OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — One man's quest to explain his brother's mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
What some consider a far-flung conspiracy theory will be at the forefront during a trial set to begin Monday in Salt Lake City. The Freedom of Information Act lawsuit was brought by Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue against the FBI. He says the agency won't release security camera videos that show a second person was with Timothy McVeigh when he parked a truck outside the Oklahoma City federal building and detonated a bomb, killing 168 people. The government claims McVeigh was alone.
Unsatisfied by the FBI's previous explanations, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups has ordered the agency to explain why it can't find videos from the bombing that are mentioned in evidence logs, citing the public importance of the tapes.
Trentadue believes the presence of a second suspect in the truck explains why his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, was flown to Oklahoma several months after the bombing, where he died in a federal holding cell in what was labeled a suicide. His brother bore a striking resemblance to the police sketch that officials sent out after the bombing based on witness descriptions of the enigmatic suspect "John Doe No. 2," who was the same height, build and complexion. The suspect was never identified.
"I did not start out to solve the Oklahoma City bombing, I started out for justice for my brother's murder," Jesse Trentadue said. "But along the way, every path I took, every lead I got, took me to the bombing."
The FBI says it can't find anything to suggest the videos exist, and says it would be "unreasonably burdensome" to do a search that would take a single staff person more than 18 months to conduct.
Jesse Trentadue's belief that the tapes exists stems from a Secret Service document written shortly after the bombing that describes security video footage of the attack that shows suspects — in plural — exiting the truck three minutes before it went off.
A Secret Service agent testified in 2004 that the log does, in fact, exist but that the government knows of no videotape. The log that the information was pulled from contained reports that were never verified, said Stacy A. Bauerschmidt, then-assistant to the special agent in charge of the agency's intelligence division.
Several investigators and prosecutors who worked the case told The Associated Press in 2004 they had never seen video footage like that described in the Secret Service log.
The FBI has released 30 video recordings to Trentadue from downtown Oklahoma City, but those recordings don't show the explosion or McVeigh's arrival in a rental truck.
If he wins at trial, Trentadue hopes to be able to search for the tapes himself rather than having to accept the FBI's answer that they don't exist.
Kathy Sanders and Jannie Coverdale, who both lost grandchildren in the bombing, are grateful for Trentadue's pursuit of the case. Sanders said she's been waiting 19 years to see the tapes.
"It is worth pursuing," Coverdale said. "I know there was somebody else. I have never stopped asking questions."
But former Oklahoma Rep. Susan Winchester, whose sister, Dr. Margaret "Peggy" Clark, was killed in the bombing, said she is satisfied that officials have identified everyone responsible for the bombing.
"I was very comfortable with the decisions that came out of the federal and state trials," Winchester said. "I have reached that point in my life where I can continue."
Jesse Trentadue's mission began four months after the bombing when his brother died at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons' Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City. Kenneth Trentadue, 44, a convicted bank robber and construction worker, was brought there after being picked up for probation violations while coming back to the U.S. at the Mexican border, Jesse Trentadue said.
His death was officially labeled a suicide. But his body had 41 wounds and bruises that his brother believes were the result of a beating. In 2008, a federal judge awarded the family $1.1 million in damages for extreme emotional distress in the government's handling of the death, but the amount was reduced to $900,000 after an appeal.
Jesse Trentadue's best guess about the motive is that his brother died in an interrogation gone wrong by investigators demanding information Kenneth Trentadue didn't have.
Jesse Trentadue filed the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in 2008.
Going toe-to-toe with the federal government has come at a personal price for Jesse Trentadue, 67, who says he's lost time with his children and wife that he can't recover.
But he has no regrets, fueled by his love for his brother. Just three years apart, the two shared a bed, hunted coons together and played on the same sports teams growing up in a coal camp in West Virginia.
Their paths diverged as adults — Jesse becoming an attorney while Kenneth fell into drugs and crime — but the brotherly bond never broke. Before his death, Kenneth Trentadue had overcome his heroin addiction and had a newborn baby at home in San Diego, Jesse Trentadue said. The brothers spoke by phone from jail the night before his death, with the two discussing how he would soon be out.
