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tv   Nightline  ABC  March 29, 2016 12:37am-1:08am PDT

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this is "nightline." >> tonight, a father is tried a fourth time for murdering his wife. but his family always believed he's innocent and hopes that new bombshell evidence from this fire might finally clear him. if he's allowed at trial. the latest chapter in a 15-year saga. cockpit confidential. a flight grounded just this past weekend after the pilot was arrested and charged with showing up to work without alcohol in his system. >> seat buts securely pass accepted -- >> a story seemingly out of the movies. what would you do if you caught a pilot drinking before a flight? the dancing king. dancing the rumba, boogying without hearing the beat. the deaf "dancing with the stars" fan favorite. who follows signals and taps to
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stay in step. but first the "nightline 5." >> don't let dust and allergies get between you and life's beautiful moments. with flonase they won't. when we breathe in allergens our bodies react by overproducing six key inflammatory substances that cause our symptoms. most allergy pills control one substance, flonase controls six. flonase outperforms the number one allergy pill. seize those moments wherever you find them. flonase, six is greater than one changes everything. >> number one in just 60 seconds.
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good evening. thanks for joining us. tonight a man who's been put on trial not once, not twice, but four times for killing his wife.
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his children growing up amidst all the turmoil. what happened to their mother and will their father go to jail? cal harris' defense team claims to have new crucial evidence. but will it be permitted in court? abc's matt gutman has the latest. >> did you kill michelle? >> absolutely not. absolutely not. and the fact that i'm sitting here and having to go through this is just a horror show. >> reporter: for 15 years, cal harris has been adamant he did not kill his wife. >> nobody should have to go through this. nobody. >> reporter: in fact, he has given that same plea not once, not twice, but three times. >> neither a murder weapon nor her body has been found. >> reporter: the first two guilty convictions overturned. the third trial ending in a hung jury. through it all, his four children supporting their dad. >> it was unfair. we shouldn't have to live at home without both parents. especially because our dad didn't do anything. >> reporter: today marking the beginning of cal harris' fourth
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trial. a judge granting the team's request to waive a jury, meaning the verdict is now in the hands of the judge. his team confident that new information they've obtained will finally prove harris' innocence. >> we had evidence at the third trial that two individuals had burned bloody clothing in a burn pit about seven miles from where michelle and cal live. we dug up that burn pit and found physical evidence crock t corroborating clothing was burned there. >> reporter: evidence found this january in this outdoor fire pit located in the home once owned by stacy stewart, the man the defense suspects was last seen with michelle harris the day she went missing. according to a filed motion, the items found by a forensics team include buttons, a partial shoulder strap from a bra, a knife blade, a woman's bathing suit, the latch of a woman's handbag, and two fragments of charred fabric, one dark blue or black, the other light colored. >> those colors match the
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coloring of the clothe mag she will harris was wearing the night she disappeared. she had on, as was described, a navy blue golf or polo shirt and a pair of khaki shorts. >> reporter: now it's up to the judge to decide if the evidence is allowed to be introduced during the fourth trial. unlike with a jury, with a judge you just need that one person to feel, maybe there's not proof beyond a reasonable doubt. for the defense's perspective, that could be their best bet. >> reporter: cal and michelle met in 1987. he was a millionaire car salesman and she a pretty office worker. >> she was just a stunningly beautiful girl. she was fun. she had a great personality. >> reporter: they built this beautiful home in upstate new york and had four kids. but things started to fall apart. >> i was working at the business, working a lot of hours. we weren't able to spend as much time together alone as we had before. and so that put a -- started to put a strain on our
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relationship. >> reporter: they decided to get a divorce but they were still living under the same roof. >> i couldn't change diapers, i couldn't be here with kids during the day. so i just tried to provide for her as best i could. >> reporter: but then on the night of september 11th, 2001, a night when most families were huddling together, michelle disappeared from the driveway of their house. >> hi, this is michelle. leave me your name and number and i'll call you back as soon as i can. >> reporter: you can hear her on voice mail. >> michelle, honey, this is mary calling. please call me if you can. >> reporter: the growing concern of friends as the hours passed. >> where the hell are you? you need to call me as soon as possible freaking possible. i am worried to death about you. you need to call me. >> reporter: police were called to investigate on this videotape you can see eerie signs of an idyllic family life interrupted. for the children, then aged 2 to 7, it was almost impossible to
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grasp. >> so you don't have any memories of your mom, really? you don't have any? you were 5. >> right. i mean -- 15 years ago, almost. it's a long time. >> reporter: their father was under suspicion. >> i knew they were focusing on me. whatever they asked for, i gave them. phone records, financial information. >> reporter: police put cal under constant surveillance. >> how did you find out they were tracking you? >> i took my truck into my shop. and i had one of my technicians put it up on the lift to service it, normal maintenance. and he came in my office a little while later and he said, you got to see this. we determined it was a tracking device that the state police had put on the truck. >> reporter: four years after her disappearance, cal was arrested and charged with the murder of michelle. police say they found blood in the house and they found a witness who said they'd heard him threaten her. >> there's no evidence that he ever threatened her in a way that really caused her fear.
