CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

What's Next for Ariel Castro?; 12-Year-Old Brother Arrested in Leila Fowler's Death; O.J. Simpson Fights for New Trial; Scaly Mother's Day Surprise; Stocks at Record Highs; The Warrior Prince

Aired May 13, 2013 - 08:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to STARTING POINT, everyone. I'm John Berman.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christine Romans. New developments in the Cleveland kidnapping investigation this morning. Cell phone video capturing the dramatic moment when the three women managed to escape ten years in captivity. Two women were driving on Seymour Avenue last week the very same time officers were about to rush into suspected kidnapper Ariel Castro's home. Once these women realized what was happening, they started recording the whole thing.

Let's go to national correspondent Susan Candiotti live in Cleveland. Good morning, Susan.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine. It was really an accidental turn down this street when all of a sudden these two women see police lights flashing behind them, and so they immediately pulled over thinking they were the ones who were in trouble. But they quickly realized that the police were focusing all their attention on what was happening right in front of them at the house down the street.

And then they saw a woman standing in front of their car holding a small child and they heard her say her name, "Amanda Berry." They immediately knew what that meant. But they kept -- then picked up, fumbled with their cell phone, started rolling and caught the officers as they rushed into the house to rescue the other two women, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.

Here's what the women told me about rolling her video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amanda walking down the street with a cop. And right when the cop asked her, "Who are you?" she passed us and said Amanda Berry.

When she said Amanda Berry, I knew it was really her. She had tears coming down her face.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CANDIOTTI: So many people in the Cleveland area recognize the name Amanda Berry and the others because they have been missing for ten years. So she will never forget what she was able to see and capture on her cell phone. But you know what? The battery died almost as soon as she started rolling so she only captured a few seconds of it. But she'll never forget it. Christine.

ROMANS: Susan, what's next for Castro now?

CANDIOTTI: Well, of course he's sitting in jail in that cell by himself contemplating his future, no doubt. You've heard what his brothers are saying about him. But the next step for him legally is to face probably an indictment by a grand jury here. That's the next step. And he'll see how many charges he faces and whether murder will be among them. Back to you, Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Susan Candiotti. Thank you, Susan.

BERMAN: Also new this morning, the interview you will see only on CNN -- Pedro and Onil Castro speaking out about the horrific crimes their brother, Ariel, allegedly committed. These brothers talk about the devastating impact it's having on their own lives and why they now feel like victims, too. CNN's Martin Savidge spoke to them, again, exclusively.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ONIL CASTRO, KIDNAPPING SUSPECT'S BROTHER: I don't want to this be true. Like I said earlier, I want to wake up out of nightmare.

PEDRO CASTRO, KIDNAPPING SUSPECT'S BROTHER: I want to say that I don't want to be hunted down like a dog for a crime that I did not commit. I don't want to be locked up in my house because somebody out there is going to do harm to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Coming up in the next hour on CNN, Martin Savidge asks the Castro brothers about the little girl they saw with their brother, Ariel Castro. You'll be able to watch the full exclusive interview starting at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

ROMANS: A stunning development in the stabbing death of an 8-year-old California girl, Leila Fowler. Her 12-year-old brother is in custody this morning; he is accused of murdering her. Fowler's stepmother issued a brief statement on Facebook, quote, "A thank you to those who are standing by us in this devastating time for our family and thank you for respecting our privacy during this time. We need a little space. Happy mother's day to all."

CNN's Dan Simon live in Valley Springs, California, with the developments for us. Good morning, Dan.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine. This small community had been absolutely terrorized for two weeks thinking that there was a killer on the loose. Well, now the sheriff came out and announced the surprising development.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SIMON (voice-over): In the days after her killing, an emotional candle light vigil to remember 8-year-old Leila Fowler, known for her bubbly personality.

AMY WASSELWANDER, PRINCIPAL, JENNY LIND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Leila was beautiful and strong, she was kind, I remembered that Leila liked purple.

SIMON: Leila's family among the mourners, seen here was her 12-year- old brother, the one who had told police that an intruder stabbed his sister while they were home alone, and their parents were at a Little League Baseball game. A story authorities now say was a lie.

GARY KUNTZ, CALAVERAS COUNTY SHERIFF: At 5:10 p.m., detectives arrested Leila's 12-year-old brother at the Valley Springs substation and -- on charges of homicide. These types of cases require a certain amount of time, and it was our commitment to make sure that we did a thorough job as possible.

