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Guilty Verdict in Connecticut Home Invasion Trial; Herman Cain Rising

Aired October 13, 2011 - 22:00   ET


JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: It's 10:00 p.m. here on the East Coast.

A guilty verdict for the man tried in connection with a deadly home invasion in Connecticut. The jury convicted Joshua Komisarjevsky on all 17 counts against him, including murder, kidnapping and arson. He could face the death penalty.

The jury heard gruesome and emotional testimony, detailing the deaths of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Michaela and Hayley, just 11 and 17 years old.

The only survivor, father and husband Dr. William Petit, has been in court nearly every day of this trial, sitting stoically, saying very little to reporters. Not long ago he spoke about the man convicted for brutalizing his family.


DR. WILLIAM PETIT, SURVIVED DEADLY HOME INVASION: I'm not surprised at all. I think -- I thought from the beginning that he was a lying sociopathic personality. And he probably at this moment doesn't think he's guilty of anything. He's convinced himself of that, I suspect.


KING: You'll hear much more from Dr. Petit and from our Deborah Feyerick who was right there in the courtroom. That's coming up on 360.

But first, we're "Keeping Them Honest" on the campaign trail. GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain has gone from underdog to possible top dog. As we touched on last night, the latest NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll shows Cain with support from 27 percent of Republican voters. Mitt Romney is 4 percentage points behind him. Ranked third, Texas Governor Rick Perry with 16 percent saying they'd vote for him.

Today, as you might have seen in the last hour on CNN, Cain sat down with Erin Burnett for an in-depth interview that covered several topics. "Keeping Him Honest," Cain said some questionable things. We begin with his comments on Iran's alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States. Watch.


HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I happen to believe that this attempted assassination that Iran has its fingerprints all over based upon the reports that we've seen was because this president is perceived as weak.


KING: Mr. Cain, we'd love to see those reports. Nowhere have we seen in any of the information about this alleged plot that this suspected plot came about because President Obama is weak. In fact, nowhere aside from you has it even been suggested that's how this plot came about.

Now to Mr. Cain's economic vision. He's been touting his so- called 999 plan. Here's the breakdown. He wants a 9 percent business flat tax, a 9 percent individual flat tax, and a 9 percent national sales tax. Cain is also calling for the end to the payroll tax and the state tax among other big changes. Today, in that interview with Erin, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza claimed his plan will help the U.S. economy.


CAIN: When this economy is growing with my 999 plan, we will be growing at a robust rate rather than this anemic rate that we are growing at today.


KING: Remember that. We'll be growing at a robust rate he says. "Keeping Them Honest," there are some serious questions about that. Cain's 999 plan would bring in nearly $1. 77 trillion. But currently our tax system brings in more than -- way more than that, at least $2. 16 trillion. So Mr. Cain's plan brings in about 18 to 20 percent less in tax revenue.

And "Keeping Him Honest," there's no talk of the economy growing at a robust rate right now from several economists and others including one of Cain's own paid political consultants.

Gary Robbins told Politico yesterday he doesn't think the plan would even pass. And it's not the route he would suggest. He said -- quote -- "The problem with the big-bang changes like that, the flat tax or the fair tax is that they are so alien to the current system that it would be a great big shock."

And Bruce Bartlett, former adviser to Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush said this week in "The New York Times," "at a minimum, the Cain plan is a distributional monstrosity. The poor would pay more while the rich would have their taxes cut with no guarantee that economic growth will increase and good reason to believe that the budget deficit will increase."

Some of the critics of Cain's 999 plan. Now another voice. Earlier I spoke with Eric Fehrnstrom, senior adviser to the Romney campaign.


KING: So Eric, you've seen the new numbers. Herman Cain now has a four-point edge on your boss, nationally. Maybe within the sampling area but -- regardless. What happened? Why is Herman Cain suddenly on top of this pack?

ERIC FEHRNSTROM, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER: Well, Herman Cain is a serious competitor. I know that Mitt Romney respects and admires him. They share in common the fact that they both have private sector experience. And Mitt believes that's going to be an important quality in our next president.

I think -- I think Herman is someone who's going to get more attention now that he's moving up in the polls. One thing that people will look at very closely is his 999 plan. This is his proposed change in tax policy. And I think there are a couple of significant drawbacks to that.

KING: I want to focus on Governor Romney for a second. He's been out there for five years. He ran for the nomination the last time. Republican voters know who he is, they now what he stands for, but still having trouble with the base.

Let's listen to Rush Limbaugh who doesn't like your candidate. He says, "Romney is not a conservative. He's not, folks. You can argue with me all day long on that. But he isn't. He is a gentleman, but he's not a conservative."

