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Shooter Kills Three in Pennsylvania; Alex Rodriguez Suspended for Performance Enhancing Drug Use; Children Kidnapped in California; Princeton Review: Univ. of Iowa Top Party School; Ft. Hood Shooting Suspect to Defend Self in Court

Aired August 6, 2013 - 07:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The shooter came into the building. Shot several rounds. Was captured.

CHRIS BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, a town meeting turns into a blood bath. An irate resident opens fire and killing three. Meet the town official who took him down.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Under fire. Alex Rodriguez takes to the field and the fans tell him how they feel. A-Rod vows to fight back. Can he beat this historic 200-game suspension?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Happening this morning, facing a killer. The alleged Ft. Hood shooter goes on trial this morning defending himself. Victims will be cross-examined by the man they say shot them.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: What you need to know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've been doing steroids and still don't get hit. Why are on the team?

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the winning ticket right here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm feeling lucky today.

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Good morning and welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody. It's Tuesday, August 6th. It's 7:00 in the East. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: Good morning, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. We are joined by news anchor Michaela Pereira.

PEREIRA: Good morning.

BOLDUAN: Coming up in this hour, Americans being evacuated from Yemen this morning, told to leave the country immediately amid a brand-new terror theft, and we are learning more about that Al Qaeda message that prompted the closures of 19 U.S. embassies and consulates across the Middle East and Africa. Is an attack imminent, that a question on everyone's mind.

CUOMO: And California on alert, an Amber alert this morning for a 16- year-old girl and her eight-year-old brother. Police are looking for a man that they believe killed their mother and another child, then took them. We will give you the breaking details.

PEREIRA: And then video that we first brought you yesterday, a savage beating on a school bus is sparking outrage. Parents wondering why the driver didn't stop the fight. It turns out he did not have to, and neither do other bus drivers. Here is the question, though. Are we doing enough to keep our kids safe?

CUOMO: Especially as parents. We are going to take a look at that this morning.

First, we do have breaking news. Three people dead, several others wounded after a gunman opened fire at a town hall meeting in eastern Pennsylvania. Police say the suspected shooter was involved in an ongoing property dispute with town officials and foolishly attempted to end that dispute with a gun. Let's go live now to CNN's Poppy Harlow in Saylorsburg. Poppy, what do we know?

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Chris. This is a small, quaint, usually calm down, that one county official says is never in the newspapers, but it is this morning for a horrific deadly shooting that unfolded right behind me last night at about 7:30 p.m. Three people killed, as you mentioned, several others wounded in the hospital as we speak, but this could have been more deadly were it not for a great act of heroism.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HARLOW: The normally calm town council meeting turned into horror in seconds. Authorities say this man, Rockne Newell entered the Ross Township meeting and opened fire, spraying bullets at the 15 officials and attendees.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As you can imagine, multiple people shot there and, you know, struggle there. You know, it was chaotic.

HARLOW: Police say Newell fired before entering the building, killing three and wounding several more with what is described as a long gun. A local reporter in the room said, "I heard more than 10 shots and saw plaster flying out, blowing out through the walls." Then police say Newell was tackled to the ground after leaving to retrieve a handgun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He then again reproached the building and entered the building again firing a weapon and was subsequently tackled and brought to the ground. HARLOW: Witnesses say one of the men who tackled him, Bernie Kosan, bear hugged Newell, bringing him to the ground, and authorities credit Kozan with preventing further bloodshed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They absolutely would have saved lives. He was entering the building with a handgun and he would have killed or injured other people.

HARLOW: Local media from the last year suggest Newell was troubled, described by neighbors as a junk collector, ordered to vacate his property after it was condemned by the town following a year's long battle with the township's board of supervisors. He told the Pocono record last year, "Looks like I'm going to be homeless because I have nowhere to go."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARLOW: And again, here, Chris, the big question is what was the motive in this shooting? Police only have one suspect, and it is that man that we just told you about. But let's focus on the victims, because three innocent people lost their lives here last night at this town meeting. We know that several others are injured at this hour. We know that three of them were treated and released from an area hospital, so that is good news. The condition of at least one of the other injured taken to a hospital is not known at this hour.

