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Desperate Search; Arraignment Day For Florida Congressman; Stay Of Execution Lifted; Iran Nuclear Meeting; That's Showbiz; Looting In Tornado Savaged Areas; Police: "Attempted Murder And Suicide"; State Senator Stabbed; Tension in the Air?

Aired November 20, 2013 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have an engine failure. Mayday, mayday, mayday.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, an emergency medical plane crashes off the coast of Florida. The search is on for those onboard. We have the mayday calls after engines fail.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Busted. A freshman congressman caught with cocaine. He is in court today. His apologies to constituents.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Served. George Zimmerman gets a surprise from his soon to-be ex-wife while in jail. He's free again this morning as we learn more about the desperate month since his high-profile trial.

CUOMO: Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is "NEW DAY" with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to "NEW DAY." It Is Wednesday, November 20th, six o'clock in the east. And we do have breaks news for you this morning. People are missing after a medical transport plane went down near Ft. Lauderdale last night. Two bodies have already been recovered. Let get straight to John Zarrella. He's in Florida with the latest. John, what do we know?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, the coast guard just about 40 minutes ago holding a briefing saying they are still continuing their search for two other victims who are on board that air ambulance when it went down off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale about a mile out.

The search area stretching 20 square miles from down south of where we are by Ft. Lauderdale International Airport to about out ten miles north of us and out 10 miles. So far, what they have record, about 1,000 pounds of debris.


ZARRELLA (voice-over): Disaster, moments after takeoff. A terrifying scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mayday, mayday, mayday.

ZARRELLA: A frantic call for help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You going back to Ft. Lauderdale.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have an engine failure.

ZARRELLA: Seconds before, this small medical aircraft plummeted into the sea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maintain 4,000 and turn left heading 330.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not possible. We're going to do 180.

ZARRELLA: The pilot made a last-ditch effort to turn back around towards the Ft. Lauderdale Airport only to crash a mile off the coast.

UNIDENTIFIED PILOT: Mayday, mayday, mayday.

DANIEL FIGUEROA, AIRCRAFT WITNESS: It was flying very low over the water. Not paying that much attention. I was like it's really strange for a plane to be flying so low. Maybe about 30 minutes later, the coast guard --

ZARRELLA: In the pitch black of night, search and rescue crews struggled to find survivors, helicopters and about a dozen boats scoured the area.

LT. COMMANDER DAVE SUMMA, U.S. COAST GUARD: Searchers and responders located debris. Shortly thereafter located two bodies.

ZARRELLA: The wreckage brought aboard a Coast Guard boat, the two bodies immediately brought to shore.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's still an ongoing and very active scene.

ZARRELLA: The Leer Jet 35 pictured here was part of Air Evac International, a medical plane originating in Mexico to transport patients. According to Fort Lauderdale airport officials, the patient was dropped off and the plane was returning to Mexico with the pilot, co-pilot, doctor and nurse on board when the accident occurred.


ZARRELLA: Now, the Coast Guard says it will continue the search throughout the morning and into the afternoon and then re-evaluate the situation. They also add that they did not find a piece of wreckage larger than 6 foot by 6 foot. So that's going to make things very, very difficult as the search continues -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Yes, I'd say so. All right, John, keep us updated throughout the morning. John Zarrella in Florida for us. Thank you.

ZARRELLA: Sure. BOLDUAN: So in just a few hours, the Florida Congressman Trey Radel will be in a Washington, D.C. courtroom for his arraignment on cocaine possession this morning. The freshman Republican was arrested last month. CNN's Athena Jones is following all of the developments. She's live outside the courthouse this morning. Good morning, Athena.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. We expect to see a contrite Congressman Radel when he appears here a few hours from now. He said he is disappointed himself and stands ready to face the consequences of his actions. He also says he's seeking treatment.


JONES (voice-over): Representative Trey Radel says he came to Washington because he wants to be able to help.

REPRESENTATIVE TREY RADEL (R), FLORIDA: Our nation right now is facing an incredible crisis on so many different fronts. We have a debt that is crushing this country.

JONES: But now the freshman congressman will be in a Washington, D.C. superior courtroom today facing charges of misdemeanor cocaine possession after his arrest last month. The 37-year-old legislator released a statement saying he's profoundly sorry to let down his family and the people of Southwest Florida. Radel says he struggles with the disease of alcoholism and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice.

