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Patricia Now Category One Over Mexico; Flash Flood Emergency in Navarro County, Texas; Carson Knocks Trump from Top Spot in Iowa; Tracking Hurricane Patricia; Has U.S. Returned to Combat in Iraq?; Road Rage Murder. Aired 6:-7 ET

Aired October 24, 2015 - 06:00   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: This is what Patricia looks like from space as it made landfall along Mexico's Pacific coast as Category 5 at that time, the most severe rating. Winds in excess of 155 miles an hour is extending far out from that eye.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: This is speeding another storm system in Texas causing torrential rain, setting off a flash flood emergency there. Numerous stranded drivers had to be rescued from flooded sections of Interstate 45. It is south of Dallas.

We have our reporters live ahead for us. We have Sara Sidner there in Guadalajara in Mexico, of course, and meteorologist, Jennifer Gray at the CNN Hurricane Center in Atlanta.

We want to start, though, with Ed Lavandera. He is in Navarro County, Texas, south of Dallas, where we can tell by the lens there that the rain is coming down -- Ed.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor. It's the point of no return. We are about 15 miles north of the small town of course, Canna, Texas, where the interstate has been shut down here for about a 30-mile stretch. You can see that the trouble this is causing in this area here.

It's back towards the north where traffic is backed up for miles and miles. So a large part of the interstate here, Victor, is covered by water. In the last 24 hours, there has been about 16 inches of rain that has fallen in this area.

The rain is expected to continue most of the morning. It's not exactly clear when the interstate here, Interstate 45 which connects Dallas with Houston is going to reopen. That is, of course, of great concern.

We have been speaking with emergency officials throughout the night. They say some homes have taken on some water. But that doesn't appear to be the biggest concern at this point is really the roadways.

There have been several dozen high water rescues over the course of the last 15 hours here in this area. It is a long night. People here, bracing for more rain as it continues to fall here into the end of the hours -- Victor. BLACKWELL: All right, Ed Lavandera, thank you so much. Again, this storm may have weakened, but make no mistake, it is still incredibly dangerous for anyone caught in its path.

PAUL: Yes, meteorologist, Jennifer Gray, tracking the storm as it moves across Mexico. Here's my question, Jennifer, as you look at the trajectory here, what -- the fact that this thing is still a Category 1 hurricane 12 hours after making landfall. What is the possibility that this. Could get into the gulf and reenergize?

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, that's not going to happen. It's not going to re-strengthen, if you will. It is going to pump a lot of moisture back into Texas, but we're not going to see any re- strengthening of this storm. In fact, right now, you are right, barely a Category 1, 75-mile-per-hour winds, with gusts up to 90.

It has become basically shred apart by the mountains, the wind shear. That's exactly what we expected. But it is still bringing a lot of moisture, a lot of rain still to central portions of Mexico and even along the coast.

We are still getting a lot of rain there. So the track you can see a tropical storm by 11:00 this morning before it hits Monterey. So it is going to continue to weaken, but all of this moisture is being fed up to the south.

So you can see Texas already has received flooding rainfall over the last day or so. They're only going to get more rain. Some areas could see an additional 10 to 15 inches of rain, isolated amounts even higher.

So we are going to be in for a serious flooding situation in Texas, not to mention the rain continuing in Mexico. We could still see landslides there because of the mountainous terrain.

And even along the coast, we could still see an additional 10 to 20 inches of rain because these storms are what you call training. They're going one after another so it's hard to clear out that way.

So in Texas, here's the story. You see right around Houston, that bulls eye right there, six to ten inches with isolated amounts even higher. Flash flooding is very hard to chase and so it's hard to predict exactly where it's going to happen.

But we know there is going to be a lot of rain in Texas. You have to keep in mind. The whole country could see major flooding as well. We've seen the flash flooding south of Dallas, where Ed is and that will continue over the next couple of days.

