Return to Transcripts main page


Michelle Knight Is In "A Safe Place"; DNA Confirms Castro In Girl's Father; Children Held In Standoff; Russia Withheld Details On Tsarnaev; Spacewalk Under Way; Neighbor Recounts Women's Escape; Recovering From Captivity; How To Protect Your Children; Enjoying Beer Festivals; West Wing Briefly Evacuated; E-Mails Raise New Questions On Benghazi; Woman Pulled Alive From Rubble; Investing In Your Future; DNA Shows Suspect Fathered Child

Aired May 11, 2013 - 12:00   ET


ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Brianna. Hello to everybody. Welcome to CNN NEWSROOM. Here are the stories we are watching.

Areas close to Ariel Castro's home in Cleveland are searched and sealed off. This as one of the kidnapping victims goes MIA.

Russia knew about sinister texts from Boston bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but it didn't tell the U.S. Details coming up.

Houston, we have a problem, for real. An emergency spacewalk is happening right now as astronauts try to fix a leak at the International Space Station.

The man accused of imprisoning three women for about a decade is spending his first weekend locked up in a 9 by 9 jail cell. One of his alleged captors meantime is in seclusion choosing to have no contact with her family.

CNN national correspondent, Susan Candiotti, spoke with one of Michelle Knight's family members. Susan, what can you tell us about that?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, it must be a glorious first day of complete freedom outside of a hospital for Michelle Knight, the eldest of the three young women who have been held captive for more than ten years.

But for her family members who have been wanting to speak with her since she got out of the hospital, well, they haven't had any luck. I spoke with Michelle Knight's grandmother who actually went over to Gina Dejesus' home yesterday on hopes of following up on a rumor that she might be there, but she wasn't and she didn't get to talk to Michelle. Here's what she told me.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That she was released and he she was coming over here. We wanted to come over here and show our support for her because we haven't seen her. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CANDIOTTI: Now, a family spokesperson says that Michelle's mother also would very much like to speak with her daughter, but on this Mother's Day, it's not clear whether that will happen. I can tell you this, however, Alison. A source close to the investigation tells me that while they are not revealing Michelle Knight's whereabouts because of her privacy concerns, we can, the source did tell me that she is in a very safe place and that she is very comfortable where she is -- Alison.

KOSIK: That's certainly good to hear, Susan. One question for you, authorities have DNA results from Ariel Castro now, what exactly are they hoping to do with those results?

CANDIOTTI: Well, as you know, those DNA preliminary results do prove, as everyone had expected, that he is the father of Amanda Berry's 6-year-old daughter. Now, they're taking those DNA samples and have also run them against computers here in the state of Ohio to see whether he matched any open, unsolved cases. No match found. However, the FBI is taking the extra step to run that same DNA in its computers to see whether he links up to any other unsolved crimes throughout the country -- Alison.

KOSIK: OK, Susan Candiotti in Cleveland, thanks.

SWAT teams are still at the scene of a tense and lengthy standoff at a home in Trenton, New Jersey. The ordeal began yesterday afternoon. Authorities say a gunman barricaded himself and three children inside the house. We don't know the children's conditions right now. Local reports are suggesting that the gunman is believed to have killed his wife.

Now, to Boston, the bombing investigation there and a big red flag the U.S. didn't know about, a law enforcement official tells CNN that Russia withheld details about ominous texts between suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mother in 2011. The source says in those texts, Tsarnaev told his mother he was interested in joining a militant group carrying out attacks against Russia. Moscow warned the U.S. about Tsarnaev's possible extremism, but didn't reveal the text.

And the controversy surrounding Tsarnaev's grave site continues even after his burial. The suspect was buried this week in an unmarked grave in a Muslim cemetery in Doswell, Virginia. Some local officials and residents say he shouldn't have been buried there. A cemetery official says, and I'm quoting here. It's not a political thing, but Tsarnaev can't bury himself.

We now take you to outer space. Look at these live pictures of the International Space Station. NASA astronauts are conducting an emergency spacewalk to fix an ammonia leak. The spacewalk started three hours ago and it could take six hours to fix the leak.

So let's go ahead and bring in our resident space expert John Zarrella watching it all from Miami. Six hours to fix the leak. Is that a long time or is that a short time? JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, they're way ahead of schedule. They are about an hour ahead of their time line. Did they fix the leak? Well, they don't really know. Here's what they had to do. You know, a couple days ago, you recall, you're looking there through the helmet cam of I guess that's Chris Cassidy's helmet cam as they're finishing up work on a replacement pump.

