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McCain: Suspend U.S. Aid to Egypt; 30 Killed in Clashes in Egypt; Bolivia Willing to Give Snowden Asylum; Mothers Give Emotional Testimony; Police Talking to Friend Of Hernandez; State Rests in Zimmerman Trial; Arizona Hit by Severe Weather; What You May Have Missed This Week; Will The Royal Baby Be A Boy Or Girl?; Sinkhole Swallows Woman's Car; Online Posting Lands Teen In Jail
Aired July 6, 2013 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'mFredricka Whitfield. Here's a look at the top stories we're following in the CNN NEWSROOM. In Egypt, thousands of supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsy are rallying in Cairo this afternoon. We'll have the latest on the political upheaval in that country.
And a third country has just extended an offer of asylum to the NSA leaker. We'll tell you which countries are willing to take in Edward Snowden.
And after 38 witnesses in nine days, the prosecution in the George Zimmerman murder trial rests. We'll look at what's next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: The Egyptian military has overturned the vote of the people of Egypt and we cannot set a precedent, which frankly we will make, let me put it this way, we cannot repeat the same mistakes at other times in our history by supporting the removal of freely elected governments.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: That was Senator John McCain calling on the White House to suspend aid to Egypt. Meanwhile, supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsy are protesting in Cairo right now. They say he is being held by the military at the Republican Guard Headquarters. Thirty people are dead and over 1,000 wounded in clashes across the country.
Reza Sayah is live for us right now in Cairo. So Reza, it has been a bloody night. How are things panning out today? Most of the people behind you are in support of Morsy?
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: All of them are. All of them say they're in support of Morsy and many say we should support the democratic process and they believe what happened last week with the ouster of Mohammed Morsy violated the most basic principles of democracy. We believe according to state media, Mohammed Morsy, the ousted president, is inside the headquarters of the Presidential Guard. And that is why yesterday, thousands of supporters of Mr. Morsy marched here with the unlikely mission they said of extracting him and putting him back in the palace where they say he belongs. Unlikely because when these demonstrators arrived here, they came face to face with heavily armed soldiers, armored personal carriers and there was a lot of tension yesterday and some clashes.
The military tried to disperse some of the people with tear gas, several people killed. We saw at least one body of one of the fatalities. Today, things are much calmer. A few thousand people here and they just held a mock funeral for the one of the people who was killed yesterday.
But if anyone thought this conflict here in Egypt was over, the critics had gotten rid of them and now, the path is clear for them to establish a government of their liking, there are a lot of people here in Egypt who have something to say about that. They're not happy with what has happened. They say they're determined to stay here until the armed forces declares Mr. Morsy president once again, which seems very unlikely at this point -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: And what about the military leadership? Is anything from them? What's next, what they would do with Mr. Morsy?
SAYAH: There are all sorts of indications, Fredricka, that the military wants to keep a very low profile. Obviously, there's a lot of controversy surrounding what they did. This was a democratically elected president. There was a massive uprising against Mr. Morsy. There were millions of people who didn't like him, but in came then the armed forces and it was ultimately their decision to remove him and put in place an interim president.
They want this not to be viewed as a military coup and that's why shortly after Mr. Morsy's ouster, they declared an interim president and ever since then they have kept a low profile. Now, moving forward, they could play a key role in resolving this conflict because both sides here are digging in. They say they're not going to go away, they're not going to stop demonstrating until Mr. Morsy is reinstated again.
WHITFIELD: All right, Reza Sayah, thank you so much from Cairo.
All right now, three countries have extended offers of asylum to Edward Snowden, the man behind the NSA leaks. Bolivia just added its name to the list today. The country's president called it a fair protest after four European countries restricted his flight this week out of concern that Snowden was on board. Yesterday, Nicaragua said it would offer asylum if the circumstances permit and Venezuela also gave Snowden the OK for asylum. Frederick Pleitgen has more now from Moscow.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, the president of Venezuela has said that he would be willing to take Edward Snowden in. Now, of course, the government of Venezuela is very antagonistic towards the United States. They keep calling the U.S. an imperialist nation and they from the beginning, have been very sympathetic to Edward Snowden. So in a speech late last night, Madoro told supporters that he would be willing to allow Edward Snowden to come to Venezuela and to give him asylum. Let's listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO, VENEZUELA (through translator): I announced to the governments of the friendly nations in the world that we have decided to offer the international humanitarian right to asylum to protect this young Edward Snowden from the persecution that has been unleashed from the most powerful imperialist in the world against the young man who only spoke the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: Now Venezuela, of course, is one of the few countries that are willing to give Edward Snowden asylum. It certainly looks as though there might some sort of light at the end of the tunnel to this whole saga. Another country that's now come out and said they might be willing to let him in is Nicaragua.
