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O.J. Simpson Back In Court; Parade Shooter In Video; Obama Questioned About IRS; Barbara Walters Set To Retire
Aired May 13, 2013 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: He was perhaps the most famous defendant on the planet, and now, after years behind bars, O.J. Simpson is in court asking for his freedom. I'm Brooke Baldwin. The news is now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ONIL CASTRO, BROTHER OF ARIEL CASTRO: Monster. Hateful. I hope he rots in that jail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: A CNN exclusive. The brothers of an alleged kidnapper and rapist get candid.
And a teen athlete found dead inside a gym mat. But after a picture surfaces, his parents are demanding answers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you believe that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you still don't believe it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Plus a legend saying good-buy. But what happens now to "The View"?
And live during this show, an astronaut bids farewell to space.
Here we go. Good to see you on this Monday. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
We begin with breaking news and really just some surreal video. Take a look at this for yourself because police say - you see this car right here upside down -- that's the getaway car. Obviously it is now completely flipped over after this high speed chase in Atlanta. This in the middle of a major interstate in the city. Look at the traffic. For hours they've been sitting there.
Here's what we know. We're told a woman walked into a bank, said she had explosives, handed a letter to the teller and then jumps into her car, drives away. We have no clue actually whether or not she made off with any cash from the bank. What we do know is that the bomb squad just finished checking this toppled over car, you see them on the ground, for explosives. All clear on the car. But we are now told crews are at the bank - they are at the bank looking for explosives there too.
The woman, in custody right now. That interstate, which is a major artery in the city, you saw the bumper to bumper traffic, was at one point, and perhaps still now, completely closed down, backing up traffic for miles and miles. We can tell you at least now both directions are back open. As soon as we get updates, we will pass them along to you live here on CNN.
Let's talk about some courtroom drama today. And with all due respect to Jodi Arias here, there's really nothing quite like it when O.J. Simpson goes on trial. And O.J. Simpson is back in court. O.J. Simpson. Pro Football Hall of Famer. A little grayer, maybe a couple more pounds, back in court in Las Vegas. He wants another trial. He wants his freedom back.
Let me take you back briefly, 2007, 12 years after his acquittal for murder, O.J. Simpson, wearing jeans and a lavender shirt there, lead these five beefy guys on a recovery operation. So let me play something for you. You will hear O.J. Simpson confronting two men in a small Vegas hotel room. He believed they were trying to sell items they had stolen from him. Here he was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIMPSON (voice-over): Don't let nobody out of this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) room. (INAUDIBLE) (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You think you can steal my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and sell it? Don't let nobody out of here. (INAUDIBLE) You think you can steal my (EXPLETIVE DELETED)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Backs to the wall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was trying to get past you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walk your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) over there.
SIMPSON: You think you can steal my (EXPLETIVE DELETED)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike took it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You, against the -
SIMPSON: I know (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Mike took it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So, as it turned out, two of Simpson's tough guys were armed that day. And that didn't help Simpson when his case played out. I want you to watch his face as the guilty verdict is read. Not happy. Not a single bit. He got 33 years for robbery, kidnapping and assault, even though he said he was only taking items that rightly belonged to him. That's the short version for you today.
With us now to help us fill in the blanks here, Randy Zelin. He is a defense attorney and former prosecutor, joining me from New York. And from Los Angeles, attorney Tanya Acker.
So, both of you, welcome.
And, Tonya, let's start with you, because the crux of this is that O.J. Simpson is blaming his lawyer for his conviction. He says Yale Galanter signed off on this sting in advanced, later failed to tell about a possible plea deal. So is this - this is what, you know, people in your industry call kind of the ultimate hail mary defense, right?
TANYA ACKER, ATTORNEY: Well, it's certainly that, Brooke. And again, you know, let's back up to what O.J. said that Yale Galanter told him. According to O.J., Galanter said that he was within his rights to go and recover his property as long as there was no trespass, as long as there was no physical force. So even assuming that Galanter gave him this advice, O.J. didn't follow it.
