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Soccer Ref Dies After Teen's Punch; NRA's New Talking Point: Boston; Waiting for Jodi Arias Trial Verdict; Prince Harry Coming to U.S. Thursday; Robotic Pharmacy Fills Prescriptions

Aired May 6, 2013 - 10:30   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you for being with me today. Time to check our top stories, at just about 30 minutes past the hour, family and friends in shock after the death of a Utah man who was attacked during a soccer match. Ricardo Portillo was refereeing at a recreational league when a teenager goalie punched him in the face. That teen was in juvenile detention. Portillo was in critical condition for a week before he died this past weekend.

His daughter spoke on CNN "STARTING POINT" about seeing him in the hospital.


JOHANA PORTILLO, DAUGHTER OF SOCCER REFEREE: I saw my dad laying on the bed. I got close. I grab his hand. He pressed my hand really hard. I saw him. I was like, Daddy, we're going to be OK. And then he said -- he looked at me and he went like that and he started crying. He was like, no. After that he started going into shock. They pulled me into the room and that was the last time I saw my dad conscious.


COSTELLO: In other news this morning, Islamist protesters and riot police turned the streets of Bangladesh capital into a battle zone. State media says at least 14 people were killed and 75 were injured during protest. Radical Islamists are demanding the government pass a series of tougher anti-blasphemy laws.

Now to Boston where officials are trying to find a final resting place for the older suspected Boston bomber. At least three cemeteries have refused to bury Tamerlan Tsarnaev saying they fear a public backlash.

Plus one of the three friends of the younger brother, the bombing suspect due in court today at 2:00 Eastern; 19-year-old Robel Phillipos is accused of lying to authorities.

And finally, officials from One Fund Boston will announce a tentative plan today to distribute roughly $28 million to bombing victims and their families.

The unprecedented search for the Boston marathon bombing suspects is now a new talking point for the NRA. If you remember two weeks ago residents of Boston of Watertown, Massachusetts were told to stay inside their homes all day long as police searched door-to-door for the younger bombing suspect. Eventually Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found unarmed.

At the NRA's National Conference this weekend Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre posed this question to tens of thousands of attendants, how many in Boston probably wished they had a gun.


WAYNE LAPIERRE, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, CEO, NRA: Imagine waking up to a phone call from the police at 3:00 a.m. in the morning warning that a terrorist event is occurring outside and ordering you to stay inside your home? I'm talking, of course about Boston, where residents were imprisoned behind the locked doors of their own homes. A terrorist with bombs and guns, just outside frightened citizens sheltered in place with no means to defend themselves or their families from whatever might come crashing through their door.

How many Bostonians wished they had a gun two weeks ago?


COSTELLO: Of course very few people are saying guns need to be taken out of homes across the country. The bill just defeated in congress dealt with expanded background checks. So are gun control advocates starting a fight that's not there?

Jason Johnson is a political science professor at Hiram College and he's the chief political correspondent for Politic 365. Will Cain is CNN analyst and an analyst for "The Blaze". So Will let's start with you. Is Wayne LaPierre fighting a fight that isn't being fought at the moment?

WILL CAIN, CNN ANALYST: Absolutely that fight is there. That fight is underlying every single gun debate we have. Look, I suspect and this is not just wild speculation, if you gave gun control advocates truth serum, the truth is they don't like the Second Amendment and they would like to get rid of guns. Well that means ban in confiscations, it doesn't matter. They would just like to get rid of them this kind of amorphous wish list type thing.

And that's again, not me speculating. Add together the proponents and the bills they have -- they have put forward. First it was an attempt to get rid of, what, military style tactical strategic made up category of weapons. That was followed by background checks under the pretense of getting rid of guns in criminals hands and then now the latest hobby horse is to talk about the tragic accidental violence situations where kids are hurt in home.

The only commonality to any of these ideas is to stigmatize guns. It's a general animus towards guns. So Wayne LaPierre is addressing that basic truth underlying all of these debates.

