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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Day Two of George Zimmerman Trial; Mystery Swirls Around Edward Snowden; Supreme Court Rules in Baby Veronica Case; High Wire Master; Nelson Mandela in Critical Condition; Home Invasion, Beating Caught on Nanny Cam; $1.2 Million Missing from Flight; New Charges for Chris Brown
Aired June 25, 2013 - 20:00 ET
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"AC 360" starts right now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks.
Good evening, everyone. An emotionally powerful legally significant day in the George Zimmerman trial. We'll bring you all the searing testimony about Trayvon Martin's final moments and hear from George Zimmerman's lead attorney. I speak to him tonight.
Also tonight, NSA leaker Edward Snowden at Moscow's main airport but not actually in Russia. How is that possible? We have a reporter there and what a long, strange trip it has been.
And later the high-wire act across the Grand Canyon that had tens of millions on the edge of their seat. He made it but Nik Wallenda has something even bigger in mind. He joins us here in New York to talk about it.
We begin with the powerful testimony today at the George Zimmerman trial. So powerful that some, including Trayvon Martin's parents, could not bear to hear it. It centered on what happened in the seconds and minutes after defendant George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin as Martin lay dying.
It was, by no means, the only big moments today. There were others including the legal battle over what the prosecution considers a linchpin of its case. But the testimony from the police sergeant who tried to review or at least stabilize the wounded Martin packed a serious punch.
Martin Savidge joins us now live -- Martin.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now, Anderson, this was an extremely difficult day. You know, this was a day that took the jury, took the entire courtroom back to that fateful night, and that would be February 26th, 2012, and this was the first time in a number of ways we've heard the story.
Remember, you know, the jury is hearing this essentially for the first time and they've seen George Zimmerman. They know he's the defendant. They've heard the name Trayvon Martin, but today they saw the body of Trayvon Martin and that had tremendous impact in the courtroom.
You saw a teenager laying on the ground, and of course, you knew the fact that he was dead. George Zimmerman admits to shooting him. It's whether it was self-defense or murder as the prosecution is trying to portray. So the imagery was strong but even stronger, it was the first responder who showed up on the scene moments after the shooting and he's trying to revive this young teenager with the help of another officer.
Here is some of what went on in court today.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Day two of George Zimmerman's murder trial took the courtroom back to that tragic night of February 26th, 2012. For the first time, jurors saw the body of the teenager Zimmerman killed, Trayvon Martin, and listened to graphic testimony from one of the first police officers on the scene, who, with another officer, tried to revive the scene.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After you rolled his body over onto his back, did you again try to get a pulse?
SGT. ANTHONY RAIMONDO, JR., SANFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT: Yes, sir, I did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And were you able to get a pulse?
RAIMONDO: No, sir, I was not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was your role in that -- the CPR attempts on Trayvon Martin?
RAIMONDO: I was doing breaths, sir.
SAVIDGE: In the courtroom just a few feet away, Martin's mother sat stoically listening to the last moments of her son's life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And did rescue take over the CPR efforts after they arrived?
RAIMONDO: Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you see the rescue personnel do to treat or assess Trayvon Martin?
RAIMONDO: I watched them hook up the leads of the AKG machine to Mr. Martin, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And was Trayvon Martin pronounced dead by rescue at the scene?
RAIMONDO: Yes, sir. SAVIDGE: Also taking the stand, the crime scene technician who took pictures and gathered evidence around Martin's body and examined the gun Zimmerman used to shoot the teenager. She also photographed Zimmerman's injuries, which the defense says were a result of a vicious attack from Martin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you see that sort of lump on the top right of his head?
DIANA SMITH, CRIME SCENE TECHNICIAN: Yes, I can.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you saw it that night, too, right?
SMITH: Yes, I did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see that lump on the top of his head?
SMITH: Yes, I do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The top right side, and you saw it that night, as well?
SMITH: That is correct.
SAVIDGE: Also, shown in the courtroom was the hoody sweatshirt Martin was wearing when he died. To many it's become a symbol of racial profiling that has elevated this case to a national debate.
Earlier in the day with the jury out of the courtroom, the defense and prosecution fought over phone calls, specifically calls Zimmerman made to police prior to that fatal night. Police records showed Zimmerman made dozens of calls over the years reporting things he found suspicious.
The state wants to introduce six from the six months prior to Martin's death in an effort to portray Zimmerman as increasingly frustrated at seeing people he perceived as suspicious eluding police. The state contends Zimmerman followed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin to make sure he wouldn't get away.
The last witness on the stand said she saw two people standing upright and fighting that night. Potentially more damaging to the defense, she said she heard a sound like running from left to right, possibly implying a chase. It was a detail she hadn't previously mentioned according to police transcripts.
MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S ATTORNEY: When was the first time you ever told anybody that you heard or saw whatever it was movement from left to right outside of your backdoor? Was it today? And if so, just tell us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know if it was just today.
O'MARA: OK. May -- I'll ask it this way. Could it be that the first time you mentioned this new piece of evidence was just now as you testified? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It could be. I don't -- I don't know.
SAVIDGE: Martin Savidge, CNN, Sanford.
COOPER: For better or worse, the trial is not only televised but is playing out on camera out of court, as well. It's been that way almost ever since the shooting itself.
Last night, Martin family attorney Ben Crump came on this program but he's not trying the case. George Zimmerman's lawyer, Mark O'Mara, is. He joins us exclusively tonight.
COOPER: Your co-counsel got some attention yesterday for a knock- knock joke he told as an opening statement. Was that something the two of you had discussed beforehand? What did you think about it?
O'MARA: We had not discussed it beforehand. You know, I think what's -- what was really happening, Don has been pretty frustrated with some of what has been going on. I made no bones about the fact that we're very frustrated with the discovery concerns we had with the state, I think that really frustrated Don.
I think this was an attempt by him, you know, to put a little levity into it and to, you know, loosen himself up a little bit because he's carrying some of that frustration with him. I would note that it didn't work the way he wanted it to and probably should have been -- you know, we thought.
COOPER: The state had wanted to have some audio experts, what they said were audio experts testify, saying that on that 911 call, according to these two audio experts it was not George Zimmerman's voice yelling for help. Those so-called experts were not allowed to testify because especially the FBI and others said it's -- the science just isn't there yet. The techniques weren't there. That must have been a key ruling for you.
O'MARA: Well, you know, yes and no. Obviously on the surface it looks like a key ruling, but we have to back up a little bit. We had our witnesses, experts who would say that it was George Zimmerman. So I was not worried about the idea of having a sort of spectrum of experts to say everything across the board. But what we realized once we found out about the case, was that no expert could have a firm opinion about whose voice it was. Even two of the state's experts, the two that the state pulled off of their witness list the week before the hearing.
Those witnesses said, though they thought it might have been Trayvon Martin on the first scream or two, they believed or through it was probably George Zimmerman on the last scream or two. So, you know, it sounds as though this is some huge deal for the defense that we kept out this witness against our client. That's absolutely untrue. The evidence that would have come in, had it all come in, would have been across the board.
Mr. Owen, who again has the financial interest in his little magic machine, would have said what he said and even that was only a tendency, and Mr. Ryke, who here states nobody else hears in the universe was not let in because nobody else could recreate his supposed test.
So I would almost have encouraged letting those people in a -- front of a jury, just so we could have shown them for who they truly are.
COOPER: Interesting. How concerned are you about the presence of Trayvon Martin's parents in the courtroom? Several times, based -- because of testimony and graphic pictures, they have gotten up, his mother, his father today. Apparently jurors are watching that or seeing that. Does that concern you? I know you wanted the Zimmerman parents to -- George Zimmerman's parents to be able to be in the courtroom. They won't be until they have testified.
O'MARA: This is a tragedy for both families. I've said that since literally the first day you and I talked, and the first day we've been involved in this case, and the victim's family, Mr. Martin's family, has a right to be in the courtroom and as long as they act appropriately, that they should stay there. Obviously there are -- there are -- there are things that we do that are somewhat insensitive to a family whose lost a loved one, and if they need to leave the courtroom because of that, I'm fine.
What I don't want and I think everyone needs to be careful of is any type of maneuver or show budding or something that would suggest to try to impact on that jury. As long as they stay away from negative impact on the jury, both the Martin side and the Zimmerman side, and we'll have a good, just verdict based only on the evidence.
COOPER: It's probably too early this even ask this, and you probably wouldn't answer it even if you did know, but have you planned to have George Zimmerman take the stand?
O'MARA: I've always said that that's a dynamic decision we have to make only once we look at the evidence the state presents. This has always been a case as every criminal case where the state has to prove their case. In this case they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, not only that the crime was committed and that it was in fact a crime but that George did not do so in self-defense.
They have to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. If I -- if they ever get to that burden, then we might consider whether or not we have to present any case at all.
COOPER: Mark O'Mara, it's good to have you on. Thank you.
COOPER: We're going to have more of the exclusive interview with Mark O'Mara at 10:00 Eastern tonight. We have a complete hour devoted to the George Zimmerman trial. That's at 10:00 p.m. And as always what we see with the trial attorney who's advocating for his clients sees and what outside legal experts see, they all differ, yet there's something to be gained from each.
So joining us tonight, a pair of consummate professionals, veteran criminal prosecutor Paul Henderson and criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos, co-author of "Mistrial: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice Works and Sometimes Doesn't."
So, Mark, it's interesting to hear Mark O'Mara say that he wished the opposite side had been allowed to introduce a witness, just because of how bad a witness he thought he would be.