We're still waiting to see whether or not they firm that up, otherwise, most countries that he's applied to have already said they're not going to let him in either on technical grounds or on merits. So at this point in time, it seems as though Venezuela might be his best bet. The big question is now logistics. When can all of that happen? That's still up in the air and how.
Is he going to take a commercial flight possibly here from Russia to Cuba and then to Venezuela? The next flight would leave sometime around noon tomorrow local time, so we'll wait and see whether or not he's going to be on that flight, whether or not he's going to have the necessary travel documents because we also know that the United States has revoked his passport.
Certainly, the Russians will be very happy to hear all of this. They have been getting more antsy by the day. It seems as though they're very uncomfortable with Snowden's presence here. One of the things that's a big problem for Vladimir Putin at this point in time is that he can't hand him over to the U.S. because that would cause absolute humiliation here at home at Russia.
But also, he can't really let this drag on for a long very time and risk threatening the relationship that he does have with the Obama administration. So the Russians will be very happy to see this come to an end, but we're still not sure how long it's still going to take -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Frederik Pleitgen, thank you so much for that.
The George Zimmerman murder trial resumes Monday morning with the defense continuing its case. Defense attorneys are trying to prove Zimmerman shot Trayvon martin in self-defense. Prosecutors called 38 witnesses to try to prove otherwise.
Let's bring in CNN legal correspondent Jean Casarez from Sanford, Florida. So Jean, the strategy of the defense, call the mother of George Zimmerman on the same day the prosecution called Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon's mom. This now gives the jury a whole lot to think about this weekend, doesn't it?
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: This jury of mothers, right, because it is women at this point that will be the deliberating jurors. Five out of the six are mothers and as I said in this courtroom and Sybrina Fulton was the first to take the stand. All I thought was where does she get the strength? Because she had so much strength as she took that stand.
She actually tweeted earlier yesterday asking God to give her the strength to testify and she did and the jury got to learn a little bit about her. College graduate, her major was English. She has worked for Miami-Dade County for 24 years. George Zimmerman's mother also had the elegance up on the stand, but the pivotal question for both of them was when you listen to that 911 call and you hear those screams, can you say under oath who that voice is? Take a listen.
BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, LEAD PROSECUTOR: Ma'am, that's screaming, or yelling, do you recognize that?
SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN'S MOTHER: Yes.
RIONDA: And who do you recognize that to be?
FULTON: Trayvon Benjamin Martin.
MARK O'MARA, ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE LAWYER: Do you know whose voice that was screaming in the background?
GLADYS ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S MOTHER: Yes.
O'MARA: And whose voice was that?
ZIMMERMAN: My son, George.
O'MARA: And are you certain of that?
ZIMMERMAN: Because he's my son.
CASAREZ: And that was it. That was the testimony. As a mother, they said they knew the voice of their son, but Fredricka, it was interesting on the cross-examination of Sybrina Fulton, it came out that she was in a room filled with people. There were at least eight to 10 people at the mayor's office. That's when she heard the 911 call. That's when she believed it was her son's voice and the point of the defense was you were under pressure. You had to say you believed it was your son's voice, but as the mothers on that jury listened to that, they may also say mother knows the sound of their child's voice.
WHITFIELD: Right, but then now these jurors, five of whom as you mention, are mothers, have determined which mother, you know, to believe, because both of the mothers think that they heard the voice of their sons there. And it seems as though, prosecution might have felt, maybe some gratification from the testimony of Sybrina Fulton, that perhaps of all the testimonies prior, the 38 testimonies thus far, this is going to be the one that sticks with the jurors.
But then defense rolls out one of its first witnesses and it is the mother of George Zimmerman, so you have to wonder if the jurors have almost forgotten what they were hit with earlier in the day by Sybrina Fulton, only now to have the lasting memory of George Zimmerman's mother.