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people say things during an argument or a divorce that they don't mean. >> do you remember the first time the indictment came down, 2005? >> yep. that was pretty rough. >> i feel like it wasn't fair because we didn't get to say bye. we came home one day after school and our aunt, uncle and nanny told us about it. >> he had already been taken away this. >> yeah, we didn't get to say bye. >> reporter: he was put on trial for murder despite the fact that this case was largely circumstantial. still a jury found him guilty. just after the dpildy verdict a bomb shell. a new witness. this man kevin tubbs. coming forward saying he'd seen michelle the morning after she was supposed to have been killed arguing with another man at the foot of his driveway. cal was granted a second trial and again he was found guilty. and astonishingly again, the verdict was tossed out. this time because of procedural concerns. >> millionaire on trial for a third time for killing his wife -- >> reporter: during the third trial, a breakthrough. the judge allowed the jury to hear tubbs' testimony.
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but he would not allow evidence related to a new suspect, saying much of it was circumstantial. while other portions were hearsay. that trial ended in a hung jury last may. >> we got closer to justice, but we're not there yet. >> reporter: the legal process has led this once-millionaire to run out of money, struggling to pay a fraction of his legal fees. but he has high hopes about the fourth time around. >> the last trial we came close. it was an evenly split jury. bitterly but evenly split. so we made some progress over the first two trials. >> we need to know what really happened to our mother. we know our dad had nothing to do with her disappearance. we also know there are people out there with information who can help us get answers. >> the fact that all four of his children support him is a very helpful fact. whether it is admissible in evidence or not. and that's something that this
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judge will certainly know. >> did they ever ask you, daddy, did you kill mom? >> no, they've never asked me that. and i want to make sure they don't ever ask me. i want to make sure there's no doubt in their minds. >> we feel like we need to tell people that he's actually a really great guy and there's no way he could have done something like this. >> did you ever ask him what happened that day? >> absolutely not. >> didn't have any doubt he wasn't involved. he's been there for us through everything. given us every opportunity we've ever asked for. had our backs. now it's our turn to do the same for him. >> reporter: the trial is expected to begin thursday morning. for "nightline," i'm matt gutman in new york. up next, an airline pilot arrested after failing a breathalyzer shortly before takeoff. what would you do if you caught a pilot drinking before a flight? first tonight's political punch. donald trump's opponents say his twitter account often reads like
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you know, jet-setting around involves completely entrusting your comfort and safety to strangers. but that trust may be eroding after recent examples of airline crews behaving badly. another pilot arrested this past weekend, failing two breathalyzers. we ask, what would you do if you spotted a pilot drinking before a flight? long gone are the romantic days of air travel. glamorous flight attendants. handsome heroic pilots as depict in the shows like "pan am" and movies like "catch me if you can." >> are you a real pilot? >> sure am, little lady. >> reporter: air travel can be a passenger's worst nightmare. imagine sitting in your seat moments before takeoff when you see this.