"What I learned growing up in the coal fields is that you fight even when you know you can't win," he said. "Because you have to make a stand on some things. Justice for my brother is certainly one of them."
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
3 children, brother of Utah Olympian found thanks to rescue efforts
(KUTV) Search and rescue crews in Idaho have located the brother of Orem native Noelle Pikus-Pace and his three children in the Emerald Lake area.
Crews began searching for Jared Pikus and his three kids when they did not rendezvous with Pikus' wife on Saturday.
The group had left for a camping trip on Friday and campers in the area told search crews they saw the family Saturday afternoon.
Campers told crews the family was rafting on Moores Lake and were going to walk a ridge-line back to their campsite. Officials say based on the information search crews were able to concentrate their efforts into a smaller area.
According to Pikus-Pace's Facebook page the family became lost and began hikeing down a road they found until they ran into someone. She is reporting that they were found okay and as of Sunday afternoon they were still on the mountain.
We will have additional information on the story as it becomes available.
California lightning hits 14; 2 critically injured
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A 20-year-old man died Sunday after lightning struck 13 people at a popular Los Angeles beach and a golfer on Catalina Island during rare summer thunderstorms that swept through Southern California, authorities said.
The man was taken from Venice Beach and pronounced dead at a hospital Sunday afternoon, Los Angeles County coroner's Lt. Larry Dietz said. His identity was not immediately released.
Dietz did not immediately know the cause of death and couldn't immediately confirm whether the man was a swimmer pulled from the water and given CPR by lifeguards.
Thirteen people, including a 15-year-old boy were jolted by lightning on the beach, in the water and on the famed Venice Beach boardwalk. Nine were taken to hospitals, where one remained in critical condition, authorities said.
Most of the others were mainly shaken up and expected to recover, fire officials said.
Steve Christensen said his friend had been body-surfing and was sitting on the beach when lifeguards began searching for a missing swimmer.
"He (Christensen's friend) went out to the water to find him and walked right into him," Christensen said. "He was face down on the bottom."
Christensen said his friend pulled the man, who appeared to be in his 20s, from the water, and lifeguards began CPR before taking him away on a truck.
"The guy wasn't moving. He wasn't responding at all," Jesus Zamudio of Riverside told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/UvUQgs ).
Stuart Acher said he was struck by lightning while playing volleyball on the beach.
"We went about our game and then all of a sudden, there was a big flash of light and a boom, and it felt like someone punched me in the back of my head," he told KABC-TV. "It went down my whole side of my right body, and my calves sort of locked up, and I fell over. And I looked up and everybody else was, you know, falling over."
Paramedics examined Acher but he felt all right and went back to playing volleyball.
"The majority of the folks that were on the (volleyball) court all felt a little tingly," said another player, Jerome Williams. "Everyone hit the court. It sounded like a sonic boom."
On Santa Catalina Island, often called Catalina Island, off the coast, a 57-year-old man was struck by lightning on a golf course and was hospitalized in stable condition, said Steve Denning, a law enforcement technician with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He did not have other details.
The lightning strikes occurred as a fierce but brief thunderstorm hit the island, causing minor flooding and setting two small fires in the brushy backcountry that were quickly doused, Denning said.
Parts of the island received more than three-quarters of an inch of rain in about two hours, said Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
A moisture-laden monsoonal flow usually spawns thunderstorms when it hits hot weather in the deserts and sometimes in the mountains this time of year, Seto said.
"This time, it came all around San Diego and northwards," spreading out into the ocean as well as inland, Seto said.
The storms began to dissipate as they moved northwest, leaving just a chance of storms through Monday, mainly in the deserts and mountains.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
(KUTV) They took the rare collectors' cars out of the museum Sunday and into the sunlight for all to see at the Miller Motorsports Park for the inaugural Octane Party, helping kick off the 9th annual Beehive Drive with proceeds going to help the families of fallen officers.
