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Martin MacNeill Guilty of Murder; Typhoon Haiyan Slams the Philippines; FDA Moves to Ban Trans Fats

Aired November 9, 2013 - 09:00   ET


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I was asleep too. But we're wide awake now. I'm Victor Blackwell. 9:00 here in Atlanta; 7:00 in Provo, Utah and that is where a jury worked late into the overnight hours to decide the fate of Martin MacNeill.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: It took 11 hours of deliberations, but the eight men and women agreed that the doctor did kill his wife back in 2007.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury, having reviewed the evidence in the case find the defendant as to count one, murder, guilty. As to count two, obstruction of justice, guilty.


PAUL: The verdict as you heard, that gasp and crying as we were told uncontrollably. Martin Macneill's family members there, who had long suspected that he was behind their mother's death Those are the daughters you see.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And for more, we are joined now by Jean Casarez, in Provo, Utah, Danny Cevallos, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney He is in Philadelphia.

Jean, I want to start with you. Macneill's daughters, you know, they waited for this moment. They believed this is justice for their mother. Give us an idea about the feeling in the courtroom.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, it was so intense. I mean, it was like you could feel people's hearts just beating outside of their bodies. The jury walked in with stoic silence. They did not look at the defendant as they passed by him. They sat and then the verdict was read.

You know, the judge said I don't want any outburst, but the daughters and the sisters of Michelle MacNeill had fought so hard for this prosecution. It was just an excited utterance. I mean, they just had to come out with it. The judge did not say anything. They were silent then but this was a very respected doctor here in Provo, Utah. It was the daughters and the sisters to say "No, this was not an accident. This was not a natural death." The jury agreed.

FEMALE ANCHOR: Boy, Danny, I want to go to you now. Because I was watching that thinking what that must be like for him to listen to his daughters to be so relived at this verdict. How impactful were these daughters in the trial? Did they - was that it for them?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't know that they were it. I have to imagine the jury reached one of two conclusions. Number one might be, wow, if this guy's own daughters believe he is guilty, then he must be guilty. The other side of that coin, they equally could have viewed the daughters as "Hey, it looks like the kids aren't happy about new stepmom and they are sort of grafting that anger on to the doctor." I mean, I heard both sides.

But if you go by the jury's verdict, they clearly read into this doctor's philandering ways. Because there is no question that he was guilty of creepy behavior. They read those philandering ways into a guilty verdict even though three of the MEs, the medical examiners for the prosecution, all concluded independently that cardiac arrhythmia may have caused this death.

BLACKWELL: And Jean, when that guilty verdict was read I couldn't pick up just even a hint of emotion or reaction from Dr. Macneill. Was there anytime during this trial over the 22 days, at any point, did he become emotional during the testimony?

CASAREZ: You know, I did see it once when Rachel, his daughter, was on the stand and they asked about her father. She said "My father was my best friend growing up." And he turned to the side and he put his hand up to his eye. I think that may have gotten to him. But the interesting fact in all of this is that this was a test of credibility. Did the jury believe the daughters?

I spoke with the lead prosecutor after the trial. He had spoken to the jurors. He did not want to speak for the jurors. But he said this jury believed in Alexis. They believed her story. She was a major witness for the prosecution as to Martin Macneill's plan, motive and carrying out a facelift just to apply her with prescription drugs, which ultimately played a role in her death.

PAUL: Everybody has been watching it and finally I know waiting for sentencing now. Jean Casarez in Provo and legal analyst, Danny Cevallos, so good to have both of you here. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: We are also watching a big developing story.

Breaking news this morning. We are learning some of the extent of the destruction from a killer typhoon, as I said in the Philippines, it is massive. You can see people are trying to flee the surging waters from the storm. You see just debris and water and wind rushing through the streets. We have from the Philippine Red Cross an estimate that 1,200 people may have died when typhoon Haiyan roared ashore last night. 1,200. And that toll could go much higher.

CNN's Andrew Stevens is in the coastal city of Tacloban in the central Philippines. He reports that the situation there is desperate and it's getting worse by the hour.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The devastation in this city is staggering. No building escaping damage. The destruction caused by the super typhoon Haiyan is everywhere. It has left a city cutoff from the rest of the country. Its people increasingly desperate. Roads are still impassable. All communications are down. Medical supplies are running out. Food and water are becoming scarce and reports of looting are widespread.