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your pilot led away by police in handcuffs. suspected of being intoxicated in the cockpit. >> i was getting a little nervous. i guess there was a good reason why. >> reporter: the wayne county prosecutor says the pilot, john francis mcguire, failed two breathalyzer tests on saturday. >> i believe i was speechless. that something like that could happen. and again that he could get that close to the aircraft. >> reporter: he was questioned and investigated before being charged with a misdemeanor. when reached by abc, a family member declined to comment on the charges. among the flyers, this group of spring breakers contemplating consequences far worse than delayed beach time. >> you're drunk. you don't really consider like the consequences of that. of our lives. which sucks. >> reporter: under the faa's bottle to throttle rule, a pilot must wait eight hours after drinking before operating an aircraft. the legal limit for airplane pilots is .04. half of that for drivers. but still enough to impair
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judgment. pilots are subject to random testing. >> you know as a commercial airline pilot that if you show up with anything in your blood, whether it's drugs or alcohol, your chances of being caught are extremely high. >> reporter: but plenty of pilots are still charged with breaking the rules. earlier this year a former alaska airlines captain was arrested on charges of flying two passenger aircraft while under the influence of alcohol in 2014. he pled not guilty and will face trial next month. it's far from a new problem. back in 2002, two america west pilots, seen here drinking in this surveillance video, were arrested before the flight took off the next morning after tsa screeners smelled alcohol on their breath. they were found guilty y by a jury. >> seat belts securely fast fastened -- >> reporter: seemingly straight out of the hit movie "flight." denzel washington starring as an alcoholic pilot who pulls off a
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miraculous crash landing. his short-lived glory crushed after his blood alcohol level is revealed. >> this toxicology report states that you were drunk. >> two martinis, please. >> reporter: in the real world would bystanders take action if they saw seemingly drunken behavior like this? >> you are one crazy man. >> that's why i'm the captain! >> reporter: abc's "what would you do" with john quinones put it to the test. >> when are you going to be at work? >> 2:30. >> reporter: while this woman looks like she can't believe what she's seeing, her friend seems to think it's funny. still others try their best to ignore them. these are just actors. their drinks, just water. but these bystanders don't know that. as hidden cameras are rolling they carry a fake business card and make it clear they're about to fly a commercial jet. >> we only got like another five minutes before we get on a flight. >> many do little to stop them.
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>> you didn't say anything. >> i didn't know what to say. >> i wasn't sure if they were going to the airport to fly a plane. >> reporter: when she switch out the fun-loving duo for a down-trodden actor, drinking alone, some like this man take a stance. >> what's your boss' number? let me call him. >> reporter: when the pilot gives the man his card -- >> i'm not going to believe you. >> so i can do the right thing. >> reporter: determined he makes the call. but it isn't just alcohol that's getting aviators into trouble. two argentinean pilots were fired after allegedly inviting a model into the cockpit, giving her access to the accelerator during takeoff. and even snapping selfies together with their back to the control panel. of course one of the strangest headlines, an american airlines pilot allegedly moonlighting as a pimp in houston. >> hardly the case of the century that the state makes it out to be. >> reporter: as for mcguire, that american airlines pilot, he
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could have his license revoked, be forced to pay thousands in fines, and face jail time. >> airline pilots have to respond instantaneously when things go wong wrong. you cannot have any impairment whatsoever. that's why this is intolerable. >> reporter: the airlines saying in a statement, this is a serious matter and we're assisting local law enforcement. the safety and care of our customers and employees is our highest priority. but the passengers, those business travelers ande erstwhie vacationers who depend on flight crews, they're just happy a lengthy delay was the worst thing to happen. up next, from one competition to the next. the top model who's now a "dancing with the stars" crowd favorite.
