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The Crash of Flight 214; Interview with NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman; Canada Train Crash Disaster; Boston Bombing Suspect in Court; Judge To Make Key Rulings

Aired July 10, 2013 - 08:00   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: What can we expect when he goes face-to- face with survivors?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: NEW DAY exclusive: the family of one of the kidnapped Cleveland girls speaks out to us. The story behind their amazing video message.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Your NEW DAY continues right now.



ANNOUNCER: What you need to know --

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We're on a downward slope. We're continuing to drawdown our forces.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Drew, look out!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's awesome.

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


BOLDUAN: Good morning and welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone.

It is Wednesday, July 10th, 8:00 in the East. I'm Kate Bolduan.

CUOMO: And I'm Chris Cuomo, joined as always with our news anchor, Michaela Pereira.

PEREIRA: Good morning.

CUOMO: A busy hour this morning.

The George Zimmerman trial set to start up, again. We're expecting a key ruling from the judge on two pieces of evidence that really could turn this case. So, we're going to break it down for you with criminal defense attorney with Tom Mesereau. BOLDUAN: Big day in court.

And then, also, new court documents paint former NFL star Aaron Hernandez. We've been following this. Well, now, those documents paint him as the trigger man in the murder of his former friend. And that's only the beginning of the blockbuster revelations coming out. We're going to talk with superstars sports agent, Drew Rosenhaus about that, about the former New England, and much, much more.

PEREIRA: And take a look at this video. He's kind of like a real- life happy Gilmore and he can't get the ball to go to the right place. But he has perfect aim. Find out why he is in the running John Berman's word for the day.

BOLDUAN: That won't leave a mark.

All right. We'll get to that in just a moment.

But we also have new information this morning about the two men at the helm of the Asiana Air flight that crashed. Not only was the pilot still in training, with just about 35 hours of flying time on his belt on the 777, but the man who was training him -- well, that he was making his first trip as an instructor on that flight.

Miguel Marquez is in San Francisco this morning with more.

Good morning, Miguel.


We're going to get a much better sense of how this crash took place. And today from the NTSB, we're expected to hear how that evacuation took place. But on the crash, investigators now saying that it was the landing gear that hit that sea wall first. Essentially, if that plane came in a few feet higher, it may have stuck that landing. If it came in a few feet lower, this would have been a much more tragic story.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): 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 KLM 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 hat 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 is a speed indicator in the plane and they would also see it in bright red in white lights like on this simulation flight. They're called precision path indicators or PAPI lights.

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

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

MARQUEZ: The impact so violent that investigators say two attendants were ejected from the plane after the tail section broke off.

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

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


MARQUEZ: And now, we now know that there was no blood taken from any of the pilots in the hours after that crash in order to check for alcohol or drug intake. Authorities here saying that they have no authority, no jurisdiction over foreign pilots -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Miguel, thank you very much.

A lot on the table from investigators. Let's talk more about this with Deborah Hersman. She is the chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, in charge of this investigation.

Very good to have you with us this morning. We know you have a lot of work to do. So, thanks for joining us.

Do me a favor and tell me what this new information means to you in the investigation.

HERSMAN: Well, what we're providing is factual information about the work of our investigative team. They've really fanned out. They're working on the airport, examining the aircraft and looking at records and conducting interviews with the flight crew, cabin crew and emergency responders.

So, we're trying to create a more comprehensive picture of what happened that day.

CUOMO: Is there any type of guideline for how many hours you're supposed to have when you're being trained by a first-time trainer? Anything like that that gives you insight?

HERSMAN: Well, we're going to be looking at their training and we're going to be looking at not just training in Korea, but also training in the United States and seeing how those things compare.

But what's important to understand is we've got three people in the cockpit. We have a crew that needs to work together. We want to make sure that they understand the automation in the aircraft and we want to make sure that we understand what's going on in the aircraft.

For our investigators the flight data recorder is invaluable and we got great cooperation from the pilots in the interviews yesterday and the day before.

CUOMO: Your words, top of their game. The pilots need to be on the top of their game. How do you know if they were when you don't take their blood and you don't drug test?

