Guest: William Ginglen, Garret Ginglen, Clay Ginglen, David Mahan, Janet Palasara
RITA COSBY, HOST: Good evening, everybody. Tonight, we take you behind bars. We‘re coming to you LIVE & DIRECT from inside the Christian County Correctional Facility, in Taylorville, Illinois.
Just a short time ago, I sat down with a convicted bank robber, a man who robbed seven banks in central Illinois, and whose own sons turned him in after seeing their father on a bank surveillance tape. Bill Ginglen was once a pillar of his community and he told me why he turned to a desperate life of crime.
COSBY (on camera): How did you feel to know your sons were the ones who called authorities?
WILLIAM GINGLEN, FATHER CONVICTED OF ROBBING BANKS: I don‘t recall how I felt. I know what I thought. I thought—I really don‘t understand how they got wind of all this.
COSBY: Your youngest son doesn‘t want to talk to you. How tough has that been for you personally?
GINGLEN: That hurts a lot. Only recently have I been able to talk about that. And I still don‘t do too well.
COSBY: You obviously love your sons still.
COSBY: If they‘re watching, and I‘m sure they will watch this interview, what would you like to say to them?
GINGLEN: Listen to what I have to say, sons. I don‘t harbor any ill will and that I‘d like to—find a way to put this back together.
COSBY: How did this happen to you? You‘re a grandfather, seven grandkids, father, you had some pretty good jobs. What happened? Did you snap? Did it fall apart?
GINGLEN: It fell apart. Yep. The job situation disappeared. I mean, I‘d lost my job because of a merger. And after 500 tries at another job, I pretty much gave up. And it‘s too early to fully retire. Ran out of money.
COSBY: You went to your kids and asked for money.
GINGLEN: They have families of their own and obligations of their own and they weren‘t in a position to loan a lot of money. A time or two, yeah, I‘d borrow money for gasoline or some bill that came up that I couldn‘t tend to in time. And I‘d pay them back. But I saw my son, Jared, said, well $500 here, $500 there. I can recall one instance of $500 that was paid back in a week. But truthfully, that‘s all I recall. Maybe I‘ve got amnesia, but I don‘t think so.
COSBY: Do you think they would have given you more money if they knew how rock bottom you were?
GINGLEN: I think if they would have—I think if they could have, they would have. Yes. That‘s the way our family operated. I knew what their situation was. I helped them out over the years.
COSBY: Did you go to them and say I need help, sons, wife, please help me?
COSBY: Why not?
GINGLEN: Too proud.
COSBY: You tried drugs. You tried cocaine.
GINGLEN: Yeah. I have to say that I did. Didn‘t think it was any big deal.
COSBY: You also met another woman.
GINGLEN: I have lots of friends.
COSBY: Did you have lots of women?
COSBY: Just one. One girlfriend.
GINGLEN: I had another friend.
COSBY: You robbed seven banks, but it was five of them you actually went back to two of those.
COSBY: Why did you do that?
GINGLEN: I haven‘t got a good answer for that. In retrospect it was pretty dumb.
COSBY: You had a gun with you. One of the guns that actually one of your sons gave you as a gift.
GINGLEN: That‘s correct.
COSBY: Were you prepared to shoot that gun?
GINGLEN: Absolutely not.
COSBY: Was the gun loaded?
COSBY: So, all the times you went into the banks and you had a gun with you, it was never loaded?
COSBY: Why did you have a gun?
GINGLEN: It may sound a little stupid, but I thought, if you rob a bank, you should have a gun. Jesse James had a gun, all right? And I thought it would make things move along faster because I didn‘t intend to stage a big robbery event. I intended to do something over the counter and get gone. And if 60 seconds was the maximum amount of time I was going to spend on a situation like that.
COSBY: Didn‘t you think you‘d get caught?
GINGLEN: I think that I felt like eventually I very well might.
COSBY: Did you want to get caught? You know, you didn‘t have a very good disguise. One of your sons recognized you pretty quickly, said I think I know that shirt, that profile looks like my dad in the surveillance video. Didn‘t sound like you had a very good disguise.
GINGLEN: Well, your face is covered. I was wearing a hat that I‘ve never worn before. Nobody saw me in a hat like that. I think it would be difficult to say to a certainty that that was a particular individual.
COSBY: Did you think you had a pretty good disguise at the time?
GINGLEN: I thought so. But obviously, you know, it wasn‘t enough to throw off my sons‘ interpretation of the pictures, even though they had a wanted poster on the Web site. The county sheriff did, that said a guy about age 55, which would have been about 10 years younger, a dark bushy mustache. I‘ve never had a mustache. And the car was dark blue or black. Mine happened to be black. But, yeah, that was one question in my mind. How were they so sure?
