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Texas Family Killed; Crossing the Border; Immigrant Trek to U.S.; Google Exec Killed; Rockets Shot Down Near Jerusalem
Aired July 10, 2014 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Have to begin though with this gruesome story, a gruesome murder scene, a police chase, this three-hour standoff. It just absolutely has rocked this suburban Houston neighborhood of Spring, Texas. Ron Lee Haskell is under arrest. He is charged in the deaths of two adults and four children, a family who police say were killed execution style. Police say Haskell, apparently posing as a delivery driver, entered this home of one of his estranged wife's relatives, gathered up the children, waited for the two adults to arrive and shot all seven family members. How about this, though. A 15-year-old girl was able to survive a gunshot wound to her head. She somehow had the wherewithal to call 911, tipped off police to the suspect's next possibly deadly move.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SGT. THOMAS GILLILAND, HARRIS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: She was the only clue that we had to the amount of information that we could gather on this suspect here.
CONSTABLE RON HACKMAN, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS: She was able to provide us with the name of the person who shot them, where he was going next. And while we were quickly responding to that location, we caught him coming up to that residents where other relatives of that family lived and we assume that he meant to shoot them as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: During much of this multi-hour standoff, Haskell held a gun to his head while deputies surrounded him with their weapons drawn. He surrendered three hours later. And CNN's Miguel Marquez joins me following this horrible story here out of Texas.
Miguel, you have new details about how the whole thing unfolded.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just a hideous situation. I mean just another idiot with a gun, unfortunately.
MARQUEZ: And it is just awful how this thing played out. Just north of Houston, Texas, as you said, Spring, yesterday afternoon. This is a guy who went up to the door, went once to the door dressed in a FedEx uniform. He used to work for FedEx some months ago. Then he left when the 15-year-old little girl who answered the door turned him away. He was asking for the parents. He came back a short while later. She recognized him as an ex-uncle. It's not clear if she thought he was a blood uncle or if he was just somebody that they called an uncle. In any event, he busted down the door, tied up the kids, held them at gunpoint, waiting for the parents to come home. As soon as they did, that's when the shooting started. Steven and Katie Stay (ph) were both killed, as well as, get this, two girls, one nine, one seven, two boys, one 13, one four years old.
BALDWIN: Oh, awful.
MARQUEZ: And according to police, the way that this went down, they were tied up, that it would have been basically execution style. The 15-year-old girl who answered the door miraculously, even though very badly injured, was able to tip off police as to where he might be headed next.
BALDWIN: How is she?
MARQUEZ: They went there. She is - she's in very poor shape, but she's at least stable. So they're hoping that she does survive. The fact that she was able to communicate with police at the scene is certainly a good sign. But these things are very tough to get ahold of, and to take care of once somebody is so badly injured.
They were able to head him off before he got to that next place. So there could have been even more killing -
MARQUEZ: Before this guy was finally talked to for about three hours before he finally surrendered. Tomorrow will be his initial appearance on capital murder charge.
BALDWIN: Our hearts with this 15-year-old girl.
BALDWIN: Incredible what she was able to pull off and what, you know, probably saved lives, as you point out.
Miguel Marquez, thank you.
MARQUEZ: You got it.
BALDWIN: To the immigration crisis. It is now morphing into a sort of standoff at the border. I'll get to that in just a moment.
But you have these tens of thousands of undocumented children overwhelming the Texas line. This is the topic of the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill this hour. It starts in just about a half hour. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will be testifying, specifically about this dollar figure we've been reporting this week, this $3.7 billion, that President Obama wants to help spend to alleviate this issue at the border. This is what he's asking Congress for. Now, a problem the president still has not firsthand seen, despite
calls by many in his party to do so, go to the border. He is set to leave Texas this afternoon with no plans to head south. And back to the standoff I alluded to, President Obama is calling for Congress to, quote, do something. That is approve that near $4 billion he's asking for in aid. Republicans are not rejecting it. But I want you to listen to the speaker of the House Republicans here, Speaker Boehner, lashing out today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: We're not giving the president a blank check.
