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Arias Deliberations Resume Shortly; Limo Fire Kills Bride, 4 Friends; Autopsy Details in Jackson Trial; Kobe Bryant V. His Mom; Jury Deliberating Abortion Doc Case.
Aired May 6, 2013 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: We'll take you back to Phoenix. By our clock, we're just a few hour away from the deliberations in Jodi Arias' trial, death penalty trial. She is charged with that very serious charge. If she is convicted and sentenced to death, here is where she will be staying, the Lungly (ph) Unit at the Arizona State Prison Complex. But if that happens, and that is a very big if, there's still a lot both sides have to do. This case, believe it or not, is still far from over.
I want to bring back in our "In Session" correspondent, Jean, outside the courthouse in Phoenix.
Jean, you have been on this case since the beginning. It might feel like you're close to the end, but you're not. If Jodi Arias is convicted of premeditated murder or first-degree felony murder, tell me happens next.
JEAN CASAREZ, IN SESSION CORRESPONDENT: You go into the stage that involves the jury. It's two phases. The first phase is caused the aggravation phase. It's like a mini trial in and of itself. It's predetermined from a 2009 hearing that the prosecution can try to prove one statutory aggravator, which is cruelty. They must show beyond a reasonable doubt that Jodi was extremely cruel as she killed Travis Alexander. So you have opening statements. The prosecution can put on witnesses. All the evidence in the guilt phase comes into this phase. It's accepted as true by the jury. The defense can put on witnesses. The victims, the family members of Travis Alexander, if relevant they can make a statement. And then there are closing arguments. So the jury has to be unanimous in this case, if beyond a reasonable doubt Jodi was cruel as she killed Travis Alexander. Then you go on to phase two.
BANFIELD: I only have a couple of seconds left. I always found it fascinating when you have aggravators listed and mitigators, there is no formula, is it? It's really just a gut science isn't it?
CASAREZ: It has to be unanimous, that's phase two, which is the penalty phase, beyond a reasonable doubt, the aggravator has been found. The jury then will hear anything to show leniency. Why she is of more value on earth than dead. That's when the defense can put on witnesses including the parents of Jodi Arias begging for their daughter's life. It's an emotional part of the sentencing procedure. BANFIELD: If you talk to any juror that's been through this, it's the toughest thing you may ever go through as the citizen of this country.
Jean Casarez, thank you for that. I know we'll be speaking at length in the days to come.
I'll invite our viewers to join us tomorrow as I'm live in Phoenix covering Jodi Arias verdict watch. Our coverage starts at 11:00 eastern on Tuesday.
CASAREZ: A dream party suddenly becoming a horrifying nightmare, a deadly fire consuming a limousine. That limousine carrying a bride to be and her eight friends. Five of them did not get out of the limo alive. Our reporter at the scene is coming up next.
BANFIELD: Officials in California are trying to figure out what caused the rear of a limousine to burst into flames. Inside were nine friends heading across San Francisco Bay on their way to a bachelorette party. Five of them women died in the inferno.
Dan Simon has more on this tragedy.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was supposed to be a night of celebration, a bachelorette party near San Francisco for a woman getting married next month in the Philippines. But as they crossed the bridge in a stretch limo Saturday night, they noticed smoke.
OFC. AMELIA JACK, CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL: We got calls of smoke coming from the limousine. The limousine pulled over and, all of a sudden, became engulfed in flames.
SIMON: There were 10 people in the limo including the driver. He and four women in the party escaped. Five others people including the bride to be did not. They died in the flames. So badly burned, it's reported that dental records will be need to make positive I.D.s.
JACK: The driver was able to get out and some good Samaritans did stop to assistant and try to pull some people from the fire.
SIMON: The mother of one of the survivors, distraught but relieved.
ROSITA GUARDIANO, VICTIM'S MOTHER: We did not sleep --- both of us crying and crying. No. Thank god that she survived.
SIMON: All of the women were in their 30s or 40s. Most, if not all, were nurses.
GRACE KANU, CO-WORKER: It's so hard that on Sunday morning, real hard day, that both of them Died. It's unbelievable.
SIMON: The limousine was operated by a company called Limo Stop. In a statement, the company said it was saddened by the deaths and that Limo Stop will do everything possible to investigate and assist authorities in determining the cause of this fire in order to bring answers and provide closure to the victims and their families.
BANFIELD: Dan Simon joins us live from the scene of where the fire broke out.
Dan, the limo driver survived the fire and he is speaking but what is he telling the investigators?
SIMON: Well, he obviously feels very guilty, horrible about what happened.