COSBY: What do you remember from walking in the banks? What did you
how did you case the places out? How did you carry it out?
GINGLEN: I didn‘t exactly case banks. You know, as most people would, I suppose. I was very knowledgeable of tracking routes across central Illinois, because I traveled it all the time. I had for many years. And I guess if I was concerned about anything, it was a matter of how do you get out of this area without confronting, you know, the police or anybody.
COSBY: How did you pick the banks? Were they ones that had easy access in and out?
GINGLEN: Primarily, yeah.
COSBY: And what did you look for once you were inside?
GINGLEN: There couldn‘t be any customers in the bank, which made it very difficult to time it. I wouldn‘t go in a bank with a customer there.
COSBY: Why was that?
GINGLEN: I felt like I increased the risk for somebody getting hurt, you know, or walk in the bank, some little old lady in there and she had a heart attack, you know. I couldn‘t live with that.
COSBY: So, you never intended to hurt anybody, never wanted to.
GINGLEN: Absolutely not, no.
COSBY: Some people have said—there was one woman who said in her statement she was scared, terrified. There are some people who even just the string of robberies taking place in the neighborhood caused a lot of fear.
GINGLEN: Yeah. And those feelings from whomever, I‘m very sorry about that. That was never the intent. I tried to make it clear, you know, the few things I said was nobody‘s going to be hurt. You‘ll be fine. You know. I‘ll be out of here in 60 seconds.
COSBY: Is that what you said to the tellers, the people—
GINGLEN: I think so. I know I told them don‘t be alarmed. You‘re not going to be hurt. I‘m not here to hurt anybody. Words to that effect.
COSBY: What if something had gone wrong? What if a teller pulled out a gun or scared somebody, somebody had a heart attack?
GINGLEN: I don‘t know what I would have done about the heart attack. That would have been a little difficult to performed CPR or something on a heart attack victim. But in any other circumstance, I think I‘d beat it right out the door.
COSBY: You had a get-away plan also.
COSBY: How long did you check places out? You said—was it days before, weeks before, hours?
GINGLEN: Weeks and weeks, maybe months. It was difficult thing to get involved with, you know. Many days I felt like, boy, I had to do something. I couldn‘t do it. I just couldn‘t do it.
COSBY: And as you are looking live here at the halls and the doors and the cells at the Christian County Correctional Facility, when we come back, find out what punishment he now faces for his crimes and his message to his son who stopped him. And also, he can be moved from here to a federal prison, where could he go?
Plus coming up, a student-teacher love affair crossed international borders and involved secret love messages on the Internet. Turned thought teacher may have been looking for a major commitment.
And a wild police chase that involved not one, but two hot pursuits. It‘s caught on tape. And get this—the suspect says he was on the way to Bible study. Hear what else he has to say. That‘s coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Did you hit a cop?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no. They hit me out there in the field, actually. I‘ll be honest with you. When they ran me down here around everything. So, no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARRETT GINGLEN, TURNED IN FATHER TO POLICE: I just felt—I grew up with him and as soon as I saw it, I—actually, I got very sick to my stomach. I got actually very sick, and I called my brother, Clay, and I had him verify again that what I saw was really true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And I spoke with the sons of bank robber Bill Ginglen just a few weeks ago about their agonizing decision to turn in their own father. I‘ll have that full interview in just a moment.
But now, Bill Ginglen is breaking his silence about his life of crime and what‘s ahead for him.
COSBY: You‘re now sentenced, just a few weeks ago, 40 years in prison. Can you handle being behind bars the rest of your life? You‘re 64.
GINGLEN: If I have to, I have to. But I‘m hopeful that that‘ll be changed.
COSBY: You plan to appeal.
COSBY: What would be the grounds? They‘ve got you on videotape caught in the acts?
GINGLEN: Well, the sentence is unreasonable, which is—even the statutes use the term “unreasonable.” If you read the federal sentencing guidelines, they say first, before anything, to look at the nature and the circumstances of the offense and the background and the characteristics of the defendant. And that‘s almost a quote.
I don‘t think that was done. You know, to apply them charges and call it a vicious series of crimes is a matter of semantics, because there was no viciousness exercised, there was no one hurt, no shots fired, nothing.
COSBY: Your oldest son, has he forgiven you?
GINGLEN: I don‘t think so. I‘ve still not heard from him. That‘s another thing, you know. Doing the right thing is a wonderful thing, and I‘m proud of them for that. But I question what‘s the right thing now, you know? I caused a lot of grief in our family, but it was a very bad time and there were reasons for it. How long do I have to pay the price with my family? I don‘t know.
COSBY: But do you understand why maybe some don‘t ever want to talk to you again? Are you prepared to live with that?
