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PRIMETIME JUSTICE WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD
Texas Tech Student Guns Down Campus Cop/Three Women Dead, One More Missing in North Carolina; Serial Killer on Loose?; Murder Trial Underway; Vacation Nightmare. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired October 10, 2017 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, HOST (voice-over): A police officer gunned down at Texas Tech.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Floyd East, Jr. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
BANFIELD: Not in the field but in the station.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They brought the student down to the Texas Tech police station.
BANFIELD: Cops say that suspect was a student with piles of drugs in his home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The student pulled a gun and fatally shot Officer East.
BANFIELD: Tonight, questions about security at that precinct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The suspect did flee.
BANFIELD: How did he get a gun?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The suspect was apprehended without further incident.
BANFIELD: And how did he get away?
Two women found dead, one inside an abandoned home, the other outside in the garbage. Days later, a third woman, a friend of the victim.
MEGAN OXENDINE, VICTIM: I don`t understand how somebody could do somebody`s child, mother, niece like that.
BANFIELD: She winds up dead herself. Now a fourth woman has vanished. Is it the work of a serial killer?
It is one of the worst ways to die.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She left to go clean out her car and was going to get her something to eat.
BANFIELD: Doused with gas, set on fire and left to burn alive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was burned over 93 percent of her body.
BANFIELD: Her killing stumped this small Mississippi town.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Horrific burns, horrific pain.
BANFIELD: Now the man police say did it faces his jury.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will change your mind when you hear everything.
BANFIELD: What do they have to convict him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quentin Telse`s (ph) DNA is on those keys.
BANFIELD: What will he say in defense?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you`re living in a small community like Oxford (ph) back in those days, what you did, you rode around. There`s not a lot
Millions do it every year, Airbnb, renting someone`s home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don`t have trust, you have nothing.
BANFIELD: Bet you never imagined being recorded.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We seized a lot of computer storage data devices.
BANFIELD: One couple`s nightmare stay when they found cameras rolling in the smoke detector.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there are a couple different people on them.
BANFIELD: Now police are worried there may be plenty more victims.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said it was for recording sexual activity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Good evening, everyone. This is PRIMETIME JUSTICE. I`m Ashleigh Banfield.
We`re going to begin with breaking news out of Las Vegas tonight. A lawsuit has now been filed against Mandalay MGM that includes worries about
that six-minute gap that`s now been released, a gap between the time the shooter, Stephen Paddock, shot a security guard, and then the beginning of
the volley of the gunfire that landed everyone in this situation with the worst mass shooting in modern day history, 58 concertgoers murdered in cold
This indicates that there are those who believe the six-minute delay may have resulted in some if not all of the deaths at the festival. Could they
have been prevented? Did six minutes make a difference? Might something else have happened if there had not been that gap? All of this coming
after revelations that a gas mask and bullet-proof vests were also found in the killer`s room, bolstering claims that he may have been trying to plan
some kind of an escape.
There were also special rounds discovered there, coated in incendiary materials, most likely destined for those fuel tanks. Did he want to
create a massive explosion at the airport?
I want to bring in CNN correspondent Kyung Lah, who broke this story. She`s standing by live in Vegas. Kyung, these are really remarkable
revelations. How much is being made about this six-minute gap? Could it have made the difference between the dozens and dozens of people who died
after that security guard was shot?
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, to be very frank, we just don`t know. What we have heard from the sheriff, that timeline has
shifted, that they (INAUDIBLE) security guard was shot first. The sheriff says that he immediately starting radioing for help. But then there`s
(INAUDIBLE) that six minutes and then the shooting starts to the ground below. So it`s a little unclear. (INAUDIBLE) fog (ph) of all of this
happening with the security guard and the hotel trying to respond.
When was 911 called? We just don`t have answers for this and they at this point (INAUDIBLE) able to assign blame or know what happened in that period
of (INAUDIBLE) Ashleigh, from having covered so many of these, unfortunately, a lot of the timeline shifts. A lot of what the law
enforcement (INAUDIBLE) very beginning does change because they talk to more people. As they get more on the timing (INAUDIBLE) does change.
That`s what`s happened in this case.
[20:05:04]BANFIELD: And then Kyung, I know you`ve really, like, literally have hit the ground running trying to chase this story, which is why we`ve
got you on a cell signal that`s in and out. So bear with us. If we can keep up with you as you move on the story, we`re also learning that those
incendiary rounds were actually fired. It wasn`t just that they were found in the hotel room, they were fired. They were the rounds that were fired
into those tanks, one of them actually penetrating both of the -- of the surface areas of -- of the tank. This is jet fuel. And lot of people
would think at first any bullet would set it into an explosion, but an incendiary bullet that did actually make contact with those tanks, and yet
they didn`t explode. Are we hearing more about that?
