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Two Teenagers Confirmed Dead in Boeing 777 Crash; Parents of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin Testified in Zimmerman Murder Trial; Egypt's Military Bracing for Another Chaotic Night; NSA Leaker Snowden Receives Asylum Offer from Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua; Deadly Train Crash in Canadian Town

Aired July 7, 2013 - 13:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much, Candy. Hello, everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. A look at our top stories this hour.

Investigators are on the scene in San Francisco trying to figure out why a plane crash landed less than 24 hours ago. They already have a couple of big clues, the flight recorders from the wreckage. We are live in San Francisco next.

And at least five people are dead and police say many more deaths are expected after an unmanned train explodes and levels part of a Canadian town near the U.S. border. We'll have a live report straight ahead.

The George Zimmerman murder trial is set to resume tomorrow in Sanford, Florida. Coming up, judge Alex Ferrer examines the direction he thinks the trial is going.

Let's start right now in San Francisco. Investigators are trying to piece together what happened just before noon yesterday west coast time when a plane crashed on the runway. The flight recorders have been recovered. The NTSB tweeted out these photos of the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder. Investigators hope that will give the critical clue or two to explain what happened before the plane hit.

Here's what we know right now. Two 16-year-old girls were killed in that crash. They are Chinese nationals. Asiana airlines identified them as Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia. Officials say their bodies were found on the runway. All 305 other people on that flight survived, but some remain in critical condition. The FAA said this afternoon that some flights destined for San Francisco could be delayed up to nine hours.

Miguel Marquez joins us live right now from the airport. So Miguel, give us the latest on the press conference that is likely to happen and what are passengers doing at the airport right now.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you can see there are very long lines at the airport right now. So, we are at the international terminal here in San Francisco and it is starting to get back to normal. That press conference which was going to be early on today will now be later in the afternoon east coast time. We expect NTSB at that point to give us an update on the black boxes to the flight data recorder and the information they are getting from them but exactly where the investigation is going.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): 11:34 a.m., Asiana flight 214 had been in the air just over 10 hours. Passengers report that pilot increased engine power seconds before crashing.

ELLIOT STONE, PASSENGER ON FLIGHT 214: It seemed like we were a little high and we could see the tarmac down below us. And so, we were coming down kind of sharp and then right when it started to coast, like for the landing, all of a sudden the engine was off. It was like he sped up, like he knew he was short.

MARQUEZ: The plane tail struck the seawall at the very start of the runway 20 left. The tail disintegrated the engine on the left wing disappeared. The plane whipping sideways across the runway. Witnesses report hearing an explosion and large fireball. The plane's fuselage mostly intact finally came to a stop. The right engine next to the fuselage smoking .

STONE: The back end is hit and flies up in the air and everybody's head goes up to the ceiling and that just kind drifts for a little bit probably a good 300 yards and tips over, fire starts. Everybody's pushing the doors out.

MARQUEZ: From the violence landing, passengers started to emerge. On this video shot by a witness in the terminal, you can see the plane's emergency chutes deployed and people using them to get off the plane.

In this video from passenger, David Eun, a Samsung executive, it shows some people holding on to their bags as they staggered from the plane. His tweet is shocking as the incident itself. I just crash landed at SFO. Tail ripped off. Everyone seems fine. I'm OK. Surreal. Witnesses shocked that anyone could survive.

DAVID EUN, PASSENGER: Just pancaked immediately. And then just kept sliding and sliding and sliding. It finally stopped and you could see how the fuselage kept buckling. Surprised it didn't come apart all together. And it was unreal.

MARQUEZ: Helicopter pictures show the trail of destruction. The impact on the stone embankment, one set of landing gear, wheels the plane stabilizers, the very tip of the tail, debris the plane littering the runway.