CASAREZ: Right, so then what you're saying is will the jurors be left with the evidence, the witness statement and the 911 call and they will discern for themselves who they believe was crying out in imminent fear of death.
WHITFIELD: Yes, powerful, powerful case. All right, thanks so much. Of course, defense resuming with calling of its witnesses on Monday. Jean Casarez, thank you.
And after the trial resumes on Monday, of course you're going to want to know what happened throughout the day. You may not be able to be in front of the television all day. So we're going to recap it for you. The key moments from our Anderson Cooper later on in the evening, he'll have an "AC 360" special report, "Self-defense or Murder," Monday night, 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
All right, some New England Patriots fans are giving up jerseys today all because of the name on the back. We'll have the latest on the Aaron Hernandez investigation.
Prosecution has rested and the defense has begun. We'll talk more about the George Zimmerman case. We'll ask our legal team what they expect next in this trial.
WHITFIELD: The New England Patriots football team is giving fans a chance to trade in their Aaron Hernandez jerseys today. Hernandez was cut from the team after he was charged with murder last month. Investigators in the case are now talking with a man who was also arrested, Carlos Ortiz. National correspondent Susan Candiotti is watching this investigation.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Not much is known about Carlos Ortiz, but what we know is intriguing. The district attorney identifies Ortiz as one of two men in the car with accused murderer, Aaron Hernandez, the night Odin Lloyd was gunned down execution style.
BILL MCCAULEY, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, BRISTOL COUNTY: There was a conversation that occurred in the car when he gets into an argument with the victim. CANDIOTTI: How might investigators know what about what went on in the car? A law enforcement source tells CNN Ortiz is cooperating with authorities but won't go further.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: If Ortiz is a cooperating witness, that's a big, big break for prosecutors.
CANDIOTTI: Ortiz for now faces only an illegal weapons charge for allegedly telling police he was carrying a gun the day Lloyd was murdered. Ortiz pleaded not guilty to the gun charge. His attorney declined comment to CNN. According to a search warrant, Ortiz told police the day after Lloyd's murder, he and Hernandez drove to this two bedroom apartment. Police call it a flop house. Documents show the football player leased it almost 20 miles from his luxury home. No explanation why. A neighbor says she barely saw the famous renter.
CAROL BAILEY, NEIGHBOR: No suspicious activity, no girl, nothing other than just typical guy stuff. A little bit loud. Little bit of cigarette smoke, maybe pot, but nothing that you wouldn't expect from a bunch of guys.
CANDIOTTI: Hernandez has pleaded not guilty. Lloyd's murder investigation is now moving to the grand jury stage. CNN has learned a grand jury already is calling witnesses. Some scheduled to appear within the next two weeks. Susan Candiotti, CNN, New York.
WHITFIELD: All right, the legal guys are next and we're talking about the latest in the George Zimmerman trial, two moms, one voice, two very different reactions. That's next.
WHITFIELD: The state rest in the Florida versus George Zimmerman. Did the prosecution do a good job of proving second degree murder? Let's bring in our legal guys, Avery Friedman, a civil rights attorney and law professor in Cleveland and Richard Herman in New York, criminal defense attorney and law professor joining us from Las Vegas. Good to see both of you, gentlemen.
All right, before we talk about some of the testimony that we witnessed during this week and capped off with the two mothers testifying, Richard, you first, did the prosecution do a good job in your view before resting that second degree murder -- George Zimmerman is guilty?
RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Fred, it's disgraceful. This prosecution is absolutely disgraceful. Every single witness testifying for the prosecution, they were unprepared. They were converted into defense witnesses. The prosecution put the self- defense claim of George Zimmerman before the jury. There's no way he's going to testify now. He doesn't have to. The jury has seen four or five interviews that he gave and each one is substantially similar. Every witness was really, Fred, an abomination. They were just horrible. They were unprepared, the information they gave to the jury not going to be believable. It's not credible, except for one witness, Mr. Good, the neighbor, who came out and testified unequivocally. He said Trayvon Martin was on top, Zimmerman was below. He saw Martin pounding him and here's a self-defense case. It's over, Fred. They should never have charged second degree murder. It's really a sham and shows how politically motivated this prosecution was.
