Skip to main content

tv   CNN Presents  CNN  March 3, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

8:00 pm
but while i was under the table, i said, lord, you let this pass, and it did. >> i'm don lemon at the cnn headquarters in atlanta. i'll see you back here tomorrow night, 6:00, 7:00 and 10:00 p.m. eastern. our thoughts and prayers go to all the people affected by the tornadoes. count your blessings. good night. tonight on "cnn presents," narco wars. it's been called the most dangerous place in the world. violence fueled by drug cartels. >> there's an airplane carcass right there below me. there's about 30 to 40 aircraft just laying out here. >> can the violence be stopped? kaj larsen travels to the front lines of a war few people know
8:01 pm
about. twisted justice? >> i just saw him up with the bat and he started to swing and that's when i reached for the gun. >> this new york city cop says he fired to save his father's life. >> i was convicted of second degree murder. >> but he would walk free after that conviction was overturned. so how did he end up back in prison? >> you must have been crush when they told you that you had to go back. >> revealing investigations. fascinating characters. stories with impact. this is "cnn presents" with your host tonight brooke baldwin and dr. sanjay gupta. >> good evening. the bloody drug war in mexico has dripped the world's attention. >> but way off the radar south of mexico is a region that's even more violent. >> the commander of the u.s. southern command called it the deadliest place in the world outside of active war zones. >> the homicide rate in honduras alones that doubled in five
8:02 pm
years. cnn's kaj larsen journeyed to the heart of the violence. >> reporter: in the past year, over 17,000 people have been murdered in guatemala, el salvador and honduras. in honduras, over 90% of crimes like murder are never solved. they call it the impunity rate. i asked the chief of police in san pedro, the second biggest city here, if they would take us along when a call came in on a crime. a minute later, we got our wish. so we jumped in the trucks and we're headed there right now to see what's going on. it's completely real. we're not making up how violent
8:03 pm
this place is. we've been here four hours and our first bodies turn up. appears that he's been shot. the impact wound appears to be right here on the right side of his head. and the police commissioner told us that, you know, as is very typical in these situations, nobody saw anything, nobody heard anything, and nobody knows this guy. [ speaking spanish ] >> reporter: nobody wants to talk, which suggests people are definitely afraid in this neighborhood. as they should be. for years, the region has been plagued with violent gangs, started by gang members deported from california. but in the last few years, it's also become the main corridor for narcotics coming up from south america. as the big mexican cartels have looked for staging areas here, murder rates have skyrocketed. so this is the entrance to the morgue.
8:04 pm
there must be 15 bodies here. yesterday, they received seven bodies. and this morning, five more. they get new bodies every day. 80% of them are from violence. they're usually shot with either a pistol or a rifle. there's not much to say. this woman and her mother, who just lost two sons, two of the bodies i just saw inside the morgue, the son and the brother of these two women. there's a human cost to the drug war, and the hondurans are paying it in blood. i just came from the morgue, and there's literally bodies piling up in the hallway. why is this country so violent? >> well, the violence is not actually traditional in honduras. and it has increased as the drug traffic through honduras has increased.
