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Christie Coasts To Re-Election; Nashville Plane Mystery; Inmates Don't Implicate Macneill; Massachusetts Police Photographer Retires; City, Organizers Blamed For Crash; Astrodome Headed For Demolition; Horror And Survival; Reversal Of Fortune; Celebrities Reveal Catfishing

Aired November 6, 2013 - 07:30   ET


MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Again, extremism isn't working. Republicans want somebody at this point who can win an election. Not somebody who is an ideological person.

WILL CAIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's not personality, not in moderation.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: But he may be the man.

CAIN: Maybe.

CUOMO: He thinks he is.

HILL: He's been thinking that for years.

CUOMO: That's an important part. When you go back to think about what made Reagan was so strong is that he knew he was the man. He knew he should be the one to lead. It goes a long way in politics these days.

HILL: Unfortunately Ted Cruz probably thinks he's the man as well. Rand Paul probably thinks he's the man.

CAIN: Only one of them made an announcement speech last night.

CUOMO: That's one thing he didn't say, he never said he'd stay for the full term. Marc Lamont Hill, Will Cain, thank you so much. Always appreciate the discourse. Let's get over to Mich with the rest of the headlines -- Mich.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, it's half past the hour. Making news now, the pilot of a small plane that crashed at a Nashville airport last week parentally wasn't supposed to be in the U.S. at all. A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board shows that pilot Michael Kallen have filed a flight plan for a trip within Canada and was not in touch with air traffic control at all. Kallen was the only person on board. He was killed.

Three inmates who served time with Martin Macneill have now testified in his murder case. They say the Utah doctor told him how his wife died, but not that he was the killer. The doctor is accused of giving his wife, Michelle, a lethal combination of prescription drugs sew could be with his mistress. That mistress will be back on the stand today as the prosecution wraps up its case.

The Massachusetts police sergeant who leaked arrest photos of Boston bombing suspect, Dzakhar Tsarnaev has retired just days after being disciplined for giving those photos to a magazine. Sergeant John Murphy claims he leaked the photos in response to the "Rolling Stone" cover, which featured Tsarnaev. His retirement comes after 25 years on the state police force.

Federal officials blaming the city of Midland, Texas and parade organizers for a fatal Veterans Day crash last year. Four people died and 11 people were hurt when a train slammed into a tractor-trailer pulling veterans on a parade float. The driver didn't notice the flashing signs or warnings at the crossing. Federal officials say organizers did not get a permit and that the city was lax by letting the parade go on.

It was once the most impressive indoor sports stadium in the world, but now the iconic Houston astrodome apparently headed for demolition. Voters nixed a plan to turn that nearly 50-year-old building into a giant convention and events center. A judge says the final decision on what will happen to the dome, will be up to the county commissioners. The demolition could cost nearly $80 million, a whole lot of money to bring that building down, iconic in its day for sure -- Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: No kidding. Thanks, Michaela.

Now to more revelations of unspeakable horror but also incredible strength, Michele Knight is opening up about her 11 years of captivity inside the Cleveland home of Ariel Castro, sharing even more of her story of survival. Martin Savidge has been following the story from the beginning. He has more on that.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The interview is so powerful. It's uncomfortable. Michele Knight's words don't just tell us, they take us inside the torture rooms of a Cleveland home.


SAVIDGE: Knight's the first victim to talk in detail in the aftermath of a multiple kidnapping case that's horrified and spell bound a nation, speaking to TV psychologist Dr. Phil.

KNIGHT: He already had it set up to where he could tie me to the -- I think it's like a clothesline.

SAVIDGE: Knight was kidnapped by Ariel Castro in August of 2002 and wouldn't go free for 11 years.

KNIGHT: He ties me up to a pole, with chains wrapped around it. The chains were so big and he wraps it around my neck. He sits me down on the floor and he says, this is where you're going to stay until I can trust you. Now if I do it too tight and you don't make it. That means you wasn't meant to stay here. That means god wants to take you.

SAVIDGE: She was chained, starved and left naked in a frigid, dark basement for days. Then came the sexual abuse, when she eventually became pregnant, Knight described how Castro beat her into a miscarriage.

