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George Zimmerman Trial Continues; Boston Bombing Suspect Indicted

Aired June 27, 2013 - 18:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: Jurors are digesting a day of dramatic testimony in George Zimmerman's murder trial. Did Trayvon Martin's friend help the prosecution's case or hurt it?

Plus, a new indictment against the Boston bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. It includes the wording of his alleged confession.

Plus, we're learning about another investigation of Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL player now charged with murder. Could the cases be connected?

I'm Wolf Blitzer. We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

She is one of the most important witnesses in the prosecution's murder case against George Zimmerman, and she spent a second gripping day on the stand in Florida testifying about her phone conversation with Trayvon Martin's moments -- with Trayvon Martin only moments before he was shot dead. Rachel Jeantel told jurors the encounter between Zimmerman and Martin was racially charged and that Zimmerman was the aggressor, but Zimmerman's lawyer worked to chip away at her credibility and portray Martin as the one who started the fight.


DON WEST, ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: So the last thing you heard was some kind of noise like something hitting somebody?

RACHEL JEANTEL, FRIEND OF TRAYVON MARTIN: And Trayvon got hit. Trayvon got hit.

WEST: You don't know that, do you?

JEANTEL: No, sir.

WEST: You don't know that Trayvon got hit.

JEANTEL: He could...


WEST: You don't know that Trayvon didn't at that moment take his fist and drive it into George Zimmerman's face.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please lower your voice.

WEST: Do you?

JEANTEL: No, sir.


BLITZER: Today's exchanges were at times testy, emotional, but fascinating to watch.

Brian Todd has been following Jeantel's testimony.

Brian, how did she do?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, yesterday and today, many experts have said that on the surface, she didn't come across well, that she was too hostile, too inconsistent. But one analyst we spoke with who has prepared hundreds of witnesses points out, the women in the jurors' box may see Rachel Jeantel's testimony differently.


TODD (voice-over): She's a star prosecution witness, the last person to speak to Trayvon Martin before his fatal confrontation with George Zimmerman, but at 19, not an easy witness to prepare. And Rachel Jeantel's cross-examination was contentious from the start.

WEST: What exactly did you say there? Will you just tell us exactly what that says?

JEANTEL: Could hear Trayvon.

WEST: That's your testimony?

JEANTEL: Yes, sir.

TODD: That account, whether she heard Martin or another person screaming for help that night, was one of a few inconsistencies the defense called Jeantel out on.

Criminal defense attorney Jeffrey Jacobovitz has prepared hundreds of witnesses.

(on camera): If she's your witness, and you had seen her deposition, how would you have coached her before this to come across and to speak?

JEFFREY JACOBOVITZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: What I would have done is carefully go over the facts with her from her deposition and try to have her explain any inconsistencies and give legitimate reasons why they're inconsistent. And then I would try to soften her demeanor.

TODD: Did the prosecution make mistakes with this witness? JACOBOVITZ: Well, it's hard to say because we don't know what the prosecution said to her and what she took. She is a 19-year-old fairly hostile witness.

TODD (voice-over): Jacobovitz says he would have counseled Jeantel to avoid scolding her cross-examiner.

JEANTEL: If the officer wants to talk to me, know the exact story, everything about what happened that night, they would reach me at my number.

You got it? That's a little retarded, sir.


JEANTEL: That's very retarded to do that, sir.

TODD: But as we dissected her testimony, Jacobovitz said her body language may not backfire.

JEANTEL: When you did not want to interview me that Friday?

WEST: Hmm.

Are you finished?

WEST: I'm sorry?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How much more time do you think that you need to finish your cross?

WEST: Well, I certainly wouldn't -- I don't know for sure. I would think we should plan on at least a couple of hours.


TODD (on camera): How's the body language coming across?

JACOBOVITZ: Well, the body language is terrible, but, you know, jurors may look at that, saying, look, she's young, she doesn't want to be involved. Her close friend was killed and she thinks the defendant is guilty. And so, she has body language because she feels it's justifiable.

TODD (voice-over): And when we looked at a crucial point from defense attorney Don West, Jacobovitz offered some coaching to him.

WEST: That's why you weren't worried. That's why you didn't do anything. It was because Trayvon Martin started the fight and you knew that.