This is a problem of the president's own making. He's been president for five and a half years. When's he going to take responsibility for something?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Speaker Boehner today. And as the politics on the border crisis gets increasingly partisan, the crisis itself worsens. We have our correspondents on the border to show you what exactly is happening today. And not just the U.S./Mexico border, but farther south. Gary Tuchman will show us one border crossing where you actually don't need papers, just money. Not much more, actually, than a buck.
But first to CNN's Alina Machado. She is on that U.S./Mexico line. She is in Mission, Texas, for us right now.
And so you're along the river, Alina. Tell us what you're seeing, what you're experiencing there.
ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brooke, we are actually on the Rio Grande. It is the natural border between Mexico and the U.S. You can see on the other side, that is Mexico. The side that we're standing on is the U.S.
And in this area, in this general vicinity, we've seen a very strong law enforcement presence, particularly from the border patrol. Earlier today we saw a group of state law enforcement boats coming through the river and we believe Texas Governor Rick Perry was on one of those boats, getting a firsthand look of the border, of the situation here, which is exactly what he said he wanted the president to do. He met with the president some 500 miles north of here. And as you mentioned, we do not believe the president is going to be heading south.
Now, we've been in this area now for a couple of days. We've been getting a sense of the situation here. We went into McAllen, Texas, a part of town where many of the immigrants who are caught crossing the border make it through eventually and then head on to other destinations where they may have relatives throughout the country. We're talking about cities like Miami, Houston, D.C., New York, other counties far - other cities far, far away from where we are. And we specifically went to a catholic charities shelter that has been helping many of these immigrants as they are making their way through here. They stop there. They get a change of clothes. They take a shower. They eat something before they board a bus and continue on their journey.
BALDWIN: OK, Alina Machado along the Rio Grande. And, listen, as Alina pointed out, it's not just Mexicans who are crossing over. Let's talk about Central America because the U.S. government says 29 percent of the undocumented children we've been focusing on, they are from these thee specific countries, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. How does the journey begin for them? Well, CNN's Gary Tuchman went to Guatemala to check out one route. And it starts with a boat and little more than $1.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, what we're seeing here on the border between Guatemala and Mexico is fascinating and eye-opening, but it's also what's been happening here for many generations. This is Guatemala where I'm standing on the muddy shores of the Suchiate River. These are rafts going over to Mexico, which is on the other side of the water. It's very easy to get there. Everything is very open. The cross from Mexico to the United States, you often have to pay a coyote thousands of dollars. But to do it here, you pay 10 Guatemalan quetzal, and that's the equivalent of about $1.30.
TUCHMAN: This is the Suchiate River which separates Mexico from Guatemala. Right now we're in Guatemala, the westernmost part of the country. Across the river, the southernmost part of Mexico. And you can see throughout this river there are rafts of people who are trying to get across the border and they're doing it very easily.
This is very unlike the border going to the United States where you have be secret about it. I want to give you a look here to give you an idea of how open this is. There are police here. There are police all over here. And no one minds that people are going across the river from here in Guatemala into Mexico.
You can see this family of three, a mother, a father, and their little boy. They told me a short time ago they're getting ready to go on this raft. The rafts are made of these huge inner tubes, and they're getting ready to go across from here in Guatemala into Mexico. They're hoping also to get into the United States.
This river is active from sunrise to sunset. And in addition to all the police being here not caring that people are crossing from here in Guatemala into Mexico, what's really amazing is about a mile in this direction is the official border station. The official border station is right down there. So even though the border patrol people for Guatemala and Mexico work over there, they don't seem to care either. This is just a very active business. And the going rate right now for crossing is the equivalent of $1.30.
And this is the family we just met, the little child and his parents. A man in the red shirt with the stick, he's the pilot of this raft. And he's the guy who just got the $1.30. Typically what happens, they will go to the other side. They will go into Mexico. There are taxis and vans and also bicycle taxis on the other side which will take them, in a lot of cases, to a nearby city in Mexico called Tapachula. In Tapachula they stay in shelters and then try to figure out where to go from there. But it is a long way from Tapachula, Mexico, the southern part of Mexico, right near here to the United States. It could take them weeks to get there, if they get there successfully. And that's an open question.
