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NEW DAY SUNDAY
Jury Can't Reach Decision on Murder Charges for Dunn; Putin: Don't Mix Sports, Politics; Snow Respite Coming for Northeast; John Wall Voted Best in Slam Dunk Competition; Sam Fans Block Anti-Gay Protest at Mizzou Arena
Aired February 16, 2014 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CO-HOST: An emotionally charged case ends with a controversial verdict. After 30 hours of deliberation, the jury in the Michael Dunn trial reaches its decision, just not on the most serious charge of murder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORY STROLLA, DUNN'S ATTORNEY: There was no winners. Everybody lost something in this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We intend to retry him, retry Michael Dunn on first-degree murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTI PAUL, CO-HOST: Retrial or not, Michael Dunn is headed to prison, possibly for the rest of his life. And for the parents of Jordan Davis, some closure and a vow to continue the fight for their son.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON DAVIS, FATHER OF JORDAN DAVIS: He's going to learn that he must be remorseful for the killing of my son, that it was not just another day at the office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: So grateful to have your company on this Sunday morning. Thanks for being with us. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Six o'clock here on the East Coast and this is NEW DAY SUNDAY.
PAUL: We're going to get right to that Dunn case, because it is important, literally in 30 seconds, but we have some breaking news overnight we want to let you know about.
Two skiers are missing after an avalanche in Lake County, Colorado. Emergency management officials say rescuers are going to start searching the mountains as soon as day breaks. BLACKWELL: Now this avalanche happened yesterday evening. Three other skiers are hospitalized with broken bones and a collapsed lung. And of course, we'll be following developments on this story all morning long and get you updates as soon as they happen.
Now on the Dunn trial. On what would have been Jordan Davis's 19th birthday, the young man's killer faces decades in a Florida prison, but not for killing Davis.
PAUL: That's what's got everybody so, you know, riled up this morning. A Duval County jury convicted Michael Dunn last night of three counts of attempted second-degree murder, each of which, by the way, carries a minimum 20-year sentence, and those have to run consecutively.
He also was convicted of firing an occupied -- on an occupied vehicle, but jurors deadlocked on that one big charge of murder. And that sent protesters to the streets outside the courthouse, calling for the state attorney's ouster.
BLACKWELL: CNN's Elena Machado is live in Jacksonville this morning with more on the partial verdict and the fallout. Elena, good morning.
ELENA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor.
The family representing Jordan Davis, the attorney representing Jordan Davis's family says that they would like to be left alone to celebrate their son's birthday, and even though this trial is over, their fight for justice is far from it.
MACHADO (voice-over): After about 30 hours of deliberations, the jury in the Michael Dunn murder trial returned a partial verdict.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Dunn, your having been convicted of counts two, three and four by a jury.
MACHADO: Guilty on four counts, including three of attempted second-degree murder in the 2012 shooting outside a Jacksonville gas station that killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis. But on the murder charge, no verdict.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Based on the jury's inability to reach a verdict as to count one, I would declare that mistried.
MACHADO: Davis's family expressed gratitude to the jury but vowed to keep fighting.
LUCIA MCBATH, JORDAN DAVIS'S MOTHER: And we will continue to stand, and we will continue to wait for justice for Jordan.
DAVIS: I feel Michael Dunn has got a minimum of 20 years on one count, another 20 years on another count, another a minimum 20 years on another count, so he's going to learn that he must be remorseful for the killing of my son, that it was not just another day at the office.
MACHADO: During the trial, jurors heard from the three teens who were in the car with Davis the night a confrontation over loud music turned violent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did the driver do with the gun when he grabbed it from the glove compartment?
LELAND BRUNSON, JORDAN DAVIS'S FRIEND: He cocked it back.
MACHADO: Dunn himself took the stand in his own defense.
MICHAEL DUNN, SHOT JORDAN DAVIS: I'm looking out the window and I said, "You're not going to kill me, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED)," and I shot him.
MACHADO: Surveillance video, where you can hear the gunfire, was requested by the jury during deliberations. Jurors also had several questions, including this one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it possible to not reach a verdict on one count and reach a verdict on other counts?
MACHADO: Suggesting they were having difficulty reaching a unanimous verdict on the murder charge as early as Friday. The tension in the courtroom, palpable.
STROLLA: Those 30 hours were probably the most stressful hours of my life. I cannot even imagine what Mr. Dunn was thinking, because he was the one that was facing the verdict.
