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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Nevada Shooting Survivor Speaks Out; Obamacare Web Site Blame Game; Math Teacher Murder; Maryland's AG in Wild Teen Party; New Murder Trial for Kennedy Cousin Michael Skakel: Brother Of Victim Martha Moxley Speaks Out
Aired October 24, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks.
Good evening, everyone.
A very full hour ahead, including a 12-year-old boy who describe the terror of seeing a classmate with a gun, then watching as he pointed at him, takes him and pulls the trigger.
Also, take a look at this, the guy with the cell phone camera not the one dancing bare-chested on a table at a senior high school party. He was not sure there was underage drinking going on. What do you think? He's also Maryland's attorney general and he's running for governor.
Later a survivor of the marathon bombing whose been through a lot and has come out of it strong, Boston strong.
We begin with the exclusive chilling account of a boy named Mason who at age 12 was forced to do something that no one his age ever should. For one terrifying moment with his whole life ahead of him, Mason had to contemplate the possibility that his life was over.
Mason -- we're not disclosing his last name at his mother's request -- is a student at Sparks Middle School just outside Reno, Nevada. He was there Monday morning waiting for class to start when he heard gunfire and he saw his friend, a classmate, coming toward him carrying a 9 millimeter pistol. Seconds later, Mason himself was shot, a bullet in his belly.
Not far away a teacher, Michael Lansberry, lay wounded. He would later die. The shooter took his own life.
Mason would heal and now he's telling his story to Stephanie Elam, who joins us now from Sparks with the exclusive and other late developments -- Stephanie.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, it was just heart- wrenching to hear Mason explain everything that went down on Monday morning before his class was supposed to begin. He says that he heard the shots and thought that they were off in the distance and then his friends were running everywhere and he couldn't figure out why. And then he saw Mr. Lansberry who was not his teacher but a beloved friend, he called him, on the ground and he wanted to help him and that's when everything started to change. Take a listen.
ELAM: Did you come face-to-face with him? Did he say anything to you? He just shot you? How far away from you was he?
MASON, SURVIVED SPARKS SCHOOL SHOOTING: About 10, 20 feet.
ELAM: And did you realize right away that you had been shot? Did you know? You knew it?
MASON: Yes, I felt a very sharp pain in my stomach.
ELAM: Was Mr. Lansberry one of your teachers?
MASON: No. He was just a really friend of mine. I knew because I used to go and visit him every time at lunch and before school.
ELAM: Why did you like him so much?
MASON: Because he was funny and friendly, and fun to hang around.
ELAM: When you came to him, was everyone else running when you tried to go him, when he was on the ground?
MASON: No. The first shot was my friend and then Mr. Lansberry got shot, and then I was looking around the school like, why is everybody running from -- and nothing and then I'm like wow, and I told Mr. Lansberry, you got shot. He was laying on the around. And I ran over and a couple of (INAUDIBLE) like we need to get him in -- into the school, and so we tried and one of my vice principals, Mr. Andres, said that get in the building, get in the school fast, and then I -- then that's when I ran to my back left and I got shot.
ELAM: Did you know the boy who was doing the shooting? What kind of person was he?
MASON: He was nice. I -- but I think he had some mental issues in his head.
ELAM: Why did you think that?
MASON: Well, because he argues with people a lot, and I see him being argumentative with teachers and some students and that's why I think he is a little mental in the head, so, yes.
ELAM: Did he have friends? Did you see him with friends?
MASON: I had seen him with friends, but -- and I don't think he was being bullied at all.
ELAM: Oh, really? You don't think he was being bullied?
MASON: But -- because if he was being bullied and I saw it, I would have stuck up for him. I was one of his friends. ELAM: So when you saw it was him with the gun shooting you, what were you thinking?
MASON: Before I got shot, please don't shoot me, please don't shoot me, and I looked at him and I saw it and he raised it and he shot me in my stomach.
ELAM: And he didn't say anything?
MASON: He didn't say anything like, please don't shoot me, please don't shoot me, and then he raised and boom, shot me.
ELAM: But here's someone you say was a friend, someone you say you would have stuck up for if you saw him getting bullied and yet this is the same boy that shot you. What did you think of that?
MASON: After he shot me I thought he wasn't my real friend.
ELAM: What do you want people to learn from what you've been through?
MASON: I want people to learn from what I've been through is to -- if you ever shot a gun and you accidentally killed somebody, you would have made a very big mistake from that, and I used to treat guns not poorly but a little poorly because I thought they were a toy, but when I got shot, I learned that they are not just a toy. They are a weapon. And it could damage somebody very bad.