Officials say there was no sign of trouble before the plane crashed. The weather ideal, a clear day. All traffic using visual flight rules to land. Pilots say landing at San Francisco international can be tricky. This Google earth image shows the final approach. The runway 28 left and right starting close to each other. The runway starting right at the water's edge. (END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ: Now, two things that investigators may be looking at are the engines. The CEO of Asiana Airlines saying that as far as he knows, both engines were in fine working order, but passengers did say they felt them add power to them just before that impact. Also that left engine seems to have disappeared. We don't know where that went. Also, the instrument landing system here at SFO was out of operation for that runway. It had been out of operation for some time. The question is did the pilot know it, was he looking at something else, did any of that play into this terrible, terrible accident -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, all pertinent questions. Thanks so much, Miguel Marquez there in San Francisco.

Well, you know, thanks to social media, it didn't take long for pictures as you saw of the crash to appear online. They give us a look at exactly what happened as the plane skidded kind of after it skidded to the stop and passengers started pleading for safety.

David describes moments just after he escaped, as you heard from Miguel, when it appeared that everyone had survived in his view.


EUN: We just crash landed my flight from Seoul to SFO. The plane hit the run way really hard on the landing and we skidded to the side. I thought we were going to flip over. Every seems to be OK. A little shaken up. I think I'm OK. As much as I fly, you don't think about this kind of stuff happening. Anyway, everyone seems to be OK but shaken up. Wow.


WHITFIELD: So, David Eun wasn't the only one who walked away thinking everyone survived. As we mentioned, the flight data recorders from Asiana flight 214 have now arrived in Washington. There, they will be examined by the NTSB. In the meantime, the go team is on the ground at the airport in San Francisco. They have been there since early this morning. South Korean investigators and officials from Asiana Airlines and Boeing are also expected at the airport. The NTSB chief says aside from terrorism as a cause, everything is on the table.

CNN's Rene Marsh is joining us right now from Washington with more on the investigation.

So Rene, you know, what is the procedure now that the flight data recorder, voice recorders have been recorded and that so called go team is on the ground?

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. They have had these flight recorders in the lab here in Washington D.C. I would say for roughly about four hours now. And so, right now they're downloading the data from those flight recorders. And just to give you an idea, once again, those flight recorders are actually located in the back of the plane, the back area around the tail. So we have some video of the flight recorders, the flight recorders, the ones shipped over from San Francisco right there in the lab. So once again, you can see a little bit of soot on them. But the process of trying to figure out exactly went what went on moments before this crash landing, they can provide a lot of information. We're talking about the data recording that holds information like altitude, speed, position of the plane, the cockpit voice recorder that is capable of picking up background noises and any warning signals that may have gone off -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: And at what point -- I mean, how long does it take to sift through those recorders to get some kind of information in which to piece together some sort of idea of what happened just prior to that crash landing?

MARSH: Right. So, because we are talking about downloads here, it is not going to be a very lengthy process. The NTSB is telling me that at the very least by this afternoon we should get a preliminary readout of the information that they were able to pull off of those flight recorders. So, that is pretty soon.

I mean, we are already in the afternoon hours now. So, we're not sure exactly what time that information would be available. I was told that likely that information would be shared with us here, the media who wants to know a little bit more. But again, it seems like it is a relatively quick process and that we get that preliminary information this afternoon, Fred.

WHITFIELD: And of course as part of the investigation, investigators want to know more about the four pilots assigned to the flight especially the one who may have been in control during that landing. Have you gotten any information as to what kind of questions they would be asking them or what they may have learned about them thus far?

MARSH: Right. Human performance is another critical part of the investigation. As you said, the four pilots who were on board, they are going to ask them a number of questions. We had chairman of the NTSB, Deborah Hersman, on our air. She said in the upcoming days, they are going to be asking these pilots lots of questions. But first they want to make sure they are in the right state of mind and their well-being is good.

