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DA: Inmates' Planned Seven-Hour Drive; Police: Suspect Ranted That Cops Labeled Him A Terrorist; Police: Suspect Had A Record Of Domestic Violence. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired June 14, 2015 - 06:00   ET



VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: New details this morning in the prison escape of two convicted killers. CNN has learned what the convict planned to do once they broke out of prison and why worker, Joyce Mitchell, changed her mind about helping them.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you have any idea when he left?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. He blamed them for taking his son.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: The father of James Boulware there. He was with his son just hours before his son attacked the Dallas Police Department. Insight into that man that only a father could give.

BLACKWELL: More fall-out of the NAACP chapter president who says she's black. What her brother is now saying about her that's adding to the controversy.

PAUL: It is so good to see you on this Sunday morning. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: Always a pleasure. I'm Victor Blackwell. There are new details this morning about the plan to help convicted killers Richard Matt and David Sweat break out of a maximum security prison.

This is the mug shot for Joyce Mitchell. She is accused of helping the prisoners escape and CNN has learned that Mitchell told investigators that she was supposed to meet Matt and Sweat just blocks from the prison where they would begin a seven-hour drive.

PAUL: If they were able to get a car and drive seven hours at approximately 60 miles an hour, they could have gone as far out as this red ring. That's how far they would have made it.

BLACKWELL: We're also learning why Joyce Mitchell backed out of the plan to help the pair escape. What does this all mean in the search for the killers?

PAUL: We begin with CNN investigations correspondent, Sara Ganim, live in West Plattsburgh, New York. So Sara, first of all, any new information on the manhunt itself?

SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, I'm having a hard time hearing you. But let me tell you this information came from an interview I had with the district attorney last night. He said this information came from interviews with authorities and Joyce Mitchell before she was arrested.

I asked him what was Plan A? Where will they going to go that was going to take seven hours? He says that Joyce Mitchell said she didn't know that the two convicts picked that destination. All she knew was where to pick them up and that they would be driving for a long time. Take a listen.


ANDREW WYLIE, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, CLINTON COUNTY, NEW YORK: I'm bringing the perimeter in, but it's still an active search. I can't tell you how wide the search is right now because I haven't been out. I haven't been up in a helicopter to see where it's at. I can't tell you. That's something the police are going to have to tell you.

GANIM: But there are recent sightings?


GANIM: That included scaling a wall. Did that lead to anything?

WYLIE: It did not.

GANIM: The dogs were brought in? No scents were picked up?

WYLIE: It hasn't led to anything yet.

GANIM: Did it help to narrow the search area?


GANIM: It's a pretty big search area.

WYLIE: It's huge.

GANIM: Have you asked for any more help?

WYLIE: That's a question that needs to be put to the governor or the major. It's a priority right now. This is one of the main priorities here in New York State. We're doing whatever we can. They're providing whatever help and assistance to help with the search.


GANIM: Now, this morning they're actually expanding the search area to include another area further away from the prison. I also asked the district attorney if they've been in contact with family and friends and acquaintances of these two men, who may live in Middle America, in areas that if you drove seven hours that you might end up in those places. He said they have been in contact with those people, but none of them have heard from Richard Matt or David Sweat. The other thing we talked about, which I think was interesting, is cell phones.

I said, is there any indication these two had cell phones? He said there's no indication right now. However, from interviews with inmates in that jail, they have learned those two had cell phones while they were inside. That other inmates saw them with cell phones.

We also talked about planning. This is quite the elaborate plan and I said, how did they know where to get to once they went into the wall, which pipes to go through? The district attorney told me there's indication they had been planning and rehearsing this for quite a while.

[06:05:08] There were indications that they might have in the middle of the night for several weeks leading up to this escape have been going into the wall and planning out where to go and how to get out.

They said that inside the prison they had access to computers, to a library. They haven't ruled out that other people may have been helping them in some other way. He said there are even places inside the prison where you can see over the wall into the community and they might have been able to map out where to go -- Victor and Christie.

PAUL: It's very elaborate. Sara Ganim, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: For more in the investigation, let's bring in CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director, Tom Fuentes. Tom, good to have you back this morning. Let's start with this revelation of this seven-hour drive. What do you make of that?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Good morning, Victor. Well, we talked about that the first night. That if they got out and had a ride waiting for them, given the number of hours before they were missing was discovered that they could have driven halfway to Chicago at that time.

So we knew that if they were in a vehicle, they had a great head start to be long gone from New York State. Then it would be a question of backtracking and trying to get people that work in gas stations to look at their video cameras because you know, at some point, they would stop in and most gas stations have video cameras.

But we wouldn't have known if they were going to take a train or a bus or some other conveyance to get to later. But we knew that from the beginning that if they did get some way to be transported they could have been long gone even from day one.

BLACKWELL: You know, I wonder if it changes conventional thinking here because if you expect, we are hearing from Mitchell that they were planning for the seven-hour drive that, of course, takes them maybe 400 miles out.

But since they did not have that ride to go wherever they were going, would that then mean that they're most likely still in the area because they didn't have any planned transportation?

