tv Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield CNN August 27, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT
the man leading the pack for the republican presidential nomination takes the podium in just a few moments. it is donald trump and his audience today greenville, south carolina. it's the home state of one of trump's gop rivals. senator lindsey graham. trump is outpacing the senator at this stage of the race and the two men are pretty much nonstop sniping at one another on twitter and anywhere else they can find a mike. stay with cnn because we are going to go live to trump's
comments just as soon as he takes to the podium. >> i'm ashleigh banfield and welcome to "legal view. "i want to show you something. something that will express to you better than i could possibly say the absolute heartbreak and sorrow that is radiating from the city of roanoke, virginia, today. i want to show you the people who gathered whatever it took in order to get to work this morning in the newsroom of television station wdbj. their colleagues, a morning news reporter and longtime photographer, were shot dead just the day before during a live broadcast. at the exact time of yesterday's shooting, the station's on air staff stopped the newscast and they took a moment to join their community and just be sad.
>> a moment none of us will forget. it was yesterday around this time that we went live to alison parker and photojournalist adam ward out in the field. a story that was like so many others that they did all the time, reporting on our hometown. they were at bridgewater plaza to report on a happy event, the 50th anniversary of the lake, just a feature, and it was during a conversation with vickie gardner about another reason why we love living here when the peacefulness of our community was shattered. as we approach that moment we want to pause and reflect and share with you once again what made these two so special not just to us but all of our hometowns that wdbj serves. please join us in a moment of silence. >> on the left of your screen adam ward, 27 years old, and his partner, alison parker, 24 years old.
this morning we also have to talk about the man who senselily walked up and shot them both dead yesterday, who he was and why he says he did it. we're going to get to all of that. but right now we're with the people of roanoke, virginia, and colleagues and friends and families of these two victims. i went to get straight out to victor blackwell live in roanoke. how are adam and alison being remembered and celebrated? i can see it starting behind you, but tell me about this day. >> reporter: well, ashleigh, this is a community that is grieving, that is in mourning. more than one person stopped and told me anecdotally stories about wdbj and watching alison in the morning. it appears they're trying to strike what is a difficult balance, not focusing on the act of what happened yesterday but focusing on the work that these two journalists did before they were killed on live television. >> she just turned 24 last week,
and she had -- she packed in a great life in 24 years. >> reporter: this morning family members in a community are left reeling, grieving the loss of a newly engaged cameraman and an aspiring anchor with so much life left to live. >> my heart is broken. i want to try and do something that will change that and make her life -- do something meaningful for her life so this doesn't happen to someone else again. >> reporter: colleagues say 27-year-old adam ward and 24-year-old alison parker of affiliate wdbj were unfailingly positive, relentlessly hard working, and never shied away from a story. >> adadam, come out from in fro of the camera. >> reporter: they were interns at the station, eventually becoming a team as staff reporter and photographer for the morning show. >> i am a virginia girl. >> she had aspirations of being
an anchor, and i have no doubt she would have been able to accomplish that goal. >> reporter: the 24-year-old was a rising star appearing on cnn last november. >> thank you so much, alison parker from wdbj in roanoke. >> she had an explosive personality. she always smiled. she was full of ideas. >> reporter: parker had been dating wdbj's evening anchor and had just moved in with him. she was the most radiant person i've ever met, he posted. and for some reason, she loved me back. ward was engaged to the morning show's producer, melissa ott, who was supposed to be celebrating her last day at the station thursday. instead, she watched in horror in the control room as her future husband was gunned down. later, on that same day, her wedding dress was delivered, a symbol of love and commitment to ward for a lifetime shattered by this senseless act of violence.