8:05 pm
and so i think a lot of it has to do with drugs. >> reporter: the murder rate here is 16 times the u.s. rate. murder has become so normal here, that there's some hondurans who don't seem to spend a lot of time agonizing over it. outside the morgue, i met darwin, who led me to his place around the corner. [ speaking spanish ] >> reporter: he told me this is a king-size one for a fat person. darwin is probably the happiest, go luckiest coffin builder i've met in my life. the one take away i got from being here is that the coffin business is booming. insecurity pervades every aspect of life here. even to visit a violence reduction plan, we had to have
8:06 pm
an escort of heavily armed policemen patrol the street. >> it's violent and dangerous. but that's what we're working on. how many of them have seen somebody killed or somebody shot. [ speaking spanish ] >> reporter: it's hard to get a sense of what it's like to live here when you have a heavy police escort everywhere you go. so we found someone who moves freely through the neighborhoods and let us come along. so we should leave our phones, money, everything. but first, we were warned. no valuables, no phones, no passports, nothing that could get us killed. >> welcome. come with me. >> reporter: she moved from the congo to honduras early in 2011 to head the office here of
8:07 pm
doctors without boarders. >> we are trying to tackle the violence and that is quite a big challenge. >> reporter: were your surprised at the level of violence when you got here? >> i was shocked. i was shocked. i didn't know whenever -- yes, here we can go to mcdonald's, burger king, but in fact you meet exactly the same problems as you can meet in congo and we're in the capital city. >> reporter: she helped launch a street outreach mission. every day, a team of doctors and social workers walk the most dangerous areas of the city. you're not scared? >> i think we have to be scared in order to protect ourselves also. if you are just going and thinking that it will be easy, we will be very at risk. >> reporter: what goes hand in hand with the violence here is
8:08 pm
extreme poverty. the doctors without boarders street team was giving medical and psychological care to homeless people. it looked like so many neighborhoods throughout latin america. if we hadn't been told, we wouldn't have guessed that it was so violent. [ speaking spanish ] >> reporter: so what we's telling me is that this is where he lives, under this tarp. these are his spare clothes. and he's got -- and this is his kitchen where you see these three fish being cooked right here. and they cook for all of the street children here is one of the other things he says. and the other thing that you notice when you're speaking is there's all these kids around here. but even in plain view of the cameras, all of them are sniffing glue. because we were the first foreigners, let alone
8:09 pm
journalists that the doctors without border street team had ever taken with them, they were extra alert to security. the security driver just said it's time to go, so we should go. as we headed back to the van, the market began to close down. night was falling, and the city, now even more dangerous, was getting ready to shut down. this is an rc robotic claw. my high school science teacher made me what i am today. our science teacher helped us build it. ♪ now i'm a geologist at chevron, and i get to help science teachers. it has four servo motors and a wireless microcontroller. over the last three years we've put nearly 100 million dollars into american education. that's thousands of kids learning to love science. ♪ isn't that cool? and that's pretty cool.
8:10 pm
♪ your doctor will say get smart about your weight. i tried weight loss plans... but their shakes aren't always made for people with diabetes. that's why there's new glucerna hunger smart shakes. they have carb steady, with carbs that digest slowly to help minimize blood sugar spikes. and they have 6 grams of sugars. with 15 grams of protein to help manage hunger... look who's getting smart about her weight. [ male announcer ] new glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes. forty years ago, he wasn't looking for financial advice. back then, he had something more important to do. he wasn't focused on his future but fortunately, somebody else was. at usaa we provide retirement planning for our military, veterans and their families. now more than ever, it's important to get financial advice from people who share your military values. call now for our free guide and tips on planning
8:11 pm
for your retirement this tax season. will be giving away passafree copies of the alcoholism & addiction cure.
8:12 pm
to get yours, go to ssagesmalibubook.com. it's been called the most violent place on earth. it's a small area of central america where our kaj larsen met one man who's fighting a war against a tidal wave of drugs and murder. >> reporter: a police surveillance camera in guatemala city captures a scene that has become common. a car stops at an intersection at midnight. a man is forced out and shot. it was one of the nearly 6,000 murders in guatemala in 2011, eight times the u.s. homicide rate. fueling the violence, narco trafficking, as mexico's cartels, including the ultra
8:13 pm
violent zetas, move south. what we're talking about, really, is in many of these areas is ungoverned space, like the zetas are the authorities in these areas? >> yes. >> reporter: we were briefed by a dea agent who asked us not to reveal his face. >> the m-240 machine gun fires a 7.62 round and we need it where we're going up in indian country. ♪ >> reporter: dodging storms, we flew with the dea in two huey helicopter gunships into a no man's land in guatemala, land that soon becomes uninhabited stretches of jungle, much of it flooded because of the rainy season. soon we were flying over clandestine landing strips, hundreds of them, used for smuggling drugs coming up from venezuela. sometimes the planes crashed, but since one load of cocaine
8:14 pm
more than paid for a plane, often they were just abandoned. >> there's an airplane carcass right there below me. you can see, right there. it's got some birds on it, crash landed. it's a little flooded right now from the rains, but when it's dry, there's about 30 to 40 aircraft just laying out here. all that were abandoned after they brought the drugs in. >> reporter: after the u.s. helped beef up the guatemalan defenses, the traffickers began looking for another place to land drugs. they chose guatemala's violent neighbor, honduras. and it has become the new front line of the narco wars. >> it's the first entry point -- >> reporter: jim kinney has been fighting that war for more than 12 years. >> that lands, the first point, either by boat or an air track, an illicit airplane coming in. the best opportunity to stop the drugs is at that point.
