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Woman Claims She's A Serial Killer; Barkley Interviews Obama; Colorado Avalanche; Dunn Found Guilty of Attempted Murder

Aired February 17, 2014 - 14:00   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Want to begin this hour with a murder defendant who is coming clean in a - really a stomach-turning kind of way. Reportedly once a victim herself, this 19-year-old woman now says she has victimized many. In a jailhouse interview, Miranda Barbour tells a Pennsylvania newspaper she has killed too many to count. Barbour is charged with the murder of a man she and her husband allegedly lured through a Craigslist ad. Police say they don't believe her yet about these other killings, but they are indeed looking into it. Here's CNN's Susan Candiotti.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A stunning new development in the case of accused killer Miranda Barbour. Barbour and her newlywed husband are currently charged with luring a man to a meeting using Craigslist, then stabbing and strangling him just for the thrill of it in Sunbury, Pennsylvania. She now claims to be a serial killer with so many victims she can't remember them all. "When I hit 22, I stopped counting," she told "The Daily Item" newspaper in Pennsylvania. She says she went on her alleged killing spree in Alaska, Texas, California, and North Carolina. But do police believe her?

CHIEF STEVE MAZZEO, SUNBURY, PENNSYLVANIA, POLICE: I don't want to discount her credibility. At this point we're taking her claims seriously. We are liaisoning with different state and federal authorities to determine whether or not there is validity to her statements.

CANDIOTTI: The newspaper quotes Barbour admitting to the Craigslist murder and 22 plus others. "I feel it is time to get all of this out. I don't care if people believe me. I just want to get it out," she told a newspaper. Sunbury Police told CNN their investigation is ongoing.

MAZZEO: We have exhausted every avenue, every lead. We've devoted literally thousands of man hours to this and will continue to do so until it is successfully resolved in court.

CANDIOTTI: According to the paper, Barbour says she was 13 when a satanic cult leader forced her to help him shoot a man who owned him money. She claims she went on killing.


BALDWIN: Susan Candiotti -

CANDIOTTI: Now, female serial - oh, sorry.

BALDWIN: No, no - just joining me now. I just -- I'm sorry, I wanted to jump at this. I have so many questions beginning with, from what I've read, Susan Candiotti, that this woman's attorney didn't even know this interview happened. So, how did it happen?

CANDIOTTI: Well, she requested it. The newspaper reporter from "The Daily Item" had wanted to speak with her. She finally reached out to him. He went in there. He was not allowed to bring in a note pad or any kind of recording device. The jailhouse instead recorded audio of the interview and then he was allowed to listen back to that audio recording and that's how he got the precise quotes.

BALDWIN: When you read these quotes, when she says, "when I hit 22, I stopped counting." I know I'm talking to a criminologist in a little bit who just, quite honestly, isn't buying this. I mean what are the chances she's making this whole thing up?

CANDIOTTI: Well, you know, that's what a lot of people want to know. That's the obvious question to ask. Certainly female serial killers are very rare. But based on what police say they know so far, one law enforcement source is saying this could very well be real. And that's in part because they have heard very much the same thing from some of her family, they say from some of her friends, according to our source, as well as from her husband. So this is the first time, however, they said they're hearing it from her. They're looking into it.

BALDWIN: Susan Candiotti for us. Susan, thank you.

As we mentioned, we'll talk to that criminologist who was pretty skeptical of this young woman's story.

Now to some of the hottest stories in a flash. We call it "Rapid Fire." Roll it.

A copilot has hijacked his own flight, taking over the airliner in a desperate mission for asylum. The plane left Ethiopia last night, bound for Rome. But when the pilot left the cockpit for the restroom, that co-pilot seized his chance. He locked that cockpit door and rerouted the plane to Geneva, Switzerland. The airliner did land safely. The co-pilot escaped through the cockpit window using a rope before ultimately, as you can see, surrendering to police.

And five of the seven Japanese women who disappeared during a diving excursion near Bali are found alive. Search and rescue teams say fishermen found four of those women today. Rescuers later found the fifth survivor in that same area. And so now they're being treated at Bali hospitals. The seven Japanese women, two dive instructors and five tourists failed to return to the surface after their dive back on Friday.

And a body found floating on the Manhattan side of the Hudson River has been identified as a fashion designer to the stars, 55-year-old Michele Savoia, best known for his handcrafted suits worm by celebrities on the red carpet and in Broadway shows. He was last seen partying at this New York night club on Thursday. Police say there is no sign of foul play.