So I want everybody in the world to know that more in battles and anything dealing with weapons and guns and knives, they are all weapons and they can kill you very easily if you hit the right spot.
And I'm lucky to be alive and it didn't -- the bullet didn't go through me. If it did, I would have been dead but it just went around me so I'm lucky to be alive.
ELAM: And, Anderson, we did this interview with his mother sitting right there by his side. She really wanted to talk and he wanted to talk to make it clear that this was not a case of them being targeted. He wasn't not being targeted. That he wasn't a bully in this case. In fact, he thought of the shooter as a friend.
She also wanted to make it very clear, as well, that she owns a gun and she doesn't think that guns are the problem, the problem is that parents don't lock up their guns safely the way they need to be kept out of their children's hands.
That was also something she was very passionate about. And as far as the parents of the shooter, she says that she feels sorry for them because she knows that they are grieving and she has no ill will towards them -- Anderson.
COOPER: Stephanie, thanks very much. Just a strong little boy there. Stephanie, thanks. Just a day after Sparks, Nevada, became part of a long line of school tragedies, it was joined by the Boston suburb of Danvers, Massachusetts. That same single day later, the name Colleen Ritzer joins Michael Lansberry in the list of teachers killed at a place of their own school that's supposed to be a venue for nurturing lives, not taking them. Tonight the already grim circumstances of her death grew even grimmer.
Details from Don Lemon.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR/CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Danvers High School mourns the loss of popular math teacher Colleen Ritzer, following her shocking homicide new details are emerging in the killing. A source close to the investigation tells CNN around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon her 14-year-old student Philip Chism, allegedly beat and slashed her with a box cutter in a second floor student restroom.
The source says he then stuffed Ritzer's body into a recycling bin, rolled it out of the school and dumped her body about 20 feet in the woods behind the athletic field. The bin was found thrown over an embankment approximately 100 feet away.
Chism allegedly changed clothes, went to a local Wendy's and then on to the Hollywood Hits movie theater nearby, according to sources familiar with the investigation. Police caught up with Chism wondering the streets past midnight in a nearby town. By then 24- year-old Colleen Ritzer had been reported missing.
A combination of statements Chism gave to investigators as well as surveillance tape helped investigators discover Ritzer's body sometime later according to the criminal complaint.
Caio Silva was a friend and teammate of Philip Chism.
CAIO SILVA, TEAMMATE OF PHILIP CHISM: He was a really nice kid. You know. He had a great smile. Of course, you know, he was new in town, so he would be, you know, kind of shy, kind of quiet.
LEMON: Silva says when Chism didn't show up for soccer practice and a team dinner, he knew something was wrong but not this wrong.
SILVA: That's what gets to us. He didn't demonstrate any signs, any signs of aggression, any signs towards any teachers.
LEMON: Ritzer's family and friends continue searching for answers.
JENNIFER BERGER, FRIEND OF COLLEEN RITZER: She's a good person. Like, it just doesn't make sense to me why something so terrible would happen to someone who is completely the opposite. She just would never, ever want to hurt anyone.
COOPER: That is so horrible, Don. Don joins us now live from Danvers.
Do we have any idea what caused this young man to allegedly commit this crime?
LEMON: Don't know what caused him to commit the crime, but it's interesting, and we are speaking now, as you and I are speaking, CNN has a camera crew over at this young lady's house, Anderson, who was in that last period algebra class, Miss Ritzer's class, with him. She sat about two seats from him and he's usually a good student.
But, Anderson, on that day, on Tuesday she said that he was doodling and had his headphones on and wasn't paying attention and he usually does, and the teacher made him stay after class so that he could go over what he missed in class, then she said she went to do a project in the library, came back, walked back by the class and saw him and her in the class. They're sitting about five, 10 feet apart. She was at her computer, he was at his desk.
And said she didn't think anything of it. The teacher smiled and then she looked at Philip Chism and he kind of gave her this sort of eerie look. She didn't think much about it until now.
COOPER: Wow. Don, appreciate the reporting. Thanks.
Let us know what you think. You can follow me on Twitter @Andersoncooper. Tweet us using #ac360.
Coming up next, it's supposed to be an accountability moment for the health care Web site mess. You can decide whether it turned out that way. We'll also profile a company that's spending tens of millions of your dollars to build the Web site, even though it's got with a less than perfect record.
