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Investigation Continues into San Francisco Plane Crash; Authorities Suspect Foul Play in Canada Train Crash; Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to Enter Plea in Court; George Zimmerman Trial Continues Today

Aired July 10, 2013 - 07:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Plus this morning, there is new and damning evidence against former NFL player Aaron Hernandez. An alleged accomplice calls him the trigger man in a murder he stands accused of. We'll bring you the latest on that.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And this video is crazy. A powerhouse sports agent jumps in the water with a six foot shark and starts wrestling him. What was what Drew Rosen Haas thinking? We're going to talk to him live.

CUOMO: First this morning, three new developments in the crash of flight 214. First, according to investigators the pilot was in training to fly a Boeing 777. Second, the instructor at his side had never served in that role before. Third, the jet's auto throttle, question there -- was it malfunctioning? Big question for investigators.

Miguel Marquez has more live from San Francisco. Good morning, Miguel.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris, you're exactly right, those three big questions. We're getting a much better idea of how this crash took place. The bulk of the investigation here on the ground is now done. Investigators saying it was the landing gear of that 777 that hit the seawall first. Essentially if they were a few feet higher they would have stuck it on the runway and landed successfully, a few feet lower and this would have been a much more tragic story.


MARQUEZ: Three pilots were in the cockpit of the 350 ton jet when it crashed in San Francisco on Saturday.


MARQUEZ: The man in command of Asiana's ill-fated flight was experienced on the 747, like this KLN flight landing on the very runway of the San Francisco crash. But this was his first time landing a 777 here.

DEBORAH HERSMAN, NTSB CHAIRMAN: The instructor pilot stated that they were slightly high when they passed 4,000 feet. MARQUEZ: The co-pilot very experienced flying a 777, but this was his first time as an instructor on the aircraft. Investigators say the autopilot was off, but the auto throttle, a device that regulates speed, was on and set to 137 knots. But seconds before the crash, the plane had slowed dangerously to 103 knots.

HERSMAN: We are now going to be looking at flight data recorder information to validate parameters, things like the auto throttles.

MARQUEZ: But there say speed indicator in the plane and they would have also seen it bright red and white lights like in the flight. They're call precision path indicators or PPI lights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I see all red it means I'm too low. If I see all white, it means I'm too high.

HERSMAN: At 200 feet he noticed the four PPIs were red.

MARQUEZ: The impact was so violent NTSB investigator say two flight attendants were ejected from the plane after the tail section broke off.

ELLIOT STONE, CRASH SURVIVOR: I believe we ended up finding what we believe were four people in the back in the rubble.

MARQUEZ: Today for passengers arriving in San Francisco, an eerie sight, that burned-out wreckage of flight 214, a sobering reminder of how so many came so close to death.


MARQUEZ: And we now know that no blood was taken from any of those pilots hours after the crash. Authorities saying they have no jurisdiction or authority over foreign crews. Back to you, guys.

CUOMO: All right, Miguel. You can imagine being ejected from that plane and surviving? We want you to stay tuned because coming up we'll have that NEW DAY exclusive. We'll hear from the three siblings and their father who all survived the plane crash.

BOLDUAN: We're also tracking some serious weather, powerful winds, torrential rains. Tropical storm Chantal could leave a mark. What is her path right now, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I think it's heading to the Dominican Republic or to Haiti, right over Port-au-Prince for the next 24 hours. Then it's going to try to go over Cuba and towards the U.S. Here it is right now, but kind of died out overnight, nothing overnight. But then the past couple of hours things have popped up here just to the west and south of the DR. There's the Dominican Republic, there's Haiti and there's Cuba. A hurricane aircraft now inside at this point found wind to 50, so it's gaining strength even though it lost overnight.

This is going to be a schizophrenic storm for the next couple days. Here's why. When a storm goes over land it dies. When it's back over water it gains strength. There's so much land in the way at this point in time until it gets to Florida or Georgia or the Carolinas. And it still could be a much bigger storm if it stays over more water. Some of the spaghetti models say more water. Some say over land. It honestly depends on where it goes from here.

There's been so much rain across the southeast it almost doesn't matter where it goes. There's going to be flooding. Whether there's any wind damage or not is not a big deal. It's will there be flooding? We think there certainly will be.

BOLDUAN: Thank you, Chad, for the update.

