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tv   Dateline  MSNBC  August 5, 2019 12:00am-2:00am PDT

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not so easy to bring a human heart to heal. this is a tragedy on top of a tragedy now. >> it happened so quickly. their parents in the backyard spa. their mom in trouble. >> my dad just panicked. >> a sudden slip. a fatal fall. >> you're losing your mother. you're watching her go right in front of you. >> someone else was watching her too. a curious neighbor just moments before witnessed something astonishing. >> it was scary. the look on his face was almost undescribable. >> what had she seen? was this drowning really an accident? >> she's got a huge gash on her head. something like that is not consistent with just falling down.
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>> a husband and father is suddenly under suspicion. >> he's crying and we're crying. he said, they think i hurt mom. >> three daughters stand by their dad. and one prosecutor stands firm. >> he's holding his wife of almost three decades under the water. my job is to get justice for cristi hall. >> was it murder? hello and welcome to "dateline a young woman peers into her neighbor's yard and sees something for a few seconds. a man, a woman, and a moment that's unsettling. was it some kind of accident? a crime? maybe even a murder? what she saw and what she did would set in motion a chain of events that would divide a family and a jury. here is keith morrison. >> we know the truth. and we know everything that happened.
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>> how do we know what we know? >> it's emotionally unsatisfying not to have that answer. >> though it is, even if we've seen something, or if we think we have. and thus the question at the heart of the whole puzzle. is this woman right? >> i know what i saw. and i know the conclusion of my story. >> of course she does. of course she does. so why does this other woman think this? >> she doesn't know for sure what she saw. >> a question, we say, on which all the rest will turn. why don't we begin here. calimesa, california, riverside county. historic missions. sprawling suburbing creeping out to the rim of mountains around the eastern flank of los angeles. here is where chris and cristi hall had come to live out their golden years, though they were far from old when it happened. just experienced, with life and each other.
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>> as far back as i can remember, it's always been chris and cristi. they were never thought of as separate. they were a unit. >> these are the three daughters. courtney, the eldest, is a teacher. all of them of course have heard scores of times the story of how their parents met. it was 1978. cristi had gone to see a relative at the air force base in nearby san bernardino. quite by chance, while she was there she encountered a security guard who, to her at least, looked just like elvis. it was blair christopher hall. chris to his friends. >> apparently she was a little flirty at the gate. [ laughter ] >> in short order, chris and cristi got married. she was 17. he, 20. and as the girls grew up, they said they never doubted for a single moment the powerful bond of love. their parents with them, and with each other. >> they were probably closer with their parents than most
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children. they're the parents i hope to one day be. >> cristi, the vivacious glue of the family. chris, her perfect mirror. >> my dad is a little more kicked back, quiet, relaxed. they're the perfect balance. >> chris was a police officer in san bernardino until he was shot in the line of duty. then he went off to become police chief in two small towns in idaho. then in 2005, anticipating an empty nest and eventually retirement, the halls bought this place back in calimesa. life seemed to have hit a sweet spot. as ashton and brianna remember their mother telling them. >> we happened to be laying on the bed with her. she just started talking. she was like, i am just -- i'm so happy that i have you girls and dad. >> it was one of those conversations that you don't have every day.
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>> still, there was work to be done. it was not a new house. it could use some remodeling. particularly the bathroom. courtney was still living with her parents as the work began. >> they're going to be doing the tile work and stuff. so we wouldn't have a shower for that day. >> so, shower out of commission, they decided to wake up early, put on their bathing suits and rinse off in the outdoor spa before the contractor arrived at 6:45 a.m. it was june 7th, 2007. chris got up first, turned on the spa to warm it up, then called brianna at her college dorm in san diego. >> here's your wake-up call, babe. get out and go on that run. >> back at the house, courtney dozed through her first wake-up. while chris and cristi made their way outside to the spa. just after 6:30, chris looked in on courtney again. second call. then headed back to the spa. life's last normal moments. 6:37 a.m. >> i got up out of bed.
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i was putting on my robe. i heard this panicked, panicked scream from my dad yelling for me. i ran down the hallway to the back porch and i saw him just trying to pull out my mom out of the spa. >> emergency. >> it was she who dialled 911 as she and her father struggled to lift her mother out of the spa. >> it was the first moments of the worst day of our lives. >> is it possible for people to understand what it's like to be in that situation? >> i don't think so. to see just both your parents in the worst times that you've ever seen them. obviously my mom unconscious. and my dad just panicked and for the first time in my life, seeing him just that way, not knowing what to do. >> because he was a cop, he was used to dealing with those kinds of things.
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>> he was a cop used to dealing with those kind of things with people that were not his wife. >> so courtney took charge. after calling 911, she started cpr on her mother with her father. emt and firefighter eric norwood was the first to respond. >> he just started, help my wife, oh, my god, help my wife, help my wife. >> chris hall was kneeling at his wife's side, more in the way than anything, and so hysterical it was hard for the emts to help. >> it took us a little bit to get him out of the way. >> he didn't want to leave her. he kept holding her hand, yelling her name. >> the paramedics worked on her for 20 minutes. no vital signs. none. >> no words to describe the fear and the anxiety. >> you're losing your mother and watching her go right in front of you. >> we tried to save her together. we just couldn't. >> the ambulance rushed her off to the hospital where she was declared dead. she had drowned in the family spa. a private family tragedy.
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how'd he get out?! a camera might figure it out. that was easy! glad i could help. at xfinity, we're here to make life simple. easy. awesome. so come ask, shop, discover at your xfinity store today. returning now to "someone was watching," here is keith morrison. >> on the morning of june 7, 2007, brianna hall was on the road home from san diego,
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driving from college, to what, she didn't know. her elder sister courtney had called and said it was bad. >> she said there was an accident and you need to come home right away. >> it was courtney who eventually broke the news to ashton and brianna. their mother, their father's wife of close to 30 years, was dead. but neither courtney nor chris waited at the house to tell the sisters what happened or to comfort them. more did they linger ore the body at the hospital. they couldn't. because father and daughter were escorted to separate squad cars and driven to the police station to talk about the accident. what was that ride like? >> quiet. i remember crying the whole time. i couldn't comfort my father. he couldn't comfort me. we got to the station and they said that my dad would be a few more minutes. >> chris, so frenzied at the scene, had calmed down by then. he was a cop among cops, after all, and he under, he said, what was necessary to sort out what
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happened. >> i can't even start to imagine what you're going through, okay? just, you know, it's a death investigation and we have to do this, okay? >> happy to help, he said. whatever would get him back home to comfort his daughters as quickly as possible. >> we're all so close. >> chris told investigators what happened. how, as courtney slept, he and cristi were in the spa bathing. >> she got out, went in, went to the bathroom, got some more coffee, tried to wake up courtney. courtney didn't wake up, apparently. she came back out. >> as cristi returned to the spa, said chris, they passed each other on the patio. he went in the house, stopped by courtney's room to make sure she was awake, then went right back outside and saw his wife floating face down in the spa. he called courtney then, he said, and they began a frantic effort to revive her. >> a fall, must have been.