GINGLEN: I‘ll live with it. That‘s their choice. And their right and privilege.
COSBY: Your grandfather, too, I‘m sure you‘d love to be playing with your grandkids. That‘s what a grandfather does, playing football or doing things. You‘re going to miss out on that, maybe.
COSBY: Going to miss out on seeing those kids grow up.
GINGLEN: Yeah. I see a lot of that in here. I see young men with children that they‘re not going to se for 10 or 15 years. And I think how hard that has to be for them. And it‘s hard for me, too.
COSBY: What is the most painful thing for you?
GINGLEN: The—uh—it‘s the shame of it all.
COSBY: And this is taking an emotional toll on the three sons who turned their own father into police. Here‘s what they told me about their very tough decision shortly after Ginglen‘s arrest came down.
COSBY: How did you find out that your dad was wanted?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was more coincidence than anything else. One day I was reading the newspaper, the local newspaper, and was reading about some robberies that happened in another part of the state.
Read the description of this bank robber, they gave a description of his car. And just something, you know, inside said you might want to look at this because this is an area where my father spent time in, the description matches, he has the same kind of car. Went to a Web site offered by that sheriff‘s department and saw that it was, in fact, him.
COSBY: Your jaw must have dropped. What was your reaction?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I couldn‘t believer it. Shock, absolute shock. Called my brother Garrett, and told him about it, and had him check the web site, just to make sure.
COSBY: And what did you say, you looked at it and you went—and, again, he had a surgical mask so you couldn‘t see his full face. Right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. But instantly knew. I could just tell. I grew up with him. And as soon as I saw it, I—actually, I got very sick to my stomach. I got actually very sick. And I called my brother Clay and I had him to verify again just to verify what I saw was really true.
COSBY: Clay, you get the call. Two of your brothers are saying this is dad. What did you think?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then it hits me, and I—you just get shivers, chills its‘ a shock that you can‘t imagine. Very hard to deal with, but we had to deal with it.
COSBY: And what did you decide? Did you say, OK, look, we have to do the right thing? What was your reaction?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That‘s exactly what he said. It was a dangerous situation. And we had the chance to put a stop to it. And that‘s all we thought about.
COSBY: One of the other things, Clay, one of the robbers was armed, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. That‘s correct.
COSBY: And how do you go into these banks? What was the ground on the crimes?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we didn‘t really know. All we saw was that Web site. And what we saw was what appeared to be him in a disguise strolling up and laying a weapon on the counter. And looked like he was asking for money, obviously. And that‘s all we really knew. But when we saw that, we didn‘t really know the extent of his activities.
COSBY: Your dad obviously gave a statement, and I want to show this because he said, “I think, referring to you guys, I think they could have helped me get through this easier. They did what they thought was right. I can‘t fault them for that.”
You know, Garrett, when you hear that, it must have been heartbreaking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was. What do you do? You have to turn in your own father. I haven‘t spoke on the man in over a year, since this happened.
COSBY: Have either of you talked to them? Has there been any contact?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‘ve talked to him on a phone a few times, but just small talk.
COSBY: Do you talk at all about what happened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He‘s not actually able to due to the court system, the criminal justice system. So, he just tries to keep in touch with me, so.
COSBY: How is your mom doing? Where is your mother?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, mom is still in the town we grew up in, and she still lives in the house that she had.
COSBY: How is she handling this news?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She‘s actually doing very well. My mom‘s a very private person, and so this was hard for her. And but in spite of that, she‘s done extremely well. She‘s very independent. And we‘re trying to, you know, help her as much as we can.
COSBY: Do all of you, real quick, still love your dad?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
COSBY: Do you?
Yes, I do. But just because he is my father. But what he did, what can you say?
COSBY: And he was on cocaine, crack cocaine. A couple hundred dollars a week habit, too. Do you believe that‘s what drove him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From what we‘ve read, there had to be something.
It was hard to explain otherwise.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That would make sense.
COSBY: I‘m joined by David Mahan, he‘s the chief deputy here at Christian Correctional Center, right near in the heart of Taylorville, Illinois.
Walk me through, if you could, this is a pretty incredible facility.
Where are we right now? So everybody understands.
CHIEF DEPUTY DAVID MAHAN, CHRISTIAN CO., CORRECTIONAL FACILITY: We‘re up by the booking area here. And this is originally designed for the female population, but the population changed and different things. We have to designate each cell as we see fit.
COSBY: This is a pretty standard-issue cell?
MAHAN: Yes, it is.
COSBY: Walk us through the dimensions of the cell?