The suspect was also shot and taken to a hospital and treated. We don't know why he did this. We don't know whether anyone was being specifically targeted or not. That is yet to be seen. Chris?

BOLDUAN: Poppy, I'll take it, thanks so much. So many questions still lingering out there this morning. Thanks.

Breaking news overseas this morning, two U.S. military transport planes on the ground in Yemen this morning to evacuate American citizens. The State Department urging all Americans to leave the country in the face of a looming terror threat. Barbara Starr is live at the Pentagon. You're getting more news on that evacuation, Barbara?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, Kate. The Pentagon announced a short time ago that two U.S. military aircraft landed in Yemen and have now departed. They are carrying about 90 Americans out of the country. Those planes will land in Germany in the coming hours, part of the effort to get American citizens out of the country. The embassy is reducing its personnel so if trouble breaks out they will not be able to help Americans left in Yemen.

The concern about the terrorist threat remains at an extremely high level. What we know is that alarm bells were set off across Washington days ago when they intercepted a message from Ayman al Zawahiri, the leader of Al Qaeda in Pakistan to the leadership of Al Qaeda in Yemen, that message saying do something, clear implication that they wanted to get an attack moving. All indications, all of the intelligence pointing to the fact we are told that Al Qaeda in Yemen may, in fact, be in the final stages of planning an attack. That is why the U.S. embassy is telling Americans to get out of the country. That is why two U.S. military aircraft landed a short time ago, picked up about 90 Americans and are bringing them out. Kate, Chris?

BOLDUAN: Barbara, real quick. Any update how long the embassies and consulates are expected to remain closed?

STARR: At the moment the U.S. embassy in Yemen and along with several other countries' embassies in Yemen are being closed for several days. This could go on for a while, we are told. And of course it is hand in hand with a travel advisory to all Americans to be careful about traveling in the region.

BOLDUAN: OK, Barbara, thanks so much from the Pentagon for us this morning.

CUOMO: Baseball's most controversial figure is back in pinstripes morning. For the first time in last fall Alex Rodriguez suited up in a uniform and played in Chicago last night. He is appealing the 211- game suspension for alleged ties to performance-enhancing drugs. CNN's Jason Carroll is with the Yankees live in Chicago this morning. Good morning, Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Chris. It was a rough night for Rodriguez, the boos, the chants and jeers. Through it all, Rodriguez says he is fighting for his life.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARROLL: The sounds of boos and jeers echoing throughout U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago on Monday night as Alex Rodriguez debuted for the Yankees just hours after Major League Baseball announced it was suspending him for allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs. The embattled third baseman talked about what it has been like living under a cloud of suspicion.

ALEX RODRIGUEZ, MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYER: The last seven months has been a nightmare. It's been probably the worst time of my life.

CARROLL: Rodriguez was one of 13 players suspended Monday, the other 12 players receiving 50-game suspensions for using performance- enhancing drugs, the PEDs allegedly provided by the now defunct anti- aging clinic in Florida, Biogenesis. Rodriguez's punishment far worse. The top paid player suspension effective Thursday is through the 2014 season, 211 games without pay, which could cost him $31 million.

Major League Baseball's commissioner saying in a statement the suspension is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone, over the course of multiple years. MLB officials also alleging Rodriguez attempted to cover up his violations and obstruct their investigation. Rodriguez says he'll appeal. And in the past, Rodriguez has also denied a connection to the former head of Biogenesis and taking PEDs from the clinic, but when asked more than once to clarify on Monday, Rodriguez dodged those questions. RODRIGUEZ: We will have a forum to discuss all of that and we will talk about it then.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he did cheat. He needs to be punished in some way.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CARROLL: Reporter: Well, postgame, Rodriguez says he is hoping for a happy outcome. He also said during the appeal, he is hoping everyone, everyone most likely meaning the media and fans, can take a step back, take a timeout, take a deep breath, and let him prove himself during the appeal. Kate?

BOLDUAN: All right, Jason Carroll, thanks so much for that update this morning.

