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Uvalde Still Seeks Accountability For Officer Failures At School; Parents Watch Body Cam Footage From Day Of Massacre In Uvalde; Man Accused Of Killing Four Idaho Students Declines To Enter Plea; Family Of Idaho Stabbing Victim Challenges Judge's Gag Order; Historic Private Mission Arrives At International Space Station. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired May 22, 2023 - 13:30   ET




BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Wednesday marks one year since the massacre of 19 fourth graders and two educators shattered the people of Uvalde, Texas.

City officials have no events planned for the anniversary. They have banned parking around the city's main plaza, Robb Elementary School and the healing murals.

They say it's being done out of respect for the families who are demanding accountability for the officers who failed to rescue their children during the 77 agonizing minutes the gunman terrorized them inside the school before he was shot and killed.

Here was the mayor of Uvalde just a short time ago.


MAYOR DON MCLAUGHLIN (R-UVALDE, TX): In a year's time, they still don't have answers to simple questions they should have gotten. I mean, I'm the mayor. I've been one year, I haven't got one briefing from anybody from day one. Not one. Nor has the county judge.

It's very frustrating. So, if it's frustrating on us, you can only imagine what it does to them.


SANCHEZ: We're joined by CNN senior crime and justice correspondent, Shimon Prokupecz, who has been on top of this story seeking answers since day one.

Shimon, it's clear from this press conference that there is frustration not only from officials who are trying to get answers but also from the families who are coming to you seeking information.

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME & JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and I spoke to the mayor last night before our documentary aired. I've talked to the mayor several times, we've interviewed him.

He's pretty pissed off because he's been asking for information for the last year. He's only learning information when we bring him information.

In fact, he's forced a resignation and nearly fired one of the police officers because of our reporting.

So certainly you can tell that his frustration, it's not lessening. I think he's at a point where he thinks he'll start to get some information soon, but he needs that information so he can make decisions about police officers at the local level that are still working for the Uvalde Police Department.

Of course, all of this happening as we aired our special last night with families coming to us asking us to show them video of the moments their kids were rescued some 77 minutes finally after police breached the classroom.

And at one point, we show Jamie Torrez, the mother of Chloe Torrez, after she was placed on a bus and blood all over her body.


Now the blood you're going to see -- we're going to show you in this video - is not her blood. It's the blood of others that were injured and, sadly, died in that classroom. She used that blood so the shooter would think she was dead.

And just a warning that this video that you see here, you may find disturbing.


CHLOE TORREZ, UVALDE SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I was on the phone with the police officer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, that was you? OK.

PROKUPECZ: If you want me to stop, let me know, OK? Are you OK or do you want me to stop?

Are you OK or do you want me to stop? Are you OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You all are going home to your moms and dads.

TORREZ: I can't go home to my mom. She's not here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can go home to your dad, OK?

PROKUPECZ: It's a lot, right? Do you want to stop?

JAMIE TORREZ, MOTHER OF CHLOE TORREZ: It's definitely stressed her out, PTSD, like all of that, she has all of that. She can't walk into a restaurant or any kind of building without counting every exit and the doors. PROKUPECZ: She counts exits?

J. TORREZ: Yes. If we go to McDonald's, she sits closest to the door as she can.


PROKUPECZ: Boris, you can tell it's just been a really difficult year for these families.

And the reason why they wanted to see this video and why they asked us to show them this video is because they're trying to get some answers about what their kids went through to try and start this healing process and try and get some closure for these horrific events.

Many of them still struggling, the kids, the parents, as they're still waiting for answers and they really try to move on. And certainly, the next few days are not going to be easy for them.

SANCHEZ: That is so difficult to watch that footage. And it's made all the more agonizing by what you point out, these unanswered questions and what appears to be an utter lack of accountability.

Shimon Prokupecz, thank you so much for your reporting and stay on top of this.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: Coming up next, the man charged with killing four University of Idaho students has just appeared in court. He and his lawyers are staying silent, letting the judge enter his plea. We will have the latest from that hearing.

Plus, Facebook's parent company, META, has been slapped with a $1.3 billion penalty by European regulators. Details on what prompted the record-breaking fine, coming up.



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: The man indicted for murder in the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students was back in court here just a short time ago.

When asked to enter his plea, Bryan Kohberger and his lawyers remained silent. A judge entered not-guilty pleas on behalf of Kohberger.

He faces multiple murder and burglary charges and could face the death penalty if he's convicted.

CNN's Veronica Miracle is here with more details for us.

Veronica, walk us through what happened.

VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, to start off the hearing, the judge read Bryan Kohberger his rights and then he went and listed the five counts, the five charges that he's facing, those four counts of murder and one count of burglary.

Kohberger declared that he understood the charges that he is facing. But as you said, when it came time for a plea, he remained silent. He did not enter a plea either way.

And his lawyer stood up and said, "Your Honor, we are standing silent." Because of that, the judge had to enter not-guilty pleas for him.

I just got off the phone with a university of law professor who told me this is highly unusual. And it could have happened for a number of reasons.

The first being that this case is under high scrutiny. There's a lot of attention on this case. And so entering a plea either way would offer a characterization.

Obviously if he entered guilty, he would assume guilt there. If he entered not-guilty, then it's possible people could have been outraged that he wasn't taking responsibility for his alleged actions.

So by not saying anything, there's no characterization either way.

I'm also told that sometimes the parties are negotiating behind closed doors. It's possible that the defense and the prosecution talked about this, if there is some kind of agreement, some kind of plea agreement that could be happening behind closed doors.

And lastly, it could just be that he doesn't want to cooperate.

So a number of reasons here. But I am told this is highly unusual.

Now, with today's not-guilty plea entered on Kohberger's behalf, now the prosecution has 60 days to announce whether they will be pursuing the death penalty.

