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Terror Threat Against the Largest Shopping Mall in the United States; Interview with David Rohde; 'American Sniper' Murder Trial; Bobbi Kristina Brown's Family, Boyfriend Spar

Aired February 23, 2015 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us tonight.

What to make of a terror threat against the largest shopping mall in the United States. Late word on how seriously authorities are taking it and what they're doing right now to keep people safe.

Also, one nation under a sheet of ice with dangerous roads and deadly cold from millions who never seen anything like it, a millions more have already seen way too much. More than a thousand flights canceled. We'll tell you where it's all headed next.

Plus, his lawyer said it was not road rage, and suggests it might have been self-defense. That's not all an attorney for the accused road rage killer has to say after his client makes his first court appearance. I talked to him just a short time ago. Suffice it to say he presents a completely different theory of the case than we have been hearing up until now.

We begin tonight with security preparations under way in a place that almost every American visits to many Americans, especially teenagers visit, well, more than several times a week. We're talking about the mall.

In this case, Minnesota's mall of America just outside Minneapolis-St. Paul international airport, the largest in the country. And tonight a designated target of the Somali terror group, al-Shabab. Tonight, authorities are scrambling to assess the danger and address the threat, knowing that any mall is inherently a soft target, understanding that al-Shabab knows it as well.

More now from our Brian Todd.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The mask al-Shabab terrorists call on men with strong determination to strike. His inspiration, this horrific 2013 attack on Kenya's west gate mall, where his group killed more than 60 people.

Now he calls on Shabab's sympathizer to quote "hurry up," saying, "what if such an attack were to occur happen in the mall of America in Minnesota or the West Edmonton mall in Canada or London's Oxford Street?" It prompted the homeland security secretary to say this.

JEH JOHNSON, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: If anyone is planning to go to the mall of America today, they've got to be particularly careful.

TODD: Jeh Johnson has since walked that back. Johnson and law enforcement officials now say there's no specific credible threat to the mall of America. But this is a massive so-called soft target, with more than a dozen entrances. Inside, shoppers have different perspectives on the Shabab video.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I'm scared. I have two little ones. So coming here, I don't know. I'm just, like, if it happens, it happens.

TODD: But security inside the mall of America has been stepped up since the al-Shabab video came out. We got behind the scenes look at security operations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have protocols in place that as things happen, we can ramp up, and we've implemented some of those strategies.

TODD: There are measures unique to this facility. According to Michael Rozin, a security consultant to the Mall of America.

MICHAEL ROZIN, SECURITY CONSULTANT, THE MALL OF AMERICA: They have dedicated explosive documents that are actually patrol at the mall of America. They have uniform and plain clothes officers. They have officers trained specifically in behavior techniques.

TODD: And Rozin says, this mall has its own intelligence branch. There's a station where teams monitor chatter on social media.

The Shabab video is menacing, because it's thought about two dozen Somalis from the Minneapolis area have been recruited to fight with al-Shabab. Some are now being recruited by is. We asked the Somali leaders in Minneapolis how they'll stop potential lone Wolf attackers within their community.

Can you prevent even just one of these kids from maybe recruiting one other person, or two other people to go into the mall with a gun and think they're going to be some kind of a martyr?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe we think we would have it because thanks God, we have the best men and women in the law enforcement that engage our community. And our community is working with the law enforcement.


COOPER: And Brian joins us now from the Mall of America.

You know, its interesting hearing people reacting to this perceived threat. What's the mood there right now?

TODD: Anderson, as far as the broader community around this area, those who come to this mall, there are mixed emotions. There are some who are very concerned saying, you know, we have kids. We're a little reluctant to bring them here given this new threat. But others are more apt to roll with the situation, saying it's not going to change their shopping habits, not going to change the way they approach this mall at all, that whatever happens happen. That's the kind of broader, you know, broader mixture of emotions here.

But within the Somali community it's a different story. That community leader that you saw in our piece, (INAUDIBLE), said that they're concerned now that they're going to be further isolated from mainstream Minnesotans, with this story. They've got the story of the recruitment of young Somalis to go to al-Shabab and now to ISIS. They have the west gate mall attack of a year and a half ago, now this. He's very concerned that's going to further isolate the Somali- American community here, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Brian. Appreciate the reporting.