He says he knows he has a problem and will do whatever is necessary to overcome it. The former journalist and TV news anchor was elected last year. The Tea Party favorite represents Florida's 19th District.

RADEL: I want to be a conservative voice that stands up for what's right and does the right thing, but I want to be able to have the ability to, in fact, reach across not just the aisle, but to all Americans and convey my message, our message.

JONES: Radel who calls himself a hip hop conservative also tries to get his message to reach younger constituents. In a recent interview he breaks down what he says is the conservative message behind public enemies fight the power.

RADEL: If you really get down it, in many ways reflects the conservative message of having a heavy-handed federal government.


JONES: Now, House Speaker John Boehner said through a spokesman members of Congress have to be held to the highest standards. This alleged crime will be dealt with by the courts. Beyond that, it's between Representative Radel, his family and his constituents. Radel is asking that his supporters keep his family in their prayers. Back to you, Michaela.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Athena, thank you so much for that. Taking a look at our other headlines now, breaking overnight, a white supremacist accused of killing 22 people is a step closer to the death penalty. A federal appeals court lifted the stay of execution for Joseph Paul Franklin early this morning. Franklin's attorneys can appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. It's not clear if they plan to do so. Franklin also shot "Hustler' magazine publisher, Larry Flynt. It's believed he went on his killing rampage in an effort to start a race war.

Iran and world powers back talking today in Geneva seeking a breakthrough over Tehran's nuclear program. On the eve of the talks, Iran foreign minister released a video message saying, nuclear energy is not about threatening others rather it is about securing Iran's future and economy. President Obama pressed senators on Tuesday to hold off on imposing new sanctions in order to give diplomacy a chance.

More developments in the ongoing saga of Toronto's out-of-control mayor. Rob Ford's top staffers now officially reporting to the deputy mayor after city council stripped Ford of most of his power and after one highly rated episode, the embattled mayor's TV show, "Ford Nation" has been canceled. Producers claim the show was just too expensive. According to Canadian media reports, the infamous video of Ford smoking crack may have been reported last February not more than a year ago as the mayor claims.

Looters adding insult to injury in the tornado-ravaged city of Washington, Illinois. Authorities have doubled the estimate of homes damaged or destroyed there to 1,000. Now as homeowners try to salvage what they can, looters are driving up to homes and trucks and making off with everything they can. Police have now imposed a curfew from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.

A dramatic life-saving helicopter rescue in British Columbia, two hikers became helplessly lost on a trail on a very steep bridge. Fortunately, they had a cell phone and a signal and were able to call for help. The helicopter was able to drop down a 150-foot long line and pull them out. The rescuers say they would probably have never made it through the night.

CUOMO: Wow, look at that.

BOLDUAN: Look at that.

PEREIRA: They had equipment but they weren't particularly familiar with that terrain. It's a steep part of the north shore, but that was quite a rescue operation.

CUOMO: That's a ride they'll never forget.

All right, Indra Petersons is back from Washington, Illinois. It's good to have you here. What do you know this morning?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Definitely mild for the east half of the country, but things are going to be changing. Let's take a look at the temperatures here, a good five to 10 degrees below normal, looking at maybe just highs in D.C. about 48 degrees. But again, this is all going to be changing thanks to some stuff going on in the west. First I want to show you, this is Hawaii and that's California. Look at this moisture stream coming from Hawaii into the west coast. For that reason we know we're not only talking about rain, but even heavy snow into the region. Take a look at it. There are a couple systems in the region. This is the one that's going to impact the rest of the country.

We are talking about cold air. I mean, arctic air is going to be diving down. Here we go with the rain and snowmakers out there. Flooding expected in Arizona by the weekend and then heavy snow, a foot of snow into the sierras. You know, they love that out towards Mammoth and then also Colorado and Wyoming talking about a good foot of snow.

But now let's watch those storms make their way across because today especially in the central part of the country, we're going to be talking about some heavy rain starting, but really in through Thursday, heavy rains right into Washington, Illinois. Behind it, of course, comes that cold air. With that, first thing, they'll be dealing with rain and behind it, even some chilly temperatures.

Let's talk about these temperatures, a good 20 degrees below normal. First you see it, around Montana and the Dakotas. But as we go forward in time, this cold air is going to be diving down. By Thursday, notice we're still talking about 23 degrees below normal, highs of just 20s around North Platte.