8:15 pm
>> reporter: as head of the u.s. drug enforcement office in honduras, jim kinney runs america's first line of defense, with the support of only two other dea agents. if jim's small team can't intercept the drugs when they land, the likelihood is that they'll make it all the way to the u.s./mexico border. it's highly unusual for a dea agent in overseas operations to be seen on camera, but i was allowed to follow jim around honduras. >> i mean, we're out there now, right? this is the wild west. >> as close as you get to it, yes. they're saying 75 to 80% of the 25 plus tons that come through here a month is maritime. >> reporter: the boat we were riding on was one of the intercepter boats the honduran navy uses to try to stop smuggling boats whenever the dea gets intelligence about a load coming in from south america. >> yes, these are all from drug
8:16 pm
boats. >> reporter: when we got to the naval base and saw some of the go-fast boats confiscated from smugglers, it's easy to see how outmatched the honduran navy is. in this surveillance video, you can actually see a smuggling vote firing on a honduran navy boat trying to intercept it. >> as a matter of fact, last night, we had pretty good information about a go-fast that was coming up that was off the roatan island. unfortunately, we were not able to find them. very difficult. you know, you go out in a very vast, wide area. >> yeah, it's a needle in a haystack. >> reporter: jim says in the last 2 1/2 years in honduras, he feels like he's aged ten years. >> it's frustrating a lot of times, because we a lot of times have the knowledge and intelligence to be able to respond and do things, but because of the lack of resources, it's difficult. >> puts some gray in the old beard?
8:17 pm
>> reporter: but jim has been making progress, changing a crucial piece of the puzzle here. >> so this is your piece right here, these guys coming out? >> these guys are the vetted team that we trust, that we can pass very sensitive intelligence to. >> reporter: this is jim's vetted unit, specially selected honduran police officers chosen for their skills and their honesty. >> corruption's an issue here, as it is in central america and other countries, south america. they've all been polygraphed. they're all drug tested and they've all been interviewed. and they've all been trained. we train each one from evidence handling to the tactics. >> reporter: when jim gets a tip about an illicit aircraft headed towards honduras, it's the vetted team's mission to fly to that landing site and intercept it. >> there's a high chance they could get in firefights?
8:18 pm
>> yes, and they have been in firefights. very dangerous. these guys are very brave. they know there's a very high possibility that there's going to be some kind of confrontation. >> fuego! >> reporter: when jim arrived in honduras early in 2009, the vetted unit had seven officers. now it has 41. and of the 94 smuggling planes that landed in honduras in 2010, the government of honduras was able to intercept seven, five of which were intercepted by jim's unit. that doesn't sound like a whole lot, except that the total for the previous year was zero. >> is it exhausting? >> it can be. there's lots of long days. you hope it's fruitful at the end of it. [ woman ] my boyfriend and i were going on vacation, so i used my citi thank you card to pick up some accessories. a new belt.
8:19 pm
some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? we talked about getting a diamond. but with all the thank you points i've been earning... ♪ ...i flew us to the rock i really had in mind. ♪ [ male announcer ] the citi thank you card. earn points you can use for travel on any airline, with no blackout dates.
8:20 pm
in here, the landscaping business grows with snow. to keep big winter jobs on track, at&t provided a mobile solution that lets everyone from field workers to accounting, initiate, bill, and track work in real time. you can't live under a dome in minnesota, that's why there's guys like me. [ male announcer ] it's a network of possibilities -- helping you do what you do... even better. ♪
8:21 pm
helping you do what you do... even better. (car horn) paying with your smartphone instead of cash... (phone rings) that's a step forward. with chase quickpay, you can send money directly to anyone's checking account. i guess he's a kicker... again, again! oh, no you don't! take a step forward and chase what matters.