WHITFIELD: Avery, you just agree with everything that Richard says.
AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, no, no, not everything. Yes. Look at it, the fact is, as prosecutors, you're stuck with what you got and indeed, there was discrepancy in this prosecution. There's no doubt about that. But you know what? If Richard was right on that, the judge, Judge Nelson would have granted that motion for acquittal.
HERMAN: She is part of a process.
FRIEDMAN: The jury has -- the jury has to consider it. It was not an acquittal. At this point, what has to happen at this point and I think the jury is going to consider this. We saw the quiet dignity of Trayvon Martin's mother. We saw the quiet dignity frankly of George Zimmerman's mother and how the defense actually convinced the judge to end the day with that was really an amazing tactic and we will now hear and this is very important, the forensic pathologist specialist, Dr. Vincent Demayo, who is world renowned.
Indeed, Dr. Bale, who was the prosecution relied on, uses Dr. Demayo's book in drawing conclusions, so while I'm in accord with some of the statements that were made that many of these witnesses were not good for the prosecution, ultimately, this is going to be a jury question and then we'll see what happens, but the defense I think starts out in pretty good shape right now.
WHITFIELD: So what does the defense need to do further then next week when court resumes, Richard?
HERMAN: Not much. You're going to see a minimal defense here, I believe, at least I'm not with them, but I believe it should be a minimal defense. They put on Dr. Demayo, who will educate this jury on forensics and how a medical examiner should evaluate the victim, not like the jokester that they put on the stand who is reading prepared questions and answers. He was a jokester.
WHITFIELD: Aren't you being a little hard on him?
HERMAN: I'm not.
WHITFIELD: -- of every examination that you do, when you were doing you know, dozens in one week at a time and Trayvon Martin wasn't necessarily a notable person for his memory until publicly, everyone started learning the name of Trayvon Martin and this situation and for that -- FRIEDMAN: That's exactly right.
HERMAN: This man, this man --
FRIEDMAN: You can't expect a coroner to know everybody. You want to know something? Maybe he could have been better prepared, but he testified honestly, forthrightly. Ultimately, the jury makes the decision. Not the judge, not you, not me, the jury will make the decision.
HERMAN: We know the jury makes the decision, but he's a professional witness. He testified that he has been approved as an expert in 20 other trials. Mr. Zimmerman's life is on the line here. He had an obligation to prepare his testimony so when he came in. He could speak with knowledge of what he did and what we learned, no protocols. He doesn't know anything. He change d his mind. He changed his opinions.
WHITFIELD: Something else is interesting that you said, you talk about preparing your witness. You can only go so far to prepare your witness. Is that the case? We also heard that the defense was a little upset about racial -- and they asked her very point-blank, were you prepared did you talk to those attorneys, you can only prepare a witness so far or perhaps, not at all, which is the case.
FRIEDMAN: You're supposed to prepare a witness. It's OK for a lawyer to say by the way, before you took the stand, did you review your notes so that your testimony would be meaningful? That's an entirely appropriate thing to do whether or not he did a good job, that's a different question. He's not going to commit his notes and information to memory. There was nothing wrong with that testimony. The question is will the jury credit it.
HERMAN: They will not credit it. He will give him a big, fat zero. Discard everything he said because he was a joke. He was unbelievable. Just like Dr. Rao testified too, they're going to disregard her also. These people are coming in with agendas, Fred, and they're not believable. They're not credible.
FRIEDMAN: What possible agenda. That's not fair. What agenda?
HERMAN: The conviction express. That's all it is. They work for the state. They're supporting the state just as the jokester. She's bending over backwards to help the prosecution here.
FRIEDMAN: As a matter of law, murder two should have been dismissed. They utterly failed.
HERMAN: And it was not.
WHITFIELD: But it didn't. At this point, the jurors now have to try to extrapolate all they've heard from this testimony. They have to figure out what's believable, what's credible and by hearing the two mothers on this final day before the weekend, something tells me they are indeed considering the testimony of Gladys Zimmerman as well as Sybrina Fulton, trying to ascertain which voice that may have been heard on that 911 call.
HERMAN: Fred, one thing. Miss Zimmerman's testimony though was corroborated by the neighbor, Mr. Good. That gives her a slight edge over Miss Fulton. I'm sure it was devastating for both of them and I wish --
FRIEDMAN: That's the only thing I agree with.
