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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Another Zimmerman Juror Speaking Out; The Next Trayvon Martin Case?
Aired July 25, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks.
Tonight, a second Zimmerman juror spokes out. She says George Zimmerman got away with murder. If so, then, why did she vote to acquit him? I'll ask our court watchers and the Martin family lawyer if her explanation makes sense.
Also, tonight, it's being called Florida's next Trayvon Martin case. A black teenager shot dead after a white gunman claiming self- defense opens fire on him and his unarmed friends. Anderson talks to the dead boy's parents.
Later, what Anthony Weiner's sexting partner has to say about the man -- what she wants to say to his wife and what the voters have to say about it all.
We begin, though, with the Zimmerman Juror B-29, the only non- white juror on the six-member panel. The first to show her face and reveal her first name, Maddi. The one hold-out, at least for a while.
She says she owes Trayvon Martin's family an apology because she ultimately had no choice but to acquit a man she calls a murderer. Juror B-29 spoke to ABC's Robin Roberts. The interview aired on ABC's "World News."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBIN ROBERTS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: What was your first --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My first vote was second-degree murder.
ROBERTS: Second-degree murder.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In between that nine hours it was hard. A lot of us had wanted to find something bad, something that we could connect to the law. For myself, he's guilty. Because the evidence shows he's guilty.
ROBERTS: He's guilty of --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Killing Trayvon Martin but as the law was read to me, if you have no proof that he killed him intentionally, you can't find -- you can't say he's guilty.
ROBERTS: Did you want to step out at all? Did you want to quit?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was the juror that was going to give them the hung jury. I was. I fought until the end. I mean, it's hard for me to sleep. It's hard for me to eat because I feel that I was forcefully included in Trayvon Martin's death, and as I carry him on my back, I'm hurting as much as Trayvon Martin's mom is. Because there is no way that any mother should feel that pain.
ROBERTS: But you feel in your heart of hearts that you and the jury approached it and came with the decision, and you stand by that decision to this day?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I stand by the decision because of the law. If I stand by the decision because of my heart, he would have been guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: That's not all she said or the first Zimmerman juror, by the way, we've heard from. Juror B-37 spoke exclusively with Anderson more than a week ago. She, too, said she had no choice but to vote not guilty. However, B-37 seems to hold a more charitable view of Mr. Zimmerman's actions that night.
Joining us now Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump, who's just getting his first look at the B-29's account. Also joining us, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, and criminal defense attorneys Jose Baez and Mark Geragos.
Mark, by the way, is the co-author of "Mistrial: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works and Sometimes Doesn't."
Jeff, let's start with you. Juror B-29 said that Zimmerman was guilty but could not vote for guilt on either second-degree murder or manslaughter because, as the law was read to her, and I'm quoting now, "You have no proof that he killed him intentionally." Those were her words.
Does that make sense to you legally speaking?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's certainly a garbled reading of the law. The issue was -- it wasn't intention. The issue was -- the issue wasn't Zimmerman's intention. It was whether he was legitimately exercising self-defense or not. But, you know, look, she's not a lawyer. That's not a big -- a big difference.
What I think is important to say just at the outset is that second thoughts by jurors are fairly common and they have no legal significance. You can't get a verdict set aside. You can't change, you can't get a retrial. Nothing can happen as a result of a juror saying, I wish I had voted another way.
BLITZER: Benjamin Crump, let me play another part of Juror B- 29's interview with ABC. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: I know that you've heard some people have said point blank, they have said George Zimmerman got away with murder. How do you respond to those people who say that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: George Zimmerman -- that's -- George Zimmerman got away with murder, but you can't get away from God, and at the end of the day, he's going to have a lot of questions and answers he has to deal with. The law couldn't prove it, but, you know, you know the world goes in circles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Benjamin, do your clients, Trayvon Martin's parents, agree with that?
BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Well, they have always maintained, Wolf, that since this verdict was handed down, that the killer of their unarmed child got away with murder.
BLITZER: They always believed that. And what about her point, though? She believes he got away with murder but given the instructions to the jury, what she had to deal with as far as evidence, Benjamin, she had no choice but to acquit?
