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LEGAL VIEW WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD

Toxicology Results Negative for Hot-Car Death Toddler; Charities Step Up to Help Immigrants; John Walsh Joins CNN; 12-Year- Old Forced to Exercise

Aired July 10, 2014 - 12:30   ET

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


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We also have learned -- of course we've know for some time that the manner of death, homicide; cause of death, hyperthermia, overheating; but the investigators say that the full autopsy report will not be released until this investigation is complete, as we had expected.

ASHELIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Anything else of interest in the toxicology other than it's clear?

BLACKWELL: No. I mean, all they've released thus far is that one-word summary from GBI.

They're not going to give us anything more about -- if we'd find out if he indeed ate while he was at Chick-Fil-A and all of those things about the last meal and what was in his system.

Thus far, all we know is that one word, "negative," nothing nefarious, no chemicals there that would have doped up or drugged up this boy.

BANFIELD: I was really waiting for that.

Victor Blackwell, thank you so much for that live report. Again, this is just breaking news.

You might think that's a very big win for the defense. Why? I want to bring in the legal view here. HLN legal analyst and defense attorney Joey Jackson is live with me and also criminal defense attorney Heather Hansen.

Heather, I'm going to turn to you first. I know that a lot of people had said if that toxicology comes back and that child was drugged, it's finished. But is it finished the opposite way, that he wasn't drugged?

HEATHER HANSEN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It certainly doesn't exonerate him by any stretch of the imagination to say that there was no drugs in his system. And in fact, had there been drugs in his system, there could have been explanation for that.

There's so much other evidence here, Ashleigh, and for a grand jury, which is what they're preparing for now -- as everyone says, you can indict a ham sandwich -- the evidence they have is certainly going to put him over the edge.

BANFIELD: It's very strong. A lot of it circumstantial, but very, very strong stuff.

HANSEN: Most of it circumstantial but enough.

BANFIELD: Joey Jackson, I just want to ask you this question. I'm just going to put you before a jury right now.

What jury have you ever known that could make a leap to, yeah, I could buy that a father would just allow his child, over the course of seven hours, to bake to death slowly so he could have a child-free life?

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Honestly, very few, but I think it's more than that, Ashleigh, and first let me speak to the toxicology report.

I think the prosecution is going to use this as a positive, yes, a positive. Of course, the defense is going to say, ah, ha! You see. It was an accident. There was nothing sedating this child.

The prosecution is going to say, if he premeditated and planned this, of course he was smart enough not to leave trace evidence like that to get caught, but look to the other circumstances, and what do we know they are?

We know that of course he brings his son to the Chick-Fil-A, kisses him after the meal and then leaves, and 30 or 40 seconds later, he forgets his son?

We know that he leans over and would have had to have seen his son in the back of that car at that particular time, doesn't know or do anything about it then.

He then goes to work and is sexting, and throughout the day, he remembered, Ashleigh, to get light bulbs for lights that he need at home supposedly, but he doesn't remember his child?

And then of course these different searches about how to survive in prison. That's something that he does. Reddit searches regarding people dying? That's what he does. Children baking?

And so therefore the prosecution, Ashleigh, is going to piece together a very compelling case, and they may very well, at the end of the day here, elevate these charges to murder.

BANFIELD: Quick last word. I'm out of time.

HANSEN: To go back to what you said, you said 40 percent of these cases, the parents do get found innocent. It is possible, and we don't know the defense yet.

BANFIELD: OK. Heather Hansen, Joey Jackson, I've got to stop it there, but thank you both.

HANSEN: Thank you.

BANFIELD: Do appreciate it.

JACKSON: Thank you, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: A fierce debate over where to house the flood of migrant children spilling over the U.S. border.

A few non-governmental shelters are setting up to help these people. It is charity in a big way.

We're going to take you inside one of them to see what's there and what's happening.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: Welcome back to LEGAL VIEW. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

Steering things back to our top story this hour, the undocumented immigrants entering the United States mostly from Central America via Mexico, and among them, an unprecedented number of small children, many of these small kids all by themselves.

Two big issues. One, how to deal with this sudden flood of migrants. Federal officials are having trouble finding places just to process them. Also, how to plug the holes in the border, a bigger immigration issue.

