after just four days, offering a theory but no evidence.
ROSALIND WRIGHT, ALFRED WRIGHT'S MOTHER: You know what he told us? Oh, he just ran away. He was probably on drugs. And if someone is on meth, this is how they act. They get hot, they get out of their clothes.
I'm looking at my husband and I'm saying, OK. Why is he coming up with this? No one has said anything about any drugs or anything.
FEYERICK: We spoke to someone who knows a lot about the local drug culture but who was too scared to speak to CNN on camera for fear of reprisals from Sabine County law enforcement. The person says everyone is talking about Alfred's death, and yet no one in the area remembers ever seeing Alfred buy or use drugs. His family also says they had never seen him use drugs.
A search of his truck may have provided immediate answers. However, the family says Sabine County sheriff deputies did not search it, claiming it had been contaminated after his wife moved it away from the front of the store as she had been asked to do by one of the deputies.
With so many unanswered questions we went back for a second time to try to talk to the Sabine County sheriff in person.
(On camera): There are so many unanswered questions, we just wanted to circle back around, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have a great day.
FEYERICK: We just wanted to circle back around and give you the courtesy.
FEYERICK: OK. Thank you very much.
(Voice-over): As for the presence of the dime, not far from Alfred Wright's body, and his missing tongue, they may or may not be significant. But they add more questions to the dozens already out there. Did Alfred Wright know something he was not supposed to? Something possibly threatening? Something that ultimately led to his disappearance and death? And was his death a warning to others?
COOPER: This case really doesn't make any sense. The official autopsy showed -- said that he died, what, three hours?
COOPER: After he was actually found?
FEYERICK: Yes. His decomposed body was found three hours later. That's when he died.
COOPER: So that doesn't -- that's clearly a mistake or doesn't make any sense. And you understand now from your reporting that he actually knew the sheriff's daughter?
FEYERICK: Correct. And we had spoken to several people. And that's what they told us. That they knew each other through their similar work in health care. He was a physical therapist, she scheduled physical therapists in the same area where he worked at one specific clinic. We stopped in that clinic. She was not there that day. But she did go on Facebook and she did change her message saying, quote, "I did not know him. I never met him nor his family. Never spoke with him and his family. There was never a relationship."
So she's making it very clear. And also --
COOPER: So she's saying she didn't know him.
FEYERICK: She's saying she did not know him.
FEYERICK: She's saying she did not know him, but then you talk to other people, and they make it very clear, you know, the dynamics of a small town that in fact they were known to each other.
COOPER: The -- I mean, there's so many questions about this unexplained -- there was hotel -- he had rented a hotel room when his wife was out of town.
FEYERICK: He did. And --
COOPER: That raises a lot of questions.
FEYERICK: Well, that also raises a lot of questions. And he actually did it three times in the five weeks before he died. In that sort of time period. We did confirm that he was at one of the hotels, that he checked in alone on a Friday evening. He was still wearing his scrubs that he'd had on from work. And then he left the following morning on a Saturday morning sometime sort of before lunch.
He was talking to an elderly couple. They heard saying well, you know, maybe we'll need your physical therapy services in a couple of years. He seemed very relaxed, very good. And, you know, the co- workers we spoke to said that he was adored by his patients. Just very, very friendly.
The hotel also, Anderson, is sort of shaped in a T. So you walk in the bottom of the T but there are two entrances on both sides. So it's possible and Texas Rangers had this tape and they're looking at it, it's possible that whoever he was with may have come in from those other entrances.
COOPER: Right. I mean, why would -- why would a married man rent a hotel room when his wife is away? I mean, that raises all sorts of questions, obviously, that yet to be answered.
Dr. Kobilinsky, does this -- sorry, Lawrence Kobilinsky, chairman of Department of Sciences -- a regular on the program. It's very unusual. I mean, you have the original official autopsy. Seems to be diametrically opposed to the second exam that was done by a pathologist brought in by the family. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, CHAIRMAN OF DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCES: Well, indeed. The second pathologist has the benefit of knowing what the first one indicated and then can form his or her own opinions. They are completely different. The first autopsy of course indicated that the cause of death was acute intoxication from these illicit drugs. And there were four different kind of drugs. But the second autopsy was not that -- didn't agree.
And because this is such an unusual kind of case, the body, the way it appeared at the scene and the findings would tend to indicate that there was foul play here.
