tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC February 20, 2019 3:30pm-4:00pm PST
tonight, several breaking stories as we come on the air. chicago police a short time ago officially calling actor jussie smollett a suspect tonight in what they're now calling a criminal investigation. and this new video tonight of those brothers and what authorities say it shows. also breaking tonight, was a major attack thwarted? a u.s. coast guard lieutenant being called a domestic terrorist tonight. authorities say he was going to target innocent civilians. and that he had a hit list with prominent names. the dangerous and deadly winter storm tonight. the massive pileups. thousands of cancellations. passenger jets taking off in the snow. and now tonight, a new storm. word tonight robert mueller could be nearly done. will he soon send his report to the new attorney general? and tonight, the president is asked, should it then be
released? how he answers. less than 24 hours after our team interviewed the young american woman who became an isis bride, she left the u.s. now making her plea to come home. the message tonight from her from the trump administration. the urgent manhunt at this hour for a man who went on a deadly shooting spree in miami, killing one, appearing to randomly fire in several directions. tonight, the alarming new surveillance right here. the involved murder of an 11-year-old girl. tonight, decades later, the major break. what was it? and the family renting out their home on airbnb. the stunning images. their guests stealing flat screens, destroying the home. good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a very busy wednesday night. and we begin tonight with the breaking headline out ofli actor juse smollett a suspect in a criminal investigation. they say he is under investigation for, quote, filing
a false police report in that alleged hate crime. smollett had claimed two men attacked him and had called him racist and homophobic names. tonight, this new video just emerging, showing those two brothers buying supplies. those two men say it was smollett who orchestrated the attack. abc's eva pilgrim leading us off. >> reporter: tonight, chicago police are officially calling jussie smollett is suspect, under criminal investigation for allegedly filing a false police report. and grand jury, they say, is already hearing evidence. the stunning twist comes as the brothers at the center of that investigation are seen on surveillance buying a red hat and ski masks, items allegedly used in a phony attack, the men claim, they were paid to stage. after daying of pressing smollett for a followup interview, chicago police today issuing a stark public warning. we got information and that's what we want to run by him. if the opportunity is not taken to come in, we're going to go with other methods to create a
culture of accountability. late today, smollett's attorney meeting with police and prosecutors. >> "empire" is not going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an artist that would try to take us down. >> reporter: the "empire at actor has insisted he was the victim of an attack. >> how do you not believe that? it's the truth. >> reporter: the fbi is already investigation whether smollett sent this threatening letter to himself a week before the attack. >> the return address said in big, red, you know, like, cams, "maga." did i make that up too? >> reporter: his brother now defending him on instagram blasting the media with a quote from macolm x. "it will make the criminal look like he's the victim and make the victim look like he's the criminal." smollett has allegedly lied to police in the past. newly revealed court documents from 2007 show he was accused of impersonating his brother during a traffic stop where he was suspected of driving under the influence. he reportedly pleaded no contest to reduced charges and completed an alcohol treatment program. >> eva pilgrim with us live
tonight again from chicago. i know this is fast-moving, eva, but tonight, police and prosecutors are already presenting evidence to a grand jury? >> reporter: that's right, david. while smollett's attorneys have been talking with the prosecutors and investigators today, the grand jury inside this courthouse is moving forward. smollett could face up to a class four felony, which could mean jail time, david. >> eva, thank you. and there is another alarming headline breaking as we come on tonight. a u.s. coast guard lieutenant is under arrest tonight. investigators say he was planning a major attack on innocent civilians and that he had a hit list of prominent names. they say he had a stock pile of weapons and ammunition, and they're calling him tonight a domestic terrorist. here's abc's chief justice correspondent pierre thomas now. >> reporter: this is the arsenal, including 1,000 bullets, handguns and sniper rifles that the fbi fears an officer in the u.s. coast guard was plotting to use in a cold-blooded killing spree. their stark warning --
49-year-old lieutenant christopher paul hasson "intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country." hasson arrested on gun and drug violations that the fbi calls "the proverbial tip of the iceberg." he is, they say, "a domestic terrorist" and a "white nationalist," who allegedly wrote he is "dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth." the fbi claims he was developing a possible hit list of prominent politicians and television personalities, including the speaker of the house nancy pelosi, senate minority leader charles schumer, senator elizabeth warren, senator kamala harris and cable host joe scarborough. hasson, who works at coast guard headquarters here in d.c., was also allegedly googling information about the "most liberal senators" and asking ominous questions. where do most senators live in d.c.? are supreme court justices protected? >> this is very alarming.