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>> in your gut, tell me what happened. >> she slipped or something. i don't know. that's the only thing i can think of. >> but chris apparently hadn't noticed the nasty threinch laceration on cristi's head. and here suddenly, the point of the police interview is revealed. >> she's got a huge gash on her head, okay? something like that is not consistent with just falling down. >> not consistent with just falling down? why would the police think that? >> i mean, you've been around for a while. >> i know where you're going. and no. there's nothing -- >> why in fact was this ex-police-chief being questioned at all about the apparently disastrous accident that killed the love of his life? and the answer was right next door. when chris and cristi hall took
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their outdoor bath that morning in june, someone was watching. her. >> i got up at 6:00. got my coffee. >> lindsay patterson was on leave from her i.t. job in the navy, visiting her mom who lives just over the backyard wall from the hall house. lindsay was inside, in the bathroom that faced away from the hall house and out onto the street, when she heard a noise. >> it was a horrible scream. it was just, something was wrong kind of scream. >> a woman's, she thought. she went outside to tell her mom. i said, did you hear that scream? she said, yeah, but i think it's just kids playing in the -- playing in the pool. >> kids, at six something in the morning? lindsay walked over to the six-foot brick wall between their yard and the halls'. she stepped on the planter, she said, and looked over the wall. >> at that point i saw a man with his hand, one hand on top of a woman's head and one hand
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on her back, and she was face down in the water. >> like something was going on? >> yeah, that's what i assumed. >> that is, she thought she was looking at a sex act in progress. >> i don't know why it didn't seem right. but something made me want to look again. >> that's 90 seconds, she said, between her first and second looks. this time, she said, she only saw the man in the spa. >> he's leaning back, just relaxed in the hot tub. but i don't see her. he's got his elbows back, he's kind of looking around like nothing. >> where did the woman go? lindsay told her mom something seemed strange. >> she again tells me, lindsay, stop being nosy, don't worry about it. but it just didn't seem right. it wasn't enough time for her to have gotten out and gone inside the house. >> so, said lindsay, she went to the wall again. her third and final look. >> at that point he was getting out of the jacuzzi.
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and he was in a very big rush. she's still nowhere to be seen. the look on his face was almost undescribable. it was almost as if he had just gone into another world. it was scary. >> it was instinct that told her something was wrong, said lindsay. so she called 911. >> 911, state your emergency. >> a woman was killed. >> now, hours and hours later, the detectives confronted chris with lindsay's story. why, they asked, didn't her story match his? >> so am i supposed to believe the witness is lying? >> i'm not going to say she's lying. she sounds like a truthful kid or whatever. but i don't know. i can't explain what she's saying she saw. >> so now that question we posed as we began. did lindsay patterson really know what she saw?
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after his wife's drowning death in a backyard spa, police asked chris hall to explain what happened that morning.
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what chris did not know was that his neighbor had also talked to police. and she told a very different story than the one chris was telling. here again is keith morrison. >> chris and cristi hall's three daughters clung together in grief and shock, all through the dismal evening hours of that worst of all days, june 7, 2007. waiting for their father to return from the police station. and they wondered, why was it taking so long? then the phone rang. and they had their answer. >> you know, broken-up words, and he's crying, and we're crying. that was when he said they think i hurt mom. i mean, he was very upset. >> but he didn't sound surprised when he said -- >> no, he was crying.
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he was crying. he was upset. >> very upset. >> but by the time police investigators were questioning chris, remember, they had heard from lindsay patterson. and at the station, chris' version of events in the spa differed in one crucial detail from what lindsay described seeing that first time she peered over the wall and into the hall's backyard. >> that specifically, me holding her down in there, there's nothing that took place in that jacuzzi that would explain that. there was no sex. there was no -- i don't even think we had any contact while we were in the jacuzzi other than when i was getting her out. >> but investigators were getting a good look at cristi's body and saw wounds that to them suggested a struggle and more than one nasty blow to the head. so the police had to choose. which version, chris hall's or lindsay patterson's, was more likely the true story of what happened? tom dove is a senior investigator for the riverside d.a. >> i think they felt this was enough to say this was not an accidental drowning. it was purely much more suspicious than that. >> and so before the night was over, chris hall was arrested and charged with the murder of his wife.
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the girls could stop waiting. he wasn't coming home. >> it was obviously a tragedy, losing our mother that day. but this is a tragedy on top of a tragedy now. >> because knowing our parents, it's the farthest thing from truth. >> and one that felt infected by some kind of madness, said the girls. cristi was the love of their father's life. the center of everything for him. how could he be accused of harming her? she was happy too, they said, as happy as she had ever been, they said, based on matt mother/daughter talk they had not long before she died. >> she kept reiterating how happy it was. me and brie will always cherish that. >> didn't think much of it at that, but that being the last time we actually saw her -- >> kind of burned into your memories. >> yeah. >> but right or wrong, the legal trigger had been pulled. chris hall spent almost two months in jail, until his daughters received the payout from cristi's life insurance
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policy and used the money to meet his million-dollar bail. then he went home to what was meant to be his retirement retreat with the help of his daughters to prepare for a murder trial. >> it's very surprising to have a client in a murder case out on bail. but he was a special man. and this was a special situation. >> these are attorneys who would eventually defend him, although at first they only heard about the case. steve harmon and paul gretch. you've said two things. special man, special situation. >> i think both of us can say this is a man that we like and we know. we don't feel he could have done anything like this. >> chris hall and his daughters prepared for a trial which they hoped would make clear to everybody, the police, the neighbor, the world, that chris would not, could not, did not harm the love of his life. >> there was never, in 30 years of marriage, never one moment of violence. there was no motive for this man to kill his wife. >> they had a look at the neighbor lindsay patterson's
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eyewitness account and suggested it was not conclusive at all. it was tragically incomplete. >> she saw three snapshots. what is missed by everyone is the wife getting into the jacuzzi, slipping, falling into the jacuzzi, hitting her head, going unconscious, and drowning. >> see this sharp corner sticking out into the spa? hitting your head on this would certainly have opened a gash and knocked cristi out, said the attorney. >> she didn't see what was really happening during the times when she was not looking. >> that scream that made lindsay patterson look over the wall? lindsay, they pointed out, was in a bathroom that faced the street. she wasn't in the backyard when she said she heard it. could have been anybody. and courtney, near the spa, didn't hear anything.
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>> we think she misinterpreted what she saw. >> lindsay concedes she didn't know what she was seeing in those glimpses that morning. >> something was wrong. >> yet you hadn't really seen anything. >> no. but i knew something was wrong. i don't know if in my brain i was putting things together. but from between the scream, the position that he was holding her, and then just not having enough time for her to have gone inside. >> it's like you've got three different snapshots. >> right. >> of something going on there. >> right. >> and had to kind of work out what this was. >> yeah. i wasn't thinking at that point, oh, this man murdered his wife. >> but now, based largely on that account, chris hall would go on trial for murder. and it was a trial for his daughters, too. >> he loved her. they were each other's best friends. and this is just -- this is not fair to him because he truly loved her more than -- more than anyone. >> and yet the prosecutor was going to try to prove that this family man and former cop
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the suspected shooter is currently being held on a capital murder charge. "the new york times" is
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chris hall was charged in the drowning death of his wife cristi. as prosecutors were preparing to lay out their case, hall's daughters stood by him, proclaiming his innocence. would anything change their minds about their dad? here again is keith morrison. >> burke strunsky is a hard charging man, ex-member in good standing of the san francisco's d.a.'s office, now senior deputy in riverside. that takes skill, persuasive powers. strunsky would need them in the case against family man chris hall. >> mr. hall on the surface looks like a loving family man. he looks like a good father. he's somebody that had the support of his family. >> so he did, but strunsky wasn't buying the loving father and family man bit. when he heard about chris hall's obvious grief, the wailing that went on after the so-called accident, the phrase that crossed his mind was, "it's an act." >> i think it was a wonderful performance by the defendant of acting like a bereaved husband.