CRUMP: Well, that's important to note. This is the second juror now that has said these instructions were very confusing to them, and she believes it got her to the wrong verdict, and I think it was her first thought to convict him of second-degree murder and that's important.
There were other people on that jury who persuaded her that based on the instructions given, she could not vote her conviction to find him guilty, and that's real troubling because we do think the evidence was there, and that was her first thought, and I know Tracy and Sybrina, it certainly is devastating when they hear stuff like this because they desperately wanted those jurors to vote, to hold the killer of their child accountable.
And they -- as Sybrina said, she would have fought harder if that would have been her child, and, you know, they -- they just are trying to get through this and make something positive out of something so negative because they were so hurt by this verdict.
BLITZER: I'm sure they were.
Mark, the juror that Anderson interviewed last week spoke about this juror, B-29, and how she was the last holdout on a guilty or not guilty charge, shall we say. Let's listen to -- let's listen to what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was the last one to vote, and it took probably another 30 minutes for her to decide that she could not find anything else to hold George on because you want to find him guilty of something. She wanted to find him guilty of something but couldn't because of the law, the way the law is written.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: So, Mark, what do you make of the fact that this one juror who initially voted guilty for second-degree murder, not manslaughter but the second-degree murder charge, the one holdout was the only minority on this six-woman panel?
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think that's completely to be expected and exactly why when we saw the racial composition of the jury in jury selection, I said on this show that the trial was over. There was no way -- it's a very rare person who can hold out in a criminal case when there -- when everybody else is up against you.
When you have the racial composition that was in this case, 5-1, white to Hispanic or Puerto Rican and you combine that with what was -- one of the most abysmal prosecutorial presentations I've ever seen, I think it was a no brainer that it was going to come out this way.
I mean I'd ask -- you know, I would tell or ask Ben, you know, when your clients watch this, I mean, my experiences, this is one of the reasons that when you try a case, win or lose you'd never want to talk to the jurors afterwards because it's maddening. They, you know, they will come out and they'll tell you this, that and the other thing and who knows what it takes.
But it is an incredibly difficult task for a juror to stand their ground in a jury room when they are outnumbered and you've got that peer pressure and that dynamic that goes on.
TOOBIN: Wolf --
BLITZER: Jose in a second. But, Benjamin, go ahead and respond to that.
CRUMP: Yes. And, Mark, I do think my clients understand that and she said she wanted to offer an apology to Trayvon's parents and I think they -- and Sybrina said the Christian thing to do is to accept the apology but she really wished she would have fought harder because that's what they would have did had that been their child.
And we understand the dynamics of it but one vote the prosecutors could have said your vote is your vote. You said you had the evidence there. You didn't have to be persuaded. You didn't have to justify your vote to anybody, and you just wish --
GERAGOS: Well, you know, Ben --
CRUMP: -- she wouldn't have gave in.
GERAGOS: You know, Ben, one of the interesting things that I don't understand it, and, you know, coming from the defense side, and I think Jose would probably back me up on this. There are certain cases when you know in jury selection you're not going to be able to win the case. You know because of the dynamics and everything else, and you try that case to get a hung jury.
I think when the prosecution had the two white jurors placed back into that jury box and they saw what the composition was of this case, if they really wanted to win it, they should have tried this case to hang it so they would have had another chance at a re-trail.
It's another -- yet another, I think, black mark, if you will, on the prosecution in this case. I just -- I can't say enough horrible things about the prosecution.
BLITZER: Let's let Jose weigh in on this, as well. Go ahead, Jose.
JOSE BAEZ, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR CASEY ANTHONY: Well, I think what we're getting is a window to what actually happened in the jury deliberation room. You may recall that the jury asked for a clarification on the manslaughter instruction at the 11th hour. Now we have a pretty good idea who was the juror that was specifically asking for this.
And what's even worse was the response that went back to the jury was vague. It was basically like, we can't guide you, but if you have any specific questions, let us know. And now we're hearing from the specific juror that she did not understand that specific instruction. In fact, her own statements were she's saying that it had to be intentional.
That's incorrect. It's 100 percent completely incorrect. The manslaughter instruction says an intentional act that procured the death of another individual. So the fact that he intentionally shot the gun, that is the act that caused the death of Trayvon Martin.