HERMAN: I wish Miss Fulton would have had some tears coming down to show some emotion, which she didn't. I think Miss Zimmerman gets it for the mother, quiet dignity.
WHITFIELD: All right, gentlemen, we're not done with you guys because we want to talk about a couple of other extraordinary cases in about 20 minutes, but we enjoyed hearing your recollection of this trial thus far. So, you're going to be back.
HERMAN: Are you sure? Are we coming back?
WHITFIELD: please, come back. We've got a couple more cases. You might not be able to you know, get you as riled up over these case, but that's Ok. This one's involving a teenager who's now sitting in jail because of something he wrote on Facebook. This might be a lesson to everybody out this.
And how about this question, the royal baby, what do you think, a boy, a girl? Does it matter to you Avery and Richard? It matters to everyone else, particularly in London. The parents don't even know, but we'll tell you why science could be giving us some clues.
And with a week of big stories around the world, some political stories here at home. We'll kind of bring you up to date now on those.
WHITFIELD: Hard to believe. This is Tucson, Arizona where yesterday a monsoon rolled through the area flooding roads as you see right there. One family actually had to be rescued from the current, but fire department, the southern part of the state is awash in rainstorms. It's a big mess.
The complete opposite of what's happening in the central and northern part of the state where people are coping with the after effects of some serious heat and summer fires, so will Arizona see any relief from this severe weather? Karen Maginniss joining us now. Are things going to look up for folks there?
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: They are stuck in a monsoonal flow now, meaning they can see those afternoon thunderstorms pick up. This is where the farmers and growers receive the bulk of their rainfall. If they don't get it now, they kind of hurt the rest of the year. Also very dry and very hot has been in the northeast. Look at the temperatures now, New York City is 89 degrees. Boston is already at 91 degrees. As a high pressure ridge, the Bermuda high still firmly in place, it may shift a little bit, but that monsoonal moisture rising up underneath that ridge is flowing in from the Gulf of Mexico Producing torrential downpours. We've just got an update that since Tuesday at Inlet Beach Florida, they have seen almost 22 inches of rain.
Temperatures are going to be hot across the west as you would expect, there is still that monsoonal moisture sweeping on into Arizona and New Mexico, Colorado and into Utah. New York City, today, about 93, for Boston, 92, but it looks like it may be warmer than that, still in the 90s coming up for Sunday, but then by Monday, 86, but with the cooler temperatures in the northeast and New England, you'll also see the rainfall and it could be heavy at times. In Chicago, temperatures in the 80s, 70s and 80s for Cincinnati so enjoy the rest of your weekend -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right, quite the variety there. We're wearing the same color. How did we do that?
MAGINNIS: Our stylists.
WHITFIELD: Color of the day. All right, thanks, Karen.
All right, the George Zimmerman trial, the crisis in Egypt and the deadly Arizona wildfires all dominated news this week, but there were some pretty interesting political stories that flew under the radar. Here's CNN political editor, Paul Steinhauser. He's catching us up.
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Hi, Fred. It was the biggest domestic achievement President Barack Obama's had in the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEINHAUSER (voice-over): But Tuesday night, the administration announced it was delaying by a year, a key part of the president's sweeping healthcare law. The mandate for businesses with 50 or more employees to provide their workers with health insurance or face fines now won't kick in until the start of 2015.
The news came as Mr. Obama was on board Air Force One flying home from Africa. It involved opponents of Obamacare and renewed calls by many Republicans to once again try and repeal the health care law. State lawmakers in Texas came back this past week in a special session called by Governor Rick Perry to once again try and pass a controversial bill that would ban nearly all abortions after 20 weeks.
GOVERNOR RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: In Texas, we pursued policies to protect unborn children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEINHAUSER: The bill died a week and a half ago after a filibuster by a Democratic state senator.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WENDY DAVIS (D), TEXAS STATE SENATOR: -- to speak for an extended period of time on the bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEINHAUSER: That filibuster grabbed national attention. Fast forward Gabby Giffords on Monday firing a weapon at a gun range for the first time since she was severely wounded in a shooting two and a half years ago. Giffords and her husband, former astronaut, Mark Kelly, are on a seven-state tour trying to build public support for an increase background checks for gun sales -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much, Paul bringing us up to speed there.
