CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS

Burying a Bombing Suspect; Security Concerns at Churchill Downs; Raging Wildfires in Southern California; Woman Missing and Presumed Dead Found Alive and Well in Florida; Closing Arguments End in Jodi Arias Trial

Aired May 4, 2013 - 11:00   ET

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


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN here in Boston, this is CNN Saturday Morning. It is Saturday, May 4th. Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye in Boston live this morning.

New information today on how Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev died and where he will be buried. Plus, new clues in the investigation surface in his home.

Security concerns following the Boston terror attack are clear today at Churchill Downs. We'll tell you what Kentucky Derby organizers are doing to keep the crowd safe.

And running for their lives, raging wildfires threatening thousands of people in Southern California. Hear why the weather today could be crucial to that fight.

We begin this morning with the latest developments in the Boston terror investigation. The death certificate for suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev says he died of gunshot wounds and blunt trauma to the head and torso.

That's according to the owner of the funeral home where Tsarnaev's body is being held. A search is under way for a burial site for Tsarnaev. So far no cemetery in the area has provided one. Last hour I spoke to the funeral home owner, who is actually still holding the body.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETER STEFAN, FUNERAL HOME OWNER: Basically most of them have declined to do this, I think basically for some fear of reprisal. And as I have told someone, at the immediate moment you may fear that, but later on when things calm down, people are going to resent you because you didn't do it.

And we're having a problem locating a burial spot. We will find something on Monday because I said if I have to go to the higher authorities, this is a bad situation.

My view is that we have to do something. We have to bury the person. And this is what we do in a civilized society, regardless of the circumstances. I separate the sinner from the sins. I can't pick and choose what I do. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: Police are finding more evidence in the case. A source tells CNN explosive residue has been found at Tamerlan Tsarnaev's home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Tsarnaev shared that home with his wife, Katherine Russell, and their young daughter. Russell is now staying at her parents' home in Rhode Island.

Erin McPike is there.

And, Erin, Russell's attorney is insisting still that she knew nothing about her husband's alleged involvement.

But will this new discovery, do you think, make that harder for police to believe?

I mean, could this mean some trouble for her, perhaps?

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Randi, let's remember that the FBI and investigators have been interested in Katherine Russell and what she might have known since the very beginning of this investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCPIKE (voice-over): FBI officials have been stationed outside her parents' house here for about the last two weeks and there have been lots of questions.

Earlier this week CNN reported that Katherine Russell placed a call to Tamerlan Tsarnaev right after she found his picture -- or she saw his picture on the news.

And here attorneys have continued to say that she knew nothing. Now I did talk to her attorney yesterday morning, and they said investigators continue to question her. They've been spending hours questioning her and they're showing her pictures and asking her to comment on them.

So with all of these new little revelations, certainly it shows that there is interest in there, but that interest has just continued and grown in the past two weeks, Randi.

KAYE: And what about her behavior? I mean, is she trying to resume some sort of a normal life, even though she's in the spotlight right now?

MCPIKE: Well, and she is staying with her parents right now in this house of theirs behind me, and she's -- her -- their young daughter, 21/2 years old, is with them. We haven't seen much of that 21/2-year old.

But we have seen Katherine Russell leave several times. We saw her go to the Verizon store earlier this week. We saw her go out to lunch yesterday and actually one of her friends who picks her up often when she's leaving is actually here right now, so we might see her leave again to head out for errands or, in fact, go downtown to her attorney's office in Providence any minute now, Randi.

KAYE: All right, Erin McPike, appreciate your reporting there for us this morning.

And now to the dilemma surrounding Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body. So far no one is stepping forward to provide a burial ground. So I want to bring in our national correspondent, Susan Candiotti, who's been tracking this for us.

So there have been some protests, too, not only does nobody want the body, but there have been -- also been protests about the idea that he could be buried here in the Boston area.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. There are some people who say, look, it shouldn't make a difference and do acknowledge that the man has to be buried some place at some point.

But there is also another vocal group of people who don't want him anywhere in the Boston area and said, for example, maybe they ought to send his body back to Russia, where he is from. But as this protest goes on, there is no clear answer in sight as to how this is going to end.

