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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Suspect's Friends Charged; Boy Shoots and Kills Little Sister; North Korea Sentences American; 747 Cargo Jet Crashes In Afghanistan

Aired May 2, 2013 - 06:30   ET

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


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, three friends of surviving suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev now charge with trying to cover up for him.

Pamela Brown is in Boston to breakdown all of the latest developments for us.

And, Pamela, what do we know about these three new suspects and what exactly do authorities say that they did?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Zoraida it's what the three suspects did after the Boston marathon bombing that has them in hot water, facing up to five to eight years in prison. Investigators say that two of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's friends, Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov threw away evidence. And also, a third classmate, Robel Phillipos, lied to investigators.

According to the criminal complaint, when the three men saw video of the bombing suspects, they thought one of the men looked like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. In a text message, one friend says, "You look like the Boston marathon suspect." In response, Dzhokhar allegedly says, "LOL". Later he texted, "I'm about to leave. If you need anything in my room, take it."

In Dzhokhar's dorm room, the three found fireworks in a backpack with black powder emptied out, Vaseline and a laptop which two of them later threw away, according to authorities. Authorities also say the other friend initially denied he knew anything about it. The attorney for one of the suspects says his client was actually helping authorities and not obstructing the investigation.

Let's take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT STAHL, ATTORNEY FOR DIAS KADYRBAYEV: He is just as shocked and horrified by the violence in Boston that took place as the rest of the community is. He did not know that this individual was involved in a bombing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: And in a criminal complaint, there was a discussion between Dzhokhar and two of his friends over lunch, a casual discussion, apparently, according to investigators, a month before the bombing that Dzhokhar admitted he knew how to make a bomb. But at this point there is no indication that these suspects knew anything before the attack at the Boston marathon.

SAMBOLIN: Pamela, authorities are also investigating a phone conversation. That was between Tamerlan and his wife. Any idea what they discussed in that conversation?

BROWN: Well, investigators are still looking into the nature of that conversation. As you mentioned, they know now, they say that Katherine Russell spoke to her husband, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, after his picture was released on April 18th when authorities were still trying to find his identity.

So right now, the big question is, what did they talk about, did she know anything, and why didn't she call authorities to alert them because, again, they still didn't have Tamerlan in custody at that point. There's still a lot of questions and she is certainly still a big focus of this investigation.

SAMBOLIN: Well, that is a big question. Pamela Brown reporting live -- thank you.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We have a tragic, disturbing story this morning, honestly. This will just break your heart.

It's from southern Kentucky where a 2-year-old girl is dead, shot and killed by her 5-year-old brother with a rifle that he received for his birthday. State police have ruled this an accident.

Shannon Travis is following these developments for us.

Good morning, Shannon.

SHANNON TRAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John.

Yes, this is just absolutely one of the stories you never want to hear. A child dying at the hands of another child. In this case as you described, a 5-year-old boy killing his 2-year-old sister. Her name was Caroline Sparks.

Now, obviously anyone would wonder what happened here.

Here's what we understand, John. It happened in a home in southern Kentucky. The mother of the two children left them alone and went outside for literally just a few minutes. Unfortunately, that was long enough for the boy to grab a .22 caliber rifle.

Listen to how relative described the horrible outcome.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just tragic. It's just -- it's something that you can't prepare for.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just know she's in heaven right now, and I know she's in good hands with the Lord.

(END VIDEO CLIP) TRAVIS: In the Lord's hands.

A Kentucky state police trooper said this has been ruled an accident. He called it a nightmare. Also, that rifle belonged to the boy, officials said. You mentioned it was a gift for his birthday.

One police official said it's very common for young children in this part of Kentucky to get a gun from their parents. In this case, the boy's gun did have a child safety lock, according to the local county coroner. According to a local report, the family told officials the family did keep the rifle in what they considered to be a safe spot -- John.

BERMAN: It really is awful, Shannon. But, unfortunately, this is not the first time we've heard this type of story.

TRAVIS: It's because it's not the first time. I mean, in April, just as recently as last month we had two tragic incidents. We had one situation where a 4-year-old boy in Tennessee shot and killed a 48- year-old woman accidentally.

We had another situation in New Jersey where a 4-year-old accidentally shot and killed his 6-year-old playmate. So, certainly, this will raise a lot of -- even more alarms than it already has.

BERMAN: All right. Shannon Travis in Washington for us this morning -- thanks so much.