and this is the memorial that is growing outside of wdbj station here. you see this tree with two ribbons, one each for alison parker and adam ward. flowers, notes, cards dropped off here throughout the day. someone just dropped off more flowers. there's a camera, a virginia tech sweatshirt. adam ward was a huge fan of virginia tech. a note that calls them the bright, shining stars who believed in this community, ashleigh, and one other person who really believed in this community, vic any gardner, the executive director of the community of moneta. she was shot in the back. we're told she underwent emergency surgery and is in stable condition. her folks there at the chamber of commerce call her a bright, energetic visionary, and they are dedicated to standing with her throughout her recovery. ashleigh? >> victor blackwell reporting live for us.
thank you for that. of course alison and adam leave behind not only all those k colleagues we've been reporting on but family and friends as well. alis alison's father is andy parker. he's kind enough to join us right now live on the program. first of all, mr. parker, can i just say it's so hard to prepare for these interviews. it will sound trite when i say we are all thinking of you and our thoughts go out to you, and i know there's a lot that you want to say about your daughter, and i want to give you that opportunity. so let's just start with that. tell me who she was to you. >> well, thank you, ashleigh. she was -- i was listening to the commentary before we started, and she was all of that. everything she touched, she excelled at. she was always happy. she touched a lot of people, and
everybody that she touched loved her. she was, you know, as special as you could get and, you know, i -- it has been very tough the last couple of days, and i really didn't have any intention of doing any interviews like this and making the television circuit, but i guess the middle of the day yesterday i did a "washington post" reporter called me, and he did a wonderful piece yesterday. and as i read it and as i got to thinking about it, you know, i need to -- alison would want me to do this. alison would want me to go on and tell her story because she's a journalist, and this is what journalists do. i'm trying to honor her memory and keep her memory alive by doing these things and, you
know, trying to convey as best i can the kind of person she is. the candlelight services, i just got an e-mail from friends of mine out in california, and they're having a candlelight vigil for her out in los angeles. i mean, this has struck a chord nationwide. i'm overwhelmed and my feels went from numbness yesterday when i found out to abject grief. as you can imagine, it just ripped my heart out and my soul is crushed, but i have to go on and now beyond that i want to try to make meaning of alison's life and take on this issue that this senseless murderer, cold-blooded murderer created. and that is how many times are we going to grieve for people like alison and adam and the
people at newtown and the people in charleston and all these people who are victims of emotionally, mentally unstable people? we have got to get sensible gun control and press the nra. and i'll make no bones about it. they have been obstructionists. they try to fight any piece of legislation, reasonable legislation, that has come up. and it's time for it to end. and so my mission in life now -- and i'm going to make -- i'm dedicating this mission to alison, and anybody that knows me, knows i'm going to be relentless about this. i don't care how long it takes, and i know you are in the news business and this makes for a great story and it's going to last for a while, but at some point typically what happens is, oh, yeah, this is going to die down. everybody's going to forget about it and let's see what donald trump is doing.
i'm not going to let that happen, and i got a call from governor mcauliffe yesterday and i told him those exact words. and anybody that knows me knows that i'm going to be relentless and i'm going to follow through with this and i'm going to shame, do whatever i can to shame the politicians that back these nra instructionists to do something about this. and i'm not advocating taking guns away, you know, going house to house and taking everybody's guns away. i'm a supporter of the second amendment but this stuff has to stop. smarter people than i am can figure out a way to do background checks and prevent mentally unstable, crazy people, from getting guns. >> mr. parker, the story is so public. your daughter a public figure. her beloved boyfriend also a public figure, a main anchor at the station. the story now being politicized,
making it even more public. i'm wondering if it makes it easier for you that it is public and that you can share across the country your feelings, or if this makes it far more difficult. >> i think it will be a cathartic experience for me to help me get through this, to help me find purpose and to do something for a daughter that had so much potential, that was so talented, that was so loved by people, you know. this is what i can do to start this. and if it has to be a political agenda, i was a member of the henry county board of supervisors. at this point i'm a current candidate. i decided to run again. i'm used to politics. but it's at a local level. it's time to take this to a
national level and i intend to do so. again, when i talked to governor mcauliffe and i told him this was what i was going to do, he said, andy, do it. go for it. i'm right there behind you. we need politicians like that that will stand up to the gun lobby and stand up for reasonable gun control. and if i have to make a political, so be it. i'm going to let it rip. >> well, your fortitude is remarkable. you're a much stronger man than i in the face of what you've been through in the last 24 hours. i don't know how you're just so together. i appreciate you talking to us and, again, i will repeat it, everyone here at cnn and i think all of our colleagues across the country send our thoughts and condolences to you and alison's mom as well and her brother. >> i appreciate that.