The police are not only friendly here, they're actually encouraging us to go for a ride on one of the rafts. They're saying, yes, go into Mexico. So we are. And this is our skipper. Your name, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paluco (ph).
TUCHMAN: This is Paluco. Paluco, we paid him $1.30 already to go on the raft with him. Paluco, is this a fun job?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it's fun.
TUCHMAN: Fun. Easy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Easy job.
TUCHMAN: You like taking people into Mexico?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure.
TUCHMAN: OK. People leave Guatemala, come with Paluco. He takes them to Mexico. And then if they succeed, they end up in the United States. But if you do this in the Rio Grande of Texas, you're going to be in a lot of trouble. You can't do it in front of cops. But here with Paluco, you can do it in front of everybody.
Paluco has now taken us into Mexico. But unlike most of the people on this river, we're going to head back into Guatemala and spend the next couple of hours watching people continue to cross this river heading north.
TUCHMAN: The town we're standing in right now is called Tacun Uman, Guatemala. People here are very friendly, very open. They encourage us to show their faces, show their businesses, that in many cases their fathers and grandfathers also did. We can tell you that we've spent about 10 hours here between yesterday and today and there's never been a moment where we haven't seen many rafts crossing from Guatemala into Mexico.
BALDWIN: Gary Tuchman in Guatemala for us. Gary, thank you very much for taking us there, showing us how these people are crossing.
I should point out, the government officials Wednesday say Mexico deported 90,000 people last year who were on their way to try to enter the United States illegally.
Just ahead, a Google executive is dead and police say this call girl finished her glass of wine after killing this man on this yacht and now police are looking into the death of one of her former boyfriends.
Plus, the battle continues as tensions are rising between Hamas and Israel. Children and families staying inside their homes. But during all of this, Hamas is doing something different in terms of fire power. We'll explain.
And she's back. Rosie O'Donnell returning to "The View" after a disastrous exit. So who else will join her at the table? Stay with me. You're watching CNN.
BALDWIN: Welcome back to CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
A new twist today in this chilling murder investigation involving this high-end prostitute accused of killing a Google executive in California on a yacht by injecting him with heroin. CNN has just learned that police in Georgia now are reopening a case that might also involve this woman. Police say a former boyfriend of hers, an Atlanta concert venue owner, died last year of what was ruled an accidental heroin and alcohol overdose. They thought nothing of it until they caught wind of what happened to this Google executive. Police say he was dying on the floor as she just sipped her glass of wine and then walked away. Dan Simon has more.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She was a high-priced prostitute, according to police. Her FaceBook page filled with provocative images. Here she is on YouTube giving a makeup lesson.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. So first we start with a primer.
SIMON: He was a 51-year-old Silicon Valley executive who had worked for both Apple and Google. They had an ongoing relationship, investigators say, and in November of last year, they were together aboard his yacht in Santa Cruz, California. That's where Forrest Hayes was found dead. Police say the woman, 26-year-old Alix Tichelman gave him a fatal dose of heroin. A security camera aboard the yacht playing a key role in the investigation.
STEVE CLARK, SANTA CRUZ POLICE: It showed our suspect, showed our victim, showed her injecting him with heroin, showed her absolute callousness after the fact as he starts to have medical complications.
SIMON: Soon after Hayes fell unconscious, the video shows Tichelman stepping over his body to finish a glass of wine. And later she lowers a blind to conceal his body from outside view. According to investigators, they met through the website seekingarrangements.com, "relationships on your terms," it says on its home page, "where beautiful, successful people fuel mutually beneficial relationships." Tichelman boasting to investigators that she had more than 200 clients. Initially, police booked her on charges of second degree murder, but prosecutors today charged her with felony manslaughter. Police say she tried to hide her involvement.
CLARK: We have her computer records. We know the Google searches that she made and the things that she did to try to get herself out of this.
