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Police Briefing on Enron Executive's Apparent Suicide

Aired January 25, 2002 - 13:36   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We will take to you to Sugar Land, Texas. We are just now getting word that the police there are briefing us about this news we hear this morning of an Enron executive committing suicide.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

SGT. TRUMAN BODY, SUGAR LAND POLICE: Routine patrol.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

BODY: At this time, I cannot comment on the note.

QUESTION: Can you tell us exactly where the car was, how it was positioned, and the patrol officer knew (UNINTELLIGIBLE)? Take us through what happened.

BODY: The vehicle was located on the 5200 block of Palmero Boulevard (ph). It is my understanding that there was a deputy that had seen the vehicle a few minutes earlier and had, through his routine patrol, had doubled back around, and that's when he saw the vehicle, thought he could stop and help the vehicle.

QUESTION: Any idea (UNINTELLIGIBLE) how long the vehicle had been there?

BODY: At this point, I would be speculating. No.

QUESTION: Where was he in the vehicle? Front, back?

BODY: I'm not sure of that position either.

QUESTION: Were you there, sir?

BODY: No, I was not.

QUESTION: Sir, when you guys -- when the constable (ph) showed up, he was already dead, there was no indication that it had just happened.

BODY: That's correct.

QUESTION: Where was the wound on his head?

BODY: It was a gunshot wound to the head.

QUESTION: Can't say where?

BODY: At this time, I do not have that information.

QUESTION: So, there is no suspicion at all of foul play? (UNINTELLIGIBLE) suicide?

BODY: We are -- we feel that it is a suicide, but we are taking all precautions necessary.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

BODY: I couldn't give you that answer.

QUESTION: Just from your experience?

BODY: Depends on the circumstances.

QUESTION: And this one has extenuating circumstances. I guess you guys (ph) want to make sure (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The judge just ordered that (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

QUESTION: What is the next 24 hours like for you guys, (UNINTELLIGIBLE)? The investigation is not done, right?

BODY: No, the investigation is not done.

QUESTION: What can we expect in the next 24 hours to be said by you guys (ph)?

BODY: We are going to do a thorough investigation, the body will be autopsied. We'll continue to investigate, but a lot of things that happen are going to result from the autopsy.

QUESTION: Have any of his friends (ph) given you any indication that he was distraught, or what may have led to this?

BODY: I do not have that information.

QUESTION: Have you guys interviewed any family or friends so far, sir?

BODY: At this time, I'm not aware of any interviews.

QUESTION: Was he currently working at Enron, do we know, or when did he stop working at Enron?

BODY: You would have to get that information from Enron.

QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the position of the truck and the body, again, please?

BODY: The body is safely at a funeral home en route to the medical examiners at this time. I'm sorry, I didn't hear the other part of your question.

QUESTION: And the car?

BODY: The car has been towed, at this time it is in impound as well.

QUESTION: What type of vehicle was this (ph)?

BODY: I believe it was a Mercedes-Benz.

QUESTION: Car, sedan? SUV?

BODY: I'm assuming a sedan.

QUESTION: Sergeant, in the next 24 hours, what are you guys going to do? Interview family and friends, print the car? What's next in the investigation from the investigative standpoint?

BODY: Well, investigations go based upon information that you gather. Without knowing any information at this time, I couldn't speculate on where we would go with an investigation.

QUESTION: What was the caliber of the weapon, and who was it registered to?

BODY: We don't have that information, as far as the registration.

QUESTION: What was the caliber of the weapon, then, if you know that?

BODY: Well, it's my understanding it was a revolver.

QUESTION: A .38 or a .22?

BODY: I couldn't give you that information.

QUESTION: And the car was in the median. Could you explain specifically like how it was positioned? Was it in the middle of the road, or in the median, or how was it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was just like a car that is getting ready to turn in the middle of the median, and it was just positioned there.

QUESTION: Was the engine on, were the lights on?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was parked.

QUESTION: So it is hard to tell whether he -- the car stopped --

QUESTION: Can you speak into the microphone please?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just going to...

QUESTION: It's hard to tell whether the car stopped, and he shot himself, or he could have shot himself while driving (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

BODY: I was not on the scene, so that would cause me to speculate. I couldn't give you that answer.

QUESTION: Ms. Pack (ph), can you tell us if the car was running, or if the car had its lights on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't really know. It was parked.

QUESTION: And can you tell us if we'd be able to talk to the officer on the scene at some point? If so, when?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we are talking about night shift.

QUESTION: Can you step forward please?

QUESTION: Will you keep this within your jurisdiction?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just -- no, this is in Sugar Land, police department (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

QUESTION: So, no TTS (ph) or Rangers or anything like that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

QUESTION: Pat (ph), can you tell us if anyone from Enron come out last night? Did anyone from Enron show up last night?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, we have been -- we have been in contact with their corporate communications department, with Enron. And they had, as I understand it, they had a statement for the media today about Mr. Baxter and his status as a former employee or as an employee, so...

QUESTION: Can you run over one time exactly what happened, what time to get it all, to get it all together (ph), we kind of (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've done that already. Thank y'all, thank y'all.

QUESTION: Can you tell us where the car was towed to, where the car was taken?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank y'all very much.

HARRIS: As you see from this briefing there we're getting from the police, this is a very -- we're in the early stages of this investigation there in Houston.

We can -- first of all, want to clarify the photos that you were there on to the right of the briefing officer there, were not necessarily photos of the scene where this person is -- where the body was found of Mr. Baxter. That, we understand, is Mr. Baxter's home.

Now, what we have been able to determine at this particular point, J. Clifford Baxter, who did committed suicide, is what police believe. We just heard them say that his car was found parked in a median area in a position that would indicate the car was trying to make a turn, but they said that car definitely was parked and that the body of Mr. Baxter was inside.

He was apparently dead before the police arrived at the scene. And in fact, they said a deputy had actually circled around the area and returned back to the car thinking that the deputy could offer some help to whoever was in the car, and that's when Baxter's body was discovered.

We'll continue to follow this story, this amazing development here on this word that we are getting of a Enron executive who may have been called into question here, or his actions may have been called into question at some point during these hearings under way on Capitol Hill, committing suicide this morning or sometime over the night. We will find out more about this story and give it to you as soon as we do get it.

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