COSTELLO: So -- so Jason is Will saying we shouldn't bring up these tragedies just because? Just because -- because Wayne LaPierre brought up a tragedy, didn't he?

JASON JOHNSON, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR, HIRAM COLLEGE: No, this is just bragging. Ok it's bragging. The war has been won. The NRA won. Gun control did not happen. This is simply Wayne LaPierre trying to keep himself in the press and talking about the NRA and all their accomplishments.

Look, you know the number of applicants for gun applications has actually gone up in Boston. There are actually have been a number of states that have loosened the laws when it comes to gun control since Sandy Hook. This is not a fight, this is not a real issue. The government isn't taking anyone's guns and if anything, catching these two men would have been more difficult if everyone was running around the streets acting like a vigilante. So this is not an issue.

COSTELLO: And couldn't you make the argument from the other side Will because in the State of Massachusetts it's illegal to buy a gun if you're under the age of 21 and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was 19.

CAIN: He --


COSTELLO: I mean, I don't know he could get a gun easily somewhere else I'm not saying that. But you could argue the other way.

CAIN: It sounds like he did. It sounds like he did, it sounds like it illustrates the point that criminals know how to get their hands on guns. It if was illegal for him to have a gun --


COSTELLO: He was found unarmed in that boat.

JOHNSON: Right, exactly.

CAIN: You're going to tell me Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the entire battle, the entire fire fight through the night didn't have a gun in his hand?

COSTELLO: They found one gun with the older brother. I mean, I don't know but this is just the information that's out there right now. He was unarmed when he was found in that boat.

CAIN: I think it illustrates the point that criminals get their hands on gun no matter what laws you're passing. When you advocate for gun control laws the truth is you're advocating to make it tougher for law abiding citizens to get guns and you're having a very little effect on the criminals that know how to flout a law either way.

JOHNSON: And see here is the thing if we actually get back to the real issue which is what Wayne LaPierre said, he's totally off the subject. Boston was a clear example of why we need professionals with guns in order to solve these problems. This was a massive shoot out. It was taken care of by professionals. Not people running around the streets. No one was knocking on people's doors and saying giving up their guns. And that was the problem with the NRA rather than focusing on the issues at hand. They want to talk about these huge Draconian terrible liberal attacks which are not happening and clearly weren't even going to occur with the congressional bill.


CAIN: Look to take this --

COSTELLO: All right, we're going to have end it there. I wish we could go on. Because as you know we could continue this argument until the cow's come home. Isn't that the old saying? Will Cain, Jason Johnson many thanks to both of you.

I want to hear what you think. or tweet me @Carolcnn.

We're also on verdict watch as jury deliberations resume later this morning in Jodi Arias' murder trial. We'll take you live to the courthouse, next.


COSTELLO: Jury deliberations resume in just about 90 minutes in the Jodi Arias murder trial. As you know she is accused of killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander nearly five years ago. She claims she did it in self defense. The prosecution says she planned it but only 12 people get to decide.

Casey Wian is on verdict watch in Phoenix, Arizona. Tell us more.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well good morning Carol. As you mentioned the first full day of jury deliberations in the Jodi Arias case will get underway in about one hour and a half. The jury deliberated for about an hour on Friday before adjourning for the weekend. They've a lot of work to do.

I want to run through some of the options or the options that the jury does have in terms of what kind of a verdict they may find.

The first option -- first degree murder. And to come forward with a verdict of first degree murder they have to find that Jodi Arias committed this crime with premeditation. That she planned it in advance.

There's another theory also known as felony first degree murder. And they could find that she committed the murder in the course of another felony -- in this case, burglary, breaking into Travis Alexander's home. Second option the jury has, second degree murder, same crime, no pre-meditation.

Also, they could convict her of manslaughter which would mean that she did kill Travis Alexander but that it happened in the heat of passion during some sort of an argument that erupted quickly and that Travis Alexander actually played a role and may have been the cause of that argument.

And their final option is not guilty. They could return a verdict of not guilty. Even though Jodi Arias has admitted she killed Travis Alexander the jury could find that she did it in self defense. The defense has been trying to raise that argument.