It is impossible at this stage to estimate the cost in human life. We have seen bodies on the streets and we have seen bodies washing up on the beaches. The Philippines' Interior Minister can only say the number of deaths can be high. It is estimated that perhaps one million people live along the low-lying coastline, the majority of them in rough built shacks. Even if they could have withstood the wind, they would not have survived the storm surge, a huge perhaps five-meter wall of water, that spread across the city at the height of the storm at devastating speed.

The water receded as quickly as it came leaving a trail of destruction. People have been warned to evacuate, but not everybody took the advice. The priority here now is to clear the road to the airport so relief supplies can start moving in. 24 hours after the storm, the first military helicopters began arriving. It will be a massive task ferrying in food and supplies for so many.

In the meantime, the people of Tacloban City search for food and water and for missing loved ones.

Andrew Stevens, Tacloban City, central Philippines.


PAUL: I know so many thoughts and prayers going out to those folks there. As you saw what Typhoon Haiyan did, now it's swirling over the South China Sea. And its eyes are set on Vietnam.

Alexandra Steele tracking this monster storm and joins us now from the CNN Weather Center. So when - first of all, when is Typhoon Haiyan expected to make landfall in Vietnam?

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, it will make landfall in Vietnam tomorrow. But it will not be the It same monster that we heard Andrew talking about. Now since 1969, only three storms worldwide have had sustained winds of at least 190 miles per hour. So it is mammoth and certainly historic. The winds are down now.

We just got the latest advisory. And they're down further. But here's what it looks like. It is over 1,000 miles wide. Cloud shields to cloud shield. It has been massive. Right now though it is in the South China Sea making its way toward Vietnam. Da Nang, a major port city and then Hanoi, of course, the capital. So millions more impacted but this just in now.

The winds were last hour at 120 maximum sustained down to 115. Gusts are still 145. Moving northwest at 21 miles per hour. So the center of circulation, I mean that could be moot and it is so broad even though the center of circulation will not come ashore until early tomorrow, the impact certainly will be felt.

100-mile-per-hour winds, you can see just north of Da Nang and then towards Hanoi. Moving northwest and then certainly with more winds and more rain but not as severe, Christi, as what we've seen.

PAUL: Alrighty. Well, at least that is good to know. They have got enough warning. Hopefully. Thank you so much. We appreciate it.


BLACKWELL: Still to come this morning, a major breach at the Seattle Tacoma International Airport. A man sends TSA officers on a wild chase at the (INAUDIBLE) pass security.

PAUL: And Senator Ted Cruz goes Hollywood. We got a look of his pretty serious conversation with Jay Leno.

You're watching "New Day Saturday" on CNN.



JAY LENO, HOST "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": People are criticizing the latest issue of "Time Magazine." Hand me that, won't you (INAUDIBLE). I don't blame them. Have you seen this yet? They got Chris Christie. See the silhouette with the headline, the elephant in the room. This is the real issue.

That's the real issue. You know, people - it is always a jab. But in defense, I think they chose the least offensive title. Here's the other ones. Take a look. Chris Christie having a whale of a time. I didn't like that one.

Then between a rock and a lard place. Not good and hail to the chef. I don't think any of those - I don't think any of those were appropriate. No.


PAUL: They're clever.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Obvious reference. You know what? The elephant in the room is typically a reference to something people aren't talking about.

PAUL: Not talking about.

BLACKWELL: Everybody is talking about Chris Christie. Including Jay Leno. But it was Senator Ted Cruz who turned up on Leno's couch last night.

PAUL: Yes and I bet, you know, a lot of people are saying "OK. This is a sure sign that he is jockeying for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination." CNN's Erin McPike has a little more for us on this. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over)L Ted Cruz traded jabs with Jay Leno on NBC's "The Tonight Show."

LENO: I have been reading a lot about you lately. They describe you as aggressive, arrogant and abrasive. Accurate?

TED CRUZ: I don't know that you can believe everything that you read.

LENO: Any one of those. Can you believe any one of those?