And now to the 22nd winter games in Sochi. Two Americans, Charlie White and Meryl Davis, have just become the first Americans to win Olympic gold for ice dancing. The two were world champions in the sport last year, also in 2011. Plus, it's not exactly the moment Bode Miller won a bronze medal, but the moments after that so many people are talking about today, because this Olympic skier here broke down after placing third in the men's super g and a lot of people are criticizing NBC sports reporter Christin Cooper, a former Olympian herself by the way, for pushing Miller to talk about his brother who died just last year.


CHRISTIN COOPER, NBC SPORTS REPORTER: We see there and it just looks like you're talking to somebody. What's going on there?


BALDWIN: There's a lot more to this story coming up next hour. We will hear how Bode Miller actually has now come to the defense here of the voice you just heard, that NBC sports reporter.

So, what happens when you have an NBA hall of famer interviewing the president of the United States? Well, of course, you talked basketball, but you also get some unforgettable sound bites. Coming up next, Sir Charles Barkley's fascinating sit-down with President Barack Obama.

And if you are one of the million who enjoys listening to Pandora, have you heard this? This company says they know your politics. And you won't believe what they're planning to do with that information.


BALDWIN: For those of you not working, you know it's a holiday. It is President's Day. And so on this President's Day, here's a question, how do you think President Obama's doing? Take a look at this CNN poll of polls and we can tell you that 42 percent of Americans surveyed approve of the way the president handles his job. Fifty-three percent, by the way, disapprove.

Last February, it was an opposite story, 52 percent of respondents gave the president a thumbs up and 43 percent did not approve of how he was handling his job. The poll is an average of three national surveys.

And speaking of the president here, NBA hall of famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley paid a visit to the president pretty recently. The NBA star sat down with President Obama in the Oval Office for an interview before the big NBA all-star game over the weekend in New Orleans. So, of course, they talked basketball, but Sir Charles also asked the president about politics as well, specifically asking the president if he even likes the name Obamacare. Take a listen.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I like it. I don't mind. And I tell you, five years from now when everybody's saying, man, I'm sure glad we got health care, there are going to be a whole bunch of people who don't call it Obamacare anymore because they don't want me to get the credit.


BALDWIN: Joe Johns joins me from the White House.

And, Joe Johns, I mean it was a fun interview, six or seven minutes to watch, you know, talking Obamacare, talking LeBron James. I loved the sound bite when both of these guys were talking about, you know, waking up over the age of 50 and feeling some aches and pains along with that.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a fascinating, fascinating interview.


JOHNS: And, Brooke, one of the things that I found most interesting was because it was Charles Barkley interviewing the president, Barkley took a turn and started asking the president about Eric Holder and the Justice Department's latest moves to try to put gays and lesbians on equal legal footing in this country.


JOHNS: The president took that opportunity to sort of turn it around and talk about two African-American trailblazers in professional sports and the discrimination that they had faced along the way. Listen to how the president sort of talks about how this issue of gays and lesbians in America is now bigger than sports. Take a listen.


OBAMA: Think about basketball. I mean, you know, you think about what the NBA was before African-Americans were allowed to play on an equal footing. You know, you think about some of the stories that, even folks like Oscar Robertson, you know, tell what they went through. You know, you think about what Jackie Robinson ended up meant, not just to baseball, but to the entire society. I wouldn't be sitting here if it weren't for him. You know, I think America is stronger where everything is being treated, you know, with respect and dignity.


JOHNS: In that same interview, the president also applauded Michael Sam, the college football standout who took the opportunity before he was even drafted to announce that he was gay. So a lot of interesting conversation in that interview on TNT, Brooke. BALDWIN: Just one more sound bite, Joe Johns, I'd love to toss to you because, you know, I think it's actually Charles Barkley's birthday this Thursday, speaking of getting a little older in our years. Take a listen to this.


CHARLES BARKLEY, FORMER NBA PLAYER: How often do you get to play basketball now?

OBAMA: You know, these days it's probably once a month. You know, things happen. One is, you just get a little older and creekier.

BARKLEY: Uh-huh.

OBAMA: The second thing is, you've got to start thinking about elbows and you break your nose right before a State of the Union Address.


JOHNS: That's funny.

