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CNN Live Event/Special
Former Atty: Mar-A-Lago I.T. Worker Strikes Cooperation Agreement With Special Counsel, Has Agreed To Testify; Judge: Trial For Chesebro & Powell To Begin Oct. 23; Prison Official: Murderer Climbed Onto Roof To Escape. Aired 3-3:30p ET
Aired September 06, 2023 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Very quickly, this is the nightmare for Trump that some of his co-defendants will flip, begin to cooperate against him.
PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Of course, and to Dana's point, I've learned that after what happened with Michael Cohen, of course he flipped very publicly on the former president. The former president has been much more careful about trying to keep people in the fold, and there are some questions about some of his advisors, why they're still around.
But I've been told, people close to him and even the former president, they acknowledge that, yes, it's important right now to keep these people in the fold, to the extent possible help with their legal fees to an extent, we know there are limits on his generosity there, but he definitely learned lessons from Michael Cohen and I'm sure he is not pleased that Mr. Taveras is cooperating.
But again, he is not necessarily in the same league as someone like Boris Epshteyn or Michael Cohen was at one time, but this is not good news for him.
BLITZER: All right. Everybody stand by, we have a lot more news we're following right now.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back to our special live coverage of the first televised hearing in the Trump election subversion case in the state of Georgia. I'm Kaitlan Collins in New York alongside Wolf Blitzer in Washington.
And this afternoon we witnessed history in real time and on camera, as you could see inside the courtroom, the arguments and the key rulings from the judge overseeing this case. The core issue that remains, of course, is whether Donald Trump and 18 of his co-defendants will be ultimately tried together in a sweeping RICO indictment or if the case will splinter off into several trials. We now know at least two defendants will stand trial together next month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE SCOTT MCAFEE, FULTON COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT: Based on what's been presented today, I'm not finding the severance from Mr. Chesebro or Powell is necessary to achieve a fair determination of the guilt or innocence for either defendant in this case. And so I'll deny Mr. Chesebro's motions to sever from Ms. Powell. I'll deny in part Ms. Powell's motion to sever from Mr. Chesebro and the plan will be to enter a scheduling order for Ms. Powell mirroring that Mr. Chesebro with the October 23rd date holding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: That was the ruling from Judge Scott McAfee when pro-Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro and former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell will stand trial now on October 23rd. The question, of course, is will any additional defendants be standing next to them? The judge said he was "very skeptical of the state's request to hold one sweeping trial for all 19 of the co-defendants."
CNN's Nick Valencia is live outside the courthouse in Georgia.
Nick, you were inside that room for this hearing and what was also notable is that there were other attorneys for people who were not there trying to get their cases severed today. Jeffrey Clark, Rudy Giuliani, other attorneys in the room. What did you all see?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kaitlan, we also saw the attorney for Cathy Latham. So there was a handful of attorneys there who had a very vested interest in how this would all play out. And also to see just how Scott McAfee, the judge in this case, will handle the trial potentially going forward.
So the big headline out of what happened in court, of course, is the judge, McAfee, denying the motion for Kenneth Chesebro to sever his case from the former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell. They will both go hurtling forward into this October 23rd trial date, which is only 47 days away.
And we heard the arguments from Chesebro's attorneys essentially say that there's about two to three conspiracies alleged in this indictment and that Chesebro was only involved - allegedly involved - in the fake elector scheme and had nothing to do with the malfeasance, essentially, of Sidney Powell.
Chesebro's attorney saying that Powell's part in this is alleged to have been illegal hacking and voter fraud, potentially, in Coffee County, the illegal accessing of data. They went on to say that Chesebro and Powell had never met each other and Chesebro had never stepped foot in Coffee County.
The rebuttal to that, of course, from the state was that this is a RICO indictment: an evidence against one is evidence against all, so that the arguments from the defense are really not admissible here, according to the state.
It's really interesting. We got an insight, the first insight look into just how exactly the judge would handle this case unlike other Trump hearings and proceedings, the New York charges, the federal hearings, this was televised, adding to the drama. And, you know this, Kaitlan, this was expected to be a very busy day of arraignments, several hours of arraignments stretched over time. But as of 1:30 yesterday, all 19 co-defendants had waived their arraignment and pleaded not guilty. So today's main event was whether or not these two defendants would have their cases severed.