COOPER: Because -- I mean, looking at the pictures of the body, you are highly doubtful that that body was left out there for three weeks.
KOBILINSKY: I'm extremely -- I cannot believe that 19 days a body would look the way it did. It's decomposed. There's skin slippage and bloating. But that body was not there for 19 days. Could very well be that he was maybe a hostage, something of that sort, and then dropped there.
COOPER: It's also -- you should be able to tell through bugs and things like that how long a body has been out.
KOBILINSKY: Yes. Without a doubt. The entomologists, the forensic entomologist, know about what's -- it's called succession. The insect growth and the switchover from different kinds of flies to beetles, you can get a fairly good idea or at least a range of post mortem interval. And it appears to me that it's more like days than it is weeks.
COOPER: Again, a lot of questions unanswered.
Deb Feyerick, we'll continue the reporting. Thanks. Dr. Kobilinsky as well.
Let us know what you think. Follow me on Twitter @andersoncooper, tweet us using #ac360.
Coming up next tonight, breaking news in the New Jersey bridge scandal. The subpoenas are out there and there some big names in Jersey politics on them.
And later the truth behind all the shouting over Benghazi. A new report assigning blame for the fiasco. We'll tell you the details ahead.
COOPER: More breaking news. Twenty 20 new subpoenas in the George Washington Bridge scandal investigation including one very big name as New Jersey lawmakers try to find out who exactly was behind the lane closings that created a four-day traffic jam on the New Jersey town of Fort Lee last September. Who was responsible and what if anything did Governor Chris Christie know about before or after the fact? There's that and late word casting more doubt on Governor Christie's claim that he and a key figure in the scandal, David Wildstein, were not very good friends. A former Port Authority employee with extensive knowledge of the agency's hiring practices telling CNN's Chris Frates and Steve Kastenbaum that agency officials were told in 2010 to find a place for Wildstein because, quote, "He was a good friend of the governor."
With more now on the subpoenas, we're joined by Dana Bash.
So 20 subpoenas, Dana. We're just now finding out who's receiving them. What do you know?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we knew that the first subpoenas, Anderson, would go to the key players in this scandal. And that's exactly what happened.
CNN has confirmed that Bridge Anne Kelly and Bill Stepian, the two aides that Christie fired last week are on that subpoena list. So is Bill Baroni, who was Christie's man at the Port Authority, until he resigned last month because of this, and Kevin O'Doud, another Christie confidante who ironically he had tapped to be the attorney general.
And there are also other political and press operatives who will get subpoenas in this first round coming from investigative committees in New Jersey.
COOPER: And Christie's office, I mean, they're preparing for a fight.
BASH: Oh, absolutely. A source close to Christie told me today that he had a meeting earlier this week with top aides. He was to kind of try to -- a way to buck them up but also give them a bit of reality check that this is a lesson for all of them in terms of how they manage their office, their people. He also told his staff he understands that multiple investigations are going to consume a lot of time and energy.
He tried to say, we need to get back to work, and he did that. He was -- you see there, he was on the Jersey Shore today talking about Sandy. But the governor's office also has hired an outside law firm to help with internal review about this bridge closing fiasco.
But, Anderson, I'm told that Christie has not hired a personal lawyer yet. Interesting that the investigative committee has also said so far they have no plans to subpoena him.
COOPER: And have you learned anything new on the relationship between David Wildstein and Chris Christie? Because Christie in that epic news conference was saying, look, I -- you know, I vaguely recall the guy from high school. We're not friends. We don't really have much of any kind of relationship.
BASH: That's right. Well, our Chris Frates has been doing reporting on this today. And he says that David Wildstein who is important because if you look at the documents that are coming out already it looks like he was the man who orchestrated these lane closings. As you said in the marathon press conference Christie distanced himself.
What Chris is reporting is that according to -- source who's familiar with the hiring practices at the Port Authority, they were told that he was a good friend of the governor and they needed to find a place for the governor -- for David Wildstein, excuse me. And that there was actually a position created for Wildstein at the Port Authority.
Now I should also say, though, that a Christie spokesman says that the governor's eyes and ears were not David Wildstein as has been reported, that it isn't accurate to say that, and that they did have limited interactions. He is standing by that and what you heard from the governor in his marathon press conference last week.