LAH: Well, let`s be very clear. What we had heard from two law enforcement sources who are a part of the investigation, have been briefed
in this investigation -- we don`t know if those rounds pierced the tank. What we can tell you is that these law enforcement sources say that some of
those rounds were recovered near the tank. That is about as extensive as it gets. We do not know if they pierced the tank. What the airport had
said earlier is that rifle rounds had, indeed, pierced the tanks. We don`t know if those rifle rounds are these incendiary rounds.
And we need to keep this into perspective. Let`s add some context here. Jet fuel is designed to withstand a brief open (ph) ignition source. Even
if the incendiary round had (INAUDIBLE) it`s entirely possible, given the distance from the hotel room to those tanks that nothing would have
happened, that it would have slowed down enough that nothing would have happened.
So all of this is something you have to keep in mind. The reason why it`s important here is it really speaks to the planning, that he was trying to
hurt as many people as possible. And that`s why this is important.
BANFIELD: So the other question, Kyung, is obviously if he had gas masks, and apparently not just one but more than one, you know, Kevlar or flak-
style vest, why is it that he was he found dead without any protective gear on after having had that warning, shot at that security guard, volleyed 200
rounds at that security guard and then opened fire for an additional nine minutes after that? Having set up all the camera equipment to see the
police coming, yet didn`t have any of that gear on.
LAH: We just don`t know. It doesn`t sound like, from what sheriff had said, is that he was surprised by the security guard coming towards the
room. The security guards were responding to some sort of alarm on the 32nd floor. The security guard heard some drilling coming from the room.
The gunman was in the middle of some sort of drilling.
And we need to clarify the equipment that was found in the room that you`re talking about. It was described to me as survival equipment. It was some
sort of breathing apparatus. The number of them was not made clear to me, whether it was one or two gas masks, or if they were gas masks at all, just
that it was some sort of breathing apparatus. And we don`t know exactly what type of vest. (INAUDIBLE) best description I got is that it was some
sort of protective vest.
BANFIELD: Well, incredible reporting out there, Kyung, and I want to let you get back to it because I know you are still getting a lot of those
details as they filter in tonight. But it is a fascinating development that you have been chasing with this lawsuit. What will this mean? Will
people sue, saying that there were six minutes in which those 58 people may not have had to have -- or may not have had to die. Maybe some of them
could have been saved in those six minutes. That remains to be seen. You know, police SWAT units don`t show up instantaneously. So I think this
will be litigated not only on television but with analysts, but also likely in a court of law, as well. Our Kyung Lah reporting live for us tonight.
Thank you, Kyung.
Want to take you now to Texas for our other top story that`s been developing. This is the kind of thing that happens all the time. You
know, college kids get busted in their dorms for drugs. Usually, the kids are processed, they`re booted out of the cop shop, and then they fall on
the mercy of their schools.
But at Texas Tech, it was an entirely different story. Police say 19-year- old Hollis Daniels, a freshman at the school, was taken down to the police station last night after they found drugs in his dorm room. But instead of
a routine booking, they say Daniels opened fire right there in the campus station, killing Officer Floyd East with a single shot to the head.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS COOK, TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY: (INAUDIBLE) the student`s room, they noticed some drug paraphernalia and other items. So they brought the
student down to Texas Tech police station and had a debriefing, which is normal procedure. Sometime during that debriefing, the student pulled a
gun and fatally wounded one of the officers. He fled on foot. And later this evening, the suspect was apprehended without further incident.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: When the other officers burst into that room, they found a .45- caliber shell casing near the dead officer. Police say his bodycam was missing, but that his pistol was still in his holster.
[20:10:00]In another stunning twist, police say after the shooting, Daniels somehow escaped the police station on foot. Within two hours, this was the
scene. He was caught. He was brought back in. He had been found on campus with a loaded pistol, and that missing bodycam was not far away.
Want to bring in Elizabeth Lane, a reporter for CNN affiliate KLBK in Lubbock, Texas. It`s just sort of an astounding series of events. What
more do we know about this -- about this young man, Hollis Alvin (ph) Daniels?
ELIZABETH LANE, CNN AFFILIATE KLBK CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ashleigh. You know what? You are completely right. It`s the type of thing that you read
about, you hear about on the news, and you hope and pray that it would never happen, but again, it was very real, this shooting on campus at Texas
Tech last night for people here.