All right, all eyes are now on London. The official due date for the royal baby is next Saturday. We don't know the gender, boy, girl, who knows? Neither do the parents apparently, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge. Elizabeth Cohen explains from London that science can actually give us some clues about whether it's going to be a boy or a girl.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Will Katherine give birth to a boy or a girl, a prince or a princess? Londoners love to guess.
(on camera): What do you think, boy or girl?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to be a girl.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think she will have a boy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A girl, looks like a very elegant, feminine bump.
COHEN: So most people think pretty much just 50/50 chance that they will have a boy or a girl, totally random, but apparently, it's not true.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, absolutely not true.
COHEN (voice-over): Biologist, Fiona Mathews, is an expert on the science of sex prediction. She says there's real evidence that the royal couple is likely to have a daughter. First, there's Katherine's tiny pre-pregnancy waistline. Matthew's own study shows women who eat less are more likely to conceive a girl.
DR. FIONA MATHEWS, REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGIST: One idea is that maybe boy babies or boy embryos need to have a much richer food simply.
COHEN: Then, there are Prince William's daring rescues as a Royal Air Force pilot.
PRINCE WILLIAM: It's physical, very demanding.
MATHEWS: Those men are more likely to have girl infants than boys. COHEN: And perhaps most telling of all --
RICHARD QUEST, HOST, CNNI's "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": The duchess has been admitted to the hospital suffering from severe morning sickness.
COHEN: That means she's 80 percent more likely to have a girl according to one study.
(on camera): So girl, girl, girl.
MATHEWS: That's right.
COHEN: Are these all old wives tales or real science?
MATHEWS: No, this is all real science.
COHEN (voice-over): Of course, it might be too soon to paint the royal nursery pink just yet. We'll find out for sure when it's posted in the Buckingham Palace Courtyard, just like when Prince William was born.
WHITFIELD: That's fascinating. We're all waiting. We're at the edge of our seats.
All right, meantime, in this country, a Texas teen says it's all a misunderstanding. He says he was only joking, but the teenager's been in jail since March for something he wrote on Facebook. We'll explore this case with our legal guys.
And a massive sinkhole swallows a car. The driver tells us how she survived next.
WHITFIELD: All right, everyone agrees it was a frightening scene, but guess what, it led to a remarkable rescue in Toledo, Ohio. A huge sinkhole swallowed a woman's car while she was in it. Nick Valencia is here to tell us all about it. It's hard to believe that this actually happened.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly what was going through her head. She said, this is hard to believe. How can this road just open up? Probably the most terrifying experience for Pamela Knox. Something that you don't expect is going to happen to you while you're traveling down to road, but she says it wasn't luck. She gives all the credit to God.
PAMELA KNOX, SURVIVED SINKHOLE COLLAPSE: As the car was falling, you know, I kept calling on the name of Jesus and I kept saying, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
VALENCIA (voice-over): Hard to believe, that's what 60-year-old Pamela Knox thought as she sat in her trapped car. She had plummeted nearly 20 feet into a sinkhole on a busy Toledo, Ohio street, the result of a suspected broken water main. Frantic witnesses called 911.
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: Yes, a call fell through the street. A car fell through the street of Detroit and Land Croft. A hole opened up.
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: What kind of vehicle?
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: I don't know. A tan Malibu is in the hole. It sunk in.
KNOX: It wasn't like that was over. No, it was falling and rolling.
VALENCIA: Knox doesn't remember how long her car was stuck on shaky ground in the sinkhole before a team of firefighters rushed to her rescue. They helped Knox climb up a ladder to safety. A city official blames the collapse on an outdated sewage system built with brick in the 1890s. They tell CNN they are working on trying to find the source of the failure. Knox says she survived unharmed because of her strong faith.
KNOX: Thankfulness, just thankfulness. Just thankful that I am a child of God, thankful.
VALENCIA: Knox's husband was outside the sinkhole watching situation developed. The whole time he says he was worried about a pile-up. The fact that she survived, he's calling it a miracle. Pamela Knox joined our anchor, Kate Bolduan, for "NEW DAY" earlier this week and she told us what it was like to go through this whole experience.