MACHADO: Now, Angela Corey has said that she has every intention to retry that first-degree murder charge -- Victor and Christi.
BLACKWELL: All right. Elena -- Elena Machado for us in Jacksonville. Thank you.
Now, if that mixed result of the guilty verdict on three counts of second-degree and mistried on the first-degree result in Dunn trial, disappointed some people in the courtroom, the expert observers seemed unsatisfied, too. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: What I find so appalling is that they could not reach a verdict as to the first count, which is first-degree murder.
JOSE BAEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think the defense clearly raised sufficient reasonable doubt as it related to the justifiable use of force.
NANCY GRACE, HLN ANCHOR: Yes, I'm happy Dunn's going away. He's going away, and it's a life sentence, but, still, that count one is just hanging there in the air.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN ANCHOR: Angela Corey, with all due respect, in deep denial. I mean, when she says, "We put on everything we possibly could," no, they didn't.
BAEZ: He's going to die in prison, mission accomplished. I don't know -- I don't know what trying the case would do.
GRACE: It's my firm belief, if the roles were reversed and a black youth gunned down a 45-year-old white software creator that was unarmed, we wouldn't even be talking. It would be over.
JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Let's not be embarrassed that we all have issues with race. Let's talk about it. Let's come together on this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Now defense attorney Jose Baez is one of the voices you heard there. He's joining us live in the next hour of NEW DAY to talk more about the Dunn case and where we go from here.
BLACKWELL: All right, let's go to Sochi now where the U.S. now leads the race for the most Olympic medals on day nine of the winter games.
PAUL: If you're not ready to find out how Team USA got its edge, there's your spoiler alert for you. We don't want to blow it, if you want to step away for a couple minutes. Just a second.
BLACKWELL: Yes. Just turn your head, you know, do the la, la, la thing. Stick your fingers in your ears.
So it was a pair of U.S. skiers who brought home the precious hardware. Andrew Weibrecht took the silver in the men's Super G, and an emotional Bode Miller tied for bronze.
PAUL: He tweeted this after the race, in fact. Quote, "Thanks for all the support. Today was one of the most emotional days of my life. I miss my brother."
BLACKWELL: Yes, Bode's brother died unexpectedly last year. He was 29 years old.
PAUL: There was no medal at stake, obviously, at least not yet, I should say, when the U.S. and Russia met in that -- I am going to say it -- some people are saying it was an epic Olympic hockey showdown, because it was so down to the wire.
BLACKWELL: Yes. No huge medal, but huge bragging rights...
BLACKWELL: ... after yesterday's match-up.
It looked like Russia had clinched victory with a goal in the third period, but the referees disallowed it, saying the net had moved. So with the score tied at the end of regulation, the game went into a shootout. And American T.J. Oshie became a hero, scoring four times on six tries to secure the win for Team USA.
PAUL: So here's what it means, because the loss didn't knock Russia out of medal contention, mind you. It was a huge boost for the U.S., obviously. And some people apparently were reminiscing about the epic Miracle on Ice at the 1980 games. Although most people who actually saw that say there's no comparison.
BLACKWELL: No, none.
PAUL: That will never happen again.
BLACKWELL: But when you've got the U.S. and Russia on the ice and hockey at the Olympics, you know, it's inevitable.
PAUL: It makes for good TV.
BLACKWELL: It does, indeed.
Cheering on Team Russia from the stands perhaps its most famous fan, of course, Vladimir Putin. The Russian president has been in the spotlight since the winter games cast a glare on some of his polarizing policies.
PAUL: From Edward Snowden to anti-gay laws, to last week's tightening of adoption rules. So, speaking yesterday to reporters in Olympic Park, Putin had this to say. Quote, "Is there a hope you will not tie sports with politics? Is there that hope? I think there is," unquote. It was basically his way of saying, "I don't want to talk about it."
BLACKWELL: Yes. "Guys, can I just watch this match-up?"
BLACKWELL: Well, senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is in Sochi, so let's -- let's put the question back here to Mr. Putin. Can he separate politics from the winter games?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think in many ways those might say that he's actually introduced it in some ways. The Olympic charter says that there should be no discrimination against individuals. Now, before the games started, he said that homosexuals are welcome here, so long as they left children alone. Bizarre comment, in many ways.
And he did in the last few days, as well, say that he hopes some of the western attitudes towards the Cold War would no longer be influenced by Cold War ideology, suggesting sort of that old tension from decades ago persists.