CUOMO: Investigators in Canada now say foul play may have played a role in the train crash that left at least 15 people dead. Officials say some victims were vaporized by intense flames which were still burning 36 hours later. Paula Newton is live in Canada with more on the investigation. Good morning, Paula.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And good morning, Chris. I just spoke with police again, and they wanted underscore the fact that this is no longer being treated as an accident. They're saying this is the one of the largest criminal investigations they've ever mounted in this province. They believe that something happened to that train that allowed it to careen into this town and caused such a tragedy.


NEWTON: It's clear police want to preserve the heart of what is now a crime scene. It asked firefighters to stop dousing it with water. They have dozens of investigators combing through what little is left. They made it clear they're not convinced this is purely an accident.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Namely there are pieces that might lead us to believe there are certain facts that might come to criminal acts.

NEWTON: Police refused to describe what evidence they found. For the victims caught up in the tragedy the news is tough to take.

KARINE BLANCHETTE, WORKED BAR NEAR SITE OF CRASH: It's not frustration. It's rage. I don't believe in fight fire with fire. I don't believe in that. But this person -- this person killed a lot of people. My god.

NEWTON: Penny Blanchett worked in the bar, a place filled with patrons that took the brunt of the blaze. She's lost friends and now says she wants answers on how this could happen.


NEWTON: Now police are saying those answers may take quite some time. They say they're ways away from making any arrests but again, Kate, they are saying this is a criminal investigation and they're determined to get to the bottom of what happened. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Yes, it is difficult to grasp the scope of the tragedy that's hit that town that's for sure. Paula Newton, thanks so much. Great report.

Now, to a Boston courtroom which is expected to be packed this afternoon as accused marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is going to be arraigned. It will be his first public appearance since his capture back in April. And CNN's Deborah Feyerick is live there for us this morning. What are we expecting, Deborah?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, we know the courtroom is going tock to be packed, pack to the gills. Families and victims invited to attend this court proceeding, the court making every effort to accommodate them. They know it's sometimes important for the families to sort of being in the presence of somebody who in many respects attempted to kill them.

It's go to come a busy place. This is the same courthouse where the trial of reputed mob boss Whitey Bulger is going on. Right now, they're putting down barriers to make sure that the whole air is sealed off, cordoned off.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is expected to enter a plea today. The 30 charges against him, including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill people, four people died in the attack and many others were injured, and that's what he's going to be facing. Also, the judge likely to take up prison conditions as well just to make sure that everything is copacetic. He will be there with his lawyers and prosecutors as well. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Deborah Feyerick live in Boston. Security clearly going to be tight today. Thanks so much.

CUOMO: Listen up. If you have kids or want a college degree this story is for you. The Senate is set to lower interest rates on federal student loans. Remember, the rate doubled on July 1 after lawmakers failed to compromise. CNN's Erin McPike is live in Washington with the very latest. What do we know, Erin?

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, college students and their parents need to know that these interest rates are going up, doubling. And the Senate today at noon is going to vote on whether to begin to debate Harry Reid's proposal that would cap interest rates for just one more year at 3.4 percent. In the meantime, college students are stuck in limbo.


BRANDON ANDERSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY STUDENT: I do worry that I'll have a problem finding a job. And if I have a problem finding a job, well, there you go. I can't pay back my loans.

MCPIKE: College students all over the country just like Georgetown University's Brandon Anderson, are getting slapped with higher loan rates. If Congress doesn't act fast, Anderson says he'll have to pay a whopping $4,000 more after graduation. Right now, about 7 million students who take out federally subsidized student loans will see their interest rates jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. And Congress can do something right now to stop this. But instead they're bickering. Republicans say the market should set interest rates, while Democrats argue students need more protection.

HARRY REID, (D-NV) SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: The two Republican proposals one from the house and one from the Senate are worse than nothing.

MCPIKE: If Congress fails to come to an agreement, officials say the average student's post college bill will be $2,600 more. That's a major concern to students like Anderson.

ANDERSON: I think that every other American student feels the same way. We just want to be able to go to school. We want to be able to access the American dream. And the way to do that is afford an education. We cannot afford it with rates doubling.


MCPIKE: Now, it's still unclear if even that procedural vote today can pass. If it fails that could open up Congress to a much larger debate, Kate and Chris.

CUOMO: Thank you, Erin, very much.

Here's why it matters here. The politicians have said that education is a priority. We all know that is the way we move our economy forward. And not only are they not advantaging students. They're disadvantaging students. It just doesn't make sense. You want to tie it to what the mortgage rates are based on, fine, but maybe you make the interest deductible and you help these people so the next generation can be better set for the economy.