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I -- no exact -- I feel his pain, so to speak. You cannot just lay down in a case like this and say, we're not going to object to something that's complete junk or bogus science, but at the same time, can you imagine the sand box he could play in if you put that so-called expert up on the stand?
As a defense lawyer you'd have a field day with somebody like that and I think the judge made -- obviously the right decision by keeping it out. There isn't anybody I think that would say that that is kind of a peer reviewed or generally accepted in the scientific community.
And I understand that, you know, marks of two minds of that, I think as most good defense lawyers would be. You -- you know, you give up the right to -- or the opportunity to eviscerate somebody on the stand who's really kind of gone over the top in their -- in their opinion.
COOPER: Paul, as we said earlier, O'Mara and the rest of Zimmerman's defense team did spend a lot of time today trying to keeping the jury from hearing those past 911 calls that Zimmerman made. How damaging, do you think, they could be for Zimmerman, if they're admitted?
PAUL HENDERSON, VETERAN PROSECUTOR: Well, one of the things that people would hear or could hear is that maybe there was a past pattern or a past practice or they would glean from those conversations that this guy really was acting in a style that was more similar to vigilante, rather than someone that was just protecting the neighborhood.
And so this is why you see the prosecution fighting so hard to introduce those tapes and to show that to the jury to try and give them their lens of why Zimmerman behaved the way he did on that night, and how he approached the ultimate confrontation that ended up in the homicide -- or ended up in the death.
COOPER: And Mark -- Mark, those calls do cut both ways.
GERAGOS: No --
COOPER: -- though because you could be easily listen to those calls and say, you know what, he was a concerned citizen and he -- that, you know, he was the neighborhood watch guy and those are the calls he's making. GERAGOS: You know, Anderson, you'd think that we almost -- that I did a preinterview with you because I was thinking the exact same thing as you said it. These calls, generally, and you ask Paul, I've been in cases where the prosecutor would want to put that on. Here is somebody who's being a Good Samaritan. Here's somebody who's looking out for their neighbors. Here's somebody who's trying to do the right thing and what's -- you know, what's their reward?
Is -- you know, they end up getting into a fist of cuffs with somebody. So I really think it cuts both ways. I understand what the prosecution is trying to do. They are trying to tap into this, kind of collective unconscious, if you will, that people have, the feeling that they have about security types or want to be security types or neighborhood watch people.
I think the problem they've got is they're playing from a prosecution playbook, but they do not have their typical prosecution kind of script or set of facts that they normally would have. I just -- I'm not so sure what they are doing is effective.
COOPER: interesting. And mark, the jurors did see these crime scene photos today of Trayvon Martin, deceased, some of them very graphic. We're choosing not to show them on this program. The prosecution didn't seem to be trying to prove anything in particular by showing them. Is that common to enter evidence in order to elicit emotion or sympathy from the jury?
GERAGOS: Absolutely, and what they do -- this is actually kind of unorthodox. I generally have the experience where the prosecutors will wait until maybe towards the end of the case to introduce the autopsy pictures or the crime scene photos. The reason for that is you want to have the jurors not be desensitized to them, if that ever could happen, but you want to kind of send them off into the jury room with that image or those images in their mind.
It's a little unorthodox I think to kind of front load with these pictures the way they've done here, but then again, the opening statement yesterday front loaded with dropping the F-bomb immediately. So I -- they've got kind of a reverse playbook on what the usually prosecutor does.
COOPER: The flip side, of course, is they -- we also saw a lot of pictures of George Zimmerman, of the injuries that he sustained, the bumps, the cuts, so again we'll see how it plays out in the days again.
Paul Henderson, Mark Geragos, thank you.
COOPER: Let us know what you think. Follow me on Twitter @Andersoncooper. Let's talk about the trial right now. And as I said we have a special hour devoted to this at 10:00, as we're going to have all week. 10:00 tonight, "The George Zimmerman Trial."
Coming up next, NSA leaker Edward Snowden, he is no Moscow at the airport, at least we believe he's there, but Russia's president says, he can't be extradited to the United States. We're going to take a look why that is and what if anything is Russian intelligence up to when it comes to the secrets he may be carrying.
Later the little girl who's taken from her adoptive parents, the only parents she knew, they vowed to challenge the law that allowed it to happen and today the Supreme Court gave them hope. They join us shortly.
COOPER: Hey, welcome back. Right now NSA leaker Edward Snowden finds himself where no one wants to be, at the airport waiting for a connecting flight. The difference is he's got a head full of stolen secret and the number one super power wants them and him back.
The other difference is you and I get stuck in Atlanta. He's stuck in Moscow. Technically somewhere n the pre-customs transit area at Moscow's main international airport, at least this is what we believe. Which is the Russian -- whish is the --- where the Russian government today said it makes him legally untouchable because since he's there.