Let's bring in CNN national security analyst, Peter Bergen, also David Gardenstein-Ross, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Peter, how real -- I mean, how capable is al-Shabab to actually pull off something like this, in the United States? Because my understanding is, I mean, they did the Westgate mall attack, the obviously the Somali and Kenya, but not really internationally.

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That's right. I mean, there's only one attack which actually failed that they tried to pull off in the west, which was associated with al-Shabab tried to kill a Danish cartoonist, wielding an ax. Lucky the cartoonist had a safe room in his house and managed to escape.

But, you know, their ability to do any kind of attacks in the west are very limited. And in fact, the group is really on the -- you know, has been doing pretty badly in the last several years. I mean, Anderson, go back to 2009, this is a group that controlled much of Somalia, and indeed the capital of Mogadishu. And now they're being forced into, you know, holding very little territory in Somalia.

So I think this is just an effort to sort of, you know, they remain relevant at a time when a group isn't doing terribly well.

COOPER: David, do you agree with that? That, I mean, obviously ISIS is getting a huge amount of attention, that a group like al-Shabab wants to try to remain relevant?


I think that while Shabab has definitely lost territory like Peter said, it's actually been able to make a lot of in-roads into Kenya. It used to not have a lot of attacks that carried out there. And it's been able to carry out a large number of attacks, including after the Westgate mall attack.

So, even as it's shrinking in Somalia, it's growing in Kenya, though, it is not, of course, mold in territory in Kenya. After the international capabilities, given that they haven't really tried to project power beyond the horn of Africa before, it's hard to say what they're capable of. Carrying out an attack against the mall isn't all that difficult. (INAUDIBLE) to intercept them. When they try to get operatives into the country, when they try to get weapons and between the times they get weapons and goes to the mall, that gives them some of a chance of carrying out such an attack. I mean, the question, really, is whether they have people who could be classified as (INAUDIBLE). That is people who won't really trip the homeland security alarm when they come through the border.

COOPER: But David, it doesn't even have to be that complex, of them sending people in. I mean, it sounds like from this video, what they're doing is just kind of putting out this call, hoping that some deranged person or some ideologically or religiously motivated person is going to pick up this call, even if they don't have direct connection with Shabab.

GARDENSTEIN-ROSS: Yes, that's absolutely correct. The reason I talk about the organizational capabilities, that was the first question you led with, I am a little bit of different perspective than Peter.

The only way that they can ensure, obviously, that an attack would be carried out against a western mall is if they send the operatives themselves. They have no guaranty that they can actually inspire a lone wolf.

ISIS has done something that is very unique this regard. They are very good at social media game. Terrorism used to be something which was basically the province of a group. Because to get someone to carry out a terrorist attack which is extreme, takes other people reinforcing their views and not allowing them to back out.

But for ISIS, social media serves as that group dynamic. And that's why you're seeing many more lone Wolf attacks carried out by ISIS alone, or carry out that people who are acting under ISIS better. More so than all forms of lone wolf terrorism that you've seen typically in a year over the course of the past decade.

COOPER: Peter, it is interesting, I mean, the mall of America, just looking from Brian's report, they clearly have a lot of security, pretty extensive security. And there is certainly a lot of malls throughout the United States, malls in Canada that don't have that level of security and are really soft targets. I mean, the multiple entrances, you know, and a couple people with weapons could do some damage.

BERGEN: Sure. But we haven't seen those kinds of attacks. And I mean, David and I are not really disagreeing. I mean, the fact that Shabab has some capabilities in Kenya which uproar a neighbor of Somalia, isn't surprising. What I'm trying to say is, this is a group that has never attacked in the west successfully. And has really scant abilities to do so.

By the way, the Somali-Americans who went to Somalia, the 24 from Minnesota and others, and most of them went on a one-way ticket. They ended up, they didn't know what they were doing and were killed in battles, and they died as suicide attackers. And if they came back they were either arrested or they've done nothing.

So, you know, our concerns about this group, there was a big law enforcement effort, and it basically worked.

COOPER: Yes. Peter Bergen, appreciate it. David Gardenstein-Ross, appreciate as well.