Also tonight Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, he's on the verge of getting out of prison in the murder of his neighbor Martha Moxley nearly four decades ago. Her family wants to know why. Her brother joins us tonight.
COOPER: Hey, welcome back, "Keeping Them Honest." Here's a question where it comes to accountability for the federal government's mess in the health care Web site. Is finger-pointing considered a preexisting condition? There was an epidemic of it today at the House committee -- as the House committee grilled the contractors responsible for building healthcare.gov.
Now listen to the executives from those companies blame each other and CMS, the federal agency overseeing the rollout for a host of problems, problems, by the way, that went unnoticed possibly because, according to these contractors today, no full test of the entire system was done until two weeks before it went live.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHERYL CAMPBELL, SENIOR VP, CGI FEDERAL: For a CGI perspective, our portion of the application worked as designed. The end-to-end testing was the responsibility of CMS.
ANDREW SLAVITT, GROUP EXECUTIVE VP, OPTUM/QSSI: We don't happen to control the pieces of the Web site that I believe you're referring to.
CAMPBELL: Unfortunately, the EIDM created a bottleneck preventing the vast majority of consumers from accessing the SSM.
SLAVITT: All of the risks that we saw and all the concerns that we have regarding testing were all shared with CMS.
CAMPBELL: Testing was not our ultimate responsibility.
SLAVITT: Congressman, we believe we've been prudent and cautious through this project.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Those were executives today from the two main contractors, building healthcare.gov. CGI Federal and QSSI, Quality Software Systems Incorporated, blaming each other for federal oversight. Now lawmakers, meantime, did plenty of finger-pointing. Republicans attacking the law itself, Democrats questioning GOP sincerity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STEVE SCALISE (R), LOUISIANA: You know, there is a saying in a computer program, garbage in, garbage out. If you're give a bad product to build then ultimately what you'll deliver is a bad product.
REP. FRANK PALLONE (D), NEW JERSEY: You know, here we go again, another cynical effort by the Republicans to delay, defund or ultimately repeal the Affordable Care Act. I'd like to think that somehow this hearing is above board and legitimate but it's not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Some of the finger-pointing today. Next week the committee questions Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. No doubt they'll ask her why they waited so long to test the Web site and maybe questions as well about one of those big contractors, CGI Federal.
Drew Griffin tonight is "Keeping Them Honest."
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In 2009 the government of Ontario, Canada was emerging from an electronic health record scandal of its own. A failed electronic network that cost taxpayers here $1 billion and was a complete failure. So the government decided to hire out, find a contractor that could at least electronically keep track of the provinces' nearly 1.2 million diabetes patients, a diabetes e-health registry. The contractor hired, CGI. For $46 million, CGI was given six years to get all diabetes patients, their records and their treatment plans on one easily accessible computer network.
(On camera): So what happened? Well, the government waited, and waited and waited. Missed deadline after missed deadline came and went until finally Ontario said enough, you're fired.
FRANCE GELINAS, MEMBER, PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT, ONTARIO: They were so late in delivering that it was not worth it anymore in the entire contract got cancelled.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): France Gelinas, a member of Ontario's Provincial Parliament and a member of the Public Accounts Committee was stunned. The contractor CGI knew Ontario's government would be looking over its shoulder. The government had even written in contract clauses specifically outlining that if the e-Health Diabetes Registry did not work, CGI would not get paid. And CGI, she says, in her words, bombed.
GELINAS: The six-year contract, two years in, got canceled. Nothing got done and they did not get paid. There was nothing to show for it.
GRIFFIN: CGI would not comment to CNN about what happened in Canada but with the less than stellar track record, just how did the company get the massive job to run the healthcare.gov Web site?
Today company officials testified before Congress trying to explain just that. And in a written statement, CGI told lawmakers of the four bids submitted for healthcare.gov CGI was selected because it was the best value to the government. That value has turned out to be $293 million.
CAMPBELL: So, Chairman, from a CGI perspective, our portion of the application worked as designed. People have been able to enroll, not at the pace, not at the experience we would have liked, but the end-to-end testing was the responsibility of CMS. Our portion of the system is what we testified in terms of what was ready to go live, but it was not our decision to go live.
GRIFFIN: The system CGI built in Canada never went live and never worked at all. France Gelinas says it is her belief the Ontario government was fooled. CGI won the bid to built e-Health System because the company looked good on paper. In reality, she says, Ontario won't be fooled again.
GELINAS: Well, let's just say that they don't have a very good name around here.
They -- they look good enough, as I said, to win the contract, and then they did not deliver for us. So I would say their chances of getting work in Ontario, well, I'll leave that up to you.