And you know what? We have had a lot of our team looking into 19-year-old Hollis Daniels. We`re told that he was a freshman at Texas Tech, so had
just started a couple of months ago. He`s from Sagine (ph), Texas, which is in between Austin and San Antonio, kind of a small town. His dad is
actually a former city council member there. We reached out to people for comment, to friends, family members. And they said that this is really
unlike him, that he was a good friend. Ashleigh, one even said that he`s the type of kid that everybody hoped that their son would be, Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: So let me ask you this, Elizabeth. There were reports that had come in about a young man acting in an erratic way with a weapon. And then
there were also reports that came in to the police from that young man`s own family, saying that they were worried about him being suicidal and that
he was armed.
It is awfully coincidental all of that is happening at the same time. Do we have a timeline on yet all of that? When did the family call to say,
Our family member is in trouble? And when did that coincide with the complainant calling to say someone in the dorm was acting crazy?
LANE: You know what? We had a press conference with Texas Tech earlier today. We`re still sort of trying to make sense of the timeline there, as
you mentioned. They did tell us that, you know what? They were receiving reports, the campus police department was, that this was a student who was
troubled. Then they did mention today in that press conference that the family had actually reached out to the Texas Tech counseling center asking
for help, saying that he had made some comments about -- that maybe led them to believe that he might be suicidal. But we have not been able to
get a firm idea from them on exactly when that happened. But again, seems like it was a situation where it escalated very quickly and it all kind of
came to a fruition last night.
BANFIELD: It`s just so astounding that the family had even said, you know, that he could be armed. I actually want to play for you, if I can real
quickly, the Texas Tech police chief, Kyle Bonath -- I`m not sure if I`m pronouncing it properly, but the police chief talked about this, about the
family calling them to let them know what their concerns were. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF KYLE BONATH, TEXAS TECH POLICE DEPARTMENT: The TTU counseling center advised Texas Tech police department the student`s family had called to
express concerns that the student might be in possession of a weapon and making comments about suicide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Are we hearing anything more, Elizabeth, from the alleged gunman`s family at this point?
LANE: You know what? We have not heard anything further from them. A lot of -- none of the city council members would speak to us today.
Everybody`s kind of staying tight-lipped, as well as Texas Tech, you know, passing on their condolences to Officer East`s family, of course. There
are actually vigils going on as we speak with students, faculty members gathering. And it`s sad, but you know what? You`ve really seen the
community come together, and it`s unfortunate that it takes a situation like this. But quick response by law enforcement, and we`re still waiting
to hear more from the family.
BANFIELD: A pretty quick response from the press, too. We`re just looking at all this video of him sort of being perp walked, brought in in the cover
of darkness, and yet the cameras are catching his every move.
You know, as we look at this, you know, could you -- you`re in Lubbock, and I think lot of people watching would wonder whether, you know, university
police have the same protections as full-fledged police. But clear this up. This university, Texas Tech, has a full-fledged police department.
These are full-fledged officers. They are armed. They are not just sort of safety officers, are they.
LANE: No. You know what? From our understanding, they carry, and that arrest warrant that we got earlier today, you know, Officer East actually
still had his pistol on him at the time. So they are all armed. And you also, what you saw is, you know, a huge response from local law
enforcement, as well. Lubbock police have actually since taken over the investigation, is what they`ve told us today. Their SWAT team was there
assisting, as well, in addition to the Lubbock County sheriff`s office and EMS crews. So you saw all hands on deck last night. It was, honestly, the
biggest response from law enforcement that I`ve seen in this town with my own eyes.
[20:15:06]BANFIELD: So hold that thought for a moment, Elizabeth. I want to bring in criminal justice expert and retired NYPD lieutenant Darrin
Porcher. Darrin, I mean,when I first heard the story, it was layer upon layer of shock. And then the reality set in that this kid, if what they
say is true, pointed a gun at the head of an officer inside a police station and still got away. Can you help me walk through how that could
DARRIN PORCHER, RETIRED NYPD LIEUTENANT: Well, with police departments with searches, there are two components. Usually In the street, you have
what`s referred to as a field search. That field search consists of searching the subject for weapons and contraband, such as drugs or handcuff
keys. Then you have...
BANFIELD: So where are they searching? Are they patting you down (INAUDIBLE) down the legs...
PORCHER: No, it`s a complete search. They`re going into people`s pockets.
BANFIELD: How do you miss a gun?
PORCHER: However, just bear in mind you have a second component to that, which is an administrative search, what occurs in the police precinct. In
the police precinct, you have a more comprehensive search, and that details removing items from that individual such as money, belts, shoelaces, things
to that effect.