FUENTES: Well, possibly, but you know, from the beginning the authorities have said even though it's likely and they thought they were in the immediate area of that prison within a few short mile radius, from the beginning they've been saying, don't rule out calling the police if you see something and you're in California or Texas or some other state.

They could be a long way from New York and could have been that night. They could have gotten a long way. They could have found another ride somehow. They could have stolen a car maybe that hasn't been noticed yet if it was in a vacation home garage.

They could have hiked a certain distance and got on a freight train. We just don't know. There are a lot of ways that they could have found transportation. We just thought that probably they were still in the mediate area.

Then of course when the dogs found a scent a couple of days ago, they became more confident that they probably didn't get very far. However, those woods are so thick and there are so many empty homes that they could have gone into for shelter where people may not return to those homes until next month for a summer vacation.

It's still a possible -- I guess basically everything is possible. They could be close. They could be in somebody's home. They could be a thousand miles away.

BLACKWELL: We had a bulletin to be on the lookout for Richard Matt near the Mexican border so they indeed could be anywhere. We'll continue this conversation throughout the morning. Tom, thank you.

PAUL: Meanwhile, the father of the suspect in the attack on Dallas police headquarters is giving us a sense this morning of who his son was. He says James Boulware was angry. He was desperate and he says his son was killed during a standoff that followed that shooting obviously.

In an emotional interview, though, Jim Boulware told CNN that the two of them were just hanging out literally hours before this attack. He knew his son blamed the police for taking his son in a custody battle, but he certainly never imagined that he do something like this.


JIM BOULWARE, SUSPECT'S FATHER: I knew he was angry. He blamed them for taking his son. I tried to tell him the police didn't do it. The police were doing their jobs to enforce the laws. They are just enforcing the laws.


WHITFIELD: So obviously we're going to have more of that emotional interview a little bit later this morning. But first let's go to CNN's Nick Valencia. He is in Dallas. Nick, what are people doing there this morning? NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christie. Nerves still shaken after Saturday morning shooting, the front window of Dallas Police Department Headquarters boarded up. There were many close calls here on Saturday and it was amazing that no one was injured especially when you consider the man who came here to do this was intent on taking lives.


VALENCIA (voice-over): It was a brazen overnight attack on police, an ambush that included an armored vehicle, heavy gunfire and explosives. Police radio transmission captured the emotion.

[06:10:12] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It hit the glass. It did not penetrate.

VALENCIA: The suspect arrives at Dallas police headquarters just after midnight on Saturday and opens fire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The suspect refeuses to give his name and he's got the van rigged with explosives.

VALENCIA: At one point, he uses his armored van to smash into police squad cars, the front of the building still freckled with bullet holes. The assault so dynamic, police initially believed there is more than one shooter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All suspects got into a vehicle and are currently in pursuit.

VALENCIA (on camera): Dallas police say that this is one of the first cars that the suspect engages. At least two officers were inside the vehicle at the time of the shooting.

(voice-over): During a tour of one of the crime scenes just hours of the shooting, police tell the media, this is the spot where the first of several pipe bombs exploded. No one was injured in the blast. This is what's left behind of the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe this suspect meant to kill officers and took time to discharge that weapon multiple times to accomplish their wanting to harm our officers.

VALENCIA: Evidence tags marked the spots where fragments of shell casings are still left behind. Police say on this day they got lucky.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make sure you advise them that if this person runs out of the vehicle, that they provide cover for us at that point.

VALENCIA: She was just feet from the shoot-out. She says she could be dead right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You could see the sparks coming off the armored truck. You could see police everywhere.

VALENCIA: The shooter led police on a chase that ended nearly 20 miles away. After a seven-hour standoff, a police sniper fires into the front window, the suspect killed and the van up in flames.

Now investigators will try to determine the motive while they reflect on how much worse it could have been.


VALENCIA: And those investigators are continuing to go over video. Lots of amateur cell phones, they want all of that to begin to piece together the play by play of how this all went down. We are expecting a press conference later this afternoon where we will get more details -- Victor, Christie.

PAUL: All right, Nick Valencia, thank you so much. Listen, Boulware's father also told CNN, before this violent attack, his son simply mowed the lawn and he promised to be back in a 10 days.


BOULWARE: He told me he loved me and he's going to back to West Texas. I told him to have a safe trip. He left from here. He mowed my yard yesterday. Told me he was going to be back in ten days to mow it again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you have any idea when he left?



PAUL: It's such a tough thing for that man to reconcile. We're going to have more of his interview later this morning on NEW DAY.

BLACKWELL: Also that Dallas shooting suspect, James Boulware, he had a long criminal past, even threatened judges. So how was he free to fly under radar and get his hands on weapons, explosives and an armored van?

WHITFIELD: We'll talk about and also this new report that's released in the shooting death of Tamir Rice. Could charges be coming for the officer who opened fire on that 12-year-old boy? We'll have more for you and the latest finding.



PAUL: So you may have been wondering how exactly was Dallas shooting suspect, James Boulware, able to get his hands on guns, explosives, an armored vehicle, I mean, this man has a long criminal past, a record of domestic violence. He made threats against judges that were involved in some of his cases.