So, we can tell you this. This is what they are going to want to find out. they are going to want to know about their training. Did they follow the procedures? Were there any issues possibility with fatigue? I mean, we are talking about a more than ten hour international flight here. They want to make sure everyone got a good night's rest the night before. Blood and alcohol tests will also be done, not only on the pilots but also on the flight crew. They are going to be interviewed as well. And not only are they going to be looking at the people who were on board, but also the mechanics. Was the plane working? How was the equipment? All of that very critical in trying to get that full picture of what caused this plane to come down in that crash landing.

WHITFIELD: All right, great. Rene Marsh, thank you so much from Washington. All right. Now overseas. Venezuela says its door is open to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. But the country has not heard from him as yet. Venezuela extended an offer of asylum on Friday, but the foreign affairs minister said yesterday it hasn't had any communication with Snowden. Bolivia also has offered Snowden asylum and Nicaragua's president says it's willing to offer it, as well, if circumstances permit.

All right, could be another long intense night in Egypt where people are already gathering in several parts of Cairo. Supporters of the deposed president are demanding his reinstatement and some have vowed for die for their cause. Opponents of the Muslim brotherhood are also planning to protest. Egypt's military is stepping up security ahead of the demonstrations.

All right. Andy Murray took today's men's Wimbledon championship right at home. He beat former champion Novak Djokovic in straight sets. Murray is now the first British player to win Wimbledon since 1936, right there.

What a moment.

All right, now for a check of the weather across the country, let's check with Karen Maginnis.

Of course, Karen, let's talk about San Francisco. The place of that crash yesterday where it was clear skies. Everyone says optimal conditions for a landing. That now what are the conditions as the investigators try to piece everything together there?

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: All right. We do have mostly sunny skies. Pretty much the same kind of day that we did see yesterday with visibility greater than ten miles. Temperature typically like San Francisco in the low 60s. They get a little bit of the sea breeze cooling things off. Over the next several days, the temperatures expected to remain mostly in the low 70s. By Tuesday, we're looking at slightly cooler temperatures and only about a 10 percent likelihood of rainfall.

So the investigators can what they need without being interfered with by the weather. And across the eastern seaboard, high pressure still dominating this region but we still have that rain train that raises up across the southeast into the Ohio river valley. But it looks like that is tapering off at least just a little bit. Our flash flood watches and warnings have lessened. We're seeing much more coverage over the last several days.

But look right here, right across the Appalachians, that's where we think the potential for flash flooding still remains. There is a flood watch in effect for those regions. And the pan ham of Florida, some areas since last Tuesday particularly in the beach, they reported almost 22 inches of rain since last Tuesday. Right now in New York, it is a sizzling 91 degrees and in Boston, 89. But those temperatures that have been in the 90s the last few days, they are under heat advisories as low as heat watches and warnings. But it looks like going into the next several days, you'll start to see at least a little bit of a cool down. So, that will be some good news.

In New York city, you go from the 90s to temperatures mostly in the 80s. Atlanta goes from relatively cool for this time of year to temperatures shooting up into the mid to upper 80s in the next couple of days.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my. All right, sounds nice. Appreciate it.

Thanks so much, Karen.

All right, investigators have already recovered flight recorders on that San Francisco-bound airliner. I will ask the former inspector general at the DOT what those recorders might reveal about the potential cause of the crash.

And more on Edward Snowden stuck in Russia. He has new options if asylum, which ones will he take up, that's straight ahead.


WHITFIELD: Welcome back.

A day after the crash landing of flight 214, still lots of unanswered questions. Right now, however, the fire chief, Joanne Hayes-White is talking. Let's listen in.

CHIEF JOANNE HAYES-WHITE, SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT: I'm not sure the makeup of the passengers who are hurt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Do you have any idea of how soon the plane caught fire after the crash landing? People on board said the fire didn't start until most of the passengers were off.

HAYES-WHITE: I don't know. In fact we were so busy yesterday I didn't see any of the video. There is a lot of video, so I'd rather not comment because I don't know for sure. I know we received the call and we got there within three minutes. And at that point, there were flames coming off the plane and that's when we initiated our piercing nozzles to apply foam and water to the plane.

