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Police Find Hernandez's Secret Apartment; Hotdog Chomping Champs; Fourth Of July Parade In D.C.; Statue Of Liberty Reopened Today; Fireworks For Dummies; New Evidence In McCann Disappearance; Cover Up Or Leave Water Park; "Irresistible" Employee Case Back On Table; Adaptive Athlete Breaks Barriers

Aired July 4, 2013 - 14:29   ET

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


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Bottom of the hour. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

Now to a major development in the Aaron Hernandez murder investigation. The former New England Patriots star, as you know, is charged with the murder of his friend, Odin Lloyd, in June. CNN's John Berman is here to tell us what police have now found that can further incriminate this man in Lloyd's murder.

John Berman, tell me about this secret apartment.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, remember how many times we saw picture of police searching through that big house owned by Aaron Hernandez? Well, it turns out that might not have been his only place. There was an apartment not far away. And police pulled a lot of evidence out of that that may connect him even further to this case.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN (voice-over): A 37-page search warrant released Wednesday might be piling on the evidence against former New England Patriots star, Aaron Hernandez. Evidence not found in his multi-million estate, but in a two-bedroom apartment in Franklin, Massachusetts, 19 miles from his home, only discovered after interviewing an associate of Hernandez, Carlos Ortiz.

The documents reveal they found two items of clothing. A white hooded sweatshirt, matching the one Hernandez was wearing in this photo obtained by Boston TV station WHDH and in surveillance video the night of the homicide. And a blue and cranberry colored baseball cap matching the one Hernandez was reportedly wearing outside a nightclub.

The documents also say three different calibers of ammunition were found in a bedroom night stand. Ortiz told police on the night after the incident, he and Hernandez stopped by this apartment location.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love you, Aaron!

BERMAN: But despite all this, Hernandez still has some supporters, including some women who are speaking out on Twitter with tweets like, Aaron Hernandez is too sexy to be in jail for life. And I don't care what Aaron Hernandez did, he is still sexy. GAIL SALTZ, M.D., PSYCHOLOGIST: The reason women may be tweeting that he is sexy, is many of them are attracted to the bad boy image. This somehow makes him more macho, so women fantasize that he isn't capable of a murder, for example, because he's so handsome. Unfortunately, looks are deceiving.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: We'll leave that aside for a moment. Also found in the apartment was a valet ticket from a hotel not far from the club where Hernandez was seen the Friday before the incident. Also found a lot of shirts with the number 81 on them. That, of course, Hernandez's number when he played for the patriots -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Berman, thank you.

Michael Greico, let me bring you back in, criminal defense attorney. I mean, here you have on a very superficial level. It just looks bad, looks bad for Aaron Hernandez. I mean, how often do you see cases where it looks terrible at first for the defendant, and then in the end it flips around?

MICHAEL GREICO, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I can tell you from experience I've represented somebody who was allegedly caught on video committing a robbery. Let's just say he's back on stage performing right now. Everybody had him kind of dead to rights prior. I've seen cases when I was a prosecutor where a very seasoned prosecutor had a confession, DNA, mountains of evidence. The jury still walked him.

You never know. You really never know what a jury's going to do. Unfortunately for Mr. Hernandez, there seems to be a lot, and I mean a lot of evidence. Mind you, it's circumstantial, but it's a lot of circumstantial. They can really paint quite a picture. They've got a lot of brushes and they've got a lot of paint. The fact that one of his cohorts is talking is not good for him as well. They want this guy bad.

BALDWIN: He's charged with murder now in the case of Odin Lloyd, now being investigated in the double murder that happened last summer. I mean, the lists and ghosts are coming out from his past. Let's say with regard to this specific murder, if it's found that he was not the person to pull the trigger, what else could he be charged with?

GREICO: Well, I mean, you can be charged, you know, people use terms like accomplice. You know, after the fact. You've got in Florida here we have the principal theory, which makes you just as responsible as the shooter. If you commit a robbery and all you do is drive the getaway car you still can be charged with homicide and still face the same penalties.

And in Massachusetts the penalty for homicide is life regardless as to whether or not you pulled the trigger or not. If he was involved in any sort of false imprisonment or kidnapping that led to the murder, it's not going to make a difference whether he pulled the trigger or not. It's going to make a difference as to whether or not they make him any sort of plea offer short of life. BALDWIN: Michael Greico, thank you.