So, you know, again, this falls back on the prosecution for not clearly showing and taking the elements of the crime and arguing what facts pertain to which element.
BLITZER: And Jeffrey, you know that this woman spoke to ABC News, this juror, she makes it clear, she was fully aware if she would have held firmly for a guilty verdict either on manslaughter or second-degree murder, there would have been a hung -- hung jury and that the prosecution presumably would have had a start from scratch.
TOOBIN: Yes, that's what she says, but I'd also like to raise another possibility. You know, these jurors were sequestered. They didn't know what a big deal this case turned out to be. I think it's entirely possible that Maddi is reacting as much to the public reaction to the verdict as she is to the evidence.
You know, this case -- you know, you have the president of the United States talking about it. You have demonstrations all over the country in reaction to the verdict. This is not a pure laboratory example of someone talking about the verdict that she reached in the jury room. She's now reacting to the whole public spectacle of this case and I think so -- it's not a perfect picture of what went on in the jury room. I think a lot --
BLITZER: Jeff, let me let Benjamin Crump respond to that and then I'll bring you in, Mark. Hold on a second.
CRUMP: Yes, with respect, Jeffrey, I disagree. She said her first mind was second-degree murder so being sequestered, sitting in that courtroom she made the determination. Her vote was second-degree murder.
Now in that deliberation, maybe as Mark said the five people wore her down, and that may be the case. And I just want to say --
TOOBIN: It's clearly the case, yes.
CRUMP: I just wanted to say to Mark's point that I believe the instructions are confusing in a lot of ways. So what you want the jury to do is be empowered. I thank the prosecutors for bringing the case because a lot of prosecutors wouldn't have brought this case no matter what the evidence was.
BLITZER: Very quickly, Mark, go ahead.
GERAGOS: I was going to say, I agree with Jeff's point about the fact when you have a sequestered jury and nobody thought this thing was going to gain the traction that it did and that normally you would think that that's what's happening.
You're hearing kind of a reverse sour grapes or kind of recriminations but the fact is, is that she did hold out. The fact is, is that she did send out or they sent out that note and the fact remains that the prosecution in their closing argument was all emotion and they had very little on the instructions, very little on the law.
That's why I said at the time and publicly that I just didn't see -- I thought they were throwing the case. I mean I --
BLITZER: All right.
GERAGOS: I still believe that. I just cannot believe that they --
CRUMP: I just wanted -- I just wanted to say to Mark, I agree with you. They should have told them they could hold on their vote and don't give in on their vote. And that -- that's the thing I didn't think they did.
BLITZER: Well, it's all history now. So can't go back and redo it right now. It's over with. But I'm sure we'll be discussing it for a long time. Let's see if more jurors come out and speak in the coming days and weeks.
Benjamin Crump, Jeffrey Toobin, Jose Baez, Mark Geragos, thanks to all of you. This is not the only racially charged self-defense case in the country or even in Florida.
Up next, another 17-year-old's killing. His name was Jordan Davis and the question about his death, there are a lot of questions being raised about race and justice in America.
Anderson sat down with Jordan's parents, that's coming up later.
New poll numbers for Anthony Weiner and they are grim. Also one of his original sexting partners talking about the current one and how Weiner makes the transition in his messages from the political to the very, very personal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LISA WEISS, EXCHANGED MESSAGES WITH WEINER IN 2010, 2011: I would speak to him about politics, and then, you know, he sort of turns the conversation into a sexual thing, and it becomes very flattering, you know, to me and probably to her. He's somebody that I was enamored with and a fan of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Before the commercial we showed you what Juror B-29 in the George Zimmerman trial told ABC News. ABC also reporting she says the case was never about race. It's worth noting again she was the only minority on the all-female jury but not everyone sees it that way. In fact polls show the vast majority of African-Americans believe race was a big factor in the case.
Now another deadly shooting in Florida is raising the same questions about race and Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law. To some the parallels to Trayvon Martin's death are striking.
Here is Drew Griffin.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23rd, 2012. Seventeen-year-old Jordan Davis and three friends pulled into a convenience store in Jacksonville, Florida. His dad said they had been shopping.