So much of the lead-up here, I think, has been characterized in a global, political context. This has been about Vladimir Putin returning Russia to its Soviet glory. So it's political in many ways for him. I'm sure there are times when he would just hope everyone would enjoy the games and enjoy the spectacle ahead of them, but the decision to introduce that anti-gay legislation here and to allow it to persist throughout the time the Olympics run. There was a specific piece of legislation just recently passed, preventing the adoption of children by same-sex couples, just in the last few days while the games were happening here.
Politics is always there. It's always about the home country, what kind of condition it's in when it hosts the games, it being on very much show at that particular moment. And I think his comments yesterday just more about frustration than anything else -- Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right. Nick Paton Walsh in Sochi. A few days left in the winter games this year. Thank you.
PAUL: Still to come on NEW DAY, buried under mounds of snow, can New England -- New Englanders dig out? We've got something coming. We'll take a look at it.
PAUL: How about that for some wake-up music?
BLACKWELL: Nice and smooth.
PAUL: Listen to your voice. Yes!
BLACKWELL: Waited all night long.
PAUL: Oh, no. We're not going to go there.
That is a lot of snow on the bull right there. Wall Street's iconic charging bull, I should say. That sounded a little more provocative than I wanted to be. Too early in the morning. So I just wanted to clarify.
A high of only 30 degrees today. You're not even going to hit freezing. So all of you New Yorkers, good morning to you.
BLACKWELL: Careful on the ice, bull.
PAUL: And be careful, yes.
BLACKWELL: Careful on the ice.
PAUL: Speaking of being careful, have you seen this video? Oh, my gosh. Clearing snow from the streets of New York became -- turned into this freak accident. Look at this thing.
It's surveillance video, first of all, in Queens. See that plow there? Barreling through with such force that it throws heavy snow and ice -- look at that -- across a sidewalk into the restaurant, blowing out the store front and knocking over a customer seated inside. Can't even imagine what that was like for them.
BLACKWELL: Yes. Look at this, again. Now, the manager of the restaurant says that the customer you see here who was blown out of her seat, she's been checked out at a hospital and appears to be OK.
BLACKWELL: That's unreal.
PAUL: But good heavens.
BLACKWELL: Hey, staying in New York, the city was spared a direct hit from yet another snowstorm that struck the Northeast. But the blizzard warnings were issued off the coast of Massachusetts.
PAUL: Meteorologist Jennifer Gray is in the CNN severe weather center.
Have you ever seen anything like the snow plow?
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: No.
PAUL: I mean, that's nuts.
GRAY: That was crazy. It's dangerous. The snow is heavy and it can -- yes, that's weird. Very, very crazy.
But we are going to see a little bit of relief. Are you ready for a breather in the Northeast? Because you're about to get one in the next couple of days.
Look at these snowfall totals from yesterday in the overnight hours. Sandwich, Massachusetts, 11 inches. We only had about an inch and a half in Central Park. Not many of you complaining about that. Not as much snow as you could have seen.
A little bit of snow still working its way off of northern Maine. We are going to see a couple of weak systems try to pull on through. Not much accumulation expected with that.
But we have another system trying to brew in the Midwest, and that's going to bring a little bit of snow to the Northern Plains and places like Chicago as we go through Monday.
Snow totals for this system, we're looking anywhere for three to six inches outside Milwaukee and Minneapolis, four to eight. But a shift in the pattern is going to mean relief for a lot of folks, especially in the southeast. Warmer weather on the way. It's going to take a little while for the Northeast to warm up, but the south already getting started.
Atlanta, 61 degrees today. We'll be at 64 by Monday. And then temperatures even in the Northeast will start to get above freezing by Tuesday. Look at that: New York City, 46 degrees by Wednesday. I think that's going to feel quite nice. Even D.C. at 61 on Wednesday.
See you guys, finally warming up a little bit.
BLACKWELL: Sixty anything, miracle!
GRAY: Yes. Find your swimming pool now.
PAUL: All right, Jennifer, thank you.
GRAY: All right.
BLACKWELL: Michael Sam, the University of Missouri football player who's come out as a gay man, is getting a lot of attention.
PAUL: Not all of it positive. However, something just happened at Mizzou that even Sam never expected.
BLACKWELL: Good morning, New Orleans. Live look.
PAUL: People are up and moving already.
BLACKWELL: Oh, yes. Well, up and moving. They're still moving from last night, I'm sure.
JOE CARTER, BLEACHER REPORT: I think they're headed to church.
BLACKWELL: The early church.