Because of that, we do have the flash flood warnings in place across much of Texas. Those flood warnings as well. So this is going to be a continuing story, Victor and Christi, over the next couple of days, you can see the rain coming down as we speak across much of Texas.

BLACKWELL: An important reminder, Jennifer, we thank you for that. That the category is only an indication of the wind speeds. So when people wake up this morning and they see this is a category 1, they think people are out of the woods, they are not.

[06:05:02] The rain can cause some serious dangers and threats. We'll remind people of that throughout the morning and teach them how to stay safe and remind them which areas are going to be hit next. Jennifer Gray, thanks so much.

PAUL: Thanks, Jennifer. CNN's Sara Sidner has been tracking Hurricane Patricia as it moves across Mexico. She is joining us now from Guadalajara.

Sara, I know that daylight has not even come yet. So it might be hard to assess exactly what kind of damage that you are dealing with, yes?

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right. We are inland so what which heard overnight are gusts of wind and plenty of rain. The rains have stopped, the winds are pretty calm. We know the hurricane hit, the unprecedented hurricane hit south of Puerto Vallarta to give you an idea where it land.

We can tell you there were folks gathered from the government, rescue crews and aid groups that were gathered in Pelima (ph), gathered to know when there is daylight they will be able help the most.

We are told in that area, they actually started getting people to leave, evacuating people not just because of the hurricane but more because of the volcano that had been spewing ash in the past month.

And that ash they were so concerned about because once water hits it. They were worried, boy, we are going to have mudslides and we need to get people in the danger zones out of the way. That's where aid agencies were to gather to try to get to people who will need it most when there is daylight.

One of the things that we have heard from the president here is that though this is a historic and very dangerous storm that hit Mexico, they do not believe the damage will be as extensive as they first thought.


ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, MEXICAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Was the information available until now and taking into account that the hurricane follows its path. The first reports that the damages have been smaller considering the magnitude of the hurricane. Nonetheless, it is very important that population stay in the shelters. Security forces will be patrolling to protect their homes.


SIDNER: So in the states of Halisco (ph), Poliman (ph), and Nairit (ph), the schools were closed, airports closed, sea ports closed. And again, people have to realize and the president wanted to make clear.

Don't just go out and think you will be able get to where you need to go. Mudslides, landslides, there is a big concern of flash flooding. They want people to still shelter in place. Guys, back to you. PAUL: All right, very good points to make there. Sara Sidner, we appreciate it. Thank you so much. We will be covering Hurricane Patricia throughout the morning. So do keep it here and stay with us to find how you can help those being impacted by the hurricane as well. Just go to Thank you for doing so.

BLACKWELL: But still ahead, an important question, is the United States back in combat in Iraq? Of course, that question coming after an American service member dies during a raid against ISIS and there is this.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have a breaking story. Donald Trump has fallen to second place behind Ben Carson.


BLACKWELL: Well, that's the headline, Donald Trump reporting it himself. He is now number two to Carson in Iowa, according to two new polls, so what's behind the surge in surge?

And Iowa was the place to be today, Bill Clinton rallying there for Hillary Clinton alongside pop star, Katy Perry.




BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Overall, though, we're making enormous progress and it does make you wonder why is it that Republican politicians are so down on America, have you noticed that? I mean, they are, they are gloomy. They're like grumpy cat.


BLACKWELL: What do you think? Did he nail that? That's the president last evening. Now, this morning, in the race for the White House, Donald Trump, is trying to downplay recent bruising polls in Iowa with the latest coming from "Bloomberg" and "Des Moines Register."

Now many consider the "Des Moines Register" poll to be the gold standard for polling in Iowa. It shows what you are seeing on your screen, Dr. Ben Carson surging ahead of Trump in the key caucus states.

Carson says he's not surprised by the new numbers. Last night in Florida, Donald Trump went on the attack.


