tv Lockup San Antonio - Extended Stay MSNBC October 26, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
troops there? >> well, look, baghdadi, the one thing he had over his predecessors, richard mentioned abu zarqawi. he was opposed to war. this is a never taken seriously within the annals of international jihadism. he grew up in a palestinian refugee camp in jordan. he was a thug. he was somebody who had done things that were not exactly halal in his youth, including tattooed himself. there were all kinds of allegations that he had been a pimp in jordan. he didn't have the wafta as a jihadist as baghdadi did. and baghdadi specifically, his name, as richard pointed out, it suggests that he's from baghdad, but in fact he's not. he's from tikrit, which by the way is the hometown of saddam hussein ironically enough.
but abu bakr al baghdadi has claimed he's descendant from the house of the prophet himself, from mohammed. so he has claimed a theologic theological -- that very few of his predecessors in this organization have been able to do. so his death is not just symbolic. it's actually going to be a hammer blow to this organization. by the way, in terms of the command and control, look, there was very good reporting done by the guardian newspaper in about 2015 that baghdadi had been injured, very severely injured actually, in a u.s. coalition bombing sortee. this was not an attempt on baghdadi. this was not an attempt to kill him, but it was an accident. they got him but they weren't
even trying to get him. he was in traction. he hurt his arm, his back. he was out of commission for a while but was still very much the going concern for this organization. he's still the commander of isis. so i don't quite agree that he's not somebody who is not in direct control of the organization. you know, he does. he commands a lot of authority from the rank and file not just by the way in syria and iraq. but, remember, isis has fanned out throughout the world and, you know, the thing that i would emphasize to your viewers is the deadliest attack, the deadliest foreign jihadist attack that isis planned and perpetrated was executed after the collapse of the so-called caliphate, after t they lost their, you know,
putdtiput putative-state building enterprise. that was the sri lanka attack. so isis still very much has a loyal following not just in syria and iraq but around the world. baghdadi was a lightning rod. he was somebody able to galvanize, to convince people that this was still a struggle worth joining. his death, i think, is actually a little more significant than just, well, you know, they'll find somebody to fill this role. no. they will, and if they're smart as an organization, they've already lined up several people to fill his shoes, but this is somebody who claimed a kind of theological and islamist pedigree that is going to be hard to replicate. so, you know, in terms of his demise, in a way, i think it's worse for the organization than the demise of zarqawi, who was the founder of isis.
>> michael, thank you so much. again, that was michael weiss of the daily beast, co-author of "isis: inside the army of terror." and, again, breaking news at this hour. the white house has announced that president trump will make a major announcement at 9:00 a.m. on sunday, and nbc news has now confirmed the likely topic of those remarks, a u.s. military operation that targeted isis leader abu bakr al baghdadi. i'd like to bring back courtney ku kube, our pentagon correspondent. courtney, what can you tell us about the details of this special mission? >> so we don't know a lot of details of the mission yet. we know that in recent days, some u.s. intelligence gathered what they called actionable intelligence about where baghdadi may be. they spent some time confirming that intelligence and then the mission was launched late saturday night, early sunday morning local time here in iraq, into a place in northwestern syria. it's one of the areas that is
still inhabited by isis. it's not necessarily held by them as, like, a caliphate or as a land that they own and they govern, but there is still an isis presence in that area. so we know that there were a number of u.s. special operations forces. we think these are the most elite of the task force. they went in on helicopters. there was also fixed-wing jets and some u.s. drones that came in across the border from turkey into syria and launched this raid. we know that there was some fire from the air to the ground, but we don't have a really good sense of exactly whether the mission was to target a convoy, whether baghdadi was in some static area when they went after him. we do know there was fire from the air. at least one or more helicopters landed, and they were able to gather some intelligence. now, the u.s. officials i spoke with said that the intelligence included some sort of forensic evidence on the target, abu bakr al baghdadi.