COOPER: OK. Dana, stay with us. I want to bring in senior political analyst David Gergen, also our senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
So this committee, they've acted very quickly in getting these subpoenas out. What does that tell you?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it says that they want to show they mean business. But in particular you send out subpoenas so that the recipients know that if they destroy documents at that point it's obstruction of justice. You want those subpoenas in their hands so their e-mails, their records, they freeze the situation so that nothing gets destroyed. And that's the hope, I suppose, of the prosecutors that this way they can do their best to make sure all the documents are in place.
COOPER: This is a legislative committee, though, it's not a court of law. So what kind of powers do they have?
TOOBIN: The most important difference between the U.S. attorney, Paul Fishman, and the investigating committees is the committees do not have the power to give immunity. So if David Wildstein continues to take the fifth as I expect he will, they can't do anything about it. Bridget Kelly, I would be shocked if she did not take the Fifth. So it's really going to be up to Paul Fishman, the U.S. attorney, to determine if we ever hear from them. Because the investigating committees, once these people take the Fifth there's nothing they can do about it.
COOPER: But if you're taking the Fifth, the only thing you can do to break that is to give somebody immunity, right?
TOOBIN: Correct. But that's not under the control of the committees. Only the U.S. attorney has the power to give immunity and he's remained as U.S. attorneys tend to be silent so far. We don't know what his plans are.
COOPER: And, David, if everybody's taking the Fifth what does that tell you? Does it tell you anything?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Very good news for Chris Christie.
COOPER: Of course good news. GERGEN: Yes. I think this increasingly looks like a story that could be corrosive for Chris Christie over time. And we just don't know how deep the corrosion, that process will go. But when you have this many subpoenas, clearly the Democratic legislators are playing hardball. They want -- they want to make it look like there's a massive number of people around him who actually knew about this in some fashion. And now they're covering up and they're taking the Fifth. And this thing is a mess. And the story just -- they keep the story alive.
The danger that they have as legislators is, 20 subpoenas sounds like a whole lot. And as the public concludes this is just about politics, this is not about truth, it's a way to smear Christie, and it could be a backlash.
COOPER: What do you make -- I mean, the stuff that's come out about Wildstein that, you know, they were seen in the "Wall Street Journal" published a photo that they were together on -- I think was on September 11th, you know, in the midst of this bridge fiasco. And now this report Dana was talking about that people had told the Port Authority find a place. This guy's a friend of the governor's?
GERGEN: Well, that part of the story has always been suspect, don't you think? I mean, after all what we -- the first thing that came out was a note from the deputy press secretary or deputy chief of staff to him saying, time to cause a little mischief. He said right back got it.
COOPER: Right. As if they already knew.
GERGEN: They had conversations of some sort to set up that. So I think the danger again for Christie is that every day something comes out and the story frays a little bit. You know, his honesty is called into question. And he's in the stage in his political career now where he was moving ahead of Hillary. And now suddenly that's flipped back, even though the public overall especially among Republicans he's fine.
But he has these fundraisers down in Florida coming up this weekend now.
GERGEN: Nobody knows if he can raise the money. People are sort of saying maybe we ought to stay on the sidelines.
COOPER: Dana, what about that? I mean, he is heading to Florida to raise money for the governor there. Has there been any effect on this sort of nationally?
BASH: So far when it comes to money, not yet. But it obviously is very early. And people seem to be holding their breath. Now he is also the head of the Republican Governors Association. So he has to because of that role try to raise money for all the governors running for election and re-election this year. That's a big part of why he's going down to Florida. It was already planned before. But the most interesting meeting he is going to have is with donors to do donor outreach. This is being organized by a billionaire who was a co-founder of Home Depot who has long supported Chris Christie and other Republicans.
He has invited people to his home in Florida. We're told that there are about 100 people coming to his home, and then there's another event later in the day, a forum, 200 people had signed up before this. Now about 500 have signed up. So you can look at this two ways. One is the glass half full if you're Chris Christie that people are still with him and are flocking to him, or you can look at it from the other way is that there are more donors who maybe are more skeptical and they want it go and hear from Chris Christie in person to see if they feel like he's telling the truth.
COOPER: All right, Dana, appreciate it. David Gergen and Jeff Toobin as well. Thanks.
As always you can find more on the story on CNN.com.
Just ahead, John King has the true politics of the Senate Benghazi report. Who actually is to blame and how much of it could have actually been prevented? Were lives lost needlessly? Who's to blame for that?
