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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

"Strangler" Solved?; Teen Charged with Death of Missing Boy; Robin Hood of Pot Holes; George Zimmerman Trial Continues Today

Aired July 12, 2013 - 05:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Around 50 seconds out, the first officer sitting in the jump seat comments about the sink rate. That's the speed at which the plane is descending. At about 35 seconds out and 500 feet up, the pilot told investigators he saw a bright light, and in response, looked at the controls in the cockpit, including the speed indicator.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At about 500 feet, the air speed was approximately 134 knots.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ: The 350-ton plane was already below the 137 knot speed to which the pilot believed he had set the auto throttle. And for the first time, we are hearing that at nine seconds before impact, a 100 feet above the ground, one of the pilots expressed concern about the aircraft's speed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And almost immediately after that is the first comment regarding speed since we started sharing information starting at 500 feet.

MARQUEZ: And we are now learning there were two call outs for a go around seconds before this.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, you're filming it, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my God!

MARQUEZ: A plane crash so significant NTSB now says it will put everything it can into finding out what caused this crash.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, San Francisco.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. The death toll in a train crash and explosion in Quebec that incinerated much of a small town, that death toll rising. It's up to 24 now with 26 people still missing and presumed and killed. Some residents are finally being allowed home today. And a church will open its doors to victims and their families as a memorial. Meantime, the head of the railroad telling CNN he understands why so much anger is being directed his way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EDWARD BURKHARDT, CHAIRMAN, MONTREAL, MAINE & ATLANTIC RAILWAY: I talked about that i have no empathy or no sympathy, and in fact, I have planned (ph) it. I can imagine myself being in that kind of situation. I also would be grieving and I'd very unhappy. I'd be very mad about the whole thing. So, I certainly understand the need to vent and to -- but it comes a point where it's totally unproductive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: He says an investigation into what happened is ongoing. And an engineer who is responsible for setting the train's brakes, an engineer, has been suspended.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It's just a matter of hours now until the jury gets to finally receive the case in the George Zimmerman trial. The defense gives its closing arguments, making the case for why the neighborhood watch volunteer should be acquitted of murder and manslaughter in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

On Thursday, prosecutors made their final pitch saying Zimmerman lied about what happened that February night. Zimmerman did not testify in the case, but the jury of six women did hear his statements to police.

ROMANS: Charges this morning for a Pittsburgh area man accused of setting a seven-year-old boy on fire. Authorities in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania say Edward Myers (ph) doused his girlfriend's son with some sort of flammable liquid and his own son then set the boy's shirt on fire. The pair along with another boy are also accused of shooting the seven-year-old with a pellet gun.

Police say Myers filmed the entire incident on his cell phone. The boy has third degree burns on his face and chest, and Myers is in jail.

BERMAN: More details this morning on a missing person case that had thousands out searching in the Los Angeles area. Authorities tell the Associated Press the charges could be filed today against the 16-year- old half-brother of Teri Dwayne Smith Jr. (ph). He's the 11-year-old boy with autism who went missing on Sunday. His body was found in a shallow grave on Wednesday, not far from his home.

ROMANS: Recommendations from a Newtown, Connecticut group asked to divide up nearly $8 million in donations received after the Sandy Hook school shooting. The panel calls were giving $281,000 each to the families of the 26 children and educators killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The families of 12 surviving children would each get $20,000 and two injured teachers would split a $150,000. Of course, money is nothing when you look at the tragedy that happened there in Connecticut. BERMAN: It was a crime unsolved for decades. Authorities long thought they knew who killed nearly a dozen women in the Boston area in the early 1960's, but they were never sure. Now, Susan Candiotti tells us that DNA is providing some answers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Albert DeSalvo confessed to being the notorious Boston strangler, but police never proved it. Almost a half century later, investigators may have cracked the case.