she was loved and, you know, the only solace that we have is, you know, she packed a lot in in a few years. she was so happy with what she was doing. she loved chris hearst, and she loved us. i talked to her -- and i'm sorry because this has happened every time and i don't mean for it to, but she -- i talked to her every day. i talked to her every single day. and i'd get a text from her saying, dad, you know, what did you think of my package and all of that? and i'll never hear that again. it crushes my soul. >> well, i'm -- >> i'm sorry. >> no, don't apologize. honestly, don't apologize, and i'm so glad that you have her voice and you have her wisdom and that you are sharing that and it will be continued to pay forward in the work that you plan to embark on.
again, i hope we speak again under different circumstances. i thank you, andy, for your time. >> thank you. >> i want to let our viewers know as well if you want to find different ways to honor alison parker and her work partner, adam ward, visit our website cnn.com/impact. adding to the horrors inflicted by a self-described human powder keg are the online posts and the rambling rants he put out while he was on the run. after a break we're going to go inside the very disturbed mind of the man behind this with some brand-new details from his suicide note.
we're getting brand-new information about the man who killed two virginia journalists before he took his own life during a chase with the police. just hours after the shooting, vester flanagan faxed a rambling and disjointed suicide letter to abc news. it is split into three parts. one part is entitled, final good-bye for authorities. the second part of the rambling letter is a suicide note for friends and family. and the third part is a very long letter to his father, and this is where some of the intriguing information comes in in that letter. he says, quote, i have been targeted my whole life, mostly by white females but also by black males. he also says i will never forget a saying that was written on a message in a fortune cookie. in times of prosperity, our
friends know us. in times of adversity, we know our friends. and then there's this quote. and it is odd. i want to say i am so, so, so, so, so sorry for anything and everything that i have ever done or said to offend or hurt anyone. and in the next breath he says, violent and vile things we can't even broadcast, he says, quote, i am somewhat racist against blacks and whites and latinos, asians? i admire and like them. he also refers to pastish family issues. he may have been unemployed for five months. he purchased a gun after potentially being in that unemployment three months. in another bizarre note, flanagan devotes an entire page
to the tv show "dynasty." a show that went off the air 25 years ago. i want to bring you a former police officer and former fbi special agent who also happens to have a degree in psychology which at this juncture helps me gately because this person swings wildly. so sorry for everything i've ever done to hurt people, and yet couldn't hurt people more than with the language in this note. how do you deal with someone with such dichotomy? >> when you're looking at a m manifesto, there are certain truths in there. also what you're looking at is somebody whose brain is misfiring. that's why it's so all over the place. one of the people who went and shot up a theater and they looked up at his house and it was destroyed, completely destroyed, because the guy was full of rage. that's what you get here. you're not looking at a normal person with a normal brain. somebody whose brain is
misfiring and it's focusing on different issues. >> and of course hours after he's already murdered two people and attempted to murder a third. mel, i want to ask you, there are a lot of people asking questions about the responsibility of the station. it happened live on television. this was while they were working. and some people were wondering if the station bears any liability for their safety and ultimately for what some might say is their wrongful death. is there anything to that? >> people naturally go to the family is going to sue and it would be a negligence suit. the truth of the matter, he was fired two years ago. when he was fired, they did everything right. they documented prior complaints. they actually then fired him. he was escorted from the building. they had a guard outside for two days because they were worried. and they also put other employees on notice saying if you see him around the station, let us know.
