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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  April 15, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT

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>> pelley: special delivery. >> this is not good, people. >> pelley: a rogue letter carrier lands a gyrocopter at the capitol with a message for congress. we'll look at this latest breech of security in washington. also tonight, former nfl star aaron hernandez is convicted of murder. a police chief says ramming a suspect with a cruiser saved lives. the suspect's lawyer says it was like shooting him in the back. and hundreds come down with the flu, hundreds of dogs. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: tens of millions of letters are delivered to congress every year, but not this way. today a letter carrier from florida landed a gyrocopter on
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the lawn of the u.s. capitol, where he was promptly arrested. was trying to make a political statement but the unintended message he delivered is just how easy it still is to breech the most secure air space in america. jeff pegues is live in washington near the capitol near the landing site. jeff, what happened today? >> reporter: well, scott, this is the kind of security breech that doesn't happen very often, but this gyrocopter that you mentioned landed behind me here on the west lawn of the capitol. it caused quite a stir, shutting down roads here and catching the attention of tourists, as well. this was a gyrocopter piloted by a 61-year-old man a man named doug hughes from tampa who was trying to make a point about campaign finance reform. he flew that gyrocopter into this restricted air space by the washington monument, and you can see the white house in the foreground. he ended up here on the west
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lawn of the capitol. now, this is something that he has had planned, according to the "tampa bay times" and his friends for some time. in fact, one of his friends that we spoke to today said that they had been interviewed by the secret service over a year ago about a year ago, and the secret service was aware of the fact that doug hughes had something planned. but authorities say they are not commenting right now. they referred us, the secret service did, to the capitol police. scott? >> pelley: well, the secret service would be the wrong agency because, as you just pointed out the... i was just watching the video here. as you piloted out the capitol police have control of the capitol area. it would be their responsibility. we heard from norad earlier today, the north american air defense command. they said that military radars did not pick up this aircraft. i understand that a cbs camera earlier in this flight path caught the gyrocopter going past
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the white house, past the washington monument, all the way up the mall and then landing finally there on the west front of the u.s. capitol. now, jeff, i understand that the pilot had 535 letters with him on the helicopter. what point was he trying to make? >> reporter: well, we know that he was trying to make a splash. he certainly got a lot of attention out here today. he was trying to deliver those messages to members of congress. this is a point he was trying to make about campaign finance reform, scott. >> pelley: there was no effort that we know of to intercept the gyrocopter. the u.s. coast guard keeps helicopters at reagan national airport for that purpose but none of them were scrambled because apparently the man never showed up on radar, but he's in custody tonight. jeff pegues reporting for us from the west front of the capitol. jeff, thank you very money. aaron hernandez is about to complete a twisted journey from the super bowl to prison by the
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age of 25. today the former new england patriot's tight end was found guilty of first-degree murder and was quickly sentenced to life without parole. anna werner is following the case. >> guilty of murder in the first degree. >> reporter: aaron hernandez's mother and fiancee hugged each other and sobbed after the verdict was read. jurors took seven days to find hernandez guilty of murdering his friend odin lloyd in june of 2013. lloyd's body was found in an industrial park less than a mile from hernandez's home. he had been shot six times. bristol county district attorney thomas quinn. >> aaron hernandez may have been a well-known new england patriots' football player however, in the end the jury found that he was just a man who committed a brutal murder. >> reporter: hernandez was a rising star for the new england patriots with a $30 million contract, but he was dropped from the team after being arrested. most of the evidence against him
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was circumstantial, but there was a lot of it. in text messages, hernandez urged lloyd to meet him the night he was killed. a neighbor's surveillance camera captured lloyd getting enter a car that prosecutors said was driven by hernandez. surveillance video from hernandez's own home showed him holding something resembling a gun the day lloyd was killed. video also showed his fiancee shayanna jenkins, removing a box from their home. she told the court hernandez told her to get rid of it. >> did he indicate to you what was inside the box? >> no. >> reporter: odin lloyd's mother, ursula ward, spoke after the verdict. >> he was my son. i love him dearly. >> reporter: hernandez also faces other charges including for a double homicide in boston. scott, the prison where he'll be serving his life sentence is just three and a half miles from the stadium where he used to play football. >> pelley: an narcotic thank
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you very much. the controversy continues tonight about a police officer's use of what one expert called "a 3,000-pound bullet." we showed you last night an arizona officer using his patrol car to take out a gunman and carter evans follows up. >> reporter: police hit the suspect with enough force to break through a cinderblock wall. >> man down. >> reporter: dash cam ras in two pa roll cars were rolling arizona ads police officer michael rapiejko accelerated and aimed his cruiser directly at man with a loaded rifle. >> that's not an easy decision right there. that's a tough tough, tough decision. >> reporter: police chief terry rozema defends his officer's action last february, claiming it prevented a potential shoot-out with the suspect, 36-year-old mario valencia, who was suicidal. >> this guy walked away out of the hospital two days later and was booked into jail to be held accountable for his crimes.
