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Heat Wave In California; Same-Sex Couples Tying The Knot Once Again In California; Joe Lefeged Arrested; FBI Agents Arrest Shaun Curtis

Aired June 29, 2013 - 16:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you very much, Ms. Whitfield. Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. Here's what's coming up now in the NEWSROOM.

One hundred and 20 degrees and rising. The west coast bracing for some of the highest temperatures ever recorded.

A pro-football player arrested. Another one this time on gun charges.

Plus, a standoff in Oklahoma. A man grabs a 2-year-old girl and holds her hostage inside a Walmart. Dramatic video straight ahead right here on CNN.

Again. Welcome everyone. But we are going to begin with this. It's a scorching heat wave out west. If you're out there you already know. It's hot as you know what. And if you can't stand the heat you'll have to stay in the kitchen for a while longer or any other room that is air conditioned. The heat is unbearable and it's dangerous and today it's supposed to reach 116 degrees in Las Vegas. More than 30 concert goers had to be hospitalized because of that heat.

Salt Lake City will be more than 20 degrees hotter than normal. Temperatures will hovel around 128 at Phoenix and Death Valley is expected to hit 128, six degrees shy of its own record of the highest temperature ever recorded. It seems like two options are get inside or get out of the region.

Casey Wian, unfortunately, is working today and he is in Palm Springs, California with a third option, right Casey?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Don. It's a third option. I'm at Water Park and naturally it's pretty busy here but not as busy as you might think. You would think this would be a great place to cool off, but believe it or not, the water here gets hot. So, the owners of this park say that actually there is a sort of goldilocks zone where people come here in drones. But when it's over, 110 degrees or so it's too hot for people to enjoy the water park.

We're expecting of temperatures of up to 120 degrees today. If it hits 121 that would be a record. Let me show you this thermometer. Right now, at 1:00 in the afternoon local time, you can see that it's approaching 120. It's about, I would say about 115 right now. Very, very hot.

Obviously, with temperatures this hot, lifeguards have a lot to worry about including heatstroke. Here is what one had to stay.


AUSTIN BRAGG, LIFEGUARD, SOAK CITY: Stay hydrated. That's the key to success here at the Water Park. Staying cool, not skipping a meal because they want to go on a ride. Wear a lot of sun black. I mean, these are the difference between life and death when it's 120 degrees and so humid outside.


WIAN: So far no heatstroke cases here. Lifeguards are watching very, very closely. But, it's expected to get hotter over the next couple of hours, Don.

LEMON: All right, so, instead of three hour besides getting wet, what are people doing outdoors. Can they even go outdoors? What can they do?

WIAN: A lot of people at this time of day are staying indoors. But early this morning, we were at a golf course. And believe it or not, there were some die hard golfers who were getting out there and playing early in the morning. Here is what one of them had to tell us.


JACK ANDRUS, GOLFER: I'll tell you the one thing. Although, it's about getting the ball in the hole, it's also about hitting the ball to shade. So, it adds another element to the game. Yes, so we have fun. We do it.


WIAN: It's not for everyone know, Don. That golf course expecting about 40 players today. Well over 100 is at the normal on a normal summer day. But, it's just pretty much too hot for everyone -- anyone to be outside that doesn't have to, Don.

LEMON: All right, Casey Wian in Palm Spring. Casey, thank you very much for your reporting. You know, there's no doubt it's dangerously hot out west. This is not your average heat wave. Alexander Steele is here to put some perspective on what's happening in our western states and why -- Alexandra.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, Don, we're talking about record heat. Not just the record for day or a month but some of these places in the desert southwest will get to temperatures that they have never been to before. If so maybe once or twice in the history of recordkeeping.

So, here is why. This jet stream extreme is this dome of high pressure that control the southwest. It's massive. It's strong. What high pressure means is sinking air, compressing air and thus warming air in the southwest. But actually, even the interior west places like Salt Lake City getting above 100 making it a record. So, here is where the extreme heat is. Vegas, Phoenix, eight states in the southwest under some type of heat advisory or heat warning at least until Monday. So, the duration of this is pretty substantial as well as the extreme temperatures.

So, in Phoenix, 118 degrees expected today. You know, we are flirting with 120. We've only been to 120 degrees, three times in history. So, could even get to 119. So, look at these temperatures through Wednesday even above to 110. So, it's really not going to abate dramatically through next week.