so they did everything right. two years passed. they never hear again from this guy and he shows up while they're doing a live broadcast. there is absolutely no way that they could have known based on his background, based on his job history, based on the fact he didn't have a criminal record as far as we knew and they did everything right in terms of dealing with a volatile employee. >> i want to ask you while this was unfolding live on the air yesterday, his twitter account started posting these really angry tweets and then the suggestion he filmed the murder he committed and posted on facebook and those took two social agencies to disable the accounts very quickly. while that on the surface seems like a good idea because it is horribly offensive to have to witness these things, come across these things or for the family and friends to see them, it was actually really bad for the investigators who were tracking a murderer who could have wrought so much more violence. >> i believe that. as we were talking yesterday and before we came on air, and we
used to have the same issue, similar issue with phone companies. so if you had somebody who was kidnapped, we would go to the phone company. we need the toll records on this phone or we need a wire-up, but we would have to go and get a subpoena first and at that point in time because of emergency circumstances we may lose whatever information we could have caught. now the way the phone companies work there's a direct person, their sole job is to work with law enforcement. what i would like to see with twitter and facebook is not just so they have somebody in place but forward thinking. when they took this down yesterday, the live tweets stopped. if he knew he couldn't tweet anymore, that means he stopped giving out real-time information. that if he had not killed himself could have been used in a conviction and if he was going to kill other people could have helped investigators track him. >> and thank god it didn't go any further than that. small consolation for those who are left behind in the wake of this horror.
thank you for that. the shooter's family, by the way, they are also offering their sympathies. here is part of the statement read by a family friend in the state of california. >> it is with heavy hearts and deep sadness we express our deepest condolences to the families of alison parker and adam ward. we are also praying for the recovery of vickie gardner. our thoughts and prayers at this time are with the victims' families and with wdbj television station family. >> flanagan felled wronged by a lot of people before he decided to resort to the bloodshed that he did. and before he did that, he filed lawsuits. our drew griffin has his hands on court documents, and he's going to sort out some of the claims that this man made from the actual facts on the ground next. big day?
ah, the usual. moved some new cars. hauled a bunch of steel. kept the supermarket shelves stocked. made sure everyone got their latest gadgets. what's up for the next shift? ah, nothing much. just keeping the lights on. (laugh) nice. doing the big things that move an economy. see you tomorrow, mac. see you tomorrow, sam. just another day at norfolk southern.
two journalists shot dead live on television by a man who was once a reporter at that same television station. in the days since vester flanagan walked up and shot alison parker and adam ward dead in roanoke, virginia, we are learning about what may have driven him to such sudden and senseless violence. from both his own writings and from those who have the displeasure of working with him and alongside him. cnn's drew griffin is here. drew, listen to this. it's from a tv station's internal memo from vester flan
gn's bosses in 2012 and part it have reads, quote, clearly much damage has been done in your working relationships with several members of the photography staff. it goes on to say, quote, you are required to contact health cad v advocate by friday. failure to comply will result in termination of employment. this isn't the only company flanagan had a lot of trouble but it's the one connected to this shocking murder. what else have you found in his wake? >> he was having trouble at the station from the very get-go. he couldn't get along with his employees. the employees felt threatened by him. his behavior was aggressive. he was also apparently a very, very poor journalist and reprimanded several times for poor reports, poor sourcing, just poor execution of his job. and what you see in the record, and all the record comes from the lawsuit he then filed after he was fired, it shows a station that was really trying to help
him. memo after memo advising him to get coaching, that we'll supply coaching, that you need to change your attitude. finally the letter you cited which referred him to the company's health advocate for some counseling. they tried over and over and over again to straighten out attitude, straighten out working relationships and strengthen his journalism. it didn't work and it all culminated into that day, february of 2013, when they had to call police after firing him and the police had to pull him up out of his chair and take him out of the newsroom physically as the sales staff literally locked itself in a safe room while that was happening. >> it's unbelievable. i want to bring in something that's breaking right now, drew, and get your reaction to it. a federal law enforcement source is confirming to cnn he purchased those two glock 19 pistols legally at the same gun store and at the same time. the source says it was 47 days ago in the roanoke area. so if we do the math very