SIMON: Hayes was a Silicon Valley veteran, married and a father of five. His career included working on the glass project at Google. One employee writing this on his memorial page, "you showed us how to be better engineers and a better team."
SIMON (on camera): An undercover police officer arrested Tichelman by posing as a client. They met at an upscale location and agreed on a $1,000 price for sex. Authorities are investigating whether she may be involved in a similar case in another state.
Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.
BALDWIN: We'll get to that Georgia case in just a minute. But first, HLN legal analyst Joey Jackson joins me now to walk through what happened with this Google executive.
JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes.
BALDWIN: So we'll get to all the nitty-gritty details from the surveillance video and everything in just a minute. But first, felony manslaughter, why that charge?
JACKSON: All right. You know, I think potentially, Brooke, it could be upgraded. Let me just talk about what that is, all right?
JACKSON: When you talk about manslaughter and murder and how they're different, the difference is, is there a malice element, is there an intent to premedication element to that crime. Manslaughter does not have premeditation, deliberation, malice, murder does. Now, if you're going to make the argument that she intentionally took a needle -
JACKSON: And put heroin in his veins and as a result of that caused the death and, of course, we'll talk about her behavior in the aftermath, closing the blinds, stepping over his body, nonchalantly covering her tracks, I certainly think that it could be elevated to not felony manslaughter but certainly murder. And then, Brooke, if you take the new case, right, or the old case --
BALDWIN: Well, hang on, hang on, let me - I'm going to slow you down just a second.
JACKSON: I know. I know. Yes.
BALDWIN: So if you're talking about premeditation -
BALDWIN: What you're referring to is the closing of the blinds, the sipping of the wine. This is all postmortem.
JACKSON: Exactly. But what that goes to show is a consciousness of guilt, OK? So what you do, in any prosecution, Brooke, is you look at all of the circumstances in the case, how you acted before, how you acted after, and that's what goes to the charge. And so if you did indeed -- in this case the accusation is she injected heroin, what's the purpose of that.
BALDWIN: What if he asked for it?
JACKSON: If he asked for the heroin, I mean that would be a difficult thing to - I mean that's a good defense, I think, to establish. It's a difficult thing to make the argument of.
BALDWIN: Just throwing a wild card at you.
JACKSON: Yes, no, it's a very good question. But then it becomes more of a reckless type of crime because, hey, if I asked for heroin, you're going to do me a favor and give it to me, and then the question is, did you give me too much? So at minimum it's reckless and then manslaughter certainly would apply.
BALDWIN: So the case in Georgia, I think police, you know, hearing about what happened with this Google executive -
JACKSON: Oh, yes.
BALDWIN: Are saying, hang on a second, we remember this woman because I think the -- it was the boyfriend was in the shower. She was saying he -- there was a thud. It was accidental heroin and alcohol overdose. Accidental.
JACKSON: That was her story.
BALDWIN: That was her story.
JACKSON: Yes, it was. And she, in fact, called 911, Brooke, on that occasion. But I think that's a big game-changer here too. You know why? Because it goes to a common plan of scheme and it could certainly evidence some kind of intent. And we don't know what happened. They ruled it, the Georgia authorities at that time. I'll be interviewing that sheriff, by the way, later on on HLN -
JACKSON: And I'll have questions for him. But the point is, is that I think as a result, Brooke, of this particular case, you can use, in any trial, both cases against the other, right?
BALDWIN: OK. JACKSON: So what they're going to say is that she has a modus operandi of doing this, right, because she allegedly did it here. So in the reopening of that investigation, they're going to ask some probing questions, they're going to get some more evidence. I assume that they'll do a lot of, you know, toxicology and other things. And they'll just see whether she had any criminal culpability. And guess what, that absolutely is coming in as evidence in the California case and that's why I say look for a potential upgrade in those charges.
BALDWIN: OK. We'll be looking for the results of that sheriff interview, Mr. Jackson, on HLN. Thank you very much.
JACKSON: Time will tell. A pleasure and a privilege.
BALDWIN: (INAUDIBLE) story.
