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Hurricane Arthur Makes Landfall; More Protests Expected Over Border Crisis; Bombshell Revelations in Preliminary Hearing Against Justin Harris

Aired July 4, 2014 - 06:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Good to have you back with us here on NEW DAY.

We are tracking breaking news. Hurricane Arthur barreling up the East Coast, making its way now towards Virginia. We have some video from last night. Check this out. Arthur announcing his arrival with torrential rain coming down in thick sheets, strong wind, big waves.

Meteorologist Indra Petersons is live in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

We've been hearing a lot about power outages where you are. That wind is still a really big factor.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. This is definitely a huge wind event and the last time I checked in with you, guys, the rain coming in very hard. The very first time I saw you guys this morning, we saw the eye pass next to it making its way offshore and we started off this morning with a very strong easterly wind, and it kind of calmed down. Last time, it's really strong winds coming in from the north. Well now switching that wind direction from kind of a northerly to more of a westerly direction as we get on the back side of the system and now the rain, that's one of the big things here. The rain is really coming down hard.

Still getting pretty good gusts here and there, like 0 to 50-mile-per- hour gusts is what I'm hearing. Hard to say the exact numbers because of the observation of areas are right next to us. That's the best we can tell you right now. I tried to throw an anemometer up here, but, you know, what's even working it's so windy out here.

So, one of the big concerns now remains to be the storm surge because now that we switched this wind direction off of the sound coming in from the west, what we're going to be seeing is that really shallow water really pile up quickly as it returns back to the east. I say return. I constantly emphasize this because the winds are coming from the east first to push all of that water out of sound.

Now, I'm losing my hate here. All that water is now rushing back in, and since it's shallower, it comes in very quickly. When you talk about three or four foot storm surge, that's what people predicted, people say that's not a big of a deal. It's three or four feet above the ground, guys. So, you're talking

about water this high. That takes lives. One of the biggest reason people lose their lives from hurricanes, and that's the danger that is coming in as we speak.

Now, as far as where I am right here, right now, we can tell them, the beach -- we're losing. Look at this big drop-off here on the beach. This is the beach erosion that's already occurred from the storm, seeing a huge drop-off. That's one of the concerns of the little damage that we have seen here. But, of course, farther down to the South, around Highway 12, really keep hearing about this water rising up and still having the potential. Not in a westerly wind direction. We have the potential here farther to the north and off the sound as well, that we could see some of that water kind of making its way, and that's going to be the biggest impact we're going to be watching forward now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Nasty surf there behind you, Indra, and it's clearly the winds are kick around. Know how strong you are.

We're hearing from county officials down there that they have just now, as lights are coming up and the curfew is expiring, just now sending out emergency crews to get a check of just what damage there is, what flooding there is, where they need to focus their efforts, so we'll be getting a better picture throughout the morning of really what they're dealing with as folks are going to be trying to head back in. But they say, be careful, we're going to be doing that.

We'll be heading back to Indra in just a second.

Let's head now, though, to Christine Romans. Christine has been pulling together some of the best from our iReporters, viewers like you who've been helping us cover the storm. You're the eyes and ears on the ground.

Christine, what are you seeing?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And they're seeing so many really interesting things. We have lots of amazing photos and video coming in for you this morning, over social media, CNN iReport.

I want to show you the latest. These photos were snapped by Michael Chory (ph) in Oak Island, North Carolina. You can see things getting rough on that North Carolina shore with this photo was taken yesterday afternoon.

Now, Michael is actually vacationing from Columbus, Ohio and captured the first band of the storm of Arthur rolling on store. He also reported tornado sirens going off in the early afternoon hours as well. You know, pretty scary scene he said unfolding there. You can see that, wow, look at the heavy surf. Another shot for the beach on Oak Island.

Stay safe, everybody when you're out there iReporting. You don't know when things can turn to the worse when these squals to the shore. So, that's our warning there. But do send us in what you're seeing.

Coming to us from Myrtle Beach, a really cool time lapse video, really cool time lapse from Danny Tennenbalm (ph) actually shot with an iPhone over the span of ten minutes. Watch there. It gives you a pretty unique glance of Arthur actually moving on shore, gets darker and darker.

