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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS
Senate Passes Budget Proposal; Capriati Accused of Stalking
Aired March 23, 2013 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And good Saturday morning to you everyone. I'm Christine Romans.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Coming up on 9:00 here on the East Coast, close to 6:00 out West; thanks for starting your day with us.
ROMANS: Just about an hour ago we learned that a 14-year-old and a 17- year-old in Georgia have been charged now with the first-degree murder in the shooting death of a 13-month-old boy. The baby's mother says she was pushing him in a stroller Thursday morning when two young men approached her and demanded money.
BLACKWELL: Police relied on the mother's description and school attendance records to identify the suspects but they're still looking for the gun and a motive. Why would they do this?
Our Nick Valencia is in the small town of Brunswick, Georgia -- Southeast Georgia. Nick, police say they're confident that they've arrested the right guys. But is it possible because we're hearing from family members now that one of the suspects has an alibi.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Victor, I asked police after the press conference yesterday about that, how confident are you guys that you got the right two suspects? They said they used the mother's description to pin down the two suspects as well as you mentioned the attendance records they cross-referenced to see who was missing in class that day.
This is a very small town. You've covered this area before, Victor, 15,000 people in this community, it's a town where everybody knows everyone but take a listen to what the aunt of De'Marquise Elkins, the 17-year-old suspect told our local affiliate last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATRINA FREEMAN, SUSPECT DE'MARQUISE ELKINS' AUNT: I am devastated. I'm sad because they got the wrong person. I hate what happened to that baby because no baby deserve to go through that but at the same time they are taking someone to jail that is innocent. I am 100 percent positive that De'Marquise Elkins was not at the crime scene, he was at my residence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: This first degree murder charge were filed officially sometime after the press conference yesterday. Now, I asked Officer Todd Rhodes, he's the PIO for the Brunswick Police Department, about the allegations made by De'Marquise Elkins' aunt and he said "Nick, any time something like this happens you're going to have family members that don't want to believe that their loved ones are capable of something like this." Of course, as Christine mentioned earlier they're innocent until proven guilty, and in fact, that's what Officer Rhodes told us, "That's why we have the legal process. They are innocent until proven guilty." Victor?
ROMANS: Gosh, the effect on the tiny town, southeast Georgia, small community, this must be really tearing people up.
VALENCIA: It is. It's devastating the people here, it's a very tight knit community. They're actually shocked that the national media showed up here but considering the tragedy and the travesty of this 13-month-old killed, you know, they were very shocked that it would happen in a quiet town like this, the area where it happened is a mixture of historic homes as well as public housing but even still having said that, I talked to the city manager yesterday, Bill (INAUDIBLE) and he told me this area doesn't have a gang problem, there have been shootings there in the past, usually drug-related. There's no indication that this is drug related. In fact, the mother was saying that these two young boys were trying to rob her.
So far the police have not nailed down a clear motive, they're also still looking for that handgun. They conducted three search warrants yesterday. I spoke to Officer Todd Rhodes today, he said "still no gun found." We'll be back with the latest when we have more information.
BLACKWELL: Nick before you go, I watched the interview with the mother, Sherri West and she cried her way through the story, understandably. You also spoke with the child's father yesterday. What did he say?
VALENCIA: I did, I spoke with Sherri West as well at length not after the arrests were announced though but I only spoke to Louis Santiago, he's the father of this young baby, Antonio Angel Santiago. He told me that, you know, he's making it. It's bittersweet for him, sweet because the arrest happened but he tells me this was his pride and joy. He's the father of seven children, this is his 13-month-old was his pride and joy. He said he was just starting to form a personality and he's just suffering from this tragedy still, trying to get in touch with him this morning to get the reaction about how they're dealing with things today, if and when we do, we'll let you know.
BLACKWELL: Wow. Just when they start to get up and walk around and explore and this happens. Nick Valencia in Brunswick, Georgia. Thank you.
Thirteen hours, that's how long it took for the Senate to pass its first formal budget proposal in four years after a marathon overnight session called a Vote-O-Rama. Keep in mind the Senate is supposed to pass a budget every year, at least to plan for one. Well, this one was approved at 5:00 a.m. today, this morning, on Capitol Hill, by a razor thin margin of 50-49. All but four Democrats voted for it, no Republicans did. It would raise taxes by $1 trillion over the next decade and joined the House Republican bill which just got shot down in the Senate, and President Obama is expected to unveil his own version soon.