BANFIELD: Turn your pockets inside-out. I mean, you`ve seen this a million times, right? Look at him. He`s even in handcuffs. I think this
is after the fact. But I would think that if someone complains, there`s a guy who`s erratic with a weapon, Possibly even his family is calling the
university to say this, as well. I don`t know if the police knew about the family at this point. They`d be unbelievably careful with the suspect.
PORCHER: Right. So just understand you have those two mechanisms in place to detect weapons. Now, when this individual, when he was shot, this was
in the fingerprint room. It is common practice for a person not to be cuffed in the fingerprint room because in order for you to fingerprint
someone, their hands need to be free.
BANFIELD: Sure. I get it.
PORCHER: So generally speaking, police departments always have two officers assigned to fingerprinting an individual. Here that doesn`t
appear to be the case. It was only one person.
BANFIELD: It`s called a briefing room. Yes, apparently, he was in the briefing room.
i want to throw up a couple things here, if I can, just as far as what this young man has coming at him because he`s made a bunch of statements. And
if we can put them up on the screen -- first and foremost -- and I think this is serious when it comes to the evidence against Hollis Alvin (ph)
Daniels. In the warrant for the arrest, Officer East`s police body camera was missing and officer East`s pistol was in his holster. But obviously,
as we reported, that camera was found near the freshman. So that is not a good fact.
And then there are these statements that he made. "Hollis Daniels stated to officers" -- this is from the warrant -- "He stated to officers that he
was the one who shot their friend." He went on to say that -- Hollis Daniels stated he did something, quote, "illogical," his words according to
the arrest warrant. And then he also admitted -- and I mean, why he would say it, who knows. Only he knows. "I effed up." Of course, I`ve put the
edits in. Hollis Daniels immediately stating in the arrest warrant that he effed up.
Caroline Polisi, you`re a defense attorney. If you`re called on this case, what are you going to do with this?
CAROLINE POLISI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, they`re not the greatest facts, as you just noted, Ashleigh. But the only thing I could think of
potentially would be a not guilty by reason of insanity defense here. I would like to look into this young man`s...
BANFIELD: He ran away from the police station.
POLISI: I know. I know.
BANFIELD: That`s someone who knows something`s wrong. If you run away because you`re going to get caught, the only reason you could get caught is
that something`s wrong, which means no insanity defense.
POLISI: You`re right...
PORCHER: It was calculated and premeditated.
POLISI: You`re right. I mean, I`m just throwing things out there. But I think that this is going to be a case we`re not going to see go to trial.
He`s going to take a deal...
BANFIELD: ... when you kill an officer of the law.
POLISI: Absolutely. It`s an aggravated assault.
BANFIELD: So are you seeing this as this kid has no shot, except for begging for mercy, giving a guilty plea and saying, Please spare my life?
Because it`s a death penalty case.
POLISI: Exactly. I can see him bargaining down the death penalty, taking a life in prison sentence, not -- in exchange for not having the state
prosecute him for the capital crime.
BANFIELD: It`s a bizarre, just a bizarre series of crimes. And I think the fact that it began with a drug issue may explain some of this, although
certainly not to that poor family`s -- you know, the officer`s family, Floyd East, Jr.`s family, in mourning tonight.
I want to also go on to this murder mystery in a small North Carolina town because this one gets stranger and stranger by the minute. First, two
women were found dead at an abandoned home. Then their friend also dead just days after this interview she gave about the murders on local TV. And
now a fourth woman has vanished. And this is not a big town. So obviously, the question is, is this the work of a serial killer?
[20:24:15]BANFIELD: When a woman goes missing in the dark of night and then turns up dead, it is enough to send chills throughout town. So when
two women go missing and turn up dead, those chills turn to fear. And when a third woman meets same fate all within six weeks, well, that`s when law
enforcement usually entertains the idea that a serial killer could be on the loose. Now add a fourth missing woman and there is genuine panic
putting the small North Carolina town of Lumberton on a map of dubious distinction tonight.
Abby Patterson is the latest to vanish. She`d been visiting with her mother for two days when she texted that she`d be home in an hour. She
wasn`t. And now the search for her is on.
[20:25:02]All the while, police are still awaiting official autopsy results for the other three women. But as if it couldn`t get more strange, all
three women, their bodies were found within a three-block area, and there were no obvious signs of trauma.
But in perhaps the most bizarre twist in this story, the third woman to die, this woman, had just given this television interview about her dead
friend, the second murder victim. Just weeks later, the next victim would turn out to be her.
PRIMETIME JUSTICE producer Justin Freiman is following this story for us. He joins us now live. Justin, it is very odd. This is only a town of
about 21,500 people, so it`s not as though this kind of news goes unnoticed. Tell me a little bit about how the town is sort of digesting
what`s happening there.