KNIGHT: I was standing up and he punched me with a barbell. He took the round part and went like this and he made it go up so it could hit the lower area of my stomach. I fell to the floor.

SAVIDGE: Knight says Castro would show leniency, once giving her a puppy, the comfort that ended when the dog snapped at him and he killed it before her very eyes.

KNIGHT: Picked him up, turned his neck, all I heard was a yelp and he was gone.

SAVIDGE: The torture went on and on. Then one day, knight says she realized she was no longer alone, meeting a girl who had gone missing, whom she recognized from the news, Amanda Berry.

KNIGHT: Sometimes she would cry and I'll tell her everything will be OK, and that one day we'll get home. We just have to, you know, wait it out.

SAVIDGE: It was just the beginning. Martin Savidge, CNN, Atlanta.


BOLDUAN: Thank you, Martin. Thank you so much for that, an incredible story of strength when you hear what she has to say, just unreal.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, after nearly ten years in prison, is freedom on the horizon for a Missouri man convicted of killing a sports writer? His story and the very big legal hurdles that he still faces, coming up.

CUOMO: And proof as if you need it, that you can't believe everything you see online, country star Brad Paisley and his wife, the latest victims of a big old hoax. We'll tell you what it was.


CUOMO: Welcome back. Hope your morning's going OK. We have a stunning reversal to tell you about in a decade-old murder conviction. The 29-year-old Ryan Ferguson was sentenced to 40 years for the 2001 killing of a sports reporter. Ferguson always maintained his innocence and now witness after witness has admitted they lied on the stand. And yet after ten years in prison, Ferguson isn't out of the woods yet. Here's CNN's David Mattingly with the story.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Arguing a case for their son's innocence since 2004, Ryan Ferguson's parents cautiously believed the long fight for his freedom will soon be over.

BILL FERGUSON, FATHER: He never changed one syllable of his opening statement since the day he was arrested. He's always maintained that.

MATTINGLY: Ferguson was convicted and sentenced to 40 years for the murder of "Columbia Tribune" sports editor, Kent Hiteholt. But a Missouri Appeals Court ruled Tuesday the state withheld evidence. It's up to prosecutors to decide if they will try Ferguson again.

KATHLEEN ZELLNER, ATTORNEY FOR RYAN FERGUSON: Common sense would tell anyone when you don't have evidence. Someone should not continue to be locked up.

MATTINGLY: Just a teenager at the time of the murder, Ferguson was implicated by a former friend who claimed he had dream-like memories of committing the crime. Another man, a janitor, claimed he saw Ferguson at the crime scene. Last year, both men told the court they lied. I spoke to Ferguson about it less than a month ago in the prison where he's been held now for almost ten years.

(on camera): They lied and you're still in prison.

RYAN FERGUSON, MURDER CONVICTION VACATED: I wish I could explain how that works, but it's beyond my comprehension. You cannot use logic. The moment you start to use logic is the moment you'll drive yourself crazy.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): The family of Kent Hiteholt declined comment on the court's ruling. The county prosecutor has two weeks left to decide if Ryan Ferguson will be charged again. If not, he's a free man. David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.


BOLDUAN: All right, David, thanks so much. Let's bring in CNN senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, to talk more about this. The facts of this case and conviction are pretty amazing, Jeff. What do you make of the fact that the judge has thrown out this conviction?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, first of all, this is a story, an unusual one, in that the news media is a good guy. You know, CBS in particular, Aaron Mariorti in 48 hours has been after this case for years. It's really a story about how, they've been after this story for years. Eyewitnesses, accomplice testimony, it can be just wrong. What's especially interesting about this case, this is an exoneration of someone that's not about the use of DNA. DNA is not used in this case. There are other ways you can show someone in prison is innocent.

BOLDUAN: So what's behind the judge's decision then?

TOOBIN: Well, the heart of the decision is that the prosecution covered up problems with their own witnesses. The main witness was this janitor who claimed to have seen Ferguson at the scene. And he had all sorts of problems in his background that prosecutors knew about and didn't disclose to the defense. That was at the heart of the government's -- the judge's ruling and, again, that's another whole family of problems that infects a lot of cases that this case is a very good example of.