Why are we still hearing statements like that after all this time Governor Romney being out there courting the right?

FEHRNSTROM: Well, look, I have the privilege of serving with Mitt Romney during his time as governor of Massachusetts. And this was an individual who fought for English immersion in our schools. He was tough on illegal immigration. He vetoed an instate tuition bill, he fought to lower taxes. He fought to cut spending and reform government. He's pro-death penalty.

This is an individual who is most definitely a conservative.

KING: He was also pro-choice on abortion rights at one point, though, in his campaign against Senator Kennedy, and some conservatives do question, do they not, his change of heart? He calls it a legitimate change of heart. But fair to say some conservatives question that.

FEHRNSTROM: Well, I -- you know, our campaign is growing in momentum every day. Just this week we announced the endorsement of Chris Christie and welcomed him to the fold. I don't think there's a more significant voice for cutting spending and reforming government in the country than Governor Christie. And every day we're adding new people. We feel good about the direction of the campaign and how things are going. And we're very pleased with the state of the race. KING: Let's turn to the outside of the political spectrum. There's no secret, the Obama campaign has been going negative on your candidate. David Axelrod had a conference call yesterday. Pretty clear from that that they view Governor Romney as the likely nominee at this point. And so now today, you and David Axelrod taking this battle to the Twitter verse.

Axelrod writes, "A year ago Romney hit Obama in No Apology for being too tough on China, now Mitt's a trade warrior? Should have called his book 'No Shame. '" To which Eric Fehrnstrom quickly tweets back, "You should rename Obama's book, 'The Audacity of Indifference', or 'How I Golfed My Way to A Recession. '"

Part of this is tongue-and-cheek and funny, but is it a sign of things to come?

FEHRNSTROM: Well, I think what you can expect from this White House is more hocus pocus that's meant to distract people's attention from the bad state of the economy. And in some ways, Mr. Axelrod reminds me of one of those old Vaudeville magicians who uses something called redirection to distract the attention of the audience from the performance of the trick.

And the trick in this case is trying to get Barack Obama reelected despite his failures on the economy. I wish him luck but I do really believe that this election is going to be a referendum on the performance of Barack Obama when it comes to creating jobs and getting this economy moving.

KING: Eric Fehrnstrom, appreciate your time.

FEHRNSTROM: Thank you, John.


KING: Let's dig into the "Raw Politics" now. Joining me, chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, former New York Congresswoman Susan Molinari, currently president of Susan Molinari Strategies, and Ken Blackwell, senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the former Ohio secretary of state.

Gloria, the White House has this conference call. And clearly the Obama is the front-runner. Yet Herman Cain shakes things up. He's at the top of the pack. Rick Perry has got a ton of money to spend. Could still be a factor here.

Is this Obama-Romney narrative getting way out ahead of itself?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: You know the White House really have nothing to lose, John, by doing it. Obviously when you talk to people in the White House, as I do, they'll tell you that Mitt Romney is the person that they think would be the toughest opponent, the toughest to beat.

And also let me be a little bit cynical here, if I might, which is that in taking on Mitt Romney, they also remind Republicans about why they don't like Mitt Romney. And that sort of sews some more discord within the Republican Party, which is exactly what the Obama campaign would like to do. So I think it serves a couple of purposes and why not do it early.

KING: I'm just -- I'm shocked. I can't speak now that you've said there could be something cynical about this. I don't know what to do.

BORGER: Sorry about that.

KING: Susan Molinari, you're a Romney supporter. If you look at this poll, sure, he's -- you know, either at the top or close to the top. But if you look at Herman Cain's jump to the top, and if you look out in Iowa in the NBC poll, Herman Cain has twice as much support among the Tea Party voters.

Are you worried that your candidate is having trouble with the base especially the Tea Party?

SUSAN MOLINARI (R), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSWOMAN: Well, look, I think Herman Cain is a credible candidate. And he certainly has done a fine job in the debates in terms of coming from nowhere and capturing some imagination. And we're always going to have a race for who's going to be second or who's going to be first. I am not worried at this point.

I was, as you know, last time around a big Mayor Rudy Giuliani supporter. I was a Chris Christie supporter. I think what Governor Romney has shown us in this political campaign is such consistency and such leadership and really sticking to a thoughtful pattern of how he would govern as president of the United States.

But I think he is going to close the deal with conservatives as more and more sort of the momentum continues to move to Mitt Romney when it comes to money, when it comes to organization. And again, when it comes to consistency.

