... Once arrived, enjoy scattered waterfalls, cliff jumping, and of course, plenty of soaking spots. Eagle Cliff Falls is a 40-foot waterfall that flows almost impossibly between two towering rock walls. Nichols claims he took the deal for just one reason: time was running out to regain custody of his daughter. Cap off your trip with a stop at the Crossings Premium Outlets to do some shopping. He used you to hurt me. While Eagle Cliff Falls at Havana Glen is far from the tallest waterfall in the region, it’s easily one of the most impressive. Nichols was given credit for time served while awaiting trial. GRANT HINDSLEY/SEATTLEPI.COM A young man swims back to his … Stephen Nichols: No. Peter Van Sant: This Rhonda sounds like somebody who doesn't care much at all about you. It all started 11 years earlier when a stunning 20-year-old woman knocked on Nichols' bedroom door at his home just outside Portland, Oregon. I doubt that. Stephen Nichols: I had a three-bedroom condo and the other two rooms were just empty. There's now zero-percent chance that Steve goes to prison for murder, that a jury gets it wrong. Stephen Nichols: If I waited over a year to go to trial, I probably had a zero-percent chance. Is Nichols being self-sacrificing, having said nothing about suicide until now -- even as he stands charged with murder -- or is he self-serving? Prosecutors don't agree and want a jury to see a picture taken by Rhonda showing red marks left from an alleged physical encounter with Nichols. But what Nichols seems to be suggesting to "48 Hours" is that Rhonda may have chosen to go off that cliff. Jessica Colburn | Rhonda's friend: Yes. But Jessica Colburn says Rhonda told her about only one planned hike. Stephen Nichols: What was her point in going up there? Stephen Nichols: I'm like, "What is going on here? Mike Arnold: Between the physical evidence and the science, there won't be much dispute about this bein' -- a tragic accident on a dangerous trail. …It's one of those things where you think you're in a dream and you're gonna wake up at any time I'm like, "OK, I'm gonna wake up in China. Eagle Falls is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, about two hours east of Sacramento. …Things were tough after the baby was born. Stephen Nichols: I decided when I got to China, this is a whole fresh start. While walking the trail, take note of the towering stone walls to your left and the small waterfalls to your right. But how exactly did Nichols and his attorney end up at this moment? Cumberland Falls via Eagle Falls Trail is a 1.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Parkers Lake, Kentucky that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. Peter Van Sant: Why didn't you tell them back in the day that suicide was something she was contemplating? Stephen Nichols: I hugged the right wall pretty much on the way down. …It sounds so insulting to American women [laughs], but they just -- they make better partners. …So that's the hardest part. And there are allegations of another physical assault of a woman with eerie similarities to what Nichols stands accused of now -- allegations made by his ex-wife. But now I've got him out with me so we can work on this as a team … so this is a big deal. Less than six months after Rhonda's death, he was charged with five counts of sex abuse for allegedly touching a 13-year-old girl on the buttocks. Stephen Nichols: I turn around and I look at her and my tongue pretty much hit the floor. And she's like, "Hi. Stephen Nichols: She's never been off drugs since the age of 12. Like there's always other options there. …We will continue to fight until we have proven my innocence. …She just wasn't a happy person. Explore and enjoy Eagle Falls. With sheer rock cliff leaping spots, rope swings, 20-foot deep swimming pools, and direct entry off of Freeway 2, Eagle Falls has the potential to draw hordes of individuals. The entrance to Havana Glen Park is just off of St. Catherine Street (Route 14) about a five-minute drive from downtown Watkins Glen. Peter Van Sant: Did you yell at her, "Hey, what are you doin', stop, walk, we're walking down?". Soon, Rhonda joined her mother in the condo, not as a roommate but as Nichols' girlfriend. Stephen Nichols: I had been there before. Stephen Nichols: Would it have made a difference, do you really think? For months following his February 2015 arrest for murder, Stephen Nichols faced pretrial hearings on a slew of issues from evidence to motive -- including whether there should even be a trial since the defense considers Rhonda Casto's death an accident. Stephen Nichols: I hate all the suicide questions. Peter Van Sant [holding a photo of Rhonda]: Tell me about this. One, the sheer beauty of the hike. Melanie Casto. You can reach the top of the falls by scaling the cliffs or take the easier option by following the trail. Peter Van Sant: This plea deal, is it justice to you? F--- all the past. Something's fishy." …Up until that point she's the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. About Eagle Falls: not really a climbing area. Eagle Cliff Falls was named this because of the look of a spread-wing eagle profile naturally carved into the rock face. Nichols says the question unnerved him, especially since three months earlier, he claims Rhonda had demanded he buy life insurance. So he decided to get a roommate, who turned out to be Rhonda's mother, Julia Simmons. Luck aside, if you want to visit this waterfall without many visitors, I suggest coming on a weekday or early in the morning. However, if you don’t mind getting a bit wet, there are a lot of great views to be had while exploring the area around the base of the falls. Peter Van Sant: And what were you sensing from Rhonda? Julia Simmons: I kept calling and asking why anything -- nothing was happening. It's not justice. But I've never physically hurt anyone. 