It did not go well.
COOPER: So does this company have a bad track record everywhere they go?
GRIFFIN: I mean, it's a big company. They have successes and they have some failures. I'll give you an example of a semi-pretty big failure. Hawaii asked this company to revamp its income and business tax system. After 10 years there was no functioning system. Now the state auditor who I talked to this afternoon says that was an entirely CGI's fault but she did say that the contractor posed a lot of problems that, you know, prevented this thing from going forward.
COOPER: And this -- I mean, several states have hired CGI to run their health exchanges. Have they had problems?
GRIFFIN: It depends on the state. Connecticut, Colorado, Massachusetts, they all told us things are running great. CGI is doing well. Vermont has given CGI or will give CGI $80 million to set up its state exchange. Now the governor of that state was really mad, quoted in the paper saying he was mad as President Obama. The site was not running well. He said we -- you know, we pay for something, we expect it to work.
We called back Vermont today. Suddenly they are pretty much silent on the issue. We just got a little statement back saying the site is up and running.
COOPER: Interesting. Drew, thanks for reporting.
Well, for more on the story, you can go to CNN.com.
Just ahead, Maryland's attorney general feeling some serious heat for not stopping underage teenagers from drinking at a beach party. Says he had no idea alcohol was being consumed. I'll let you be the judge.
Also it took decades to find and convict Martha Moxley's killer. Now Michael Skakel's conviction has been overturned. I'll talk to Moxley's brother about the dramatic ruling that rocked his family.
COOPER: Hey, welcome back. Tonight a state attorney general who has been a public crusader against underage drinking is in a very awkward position, explaining why he apparently turned a blind eye when minors were drinking right in front of him. The "Baltimore Sun" broke the story running a photograph, this photograph, showing Douglas Gansler, who's running for governor, at a party where underage teenagers and alcohol was mixing.
Gansler now says he made a mistake as a parent for failing to investigate what was at the plastic cups at that party. He's sticking to his story that he had no idea alcohol was being consumed. We'll let you decide whether you buy that.
Brian Todd reports.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A wild beach week party in Bethany Beach, Delaware, with teenagers dancing on tables. But look at the man near the center in the white shirt. That's Maryland's attorney general, Douglas Gansler, who is running for governor. He says he was at the party in June just to talk to his son, but underage teenagers reportedly admitted they were drinking alcohol. And now the photo has surfaced and Gansler is taking serious heat for not stopping it.
Substance abuse expert Michael Gimbel.
MICHAEL GIMBEL, SUBSTANCE ABUSE EXPERT: You have an obligation to protect our children, to stop them from hurting themselves. Now call the police, stop the party, do something to protect the children. It's all of our obligations as parents.
TODD: The "Baltimore Sun" which broke this story quotes Gansler as saying he doesn't have moral authority over other people's children, and he defended himself at a news conference.
DOUGLAS GANSLER (D), MARYLAND ATTORNEY GENERAL: I wasn't the leader of the party, for -- you know, I wasn't the chaperone. I didn't buy the beer or anything like that. I showed up, talked to my son and left.
TODD: He also says he didn't have legal authority to stop anything at this house since he's the attorney general of another state. But another embarrassment, Gansler has been in a PSA speaking against underage drinking.
GANSLER: Parents, you are the leading influence on your teen's decision not to drink.
TODD: I asked about accusations that he's hypocritical.
GANSLER: Hypocritical, be strong, I mean, again, should I have recognized -- should I have decided -- I could -- what I could have done was to investigate whether there was drinking going on and then taken action on that.
TODD: Gansler says at the time, he wasn't sure there was drinking going on.
GANSLER: There could be Kool-Aid in the red cups but there's probably beer in the red cups.
TODD: This comes on the heels of another scandalous story on Gansler.
(On camera): The "Washington Post" reports that Gansler often ordered the state troopers who drove him to speed, to run red lights, to drive on shoulders with lights flashing even on routine excursions. Gansler says those acquisitions are untrue.
Brian Todd, CNN, Silver Spring, Maryland.
COOPER: Wow. Fascinating photograph.
Anyway, there's a lot more happening tonight, Martin Savidge has the "360 Bulletin" -- Martin.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Anderson.
Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel says the trust between Europe and U.S. has to, quote, "be reestablished after claims that the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on her cell phone. President Obama talked with Merkel on Tuesday telling her that the U.S. is not monitoring and will not monitor her communication.