As always, a quick reminder, be sure you set your DVR. You can watch 360 whenever you would like.

Coming up next, the accused road rage killer, that's what a lot of people in the media have been calling him, the question is, was road rage really a part of this killing. His defense team believes that road rage had nothing to do with it. You are going to hear from a member of his legal team about that, and reports that his client was allowed to get high before actually giving up to police. Details ahead.


COOPER: Day one in court for the young man who has become known as the alleged road rage killer, and a claim from his defense team. They believe the fatal shooting of Tammy Meyers outside of her Las Vegas was not a case of road rage. Now, they're suggesting, only suggesting, for now that it might have been self-defense. In fact, attorneys for the defendant did not fully advance their own theory of the case in court today, nor did they enter a plea. For now, the defendant appeared in handcuffs, heard the charges against him that include murder, attempted murder and discharging a gun inside a vehicle.

Robert Meyers' husband of the victim was also in the courtroom. A preliminary hearing is set for March 10th, at which point we could know more about each side's version of what happened.

A short time ago I spoke with one of Erich Nowsch's defense attorneys, Conrad Claus.


COOPER: So Conrad, is there a lot to this story that we haven't heard yet in your opinion? Because it does seems like the facts that are out there, a, they keep changing and a lot don't seem to really add up in terms of explaining what really happened.

CONRAD CLAUS, ERICH NOWSCH'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the funny thing is that if you apply another motive potentially to these stories and to these changing stories, it makes a lot more sense. And while we're not willing to do that right now, the changing stories are only confusing if you're looking at it as a road rage situation. If you're looking at it as it was initially presented.

COOPER: You don't believe there was an initial road rage incident?

CLAUS: No, I don't believe there's an initial road rage incident. If you want, I can give you five or six or more points that logically point to the fact that it wasn't there.


CLAUS: Well, first off, the road rage was precipitated by a mother supposedly giving driving lessons to her daughter at 11:00 at night. They, when threatened on the road, they don't call the police, but they go home. If you have a stranger stop you on the road and say, I'm going to hurt you, the first place you go is not driving straight to your house. It would have been call the police and drive to some populated area that's not near your house. When you get to the house you might call -- the first thing you're going to do is call the police, not arm yourself and go looking for this person. There's no way you would find a person. There's no way you're going to find somebody who randomly had a problem with you in traffic five minutes before unless you know who they are.

The fact that the Meyers family don't tell us, at any point, for five days that this was Erich Nowsch that they believe was involved in this situation is suspicious. The fact that the sketch was inaccurate, I will go so far as to say that the composite sketch provided to the police was misleading. It's also problematic.

COOPER: Can you talk a little bit more about the relationship between your client and Tammy Meyers? Because the Meyers family says that Tammy became close to your client after his father committed suicide. She used to go to the park, talk to him. You know, kind of give him life couple. And that he had even stayed at their house.

CLAUS: Yes, well, what I can say is that the actual relationship between Tammy Meyers and between Erich Nowsch probably sits somewhere between the two lies that were offered by Bob Meyers, at different stages in this.

The first lie being, we didn't know this guy at all, we didn't -- you know, we didn't know this person who threatened or shot. And the second lie being, my wife was his mentor, and used to give him money for no reason. And have him around the house at all times.

There has been reported to us, an independent conversation -- the media and hopefully the police have had some contact with some people that have indicated that there may have been some exchanges that went on in the park between Tammy Meyers and Erich Nowsch, but we are not asserting that. We're not prepared to. We hope that anybody with information about that comes forward, and provides further information. We're in the process of investigating that.

COOPER: You're alluding -- so our viewers are aware, you're all alluding to reports that some people in the neighborhood, some people say they are friends with your client, have said that actually Tammy Meyers may have been buying prescription drugs, or that even that your client was selling prescription drugs in the park and perhaps that is -- those are the exchanges you're referring to.

CLAUS: The problem, Anderson, is we've got a horrendous situation. And we don't want to make it worse by making allegations that aren't supported by facts. COOPER: OK. Let me ask you about your client. You believe some of

his statements to the police were made while he was under the influence. Apparently he had gotten high before he gave himself up to police.

