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Judge Allows Break; Oscar Pistorius Trial; "The Survivor Diaries"; Flight 370 Search

Aired April 8, 2014 - 08:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So I think she's certainly going to bring that real common sense.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's head back to South Africa. Stay with us, Sunny, because court is resuming right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). I cannot responsibly ask the court to carry on today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what do you want?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we may - we may stand down until tomorrow morning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, Mr. (INAUDIBLE)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can resume tomorrow morning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

We'll stand this matter down until tomorrow at 9:30 in the morning. Court will adjourn.

BOLDUAN: Another unusual move.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: It's 2:30 in the morning - it's 2:30 in the afternoon there.

HOSTIN: Right.

CUOMO: OK? So they have hours left of court time. Defense counsel says he's too emotional, we can't go on. Just as surprising to me that the judge allows it, the prosecutor says, OK, we'll go again tomorrow morning. What do you make of it, Sunny?

HOSTIN: I just -- I've never seen anything like this. And I know that there will be people that say, well, this is the South African judicial system. Listen, courts don't vary that much from place to place, these court proceedings. And I don't know what to make of it. It strikes me as really odd that he is so emotional that he cannot continue his testimony. And again, I think it cuts both ways. I mean, are we seeing the effect on the judge that, you know, wow, OK, you know, he's so emotional, it's because he's traumatized as well, or are we seeing, wow, you know, this is a guy that is so volatile that perhaps he just loses it and is capable of committing this kind of murder.

CUOMO: I remember learning in law school, passion - right, now, passion fuels action and reaction -

HOSTIN: Yes.

CUOMO: Which means it could be consistent. He's really upset now because he's so hyperemotional and that's why he got hyperemotional -

HOSTIN: Yes.

CUOMO: And was able to spark these events in the first place.

HOSTIN: I learned the same thing in law school, Chris.

BOLDUAN: (INAUDIBLE).

CUOMO: You learned it better, though.

BOLDUAN: When I go to law school, I'll learn that as well.

One thing for sure, it's a very unusual morning in Pretoria, in that courtroom, as they've now adjourned for the day. They will be back again tomorrow they said at 9:00, obviously in South Africa, because Oscar Pistorius taking the stand, that pivotal moment, having him recount what happened from his perspective that evening, wailing on the stand, too emotional to continue.

CUOMO: It's going to be a great setup to what will matter most in this trial for this judge, which is watching his story get tested by the prosecution. And that will be picked up tomorrow morning. We'll obviously be following that.

But there's a lot of other news as well. When we come back out of break, we're going to talk about the latest on the search for the plane as searchers work to relocate that pinger audio. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: We have breaking news for you. The Oscar Pistorius trial. Oscar Pistorius broke down on the stand while describing the night he killed Reeva Steenkamp. It was so emotional that the judge actually allowed an adjournment for the rest of the day. It's only like 2:30 in the afternoon there. There were hours yet to go. So, tomorrow morning, it will resume and we will keep covering that.

We're also continuing our coverage of the search for Flight 370. So let's bring in David Soucie, CNN safety analyst, author of "Why Planes Crash," and a former FAA inspector, Mr. David Gallo, he co-lead the search for Air France 447, also a CNN analyst and director of special projects in Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Long certifications. I'm glad I got through them both, Mr. Gallo and Mr. Soucie.

Mr. Gallo, I start with you. We are pinger obsessed. Oh, if the battery is dead. Oh, then we'll never find it. Oh, then all hope is lost. Well, that's exactly what happened in your case of Air France. No pingers at all, but you still found the plane. Yes, it took two years. So what is the lesson?

DAVID GALLO, CNN ANALYST: Well, the lesson is, I mean that -- if you've got the pingers, that's a fantastic way to go because it will take you right to the black boxes. That's the ultimate goal, right? Those are the witnesses to what happened during this tragedy.

But lacking that, you know, already, just by getting those pings, if we can believe in those pings, we can believe that then the search area has really collapsed to something very manageable. So even lacking any more pings, I think there's an area that can be mapped in a reasonable amount of time with different kinds of tools.

CUOMO: Now, cutting against that, David Soucie, is that in 447 they were dealing with a much smaller search area originally. They had a debris field. That's how this usually begins. Here, no debris field. A much larger search area. What does that mean for you?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, at first what I was thinking is that because there was no debris field that perhaps the aircraft went down as one piece. But after talking with the oceanographers and the weather folks about what's going on there, maybe it's not so likely that it's one piece, because, number one, if it was -- if there were debris on top, it would have blown away by now. It probably would have been far from that area.

