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Spring Snow Storm Pushes East; 2 Teens Charged in Georgia Baby's Murder; Anti-Gun Violence Ads Coming This Week

Aired March 24, 2013 - 07:00   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Happy Sunday to you, everybody. I'm Christi Paul. 7:00 on the East Coast, 4:00 out west. 4:00 out west and you're up, did you even go to bed? Thank you so much for sharing your time with us here this morning. I wanted to begin with you with this weather that is just refusing to give in. Old man winter, so to speak. It's officially the fourth day of spring, people. But look out your window. A wicked winter storm is shoving its way across the country. I want to bring in meteorologist Karen Maginnis in the CNN weather center for the latest. So, we were seeing these whiteout conditions from Missouri right now. Is that what we're going to continue to see?

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: So, we are seeing the whiteout conditions from Missouri right now. Is that what we're going to continue to see? I mean, does it still pack that much punch, Karen?

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is going to pack brief but intense snow with some blowing snow. But the storm system itself is kind of winding down, but I say that with some caution, because this area of low pressure as it treks further towards the east, it is going to not produce as much snow as we saw across Colorado.

It moves across the Ohio River Valley on that northern and on the back edge of that. That's where we'll see the heaviest snowfall. It is going to be kicked around with 35, 40, possibly gusts to 50 miles an hour in some areas to places like Cincinnati and St. Louis and Kansas City.

For today, that's your weather -- three to six, four to seven inches of snowfall. Some of the common amounts.

All right, you're probably wondering what happens after that. Monday, Washington, D.C., along with that I-95 corridor and also for New York -- well, this is also going to be a brief event as kind of a different storm system treks across the Mid-Atlantic coast. For Washington, D.C., I think you might see just some small or slight accumulation.

For New York City, one, two, three inches of snowfall expected there.

But look at this, Kansas City, five to seven, St. Louis, six to 10. And I think the visibility on some of those roadways is going to down be fairly low. Remember yesterday, Interstate 70 from right about Denver, just a little bit to the east, all the way over to the Kansas border, they shut it down. There were so many accidents on a number of other interstates, Interstate 25 across Colorado.

But then across the Allegheny Mountain you're looking at significant snowfall. You get some of that lift across the mountains and that's where the heaviest snow is going to be located. Kansas City, you're kind in the thick of things right now, but this gradually make its way towards the east. So, the line of fire sweeps from Kansas City over towards St. Louis and then, eventually towards Indianapolis.

So, if you are out trying to get things done, you've got some problems. Across the Southeast, different situation -- this is kind of a spring-time event as far as the thunderstorms go. And we do have a number of watches. One tornado watch and the other is severe thunderstorm watch. This encompasses the Tallahassee area and southwestern Georgia. This is the area shaded in red right here. Watch out for the potential for tornadic activity.

Further to the north, Atlanta and Macon under that severe thunderstorm watch. Meaning, we could see some brief, heavy downpours and strong, gusty winds, the possibility of an isolated tornado. So, Christi, a lot going on today.

PAUL: Good heavens. You're one busy woman today. Karen Maginnis, we're glad you're here. Thank you.

And we were talking about Colorado and how they've been planned. I want you to take a look at this flames that engulfed a semi trailer that got caught in that whiteout north of Denver. As many as 50 vehicles we understand crashed or spun out along I-25, as Karen mentioned. The Interstate along with at least 15 other highways across Colorado were shut down yesterday. I want to show you pictures, too, of I-70 in eastern Colorado. It has reopened, by the way, after authorities yesterday closed a 150-mile stretch when, as Karen said, those wind gusts got up to 50 miles an hour. I-70 in western Kansas, you should know, though, is still closed, in case you're traveling that route.

And as the storm pushes east into Missouri and the Ohio Valley, you know flights could be a problem. Flights in Denver, we understand, though, are getting back on track. More than 200 had to be canceled at that point.

Let's take a look at what's happening, too, in the South, a little more information for you as that heavy rain flooded streets yesterday and some cars. This is in Birmingham, Alabama, even a mobile police command center got caught in rising water. So, the volatile storms, as you heard Karen say, expected to keep packing a punch on alert for large hail, damaging winds and possible tornadoes.

I want to stay in Georgia for you now, because we have a new recording of an eyewitness and this frantic 911 call that shed some new light for us on Thursday's deadly shooting of a toddler. Listen to this.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) CALLER: It appears that her baby's been shot.

DISPATCHER: OK. Listen to me, ma'am. Is the baby breathing?

CALLER: I don't know. The baby is in a stroller. I just came out the door.