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>> reporter: but valencia's defense attorney michelle metzger disagrees. >> how can you believe you're attempting to save a person's life by almost killing them. >> reporter: surveillance video showed valencia stealing a rifle from a wal-mart. he was already the suspect in robbery, arson and auto theft that day. he had the rifle pointed at his head when officers caught up with him. >> you don't want to do this. you don't want to do this. >> reporter: instead he aimed at police and fired a round into the air and kept walking toward homes and businesses. >> that's a split-second decision. i frankly think it was a good one. >> reporter: former lapd deputy chief stephen downing says while officers are taught to follow protocol there are exceptions. >> you have a situation with a guy with a gun who has used a gun, who is wanted for robbery. he's in a neighborhood. it was unconventional. it was also smart i think. >> reporter: the officer involved was cleared of any
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wrongdoing within days of the incident and according to the police report, the suspect, mario valencia, was treated in the hospital the night before for a meth overdose. scott, doctors told police he had a skull fracture and some other minor injuries after the crash. he's now in jail facing multiple felonies. >> pelley: carter evans in our los angeles newsroom. carter, thanks very much. we hope this won't come as a surprise, but it is tax day. the good news is more than 77 million americans have already received refunds, but others may not be so lucky. cbs news has been investigating complaints that refunds are being seized by the government without notice. here's wyatt andrews. >> i i would describe it as a theft. >> reporter: shalita grant is a tony-nominated actress who plays a federal agent on tv. >> cool it, cowboyment i'm a fed. >> reporter: but to social security she's been an outlaw, not because she did anything
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wrong, but because her father was overpaid more than $13,000 in disability. grant grew outraged when social security seized her $1,500 tax refund without warning or any evidence against her. >> i'm asking for a bill. i'm asking for something that says that i owe you. i feel like you guys stole from me. and i have nothing to show for it. >> reporter: "stolen" is a strong word. >> oh, yeah, and i feel strongly about that. >> reporter: over the last year, cbs news has contacted a dozen taxpayers who say social security has taken their tax refunds because a relative had been overpaid in benefits. no proof at all? >> no. >> reporter: jessica vela, a u.s. navy veteran, lost a $6,000 refund last year when she was eight months pregnant. >> i had a baby due the next month. >> reporter: you grew emotional as you recalled that. >> there are no words to explain how helpless the situation has
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been. >> reporter: helpless because social security admitted it had overpaid jessica's mother, not her. >> i have told them until i'm blue in the face, i was a minor. i was learning to ride a bike during that time. >> reporter: here you are navy veteran and you're describing yourself as defenseless? >> against your own government. >> reporter: social security declined to speak to us on camera. in court files it says it has the legal authority to go after the relatives of people overpaid in benefits. however, the agency has repeatedly denied it's ever done some in january the agency told congress, "we did not collect any debt that was incurred by a parent or another family member." >> reporter: is that true? >> it's a in the lie. it is an absolute bold-faced lie. >> reporter: after our investigation, social security admitted that the taxpayers in our story were not to blame that the money had indeed gone to their parents, and beth of those women got their refunds back, but, scott that's also an
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admission that social security is doing the exact kind of aggressive debt collection it's told the public it would never do. >> pelley: investigative reporting by wyatt andrews tonight. wyatt, thank you very much. cbs news broke the story this morning that the home addresses of current and former top officials with the f.b.i., c.i.a. and homeland security had been posted online. investigators became aware of it yesterday. they tell us that a right-wing extremist group may be responsible. most of boston paused this afternoon to mark the second anniversary of the marathon bombings. silence fell at city hall and at fenway park at 2:49, the time first bomb went off. survivors unveiled banners on boylston street where three were killed and 260 wounded. don dahler met a couple whose lives changed forever.