You just spent a few minutes challenging Herman Cain On things he has not been challenged on before. When you are the personable, colorful candidate that comes up with some new ideas, you have a tendency to not get hit by the media and has an opportunity to rise to the polls. When you start to come near the top, it's a tougher ride.

KING: And Herman Cain will get that tougher ride and more scrutiny in our debate that's coming up next Tuesday.

MOLINARI: It's starting already, sure.

KING: I know that. But Ken Blackwell, you know, Susan just noted, and I should make this point. She's noted she was for Giuliani last time. At this time, four years ago, Giuliani was way ahead in the national polls. So we should remember that as we talk about the national polls now. I don't remember the Giuliani administration.

KENNETH BLACKWELL, FORMER OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE: Right. KING: But who is the front-runner? Is it accurate to call Mitt Romney the front-runner? I mean, he's got the organization, he's got the fund-raising, but Herman Cain is clearly on the rise and connecting with people.

BLACKWELL: I think you just outlined it properly. Herman Cain is on the rise. Mitt Romney has been out there longer. He has the money. He has the organization. And I think the compressed primary schedule is -- plays to his favor given his superior organization and his money.

But he does have a challenge. If, in fact, his 28 percent, 27 percent when he's around that number, over the average, is his ceiling, that's problematic for him. And that suggests that he's going to have some really difficult challenges in a very conservative state.

So, you know, all of them have their challenges. Herman has caught on because he's imaginative, he's out there, he's new. But, you know, his plan is going to come under scrutiny. And I will tell you, what's going to get a lot of conservatives about his 999 plan is right on growth, is right on simplification, but is wrong when you start to talk about giving the federal government the opportunity to tax states.


BLACKWELL: That changes the whole relationship between the central government and the states.

MOLINARI: I agree with that.

KING: I want everyone to listen here. Gloria, I will come to you first.

Anita Perry, the first lady of Texas, making an emotional speech in South Carolina today. Listen to this.


ANITA PERRY, WIFE OF RICK PERRY: It's been a rough month. I have to tell you, we have been brutalized and beaten up and chewed up in the press to where I need this today. We're being brutalized by our opponents and our own party. So much of that is, I think they look at him because of his faith. He's the only true conservative -- well, there are some conservatives perhaps, and they're there for good reasons. And they may feel like God called them, too. But I truly feel like we are here for that purpose.


KING: NBC caught that moment.

Gloria Borger, we are here for that purpose. Brutalized by other Republicans because of his faith. How is that going to sell? BORGER: I don't think it's going to sell well at all. The last thing you want to do is make a presidential candidate looks like somebody who is complaining or a victim. You know this is a brutal race. He's been brutalized by his opponents because that's what happens to front-runners. And Rick Perry was up there for a little bit as a front-runner. And he could -- he could come back as the front-runner.

But I don't think this kind of language will help her husband at all. Particularly when you challenge the motives of other candidates in the field and saying that it was his calling as opposed to anyone else's. I just don't see how that helps him.

KING: Susan, what do you think -- what do you think Mrs. Perry was trying to say there, Susan?

MOLINARI: You know it's very difficult. Look, I understand as the daughter of an elected official and as a wife of an elected official, sometimes it's harder on the family to sit there and watch what a candidate has to go through.

Mitt -- you know, Governor Perry has gone through and has been brutalized because he has done really such a disappointing job in these debates and his failure to come to the expectations that a lot of people has as a political person.

And to sit there and really say that he has been demonized because of his faith when we have just had, you know, a president of the United States like George Bush who really was so up front about his faith, that Jesus was the person, you know, that he looked to most, was so comfortable in his faith, and obviously it wasn't a detriment to his election that I just think it does not -- I agree with Gloria, I don't think it helps the campaign, I don't think it helps politics, it doesn't help the discussion.

KING: Ken Blackwell, what about the subset of evangelicals, though? How will this play out?

BLACKWELL: Well, I think in the final analysis, look, when you talk about the important issues of marriage and life, we sort of look at Catholics, Mormons, evangelicals as co-belligerents, which means that they have a public agenda around which they can rally, even if their theologies don't perfectly match one another.

So look, anybody that tries to divide along religious lines within the conservative movement is going to be in trouble. Anybody who tries to play the victim, whether they are Mormon or Baptist or Catholic will find that that just won't go there far.

KING: Ken Blackwell, Susan Molinari, Gloria Borger, appreciate it. Thanks.

BORGER: Thanks, John.