And in fact, the family overseas is even calling for an independent autopsy, because they don't accept the results of the medical examiner's office here.

KAYE: And so there is protesting here and there's also protesting in Russia, just even about the investigation, is that correct?

CANDIOTTI: Yes. Believe it or not, investigators are now looking at that. Russian investigators are looking into a webpage that has showed up in Kyrgyzstan. And in fact, it reads that there is not one -- this is a quote from it -- "There is not one single piece of evidence against him," referring to Dzhokhar.

So some people are rising up and saying that this entire investigation and the charges against him are trumped up at this point. They are trying to track down who started that. And there are even pamphlets that are being distributed overseas as well in that region, also protesting the investigation.

KAYE: So it sounds like he has some support over there and the brothers have some support over there (inaudible).

(CROSSTALK)

CANDIOTTI: Exactly.

KAYE: All right, Susan, thank you. We'll check back with you later one.

Singers and other celebrities are coming together for a concert to raise funds for victims of the Boston bombings. The concert is happening May 30th at Boston's TV Garden.

Aerosmith, Jimmy Buffett, James Taylor, New Kids on the Block and a whole bunch of other big names will perform there. Proceeds will go to One Fund Boston, set up by the Boston mayor, Thomas Menino, and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. The fund has already raised an estimated $28 million for victims of the marathon bombing.

Now, overseas to Syria and some other news: 247 people have already been killed in fighting there this weekend, according to opposition groups. Meanwhile, Israeli aircraft have bombed a shipment of missiles in Syria. Israel says that the weapons were bound for the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL OREN, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: What I can say is that we have a very clear policy: if the Syrian regime tries to transfer chemical weapons or what we call game-changing weaponry to terrorist organizations, particular to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israel will not remain passive. We're very serious about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: The Israeli attack comes as the Obama administration is considering military options against Syria but the president says he doesn't foresee American boots on the ground.

The U.S. is still investigating whether the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its people.

People forced out of their homes are nervously watching a raging wildfire in California. Wind has been whipping the flames up for the past two days and the fire has now threatened as many as 4,000 homes.

I want you to take a look at this. People ran down the street as flames burned right next to them just feet away. It was a terrifying experience.

Stephanie Elam is live in Newbury Park, California, this morning.

So, Stephanie, where do things stand right now? Any improvement?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we can tell you that, as of this morning, fire officials are saying that the fire is now 30 percent contained and still just at 28,000 acres burned.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELAM (voice-over): That number did not increase overnight. So that's good news. Obviously residents are very concerned about the progress of the firefighters because we are across the street from basically a trailhead. They are doing control burns, as you can see. The flames are coming up.

But this is what they want to do. They want to burn down this brush so that the fire cannot move this way if the winds were to pick up. But right now the winds are in our favor. They're very calm at this time. So this is good news. Residents some still evacuated, some mandatory, some at their own will. We actually talked to a couple residents to find out what it's been like for them.

ELAM: Did you ever see any firemen around your house or anything?

ELIZABETH DICKENSON, WILDFIRE AREA RESIDENT: They came through and told us it was a voluntary evacuation and when we decided to stay, we left for a few hours. When we came back at around 10:00, the sheriffs knew we were there and they said they would come pounding on the door if it came close.

ELAM: OK.

ELAM (voice-over): So that was good news. Obviously these -- the residents that we have spoken to this morning, they feel like they have been getting communication, that they would be safe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ELAM: Some feeling like they just didn't want to leave their homes; others leaving because family members were ushering them to. But overall, it feels like they are getting a handle on this fire. That's the good news, Randi.

KAYE: All right. Stephanie, thank you very much for the update there. That is some good news.

The Boston bombing suspects seemed like regular American men but their online activity shows they started visiting jihadist websites at some point. We'll tell you how their alleged self-radicalization may have come about.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Authorities in Kyrgyzstan are search for the source of pamphlets that appear to defend the surviving suspect in the Boston bombings. The pamphlets featured Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's photo and declared that he's innocent.

