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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Ariel Castro in Court Today; Alleged Stiletto Killer in Court; Basebrawl; Robin Meade Releases Second Album; Accused Ohio Kidnapper in Court This Hour

Aired June 12, 2013 - 08:30   ET

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


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: He's been indicted on 329 counts, including kidnapping, rape, murder. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were freed last month. They are said to be healing privately and adjusting to their new lives.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, the list of things that he's being charged for are simply staggering, you know, kidnapping, kidnapping, kidnapping, rape, rape, rape, 329 counts. Again, we'll bring that to you the second it happens.

Meanwhile, you're looking at it right now, wildfires in Colorado continue to grow. Crews are battling five separate fires in the Rockies at this moment.

Officials say 800 prison inmates were evacuated because of the threat from the Royal Gorge fire near Canyon City. Crews have zero containment on the biggest fire, The Black Forest fire near Colorado Springs has consumed more than 7,500 acres and displaced some 5,000 people, the weather not one bit helpful. The conditions are hot, dry, windy.

ROMANS: So, will they get any break from this weather the firefighters? Indra Petersons is watching that for us.

Good morning.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning. unfortunately, they're Not going to see a break for some time. It's only going to get warmer as we go through the afternoon and the forecast doesn't change for the next several days in the area.

Now, take a look, especially at how dry it is. We look at the relative humidity. Where you see the green, that's where you have that good moisture in the air. But notice, very easy to see here when you look at the whole nation, where that dry area is. And unfortunately, as we go through the afternoon, we see the relative humidity drop down to single digits and for that, the red flag warning with the fire danger.

Something else we've been watching, what wasn't dry over by California has now gone over the jet stream and we're looking at the core of the jet stream. Look at these strong winds and exactly where they are.

Notice the states here of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio. Now we're taking a look at the severe weather threat. We have all that warm moisture and then we have the cold, dry air in exactly the same place we have the stationary front. All of these things are elements for severe weather. So we had the tornado risks but especially today, straight line winds. That is long-lived, straight line winds are in the forecast for major cities -- Chicago, Indianapolis, Columbus, Ohio -- all of you watch out today for that threat for severe weather.

It's a moderate risk. It's a heightened risk. In comparison, we've seen the last several days, and notice as we go in through tomorrow, we're going to see that risk spread all the way into the mid-Atlantic region.

So definitely a severe weather day in the forecast.

ROMANS: All right, Indra, thank you.

BERMAN: Millions of people in the crosshairs here.

All right.

The man who told the world about the NSA secret data mining operation is staying in the shadows for now.

And a lot of people would like to know exactly where Edward Snowden is hiding. His girlfriend, Lindsey Mills, is also laying low. We don't know a lot about her, the woman that Snowden left behind. But she's letting the world know that she's feeling lost.

Miguel Marquez, live this morning from Honolulu, where Mills and Snowden recently shared a home, Miguel.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They did, indeed, John. And while he kept such a low digital profile online, she did not. We are learning more about her. We're also learning that when Edward Snowden made his exit from Hawaii, it was carefully planned.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ (voice-over): The man at the center of the controversy left everything behind for his beliefs.

EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: You have to make a determination about what it is that's important to you. And if living, living unfreely (sic) but comfortably is something you're willing to accept...

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Snowden says he cut his ties cleanly with everyone he knew or was close to, including his girlfriend, Lindsey Mills, who lived with him here in Hawaii. Mills' father says his daughter dated Snowden for some five years but met him only a few times.

JONATHAN MILLS, LINDSEY MILLS' FATHER: He's always had strong convictions of right and wrong and it kind of makes sense. But it's still a shock.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Snowden prepared for that shock, telling "The Guardian," "My primary fear is that they will come after my family, my friends, my partner, anyone I have a relationship with."

Snowden told "The Guardian" law enforcement had already been in touch with Mills.

In her blog, "Adventures of a World-Traveling, Pole-Dancing Superhero," just days ago, June 10th, Mills wrote, "My world had opened and closed all at once, leaving me lost at sea without a compass."

MARQUEZ: She and Snowden moved out of this rented home just outside of Honolulu on May 6th. He told "The Guardian" he left for Hong Kong May 20th, telling Mills he would be back in a few weeks, but leaving the reason vague.

What's curious: she also packed everything up and left for the mainland.

As the story unfolds, the people in the neighborhood here are a little more cautious about going on camera. But one thing that several neighbors have told us that they found peculiar about the situation is that when they looked at this garage, they saw boxes all the way to the top of the windows here.

The question is, where have those boxes gone and the contents of the house?

Mills' father told CNN his daughter is now on the West Coast visiting friends. Just when she left Hawaii, still a question; so is whether she had any clue about her boyfriend's plans.

On her blog she says Snowden's family was in town on May 17th, just three days before he left his life behind.