PAUL: That's it. That's it. Because there's a church right down that street.
BLACKWELL: Mostly sunny today, a high of 68 degrees. And you know why people are up. The city is buzzing with NBA stars in town for this year's NBA all-star weekend. Also a weekend with a much- touted slam dunk contest, got to love that.
PAUL: Well, and that's what we're going to talk about now, is the slam dunk competition there in New Orleans. Sensational slam, I understand, by Washington Wizards player John Wall.
PAUL: Is that the big one?
BLACKWELL: Yes. Joe Carter here, the voice you heard just a few moments ago.
PAUL: Talking about church.
BLACKWELL: Yes. Welcome, Joe.
CARTER: I can tell you this, guys, that the new format they have this year, there's a lot of changes the NBA has been making to the all-star weekend. The bottom line is, it's a marketing push. They want to get people more interested in the all-star weekend, so they made a lot of changes to the skills competition, to the three-point competition, and to the dunk competition. And I can tell you, it's still kind of boring.
Still kind of boring. A lot of negative reaction, social media. One of our Bleacher Report writers was there. He tweeted last night very, very appropriately. He said, "Vanilla Ice, when he performed, was the most excited the crowd got all night."
PAUL: Well, he is entertaining, isn't he? Vanilla Ice.
CARTER: He is.
As I mentioned this year, there are a lot of changes. No longer is it individual player versus individual player. It's really conference versus conference or team versus team, east versus west. So for a majority of the night, I did see a lot of complaints on social media, but I will say credit is due to John Wall of the Washington Wizards, because he did pull off a really sweet dunk. That's the winning dunk right there. It's a double pump reverse dunk, and he jumps over the Warriors mascot and snatches the ball from him.
CARTER: So they no longer call it the slam dunk champion. It is now referred to as the dunker of the night.
PAUL: That sounds a little weird.
BLACKWELL: Yes, that one.
CARTER: I'm not hating on the NBA. Because there's still got -- there's still some flare there, but when you have to show the video replays over and over to remember who's in the dunk competition, that's where the problem lies. I'd like to see more stars get involved in the competition.
Anyhow, you can watch the NBA All-Star game. That's tonight on our sister network, TNT. It starts at 7 p.m. The pregame coverage includes a fascinating sit-down interview with former all-star Charles Barkley and President Obama. It's a really good interview. You don't want to miss it.
Of course, after revealing to the world that he's gay, Michael Sam on track to be the first openly gay player in the NFL. And since his announcement last week, the public responses have been mostly supportive. But of course, he's still facing some obstacles. The Westborough Baptist Church protested on the University of Missouri campus yesterday, but hundreds of Mizzou students donning "Stand with Sam" pins and shirts formed a human wall around Mizzou's arena to block their protest.
CARTER: And at one point they locked arms and turned their back to the protesters and prevented anyone from that protesting group to entering onto campus. So, strong movement.
Was very impressive. They organized it through social media. They were expecting about 5,000 students to show up. They got a couple thousand, I would say. But it was about 28 degrees yesterday is why they didn't get as many as they expected. But great support, very impressive.
And inside the arena last night, Michael Sam received a standing ovation from fans. Sam and his Missouri football team were honored at half-time for their Cotton Bowl victory over Oklahoma state. You can see he's pretty fired up. But a great ovation from the fans. A lot of hugs, a lot of high fives. And this was the first time that we've seen him in a public setting since the announcement. So nice, real positive reaction from his school last night, from his coaches, from his teammates and just a good moment. Really nice moment.
PAUL: Good to see.
BLACKWELL: Good to see the support. Joe, thank you.
CARTER: You bet.
BLACKWELL: So starting tomorrow, you'll see a whole new version of "The Tonight Show." Comedian Jimmy Fallon debuts as host, of course, replacing long-time funny man Jay Leno.
Now, the late-night switch-up is all part of a plan by NBC to attract a younger audience.
PAUL: Fallon's former "SNL" cast mate, Horatio Sanz, gave us his take on how Fallon is going to shake things up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HORATIO SANZ, FORMER CAST MEMBER, NBC'S "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": Well, I think what Jimmy brings to the table is he's got a lot of versatility. You know, he's a great improvisational actor. He's a great impressionist, and he's also just very skilled with music. And I think that that's been an added aspect of the show that has got -- that has improved greatly over the last version of it. And I think he's going to be great when he does it "Tonight."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: And some of Fallon's first guests: Will Ferrell, U2 and first lady Michelle Obama. Of course, we saw that on Jimmy's former show now, he and the first lady did the history of dance together. And they did the Dougie.