CLAUS: Right. The sequence was, on the night that Erich was taken into custody, the police were humane in responsible rather than them storming in, they made sure he was alone in the house and negotiated him stepping out. And part of the terms to negotiation was he received permission from police officers to get high before he came outside.

COOPER: I think a lot of people would be surprised to hear that the police negotiated with your client allowing him to get high before he gave himself up. That was something discussed between him and the police?

CLAUS: It might surprise most people. But when you have a dynamic situation such as that, you've got SWAT surrounding a home, helicopters flying around a home, and a potential for violence, what police officers are trained to do is use whatever tools that are at their disposal in order to effectuate a peaceful change in custody status, so to speak.

They wanted to take Erich into custody and they didn't want anybody to get hurt. So negotiating in such a manner is not only explainable, but it's praiseworthy. It's making sure that -- if he said he would come out when he was high, then let him get high before he came out. Our concern is that they didn't let him get un-high, they didn't let him dry out before they questioned him.

COOPER: Conrad Claus, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

CLAUS: Thank you.


COOPER: Attorney Conrad Claus. A lot to talk about. Clearly, not the entire defense story. However, you can certainly see the outlines of what Mr. Claus said tonight. And much more to chew on with our CNN legal team's criminal defense attorney, Mark Geragos and former federal prosecutor, Jeffrey Toobin, both, of course, CNN legal analysts.

So Jeff, first of all, the idea that the police made a deal with him to let him use drug before giving up, I don't know the standard operating procedure. I mean, fact but I guess it makes sense if it prevents them from storming in. Does it makes it sense to you?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It does, actually. The goal of the sorts of standoffs is to have them end peacefully. I certainly never heard of that sort of deal being made, but it doesn't seem out of question if it would mean a peaceful resolution. And this one did have a peaceful resolution.

COOPER: Mark, the attorney, though, is saying his concern is that the police then, you know, asked questions to his client before his client came down from being high.

MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Right. And that's what the -- as Jeff, I think, will agree with me, there will be an issue as to the voluntariness of any statement that was made. But I will tell you, listening to that interview, it's the first time since any of this happened that anybody has made coherent sense as to what I think actually transpired here.

COOPER: Does it matter, though, whether or not there was some, you know, drug relationship, whether this woman purchased narcotics, and again, there's no evidence of that at this point, it's basically statements made by random people here and there, does that matter if in the end -- I mean, in the end, doesn't this boil down to who shot first and the exact sequence of events?

GERAGOS: If he comes back, and his story is going to be, and if it's supported, that there was a drug transaction, she didn't pay, she took off, she had her 15-year-old daughter with her, that she then went and sent her daughter inside the house, told the son to come out, told the son not to call the police, and they waved a gun, or flashed a gun at this guy, they went looking for him and flashed a gun at him, you could make an argument that that was a manslaughter as opposed to a murder.

TOOBIN: Wait a minute, Mark. Mark, you have spun this wonderful scenario for the defense. But, you know, poor Tammy Meyers is not here to defend herself. She's dead. And the fact that she is, you know, being accused of having this illicit drug relationship with this guy, I mean, I think the facts have to be established. You made a lot of connections there that are as yet very much unsupported by the evidence.

COOPER: But Jeff, would it even matter? If he's alleging self- defense, which is one of the things the attorney talked about, the idea -- I mean, is it self-defense if he ended up going back to the house and shooting up the house there?

TOOBIN: No, as far as I'm concerned. And you know, the burden is going to be on him, if -- and again, you know, we're at this very early stage. We don't know that he shot -- that he shot her.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: I mean, there's no proof of that yet. If he shot her, he would -- and he wants to raise self-defense, he would have the burden of raising that. The facts don't support it at this point. Perhaps they will at some point. But, you know, I think we're really in the realm of speculation. Mark is anyway.

GERAGOS: Well, I will tell you this, Jeff. I'm certainly a closer to what I think the facts are than a random road rage incident, which is what was being reported, that this kid was the random road rage, and had been cut off while somebody was giving a driving lesson and decided to go back and execute her. I don't think that that's accurate based on everything that's come out so far. TOOBIN: This is a rare case where each day we seem to know less than

the day we knew before, or at least the facts seem murkier, which I guess is the way real life is. But it is extraordinary the way the story has morphed over less than a week.

