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VIPs Join nation to mourn Reagan, G8 Summit ends, Ray Charles dies at 73

Aired June 10, 2004 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, I'm Anderson Cooper.
Business behind him, the president comes home to mourn and remember, 360 starts now.


COOPER (voice-over): The summit ends. The president says he expects no NATO help in Iraq and he heads to Capitol Hill to pay his respects to the late president.

Were the Libyans secretly planning a hit, even as they were trying to get back in America's good graces?

New testimony from neighbors of the accused, what did they say about Scott Peterson's behavior and how one's testimony might end up helping the defense.

Who took the week off then built a solid lead while you weren't looking?

And, farewell to another American legend, the genius Ray Charles dies at 73.


ANNOUNCER: Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

COOPER: Good evening again.

A week of peacemaking with our friends now behind him, President Bush came back to Washington just a short time ago to pay tribute to a friend and former president. When Ronald Reagan died, Mr. Bush was in France marking the anniversary of D-Day. He missed Mr. Reagan's state funeral yesterday with Mrs. Reagan's blessing because of the G8 Summit.

Upon returning home this evening he went straight from Andrews Air Force Base to the Capitol Hill Rotunda to view the president's casket as have thousands of visitors throughout the day. From there he traveled to Blair House with Mrs. Bush to pay their respects to Nancy Reagan.

Following developments for us tonight from Washington, CNN White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux and, on the capitol CNN Congressional correspondent Joe Johns. We begin at the White House.

Suzanne, the president is at Blair House right now.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes he is. The first stop that he made since the G8 Summit was first at the Capitol Rotunda. That's where he paid his respects to the late President Ronald Reagan.

From there the president and the first lady went to Blair House just across from the White House to meet privately with the widow Nancy Reagan. They're offering their personal condolences there as we speak.

It is tomorrow that the president will deliver the eulogy, 15 minutes in length, at the National Cathedral. We are told that that will follow remarks by his own father, the former President George Herbert Walker Bush.

All of this, of course, comes after what the administration sees as a successful three-day summit with world leaders, the G8 Summit at Sea Island, Georgia. The pictures very much what the White House had hoped for.

The group of eight split over the Iraq War now unified behind a new U.N. Security Council resolution endorsing Iraqi sovereignty, as well as the multinational force there. And, of course, Iraq's new president side-by-side with President Bush, expressing hope for the country's future, also a Middle East initiative signed off by Arab leaders as well.

But what the administration failed to win, however, commitments of additional troops, financial assistance and debt forgiveness for Iraq. Also there was the dispute over NATO's contribution in Iraq.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't expect more troops from NATO to be offered up. That's an unrealistic expectation. Nobody is suggesting that. What we are suggesting is for NATO perhaps to help train. Now, that would come at the request of the Iraqi government.


MALVEAUX: Now the administration certainly will be debating that in the next couple of weeks, Anderson, when it goes to the NATO summit in a couple of weeks.

COOPER: All right, Suzanne Malveaux at the White House, thanks Suzanne.

And estimated 5,000 people an hour are filing past Ronald Reagan's casket, 58,000 so far, young and old, Republicans and Democrats, those who knew him and those who just felt like they did. About 12 hours remain for public viewing. The line still stretches long, Americans saying goodbye in thought and prayer and in silence. Today, we saw a Marine wounded in combat in Iraq raise his right arm and salute, his hand missing, his left arm amputated below the elbow. We also saw a Native American, the ceremonial headdress, people of all walks of life.

CNN Congressional Correspondent Joe Johns has watched them file past on Capitol Hill -- Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a list of dignitaries coming here to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda to pay their respects, among them former Republican Senator Bob Dole, who served in the Congress under President Ronald Reagan.

Also current Majority Leader Bill Frist showed up. He came there with the new president of Iraq, as well as former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev dropped in, briefly touched the casket and then he was gone.

Also here today was the Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who of course was nominated to the court by President Reagan. But the vast majority of people here just plain folks filing past the casket hour after hour. There is a very long line, of course, that extends outside the capitol, down the street, around the corner.

There's also another line, of course, inside the capitol, this line for staffers of the United States Congress. Their line is much shorter. They get in much quicker. Nonetheless, they still do have to wait.

As you said, this will continue until tomorrow morning at which time they close down the rotunda, begin the ceremony to remove the casket from the United States Capitol and take it over to the Washington National Cathedral -- Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Joe Johns thanks for that from Capitol Hill.