They're behind -- they're being circulated in the capital city of Bishkek. Tsarnaev was born in Kyrgyzstan, but left when he was 8. And officials there have denied that he adopted a radical ideology in their country.

From their initial online activity, the Tsarnaev brothers would seem just like any other young American but at some point they went from being carefree young men to allegedly self-radicalized jihadists. So what made them change? Our Jake Tapper has more on that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST (voice-over): What could inspire anyone living in America to create and execute a plan that wreaked so much destruction? The question of whether the accused bombers had collaborators is yet to be definitely answered, but the surviving brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has, according to law enforcement sources, told investigators they acted alone, allegedly inspired by what they saw as unjust wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the claim is they radicalized themselves by what they read and heard online.

The preachings of radical American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki were likely to have been among the videos the Tsarnaev brothers watched, according to a U.S. government official. And investigators are also looking into whether the jihadist online magazine "Inspire" was read by the brothers.

The brainchild of al-Awlaki, "Inspire" reads like a how-to manual for would-be terrorists.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: For a number of years, that was, believe it or not, that one magazine seemed to be a main recruiter of young Muslims in this country as far as self radicalizing.

TAPPER (voice-over): One of the pressure cooker bombs allegedly used by the Tsarnaevs was similar to a design found in the magazine's article, "Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom."

Tamerlan Tsarnaev also has an online footprint; after his trip to Dagestan and parts of Russia, including Chechnya last year, it appears Tamerlan created a YouTube channel on which he posted and then removed a video of a jihadist leader, one who was later killed by Russian troops.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: And that was Jake Tapper reporting for us.

A mother lost, declared dead and now found. Up next, we'll tell you where she's been and what her family is saying 11 years after she disappeared.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Welcome back, everyone, to Boston.

Now for an amazing story of a woman lost and found. She disappeared from her home in Pennsylvania 11 years ago, last seen dropping her kids off at school. Her husband and two children thought that she was dead, but now she has suddenly turned up in Florida. Gary Tuchman has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is what Brenda Heist looked like when she mysteriously disappeared in 2002, a Pennsylvania mother of two with a steady job. From the outside looking in, everything seemed normal enough. But things were about to get, well, strange.

Brenda Heist was about to walk out on her life, just simply vanish.

This is Brenda Heist today, 11 years later after she resurfaced suddenly, completely without warning. Her family thought she was dead. She was, in fact, declared legally dead.

So how did this person transform so dramatically to this?

It started in February 2002. Brenda and her husband, Lee, were preparing to divorce and she was upset about how she was going to make ends meet.

TUCHMAN: Sitting in a park crying, Brenda Heist was approached by some people who invited her to go on a trip. On a whim, she accepted, ended up hitchhiking to South Florida, where it's believed she spent the last 11 years.

For much of that time, she lived with a man in a camper and worked odd jobs. But for the rest of her time in Florida, she was homeless, living under bridges, scavenging for restaurant food, all under an assumed name.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): We know all of this because since Brenda resurfaced, she's talking.

Detective John Schofield of the Lititz Borough, Pennsylvania, Police Department has been working the case for all 11 years.

DET. JOHN SCHOFIELD, LITITZ BOROUGH POLICE: She said she thought of her family and children every day and her parents. However, she never acted on that and never made any phone calls. Not one.

She's pretty much at the end of her rope down there, living on the streets. I mean I think she just has had it. Her health wasn't good and she was just tired of running.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Her husband is remarried. This picture shows Lee Heist and his new wife, along with the two children that he and Brenda Heist had together, now all grown up.

A short time ago, Lee Heist told us on the phone about how stunned he was when he found out Brenda was alive.

LEE HEIST III, EX-WIFE DISAPPEARED FOR 11 YEARS: We felt that perhaps she had been carjacked because of where the car was found. We never knew for sure. But I really did think that she had died and, unfortunately, probably in not a very pleasant way. This was a terrific shock to us.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Lee Heist had been questioned by police about the disappearance and he wrongly lived under the shadow of suspicion for a long time.