MOLINARI: Thank you. KING: A programming note: You can see all the Republican candidates Tuesday night when Anderson hosts the "Western Republican Presidential Debate" out in Las Vegas, 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

And, of course, as always, let us know what you think. We're on Facebook or you can follow me on Twitter @JohnKingCNN.

Up next, another "Keeping Them Honest" report. President Obama touting his jobs plan, slamming Republicans for not having their own blueprint for restarting the economy. He also says they aren't saying what they don't like about his plan. Truth is, Republicans have done both.

And a second man convicted of murdering a mother and her two young daughters in a horrific home invasion. We'll hear from the sole survivor of that tragic night, the husband, the father who lost everything -- when 360 returns.


KING: Another "Keeping Them Honest" report.

President Obama is touting his jobs plan and calling on Congress to pass it. But his wish is not their command. Mr. Obama has some tough words for Republicans who oppose his plan. Here's what he said today at a press conference in response to a question from our own Jessica Yellin.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And the last time I was here at a press conference, I said -- I asked you guys to show us the Republican jobs plan that independent economists would indicate would actually put people back to work.

I haven't yet seen it. And so, eventually, I'm hoping that they actually put forward some proposals that indicate that they feel that sense of urgency about people being -- need to put people back to work right now.


KING: You got that? He's hoping Republicans put forward some proposal that shows they feel a sense of urgency about creating jobs. That's what the president said.

Well, "Keeping Him Honest," Republicans haven't unveiled their own plans. Last month just days after President Obama unveiled his jobs plan in that big speech before Congress, House Speaker John Boehner shared his own thoughts on how to improve the economy.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The president's proposals are a poor substitute for the pro-growth policies that are needed to remove barriers to job creations in America. The policies that are needed to put America back to work.

If we want job growth, we need to recognize who really creates jobs in America. And this is the private sector.


KING: Now, the speaker isn't the only Republican sharing ideas. Today shortly after the president spoke at the White House, Senate Republicans touted their own jobs plan. Here's Senator John McCain.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: This bill will serve as a blueprint to bring our country back economically, create jobs and give Americans hope again for the future. Now, obviously, President Obama has his plan.

There is a dramatic difference between ours and his because President Obama and my friends on the other side of the aisle in the Senate believe that they can create jobs through government spending. We believe that we can create jobs through growth. They believe that government creates and spending creates jobs. We believe business and growth creates jobs in America.


KING: Now that plan is different than the president's plan that Senator McCain just noted there, but it is indeed a plan.

One other thing the president has been saying caught our eye. Listen to this message from the president earlier this month.


OBAMA: If it turns out that there are Republicans who are opposed to this bill, they need to explain to me, but more importantly to their constituencies and the American people why they are opposed and what would they do.


KING: Mr. Obama wants Republicans to explain why they are opposed to his plan. Well, keeping him honest and them honest, Republicans have done that, too. Last month Republican leaders released a memo to GOP lawmakers on the president's jobs proposal. They have concerns about money requests to improve the nation's roadways and other projects.

They say -- quote -- "While spending to repair and improve infrastructure can play an important part in both short term and long term economic growth, adding more money to the same broken system is more likely to produce waste than an efficiency and meaningful results."

Republicans also took issue with another proposal from President Obama -- quote -- "We do not agree with the policies proposed by the president that are a repeat or continuation of spending from his 2009 stimulus bill."

A bit earlier, I spoke with chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin who had that exchange today with the president, and senior political analyst David Gergen.


KING: So, Jessica, Democrats now talking even the president about breaking up his jobs bill into smaller parts. That's something the White House originally did not want to do but inevitable, the administration, had to change its tune?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, given the status of Congress right now, inevitable, yes. And it actually works for them politically. I mean the White House now will get behind this effort by Congress to have the Republicans vote -- well, have all Congress vote on each component. So you'll see everybody forced to vote on this measure to reemploy unemployed teachers, whether people want to put construction workers back to work, rebuild schools.

And the idea here, politically, John, is for the White House to be able to say the president to be able to go out on the road and effectively say House Republicans or congressional Republicans have voted against each one of these measures that's so popular with the American people. And polls show individually they are popular. And try to tie that like an albatross around the neck of House Republicans and then make House Republicans unpopular.

And in the future, tie them to whoever the 2012 Republican candidate is. It's a political gamble but it's the president's move this winter -- John.

KING: And it's a political conversation, David Gergen. While 25 million Americans either unemployed or underemployed, the good news is, the president actually did speak to Speaker Boehner today. They had a 10-minute telephone conversation.