RON DAVIS, FATHER OF JORDAN DAVIS: Dad, he says, listen, some friends are going to window shop at Town Center Mall, and he said, can I have some money for food, you know, and hang out with my friends?
GRIFFIN: Jordan Davis stayed in the backseat of the Dodge Durango as the driver went inside the store. The windows were down, loud music was on the radio. It was at that moment police say 45- year-old Michael Dunn, driving a black Volkswagen Jetta pulled into the parking spot right next to them. Dunn was just attending his son's wedding reception with his girlfriend, Rhonda Rouer, and Rouer wanted to stop. As she went inside Michael Dunn says he politely asked the music be turned down in the Durango. The passenger in the front seat compiled turning down the radio. But Jordan Davis, police say, asked the music be turned back up.
Michael Dunn concedes as much in a later police interrogation.
MICHAEL DUNN, DEFENDANT: And then the music comes back on. You know, I'm just like, lay low, you know, don't need any trouble.
GRIFFIN: But there was trouble. Police say what followed was a verbal altercation between Dunn sitting in his car and the other teens sitting in theirs. Interrogated by police, Michael Dunn said it was one of the teens who was trying to escalate the confrontation, threatening he says to kill him.
DUNN: So I put my window down again and I said excuse me? Are you talking about me? And it was like, kill that (EXPLETIVE DELETED). And you know, I'm still not reacting but then this guy goes down on the ground and comes up with something. I thought it was a , shotgun, and he goes you're dead, (EXPLETIVE DELETED), and he opens his door. And I'm (EXPLETIVE DELETED) but that's when I reached in my glove box, and unholstered my pistol.
GRIFFIN: Dunn opened fire, four quick shots into the SUV, then four more as it sped away. Jordan Davis, the only person hit, was killed. As for Dunn, he told police he and his girlfriend spent the night at a local hotel before driving the 159 miles to his home. He wouldn't be arrested until the next day.
Dunn's girlfriend, also questioned by police, her face blurred, tells the police Dunn told her he was firing in self-defense.
RHONDA ROUER, MICHAEL DUNN'S GIRLFRIEND: And I said what happened? And he said, I shot at the car, and I'm like -- we're moving at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
ROUER: And I said, what car? And he said the one with the music.
GRIFFIN: Other witnesses to the shooting told police they never saw the teens getting out of the SUV or approaching Dunn in any way. No weapon, no stick, no threatening object of any kind was found in the teen's possession. Dunn insists he was shooting to save his life and according to his attorney plans to use Florida's Stand Your Ground law as his defense.
Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.
BLITZER: Michael Dunn's trial is scheduled to begin in September. Anderson recently talked to Jordan Davis' parents, Lucy McBath and Ron Davis. They were joined by their lawyer John Phillips. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN'S AC 360: I'm so sorry for your loss. What do you want people to know about your son?
DAVIS: Jordan was like an American boy. He wasn't like an African-American boy but he was also an American boy in that it could be your son, and I want you to understand that, you know, the way we feel is the way you would feel if you lost a son when it happens like that, you know, when somebody actually tears your child away from you, you know. Because of loud music, something so petty as that, and it really just takes -- you know, just takes the heart of you.
COOPER: Where were you when you heard the news?
LUCY MCBATH, SON KILLED BY GUNFIRE IN FLORIDA: I was in Chicago visiting family for the holiday.
COOPER: I can't even imagine what that was like.
MCBATH: It's -- it is -- it is a parent's worst nightmare, and you hear about it happening to other individuals, people around you, when you know you mourn for the loss when it happens to them, and in the back of your mind you're saying wow, I don't know how I would -- I don't know what I would do if that ever happened to me, and then when it becomes reality, it's just -- it's unbearable at times.
COOPER: When you heard that Stand Your Ground might be part of this case, might be argued by this person who did this, what did you think?
MCBATH: Just incensed that Stand Your Ground legislation can be used to cover up and to hide the real problem with the gun culture in this country, and particularly in Florida, the Stand Your Ground legislation is being used in a tremendous number of cases to protect people, shoot first, ask questions later.
