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CNN NEWSROOM

Governor Perry Ties Murders To Borders; New Warnings In Murder Of Prison Chief; North Korea Could Launch Missile; NYPD Officer Arrested; Manhunt For Fort Knox Gunman; Carnival "Triumph" Re-Tied To Dock; More Fallout Over Fired Rutgers Coach; Ex-Player Stands By Rice; Facebook May Announce Phone; Top Lululemon Product Exec Out; Motive Sought In Sheriff's Murder; Connecticut Overhauls Gun Laws; Obama To Give Back 5 Percent Of Salary; Porsche To Unveil Plug-In Hybrid; Final Four Fever

Aired April 4, 2013 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: -- why he was targeted.

Rutgers basketball coach, he is gone, but the scandal continues, now more accusations and a push to get the university president to step down.

And New York City police officer not just accused of allowing a string of violent robberies to happen, but also accused of helping thieves plan the attacks. Here live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Good morning. Thank you so much for being with me. I'm Carol Costello. We begin in Texas, a $200,000 reward is being offered in three high profile killings, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McClelland was gunned down inside his home along with his wife, Cynthia.

Today, a public memorial is being held for them. Their killings come after two months after McClelland's Chief Felony Prosecutor Mark Hasse was shot to death. Police can't say if the cases are connected and theories range from white supremacist to drug dealers.

And now the Texas governor, Rick Perry, is adding to the buzz by saying it all goes back to Texas' poorest border with Mexico.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: We know the drug cartels are very, very active in our country now. It goes back to the whole issue of border security and the failure of the federal government to put the men and women, whether they are in a military or whether they're border patrol or whether they're working with the local law enforcement, expend the dollars necessary to secure the border with, with Mexico.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: CNN's George Howell is in Kaufman County, Texas. George, I know nerves are frayed there, but how about people reacting to the governor's suggestion that the poorest border may be the reason for these murders?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, good morning. You know, for many people here not that surprising because illegal immigration and the border has long been a topic of discussion for Governor Rick Perry, but keep in mind he did not comment on the other possibilities.

The possibility that this could be somehow connected to the Arian Brotherhood of Texas, the possibility that it could be connected to an inside job or even a hit for hire, we've heard that.

But from our sources, there are no real front runners in this. There's a lot of speculation under the sun. Investigators are very tight-lipped about that investigation. And Carol, let's get up to speed on the very latest on this investigation, what we know so far, just the other day investigators held a news conference.

They told us they made an arrest that is indirectly related to the murder case of Mike McClelland and his wife, Cynthia McClelland. They arrested Nick Morrell, 56-year-old Nick Morrell for allegedly calling into a tip line, Carol, and making a threat against a public official.

Mr. Morrell is being held on a $1 million bond. Investigators say he is not being connected to this case. But, again, it's the second time, only the second time that investigators have addressed the media.

The other day they did not give any new insight into interest investigation, very tightlipped. But they did tell us, Carol, that they are being flooded with leads and that's at least some good news to report.

COSTELLO: That is a good thing, but no closer to a suspect. But there is that reward out there so maybe that will help.

HOWELL: Right, and, again, as you mentioned, $200,000 reward. We understand that Governor Rick Perry will be here in front of the courthouse, which is symbolic for this town. Because again, a lot of people are concerned about what's happening. He will attend the media here before attending the memorial that will be held in nearby Sunnyvale, Texas.

COSTELLO: All right, George Howell reporting live from Kaufman County, Texas.

Also this morning, there are new warnings in another high profile murder. Last month's killing of Colorado's top prison official. Tom Clements as you know was shot to death at his home by a former prison inmate.

Now investigators believe Evan Ebel may have plotted that murder with fellow white supremacists. Clements had crackdown on the prison gang, the 2-11 crew. Colorado officials say that Thomas Ghouly and fellow gang member James Lohr are believed to be armed and dangerous and out there somewhere. Investigators believe one or both could be heading to Nevada. On to North Korea, this time, it could be more than bluster. Just this morning, CNN is learning North Korea could launch a mobile ballistic missile within days. That's according to a U.S. official citing intercepted communication. It comes as the United States deploys ballistic missile defense to Guam and tries to tamp down on its own rhetoric.