Coming up, the search for Madeleine McCann, remember her? The little girl who disappeared in 2007 when she was on vacation with her parents, now British police say they have some new leads. There is maybe, maybe reason to believe this little girl is still alive. We will take you to London in just a couple of minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Let's get into the serious stuff on Fourth of July. I don't know your stance on hotdogs. You're either going to love this or you might need to turn away. The Annual Nathan's Hotdog Eating champions are the same people who won last year. Joey "Jaws" Chestnut wolfed down a record 69 hotdogs in 10 minutes to secure his title for the seventh year in a row. I think I have to look away.

In the women's division, defending champ Sonia "The Black Widow" Thomas downed 36-3/4 to be precise, hotdogs for her win. Even though she placed first she was off last year's pace when she consumed 45 dogs and buns, straight face.

Moving on from hotdogs and Coney Island we go to the Fourth of July parade in Washington, D.C. check it out. This is the Independence Day parade. Right along, of course, Constitution Avenue. It's an awesome parade, people celebrating their independence in our nation's capital.

In New York harbor, one of the most powerful symbols of America reopened to the public today, the Statue of Liberty. Shut down last October after Superstorm Sandy overwhelmed that whole area. CNN's Pamela Brown was there this morning as the very first tourist arrived. Hi, Pamela.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, an estimated 15,000 people are expected to pour into Liberty Island today to see Lady Liberty in all her glory on this Independence Day. Today holds special meaning for these visitors for the first ones here in eight months.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN (voice-over): Lady Liberty is once again ready to face the masses, yearning for a closer look at one of America's most iconic figures.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be here at the Statue of Liberty on its opening day on the Fourth of July, it's just amazing. It's really -- it's just -- makes your heart swell.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone's been waiting for so long to be back here. I think it's beautiful. We all see pictures, but to be here makes everything more real.

BROWN: Superstorm Sandy forced Lady Liberty's closing just a day after her 126th anniversary. While the statue itself immersed unscathed, storm surge socked almost three-quarters of Liberty Island, leaving bricks ripped up, docks destroyed and debris everywhere. Adding insult to injury the statue had just reopened the day before the storm after a year of renovations.

CNN got rare access inside for the reopening all the way to her crown. The trek up a steep 377-step narrow, spiral staircase leads to spectacular views high above New York's harbor. The 305-foot-tall statue was a gift from France symbolizing the friendship between the two countries and their shared love of Liberty.

Dedicated in 1886 after ten years of construction, more than 3.5 million people worldwide flock here every year. Park officials worked around the clock to make sure the island reopened just in time for this Independence Day.

DAVID LUCHSINGER, SUPERINTENDENT, STATUE OF LIBERTY: Coming here and seeing visitors from all over the world standing out in front with tears in their eyes of excitement because she's not only our Statue of Liberty, she's the world's Statue of Liberty.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: And there are people here from all over the world. In fact, all the tickets to see the statue of liberty today were sold out. No surprise there. Construction is ongoing here on Liberty Island. It's still a work in progress, but park officials say they just wanted to do everything they could to make sure the Statue of Liberty was open to the public on this Fourth of July -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Pamela Brown, thank you. I think she gets the prize for prettiest live shot of the day. How beautiful was that sky there? If you're planning a trip to the Statue of Liberty, tickets to go up to the crown, they're already sold out through mid-August.

So depending on where you live, obviously on this Fourth of July, weather a huge, huge factor in your celebrations, the all important grilling, the fireworks, et cetera. Karen Maginnis, how is it looking out there?

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, it looks pretty rotten in the east to be honest with you. A lot of people, almost 70,000 people, 60,000 officially in Atlanta ran the Peachtree road racing. I did that for years. It's great fun. It was overcast and reasonably cool.

I want to show you this picture out of Santa Rosa, New Mexico. This is between Amarillo and Albuquerque. That is not snow you're looking at. They do sit at just about 5,000 feet above sea level. That is pea-sized hail to the tune of a foot and a half. They had to bulldoze it away.

Look at some of the rainfall totals that we've seen, Inlet beach at just under 15 inches of rain. More is expected in the forecast. And why is that? We've got a ridge of high pressure which is sitting off the eastern seaboard. That Bermuda high so that is getting this reverse moisture, this moisture moving in from the south. As a result, it's just kind of moving in the same place over and over again. Trough across the Central U.S. the ridge across the west and then that the ridge across the west, the ridge across the west is producing the extraordinarily dry and hot weather conditions with those triple digits. But they're not nearly as hot as it has been. No. It's not 120 degrees, Brooke. It's about 110.

