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At This Hour
Memphis Prosecutor Considers More Charges In Tyre Nichols Case; 400, 000+ Customers Without Power In Texas Amid Ice Storm; Judge Weighs Financial Motive Evidence In Murdaugh Murder Trial. Aired 11:30a-12p ET
Aired February 02, 2023 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Memphis prosecutors are looking into the potential of bringing more criminal charges in the police beating death of Tyre Nichols. One piece of the encounter under the microscope now, the initial police report littered with contradictions. Investigators are also combing through hours of additional footage from that night, footage that so far has not been released publicly.
Nick Valencia has more on this -- on these latest developments for us. He's joining us now. Nick, what are you hearing about these additional hours of video?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, it could be up to 20 hours of additional video and audio according to the district attorney. This is video and audio that the public has not yet seen. One of the big questions we have after what happened to Tyre Nichols is why did police pull him over.
We were initially told it was because of reckless driving though later the police chief said after review, there's no evidence of that. So, will this additional video and audio that's not been released yet give us insight into why he was pulled over? Yesterday, the district attorney told Wolf Blitzer that a lot of the video that we haven't seen yet happens after the beating already took place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN MULROY, SHELBY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: There's a lot of footage maybe as much as 20 hours. And some of it, I think may be more relevant because of the audio and then a lot of it depicts things that take place, you know after the beating has already occurred. And, you know, people are sort of talking afterwards, even after the ambulance takes Mr. Nichols away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: The district attorney says it will be up to the city and the police department of when and how to release that video. The police telling CNN this morning that they are still working on a plan of how to release that tape. Meanwhile, the investigation into Nichols' stop is moving forward. The district attorney's office telling me that they are now looking at the potential of filing charges on a false police report saying that, that was -- the police report that was released to the public had a bundle of contradictions when compared to the video that we all saw, Kate.
BOLDUAN: It's good to see you, Nick. Thank you for that.
VALENCIA: You too.
BOLDUAN: Joining me now for more, CNN's senior law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey, the former police commissioner of Philadelphia and former police chief in Washington, DC. Chief, as Nick was just saying, we've got now up to 20 hours of additional footage that could be released. And the DA was noting to Wolf in his interview last night that the audio what -- of what was said after the beating and even after the ambulance took Nichols away could be particularly relevant. Why do you think that could be?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I think the audio is probably going to be pretty damaging to the department, to the profession as a whole, quite frankly. Officers talking even afterwards about what took place, it can't possibly be good. I imagined almost all of it will be body-worn camera footage. I doubt if it's going to show whether or not the traffic stop originally was justified but it certainly may show people who arrived at the scene immediately after it failed to render aid, the kind of conversation that may have taken place.
And the individual that wrote the report, who apparently is not one of the five that were indicted, was that individual there? Would they have known what actually took place and then falsified a report intentionally? That would be something I'd be on the lookout for.
BOLDUAN: That's a good point. I mean, let's -- I wanted to ask you about that because then these discrepancies from the initial police report and what is seen and not seen on the video. Let me play how the DA talked about it last night with Wolf.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MULROY: I think it's fair to say that the incident report that has gone public does not match up on all fours with what one sees when one looks at the video that's already been released.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Does it make sense, or how do you make sense, or how do you -- I don't know what do you -- what do you think of the fact that that initial report would be so different from what's seen on the video?
RAMSEY: Well, I mean, apparently there's some line that goes on in that report. It's just not a reflection of what actually took place. It's also unusual that the arresting officer is not the one that authored the incident report. Normally, that's what would take place, the person who was actually involved in the arrest, and it would have been reviewed and signed by a supervisor. [11:35:02]
So, what kind of culpability is there with a sergeant or other supervisor who may have reviewed the report and signed it? Did they know that the information contained in the report was inaccurate? That's all part of this ongoing investigation. Remember, the DA is looking at it from a prosecutorial point of view. Internally, the department is looking at it from a more administrative internal discipline point of view. So, I wouldn't be surprised if you see some additional officers fired or certainly received some serious discipline if not charged criminally.
BOLDUAN: Can you also talk to me, is you're talking about this additional footage that could be coming out, the conversations that happened do afterward, the audio if it is from body worn-camera and it is -- it -- and it -- and it does end up being damning, it does raise the question of some of the point of having body-worn cameras to be is to prevent this kind of thing from happening. What is it? What is the dynamic at play that officers feel comfortable when they know their body-worn cameras or on talking about something, talking about this in this way? I mean, obviously, including doing what they did on camera in this way. It just continues to kind of boggle the mind.
RAMSEY: Well, I mean, body-worn cameras have made a difference. There's no question about that. I've reviewed hundreds of body-worn camera videos, and it does change not only the police officer, the individual who that police officer is interacting with once they know they're on camera. But having said that, there are cases in which it's as if people forget they have it on, they don't care or what have you.