Remember just about two days ago, they saw all these white flakes coming off an area of the International Space Station. They determined it was ammonia. Now they use ammonia as a coolant. It removes heat of a lot of the equipment on the station and then it is removed and pumped through and out to radiators that radiate it off into space. So it's a critical component.

They wanted to get out there to that site really quickly because if it was leaking, if they couldn't, if the ammonia all drained out of the system and they stopped dropping the flakes and low and behold they get out there and don't see any flakes. But what they've done now is they've gone ahead and replaced the pump that they believe is a suspect pump.

Now you can see a great shot of the two astronauts working there. Cassidy has the red bands on his legs and Mashburn is the other astronaut to his left there. And I want to give the viewers a sense of where they're working. So, if you look at our space station here. These are the solar arrays.

These are those radiators I was talking about and the astronauts are working in this area where they took the pump, the cooling pump out, got another replacement pump that was stored up here, put that one in and then put the one they took out in the spot where the replacement was. So, that has all been done now.

What they're going to do, NASA ground controllers. They're starting to pump up this replacement to see if, indeed, it is working. If it's working, then they're going to say, well, maybe we fixed the problem, if they don't see any ammonia leaking from the replacement pump.

That's where they are right now, great shots of the two astronauts out there finishing up their work and, again, way ahead of the timeline right now. So, they should be done for sure by about 3:00 Eastern Time at the latest -- Alison.

KOSIK: Although this looks like dangerous work. I understand they're not in any danger. Why was this an emergency? Why was NASA calling this an emergency repair?

ZARRELLA: Yes, you know, it's called an emergency repair because it is a cooling system and you have to be able to keep the space station cool. Now, there are several other systems also cooling systems, but they want all of them working. Any one down means they have to reroute power and do things that they don't like to do. Perhaps even shut some systems down. So, this was it. This was clearly the need was there to do it and do it quickly.

KOSIK: OK, John Zarrella in Miami, thank you.


KOSIK: Responding to the cries of a woman next door, Charles Ramsey did that and became a hero in the process, helping to rescue three women missing for a decade. He talks about that heart stopping escape, next.

The father of Elizabeth Smart talks to us about the return of his daughter from her captors. What is in store in the days ahead for the three women who were rescued in Cleveland?


KOSIK: The man who helped rescued the three Cleveland kidnapping victims is revealing new details about that escape. Charles Ramsey joined Rock Newman, radio host and former boxing promoter on the "We Act Radio" in Washington, D.C., and CNN was exclusively invited to join them in the station.

Listen to Ramsey describing the moments after he helped Amanda Berry and her 6-year-old daughter get out of suspect Ariel Castro's home.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you like super nervous at this point? This is a lot of drama going on.

CHARLES RAMSEY, HELPED RESCUE MISSING WOMEN: Why this was going on and I sent her across the street and she -- she used my neighbor's phone. She used somebody's phone now and she called 911. I called 911. So, when she finally get through. I finally get through and that's when you hear my 911 call and I could even be sarcastic with it.

I'm going to act a certain way. Come to me -- she is still got this baby in her arm and on the phone and, naturally a bunch of women at the time because it was 80 degrees outside. People are still looking at this -- with the baby. They know me. I'm the boss of that street.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me ask. There are reports that said that the baby had on a diaper.

RAMSEY: That's right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six-year-old child.

RAMSEY: That child was screaming for her daddy and I say, who is her daddy? Amanda said Ariel. You have to listen where I am coming from. This child is only 6, Ariel is 52. That's right. He kidnapped you and had his way with you and that's the result of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is your thinking as this is going on now? (END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: DNA tests have confirmed that Castro is, indeed, the father of Amanda Berry's 6-year-old daughter.

It's going to be a challenging journey towards recovery for the three women who police say were held prisoner by Ariel Castro. Elizabeth smart knows that all too well. She survived her own kidnapping ordeal and she's been able to move forward with the help of her faith and her family.

Earlier, Victor Blackwell spoke to Elizabeth's father about their family's joyous reunion, the challenges that followed and what may be ahead for the victims in Ohio.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ed Smart joins us now and it's good to have this conversation with you because you know more than, you know, anyone, better than anyone what these families, what these women are going through right now. Give us an idea. The first few days after reuniting, what is happening for this family?