COOPER: And in this case, I mean, there were witnesses who saw this unlike in the Trayvon Martin case, and also, many of the statements made by this man -- I mean, he said that he saw some sort of gun or -- there was nothing found. There is no evidence of any of that.
DAVIS: Well, if you know how long a shotgun is, you know, an SUV there is no way possible and how many, as he say, thugs or gang members runaround with full-blown shotguns.
COOPER: There wasn't even a stick, there wasn't even a --
COOPER: You know, anything that could be mistaken for that. MCBATH: Nothing. The boys were coming from the mall. They had been shopping. And you know, as teenagers do, and they had, you know tennis shoes in the car and football and, you know, all those items. They were simply coming from the mall.
COOPER: Talk to me about this case. I mean, are you concerned about it being linked with the Trayvon Martin case, or is that -- is that a positive? Is it a negative?
JOHN PHILLIPS, FAMILY ATTORNEY: There is two parts. It's both. You know, the ripple effect of getting awareness is a positive. These are both massive tragedies. They're factually very different in that George Zimmerman had that busted nose photo, and it was what happened between two men in the dark that ultimately was the issue.
COOPER: Right. Without any actual witness.
PHILLIPS: Right, and it was one bullet where this one, he shot 10 including into a retreating vehicle and still he's trying to declare Stand Your Ground. This is no way -- should somebody be able to buy a gun, have a concealed weapons permit, and kill and then say, hey, listen, you can't -- you can't get me for this.
COOPER: This is also one individual in his vehicle shooting at a number of other individuals who are in their vehicles. I mean --
COOPER: So to argue, I was in fear of my life --
DAVIS: Right. He's the one in his car. You know, he's got his window rolled up. He rolled it down to say something to the kids. You know, my son is in the backseat, in the passenger side, you know, and because they don't turn down their loud music and he thinks, according to what his girlfriend noted that that's thug music, you know, hip-hop music, and so he decides that because he doesn't like their, quote-unquote, thug music, that he was going to take things further.
My son is arguing with him verbally. My son never got out of the car. You know? He didn't get out of his car at the time --
COOPER: He just reached in his glove box and got his gun.
DAVIS: And he just reached -- and for that to even be a thought in your mind that I'm in a verbal argument with children, you know, he already admitted that they were children. He knew they were children.
COOPER: One of the things that the juror in the Zimmerman trial had sort of said to me is -- or became clear as she was talking is that she didn't seem to have a great sense of who Trayvon Martin was. She seemed to understand who George Zimmerman was and seemed to sympathize with him, or know -- feels she knew what was in his heart. Do you worry that -- or do you want to make sure that jurors understand who your son is? MCBATH: Absolutely. Without a doubt. Jordan was a good, everyday 17-year-old teenager, you know, playing loud music like all the other teenagers play their music loudly. Hanging out with his friends, you know, going to class, basketball games, you know, events, all those things that normal kids do. Jordan did that. Jordan was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. I homeschooled him.
Jordan was a great, great faith foundation, lots of friends and family. Good family structure. That's what we want people to know about Jordan.
COOPER: I'm just so sorry for your loss and we'll continue to follow it.
MCBATH: Thank you so much for having us.
DAVIS: Thank you.
MCBATH: We appreciate it very much.
COOPER: Thank you.
BLITZER: You can find a lot more on the story at CNN.com and I suggest you do.
Up next, new video of that terrible train wreck in Spain and what investigators are learning from it. We're going to get an update from the scene. That's coming up.
BLITZER: Eighty people are now dead in that Spanish train wreck, and now video could reveal why this train may have been going far too fast for that curve. That's what officials say. The result was disastrous. You can see the train leaving the tracks, splitting in two, piling up and catching fire. Karl Penhaul is on the scene for us. We spoke a short time ago.
BLITZER: Karl, we're seeing this horrible video of the train crash. What is the latest you're learning about the investigation, particularly about the speed of the train because I know there have been lots of questions on that?
KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That video is absolutely chilling, isn't it, Wolf? Surveillance video taken yards away from where the train was actually impacting, but certainly, these trains are designed to run at high speed and Spain has invested a lot in infrastructure for its rail ways, at certain points on that route the train expected to run at speeds of 155 miles an hour.