The speaker says it's time for the president to -- quote -- "stop the campaign and start listening." Is that a valid point? Or is anything the president does or the Republicans for that matter between now and next November going to be labeled as campaigning?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's time for both sides to stop campaigning for awhile because clearly it's not just this jobs bill. But the breakup of this jobs bill and the ineffectiveness, what the politicians on Washington now are doing is strictly on the margins. They will not help this economy very much in the next few months. That's very plain.

What they're trying to do is help themselves. And you know, John, we've gotten to a point where probably one of the fastest growing jobs programs in the country right now is the Obama election campaign. You know he's raised $70 million this summer. They're opening three field offices a week. That's creating jobs. But I'm not sure there are many in the real economy. KING: And, Jessica, the president is going to make the case against the Republicans. But there are some Democrats -- maybe not a lot, but some Democrats opposed to the jobs bill.

How does it complicate the president's task when somebody like Senator Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia, says something like this? "I cannot support final passage of the bill in its current form. I again emphasize my long-held belief taxes should not be raised on wages or ordinary income. This legislation if passed should be paid for by other means such as raising capital gains or ending costly subsidies and tax loopholes."

So Jim Webb saying even if it's a millionaire, don't raise taxes on income because that would hurt the economy.

YELLIN: Right, and Senator Tester of Montana and Senator Nelson of Nebraska were two people who voted no even to move forward with the bill on a procedural measure. So there are some Democrats who are not in support of this at all. And it complicates it a little for the president. He does not have the support of his entire party. But in terms -- because it's a political fight now he can message it against the Republicans.

And the bottom line is -- the bigger question is, will he get -- will he be able to peel off enough Republicans to get some component parts passed? Advisers here believe that in the end, they will ultimately be able to pass at the very least the unemployment insurance extension and an extension of the payroll tax cut. And maybe that's it -- John.

KING: I suspect, David, some of that optimism Jessica just spoke about is based on the fact that Republicans weren't always opposed to everything in this plan. Watch.


BOEHNER: Some of the president's proposals, I think, offer an opportunity for common ground.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: But I still like the idea of corporate tax reform. I think that would be health for growth.

REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: We can do some things together. We can work together on those kind of things.


KING: Being on the record with statements like that, David Gergen, is there at least some pressure on Republicans to support part of it, much of it, some of it, or are they just now going to say never mind, we're in campaign mode?

GERGEN: No, John, I think there's a political game going on here on both sides. The president wants to be able to accuse the Republicans of obstructing progress on jobs. They are the ones who would bear responsibility for 9 percent plus unemployment. But the Republicans, I think, are wisely saying no, let's try to work together on some of this. So to take away some of that sense of they're obstructing or opposing everything the president wants to do.

I mean just yesterday, you know, it was the Republicans who really helped the president get his three trade bills through. That was a -- you know, that was a positive step forward and there'll be a couple of more things. The Republicans are trying to take some of the sting out so they don't have the albatross of 9 percent unemployment hanging just around their neck where the -- where Obama wants to put it.

KING: And as we break it into pieces, we'll see where the debate heads next.

David Gergen, Jessica Yellin, many thanks.

GERGEN: Thank you.

KING: And the politics continue right here on CNN tomorrow morning. Governor Rick Perry would be a guest on "AMERICAN MORNING."

As we mentioned, he's now third place in that latest "Wall Street Journal"/NBC poll. He'll talk about that and his new jobs program tomorrow morning right here on CNN.

And up next here, more on our breaking news, a verdict from that Connecticut triple murder trial. A mother, her two daughters held hostage in their own home, tortured, then killed. One killer already sentenced to death. Tonight, his partner learns his fate.

And in "Crime & Punishment": The Michael Jackson death trial could end next week. Today, disturbing new details of the singer's drug use, as the prosecution moves to wrap up its case.


KING: More on a big breaking news story tonight. Guilty, that's what a Connecticut jury said 17 times for the second man accused in a horrific triple murder.

Joshua Komisarjevsky charged with murder, kidnapping, burglary, arson and assault. He and Steven Hayes broke into the home of the Petit family, beat and bound Dr. William Petit, then raped and strangled his wife, Jennifer Hawke Petit, before setting a fire that killed their two young daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela. Dr. Petit somehow managed to escape. Hayes has already been sentenced to death. Joshua Komisarjevsky now could face the same punishment. His penalty phase, that part of his trial set to begin on October 24.

This was Dr. Petit's reaction after today's verdict in his own words.


DR. WILLIAM PETIT, HOME INVASION VICTIM: Going back to the trial and hearing the testimony and seeing the evidence sort of brings everything back in sharp focus. Things that you don't want to necessarily have in sharp focus and pinging around your brain 24 hours a day.