CNN's John Defterios is there as well. He joins us with the latest -- John.
John is there and joins us with the latest, John?
So, John, the Russians are admitting Snowden is in Moscow's airport but has anyone actually seen him, laid eyes on him?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Reporter: Certainly not, Anderson. We've been on the ground for 18 hours, and Snowden arrived here 72 hours ago from Hong Kong to Moscow and he has not been seen since.
This airport transiter has become a hub of intrigue. President Putin reaffirming what we though, Anderson, and that is -- that Snowden in the transit area. This covers an area of about a half a mile, sections very clearly defined. D, E and F but hasn't been seen.
A couple of things that we find out here on the ground today for sure he didn't hop on this flight to Havana which takes off at 1400 in the afternoon, 2:00 p.m. We watched all the passengers board, we actually saw the plane taxi to the runway. There was no stoppage there for a van to put on a special passenger.
We also know that he'd never stayed in the transit hotel. It's called the Capsule, nothing fancy, in fact it's about 100 yards behind me here, forty rooms. We spoke to the management and the front desk, they knew the name of Edward Snowden. Like I said, categorically, he nor anyone else supporting him has ever checked into that hotel which leads us to believe that he's in the facility somewhere.
But think about it. In a modern facility and true Russian fashion, if they wanted to create an area that could be blocked off to hold somebody like Edward Snowden it's not beyond belief, Anderson. COOPER: In Putin's comments today, he certainly was not mincing words.
DEFTERIOS: He's not mincing words, and I think it's fair to say he broke his code of silence. This is something that he wanted his Foreign minister, Mr. Lavrov, to handle but he thought, as the intrigue started to rise, that he needed to step in and he did so on a trip to Finland. He is basically suggesting the sooner that Edward Snowden can find a new destination, the better would be for all of us.
COOPER: Interesting. John, thanks very much.
Let's dig deeper now into what kind of impact the Snowden affair has had already. What more Edward Snowden might be able to do as well as the spy game that's now playing out even as we speak. We're joined by Philip Mudd, a former senior official of both the FBI and CIA.
Philip, so what happens now? I mean, would Snowden be able to stay in Russia for awhile, or does he go somewhere else? And how long can one stay in the transit lounge of an airport?
PHILIP MUDD, FORMER SENIOR OFFICIAL, CIA AND FBI: My guess is this is a pretty uncomfortable environment for him. Look, there's a lot of diplomatic pressure on the Russians, but the relationship between Russia and the United States is not great. Vladimir Putin is going to sit there and say look, we've got this guy. He's in essence in a no man's land. We want him to leave. We can't force him to leave.
I think the U.S. is in a very difficult spot here. What are we going to do? We're not going to send in the SWAT team. What do we do?
COOPER: What are the options?
MUDD: The first option is going and saying look, we've got an arrest warrant for this guy. The Department of Justice has said he's -- he's violated a federal law, will you turn him over? Beyond that, you know, Arnold Schwarzenegger does not work for the CIA, you're not going to send in a SWAT team with Blackhawk helicopters and take him out. If he wants to move to Ecuador and live in some sort of diplomatic compound or government compound, I'm not sure there is that much we can do about it.
COOPER: You know, for -- there are those people who said, look, I mean, he's been charged with espionage. If he had wanted to sell secrets to the Russians or to the Chinese he could have very easily done that and be -- and gone somewhere in Beijing or in Moscow. He seems not to have done that. I mean, do you believe -- do you believe what he has said, which is he's only talking to journalists?
MUDD: I don't. If you're sitting there in a Russian airport, who do you think is sitting around you? Do you think journalists are sitting around you? Or do you think people who want to understand what you know about how we attack Russian cyber systems, I think what's happened is not very complicated. He's a naive then 29, now 30-year- old. He had an idea that he wanted to expose U.S. collection systems to the world. Now he's thinking, I didn't really think about what the next step was, what's the way out? And I'm sure he doesn't know what that is.
COOPER: You don't think he thought this through? I mean, he seems like an intelligent guy, no?
MUDD: I think that's a different question than whether he thought this through. We're dealing with three-dimensional chess here. He's got to figure out how to deal with the government in Hong Kong, how to deal with the Russians, how to deal with WikiLeaks and get legal coverage to go to Ecuador.
There is no way in my mind that a 29-year-old who's living at the National Security Agency, sat here and thought through three- dimensioned chess at the level that we're playing today. Now way.
COOPER: For all the -- you know, the declarations by the U.S. about how outrageous the behavior of Russia is, I mean, if the situation was reversed and there was a -- an official from Chinese intelligence or even the Russian security services who had information, and was in the U.S., the U.S. would want to hold on to that person.