LEE HEIST III: There were people in the neighborhood who would not allow their children to play with my children because of what they perceived I might be. TUCHMAN (voice-over): The Heists' daughter is now in college; the older son is a college graduate, seeking work in the law enforcement field. Lee Heist was asked in our telephone interview if he wanted to talk to Brenda, who is now in protective custody.

LEE HEIST III: Well, honestly, I don't think after -- after all of this that there -- anything good would come of a conversation.

It would -- I don't think it would be beneficial to her and certainly not to me, but to my kids, absolutely. And I would do whatever is necessary to make sure that if she wants and if the kids want -- and it would be their decision -- I would certainly make arrangements for them to meet with their mother, absolutely.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): As far as charges against Brenda Heist, it appears there won't be any. Police say there's nothing illegal about walking away from your family -- Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: So what is reaction from the family of Brenda Heist?

Our Piers Morgan talked with her daughter. She was only 8 years old when her mom disappeared.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN HEIST, MOTHER TURNED UP AFTER 11 YEARS: I think when I was 8, I didn't really know what to feel. I mean, I was -- I felt -- I think -- I thought she would come home, because that year I made her a mother's card -- Mother's Day card.

So obviously I thought in the back of my mind she was coming back. And now -- I mean, now I have a lot of different emotions. I'm mad. So --

PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: I mean, do you -- do you want to see her?

MORGAN HEIST: As of right now I don't. I don't think she deserves to see me. So I don't really -- I don't really have any plans on going to see her.

MORGAN: One of your Tweets said that you hope that she rots in hell. And I can understand why you feel so angry.

But do you think your anger may calm enough to be more rational about this? Or do you really think that it's just beyond any redemption or apology?

MORGAN HEIST: I hope to eventually forgive her one day for myself, not for her. But I eventually hope to forgive her and move on with my life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: Her son says that he hopes his mother feels remorse for walking out on them. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEE HEIST IV, SON OF DISAPPEARED WOMAN: I would hope that she would see like what I've done with my life despite everything that she did. And I hope she would -- I mean, I hope she would feel like terrible, to be honest. I hope she would feel terrible for what she did to the family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: This summer Lee Heist is said to be entering the police academy because he had hoped to become a detective and one day look into his mom's disappearance.

I'll have more from here in Boston on the bombing case.

But first, the Jodi Arias trial is almost over. Defense attorneys have presented their closing arguments.

But have they been able to convince the jury? All of that, straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Welcome back to CNN SATURDAY MORNING. I'm live here in Boston, at the makeshift memorial site put together by the people wishing to pay respects to the victims of the bombings. There is quite a crowd here gathering this morning.

The Boston bombings have really changed the way that we plan for major events. Even the sounds of sirens really makes people very concerned still in this area.

But in terms of major events, at Churchill Downs racetrack, security is being ramped up for today's running of the Kentucky Derby. Everything from coolers to laser pointers, all banned. And the track is asking people to report anything that might look suspicious.

Pamela Brown is joining me live from Louisville, Kentucky, this morning.

So, Pam, how tight is security there?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Randi, security is a lot tighter this year than in years past. We just took a walk around to the various entrances here at Churchill Downs and there's definitely more wanding taking place at the entrances, more thorough bag searches. Women are not allowed to bring big purses.

So you're definitely seeing a difference here. And these new measures were put into place just in the last few weeks in the wake of the Boston bombing. Officials have been scrambling to get the word out to people and for the most part it seems like people did get the memo. And talking to people here, Randi, it is clear security is top of mind. You know, after 9/11 security was tightened and now there's a even bigger crackdown. They are banning coolers, cans, large purses, as we mentioned, there's increased wanding. Also a lot more federal authorities, local, state authorities here as well; 100 more were brought in in the wake of what happened in Boston.

And bomb-sniffing dogs, more bomb-sniffing dogs brought in here to Churchill Downs for this weekend.

