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Chris Brown In Trouble Again; Pre-Teen Bullying Suspect In Court; Interview with Jose Baez; Para-Athlete Makes History At Kona Iron Man

Aired October 28, 2013 - 07:30   ET


SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: There could be a significant time, but he is on probation. So I think the argument really needs to be, wow, you know, is that now a violation of his probation?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: How could it not be?

HOSTIN: I think so. So I think so. You are right, Chris. I mean, how could it not be? He is arrested. He is not supposed to be in any kind of trouble.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: What does that mean?

HOSTIN: Well, basically the California court can say, you know what? You are screwing up. I am going to yank your probation and you are going back to jail. So that is really the seriousness of this. Not only could he possibly face jail time in D.C., he could get his probation yanked in Los Angeles. I will tell you. I think my good friend, Mark Geragos, has an uphill battle.

BOLDUAN: How does celebrity play into all this?

HOSTIN: I don't even think we would be talking about it if this weren't Chris Brown, right. I mean, I got the alert. Early Sunday morning, Chris Brown in trouble again and because there was all that media attention on that issue with Rihanna, I mean, we saw the pictures of her face badly beaten. I think society has said enough is enough. You have an anger management problem. You are violent and you've got to pay.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: You look at even some of the troubles that have been following him already this year.


PEREIRA: So it's not just probation. It's not just this thing that happened over the weekend, but you look back with some of the run-ins over the past year. Likely, they are going to take all of that. How bad this could be? How much time could he potentially face?

HOSTIN: You know, I haven't seen the information on this in terms of what's going on in D.C., but we are talking felony assault. I mean, that could be five, 10 years. It's really significant. I can't underestimate for everyone how significant and important this is and I'm just surprised. I mean, Chris Brown, come on. Come on. CUOMO: And the body guard there.

PEREIRA: Come on. You know. It's a shame. Sonny Hostin, thank you for laying some insight. We appreciate it.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, the girls accused of bullying a Florida girl who later committed suicide, they are getting their day in court. The attorney for one of them will be joining us next.

CUOMO: Are you ready to be inspired? It's Monday, you are looking for motivation. Well, there she is. We want to you meet our friend, Minda. You know what the Iron Man is. You know how hard they are. You've heard the one in Hawaii, the Kahonas. She made history. We will tell you how. She joins us on the show, a great, great interview.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. Let's get straight over to Indra Petersons with the forecast and a cold start to the week in the northeast.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It's going to get better for like one day and then we drop back down again. So take a look at the temperatures here in Boston, New York, Philly, D.C. today, finally temperatures just a hint above average, but notice a cold front is expected to make its way through today, so by Tuesday and Wednesday, we are going back down to almost 10 degrees below normal, again, Tuesday and Wednesday, feels good in the northeast.

Now if you are in the southeast, what a difference, you start off the weekend so chilly. Now you have done more than rebound. You have actually seen temperatures go to above normal. Atlanta today seeing about 76, on average should be about 69 degrees. A beautiful weather in the southeast, eventually, that will spread into the most by about the middle of the week.

The difference in this pattern changes, we are going to start to see all that cool air in the Pacific Northwest. So that's going to be the change you may have heard, there is some snow out there and a lot of it. In Montana today, as much as 18 inches of snow is possible. Those peak elevations went through Wyoming. Even the peaks in Southern California could see a dusting overnight tonight.

The big story there, a light rain kicking through the region, why does it matter? Well, this is a system that will make its way across the country. We are still looking for some severe weather through Kansas. But then by the end of the weekend, we will be looking at the mid-west all down through Texas, some heavy rain.

Even some wind out there and eventually into the northeast also looking at the heavy rain. The big thing I forgot to ask is what Cuomo was dressed as for Halloween. The thing is I have no idea. So, Chris, please help us in here.

CUOMO: I have no idea who that is although I must comment he does have impressive deltoids. No idea who that is.

PETERSONS: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: No, thank you, Indra. The counterattack will be waiting. All right, we want to update you now on a story we have been following from the very beginning. The 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, you remember her. She committed suicide we believe after months of relentless bullying. One of the two girls accused of driving her to it now has a high powered attorney, Criminal Defense Attorney Jose Baez.