8:22 pm
they are outmanned and outgunned, so in order to win the war against drugs in central america, authorities will have to overcome overwhelming odds. >> but you know amid the spiraling violence and this culture of corruption, there are few signs of glimmering hope. kaj larsen concludes his special report from the front lines of the narco war. >> reporter: it's saturday night in tegucigalpa, the capital of
8:23 pm
honduras, the most violent nation on earth. police here may look tough, but, in fact, they're outmanned and outgunned. their control over many parts of the city is virtually nonexistent. >> the police just stopped our caravan to bring us up to this little bluff right here to point out this piece of graffiti on the side of the build here that says, "if you touch us, we will kill you," and for them that's an indicator of what they're facing. >> reporter: it took 30 police officers with assault weapons for us to be able to visit this neighborhood. >> it's hard to know what the right call is. this is one of the most violent neighborhoods in the world. not just in the city, in the world. and the police, while their tactics seem a little heavy-handed, that is their only attempt to wrestle control back from the gangs who have basically overrun the city. >> reporter: there doesn't seem to be much hope in honduras.
8:24 pm
the murder rate keeps rising. but next door in guatemala, we saw signs of progress. in guatemala city, i met the interior minister. in a region notorious for corruption, carlos menacal has shaken up the system. >> translator: in central america, six out of ten murders are drug related. >> reporter: the drug trade flooding guatemala dwarfs the country's resources. >> $10.5 billion in four years. >> reporter: he says this past year, his government seized about $3 billion worth of drugs. the entire budget of the government is only about $5 billion. menocal says anti-narcotics operations alone won't bring down the who mystic murder rate. to do that, he had to convince the public that murders would actually be solved. step one, create a team of trained the detectives.
8:25 pm
in the basement of the ministry of justice, i visited the barracks of guatemala city's csi unit. here teams of investigators take turns working in shifts, like firefighters in a firehouse. in this room, crime is monitored 24 hours a day. when a crime is committed, the radios start going off. and then they launch the investigators to the scene of the crime. in the last week, how many times have you gone out on calls to investigate crime scenes or murders. six times? wow. minister menocal says the new efforts are already paying off. >> translator: in the past couple of years, after they began making the police more professional, the murder rate has begun to decline. >> reporter: but it takes more than training investigators. radical surgery had to be performed to fight one of the region's biggest and oldest problems -- corruption. this is the large suburb miksco.
8:26 pm
population, 1 million. it used to be one of the metropolitan areas in guatemala city. then two crime-fighting programs were introduced. with aid from the u.s. state department. what's unique about this police station, they actually fired 100% of the police officers here and they took all rookies out of the academy. the reason, of course, is because corruption is so endemic, they had to start with fresh officers who had never been on the street. >> reporter: the results have been dramatic. police say that the conviction rate on cases filed has moved from practically zero to 98%. in miksco city hall, i met an energetic mayor, who, along with u.s. aid, commissioned a surveillance system that's had a big impact. in one neighborhood, 53 cameras have been installed and crime
8:27 pm
has dropped by 90%. >> translator: and crime throughout the entire city is down 28 to 30%. >> reporter: this is one of the murders that the cameras were able to solve. >> this guy just jumped out of a van right here, white sweatshirt, pulled out a gun, and now he's shooting. what this is, they took a screen grab prior to the murder that we just saw up on the big screen, and it allowed them to identify the guy who committed the murder as well as that you have this guy in this purple sweatshirt, who actually handed the guy who came into the shooting the gun. >> reporter: in addition to watching the criminals, the cameras are also a way for the mayor to observe his own police force. so when the officers show up on scene, they're required to salute the cameras to show that they're on the job. >> it's kind of fun, right, but in a place where police accountability is a huge issue, to be able to see his officers
8:28 pm
saluting on the job is actually a huge, huge improvement. >> reporter: the murder rate here in guatemala has just begun to decline slightly. still, it's eight times the rate in the united states. minister menocal has a message for america, the largest consumer of illegal drugs. >> translator: consuming drugs has consequences. every kilo, every gram is paid for in blood in latin america and central america. >> and kaj larsen joins us, safe and sound, thankfully. you look good, all cleaned up, here in the studio. >> no flack jacket or anything. >> it's nice to see you this way. and we see so many narco trafficking stories out of mexico, but to see these images coming out of both gout mallla and honduras, what led you to this story? >> well, i think, like you said, there has been a lot of focus on mexico in the news, and the violence there has been very
8:29 pm
disturbing and it's been very visible, because they're our nearest neighbor. but increasingly, the corridor in central america has become a major trafficking route for narcotics. just four years ago, less than 1% of the drugs moved up through that corridor. and you fast forward to today, over 60% are moving via land. and with that has become an exponential increase in violence in places like honduras and guatemala. so much so that even this month peace corps is pulling out of their operations in honduras. >> you've got the demand, as you point out in the piece, but the supply, stopping the drugs moving along that route, what's being done for that? >> it's the right question, because it's such a critical choke point for narcotics. over 90% of the cocaine is making its first stop in honduras. and law enforcement increasingly is beginning to pay attention to this area, but it's a very difficult battle. there's a u.s. joint task force run by the military there that's
8:30 pm
supporting the hondurans with air assets and intelligence. i embedded myself with the dea and their vetted unit. >> i think you're making a point that the dea really is fighting an uphill battle here. how do they feel about it in terms of their resources? >> obviously, they'd like to bring nor resources to the fight. the dea is a very tough, very professional organization, but the power of these cartels, which are effectively operating as multinational corporations with supply chains and distribution centers, i mean, the head of the sinaloa cartel, joaquin "chapo" guzman was on the "forbes" list. so these are very, very powerful organizations, and they're very hard to combat. >> that's frightening. i learned a lot, though. appreciate it. and glad you're back safe and sound. >> great to see you guys. up next, was it murder or a miscarriage of justice? the story of two families torn apart by a deadly shooting. sure that we were on schedule.