A Bulgarian woman claims that she's the mother of Maria. That is the blonde blue-eyed girl taken from a Roma family in Greece last week. The woman told a Bulgarian television station she gave the girl to a family she worked for in Greece four years ago. The Roma couple charged in that case says they took Maria into her home because her biological mother from Bulgaria couldn't look after her.
And how about some baby photos? Here they are, the official photos from Prince George's christening. What would with his mom and dad, that's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. There's also one with his extended family including the Middletons and others, with his grandpa, yes, Prince Charles and his great grandmother who happens to be the queen -- Anderson.
COOPER: Very cute baby there.
All right, Martin. Thanks very much.
Just ahead, Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel getting a second chance to prove his innocence in the murder of his neighbor Martha Moxley nearly 40 years ago. Her brother is speaking out tonight.
Plus wrenching testimony in the murder trial of a Utah doctor accused of killing his wife to be with his mistress. That's the allegation. His daughter testified against him today.
COOPER: Welcome back. Today a lawyer for Michael Skakel filed the paperwork that could soon free him from prison while he awaits his new trial. Late yesterday, Connecticut judge set aside Skakel's murder conviction ruling his trial lawyer botched his defense. Skakel, a nephew of late Robert F. Kennedy and his wife, Ethyl, was convicted in 2002 of killing his former neighbor, Martha Moxley in 1975. They were 15 years old at that time.
Skakel was nearly 40 when he was arrested and media attention obviously was intense throughout the trial and the idea that there will be a new trial has stunned many people including Moxley's family. I spoke to her brother, John Moxley, earlier.
COOPER: Mr. Moxley, I know you say you're stunned by this decision. You have no reason to suspect a retrial would be ordered based on ineffective counsel?
JOHN MOXLEY, BROTHER OF MARTHA MOXLEY (via telephone): That's correct. It was very surprising.
COOPER: You were obviously there for the trial and saw the defense attorney, Mickey Sherman, in court. You're not a legal expert. Did you think he was ineffective in your view?
MOXLEY: No, I thought he did some things very well. Let me tell you this, I would rather have Jonathan Benedict any day of the week because he's more my personality type and my sense is Mickey was more the Skakel personality type but he did some things during the course of the trial that I remember there was one where I called up Jonathan Benedict and said you guys missed something here and this guy is going to do something, and, you know, he did.
It was -- and what he did was he didn't ask any more questions. They -- the state thought that he was going to cross-examine and then they would be able to go back into it and then he saw a hole and he said I'm closing it. No questions, thank you. And it was a -- I thought at the time a critical witness, and I thought it was a brilliant move to do nothing versus doing something, and he was very good in that regard.
COOPER: And in your belief Michael Skakel is still guilty?
MOXLEY: Yes, there were things that come out over the years never part of the trial, just convinced us that he's guilty and so yes, the short answer is yes.
COOPER: There are likely appeals before any retrial. Those take a lot of time. In the short term there is a question whether or not she should be released on bail. Are you opposed to that?
MOXLEY: I am. It will probably take, as I understand, it will probably take a week or so for that to sort itself out. I wouldn't, you know, my mother and I wouldn't be in favor of bail, but the reality is we have no control over it and I can't let myself get consumed and my mother will not get consumed by stuff we can't control. Whatever happens, it happens.
COOPER: Your mom became so familiar to people that follow this case. How does she feel?
MOXLEY: Yesterday started at 6:30 when I walked into a hospital with her for back surgery and the good news is at noon she walked out feeling better than when she walked in. If it comes to a trial, we'll be there supporting the State of Connecticut.
COOPER: What do you want people to know about your sister Martha? Was her life like? Kind of person was she?
MOXLEY: You know, I think the -- just she was very popular, very pretty, very smart. When we moved to Connecticut, she -- the first year we were there she was in ninth grade and she was in junior high school, and she was voted by the school the most popular girl. So, you know, one year she made a great impression and, you know, there is no question in my mind that she would have, given the opportunity, she would have had a happy and productive life.
COOPER: John, I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. Thank you.
MOXLEY: My pleasure.
COOPER: The Skakel family released a statement saying, "We hope this is the beginning of the end to Michael's 40-year reoccurring nightmare. Any objective on server who sat through the trial through this appeals habeas hearing could only come to conclusion our brother has always been innocent and this case should never have been brought to trial in the first place.
As we said, Martha Moxley's murder went unsolved for decades. It's a cold case for more than a quarter of a century. Her body was found on Halloween in 1975 in her backyard under a large pine tree. It was believed she was killed the night before sometime between 9:30 and 10 p.m. Her body was face down, blue jeans and under pants pulled down and her body dragged through the grass.