CRUZ: You know, what I'm trying to do is do my job. Occasionally, people don't like that.

MCPIKE: Some Republicans blame Cruz for the October's government shutdown and what turned out to be an unsuccessful attempt to defund Obamacare. But Cruz is ignoring the criticism amid the presidential buzz. Visiting Iowa, the first state to cast judgment in the presidential primary. He blasted conventional wisdom that to win a general election GOP candidates need to be more moderate.

CRUZ: What complete poppycock.

MCPIKE: Chris Christie got even more national attention this week. He landed on the cover of "Time Magazine" and couldn't stay away from network TV.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Listen I think that the party has got to focus on winning again. You know, sometimes I feel our party hears more about winning the arguments than they care about winning elections.

MCPIKE: He is taking a markedly different approach than Cruz, urging his party to work with the Democrats.

When we caught up with him on election day this week in New Jersey, he wasn't hiding his interest in running for higher office. He was just a little playful.

MCPIKE (on camera): Governor, when do you think the next time you're going to get a chance to vote for yourself?

CHRISTIE: I don't know. I don't know if I'll ever get a chance to vote for myself again. You know, I won't ever run for another office in New Jersey. I can guarantee you that. This is it for me. We will see what happens. If there is ever a chance in the future. I don't know if there will be. That is why I took a little bit longer in the voting booth.


BLACKWELL: That was a creative way of asking when are you running for president?

PAUL: I know. BLACKWELL: Erin McPike is with us now. This, you know, Jay Leno is a comedian, but this is a serious conversation.

MCPIKE: Yes, it sure was. They talked about the history of the Republican party. He was quoting Ronald Reagan and Thatcher. He was also talking about entrenchment in Congress, which is, of course, something that a lot of people are blaming him for for that government shutdown.

PAUL: So, who else? What other Republicans are eyeing 2016 already?

MCPIKE: Well, Rand Paul, we know for sure. He actually made some comments about how he will consider running for president and he will be popping up in South Carolina for a speech on Tuesday at the Citadel. Also, we saw Rick Perry who, of course, ran in 2012. He was just in Iowa yesterday talking about if he runs for president again, he will do it differently.

We have seen Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, on a couple of talk shows recently. He is looking at it too. As is Florida Senator Marco Rubio. He's been lying low a little bit recently after he was a bit burned by his party over the immigration debate but I'm sure we will be seeing a lot more of him again soon too.

BLACKWELL: All right. CNN's Erin McPike. E-McPhee as she's called in D.C.. Thank you so much.

Police say a man arrested at the Seattle-Tacom International Airport for busting through a security checkpoint may have been on drugs. Now, officials say the suspect has ran past security, then punched his way through the door to get on to the tarmac. Then TSA officers captured him on an empty plane. The suspect will be charged with trespassing and assaulting an officer.

PAUL: Still to come on "New Day," how the FDA's push to ban trans fat could save your life.

Plus, an embattled football player Richie (INAUDIBLE) is spending some time away from Miami right now after the Dolphins suspended him in that bullying scandal. That scandal is still rocking the NFL. The latest just ahead.


PAUL: Well, a major announcement this week by the FDA could lead to dramatic changes in the food that we eat every day. The agency says artificial trans fats are no longer generally recognized as safe. CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has more on the dangers.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi and Victor, I mean, I think this is potentially a very big deal, the FDA weighing in on this and I will tell you the medical community has known for some time the impact of these trans fats. Probably the worst fat of all in terms of the impact on the heart. Even the industry has been starting to limit the amount of trans fats in many processed foods. But now with the FDA weighing in, it might make some of these changes more rapid.


GUPTA (voice-over): It's an ingredient in a lot of our favorite foods. Microwave popcorn, cookies, cakes, frozen pizza and much more. Trans fats. They increase shelf life and they add flavor to processed foods. But the FDA is now saying they are not safe and wants to ban them. It is a move they say would save thousands of lives.

MICHAEL TAYLOR, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, FDA: We think it is time to address and really phase out the remaining uses of trans fat in the diet so that we can reduce the incidence of heart disease and deaths resulting from heart attack.