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but when you look at his actions, how little he did to help his wife. >> who tried harder to save cristi? not chris, said the prosecutor. but his daughter. >> she called 911. she helped him get the body out of the spa. she is the only one that did chest compression. he had no interest in truly helping his wife. >> a matter of opinion, of course. but prosecutor strunsky poked around in chris hall's past as a policeman. and what did he find? >> this man had an uncanny ability to fabricate stories. >> seven years earlier, while hall was chief of police in cascade, idaho, he was charged with and convicted of misuse of public money, embezzled $19,000, spent ten months in jail. a white collar crime, hardly murder. but what struck the prosecutor is that he says hall tried to cover it up. to plan a fraud, to lie about it, not just lie about it, but lie about it effectively. >> i think that was very telling
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about who we were dealing with. >> suddenly the prosecutor's prospects were looking better. at the trial, strunsky made lindsay patterson his star witness, of course. it was her story, after all, that got the whole thing started. but almost as important, he called the riverside county medical examiner who testified that those lacerations in cristi's could not in his opinion have been the result of a single accidental fall. and the m.e. argued the particular type of bruising on cristi's face and body was the hallmark of a homicide. >> the totality of injuries were not consistent with somebody slipping and falling and then a rescue attempt. >> and there was a clump of hair in the bottom of the spa, still entwine with a broken plastic hair clip. that, said the prosecutor, could have only come from a violent struggle. >> when you lose that amount of hair, it's not explained by any fall. >> there were minor hiccups in the case. lindsay patterson, for example, was a little inconsistent about
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how long she looked over the backyard wall that first time she saw something going on. was it just a few seconds? or as long as a minute? but either way, said the prosecutor, lindsay was sure she saw physical contact. that was the important thing. >> he was given the opportunity to explain any physical contact that could in any way reasonably explain what lindsay patterson saw. in other words, were they washing each other, were they involved in a sex act? was there anything she could have misinterpreted? and at the end of the day, you're not just stuck with the fact that lindsay patterson made a mistake. you have to actually believe that lindsay patterson really hallucinated about everything she saw.
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>> and what made lindsay's story all the more convincing, said prosecutor strunsky, was she told it before finding out what happened to cristi. she dialled 911 a full minute and a half before anyone from the hall house did. before lindsay had any idea how it would end. here is what the jury heard her say in that call. >> and i saw him put her underwater and hold her there. >> and she was still on the phone with 911 when chris hall came outside and found his wife's body floating in the spa and called out for courtney. investigator tom dove. >> i heard it best described during the trial as a cosmic coincidence that someone could see something that they perceived to be more than just some kind of kinky action in a jacuzzi in the morning, and then that actually turn out to be true, that a woman was actually drowned in that spa. that is not a coincidence. that is what she saw. >> the prosecution's theory? somehow, sitting in that spa that morning, chris was overcome by some private fury, who knows what. the hidden violence, is what strunsky called it. and then killed his spouse when
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he thought nobody was looking. >> chris hall ambushed his wife, grabbed her by the hair, slammed her head twice into the concrete edge. he's holding his wife of almost three decades under the water, showing absolutely no mercy, no remorse. an absolute desire to end her life at that point. >> and then the piece de resistance. >> he then gets out of the spa, walks into the house where his plan is to wake his 22-year-old daughter, who he can use as an alibi witness. >> one little quibble. why? in fact, as convinced as he was of hall's guilt, strunsky conceded the why was a problem. he didn't legally have to know, he said. but he just didn't. there it was. >> it's emotionally unsatisfying not to have that answer, not to know the entire narrative of what happened.
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>> but you would want to know why this guy, married to this woman for almost 30 years, apparently happily, would suddenly turn on her and drown her in the pool. >> right. and i'm not sure we got the answers to that specific question. >> kind of an important question, isn't it? >> it's an important question, and a question that we ask in all spousal homicides. >> so, proof enough or reasonable doubt? almost three years after cristi hall's death, a riverside jury would have to decide. the jury in chris hall's murder trial heard dramatic testimony from his neighbor, lindsay patterson. patterson claimed she had seen hall in the spa with his wife moments before she drowned. she said chris hall's hand was on his wife's head and back while she lay face down in the water.
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now it was the defense's turn to show that chris hall loved his wife, would never harm her, and that her death was a tragic accident. here again is keith morrison. >> chris hall's daughters sat through every miserable minute of their dad's trial for murder here at the courthouse in riverside, california.
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through every miserable minute of their dad's trial for murder here at the courthouse in riverside, california. their review of the prosecutor's portrait of their father? it was a lie, they said. >> it was hurtful to us to hear someone basically say he knows our parents better than we do. and he knows our father is a sociopath, and that we're blind to it, and he knows there was hidden violence in our parents' marriage and we just didn't see it. you're basically telling us we didn't know our whole lives were a lie. >> and there's no proof of that. >> chris hall had never been violent, argued the defense, had no motive, no reason to suddenly turn on his wife, it had to be a freak accident. so, said the defense, lindsay patterson didn't really know what she saw.
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in fact, if she really witnessed chris hall drowning his wife, why then didn't she claim to see cristi's body in the spa when she looked again? it didn't make sense. but the highlight was the daughters' testimony, emotional, quite powerful. it put prosecutor strunsky in a strange position, at odds with the victim's own family. they were so clear, if we had any inkling he had done this, we would have done something, we have seen it, they say. >> they truly believe that in their hearts. this weighs on my greatly. but my job is to get justice for cristi hall. >> now it was up to a jury to decide, after six days of testimony, two days of deliberation, they couldn't. it was a deadlock. the judge declared a mistrial. chris hall walked out of court with his family free, but not quite in the clear. and nothing at all like a victory for the hall daughters.
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what was it like to get that hung jury? what did you think then? >> that was tragic. >> that was devastating to us. >> you expected a not guilty verdict? >> oh, yes. not a doubt. >> deputy d.a. burke strunsky was disappointed too. he was also determined to retry the case. but first he sent his investigator on a mission to explore the life and marriage of chris hall. and what do you know. in idaho, where hall had been a disgraced police chief, the investigator uncovered a startling accusation. >> chris was a great, great con man. >> former los angeles police officer jerry winkel is a county commissioner up in idaho now. but once upon a time he was chris hall's friend, that is, before a night of poker and booze when he said paul made a disturbing revelation, that he had shot himself in the leg when he was a cop in order to get retirement benefits.