this is very similar to what we saw in the bin laden raid, you'll recall. they took photos of bin laden to confirm that it was, in fact, him who they had targeted. we don't know what other possible intelligence they may have gathered at the site. it all happened very quickly according to the officials i spoke with, and there are no reports of any u.s. casualties in the mission. >> so, courtney, baghdadi has reportedly been in hiding for the last five years. any details on how he may have been located there near the turkish border in syria? >> reporter: no. and, you know, it's funny. it's a question that we ask probably -- well, frequently of u.s. military officials. do you know where baghdadi is? there have been rumors for some time. of course there was a time where we know he was in iraq. he gave his -- one of his most famous speeches at a mosque not far from where i'm standing right now in mosul, iraq. but he's believed to have been hiding and moving throughout
parts of northwestern and at times even eastern syria throughout the time of the u.s. and the coalition efforts in syria. of course they were constantly putting pressure on him and on the leadership. so when you're the leader of a terror organization like isis, you're going to have to constantly be on the move so that you aren't captured. but we don't know much about exactly what it was they found. it's not an area where there's a u.s. military presence, so something like this would tend to be overheard with an intercept or whatnot or some kind of human intelligence they gather on the ground that they're then able to exploit and determine whether it's strong enough evidence that they go in for a raid like this. >> courtney, is there any information about other members of isis who may have been captured or killed in this raid? >> reporter: there isn't. we know that he was -- if in fact this turns out to be baghdadi, which it seems like there's a pretty high confidence according to officials i'm speaking with. no one wants to say jackpot
quite yet, but we know there were others who were killed in this raid, who were with baghdadi, but we don't have good fidelity yet on exactly how many were killed or who they may have been. in a case like this, he may have actually been traveling with family, you know. we just don't know. we know very little about how he's been living these past few years when he's been on the run. there was a -- isis put out a video earlier this year. i think it was april, that appeared to be him. you know, it was a question if it was him or not. that was really the first sign we had he might be alive, and any kind of indication of his role in the organization to right now. in this case, he was praising this attacks that had recently occurred in sri lanka. so we know very little about it. it's similar again to bin laden. you'll remember that after the bin laden raid, the navy s.e.a.l.s were able to pull a number of videotapes and his
diaries and whatnot, and we learned so much about how he had been living, and it was fascinating to learn, especially for people who really followed this, you know, the ins and outs and minutia of this on a day to day basis. it was fascinating to see him living in a compound in pakistan as an old man. so that's one of the things that i'm really going to be looking for in the coming days is were they able to figure out anything about how baghdadi had been living in recent days and weeks, who he was traveling with, and exactly what his role was in the isis organization. was he still running day to day opps, or was he for all intents and europurpose just a figurehe but not actually involved in the ground day to day. >> courtney, thank you. i'd like to bring in now someone from the counsel on foreign relations. gayle, what is your reaction to this possible death of abu bakr al baghdadi. >> it's a very symbolic moment
and so much sacrifice has gone into making this possible if this is what has actually happened tonight. i spent so much time with young people who have lost friends, young people from syria who have lost friends, lost loved ones in the fight against the islamic state since 2014. from kobani through all these towns that don't sound like very much to a lot of americans, but have meant so much both to u.s. forces and to the syrians who have really given their lives to back the islamic state into a corner where they no longer held physical territory but, instead, were capturing the imagination of those who followed them. and as somebody who spent so many years talking to young women who have given so many of their years to fighting isis, if it turns out to be true, it is really a significant moment.
but i think it is not the end to the fight against the idea that the islamic state represents. >> what impact will al baghdadi's possible death have on the islamic state? >> it's so interesting. in the spring, i was in holcamp where so many folks whose husbands who belong to the islamic state, so many women from around the world who belong to the islamic state themselves were there. what is fascinating is that a lot of moms talked to me about the baghdadi video that came out in april. and they talked to me about how their children, at the very end of the u.s.-backed fight against the islamic state, their children had starved. their children had gone hungry. older people had starved actually to death while baghdadi got fat is what they were talking to me about. that, you know, this guy got fat and makes a video while our children don't have juice, don't have food, don't have enough to
eat. and they were talking to me about whether they thought he was the right person to have led this physical caliphate. and i do think that if it turns out that he is gone, it is another blow to the idea of the islamic state and what he represented. but it is not the end. >> now, when president trump tweeted yesterday evening that something very big has just happened, did you have any indication that the news was about this possible raid or the raid that took place? >> many folks have talked for months, as richard was talking about, where is baghdadi, what is he up to, and certainly i think all those of us who have spent days and hours and particularly minutes in the last couple of weeks trying to figure out what is happening on the ground in syria and talking to people all across the region, i don't think it was a huge shock. but i do think it is a very