BALDWIN: Pishaw, no big deal.

MAGINNIS: We can live with that.

BALDWIN: Karen Maginnis, thank you.

I urge you to watch this as I wait 365 days for this next piece of video. You know, every Fourth of July safety officials try to warn people about the dangers of fireworks. So they set up these dramatic displays to show what can go wrong from making illegal pyrotechnics to using the wrong kind of fuse. Frankly, I can't get enough of exploding watermelons. So on this day, roll it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: I mean, listen, exploding watermelons. What more do you need? Maybe a little slap happy on this holiday. Don't try that at home. We'll be right back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SGT. KENYETTA SCOTT, 101ST AIRBORNE DIVISION: Hi. My name is Sgt. Kenyetta Scott here in Afghanistan. I just want to say happy Fourth of July to my grandma, my mom, my little sister, my best friend, my daughter and my brother, Montel Jones, and all my family. Love you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Police in Britain are chasing new leads in the case of a 3- year-old girl who vanished six years ago while on vacation in Portugal. Remember Madeleine McCann? She disappeared from the bedroom she was sharing with two of her siblings. For a time investigators thought she might have been killed.

Her parents were suspects before they were ultimately cleared. But today police said they want to speak to, they're very precise with this number, 38, 38 persons of interest based upon this new evidence. And their remains a chance little Madeleine McCann could be alive. CNN's Atika Shubert joins me from London. So what's the word, Atika, from Scotland Yard?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, basically they're saying they're reopening this investigation. They want to talk to those 38 people across Europe, including 12 of them they believe are British nationals who were in Portugal at the time. This comes after a review of the case that police made 16 visits to Portugal, went through 30,000 documents.

And what's interesting here is it's not just evidence from Portuguese and British police, but also from private investigators from seven different companies. They pulled all of this together, and they believe they have some new leads and evidence they want to pursue. Perhaps most importantly, the police have said they believe that Madeleine McCann may still be alive.

BALDWIN: Which is wonderful for her family, but I have to, you know, just remind everyone, there have been unconfirmed sightings of Madeleine McCann for years. What's the possibility that this new lead is more promising than others in the past?

SHUBERT: We really don't know. They're not giving that many details. It seems to be the fact they've looked at all of the evidence from all of these different sources. It's not just one sighting here or there. It's sort of the totality of all the evidence they have. I do have to point out that Kate and Jerry McCann have really been tirelessly campaigning to keep the investigation open, to keep the search going.

In fact, last year the police put out an age progressed photo to show what Madeleine McCann might look like. Again, they put it out today urging the public if they have seen this little girl to give them information. Also interesting to note, a lot of recent cases in the U.S. have given them hope. For example, the case in Cleveland, they say the younger a child is that's taken the greater the chances are that she may still be alive.

BALDWIN: There is hope. We hope they find her. Atika Shubert, thank you, in London for us.

Coming up in the next hour of CNN NEWSROOM, we will have special coverage of the wildfire tragedy in Arizona, remembering the Hotshots. Stephanie Elam will join me from Prescott, Arizona, as we look and we honor the lives of these 16 young men, forgive me, 19 young men, 19 heroes. That is at 3:30 p.m. Eastern only here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: So, a bikini got a Missouri woman kicked out of a water park this week. Here she is. We're showing you Madelyn Sheaffer. She says two teenage employees approached her Tuesday at Adventure Oasis in independence. They told her she had to put on shorts. They said, Lady, your bikini is a little too small. Schafer asked for a supervisor. Supervisor said cover up or get out of my water park. She felt like she was discriminated against both with regard to her age and her body.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MADELYN SHEAFFER, SAYS EMPLOYEES KICKED HER OUT: There's, you know, 16 and 18-year-old girls wearing just the same amount. No one's criticizing them or making them feel ashamed or making them feel uncomfortable in their bodies. It's summertime. It's a swimming pool. I'm wearing a swimming suit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Sheaffer who filed a complaint had just started wearing bikinis after losing 100 pounds. The city of independence says it's up to the manager to decide if a person's attire is appropriate or not and they don't feel like they discriminated against this woman.