Let's talk more about Alex Rodriguez's suspension and what this means for major league baseball. NPR sports correspondent Mike Pesca is joining us this morning. Thanks for coming in.

MIKE PESCA, SPORTS CORRESPONDENT, NPR: Absolutely.

BOLDUAN: Clearly, this is not over. A long road ahead it seems for Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees and the league. What are you hearing about the appeals process going forward and if there is a likelihood that his suspension will be modified, maybe not as long?

PESCA: It might be modified from 211 games to 200 games. Every indication is that Alex Rodriguez is not going to claim I never did it, and in fact, he has admitted in the past he is a PED user. He is going to concentrate on the process and say why am I getting more than four times as many games suspended as all of these other players? The letter of the law, the joint bargaining agreement says first-time abusers are supposed to get 50 games, and by letter of the law he is a first-time user. What's the difference? Major League Baseball says it's because you obstructed the investigation, but they don't have the language set down on paper and says and when you do that you get an extra 161 games.

CUOMO: What we're seeing is the evolution of this sport in terms of dealing with these drugs, because this ain't pine tar, brother, right? We are talking about controlled substances. Some are illegal. Aren't they going to have to up -- the league, aren't they going to have to up what they show in order to justify a suspension like this?

PESCA: You know, I think that are upping the ante in terms of how aggressive they are in the investigation. They really went after Biogenesis which was the south Florida clinic that provided these PEDs and paid off the owner Major League Baseball did or paid some sources or offered to pay some sources, so the gloves are off.

The lesson is we are not going to be able to catch these guys which is drug testing. There have been 16 people suspended so 13 yesterday, Bartolo Colon and Ryan Braun and Melky Cabrera beforehand. They were only ones popped with positive tests. So they have to figure out ways with records and with investigation and with, you know, flipping witnesses to catch these drug-cheats. It's hard.

PEREIRA: We are hearing from the players and the players association and we are hearing from the commissioner but what about the owners? We are hearing sort of radio silence from them. Is it like they are turning a blind eye to what is happening in their club?

PESCA: I think time was that was the case. You know, after the strike and when McGwire and Sosa battled it out for home runs the owners were happy to take everyone's money. But now there's a realization that PEDs are bad for the game.

But they are never going to make some progress -- they have made some progress - until they change the culture and the calculation of players. Melky Cabrera just signed a $16 million contract after he got popped for drugs. Ryan Braun signed $105 million dollar extension and R-Rod is the richest player in the history of baseball. PEDs, and talking about some of the guys who are anonymous, for them, PEDs in their mind might be the difference between a Major League career and making hundreds of thousands of dollars and working in a factory or a sugar cane field in the Dominican Republic. So for them the calculation is it's a chance they could take.

BOLDUAN: A-Rod has suggested his salary made him an easy target. He is suggesting that and there is obviously a wink, wink, nod, nod, toward the owners of the Yankees. Is there any evidence of that?

PESCA: It does seem like the Yankees were doing whatever they could to keep him off the field. They were acting like his mild quad strange was some huge injury. In terms of just logic if they wouldn't have to pay this guy who is barely a useful player, it would have been logical of them not to do so, but you can't prove that. And really why might a-rod be kept off the field? Something someone else did or something he did?

BOLDUAN: Right. Don't spread the blame.

CUOMO: We all lived through Lance Armstrong and what it took to prove that. If you want to be in the prosecution game, this isn't you punch me during a game and here is the fine. You had pine tar, it was wrong. Here is the fine. This is litigation. This is investigation. A lot of these substances are illegal.

PESCA: Oh, yes.

CUOMO: So this is a new world they are getting into.

PESCA: Yes. And it's complicated and it's a fight. It's going to be a fight.

BOLDUAN: Mike, great to meet you. Thank you.

CUOMO: Great shoes. I hope people got to see them. Suede puma, strong choice.

BOLDUAN: He is bringing it.

CUOMO: Strong choice for NEW DAY.

All right, a lot of news developing this hour. First up, Michaela has an Amber alert out of California.