So it's been very difficult, but it's not clear to me that time heals all wounds, but you form some form of scars that, like I said, in some interview, the jagged hole in your heart.

She, until she was 11 years old, wouldn't look my brother in the law in the face. Whenever men came around, she averted her glance. She was incredibly shy around men. Once she got to know you, she would talk with you. But you know, to hear a statement that they locked eyes and there was some sort of bond was really sort of nauseating and really beyond the pale, because that is not something that Michaela would have ever done with a man who had broken into her bedroom and sexually assaulted her.

There was nothing that I could do to make that any better by looking like an enraged or crazed father. And I thought that really Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela would want me to conduct myself with respect and dignity, and in spite of the circumstances. So I thought it would really dishonor their memories to act crazy, be violent, just -- I can see Jen standing there and she would -- she would chastise me without a doubt if I had that kind of attitude. So I think it was really for their memory.


KING: Beautiful family.

Deb Feyerick was in the courtroom when the verdict came in. She now joins us from New Haven.

Take us inside that courtroom. What was the reaction?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was very, very emotional. The jury came in. They did not look at the defendant. A lot of times people say, "Well, it's probably because it's not going to go in his favor."

When they did read the verdict, guilty on all counts, the members of the Petit family, they wept. They wept in court. The relief of this moment, because they'd been sitting through it for so long.

Meantime, Joshua Komisarjevsky, he betrayed no emotion. He simply sat and stared at the jury as they read this verdict. And then he got up, and it appeared he actually yawned as he was led out of court and back to prison. So a very different reaction, clearly, on both sides. Most surprising: the lack of reaction, the lack of remorse from Joshua Komisarjevsky, John.

KING: And Dr. Petit makes an important point. He said this case is not over yet. Still the sentencing phase of the trial is yet to come, right?

FEYERICK: Well, that's exactly right. And John, we're going to hear a lot more testimony during that -- during that phase. As a matter of fact, the defense lawyers, believe it or not, want to introduce 100 pages of letters written by the co -- by the accomplice who's on Death Row already, and the judge initially wouldn't allow it, saying no, that will seal his doom, Joshua Komisarjevsky's doom.

They still want to bring it in. They're trying to really save his life. That was their intention almost from the very beginning. Trying to make him at least a little bit sympathetic. That didn't happen during this, from the testimony we heard this time. Whether they can prove that during the next phase, well, they're trying to save his life. That's their goal right now, John.

KING: Listening to Dr. Petit, Deb, it is clear how horrified, how angry, how unhappy he was with some of the things the defense said. Yet, he managed somehow -- somehow managed, a man who has lost so much, to keep his voice very calm. There are no outward anger. Remarkable.

FEYERICK: It is. It is. And he really is truly a remarkable man just in terms of the way he has handled all of this. The media, they knew. Nobody ran up to him and asked him questions or probing into how he was feeling on any given day. They kept a respectable difference.

He said that when he was ready he would speak, and that's what he did. Think about this, John. He had to sit there in court, listening to the voice of his daughter's tormenter, describing what he did to her and what he was doing in that house, and still he sat through that. So it takes a very brave man, and he wanted the jury to make sure that they knew the family was there.

KING: Deb Feyerick, thank you so much. Fascinating coverage. Let's get the latest from another important story. Thank you very much.

Isha Sesay here with the "360 News & Business Bulletin."

Hi there.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Obama today threatened Iran with the toughest sanctions possible for the regime's role in an alleged plot to kill the Saudi Arabia ambassador on U.S. soil. This as a senior White House official tells CNN to hold a direct meeting with Iran held yesterday. No details on who attended.

In France, prosecutors have dropped a rape case against former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, citing lack of evidence. A French journalist accused him of trying to rape her in 2003.

The CEO of the bankrupt solar energy firm Solyndra has resigned. Court documents show Brian Harrison stepped down last week. Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration before it shut down in August.

And good news for BlackBerry users. Worldwide service is now fully restored. The company's founder says the outage was caused in part by a hardware error. The backup system failed, as well.

Still ahead "Crime & Punishment." The jury in the Michael Jackson death trial could get the case next week. Tonight, a look ahead at Conrad Murray's defense.

And a rare look at bullying as it happens. Anderson sits down with the filmmaker of a ground -- ground-breaking documentary when 360 continues.


KING: "Crime & Punishment," it looks like the Michael Jackson death trial may end earlier than expected, perhaps as early as the end of next week. On day 12 the prosecution began to question its final witness, an anesthesiologist. He's the third doctor called by the state in the last two days to convince jurors the care Dr. Conrad Murray gave Jackson was not only bad medicine; it was gross negligence and killed the singer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Conrad Murray was grossly negligent in multiple incidents, and that gross negligence directly caused the death of Michael Jackson, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely did. Yes.