MUDD: I would take a step beyond what you just said. If I'm sitting in a room at CIA or the FBI, and someone walks in and says look, there's a Chinese intelligence official who wants to talk to us or Russian intelligence official, and Moscow was asking for him back, what do you think I would do? I would do two things. Number one, what's his hard drive? What's his thumb drive? What's his phone?
Mirror it or download it, and second, talk to him, and third, tell the Russians or Chinese he's not going home right now. There is no way we would take in some ways a different position if we're sitting in Washington, D.C.
COOPER: Interesting. Philip Mudd, I appreciate you being on. Thank you.
For more on the story, you can go to CNN.com right now.
MUDD: My pleasure.
COOPER: Just ahead today the Supreme Court issued its ruling in the Baby Veronica custody battle. The decision is complicated. The toddler's adoptive parents see it as victory. We're going to talk to them just ahead in a 360 exclusive.
Also, what was going through Nik Wallenda's mind when he was walking across the Grand Canyon on a two-inch cable? Was there a moment when he thought he might fall? He gives the play-by-play. He joins me here in New York. And also tell us what comes next for him.
COOPER: Well, divided Supreme Court today struck down key parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This was one of the most closely watched cases on the court's docket.
The 5-4 ruling found that Congress did not provide an adequate justification for subjecting nine states, mostly in the south, to federal oversight. Now the rationale outlined in the majority opinion was that the law passed at the peak of the civil rights era is out of date. The ruling leaves it up to Congress to revise the law.
We've also got a 360 follow in the court doing something it doesn't often do. It issued a ruling in a wrenching child custody case. But not many custody battles end up on the Supreme Court's docket, but this one known to many as the Baby Veronica case, termed on the Indian Child Welfare Act, a 35-year-old federal law.
Now this is Baby Veronica, the center of this case. She's now 3 years old and we've been following her case closely. The 5-4 decision issued by the justices appears to be a victory for Veronica's adoptive parents but it is complicated. We're going to get to the ruling and what it means in a moment but first here's Randi Kaye with how the case got all the way to the highest court in the nation.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is video from the last time Matt and Melanie Capobianco saw their little girl Veronica, New Year's Eve 2011. They had raised her for two years and were in the process of adopting her when a South Carolina Family Court ordered them to hand her over to the girl's biological father.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you think this is in her best interest?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think so.
KAYE: A man Veronica had never even met.
MATT CAPOBIANCO, FIGHTING FOR CUSTODY OF VERONICA: For a little girl to be put in the car with strangers and driven to Oklahoma and having no recourse or control over it is -- I mean, you know, we're her parents. I'm her father, you know, supposed to be there to protect her and --
MELANIE CAPOBIANCO, FIGHTING FOR CUSTODY OF VERONICA: You want to be an engineer when you grow up?
KAYE: Now three, Veronica is caught in the middle of one of the strangest adoption cases we've ever heard. It began in 2009 before she was born, when Veronica's biological mother put her up for adoption.
The Capobiancos were thrilled when an adoption attorney connected them with Veronica's biological mom. She told them the girl's father, Dustin Brown, had agreed to waive his parental rights. When Veronica was born, it was Matt who cut the umbilical cord. Ever since, she lived with them in South Carolina.
MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: I guess people think that we're not supported to love her until the ink is dry. We're supposed to kind of care for her until everything is, you know, years down the line and she's adopted. KAYE: The Capobianco's were heart broken when just four months after they brought Veronica home, her biological father filed for paternity and custody, even though he had already signed a legal document saying he would not contest Veronica's adoption. He was able to do so thanks to little-known federal law from 1978 called the Indian Child Welfare Act.
You see, Brown is part Cherokee and a member of the Cherokee Nation, which means Veronica is part Cherokee, too. Congress passed the law after finding 30 percent of Indian children were being removed from homes and almost all of them were being placed with non-Indian families. The law is designed to keep Indian children with Indian family members, and protect the interests of those children.
MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: I don't know how tearing a child away from the only family she's ever known without any transition period and no visitation is in her best interest.
KAYE: The attorney general for the Cherokee Nation thinks the law is working.
TODD HEMBREE, CHEROKEE NATIONL ATTORNEY GENERAL: It's not anyone's ever intent to -- to rip a child away from a loving home. But we want to make sure those loving homes have the opportunity to be Indian homes first.
KAYE: After the family court rule in Dustin Brown's favor, the Capobianco's petitioned the South Carolina Supreme Court hoping the higher court world overturn the ruling.
(on camera): After more than three months of waiting, the Capobiancos got more bad news. The Supreme Court here in South Carolina ruled in favor of Veronica's biological father. It wasn't an easy decision for the court, though. The justices were split 3-2. In the majority opinion they wrote, they are upholding the family court's ruling with a heavy heart.
(voice-over): The majority opinion concluded the biological father and his family have created a safe, loving and appropriate home for her. Those in the descenting opinion argued federal law shouldn't trump state law finding father knowingly abandoned his parental responsibilities in every respect.