MICHAELA PEREIRA: A real concern and want everybody to keep their eyes peeled. Breaking overnight an amber alert issued in southern California. Police are looking for 16-year-old Hanna Anderson and her eight-year-old brother Ethan.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PEREIRA: A fire, a murder, and a possible kidnapping -- deputies in San Diego are right now frantically searching for two children they believe have been abducted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They could have gone to another state or another country potentially. We just don't know at this point. They could be, you know, a mile from here. We just don't really have any information as to where they may have been gone.

PEREIRA: 16-year-old Hanna Anderson and her little brother Ethan Anderson vanished Sunday night. Their mother 44-year-old Christina Anderson was found dead inside a burning home in the lakeside community in San Diego County. Deputies also found the body of a child but they have not revealed his or her identity.

In the meantime, an amber alert has been issued for Hanna and Ethan. And investigators say this man, 40-year-old James DiMaggio, is suspected of killing them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have done a lot of interviews, we have examined the scene forensically, we've recovered a lot of evidence, and all of those things combined led us to our conclusion one or more of the children may be with DiMaggio.

PEREIRA: DiMaggio was a friend of the family and it was his home where their mother was found dead.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PEREIRA (on camera): Police are looking for that blue car you just saw on the screen. It's a blue Nissan Versa. Deputies believe that he, DiMaggio intentionally set his house a on fire.

In other news, two young boys, age 5 and 7, discovered strangled in their beds. Police say it was a giant snake that killed them. According to the CBC, the snake, an African rock python nearly 15 feet long, close to 100 pounds, apparently escaped from a reptile store below the apartment the boys were in in New Brunswick, Canada. Police believe it entered their room through the building's ventilation system.

In California, a fast-growing falls fire forcing folks out of their homes in Riverside County. At least 1,500 acres have burned as of last night according to authorities. Mandatory evacuations ordered for homes in the Decker Canyon area and in Rancho Capastrano, a campground and picnic area, along with several highways and roads are currently closed.

Insurer Lloyd's of London hoping a 1.3 million dollar reward will help them find brazen jewelry thieves who swiped $136 million worth of bling in broad daylight. That robbery, which we told you about, happened in Cannes in late July. It's the third gem theft around the city since May. A former jewelry thief turned author says it was a definitely a professional heist. He suspects the thief had an inside guy who told him where to find those jewels.

It is a title that brings much joy to college students and horrifies their parents. The Princeton Review named the University of Iowa the nation's best party school. This despite efforts from Iowa City to keep underaged drinkers out of city bars.

Let's round out the top five for you here. The University of California Santa Barbara, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, West Virginia University, and Syracuse University. So parents who currently have their kids looking at applications are crossing some off the list.

BOLDUAN: And if your kid adds the school right now, you're like "What are you even doing?"

CUOMO: The list kids love and parents hate. None of them are cheap.

BOLDUAN: You would know.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: All (INAUDIBLE) in the family, they're all Hawkeyes. I love that shout-out. There's no way I'm running that pass, guys!

BOLDUAN: Not letting it pass. And what we're also not letting pass is the weather.

PETERSONS: Totally opposite note but I couldn't let that slide.

Yes, we definitely actually have severe weather this morning we need to talk about. Heavy rain continuing to fall around Waynesville, southern portions of Missouri and just east of Springfield. We're talking 4 to 9 inches of rain has fallen since midnight this morning. That's rainfall rates over 2 inches per hour. So that is definitely some heavy rain throughout the area.

We're talking about some swift water rescues now currently happening. About 20 homes are reporting flash flooding right throughout their homes and they're actually currently on their roofs trying to be rescued.

Also looking at a cold front sliding through the area so that means more rain in the area in the same region. That means heavy rain continues to fall, another 2 to 4 inches in the forecast again today. That rain eventually is going to be spreading anywhere from the Plains and eventually all the way into the mid-Atlantic by tomorrow. So a lot of rain in the forecast for many of us.

