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tv   Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield  CNN  December 24, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PST

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weather. these incredible pictures you're looking at. this is como mississippi, an hour south of memphis. people in these cars and trucks you see were powerless against this tornado that suddeny appeared crossing the highway, pushing over these big trucks sitting in the storm's path. three state affected by the weather, mississippi, tennessee and arkansas. at least ten people are dead today killed in their homes or inside cars when the storms hit. let's bring in chad myers, it's christmas eve, not a joyous day for many people in the deep south today. can you tell where the storm system is right now? >> i can. it is still in the warm sector. it's where the warm fronts is just to our north right through here. the same areas by about 150 miles to the east as we saw
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yesterday. this is what we saw as the warm air, moisture from the gulf of mexico, rode right up into the frontal system, right through here and there was a jet stream involved. some of these storms were going 60 miles per hour. most of them were severe. some had tornadoes and some had very large tornadoes. hundreds much people are waking up to utter devastation. the destruction caused by a tornado outbreak cutting across the south and midwest. >> i see debris. claiming multiple lives, including a 7-year-old boy, as residents desperately tried to hide in cars and homes. >> by the time i got out of my car, i had a tree that was in my windshield. >> reporter: in northern mississippi, in tornado tore through a busy highway. watch as the massive twister tosses this tractor-trailer as it barrels through traffic.
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watch from this angle, what appears to be the same semi, this driver just feet away. the winds in southwestern tennessee roared up to 75 miles per hour as officials declared a state of emergency. >> houses just exploded and buried in the rubble. >> two people were killed east of memphis, their bodies found under debris. >> we were in the house and heard the wind picking up and had 45 seconds and it hit. we walked out of the storm shelter and everything was gone. >> in arkansas, an 18-year-old woman died when a tree fell through her house. toppled by the high winds and heavy rain. >> christmas is all about love and we're going to love through this. >> reporter: some residents in mississippi clinging on to what say matters most, after losing almost everything this holiday season. >> it wasn't about the house. it was about my family, the most important thing to me. >> little rock, arkansas, was 74 degrees, that's 23 degrees above
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where you should be this time of year. and that front moved right through arkansas into mississippi and into alabama. and we now know at least 24 reports of tornado damage occurred. some of these tornadoes may have been the same one on the ground for a very long time. in fact, this one that right here moved through holly springs may have been on ground for 140 miles. the national weather service is out there with helicopters and planes looking to see if it was skipping along or was it one long tract tornado. we know at least it was an ef-3 or ef-4 at a means almost 200 miles per hour, i can see this damage at at least 150. weather service knows what the damage is supposed to look like for each category and let us know. tornadoes happen in december, 24 on average, not usually this big. sometimes we get an ef-4 on ground and it happened i think yesterday. we'll see, 24 on average, most of them across the mid south
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where the humidity is still there. >> incredible to think about that, a tornado on the groubd for 140 miles, talking about holly springs and i want to go to the mayor right now joining me on the phone. his name is calvin buck. mr. mayor, thanks for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> your county, marshall county was hit very hard by this storm. a 7-year-old boy died yesterday in this. my heart goes out to you and your city and county. tell me what you're hearing from the people on the ground there and across your city and your county. >> well, by hearing and doing my own analysis and reconnaissance, we've already determined that there's been a tremendous amount of devastation in three primary parts of the community. and in just like going out and taking a look, i mean, total
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homes destroyed, churches destroyed. i mean, one house after another and all of the residential areas around the three particular areas, it's devastating. we certainly -- the one death that has occurred and the multiple injures that have occurred. our crews have been out this morning trying to get an assessment, we have other agencies to help us with this, the red cross. just trying to pull things together now. >> i understand the governor of mississippi, phil bryant has declared a state of emergency in your state, in mississippi. what kind of assistance will you ask for? have you had a conversation with the governor yet? >> well, the governor is set to arrive here any minute at the command center and i'll get a chance to have a moment or two with him directly in just a little bit. but primarily we'll be looking for the normal kinds of assistance that come along with a tragedy like this.