symbolic moment because he represented to a lot of people this idea of the caliphate that brought people from all around the world. i mean when i was in holcamp in may, it was like the united nations of isis. so many people. you had people from seychelles, people from egypt, young women from germany who talked to you about why they had found this idea so attractive. it all went back to this moment in 2014 when al baghdadi from mosul really made this call for them to come. so i don't think the symbolism of this moment can be underestimated. but i just caution folks against thinking that this is the end because it's much easier to take physical territory back. it's much easier to end a terrorist's life than it is to end the idea of what the islamic state represented to those who may follow it. >> what does this news say about trump's approach to isis? >> i think it's -- you know, this is a continuation of policy that's gone on for years. i mean one thing i would say is
first of all, this is the second administration that felt it was elected to end wars in the middle east rather than begin them. and really an administration that had pushed very hard for the end to the caliphate and had given folks the resources. but having spent a lot of time with the people, especially the young women who were the ground force in the fight against the islamic state, i just want to take a moment to remember the more than 10,000 young people, women and men from the syrian side, along with the fewer than five, but still every gold star family is a tragedy in the united states, american who's were killed in the line of battle, fighting the islamic state. this is a real victory that was five years in the making. if you think that this started in the summer of 2014, in the fight against kobani, a town nobody had heard of before the fact that this group of -- this band of kurds that people didn't
really know who they were, then joined by folks from the free syrian army and folks from the iraqi, kurdish side who came together to fight the islamic state on the ground while the americans came from the air. this was the first time they handed a real defeat to the islamic state. so this is a moment that is five years, a half-decade in the making. >> gayle, thank you. that was gayle lemmon of the council on foreign relations. i'd like to go now to katie bow williams, reporter from defense one. katie, what are you hearing about this latest news? >> yeah, i started getting indications that this operation was under way and that baghdadi was the target certainly earlier this evening. what we're hearing right now is that this was originally intended to be a capture mission, but that baghdadi actually detonated a suicide belt that he was wearing at the
time in order to actually prevent his own capture. and so i think, you know, right now the sense that i'm getting is that the official word of confirmation has not yet come down, but there's certainly a high degree of confidence within the pentagon that this was, in fact, baghdadi. >> and if that is true that baghdadi detonated his own suicide vest, what does that mean symbolically that he would not allow himself to be captured and killed? >> actually, that's exactly the point. you know, it has more to do with the sense of like, are you going to be able to count yourself as having been martyred for the cause, or were you killed by the enemy, in this case the united states? so it's actually not uncommon for senior isis leaders to be sort of constantly wearing a suicide vest and to try to take their own lives as a way of preventing capture. it's a huge -- it's a rhetorical
and propaganda value for isis to be able to say, no, we didn't -- baghdadi was not captured or killed by the american forces. he martyred himself for the cause. so i think one of the really interesting things to watch in the coming days is going to be how isis responds to this as an organization. they have shown obviously a great deal of resiliency as an organization losing senior leaders before this. baghdadi was obviously not the first head of isis. they had already lost a previous leader of the group to a u.s. strike, and they were able to reconstitute, reform, and obviously survive as a powerful force after that. so i think how isis itself plays this strike and who sort of steps up to take the mantle is going to be really interesting to watch. we don't really know who is next in line here at this point. but we do know that there are
still tens of thousands of isis fighters spread across iraq and syria who have sort of gone underground since the trump administration and the coalition officially announced the defeat of the caliphate itself. so who steps up here, i think, is going to be a really interesting thing to watch in the coming days. >> now, al baghdadi obviously a high-value target for the u.s., a $25 million bounty on his head. how will the organization be affected with new leadership here on out? >> i mean that's sort of the big question is because we don't know who this is going to be, it's a little bit tougher of a question to answer. isis now at this point is unlike in sort of 2014 when they were holding territory, they were in some ways mimicking governance. they were running a sort of statelet. now they are an underground insurgency. if you talk to pentagon officials, intelligence
officials, they are all warning that isis is still a powerful force, that its fighters still exist within iraq and syria, sort of operating in -- they're sort of seeded throughout the population operating underground, but that doesn't make them not a threat or not dangerous. and so i think to sort of understand what's going to happen next and the effects that baghdadi's death is going to have on this organization, it's hard to tell precisely because it's not a -- you know, sort of a national level organization in the way that it was in 2014. >> all right. katie, thank you so much. that was katie bo williams, reporter at defense one. we will bring you much more news on this breaking news story in a bit. colon cancer. i'm not worried. it doesn't run in my family. i can do it next year. no rush. cologuard is the noninvasive option that finds 92% of colon cancers.