Yes, we did have firefighters that went on to the plane.


HAYES-WHITE: Not sure because the investigation will determine that --

WHITFIELD: You're listening to the fire chief there answering a variety of questions. She talked about how she has visited a number of the victims in the hospital, as well, and the comforts that the hospital is trying to extend to a number of the victims from that flight 214.

So, we're just over 24 hours since that plane crash landed making its way from South Korea, Seoul, to San Francisco. Remarkably two died, 16-year-olds. Their identities have been revealed but the majority of the 300 or so people who were on board were able to get off that plane, walk off that plane. But now, the investigation is turning to the why did it happen and how did it happen to help piece through the investigative process now.

Mary Schiavo, who is the former inspector general of the U.S. department of transportation joining us from Charleston, South Carolina.

Good to see you, Mary. So, we know now that the flight data and voice recorders have been recovered. NTSB has sent them to Washington. They ate looking at them. Here, they tweeted out pictures from the NTSB on the recorders that they are now going to be looking into.

So, we understand that it could be as early as this afternoon before they have some information. Information like what?

MARY SCHIAVO, FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: Information just a vast amount of data. The 777 has one of most, if not the most advanced flight data recorders that there is. It records hundreds of parameters on the plane, meaning everything from engine setting, altitudes, flap settings, any kind of instrumentation on that plane has a feed or most instrumentation has a feed into the flight data recorder and records it. And all they have to do is download it, not all. I mean, it is very it is complicated course, but they can computer read this and it prints out and they can analyze it very quickly.

And then, the second one is the voice recorder from the fact that it records every sound in the cockpit. For example, if the pilots were doing an altitude call out, the pilot not applying was falling out altitude or any kind of information like that. They will also not know right away if crew resource management was being applied meaning if the pilot not flying was challenging the pilot flying saying we're low, are we too fast, should we do a go around. It will have that information in a day. And I'll bet by tonight or tomorrow and the NTSB said about briefings because they have to by law. They have to breath the families. I bet they will have some pretty good preliminary information. They might even have the clues to the whole thing already.

WHITFIELD: Wow. That's remarkable. And what a change over so many years. Sometimes it would take days, weeks, months or years before there a pinpoint on the cause and you think as early as this evening we could have a little bit more information.

What's different these days? Is it simply the technology, the retrieval process, is it the protection of the boxes compared to many years ago?

SCHIAVO: Well, they have always been fairly well protected. Everybody remembers the four planes on 9/11, only the one in Shanks Ville is the only one survived, data recorder survived out of the pentagon. But they are so strong and they can withstand so much. And here, the tail where the boxes are located and they were orange, that didn't burn. But what's really good is how many things they record. In the olden days, you know 30 years ago, they maybe only recorded the altitude, whether the engines were running, certain pressure instrument gauge readouts. But now, with the recording of 250 and up items of data, they really have tremendous information and that's why, it is so important to get them. That's why they spend millions of dollars finding them even when on the bottom of the ocean. They just really reveal the clues. Unfortunately, the NTSB can read that, sent that out and read that very quickly.

WHITFIELD: All right, Mary Schiavo, thank you so much, formerly inspector general of the U.S. department of transportation, joining us from Charleston, South Carolina. Appreciate your time.

All right, after a wave of rejection, Edward Snowden gets some offers of asylum. The NSA leaker somewhere inside the Moscow airport still. We will go live to Venezuela, one of the countries extending asylum.


WHITFIELD: The man behind the leaks, the NSA leaks, Edward Snowden, has a big choice to make. Where will he seek asylum? Since Friday, he has received offers from Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua, but Venezuela said just yesterday that it hasn't actually heard from Snowden.

Matthew Chance joins us live now from Caracas, Venezuela.