quickly, 47 days ago takes us to around july 9. i'm probably missing a day or two but even if i'm missing a day or two it is certainly not two days after june 17, which was when that massacre happened in charleston, south carolina. and in his rambling letter to abc, he said i bought those guns two days after that murder because i just lost it. so clearly he's lying in that and who knows what else he's lying about, but he certainly did file a lot of legal paperwork and other lawsuits. >> he's filed a lot of things. much of it blaming other people for his problems in life, racial harassment is a claim that he made at this station. he even tweeted out in one of his tweets after killing alison parker that alison made racial comments. it turns out that alison was just an intern when this shooter worked at the station and in
paperwork he refers to an intern named allison bailey, so i'm not even sure he knew her last name. none of it was substantiated. he was asked to bring evidence of this to court. he never provided any evidence and that case was dismissed. ashleigh, i think we have -- i hate to make a huge judgment call but obviously we have an undiagnosed mental issue with this person like we have in so many of these types of shooters, but to purchase guns 47 days ago and then to wait, wait, wait, wait and think and stalk and stew until yesterday at 6:45 a.m., all the while, apparently, writing this rambling manifesto trying to explain yourself, i think shows the level of depravity of this person's mind. >> and, hey, not to mention two and a half years since parting company with the people at wdbj. drew griffin, great investigative work and thank you for bringing that. i don't know if it helps us but
it is certainly answering a lot of questions that we all have. we're going to keep an eye on greenville, south carolina, as well right now because even donald trump has mentioned the shooting on the campaign trail and now is about to take to the podium at a very big event in south carolina, about 1,400 people attending this event. he's scheduled minutes from now -- i don't know whether this particular story will make it into his campaign speech or whether he will pivot away from it. we'll be there. if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. isn't it time to let the real you shine through? introducing otezla, apremilast. otezla is not an injection, or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. some people who took otezla saw 75% clearer skin after 4 months. and otezla's prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't take otezla if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
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we're continuing to follow politics. right now the biggest name pulling in all the number, the attention and oxygen is donald trump live in greenville, south carolina. let's listen in to his latest appearance. >> i said to my folks, announce the size of the crowd because, you know, you set the all-time record. they say 1,800 people. and i said how are the other candidates? bush had 320 and most of the others were in the hundreds. and we have 1,800, so give yourself nice applause. wow. the largest crowd they've had here and it's an honor. there is something going on. i've talked about the silent majority because we have not been heard for a long time but we're being heard now.
i wanted to show you something and it's sort of interesting. you wake up, you pick up the papers, you read the papers. i've been saying the press is very dishonest, right? not all of it. always live television. other guys go, there's no television. they have a couple of reporters, and that's fine, and they give a speech. they mostly read it or use teleprompters. that way you don't get yourself in trouble. i say you shouldn't use teleprompters because you need to test intelligence. do you know how easy it is? you stand there and you read a teleprompter. but the press, and some of it's been terrific. some of the political coverage has been very honest, honorable people, and i've met some great journalists, but some are so dishonest. a big chunk of it, 50%, 60%.
that's a pretty big chunk. i wake up this morning and "the new york times" -- and i love "the new york times." it's great. but i see a story on the front page. i'm always on the front page of "the new york times" now. we're going to set a record for that, too, almost every day. do you mind if i put on my glasses? does anybody mind? the print gets smaller and smaller and smaller as they lose more and more money. it's tough. it's true. remember how big -- do you remember how big those pages used to be? now it's supposed to be a tabloid. it's still "the new york times" and we still love "the new york times." it's a different bent. editorially they kill us all. they don't agree with us. but that's okay. so i pick up, trump gets earful in spanish as latino outlets air disdain. i'm just saying, what does that mean? and they start off -- now this
is the front page. especially if you come from new york, when you're on the front page that means a lot to me of "the new york times." that's a lot. so it talks about the whole thing i had with the spanish journalist, if you call him a journalist. i don't. he's an advocate for lots of things. so they say here, this is a different person, on the front page. ricardo sanchez, on his spanish drive time radio show in los angeles, has taken to calling donald trump [ speaking in spanish ] . in other words, the man of the toupee. this is on the front page of "the new york times." i don't wear a toupee. it's my hair. i swear. come here. come here. come here.