ED SMART, FATHER OF ELIZABETH SMART: Well, you know, the first day was just so full of joy. I mean, having her back and reconnecting with her and enjoying things that we enjoyed previously together as a family. Following that, of course, the prosecution and all of the potentials of the trial come up and she has to kind of understand what is going to happen in the future.

And, certainly have been through as much as she had been more than likely she'll be going through, you know, forensic interview or debriefing by law enforcement. And certainly that can be very difficult. I know as Elizabeth, you know, basically debriefed these two forensic psychiatrists, you know, she had to go into detail about what happened to her.

And, you know, certainly that isn't easy and is very difficult and, certainly as parents you don't want to see your child go through the nightmare of having to relive things and be in such detail that, you know, it just is offensive.


KOSIK: And as more and more details come out about what suspect Ariel Castro may have done to these three women will make you cringe and this part may shock parents especially. He was a school bus driver up until last year. His record on the job has one expert asking, and a lot of people asking, should he be allowed to stay behind the wheel of a school bus?


KOSIK: This is such a chilling thought. The man accused of holding three women captive in his Ohio home, he was a school bus driver and this only makes it worse. Ariel Castro had been suspended for allegedly leaving a child alone on the bus for two hours while he went to get some fast food.

But, guess what, he was back on the job two months later. What? The president of the National School Safety and Security Services, Ken Trump, he is with me now. Ken, you are also from Cleveland. He went to the same middle school that Gina Dejesus went to. Should Ariel Castro been allowed to drive this school bus as long as he did?

KEN TRUMP, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL SCHOOL SAFETY AND SECURITY SERVICES: You know, it's amazing, internal school district documents show that on his final termination, it said that he had, quote, "a fourth demonstration of a lack of judgment." He was suspended for 60 days for intentionally leaving a kid on a school bus.

Another 60 days for illegal u-turn with kids on board and, again, another suspension for driving the school bus to go grocery shopping while on duty. It should beg the question for Cleveland parents who put their children on school buses during those eight or nine years of this misconduct, why did the school district continue to allow their children to be exposed to someone with these lapses of judgement?

KOSIK: You know, there is this disconnect for any parent across the country who puts their kids on a school bus and you don't have a close relationship with the bus driver and you don't know who they are except to say hello in the morning and afternoon. What should parent do? Should we conduct our own background checks on these school bus drivers? How can we feel more confident on who is taking our kids to school?

TRUMP: Well, I think it's important to realize that the vast majority of school district bus drivers here in Cleveland and across the country are background checked and qualified. They are very good and doing an exceptional job with children. I think the number one think that parents need to do is talk with their kids about what is going on, on the bus.

And make sure the school principals have connections with the school bus driver to deal with disciplinary incidents and understand from your kid what kind of conduct is going on, on the bus and is there something to be addressed with school officials if there are problems aboard the bus. Most of the problems on our bus are bullying and other types of misconduct.

But I think that the question school officials need to answer what type of background checks do we do, not only once they are higher, but during the course of their employment with the recognition that criminal history checks may not show anything in this case or others.

I just think that there is a part of a responsibility on the end of the school district here to say, how many times did you allow somebody to have gross misconduct that results in suspicions and you continue to put that person in front of children? And I think the children were unnecessarily exposed in this case.

KOSIK: What can you tell us about the neighborhood, this neighborhood that we're talking about in Cleveland? Is it very dangerous?

TRUMP: Well, I will say, I actually worked as an investigator and supervised a youth gang unit for Cleveland schools in this neighborhood and others many years ago. I attended the school where Gina Dejesus went before she went missing and Cleveland is a very tight knit community, a Puerto Rican community in particular, which I'm married into, very tight and I think that they feel very betrayed.

I talked to people as recently as last night that knew the family and grew up, had dinner with the family and for many years and they felt very betrayed by this. There are no secrets in many tight communities like this and I think the fact that if it was kept a secret that long is leaving many people feeling betrayed. Wondering why, why somebody didn't know and shaking their heads.

Someone told me last night during conversations we looked at cases like Jeffrey Dahmer and all these other incidents and we wondered how could the person next door not know and this person told me he said now I'm that person. I'll never be that way again. We need to make sure that we probe a little bit and know what is going on in our neighborhood.

My mother-in-law is very active in her neighborhood in this area of town and is very aggressive. It takes persistence and following up with the police. I think the community as a whole feels betrayed. They're raising questions of how did we not know, especially since it's that tight.