CALLER: Yes, she's trying to get the baby out now.

DISPATCHER: OK, hold on. Did you hear any shots in the area where it happened?

CALLER: Listen, the baby is shot.

DISPATCHER: Ma'am, listen to me. We've got the people en route to you. I have to ask you these questions. So, did you hear any shots in the area?

CALLER: Yes. I heard the shot.


PAUL: Well, take a look at 17-year-old De'Marquis Elkins. That's him there. And a 14-year-old boy who police are not naming obviously because of his age. They are charged with first degree murder now.

Our Nick Valencia is in the small town of Brunswick.

And I know you sat down yesterday with the baby's mom, Sherry West. And I was so surprised to learn that this is not the first son she has lost to violence, right?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's not. She lost an 18-year-old son back in 2008 to a stabbing incident. He was trying to break up a fight.

So, she's already suffered a similar loss before. But I spoke to her yesterday, Christi, and as you can imagine, she's lost a lot of faith in humanity. She's very paranoid about living here in Brunswick. In fact, when we showed up, she was packing up her belongings. She says she plans on moving back to New Jersey, where she has family.

We spoke about her son, mostly about her son, and what she would miss most about young Antonio.


SHERRY WEST, MOTHER OF SLAIN TODDLER: I still think of my son walking over to me in the morning and putting his head on my lap and on my shoulder, and me feeding him meals. And the fact that he was just learning to eat, and that he'll never say his first word.


VALENCIA: So, a grieving mother. She's going to have a really hard time getting over this, she's telling us.

PAUL: So, I know she also had something to say to the two young men who have been charged in this case. What was that, Nick?

VALENCIA: She didn't mince words, Christi. She was very direct about how she felt, unforgiving. And the sound speaks for itself. Take a listen.


WEST: That I hate you and I don't forgive you. And that you killed an innocent human life and that I hope you die for it.


VALENCIA: We know very little about De'Marquis Elkins, the 17-year- old, and even less about the 14-year-old. His name is not being released. He is being treated as a juvenile.

But we did check out the Facebook page of De'Marquis Elkins. He claims to be part of a gang Bloods. I asked the police if they had a gang problem here in the small town of Brunswick, only 15,000 people. He said, Christi, there's just a bunch of wannabes here. There's no gang problems.

And, in fact, where this area, where the shooting happened, it's a nice area. It's a quiet neighborhood. You know, when we've been there, it's been very calm and quiet. And that's not abnormal for that to be like that in that area.

PAUL: Now, Nick, let me ask you. Correct me if I'm wrong. I was reading that the 17-year-old has some sort of an alibi. His aunt says she was with him.

How certain are police that they have the right people here?

VALENCIA: His aunt spoke to a local affiliate and said it's impossible that they have the right suspect because DeMarquis Elkins was with her the whole time that morning. I asked police about that.

Police officer Todd Rhodes (ph), spokesman for the Brunswick Police Department, and he told us in circumstances like this, always going to be family members that don't want to believe or accept that their loved ones can be capable of doing something like this. He says they're confident that they got the right two suspects. They were helped by the description of the mother, as well as cross referencing attendance records in area schools to find out who was missing that day.

So, they say they're pretty sure they've got the right two guys.

PAUL: All right. Nick Valencia live for us down in Brunswick -- thank you so much, Nick. We appreciate all the new information.

Also new for you this morning, military officials have identified the Quantico marine base gunman and both victims there: 19-year-old Sara Castromata from Oakley, California, and 23-year-old Jacob Wooley from Guntown, Mississippi, were both shot and killed last Thursday on the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia.

Authority believed Eusebio Lopez from Pacifica, California, shot both young marines before he killed himself. The shooting, of course, is still under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

And New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is behind this new round of ads aimed at gun control. The ads are from the group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and they've bought $12 million worth of airtime for this ad. Take a look at part of it here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My dad taught me to hunt and I'll teach my kids. I've owned a gun all my life and I'll fight for my right to keep it. Background checks have nothing to do with taking guns away from anyone. Closing loopholes will stop criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from buying guns. That protects my rights and kids.


PAUL: Now, this effort is the group's most expensive yet influence the debate over gun control. Thursday, more than 100 demonstrations and special events are planned in support of universal background checks and the ads start running in 13 states on Tuesday. You'll probably see more of them.

A nondescript porcelain bowl just sitting for years in someone's living room, turns out it's 1,000-year-old Chinese antique worth more than $2 million. Look at that thing. Looks like you can buy it at pottery barn.

What treasures do you have laying around your house? We are talking to an expert.