So, one of the big stories everybody is talking about today is the 30 hours of deliberations over four days, and jurors in the trial of Michael Dunn end up right where they started on the most important question. We've got that full story, plus, the latest on two missing skiers in Colorado. Just ahead. Stay close.
PAUL: All right. Bottom of the hour right now on this Sunday. We're so glad to have your company. Thanks for being with us. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. And of course, it's good to be with you. Here are five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.
Up first, two skiers are missing after an avalanche in Lake County. That's in Colorado. Emergency management officials say rescuers will start searching the mountains as soon as day breaks there. Now, this avalanche actually happened yesterday evening. The three other skiers are in the hospital with broken bones and one with a collapsed lung.
PAUL: Number two, a man's body was found in an airplane wheel well at Washington's Dulles Airport. This was yesterday. Now, local reports say the South African Airways plane started in Johannesburg, stopped in Senegal before arriving in the U.S. investigators have not identified that man nor have they determined how he died.
BLACKWELL: Up now for number three, the British cruise ship that has just pulled into port ending a tragic cruise. Listen to this, one person was killed Friday when the ship was hit by a huge freak wave. At least 14 others were injured. Witnesses say the wave was so big, it smashed the windows of a restaurant three quarters up the way of the ship.
PAUL: And number four, take a look at this. 17 feet 8 inches long and 150 pounds and it's one enormous snake that is now in the record books. It's the second largest python ever caught and killed in Florida. Wildlife experts say she was about 15 years old when she was shot by Bobby Hill who apparently kills pythons for a living. I don't know how you get that job. But that snake now on her way to the University of Florida to be studied.
BLACKWELL: You've got to be adventurous to get that job. Number five now, 60 years in prison. That's the anticipated sentence for the Florida man convicted yesterday in the so-called loud music murder trial. Michael Dunn was found guilty of three counts of attempted second degree murder, but jurors deadlocked on the sole count of murder. The prosecutors say they will try Dunn again for that first degree murder count.
PAUL: For more on that exclusive trial and really the unfinished business of it now, we want to turn to CNN legal analyst Paul Callan. Paul, thank you so much.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good morning, Christi.
PAUL: for being with us. Just out of the gate, give us your -- are you surprised?
CALLAN: Surprised, shocked, stunned. And I've tried a lot of murder cases. I prosecuted murder cases and I've defended murder cases. This was a very weak defense that was put up on the board and the fact that a jury bought into it or at least that some jurors bought into this self-defense claim is really shocking to me and I think a lot of other observers of the trial. BLACKWELL: Paul, here's what I don't understand, and maybe you can reconcile these for me and this is what we're seeing on social media, as well. How is it possible that the jury convicted Michael Dunn of attempted second degree murder of the three he did not kill, but did not convict him of murder on the one person he did actually kill?
CALLAN: Yes. I think people are going to have a lot of trouble understanding how that could be. But here's my theory, there were two sets of shots that were fired. The first set of shots that were fired were about probably four, pop, pop, pop sounds that you hear in a videotape that was taken from the interior of the convenience store. Those were the shots presumably that killed Jordan Davis. The jury probably hung on the issue of whether he was firing those shots in self-defense or at least in a belief that Jordan Davis had a gun and it threatened him. So, the jury hung on that. However, after the SUV that had the kids in it started to pull away. Remember, there are three other kids other than Jordan Davis in the SUV. He continues to fire. And he fires as many as five more shots at the fleeing vehicle. I believe the jury found him guilty of the second volley of shots. Finding that he was attempting to kill the other three occupants of the vehicle and that's why you have what on the surface appears to be a strange verdict, but it actually is logical on this fact pattern.
PAUL: OK, so, Angela Corey, we know, the state attorney is vowing to press forward for a new trial for this count one. Being the fact that it's costly, for one. Secondly, Dunn's already going away for some 60 years, it's expected. And there are, I'm sure going to be some questions about an impartial jury and if they're able to find one. Is it likely, do you think, that she will secure another trial?