TODD: Is he badgering? And how does that play with the jury? JACOBOVITZ: Sure. He's certainly badgering. He's asking -- not only is he asking a compound question. He's asking an objectionable question because he's conveying his message to the jury by a question.


TODD: Jacobovitz says if he was cross-examining Rachel Jeantel, he would be very careful not to come across as badgering a young woman on the stand when you have six women in the jurors box, Wolf.

BLITZER: How are those six women going to react, you think, to what they heard?

TODD: Jacobovitz says that her testimony may actually split this jury. He says some of them may think that her mannerisms and her hostility don't even matter, that she effectively portrayed George Zimmerman as the aggressor.

He says, though, that other jurors may think that with her inconsistencies and with her manner, that if this is the government's best witness, that they didn't make their case with Rachel Jeantel. He thinks this may be a hung jury, Wolf, and if it's a hung jury, he thinks Rachel Jeantel may be the key to that hung jury.

BLITZER: All right, well, that's pretty significant testimony yesterday and today.

TODD: Absolutely.

BLITZER: We will see what happens in the next couple weeks. Thanks very much.

TODD: Sure.

BLITZER: The George Zimmerman case has been racially charged from the very start and the testimony has reflected that. Listen to the defense question Rachel Jeantel about a term Trayvon Martin used to describe George Zimmerman.


WEST: Do people that you live around and with call white people "creepy ass crackers"?

JEANTEL: Not creepy, but cracker, yes.


BLITZER: Let's talk a little bit more about that kind of language and its impact.

Don Lemon is here. He's working this part of the story.

What do you see here, Don?

DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it's very interesting. And before I even get started, I want to warn our viewers and to the adults at home that you're about to hear language that many people may find offensive. And if you have children in the room, you may want to get the children out of it.

But, Wolf, in order to do a story about language and whether or not it's offensive, we had to not bleep the words that we're going to talk about. Before, we went out on the streets. We had some words, some of the words that were used, this word, cracker, also the word honky and some other words that I won't say on camera, but you will hear in this story.

To find out about whether Paula Deen, whether it's OK for Paula Deen to use those words or whether it's OK for Trayvon Martin to use it when he's referencing George Zimmerman, here's what we found out. Take a listen.


LEMON (voice-over): This classic 'Saturday Night Live' sketch ran unbleeped in 1975.

CHEVY CHASE, ACTOR: Jungle bunny.



CHASE: Bird head.

PRYOR: Cracker.


LEMON: But it probably wouldn't run today. Why? Have we lost our sense of humor?

TIM WISE, ANTI-RACISM ACTIVIST: What was so profound about that sketch wasn't just that they got away with using, let's say the N-word and a lot of other racial slurs, but what that sketch really demonstrated was that certain slurs, there are simply no trump cards for, and the N-word is one of them.

LEMON: All over words, Paula Deen is losing her TV job and millions in endorsement money.

PAULA DEEN, CELEBRITY CHEF: Inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable.

LEMON: And the prosecution in the George Zimmerman murder trial could lose credibility, all because of the words a witness says Martin used to describe the man who shot him.

WEST: "Creepy ass cracker"?


WEST: So, it was racial, but it was because Trayvon Martin put race in this.


WEST: You don't think that's a racial comment?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't think that "creepy ass cracker" is a racial comment?


LEMON: Is there really a difference between witness Rachel Jeantel and Paula Deen's racism denials?

WISE: The difference is a difference of about 47 years, you know?

LEMON: Anti-racism activist Tim Wise.

WISE: I think to expect a 19-year-old to know the history of a term like cracker, as opposed to a 66-year-old knowing the history of the N-word is just a ridiculous comparison, obviously.

LEMON: And did Martin bring race into it by using the term?

WISE: The problem with that argument is that, first of all, it's comparing -- you know, to be on point with this case, it's like comparing Skittles and a handgun. They simply don't have the same power.

LEMON: Is he right? We took the words to the people on the street.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're both derogatory and they're both racist, but it's just not -- the feeling I get inside from when I hear that word and when I hear that word is just different. You know what I'm saying? It's a psychological thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If someone were to call me a honky or a cracker, I don't think it would offend me as much as this word offends other people, and from my experience.

LEMON (on camera): And if you hear other people saying this word or this word as opposed to that word, this still offends you more?