But, number two is that as the aircraft would sink, even if it did go down as one whole piece, the pressures at that level would have broken the aircraft apart into pieces at that point and caused debris to come up to the top. So, you know, the debris field in relation to the pinger, I'm not drawing a lot of correlation there at this point. But I do believe that this is the pinger. I don't know why we would think that it wasn't the pinger. So that area being closed in is extremely important right now.

CUOMO: All right. So let's get to a point of confusion, Mr. Gallo. I was under the impression that if you get the pinger, you lock on to it, let alone for two hours, that means that you're just a few miles away from this. Why is the search area 30,000 square miles if picking up the pinger means you're just a couple of miles away? What's the disconnect?

GALLO: Yes. Yes, Chris, I think you've got that right. I don't think they're related. I mean if you've got the search area, I believe that big, wide search area is based on the Inmarsat data mostly. The pinger is something totally different. If you've got a good couple of pings, if you're honing in on it, you're pretty close. So if you can believe in that site, we're within about, about know, five miles on the outside. That's still about, oh, 75 square miles, something like that, but it's very doable.

CUOMO: What were you dealing with? How big was your area again, Mr. Gallo?

GALLO: It was 5,000 square miles. It was a circle that had 80-mile diameter. So it was a huge haystack to start looking for the bits of that needle.

CUOMO: It took you two years there. However, different parts of the world, different ocean, different depths, different bentic (ph) problems. Something I had to look into. That means the bottom of the ocean and what's going on there.

GALLO: Sure.

CUOMO: And so even if they lock onto this pinger again, David Soucie, and they start looking with their underwater vehicles, how long can this take and what are they up against?

SOUCIE: Well, it could take quite a while. Again, David Gallo might even know more about this. But with the Bluefin 21, there's a 150 meter swath that can be given, but that's at a very low resolution. So the best you could hope for at that is to pick up some rocks and some other debris of large - of large pieces of debris.

But in order to actually narrow it down and try to find this box, it would have to be much, much closer to the bottom of the ocean, which is only about a 10 meter swath, to be able to get a higher resolution. So, you know, I would think we'd be looking at weeks, weeks at least, even if we agree that it's within that pinger area.

CUOMO: Well, patience is a function of hope, and at least we know that they've had their first good lead that they're working off of. The size is getting smaller. And as we saw from Mr. Gallo's efforts with 447, you can find it even after the pinger ends.

David Soucie, it's great to have you here, as always. David Gallo, thank you as well.

Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right, when we come back, we're going to return to South Africa to talk about the unbelievable testimony in the Oscar Pistorius' murder trial. The blade runner broke down, wailing after describing the night he killed his girlfriend. We're going to bring you that emotional account, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

The Oscar Pistorius trial has adjourned for the day after the Olympian broke down, really violently sobbing on the stand while describing the night he killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Take a listen at the emotional moment that literally shut down court for the day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OSCAR PISTORIUS, ON TRIAL FOR GIRLFRIENDS DEATH: -- she wasn't breathing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We'll take an adjournment. The court will adjourn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people will rise.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Let's bring in CNN legal analyst Kelly Phelps who's in South Africa along with our Robyn Curnow who's been in court monitoring. Kelly, let me ask you what do we know about this judge in terms of her predisposition to sympathy? She called that adjournment.

Later defense counsel said Oscar Pistorius' shirt is soaking wet. He cannot go on. Prosecutors don't object and the judge says, "Fine, we'll end trial early today, hours early, and resume tomorrow." Unusual for her?

KELLY PHELPS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't think it's unusual, actually. It's in the court's interest that a witness can give a clear and sober account of their version of events because it is that court record that the judge has to rely on so squarely in determining the outcome of the case.

So if any witness were visibly in such an emotional state, that they can no longer properly engage with their testimony it is predictable and fitting that the judge would call for an adjournment. I'd certainly think it would cause her to sympathize with him on a human level, because it's a judge-led system, it's very unlikely that that will actually sway her determination of the matter. It may sway how she dealt with this court session, but very unlikely to sway her actual decision on the outcome.

BOLDUAN: That, of course, Robyn, is what a lot of people are wondering as she called for the surprisingly early adjournment today. What impact does this have on tomorrow?

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's just going to be business as usual in the sense that Oscar Pistorius is going to have to clearly and competently describe in detail what happened next. And as Kelly said, I mean that is his right. It's his legal right. It's also -- he has to do it. I mean that is what is expected of him in court.