MCPIKE: I think the only silver lining here is that many students don't seek out these loans until August.

CUOMO: Right.

BOLDUAN: So there is a little bit of room for them to fix it. But I think the frustration is always why do you always have to go up against a deadline and miss the deadline and then try to fix it?

CUOMO: That's right. Make this a political football. All the family's hopes for the kids this is what you fight over?

BOLDUAN: Clearly a lot of news developing this hour. Let's get to Michaela for the latest.

PEREIRA: Kate, thanks so much. Good morning, Chris. Good morning to you at home.

Making news, Egyptian prosecutors are going after top officials with the Muslim Brotherhood. Today, they issued arrest warrants for the chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood and the vice chairman of the group's political wing. On Tuesday the military announced that a top economist will serve as Egypt interim prime minister and Nobel Prize winning diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei will be the interim vice president.

Potentially damaging new evidence against Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL standout accused of killing this one-time friend. According to new court documents one of the two men allegedly involved in the crime told police Hernandez was the trigger man. And these newly released photos taken from surveillance video inside of Hernandez's home apparently showed him and the two men on the night of the murder.

Is Edward Snowden headed to Venezuela? The South American country has offered asylum, but according to WikiLeaks Snowden has not accepted the offer yet. It's not clear how Snowden would get there from the Moscow airport where he's been living for the past would weeks. The only direct flight goes through Cuba and his U.S. passport has been revoked.

FBI nominee James Comey clarifies his stance on waterboarding, telling a Senate compete even though they formally approved waterboarding under President George Bush he's long considered it torture and illegal. Comey is expected to easily win confirmation for a 10 year term.

For a San Antonio 10-year-old a trip to the circus really was the greatest show on earth. McKenley thought she won a contest to announce the ring master but got the surprise of her life when the ring master actually introduced her dad who had been serving in Afghanistan for 15 months.


MCKENLEY, DAUGHTER: I literally was like, wow, what is happening?

KEN, HOME AFTER AFGHANISTAN: After everything I've done and everything that we do for the country and the sacrifices my wife made for us, to be able to give that moment to her is just amazing.


PEREIRA: That was her dad's third tour in Afghanistan. And she was expected home for a while. So it was quite a surprise. She nailed the ring master announcement and got the surprise. It's one of those videos you love to see.

BOLDUAN: It always warms your heart.

CUOMO: They do. The families give so much, and more and more our fight men and women are serving multiple tours.

We're going to take a break on that one. When we come back, this day in the George Zimmerman trial may be the one to watch. The lawyers were fighting late into the night. There's big pieces of evidence on the table. We'll take you through what's at stake.

BOLDUAN: And they were seriously injured in the crash of flight 214. And now a father and his three children are going to be talking to us in a NEW DAY exclusive.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to New Day, everyone. A couple major rulings are expected in The George Zimmerman trial. It comes after a marathon day in the courtroom with the defense and prosecution getting into a pretty heated argument late into the night about text messages from Trayvon Martin, and a computer re-enactment of the night he was killed. CNN's George Howell is live in Sanford, Florida, awaiting those rulings. It's going to be a big day in court today, George.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, absolutely. We're watching the defense team here wind their down their case. We're looking at the last two key issues they that they want admitted as evidence, and they stayed up so late last night arguing about it. We even saw George Zimmerman stay up past his curfew.


HOWELL: Court went a little later than expected Tuesday --

DON WEST, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Physically unable to keep up this pace any longer. It's 10:00 at night. We started this morning. We've had full days every day.

HOWELL: Judge Debra Nelson, the prosecution and defense wrangled late into the night, 10:00 p.m., over whether to admit text messages and photos from Trayvon Martin's phone and a computer-animated reconstruction of the crime scene that defense attorneys want admitted as evidence.

Judge Nelson questioned whether Martin actually sent the messages or someone else. Defense attorney Don West argued the text messages and photos weren't turned over by the prosecution in a timely manner.

WEST: -- playing games with us, lying to this court and now it's our fault? It's our fault? Deny Mr. Zimmerman the right to present this information violates both the Florida and United States Constitution.

HOWELL: After hours of arguing, the judge didn't rule on either issue, adjourned court and walked off.

Flashback to Tuesday morning, famed forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent Di Maio took the stand. After examining photos and other evidence provided to him by the defense, Di Maio reached this conclusion.