SAMBOLIN: You know, I was reading about this story because the little -- picture of that little girl just strikes you. It says it was a child's rifle. The mom had no idea it was loaded. She said that was really the tragic mistake here is that it was left loaded.

All right. Thirty-five minutes past the hour.

New this morning, North Korea escalating tensions with the United States after sentencing on American citizen, Kenneth Bae, to 15 years of hard labor. The tour guide from Washington state is accused of carrying out serious crimes against North Korea. But there is no word on exactly what those crimes are.

Senior international correspondent Dan Rivers is live for us in Seoul.

So, Dan, what do we know about the case against Kenneth Bae?

DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's amazing. We know almost next to nothing about what he is supposed to have done. We know that this was tried by the supreme court in Pyongyang. The case started on Tuesday and already, on Thursday here, he's been sentenced to 15 years hard labor.

As you mentioned, something to do with hostile acts towards the regime. We don't know exactly what that may entail.

One of his friends here in South Korea has speculated it may be something like taking photos of orphans begging on the street. The regime has taken exception to thinking he will use it, you know, in some derogatory way when he leaves.

He's been in and out of Korea a lot. He runs tours into North Korea from neighboring China. So you would think that he would know the kind of limits of what is acceptable and what isn't. What a lot of analysts are saying is, in fact, it may be nothing to do with what he did. It's just that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The regime is looking for some leverage, a bargaining chip, and he happens to be it.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, we've seen that happen before. So that wouldn't be so farfetched.

So, what action is the United States taking in order to get Bae out?

RIVERS: Well, I think this is all going to be done through back channels. Officially there's no word of any kind of visiting to North Korea. Unofficially, the speculation here in South Korea is that perhaps former President Jimmy Carter may be gearing up for some sort of visit.

He was involved with a similar case back in 2010 which he successfully got the American in question out in one piece. You will remember the famous case a year before in 2009 of the two journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, they were detained for three months before President Bill Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, went in and got them out. Emotional scenes as they came back to the United States.

We're expecting, wondering if the same kind of thing is going to happen in this case.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Dan River is live in Seoul for us -- thank you.

BERMAN: Thirty-seven minutes after the hour right now.

And an autopsy will determine the cause of death for 34-year-old rapper Chris Kelly. OHalf of the '90s rap duo, Kriss Kross. Kelly died Wednesday in an Atlanta hospital after being found unresponsive in his home.

Known to fans as "Mac Daddy", Chris Kelly was just 13 years held when he and his partner, Chris Smith, were discovered in an Atlanta mall by producer Jermaine Dupree. The duo who are known for wearing their clothes backwards scored that huge hit with "Jump" in 1992 and they opened for Michael Jackson on his "Dangerous" tour.

SAMBOLIN: They've been playing that son the studio on his honor this morning.

And speaking of Michael Jackson, testimony of his wrongful death trial resumes in a few hours in Los Angeles. Yesterday, a police detective testified Dr. Conrad Murray was in desperate financial straits at the time of Jackson's death, suggesting his personal physician may have been motivated by money concerns. Murray was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter for administering an overdose of the anesthetic Propofol that killed Jackson. BERMAN: New clues this morning in the disappearance of a young Michigan mother. Watch closely here -- police believe that this silver minivan captured by a surveillance camera at a nearby business is the vehicle involved t in the disappearance of 25-year-old Jessica Heeringa. Heeringa hasn't been seen or heard from since Friday night when he was working a late shift at a gas station alone.

SAMBOLIN: I hope they get more details there.

All right. New information from the Census Bureau, showing the number of young unmarried moms in this country is actually on the rise. According to the report, more than 60 percent of new mothers in their early 20s are indeed single. That is up a whopping 36 percent since 2005. The Census Bureau reports shows wide variations of unwed mothers by income, race and location. The states with the most unwed mothers under 25, Mississippi, Louisiana, and New Mexico.

BERMAN: Up next, devastating final moments as a cargo plane in Afghanistan falls out of the sky, killing seven Americans on board. How on earth did this happen?

We'll have a full report just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. Christine Romans is here.

Christine, what do you have on "STARTING POINT"?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are looking at Boston, foremost. A shocking development in the Boston bombing investigation. Three of the surviving suspects' friends have been arrested, accuse of trying to cover up for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

This poke holes in the theory the suspects worked alone. We're going to talk with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Then, Senator Kelly Ayotte is facing tense moments in a town hall this week over gun control and background check. Her challenger, daughter of Dawn Hochsprung, one of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. Erica Lafferty is going to join us this morning. And she's going to tell us what she wants Congress to do.