we're going to settle this -- you know, barbara walters did it. barbara walters named me the most whatever it is of the year. just come on up here. they're going to let you. you have to do an inspection. this is getting crazy. real quick. we don't want to mess it up too much. i do use hair spray. >> yes, i believe it is. >> thank you. and have i ever met you before? no. >> no, you haven't. >> but you're very nice. thank you. nice to meet you. somebody has a very nice wife. i don't know who she is but she's very nice. so i'm on the front page of "the new york times." the first sentence is i wear a toupee and i don't. i swear to you i don't. now it goes on and gets worse. it says that i was accused -- mexican immigrants, who i love -- by the way, i love
mexican people. i have such a great relationship to -- i hire that's, the rich mexicans, they buy my apartment just like i love the chinese people. it's true. they buy my apartments. they're friends of mine. they live in many of my buildings. i love the mexican people. they have tremendous spirit, so here -- and they love me. by the way, i think i'm going to win the mexican vote because i'm going to bring -- >> we're going to pop in here for a moment and just so you know this is not a campaign event. i know it's a very unusual thing to see a candidate have somebody come up and touch his hair. it's a chamber of commerce thing. he's a guest. this is one of those speeches he's trying to entertain people. everything is a speech when you're in a campaign. we have a whole lot more on the agenda for today's newscast.
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we figure you probably don't have time to wait on hold. that's why at xfinity we're hard at work, building new apps like this one that lets you choose a time for us to call you. so instead of waiting on hold, we'll call you when things are just as wonderful... [phone ringing] but a little less crazy. we're doing everything we can to give you the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around. today a community remains this shock after a tv news team was murdered, shot dead during a live morning broadcast on the air. roanoke, virginia. these are the colleagues and close friends of wdbj reporter alison parker and her
photographer, adam ward. today the station's onair programming was briefly halted in a tribute to the pair. the man who killed them, murdered them in cold blood is a former employee who was led out by police when he was fired because of his threatening and unsettling behavior back in february of 2013. if you believe the long suicide letter he sent to abc news yesterday, he was angry at people he encountered throughout his career and at the years of treatment that he considered to be unfair to him. vesterly flanagan actually referred to one of those cases and his lawyer in that long and rambling suicide letter. i'm just going to read this for you. he said, quote, i was able to sue wtwc-it tv in tallahassee
with one of the best attorneys in the nation, hell, one of the best in the world. he is, in fact, referring to this woman, marie maddux, who represented him back in that suit in 2000. thank you tore being with me today. you know, i often wonder about certainly clients and their behavior and what they share in public and in private, and i understand attorney-client privilege like anybody else would, but we are living in an entirely different world 24 hours after this happened. i want to get your reflection on the person you represented given all the facts you can now see unfolding before you. >> ashleigh, he was not the same person that i think i'm seeing in the news media now and to hear what he's done today is absolutely appalling. i represented a kind, nice -- i
thought he was a thoughtful pers person. he had a lot of anger issues about what had happened to him at the tv station here. i knew that. i felt that maybe he could benefit from some counseling. i knew he was angry about the prospect of losing a career in broadcasting and i know he was angry about that. >> so i seize on the words that you just said, what he thought had happened to him. at that florida station where you were representing him. do you now believe what he told you, that that station was out of line and, ultimate patly, that station settled. do you believe this man what he said to you was true? >> i don't know that and i can't comment on that. my role as a lawyer is to accept and find support for that. this case settled fairly early on and so i can't comment.