So he's obviously going to have to get himself together. Compose himself and he's going to have to come back here and explain what happened next in that story. So we know that we kind of stopped the narrative, essentially, when he discovered, found Reeva's body inside the bathroom.

He said he sat over her. He didn't know how long he had spent I think as he described trying to figure out in his head what he had done. So what happens next -- well, that's going to continue on day three. And, of course, there's all that detail, the timeline of who he called next, how he carried her down the stairs. Who came in to the house? And that is all very important in terms of his defense.

CUOMO: Kelly, what did you make of the difference from Oscar Pistorius when he's talking about how in the beginning he was basically just reacting? He couldn't think. He didn't think to look for Reeva. He was just paralyzed with fear, but then once he starts to think it could be Reeva, now there's a lot of deliberate action going on with him.

What did you think about the difference in mindset that he presented up on the stand?

PHELPS: I didn't necessarily think there was a huge difference in mindset. It was rather what his deliberate action was targeted towards. So for example when he was speaking about his version of his fear of an intruder and why he believed the noises that he heard and why it made him think that he and Reeva were in danger, you did hear deliberate action. It was very targeted action.

He thought I need to protect myself and Reeva. I need to get my gun. He fetched his gun. He went cautiously down the passageway, very aware of looking at all different angles that a potential intruder could be hiding. That in itself is quite goal-directed behavior.

And then conversely, when he says he had the shocking realization that it may, in fact, be Reeva Steenkamp in the toilet that he had shot at, he then shifts that goal-directed behavior towards trying to access her and get help for her. So there was certainly goal-directed target of behavior the whole way through. It's just a matter of what he believed he was directing that behavior towards.

BOLDUAN: And his perception is key in this, as he is the only living witness to the night's events. The court adjourned early today. They'll start again tomorrow morning. You have both been there through it all. An amazing, unbelievable testimony we've heard from Oscar Pistorius today.

We'll continue to cover that, of course. Robyn Curnow, Kelly Phelps, thank you so much for that.

Let's take a break, though. Coming up next on NEW DAY, a dancer who survived the Boston bombing but had to have her leg amputated shares her journey -- an unbelievable journey. She's vowing to dance again and do it with our own Anderson Cooper. You'll want to hear her story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADRIANNE HASLET-DAVIS, BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING SURVIVOR: It feels really good just to stand up right now. I haven't stood up in a really long time. I almost forgot what it felt like. It reminds me of dancing, and I just so desperately want that again. And I'm so close. It feels really good. I feel like I could do this all day. (END VIDEO CLIP)

PEREIRA: That's a clip from a CNN special report "THE SURVIVOR DIARIES" which follows the incredible journey of Adrianne Haslet- Davis. She's a professional dancer, you'll recall. She had her leg amputated after the Boston Marathon bombing. Adrianne documented her progress in very personal video diaries capturing her emotional road to recovery.

The riveting documentary is hosted by our Anderson Cooper. They both join us. Adrianne Haslet-Davis and Anderson Cooper join us now. And this is a friendship that we watched and you will get to see this in the CNN special. We'll talk about that in a moment. What a pleasure and delight to see you and with that beautiful smile on your face as always.

HASLET-DAVIS: Thank you. It's wonderful to be here.

PEREIRA: How are you doing today?

HASLET-DAVIS: Today's a good day. You know, I celebrate when you have good days. There are good and bad days. And now, I'm happy to say there are more good days than bad days -- just exactly where I'd want to be in a year.

BOLDUAN: I would say that you're further along than anyone could ever wish that you would be.

HASLET-DAVIS: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: I mean through this documentary, and people must watch this, you will laugh and you will absolutely cry in watching your journey. We follow your journey through very personal video diaries that you do yourself. It made me wonder, did it help, do you think, in your recovery because at times it was very difficult for you as well.

HASLET-DAVIS: Absolutely. It definitely helped in my recovery, and it was difficult, because I kept having both thoughts of this could be too sad or this could be too gruesome, or just a crazy thought to be able to capture, or the opposite. You know? Maybe I shouldn't capture this happy moment, because maybe other survivors aren't having those happy moments. And you have a little bit of, I'm doing so well guilt, that particular day. So, yes, difficult on both ends of the spectrum.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: We went to the hospital a couple days after, and Adrianne kindly agreed to talk to us, and you know, I knew she was going to dance again. I mean I had confidence. I mean I was like, she's going to run again, and she's going to run the marathon -- she will do whatever she sets her mind to do because that's who she is.

