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Helicopter Crash Near Kindergarten in Ukraine; Wesley Clark is Interviewed about the Ukraine Helicopter Crash; Brian Walshe to Appear in Court; Key Inflation Measure Released; Solomon Pena Appears in Court; Brian Walshe Live Court Appearance. Aired 9-9:30a ET
Aired January 18, 2023 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm John Berman.
Any moment now Brian Walshe, the Massachusetts husband charged with the murder of his still missing wife Ana, is expected in court for his arraignment. Prosecutors are expected to present evidence supporting the murder charge. We're going to take you there live inside the courtroom as soon as it begins. There on the left-hand side of your screen, live pictures from inside that courtroom.
GOLODRYGA: We are also following devastating scenes outside the Ukrainian capital this morning. At least 17 people are dead and dozens more hurt after a helicopter carrying the Ukrainian interior minister and his team crashed near a kindergarten in the town of Brovary. Officials say eight victims were locales, children and their parents on the way to school.
And let's begin there this morning.
CNN chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward is on the ground in Brovary, outside of Kyiv.
Tell us more about what you're learning, Clarissa.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've just seen very tragically what appears to be another body bag being carried out from this area behind me by emergency services. They've been there for hours now combing through the wreckage of that kindergarten, looking to see whether there might be more bodies under the rubble that was caused when this helicopter crashed into this kindergarten early this morning. We know that at least 17 people have been killed, nine of them were on board the helicopter. Everyone on that helicopter was killed. That includes the interior minister of Ukraine, Denys Monastyrskyy, the deputy interior minister, the secretary of state of the interior ministry, six others. But also on the ground, parents and children, people who were dropping their kids off at school. At least four children known to have been killed so far. And what we're really waiting to try to get a better sense of now is,
how did this happen? Why did this happen? We know the weather was bad. That there was very thick fog this morning. We know that Ukraine's SBU, the security services, have opened an investigation trying to ascertain how this happened. They're not ruling anything out so far. But there is no indication at this stage at least that there was foul play or anything like that involved.
GOLODRYGA: Just tragic, just knowing that children were involved, parents on the way taking their kids to kindergarten when tragedy unfolded.
Clarissa Ward, thank you.
And joining me now is former NATO supreme allied commander and retired general, Wesley Clark.
General, thank you so much for joining us.
So, we know that the interior minister is now the highest ranked official to have been killed since the war began. The investigation into this crash is just getting underway. I'm curious to get your thoughts, though, on whether you think this will change or at least officials will have to think twice about how they travel to and from different parts of this country given that it is constantly bombarded.
GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I think that they've been very careful in using helicopters up to now. The Pumas (ph) are a reliable helicopter. It's not new. It's not an old Soviet helicopter. It's a western helicopter. So, yes, there could be a mechanical malfunction.
The weather is always a factor. They've got to look at the weather. My guess is the pilots were pretty experienced and they're probably used to flying through tough weather. So, they're going to have to look very seriously at this.
This would have been, if it was sabotage, it would certainly have been a key strike because you've taken out the top of the interior ministry. And that's the ministry that's responsible for internal security in Ukraine. So, it has a definite impact. And I'm sure President Zelenskyy and his team are going to do the best they can to replace those individuals as rapidly as possible and keep the functioning of the interior ministry.
GOLODRYGA: Yes. Yes, and no indication earlier on, at least, that there was any foul play involved. As we noted, the investigation is just underway.
Also want you -- to get you to weigh in on what's happening today, NATO defense officials will be meeting in Brussels to talk once again about how they continue to help and arm Ukraine. I know that a lot of attention has been focused on tanks and other large utility vehicles there, but I'm curious, given that the lack of artillery or concern about depleting artery artillery is top of mind here and so foundational in this type of warfare. "The New York Times" is reporting that the United States is now tapping into artillery that is stored in Israel and South Korea. How sustainable is it given the pace of war we're seeing from both sides here, Russia and Ukraine?
CLARK: Well, we're in an arms race. An industrial production race against Russia with artillery ammunition. They can't sustain it and we can't sustain it. At least at the current expenditure rates. So, we're going to have to get up our industrial base to be able to do this.