Like any other larger urban district. We have our crime problems and have our challenges to safety. But as parents, I think we need to step up and know what our kids are doing and as a father myself, we drop kids off. We see people dropping off kindergarten party and signing their cellphone number on a sheet and leaving for an hour.

How do you do that? We have to step up and be responsible individually as parents regardless of what is going on in the broader community from the safety perspective.

KOSIK: I can't help but agree. Ken Trump, thank you.

Out of tragedy, an incredible story of survival emerges. Seventeen days after the deadly building collapse in Bangladesh, a woman is found alive. You'll hear what it took for her to stay alive.

But first, spring, it's a great time for festivals, in addition to the usual arts festivals. Many events now target beer lovers. In today's "On the Go" report, Holly Firfer shows us where to find them and how to enjoy them safely.


HOLLY FIRFER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Beer festivals have grown beyond Octoberfest to become a new spring tradition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're year round now. Some of the big festivals this spring, one of them is the American Craft Beer Festival in Boston, the Oregon Brewers' Festival and a there's a couple festivals that combine food and beer, as well. One of them is called "Savor" that's in New York City coming up in June. That festival take chefs from all over the country preparing meals specific to a particular style of beer and also one in Atlanta called "Hogs and Hops" and that one has a barbecue competition and who doesn't like barbecue.

FIRFER: Beer festivals also showcase live music, arts and crafts, shopping and don't forget plenty of beer to try.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some advice for attending a beer festival. One is stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and eat plenty of food. Another tip is to get home safe. Plenty car services are starting to partner up with beer festivals and offer discounted rides if you attend that festival. That's what is really important. Get there safe, get home safe and have fun.



KOSIK: For more on beer festivals, go to


KOSIK: Checking today's top stories, everyone in the west wing of the White House was evacuated this morning. Officials ordered people to get out after smoke was seen coming from a mechanical closet. Five fire trucks responded to the scene. It turns out an overheated piece of equipment was the source of the smoke. People were allowed back in after a short time.

The deadly attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi has opened up the field for a host of attacks on the Obama administration. CNN sources say e-mails show the White House and State Department were more involved than they first said in a decision to remove an initial CIA assessment that a group with ties to al Qaeda was involved.

In Pakistan, today's election has been marked by violence. Across the country, 18 people were killed in bombings, most around Karachi. Pakistanis cast ballots in a first transition between civilian governments in the nation's history. Turnout is estimated between 60 percent and 80 percent. Long lines prompted the country's election commission extended voting by an hour.

Let's look at the stories trending now online. Police have arrested one of the emergency responders at last month's deadly fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. There's still no word on what caused the blast, which claimed 14 lives.

The lead singer of the metal band "As I Lay Dying" has pleaded not guilty to hiring a hitman to kill his wife. A judge set the bond for him at $20 million saying he was a flight risk and danger to his wife. He gave an undercover detective $1,000 and information on where to find her. One World Trade Center has become the tallest building in the western hemisphere. It's also the world's third tallest building. Workers bolted on the last pieces of a huge spire on the top of the building Friday. The chairman of the Port Authority called the building a national symbol of hope and strength in the face of tragedy. The building is set to open in 2014.

Now, to an incredible story of survival, rescuers pulled a 19- year-old survivor out from under the rubble of a building that collapsed some 17 days ago near Bangladesh. The survivor identified only by the name Reshma said she ate biscuits and water to stay alive. Rescuers had stopped searching for survivors in that collapse that killed more than 1,000 people.

CNN's Sanjay Gupta explains how it is possible to survive more than two weeks after being buried alive.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alison, I tell you, extraordinary no matter how you think about it. The basics do apply here when talking about survival stories like this, air, water, food. We know, for example, Reshma, the 19-year-old was trapped in this air pocket, obviously, very important, but also trapped in a pool of water.

We don't know where the water came from, whether it was from the rains or from firefighters hoses from a recent fire in that area, but whatever it was, that water so crucial to her. And, also, she had no obvious wounds, which is remarkable when you look at these images. No broken bones or rushed limbs and no gaping wounds.

And that's important because it would have taken energy to try to treat those wounds as opposed to actually trying to survive herself so, in some ways, lots of luck and just a remarkable sort of situation overall. I will tell you, I have seen things like this in other places around the world.

