Return to Transcripts main page


Zimmerman Murder Trial; Where will Edward Snowden Go?; Turn It Down For Your Health

Aired July 12, 2013 - 08:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: What you need to know:

DEBORAH HERSMAN, NTSB CHAIRMAN: There is no mention of speed until about nine seconds before impact.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love these wildfire firefighters. I will do anything to protect them and help them.

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


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everybody.

And welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Friday, July 12, 8:00 in the East. I'm Kate Bolduan.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Chris Cuomo along with our news anchor, Michaela Pereira.

Lots happening this morning. We are following the situation as we speak. A news conference in Moscow's airport where NSA leaker Edward Snowden is holed up. We do not know, but it may be that Edward Snowden himself will appear. He is supposed to be meeting with human rights groups at the same terminal. So, we're watching that.

BOLDUAN: Yes, we're watching that very closely and bring it to you as that happens.

Then, straight ahead, new details about the crucial last minute of flight 214. The cockpit voice recorder reveals two pilots there didn't know there was a problem really, or didn't indicate there was a problem until about 50 seconds before impact.

CUOMO: Yes, this was like moments before.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Can you hear me now? How about now?

A new study says a lot of us are suffering from hearing loss and listening to loud music could be the cause, especially in those ear buds. Dr. Sanjay Gupta makes a NEW DAY house call.

All right. First, let's get to the George Zimmerman trial. We're just about 30 minutes away now from the defense's closing argument. And then after a one-hour response from prosecutors, remember, they get to finish. The jury will get this case after the judge reads them their instructions.

Now, yesterday a painstaking summation by the state using Zimmerman's own words against him and a big ruling from the judge to help their case.

CNN's George Howell has been covering this from the start. He's in Sanford, Florida, for us this morning.

Good morning, George.


So, there is that new charge that the judge ruled this jury can consider manslaughter. So, that along with second degree murder. It will be up to defense attorney Mark O'Mara to convince this jury that his client is not guilty. And then the prosecution gets the final word with rebuttal.


JUDGE DEBRA NELSON, SEMINOLE COUNTY, FL: The attorneys will now present their final arguments.

HOWELL (voice-over): Closing arguments, the final stage in the trial against George Zimmerman for the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, LEAD PROSECUTOR: A teenager is dead. He is dead through no fault of his own. He is dead because another man made assumptions.

HOWELL: Prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda went into great detail pointing out inconsistencies in Zimmerman's story -- from the national television interview he did, to the video re-enactment conducted with police. The prosecution then picked apart Zimmerman's account of what happened.

DE LA RIONDA: Why is he able to yell if the defendant claims the victim was -- how he's going to talk or is he lying about that? Look at the gun. Look at the size of this gun. How did the victim see that in the darkness?

HOWELL: In closing, De La Rionda even elicited a reaction from George Zimmerman.

RIONDA: Unfortunately, the only photographs left of Trayvon Martin are those M.E. photographs. They have still got other photographs and you saw some of them, the football from the younger days, but they can't take any more photos and that's true because of the actions of one person, the man before you, the defendant George Zimmerman -- the man who is guilty of second-degree murder.

HOWELL: Before closing arguments even began --

DON WEST, ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE LAWYER: Just when I thought this case couldn't get any more bizarre, the state is seeking third-degree murder based on child abuse?

HOWELL: Defense Attorney Don West didn't mince words during the hearing on the state's request to include a lesser charge of third- degree felony murder as one of the options for jurors to consider. West called the state's strategy a trick.

WEST: This is outrageous. It's outrageous that the state would seek to do this at this time.

HOWELL: In the end, Judge Debra Nelson ruled against that option, but will allow jurors to consider manslaughter as a possible alternative to second-degree murder.


HOWELL: So, we're a little less than 30 minutes now away from the hearing that is expected to start in this courtroom. Then we expect to see the defense attorney, Mark O'Mara start to give his closing.

That could take about three hours. One thing I want to get up there between live shots to get a sense to exactly how the jury responds to what he has to say. Then we expect the prosecution to give its rebuttal and that could take about an hour, Chris.

CUOMO: All right. George, very important. We're going to be looking forward to see what you hear in that courtroom. Thanks for the reporting this morning.

Let's bring in CNN senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.

Always a pleasure to have you.


CUOMO: You heard the prosecution summation. What are the major points that the defense must counter today?

