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Kidnapping Victims Speak Out; Crash of Asiana Flight 214; Crash Survivors Tell Their Story; Canada Train Disaster; The Trial of George Zimmerman

Aired July 9, 2013 - 08:00   ET



MICHELLE KNIGHT, KIDNAPPING VICTIM: Thank you for all your prayers. I'm looking forward to my brand new life.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, speaking out, the Cleveland three kidnapped as girls in Cleveland, then rescued, talking for the first time.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: NEW DAY exclusive, some of the youngest survivors of Flight 214 speaking out for the very first time as we see this dramatic video of passengers escaping the wreckage.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Surprising twist. The young rules the jury can hear that Trayvon Martin had marijuana in his system the night he was killed. This, as his father takes the stand. We break it all down.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.


ANNOUNCER: What you need to know --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a possibility one of their two fatalities might have been contacted by one of our apparatus.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We show you just how disgusting this is. All you can eat ribs by the dumpster.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.


CUOMO: James Earl Jones is right, this is NEW DAY.

Good morning, everybody. It's Tuesday, July 9th. It is 8:00 in the East. I'm Chris Cuomo. BOLDUAN: You do not question that, man. That is for sure.


BOLDUAN: I'm Kate Bolduan. We're here with news anchor Michaela Pereira.

Coming up this hour, more on the new and riveting video showing passengers running for their lives after the Asiana Airlines crash. And it's a NEW DAY exclusive, you have to hear our interview with three young siblings who survived that ordeal.

CUOMO: And then the George Zimmerman trial gets under way in about 30 minutes. What will the new evidence about Trayvon Martin's drug use do to the case? Daryl Parks, an attorney for Trayvon Martin's family, will join us live.

PEREIRA: And we know that reality TV is certainly no stranger to controversy. This one, though, rocking "The Big Brother" house is astounding. Cast members were caught on camera saying racist and homophobic slurs. The question is, should the show profit from bigotry?

BERMAN: Provocative question. We'll take you through it.

But we want to begin this hour with our NEW DAY exclusive.

Three remarkable young women. They were silenced for more than a decade, held captive and tortured in a Cleveland home, a horrific situation. One of them described as going to hell and back.

This morning, they are breaking that silence for the first time, posting a video that may be the first small step to reclaiming their lives.

Pamela Brown is here with details. And, really, we've been waiting to hear from them.


CUOMO: And it's so good to hear from them.

BROWN: You know, after being in Cleveland several times over the past couple of months covering the story, it's really incredible to see these young women doing seemingly doing well given what they've apparently been through. Now, this is really the first time we're seeing and hearing from all three of them since they went missing more than 10 years ago.


BROWN (voice-over): In a four-minute YouTube video, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight are speaking publicly for the first time to simply say thanks.

AMANDA BERRY, KIDNAPPING VICTIM: I want to thank everyone who has helped me and my family through this entire ordeal. Everyone who has been there to support us, it's been a blessing to have such an outpouring of love and kindness.

GINA DEJESUS, KIDNAPPING VICTIM: I would say thank you for the support.

KNIGHT: Thank you, everyone, for your love support and donations, which helped me build a brand new life.

BROWN: More than $1 million has been donated to the Courage Fund to help the women heal after a decade of alleged abuse in captivity by Ariel Castro.

Castro is charged with beating, raping and starving them, even forcing the miscarriage of a baby he fathered. Yet in the video made last week, the women seemed upbeat, not bitter.

BERRY: I'm getting stronger each day and I'm having my privacy has helped immensely. I ask that everyone continue to respect our privacy and give us time to have a normal life.

KNIGHT: Be positive. Learn that it's important to give than to receive. Thank you for all your prayers.

BROWN: Michelle Knight held the longest, appeared to suffer the worst abuse. Here she hints at the pain of the ordeal and what she learned from it.

KNIGHT: I will not let the situation define who I am. I will define the situation. I don't want to be consumed by hatred. With that being said, we need to take a leap of faith and know that God is in control.

BROWN: They were once known only as silent victims. Now, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight want the world to know they have a voice and have reclaimed their lives.


BROWN: And the women do not plan on making any additional public statements for the time being. They continue to ask for the public to respect their privacy so that they can continue to heal.

BOLDUAN: And that will be a very long process for them, that's for sure.


BOLDUAN: Pamela, thanks so much for bringing their stories to us this morning.

Also this morning, dramatic video from the crash of Asiana Flight 214. You can see passengers fleeing for their lives just a few seconds after the jet went down in San Francisco.