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>> chris had been drinking beer. he came out and told me that he had shot himself. >> but there was more. d.a. investigator tom dove had discovered a secret, not in chris' past, but in cristi's. >> there had been infidelity in the marriage in the past, six years prior. while chris hall was in idaho. >> the affair was relatively brief, years earlier. but she had been in phone contact with the man just days before she died. had chris found out? impossible to know. but when investigator dove talked to cristi's co-workers at the clinic where she was an x-ray technician, several said they noticed a sudden change in her usually vibrant personality. one co-worker told them more. >> that she was contemplating a divorce. >> if true, and it was only an if, it might well persuade a
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jury. prosecutor strunsky also needed to explain why lindsay patterson didn't see cristi's body when she looked over the wall the second time? >> we were not able to explain to the jury why she didn't see cristi at that point, and i think that allowed the defense to make the argument that cristi hall was inside. >> the prosecution hired a water expert to do a recreation of the hall spa. she's been assisting law enforcement with drowning investigations for 20 years. she got in the spa. >> from the center of the pool and towards where lindsay was standing, anywhere i was laying, you could not be seen from lindsay's viewpoint.
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so once i sank below the surface and hit that bottom, you could not see me at all from lindsay's viewpoint. >> and now the prosecutor was ready. in may 2011, one year after the first jury deadlocked, burke strunsky went back to court armed with new evidence for a brand-new panel of hall's peers. jurors heard medical experts testify about the injuries to cristi's head and once again heard lindsay's 911 call. cristi's co-workers testified for the prosecution. and jerry winkel travelled from idaho to tell jurors what he once thought of chris hall. >> i was ashamed to admit he was once a police officer. >> if the prosecution had upped its game between the two years of trial, so had the defense. that's when well-known attorneys steve harmon and paul gretch entered the scene and came out
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swinging. that story about cristi's affair, for example? there's a shadow hanging over this, a very human shadow, which was that she was having a little affair, right, had a boyfriend. >> yes. if the husband knew about it. but the wife never, ever mentions it and tells the husband. no one tells the husband. >> quite right, said the judge. and because there was no evidence that chris knew about his wife's affair, he ruled it out of the trial.
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the story about hall shooting himself for retirement benefits? >> that was just absolutely a lie. that's wrong. there was never, never any evidence or indication or not even a moment's breath that he shot himself. >> anyway, the story was prejudicial, said the judge, so he threw that out too. as for what lindsay patterson says she saw, chris hall holding his wife's head underwater, the defense had prepared its own visual demonstration, had taken pictures from her angle at the wall to show that it could look like two people were touching in the spa even if they weren't. >> this is what she described seeing in her testimony. but on the close-up, what do you notice? >> they're not touching but they're in position where they could be. >> but that's different than actually touching. >> again, the hall daughters were there every minute. their father's enduring champions. and this time, more family members came to court. two of cristi's own siblings testified for chris. >> and said the same thing. we have not a doubt in our minds that this was not a moment of violence. this was not a murder. the victim's own sister and own brother. that's an amazing thing to see. >> perhaps it was. but listen to this. the defense had one more very significant witness. a witness who oozed credibility. the sitting medical examiner for neighboring san bernardino county, who stuck his neck way out to disagree publicly, in a court of law, with the medical examiner from riverside. >> he found this to be an accidental death, not a homicide.
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>> this was not some ordinary hired gun. this was a public official who said straight out that cristi's head injuries could and perhaps should be explained by an accidental fall. he didn't rule out homicide? >> he didn't rule out homicide. but he said the preponderance of the evidence was towards an accidental drowning. what -- i have always been astounded by with this case is that the hall family lived so close to the san bernardino border, if cristi had slipped and fell four or five blocks over, the pathologist in that county would never have filed criminal charges. an accident of geography. >> so now a second jury would sort through these two sets of allegations, these two opposing realities. and decide whether chris hall would turn and embrace home and his loving daughters a pair of handcuffs and a life in prison. chris hall's first trial
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chris hall's first trial ended in a deadlocked jury. but with new evidence presented by both sides during his retrial, the jury was able to reach a verdict. now, with the conclusion to our story, here is keith morrison. >> may, 2011. for the second time, 12 men and women of riverside county,
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california, filed out of the courtroom, a second jury, to make a life decision about chris hall. did he murder his wife? which of the medical examiners should they believe? whose account of the defendant's character and, perhaps most important, what did lindsay patterson see when she peeked three times into the halls' back yard. >> do you ever have those sort of little dark moments of the soul where you think, i may have misinterpreted, misremembered -- >> it's something i've thought about every day, whether i misinterpreted, whether i think i saw something that wasn't there. i didn't see everything. >> yeah. >> but i saw what i saw. and i know the conclusion of my story. i know it. i know it. right here. i know it. >> of course, chris hall's daughters say they know the truth too, real thing. in their hearts. >> i think that we were the
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three most critical jurors in that courtroom. believe me, if we had heard anything or had any inkling that our father could have done this, as much as it would hurt and as much as we love our father, we would want that justice for our mother. >> the jurors deliberated two days and then broke for the long weekend. it was memorial day. halls' daughters felt good. >> things can only go so wrong for so long before something actually has toe go right for us. >> we just did a lot of talking about the future and this, you know, being over, this being finished and honestly i was concerned about dad and how he was finally going to be able to grieve for the loss of his wife. >> then it was tuesday, 8:45 in the morning. the jury gathered. and minutes later, a signal.
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they were ready. chris hall and his daughters rushed to court. and in the end it was very quick. guilty of first degree murder. their father would not be coming home. probably ever. >> he was being cuffed. and potentially put away for life. and yeah, it hurts, and we are angry about that. >> you can still hear those daughters. >> i can. >> thinking you unfairly convicting their father. >> absolutely. it weighs on me. but at the same time, i know who i am dealing with when it comes to chris hall. in fact, he is the one that's stolen their mother from them. >> it had been a peculiar fact of this case that the victims' and defendants' families stood solidly together against the prosecution. but what nunn knew was the truth was more complicated.
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after the verdict at chris hall's sentencing, a letter was introduced from one of chris hall's brother, billy carlton, who until now had said not one public word about the case. we would like to ask his honor for the maximum sentence, wrote billy. the pain that my family has suffered through this tragedy is unforgivable. >> i didn't want to hurt the girls. i had to say what was on my mind. >> there was a deep divide in the family, said billy. some of the relatives believed chris was innocent but he and he said others including cristi's uncle steve mundy urged on the prosecutor silently. >> half the family was convinced he was innocent and half was convinced he wasn't. that's hard to do when you have a big family and you all have to be together once in a while. >> when it involves a member as loved as cristi was. >> exactly. >> does that explain why this kind of group of people in the family decided to just let justice take its course? >> we talked about it quite a bit.