BOLDUAN: You take just a step back and just the facts we know now, a lack of physical evidence pointing to Ferguson, the eyewitness, the alleged accomplice recanting their stories, not much there. Why is this guy still behind bars?

TOOBIN: The way the legal system works is this judge and the court of appeals, all she could do is overturn the conviction. She can't say you're free. It returns the issue to the prosecutors. They have no now decide do they agree to let him out on bail and more importantly do they try him again? Based on the way I see the evidence, I don't see any way they could possibly try him again. It seems frankly, outrageous to keep him in prison even a day longer. I anticipate that the prosecution is just going to throw in the towel in the next couple of days.

BOLDUAN: You think about what it's been like for him, but also for the family of the victim who now will be trying to figure out who actually killed their loved one. If they would retry him, wouldn't that be very difficult to have a fair and complete trial more than ten years after the crime?

TOOBIN: What makes this situation even more perverse is that there is a co-defendant also in prison, also serving 25 years, and the case against him is very weak as well. So as always in these cases, it's not just about the defendant's families who suffer and the defendant, as you say, it's the victim's family who have to live with the uncertainty, have to relive all this. That's why it's much better for the criminal justice system to get these things right the first time.

BOLDUAN: Right. But hopefully they'll get it right one way or the other in the end.

TOOBIN: Right. One thing that's interesting about this case, it relates, I think to -- you know, there's a Gallup poll last month that said support for the death penalty is at a dramatic low. Juries all over the country are saying we're not sure, we don't know if we're getting this right. That's why support for the death penalty is going down. Death sentences are down, executions are down. It's a big change.

BOLDUAN: Even though the death penalty is not an issue with this case, you're talking about that, just the fact that we don't know if they got the conviction right in the first place, that leads to that discussion. Jeffrey Toobin, thank you. A lot to talk about this case. Tweet us, #newday -- Chris.

CUOMO: Let's take a little break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, Brad Paisley and his wife falling for an online scam, the perpetrator preying on their sympathies and the Paisleys are talking about it, next.

Later, five guys, a lot of booze, a one confused llama. What happened at my 40th birthday? No. It's not about me. It's a story you have to hear if evenly to find out what happened to that poor llama.


PEREIRA: Everyone, we all remember the Manti Te'O scandal. Did you know about Brad Paisley being caught up in a catfish scandal? The rocker and his wife recently admitted they were caught in an online hoax by the fake mother of a dying daughter.

Nischelle Turner is here with more on this crazy, crazy story. What is going on? Was it sort of a financial motive we're looking at here or what's going on?

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: That's what we don't know yet what the motive is. This story fascinating on a couple fronts, first of all there's this big hoax at all, second of all this celebrity couple is admitting we were caught up in this. You mentioned Brad Paisley and his wife Kimberly Williams Paisley. This woman said her daughter was dying of neuroblastoma, a pediatric cancer often-times fatal.

The woman reached out to Kimberly and said that my daughter is dying, her dying wish was for me to connect with you and I kind of forgot about it in all of the things that we were going through, but now I remember and now I want to reach out to you, and Kimberly has a heart.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

TURNER: Believed it, started exchanging e-mails and texts with this woman, talking to her over the next couple weeks and got caught up in this hoax of the little girl, whose name the woman said was Claire.

BOLDUAN: How did they realize this was going on then?

TURNER: It's a good question. Because apparently the woman sent them an e-mail and said Claire has passed away. So of course the Paisleys, they had been talking to this woman, they had sent, the woman had sent them recordings of the little girl singing songs they said was for them so they wanted to do something when they heard the little girl had died so they asked where can we send flowers?

The woman wouldn't provide them with an address and she sent them this terse and weird e-mail saying I don't want to you pray for me, I don't need you to pray for me it doesn't seem like God hears prayers these days. Kimberly said at that point every one of her red flags went off. Something is not right if I can't ask a simple question and she won't provide us with an address, that's when they put the pieces together of the catfish hoax.

CUOMO: It turns out they weren't the only ones, right?