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things to help us with the extra cost of trying to recoup rate some of this and deal with the problem. those kind of things will are more specific with him based on what he can share with us. >> mr. mayor, you know it's christmas eve and people of your county are dealing with this tragedy instead of enjoying the holiday. what kind of message do you want to give to those people whose lives are just so terribly affected today by the storms? >> well, we always say to people that they must have faith and must pray but they also must be very vigilant in making sure they are in a safe environment. we have seen these kinds of events happen in other places, it's happened to us now. we've got to find the resolve to do our best to recover and just try to help each other out. we have an outpouring of support from communities from around us and we got to rally together and make this the best out of this very, very terrible situation.
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>> all right, mayor calvin buck, we wish you the best in the recovery effort and the cleanup in the aftermath of this devastating forms. >> thank you. >> and you're looking at live pictures of a news conference set to happen in holly springs. the governor is expected to speak about the devastation that tore through mississippi yesterday with this massive tornado. we will go to that news conference as soon as it begins. that severe weather pounding deep south is also having some effect on christmas eve air flights through major hub - airports in the east like atlanta and philadelphia and big three airports that serve new york city. let's go to sarah sidner, where something else was announced today that could slow down your trip this christmas. what is this new protocol that
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tsa has rolled out? >> reporter: it's interesting, a lot of people don't know about it just yet but they may experience it when they are in line. what the tsa has said, they are not going to let everyone opt out of going through the body scanners. they are going to say to some passengers, no we will not give you a pat down, but they are very clear in saying the only passengers they will do that to if it is warranted by security considerations in order to safeguard transportation security. so they are saying, you can still ask to be patted down instead of going through the big bubble that we're all used to going through. but some people may be denied if they are considered -- okay, sara, i hate to break you off. we want to go live to mississippi where the governor is speaking after the devastating storms. >> speak up and you should be
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fine. >> all right. okay, we're here now with some of the emergency officials. some of the first responders. we've had an opportunity now to do a little bit more assessment of what's actually going on, what we have in front of us out in the community. i have several of those officials here who can answer any questions you might have. of course, last night we were hampered by not only the darkness but the fact it was still doing some raining and the weather in general. this morning we've been able to get a much closer look at this situation and so some of the people that have been out can now give us a little bit more detail as to what you can expect. what our plans are as we move through this process. i have with me several of them. i note that our fire chief can answer any questions, we have our police chief, chief dwight harris, our sheriff, sheriff
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kitty dickerson and kelly and others. if you have any questions, we'll be glad to entertain those questions. if you need an opening statement from our chief, he's certainly able to give you the latest. >> mayor, what we want to know, a lot of devastation had come through, how many fatalities and how many injured people are there come daylight? >> you want to respond to that. >> kenny holbrook, fire chief. we have one confirmed fatality, the little boy that was in a vehicle that was struck by the tornado. that's the only confirmed fatality that we have. last night we did a secondary pass, first we did a primary and did a secondary last night. and came back in daylight this morning to do a complete survey again. we have a lot of responders from neighboring communities here. utilizing our law enforcement, our ems people and our fire
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people, we were able to complete this third survey. and during the survey, we located any hazards we may have and have all of those hazards contained and noted all of the utility access and such as power lines being down and things, they are being handled at this time. we have approximately 5,000 customers without electricity and utility company is working diligently on that. now that we have cleared all of the residents of any sort of hazards, we will be able to utilize a lot of the volunteers that have came in from different areas such as chain saw crews and debris removal people. everything on our roadways has been removed where it's accessible. all damage now at this point is on private property.
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and that's where these other groups will come in and we can utilize them. they did go and work with the homeowners at that point and assist them. we got a shelter set up for anyone what doesn't have a place to stay that needs a place. the red cross is running a shelter in holly springs at the multipurpose center. and any donations that people would like to make, we have utilizing that same facility for the dropoff point, it will be on north memphis street here in holly springs, multipurpose center. >> chief, are you releasing the name of the little boy yet? >> no, ma'am, i am not. you'll have to get that through the coroner's office. we'll withhold that. >> how many are injured at this time? >> we don't have a total count at this point. i know that we were reported to us last night that 18 folks had been transported to the local
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hospital in olive branch. and had more severe injuries. i could not begin to tell you how many walking wounded went to the hospitals on their own. >> there is a memorial set up along highway 7, what appears to be the location where the little boy died. is that an accurate spot? >> i can't respond to that question. i've been in command center -- i'm not familiar with where you're talking. >> what's one of the major problems that you're dealing with right now that doesn't -- >> the biggest problem we had was spontaneous responders. if you can use that word, spontaneous responders. they just came and understand that in emergency situation like this, everyone wants to help.