He is representing 12-year-old Kaitlin Romans. We are saying her name because authorities have released the names of the two girls, made them public. Now you will remember, Baez also defended Casey Anthony in court. He joins us is morning. Counselor, thank you for taking the opportunity.

JOSE BAEZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Good morning, Chris. Thank you for having me.

CUOMO: Now Jose, you've said these accusations should be properly on the other girl involved, not on your client. What are you privy to that's not public that gives you that confidence?

BAEZ: Well, I don't really point the finger here at anyone. What I'm saying is that these are two separate girls, that their actions are completely different and they should be taken that way, but that's not what's being, that's not what exactly is happening here. They're being bundled together and all of the statements and the actual bullying that has been released by the sheriff in this case were done by the other co-defendant, the older girl. My client, law enforcement has yet to show one specific, just one specific instance, of cyber bullying and that may be, because there aren't any.

CUOMO: All right, now the hedge on that, according to sheriff, listen, Jose, I have been listening to what you are saying. This is terrible. We are talking about kids, one of them is dead. These are very young people. We also understand the enormity of the problem. That's why we have to have the analysis of the case like any other in some respects in one way as you say --

BAEZ: Absolutely.

CUOMO: -- there is no instance of cyber bullying, true. That we heard from prosecutors involving your client. However the sheriff says your client is the one in the fight that may have been provoked by the other girl in this situation that may have been something that greatly hurt the victim in this situation. Are you saying that your client is not the girl who was in that fight, that that didn't happen?

BAEZ: No, we're not denying that at all. There was a fight over almost a year ago prior to a year prior to her death. So to be able to tie a school yard fight into the reason why someone committed suicide a year prior, I just find as a tremendous stretch. We have to remember, these are kids in middle school, who there are middle school fights all the time and to point that out and to pull that out and say, you are now a 12-year-old responsible for the death of your former friend, I think that's a pretty heavy burden for a 12-year-old child to carry. I have yet to see the connection between the two.

CUOMO: Well, now, to use this idea, something that shows the burden that this child is carrying as well as something that indicates the burden of proof of the sheriff. The department released a Facebook chat involving your client titled "My Secrets." She talks about hating herself that, quote, "I feel like Rebecca is dead because of me. If only I can say I'm sorry." What do you think that makes a difference in terms of the case and is she OK? Is she getting help? Is her family around her?

BAEZ: To answer your second question first, yes, I am immediately upon coming on board I had her evaluated by a forensic psychiatrist. We're in the process of getting her treatment. She feels absolutely horrible for what happened to Rebecca. You know, this is a child who has been remorseful, that she ever had any disagreements with her, feels horrible for having a fight with her a year prior.

And, you know, those statements that were released by the sheriff, those are evidence of a grieving child, someone who feels horrible and feels absolutely responsible, doesn't show any aggravated stalking and an intent to cause significant harm to another individual. This is somebody who feels horrible that a friend of hers died.

CUOMO: Well, then, Jose, how do you explain the vehement, the certainty of the sheriff who says, this is a case of bullying. This is a case of bullying gone too far. This is a case of bullying gone too far that resulted in another child's death. It has to stop and it stops here.

BAEZ: You know, I can't step in his shoes and explain his motivations behind it. All I can do is look at the evidence that's been submitted. I have still yet to see a connection between the two. She -- this Rebecca was speaking to a boy at the time. I know there are romantic rivals that have to do with the other girl and I don't know if this is a situation that happened over a boy or is this a situation that happened with the co-defendant?

The evidence is still not been turned over completely to us. But I think what's been submitted so far, including the sworn arrest affidavit, there is absolutely really no connection other than a remorseful child that ties my client specifically to the death of Rebecca Sedwick.

CUOMO: Well, you know the sheriff couldn't disagree with you more. He says you are doing what a defense counsel does. You are denying everything. That's your job. But not here, there are sensitivities involved. He pointed to you, saying my client is the one being bullied by the system. Do you regret that choice of words given a child was lost here to bullying, given how serious it is?