8:31 pm
the first technology of its kind... mom and dad, i have great news. is now providing answers families need. siemens. answers. you'd chose an intel core i7 processor for maximum processing power. you'd use carbon fiber and machined aluminum, to make it more beautiful and more durable. you'd even use edge-to-edge gorilla glass for a stunning display in a more compact form. everything that you would ever want in a laptop. introducing the dell xps 13 ultrabook. everything. and more. ♪ everything. and more. imagine if you could always see life [music] in the best light. every time of day.
8:32 pm
outdoors, or in. transitions® lenses automatically filter just the right amount of light. so you see everything the way it is meant to be seen. maybe even a little better. experience life well lit, ask for transitions adaptive lenses. no, i wouldn't use that single miles credit card. hey, aren't you... shhh. i'm researching a role. today's special... the capital one venture card. you earn double miles on every purchase. impressive. chalk is a lost medium. if you're not earning double miles... you're settling for half. was that really necessary? [ male announcer ] get the venture card at capitalone.com and earn double miles on every purchase every day. what's in your wallet? cover for me. i have an audition.
8:33 pm
8:34 pm
here are your headlines this hour. at least 37 people are dead in an outbreak of tornadoes across 11 states. the images are startling. winds got as high as 200 miles per hour in some places. this twister in henryville, indiana, cut a path 52 miles long and it was as wide as 1 1/2 football fields. cnn projects another win for mitt romney, just three days before the all-important super
8:35 pm
tuesday contest. more than 80% of the votes counted in washington state, romney leads with 36%. ron paul and rick santorum are in a tight battle for second place. more than ten points back. and newt gingrich was trailing in fourth place. the grief in ohio welled up again on saturday. this time at the first of three funerals for the victims of monday's high school shooting rampage. family and friends buried the 16-year-old. more than 1,000 people turned out for his funeral mass. gas prices have gone up again. the average price of a gallon of regular jumped more than a penny and a half and is now $3.76 a gallon. aaa says that saturday surge marks the 25th straight increase. those are your headlines this hour. i'm don lemon, keeping you informed. cnn, the most trusted name in news.
8:36 pm
i didn't know how i was going to do it, but i knew i was going to get that opportunity one day. and that's what happened with the university of phoenix. nothing can stop me now. i feel like the sky is the limit with what i can do and what i can accomplish. my name is naphtali bryant and i am a phoenix. your doctor will say get smart about your weight. i tried weight loss plans... but their shakes aren't always made for people with diabetes. that's why there's new glucerna hunger smart shakes. they have carb steady, with carbs that digest slowly to help minimize blood sugar spikes. and they have 6 grams of sugars. with 15 grams of protein to help manage hunger... look who's getting smart about her weight. [ male announcer ] new glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes.
8:37 pm
with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine living your life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain.
8:38 pm
cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18. people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaids, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. ask your doctor about cymbalta. imagine you with less pain.
8:39 pm
cymbalta can help. go to cymbalta.com to learn about a free trial offer. our criminal justice system is based upon the promise of a fair trial. >> but what if a trial isn't fair? what if the prosecution has stacked the deck against you unfairly? >> deborah feyerick brings us this story of a man who is now sitting in prison, maybe for life, even after the trial that put him there was found by a judge to be full of holes.
