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Zimmerman Juror Speaks; Anthony Weiner Sexting Scandal; Deadly Train Crash

Aired July 26, 2013 - 05:00   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: "George Zimmerman got away with murder," the words of a second juror from the trial -- speaking as she says Zimmerman now has to answer to a higher authority.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And intimate detail. Anthony Weiner's sex chat partner is talking. Why she feels betrayed.

PEREIRA: And then there were seven. New allegations against the San Diego mayor accused of improper sexual advancer. The question now, will he resign?

ROMANS: Good morning, everyone. Good Friday morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

PEREIRA: Can we just say, hello, Friday? Hello.

ROMANS: Friday morning -- good Friday morning to you all.

PEREIRA: I'm Michaela Pereira. It is Friday, July 26th. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

We begin this morning with new revelations from inside the George Zimmerman trial jury room. Another juror has come forward to explain the verdict.

As Pamela Brown reports, Juror B-29 is showing her face -- pardon me -- as she talks about the decision to acquit the former neighborhood volunteer.


JUROR B-29: George Zimmerman got away with murder, but you can't get away from God.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Anguish and apologetic. Juror B-29 going by the name Maddy, told ABC's Robin Roberts that she favored convicting George Zimmerman of second degree murder.

JUROR B-29: I'm the only minority. And I felt like I let a lot of people down.

BROWN: Maddy says it was the all female jury's interpretation of law that ultimately led them to acquitting Zimmerman.

JUROR B-29: For myself, he's guilty. But as the law was read to me, if you have no proof that he killed him intentionally, you can't find -- you can't say he's guilty.

BROWN: Anderson Cooper spoke exclusively to Juror B-37 soon after the verdict about how they got to a not guilty verdict.

JUROR B-37: After hours and hours and hours of deliberating over the law and reading it over and over again, we decided that there's just no other place to go.

BROWN: After more than 16 hours of deliberations, Maddy says she struggled with the proof to convict.

ROBIN ROBERTS, ABC NEWS: How did you go from, in nine hours, feeling he was guilty of second degree murder to not guilty?

JUROR B-29: In between the nine hours, it was hard. A lot of us wanted to find something bad. Something that we could connect to the law.

BROWN: Maddy concedes she still struggled with the verdict and the public outcry that follows.

JUROR B-29: I literally fell on my knees and I broke down. My husband was I was screaming and crying. I kept saying to myself, I feel like (AUDIO GAP).

ROBERTS: -- say to Trayvon's parents?

JUROR B-29: I would like to apologize because I feel like I let him down.

BROWN: Trayvon Martin's mother released this statement. "This new information challenges our nation once way again to do everything we can to make sure that never happens to another child."

Pamela Brown, CNN, New York.



Now, the latest fallout, chapter two in the Anthony Weiner scandal. Weiner's admission that he continued sexting after being forced to resign from Congress, taking a tool on his poll numbers in the New York City mayoral race. And with one of his online partners speaking out, Weiner's past is a hot button issue.

We get more on all this from CNN's Mary Snow.


MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Anthony Weiner's photo-op at a soup kitchen summed up his campaign -- the heat is rising, but he has no plans to get out of New York's mayoral race.

With charts in hand, he tried to talk about non-profits. But two days after holding a press conference with his wife by his side and admitting he had a sexually explicit relationship online with a woman a year after he resigned from Congress, Weiner, for the first time, put a number on how many women there were since leaving office.

ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK CITY MAYORAL CANDIDATE: I don't believe I had any more than three.

SNOW: As for how many altogether?

WEINER: It's not dozens and dozens. It is -- it is six to 10, I suppose. But I -- I can't tell you absolutely what someone else is going to consider inappropriate or not.

SNOW: Weiner has been trying to stress that his past is behind him and that he said all along that other women may come forward.

While he tries to move on, he was even asked if he has an addiction.

WEINER: I don't believe that it -- that it is. The people that I'm working with don't believe that it is. And I'll leave it, you know, there's some things I want to, you know, I want to have some modicum of privacy between me and the people that are offering me this help. But the answer is, no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're still working --


WEINER: The answer is no.

SNOW: While Weiner, with his wife's support, has stressed his issues are personal, a poll of registered Democrats taken after Tuesday's press conference shows a steep drop in support.

In June, he was five percentage points ahead of Christine Quinn. He's now nine points behind her.

Asked if he should drop out of the race, 47 percent said no, 43 percent said yes, and 10 percent are unsure.

In the Jewish Orthodox neighborhood where he campaigned Thursday, there were mixed feelings.