ROMANS: Speaking of President Obama, he's on his way home aboard Air Force One right now. He left Oman, Jordan, just a short time ago, as you saw live right here on CNN. Jordan's King Abdullah was there to say farewell. Jordan is, of course, a close ally. During his whirlwind four-day visit to the Middle East, Mr. Obama also stopped in Israel and the West Bank. He urged young Israelis to seek peace with the Palestinians and he got Israel to apologize to Turkey for a raid that killed nine activists on a Turkish ship.
BLACKWELL: The president is flying home if you're flying out small airports across the country are taking a big hit, starting next month. The FAA just announced that it's shutting down 149 air traffic control towers because of those forced spending cuts. The closures will be phased in over a month starting again, as I said, next month in April. Controllers many of them now out of work have concerns that the skies will be less safe.
Speaking about the skies being less safe a man from France is heading to Florida or he was heading to Florida. He tried to dupe an airline crew into thinking he was the pilot. That's according to Philadelphia Police. They say the man got off the plane but didn't get away. They've charged him with trespassing, impersonating a public servant and lying to police.
CNN's Lisa Sylvester explains how he posed as a pilot. Lisa?
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine, Victor, he was a ticketed passenger. So he didn't breach security. But when he didn't like his seat assignment authorities say he tried to pass himself off as a pilot.
SYLVESTER (voice-over): In the movie "Catch Me If You Can" a smooth- talking Leonardo DiCaprio travels around the world posing as a pilot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been a while, which one is the jump suit again?
SYLVESTER: Philippe Jenard might have thought he could pull off something similar only to end up in handcuffs. Jenard, a retired winemaker was traveling from France headed to West Palm Beach, and was on a layover in Philadelphia. He was dressed in a white button down shirt with an Air France logo over the pocket and carrying what looked like a black pilot's jacket with bold stripes on the shoulder.
Jennard went to the gate and tried to get his seat upgraded from coach but an agent said business class was already full and couldn't accommodate his request. That's when authorities say he boarded the plane and went straight to the cockpit and sat behind the pilot in what's known as a jump seat. But according to the Philadelphia Police, the pilots became suspicious when Jennard couldn't even figure out how to fasten the straps. When questioned he didn't have any of the proper paperwork and became argumentative.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has happened before --
SYLVESTER: Retired airplane pilot Mark Weiss explains how pilots of some other carriers always have to show their credentials.
MARK WEISS, THE SPECTRUM GROUP: In order to be able to have access to the cockpit once the cockpit door, the hardened cockpit door is closed, the paperwork that you have to have would normally come from the ticket counter or the gate agent, company specific paperwork following federal guidelines.
SYLVESTER: Jennard was carrying what Air France called a very bad fake I.D.. He now faces charges of trespassing, impersonation and lying to police. The FBI is also investigating. Law enforcement officials said investigators haven't found any links to terrorism. Still passengers on the plane all had similar reactions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's pretty scary and I fly every week so that's actually pretty concerning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not -- yes, there's no way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's crazy.
SYLVESTER: But authorities want to know what was his motive? Was it just for the perks and having a better seat or life imitating art.
SYLVESTER (on camera): It's a little reminiscent of that movie with Leonardo DiCaprio.
WEISS: "Catch Me If You Can."
WEISS: I don't think it was quite that far. This guy certainly didn't look like Leonardo DiCaprio.
SYLVESTER: We are learning new details. So after being confronted he became very angry, he was escorted off the plane. Now, at this point it wasn't immediately apparent to airline officials that this was even a criminal situation. He was rebooked on another flight but that's when security was alerted and they immediately contacted the Philly police and arrested him at the gate where he was waiting for his next flight. Christine, Victor.
ROMANS: All right. From tennis star to accused stalker, the downward spiral Jennifer Capriati hits rock bottom. We'll look at the bizarre case of the one-team teen queen.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROMANS: Now to legal and former tennis star Jennifer Capriati is being charged by Florida Police with stalking and battering of her ex- boyfriend. This alleged incident occurred on Valentine's day at this gym where she's accused of punching Ivan Brennan. She's not been arrested but she is scheduled to appear in court to face these charges in April.
Let's bring in CNN legal contributor Paul Callan. Paul, how much trouble is she in?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, Valentine's day is always a dangerous day, Christine. She's facing two counts, one that she actually physically assaulted the alleged victim and the second cyber stalking. Both are misdemeanor counts, each carries as much as a year in prison. I must say usually you don't get prison time for this sort of thing but they're serious charges.
ROMANS: How unusual is it to have a celebrity accused of doing the stalking and not the other way around?