PAUL: The calendar says spring, but have you looked out your window and are you feeling that at all. A fierce storm is making its way across the Midwest this morning. Snow all the way from Denver to New York City, look at that thing. A severe weather warning for the Deep South, as well, bring tornadoes and large hail. Just want to give you a heads up on that this morning.

A porcelain bowl bought at a yard sale for $3, mind you, was just sold at auction for 2.2 million bucks, people. Take a look at it.

It's a rare Chinese ding bowl. It's about 1,000 years old and the only other one like it is at a museum in London. It looks like you can buy it at pottery barn somewhere.

We hear it about it all the time, such as the family who found the first comic book featuring "Batman". They found this in a dead relative's basement. It sold for more than $3 million. Then, there's a story of the Iraq war vet who bought a first edition copy of the "Federalist Papers" in flea market auction for more than $95,000. So, the big question is, how do you know if you have any treasure in your home?

Joining us from Dallas is Greg Rohan, president of Heritage Auction.

Greg, good to have you with us.

I want to start with another big find. A Sergeant Peppers album that was signed by the Beatles. What do you know?

GREG ROHAN, PRESIDENT, HERITAGE AUCTION: Well, I know it's the finest quality example of a Beatle signature item ever to come up for auction. It's currently bid online on at $110,000 and we expect it to go a lot higher.

PAUL: You do. What about coins? There's a nickel, I understand, that was found in a car crash. A nickel is expected to sell for $2 million.

ROHAN: More than $2 million, really.

Unbelievable story: In 1913, they made five nickels with Miss Liberty's head on the top. That was right before they changed it and made the buffalo nickel. And of these five nickels that were made, four of them known to be in the hands of collectors for the last 100 years. But one of them disappeared in 1963 in a car crash and the family was told that the coin was counterfeit, not worth anything when they were settling the man's estate who died in 1963.

Fast forward 40 years later, they take it and have experts authenticate it as the missing theft coin. And now, it's expected to bring the family when Heritage Auction sells it next month in Chicago for over $2.5 million and maybe even more.

PAUL: Oh, my gosh. At least they finally got it right, I suppose. They probably feel great (ph) for all those years, though.

I want to get a little --


ROHAN: They feel great --

PAUL: Go ahead.

ROHAN: They feel greatly vindicated that their uncle had bought the coin and he bought a genuine coin after being told in 1963 that it was a fake.

PAUL: Yes, that had to be hard to take.

I want to get a little personal here and show you, I know, this is hard, I'm sure, to assess. I have this melodeon that apparently it was made in 1862 for my great, great-grandmother's 12th birthday. I have no idea if it's worth anything. But it's in perfect working order. I used played it at my grandmother's all the time .

So, is it worth getting appraised?

ROHAN: Absolutely. And melodeon is really a rare and valuable item. What most people don't realize is that in rural America, prior to the Civil War, a melodeon was really the only way that people had musical entertainment.

And in looking at the picture that you got her of your piece, it's one of the more ornate and one of more beautifully detailed melodeons that I've seen. It wouldn't be surprise me to see it sell for $5,000 or $10,000 or even more.

PAUL: Well, I hold --

ROHAN: Very nice find.

PAUL: Thank you.

ROHAN: The best part about -- the best part about it is it has been in your family and Provenance (ph) means so much and we know where it's been since it was made in 1862, so important.

PAUL: Yes, I'm not selling it. It's for sentimental reasons. I'm keeping it for the long haul.

But I just wanted to ask that question. Thank you for humoring me.

I know that people, I'm sure I'm a lot like a lot of these people who sometimes have so much junk. How do we know what's worth sifting through?

ROHAN: Well, the best thing to do, is if you think you have something that's valuable, don't sell it to the first person or the first company that offers you a few dollars for it. Take it around, get multiple offers, check with major national auction companies like Heritage or anyone else and make sure that you've got all your research done before you sell it. Certainly, people that had the bowl are glad that they did that.

PAUL: All righty. Hey, Greg, thank you so much for the great information this morning. We appreciate it with Heritage Auction.

ROHAN: Thank you so much.

PAUL: Sure, take good care.


PAUL: What have you been doing all weekend? You know it's time for a little March Madness.

The upsets just keep coming in this topsy-turvy tournament. We've got our first number one hitting the dust. And it's Gonzaga. They were knocked down by ninth-seeded Wichita State. Gonzaga had won 15 straight games before being shocked by shockers. This is the first Wichita State has made to the sweet 16 since 2006. So, congratulations to them.

The 12th ranked Oregon Ducks are also headed to the sweet 16. They stunned the fourth ranked St. Louis Billikens by 17 points, only the fourth time in the past decade that a 12th seed had made it this far.