MAHAN: This is about a 10 by 16 cell. We have the shower area back here. We have the toilet and sink here. This provided—this is an individual cell. The cell Mr. Ginglen is, he‘s with seven other inmates, and we also can double that amount because we have double the bunks in this area.
COSBY: How many inmates all together in Christian County Correctional Facility here?
MAHAN: Today we maintain a count of 38. We‘ve had up to 63 inmates here. But the average count is about 38, 40.
COSBY: I see you have a mattress here, too. This is pretty generic.
MAHAN: Yes. The bed is the same type of bed. It has a mattress. There are two sheets, a blanket, and a towel.
COSBY: And they have a TV set?
MAHAN: Yes. That‘s a privileges here, yes.
COSBY: Does everybody have a TV set?
MAHAN: Not everyone. Different cells have different things for different discipline type problem inmates have—will have other cells. It just depends on their behavior. And these things like the phone and the television are privileges. They get commissary once a week. They order through the commissary from a company and they send it here.
COSBY: What‘s a typical day for the main its, especially like Bill Ginglen, who we‘ve been profiling tonight?
MAHAN: He gets up about 6 o‘clock in the morning. They serve breakfast about 6:30. They can basically do what they want. Back in his cellblock, they have a day room where the inmates get together and have games that they play, chess, things like that. They can watch TV or they can go back to their cells, you know, if they prefer, and do basically what they want to do.
COSBY: He‘s a federal inmate?
MAHAN: Yes, he is.
COSBY: Because, of course, the armed robbery is a federal crime.
COSBY: Is he mixed in with local inmates as well?
MAHAN: From time to time, we do house them. But right now he‘s with all federal inmates that were assigned to our facility.
COSBY: Other robbery and drug cases?
MAHAN: Drug cases, mostly drug cases in the past couple years, but he‘s one of the exceptions with his bank robbery.
COSBY: He said today, you know, he came in and he said, “Hello, Ms. Cosby” when I came in, seemed very cooperative. How has he been as an inmate for you?
MAHAN: Very cooperative. He‘s been very respectful. You can tell he has had a pretty good life up to the point where he had things go wrong with him.
COSBY: Does he seem repentant to you?
MAHAN: Yes, I believe he does, yes. You know, I think he realizes the damage he‘s done to his family that he can‘t repair, and I think that‘s probably his worst problem other than making the wrong decisions that he made.
COSBY: He‘s 64.
COSBY: Is he the oldest inmate here?
MAHAN: The oldest inmate here at the facility. He kind of provides guidance for the other inmates, I think, when they come in here. Because of his knowledge and experience and the things he‘s been through in life, he has a lot of things to tell. He lets us know about those from time to time.
COSBY: When you look at facility like this, it‘s pretty incredible. Let‘s walk over here. To look at it, and if we can come along this way, too.
You got other cells out here. You have other holding cells. You‘ve got the bars. This is the intake area. How big of a project is it to maintain security when you‘ve got this many inmates?
MAHAN: Well, we had a jail policy, guidelines, the officers have to go by it and we make sure they follow those. When they follow those, we don‘t have any problem.
COSBY: How many security officials do you ever here on duty?
MAHAN: Two. We try to have two on a shift. Sometimes there‘s only one based on staffing problems and, you know, funding or—you know, we could have three at times, with our count when it gets up and everything and serving supper. And different inmates. This is a usual night of not having to book an extra inmate and bring in and process. If the officers do their job and go by the rules that they have, everything goes smooth here at the facility.
COSBY: It‘s been smooth today. We appreciate you taking good care of us. Deputy Mahan, thank you very much.
MAHAN: You‘re welcome.
COSBY: We appreciate you being here.
And stick with us, everybody, because coming up on LIVE & DIRECT, another man who could soon be serving hard time. Today, a big development in the case of a murdered college student, Taylor Behl. And an end to a dramatic hostage standoff in Georgia. Up next, the son of the alleged hostage-takers will join me live. Right here on LIVE & DIRECT.
COSBY: We are live at the Christian County Correctional Facility here in Taylorville, Illinois. This is where Bill Ginglen has been over a year now that he‘s been convicted of seven bank robberies.
They‘re opening one of the holding cells as we continue our program live.
Interesting stories tonight; in fact, another crime case we want to tell you about. Tonight, the man accused of killing a college student and then hiding her body in a shallow grave is officially facing murder charges in her death.
A grand jury decided today that there is enough evidence to charge Ben Fawley with first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Taylor Behl. He faces life behind bars if he is convicted.
Behl went missing last September. She was a student at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Her decomposing body was found a month later in a rural area about an hour away.
Joining us live now, LIVE & DIRECT, is Taylor Behl‘s mother, Janet Pelasara.
Janet, first of all, how did you feel about the indictment today? What was your reaction?