CALLAN: Well, you know, Christine, it's highly unusual. Usually of course it's the celebrity being stalked by some stranger that we read about in the newspaper, and there's another thing that's unusual here, I was looking at the statistics, although over three million Americans have been stalked annually according to the Department of Justice statistics, more often than not the stalker is a male, usually almost 90 percent of the time, believe it or not, despite what you see in the movies the stalker is a male. Here the victim allegedly is a male with a stalker, a female. So this flips the whole phenomena upside down.
ROMANS: So she hasn't been arrested. She's been charged with this. She has to appear in court in April. What is the process going to be like for her?
CALLAN: Well, she'll be offered an opportunity to plead guilty, possibly resolve it. Usually these things are resolved with a restraining order, that sort of thing. You know, you stay away from the person you're allegedly stalking but if she insists on a trial and says she's innocent, wow, this is going to be a real slugfest because the (INAUDIBLE), you know, the former boyfriend says he was punched in the chest four times. He said he was rescued by a yoga instructor at the gym and he's got photographs of his damaged chest and they also say that Jennifer Capriati was making upwards of 50, maybe hundreds of phone calls to him, 50 of those to his workplace so it will be quite a battle in court if it goes forward.
ROMANS: If she fights this, what will lawyers be looking for to try to defend this case?
CALLAN: Well, Capriati's lawyer says it's nonsense, that this is just a romantic relationship that didn't work out. There are also reports that Brannon has an arrest record himself although a minor one for drug use and one of his former girl friends who appeared on one of these celebrity restaurant shows has come forward and said "You know something? He made false stalking complaints against me." So all of this has the potential to come up in a very, very highly publicized trial if the case goes forward.
ROMANS: Sounds like not a great Valentine's day for the two of them. No question about that. Paul Callan, thank you very much, Paul. Victor.
CALLAN: Always nice being with you.
BLACKWELL: One high schooler has a lot of moxie, he invited super model Kate Upton to his prom. She says she's got to check her schedule but her decision came with a lot of pressure. We'll explain.
ROMANS: Good morning, Colorado. Wow, that is the Colorado-Kansas border we're told. You can see that it is snowy and cold. Welcome spring?
BLACKWELL: Yes, spring.
ROMANS: Welcome, spring.
BLACKWELL: Creeping, creeping, creeping, I-25 and 50th in Colorado dealing with the snow. God love you.
This may not be the kind of behavior we want to encourage.
ROMANS: But a teen boy asks supermodel Kate Upton to prom and she is considering it. CNN's Jeanne Moos has more.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everyone wants her. Will this California high school senior get her?
JAKE DAVIDSON, SEEKING PROM DATE: It hit me. Why don't I ask Kate Upton to prom. It's a pipe dream. Everyone was like "You're crazy, you're going to embarrass yourself."
MOOS: Instead of embarrassing himself, Jake Davidson ended up on the "Today" show talking to the "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit model on the phone.
DAVIDSON: This just got so much better now that you're on the phone.
KATE UPTON, SUPERMODEL: I absolutely loved the video.
MOOS: This video.
DAVIDSON: Inviting to you my senior prom on May 23rd.
MOOS: From the chaise lounge to the mirror he wooed her.
DAVIDSON: We can go around all night long until 11:00, my curfew.
MOOS: He recounted their commonalities.
DAVIDSON: You're on the cover of "Sports Illustrated." I read "sports illustrated.
MOOS (on camera): And she being a good sport to botch your invitation, Jake.
(voice-over): She even tweeted "how could I turn down that video? I'll check my schedule." Other mere mortals have asked out celebrities, Mila Kunis was invited to the Marine Corps Ball via YouTube video.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Mila. Sergeant Moore, but can call me Scott.
MOOS: They ended up going together and Justin Timberlake got an invite from this Marine Corporal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And if you can't go all I have to say is cry me a river.
MOOS: Nobody had to cry, Justin said yes. But Jake Davidson and a film student friend shooting the video took it to a whole new level, a shower scene?
DAVIDSON: Kate, can I call you Katie? OK, Kate works.
MOOS (on camera): Nice touch. Bantering from the shower, Jake, but maybe a little too forward.
(voice-over): Just because Kate Upton goes polar bear doesn't mean you have to.
DAVIDSON: You like fine dining, I like fine dining.
MOOS: Jake says his friends keep imitating what he calls his nasally voice.
DAVIDSON: You like fine dining, I like fine dining.
MOOS: Stricken by allergies, meanwhile Kate Upton's been stricken by pressure, she told the Web site, Mashable --
UPTON: The pressure is on and I feel like, you guys, the news is putting it.