Barbara Starr joins me now live from the Pentagon. What more are you learning, Barbara?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Carol. I think it is very fair to say here at the Pentagon this morning, officials are trying to ratchet back their own rhetoric, indeed, noticing that what they may be actually leading to North Korea ramping up its own rhetoric.

So they're dialing back a bit here, trying to make sure they don't get into too much of a spin cycle. But behind the scenes, it is that missile launch that has them most concerned. If you look at this picture, this is the kind of thing we're talking about, a mobile launcher on a truck.

Why is this so dangerous? Because these mobile launchers drive around the North Korean countryside, they can be moved very quickly. U.S. satellites then can't track really where they are, where they might be launching from. The U.S. has been watching, gathering intelligence for several weeks now.

They believe the North Koreans may be getting ready to try to launch a missile from one of these mobile systems and that would be the type that could hit South Korea, Japan, maybe as far as Guam.

Why it's so dangerous, again, the U.S. might have very little, if no warning that this type of missile system was about to be launched. So a lot of focus on this type of thing even as they ratchet back some of these headlines we've been watching for the last severing days.

COSTELLO: All right, Barbara Starr reporting live from the Pentagon.

A New York City police officer has been placed under arrest, accused of leading a mob of armed robbers. Federal prosecutors say Officer Jose Dehava and the crew would pose as a cop and use fake warrants to arrest drug traffickers and then they rob the drug traffickers stealing marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, heroine, and of course, cash.

The group is accused of more than 100 armed robberies since 2001. Joining us now is CNN's legal analyst Sunny Hostin. So a New York City police officer was allegedly, I guess, the ringleader in this?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: At least one of the participants. No question about it. The person at least that the government alleges helped this happened. Because they're alleging that he actually gave this violent crew of robbers, this drug crew, New York City Police Department equipment.

They used fake arrests and search warrants and equipment to allow them to pose as police officers, arresting allegedly, pretending to arrest these drug dealers, and then stealing the drugs from them. As you mentioned, a hundred, more than a hundred robberies this crew was responsible for.

They netted about 250 kilograms of cocaine and about $1 million in drug proceeds. Now this officer, Jose Dehava, he is going to be arraigned today at about 2PM on a three-count indictment. He's going to be indicted forearmed robbery, narcotics, robbery.

And what is fascinating, I think, about their case is that he is not the only officer involved. He is the third officer, now, to be charged in this case and as you see there, three, three allegations, three charges in this indictment. And he'll be arraigned today at 2:00.

COSTELLO: I know you'll be following it. Sunny Hostin, thanks so much.

At 8 minutes past the hour, time to check our top stories. Fort Knox under heightened security as officials search for a man who opened fired at the base on Wednesday killing a civilian employee for the U.S. Army. Investigators say the shooting stem from a personal incident. The victim has not been identified.

Carnival Cruise says Triumph has once again been tied to the dock in Mobile, Alabama. The ship broke free in Wednesday's high winds and was damaged. A guard shack with two men inside was also knocked over by the ship. Only one of those men has been found and authorities continue to search for the other.

Mike Rice says he's sorry. The fired Rutgers coach has now apologized for homophobic slurs and the aggression he showed to his players in a tape aired by ESPN. But now there's word that Coach Rice's name- calling extended to children. The former Rutgers assistants who have supplied this practice video to ESPN telling the network what he witnessed at a basketball camp.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC MURDOCK, FORMER RUTGERS DIRECTOR OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT: It was a camp. And, you know, a bunch of 10 year olds, 11 year old kids. You know, these kids come walking into the camp late. So now he feels a need to embarrass these kids in front of other campers and he notices they have on flip-flops. He looks down. He says flip-flops are for -- in front of 10 year old kids.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: "Bleacher Report's" Andy Scholes is here. How could it get any worse? Although Rice, I guess has some supporters out there.

ANDY SCHOLES, "BLEACHER REPORT": One of his former players is saying he's misunderstood. A lot of the video where he was kicking players is taken out of context. Some of those things were actually in a joking matter. Doesn't look like it, right, but that's what Graham is saying. He says it's a lot of tough love. He actually even said this morning on "STARTING POINT" that Rice shouldn't even have been fired, that the suspension and fine were enough of a punishment. So he is pretty much the only person in Rice's corner right now and it's kind of surprising that he is.