BAEZ: No, because I take issue with a police officer after making an arrest, going out and making the media rounds. Law enforcement's job is to simply make an -- investigate crimes and make an arrest and turn it over to the prosecutors. This sheriff has decided to take it upon himself to create a crusade and become a public relations machine, for which he is not.

Everything that he is doing is outside of the scope of his role as a law enforcement officer and to place that burden on a 12-year-old child to parade her mug shot in front of national television and to release her name, all of this is going to cause permanent damage to this girl's development, who as you have mentioned already was emotionally vulnerable, had thoughts of suicide, had other abuse issues.

So I mean, this is an extremely vulnerable child for which he knows. He knows this girl's condition and is still going out there parading her as if she is public enemy number one. I think that is bullying for itself. I am not going to not stand for it.

CUOMO: So let's go to the last question. Let's say you are right about everything you are saying about your client in terms of her emotional state. That she is fragile. She is just a child, what about her parents, though, Jose, if it is established through proof at trail or otherwise, that they now there was bullying going on. It went too far. They didn't take steps to stop and now a kid is dead. Do you understand that there is now a push from the sheriff and others that they should be charged, your thoughts on that?

BAEZ: Taking it into that fantasy land question and saying it they knew and all of these ifs, I would say, yes, I think in looking at cyber bullying, there are responsibilities that parents should take. Let's not be mistaken, I heard earlier on your show, on the drive in here that, 2-year-olds are now taking tablets and children are now taking electronic devices to a whole new level.

First of all, this child, you know, this child was your normal average wild who was an A and B student, good in school, from kindergarten all the way to 7th grade, got nothing but As and Bs. So I think they were doing something right. You know, they're not perfect parents, but they were certainly doing something right and if looking at those specific instances, I think that's quite a leap in this scenario, in this scenario. Now, certainly, there are other parents that require that should be held responsible for what their children are doing online, but not in this case.

CUOMO: Give me a quick take. How do you feel about the charges against the other child involved, given the Facebook message how she didn't care what had happened here, the parents saying they knew, but then it seems like they let some things go. You feel more comfortable with those charges?

BAEZ: Well, you know, some of the evidence has still not come out yet. I have seen one or two posts that seem -- that don't seem right. They, obviously, are in extremely poor taste. Whether that rises to the level of a criminal charge, a felony charge, I don't know. I'd have to wait until I saw more of the evidence.

CUOMO: Jose Baez, it's early in the process. Obviously, it stirs up a lot of feelings because bullying needs to stop and we have to find solutions. Thank you for coming on NEW DAY today. Speak to you soon about this, I'm sure. BAEZ: Absolutely. Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: Kate, over to you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, the sensational case of a Utah doctor on trial for murdering his wife. His mistress took the stand and she is expected to return. We are live with the very latest on that case.

And also a history-making performance and a lesson for everyone, you are not your limitation. Meet the woman who didn't let paralysis stop her from misleading what could be the hardest break in the world.


CUOMO: Boy, welcome back. If Monday's starting a little slow we have a pickup for you, we're going to get into this inspiring story about a woman who defied all the odds, finished the most difficult Ironman race, the Kona race, without her legs. It's the ultimate good stuff and we are giving it to you early today. Before we do, we are going to head over to the couch. It's a couchy story.


CUOMO: The story makes much more sense now that we're here at the couch. It's time for "The Good Stuff." "The Good Stuff" is about people who go beyond for others. Minda Dentler certainly fits that definition, but in a different way, why? For example, it's going to help all of us. Minda is the first female para-athlete to officially complete the Iron Man World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.

It is the most difficult endurance race you could imagine. The fittest most practiced athletes routinely fail to finish. Now imagine finishing it without the use of your legs. Minda recently joined us, finisher's medal in tow. I asked her if she grasped just how amazing this accomplishment is.


MINDA DENTLER, FIRST FEMALE PARA ATHLETE TO COMPLETE KONA IRONMAN: I'm just amazed to be here actually and speak with you about my experience.