Let's talk about this with CNN law enforcement analyst, Cedric Alexander. He is also the public safety director for DeKalb County, Georgia, by the way, and HLN legal analyst, Joey Jackson.

Joey, I want to you first and let's listen here together to Judge Kim Cooks. She spoke to CNN about Boulware.


JUDGE KIM COOKS, DALLAS FAMILY DISTRICT COURT: When he had a court appearance or when we thought that he would be in court, the security was always heightened in the building. In my courtroom, I had extra security put in place because he was always a threat to us. So we just didn't know what he would do or when he would do it or you know what was going to happen.


WHITFIELD: So Joey, when you hear about extra security and threats against judges, you're an attorney. If you're in a courtroom and you're feeling this threat, how is it that it goes without any sort of repercussion?

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Sure. Good morning, Christie. Good morning, Cedric. You know, the reality is, is that every day courts in various jurisdictions do various things whether it's a family court, whether it's a criminal court.

And certainly those courts are manned by professionals who are in law enforcement, who remain vigilant as to what someone's actions can be. But the bigger problem obviously is you cannot proactively just decide because someone, you believe, may be mentally defective or having a bad day.

You can't tackle that person. There had to be some indication of criminality. They have to do something, you know, before you can get to them and so it's problematic. I will say --

PAUL: So making threats to a judge is not enough to have something --

JACKSON: It certainly is and that certainly needs to be dealt with. In other words if there were judges who were threatened or anybody else who was threatened, there's an order of protection that's granted. That order of protection advises you that you can't threaten a judge.

You need to stay away from whoever is in that protective order and certainly you have potentially more court officers who are in that courtroom to ensure that you are not doing anything.

Keep in mind also that when you walk into these facilities, they do have metal detectors and other things to ensure that you do not have items on you that you can hurt someone with.

But at the end of the day, the proceeding in court has to move forward and as a result of that you have to be there and presumably the system knew he was doing something that was amiss and that they didn't feel that it was comfortable enough to allow him to stay with his child and so that's something certainly that they did right here.

PAUL: All right, so Cedric, I want to talk to you now about the fact that this guy was able to obtain guns of this magnitude and explosives and an armored vehicle.

[16:20:07] How does that happen, particularly with somebody who is known by the courts and by law enforcement to be unstable and to be a threat?

CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, there is a legal way to obtain guns. And of course, there's an illegal way as well too. I think a lot that's going to be learned here, Christie, going forward between Dallas PD, ATF, FBI, all those involved in this investigation.

This is going to be many of the questions that they are going to asked and it's going to be a lot of leads that they're going to follow all the way back to the vehicle itself and as well as the explosives, which we all know can be very, very difficult to gain possession of.

So it's going to be very, very interesting as to how he was able to come in possession of that type of explosive material in addition as well to the weapons that was in position of as well.

PAUL: And do you think that those things will be able to be traced and answers will be found?

ALEXANDER: Yes. The ATF in particular and the FBI working with local law enforcement, they have a lot of resources, a lot of technology, a lot of experience as well to track virtually any weapon and of course even after an explosion, they're able to go back.

Recreate that crime scene, gather information from that explosion and oftentimes even track that back to where it came from as well too. So it's going to be a long and tedious ongoing investigation, but I believe they're going get to the bottom of your question here very shortly.

PAUL: All righty, Cedric Alexander and Joey Jackson, we appreciate both of you. Thank you.

JACKSON: Thank you for having me.

BLACKWELL: Coming up, we're going to take you to Columbus, Ohio. Police there are on a manhunt searching for whomever shot and killed four people. We'll tell you why police there believe a wounded teenager is still in danger.

And Hillary Clinton kicks off a campaign for president with a huge rally in New York. We'll tell you why the tone here is different.



PAUL: In Columbus, Ohio, police are looking for a gunman who shot and killed two men and two women in a home there.

BLACKWELL: A 16-year-old girl was found outside. Also she had been shot. Columbus police say she could still be in danger because this gunman is still on the loose. Listen to the two people who claim to be relatives of the victims.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it is a tragedy. It was a 16-year-old girl that got killed. She's in critical condition in the hospital. Both my dad and my sister got killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a tragedy. You know what a tragedy is? It's something you can ball up in your fists and you can't get it back.


BLACKWELL: We'll have more on the story in just a few minutes.

PAUL: Let's talk about Hillary Clinton, shall we? She launched her campaign in front of more than 5,000 people in New York yesterday. Look at that. Today she's already campaigning in Iowa. She's portraying herself as the candidate of the future. Her campaign is going to focus on economic inequality and social justice.

BLACKWELL: Tomorrow, the president of the Spokane, Washington, NAACP branch will confront her critics who say she is not black. Well, Rachel Dolezal's own parents say she is white and her adopted brother says she, quote, "asked him not to blow her cover." The issue of Dolezal's racial identity has set off a public furor across the nation.

PAUL: Well, one Cleveland police officer's fate is in the hands of a grand jury now after a new report released into whether that officer had probable cause when he shot and killed a 12-year-old boy. We're going to breakdown some of the key findings from this report that just came out. Stay close.