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trelegy is not for asthma. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it. do not take trelegy more than prescribed. trelegy may increase your risk of thrush, pneumonia, and osteoporosis. call your doctor if worsened breathing, chest pain, mouth or tongue swelling, problems urinating, vision changes, or eye pain occur. think your copd medicine is doing enough? maybe you should think again. ask your doctor about once-daily trelegy and the power of 1 2 3. ♪ trelegy 1-2-3 save at trelegy.com i'm marlie hall with breaking news right now. the white house has announced that president trump will make a major announcement at 9:00 a.m. on sunday, and nbc news has now confirmed the likely topic of those remarks, a u.s. military operation that targeted isis leader abu bakr al baghdadi.
we're told a u.s. special ops mission targeted the isis leader near ba isha, syria, overnight. the mission included helicopters, jets and u.s. drones. the u.s. received actionable intelligence from u.s. intelligence sources in recent days and after confirming it, the mission began late yesterday local time at around midnight. the u.s. fired from the air and then landed and gathered intelligence. forensic testing is under way, but they believe it was baghdadi and that he is among the dead. several others were also killed in a convoy. the officials said maybe four or five others were killed, but said it's not clear how many yet. no reports of any u.s. casualties. pentagon correspondent courtney kube joins us now on the phone. courtney -- she is live. >> i got up in front of the camera now. >> what can you tell us,
courtney? >> reporter: so we know very little so far about this raid, what exactly happened. but we do know that it was targeting the isis leader abu bakr al baghdadi, a wanted -- the number one terrorist wanted in the world for several years now. we know that there was u.s. special operations, the most elite of the special operations forces were involved in this raid. they went in on helicopters. there were fixed wings jet and drones in the area for surveillance and overhead watch. there was some kind of fire from the air. it's not quite clear what that was, whether it was actual air strikes from the jets or fire from the helicopters. but several of the helicopters came in and landed during this raid. they were able to gather some intelligence, and that is what u.s. officials are telling us will be able to prove whether it was, in fact, baghdadi who was among those killed in this raid. >> so, courtney, how will u.s. officials go about proving that is in, in fact, al baghdadi?
>> reporter: so there's different ways. in some cases if they have dna evidence from him, they can test it and verify it. there's also biometrics. in the case of bin laden, you'll remember they took a photo of him after they killed him of his face, and they were able to figure out how tall he was. those kinds of things was able to confirm it was, in fact, bin laden. in that case they also had his body. so they're able to gather different kind of forensics and biometrics to prove in fact whether it's baghdadi or not. >> so baghdadi has reportedly been in hiding. any details on how u.s. military officials managed to locate him there in syria near the turkish border? >> reporter: we know the information first came from u.s. intelligence sources. given where he was -- if, in fact, this was baghdadi, they would have gotten him in a part of northwestern syria that still has an isis presence. it's a bit of a stronghold. i wouldn't call it an area held
by isis, but they're known to be there. so if they were able to get it, there is not a u.s. presence there. it would have had to have been some sort of intelligence gathering like signals intercepts, overhearing conversations, possibly human intelligence sources on the ground although that may be a little bit less likely. but they can take that kind of information, put it together, use other assets like drones, overhead surveillance, satellites and whatnot, and they can figure out with a certain level of confidence whether, in fact, they think he might be in an area and then launch the raid based off of that. what i think is going to be really fascinating that we're going to learn not only the details of exactly how this went down, how quickly -- when they got the information and how quickly they were able to act on it, but what they may be able to tell us about how baghdadi has been living in recent days, weeks, and even months. we know very little about him. he's been on the run because the u.s. and the coalition have been in such hot pursuit of him for years now. but has he been constantly on the move? has he been living in caves?