And it is mind-boggling that it's on camera, but thank God it is on camera because now we can uncover the truth in terms of what took place. So, it's still beneficial. Even though you have to wonder, you know why people still do what they do but it has been beneficial -- immensely beneficial.
BOLDUAN: Yes, it's absolutely right. It's good to see you, Chief. Thank you, as always.
RAMSEY: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Hundreds of thousands of people in Texas are without power from that ice storm just hammering the South, the very latest on that wild weather is next. But first, here's Dr. Sanjay Gupta and why working on your balance is so important in today's "CHASING LIFE."
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta, host of CNN's "CHASING LIFE" podcast. We often talk about mental balance but I wanted to spend a minute today talking about the other balance, physical balance. It's really important as you age. In fact, falls are the leading cause of injury for people 65 and older.
There are so many factors that can affect our physical balance, aging, vision changes, overall physical fitness. And that also means there are things you can do to improve your balance that you may not have realized. For example, just stay on your feet as much as possible. Stand instead of sit.
Also, a simple thing you can do is practice standing on one leg. Make sure you're standing next to something you can grab onto in case you stumble. Walking upstairs, doing squats, and lunges also good for balance. And make sure you regularly move from sitting to standing. That's a key movement for maintaining independence as you age.
Finally, Tai Chi is a great exercise for all ages. By performing a series of slow-flowing motions and constantly shifting your weight, you challenge your balance and improve bone density and joint stability as well.
You can hear much more about how to optimize your health and chase life wherever you get your podcast.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: At this hour, more than 400,000 customers in Texas are in the dark, without power, as freezing temperatures and ice have just been hammering the State. Ed Lavandera is in Dallas for us. Once again, Ed, how's it going there?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think we're starting to see some light at the end of this icy winter nightmare storm. And it's been several days of just brutal and treacherous conditions on the roadways. But many of the roadways -- as the temperatures have crept up above freezing here throughout the day, many of the roadways you're starting to see kind of that slushy in the -- in the ice melt away. But it's the overpasses that still remain a nightmare. So very slick. This hasn't had a chance to melt up.
But really for a lot of people in the state, the lack of power is starting to become a major issue, especially in the Austin, Texas area where the majority of the customers are without power. More than 160,000 customers without power there. And that is due in large part not because of any issues with the electrical grid, which is also always a great concern here in the state, but more having to do with the amount of ice falling on trees and bringing down trees and knocking out power lines. So, that has really been the focus of the situation here. But at least, as far as the ice is concerned, we're starting to see some relief in sight here. Temperatures are expected to reach nearly 50 degrees tomorrow, Kate.
BOLDUAN: And that is balmy, considering what you guys have all been dealing with. It's good to see you, Ed. Thank you so much.
LAVANDERA: I'll take it. BOLDUAN: And important you'll take it for sure. There's also ahead for us. An important move just this morning by the judge in the murder trial of Alex Murdaugh. The detail's next.
BOLDUAN: The judge in the Alex Murdaugh murder trial is weighing whether his alleged financial troubles can be revealed in front of the jury. This comes after the prosecution showed new video which they say proves Murdaugh was at the scene of the crime when his wife and son were killed.
Randi Kaye is outside the courthouse for us in South Carolina tracking it all. Randi, what's happened so far today?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, they are listening right now -- the judge is listening to determine whether or not as you said these financial crimes can -- the alleged financial crimes can be included. The jury is not in the courtroom. But Alex Murdaugh is accused of stealing nearly $9 million and defrauding clients and friends and family, so they are deciding whether or not that should be included because that is a big part of what the prosecutors say was his motive for these murders if he did indeed commit them.
But getting back to those murders, Alex Murdaugh has said that he was not at the dog kennels where those took place earlier in the night on their property in Islandton, South Carolina. He said that he was napping, then he went to his mother's house, but now there is this video from his own son's cell phone that was released in court and there are three voices that can be heard on that video.
The video was taken about 8:45 p.m. Alex Murdaugh says he didn't arrive there until much later when he called 911 at 10:07 p.m. But there were two witnesses in court yesterday, longtime friends of his son, Paul, who said they heard Alex Murdaugh's voice on that video. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CREIGHTON WATERS, PROSECUTOR: Whose voices did you recognize on that video?
WILL LOVING, FRIEND OF PAUL MURDAUGH: Paul Murdaugh, Maggie Murdaugh, and Alex Murdaugh.
WATERS: And how sure are you?
LOVNG: 100 percent.
WATERS: Do you recognize Paul's voice?
ROGAN GIBSON, FRIEND OF PAUL MURDAUGH: Yes, sir.
WATERS: Do you recognize Maggie's voice? GIBSON: Yes, sir.
WATERS: Do you recognize Alex's voice?
GIBSON: Yes, sir.
WATERS: 100 percent?