Then there's the opposite side of this, the heat. I'm feeling your pain. We are talking about heat that feels like what the northeast had just a few weeks ago. Heat indices from 100 to about 115. Let's take a look at some of these temperatures. Oh, some bad memories coming our way. We're talking about temperatures that feel like 111, possibly 115, around Corpus Christi. And I know we all know exactly what that feels like. Props to them. Stay cool!

BOLDUAN: Stay cool, stay inside. Thanks, Indra.

PETERSONS: Sure.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, this a big trial to watch. The man suspected in the Ft. Hood massacre finally goes on trial today. And guess what? He is his own lawyer. Will he be his worst enemy as a result? We will analyze it.

BOLDUAN: Plus, still ahead, a brutal beating on a school bus in Florida raising concerns over the safety of students and questions about the rule of bus drivers.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody. This trial is going to be one to watch. It is the trial of Army Major Nidal Hasan. It gets underway today. The accused Ft. Hood shooter charged with murdering 13 people, attempting to kill 32 more, in a 2009 terror attack.

Hasan will act as his own attorney. That's unusual and comes with certain consequences. It does mean he will be able to cross-examine some of the same people he's accused of shooting.

CNN's Chris Lawrence is at the Pentagon. He has the very latest. Good morning, Chris.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. We're just a few hours away from the start of this hearing and you said it. With Hasan acting as his own attorney, no one knows what to expect, but some of the survivors may end up facing tough questions from the very man that they believe tried to kill them.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAWRENCE (voice-over): Witness (ph) Army Major goes on trial today for allegedly murdering 13 fellow soldiers and civilians. He may not put on much of a defense. Major Nidal Hasan only plans to call two witnesses. Thirty-two people survived the massacre at Ft. Hood in 2009.

And when prosecutors bring some of them to the stand, Hasan himself will be doing the cross-examination.

NEAL SHER, VICTIMS' ATTORNEY: It is going to be very difficult. It will be painful.

LAWRENCE: Survivors have waited four years to tell their story in court. SPCL. MICK ENGNEHL, FORT HOOD SHOOTING VICTIM: All of a sudden, like, you just hear "Al Akbar" somewhere and just pow, pow! just shooting everywhere.

LAWRENCE: Retired soldier Mick Engnehl says he clearly remembers Hasan pointing a gun at him and pulling the trigger.

ENGNEHL: Kind of like a baseball bit, hit me right at the side of the neck and blood went everywhere.

LAWRENCE: And while the physical scars are fading, unseen injuries linger.

CHRISTOPHER ROYAL, FORT HOOD SHOOTING VICTIM: Since the shooting, I just -- I don't know what happened, but my short-term memory is just -- is not existing.

LAWRENCE: Hasan's former attorney says he's got a right to represent himself even if survivors have to be subjected to his questions.

JOHN GALLIGAN, HASSAN'S FORMER ATTORNEY: Their sensitivities on the issue, I think, are subordinate to his constitutional right to act as his own attorney.

LAWRENCE: Hasan has claimed he was protecting the Taliban from soldiers who would soon be deploying to fight them in Afghanistan. The judges have ruled out that defense so it remains to be seen how he will defend his actions.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAWRENCE (on camera): Well, since the shooting, Hasan has earned about $300,000 courtesy of the same government that's trying to convict him. Army officials tell us they're simply following the law and can't stop paying a soldier who has not yet been sentenced. If Hasan is convicted and sentenced, the judge could impose a fine, and so some of that money could go towards that. Chris, Kate.

CUOMO: All right, Chris, you're making an important there. It's especially important for the government to do everything right and we're about to explain why.

Joining us is CNN legal analyst, former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin. Sunny, it's great to have you. Now, on one level, this is a formality. They have a very, very strong case here against the major. However, there is a reason for them to be very careful, especially with a major defending himself and that is?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Sure. I mean, this is a case they want to stick. And when you have someone defending himself, you have to make sure everything, the lines are all taken care of, because it can be an appellate issue.

You don't often see people defending themselves, especially in a capital case. You sometimes see it in misdemeanor cases. You rarely felony cases, and I don't think I've seen it in a death penalty case. And so they're going to have standby attorneys next to him. They spent a lot of money making sure that he receives a fair trial so that this sticks.