And this morning, there's no official word, no official explanation yet, for what went wrong, but investigators believe the plane was going too slow as it approached to land.

Miguel Marquez is live in San Francisco following the latest on the investigation. Good morning, Miguel.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. We do have some breaking news for you at the moment. We've just learned that NTSB has spoken to half of the pilots. The pilot, though, that was at the stick flying that plane will be spoken to and interviewed by NTSB later today. They say they want to know what was going on in the cockpit, what the pilots were seeing, and why none of them realized they were in trouble.

This video you mentioned, we're getting a very good idea how that evacuation and escape took place.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): Moments after impact, emergency chutes deployed from the plane.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My God that's scary.

MARQUEZ: You see one person zipping down and a stream of people running for their lives. One slide reportedly popped open inside the plane trapping people.

DEBORAH HERSMAN, NTSB CHAIRWOMAN: We have heard that there were some problems inside the aircraft. We need to understand why that happened.



MARQUEZ: Eventually, dozens of emergency vehicles surrounded the plane. The possibility that a plane crash victim was struck by an emergency worker vehicle now part of the investigation.

HERSMAN: We are reviewing airport surveillance video.

MARQUEZ: United 885 waiting to take off --

FLIGHT 885: We see people and I think they need assistance. They are alive and they are walking around.

MARQUEZ: -- had a terrifying front row seat as the Asiana flight came crashing in.

FLIGHT 885: Some people look like they're struggling.

MARQUEZ: And in this new video released by NTSB, it shows the landing gear near the seawall, the glide path on target, but the speed way too slow. Three seconds before impact, the plane just above the water is doing just 118 miles per hour. It should be doing around 158.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not something that I expected to ever view in my career.

MARQUEZ: First responders now coming forward. One police officer jumped into the burning plane.

JAMES CUNNINGHAM, FIRST RESPONDER: We saw the black plume of smoke coming in, like something out of a nightmare.

MARQUEZ: Flight Attendant Kim Ji-eun (ph), the last one off the plane said she carried people piggy back from the smoldering wreckage.

The two girls who died were sitting near the back of the plane, friends for years who often had lunch together. Friends and family are not surprised they were together to the end.

The family members of the two Chinese victims on their way to San Francisco to collect their daughters' bodies met with Asiana Airlines President Yoon Young-Doo, who apologized in person.


MARQUEZ: Now, a senior flight attendant, Yoon Ki-Lee (ph) is also speaking out. She says that the landing did not feel any different than other landings until the crash occurred. She also said the pilot told her to wait on the evacuation.

Now, NTSB says they will be questioning the flight attendants today about that and other things.

Chris, back to you.

CUOMO: All right. Miguel, thank you very much. Hearing from the crew, very important, but hearing from the people inside, just as important.

And in a NEW DAY exclusive, three of the youngest passengers onboard that plane are talking about the terrifying crash and their unlikely escape. They spoke to our Sara Sidner. She's live in San Francisco. Good morning, Sara.

SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. Yes, an amazing story from these three youngsters -- all under the age of 16 years old. Two of them were here, actually, all three of them came here to San Francisco General Hospital with their father, but they have been unable to meet up with their mother, who's in another hospital, but all this time, they have been thinking through what happened on that fateful day when they were aboard Asiana 214.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my God! Oh, it's an accident!

SIDNER (voice-over): The chaos of a plane crash, the sudden impact, the spinning, the dust, the fire, and then the desperate scramble to stay alive.

ESTHER JANG, PLANE CRASH SURVIVOR: There was no warning or anything. It was just -- it just happened.

SIDNER: 15-year-old Esther, 13-year-old Joseph, 11-year-old Sarah Jang and their parents were all inside the plane returning from a family vacation.

ESTHER JANG: It was like we were all bouncing all over the place. I just remember there being dust everywhere and I was freaking out and then it just stopped.

SIDNER: At first, the Jang siblings weren't even sure they had survived the crash.

JOSEPH JANG, PLANE CRASH SURVIVOR: I was also calling out for my parents and I was, well, I couldn't breathe for like -- because I got the wind knocked out of me, so I couldn't breathe for a couple of seconds.

ESTHER JANG: So after everything stopped and then I realized I was alive and I looked over and I saw my brother and sister, they were both fine. And then I looked over and my mom and my dad, and they were both on the floor because their seats fell down. And then I called their names out, and they both like moaned kind of.

SIDNER: All five of them were hurt. The Jang family was sitting in the back of the plane when the tail hit the seawall. Their heads snapped forward, luggage fell and seats buckled, making it challenging for them to escape quickly.

SARAH JANG, PLANE CRASH SURVIVOR: Well, since the chairs fell on us, it was hard to get up.