DR. VINCENT DI MAIO, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: If you lean over somebody, you'll notice that the clothing tends to fall away from the chest. If, instead, you're lying on your back and somebody shoots, your clothing is going to be against your chest.

HOWELL: Di Maio told jurors Zimmerman's account that Trayvon Martin was on top of him is consistent with the evidence he examined. It's because of the spray pattern around the bullet wound, grains of powder that hit the skin, Di Maio determined the muzzle was two to four inches away from the skin. He also excluded Martin may have been alive one to three minutes after the shooting. In cross-examination, the prosecution got Di Maio to concede the scenario could have been different.

DI MAIO: I'm saying that the physical evidence is consistent with Mr. Martin being over Mr. Zimmerman.

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: : Is it not also consistent with Mr. Martin pulling away from Zimmerman on the ground, and you would have the same angle, he's pulling away, And Zimmerman's shooting him at that time?


HOWELL: Defense attorneys also called George Zimmerman's former neighbor to testify via video conference because she was too sill to appear in court. Eloise Dilligard (ph) told the court the night of the shooting she recognized Zimmerman's truck parked near the crime scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell the jury as best you can --


HOWELL: So it was really important because the defense also asked if she knew the voice on that 911 tape. And Eloise Dilligard said she believed it was George Zimmerman. So, you know, from the fireworks we saw yesterday, could we see that again today? It is highly possible as these attorneys will be back in court at 9:00 a.m. eastern time to continue their discussion, their argument, really, about these two key issues in a hearing. And then at 10:00 a.m., Chris, we expect the jury to be called back into the courtroom to hear more testimony from witnesses as the defense winds down its case.

CUOMO: All right, George. Thank you very much.

This isn't just lawyering. This is about the defense's final push. Let's take a look quickly move through the high points.

Spreading a doubt. That's what the defense is trying to do. Put doubt in the mind of the jury about what the prosecutor is telling them.

George is genius, that's the pathologist we just saw. He was very impressive on the stand. And what he did was, he made it sounds like George Zimmerman's story makes the most sense -- that Martin would have been on top, Trayvon Martin. Remember, that's fundamental to self-defense claim. That he could haven been moved after shot -- being shot. That's what George Zimmerman says. And that Zimmerman's injuries were consistent with having his head banged on the concrete.

Animated drama. This is going to be huge. Why? The defense wants to introduce a cartoon that shows what happened that night in the altercation. It could be very, very influential to the jury. It could literally be the picture in their minds of events. So what happens here is going to be very critical. That happens today. We have to watch it.

Trayvon on trial, the defense has made a decision to make Trayvon Martin relevant in terms of whether or not he was a good actor here or a bad actor. The marijuana use is allowed. Now, text messages what do they say? We hear from the defense talk about how he was a fighter and maybe he wanted a gun. Trying to paint a picture of him. Is that dangerous for them? You could say yes.

Now, are they spreading the doubt? Were they effective yesterday? We get better answers than I can provide by our experts. We have Mr. Vinnie Politan, host of HLN's "After Dark," and a former prosecutor, as well as criminal defense attorney, Danny Cevallos.

Gentlemen, thank you for being with me. Pleasure. Apprecite it.

So, Vinnie, I start with you. You have Di Maio up there. He seems to confirm that George Zimmerman's story makes sense. The prosecutors wind up nibbling on small points. How damaging to get case?

VINNIE POLITAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It was damaging. And the real reason was the contrast of the medical examiner that the prosecution put up on the stand. His demeanor, his lack of confidence, just the way he testified, so different from Dr. Di Maio who is so seasoned, so experienced and came across pretty well in court yesterday, unfortunately for the prosecution.

CUOMO: All right. For both of you, I want you to weigh in on the cartoon. We start with you Danny Cevallos, what could this mean for the defense if this animated re-creation gets in?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Oh, it could mean good things for the defense if it gets in. The question is will it get in? It's likely that it won't. This is not just mere demonstrative evidence. It's not just an animation. It's going to be -- they're trying to admit it for substantive evidence.

The problem isn't the technology. Obviously, this technology is used in "Iron Man," it's breathtaking, it's CGI. But the problem is the data being inserted into the system, the formula used. Instead of using -- if someone had actually used these magic suits to run around when the crime was committed it would be admissible. The problem is, he's just re-creating it using estimations of data from different witness statements. That is probably not going to meet the standard. And it's a high one for admitting this kind of evidence.