Plus one of the many questions that haunts Kendrick Johnson's family. Who took their son's organs and then stuffed the corpse with newspapers. A state investigation has now wrapped up. We have the findings ahead.
COOPER: Welcome back. In true politics, the Senate Intelligence Committee has released its report on the deadly attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya 16 months ago. It found the attack was likely preventable. Overall its findings are pretty consistent with those of previous investigation.
In Washington Benghazi is a trip wire issue, of course, and today was no exception. The former secretary of state Hillary Clinton once again the lightning rod.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: She couldn't be on TV to talk about what happened in the State Department because she was distraught? I don't buy that. Does anybody believe that about Secretary Clinton? And if it's true, it's something the American people need to consider.
SENATOR KELLY AYOTTE (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: No one has been held accountable. Who's been held accountable for the failures? And if you look at this intel report, it's very clear that the intelligence community, according to this report, provided ample strategic warning that our people in Benghazi were at risk. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now as we said the Senate report doesn't deviate much from earlier reports on Benghazi. John King is here with the true politics.
So John, this issue especially it's hard to break through all the partisan noise and get to the facts. Who does this report hold responsible for the failures in Benghazi?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a damning indictment of the State Department, Anderson. The report says there was warning after warning after warning that something bad was about to happen that, there were Islamist element training, threats against western institutions including against U.S. institutions and that yet security was not beefed up.
It also criticized the ambassador, Christopher Stephens. It said he himself was aware of some of this and at times pushed back when people asked -- at times he asked for more security and at times he pushed back when the military asked for more security. And also it also is somewhat critical of the Pentagon saying if you're going to have embassies and consulates in difficult places you might want to have a fire department if you will a rescue team a little closer.
COOPER: The report also does say point blank that these attacks could have been prevented, right?
KING: And that's the hard part for the families of the four Americans, the ambassador and the others killed in these attacks. It says that it believes that if the State Department had heeded those warnings and had beefed up security, you would have had a much stronger perimeter security at the compound that night that would have discouraged what happened from happening.
COOPER: Is there any information in this report that might point to a cover-up by the Obama administration?
KING: No. And you've heard from the right sometimes and they've raised money off this theory. Pictures of the president and Secretary Clinton saying Obama and Clinton covered up what happened in Benghazi. There's no evidence of a cover-up that. That doesn't say there's not harshly critical information about the management of the State Department run by Secretary Clinton about warnings that were ignored, about why did you have a culture where if you had so many warnings coming in at the low level and midlevel and they weren't being heed, why didn't they get the secretary Clinton? You can make that.
Now, Chairwoman Diane Feinstein of the Intelligence Committee came out today very harshly critical of Republicans who are saying this report proves its Hilary Clinton's fault. She says there's no evidence of that. But if you read the report, Anderson, and read these documents it is a pretty damning indictment of the State Department bureaucratic culture and she was the boss.
COOPER: No doubt about that. John King, thanks. There's a lot more happening tonight. Susan Hendricks has the 360 Bulletin -- Susan.
SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, attorneys for a man executed in Ohio were calling on the governor to impose a moratorium on future executions after what happened to their client today. Now, witnesses say convicted rapist and murderer, Dennis McGuire, appeared to gasp and convulse for roughly ten minutes before he finally died. He was given a lethal injection using a new combination of drugs.
A California lawmaker has introduced a bill to outlaw the so-called "affluenza" defense that is where defense attorneys argue a client is basically a victim of their privileged upbringing. Well, it did work for Texas teen, Ethan Couch, who killed four people while driving drunk. He got ten years probation plus rehab.
And we have all seen some of the cool things that 3D printers can make. Actual objects that you can hold and use. But now Hershey's wants to go one step further. It is teaming up with 3D systems to develop a new 3D printer that makes chocolate and other products that you can actually eat. We'll see if it happens.
COOPER: I don't quite understand how all that works.
HENDRICKS: Neither do I. I'm going to get to the bottom of it.
COOPER: Susan, thanks.
Just ahead, new developments in the Kendrick Johnson case. He is the young man who was found dead rolled up in a wrestling mat in a school. Also it's unclear who removed the dead teen's organs and stuffed his body with newspaper. Now some answers finally.
Also why police think former NFL star Aaron Hernandez may have been the shooter in the double murder that he's been charged with.