Can we do it? Will we do it? It's part of the larger question, Bianna, of, will the United States change its policy? Thus far we've only tried to prevent a loss for Ukraine. Will we actually give them what they need to eject Russia? That's the question.
And to do that we have to be willing to accept the risk of Putin's outbursts, his threats, his nuclear threats, et cetera. And that's going to be, if not on the table, an underlying factor in the discussion today.
GOLODRYGA: Yes, we know that the United Kingdom has now offered about 14 tanks. Of course, Ukraine saying they appreciate it. They need about 300 tanks, though, at this point. So, we'll see whether allies can - can agree upon.
General Wesley Clark, thank you so much.
Well, we turn now to Massachusetts where Brian Walshe, charged with murdering his wife Ana, is expected in court as soon as this hour.
BERMAN: CNN's Brynn Gingras is outside the courthouse in Quincy this morning.
Brynn, give us a sense of what we expect to see any moment now.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John and Bianna, good morning.
We are expecting that arraignment sometime to happen after court gets underway at 9:00 this morning. And we're expecting prosecutors to essentially explain how they came to be able to charge Brian Walshe with murdering his wife, but also improper transfer -- transport of a body.
Now, of course, the questions that remain, as evidence has sort of stacked up against Brian Walshe over the last two and a half weeks is, what is now linking him to the murder? Is evidence that they found at that transport center an hour outside of their home, Cohasset, linked now to the home where they also found bloody traces in the basement of their home? Did they find a body? These are all questions that we still have and wonder if prosecutors will sort of give answers to as this arraignment gets underway.
So, again, now, two new charges against Brian Walshe. That will be laid out in court today. He's already been held behind bars on that original charge of misleading investigators. And a short time ago, we did see him go into court. The way the court works here, guys, in Norfolk County is it gets underway at 9:00 but it's up to the judge to set the schedule. So it's very unclear exactly what time he'll appear before the judge.
GOLODRYGA: Of course, we will take you there live once that begins.
But, Brynn, I know we're also getting reaction from friends and family this morning. What are you hearing?
GINGRAS: Yes. Yes, one friend telling CNN that she has sort of rage and relief at this point. Of course, they have been on edge, not just the friends and family of Ana Walshe, but this entire community, who doesn't experience this kind of crime at all and -- you know, normally. And she says that it's just, you know, so surprising that this is where they are now at this point, after not knowing where Ana Walshe sort of just disappeared. And this one friend saying, though, they're -- again, there's a little bit of relief, though, because this community, this family and friends, deserve answers, in particular the couple's three young boys deserve answers as to what happened. Whether or not we get those answers in the - you know, coming days, coming weeks, we shall see, guys.
GOLODRYGA: All right, Brynn Gingras, thank you.
BERMAN: All right, here now, CNN chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst John Miller.
All right, John, this is big. I mean we could learn some of the details we have not known until this point. What are you hoping to learn?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, I think what we're going to see today is, we know a lot about the crime scene. They found blood in the basement. They found a bloody knife. They found biological material at a trash dumpsite an hour and a half north in Massachusetts.
The science part is going to be -- and that was the last witness to testify in the grand jury was the crime lab people - is, does the blood from the basement match the blood from the biological material? Are there bone fragments or other things that get us from, well, there was blood to there was a body and it might have been dismembered.
And I think in the papers we're going to see today, if they were able to make those scientific connections, which would have gotten them from misleading investigators allegedly to murder allegedly, that will be spelled out in these new charges.
GOLODRYGA: And Walshe also faces a new charge of improper transfer of body. I'm just curious how they get to that charge given that there is no body to be found at this point.
MILLER: If you can do a circumstantial murder case without a body, you can do a circumstantial case about moving the body that wasn't found if you can tie those things together, which is, is there blood and bone fragments in the basement?
Does it match blood and bone fragments that were found at the dump. That is a good circumstantial case to build, well, there was a body here, and then it ended up there. And the person, you know, is dead, so murder and moving go together in that.