Everything for Reagan's state funeral, of course, planned to the minute with carefully choreographed procedures (unintelligible) in tradition but, as we learned yesterday, the unexpected can happen.

Just 40 minutes before Reagan's body arrived in Washington, a scare on Capitol Hill. Capitol Police told everyone to run for their lives literally. I was in the crowd reporting live when it happened. Let's take a look.

Clearly having some problem with the audio of that. The line had stretched. There were about 200 people there at the time. The police suddenly came, said everyone get out of here. After a few minutes the all clear. It turns out the big scare was over a small plane carrying the governor of Kentucky that got in restricted air space.

CNN National Security Correspondent Jeanne Meserve has been looking into how it happened. Jeanne, what have you learned? JEANNE MESERVE, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, you know because you were there that the evacuation of the capitol yesterday afternoon had elements of chaos and panic.

Congressional sources also tell CNN that an alarm system installed after 9/11 did not work in all parts of the Capitol Building and that an emergency pager system never sent out notice of the evacuation, though it did distribute a message sounding the all clear. The chief of the Capitol Hill Police acknowledges there were some problems and says they will be corrected but, overall, he thinks the evacuation went as it should have.


CHIEF TERRANCE GAINER, CAPITOL HILL POLICE: The building was emptied, we're estimating, in about five minutes which is a substantial record for us entering that building and having been right on the west front our officers were acting actually courageously because they were getting people out of a building they think is going to get attacked. But I also got to tell you the staff and the visitors and the representatives of the Reagan family were very responsive and moved very quickly out of the area.


MESERVE: As you mentioned, Anderson, the evacuation was triggered by the entrance of an airplane into the protected airspace around Washington. The plane was carrying the governor of Kentucky to the Reagan funeral. Despite a malfunctioning transponder, air traffic controllers had told it to proceed on its designated route from Cincinnati to Reagan National Airport outside the capitol.

But then a special command post set up to monitor air traffic around the capitol picked up an unidentified plane about 43 miles west of the city. It called Air Traffic Control and had two Air Force jets diverted to verify that the unidentified plane and the governor's plane were one and the same.

Just minutes before the pilots gave the all clear, we saw, you saw the first signs of the evacuation, which continued after the plane's identity had been verified and the plane had landed.

Homeland security officials say tonight the air defense system operated exactly as it should have. The Capitol Police are defending the decision to evacuate, though some members of Congress are voicing the opinion that it may have been an overreaction -- Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Jeanne Meserve thanks very much for that.

From my perspective, though, Capitol Police seem to do a great job. My favorite moment is when apparently they yelled at Judy Woodruff to take off her shoes and run for her life. Apparently, she did. This is not the first time a scare on Capitol Hill turned out to be a false alarm. A flash back now to October 30, 2003. U.S. Capitol Police noticed an image of what appeared to be a .38 caliber revolver on an x-ray machine, do you remember that?

They notified employees in the Cannon House Office Building that they were searching for a man and a woman who had breached security putting the building in lockdown. It turns out two women who worked there had placed bags containing Halloween costumes through the X-ray machine. The revolver was nothing more than a plastic toy gun.

The death of a man, a music legend, tops our look at what's happening "Cross Country" tonight.

Ray Charles, singer of soul and jazz and everything in between died today from complications of liver disease. A spokesman says it happened in Beverly Hills, California, Charles surrounded by family and friends.

He won 12 Grammys in his tumultuous life. He's in the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame and in the CD collections of music lovers around the world. He was 73. We'll have more on the life and musical legacy of Ray Charles later tonight on 360.

In New Paltz, New York, a judge dismisses criminal charges against Mayor Jason West for marrying same-sex couples. The judge says the state didn't show it had a legitimate interest in banning same-sex weddings.

Birmingham, Alabama now, former Governor Don Siegelman arraigned on charges of conspiring to rig bids on state maternity care contracts along with his former chief of staff and a doctor. All three say they are innocent.

Memphis, Tennessee now, caught on tape, police looking for suspects in this armed robbery. Take a look at this video captured by surveillance camera in a convenience store last night. See the kid on the right there?

Two children believed to belong to one or both of the robbers entered during the holdup. The robbers yelled at them to leave. Then the clerks attacked the men with a baseball bat and a tire iron. The robbers fired several shots then ran out of the store. See if the judge adds bad parenting to their list of crimes if they're caught.

That's a look at stories right now "Cross Country."

360 next, the ever shifting political winds, why are polls going south on economic news that's heading north? That's raw politics ahead.