Now notice as we go through Friday, this cold air goes all the way through Texas. We are talking highs just into the 40s for Dallas and then as we go through the weekend, this is the cold air that will be making its way across. Here into the northeast by Friday and Saturday, some rain and even highs here into the 30s by Sunday. It's kind of that big story making its way across the country.

BOLDUAN: All right, Indra, thank you so much.

Coming up next on "NEW DAY", a potentially stressful day ahead for the president, he'll be spending a big part of it with Bill Clinton who called him out as you'll remember on Obamacare last week. So what is the former president going to say this time?

CUOMO: And a state senator from Virginia stabbed by his own son who is then found dead. Police believe they pieced it all together. We'll tell you when we come back.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. A tight-knit Virginia community is in absolute shock after what appears to be a murder/suicide. State Senator Creigh Deeds stabbed in the head and chest in his own home reportedly by his own son. His son, Gus, was later found fatally shot. CNN's Chris Lawrence is following the developments from Charlottesville, Virginia this morning. Good morning, Chris.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kate. Yes, this morning, Creigh Deeds is in fair condition and out of surgery after recovering from being repeatedly stabbed in the face and chest by his own son. Now, this is the same young man who just a few years ago was on the campaign trail with his dad, handing out flyers on campus as his father ran for governor.


LAWRENCE (voice-over): Police found a chilling scene inside the home of a prominent Virginia state senator early Tuesday morning, an apparent murder/suicide involving father and son.

CORINNE GELLER, VA STATE POLICE SPOKESPERSON: Deeds was stabbed multiple times about the head and upper torso.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We still have fight, we still have spirit.

LAWRENCE: Police say popular Democratic Senator Creigh Deeds was stabbed by his 24-year-old son, Gus. Deeds managed to travel 75 yards down his driveway on foot to the highway where he ran into his cousin who lives nearby. The senator was later airlifted to a Charlottesville hospital where police say he was able to speak with them.

By the time police arrived in the senator's home, his son, Gus, was still alive, but suffering from what police describe as a self- inflicted gunshot wound. He died at the scene. This nightmare, a jarring tragedy, especially in the wake of the senator's recent camp campaigns where his son was often seen by his side. Virginia Senator Chap Petersen, a long-time friend remembers campaigning alongside the father/son duo.

SENATOR CHAP PETERSEN (D), VIRGINIA, FRIEND OF SENATOR DEEDS: Gus was his driver. They traveled together. I know as a father he had a lot of concerns about his son, just issues involving dropping out of school and things of that nature.

LAWRENCE: Gus was a music major at the College of William & Mary. Officials say in the last month he left the school. The "Richmond Times Dispatch" is reporting that Gus Deeds was sent to Bath County Hospital for a mental health evaluation under an emergency custody order. But the paper cites a source saying he was released the day before the altercation because a bed was not available. Creigh Deeds is well known in Virginia politics. In his unsuccessful bid to be governor in 2009, he garnered a presidential endorsement.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I know he is the right person for Virginia and you know it, too.


LAWRENCE: He could only be held for six hours unless a magistrate signed a bigger order that would allow him to be held at a psychiatric bed for up to three days. But a magistrate can't sign that order unless a bed is available and six years after the massacre at Virginia Tech really brought home the shortcomings of the mental health system here, Virginia state officials tell CNN bed ability is still very tight -- Chris. CUOMO: All right, Chris, thanks for the reporting. The obvious question is why does this keep happening? Once again, someone known to be troubled is out of control and the family is unable to keep them from hurting themselves and others. Fortunately, we are able to get answers this morning from one of the top forensic psychiatrist in the nation, Dr. Michael Welner.

Doc, thank you for coming in on short notice on this.


CUOMO: And again, that's the proposition. In almost all of the mass shootings, same formula, we knew they were troubled. We couldn't get them the help. They wouldn't take their meds. Why is it so hard to control someone who can't control themselves?

WELNER: One of the challenges that families know well in America, is that when you have someone who's really troubled, who's a young male in the family, one of your great obstacles is the denial of your son that he needs help. And for families, your greatest risks are folks who may have a psychiatric illness, in this case quite possibly depression, coupled with a chemical abuse problem.

Studies about who's at greatest risk have actually shown that those who have mental illness who also have a chemical abuse problem are at greatest risk and the people who are threatened the most are those who are intimate family. So Mr. Deeds would have been at a high risk -- at a high risk himself and then we ask, what happened with someone who went to an emergency room?