is he living with a family? you know, we know very little about -- we know at one point that an american who was taken hostage and then killed was actually in his presence for some period of time. but beyond that we know very little about how he's been living and also what kind of role he's had in isis during these recent days and months. is he actually running the day to day ground opps? was he trying to reconstitute, maybe even, you know, try to move to a different region to try to rebuild the caliphate? that's the kind of stuff i'm hoping we'll be able to learn in the coming days as we get more information about what exactly went down just hours ago in syria. >> courtney, thank you. that was pentagon correspondent courtney kube. i'd like to go now to chief foreign correspondent richard engel, who is live for us in northern syria. richard, what can you tell us about these latest developments and this raid in syria? >> reporter: so also hearing
from two sources very similar to what courtney is hearing, that there was this operation, a targeted operation in idlib province, targeting a town called baisha, right on the turkish border, about three miles from the turkish border. it is a transit route. it is a place that convoys and at times refugees and at times smugglers have been operating, going into and out of syria. that this was an air assault. it involved helicopters at the very least. courtney has more information about the components, it seems like, of the actual operation, which assets may have been involved, but that u.s. officials are confident that it was baghdadi, that he is dead, and that they are working on forensic identification. but that they have, quote, medium to high confidence, one official putting it, even higher
than medium to high confidence that it, in fact, was baghdadi. they know what he looks like. he had been in u.s. custody before, so identifying him by dna or tissue sample or a retina scan would not be an impossibility, but this is something they do not want to get wrong. they want to make sure they take time. it could take 24 hours or so to get a 100% confirmation, but they have medium to high confidence at least that it was him, that he was dead, and that he was in a safehouse in barishia in this transit area between turkey and syria. >> reports indicate that al baghdadi got involved in the islamic insurgency as far as back as 2003. can you tell us a bit about his ascendance through the ranks to become the head of isis? >> reporter: so after u.s. troops invaded iraq in 2003, they were initially welcomed,
and there was initially a period of stability. but then after it became clear that the u.s. invasion changed the dynamic on the ground in syria profoundly, that the sunnis in power, who had been in power for decades -- saddam hussein was a sunni. in fact, sunnis had been in power for centuries in iraq. when the united states invaded, it changed that dynamic by bringing democracy, by bringing an open vote. sunnis, who were the -- excuse me. shia, who were the majority, suddenly took power, and the sunnis there felt increasingly isolated. they felt increasingly ostracized, angry, and a sunni insurgency began. and baghdadi was part of this sunni insurgency right from the beginning. the insurgency changed names many times, about you it eventually came to be known as al qaeda in iraq. al qaeda -- an al qaeda
franchise that was not always in line with but more or less on the same trajectory of osama bin laden, and it became a very effective arm. it became a very brutal terrorist group that really set the tone for what terrorist groups would look like in the future. they started kidnapping hostages, publicly beheading them, putting out videos, carrying out mass executions of their prisoners and their enemies. they established the new baseline for what terrorist brutality would be like in the middle east. and at the time, they were led by someone who was notorious, who was, if not america's enemy number one, which was osama bin laden, certainly the enemy number two, and his name was zarqawi. baghdadi was the next most famous jihadist of them all. he was someone who was able to
not just be a terrorist leader, but he was able to establish something that osama bin laden had never done, that had predecessors had never done. he wasn't just a terrorist who grabbed people and beheaded them on television or on videotape and posted it on the internet. he established his own state. he established what they called the caliphate, and he will go down in history, certainly, that baghdadi established the isis caliphate. that was his peak of power. he established this mini state that he ruled, and he called himself the leader of all of the world's muslims. he was putting them on a scale of great islamic historic leaders, and didn't say he just ran his caliphate. he believed he was the leader of muslims globally. that is why so many people from around the world, extremists, a
violent people, gang members, decided to come from countries, from african countries, from european countries to join his project, to join the caliphate. but in recent months, his status had dropped tremendously. he lost that caliphate. u.s. forces here in northern syria, working with the kurds, destroyed that caliphate, killed tens of thousands of its members, imprisoned tens of thousands of its fighters and their family members. and many of those people were angry with baghdadi. why wasn't he there in the end? why didn't he stick with them? how did this leader of the muslim world, as he called himself, suddenly fail to be there with his fighters and their families at the end? he was in hiding. he had been issuing recent audiotapes calling on his supporters to regroup. he had been issuing calls for isis to rise again from the
ashes, but he wasn't with his group in a core level. he was no longer leading the state. and then very interestingly, i think, is that he was found and apparently killed, still awaiting full confirmation, but high degree of confidence that he was killed in this safehouse right near the turkish border. as courtney was saying, there will be questions. was he trying to leave? was he heading into turkey? was he coming from turkey? was he moving back and forth? that i think we may or may not know as details come out depending on what intelligence was gathered from that location. and just so you know, we're here in northern syria, our comms aren't good, so i wouldn't ask a follow-up question because i cannot hear you at the moment. >> richard, thank you so much for that report. again, breaking news at this hour. the white house has announced that president trump will make a major announcement at 9:00 a.m. on sunday.