TURNER: No, apparently this lady targeted a bunch of celebrities, the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, Little Big Town, John Henson, host of "Wipeout," Natalie Grant, Carmen Hope Toms, Kate Gosselin, Jill Wagner, Mandisa, all of these people caught up in the same hoax.

CUOMO: We're sure it's a hoax. TURNER: No question and they're telling their story to "Nightline" about it. Natalie grant also spoke to "Nightline" and nobody knows what the motive is. With Manti Te'O they still don't know why they did it.

BOLDUAN: This is all online and why?

TURNER: The woman said her name was --

CUOMO: They'll find out.

BOLDUAN: Always a fingerprint digital or otherwise.

TURNER: Celebrities are always so guarded. When they let their guard down and something like this happens.

PEREIRA: That's tough.

CUOMO: Paisley is a feeler, though. I don't know a lot of the people on the list but he's a good person.

TURNER: He got on the phone and sang "Amazing Grace" to this "little girl." Who does that to someone?

BOLDUAN: Thanks for bringing that to us.

PEREIRA: Can I share a story with you?

CUOMO: Please.

PEREIRA: About some drama involving a llama. I said it.

CUOMO: It's got to be good if it rhymes.

PEREIRA: Go tell your mom. It happened in France when a bunch of teens took the animal on I guess you could call it a joy ride. Erin McLaughlin has our story.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like a stunt straight out of "The Hangover."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a tiger in the bathroom.

MCLAUGHLIN: Or the sequel for "Hangover 3.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Alan and I bought a giraffe.

MCLAUGHLIN: Except this time it was a llama, and it happened for real in France. Group of five guys got together for a night out, had a few too many drinks and stole a llama named Serge. They posted the photos on Twitter. Mathieu said they broke into a circus and loaded Serge on to the first tram out, paraded him through the streets of Bordeaux before they were eventually caught by French police, and this has happened before. Australia, 2012, after a drunken evening spent swimming with the dolphins at Sea World, two guys stole a penguin named Dirk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just woke up and near panic, went to get changed and there was a penguin in my coat.

MCLAUGHLIN: In the end they were fined about $1,000 each. The guys in France were lucky, no charges were filed, no fines. The llama is back at the circus. His owner says no harm done. That is, until the next big bachelor party. Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.


TURNER: She was able to track that with a straight face. Penguin named Dirk and llama named Serge, just bringing up today --

BOLDUAN: This is what happens when you have a bachelor party.

PEREIRA: It's not often I'm speechless and I'm sitting here like why? How? When?

CUOMO: A long way to go, a match taking Mike Tyson's tiger.

BOLDUAN: We missed the headline. Nischelle Turner is speechless.

CUOMO: To be continued in the break, coming up on NEW DAY, Miami Dolphin, Richie Incognito breaking his silence for the first time since being suspended for bullying a teammate. We'll tell you what he said. There may be more to this story.



CHRISTIE: If we could do this in Trenton, New Jersey, maybe the folks in Washington, D.C., should tune in their TVs right now, see how it's done.


CUOMO: Decision day, Chris Christie triumphs, Virginia goes blue, and the Tea Party is licking its wounds this morning, a big night in politics, huge implications we break it all down for you.

BOLDUAN: Back in the hot seat, Kathleen Sebelius returns to Capitol Hill facing new questions on Obama care and what the administration knows about losing coverage, this on the number of how many people signed up.

PEREIRA: Fighting on, the mayor of Toronto said he smoked crack but he was too drunk to remember it. He's refusing to step down, a bizarre scene unfolding in America's fourth largest city.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira. BOLDUAN: Good morning. Welcome back to NEW DAY everyone. It's 8:00 in the east. New this hour the biggest winner, Republican Chris Christie, cruising to re-election in the deep blue state of New Jersey. He says he wants to finish the job he started in New Jersey but will he? Christie's second term, do his first step for the 2016 presidential bid.

A big win for Terry McAuliffe, the long time democratic operative is govern-elect of Virginia, the morning after election analysis straight ahead.

CUOMO: Plus there is more to the alleged bullying involving Miami Dolphins lineman, Richie Incognito.