KING: Now, the defense will, of course, be calling its own expert witnesses to counter what the jurors have heard so far. Here's Ted Rowlands.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Defense attorneys for Dr. Conrad Murray begin their case next week, and they will argue that Michael Jackson caused his own death. They say Jackson, desperate for sleep, swallowed eight pills of Lorazepam and then used a syringe to inject the fatal dose of Propofol himself, all without Murray's knowledge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you think that a doctor who prescribed a patient 30 Ambien, and the patient took them all and killed himself, that the doctor would be responsible?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection, relevance.

ROWLANDS: Key to this theory, the Propofol bottle that investigators say they found inside an I.V. bag in Jackson's room. Prosecutors say Murray gave Jackson the Propofol that killed him through a continuous I.V. drip.

But the defense says Murray never gave him an I.V. drip that day, noting photos at the scene, showing the body outside of a clear I.V. bag with no milky white substance in an I.V. bag. The defense also points to the fact that no one claimed the Propofol bottle was inside the I.V. bag until two years after Jackson's death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In fact the very first time that you noted that there was a Propofol bottle in an I.V. bag was the 29th of March, 2011.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In -- in case notes.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You never do mention, in your notes that a Propofol bottle was found in an I.V. bag. Is that fair?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That would be fair.

ROWLANDS: Another theory, that Jackson was addicted to the powerful painkiller Demerol, given to him without Murray's knowledge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you aware that Michael Jackson was a habitual user of Demerol?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection, assumes facts not in evidence.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you read Dr. Klein's medical records regarding Michael Jackson?


ROWLANDS: The defense says the Demerol addiction led to Jackson's insomnia and that Klein and other doctors had been giving Jackson drugs for years. They say Murray was trying to help the singer get off the drugs.

CONRAD MURRAY, ON TRIAL FOR JACKSON'S DEATH: I loved him. Michael Jackson may have a dependency to substance. I was trying to wean him off.

ROWLANDS (on camera): The defense is likely to try to shift jurors' attention to the insulated world that Michael Jackson had created around him. They'll argue that Murray didn't call 911 right away, because he thought the chef was doing it for him. And he'll say that he called the security guards first, because he knew that they would never let an ambulance onto the grounds unless they were told to do so.

The jury could get the case by the end of next week.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles.


KING: Joining me now is Sunny Hostin from "In Session" on our sister network, TruTV.

Sunny, more and more damaging testimony from these medical experts, the witnesses for the prosecution. You say it's almost like a medical malpractice case?

SUNNY HOSTIN, TRUTV'S "IN SESSION": It really is. I mean, it sounds like a medical malpractice case, and I think the prosecution certainly left the best for last. They left the medicine for last.

We're hearing from all these expert witnesses. We're hearing from Dr. Alon Steinberg, who many people are calling him Dr. McDreamy. He was really unflappable. He talked about six, not one, not two but six deviations from the standard of care. Extreme deviations from the standard of care.

Then we heard from Dr. Nader Kamangar, the sleep medicine expert, and John, he said that Dr. Murray's actions were inconceivable to him, and you just don't use Propofol in a non-medical settling for insomnia. You just don't do it.

And today we heard a little bit from Dr. Steven Shafer, who's an anesthesiologist, who interestingly enough, is the person who developed the FDA dosing guidelines for Propofol. So we heard all about his expert qualifications, and my understanding is he is the last prosecution expert.

So interestingly enough, this is a really tight case by this prosecution. California is sort of known for over trying their cases. We saw that in the O.J. Simpson case. Not so, John, in this case. They really left the best for the last. A very, very strong case this prosecution has before them.

KING: And outside the courtroom, we find out today Jackson's eldest son says Dr. Murray did not comfort him and his siblings the way that he described in an audio interview, an interview that was recorded on audio. Since they're not sequestered, couldn't the jury hear about this? And if they do, could that impact their view, their outcome?

HOSTIN: Well, they certainly could hear about it. Of course, they're being admonished not to look at television, not to read any media reports about this trial. I hope that they are keeping to that admonishment. But many people are saying perhaps Prince will testify in the state's rebuttal case, because he would really directly contradict Dr. Murray's account.

So initially we know that Prince and sister Paris wanted to testify, John. Catherine Jackson did not want them to testify. It is now possible that, in the prosecution's rebuttal case, perhaps as early as next week, we may hear from one of Michael Jackson's children.