Also tonight, fighting hard to stay out of jail. Martha Stewart asks for a new trial and she may actually have a good chance of getting one. We'll talk about why ahead.

And the passing of the legend, Ray Charles, our special tribute to him all ahead tonight.

First, your picks, the most popular stories on right now.

1. Man surprised rampage plan wasn't discovered. 2. The funny ads of online dating. 3. Ray Charles dead at 73.


COOPER: Well, America loves a makeover and the makeover of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was stunning. He renounced his bad dictator past, promised to be a good citizen of the world. Well today some news that made us think about that old story about a leopard not being able to change its spots.

CNN Justice Correspondent Kelli Arena has details from Washington.


KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Government officials confirm the U.S. is investigating whether Moammar Gadhafi's government plotted to assassinate Saudi Arabia's crown prince.

BUSH: We're looking into it. That's the best way I can tell you. And when we find out the facts we will deal with them accordingly.

ARENA: The plot was allegedly hatched as Gadhafi was negotiating with the United States to lift terror sanctions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am sure it's just lies, not allegations, and let them to go for a while in these investigations. The details will come and the truth will appear.

ARENA: Sources say the FBI and other agencies are investigating claims made by Abdurrahman Alamoudi, an American Muslim activist in U.S. custody and Colonel Mohamed Ismael, a Libyan intelligence officer in Saudi custody.

Officials say both men offered separate and similar accounts of a plan to kill the crown prince. Investigators are trying to determine if the claims are real and whether Gadhafi himself was involved. The State Department says it was aware of the allegations when it was negotiating with Libya late last fall.

RICHARD BOUCHER, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: Libyan leaders assured us that they would not support the use of violence for settling political differences with any state.

ARENA: In December, Libya agreed to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction program. The United States in return took some steps to normalize economic relations but the United States still lists Libya as a state sponsor of terrorism.

BOUCHER: We're not yet at a point to certify either with regard to these specific allegations or to other things that Libya has totally eliminated its contacts and support for terrorism.


ARENA: Some experts say if the allegations turn out to be true, it will obviously impact the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Libya. For now, officials say, the U.S. has gone about as far as its going diplomatically -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Kelli Arena thanks for that.

Let's get you up to date on what is happening around the world right now in tonight's "Up Link."

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, conspiracy charges, the United States accuses an Australian man of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit war crimes and other offenses, this man right here, it's a grainy photo that. David Hicks is his name. He was captured in Afghanistan in 2001. The Pentagon says he attended al Qaeda training camps and conducted surveillance of the U.S. and British embassies in Kabul.

In Afghanistan, workers killed, a gunman attacked a construction site in northern Afghanistan killing ten Chinese construction workers. The Chinese Foreign Ministry is labeling it terrorism. They say an investigation is underway.

In China, a bridge collapse, a truck and two cars tumble into a river after a bridge collapses in northeastern China, no word on casualties right now. Some reports say a 50-ton truck that was crossing the bridge may have prompted the collapse.

Seoul, South Korea, military drill, U.S. forces stage a river crossing drill with South Korean troops. About 20 American soldiers and 100 South Korean soldiers crossed a pontoon bridge. The exercise was described as a chance for soldiers on both sides to learn to cooperate in battle.

And, in Hong Kong, a crocodile is caught. After being on the run for seven months, a crocodile is caught in a steel snare, taken to an animal research center, still a mystery where it came from. Hong Kong has no native crocs and Steve Irwin was nowhere near it.

That is tonight's "Up Link."

360 next, he says Ronald Reagan saved his life. We're going to hear his exclusive story when we come back.

Also tonight, the going to prison blues, Martha Stewart asks for a new trial. Find out why.

And a little later, Ray Charles, his life, his loves and his music. We'll take you down memory lane with a legend.


COOPER: Well, as you saw earlier tonight in the Capitol Rotunda right now Americans continue to pay tribute to Ronald Reagan filing past his casket, saying silently goodbye.

Earlier today a young man, Ryan Osterblom, got to say goodbye in private, there's the photo there, to the man he says saved his life. Back in 1985, Ryan was 16 months old and got a liver transplant with President Reagan's help. Ryan barely remembers meeting President Reagan about two years after the transplant when this picture was taken but, of course, he will never forget him.

Joining me from Washington tonight Ryan and his mom Karen. Thanks very much for being with us tonight Ryan and Karen.



COOPER: Ryan, what was it like for you as you went by the casket today?