LEMON: Even if it's a black person calling a white person that, those words?


LEMON: Someone saying the N-word...

(CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm being completely honest, yes.

LEMON (voice-over): Honesty just might be the answer, according to Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill, who says we shouldn't be censoring this "SNL" clip.

CHASE: Spade.

PRYOR: Honky-honky.


CHASE: Nigger.

PRYOR: Dead honky.


MARC LAMONT HILL, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: I think we hurt ourselves as a community, as a country, as a group of people really trying to improve the racial circumstances in this nation by running from these words, by censoring these words and by simply throwing people away as soon as they use them.


LEMON: So, it is interesting, because most of the people I spoke to, the experts and the people on the street, say we shouldn't be looking at black-and-white issues and race issues so literally. Black is not the opposite of white. What might offend someone of one race may not offend a person of another race.

But I have to tell you, as I show this word and this word, almost to a person didn't have the same impact, Wolf, as this word. Most everyone was offended by this word, and it holds more weight. It's probably the most offensive word in the English language.

BLITZER: Yes, I think they're right, absolutely. All right, Don, terrific, terrific report. Thanks very much.

Let's continue this conversation right now with criminal defense attorney Mark NeJame and CNN contributor of "The New York Times" columnist Charles Blow.

Charles, how much is race hovering over this George Zimmerman trial?

CHARLES BLOW, COLUMNIST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I think it's a significant part of this trial because people are still trying to understand what was it about Trayvon Martin that triggered some sort of response in George Zimmerman to find him suspicious in the first place?

What is it that makes him get out of the car, to follow with the gun? Those questions are central to understanding how the encounter happens in the first place, and that encounter is what is at the heart of this case.

You know, the big facts are not ever going to change. George Zimmerman gets out of a car and follows Trayvon at some point during that evening. And they encounter each other and Trayvon ends up with a hole in his chest and he dies. Those facts won't change.

What does -- what this whole trial hinges on is what is it, what triggers a threat response in George Zimmerman that says this particular person is a threat to me or to my community and I have to do something about that?

BLITZER: All right, Mark, do you agree?


I think that race has been in this case from the very minute it started, and it's continued to weave its way through the trial. You know, the state has been very effective through the back door of getting in their issue of race. They have got in the five prior calls that Zimmerman made. Four of those are about African-American males who he was watching.

So, we know that the state is very aware of it, but they can't specifically use that. We also know it came out in cross-examination today, where the witness number eight, you know, she's come in now and identified herself, but she said that she believed when talking to Trayvon that Trayvon believed it was a racist encounter. That was her testimony today.

And so, we know that, according to what she said, she couldn't give any instances, though, where, in fact, George Zimmerman had said anything in that regard. So, we know that it's weaving its ugly head throughout this case, but nobody's been able to get their arms around it. So, we know that race from the very beginning until now has been there. And I said from the beginning in this case -- I even penned an article for -- it's all about race. And for us to deny that I think doesn't get us a step further than where we were yesterday.

BLITZER: Do you think, Charles, there's a real consensus in the African-American community about this case?

BLOW: Well, I do believe that people understand the idea of racial profiling and that they believe in this case that something about Trayvon triggered that response in George Zimmerman, and they believe that that has something to do with racial profiling, because, you know, it's really hard to understand apart from that, because you know, there's a kid who's walking on a phone with a sweatshirt on.

None of that should make anyone suspicious in any way. So, what is it? Because it's very hard to understand. Why does a kid walking home make someone uneasy? It would have been different if George Zimmerman was describing Trayvon as peering through windows. It would have been different if he were looking suspicious in some other sort of way, other than what he describes on the 911 call.

But none of what is described on the 911 call rises to the level of suspicion. So, you are left with some basic facts, and it would be, you can't deny basic American history and present politics when it comes to policing about how people are kind of stereotyped. And so, I think that people read into that into this case.

BLITZER: Charles Blow, thanks very much. Mark NeJame, thanks to you as well, a good, serious discussion on a sensitive, but critically important issue.

Up next, President Obama takes a verbal slap at the United States Supreme Court from thousands of miles away. We will tell you what he said.

And a new indictment against the Boston bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, including some chilling new details about planning for the attack.


BLITZER: Questions about President Obama's problems here at home are following him all the way to Africa.