Prominent Republicans and even some Democrats are furious at the president for not visiting the border and the immigration centers while Texas. You can call it a photo op if you want, but there have been plenty of important photo ops in history.

A few government shelters are in the background quietly set up to help these people. CNN's Rosa Flores went to see one.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After traveling hundreds of miles, these Central American families find a glimmer of hope at a temporary shelter at sacred heart catholic church in McAllen, Texas.

Most are fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries, arriving on their backs, laceless shoes and a manila folders with documents in English they say they don't understand.

She says she traveled with her 2-year-old son, Stanley, by foot and by bus from her home country of Honduras, nearly 1,500 miles until she made it to America, then turned herself in to immigration authorities, few meals along the way, the fear and trauma still clear on this family's face. She didn't leave anyone behind but hopes to reunite with her husband in North Carolina.

Not the case for this man. He left a wife and two children in Guatemala, making the dangerous journey with his 9-year-old son, Vidal, who was anxious to change his dirty clothing and sit down to eat a meal.

He says he crossed the border and turned himself in to immigration, spent three days with his son in a detention center, was assigned a court date to face an immigration judge and was set free at a bus station.

That's how thousands of people end up in temporary shelters like this one. This facility sees between 150 and 180 people a day.

Take a look around. It's a quick stop. They get some fresh clothing, a blanket for the road, some shoes and also some snacks for their bus ride. And if there's time, they get a quick shower.

Sister Norma Pimentel established this temporary shelter a month ago and has already served more than 3,000 people.

SISTER NORMA PIMENTEL, CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY: They may be stripped of everything, but one thing they do have is their faith. And so I think this is a beautiful encounter of faith alive amongst our people.

FLORES: It's the common story here.

She says she wants to protect her son from the constant sound of gunshots in her neighborhood and the dead bodies on the streets.

For him, he says he's escaping the extreme poverty where he had trouble putting food on the table working in agriculture.

As he and his son boarded a bus to reunite with family in California, it was left up to them to honor the immigration court date in that paperwork in the manila folder.

He wouldn't say if they plan to show up for the court hearing.

Rosa Flores, CNN, McAllen, Texas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BANFIELD: There is one man who has spent his life hunting bad guys like a lot of those illegal gangster coyotes who bring some of those children in over the border. And not only that, he's here, live with me.

It's John Walsh. He's joining CNN. I am so excited to have you here. After the break, will you do me a favor and tell me about "THE HUNT," but also a little about your journeys through these badlands and what you've witnessed?

JOHN WALSH, CNN HOST, "THE HUNT": I'd be glad to.

BANFIELD: We'll be right back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: So about 19-and-a-halfyears ago, yours truly was an immigrant to the good old United States of America. I am now a proud citizen.

And one of the reasons I'm here at CNN and, I think, enjoying a very robust career at this point is because of the man who's sitting next to me.

John Walsh, I think, took pity on me or saw something in me and invited me to be a part of "America's Most Wanted" long ago, which began a nice odyssey, and here we are.

You are now joining CNN with a brand-new program called "THE HUNT." Welcome and thank you for being here. Nice to see you.

WALSH: First of all, thank you for the beautiful introduction. You were -- you're still a beautiful lady.

BANFIELD: You're adorable.

WALSH: You're one of the smartest and toughest and most compassionate correspondents I've ever had.

BANFIELD: You have to say that because you're on staff.

WALSH: No, I don't have to say it, and it's true.

BANFIELD: Here's what I love about you. You are so committed to your craft. This is your life's passion. This is not a show for you. This is a mission. It always was for "America's Most Wanted." It is now for "THE HUNT" as well.

Before I go to the premiere episode for this Sunday, I just want to touch on one of the other episodes because it speaks to the news we're talking about today, these horrible beasts of coyote-like gangsters who are raping, pillaging and bankrupting these poor immigrants who are, many, refugees, many desperate for different lives, and ultimately creating a big part of this problem.

And you have firsthand knowledge of them.