COSTELLO: I thought we had a little sound from him. We do. One second. It's coming.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TYREE GRAHAM, FORMER RUTGERS BASKETBALL PLAYER: Rutgers made a decision where they suspended him earlier this year for, you know, three games and also took $50,000 from him. So I felt like Rutgers gave him his punishment. But when the media got a hold of the video, you know, they changed up and now Rutgers fired him. I really feel that's wrong because he served his punishment. So actually he served, you know, two penalties for one offense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: I think though he's part of a small chorus, right? Because the people who live around Rutgers, the lawmakers in New Jersey, they're calling for not only, they think it's right that Rice was fired. But they are also calling for the athletic director and the president to step down.

SCHOLES: They definitely are. And there are at least 10 faculty members at Rutgers who signed a letter calling for president's head, saying he should step down as well. As you said, you know, Graham is small sample. There was other players who took the punishment from Coach Rice. He transferred out because it was so bad. So as you said, Graham, one of the --

COSTELLO: So it's not over yet, right?

SCHOLES: Not over yet. It gets worse every day.

COSTELLO: Andy Scholes, thank you.

Now to your money, we are just hours away from a major announcement at Facebook and speculation is running wild that the company could be launching a Facebook phone. Zain Asher is following the story in New York. Wow, like an actual smart -- how does this work?

ZAIN ASHER, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE/BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I mean, Carol, you know, this is interesting. I have to say the company isn't giving too many details, but as a ways, there are plenty of rumors flying around. The phone is lightly going to have a modified Android operating system that includes a Facebook home screen, integrated Facebook features like Facebook messenger.

So it's not just going to be a phone with a Facebook app. That's what a lot of people have. According to the tech web sites the phone is also going to have a 4.3 inch screen. A little bit larger than the iPhone 5. It's going to be made by the Taiwanese company HTC. We may see Facebook cover a lot of the cost of the phone and some of the mobile data just to get into as many users' hands as possible. The goal, of course, as always is to sell more advertising.

We know that Facebook has struggled to figure out how to make money off its mobile users. This could be a possible solution. I do also want to mention that Facebook shares are down more than 30 percent since its IPO last year -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Wow. It's just not getting any better, but we'll see if this works. I understand there's a follow up to Lululemon in the see- through pants?

ASHER: Yes, chief officer is out of a job today. The 17 percent of the company's yoga pants were recalled last month because they were too transparent. Lululemon is announcing some other major changes to put this whole transparency debacle behind them including stricter testing.

The company is taking some of the responsibility saying that the faulty fabric did meet standards, but just at the low end of the threshold. It will also place Lululemon employees at factories to monitor manufacturing partners and educate them on new standards -- Carol.

COSTELLO: All right, Zain Asher reporting live from New York this morning.

Coming up in the NEWSROOM, we started with 68 teams and now we're down to the final four. The NCAA finals are here in Atlanta Saturday. We'll talk about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: It's 16 minutes past the hour. Time to check our top stories, police are trying to find out why a 37 year old man shot and killed a West Virginia sheriff who was eating lunch in his car. Eugene Crum just became the sheriff in January.

He was cracking down on drug dealers and having a lot of success. The suspect is identified as Tennis Maynard. He was shot in the chest after fleeing the scene. He is now recovering in a hospital.

Early this morning in Connecticut, lawmakers in the House passed a gun control measure that's billed as the toughest in the nation. It comes in response to the Sandy Hook School massacre in Newtown. The new measure adds more than 100 types of guns to the state's banned list. The governor is expected to sign it into law at noon Eastern Time.

President Obama will get back 5 percent of his salary in what the White House called a show of unity was furloughed federal workers. Those workers were impacted by e forced spending cuts, which took effect on March 1st.

Porsche will soon unveil its first ever plug in hybrid car. The Panamera E Hybrid will debut at China's Shanghai Motor Show next month. The car can go from 0 to 60 in just 5 seconds. It can drive for 20 minutes on only its electric charge. But if you want to take one home, start saving now. Prices start at $78,000.

We've gone from March Madness to Final Four Fever. The NCAA basketball semi-finals is set for Saturday at the Georgia Dome, a little bit more than a three point shot away from the CNN Center Atrium. That's where we find Carlos Diaz, by the great big bracket board. Good morning, Carlos.