CUOMO: Surprisingly, Danny's saying it shouldn't be getting in. We don't need to balance that out, Vinnie.

Let me hit you with this, Danny. You've made a decision as defense to go after Trayvon Martin who was unquestionably the victim here even if he was giving Zimmerman a beatdown. What do you think that could that mean to jurors, that you're playing with marijuana, now these text messages. What could you hope would be the probative value of these text messages that wouldn't just bitter the jury?

CEVALLOS: Well, there's a spectrum of different things the defense is trying to get in. On one end is the marijuana which goes to his state of mind at the time. I think that's probative. I think that should come in. However once we move along the spectrum we get the text messages.

Remember, we have to consider what Zimmerman was aware of at the time. When you get into Trayvon Martin's bad character that Zimmerman couldn't possibly have been aware of then you move away from the probative, and the potential for prejudice starts to rise. When prejudice outweighs substantially the probative value, it must be excluded.

CUOMO: So Vinnie, do you believe --

POLITAN: I concur --

CUOMO: You do do? You run with. Concur. Are you, at this point, seeing that the prosecutors have to put on a rebuttal case after this defense case, and if they do, what do they need to get done there?

POLITAN: No, I think it's got to be quick, it's got to be simple. I mean they really have to do this thing in closing argument and tie together George Zimmerman's story and paint that picture. But I think they're going to have to address the marijuana. And they've got to put an expert up there to say how little impact -- you can't put two and two together. The impact of marijuana. What this amount of the marijuana in your system really means. So the jury gets a much clearer picture about how -- it does not impact what he was doing that night and how speculative any testimony like that would be. I think that would be crucial in a rebuttal case. Other than that, you've got to bring it for the closing argument.

CUOMO: Danny?

CEVALLOS: Vinnie, I would love to use that argument that the marijuana had no effect from a prosecutor and DUI prosecution in the country. Interesting how the roles flip in this case.

CUOMO: You know that is interesting. Just as commentary. You hear prosecutors saying marijuana is not a big deal it would be very interesting but you say what you have to when it suits you.

Let me ask you this, Vinnie, do you believe that the defense has succeeded in spreading enough doubt in the prosecutor's theory, because that's their burden. Even in making a self-defense case, they don't really have to make a case for all of you at home who aren't lawyers. It's still the prosecutor's burden to show beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman could not have reasonably thought he was in risk of serious bodily injury. Do you think the defense has done its job?

POLITAN: Defense has done a great job in this trial. But a lot of it had to do with who the witnesses were for the prosecution. However, the best witness the prosecution has in this case is George Zimmerman himself. Use his words against him in the closing arguments. Trust me, there's enough things that he said that's in front of this jury that you can absolutely paint that picture that his story is unreasonable, unbelievable and not true. And he lied. And his time line doesn't work out. As a result, he's lying about what happened that night. Why? Because he was not acting in self-defense, ladies and gentlemen.

CUOMO: Let me get a one-word answer from both of you on this. Then we have to go. At this point do you believe that the prosecution can go to the jury on just the murder charge, the second degree charge, Vinnie?

POLITAN: No. You need the lesser included. And they should always be there. That's up to the jury to decide. Put them out there. If they believe murder, they believe it. If not, go to aggravated manslaughter. Let the jury make the decision.

CUOMO: That's the longest single word I've ever heard in my life. Danny can you add to that?

CEVALLOS: It goes to the jury. That's for sure. But will it be a not guilty? Yes, it will. Zimmerman walks.

CUOMO: Thank you very much, fellows. If people knew how you have been insulting my basketball games since the last time you were on here, they'd understand why I'm giving you a hard time.

Thank you very much to both of you being on. Appreciate it as always.

Let's go back to the wall here. Prosecution, defense, ups and downs. You have to say that the defense has done a solid job of spreading doubt. Is it enough? We don't know. Today is very, very important what happens with the animated re-creation and how we move forward here with the prosecution ending its case. We'll see have to see what happens. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Chris thank you.

Coming up next, a New Day exclusive. Just out of the hospital, a father who survived the crash of flight 214 who just got out of the hospital himself is joining us live along with his three beautiful kids were also on the plane with him. Their incredible story coming up in just a moment.

A very different story ahead. A mother of two tries to hire a hitman to kill her husband. She's hardly the first person to get caught. What's the motivation behind these thoughts?