And I think that, Chris, that's one of the reasons why you haven't seen a terror charge. I think that's why you've seen premeditated murder charges because you go with the case that is the strongest. You go with the least controversial case when you want to get a conviction. And, clearly, the government wants to get a conviction here.

BOLDUAN: So he is defending himself and as Chris points out, the kind of outrageous factor in that -- for more than one reason -- is that he could cross-examine the victims in this case.

HOSTIN: Sure.

BOLDUAN: How is that going to play out in this court-martial? The judge must have to be very careful to not let it look like he's attacking or badgering or antagonizing these witnesses.

HOSTIN: Yes, it certainly makes the judge's job much more difficult. I've seen defendants represent themselves in criminal cases and I recall one case where the defendant is cross-examining a victim and saying, "When you were shot," and the victim responded, "You mean when you shot me?"

And that's kind of thing that you're going to see. It's very traumatic for victims but the judge, if she does the right thing, if she does her job well, she will do what it takes to protect the process and also protect the victims. But it's going to be fascinating. I don't think it's ever happened before in this kind of case.

CUOMO: Also, an unusual ruling in this case that will make it interesting to watch is one of the things the judge decided is Major Nidal Hasan cannot offer as proof in the shooting his defense of Islam, which he says is why he did it. Now, what does that mean?

HOSTIN: You know, I think this judge has tried to be, again, very careful in terms of preserving any appellate issues. The judge doesn't want there to be any appellate issues. This is, by far, about premeditated murder and the actions which he has admitted to doing. And so when you start getting into why you did it, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter.

But I got to tell you, I don't know that that is going to hold when he gets on the witness stand. I suspect he's going to get on the witness stand in his own defense and give a speech, because this very much is about his views as opposed to what happened.

CUOMO: But she can limit what he says?

HOSTIN: She can, she can. But I think it's going to be really fascinating. I think it's going to be difficult when you have someone's right to testify, and he invokes his right to testify and get on the witness stand and then again you sort of constrain what he has to say. So it's going to be a dance that they're going to do in the courtroom.

BOLDUAN: Also fascinating about this is that he offered to plead guilty, but that would have taken the death penalty option off the table. The prosecution, they didn't accept it, so that's clearly what they are going for here.

HOSTIN: Exactly. I mean, in a military case, you can't plead straight up to the death penalty. And I think that's unique I think in the military system because oftentimes, a defendant just pleads straight up to the indictment and the judge sentences him. That is not going to happen here. And we know that the government wants this to be a death penalty case. The government wants to make sure that he is convicted.

CUOMO: Haven't killed someone since '61 though. Do you think this could be the case?

HOSTIN: They haven't and I'm not sure.

BOLDUAN: And it comes to the president.

HOSTIN: It goes to the president, exactly. The president has to authorize the death penalty if he is convicted.

CUOMO: And no president has even if they were pro death penalty themselves.

HOSTIN: Exactly, but I think this is a different case. You're talking about a man who was in the military, a psychiatrist, who killed his fellow soldiers. Something like that I can't imagine even in 12 or 15 years, which is likely after all the appellate process winds down, that this is going in front of a president, I can't imagine a president wouldn't authorize the death penalty. So it's going to be a first on many levels.

BOLDUAN: All right, Sunny, thanks so much. This is going to be a fascinating day and many days ahead.

HOSTIN: Sure.

BOLDUAN: And as Sunny pointed out, 10, 15 years down the road that we could still -- before the death penalty happens.

HOSTIN: I think so.

BOLDUAN: All right, Sunny, thanks so much.

Still ahead on NEW DAY, video of a brutal bus beatdown has Americans are talking about school bus safety. This does come up once in a while and it's important to talk about some districts, school districts, don't want their bus drivers getting involved. They don't want them breaking up these fights.

CUOMO: And it raises a lot of questions about what the parents, about bullying, about what the school will do about this. Situation that cannot end on that bus. And right now, guess what, everybody? Listen up. Powerball jackpot stands at a cool $400 million bucks. And that's not even the record. Just how high can these prizes go? We'll tell you if you come back.

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