TRUMP: Trump falls to second place in Iowa. I said, no way! The press was going crazy, they loved it. They were so happy. I won't mention the names, but you know some of them. You know some of them. We have a breaking story. Donald Trump has fallen to 2nd place behind Ben Carson. We informed Ben, but he was sleeping.

BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm gratified by the fact that so many people are really paying attention to what I'm saying because none of this means what I'm saying are wild, crazy things. They're very logical thing and if people really sat down and thought about them rather than align to whip me to a frenzy.


BLACKWELL: All right, joining me now is CNN political commentator, Errol Louis. Errol, good to have you this morning.


BLACKWELL: We're 150 days give or take from the Iowa caucus. "Des Moines Register" poll, though, shows that four out of five likely GOP caucus-goers are still persuadable. They could go to another candidate so put into context the importance of this change at the top.

LOUIS: Well, the change at the top reflects some underlying trends. While Trump was joking about it, he has some cause to be concerned.

[06:15:03] The reality is that Ben Carson is much more in line with where Evangelical conservative voters are as far as not just a point of view but just sort of life sometime, public presentation.

He's got certain modesty about it. The way he talks, there is a certain piety when he talks about religious ideas and what they mean to him. It's the opposite of Trump.

Trump is bombastic. Trump owns casinos, has been married three times, Trump worships mammon, if you put it in biblical terms. You have a challenge that Trump faces. I think he also knows, maybe it's not entirely clear to those who haven't seen these races before, but everything changes after Iowa.

You know, I mean, there is a sort of a media frenzy. There is a national spotlight that is shown on the race and so while Trump doesn't necessarily have to win Iowa, he also can't get blown out. I think that's kind of more where his organization is going to be focused in this last 100 days before the caucuses.

BLACKWELL: How about this attack, though, Donald Trump calling Ben Carson low energy as he did Jeb Bush. It seemed to really get under the skin of Governor Bush. Is this something that is going to work against Ben Carson because, as you said, people like the way in which he relates with the caucus-goers?

LOUIS: Yes, I don't think it's going to rattle him the way it may have bothered Jeb Bush. You know, the reality is it's a sort of a personal insult. Aside from the fact that I think people may be getting tired of the personal insults. It's also like a manliness thing.

You are low energy. You know, I'm a big guy with a lot of vim and vigor and you are not. Ben Carson doesn't rise to that kind of bait. He is who is. He knows what he knows. He is a professional.

Frankly, that calm is really I think not just his personality, but it's a part of his professional demeanor. You know, you can't go around separating conjoined twins and so forth, and you know, keeping a steady hand over the course of hours.

And making literally life and death decisions if you are a nervous, high energy guy. So I don't know if the voters are going to hold that against him one bit.

BLACKWELL: All right, gotcha, let's talk about Jeb Bush now the announcement from his campaign that they are slashing salaries, downsizing staff, moving staff from Miami into the early states. Is this a problem for the candidate or for the campaign?

Because if the campaign I guess is bare bones, they can keep moving. But if the right to rise the super PAC is still flushed and buying ads, maybe this isn't as big a story. Put this into context.

LOUIS: Well, that's right. Look, as far as the ability to have some money spent somewhere on his team, whether it's super PAC, which is outside spending or the campaign itself, you have to hold your resources, there is no question about it.

I think the campaign, though, is being accurate and it probably won't look very good to the average voter. I think they're realistic. They did not expect the surge of Carson and Trump.

They did not expect to have to build out the kind of organization that can win a national race. You have to be look ahead, building in other states. It's a very expensive proposition.

The reality, though, is that they can't get about the task of doing that national building if they will get blown out in Iowa or they risk getting blown out in New Hampshire.

So they have to sort husband their resources, buy some advertising, buy some people on the ground, make sure they don't get blown out in these first early states because there is nothing worth talking about it if that should happen.

It's a logical and politically professional thing to do to sort of trim their expenses now while they still can.