and nbc news has now confirmed that the likely topic of those remarks, a u.s. military operation that targeted isis leader abu bakr al baghdadi. we're told u.s. special ops mission targeted the isis leader near barisha, syria, overnight. the mission included helicopters and jets as well as u.s. drones. the u.s. received actionable intelligence from u.s. intelligence sources in recent days and after confirming it, the mission began late yesterday local time at around midnight. the u.s. fired from the air and then landed and gathered intelligen intelligence. forensic testing is now under way, but they believe it was baghdadi, and they is among the dead. let's go back to courtney. before we go to courtney kube, our pentagon correspondent, i'd like to add that several others were also killed in a convoy. the official said maybe four or five others were killed but said
it's not clear yet how many, and there are no reports of any u.s. casualties. abbu backer al baghdadi obviously a high value target for the u.s. at this point, let's bring in courtney kube. courtney, what can you tell us about the possible death of abu bakr al baghdadi? >> reporter: we don't know a whole lot at this point. we know that there was a raid that occurred overnight last night sometime around midnight in a northwestern part of syria, a town called barisha in idlib province. there is known to be a bit of an isis presence in the area, but i wouldn't say it's an isis stronghold. there were u.s. special operations forces who were involved, including helicopters, some fixed-wing, some sort of jets. there's some talk of maybe f-16s but we're still trying to work
out exactly what they were, and u.s. drones. that would of course be overhead for surveillance to help out and provide intelligence throughout the course of the raid. we know that there was fire from the air and that at least one or more of the helicopters landed. we're trying to figure out exactly what happened once they were on the ground. we know they gathered some intelligence, likely biometrics on the target, who in this case was baghdadi. but we aren't sure if there was actually a gunfight that occurred while they were on the ground as well or whether they just touched down to grab anything they could to find out if he was killed. one of the big things we're trying to figure out as well is exactly how did the u.s. locate baghdadi? he's been the number one target of the u.s. and coalition for u.s. now. were they able to get him through some sort of human intelligence sources, through intercepts? did they have -- exactly how was it they figured out where he might be?
and then how long did it take from the time they got this actionable intelligence to the time that they carried out the raid? so we have a lot of details that will hopefully be coming out in the coming hours and days. but at this point the u.s. officials i'm speaking with, they're speaking with a little more degree of confidence that they believe baghdadi, the target of this raid, was killed, but they're not quite ready to say jackpot yet. >> that was courtney kube. thank you so much for that report. again, breaking news at this hour. we know that tomorrow morning -- or this morning at 9:00 a.m., president trump will make an announcement, and we believe that it will be regarding isis leader abu bakr al baghdadi. we're continuing to follow this story this morning, and we'll be back with regular programming after the break.
for six months, baron ochoa's world has consisted of little more than his small cell and the adjoining day room at san antonio's bexar county jail. and, occasionally, he's transported to court for pretrial hearings on his case. >> this is a red button case. this is one of those types if i do have to go before a jury, it's really easy to get an emotional response out of them rather than a legal response out of them. >> ochoa is accused of continuous sexual abuse of a child. his 10-year-old niece, sammy. he's also a suspect, along with his brother, conrad, in the stabbing death of sammy, her mother, rebecca gonzalez, and a family friend. the house all three victims lived in was burned to the ground following the murders. at his latest court hearing baron learned of some new evidence against him. >> i thought they were going to be using pictures against him, which they are, but they're also using past statements. i'm like really? one of the things that pissed me
off was a statement one of my family members made that he never trusted us around his kids to begin with. really? what do you mean you never trusted us around your kids? we're supposed to be family. if that's the way you feel, tell me. don't tell the police that especially when you know this is the type of things being investigated. >> negative statements from family are but one of the pressures bearing down on the ochoa brothers. every time they appear in court, there are familiar faces in the gallery. they are led by suzy bianchi-pierce, the mother of conrad's former girlfriend rebecca and grandmother to sammy. >> the fact of the matter is if our faces are in that courtroom, they know that we're being vigilant, that we're going to be there and make a loud noise the minute we can. >> she lost her daughter and her granddaughter. she's extremely angry, she's hurt, she's devastated. she wants somebody to blame, and the police are just straight-up accusing me, trying to hang it