Now, we did hear earlier in the day Spain's development minister who came to the crash site saying that she believed excessive speed could be a factor, but then the prime minister showed up and he urged people to keep an open mind. He said all factors are under consideration, not just the speed factor but also other factors, as well. So certainly, no hard and fast conclusions far from it right now -- Wolf.
BLITZER: What do we know, Karl, about the driver of the train? I understand he's been talking to authorities, right?
PENHAUL: He has. We understand that he's been in police custody for most of the day. Police have been questioning him about what he was doing, how the train was performing, and also, quite, frankly, to see if any wrongdoing may have been involved in this case. We understand that he is a man with around 20 to 30 years experience driving trains in Spain. Certainly, a very experienced man on these very fast express trains, but right now, authorities are not telling us what details he may have revealed in the course of questioning -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Karl, we saw the king and queen of Spain visiting a hospital today. We know scores dead, a lot more injured people. Give us a sense of how the country is dealing with this enormous tragedy, because these high speed trains are a key mode of transportation in Spain.
PENHAUL: Absolutely. Trains, as I say, Spain invested a lot of money in the rail ways and so the Spanish are very frequent train travelers. I think the sense of shock began first locally and then spread region wide as people saw the scale of this and then people across Spain listening to the headlines, seeing that death toll ballooned in the night time hours and so there is a genuine sense of shock.
Of course, the city was due to celebrate the biggest religious festivals of the year today, but those festivals have been cancelled and Spain itself declared three days of national mourning. The scale of the tragedy, absolutely huge, at least one third of the passengers on board the train are dead and more than 100 still in the hospital, a third of those on the critical list so that death toll we are told by authorities could rise even further -- Wolf.
BLITZER: What a horrible, horrible tragedy. Karl Penhaul, thanks for the reporting.
BLITZER: Up next, the woman at the center of the new Anthony Wiener sexting scandal speaking out and also, one of his original sexting partners tells me what she thinks about the fact that Weiner was still sending steamy texts after he got caught.
BLITZER: Raw politics tonight, a new poll of New York City Democrats shows a fairly even split about whether mayoral candidate, Anthony Wiener's, latest sexting revelations will affect how people vote. In the NBC/"Wall Street Journal" mayor's poll, 46 percent said Tuesday's bombshell will have an impact, 49 percent said it matters little or not at all.
Meantime, his young sexting partner spoke out for the first time today with "Inside Edition's" Jim Morray.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How would you describe him? I read one quote that suggested you thought he was a dirty old man.
SYDNEY LEATHERS, EXCHANGED MESSAGES WITH WEINER: He actually said that about himself to me. He -- the exact wording is that he's an argumentative, perpetually horny middle-aged man and at the time, I was like no, you're not, but yes, he is. I felt manipulated.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why?
LEATHERS: Because obviously, I felt like, you know, he's saying one thing to me, saying another thing to his wife, saying another thing on the campaign trail. I don't know who the real Anthony Wiener is, I guess.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Sydney Leathers, only 23 years old is just the latest woman to come forward. Lisa Weiss exchanged explicit messages with then Congressman Weiner back in 2010, 2011. She is talking exclusively with 360.
Lisa, when you heard these latest revelations, what was your reaction? Were you surprised to find out that Anthony Wiener kept sexting long after he resigned, long after the two of you had cut off contact?
LISA WEISS, SEXTED WITH ANTHONY WEINER: Well, I'm still very torn about the way I feel about the whole thing. To me, you know, I really -- I think there is kind of a fine line. I'm still in the sure if I feel as if this is cheating. I mean, there are a lot of politicians that had actual affairs and paid prostitutes and, you know, to me this is a very weird thing. I think it's like a very new thing that people aren't used to with the internet. I'm -- I was surprised he was still doing it. I think he moved to an adult site, which I think is maybe better than Twitter and Facebook because that's maybe where this talk belongs.
BLITZER: Lisa, listen to what Sydney Leathers told "Inside Edition." She was one of the women that was sexting with him long after he resigned from Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEATHERS: Neither one of us ever really officially ended it. It just kind of started to fizzle it out. He got a little bit controlling with me towards the end.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How so? LEATHERS: He would tell me he would be jealous, he would look at my Facebook frequently and tell me he would get jealous if other men would compliment me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Lisa, does that at all sound familiar to you with Anthony Wiener, possessive, jealous as far as you were concerned?