TOOBIN: I think the thing that Mark O'Mara is going to be most worried about is the lesser include offense, the manslaughter charge, because I think it's going to be very difficult for this jury to find second degree murder, intentional murder, murder with hate. That is going to be very tough. But the lesser included offense of manslaughter seems to fit these facts a lot better.

And O'Mara knows, even if the jury doesn't know, that George Zimmerman could spend decades in prison. So, a conviction for manslaughter would be a real loss in this case.

CUOMO: And just to present the theory why manslaughter could fit, it goes with what they called culpable negligence in Florida, also known as recklessness in a lot of places, and the prosecutor's argument, what the jury may agree with, is that he had a loaded gun. He was told not to follow, he did it anyway, he entered into an altercation, and led in someone's death, and that could be enough for manslaughter.

TOOBIN: Absolutely. There's no requirement in manslaughter that he hated Trayvon Martin, that he had some grudge against -- it's just that he behaved in a reckless way with a firearm, which many people think and I probably have come around to this view, that's how they should have charged this case in the first place.

CUOMO: I've been talking about the judge's instructions. Totally, they happen all the time. They're always about the same. There are no huge surprises in this. But I do think it's worthy of note.

As human beings we tend to focus on what's first in something we read and then we kind of fade, right? And that's going to be no different in most jury rooms as we know.

TOOBIN: No question.

CUOMO: Up front in these instructions, there is a lot about justifiable homicide. All the things that the jury would need to find, George Zimmerman not guilty. What do you make of that?

TOOBIN: Well, that's what this whole case is about. I mean, there's one issue in this case, there's only one issue -- which is what was in George Zimmerman's head. We know who shot Trayvon Martin. We know where he shot him. We know we shot with which gun.

The only issue in this case is intent. The question of whether he was acting in justifiable self-defense or some sort of recklessness, negligence or intentional crime, that's the whole case. I think the judge, as she has done so often, has focused on the right thing here.

CUOMO: The prosecutor did a very interesting thing yesterday. you've made a lot of hay on it. Watching you with Anderson last night about staying top or bottom in this fight doesn't matter, doesn't matter, and people take an exception to that. But watching him, his use of rhetorical questions, which are very effective with a jury because it puts them in the "would I do same thing" frame of mind, you know? The idea that it doesn't matter.

At the end of the day, why did he think he needed to kill this kid who bought Skittles and iced tea just because he didn't like he had a hoodie on? Difficult thing for the defense to deal with today.

TOOBIN: Is it or is it not? I don't know, because I think the flaw in the prosecution presentation from the beginning of this case is that it hasn't really answered the question of, what happened? Show us a movie in our heads of how this murder took place. Who took the first swing? Who was on top? Who was the aggressor?

I followed this trial closely. I don't have a clear picture of that. And if the jury doesn't, that seems to me a pretty good recipe for reasonable doubt. CUOMO: And then the prosecution will be banking on the jury saying, no matter what was going on, I don't think he needed to kill this kid to get out of it.

TOOBIN: And that is what was so good about the summation yesterday, is it brought us back to why we all started paying attention to this case in the first place. How can a 17-year-old boy go out to buy candy and a soda and come home dead?

CUOMO: And one of the first things this jury will read, now I want to leave you with this until we pick up our coverage again as we get closer to 8:30, literally on page three or four of this, is that an excusable homicide when the killing occurs by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation. Now, to a juror, that could fit this situation exactly. And that will be one of the calculations they have to meet when they get in the room.

Jeffrey Toobin, thank you very much for now.

TOOBIN: We'll be watching. I'll be leaning on you heavily when the Zimmerman trial begins in just about 30 minutes. It will get going, and Jeff, along with Sunny Hostin and Danny Cevallos. Please stick around and help us break it down for you.


BOLDUAN: All right. Thanks, Chris. We're following that.

And we're also following breaking news right now out of Moscow. A news conference is underway at the Moscow airport where NSA leaker Edward Snowden has been hiding. There is a chance that Snowden himself could appear and could speak. Clearly, that would be huge news because we have not seen him in public once since he fled to Hong Kong and then from Hong Kong to Russia.

Phil Black is joining us now on the phone from Moscow with more on this.

So, what are you learning on the ground there, Phil?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Kate, where I am is terminal F of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport. And there's currently a big pack of international and Russian media that have gathered here. The reason they're here is because Edward Snowden has called a meeting, invited representatives of the Russian human rights groups to come to this airport to be escorted to the transit area of the airport and to meet with you.