Now, you can get a new trail if you make a claim that - you know, if your counsel, if you did get ineffective assistance of counsel, but you've got to show that you were prejudice by that ineffective assistance. And I just don't see prejudice here. Even if Galanter did gave him that advice, O.J. went far beyond the bounds of what Galanter told him that he was entitled to do.
BALDWIN: A couple of guys were armed, right? There were other details here that perhaps were omitted.
And, Randy, it was also (INAUDIBLE) here as we move forward, is this time we'll actually hear him testify, right? I mean we didn't hear from him testifying during the criminal trial. And do you imagine he will be persuasive?
RANDY ZELIN, FORMER PROSECUTOR: There is no question that in order to meet - and it's a two pronged standard. The Supreme Court came out with it in 1964. One, Mr. Simpson has to show that his lawyers, the work that he did, the standard of his work was so deficient that it fell below a minimum requirement that we expect from lawyers. In other words, that you can't trust the trial because the lawyer did such a bad job.
In addition, he's got to show prejudice. In other words, but for the lousy work done by the lawyer there would be a different result. So the only way that's coming out is by O.J. Simpson testifying to a few things. One, Mr. Galanter told me what I was doing was OK, advice of counsel. Two, he never told me that there was a plea offer on the table where I could have gotten a lot less time. Three, that you know something, I wanted to testify and he told me not to testify. And had I testified, the jury would have known the truth. I didn't know that there was a gun and it was my stuff.
BALDWIN: Do you think that that will fly, your one, two and three? Do you think he's get a new trial? ZELIN: It's only a hail mary when it's not happening to you.
BALDWIN: Tonya, what do you think?
ACKER: I don't think that he's met either of the standards that my esteemed colleague had just enumerated. One, you know, look, even if Galanter did give him this advice, he went beyond the bounds of it. But, secondly, you know, it's really a lot of backward looking, rethinking a lawyer's strategic advice. That's not ineffective assistance. He can't demonstrate that had he gotten on the strand, that the jury necessarily would have believed him. he just - I don't see that he's met the very, very high standard. Judges do not grant new trials willie nilly. There's a great interest in having finality to these processes. And in order to get a new trial, you've got to shown that something went terribly, terribly wrong and I just don't see that he's met that standard here.
BALDWIN: We'll see how the hail mary goes for him. Randy Zelin and Tanya Acker, thank you both very much. We'll follow it along, obviously.
Also today, jurors in that trial of a Philadelphia abortionist are hung on two of the counts against Dr. Kermit Gosnell. But it's not clear which counts are causing this stalemate. The judge has directed the jury to continue on, to keep deliberating, as they have been doing for the past two weeks. Gosnell is charged with four counts of first degree murder for allegedly killing babies born alive, one count of third degree murder in the death of a patient, and multiple counts of illegal abortions, theft, solicitation, other offenses. If convicted of first degree murder, Gosnell could get the death penalty
And what a tragic Mother's Day here. This event meant to unite a community, but ended with people scattering just to get away from the gunfire. Watch this amateur video showing what happened at a parade in New Orleans.
BALDWIN: Police say bullets hit 19 people. And just a warning, some of the video we're sharing with you here of the aftermath is disturbing. It's tough to look at. A 10-year-old boy and girl are among the wounded. Initially, police were looking for three shooters officers said that were seen running from this scene. Look at all these people just being treated in the aftermath.
OK, so here - take a look at the people who are highlighted. Today their focus is on the man in that white t-shirt. And you can see why. Surveillance video shows him, how the crowd - how he runs - how the crowd was running from him as he is shooting. One of those hit by gunfire is a journalist who has spent a lot of time in New Orleans covering Katrina, investigating the BP oil spill. And this was the one weekend that was supposed to be all fun and no work for him. And I'm sure so many people who were there at that parade. He is Mark Hertsgaard, author of "Hot" and various pieced from "The New Yorker" and "Time" and other publications. And Marc joins me now from New Orleans. So, welcome to you. And as you told our producer in your pre- interview that, you know, you were in town. You didn't have a speck of work to do. And here you are, Marc, you become part of the story. Tell me what you saw.