WEISS: Not at all. That's surprising to me. I haven't heard that yet. With me it was a very different thing. We had -- I did not feel like there was any kind of relationship there. The whole thing between Anthony and I was basically, to me, it was funny. To me the whole thing was basically, you know, I never planned on meeting him. I don't think he ever planned on meeting me. I didn't feel it was any sort of an affair, an emotional attachment in any way.
BLITZER: When asked about his wife, Huma Abedin, Sydney Leathers, this other woman broke down in tears. She said how sorry she was. I understand you've also expressed sorrow for the pain you may have caused Huma, the wife. What did you think when you saw her speaking out in support of her husband the other day?
WEISS: When Anthony and I first started speaking, he was not married and I was single, and then I did not even realize he had gotten married afterwards. When I found this out and after everything came out, I felt so bad and I did apologize. I've tried many times to apologize to Huma because, yes, I had no business even joking around, flirting with her husband that way and I still feel bad about it. You know, I admire her, and I think that, you know, I think she did the right thing to say something and not just stand there and, you know, let him speak.
BLITZER: I know you had a tough time, Lisa, after your relationship with Anthony Wiener was exposed between press coverage and reaction from friends, co-workers, visitors. Based on your own experience, what do you think lies ahead for this other woman Sydney Leathers?
WEISS: I would just advice her, don't read the comments people write. You know, I'm sure I'll get comments after tonight after being on your show because I got comments from people that were so vicious that I, you know, I sat home and cried and it was -- you know, I just would tell her, be prepared because you're going to get a lot of -- a lot of criticism and not a lot of people defending you. You know, and just, I'm still trying to toughen up because of it. So yeah, she's going to get a lot of flak from a lot of people. I hope she doesn't, but just in my experience, I did.
BLITZER: Leathers also says that she felt manipulated by Weiner. Did you at all feel yourself manipulated or see yourself as a victim?
WEISS: I did not. You know what -- well, she's much younger than I am. I'm an adult. I'm a middle-aged woman. I will tell you I understand why she did, and what he sort of does to you, I do understand why she's manipulated a bit, because I would speak to him about politics and then, you know, he sort of turns the conversation into a sexual thing, and it becomes very flattering, you know, to me and probably to her. He's somebody that I was a fan of.
And when he starts talking that way to you, you know, what are you supposed to say? My God, you're offending me. I'm disgusted and I'm hanging up. You go I'm a fan of yours. To me I was like, God, what does he want to hear? I'll say whatever I can think of that sounds sexy. I don't know. He does turn the conversation that way, and then you kind of get sucked into it, no pun intended, you get sucked into it a little bit and feel like OK, now, you know, we started this weird relationship thing, whatever it is and it just kind of continued.
BLITZER: Lisa Weiss joining us from Las Vegas. Lisa, thank you very much.
WEISS: Thank you so much for having me.
BLITZER: Just ahead, a major development that could mean Ariel Castro will never go before a jury. We're going to tell you about the plea deal he's been offered.
Also ahead the three young women rescued from Castro's house that helped shine a light on Cleveland's epidemic of missing women. The numbers are staggering. Coming up, Gary Tuchman investigates.
BLITZER: Word tonight that Ariel Castro could be back in court tomorrow to accept a plea deal that's been offered him. The deal would spare him the death penalty. Just this past weekend in East Cleveland, the bodies of three more missing women were found. A 35- year-old registered sex offender has been charged with their murders. Both cases put a spotlight on a deeply disturbing fact. In parts of Cleveland and its nearby suburbs, women of color are vanishing at an alarming rate. Here is what 360's Gary Tuchman has found.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's time to take a stand.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the same block where three women's bodies were found days ago in the city of East Cleveland, Ohio, angry and frightened residents gather.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will protect our family.
TUCHMAN: A disturbing number of women are missing in the Cleveland area and many others have been found brutally murdered. It has gotten so bad that residents are calling for --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president of the United States of America to bring in the National Guard to find these women.