COOPER: New developments in the Kendrick Johnson case, a state investigation to who removed the dead teenager's organs from his body and replaced them with newspapers ended with a great big question mark. In a letter to Johnson's mother, the Georgia Board of Funeral Service said, quote, "No determination could be made" about where and when her son's organs have been removed.
The coroner's office and the funeral home have blamed each other. The letter also said that filling a body with newspaper is not illegal though it's not a quote best practice. Johnson's parents only learned his organs were missing when his body was exhumed for an independent autopsy. It's a haunting detail on a mystery that now has federal authorities involved. Here's Victor Blackwell reporting.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What happened to this teenage boy walking through this school gym? He's captured here on surveillance camera then disappears until --
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: There's a dead body out here.
BLACKWELL: The 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson was found upside down in a rolled gym mat last January. Investigators say he was reaching for a shoe, got stuck and died.
LT. STRYDE JONES, LOWNDES COUNTY, GEORGIA SHERIFF'S OFFICE: We have found nothing to indicate this was anything other than just a tragic accident.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You could tell he was beaten.
BLACKWELL: Kendrick's parents believe the story about the shoe is a cover-up and they question why sheriff's investigators either did not collect or test potential evidence from the scene.
(on camera): You got some questions about the Kendrick Johnson case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I won't discuss that with you.
BLACKWELL: Why not, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because our case is closed.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): Kendrick's body was exhumed. His parents paid for an independent autopsy and the pathologist found evidence of apparent no accidental blunt force trauma to the neck. But it's also what the pathologist did not find that shocked the family.
DR. BILL ANDERSON, PATHOLOGIST: Organs, the heart, lungs, liver, et cetera, were not with the body.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): What was in the place of the organs?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Newspaper.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): After months of protests and demands for answers, an announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice.
MICHAEL MOORE, U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: I am of the opinion that a sufficient basis exists for my office to conduct a formal review of the facts and investigation surrounding the death of Kendrick Johnson.
KENNETH JOHNSON, KENDRICK JOHNSON'S FATHER: No matter whom you are, how much money your parents have, the color of your skin, everyone deserves justice, everyone.
COOPER: Victor Blackwell joins me now from Atlanta. So Kendrick Johnson's family exhumed their son's body trying to get some answers about his death only to learn his organs were missing. I don't understand how the state investigation doesn't offer any explanations. I mean, somebody removed this young man's organs. Somebody's lying. BLACKWELL: Well, they said that there was an investigation. You'll remember that we reported on this show back in early October that when Kendrick Johnson's body was exhumed for that second autopsy his organs were not with the body. And that started this investigation three months ago.
And I want to remind people what each side says. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation which did the first autopsy says they put the organs back into Kendrick Johnson's body, closed the body, sent to it Herrington Funeral Home. The funeral home says the organs never came with the body. They take it a step further.
The funeral home says GBI, Georgia Bureau of Investigation discarded the organs because they were destroyed through some natural process that Herrington still has not explained. But late today, we now have a copy of this letter that was sent to the Johnsons. It's from the Funeral Services Board. Only CNN has it.
I want to read just a line in the conclusion here. "The board has exhausted all available investigative avenues at its disposal, and no determination could be made whether the organs were transferred to the funeral establishment with the body.
There was this three-month investigation, which by law is secret and behind closed doors. They just said at the end of the investigation have come out with what the decision is and in this case no action.
COOPER: The body was also stuffed with newspaper. So I mean again somebody's lying. Either somebody who did the original autopsy didn't include the organs in the body, or there's someone at the funeral home did something with the organs and stuffed it with newspaper. Somebody's not telling the truth.
BLACKWELL: Well, the funeral home here has never denied stuffing the body with newspaper, although we spoke with leaders at the industry at Mortuary Sciences and they say it's something they've never heard of or not in line with standard practices. The manager and owner of Harrington Funeral Home, Antonio Herrington, would not speak with us on camera, but he allowed his attorney to speak with us.
In defense of the funeral home stuffing the cavity with newspaper, he cited a 25-year-old guide with embalming suggesting in which the organs are absent you use saw dust or cotton. That's a 25-year-old version. A more recent version got rid of saw dust here's my exchange in the months since this has come to light with that attorney, Roy Copeland. Watch.
COOPER: I'm told we don't have that exchange.