CUOMO: Did you know, yes, I'm going to get there or was there a little bit of a fantasy until it happened?

DENTLER: Well, my journey didn't start this year. Last year, I went to Kona, I started, but I got pulled off the bike course because I didn't make it in time.

CUOMO: Let me be the whisper you never listened to your entire life, you've done enough. You're not supposed to finish something like that anyway, it's amazing you got this far. What do you do when you hear that whisper?

DENTLER: I think the message is just to focus on the now and that's what I did throughout this race. I just focused on every moment, the next stroke, the next push on the hand cycle to the next push on the wheelchair. All I cared about was finishing.

CUOMO: You swim over two miles, right?

DENTLER: Yes, 2.4 miles.

CUOMO: Then you have to bike 112 on the hand bike.


CUOMO: Then you have to do a marathon in the wheelchair.


CUOMO: How many hours of work?

DENTLER: During the race? It took me 14 hours and 40 minutes.

CUOMO: Fourteen hours of full time all-out?


CUOMO: What was it in your life that gave you a sense of saying I am not my challenges? I am not just what my limitations are? Where do you get that?

DENTLER: You know, I don't think it's necessarily triathlete that I got that from. I think just having great parents. My parents adopted me when I was a baby, from India, and they also have two children of their own and they adopted my brother from Korea. And so they just taught me from an early age that I can be who I want to be. I can be independent. I had to do the same thing my siblings had to do.

CUOMO: You had polio and that led to paralysis and you wound up being up for adoption and got adopted by this American family.


CUOMO: I mean, just alone in that. It's an amazing back story of finding a family and opportunity that maybe you wouldn't have had otherwise.

DENTLER: Definitely. I think thousands of children are -- they die every year from preventable diseases. In all honesty, I wouldn't be here today if I hadn't been adopted because the chance of surviving to your 18th birthday in India with a disability like polio is very slim.

CUOMO: You started off in India as an infant with polio and paralysis and you wind up the first ever in your category to finish the Kona Iron Man.


CUOMO: I don't think you're sufficiently impressed.

DENTLER: I don't know if it's about being sufficiently impressed. I think it just hadn't totally quite hit me yet.

CUOMO: I mean, what else is there exactly? What else?

DENTLER: I mean, you're a triathlete, too. I think we're just sort of hardwired to try to improve upon our last performance, and I think while this may sound boring, after having had the experience last week I started thinking about OK what are the things I could have changed or what could I do better, and what could I do to improve my time.

CUOMO: What do you want people to take from your success?

DENTLER: Everyone has their first day in anything and it's just about like setting that goal, making a plan, working hard, having that dedication to want to work that hard to achieve it because that finish line, no matter what it is, it could be a work project or making dinner for your family, whatever the case may be, it's worth it.


PEREIRA: I love Minda, I love her family, my goodness.

CUOMO: Are you kidding me? True testament to what Minda's about. She recognizes her accomplishments and says they are not about her. She wanted to thank all of her sponsors. You can go to her web site, Minda Dentler, and you'll find out about it. How they helped her and you can help other para-athletes like her compete with their own dreams.

BOLDUAN: Remarkable journey from India to here. It really does make you wonder what is next for her, which is clearly the answer is the sky is the limit.

PEREIRA: Not sufficiently impressed.

CUOMO: She's not even sufficiently impressed enough with her arms. You see the size of the biceps on her? She is so strong. She is great. Thank you for sharing your story. It makes everybody's challenges a little bit easier of you, Minda. Thanks.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely right. We're going to take a break, but coming up next on NEW DAY, a prison break in Oklahoma, four inmates, you see them right there, they bust out, their path to freedom, you ask, the shower. We'll be right back.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not a secret that we collect information what is happening around the world, so does every intelligence service in the world.


CUOMO: Spy game blame. Another key ally says they have proof the U.S. spies on them. New information about what the president knew and when. How will the U.S. handle the allegations?

BOLDUAN: Jailbreak, four inmates make a daring escape. Now the all out manhunt to find them. They are considered armed and dangerous.