MARK HERTSGAARD, NEW ORLEANS PARADE SHOOTING VICTIM: I should say I was not the only journalist who was shot yesterday. I was part of the second line parade, which as you may know, is a wonderful, cultural tradition here in New Orleans. Every neighborhood marches on a given Sunday behind two or more brass bands. There were three bands yesterday with dancers. And I happened to be with the third at the end of the procession. And the shooter was right behind me. I did not see the shooter, but I could tell from the sounds, and I know what gunfire sounds like from previous reporting, that the shooter was probably about 10 feet behind me. You can see me there on the video I think you just showed.
I heard the pop, pop, pop, pop, pop and saw everyone running and, like everyone else, I ran an threw myself down to the pavement. And I was lucky, I just got shot in the leg. There were a number of people who were much more seriously injured. Three people were taken to the trauma unit at the university hospital. And no word on fatalities yet. It seems like everyone will survive. But it was a very scary and a senseless, stupid thing.
BALDWIN: A senseless and stupid indeed. And I want to get to that stupidity here in just a moment and talk about New Orleans. But you mentioned, Mark, that, you know, one of the shooter was behind you and I know we highlighted this one shooter who apparently was running away. Did you at all, in the may lay, get a sense of how many shooters there might have been?
HERTSGAARD: I know that the police are saying two and perhaps three shooters and I have no reason to doubt that, but I can't confirm that. I only heard shots coming from one direction. I believe that at the time I counted about seven or eight shots, but I don't have further information than that.
BALDWIN: Just wanted to ask, I too have read different reports and I wanted to know you're your perspective being there, what you heard.
Broadening this out, though, Mark, violence in New Orleans. I mean just reading "The Times Picayune" this morning they talked about how, you know, five people were shot on MLK Day this year. There was a shooting during Marti Gras and now this on Mother's Day. And I know you have covered wars, you have seen far worse. But one of the women who was shot this weekend, this is according to WWOZ radio out of New Orleans, actually just gave an interview about the violence in her city. I want to share that with our viewers.
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DEBORAH COTTON, COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT: And if you live here and you, -- and you -- you know every six months someone that you know or a friend of someone or a family member of someone that you know is murdered. You know, after a while, it begins to really tear at you internally. And so I just - I feel that we're at the point that we cannot not fix this anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Mark, just, what do you make of what she's saying? And just reading about New Orleans, I also think of all the shooting we've covered in Chicago. I mean what -- how do we stop this from tearing (INAUDIBLE).
HERTSGAARD: Yes. My heart goes out to everyone here in New Orleans. It's a city that I love, that all Americans should love. This is - this is a deep part of our culture as a nation. It is where jazz was created. It is the harbor at the mouth of our biggest river on this continent. We need New Orleans as a city to work. It has been battered after Hurricane Katrina, battered after the BP oil spill. But it is really important that this works. And I hope that this incident will lead the police and the mayor -- Mayor Landrieu came out yesterday and made strong statements about this.
HERTSGAARD: How they're going to get to the bottom of it this time. They're not going to let it carry on. And I think that that is hopeful that perhaps in the same way that the Newtown shootings, that terrible tragedy focused the nation and indeed our political leaders on finally getting serous about this problem and not just lip service that it can be done. It's important to remember, these were two idiots or one idiot who did this shooting. Shooting at another target, thinking that, what, they're going to shoot into a crowd full of people. You can see on that video, there are kids there, there with women there, and thinking that they're only going to shoot the person they're in touch with. It's a product of the poverty, of the ignorance, of the gang wars here. And, you know, we can stop this but we've got to focus on it with serious resources and not just rhetoric.
BALDWIN: Horrendous what happened there. Mark Hertsgaard, we're glad you're OK and we wish, obviously, the women who were hit worse well. Thank you so much for joining me.