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>> i think so. >> you've got to know when to show up sometimes and when not to show up, just to keep what's left together of the family as together as you can have it. >> thank you so much for coming. >> when it was over, hall convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life, some of cristi's relatives met with prosecutor strunsky and thanked him. >> thank you for putting him away because he is a murderer. >> and the hall daughters, having lost their beloved mother, fought to save a father they adored, and having lost that fight, aren't quite sure what they'll do now. >> it's a devastating reality. it really is. especially for a family that, you know, to say that we were close is an understatement, you know? to go from that to being not able to be there with each other. it's -- it's the biggest heartbreak that anyone can ever
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experience, i think. that's all for this edition of "dateline: extra." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. two more mass shootings in america on saturday morning, a gunman opened fire on a shopping center in el paso, texas. the man accused of opening fire in texas is in custody. authorities believe he may have posted a hate filled manifesto before the shooting. and part of the essay contains some of president trump's anti-rhetoric. s anti-rhetoric. good morning, everyone, it's monday, august 5th. i'm ayman mohyeldin alongside
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yasmin vossoughian. we begin in el paso, texas, where prosecutors the calling it a case of domestic terrorism. the officers are investigating the 21-year-old white male suspect whom we will not name for hate crime charges and firearm charges which carry a penalty of death. the office will seek the death penalty. officials say the suspect drove about ten hours to get to the el p paso walmart, and opened fire, killing 20 people, wounding 26 more. the suspect surrendered without incident. we're told he is speaking freely and has been forthcoming with information. >> 20 minutes before the shooting took place, a hate filled manifesto appeared online, believed to be linked to the shooter. the unsigned manifesto was posted on an extremist web site, and said the attack was motivated by anti-immigrant
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hatred, mentioning a spanish invasion of texas. it draws direct inspiration from the mass murder at two mosques in new zealand that left 51 people dead. in the attack, the suspect published a manifesto online, a white supremacist, the manifesto potentially linked to the el paso, in general i support the christ church shooter, this is a response to the hispanic invasion of texas. as "the new york times" points out, if the manifesto is linked to the el paso gunman, it und underscores the spread of why supremacist, in a time where -- >> officials have not identified the victims but some family
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members have come forward to say their loved ones are among the dead. one story about a 25-year-old mother who was shot and killed while apparently shielding her 2-month-old son from the gunfire. we get more now from nbc's lester holt. >> how do you feel about being a mom? >> again? >> happy. >> two months ago, jordan gave birth to her third child, a beautiful baby boy named paul. jordan was one of 20 people tragically killed at this el paso walmart. >> she had a personality that would light up an entire room. everybody loved her. she was an incredible mom, too. she was a wonderful person. she would give anything for those kids, anything. even her life. >> 24-year-old jordan and her husband andre had taken the baby to the store to buy school supplies for their older
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daughter. they immediately tried to get in touch with the couple. >> we're at the unification center. we're praying to god that you're on the buses and that you'll be here. but they didn't come. >> jordan had been shot. the family later learning she'd died on the way to the hospital, based on witness accounts they believe the couple did everything they could to protect their infant son. >> we think he shielded her, she shielded the baby, and that's how he was able to survive. >> you would have expected nothing less. >> i would expect nothing less. >> the baby suffered two fractures and bruises but miraculously is otherwise okay. the family still hasn't heard from andre since the shooting. jordan was mom to two daughters. the couple had just celebrated their first wedding anniversary, a family left devastated.
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>> they were really good people, and we want them to be remembered that they were great parents and we're really going to miss them. >> so incredibly heartbreaking. joining us now live from el paso, msnbc. you were at the last news conference. where does the investigation stand now? >> it's been stressed over and over again. this is going to be a long investigation. law enforcement at the local level and federal level saying they were very much in the middle of this, declining to say how many shots were fired, declining a list of victim as well. the police department saying they are not prepared to give that list yet, a nagging question if any children were killed in this attack, and the police department has declined to say anything about that as well. you have large presence from the fbi, a victim's assistance to work with the families of those killed, those who were injured
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as well, and they are pleading for those who were at the walmart that you see behind me. if they were taking photos and video, to give those to the federal bureau of investigation, who might have video or photographs of the suspect as well. he as you mentioned is speaking freely at this point. law enforcement say he's cooperating with the investigation so far. >> david, let me get your thoughts, you have been on the ground for 24 hours. last night there was a community vigil. talk to us a little bit about what you have observed, how this community is responding to this massacre. >> reporter: it is a close knit community, that interfaith vigil taking place a few blocks from where i am standing at a public park. at a baseball field, i got an hour beforehand and watched as the crowd swelled to 200 people. this is a moment to bear witness, to answer the nagging questions that folks elsewhere and around the country have
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about how something of this level of violence could take place in this community. so much of the conversation centers on this place, this place right near the border, a ten minutes drive from the u.s. mexico border that is a very safe city. el paso prides itself on being a safe city, how it could happen, stressing when you hear about the narrative from the president about life on the border, the reality is very different. >> thanks, david. just hours after that mass shooting in el paso, another gunman opened fire outside a popular bar in dayton, ohio. nine people were killed there and 27 others were injured when a gunman wearing body armour began shooting around 1:00 a.m. in dayton's historic oregon district. surveillance video showing people running for their lives when shots began to ring out. >> it continued to happen. it was like pop, pop, pop, so once everybody was on the ground, you could see everyone's faces like they were terrified.
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>> just boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, rapid, and you could tell it's a big gun. >> according to dayton's police chief, the shooter, a 24-year-old white male was killed by police within 30 seconds of the first shots being fired. dayton police have not released any information on a possible motive. authorities say there's nothing in his history that would have prevented him from legally obtaining firearms. one of the victims of the shooting has been identified as the gunman's younger sister. the victims range in age from 22 to 57 years old. >> while the nation grappled with both of the shootings, the president of the united states initially remained focused on his own interests. he spent the first hours after the tragedy out of sight at his new jersey golf course sending out tweets of support, awkwardly mixed in with those promoting a celebrity fight and attacking his political foes, believe it or not. trump's first tweet after the el
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paso shooting on saturday called it terrible and pledged the support of the federal government. 14 minutes later, the president sent a tweet wishing ufc fighter colby covington luck with his fight that evening. and a re-tweet of immediately fix sated on fear mongering. social media photoed showed the president posing for photos at a wedding booked at his private golf club in new jersey. trump ordered flags to be lowered in remembrance on both shootings and spoke to reporters on his way back to the white house. >> i just want to say that these are two incredible places. we love the people. hate has no place in our country, and we're going to take care of it. >> what are you going to do
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about it? >> we're talking to a lot of people and a lot of things are in the works and a lot of good things. we have done much more than most administrations and it's really not talked about much, but we have done actually a lot. but perhaps more has to be done. >> rather than do more than other administrations president trump actually rolled back their critical work, including when trump signed a law in february of 2017 that revoked an obama era rule that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase a gun. joining us now from washington, political reporter from the hill, julia manchester. let's talk about president trump's reaction to these back-to-back deadly shootings and how he has handled the situation. previous presidents have addressed the nation. we saw that with president obama after the church shooting in south carolina. how is trump's response or lack thereof going over as people nationwide are grieving. compare that for us with other
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presidents who have faced similar situations. >> i think past presidents have absolutely used these moment of national crises, national tragedies to work to unify the nation and come out and give a response immediately to bring people together, to console the citizens of the united states. trump has behaved in a different way this weekend. like you said before, there has been mixed tweets with celebrity fights going on, and mixed with partisan tweets. he's at his bedminster, new jersey, golf course, at weddings and such, or at a wedding, so it's not as if he's taking time off to really focus on this. it seems like he's distracted by matters that shouldn't be priority number one after the united states has faced two mass shootings in the span of less than 24 hours. so he's really giving critics a lot of ammunition here. >> yeah, and it's important to note the president is going to be issuing a statement i believe at 10:00 a.m. this morning.