Lawyers for Dustin Brown say, quote, "He is a good parent and Veronica is happy, healthy and thriving." Since she went to live with her biological father, the Capobiancos say they have only been allowed to speak with her once.
MATT CAPOBIANCO, FIGHTING FOR CUSTODY OF VERONICA: We told her we loved her and she said we loved her, too. But that was it.
KAYE: But Matt and Melanie didn't give up. They took their case to the Supreme Court and just today heard the ruling. The court sided with the Capobiancos, but the journey is not over.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: The Capobiancos now have to go back to family court in South Carolina and at long last finalize the adoption. They should get it. They should win, but it could be contested and it could take months.
MATT CAPOBIANCO: This is her room.
KAYE: The Capobiancos have always held out hope that Veronica would come back to them.
MATT CAPOBIANCO: This is our home. It will always be our home, but she is going to come home. She's going to play with this stuff again --
MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: It's a symbol of our hope she's coming home.
KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, Charleston, South Carolina.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: In their split decision, the Supreme Court justices said the Capobiancos adoption of Veronica was proper and did not intrude on Dustin Brown's federal rights. Now that sounds like a victory for the Capobiancos, but the ruling also sent the case back to the lower court. Matt and Melanie Capobianco join me tonight for an exclusive 360 interview.
COOPER: Matt and Melanie, I can't imagine the nightmare that this has been for you for the last two years since your daughter was taken away from you. First of all, Melanie, how are you feeling?
MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: Pretty good, pretty good. Relieved. I mean, we have some way to go, but it's -- it was huge for us, huge win.
COOPER: Take us back, Matt, if you can to the moment when you learned of the ruling.
MATT CAPOBIANCO: I was at work, and Melanie called me, and at that point, we weren't exactly sure what it meant. It was a little legal words to figure out. I knew it was good, though. So I just got in my car and went home as fast as I could, and it's -- it's good news. It's real good news and I just don't know. We're very excited, very excited.
COOPER: So just to be clear, though, Matt, this ruling, it doesn't mean that Veronica is back in your custody yet, correct?
MATT CAPOBIANCO: Not necessarily, no. No.
MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: Not.
MATT CAPOBIANCO: We're still cautious.
COOPER: So you go to the South Carolina courts and to formally adopt Veronica, correct?
MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: That's our intent, absolutely.
MATT CAPOBIANCO: Yes, yes, we're hoping they will finalize the adoption and everything will be the way it was before.
COOPER: Were there times over the last two years since 2011 that you thought this day might never come? That this ruling would not turn out as it did?
MATT CAPOBIANCO: We feared that, absolutely. We had to keep hope and keep fighting, but there is always that fear, yes.
COOPER: Melanie, what kind of contact have you had with your daughter since she went with her birth father in 2011 to Oklahoma?
MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: We had one phone call the day after they took her and none at all since.
COOPER: None at all?
MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: No.
MATT CAPOBIANCO: None, whatsoever.
COOPER: Emotionally, I can't imagine what that's been like.
MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: It's been --
MATT CAPOBIANCO: It's been awful.
MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: Terrible. What would any other parent feel like if they were cut off completely from their child for so long, and just not knowing, you know, how she was doing? We don't know how she was feeling, and it's been pretty awful.
COOPER: I know you haven't had contact with her in the last two years. Have you had any contact with the birth father to at least find out how she's doing or anything?
MATT CAPOBIANCO: None.
MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: The only thing we've ever known is what has been put in the papers. That's the only pictures or information we've ever gotten.
COOPER: You've had to learn about your daughter by looking at pictures in the paper?
MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: Yes.
MATT CAPOBIANCO: Yes.
COOPER: Do you have -- I mean, maybe you don't want to hope too much, but do you have any special plans for a reunion? Have you allowed yourself to think about that?
MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: I think we have pretty good visions of that. We've had that from, you know, for the last year and a half, but in terms of plans, we don't have any plans yet. We just -- we're still trying to figure out what this all means.
MATT CAPOBIANCO: We just want her home with her friends and family and all of her family, so she can know everybody, and we are just looking forward to that.
COOPER: Melanie and Matt, I'm so happy for you both and I wish you the best and I hope you are all reunited soon.
MATT CAPOBIANCO: Thank you so much, Anderson.
MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: Thank you, thank you so much.
COOPER: It's been a long, long journey.
Coming up, a terrifying home invasion caught on nanny cam. A New Jersey woman is beaten as her 3-year-old daughter looks on. Police need your help identifying the suspect.
Plus, he just completed a death-defying high wire walk over the Grand Canyon and now Nik Wallenda has his eye on the New York City skyline. I'll speak to him next.