Our chief White House correspondent, Jessica Yellin, is traveling with the president. She's in Dakar, Senegal, right now.

So, what happened today, Jessica?


On the first stop of President Obama's weeklong trip to Africa, he came to the democratic country of Senegal, and here, the president took time out for symbolic and literal reflections on freedom and equality.


YELLIN (voice-over): In Senegal, President Obama visiting the Door of No Return, the last exit for slaves headed to the Americans. He called it a powerful experience.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For an African- American, African-American president, to be able to visit this site, I think gives me even greater motivation in terms of the defense of human rights around the world.

YELLIN: One acknowledgement of the struggle for equality that he believes continues to this day. On that front, the president saw a setback this week with the Supreme Court's ruling striking down a key part of the Voting Rights Act.

OBAMA: I think that the Supreme Court made a mistake in its ruling.

YELLIN: He also saw progress in the Supreme Court's rulings on gay marriage. He called them:

OBAMA: Not simply a victory for the LGBT community. I think it was a victory for American democracy.

YELLIN: For gay couples, he acknowledged, there are complications; 37 states don't recognize gay marriage. Asked at a press conference in Africa:

(on camera): Will you direct the government to make sure that federal benefits are extended, like Social Security, to all couples, no matter where they live?

YELLIN (voice-over): He said the lawyers are working the issue, but he believes:

OBAMA: If you have been married in Massachusetts and you move someplace else, you're still married, and that, under federal law, you should be able to obtain the benefits of any lawfully married couple.

YELLIN: It would be a sea change in the nation. President Obama took a moment to honor his first political hero and a crusader for human rights, Nelson Mandela.

OBAMA: I understood that this was somebody who believed in that basic principle I just talked about, treating people equally, and was willing to sacrifice his life for that belief.

YELLIN: A message that will likely resonate throughout his first extended tour of Africa as president.


YELLIN: Wolf, I also asked President Obama his views of Senegal's law which criminalizes homosexuality. He says while he respects the cultural differences between the U.S. and Africa, he believes all countries, including those here in Africa, should treat gays and lesbians equally under the law. But Senegal's president standing right next to President Obama said this country is not ready -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Jessica Yellin in Senegal for us, next stop, South Africa. We will check back with you tomorrow. Thanks very much.

The New England ex-Patriot Aaron Hernandez was back in court this afternoon. He's now facing a first-degree murder charge -- coming up, why he could be connected to even more killings, plus, how his and other cases are raising new questions about pro football.


BLITZER: Happening now: the former pro football player Aaron Hernandez denied bail. There is new reporting also about a possible motive in the murder case against him.

The NFL has some image problems right now that go beyond one criminal case; 29 players have been arrested since the Super Bowl.

And Paula Deen tries to rally her fan base, even as her image and financial empire keep crumbling. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

The murder charge against the former NFL player Aaron Hernandez may be just the beginning of his legal troubles. A law enforcement source says he's now being investigated in connection with a double homicide in Boston last year. Hernandez was back in court today on the current charges in the shooting death of his friend. The judge denied a new request for bail.


JUDGE RENEE DUPUIS, MASSACHUSETTS SUPERIOR COURT: The idea that I could release him on a bracelet and he would comply with court rules is not something that I am willing to accept.

Given all of the circumstances in this case, despite the fact that he has a fiancee and a baby and is a homeowner, he also has the means to flee, and a bracelet just wouldn't keep him here, no of $250,000. I am going to deny the defense petition.


BLITZER: We are now joined by "The Boston Globe" crime reporter Maria Cramer.

Maria, thanks very much for coming in. I know you have been doing some excellent reporting on this.

What are you hearing about a possible connection between the current alleged murder by Hernandez and the 2012 double murder? What is the possible connection here and motive, if you will?

MARIA CRAMER, "THE BOSTON GLOBE": What we're hearing is, is that there is a possibility that Aaron Hernandez was connected to a double homicide July 2012 in which two men, Cape Verdean immigrants, were shot to death on a South End street when they were returning from a nightclub.

At the time, there was very little information. It seemed to be a whodunit, as a matter of fact, but now we're learning that these two men might have been involved in a fight with a group that also included Aaron Hernandez.

And they are now looking at the possibility that Aaron Hernandez was -- that the motive for Odin Lloyd's killing may also be connected to this double homicide. Odin Lloyd may have had information about Aaron Hernandez's role in this double homicide.