This illustrates a very significant problem in our laws that could be changed. This isn't a problem that needs to be solved with money. Right now, the United States, a doctor, such as myself, makes a decision about whether someone should be committed. Now, doctors are trained and doctors are competent. But doctors do not see someone all the time.

And someone who may deny the need for help, who may have feel the stigma of what happens if I get hospitalized, that person can pull it together in an emergency room and say, look, I'm not going to hurt anybody. I'll be OK and I'll go home.

But the people at home, the family, they see them all the time. We need to have laws that can empower families to make the call to say, look, watching my loved one 24/7. I see a risk. I need to be able to make the call and say I believe my loved one needs to be in the hospital, because when you discharge him, I'm going to take him.

That's not the way it is and that has to change. And there are certain changes under way, so I think there are positives on the horizon.

BOLDUAN: So Doctor, when you say changes are on the horizon, most immediately, though, when you look at the situation, you have a state senator very well-connected, very well-known. You have a 24-year-old boy, man, really, what, he should have been able -- if anyone was going to be able to get this boy help, this man should have been able to do it.

So what do families need to know, what can they do now until the laws are changed if they see warning signs in a loved one?

WELNER: You know, sometimes you can't. And you stumbled on something right there. You said boy -- man.


WELNER: This started out as an attempted murder of a father. What father is at highest risk? The relationships within the family, irrespective of psychiatric illness of a hostile, dependent relationship. It doesn't necessarily mean abuse. That hostility could stem from, 'Hey, I'm 24 years old and I can't get it together, and my father has to support me.' And the father's frustrated and says, 'Why can't you be like the other siblings?' There's love and a dependence, but there's an intimacy and the issues do not get worked out.

So when you put that together with psychiatric illness and then perhaps the cocktail of alcohol or anything else, then that's an indication for families that things actually can get out of control. They can get violent and they can get permanent such that a son can make an impulsive decision also and take his own life.

PEREIRA: It speaks to the fact that families can't -- they say they have intimate knowledge of day-to-day life with this person that is troubled, because oftentimes they'll self-medicate, they'll have a good spell, they'll go off the medication and think things are fine and things will spiral out of control quickly.

They can't do it alone, though. They need to get professional help away from the emotional attachment. We know that's a very hard thing to do.

Is the help there, though?

WELNER: Yes and no. HIPAA laws don't allow a mental health professional to communicate with a family.

So you can put somebody in the hospital, and then if you want to convey something to a doctor, HIPAA says, we have to respect the patient. Well, that's letting the illness run the situation. It's similar when you don't empower parents. These are two pillars, the notification issue as well as a commitment issue. We don't have to throw money at a problem.

I want to briefly say to look out on the horizon, Congressman Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania has been working for months on legislation that can optimize the mental health system. This is an area that's under discussion as well as creating enough beds, because, again, not for nothing. If you get sent to an emergency room and you're felt to be emergent enough to be held, what is it with a four-hour period of discharge? If you were dangerous in three hours, why would you not be dangerous at five?

BOLDUAN: And the fact that there's not a bed doesn't seem like an OK answer.

WELNER: Exactly.

CUOMO: Are you being optimistic about the horizon of change? Because right now, I was actually taking a look online very quickly to refresh New York law. You get 72 hours. I can come in, raving like a lunatic. My entire family could be there saying, please?

They're going to put me away in 72 hours. I'm going to be medicated, I'm going to be hours, stabilized, I'm going to get in front of a judge. And it is then on the family to make the case that I'm a danger.

WELNER: That's right.

CUOMO: That's very hard.

WELNER: Absolutely.

CUOMO: And then I'm out.

WELNER: Yes, just because the law is being proposed doesn't mean it's going to be passed. What I'm saying is, sure, when you -- this may be a broader discussion, but I've always said to focus on guns, look, guns are inappropriate for some people just like video games are inappropriate for some people. But systemically if you look at as a mental health issue, the solution is actually is easy. Fix HIPAA, empower the families for commitment.

And the Adam Lanza, and the Deeds' son, and a number of situations where we all feel in retrospect that they're preventable, they would be preventable. And yet, and yet, you have different constituencies who have to be heard.

This is a democracy, but I think the catalyst is when someone looks at a situation and says he was in the emergency room. He was in the emergency room.

PEREIRA: He was there.

WELNER: I mean, this wasn't a situation that anyone overlooking things. It was a procedural, bureaucratic. And again, are you now going to say, those of you who say, gee, parents should make the decision. Do you now have a place to say that's good thinking? No.