Well, to a major development now in the case of a woman who got fired from her job for being too irresistible, we told you, remember this woman, Melissa Nelson? We told you her story back in December because she got fired from this dentist's office in Iowa because her boss felt she was too attractive. Working with her, apparently, risked his marriage. She sued. She lost. She lost her legal battle last year, but now a new twist. Poppy Harlow has more on why Melissa's case may not be over after all.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This week Iowa's Supreme Court took a rare step withdrawing a unanimous decision in Melissa Nelson's case.

RYAN KOOPMANS, IOWA ATTORNEY AND BLOGGER FOR "ON BRIEF": People think this decision is just unfair.

HARLOW: Dentist James Knight called Melissa Nelson one of the best dental assistants he'd ever had, but he fired her in 2010. Why? Because she presented an irresistible attraction court records say, threatening his marriage.

MELISSA NELSON, FIRED FOR BEING A "THREAT TO THE MARRIAGE" OF HER BOSS: His reasoning was I was affecting his home life and his personal life and it was time for me to go.

HARLOW: Records show Dr. Knight's wife demanded that he terminate Nelson's employment. Nelson sued claiming gender discrimination.

NELSON: I'm not attracted to him. I've never been attracted to him.

HARLOW: Nelson said Dr. Knight complained her clothing was too tight and revealing. Not so says Nelson.

NELSON: I thought of myself as an everyday person who comes to work.

HARLOW: Last December, the all male Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled Nelson's firing was unfair, but legal and not gender discrimination, answering the key question, can somebody be lawfully terminated simply because the boss views the employee as an irresistible attraction. She hasn't stopped fighting. In April, Nelson brought attention to her case on Comedy Central.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you a good hygienist?

NELSON: Of course.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many cavities would you guess I've had in my entire life?

NELSON: Open up.

HARLOW: Now Iowa's Supreme Court is reconsidering its decision.

KOOPMANS: It's really unprecedented. The only thing that's new is the public reaction to the opinion which is overwhelmingly negative.

HARLOW: Nelson's attorney says her client is delighted at the news. Knight's attorney says he's confident that the Supreme Court will reaffirm its prior decision.

NELSON: I did my job to the best of my abilities. I worked hard.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARLOW: Now, in its December decision, Iowa Supreme Court pointed out that Dr. Knight hired a female replacement for Nelson and argued that showed her firing while unfair, was not gender discrimination. Legal experts say what makes this case so unique is that the court is not considering any new evidence. It's just agreed to reconsider its decision. That decision could come as early as next week or it could take months. Poppy Harlow, CNN, New York.

BALDWIN: Poppy Harlow, we'll come back to you as soon as a decision has been made. Thank you.

Coming up, working out? I know it can be tough. Maybe we all need to work off some hotdogs after today. Anybody do this whole thing called cross fit? Coming up, we're going to introduce you to someone who's overcome amazing odds to complete this crazy, strenuous class.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Have you heard of this intense workout regimen cross fit? Maybe a lot of you do it. Good for you. But now imagine doing this when you have cerebral palsy. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kettle bells, situps, squats, just completing a cross fit workout is impressive for anyone. For Steph Hammerman the feat is more than impressive. It once was inconceivable.

STEPH HAMMERMAN, ADAPTIVE ATHLETE: I was born three months premature. I lost a lot of oxygen and a bunch of blood through that process.

GUPTA: Steph has cerebral palsy. That develops after trauma to the brain during or after birth. Now, people with the condition are often unsteady on their feet. They have impaired motor function. Muscle coordination problems and all of this could make cross fit training dangerous. But for Steph, it's just another obstacle to overcome.

HAMMERMAN: All of my other brothers and sisters are completely able- bodied. Growing up in that world, there was no -- there was no other way to live.

GUPTA: She was always active. The inevitable freshman 15 in college made her really want to get in shape.

HAMMERMAN: So I found a gym. I walked in. I said I want to become stronger. I hear cross-fit is awesome. Would I be able to do this?

GUPTA: Within an hour she was hitting the mats. With each push up, she got stronger. With each pull up, more intense.

HAMMERMAN: I'm determined to prove not only to the world, but to myself that I'm good enough to do this.

GUPTA: Not only is she good enough to do it, she's now good enough to coach.

HAMMERMAN: Fight for it, guys, let's go!

GUPTA: Earlier this year she became the world's first certified cross-fit trainer with cerebral palsy.

HAMMERMAN: There's no reason in this world that people have to say they can't do something. If somebody really wants to do something, they're going to find a way to make it work.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)