Michael Skakel has always maintained his innocence. So what evidence actually led to his conviction so many years later? Randi Kaye tonight investigates.
RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One of the first pieces of evidence police find at the scene of Martha Moxley's murder is part of a stainless steel golf club shaft, about a foot long, another smaller piece of the bloodstained club is also found along with the head of the six iron all covered in blood. Investigators also find several patches of blood in the area. The medical examiner determined Moxley sustained five to ten blows to the head and at least four stab wounds from the broken golf shaft.
DORTHY MOXLEY, MARTHA MOXLEY'S MOTHER: They hit her so hard the golf club broke and they took the shaft and stabbed her with it six or seven times.
KAYE: If Michael Skakel murdered Martha Moxley, where is the forensic evidence linking him to the brutal crime? There isn't any. No fingerprints, no footprints, not even his blood is found at the scene, also there is no trace of defense wounds on Moxley. This is Skakel's defense attorney the day he was arraigned in March 2000.
MICKEY SHERMAN, SKAKEL'S FORMER DEFENSE ATTORNEY: There is no scientific evidence or anything that links Michael Skakel to the crime.
KAYE: This affidavit reveals prosecutors relied on the word of witnesses, a challenge because of the more than 20-year gap between the murder and the trial. One witness tells police Skakel brought up the murder telling her he had been drunk at the time and might have committed the murder during a blackout.
Another witness reports he broke down in tears crying I don't know if I did or didn't. I don't know. And finally, a third witness claims Skakel admitted murdering Moxley with the golf club when she, quote, "did not submit to the advances." The same witness says Skakel told him because he was related to Ethel Kennedy he could get away with murder.
(on camera): True TV reports other evidence collected at the scene includes a human hair belonging to a white male but doesn't match any suspects. The single hair belonging to an African-American male found on a blanket is dismissed to belonging to one of the first officers at the crime scene.
(voice-over): There is this, a composite sketch of someone witnesses saw in the neighborhood. Skakel believes it would have convinced the jury he didn't do it if only the jury had seen it. His defense attorney never showed it during the trial. The unused sketch is one of the key reasons Skakel argued his defense lawyer was incompetent and that he deserves a new trial.
At a recent hearing to push for his client's freedom, Skakel's new lawyer presented the composite sketch and a picture of Kenneth Littleton who worked as a tutor at the Skakel home. He had also been questioned at the time of the murder. Littleton's lawyer has told reporters he's innocent. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is Skakel's cousin.
ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR., MICHAEL SKAKEL'S COUSIN: Michael was a 11 miles away with five eye witnesses at the time that the murder was committed. He has an airtight alibi.
KAYE: With his conviction set aside, Michael Skakel now has a second chance to prove it. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: CNN senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin joins me now and also Lawrence Kobilinsky, a forensic scientist and professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Jeff, you covered this case a lot. Were you surprised by this ruling?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Astonished. You know, our prisons are full of people who claimed that they got bad lawyers. That they were -- had ineffective assistance of counsel and that claim almost never, ever succeeds. I sat through this trial. Mickey Sherman made some very debatable moves, but this was not outside the realm of normal criminal defense.
What this judge was really saying, I think, was based on this evidence, I think Skakel was simply innocent and that's why he was letting him go. I don't agree with that, but I think this was really more about the nature of the evidence than the defense.
COOPER: Dr. Kobilinsky, in Randi's report there is no actual physical evidence against Michael Skakel.
LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, that happens to be true, but remember that science back in 1975 was a lot different than it was in 2002 and a lot different than it is today.
COOPER: So is there something now they can retest?
KOBILINSKY: That's a good point. I believe if DNA exists on the murder weapon and even possibly on her clothing, remember her clothing was pulled down, the blue jeans and the bikini panties, if there is DNA on those items, there is a test nowadays referred to as YSTR testing, which would make the female component of the mixture -- in other words, the blood would make it invisible, transparent and what you would see is male DNA. You can tell if one person touched the weapon or two --
COOPER: Couldn't they have -- I mean, wouldn't Skakel have brought that up to be retested --
TOOBIN: And also, the -- there is evidence in the case that Martha Moxley had been making out with Thomas Skakel earlier in the evening, and that could explain the pants being where they were, and in fact, the judge very much faulted Mickey Sherman for not pointing the finger at Thomas Skakel for being the real murderer in the case. I don't want to accuse Thomas Skakel of being the murderer here, but clearly the judge thought he was much more of a suspect than Mickey Sherman indicated at the trial.