So Matthew, Snowden hasn't responded to any of these offers?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it is more than the Venezuelan foreign minister hasn't been in direct contact yet with or its ambassador has not yet been in contact with Edward Snowden. He is still believed to be hold up inside in the transit area Moscow's airport. Foreign minister of Venezuela saying they are going to talk to him perhaps on Monday. And so, I'm not reading in more into it than that.

But certain the offer is there from the Venezuelans. They said, the president saying that they are offering a humanitarian asylum as they call it, that's why Snowden so that he can, this is quote, "live away from the imperial north American persecution." So very rhetorical, you know, offer given by this long standing critics of U.S. policy.

WHITFIELD: Matthew Chance in Caracas, thank you.

Also straight ahead, the against steps into the spotlight of the George Zimmerman trial. TV's Judge Alex joins us with the preview of tomorrow's testimony. And in Egypt, the military takes control of the government, but violence still rules the streets. A live update from Cairo, next.


WHITFIELD: A disaster like flight 214 really puts to the test first responders, doctors, passengers and crew. All showed remarkable resilience after that crash landing.

CNN Paul Vercammen examines a difficult day at SFO.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Harrowing accounts from survivors of Asiana flight 214, after a crash landing at San Francisco international airport.

VEDPAL SINGH, ASIANA FLIGHT 214 PASSENGER: The moment that (INAUDIBLE), there was a bang and we knew something has gone wrong.

BENJAMIN LEVY, ASIANA FLIGHT 214 PASSENGER: And I thought we were going back up and maybe we would go back up and start flying again. But we went back down again, you know, trenching provides another landing and we went back on again. So it was, as I say, it felt like slow motion.

STONE: UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of the sudden, the engine was like you sped up all time like you kind of knew you are short.

VERCAMMEN: Instead of a routine landing, an impact that resulted in smoke, and eventually flames and an alarming hole of fuselage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Asiana 214 heavy, San Francisco Tower.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Asian 214 heavy emergency vehicles are responding. We have everyone on their way.

VERCAMMEN: The Boeing 777 reached the end of a 10 hour flight from Seoul, South Korea Saturday, with 291 passengers and 16 crew members on board. All have been accounted for.

It is incredible that we have and very lucky that we have so many survivor, but there are still many that are critically injured and our prayers and out thoughts continue to go out for them.

VERCAMMEN: Nine bay area hospitals treated 182 passengers and crews. By Saturday evening, many were headed home. But still others remained being treated for burns, bruises and fractures.

DOCTOR CHRIS BARTON, SAN FRANCISCO GENERAL HOSPITAL: Some of them are in shock, some are very tearful, some look stunned. Overall, I think it's amazing how well most of the patients are coping.


WHITFIELD: That was CNN's Paul Vercammen reporting.

All right, a look at other stories we're following this hour.

Six hundred and fifty thousand defense workers are getting a day off work next week whether they like it or not. Furloughs begin tomorrow with military employees taking one day off unpaid each week through September 21. That means a 20 percent pay cut in their paychecks. The furloughs are a result much the $85 billion in federal spending cuts that kicked in March 1st.

Art collector, Charles Saatchi and his famous television chef wife, Nigella Lawson, are getting a divorce. The former tycoon says he is seeking the breakup. It comes after photos were published of him with his hands around Nigella's throat at a London restaurant last month.

Andy Murray took today's men's Wimbledon championship. He beat former champion Novak Djokovic in straight sets. Murray is the first British player to win Wimbledon since 1936.

All right, now to that deadly train crash in a Canadian town near the U.S. border. At least five people are now dead and at least 40 missing. After an unmanned train rolled seven miles down a hill exploded and leveled part of a small town in Quebec. More deaths are expected.

CNN's Jason Carroll is covering the story for us from New York.

So Jason, Quebec authorities just held a press conference. What more is being learned about this crash and the missing?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the situation is looking more and more grim, Fredricka. No other way to say it. Emergency officials say they are expecting more deaths to be reported as they continue their investigation and sweep of the town. The devastation unfolding early Saturday morning, that's when a train which was pulling more than 70 tankers of crude oil slipped down here, derailed and crashed into the town in Lac-Megantic in Quebec province. At least 30 buildings were engulfed in flames. Authorities evacuated more 2,000 people. Two trains are still burning.