It's really interesting when you do a murder case without a body, particularly where we are. This is Massachusetts. The first case they did was right here in Norfolk County. It was September 27, 1998, Katherine Romano was allegedly murdered by her husband. He borrows a saw. He throws away a mattress. There's a lot of cleaning up behind the case. And it takes years to get to trial and get to a conviction. But that's the first case in Massachusetts history where they did a murder conviction without a body. And it's the same district attorney's office.
BERMAN: How much do you think they, prosecutors, want to lay out here, and would they hold anything back if and when this does go to trial?
MILLER: I think they're going to want to lay out the new evidence here that shows they have enough to establish probable cause to bring this charge. And I think, John, they're going to want to hold back a number of things that are either still in development, the investigation continues, including the science part, but also things that they're going to need for trial. They'll tell enough to establish probable cause, but not everything they know.
GOLODRYGA: All right, John Miller, thank you so much. Of course, we'll take you live to the courtroom when that hearing does get underway.
And still to come this hour, new economic data out this morning shows inflation slowing for the last month. We're seeing a trend here. We'll tell you what this means for you at home.
BERMAN: He has been accused of being a pathological liar and now he has been assigned to two House committees. The latest on the George Santos saga ahead.
And the man accused of being the mastermind behind shooting at the homes of several Democratic lawmakers, he has his first court appearance today. The new details we're learning.
GOLODRYGA: And this just in, a key economic indicator showing inflation is slowing. The Producer Price Index released today was much lower than Wall Street's expectations.
BERMAN: CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans is here.
I got all excited, Romans, because you have all these charts you've just been dying to share with us.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I know. I've overdone it on the charts but just bear with me here because we want to mark this moment where it looks like there's some peaking in this terrible inflation story that we've seen. Over the past 12 months the Producer Price Index, this is factory level inflation, up 6.2 percent. Guys, that's still too high. But look at from month to month, down half a percent. And when you look at the chart of the Producer Price Inflation, this is running half the level it was at the peak. That's important. That is really showing you that the worst of the price increases are behind us.
And when I dig into the core number, this next chart is one of my very favorites because three of the last six months you have had prices decline from one month to another. Falling prices. I mean just saying those two words together is something I haven't been able to say very often.
BERMAN: That is a nice chart. You're right about that. Very attractive.
ROMANS: That is a nice chart. Thank you. I knew you'd like that one.
The next one is CPI and PPI, and it shows you that they have both are this turning. That consumer prices, what you pay, producer prices, what is on the factory floor.
We did see, though, how inflation is eating into consumers' appetite for things. Retail sales fell for the second month here in a row. So, it shows you that consumers are like, OK, I see your higher prices and I'm going to find cheaper things to buy or I'm going to put off some of my purchases. So, that's where we say, you know, higher prices can cure higher prices. That's -
GOLODRYGA: Which is what the Fed had been wanting for, right? So -
ROMANS: That's what - so - so you take that all together, it shows you that Fed medicine is working.
BERMAN: Look, the trends are moving in the right direction. That's what all those charts showed. People are happy about this. Until they're not. That's a story for another time.
ROMANS: I have 15 more. I'll email you after the segment.
GOLODRYGA: I can't wait to see them.
BERMAN: Christine Romans, thank you very much.
So, in New Mexico this morning, former Republican political candidate Solomon Pena will make his first court appearance.
GOLODRYGA: He faces charges related to four shootings that occurred at the homes of Democratic officials.
CNN's senior national correspondent Kyung Lah is outside court.
So, Kyung, what do we expect from Pena's first court appearance today?
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bianna and John, we anticipate that this is going to be a very brief appearance. He has a number of people who are going to be appearing before a judge. And this is an initial appearance. So, we anticipate it will be brief, but we will get a look at him.
And this is why it's important to the victims. When I was talking to the commissioners who had their homes shot at -
BERMAN: All right, Kyung, hang on one second here.
You are looking live inside a Quincy courtroom in Massachusetts. This is where Brian Walshe, charged with the murder now of his wife Ana, is facing charges.
Let's listen in.
MARK COVEN, DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: You're also charged with (INAUDIBLE) of a body without lawful authority, (INAUDIBLE) willfully dig up or remove human remains. Not guilty pleas will be entered.