Just ahead, we now know what happened in the mystery of that little boy who went missing for 11 days before being found in his basement. The new details involving a lot of sit-ups and push-ups and a lot of other things. That's coming up.
Plus, the battle rages between Hamas and Israel. But during this conflict, Hamas doing something different in terms of fire power. We'll discuss. You're watching CNN.
BALDWIN: We are hearing word of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza. Explosions hit the town of Beersheba, this is less than 20 miles east of the Gaza Strip, about two hours ago. And now we have this. We have this video. It appears to show some minor damage here in Beersheba. And if you look closely enough with me, you can see what appears to be pock mocks there on the sides of that - that building, that home left by shrapnel. Israel says no one was injured.
Meantime, officials in Gaza say Israeli air attacks since midnight have killed more than a dozen Palestinians. Striking at will from the air, Israel says it hit more than 100 targets in seven hours. Targets include purported missile makers and missile related facilities.
But we have to talk here about these missiles. Why? Because Jerusalem, the holy city of Jerusalem, now is in the range of these rocket strikes from Hamas. Take a look. These are the defensive missiles fired today by the Israelis and the Israelis say those missiles downed a rocket near Jerusalem.
Here's the deal. Not too many years ago, Hamas' best rockets could fly 12 miles or so. But since then, they have been upgraded steadily and now possess Syrian-made 302s, whose 100-mile range means that they reach most of Israel and Jerusalem. Colonel Rick Francona is with me from New York.
Colonel, welcome back. This Israeli official is quoted today as saying this is, quote/end quote, "a game-changer," that Hamas can potentially strike Jerusalem from Gaza. Do you agree with that? COL. RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Oh, absolutely. This is an
unprecedented capability that Hamas has. I mean in the past go rounds, and we do this every so many years, you know, they've been able to hit as far north as Tel Aviv, even to Haifa. But now they can range virtually anywhere in the country. And this is a pretty powerful rocket. It's got, you know, a 400-pound warhead on it. It can do a lot of damage.
BALDWIN: Unprecedented, noted. The Israelis, meantime, say that they will continue bombing Hamas until Hamas quits trying to bomb them. Yet, though, colonel, in the near term, the Israeli air strikes seem to be having the opposite effects, right, more attacks from Hamas, including the attempted strikes on Jerusalem. So what then would Israel's logic be?
FRANCONA: Well, you know, this is just spiraling almost out of control. The Israelis up the number of air strikes they do, the Palestinians up the number of rockets they're going to launch.
FRANCONA: At some point, somebody has to blink, but they're waiting for each other. Meanwhile --
BALDWIN: They'll be waiting a while.
FRANCONA: I mean hundreds of rockets, hundreds of air strikes every day. This is -- more damage than we've seen in the past conflicts.
BALDWIN: While we wait for someone to blink, another logic question for you, colonel. Israeli strikes since Monday are said to have killed at least 80 Palestinians. No Israelis have died in the strikes by Hamas. So if Hamas' rockets are strictly these weapons of terror, meant to terrorize, not necessarily to kill, what does Hamas gain by the terrorizing, by striking fear into Israeli civilians?
FRANCONA: Well, that's exactly what it is. I mean, they'd like to kill a lot of Israeli civilians if they could, but their rockets are not proving to be that effective. None of these are guided. These are rockets, no on board guidance. They fire them in the general direction of a city. They just fire them down an azmoth (ph) hoping to hit something. The Israelis, on the other hand, are using their iron dome system, which has been pretty effective so far. So that has really been the game-changer as well. So they've got better rockets and now we've got better defenses, technology versus technology.
BALDWIN: Colonel Rick Francona, thank you.
BALDWIN: Just ahead, we now know what happened in the mystery of that boy who was missing for 11 days before being found in his basement. The shocking new details involving a lot of exercise for him.
Plus, King James. As LeBron James decides whether or not to go home to Cleveland, we'll talk to a local city council member who ripped King James when he left Cleveland four years ago. Will the city take him back? We'll discuss. You're watching CNN.