But they have a tough task ahead, obviously. Oregon faces a top- seeded Louisville Cardinals, next.

And sadly, everyone's favorite underdog just couldn't keep it going. Harvard won their first ever tournament game Thursday and came back down to earth with a lot of help from University of Arizona. The Wildcats use their size advantage to pull out to a 17-2 lead early and just kind of kept going after that.

Now, Arizona, by the way, plays the winner of today's Iowa State/Ohio State matchup. OSU! Sorry, I had to get that in there.

For all the schedules and analysis, be sure to check out and As you sift through, you know, your brackets that are probably all busted up right now.

Some members in the Boy Scouts don't just want to keep gays and lesbians out of the group, they say they want politics out of scouting, as well. We'll break it down for you.


PAUL: Hey, live pictures coming in to CNN right now out of Kansas City, Missouri. That's what's happening at this moment on the left- hand side of your screen there. Thanks to the folks from our affiliate KNBC and whoever it is that's driving right now.

You see the heavy snow on the roads, low visibility, heavy, heavy snow expected across the Midwest today. But thank you again to our driver, you all stay safe there. See, a lot of cars on the road right across from him on the left-hand side there.

Just be happy, I suppose, if you're waking up and that's not your view this morning.

Scout masters, parents, eagle scouts, among others, are launching The stated aim we understand is to keep sex and politics out of the Boy Scouts of America. Members say they're going to work to keep open homosexuality out of scouting. On hand at a launch event yesterday was Tico Perez, the Boy Scouts national commissioner and scouting's national council is expected to vote in May as to whether to allow gay and lesbian scouts and leaders in the organization as you know. There's been a lot of debate over that.

So, watching the Blue Angels perform, we love it. Pretty fascinating what these guys can do. Well, the navy's precision flying team may be grounded because of those forced budget cuts. The Angels are performing in Key West today. However, the Navy has already been forced to cancel seven upcoming shows in April, May and June. Events through the end of the air show season in October could be cut, as well.

Take a look at this. Yeah. At the car, on a roof, strange scene, obviously, happened in Glendale, California. We know that an elderly driver and his wife were headed down a steep driveway and he apparently lost control of the car. That's where he ended up, on the roof of a house next door.

His neighbor came out, was able to help the two down with a leader and then called police. Just glad nobody hurt. Heavens!

You might not want to put away those boots and those mittens yet. Just showed you some of the pictures in Kansas. We're going to have t latest on the snowstorm that is packing such a punch. What it did to Colorado, it's pushing its way through the Midwest. Is that what you're going to see?


PAUL: So, you keep hearing about this weather that you might expect today. Well, take a look at the left-hand side of your screen, because that may be what is headed your way. Those are live pictures and thank you to the folks driving in that car from our affiliate KNBC in Kansas City, Missouri, right now. Obviously, just a ton of snow on the road and, you know, maybe having a bit of issue with visibility, as well.

But more of that heavy, heavy snow is expected across the Midwest today.

And I want to bring in CNN weather center meteorologist Karen Maginnis.

As we look at this, Karen, I'm wondering if this is going to dissipate at all as it moves east. Or as people who are watching this right now and they're in the path and say, all right, this is what is coming, for sure.

MAGINNIS: All right. When we did see this in Colorado yesterday. We were looking at eight, nine, 10, 12 inches of snowfall. You go up in those higher elevations than was more that. This is going to be typical for today. We'll see in this four to eight or three to six inch range. And those roads are going to be very slippery.

They're saying near Kansas City that they are seeing lots of cars sliding off the roads there. We're seeing number of reports that the roads are very, very slick. Kansas City, five to seven. Poor visibility. Drive carefully, if you will.

But as the system moves further to the East, yes, if you go to the Appalachians, the Alleghenies, the Poconos, you get elevation and you'll see more significant snowfall there.

Here's the track of the storm. Area of low pressure moves across the Ohio River Valley and then moves towards the mid-Atlantic. And, Christi for Washington, D.C., and New York, this is just a blip. For other folks further west, it's a little more significant than that. So, be careful today.

PAUL: All right. Hey, good to know. Karen, thank you so much. I just want to give a quick shout-out to New Jersey Powerball players. Check your tickets, one ticket out there won the $338 million jackpot last night. Just one ticket winning numbers -- 17, 29, 31, 52, 53 and 31, and congratulations to whoever is waking up holding that thing this morning. You're having a good morning.

I'm going to see you back here at the top of the hour, 8:00. First, "SANJAY GUPTA, M.D." begins right now.