pierre, you've been working your sources and you're learning that the coast guard actually tipped the fbi off to this man? >> reporter: that's right, david. this is a case of the coast guard becoming concerned about one of their own and tipping off the fbi, which launched a joint investigation. hasson, who is also a former marine, has a court hearing tomorrow, david. >> pierre thomas with us tonight. thank you, pierre. we are following yet another new storm tonight, just as this dangerous one leaves its mark. 35 states and still on the move tonight. accidents piling up on snowy roads. these images tonight from hutchinson, kansas. and look at this plane taking off in a whiteout in pittsburgh. thousands of flights do remain grounded tonight. and in atlanta and across the south, the storm is delivering flooding rains. tonight, we're watching another storm. and abc's gio benitez is at jfk airport for us. >> reporter: tonight, that massive storm hitting the northeast with the evening commute in full swing. >> please be careful, cautious, slow. >> reporter: thundersnow in maryland. schools closed up and down the east coast.
in the washington, d.c. area, up to a half foot of snow. our stephanie ramos is outside charlottesville, virginia. >> snow plows like this one have been salting and clearing the roads all day. but the roads still proving to be too dangerous. virginia state police say they've responded to at least 380 crashes and stuck vehicles. >> reporter: the storm snarling air travel, more than 2,000 flights cancelled nationwide. our david kerley is at reagan national airport. >> while there are takeoffs and landings, this is ground zero for the problems today. 40% of the flights canceled here before noon. >> reporter: ice and snow from the same system temporarily shutting down all the runways at the minneapolis/st. paul airport. across the heartland, driving is treacherous. 11 vehicles, including 9 semis, involved in multiple crashes on interstate 80 west of lincoln, nebraska. three people taken to the hospital. troopers warning drivers in the state to slow down.
>> actually looks partially clear, but it's not. that portion, where it shows pavement, is actually a sheet of ice. it's very slick. >> reporter: in the south, torrti downpours and ma.me stse atlanta. parts of the region could get up to six inches of rain as the system moves through. and david, we saw all of those problems in d.c. airports. now, we're getting hit more here in new york, we're talking about more than 1,600 flights canceled and delayed. that number is only growing, david. >> and as you point out, not done with this yet. gio, thank you. let's get to ginger zee, tracking this storm and then the next one. hey, ginger. >> reporter: hey, david. thanks to this storm, minneapolis has now had their snowiest february on record. and we are not done with february. we're not done with this storm. look at the map there. you can see the radar showing the snow moving through new england, including boston. new york here, we've got the fine snow about to change over to rain. and that's what's happened with all these storms and will again tonight, as that rain pushes north.
we'll end up with drying by tomorrow. then, the next storm, we have to focus in on it, it will be the biggest for the desert southwest. there are areas in arizona that are going to pick up two feet of snow, david. >> ginger zee with us again tonight. ginger, thank you. and next this evening, to the young american woman who you saw right here on the news last night. she chose to leave the u.s. to become an isis bride. she had a baby. and now, she's pleading to come home. well tonight, the trump administration has a message for her. and abc's james longman, who interviewed her last night, is back on this tonight from inside syria. >> reporter: hoda muthana, the alabama woman who left four years ago to join isis and now wants to come home, tonight learning her fate. the president tweeting, "i've instructed secretary of state mike pompeo and he fully agrees not to allow her back in the country." because according to the state department, she's not a u.s. citizen. do you expect people to have impa think for you? >> i hope so, yeah. >> reporter: in an interview with abc news, the 24-year-old said that she wanted to come
back with her young son and that she now rejects isis philosophy. do you feel regret and sorrow and remorse for being part of an organization like isis? >> definitely. it's -- it's not islamic at all. >> reporter: do you think you deserve a punishment for what you did? >> maybe therapy lessons? >> reporter: muthana's lawyers disputing the government's claim that she is not a u.s. citizen, providing proof she was born in new jersey and saying she had a valid passport. all this, as isis struggles to hold onto their last stronghold. today, more civilians bussed out of the danger zone, possibly with more foreign wives with nowhere to go. the u.k. sending a letter to british isis bride shamina begum, banning her too. >> it's kind of heart-breaking to read. i thought i would -- my family made it sound like it would be a lot easier for me to come back to the you can uk. >> so, the uk saying she's not allowed back. the trump administration telling the american woman you
interviewed, james, that she's not welcome back in the u.s. not a lot of sympathy here for a woman who chose to become an isis bride. but james, as you know, the other major issue out there are these isis fighters and where they should be prosecuted. i know u.s. authorities want to make sure they're locked up. >> reporter: that's right, david. president trump had been warning against allowing foreign jihadis to remain here in the region, saying they should be prosecuted at home. muthana's family will fight the decision to ban her. as the war draws down, it seems legal battles are now brewing. david? >> james longman, thank you. back here at home tonight, and there are signs robert mueller's russia investigation is nearly done, and tonight, president trump is asked if the report is turned in next week during his trip to vietnam, should it be released? abc's senior white house correspondent cecilia vega with the president's response. >> reporter: president trump today said his new attorney general, william barr, will be the one to decide just how much of special counsel robert mueller's report the american public will see.