COOPER: Yes. As you said, every day it seems like we know less.

Mark Geragos, thank you. Jeff Toobin as well, thank you.

Breaking news, the family of Kayla Mueller tonight, the daughter they lost and whether the White House waited too long before launching an attempt to rescue her from ISIS captivity.


COOPER: Breaking news tonight, the family of Kayla Mueller is speaking out tonight about the missed opportunities to save her from the fate at ISIS' hands. Kayla's mother, father and brother talked with NBC's Savannah Guthrie. And new portion to that interview were just released. Now, here are some of the excerpts.


CARL MUELLER, KAYLA MUELLER'S FATHER: I really feel that we had a chance to get Kayla out because we were in communications with them unlike the other families. But how do you raise $6.2 million. Pretty much made it impossible. But we feel they really did want to release Kayla.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Do you feel like our government did enough to help you, help her?

MARTHA MUELLER, KAYLA MUELLER'S MOTHER: I think they wanted to. But I think, again, the policy, and I don't think anyone had any idea this group would be as powerful as they were. We've let them get too powerful. They just think of it as a game, or thugs.

GUTHRIE: During this time when Kayla was being held, the U.S. traded five Taliban prisoners for Bowe Bergdahl.

ERIC MUELLER, KAYLA MUELLER'S BROTHER: That made the whole situation worse because that's when the demands got greater. They got larger. They realized that they had something. They realized that, well, if they're going to let five people go for one person, why won't they do this, or why won't they do that.

GUTHRIE: There was a rescue attempt, and there's been some reporting that some people involved in it felt like they were too slow to approve it. That Washington kind of dragged their feet a little bit.

C. MUELLER: Yes, I -- I mean, they're so cautious about getting actionable Intel. You don't want to put soldiers in harm's way without knowing exactly the circumstances. But, yes, I think they waited too long - people have got released, we had an idea where they were.


COOPER: Joining us now, investigative journalist an former Taliban captive David Rohde. Also, a former CIA and FBI counterterrorism official Philip Mudd. Phil, let me start with you, and the comment made by Kayla's dad just there at the end, to say that, you know, we kind of had an idea where she was. You can understand their desire, of course, to have an operation take place as quickly as possible. Do you think there was too much of a delay, or is kind of having a general idea where somebody is enough?

PHILIP MUDD, FORMER SENIOR OFFICIAL, FBI AND CIA: Boy, Anderson, you're asking me to challenge a family that has just lost a daughter. But remember, a few months ago we had a raid attempt in Yemen that resulted in the loss of hostages because the captors killed them. You have to look at the situation in my world of intelligence, and look at both sides. There's a potential benefit here, obviously, to rescuing the young lady who was later murdered. There's also a potential cost if those Special Forces officers lose their lives. And the hardest thing in my old world of intelligence, you're not looking at where that individual was yesterday, you're looking at where that individual will be tomorrow. And whether you have good enough predictive intelligence to provide assurance to that team that they're going into an environment that they can at some level control.

This one ain't easy, Anderson. And I doubt there was a group of people around a committee in Washington saying, hey, we're too cautious to go after it. I don't think so.

COOPER: David, though, I can't imagine what this family has been through, to feel like they actually maybe have some in-roads, that maybe they can get her out for $6 million. They can't come up with the money. And then Bowe Bergdahl gets swapped and all of a sudden as the brother is saying, the demands go up. It began to skew things.

DAVID ROHDE, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, REUTERS: Yeah, there was also reports that they wanted to trade Kayla for Aisha Siddiqa, this woman, a Pakistani national that's being held in the U.S. prisons. ISIS has repeatedly asked for her to be freed. And it seems like the U.S. government said no, they would not do this one-to-one swap. There was one account - he hasn't comment on this, that they actually wrote a letter to President Obama asking for that one-to-one swap. And the brother, you know, it's what we've talked about, a very inconsistent American policy. The government said it's different, you know, Bergdahl was a soldier. So, we'll make the trade. But why not - one on one civilian trade? I'm not saying what's right or wrong, but it's very inconsistent. And the captors don't believe it. They think you traded for Bergdahl, why not?