GUPTA: You see trans fats lower good cholesterol. They raise bad cholesterol. What we are trying to avoid is this. LDL or bad cholesterol building up as plaque in the blood vessel walls. Because that plaque buildup is what can cause heart disease. The CDC says ditching trans fats would prevent up to 20,000 heart attacks a year and as many as 7,000 more deaths from heart disease.

New York City banned trans fats in restaurants in 2007. Many companies and popular chains around the country have already phased them out. The Grocery Manufacturing Association said that "it looks forward to working with the FDA to better understand their concerns and how the industry can better serve consumers."


GUPTA: Now Christi and Victor, if there is good news in this, it could be that we have done a pretty good job here at limiting out trans fats on our own, voluntarily. About 10 years ago, we had four trans fats in our diet. Now it is closer to a gram per day. So it's all on our own and now the FDA wants to basically ban them altogether. There is a 60-day period right now where people can relay their questions and concerns about this. It is expected to go through.

Again, even industry doing a lot to curb these trans fats. Big question going forward, what are they going to replace it with? To some extent, saturated fats may come back, maybe in smaller amounts and we used to eat it. And there may be alternatives that scientists are working on right now as well. Christi, Victor, back to you.

PAUL: CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you so much. You can catch him "Sanjay Gupta, MD" Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. and Sundays at 7:30 a.m. Eastern.

BLACKWELL: This morning, Richie Incognito is waking up in Los Angeles after flying there yesterday. Now it is unclear what the suspended Dolphin's linebacker is doing there, but this morning, the story is continues to develop.

Our own Nick Valencia is covering for us.

Nick, this was - it started from just one (INAUDIBLE) disappearing and then the other and now it's a scandal across the entire league.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And the NFL did not need another scandal. It didn't need another controversy. But they're dealing with the fallout of this one. It is casting a shadow over the games this weekend.


VALENCIA (voice-over): Vulgar comments, racially charged language and a physical attack. From Miami Dolphins lineman Jonathan Martin, the threats crossed the line. So last week, he left the team. This according to a statement released from his attorney. Jonathan endured harassment that went beyond traditional locker room hazing. His lawyer said these facts are not in dispute. But what is in dispute is the relationship between Martin and teammate Richie Incognito. The man suspended by the Dolphins for detrimental conduct.

KYLE MILLER: It gets to the point where you can't differentiate between what's facts and what's opinion.

VALENCIA: The question - were Martin and Incognito really best friends despite what's being alleged? Some players say yes.

TYSON CLABO, DOLPHINS: What is perceived is that Richie is the psychopath, racist, maniac. And the reality is Richie was a pretty good teammate and that Richie and Jonathan Martin are friends.

VALENCIA: Some say they hung out together. On the field and off. For one full season, they played next to each other on Miami's offensive line. A position where both Martin and Incognito were expected to be tough. Something Martin's lawyer addressed in his statement.

"Jonathan Martin's toughness is not an issue. The issue is Jonathan's treatment by his teammates." In the fallout, Martin's decision to leave the team has been widely scrutinized. While Incognito's behavior has been shortly criticized. Each day, there seems to be a new twist in the story.

The latest, a woman who said Incognito touched her inappropriately with a golf club. Details from a 2012 police report. CNN affiliate, WPLG, reports Incognito was never charged. As for his future with the team, for now, the Dolphins aren't talking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any comments that we would make at this time would be a disservice to the process that is about to take place.


VALENCIA: And despite these allegations, I have spoken to several NFL players. They say this has gone way blown out of proportion and they heard much worse in their own locker rooms.

PAUL: Oh my gosh.

BLACKWELL: We'll see where this goes. Nick Valencia, thank you. VALENCIA: Thank you.

PAUL: Thank you. And we'll be right back. Stay close.


PAUL: All right. Take a look at some live pictures here of NASA mission control. Because in just a couple of moments, two Russian cosmonauts are going to make history when they carry the Olympic torch outside of the International Space Station.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the torch has been in space before but never on a spacewalk. It arrived at the International Space Station yesterday as part of the relay leading up to the winter games in Russia. The crew is going to take some photos and they get back to work making repairs outside the space station.

PAUL: We will keep watching this for you. Thanks for sticking with us today.

BLACKWELL: Yes. We got "Your Money" coming up next.