KING: And you made the point, you think the defense has a pretty steep hill ahead of it. Now what's on your radar? What's the one thing you're looking for to see if they've got a good case?

HOSTIN: I believe that this is going to be very much so a case of the battle of the experts. And we know on the defense witness list is Dr. Paul Wecht. Many describe him -- he's an anesthesiologist. Many describe him, John, as the father of Propofol. Very, very interesting that he is on the defense case because he's the best, one of the closest friends of Dr. Steven Shafer on the prosecution's -- the state's list. And so I believe we will hear from him. We may also hear from another cardiologist. It's definitely going to be, I think, the battle of the experts, and we'll see which side wins on that.

KING: That should play out next week. Sunny Hostin, thanks for being here tonight.

And still ahead, our special report on bullying. Tonight, an extraordinary look at real-life bullies in action.


KING: All this week, we're taking an in-depth look at an epidemic we've been covering for more than a year now on 360: bullying. It's not just happening in schools. A lot of it occurs online, so it's rare that it's actually caught on camera. That's why a new documentary called "The Bullying Project" is so extraordinary. It's been shown through the Department of Education, and the parents featured in it have met with the president and first lady. It really gives you a glimpse of the cruelty some kids endure.

This is what 13-year-old Alex faced on a school bus in Sioux City, Iowa.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no. Why are you stabbing me with it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I ought to knock your face off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give it to him, hard.


KING: And in a recent town hall on bullying, Anderson sat down with the filmmaker, Lee Hirsch, along with Kelly Ripa, Kay Lynch, Dr. Phil McGraw, and bullying expert Rosalyn Wiseman.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The film is just really extraordinary. Kelly and I watched it last night. We've all seen it. Just incredible. You spent a year in this school. Did it surprise you what you saw and were able to actually capture? LEE HIRSCH, FILMMAKER: It didn't surprise me. It was sort of -- I think the goal of making the film was to get out there and to show what kids go through. To show what Kyle goes through. To give it something really real so that we can stop denying it, stop sort of saying this is just a rite of passage.

COOPER: You were so concerned about Alex, the little boy on the bus, that you actually showed the footage to his mom. I want to show another clip from the film.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you understand at some point you have gotten used to this? And I'm not. I'm not used to it. Because I didn't know, and I'm not about to get used to it. Does it make you feel good when they punch you or kick you or stab you? Do these things make you feel good?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I don't know. I'm starting to think I don't feel anything anymore.


COOPER: You watched this last night with your kid.

KELLY RIPA, TALK SHOW HOST: That was the moment that, I think, scared me the most, when he said, "I don't feel anything any more. And you see a boy who has been failed on every level. And when he said, "I don't feel anything any more." Kids will go to great lengths to feel something. And I feel like somebody needs to intervene on his behalf in the right way.

DR. PHIL MCGRAW, TALK SHOW HOST: That's what bothers me about this. Look, these bullies have parents. Where are the parents? Look, if your child is a bully, it's your job to know your child is a bully. It's your job to know that. It's your job to intervene at that level as a parent. It's your job to talk to the school. It's your job...

COOPER: I have talked to a lot of parents who have tried to intervene with the parents of bullies, and the parents don't recognize it as a problem.

MCGRAW: That's what I'm saying. They don't see it, because a lot of times it's modeled in the home. There's aggressive behavior in the home, either verbally or physically, and that becomes the norm.

HIRSCH: We can't control these homes, but we can control what happens to kids at school. We can have -- we can push for more empathy, and we can push for understanding. And we can -- that's where we have a chance to make an impact.

COOPER: Do you agree with Lee, Jane, that the school -- I mean, yes, it would be great if people could fix families but the school is the place to address this? At least it's the most obvious place -- not that it's easy, but the easiest place to address it? JANE LYNCH, ACTRESS: Yes. I think changing the hearts and minds of people is -- is almost a fruitless enterprise. I think you have to institute it in the schools, and there has to be real -- there has to be real consequences for the kids who bully.

I don't -- you know, these kids are not shot out of a vacuum. They come from a home that instills certain values and certain behaviors. And there's really nothing we can do about it. But at our schools and at the legislative level, we can do something about protecting these kids.


KING: The special study is part of 360's joint effort with Facebook and our corporate cousins, the Cartoon Network and TIME Inc., to help stop the bullying epidemic. Be sure to join Anderson for an encore presentation of his town hall, "Bullying: It Stops Here." That's tomorrow, October 14, at 8 and 10 p.m. right here on CNN. We'll be right back.


KING: That does it for this edition of 360. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" coming up next.