around my neck. >> this is what's left of raggedy ann. that was sammy's. see, there is something melted to it. it's just, you can smell the house. smoke is just pervasive. i found rebecca's jewelry box intact. you can see the shadows on the top from where the jewelry was laying inside. >> the charred mementos and family photos are painful reminders of the past. bianchi-peters also strives to create positive ones. >> i know that sammy would have been very honored for all your hard work. >> she's started the just love foundation named for the tattoo worn by rebecca and matching stencil worn by sammy. the foundation funds an annual scholarship to send a child from a low-income home to a local performing arts school. >> sammy loved to perform. it was sammy's safe place and
we're gonna fight this ugly, horrible event by providing as much love and positivity as we can. >> the ochoas were arrested the morning following the fire, and the story was widely covered on local news. >> brother baron ochoa was interviewed and police found scratches on his neck, head and shoulder area. >> the little girl's father conrad ochoa smelled of the same strong odor of the karen lane fire. >> the person that was interviewing conrad stated very clearly that he smelled like the house, the burned, charred, sooty remains that it had that same odor. >> both brothers deny all these allegations. >> the officer, he says that i smell like smoke. i've got ash on my shoes. of course i don't. if i had, i would have been arrested for homicide already because they would have had some evidence. they shaved my arms for some
reason. they want to get cotton swabs of my ears and nose, i guess looking for smoke. they took fingernail scrapings of my fingers, looking through my apartment for accelerants, which i don't have any. >> while the investigation did lead to their current charges, seven months after their arrest, neither of the ochoas have been formally charged with murder or arson. >> i have to believe -- i have to believe that one day, as soon as possible preferably, that conrad and baron will be charged with their murders and with the arson. there is no one else that would have wished those beautiful girls that ill. no one else. >> benny alonzo is dealing with his own feelings of loss, after he was sentenced to seven years in prison on a weapons charge.
making matters worse, his girlfriend didn't appear at his sentencing hearing, leaving him feeling alone and abandoned. still in jail awaiting trial on additional charges, it would appear he is not coping well. >> i've been getting in a lot of trouble. i have maybe like six, seven cases. tampering with a tray slot. i have one popping a door. one assault, one criminal mischief, and cheeking medication. so i mean i guess it's hard. i guess that's the only way i know how to release my anger and whatever. you know what i'm saying? my emotions. i'm kind of, i guess, angry at the world. i mean i got a seven-year sentence so i mean i'm just bucking on the system right now, i mean. big time orejone. benzo, baby, west side. >> now, alonzo faces time in segregation pending the outcome
of a disciplinary hearing. >> hopefully i'll beat it. if not i'll say it'll be about a 30-day lockdown. >> if you beat it, on what grounds would you beat it? >> i'm a good liar. those are the only grounds. i mean they believe my lie, that's it, i mean. coming up -- >> you were in 3d, there was a report where you were threatening another inmate. do you remember that incident? >> more trouble for peggy perales. benny alonzo receives an important visitor, but things don't go as planned. and conrad ochoa is offered a deal. >> first deal is a cap of ten years and i can go for deferred, you know, just get all ten years of probation. for the restless. those who need to move. and roar. and ride. up, down, over. powering through. this seat is for those that get down in it. into the fray. the arena.
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peggy perales' pen pal relationships with two inmates from rival gangs have already caught the attention of the bexar county jail's gang intelligence division. >> so you got a guy that you have a child with but you're writing to somebody else as well? correct? >> one of the letters written to perales was intercepted by mail room staff, who suspected it might contain gang codes. now, she has some new trouble. >> perales? >> yes, sir. >> since the last time we spoke to her, we did a background check on her history within the facility and found that on her last incarceration, she was involved in a report where she was the aggressor in a fear for safety report, where she was threatening another inmate, accusing that inmate of being an informant in reference to some narcotics that might have been in the unit they were living at. >> given this new information, officer rodriguez has read all of perales' mail in order to
look for more gang ties. >> so, peggy, i went ahead and was able to get the letters out of your property. i did read them. i did find that you had nothing that was considered gang-related in there. but i cannot give these back to you. i'm going to put them in your property. when you leave the facility, you can get them from your property. do you have any questions so far? >> including my baby dad's letter. >> yeah. another question for you, the last time you were here you were in 3b, there was a report where you were threatening another inmate. you remember that incident? you threatened -- according to this information, you threatened her because she gave information about drugs in the unit and you threatened her. >> me? >> just telling you what's on your history. all of this is news to you? none of this you did? >> nope. >> because of the information we have here, you cannot work. also because of this here, once again, we're very closely monitoring you. any more instances i have, i have to lock you down.
