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CNN NEWSROOM

DiMaggio Family Wants DNA Samples; Thugs Killed For Fun; Filner Faces New Harassment Claim; Japan To Boost Nuclear Warning Level; Syria Denies Chemical Weapons Attack; An Unlikely Hero; Office Worker Talks Gunman Down

Aired August 21, 2013 - 13:00   ET

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


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Now, in the bizarre twist, the family of the alleged murder wants to know if he was the father of the victims.

An 18th woman has come forward accusing San Diego's mayor of sexual harassment. Hear in this businesswoman's own words what she said Bob Filner did.

And a man armed with an AK HFR 47 takes workers hostage at a Georgia elementary school and fires shots at police. No one, fortunately, was hurt. We're going to hear from the hero who made all the difference.

This is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. We begin this hour with the latest on a crime that's got ripple effects across two continents. We are talking about an Australian student studying here in the United States gunned down in Oklahoma. Three teenagers have been charged now as adults. Police say they were apparently bored looking for someone to kill. One newspaper in Australia calls these mug shots the faces of evil. Alina Machado picks up the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a young man in the -- he's just standing in ditch and he's got blood on him.

ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A frantic call for help by a woman who saw Chris Lane moments after he was gunned down during an afternoon jog.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he breathing? Is he conscious? Is he talking to you? What's --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's not conscious. Is he still breathing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Barely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Barely.

MACHADO: Police in Oklahoma say the 23-year-old East Central University student from Australia was the victim of three teens on a mission to kill.

DANNY FORD, DUNCAN, OKLAHOMA POLICE: It was in is second interview of the 17-year-old. He was asked why they did it, and he basically said, we were bored. We didn't have anything to do and we decided to kill somebody. He was our target.

MACHADO: 15-year-old James Edwards Jr. and 16-year-old Chancey Luna are charged as adults with first-degree felony murder. Seventeen- year-old Michael Jones is accused of being an accessory to the crime.

JASON HICKS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, STEPHENS COUNTY: And I'm going to do everything that I can to ensure that we see these three thugs pay for what they did to Christopher Lane.

MACHADO: The father of the one of the accused says he has also suffered a loss.

JAMES EDWARDS: The families in Australia, they are hurting. I'm hurting the same way. I don't cry on the outside. I'm crying right here from the heart right now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: Alina Machado is joining us live now to talk a little bit more about this. First of all, tell us -- tell us more about the victim. A lot of people just wondering, you know, there's this poor guy who ends up getting caught in all of this. I mean, really horrific, horrific situation.

MACHADO (live): It really was. He was 23 years old. He was from Australia. He was in Oklahoma going to school there at East Central University on a baseball scholarship. His teammates and also his coach say that he was the kind of guy you wanted to be around. Just a really good-hearted person.

MALVEAUX: What are the ranges in terms of the sentence of the crimes of these three individuals here? Could -- is this something where they could be put to death, life in prison? I mean, it just seems like the motive, when talk about being bored, seems so extraordinary.

MACHADO: Well, the charge of felony murder in Oklahoma typically carries a maximum sentence of death. But in this particular case, because the suspects are minors, the district attorney tells us that that means that they will not be eligible for the death penalty.

MALVEAUX: All right. Alina, thank you, appreciate it.

There are stunning developments in the Hannah Anderson kidnapping case. It only gets stranger. The family of James DiMaggio who police say killed Christina Anderson and her son, Ethan, then kidnapped the 16-year-old Hannah is asking for a paternity test to see if DiMaggio is the biological father of Hannah and Ethan. But Anderson's family says, Christina Anderson did not even meet DiMaggio until after she was pregnant with Hannah.

Zoraida Sambolin is following all the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Overnight, a painful twist to an already tragic story. Lora DiMaggio, sister to Jim DiMaggio, the man accused of kidnapping 16-year-old Hannah Anderson and murdering her mother and younger brother now requesting DNA samples from both Hannah and her brother. The reason, according to a family spokesman, she wants to know if DiMaggio was actually the children's biological father.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

ANDRE SPANSWICK: There's been a lot of rumors about whether or not Jim might be the father of either or both children. We find it very strange that he left all this money without any explanation.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: That money is from a life insurance policy that named Hannah's paternal grandmother. It reportedly is worth around $110,000. Jim's sister was reportedly the beneficiary up until 2011.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

SPANSWICK: Expected grandmother to use the money to take care of the two children. He stated specifically that he didn't want to give it to parent because he didn't trust them as --

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: DiMaggio has been described by Anderson's father, Brett, as a platonic family friend to the Anderson family, referred to as Uncle Jim in an interview with "New Day" while Hannah was still missing. Hannah's father was asked about the relationship.