And a fast moving wildfire has consumed 3,000 acres in California. It's only 35 percent contained. We're live in banning, tracking that danger this morning. A whole lot happening this week.

BERMAN: Busy, busy morning.

ROMANS: Yes.

BERMAN: Thanks, Christine.

SAMBOLIN: It is 44 minutes past the hour. Investigation is underway this morning to figure out what caused a cargo plane to go down in Afghanistan, killing seven Americans on board. That crash appears to have been recorded by a dashboard camera although CNN cannot confirm the authenticity of this video.

CNN's Chris Lawrence following all of the developments for us from Washington.

This is really tough video to look at, Chris.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Zoraida. Right now, this morning, investigators from the NTSB, FAA, and Boeing are on the ground in Afghanistan trying to figure out how this happened.

Now, fair warning: this video is graphic. In fact, even officials who have investigated crime scenes before say they've never seen anything like it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAWRENCE (voice-over): The video is traumatic and disturbing. A 747 just stalls and falls back to Earth. CNN can't confirm how authentic the video is, it does appear to show a cargo plane that crashed Monday in Afghanistan. That crash killed seven American crew men, including Brad Hasler.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If i could trade places with him so that he could be with his family, I would in a heartbeat.

LAWRENCE: That's Hassler's brother who says Brad's wife is pregnant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is his daughter, Sloan, who's 2 and who we don't see in here is the baby that's on the way who we expect to see in October.

LAWRENCE: The 747 was bound for Dubai, carrying equipment as part of the U.S. military's drawdown from Afghanistan. The civilian cargo plane was loaded with five emrats (ph), each weighing about 27,000 pounds.

STEVEN WALLACE, AVIATION EXPERT: Securing them is absolutely critical to safety.

LAWRENCE: Steven Wallace is the former director of the FAA's accident investigation unit. He says there's no forgiveness in a plane's center of gravity.

(on-camera) Basically, there can only be so much weight in each part of the plane.

WALLACE: So, it's critical that the total weight be within the limit and that the plane be balanced.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): The 747 can take off a couple different ways. When it's carrying passengers, it will take four to five minutes to reach 15,000 feet. But in Afghanistan, there's always the danger of being shot out of the sky, so the pilots need to gain as much altitude as possible while they're still over Bagram. A 747 carrying cargo can reach altitude almost two minutes faster. WALLACE: The typical concern with a cargo aircraft and this caused accidents before is that when the airplane is rotated with the nose up, the cargo moves aft if it's not properly secured.

LAWRENCE: Cargo is chained down, but if an attachment point fails, it could shift.

WALLACE: We don't know that that happened here. That has happened in prior accidents. Then, the airplane becomes uncontrollable.

LAWRENCE: It's much harder to have a massive shift of weight on a commercial 747 because the passengers and the weight are evenly distributed in chairs.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAWRENCE (on-camera): Now, the voice recorder in the flight data recorder are both in the tail section of the plane. They are designed to withstand not only extreme impact but high temperatures as well. It's very likely that data survived and that's what investigators are going to be looking at as they try to piece together what happened -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. It gives some answers to the families there. Chris Lawrence live in Washington for us. Thank you very much.

BERMAN: It's an awful lot will serve (ph). But as you said, the science behind this --

SAMBOLIN: I've been listening to that. Yes. As they can see how the plane, you know, twists and turns and, you know, how they were trying to position the pilots at the last minute trying to position the plane as well. All that they can tell just by looking at that video.

BERMAN: All right. It is 48 minutes after the hour right now.

And this could be the feel good comeback story of the year --

SAMBOLIN: It is, it is.

BERMAN: -- in the NBA. Folks, this is important. This is dramatic. And this is wicked awesome. We are talking about the Boston Celtics. Boston strong. We'll tell you all about it coming back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. Did you hear another win over the Knicks last night have the Celtics back in the series and headed back to Boston with all that momentum. We know you're really excited --

BERMAN: All that momentum. Andy Scholes joins us now with more details on this wonderful story with this morning's "Bleacher Report." Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hi. Good morning, guys. I'm sure you're happy about it, John. The season looked like it was nearing its end for the Celtics just a few days ago as they trailed the Knicks 3-0 in the series but after back-to-back wins. Boston now two wins away from becoming the first NBA team ever to rally from an 0-3 deficit winning series.