BLACKWELL: All right, we'll see if these changes actually help into these polls, languished in the single digits for months now. Errol Louis, thank you so much. Later we will talk about the Democrats in Des Moines. Thanks, Errol.

The candidates come to CNN, Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubion, Donald Trump, all exclusive on "STATE OF THE UNION," Sunday morning, 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN. You don't want to miss it. PAUL: We are following breaking news, the storm that is still a hurricane, Patricia, this hour, is weakening, however the threatening winds and rain now tracking towards Texas. We'll talk about it.

Also look at this video, a gunman firing shots on a college campus. Is there any way you can recognize him? Police are releasing this video hoping someone can help them find the shooter.



PAUL: A $6,000 reward is being offered for tips on a deadly school shooting that police say started over a dice game.

BLACKWELL: It happened Thursday at Tennessee State University in Nashville. Investigators have also released new surveillance video this morning. You are watching it. It shows when the suspected gunman started shooting, killed one person in this case. Authorities say they are looking for two men, two students suffered non-life- threatening injuries during this incident as well.

BLACKWELL: Well, the FBI has been asked now to join the investigation into the shooting death of a Florida church drummer. The Palm Beach County Sheriff apparently asked for the agency's help.

Cory Jones was shot and killed by a plain clothes officer on an interstate exit ramp last weekend. Family members say at the time, Jones was waiting on a tow truck. The officer, apparently, pulled up in an unmarked car.

BLACKWELL: Ex-subway pitchman Jared Fogle paid out a $1 million payment to ten of his victims. The disgraced spokesman pleaded guilty in August to federal child porn charges and having sex with minors. Part of that plea included restitution. Four more victims will receive payments. Fogle will be sentenced next month. He faces up to 12.5 years in prison.

PAUL: Students in Chicago are trying to reconcile the loss of a high school football player who died after suffering hard blow on the field. Family members tell CNN affiliate, WLS, the 17-year-old Andre Smith was hit in the last play of Thursday night's game. He walked off the field and then collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. They say he had brain swelling. He died yesterday morning.

BLACKWELL: Coming up, a drive home from school ends with a 4-year-old girl dead in her father's arms. We got new details about this long criminal history of the man who is being called the road rage killer.

[06:25:01] Plus, we are following breaking news this morning, parts of the United States now already feeling Patricia's punch. This hurricane is still, though, moving across Mexico, not done with that country yet, heavy rain, high waters, whipping winds. We got a storm chaser's view next.

PAUL: First, though, this week's "Culinary Journey" takes us to Peru to meet Chef Martinez, who's made a name for himself using modern cooking techniques. Take a look where this popular chef gets his ideas.


UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Lima's Flores district, Martinez runs his restaurant alongside his wife and fellow chef. This year, central held onto the title of Latin America's best restaurants at the prestigious world's 50 best awards. It is here the chef made a name for himself applying modern techniques and ingredients.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, they were looking for a way, they didn't just new landscapes, new ways of cooking, from our ancestors. What we've seen in our roots is so modern that I think truly amazed. Everybody who is coming through.

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: The country is home to 28 of the world's 32 climate zones as well as altitudes of over 6,000 meters. All served up to central diners to explore on a plate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we cook, we communicate something. I think a very few and interesting ways to communicate what we're doing was to contact lives, a tasty menu which means every single dish comes from one attitude. You have 17 attitudes in one experience.

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Martinez has traveled the length and breadth of Peru, but he's still hungry for more. Chef is about to scale the heights to seek out a brand-new dish for his menu.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I get back from this treat is to get to know more about these dishes and about the way the people see the world.


PAUL: Watch the full show at We'll be right back.


PAUL: Doesn't look pretty, does it? That's Hurricane Patricia and now the storm is barreling its way across Mexico. A category one hurricane. This is what's striking to me. It hit almost 12 hours ago and it is still in hurricane status, category 1, winds gusting up to 125 miles an hour and threatening to drop at least, at least a foot of rain. And that rain is so particularly dangerous right now with fears that it's going to bring deadly flash floods, mountain slides, as it crosses through Mexico center. It has been downgraded, but we do not want to, you know, we don't want to sensationalize it by any mean ...