Her next post on June 3rd, she wrote, "The past few weeks have been a cluster jumble of fun, disaster and adventure."

Six days later her boyfriend revealed he was the source of the leaked security documents triggering as many questions as answers.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ: Now, we're also -- have a little bit to update you on with the -- who the investigators were who visited his house last Wednesday the 6th. That was the day before the news came out, the first leak came out.

We know it was a federal investigator, as well as a Honolulu police officer at Snowden's house, but they were investigating him being missing. It seemed that there was a second investigation out there into the leak because "The Post" and "The Guardian" had gone to the federal government, looking for response to their stories. Two different investigations but the connection was never made until Snowden came out publicly as the leaker.

John, back to you.

BERMAN: Interesting. All right, Miguel.

Miguel Marquez in Honolulu for us this morning, thanks so much.

ROMANS: The search for the man who revealed the government's secret surveillance program sparking renewed interest in the George Orwell novel "1984," the timeless classic about Big Brother watching you. It has soared to number three on Amazon's Movers and Shakers list. It's now the 123rd best-selling book in the nation, enjoying a 9,500 percent sales increase.

BERMAN: Seriously?

ROMANS: Yes.

Orwell's biography says the NSA's data mining program is exactly the kind of threat the author feared.

BERMAN: Oh, that's crazy.

More questions this morning about the State Department's handling of alleged misconduct in its ranks. An internal memo from the department's inspector general obtained by CNN claims that high- ranking officials stepped in to stop investigation, including into a U.S. ambassador and a member of then Secretary of State Clinton's security detail, accused of soliciting prostitutes.

A security official in Beirut accused of sexually assaulting foreign guards in an alleged drug ring operation near the U.S. embassy in Iraq, the State Department responded saying, "We all hold all employees to the highest standards. We take allegations of misconduct seriously and we investigate thoroughly."

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's spokesman says she was unaware of an investigation and on "PIERS MORGAN LIVE," CBS' John Miller talked about what impact this will have on her future.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN MILLER, CBS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: When you're the secretary of state, you're focused on international relations with key partners and adversaries. You probably don't get into the weeds.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Meantime CNN obtained a statement from the ambassador who says the claims against him are baseless.

ROMANS: More delays ahead in the court-martial of Ft. Hood shooting suspect Major Nidal Hassan. Jury selection was supposed to get underway last Wednesday. But Hassan's surprise decision to represent himself has now prompted a series of new motions and hearings.

You'll recall 13 people were killed during the November 2009 attack. Hassan, who could face the death penalty if convicted, is now asking for a three-month delay to prepare his case. BERMAN: Jury selection continues today in Florida at the George Zimmerman murder trial. On Tuesday, prosecutors and defense attorney questioned 10 potential jurors.

Robert Zimmerman Jr. tells CNN's Piers Morgan that his brother is under an enormous amount of stress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN JR., GEORGE'S BROTHER: I think George put on the weight because of the stress. I mean, he's been completely railroaded. This is not a case about race.

He was, as you called him a year ago, the most hated man in America. Everything that he held dear and sacred, the criminal justice system, the truth, the police, for example, that they would do the right thing, was tossed out the window and he was charged with murder. And I think that's the way he is responding to the stress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: His brother speaking about George Zimmerman's weight gain. He's put on more than 100 pounds since these charges were filed. So far all of the perspective jurors screened in the case say they heard something about the shooting of Trayvon Martin. None have been seated yet.

ROMANS: All right. In the western part of Switzerland heavy rains have caused mud flows. Look at that including one that washed over train tracks at the very moment a train was passing by. We're told those tracks are now out of commission for at least a week.

BERMAN: A 72-year-old grandmother from Stanton, California, didn't back down when a would-be robber tried to break into her home. She pulled out a .357 Magnum revolver instead.

Jan Cooper (ph) says she was worried about her own safety and that of her husband, a disabled 86-year-old World War II vet, when she saw a man jump her fence and try to break through a sliding glass door. So she fired one shot at the intruder with her trusty Smith & Wesson. It missed, but it was enough to scare the suspect, Brandon Alexander Perez (ph), away from the house. Ms. Cooper (ph) then called 9-1-1.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAN COOPER (PH), HOME DEFENDER: Back up, you son of a (inaudible).

Well, Mr. Perez, you have no idea how lucky you were to be able to walk away from my house.

BERMAN (voice-over): Good shot. Perez was found hiding in the bushes nearby when police arrived. He's now facing burglary charges.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: All right. Meet the new Miss Iowa, 23-year-old Nicole Kelly, who was born without her left forearm. Kelly will compete for the title of Miss America in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in September. She plans to speak out on how important it is for people to overcome their disabilities.

BERMAN: What did Jack Kerouac say about Iowa?