JANET PELASARA, TAYLOR BEHL‘S MOTHER: I was just thrilled to death that the police, the investigators found enough evidence to indict him for first-degree murder.
COSBY: Now, would you say you were disturbed? Or do you feel the case is solid? How solid? And why is there no capital punishment?
PELASARA: Because there is not special circumstances to it, I believe, is what they needed.
COSBY: DO you wish that there—that was on the table, obviously it is not, as you know. Do you wish that was on the table, Janet?
PELASARA: No, absolutely not. I think lethal injection would be too painless, too quick, too easy. And I would like to see him suffer in jail, maybe have the pain and the horror and the terrifying experience he caused my daughter. I would like him to feel that in jail.
COSBY: You were at the courthouse, correct? What was that like for you, Janet? I‘m sure that must have been so emotional.
PELASARA: I was so confident going in that, when the jurors came out and the judge read that it was a true bill, I was relieved. Yes, of course, I was a little nervous. But I was just excited that, you know, it did come back with what we had thought they would come back with.
COSBY: Did you see Ben Fawley, Janet? And how was that for you?
PELASARA: No, he wasn‘t there. He‘ll be there next week when he makes his plea in front of the Mathews County judge.
COSBY: Would you be prepared to testify, you know, when it comes to a trial at this point? Are you prepared for that moment? And, Janet, if so, what would you say?
PELASARA: Yes, I have to—when the trial comes, I will be a character witness for Taylor. And prepared for it? I guess. I‘m sure it‘s going to be a thousand times harder than talking with you or other reporters. And I don‘t look forward to the trial, because I know it will be very, very difficult. But Ben needs to have his time in court so he can go to jail and pay for what he‘s done.
COSBY: Janet, what do you think of his version? Because he‘s claiming that it was an accident during rough sex. What do you make of his story? And are you prepared for what probably will be a pretty graphic trial?
PELASARA: For the parts that are graphic, I probably won‘t attend.
No mother needs or wants to hear that kind of story about their daughter. I do not believe that Taylor went with him freely. I do not believe she had consensual sex with him. By what her friends have told me, she wasn‘t interested. It was a one-off thing. I mean, they had sex once; that was it. She wasn‘t interested. I think she turned him down, and he raped her and killed her.
COSBY: Well, Janet, we really appreciate you being here tonight. And I know how much it means to you that this indictment—and it looks like justice is being served. And thank you so much for being here. And we will stay on this case, you know, throughout thick and thin with you. Thank you very much. Our prayers are with you.
PELASARA: Thank you for having me.
COSBY: Thank you, Janet.
And also tonight, another case. New information about a husband-and-wife team accused of holding an attorney hostage in Georgia. The drama finally ended this morning when the lone hostage walked free and the duo holding him surrendered to police.
Tonight, many people are wondering why this couple, Robby and also Connie Brower, apparently took such a dramatic step. LIVE & DIRECT tonight is Dan. He is the son of alleged hostage-taker Connie Brower.
Dan, how surprised were you to hear about your mother‘s involvement in this case?
“DAN,” SON OF CONNIE BROWER: I don‘t know. It‘s kind of a hard question to ask. If you would have asked me that question maybe six or seven years ago, before she met him, I would have said impossible to believe. But this has kind of been like an escalating thing, since the time that they‘ve met, pretty much. She‘s been going pretty far downhill.
COSBY: Were you surprised, though, that she would go to the step of actually now being accused of taking someone hostage? I mean, it‘s a very dramatic step.
“DAN”: I think anybody would be surprised. I mean, this is—you know, you don‘t expect a member of your family to go to that extreme, and especially when it has really nothing to do with her, you know what I mean? It was something that was just him. And I guess she just went along for the ride.
But I don‘t know. She‘s kind of like his right-hand man now, I guess.
I‘m not sure.
COSBY: What was your relationship with your mother? And when was the last time you communicated?
“DAN”: I haven‘t talked to her in a couple of years. I choose not to communicate with her too much anymore.
COSBY: And why was that? Was that because of your stepfather? How would you describe him?
“DAN”: Well, I didn‘t even know his name was Robbie until yesterday.
COSBY: You didn‘t even know his name, your stepfather‘s name?
“DAN”: Right. Everybody knew him as Michael. Everybody knew him as Michael. If you called him Mike, if you called him anything else, he would get a little bit short-tempered. He would get mad very easily.
And I met him with—you know, willingly—with almost like an open heart because my mom chose this guy. She chose this man. And I figured that there must have been something about him that was, you know, worth liking.
But right off the bat, he didn‘t like me. And, you know, we didn‘t get along for some reason. I guess it was maybe his way of chipping away her family so that it would just be them.