COOPER: So why -- why -- I mean, do you believe he's guilty?
COOER: You do?
TOOBIN: I sat through the whole trial --
COOPER: Even though there is lack of physical evidence?
TOOBIN: Absolutely. The prisons are full of people. In 1975 nobody had that evidence against them because it didn't exist. Jonathan Benedict who is the prosecutor gave the single best summation in a courtroom I heard anywhere pulling together all the forms of evidence in a way that was utterly persuasive. I don't think he could do it again. I think it is simply too late. I mean, Dr. K says there are no tests out there. You can't have a trial in 2014, which would be what it would be at the earliest about something that happened in 1975. It's simply too long ago, 2002 was bad enough.
COOPER: Robert F. Kennedy was saying that Mickey Sherman's desire to be on TV led to him not doing a very good job.
TOOBIN: So did the judge and all of us here in the news business, we know Mickey very well and he was here a lot and perhaps he did spend too much time on TV rather than working on the case, but that didn't make this an unconstitutional trial. I really don't think his performance was at that level.
COOPER: So Dr. Kobilinsky, at a new trial, they will obviously review all the evidence that still exists.
KOBILINSKY: Listen, physical evidence is one part of a massive amount of information. We have a lot of information. The body, the autopsy report, we have the murder weapon, we have the -- we know that whoever did this had access to the clubs, which came from the Skakel home, which narrows down the number of potential suspects. So we're down to about three people. And I do believe that science now may be able to resolve this.
COOPER: And Jeff, you have no doubt he'll be released on bail?
TOOBIN: I think so. He's presumed innocent now and he's not a risk of flight. He's not a danger to the community. I just want to say one thing, the person who was most responsible for this prosecution going forward is Dominic Don of "Vanity Fair," our great friend and he's not here anymore and I only wish we could hear Dominic's reaction to this because he brought the attention to this case that led to this prosecution --
COOPER: I miss Don. He was a wonderful guy.
TOOBIN: He was a great person and a great journalist, as well.
COOPER: He lost a daughter and that's really what got him into it.
TOOBIN: A larger than life figure.
COOPER: Certainly was.
TOOBIN: Very short.
COOPER: I think about him a lot. Jeff, thanks very much. Dr. Kobilinsky, thanks as well.
Up next, a daughter breaks down as she testifies against her own father on trial for killing her mother. What her father allegedly did on the day of her mother's funeral that she says made her sick and a Boston survivor living Boston strong.
COOPER: Hi, welcome back. Let's get the latest on some other stories we are following. Martin Savidge is back with a 360 Bulletin -- Martin.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, emotional testimony today in the trial of a former doctor accused of killing his wife so he could be with his mistress. Today Martin and Michele Macneill's daughter, Rachel, testified against her own father. Here she describes his behavior at a luncheon after her mother's funeral. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL MACNEILL, DAUGHTER OF MARTIN MACNEILL: He was commenting on how he's a single man and being social and just very casual --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you recall any joking?
MACNEILL: Yes, he was -- he was making jokes about being single and just laughing and it made me sick.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Two Tennessee National Guard members were shot at an armory outside of Memphis and a third guard is in custody. The suspected gunman was subdued by other people at the armory after shooting one in the foot and another in the leg.
Remember this video of a UC Davis police officer firing pepper spray in protesters faces on campus? That officer lost his job because of this, but now a judge has ruled that the university has to pay him more than $38,000 of workers compensation for depression and the anxiety he felt after the video went viral.
And then the two kittens who shut down part of the New York subway system for about 90 minutes after spotted wondering of the tracks have found a home. They have been adopted by a couple in Brooklyn Heights, call me a sucker but I love happy endings - Anderson.
COOPER: Martin, thanks very much.
A programming note, at the top of the hour at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, CNN is going to air the television premier of a documentary called "Blackfish" that tells the story of the Sea World trainer who was killed by 12,000 pound Orca named Tilikum in 2010. I want to show you a preview, the moments before she died.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The animals can sense when you get to the bottom of the bucket of the fish because they can hear the ice and the fishy water at the bottom and the handfuls of fish they are getting delivered by the trainer are getting smaller so they know they are coming down to the end of session.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you see the difference between the beginning of the video and the end, you can see he's not quite on his game anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no food left. She kept asking him for more and more behaviors. He wasn't getting reinforced for the behaviors. He probably was frustrated towards the end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Don't miss "Blackfish" coming up at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN about 9 minutes from now and at 11:00 stick around for a special report "Inside Blackfish, Killers In Captivity."