Today, one emergency responder talked about the gruesome discovery that was made.


BENOIT RICHARD, QUEBEC POLICE SPOKESMAN: (INAUDIBLE) have found five bodies inside of the rooms that you can see behind me. Right now we're not even on the scene and we only have a portion of the scene that we can go inside.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My place is destroyed. So, I'm homeless. I have no family here and no friends. My dog is killed by it and that it was my birthday. So, I lost everything. So it's hard. No have nobody here.


CARROLL: Some of the town are calling it the deadly runaway train, this after Montreal, Maine and Atlantic railway confirmed the train was locked down by the locomotive engineer. That engineer then left for a crew change and then according to the company, the train skidded into town unmanned. The company released a statement saying we extend heartfelt condolences to those residents of Lac-Megantic who have lost their homes and businesses and particularly those who have suffered injuries and lost loved ones.

MMA will cooperate with the government agencies in determining a cause of what happened. Again, emergency crews have recovered five bodies and estimate 40 people are reported missing. There is some concern that some of the missing people may be those in a bar located not far from the explosion. Many of those people may not be accounted for -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: That's tragic. All right, and very mysterious.

Thank you so much, Jason Carroll.

Overseas, Egypt's military is bracing for what may be another chaotic night in Cairo. While authorities debate who should fill the role of prime minister, the Muslim brotherhood remains furious over their fall from power.

Karl Penhaul, now joining me from Cairo with more on this.

Karl, is there any sign that these protests are dying down? What is the latest?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, in fact, I'm going to bring you up-to-date.

A couple of scenarios developing across Cairo now that night has fallen. But let me tell you about it first. Well, I'm going to step out of the way and show you the scene right now in Tahrir Square.

These are opponents of the deposed President Mohammed Morsy. And they are gathering in the tens of thousands and that still arriving in the square right now. From time to time we see an over flight by military helicopters. We have seen apache helicopters flying over. We have seen small fighter jets flying over, pumping out plumes of smoke, the color of Egyptian flag. That's an effort by the military to show that they're very much on this crowd's side and that's a fact not lost on these people. They very much believe that it was thanks to the military that they were able to push Mohammed Morsy out of power during the week. They certainly reject the term military coup. The crowd down here very much believe that the military simply stepped into politics to back the will of the people.

Now, across the other side of town right now, supporters of the deposed president are also meeting. We haven't got eyes on the ground there so I can't tell you how big they are, but we understand there are also tens of thousands across there, as well. And what they are calling for is that Mr. Morsy be released from arrest by the Armed Forces and be reinstated to power. But certainly no sign that the armed forces will back down on that one. But what is playing out on the streets once again tonight is a show of numbers.

The opponents of Mr. Morsy here in Tahrir Square think it's important to put boots on the ground to show that they believe there is no chance of Mr. Morsy coming back and also, of course, what they're calling is a consolidation of power because yes, we have an interim president, from wrangling as you said, still going over about who the new prime minister will be, what the cabinet will be to lead and sent a new presidential elections. And of course, the supporters of Mr. Morsy across the other side of town believe very important too, to get boots on the street to demand that their president gets put back into power, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, very complicated situation there.

Thanks so much, Karl Penhaul, coming to us from Tahrir square.

More on the San Francisco plane crash straight ahead including the challenge of treating so many injured people. How hospitals respond to the range of injuries caused by such a devastating crash.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The plane actually picked up, its tail came up into the air. The nose was oriented down towards the ground and it was not all the way down. And then, I could see the tail was in the air. I could see that the tail just completely came off.


WHITFIELD: Doctors spend their lives train to go respond to a tragedy like we witnessed yesterday. At San Francisco General Hospital, they were ready when the victims started to flood in.