It's interesting, you know, initially, when the women knocked on that partition, he thought they were asking if they could smoke when, in reality, they were complaining about the smoke. He estimates it took about 30 seconds to a minute to pull over after they first alerted him to the smoke and when he pulled over, four of them obviously were able to get out and he was able to get out, but those five, they were trapped. The flames just advanced too quickly -- Ashleigh?
BANFIELD: It's an awful thought and the investigators have a lot of work ahead of them.
Dan Simon, please update us when you find out more about the investigation. Thank you for that.
The lawyers for Michael Jackson's family are getting ready to go into the detail of the pop star's death. That's going to happen today. Who takes the stand next in the dramatic wrongful death case? We'll let you know.
BANFIELD: Michael Jackson's wrongful death trial turns today to the details about Michael's autopsy and what drugs were found in his system when he died. The coroner's toxicologist is expected to be first on the stand when court starts in a little over an hour from now. Notice that date, October 2011, he was on the stand in the criminal case. Now it's Jackson's family suing the concert promoter, AEG Live, claiming that it's liable for the death of their loved one because they say they hired Dr. Murray, and that was Conrad Murray who did it. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011.
Our Kyung Lah joins us live now from Los Angeles.
I always find it fascinating and frustrating when you relitigate everything you saw in the criminal case but it's crucial to have the details. What sort of details do we expect to come out on the stand today?
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the first witness that you just mentioned that we're expecting on the stand is going to be Dan Anderson. He's the toxicologist in the L.A. County coroners. You're right. This is very much like Conrad Murray's criminal trial 2.0, except the difference here is this is a civil case and in a civil case we get more of those details and it is those details, exactly what kind of drugs were found in Jackson's system, what level, that's playing front and center in this case as the Jackson family tries to establish it was AEG Live pulling the strings. All of these little details that you're talking about that can be a bit frustrating because it sounds a bit familiar. It's those details and the devil is always in the details, that could prove whether or not AEG Live is going to be held liable in Jackson's case.
We are expecting to hear from the medical examiner, the person that conducted the autopsy.
BANFIELD: Hold that thought for a moment. I want to go to what Jean can add to that, with her legal prospective.
Jean, we learned last week in this trial, again, civil trial that Conrad Murray was in debt. Not just a little bit of debt. It was like a million dollars in debt. I'm curious at what this strategy aims to get at. If this is what the Jackson family wants to show, that he was broke, what does that show you in terms of liability for death for AEG?
CASAREZ: That created motive for Conrad Murray himself, but now in the civil case, the defendant is AEG. They're looking at the negligent supervision by AEG of Conrad Murray, now looking into his background to see what his financial reasons could be, and that would give him motive, and also the knowledge of what Michael Jackson had allegedly done with other doctors on the road.
You know, Ashleigh, I interviewed Dr. Arnie Kline during the criminal trial. He told me he flew to various locations to try to do interventions with Michael Jackson when doctors were giving him Propofol on the road. So that's what in the civil case the knowledge element is based on, that they knew it could happen. It did happen in this case. They killed Michael Jackson, Conrad Murray, and so AEG is responsible.
BANFIELD: We'll continue to see what additional details come out in civil cases that don't come out in the criminal trial.
So, Jean, thank you for that.
Kyung Lah, thank you as well.
You probably all know that this Sunday is Mother's Day. I don't think that Kobe Bryant's family is going to have a great Sunday. They have serious family troubles. They're in the middle of a pricy dispute, mom and son, over memories, very valuable memories. We'll take a look at this coming up next.
BANFIELD: Have you ever been mad at your mom for cleaning out your room while you went away to college or anywhere else and she got rid of some of your cute trophies and stuff? This has nothing to do with that. Kobe Bryant and his mom are not getting along so well right now only a few days away from Mother's Day. The NBA starts fighting with her over his memorabilia. Apparently, she got like a half a million dollars advance from an auction house for somewhere around 900 things. And anything that belongs to him is worth some money. We're talking about a few NBA championship rings, NBA all-star rings, awards and uniforms, including a few he wore back in high school. He is trying to put a stop to the auction because he said that this is his stuff, that it's not his mom's, and she didn't have the right to auction it off and get money in advance. Pamela Bryant says not so fast, kiddo. She says that her son told her she could have it all. He says she's had this stuff around for 15 years, and that for the last five, she has actually been paying $1,500 a month to keep it in a storage unit. All of those facts matter.
And that's why Sunny Hostin and Paul Callan like to take facts with them.
Paul, first to you. Do you see a case here?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I kind of take it personally because in the Callan family, my wife, Eileen, who likes garage sale, sold off my son's baseball cards without telling him. It's been a scandal in the family for years.