He sent out a letter of invitation in which he strongly criticized the United States, what he said was an unlawful campaign to stop him from getting to seek asylum in some other countries. So, what we're going to see now here on the ground, some of those human rights groups representatives already here. They're arriving and started to speak to members of the media. They started to be interviewed. A lot of them said they're coming here because they're simply curious to speak to this man to hear from this man and hear what he has to say.

We're not certain we're going to see him precisely. There's some speculation about that because the media had been told by the airport to gather at this location at this time. But at this time, we simply do not know. Snowden has organized this meeting and it would seem perhaps he's been voicing some frustration and his ability to get out of his extended stay here in Moscow's airport -- Kaye.

BOLDUAN: All right. You'll be watching it closely on the ground in Moscow's airport for us. Phil Black in Moscow for us -- thank you so much.

The big question that everyone will want to know. If we do see Edward Snowden appear, where is he planning on going and how is he going to get there?

CUOMO: Absolutely. It's very interesting. We have two very different men both under the lights of scrutiny right now. Developing situations we're following, both.

Also, a lot of other news going on. So, let's get to Michaela.

PEREIRA: Yes. We actually have a little breaking news right for you right now.

A fire has broken out on the runway where Asiana Airline flight made a crash landing. Crews were attempting to remove wreckage from the runway this morning when those flames erupted. Officials say that fire is under control, and we don't have an exact cause yet.

In the meantime, NTSB investigators say the pilots only realized they had a problem about 50 seconds before the pilots crash landed. Two pilots decided to abort the landing, just seconds before it hit the runway.

Devastating floods taking a human toll and a financial toll on China, showing you incredible video from eastern China where one man had to be plucked. In Sichuan province, the death toll is climbing. Thirty- one bodies have been pulled from the site of a landslide. Losses climbing well, over $40 million, with over 5,000 homes destroyed.

A Saudi princess free on $5 million bail this morning in a human trafficking case. Forty-two-year-old Meshael Alayban is accused of confiscating a Kenyan's woman passport, forcing her to work as a domestic servant 16 hours a day, seven days a week, for meager pay in her home in Irvine, California.

Parents can soon feel better about buying apple juice for their children. The Food and Drug Administration proposing new limits on arsenic in Apple juice. Studies have shown the juice often contains low levels of the cancer-causing agent. The FDA says more than 95 percent of the apple juices on the market already fall below the strict new standard being proposed In Mississippi, a man redefining civic duty. Ron Chane is taking road repair into his own hands, taking asphalt from city reserves and fixing potholes around the city all by himself. For that he is being called the "Pothole Robin Hood".


PEREIRA (voice-over): The legendary Robin Hood had his bow and arrow and Merry Men to fight against injustice by stealing from the rich to give to the poor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Men, you are willing to fight for our people, I want you. Are you with me?

CROWD: Fight (ph).

PEREIRA: This modern day so-called pothole Robin Hood has a bucket, shovel and spray paint. But Ron Chane is on a crusade to right the wrong of potholes on the streets of Jackson, Mississippi.

RON CHANE, CITIZEN POTHOLE FILLER: The whole idea was just to clean up potholes.

PEREIRA: For his crusade, he steals some asphalt from what he calls Mount St. Asphalt, a reserve by the state. He also finds other asphalt around the city.

CHANE: We knew there was grass growing out of it. And we thought, you know what? This came off of the roads and out of potholes at some point. Let's just put it back there.

PEREIRA: So far, he says he has fixed 101 potholes. Spraying his mark, "citizen fixed."

CHANE: We wanted to use that to get the information out, hey, there's citizens taking this in their own hands. Maybe us as the city, maybe we need to step up and just start fixing the holes in the roads.


PEREIRA: Mayor of Jackson tells our affiliate WAPT that he applauds Chane's efforts but does not accept his method, saying, "We do not accept any use of the city's resources without going through the proper legal channels." Chane says he's seen Jackson city crews behind him doing some finish work on his repairs.

CUOMO: Yes, proper channels, proper channels.

BOLDUAN: Proper channels, proper channels.

PEREIRA: Taking it in his own hand.

CUOMO: Good for him. There are few things that frustrate people more than potholes on the roads.

BOLDUAN: I tell you, moving here. A lot of them here. CUOMO: True. Still best city in the world.

Coming up on NEW DAY: the Zimmerman case could be in the hands of the jury by the end of the day. It certainly should be.