BRETT ANDERSON: And he has basically became like part of our family. But we were just very good friends. There was nothing ever to show any indication of this.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: Thanks to Zoraida Sambolin in New York.

There are now 18. Another woman has come forward to accuse San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment. Diane York tells CNN that Filner put his hands on her butt during a photo op after meeting three months ago.

So far, Filner has refused to step down. But he is under growing pressure to resign.

Casey Wian, he is following developments for us in San Diego. And, Casey, I want to ask a couple questions here. First of all, what do we know about the latest accuser? And then we'll get into what's happening with Filner.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Suzanne. Well, the latest accuser is a woman by the name of Diane York. She's a San Diego area business woman, business owner who was apparently meeting with the mayor about some financial difficulties. She was having this meeting. She was there with some of her colleagues. The mayor's staff she says was at this meeting. And here is what she said happened while they were taking a picture with the mayor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DIANE YORK: After approximately 30 minutes or so of conversation with the issues at hand, we got up to leave and took photos and he placed his hand on my exterior, on the back of my -- on my buttocks is what he did. He totally startled me. I feel very violated. I feel extremely violated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIAN: It sounds very familiar to some of the stories we have heard from 17 other woman who accused the Mayor Filner of inappropriate behavior. Ms. York says she is going to report the allegations, which she said occurred about three months ago, to the San Diego Sheriff's Department which keeping a hot line open for alleged victims of Mayor Filner to share their stories -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right. A couple other questions here. First of all, the recall campaign against him in full swing. Have they persuaded him? Have they been persuasive in any way now that the Democratic Party getting involved that he should step down? And then, finally, where is the mayor? What is he doing?

WIAN: Well, we don't know where the mayor is to answer your last question first. He was expected by many to show up for his job at city hall yesterday. He did not. We do know he was in this building behind me where mediation negotiations are -- have been underway for the past two days regarding a lawsuit that has been filed by former employee of the mayor. Those negotiations were expected to continue today. We have not seen the mayor yet nor have we seen any of the other principals involved in those negotiations.

In terms of the recall campaign, that effort is ongoing. They are trying to gather the needed amount of signatures. They have about 30 days to do that. They are opening new locations, getting other businesses around the city to help gather signatures to try to get the mayor out. As of right now, though, he is showing no indication that he is willing to step down.

As you mentioned, the Democratic National Committee is going to have a vote this week and they say that they may officially ask him to resign as well -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you, Casey.

Here is also what we're working on for this hour. Bradley Manning will spend the next three decades in prison. Thirty-five years, that is the sentence for the former Army Intelligence analyst convicted of leaking classified military documents.

And hundreds, including women and children, killed by chemical weapons in Syria. That is a claim by Syrian opposition groups. Hear what the U.S. is now saying about that attack.

And a worker tells us a gunman who burst into a Georgia elementary school that she loves him. It might be the reason that that gunman gave himself up. You're going to hear from her next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: The man responsible for the largest leak of classified information in Army history is now learning his fate. Today, military judge sentenced former Army Intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, to 35 years in prison. He was convicted last month of stealing 750,000 pages of documents and videos and giving them to the Web site, WikiLeaks. Manning's rank will be reduced. He's going to forfeit all pay and benefits and be dishonorably discharged. He will get credit for the three and a half years he has already served.

The Fort Hood gunman wraps up his defense today without calling a single witness, without taking the stand as well.

Closing arguments scheduled to begin tomorrow in the court martial of Major Nidal Hasan. Now, he is charged with killing 13 people and wounding 32 others in a 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood. Hasan admitted he did it during his opening statements when he said, I am the shooter. He is representing himself with defense attorneys by -- on standby, essentially. The defense lawyers say Hasan is trying to get a death sentence. It is not clear if he plans to deliver a closing argument tomorrow.