You understand those charges, Mr. Walshe.
BRIAN WALSHE, DEFENDANT: I do.
COVEN: Let's hear from the commonwealth.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, thank you, Your Honor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your Honor, we're not contesting bail or probable cause that we would ask that he be released (ph).
COVEN: Thank you, Ms. Fine (ph), but I have to satisfy myself with probable cause. Thank you.
LYNN BELAND, PROSECUTOR: Thank you, Your Honor.
Lynn Beland for the commonwealth.
The defendant is now before the court charged with murder of his wife, Ana Walshe, as well as disintering (ph) of a body. Ana was 39 years old and the mother of three children, two, four and six. Ana worked in Washington, D.C., splitting her time weekdays between D.C. during the week and staying in her house in Cohasset, where she lived with the defendant and their three kids.
On January 4th of 2023, Cohasset Police received a call from her Washington, D.C., employer indicating that she was missing.
She was due to report to work on January 4th, but did not appear. She had a flight on January 3rd from Logan to D.C., which she did not board. Cohasset Police went to their house, Chief Justice Cushing Highway,
for a well-being check. It was only at this time while -- when they met with the defendant that he first reported his wife missing. Defendant stated his wife left the house at approximately 6:00 a.m. on January 1st, New Year's Day. He stated she took an Uber or a Lyft to go to the airport. That she was returning to D.C. for work. Records were checked and there was no Uber or Lyfts to that house on January 1st. Defendant said he had not spoken to his wife since the early morning hours on New Year's Day.
Cohasset Police were granted permission to ping Ana's phone to locate her or her phone. Ana's phone indicated that it was stationary in the area of the Cohasset house on New Year's Eve until 3:14 a.m. on January 2nd. There were no outgoing calls made at that time. And at 3:14 a.m. on the 2nd it was turned off.
The defendant stated Ana should have been wearing a dress, a black jacket, hunter (ph) boots, watch, ring, as well as carrying a Prada purse. The defendant gave a timeline of 6:00 or 6:10 a.m. on the 1st when he last saw her.
What I'd like to do now is just describe his actions on the days from January 1st.
The defendant indicated on January 1st at 3:00 p.m. he did some errands and went to his mother's house in Swampscott but got lost because he didn't have his phone. He said he knew he was lost when he saw the pirate ship on Route 1. The defendant stated he stayed 15 minutes then went to Whole Foods and CVS. Surveillance was checked and he did not enter either of those stores.
On January 1st the defendant Googled using a son's iPad. Some of the searches are as follows, keeping in mind that the defendant said he left at 6:00 a.m.
At 4:55 a.m. on January 1st he searched, how long before a body starts to smell? At 4:58 a.m., how to stop a body from decomposing. At 5:20 a.m. he searched, how to mound (ph) a body. At 5:47 a.m., ten ways to dispose of a dead body if you really need to. At 6:25 a.m. on the 1st, how long for someone to be missing to inherit. At 6:34 a.m. on the 1st, can you throw away body parts? At 9:29 a.m., what does formaldehyde do? At 9:34 a.m. on the 1st, how long does DNA last? At 9:59 a.m., can identification be made on partial remains? At 11:34 a.m., dismemberment and the best ways to dispose of a body. At 11:44, how to clean blood from wooden floor. At 11:56 on the 1st, luminol to detect blood. At 1:08, what happens when you put body parts in ammonia? At 1:21 p.m., is it better to throw crime scene clothes away or wash them? Those were on the January 1st.
There was also information gained from the defendant's phone which showed on January 2nd he was at Home Goods in Norwell where he purchased three rugs.
There were also more Google searches on January 2nd.
At 12:45 p.m., hacksaw best tool to dismember. At 1:10 p.m., can you be charged with murder without a body? At 1:14 p.m., can you identify a body without -- with broken teeth?
On January 2nd, following those, the defendant was seen on surveillance at the Home Depot in Rockland. And checking with surveillance, the defendant is observed on security camera pushing a cart. Items included cleaning products, mops, brushes, tape, tarp, a Tyvek suit with boot covers, buckets, goggles, baking soda, a hatchet. He had a facemask and rubber gloves on at the time he was pushing the cart in Home Depot.