When Kohberger was told that he faces potentially life in prison or the death penalty, he remained emotionless. No visible reaction.

His trial date has now been set for October 2nd and it is expected to last at least six weeks -- Brianna?

KEILAR: Very strange.

Thank you for walking us through that.

There are also two other hearings today and these have to do with a judge's gag order. Tell us about that.

MIRACLE: Yes, there's a lot happening. So there's this non- dissemination order that's in place.

And it's essentially put in place by the judge and it said and it has stated that nobody involved, the attorneys for people who are involved in this case, the prosecution, the police, they are not allowed to make any comments, not allowed to publicly comment on this case.

So the Goncalves family, one of the victims' family, and a media coalition has been fighting this because they want information to be released. They want to be able to ask both sides about what is happening, witnesses, family members. So that is currently underway.


We'll see if the judge decides to amend this order or completely remove it, which would allow freedom for people to speak. But right now, there's no freedom for anyone to talk about this case -- Brianna?

KEILAR: Veronica, thank you for the very latest. Obviously, a lot happening in this case.


SANCHEZ: Still to come, a warm welcome at the International Space Station. A former NASA astronaut and three paying customers arriving for a week-long stay. Only the second all-private space mission to reach the ISS.

Plus, flights grounded and roads covered in black volcanic ash in Sicily. Mount Etna erupting in Italy. We have details in just minutes.



SCIUTTO: This is CNN NEWS CENTRAL. Here's some of the other headlines we're following right now.

Facebook parent company, META, meta is facing a record-breaking $1.3 billion fine today. European regulators say the social network giant wrongly transferred European Facebook user data to servers here in the U.S.

Meta calls that decision flawed and unjustified and says it will appeal the ruling.

Also, flights in Sicily are back on. This, after eruptions of heavy volcanic ash covered runways, grounding flights on Sunday. Pictures and video footage show the ash blanketing planes and roads in the area. Mount Etna is Europe's tallest active volcano.

And it was a hole in one for the ages. Club pro, Michael Block, sent golf fans into a frenzy without even realizing what he had pulled off.


ANNOUNCER: Let's go!

ANNOUNCER: No. No way! No way. Did it go in?



SCIUTTO: Yes, the golf equivalent of a swish there. That hole in one helped Block secure not only a PGA tour exemption to play in this week's tour event but also a spot to play in next year's PGA championship.

Outside all the craziness, Block, usually teaching golf lessons at a public course in California.

He spoke to CNN this morning about a wild weekend.


MICHAEL BLOCK, CLUB PRO WHO FINISHED 15TH AT PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: It is a tin-cup moment without a doubt. I am a club pro. I teach golf. I'm a head golf professional in Mission Viejo.

For me to be out here with these guys, Rory McIlroy on Sunday, Justin Rose on Saturday, and to have the biggest people out, supporters, I've ever seen in my life was absolutely unbelievable and it was a dream come true.


SCIUTTO: Block will tee off at the Charles Schwab Challenge this Thursday.

Boris, not just the hole in one, four great rounds of golf from the club pro this weekend.

SANCHEZ: Some impressive video. I wish our viewers had seen the impressive video of Brianna Keilar dancing off screen. She's from Mission Viejo and she was celebrating. Just moments ago, her hands were in the air.

We're tracking a historic space flight today. A private space crew is now successfully on board the International Space Station after a nearly 15-hour journey to get there.

Former NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson and three paying customers make up the team, which docked only a few hours ago. You can see them floating through the hatch and into the ISS where they're joined the crew already on board.

The astronauts are not going to spend the next eight days working on scientific experiments and more.

Let's take you now, live, to Kennedy Space Center. And CNN's Carlos Suarez is live for us in Cape Canaveral.

Carlos, a lot of historic firsts on this voyage. They just made it inside the ISS. So what comes next for them?

CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Boris, right now, the two Americans and the two Saudis, while they get to work, they have got about eight days at the International Space Station to perform a number of experiments, from testing out a new communication system to taking a look at the effects of microgravity in the production of stem cells.

As you said, Boris, seven astronauts that are already on the International Space Station welcomed the four-member crew earlier today after they lifted off from Kennedy Space Center here on Sunday.

Peggy Whitson, she is the commander of this space mission, and she was the first one to make it from the Dragon capsule onto the ISS.

We heard from a few of the astronauts shortly after they made it onto the International Space Station.

One of them was the mission pilot, John Shoffner, who talked about what it's like to be on the ISS. Here's what he said.


JOHN SHOFFNER, CREW MEMBER, AX-2 MISSION: It's an honor to be here and make new friends in space. The first time I've done that for sure.

So I've been dreaming or working toward this since I was 8 in a young astronauts' club watching Gemini pilots do their thing. We had cardboard boxes pretending to be Gemini pilots.

You'd think having that much time to prepare I'd have some better words than this. But it's having a chance to be here and fly with this amazing new crew.



SUAREZ: We also heard from the two Saudis that are on this flight. Mission specialist, Ali al-Qarni, spoke in Arabic and English. He said he was just making space friends.

We also heard from the other mission specialist, Rayyanah Barnawi. She is the first Saudi woman to make it into space. She said she hopes to serve as a role model for other women in Saudi Arabia as well as the Arab world.

The astronauts made it out to the International Space Station in 15 hours and 35 minutes. We're told that is a record for a Dragon crew -- Boris?

SANCHEZ: Quite an incredible ride to watch.

Carlos Suarez, thanks so much for that.


KEILAR: The time is almost up to strike a deal on the debt. The U.S. now only 10 days away from a potentially catastrophic default. And a crucial meeting between the president and the speaker of the House is just hours away. We have that ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)