BLACKWELL: Certainly.

PAUL: But we don't want to say all is well. It is a dangerous storm, we are being told, for the millions of people still caught in its path. And this, of course, as its bracing towards Texas now.

And that state alone is nearly covering flash flood watches and warnings already. And Patricia hasn't even hit it yet. BLACKWELL: All right, for more on the situation in Texas we are

joined by storm chaser and meteorologist Reed Timmer. He is in Corsicana.

Reid, what are the conditions like where you are? We just saw a video from Mexico. What's going on in Texas?

REED TIMMER, STORM CHASER: It's bad here, and it started yesterday. Actually, the day before yesterday here in the DFW. I'm in Corsicana right now. I was here all day yesterday. And there are several road closures, water several feet deep. There's been multiple water rescues, and Interstate 45 has been closed. And pretty much every route out of town here in Corsicana is closed. And I'm actually looking at the interstate right now behind me out of my hotel here. You can see traffic lined up, you can see semi-trucks even sleeping on the highway here. And we've had well over a foot of rain, probably closing in on 16 to 18 inches here in Corsicana, and like you said, Hurricane Patricia, the moisture that's associated with that is just going to slam south Texas through the weekend.

BLACKWELL: You know, what was so remarkable about this, one of many things was that this strengthened seemingly so quickly from just a tropical storm to the strongest hurricane ever recorded and authorities in Mexico didn't have much time to prepare. Authorities in Texas, though, have more time. What kind of emergency response and preparation are you seeing throughout that area?

TIMMER: Well, well, there's lots of road closures the emergency managers are getting there before the water is too high to sweep vehicles away. So, that's very good. They're monitoring those flood conditions very closely. I've heard reports that there is a dam on the north side of town that they're closely monitoring. And that dam is designed to slowly release water, to prevent catastrophic flooding. But these dams aren't designed to hold a rainfall of 18-plus inches and rainfall rates of one to three inches per hour. And they said that if mandatory evacuations do become necessary associated with that weakening, so far, we haven't heard reports of that, which is a good thing. But all the creeks and rivers upstream here in central Texas are filling up. And that's heading towards the southeast. There is a lot more rain on the way, especially for central and southern Texas. I know Austin and San Antonio are under flash flood warnings now. So, it looks like that threat may be shifting a little bit south.

BLACKWELL: You know, you do this for a living, you've chased more than a dozen hurricanes, including Hurricane Katrina. When people hear the strongest hurricane ever and these numbers when it was coming to shore, 200 miles per hour sustained, 245, much less than that now, put that into context for us, what we should expect, hope isn't true, but maybe expect when the sun comes up as we look across Mexico?

TIMMER: It's going to be really ugly there. Especially between Manzanilla on Puerto Vallarta. There are several small fishing towns, and there is one road that goes right along the coast with no other options to go inland from there.

[06:35:02] So, basically, if you head north out of Manzanilla, you've got to go all the way to Puerto Vallarta. There is no way you're going to make it right now. But the road is likely washed in the ocean, and I really feel for the people that live between there in those small towns, because the structures just aren't quite big enough to handle those types of winds. There are very few structures that are. There is no parking garages in the big resorts between those two towns. And it's just going to be absolute devastation. And if you can imagine the 20 mile wide F5 tornado, that's 200-mile-per-hour winds, lasting for several hours, that's going to wipe out anything in its path. And then you have got landslides heading into the ocean as the mountains go right up to the coast there. It's going to be bad in the morning, and all that moisture is headed towards Texas.

BLACKWELL: I got you. Reed Timmer, storm chase and meteorologist. We thank you so much for putting this into context for us, and, of course, we'll have that first look at sunlight. Reed, stay safe out there.