BLACKWELL: Let me tell you what he said. Again, the book says either cotton or saw dust and I highlight that newspaper is not one of them. He says it's absolutely not one of them nor is it precluded as one type of foreign substance that maybe introduced into a body for purposes up of billing up display. Essentially it doesn't say we can't use newspaper. That's what the state says. It's not best practices, but it's not a violation. Again with the newspaper, no action's from the state.
COOPER: So again, at the end of this investigation in addition to his family not knowing how he died or why he died, they just got to accept the fact that somebody took out his organs and did away with them even though they maybe had some relevance to cause of death and they are not going to get any more answers on that.
BLACKWELL: Well, you Know, we spoke with several members, former members of the FBI and asked, well, is it possible that there could be a third autopsy? You've got the competing ones from the state and the independent pathologist would the FBI want their own. It was possible. But now without the lungs that would have actually showed some evidence of positional asphyxia, which was the diagnosis from the state.
Or the tissue from the jaw, which was the diagnosis of blunt force trauma to the neck from the independent pathologist, it's no point of exhuming his body for the third autopsy. They'll have to rely on the reports and the photographs and the slides from those two pathologists.
COOPER: It's just adding insult to injury in all this. It's the Horror for this family. Victor Blackwell. Appreciate the update.
Up next, new revelations notice the investigation to former NFL star Aaron Hernandez. New documents show he may have pulled the trigger in awn solved double homicide.
Remembering a TV legend, the professor, Russell Johnson who turned a three-hour tour into the role of a lifetime.
COOPER: Breaking news in the New Jersey bridge scandal, Dana Bash has been going over the 20 subpoenas issued a short time ago. It's more on the story now -- Dana.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Well, it is as expected the key players in this scandal. Those are the people getting these first subpoenas. We have confirmed that Bridget Ann Kelly and Bill Stepian, the two aides that Christie fired last week are on the list. So is Bill Baroni, Christie's man at the port authority and Kevin O'Dowd who ironically had been tapped to be attorney general.
There's another man on this list who is one of the probably one of the biggest fish, if you will. Maybe not well-known certainly outside New Jersey but maybe not even inside but he's a real inside player. His name is David Sampson. He is the head of the port authority of New York and New Jersey.
He has been in New Jersey politics for decades, Anderson, working for both parties actually. But he's been a really close supporter of Chris Christie from the beginning. When he first ran for governor and continues to be. COOPER: I also understand the source said the committee is also looking at entity that is had to do with his re-election. What's that mean?
BASH: We haven't confirmed exactly who it's going to, but presumably when they say entries having to do with his re-election it's his re- election campaign. Subpoenas are going there as well because in this initial round we were just talking about, those are people in his official governor's office. But of course, he was running for re- election which is a lot of what we think this might have been about. That's why it's also going to his political campaign.
COOPER: All right, Dana, thanks for the update.
For the first time now, there's word that police think former NFL player, Aaron Hernandez may have gone from tight end to trigger man. Hernandez is awaiting trial as you probably know on first degree murder charges in the shooting death of his friend in 2013. Now a newly unsealed warrant shows that police said there was probable cause to believe that Hernandez may have been a shooter in a separate case, a double homicide in Boston in 2012.
Susan Candiotti joins me with the latest on that. So Aaron Hernandez's connection to this unsolved murder case from 2012. What do we know?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, here's what we know, Anderson. We know that two men were shot in a BMW outside a nightclub in Boston in 2012 and we also know that police found an SUV that was described at the time by witnesses that was seen at the crime scene was discovered in the garage of Aaron Hernandez's uncle in Bristol, Connecticut, after Aaron Hernandez was arrested as a suspect in the murder of Odin Lloyd last June.
Now we're finding out what led to that. It turns out a Boston detective, once he saw that Aaron Hernandez was suspected of Odin Lloyd's murder, it made him remember seeing Aaron Hernandez on a nightclub surveillance video on the same night that those two men were murdered in Boston. And that's what helped them make the connection.
COOPER: And how exactly do we find out about this information?
CANDIOTTI: Well, for the longest time we knew that there was a sealed search warrant that was out there. We had been trying to get it unsealed for the longest time. Finally, a judge decided it was time to unseal that document, even though Boston police had originally asked the judge to keep it under wraps because they didn't want the public to find out about the details of their investigation.