CARLOS DIAZ, HLN SPORTS: We're down here in the food court. The atrium as you would say here at CNN and of course, we are gearing up for the big final four, which is at the Georgia Dome on Saturday.

The first game, Louisville taking on Wichita State and then the second game, Syracuse battling against Michigan and the big story, of course, is Louisville and Kevin Ware. Louisville arrived here in Atlanta last night.

Kevin Ware with the team, he's the sophomore guard who suffered that horrific leg injury on Sunday against Duke. He was able to get out of the hospital earlier this week, meet back up with his teammates.

And then make the journey down here to Atlanta, his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. And he is clearly a fan favorite and a lot of the fans are pulling for Louisville because of Kevin Ware.

COSTELLO: I thought were you going to like, I thought we would hear from Kevin Ware, but we will later on in the show, I guess. But what are Louisville's chances?

DIAZ: They are a number one seed, of course, in this tournament. So a lot of people are saying they are the clear cut favorite, even before they became the sentimental favorite with Kevin Ware's story.

But you look at Wichita State, they're considered the Cinderella. They're taking on Louisville. They're the number nine seed, the first number nine seed to make it this far since 1979.

And so they are the Cinderella and then in the nightcap when you have Syracuse taking on Michigan that is a battle of two number four seeds. We haven't had a number four seed win this thing since Arizona did a few years ago.

And Michigan and Syracuse, both great programs. Syracuse, their head coach over 900 victories. Michigan looking to win their first title since 1989. They haven't been back to the final four since the Fab Five left the school back in 1992, '93.

So all four programs have unique stories, real quick, we have a court here. So I'm thinking we got to try something. Let's try something. All right guys, storm the court, yes. There's pandemonium.

I can't stop. Back to you guys. Back to you guys. This is unbelievable. It's pandemonium. It's March Madness. It's unbelievable. Never seen before on live TV.

COSTELLO: I hope Carlos survives. Thanks, Carlos. Thanks, kids. Bye. He's a crazy man that Carlos Diaz.

Just ahead in the NEWSROOM, shocking video of another kind, the bad kind, an officer using a taser on a pregnant woman.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Now's your chance to talk back on one of the stories of the day. The question for you this morning, are universities responsible if students can't find jobs? It's tough out there. If you're a new college grad, good luck finding a job. Sure you paid upwards of 40K a year for that law degree, but chances are you're going nowhere fast like this South Western law grad who had to move back home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL LIEBERMAN, LAW SCHOOL GRADUATE: I had high hopes for employment. I thought this degree was going to be very important in me getting a job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Especially since Southwestern boasted 97 percent of its graduates landed a job within nine months. With no legal job, he is now suing the school. False advertising he says and he's not the only miffed unemployed student.

There are similar lawsuits in at least six states. Actually holding universities responsible for the unemployed has become a trend. North Carolina's governor outraged by high tuition and what he calls useless degrees like degrees in gender studies. They want to limit taxpayer of money to public colleges unless they put, quote, "bucks in a job."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOVERNOR PAT MCCRORY (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Right now, we pay based on how many students you have, not on the results of how many jobs you are getting people into. I'm looking at legislation, which would change the basic formula on how education money is given out to our universities and our community college. Not based upon how many butts in seats, but how many of those butts can get jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: But then again, no amount of schooling can make a bad job interview good or a sluggish economy better. And some say the value of higher education is not what you earn, but what you learn. Talk back question for you today, are universities responsible if students can't find jobs? Facebook.com/carolcnn or tweet me @carolcnn.

He called himself evil and the killer makes a convincing case. We'll share Evan Ebel's chilling letter from prison.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thanks so much for be being with me. It is 30 minutes past the hour, time to check our top stories. North Korea could be planning to launch a mobile ballistic missile in the coming days. That's according to a U.S. official citing intercepted communications.

Tonight on CNN, Wolf Blitzer will have a "SITUATION ROOM" special, "The Crisis in North Korea," comes your way at 6 p.m. Eastern Time.

A traffic accident leads to a parking lot scuffle between police and a woman who is eight months pregnant. Police in Springfield, Illinois say they had to use a taser on the pregnant woman when she was resisting arrest. Police officials and the taser company say the electrical shock was safer to the woman and her unborn child than a violent struggle would have been.

A man was attacked by a giant shark after -- while surfing at a beach off Maui Wednesday. The 58-year-old is being --