TIMMER: Will do, thank you.


PAUL: Thank you, Reed. He just mentioned Texas, let's talk about that with meteorologist Jennifer Gray. Because Jennifer I know you have been watching this thing overnight. And I'm wondering, even though it is still 12 hours later, this category 1, and it's breaking apart, as you say, can you give us any sort of gage as to how organized these remnants of the storm might be? Do you think once it does hit Texas?

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, it's not going to be a storm at all anymore once it hits Texas. In fact, by 11:00 this morning, it's going to be downgraded to a tropical storm and then it is going to be going to be gone. This time tomorrow we won't be talking about Patricia anymore. In fact, by later this evening, we won't be. But the moisture from this storm is going to feed into Texas and it is going to combine with a system that's already there. And what's going to happen is that it's going to cause additional rainfall across Texas. And that's where we are going to see that major flooding. We've already seen a lot of flooding as Reed was just mentioning. So, we are going to have more moisture on top of that. And it's going to last through the beginning part of the workweek. Guys.

PAUL: All right, Jennifer Gray, we appreciate it, thank you.

BLACKWELL: This morning, new details about the deadly raid by U.S. Special Forces taking on ISIS. The Pentagon now warning more operations like this could be in the near future.

Plus, allegations of sex parties for recruits at one of the most prestigious college basketball programs in the country. One coach now out of a job. What's going on in Louisville?




REP. ADAM KINZINGER, (R), ILLINOIS: We, obviously, mourn the loss of this brave, brave man. But I think we can't be too risk averse when it comes to defeating the threat of ISIS.

REP. ELIOT ENGEL (D) NEW YORK: Well, I think that Iraq like Afghanistan, we need to have some true presence there. We don't want all the hard fought gains to really go out the window.


BLACKWELL: Lawmakers there raising some concerns and conditions as it relates to the nature of the U.S. commitment in Iraq. Now, this is coming after the death, first death in four years of an American service member killed by enemy fire, Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler lost his life during a rescue mission, but still, Defense Secretary Ash Carter says that the death of Sergeant Wheeler does not mean the U.S. has returned to combat in Iraq. But some are wondering if the administration is correct in making that claim. CNN's Jim Sciutto has details for us.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Faced with the first U.S. combat death in Iraq in four years, Pentagon Secretary Ash Carter made clear that U.S. troops will continue to face danger there.

(on camera): The administration has taken great pains. The president in various permutations to say it's not a ground combat, it's not a major combat rule.

ASH CARTER, DEFENSE SECRETARY: They will be in harm's way, there is no question about it. And I don't want anybody to be under any illusions about that.

SCIUTTO (voice over): A U.S. military official confirms to CNN that Master Sergeant Joshua L. Wheeler, 39 of Roland, Oklahoma, a 20-year military veteran, was a member of the elite Delta force. The deadly battle was the first time U.S. forces have directly engaged ISIS fighters on the ground in Iraq. In a joint operation with Kurdish commandos U.S. special operators from the Delta force raided an ISIS compound to rescue hostages thought to be in imminent danger of execution. U.S. warplanes bombed makeshift ISIS training camps, staging sites and bridges in the area and five helicopters brought in nearly 30 U.S. Special Forces and 40 Kurdish troops.

The U.S. forces were not meant to enter the walled compound or directly engage the ISIS fighters. But when Kurdish forces inside the compound were overwhelmed, U.S. Commander made the decision to enter the firefight. Master Sergeant Wheeler was shot inside the compound and died later after being transported to a military hospital in Irbil. When the mission was over, U.S. aircraft overhead destroyed the compound. U.S. troops are deployed to Iraq on a train, advise and assist mission. However, under current rules of engagement, they are allowed to return fire when they or their partner forces come under attack.