mr. president, should the mueller report be released while you're abroad next week? >> that will be totally up to the new attorney general. that will be totally up to him. >> should the report become public, do you think? >> now, i guess from what i understand, that will be totally up to the attorney general. >> reporter: sources tell abc news mueller is expected to turn over his final report to the attorney general soon. during his confirmation hearing, barr would not say how much he plans to make public. >> my goal will be to provide as much transparency as i can consistent with the law. i will not let personal, political or other improper interests influence my decision. >> reporter: this, as former acting fbi director andrew mccabe, as part of his book tour, opens up about why he launched a counterintelligence investigation into the president himself. >> do you still believe the president could be a russian asset? >> i think it's possible. >> reporter: and today, president trump fired back. >> i think andrew mccabe has made a fool out of himself over the last couple of days.
and he really looks to me as sort of a poor man's j. edgar hoover. he's a disgraced man. >> let's get back to cecilia vega. and i want to turn back to the mueller report. and the attorney general, we know what he's already said about this, that his goal is transparency, but he really has a lot of discretion in terms of how much or how little of mueller's report he actually makes public. >> reporter: he sure does, david. when mueller's team wraps their investigation, they will submit the report over to barr. he is expected to alert congress once he's received it, but after that, it's entirely up to him as to how much he reveals to congress. you heard president trump there, right here today, he was asked point-blank if the public should see this, he says this is entirely barr's decision. david? >> all right, cecilia, thank you. we're going to turn next this evening to the urgent manhunt under way this hour after a deadly shooting in a very crowded tourism spot in miami. police are looking for this man tonight, seen crossing the street and suddenly opening fire and walking away. here's abc's victor oquendo.oli
tonight for a mystery gunman wanted for murder. investigators say that's him spotted across multiple surveillance cameras, first seen here taking off his jacket and moments later, firing a single shot along hotspot ocean drive on south beach late saturday night. but police say that same man is the suspect behind this deadly shooting just a few minutes later. >> i counted eight shots. >> reporter: witnesses say the shooter got into an argument with another man in the middle of collins avenue, often packed with tourists and locals and and started shooting. >> you see clearly in video what he's capable of. it's imperative we get him off the streets. >> reporter: the suspect fled and tried entering a hotel but was turned away. police have not identified the victim. tonight, there is still no word on a motive. david? >> all right, victor oquendo, thank you. and we have chilling new details this evening in that case that made national headlines. the young mother last seen with her 1-year-old daughter on thanksgiving day. tonight, a newly released affidavit and what it reveals.