At 5:32 he could be seen at the (INAUDIBLE) Street in Hingham (ph) now removing gloves and the mask.
Data from his phone also tracked his whereabouts on January 3rd. Locations were traveled at 4:27 on January 3rd to an apartment complex in Abington. Surveillance shows the defendant's Volvo, as well as a male fitting the defendant's appearance, exit a car near the dumpster. He walks to the dumpster carrying a garbage bag.
He's leaning, and it appears to be heavy, as he has to heft it into the dumpster. He walks to the dumpster with the garbage bag and leaves it.
On 4:48 he hit another complex in Abington and at 5:10 p.m. cellphone shows records at another apartment in Brockton (ph). Video shows a party consistent with his appearance and his Volvo. Again, he discarded items in the dumpster.
On January 3rd, that same day, at 1:02 p.m., he did some more Google searches. What happens to hair on a dead body? At 1:13 p.m., what is the rate of decomposition of a body found in a plastic bag compared to on a surface in the woods? At 1:20 p.m., can baking soda mask or make a body smell good? On January 4th, the following day, the defendant went to Home Goods and T.J. Maxx. He purchased towels, as well as bath mats and men's clothing. At 4:15 that day on the 4th, he went to Lowe's where he purchased squeegees and a trash can.
On January 4th, when Cohasset Police went to the house on the well- being check, officers observed his Volvo with seats down and a plastic liner in the back of the car. The next day a view of the Volvo showed his seats folded down, floor mats with some dirt and the carpet appeared to show fresh vacuum streaks. When asked about the liner, the defendant said he threw it in the trash. Chemists later analyzed the car and there was the presence of blood in the car.
On January 5th, review of the data from defendant's phone showed his phone traveled at 8:00 a.m., first to his daycare and then to Swampscott, where his mother resides. The phone traveled to the complex where his mother lives at 9:30 a.m., went for about five minutes and around the building to the southeast corner. In the southeast corner of that complex is where there was a dumpster. The dumpster was later secured and searched.
On January 8th police and crime scene services searched the house in Cohasset. They found blood in the basement, a knife with the presence of blood, the knife was damaged. A second knife was also found in that basement. In addition, there was a heavy duty large tarp, plastic liners purchased from that Home Depot (INAUDIBLE).
As part of the investigation, police checked for activity on Ana's credit cards, banks, flights, trains. There was no activity since she was last seen on January 1st. Police also tried to track down what happened to the bags that the defendant was seen throwing in the dumpster earlier. This was over in Abington. These bags and what was in them were already picked up and taken to a location for shredding and to be incinerated. By the time police located that, they were already destroyed.
However, investigators did secure and search the dumpsters from the defendant's mother's complex in Swampscott. It was searched at a transfer station in Peabody (ph). Investigators recovered ten trash bags. Inside the trash bags many of these items contained stains consistent with blood. In fact, a lot. Among the items secured were towels, rags, slippers, tape, a Tyvek suit, gloves, cleaning agents, carpets, rugs, hunter boots, Prada purse, a Covid-19 vaccine card in the name of Ana Walshe, a hacksaw, a hatchet and some cutting shears.
The purse and boots were described as what Ana was last seen in. A portion of the rug was heavily stained with red brown stains. The substance was consistent with also having baking soda on it. There was a portion of a necklace consistent with one that Ana had been seen wearing in photos. The state crime lab performed testing on certain selected items that were recovered from those trash bags. There was human blood on -- found on them. And then they were sent for DNA testing.
The findings are as follows. On the slippers, in the interior, Ana and Brian Walshe were contributors to the DNA on those slippers which had blood on them. On the exterior, Ana and Brian Walshe contributed to the DNA found on those slippers.
The Tyvek suit. On the interior cuffs, Ana and Brian Walshe contributed to the DNA that was left on them. On the exterior partially -- on the exterior left pant leg, Ana Walshe is a contributor to the DNA. On the interior right sleeve, Ana Walshe was a contributor to the DNA that was found on the Tyvek suit.
There was tissues which found that Ana Walshe.