ISAAC ABRAHAM, NEW YORK VOTER: Well, as congressman, he was flying as high as an F-14 and maybe not listening too much to the people on the ground, these problems might have landed him. But again, as a voter, that doesn't concern me as much. He didn't do anything illegal.

GISELA FRESCLH, NEW YORK VOTER: I felt that being that it happened even after he resigned, that it happened again, I'm a little bit doubtful about his sincerity and doubtful about his capabilities.

SNOW (on camera): Weiner's past isn't going to fade from the spotlight anytime soon now that Sydney Leathers has given an interview to "Inside Edition" about her online relationship with Anthony Weiner. We reached out to the campaign, the campaign said it had no comment about the interview. Mary Snow, CNN, New York.


PEREIRA: To Spain and the deadly high speed crash. We have some incredible surveillance camera pictures showing the train coming off the tracks and slamming into a concrete wall. The death toll now stands at 80, including one American.

Ana Maria Cordoba from Virginia was travelling with her husband and daughter to visit their son who just completed a pilgrimage to a holy site. Her husband and daughter were among the injured. Authorities are questioning the train's driver and looking to see if it might have been going too fast from the time of the crash.

ROMANS: More misconduct allegations this morning against San Diego's mayor. Four more women have now come forward saying Bob Filner made advances toward them, including a retired Navy rear admiral who says he ran his finger up her cheek and whispered to her about her love life. And a college dean who says Filner kissed her and put his hand on her knee.

As for Filner, he dodged reporters' questions at a political event Thursday.


REPORTER: Are their allegations true?

MAYOR BOB FILNER (D), SAN DIEGO: That's there is a legal process by which all this will be decided. There will be no other statements regarding except to the legal process.

REPORTER: Can you say --


ROMANS: The San Diego County Democratic Committee and six members of the city counsel are calling for Filner's resignation. But the city has no provision for removing a city mayor who hasn't been convicted of a felony other than calling a recall election.

PEREIRA: O.J. Simpson making a pitch for leniency to a Nevada parole board. Simpson is serving 33 years for robbing two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint in a Las Vegas hotel room.

On a close circuit feed from prison, Simpson said he's been a model prisoner and he's not like his fellow inmates.


O.J. SIMPSON, APPEALING TO NEVADA PAROLE BOARD: The difference between all their crimes and mine is they were trying to steal other people's property. They were trying to steal other people's money. My crime was trying to retrieve for my family, my own property.


PEREIRA: Even if he is granted parole, Simpson will stay in prison for another four years, at least. Decisions on both the parole and his motion for a new trial are expected in a few weeks.

ROMANS: Prosecutors in the Aaron Hernandez case offering a possible motive for the alleged murder of Odin Lloyd. They claim Hernandez shot Lloyd because the victim had information linking the Patriots' tight end to a double homicide last year and that Hernandez didn't trust Lloyd to keep quiet about it.

Meantime, court documents release surveillance photos from inside Hernandez's house on the night of the shooting appears to show him holding a gun. And yet another sign of the football star's fall from grace, the University of Florida removing a brick honoring Aaron Hernandez All-American season in 2009. The brick sat outside the school's football stadium.

PEREIRA: Pope Francis continuing to make his mark as the pope of the poor. Visiting one of Rio's favelas or slums Thursday and telling residents, their leaders and the well-off must do more to help the less fortunate.


PEREIRA: Then it was on to Copacabana where about 1 million worshippers greeted the leader of the world's Catholics. He told them faith was the answer to the problems of materialism and discontent. Today, the pontiff will meet with young people, and prisoners, before returning to Copacabana for another event.

ROMANS: New charges today in the photo scandal involving Kate the duchess of Cambridge, nearly a year, remember, after a French magazine published topples photos of Prince Williams? The magazine's editor has now been formally accused of breaching France's privacy law. At least two other people, including photographer, are also facing charges. Those photos were taken last September as the duchess sunbathed at a chateau in France.

PEREIRA: Kind of a cool science here. Researchers at MIT say they have implanted false memories in mice. Just like the movie, "Total Recall," remember the character played by Arnold Schwarzenegger who he remembered things may never have happened to him. Well, the researchers think is certain room was dangerous even though it never experienced anything harmful in the room before. And they trigger that memory using electrodes tagged to specific brain cells. The research has implications for how humans remember and could lead to ways to treat trauma and phobia.

ROMANS: That is very cool.

PEREIRA: "Total Recall" in a mouse's brain. Amazing.

ROMANS: Tropical storm Dorian weakening out in the Atlantic. Could it still pose a threat?

Indra Petersons is tracking the storm in the weekend forecast.

What's the weekend look like, Indra?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, definitely look like we are still watching it weakens. So, that's the big picture.