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but this morning, like i say, as of last night, people that were not a member of the law enforcement ems or fire community, we withheld sending them outdoing the emergency work. now that that is finished, we can utilize a lot of this help in the private sector. we can't assume the responsibility that we don't know what training people have. so that's been the probably the hardest part of managing hundreds of people that you never met until that moment. so i think we did a really good job at it. got a lot of good help, you see all of the gentlemen standing behind me. that's the support team that got this accomplished. one person can't do it all. and i want to applaud them for their job. >> is there one, chief, it's a small town and everybody knows everybody else. i'm wondering, has it been
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adults for folks here obviously to see and witness what's happening in the last 24 hours? >> i'm sure. the smaller the community the more people you know, the emergency responders here, you're going to deal with your family, your relatives. people that you meet and greet every day on the street in a big large metropolis, you may never see someone related to you. but it's -- things that people have to deal with and i think everybody has handled that very well. >> what's your take on that? >> i would tend to agree. this area, marshall county and holly springs is one big community. a lot of the devastation didn't actually happen in the city of holly springs but of course our first responders have to respond to it just as well as anyone else. our sheriff is here, he just took a fly over of the area and could give you a little bit more information as to what he saw during the fly over of what
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happened in the more rural areas of the area. it's been a complete effort and of course in a small town, the little lines that make up the municipalities in the county don't make a whole lot of difference to us. >> do you have an estimate on how many people are without power right now in the county? >> talking with our utility department, we estimate around 4,000 are still without power and some could be without power for a few days, others a little bit longer, but several crews have come in to try to assist our utility department in restoring power throughout the grid. >> what about the concerns of people traveling back to their homes at this time? is there a concern for that? >> we've done a thorough search of all areas that were involved. we have located everyone. we have no reports of anyone missing at this point. and like i say, this was our third sweep we went through this morning in the daylight. so we feel 100% confident that
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the emergency is over as far as anyone not being located in -- >> is there going to be a established curfew? >> well, we haven't had any discussion about that in the city. the area that was hardest hit within the city limits doesn't appear to have any kind of threat or need for that kind of curfew to be imposed. now the county, i'm not sure if they'll have any -- i will say to you this, perhaps they will be out patrolling and making sure that people's property is maintained and the sheriff can speak to that. >> sheriff, can you talk a little bit about that? >> first of all, thank you, we appreciate you all's coverage and alerting everyone through the news and whatever. this has been certainly devastating for all of us. but again, our community as always pulls together and we have these type tragedies work together, citizens in the city
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and county and fire departments and we have -- we do have reason at this time, i've been advised by my patrol supervisor, we do have two fatalities, we have a second fatality according to information received by major cook. we did a fly over, with the helicopter, it's unreal what you see from the air. we're going to have millions and millions of wood and timber that's damaged and down. many, many homes got severe damage. it's unreal. you would have to be in the air looking down to see it to realize how bad it is. >> they said it was on the ground for a long time. did you follow the path? >> of course it come our way from south up this way and across back of walmart, across highway 7 south and went back north across 78 to my rear. and turned over quite a few trucks that were traveling,
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automobiles and so forth. and considering what has happened, it's bad but it could have been a lot worse. >> ever seen anything like it? >> yes, i have, i have seen a lot worse but it's bad. >> your second fatality been confirmed? >> i was just advised by patrol supervisor major cook that we did have a second fatality. >> a manor woman? >> i don't have that information at the present time. sure don't. but again, as always, the city and county has worked together, the community has worked together and as a result of this togetherness, you see here, we've made a lot of progress and made very best out of a very bad situation. >> sir? >> would you say your name? >> kenny dickerson.