Now this is the largest sporting event since Boston, but it does seem like people are not letting fear of another terrorist attack hold them back. We spoke to the president of Churchill Downs, Kevin Flaherty. He said the public will play a big role in keeping everyone safe. Let's take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVIN FLAHERTY, PRESIDENT, CHURCHILL DOWNS: So the first thing you do after an event like that is you just get everybody back together and you say, what's the plan? Do we need to make any adjustments? And you make sure that you let everybody know that they're as important as the law enforcement. If you see something, say something.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: And, Randi, it does appear that some of these new measures are helping make things more expedient at the entrances. The lines really aren't too bad and that is a good thing because it is raining here in Louisville and people are not allowed to bring umbrellas through. So -- but it's clear that this weather is not dampening people's spirits at all.

KAYE: Well, that's certainly good to know. Pam, thank you very much.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE (voice-over): President Obama is wrapping up his trip to Central America. After a stop in Mexico, Mr. Obama traveled to Costa Rica, where he met with the president there. He was greeted by her and a group of schoolchildren.

Later he joined a summit of Central American leaders, where he pledged continued support of security. He says without it, it will be hard for the regional economy so grow.

The NRA is gathering in Houston for its annual convention. Fresh off the defeat of a bill to expand background checks, some big name pro- game politicians are talking tough.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Pepsi has dropped rapper Lil Wayne as a pitchman for its Mountain Dew soda. The rapper made a vulgar sexual reference in a song about civil rights icon Emmett Till. Pepsi found Wayne's lyrics offensive, saying it does not reflect the values of its brand. Emmett Till was 14 years old in 1955, when he was beaten to death in Mississippi for allegedly whistling at a white woman. A publicist for Lil Wayne's label says that the rapper and Pepsi parted ways amicably.

Now to that arrest video of actress Reese Witherspoon. That has gone viral. It shows her interfering with Atlanta police when they pulled her husband over for drunk driving. She calls her words and actions that night embarrassing. CNN's Nischelle Turner has more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hollywood golden girl Reese Witherspoon is accustomed to the spotlight. But since her disorderly conduct arrest last month, she's dodged public appearances. That is, until her very public apology on "Good Morning America" Thursday.

REESE WITHERSPOON, ACTRESS: It was one of those nights. You know, we went out to dinner in Atlanta and we had one too many glasses of wine but we thought we were fine to drive. And we absolutely were not. And it's just completely unacceptable and we are so sorry and embarrassed and we know better.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma'am, don't get out.

TURNER (voice-over): Police dashboard camera video chronicles the stop from start to finish.

WITHERSPOON: I don't understand.

TURNER (voice-over): And everything in between, from her husband, Jim Toth's, very public field sobriety test, to Witherspoon's now-infamous line:

WITHERSPOON: Do you know my name? You're about to find out who I am.

TURNER (voice-over): Witherspoon's contrite GMA appearance came just hours before police dashboard video showing her contentious arrest was released.

WITHERSPOON: I'm a U.S. citizen. I'm allowed to stand on American (inaudible) and ask you any question I want to ask.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go ahead, come on.

WITHERSPOON: You better not arrest me. Are you kidding me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

(CROSSTALK)

WITHERSPOON: I'm an American citizen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop, I told you to get in that car and stay in there, didn't I?

TURNER (voice-over): Her husband, shown here being arrested, tries to quiet her without success.

JIM TOTH, WITHERSPOON'S HUSBAND: Reese, can you please calm down?

WITHERSPOON: I have to obey your orders?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you do.

WITHERSPOON: Seemingly unable to deter the officer from taking her into custody, Witherspoon tries a different line of approach.

WITHERSPOON: I'm now being arrested and handcuffed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

WITHERSPOON: Do you know my name, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't need to know it.

WITHERSPOON: You don't need to know my name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not quite yet.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll get that information --

WITHERSPOON: OK, you're about to find out who I am.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's fine. I'm not real worried about that, ma'am.

TURNER (voice-over): Perhaps that's what Witherspoon meant by embarrassing.

Her explanation?

WITHERSPOON: I had no idea what I was saying that night. I -- when I saw him arresting my husband and I literally panicked, and I said all kinds of crazy things.

TURNER (voice-over): Adding --

WITHERSPOON: I was so disrespectful to him and I have police officers in my family, I work with police officers every day. I know better and it's just unacceptable.