COSBY: You know, Dan, as developments were unfolding—and of course, you know, it was very tense for a long time; thank goodness it ended peacefully—but what was going on through your mind when you heard that your mother was in there with, you know, your stepfather taking someone hostage? I‘m sure you were watching it closely, right?
“DAN”: I was keeping up with it. I‘m pretty tired right now. I didn‘t get much sleep. But, yes. You know, you don‘t know what to think when you see something like that. I was wondering what was going on in her mind. I was wondering what would make her want to do something like that.
I was hoping that, you know, she wouldn‘t—that, you know, something bad wouldn‘t happen to her, that she wouldn‘t, you know, get shot or whatever the case would be. But I was hoping that it would all end kind of peacefully, which it seemed to.
COSBY: And, Dan, are you planning on contacting her now? Or are you thinking about reconciliation? I mean, she could face some pretty serious criminal charges and some serious time, possibly.
“DAN”: I was thinking about trying to keep my distance from her. And
now that‘s actually more so, because, if she‘ll hold a gun to a complete
stranger, you know, we have history to where she would kind of—she would
I don‘t know.
I‘ve been hurt by them quite a few times. And seeing what they could do is just really scary, and it would make me kind of want to keep my distance. So, no, I don‘t believe I‘d be contacting her anytime very soon.
COSBY: Well, Dan, we do appreciate you being here for this exclusive interview. And again, I‘m glad that your mom and your stepfather got out safe and sound, and particularly the person that they‘re accused of taking hostage, that attorney...
COSBY: ... who apparently was in their criminal case. Thank you very much, Dan. We appreciate it.
“DAN”: Thank you.
COSBY: And we‘re also following tonight another case. This is another case. This is a brutal beating caught on videotape. Even more shocking than this video is the fact that police say teenagers are to blame.
Tonight, a third teenage boy is behind bars and charged with murder for the series of beatings of homeless men in south Florida. This surveillance camera captured just one of the beatings earlier this month.
Eighteen-year-old William Ammons was rearrested today after being released just hours earlier on bond. Ammons is charged with murder in the beating of Norris Gaynor. Two other teens, including 18-year-old Brian Hooks, are also facing murder charges at this hour.
And we have a lot more ahead here on LIVE & DIRECT. Still ahead, a dramatic video of a police chase where the suspect actually is accused of trying to run over one of the officers chasing him. Wait until you hear what this guy has to say about why he was running.
And later, a teacher apparently has the wedding bell blues tonight, after making a run for the border with one of her 14-year-old students. That‘s all coming up, right here on LIVE & DIRECT.
COSBY: And an Ohio car chase suspect is behind bars tonight, but only after he led police on, not one, but two pursuits, first by car and then by foot. And you won‘t believe what the driver says that he was headed.
Laura Borchers of WDTN in Ohio interviewed the suspect right after he was arrested. Take a look.
TODD POWELL, CHASE SUSPECT: I had just gotten out of jail recently (INAUDIBLE) OK?
LAURA BORCHERS, WDTN REPORTER: (voice-over): About 6:30, a deputy made a routine speed stop.
SERGEANT DUSTIN WHITE, CLARK COUNTY SHERIFF‘S OFFICE: During the second approach to the vehicle, the driver threw the vehicle into reverse, opened his door, and attempted to run over the deputy.
BORCHERS (on-screen): Did you hit a cop?
POWELL: No, no, no. No, they hit me out there in the field, actually, I‘ll be honest with you, when they ran me down out here and everything. So, no.
BORCHERS (voice-over): The chase lasted for more than a dozen miles from south Charleston to Cedarville and back to Clark County.
POWELL: ... a very good driver, even at, you know, speeds.
BORCHERS: Authorities say speeds went up to 85 miles per hour.
POWELL: I don‘t know. You‘d have to ask them. They were there on me, pursuing me. So I don‘t know what we did.
BORCHERS (on-screen): You were looking at your odometer, though. It must...
POWELL: No, no. Uh-uh. They were pushing me down the road and everything, so...
BORCHERS: (INAUDIBLE) flattened the tires. Miles later, he pulled the car over and took off running. Landon Scott (ph) heard house alarms going off and ran to the window.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I looked out, and I see all of these cruisers
there must have been nine or 10 of them—and I thought something serious is happening.
BORCHERS (voice-over): And where does Todd say he was going in such a hurry?
POWELL: I was looking for London (INAUDIBLE) bible study. Next thing I know, they‘re trying to pull me over.
WHITE: But he mentioned that he was just released from the London Jail in Madison County for possession of drugs. He said he did a 10-day stint there.