COOPER: Welcome back. Daredevil Nik Wallenda has his sight set on the Manhattan skyline hoping to walk a tight hope between the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building for his next big adventure. There you see the distance between the two. Now on Sunday, the seventh generation of the flying Wallendas became the first person to walk across the Little Colorado River Gorge near the Grand Canyon. He did it without a safety harness walking 1,500 feet in the air for 22 minutes and 54 seconds. Here are some of the death-defying highlights from that tight rope walk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIK WALLENDA, HIGH WIRE PERFORMER: I praise you, Jesus. Lord, help this cable to calm down. The winds are way worse than I expected. Hard to relax when you're 1500 feet above a canyon. Thank you, Lord.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Incredible to watch. I spoke with Nik Nallenda just a short time ago.
COOPER: First of all, congratulations.
WALLENDA: Thank you.
COOPER: Watching that was just -- I was weak in the knees. I'm afraid of heights, so watching it was terrifying.
WALLENDA: So you're probably scared right here?
COOPER: Yes, I'm not getting too close. Did it go the way you thought it would go?
WALLENDA: Well, you know, there is no way to really tell in advance what it will go like, so I try to prepare for the worst case. For instance, in my hometown we put up a cable that was 1,000 feet long that simulated the movement, same size cable but low to the ground. I brought in wind machines and walked in 92 mile an hour winds and as well as 45 and 55 mile an hour gust. Tropical Storm Andrea came through and torrential downpour and 52 mile an hour winds and so stayed on the wire for that. Just, again, prepare for anything that might come at me.
COOPER: You had to contend with not just wind but sand also.
WALLENDA: I did. Something I didn't think about. There are unknowns --
COOPER: As much as you prepare, there is always some unknowns.
WALLENDA: There is always something. It did. The sand blew and the first four, five steps, it didn't feel right. Thank God once I got over that edge, it started to feel all right as far as the grip on the cable.
COOPER: I heard -- I read you say that the view was beautiful.
COOPER: Do you actually think about that at the time?
WALLENDA: I do. You know, it's funny. I've done this my entire life. I started walking on the wire at the age of 2. So it's something that we've done forever. My great grand grandfather said life is on the wire and everything else is just waiting and for my family that's true. So I can enjoy the view and it was actually I was so focused because of the way that wire, but there are three points in that wire where I looked down and actually enjoyed it.
COOPER: Did -- wow. Do you ever trip and fall on the street? Are you perfectly balanced at all times?
WALLENDA: It's not very often for sure, but there are times -- I've never fallen to the ground walking on the street, but yes, I've stumbled on things, of course.
COOPER: That must be embarrassing for you.
WALLENDA: Walking and texting isn't a good thing.
COOPER: Even for you.
WALLENDA: Even for me. COOPER: I read you say also that your dream is to go in New York between the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building.
WALLENDA: That is one of my dreams.
COOPER: The city has already apparently said no way, that won't happen. Do you think you can change their mind?
WALLENDA: Yes. You know, the government said no way when I walked across the Niagara Falls at least 100 times and it happened. I'll try to find a way for sure. Never would I do anything without authority's permission so it's a process. I never submitted anything to them so they don't know the details or how it would be planned out.
We have meetings years in advance for most of these events where we plan everything else. So we can present it to them. They don't have to do a lot of planning. It's already done. This is the streets that have to be closed. This is when, how, we go through all that stuff in advance. We haven't even knocked on the door.
The media reached out to them after I said that I wanted to that walk, of course, and they are doing what's right and I respect them for that.
COOPER: There are other places in New York. You even -- just looking at Central Park here you were saying you would love to walk across Central Park.
WALLENDA: I would. One of my dreams, yes, a mile over Central Park.
COOPER: Is that possible?
WALLENDA: It is absolutely.
COOPER: Where would you run a cable?
WALLENDA: We would have cranes and put cranes up. Park them in Central Park there and walk a mile. I would love to do longer than a mile, actually.
WALLENDA: I would.
COOPER: And you talked about the Time Warner Center.
WALLENDA: That's another one I've had my eyes on for a long time.
WALLENDA: It is absolutely.
COOPER: It doesn't look like you can put a cable anywhere, can you?
WALLENDA: Absolutely. I have amazing engineers and we went through between many, many buildings. Absolutely I'm sure we could do it. I was hoping when I heard we would be on the roof, I thought we would be up there. I was excited like a kid.
COOPER: I try to stay off the roof, if I can help it. You talk about not doing anything without permission, the high wire performer. Legendary watching illegally between the newly built World Trade Centers, you wouldn't do something like that?
WALLENDA: I wouldn't. I am a man of integrity and I make sure that I have permits in place before I do anything. It's just my style. I respect him and I think what he did was breathe taking and amazing and you know, I've looked up to him for most of my life.
COOPER: What goes through your mind on that wire?