Breaking records, you bet. Las Vegas, 116 today is the forecast, 115 are the old records. So, certainly top of all 117. If it gets there on Sunday, it will be the highest temperature they have seen. And look at this, pretty dramatic, 134 is the world record temperature and it happened in the U.S. at Death Valley. We are going to get to 129 Sunday and Monday. So, really substantial, Don. So, certainly keeping an eye on this historic and really record breaking on so many fronts.

LEMON: All right, thank you very much for that Alexandra. Make sure you stay with CNN for our team coverage on this heat wave. We'll keep you updated.

In the meantime, President Barack Obama won't meet with Nelson Mandela on his trip to South Africa. But the reminders of the anti-apartheid icon were everywhere today. The president met with his family members expressing his sympathies as they cope with his illness. And earlier, Mr. Obama spoke with young South Africans at a town hall meeting. And he told him the future of the country is in their hands. As he mentioned the past sacrificed of their beloved Mandela.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As you go forward, I want you to think of the man who is in our prayers today. Think about 27 years in prison. Think about the hardships and the struggles of being away from family and friends. Reflecting on his years in prison Nelson Mandela wrote there were dark moments that tested his faith in humanity but he refused to give up. He said I'm fundamentally an optimist. Whether it comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head toward the sun and ones feet moving forward.

So, in your lives there will be time to test your faith but no matter how old you grow, I say to all of you today don't lose those qualities of you, your imagination, your optimism, your idealism. The future of this continent is in your hands. If your keep your head pointed toward the sun and keep your feet moving forward, I promise you will have no better friend and partner than the United States of America.


LEMON: We are going to have a live report from Johannesburg just ahead in the next hour of the CNN NEWSROOM. Meantime, in Northern Africa, familiar scenes in Egypt where protesters are back in the streets today. Critics of President Mohammad Morsi are planning even bigger nationwide demonstrations tomorrow which marks a year since he took office. They spent the past three months gathering millions of signatures on petitions demanding that Morsi stepped down.

Week one of the George Zimmerman murder trial included explosive and sometimes uncomfortable testimony. As America watched it became obvious that the trial was taking its toll on the parents of the victim, Trayvon Martin and on Zimmerman himself.

David Mattingly is covering the trial for us.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One week of graphic and at times disturbing testimony and both sides in the Zimmerman trial are showing signs of strain. Trayvon Martin's parents were moved to tears on the first day listening to opening statements. The very next day they had to walk out when the court saw pictures of their son's lifeless body. It was particularly hard on Martin's father.

DARYL PARKS, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: I wish they would give us advance notice the state would be showing sensitive pictures. For it to show up on screen really live brought back a memory.

MATTINGLY: But for Trayvon's mother, the most difficult moment was the sound heard in the background of a 911 call.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's gunshots.

MATTINGLY: The gunshot signaling the end of her son's life.

PARKS: His mother didn't like the gunshot. The gunshot, her hearing that and hearing about his final moments is very tough.

MATTINGLY: What impact the testimony is having on George Zimmerman himself is harder to read. For the most part he sits quite seemingly unmoved, often gazing forward. In May, I spoke to Mark O'Mara about his client's 120-pound weight gain and what that might suggest about his emotional stage.

Are you afraid he will hurt himself?


MATTINGLY: He seems to be slowly doing himself harm by gaining all this weight. Could he do something more severe.

O'MARA: Clearly, I'm not going to make come out as psychologist- psychiatrist. Clearly, I guess it's always possible. I mean, I have lived with this case for a year and I've lost weight. So, could I harm myself? No. I'm not going to get to that point. I think George is stressed out. I don't think that he is going to harm himself.

MATTINGLY: What he is doing, though, is extreme. Are you concern?

O'MARA: I'm very concerned that he's got to this point where the case has caused him to gain 120 or 30 pounds. That is physically destructive. That I'll grant you that.

MATTINGLY: A month later, and after a week of testimony, little has changed.

O'MARA: He's very stressed out. For a year and a half he's been in hiding and now he is facing a potential life sentence where he is facing for his life today and this week as he was back in February of 2012. It's very stressful and frightening.

David Mattingly, CNN Sanford, Florida.


LEMON: All right, David. Thank you for that.

Testimony will resume Monday morning as the state is expected to call two Sanford police investigators to the stand.

You know, racial slurs and profanity have been used a lot in the trial including the word that many considered the most toxic in the English language, the "n" word. Who can use it? If it's ever OK? Can we take Aaron Hernandez now. And how says it is not about Aaron. Thank you very much.