In Haiti, for example, back in 2010, we saw this man, Evan Muncie nearly a month, he was trapped under the rubble. The building was a rice plant, so he probably had access to some food there and water and air, again, as we mentioned. His family told me he lost 30 pounds in those nearly 30 days, just remarkable stories of survival.

I will say that, you know, the body does a remarkable job of sort of trying to preserve itself. For example, if there is not enough food, it will start a condition known as starvation ketosis. You don't need to remember the name, but what it is the body looks for any source of energy within the body, within the body itself.

It tries to break down muscle to provide a source of protein and additional calories. The kidneys will do anything to preserve fluid if there is not enough to drink. But, again, the 19-year-old has a road in front of her, will be in critical condition, but very much looks like she is going to survive. Back to you.

KOSIK: OK, Sanjay, now don't miss your appointment with Sanjay this weekend. He will have the latest on this incredible rescue in Bangladesh on the three young women freed from captivity in Cleveland, plus, Chris Christie's weight loss surgery. That is all coming up on "SANJAY GUPTA MD." Today at 4:30 p.m. and tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Job numbers are looking better. The markets are hitting record highs. What should you be doing with your investment dollars especially your 401(k). Find out next.


KOSIK: There's been a lot of positive economic news this week. The stock market is hitting record highs and we got a better than expected jobs report and the number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits is at a five-year low. I asked HLN's money expert, Clark Howard, for his take on these reports.


CLARK HOWARD, HLN MONEY EXPERT: We're in a slow, steady slug. Things are getting slightly better step by step, but completely different than any recovery in my lifetime where after a recession, especially a deep one like we had, jobs roared back. This time they're crawling back, which is why when you ask so many consumers, even though things are better, they don't really express that when they're asked how they feel things are doing.

KOSIK: And this is an issue for the economy, obviously especially since a lot of these jobs aren't high paying ones, right?

HOWARD: That's true. A lot of jobs that hollowed out during the great recession, the jobs that people have replaced them with don't pay as much, but I don't want to paint too negative a picture because things are significantly better in the country. I mean, we're not roaring great, but things definitely are better.

KOSIK: All right, let's switch gears and talk about markets. We're seeing record highs on the Dow and S&P 500. Where should we put our money? Should we put our money in stocks or has the train already left the station when you see levels like we're seeing now?

HOWARD: Well, the last time always to go in the stock market is when everybody is afraid of it, which is, obviously, back when things hit their trough four years ago. But the whole thing I feel about the stock market is how long is it until you need your money?

If you stayed out of it because you were afraid now you're thinking maybe is the time for me to get in, as long as it's money you're not going to need for a long, long time, ten years or more, don't worry that you might be getting in at what feels like the high.

You don't fret about that. You just have to get in the game and my favorite way is little dribs and drabs, widely diversified, month by month, may be even through a plan at your place of work.

KOSIK: All right, so, if someone wants to get into investing, how much money do they really need and where is the best place to really start? Is it stocks or bonds? Where is it?

HOWARD: I like for somebody starting from scratch to do something simple where they buy one fund that handles diversifying their money for them. In fact, one of my favorites for somebody starting out from scratch is a fund called the Vanguard Start that requires $1,000 to open an account and diversifies your money across the world and across all different kinds of types of investments. So, that when with that first $1,000, you've invested, essentially, worldwide capitalism.

KOSIK: Some great advice. Thanks, Clark Howard.

HOWARD: Thank you.


KOSIK: He's accused of keeping three Ohio girls captive in a house of horrors. Now the prosecutor wants to try Ariel Castro. The legal case, coming up.


KOSIK: The Ohio Attorney General's Office says DNA testing confirms Ariel Castro is the father of a 6-year-old girl to one of the three women he is accused of keeping in captivity.

Let's bring in our legal guys, Avery Friedman. He is a civil rights attorney and law professor. You're in Cleveland this morning. And Richard Herman, you're a New York criminal defense attorney and law professor. You're joining us from Las Vegas.

OK, guys, we know that Ariel Castro is charged with kidnapping and rape. Now facing aggravated murder charges. The lead prosecutor says he may seek those charges related to charges that Ariel Castro starved and punched one of his captives, Michelle Knight, to induce at least five miscarriages. So could those be death penalty charges? Avery, let me start with you.

AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, what's going to happen here is if you're prosecuting the most hated man in America you're going to load it up, whether you charge somebody and ultimately prove it are two different issues. At the end of the day, look this week, Alison, for no less than hundreds of counts involving the charges against Castro. Something no one is really talking about in detail including aggravated murder charges, which is provided for under Ohio law so expect to see that happen.