>> that's fine. >> that's not fine. lockdown is 23 hours in a cell. >> i understand. >> you also understand if you get any letters, we want to know about them, correct? >> okay. >> go back to your unit. free time. >> while mail has helped put perales on staff's radar, the latest delivery has brought surprising news to benny alonzo. when his girlfriend did not show up at his hearing, alonzo thought that that meant good-bye, but her letter contained a different proposal. >> i was happy. man, i thought she was going to leave, she said she wants to marry me and she will wait a lifetime or whatever for me. >> his girlfriend, jennifer, knows he just got seven years, so she's proposed marriage by proxy, meaning someone else will stand in for alonzo during the ceremony. >> i love him, it's that simple. i love him. it's just hard. i just would really like for him to be standing next to me so i don't know who i'm going to get to stand with me plus he's really jealous so i have to probably pick a girl. >> the couple already has two
children together. a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old. but for her, her relationship with alonzo has come with a price. >> my family doesn't talk to him. they don't talk to me anymore because of him. my mom, she's turned her back on me because i chose him. she said i'm by myself anyways. but i know he's here with me in my heart, you know. >> as she makes her way through security, she hits a snag. >> you won't be able to visit because of your shirt. >> i have another shirt. yes. >> you have? >> yes. >> okay. >> i always bring one just in case. >> with one problem solved a bigger one arises. >> okay. what's the number? >> 808134. >> 134? >> yes. >> unfortunately, you won't be able to visit because he's on restriction. he's on restriction until the 17th. >> really? >> yes.
yeah. so i don't know what he done, but he did something to violate his visits. >> all right. >> okay? sorry about that. >> after his disciplinary hearing, alonzo was given an additional 15 days in segregation which also prohibits him from having visitors. >> you haven't heard? >> no. no visit. i already know it's coming. >> he knew, i think but thought they would let him get away with it. >> i told her to come out here to try anyways, sometimes you do -- they let you through. i mean sometimes -- it's happened before that i got a visitor on restriction. it's really up to who's working downstairs. >> it sucks. it takes a lot out of my time and i have to get up early, i had to prepare to come down here. it just really sucks. >> sorry, baby.
i'm sorry for having you waste your time and i love you and i'm going to chill. i'm going to chill for you and the kids. i know i told you that before, but i am going to do it. i'm going to chill out. >> i just want him to know -- i mean i know he's good inside. i've seen the good in him. and everybody else has given up on him and i just want him to know that i'm not going to give up on him. >> conrad ochoa isn't giving up on his hope of freedom. and he recently learned from his attorney that there has been a significant development in his case. >> he said legally i'm obligated to let you know that the d.a. has offered you your first deal, and the first deal is a cap of ten years, and i can go for deferred, you know, just get all ten years of probation. >> ochoa's 38 counts of possessing child pornography carry a maximum sentence of 380 years. but his attorney is not
convinced that the deal offered by prosecutors is a good one. >> so he told me that the device that the pictures were allegedly found on was in an open, communal area of the apartment. so all we have to do is get one person on the jury to believe that you might not have been the guy that put those pictures there. >> baron ochoa has not been offered a plea deal on his charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child. and he is certain he wouldn't accept one if it were. >> it's not like a robbery, where i can just say -- okay, if it comes down to it i'll take time served just to go home. this is one of the things that can follow me forever. no. i wouldn't take a plea bargain. i don't know care what they offer me. if they said you'll have to register as a sex offender and tell your friends and family i did it, no. i wouldn't do it. if we don't get the case dismissed, we're going to trial. >> either way, both brothers are still suspects in triple
homicide that killed conrad's daughter, former girlfriend and their roommate. and they could still be charged with those crimes at any time. >> so whether i bond out or beat my case, i'm still looking at getting charged with the triple homicide and arson. i want somebody to blame only sapd is not giving me anybody but me. and they asked me, well, would you be willing to cooperate with the d.a. against your brother? i was like, if my brother did it, then, yes, i would. i want the person that stabbed my daughter to death and set her on fire -- yeah, i want that person to burn too.
i'm marlie hall with breaking news. nbc news has confirmed that a u.s. operation in syria targeted the leader of isis, abu bakr al baghdadi. he is believed to have been killed though testing is still being done to confirm that. president trump will make a major announcement at 9:00 a.m. believed to be about the baghdadi operation. we'll continue to monitor the story and bring you updates. for now, back to our regular programming. i'm craig melvin. >> and i'm natalie morales. >> and this is "dateline." >> free meek mills! >> how