R. OSTERBLOM: Well, I was very honored and glad to pay my respects.

COOPER: It must have been a very emotional moment.


COOPER: Karen, explain a little bit how Ryan came to meet President Reagan and what President Reagan was able to do for him.

K. OSTERBLOM: President Reagan was able to appoint at that time a former Health and Human Services Margaret Heckler (ph) to actually find Ryan an organ and to get the word out that an organ, a liver was needed.

Ryan was very tiny at the time and he was also a rare blood type. Consequently, there were no organs. We didn't really have a good system intact at that time, so we needed national attention and President Reagan was instrumental in being able to achieve this.

COOPER: Now, Karen, I know Ryan was too young really to remember. He was three years old. We have that picture of him meeting President Reagan when he was three.


COOPER: What was it like for you to meet the president that time?

K. OSTERBLOM: It was overwhelming. I was so thrilled and honored to be able to thank him personally for what he did for Ryan and so it was really, it was awesome to, you know, be one-on-one with him and to actually see the president of the United States, a real person, sort of a grandfatherly type the way he got down on his knees and played cars with Ryan. It was a wonderful experience.

COOPER: Ryan, you were too young really when you met President Reagan to talk to him. If you could talk to him now what would you say to him?

R. OSTERBLOM: I'd tell him thank you for everything he's done giving me a future.

COOPER: And he definitely did that. You have a bright future ahead of you. Karen, you know, there are obviously tens of thousands of people out there who could put themselves on the list for transplants but don't. What's your message to them?

K. OSTERBLOM: I would just ask them to look at Ryan. He's lived 19 years. He didn't even receive the same blood type. He was cross- matched. He's a true miracle and really when you do donate your organs you are truly giving the gift of life and a second chance to somebody else and I think -- Ryan is now living proof that transplantation works and there are thousands upon thousands of people waiting for an organ, a desperately needed one.

COOPER: And there are a lot of people who are not registered to be organ donors and we all should be.

K. OSTERBLOM: Exactly and it's not just, you know, being an organ donor. You must talk to your family about it. It's very important because that's the bottom line. After your death, you know, your family needs to know.

COOPER: Yes, you have to make your wishes clear to just about everyone.

K. OSTERBLOM: Absolutely. Absolutely.

COOPER: Karen Osterblom, Ryan Osterblom, it was a pleasure to talk to you. Thanks for being with us tonight.

K. OSTERBLOM: Thank you.

R. OSTERBLOM: Thank you.


COOPER (voice-over): New testimony from neighbors of the accused. What did they say about Scott Peterson's behavior and how one's testimony might end up helping the defense.

And farewell to another American legend, the genius Ray Charles dies at 73.

360 continues.




COOPER: An original, another huge loss for American culture. Ray Charles, the genius music icon dead at the age of 73. We're going to look at his incredible life ahead.

First let's take a look, a live picture of President Bush emerging out of Blair House. He and the First Lady Laura Bush have been spending the last 30 minutes or so with Nancy Reagan who is staying in Blair House tonight before the state funeral tomorrow, ceremonies which begin around 10:00, 10:30 as the processional will begin. The ceremony actually starts officially at 11:30.

You see him in the doorway there. That is President Bush waving just a little bit. There you see Laura Bush emerging as well. They came back to Washington just about an hour or so ago from the G8 Summit, Sea Island, Georgia, where they had been over the last several days meeting with the leaders of many nations from overseas from the eight European nations making up the G8, as well as Canada and others, Japan as well, slowly filing out.

It is not clear, there were no cameras, of course, inside. It was a private meeting with Nancy Reagan. You, of course, there also see Condoleezza Rice having spent some time with Mrs. Reagan as well. They're we're anticipating now will go back to the White House where they will spend the evening.

President Bush will speak at the ceremony tomorrow as will several other world leaders. It will be several thousand people filing into the National Cathedral in Washington, an elaborate ceremony filled with pomp and ceremony, all elaborately orchestrated over these last several days and really over these last many years. This is something that all presidents plan for once they leave office. There you see President Bush driving off having visited Nancy Reagan.

We're going to have more on President Bush's day. Before leaving the G8 Summit, he told reporters he didn't really recall seeing an August, 2002 memo on conditions of torture for the war on terrorism.

In that memo, the Justice Department advised that torturing al Qaeda terrorists in captivity abroad, and I quote, "may be justified." President Bush did say he would never authorize the use of any interrogation techniques that would violate international laws. We'll no doubt be hearing more about that in the coming days.