On the table, though, still is next Thursday at 9 AM, we will be expecting to hear arguments as to whether this will be a trial for two people or a trial for 19. Another interesting headline, just very briefly, Nathan Wade, the lead prosecutor who's working this case with Fani Willis, saying that the case will take up to four months and include 150 witnesses, and that does not include potential jury selection, which would just add to the process.
So this could potentially be a very, very long trial and process. Kaitlan?
COLLINS: It certainly seems that way.
Nick Valencia, thank you.
Wolf, back to you.
BLITZER: Happening now, state police in Pennsylvania are giving an update right now on the search for the escaped inmate, Danelo Cavalcante. Let's listen in.
HOWARD HOLLAND, WARDEN, CHESTER COUNTY PRISON: Finally, I'd like to cover the human element of the escape. One key difference in the escape by Igor Bolte, as compared with the escape with Cavalcante is the role of the tower officer whose primary responsibility is to oversee the inmates in the exercise yard.
In Bolte's escape, the tower office observed the subject leaving the yard area and contacted control immediately. That is why Bolte was apprehended within five minutes.
In the escape of Cavalcante, the tower officer did not observe nor report the escape. The escape was discovered as part of an inmate counts that occurs when inmates come from the exercise yard.
As I previously noted, the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office will be conducting a thorough criminal investigation into the escape, which includes this element of the incident. This investigation is both necessary and welcome. The actions of the tower officer present at the time of Cavalcante's escape are a key part of our internal investigation and we'll be taking appropriate action against personnel based on the results of that investigation.
Here is the timeline of the events.
At 8:33 AM, Cavalcante's block entered the exercise yard. At 8:51 AM, Cavalcante escapes from the prison, having crab-walked up a wall, pushed his way through a razor wire, run across the roof, scale another fence, and push his way through more razor wire.
At 9:35 AM, Cavalcante's block returned to the unit from the yard. At 9:45 AM, officers on Cavalcante's block notify Central Control of a missing inmate, and they conduct a special count. At 9:48 AM, officers informed Central Control that Cavalcante was not there.
There was a brief - there was a belief that he may have been in a phone visiting room, which was checked with negative results.
At 9:50 AM, the prison was locked down and the special count was conducted. By 10:01 AM, the public escape siren had sounded, and the 911 center had been notified.
Just as we do in any security-related incident, we will thoroughly review all of our practices, policies and procedures, and make improvements as appropriate. We are currently formulating plans to enhance security to include, as previously mentioned, fully enclosing all outside exercise yards, installing additional security cameras, adjusting officers' positions when inmates are in exercise yards, and additional security assets which would enhance overall security of the prison.
As I close, I would definitely like to thank my local, federal, state and law enforcement representatives who quickly responded to the scene once the escape was there. I know they have been diligently working to take Mr. Cavalcante back into custody, and we are very appreciative of their efforts.
At this time, due to the nature of the investigations that are ongoing, I cannot comment on any individual investigation, including the internal investigations. With that, I'd like to turn it over back to Col. Bivens.
So, I'm not sure (inaudible) ...
LT. COL. GEORGE BIVENS, PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE: We have the video, of course.
Thank you, Warden Holland. I'll go on with my update, and again, we'll come back to questions momentarily.
Last evening, we had another sighting of Cavalcante by a resident in the area of Chandler Road, Pennsbury Township. Teams searched the area for hours, but were unable to locate him. An issue we did experience during that search illustrates some of the challenges our people are dealing with. An issue we did experience during that search illustrates some of the challenges our people are dealing with.
In spite of precautions, one of our tactical search dogs suffered a heat-related emergency and remains hospitalized today. We are hopeful that he will eventually make a full recovery.
As a result of that reported sighting, residents likely observed a significant increase in police activity. We did have a reverse 911 message sent out during the incident in an effort to inform residents of the issue. Additionally, as a result of that activity, we slightly expanded the eastern edge of our perimeter to include Creek Road. The District Attorney and I have continued a regular dialogue with school districts in the area, updating them with changes in our operations that might impact schools.