And what always surprises me the number of people, people are always drawn to the surf for these stores. Be very, very careful. That time lapse really cool showing you over ten minutes with the iPhone how the bands get darker and darker and start to lap onshore.

Keep the photos and videos coming to us. Go to, submit the best of what you're seeing. And stay safe. We have to say it again. Stay safe. If you're tweeting, make sure you use the Hurricane Arthur photos using the #newday and #hurricanearthur.


PEREIRA: Yes, and that's the temptation there, as the weather starts to get better, after the storm passes people think the danger is clear, let's go back to the beach because we want to salvage part of our holiday and they still --

BOLDUAN: You'll get to it, just be careful today, right?

PEREIRA: Yes, and even tomorrow. It sounds like Indra is saying those currents could last and stick around and the surge as well.

We're going to keep following the hurricane and track Arthur as it heads north. We're going to tell you what you can expect for those Fourth of July plans that might need some modification.

BOLDUAN: Just slight modifications.

Plus, growing outrage in a small California town as more undocumented immigrants are expected to arrive there. A move many in the community have called an invasion. Details coming up.



RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hurricane Arthur now making landfall here in coastal North Carolina. It's not pack being a lot of rain where I am, but the winds are extremely strong and if you take a look at the sky, you can see them lighting up and that's not lightning. Those are transformers blowing out meaning people are without power most likely at this point but, again, not a lot of rain, but we are seeing very strong winds as it makes its way to land.


BOLDUAN: That's our Rene Marsh in the thick of it in the middle of the storm as it was really coming through. We're going to be checking in with those moments throughout the morning to take a look at what you should expect as Hurricane Arthur starts moving on from North Carolina but our Indra Petersons is on the ground and she is feeling the effects as we speak.

Let's get to another story, though, that we're following and following closely. More protests are expected today in Murrieta, California. That is the town that's bracing for the next wave of busses transferring undocumented immigrants. There are fears that the citizen could be even uglier than what they say there earlier this week.

Dozens of angry protesters turned out, forcing three buses of undocumented immigrants to be turned away. They had to be rerouted to another facility they had been transferred, they were trying to get to a facility because they were being moved from an overwhelmed border facilities in Texas.

CNN's Kyung Lah has been taking a look at it. And she's looking at what's next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Attention U.S. Border Patrol.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A lone Internet radio host and his sidekick continue to protest outside the border patrol station in Murrieta, California.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are bringing this in.

LAH: He and others promise they will be out in force for an anticipated Fourth of July arrival for more undocumented immigrants to this facility, a move dividing and polarizing this once quiet bedroom community in southern California.


LAH: After this, a blockade by protesters forcing three buses of 140 undocumented migrants from Central America, many of them women and children, to leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Use the word illegal aliens.

LAH: Then, a heated town hall, pitting resident against resident along cultural lines. Murrieta is this week's ground zero for U.S. immigration policy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think that the city is prepared for this. I don't think so.

LAH: What's driving these two sides? Murrieta resident Steve Hesson who runs a plumbing company and never took a political stand before has gone from a bus protest to verbal sparring at the town hall and promised to keep the heat on.

STEVE HESSON, MURRIETA RESIDENT: These people are probably so excited to be here, and all of a sudden they look out their windows going oh, my gosh, what's happening?

LAH (on camera): You are blocking their way in.

HESSON: Not because of them, because of standing firm, letting the officials know this is not the right way to handle this.

LAH (voice-over): On the other side, Murrieta resident Lupillo Rivera, better known for his partying Mexican music has suddenly become for the migrant side a new hero.

CROWD: Lupillo! Lupillo!

LAH: After this protester spit in his face and other slung visual and verbal slurs at him.



LUPILLO RIVERA, MURRIETA RESIDENT: Completely uncalled for. We are here in a protest. In a protest, we act like adults. We're not here to fight.

LAH: Mirroring the national fight, both sides digging in and refusing to back down on this Independence Day.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Murrieta, California.