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>> reporter: in april 2013 jessica kensky and patrick downes had been married seven months when they stopped to watch the marathon. the first bomb destroyed both of their left legs and badly damaged her right. it would be two weeks before they saw each other again. in the hospital the couple was visited by a group of marine, including b.j. ganem. >> we just went into the hospital rooms and asked if they wanted us to come in, and immediately there was an instant connection. >> so all of a sudden i see these big, strong, not-so-good-looking guys walk into my hospital room. and they've got prosthetic, all of them. in that short time i had been in the hospital, i had crossed off all these things in my life i wasn't going to be able to do anymore, running climbling, biking. >> reporter: they were members of the semper fi fund an
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organization for disabled vets. >> they didn't have to come back. they didn't have to give us hand bikes. but they came and gave us so much of a piece of them that they'll forever be part of our experience. >> reporter: kensky made the agonizing decision to have her second leg amputated and isn't ready to talk on camera yet but she did testify in tsarnaev's trial, telling the jury the amputations were especially difficult because "i wanted to paint my toenails, put my feet in the sand." >> the feet aren't there anymore, so you have to have other ways to make her feel beautiful and special, make her feel like a woman. report maybe you should let her paint your toenails. >> that's actually been put on the table once before. >> reporter: two years on, did this experience strengthen or strain the marriage? >> i think it's been a lot of both. we've been able to find strength in our moments of weakness. >> reporter: when you look at that now-famous photo, do you
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still see yourself in that picture. >> oh, yeah, you can see jess' face. >> reporter: but it's this photo that best defines the couple now crossing the finish line at last year's marathon together. don dahler, cbs news boston. >> pelley: and next week the jury that convicted dzhokhar tsarnaev in the attacks will begin deliberating his fate in a new cbs news poll out today. 60% of americans said he should be executed. there has been a deadly outbreak of dog flu in the midwest. and the noah who is about to drop anchor on late night television when the "cbs evening news" continues. n has two systems? one helps keep you awake- the other helps you sleep. science suggests when you have insomnia, the wake system in your brain may be too strong and your neurotransmitters remain too active
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take the ecoboost challenge at your ford dealer. for a limited-time get an escape with up to two-thousand total cash back plus seven-fifty conquest cash with a qualifying competitive vehicle in your house. >> pelley: just as flu season is winding down, turns out there's a deadly outbreak in the midwest. but this one is among dogs. here's dean reynolds. >> reporter: brittany siciliano went to the doctor today with her friend franklin. this is franklin. >> and franklin is how old? >> franklin is three months old. >> reporter: franklin feels fine, but his owner is a bit concerned because of the outbreak, some call it an epidemic, of canine infectious respiratory disease. there's no specific vaccine for it, though some vets think its effects might be lisdzenned by the regular seasonal flu vaccine that franklin received today. lulu the french bulldog is one
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of 1,100 chicago-area dogs hit by the new flu. and while lulu has gotten better, at least six dogs have died. this new dog flu strain called h3n2 was somehow imported from asia and has never been seen in the u.s. the first signs are a persistent cough and lethargy but this is no kennel cough. >> we're finding the numbers of dogs was far more than we normally see and the severity of the disease is much worse. >> reporter: dr. natalie marks is co-owner of if blum animal hospital on chicago's north side. >> our dog population here is what we call naive. they've never seen anything like this before so their immune system isn't providence, rhode primed and ready to fight it. >> reporter: the illness has spread to wisconsin and indiana and in one case georgia. pet specialists are avoiding pet owners to avoid places dogs
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congress grate like dog parks until the outbreak subsides. this new dog flu is no threat to humans, scott, but if we come into contact with a sick dog the virus can get on our hands and on our clothes and then we can spread it to other dogs. >> pelley: dean reynolds reporting for us tonight. dean, thanks very much. a spacex rocket had a picture-perfect launch, but a rough landing. that's next.