BALDWIN: Right, it's just a fun -


BALDWIN: It's a fun sound bite. I thought it was great. I was - Charles Barkley's become a friend, just being on this show, and texted him on Friday and I said, look at you, you know, from Birmingham, Alabama, to sitting with the president. And he said, Brooke, I am just blessed all the way around. I know he'll be on with Wolf Blitzer coming up in "The Situation Room." Joe Johns, thank you very much.

And now to snow and ice and high winds. This winter has been pretty brutal for most of the country, but it's also caused a deadly situation in the mountains of Colorado. Two skiers died in an avalanche. Up next, we'll talk to Chad Myers about what exactly causes these dangerous conditions, why this year, how this could actually get worse.

Also, fallout over the verdicts in the loud music murder trial not going away. Coming up, how our legal debate on how the jury deadlocked on what some are calling the most important verdict in this case.


BALDWIN: Record snowfall, rapid warning and strong winds add up to just really dangerous conditions in the mountains of Colorado. Officials in Colorado say that is what's behind this deadly weekend avalanche in the back country of the Rocky Mountains because we now know that recovery steams found not just one but two skiers' bodies yesterday buried in steep terrain in the mountains east of Aspen. They were part of a group of seven who were skiing Saturday in the Twin Lakes area when that avalanche hit. The other five skiers did survive, but Saturday's avalanche follows a string of deadly snow slides. Colorado's Avalanche Center actually says the snowpack is "teetering on the brink of critical mass," that is a direct quote from them, and warns of unusual conditions in the Rocky Mountains right now.

So, Chad Myers, I wanted to talk about this today because I know this winter seems particularly rough and when you think about it out west, why is that?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: There have been 130 percent of normal for snowpack. Even some spots 145. Now, that's not a lot. That's not record-breaking snow.


MYERS: But they've had record breaking snow days. Like one day will be four feet. Well, all of a sudden, that four feet gets really heavy. And it's on top of other snow that's been there a while and it wants to slide off.

BALDWIN: Uh-huh.

MYERS: So that's what they've been having. One day after another it snows and all of a sudden you don't have a homogenous layer of snow. You have snow that break apart and it eventually slides. So, 130 to 150 percent of normal this year and it is still snowing in some spots.

We go from low to considerable to high and extreme where the avalanche was only moderate and now considerable in some other areas around there. But all of the mountains, we're not even to that four or five. We'll call it category four or category five. We're category two and category three.

But what has happened, Brooke, is that for a very long time, the wind had blown in from the northwest. And that has loaded the slopes on the western slopes with snow. But also something that's done is blown the snow over the top and it lands here. And it lands here. Just like you'll get a drift on the side of your house that doesn't have the wind blowing. And all of that snow piling up on these steep slopes here, called slabbing (ph) on the top and the overhangs here will slide down those hills at times and that's what happened east of Aspen in the Twin Lakes area yesterday.

BALDWIN: Listen, I'm lucky to get down a Black Diamond Run gracefully at all, but these -- some of these really amazing skiers head out and they have to know ahead of time, right? I mean I know some of them have, what, avalanche packs.

MYERS: Right (ph).

BALDWIN: They are prepared in the case this happens.

MYERS: They have beacons on their bodies that will say I'm here, I'm here, I'm here.


MYERS: And these skiers did have that. But they couldn't get to them in time. They were buried in such deep, steep terrain that, you know, people love to go hell (ph) skiing and things like that which literally means you get in a helicopter, to the top of the mountain and ski down by yourself or with a couple other people.


MYERS: This is not kind of one of those weeks or months, I don't think, to probably do that in that country that's been loaded like this. This is really snow loading because of the northwest wind that has been going from the same direction for so long, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Just be careful this winter.

Chad Myers, thank you very, very much for that.

MYERS: You're welcome.

BALDWIN: And now to this. Despite a trial and a verdict, there is still no sense of peace for Jordan Davis' family. He was the teenager Michael Dunn was accused of killing at that gas station over loud music. Michael Dunn was convicted of attempted murder over the weekend, but the jury couldn't agree on a verdict in Davis' death. So what caused the jury to deadlock? What happened? Our legal debate, coming up next. You're watching CNN.


BALDWIN: It is one day now after what would have been Jordan Davis' 19th birthday. But instead of a party, his family is reacting to the verdict returned by a jury in the trial of the man who killed him. Saturday night Michael Dunn was found guilty on four of five counts, but the jury deadlocked on the most significant charge, that being first-degree murder in the death of Jordan Davis. The teen was shot and killed at a gas station parking lot after some sort of dispute over loud music. This was November of 2012. His parents, who could be seen in the courtroom every day of this trial, reacted to the verdict.