TUCHMAN: Posters of the missing like these can be seen all over the Cleveland metropolitan area. The Cleveland police web site lists 54 women as currently missing from within the city limits, compares to three women on the Cincinnati police web site, a similarly sized Ohio City. In Baltimore a larger city than Cleveland, there are six missing women on the list, but police acknowledge such lists are incomplete and hard to keep accurate and many community leaders in Cleveland say the numbers are higher, much higher. Minerva Tripp is one of those missing, vanishing without a trace last August, one of three sisters.
MARCELLETT LOVE, SISTER OF MINERVA TRIPP: She was a baby.
TUCHMAN: Marcellette Love is the oldest of the three sisters.
LOVE: I just want her back. I just want to see her.
TUCHMAN: Cleveland resident, Ashley Summers, has been missing since 2007. Debbie summers is her aunt.
DEBBIE SUMMERS, AUNT OF ASHLEY SUMMERS: I want you to come home. I want you to know that I love you and miss so you much and I'll never give up on you, never.
TUCHMAN: In these cases family members believe the police haven't done nearly enough, that their relatives fall off the grid, case in point, Charlene Price. This is her nephew and niece.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She went missing on July 2nd, 1997.
TUCHMAN (on camera): That's over 16 years ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it is.
TUCHMAN: Do you feel everything that could be done to find her has been done?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Police defend their work over the years, but acknowledge the problem is very serious. The mayors of Cleveland and East Cleveland do, too.
MAYOR GARY NORTON, EAST CLEVELAND, OHIO: In the cities combined, there are far too many people missing.
TUCHMAN: Many believe the increasing number of missing women and increased crime are tied to the recent economic crisis. It's such a crisis here that civilians are now actually doing the grim duties that typically only the authorities do.
(on camera): Many community leaders here anguished at the sheer number of missing people over the years have taken to searching in the local woods themselves without the aid of police looking for bodies.
(voice-over): We accompanied them on this day as they look for the women whose names we see on the missing posters. They dread what they may find, but want to provide answers for suffering families. They were told by neighbors they should search one particular abandoned house. Nothing is found in the house nor the woods, at least on this day.
All over the Cleveland posters for an 18-year-old woman named Shirelda Terry, who went missing just this month after leaving her summer job at an elementary school.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Help us find Shirelda.
TUCHMAN (on camera): We set up a time to interview Shirelda's parents and stepfather to talk to them about the continued hope and faith that Shirelda will be found alive, but 30 minutes before our interview we received a phone call. Shirelda was no longer missing. Sherelda was dead. And this right now in this neighborhood is her family and friends mourning.
(voice-over): As it turns out, Shirelda has just been positively identified as one of the three victims recently found. They were all wrapped in plastic and hidden around suspect Michael Madison's home. Van Terry is Shirelda's father. He still wanted to talk to us.
VAN TERRY, FATHER OF SHIRELDA TERRY: My baby is gone. That's the reality of it all. Now when I cry tonight it's not trying hoping to find her. I know where she's at. I'm crying because I miss her. Now she's gone on.
TUCHMAN: There is a lot of pain in Cleveland. For the families that lost loved ones from violence and for the families who don't know what to think, what waiver between hope and hopelessness.
BLITZER: Gary Tuchman is joining me now from East Cleveland. Gary, what is being down in these neighborhoods to try to keep these residents particularly the women safer?
TUCHMAN: Well, they need more cops in these neighborhoods and they have increased police patrol. That is good news. They also need to knock down the abandoned buildings. There are so many abandoned houses and businesses. The mayor of East Cleveland saying he needs more state and federal funding to knock those buildings down because they are magnets for criminals.
And also the final thing, and this is a very important thing, neighbors tend to mind their own business. They can't mind their own business anymore. They have to speak out when they see something crazy and suspicious. Tell their neighbors and police and nail these bad people -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Good advice. All right, Gary, thanks for that report. We'll be right back.
BLITZER: That does it for this edition of 360. Thanks for watching. Coming up one hour from now at 10 p.m. Eastern, the Anderson Cooper's special report, "Beauty and The Priest." "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts right now.