HERSMAN: Well, we are looking at that.

In the U.S., we would expect that post-crash that safety sensitive positions pilots would be drug and alcohol-tested. For U.S. carriers, that is the rule. The operator is required within a few hours of the crash to do that testing. That didn't happen in this situation and we're looking at what the requirements are for foreign carriers operating into the United States.

CUOMO: Is this just about rules or any reason you think it's being withheld?

HERSMAN: I don't have any reason to believe that anything is being withheld. We've had great cooperation. I know that those pilots were involved in the evacuation and the rescue efforts. They stayed here at the airport for many hours after the accident.

I think it's just a question of what the rules and what the policies and procedures and the expectations are.

CUOMO: At this point in the investigation, is there any reason to believe this was more about the plane than it was about the people flying it?

HERSMAN: You know, at this point in the investigation, we are not reaching any conclusions. We're gathering factual information. We know a lot and what we need to do is correlate all that information. We need to put it together and see what it tells us.

When we're here, we're really here to gather the facts. We'll be conducting analysis and determining probable cause at a later point. But we want to get information out to the aviation community and to the traveling public while we're here.

CUOMO: I understand. I know you take your job very seriously. We've worked together before.

Let me end on this with you. If the survivors believe that this information is accurate, have you heard of people being ejected out of a plane, in a crash like this, and surviving?

HERSMAN: Well, I have to tell you, we see amazing things in the work that we do. We see the resiliency of humans in body and in spirit. And I think in this crash, we've seen it again. We have a lot of people who are surviving very difficult conditions. Our hearts go out to those families who lost their loved ones. This is a very, very difficult situation.

CUOMO: All right. Deborah Hersman, thank you very much. Good luck with the investigation. I appreciate your time.

HERSMAN: Thank you.

CUOMO: Kate?

BOLDUAN: All right. We are keeping a very close eye on tropical storm Chantal this morning as she is moving through the Caribbean, but could also threaten the United States.

Chad Myers is tracking it all for us.

Chad, what's the latest on this path?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, you know, the hurricane center not very impressed with this storm right. They're even, in their latest discussion, wondering whether if it's even a tropical storm at all. And we saw on that map over there, just the L. That means it wasn't a tropical storm, will not be a tropical storm, in some point on its path. It's because there's so much land in the way.

Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic. And that's bad for the islands here because there's going to be an awful lot of rainfall across this area in the next 24 to 48 hours.

And it's going to continue to move on up towards the north and toward the Northwest, and if you continue that line, that's the U.S. not that this is going to be 100-mile-per-hour or 200-mile-per-hour giant storm. We don't think that because there is so much land in the way. This is Florida, all the way up even to the Carolinas.

What we're worried about is this area here has picked up between four and eight inches of rainfall in the past five days. Let me prove it to you. I can take you back and show you what has gone on and the models here taking the rain right on up into Georgia and the Carolina area.

The past five days, look at all this red. That's six inches or more around Atlanta, Birmingham, Montgomery and all the way back it into the panhandle of Florida. Panhandle of Florida, some spots have picked up 15 inches of rain in the past two weeks. So, that could cause more flooding.

BOLDUAN: That is brutal. All right, Chad, keep an eye on it, thank you so much.

CUOMO: And we have developments for you out of Canada. Authorities now launching a criminal investigation into the runaway train explosion that nearly wiped out a small town there. At least 15 people were killed. Nearly three dozen others are still missing.

CNN's Paula Newton is live in Quebec with the latest.

Good morning.


That was quite a bombshell yesterday by police, saying they really enlarge the scope of this criminal investigation. They say everything is on the table now, including sabotage, tampering, except for terrorism. That is the one thing they have been able to rule out.

At issue here is the situation with the brakes, exactly who had their hands on the brake system and what allowed this train to remain on the main track and to go careening into the small town.

Police have been very guarded about what evidence they actually have. They're just saying they do have evidence. They say they are a ways away from making any kind of arrest, but they continue to say this is one of the largest investigations they ever mounted in this province and that they, themselves, want to make sure they go through what is a very difficult crime scene.