CALLAN: I, you know, I was surprised last night when she made that announcement that she would retry the case immediately. Most of the time prosecutors will say, you know, we're going to have a look at the case and we'll make a determination about it to give themselves an opportunity to reflect and also to let public passions calm down a little bit. Yeah, he's looking at 60 years in prison and I'll tell you something, he might even be looking at 75 years in prison. There's a 15-year count involving firing bullets into a vehicle that could lead to additional jail time. So, if he winds up with 60 or 75 years in jail from a pragmatic standpoint, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to retry the case. But on the other hand if you're the parents of Jordan Davis and you believe, as well you should, that your son's reputation has been by besmirched by this self-defense claim. You know, the family really wants a retrial and that's something that a prosecutor has to consider carefully. So, hopefully she'll look carefully at the pluses and minuses of doing a retrial.
BLACKWELL: Yeah, we heard from the parents of Jordan Davis yesterday. We're going to hear more from them, his mother saying that she will pray for Mr. Dunn.
PAUL: She's remarkable.
PAUL: She's just remarkable.
BLACKWELL: We're going to hear more about that. Paul Callan, thank you so much for helping us unpack all of this.
CALLAN: Always nice being with you, Victor.
PAUL: So, coming up on "NEW DAY", it has been one year since Olympian Oscar Pistorius fatally shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
BLACKWELL: Up next, we'll show you some exclusive new photos of Steenkamp's last days. Stay with us. This is "NEW DAY SUNDAY."
PAUL: 39 minutes past the hour right now. And a grim anniversary in South Africa to talk about. You realize it's been a year since blade runner Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
BLACKWELL: And now CNN has these exclusive new images of the couple. Look at them. They appear to be happy, in love. This is just shortly before Steenkamp was shot in South Africa. The upcoming trial, understandably, is a very hot topic. So, joining us now is CNN editorial producer Nadia Bilchik who just returned from Johannesburg. What are people saying there?
NADIA BILCHIK, CNN EDITORIAL PRODUCER: Well, it's interesting. Because people are very divided and very vociferous. So, last Sunday I spoke to a couple of people. Let's hear what they had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's a huge statement on gender- based violence in this country and I think the outcome of that case will be very telling about how far we've come or how far we still have to go as a country.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He must say what happens, actually. Nobody knows. And he must have a chance to tell what happened there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Justice needs to be served and you cannot just by accident shoot someone that many times and get away with it. It's murder. I'm sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Well, it sounds like people have made up their minds.
BILCHIK: Oh, everybody's got an opinion and you can imagine how shocked and horrified South Africans in the word that such a hero could do such a terrible thing. So, we know that he did kill her. The question is, was it premeditated as a murder or was it manslaughter?
PAUL: Well, you spoke with Reeva's agent, right? And what did she tell you?
BILCHIK: Well, she speaks about what an incredible person Reeva was. She says she was so focused. Now, remember that she had only been dating Oscar since October. So, it hadn't been a long romance and one thing that Surrit (ph) says to me, her agent, she says she wonders what the panic, what the fear, what was going on in her mind in those last minutes of her life. Now, remember, she went to the bathroom with her cell phone which some people tell me is not unusual, but what is unusual is that Oscar seems to have forgotten the code to his iPhone. So, what has happened just in the last few weeks is that the prosecution has elicited the help of the FBI to get Apple to get access to the encrypted data. So, that's going on as we speak. They don't have it as yet. And the prosecution is hoping that by March 3rd when the trial actually happens that they do have this encrypted data. So, again, it's going to rely on ballistics, the angle of the bullet, did he have his prosthetics on or not. So, we'll know if he didn't have them on and the bullet would have gone upwards, if he did have them on, it would have been downwards. The ballistics. The forensics, the data from the cell phone and then witnesses.
You know, some of the witnesses are coming forward are his previous girlfriends. People who say they saw Oscar involved in very violent activity. Shooting a gun outside a restaurant, shooting a gun through the sunroof of a car. And another thing that happened this week is Oscar just settled with another woman. What happened was he punched through her door, the door fell on her leg and he's just settled that in 2009. So, clearly, a very volatile man and South Africans very divided. So, what the (inaudible) will actually be remains to be seen. He has very strong prosecution, very strong defense. But either way, Oscar Pistorius and the Steenkamp families' lives were forever changed a year ago.
BLACKWELL: Well, we know that you will be following this very closely. We all will be following it very closely. Nadia Bilchik, thank you.
PAUL: Thank you, Nadia.
Ice skating, as you know, has really taking center stage as it usually does at the Sochi Olympics in Russia. But here in the U.S. Did you know that some girls from Holland, New York, are just as passionate?