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>> were you able to -- >> as i was riding in the helicopter just moments ago just south of here near a farm location i observed several 18 wheelers and trailers turned over on the side. there were 18 wheelers, sure were, along with several vehicles. it's just bad but it could have been a whole lot worse. we're thankful that we had no more damage than we did and regardless we had so much but it could have been a lot worse. >> thank you, sheriff. >> well, i think that's about all unless you all have more questions. latest we just got the word about the person that was second person in marshall county was a lady, a female. that's all i have, that's all the information i have about her now. one last thing about all of the support that we've gotten from different agencies from around
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the area. olive branch, oxford, just a number of communities around the area. so has the private sector, private sector companies have been a part of trying to help us and volunteer and making donations, home depot and some others. we want to thank them for what they've done to try and feed and help and provide things like generators and important equipment needs we might have. >> is there a -- we have a lot of people asking what we -- can we do to help? is there anything you need, like water, blood, bed sheet blankets? >> we have a staging area for some of that. we've gotten quite a few requests of making contributions of some kind. we've directed them to the multipurpose center where the red cross and others have assembled and have a presence down there. if they they want to make some sort of donation -- we don't have the specific needs and perhaps before the day is over
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our chief and our emergency officials will have a better understanding what the needs might be but right now, we have a lot of people out here providing a lot of things for first responder as well as for residents. >> you've been listening to a live news conference, that right there calvin buck, the mayor of holly springs -- holly spring, along with community members, ems, recovery crews and responders to this devastating storm that hit their community in mississippi along with two other states. them saying with the light of day they are able to assess the damage and survey the area. and also give a confirmation that there have been two deaths in their community because of these storms, including a 7-year-old boy. they also say that they have found that no one is trapped in their homes and they've done a thorough search of the community. interestingly enough, this is a small community, holly spring, only 7500 people population in
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holly spring. so one of the ems officials saying that some of these responders know the people whose homes they are going to, it's that small of a community. we are expected to hear from the governor at some point. we'll go back out to the news conference if he does step up to mics. >> who would win a trump/clinton election? brand-new poll numbers hot off the press. stay with us. music: "thunder clatter" by wild cub ♪
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for my frequent heartburnmorning because you can't beat zero heartburn! ahhh the sweet taste of victory! prilosec otc. one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. all is quiet on the campaign trail as the candidates spend holidays with her families, but polls have brought hillary clinton a gift, she remains on
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top in a new cnn/orc poll well ahead of bernie sanders, 50% to 34%, although dropping slightly since november and sanders is gaining a little traction with martin o'malley trailing with 3%. joe, thanks for joining us, i'm thinking clinton must have made quite an impression on voters in the last debate. >> i think you're right. part of this poll was done before the debate and part was done after the debate. clinton showed much more strength after the debate. she picked up steam following her performance on national tv. one thing worth noting though, while clinton dominates the democratic field including bernie sanders, that strength is just not apparent in the hypothetical match-up with the top republican contenders, she's two points up over donald trump but just two or three points down against ted cruz and marco rubio. all of that coming within the
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margin of error. so in some ways you can say she would be running neck and neck with those republican contenders if the election were held today. >> it seems that way. what are you hearing that sanders is saying about the new poll numbers? >> sanders is pointing to the fact, the cnn/orc poll is a national poll and primaries are won state by state. he says he's got strength in straight polls. take take listen. >> when we began this campaign as you will recall, we were in 3, 5% of the polls. all of the pundits considered us a fringe candidacy, today we are perhaps in the lead in new hampshire where i think closing in here in iowa and your poll seems to indicate that we have national momentum. i think we have come a really long way in seven and a half months and we're feeling really good.
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>> iowa is closing in and our poll also clearly shows that voters are now getting in the position of determining who they are going to put their money on, allison. >> i can imagine how those conversations are going to go over the dinner table over the next couple of days for the holidays. joe johns, thanks for that. inside the battle against isis, houses rigged to explode as iraqi forces with support from american troops try to drive isis out of ramadi, we have details on that coming up. it's a calling. a love affair. a quest. the next horizon. everyone loves the chase.