COOPER: And what happens next for Hernandez?
CANDIOTTI: Well, we're waiting for the results of a separate grand jury investigation into that unsolved case in Boston in 2012. Waiting to find out whether Aaron Hernandez will be charged in that case.
COOPER: All right, Susan, thanks very much. Appreciate the update. Let's get caught up on other stories. Susan Hendricks is back with the 360 bulletin.
HENDRICKS: Anderson, police in Elkhart, Indiana say the two women shot to death at a grocery store last night may have known their attacker. One victim worked at the store, the other was a shopper. Now, the gunman was shot and killed by police who say he walked around the store for more than 30 minutes before opening fire.
Senator Lloyd Blunt says the pilots of the Southwest Airlines flight that landed at the wrong Missouri airport Sunday were not directed there by air traffic controllers. According to the Missouri lawmakers they should have known they were landing at the wrong location.
And a detective tells CNN Justin Bieber's iPhone's is being searched to see if he has ties to the egg attack on his neighbour's house. The phone was seized by investigators with a search warrant along with security video from the mansion. Detectives estimate the neighbour has about $20,000 in damage from the egg incident that would make it felony vandalism if someone is arrested.
And fans of "Gilligan's island" are mourning tonight after Russell Johnson, best known as the professor in the 1960s sitcom has died. He was 89, Anderson.
COOPER: I can't believe it. That was such an iconic show. I feel like I watched it my entire childhood. All right, Susan, thanks very much.
Coming up a blast's from your 90210 past. Steve Sanders has a new gig. "The Ridiculist" is next.
COOPER: It's time for "The Ridiculist." Tonight we're getting in our TV time machine going back to the early 90s when it was all about "Beverly Hills 90210." For people of a certain age this, show was everything. Brenda Pines for Dillon, Donna Martin graduates, Brandon breaks up with Emily Valentine. It's all scorched into the collective memory. But where are they now? Where specifically is Steve Sanders?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready to have some fun, ready to get down? Put your heads together for the men of Chippendales.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. The man who played Steve Sanders is apparently now doing guest emcee gigs at Chippendale shows.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the most fun you can possibly have for an hour and a half without getting arrested.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, it's all in the attitude. It's right here. Do you see that?
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Andre Zuckerman would not approve. It's kind of sounds like a 90210 plot. Steve finds out he is adopted, runs off to join Chippendale someone takes a pregnancy test and finds a lump somewhere. Everybody celebrates with mega burgers at the peach pit. Some may say I know too much about this, don't I?
Yes. Some might say that his career has taken somewhat of a, I don't know, a downward trajectory. Some of the naysayers might say that since the 90210 days. Perhaps people forget he also recently starred in a little movie called "Shark Ado." about sharks.
Spoiler alert! He chain saws himself out of that shark. Come to think of it, a Chippendale show is much like "Shark ado." they have an elusive appeal that can't be explained.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's the brand. Chippendales has been around for over 30 years. Girls know they can come here to have some quality entertainment and they know that there's a standard. They know if they go to Chippendales the guys are going to look a certain way. Like my buddy matt.
COOPER: It's all for the girls. Yes. It's all for the girls. I don't know. Call me a Sceptic. It's true. I guess one does expect a certain standard from a Chippendale show. And nowhere was that ever more apparent than on Saturday night five.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can't we just hire them both?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. We've been through this. We've only got the budget for one dancer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. But they're both so great. I can't decide between them.
COOPER: You knew that was coming. To be honest this entire segment was basically an excuse to play that clip. I took us awhile to get to it, but we finally did. Check in ever so briefly with a member of the 90210 gang forever in our hearts on "the Ridicules." all right that. Does it for us? We'll see you again one hour from now I hope at 10:00 p.m. Eastern for AC 360 LATER.
Also 15 minutes from now we've got a live webcast before "AC 360." Go to our web site. Starting at 9:15 we do live G&A. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Tonight if you had a spare $350,000 would you spend it on the chance to kill up with of the most endangered species on the planet? That's exactly what Corey Norton is doing and now he's getting death threats. Believe it or not, he says the whole thing is in the name of conservation. He'll be here exclusively.
Plus the classes of 2016 under fire. It's Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie. I'll talk to two republicans who say she should take a lesson from him. John McCain and Rudy Giuliani are here.
And New Year, new you! If there's one thing everyone need its money advice.