You and imagine how difficult it is with the kind of temperatures they had and that kind of inferno, the fact that they asked firefighters to stop dousing the scene with water so they could preserve the integrity of that crime scene -- Kate, Chris.

CUOMO: Thank you very much, Paula.

The idea for that town to accept that, not only do you have this terrible tragedy but that someone may have done it on purpose.

BOLDUAN: And the prime minister described the scene as a war zone. You see those pictures and it looks just like that. It is terrible what they're dealing with right now.

All right. Another story we're watching: surviving Boston bombing suspect set to make his first public appearance today in a federal courtroom. The arraignment is happening this afternoon in Boston where survivors of the April attack could come face-to-face with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Deborah Feyerick is in Boston for us this morning.

It's going to be very emotional day for many families, Deborah.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. There's absolutely no question about it. The victims and their families were notified of the arraignment. Seats reserved inside the courtroom and as you can imagine here at the Motley Courthouse, security incredibly tight because he'll be traveling here this afternoon.

A number of seats have also been reserved for the bombing suspect's family, in the event they should choose to come to see a 19-year-old accused of launching one of the most devastating attacks on U.S. soil.


FEYERICK (voice-over): It has been more than 11 weeks since alleged marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found hiding in this boat and bleeding profusely from wounds sustained during a manhunt that brought Greater Boston to a virtual standstill. His wounds will have largely healed, but those of the people he is accused of trying to kill remain painful.

Some of the victims and their families will be in court to witness Tsarnaev enter a plea to 30 charges against him, including using a weapon of mass destruction.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: They want to be there and they want to be close and they want to -- it has such symbolic importance to these families, to show that they continue to care for their loved ones and they stand up for them during the trial process.

FEYERICK: Tsarnaev's lawyers are not commenting and while prosecutors decline to discuss a motive for the alleged attack, a note Tsarnaev scribed in hiding in hiding according to the indictment suggests retribution. Quote, "I don't like killing innocent people. It is forbidden in Islam, but stop killing our innocent people and we will stop."

CALLAN: He's not acting under the act of guidance of his older brother. Nobody is telling him to write these things. No one is telling him to make these scrawlings and I think that indicates intent.

FEYERICK: Tsarnaev's older brother, Tamerlan, was initially thought to be the ring leader behind the attack, but in the indictment, prosecutors make clear they believe Dzhokhar was an equal partner. They say he downloaded radical jihadist materials, including an al Qaeda-inspired magazine containing a recipe for pressure cooker bombs like those used in the terror attacks.

Prosecutors say he also carried one of those devices in a backpack that detonated south of the finish line, killing 8-year-old Martin Richard.


FEYERICK: And, Kate, Chris, also killed in the blast, Krystle Campbell and Lingzi Lu. Officer Sean Collier was killed during the manhunt. Again, this is an arraignment. Chances are that Tsarnaev knows exactly what the charges are against him. He has been in touch with his lawyers and all he has to do is either enter a plea of not guilty or guilty, which certainly would be a bombshell. But usually, it's just to go on record on how he views those charges -- Chris, Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Deb, thank you.

And Deb makes an important point right at the end, remembering the victims and the families of those who lost their lives, not just focusing on the person who is going to be arraigned today, remembering those victims.

CUOMO: Absolutely. And a lot of news developing at this hour.

So, let's get over to Michaela with the latest, watching the situation in Egypt.

PEREIRA: We are, by the minute. Absolutely.

Making news right now, new developments in Egypt this morning. The Egyptian military says ousted president, Mohamed Morsy, is in a safe place and no charges have been filed against him. That's not the case for the two top leaders of his party, the Muslim Brotherhood. Arrest warrants were issued today for the group's chairman and the vice chairman of its political wing.

NSA leaker, Edward Snowden, could soon be bound for Venezuela. He's been offered asylum in the South American nation. Not clear whether Snowden plans to accept the offer or not or how he would even get there from the Moscow airport where he's been in limbo for two weeks. Snowden's U.S. passport, as you might recall, has been revoked.