JUSTIN FREIMAN, PRIMETIME JUSTICE PRODUCER (via telephone): Well, there`s some people that are actually in a bit of a panic because you`ve got these
four women who have four gone missing, three of which were found dead, and it`s all within about a three-block radius.
BANFIELD: So the person who was last seen with Abby, there are some details. I think she was getting into a vehicle and this was someone that
she knew? What are we hearing?
FREIMAN: Neighbors saw her getting into a brown Buick, and police say that they have located the person, and they say that it is an acquaintance of
her and that they`ve been speaking to that person, but have not named anybody as a suspect or person of interest.
BANFIELD: They`ve been speaking to this person, but they`re not calling this person a person of interest? Seems odd.
FREIMAN: That`s correct, as of now.
BANFIELD: So do we have any idea how these women died?
FREIMAN: Actually, it`s interesting. So three women are found dead right near -- all the bodies are right near each other, and yet they say they
still do not have the cause of death. But they say that there weren`t any visible signs of trauma.
BANFIELD: Are they -- I mean, I would assume they`re doing toxicology, you know, tests on these cadavers, correct?
FREIMAN: That`s right. We`ve asked for those results. They haven`t given us anything. And the last we have heard is that the autopsy reports from
the chief medical examiner -- they`re still waiting on those.
BANFIELD: So Abby at this point is a missing person. Apparently, her phone is going straight into voicemail. Do they think that she is the
fourth in this chain, or do they see something different about her case?
FREIMAN: Well, they see something is different about her case. They`re saying that they`re fairly certain that it`s not related to these other
three, but they`re not 100 percent clear on that.
BANFIELD: So what are the visible signs that people should be looking out for if they`re looking for a missing person, scars, tattoos, anything like
FREIMAN: Yes. Abby has a birthmark on the back of her left thigh, a tattoo of a bird on her shoulder, and she was last seen wearing brown
shorts and a white shirt.
BANFIELD: So I want to just play this interview. I mean, this is one of the most strange cases I think I`ve ever seen with regard to the succession
of victims in this case. First, Christina Bennett -- I believe, if I`ve got this right, and Justin, tell me if I`ve got it right. First, Christina
Bennett is found I believe inside an abandoned home. That`s April 18th, 2017. Rhonda Jones is found in the trash can outside of that abandoned
home. That`s also on April 18th. And then Rhonda`s friend, Megan, gives this interview with a local TV station. Have a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGAN OXENDINE, VICTIM: I mean, I don`t comprehend stuff like this because I don`t know understand how somebody could do somebody`s child, mother,
niece like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Justin, they have to be looking at this as a significant development, the fact that a young woman who commented on one of the dead
women herself ends up a victim just six weeks later?
FREIMAN: That`s right. And she also ends up found just 500 feet away from the remains of those other two women.
BANFIELD: I want to bring in former FBI agent and investigator Steve Moore. He`s in Los Angeles tonight. Steve, you have to admit this is
absolutely bizarre, especially that last detail that Megan, the third victim, was commenting on the second victim just before she died.
STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR, FORMER FBI AGENT AND INVESTIGATOR: It`s absolutely bizarre. And I think it gives the
investigators some clues that likely this -- I mean, this wasn`t a coincidence. The killer of the other two saw this interview, and somehow
it motivated that person to seek Megan out and kill her.
BANFIELD: And you don`t see this as potentially coincidental that Megan ended up dying.
MOORE: Not those three. No. No.
BANFIELD: Also, Steve, do you find it odd that the local police in Lumberton aren`t necessarily saying that this fourth missing is connected,
that Abby Patterson`s disappearance -- again, this is all within a six- month period, three women disappear, three women in a row and are dead, now a fourth woman has disappeared, and yet they`re not playing up the fact
that this might be connected. Is that just playing it safe?
MOORE: No. I think there`s more to it, Ashleigh. I mean, you and I -- we feel the same way about this. Of course they`re related, but when the
police say they are probably not, they are not just hypothesizing here, there is a reason they`re saying that and there is a reason that they are
not talking to us about.
To me, that means they either have a real sharp lead on who killed the first three or where Abby (ph) is and who is responsible for that. You
don`t say that just guessing.
MOORE: You don`t want people --
BANFIELD: I mean, it`s a town of 21,000 people. It`s not as though this is happening in Chicago or New York --
BANFIELD: -- or L.A. or Dallas where you could say, look, it could be coincidental that a fourth woman has disappeared. But there is this. I want
to put this list of the 30 most dangerous cities in America back in 2016 and this is from Safewise.
It turns out that Lumberton is fourth on the list behind: Tukwila, Washington; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Emeryville, California, and
it`s right before College Park, Georgia.