COSBY: And joining me now is the reporter that you just saw, the person who interviewed that suspect, Laura Borchers from WDTN-TV. And also on the phone with us is Sergeant Dustin White. He‘s from the Clark County, Ohio, sheriff‘s office. He helped bring that car chase to a dramatic end.
Laura, let me start with you. I mean, it‘s incredible that you got to talk to this guy right after the chase. Were you surprised that you had such access to him, that he talked to you?
BORCHERS: Well, I wasn‘t so much surprised that he talked to us as I was what he had to say. He was just so open about the whole thing. And he was very sure that, even though he was sitting in the back of a cruiser, that he was a victim in this whole thing.
COSBY: Did he seem angry? Did he seem like he was on drugs? Or what was driving him?
BORCHERS: Well, I don‘t want to say he was on drugs. I have been told that he tested positive for alcohol. He was charged with driving under the influence.
He seemed very open, and that was his demeanor. He was just very open about everything that happened that night. He very plainly said to me that he was on his way to bible study and was pulled over.
COSBY: Pretty incredible stuff. In fact, let‘s play another little clip, and then I‘ll talk to you in a second, Laura. But here‘s another clip from that interview that you did with him.
BORCHERS: Did you take off running?
POWELL: Did I take off running? I wouldn‘t necessarily say that. I was just scared, just scared. Like I say, just recently got out of (INAUDIBLE) county jail and didn‘t want to go back.
BORCHERS: You got a little mud on you, though. I was wondering where...
POWELL: Yes, that‘s where they pushed me down and shoved me in the mud out there and tried to squeeze my face in it. There‘s (INAUDIBLE) on my face, huh? I don‘t look as good as you do (INAUDIBLE)
BORCHERS: But if you were in a car, how come you got mud on you?
POWELL: Yes, exactly, because I was—I wound up out in the field there.
BORCHERS: How did you wind up out there?
POWELL: Well, that‘s to be determined.
COSBY: Good questions there, Laura. How did you end up so quickly right on his tail?
BORCHERS: Well, actually, we were very fortunate, location-wise. We were on another story in the exact area where the crash, you know, came to an end, where his running took off. And luckily, we were there and on the scene quickly, so we were able to talk to him, yet while he was in the cruiser.
COSBY: All right. Laura, thanks. Stick with us. If we could, I want to bring in Sergeant White.
Sergeant, first of all, how long did this chase go on for? How did you bring it to an end? It‘s pretty incredible.
WHITE: The pursuit lasted for approximately 24 minutes, and it covered a duration of about 15 miles. And we were able to...
COSBY: How did you get him to stop?
WHITE: We were able to deploy stop sticks on him. And they are road spikes that puncture the tire that slowly decrease the air pressure in the tire and basically disables the vehicle.
COSBY: What do you make of the fact that he says you guys were chasing him versus him fleeing? How do you like that terminology?
WHITE: I don‘t like it at all. The motoring public (INAUDIBLE) understand, and I think that most everybody does, that, when the red and blues are behind you, you need to stop. He‘s taking something that could have been a simple situation, of a DUI investigation, and turned it into a felony crime at that point.
COSBY: Sergeant White, good job at stopping him. And thank you very much for sharing the footage. And also, Laura, too, for that interview. Thank you both. Glad it ended safe and sound.
And, everybody, there‘s a lot more coming up here on MSNBC. Tonight, let‘s check in with our pals, Joe Scarborough, now first with a preview.
Joe, what do you have coming up?
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: Yes, I‘ll tell you what, we‘ve got right now, Rita, a story about crime kingpins who are actually running operations, ordering hits from behind prison bars. How are they doing it? They‘re doing it with cell phones. Where are they getting these cell phones smuggled into them? From prison guards.
That‘s right. Criminals are paying prison guards behind bars to supply them with the cell phones so they can keep running their crime operations even after they go to jail. It‘s an outrage. We‘re going to be talking about that and a lot more, including Hillary Clinton comparing her Republican enemies to slaveholders. A lot coming up in “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.”
COSBY: Good. I‘m looking forward to it, Joe. Thank you very much.
We‘ll be sure to tune in.
COSBY: And now let‘s go to Tucker Carlson. Tucker, what is ahead on tonight‘s “SITUATION”?
TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC HOST: Well, Rita, I‘ve got some sad news for you. Political correctness has infiltrated even our Armed Forces. We‘re going to tell you the sad story of a naval officer court-martialed for using, yes, a dirty word in the presence of enlisted men. Really an amazing and bizarre story.
Plus, we‘ll have tips from Denise Austin, the exercise guru herself, whose tips actually work, incidentally, on how to drop those holiday pounds. We don‘t do a lot of stories like that on THE SITUATION, but this one‘s going to be worth watching, because Denise Austin is worth watching.