All of the focus has been on Jodi Arias in this case. Some friends and supporters of Travis Alexander and his family held a candlelight vigil last night. They want people to remember the victim in this case, the victim who has been dragged through the mud during this trial -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Casey Wian reporting live from Phoenix this morning.

Who knew there were so many Beliebers in the Middle East? Details on why security had to jump in and protect Justin Bieber right in the middle of a concert in Dubai.


COSTELLO: Just about 45 minutes past the hour. Time to check your top stories.

We begin with dramatic video out of Spain.


COSTELLO: It was dramatic and horrifying. Thousands of spectators watched as a vintage plane plunged into a building and then exploded into a fire ball. No word yet on why that crashed. It was performing at an air show near Madrid. The pilot was rushed to a hospital but he later died.

Big crash at Talladega Super Speedway: with just six laps to go Kurt Busch gets hit and barrel rolls. He ends up on top of Ryan Newman's car. This is insane. Luckily everyone would be ok. After the restart David Reagan passed on the last lap for his first win of the season.

No contest, Lebron James is the NBA's most valuable player this season. 120 out of 121 basketball writers gave him the first place vote. Lebron has won the award four times and is the youngest player ever to do that. There will be another MVP ceremony in front of Miami fans tonight when the Heat play the Bulls in round two of the playoffs.

A wild moment for Justin Bieber at his concert in Dubai. Apparently it was too much for an excited Belieber who actually rushed the stage and tackled him from behind. Security had to wrestle that fan to the ground. But Bieber got right back up. He was not hurt and he went on with his performance later tweeting "Dubai, nothing stops the show."




COSTELLO: And there was no stopping "Iron Man". His debut in the United States and Canada raked in more than $175 million.

Here's a look at the top five opening weekends of all time. This time last year Marvel's "Avengers" earned the top spot with more than $207 million in its opening weekend. At Number 3, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2". "The Dark Knight Rises" stands at number four and rounding out the top five, the original "Dark Knight" from five years ago. Now you know.

Later today, we'll hear details of how victims of the Boston bombings and their families will receive pay outs from the One Fund Boston. The charity has collected more than $28 million and will unveil its distribution plans at a town hall just about seven hours from now.

Those plans come with a warning. I talked with the man overseeing the payouts and he tells me the money will probably fall short of compensating the victims for their losses.


KENNETH FEINBERG, ADMINISTRATOR, "ONE FUND BOSTON": First of all, never underestimate the charitable impulse of the American people. Over $30 million or around $30 million already contributed. Mayor Menino and Governor Patrick took the lead in urging these contributions from all over the country but it will never be enough.

I mean you have to dampen expectations. When you have four deaths, a half a dozen or so double amputees, another six or seven single amputees, brain injuries, lengthy hospitalization, it's a great deal of money. It will be distributed wisely, but enough, absolutely not.


COSTELLO: Ken Feinberg will hold two town halls, one later this afternoon -- actually evening and of course, 1:00 tomorrow morning. Over the weekend, we were able to determine that 12 people are still in the hospital with bomb related injuries. The good news, all have been upgraded from serious condition.

A royal visit to the United States but this time Britain's Prince Harry is staying away from Vegas. Yes he is. Find out where he is going to go, next.


COSTELLO: Get ready for a royal visit. Prince Harry will spend six days touring the United States starting this Thursday. He'll promote some of his favorite charities including one to help returning veterans. He'll also visit Arlington National Cemetery.

As part of his crowded schedule, he'll also tour New Jersey towns ravaged by Sandy, play a polo match in Greenwich, Connecticut and make stops in New York City and in Colorado.

Prince Harry is actually not scheduled to visit Belmar, New Jersey but it's not for lack of trying on the mayor's part. He is lobbying hard to have the Prince tour his city, which was also devastated by Sandy. Joining me live is Mayor Matt Doherty. Welcome Mr. Mayor.

MAYOR MATT DOHERTY, BELMAR, NEW JERSEY: Thank you Carol. Thanks for having me on.