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in iraq this christmas eve, american trips are leading
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coalition -- that's the focal point of a new and massive military effort to push isis out and retake the city. and eventually allow thousands who fled their homes this year to come back. the air strikes are a coalition force, u.s. bombers among them. but the ground fighting street to street is all iraqi military. we want to talk about this more with barbara starr at the pentagon and lieutenant james marks. >> tell me what you're hearing from the pentagon about progress they are making and what kind of challenges they are facing? >> the pentagon is watching this fight hour by hour, for now is pretty optimistic about the progress the iraqis are making, in fact, iraqi officials are telling cnn, only 30% of ramadi now remains under isis control
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but it may be the toughest 30%. the iraqis still trying to make their move into central ramadi to get to a government complex where isis is pretty much holed up in using it as their headquarters, the iraqis feel there's still a lot of isis fighters in the city and mostly foreign fighters and as we've talked about throughout the last several days remains very much rigged to blow. isis has had months to dig in, set up barricades and roadside bombs and ieds and entire buildings. so the iraqis making slow, steady progress, being watched and helped as you pointed out from the air by u.s. air strikes. alison. >> general, these iraqi fighters are getting close to seizing ramadi and getting ramadi back. is the goal here to push isis out of ramadi, secure the city or is this really an effort to break up the terror group and
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destroy them? can that really be done just in ramadi? >>al ison, that's a great question. ramadi is an important city and it's a historical trade route between syria and jordan and onward in the mediterranean. so ramadi matters and it certainly matters for the thousands of families that were displaced and we've got to get those folks back in there sooner rather than later. secondarily, this is very important for baghdad. baghdad has to be able to demonstrate it can take sisis o and now they are going to achieve success. that's important for baghdad because that translates in terms of confidence and in terms of their ability to move forward in places like mosul. training of the iraqi military - now starting to kick in and
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we're seeing evidence that they are in fact cohesive. they can take this fight on and clearly they can't do it alone. the united states and coalition partners would remain part of this coalition but it's very important for baghdad. >> a lot of the training that the u.s. forces have helped the iraqis with, that's finally taking hold. let's say ramadi, let's say iraqi forces -- forces taken ramadi. >> well, probably not at the moment in terms of traditional u.s. force, but remember, the white house has now talked about wanting to put special forces operation in iraq and operate in iraq with iraqi approval and possibly even go into syria. this targeting force will be aimed at going after high value,
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the important senior figures in isis, to capture or kill them. that means a small number of u.s. boots on ground, air power to back them up and it will be based on the better intelligence at the u.s. feels its getting out of that area now, about where some of these isis leaders may be. after new year's, i think it's going to get pretty interesting as these days really take hold. >> thanks so much for coming on today. >> thanks, alison. six american troops on patrol in afghanistan were killed by a suicide bomber. last night the remains were brought home to the united states. 30-year-old air force sergeant chester mcbride was killed in that attack and grew up in states borrow georgia where he played on the championship high school football team. his family allowed the media to cover the ceremony. a dignified transfer which took place at new castle air national guard base in delaware.
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here's part of that heartbreaking ceremony.
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back to our breaking news, ten people have died in the deadly storms and tornadoes. the damage you're about to see in tennessee here that was devastating right before christmas. look at that. three people have died in the state, including a couple who just celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary. let's go to the interim sheriff for perry county, tennessee. thanks for joining us. i know you're very busy right now. >> how are you doing, alison? >> i'm doing well. tell me about the damage you've been able to assess in your area? >> i've just recently sent my wap continaptain of patrol up i
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airplane it appears the worst part hit was the creek area, started in that area and spread over to the tomb creek area and we lost homes in all of the locations, we've lost several homes in our community. we've also one of the homes had two lives that was claimed, it's just a very, very devastating tragic time for our community, especially now here at the holidays. >> the pictures that we're looking at as you're talking are just incredible to see. tennessee, no stranger to tornadoes but can you remember has your area been hit by a tornado like this before? >> yes, in 1999 we were hit about six miles west so where we're at now, it was -- it claimed the lives of four people in our community, our county
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trustee, also claimed the lives of a small child, a very tragic time. and it seems to be here we are again. >> a very difficult time for you. our hearts go out to you. we wish you the best as you clean up and recover from these devastating storms. >> the accused planned parenthood shooter calling himself a self-employed art dealer, now he wants a new job, attorney for himself. hear what he told the judge at his latest hearing. that's next.