First of all, I did not think any of those five towns were dangerous. They do take into account, you know, different kinds of crime, not just murder,
but they also take in violent crimes and break-in entrances etc. Is this surprising to you that Lumberton where this is happening is number four on
MOORE: Absolutely. That is -- you wouldn`t think that. But what that indicates is in all of these towns, that there is some kind of -- some kind
of organization, gang or whatever, that is causing these crimes. Those are not coincidental crimes. Towns that size don`t just explode with crime.
There has to be something going on in Lumberton that is causing this type of crime.
BANFIELD: Steve Moore, good to have you. Thank you so much for being here tonight.
MOORE: Thanks for having me.
BANFIELD: A 19-year-old vanishes while running an errand. Hours later, Jessica Chambers is found nearly burned to death and her car is still in
flames on the side of a rural Mississippi road. She was emerging from the woods near her car. She would not last many more hours. She was dead the
Her killer remained unknown for more than a year until police arrested this man, but they refused to say how Quinton Tellis and Jessica knew each other
until today, because today was the start of his capital murder trial, the evidence phase. And the case against him could all come down to a set of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a mixture of DNA found on the keys, 1/8 or even further, a mile from where Jessica was burned, and Quinton Tellis`s
DNA is on those keys.
[20:35:00] (END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: When 19-year-old Jessica Chambers left her mom`s home wearing her comfy pajamas, she promised that she would be home after cleaning the car.
Jessica bought gas just a few miles away. Actually, that was seen on surveillance.
But this surveillance video would be the last that anybody would see Jessica like this because an hour and a half later, Jessica`s burning car
was found on a rural Mississippi road. And the firefighters who responded saw something terribly gruesome.
They saw Jessica emerging from the woods nearby. Her entire body nearly covered in burns. She was barely alive and she was gasping for breath,
muttering something to the local police chief on the scene that someone had set her on fire.
And she added a name, and though it was very hard to make out, responders said it sounded something like Eric or Derrick. Few hours later, Jessica
would be dead. Prosecutors are right now trying to convince the jury that it was this man, Quinton Tellis, who burned Jessica Chambers alive.
He was a recent acquaintance of hers, and he didn`t tell police a whole lot of truth when they brought him in for questioning that night. He had a long
criminal history, and he`s sitting right there in the middle of a courtroom right in front of Jessica`s family.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LISA CHAMBERS, MOTHER OF JESSICA CHAMBERS: They have ripped everything I have.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): She left to go clean out her car, and I was going to get her something to eat.
CHAMBERS: I can`t take it. They don`t know what they`ve done to her mother.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Opening statements in the trial began today and the prosecutor made it crystal clear who he thinks killed Jessica.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN CHAMPION, DISTRIC ATTORNEY, PANOLA COUNTY: I believe that Quinton Tellis is guilty of capital murder beyond a reasonable doubt. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Jesse Weber is a host for LawNewz.com. He is following the case. He joins me now live. I do not expect anything less from a prosecutor in
opening statement to point to the guy that he is prosecuting and say, I believe he did it. But what do they have on him, Jesse?
JESSE WEBER, HOST, LAWNEWZ.COM: Well, they have a number of things as of now. First, we`ve established that there is a relationship between the
defendant and victim, that they were in fact romantically involved. But more than that, the cell phone records that will be brought into evidence
show that not only was Quinton Tellis lying about where he was, but they can place him with her,
[20:40:00] with Jessica Chambers right before this incident took place. And more than that, his DNA was found on the car keys of her car. Why would his
DNA be on her car keys?
According to the prosecution, he attacked her, drove around into the woods, got out, went to his sister`s car, heat up the car, went to this house, got
a gasoline can, went back, and and burned her alive.
I think when the jury sees that this evidence is mounting up, they`re going to be coming back with a verdict.
BANFIELD: OK. Well, hold on there. Devil`s advocate here. Unless they`re going to come out with some more Perry Mason stuff, that sounds really weak
to me, because I`ve texted with plenty of people 10 minutes before I left them or 10 minutes before I was in a similar location with people.
I mean, really just sort of cell phone proximity and a set of keys? He admitted he was driving around with her all morning. Hold my keys. Why is
that so implausible?
WEBER: Well, because first he said he only saw her in the morning. Then after intense questioning, he said, OK, she picked me up at my house later
on. Then he said he was with three other witnesses, three other people that day.
Each one of them denied being with him that day, and one of them was not even in town. This is a guy who has a propensity to lie. And now that you
see that he was with her not only that day, but they had a relationship, that she was involved with him, it`s starting to add up.