BOLDUAN: One family has been ripped apart because of it.

WELNER: Absolutely.

BOLDUAN: All right. Dr. Michael Welner, great to see you as always. Thank you.

Coming up next on "NEW DAY", President Obama and President Clinton face to face for the first time since Clinton criticized him on Obamacare. Will their tension overshadow today's big events? CUOMO: George Zimmerman is out on bail, but not as free as he once was. Two rulings from the judge that he won't like we'll tell them to you.


BOLDUAN: All right. Welcome back to "NEW DAY", everyone.

Time now for our political gut check.

President Obama and former President Clinton reuniting in Washington today. This will be their first face-to-face since Clinton challenged Obama on his "you can keep your plan" pledge for the health care law.

So how tense is it likely to be between the two of them? Will we see any of it?

Let's bring in CNN's senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta for more on this. You're going to have to read that body language, Jim.


That's right, Kate. The President Obama will be spending time with former President Bill Clinton today as they have two very big events here in Washington. And this comes one week after former President Clinton appeared to criticize President Obama on health care reform. It's one of many health care headaches for this president that will not go away.


ACOSTA (voice-over): All eyes will be on the body language between President Obama and Bill Clinton as both men will be sharing two big stages today. At the White House, Mr. Obama will award Clinton the Presidential Medal of Freedom before they make their way to Arlington National Cemetery to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: So I personally believe --

ACOSTA: All of that face time, just one week after Clinton called on the president to keep his health care promise.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.

CLINTON: Even if it takes changing the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people, and let them keep what they got.

ACOSTA: The president remains in Obama damage control mode, conceding at a "Wall Street Journal" event packed with top CEOs that his signature achievement could use a makeover.

OBAMA: We're going to have to obviously remarket and rebrand. And that will be challenging in this political environment.

ACOSTA: But as CNN reported, his latest PR challenge actually started right at the White House --

OBAMA: I recently received a letter from a woman named Jessica Sanford in Washington state.

ACOSTA: -- when he cited Jessica Sanford, a single mom from Washington state an Obamacare success story. Just days after that presidential shout-out, Sanford learned her state's health exchange made a mistake calculating her Obamacare tax credit.

JESSICA SANFORD, UNINSURED: I don't trust the system at all here in Washington state.

ACOSTA: Now she says she can't afford the plans available in her state.

SANFORD: I wanted to be the poster child of how it did work out. That makes me really sad that it has to be the negative instead of the positive.

ACOSTA: Contacted by CNN, the CEO of Washington state's health exchange released a statement saying, the program "would like to sincerely apologize to Jessica Sanford and all those affected in Washington state by this error."

The state and the White House say there's nothing they can do.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We're certainly as sorry as we can be that Jessica is one of the folks affected by this.


ACOSTA: But we can report this morning there is one tiny bit of good news in Jessica Sanford's story. She did find out from the state of Washington that her son will be eligible for Medicaid, so he will be insured while she remains uninsured. So some -- a small measure of good news there and her story attracted a lot of attention as you know, guys.

She said she received calls from officials here at the White House and also in the governor's office in Washington state, all offering to do anything they could do to help even if they weren't really offering any concrete solutions.

Michaela, Chris and Kate, back to you.

BOLDUAN: What can they do is the question, I guess, right, Jim?

All right. Thank you so much, Jim Acosta at the White House.

It will be interesting to watch the former president and President Obama together today.

CUOMO: It always is. PEREIRA: To be a fly on the wall, right?

CUOMO: It always is because with the former president it's always I hear what he's saying but wonder why he's saying it?

BOLDUAN: What's the motive?

CUOMO: So, we'll have a round table on it after it happens, I'm sure.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

PEREIRA: All right. In the meantime, let's bring you up to date on all of the latest news.

Right now, a frantic search continues off the water of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Rescuers looking desperately for two people missing after their air ambulance went down. The medical flight just dropped off a patient at an airport in Ft. Lauderdale and was headed back to Mexico when it sent out a mayday call. The bodies of two others, a man and a woman, have been recovered.

Florida Congressman Trey Radel says he's profoundly sorry following his arrest for cocaine possession. The freshman Republican will be in court today for arraignment on the drug charges, which could put him behind bars for up to 180 days. The 37-year-old Radel said in a statement that he struggles with alcoholism.