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the men accused of killing three people at a plan the parent hood last month wants to be his own lawyer, handcuffed
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and shackled, a disheveled robert deer appeared before the judge yesterday. the widow of university of colorado, colorado springs police officer garrett swayze, spend their first christmas without him. rachel had to endure listening to him yesterday as he erupted in yet another outburst. he interrupted his public defender as he introduced the defense team saying, i do not want them as my lawyers. i invoke my constitutional right to defend myself. when the judge ordered a mental health evaluation, i'm not going to say anything at that psychiatric evaluate, not going to say one word to them. just like what he told the judge at the last hearing, december 9th. listen to this. >> i'm not going to agree to
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their mental health evaluations where they want to take me and put me under psych tropic drugs so i can't talk like the bat man guy. >> finished? okay. >> for the legal view, i want to bring in legal analyst, danny savalos and joey jackson. dear said things in his previous hearing that were disturbing and troubling and raised competency questions. i'm a warrior for the babies. i'm guilty, there's no trial. what happens if he's deemed incompetent if he even aqui she ises and allows officials to give that analysis. >> insanity was in your mind at the time you did the deed but competency is about your present state of mind. are you able to assist with your own defense and communicate with your counsel in aid of your own
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defense? that's a similar analysis but that is the magic test to find out whether or not based on any mental defect he's able to help his own defense. if not, a defendant can be incompetent and you cannot institute proceedings against them until if and when he becomes competent again. >> he's not being cooperative in letting them evaluate him. where do they go from here? >> it's an interest issue, it's a logic loop. they can't begin to assess his competency if he doesn't cooperate but at the same time, if he's not going to cooperate, they won't get any information. however, there are ways of evaluating competency that don't require solely on the words that come out of the mouth of the defendant. frankly, not only if can a defendant remain silent, he can also tell them what he thinks they want to hear. these experts are trained to assess whether or not a defendant is trying to bam boozele them or raise issues of
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competency where there are none. >> joey, he could face the death penalty. the da hasn't decided on that. if this happens, could he really defend himself? he has a right to defend himself. >> he really does. parsing it out even further, even by his actions alone inside the courtroom, if he's saying he's not going to participate, that seems to be by choice and seems to be he's making a competent effort to say i don't want to voluntarily participate in the proceedings. let's talk about the death penalty. colorado does have the death pen act, but they've executed one person in 40 years, we remember james holmes, the aurora colorado shooter, he didn't get the death penalty. they don't apply it. whether he has a right to represent himself, he does but he only has the right to represent himself and the supreme court says if you want to represent yourself, you can but it's up to the judge and they have to determine that
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you're competent if you're not going to participate in the proceedings, how can a judge make such a determination. one such issue, there's a difference between competent to stand trial and competent to conduct that trial. there are two things. the judge might say he's competent to move forward because the standard, are you oriented as to time and place and have a rational understanding of what's occurring? maybe, but you may not be in a position so may say a judge to defend yourself. the judge could deny that application. >> isn't it fascinating that the sixth amendment to the constitution as well as the kol colorado constitution, guarantees the right not only to counsel, but the right for someone to represent themselves pro say. that means represent yourself in court. >> it's not always a good idea. >> it's never a good idea. >> but may not be an absolute either because a court must find a defendant has waived that right to counsel and did so knowingly and intelligently. now we raise another issue, can someone who is unable to do so
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because of some mental problem, can that person knowingly and intelligently waive that constitutional right to represent themselves in court? >> it's all evaluation and he needs to cooperate. >> but he may decide he doesn't want to cooperate but there are consequences to that, a number of consequences. number one, you cannot have your cake and eat it too. in the event you want to move forward and try this case, the judge has to make an informed decision whether he would let you try the case. in the event you don't participate, the judge could deny you furthermore by saying again that you refuse to move forward and not going to do it at all, you're demonstrating you know exactly what's going on because you're thumbing your nose at the court. >> it's going to be a long road before it gets to trial. thanks so much for your analysis. thanks for watching. dana bash starts after a quick break.
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hello, i'm dana bash in for wolf blitzer. it's 2:00 a.m. in beijing and wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks for joining us. >> we begin with the dangerous weather sweeping through the south just as millions of americans head out to celebrate the holidays. a deadly storm system killing ten people in three states, some of the worst damage in mississippi where at least 14 tornadoes touched down. the governor declaring a state of emergency. so many families are now facing scenes like this one on the day before christmas. roofs ripped off trees down


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