CNN's senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, looks at the kind of injuries they had to treat.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Fred, area hospitals are seeing a wide range of injuries, everything from the minor to the really severe. Let's take a look at them about so they have been seeing cuts and bruises, broken bones, spinal fractures, burns and internal bleeding.

And when situations like this, there are certain kinds of injuries that doctors worry the most about. For example, head injuries. Trauma to the brain can cause bleeding inside the skull. The brain doesn't have any room. That's immediately life threatening.

Another kind of injury and another one that you can't really see is internal bleeding in the abdomen. That also can be immediately life threatening if doctors or paramedics see that someone is in great abdominal pain, that may be a sign that they need surgery and they need it very quickly.

Now, we don't know much about the burn victims. We do know that some passengers were seen coming out of the water, so perhaps they felt the heat or perhaps they smelled chemicals and they went to the water which is very shallow to douse themselves.

I'm sure we will be learning more about that -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Thanks so much, Elizabeth. On to the George Zimmerman trial. It's being analyzed from just about every angle including the judge's performance. She is getting both praise and criticism for the way she's running her courtroom. I'll ask TV's judge Alex for his thoughts on the trial straight ahead.


WHITFIELD: George Zimmerman murder trial is set to resume tomorrow in Sanford, Florida. And that's when the defense will continue its side of the case.

It started Friday by calling Zimmerman's mother to the stand. She testified it was her son's voice crying out for help on the 911 recording. And that's what Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton said about her son and her version of the recording as one of the prosecution's final witnesses.

I'm joined right now by judge Alex Ferrer. He is the host of "Judge Alex," and former circuit court judge in Florida.

So, the defense, Judge, began with a big witness. How does the defense kind of keep that momentum up this week?

ALEX FERRER, HOST, JUDGE ALEX: Well, I think one of the things that we are going to see, is we are going to see another medical examiner, this one not quite as scattered as the one that the prosecution called. Vincent de Mayo who is the one who actually wrote the book at the state expert relied upon for some of his opinions and well-known firearms expert as well a forensic pathologist. I'm sure will testifies for the defense week. I think he is going to give some opinions and definitely going to help the defense with regard to the distance of the firearm, the trajectory and things like that. But I think he also would, I expect, testify about why it is that you don't have injuries on Trayvon's knuckles that are consistent with having pounded, as the defense claims, George Zimmerman. I think what we're going to hear from him, once you are killed, once your heart stop, the blood is no longer pumping. And as you know, when you get a bruise, you will hit something and hours later, all of a sudden the bruise will surface because of the blood that's continually pumped to the area. Well, when the heart is not pumping, that does not continue to happen.

So, I think you are going to hear some testimony like that that answers some questions in favor of the defense that are still lingering out there.

WHITFIELD: And so, what's your interpretation of how the state presented its case? Do you believe the state presented and has painted a rock solid picture that George Zimmerman should be found guilty of second degree murder or do you think there have been some real holes?

FERRER: No. I think there are a lot of holes in second degree murder. I think they have a shot at manslaughter. 2nd degree murder requires and finding a bill will hatred and spite that motivated and was the reason for the act that resulted in the death. We don't see that link here. We see some utterings under his breath when he is in the car. There is -- the removed and they are so interrupted by that fight that we have heard so much about. But don't really think they have much of a chance that a legal case of second degree murder. Let's face it, a jury can do whatever it want. We saw that in the Casey Anthony case what we thought it wouldn't do and they could so. So, jury could come back with second degree murder and be questioned then of whether it survives on appeal.

But I think what they have a shot at is manslaughter because in Florida, an unnecessary killing is manslaughter. If the jury finds that George Zimmerman was not acting in self-defense or exceeded the limit of the defense -- the actions he could have taken, in other words, he didn't need to kill Trayvon or at least it wasn't reasonable for him to believe that he needed to kill Trayvon, then they will reject his self-defense and in doing that they will probably find him guilty of manslaughter which will be almost as bad as second degree murder for George Zimmerman.