And the danger level at the crippled nuclear plant, this is in Fukushima, Japan. It is about to jump now from a one to a three. Three is classified as a serious incident. It is the highest level it's been since the huge earthquake and tsunami triggered that massive meltdown back in 2011. Well, yesterday, the plant operator revealed 300 tons of highly radioactive water had leaked from a storage tank. So, the water is so toxic that a person standing close to it for an hour would be exposed to five times the early recommended limit for those plant workers.

Later this hour, Chad Myers, he's going to tell us what is this new elevated danger warning? What does it mean for the people in Japan?

And we are just getting confirmation now that the U.N. Security Council is going to meet less than two hours from now to discuss today's alleged chemical weapons attack. This is in Syria. Rebels and activists, they say hundreds of people were killed in this attack. I want to warn you here, many of these images, they are -- they're difficult to see. They're difficult to watch. They were posted online by opposition groups following what they say was a poison gas attack by government forces. Many of the dead, women and children. And a doctor at a field hospital outside Damascus says that the victims died of asphyxiation. The Syrian government is now denying these accusations.

I want to bring in our Arwa Daman. She's in neighboring Lebanon. And, Arwa, first of all, I mean, it breaks your heart when you see those pictures of those kids. Why are so many of these victims children of this alleged chemical attack?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's difficult to say at this stage without really even substantiated if it was a chemical attack or not. But watching doctors trying to treat these children, they're gasping for air, watching, looking at their listless bodies just lined up on the floor. I mean, we've seen a lot of horrific images coming out of Syria for the last three years but what we've been pouring through today really goes beyond even all of that.

One doctor who I was speaking to said that his location ran out of Atropine within an hour so all he could do for the victims who were coming in was wash them off with water and give them oxygen.

The symptoms ranging from dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, in some cases the victims were foaming at the mouth as well. This is why doctors and opposition members believe it was a chemical attack. The government of course, denying that. We're going to have to wait and see if the U.N. team on the ground is able to uncover any more information, but most certainly what we're seeing coming out of Syria today defies logic.

MALVEAUX: And Arwa, it's hard to understand something like this. Is there any way of figuring out because it's so murky when you look at this of who is responsible for leasing those chemicals because there's stories on both sides.

DAMON: Yes. It's incredibly murky, especially when it comes down to tracking down concrete information. Both sides blaming each other. In this case the Syrian government flat out denying any sort of involvement in the past. This is exactly why the U.N. team is in the country to investigate prior alleged chemical attacks.

We have not seen a death toll that is this large. In the past when it came to other alleged attacks, again both sides were blaming each other. The U.N. team's mission was not to establish who used chemical weapons but if they had been used at all. It's going to be quite interesting to see if the Syrian government will help facilitate a U.N. monitoring trip to the site of these most recent attacks as well.

MALVEAUX: All right, Arwa, thank you. We really appreciate it.

2009, that was a brutal assault by insurgents leaving American soldiers badly outnumbered in a remote post in Afghanistan. Lives were lost and brave men wounded, but in end an unlikely hero emerged. Dick Hapner (ph) is going to be here with one soldier's incredible story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: It was one of the deadliest days in the war of Afghanistan. A remote army outpost of 53 U.S. soldiers took fire from as many as 400 insurgents. Eight American soldiers were killed, and 25 more were wounded in a battle that would last from dawn to dusk. But through the chaos, an unlikely hero emerged -- then 29-year-old Army Staff Sergeant Ty Carter. Our Jake Tapper has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hours into the battle the soldiers of Black Night Troop are fighting back, but two of them, Ty Carter and Brad Larson, are pinned down in a humvee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're in this humvee and you're sitting ducks.

TAPPER: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't leave but you can't stay.

TAPPER: And then what happened?

STAFF SGT. TY CARTER, U.S. ARMY: It got to the point where a sniper knew where I was at. I would open the window and fire across the river at insurgents and I remember closing the window. As soon as I closed it sparks shot out. The two inch gap I had in my rifle the sniper zeroed in on it and was trying to put a bullet inside the vehicle to get either myself or Sergeant Larson.

TAPPER: To make matters worse, Taliban fighters are now inside combat outpost Keating (ph).

CARTER: We were low on ammo. Everyone around us that was friendly was either wounded or dead.