Najaf, Iraq now, renewed fighting. Iraqis versus Iraqis, fighters loyal to Shiite Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr attacked the Najaf Police Station. At least five people have been killed. Police have asked U.S. forces for help. U.S. commanders say the Iraqis need to learn to deal with the fighting on their own, a sign of things to come perhaps., Bill Clinton's memoir already number one. It isn't even out yet. Less than two weeks before "My Life," that's what the book is called is going to be in bookstores, the book has set a record with the highest ever pre-order sales in the website's biographies and memoirs category.

Moving on now to Oben, Scotland. Royal Princes pay their respects. Princes William and Harry attended their grandmothers funeral, the mother of Princess Diana. That's a quick look of what is going on around the world tonight.

In his 1978 autobiography, Ray Charles said his secret to success was simple, quote, "I was born with music inside me." Charles died today at the age of 73 from complications of liver disease. For the past several hours, people have been stopping by Charles' star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, some leaving flowers. That's a live picture right there.

The president of the Recording Academy, which gave Charles a lifetime achievement award, said the world is a quieter place tonight.



COOPER (voice-over): If a great song has ups and down, tragedy and triumph, heart and soul, Ray Charles' life was one wonderful song indeed. Born in 1930 in a dusty Georgia town, Ray Charles Robinson came into the world poor and his luck just seemed to get worse: by the age of 7, he'd lost a brother, and his sight to glaucoma.

He learned braille at Florida's State School for the Blind, learned piano there as well. Though his ability to compose and arrange melodies in his head, well, who knows where he got that gift.

Fame and fortune rarely come easy. For Charles, the road was rockier than most. Years of drug abuse, years of struggle in dingy bars and no-name towns. It wasn't until 1955 with the release of "I've Got a Woman" that Charles' luck began to change. Five years later came a Grammy, his first for "Georgia On My Mind." His rendition later became that state's song.

Whether it was soul, jazz, R&B or country, nobody played it, sang it, or felt it like Ray Charles.


RAY CHARLES, SINGER: For me, my music is my existence, it's just like your breathing, without your breathing, you are no longer here. Without my music, I feel I'm no longer here.

COOPER: Today, we learned Ray Charles is no longer here. Lucky for us, his music still is.


COOPER: We want to talk more about Charles' incredible life and music with "Rolling Stone's" senior editor David Fricke. Thanks for being with us Davis.

You didn't know him personally, but you saw Ray Charles, you probably felt like you knew him personally after seeing him perform. What was it like?

DAVID FRICKE, ROLLING STONE: It was extraordinary. It was in a little club here in New York. It wasn't too long ago, like the late '90s. And it was a place called Tramps (ph) down on 21st Street, a very small room and a rare club appearance for Ray. He didn't play those kind of rooms very often.

And I got as close to the stage as I'm sitting here with you and it was like seeing Mount Rushmore, you were seeing a titanic presence, the voice, the way he attacked the piano, but it was so much love and passion. He was singing the songs that he'd sung for 30 or 40 years.

COOPER: And not just sung those songs, I mean, he lived those songs.

FRICKE: He inhabited those songs. He lived -- what he wrote was from his life. And what he sang, even if he didn't write it, his experience, the life that he had to lead, being a blind man, being black in America, going through drug addiction, there was so much of the blues in what he sang. But there was also a lot of joy, because he transcended all that. He got past it. And he gave America, you know, he basically invented soul.

COOPER: You know, it's fascinating, because so many people the last week have been talking about Ronald Reagan's, his humble beginning. Ronald Reagan said, he said he wasn't born on the wrong side of the tracks, but he was born close enough so he could hear the train whistle.

I mean, you talk about, you know Ray Charles, 1930's Georgia, at the age of 7 he was blind and yet, as you said, he transcended all of this.

FRICKE: He didn't really accept limitations. You know, there were no limitations in his music. "Modern Sounds in Country and Western." "Genius Plus Soul Equals Jazz."

He once talked about the country and western records and he said that, you know, I'm not singing country and western, I'm singing me. So when he sings "Georgia On My Mind" or "I Can't Stop Loving You," he's not singing the archetype, or the style, he was singing everything that was in him and coming out. And that's what he did, and in "What I Say," -- let's go get stoned.

COOPER: He was also a really good businessman. He owned his master recordings, which is pretty rare for artists.