abc's kayna whitworth is in colorado. >> reporter: after months of silence, tonight, newly released documents allege what prosecutors say was a horrific plot hatched by patrick frazee to murder kelsey berreth in cold blood with help from his mistress. berreth last seen on this surveillance video thanks giving day. frazee says that's the last time he saw her, too, when he picked up their daughter from their home. but prosecutors say a neighbor's security camera caught frazee returning. they say he convinced her to wear a blindfold with the premise of guessing the scents of different candles, before bludgeoning her to death with a baseball bat. >> kaylie was in the back room of kelsey's condo when kelsey was murders. >> reporter: frazee allegedly hitting berreth so hard he knocked out some of her teeth. he then told his mistress krystal lee kenney to go to the house, find the teeth, and clean up the gruesome murder
scene. >> krystal cleans up blood but leaves behind some telltale evidence for our investigators to find. >> reporter: kenney confessing berreth's body was put in a large black tote. and she and frazee later watched it burn on his ranch. berreth's remains have never been found. david, in their wrongful death suit, kelsey's parents claim that patrick's motive is that he wanted full custody of their daughter, kaylie. the child remains with berreth's parents. david? >> just a horrific story. all right, kayna, thank you. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this wednesday. the family renting out their homeairbnb, and look at the alarming images. their guests seen stealing flat screens. the inside of the home damaged and trashed. we'll have more in a moment. the unsolved murder of an 11-year-old girl. the major break today, decades later what was it? and the deadly animal attack and the mystery tonight. the beloved teacher killed while walking near her home and authorities are trying to figure out what kind of animal did this. this. ahead tonight.s ahead tonight.
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the major break tonight in a murder of an 11-year-old girl, years later, what was it that broke this wide open? here's abc's marci gonzalez. >> reporter: the agonizing, nearly 46-year long manhunt for this little girl's killer, finally over tonight. according to police. >> generations of investigators worked on her case. we never gave up. >> reporter: linda ann o'keefe vanished in july of 1973, while walking home from school. the 11-year-old found the next day strangled in a ditch. newport beach police retelling the details of that day from her perspective last year on twitter, and putting out this computer generated composite hoping to generate leads. but it was a recent dna match on the geneology website "family tree dna" that police say led to their suspect, james alan neal. >> they were able to get additional dna, which resulted in the corroboration of the dna from the victim's body. rorter: it is the same technology used to track down the golden state killer and the
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call, answering a wish. these are the firefighters from anne arundel county. they're about to surprise their fell fellow firefighter, michael faherty, marching to his home. the fire trucks arriving, too. inside michael and his wife, karen, have no idea they are coming. including someone new. the couple had applied to adopt a baby. they have long been waiting. when they came to the front door, they told them, we've got something for you. >> we got something for you! delivery! >> reporter: then, from behind the ambulance, dr. dean kirshner with the agency adoption makes family, holding their new baby boy in his arms. >> let's go. >> congratulations! >> yeah! >> reporter: and just look at karen when she learns she has just become a mother. the boy's birth parents had chosen michael and karen months earlier and had asked the agency to surprise them.
>> here's your baby boy. >> reporter: seeing their son for the first time. karen and michael overcome. a kiss from mom, and those comrades waiting with one more surprise. >> what? no. >> reporter: tonight, michael and karen telling us they've named their baby boy michael iii. all are doing well. and the birth parents have now seen the video and are thrilled. the birth mom saying "they love him. that's what we wanted." those new parents tonight grateful. >> it was such a gift the birth parents gave to us. we dreamt about this time for so long and without them, this dream would never come true. >> a wish come true. doesn't get any better than that. good night. ready to strike. >> for three months, we have been waiting -- >> teachers say they want more
money. oakland schools say they just don't have it. >> what do we do? >> and now a strike is set to begin tomorrow. >> we want a short strike. good afternoon. thank you for joining us. i'm ama daetz. >> and i'm larry beil. it is official after last-minute negotiations failed with the school district, that strike is on, but the teachers union seems optimistic saying they hope it will it be a short one. >> live from skyline high with what we can expect tomorrow. lyan lyanne? >> reporter: expect people deciding at the very last minute, parents deciding, whether or not they want to send their kids to school because they will remain open. on the issue of making this a very short strike, i think the union is saying that because it must feel as if they are very close to reaching an agreement.
>> when we strike we win. >> reporter: it was an announcement that everyone anticipated but many hoped not to hear. >> this is an indefinite strike. this is not a one-day strike. but we want a short strike. >> reporter: that decision came after both the union and oakland unified failed to reach an agreement this morning despite a proposed salary increase. the school district went from offering a 5% hike over three years to this, a bonus of 1.5% of the base annual salary the first year of the contract, a 3% increase for 2018-2019 followed by a 2% hike the following year and added a fourth year increase of 1% the first six months, then another 1% for a total compensation package of 8.5%. the teachers have been asking for a 12% increase over three