DAN CONLEY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SUFFOLK COUNTY, NEW YORK: A Suffolk superior court judge authorized the examination (ph) of DeSalvo's remains for confirmatory testing that we expect will prove DeSalvo's guilt once and for all.

CANDIOTTI: Guilt at least in the case of Mary Sullivan (ph), believed to be the Boston's strangler's final victim. The 19-year-old was raped and strangled. There were ten other victims between 1962 and 1964 terrorizing the Boston area, grabbing international headlines and the silver screen. DeSalvo was sentenced to life for unrelated crimes and stabbed to death in prison.

Thanks to new technology, authorities say they've matched DNA from one of the strangler's relatives to DNA preserved 49 years ago from the crime scene and victim, Mary Sullivan.

(on-camera) Plain clothes detectives secretly tail the DeSalvo relative to get that DNA sample. A source tells CNN, when he threw away a plastic water bottle at a construction sight, they grabbed it.

CONLEY: It's a fair and a legal and ethical method for collecting.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): In a statement, Albert DeSalvo's family said they're, quote, "outraged and offended after offering a DNA sample last year." Victim Mary Sullivan's nephew, Casey Sherman (ph) nephew who's written a book on the case and praises police for not giving up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's amazing to me, today, to understand that people really did care about what happened to my aunt.

CANDIOTTI: Once the DeSalvo's body is exhumed, DNA results are expected in days likely solving a legendary 50-year-old mystery.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: Former New York governor, Eliot Spitzer, says he's passed a big hurdle to getting back on the ballot and his run to be New York City's top financial official saying on Twitter he has submitted more than 27,000 signatures to the city board of elections. That's seven times the number necessary to get on the ballot. He told me on Thursday, yesterday, he's optimistic the public will hear his case as he tries to return to public office. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELIOT SPRITZER, FMR. NEW YORK GOVERNOR: Just as I would never predict a jury verdict, I never have predicted elections. I don't want to predict what the public will do. I have to ask for it. If the public is willing, I want to serve. That's the most i can ask for. If I get that opportunity, I'll be happy. And I certainly hope that I make a persuasive case based on the totality of my record.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Spitzer resigned the governorship in 2008 amid a prostitution scandal, but at least one poll, so far, now shows him leading a democratic challenger in the race to be New York City's comptroller. I can tell you that there are some on Wall Street who have a renewed interest in what is usually a city election.

He does not have a lot of friends on Wall Street after aggressively pursuing different cases over the years.

BERMAN: There might be a lot of money in that race --

ROMANS: Yes.

BERMAN: -- once he gets on the ballot.

San Diego's mayor is apologizing amid claims that he sexually harassed women including some who worked for him. Bob Filner put out a video statement admitting that he had a problem and needed to change.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB FILNER, MAYOR OF SAN DIEGO: I've reached into my heart and soul and realized I must and will change my behavior. As someone who has spent a lifetime fighting for equality for all people, I'm embarrassed to admit that I have failed to fully respect the women who work for me and with me.

And at times, I have intimidated them. I fully understand that only I am the one that can make these chances. If my behavior doesn't change, I cannot succeed in leading our city.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: The video be enough. Earlier Thursday, three long-time supporters called on Filner to resign saying several women have come to them with complaints about the mayor, but they did not detail the women's allegations.

ROMANS: Put Rand Paul's name on the list of possible presidential contenders. The Kentucky senator tells "Breitbart News" he's thinking about a run in 2016, but he's not made a decision, yet. He's a top recent polls of Republican voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, and he tributes his popularity to a willingness to stand against both the left and the right on certain issues. BERMAN: He has been publicly more willing than anyone to discuss the presidency saying he is actively considering it right now, doing everything you can to run actively, going to all the places and saying all those things.

Someone who's not making her plan clear, yet, Hillary Clinton, but, we do know that for now, she's cashing in on the speaking circuit. The "Washington Post" says that Mrs. Clinton is likely more than $200,000 per appearance before groups ranging from housing develop, (ph) private equity managers, to HR professionals.