WALSH: You know, for years, as you know when you worked (ph) for me, I would go and do cases on the other side of the border. I've ridden horses with border patrol at night and done shows along the border. And what's going on now is a humanitarian crisis of biblical proportions. It truly is. And it involves the exploitation of people who desperately want to follow the American dream and get into the United States. And they are being exploited by coyotes, and there are many cartels, many of these guys. And one of the guys I'm profiling is Don Memo Ballesteros (ph), who I believe is hiding in Mexico City, and we caught 40 guys on "America's Most Wanted" in Mexico hiding out, but he is wanted for 11 homicides in the United States.

These people, the coyotes, are contributing to this problem by saying, we'll get you into the United States. If you're a child or a woman, come to us from Nicaragua, come to us from Central America somewhere, we'll get you into the states. What they don't tell them is, we're going to rip off your life savings, we're going to drag you across. If we see something that somebody that might catch us, we're going to leave you there to die of dehydration or whatever. And they're really nothing but human traffickers. And this guy, he and three other guys -- we've caught the other three -- this Don Memo put people into a corn tanker car and locked the lid, and they go up the train rails into Iowa and those people died, suffocated and died, 11 of them, five women and six men, in that car because of the coyotes.

BANFIELD: Well, your catch rate is spectacular. And one of the stories -- in fact, the premiere episode is this Sunday night, is a California man who's suspected of killing his wife and his two children. In fact, we have a clip of it. I want people to see -- get a taste of what it is you're doing with "The Hunt" and how it's very international. And let's have a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALSH (voice-over): America has a couple really ugly secrets that nobody wants to talk about. We have a huge amount of domestic abuse. My God, this is America. This is the land of the free and the brave. And this is the land where women should be respected. And if you hit or abuse women, you're not brave, you're a coward.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Domestic violence is a major crime in Shasta County. It's epidemic here. I know it sounds ideal, let's go live in the mountains, commune with nature, but that's the perfect setup for an abuser.

ERIC ROBANSKE: Shane Miller (ph) had no involvement with law enforcement in Shasta County up until there was the domestic violence that started occurring between him and his wife.

UNITOM BOSENKO: Sandy Miller (ph) ended up going to a local women's refuge to seek safe harbor, and she took her children with her. We took a domestic violence report. Our detectives learned Mr. Miller did have an extensive arrest record and had also had a federal arrest record in which he was sentenced to federal prison.

MARE DEUTCHER, CLIENT ADVOCATE (ph), ONE SAFE PLACE, REDDING, CA: When Sandy came in to our office, she appeared very tired. The girls were very tearful, red-eyed, exhausted. They'd had a long morning trying to get down the mountain to come here. She said Shane had been very agitated for about three days. She had had hardly any sleep. She said Shane had assaulted her, tortured her, choked her, threatened her with guns. He was threatening to kill her whole family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: So, with luck, Mr. Walsh is going to be able to do yeoman's service in finding that bad guy and many more. By the way, just in case you were wondering how many bad guys "America's Most Wanted" caught, 1,231, 17 of them off the FBI's Most Wanted List. And guess what's different now? Twitter, FaceBook, every kind of social media you could possibly want. This is going to be a boon to your tools, your arsenal.

WALSH: I -- social media platforms are so important nowadays. And FaceBook has partnered with us with this show, and I'm thrilled to be here at CNN. I'm here because of Jeff Zucker, and I have great respect for CNN. But FaceBook and Twitter are a huge part of this show because the Internet is where we can make the world a much smaller place. And CNN has that international reach. And Sunday night I'm hoping people will watch. But most of all, to catch Shane Miller. When they went looking for this guy, they found a bunker that he had 47 assault rifles in and 100,000 rounds of ammunition. Now, this is a coward. If -- when you kill your own children -- you have two beautiful children, so you -

BANFIELD: Five and seven years old, those girls.

WALSH: You can't imagine what a coward this guy is to kill his wife and these two little girls. He's danger. He's a danger to society. He's out there hiding somewhere. Somebody's helping him. Somebody knows where he is. He's not doing it alone. He's a horrible dirt bag that needs to be brought off the streets. And I'm hoping that this combination of "The Hunt," CNN, all these social networking platforms helps me make the world a much smaller place for these creeps.

BANFIELD: I am not only happy that you're doing this, I'm also happy to be reunited with you almost 20 years later. And you don't age. I'm - I'm just going to say it, you look amazing.