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>> pelley: late today gm scored a major legal victory when the judge ruled the carmaker is shielded from death and injury lawsuits tied to defective ignition switches. 84 deaths have been linked to this. but gm essentially became a new company when it emerged from bankruptcy in 2009 and is free from the liabilities of the old company. spacex posted video today of its attempt to land a rocket buck rogers style on an ocean barge. it's never been done before. this was the booster coming back down returning after it launched a supply capsule to the space station yesterday. the booster found its target but it tipped over just after touchdown instead of landing on its feet. spacex hopes to perfect this technique so it can reuse the booster rockets. this was a solemn morning in washington. [taps playing]
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a bugler played "taps" outside the house where abraham lincoln died 150 years ago today. he had been shot across the street the night before at ford's theater. walt whitman wrote "the late star early drooped in the western sky in the night. i mourned and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring." and we'll be right back. >> this portion of the "cbs evening news" is sponsored by cbs health. health is everything. making a fist something we do to show resolve. to defend ourselves. to declare victory. so cvs health provides expert support and vital medicines. make a fist for me. at our infusion centers or in patients homes. we help them fight the good fight. cvs health, because health is everything.
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>> next at 7:00, a gyrocopter lands on the capitol lawn. plus 150 years behind bars >> pelley: we end tonight with the newest star in the night. it's no supernova it's trevor noah. debora patta traced his comedy roots to south africa where he was born. >> can i ask you a question? >> reporter: whether he's portraying a californian surfer girl. >> if you're like from africa have you like ever had aids? >> reporter: or savaging a double amputee olympic track star. >> but look at oscar pistorius look at him no leg but he didn't let that stop him from becoming a killer. >> reporter: trevor noah spares no one. he likes to say he was born a crime. his mother is black, his father swiss it. their marriage once illegal during apartheid.
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>> i don't care, i don't care! i want a white man. crazy, my mom crazy, you know, and my dad was like, you know how the swiss love chocolate, so he was... >> reporter: the racial tensions of south africa infuse him humor, so do his soweto roots where he was raised by his grandmother francis. she told us he was always getting into trouble. >> such a beautiful love and bond for each other. we just have this thing. ever since she hit me. >> all of his life. >> reporter: 13 years ago his agent says that noah walked into her office as a teenager with big dreams. >> he was full of pimples.
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i said, what about these pimple darling. i think probably his first comedy routine was inspired by me. >> you can call it that. >> reporter: noah'ser rev rant style of humor caught up with him after he was named the new host of "the daily show." a handful of his tweets have been criticized as anti-semitic and sexist. but he's always shown scant regard for political sensitivities. he once portrayed a drunk nelson mandela teasing bill clinton. >> i did not have sexual relations with that woman. [laughing] >> reporter: now the test will be whether his home-grown brand of humor has the muscle to transcend borders. debora patta, cbs news johannesburg, south africa. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening
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a florida mail carrier takes his call for campaign finance reform to the skies over the capitol. a fairfax county police officer now facing child pornography charges. we hear from his stunned neighbors. it's a vile, evil, depraved predator. >> this gaithersburg man sentenced to 150 years behind bars for a string of beer pong rapes. and the man who targeted a local synagogue by attacking it with hateful words has been arrested. >> good evening. >> a mail carrier landing a tiny aircraft on the hill at the capitol. >> he says the stunt was an effort to have his voice heard on the issue of campaign finance reform. that pilot is under arrest and ellison barber has more. >> reporter: just
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it wassmall ultralight aircraft flying maybe 30 to 40 feet off the ground. it was very low. >> reporter: he saw the plane land with one bounce. >> he landed and sat there. two cops came forward and started yelling don't move, don't move and he complied. >> reporter: seconds later police and fire flooded the area holding rifles. witnesses say the man didn't resist arrest. he stood up and calmly put his hands behind his back. >> he was taken away. then a bomb dog was brought, circled around the craft. that's when we were told to


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