KOSIK: Richard, does this sort of bring up that debate of when life begins?

RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Alison, absolutely. But, apparently, in this jurisdiction life began for these fetuses. Now, as Avery said, more charges will be coming, Alison. These were the initial charges filed. The case will go to the grand jury and government will present all their evidence to the grand jury and try to bring the charges for aggravated murder for the killing of those fetuses.

And the question here, again, is, it's not what you know but what you can prove. Can they really prove that? Is there any collaboration for that or just the young woman's testimony and will that be enough? They just can't bring charges unless they have a good faith belief that they can get a conviction in those charges. So, a lot is going to come down the pipe here.

FRIEDMAN: Sure they can.

KOSIK: Go ahead, Avery.

FRIEDMAN: Sure they can. I mean, I think, I think Alison, the question you raise about, you know, when does life start? Is it a conception, one week of pregnancy, is it near child birth? I mean, the statute says unlawful termination of a pregnancy, but it doesn't really explain it.

That's a relatively recent amendment to Ohio law. So, it's untested and been used before, but in this case, where is the prosecutor going? If I'm charging at this point, I'm putting it in there and let's see if we can ultimately prove it, good faith or not.

KOSIK: Richard, let me ask you about this, eyewitness testimony from these three victims. It will play a huge part in the prosecution's case.

HERMAN: It will play a huge part. But, again, you have to look at the ages of the children and the conditions they were under and you have to assess each one of them individually. They have to be interviewed separately, not in a group. You can get the straight story from each one of those. You can get a conviction in this case.

The worst thing that would happen is if charges were brought and the stories of the children were all over the place and not sufficient to get a conviction. As Avery said, this guy is probably the most hated guy in the United States right now.

Prosecutor has to tie up their case nice and neat and have to be able to prove and have some cooperation for the crimes that they're going to charge this guy with, in addition to the kidnapping, if they really want to go for a death penalty.

FRIEDMAN: Remember, also, this guy is singing like a canary. Once he was picked up, sat down with the police, we don't know what he's saying. But what we do know is that there have been confessions. We don't know, Alison, to what extent. That's the issue right now.

KOSIK: OK, Avery, I'll keep you talking with this question. The Cleveland said he took one of the victims Michelle Knight off the database 15 months after her family reported her missing in 2002. How significant is this? Could the family take legal action against the police?

FRIEDMAN: Well, you know, technically, of course. There are civil claims, but that is the last thing anyone is going to be talking about right now. As soon as defense lawyers find out there are several lawyers involved, it will impact on credibility. While there is value in having legal counsel to help the victims get through this. The last thing anyone should be talking about is civil liability against Ariel Castro.

HERMAN: You know, this guy had a history of domestic abuse. There was a history of this. When these children went missing, why this house was not raided and taken apart piece by piece, I don't know. It's right in the community. You know, it reeks of some of these other cases, the Mark Lunsford where the kid is right next door, just incredible. The intelligence that was out there and the lack of the investigation --

FRIEDMAN: You can't blame, Richard, it's unfair to blame the police, certainly, at this juncture. I don't think that's fair. We have a long way to go to find out what all the facts are.

KOSIK: Avery and Richard, don't go anywhere, stay with me. We still have to talk about Jodi Arias who is on 24-hour supervision. Why she is there and why she would prefer the death penalty after being convicted of murder.


KOSIK: Jodi Arias is on suicide watch in the psychiatric ward with doctors and nurses watching over her 24/7. Our legal guys are back, Avery and Richard. First degree murder case is on hold until next week. She was convicted Wednesday and shortly after that she said she would rather die than be sentenced to life in prison. Listen.


JODI ARIAS, CONVICTED MURDERER: I said years ago that I would rather get death than life and that is still true today. I believe death is the ultimate freedom, so I would rather just have my freedom as soon as I can get it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you're saying you actually prefer getting the death penalty to being in prison for life?



KOSIK: So, the next step is what is called the aggravation phase of the case. Richard, what happens in that part?

HERMAN: Alison, as if everyone is not aggravated enough with this case. What is going to happen now is on Wednesday we're going to come to court, very brief, one day maybe to put on evidence to show that the manner of which the murder was committed was a cruel and heinous type of situation.