KNOX: I'm doing a lot better today. I'm just thankful that I did not sustain any serious injuries. Just a lot of soreness and just simply taking aspirin or ibuprofen for that and other than that, I'm doing OK. I was you know, I had just finished doing some errands and as I was driving down the street and it's an area that I've driven down before, you know, over many, many years. All of a sudden, the street underneath me caved in and the street gave way and I found myself falling in my car into this deep, deep hole.
KATE BOLDUAN, ANCHOR, CNN'S "NEW DAY": What did you think at this point?
KNOX: I couldn't understand what was going on. I didn't know what was happening, my gosh, I'm actually falling, is this really happening to me? And as I was falling like that, you know, I just started calling out on the name of Jesus. You know, I just kept saying Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, you know, over and over again. Because you know, I didn't know. At first, I was very apprehensive about looking at it.
I really didn't want to watch any of it, but then you know, I got better with that and I started looking at it and it was just so unbelievable. So incredible and you know, thank the Lord you know that my strong faith kept me in sound mind during that time because while I was in that hole, I also heard you know, the sound of rushing water and I turned around and looked back and the backseat of my car was filling up with water. So, apparently, when I fell, you know, water line --
BOLDUAN: Definitely hit a water line.
KNOX: Had broken, yes, you know and all this water started pouring out and it was filling up my car and I'm like, my gosh. I could possibly drown in all of this.
VALENCIA: That Pamela Knox is all right. Up next, our legal guys are back. What can you say and what can you say about it on Facebook? A case out of Texas is raising a lot of questions about free speech and modern media.
Plus, a judge rules in the case of accused kidnapper, Ariel Castro, the next steps in the disturbing story out of Cleveland.
WHITFIELD: Police didn't think it was funny. A teenager who said he was just joking around on Facebook is now in jail and accused of making terroristic threats. Miguel Marquez has the story from Texas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want my kid back. He's my best friend and I miss him so much.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jack Carter, devastated his teenage son behind bars for months facing up to 10 years in prison.
JACK CARTER, JUSTIN'S FATHER: I just want the tell Justin we love him and that everybody's here for him and that everything's going to be OK. This is going to be right.
MARQUEZ: Carter is now getting help, a new legal team taking the case for free. We spoke to the attorney just after meeting his client for the first time.
DONALD FLANARY, ATTORNEY: He's distraught, confused, he's sad. You know, this is somebody who has never been to jail before.
MARQUEZ: Justin Carter, arrested in February, charged with making a terroristic threat, a felony. The alleged threat says his father came after Justin played the online multiplayer video game, "League of Legends." In a postgame Facebook conversation, the person he was chatting with called him f-d up in the head. Carter responded I'm f-d up in the head all right. I think I'm going to shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of innocent rained down and eat the beating heart of one of them. FLANARY: Didn't look at the context of what's been put online because if they would have, I think they would have seen it was sarcasm.
MARQUEZ: Investigators says they found evidence Carter was engage in online bullying and made a threat to a woman, a random stranger, those turned up no evidence of an actual plot. While prosecutors had no comment on the case, Jack Carter said Justin was offered a plea deal that would have put him in prison for eight years.
CARTER: This kid is just beaming with life, just trying to, you know, and they took it all away from him.
MARQUEZ: Real consequences for a comment made in the virtual world. Miguel Marquez, CNN, Texas.
WHITFIELD: All right, so it's a case of free speech colliding with modern media and a teen's future now hanging in the balance. Our legal guys are back. Avery Freidman in Cleveland, Richard Herman in Las Vegas. All right, gentlemen, this is a tough situation for this family, but Avery, how will Justin try to justify his actions? How does he defend himself?
FRIEDMAN: It was a stupid thing to do. The question is what's the law? Look at the three elements in Texas. You have to show wilful. You have to show intent to threaten then it has to be unequivocal or unconditional. Well, JK followed, just kidding. So in fact, the third element can't be reached, the truth is, that this might be an overreaction because of Newtown or Chardon or Columbine, but at the end of the day, it strikes me that this is way out of line.
Unless there's more evidence don't know about and that's maybe what the grand jury considered. We need to find out. But in the absence of that, I think this is an inappropriate charge. I think the bond has to be red reduced. I think the young man has to get help and this has to be put in some kind of context so that free speech is not obstructed.