COSBY: And she is terrific. Can‘t wait to tune in. Tucker, thank you very much.
CARLSON: Thanks, Rita.
COSBY: I‘ll be looking at it for a different reason.
CARLSON: Oh, yes.
COSBY: Guys, we‘ll be tuning in at 10:00 and 11:00. Thank you, both.
And still ahead, everybody, a bizarre twist in the case of a teacher accused of running off with a 14-year-old student in Mexico. Was she really looking for more than an illegal, quote, “roll in the hay”? This is a wild story, across international borders, and it is coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LYNNE BUSHONG, AUNT OF TEEN WHO FLED WITH TEACHER: I want the teacher locked away for a long time. I want, you know, her to just do her punishment for what she‘s done to our family and to him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: A 26-year-old teacher is in hot water, big time, tonight after allegedly fleeing the country to marry her 14-year-old student. Angela Comer has been charged with a felony for the incident, and she could soon face even more charges.
Joining us to talk more about the case right now is Monroe County attorney Wes Stephens.
Wes, what do you know about the nature of the relationship between the teacher and the student? And whose idea was it to go to Mexico?
WES STEPHENS, MONROE COUNTY ATTORNEY: The relationship began in August when the school year began and turned sexual sometime in the end of October. And they had planned it together for about the last two weeks to make this trip to Mexico.
COSBY: What kind of charges is she facing at this point?
STEPHENS: Right now, the only felony she‘s facing is custodial interference, but the grand jury will consider the case tomorrow and we‘ll be seeking charges for rape, third degree, and custodial interference, as well as unlawful transaction with a minor, felony level.
COSBY: Was there, indeed, a sexual relationship between the two?
STEPHENS: Yes. The juvenile was interviewed today. He‘s given us great details about what‘s happened, how the relationship began, as well as their journey into Mexico.
COSBY: Angela‘s attorney gave us, Wes, the following statement. I want to put it up, if I could. It says, “It is our position that there will be forthcoming information in this case that will either exonerate Ms. Comer or at least mitigate the circumstances surrounding the situation.”
What do you make of that? Do you see anything in there that could mitigate or erase the charges?
STEPHENS: No. I don‘t believe that Ms. Comer‘s being totally forthcoming with her attorney, especially after the details that we learned today.
COSBY: And what are those details that you learned today, that (INAUDIBLE) trip to the Mexico...
STEPHENS: Yes, the statements the juvenile gave authorities today about the entire relationship, how long it‘d been going on, and how it got started, and Ms. Comer‘s insistence that they continue together.
COSBY: How long were they together? And did his parents know?
STEPHENS: No. The parents had no idea until Justin—oh, I‘m sorry, the juvenile disappeared on the Saturday morning. And the guardian went to wake him up, she discovered he wasn‘t there.
COSBY: And how long had the relationship been going on? It‘s your understanding...
STEPHENS: It began in August, at the beginning of the school year. She was a teacher for the juvenile. And then he said it quickly elevated into something more than that. And then, sometime in October, it became a sexual relationship.
COSBY: Wes, what do we know about e-mails? Apparently there was communication between the two. What do we know about these e-mails?
STEPHENS: When the juvenile—when they couldn‘t find him Saturday morning, the guardian gave the police possession of his computer. They were able to access some chat transcripts between the teacher and the juvenile that set forth in detail what had happened. And that‘s what gave us enough information to get a warrant for her at the time. Also, while they were in Mexico, the teacher was answering homework questions for some of her former students over the Internet.
COSBY: Interesting. Wes Stephens, thank you very much. We appreciate it. Please keep us posted, and especially as it sounds like even some more charges could be added in this case. We very much appreciate it.
And we‘re going to be right back, as we continue here live from Taylorville, Illinois, right after the break.
ANNOUNCER: If you have a story you want Rita to investigate, call our tip line, 1-877-TIP-RITA, or log onto our Web site, Rita.MSNBC.com.
COSBY: And we continue here live at Christian County Correctional Facility in Taylorville, Illinois, where we interviewed Al Ginglen, whose own sons turned him in for seven robberies.
So what is it really like when your son or daughter becomes one of the most talked about celebrity in the world? Eminem‘s relatives have faced a barrage of media coverage, all because of his wild on-again, off-again relationship with the mother of his daughter.
And speaking of wild, there are also a lot of other things coming up. There are a few people whose lives rival Courtney Love‘s. Coming up tomorrow night, Eminem‘s grandmother and Courtney Love‘s mother are going to be on the show.
And that does it, as we continue here live. We are done from Taylorville, Illinois. It‘s been an interesting time here tonight. Now let‘s go to Joe, who has some interesting stories behind bars, as well.
Joe, take it away.
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