We know this has now entered the dry air. You can see currently very disorganized in comparison to what it looked like 24 hours ago. Winds and steady winds, they weaken at 50 miles per hour. Yesterday, in perspective they were at 60 miles per hour.

So, there you go. Very easy to see again. Here is all the dry air. So, it still has a way to go, likely again to continue to disorganize as it makes its way forward.

But either way, we're still going to be watching this track. And there is a change here in the track. The biggest thing we are noticing is it's actually moved farther to the south. You can see, currently, it may hold together as a tropical storm. If so, a weak tropical storm. But either way, staying far to the south. Just north, though, still the islands, right around Puerto Rico, it looks like on Monday morning. We're definitely going continue to watch this and hope it continues to weaken.

Otherwise, we have Flosse out in the Pacific. It's a storm that is strengthening. And the reason we're paying attention here, notice, out in the distance, it is headed for Hawaii. It's expected to hit cooler waters there, just about 40 miles per hour. It has the potential to make land fall there.

As far as what we have for the weekend, how beautiful was yesterday? In New York yesterday, we were 30 degrees below what we were a week ago. I mean, unbelievable out there.

A couple things we are watching. Here is the low that brought the cool air to the Northeast. It will track to the Northeast today. We are going to be watching that. We are also going to be looking for beautiful weather in the Northeast for one day until another front makes its way through. You can tell in the distance, in the Midwest, looking for a cold front, kind of kicking on through, kind of back and forth.

If you are in the Midwest, ugly now. Cool for the second half of the weekend. If you're obviously in the Northeast, beautiful for a day or so. By Sunday, you're looking at that threat for showers as well.

Temperature wise, love it. Yesterday, in the 60s. Unfortunately, a little bit warmer for you today. Some 80s. But, hey, gorgeous. It's too cold for me after last week.

ROMANS: I'm glad the heat broke but I'm afraid to open by utility bill because my air conditioner run full bore for so long.

PETERSONS: I'm with you.

ROMANS: Thanks, Indra. PEREIRA: Coming up, what went wrong on the New York runway? New evidence this morning a Southwest jet came in nose first. It's not supposed to happen.

ROMANS: And could an accused kidnapper, rapist and murderer make a deal? A deal to avoid the death penalty.

Stay with us.


PEREIRA: New this morning, state media says Egypt's top prosecutors ordering ousted President Mohamed Morsy be imprisoned for 15 days with charges he collaborated with Haas when prisons were stormed in 2011. Morsy has not been seen or heard from since being deposed from power on July 3rd.

ROMANS: We are finding out more this morning about what may have gone wrong with a flight that skidded down a New York runway this week, 150 onboard.

And as Rene Marsh tells us, the question now is, why did it land nose first?


RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Federal investigators revealing dramatic new details about the hard landing of Southwest Flight 345 at New York's LaGuardia Airport. When it comes to landing, the 737s rear landing wheels touched ground first. The front wheels sunken.

But investigators say that's not how it happened here. The front wheels came down first and couldn't with stand the weight of the plane, ending with a 19-second skid.

KEVIN HIATT, PRESIDENT, FLIGHT SAFETY FOUNDATION: Normal approach is an aircraft coming in like this and actually touching down and going like that straight across the runway.

MARSH (on camera): So, I just saw you tip the nose up a bit. We should remain upward.

HIATT: It should be up and the nose gear the last to touch down.

MARSH (voice-over): What's troubling is in the final four seconds before touchdown, the NTSB says the plane shifted from 2 degrees nose up to 3 degrees nose down.

(on camera): Does this open the door at all to the possibility of human error?

HIATT: Well, there could be some things that we'll take a look at in terms of why that nose gear touched down like that. Human error could be a possibility or could be something else. It's unknown at this time. MARSH (voice-over): Southwest tells CNN the landing scenario the NTSB describes is not in accordance with our operating procedures.

This is now the second investigation looking at potential pilot error in a matter of weeks. Asiana Flight 214 crash landed at the San Francisco airport earlier this month, killing three people.

Rene Marsh, CNN, Washington.


PEREIRA: A plea deal is in the works for the man accused of holding three women captive in a Cleveland home. CNN has learned prosecutors have offered Ariel Castro a deal that takes the death penalty off the table. It could be announced in court this morning.

Castro faces nearly 1,000 counts, including kidnapping, rape and murder for allegedly confining three women for upwards to a decade.

Attorney for the victims tells CNN they want him to plead guilty so the three women do not have to testify in trial.