BLITZER: Well, is there any hard evidence that's been released yet that would link Aaron Hernandez to that double murder a year or so ago?

CRAMER: At this point, authorities have not released any hard evidence. We're getting our information from sources. Officially, police will only say that it's too premature to look at any suspects, but they do say -- to identify any suspects -- but they do say that this case, once cold, is now robust and much more active, if that's any indication.

This information, this development in the case began about a week ago. What we did learn from our sources as well is that they began to look at Aaron Hernandez last week in connection with this double homicide. Investigators knew that Aaron Hernandez was at the club where these two men were last year before they were killed, but, at the time, they didn't think anything of it.

It was only when his name began to surface in connection with the Odin Lloyd killing that they began to put two and two together.

BLITZER: Maria Cramer of "The Boston Globe," Maria, thanks very much.

CRAMER: Thank you.

BLITZER: The NFL was quick to cut ties with Aaron Hernandez, but his arrest is by no means an isolated incident, and it raises some questions about the league's image.

CNN's Jason Carroll is taking a closer look at this part of the story -- Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, the NFL has addressed the problem of its players getting in trouble in the past, and even though we have seen a number of arrests lately, it doesn't seem to have tarnished the brand, at least not in the eyes of the fans.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That surveillance was then destroyed.

CARROLL (voice-over): Aaron Hernandez's arrest on murder charges is the latest brush with the law associated with NFL players. This picture may look like a team's roster, but it actually shows 29 players arrested for various crimes, ranging from DUI to misdemeanor assault, just since February's Super Bowl, according to the NFL.

MICHAEL MCCANN, LEGAL ANALYST, "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED": We don't know if there are convictions in any of these arrests. And, secondly, it's still a relatively small percent of all NFL players.

CARROLL: The percentage may be small, but the arrests attract a spotlight, like when police charged rookie linebacker Ausar Walcott with attempted murder for beating a man outside a New Jersey club this week. Although they both pled not guilty, Walcott and Hernandez both had previous encounters with the law.

KEVIN ADLER, SPORTS MARKETING EXPERT: The league find themselves in a situation like this, not the least of which is at the team level, team player personnel executives looking past a player's very public history, especially in the case of Aaron Hernandez, for the sake of what they can do for the team on the field.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, so, we'll open it up for questions? CARROLL: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell toughened the league's conduct policy six years ago, making it easier to sanction players for infractions. Goodell declined our request for an interview, but an NFL spokesman told CNN: "The average arrest rate per year of NFL players is consistently lower than the general population."

T.J. WARD, SAFETY, CLEVELAND BROWNS: You know, a few players could make the whole league look a certain way.

CARROLL: Like the vast majority of NFL players, Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward says he has not been in trouble but understands how just one arrest can tarnish the brand.

WARD: Or a couple of issues can make, you know, the whole league look a certain way. It's all about perception, especially in our society. It's all about what people perceive, not necessarily what's true.

CARROLL: If the truth lies in numbers, consider this. Nielsen ratings for the past NFL regular season were the highest in a decade. Despite everything, fans keep watching.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I sort of made the decision a long time ago to respect athletes for their performance on the field more so than for their behavior off the field.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love football, so I'll probably be following, but we'll see.


CARROLL: Well, it should be noted, Wolf, that the league does have a program where speakers talk to rookies about the importance of staying out of trouble. In fact, this week in Ohio, at a symposium, former NFL player Terry "Tank" Johnson, who encountered problems of his own when he owned guns, spoke to rookies and recommended how they can in turn stay out of trouble.

But again, it seems so far, fans just seem to be able to separate trouble with players on the field and the NFL brand -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Good point, Jason. Thanks very much.

Up next, we're going to talk a little bit more about the NFL's problems. We're going to hear from a basketball star as well as improving the image of pro sports by giving back. Our own Rachel Nichols, she's standing by live. Stand by for that.

Also, more financial fallout for Paula Deen, despite her apology for a racial slur.


BLITZER: The murder charge against Aaron Hernandez, formerly of the New England Patriots, has certainly put a new stain on the image of the NFL and professional sports, for that matter. Bring in Rachel Nichols of CNN Sports to talk a little bit about it.