MOOS: Please don't let us screw it up for him.
DAVIDSON: What time should I pick you up if you're interested?
MOOS: She says she still has to adjust her schedule while he's adjusting his savings to splurge on wheels for prom night.
DAVIDSON: Old vintage Rolls Royce that I could rent out.
MOOS: Jake's got visions of the Rolls-Royce of swimsuit models swimming in his head.
Jeanne Moos, CNN.
DAVIDSON: You like fine dining, I like fine dining. MOOS: New York.
DAVIDSON: You're on the cover of "Sports Illustrated."
BLACKWELL: I like fine dining. I like it. You know, it always makes the big ask.
All right. So maybe you've run a marathon or two, maybe a half marathon. We're going to introduce a woman who is completing her 52nd marathon. Her story just ahead.
ROMANS: But first an update on one of our top 10 CNN heroes from 2009, bartender Doc Hendley founded his non-profit Wine to Water to combat the global water crisis. Today he's providing clean water to more than 150,000 people in 15 countries, including Syria.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOC HENDLEY, CNN 2008 HEROES: Here in the U.S., it's hard for us to understand the water crisis because we have it right at our fingertips. There's some countries where it takes many women and children four and five hours every single day just to get water, and it's absolutely filthy and its making their children sick. You see that firsthand, you can't help but be changed from that.
My name is Doc Hendley. I used to be a bartender and now I bring clean water to the world.
CNN Heroes changed everything. Before we were able to reach four different countries and now we're in 15 different countries. Syria is our latest one. In Syria, every single day people are leaving their homes, fleeing to the border areas, in the camps the living conditions, they're terrible. They don't have access to the basic essentials.
Right now we're actively working in two camps in the northwestern region of Syria. I was able to bring about 350 water filters just a couple months ago. Syria is the first location that we're actually using these filters, filter up to 250 gallons of water every single day for 10 years. We have a partnership with an organization called Stop Hunger Now, we'll be sending a container with about 250,000 meals and another 1,000 water filters. This will be just the first of many shipments hopefully. There's really no way to describe the feeling when you see a family have crystal clear clean water for the first time. A lot of people think what can we do? But you can make a difference in one family's life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Consider this, 52 marathons in 52 weeks, that was the mission of one California woman and it was to honor her father. Here is her really inspiring story. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Julie, we love you!
BLACKWELL (voice-over): It's an unusual sight at this year's L.A. marathon, two purple balloons hang above marathon runner Julie Weiss, each number 52, the marathon goddess as she calls herself set a goal to run 52 marathons in 52 weeks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once again, Julie Weiss!
BLACKWELL: She's crossing the start line with Team Hope, the official running team of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. It's an issue that hits home for Julie. She lost her father to pancreatic cancer just 35 days after his diagnosis, and just a week before she qualified to run the Boston Marathon.
JULIE WEISS, MARATHON RUNNER: I received a phone call I think it was, I don't know about 5:00 and my mom had told me that my father passed away and I was just in shock.
BLACKWELL: When it came to running no one was a bigger fan of Julie's than her dad.
WEISS: One of my marathons the L.A. marathon in 2010 where he came out and he was at mile 14 and he was there with mineral for me, he had coconut water and he was filming and he was so proud, and he's like "that's my daughter!" And I'll remember that forever.
BLACKWELL: Qualifying for the Boston Marathon without her father by her side left Julie feeling like her work wasn't finished so she decided to raise awareness and money for Pancreatic Cancer research.
WEISS: So I thought I have to do something big, something dramatic. 52 marathons in 52 weeks is something I could probably do because I knew that I recovered fairly quickly.
I think about my dad and I think about all of these people that are affected by pancreatic cancer and what they are going through and I pushed through because what I'm doing is nothing compared to what they are battling with. This is for papa. That's for my dad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here she comes, ladies and gentlemen, 52 marathons, raising money for cancer research!
BLACKWELL: Even at the finish line her work wasn't quite finished.
WEISS: One for my dad. We won!
I've got angels with me. I don't know any other way to explain it.
Let it go, woo!
BLACKWELL: An angel on her shoulder. As the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on same-sex marriage, this week a church in North Carolina is making a pretty bold move. Listen to this. It is refusing to marry straight couples. Coming up at 10:00 we'll talk to the senior pastor who says it's about supporting gay and lesbian couples in the church. Thanks for watching, it was great to be with you.
"YOUR BOTTOM LINE" starts right now.
ROMANS: Thank you, Victor. See you at the top of the hour.