8:40 pm
>> i was convicted of second-degree murder with depraved indifference in 1997 and sentenced to 20 years to life. >> reporter: new york city police officer richard diguglielmo served 11 years in prison before a judge tossed out his conviction and he was sent home. his friends and family celebrating his release. when you walked out -- >> it was surreal. i couldn't believe it. my ankles weren't shackled and i was like, wow, this is real. >> reporter: a free man, diguglielmo spent two years rebuilding his life. he got a job, an apartment, a wife, then just as suddenly, in a twist of the criminal justice system, it was all taken away. >> i still cannot adjust being back here. it is difficult. it is difficult.
8:41 pm
>> reporter: richards diguglielmo's bizarre journey began here, dobbs ferry, a charming village 30 minutes outside new york city. on october 3rd, 1996, the small community was rocked by a deadly shooting, triggered over this parking space. the shooter was off-duty new york city transofficer richey. the victim was charles campbell, an amateur boxer that worked with underprivileged kids. his older brother called him chaz. >> he was a wonderful athlete, a wonderful person, he was a christian. loved kids. loved people. all people. >> reporter: it started around 5:00 on a clear autumn day. ritchie was working behind the counter of his family-owned deli. he'd stopped by to help his brother-in-law and father, richard sr., who was recovering from a heart attack. parking was a major problem along this busy street. they owned the building and said
8:42 pm
tenants has been withholding rent to protest the lack of open spaces. well, charles campbell didn't know about the conflict when he pulled his corvette into this spot and went across the street to get a piece of pizza. richey's father remembered that day. >> i asked him if he could please move to the other lot. and he refused to do it. >> reporter: so the deli owner did what dobbs ferry police told him to do, plaster a sticker on the window. here's what father and son say happen when campbell saw the sticker on his new car. >> yeah, listen, i need a cop over here at venice deli in dobbs ferry. a fight just broke out outside. >> richey was in the store, he saw him running across the street, and i was like this, and he came behind me and stepped like and put his hands up like this and said, there's no need for this. >> reporter: and then -- >> he hit richey in the face.
8:43 pm
>> it was like getting hit with a hammer. they were hammer blows. he just was out of control. he was somebody who didn't want to listen to reason or anything like that at the time. >> reporter: the fight spilled into the middle of the parking lot as father, son, and brother-in-law wrestled campbell to the ground. >> when i went to put my hand underneath his head, he said, that's it, i've had enough. so i said to richey, that's it, it's over. we let him up, now whenever i had a fight, when i was a kid, it was over, it was over. >> reporter: but the fight wasn't over. and what happened next changed everything. charles campbell, outnumbered three to one, went to his car. but rather than leave, he pulled out a bat. >> this man with a bat in his hands, how much more of a threat did that make him to your father?
8:44 pm
>> it made him a deadly threat. >> reporter: back in the store, rich said he saw campbell strike his father not once, but twice with the metal bat. >> i just saw him up with the bat and he started to swing and that's when i reached for the gun. >> reporter: the off-duty officer grabbed the gun from under the cash register and raced outside, firing three times, hitting charles campbell in the middle of his chest. >> somebody was shot! >> from the time that bat came out until the time the incident was over, it was a matter of four seconds, five seconds, and my training just kicked in. >> reporter: he doesn't remember the moments immediately after the shooting, only that one of the responding officers handed him the gun and asked for help removing the bullet clip. then he, his father and brother-in-law were taken to the police station. >> we want what?! >> justice! >> when do we want it?! >> now! >> reporter: rumors spread like
8:45 pm