i'm troubled by what's happened in his life after i represented him. i have not gone back to reflect whether it was true. i know he was hurt badly by what he represented to me. as a lawyer you can't say this is 100% true if you're relying on what your client is telling you. i knew he was troubld by something and he said it was racial treatment in the work place. >> racial, sexual. he swung so wildly it's hard to believe anything he said. we learned he had recently bought his guns two days after the massacre. it was weeks upon weeks so that's a flat-out lie as well. looking at the complaints about him not only at the station that
has sufrt thfered this horror be lawsuit you were involved with him and there is a clear pattern that this person just thought everyone else was wrong and he was right. and i wonder looking back if you can see now that what happens he was the one wrong all along. >> he could have been. i'm not in a position to comment on that. i know i felt he was kretable in his representations to me. who knows what's also happened to him over the last 15 years. there could have been a lot of things, a lot of opportunities lost. and that's what we don't know about. >> i appreciate you coming on. i under you were just doing your job and it's a tough job and this has to be hard news for you as well. thanks again for your time. >> it has been. thank you very much. coming up, a rape trial we've been following closely. that prep school graduate accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old freshman girl.
there he is swearing in on the stand and the jury has now retired to decide his fate. you're going to hear what owen labrie told them before they went away to decide. we stop arthritis pain, so you don't have to stop. because you believe in go. onward. today's the day. carpe diem. tylenol® 8hr arthritis pain has two layers of pain relief. the first is fast. the second lasts all day. we give you your day back. what you do with it is up to you. tylenol®.
he told the jury he got a full ride scholarship, a school that boasts such big names in their alumni as secretary of state john kerry and former fbi director robert muller. he was bound for harvard also on a full ride. said he wanted to go to divinity school and the ministry. all of those plans are obviously on hold indefinitely. it's now up to the jury to decide what happens to him next. yesterday he took the stand about his intentions with the 15-year-old accuse r. we are not naming her because she's a minor so her name in the following sound will be bleeped out. >> we've heard a lot about the phrase senior salute. can you tell us what your understanding of senior salute is? >> yeah. my understanding of the senior salute was an invitation sent
towards the end of the school year either from an older student to a younger student or younger student to an older student asking to hang out before the older student graduated. >> there's been testimony in this trial you gave a senior salute to [ bleep ]. is that correct? >> yes. >> did you give her a senior salute? >> it was my understanding that senior salutes were between two students who missed each other and hadn't had a chance to connect. and that was the main reason but i guess mine was different because i was friendly with [ bleep ]. yes, calling it a senior salute is accurate. >> so you did send one to [ bleep ], right? >> yes. >> and why did you send her a senior salute on the eve of you leaving high school? >> i wanted to ask her out. >> did you want to get together with her?
>> yeah. >> jean casarez joins us now covering this trial, a lawyer herself, asking her out, hanging out, these are not the same terms synonymous with rape. did they get to that? >> yes, on cross-examination, you wanted her, showing the list of e-mails that she had -- the name -- her name was on a list month after month from the defendant that he wanted her. >> and still at-large on some of these communications. >> he held it well on cross-examination. somebody is lying here. somebody's lying. either he's lying or she's lying. >> he says it didn't get that far. is this one of those trials where while they deliberate it's anyone's guess, it doesn't feel like it's gone one way or the other? >> the forensics are not there. i'll tell you that much. the forensics just show that there was sexual intercourse, which is one of the elements of the crime. there must have been that. >> we're on the jury watch.
jean casarez, thank you for that. i'm going to turn things over to my colleague wolf who starts right now. >> i'm wolf blitzer. it's 8:00 p.m. in bagged did. wherever you're watching, thank you for joining us. up first, new details about a gunman's troubled history and a grief stricken father's push for tougher gun laws. the journalist killings in virginia, we're digging deeper also in that 23-page document of vester flanagan who went by the name on tv bryce williams. left behind after killing journalist alison parker and adam ward. in one chilling passage he says this, and i'm quoting, hell, i am surprised i didn't do this before now. we are also, b