FRICKE: He was an unusual example in that time for a black performer, who really became his own record company. Barry Gordy had done it. But Ray was a singer. He actually had been through all the contracts. He had worked at Atlantic, where he had done great work, ABC, Paramount. But he decided it was time for him to run his own business. And he was one of the first great artist entrepreneurs.

COOPER: Without a Ray Charles, could there have been a Stevie Wonder?

FRICKE: No. There's a lot we wouldn't have right now. There's a lot of rock 'n roll we wouldn't have, there's a lot of jazz we wouldn't have. He was very well versed. He worked with Count Basie's band. He worked with Betty Carter.

You know, to him, soul was not a genre, it was a way of life. And it was the way he expressed himself. The fact that it has a name, you know, it's because he -- he imprinted it. He created soul. I know we're mourning another president this week, but Ray Charles was the president of soul.

COOPER; Ray Charles was the president of soul?


COOPER: That's a good line. I wish he had been -- I hope he knew that during his lifetime.

FRICKE: I think he did. The night I saw him it was quite obvious, he knew what he had achieved. And he really enjoyed, even in the small club, being that close to people and being able to radiate.

COOPER: And even though his health was failing. He had liver problems for a long time, he was still pouring it into the music.

FRICKE: Yes, you know, he had been a drug addict for many years. He had been blind. There was so much he had to overcome and it never stopped him.

COOPER: You were talking about Ray Charles being the president of soul. We actually have the Godfather of Soul on the telephone right now, James Brown is joining us. Godfather, what do you think? What are your thoughts tonight about Ray Charles?

JAMES BROWN, SINGER: I'm kind of in an uproar. I love the country and I'm a countryman and I got -- you know I've been around a long time, through many presidents and everything. So after losing Mr. Reagan, who I know very well, then Mr. Ray Charles, who I worked with and lived with like, all of our life, we had a show together in Oakland many, many years ago and it's like you just found the placard.

It just shows you that you never know what is going on. You got to love each other and you got to try to get along with each other as much as we can. And the young kids got to try to be productive other than destructive to themselves.

COOPER: James, what was it about Ray Charles...

BROWN: A man like Brother Ray Charles, you lost a cornerstone of good. And that hurts real bad.

COOPER: He was a cornerstone of good. What was it about his music?

BROWN: We lost a treasure, we lost a genius and we lost my brother.

COOPER: Do you listen to ray Charles? What kind of an impact did he have on you?

BROWN: Hello? Hello.

COOPER: Hey James, what kind of an impact did Ray Charles have you on you on your life, on your music?

I think we lost -- I think we lost James Brown. He was from Beach Island, South Carolina, but he did join us for a brief time. And it was good talking to him. David Fricke it was great talking to you.

FRICKE: Godfather of soul, the president of the soul, David Fricke in one night. Thanks very much.

COOPER: All right, so, coming up next, was the case against Martha Stewart corroded? Just ahead on 360, she is asking for her conviction to be thrown out. We are taking a closer look at Stewart's claim that she didn't get a fair trial.

Also tonight, Scott Peterson, the prosecution today tries to strip away his story. A live report from the courthouse coming up.

Also, a little later, she was the first in line to pay respect for Ronald Reagan, just a simple mourner. And for the media, a story worthy of "Overkill" all by herself. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Well, Martha Stewart's lawyers are back in court delivering a bouquet of fresh motions for a new trial. Martha's lead attorney Robert Morvillo is arguing that his famous client was wronged by the alleged false testimony of government witness. The question now, will the controversy surrounding this testimony translate to a second chance for the domestic diva? Details now from senior financial correspondent Allan Chernoff.


ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SR. FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: Martha Stewart's lawyers argue her trial was unfair because the government witness lied on the stand, improperly influencing the jury. "The trial process was marred by dishonesty and perjury, it fatally undermined Martha Stewart's right to a fair trial," her attorneys write. Secret Service ink expert Larry Stewart, no relation to Martha, is charged with perjury for overstating his role in analyzing notes written by Ms. Stewart's stockbroker Peter Bacanovic. Even so, prosecutors say Martha Stewart's conviction will stand.

DAVID KELLEY, U.S. ATTORNEY: We're quite confident that the false testimony will have no impact on the convictions of Martha Stewart and Peter Bacanovic.

CHERNOFF: Judge Miriam Cederbaum delayed Martha Stewart's sentencing for three weeks to consider her request for a new trial. But lawyers who watched the case say the motion will be denied.

JACOB ZAMANSKY, TRIAL LAWYER: The bar is very high to upset a jury verdict. While this is serious, I don't believe the judge will allow a new trial.