As this operation unfolded late last night, the Unionville-Chadds Ford and Kennett Consolidated School Districts made a decision to close schools. We continue to use hundreds of state, local and federal law enforcement officers, K-9s, aviation assets and various types of technology in an effort to keep the community safe and to bring this to as swift conclusion as possible. Excuse me.
We continue to increase the number of personnel assigned as conditions dictate. Residents can expect to continue to see large numbers of law enforcement officers in their communities and traveling to and from assigned locations.
We continue to ask for the public's help by familiarizing themselves with the photograph and description of Cavalcante, to check security cameras they have and to call us immediately if they believe they may have seen Cavalcante.
Again, we ask residents to please secure homes, outbuildings and vehicles. Cavalcante has clearly already obtained some clothing and unknown other supplies, and we want to minimize any opportunity to obtain anything more. It is important that we keep pressure on him as we continue the hunt.
I am also announcing that Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers has offered up to a $10,000 reward for information leading to the capture of Cavalcante. This brings the reward total to $20,000. Anyone with information is asked to call our tip line at 717-562-2987 - 717-562- 2987.
Lastly, I want to recognize and thank the community for all of their support through this trying time in their lives. I and all of us working this manhunt understand the tremendous stress this puts on families and even businesses. In spite of that stress and unsolicited, we have had individuals, businesses and - I'm sorry - scouting, church and other organizations show up at our command post with cases of water, food and well wishes for all of our people. They are very kind and I can't thank them enough for their support.
And now, we will be happy to take any questions that you may have.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lieutenant Colonel, do you think he has more ability to hide from you than you thought he did when this thing started since it's seven days now?
BIVENS: No, I don't think he has any more ability than we initially gave him credit for. I think that it's a very challenging area. I think we've had a number of these types of searches in the past. Some take hours, some take days, some take weeks and some take months. We're committed to the search, and we will find him. We will bring him back into the criminal justice system.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A question for the DA or the Acting Warden, you guys had access to this video, you saw this. Why did it take so long to alert the public on how he escaped?
BIVENS: You said it's for the warden?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: DA or the Acting Warden.
DEB RYAN, CHESTER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Well, I can address that. That matter was referred to the attorney general's office immediately. We are engaged in a thorough investigation.
As I've stated before, our main focus is bringing this man into custody. We were putting all of our efforts to try to locate him. There was a simultaneous investigation into the prison escape and today was the day that we believed we needed to bring in the Acting Warden to address the public about how he escaped.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you do as the attorney general ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you do ahead of that is that you want to release that information to the public?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is the Attorney General's investigation supplanting the Chester County detectives' investigation?
RYAN: That's correct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How was that possible (inaudible) ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) person was able to take the same escape route as someone just months previous and really nothing was done to prevent that? Obviously, someone didn't do their job in instituting (inaudible) ...
HOLLAND: So as I said earlier, according to the document, we did have a consulting firm come out to identify how that individual escaped and we thought we took appropriate measures to present that - prevent that with the razor wire. Again, the one thing we didn't take into account was a failure on the human element side. We only focused on the physical infrastructure and not necessarily human element.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So was the (inaudible) ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So did the guards failed (inaudible) ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was there no one in the tower? Is that why you didn't get the call or was he asleep?
HOLLAND: Someone was in the tower at the time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So he'd seen - should have seen this and did the person in the tower have seen him leave?
HOLLAND: The position of the towers are for observation posts, which overlook the yards.
BIVENS: Just one at a time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) I'm hearing from state police, local law enforcement and marshals that you guys have multiple channels. Last night I witnessed it, there was an officer from Kennett Square. There was activity. That officer didn't hear anything. He asked the trooper, what's going on. They said we're on a different channel. He was left in the dark. I'm hearing now from - there was least 12 officers in the past six days that told me they are not able to communicate in concert with you guys. Are there multiple channels that you guys are operating?
BIVENS: No, I would have to look into that specific concern and I'd be happy to do that. Maybe we can talk afterward and you can supply me a name that we can look into it. What I would tell you is that we've spent a lot of time and effort making sure that we do have solid communications.