SIMON: The family remained visible throughout the investigation. Leila's mother spoke about the closeness between her son and daughter.

CRYSTAL WALTERS, LEILAS' FOWLER'S MOTHER: He never like pushed her around, like big brothers and sisters do. He never like was ever -- I never seen him mean to her.

SIMON: In the immediate aftermath of the killing two weeks ago, his usually serene northern California community of 7,500 went into a near frenzy, as nervous residents believed a killer was at large, and wondered whether there would be more victims.

PATRICIA CAMPBELL, RESTAURANT OWNER: I've lived here 33 years. I've never seen anything like this happen. We've had bad things happen in our community, but never like this to a little child.

SIMON: Patricia Campbell owns a popular diner in town. She and everyone else we talked to her were shocked at the turn of events.

CAMPBELL: It's bad enough to lose one of your own children. I can't imagine losing one, too, by the hand of one of my own. I couldn't imagine that.

HENRY KING, VALLEY SPRINGS RESIDENT: It was surprising, but I kind of had a feeling that it might be him, you know? A lot of people don't want to look at it that way, you know, but it seems like family, you got to look at the family first, for me.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SIMON: Well, the sheriff's office not releasing the brother's name because he is, in fact, a minor. Christine, the main question today is why and what aroused investigators' suspicions about the brother. Back to you. ROMANS: Yes, because initially there had been that report that the brother had seen someone running out of the house and everyone was so fearful of that. All right, Dan Simon, thank you.

BERMANS: So in just a couple of hours, there will be an O.J. Simpson sighting in court. More than a sighting, actually. Simpson, who's currently serving prison time for armed robbery, will try to convince a judge in Las Vegas to throw out his 2008 conviction and order a new trial. Simpson says his former attorney botched the case.

CNN's Paul Vercammen is live in Las Vegas. Good morning, Paul.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. O.J. Simpson now 65 years old, soon to be 66, and one thing at play here -- he certainly does not want to spend the rest of his life in prison.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VERCAMMEN (voice-over): These are the last images of O.J. Simpson in public, being led out of a Las Vegas courtroom to prison in late 2008. Simpson was convicted of kidnapping and armed robbery for leading armed men into a hotel room to try to settle a dispute over sports memorabilia he wanted back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were just robbed at gunpoint by O.J. Simpson.

VERCAMMEN: Simpson was secretly recorded during the confrontation, which became part of the 2008 trial testimony.

O.J. SIMPSON: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you think you can steal my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and sell it? Don't let nobody out of here.

VERCAMMEN: Simpson's new lawyers will argue their client was so horribly represented in that kidnapping trial, he deserves a new trial and freedom.

PATRICIA PALMS, SIMPSON DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We firmly believe he did not get a fair trial. I think that's going to bear out during the hearing. We want the judge to take a fresh look at this, what should have been presented before, what wasn't presented, what was said, what wasn't said.

VERCAMMEN: Simpson is expected to take the witness stand this week, something he never did in the Las Vegas kidnapping trial or his sensational televised trial in 1995 -- where he was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

Other witnesses expected this week are now retired prosecutors in the Las Vegas case and Yale Galanter. He was Simpson's lead attorney in the kidnap trial and a former ally.

(on-camera): Simpson's new lawyers will argue that Galanter had a conflict of interest in part because of his business dealings with the football star.

(voice-over): Simpson has been housed at the lovelock correctional center in Northern Nevada. His lawyers call him a model inmate.

PALMS: It's common in the prison for there to be different factions that don't get along with each other, and because of his status as a celebrity and his personality, he's sometimes mediates between different groups when they're having conflicts.

VERCAMMEN: Simpson is now hoping his new legal team will spring him from prison for good.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VERCAMMEN (on-camera): And Simpson's sentence -- 9 to 33 years. John, Christine.

BERMAN: As you said, now 65 years old. Paul Vercammen in Las Vegas, thanks for that report. Appreciate it.

ROMANS: All right, ahead on STARTING POINT, a family getting a shock of its life when an 8-foot alligator pops up at the front door.