TURNER (voice-over): When asked about what she learned from the incident, Reese wrapped up her damage control interview with a touch of humor.

WITHERSPOON: When a police officer tells you to stay in the car, you stay in the car. I learned that for sure.

TURNER (voice-over): Nischelle Turner, CNN, Hollywood.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KAYE: All right. Once again, we'll continue our coverage from Boston here, live coverage of the Boston bombings as well.

We also want to check in a little bit later on with Athena Jones, because the NRA is having a big convention in Houston. A lot of folks there are protesting the NRA convention and we'll check in with her there and bring you the very latest.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: The NRA is holding its annual convention, as we said, in Houston, and even though the Newtown massacre is still on everyone's mind, the group refuses to give in on tougher anti-gun laws.

Athena Jones joining me live now from Houston.

It looks like the NRA is really pushing back against its critics and is using some pretty big names, Athena.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Randi. That's right. Big names like Sarah Palin, who is, of course, a superstar in the Republican Party.

She spoke yesterday at the end of a long series of speakers, many of whom touched on this idea that people who are pushing gun control measures, people like President Obama and New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, are trying to use events like the tragedy in Newtown as an opportunity.

Let's listen to a little bit of what she had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: We have a mainstream media that tore apart another president for using fleeting images of 9/11 attacks in campaign ads; they're crying that he was exploiting tragedy for political gain.

Well, that same media is now the reliable poodle-skirted cheerleader for a president who writes the book on exploiting tragedy.

(APPLAUSE)

PALIN: This president flying in grieving parents on Air Force One, making them backdrops in his perpetual campaign-style press events. Now instead of leaders who offer real solutions, we have leaders who practice the politics of emotion. Now, emotion is a good and a necessary thing, but we have politicians exploiting emotion for their own agenda.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: So there you heard from Palin, delivering that message.

The other big message, of course, is a celebration of the defeat of that attempt to expand background checks a few weeks ago in the Senate. We expect to hear more of that today. Randi?

KAYE: Athena Jones there in Houston for us, thank you very much.

And now let's look at the other side.

Supporters of tougher gun laws plan to challenge the NRA and talk about how their lives were touched by mass shootings.

Earlier my colleague, Victor Blackwell, talked with Patricia Maisch. She was there in Tucson when Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot and six people were killed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What do you make of those remarks yesterday, that the supporters of tougher gun laws see opportunity, what Chris Cox said and Sarah Palin blasted the president for practicing the politics of emotion, this exploitation of people like you?

What do you think about that?

PATRICIA MAISCH, GIFFORDS TUCSON SHOOTING WITNESS: How insulting. It's unbelievable that they should say that. Nobody is manufacturing reasons to use these horrible tragedies in political ways. They're in need of being changed. These laws are needed to be changed.

Obviously none of them have felt the pain or watched six people die on a sidewalk; to say that we're using them as props is very insulting and disingenuous.

But would you admit or endorse what seems like a new strategy, to bring the people who have been affected by gun violence -- a Gabby Giffords to the Rose Garden, to take the daughter of the principal at Sandy Hook to a town hall meeting in Senator Kelly Ayotte's state of New Hampshire?

Would you admit this a new up close and personal strategy?

MAISCH: You know, I don't know all the political aspects of doing that. People tell me I'm being used, and I say that is a form of the word use and useful. And if I can be useful in changing the laws and making the public safer, then, by God, use me.

BLACKWELL: So you're in Houston where this NRA annual meeting is happening this weekend.

What's the goal for you?

MAISCH: Well, you know, I've been to the NRA meeting in 2011 in Pittsburgh and I went to the -- last year in St. Louis. And my mantra then was, "We don't want your guns; we want your help," both years.

But this year we obviously know that that's beyond their moral fortitude, to be helpful in this cause. In my opinion, seven -- and not in my opinion. There's survey after survey that 74 percent of the NRA rank and file membership believe stronger background checks is important and that it can be done and preserve Second Amendment rights.

I believe that the leadership of the NRA, the gun manufacturers and the gun lobby are saturated in the blood of these innocent people and that some of our legislators have blood on their hands.