We've got a lot of agencies working there. Most have representation in our command post and we would know immediately if we had a communication issue. So if there is something that's isolated to a certain agency or something, we'd certainly want to take a look at that, but that's not a widespread concern.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has he obtained a weapon? And if so, what kind of weapon do you think he has?
BIVENS: We have not determined that he has obtained a weapon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When was the consultant brought in and what was the name of the consultant (inaudible)?
HOLLAND: So I don't have the exact date nor name of the consulting firm.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why?
HOLLAND: I can get that for you. Because I ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lt. Col. Bivens, is any infrared or heat-seeking device used to track him at least at night?
BIVENS: There are a number of types of technology. I think it's certainly reasonable to believe something like that would be included in the array of technology that we would bring to bear.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hold on, hold on, hold on, in the Igor Bolte case, the inmates were distracting the guard. There was a fight on the basketball court is what the criminal complaint says. In this case, too, we had heard that there was also some sort of group of inmates or a line of inmates on that yard. Is that obstructing or is it just that the inmates also figured out how to do this as well? So what is being taken to address that concern, that you have an inmate standing there in that video? Is that guy a lookout? Are they all talking about how to do this? What are you doing there on the human side with the inmates to make sure nobody tries this again?
HOLLAND: So as I said for the investigation of how or why this occurred, including the investigation and questioning of the inmates that were there, that's done by the Attorney General's office, so I don't have the exact answer.
Moreover, as we've developed information into this, we are certainly going to look at what the actions of that tower officer were, why he didn't observe what was occurring in that yard. I'm not sure as to how or why. He wasn't - didn't address it at this point.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) why not share that video early on if you knew how he escaped?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the question that everyone had.
HOLLAND: Again, as part of the investigation ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you step up a little bit?
HOLLAND: Certainly. I'm sorry. As part of the investigation, that would have been up to the Attorney General's office to release that and when it was to be released. At this point, we thought it was prudent and had permission to release it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is the tower officer on duty or is he suspended? Is he still working?
HOLLAND: He is on administrative leave.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is for the district attorney or the warden. Can you confirm or deny that the escapee had a map of the area that was hand-drawn detailing the route from the prison to the Chester County courthouse? Is that anything worth (inaudible) ...
RYAN: No, I have no evidence to suggest that he had a map of the area.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about the warden (inaudible) ... HOLLAND: I do not.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This individual was listed as an escape risk. This was known that he was looking to do something like this prior, why was he - and also he's here on a murder charge. He's being held here waiting for - to be sent to state prison. We know he's wanted in Brazil. Why is he roaming around the yard like this and not in a more secure location? And is that something you'll do as the administrator of the prison later to reevaluate how high-risk offenders have free access around the prison?
HOLLAND: So to answer your question, we will certainly reevaluate how we're handling inmates of that level, especially murder suspects, but we also have to understand that these individuals have certain rights. So it's not a question of will we let him out again, it's certainly a question of would I put him back out there with a group of other individuals or would it be a one-on-one and it would be a one-on-one from this point on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe that Brandywine Creek is a possible escape route? Do you believe the Brandywine Creek is a possible escape route? Officers are monitoring it on Route 1.
BIVENS: I would say that we are open to anything being a possibility as far as an escape route and we're actively working to keep that area secure. I wouldn't comment on the viability of one versus another escape route.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think he's out of your perimeter?
BIVENS: I do not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think he's slipped your perimeter?
BIVENS: I do not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What makes you believe that?
BIVENS: Everything that I'm able to see, the various sightings that we've had, other aspects of this investigation lead me to believe that he is still there in that area.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you describe the boundaries in that perimeter that you believe he's (inaudible) ...
BIVENS: Sure. So on the northern end, Route 921, on the east ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 921 or 926?
BIVENS: I'm sorry, 926. On the eastern side, 100 or Creek Road. On the southern side, Hillendale and on the western side, 52.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How big is this compared to what your perimeter was in the days past?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the square mileage involved? BIVENS: Offhand, I don't know what the square mileage is, it is slightly larger than the perimeter that we had in the past. Quite frankly was enlarged for two reasons, one, because of one of the sightings, and two, because we were also very cognizant of inconveniencing the public.