CHERNOFF: Judge Cedarbaum rejected Ms. Stewart's first request for a new trial which was based on allegations Juror Chappell Hartridge lied about his background to get on the panel. If Judge Cedarbaum, once again, upholds the verdict, sentencing should go forward on July 8. Legal analysts say Martha Stewart could get between 10 and 18 months in prison for having lied to federal investigators about her sale of Imclone stock. Allan Chernoff, CNN financial news, New York.


COOPER: And covering the Stewart case for us tonight, Court TV anchor Lisa Bloom. Lisa, good to see you. Does she have a shot at getting a new trial?

LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR, COURT TV: I think she has a good shot at it. This is big lies by a big witness. This is the Secret Service agent, the government agent who comes in as an expert witness, testifies not just once but twice during this trial, during the prosecution's case in chief and during rebuttal against both Martha Stewart and Peter Bacanovich and this guy lied, according to the government, in a case about lying. I think she is entitled to a clean new trial.

COOPER: Robert Morvillo, though, at the time kind of portrayed this guy as bit of a blow hard.


COOPER: You were in the courtroom during his testimony. What was it like? What kind of...

BLOOM: I'll tell you something. He seemed very authoritative in the courtroom and when Morvillo and the other defense attorneys went up against him and sort of criticized him the defense attorneys looked bad because this guy held his own. Now we know the defense attorneys were right criticizing him for exaggerating. The fact that the guy did lie according to the government.

COOPER: All right. A lot going on. I also want to talk about what is going on in the Scott Peterson trial. Prosecution tried to get a jump on the defense's case today by hammering away at its theory that vagrants may have killed his wife Laci and their unborn child. CNN's Ted Rowlands is live in Redwood City, California with the latest. Good evening, Ted.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Anderson. The prosecution called a neighbor as a witness but this neighbor ended up really helping the defense mainly because of two reasons. One, she established the transients used the Peterson street as a thoroughfare to go between a shelter and a park. And as you mentioned, the defense is pointing the finger at possible transient involvement in Laci Peterson's disappearance.

She also though, however, told the jury at one point after Laci was reported missing she had a conversation with Peterson and he started to break down and cry when talking about his wife. This would counteract other testimony, in fact, some we heard today that Peterson was not acting proper or emotional in those first few days. A police officer, in fact, said everybody in the family was hysterical that first night except for Peterson.

By far the best prosecution witness to date is a guy by the name of Harvey Kempl (ph). This is a relative who said from the very beginning, and he did so convincingly, he thought Peter was suspicious. He even followed him around town a few times. He told the jury that at one point at a family barbecue Peterson had burned some barbecue chicken and Kempl went on to say he seemed more upset about his burnt chicken than he did about his missing wife.

To date, it's been seven days now of testimony. There has not been not any real evidence linking Peterson to these murders. However, as Laci's brother said going into court, it is only day five of a five-month trial -- Anderson.

COOPER: Ted Rowlands, thanks for that live report. Once again we're joined by Court TV anchor Lisa Bloom. So let me get this straight. The defense first was kind of blaming the police, now they are blaming vagrants?

BLOOM: Yes, and I don't know how transients get the bodies of Laci and Connor (ph) 90 miles away up in the water but apparently that is the defense theory. What is interesting here, Anderson, is the prosecution is anticipating and rebutting every defense argument before the defense case even begins. The defense is putting on witnesses to say this burglary that happened right next door, well, it's been solved. That burglary happened the day after the disappearance. It's been solved. Those burglars had nothing to do with the disappearance of these two people.

COOPER: Is the defense basically trying to kind of throw everything on the wall to see what sticks?

BLOOM: Absolutely and that's typically what the defense does. The defense case hasn't begun yet so we can't criticize them too much. But simply saying the transients are in the neighborhood. I don't think that's going to be sufficient.

COOPER: But it does sort of imply that they could have had some sort of involvement. It sort of implants the idea in jurors' minds.

BLOOM: Well, again, the bodies were found 90 miles to the north floating in a body of water. Transients who don't even have a home or a car, it's hard to imagine how they could have been responsible for that.

COOPER: You are such a stickler for details. Let's talk about the testimony of Laci Peterson's cousin, this guy who says that he was so suspicious of Scott Peterson he actually followed the guy to a mall.