Jazz CEO Greg Miller welcomed car enthusiasts to the show, telling 2News this was the first time all these limited production vehicles and classic cars were together in one location, "We've got hot rods, rat rods, old 4-wheel drives, a mini cooper that just pulled up and my hope is that we can just continue to build on the diversity."
Car lovers, young and old, perused the cars on display outside of the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele County, while inside races were going on. Miller says cars are a great way for family members to find that special connection, "As I've gotten older I've realized that cars are a great way to establish relationships. It was one of the most special memories I have of my dad in a car. It's a neat way to bond and build relationships with people you love."
"It kind of leaves you speechless," Josh Ayres told 2News Sunday as he wandered through the various make and models for show, "This is actually the only place in the world that you'll see these cars, because of their rarity, like in one spot. So, it's pretty cool!"
"I think it's great, particularly the GT40s over here! That's the year I really watched a lot of racing," car enthusiast Paul Schack said Sunday adding that it gives him a chance to fantasize about owning one of the classic muscle cars, pointing to a yellow hot rod, "This would be the car I'd like to own, but right now I drive a Toyota Corolla."
Organizers say over the last 8 years, $1.8 Million has been donated to the Utah Highway Patrol's Honoring Heroes Foundation, helping families of fallen and injured officers, as well as going toward community betterment projects in rural areas. Donations are made in the communities where the Beehive Drive makes its stops. The Utah towns of Helper, Blanding and Fairview will host the cars as the touring show runs through the end of the month.
A benefit gala will then be held at the Grand America on the 31st with proceeds going to the foundation. For more information go to: beehivedrive.org
1 dead after single vehicle crash near Utah - Idaho border
(KUTV) Idaho State Police responded to a fatal crash on Interstate 84 at milepost 273, near the border of Utah and Idaho early Sunday morning.
Police say Kenneth Brooks, 17, of Magna was traveling eastbound on Interstate 84 in a 2000 Chevy Venture van. Brooks swerved towards the median in an attempt to avoid an animal in the roadway. He corrected back into the lane of travel, and over steered back into the median causing the van to overturn.
Mark Beaslin, 60, of Taylorsville was sleeping in the cargo area of the van and was ejected from the vehicle when it overturned. Brooks and Beaslin were both transported by ambulance to Bear River Valley Hospital in Tremonton, UT.
Brooks was wearing his seat belt and his condition is unknown. Beaslin, who was unsecured in the vehicle, was declared dead after arriving at the hospital.
The crash remains under investigation by Idaho State Police.
Families return to homes after Springville fire shifts
(KUTV) Firefighters have returned to the scene of a fire east of Springville that forced ten homes to be evacuated and forty to be put on standby Saturday night.
Fire crews from five agencies responded to the fire: Springville, Utah County, Mapleton, Spanish Fork and Salem. The crews were forced to stop for the night because the steep terrain was too dangerous in the dark.
The blaze, which started around 2:20 a.m. Saturday in the hills above 2080 E. Canyon Rd., has now burned an estimated 140 acres and is only 15 percent contained.
Families have been allowed to return after the wind shifted and the fire moved away from those homes. The blaze is now moving toward the Hobble Creek Canyon area.
Officials say the fire was sparked by teenagers playing with sparklers on the east bench in Springville, a restricted area near a culinary water storage tank.
"It's fire season, all the conditions are right. It takes very little bit of a spark to light a fire," warns Kim Osborne with the U.S. Forest Service.
The teens reportedly called for help but the blaze spread rapidly.
Sunday is the last day to legally light off fireworks and officials are urging everyone to use caution and a little common sense.
KUTV CBS 2 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Salt Lake City and nearby towns and communities in the Great Salt Lake area, including Jordan Meadows, Millcreek, Murray, Holladay, Kearns, West Valley City, West Jordan, South Jordan, Sandy, Draper, Riverton, Bluffdale, Merriman, Magna, Bountiful, Centerville, Cottonwood Heights, Alpine, Highland, Summit Park, Park City, Beber City, Grantsville, Farmington, Kayville, Layton, Syracuse, Clearfield, Morgan, Roy, Ogden, American Fork, Orem, Provo, Springville, Spanish Fork, Payson, Nephi, and Tooele.