COOPER: Why weren't I ...

ROHDE: For ...

COOPER: So, is there a distinction in U.S. policy between negotiations for civilians and for military personnel?

MUDD: I think there is in theory. I've got to say, personally, I'm not sure. I see that the - but I understand that you can make an argument to say, look, the Taliban, despite the fact that the U.S. government has declared them to be a terror group, the Taliban had POWs, if you will, at Guantanamo. Bowe Bergdahl was in a sense a POW. You could call that the commander-in-chief arranging for a swap. I agree with David, I think the ISIS guys would not look at that nuance, they'd say, hey, they just traded for these guys, why wouldn't they trade for somebody else? I think that nuance is lost in the battlefield.

COOPER: Yeah, you know, David, there have also been these reports about that perhaps Kayla was forced to marry a member of ISIS while she was in captivity. You know, I hate to even kind of go down this road, or even raise it, but those reports have been out there. And Savannah Guthrie asked Kayla's mom about that, I want to show her response.


MARSHA MUELLER, KAYLA MUELLER'S MOTHER: I have no idea. I don't know. But I just know that she was doing the best she could to stay alive. That I do know. Because she wanted to come home. Desperately.


COOPER: And you've certainly heard that in that letter that she wrote that was released by the family. You question those reports about a forced marriage.

ROHDE: Well, as far as I know, the reports were that she died when she was either with, maybe in the same house with a senior ISIS commander, or maybe she was traveling with a commander. That's not unusual at all. When I was captive, I was moved and lived with very senior Taliban commanders, the head of the intelligence branch of the Haqqanis, the Taliban group that had me. I lived in his house for weeks, and he drove me around personally.

So, it's in a sense unfair to Kayla. I mean if a male captive had been killed and was with an ISIS commander, would we be talking about this issue? No. And I just - I hate to see her, you know, her memory -- but I also understand why the question exists given ISIL's practices.

COOPER: But it shouldn't take away from - I mean, you know, this is somebody who, as the mom was saying, is just trying to survive in captivity. And I think you give somebody wide latitude for doing what they have to do, whatever it is, in captivity.

ROHDE: There are clues in these letters. There is two letters, there was a second letter that came out and the parents released it with the new interview, they're all from captives that have been freed. These are women, it looks like who were held with her. Until these women who were held with her start talking about forced marriages for Kayla or for themselves, I don't think it's fair to speculate.

COOPER: Yeah. David Rhode, thank you. Phil Mudd, good to have you on. Thank you.

Just ahead, more than a thousand flights canceled today because of winter weather. Most of them out of Dallas, which is getting hit with freezing rain. We'll get a lot of weather update here.


COOPER: Welcome back. The trial of the man accused of murdering Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL, is the subject for the movie "American Sniper." He's near - in Texas. Chris Kyle's widow Thea, was at the Oscars last night. She held the Kyle's dog tags as she walked the red carpet. The movie based on her husband's life was nominated for several awards, one for - one for the best sound editing.

Back in Texas, the trial of Kyle's killer was postponed today because of weather. But it's scheduled to pick up tomorrow with closing arguments. Expected sometime this week. And the suspect shot Kyle at a firing range in 2013. The accused is a former Marine, and his attorneys say he suffers from psychosis and paranoia. Ed Lavandera has been following the trial in Texas. He joins us now. So, this is all going to come down, really, to whether or not the jury believes that this shooter knew right from wrong when he killed Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield, right?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is. That is the legal question that this jury will face here in Texas, whether or not Eddie Ray Routh knew what he did was wrong at the moment he shot and killed Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield. Obviously, prosecutors have been putting on their testimony and their expert witnesses saying that. But the prosecution has had two of its own psychiatric medical experts, and what they have told the jury is just the complete opposite. In fact, at some point raising the issue that perhaps Eddie Ray Routh is faking a lot of these symptoms. In fact, including and talking about an episode of "Seinfeld." We've heard Eddie Ray Routh talking about half pig half men hybrids he thought Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield might have been. One of their experts said this is from one of the episodes from "Seinfeld," that Eddie Ray Routh had seen while in jail here in Stephenville, and that might have been what inspired that kind of paranoia talk.