And then there was another witness who testified who actually introduced the two of them. And she said when he said goodbye to Jessica Chambers
earlier in the day, she said something didn`t feel right by the way that he said it. And again, this is the first day. I agree with you, there`s a lot
more that has to come out of this.
WEBER: But just the first day, you can hear what it`s like.
BANFIELD: So, one thing that will not come out of this -- and by the way, if there are any jurors who just happen to be watching the show right now,
turn it off right now. Shut it off. Shut it off. You have been told you`re not allowed to watch the TV or told that you can`t follow this case. This
next little ditty is something they cannot know.
So just between you and me and rest of the non-jurors watching, he is going to be facing a trial for another lady`s death six months after the death of
Chambers. What happened in that case? And, listen, honestly, it is a given, right, Jesse, that the jurors are not going to hear about the second trial
pending for first-degree murder?
WEBER: Well, they might be able to find out about it if prosecution can put it forth for another purpose, not to show that this is a guy who has done
bad things in past and obviously committed this murder here, no they can`t show that.
But if they can show it for a different purpose, they might be able to get it in. But to bring to talk about what that is, first, he was convicted and
pled guilty to the unauthorized use of a debit card of a 34-year-old Taiwanese exchange student who ended up dead. She was stabbed 30 times.
Initially, he wasn`t implicated in the crime. It was only after further review of the evidence that he was implicated in that crime and he was
charged with her murder. And it hasn`t gone to trial yet, but he`s already in prison for 10 years now. He`s facing a 10-year prison sentence for the
unauthorized use of the card --
WEBER: -- but he hasn`t faced charges about what is happening with that.
BANFIELD: Yes, I`m going to put my money on that second trial. I`ve read the evidence in that one and it`s really strong. I`m not so sure
about this one. Stand by for a second, Jesse, if you will.
I just want to play real quickly if I can this moment where the prosecutor talked about how Jessica Chambers died, because if you can`t get a lot of
facts, you hammer loud on the table and the best way to hammer is with sick emotion like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHAMPION: She was burned over 93 percent of her body. Horrific burns. Horrific pain. I would venture to guess that if all of us sitting here here
were to know we`re going to die, that the very last way that we would want to die would be by fire. But Jessica was set on fire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Look, that stuff is painful. But then when you start hearing evidence of drug use and all of rest, Quinton Tellis may have told some
untruths, but if he was dealing in drugs, of course, he`s not going to tell the police everything until he starts hearing about murder.
CAROLINE POLISI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely. From a defense attorney`s standpoint, of course, he is going to lie. I mean, he admits to being with
Jessica that morning. It was only upon further pushing from investigators when they said, you were with her that evening too.
That he said, yes, look, she wanted to get some weed from me and we met up later. But I agree with you, there`s a perfectly reasonable explanation
that he could be lying and that he wasn`t the perpetrator of this murder.
BANFIELD: Yes. Listen, I`m going to watch this case because unless they have a whole lot more stuff, they`re going to (INAUDIBLE). This is a tricky
one, not an -- that`s an uphill climb I think for prosecutor.
Jesse Weber, thank you. Caroline Polisi, stand by. "Justice for Jessica" is a CNN special report, by the way, and it`s going to air right here on HLN
at the top of the hour, 9:00 p.m. Eastern time right after this show ends. So, stand by. Randi Kaye got some great reporting that she is going to give
you after this program.
OK. Now, to the really creepy weird stuff. You might have booked,
[20:45:00] maybe thought about booking a stay through Airbnb. This next story might have you thinking maybe not twice but it may have you thinking
and being more creative about how you assess your surroundings.
The couple says there were cameras hidden in smoke detectors and they were conveniently positioned right over the top of the king- sized bed. How much
do you really know about who owns the place where you`re going to lay your head next?
BANFIELD: You know the saying there is no place like home? When we travel, we try to find a place that`s comfy, something that will make us feel safe
and welcome. And some sites like Airbnb let us book somebody else`s house
[20:50:00] so that we can get that feeling. And it`s why a couple from Indiana booked this beautiful condo in sunny Longboat Key, Florida. They
did it last month. Five-star rating, glowing reviews, an Olympic-sized lap pool, bar, beach just steps away.
But after the experience they had, they`re probably not going to give it a good rating, because police say one of the condo`s secret amenities was
hidden in the fire alarm in the bedroom. That hidden camera, that little dot there, discovered pointing right down at them and that lovely king-
There was also one of those little special cameras in the living room too. The owner of the condo, according to the police, said got an excuse. They
said Wayne Natt told them that they`re for recording sex parties that he has in the house on HD. And he says he gets consent from the people that he
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB BOURQUE, LIEUTENANT, LONGBOAT KEY POLICE: He said it was for recording sexual activity. And his only response was it him a better angle. If people
are consenting to recording sexual activity, why is it in a hidden smoke alarm?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: That`s an excellent point. And he also said the cameras were turned off when that nice Indiana couple was in his home. But guess what?