ASH CARTER, DEFENSE SECRETARY: When a firefight ensued, this American ran to the sound of the guns and all the indications are, it was his actions and that of one of his teammates that protected those who were involved in breaching the compound.

SCIUTTO: This risky mission was launched after U.S. military officials after U.S. surveillance spotted freshly dug mass graves inside the compound. U.S. officials say that 70 prisoners were rescued, 20 Iraqi security forces as well as Iraqi civilians and interestingly, ISIS fighters accused by their own group of spying. Missing, however, were the Kurdish captives they were originally sent in to rescue.


SCIUTTO: Master Sergeant Wheeler's remains will come home to the U.S. on Saturday. They will be welcomed by his family, by Secretary Carter and his wife. You know, those images of those flag-draped coffins coming home from war, so familiar until U.S. forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011. This is the first death since then and the first time we have seen those images in so long. Christie and Victor, really sad to see.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, indeed, they are. Jim Sciutto, thank you so much.


PAUL: Also, I want to tell you about something that's happening tonight. A candlelight vigil for this little girl shot and killed while she was just riding home from school with her dad. What we're learning now about the confessed road rage killer as the man is being called. And you know what, he had a pretty long criminal history here.


PAUL: Look at this precious little face. A candlelight vigil is expected today for this four-year-old girl. She was killed during what police are calling a road rage dispute. This comes days after Tony Torres was arrested in the case and he has since, we are told, I believe, confessed to pulling a gun and firing it on an Albuquerque interstate. One of those bullets struck and killed little Lily Garcia. Torres is facing among other charges, an open count of murder, and aggravated battery, and is being held on $650,000 bond. HLN legal analysts and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson, out with us now. So, Joey, I just want to ask you, if you are defending Torres, where do you start?

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, good morning, Christie. What happens is, is that you have to ask yourself as a defense attorney what is your objective? This does not appear to be a who done it case. Why do I say that? Because indications are that they have plenty of witnesses who observed who this person was, the defendant. How he was acting, what he was doing and essentially the conduct he engaged in on that day. So then you have to go, if it's not a whodunnit case, it's a why you dunnit case?


JACKSON: Now, that's significant. Because as you mentioned, Christi, it's an open count of murder. Open count of murder in Nevada allows them, the prosecution, that is, to argue multiple theories in front of the jury, that is, ladies and gentlemen, this was an intentional act by the defendant, which was meant to cause death. If you don't believe that, ladies and gentlemen, of if the evidence doesn't support that, then clearly this was a depraved and inhumane act by the defendant that caused death. And if you don't believe that or if that evidence doesn't support that, he killed this little child, four- years-old while committing another felony. What's that? Firing into the car. So, now as a defense attorney, what you have to do is you have to mitigate that. You are not attempting to win the case outright because, clearly, they're going to identify your client. It's him. So, you are trying to spare his life. If he is convicted of the top count, he's never getting out of jail. However ...

PAUL: So, how do you mitigate it, Joey?

JACKSON: Here's what you do. If you can establish as a defense attorney that it was based upon provocation, that it was based upon sudden passion the quarrel, they were in a dispute, it was road rage, he couldn't control himself, he was angry. The law does not excuse that conduct, Christie, but it goes to the mental state and it reduces a murder count to a manslaughter count because you are acting out of a heat of passion and a sudden quarrel.


JACKSON: And what's the difference? The difference between three-to- ten years in jail and the rest of your life in jail. And I think that's where the defense is going in this case.

PAUL: So let's listen to what the judge had to say in Torres' first appearance here.


JUDGE CHRIS SCHULTZ, BERNARDINO COUNTY COURT, NEW MEXICO: Certainly, this is a crime of violence, I think it goes without saying. That this is possibly - this is possibly one of the most wanton and atrocious acts as alleged, I think in the history of the city.

And so, it is clearly ...


PAUL: So you couple that with the fact that this guy had a long criminal history. According to court records, he faced nine different misdemeanors and felonies in 2008. He was accused of pointing a handgun at his girlfriend and asked if she quote "wanted to die." How does something like that as we understand it get dismissed as it did?