WALSH: Well, so - well, so do you.

BANFIELD: Oh, John Walsh. We love you.

WALSH: So do you and you're doing a great job here and I'm thrilled to be here.

BANFIELD: Thank you.

Let me do the big plug because, again, this is great. This is a wonderful civic service. You can watch the premiere episode of CNN's original series "The Hunt" with my pal, John Walsh, Sunday night, 9:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN. I think this is the start of a beautiful thing.

WALSH: Thanks for having me.

BANFIELD: Thank you, John. Good to see you.

OK, so, coming up, some new allegations of abuse reportedly coming directly from that Michigan teenager who was found alive in his family's basement after he had been missing for nearly two weeks. We're going to take you through the details and tell you how the Detroit Police are reacting to this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: We have some brand-new details today that have just been released by the state of Michigan, and they regard the allegations about what was going on in that Detroit house where a little boy was found hiding last month. Twelve-year-old Charlie Bothuell was missing for about 11 days back in June. And you may have seen his frantic father when CNN's Nancy Grace told him on camera during the interview that Charlie had been found.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY GRACE, CNN: We are getting reports that your son has been found alive in your basement.

CHARLES BOTHUELL: What?

GRACE: How could your son be alive in your basement?

BOTHUELL: I have no - I have no idea. I - are --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: Our national correspondent Susan Candiotti has been digging into the court documents, some of them brand new and including some really specific details about what allegedly happened in that basement and actually prior.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

BANFIELD: Just start running through the details. They're remarkable.

CANDIOTTI: That's right. We knew that he had to do a lot of exercises. That's what police have told us. Now we're learning more details about how many of them. According to this child services petition, he had to get up at 5:00 every morning and do a workout twice a day, in the morning and at night, including 100 push-ups, 200 sit-ups, 25 arm curls with -

BANFIELD: Twenty-five-pound weights.

CANDIOTTI: Twenty-five-pound weights, exactly.

BANFIELD: He's 11.

CANDIOTTI: One hundred jumping jacks. Exactly. Eleven, twelve years old, right?

BANFIELD: Twelve years old, I'm sorry.

CANDIOTTI: In any case, 5,000 revolutions on an elliptical. And if he didn't do it in under an hour, he was punished and had to do it all over again. And he said sometimes, he told police, it was so painful for him because he had been beaten with a PVC pipe. That is the allegation. And remember, authorities said that they are now analyzing blood that they found on that PVC pipe to back it up.

BANFIELD: On a PVC pipe in the house.

I looked at one of the allegations here that he had injuries and scars. Scars on his buttocks and a scar I think on his --

CANDIOTTI: On his chest.

BANFIELD: Chest or belly.

CANDIOTTI: Chest.

BANFIELD: And he had told the officials that this was from the corporal punishment from the PVC beatings? CANDIOTTI: That's what he said. And he was also struck, he said, on

all other parts of his body as well. So this is also part of the investigation.

BANFIELD: Can I ask you something? Everybody wants to know how on earth we got from this child's missing for 11 days, this child's in your basement. What did this boy say about what happened in the basement? Was he there the whole time?

CANDIOTTI: More details about that as well. Yes, he says in this petition, I was there the whole time. That it was the stepmother, as we heard before, who had put him down there. But here he says in his own words, "and I was told to stay there by her the whole time, not to come out." She had allegedly said to him -- we have some of what he told us, "if you don't stay down there or I will punish you, I will -- she will (EXPLETIVE) murder me. I know where the sharp knives are. I can make you disappear."

Now, we know that the arrest warrant application is now in the - is still being worked on.

BANFIELD: Yes.

CANDIOTTI: It was already sent once to the D.A. They sent it back for revisions. So we're now waiting for them to send it back.

BANFIELD: Unbelievable. And there's so many more details as well. I know you're going to continue your coverage throughout the day on CNN.

CANDIOTTI: Yes.

BANFIELD: Susan Candiotti reporting for us now. Unbelievable details.

CANDIOTTI: It is. It's scary.

BANFIELD: Thank you for that.

Thanks so much, everyone, for watching. It's been great to have you with us. Dana Bash is sitting in for Wolf, which starts right after this quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)