PEREIRA: Hopefully tensions will subside. Some conversation needs to happen. Action needs to happen, but name-calling and hurling insults at one another is not making any of this any easier.

BOLDUAN: A lot of passion on both sides and that town is caught up in the middle of a national debate that's going on right now.

PEREIRA: Sweet little town otherwise.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, more of our breaking Hurricane Arthur coverage. We're going to be bringing you everything you need to know. Take a look at that surf.

Stay with us.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to a special Hurricane Arthur edition of NEW DAY. We' are going to be getting right to the storm coverage, where things are standing right now with that mean storm.

We also want to turn to another story we've been covering very closely, a troubling case out of Georgia. Startling details were revealed in court about Justin Ross Harris, the father accused of leaving his toddler to die in a hot car. A detective testified that Harris was sending explicit text messages to some six women, one of them believed to be underage, as his son was left dying in the car, and Harris also, other details coming out, he had two life insurance policies out on the toddler. We are going to let you hear some of the testimony yourselves.


PHILIP STODDARD, COBB COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT: Ross must have left him in the car. And they tried to console her and they we're like, no, there's a thousand reasons. He could have taken him to lunch or something. We don't know yet and she's like no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you uncover anything in what he was doing during that day while his child was out in the car?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay. What did you uncover?

STODDARD: He was having up to six different conversations with different women, it appeared, from the messages, from kick mostly, which is a messaging service.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These conversations he was having with these females, were -- of what nature were they?

STODDARD: The most common term would be sexting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was there anything about prison or anything like that you noticed in the web searches?

STODDARD: He did. He also did a search how to survive prison. They had two policies on Cooper, first was a $2,000 policy through Home Depot and the other was a $25,000 policy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did his wife ever say anything to him about what he said to police?

STODDARD: She asked him -- She had him sit down and he starts going through this and she looks at him and she said, well, did you say too much?


BOLDUAN: Wow, let bring in CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Danny Cevallos to discuss.

Danny, there's a lot to get to in this, just the saddest story you ever heard. No.1, to remember the most important part, a 22-month-old little boy died in a hot car which as we all know is a horrible death, as the medical examiner testified yesterday. What stuck out to you? What was kind of the most -- maybe the way to ask it is the most surprising thing that came out? This was just a probable cause hearing.

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LGAL ANALYST: So many surprising things. What a leading question right there. First, America got to see what a preliminary hearing is all about. It's not a trial. It's the prosecution's show, but they have a very light burden to meet. But far and away the most shocking other than the time, these are usually very short, these preliminary hearings. It was the evidence, and we'd heard scuttlebutt that there would be shock evidence and the prosecution delivered. Now there's evidence of what we call motive, that he was sexting with other women, up to six different women. One may have been under 18.

But what's really surprising, and I want people to think about, and we're seeing this a lot in these cases, the prosecution increasingly introducing evidence of what we call motive. Motive is why somebody does something. Not necessarily intent. Evidence to intent is evidence he may have looked in the back of the car or that he kissed the child good-bye, that shows that this was not a mistake but rather he conciously left the child in the car.

BOLDUAN: So in layman's terms they are going to the motive of why he might want to do it. That's maybe the problem for the prosecution that he did it. He had intent to leave this kid, that it wasn't a mistake, because that's what the defense was pretty much hitting on.

CEVALLOS: Absolutely. That was the thrust of the defense's argument and their objections. They said, hey, judge, we're going pretty far afield, we're introducing evidence of why this guy is such a creepy guy and he is engaging in creepy behavior with other women. That is not necessarily evidence that he intentionally left the child in the car.

BOLDUAN: Creepy doesn't necessarily mean illegal.

CEVALLOS: Correct, exactly. But we see these more and more in these high profile cases. We see the prosecution introduce evidence of the motive. This guy wanted to get away from his wife, and, therefore that is one reason why he might have killed someone.