You could tell even in those early days in the hospital just how -- I mean she's just a remarkable person. And she is -- she is incredibly driven and she had this incredible attitude that I think really touched a spark with a lot of people, and we got so much response from the interview that we did together.

So many people called me up and wanted to talk to Adrianne, and you know, it was -- I just found her so empowering in those really dark, difficult days. She was sort of this ray of light, and continues to be. And I think that's what's cool about the documentary that Adrianne's also not afraid to talk about the days that aren't so good and there are plenty of those days.

CUOMO: Important for people to remember, it wasn't a given. I remember being up there in Boston with Coop and hearing about your story and thinking, "Wow, I wonder which way you'll take this situation," because you were such a high level professional dancer. That could have meant, "I'll never get back to that level so I'll never do it." Or "I'm going to be more driven than ever before." What helped you make that decision that you will get back?

HASLET-DAVIS: You know I -- well, it helps to say it on national television, right?

COOPER: That's right. You sort of committed to it early. Like day two you were committed, yes.

HASLET-DAVIS: I'm going to do this.

COOPER: And I sort of committed to dancing with you, which --

PEREIRA: we will get to that, by the way.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Why did I do that?

HASLET-DAVIS: I was heavily medicated. I don't know what your excuse was.

COOPER: Well, you should have been. You should have been medicated.

Were you?

HASLET-DAVIS: Yes. Heavily medicated.

COOPER: I didn't realize that.

HASLET-DAVIS: I was. I was. You know, the whole leg amputation thing --

CUOMO: It turns out Coop was also -- he had to deal with another documentary.

PEREIRA: There was a promise made. There was a promise made -- right.

COOPER: You know, I just want it to be said that I do live up to my promises.

PEREIRA: Yes he does. BOLDUAN: You're a man of honor and that --

COOPER: And more defying as those promises. Now, my promise at the time was sort of like one of those, "Hey, when you dance again, I'll do the dance lesson with you."

HASLET-DAVIS: You've got it.

COOPER: Thinking, like, this is not really going to happen --

HASLET-DAVIS: She is never going to --

COOPER: She's drugged up. She's not going to remember it. You know? She's going to have other things on her mind.

BOLDUAN: Does he have two left feet?

HASLET-DAVIS: He does not have two left feet.

COOPER: I stepped on her prosthetic leg.

PEREIRA: Stop being kind, Adrianne.

COOPER: I think I stepped on your prosthetic leg.

CUOMO: That is wrong on several levels. Was it intentional?

COOPER: No. I have two left feet and I'm just terrible.

HASLET-DAVIS: I have no left foot.

COOPER: I know. I know.

BOLDUAN: There you go. That's her point to the dancing pair.

COOPER: I mean Adrianne was so sweet trying to teach me how to dance. I'm the worst dancer. I've never ballroom danced or anything.

PEREIRA: Well, you know, and I don't think I'm giving away anything by saying this. Your parents are involved in some of the videos as well. One of the things that's your mother said that moved me was that you chose to heal with happiness. Do you remember making a choice, or was it really more about just trying every day the best you could?

HASLET-DAVIS: I definitely made a choice, and then you try every day the best you can, but you have to make a choice. I mean, to be honest, you know, a lot of people had asked me, how are you able to stay so positive, Anderson as well.

And really the reality is I lived. You know? I thought that I wouldn't, and I did. And I think that that's a huge reason to be happy in itself. and then after that, it's just making the choice every day, and I know every day when I have bad days that if I let myself go down that path of feeling incredibly sorry for myself and in the fetal position and crying, which I still have those days, if I stay there too long, then I know he wins.

PEREIRA: You are no victim, my dear.

HASLET-DAVIS: No.

PEREIRA: And I want to urge people to see this fantastic special. Anderson, thank you so much for helping bring this story to us, because you said it is important for all of us -- right? It's a CNN Special Report, "THE SURVIVOR DIARIES", it premieres tonight. It is must-see television -- people. 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

She really is a tremendous young lady. Once again, CNN Special Report "THE SURVIVOR DIARIES", tonight 10:00 p.m., only on CNN.

And with that we wrap up NEW DAY and we turn to Carol Costello. Time for "NEWSROOM". Good morning my dear.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Can't wait to see that special. Thanks so much, Michaela, have a great day. "NEWSROOM" starts now.

Happening now in the "NEWSROOM" --

Time is running out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today is another critical day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Officials waiting for another signal from the pinger.