ESTHER JANG: Someone helped us out and my brother and sister went out an exit on the right and I realized that I was limping and their exit did not have a slide, so a flight attendant brought me to another exit which had a slide, which was on the opposite side of the plane.

SIDNER: The entire Jang family eventually made it out alive.

JOSEPH JANG: When we all reunited, like my family and I, I was really glad, so I started crying.

SIDNER: The Jangs set out for a memorable trip, the first time the children were going to South Korea for a glimpse of their heritage. But on the way home, they ended up learning a frightening lesson of survival.


SIDNER: The Jang family's actually from Colorado and so the kids know that they are going to have to take another flight. We asked them about that, what their concerns were, they said they were scared but they understand that this is a very rare event and that they would go ahead and get on that plane.

By the way, their mother is still in the hospital -- Chris and Kate. CUOMO: All right. Sara, thank you very much. Our prayers go out to their mother there, but those kids, hopefully, will just take this experience, go on with life and know everything is going to be OK.

BOLDUAN: Yes. They're going to forget those memories of that terrifying experience that they went through.

Let's talk more about that experience, but also the investigation that's ongoing with Mary Schiavo. She's a former inspector general of the Department of Transportation, also an aviation attorney for the law firm Motley Rice.

Mary, we've been talking to you ever since this horrific crash happened. One thing we hear investigators are -- want to know is what was happening, what was going on with the pilots in the 72 hours prior to the flight. What kind of information are they going to be looking into in that time period?

MARY SCHIAVO, FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL, DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION: All their activities, fatigue, anything that was distracting, any kinds of stresses they might have on their minds or their bodies, and that's typical. The NTSB always wants to reconstruct the hours and days leading up to the flight.

BOLDUAN: And also, we're also learning that the flight was not taking an unusual path, if you will. Their glide path coming into the airport really until it got very close seemed very normal, but upon impact, the plane was going some more than 30 miles slower than it should have been.

What does that -- first off, my question is, what does that speed difference, what difference does that make as the plane's coming in?

SCHIAVO: Well, 30 miles an hour is a huge difference when you convert the knots to miles an hour. It was supposed to be around 120 and it was actually going around 90 when you convert the knots to miles an hour. That is a huge difference in the speed and it was also released yesterday that they were cleared for a straight-in approach, 17 miles out.

When the speed deteriorated is when they took off the autopilot at about 1,600 feet of altitude and that's going to be significant, because literally the only thing you can look for mechanical at this point is some kind of a problem with the air data, meaning air speed.

BOLDUAN: That's my question.


BOLDUAN: Is there anything that would cause the speed to decrease so much other than human error, or the pilots doing it?

SCHIAVO: Sure. Couple of things could.

And there was actually an air warning that's directed, which is a warning from the government on a system on this plane, it was put out back in January and they were supposed to have checked it by now. So, I'm sure they probably have. But it was on air speed indicators and the altitude indicators. It was a transducer that provided that data.

That's the only thing that stood out in the service record of this particular model of aircraft, but the deadline for checking that has passed. The other thing that could have happened is the rising moisture and, literally, coming in over water might have had a faster sink rate.

BOLDUAN: Because you have said that previously, when you're coming in over water, it does make you sink faster, just the physics of it all.

SCHIAVO: On a hot day when there's moisture rising, correct.

BOLDUAN: All right. So, so many questions, three days out, not surprising, though, we don't have an official explanation as of yet, right?

SCHIAVO: Oh, absolutely. But that flight recorder that they already downloaded, I suspect the NTSB knows an awful lot.

BOLDUAN: An awful lot more. And we hope to learn that as well.

Mary Schiavo, great to see you. Thank you so much.

SCHIAVO: Thank you so much.

BOLDUAN: And as Miguel Marquez said, NTSB has interviewed two of the pilots, half the pilots, and they'll be looking to talk to the pilot behind the controls some time today.

CUOMO: And we'll stay on it.

We also have new details this morning on that deadly train crash in Canada. The official death toll stands at 13, but dozens more are still missing. This morning, investigators are struggling to identify victims while searching for any clues about the cause.

CNN's Paula Newton is at the crash site in Lac-Megantic, Canada.

Good morning.


You can imagine how difficult it is for those forensic investigators to have to go to family members and say, look, we need some DNA evidence here before going to be able to identify any of your loved ones.

This morning, Chris, we are just moments away from a police briefing and one from the transportation safety board. Many questions this morning about this investigation and how exactly this could have happened.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) NEWTON (voice-over): Local officials have been blunt about what this kind of inferno would have meant for victims. The fire might be out, but the devastation makes clear what happened to people who were in their homes, at work, at a pub on a Friday night. Police had warned the death toll would rise.