GIBSON: Yes, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: That first witness that you saw there, Rogen Gibson, was on the call -- was on the phone with Paul Murdaugh about 8:40. Then he was supposed to send him that FaceTime video, which was shown in court where you saw the dog on it. And now, he was telling the jury yesterday that he was trying to text and call Paul Murdaugh again and he never got a response, Kate.
BOLDUAN: All right, Randi, a lot to come. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
Here with me now for more on this is criminal trial attorney Sara Azari. She's the host of a new crime show Death By Fame on investigation discovery. It's good to see you and have you here in person, Sara. It's nice to see you.
SARA AZARI, CRIMINAL TRIAL ATTORNEY: It's good to see you too, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Let's talk about a little where Randi started. This seems like it could be an important part of what's going to be seen before the jury. You have this big question going into today is if the judge is going to allow these alleged financial crimes to be presented as evidence? The judge did allow one question yesterday, what do you think this element means to kind of the overall trial? And what is going to be presented or what -- who it's really going to help -- what it's going to do?
AZARI: Well, I think it's very consequential, Kate. It's very important because the prosecution wants to paint the picture of a really nefarious human being before this jury. He's a thief, he's stolen, he's defrauded. But the test for the court is, number one, whether it's relevant, these are prior bad acts, but is it relevant to murder? And number two, is it more prejudicial than probative? Because if it is, it doesn't get to come in.
Now, what happened yesterday, you brought up, huge mistake by the defense. Because the defense doesn't want any of the stuff to come in. But what they did was through a witness that really was just not even a valuable information. They asked about lack of motive, and that open the floodgate --
BOLDUAN: Be able to talk about.
AZARI: To be able to talk about motive.
BOLDUAN: I see.
BOLDUAN: That seems a real mess.
AZARI: Real mess. And I think this ruling, the court is also at fault because these are usually part of pretrial motions, what we call motions, and lemony.
AZARI: Because we want to sort all this out and have a really clean trial. And this judge has sat on this issue for months, for weeks, you know, and now I guess this morning, it's going to be decided as to what if any of that comes in.
BOLDUAN: All right, so we'll see what that means. And also, I wanted to ask you about that piece that Randi tossed to and spoke to from the trial. The prosecution seems to really be kind of -- I'll call it leaning into this video from Paul's phone that said -- that they say places Alex at the scene just before the murders. And then the and they played this -- and what I'm speaking to is then they also played this video of the -- of the family's dog kennels. What -- you think is both good for the prosecution, also bad for the prosecution, bad for the defense, and good for the defense, talk to me about this. Why?
AZARI: Well, there are two videos. So, the kennel video is -- I wouldn't say bad for the defense like it's the prosecution's big reveal, but it's really not a coup de gras, OK? Because --
BOLDUAN: It doesn't really land.
AZARI: Because, you know, as a defense attorney, I look at what timeline I want. And then I -- you know, try to move it. Timelines are fluid, you know, so you got to wait for the defense to put up its case.
AZARI: And they're going to challenge the phone data that set up this timeline and also the timeline. Now, Kate, you know, the defense is going to want to condense this timeline, make it shorter and shorter --
BOLDUAN: What has this done?
AZARI: Because it goes to the two-shooter theory.
BOLDUAN: And that does what if it's a condensed one?
AZARI: Well, if it's such a short time, one person could not have taken these huge rifles or guns and shot these two people. It makes it less fathomable or less possible.
BOLDUAN: More doubt.
AZARI: More doubt -- more doubt, it's all about reasonable doubt.
BOLDUAN: And what about the other video?
AZARI: The other video is a Snapchat video that I think helps the defense because the prosecution is saying look, he's wearing some different clothing before the murders when he's hanging out with his son. And then when the cops show up after he calls 911, he's gone and changed into a different outfit so that there might have been blood on his clothing. You know what? South Carolina, June 7, hot, humid, you better change your clothes multiple times a day, right?
BOLDUAN: You could do that.
AZARI: And also, I think it helps the defense because it shows him hanging out with his son, a really loving relationship. They're going around the property. So, again, it goes to lack of motive.
BOLDUAN: And real quick. And this can change obviously just even from day to day. But from what you've seen so far, would you think that he -- that Alex, himself should take the stand? Would you want him to be on the stand if you're representing him?
AZARI: No. He's a lawyer, obviously.
AZARI: I think he knows better than a layperson how to testify. But there's so much to impeach him on. The statements where he denied being at the kennel for example.
AZARI: That timeline stands. I think that is dangerous, but I would only put him up if he had explaining to do and he was the only person that I could get it through -- get it in through the evidence in terms of.
BOLDUAN: Let's see what happens today and the day after. It's good to see you. Thanks for coming.
AZARI: Good to see you too.
BOLDUAN: I Really appreciate it. Thank you all so much for being here AT THIS HOUR. I'm Kate Bolduan. "INSIDE POLITICS WITH JOHN KING" starts after this break.