BOLDUAN: How do the text messages, these explicit text messages, how does it play into this, because on one level you have the prosecution laying out that he was doing this while his son was left dying in a car, but on the other hand you have the defense who clearly is objecting, objecting, objecting. They don't want it to be part of the trial at all. Is there a chance that, while damning, maybe circumstantial evidence, it might not even be admitted?

CEVALLOS: Absolutely. There's always a rule, we call it 403. There's a balancing test. Sometimes evidence is probative, sometimes evidence helps a jury understand the case. But that evidence, however probative it is, is far outweighed by the fact that it may be really prejudicial. And this is an example.

BOLDUAN: What do you think about this?

CEVALLOS: I'm a defense attorney. Unfortunately, I'm biased. But I certainly sympathize with the defense attorney's arguments that at some times the lead detective was talking about relationships or discussions that were happening in 2012, and you saw that in the preliminary hearing. The defense attorney said, hey, judge, how far back are we talking and once the prosecution limited that to the last two weeks the judge erred on the side caution and let it in.

BOLDUAN: So what do you make of the other surprises that came out in these Internet searches? You have Internet searches on child-free, what life would be like without a child, Internet searches on how to survive in prison and also five days before Cooper, the little boy died, he was looking at videos, the dangers of hot car. That's tough.

CEVALLOS: It is tough, but when it comes to Internet searches, we've seen Internet searches come up before, they are a relatively new piece of evidence but what are they in fact? I mean, this is something the lead detective testified to, but if at trial they will still need to deduce evidence that these Internet searches were actually conducted, that the defendant is the one who conducted them. And, you know, as a broader issue when it comes to introducing Internet search, what are browser searches? Does your browser search really tell us about you? Does it really tell anyone about me? Or is it --

BOLDUAN: My browser search is not going to have how to survive in prison.

CEVALLOS: You know, you are absolutely right. But, journalists are a good example. We Google almost everything. So who knows? If you took a look at any of our browser searches then it might paint a picture of someone that really doesn't tell the story of who Kate is.

BOLDUAN: What about the strange statements that he made when they took him into custody. The strange conversations that he had with his wife -- that he's in custody, he's in the interview room and he's saying things like I can't believe this is happening to me. I'm going to be charged with a felony and his wife asking him did you say too much? That's how they are reacting after finding out their son died.

CEVALLOS: Right, two thoughts about that. To the extent that he may have given inconsistent statements or lied to the police, I think that is very probative of someone trying to conceal something. But, on the other hand, we have to consider that too often in these cases everybody becomes an expert on how somebody should react to a situation. How somebody should properly grieve. And I think the psychology studies show that we all grieve and we all react to intense stress in different ways. However, to the extent he gives -- he lies to police or gives inconsistent statements, that is going to be problematic, and that is evidence of somebody trying to conceal something.

BOLDUAN: He seems really aware of the legal system, of what he could be facing in Georgia law.

CEVALLOS: Absolutely right. And that's an interesting thing, too, is that the first thing that the detective talked about, one of the first things is that the defendant engaged in, what they call, cop talk. He was familiar with the terminology and he was using the alphabet call designations, alpha, bravo, charlie and that's interesting because sometimes we say that the more awareness you have of law enforcement and the justice system, that's evidence of your ability to get around it, so it's an interesting -- it's a catch-22.

BOLDUAN: And then also the life insurance policies.

CEVALLOS: Well, again, that also is what we call motive evidence. Remember, motive is never an element of a crime. Intent is an element of a crime. Intent is what was in your heart and mind when you did a deed, but motive is just evidence of why you might have done something.

BOLDUAN: Lay out really quickly for me, so he's in prison, still behind bars. They did not grant bond. What happens next? What's the biggest challenge for the defense that you see now, and what's the biggest challenge for the prosecution?

CEVALLOS: Now we're going to enter into a period we call discovery, and that is where all these things, remember at a preliminary hearing the rules of evidence applied, but hear say is admissible, and that why you typically see a lead detective get up and essentially tell a narrative. And a lot of those things will have to be actually introduced at trial. So now the defense is going to get those documents, get those Internet searches, get all the evidence that the detective talked about and more, and they are going to test it. This is a very critical stage because now the defense asks for all the discovery, everything the police have in their arsenal, and the prosecution hands it over, and each side begins circling its wagons, preparing motions and gearing up for trial.