ROMANS: He said the prettiest girls are in Des Moines.

She's from Keokuk.

BERMAN: Where are you from?

ROMANS: I think he meant Iowa.

Iowa.

BERMAN: Oh. Interesting how that works.

ROMANS: Good luck to her.

BERMAN: Ahead on STARTING POINT, a huge fight on the field as the benches clear at the Dodgers-Diamondbacks game. This is quite a brawl. We'll tell you what caused this, next.

ROMANS: Then a lover's quarrel turns deadly. And police believe the murder weapon is a stiletto shoe. Was this a crime of passion or worse? You're watching STARTING POINT.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. A horrific Texas slaying. Police say a 44-year-old woman stabbed her boyfriend to death with the heel of her stiletto shoe. Anna Trujillo reportedly told investigators it all started with a fight.

Her lawyer says the victim got jealous, then things turned physical. When police responded, they say they found her at the scene, and the victim with more than 30 puncture wounds to his head and upper body. CNN'S Victor Blackwell has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST (voice-over): Anna Trujillo shuffled into court wearing an orange jumpsuit and flat vinyl sandals, but it's the stiletto heeled shoe Houston police say Trujillo wore Saturday night that led to a murder charge in the death of University of Houston Professor Dr. Stefan Anderson.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) officer rang the doorbell and the defendant, Anna Trujillo, answered the door with blood on her clothes and on her hand.

BLACKWELL (voice-over): After a night of partying, police say the two went to Anderson's apartment inside this Houston high-rise. Trujillo's attorney, Lott Brooks III (ph) says an argument about a man who wanted to buy her a drink earlier in the night turned physical. The 44-year-old one-time massage therapist says she hit Anderson repeatedly with the heel of her shoe.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The victim appeared to have about ten puncture wounds to the head some one to one and a half inch deep. He also had 15 to 20 other puncture wounds along his face and arms and neck.

LOTT BROOKS III, ANA LILIA TRUJILLO'S ATTORNEY: She had, in fact, talked to the police and given them an initial statement involving self defense. So, we're going to start there and -- and then work our way through.

BLACKWELL: Joey Jackson is a CNN legal analyst.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The first thing that you have to look at is the proportionality of the force. What do I mean? I mean that you have a right, of course, to defend yourself but the issue becomes that the force used has to be proportionate to the threat that's posed.

BLACKWELL: According to court records police found Anderson lying in the hallway face up and the stiletto shoe near his head.

JIM CARROLL, HOTEL MANAGER: I could see her doing it yes, yes.

BLACKWELL: Jim Caroll he's a former manager of the Houston Hotel where she once lived.

CARROLL: Twice she told me that if anybody ever messed with her, she pulled her shoe off and said "I'll get him with this" and it was a big stiletto heel.

BLACKWELL: Bail for Trujillo was set at $100,000.

Victor Blackwell, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Violence of a very different kind at Dodgers Stadium last night, but it sure was ugly. It began when Dodger's rookie sensation Yasiel Puig got beamed by Diamondback's Pitcher right in the face. I mean really, he seemed to get it right in the nose. It's pretty scary he was down but not out. He stayed in the game.

Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke retaliated the next inning, Greinke has been in a bunch of situations like this, this year. That caused the benches to clear but they were just getting warmed up when Greinke came to bat in the bottom of the inning he got plunked which caused what you are looking at right now which is just the mess.

You're actually looking now at some of the coaches involved, some of the old men, former baseball players -- they were in the mix too. The bull pen is empty three Dodgers, three Diamondbacks ejected. This is the original shot right there and Yasiel Puig that was really, really scary. You can bet the commissioner's office will be weighing on this. I would expect to see some suspensions.

ROMANS: With some big names of the night it looked like a '90s dugout brawl.

BERMAN: Yes like Matt Williams, Kirk Gibson, Allan Tremol (ph) a lot of players and Mark McGwire a lot of players you've hear of right in the middle of that.

ROMANS: All right, ahead on STARTING POINT, she's been anchoring HLN's morning show for 12 years but there are more sides to our dear friend Robin Meade than you know. She's a rock star. Details next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: And now to the hard-working news woman who can also belt out a country tune. HLN's Robin Meade is a morning TV staple, but she still finds time to pursue one of her other great loves, music. She is releasing her second album it's called "Count on Me". And she wrote most of the songs herself.

"Count on Me" raises some heartfelt bluegrass, hard driving rock on there too. It's also a star studded collaboration with some big names in the music business.

Nischelle Turner sat down with her and listened to the songs.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: I know.

ROMANS: Tell me all about it.

TURNER: You hear all this and I'm kind of jealous of Robin.

ROMANS: I know over achiever.

TURNER: I mean how do you get that -- I know exactly she makes all of us feel like we need to do more. I need to go home and have three other jobs, apparently. But I forgot to tell you something that just might shock you. Sometimes journalists have healthy opinions of themselves.