JACKSON: Now, here's what's going to happen, these cases as we understand and as you mention have gotten dismissed. And so, the issue is whether or not if he's convicted should they be factored in at sentencing or more closer to the point now, should they come in during this trial? My client arguing, right, just as they would argue as a defense attorney, my client was not convicted of any of these, so how should we let the jury know?

But what happens is, the prosecutor is going to make an application to allow these things in evidence as prior bad acts to go to establish that this is part of his modus operandi, this is part of a common plan, this is part of a common scheme, and so they are going to try to introduce that the defense is going to say it's overly prejudicial, it would be too harmful to the jury, so let it out. And so, that's how it's going to play. But many times, Christie, briefly, cases are dismissed, because of the fact that witnesses don't appear in court, you know, they don't. The prosecution doesn't have adequate proof. And as a result, they can't go forward. And unfortunately, you have a guy like this with his past history who's out on the road. The result, this little girl is dead.

PAUL: Not only that, but you just think of this poor family, the father, who saw it and the son. There's the seven-year-old son in the car as well at the same time who called out to a dad that his sister was bleeding. So, Joey Jackson, we really appreciate your insight on this, as always, thank you.

JACKSON: Thank you, Christie.

BLACKWELL: All right. So we have got a lot coming up at the top of the hour. We are going to head to Texas now feeling the effects of Hurricane Patricia. We'll tell you what's ahead for this day.


PAUL: You need an expert for the Royals in the World Series pitfall, the Kansas City ball club beat the current Blue Days four to three, so the Royals are up in game one against the Mets Tuesday night at home.

BLACKWELL: And this is the new developments this morning in the sex scandal at the college basketball powerhouse. CNN sports anchor Andy Scholes has more on the allegations rocking the University of Louisville.

PAUL: I am learning so much this morning.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Aren't we all?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, we had a new development yesterday. A former Louisville graduate assistant Andre McGee who is really at the center of this scandal. He resigned from his current job as assisting coach at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, yesterday. Now, Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino denies knowing anything about the alleged sex parties that former self-described escort Katina Powell says went on at a campus dorm. And Louisville and NCAA are both investigating the program. And Pitino and the Cardinals, they could be in for some severe penalties.


SCHOLES: The University of Louisville is one of the most successful college basketball programs in the country. They won a national championship in 2013, but now the program has a dark cloud hanging over it. In a new book titled "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen," Katina Powell gives the sordid details of more than 20 different recruiting parties that took place at the athletic dorm building Minardi Hall between 2010 and 2014. Being downside the lines, Powell said former Louisville graduate assistant coach Andre McGee would pay her to bring strippers to the parties, and in some cases the dancers, including Powell's own daughters would have sex with the recruits.

KATINA POWELL: He would start the music, and usually the girls would come out one by one. And they would dance for the recruit. And he asked me is there any girls that want to, you know, make extra money, pretty much a side deal with the players. You know, I was like, I'll ask. So I asked the girls, you know, if anybody would want to make extra money and the eyes just lit up, like, well, yeah.

SCHOLES: Powell says she would even have sex with the recruits' parents and guardians in order to get the players to sign with the school. And outside the lines, Powell says it's hard to believe that Pitino didn't know what was going on.

POWELL: Four years, a boat load of recruits, a boat load of dancers, loud music, alcohol, security, cameras, basketball players who came in at will, you got players that are so loyal to Pitino, who wouldn't go back into like, hey, you know, we got dancers and sex and all that going on. My think is how could he not know?

SCHOLES: At Louisville's tipoff luncheon, coach Pitino said he knew nothing about the allegations, but he would get to the bottom of it.


RICK PITINO: If there was any wrongdoing, it's a big if, and people have to pay for their crimes, and that's an if. I hope those ifs are not true.