Is it ever OK and if someone does use it, should they lose their jobs and reputation like Paula Deen? Make sure you join me on Monday night at 7:00 eastern for the most provocative discussion you would ever on the word. It is called the "n" word, 7:00 eastern Monday night right here on CNN.

And next, police say they have new evidence that may tie a former New England Patriots player to two more murders.

Plus, another NFL player is arrested and guns are the reason.

We are back in a moment.


LEMON: Former New England patriot star Aaron Hernandez could be in worse legal trouble if that's possible. Police at Massachusetts have found more evidence allegedly tying him to a second homicide case. A silver SUV have impounded overnight as registered to Hernandez and police believe that vehicle is linked to an unsolved dry by shooting that left two people dead in Boston last summer.

Earlier today, friends and family attended the Boston funeral of Odin Lloyd, the 27-year-old semi-pro football, semi-pro player who Hernandez is accused of killing. Hernandez is being held without bail. The NFL would like to think its players are angels but that's tough when there's another one in trouble with the law, this time it is Indianapolis Colts safety Joe Lefeged. He, who according to D.C. police tried to get away after a traffic stop and now faces several gun charges.

I want to go now to CNN's Pamela Brown. She joins me now.

So, what happened it? Is that the right pronunciation of his name?


LEMON: Lefeged. OK. So, what happen now?

BROWN: Look. I want to tell our viewers who might not be pro when it comes to football players. Certainly, I'm learning as well. Joe Lefeged is safety for the Indianapolis Colts. He's played in every game for the past two years of this professional career and started four games last season. And according to one of my law enforcement source in D.C., this all started a little after midnight today when a D.C. police officer saw a passenger in the Camaro convertible that Colt safety, Joe Lefeged, was riding in standing up while the top was down in the car while being driven in an erratic manner. Authorities tried to pull them over but the driver of the Camaro hit the gas pedal, were told by my source, and a car chase ensued. A D.C. police spokesperson says that when police eventually caught up with the Camaro, Lefeged, who was in the passenger seat at the time tried to flee on foot but he was caught a short time later and once arrested by police.

Now, a search of that Camaro revealed a HNK 40 caliber semi-automatic pistol underneath the seat of the Camaro. And there were registration paper, according to my source, from Maryland linking that gun to Lefeged. Also found in the car some last plastic bottles of orange juice with an odor, an alcoholic odor according to my source.

So, we have learned that upon his arrest along with another passenger in the car they were arrested for carrying a firearm without a license, unregistered firearm, unregister ammunition, presence of a fire in a motor vehicle and a possession open of an open container of alcohol. By the way, the driver is still on the loose.

LEMON: My goodness. These are serious. These are very serious charges.

BROWN: Two of these charges of these five charges are felony charges. And today, it looks likes to he made an appearance in court. It was his initial appearance. And he only faced two of those charges, but the most serious one. These felony charges could mean more than a year in federal prison. These two charges he's facing now are carrying a pistol and having a weapon in a motor vehicle. Important to note that D.C. has very strict gun laws. It's illegal to carry a gun in the public in D.C. and all guns in the district must have a D.C. permit. So, gun permits from other jurisdictions do not carryover in D.C. So, even though this gun was registered in Maryland, it doesn't matter. LEMON: But Paula, before you go, any comments from the NFL?

BROWN: We haven't hart from the NFL. We have heard from the Indianapolis Colt basically they just said that they are aware of this. They have no further comment on the pending matter until we gain more information. But important to note here, Don, Lefeged is the 28th NFL player to be arrested since the Super Bowl of this year and third NFL player to be arrested on gun related charges since May. Of course, this is on the heels of the arrest of Patriots player, Aaron Hernandez, who was arrested this week on first-degree murder charges as well. Several gun related charges could not be worse timing for the NFL.

LEMON: Yes. Much as had been doing a lot to try to change their image. Did I call you Paula, by the way?

BROWN: You did. That's OK.


LEMON: Pamela Brown, thank you. I appreciate you joining us here.

All right, you know, it's been just two days since the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal against same-sex marriage. And couples in California are racing down the aisle. We are going to take you live to San Francisco for the nuptials. That's next.


LEMON: Same-sex couples are tying the knot once again in California. A federal appeals court cleared the way yesterday after the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal against same-sex marriage.