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>> from the white house. >> from the white house. let's talk about the conversation over gun control, of course that oucftentimes whe we see mass shootings, the conversation comes up first and foremost. and a lot of lawmakers are appealing to mitch mcconnell to bring congress back into session. what types of conversations are going on in washington and what is the likelihood that they would resume and come back from august recess. >> so you're hearing democrats really calling for increased background checks. sherrod brown, the senator from ohio is urging mitch mcconnell to bring back the senate during august recess to make movement on this issue. however, history tells us that not much movement will be made because we see that many republican lawmakers are still kind of at the mercy of the national rifle association and are kind of, you know, seem to be afraid somewhat to move forward on this issue because they're afraid to lose the support of the gun lobby.
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however, the gun lobby is in a very different place than in the wake of previous mass shootings. we have seen the nra has been having financial difficulties and such. it will be interesting to see if this plays a role in all of that. >> it's interesting, despite the controversy surrounding wayne lapeer, and oliver north, the grasp that the nra has on washington. >> and this has put the issue in different focus because of the white nationalism and somehow made the point, the nra does not want to be associated with that gun violence. still ahead, acting white house chief of staff mick mulvaney is defending president trump in the wake of the two most recent mass shootings. what he has to say about the president's rhetoric. democrats are putting the pressure on mitch mcconnell. a number are calling him to cancel an august recess for a gun control vote.
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those stories and more coming up next. vote those stories and more coming up next from the couldn't be prouders
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click, call or visit a store today. welcome back, despite the president's claim yesterday that hate has no place in our country, his advisers have recently said that sewing division based on identity is part of his 2020 campaign. quoting from the ap's report, trump's reelection strategy has placed racial animus at the forefront, designed to activate his base of conservative voters, an approach not seen by an american president in the modern era. trump has been widely criticized for offering a false equivalency when discussing racial violence, knowingly when he said there are good people on both sides. acting white house chief of staff mick mulvaney defended president trump on "meet the
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press" against allegations that the president has down played the threat of white nationalism and his own rhetoric is fuelling violent domestic attacks. >> does the president accept that this is a rising problem? >> let me answer it this way, i have talked to the president yesterday afternoon, after el paso, texas, was made known to us in the white house. i pick up the phone, call him, the first phone call he makes is to bill barr, he ultimately called the governor of texas, very early this morning, talked to the governor of ohio. the first phone call was to bill barr to find out how we could stop this stuff from happening in the first place. yes, he feels the same way that we do. he feels the same way that everyone watching the show, apparently with the exception of cory booker and people on your panel, which is saddened and anger. we have moved straight past any sympathy for the victims, straight past what caused this and trying to figure out who's to blame. i'll ask this question, was bernie sanders responsible for when my friends got shot playing
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baseball, i don't think that he was. was alexandria ocasio-cortez responsible when someone went up to a concentration camp. was she responsible, i don't think she was. if a member of this administration who someone on your panel, i couldn't see the faces, called out today as a white nationalist, if that person gets injured today, is the person on your panel responsible? >> meanwhile, multiple members of congress are calling for lawmakers to return to washington from summer recess and address gun violence. >> it's heartbreaking. humidi how many times do we have to keep watching this. i'm calling on congress to get back from the session and the august recess and reiterate the passage, the bill that we passed in the house on background checks, schumer and mcconnell need to go back into session. bill we need an assault weapons ban. >> mitch mcconnell should bring
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us back into session on monday. the house of representatives has passed a background check. we can fly back into washington on monday morning. we could pass the background check bill, and people could fly back and be home for dinner, and the president needs to sign this bill. >> we should call the senate back into session. congress should be called back into session. we should vote right now on three measures, universal background checks, making sure we actually ban assault rifles and large magazines, and have a federal antigun trafficking law. >> still ahead, the antiimmigrants creed being attributed to the shooter, on web sites that fuel hate violence. we're taking a look at the troubling trend, coming up next. troubling trend, coming up next.
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the anti-immigrant, anti-government documents attributed to the el paso shooter, bring to attention a troubling trend, web sites that service forums for online hate. jo ling kent has the details. >> reporter: tipping off investigators before the el paso, attacks is pulling back the curtain on the darkest corner of the internet, and unveiling a digital breeding ground for domestic terrorism. >> this is where it happens now. >> web sites like 8 chan and 4 chan are allowing the sinister undertones of white nationalism to go mainstream. >> this is a place where white nationalists go to hang out, talk to each other, and urge
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each other to commit crimes or worse, mass murder. >> the suspect posted a pdf of his plans on 8chan, but that wasn't enough time for the fbi to react. >> clearly there was not enough time for law enforcement to be able to use that information to intercept this mass killer. it's not possible. >> reporter: nbc law enforcement expert jim kavanaugh says federal surveillance is not allowed. in that posting detailing his plans, the suspected shooter expressed his support for the shooter in new zealand at a massac massacre earlier this year, targeting muslims and killing over 50 people in christ church, posting his own diatribe with a link to the live streams of the slayings on facebook. a copy cat posted his own speech on a similar site before shooting up a san diego synagogue. at a senate hearing last month, the director of the fbi saying
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the agency has made some hundred arrests related to domestic terrorism since october. >> a majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we have investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence. >> domestic terrorism is different from what the fbi calls home grown violent extremism inspired by global jihadists. nbc news reporter, ben collins said the racially motivated terror taking root on the internet is not far off from classic terror cells. >> it's internet driven, all people in different basements throughout the world sort of coming together to hate things. >> our thanks to nbc's jo ling kent for that report. still ahead, we are continuing to follow the latest out of el paso, texas, and
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dayton, ohio, we're going to get live reports from both cities next. the top republican in the house, kevin mccarthy said video games are partly to blame. we're going to show you those new comments and much more. w yo new comments and much mo re
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welcome back, everybody. i'm yasmin vossoughian alongside ayman mohyeldin. it is the bottom of the hour. let's start with the morning's top stories. we begin in el paso, texas, where federal prosecutors are treating that horrific mass shooting inside walmart as a case of domestic terrorism.