And they hope that we will go away. It's not going to happen this time. There's a grassroots movement and this is not going to go away. The NRA is not going to win this battle.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: Maisch says that victims of gun violence aren't being exploited. She says they speak from experience.

All right. So forget the GPS. What if you could get your directions in front of your eyes? No GPS needed. Some new high tech glasses could change the way you see the world.

But first, this week Anthony Bourdain takes us to Canada and shows us how to survive the cold and enjoy that food.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST: There's no place like Montreal. It's uniquely wonderful if its own way, it's just not speaking French. It does get cold here. Any visiting chef here crawls out of town bloated and begging for mercy.

But they do things differently here. Millions of people come and visit this place all the time. It feels strangely unspoiled and unexploited. It's always a surprise.

If anything truly original is happening in gastronomy right now in North America, a food culture that's doing things in a completely unique and original way that nobody else is doing, the chefs in Montreal are really, really making a mark. But I suggest before you come here that you train for the experience and cut yourself some downtime for recovery afterwards. So come prepared.

KAYE (voice-over): You can see Anthony's entire trip to Canada tomorrow night right here on CNN at 9:00 pm Eastern and Pacific. That's "ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN" Sunday night.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Whoever said wearing glasses wasn't cool hadn't taken Google glasses into consideration. They're like something out of a James Bond movie. You can get directions, you can take pictures. You can even check your e-mail. Our Maggie Lake has more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We got a pair of the Google glass. We got some instructions. We're ready to take a test drive.

OK, Glass, directions to Times Square.

The glasses are actually very comfortable. You get used to them quickly. There's a little screen that you can look, which is showing you a map of how to get to Times Square. So whether you're in a cab or whether you're walking, you just follow what's on the screen.

LAKE (voice-over): The glasses work with any Bluetooth enabled phone, but the best fit is with an Android phone running Google's MyGlass companion app.

LAKE: So here we are in Times Square. Two of the easiest features to use right off the bat on Google Glass are taking pictures and recording video. And what a better canvas? Now the camera's turned on the cameraman.

You can get some of the features of Google now with the glasses, but there are no third-party apps yet, and that's where the real potential is. I would love, if I had an app that told me where the nearest Mexican restaurant was to Times Square, or something where I could compare prices for a shop that I was going to go into. And that is not far off.

So no restaurant app? I guess I'm going to have to rough it.

Hey, there; can I have a pretzel?

LAKE (voice-over): Some busy New Yorkers never noticed what I was wearing, but those who stopped us were very enthusiastic. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it the Google glasses?

LAKE: It is the Google glasses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God.

LAKE: What do you think?

Do I look like "Star Trek?"

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible)?

LAKE: Google Glass. How do you say hello in French?

Taxi!

We're at the top of The Rock, a beautiful day. Now you might want to have a bodyguard when you have these. They're about $1,600 a pop. But remember, they're just a prototype. They're actually very comfortable and fairly easy to use some of the simpler functions. I have to say, though, the setup is a little bit difficult. And so we're working some of the connectivity issues. That's definitely something they're going to have to iron out.

OK, Glass. Take a picture.

Take a look at that view.

This definitely feels exciting. I feel like I'm looking at the future, but there is a learning curve, no doubt about it.

Oh, wait, oop. This is...

Is this still recording?

Did I turn it off?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: Just a bit of a learning curve there. "CNN NEWSROOM" starts at the top of the hour. Fredericka is in for that one.

What do you have for us, Fred?

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hey. All right, good to see you, Randi. But those glasses look pretty cool. If anything, if you don't get the picture right, at least you look cool in them.

All right. We've got a lot straight ahead beginning at noon Eastern hour, something for everyone, from live reports from the Derby. Of course, we'll be talking about the security measures and all the fanfare at the Kentucky Derby.

And more on the Boston bombing investigation, from the latest arrests to evidence collected from the suspect's apartment, to a possible intel failure.

Members of the Homeland Security Committee will be joining me in the 1 o'clock Eastern hour to discuss what's coming up next week.