wildfire that the shooting was racially motivated, confirmed in part by the district attorney, jeanine pirro. >> there were racial epithets that the victim was cursed at, at the time, just prior to the shooting. that information has been confirmed. >> did you use any racial slurs? >> we never used a curse word and we never used a racial -- any racial words at all. none. >> reporter: campbell's brother, william, was not there, but describes events as he came to understand them. >> he's going to probably try to work around to get to his car, and that's when richey came out, and i think he came out from behind the truck, and he shot him three times. after he said, die, die. >> witness michael dylan says the -- >> reporter: eyewitness michael dylan less than 30 feet away said he did not hear any racial slurs, but said he saw the bat aimed at the elderly man. >> full force swings hitting him
8:46 pm
in the legs and maybe the head. that's what i saw. you could hear smack blocks away. that's how hard he hit him. you see your father getting hit with a bat, you're going to do something about it. it was self-defense, from what i saw. >> i remember at one point watching dylan on television saying, if you see your father getting beat, you got to do something. it was strictly self-defense. and i remember thinking, oh, thank god for this witness. >> we brought murder charges. >> reporter: but that same night, district attorney pirro charged richard with both intentional murder and murder with depraved indifference. >> i was like, how is this murder? i don't understand it. >> so this is the first time you killed a man? how heavily does that weigh on you? >> not a day i don't think about it. i believe i saved my father's life that day. >> reporter: coming up, the trial that outraged a judge. >> was this a miscarriage of
8:47 pm
justice? >> i believe it was a miscarriage of justice. if there was a pill to help protect your eye health as you age... would you take it? well, there is. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin totally dedicated to your eyes, from the eye-care experts at bausch + lomb. as you age, eyes can lose vital nutrients. ocuvite helps replenish key eye nutrients. [ male announcer ] ocuvite has a unique formula not found in your multivitamin to help protect your eye health. now, that's a pill worth taking. [ male announcer ] ocuvite. help protect your eye health.
8:48 pm
should we be letting him p-l-a-y with our t-a-b-l-e-t? [ mom ] i think it's fine. it's the new element from at&t so it's w-a-t-e-r proof. cool. what else does it d-o? it's fast. it's 4g lte. 4-g-l-t-e? mhhmm. i think it's time to stop spelling? ok. a-y. [ male announcer ] introducing the waterproof pantech element. buy one for $249.99 and get a 4g burst smartphone free. only from at&t. and get a 4g burst smartphone free. today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines are now powering some of america's biggest cities.
8:49 pm
siemens. answers. forty years ago, he wasn't looking for financial advice. back then, he had something more important to do. he wasn't focused on his future but fortunately, somebody else was. at usaa we provide retirement planning for our military, veterans and their families. now more than ever, it's important to get financial advice from people who share your military values. call now for our free guide and tips on planning for your retirement this tax season.
8:50 pm
8:51 pm
in the case against a former nypd officer, did prosecutors suppress crucial evidence that could have changed the jury's verdict? deborah feyerick found one judge who was convinced that's exactly what happened. >> reporter: richard diguglielmo is consumed by the sentence that sent his son to prison for life. >> what do i have now? i wish i wasn't there. my family's torn apart. literally, torn apart. where's my son? >> reporter: we wanted to talk about the shooting, to both the dobbs ferry police department, and the then westchester county district attorney, jeanine pirro. repeated interview requests were denied. in her book, pirro says no question the shooting was racially motivated. race dominated the headlines,
8:52 pm
but never came up at trial. instead, prosecutors claimed diguglielmo shot charles campbell in a murderous rage. assistant district attorney, patricia murphy, telling the jury, "this is a case about revenge. this is a case about retribution. this is a case about payback." prosecutors argued the father, son, and son-in-law ganged up on campbell so that campbell had no choice but to grab a bat from his car. >> i know chaz. when he grabbed that bat, the idea of getting that bat was to just show, all right, y'all, back on up. you know, i'm not trying to start nothing here, but i will finish it. they kept charging him. so he swung, i think, once at the father. >> do you think charles campbell could have killed your father, had that third hit struck him? >> sure. absolutely.