BERMAN: No.

TURNER: Come on, I know that's breaking news. Even some of us think that we're rock stars. But get this, some of us actually are and we're talking about HLN's morning anchor, Robin Meade. She has just released her second album it's called "Count on Me". Now usually she is the one asking the questions, but yesterday I turned the tables on her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER (voice over): As the anchor of HLN's "Morning Express" show for the past 12 years --

ROBIN MEADE, HLN HOST, "MORNING EXPRESS": Why don't we jump right into the headlines? TURNER: Robin Meade is used to saying "this just in". But this time, she's singing it for her second album "Count On Me" which releases this week.

MEADE: I look at music and journalism as different forms of the same thing. Because in reality my job as a journalist is to relay that human experience, right? And make it understandable. Well, that's exactly what I do as a songwriter.

TURNER: Besides anchoring the news for six hours a day, she's written a best-selling book, performs live concerts and has a success debut album "Brand-New Day".

(on camera): Your viewers that at home the moms and everybody they are trying to get ready are saying I'm trying to get kids ready, I'm trying to make breakfast, I'm trying to do all of this. How did Robin have time to make an album and do what she does and keep the same crazy hours?

MEADE: Well I do normally go to bed like at seven. My husband and I have been happily married for 19 years. I joke because we've only seen each other for the equivalent of seven.

She wrote seven of the 12 tracks in one week, collaborated with notable musicians such as Kenny Loggins and (inaudible) also did covers of some music legends' songs.

You kind of, for lack of a better word, "stomping with the big dogs" on this record -- I mean you're taking on Tom Petty, Garth Brooks, Cyndi Lauper, Christy (inaudible) like you went there.

MEADE: I thought, you know, we have to find something that fits in with "count on me" as a theme and what will people, whether they like country or not like to hear.

TURNER: This is your sophomore album and that's a feat, Robin because there's a lot of artists out there who don't make it past the first single, yet alone album number two.

MEADE: You know, to come back with that second one, it's a bit of verification and validation that, see, I really meant that. This is in my heart and I don't intend to stop.

TURNER: But she's not quitting her day job.

Are you happy? Are you satisfied or are you your worst critic?

MEADE: I am. No, I'm happy. I really am happy with it. It appears to be more of a laid back album than the first one and deeper into it are the faster cuts. Hopefully you find something on here that moves you. That's the big thing. I hope that this is what I think morning show should be, which is mood enhancement. So, I hope that the music enhances your mood, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP) TURNER: Didn't know Robin Meade could sing, well, now you know. You can hear her sing this Sunday on the Daytime Emmy Awards on HLN. She will be singing the two best song nominees as well as co-hosting the show. And by the way, the 40th Daytime Emmys air Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on HLN.

And John Berman, just because Robin Meade is a country star does not mean when you sing in the shower and might sound ok that you can go make an album.

BERMAN: You want to hear a country star? Check out Robin Meade, right there.

ROMANS: Thanks Nischelle.

TURNER: Sure.

BERMAN: That's all for STARTING POINT this morning. Stay with CNN for live coverage of Ariel Castro's court hearing. You'll get live picture from inside court.

"CNN NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello begins with this right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now in the "NEWSROOM".

Prosecute the reporters. GOP Congressman Peter King on CNN calling out the media when it comes to reporting leaked, classified information.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: As far as reporters, do you believe they should be punished, as well?

REP. PETER KING (4), NEW YORK: I think actions should be taken especially on something of this magnitude.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Plus millions at risk. A huge swath of the country from Iowa to the Atlantic under the gun as severe weather looms large. Straight (inaudible) winds, large hail -- we are tracking the latest movements.

Pill pusher? The government slapping Walgreen's with a huge fine to settle claims it knowingly allowed pain killers like oxycodon to hit the black market.

Also, a gay lobby at the Vatican? The Pope calling them a stream of corruption so who is this gay lobby? What is it.

"NEWSROOM" starts now. Good morning. thank you so much for being with me. I'm Carol Costello. Right now we're getting a glimpse of a man called a monster, even by his own family. Ariel Castro in a Cleveland courtroom where he is being arraigned on charges of imprisoning three women for about a decade. Horrifying tales of torture, rape and forced abortions have led to more than 300 charges and prosecutors just might seek the death penalty.

CNN's Pamela Brown is inside that courtroom you're looking at right now. Our CNN legal analyst Paul Callan is on the phone to help us walk through what we're about to see. But first, Pamela Brown has a look at what Ariel Castro is accused of.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's our first glimpse inside the so-called "house of horrors" where Ariel Castro allegedly held Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michele Knight against their will for more than a decade. FBI agents once again analyzing evidence and recreating the terrible scene.