Now, the Knicks may have been a little over confident in game five. The team dressing in all black last night because they said they were going to the Celtics' funeral which seems a little disrespectful considering the recent events in Boston. Now, the Knicks wardrobe selection giving the Celtics some extra motivation, and hey, they came through with another clutch win in game five.

Afterwards, thing got a bit chippy words exchanged and players had to be separated. You can bet game six is going to be a good one tomorrow night in Boston.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF GREEN, CELTICS FORWARD: ahead one game. We're going to take care of business. They want to pull, you know, dressing all black, you know, let them do that. We're here to win games and that's all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: The Houston Rockets also trying to rally from an 0-3 deficit to Oklahoma City. Game five last night in OKC. Guard, James Harden, had to leave shoot around with the flu, but he would start and have his best game in the series. The bearded one hit his (INAUDIBLE), ended the game with 31 points. Rocket shocks the Thunder, 107-100 to force game six in Houston tomorrow night.

Yesterday afternoon, Portland Timbers made a dream come true for one eight-year-old boy. Atticus Lane-Dupre missed his final soccer game last season because of cancer treatment, but through the Make A Wish Foundation, he got a second chance. His team, the Green Machine, got to take on the Timbers at Devlin Field (ph), and Atticus was the star of the match, scoring four goals including the game winner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CALEB PORTER, COACH: there's nothing more meaningful and valuable that we can do to touch a young kid's heart and to make his wish come true today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it as good as you thought it was going to be or better?

ATTICUS LANE-DUPRE, STAR PLAYER: Better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Finally, check this out. Korean pop star, Psy, was introduced at Dodger's Stadium Tuesday night. He came out right next to where 85-year-old Dodger's legend, Tommy Lasorda, was sitting, and he started to dance to his new song. Check out Lasorda's face. It's absolutely priceless. I don't think he saw much of this back in his day. Pretty big generation gap here, guys.

(LAUGHTER)

"Gangnam Style," it has over 1.5 billion views on YouTube. The guys I'm guessing Tommy Lasorda, he was not one of those that went on to YouTube and checked out those videos. Pretty shocked by some of those moves by Psy

SAMBOLIN: I bet he knows the dance.

BERMAN: I would pay real money to Tommy Lasorda dance that dance. That would be awesome.

SCHOLES: That would be awesome.

BERMAN: All right. Andy Scholes, thanks so much.

SAMBOLIN: All right. "Starting Point" is just minutes away. With chaos on the streets of Seattle, a protest that got way out of hand overnight. EARLY START back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: That's it for EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin. "Starting Point" with John and Christine Romans starts right now.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Christine Romans. Our "Starting Point" this morning, three more arrests in the Boston bombing investigation. Friends of the surviving suspects accuse of trying to get investigators off his trail. Could more people be involved?

BERMAN: New this morning. Violence on the streets of Seattle. At least eight officers injured and 17 people arrested after protests turned violent. The dramatic details coming up in moments.

ROMANS: Flames forcing people from their homes as a wildfire burns out of control consuming nearly 3,000 acres in California. We are live there with the latest on this effort to put out this blaze.

BERMAN: Plus, a scary moment on the tarmac when two planes clipped each other. We will tell you what happened coming up.

It is Thursday, May 2nd, and "Starting Point" begins right now.

ROMANS: All right. Good morning, everyone. Up first, investigators in the Boston marathon bombing zeroing in on the Tsarnaev Brothers' inner circle. Sources tell CNN Tamerlan Tsarnaev's widow spoke to him after the FBI released his photo and publicly identified him as a terror suspect.

BERMAN: And that timing matters. Also, three of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's friends arrested yesterday. Two of them charge with conspiring to destroy or discard Dzhokhar's laptop, also a backpack containing fireworks. They were conspiring to do this allegedly after the attack. The third -- the third man arrested allegedly for making false statements to federal investigators.

You see him here in a yearbook photo. That yearbook also had a picture of Dzhokhar as well. Pamela Brown is live in Boston with these latest developments. Good morning, Pamela.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, John. As you said, these three suspects now in federal custody for what they allegedly did after the attack. Following their arrest yesterday, the big question looms, will there be more arrests in connection with this case? The investigation continues to focus on the widow of Tamerlan Tsarnaev as new developments come to light.