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the u.s. attorney there says his office is investigating the 21-year-old white male suspect whom we will not name for hate crime charges and firearm charges which carry a penalty of death. the el paso, district attorney also says his office will seek the death penalty. officials say the suspect drove about ten hours to get to the el paso walmart that was packed with back-to-school shoppers on saturday morning and opened fire, killing 20 people and wounding 26 more. the el paso police chief says the suspect surrendered without incident. we're told he is speaking freely and has been forthcoming with information. about 20 minutes before the shooting, a hate filled diatribe appeared online believed to be linked to the shooter and specifically mentioned a quote hispanic invasion of texas. >> let's talk about some of the reaction from 2020 candidates, former democratic congressman and 2020 hopeful, beto o'rourke spoke out over the weekend on the deadly shooting in the city he previously represented and linked the violence in el paso directly to president trump's
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rhetoric. >> we know that there's a lot of injury, a lot of suffering in el paso right now. i am incredibly saddened and it is very hard to think about this. but i'll tell you el paso is the strongest place in the world. this community is going to come together. i'm going back there right now to be with my family and to be with my hometown. >> i hope that we're going to be able to help lead this country in ensuring that this does not continue to happen, that this is not the new normal. some preliminary signs that this was motivated by hatred, but racism, specifically against immigrants here in a community that is 85% mexican american,
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where nearly a quarter of those with whom i live were born in another country. the kind of place that donald trump has warned the rest of america about, talking about invasions and caravans and mexican immigrants being rapist and criminals, despite the fact that el paso is one of the safest cities in the united states of america today and has been for the last 20 years. we have to put an end to it. >> and beto o'rourke will have more on the shooting in el paso coming up on "morning joe." >> officials have not yet officially identified the victims but some family members have come forward to say their loved ones are among the dead. one story about a 25-year-old mother, jordan oncondo who was shot and killed while apparently shielding her 2-month-old son from the gunfire. she and her husband andre were buying school supplies. he was also killed, according to relatives. family members say he died shielding his wife while she died protecting their newborn. we're told the 2-month-old was
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treated for broken bones, the result of his mother's fall. >> let's cross back over to el paso, and bring in msnbc's phillip mena who's actually from el paso, texas, and has a unique perspective on how this has played out. let's start with the latest on the suspect. what have we been able to learn about him so far from this investigation? >> reporter: so far, good morning, 21-year-old patrick crusias is in custody as he drove from dallas to el paso, and opened fire at the walmart behind me, killing 20 people, injuring dozens more. he is being treated as a domestic terrorist and authorities are considering federal hate crimes after it was revealed that he wrote anti-immigrant rhetoric on a web site called 8chan. like you mentioned, this is deeply personal to me. i was born here, and i was raised here, and my family still
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lives here to this day. it was so difficult to hear the news as it was unfolding on saturday. i was getting text messages from my mom. she was talking to me about my aunt and my cousin who were inside that mall in the chaos when it began, people thought there might be another shooter or the shooter had gone to the mall adjacent from the walmart here, and so they started to lock it down. they ran out and they were out safely thankfully, but 20 families, as i mentioned, they're not going to be able to come home. 20 families that are going to be grieving because of this. it is also deeply personal because my own brother is a firefighter here for the el paso fire department and he was among the first responders that arrived to see that carnage, and talking to friends and family here, this has a deeply and profoundly affected this community for the rest of their lives. >> phillip, talking to us about how the community is handling all of this.
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>> reporter: it's something that nobody has ever faced here before. first, it was shock, grief, anger, there are vigils all over the city here. they are having prayer services at different churches around here. they are trying to figure out as they got. like i said, nobody here has faced anything like that before. they are using social media, i must say, which is something that they're embracing as a way for basically a communal hug, a way to try to cope with some of this. it is a mix of these vigils that are spread across the city and social media and they also shut down stores that have -- that are miles away from here on saturday and for the weekend, just out of respect for the victims of this senseless tragedy. >> to phillip's point, it's a close knit community, it's hard to imagine anyone has not been affected by this, friends, family or neighbors.
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phillip mena, in el paso, texas. hours after the mass shooting in el paso, another gunman opened fire outside a popular bar in dayton, ohio. nine people killed, 27 others were injured. you see surveillance footage showing people running away as the shooting got underway. the gunman was wearing body armour, began shooting around 1:00 a.m. in dayton's historic oregon district. surveillance video we are putting up shows people running for their lives as the shooting got underway. the shooter, a 24-year-old white male was killed by police within 30 seconds of the first shots being fired. >> it is just incredible to think of the reality we are now facing after having a weekend behind us and covering two basically mass shootings with so many people losing their lives. we want to go now live todayt to dayton, ohio, where kathy park is live. what more are we learning about
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the possible motive here? >> reporter: the motive is still very much a mystery. the police chief touched upon that, and said it was a little too premature to speculate exactly why he carried out what he did but i do want to point out behind me here, this powerful image. we are standing right in front of the bar where the shooting happened shortly after 1:00. and yesterday, i was out here in the afternoon. this area was roped off and the ground was littered with evidence markers, and then shortly after that, the crews came in here and washed the sidewalks of debris as well as the blood, and it reopened just after 6:00 last night, which i thought was pretty incredible, and then they had that powerful vigil shortly after they cleaned everything up. but just a little bit more on the investigation. we were told yesterday a little bit more about the time line of this shooting. it happened 1:05 a.m.
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that is the exact time when the first gunshots rang out, and then 30 seconds after that is when officers cornered the suspect and eventually killed that individual but here's a little bit more perspective on the police chief as the investigation continues. >> any suggestion at this time of motive would be irresponsible, we do not have sufficient information to answer the question that everyone wants to know, why. we do not have that answer at this time. we will clearly pursue this investigation to try to understand motivation in this crime, assuming that there is a motivation that's understandable. >> and the chief also added that the suspect didn't have any red flags. his criminal background just minor traffic violations, but what i thought was really interesting, i think what kind of took us back yesterday during the press conference is the fact that he arrived in the same car
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as his sister who happens to be one of the victims as well. megan bets and there was another individual in the car. there are a lot of questions swirling as to what happened when they arrived and separated. >> and the timing of this on the heels of what happened in texas raised questions as to whether there was any kind of motivation or inspiration from the texas shooting to this one. kathy park live from dayton, ohio. "the new york times" reports the fbi has said more americans have died in domestic terrorist attacks than international ones since september 11th and domestic terrorism is increasingly motivated by white supremacist ideology. chris wray said the agency has made some 100 arrests related to domestic terrorism since october. >> i will say that a majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we have investigated are
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motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence. >> still ahead, much more on the top shooting, one top republican claiming video games are to vio we'll break down the likelihood that the senate majority leader actually acts next. s next
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welcome back, everyone. texas's two republican senators have weighed in on the el paso, shooting. in a statement senator ted cruz said as the son of a cuban immigrant, this ignorant racism is profoundly anti-american, we must speak clearly to combat terrorism in any form. we saw a heinous act of terrorism and white supremacy. there is no place in that for el
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paso. john cornyn, i spent some of my early years dwroeg growing up i paso. his twisted vision will not succeed. senator cornyn spoke with msnbc. >> law asiding citizens can keep and bear arms in our constitution. i believe in the bill of rights. i know that people who are mentally ill. people who have committed felonies who are disqualified from purchasing firearms and other dangerous young people like this young man, we need to find a way to stop them for their own protection as well as the protection of the community, but i would rather get to the root causes rather than the inanimate object of the firearm itself because we know that the person is the one who's pulling the trigger, it's not the weapon itself. >> so in the wake of the weekend's two deadly mass shootings, house minority leader kevin mccarthy suggested violent