They weren`t, they were rolling, right on the SD card that they found alongside the cameras. I want to check in with Michael Paluska. He is
reporter for CNN affiliate WFTS in Tampa.
I got one word to say, Michael. Ick, super ick, if I can add an extra word. Are there other victims? What about, like, girls that might have come back
to his place? Are the police trying to find out who else might be actually recorded outside of their knowledge?
MICHAEL PALUSKA, CNN AFFILIATE WFTS REPORTER: Ashleigh, it`s disturbing on so many different levels and police say that they`ve gone through a
treasure trove of SD cards, laptop computers, external hard drives. They`re going through all of those right now.
As for the girls that he said came over and he hosted these sort of swinger sex parties, he says that most of the women, at least 20 to 25 of them,
gave him consent to film the sex parties that were actually pretty big at some times, according to the Longboat detective we talked to, two or three
women in that master bedroom you saw at once during these parties.
But after the story aired, the detectives started getting phone calls as you can imagine from some of the women who were engaged with whether in
swinger parties or with him saying, hey, we had no idea that we were being recorded, we had no idea that that smoke detector had a camera in it, and
we were never told this by Natt. So, definitely some conflicting statements that he made there with his attorney present to Longboat Key PD.
BANFIELD: Wow. You look at the picture of those people that you talked to, Michael, and it`s astounding that you can just see it in their face, like,
what the hell is in the smoke detector? I can`t believe they found it because it`s tiny. It`s next to him -- I know you`re giggling. I think I
would throw up if I discovered I was being taped.
PALUSKA: Yes. And what the husband told us is that he works as an I.T. and he works in like a security field so he was actually familiar with the
smoke alarm camera. He said he saw it at the beginning when they first checked in because they were there just for a couple of hours. He didn`t
think anything of it then his I.T. training kicked in and he said, let me look at this, and literally that photo tells you the entire story.
BANFIELD: It does.
PALUSKA: His wife looked up and they saw that and it captured that exact moment, like, yes, that`s a camera above our bed. So, he took it down and
he found everything. Wifi-capable too, so the guy could have been, you know, broadcasting it live and watching it from another location.
BANFIELD: Natch. OK. Hold on one second, Michael. I want to bring in Marc Saltzman. He is a technology expert. So, when we booked you on the program,
I thought you would have a perfect, you know, way of telling us, just look around and find the camera somewhere, until we did a little bit of this
research. I`m going to just go through a couple of items if I may.
An oscillating fan that is for sale apparently for $399. I wouldn`t think twice about looking at this thing. It`s got a camera embedded in it. The
next one is a clock radio. This one is about $199, no way to tell there`s a camera in that. It comes like this, it is a recording device. You don`t
even have to hide your own camera.
The house plant is another freak-out. Can`t tell what`s in there. That is sold for about $419. a wall outlet -- I think this one is the scariest,
because that looks like every wall outlet in any house and that apparently is cheapest at $129.95. And then there`s the coffee machine for afternoon
delight, I guess, in the kitchen. What is our ammo against this, Marc? What am I suppose to do the next time I go into a hotel room even or Airbnb? How
am I suppose to find these things?
MARC SALTZMAN, TECHNOLOGY EXPERT: Well, the likelihood of it happening in a hotel is a lot lower than someone`s residence because, you know, and it has
happened by the way in motels and hotels, but usually an employee or someone who is going to recheck the room again. So, it`s a lot harder to do
But with an Airbnb, you never know. So, what can you do? Well, there are counter-surveillance tools out there that most of us wouldn`t even think
[20:55:00] buying and using. You don`t need a degree in computer engineering to use them, but if you don`t want to spend the $200 or so on
the special lights that can look for glint in a camera lens or pick up a radio signal, then what you can do is a little trick.
Use your own smartphone with the flashlight built in and look around the room, if you`re so inclined, if you`re going to go that extra step, and you
will see even on a pinhole camera, there`s a glass lens or plastic lens that will give you a little glint. And I know some celebrities have people
that go and do this before they check in anywhere. So, you can do that instead of buying gear, yes. That`s an option.
BANFIELD: I`m actually going to take you on my next vacation, Marc. Thank you for that information. I think that`s really valuable to people watching
that with severe gross out factor right now. Thanks, Marc. I appreciate it. My thanks also to Michael Paluska. We`ll be right back.
[21:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)