Now, that's far short of the several million appearance that her husband, the former president, is said to make for some of his speeches.

ROMANS: All right. Call him the Robin Hood of potholes. A Jackson, Tennessee man named Ron Chane has been taking asphalt from the city and using it to fill in puddles. He's done about a hundred, so far, writing citizen fix (ph) around it so residents know that it wasn't the city's work.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RON CHANE, "ROBIN HOOD" OF POTHOLES": It's not hard. It probably won't last forever. But, if I can have one less pothole out -- it'd be awesome.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Same features of it, and I'm glad somebody is fixing them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've had some, you know, folks around the neighborhood fixing our potholes. And quite honestly, I got to give it to the people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The city is now investigating Chane in whether he committed a crime by taking that asphalt in the first place. He says the city just isn't doing its job maintaining the roads. Can I tell you that across the country, some cities are having fireworks displays, no money. Not fixing potholes, no money. Cities are really grappling with budget problems. I don't like potholes. I like that guy.

BERMAN: Yes. Just call this guy. If you're having pothole (ph) problems, call this guy. He'll find the asphalt somewhere.

ROMANS: All right. Coming up, Colorado cleaning up after a massive mudslide. The dramatic pictures you can't believe this. You cannot believe this. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Traffic is flowing again this morning on highway 24 near Colorado Springs just a day or so after looking like this. A muddy, flash flooding mess. More than a dozen cars are swept away when the Kenya Road turned into a river of mud. One local residence says he helped to rescue a woman who was trapped by this torrent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULIAN CORROZA, HELPED RESCUE TRAPPED WOMAN: She was just sitting there and all this stuff is floating all around her, not just floating. I mean, being washed down like a river all around here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: After that mess, their cars looked something like this.

ROMANS: Whoa!

BERMAN: Check that out. Just caked in mud. Wow! Amazingly, none of these drivers suffered injuries, though, their car suffered major injuries.

ROMANS: Yes. I would say. Meantime, in Roanoke, Virginia, flash floods kept emergency responders very busy. Nearly two dozen people were in need of a water rescue. The flooding from torrential rain in the area left main roads -- many roads under feet of water.

BERMAN: Big weather mess. Chad Myers is tracking the weekend weather for us. What's it look like, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, we have felt this in the air, the humidity, the muck (ph) all week long, and that's the air, that's the rain, that's the humidity that are making all these torrential rainstorms that just won't move, and that's what they saw there in the Roanoke Valley, Shenandoah Valley, back now down to parts of Virginia. Get ready for it.

There's going to be more rain all weekend long, even a couple of showers here in New York City later tonight. The big story right now, D.C. you have a bunch of thunder lightning, probably had a pretty short night there, even toward Annapolis and the eastern shore at this point. Something else that's going to be going on today. It may slow down your commute.

Some storms and showers and thunderstorms. What you are going to notice in your car, if you're driving this morning from west to east, you're going to be driving right into the sun. It's going to be coming right out of the road in front of you. Take a look at our tower cam here. Although it's cloudy in New York, we're looking down central park south. Now, this is looking right to the east.

If you're driving here on an east/west road this morning, driving to the east, that sun, that ball of sun would come right at you. Sunglasses, a clean windshield and that visor today as you drive this morning. Same story as you come back from work tonight, because that sun is going to be setting right on your western horizon. It's a mess. It only happens a couple times a year, but it's very bright and the commuters have the trouble with it as they look right into the sun, can't hardly the cars in front of you.

BERMAN: That's a good advice. All right. Chad, appreciate that. Thanks for a look at the weather right now. You know, there's one place where the sun always shines. That's up on the seventh floor here of this building. That is where we find our "NEW DAY" anchors, Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan joining us now.

ROMANS: Hi, guys.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Could you hear our eyes rolling?

(LAUGHTER)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's why my mother loves him, though.

(LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: My mom loves her some JB.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: That's great. That's one

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: She says I bet you he's a good father. I remember him when you used to work with him. I said I work with him now.

(LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: Anyway, she loves you a lot.

BOLDUAN: Morning, mom.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Good morning, mom. I gave you a shout out. You can leave me alone now. Today is the final day at the George Zimmerman trial. Yesterday, we heard a very key phrase. This is about Skittles, iced tea, and a hoodie. And if we all remember, that is what started this story with the media and that was a big theme for the prosecution. So, how effective were they at making their case?

How will the defense counter today? We'll have our team of experts, Jeffrey Toobin, Danny Cevallos, Sunny Hostin, they'll be here, preparing us for the defense might say. And then, this goes to the jury today. So, we're going to go through what's the law? They're going to look out what's the possibility for charges? We'll be watching it all morning.

BOLDUAN: Then, we have a "NEW DAY" exclusive, a Texas teenager jailed over a Facebook post about a school shooting. Well, he's out on bail. He says and his family says that it was a joke, an inappropriate joke, but a joke, nonetheless. He never meant any harm. But, they say he is now living a nightmare. We're going talk to him. We're going to talk his parents. He still faces a long legal battle ahead and in an uncertain future. It's raising a lot of questions and a lot of people have been talking about it since we've been following the story.

CUOMO: Yes. And you know, we're saying we, but really, Kate has been on this from the beginning. This is a story we're going to try to do here on "NEW DAY," follow things through. So, we're doing that on this one. Kate will have that interview.

We're also going to have news from around the country and around the world. Nobody is going to give you more news than we will and a little bit of a feature story, too, with Sanjay Gupta and here with the new report that shows more and more people use headphones --

BOLDUAN: Which everyone uses headphones, right?

CUOMO: -- have problems with hearing. So, why is that? What can we do about it. As I said, our man, Sanjay Gupta, will explain.

BERMAN: I have trouble hearing you with my ear piece there.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: I have good hearing because the sounds can echo freely in the empty chamber of my head.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLDUAN: I said -- I mean, he said it, not me.

BERMAN: You thought it, though.

All right. Guys, looking forward to your show. A lot of big news coming up. It is a pivotal day in the Zimmerman trial and we cannot wait to hear your take on that.

ROMANS: We'll talk about gas prices as well. Kate and I are going to talk about how they could go up another 15 to 20 cents a gallon. So, that's coming up at the top of the hour.

BERMAN: Yes, yes. That to look forward to.

Coming up, would you give up $77 million to return home? One sports star gave it all up, $77 million. We'll tell you who, we'll tell you why. The "Bleacher Report" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Derek Jeter, he's back or he was back for a second, at least. He made his long-awaited return to the Yankees lineup yesterday, but that comeback for a half's cut short. Andy Scholes joins us now with more in the "Bleacher Report." Hey, Andy. ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, good morning, John. Well, you know, the Yankee's captain was finally healthy enough to make his return yesterday, but after just one game, he may be heading back on the shelf. Jeter receiving a standing ovation in his first at bat off the season.

In a typical Jeter fashion, like down an infield single, but after driving in a run in the sixth inning, Jeter would leave the game with tightness in his quad. After the game, Jeter said he didn't think it was a big deal, but he will undergo an MRI later today.

All right. Rather shocking news, Dodgers rookie sensation, Yasiel Puig did not win Major League Baseball's online fan vote for the last spot on the national league's all-star roster. Puig came in second place to Atlanta Braves first baseman, Freddie Freeman, who set a record receiving 19 million votes. Despite not winning the vote, Puig mania is still going strong yesterday. MLB announced that Puig's is already among the top ten telling jerseys this year.

All right. There'll be no peace in Laker land this season. The Lakers officially amnesty (ph) Meta World Peace yesterday, ending his four-year run with the team. L.A. is facing a stick (ph) luxury tax bill this season, and by cutting World Peace, they'll save approximately $14 million. If he clears waivers, well, he's reportedly would now like to either stay in L.A. and play for the Clippers or sign with his hometown, New York Knicks.