Quite frankly, we probably could have kept that southern perimeter a little further north, but we probably would have interfered with traffic on Route 1 and would have caused even more headaches for local residents and those passing through as well. And so we took the option that we believe is equally secure and yet doesn't inconvenience residents (inaudible) ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cavalcante was in custody since 2021. He would have been in jail the same time as Igor Bolte, is there any indication that the two of them had any contact?
HOLLAND: We have no information at this time connecting that. But, again, that is not up for me to determine. It's up for the Attorney General's Office and the investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) chosen to share this information today, have these similarities between Igor Bolte's release not been made public?
HOLLAND: I'm sorry, one more time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you have chosen to share the details of Cavalcante's escape and the similarities to Igor's had the information not come to light yesterday?
HOLLAND: So I don't really think it's a decision of me releasing. I think it was appropriate with the coordination of the Attorney General's Office to release it when they deemed appropriate, so that's why we're here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lieutenant Colonel, is the legal force authorized only in the perimeter or is it authorized statewide in the next state if he does not surrender, clearly, to ...
BIVENS: I have no authority in the next state. I have authority in Pennsylvania - with the Pennsylvania State Police.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it statewide, the legal force, if he's seen anywhere in the state or is it around ...
BIVENS: No, the directive pertains to this particular search.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the backpack or the sighting today, that was reported, I believe by Fox 29, where he might have been getting into a green - a dark green car. Does that come to any fruition or is that ... BIVENS: I'm sorry, I missed the first part of your question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a dispatch this morning that said that an individual with a backpack matched the description of the escapee and gotten into a dark green car.
BIVENS: No, that was not related to this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Warden Holland, is the photo of Mr. Cavalcante that we see here, was that taken just before the escape?
HOLLAND: I believe it was. Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you getting a lot of sightings throughout the region outside the perimeter, other parts of Chester County - other counties where people are thinking that they're seeing him and what kind of stress did that put on your resources?
BIVENS: We are not getting a lot of sightings outside of the perimeter, in fact, very few. They are being fully investigated. Nothing has led me to believe that any of them were actually him. And we have the ability to do this operation and follow up outside of the area as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any idea where he thinks he might be trying to get to?
BIVENS: I do have some ideas of where he thinks he might be trying to get to, but I'm not prepared to discuss that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about his family?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) in the area?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said last week he's trying to head - you think he's trying to head south, maybe to Mexico or Brazil. Do you still believe that?
BIVENS: I believe he's trying to head south. In terms of his final destination, again, I'm not prepared to discuss that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are family members cooperating or has it been determined that they may have been aided (inaudible) ...
BIVENS: We're not going to discuss any parts of the investigation involving the family.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just wanted to ask about the - if you could take me back to the escape - could you give an approximate width from one wall to the next?
HOLLAND: So I would say approximately maybe five feet, maybe less. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Acting Warden, you said you're looking to fully enclose the yard.
HOLLAND: Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does that - what does that mean? (Inaudible) already, can you explain (inaudible) ...
HOLLAND: So the yards are block wall with an exterior fence with an open top. Along that line are razor wires so someone physically can't climb the fence. Moreover, there's a smaller mesh fence on the second half, so the fence is probably 10 to 15 feet high.
What the proposal is, is actually to cap that whole thing in basically as a cage so no one can physically climb out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the way from the fence to the building?
HOLLAND: All the way and all eight yards that we have.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you reviewing any other video that shows him practicing this? I mean, did he just boldly do this on a whim, figuring out that he could grab (inaudible) this wall?
HOLLAND: So we have no supportive evidence as far as video that shows him trying to do this, no other information of him attempting it from any other inmate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which yard is this: yard A, yard B, yard C - you said eight yards.
HOLLAND: So this is C yard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You talked about the control tower and there being a guard in there that did not observe the escape. Is there any corrections officer that is physically present with the inmates when they're in that recreation area? And if not, why not?
HOLLAND: So there's physically no correctional officer in with the inmates. For the observation tower, is to observe the inmates, one, obviously for any type of injury, any type of fight that's gone away and any escape attempt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why wouldn't there be someone just outside there not inside?
HOLLAND: So typically the other thing we have is a video monitor in that area. So we don't put two staff in there as part of the upgraded system that we're putting in. We are ...