48 Hours. She goes, "I'll be fine." In 2005, Nichols, who was 10 years older than Rhonda and recently divorced, was working as a day trader. Nichols got a job teaching English to Chinese businessmen. Copyright © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc.All rights reserved. The waterfall is located at the end of a short and relatively easy hike, and it only takes about 5 minutes of walking to reach the base of this great waterfall. People that have to make up lies are, you know, you can obviously tell that they're guilty. He claims that didn't happen, but something else did. Stephen Nichols: I can say this with being with so many American women, Chinese women -- all-inclusive -- are better partners. He began to thrive too, falling in love with Landy Yin Yan. Try cliff diving and swimming at Red River Gorge. people go cliff jumping into the river here, and there is some graffiti on the rocks. Mike Arnold: There's some problems with the juvenile court system that the longer you wait, the harder it is to get a child returned to parent. …and you know, somebody that's really nice. Over the next two days, Arnold set out on a frantic mission to gather the 10 percent needed in cash to free his client. Stephen Nichols says this is how the tragedy unfolded: they were heading down the trail, Rhonda is in a great mood and jokingly she had put a towel around her shoulders and was calling herself Supergirl. Stephen Nichols: Everything about her was impressive. Carrie Rasmussen [in court]: When you look at the relationship that the defendant then had with Rhonda Casto…, Notes from a therapist Rhonda had been seeing reveal she was depressed but not suicidal from her relationship with Stephen, which she described as "loveless.". Twice.". She was taking Tae Kwon Do. Rhonda's mother doesn't believe a word of Nichols' story, saying the insurance was all his idea and that Nichols, the day trader, had an ulterior motive. Changing water levels, unseen rocks, and river bottoms that have shifted with currents and seasonal weather can turn a well-known jumping … I do. Stephen Nichols: She's beautiful, of course. You are putting someone out of their misery that essentially has zero chance of survival. Like, I'm very prim and proper. …He's just said that to get sympathy. A barnacle gosling plummeting more than 120m (400ft) to follow its parents has been recorded by BBC filmmakers. I didn't wanna do that. And she thought that having our daughter would bring her happiness and it didn't. Stephen Nichols: There's definitely a lot more to the story. California Privacy/Information We Collect. Stephen Nichols: We made it a pact that we would hike … 20 or 25 of the top trails in Oregon. …I'm checking out. But in April 2016, with a trial date nowhere in sight, Judge John Olson reduced Nichols' bail to $250,000. Because of the constant shade, however, it can be completely vacant on cooler days. I was like, "That's interesting.". Stephen Nichols: I say no. However, even if you can’t explore Eagle Cliff Falls at Havana Glen Park without a crowd, this is still an incredible waterfall to see near Watkins Glen, New York. He is appealing that decision. The falls seen in the spring will look much different than the same falls visited at the end of the summer. So I said, "OK.". Stephen Nichols was accused of pushing his fiancée to her death off a dangerous hiking trail in 2009. …So that's just another one of his lies … to take the heat off of himself. … So while I'd prefer to be coming home and doing farm chores and listen to wildlife … instead I'll be thinking about my closing argument or what the next step of the case is. And she knew that Steve was trying to drive a wedge between 'em. And you agreed to a plea deal in this case –, Stephen Nichols: Yeah, that was [sighs] -- that one definitely -- I was in the wrong on that one in terms of sending the photo. So 10 months later, when Nichols and his daughter arrived in San Francisco... Stephen Nichols: They said something was wrong with my bags. Julia Simmons: I first met Stephen Nichols through the internet. People can reach whatever conclusion they want. However, the main draw at the park is the incredible hike to Eagle Cliff Falls. Stephen Nichols: I've laid everything out there. Nichols says they didn't linger on the trail for long. Jessica Colburn: No. The natural crack lines tend to be chossy and, due to the nature of the brittle rock, a bit suspect but the popular routes are worth traveling for. And on the eve of his trial, a defiant Nichols is convinced there will be many more happy days ahead. The first one, a shocking love triangle involving another of Rhonda's younger sisters, Melanie, that may have provided a motive for murder. Dr. Christopher Young [in court]: I can tell that -- based on the injuries that she has, she -- she landed -- predominantly on her legs and her pelvis. Peter Van Sant: You're saying you'll take your own life. Michael Matti / Flickr. Stephen Nichols: It's all hypothetical, because I'm telling people, you know, think -- think outside the box. I'm just saying that –. Peter Van Sant: What'd you do when you got to her? It's a story "48 Hours" has been following since 2015. The man accused of killing her reveals what may have happened in a new interview with "48 Hours". For the first time, he talks about what may have happened in Rhonda's last moments of life that day in 2009, comparing her to a wounded soldier. What the State has to prove in this corner of the blue into how times! 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What Nichols seems to be placed back into his custody, what 's your plea to the water edge... Never seen another person here climbing the die hard cliff jumpers the.., Clive Clark designed, 6,715 yard, par 72 challenge this was created the.
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