Coming up next, Boston Strong six months after the marathon bombing, it's more than a slogan for a survivor named Steven Burn. Gary Tuchman catches up with him and catches a Red Sox game.
COOPER: Well, the Boston Red Sox crushed the St. Louis Cardinals last night in the first game of the World Series. It's Boston's third World Series in ten years, but it's also the first since the bomb exploded near the finish line in the Boston marathon. An event that severely tested the city's resilience and the people that called Boston home have emerged stronger than ever, Boston Strong they say.
For one bombing survivor, Steven Byrne, it's been a tough road to recovery, but he's been void by the spirit of the city and his beloved Red Sox. Gary Tuchman went to Boston and watched game one of the series with Steven.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is Steven Byrne getting ready for surgery after suffering life threatening wounds from the Boston marathon bombings. This is Steven Byrne at home today six months later, celebrating with Boston watching the Red Sox in game one of the World Series.
STEVEN BYRNE, BOSTON BOMBING SURVIVOR: It would be great if they won the World Series.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Awesome.
BYRNE: I know Cardinal fans don't agree.
TUCHMAN: Maybe they do because of the Boston Strong, Boston Strong a powerful slogan.
BYRNE: Couldn't think after any other way I would want to live. It's just Boston. So I'm glad we were here.
TUCHMAN: I mean, do you feel like the city means more to you today than it did six months ago before this happened.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Even though Steven lived in the Boston area his whole life he was attending the first Boston marathon. He had only been there about 5 minutes when the first bomb went off and then the second. Just a few feet from where he was standing.
BYRNE: I knew I was hurt, you know, I was bleeding a lot and I just -- I was very concerned about my face because I just -- the force of the bomb, the impact was like nothing I could describe. My foot was burned really bad. I lost a lot of flesh down there from my knee down. I had BBs and nails and shrapnel. TUCHMAN: Steven had two surgeries. He is now deaf in his right here and partial hearing in his left ear. But he is so grateful for the care and compassion he got from so many including from a bunch of guys he never would have expected, players on the Boston Red Sox.
BYRNE: They kept that energy alive and just kept it going all through the whole season. Everything is Boston Strong involved. They didn't just let it die out as time went on. They keep it as out there as much as they did when it first happened.
TUCHMAN: Before one of the Sox' games, Steven and two other victims got to throw out the first pitch. He threw his to David Ortiz.
JOHN FARRELL, BOSTON RED SOX MANAGER: In the moment of tragedy, our guys found out a lot about themselves individually and as a team I think it became a galvanizing point for us to rally around, but collectively try to reach out and try to help others.
TUCHMAN (on camera): You guys are inspirational to the Sox, it's very clear the players tell us that.
BYRNE: That's awesome.
TUCHMAN: How does that make you feel?
BYRNE: It's great. I remember that day they are looking at us like we're celebrities and we're meeting celebrities and they are like how are you, pleasure to meet you. It's here we are, I'm in the locker room of the Red Sox and the players and they think I'm the big shot right now. It's funny.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Steven Byrne mourns with the city for those who died and suffered serious injuries. His life is changed forever, but for him, Boston Strong isn't just a slogan. He feels he is stronger and prouder.
BYRNE: There you go.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Red Sox win game one.
BYRNE: They won. Let's do all the rest of them now.
COOPER: Gary joining me live from Boston. The Red Sox put their money where their mouths are, right?
TUCHMAN: That's right, the Red Sox and Major League Baseball donated during this season more than $2 million to a charity called "One Fund," which gives money to needy victims. So baseball has been very generous to the city, but it's very clear this city has been very generous to baseball. The Boston Red Sox have been here since 1901 and this stadium, Fenway Park, is the oldest in baseball built in 1912. The Sox have been in this spot for 101 years, so a very generous fan base. COOPER: Boston probably loves the Red Sox as much or more than any other city loves it's team. For a lot of people it's about more than baseball.
TUCHMAN: That's right. Anderson, remember, after 9/11, a month and a half later the New York Yankees were in the World Series and lose to the Diamondbacks. The Red Sox hope to have a different result this time around.
COOPER: Gary, thanks very much. That does it for us. Thanks for watching. We'll be back for the special report "Inside Blackfish, Killers In Captivity" at 11:00 Eastern tonight. I hope you join us for that. Stay tuned for the world television premiere of a fascinating documentary, the CNN film called "Blackfish."