Well, here's something you don't see very often. Thirty-year-old Ilya Kovalchuk announced that he is retiring from the NHL, and by doing so, he's leaving behind $77 million. Kovalchuk signed a 15-year deal worth $100 million in 2010 with the New Jersey Devils. He had seven years left on the deal, but says he would rather live and play hockey near his home in Russia.

Now, guys, you know, you hear about people being home sick, but if you can pay me $77 million, I would live anywhere you tell me to.

BERMAN: You can bring Russia here for that kind of money. Move the whole country here for $77 million. That does not seem like a good business decision. Perhaps, why I guess he's a hockey player. All right.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: Andy Scholes, appreciate it. Great to see you this morning. Have a great weekend.

Coming up here, could Chris Brown finally be cleaning up his act? Details after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: So, say goodbye to Chris Brown's graffiti monsters. The singer has reportedly painted over the art outside his home in the Hollywood Hills. Neighbors said it was an eyesore. And officials in Los Angeles threatened some pretty big fines. Brown was fighting back claiming the graffiti was protected by the First Amendment, but workers were seen slapping paint on the concrete wall covering up the monsters.

Brown tells TMZ it was his choice to cover them up, and that he did not do it because of the pending fines. The city says so long as it's covered, they will not go after Brown anymore. So -- that going for him. Let's bring in "NEW DAY" anchors, Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan. Take it away, guys.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, John. We'll see you in a few minutes.

CUOMO: A look at that, it is almost the top of the hour and you know what that means here on "NEW DAY," time for the top news.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A teenager is dead through no fault of his own.

CUOMO: Judgment day for George Zimmerman. The prosecution has spoken, but did they make their case? Now, the defense gets its turn. How will they respond? The jury gets the case, today.

BOLDUAN: Bracing for the verdict. A town and a country on edge. What happens after the verdict is read? Police and community leaders are calling for peace. We follow a police chief as he goes door-to- door.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Price spike. Brace yourself for some pain at the pump. The price of gas is about to get a lot more expensive. How much higher will it go?

CUOMO: Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: Happy Friday, everybody. Good morning. Welcome to "NEW DAY." It is Friday, July 12th, six o'clock in the east. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: Happy Friday, everybody. I'm Kate Bolduan. We're joined by news anchor, Michaela Pereira.

Coming up this morning, take a look at these picture, up and down the east coast communities are submerged. This is amazing video. And look at this. This is the view from inside a car as it gets sucked away by a mud slide. We'll have the latest as cities are trying to dry out.

CUOMO: Also, a "NEW DAY" exclusive, a story we've been following here on "NEW DAY" more than anyone else. An alleged Facebook felony. A teenager thrown in jail after posting a joke online about violence, a bad joke, but one he clearly labeled as a joke. Now, after more than four months in jail, he's out on bond and he's joining us live. PEREIRA: And some breaking news this morning about your apple juice. The FDA reportedly set to announce new guidelines on just how much arsenic is allowed in apple juice. It sounds scary that arsenic is in there at all. We're going to tell you what it all means.

CUOMO: Boy, oh boy. But let's get right to the trial of George Zimmerman this morning. Jury deliberations are expected to begin today. This morning, the defense will give closing arguments answering Thursday's powerful summation by the state. Prosecutors got a big boosters. The judge ruled the jury can consider a new charge in the case.

For what it is and what it means, let's get to CNNs George Howell in Sanford, Florida, with the latest. Good morning, George.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, good morning. So, that new charge, manslaughter, and it will be up to defense attorney Mark O'Mara for three hours to make the case to convince jurors that George Zimmerman is not guilty of manslaughter, that he is not guilty of second-degree murder. And then the prosecution gets one hour for rebuttal.