Dan Simon in San Francisco where ceremonies are happening all weekend.

Dan, are they busy?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Hey, Don. It's been quite day here in San Francisco city hall. You know, they opened this place up just for the weekend because they knew they would have streams of people coming to get married. And there have been at least a few hundred couples that I've seen who have come here and gotten their marriage licenses and that have ceremonies here in the main here at San Francisco city hall.

We are going to talk to one of these couples who just got married over here. This is Darren Petrie and Tom Rusert.

Darren, let me start with you. You told me just a moment ago that this was -- you've been waiting 17 years for this. Can you put this in words for what it means to you?

DARREN PETRIE, NEWLYWED: It's amazing. I mean, on behalf of everybody. I mean, we work hard. We pay taxes. We're citizens and it's just wonderful that it's finally time that we're recognized as being part of the community. SIMON: The city really put this together quickly. They got all of these volunteers to come and open up city hall and have people officiate these marriages. Can you just talk about, Tom, the atmosphere of what it's like to be here?

TOM RUSERT, NEWLYWED: This is really the epicenter of the whole experience. That's why we wanted to come here. We drove down from Sonoma last night. We could have hold it off last night and we just felt like this was the place to get married. And we have loved each other for so long. We're beginning to wonder is this even possible. And yesterday coming home from work at 3:00 in the afternoon I'm hearing it on the radio, I'm thinking you got to be kidding. And it was magnificent. And this is like as magnificent as any cathedral.

SIMON: Well, congratulations to the two of you.

Don, I think what's really been surprising is just how quickly this all came together. People thought it would, you know, at least 25 days for the waiting period to be over when the Supreme Court decision would go into effect. And here you are, this was got out on Wednesday, now, you're at the weekend and you all have all of these people here in San Francisco getting married. This is the only place in California where people can get married over the weekend. Of course, on ,Monday all the other counties and cities will open up. But, this is the only place. So, you are going to be seeing hundreds of people, in fact, if not thousands getting married.

Don, back to you.

LEMON: All right, Dan Simon. Thank you for that.

It's a video that launched a massive man hunt. After a week of searching, police captured this man behind this brutal home invasion, next.


LEMON: We want to warn you, this next story contains graphic video of a brutal beating caught on a nanny cam. FBI agents arrested Shaun Curtis last night at Manhattan. That's him in the stripe shirt. He's accused of violently beating a mother in front of her 3-year-old daughter last week in a family's home in Millwood, New Jersey.


LEMON: He allegedly to tried to choke the mother and threw her down the basement stairs. Amazingly, she only suffered minor injuries. Her 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son were not hurt. Curtis faces several charges included attempted murder and robbery.

Shocking video shows a man snatch a toddler from her mother's grocery cart and hold her hostage with a knife.

Reporter, Jessie Wells, with our affiliate KFOR has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JESSIE WELLS, REPORTER, KFOR: For no apparent reason, Sammy Wallace can be seen snatching a 2-year-old girl from her mother's shopping cart.

CHIEF BRANDON CLABES, MIDWEST CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT: The mother is shocked. She starts to scream hand me my baby. Give me my baby.

WELLS: Several customers looked on and quickly dialed 911.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He took this woman's kid and we need police here immediately.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's someone with a knife holding a little girl hostage.

CLABES: When he abduct this child, he immediately hands the cell phone to the mother. He actually demands her to make call to an individual who is a Dallas police officer.

WELLS: She clicks as during the entire innocent, the suspect held this knife to the child's body and the 30 minute standoff have ensued, they say Wallace made a number of odd statements and appeared to suffer from mental illness.

CLABES: He said President George Bush was watching him. It was (INAUDIBLE) trick.

WELLS: Eventually police offered Wallace a chair to sit in and evacuated the store only after Wallace began a 60 second count down and moved the knife from the child's stomach to her throat. The captain, David Hoff, walked up and shot the suspect point blank in the head.

CLABES: I mean, we waited to the last second in our opinion to use deadly force. It's obviously a case that could be red from a Hollywood script although there's grocery stores throughout the United States. It could happen anywhere. It happened in Midwest City and our proud our agency we responded the way they did.


LEMON: Jessie Wells, KFOR.

Coming up in 30 minutes from now, a conversation that may make some people very uncomfortable. It's about these words that have been used a lot this week. It's a conversation that we, as a society, need to have and I hope you will watch.

I will see you back here at the top of the hour.