And jurors begin deliberations in the Jodi Arias trial. Our legal guys will be examining the closing arguments.

And after a judge lifts a gag order in Atlanta, two teachers talk to me exclusively about the Atlanta public school cheating scandal and what life has been like for them.

All that beginning at the top of the hour, just less than seven minutes or so away.

All right. Randi, back to you in Boston.

KAYE: All right, Fred, looking forward to it all. Thank you very much.

Closing arguments in the Jodi Arias trial are over. But was the prosecution able to convince jurors that she is guilty? We'll find out how they did after a quick break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Closing arguments in the Jodi Arias trial are over. The prosecutor is trying to paint her as a liar who carefully planned the killing of Travis Alexander, while the defense says that she killed the victim in self-defense.

Our Ted Rowlands has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dazed, with her life on the line, Jodi Arias sat and watched as both sides argued over how they believe she killed her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander.

JUAN MARTINEZ, ARIAS PROSECUTOR: Absolutely without a shadow of a doubt she's a liar.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Prosecutor Juan Martinez told jurors that Arias planned Alexander's 2008 murder, driving from Northern California to Arizona, armed with a knife and a stolen gun. He says after having sex with Alexander, she attacked him when his guard was down, while he was posing for these photos in the shower.

MARTINEZ: She knew. She absolutely knew and had already planned it. She knew. She was going to kill him.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Family members of Travis Alexander broke down while Martinez showed crime scene photos, showing the brutality of the killing in which Alexander was shot in the head and stabbed nearly 30 times.

MARTINEZ: He was killed in three different ways. His stab wound to the heart would have killed him. The obvious thing, the slitting of the throat would have killed him and the shot to the face would have killed him.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Martinez warned jurors not to believe a word of what Jodi Arias told them during her 18 days on the witness stand, when she claimed that she killed Alexander in self-defense and can't remember the details because of PTSD.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is it that you have no memory of stabbing Travis?

JODI ARIAS, ALLEGED MURDERER: I can't really explain why my mind did what it did.

MARTINEZ: She's acting the part. And she's lying. She's making it all up. She has lied to everybody.

KIRK NURMI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It doesn't make any sense. None of it makes any sense as it relates to premeditation.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Defense Kurt Nurmi argued that the idea that Jodi Arias went to see Alexander to kill him doesn't make any sense, saying if she planned to kill him, she would have done it right away when she got there, instead of spending the day with him having sex and taking photos.

NURMI: She could have just shot him right there if that was her plan. She didn't. Doesn't make any sense that this is a premeditated murder.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Nurmi also attack the victim, Travis Alexander, saying not only abused Arias, but was a pedophile.

TRAVIS ALEXANDER, ARIAS' VICTIM: It's so hot.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): He played a portion of a phone sex tape when Alexander compares Arias to a 12-year-old girl.

NURMI: Who says that? You cannot write that off to the heat of the moment. That is sick. And that is wrong. You can't put any spin on that.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Combined, both sides argued for more than seven hours. Prosecutor Juan Martinez had the last word.

MARTINEZ: In this case, Travis Victor Alexander was slaughtered by this woman. She slashed his throat. She stabbed him in the heart and then she shot him in the face and all of that, thinking about it in advance. Thank you.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Ted Rowlands, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: And new this morning, five U.S. soldiers have been killed by a bomb in Southern Afghanistan. No word yet on precisely where they were stationed. The Taliban launched its annual spring offensive this week with attacks aimed at foreign military bases and diplomatic areas. Earlier this week, a roadside bomb killed three British troops.

Also new this morning, Israel now confirming that it conducted an airstrike Friday in Syria. An Israeli official tells Reuters the strike targeted a shipment of missiles bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon. The attack was authorized in a secret meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet.

Israeli officials long have vowed to strike targets they think are being used to transfer weapons to Hezbollah or other terrorist groups.

An Israeli defense official tells CNN, quote, "We will do whatever is necessary to stop the transfer of weapons from Syria to terrorist organizations."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: I'm Randi Kaye, reporting from Boston, thanks so much for watching this morning.

"CNN NEWSROOM" continues with Fredricka Whitfield.