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>> announcer: this is an abc news special report. good morning, everyone. we're coming on the air right now with breaking news coming out of the middle east right now. >> an egypt airplane has been hijacked flying from alexandria and diverted to the island of cyprus. >> there is a person on board that claims to be wearing an explosive belt. you see the island of cyprus right there and lama hasan is tracking it all with the breaking details. what are you hearing from your post right now? >> reporter: good morning to you, kendis. this is villing right now. information is still coming in but here's what we know at this hour. according to cypriot officials the hijacker is reportedly demanding access to a translator
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and has asked for political asylum. egyptair is confirming the man is an egyptian national by the ibrahim samaha. the nationalities that are on board, we understand that about 56 people are on that flight in addition to seven crew members. among them again these are reports that we have not been able to confirm at this hour but we understand that there are at least four foreigners on board. the majority of passengers we understand have been released but, of course, here's what happened earlier. egyptair flight 181, a domestic flight traveling from alexandria to cairo in egypt was hijacked. it was forced to land at larnaca airport in cyprus. airline and government officials have said that the plane was hijacked by a man wearing a suicide vest as you rightly said. egypt has set up a crisis center, we understand to deal with the hijacking. >> lama, taking a look at images
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deplaning from that hijacked plane that we believe. we know that you have traveled extensively in and out of egypt. are you surprised that someone with a vest was able to make it on to a plane? >> reporter: let's remember that this was a flight, a domestic flight soy the security is very different to if you were traveling, for example, internationally. security domestically is very lax and this latest incident raises some veres questions about security at egyptian airports. even if you are traveling internationally, it is lax when you compare it to western standards this. comes just five months after that russian aircraft that was traveling over sharm el sheikh, that was blown up, all 224 people as you recall were killed. so, again, this latest incident just raises even more questions about security at egyptian
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airports whether it's domestic or the international airport in cairo. >> and this is also, i should point out, one week after the attack in brussels which isis was responsible for. do we get a sense of who might be responsible for this particular hijacking at this point? i know it's fairly early but what you hearing? >> reporter: it is fairly early and information is still coming in to us but here is what we know right now. we know that this man who has been named by egyptian officials as ibrahim samaha, also an egyptian national, we understand he is asking for political asylum so we have to be careful at this point with reports of whether or not this man was influenced by is or isis so at this hour we understand that he is seeking political asylum and, of course, we heard that he's also asked for a translator. as i said the egyptian officials, the egyptian air has set up a crisis center to deal
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with this so at this hour we understand that he is asking for political asylum. >> all right. well, very latest from lama hasan reporting from us from our bureau in london. lama, it into keep us abreast of what is going on. >> after recent terror attacks many will wonder how a passenger got on a plane and possibly with a bomb. >> of course, you know moments ago we spoke with abc news contributor stephen ganyard. >> well, you remember the recent downing of the russian airliner in the sinai points to how weak security is in egypt so this certainly isn't surprising that a domestic flight where the security was probably quite poor allowed somebody to get on board with either a weapon or a bomb. >> and, steve, colonel, tell us about the security issues for flights in this particular part of the world? of course, you were mentioning the egyptair or the flight from sharm el sheikh earlier but security at this particular airport 5 in this part of the world. >> it's -- egypt has had a problem with aviation security for a long time.
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we've seen it tragically pointed out recently. i think one of the things that's interesting to me remember in the '70s and '80s there were lots of hijackings done by left wing palestinian terrorist, blo, those kinds of folks. this is a very different time. these are usually motivated by religious grievances, radical islamists rather than what we knew in the '70s and '80s as hijackings that were much more left wing ideological and this is also the time of suicide vests and suicide bombings which we see in t. >> president el sisi has a good relationship. what happens in a situation like this and how does israel respond? >> no doubt given the close cooperation between israel and egypt on security measures that they were alerted early on and
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they probably have folks en route to cyprus right now. so i think that the israeli capabilities in terms of counter hijacking and these sort of extremist hostage situations will be called into play. >> and, coupllonel, why this pl may have landed in cyprus? any idea why they would have gone there. >> that's a bit baffling. remember, again, going back to the kinds of high ja-- hijackin, they would ask for ransom or either let them go or blow the airplane up. here cyprus is not unusual but this was a short flight enter egypt from alexandria to cairo so not very far away to get across the mediterranean so why they took it to cyprus remains a mystery and maybe it's more
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political than religionly motivated but we'll have to see. >> our breaking news. a flight from alexandria to cairo hijacked by someone with an explosive belt on board. it was forced to land in cyprus. we believe some of those passengers were allowed to deplane. there are still believed to be some foreigners on board. >> this is egyptair flight 181. there in cyprus. some of those passengers that were allowed to leave the airplane mopes ago but we are told that several passengers still on board and the entire crew is on board that plane. we're continuing to follow the very latest developments in this breaking news. but for now we're going to return you to your regular programming. >> for some of you, that's "world news now" and "america this morning." i'm reena ninan with kendis gibson in new york. have a good day. >> announcer: this has been a specia

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