The case of a murdered California girl now taking a startling turn. Police in Calaveras County have arrested Leila Fowler's 12-year- old brother on a homicide charge, affirming the suspicions of some within this small, rural community. CNN has just learned that this 12- year-old suspect was suspended earlier this year from his middle school for bringing a small pocket knife to school. The boy was home alone with his younger sister. This was just last month when he was found stabbed to death. Police haven't revealed what kind of knife was used, but their mother spoke to CNN affiliate KOVR just hours before this boy's arrest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRISCILLA RODRIGUEZ, LEILA FOWLER'S MOTHER: He was very close to his sister. Since I found out I was pregnant, he went to every doctor's appointment with me. He was like all about his sister. My son loved his sister so much and I know my son could never hurt his sister. They never even used to fight when they were little, you know? He never, you know, he never like pushed her around like, you know, big brothers and sisters to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Leila Fowler's brother originally told police that he had seen an intruder leaving the home, sparking an intense manhunt through this northern California town. Police are not saying where the brother is being held or when this 12-year-old will appear in court.
Coming up next, the IRS scandal involving the targeting of members of the Tea Party just hit a whole new level. President Obama now weighing in today with some stern words. Our chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin joins me, next.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BALDWIN: Breaking news here on this Monday afternoon.
We have been following this trial out of Philadelphia involving this abortion doctor, Kermit Gosnell, who is charged with 263 different count. We know that this jury's been deliberating. He and his staff at this clinic in Philadelphia, they've been accused of murdering hundreds of babies, you know, facing first degree murder charge, could face a death penalty here depending on where this jury goes. So again the news is that the jury has reached a verdict on all of those counts. All 263 counts.
So they will be running through those charges, 19 charges shortly. We have Sunny Hostin, who is our former federal prosecutor, our go-to CNN legal analyst, who has been covering this trial on the ground. We will get to Sunny as soon as we know more about that verdict to be read in the Kermit Gosnell trial in Philadelphia.
Switching gears just for a second. I don't know if you caught the president today, but a short time ago he accused the Republican Party of making a, his words, side show, out of Benghazi. We're going to hit on that later.
But first, let's talk about the IRS, because everyone is mad about that. We have learned late last week that the IRS, for a long time, was looking especially closely at right wing groups, perhaps more than others, when they applied to be tax exempt. I said everyone's mad because I'm including Democrats on that. Democrats are furious. Montana's Max Baucus today joined the call to hold congressional hearings. He released this statement. Quote, "these actions by the IRS are an outrageous abuse of power and a breach of the public's trust." Again, Democrat Max Baucus. Jessica Yellin at the White House for me now.
And, Jessica, I heard the president say, you know, he learned about the IRS hijinks (ph) the same way the rest of us did, through the media. What else did he say? JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Brooke.
He denounced the reported targeting in forceful terms. He also called it outrageous, like Max Baucus. And the president said, if true he, quote, "will not tolerate it." Listen to what the president said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If, in fact, IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on, and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that's outrageous and there's no place for it. And, you know, they have to be held fully accountable. Because the IRS, as an independent agency, requires absolute integrity and people have to have confidence that they're applying in a non-partisan way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YELLIN: Now that strong language, at the same time he stopped short, Brooke, of calling for changes at the IRS, and that is classic Obama, cautious and patient. Basically he is waiting for the IRS' own internal audit to come out before he makes any determinations about what he might do. But the bottom line here is, he has put himself in a position where if he doesn't take action, he politically is in a box. So you know the president has to act when that audit does come out, and we expect it sometime later this week, Brooke.
BALDWIN: OK, Jessica Yellin, our chief White House correspondent. Jessica, appreciate it.
Again, back to our breaking news. We have learned out of Philadelphia that this abortion doctor, Kermit Gosnell, now this jury in this trial has reached a verdict on all 263 counts. Again, it is he and his staff are accused of murdering hundreds of babies, facings four counts of first degree murder. That's just a start. So we have to wait and hear. There's 19 charges to be read shortly inside this Philadelphia courthouse. We will take you there after this break.
BALDWIN: After 52 years in television news, ABC's Barbara Walters said today she will retire next year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": I will come back. I'm not walking into the sunset. But I don't want to appear on another program. I don't want to climb another mountain. I want instead to sit in a sunny field and admire the very gifted women and I'll tell you some men too, who will be taking my place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: The 83-year-old Walters made the announcement today on "The View," the daytime talk show she created back in 1997, and where she will remain co-executive producer. "The View" was just one of many milestones for Walters in an industry that is notoriously fickle and where careers can be short lived. Walters got her start back in 1961 at NBC's "The Today Show" where she quickly rose from researcher to co-host.