What do you make of all this? Because it's sort of unfair to paint a really wide path, if you will, because there are just a limited number of so-called bad guys.

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS: Yes, and let's not forget: nobody is watching the NFL to see who are better citizens, the Patriots or the Jets. And you know, they're watching these guys beat on each other, and they want to know who's better at being violent.

So, it's not a surprise that TV ratings aren't down, and it's not a surprise that people feel, hey, this is not that pervasive a problem. We've seen the commissioner of the NFL take steps to toughen up suspensions, but when you do look at the numbers, there's 1,700 players in the NFL. We talked about the 29 players that have been arrested since the Super Bowl? That's less than 2 percent. The FBI says that in the general American population, it's about a 4.5 percent arrest rate.

So, in a way, you could argue these guys are model citizens. It just really doesn't feel like that.

BLITZER: Yes, I totally agree. Kevin Durant, an NBA star, Oklahoma City. You had a chance to sit down with him. Like you, he's from here in the Washington, D.C., area, and he's doing something very amazing and very positive. Tell our viewers.

NICHOLS: Absolutely. It's so interesting, when the tornadoes hit in Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant, who is only 24 years old, made headlines by plunking down a $1 million donation for relief to the victims. And today he announced that Nike is going to donate another $1 million in profits from his line of sneakers. So, listen to him describe just the devastation he saw and why he was moved to act.


KEVIN DURANT, NBA PLAYER: I couldn't believe that was, you know, that's the state I live in. That's 20 minutes away from my house. I couldn't believe it was that close. No foundations is -- you know, debris everywhere. I seen a tractor-trailer in somebody's living room, just roofs gone off houses and. There was just nothing there, you know? You could tell, you could see that's where a house was supposed to be. And you know, you seen wood on the ground, you see debris, but there's nothing there, and you can say you have to start from scratch, so that was an unfortunate situation.

NICHOLS: You're 24 years old. How did experiencing something like that change you just as a person?

DURANT: Put everything in perspective for me. Your life is bigger than a game of basketball. You know, a lot of people that are professional really know that.

And people in Moore lost everything, lost everything, and some stuff you really can't get back. Let's, you just, know appreciate all you have because you never know when you'll not have it. (END VIDEO CLIP)

NICHOLS: Really impressive how he's going out of his way for everyone in Oklahoma City.

And it's been a busy summer already for K.D. Not only is he working towards this tornado disaster relief. He just signed up to be Jay-Z's first basketball client. You know, Wolf, on top of being all the other things that Jay-Z does, he's being a sports agent now, so Kevin Durant is going to be the face of his basketball arm.

And you could be his anchor client. You could be Jay-Z Anchors 'R' Us. What do you think?

BLITZER: I've got a good agent. You've got a good agent, too.

NICHOLS: Are you a Jay-Z kind of guy?

BLITZER: I like Jay-Z. I like Kevin Durant. I like the -- I like the Washington Wizards, too. Big night tonight.

NICHOLS: Absolutely. NBA draft.

BLITZER: You got a prediction?

NICHOLS: You never know.

BLITZER: Big draft night. We'll see what happens tonight. Wizards have the No. 3 pick. You like the Wizards, too, right?

NICHOLS: I grew up in this area.

BLITZER: So you like them?

NICHOLS: So I'm rooting for good things, for that franchise to turn around.

BLITZER: My good friend, Ernie Grunfeld, got somebody good for the Wizards this year.

Rachel, thanks very much, and thanks to Kevin Durant. More of him, obviously, less Aaron Hernandez, more Kevin Durant. That would be good for sports in general.

NICHOLS: Absolutely.

BLITZER: Appreciate it.

Still ahead, Governor Rick Perry in a new Texas showdown over abortion. Stand by for new information and details.

Also, we have chilling details of a new indictment against the Boston bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, including the wording of his alleged confession.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: We learned today dramatic, new details about the Boston Marathon bombings. They're in a grand jury's brand-new indictment of the bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

CNN's Tom Foreman is here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

And you read that stuff, some of it is so chilling, Tom.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and it really is very, very compelling. He's now charged with four deaths here, three at the race site, one of that MIT officer who was killed later over at the campus.