In Northern California, they are getting the upper hand on a wildfire. The El Dorado blaze near Lake Tahoe has burned more than 600 acres is now at 40 percent containment. The main road in the area, U.S. 50, was closed Monday and most of Tuesday, but it reopened to traffic last night. A 100 campers, most of them children, were evacuated from a camp ground in the fire's path.

The owner of a leaking natural gas well in the gulf now says it could be plugged sometime today. Houston-based Talos Energy says the gas is flowing from a well. It was in the process of abandoning. In addition to the gas, about six barrels of oil also leaked. Environmentalists are concerned the oil and gas could be toxic to fish and other marine life.

And, finally, why not this on a Wednesday. Baby elephants. You know, they do the darndest things. This YouTube video posted earlier this year was taken at an elephant farm in Thailand. It shows how playful Little Dumbo can be, but we really -- you know, it bears pointing out that as they get older, it's probably not recommended because they get bigger. And I just want to get ahead of the story as you do in news.


CUOMO: Please.

PEREIRA: Cuomo and his conspiracy rant felt that there were some previous beef between the elephant and the young boy over some sort of fantasy football thing. Not true. So, Cuomo, conspiracy, crushed.


CUOMO: Look at the joy they get out of doing this to me.

BOLDUAN: He enjoys it, as well, I'm just saying.

PEREIRA: Come here.

CUOMO: That's just great. That's just great.


BOLDUAN: Why is it everything in small packages are just so cute? Something and spike (ph), he's not adorable.

CUOMO: Thank you very much.


CUOMO: Please, continue.

BOLDUAN: OK. I'll continue. Coming up next on NEW DAY, the George Zimmerman trial is nearing its end with some explosive testimony. A judge will be deciding if jurors can see Trayvon Martin's text messages. We're going to break it all down the significance of that with Attorney (ph) Tom Mesereau coming up.

CUOMO: And a NEW DAY exclusive. The grandmother of Amanda Berry reacting to that powerful video of a Cleveland kidnapping survivors breaking their silence. Wait till you hear what she says about their recovery.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody. Court will be back in session in less than an hour this morning in the George Zimmerman trial. The two sides argued late into the night Tuesday over what could be key defense evidence, a computer reenactment of the night of the shooting and text messages depicting Trayvon Martin as a fighter.

To help us break down the defense's strategy and the significance here, criminal defense attorney, Tom Mesereau, joining us from San Francisco. Thank you very much for joining us, Tom. Appreciate it.


CUOMO: OK. So, do you believe at this point that defense has done its job in spreading doubt on a prosecution's case?

MESEREAU: The defense has done an excellent job in this case. These defense lawyers are really outstanding. They're talented, they're experienced, and they have a lot of insight into human nature. I think they've done a very good job from the very beginning and it continues. Yesterday, they put an expert on, Dr. Di Maio, who's written for significant -- books on forensics. He's an expert on gunshot wounds. He was very, very effective.

He said the evidence, it was very consistent with Mr. Zimmerman's statements, which is very important to the defense. They also presented a reenactment, which a state of the art technology. It's extremely persuasive and very effective, very vivid. I don't know if the judge will let it in the trial.

She may allow them to use it as a prop, as a demonstrative piece in closing argument. But that's going to be a key ruling today. If the judge says the defense can use that enactment as substantive evidence in the case, they are really ahead.

CUOMO: Now, what do you think about the defense's strategy to somewhat put Trayvon Martin on trial, bringing in evidence that he had marijuana in his system, bringing in text messages now if they're allowed to that shows that he may have been a fighter, wanted a gun. You think that works for them? Is it make it look like their story is too weak to stand on its own?

MESEREAU: I think putting the victim on trial can be very effective. And defense lawyers do it all the time. Remember, Zimmerman's trying to say, I was defending myself. He was the aggressor, I have no choice. I was in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or worse, even death. I had to pull a gun to defend myself, otherwise, I may not be here.

They have to go after the victim if they're going to present that kind of a defense. And these text messages, while I'm not so sure they'll get in, because I don't think they can prove that Trayvon even sent them, they would be very effective in dirtying (ph) up the victim and helping to confirm Zimmerman's account.