BENDIT RICHARD, QUEBEC PROVINCIAL POLICE: As we are speaking right now, we have found eight more victims inside of the rooms, so that leads us to 13 victims.

NEWTON: And dozens more are still missing. Forensic specialists have asked victims' families for hair samples, clothing, anything to help identify their loved ones.

NEWTON (on-camera): Well, people here are just starting to come to terms with the devastation. As you can see, this train literally slammed into this small town and the homes here are always very, very close to the tracks. It's always been that way. Usually, they're traveling between five and 10 miles an hour. On that night, this train was going at least between 30 and 40 miles an hour.

(voice-over): Sonya Pepin heard the train like never before that night. The tracks are just a few feet from her home, and she says the whole house shook. And then, this family got the news.

She says they are mourning her brother-in-law who they assume was killed in the explosion. She says she never wants to see a train on these tracks again. Police say they aren't ruling anything out, including sabotage. At issue now, both here and in the United States, is transporting crude oil safe? According to the rail industry, the amount of crude traveling by tanker car has grown exponentially in the last five years and many wonder if safety standards have kept up.


NEWTON (on-camera): You know, key here is the fact that this train was left unmanned while there was a crew change, allowing the brakes to fail and careen (ph) into this town. I spoke with a U.S. Department of Transportation official yesterday who said that would be very rare if it happened in the United States, but it doesn't mean it can't happen. They admit they are watching this investigation closely to look for lessons learned -- Chris, Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Paula Newton, thanks so much for that.

There is a lot of other news developing at this hour, so let's get straight to Michaela for some of the headlines.

PEREIRA: All right. Kate, thank you so much. Good morning. CNN has learned that President Obama may pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan in 2014. A senior administration official says Mr. Obama is growing increasingly frustrated with Afghan President Karzai.

The two leaders have been discussing a plan to leave behind some U.S. troops to train Afghan forces and help fight insurgents, but now, the president is said to be seriously considering a complete withdrawal. Top Egyptian security officials defending army and police actions that had deadly consequences. They say the army and police were defending the Republican guard headquarters from attackers. More than 51 were killed in those clashes, 434 others were wounded. In the meantime, state media reports interim leader, Adly Mansour, has just issued a decree giving himself limited power to make laws and outlined a timetable for elections.

A hunger strike could be under way in California prisons. About 30,000 inmates refused meals yesterday. More than 2,000 of them skipped their jobs or classes at the prison. Inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison in Northern California organized that protest. They're upset with a state policy where inmates can be held in isolation for years if they are involved with prison gangs.

Take a look at this. A car -- oh -- smashes through the front window of a supermarket in Australia. No one was hurt, amazingly. Surveillance footage captured the terrifying moment. An elderly family driver lost control, smashed into the store and narrowly missed several employees. It's believed the car may have hit another car, then panicked and sped into the building.

All right. Are you ready for this? It's part cookie, it's part croissant, and it is all Canadian. Yes, a bakery in Toronto has cooked up the crookie. Simple, really. An Oreo baked into the classic buttery pastry which we believe here at NEW DAY is genius.


PEREIRA: The crookie curators are riding a bit of a hybrid pastry waive that started with the croissant/donut or cronut here in Manhattan. Thoughts, people?

CUOMO: I think Canada has like come strong ever since Michaela Pereira has made her way to CNN.


BOLDUAN: It's been wild.


PEREIRA: You know, I appreciate that our producers are finding good stories.

BOLDUAN: You know what I love?

PEREIRA: What do you love?

BOLDUAN: Hybrid pastry way.


PEREIRA: All right.

BOLDUAN: Those are three awesome words. CUOMO: Michaela has also brought great language.


BOLDUAN: That is fabulous.


CUOMO: This love for the croissant I somewhat question. It wasn't one of my favorite things before.


PEREIRA: You don't often make me angry, and you've just made me angry.

CUOMO: So, that's what it takes, huh?



CUOMO: It's all over. Now we know. You know what I have to do then. I have to go to a break.


CUOMO: When we come back after this commercial break, George Zimmerman's murder trial starting up again in just a few minutes. We're going to talk to someone who is as close as you can get to the case, a lawyer representing Trayvon Martin's family.

BOLDUAN: Plus, we're going to look at some of the important rules making passenger planes safer than they've ever been. They could have been crucial in saving many lives in the San Francisco crash.