And part of this that you find out from reading the indictment is based on what essentially authorities are saying was a confession left inside that boat where they captured him, notes that he scrawled on the inside of the boat that said things like "the U.S. government is killing our innocent civilians," talking about the Muslim community, as he described it, as he terms himself a self-described spokesman for. "I can't stand to see such evil unpunished" and "We Muslims are one body. You hurt one, you hurt us all."

This was his rationale he wrote inside the boat for why he killed people. Now, though, he might be fighting for his own life. Listen to what officials said as they unveiled this indictment.


CARMEN ORTIZ, U.S. ATTORNEY: As a result of the charges that have been filed today, the defendant faces up to life and possibly death if convicted.


FOREMAN: Really extraordinary revelations in this, including, you know, a lot of people thought the older brother was sort of leading the charge on everything. But you read through this indictment, there's a real indication that Dzhokhar, in fact, was playing a very, very active role, downloading, for example, a copy of "The Slicing Sword," which was from Anwar al-Awlaki. It had a forward in this screed against -- against the rest of the world, basically, from this radical group.

Beyond that, there was also the directions that he downloaded on how to build pressure-cooker bombs, how to pack them full of nails and ball bearings, as they did to make them even more lethal.

And to speak even more to this idea that he played an active role, what authorities say is that he's the one who made the phone call to his older brother along the race route right before the bombs went off just a minute later, that he's the one who seemed to be, in some way, leading the charge at that moment. It really is, as you said, Wolf, chilling the details available in this indictment.

BLITZER: I kept reading that indictment, Tom, and I noticed all the stuff that he downloaded from those jihadi Web sites of Anwar al- Awlaki. And I said to myself, if the NSA was monitoring all those kinds of Internet communications, they clearly didn't monitor those communications. You download how to build a bomb, you download all that other stuff, but obviously, I guess people weren't paying attention...

FOREMAN: It's a lot of material.

BLITZER: ... at the NSA.

FOREMAN: A lot of material, no question about that.

BLITZER: All right, Tom. Thanks very much for that report.

More companies, meanwhile, are dumping their association with the celebrity chef Paula Deen, but coming up, there are new details about how she is now fighting back.

Also coming up, the Texas governor, Rick Perry. He takes on the lawmaker whose filibuster stopped, at least for now, new restrictions on abortions in Texas.


BLITZER: The Texas governor, Rick Perry, is not giving up on passing new abortion restrictions in the state. He's blasting what he calls, quote, "mob tactics and hijacking of the democratic process" that derailed those restrictions when the Senate congresswoman, Wendy Davis, conducted a marathon filibuster that went viral. CNN's Brian Todd is back. He's got some details.

It's getting a little bit ugly out there.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A Texas-style showdown between Rick Perry and Wendy Davis right now.

You know, Wolf, Wendy Davis is a hero now to abortion rights supporters around the country for the stand she took a couple of nights ago, but she just got some brush-back from Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Now, setting the scene, this was a bill in Texas that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It would have placed tight new rules for abortion providers.

Davis, a Democratic state senator, filibustered on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, standing in the state legislature, speaking for more than 11 hours straight to prevent a vote on that measure. By 3 a.m. Wednesday, the lieutenant governor declared the bill dead.

Word got around fast. The scene drew thousands of people to the state capital. Davis said they had to lock the doors when the chamber got to capacity, but then a huge crowd was outside the building. Davis said she drew energy from all of that.

But today at a right-to-life convention, Governor Perry took a shot at Wendy Davis. He said, by doing all of this, she was ignoring her own past. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: Who are we to say that children born into the worst of circumstances can't grow to live successful lives? In fact, even the woman who filibustered the Senate yesterday was born into difficult circumstances.

She was the daughter of a single woman. She was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas Senate. It's just unfortunate that she hasn't learned from her own example. That every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.


TODD: This afternoon, in response to that, the statement from Wendy Davis. Quote, "Rick Perry's statement is without dignity and tarnishes the high office he holds. They are small words that reflect a dark and negative point of view. Our governor should reflect our Texas values. Sadly, Governor Perry fails that test."

Wolf, very strong words between the two of them. Rick Perry getting very personal today.

BLITZER: Yes, but he's not backing away from this.

TODD: He's going to -- he's vowing to get this legislation passed. He's calling the legislature back into a special session starting this Monday. And maybe there's a chance that Wendy Davis might try to do something like this again. Could be another showdown.