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video games are to blame when asked about factors leading up to these types of tragedy. >> the idea these video games to dehumanize individuals, to have a game of shooting individuals and others, i've always felt that is a problem for future generations and others. we've watched from studies shown before, what it does to individuals. when you look at these foephotof how it took place, you can see the action within video games. >> various scientific studies in addition to a 2011 ruling by the supreme court found there is no apparent link between playing video games and mass shootings. mitch mcconnell is recovering after falling at his home in kentucky on sunday. his office said in a statement that he tripped on his outside patio, he fractured his shoulder. he has been treated, released and is now working from home in louisville. his injury comes as democrats are demanding he reconvenes the senate to pass legislation after the mass shootings in el paso
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and ohio that left nearly 30 people dead. joining us once again from washington, political reporter for the hill, julia manchester, good to talk to you again, let's discuss the conversations about reconvening the senate. >> and whether or not it's realistic. >> after this weekend's attacks. is it realistic, how much of a priority do you think this is? >> it's possible the senate could reconvene. i don't know if republicans are going to move on that, especially senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, we're hearing sherrod brown, the senator from ohio really push for this, and i think a lot of democrats want to push for legislation on background checks and trying to restrict background checks. i don't know if necessarily republicans are in the position right now to really want to be able to do something about this. unfortunately, although these tragedies are obviously quite big and, you know, have a huge impact on the country, you know, as i said before, i think the national rifle association, the gun lobby, still is so, has such
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an impact on republican senators, republican lawmakers so it's unclear as to whether they'll move on this. >> what has been the reaction when you look at the spectrum of 2020 presidential candidates and a lot of them have been weighing in on the issue of mass shootings. some of them have maede it one f the signature issues for them generally. how might these instances impact the next election cycle, whether any of them want to take on gun control as a major policy issue in the election. >> i think it's going to impact the presidential election in a huge way. democrats obviously are very much more in favor of gun restrictions. they will continue to push for that, and they will use these mass shootings as a reason to push for that and a reason to say we need these restrictions, but we're also seeing a lot of presidential candidates, most notably, beto o'rourke, whose former congressional district is in el paso, essentially say that
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president trump is responsible for this hateful rhetoric has driven a lot of these, you know, these violent hate driven acts, and like we saw in el paso, so i think you'll see more of that conversation really go on among democrats. it will be interesting it see how the eventual nominee confronts president trump on the debate stage. >> i have a question about how republicans, members of the president's inner circle feel about the accusations being levelled against him that he has fla flamed some of the racism in this country with his rhetoric. as the ap has reported and jonathan lemire, this is part of his campaign strategy for 2020 but after this weekend, the democrats are really trying to pin directly the increase, i guess, if you will, of the rhetoric to the president's leadership and his own personal style. >> democrats are really going to push this in the election, but you know, i think for president trump, his defense, and you saw
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this with his chief of staff, mick mulvaney over the weekend, they'll say racism was around before donald trump, hate was around before donald trump, which is absolutely true, but i think democrats are really going to try to come at it as he is only stoking these flames of hatred and racism with this rhetoric, but, you know, the president and the republicans and his allies will say that this is something that's, you know, going on way before him. they will know, and it's important to note that the charleston shooting in which several african-americans were killed at that church, happened before president trump's administration, so you know, it's just a very complicated time in our country's history. >> yujulia manchester, thank yo very much. democratic congressman and 2020 hopeful tim ryan speaks out on the shooting in his home state. president trump facing increasing pressure over his rhetoric. details on a study connecting a dot between the president's rallies and an uptick in hate
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crimes in those communities. we'll be right back. e crimes in those communities. we'll be right back.
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welcome back. in the wake of this weekend's mass shooting, ohio representative, and democratic presidential candidate tim ryan said that the el paso suspect's online posting and the rhetoric at president trump's rallies are almost identical. >> the president has been said throws jet fuel on these fires that are burning, incites, i read that manifesto this morning
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a couple of times, and it is like a trump rally. i mean, there are basically the same phrases in that manifesto that you would hear come out of the president of the united states mouth and that's the most disgusting part of the whole thing. >> so while all of this was happening over the weekend, and as you can imagine, wii getting -- we're getting reaction from everyone. and the white house senior a adviser, ivanka trump, as our nation mourns the senseless loss of life in el paso, texas, and dayton, ohio, we must also raise our voices in rejection of the heinous, and cowardly acts of hate. she posted this tweet, white supremacy is an evil that must be destroyed. >> and hate crime violence in the u.s. has increasingly risen since donald trump became president. according to the fbi's latest report, there were 7,106
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instances of hate crimes just in 2017. that's a 17% increase from the prior year and marks the highest hate crime levels since 2008. the report found that 58% of the victims were targeted because of their race, their ethnicity or. 50% of the offenders of the crimes were white, according to the fbi. a study by "the washington post" found that counties that had hosted a 2016 trump campaign rally saw a 226% increase in reported hate crimes over comparable counties that did not host such a rally. the paper did note their analysis cannot be certain it was trump's campaign rally rhetoric that caused people to commit more hate crimes in the host county. mexico is vowing to take legal action against the united states for failing to protect its citizens on its soil. of the 20 people killed, at least 7 were mexican citizens. mexican foreign minister said
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that the country could seek to extradite the gunman on a terrorism charge and we're planning legal action against the seller who provided the shooter with a weapon. he called the shooting unacceptable and an act after barbarism. his country's first priority is attending to the families affected by the tragedy, and will seek action to protect mexican nationals and mexican americans inside the u.s. let's take a turn for a moment and get a check on your weather now with nbc meteorologist bill karins. >> happy to report, it looks like it's going to be a pretty fairly quiet week. nothing in the tropics. this is getting toward the peak of the season, hawaii looks safe. the only danger is a chance of severe thunderstorms. we have some rolling from bismarck to fargo towards aberdeen. later today, these storms will continue and actually intensify further to the south. we have a risk of severe winds and hail today from our friends from areas of nebraska, des moines, ames, rochester,
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minneapolis, central wisconsin, and late tonight, the storms will make their way toward milwaukee. they may hold together, towards chicago. the other dangerous weather, extreme heat in the areas of desert southwest, by arizona standards and southern california, this is going to be a very hot day today. temperatures easily above 110 in the desert area, some areas, 115. phoenix, we'll call you 112 today vegas, 111. heat wave today. we'll see afternoon storms in the southeast, south florida, kind of the typical weather pattern you have been in lately. if there's one bad travel day this week, if you need to know for the airports, it looks like wednesday afternoon, pretty good line of showers and thunderstorms should be rolling through areas of the northeast. that could be another bad airport day. thursday, that system leaves and then on friday, a few storms in the tennessee valley but you notice it's a very warm, summer like pattern and we're not talking anything in the tropics. that's great. >> thanks, bill. the nation is left reeling in the wake of back-to-back
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shootings this weekend. >> the latest on the violence in el paso, and dayton as communities search for answers and demand action to keep similar tragedies from happening again. we're going to have a live report from on the ground in both of those cities. we're back in less than three minutes. stay with us. in less than thre minutes. stay with us
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two more mass shootings in america on saturday morning, a gunman opened fire in el paso, texas leaving 20 people dead. less than 24 hours later, in dayton, ohio, a shooter opened fire leaving nine dead. >> the man in el paso believe he posted a hate-filled statement and parts mirror president trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric. >> good morning. it is monday, august 5. i'm ayman mohyeldin alongside yasmin vossoughian. we begin in el paso, texas where federal prosecutors are using

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