8:53 pm
it was a metal baseball bat. >> everyone's saying it's over a parking space -- >> but it was about a baseball bat. if there wasn't a baseball bat, there wouldn't have been a gun. >> reporter: prosecutors, supported by eyewitness testimony, convinced the jury that campbell, despite holding the bat, was baking away. the jury acquitted the diguglielmos of assault, but ritchie was convicted of murder with depraved indifference. >> i never denied shooting him. i said i shot him to stop my father from getting beat with a bat. >> reporter: the d.a. assisted that justice was served. >> we brought murder charges, he was convicted of murder. that's what this case is about. >> i'm happy that the jury came back with a verdict in the light that i wanted it to come back in. but i can't feel victory. two families were totally destroyed. >> reporter: but there was something wrong about the case
8:54 pm
against richey diguglielmo. two eyewitnesss came forward saying they told police that diguglielmo was working in self-defense. they say they were pressured to change their story. >> what i dealt with was whether or not certain witnesses were coerced, and if so, whether the jury was made aware of this coercion. >> reporter: although some witnesses from the original trial supported the prosecution's version of the shooting, two who were closest to the shooting did not. one of those witnesses was michael dylan. >> i saw about four guys -- >> after giving his original statement on the night of the shooting, he was picked up by police officers, night and day, until he changed his statement. >> the dobbs ferry detectives just kept asking me the same questions over and over again,
8:55 pm
night after night. it was like an interrogation. >> reporter: here's what dylan originally told police. >> to my best recollection, the black guy was swinging the bat at the older male when the shots were fired. >> reporter: but the jury never heard that. instead, dylan testified at trial that campbell wasn't swinging the bat. another key witness, who refused to change his story and was not called to testify, was james white. >> they were telling me that other people said this and other people said that, and i said, but i'm not interested in what other people said. i'm telling you what i saw and this is the truth. >> reporter: white was standing inside the deli, and he saw charles campbell not as victim, but as aggressor. >> they held him down, only as long as it took for him to cease attacking. and once he did that, they would let him up. >> reporter: white says that's when campbell got the bat, swinging at the elder
8:56 pm
diguglielmo. >> i'm looking at him saying, my god, he's going to kill him. >> reporter: the jury never heard that version either. bellantoni found the autopsy report supported white's story. >> one of the things the district attorney's office couldn't get around at the hearing was that the bat was being held upright. the only way you get five wounds with three bullets is that this bullet went in the forearm, out the forearm, into the chest. >> reporter: in a scathing 69-page report, judge bellantoni called the district attorney's case a wholesale assault on the justice system, and criticized prosecutors for a "win at all costs" mind-set. he overturned the conviction and set richey diguglielmo free. >> you had started working, moved into your own apartment. tell me what else. >> met a woman, fell in love, got married. and then had to come back here. >> reporter: the prosecutors appealed, arguing that
8:57 pm
bellantoni had overstepped his authority, and in a stunning reversal, a four-judge panel on new york's highest court ruled, even had the jury known witnesses changed their stories, it likely wouldn't have changed the verdict. >> i don't know how they can say that. if 12 people heard that he stuck by his story and finally changed it because he just didn't want to be harassed by the police department any longer, might the verdict have been different? the answer for me was yes. >> was this a miscarriage of justice? >> i believe it was a miscarriage of justice. >> today i'm hear of my own free will, to surrender to this court, and i will continue to fight this fight. >> reporter: on june 3rd, 2010, richey returned to prison to finish his sentence of 20 to life. >> i feel for richey, because irregardless of what he was
8:58 pm
thinking, i forgive him, not his action. >> it's been a tragedy, from day one, and i won't belittle that in any way, but how does a judge send you home and another judge says, oh, no, well, we don't agree with you, so we're going to send you back? >> would you have rather stayed in prison, knowing what you know now? >> there was a time where i would have said yes, but then i would have never met my wife. that's the sunshine in this dreary world. >> so there's hope? >> there's always hope. >> deb feyerick now joining us. you talk in your piece about a possible miscarriage of justice. the question is, has the d.a. at all answered this charge that the jurors never quite heard the full story? >> well, the former westchester county district attorney, jeanine pirro, ultimately did give us a statement. she never answered any questions as to why race never came up at
8:59 pm
trial, nor did she explain why these key eyewitness statements were suppressed. she does say, however, that she describes charles campbell as an unarmed man and she says, quote, richard diguglielmo's guilt has been affirmed by three appellate court, and that is correct. >> despite the fact that he was holding the bat, which is at issue. so what happens next? what recourse does he have in all of that? >> the u.s. supreme court is out. they decline to hear this case. his lawyer is going to appeal to a federal court, present the new evidence, hopefully to say these eyewitness statements should have come in. and then, but really, his legal options are running out. so he may have to wait until 2019, which is when he's up for parole, and the court actually said those two years he was out, he's got to serve those in prison. so he gets nothing. >> and he fell in love while he was there as well. >> is she standing by him? >> she's absolutely standing by him. she's got total faith in him, he's got total faith in her, but he's losing a little faith in the justsy

121 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on