WHITFIELD: So, Richard, do you agree with that? This is an inappropriate charge and perhaps while police did not seek sarcasm in his dialogue, in his Facebook page, they went overboard in your view?
HERMAN: So quietly, he agrees with Avery. I'll tell you, Fred. This is third degree --
WHITFIELD: It's a rare moment.
HERMAN: Rare. The third degree felony terrorist charges against him, he signs off, as Avery said JK, just kidding and LOL. You know, laughing out loud. I mean, come on. A Canadian woman read it and she's the one that notified authorities. Apparently, you know, Newtown is very sensitive in everyone's heart and in their minds and this individual happens to live about a half a mile from an elementary school. So you know, I'm sure they investigated his online accounts. If they found any evidence of seeking terrorist information or ammunition or guns or explosives, you would have heard it by now. They don't have it.
WHITFIELD: But that's the argument, too, is that in this day and age, you have to be ever so careful and it doesn't matter if you don't have any priors or you don't have any kind of, you know, prior questionable behavior because it could only, it could happen just once and something terrible.
HERMAN: He's in prison for three months so far.
FRIEDMAN: This is a tough one. That's exactly right.
HERMAN: And he's getting beat up every day there.
WHITFIELD: Say that again?
FRIEDMAN: We're agreeing. We're actually agreeing.
WHITFIELD: What are we going to do? Show is over. Richard and Avery is in agreement here.
HERMAN: Wait until the next one, got another one coming up here.
WHITFIELD: OK. All right, where are we going next? It's amazing. OK. In your backyard then Avery, let's talk about this case of Ariel Castro and so now, he's finding his way, path to plead now with this trial. He's not insane. No insanity defense in his future. What next?
FRIEDMAN: Remember the Casey Anthony, Jodi Arias, month after month after month? The young women escaped in May. Castro was charged with over 300 counts in June. In July, he was determined that he's competent and on August 5th, the case is set for trial. Welcome to Ohio. That's way it works here.
At the end of the day, there are going to be amended charges. The prosecutor here is going to add about 300 more. So instead of an August 5th trial, we might see a September trial, but one way or the other, the end of the day, it's going to be a plea, life without parole. It's kidnap, rape, it is done.
WHITFIELD: If you see it that way, then why even waste time? What's with all these formalities?
HERMAN: That's how our system is, Fred. Come on. He is entitled to his day in court.
WHITFIELD: Of course, but if we're thinking ultimately the strategy is there will be a plea, I mean, that he and his attorneys will say OK, let's change, you know, his defense. What has been entered, then why even go through all these formalities.
HERMAN: They want to make sure his constitutional rights are protected. Can you imagine if you were assigned this case as court appointed counsel? Let's tip our hats to these attorneys that are going to do everything they can. This is a very tough case. He's going to prison for life. FRIEDMAN: They could have said we, every defense entitled right to council. We are protecting his rights of the constitution. Some of these guys are saying, he's a wonderful family man. What the heck? It's unbelievable.
HERMAN: He petitioned for a visitation with his 6-year-old daughter and the judge says, I don't think that would be appropriate right now.
WHITFIELD: Yes, not right now.
HERMAN: Are you kidding? This is --
FRIEDMAN: Couldn't come up with screen writers on that one. This is awful.
WHITFIELD: This is why you all are the attorneys and I'm not. This is why we defer to you because you've got all the answers.
HERMAN: Well, you're always in the mix, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: You're always schooling us especially me.
HERMAN: You're the judge, Fred. You're the judge.
WHITFIELD: I don't think so. All right, thanks, guys. We can always -- you can at home always catch our legal guys. We can enjoy them together every Saturday at about this time, giving us their take on the most intriguing legal cases of the day. All right, gentlemen, have a great rest of the holiday weekend.
Coming up next, the defense in the George Zimmerman murder case under way, what more can you expect?
Plus, some big stars hitting stage tonight to help the storm victims who need it most, we'll talk with country star Toby Keith.
And an after the trial resuming, George Zimmerman trial on Monday, of course, you want to get a recap of the day from our Anderson Cooper. He'll have a special report Monday night 10:00 p.m. Eastern right on CNN. The next hour begins right after this.