BLACKWELL: Indeed. And one woman is helping them to break barriers on and off the ice. Meet our first CNN hero of 2014, she's Sharon Cohen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love the crispy feeling of the air. The sound of my ice skate crunching on the ice. Skating relieves me from everything. I just want to fly, I just don't want to stop.
SHARON COHEN: I heard that there were some girls who wanted to figure skate in Harlem. Growing up I was a competitive figure skater and I knew that skating was not a diverse sport. There was not access for kids in low-income communities. They were so eager to get started I began teaching them and it was really inspiring to me. Now, we serve over 200 girls a year.
Wow! Look at those spins! You did it!
The best part about skating is that it gives you qualities that you use for the rest of your life. They gain discipline, perseverance.
Step, cross. Step, cross. Excellent, girls.
They fall down and they get back up and they learn they can do that in anything. It's a building block. Skating is the hook, but education comes first. Before they even get on the ice, they have to get their homework done, they get tutoring. The minimum of three afternoons a week.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Algebra was not my best subject and I failed it. Ms. Sharon hired a special tutor for me that felt like, hey, you have to get back up.
It was that simple?
Now, I'm doing way better in school.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ladies and gentlemen, Harlem Ice.
COHEN: We want girls to believe and know they can do anything they put their hearts and minds to.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not all about skating. Miss Sharon is teaching us to be the best we can be in life.
PAUL: Your suit, your tie, your -- your bubbles -- all that good stuff.
BLACKWELL: Good bubbles.
PAUL: Good morning, London.
PAUL: Well, that's what they're going to need tonight. Live look there at the city's iconic Tower Bridge. It is a beauty, isn't it? Just before noon there, I guess we could say good day to all of you. Mostly sunny as they get ready for the BAFTA Awards there.
BLACKWELL: Yeah, it's the big show, the competition expected to be fierce for the annual award ceremony there. Blockbuster hits like "12 Years a Slave," "American Hustle," "Gravity" all up for awards. PAUL: Yeah. So -- I mean you have your favorites, I wonder if it will be the same. Let's bring in CNN's Becky Anderson joining us live from London. And Becky, I guess, do we equate BAFTA to kind of the Oscars of the America's?
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, absolutely we do. We wish we had the Oscars, you know, at the BAFTAs in a way. Do you know what I mean? No, this is the run-up to the Oscars as it were. And the weather, you've just seen, is absolutely beautiful here as we begin to think about which frocks we're going to wear. And remember, last year it was snowing as the actors and actresses walked up the red carpet. So, at least today we've got a better day. Look, topping the list of nominations with 11 nods is "Gravity" and we got that for best film and best actress. How? I hear you'll ask is a movie that is directed by a Mexican and stars two of America's greats, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. In any way, a British film? Well, it was shot here and these special effects were done here or worked on here. That is enough so far as the British Academy of Film and Television is concerned. It is, therefore, a British movie in some parts and it's leading the way.
If I were a betting woman, I'm not, of course, but if I were, I would say that "12 Years a Slave" will clean up tonight. This is stuffed with British talent, even though, of course, it is about an American story. It's up for best film, best actor and, indeed, best director in Steve McQueen. As I say, if it does sweep the boards tonight, it will be deserving of that. Also as you suggest, "American Hustle" with Christian Bale. What a movie that is! The 1970s drama about two con-artists who get entangled with the FBI. Now, that's also got ten nominations, so that equals that of "12 Years a Slave." For best film, of course, and also nominated in all the best acting categories, which means if I am lucky tonight on the red carpet I should be able to sweep up Christian Bale and the likes of Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams. It should be a good night down there. There are other really interesting stories, not least effect that Dame Judi Dench gets another nomination from BAFTA, 15th nomination. If she wins tonight, I think it will be her sixth BAFTA award. She hasn't won since 2002 and that is an absolutely remarkable record. We will have Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge on the red carpet. He is the patron of the BAFTA Academy. So, it should be a good night and, yes, we will get an indication, at least of what might happen in the Oscars.
BLACKWELL: And exciting night.
PAUL: I am going to say, I'm just going to go home and watch "Real Housewives." I wish I were with you today, Becky, you've got it going on.
BLACKWELL: All right, Becky Anderson joining us. Thank you, Becky.
ANDERSON: Have fun. PAUL: So, we should point out that if you want to rent any of those movies that we just talked about, make sure you return them on time. Kayla Finley -- you are not going to believe this, people. Kayla Finley of South Carolina was arrested on Thursday because of a movie she rented in 2005 and never returned. Yeah. Arrested.