COOPER: The closing arguments are set for this week. What should we expect?

LAVANDERA: Well, it's really going to be a battle of the experts. You'll see these attorneys, defense team and prosecutors really hammering away at what their own experts said. When exactly this will happen is very much up in the air, Anderson. Winter weather canceled court today. I'm not entirely sure we're going to be able to have it tomorrow. We still have a little bit more testimony to go before we get to the closing arguments. We'll have to wait and see what the weather does overnight to see if the trial resumes on Tuesday.

COOPER: Ed, appreciate the update, thanks. Reminder, you can see a CNN special report all about Chris Kyle, all about his story coming up at the top of the hour. More now on the brutal weather impacting the trial. Millions of people from Texas, to North Carolina, facing freezing rain, sleet or snow. Schools have been closed. More than 1,000 flights canceled. Meteorologist Jennifer Gray is tracking it all from the CNN weather center. She joins us now. The situation in the south, it's obviously pretty bad down there. We saw the trial was postponed.

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah. You know, the south is not used to weather like this. What happens in the south is you get ice. It makes it almost impossible to travel when you get this. Just south of Dallas, in the Dallas metroplex, we had it throughout the day today. We are going to clear out. But all that slush that's on the road is going to freeze overnight. You'll have problems again tomorrow morning. And get this, another winter storm expected for the metroplex tomorrow night into Wednesday. And so this is just not ending. We are starting to see the ice taper off, though, in northwest Louisiana, around Shreveport. But along the I-20 corridor, from Shreveport to Birmingham, it is going to be rough. Anywhere you see a peak, that is ice. Snow to the north from Little Rock all the way to Memphis. That will be moving east throughout the overnight as well. Dallas has reissued that winter storm watch, and that is for tomorrow night, into Wednesday. Of course, the system we're watching now is going to impact northern portions of Mississippi, Alabama, on into north Georgia as we go through tomorrow. We've already gotten reports of sleet around metro areas of Atlanta for tonight. We could see some slick spots tomorrow morning. Could also see freezing rain across South Carolina, as we go through tomorrow. That will push offshore.

Here is the next system. You can see impacting the Dallas metroplex again. North Louisiana, a lot of the same areas that were just hit yesterday and today. It's going to come back on Wednesday into Thursday, Anderson.

COOPER: I feel for all those travelers. Jennifer Gray, thank you so much.

Ahead, Bobbi Kristina Brown's boyfriend and her family, publicly arguing over whether he's allowed to see her in the hospital.


COOPER: Bobbi Kristina's boyfriend and father publicly arguing over whether the boyfriend is allowed to see her as she remains in the hospital in Atlanta. On social media, Brown's boyfriend, Nick Gordon, has been saying he's been prevented from visiting her, but her father, Bobby Brown, said through his lawyers that Gordon was given a chance, but, quote, declined to meet the terms of any possible visit. Brown, the 21-year-old daughter of the late Whitney Houston, has been in the hospital for about three weeks after she was found face down in a bathtub in her home. Joining me now is CNN legal analyst, former federal prosecutor, Sunny Hostin. So it seems like there's obviously a lot of tension between the Brown family and Nick Gordon. Is the Brown family getting the answers they want from him?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No, they're not. And that's really what this is about. They feel that there were unexplained injuries on Bobbi Kristina's body. They feel they don't have the whole story as to how she ended up in a bathtub face down, not breathing. They're very concerned, because Nick Gordon is the person who says that he gave her CPR for 10 to 15 minutes before the EMS got there. And they want some answers from him. They're saying that they don't feel that they have those answers. And until they get those answers, they do not want him at the hospital with Bobbi Kristina.

COOPER: I was looking at his Twitter page and he's been very outspoken the last couple of days, accusing Bobby Brown of being an absentee father, who's hardly ever there, who is after Bobbi Kristina's money, even alleging death threats from the Browns. Any response from the family to Gordon's tweets?