BERMAN: Paul Bedard of "Gator Boy", he was called in to get the beast away. That's him. That's the alligator. They are with us live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: So it was a startling way to begin Mother's Day. A Florida family woke up yesterday morning to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my god.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Yep, they found an 8-foot alligator hissing on their front porch just inches from their door. CNN affiliate WPLG was live at the house to see the terrifying visitor live.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Your wife thought it was a Mother's Day prank.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She thought I was pulling another one on her. Definitely wasn't.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: It's big, huge. It's been hissing all morning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's at our front door.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: So the family called Paul Bedard from Animal Planet's "Gator Boys" to remove this scaly intruder. And he joins us live from Everglades Holiday Park in Ft. Lauderdale with the perpetrator right there in front of you.

So they called you, you got there, this thing was just sitting at the front door hissing. What did you do?

PAUL BEDARD, ANIMAL PLANET'S "GATOR BOYS": It was actually -- he was pretty easy. He let me grab his tail, was just real gentle with him, dragged him out into the grass and just basically did like a little impromptu alligator wrestling show to tire him out and then just jump on him and tape his mouth shut.

BERMAN: I don't know what kind of Jedi mind tricks you're using right now to make the alligator so calm, but how dangerous can they be? I guess at 8-feet, could have a bite force of like 3,500 pounds. What was the real threat that this family faced?

BEDARD: The biggest thing I could see was if they'd walked out the door and been looking for his shoulder and stepped right next to him or on him. The gator's going to take that as an attack and probably defend himself and bad things could happen.

BERMAN: Bad things. Like what kind of bad things?

BEDARD: Real bad. If he gets a hold of your leg, he could do serious damage.

ROMANS: What do you think he was doing there on the porch? I mean, what do you think he wanted, breakfast? Some croissant? What did he want?

BEDARD: Well, it's funny. One of my volunteers, Caroline here, saw the video and said clearly he was delivering a package. So she named him FedEx. But they'll walk around at night sometimes and probably just got disoriented, trying to get back to the pond behind the house and got trapped in there.

BERMAN: So you look -- you look pretty casual there, as well. You host the show "Gator Boys" along with Jimmy Riffle. You know, you meet a lot of alligators. Is there any situation at this point that still scares you?

BEDARD: Not really. I hate to be that guy, but not really. I've kind of seen it all. So you -- you have faith in your abilities and God that you're not going to do anything stupid and you should be ok.

ROMANS: What are going to do with FedEx, what happens to FedEx now? Now on this preserve, FedEx can live out his sentence, I assume.

BEDARD: Yes, as a nuisance gator, he can't be released in the wild. He has to be kept in captivity or destroyed. And we're obviously a rescue center. So we're going to send him down to Bob Freer the Everglades Outpost out of Homestead and then he'll be able to live out his days.

BERMAN: Hey Paul since you are being that guy and saying there is no alligator that scares you -- as FedEx begins to take a good look right now. ROMANS: I'm scared right now.

BERMAN: If the alligators don't scare you and a hungry FedEx doesn't scare you what does?

BEDARD: I don't know. I'm pretty old. I'm not much anymore. You kind of get immune to stuff after you've been doing it a long time. So yes, I don't know.

BERMAN: What do you think the alligator is going through right now?

BEDARD: He just wants to get back to the water. We pulled him out obviously you know for -- so you guys could talk about him, but he feels more comfortable in the water. So he's going to end up just going back in there until we transport him later this afternoon.

ROMANS: Do we have like a three-second delay in case he carries you with him?

BEDARD: Yes I don't think that's going to happen.

ROMANS: You're so confident. I can't believe it. I would not be sitting there but again that's not my job.

BERMAN: Paul Bedard, thank you so much for being with us this morning. Great work.

BEDARD: All right, guys.

BERMAN: And our best to FedEx and I hope you two remain happy and calm for the rest of the morning right now. I think we all win in that scenario, we appreciate it.

BEDARD: Yes he's good. All right guys. God bless.

ROMANS: Thanks. See you later.

BERMAN: It's 47 after the hour right now.

And ahead on STARTING POINT, this may be the coolest cover version you have ever seen -- members of International Space Station preparing to come home and the commander leaves an incredible musical parting gift.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Welcome back to STARTING POINT.

I'm Christine Romans "Minding Your Business" this morning. Only five months in to 2013 and the major averages are up 13 percent to 15 percent each. The Dow has closed at record highs 18 days this year. But many people are missing out on this. 52 percent of Americans own stocks. That's the lowest on record. Analysts though say it's not too late to get in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LIZ MILLER, PRESIDENT, SUMMIT PLACE FINANCIAL ADVISORS: The way we've seen some of the industrial names lag really to me is a buying opportunity. Because I think we will have economic growth and these more sensitive companies have plenty of opportunity to get stronger.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Alcoa, Caterpillar, Apple people are buying into these companies because their shares seen undervalued. Apple is down 15 percent this year. TD, Ameritrade, Big Brokerage House says more of its clients own that stocks than ever before. Overall analyst say this rally might have -- might have some room to run. Although John futures this morning are pointing a little bit lower after week after week of strong gains. It looks a little -- it looks a little soft this morning.