BLACKWELL: I mean was it a DVD or was it a VHS? I mean, so many years ago. Finley rented "Monster in Law." really, for "Monster in Law" you're going to jail. OK, that was a movie with Jennifer Lopez.
PAUL: It's a good movie.
BLACKWELL: You see Jane Fonda there. Two and a half stars. She never took it back. The video store she rented it from shut down long ago.
PAUL: And I'm sure it wasn't because she didn't return it.
BLACKWELL: Yeah, because of that one. It was a video store. I mean those are ...
BLACKWELL: Almost extinct.
Cops found a warrant for her arrest when she was at the sheriff's office to report a crime. She has now been released on bond.
PAUL: Can you imagine? Hi, I'm here to report a crime. No, you're going to jail.
BLACKWELL: Yes, because "Monster-in-Law" you didn't return in 2005.
PAUL: Oh my gosh!
BLACKWELL: She's out now.
PAUL: OK, it's cold, it's rocky and it's lost its ocean millions of years ago.
BLACKWELL: But our next guest wants to live there. Yeah, after the break, we'll introduce you to Heidi Beemer. She's fighting for a chance to make her home on Mars.
PAUL: Let me ask you, would you go to Mars for the rest of your life? Well, Heidi Beemer was just eight years old when she read an article about a Mars rover mission. And says it changed her life, she wants to go.
BLACKWELL: And now, the Army officer has volunteered for a one- way ticket to the red planet. She's not coming back. She's hoping to be one of the lucky few picked to establish the first human settlement on Mars. PAUL: And Beemer joining us now from Clarkesville, Tennessee. Good morning, Heidi, how are you?
HEIDI BEEMER: Good, how are you?
PAUL: Good. Thank you. I have to tell you, you are one brave woman.
PAUL: Because I'd love to see Mars, right, but I don't know that I'd be willing, essentially, to give up my life for it. Which is what you're doing. What do your family and your friends think of this?
HEIDI BEEMER: My family and friends are very supportive. This is a dream, like you said, I've had for a very long time and they understand the sacrifices I'm going to make. They knew that one day this might possibly come up, they didn't realize it would happen so soon. Neither did I. But they are very supportive and they are just very excited to be part of this, just like I am.
BLACKWELL: So, this mission, if you're selected, one, you're going forever. You're just going to leave Earth and you'll be on Mars. But you've got several years before you leave Earth to go to Mars. What if something happens in the next 11 years that, you know, you marry, you have kids. You find a career you want to dive into here on Earth.
BEEMER: Well, part of this process is actually training. So, by the end of 2015, they're going to select the first 24 to 48 candidates and those people are going to become full-time employees at Mars One. So, they're going to begin their training phase for the next ten years to prepare for this mission. So, we're going to be fully immersed with each other and we're going to be figuring out who our crews are going to be. And so, we're going to create our own family that will then extend on to Mars. So, I'm not that worried about the next ten years because it will be a very exciting time in my life. I'll be learning how to live out my dream. So, by creating that new family, I think I'll be self-fulfilled enough to continue on with my mission.
PAUL: So, what, you know, we look at people on Earth and we get bored here.
PAUL: And what exactly will you do there?
BEEMER: Right now the main mission is going to be science. There's a lot of science that we could do on the surface that robots can't do. So, by going outside the habitat three times a week, we can find answers to the questions that we've always been wondering. Questions that we have spent billions of dollars sending robots to the surface. Robots that only can go about 13 miles at one time. So, by sending humans, we'll be able to go and explore and we'll be able to find new things. A lot of the things that I do here on Earth. I'm a very avid hiker and backpacker. Those are the types of things we'll be doing on Mars.
PAUL: OK, Heidi, I only have a couple of seconds left. But I want to ask you something. Because some scientists have gone on record saying that the gravity and exposure on Mars to solar radiation preclude the possibility of permanent or even extended human habitation. How long do you expect to be able to live there?
BEEMER: Well, according to the data that was collected by the Mars science laboratory as it was traveling to Mars with the radiate meter that was onboard, we have the ability -- the radiation levels are within acceptable limits. We'll be able to live over 60 years on the planet, and that's more than enough time than I would spend here on Earth. So, radiation is a big, major factor, but it's something that we'll never know the answers to until we actually send people there.
BLACKWELL: All right.
PAUL: Well, Heidi Beemer, all the more power to you, girl. Good luck with everything. She has not been chosen yet, we should point out.
BLACKWELL: All right, thank you, Heidi.