CUOMO: Just after 8:23 a.m. Eastern Time, that means the George Zimmerman trial will get back under way in just a few minutes. This, after a big day of testimony featuring Zimmerman's friends and Trayvon Martin's father testifying about those all-important screams on the 911 call.

The judge also allowed evidence in that a small amount of marijuana was found in Trayvon Martin's system at the time of his death. Joining me now is Daryl Parks, an attorney for Trayvon Martin's family, joining us from Sanford, Florida. Thanks for being here, sir. Appreciate it.

Let's begin with this most recent decision by the judge. It wasn't allowed in opening statements. She reserved judgment. Now, she allowed it in to be impeached and cross-examined. What do you make of the idea that Trayvon Martin's marijuana use is now part of this trial? DARYL PARKS, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON MARTIN'S FAMILY: Well, I think there's a problem, and I think if you listen to some of the statements that were made in court, there were traces of marijuana found in his system, some marijuana found in his system, and you don't really know what the real effect of it was. What it tends to do, though, is once the jury hears it, they will probably be more prejudicial about it being in the case and probably (ph) value will certainly not be as great.

It will tend to mislead them and to probably to clout their judgment as a jury. So, I don't really see the weight it brings to it, but the law allows for it to be presented because it was present in his system.

CUOMO: Let me ask you something. I want to go through the elements of the scream and what the family's take is on what happened there, but first, is the family comfortable with anything other than second- degree murder as justice in this case?

PARKS: Well, I don't think it's their call. I think they want to see justice prevailed in this case. Whatever the law allows as it relates to prosecuting him for the murder of their son, that's what they want. They didn't pick the charge. The prosecutors picked the charge because the prosecutors believe that they have the evidence in this case to prove that case.

We'll have to see what happens. Obviously, we know that the second- degree murder charge instructions will be given, but there are also other instructions given, as well.

CUOMO: But your sense, how would the family feel if it's manslaughter? You and I both know the time that goes along with that charge, that conviction, can be just about what murder two is, but what do you think it will mean to them?

PARKS: Well, I think in their situation, as grieving as they are, now in the last couple of days in court you've seen both Sabrina Fulton and Tracy Martin testify, right? They are still emotionally struck. If you listen to Tracy Martin's testimony yesterday, he said he still hasn't gotten over this and is still grappling with it.

And you saw Jahvaris -- as a matter of fact, if you listen to Jahvaris' testimony, he still really believes that Trayvon is going to come back. He thinks that -- you know, he's not accepting that Trayvon is gone. He talks about Trayvon in the present sense. So, this family wants to see all of them (INAUDIBLE) in this case as -- punishment for the kill of their family member.

CUOMO: You know, so many parents have told me that they wouldn't want it to be the voice of their child. They wouldn't want to have to hear it. They wouldn't want to have to identify, let alone be cross- examined about it. All that being said, how confident is the family that the voice they're hearing is that of their loved one, Trayvon Martin?

PARKS: They're very confident. And Chris, let me say to you, if you listen to Detective Serino's testimony, he said that Tracy said under his breath his answer and he said he interpreted that answer to mean, no. Now, this case is not going to be pivotal on who's screaming, who's not screaming. There's far more evidence in this case to consider.

The real deal is, when you get to the ground, whether or not George Zimmerman had to use deadly force in a situation where he's found himself against Trayvon Martin. And we believe the answer is no. And that's why he should be found guilty.

CUOMO: We're winding up now toward the end of the trial. Are you trying to help the family? I mean, you're a lawyer, but you're a counselor in every sense of the word. Are you helping them prepare for the outcome no matter what it is?

PARKS: Yes, we are. We've taken all types of steps as it relates to dealing with them, as it relates to dealing with the public, as it relates to dealing with media, and probably most importantly, in helping them define Trayvon's legacy through the Trayvon Martin Foundation. So, all of those things right now are in the works and preparing for later on this week, we believe, when all this goes down.

CUOMO: And obviously, as you know, the family's been put in two terrible positions, having to lose a loved one, go through this trial, and be part of this larger discussion now about what this trial's about on a social cultural level, and hopefully, everybody's going to be keying off them when this happens and, hopefully, the tone will be set that we have to accept justice for what it is and move on, but they've handled themselves so well, thus far. And thank you for being with us, Mr. Parks. Appreciate it.

PARKS: Thank you for having me.

CUOMO: All right. Kate?

BOLDUAN: All right. Chris, thank you.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, we'll focus on important new airline safety measures that may have saved lives in the Asiana Airlines crash.

Plus, it's a troubling case of realty show racism. Why some contestants in "The Big Brother" house are coming under fire?