BLITZER: We're going to continue to monitor this press conference, new information being released right now. I want to bring in CNN's Danny Freeman. He's joining us from Westchester, Pennsylvania, just outside the prison where this inmate, this murderer escaped. This is the first time we actually learned specifically how this guy managed to escape that prison, right?
DANNY FREEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf.
Listen, CNN reported earlier this morning that this prisoner, Danelo Cavalcante, was able to climb up onto the roof and that was how he escaped, a law enforcement - a source told me that earlier.
But, Wolf, I mean, we all just watched that video. I don't think anyone expected it to look as stunning as it just did. Danelo Cavalcante crab-walking, putting his hands up against one part of the wall, his legs up against the other, and basically shimmying up that wall to the top of the roof.
And, Wolf, what's incredibly interesting about this is the prison warden says when he got up there, there is still razor wire on top of that roof, and Cavalcante basically just blasted through that razor wire and ultimately escaped.
Now, Wolf, I really want to drill down on this because this is a very important point. To understand this moment that happened seven days ago at this prison behind me, you actually have to go back four months. Because four months ago, in May, another inmate at this prison behind me escaped from the Chester County prison the exact same way.
And I want to actually read from the affidavit that we got our hands- on, CNN obtained just a few hours ago. Let me ask you if it sounds familiar, the defendant said he was a rock climber and he was able to climb the wall in the narrow area by putting his legs on one wall and his arms on another wall, and from there, he was able to scale the wall to the roof and pulled himself onto the roof of that prison.
Wolf, that is an affidavit four months old. Now, the prison says that they put in security measures to prevent that from happening. They added that razor wire, but again, clearly seven days ago, that razor wire was not enough.
And I should note of that particular inmate, he was captured about five minutes after he got off of the prison roof and started running towards the town, but Cavalcante now has been on the loose for seven days. And another thing that we learned is that there was a bit of an hour - about an hour delay in actually realizing that Cavalcante had escaped, and that is perhaps why this issue has escalated the way that it has.
Now, Wolf, one of the other, I should say, things that we've learned today is that this search area has largely expanded instead of being towards the south, where one of the more prominent sightings was on Monday evening, we're now looking towards the east of the prison, kind of the southeast area. And the lieutenant colonel from the Pennsylvania State Police, you just heard right there, Lt. Col. George Bivens, he says, still emphatically at this point, he believes that Cavalcante is in the area. He said there was a sighting not too far from where we are right here, but again, to our southeast last night. But again, the manhunt still very much underway and that stunning video, Wolf, I think surprised a lot of folks seven days after the escape.
BLITZER: Truly stunning video indeed.
Danny Freeman, stand by, we'll get back to you.
I want to bring in CNN Law Enforcement Analyst, Jonathan Wackrow, right now.
Jonathan, what do you make of this amazing video showing how this murderer actually escaped?
JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Wolf, first of all, the video that was shown during the press conference really highlights the complexities of tracking down, one, an escaped prisoner, but also the complexities of the post-incident investigation that is ongoing.
And what we saw here was - really heard was two themes right now, focused on internal vulnerabilities at the prison, human error and external. The threat still remains at large, but they're tracking - they're doing everything they can to track down the suspect.
I think the acting warden really got - tried to get in front of the issue, a lot of questions, a lot of unanswered questions by him around what was the focus of this internal investigation. Now, any time you have an escaped prisoner, there is always going to be an internal investigation. Now, what you're going to focus on is were there other intrinsic issues at the prison that were in play here, whether it was the collusive guard, other inmates that were collusive in the escape plan, what failed though?
And I think that's what investigators are looking at right now. And really, when we look at, like, what could fail, it's people, process and technology. And we started to hear more about the human factor of this, the tower guards specifically. What was going on? Were they sleeping? Were they complacent in their duties? Were they not in the tower?
Again, we weren't getting those answers, and those are critical because that role is critical to overseeing that they're the overwatch of that prison yard. Separate, we heard the state police, Lieutenant Colonel, really trying to reassure the public, right, reassure the public that there is action, that they do believe that the escaped suspect is still within their search area, but also asking for the public's assistance.
And that is key as time has gone on, the public's assistance becomes critical in terms of the sightings, the alerting.