BLOOM: And thank goodness he did, Anderson, because, listen to his testimony which I think is the most significant in the case so far. He says Scott Peterson made a big show of taking flyers at the Missing Persons Center where all the community is convening to try and find Laci, posting those flyers. Scott takes a group of them and says he's going to post them on Paradise Road in Modesto. This guy follows Peterson. He doesn't post flyers, he sits in his car at a mall for about 40 minutes. And on a second occasion he takes flyers and he goes golfing. I would like to know what the defense explanation is for that.

COOPER: Sounds like pretty devastating testimony.

BLOOM: It is. I think it is. Now they are going to say, well, he didn't tell the police this until much later, I guess trying to imply the guy is lying, he's out to get Scott Peterson. The defense needs to respond to that, though because as Scott Peterson knows, there's no point in looking for them.

COOPER: But they could also simply claim, look, people deal with grief in different ways and it was a confusing situation and a difficult time for him. Maybe he needed some personal time.

BLOOM: Yes, he needed some personal time. Instead of posting flyers for his missing wife and his unborn child, the same thing that everybody in the community was doing at the same time, maybe he's out on the golf course looking for the real killer but I think that's very damaging evidence against Scott Peterson.

COOPER: All right. Court TV's Lisa Bloom. Thanks, Lisa. Well, coming up next, she paid her respects to former President Ronald Reagan and in the process she became a media darling. We'll talk about her in tonight's "Overkill."

Also up next for being first in line. One woman is front and center. I'll talk about that ahead.

Also tonight, master of music. The father of soul, remembering the one and only Ray Charles the best way we can with his music.


About 5,000 people an hour are continuing to file past the casket of former President Ronald Reagan. By the time the viewing ends tomorrow morning officials estimate as many as 150,000 mourners will have walked through the Capitol Rotunda. But for the media desperate to personalize this story, one person it seems has stood out. Her name is Carol Williams. The woman who in paying respects through no fault of her own, became the object of media "Overkill."


COOPER (voice-over): Everyone it seemed was talking about her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Carol Williams and her family were the first in line.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Carol Williams drove all night to be the first one in line. COOPER: Or talking to her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Carol Williams is joining me now.

CAROL WILLIAMS: I got out here at 5:00 a.m.

COOPER (on camera): I want to introduce you to the woman who is the lucky woman to be no. 1 in line, Carol Williams.

(voice-over): Yes, even I had my moment with her. So, who is Carol Williams?

She was the first person in line to view Ronald Reagan's casket. Like many others she waited some 15 hours in the sweltering heat, but because she was the first to arrive, she was the designated media darling of the day. In fact, according to Video Monitoring Service, Carol Williams was talked about or talked to at least 74 times on television since 5:00 a.m. yesterday. What did she talk about -- well, about being first.

WILLIAMS: We're getting in the car and if we're lucky we'll make it someplace in line where we can actually get through the rotunda. Never dreaming this would happen.

COOPER: She also talked about what she had seen.

WILLIAMS: It was quiet, ceremonial, it was regal, it was (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

COOPER: And she talked about all the people talking to her.

WILLIAMS: CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, every local, you know, station of them, the "New York Times," the "Washington Post, the "Washington Times."

COOPER: This is what happens when the media covers a story wall to wall, reporters search for just one more angle. Just one more bystander to help tell the tale. Carol Williams came to say good-bye to one of her heroes and found herself first in line for "Overkill."


COOPER: Well, moving on to check some lighter stories, some pop news in tonight's "Current."

Horror fans take note. A new "Exorcist" movie is coming out this summer. The story will be familiar, although there will be some noticeable changes that will make the film really scary. We're hoping instead of being possessed by the devil, the child will be possessed Jerry Lewis. Hey Lady!

Britney Spears injured her knee during a video shoot yesterday. The pop star was taken to the hospital where she'll have surgery to remove some cartilage. Let's hope they will remove a few of the hangers on that follow her wherever she goes. And a list of the top country songs was released today. Coming in at no. 1 Dolly Parton's, "I will always love you." The (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is a surprise to some of us country music fans, considering the song doesn't once mention drink or cheating or driving a truck.

Coming up next on 360, America mourns two icons, President Reagan and now singer Ray Charles. A pointed coincidence to "The Nth Degree" right after this.


COOPER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to "The Nth Degree." We spent a lot of time this week as a program and a country talking about the death of Ronald Reagan. Today, one of the late president's favorite performers Ray Charles also died. Charles' rendition of "America the Beautiful" defines the song and he performed it several times for the late president including at his second inauguration on January 18, 1985. We could think of no better way to honor both.




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