We're going to break down the prosecution's powerful closing argument, preview what the defense will say and take you through the analysis of how will this jury decide whether or not what George Zimmerman did on that night was reasonable under the circumstances. It will come down to that.

BOLDUAN: All right. Don't crank up that volume on your, I don't know, favorite Justin Bieber song because all we do is talk about him. Don't crank up that music.

We'll have Dr. Sanjay Gupta back on a troubling health trend, hearing loss, because of loud music in your headphones. Details on that coming up.


PEREIRA: If you have to turn the volume way up to hear us this morning, you might be among the rising number of people with hearing loss. A new study done right here in New York found that loud music is making many of us lose some hearing. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us this morning with more.

Good morning to you, once again, Sanjay. I think that we all have heard and been urged by our parents to turn down that music. Tell us what is going on. What is actually happening to cause us to lose hearing?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You know, I thought this was pretty striking, and this is talking about fairly young people between the ages of 18 and 44. And those people who aren't using headphones on a regular basis, you have about a 10 percent rate of hearing loss, but if someone is using headphones on a regular basis, it goes up to about 25 percent of those people.

One in four people, young people, who are describing hearing loss and ringing in the ears as a result of using those headphones. So, we know a lot more people are using headphones. We know a lot more people using the headphones that go inside the ears and those who listen to the same volume as the over the year headphones, that can be problematic and these numbers are going up. So, you know, I think that's why New York decided to highlight this.

PEREIRA: So, Sanjay, we know that back in the day, I'm sure you were at some white snake concerts where there was loud of ambient loud noise rocking out the long hair.

GUPTA: How did you know?

PEREIRA: Right, exactly. Is it a different thing when it's concentrated with the ear buds right directly in the ear channel? GUPTA: If you're listening at some of those same levels, it can be. And a lot of these devices, you can listen to them at max volume or you can set a limit. That's a little bit lower that's much more reasonable thing. But let me show you for a second, if I can, Michaela, what's happening specifically. You see sound waves sort of coming into ear over here. This is depiction (ph) of the ear. The sound waves come and then hit this area over here called the membrane, the tympanic membrane, it's called.

And this -- and it transmits sounds, stick with me, Michaela. But, ultimately, it's in this area over here where there's these little hairs that sort of help filter that sound and send it to the brain. Those hairs, when they're damaged as a result of loud noise, that may not -- those are irreversibly damaged.

You may never get some of that sound quality back. So, that's sort of the issue here. That's what they're trying to prevent.

PEREIRA: So, once that hearing loss is gone, there is no recouping it. We know that there's been a lot of scientific technological advances that have come the way of helping people restore some hearing. Is that going to be helpful here at all?

GUPTA: It might be. You know, we just talked about this on your program a few weeks ago. Different sorts of devices for people who have different types of hearing loss, but the mess message, loud and clear from all these organizations is prevent this from happening in the first place.

So, for example, if you set your device at 60 percent of max. You can do this today. You have an iPhone or whatever device it may be, you can set the maximum, 60 percent, don't listen to it for more than that for an hour a day. That's going to be what you really need to do.

And keep in mind again, headphones -- people are using headphones are going to be slightly more risk than those who are not using headphones.


GUPTA: You, on your studio there, don't sit so close to Cuomo. That might save your hearing, as well.


PEREIRA: -- so loud. I can't -- coming out of his Beat headphones.

CUOMO: Sanjay, the nicest guy in the world.


GUPTA: It's Friday, I had to do it.

CUOMO: You makes sense. When Sanjay comes after you, you know you got a problem.


GUPTA: I love you, Chris, like a brother.

PEREIRA: Sanjay, good advice from the good doctor. Be sure to tune in to "SANJAY GUPTA MD." Of course, it airs weekends right here on CNN, Saturday at 4:30 eastern and Sunday at 7:30 eastern time. Thanks for making time for us, doctor.

CUOMO: He didn't hear you.


PEREIRA: He turned me down.

CUOMO: Well, after that beat down, it is time for a little bit of the good stuff, and I know I need it. In today's edition, hardworking Georgia college student, Betsy Holmes -- listen to this one. Betty scrimped together about $400 in cash for a new laptop. Cash is the key word. She put it in a plain envelope, no stamp, but she wrote deposit on. She also had a stack of mail for the post office. Somehow, the envelope with the cash got mixed with the stack of mail, went in the mailbox. Take a listen.

BETSY HOLMES, ACCIDENTALLY PUT CASH IN THE MAIL: I just kissed it goodbye and, you know, kind of kicked myself for it because I was just in a rush.