COSTELLO: Thank you for being here. So I know you have been lobbying hard -- any success?

DOHERTY: Well, we haven't got confirmation yet but we do know he'll be up and down the Jersey Shore which is helpful for the entire region because, you know, as had as Belmar was hit by Hurricane Sandy so was the rest of the Jersey Shore. So it's important to have an event, you know, like him coming. It means a lot to our residents and our small businesses to have him come.

COSTELLO: Yes. And it will also turn media attention back on the areas still in need of help. Have you reached out to Governor Christie?

DOHERTY: Yes, you know, we're in constant contact with the governor's office. His leadership has been outstanding through this process since Sandy came ashore and back in October.

COSTELLO: No, I mean to help Harry get to your town.

DOHERTY: Well, yes. We have reached out for that but I think there's several towns also lobbying hard. So I know we're in the mix but we don't have any confirmation just yet. But again, the fact that he is coming to the Jersey Shore really benefits all the towns here.

COSTELLO: Your beach and boardwalk are scheduled to reopen later this month. Is that still on schedule?

DOHERTY: Yes, we're looking forward to having a grand opening on Wednesday, May 22nd for a brand new 1.3-mile boardwalk. Again, it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy and just about six and a half months later we have it entirely rebuilt.

COSTELLO: So when you look at it now, what goes through your mind?

DOHERTY: You know, just the resolve of the residents in our community and the leadership that we have had from the President all the way down to help us rebuild and have this new rebirth in time for Memorial Day Weekend here at the Jersey Shore. That weekend is so important to us. So to have it done in time was something we had to accomplish and we're going to.

COSTELLO: That's terrific. Ok. So of course CNN is seen all over the world. Prince Harry, you never know, maybe watching. Any message you would like to send?

DOHERTY: You know, we love the fact that he is here in the U.S. principally helping our military veterans and we would love to have him walk on our brand new 1.3-mile Boardwalk here in Belmar and we will certainly give him a royal welcome.

COSTELLO: I'm sure you will. Mayor Matt Doherty, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

DOHERTY: My pleasure. Thank you.

COSTELLO: We'll be right back.



DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Making sure hospital patients like Jorge Rico get the right medicine is critical. He is being treated for leukemia at UCSF, the University of San Francisco Medical Center.

JORGE RICO, LEUKEMIA PATIENT: I'm taking five pills in the morning and a couple in the afternoon.

SIMON: How he gets his pills offers a window into the every changing world of health care and how technology can eliminate critical life or death errors. His medicine came from the hospital's so-called robotic pharmacy. A machine instead of humans fills the prescriptions. It plucks pills one by one and packages them.

Dr. Josh Adler says it's been a game changer in the field of medicine.

DR. JOSH ADLER, UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO MEDICAL CENTER: The robot gives a huge amount of confidence because we know that the pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are incredibly skilled people but they're humans and they will occasionally make mistakes.

SIMON: Errors, in fact, are all common. The Institute of Medicine found that on average, there's at least one medication error per hospital patient per day. That means that no one is immune to an error.

But it also notes that error rates very widely across facilities. CNN first covered this emerging trend of robotic pharmacy nearly two years ago.

ADLER: It takes the human element out of picking a drug off a shelf and sending it back to the floor where the patient is, where even if you got that right 99 percent of the time -- we give something like three million doses of drug in three months here. So, even a 1 percent error rate is far too high.

SIMON: It might sound like a job killer but the hospital says no. Instead, administrators say they can better leverage pharmacist skills by allowing them to spend more time in the hospital focusing on drug therapies. Nationwide, though, the robots still are not widespread. The reason, cost. UCSF paid $7 million for its system. As the price comes down, look for them to become standard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this is the way our profession is moving. Automation is going to be part of our career.

SIMON: -- which, in turn, could save lives from human mistakes and boost confidence in the nation's hospitals. Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.


COSTELLO: I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me today and thanks for your posts on Facebook and your kind words to me too. I really appreciate it. CNN or tweet me @carolCNN.

The next hour of NEWSROOM starts now.