WHITFIELD: And then, as we evaluate interpretation, not necessarily forensic evidence, when you talk about the mothers who testified, the prosecution may have felt like it had a feather in its cap when Sybrina Fulton took to the stand and said it was her son, Trayvon Martin who was yelling for help only to be kind of out-strategize perhaps by the defense who called as one of its first witnesses as a family member, the mother and the uncle of George Zimmerman to say, no, that's George who's on the tape.

So, do you believe that was, you know, strategy that perhaps in the end could be quite brilliant because it overshadows the defense's first witness, kind of overshadows what was pretty profound witness testimony from the prosecution's last witness on Friday?

FERRER: Yes. It was absolutely -- it was good strategy on the defense part because it was the last thing that jury heard before they broke for the weekend. So, instead of ending for the weekend with Sybrina Fulton's testimony on their mind all weekend long, it was interrupted by the testimony of George Zimmerman's mother and his uncle.

And I believe they probably do believe each side probably believes it's their son. I agree with O'Mara on that. I think that each mother wants to believe that their son was not responsible for this death regardless of who really is on that tape but I doubt that either one of them has actually heard that kind of screaming from their kids.


All right, Judge Alex, thank you so much. This is going to be yet another potential riveting week of testimony in the George Zimmerman murder trial.

Thanks so much for your time.

FERRER: Thank you, Fredricka.

All right, another investigation, high profile and certainly getting a lot of people's attention, that one involving the New England patriots football team and a former player.

Well now, apparently, the team is giving fans a chance to trade in their Aaron Hernandez jerseys and people actually jumped at that opportunity. People lined up outside the pro shop yesterday. Jobs (ph) said it exchanged more than a thousand jerseys and they are doing it again 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, his name, Carlos Ortiz.

National correspondent, Susan Candiotti bring us up to date on this investigation.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fred, as potentially incriminating evidence mounts against former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez, more questions arise about a man who may be playing a key role in the investigation. Not much is known about Carlos Ortiz. But what we know is intriguing. The district attorney identifies Ortiz and Ernest Wallace as the two men in a 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 a car, he gets into an argument with the victim.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): How might investigators know 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 CONTRIBUTOR: You need an eyewitness really or an ear witness who can outline to a jury what the conversations consisted of and why the murder was committed. So, this is, 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. Wallace will be charged with accessory to murder after the fact.

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 flophouse. Documents show the football player leased it almost 20 miles from his luxury home, no explanation why. Neighbors says she barely saw the famous renter.

CAROL BAILEY, NEIGHBOR: No suspicious activity, no girls, nothing other than typical guy stuff, you know, a little bit loud. A little bit of cigarette smoke, a little bit of maybe pot but nothing that you wouldn't expect from a bunch of guys.

CANDIOTTI: According to search records obtained by CNN, police seized a white colored hooded sweatshirt and says it matches the one Hernandez was wearing in surveillance video the night of the murder. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.

CALLAN: I think a lot of people will be very surprised such a remarkably successful athlete was possibly leading a secret second life involving his friends.

CANDIOTTI: Hernandez's troubles don't end there. In nearby Boston, police are examining an SUV registered to the former tight end, discovered last week. Sources say that SUV might be involved in an unsolved dry by double murder last summer.


CANDIOTTI: Lloyd's murder investigation is now moving to the grand jury stage. CNN has learned a grand jury is already calling some witness, some scheduled to appear within the next two weeks -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Thanks so much, Susan Candiotti. Appreciate that.

One of the witnesses who will testify before the grand jury says Hernandez shot him in a separate incident earlier this year. Alexander Bradley is suing Hernandez over the allegations and he has been called to testify on July 17th.

All right, the NEWSROOM continues at the top of the hour. We'll hear more dramatic stories and accounts coming to us from San Francisco. Passengers who were on board that Boeing 777 are still talking about their ordeal. And they can't get away from those memories. Right after this.