CUOMO: Taking her a long time to save the money. Imagine her upset. The money left the mail box and left the post office and went all the way to the processing center. That processing center moves three million pieces of mail a day. Truly, someone had to find the cash and take it, right? That's what the story is about. Wrong. Take a listen.


MICHAEL MILES, US POSTAL SERVICE: We certainly sometimes take our share of lumps and bumps, some of the negative things that going, but we know we have a lot of good employees.


CUOMO: And that's the point of the good stuff.

BOLDUAN: That's a good point.

GUPTA: An eagle-eyed mail handler noticed the envelope, get this, noticed the return address, which wasn't Betsy's, it was her employer. And guess what, went to the employer two days later, that's where it appeared. Postage paid themselves to get it back to Betsy.

PEREIRA: That's awesome. That is super good.

BOLDUAN: And you know what, and he's right. The post office takes a lot of lumps and some deserved, some not. That's, you know, a debate for another time. But this is good and worthy of highlighting.

CUOMO: And that's why we call it the good stuff. People going above and beyond to do the right thing. And it happens so many lives every day. So, let us know. Tweet us. Facebook us with #NEWDAY. Lift up your voice. Nice and loud because I'm losing my hearing. And let us know so we can keep telling you these good stories. That was a great one. Thanks to the mail service and good for Betsy.

BOLDUAN: Thank you, thank you.

So, from the good stuff to some more good stuff. A CNN hero. When 19 elite firefighters died in that devastating Yarnell wildfire in Arizona, the donations came pouring in and one woman is making sure the support doesn't stop.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Nineteen men, 19 husbands, fathers, sons, friends and brothers. Nineteen firefighters part of an a elite 2,000 member group known as hot shots.

VICKI MINOR, 2008 CNN HERO: It's hard not to lose one, but when you lose 19 that are tight, it's a domino effect. There is a hole here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 2008 CNN Hero Vicki Minor (ph) flew immediately to Prescott, Arizona, to offer her support. Since 1999, Vicki and her team have helped thousands of firefighters and their families with emergency funds, medical support, travel and lodging.

MINOR: We help the families of the injured get to the bedsides. We do long-term recovery with them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her group has provided millions of dollars to help, but at the end of the day, Vicki says money can only accomplish so much.

MINOR: Those families miss the smell of smoky yellow shirts. We keep them connected back to this wildfire family. I love these wildfire firefighters. I will do anything to protect them and help them.


BOLDUAN: That was good cnn hero.

CUOMO: It really was. And you have to remember them any way that you can. It was great. It was good to be focusing on them here at CNN. We're going to take a break. It's 25 minutes past the hour. The George Zimmerman murder trial will be back in session in just minutes. Important discussions and the defense closing argument. We will bring it to you, live.


CUOMO: All right. We're following breaking news here just about 8:30. That means, it is time for the George Zimmerman trial to begin. We do know that George Zimmerman has been brought in by his own security escort. He is in the room. What happens today? First --

BOLDUAN: Yes. Let's tick through kind of -- the tic tac of how things are going to play out today.

CUOMO: At 8:30, the judge is going to have the final discussion with the lawyers about the instructions, these things we've been showing you this morning. This is the rule book for the jury to use when they go back to the room (ph).

BOLDUAN: Could be short, could be long? They've been fighting over it a lot.

CUOMO: It's true. This has mostly been done. They're already printed up. Well, just the final objections to include fairness and the final analysis, then the defense will start.

BOLDUAN: And that will be Mark O'Mara, someone we've seen obviously so much throughout this trial. He's going to be laying out the defense's case, countering, trying to counter as many points as possible, what they heard from prosecution when they wrapped up their closing arguments yesterday.

And right now, we are looking at live pictures from the courtroom. Let's take it live and listen to what Judge Debra Nelson has to say.


JUDGE DEBRA NELSON, SANFORD, FLORIDA: Do we have the later, newer version of the verdict form with the correct spelling?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe so, your honor.

NELSON: Thank you very much. I've got two. Pardon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They gave you two.

MARK O'MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Just one slight matter we can approach before court begins, your honor.




CUOMO: All right. So, what's going on right now is that defense counsel wants to approach to discuss the judge is going through the business to making sure that the verdict form and the instructions are right. Defense counsel had something he wanted to discuss and they approached the bench and dropped the mic, and sometimes, they will do that because discussions among the lawyers and the judge is not necessary for the jury's ears.