Flash forward 15 years, she went to ABC, eventually becoming the first woman to co-anchor network evening news. And in announcing her retirement, she told "The New York Times" Bill Carter, quote, "I keep thinking of the line from 'Caberet,' 'when I go, I'm going like Chelsea.' When I go, there is not going to be any, 'please, can I have another appearance?' I don't want to do any more interviews. I don't want to do any other programs. I'm not joining CNN. This is it," she says. With me now is former ABC News anchor Carole Simpson, who spent 24 years at the network, and our own Howard Kurtz, host of CNN's "Reliable Sources."
So welcome to both of you.
And, Howard, I just want to begin with you here because, you know, listen, you've interviewed Barbara a number of times. She doesn't strike me as the kind of woman who would just, you know, go away, disappear into the post career either (ph). I mean, what if Queen Elizabeth calls her? Is she going to say no?
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, CNN'S RELIABLE SOURCES: I'm so disappointed, Brooke, that she's not going to be joining CNN. She's only 83. She's still got some good years ahead of her. I do think we'll see a little bit of her even after this retirement takes effect. BALDWIN: You do?
KURTZ: But it is really hard to imagine television without Barbara Walters. She has been a defining and trail-blazing presence in so many ways, as you just ticked off.
BALDWIN: And, Carole, it's been a presence that, you know, so many people have not gotten to know her. We've just gotten to know her through watching her on the television. But you worked with her at ABC News. I mean give me one trait of Barbara Walters that viewers may not know.
CAROLE SIMPSON, FORMER ABC NEWS ANCHOR: She was the hardest worker of anyone at ABC News.
SIMPSON: She would be there earlier than anybody else and stay later than anybody else and work tirelessly to achieve all of the things that she did achieve.
BALDWIN: You know, one thing, Howard, that really struck me, this is something that Bill Carter told me about when we had him on when he broke the story that, you know, that she would be retiring. And he talks about -- he writes in this "New York Times" piece about her apartment and that it overlooks Central Park and that when you walk down, you know, this main hallway, you see these pictures, not of what so many people think of Barbara Walters, the celebrity interviews, the tears, you know, this is the photos of news makers and presidents, world leaders that she appeared to cherish the most.
KURTZ: You know, she's had an incredible life, not just on the television front, but a very colorful personal life, which she wrote about in a tell-all memoir. And I interviewed her on "Reliable Sources" a couple of years ago, very charming and colorful, as you would imagine. But also she -- I got the sense then, Brooke, that she was getting a little tired of the daily grind. She was giving up her Oscar specials. And she just said, you know, one more interview with one more movie star, it used to be novel when I started to do it, now they're everywhere. I just got the sense that she still enjoyed "The View," which, after all, has been one of the most copied formats, an all female talk show, in the history of television, but that the daily deadlines were something that perhaps she was starting to think about putting behind her.
BALDWIN: What happens, Howard, to "The View" post Barbara Walters?
KURTZ: You know, it's become such a cultural institution with presidential candidates feeling the need to stop by that I think "The View" will continue. But "The View" without Barbara Walters, will it be as much of a cultural force and will it be as much of a news making show because they have a lot of entertaining women on there, of course, Whoopi Goldberg and the others, but Barbara Walters was always the one who gave it sort of the - the news chopstick gravitas (ph) simply by sitting at that table.
BALDWIN: And, Carole, you recently wrote a piece in which you talked about a piece of advice that Barbara Walters once gave you. What was that?
SIMPSON: She told me not to run for Congress, which I was thinking about doing.
SIMPSON: Because I felt - I do reports about -- she said, why would you want to be one of 435 people in Congress when you can reach 10 million people anchoring your weekend newscast. She said, you have much more influence doing that than you would compromising with - and given how Congress is today, I'm certainly glad I took that advice and did not.
Brooke, there's one thing I wanted to mention though.
SIMPSON: She's taking a year to retire.
BALDWIN: Good point.