BOLDUAN: What did this hearing tell you though, in terms of where the defense is going to be headed and where the prosecution is going to be headed?

CEVALLOS: Well I have to play devil's advocate. One of the takeaways from this hearing is that this defendant absolutely engaging in creepy behavior, deplorable behavior in his personal life. But in terms of specific intent, the interesting thing about these cases is that they happen much more frequently than people think and even more interesting is that it's about 60 percent, 40 percent defendants that get prosecuted. Sixty percent get prosecuted and 40 percent don't, and the reason for that disparity is because really all, at the end of the day, the cases are almost all the same. It's oh, my god, I made a horrific mistake and a prosecutor decides whether or not that mistake was reasonable, or something more, something maybe even intentional.

As we go forward -- these cases are very short on actual specific intent. Contrast with a video of me pointing a gun at someone. That shows intent to point a gun. All we have here is evidence that he walked out to the car and the rest of us as a society are going to have to ask the question is that reasonable? Should he have known, or does what he did, demonstrate that he knew what he was doing the whole time?

BOLDUAN: And everyone should be careful to judge though the one element of the smell coming from the car.

CEVALLOS: Oh, yes.

BOLDUAN: That really stuck with the judge.


BOLDUAN: And the fact that he got in his car and drove for two miles before he stopped and tried to check on the welfare of his son. That's definitely going to be part of this.

CEVALLOS: Compelling evidence. That is evidence of intent.

BOLDUAN: Danny, it is great to see you. Such a troubling case. We are going to continue to follow it and in about 20 minutes we are going to talk with a friend of Justin Ross Harris. What does she have to say about this shocking details that really came out in court? We're following that and we're also following a whole lot of news this morning, including more on hurricane Arthur's track. Let's get to it all.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Breaking news, direct hit. Arthur makes landfall at full force overnight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are seeing very strong winds as it makes its way to land.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A vicious category 2 with wind gusts hitting 100 miles per hour. Towns under tornado watches, trees toppled and power out for tens of thousands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please be safe and stay inside your home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hurricane winds still lashing the coast as Arthur makes its fourth of July march north. We are live in the middle of it all.

PEREIRA: Plus, bombshell hearing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he discuss the issue of being afraid of children -- his child dying in a car?


PEREIERA: Shocking allegations made in the case of the father accused of leaving his son in a hot car on purpose.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are also photos of women's breasts being sent back to him.


PEREIERA: Sexting underage girls, life insurance on the child and searching online about hot cars, the benefits of being child-free and even how to survive in jail. And how his wife's reactions may provide more clues. We break down the damning testimony. This is a special edition of NEW DAY, Hurricane Arthur hits.

BOLDUAN: Yes, he did. Welcome to a special hurricane Arthur edition of NEW DAY. Happy fourth of July. Chris is off. We've got all the news, a busy fourth of July to be talking to you about, breaking news especially. Hurricane Arthur slamming the East Coast. Take a look at radar right there. The storm inching towards Virginia. Not easing up though on North Carolina just yet. Arthur made landfall over North Carolina late last night with dangerous winds of 100-mile-an-hour. Just take a look at this. Massive waves crashing into the piers, into the docks this morning as the winds picked up in Nags Head.

PEREIRA: As for what's next, that storm will head up the shore line today keeping coastal communities on alert, and as we watch Arthur down here, let's give you a look at the view from space. This is a photo, what an incredible image, from astronaut Reed Wiseman showing Arthur's eye taking dead aim at the eastern United States.

We have complete coverage from the storm. We start with meteorologist Indra Petersons, she has been in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, for a couple of days. It's a cat 2 storm. It has moved on, but effects are still being felt.

INDRA PETERSONS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Michaela, the hardest or strongest hurricane we have felt on the U.S. mainland that has made landfall since 2008. You can see right here the beach erosion that's already happened, I am going to step down, and you can see that's what happened as the waves came on shore this morning with more of that easterly direction.