TAPPER: Specialist Stephen Mays (ph) was severely wounded outside the humvee, exposed to the enemy.

CARTER: He says help me please.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: Jake Tapper is joining us from Washington. Jake, very, very powerful story. Tell us how this ends.

TAPPER: The story for Ty Carter is he runs out of the humvee into danger, grabs the specialist, does first aid on him and brings him back to the humvee.

And then ultimately he, Sergeant Larson, and Mays get out of humvee, and the men of combat of combat outpost Keating push back and beat the Taliban with the help of a lot of air support. That's the short version but obviously it's a very harrowing account. A battle that lasted from dawn to dusk in an outpost that a lot of people think should never have existed at all. And we're going to look into all of it tonight in our special looking at this one medal of honor. The larger issue of why this outpost was put in this vulnerable place.

MALVEAUX: All right. Jake, thanks. Very powerful reporting. Really appreciate it. Watch Jake Tapper reports, "AN UNLIKELY HERO." That's tonight. It airs at 10:00 eastern on CNN. You're not going to want to miss that.

20-year-old break into an elementary school with an AK-47. This could have ended very badly. No one was hurt. Hear from the woman who made all the difference.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MALVEAUX: A new heart gives an Atlanta teenager a new lease on life. Anthony Stoke is recovering this afternoon after undergoing a heart transplant on Tuesday. Well, his case drew national attention because the Georgia hospital initially denied him a transplant saying he had a history of noncompliance. What does that mean? It generally means that doctors doubt that he's going to take his medicine, or he's going to go to follow up appointments. But the family thinks it was because he had low grades and he was briefly in a juvenile detention facility. After they went public, the hospital reversed its decision.

A Florida man shot by police in his own driveway, well he is speaking out now exclusively to CNN. Roy Middleton, he was shot at 15 times by officers who mistook him for car thief after getting a 911 call from his neighbor. Luckily, 13 of their bullets missed him but the remaining two shattered his leg which is now held together by metal rods. Middleton says the incident shouldn't have happened in the first place.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROY MIDDLETON, SHOT BY POLICE: They should have asked me did I live here or ran my address and license plate or something. Before somebody is a suspect in their own yard. Suspecting of what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you ask yourself why? why did this happen to me?

MIDDLETON: Do I ask myself why? Yeah, why they shot me first an then why shoot so many times afterwards?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUC: The county sheriff is defending the officers. He says Middleton was a suspect who refused deputies' commands and then lunged at them. The officers are on administrative leave.

A school clerk in suburban Atlanta is now being hailed as a hero because she convinced a gunman inside an elementary school, allegedly vowed to kill police officers, to put down his weapon and surrender. Here is how Antoinette Tuff described the situation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTOINETTE TUFF, SCHOOL BOOKKEEPER: He said no one loved him and I told him that I loved him, and that it was going to be okay, that we were going to get out safely. And then I told him that if he just go ahead an surrender since he didn't hurt anyone that I would stay there with him until they came to get him. and so I walked him through taking everything out of his pocket, taking all of the magazines that he had loaded and the additional weapons and everything that he had on him out of the bag and put the bag on the counter along with everything else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: An amazing story. She told him she loved him. 20-year-old Michael Hall, he is in police custody now. Thankfully nobody hurt in that incident yesterday, right here in the Atlanta area. It was no reassurance to the parents of the 800 students at the Ronald McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur. David Mattingly has more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hundreds of kids ages four to ten running for safety as gunfire erupts in their school. Inside, 20-year- old Michael Brandon Hill armed with what police say was an AK-47 and a number of other weapons, takes officer workers hostage and tells them to call a TV station with a chilling message.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've never experienced anything like this. He wanted us to start filming as police die.

MATTINGLY: The gunman fired at police, maybe a half dozen times officers return fire. When one officer worker convinced him to surrender.

TUFF: I held him there the whole time because he actually wanted to go outside and start shooting again. And I just started telling him my life story and what was going on with me. I asked him to put all of his weapons down and told the police he was giving himself up.

MATTINGLY: Police searched the suspect's car for explosives. Children had to been escorted from buses away from the school as a precaution, before being reunited with their anxious parents. Now in police custody, Hill faces charges including aggravated assault on a police officer, terroristic threats, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Parents complain about lack of communication. Most say they heard about it on local news.