ROMANS: And Congress may soon consider a bill to stop alleged rapists like Ariel Castro from claiming parental rights over children born by their victims. The Rape Survivor Child Custody Act would encourage states to change their laws so convicted rapists, parental rights could be cut off. Castro has the court to let him see the 6-year-old girl he's accused of fathering with one of the women he helped captive. The court, so far, has said no.

PEREIRA: A month after the Supreme Court threw out a key part of the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department plans to step in to challenge the state voting laws. Attorney General Eric Holder has decided he'll use part of the Voting Rights Act, still in effect, to try and block new rules in Texas.

Texas governor, Rick Perry, is calling the move an end run around the Supreme Court.

ROMANS: A guilty plea in connection with the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Contracting giant Halliburton plans to plead guilty to destroying evidence and will pay a $200,000 fine. The government says Halliburton ordered workers to destroy computer simulations about how to cement the well that blew out, sending millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

A civil trial against Halliburton, BP and Transocean is ongoing.

PEREIRA: It's being called a desperate attempt to cross the borders. These are some of the nearly two dozen people who had to be rescued from a storm drain in San Diego after they plowed two pick-up trucks through the gates of the Mexican border crossing. After racing up I-5 for a while, they abandoned the trucks, jumped into the drain to try and hide. A few were injured and had to go to the hospital. The rest are in Homeland Security custody this morning. ROMANS: This is a side of al Qaeda we might not be used to -- organizing tug-of-war contests. "Washington Post" says the terror group has started putting out videos showing fun, public events like ice cream eating contests, instead of the usual executions and tirades. Terror experts say the group is likely trying to win over the hearts and minds of locals put off by having Islamic fighters in their country.

PEREIRA: Still ahead, remember when Facebook stock --

ROMANS: Yes, I do.

PEREIRA: I thought you might remember that. Its IPO quite a bust. Not anymore. We're going to tell you why the social network is now flying high.


ROMANS: Good morning. Good Friday morning, welcome back. Look at that.

It's still dark outside but the early bird gets the worm.

PEREIRA: Yes, and we are early birds, so there must be a worm around here somewhere.

That's the George Washington Bridge, I'm learning about the geography of Manhattan. That takes us to New Jersey, correct?

ROMANS: Yes. Most beautiful place in the world.

PEREIRA: West Coast girl learning her bridges.

ROMANS: I know. I love it. I love it.

Welcome back to EARLY START.

It's money time this morning. Thursday, a very good day for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, folks, because the stocks had an explosive rallies. Zuckerberg's wealth is measured by his stake with the company soared by $3.8 billion. Can you imagine making $3.8 billion just one day?

PEREIRA: A good day at the office.

ROMANS: Good day at the office. Quite a day for the kid who started the business back in the college dorm room. Facebook investors are very happy to see the company's latest earnings report that mobile ad business is growing quickly.

A different sort of day for the largest Internet retailer, Amazon led by CEO Jeff Bezos surprised investors of the $7 million loss, mainly because of investing in infrastructure. The company also gave a cautious forecast for the next quarter. Still, investors they seem to believe in Bezos' long-term vision because Amazon stock -- look at that -- it's up 20 percent so far this year. Officials call this the largest data breach scheme ever prosecuted in the U.S. Four Russians national and a Ukrainian charged with running a massive scheme that involved hacking more than 160 million credit and debit cards. One of the men was also charged with hacking servers used by NASDAQ. He reportedly had access to NASDAQ servers for two years.

And this is an interesting story. Apparently, some senator is trying to get into the act when it comes to picking the chairman of the Federal Reserve board. CNN confirms that a letter was sent encouraging President Obama to nominate this woman, Janet Yellen, as the next Fed chairman. The move comes amid rumors that the president is seriously considering Larry Summers for the job.

Senator Feinstein, Harkin and Durbin apparently signed this letter and I guess inside the Beltway and inside Washington, a lot of speculation, heated speculation about who will succeed Ben Bernanke, the Fed chief. And a very big job this person will have.

PEREIRA: Huge job.

ROMANS: They will have to unwind the stimulus. Will it be Larry Summers, will it be Janet Yellen, will it be someone else? It's unclear.

PEREIRA: A huge job at a critical time.

Coming up, an American among the dead in that awful train crash. We're going to live at the scene as the investigation continues.

ROMANS: And Michael Jackson drugged? What the latest witness is saying at the wrongful death trial.


PEREIRA: A horrific scene in Spain as the death toll continues to rise.

ROMANS: Anguish and apologetic. Juror B-29 exposes her face and the reasons why she could not find George Zimmerman guilty.

PEREIRA: Anthony Weiner admitting he had six to ten online partners but says, "No, I'm not an addict."

ROMANS: And three partners after he resigned. Not just one, three.

Welcome back to EARLY START.