I don't know what the judge will do with this, because I don't think they can prove that Trayvon even sent them. People set up fake accounts all the time. I discovered a couple of days ago somebody set up a fake Twitter account in my name and I don't know if they can authenticate them under the law. But if they can and they get in, it's also going to help the defense a lot.

CUOMO: What if the jurors, though, see it as the (ph) character of someone whose life was already taken and a kind of an indictment of the integrity of George Zimmerman story. That the best he can do is insult his --

MESEREAU: They could, but you know, good defense lawyers take risks. Sometimes, the risks work and sometimes they back fire. But if you're going to put on a defense like this in a controversial high-profile trial like this, I think the best lawyers are willing to take risks to defend the life in their hands and this is a risk worth taking, in my opinion. Could it backfire? Of course. But, nevertheless, these lawyers have done a very good job.

CUOMO: At this point, when you look at everything that's been offered up, do you believe that the prosecutors can go to the jury and win on a second-degree murder charge?

MESEREAU: I really don't. I think that's a bit of a stretch. However, if they try and prove second-degree murder and then look at the jury and say in their closing argument, however, ladies and gentlemen, if you don't think we proved these particular elements, you must consider a lesser charge like manslaughter or assault. And I think it would be a big victory for them if they get manslaughter or assault.

Manslaughter, as I understand it in Florida, can bring a 30-year sentence. Assault, if proved to be aggravated can also bring a significant prison sentence, including decades in prison. So, I think they will give the jury the choice, but if they came out with a lesser-included offense, it would still be a prosecution victory. And remember, in Florida, you have to persuade six jurors, not 12 like in my state California or in most states.

CUOMO: All right. Tom Mesereau, thank you very much. It will be interesting to see what happens in the last few days of this trial. Appreciate the perspective.

MESEREAU: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Chris, thanks so much.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, they spent ten years which they say living through hell on Earth, held captive by an accused mad man. So, how can the women known as the Cleveland three move on with their lives? Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks about healing those emotional wounds.

Plus, some damning new evidence against disgraced NFL star, Aaron Hernandez. What one of his accused accomplices is now saying?


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody. It is Wednesday, July 10th. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: Good morning, everybody. Welcome back. I'm Kate Bolduan. We're joined by news anchor, Michaela Pereira. We got a lot coming up this half hour, including an exclusive interview with the grandmother of Amanda Berry, what she thinks of Berry and the other two Cleveland kidnapping victims thinks about them breaking their silence for the first time in that YouTube video.

CUOMO: Plus, new evidence against former Patriot, Aaron Hernandez. Why police believe he fired the shots that killed Odin Lloyd?

And he's also known as quite a sharp when it comes to negotiating contracts. Why NFL super-agent Drew Rosenhaus got a smile on my face because he's tackled on a real shark. That's why. What was he doing there? We'll talk to him about it.

But first, let's get over to Michaela for the five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.

PEREIRA: Can we add don't wrestle sharks as one of them?

CUOMO: Yes. Make it six.

PEREIRA: OK. All right. Let's take a look. Number one, the pilot of flight 214 was in training to fly a Boeing 777 with a brand-new instructor and the cockpit crew says the aircraft auto throttle was not working correctly as that plane came in for a landing.

It is arraignment day for Boston marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He'll be making his first public appearance since the April attacks. He'll come face-to-face with many of those victims.

The Senate set to vote today on a retroactive fix for federal student loan rates. Congressional inaction last week caused those student loan rates to double.

As Republican lawmakers meet to discuss immigration reform today, former president, George W. Bush, will speak at a naturalization ceremony for some 20 immigrants in Dallas.

And at number five, "Star Wars" mastermind, George Lucas, and playwright, Tony Kushner, will be honored today at the White House. President Obama will award them and more of them, a dozen other people, the national medal of arts and the national humanities medal. We're always updating. Stumble on that one.

We're always updating our five things to know, so go to for the very latest. What an honor for them. What a great day.

CUOMO: Great day for them. And you're always perfect in my eyes.

PEREIRA: Well, selective memory.