BLITZER: We'll see what happens. All right, Brian, thanks very much.

Paula Deen took to Twitter to thank her fans even as more major companies ended their business relationships with her. Deen, a celebrity chef, has seen her reputation take a huge hit because of a former employee's lawsuit accusing her of racism.

CNN's Alina Machado reports.


ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Despite her repeated apologies...

PAULA DEEN, CELEBRITY CHEF: I hope that you forgive me.

MACHADO: ... and her explanation on national television...


DEEN: No. No, I'm not.

LAUER: By birth, by choice, by osmosis, you don't feel like you have racist tendencies? DEEN: No.

MACHADO: ... the number of companies ending their ties with Paula Deen continues to grow after she admitted to having used the "N" word in a deposition taken for an ongoing civil lawsuit filed by a former employee.

DAVID JOHNSON, STRATEGIC VISION: She's making the issue worse every time she opens up her mouth.

MACHADO: On Thursday, Target said it would discontinue Deen's products. Home Depot announced it has stopped selling her kitchen and cookware line. And diabetes drug company Novo Nordisk has suspended its relationship with Deen. Several others, including Wal-Mart and the Food Network, also have called it quits in recent days.

JOHNSON: Your big sponsors, your big corporations are going to stay away from her.

MACHADO: Forbes ranked Deen the fourth highest paid celebrity chef last year, estimating her endorsement earnings at $17 million.

But it's not all bad news for Deen. Her new cookbook, set for release later this year, is topping Amazon's bestsellers list. Her fans have flocked to her Facebook page to show their support. There's even a "We support Paula Deen" page with hundreds of thousands of "likes." Some members of the African-American community have also come out in her defense.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was it right? No. I mean, she could have used another term, but hey, it was a mistake that she made.

REV. GREGORY TYSON SR., FIRST JERUSALEM MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH: She can't have a heart against black people with all that she's done.

MACHADO: Actress Stacey Dash showed her support in a tweet saying, in part, "God does everything for a reason, Paula Deen. Only God can judge your heart."


MACHADO: Now QVC posted a letter online saying that the shopping network has decided to take a pause, meaning that Paula Deen will not be appearing on any of their shows and her products will be phased out online -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Alina Machado, thanks very much.

Coming up, Jeanne Moos and drive-in something.


BLITZER: Jeanne Moos looks at what could be a last hope (ph).

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We like our drive- through fries; we like our drive-through lattes. But will we rest in peace at a drive-through funeral?

CARL EGGLESTON, PRESIDENT, OLIVER & EGGLESTON FUNERAL ESTABLISHMENT: We just offer the families something different. And so they have options.

MOOS: The options of having the deceased in a casket viewed by mourners driving by, as one online poster put it, "for when you don't care enough to get out of the car." But Carl Eggleston doesn't see it that way.

EGGLESTON: It's designed for people who have disabilities or due to inclement weather.

MOOS: When Eggleston renovated his funeral home in Farmville, Virginia, he added big windows low to the ground, and now if you pay for a traditional funeral, he'll throw in the drive-by option.

(on camera): You'd let me have a viewing during the day, and then at night I could be laid out for the drive-through?

EGGLESTON (via phone): It's at no additional cost.

MOOS (voice-over): The last time we heard the words "funeral" and "drive-through" together, it is when a funeral procession went through a Burger King drive-through to honor the deceased, a Pennsylvania man who loved fast food so much that his family paid tribute by stopping off for Whopper Juniors on the way to the cemetery.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, this is different. One way to get love, isn't it?

MOOS: Even the deceased got a burger, which was placed on his casket and buried with him.

But lest we bury our lead, back in Eggleston, no one has yet opted for the drive-through visitation.

(on camera): This isn't the first funeral home to offer drive- through services. The most famous one has operated for 40 years out of the car culture of Southern California.

(voice-over): The Adams Funeral Home in Compton is what inspired Carl Eggleston. "The Los Angeles Times" profiled its drive-through visitations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. Look how she's dressed.

MOOS: The funeral home says it's especially convenient when the deceased is well known and there are lots of mourners.

(on camera): One little etiquette tip: when someone is laid out at a drive-through funeral, lay off the horn. (voice-over): Whether it's fast food or a last look, Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BLITZER: Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.