BERMAN: All right, the suspect in the Aurora movie massacre wants to change his plea. Attorney for James Holmes will a judge -- Holmes will a judge today to change the plea to not guilty by reason of insanity. A mental evaluation could take weeks, even months to complete. Holmes of course is accused of opening fire in a crowded theater killing 12 people and wounding 70 others. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

The unlikely survivor of the Bangladesh building collapse is said to be in fragile condition but improving steadily this morning. State- run media says the 19-year-old mother named Reshma has started eating regular food. She'll be in the hospital for just a few more days. That's amazing. She was trapped in the rubble for 17 days before rescuers found her. 1,127 bodies have been recovered from the wreckage. The recovery effort is expected to officially end tomorrow.

ROMANS: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. And here is what's happening when a demolition team had a little trouble taking down a silo with a planned implosion in Red Bank, Australia.

BERMAN: Oh no.

ROMANS: Yes they used more than 220 pounds of explosives and it started off as planned, but then it stopped falling. And then the silo looked more like the leaning Tower of Pisa. It stay that way for about 40 minutes until they brought in some heavy construction equipment to give the silo a little nudge and then down it went.

BERMAN: I got some more remarkable pictures to show you. These ones are frightening. In California homeowners seeing their houses sinking into the ground; officials say eight homes in Lake County have been abandoned and ten are said to be in imminent danger of the ground giving way. Residents of the Hill Top Subdivision say it is a slow motion disaster.

ROMANS: Britain's Prince Harry on a whirlwind tour of the U.S. Coming up are stops in New York and New Jersey but before that, the Prince spent the weekend with wounded war veterans. CNN's Max Foster is covering this royal visit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There we go you're underway.

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The American public had their first chance to get up close to Prince Harry at this weekend's Warrior games.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's something different that we don't have here. We have celebrities that are in Hollywood and they're the royal family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's definitely unique. He has an accent, which makes it cooler than us.

FOSTER: And he's unmarried.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's a big part of it.

FOSTER: The closest Harry came to marriage though was kissing the winners. The announcer suggesting that these women won't be washing their faces for a while. Prince Harry may be flattered by all the attention, but it's not something that he's looking for on this tour.

His deep suspicion of the media makes him wary of the cameras. He's happy to have them on board for events that he wants to promote.

PRINCE HARRY, UNITED KINGDOM: It's not always great having them around, but today it's about getting the message across to every other country.

FOSTER: And these games for wounded war vets is something that he does want people to hear about.

(on camera): Prince Harry's currently talking to a few of the cyclists that are involved in the race here. This is the event that he wants to take around the world and throwing himself in as usual.

PRINCE HARRY: It was such a fantastic idea here and bringing to the UK, why not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll tell you one why not? 300 days a year of sunshine here in our beautiful Colorado -- why don't you move here?

HARRY: Because it's not always sunny.

FOSTER: He would always have to get more used to football American style. Harry is a rugby fan but gave the U.S. version a go. Was he targeting the media pen, you wonder? On the next leg to New York, Harry takes on another iconic American sport, baseball. He's being given tips on throwing the ball or pitching. Just as well, baseballs can be more dangerous than footballs. Media beware.

The prince will also meet up with Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey to see a neighborhood torn apart by Hurricane Sandy. The governor said he was grateful to the Prince for putting the rebuilding effort back on the news agenda, according to someone close to Harry on the tour.

Max Foster, CNN, Colorado Springs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: On the royal watch. And he's coming this way -- very exciting.

All right. 56 minutes after the hour. And ground control to astronaut Chris. Canadian Chris Hatfield has been working on the International Space Station, but before heading back to earth, he did his own cover version of the David Bowie classic "Space Oddity".

(MUSIC PLAYING)

BERMAN: Had a great voice and they did some phenomenal camera work there. This is being called the first music video ever recorded in space.

ROMANS: That is so cool.

All right. STARTING POINT back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: All right. That's it for STARTING POINT. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman.

"CNN NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello begins right now.