And this idea of things going into storage to accommodate the kids is troublesome as well. We're all doing it now as they leave the house. So what will the judge look at in this case? Well, he's going to look at how long were they in the possession of the mother. Can we reasonably infer that title had passed to the mother? Undoubtedly, the same defense my wife would claim if my son chose to sue. That's what the fight is about. It's not a good Mother's Day thing, that's for sure.
BANFIELD: No, terrible timing.
Sunny, you know how everybody always says, hey, possession is nine- tenths of the law, I'm not sure that's in statute anywhere, but kind of doesn't that really mean a lot?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think it may mean a lot. I mean, it's been there for quite some time, right? Kobe Bryant has a pretty big home. He certainly, if he wanted it, would have taken possession of it. I think that's one of the arguments we're going to hear.
Bottom line, who does this? If his mother needs the money -- remember, Kobe Bryant bought his wife a $4 million, or $5 million ring when they were having troubles. Why can't he just give his mother some money if his mother does need the money? I mean, the fact that he filed this cease and desist order, I think it makes you go, who does that?
BANFIELD: It's uncomfortable all around. Paul, I come back to the idea of Kobe Bryant living in his mom's house as a minor. Minor's have rights. Parents don't like to think so a lot of times. But they do have rights, don't they?
CALLAN: Well, they do. And in all seriousness, this is very different than selling baseball cards. These are, for instance, one of the rings, the championship rings, valued at possibly worth more than $100,000. And there are other pieces that could push it as high as $250,000 possibly. Enormous amounts of money. Could Kobe Bryant really have given this to his mother without telling her explicitly he was doing that? Sounds to me like he kind of just left the stuff behind and never intended to transfer it over to mom.
BANFIELD: I think my downhill skiing medal from, like, '78 might fetch 82 cents on eBay so my mom has nothing to worry about.
Sunny Hostin, Paul Callan, thank you both, we'll continue to watch that story.
Coming up, I want to take you to Philadelphia, where we've been checking in day after day. There is a murder trial of an abortion doctor there that's been in the hands of a jury and it's been quite a few days now. Too many days? Just enough days? We'll get the update in just a moment.
BANFIELD: Now to the murder trial of a controversial doctor who performed abortions at a Philadelphia clinic. Kermit Gosnell is charged with more than 250 crimes including five charges murder. He could face the death penalty in this case.
I want to bring back CNN's legal analyst Sunny Hostin, who is there in Philadelphia. She's been covering the trial. She's also a federal prosecutor so she knows a thing or two about what they're up against here.
The first thing I need to ask you about is in the course of these jury deliberations, over five days. Sunny, we always look at the tea leaves when they ask questions of the judge. And I was a little bit troubled, and you tell me, talk me off the ledge if I should or shouldn't be that they needed definitions of racketeering and conspiracy. Don't you get that when you charge the jury?
HOSTIN: Yes, you do get it, but sometimes juries do struggle with the legalese in it. You got to see, Ashleigh -- I have the verdict sheet. We're talking about 19 charges against this doctor, 258 counts in total. They've got a lot they have to parse through. It has been about five days.
But in reading the tea leaves, they just asked a question this morning, Ashleigh. They wanted to be recharged. They wanted some more definition to first-degree murder, third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and malice, and infanticide as well. That tells me they're right in the thick of things with these charges against the doctor and that things are really moving along. We know lunch is being brought in to them. And so they're going to be working through lunch. We just got that question today. And that's what that tells me. These jurors are working hard.
BANFIELD: I just got a couple seconds left. I always marvel at certain juror's dictions. I'm not sure about federal court whether they allow those jury charge instructions to go on paper back into the deliberation rooms so that they can continuously read over it. In some jurisdictions, they don't allow it. Is that what the case is here?
HOSTIN: I have to tell you, when they're doing this, the judge is going back into the jury room with the lawyers. So a lot isn't happening in open court. My sense is the judge does need to read the charges to this jury. They have the verdict sheet with them but, again, so many charges, so many counts. They really are looking for guidance in that jury room.
BANFIELD: That's a tough case. You said it, a lot of paperwork, just in the jury forms and the number of charges. So five days, nothing, honestly. We should probably hunker down and you should get a hotel room for a long time.
Sunny, thank you, for all of your input on today's show, as well as this particular case.
Thanks for watching, everyone. It's been nice to have you with us today.
AROUND THE WORLD is coming up next with Michael Holmes and Suzanne Malveaux.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome. We take you across the globe in 60 minutes. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Nice to see you, stranger.
MALVEAUX: Nice to see you.
HOLMES: Yes, we're back.
I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for being with us today.
MALVEAUX: All right. This could be a game changer. We're talking about one of the most volatile places in the world. That, of course, Syria.