LUCIA MCBATH, JORDAN DAVIS' MOTHER: We are so grateful for the truth. We are so grateful that the jurors were able to understand the common sense of it all. And we will continue to stand and we will continue to wait for justice for Jordan.

RON DAVIS, JORDAN DAVIS' FATHER: I thank you all for seeing that we, as parents, were good parents to Jordan. That he was a - he was a good kid. He wasn't allowed to sit in the courtroom, but he was a good kid. But we'll say it, he was a good kid.

CROWD: Justice for Jordan Davis. Justice for Jordan Davis. Justice for Jordan Davis. Justice for Jordan Davis. Justice for Jordan Davis.


BALDWIN: And you see these. Many in the teen's hometown of Jacksonville, Florida, and really beyond, were absolutely furious with the outcome of the trial. Right now, a rally is going on at the gas station where Jordan Davis was killed.

Meantime, Michael Dunn will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars. His daughter talked to ABC's "Good Morning America."


REBECCA DUNN, DAUGHTER OF MICHAEL DUNN: I love him so much. He's my best friend. (INAUDIBLE) like - like I can't imagine life - living life without him. He's going to protect himself. If he sees no other way than other - you know, (INAUDIBLE), that's what he's going to do.


BALDWIN: Let's bring in our two legal minds here, HLN legal analyst Joe Jackson and CNN legal analyst Danny Cevallos joining me here.

And welcome to both of you. And, listen, this is sticky each way you cut it. Joey Jackson, let me just begin with you, because for people who weren't watching, especially on Saturday, how did that happen? How did those jurors decide on attempted murder, and those three counts, yet they couldn't decide - they were deadlocked on that murder one charge?

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Sure. Well, what happens, Brooke, is that whenever you have the claim of self-defense, it's predicated upon your perception and do you reasonably perceive that someone represents a deadly threat to you. And in this case, of course, there was no physical confrontation, there was no fight, but you have the argument and apparently the jury or some jurors found it compelling that there was a reasonable perception here by Mr. Dunn that he could have been under attack.

And the reason I say that, Brooke, is because, remember, first degree murder was charged and the jury, if they felt that, you know, we're going to reject your claim of reasonable fear, we're going to reject self-defense. They had an option, the jury did, Brooke, of putting it down from first degree, dropping down to second, where you don't need premeditation. They could have even gone to manslaughter, where you need culpable negligence.

BALDWIN: But they did none of the above.

JACKSON: The jury didn't do that. Exactly. And so what you're left with, Brooke, is the idea that there was a faction on that jury, whether it was one, we don't know, they haven't spoken, whether it was two jurors, we don't know, whether it was deadlocked, but someone on that jury believed Mr. Dunn's indication that he was in reasonable fear.

Last point, Brooke, and that's this. We know that the jury rejected that claim as it related to the other three teens. Why? Because they convicted of attempted murder. And the rationality for that was, there were volleys of shots here that Dunn fired. And so clearly, on the first volley of shots, they felt maybe he was justified. But as the teens began to go away and retreat from that parking lot and he continued to fire, they rejected it and said, you exceed the bounds of self-defense there. You're guilty of attempting to kill them.

BALDWIN: OK. Danny, I want to hear your voice on this because I've also heard you say, and, Joey, and I think - I think the key word, you know, that I heard from you was perception, perception there.


BALDWIN: You - Danny, you've said that this has been a fascinating self-defense case raising all kinds of issues such as --

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, first the issue of plight. This is something you didn't see in the Zimmerman case. This is a person who left the scene and that is evidence of consciousness of guilt. And also you have multiple shots fired, which is also evidence of an intent to use deadly force.

But what is fascinating about this case is that the jury's verdict, unlike many other jury verdicts, gives us a real look into their thought process. We know that they convicted on attempted second- degree murder, which many commentators have felt was the proper charge.

So we can reasonably guess that when it came to second degree murder for Jordan Davis, they got hung up on the issues of either self- defense or simply the complexity of the jury instructions.

If you read the jury instructions for all the murders and all the manslaughters in Florida and in really every jurisdiction, they can be very complicated and they don't get any easier just because a judge reads them slowly and out loud to a bunch of