HOSTIN: Not so far, Anderson. It really has gotten ugly. It's gotten very public. Recently they've been trading barbs from their lawyers. We heard from Bobby Brown's attorney and Nick Gordon's attorney. Now we're hearing directly from Nick Gordon on his Twitter feed. You're right, it's been a very aggressive type of exchange that we've been seeing on his Twitter feed. Accusing Bobby Brown of being an absentee father, and also quite frankly, saying what is best for Bobbi Kristina is to hear his voice, at least by recorder, even is what Nick Gordon is saying. It's gotten very public and very messy.

COOPER: Any updates on her condition? That's the most important thing of all, obviously.

HOSTIN: No updates, Anderson. What we heard last week was that they had started to take her out of this medically induced coma, that they had started sort of ticking down the sedation. But since last week, I have heard nothing about her condition. Again, the family has said that they believe that prayers have been answered. But she has been in that medically induced coma for quite some time, had some medical procedures to change sort of her breathing with the tracheotomy. But we don't know how she's doing after those procedures were done last week.

COOPER: All right Sunny, thanks for the update. There is a lot more happening tonight. Amara Walker is here with the 360 bulletin. Amara.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, police in Connecticut are searching for suspects in a home invasion this morning. And bomb scare at a bank. Authorities say the home invasion victim, a bank employee, was forced to wear fake bombs and attempt to rob the bank, or else they would blow up a woman still in his home.

Two of Aaron Hernandez's housekeepers testified today at his murder trial. They told the jury they found guns in the former NFL star's house before the death of Odin Lloyd. Hernandez pleaded not guilty to the murder. They gun used in the attack has never been found.

Four people from the Wesleyan University campus in Middleton, Connecticut, remain hospitalized tonight with two of the patients in critical condition after complications linked to the party drug molly. Eight other people have been released from the hospital. The audience for last night's Academy Awards was the lowest in six

years. The broadcast to an average 36.6 million total viewers in the United States. That's down from last year's 43 million.

And a close call for two commuters in South Korea. They each fell ten feet into a sidewalk sinkhole. Amazingly they only suffered minor injuries, if you can believe that, Anderson.

COOPER: That is crazy. I mean --

WALKER: Unbelievable. Out of nowhere.

COOPER: That's a concrete sidewalk. That's just incredible. It just collapsed like that. Wow. Amazing.

Amara, thanks very much.

Coming up next, the Ridiculist. I'm going to make you smile at the end of a long day, but first, a preview of CNN's newest series, "Finding Jesus," it is an in-depth look, a really fascinating look at the artifacts and the evidence surrounding Jesus' life and death.


COOPER: Time for the Ridiculist. And right now, I'd just like to take a moment to ponder the Baby Bjorn. Now you know it's that thing where you can carry a baby like a backpack, except you can also wear it in the front like you're a kangaroo. It leaves your hands free to do things like, I don't know, pet the baby on the head or go shopping, whatever you want to do. Anyway, it's an ingenious design. But there's really only one flaw, with the standard baby bjorn, you can't drink anything out of the baby's head. Problem solved. Some guy has invented the cool baby. Described as an expressive customizable hands-free beverage insulator that looks like a baby. Drinking in public is now adorable. Really endless situations in which the cool baby would come in handy. Tailgating, for instance.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My sports team is the best sports team. And your sports team is the worst.


COOPER: It's kind of creepy, isn't it? He is the genius behind the cool baby, a copywriter, and a former standup comedian, so his marketing videos are very entertaining. But this is apparently a real thing. He's raised more than $15,000 on his Kickstarter page for the production of more cool babies. Which you can take pretty much anywhere, like a costume party, for instance.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my. I can hardly believe it. This baby looks just like me. What a cool baby.


COOPER: We've seen cool fake babies on the ridiculist before, but never one that was so, shall we say refreshing. The last time we talked about a fake baby still haunts my dreams to this day. Remember this? A marketing company rigged up a remote controlled stroller with a devil baby to terrorize unsuspecting New Yorkers?


COOPER: I like the last guy. Just like, whatever, it's New York.

From the devil baby to the drink baby, I'll tell you, the fake baby game sure has come a long way on the ridiculist.

That does it for us. Thanks for watching. "BLOCKBUSTER: THE STORY OF THE AMERICAN SNIPER" starts now.