WALLENDA: A lot of times very peaceful. Because I've done it so long, it's natural to me that all the troubles of the world whether an argument with my wife or my father or there's any problems whatsoever, they all go away. One of the reasons is because I'm so focused and there is something special, and there is something spiritual about it, for sure.
COOPER: Can you be too focused?
WALLENDA: I don't know if you can be too focused. I was pretty focused over the Grand Canyon the other night, for sure.
COOPER: Better prepared, I guess.
COOPER: Have you ever been afraid of heights?
WALLENDA: I've never been afraid of heights but I respect heights. I wouldn't jump over the edge and hang on with one hand. I respect there is a lot of danger here. I was standing here thinking this would be fun to walk on.
COOPER: So you think it would be fun to walk on this?
WALLENDA: Absolutely. But again, I was like that's anchored good and sturdy and looking along before I would consider it.
COOPER: Please don't do that.
WALLENDA: I won't.
COOPER: It's really a pleasure to meet you.
WALLENDA: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me on.
COOPER: It's incredible what he did.
Crowds are gathering outside the hospital where Nelson Mandela is said to be still in critical condition. The latest on how the former South African president is doing next. Also a woman in New Jersey was brutally beaten in her own home, an attack that was caught on a nanny cam. Police are looking for help. They are looking for this suspect.
COOPER: Let's get the latest on some of the other stories we're following. Randi Kaye has the 360 Bulletin -- Randi.
KAYE: Anderson, former South African President Nelson Mandela remains in critical condition in a Pretoria hospital. Officials say his condition worsened in the past few days. Crowds of people are gathering outside the hospital and leaving signs and flowers.
Police are searching for the suspect in the brutal attack of a woman in Millburn, New Jersey, an attack caught on nanny cam. You see it here. She was beaten in front on her 3-year-old daughter in her home during the late morning on Friday. The suspect left with jewelry.
The FBI is investigating the theft of $1.2 million from a Swiss international airlines flight from Zurich to New York. Investigators don't know when the money was stolen. The 100-dollar bills were missing from a bank container stored inside a larger cargo container.
Singer, Chris Brown, has been charged with hit-and-run and driving without a license after allegedly rear-ending a car in Los Angeles. Brown disputed the charges on Twitter. He's also facing probation violation in connection with his assault conviction after he beat his then girlfriend Rihanna -- Anderson.
COOPER: Randi, thanks very much.
Coming up, a town in Georgia really, really wants everybody to pull up their pants. The "Ridiculist" is next.
COOPER: Time now for the "Ridiculist." Tonight, a town in Southern Georgia is taking a stand against one of the gravest dangers facing our nation in modern times. I'm speaking of course about that thing where people wear pants that are way too big for them. The scourge of saggy pants is finally being addressed by the town of Malty, Georgia who passed an ordinance banning saggy pants.
Under the ordinance, pants can't be more than 3 inches lower the waist and your under pants can't be exposed and at least one local resident seems pretty happy about the rule.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I go out to eat somewhere, I don't want to see anybody's under shorts. It's just nothing pretty about that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Nothing pretty about it. The city manager says the saggy pants ban is a matter of simple decency, which I suppose is something we can get behind. But now the good citizens in Georgia could face fines up to $200 for repeat offenders and for first offenders $25.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It should make a lot of people open their eyes that you don't have $25 to pull up your pants.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: This Georgia town is not the only place, by the way, taking a stand on visible under pants. From the Jersey Shore to Louisiana, it seems there's a variable crack down on saggy pants. It's an issue hanging around for a while. In Jacksonville, Florida, few years back, a pastor took a creative approach. She started collecting belts to give to kids for free.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very disrespectful for young men to go around in the community with their pants hanging down and underwear showing. Pull up your pants. Need help? Here is a belt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I can't tell kids to do that without feeling I'm 100 years old. Back in my days, we wore suspenders and belts and bow ties for high school, and tying onion on my belt too for lunches. Our trousers went to our armpits. We were happy gosh darn it, back in my day. I feel like this is a fashion thing and all like fashion things, it will run its course, but if you remember the movie "Clueless," Cher was waxing poetic about saggy pants as far back to the '90s.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't get how guys look today. I mean, come on. It looks like they fell out of bed and put on some baggy pants and took their greasy hair and covered it up with a backwards cap and we're expected to swoon, I don't think so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's a good movie. That was back in 1995. So maybe saggy pants are here to stay and maybe with more towns banning it and pull up or pay up, you can make your check payable to "The Ridiculist."
That does it for us. We'll see you again one hour from now at 10 p.m. Eastern for "Self Defense or Murder, The George Zimmermann Trial," we'll get up to date on what happened in the courtroom today in the George Zimmerman trial. There's also be another edition of 360 with all the day's latest stories at 11:00 p.m. Eastern. Thanks for watching. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.