Now, all you have to do is remember the summation of the prosecutor who, I thought, bullied and had his shining moment in summation when he told the jury what happened when Travis was killed and how he was knifed and he struggled and he went to the sink and she kept sticking him with knives and then she shot him. It's a no brainer.

There is going to be a conviction and the jury is going to agree it was aggravated and then move on to the death penalty phase.

KOSIK: After that comes, the penalty phrase when recommending life in prison or death. Avery, we just heard from arias about her preference. Will the jurors know about that?

FRIEDMAN: Well, you know what's stunning on this, Alison, how in the world does a defendant who has just been convicted of a capital crime get access to the media? Where the heck are the lawyers? That's actually admissible evidence when it comes to aggravation. And I actually, I hate to do it, but I agree that it seems like a no brainer. I think that what is going to happen and, my goodness, why on earth is she getting access to the media without counsel?

KOSIK: Her attorney asked anyone giving victim impact statement that they do it on video, not in court. What is this all about, Richard?

HERMAN: What happens is the family gets to get up there and say what the impact of Travis Alexander's death has had on them. It is devastating, Alison. Absolutely devastating and as a defense attorney, you sit there and you're paralyzed and the judge, you just see the judge getting upset and the jury is going to get upset. It's just horrible. It's just horrible. It's not going to be on video. This case will be live on TV, HLN will be covering it and we're going to be watching it. It's very -- it looks bleak for her.

FRIEDMAN: And evidence that gets, evidence that gets in there does not have anything to do with relevancy. Anything that anyone wants gets into this and that's what we're going to see. It is a legal free for all, Alison. That's what's happening here.

KOSIK: Let's talk about the Boston bombing investigation. Lives were lost. A lot of people were hurt so badly. If that turns out intelligence failures either in the U.S. or Russia and that the attacks could have been prevented, could the victim sue? Richard?

HERMAN: First of all, Alison, if that turns out, how are they ever going to prove that? Never be able to be proved. So, it's not going to be litigation about that. But, you know, when Russia tells us about some surveillance they want to report to us, all the bells and whistles have to go off at that point in time.

Why are they getting this information and the information they gave is that he was looking to blow up sites in Russia, not the United States. Whether they could have prevented this, we know the finish line was a target area. I think Boston police knew that in advance, as well. What could they have done? I don't know. Seems they could do everything they could do.

FRIEDMAN: We don't know that. We don't know that, the idea of attaching some form of responsibility because the Russians didn't turn evidence over to the Justice Department, I think is just farfetched. There is absolutely no basis for liability. As sad as it is for the loss of life and injury, I just see nothing, Alison, that attaches liability to any of this.

HERMAN: I think what Alison is referring to is the fact that information was turned over to the FBI by Russia and that information was not turned over to the Boston Police Department, so, that's the issue that's being discussed these days. Why didn't the FBI turn it over to Boston? Would it have helped?

FRIEDMAN: Even with Joint Terrorism Task Force, the fact that was it shared or not, still results in no liability. I understand intelligence gaps, but on civil liability issues, I just don't buy it. I just don't buy it.

KOSIK: Is there any recourse for people who are upset about where Tamerlan Tsarnaev was buried?

HERMAN: None at all.


KOSIK: All right, thanks, guys. The legal guys are here every Saturday at this time to give us their take on the most intriguing legal cases of the day. Thanks for being with us.

HERMAN: Happy Mother's Day.

FRIEDMAN: That's right, Happy Mother's day to everyone.

KOSIK: Thanks very much.

One more legal story to tell you about, a high schoolteacher who lost his job after stomping on an American flag gets an $85,000 settlement. South Carolina's newspaper "The State" got its hand on documents that shows Scott Compton is being paid a settlement by the school district. He stomped on the flag during a classroom discussion about freedom last December.

Stay with us in the CNN NEWSROOM for all the latest headlines. Plus, in the next hour I'll talk with John Walsh and he'll join us to weigh in on the Cleveland kidnappings. We'll be right back.


KOSIK: Hello, I'm Alison Kosik. Here are the top stories we're following in the CNN NEWSROOM. The man accused of unspeakable crimes against three women as FBI teams seal his Cleveland Street.

People in that neighborhood are shocked to the point of tears that this happened just yards away from their homes. The emotional reaction from one man who can't believe the charges his neighbor faces.

Prince Harry is in Colorado today. He'll be talking to wounded servicemen and women competing in the Paralympics games. We'll have all that and more for you this hour.